Forgiving Yourself Forgiving Others- The Key to Freedom and Forgetting

forgivenessHave you thought that you needed to forgive something horrible that happened to you but you just can’t seem to do it?  Resentments keep us in bondage of the person or event over which we have the resentment. In 12-step programs, they say resentments are the number one cause of relapse!  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get rid of resentments?  It turns out that there is.

In the study “Forgiving you is hard, but forgetting seems easy, can forgiveness facilitate forgetting”, participants had to imagine different scenarios where they were victims, then indicate whether or not they would forgive the transgressor.  More forgetting was observed for those incidents that had been forgiven.  

It’s been said that holding on to a resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! 

One of the most traumatic challenges I have faced in my career was an attack on my professional character and standing by the board of medical examiners (BME). One disgruntled poly-substance addict in my addiction practice went home on her first night after starting treatment and supposedly had a seizure that broke her hot tub and flooded her house, for which she wanted financial compensation.

The BME requested numerous other random charts, I appeared in front of the investigation committee, and despite my lawyer saying I had nothing to worry about, after a year of waiting, the BME sent a letter accusing me of everything they can legally accuse a physician of.  I responded with a detailed report using the same charts they had requested, showing line by line how each accusation was false. All charges were ultimately dropped but the damage to my psyche and reputation was deep.  How to forgive and forget?

I realize my little run-in with the board, while they threatened to end my medical career, was nothing compared to victims of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. It nevertheless gave me insight into how hard it is indeed to put past trauma behind us. We fear that if we forget, it could happen again so we keep our guard up, but as a result we live in constant bondage to the memories of that past trauma. 

I find highly evolved spiritual people, tend to be those who have suffered greatly, and risen above to a response of love and forgiveness. I have found “The course of miracles” and the book “The disappearance of the universe” by Gary Renard to address this whole topic of forgiveness as key to spiritual freedom. Indeed, throughout  scriptures, one finds this to be central. 


If you suffer from past hurts that you have not let go of, I encourage you to work on forgiveness, get professional help, but be sure that in addition to helping you identify your issues, make sure they are working with you on forgiveness.  You don’t have to forget in the sense of letting yourself be vulnerable.  It is a separate set of skills to establishing appropriate boundaries, so such abuse can NEVER happen again.


Blessings on your journey.  I wish you freedom from the bondage of self, and bondage to those memories that are unforgiven.

Read this enlightening study here…



Dr. Paul

Vitamin E In The Oil You Use- It Does Matter Which Oil You Use For Cooking. Beware Of Canola, Soybean, and Corn Oils.

veggie oilIn the study, “The vitamin E isoforms alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol have opposite associations with spirometric parameters: The CARDIA study”, May 2014,  it was found that increasing consumption of supposedly healthy canola, soybean, and corn oils lead to rising inflammation of the lungs and possible asthma.

In the USA, the average blood levels of gamma-tocopherol is more than 4 times higher than those of European and Scandinavian countries that use mostly sunflower and olive oil.

In this study, they examined 4,526 individuals from the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study. They found that high levels of gamma-tocopherol (10 micro molar in the blood) was associated with a 10-17% reduction in lung function.  Imagine trying to be an elite athlete, or this magnitude of reduction for someone already suffering from asthma or other lung disorders.  

Take home: Avoid canola, soy, and corn oils.  In the USA, these of course are also all GMO oils – undoubtedly the issue if you ask me! If this study had looked at organic use of these oils, there may be a different outcome.  Corn oil is one of the better oils for high heat stir fry as most other oils break down at high heats releasing carcinogens and destroying the beneficial properties of the oils. In general high heat destroys the beneficial properties of oils.  It is best to use cold pressed organic forms, and add them after cooking or to fresh produce/ salads.


You can read the study here…



Dr. Paul

Flax Seeds (ground) Reduce Blood Pressure (hypertension) and Prevent Blood Clots (stroke)

Flax SeedFlax seeds are my number one recommendation for a vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  For those wanting to minimize fish consumption due to the very high levels of toxins in fish, flax is your best bet. You need 10 times as much flax oil as fish oil to get the same amount of DHA, the fatty acid our brains need, so sprinkle it on everything you can.  A couple tablespoons a day would be fine.

In a couple studies (you can see Study A and Study B here) giving 30 grams of flax seeds a day for 6 months resulted in lowering the blood pressure systolic by 10 points and diastolic by 7 points.  This is HUGE!  Take a food that is good for you instead of a medication!  The flax group also had significantly lower oxylipins which are the toxic compounds formed when PUVA’s (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) become oxidized. Since oxylipins have been linked to arterial wall damage, thrombosis, and hypertension, this natural food should be a no brainer!

Keep your organic flax seeds in the freezer in a sealed container, grind daily the amount for that day and use it often.  Flax seeds have a slight nutty flavor and go well with oatmeal, on salads or really could be added after cooking to most anything. (Don’t cook the ground flax seeds).

For an adorable and informative video on the use of flax by Naturopath Dr Erica Zelfand, physician at Natura Integrative Medicine, click here…

For appointments with Dr Zelfand: or call   971-317-0222  


Dr. Paul


Sinusitis- AAP Guidelines

Sinusitis1As one who suffers from intermittent chronic sinusitis, I have a wealth of personal experience with the pros and cons of antibiotics use, surgery, and alternative approaches.


The article, “Clinical Practice Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of acute bacterial sinusitis in children aged 1 to 18 years” (you can read it here… ) published July 2013 in Pediatrics, does not deal specifically with chronic sinusitis but is a starting point for discussion.


New to these recommendations is that one can wait or treat with antibiotics the sinus infection that is less than three days duration even if there is a worsening course (high fever over  39c/102f, with cough), and that imaging studies are not warranted at all in cases of acute sinusitis.


The diagnosis of sinusitis is made when:

  1. Nasal discharge and or daytime cough of 10 days not getting better.

  2. Worsening of cough nasal discharge or fever.

  3. Fever over 39c/102f, or persistent purulent nasal discharge for at least 3 days in a row.


Imaging is discouraged, but if you are worried about orbital (bulging eye or infection around the eye), or CNS/ brain symptoms, then a contrast-enhanced CT of paranasal sinuses should be obtained. MRI can also work for this situation.


Prescribe antibiotics when onset is severe or the above criteria are met. Initial treatment can be with amoxicillin at 80-90 mg/Kg/ day which will overcome resistance of streptococcus pneumonia. However, to cover the other two common pathogens in children (Haemophilus influenza and moraxella cataralis) you should treat with Amox-clav. (Augmentin). Dose the amox. component at 80-90  mg/kg/day.  I find the only way for children to tolerate this is to use the ES 600mg/5ml product.  All the rest have too high a clavulanate acid % resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea.


So what to do with those pesky colds our young ones seem to have all winter long?  You sure don’t want to use antibiotics every time your child has a green runny nose, since most of these are not sinus infections and viral illness (the common cold) doesn’t respond to antibiotics.  Antibiotics have huge down sides in that they destroy your child’s healthy bacteria in the gut and this lowers your child’s immune system and ability to fight off future infections. 


Remember that the maxillary sinuses (the ones just below your eyes) form around age 3-4 years.  The frontal sinuses (the ones in your forehead) form around age 8-10 years.  This is why I rarely ever diagnose sinusitis under the age of 3 years.


So what about chronic sinusitis, the kind where there seems to be a green nasal discharge on and off for months (in my case years)?. Remember that in the young preschool child in day care, this is probably one viral infection after another.  The typical daycare child has 5-7 colds a year, all clustered in the winter months. 


Sometimes nasal flushing with a nedi-pot or sinus rinse using saline can help clear much of the infection and provide some relief. Sometimes you may have a sensitivity to a food (e.g. dairy or gluten) that is keeping your level of inflammation high.  Sometimes, a person has an immune deficiency (though this is less than 1 in 1000  and super rare).  Rarely, in adolescents and adults you may need to see an ENT for possible sinus surgery. 


 You can read more about the AAP guidelines for sinusitis here…




Dr. Paul


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