The use of bitters as a therapeutic tool can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Eventually, around the 1800s, these combinations of medicinal herbs became a popular cocktail. Today, there is a resurgence of interest in bitters as both a custom cocktail addition and as a powerful supportive aid to digestive health.
When it comes to digestive health, ingestion of bitter herbs acts along two proposed pathways:1
- Binding of receptors that act reflexively to increase saliva and vagal tone of digestive organs.
- Stimulation of local receptors to increase...
"In what sense is it true, that my hand does not feel pain, but I, in my hand? How is it to be decided? ...if someone has a pain in his hand, then the hand does not say so (unless it writes it) and one does not comfort the hand, but the sufferer; one looks into his face." - Ludwig Wittgenstein1
Whether short or long-lived, the odds are you have had a memorable encounter with a patient experiencing pain or with your own experience with pain. As health care providers, we routinely look into the face of someone in pain.
So what is it that we are looking at? What is...Read more
In my last Natural Medicine Journal blog I discussed the importance of high quality mercury testing that includes hair, urine, and blood analysis. In this article, I’d like to address clinically-significant ways to enhance detoxification, in particular, the detoxification of heavy metals such as mercury.
There are nearly as many opinions about effective detoxification protocols as there are protocols. Although opinions abound, there is a core focus that is hard to argue with...Read more
We may have gotten ahead of ourselves with vitamin D; gotten too excited about all the possibilities and all the promises. It may be time to slow down and even back track a bit.
For the last decade vitamin D has been the biggest, most exciting new thing in nutritional medicine. It seems like almost every patient is taking vitamin D and doing so in doses once thought massive.
Since the mid 1990s, thousands of studies have linked low serum vitamin D to a list of maladies including heart disease, cancer, infection, autoimmune, obesity, osteoporosis, depression and so on. While...Read more
With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, there is a natural inclination to spend more time outside. After the cold dark days of winter hibernation it feels good to stand in the Sun, listen to the songbirds, and feel the renewed vitality of the world. It is no coincidence that this is the time of year we celebrate Earth Day, (Saturday, April 22nd) to honor and remember the beautiful complexity of the natural world and our interconnection with all of Life.
As practitioners of natural medicine, we can utilize...Read more
Testing is one of the most powerful tools healthcare practitioners have to properly diagnose and treat patients. Test results are like pieces of a puzzle that help practitioners put together a clear picture of their patient’s health. Let’s face it, the treatment protocol the practitioner creates is only as good as the test that is used to create it.
In the past, when trying to uncover health issues related to mercury exposure, practitioners would choose between doing a hair analysis or a challenge (provocation) test. We now know that both options have significant limitations. Hair...Read more
The future is here. The nutritional industry now has access to pharmaceutical-grade liposomes that can provide the power of intravenous therapy in the convenience of oral supplements. This is exciting, for sure, but are the claims made by all companies that offer liposomal supplements true? Not necessarily. “Liposomal delivery” is a pretty broad term and certainly not all liposome products are created equal.
There are definitely key advantages with liposome products but as with anything, there are two sides of this coin. Below is a list of advantages, as well as potential...Read more
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a big fan of behavior modification scientist Dr. BJ Fogg. Fogg’s behavior change model focuses on three steps: motivation, ability, and trigger.1
I had the opportunity to interview Fogg on a radio show that I do with my colleague Dr. Lise Alschuler.2 During that interview, Fogg went into detail about the three tenants of his behavior change model but that wasn’t the most interesting part of the interview...Read more
Healthcare practitioners continually work to crack the code when it comes to positively and sustainably changing patient behavior. While the true secret to success is likely highly individual and based on many nuances unique to each patient, there are some tenants to follow that may impact sustainable behavior change.
For years we were led to believe that all it takes to change behavior is motivation. Without motivation, patients were doomed to fail and with the right level of motivation, success was surely theirs. For example, if a patient really wants to quit smoking, then they...Read more
I am a generalist; there, I admit it. In a world of increasing specialization one gets the distinct feeling that “generalist” has become a rather dirty word. Almost 30 years ago, when I was studying osteopathic and naturopathic medicine, specialization within these fields did not exist or were in the very beginning stages. Of course, today that’s not the case.
Although my emphasis is in naturopathic and osteopathic medicine, my practice is very general, which is the way I like it. Every day is different. I may be working with someone suffering acute back pain in one appointment,...Read more