While in Maui recently, we drove to the Haleakala Summit at 10,000 feet to watch the sunrise. We miscalculated driving times and reached the top three hours before the sun was supposed to rise. Yet we all agreed our mistake was worth it because we got to see the brightest star-studded sky any of us could remember. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we arrived, but by sunrise the summit was enveloped in a whiteout fog so that we never did see the sun come up or any color in the sky. I was reminded of this experience recently as I worked with Heather Wright to...Read more
Current physical activity guidelines recommend moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week for a total of 150 minutes/week, or vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week, spread out over at least 3 sessions per week. In a report published in January 2017, researchers evaluated more than 63,000 men and women over age 40, inquiring about their moderate to vigorous physical activity.1 The research participants were classified into four groups:
- individuals who did no moderate or vigorous physical activity
- those who met the guidelines of 150...
My office is rife this month with patients exhibiting anticipation anxieties about what college accepted them or rejected them (their hopes are dashed forever!), what classes they failed, how well they performed, and how they are positioned for future success.
The sea of despair, the self-accusations, the diminution of inherent self-worth hangs in the balance of the student’s final report card. It appears that the cultivation of innate self-worth through other means has not been deemed worthy in our culture. The price tag on education is a functional reality and a concomitant...Read more
How we experience and interpret events in our lives is critically dependent on the context in which we frame them. This framing can be shaped by previous experiences, expectations, beliefs, social context, emotions and many other variables (see previous blog post). The experience of pain is not an exception.
As clinicians, we have numerous assessment scales for pain: the Wong-Baker Faces, 0-10 Numeric Rating Scale, Visual Analog Scale, Verbal Pain Intensity Scale, the McGill (where is your...Read more
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