032-Integration, Environment and Lupus


In this show I am happy to be back after my 10 day meditation retreat in the mountains of New Mexico. We had a record 2400 people come this year and it was extremely powerful that so many people were meditating simultaneously together.

In this day and age when the stresses of the world weigh upon all of us, it is time for all of my listeners to start meditating. I feel very grateful that I found my spiritual teacher Yogi Bhajan, many years ago and have followed the meditation path of Kundalini Yoga. However there are many types of meditation and each person needs to find what is right for them.

In Los Angeles now, I encourage many of my patients to try out Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which is a powerful and rising form of meditation that is practical for everyone no matter how busy they are.

I mentioned in my podcast a DVD that will lead you in the meditation at home. I  often refer my patients to this, which you can find here, or buy the download  of the video here

As most of you know, I was made the recipient of the Daniel J Wallace Founders Award for Lupus LA, this year. On May 24 as I’ve mentioned in my blog there was a huge party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills where over 450 people came. I was indeed honored to be selected for this award and I was humbled by how many of my patients  and other friends came out to honor me. It was a beautiful evening and there were many stars there which was fun!  I was especially touched that Natasha Bedingfield dedicated her song which I really like “A Pocketful of Sunshine” to me when she sang it.

So for this week, for the podcast I’m replaying my speech to this large group of people. I was honored that all 450 people gave me a standing ovation of many minutes after my speech. The theme of my speech was the need for integration and looking at the environment in our approach  to lupus.

In my speech I am introduced by Adam who is the president of Lupus LA, and then I am personally  introduced by my dear patient Meredith Pegula, who gave me a most heartfelt introduction.

For those of you who would rather watch the video of my speech you can find it here.

I am also putting a transcript of my speech below for those of you that would rather read than listen or watch.

In this show I also ask you that if you feel that my podcasts are adding a solid contribution to your awareness of integrative health, to please write me a review on the iTunes Store so that my podcast can go up in ranking so more people can become aware of it. I normally don’t ask for support in this way and just let people do what they want to do. However in my efforts to get the word out on the importance of integrative medicine for all medical conditions, I am asking for your support.

As always please leave your comments below. You can also contact me at my e-mail at  questions@askdrsoram.com, or leave a message at my voicemail answer line at 310 499 0275



Adam: I am very pleased now to introduce a very strong and dedicated mother of three, who also happens to be a jazz singer, songwriter, therapist and a lupus patient of both Dr. Wallace’s and Dr. Culsa. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Meredith Pegula.

Meredith Pegula: What an honor it is for me to stand before all of you very generous lupus supporters to tell you about one of the most important men in my life. A man whose voice is in my head daily as if he were just sitting on my shoulder almost kind of annoying, telling me to make positive choices to impact the course of my healing. A man who knew since he was six-years-old that it was his that it was his calling to be a doctor when all of his friends in Ohio wanted to be firemen and police officers. A man who authored a wonderful book called The Vitamin D Revolution.

A man whose dedication intuition and expertise has helped thousands of people to heal and lead more vital and full lives through his work integrated medicine, blending the research and knowledge of both east and west with his brilliant mind and keen insight, a man who I consider to me my family. I met Dr. Soram when I was 11-years-old, 11. I had moved recently from Rockway Peach, New York to Santa Monica, didn’t know what to expect and my mom had find this brilliant doctor she said, this integrative doctor who is using vitamins and supplements to heal and she said he graduated, he went to Yale and he was also an MD. She was very excited about that.

So I remember going into his office and I’ll never forget Dr. Soram looking into my eyes with the kindest blue eyes and taking my hand and I just keep looking at him and thinking why is he wearing all white. Why is he wearing a turban? Is this what they wear in L.A.? I am really fortunate to have a very strong belief that out of adversity come many blessings. Dr. Soram is that blessing for me and for many people. I know a lot of you are his patient here and you know what I’m talking about. He is that silver in human form who tenaciously helps us to heal and take better care of ourselves with love and kindness and to be attuned to our bodies.

He creates a personalized health program for his patients with lupus. I’m assuming for other patients as well. But I only know from my own experience, combining herbal supplements and vitamins to improve our energy because our energy can really be diminished greatly having lupus. It’s kind of like having the flu you all had the flu. You know what that feels like. So imagine going through that every day, feeling like you have no live energy whatsoever. With his supplements and his alternative therapies, I’ve actually had a life and I have three kids and made it through graduate school and have a full life, which is quite remarkable. Lupus is a very painful and scary disease, it is. But really believe from my own life experience that having the right support team is critical in terms of what the disease outcome will be.

I’m so lucky to have the exquisite experience of two amazingly talented men; both Soram and Dr. Daniel Wallace who’s my lupus doctor collaborate together to join their incredible minds and their thoughts and their opinions. I’ll be in their office and they will literally just kind of hash it out. ‘What do you think? What should we do? She’s on this much prednisone.’ La-la, la, la, and whole thing. They really come to conclusions that really benefit me quite beautifully and they include me. Even though I’m pretty stubborn about my western medicines. But Dr. Soram is always the first to tell me when he feels that he needs to defer to the side of west when it’s time to take medicine.

It is remarkable to see collaboration in this way. I really owe my life to Dr. Soram. I think you. I absolutely love you. So please can you all join me with your open hearts and your compassionate presence to give this wonderful award the Daniel Wallace Founders Award to my wonderful doctor, my mentor, my friend, Dr. Soram.

Dr. Soram: Wow. Thank you all. Thank you so much. Thank Lupus L.A. for picking me this year. I’m so honored, humbled by the generosity of so many of my patients all of you who are here tonight. Over 100 of you and for the many patients of mine who were not able to come because they’re elsewhere, who have so generously given donations or put beautiful pages in this program tonight, which I’ve only started to look at. Dan Wallace I want to thank you for the beautiful work we’ve done all these years together. I want to let you know that even though you’ve never told me this, I know you say to some of my patients, I don’t know what Dr. Soram’s doing. But those herbs and spices he use sures make people feel better.

Just for the record Dan, I have never actually prescribed a daily dose of parsley or gotten cumulative cumin levels on my patients. My friends tell me that I am full of surprises. Forty years ago if you had told me I’d be up here tonight when I was graduating from Yale, dressed as seek, being a seek, I would have said you’re crazy. What a surprise and people always want to know does your seek way of life have to do with how you work. The answer’s no, not really. The same forces of illness that I had that led me to finding the seek path, which with daily yoga and meditation brought me back to health, were the same forces that brought me to recognize the power of these natural medicines, combined with western medicine that we call integrative medicine.

I’m very honored tonight to be selected as the physician to receive this award because I am the first physician awarded this, who is not a rheumatologist. Moreover, I am an integrative doctor. I work in my practice combining both sides of the coin, pharmaceuticals and surgery with the other side of coin, which I want to talk with you tonight about, natural medicines, herbs, acupuncture, dietary changes. You know there was a time when to suggest two sides to the medical coin was a surprise also.

Over the last many years more and more of doctor, colleagues are calling me up and saying, ‘Soram, now I’m knowing what you’ve been doing all these years. I have a patient with back pain. What can you recommend? They can’t take Advil anymore.’ Or joint pains and over these last about ten years through patient demand, integrative medicine is being used more and more. Dr. Oz’s show on television is all about the natural ways for us to get well. I am so happy to tell you that there are now over 40 medical schools in our country that have at least a course in integrative medicine.

Another secret, which I found out, is that my staff behind my back calls me the White General. Now, when I heard this I thought my God, is that a compliment or an insult? But I realized in my office I am a general because I must marshal all of our resources to help people in this war on lupus. We must use everything that we have to help people with lupus. In my practice, I don’t treat only lupus, other illnesses and as an integrative doctor, I have the advantage of being able to use lifestyle changes, diet, herbal medicines, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation to help people to increase their well-being. Patients don’t experience underlying causes. Dan maybe you’ve had a patient do this. But I’ve never have, no patient’s ever walked in and said, ‘Dr. Soram my leukotrienes and my cytokines are producing so many pro-inflammatory molecules, I don’t know what to do.’ No, no, no, patients don’t live there. Patients come with symptoms of joint pain, fatigue, malaise, many gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders. These disorders although they are addressed by drugs are often not completely resolved by drugs. This is where the modalities of integrative medicine is able to look at a patient as Meredith said in her introduction as a unique experience that the patient has had with their own individual biochemistry.

Rather than being reactive, we in integrative medicine are able to be predictive, personalized, and proactive to help patients achieve a proactive state of well-being. We now know that our genes are not burned into stone. We used to think, oh, my God I got this bad gene, I’m going to get XYZ. With the new science that’s been around for the last ten years called epigenetics. Epi means above, we now know that environmental factors directly impact our genes and are able to turn on or off certain genes. Heredity is not necessarily destiny. In fact, almost ten years a group of rheumatologists published Decennial paper in which they said we used to think lupus and autoimmune diseases were exclusive hereditary. But we now know they said that only one-third of the cause is genetic, two-third environmental.

At the time by environment, they meant bacteria and viruses. But now, in last ten years so many articles are coming out that show for example elevated levels of mercury in blood as well as thiolates, which are in our personal care products, the shampoos and the cosmetics that women use are associated significantly with antinuclear antibody, the primary antibody and hallmark of lupus. We now know that genes are activated by the things we do. Our food is information that talks directly to our genes. The chemicals we apply to our body that we call cosmetics and personal care products with their thiolates are endocrine disruptors talk directly to our genes. Supplements and herbs talk directly to genes.

Vitamin D, my favorite vitamin and when you have enough vitamin D you all know it’s like a pocket full of sunshine. Vitamin D talks to over 200 of our genes. The genes that it particularly effects are the genes that promote inflammation. So vitamin D is very important and able to—is directly talking to our genetics. Now for a moment I want to turn to the other side of the coin and thank the people from Pfizer for the amazing that they do and the other companies that were mentioned tonight. These medicines that you are developing are able to attack the basic biochemistry of lupus and help the patients to feel better and improve their health and not be such an aggressive disease. You are truly a global company because your drugs are able to help people all over the world. But just as globalization is affecting everything, all of us economically so too should we be globalized medically.

What do I mean by that? Our children are all becoming multi-lingual. Children are now learning two and three languages. They’re learning Chinese because they know they’re going to have to talk to their competitors in China. If they are multi-lingual, we too as physicians should be medically multi-lingual. We should be able to talk as a physician talk about drugs. But medical doctors should have a familiarity and an awareness that these natural modalities are able to help patients in ways that sometimes drugs are not. Similarly, I say to my colleagues in naturopathic medicine chiropractic and acupuncture that you too should recognize the other side of the coin. Sometimes drugs and surgery are the best answer for patients.

Thank you for the direction of this award. Not only is it an award to me but a recognition that the country is moving in an integrative direction. For the cost of non-integration to the patient is unnecessary suffering, lack of well-being, lost wages and indeed lost lives. Integration is not just a great idea in theory. For the cost, that someone pays if both sides of the coin are not addressed is huge. So even though I am here with you tonight as a medical doctor, I would like to close tonight with a political statement. Just as we now have an African American president, which shows we have made progress on integration, we all know that racism has not been completely eradicated in America; progress on integration, yes, an end to the work, no.

So too in medicine, has there been progress in integration? Yes. Is my presence up here tonight an indication of that? Yes. But is the work finished? No. I ask all of you to join me in finishing that work. Thank you so much.

Adam: Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Khalsa. Thank you Dr. Khalsa. Thank you.

About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: