Our whole country is moving in the direction of Integrative Medicine! CNN had a special this past weekend entitled Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care. If you missed it on CNN you can see it on iTunes or Amazon.com.
Here’s a link to the trailer for the movie
In the movie they show the need to reorient ourselves towards preventive medicine and positive well-being, rather than being reactive and waiting for a disease to strike.
Andrew Weil states “We don’t have a healthcare system…we have a disease care system” and I could not agree more!
A direct quote from a corporate executive interviewed in the movie is “70% of health care costs are driven by people behaviors.” Our system will be bankrupt if we do not fix it and reorient to healthy lifestyles.
Keeping with the theme that everybody is focusing on staying or getting healthy, a new app for both the iPhone and android has come out. It is called Fooducate. With the App on your phone at the grocery store or health store you can scan a barcode and the App will give you information on how healthy that product is. If it is not healthy, it will make recommendations of similar products that are much healthier for you and your family.
Here is a link to the website where you can get the app.
Along the lines of my logo -Enlightened Medicine, and Conscious Living a new article has come out entitled “Ruminating about stressful events may increase inflammation in the body”:
This is really where the tire meets the road for many diseases. It is so good that it is finally being documented scientifically.
We all know that heart attacks are related to stress and studies are also showing now that cancers related to stress. How does the mind affect the body in these cases? This landmark study shows that just the act of worrying about something and ruminnating on it, can raise inflammation in the human body. Specifically a marker called HS – CRP gets elevated when a person dwells on negative and/or stressful events.
Previous studies have correlated stress with these health problems but this is the first study to prove that inflammation markers in the blood go up when a person ruminates on something negative. Integrative medicine doctors think that inflammation as represented by the HS – CRP is the primary cause of coronary artery disease, the major cause of death in the United States. Many integrative doctors feel that cholesterol is an innocent bystander.
Here’s a link to the article.
In other news about integrative medicine, a new study has just shown that acupuncture improves memory, test performance and reduces anxiety.
This too is a major study showing what many of us have observed for a long time. Dr. Jason Bucell, PhD did the research with 90 undergraduate students. Half the students received acupuncture and half did not, and the placebo effect was controlled for. Then the students took a computerized test of working memory. These tests are associated with predicting performance with such diverse abilities as reading comprehension, arithmetic calculation, notetaking, language comprehension, learning to spell, building vocabulary, writing and many other performance measurements.
Previous research has shown that a series of acupuncture treatments can help individuals with impaired memory. This research was unique in that it is the first study to show the just ONE acupuncture treatment can improve performance in healthy individuals.
It will be exciting to see if this has any benefit for patients with Alzheimer’s or other less severe memory problems that people over age 50 often complain of.
You can read the article here.
Another study, just recently been published, shows that mindfulness contributes to more stable emotions and people who perceive themselves to have better control over their mood and behavior throughout the day. Higher mindful people also described less cognitive and physiological activation before bedtime. This suggests a greater emotional stability during the day might even translate into better sleep.
These results will be presented later this month at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.
This is further encouragement for all my listeners and readers and patients to meditate. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a wonderful and straightforward, very American way to begin to meditate.
You can read the article HERE.
In this Podcast, I also talk about a new study that’s shows that walking is just as effective in alleviating low back pain as muscle strengthening programs that require specialized equipment and rehabilitation clinics. In this study Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer at Tel Aviv University noted that this treatment option of walking fits easily into a daily routine and allows those with back pain to be more responsible for their own health.
In the program it only required 20 to 40 minutes of walking 2 to 3 times per week. As you know I would recommend upping that to seven days a week for other health issues including heart and weight.
You can read the article HERE.
Finally today. we discuss brain injury and concussions. New research using lasers to monitor the brain have shown that even mild traumatic brain injuries can kill brain tissue.
Dr. Serge Kirov, the author of the study is quoted as saying “Even with a mild trauma, we found we still have these ischemic blood vessels and, if blood flow is not returned to normal, synapses start to die.”
In this study scientists watched as astrocytes which are smaller cells that supply neurons with nutrients and help maintain normal electrical connectivity and blood flow – in the vicinity of the injury- swell quickly and significantly. This swelling smothered the neurons in connective branches that these cells once supported.
Dr. Kirov went on to say “We saw every branch, every small wire and how it gets cut. We saw how it destroys networks. It really goes downhill. It’s the first time we know of that someone has watched this type of minor injury play out over the course of 24 hours.”
The implications of this are profound for the 1.7 million Americans annually experiencing traumatic brain injuries from falls, car accidents, sports, combat and other similar events.
I bring up the question of what happens to our children’s and grandchildren’s brain when they play soccer and they “head” the ball?
You can read that article HERE.
Another article which is a complement to the previous one has shown experts have discovered a blood test called the S100B, that can help diagnose concussions. It is a great deal less expensive – around $40 – than other means of evaluating the extent of head trauma.
Dr. Janigro, the author of this study, is quoted as saying “Think of the blood – brain barrier disruption as opening the door to the brain that shouldn’t be open. Proteins like S100B that normally stay inside the brain get out where they aren’t supposed to be and get attacked. In addition, the doors open for things that don’t belong in the brain to get in.” Basically, this is saying that the blood brain barrier becomes disrupted.
It is estimated that about 40% of football players experience concussions every year. This test will be very helpful in evaluating the degree of their injury.
The Article is HERE
This is part two, the final part, of my interview with Dr. Tom O’Bryan on Predictive Antibodies. In this podcast Dr. O’Brien talks about his own discovery of anybodies in his body against his brain which could have led to neurological disorders as he got older. Through using the techniques of integrative medicine he was able to reverse and remove these antibodies.
This is very exciting information and I encourage all of you who have not heard this to listen to this podcast.
To learn more about Predictive Anybody’s you can read this article HERE.
The laboratory where these tests can be done is Cyrex labs and can be found HERE. You can bring this to the attention of your own physician and they can order the necessary test kits to draw your blood to do the test at their office.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
In this podcast I answer questions on the following subjects:
1. Approach to Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis.
2. Approach to a young girl with significant foul-smelling gas with bloating.
3. An integrative approach to depression and anxiety and symptoms of menopause.
4. An integrative medicine approach to the treatment of persistent hives.
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Wishing you the very best in Enlightened medicine, Conscious living and Compassionate Healing.