Integrative Health Blog

4 Key Reasons to Choose a Biological Dentist

Posted by on Tue, Oct 27, 2020


The health of your oral cavity extensively affects the overall health of your body. 

Stated in another way, you cannot have a healthy body without a healthy mouth. Biological dentists promote dental treatments to build health and wellbeing, using non-toxic dental materials and recognizing that the mouth is an integral part of the body.

How does the health of your mouth impact your overall health?

Infections of the teeth, gums, jaw bone and tonsils

Studies have shown that plaque in the mouth results in ongoing inflammation which contributes to periodontal (gum) disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, even heart attacks and dementia. Jaw bone infections (cavitations) and oral cavity microbes will spread to other parts of the body. Studies suggest the oral bacteria enter the bloodstream resulting in inflammation that can affect organs and tissues throughout the body. Without a healthy mouth your immune system will become compromised in its ability to fight these infecting microbes.

Toxicity or incompatibility of dental materials placed in the mouth

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Tags: holistic dentistry, biological dentist

Mindfulness Meditation Found to Relieve Chronic Pain

Posted by on Mon, Oct 19, 2020

The first three articles in this series on mindfulness, applied as a clinical tool and based on peer-reviewed studies, showed that mindfulness meditation may have a significant effect in the prevention and treatment of the first three leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease, cancer and accidents.

In the future, I will proceed to show that mindfulness can also greatly benefit those who suffer from chronic lower respiratory disease (#4 in mortality), stroke and cerebrovascular diseases (#5), Alzheimer's disease (#6), diabetes(#7) and influenza/ pneumonia (#8 cause of death). Every so often in these weekly presentations, I will break out of the series to present a related topic, and since last week’s was accidents, this week I will address one of the sequelae of accidents, chronic pain.    

In a publication[1] in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Zeidan and Vago showed how mindfulness relieves pain. 

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Tags: chronic pain, mindfulness, mind-body

Mindfulness and Accidents

Posted by on Wed, Oct 07, 2020

In 2017,[1] heart disease was the leading cause of death killing 647,457 Americans a year, followed closely by cancer which killed 599,108 Americans a year. The previous two articles in this Mindfulness series have proven that mindfulness, applied as a clinical tool and based on peer-reviewed studies, may significantly prevent and help treat these two killers. Now we turn our attention to the number three killer, unintentional accidents, which causes the deaths of 169,936 Americans a year.

How Accidents Can Happen

Think about the accidents you have had, even little ones like cutting your hand while using a knife or tripping. The question is, were you present and attending to the action at hand or daydreaming and thinking about something else? When I think of the accidents I have had, I was most definitely thinking or having emotions about something other than what was happening, and recognizing the mistake, I would chide myself for being asleep, having observed for most of my life that accidents only happen when I am spaced out and somewhere else. As far as stumbling goes, I have found that one of the “techniques” we have worked on in the Mindfulness and Healing Group, Mindfulness on the Soles of the Feet, to be very helpful in preventing serious falls. Mindfulness is once again a form of medical assistance that becomes increasingly necessary in an aging 70 year old like me.

The Power of Being Present

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Tags: mindfulness, mind-body

Mindfulness Shows Benefits for Cancer Patients

Posted by on Sat, Oct 03, 2020

Recent studies show that mindfulness-based therapies as part of cancer care may improve stress levels, coping skills and quality of life.

What is Mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn[1] defines mindfulness as… “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” He sometimes adds, “in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.” I would add that mindfulness is also a separate faculty of consciousness, which is also a clinical, therapeutic tool. This separate faculty is NOT cognitive (thinking), emotional, sensory (5 senses) or behavioral, all of which are faculties that are governed by various brain regions that drives the biological imperative of all life, survival. 

Mindfulness thus “transcends,” suspends or “lets go” of the stressful need to survive, and thus lowers sympathetic, fight/flight stress. Paradoxically when we suspend our stressful need to survive, wellness and health improves, and our chances of survival are improved as well. Recent neuroimagery, cognitive science and neurophysiological studies suggest that approximately 1/6th of our brain, our most highly evolved part, the prefrontal cortex, is the critical region of our brain that confers this separate faculty of mindfulness.[2]

Mindfulness and Cancer Patients

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Tags: cancer, mind-body, integrative cancer treatment

Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Disease

Posted by on Wed, Sep 23, 2020

Mindfulness has been defined[1] as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally,” that is “in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

To this, since mindfulness is also a clinical tool[2] that has been extensively studied and promoted in peer-reviewed scientific publications,[3] I would add that mindfulness is also a clinical and therapeutic tool for chronic health issues such as cardiovascular disease. 

Mindfulness Improves Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

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Tags: heart disease, mind-body

Ragweed Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Posted by on Mon, Aug 24, 2020

Fall allergies start to appear in August as people start sneezing from ragweed and other weeds. A ragweed allergy is also known as hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis. It is estimated that ragweed pollen allergy affects 23 million people.¹

The drier the weather, the worse the pollen count. But hot weather, high winds and heavy rains can also create a perfect growing environment for ragweed plants. Ragweed allergies usually peak in mid-September as one plant can produce one billion grains of pollen.

So, just when you want to enjoy an outdoor hike or plant some mums, ragweed allergy symptoms can make you miserable.

Symptoms of Ragweed Allergy

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Tags: allergies

Mindfulness and Healing Group: Guided Sessions Online

Posted by on Wed, Jul 01, 2020

This is an invitation to the free online mindfulness and healing group on Sunday evenings. 

Title: "Mindfulness and Healing" - Guided Sessions Online

Dates: Sundays, July 5, 2020 - Aug. 30, 2020

Time: 7:00-8:00 pm

Presenter: Charles Gant, MD, functional medicine physician

*NOTE- This first session has ended but Guided Mindfulness Sessions are offered now very Sunday night at 7 via a call- in number. No registration is required.

At 7 pm, Call 712-770-4340  and enter the access code 566853# (pound) to participate.

 

Mindfulness in a Pandemic

Why should you consider a Mindfulness practice?

To give you some perspective, here is information from an expert on why mindfulness can be so valuable now during challenging times.

Jon Kabat Zinn, one of the most experienced and famous mindfulness teachers and researchers, defines Mindfulness as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally,” and then he sometimes adds, “in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

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Tags: mindfulness, mind-body

Holistic View and Treatment Approach for Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

Posted by on Mon, Jun 29, 2020

For quite some time, the public view towards drug or alcohol addictions was more focused on the problems of personal will power and lacking self control. But fortunately, the smoking cessation treatment programs in recent years have started to shed more light into our understanding about the unique biological needs in certain individuals driven by particular genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can predispose or coexist with other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. Adolescence is the often the time when some may start to seek relief and experiment with drugs and/or alcohol by themselves or with peers. Adolescents may lack knowledge and understanding of consequences and not have a good social support system in place. 

It is important to raise awareness in patients, families and society to understand how some of the possible underlying biological causes and potential treatment options can have a direct impact on the outcome for individuals who become addicted, and to society at-large. 

While personal discipline and social standards still play a vital role in combating against drug and alcohol abuse, a holistic clinical and laboratory evaluation to identify the root causes based on analysis of certain biochemical profiles and particular nutritional needs may open a new realm of therapy and provide hope for those with substance use disorders. With the advancement in genetic analysis, a spectrum of mild presentations of inherited genetic deficiency has been increasingly recognized. A majority of them have therapeutic options. Furthermore, coexisting chronic medical conditions, such as Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) and Lyme Disease/co-infections must be ruled out before any psychiatric drug therapy should be implemented.   Many of the laboratory evaluations are available now and also covered by medical insurance. The goal is to enhance the treatment efficacy and improve the treatment outcome.

Treating the Whole Person

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Tags: addiction, holistic approach, integrative medicine

12 Risk Factors That Affect Brain Function

Posted by on Mon, Jun 22, 2020

June is Brain Awareness Month, which is a wonderful opportunity to discuss or have a national conversation about our brain health, the part of us which makes us distinctly human.

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Tags: functional medicine, integrative medicine, brain health

Let's Think About Virus Prevention

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2020

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was Right

It is more important to understand the patient who has a disease, than it is to understand the disease that a patient has.  ~ Hippocrates

Now that we are mostly through the first stages of the Corona or COVID-19 pandemic, we can appreciate that all the good preventative efforts (masks, social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting, etc.) have slowed the spread, giving our healthcare system “breathing room” to process new cases. 

Of course, as I have often explained, the media and governmental agencies tend to focus only on the virus and not on our innate immunity, which is our best defense system.  However, having slowed the spread of COVID-19, it gives us all time to think about ways to enhance our immune systems, so I will reiterate here some information from my previous articles for two important reasons:

  • It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, and while you may have escaped the first wave, it is a good idea to beef up your immunity now and for a long time to come. Don’t drop your guard.  Just remember the acronym, ABCD and…Z.  Everything that you do to enhance your immune system also helps protect you from cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

  • The latest research on Vitamin D from 10 countries shows (surprise, surprise) that deaths are much lower in those who have higher vitamin D levels.

Be sure to have your physician test your Vitamin D level, and keep it optimized.  The ideal levels are greater than 50 ng/mL.

Basic Supplements to Support the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, integrative medicine