Integrative Health Blog

Mindfulness and Healing: Forgiveness & Letting Go of Anger

Posted by on Tue, May 12, 2020

Join us for a Mindfulness and Healing Webinar as we focus on an important topic:

Title: Mindfulness and Healing: Forgiveness & Letting Go of Anger

Date: Sunday, MAY 17, 2020

Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Presenter: Dr. Charles Gant, functional medicine physician

REGISTER

This event is over.

Would you like to quiet your mind and take refuge from the worries and emotional disturbances of the world?

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Tags: mindfulness, emotional wellbeing

Text Neck - Is there Such a Thing?

Posted by on Fri, Apr 17, 2020

Definition: Text neck is a term commonly used for a repetitive stress injury where excessive texting or mobile device use is believed to be the primary cause.

Smart phones have really changed the way we live life.

With a tap and a swipe, we have more ways to connect and we have access to amazing amounts of information. Our ability to connect- with people, work and the world- has made our lives easier, yet at the same time harder.  As a whole,  people are spending an enormous amount of time on phones and computers. This can creates pain in the neck and upper back, headaches and, at times, jaw pain.  In combination with a society that is overworked, stressed out, has low physical activity and minimal body awareness- this creates an ideal situation for a body that is not healthy and more prone to pain.  As a chiropractor, “neck pain” is one of the most common complaints I hear from of my patients.

But we can’t escape the smart phone! So, with all this use of a smart phone and looking down more than we ever have, that must mean text neck is for real and the cause of neck pain, right?

Yes.... and no. Let me explain.

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Tags: neck pain, chiropractic

Improve Your Immune System Health to Fight Virus

Posted by on Wed, Apr 15, 2020

We are ALL concerned about how exposure to coronavirus could adversely affect the health of ourselves and our loved ones. We want to know:

  • Am I at high risk for COVID-19?

  • Is my immune system strong enough?

  • What can I do at home to remain healthy while social distancing?

  • What should I be eating?

  • Are there certain vitamins or minerals that may help?

The key to who gets sick and who does not lies in the strength of their immune system. The healthier you are, the better chance you have at fighting the Coronavirus. To combat coronavirus, or any flu or cold or virus, we must first support the immune system.

But how do we do this?

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Tags: flu, immune system, functional medicine, virus

Coronavirus: Healing the Gastrointestinal Tract to Boost Immunity

Posted by on Sat, Apr 11, 2020

One of the ways to tune up your immune system and give you more resistance to the Coronavirus is to heal your intestines.  A healthy gastrointestinal tract is often synonymous with a healthy immune system, which strengthens your resistance to any and all infections.

Roughly 60% to 80% of our entire immune system is estimated to surround our gastrointestinal tract to keep our microbiome, the bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses, in check.   If an overgrowth of unfriendly flora occurs or our immune system is reacting to various foods (e.g., food allergy), a lot of our immune systems energy is diverted to the intestines and away from the immune system’s other responsibilities such as resisting or fighting infectious invaders like Coronavirus.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Microbiome

How can we tell if the immune system is wasting its energy fighting food proteins or the flora growing in our intestines?  One way is to consider symptoms.  If bloating, excess gas, abdominal discomfort, loose stools, acid reflux or constipation are a regular occurrence, you may be suffering with food allergy/sensitivity and/or the overgrowth of unfriendly intestinal flora.  Sometimes it is impossible to figure out which foods are involved, and which micro-organisms are overgrown without diagnostic functional medicine testing, like a stool test, a urine test and blood work.  Once the diagnosis is made, it’s a relatively simple process to correct the flora and get your immune system to then divert its attention away from the intestines to other parts of your body.

Healing the Gut with the 5 R’s

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Tags: immune system, gut, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

Coronavirus: It's Not Just About the Virus (Mostly)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 07, 2020

It’s more important to treat the person with a disease, than it is to treat the disease that a person has.

                                                                                                  ~Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine

When I was in medical school almost 50 years ago, we were recruited for an experiment to test the common cold virus (i.e., a rhinovirus).  I didn’t volunteer even though some extra spending money would have been nice, but my classmates did.  Students were selected who had essentially no antibodies to rhinovirus.  In exchange for a pittance, researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School divided the volunteers into four groups (if my ancient recollection serves me well): 

  • Group 1 was the control and received no virus.

  • Group 2 received a very low dose.

  • Group 3 received a moderate dose.

  • Group 4 received a high dose.

As you might expect, no one in group 1 became ill, whereas everyone in group 4 got a cold.  A few in group 2 came down with the sniffles and about half of those in group 3 “caught” the cold.  The takeaway from this outcome was that we all have a dosage threshold of inoculation.  Despite this well-established fact, I see little discussion about immune resistance to the corona virus and almost all discussion is about the virus itself.  It’s as if the quote above from the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, has never been heard.  It’s also similar to integrative cancer treatment – modern medicine’s expertise treats the cancer but may tend to ignore the whole person (with an immune system), who is fighting and killing cancer cells.

The Role of the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

The Art of Staying Sane in a World in Upheaval

Posted by on Mon, Mar 30, 2020

"The Art of Staying Sane in a World in Upheaval"

Using a Time of Crisis as a Chance for Mind-Body Healing and Personal Transformation

Webinar Date: April 2, 2020

Time: 8:00-9:00 PM

Presenter: Kuno Bachbauer, LMF

This webinar has ended. A recording can be found HERE.

A little more than two weeks ago we all felt safe! (More or less).

Suddenly, and seemingly, out of nowhere, “unseen forces” have threatened not only our physical health but also our economic foundation. Almost from one day to the next, our world got taken hostage by an invisible enemy.  People sequestered, jobs lost, stocks crashed.

Unfortunately, this enemy has two sides.

“Public Enemy #1”: THE VIRUS

We all were forced to discover quickly how incredibly difficult and complex it is to protect yourselves and our community from this deadly virus! We have learned that “it takes a village” of concerted and coordinated effort to stay safe and to protect each other.

Besides mostly mechanical means such as using alcohol sprays, Clorox wipes, gloves, and “social distancing” we must use very specific medical support when necessary. I am certain that my physician-colleagues at NIHA with their many tools from Integrative and Functional medicine have the COVID-19 medical and preventive aspects covered beautifully. They are the experts! Therefore, I will move on to a specific topic that I am an expert in: How to handle the emotional side of illness.  

Because there is a lot of evidence that mind and body are totally inter-connected, I will show you how we can balance our mind and our emotions in very practical ways so that our immune system can work optimally and without extra stress.

“Public Enemy #2”:  OUR OWN TRAUMA REACTION TO STRESS

As a “holistic” psychotherapist, I see this other aspect of our novel public enemy as much more dangerous and intrinsic. It concerns the part in our psyche that deals with handling stress coming from difficult and overwhelming situations.

In this article I will attempt to give you helpful hints for mastering the “emotional brain.”  I want to offer guidance on how to MASTER THE EMOTIONAL FALLOUT and SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of this collective battle against the unseen enemy of the state: COVID-19. For  more in-depth information please consider attending the webinar on April 2. 

My hope is that this information will help you be as strong and resilient in the face of this “unseen enemy” as possible! I hope it will help strengthen your immune system by learning to face fear properly, and by teaching you to be more able to handle the “tsunami” of overwhelming feelings and conflicting situations that we may have to face in the next few weeks!

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Tags: integrative medicine, emotional wellbeing

Improving Our Indoor Environment: The Power of Plants

Posted by on Wed, Mar 25, 2020

During this time of social distancing, most of us are spending much longer periods of time indoors, inside our homes.  As a pediatric physician, I always recommend spending as much time as possible in nature, but not every family has the benefit of a backyard that’s easily accessible. 

So, what can we do to improve our living space in the weeks ahead? 

One of my favorite studies exploring the relationship of indoor plants and air quality was conducted by NASA back in 1989.  I came across this study years ago, and often use it to validate to my husband any spontaneous purchases of Peace Lilies or English Ivy that I just had to have.

Anyway, this 2-year study entitled “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement” was a joint effort with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America to see if houseplants could serve as a tool to combat indoor air pollution.  You see, at that time, something called “Sick Building Syndrome” was becoming apparent in American workers confined in newly constructed/renovated office buildings.  It was acknowledged during this study that various health problems (ranging from itchy eyes to headaches and fatigue) were due to the entrapment of toxic chemicals emitted from synthetic building materials, office equipment and office furnishings. 

This is heavy stuff, right? These findings were attributed to 2 things: super-insulation and reduced fresh air exchange.

The Power of Plants

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Tags: holistic health, integrative medicine, healthy living

Pediatrician Addresses Prevention and Wellness During COVID-19

Posted by on Wed, Mar 18, 2020

I have spent the last week and a half feeling overwhelmed at the unfolding of events concerning COVID-19.  There are no words to describe my full range of emotion- shock, denial, anger, sadness, helplessness.  This framework of emotion, I realize, is quite similar to the 5 stages of grief we experience when learning to cope with the loss of a loved one.  Do any of you feel the same? 

Amid the scramble I’m experiencing in my own home (as a pediatrician and a mom of 3) to figure out a new normal, I’ve been thinking of what more we can do to strengthen our personal and community response to COVID-19.

I firmly believe we all have the capability of being our most healthy selves.  And I think there is no better time than now to make that our collective goal.

How do we stay healthy?

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics

7 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Better

Posted by on Mon, Mar 02, 2020

As a holistic pediatrician, one of the most common questions I’m asked during an office visit is “How do I help my child sleep better?” 

I’m not sure now is the time to delve into the complexities of sleep patterns, but I assure you, sleep is complex and key to good health.  Sleep patterns and requirements are also made more challenging to understand in children because they change based on age.  Newborn sleep habits are certainly different compared to a baby who is 6 months and older.

The interesting thing is that I don’t think many of us appreciate sleep until it’s gone.  While pregnant, many women (I was one of them) start to wake up more frequently at night.  I once heard this was because our bodies were slowly conditioning to becoming sleep deprived.  I’m smiling as I write this, because I see the truth in that.  And of course, after baby arrives, there’s nothing better than the first 3-4 hours stretch of uninterrupted sleep.    

Sleep Issues Can Persist 

In any case, we all know about the lack of sleep in early babyhood. However, what I’ve found is that these issues with sleep can extend past the baby and even toddler stage. Hence the reason this is a topic of concern for most parents.

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Tags: pediatrics, holistic pediatrician

A Child's First Dental Visit to Holistic Family Dentistry

Posted by on Mon, Feb 03, 2020

February is Children's Dental Health Month!

Starting your child out with good habits and dental care will help to ensure that they have the best chance for a healthy mouth that will last a lifetime. 

When Should My Child First See the Dentist?

Baby teeth have an important role and beginning to care for your child’s teeth before they erupt should not be overlooked.  The first tooth may appear at around 6 months and as soon as it starts to erupt it is at risk for decay.  This is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that your child have their first visit to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months of age. By the time your child reaches his third birthday they will have all 20 of their primary teeth.

The First Dental Happy Visit

At Holistic Family Dentistry we recommend you schedule a pediatric dentistry  “Happy Visit” to acquaint your child with our staff.  They will meet our dentist,  take a ride in the chair, meet "Mr. Thirsty,"  get their teeth checked and begin to establish a level of comfort with the dentist's office. 

The first dental visit  is for young children and is a brief visit. Some children may be anxious, and it may take more than one “Happy Visit” before they are comfortable. In order to prepare for this visit there are a few things to consider:

 

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Tags: holistic dentistry, children's health, pediatrics