Integrative Health Blog

Five Steps to Becoming a Healthier You

Posted by on Tue, Nov 24, 2020


Taking care of ourselves goes beyond eating healthily and working out regularly. While they are definitely part of maintaining good health, they aren’t the entirety. If you’re looking to improve how you feel from head to toe, here are some things you can consider.

Get Outside

When we spend all of our time cooped up inside, we may begin to experience some negative effects. If you have trouble focusing, remembering important things, or feel tired constantly, it may be due to a lack of nature. When we enter a green space, whether that’s taking a neihborhood walk, a short hike or sitting in your local park, we feel better. In fact, you may find stress diminishes, memory becomes clearer, inflammation reduces, and even symptoms of depression lessen. However, if you think walking through trees sounds boring, then add fun activities. It could be as simple as getting some friends to play tug-of-war, have a sack race, or go for a round of disc golf. There are endless ways to both socialize safely and explore nature at the same time.

Develop Your Hobbies

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Tags: integrative health

Mindfulness and Boredom

Posted by on Wed, Nov 11, 2020

"In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.”

~Richard Bach - Illusions (1977)

If I recall accurately – despite the handicap of a 70-year-old brain – when I read the book Illusions over 40 years ago, the protagonist who was reaching a state of full self-actualization, phrasing it in Maslow’s terms, finally transcended the last hurdle of his existence, boredom. Those last hurdles can be different for everyone, including those icons – as the stories in religious texts about them suggest – that all religions are about.

The quote that letting go of boredom “is not always an easy sacrifice” is to me an absurd understatement. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I have been privy to every type of pleasure and entertainment there is, and I have benefited from extreme prosperity and technological advances, especially those in the medical area, without which I would be long dead. It’s like the Peggy Lee song, Is that all there is? …or the theme song to Cabaret….stay intoxicated and/or entertained to offset the meaninglessness of life, because it doesn’t matter anyway. Nothing matters, the basic mantra of our nihilism-obsessed, modern era. “Nothing really matters, anyone can see, Nothing really matters, Nothing really matters to me, Any way the wind blows..” are the final lyric’s in Freddie’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen). Well, either life matters or it doesn’t. It has meaning and purpose or it has no meaning and purpose. One path leads to despair and suicide, the other path leads to fulfillment. I have found fulfillment to be a happier journey, but who am I to judge the Freddies of the world who take the boring, meaningless path to depression and despair.

Boredom Robs Us of Purpose

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Tags: mindfulness, mind-body

Grief, Mindfulness and Healing- The Passing of Dr. Voss

Posted by on Fri, Nov 06, 2020

The passing of my dear colleague, Dr. Voss, like any death, provides us with a moment to reflect on our lives and our purpose for being here in our temporary bodies.

We must all face the ending of our physical body at some point, and as far as we know, we are the only mammal who realizes mortality. Ignorance is bliss for animals and our precious pets, whose brains are not large enough to figure it out or worry about it. The human experience would be so unfair if we had to live with this doom and gloom realization and we had no way to transcend it. Luckily for us, we do. We have a prefrontal cortex, fully 1/6th of our brain, that confers the experience of mindfulness, an awareness of the present moment.

The bottom line is that the purpose of our prefrontal cortex is to care for one another, and Dr. Ching Voss  was the embodiment of such kindness. I never encountered a single interaction with her that involved anything other than caring for me personally or caring for her patients.

Bereavement and Loss- Mindfulness and Healing

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Tags: mind-body, grief and loss

Mold Allergy Symptoms Seen in Fall

Posted by on Wed, Nov 04, 2020

Fall is the season for mold allergies and seasonal mold allergies can be experienced from mid-August until mid-December. They may subside as the cold weather starts, or flare up when the weather is damp and rainy. And, a mold allergy can be year-round if you are continuously exposed to indoor mold. For people who are sensitive to  mold,  the Washington  D.C. region is  a problem  because the water level is high and this encourages mold growth

Sources of Mold

Only some types of mold spores actually cause mycotoxin illness- but a mold allergy can be tricky because mold is common and thrives in so many places.

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Tags: mold, allergies

Dealing with Anxiety and Depression During COVID

Posted by on Sun, Nov 01, 2020

Mindfulness Meditation

Several months ago, we began the weekly Mindfulness and Healing Groups since I noticed a definite uptick in mood disorders in my patients ever since the COVID problem. The success of and support for the Mindfulness and Healing Groups is inspiring, and I want to thank all participants. The medical literature suggests that a marked increase in the prescribing of psychotropic drugs and an apparent increase in substance abuse and alcoholism has happened since COVID.

The modulation of all of these problems is greatly improved by mindfulness practice. You don’t have to isolate yourself and wonder what to do – please come to the groups and see for yourself what Mindfulness can do for you.

A Mindfulness Practice Can Help with Many Issues

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Tags: depression, stress

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