Integrative Health Blog

Mindfulness-Based Treatments for Cancer and Other Chronic Illness

Posted by on Wed, May 15, 2019

What is Mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn[1] defines mindfulness as… “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”  

Several decades ago I had noticed the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions that I taught to cancer patients and to others suffering from serious chronic disorders, and I was happy to see formal publications appear in journals attesting to my clinical observations and efforts.  A meta-analysis[2] of the effects of mindfulness-based studies appeared in the journal Psycho-Oncology: Journal of Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Cancer[3] in 2008. 

When Ledesma and Kumano published a meta-analysis over a decade ago, concluding that “The results suggest that MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) may improve cancer patients' psychosocial adjustment to their disease,” I was hopeful that finally Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and other mindfulness-based strategies would be incorporated into mainstream oncology and into healthcare in general. 

The Therapeutic Potential of Mindfulness

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Tags: cancer, mindfulness

Chronic Illness and the Hidden Costs of Childhood Stress

Posted by on Tue, May 07, 2019

Join us for the talk series on Understanding the Connection between Mind, Body and Emotions

TITLE: "Chronic Illness and the Hidden Costs of Childhood Stress"

DATE:  TUESDAY May 28, 2019                                                               

TIME:  6:30 - 7:30

PRESENTER: Kuno Bachbauer, LMFT, Dr.med. (Austria)

REGISTER

It is now firmly established that any illness is a systemic, multi-factorial process.

What does this mean?

We know now that illness requires a “perfect storm” of many factors in order to manifest a disease process.  Some of the factors coming together in order to cause such a systemic imbalance to activate in the body are genetics, ancestral influences, environment, lifestyle, general stress levels, toxic load, and adult trauma, among many others.

There is one more very important contributor to chronic disease: your childhood experiences.

A ground-breaking study was conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente in the early 1990s.  It correlates early childhood trauma with an occurrence of physical and mental illness later in adulthood. It is called the “ACE Study”, short for “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study”.

It studies what happens when bad things happen to good children.

The Connection Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Illness Later in Life

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Tags: emotional wellbeing

Announcing Dermatology Services at National Integrated Health Associates in Washington, D.C.

Posted by on Wed, May 01, 2019

National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA) is happy to announce it has expanded its list of Medical Services to include Dermatology.  Dermatology services available at the Washington, D.C., center will meet the needs of our patients to have comprehensive integrative medical and dental care  in one convenient location. Dr. Kent Handfield will be providing dermatology services at NIHA and is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. 

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Tags: dermatology, skin cancer

Causes of Itchy Skin

Posted by on Mon, Apr 29, 2019

Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is a common concern among my dermatology patients. 

There are few things more aggravating than being itchy.  In fact, one of the reasons we scratch when we itch is that the pain that comes about from scratching distracts ourselves from the itch.  We would rather endure the pain of scratching than be itchy! 

Itchy Skin Can be Due to Several Factors

It is very common to experience dry skin which can lead to itchiness.  At certain times of the year such as winter and early spring itchy skin is common because we have been in low humidity, heated homes all winter. But there are a variety of possible reasons for itchy skin, other than the lower humidity in the air.  There are external factors, internal factors, as well as certain diseases that can lead to itchiness.  Skin diseases such as eczema, mycosis fungoides, bullous pemphigoid, kidney/liver problems, and infectious diseases such as HIV or parasitic diseases are a few of the possible causes.  Most of the time itchiness is not related to a serious condition, but it is always important to rule out medical causes before assuming that the skin is just dry and itchy.

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Tags: dermatology

Why Is it So Hard to Lose Weight?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 23, 2019

The short answer is…..because we assume it is due to excess calories and not enough exercise.

And although these are factors, they are often not THE answer.

It is also not about the total calories but rather, where the calories are coming from.  In other words, what types of foods you are eating.  We can all agree that 200 calories worth of Oreo cookies does not provide the same health benefit as 200 calories worth of broccoli.  In fact, most of today’s current diets have more in common than not.  They are all filled with non-processed, real foods and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.  

But what if you are one of those people already on this healthy diet, eating clean and getting in daily activity but still can’t lose weight.  You then have what we call, “resistant weight loss” which is much more complex and best treated through a functional medicine approach as this article will discuss.

Resistant Weight Loss and a Functional Medicine Approach

There are several potential causes of resistant weight loss.

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Tags: weight loss, functional medicine

Healing Beyond the Body- The Mind-Body Connection

Posted by on Thu, Apr 18, 2019

Join us for a lecture and mini-workshop!  

This talk is Part 1 of the series, "Understanding the Connection Between the Mind, Emotions and the Body."

Title: “Healing Beyond the Body- The Mind-Body Connection"

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Time:  6:30 – 7:30 PM

Location: National Integrated Health Associates

Presenter: Kuno Bachbauer, Dr.med. (Austria), L.M.F.T. (D.C.)

REGISTER 

Understanding the Mind-Body Connection

In my workshops, I often show a picture by the famous visionary painter Alex Grey. I share an understanding of how an invisible underlying “energy grid” is directly linked to mind, emotions and the functioning of our physical body and thus at the root of health and illness.  This is also the explanation for how the mind shapes the body and how the body can influence mind and emotions and how energy “energy and consciousness” inter-relate. I show that our bodies are part of a larger field of information that holds consciousness.

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Tags: mind-body

The "Perfect Diet" for Everyone

Posted by on Sat, Mar 30, 2019

Two kinds of “perfect diets” exist.  The far more common, propagandized, “perfect” diet is the one-shoe-fits-all diet that bases their recommendations on a small slice of scientific evidence of one kind or another, such as the Fodmap Diet™ or a Paleolithic Diet ™.  The latter uses anthropological evidence about what humans and pre-humans have been eating for the last few million years, which makes some sense.  Such diets become popular based mostly on how well they are marketed and not on their validity.  A far less common “perfect diet” is the one that is congruent with your personalized needs, based on your immunological, allergic, endocrine, toxicological, nutritional, metabolic and genetic uniqueness. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and treating the many unique factors which can contribute to disease or poor health.

In the last year, as we have taken on the challenge of supporting the recoveries of cancer patients, we have mined ever deeper into the science-based, personalized, “perfect diet” that could add years to our patient’s lives and life to their years.  We are up against a healthcare system which has only recently begun to acknowledge, despite amassed studies for decades, that diet and lifestyle does matter in cancer recovery.  Despite a thawing of the healthcare system’s assumptions about lifestyle and diet, mainstream medicine is still far from acknowledging that a unique, “perfect diet” that is congruent with each and every cancer patient’s personalized needs, is extremely important to the recovery of each and every cancer patient.

How to Personalize Your Diet

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Tags: cancer, functional medicine

The Beauty of Botox

Posted by on Wed, Mar 27, 2019

I know that it may seem incongruous for an integrative medical practice to offer neurotoxic protein such as Botox Cosmetic and Xeomin

However, it works, and this popular non-surgical procedure works very well to temporarily smooth moderate to severe lines in the forehead, crow's feet and between the eyebrows. The Botox brand has been around for sixteen years and has an excellent safety record.

Yes, the neurotoxin does migrate and does get detoxified by the liver.  I wouldn't recommend it to people who have severe detoxification dysfunction. Botox is safe for most people and so many, many people want it.  You would be surprised at how many people you know get Botox injections (even some who say they do not).  Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, and Dysport brands do more than just help us look better.

Botox Cosmetic: Looking Better, Feeling Better

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Tags: anti-aging, botox

Stroke in Young Adults: Symptoms and Prevention

Posted by on Wed, Mar 20, 2019

Luke Perry’s death was shocking even for people who did not know him, but for death to occur at the age of 52 from stroke is tragic.

Those over age 65 are at most risk for stroke, but surprisingly, 10% of all strokes occur in people under the age of 45.

Most of us are aware that strokes are caused by disruption of the blood flow to different parts of the brain. This can occur by a blood clot forming in an artery in the brain or a clot that has traveled from somewhere else, usually the heart, lodging on one of the brain arteries, but the worst and most deadly strokes occur due to hemorrhage or blood leaking out of a brain vessel.

Many Causes for Stroke

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Melatonin and Cancer

Posted by on Mon, Mar 04, 2019

 

Melatonin’s benefits for a wide array of medical conditions are well substantiated:  treatment of insomnia, support of circadian rhythm, hormone balancing, reproductive health, cognition, mood, blood sugar regulation, bone metabolism, antioxidant protection and lowering of blood pressure are some of its studied benefits. 

Of note is that melatonin does not easily cross the blood brain barrier, so its benefits for sleep may be more related to its effects on other organs, especially since many organs in the body have far more melatonin receptors than the brain has.  This article will focus on the use of melatonin as a possible preventative and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer.

Possible Role of Melatonin and Cancer

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Tags: cancer