Integrative Health Blog

The Secret to Success in Health, and Anything

Posted by on Tue, Dec 08, 2020

I am a Type 1 diabetic and have always had a hard time with my blood sugars and with weight. 

I’ve tried low carb eating, watching glycemic index foods, tons of exercise: cardio and weight training.  They all have had a positive effect on me, but I could not sustain it because I was not getting the result that I was expecting.  The rewards of all the hard work were not enough.  Yes, my blood sugars were better and my weight would drop anywhere from 5-10 pounds over a three-month period.  But those rewards were not enough. 

So, I would slowly start slipping back into habits that were not optimal for me.  I would revisit these things over and over during my diabetic life.  I always thought this is what I will be stuck with as a diabetic: retaining weight due to insulin use and blood sugars that would never be absolutely controllable.

Then came the pandemic and I had a lot of free time to work on the things that I had always wanted to do. Two things I specifically focused on were my guitar playing and my diet.   One of my patients follows the ketosis diet.  We spoke for awhile and I decided that I would try to do this because I had the time to prepare meals and I needed to do something different.  Well…9 months later I am down 33 pounds and my daily blood sugars and A1c are the best they have ever been. Near normal in fact! This was amazing to me.  I thought to myself, why is this diet now so successful for me? 

On the one hand it is the diet, but there was something else- and here is my conclusion:

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Tags: integrative health, chiropractic, Dr. Coy Roskosky

Stroke and Mindfulness

Posted by on Wed, Dec 02, 2020

Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases) is/are designated as the #5 leading cause of death in the US, killing about 150,000 Americans per year.

Searching the phrase “mindfulness practice improves stroke outcomes” on Google gets 785,000 hits, so I ask, how could a healthcare consumer ever suffer from, or be at risk of, any common medical or psychological disability, including Stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, and NOT be at least offered chance to engage into mindfulness practice?

A corollary to that question is; once informed about how effective the outcomes of mindfulness training is for any common psychological or medical disability, introduced by a clinician or some other information source, why are relatively few Americans NOT taking advantage of the opportunity to live longer, happier, less symptomatic lives.

Activate the Healing Power of the Brain

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Tags: mindfulness, functional medicine, stroke

10 Foods to Nourish the Immune System

Posted by on Tue, Dec 01, 2020


One of the best ways to keep a strong and healthy immune system is to eat well. What does this mean? We are often confused by the latest and greatest diets, but eating to nourish our health is not a fad, but a lifelong habit.

Nutrient-dense whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, wild-caught fish, and flavorful spices are the basis for a good diet. Things that come out of a box, package or can are not promoting good health. We need to feed our bodies at the cellular level, and this is best done with a fresh, nourishing diet.

Incorporate these foods into your diet to help keep the immune system strong:

Pumpkin 

Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and antioxidants beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, and is wonderful to eat and low in calories. Pumpkin can be pureed and added to smoothies, pancakes, granola, protein balls, even macaroni and cheese! (see pumpkin recipes). The nutrients and antioxidant benefits of pumpkin include: protecting eyesight and skin, low calorie/high fiber aids weight loss, may reduce some cancer risk, can boost mood, the immune system and helps fight infection. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack and they are a terrific source of protein, zinc, and iron.

Garlic

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Tags: holistic nutrition, immune system, integrative medicine

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