There has been a movement within allopathic medicine to adopt a holistic model in their paradigm. This gave rise to functional medicine, practiced by a new generation of integrative physicians, having great success in esteemed medical centers such as Cleveland Clinic.
I have great reverence for the scientific method and one of its beneficiaries, conventional Western medicine (immunotherapy played a role in my cancer journey). Yet conventional medicine sometimes fails to address the whole person—body, mind, spirit—through its reductionist lens. For that piece of the healing puzzle, many turn to practitioners of holistic medicine, such as naturopathy and Chinese medicine.
All healing is an exercise in change. If you want different results, you have to be willing to do something different. Looking over the breadth of a lifetime of destructive choices, sometimes there is much that needs to be done differently.
I’ve recently lectured about my experience living with a small bowel obstruction. During that talk I shared my smoothie recipe, formulated for its ease of digestion and nutrient density. Although no longer suffering from episodes of small bowel obstruction, I have maintained my ritual of blending a breakfast smoothie for its anticancer benefits.
What if cancer, like so many chronic diseases, is an accumulation of little compromises?
Sometimes cancer has a big, blatant cause—like radiation exposure. Other times the cause is unclear and its inception insidious. Without an obvious etiology, conventional oncology tends to default to badly behaving genes as the cause of malignancy.
“I got complacent. Don’t ever let that happen to you.”
These were the words of advice offered to me by a patient when reflecting on his second encounter with cancer. The first was a lymphoma diagnosis 10 years prior, and recent scans showed a reappearance of malignancy along the spine.
Breathe. Is your inhalation and exhalation soft, slow, and even? Is it calm, almost imperceptible?
Each breath should travel through the nose, which warms and regulates airflow into our lungs. Mouth breathing causes over-breathing and excess carbon dioxide loss. Even while exercising, we should strive to breathe as calmly as possible through the nose.
Once upon a time, most freshwater was pure and drinkable.
Back then, a major risk was contracting a waterborne infection such as giardia. Now, contaminants from factories, industrial farms, and transportation hubs permeate the water table. Industrial waste and agrochemical runoff aren’t the only sources of contamination. Humans join in the polluting by flushing pharmaceutical drugs and common household chemicals down the drain.
The findings of Francis Pottenger are often cited as proof that humans, as animals, should be consuming a raw diet. Being that humans are the only Earth-dwellers who have harnessed fire, raw food is indeed the only option on the menu for the rest of the animal kingdom.
I don’t hear this phrase often, as patients who return to our clinic do so because they have benefited from acupuncture. However, acupuncture may not be the treatment of choice for some concerns.
No modality of medicine can treat everyone or everything, so there will always be a contingency of nonresponders. Specifically with acupuncture, this becomes a publicity problem when a lack of expected results gets equated with an inefficacy of the entire modality. Let me explain.
Antibiotics are lifesaving but have significant negative health consequences, reducing populations of beneficial gut flora along with the pathogenic microbes they are prescribed to target. This side effect can be hedged while on a course of antibiotics, and restorative strategies can be employed to more quickly repopulate native gut flora.
You may think indoor air quality is an issue only in developing countries, where particulate matter from the burning of biomass such as wood or charcoal was estimated to result in 1.5 to 2 million deaths in the year 2000, but chemical off-gassing from modern homes and airborne environmental pollutants have made air purification a necessity for optimal health.
It’s winter in Wisconsin. The nights are long, and the days are cold. With the glow of the holidays past, we hunker down for the deep freeze and think warm thoughts of lush gardens and summer days at the beach.
The cold can give rise to stagnancy. We socialize less, aren’t as active, and have the tendency to eat more out of boredom. Many also experience a letdown after the holiday season as the excitement abruptly ends and we return to our normal routine.