West Nile Virus, although new to the U.S., is well-documented. The Centers for Disease Control identifies it as a flavivirus, a member of the Togavirus family. It is closely related to yellow fever and dengue fever. This is important because the Togavirus family are encapsulated viruses, i.e., they are covered with a lipid (fatty) coating.
This is exciting, because it means the virus is accessible to treatment utilizing high quality St. John's Wort (SJW). Several studies have been done on a variety of encapsulated viruses, including herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, parainfluenza virus, vaccinia virus, cytomegalovirus and several retroviruses including HIV1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10.
Non-encapsulated viruses or "naked" viruses were also studied for comparison purposes10,13.
SJW was a potent anti-viral agent across a variety of encapsulated virus families, but showed no activity against naked viruses.
Unlike a vaccine that is specific to each organism, SJW is active against encapsulated viruses by a variety of mechanisms, including light activation, interference with DNA transcription, impairing the assembly of intact viral particles and the lipophilic (fat-loving) nature of the ring structures (the quinone and phenolic groups)4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. These ring structures are critical to the biologic activity of SJW.
From these results, it is reasonable to use high quality, pharmaceutical grade SJW in combating West Nile Virus, since there are no effective pharmaceutical agents.
Quality is critical since the level of hypericin and pseudohypericin are key. I can only recommend the SJW product produced by Medi-Herb, which is a pharmaceutical house in Australia, adhering to pharmaceutical manufacturing standards. The product is distributed by Standard Process through alternative health care practitioners, including doctors of chiropractic, acupuncturists and veterinarians. SJW is quite unstable and the active ingredients degrade on store shelves. An independent analysis of 3 products (all of which were certified to contain 0.3% hypericin) were shown to be widely variant, with one product 25% below label claims. It is critically important that the phytochemical integrity of the whole plant be preserved for maximum efficacy.16
References: 1Andersen DO, Weber ND, Wood SG et al. Antiviral Res 1991; 16(2): 185-196. 2Lopez-Bazzocchi I, Hudson JB, Towers GHN. Photochem.Photopbiol. 1991; 54(1): 95-98. 3Moraleda G, Wu TT, Jilbert AR et al. Antiviral Res 1993; 20: 235-247. 4Tang J, Colacino JM, Larsen SH et al. Antiviral Res 1990; 13 (6): 313-325. 5Hudson JB, Harris L, Towers GHN. Antiviral Res 1993; 20 (2):173-178. 6Lenard J, Rabson A, Vanderoef R. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993; 90 (1): 158-162. 7Degar S, Prince AM, Pascual D et al. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 1992; 8 (11): 1929-1936. 8Carpenter S, Kraus GA. Photochem Photobiol 1991; 53 (2): 169-174. 9Lavie G, Valentine F, Levin B et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1989; 86 (15): 5963-5967. 10Meruelo D, Lavie G, Lavie D et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1988; 85 (14): 5230-5234. 11Kraus GA, Pratt D, Tossberg J et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1990; 172 (1): 149-153. 12Takahashi I, Nakanishi S, Kobayashi E et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1989; 165 (3): 1207-1212. 13De Witte P, Agostinis P, Van Lint J et al. Biochem Pharmacol 1993; 46 (11): 1929-1936. 14Panossian AG, Gabrielian E, Manvelian V et al. Phytomed 1996; 3 (1): 19-28. 15Lavie G, Mazur Y, Lavie D et al. Transfusion 1995; 35 (5): 392-400. 16Constantine GH, Karchesy J. Variations in Hypericin concentrations in Hypericum perforatum L. and commercial products. Pharmaceutical Biology 1998; 36 (5): 365-367.
By Dr. N. Rowan Richards
Selasa, 08 Juli 2008
West Nile Virus, although new to the U.S., is well-documented. The Centers for Disease Control identifies it as a flavivirus, a member of the Togavirus family. It is closely related to yellow fever and dengue fever. This is important because the Togavirus family are encapsulated viruses, i.e., they are covered with a lipid (fatty) coating.
I have always been amazed at the clinical results that I have seen with injured athletes and acupuncture. For a while, my wife and I worked closely with a number of athletes from a world championship athletic team, the Santa Barbara Condors At the world class level, these athletes would be compared to world cup soccer players in the way their body is used and abused. My findings were that for most types of injuries, acupuncture had profound results. What is important is the distinction between acupuncture that is used to get rid of pain, and acupuncture that is used to relax the muscles and soft tissue (while freeing up the energy flow). Also, the distinction of separating sprain from strain and tear. The best results that I always found were from stress and strain. Tear, I would always refer to an Orthopedic Physician and suggest herbs to speed up the healing process. When it comes to knots, clicks, pops, soreness, tension, and aches, acupuncture is extremely effective.
As a warning, I would caution athletes to train as if they are competing. If you are interested in getting acupuncture, start in the off season, and stay with it through the year. If you are close to your championships and have never had acupuncture, you may get the results you are looking for, but with all complimentary medicine, expect the unexpected. You don't want to be too relaxed on the day of a competition, and if you are always high strung and relax deeply you may get a detox reaction. While a detox reaction is usually mild, such as light headedness, nausea, or fatigue, these changes in the body are not desirable just prior to competition.
By Mark Fischer, LAc
Fungal infection of the nails is the one of the most difficult of all disorders to cure. Both fingernails and toenails may be affected, although toenail fungal infection is the most common type. There are a number of oral medications that have been promoted as effective cures, and, indeed, many of these medications eradicate nail fungus. However, all of these medications have the potential of causing significant toxicity, including liver damage. Oil of oregano aids in the cure primarily through topical application, although internal consumption may be necessary however, this must be under the direction of a professional health care provider. The oil has a deep penetrating power, which aids in the destruction of nail fungus, since this fungus infects the root of the nail bed as well as the surface. Regarding essential oils, oil of oregano's ability to destroy nail fungus is unmatched. Rub oil of oregano liberally into involved nails as often as possible. Be sure to reduce sugar intake.
FUNGAL INFECTION OF SKIN AND NAILS
Fungal infection of the skin & nails is one of the most difficult of all disorders to cure. Tea Tree and Oregano essential oils aids in eradicating primarily through topical application. These oils have a deep penetrating power, which aids in the destruction of nail fungus, since this fungus infects the root of the nail bed as well as the surface. These oils are included in our Healthy Nail Blend along with 5 other powerful essential oils.
FOOT AND TOENAIL FUNGUS
In the book, "The Cure is in the Cupboard: How to Use Oregano for Better Health" Dr. Cass Ingram, says: "The feet harbor a variety of microbes. In fact, they are one of the most commonly infected external sites on the body. Circulation in this area is poor, and this leads to sluggish local immunity. A variety of microbes may find residence in the skin of the feet, particularly between the toes, where moisture is retained. Foul odor is a dependable sign of poor health of the feet, as is the development of scaling or athlete's foot.
Problem toenails may readily become infected, particularly by fungi, although bacteria, such as Pseudomonas, may also infect them. Toenail infections are difficult to eradicate, because the infection beings deep within the nail bed, and the delivery of medicine to this region is difficult.
It is a little known fact that poor health of the feet affects the health of the entire body. Thus, for optimal health the feet must be kept clean and free of infection. Wash the feet often and be sure to keep the toenails well manicured. Clean any debris that might accumulate about the toenails or between the toes. Rub oil of oregano once or twice daily over the nail beds, the soles and between the toes. Don't neglect the health of the feet; your body will pay a price as a result."
CHILDREN SKIN AND NAIL FUNGUS
Children usually fail to attend to good hygiene and their hand washing technique is usually poor, if they wash at all. The fingernails are one of the dirtiest regions of children, microbially. The underside of the nails often contain a reservoir of microbes, especially if the nails are long. It is well known that parasitic infections in children are spread by poor hygiene; and entire day care center can become infected from one carrier. The hands are the main mode of transmission, but it is the underside of the fingernails that house the parasitic cysts and eggs. In particular, parasites tend to reside under the nails, and from there they readily reintroduced into the body. The fingernails must be kept neatly trimmed. Wash the edges of the nail beds with a soap and oil of oregano solution. If this is done regularly, the incidence of infectious disease in children will be curbed dramatically.
Be sure to educate children regarding the importance of hand washing. Oil of oregano and/or Tea Tree essential oil helps reduce the risk for contracting microbial infections. they can be used both on the body and on inanimate objects. It may be added to soaps and body washes. They are a universal antiseptic, and there is no limit to the versatility of its uses. Infections spread like wildfires in public establishments, especially schools. Instruct children to use the oils during hand washing to prevent the transmission of infection from child to child and also to prevent it from arriving at home.
Fortunately, we can lower the risk of infection by paying scrupulous attention to personal hygiene. Infection is often caused by the foreign bodies (germs) which enter our body through the mouth, nose, eyes, and fingernails, as well as through cuts in our skin. Good hygiene won't prevent cuts, but it can eliminate many of the germs that are lurking around our eyes, mouth, nose, and fingernails.
By Judy Tovey
Parkinson's Disease (PD), a devastating illness, occurs in one of every 100 people over 65.
It is a slowly progressing disease of the nervous system that results in progressive destruction of brain cells (neurons) in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Death occurs usually as a result of secondary complications such as infection.
One of the mechanisms known to destroy neurons is damage by free radicals or reactive oxygen species - destructive molecules produced by oxidation of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
The Role of Dopamine
The cells of the substantia nigra use dopamine - a chemical messenger between brain or nerve cells - to communicate with cells in another region of the brain called the striatum.
When nigral cells are lost, nigral dopamine levels fall, resulting in a decrease in striatal dopamine.
The typical symptoms of PD - motor function deficiencies characterized by muscle rigidity, jerky movements, rhythmic resting tremors - are the result of low levels of striatal dopamine.
Most dopaminergic drugs used to treat PD, are aimed at temporarily replenishing or mimicking dopamine. They improve some symptoms, but do not restore normal brain function nor halt brain cell destruction.
Dopaminergic drugs are generally effective at first in reducing many PD symptoms, but over time they lose their effect.
They also cause severe side effects because they overstimulate nerve cells elsewhere in the body and cause confusion, hallucinations, nausea and fluctuations in the movement of limbs.
The Role of Antioxidants
When dopaminergic neurons are lost in the course of Parkinson's disease, the metabolism of dopamine is increased - which in turn increases the formation of highly neurotoxic hydroxyl radicals.
The most important free radical scavenger in the cells of the substantia nigra is the powerful brain antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione levels in PD patients are low.
And as we age, levels of glutathione in the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra decreases. This appears to hasten cell death and advance the progression of PD.
At least 80 percent of the substantia nigra cells are lost before symptoms of Parkinson's disease become apparent. This is why it becomes essential to protect or maintain these cells under oxidative stress.
How does Glutathione help in Parkinson's Disease?
Several factors explain why glutathione is so beneficial in Parkinson's disease.
1. Glutathione increases the sensitivity of the brain to dopamine. So although glutathione doesn't raise dopamine levels, it allows the dopamine in the brain to be more effective.
2. Glutathione's powerful antioxidant activity protects the brain from free radical damage.
3. An even more intriguing benefit of glutathione lies in its powerful detoxification ability.
Its a well known fact that most Parkinson's patients are deficient in their ability to detoxify chemicals to which they are exposed.
The unfortunate few who harbor an inherited flaw in their detoxification pathways are at far greater risk to the brain damaging effects of a wide variety of toxins.
Glutathione is one of the most important components of the liver's detoxification system. Glutathione therapy is one of the most effective techniques for enhancing liver and brain detoxification.
Glutathione treatments considerably improve some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease including difficulties with rigidity, walking, movement, coordination and speech. A marked reduction of tremor has been observed as well as a decrease in depression.
Glutathione and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (a glutathione precursor) have been shown to be very effective in protecting the nerves in the substantia nigra from being destroyed by oxidative stress.
Glutathione Therapy in Parkinson's Disease
The practical problem in increasing glutathione levels is that taking glutathione itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since glutathione breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells.
However, intravenous glutathione therapy and taking glutathione precursors are both effective in boosting intracellular levels of glutathione.
Intravenous Glutathione Therapy:
Intravenous glutathione injections have been shown to have amazing and quick results.
Dr. David Perlmutter, a pioneer in this therapy, has developed a protocol utilized at the Perlmutter Health Center for administering intravenous glutathione to Parkinson's patients.
Following even a single dosage of intravenous glutathione - often in as little as 15 minutes - the ability to walk, turn around and move their arms is almost completely restored.
Dietary antioxidants and supplements that increase cellular glutathione, such as alpha lipoic acid, NAC, pycnogenol, the herb silymarin (milk thistle), are effective in restoring normal function.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and un-denatured, whey protein both supply glutathione precursors intracellularly, enhance the body's production of glutathione and aid the detoxification process.
Other nutritional supplements which aid the detoxification process include selenium, vitamins E and C.
By Priya Shah
There are two main types of arthritis: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Inflammatory arthritis can be treated naturally without drugs. Inflammatory arthritis' symptoms (such as Rheumatoid Arthritis) are exactly what they sound like: inflammation, redness and swelling in the joints. Sometimes there will even be a temperature change in the area affected. Also, in the hand, you may notice that some fingers may look like they are turning away from the thumb (ulnar deviation).
This type of arthritis is primarily an auto-immune response. This means that the body believes it is under attack by an invader, such as an infection of some kind. However,this is not the case and the body ends up "attacking" the toxins that have built up in the joint capsules. Alternative treatment for this type of arthritis is fairly simple. Since the problem is caused by toxins in the joints, then the solution is to remove these toxins.
There are actually several ways to detoxify the body. One of these is fasting. Using juice fasts,fruit fasts or other types of fasts can be very effective. However, it takes a very disciplined individual to actually finish one of these programs. There are several good books to help you if you planon doing a fast, one of my personal favorites is "Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care"", by Bernard Jensen.
Another way to detox is cleansing the colon with a colonic irrigation or similar procedure. This procedure should be done by a professional since there are some minimum hygiene standards that should be followed. In this procedure, a tube is inserted into the rectum and filtered water is constantly irrigated into the colon-and fecal matter and other wastes flowing out at the same time. People that have this performed often report they see waste products from foods they have not eaten in years.
A third way to cleanse is by supplementing your diet with large quantities of fiber and herbal supplements. This method is probably best for most Americans. Not because it is more effective than the other two, but because of it's ease of execution.
One good way to see if this type of treatment will help is to buy an inexpensive psyllium supplement and take it three times per day for two days. If you do notice an improvement in your symptoms,then go ahead and purchase a complete cleanse program of some kind.
If you are performing a cleanse you should modify your diet in several ways: increase the consumption of leafy green vegetables, decrease the consumption of dairy, red meat and other mucus-producing foods. And probably the most important-increase your intake of clean filtered water to at least a gallon per day.
One note of caution: when doing any type of cleanse, you may experience a healing crisis. On the third or fourth day or a cleanse regimen, you may experience symptoms such as sore throat, headache, lightheadedness, bad breath or pimples. Don't panic! this is a normal response and indicates that the cleanse is working and the toxins are beginning to leave your body. Depending on your toxicity level, you may experience some relief by simply having a bowel movement.
If the healing crisis becomes too uncomfortable, then be sure to discontinue the program and consult a health care professional. The goal is to find the type of treatment that is correct for you and see it until the end. You will find that these treatments are more successful in helping arthritis than the traditional medical solution of pain killers and drugs.
By Daniel DeReuter, D.C.
It's that time of year again when people who have allergies complain about nasal congestion, coughing, and wheezing, itching, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, hives and other skin rashes. Many people experience allergies due to pollens from outdoors combined with foods and indoor stagnant air carrying dust, mold, and other air pollutants.
So how can you stop this yearly cycle? What can you do at home to end this increased intrusion of allergy problems. Where can you go for relief if your allergies have gotten out of hand.
Would you like to:
? Enjoy parks and other outdoor public areas
? Have pets that you can live with
? Eat foods you have avoided
? Feel great without fatigue
? Sleep better than ever
? Relieve stress - often allergies increase stress to your system.
Keeping your body detoxing (self-cleaning) is one of two important steps you can do at home. A simple Yoga pose done correctly can keep your own personal cleaning crew (your immune system) in tune.
Sit on the floor as in the picture on your heels with feet 2 inches apart. Exhale as you slowly bend forward toward floor with your upper body. Try to have your forehead touch the floor in front of you. Place your arms on floor place with hands under your feet and index finger in the valley or web between the big toe and the 2nd toe. Breathe in deeply. Breathe in and out slowly for 1 minute. Your goal is to work up to 2 minutes. After each time relax on your back and allow your muscles to relax for a few minutes. This pose stimulates the body's ability to cleanse itself. It helps detox the liver, lungs, stomach, spleen and bladder.
Secondly, how clean is your environment? Clients often come to me to treat their allergies however, if your home and office need a good seasonal cleaning allergy treatments only will work for a short time - even if your problem is food centered.
Many foods contain natural molds, for example bananas, grapes, and most other fruits. Or their own dust such as anything than can made into a 'flour' like wheat, corn, potatoes, and more. So keep your home and office as clean as possible. The accumulation of dust and mold in your office or home and on foods can actually "create" allergy intolerance. Here are a few tips:
Detox your home and office. Use Organic products found at the local health food market.
Dust using a damp cloth. Safe organic dusting products keep your environment toxin free
Use machine washable curtains and clean regularly. Natural laundry soap is best
Don't store things under the bed. Dust or vacuum under beds weekly.
Do not allow stuffed animals in the bedroom - inside materials often contain sawdust.
Remove dust catchers like pennants, pictures, trophies, books, models and dried or silk flowers from bedroom
Use an air filter and clean filters regularly
Vacuum furniture and carpet regularly. Use a newer vacuum that doesn't use bags and comes equipped with a self-cleaning air filter system so dust doesn't go into the air.
Limit birds, animals or reptiles in the house.
Bath your household animals often. This means every 7 to 14 days.
If you have a pet allergy do not sleep with your pet. Provide them with their own bed right outside your bedroom door for both your comfort.
Don't groom animals in the house.
For more information on allergies and treatments please read the full article: How to Stop Your Allergies in 7 Easy Steps in our website archives.
The Wealth Connection - 2 Steps to Brighten Your Golden Years Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Envision your life 10 or even 20 years from now. Where do you plan to be? What are you doing and with whom?
Most of us between the age of 35 and 50 years hope to be retired to some degree in 15 to 20 years or less. We see ourselves living on retirement funds enjoying life and family. I have never had a client tell me they see themselves penniless or sick. Yet, these same clients fail to have a full plan.
They may have a retirement fund at work and other investments but how are these performing? Did you plan a financial foundation? What does your Wellness Investment program look like?
Many people tell me they don't have a financial foundation program or Wellness Investment program in place. Regardless of age and health it is never too late to start planning. It is better than no plan at all. In this article I will give you 2 of the 21 most important Wealth Connection Steps I offer in my online course.
Ask yourself, how does wealth connect to your health? Does it at all? Today most people would agree that finances play a part in how we feel. Lacking funds can add stress to one's life and play a major part in your health. Ill-health can rapidly eat away at savings if you do not have a wellness plan other than health insurance.
In fact, I advise you rethink health insurance. What I mean by this is that it is what it says it is. Health insurance is for ill-health issues. Only a few "health insurance" programs are wellness insurance.
Health insurance also dictates the kind of care you can receive. Wellness insurance on the other hand is still an emerging system. A few companies do offer these types of plans and we do not endorse any insurance company as my job is to educate you a bit and you must look at what is right for your specific needs.
The wellness insurance programs I have seen work like this. The self employed or business can purchase these programs. They have major medical benefits for hospital and sometimes prescription drugs. They also have a "fund" where part of your premium goes that earns interest. That's right interest. You can use this money for any type of care you desire including alternative medicine of your choice. Any funds you don't use in a given year stays in your personal account earning interest year after year. At a certain age you can take this money out and use it. I have seen accounts that reach 30k and more. Why buy health insurance you do not use?
Step One Look into Wellness Insurance programs. Only purchase from a known insurance company. One whose name you have heard of in the past that offers regular polices as well. It is buyers beware market so do your research.
Step Two What amount do you personally put into your saving account each week? Most people say I have it drawn from my paycheck. This is not what I mean. Think about how much you spend each day on simple things like coffee or food. Can you spare $5.00 per week? I have only met one person who said they couldn't even save this much. Six months later this person who didn't become a client phoned me and said they had been doing it and it really worked. Here's the plan short and sweet - I go into more detail in my online program. Contact my office for more details of how to receive a free 7-part on line e-course.
Each week whether you have your paycheck direct deposited or not; have as much as you can afford withdrawn from your account and placed in a savings plan at an investment firm like Charles Schwab. Use who you wish and make sure they have an automatic withdrawal program and that the funds go into a savings program.
Every quarter double the amount you are putting in. If you find you really aren't missing this money from your daily life; double it every month. Don't be surprised if you start looking forward to saving and adding more to how much you 'put away' each week.
Once this account is equal to 6 months income we move this money into a different type of account I go into future foundation steps in the online program. But we keep putting funds into the savings.
What happens is we have at the base a 6 to 9 month savings account earning a bit better than a bank savings account. Next level is a certain type of money market with the same amount of funds earning a slightly higher interest rate, and so on up through Our Wealth Mastery program.
Point in fact, recently "Today on MSN" offered a glance at the habit of millionaires. Simple foundational planning won hands down.
Bonus Tip Invest in your wellness. Visit an alternative doctor like a NCCAOM licensed acupuncturist. This ensures you are seeing someone who has completed an accredited program at an Oriental Medical College. Many acupuncturists are licensed through medical doctor or chiropractic programs. These programs lack in training and number of hours to meet. Make sure your practitioner is an active member of The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Even if you love your doctor, choose a NCCAOM acupuncturist for this job - after all would you take your child to a gynecologist just because they deliver babies?
Or if you own a Porsche would you take it to a Honda dealership just because you also own a Honda. No, we take our loved ones and possessions to the experts. Do the same with your health.
Why do I suggest an acupuncturist? They are trained in wellness care and health care. Oriental Medicine practitioners know how to work with all types of illness and keep you well. Plan ahead even if you feel great get an evaluation now and follow a wellness program so that you continue to feel great into your golden years.
A wellness program may simply mean visiting your acupuncturist and massage therapist one time each month. Add up the dollars you save by not getting sick. Invest this savings in your financial foundation.
If you have health issues, think how you will be in 10 years from now if you keep ignoring and minimizing your health, using drugs or having surgery without exploring other options. Acupuncture is virtually painless and offers greater relaxation than even massage.
By Dr. Debra Novotny L.Ac, D. Hom; ND
Taking Control of Your Health & Well-being
by Georgianna Donadio D.C., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Do you ever wonder why, in spite of all your good intentions, you just cannot seem to take control over your health and wellness the way you really want to? The answer to that question can be found in the words of Albert Einstein, who reminded us "you cannot correct a problem with the same thinking that created it". In other words, you cannot change old behaviors without new information.
The Institute of Medicine recently published a study that indicates ninety million Americans are "health illiterate", which means we do not know how to interpret or use health information to control or improve our health, or prevent chronic disease. Data compiled previously identified, "lack of information as the number one root cause of death". Understanding that there exists a cause and effect relationship between what we know and how we behave, we need a model of integrating this important information to change the behaviors that lead to chronic disease. According to a 7-year, 1996, Harvard Medical School study, approximately 70% of all cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes. Furthermore, our diseases and conditions are primarily a result of stress, food, environment, attitude, emotions or beliefs that keep us in behaviors that lead to illness. Which invites the question, are we consciously choosing to be unhealthy, or do we just not understand sufficiently the relationship between what we think, how we behave, what we put into our bodies and how we keep ourselves well or make ourselves sick?
In a world exploding with health information, especially on the internet, we are caught in the dilemma of having abundant amounts of information, without a context through which we can understand and utilize this information in a way that is appropriate for our own unique personal health needs. There is, however, good news - making its way into the mainstream of health care is an integrated model of health information and education that provides a "whole picture of health" perspective, allowing each of us to discern and create our own unique approach to taking charge of our health and well-being. Whole Health Education, developed over the past 28 years, in cooperation with Boston physicians, nurses and educators, is an approach to understanding the cause and effect our behaviors and choices have on our state of health. Demystifying the five major factors that influence how sick or well we become, Whole Health Education provides a perspective on human anatomy and physiology, bio-chemistry, psycho-social, environmental and spiritual aspects which allows for an authentic understanding of what we need know to resolve chronic health problems or to stay healthy. Integrating evidence-based information with the wisdom of various spiritual teachings and a whole-person overview of behavioral options, Whole Health Education offers each of us a tool for personal health management by providing personalized health information that explains the physical, emotional, nutritional, environmental and spiritual aspects of a health concern.
For example, Mature Onset Diabetes affects approximately 18.2 million Americans and is the leading health concern in our culture today. As all chronic conditions are, Mature Onset Diabetes is a multi-dimensional disease state and the unique Whole Health perspective, can facilitate the restoration of health for those with chronic diseases such as diabetes.
What happens on a physical and structural level with Mature Onset Diabetes? The specialized beta cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin, become incapable of producing adequate amounts of the critically necessary secretion. This happens over a period of years and can begin in our bodies, over time, by eating large amounts of insulin-provoking foods. These insulin provocateurs, which are sugars and starches in the form of complex carbohydrates, require the pancreas to produce more insulin so that the sugars can be carried over the cell membranes to all parts of the body. Serious disturbances occur when we do not have enough insulin to carry the sugar over the cell membranes. Insulin hooks onto the sugar molecule and acts like a lock and key mechanism to bring that sugar into the cell which is then used in the energy cycle of cell metabolism. The nervous system, brain and the lungs cannot function without the proper metabolism of sugars.
Just as diabetes is a lack of nourishment on a chemical/nutritional level, so is it a lack of emotional nourishment on an emotional/mental level. It relates to the "feel good" nourishment component of your body. What do we know about carbohydrates and serotonin? Carbohydrates provoke the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter that produces a feeling of well-being. There is a direct relationship between what our body is doing chemically and how we feel emotionally. When we crave or build our diet around carbohydrates, this can be a way of "self-medicating" our emotional needs by eating carbohydrates to provoke insulin production.
Sugar problems can affect us emotionally. Let's say you have a pancreas that is not working properly. What can happen somatic/psychically from the pancreas to the brain? If we are feeling the ups and downs of hypoglycemia, and its biochemical/neurological symptoms, it may undermine our sense of security, self esteem, and produce anxiety and fear.
What is the emotional component of diabetes and the pancreas? Often, it can be a poor sense of self-esteem and a fear of not being "good enough" or not belonging. These feelings, medicated by the serotonin foods, can lead us to not look deeply enough into what is causing our health concerns and allow the feeling/feeding cycle to continue.
On the nutritional side, the treatment for people with Mature Onset Diabetes is to decrease the stress on the pancreas by making changes in their diet -- decrease starches and sugars and decrease calories. Eat less, eat right. What kind of a diet would be best for preventing Mature Onset Diabetes? Vegetables, vegetables, and vegetables combined with lean proteins such as fish, chicken, water, a little fruit and a little fat. In a hypoglycemic situation, it is wise not to eat grain or sugar, but sprouted grain bread, and other substitutes can be healthy and satisfying.
Because hormones are chemicals, diabetes and hypoglycemia are both hormonal-based problems. What we know about the hormone system is that it works as a balanced interdependent system. Diabetes is an endocrine-related, systemic problem. With a systemic problem like diabetes, you have a body system problem--you do not just have a condition by itself. It is known that the pancreas is related, through hormone interaction, to the adrenals, and the adrenals are in turn related to the reproductive system. It is known that these glands are related through hormone interactions to the pituitary and the pituitary is related to the thyroid gland, the thyroid is related to the thymus, and the thymus is related to the immune system.
Environmental/Internal & External
The environment that we work in, live in, walk through, live near -- how does that environment have an impact on the way that we feel and the way we feel about ourselves?
How do we learn to trust in the order of the universe? By behaviors that come from trusting the order inside ourselves. We do this by setting boundaries -- codes of conduct of how we are going to behave, eat, work exercise and live. If we don't violate our own boundaries, we are less likely to let anybody else violate our boundaries. We have to start with ourselves. Our experience of victimization can begin with our own self-victimizing behavior.
A Hindu Vendata truth is that "the whole world is one family". It is said that there is only one disease, the disease of separateness, separating oneself from the awareness that we are one living organism. Competition creates isolation. The spiritual challenge presented by hypoglycemia and diabetes appears to be involved with over- or under-valuing the self: judgment of self and then others. Where are we in the process of getting to the truth that we are all equally important? The drama created by a one-up or one-down dynamic that we may allow to be part of our experience can lead to psychophysiology and the behavioral issues which can contribute to and create Mature Onset Diabetes.
Whole Health Education can transform our experience of taking care of ourselves. It can provide an understanding of our health concerns and conditions from this multi-dimensional perspective that makes sense in a way we can utilize the information directly and in a meaningful way. In addition, having the information provided in a mindful, respectful way that invites each of us to discern what we know about our health and condition, how to choose to resolve the problem and what kind of care we choose to have, allows each of us to experience whole-person health care through whole health information. Then, WE become the center of our health and healing process, rather than the doctors or practitioners we go to for guidance.
By Georgianna Donadio D.C., M.Sc., Ph.D.