My latest blog on Building the Foundation for Health in 2012 is posted!
Here’s an excerpt:
Can you believe it!??? It’s time to make our way forward into a new year. Wouldn’t it be great if 2012 became the year that society united in setting positive intentions and moved into their goals of healthier life decisions? New Year cycles are humanities ways of refocusing our goals on the positive and releasing what no longer serves us. Although we’d all like to change to a diet of Brussels sprouts and broccoli over milkshakes and lollipops, the caveat is that change is hard. We’re up against a lot of momentum of habitual programming in our brain. This is why most New Year’s resolutions fall short of long term commitments.
I explained this phenomenon in the blog I wrote at the beginning of 2011. It’s called cybernetics (brain set points) and trying to make huge lifestyle shifts all at once, rather than changing a little bit at the time leads to literal brain overload. A broad resolution will most likely fail in the long term; because the brain goes into overwhelm by too many changes way too quickly. Our pre-frontal cortex loses its safety reference point amongst all the new life style shifts implemented and the result is that our brain reverts back to our diet of ho-hos, dingle dos, and too many “adult beverages”. Therefore, the solution is to stop the overload and calm the brain and stress response, hence my belief in the power of Baby Steps!
Therefore, for 2012, I want us to look at the first important foundation of health, food, and I want to give you some gentle tips to start your growth from a little junkie foodie into a full out nutritional expert. Why? Well beyond nutrition and weight, food is medicine. It is not just calories; it’s information for our genes.
This is called the science of NUTRIGENOMICS- the study of how a specific food modulates how our genes express themselves. Literally, certain foods can turn off and on cancer promoting signals. This means, no more excuses for a bad gene pool and no more pointing fingers at your mom for your health woos. Although it is true that some may have to be more careful with their food choices depending on the cards their parents dealt, especially relating to their own detoxification power. (This relates to finding out which single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are present, and modulating this with foods and supplements, but I’ll stop on this point here.)
Read more here.
In this Newsletter:
1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts:
Yoga and Low Back Pain
Exercise Boosts Brain Power
Mindfulness Decreases Fatigue in RA
Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Contact Terry at 518-831-9469
Integrative Forum to begin again on February 9th! Look for more information in my newsletters and on my website.
PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website.
Note: Appointments open as people reschedule. In order to avoid being charged the full consultation, we need notice 24 hours (counted as business days) prior to the appointment. My office is keeping tight with our cancellation policy and rescheduling because of our commitment to continued progress and monitoring therapeutic supplements responsibly. As a Naturopathic and Functional Medicine doctor, I feel it’s essential that my patients have a mutual commitment to wellness by making their health a priority every 3-8 weeks.
Time for a symptom re-evaluation?
All patients can now download the symptom survey online. If you haven’t re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section for comparison when you return it to our office.)
NEWSFLASH: My book manuscript is almost finished…be on the lookout within the next months for per-ordering availability!
3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:
Flourish! with Dr. Christiane Northrup:
The New Wisdom of Menopause
Midlife is a time of rebirth and renewal. The midlife transition is replete with weight gain, mood swings, and hot flashes. Tune in and learn how to negotiate this transition comfortably and joyfully.
4. Book of the week:
It’s so packed full of what all women need to know, I’m making this week’s book a repeat from last week– celebrating its release today:
The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christian Northrup
Now completely revised, this groundbreaking classic draws on the current research and medical advances in women’s health, and includes:
All you need to know about perimenopause, and why it is critical to your well-being
Updated mammogram guidelines
Nurturing your brain: sleep, mood, memory
Hormone therapy and the options available
Midlife weight control
Sex and menopause: myths and reality
5. Don’t miss out:
The Rest of Fun Facts on my Saratoga.com blog.
Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.
Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare: Avoiding Emotional Binges.
Here’s an excerpt: If you are addicted to certain foods, abstaining is the only true way to avoid a binge. That being said, with any slippage, it’s best to be gentle with yourself and plan so that you have safer alternatives for the future. Planning your meals and initiating a social support system around triggering emotional events, gatherings, and a crazy work schedule can prevent grabbing an unhealthy sugar/caffeine binge. This kind of planning allows your prefrontal cortex to respond verses react to situations. Whereas, social support aids in dopamine release, a feel good chemical that can be obtained without through friendship verses cookies. You also want to make sure the following biological factors are in order to support your biochemistry and keep your mood in check… Read more at the link above….
View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage
Naturopathic Fun Facts:
Chiropractic: Yoga & Low Back Pain.
Does Yoga make a difference in back pain? In a recent study, 313 participants matched for chronic or recurrent low back pain were all given back pain education booklets while some were also assigned to a treatment group with a 12 week yoga instruction. The two groups were compared and the results were reported:
Conclusion: Offering a 12-week yoga program to adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain led to greater improvements in back function than did usual care.
Tillbrook, H. et al. Yoga for Chronic Back Pain: A Randomized Trial (abstract). Annals Of Internal Medicine, November 1, 2011 vol. 155 no. 9 569-578. http://annals.org/content/155/9/569.abstract
Exercise Boosts Memory
Exercise is not just for weight loss. It boosts brain power. Here’s an excerpt from Neuroscience that explains how:
Exercise has been shown to impact brain plasticity and function by involving the action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); however, mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Two types of BDNF coexist in the brain, the precursor (proBDNF) and its mature product (mBDNF), which preferentially bind specific receptors and exert distinct functions. It is crucial to understand how exercise affects crucial steps in the BDNF processing and signaling to evaluate therapeutic applications. We found that 7 days of voluntary exercise increased both pro and mature BDNF in the rat hippocampus. Exercise also increased the activity of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine proteinase shown to facilitate proBDNF cleavage into mBDNF. The blockade of tPA activity reduced the exercise effects on proBDNF and mBDNF. The tPA blocking also inhibited the activation of TrkB receptor, and the TrkB signaling downstream effectors phospho-ERK, phospho-Akt, and phospho-CaMKII. The blocking of tPA also counteracted the effects of exercise on the plasticity markers phospho-synapsin I and growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43). These results indicate that the effects of exercise on hippocampal plasticity are dependent on BDNF processing and subsequent TrkB signaling, with important implications for neuronal function.
Source: Ding Q, Ying Z, Gómez-Pinilla F. Exercise influences hippocampal plasticity by modulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor processing (abstract). Neuroscience. 2011 Sep 29;192:773-80. Epub 2011 Jun 29.
Amen, D. Exercise to a Better Brain. Dr. Amen Blog. December 13, 2011. http://22.214.171.124/blog/5482/exercise-to-a-better-brain/
Mindfulness Decreases Fatigue in RA
A recent study reported less fatigue in those that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis when mindfulness was enacted in a treatment plan. Here’s the abstract for those interested in learning more:
Objective To evaluate the effects of a mindfulness-based group intervention, the Vitality Training Programme (VTP), in adults with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases.
Methods In a randomised controlled trial, the VTP–a 10-session mindfulness-based group intervention including a booster session after 6 months–was compared with a control group that received routine care plus a CD for voluntary use with mindfulness-based home exercises. The primary outcome was psychological distress measured by the General Health Questionnaire-20. Self-efficacy (pain and symptoms) and emotion-focused coping (emotional processing and expression) were used as co-primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes included pain, fatigue, patient global disease activity, self-care ability and well-being. Effects were estimated by mixed models repeated measures post-intervention and at 12-month follow-up.
Results Of 73 participants randomized, 68 completed assessments post-intervention and 67 at 12 months. Significant treatment effects in favour of the VTP group were found post-treatment and maintained at 12 months in psychological distress (adjusted mean between-group difference −3.7, 95% CI −6.3 to −1.1), self-efficacy pain (9.1, 95% CI 3.4 to 14.8) and symptoms (13.1, 95% CI 6.7 to 19.3), emotional processing (0.3, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.5), fatigue (−1.1, 95% CI −1.8 to −0.4), self-care ability (1.0, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.6) and overall well-being (0.6, 95% CI 0.1 to 1.2). No significant group differences were found in emotional expression, pain or disease activity.
Conclusion The VTP improved most primary and secondary outcomes compared with individual use of CD exercises. Improvements were maintained at 12 months, suggesting that the VTP is a beneficial complement to existing treatments for patients with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases.
Source: Zangi, et al. A mindfulness-based group intervention to reduce psychological distress and fatigue in patients with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases: a randomised controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200351