By practice, I’m a psychotherapist who has been working for over a decade in the world of mainstream medicine, a body of experience that has allowed me to develop a strong understanding of both its strengths and weaknesses.
But beyond my work, I’m also a mom who fiercely loves her children, and for their sake, when it comes to their health I’ve always explored all available options — an approach that I’m proud to say has led me to find better solutions than any conventional specialist had ever offered.
My work has allowed me to cross paths with a seemingly endless number of psychiatrists and general practitioners, who for the most part have one thing in common: They all see medication as the optimal form of treatment for the vast majority of what they diagnose. This includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, sleep issues, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
For a long time, I wondered about the cavalier prescribing of drugs but bit my tongue. Who was I to question physicians with the benefit of many more years of medical training? My viewpoint changed in 2006 after I had my children who suffered similar challenges.
I knew doctors would recommend medication. I also knew I didn’t want my children to go down that road for fear it would severely damage their lively, beautiful spirits.
As my husband, Steve, and I tried to make do with physical and behavioural therapies, I read many medical journal articles about the link between autism, mental health issues and malnutrition, toxicity, food sensitivities and intestinal permeability, immune, metabolic and digestive issues. These discoveries led us to realize that these disorders could be a real medical illness treatable with natural remedies that didn’t involve intrusive, personality-altering medication. While we were skeptical at first, the potential rewards were so high that these methods outside the mainstream seemed well worth trying. And, I am happy we did!
Here’s what I learned:
1. My Doctors Weren’t Reading the Same Medical Journals I Was
I started collecting lots of data, studies, and articles on these subjects from esteemed medical journals. The more research I read, the more I realized how much information was out there. I quickly realized that pediatricians and the mainstream medical community weren’t on board. With all of my studies and articles in my hands and hope in my heart, I asked a pediatric GI specialist about the possibility that my son Evan’s developmental delays, anxiety, and autism features may be due to a gut issue or a food sensitivity. He raised his eyebrows and said, “You must be reading too much.” It became apparent at that moment that this doctor wasn’t reading enough.
2. Big Pharma Writes Our Doctors’ Textbooks
Drug company money is tainting medical education. Big pharma writes medical school textbooks and uses their own money to finance drug studies. Dr. Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, stated how corporate dollars corrupt research and education at academic medical centers — including Harvard Medical School. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars to implement carefully designed plans. According to R. Webster Kehr of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, “The FDA, NIH, NCI, ACS and medical schools are their puppets.”
3. Our Medical Community Ignores the Power of Plant Medicine and Calls It Pseudoscience
Pharmaceutical companies have set out to discredit holistic treatments — especially in those areas of highest drug profits, such as cancer, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and allergies, even though they are widely used in other countries and steeped in tradition. Drug companies use the term “scientific evidence” as a political definition to control the FDA and National Institutes of Health. They buy investigative journalists with their advertising. They pay doctors and psychiatrists to speak on their behalf and offer up expensive trips and steep payments. They block financial contributions by using terms like “unproven treatments,” and many “charitable organizations” are entirely controlled along with Congress.
4. The Biggest Corporate Sponsors of the American Academy of Pediatrics Are Pharma Companies
The Academy of Pediatrics was created in 1930 as an “independent” forum for the health and well-being of our children. Today, corporate Friends of Children Fund members include Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur (The vaccine Sanofi-aventis group,) Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, etc. A conflict of interest? Have our doctors been bought? I believe so.
5. Conventional Doctors Tend to Address Only One Organ at a Time
One of the fundamental flaws of our existing medical paradigm is the tendency to approach health and sickness only through a disease-based or single organ-focused lens. We treat the body as a machine with separate parts, assign a diagnosis label, and match it with a corresponding pharmaceutical. In reality, our body is a complex, interconnected web of biochemistry. Therefore, we need more medical doctors who understand that we must start to treat the “whole body” like holistic and functional doctors do.
6. Our Genetics Is Not the End of Our Story
Just because ADHD, depression, or even autoimmune issues run in the family does not mean that is our fate. We have more control over it than the medical industry wants us to believe. We may start with a genetic vulnerability; however, we need to start recognizing that our lifestyle and environmental factors instruct our genes on how to express themselves. The foods we eat or don’t eat, the nutrients we take or don’t take, our stress levels, sleep habits, and exposure to toxins dynamically determine our gene expression.
7. Most Doctors Know Very Little About Nutrition
Most disease is preventable and related to nutrition, yet doctors today do not know the science of how healthy food heals the body. Nor do they see the impact “fake” food, pesticides, and toxic chemicals have on our health. According to the Journal of Clinician Nutrition, most graduating medical students continue to rate their nutrition preparation as inadequate. According to Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, a physician and internationally recognized professional speaker on some important public health issues, medical students are still getting fewer than 20 hours of nutrition education over four years, and even most of that has limited clinical relevance.
8. Allopathic M.D.s Do Not Heal Autoimmune Disorders
You cannot get health from a pill. When referred to a specialist like a gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, and alike to treat an autoimmune disorder, they rarely discuss healing foods, detoxification, and other modalities that heal the body. Instead, they prescribe drugs, namely immunosuppressants or steroid therapy to merely mask symptoms — never getting to the root cause of any illness nor healing any disease. And these medications often do more harm than good.
9. Insurance Companies Do Not Cover Important Treatments and Therapies
Health insurers can limit coverage they deem experimental or not medically necessary, and they often do. Many consider “alternative” interventions medically necessary only if adequate evidence of safety and effectiveness in the peer-reviewed published medical literature supports it. I find this funny, considering more than 100,000 people die each year from complications caused by prescription drugs. And thousands more die of drug overdoses after getting hooked on prescription pain medication. Again, money and politics are the reason insurance won’t cover safer alternatives. The more services they exclude from coverage while still selling policies to patients, the better for their bottom lines.
10. Healthcare Today Puts Band-Aids On Splinters Instead of Pulling Them Out
Current pharmaceutical and surgical methods are incredibly useful for treating acute, life-threatening health issues. However, for more nuanced disorders, these approaches do not take into account the complex communication that exists between the various systems of the body and can ultimately lead to a breakdown in communication followed by a loss of function. Often the side effects of these treatments can be as harmful and worse than the original symptom itself. Eastern medicine modalities are ancient systems of healthcare that take into account all of the biological systems of the whole body. Natural Medicine practitioners strive to stimulate the body’s natural capacity to heal itself, leading to healing on a much deeper level.
Calling for a Shift in Our Mental Health Paradigm
Although many parents claim that psychotropic medication has changed their child’s life for the better, we must not forget that giving a six-year-old medicine does nothing to improve the conditions that derail their development in the first place.
Policy makers are so convinced these children have an organic disease that they have all but called off the search for a better understanding of the conditions — even though these medications often cause many short-term and long-term side effects. Therefore, I encourage all parents everywhere to let love guide you to explore all available options, rather than simply settling for what conventional specialists suggest.
It isn’t enough to just be alive. The quality of life is also essential.
We need more due diligence in our healthcare system. We need an “Integrative Medicine” approach, a healing-oriented medicine that takes the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) into account — including all aspects of lifestyle. We need to emphasize the therapeutic relationship and make use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. We need a medical system that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
Good medicine should be based on sound science, be inquiry-driven, and be open to new paradigms. We need to use natural, effective, and less invasive interventions whenever possible. We need a system that promotes prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease. We simply need to wake up and make a stand for real change. We can no longer put a price tag on our physical and mental health. The amount of pain we are creating for our families and our children is a high price to pay for the way we conduct our business.
To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication sign up HERE. As a bonus, on December 15th, I will be giving away a signed copy of my book Healing Without Hurting to one lucky subscriber!
Meditation Changes The “Structure & Function of the Brain” In A Positive Way
- The Facts:
A recent study has found found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.
- Reflect On:
Should meditation be included in the school curriculum, and used to treat certain mental ailments?
If you look at most ‘masters’ in the field of meditation, a common theme that currently exists is a big misconception about meditation, that it has to be done a certain way, that you have to sit a specific way or do something in particular in order to reap the benefits. These masters will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t have to be one specific way.
That being said, many spiritual groups, like certain monks for example, are taught different types of meditation in several different ways, so really, there’s no correct way to meditate, and the process of connecting with one’s higher self and quieting the mind can be done in multiple ways and practiced at various levels.
When meditating, one shouldn’t try to “empty” their mind, but instead, try to let ones thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions end up ‘popping’ in there, pop in there. There should be no resistance to thoughts, no judgement of them. Simply let them be, don’t attach to them and just be at peace with it. You’re not doing anything wrong, just focus on your breath.
Personally, I believe that meditation is a state of being more than anything else. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, you can meditate anywhere, it can be done before bed, in the shower, while you are going for a walk, or even while washing the dishes.
That being said, I do also believe, speaking from my experience, that sitting down and doing the proper breath work and being present is a slightly different method and can sometimes create a more powerful experience, but there seems to be different variations of the exact same thing.
What’s interesting about meditation is the fact that it’s been practiced for thousands of years, and several ancient cultures were well aware of not only the non-physical benefits but its physical benefits as well, something modern day science is just starting to discover.
One of the most recent studies has found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.
As Alice G. Walton, a writer for Forbes points out,
“Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behaviour and moment-to-moment experience.”
She is correct, probably even more so than she knows. The evidence showing just how strong the mind-body connection is can actually be overwhelming. In fact, studies in the field of parapsychology have just as much, if not more, statistical significance via peer-reviewed research than the science which has been published to approve several different drugs, like antiplatelets, or the science that shows a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent a heart attack. It was published in 1999, by a statistics professor at UC Irvine.
This new study, which was recently published by the Max Planck Institute found that three different types of meditation are associated to changes in corresponding brain regions.
Watson goes on to explain,
“Participants, who were between 20 and 55 years of age, engaged in three different types of training for three months each, totalling a nine-month study period. The first training was dubbed the “Presence” module, and was very similar to focused awareness meditation, an ancient practice that’s been studied a lot in recent years. In this study, participants learned to focus their attention, brining it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations.”
The second phase of training was called “Affect,” and its purpose was to increase compassion and empathy for others. The participants learned about a specific meditation dealing with “loving-kindness,” and again, the sole intention here was to enhance one’s compassion and empathy.
The last one was called the “Perspective” module, where the focus was simply to observe one’s own thoughts without judgement, while enhancing their understanding towards the perspectives of other people.
The researchers hypothesized that these methods would lead to volume increases in corresponding parts of the brain. Numerous studies have proven the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University of a study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) who determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes in grey matter over time.
This recent study found the same thing, and they discovered that when they scanned the participants’ brains at the end of each module and then compared the groups against one another:
“Training in Presence was linked to enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. Affect training was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions like empathy: and Perspective training associated with changes in areas involved in understanding the mental states of others, and, interestingly, inhibiting the perspective of oneself.”
These results further elaborate on a wealth of previous studies showing what meditation can do to the brain.
Walton goes on to emphasize,
“Lots of research has found that experienced meditators have significantly altered brain structure and function, but a growing number of studies has also found that relatively brief meditation training in novices (for instance, the well-known eight-week MBSR program) can also shift brain function, improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
The authors of the study mention:
“With growing globalization, interconnectedness, and complexity of our societies, ‘soft skills’ have become increasingly important…Social competences, such as empathy, compassion, and taking the perspective of another person, allow for a better understanding of others’ feelings and different beliefs and are crucial for successful cooperation.”
Why This Is Relevant & Important
Imagine if this type of practice became a requirement of multiple school boards, what do you think would happen? For most of us, since the day we are born we’re all encouraged to follow the same path, and one of those paths is spending a large portion of our lives, for many years, for the entire day, at school. Then, as we age into adults, we do the same thing with ‘work.’ This type of human experience is far from natural, which is why I believe it to be one of the reasons (out of many) that stress, diseases, and mental health issues, among other rates, continue to rise exponentially.
While going through this process, we’re never really taught how to question the experience, we simply comply and are never really taught any sort of emotional education, at all. We don’t learn to deal with our emotions, we don’t learn about empathy, compassion, and stepping into another persons shoes… We’re not really taught what we are naturally gifted with from birth. It’s our empathy and compassion, our concern for others that makes human beings so special, but growing up, we don’t really talk about these things.
The world is changing in many different ways, and awareness about this kind of practice is spreading around like it never has before. Multiple schools are incorporating mindfulness education into their programs, and many parents from my generation are also incorporating these important concepts into their child’s development.
This is great to see, and as time unfolds, the more we tap into non-physical science and its tremendous benefits, the more we will speed up the changes that are so desperately needed on our planet right now.
Related CE Articles:
Dr. Lawrence Palevsky Testimony: Unvaccinated Children Are “The Healthiest Children I’ve Ever Seen”
- The Facts:
Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a NY licensed paediatrician, speaks at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines.
- Reflect On:
Why is vaccine hesitancy on the rise?
It’s always worrisome publishing an article about vaccine safety and posting it on Facebook. But why is that? One would think that discussions and concerns about vaccine safety would be encouraged. However, the opposite is true–Facebook has been cracking down on any information that they deem as “anti-vaccine.”
Does this mean that reporting on a study addressing the concerns of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, for example, will be prevented from spreading and possibly even labelled as “fake news,” despite the fact that it’s been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal?
Does this mean that a paediatrician, like the one below, will also be censored for sharing his opinion based on his research and experience?
Dr. Heidi Larson’s Comments at WHO Summit
I’d like to point out that many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety Summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, emphasized that doctors and professionals should forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”.
She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest. She also brought up the issue of confidence in vaccines:
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.
You can read more about the concerns brought up by scientists at that conference, in detail, here.
Dr. Lawrence Palevsky
One of those doctors who is losing confidence in vaccines is Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a practicing paediatrician trained at the NYU School of Medicine who did his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He spent the first nine years of his career working in emergency rooms running a neonatal intensive care unit. He recently spoke at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines. In the video below, he provides a great summary as to why so many parents and physicians continue to become concerned about vaccine safety.
The parents that I work with in New York, that I see around the country are very concerned that their rights are being taken away, that their knowledge about the science is being pushed away by an agenda that only says, unvaccinated children are a problem.
No study has every been done in this country, appropriately, to address the health outcomes of children who are vaccinated versus the children who are unvaccinated. I have been seeing families in my practice for over 20 years, that have opted out of vaccination, they are the healthiest children I’ve ever seen.
Vaccine hesitancy among among health professionals is no longer a secret. A study published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point:
Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.
The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at the conference mentioned in this article, and the testimony shown above, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented in a proper manner.
It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people, parents, scientists and physicians are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred, because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.
A Potential Solution To Reduce Snoring & Sleep Apnea
I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.
Snoring and sleep apnea not only represent a holistic health risk to an individual, the irritating noise at night can often create conflict in a couple’s relationship. I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.
Major Cause of Snoring & Sleep Apnea
One major cause of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is mouth breathing during sleep, especially when you sleep in the supine position. When you sleep in the supine position with an open mouth, gravity pulls down your jaw and tongue, which then compresses your throat. As a result, your airway gets suppressed and narrowed, leaving less space for the air to pass through.
Mouth breathing also introduces stronger air flow as you inhale and exhale, which exacerbates the airway soft tissue vibration, causing the loud snoring noise. Strong air flow during mouth breathing also induces strong negative pressure that sucks in the soft tissues around the throat area, further narrowing your airway and eventually causing it to collapse, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.
The Quick Fix? Wear Tape To Keep Your Mouth Closed
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main causes of snoring and sleep apnea is mouth breathing. A quick fix to keep your mouth closed during the night is to apply a small piece of tape over it. When your mouth is closed and lips are together, it is harder for you jaw to fall back even when lying in a supine position. Keeping your mouth closed also forces you to breathe through your nose, which not only helps to regulate the airflow to reduce the negative pressure inside your airway, but also reduces soft tissue vibration
An otoralyngology study published this year in the American Academy of Otolaryngology Journal demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique, showing significant reduction in median AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) score and snoring index .
In the past few years, ENT specialist Dr. Hung Cheng Tseng and I have recommended wearing tape for all of our clients as part of our AirwayFit training program, and the feedback has been great. For some CPAP users, wearing tape on their mouth can help to eliminate the air leakage issue. In addition, if you often find yourself waking up with a dried mouth and throat, this method will also help you keep your mouth and throat moisturized throughout the night.
How To Apply?
In practice, wearing tape to sleep is actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.
Visit any drug store near you and pick up a small roll of medical grade paper tape. It should cost you no more than $10. I recommend ones that are hypoallergenic, porous, and non-waterproof. When you wear the tape, you want to roll your lips slightly inward so you don’t apply it directly onto your lips. Otherwise, your lips can really hurt when you remove it in the morning. Some people apply some lip balm or vaseline onto their lips first as a layer of protection.
You don’t have to wear the tape over your entire mouth. You can start by wearing it vertically, in the center, right beneath your nose, and that should suffice; as long as the tape keeps your jaw up, you should be fine. I also recommend you to pre-fold one of the corners of the tape, just so that there’s a corner you can grab onto easily in the morning to tear it off. If you have sensitive skin and you find removing the tape hurts, you can wet it with water before you remove it in the morning. You could also reduce the stickiness of the tape prior to use by sticking it onto your forearm a couple of times before applying to your lips.
If you really are panicked by this idea, then as I mentioned before, you can try wearing it only at the center portion of your mouth. This will leave gaps on the two sides of your mouth but still keep your jaw in the upright position during sleep. Also, if it’s your first night trying this method, wearing the tape 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you adjust to the feeling.
Most people who have tried the tape method to keep their mouth closed find it convenient and more comfortable and cheaper than the alternative methods. However, I would caution against wearing tape to keep your mouth closed if you experience the following: nausea or epilepsy, or if you have consumed alcohol or any pill or medicine prior to sleep. Otherwise, give it a try today and you will find yourself waking up feeling much more energized and hydrated the next morning!
To learn more about your sleep trouble, visit www.AirwayFit.com
 Huang TW., Young TH., “Novel Porous Oral Patches for Patients with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing: A Pilot Study” American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 152.2 (2015): 369-373. Print.
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