*Blogger's comment: I have tried to capture some of the key elements of this book, however this summary is my collection of thoughts and descriptions as best to my comprehension and knowledge.
Dr. Alice Kuzniar (PhD) presents a thoroughly researched and academic perspective on one of the most controversial therapies in our existence: homeopathy. It is precisely why this book is so fascinating and important to read for anyone interested in healing and philosophy. Homeopathy, as Kuzniar states, "is arguably one of the most important material legacies of that epoch (Romantic era) still with us in the 21st century." How is it that after 200 years, homeopathy is still in existence despite the unusual, scientifically implausible, and mysterious theories such as the minimum dose, the Law of similars, and the single remedy? Who were the contemporaries of Samuel Hahnemann (a German physician and founder of homeopathy), and what opinions, parallels, influences, or oppositions did they share? With...
The term mind body medicine is a bit of a misnomer because it is not so much a technique, skill, or theory, but our inherent state of being.
Everything is mind body.
However, from a philosophical perspective, there can be discussion on the ways it may or may not be possible to elicit the concepts underlying the notion of “mind-body medicine.”
In my understand of things, I see mind-body medicine or healing as the differentiation between the conscious and the unconscious, and their respective manifestations both in our external and internal environments, our instincts, and the healthful adoption of good health habits. Part of defining what exactly this is has sparked my interest into learning about homeopathy, and subsequently, into discovering writings that support the hypothesis that the unconscious does play a role in healing, and that there are ways to connect with the unconscious in a somewhat unknowing fashion, but perhaps an accept...
While I am a strong advocate of science-based approaches, and the benefit of science in our society, I am still and will forever be, in cognitive dissonance with a practice that I inherently and intuitively feel is a spiritual and humane experience to this life, especially for the hypersensitive, and that is: homeopathy. What does homeopathy teach?
This could be an important question.
Homeopathy teaches what we take for granted, that is, the most simplest "cure" (in quotations because cure is not meant for disease, but for the individual person), the most simplest remedy. It could be, opening a window. It could be, closing the blinds. It could be, running around with our clothes off! Each person has his or her individual way of sensing, that we do not think is relevant to our health, but can make a small difference to ease suffering and provide a sense of confidence. With these senses emerging, we can tune in to our vitality, possibly. Additionally, there are methods to this madness. To...
Some people consider bad habits a mental health concern. They are not quite the same thing!
While many natural things can support a mental health issue, they rarely can be the only solution.
Where naturopathy can be best utilized, is for things like kicking bad habits.
Are all bad habits necessary to kick? Not always! That is for you to judge. I can help you decide; and I can give you tools to make some important changes, that have some kind of theory, philosophy, and science to back it up.
First, what is the habit?
Some ideas to be discussed are things like:
-sense of enjoyment/fulfillment
-nutrients that play a role in the nervous system
-safe and non-habit forming alternatives
-concepts related to our nervous system, our personality, our sensitivity and how we function at our best/worst
-lifestyle choices that encourage health promoting behaviors, keeping in mind that no one is perfect and it is not always necessary to do these things all the time
I am currently reading The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner, a pioneer in incorporating Shamanism and Aboriginal medicine to Western thought.
Naturopathic Doctors are not trained in Shamanism, however, I have always been curious about this long-used form of medicine and without searching too much for explanations, to gently grasp some of the concepts as described by Shaman's, their apprentices, and indigenous medicine.
What I am finding most intriguing are the parallels between it and other vitalistic concepts of health and healing as described in Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Qi and meridians). The basis that when the body's vital energy is strong, there is less chance of invasions, of progression or worsening of existing illness, and lifting of depression and anxiety.
I am discovering similarities between the philosophy of homeopathy and how the body expresses or does not, its energy - with some of the concepts in Aboriginal medicine.
What does it mean to be "sensitive"? More and more, people are describing themselves as sensitive or hypersensitive. In health, this statement can mean different things. There is emotional sensitivity, whereby psychologically we are easily triggered and reactive, either emotionally or through behavior. There is physical sensitivity, whereby we are sensitive to cold, heat, wind, rain, etc. And then there is chemical sensitivity, whereby many adverse events occur from coffee, nicotine, alcohol, medications, etc.
Naturopathic medicine aims to consider all of these sensitivities as one package. Are we emotionally sensitive because of a chemical sensitivity, or vice versa? Is it all in our head or all in our body??
There are 5 organs of detoxification: the lungs, kidneys, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, and skin. These organs function together in order to balance our level of toxic burden. Depending on our lifestyle choices, certain organs may be working harder than others.
The avoidance of c...
Tryptophan is interesting in that it is the sole precursor of the inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin. The relative percentage of tryptophan in protein sources is small in comparison to the other amino acids (roughly 1%). Additionally, the degradation of tryptophan occurs via two pathways: the kynurenine pathway that is responsible for 90-95% of tryptophan degradation and the minor pathways that lead to serotonin and melatonin (serotonin synthesis). The kynurerine pathway leads to two metabolites, quinolinic and kynurenic acid, which act on the NMDA receptors (glutamate receptor) as either an agonist (neurotoxic) and antagonist (neuroprotective) respectively (1). Interestingly, the kynurenine pathway is involved in UV protection of the retina, which naturally declines with age (2). The kynurenine pathways is also involved in the formation of NAD and NADP necessary for redox reactions. To a lesser degree, tryptophan degradation along the kynurenine pathway is involved in niacin (B3) s...
The neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lead to certain traits such as impulsivity and compulsivity, and increased irritability. Research has indicated that these disorders in early childhood can persist to impulsivity and addictive behavior in adulthood (1,2). Addictions in adulthood can stem from a simple pleasure that turns into a compulsion with several neural and brain adaptations that occur as a result of changes on the neural-transmission in the brain, and physiology associated with the chemical / behavior leading to deficiencies in motivation and learning (3).
One proposed hypothesis in the etiology of these disorders, based on observations in neuro-imaging studies, are the glutamatergic interactions in the frontal area of the brain. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system.
Before reaching for herbs or other products to help ease anxiety, it may be worthwhile to investigate some behavioral approaches to reduce anxiety and stress. Here are 5 easy steps to reduce anxiety.
Step 1: Buy a watch. Time is the only constant variable.
Step 2: Memorize 3-4 important phone numbers in your cell phone. Memorizing is a great way to enhance cognition.
Step 3: In the morning, take 5-10 min to visualize and plan out your day. Research any anticipated events that may require you to look something up on the internet. Create a positive image of your day. Visualization has been known to improve outcomes of negative events.
Step 4: Leave your cell phone at home. Cell phone use is becoming an increasing problem with anxiety disorders.
Step 5: When in need, reach out and ask someone for help or call one of the numbers you memorized. Connecting to a person and practicing healthy social behavior improves mood.