Music and Memory

Social changes of the past one hundred years have led  many of us to having much less fun than our predecessors. Too often, we allow ‘the professionals’ to do the singing, dancing, and painting for us. This is not natural. As children we are free to engage in dance, song, and art without inhibition, and these activities are critical to the proper development of our minds and bodies. They are also potent preservers of the health of our minds and bodies as we age.

There has been a general loss of age-inclusive community activities such as  weekly dances, long chats,  singing around the fire, community meals, etc. These community meals, dances, and singalongs often followed community work such as bringing in the harvest, barn raisings, quilting bees, canning bees, etc.

Restoring  modern versions of communal arts  can be invaluable in preserving physical and mental health.

If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s I recommend the following amazing film for helping those who seem locked away and non-communicative:

Alive Inside by Dan Cohen – a film about patients and using music from their youth to wake and engage those thought to be totally lost to Alzheimers.

Also, I highly recommend visiting this site:

http://www.givingvoicechorus.org

Talk to people who are involved in this chorus and hear their remarkable stories. Music is medicine, especially for those with Alzheimers and dementia.

 

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

 

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3 Step Weight Loss

“By the way I’ve lost 12 pounds!” – The loss of excessive weight is one of the most common comments I hear from patients who are coming in for other problems. I do not ‘treat’ obesity. I am not a weight loss clinic. I help patients overcome various acute and chronic health conditions – one of the results of regaining good general health is a natural return to a healthy weight.

So what is it about our program for regaining health that stimulates the body to return to its ideal weight? Although every patient is unique, there are three general actions (that are recommended for most all patients) that generally result in weight loss. They are:

1. Fun

2. Decrease inFlammation

3. Fasting

FUN – it is always important that one be actively engaged in at least one activity that provides great joy. Doing something you really love focuses your mind and metabolism in a positive direction. Focusing on ‘health’ or ‘dieting’ is not usually considered a fun thing to do and I do not recommend it. Focus instead on an activity that is food for your soul. People who do this get well faster, stay well, and lose weight, to boot.

Step I – begin doing something that you love but have been putting off because you were too  ‘busy’  to do. It could be a hobby, a new job, or something else.

INFLAMMATION – most acute and chronic illnesses are caused or aggravated by inflammation in the body. Inflammation also tends to cause the body to retain water and fat. By reducing those things that cause inflammation, the illness is ameliorated or reversed and one loses weight, to boot.

Step II – begin COMPLETELY removing inflammatory foods, etc. These would commonly include:

  • tomato, bell pepper, potato, eggplant (native S.American Indians are OK to eat these)
  • White sugar, white flour, white vinegar
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee, chocolate
  • Red meat, eggs (OK for some)
  • Cow milk, butter, cheese ( low fat, yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses OK for some)
  • Nut butters
  • Gluten (just fine for some)
  • Environmental toxins
  • Emotional stress

FAST – every other day eat 1/4-1/2 of what you would normally eat – this is a fast day. Drink a lot more water, teas, broths, kombucha, lemon water, etc. on fast days. Eat as much as you wish on regular eating days. Be sure that each organ system is receiving what it needs, especially the liver and thyroid. Do not snack, drink fluids instead. People who regularly fast get sick less often, recover from illness more quickly, are more mentally/physically balanced, and are more likely to stay at their ideal weight, to boot.

Weight should start to come off within days of instituting these changes. Once you have reached an acceptable weight, continue the program for another six weeks before reintroducing the avoided foods. Some of the above should never be reintroduced  ( the ‘whites’ and toxins). During the program, be sure to increase your intake of dark leafy greens, a greater variety of vegetables, whole foods, protein 3x per day (fish, poultry, beans, eggs/red meat?, nuts), whole grains (brown/wild rice, millet, qinoa, etc.), fermented vegetables (kraut), and fresh/dry herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.).

If the above does not do the trick, or if you experience any sort of untoward symptoms, please see your health care provider for greater guidance.

If you have the health handbook The 12 Elixirs, you may find additional information there:

  • Appendix: sections D,I,L,M (Cleansing, Food, Organ Maintenance, Stress)
  • Part III (Health habits)
  • Part I, chapters 5,6,7 (Adaptation, Environment, The Mind)

(If you would like to purchase a handbook – go to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or contact the clinic, 952-935-9360.)

Have Fun!   Decrease InFlammation!  Fast!

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

The Myth of Moderation

A common cause of confusion for patients is the degree to which one should change a diet to get healthy.  Often a patient has been doing ‘everything right’ and yet their health problems persist. A common misconception concerns the appropriate application of the idea of ‘moderation’. “Everything in moderation” and you will do well – a little bit of white sugar every day will not hurt you, junk food is OK once in a while, etc. etc.

The principle is correct –

moderation is the best way to go,

however,

the rule works best once you have achieved general good health. 

A healthy body can handle occasional junk food. A healthy body can process a bit of white sugar here and there. However, if one has unresolved health problems that persist, then one needs to buckle down for a while until the problem is resolved before reverting back to the rule of moderation. It may take a bit of time to get the discipline down that is required to correct a longstanding problem, but how wonderful it then is to not have to worry about ‘doing everything right’ to be vibrantly healthy! A weak system generally requires little insult before it breaks down with symptoms. A robust healthy system can take a lot of insult before any symptoms show.

If you have a leaky roof resulting in your household goods getting wet do you really want a few leaks and cracks to persist? No. Fix the roof. Fix it well. No more worries. The same applies to your body. Fix it. Fix it well. No more worries.

For the average person I see clinically, (and depending on the person’s constitution and illness), once one has been truly strong and healthy for 8-12 weeks, the rule of moderation comes into play with no untoward effects from the occasional intake of junk food or other bad habits. (Strong and healthy means no symptoms of any kind for 8-12 weeks.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

Misconsceptions of Moderation

Sunshine and your Heart

Researchers have discovered that optimizing vitamin D status in the body actually helps congestive heart failure patients. A recent study* published this April in the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed improved heart function in CHF patients following one year of vitamin D3 supplementation.

Vitamin D is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The average human loves sunshine and yet many of us spend most of our time indoors. Even when we do venture out we often cover all exposed skin with sun block.  This has resulted in a dramatic increase in vitamin D3 deficiency associated illnesses.

Exposure to natural outdoor light is crucial for good health. We evolved in a sunlit world. Out bodies do best when regularly dosed with sunshine. People who spend the most time outdoors have the lowest rates of skin cancer. Skin cancer rates are highest among those who spend most of their time indoors with a history of sunburn when they do venture out.

Increase your outdoor time gradually. Start with five minutes of bright sun per day for a week. Increase to ten minutes per day. Then ten minutes twice a day. Eat a good organic whole foods diet. If you are an ‘easy burner’, see your health care provider and have your B vitamin status checked. Improving nutrition can eliminate the tendency to burn instead of tan. Wear hats and clothing to block excess sun exposure.

Sunshine is good for our hearts in more ways than one.

 

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

*www.acc.org/…cardiology/…/mon-2pm-vindicate-vitamind-supplement..

Pancreatic Cancer and Oral Health

One of the curious characteristics of the healthiest people I have seen in practice over the years is the absence of toothbrushing. These people had good strong teeth and bodies right up until death, and had essentially rarely, if ever, been ill.

Science is just now exploring the relationship between the bacteria in our bodies and health. For decades the assumption was that all bacteria were bad and needed to be eradicated. Consequently, we now have a plethora of products designed to kill bacteria in as many places in our environment as possible. Our homes are sterilized with chemicals (most of which are carcinogens), our food is sterilized (killing beneficial as well as bad bacteria), our soil has lost the bacterial richness so necessary to growing nutritious food (due to the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers), our hands and bodies are washed with antibacterial soaps (the residue of which ends up in our waterways), and we brush our teeth and rinse our mouths with the express purpose of killing as much bacteria as possible. Somewhere along the line, the powers that be ignored the wise  quiet voices that suggested that some bacteria are crucial to good health. Farmers, mothers, and those who lived close to the land knew this. Many long lived healthy people have clean teeth and mouths, and pleasant breath due to a good balance of good bacteria in their mouths. These good bacteria in our mouths protect us from all sorts of disease. Washing the bacteria out three times a day is not conducive to good health.

How did they keep their teeth and mouth clean and healthy without brushing?

  1. Good organic, whole foods diet, including fermented vegetables.
  2. Plenty of antiseptic spices and herbs (raw onions, garlic, curry, etc.)
  3. Pure water.
  4. Use of toothpicks as picks and brushes.
  5. Little to no snacking.

In our modern world of refined foods and drinks it is difficult, but not impossible, to return to a healthier mode of oral health care. If you are living in a manner that fits your body, then your teeth will be squeaky clean and  without plaque. Your breath will be fresh, without brushing with toothpaste. Do see your health care provider for guidance.

Pancreatic cancer is still one of our deadliest cancers and it appears to be closely associated with a lack of good bacteria in the mouth.*

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

*Gut. 2013 Dec;62(12):1764-70. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303006. Epub 2012 Sep 18.Plasma antibodies to oral bacteria and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large European prospective cohort study. Michaud DS1,

Germs and “I” Cloud

 

In a scene from the current film Embrace of the Serpent an Amazonian shaman blows smoke across the body of a sick woman to heal her. Incense, smoke, and simply the air blown from our lungs have been used in healing for a very long time. Generally ignored by science, these methods  now bear re-examination.

Recent studies* have demonstrated what the ancients knew all along – that

each of us is surrounded by a cloud.

 A cloud that can affect our health. It is, in fact, a cloud of your own unique bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is so unique that your presence in a room can be positively identified even though you may be long gone. Call it your “I” Cloud.

That cloud of microbial essence is determined by how you live – what you think, eat, drink and breathe. It is also affected by others around you – and their clouds of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is certainly possible therefore, that if you change your ‘cloud’ you may be able to change your health. The use of incense, for example frankincense,  is not only  pleasant to smell it is also a powerful antiseptic – a powerful healer. Suddenly the notion of traditional methods of healing that can affect a person’s bacterial cloud no longer appear quite so mysterious.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

*Meadow JF, Altrichter AE, Bateman AC, Stenson J, Brown G, Green JL, Bohannan BJM. (2015) Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud. PeerJ 3:e1258 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1258