Tag Archives: Woodson Merrell

Cool Cures from Around the World

alternahealthgrrrl.comOne culture’s medicine may be another’s entertainment, at least if you’re watching Fox News. This Health Magazine story posted on foxnews.com, Alternative Therapies that Actually Work, is a bit mundane, even though it features the well-respected and exciting Woodson Merrell, MD. It’s your standard who-knew-acupuncture-actually-helps  round up.

But check out the Reuters slide show that goes with it! I’m not sure the prenatal-dolphin-sonic-kiss treatment shown here is authentic or effective, and it’s not cool to call them “crazy cures” but it’s a refreshing twist on integrative medicine coverage. A little more reporting and we might be able to call it anthropological.

To see the entire slideshow, click over to Foxnews.com.

Related alternahealthgrrrl story:  You Call That Maternity Leave?!?!, a look at parental leave policies around the globe.

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All You Need Is Psychosocial Support

“What we call psychosocial support in medicine,” explained Dean Ornish, MD, a few minutes into his talk at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium this morning, “is really just another way of saying love.” Speaking about his program’s focus on four key aspects of patient lifestyle, he highlighted food, stress response, exercise, and lastly, love and support.

On the surface, the importance of love in healing sounds cheesy and trite, but like the Beatles song, once you hear it, feel it and experience it, you can’t resist it.

Ornish is certainly onto something. Over the years, he has made real strides bringing integrative medicine to the mainstream.  Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for his comprehensive lifestyle change prescription to reverse heart disease.  Not only will this make integrative medicine accessible to more people, it will help medical practices that approach health holistically fund their important work.

No doubt about it, Dean Ornish is spreading the love.  And to that end, I’ll share some of the things he told us today about the crucial roles of altruism, compassion and forgiveness in health and healing. (Find more on on OrnishSpectrum.com)

Fear is not a motivator for healthy change, feeling better is.

Our need for love, connection and community is as powerful as our need for food, air and water.  (He cited the successes of Facebook and Starbucks as examples of businesses that met an unmet need.  Connecting with others, via the internet or congregational coffee lounges, satisfies us.)

As with more exercise and better nutrition, your brain gets more blood flow and oxygen with more love.

This Valentines day, try spreading around some of that psychosocial stuff.  We need it!

Related story: Dr Vegan Goes to Washington


Jeffrey Bland Opens Integrative Health Conference With Talk On Inflamm-Aging

The Integrative Healthcare Symposium kicked off with a keynote speech from Jeffrey Bland, Phd, the “father of functional medicine.”  He addressed practioners from around the world who came to New York to learn more about integrative healthcare.

You can watch an interview with Dr Bland about last year’s symposium here.

This year, he tackled the Clinical Implications of Epigenetics, and gave an overview of how environment and lifestyle influence the expression of our genes—and the role they place in the development (or prevention of) of disease.

When describing nutrition’s role in health and how food talks to genes, Bland defined “inflamm-aging”:  How eating white foods like sugar and fat leads to inflammation and accelerates aging.

About functional medicine: This approach to medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership…By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients READ MORE