|What did Shakespeare know about health??|
|Heart health advice from "the Winter's Tale"|
According to Shakespeare: “A merry heart goes all the day,Your sad (heart) tires in a mile.” (The Winter’s Tale. ACT IV Scene 3 ). Here the bard is connecting an unhappy spirit (and likely stress) with poor cardiovascular health.
click here for plot summary
Methylfolate Versus Folic Acid: Why the Fancy Folate?
How do you know if a common nutrient is good for you, or causing more harm than help?
Click below and visit Dr. Peter Bongiorno's blog post on Psychology today to find out.
CLICK HERE TO READ AT PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
Valerian for Insomnia, and Weaning Off Anti-Anxiety Medications
Dr. Peter Bongiorno's latest blog talks about how this ancient herb can help fix the modern problems of insomnia, anxiety and anxiety drug withdrawal.
More about Dr. Peter Bongiorno: here
CLICK HERE TO READ AT PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
The Role of Meditation in Optimal Immune Function
Two exciting studies discussed
Supporting optimal immune function is always a central goal of mine as a Naturopathic Doctor. Here's a summary of two research studies (1,2) linking the role of meditation (which has a myriad of other benefits) to optimal immune function and reduction of stress hormones.
The role of mucosal immunity is crucial in the prevention of sepsis via protection from exposure to opportunistic bacteria. 35 Chinese undergraduate students were taught Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT), which includes body relaxation, breathing adjustment, mental imagery, and mindfulness training. The aim of the therapy is to induce a state of restful alertness with improved awareness of body and breathing. The study group practiced IBMT for 4 weeks while the control group practiced a body-centered relaxation technique only. Salivary secretory IgA levels were shown to be increased in the IBMT group, with strong correlations to improved mucosal immune response. Another study assessed the role of Pranic Meditation on phagocyte function, where it was shown in 29 healthy individuals that more than 980 minutes of meditation (including 3-hour weekly training and 20 minute daily session at home) over the course of 10 weeks increases in phagocytosis and monocyte production of hydrogen peroxide along with reductions in plasma levels of corticotrophin.
1. Yaxin Fan, Yi-Yuan Tang, Yinghua Ma, and Michael I. Posner. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2010, 16(2): 151-155. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0234.
2. César A. Fernandes, Yanna K.M. Nóbrega, and C. Eduardo Tosta. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2012, 18(8): 761-768. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0718.
For more about Dr. Kachko click here
Which Diet Is Best for Your Best Mood?
What diet supports the brain and can prevent and treat anxiety and depression?
Find out with Dr. Peter Bongiorno's Psychology Today post.
CLICK HERE TO READ AT PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
The Risks of Cell Phone Radiation and How to Avoid it
Our health is a combination of our genetic susceptibility and our lifestyle choices, and our interaction with the environment takes center stage in determining how we feel. At this point, one of the most potent threats to our immediate environment is the impact of external electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). Since most people carry cell phones everywhere they go, they provide an opportunity to impact positive change in two ways:
1. Acknowledging that we lack the necessary long-term safety data on extensive cell phone use
2. Acknowledging how easy it is to make small changes which will go a long way in protecting our bodies
Every cellular phone has a documented Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and if you read the Radio Frequency (RF) exposure information for your phone you will see legally mandated recommendations from the manufacturer to keep the phone away from your body. EMFs are impossible to completely avoid in this day and age of tech-everything, but some things are truly in our control. Here are a few guidelines to limit your exposure, specifically from cell phone use:
1.Avoid holding the phone to your head: Headsets (“airtube” headsets are best) and speaker phone options are useful. Another great idea is using call forwarding when you are at home, receiving calls to your cell phone on your landline. Wired telephones and devices are ALWAYS preferred to wireless devices. Bluetooth headsets are not currently a safe alternative.
2.If you cannot avoid using the phone directly in some instances, here’s a useful trick: when the phone rings, answer it and put it to your mouth and ask the caller to “hold on one second”, hold the phone as far from your body as possible while it experiences a frequency surge, then take the call as your normally would.
3.Do not keep your phone near your body whenever possible:
a. Keep it as far from your bed as possible when you sleep
b. Do not carry it in your pocket
c. Women should NEVER hold their phone in their bra, as there have been correlations to increased breast cancer rates
4.If you have an iPhone: When you are not using your phone consistently, turn on airplane mode (you won’t receive any calls or messages) or turn off “Cellular Data” under Settings - > Cellular (you can still receive calls and texts)
Learn more about Dr. Kachko here
Acupuncture and Cancer Care
|Cancer Self Care and Acupuncture|
Complimentary medicine can offer a different perspective on you and your sense of wellness. While in treatment or even after treatment, acupuncture is a relatively non-invasive way to focus on your health and your self as a whole.
Mirroring the increased use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by patients being treated for cancer, a number of cancer centers in the United States are integrating acupuncture into cancer care.1
Clinical studies have demonstrated acupuncture as a an effective way to ameliorate many side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, post-operative pain and immune regulation.
By reducing pain and stress, improving sleep and supporting the immune system acupuncture can go a long way to improving quality of life and offering an increased sense of well being to those in treatment for and survivors of cancer.
If you’d like to learn more about how acupuncture can help when dealing with cancer, please join me on February 23, 2015 at 8pm for the talk radio podcast Stupid Cancer Show https://stupidcancershow.squarespace.com. Stupid Cancer, is a nonprofit organization, comprehensively addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media.
1. Lu W, Dean-Clower E, Doherty-Gilman A, Rosenthal DS. The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care. Hematology/oncology clinics of North America 200822(4):631-viii. doi:10.1016/j.hoc.2008.04.005.
Click here to learn more about Cynthia Hewett, L.Ac.
Essential Fatty Acids Block the Depression Effect of Interferon Therapy
|Study suggests fatty acids may prevent medication-induced depression|
Dr. Peter Bongiorno's latest blog explains how old reliable fish oil can block the depression effects of interferon, a commonly used drug for hepatitis, blood cancer, multiple sclerosis, herpes viruses, and many other diseases.
Interferon can cause depression. A new study shows how fish oil can prevent this.
Published in Natural Medicine Journal - February 2015 Vol. 7 Issue 2
CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE AT NATURAL MEDICINE JOURNAL
The Road To A Healthy Heart: What the latest research shows
Some of you may be aware that I’ve teamed up with a great company, Remedy Partners, to formulate cost effective and clinically useful recommendations for patients they manage. Our goal is to provide cutting edge research on natural approaches to health for patients who have been recently discharged from the hospital to help them get well and stay well in a sustainable way. Every once in a while I’ll share with the InnerSource Health community some of what the latest studies are showing.
The following are some general guidelines on cardiovascular health, specifically as it relates to those with Heart Failure.
***Note: It is important that you do not undertake any of the below recommendations without the consent of your physician. In addition, please note that these recommendations are not individualized for you, and your physician will work with you to optimize your individual care plan.
The Mediterranean diet has shown a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular related factors including lipid levels, insulin resistance, hypertension, and obesity. This is a mostly plant-based diet which is high in fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. There is particular emphasis on monounsaturated fats including olive oil and foods high in EPA/DHA Omega 3s, mostly from fish. Some specific suggestions include:
Whole Grains: Carbohydrates should be eaten only in the complex form (as opposed to “simple” carbs). Examples are whole oats, Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, amaranth, whole wheat, spelt, kamut, teff.
Vegetables can be consumed in an unlimited amount, with special attention paid to dark leafy green vegetables. Strive to consume abundant amounts of dark leafy green vegetables, and at least one type of orange, yellow, and red vegetable/fruit per day.
Protein: Fish is consumed regularly (daily), and poultry/eggs are consumed in moderate amounts. Fish: Salmon, cod, trout, tuna, mackerel, ahi, etc. Limit consumption of tuna to 1-2 times per week due to mercury content. Fresh salmon is an especially good source of healthy oil called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Limit consumption of red meat to several times per month. In addition, limit intake of saturated fat to 5% of daily calories.
Oils: Olive oil is the principal source of fat, and can be added to salads. Aim to consume expeller pressed or cold pressed organic Extra Virgin Olive in its raw form. For cooking purposes, regular olive oil should be used because it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil.
Additional dietary recommendations:
• Aim to limit salt intake to 1800mg/day
• Discuss how much water you should be consuming with your physician
• Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs
CoQ10: this is an essential nutrient for the health of your heart muscle, as it plays a vital role in energy production in your mitochondria. It is also a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger.
Taurine: This amino acid helps to protect the heart and to improve the symptoms related to heart failure.
Propionyl-L-carnitine: This nutrient is cardioprotective, vasodilatory, lipid lowering, and improves energy production of the heart.
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha): This herb relaxes blood vessels, increases the strength of the heart muscle, and controls heart rate.
Make sure that you have undergone an evaluation by your cardiologist regarding your exercise program. Once you have been cleared for exercise, you should aim to exercise 3-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes. Make sure that you warm up for 5-10 minutes before exercising, followed by 20 minutes of exercise, and ending with 5-10 minutes of a cool down. Walking for 40 minutes per day also has benefits for your heart and overall health.
Consider adding meditation or other forms of relaxation to your daily routine to minimize stress. Meditation is the practice of contemplation or reflection in a relaxing environment with focus on deep breathing. Research has shown that meditation programs may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce heart attack risk.
Click here to find out more about Dr. Kachko
Want to increase your chances of living longer? Follow this dietary advice
Few can argue that increasing longevity has been the ultimate goal for every life form since the dawn of time. The reasons for this have also been the subject of debate for nearly as long as human’s have had control of language. Some evolutionary theories suggest that the main incentive for increasing lifespan is to procreate, while others argue that as humans have evolved we’ve developed higher level needs grounded in an understanding of key socioeconomic tenets. The fact remains though, that historically anyone who was believed to hold the key to a longer life was highly regarded in his or her culture. In our society, where patients only consider seeing their Doctor once “disease” has already set in, we naturally forget about the role that prevention must play in optimal health. For this reason, any time research comes out showing that the foundations of health that we teach at InnerSource Health (a health promoting diet, appropriate exercise, optimal sleep, a positive mental attitude etc.) can objectively promote longer life in a highly reproducible way, I want to shout it from the metaphorical rooftops. See here goes from a study released last month:
The famous Nurses’ Health Study, which has been tracking the health of 121,000 nurses since 1976, has assessed the role that the Mediterranean diet plays in Telomere length. [I’ll digress for context: the telomere is the part of your DNA which protects it from damage. Each time our cells divide, telomeres shorten. While this is something we need to protect us from uncontrolled cell growth – think cancer – longer telomeres have also been associated with a longer life. Anything we can do to lengthen them while maintaining normal cell cycle control will increase your chances for a long and healthy life]. The researchers found that when they measured the telomere length of white blood cells in these nurses, those who ate a Mediterranean diet were more likely to have longer telomeres. This is in addition to all of the other related benefits of the diet for things like cardiovascular and mental health, and for reducing cancer risk.
As a Naturopath and Acupuncturist, I have a seemingly endless array of tools to help you get well and stay well. But all of the supplements in the world won’t do you any good in a sustainable way without incorporating health promoting lifestyle choices such as proper diet.
So then, what is the Mediterranean diet? Primarily seasonal plant based foods from local sources, whole grains, legumes and nuts form the bulk of the diet. Healthy fats are encouraged, along with various herbs and spices for flavoring (instead of added salt, for example). Red meat is limited, but fish and poultry are eaten in moderation. Red (1 glass for women, 1-2 for men) with dinner is encouraged, as well as high quality dark chocolate in moderation. Dairy is eaten but in low volumes, and fresh fruit is the main source of dessert.
Is the Mediterranean diet right for me? That depends, and is certainly something we can discuss on your next visit. There are lots of dietary options, and no one-size-fits all approach. Schedule a visit by calling 631-421-1848 to go over your options and create an individualized plan just for you.
Click here to find out more about Dr. Kachko
What is Homeopathy and what can it do for me?
Homeopathy is an extremely effective and comprehensive system of medicine that has been in use since the end of the 18th century. While it has tremendous healing potential, it is also remarkably gentle and free of side effects. Homeopathic remedies are diluted forms of substances that, if given in their crude form to a healthy person, would cause the same symptoms that we are seeking to cure in the sick.
Homeopathy is supported by the medical understanding that “like cures like,” and by the pharmacological concept of the Biphasic Dose Response (Arndt-Schulz Principle). Its efficacy is further explained by a principle foundational to Naturopathy: that the body has an inherent capacity to heal itself. Symptoms, then, are necessary, protective efforts to return the body to homeostasis. Just as any stressor we encounter will result in an organized response by the body to protect itself, homeopathic remedies serve as targeted stressors or “messages” which stimulate our adaptive capacity in a specific way which helps the body to overcome those symptoms. The properly selected homeopathic remedy (there are over 4,000 in total) matches the totality of a person’s complaints at that time, and more importantly, mirrors the adaptive healing tendency unique to each individual.
As one of many tools at the disposal of a Naturopathic Doctor, homeopathy often serves to create clarity in some of our most difficult cases. In this way, the study of homeopathy helps us gain a better understanding of our patients and forge closer relationships with them, and allows us to truly understand the whole person.
To schedule a homeopathic consult with Dr. Kachko, please call the office at 631-421-1848 or email DrKachko@innersourcehealth.com.