Search Blogs, Articles, and Features


Search through our articles, blog entries and newlsetter descriptions. NOTE that this does not search the Natural Health Store.


Results (Click links below to read articles)

More than 25 results were found. Only the first 25 are shown.


    Genetics and Fibromyalgia

    Dr. Kachko discusses the genetics of pain

    by Dr. Robert Kachko

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a pain syndrome that can manifest very differently for different people. Chronic pain, joint stiffness, muscle tightness, brain fog, sleep challenges and depression are just a few of the common concerns for people dealing with FM. I’ve written about the role of lifestyle in helping to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia In other articles on this website. It is helpful, though, to explore the role that genetics may play in fibromyalgia.

    Read the rest of the article by clicking the link below:

    Read the rest of the article here


    Improving Sleep When You Have Fibromyalgia

    Sleep: the ultimate reset switch. We’ve got tons of research about just how important sleep is to our long-term health and well-being. It turns out that between 67% and 88% of people who deal with long-term pain also have trouble sleeping well. Poor sleep, in this way, is both a cause and effect of pain.

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common chronic pain condition that is rather infamous for how poorly it is understood, even at the end of 2019. This is in large part because FM is a syndrome composed of many factors, rather than a single disease entity. In fact, beyond pain, people with FM may experience any combination of fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, functional impairment, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, stiffness, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome and endometriosis among others.

    One of the factors that has been most studied and best understood is the role of low quality and quantity of sleep, especially REM sleep. REM sleep is a kind of sleep that occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements and more dreaming.

    Before we can get into “what to do about it”, it’s important to spend a little bit of time understanding why this sleep/pain connection is so strong. Having a better understanding of why you’re in pain increases your chances of getting out of pain. This is important, as feeling empowered to help ourselves is essential to making the types of changes that will have a lasting impact on pain symptoms.

    Read the rest of the article here


    Pain: Sending The Right Signals

    Our bodies and brains are complex, and each of us is impacted by pain in our own unique way. However, we ALL experience pain at two (actually, more, but let’s say two for purposes of clarity here :-)) distinct levels: sensory and affective. Our sensory perception of pain includes things like where the pain is, what it’s quality is (burning, stabbing etc.), and how severe is it (on a typical 0-10 scale for example). That last part, though, is also impacted by the 2nd level, the affective experience of pain.

    This part of our pain perception, often processed by our limbic system, takes many cues from our environment and our emotional selves. This part of our brain, for example, is more primed for pain if we experience a lot of stress, depression, or fear in our lives. In effect, this is the part of our pain response that controls how much we suffer beyond just knowing that it exists.

    Interestingly, this part of the brain can also be harnessed in a positive way: once we understand what the signals are that activate these areas, we can turn them “on” or “off”. What are some of the most important areas that impact our “affective” pain response?

    (If these sound like a vocab lesson you’d rather avoid, don’t worry about the name of the brain area - instead, focus on the language that the area speaks):

    1. Anterior Cingulate Cortex - this part controls our suffering from pain and the need to “do something” when we feel it. It’s also the part that is disengaged when we give away our healing capacity to our doctors. What helps? Calm acceptance of the sensation as a signal from the body that need not go away 100% to have quality of life.
    2. Anterior Insula - this is like our internal thermostat, guiding us to understand if damage is occurring. What helps? Remembering that we’re “whole” and safe in spite of our pain, and that it isn’t a guarantee that damage is occurring.
    3. Prefrontal Cortex - this part gives meaning to our pain and integrates it into our self-concept: “who will I be in the future with this pain?” What helps? Reframing the experience to understand that the experience of pain now does not reliably predict future pain.

    More about Dr. Kachko Here


    Why Mindfulness Matters for Pain

    Mindfulness meditation is all the rage these days. Proposed as a cure-all for everything from anxiety to pain, it’s rare to find someone who HASN’T heard that it is important to be mindful. The thing is, though, that there is no single fix for chronic pain. Techniques such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, loving-kindness/compassion meditation have an important role to play as a component of comprehensive integrative pain care. An important aspect of mindfulness training comes from learning to come back into our physical bodies that are often neglected with long-term pain.

    This makes sense, of course. When our bodies ache, our minds make every effort to distract us from that unpleasant experience. Instead, our brains are primed to make our mind wander (this is actually our default, driven by a part of the brain called the Default Mode Network). The challenge with this? It turns out that a wandering mind, pre-occupied by the stories we’ve told ourselves about our past (often in the form of regrets) and worried about the future is one that is predisposed to depression and pain. If this is our default, though, what are we to do?!

    Well, one of the core benefits of mindfulness and other types of meditation is an increase in something called “meta-awareness”. Simply put, this is the state of “thinking about thinking”. It’s like sitting in a movie theatre and watching the movie (our moment-to-moment lives) WHILE also realizing that we’re in the theatre watching it all unfold. It turns out that the more we do so, the less this mind-wandering reduces our mood. The other factor involved in both chronic pain and low mood is a state of “hyper-vigilance”, where we are on constant alert of the world around us for fear of being harmed in some way. This state is characterized by living mostly in our thoughts, often ignoring our physical bodies.

    Meditation increases meta-awareness and reduces hyper-vigilance, and both things can help reduce long-term pain by literally changing the structure of our brains.

    Source: PMID: 28390029. Make sure to follow along for the remainder of July’s Holistic Pain Care Series

    More about Dr. Kachko Here


    Depression and Chronic Pain

    Depression (and anxiety, among a host of other psychosocial factors) contribute to chronic pain. In fact, in one study in the journal PAIN, 60.8% of people dealing with long-term pain met criteria for depression (PMID: 26963849). Why might this be?

    Emotional distress contributes more strongly than pain intensity to key outcomes like physical disability, work disability, and healthcare costs. For example, higher levels of perceived depression before surgery predict likelihood of successfully returning to work after surgery more than any other factor (including the the intensity of pain and disability before surgery). People in the upper half of scores for the experience of depression were 1/3 less likely to return to work and in general took nearly twice as long to return if they did.

    Why might this be the case? Well, there are many theories out there, but the strongest one is this: depression is an otherwise appropriate response to living within an environment that doesn’t align with our deepest needs. When we’re feeling depressed, we become more “vigilant” (hyper-vigilant, to be exact) to an environment that feels more threatening, more dangerous. This increase in vigilance also increases things like inflammation, oxidative stress, muscle tension, and activity of our sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) nervous system. All of these factors contribute to a higher experience of pain.

    Comprehensive care for chronic pain helps us to process these feelings more effectively, alongside all of the “physical stuff”. You’re not alone, and it is OK to ask for help.

    Source: PMID: 25527877.

    Stay tuned for the rest of July’s Holistic Pain Care Series.

    More about Dr. Kachko Here


    Kate Spade and Healing Depression

    what can learn and what can we do differently?


    Another tragic celebrity suicide.

    More antidepressants are being used than ever, with more suicides than ever - it makes no sense...

    Learn Dr. Peter's thoughts about antidepressants and what needs to happen to decrease these tragic events.



    Review of Study: Naturopathic Medicine for Anxiety and Depression

    May 2017: Dr. Peter reviews an observational study, which corroborates two other past studies which suggests efficacy for naturopathic support with anxiety and depression.

    Overall, this study sends a signal to the clinical world of psychiatry to look beyond neurotransmitters and embrace a naturopathic and holistic approach.

    This study did not merely look at a single monotherapy (eg, St. John’s wort). Instead it involved a naturopathic-based paradigm, an important and welcome seminal step towards clinical acceptance of a systems-based and more functional approach to management of anxiety and depression.

    to read the full review, click below:



    ISH Newsletter 3-26-2017: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Supplement Quality, Tea for Weight loss video, Lotus Physical Therapy

    In This Issue:


    Half Day for Health and Detox - Saturday, April 1, 2017

    Mitochondrial Health for Nervous System and Mental Health

    Better Than A Statin? The Boston Heart Panel and Natural
    Remedies for Optimal Heart Health

    50 Ways to Love Your Liver


    Article - Naturopathic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Podcast - Supplements: Quality and Use for Mood Disorder

    Radio Interview - Natural Anxiety and Depression Treatments

    Video of Dr. Pina on Dr. Oz: How Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

    naturopathic legislation moving forward

    Meet Rachelle Bojer and Lotus Physical Therapy



    Telomere Length and Depression


    Telomeres are basically little caps at the end of your genetic material – sort of like the little covers (called aglets) on your sneaker laces. When the aglet breaks, your shoe string will fray into broken strands. Similarly, when a telomere breaks, your genetic material can start to fray and be subject to getting damaged, which can lead to mental conditions like depression and anxiety....

    ...learn how to keep them healthy by clicking below



    Supplements: Quality and Mood Disorder Use


    Dr. Peter Bongiorno was interviewed in October of 2016 after his lecture at the CRN conference in Dana Point, California.

    He discussed using supplements for Mood disorder, such as Anxiety and Depression. He also talked about supplement quality.



    Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression, Part 2

    November 22, 2016

    Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a leader in the integrative health care field since the 1980's, interviews Dr. Peter Bongiorno, author of "Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program." What's the difference between fear and anxiety? What physiological reactions occur in the body when you're anxious? Is there a diet connection? What role does exercise play in ameliorating anxiety? Can acupuncture help mood? What key supplements combat anxiety? Are hormones involved? Is there ever a place for drug therapy?

    This is the second part of the interview.



    Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression, Part 1

    November 22, 2016

    Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a leader in the integrative health care field since the 1980's, interviews Dr. Peter Bongiorno, author of "Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program." What's the difference between fear and anxiety? What physiological reactions occur in the body when you're anxious? Is there a diet connection? What role does exercise play in ameliorating anxiety? Can acupuncture help mood? What key supplements combat anxiety? Are hormones involved? Is there ever a place for drug therapy?



    Nutraceuticals for Adjunctive Depression Care

    review by dr. peter bongiorno

    Natural Medicine Journal August 2016 Vol. 8 Issue 8

    Evidence suggests supplements are effective and safe when used in combination with antidepressants.

    Click below to read the article


    Nutraceuticals for Adjunctive Depression Care


    Evidence suggests supplements are effective and safe when used in combination with antidepressants.

    Read Dr. Peter's review article published in the peer-reviewed Natural Medicine Journal.



    Integrative Care for Mood and Neurotransmitter Balance and Neuroendocrine and Genetic Approach to Metabolic Control- two summary talks

    by Dr. Peter Bongiorno and Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed

    This is a summary for a webinar Drs. Bongiorno and Kendall-Reed gave to the functional medical doctor community in Dallas in April of 2016.

    This 43 minute video is a summary review of key points from their seminars.

    Dr. Bongiorno discusses the highlights of how to work with mood issues like anxiety and depression using lifestyle, dietary, and supplemental supports.

    Dr. Kendall-Reed focus her work on the Neuroendocrine and Genetic Approach to Metabolic Control where she discusses how to use both clinical symptoms as well as genetic testing to understand better how to supplement each individual to work on sleep issues, mood and weight concerns.

    This work was sponsored by Douglas Laboratories.



    Radio interview - Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug Free Program with Peter Bongirono, Naturopathic Doctor

    April 4, 2016

    Today, Ellen Goldsmith, L.Ac. speaks with Dr. Peter Bongiorno, director of Inner Source Health in New York City and author of a number of books on the naturopathic approach to treating depression and anxiety.

    According to National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affects over 40 million adult Americans and it is not uncommon for those people to also suffer from depression. Naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist Peter Bongiorno has been researching natural approaches to anxiety for over 20 years and treating patients for a dozen.

    In his new book, Put Anxiety Behind You, Dr. Bongiorno offers his holistic approach to healing anxiety and avoiding relapse with a toolkit that includes: foods and plant-based medicines, anxiety reducing yoga poses, mind body modalities that you can learn and work with to reduce anxiety.



    Spice Your Mood - Saffron for Emotional Health

    01.10.2016 - by Dr. Peter Bongiorno

    Learn about the benefits of saffron for:

    - depression
    - anxiety
    - digestion
    - Alzheimer's
    - Sexual side of drugs

    Learn whether it can be used with conventional antidepressants

    Learn about Mood Systems Balance - Dr. Peter's new formula for mood support.



    Happy New Year - discounts, pink drums and events

    Jan 5, 2016 - Issue 58

    Happy New Year from Inner Source Health.

    in this edition:

    - discounts for visits and online!

    - pink drum set music riddle, can you guess?

    - events: liver health, anxiety book signing, brain health, depression, and much more



    Healing Anxiety and Depression - News interview


    Mary Mucci of News 12 in Long Island interviews 2 of Dr. Bongiorno's patients who recovered from mood disorders by working with his natural recommendations.. One patient suffered from significant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), worrying and anxiety, and a second patient suffered from years of difficult anxiety and depression. Both patients were able to avoid using medications by working with a holistic plan.

    There is a second extended interview available here:



    Rhodiola versus Sertraine (Zoloft) for Major Depression?


    First study to pit herb against antidepressant provokes debate about treatment:

    - learn what Dr. Peter Bongiorno thinks by clicking below to access the Natural Medicine Journal



    Holistic Solutions for Anxiety and Depression - book review in Psychotherapy Today

    July 2015

    "the book is a valuable resource for trained individuals who aim to gain knowledge in the field"



    Exercise Your Way Out of Anxiety and Depression?


    How can exercise help stress and your brain?



    The Microbiome, Gut Flora and Probiotics in anxiety and depression

    originally published March 13, 2015

    Click below to read Dr. Peter Bongiorno's article on how your gut flora and the right fermented foods and probiotics can help anxiety and depression…



    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.



    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