The ubiquitous, frivolous, and irresponsible abuse of plastics in our culture of throw-away consumerism has led to a significant environmental burden of growing concern. We have all probably heard about the huge floating continents of mostly plastic trash in that are clogging our oceans but we are just starting to learn about how microscopic particles of plastic have found their way into our food. These small particles of plastic, or microplastics, are difficult to track and quantify but recent studies have shown they are increasingly present in our food supply. Table […]
We hope the holiday season provided you downtime to experience some disengagement from the press and drive of life’s demands. We call this slowing the flywheel — that instrument within that spins and keeps the engine roaring and the wheels turning fast.
This is actually our autonomic nervous system at work, reacting to the pressures it perceives as danger by sending the signal to the body to release more stress hormones. This is to activate our defense system, get our dukes up, be ready to slay the dragon in its many […]
At Plum Spring Clinic, our holistic approach to healing chronic illness is grounded in the conviction that our well-being arises from our self-care in five major domains: happiness and resilience to stress; nutrition; exercise and movement; rest and sleep; and toxin avoidance and elimination. This article features a brief discussion of each pillar.
Happiness and Stress Resilience
The first pillar, happiness, may seem to be simple; however, it takes no less attention or practice to achieve and is certainly no less important than the other four. Many of our patients are surprised at the […]
What seems like a long time ago, I was teaching in a medical school course that introduced medical students to different philosophies of healing. A person I later got to know and become friends with, a medicine man in the Cherokee tradition named Hawk Littlejohn, gave a lecture on how he understood his approach to compare with conventional allopathic medicine. He talked about understanding illness as a loss of balance between primary forces. I’m not sure how much I remember from his talk and how much I later learned – having been stimulated to read and study Native […]
A research study conducted by the Canadian research program Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) and recently published in the Journal of the American Medical society has raised concerns about the effect of fluoride on the developing brain.
The researchers examined data from 512 mother-child pairs, with children born between 2008 and 2012, recruited from 6 sights in Canada. The researchers compared maternal urinary fluoride levels as well as self-reported maternal daily fluoride intake to the children’s IQ, assessed at ages 3 to 4 years. […]
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US? In fact, the number of Americans diagnosed with skin cancer is higher than the number diagnosed with all other cancers combined and the rates continue to rise. Research has shown that sun exposure is the number one modifiable risk factor for this potential deadly and disfiguring disease. Sun exposure also has been shown to cause premature skin wrinkling and aging. So it is no wonder that Americans are using sunscreen more frequently and in larger amounts […]
As I work with adults who experienced childhood trauma, I’ve increasing become aware of a child’s belief, deep down inside many of these folks, that they are the cause of their own unhappiness. The chronic symptoms that have brought them to see me reflects how this core belief has lingered into adulthood in crippling ways.
Most children in unhappy settings experience not only physical discomfort, but too frequently adults who are inclined to blame and be critical (the lingering residue of their early trauma). Well into adulthood, individuals who grow up in such […]
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And no, it is not snake oil.
I’m old and pretty active. I play racquetball several times a week, I garden and haul big, 50 pound bags of “stuff” around and dig and bend over and weed and Kathleen makes sure my vegetable intake is pretty good. I also spend a lot of time sitting in a chair talking to people.
I do have some cardiac risk factors and my family history in that regard is not so good. One of the clinical tools we use in our medical […]
I was a first-year medical student and like my classmates, vulnerable to developing whatever disease we were studying. Or at least compulsively worrying that I was in the early stages of its development. This week we had learned about anterior compartment syndrome. This is a condition where trauma to the muscle just on the outside of the shin-bone causes bleeding and swelling. That muscle happens to be contained in compartment composed of the tough fibrous sheet – called the fascia – that surrounds the muscle.
Because that sheath is so tough, the […]