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/Michael Sharp, M.D.

About Michael Sharp, M.D.

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So far Michael Sharp, M.D. has created 32 blog entries.

It’s my fault

By | 2019-09-09T15:33:59-04:00 September 9th, 2019|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles, Uncategorized|

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 […]

The Gym

By | 2019-07-25T15:46:12-04:00 July 25th, 2019|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

The Gym

I can save you money!!

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 […]

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First Year Medical Student

By | 2019-03-12T14:02:08-04:00 March 8th, 2019|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

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 […]

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The Factory

By | 2019-03-08T14:00:50-04:00 September 10th, 2018|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

Functional Medicine: thinking of your body as a factory

In our holistic medical practice we are increasingly looking into metabolic disturbances that often have far reaching and unpredictable consequences on health and wellbeing. Given increasingly sophisticated technology, we can pull away the curtain that then reveals blockages in normal body functions.

One analogy I use is to imagine a manufacturing facility that makes a lot of different products of amazing abilities.  One of the surprising features of this facility is the relatively simple supply chain. It can make widgets that are used in lots of different products […]

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The Last Place

By | 2017-01-23T19:14:56-04:00 October 31st, 2014|Articles|

I find myself exploring people’s minds for what’s going on in their body. And this is what I’ve found: The mind, particularly the part of the mind that holds our secrets, can torture us, body and soul.

I see a lot of people who have chronic back pain, fatigue, diarrhea, migraines, arthritis, and insomnia. They’ve been to their primary care physician, a specialist, a chiropractor, a psychiatrist and a physical therapist. They’ve had x-rays, scans, blood and urine tests. They’ve been on medication or supplements and may have been in therapy. They’ve changed their diets and taken meditation classes. And still […]

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Paul’s Lessons

By | 2014-09-22T12:04:49-04:00 September 22nd, 2014|Articles|

40 years ago last month, I started my internship in Pediatrics. Since then I’ve had a convoluted professional (and personal) path, but I observe a theme in that path – my attraction to families dealing with chronic illness and disabilities. My father was a physician who taught me that medicine is more art than science and the core of the art is respectful, caring talk. An observer of my career trajectory might see it as a search for the meaning and effective manifestations of his belief. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be mistaken.

One of my best childhood friends had […]

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The Importance of Kindness

By | 2014-05-14T14:02:12-04:00 May 14th, 2014|Articles|

I have been studying trauma and its effects on our health. There is troubling and compelling evidence that adverse experiences—especially in childhood—hurt us in the long run in every way imaginable.

I see more women in my practice than men by about a ratio of about 2 to 1. I see illnesses that are complex and multi-system in nature. For example, many of my patients have both headaches and digestive problems that don’t get better with medication. I see patients who don’t sleep well and have disabling fatigue. I see people who gain weight and can’t get it off. […]

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Picking up the Phone – Some of my tools for fighting anxiety

By | 2019-09-06T17:20:25-04:00 January 6th, 2014|Articles|

I’ve been writing in this column about trapped fight-or- flight responses as the origin of post-traumatic stress disorder. The theory is that the primitive part of the brain that controls our nervous system’s response to threat needs to come to completion any time it is startled into action. The body wants to fight or flee and if it cannot, the energy of those powerful impulses are stuck. Imagine your accelerator and brake both on […]

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The Inner Cage – How your body can hurt you by trying to protect you.

By | 2017-01-23T19:17:16-04:00 November 4th, 2013|Articles, Events and Announcements, Functional Medicine|

It’s a scary idea. That we might have a disease process going on with no symptoms or signs to help us know that there’s a threat. This is the concept that drives the importance of routine physical exams and doctors visits. And certainly some of the diseases that shorten our lives or lead to disabilities can be discovered in their earliest stages in these routine health maintenance visits. But there are some that cannot.

I discussed in my last column the work of Peter A. Levine1.  He is the father of what’s called Somatic Experiencing2. It is his hypothesis that many diseases are […]

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