Category: Medicine, Naturopathic
Just the other day, Martha reconnected via email with an old friend of ours, John Weeks. I first met John back in the mid-1980's when he was the first Development Officer for Bastyr College. I got to know him much better while was serving with him on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) Board of Directors.
John has gone on to carve out a career as the Editor/ Publisher of The Integrator Blog, a website devoted to "a health care system that is multidisciplinary and enhances competence, mutual respect and collaboration across all health care disciplines."
In emailing back and forth with Martha he directed us to a little blurb he had just published on the recent AANP Convention which had mentioned a long forgotten (although not by John) suggestion of mine about creating 'model states' as part of our drive to secure license in all 50 states.
That was interesting enough, but more jostled me out of my typical late morning indolence was a discussion elsewhere about the chronology and authorship of the phrase 'Integrative Medicine'.
In another move undoubtedly destined to make me even more popular with Andrew Weil (who is widely credited with it authorship) I wrote John a quick note that mentioned off-the-cuff that I had used the phrase long ago when I was part of a small committee responsible for formulating the first clinical curriculum at Bastyr College.
Well, after we conducted a see-saw email interview, John wrote a rather nice little blog about it.
Just finished the NAP Professional Services Webstore and Learning Environment. With its completion, I've realized a long standing goal: To have NAP website that is optimized for the health professional. A few of the cool new features that I've built into the site include:
- Extensive discussions of the pharmacology and biochemistry behind the indications and actions of each product. As an extra bonus, I've created a new and distinct version of the Individualist Wikipedia which directly hyperlinks entries to appropriate NAP products.
- Access to members-only monthly 'webinars' conducted by myself and the NAP Professional Technical Staff (attendance limited to 25 seats). A key feature of an NAP Webinar is its interactive elements -- the ability to give, receive and discuss information. To sign up for NAP Professional Webinars, contact Professional Services toll-free in the US at: 877-226-8973 or by email the Webinar Desk. NAP Webinars are free to all NAP Professional Clients. I'll be lecturing at the next webinar on 'Cancer Survivorship' Monday, August 11, 2008 at 8PM EST
- NAP Professional Accounts can also participate in the new Pharmashare Professional Affiliate Program.
- Early notification of upcoming limited attendance IFHI Micro Conferences.
- Physician-to-Physician Live Help via real time chat.
If you are a licensed health professional (or IfHI certified educator) and wish to open an NAP Professional Services Account click here and fill in the details. Within 24 hours you will be sent a special password to allow you full access to the site. If you are an existing professional client of NAP you can contact Professional Services toll-free in the US at: 877-226-8973 or by email at NAP Professional Services and they'll register you right away.
I'm slated to lecture at the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians 2008 Conference. I plan to present on 'Verisimilitude and Malignancy.' Mimicry is an early step in the metastatic process and an important factor in the continued cancer-proneness of survivors. This lecture will discuss nutritional interventions physicians can employ to address these susceptibilities to enhance the survivorship of their oncology patients.
NYANP 2008: Balanced Health: Putting It All Together
8:30 am to 7:30 pm
American Conference Center
3rd Ave (between 48th and 49th) New York, NY
New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians Website
I will also be lecturing at the 2008 IFHI Certification Micro Conference held by the Plateau Eat Righters on October 25, 2008 in Crossville, Tennessee. This conference is being hosted by my friend Larry Nesbit. It is an IFHI approved certification test site and they will be administering the cetification test for IfHI Fellow.
More information about the Plateau Eat Righters 2008 IFHI Micro Conference is on the IFHI site.
We've been rearranging the clinic this past weekend. My office is being converted into a more general-use, conference-type room. While this sounds perhaps like a demotion, it is actually being done at my request. With the addition of Dr. Colicci to the D'Adamo Clinic staff, we are doing more of a team approach to the patients, and this did not work with an office devoted to just one physician.
Probably the best thing we're adding to the room is a 4' by 8' white dry erase board. This will allow us to 'teach' the patient about the particulars of how we plan to structure their approach. I normally do a lot of this, most often drawing on the examination table paper (which many people take home as a souvenir). I love to explain stuff, but I'm a very 'visual' type person (love to draw, etc.) and if truth be told have always been a bit nonplussed by the whole 'performance' component of doctor consultations, i.e me behind the desk, across from the patient.
It is amazing what this small change in visit structure has done to my perspective. Whereas I used to think 'I've got six patients today,' I'm now finding that I'm thinking 'Hey, I've got six classes to teach today.'
This will also be helpful with regard to the practitioner training that we do at the Clinic, since I can't think of the last time I've seen a patient when there was not an extern or preceptor in as well. Frankly, I'm finding that naturopathic education is still leaving a lot to be desired (amazingly, they don't teach nutrigenomics; have one class each in genetics and immunology; and do not learn any statistics or bioinformantics). I know that there are the 'nuts and bolts' to teach, such as the anatomy and physiology, but it is surprising just how little space these students have for the real aspects of naturopathic practice, since they are so busy learning and memorizing a lot of things which will allow them to pass a board exam, but could more easily be simply looked up while in practice.
SWAMI is coming along nicely. I've written another 1,000 lines of code; mostly the 'calculation' subroutines. A bit more of that and I'll more onto the 'search and sort' and 'report' modules. I'm thinking of licensing a consumer version (SWAMI-lite) of the program that will allow anyone for a small fee to input their own data and run a single version of the SWAMI program. I'll just have to see how practical it is.
Final plug for the lecture that I will be giving at the New York Open Center, February 15th at 7:30 PM. It is only $30, and they give you a free hardcover copy of The GenoType Diet which I would be most happy to personally inscribe for you. Click here for more info.
This late breaking bit of news: I've just received an email that the supplement facts boxes are now online for all The GenoType Diet products. Hopefully this will provide folks with the information that they need to decide whether they want to include these products in their supplement plans. A big thanks to my friends Jon Humberstone and Keith McBride for working over the weekend to make this happen.
Video of the Month:
Michael Moore is a guy it is not hard to have an opinion on, and I actually have a few. However his film 'Sicko' does cast aside the curtain on the con-job that Americans are fed about just how 'great' our health care system is. In the meantime in this video clip he also shows just how flaccid and conformist the US major media is:
IfHI Faculty Member Dr. Emily Kane sent me this note:
"Recently there was been discussion on a Naturopathic chat group about the validity of blood type diet, with (IfHI Master) Dr. Virginia Oram being one of your most fervent defenders! Our moderator commented that corn could hardly have been "bad" for all those native Americans. The highly esteemed Pam Taylor offered the following perspective:"
Back in the mid-70's a group of us were doing some comparative studies of skulls from Woodland Native American tribes and skulls from Central America with Dr. Jerry Rose (U. of AR, Dept. of Anthropology), whose specialty was medical anthropology. He pointed out the outlines of arterial imprints in certain groups of the Woodland skulls, which were noticeably larger than those from Central America. He theorized that the adaptive development of the larger blood vessels was a response to the presence of anemia, requiring greater blood flow to supply an adequate amount of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
The discrepancy was due to diet. The Woodland tribes were known to have cultural "boom and bust" cycles where they would spend some time hunting and gathering while the population expanded and became more robust living off game, fish and berries. Skulls from these groups did not display the enlarged blood vessels. When the tribe reached a certain level of vitality with a large enough population to afford a greater division of labor, they would find a place to settle and and farm, with corn as a staple. The significant increase in corn consumption as a dietary staple eventually resulted in anemia, a lower fertility and birth rate, and a level of irritability that led to less cooperation, more fighting (as evidenced by breakage and healing patterns in the bones), increased mortality and injury, a smaller band of individuals, and eventually resulted in their having to abandon a settled life style and resume hunting and gathering.
He theorized that when native populations in Central America prepared their corn by grinding it with limestone tools the grit that mingled with the corn contained a chemical had an inhibitory effect on corn's assumed inhibition of iron uptake.
Recent rat studies indicate that the periodic iron deficiency anemia of the Woodland population during their settled agricultural periods was more likely due to the amino acid imbalance in the corn (see article notation below) rather than a specific factor inhibiting its uptake. However, the physical evidence over time consistently supported the idea that when the Woodland groups were hunting and gathering, with substantially less corn in their diet, they were measurably healthier.
Studies in cultural anthropology spanning nearly a century note specific disease susceptibilities peculiar to different blood groups. But for sure, whether it's from an anthropological perspective or a naturopathic one, the contributing factors to health and disease, whether focused in an individual or extended to a culture, are multiple and multi-layered.
On days when I have a string of obnoxious patients, I definitely miss the bone lab.
I seem to remember reading that changes in dental and skull molding were also seen in so-called 'Mound Builder Cultures' that appeared to correlate with their evolution to an increasingly corn-based diet. That corn may have had this effect takes nothing away from its sacred role in these societies. It was a key subsistence food which allowed populations to grow and avoid starvation, despite the fact that it may have been a suboptimal source of some key nutrients.
Living on an avoid food is probably better that starving because you can't find any beneficial ones nearby.
Fact is, my research has not met with great acceptance in the naturopathic community. It indicates prudence and occasionally some honest skepticism, although I also think a lot of NDs just can't grok it intellectually. So like the chat moderator, they see it in only its most simplistic manifestations, thus requiring only the simplest objections.
Although you might think that capitalizing on the potential for polymorphisms and biochemical individuality would be a 'no-brainer' in a healing art like naturopathic medicine, the reality is otherwise. Maybe in time things will change, but for now my work lies in that wonderful 'excluded middle' that Charles Forte alluded to; misapprehended by the allopaths and naturopaths alike.
Nonetheless, my old friend, Dr. Pam Snider, who is running the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine project, an attempt to codify naturopathic tools and techniques, recently asked me to author two entries (co-author with Dr. Joseph Pizzorno on the genomics chapter; lead author on the genomic medicine chapter; and contributing author on nutrition chapter.) I don't know where I'll ever find the time to do this, by Martha has said that she would help out, which almost always makes things better.
Getting ready for a lecture this weekend at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. They invited me to do two lectures on Saturday, for a total of about three hours running time. I suspect they don't have much awarenes of the GenoType material, so I'll do the first session on blood groups and then perhaps the second on GenoTypes and epigenetics.
Speaking of which, running factor analysis on the GenoTypes yields interesting spacial distinctions. Here is a graph of two principal components of data aligned along the point of maximum variability seen with the so-called 'classic genes'. It helps to imagine the small lines as actually coming out at you, if the graph could be in 3 dimensions.
The Explorer GenoType sticks out under these conditions as a very unique archetype.
Congratulations to my dear friend and colleague Dr. Paul Mittman, who received some well-deserved recognition as the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) â€˜Physician of the Yearâ€? for 2007. Paul is just a great guy and a true asset to the profession. Without his early support The Institute for Human Individuality (IfHI) would have been impossible. Sadly, Paul also recently suffered the loss of his father.
Sometimes it's just nice to know how many people love and admire you, especially at times like these and (if you are reading this) Paul, know that Martha and I love and admire you very, very much.
Paul Mittman getting his Physician of the Year plaque at the 2007 AANP convention. I got one in 1990. Mine had a dent in it.
Speaking of IfHI, I just finished the new practitioner lookup page. If you are looking for someone who uses these types of principles in their practice this database can be a great resource. It is now searchable by name, state/province or country.
I was watching the news on TV and these two commentators were tossing the word â€˜terrorist' around. If you were to believe these guys, everyone in the Muslim world was a terrorist. However, as any decent historian will tell you, today's terrorist is often tomorrow's freedom fighter. During the American Revolution patriots often tarred and feathered neighbors who were loyal to England or who just wanted to be left alone and not have to choose sides. Many of these people were hounded out of their homes (which were often grabbed by deserving 'Sons of Liberty') and exiled.
Now these same terrorists get microbrewery beers named after them.
Calling someone a â€˜terrorist' is a lot like calling something â€˜unscientific.' It almost never adds anything to the discussion and likely tells you more about the accuser than it does about the accused.