Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | December 2, 2009

Open in Bozeman

For those who have been wondering why I have not been posting, it is because I have been writing all the content for the website, which is now up:

I start seeing patients Dec. 7 without infamy.

The Source Wellness Center

1924 West Stevens St., Ste 101

Bozeman, Mt

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | September 29, 2009

NCNM Graduation Speech 2009

I had the honor of addressing my class at graduation.  Below is the speech I gave and the guiding philosophy of the medicine I practice.

NCNM Graduation Speech June 29, 2009

For Dr. Lawton who could not be here with us today.

Faculty, Family, and Friends.  Thank you for being here with us on this special day.  A day set aside to acknowledge that after 4-9 years there is only one test left until NCNM returns your loved ones to you.

NCNM is in the shape of an H.  On one side we have reductionism and the latest greatest research.  On the other side we have alchemy and the experience of the ancients.  For me to suggest both sides are the same would be insulting to the ancients, but there is common ground. What connects both sides is the middle hall.  What connects the programs is the connection to and the power of nature.

In this connection, there is a discrepancy in the language we use to describe it.  ND’s talk about the Vis and CCM’ers talk about Qi.  We can argue the merits of Angelica vs. Dong Quai, but really it is a language issue.  I was told I could not refer to all of today’s graduates as doctors or physicians.  While I’m sure the suggested licensed CAM practitioner is the politically correct term, it pains my soul to say it.  We are all doctors.  We are all physicians.  We are all practitioners.  We are all healers.

Let us focus on what we have in common rather than our differences. Admittedly, most of my time has been spent on the reductionist side. So please forgive me if the language I use is not the language you resonate with.  When I wrote this speech, I had all of us, ND’s and CCMer’s, in mind.

Well Doctors here we are.  The big day.  It felt like an eternity, yet it flew by.  It seems like just yesterday we were in orientation telling our stories of how we got to NCNM.  Now we are one test away from being unsupervised doctors. On our own.  All by ourselves.  If this reality is causing you a little or a lot of anxiety you are not alone.

After we told our stories in orientation, Dr. Scarlett talked about Joseph Campbell, archetypes, and the hero’s journey.  The hero, that’s us, is always hesitant to accept the call to go on the journey.  They eventually accept and go into the unknown where they face a huge learning curve.  They make some friends and gain information at a watering hole, that would be STUMP TOWN.  She said there would be a disemboweling phase during second year.  Like so many other policies at NCNM, this was changed afterwards, and a second disemboweling phase was added fourth year.  As this counts as a credit, a $300 fee was added as well.  An email was sent to our student account.

As Heiner promised we have cultivated ourselves to strengthen our connection to heaven and earth. As Dr. Scarlett promised, we have grown, matured, and become better dressed.  Today is the end of one journey and the beginning of the next.  We, like no other class I have seen, made it through school because we relied on each other.  When one person’s strengths were another’s weakness, we helped them.   We were in it together.  We worked and moved as a group to ensure everyone got what they needed.

Just because we are graduating, doesn’t mean that has to end.  We may be unsupervised in the near future, but we will not be alone.  We will still have each other if one of us gets stuck.  We may have to do it over the phone, email, or skype, but lets continue to work together.

It is okay to feel like we do not know all that we would like.  Graduation just means we have enough of a foundation to begin learning.  This is a life long process.  We may not know it all, but believe me we know enough.  We know more than enough to help people with their health.

We will have incredible successes, and will likely present some at Grand Rounds.  We will also have failures, and that is okay, as long as we learn from them. Our patients will understand.  There is a reason they are called patients and a reason it is called a medical practice.

Let our principles and oath guide us:  First do no harm.  If we don’t know, refer. This is part of the learning process.  The Healing power of nature.  Remember the Vis. The body has the innate ability to heal itself. We are not doing the healing, they are.  Identify and treat the cause. The symptoms are not the problem, only the warning sign that there is a problem.  Treat the whole person. We are more than a physical body.  We have a mind and spirit as well.  Doctor as teacher. Doctor means teacher, and we need to be one.  Prevention.  Teach people how to prevent disease and maintain wellness.

To follow in the way of the great physician we must strive to live in harmony with nature and teach others to do the same.  When treating dis-ease we must remain calm, committed, and compassionate.  We will know we are on the right path when our hearts are open and we remain humble in our devotion to saving the sacred spark of life in every creature that carries it.

As long as we follow this path, we know enough.  Our society has created an artificial environment on the presumption that humans are controllers of nature and not subjects of nature.  The further we have moved away from our connection to nature, the more dis-eased we have become.  Despite our technological progress, we still need to follow the seasons, breath clean air, drink clean water, eat food in it’s natural unprocessed unpreserved form, move our bodies in the sun, sleep in the dark, play, and love each day.  We are not designed to be stressed out every day, to drink and eat chemically packed processed things, and live in pollution.

It may seem too simple.  But yes, we are going to charge people to tell them to drink water, eat vegetables, move, breath, and sleep in the dark. They need to hear it. People, for the most part, do not know how their body works.  They do not have the owners’ manual. We need to teach them their problem is not a moxa, amino acid, hormone, or drug deficiency.  And yes, it is scientific. Occam’s Razor states “The simplest explanation for a phenomenon is most likely the correct explanation.” People will pay us for this information and we will change peoples lives with these simple logical concepts.

Society is at a tipping point in a paradigm shift and we, our knowledge, and our abilities are direly needed. We are moving from the current sick care system to a true health care system.  Under the sick care system no action is taken until after the body has lost the ability to function properly and is dis-eased. The person then goes to the doctor, is given a pill, and the person expects immediate relief.  What took years to overwhelm the body is expected to be resolved overnight. The responsibility is solely on the doctor. Why and how they became dis-eased is not addressed.  Palliation leads to suppression leading to even more serious diseases.

In true health care, the model in which we are trained, people form habits and take action to support health and prevent disease from occurring.  It’s not about what they take but what they do. When dis-ease occurs, our job is to find out why in order to facilitate and guide the person’s natural healing ability. To get them to a place they don’t have to strain to find balance.

This is what we strive for, but it is not always the reality of our medicine.  To often we fall into the trap of using the symptoms as our marker for health. As Dr. Lawton reminded us, just because the person’s symptoms went away, does not mean the problem that caused it has been resolved.  Just because we use needles, herbs, undas, or homeopathy does not mean we aren’t palliating or suppressing.

It is so easy to get caught up in the symptoms.  While we do want the symptoms to go away, we can not get seduced into thinking the person is cured because of it.  We must pursue why they had the symptoms. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY.  We must not stop asking WHY IS THAT SO.  This is health care and how cure is reached.  It will take years not 3 visits.  It is true this does cost a little more on the front end, but in the long term it saves an exorbitant amount of money and people live healthier more rewarding lives.

All systems of medicine need a measuring stick to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.  Medical doctors, green allopaths, and TCM doctors use symptoms as their measuring stick.  Symptoms do not assess the deeper imbalances.  Energy, Balance, Connection, Creativity, Purpose, Freedom, and Strength are all required for health and wellness.   Each of us need to define our measuring stick for health care.

What ever modalities we use should impact the person in these areas.

When we do this, we will be the master physician.  When we do this, we will help people in a deeper more profound way allowing them to live more meaningful lives rather than be unfilled but without back pain or fatigue.  The depth of our impact on people’s health is based on the measuring stick we use.

In the Pantheon of Doctors, some inspiring words have stayed with me that I’d like to share.

Dr. Daily, the doctor who inspired me to become a naturopath.

Don’t become bitter.  Medical doctors are not the enemy.  People fear what they don’t understand.  Help them understand.  This us – against them attitude only interferes with our patients’ care.

Dr. SS-L

Not everyone wants to be treated by a Naturopath or Chinese medicine practitioner and that’s okay.  Just be the best Naturopath or CCM practitioner you can be.

Dr. Heiner Fruehauf

The master acupuncturist is the one that has the deepest impact using the fewest needles. I would have impersonated Heiner, but no one would have been able to hear me.

Dr. Dipali Barrett

It doesn’t matter how much you know, but how much you love your patients.  You have to have the love.

Dr. Suzanne Lawton

Get them off sugar and don’t forget to check for pyroluria.

Dr. Chen

Always have a kind heart and healing hands.

Dr Neil

You must learn to follow the breath of nature.

Dr Quin

When in doubt treat the spliver.

Dr. Thom

What is the adaptive physiology of the PROcess?  Castor oil, fish oil, probiotics.

Dr. Marz

Magnesium, Fiber, and flavonoids otherwise you have One foot on the banana peel the other in a slippery place.

Dr. Windstar

Oh my God, YOU GUYS.  You are going to be such good doctors.

Before I came to NCNM I was an actor.  I used to fantasize about winning an Academy Award and giving an acceptance speech. This. This is as close as I have ever come so if you wouldn’t mind indulging me for just a moment I have a few people to thank.

I want thank my mom, sister, cousin, and Annie for making the trip to be here today. I want to thank my aunt and uncle for making sure my mom and sister could be here today. It means a lot to me that you are here.

I have to apologize to my mom.  4 years in the most fertile place in the world, and still no grandkids.  I guess I studied too much.

To my mentor and friend, Dr. Thom: thank you for walking this path with me and teaching me I don’t need to be in such an incredible hurry.

To MY INNER CIRCLE, you know who you are.  Thank you with all my heart.  I could not have made it through all that I have gone through on this journey without you.  You are my ambassadors of love and friendship.  Thank you for teaching me what those words mean.  I love you all so much.

An Immense and giant thank you to all those who came before us who changed the budget to include paying for proctology models.  And thank you to the people willing to be proctology models.  God bless you all.

Thank you to the Faculty and Doctors of NCNM for your dedication, patience, and generosity.

Thank you Steve for your dedication, patience, and generosity with our sometimes technologically impaired faculty.

Thank you Pat for being the glue of the CCM program and making sure nothing got lost in translation.

Thank you Jolie for being the keystone of the school and always having a smile on your face.

Thank you Rhonda for all that you have done for the Community Clinics and for your amazing spirit.

Thank you Noel and Rick in the library for being so helpful.

Thank you Nora, Nicole, and Leah in the bookstore for having hearts of gold.

Thank you IT trio for always taking the time to help us with our laptops, even though it’s not in your job description.

Thank you to the Registrar’s office.  Francine and Kelly.  Despite what many of us have said over the years, clearly there is a method to the madness as we are all here.

Thank you to the financial aid office, Carrisa and Laurie for continuing to make the magic money appear.

Thank you to Sally for passing out our allowance checks every 3 months.

Thank you Molly, Sarah, Shelly, Jen, and all the other rock stars at the front desk and medicinaries.

Thank you to admissions, Helfgott, Buildings and grounds, security, and everyone I haven’t mentioned for all that you do for the NCNM community.

Most of all, we need to thank all you, our family and friends.  Like JOB in the bible, you have been asked to endure.  You’ve followed us to a new city only to have us disappear in classes and books.  You thought you’d see us on weekends, but there was always that great seminar that couldn’t be missed: AK, Homeopathy, Qi Gong, Structural Integration, Cranial sacral, Undas, Herbs, Business strategies, 5 Elements.  Then you got to be the guinea pig for all the things we learned.  You became our personal practice patients on call 24 hours a day.  You’ve been palpated, auscultated, percussed, needled, and adjusted.  (Heckler: “It’s manipulated.” Response: “Alright, you got me.  I just don’t like that word.”) You’ve had to stop eating wheat, dairy, sugar, soy and what ever other tid bit we learned in class that day.  You tolerated smoldering moxa and bruise marks from cupping.  You put on the cold damp socks when you were sick, you smeared the castor oil on when you weren’t sick, and you put an addition on the house to for all the supplements and herbs we made you take.   Yet here you are.  Still with us.  Still by our side and behind us.  Cheering us on.

What is even more impressive than what you let us do to you is what you have allowed us to go through on our own healing journey.  You understood we couldn’t help others until we took care of ourselves.  Faced and healed our own traumas. To watch your loved ones revisit these dark uncomfortable places and support us through it takes immense faith and love.  It can strain even the strongest bonds.  For some, the strain of the journey was more than they could bare, and relationships ended.

It means so much to me and to us that you are here today.  Thank you for enduring.  Thank you for your unwavering faith and tremendous love.  Thank you for helping us become the physicians and healers we are and will become.  We could not have done it without you.

Lastly, I need to thank all of my co-stars today. When I decided to become a doctor, I had a very clear vision of the doctor I wanted to be.  Out of all the schools and branches of medicine I looked into, it was only at NCNM where I could see my vision becoming a reality.  The difference wasn’t in the program, but in the people.  You can’t log the hours we’ve logged together without becoming part of each other.  I am so humbled and honored that you have shared so much of yourselves with me over the past 4 years.  Thank you for helping to make my vision a reality.

Good luck on boards.  It is the ultimate scan-tron test, but not to worry.  We are all masters of filling in bubbles.

Patients are just human beings.  They want to be listened to and cared about.

Don’t forget the love and you all are going to be great doctors, physicians, practitioners, and healers.

Thank you.

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | August 1, 2009

Be Back Soon

Between graduating, studying for board exams, and getting ready to move to Bozeman, I have not been able to dedicate much time to writing.  By Sept I will be back to posting.  Any questions or topics you would like covered?

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | May 17, 2009

What’s the Deal with Gluten?


What is Gluten?: Gluten is a protein found in some types of grain.

Why is Gluten a problem?: About 85% of the immune system lines the digestive tract. The gluten protein can cause over stimulation of the immune system resulting in destruction of the villi and lining of the small intestines. Loss of villi results in poor absorption of nutrients including vitamins and minerals leading to chronic diseases like osteoporosis, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, cancer, and diabetes. The loss of lining means the barrier to the outside world has been breached. This allows abnormally large molecules and pathogens to enter the body and further chronic over stimulation of the immune system. Large molecules make their way through the body and bind and block cell receptors preventing normal cell function contributing to chronic disease. Long term chronic over stimulation of the immune system can contribute to auto-immune diseases like Hashimoto’s hypothyroid, Graves’s disease, Lupus, Rhuematoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, etc. Gluten has a strong affinity for the nervous system. Most chronic neurological disease are in part caused by eating gluten.

What is the difference between a gluten allergy and sensitivity?: An allergy is a progressively rapid and intense immune reaction, such as anaphelaxis, involving one type of antibody and certain cells. A sensitivity involves a different antibody and set of cells. The progression is slower and not as immediately intense, but the effect accumulates over time with regular gluten consumption. Very sensitive people develop more intense symptoms in a shorter time, as in Celiac disease. The majority of people with a gluten sensitivity will consume gluten for decades before symptoms develop. Often symptoms start as minor, but with continued gluten consumption they progress, often resulting in the diagnosis of a chronic disease.

Who is likely to have a gluten allergy or sensitivity?: Most people, especially caucasians, tend to have at least some sensitivity to gluten. It is much like a scale. At one end of the scale are the people who are not affected by gluten at all. At the other end of the scale are the people with Celiac disease. Most people are somewhere in between. Depending on where a person is on the scale will determine how long it will take to develop symptoms with regular gluten consumption. Even with a low sensitivity, given enough time of gluten exposure, the person will eventually develop symptoms despite having eaten it their entire life.

What grains contain gluten?: Wheat (white and whole wheat flours), Wheat bran, Spelt, Barley, Rye, Couscous, Graham, Bulgur, and Kamut contain the highest amount of gluten. The verdict is still out on Oats as there is conflicting evidence.

What grains do not contain gluten?: Buckwheat, Quinoa, Aramanth, Teft, Rice, Corn, Millet.

What are hidden sources of gluten?: 

All grains, including Buckwheat, Quinoa, Aramanth, Teft, Rice, Corn. and Oats, and Bean and Tapioca flours may contain gluten due to cross contamination if they were processed in a plant handling gluten grains or flours. To avoid this, it is best to buy these grains and flours from a source that does not handle gluten in the same facility, such as Bob’s Red Mill (I have no financial interest in Bob’s Red Mill).

Malt, which comes from barley, contains gluten. Malt is common ingredient in processed foods including corn and rice cereals. Check labels. Also Malt liquors.

Rice syrup often contains barley enzymes.

Beer, unless labelled gluten free.

Soy sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and canned soups often contain gluten unless otherwise labeled.

Some Vinegars, ice cream (used to prevent crystalization, yeast (grown on gluten grains), yogurt, lunchmeats contain gluten.

Chewing gum and chocolate bars may secretly contain gluten despite the label. It is not an ingredient, but is often used to prevent sticking to the conveyer belt.

Most processed foods contain gluten either as an ingredient or due to contamination during processing. It is best to avoid processed foods.

Medications may contain gluten. If you are on meds, ask your pharmacist.

Glues, including stamps and envelops, art supplies, cosmetics, toothpaste, cleaning products, soaps, and shampoos may contain gluten. Go to for a more extensive and specific list.

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | May 5, 2009

The Reality of the Swine Flu

First, let’s take a collective breath and look at this thing objectively.

Here’s the quick and dirty:  Currently, this flu does not look like it is able to cause a pandemic in it’s current form.  A human strain of influenza virus picked up genetic info from a pig virus. (Viruses do exchange genetic material for greater variability and survival.  Bird and pig viruses are common species we are concerned with.)  This has the potential to be dangerous because the virus now is in a form the human immune system does not recognize, allowing the virus to take over and kill.  Most viruses become less virulent (deadly) with each new host.  Viruses, like most life forms, have a drive to reproduce the species and killing the host does not help this.  This is what is happening with this swine flu: potentially deadly at first, but has become less and less so.  Also, viruses do not do as well in warm moist climates, which is the season we are entering in the US.

Best case scenario: This strain could die out over the summer, problem over. 

Worst case scenario:  The virus stays around, mutates into a form that does not become less virulent and is highly infectious.  Humans would be in trouble.  This is not meant to alarm anyone but the reality is due to short life cycles viruses have high rates of mutation, so it is a possibility.  It could also mutate into something even less infectious.  Fall and winter of 2009-10 will have the answer.

Here’s the long version:

There are essentially 4 categories of reactions to viruses and other pathogens.

1: The person does not have a susceptibility to it and the body deals with it with little or no symptoms.

2: The person is healthy but has a susceptibility to it.  They respond with an intense reaction and recover quickly or die.

3: The person is not as healthy, has a susceptibility to it, reacts, but in a less effective way and is not able to completely rid themselves of the virus.  They will go on to have chronic symptoms and conditions, like asthma, chronic fatigue, etc.  These are the people who will say they haven’t been the same since they had that flu or infection.

4: The person who has no ability to respond to the pathogen either because of already in poor health or because their immune system has no idea how to react to something it has never seen.

When we are talking about death rates in the pandemic range as in the 1918 FLu, the fourth category is the predominant reaction.  The next question should be why would a relatively healthy person’s immune system not be able to react to a virus.

The answer is because it is unlike anything the body has seen before.  We are surrounded by viruses, bacteria, and fungus all the time.  We are literally covered with them and filled with them every day and it is not a problem.  Due to frequent exposure to these pathogens the species has adapted an immune system that can keep them from being a problem.  It has seen them before or something similar and knows how to deal with them.

When the pathogen looks like nothing our species’ immune system has ever seen we do not know how to react properly and the virus takes over.  This is what happened to Native Americans when Europeans came to America.  The Native Americans were exposed to viruses and bacteria they had not evolved with and their immunes systems were not able to react in an effective way.  (I am not saying Native Americans are a different species.  That subset of the species did not evolve with the same set of pathogens as Europeans.)  

Viruses are constantly adapting and evolving.  They stay a little ahead of us because of their more rapid life cycle.  There are many different strands of influenza virus.  The human immune system is used to seeing the human version.  Pigs, birds, and other animals have their version and strands of influenza virus.  Sometimes these viruses that affect separate species end up in the same host and they exchange genetic information.  This has the potential to create a virus that can infect humans but does not look like anything the human immune system has seen before.  This is what has happened with the swine flu.

This is only a problem for the greater population if the virus is very infectious (passed easy from person to person) and does not decrease in virulence (intensity of infection).  This does not seem to be the case with this flu. Subsequent infections are not as deadly.  If it were the case, the death rate would continue to as high as it was initially.  

Viruses, like other life forms, have a drive to reproduce to perpetuate the species.  Killing all potential hosts does not bode well for the life span of the virus’ species.  Typically they decrease in strength each time the virus is passed to a new host.  This does seem to be the case with this flu.  Again, initial hosts died from the infection, but subsequent infections are not as deadly.

So what is going to happen to the swine flu?  What is likely is that the virus will become weak enough that it does not pose much of a threat.  Viruses do not do as well in warm moist weather, which is the season the US is heading into.  In a few weeks, the swine flu scare will be out of the headlines and we will be focused on the NBA finals and Stanley Cup.  The virus may die off in the summer.  That’s the best case scenario.

Viruses have a very short life cycle, increasing the chances for mutations.  The worst case scenario is the virus may survive the summer and potentially could mutate into a form that is more infectious and does not decrease in deadliness with each new host.  This would be very bad for humans.  In past epidemics and pandemics it is the second and third version of the virus that is the most deadly.  Hopefully it will go the other way and mutate into a form that is less infectious.  The fall and winter cold and flu season of 2009-2010 will hold the answer.  

  Either way, your best bet is to do things to increase your health and vitality.  See your local naturopathic physician for more information.

For more info on the flu go to

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | March 8, 2009

An Open Letter To Jon Stewart

Dear Jon,
America is like a rock star. It was born out of rebellion. It was hungry to prove itself and took on the world with its enthusiasm. It wanted to be number one without selling out its values.

After years of paying its dues, America made it to number one. America swore it would not forget where it came from. It got an entourage and even made some movies.

After being at the top for a while, like all rock stars, America got arrogant, cocky even. It got lazy with its success and over indulged in its fruits. America lost its conviction and drive to be the best. It still performs, but it is not as good as it used to be. Now, it seems like it is just going through the motions and living full-bellied off its preceding accomplishments. Like all aged rock stars, America is fat, out of shape, and has a prescription drug habit. It sold out years ago, yet now people are finally noticing.

America needs to go to rehab. Unlike Brittany, it needs to admit it has a problem. It needs to pull its head out of its own ass and get help. It needs to rediscover the sound and the values that made it great, and then put out a double album. Unlike most rehabbed rock stars, America doesn’t need to go out on tour. Part of America’s rehab is to come home from the road and rest. And, yep, you guessed it, America naturally defaults to our pop-culture instincts of self-recovery and zones-out to the tube… and that’s where your part is played, Jon.

The truth remains: America trusts you as a refreshing news source. You are the most honest and impartial anchor we have, God help us. And you are funny, you give us our daily dose of medicine with a spoonful of sugar and a heavy-handed shot of grandma’s whiskey. But there is nothing funny about America’s current predicament. Our health care and economy are going down the toilet to join our reputation for the past 8 years of blindly Rockin’ in the Free World. We are hooked on foreign oil and processed, cream-puffed ideas like middle-aged white women on The Bachelor. Our environment is polluted and our food supply resembles food in name only, both of which are forcing an evolutionary experiment on us all. Our health care system and economy are collapsing from the weight of an obese nation.

The current structure for health care is failing and any attempt to create a universal health care plan will not come close to saving it if these two underlying issues are not addressed; first, our poor health choices and, second, the rather obvious to everyone… money. No other country in the world makes money off sick people, and I would venture to say that we are a nation of self-neglected and misinformed, looking for easy answers; thinking that throwing more money at it will make it all better.

If the government simply focuses on funding “for profit” insurance companies where creating health is not in their perceived best interest, then this short-sighted subsidy is not going to change our nation’s faltering health.

Barrack Obama alone cannot save us. We must save ourselves. Unlike the lessons taught to the Auto and Banking industries, it is time Americans take responsibility for their personal choices. The choice of an unhealthy diet, lifestyle, and environment cannot be bailed out with pharmaceutical medications and surgery or universal health care. Our bad habits have unnecessarily cost us hundreds of billions of dollars annually in direct sick care expenses for preventable chronic diseases. The solution is to take preventative actions before the problem develops.

Slowly, people are shifting back to the philosophy of natural medicine. This makes sense because natural medicine is based upon prevention of disease, contains sustainable practices that benefit the health of individuals and the environment, and best of all it’s a helluva lot more affordable than a 2-day visit in the hospital. Taking poison pills for eating poison, drinking poison, and breathing poison will not make poison related diseases go away.

You may be wondering, “Why me? Why have I been chosen?” The answer is simple. Steven Colbert is too busy working on a top rated show, and you have the hutzpah to grab any beast by its horns. Like you, I love this country. I realize that it is a waste of time to throw words upon deaf ears…. which brings me to my last point, America listens to you. It is clear you love America and want what is best for it. And you happen to have a soap box that can reach the nation.

Here’s the beef: I ask that you include natural approaches to medicine in your sardonic commentary regime. Easy dosing really, slip it into our nation’s sub-consciousness so that we can leave this derailed health care monstrosity behind us. Let the people know they have an option in their approach to their health and they can benefit their life, the environment, the economy, and ultimately Barrack Obama’s legacy with their choices.

I think America was great and can be great again, but it will take work. This means acknowledgment of our failures so that we can correct them, and in the meantime, you can use our failures as fodder for higher ratings. It’s a win-win really.

Not that you can’t research it on your own, but if you want a primary source for naturopathic medicine you may email me, Lou Walters. I am currently swamped with my final year at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon; otherwise, I would have written a book and come on your show myself.

Thanks for stickin’ it to the Man,

Edited by Kimberly Brown

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | February 17, 2009

Multi Vitamin Study

A recent women’s health study showed that taking a daily Multi-vitamin did not reduce the incidence of Cancer or Heart Disease. In its critique, the Alliance for Natural Health argues that given that chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease have long development times and are often triggered by events in earlier life, evaluating the effects of low dose supplements in older women is a futile exercise. Many of the women would likely have been in a pre-clinical disease phase, so evaluating the effects of low dose supplements in later life while knowing virtually nothing about their lifestyle and nutrient intakes during their younger years is a classic case of “too little, too late.”

While the study used low dose vitamins, I will go a step further. Cancer, Heart Disease, and other chronic disease prevention is not about the strength of the vitamins. They are supplements, meaning supplemental or in addition to eating healthy foods. They are not replacements for food at any dose. Carrots are a lot more than just beta carotene and tomatoes are not lycopene with seeds.

Prevention of disease is more than just diet (the food we eat) and exercise, because health is a balance of career, fun, love/romance, family/friends, environment, spirituality, money, diet, and exercise.   Adequate amounts of these items can not be obtained in pill or capsule form.  Any imbalance of these can lead to chronic disease over time.

The ANH is correct that chronic diseases begin in childhood, even though symptoms do not usually appear until much later in life.  This is due to the body’s ability to adapt to keep us going.  The body’s physiological wisdom is not concerned with decades.  It’s focus is on making it through today.  Left unbalanced, decades of this adaptive physiology leads to signs and symptoms of chronic disease.  Cancer is not the tumor.  Heart disease is not the arterial plaque.  Cutting them out does not solve the problem.  Cancer, Heart Disease, and other chronic diseases are the process of adaptive physiology over prolonged periods.  To cure and prevent them the WHY the body is forced to adapt physiologically for decades needs to be addressed.  Trying to block the physiology is not the answer.  It is not simply a Chemo, Statin drug, or Multivitamin deficiency.

To truly cure and prevent chronic diseases people will need to actively pursue balance in each of the areas of health previously mentioned.  It will also require revisiting and resolving emotional traumas of their past.  No drug, prescription or over the counter, or vitamin at any dose can lead to the quality of life that balancing each aspect of health will provide.

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | January 25, 2009

What are common sources of indoor pollution?

In 1900 humans were exposed daily to about 10 chemical toxins. Today we are exposed to over 10,000 daily. The human body’s ability to process toxins has not changed.

The goal is to limit toxic exposures and increase the body’s ability to process and eliminate toxins.

Common Household Chemical Exposures Symptoms (list is not all inclusive):
Brain fog, irritability, altered mood, fatigue, headaches, tremors, vertigo, numbness, loss of balance, memory loss, learning difficulties, depression, asthma, cough, dry throat, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, muscle weakness or spasms, impaired sleep, hormone imbalance, breast tenderness, PMS like symptoms, menstrual cycle deviations, sweating, flushing, unusual paleness, loss of libido, and low sperm count.

Sources of Common Household Chemical Exposures

Non organic produce is coated in pesticides and chemical fertilizers. These toxins are concentrated in the skins. Washing in water does not remove them.
Solutions: Buy organic, wash in 5% vinegar or radish stems, or peel skins.

Large Fish, such as tuna, shark, sword fish, and halibut are potentially high in mercury, which affects the nervous system.
Solutions: Eat smaller fish such as salmon (non farm raised), anchovies, sardines, artic cod, and trout.

Processed foods and farm raised salmon are high in preservatives, chemical ingredients, and food coloring that add to our toxic load.
Solutions: Eat fresh, local, organic foods without preservatives or dyes.

Non organic meats tend to be high in artificial hormones, antibiotics, and various chemicals.
Solutions: Eat meats from local, organic free range animals fed their natural diet (Just because it is organic does not mean the animals were fed their natural diet.)

Food Packaging: Chemicals from Plastic and Styrofoam packaging can contaminate food.

Drinking water can be contaminated from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, animal waste, industrial wastes, and other chemicals seep into underground water tables or run off. Fluoridated and chlorinated drinking water can be problematic for many. Drinking water can also be contaminated with heavy metals due to old pipes and soldering.
Solutions: Use a high quality water purifier. (Many bottled waters or no better than tap water, so be cautious.)

Plastic containers and plastic wraps:
Plastic containers (numbers 3, 6, and 7) release chemicals into foods and drinks they contain. The release of these chemical is greatly increased with heat.
Number 3 found in cling wrap, cooking oil, and peanut butter jars leach phthalates, suspected of being endocrine, reproductive, and developmental toxicants and carcinogenic.

Number 6 found in Styrofoam, which contains butadiene and styrene, suspected carcinogens.

Number 7 found in baby bottles, “Sport” water bottles (Some Nalgene bottles), clear plastic sippy cups, microwave ovenware, and plastic utensils. Number 7 plastics release bisphenol-A, a chemical that mimics estrogen contributing to abnormal reproductive growth, birth defects, and prostate and breast cancer.
Solutions: Do not use or store food and drink in these types of plastic. Use glass, ceramic, stoneware, or metal containers. DO NOT HEAT FOOD OR DRINK IN PLASTIC CONTAINERS.

Cleaning Supplies:
Many common household cleaners are chemicals that can be harmful to human health.
Solutions: Baking soda can be used as cleanser. Dilute vinegar can be used as a glass, counter, and furniture cleaner. Dilute tea tree oil can be used to kill mold on surfaces.

Building materials off gassing:
Particle board, Carpets, Glues, Sealants, Paints, Stains, Insulation, and new Furniture release toxic gasses polluting the air in the home.
Solutions: Use green and environmentally friendly building materials. Use an air filter (Health Pro Plus has more #1 reviews than any other). Fill the home with plants, especially Spider plants, which are natural air filters.

Kerosene, wood, coal, gas, and oil heaters can release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide polluting the air in the home.
Solutions: Have proper ventilation of ducts and chimneys, replace filters regularly, clean ducts annually, use an air filter, and have plenty of plants in the home.

Lead exposure can be the result of paint (prior to 1974), solder of copper pipes, leaded fuel, and batteries. Kids are commonly affected as they are more susceptible and likely to come into contact with paint chips and contaminated soil.
Solutions: Besides avoidance, adequate intake of zinc, calcium, and iron from food prevent lead absorption.

Other things that can be done to eliminate chemical toxins: Castor oil packs, dry skin brushing, probiotics, exercising daily, drinking plenty of water, eating organic veggies and fruit of each color daily, especially garlic, onions, lemons, rosemary, curcumin, steamed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | January 11, 2009

Evidence based Medicine

Myth: Alternative Medicine is not Scientific

I have recently heard several people mention that they think Naturopathy is not evidence based medicine. First off lets define evidence based medicine (EBM)= “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” (Sackett D, 1996)

Evidence is categorized into three levels:

* Level I: Evidence obtained from at least one properly designed randomized controlled trial.
* Level II-1: Evidence obtained from well-designed controlled trials without randomization.
* Level II-2: Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort or case-control analytic studies, preferably from more than one center or research group.
* Level II-3: Evidence obtained from multiple time series with or without the intervention. Dramatic results in uncontrolled trials might also be regarded as this type of evidence.
* Level III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert committees.

The myth I would like to dispel is that alternative medicine is not evidence based when in fact it is as evidenced based as conventional medicine. Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) is made up of 30% EBM and conventional medicine is made up of 40% EBM. Many people would be surpise to know there are no positive level I and minimal level II studies of the efficacy for ANY surgery. There was one double blind placebo controled study of knee surgury, half the participants had “fake” kneee surgury, and the study showed those who had the fake surgury had better outcomes then those who had the actually surgery.

There is a 10% difference but when you consider there are 814,000 MDs (according to the AMA) in the country and only 2,000 NDs to provide clinical evidence and the support for alternative medicine research is consideribly less then conventional it is amazing that the gap is not larger.

Places to find CAMand conventional medical research:

* Google Scholar
* Cochran Review

* CRISP Database —Federally funded biomedical research projects (CRISP)
* CAM on PubMed—Journal citations specific to CAM (National Library of Medicine)
* Search for NCCAM-funded publications (National Library of Medicine)
* PubMed—Journal citations (National Library of Medicine)
* NIH Policy on Public Access to Research Information (NIH)

For more on EBM visit

This article was written by my friend and colleague Sarah Marshall.  I have posted it with her permission.  For more of her writing check out her site: Enso Center, found in my links.

Posted by: thesourcewellnessandhealthcenter | December 29, 2008

The Chirstmas Spirit

Christmas or More Christ is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, a symbol of love, peace, forgiveness, and generosity. Santa Claus is another symbol of Christmas and the spirit of love and generosity. Christmas is a time to remember the birth and life of Jesus, as well as Santa through acts of love and generosity to others, especially the less fortunate.

Somewhere in the retail market, the meaning of Christmas has been altered. Gift buying and giving seems more of an obligation for many. It’s Christmas therefore we have to exchange presents. Often, giving a gift is more of a formality to get a gift we want. Then there are those who go to great lengths and expense to get their loved ones the big ticket items they desire.

While it is nice to give the people we love the things they want, the meaning of Christmas gets lost in consumerism when this is the sole purpose of the holiday.  Nowhere in the story of the birth of Jesus is it mentioned that Joseph waited in line for hours at the market to get baby Jesus the latest toy sensation, the draddle.  The inherent spirit of Christmas is about celebrating love of and generosity to our fellow humans, especially to those less fortunate than us.

Christmas is not about what gifts you give or receive. Christmas is not about how you treat others in the month of December. Jesus didn’t just help people in his birthday month. The spirit of Christmas is bigger than that. The spirit of Christmas reminds us we are all part of one extended family, humanity, and we need to honor and care for each other as Jesus and Santa did. The spirit of Christmas should fill us not for one month, but for the entire year. The love and generosity of Christmas day should be with us every day for all people.

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