A Psychiatrist's Response to Khizr Khan's Speech and Trumps Reaction to Mr. Khan

The battle for the presidency of the United States currently unfolds before us, as living history. I am profoundly moved, to add my voice, to those who have spoken for the continuance of our beautiful country, and the unifying principles that bring us together, as a social network that supports, not only ourselves, but each other.

In reading about Khizr Khan and the criticism and coldness he received from Donald Trump, I wish to support Mr. Khan, not secretly or privately through email or letter, but publicly, through my blog. He is such a brave and heart-centered man.  To speak to the point, to say what is true, to appeal to both mind and heart, is central to the preservation of our democracy. 

What I like, about Mr. Khan and his spirit, is that he is not intimidated by Trump, who has more money and social status than he does. Mr. Khan has a moral compass, and he unapologetically proclaims it.  He has the boldness to say: 

“What he (Trump) said originally — that defines him . . . people are upset with him. He realizes, and his advisers feel, that [his original statement] was a stupid mistake. That proves that this person is void of empathy. He is unfit for the stewardship of this great country. You think he will empathize with this country, with the suffering of this country’s poor people? He showed his true colors when he disrespected this country’s most honorable mother. . . . The snake oil he is selling, and my patriotic, decent Americans are falling for that. Republicans are falling for that. And I can only appeal to them. Reconsider. Repudiate. It’s a moral obligation. A person void of empathy for the people he wishes to lead cannot be trusted with that leadership. To vote is a trust. And it cannot be placed in the wrong hands.”

In response to Trump’s attack on his wife, Khan said that the Republican nominee’s words were “typical of a person without a soul.” (The Washington Post, Stephanie McCrummen, July 31, 2016 1:00 a.m.)  

As a psychiatrist, I am not an expert on politics, and normally, I do not write any commentary about the political process.  But this year is different, I am drawn to the political process, not because of any interest in, or experience with, politics, but because I am an expert on empathy, the mind, and the heart of an individual.  It is very clear to me that our country is divided into two groups, with strikingly different values and priorities, symbolized by our current presidential candidates.

One group uses fear, blame, anger, and promises, to appeal to the masses. The other group uses hope, mutual responsibility, tolerance, and dedication to hard work, to appeal to the masses.  One inflames. The other inspires. One says, "I, alone, can fix your problems." The other says, "We can do it together."

Of course, there is plenty of fear, in even the best of us, and when we hear Trump make his promises, so convincingly, there is a child in us that wants to believe him and wants to shift our responsibilities onto his shoulders. We hope, in our hearts, that he could fix our problems and save us. 

However, responsibility is the other side of the coin for freedom.  If one does not have any responsibility, one has lost one's freedom.  Therefore, to give our responsibilities away, is the same as giving away our freedoms.

Empathy, also, is the price we pay for true power.  It is easy to block our painful feelings (shame, fear, or resentment) and shift the blame for our suffering to our neighbor, a foreigner, or another country.  But when we do, we are saying, "I do not have the power. They do. Because they do, I will reclaim my power, by eliminating my enemy." Power has never been reclaimed this way, and it never will. 

In reality, when we look at ourselves honestly and, with humility say, "I can and will do better." We begin to reclaim our innate power, which had been waiting beyond the door of authentic suffering, without needing the fantasy of an enemy.  Not only do we start to use our innate power to help ourselves, but through compassion, we are motivated to help others.

In this election process, the allegiances of certain political leaders tell me a great deal about who they are. When one candidate condemns Trump vociferously and, in the next moment, endorses him, what does it tell me, of who they are beneath their rhetoric? It tells me that they do not have the strength, to be a living example of their words, through real action.  It tells me that they lack integrity.  It tells me that they are afraid of being their own light in the darkness.

Being a light in the darkness means that, when the whole world might choose what is mean spirited and an easy way out, one chooses to remain compassionate and true to one's moral compass. I honor those Republican candidates who have remained a light in the darkness.  I see their light shine, as the darkness deepens around them.  I hope that they will remain brave and honest, when challenged to be otherwise.

Like Mr. Khan, I have something to say to those candidates who have aligned with Mr. Trump: we see you, as you are, through your choices. Don't be the fools that paraded along with the king, in the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." In the end, you will share the sting of shame, as the truth reveals his vanity. Mr. Trump is the Emperor without clothes. But you don't have to march down the street, celebrating his new wardrobe, pretending you see something, when you know well enough there is nothing there.

Ten Clinical Tips on Antipsychotic Withdrawal

When an individual becomes psychotic, typically an antipsychotic medication is used to ameliorate symptoms. However, there are many side effects associated with the use of antipsychotics, and often no clear method for coming off the medication once symptoms are under control. In addition, withdrawal from an antipsychotic medication, after taking it for several years, may often result in withdrawal symptoms that mimic the original psychotic illness, sometimes several months later.

Is it possible to withdraw from antipsychotic medications safely and successfully, without the recurrence of psychotic symptoms? I believe it is possible, though not easy. Knowing how to lessen the stress of tapering will improve your ability to experience a smooth, safe, and successful outcome.

Over the years, in the process of learning about medication withdrawal in general and antipsychotic withdrawal in particular, I have found that, in addition to supporting the body with proper nutritional support through diet and supplements, there are aspects of the withdrawal process that are valuable to know beforehand, for a smooth and safe withdrawal process. They are as follows:

  1. Carefully follow sleep patterns: Do not reduce antipsychotic medications until sleep has increased through nutritional and energy medicine support to at least 9 hours per day. Lowering antipsychotic medication when sleeping 8 hours or less would lead to insomnia--one of the early symptoms of stress during withdrawal.  I have found that ultra CBD, a hemp oil extract, can be helpful to patients for supporting sleep and appetite, when needed.
  2. Use liquid antipsychotics if available: It is easier to taper down in small amounts when using liquid antipsychotics. Of course, this principle applies to antidepressants or anxiolytics as well. If liquid antipsychotics are not available, they can be specially compounded through certain compounding pharmacies, especially through pharmacies that also sell nutritional supplements.
  3. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support: typically I use a combination of whole food powders such as acai, goji, and maqui powder to lower oxidative stress.  I also highly recommend an anti-inflammatory diet and restricting wheat, dairy, and white, refined sugar.  Among the anti-inflammatory supplements I use are Restore (a supplement for the gastrointestinal system), probiotics, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. Strengthen the GABA neurotransmitter system: The GABA system provides the physical message of tranquility.  By increasing the neurotransmitter that is central to creating calmness and peace, people are able to rely less on the effects of an antipsychotic. I often recommend GABA rice (about half a cup twice daily) or liposomal GABA. Zojirushi makes GABA rice cookers and can make GABA rice from organic, brown rice. Organic, germinated brown rice cooked in a regular rice cooker will also make GABA rice.
  5. A "step-down process of withdrawal":Although there are many factors that can make antipsychotic withdrawal difficult, different antipsychotic medications have different levels of difficulty during withdrawal, based on their psychopharmacology alone. Consider Zyprexa, it affects approximately 17 different subtypes of receptors, while Haldol affects two dopamine receptor subtypes. In between, we have Abilify, which affects 10 different receptor subtypes, while Seroquel affects seven different receptor subtypes. When these medications are lowered, the body has to adapt to the number of receptors that become unblocked.  It follows that it is easier for the body to adapt to changes, when there are fewer changes to adapt to.  When lowering an antipsychotic medication that affects many different neurotransmitter subtypes, such as Zyprexa, it may be helpful to use a "step-down process," tapering down the antipsychotic through the use of another antipsychotic that affects fewer receptor sites. For example, when tapering down on Zyprexa, gradually increase the dosage of Seroquel. Once the individual is only on Seroquel and has safely and completely weaned off of Zyprexa, then gradually taper the dosage of Seroquel while gradually increasing the use of liquid Haldol. Once the individual has transitioned to Haldol and has completely been weaned off Seroquel, then very gradually lower Haldol. All the while, the individual should be using supplements and energy medicine to facilitate the recovery process. Tapering off Haldol, the last step of the "step-down process" may be easier to achieve successfully than coming directly off of Zyprexa.
  6. Treatment of contributing causes:  Infection, toxicity (heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides), genetic mutations, and traumas all contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation, which affect mental health.  Treatment of these underlying causes will be critical to a successful withdrawal.
  7. Minimize social stressors:  Abrupt changes and demands, losses and traumas can undermine the ability to come off an antipsychotic medication.  It is important to consider the social context and to support a calm, predictable, and yet, rewarding set of circumstances for optimal healing to occur.  Psychotherapy is often a critical and central part of the healing process, by strengthening insight, forgiveness, presence, and healthy coping strategies.
  8. Guided Visualization/Meditation:  I recommend to my patients the use of an audio track called "Minimizing Withdrawal Problems" to listen to once per week.  It uses meditation and intention to support the body's ability to adapt to dosing changes.  This track is available on my website to download from the digital products section.
  9. Collaboration with other integrative health practitioners: It is helpful to create a treatment team of integrative practitioners who can work together to help the patient heal.  Each can bring to the process a special set of skills that can support the patient during this difficult process.
  10. Give it time: the journey is just as important as the end goal of being off a medication.  It is often better to give oneself more time to heal, on a medication, than to force the process and experience physical discomfort from withdrawing too quickly.  Medications are helpful in many ways and should not be viewed as an enemy in this process.  Improvements in health will naturally result in a need to rebalance the dosage of medications to a lower amount.

Nutritional Know-how: Ten Essential Principles

There are thousands of nutritional companies each touting their products as being the best. The amount of information on nutritional supplements is overwhelming and almost impossible to navigate. In this maelstrom of options, it is important to follow a few guiding principles on choosing and using nutritional products. For those interested in nutritional supplementation, the ten following principles can help establish a foundation in nutritional know-how:

1. Start by changing your paradigm for healing. In holistic treatment, the old medical paradigm of “one pill for treating one symptom” can limit our ability to truly heal. Supplements are not medications. They are components of the physical body–the raw materials that create life function. Thinking in terms of “zinc for energy,” or “magnesium for stress” is analogous to thinking, “wheels for speed,” or “brakes to stop.” Sure, wheels can give you speed and brakes can help you stop, but attaching them to the rest of the bike helps too. Your body works more like an assembly line, and it needs all the parts to be present to make one final product. That final product, in turn, is but a cog in the whole, complicated machinations of your inner workings. Begin your supplementation from the ground up, wherever your personal “ground” is at the start, and work towards creating a basic foundation of the essential aspects of nutritional support: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, glycoproteins, detoxification, and gastrointestinal support.

2. Support physiology, don’t fight it. Many glorified symptoms, elevated to the status of full-fledged disease or diagnostic label, are actually struggling healing processes in need of additional support. Inflammation, for example, is a symptom that can be treated in various ways. One can debilitate the immune system with a drug and destroy the patient’s ability to generate an inflammatory response, resulting in a prompt decrease in inflammation. This approach stems from the attitude that inflammation is the ultimate enemy and must be destroyed at all cost. The cost, of course, is the patient’s health. An immune system is useful to one’s health after all. A holistic approach, on the other hand, may be to provide the patient with a systemic enzyme that supports the immune system in destroying the toxins and non-self particles scattered throughout the body. As the job of ridding the body of “enemies” gets done, the inflammatory process is no longer necessary, and inflammation will naturally stop. When using nutritional supplements, aim to support the body, approaching symptoms from a different angle, rather than from the aggressive, but foolhardy, “Rambo” approach.

3. The process is just as important as the content. Too many people surf the Internet and are persuaded by well-written ads to purchase products, which promise to eliminate an annoying or debilitating condition. With this approach, the best ad wins. True healing, however, comes from understanding the process of healing, knowing what should come first and how to move from one step to the next. It does not come from a “magic pill”–a fantasy that is part of the “quick fix” mentality. It is important to analyze how to get where you want to go, rather than focusing on buying and using supplements. Some people start off with severely crippled gastrointestinal systems. Others may struggle with allergies to foods and supplements. Some begin with extremely high levels of toxicity. Often people begin with personal hurdles that may interfere with taking orthomolecular amounts of nutritional supplements, even though the supplements may be desperately needed. The process of healing begins differently for each individual, and knowing how to take the required supplements is just as important as what supplements to take.

4. As the body heals, it can handle more. Usually patients need to start with smaller doses of very highly absorbable supplements, because the gastrointestinal system is so severely compromised. You have to be able to handle them, before you can take them. Just because a person may need a particular supplement, does not mean that the person can handle it when it enters the body. For example, some individuals may not be able to handle digestive enzymes initially, because there is hardly any enzymes in the gastrointestinal system to adequately handle the digestion of the digestive enzyme tablet. It may just settle in one spot in the stomach and digest away that little spot where it rests. The approach in such circumstances is to find a way to help the person to be able to handle the product over time. I have found aloe juice to be very useful in healing the gastrointestinal system when the patient is not quite ready for a digestive enzyme, and energy medicine, such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), are quite useful for eliminating allergies to foods and nutrients. Generally, over a period of about a month, patients can move from liquids and sprays to whole food powders, going from very small amounts of supplements to “normal” dosages of supplements. Bloating and gas are often indicative of problems with handling the additional nutritional load. Sometimes the additional nutritional load may be due to changes in the patient’s diet, such as eating more raw vegetables and fiber, which can be more difficult to digest. Starting with low doses and moving up to the recommended dosages will help a patient to steadily improve without a shock to the patient’s metabolism and digestion.

5. The most effective amount is dependent on absorbability. The level of absorbability determines ultimately how much of the product actually gets to the cells in your body and how quickly you will heal. From the most absorbable to the least: energy medicine, liquids/sprays, powders, chelated products, vegetable capsules, gelatin capsules, and finally tablets. Or, in general, from the most absorbable to the least: whole food liquid/powder supplements, whole food capsule/tablet supplements, ionized liquid supplements (e.g., some mineral products), and finally, fractionated supplements. In general, people benefit from a combination of whole food and fractionated supplements. The fractionated supplements providing additional amounts of specific nutrients, while the whole food supplements serve to form a general nutritional foundation for meeting daily needs and any additional nutrients necessary for the healing process.

6. Work with companies that have a good reputation. The easiest way to begin is to go to a health food store that also employs a natural or holistic pharmacist. A natural pharmacist is knowledgeable about both medications and nutritional products. Stores that carry supplements and employ a natural pharmacist (generally they do special compounding of medications as well) are highly specialized in providing excellent nutritional products. They also have staff that are knowledgeable and eager to help you with selecting the best supplements. There are many nutraceutical companies that only sell to practitioners or to health food stores. These companies tend to have high standards for their products as well, or they will soon be out of business. Some multi-level marketing (MLM) companies carry excellent products as well. So, do not ignore nutritional products just because they come from an MLM company. Cheap supplements found in stores that focus on selling candy, shoes, or clothes are not the kind of supplements that would be chosen by knowledgeable experts in the field of orthomolecular medicine, and will often be a waste of your money.

7. Taking out the bad is like adding something good. Just as in math when two negatives result in a positive, in orthomolecular practice taking away toxins is like adding more nutrients into your system. Sometimes it takes a lot of aspirin to relieve a problem of sitting on tacks. Remove the tacks, all of them, and you would no longer need to take aspirin. Some of the common toxins that need removing are: negative thoughts/habits, refined sugar, junk food, cigarettes, coffee, toxic metals (e.g., mercury amalgams), allergens (e.g., wheat, dairy, food dyes), and candida. When detoxifying, I have learned to avoid having patients take supplements that cause the toxins to be dumped into the blood, requiring the liver, spleen, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system to work harder than ever to remove them. Often these systems are too sick to handle more work, and this approach may result in more anxiety and illness for the patient. It is generally better to detoxify through the skin or the lymph system, heal the organs of detoxification (liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal system), and stop the influx of more toxins.

8. Your diet cannot be replaced by supplements. Supplements can help speed up the healing process, but the goal of healing is not to trade one dependency with another. Over time, it is essential to learn about the right foods to eat and the ones to avoid. Improving the diet will be a critical part of healing no matter how many supplements are being taken, because there is no substitute for good nutrition. Organic foods have less toxicity and more nutrients when eaten fresh. Super foods such as goji berries, hemp seeds, sprouts, chlorella, and aloe juice can help bolster the amount of nutrients/serving. Again, I cannot emphasize enough that for many people, initial elimination of refined sugar, wheat, and dairy products can be extremely helpful for supporting the immune system and decreasing physiological stress.

9. Create an easy system for taking supplements. Taking the number of supplements in the right amount and at the right time can be overwhelming without an organizing system. The healing process, however, depends on the patient’s ability to take the supplements reliably and regularly. For those who take orthomolecular amounts of supplements, there are often combinations of liquids, powders, capsules, and tablets, adding up to 20 or more different nutritional supplements. One method I have recommended is to purchase a plastic container from a hardware store that is generally made for holding nails. It has seven across and three down in terms of the number of slots for nails, and it can serve as a roomy container for supplements. With a roomy container, supplements can be sorted into these slots one week at a time, saving a great deal of time spent opening and closing bottle caps. To faciliate taking the supplements regularly without missing dosages, it is also important to keep them in a convenient place within easy sight. Additional time in the morning need to be calculated into the morning routine to take supplements. Otherwise, the need to be at work or school on time may interfere with the ability to take the supplements regularly.

10. When it’s too complex, ask for help. Patients are as different as snow flakes. The right type and amount of supplements depend on the patient and the goal of treatment. Some are trying to get off antidepressants; others are trying to get off antipsychotics. The permutations for the type and amount of supplements are infinite, and the way to approach one’s healing can be too difficult to handle alone. Because it can get very complex, rather than trying to do it alone, it is best to have support from those who already know the information. Climb on their shoulders rather than try to learn everything from scratch. The more specific the help is for you, the better it will be tailored to your needs, rather than trying to fit you into an algorithm found online, or a fixed treatment regimen created for a specific diagnostic label.

Infinite Intention CD – A Groundbreaking Tool for Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit

Consciousness in Healing & Improvements in Care
Phenomenal, groundbreaking, magical, and amazing!
Infinite Intention?? is all of these things, and it’s . . . practical!


THE MIND CAN HEAL


It’s not just a theory. . . You can put it into practice and observe for yourself.

Anyone who wants to learn how to do the Infinite Intention?? technique can now do it easily, inexpensively, and conveniently. This 2-CD set helps you to 1) focus consciousness through intention, 2) connect consciousness to infinite energy, and 3) manifest consciousness in matter.

I have developed the Infinite Intention?? technique over the past four years in my clinical work to help my patients reduce their dependency on pills to heal. Intention as a healing tool has no boundaries with time or space, and has the potential to heal at all levels: physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Whether the CDs are being used to help with physical illness or just for personal enrichment, the benefits from using them can be magical and profound.

CD 1:

1. Infinite Intention: An Overview

2. General Healing at All Levels of Being

3. Infinite Intention: Shortened Version

CD 2:

1. The Mental Magic of Intention Without Visualization

2. Setting Your Own Specific Intentions

3. Strengthening the Immune System

4. Minimizing Withdrawal Problems

5. Using Infinite Intention to Intensify Intuition

To purchase your copy, please use the PayPal button below or contact me at 301-802-4474. Cost per 2-CD set is $50.00 plus shipping and tax. There is a quantity discount for multiple purchases.


More or Less Free: Creative Freedom Through Healing the Mind

“I know why you do it,” she said.

Sitting outside a Greek restaurant on a late spring day, I was chatting, with a friend of over 25 years, about my work as an orthomolecular psychiatrist, catching her up on the highlights over the past six months.

“Why?” I asked, wondering if she knew me well enough not to say that I did it for the intellectual challenge.

“It’s about freedom,” she said firmly, as sure of herself as I was astonished. She did understand.

“My life is dedicated to creative freedom through healing the mind,” a phrase from my website, popped into my mind. Over the years, my dedication to freedom of the mind grew like a flower, blossoming on a cactus, in the middle of the desert. Because, it grew despite years of being raised Chinese, living in Utah, training in medicine, and practicing as a modern-day psychiatrist. Conformity filled the air I breathed. The repeated droning of countless expectations, memorizations, manipulations, and regulations was like the background droning of a beehive, with its rigid rituals and dances.

Through it all, I developed a singular appreciation for creative freedom and a deep understanding of its value in my life.

What is freedom of the mind? For me, growing up, it was what I held on to. It was a beautiful oasis, an escape from convention and conformity, that nourished me through years of mind-boggling, brain-washing prolixity. Like a fortress next to the eroding effects of ocean waves, I protected my freedom to think freely against the millions of little ways that people can scrape it away, one thought at a time.

This ability to quietly reflect on any matter, think about it from multiple angles, explore its possibilities, and differentiate between truth and convention, served me well in time. With this ability intact, I was able to reflect on the field of medicine and come to certain conclusions about its strengths and weaknesses. As a free-thinking individual, I was able to choose that which served my patients the best. Because I understood the importance of freedom, I knew that for my patients, what I chose would matter very much to them. My friend was right. What led me to orthomolecular psychiatry was the hope that my patients could be free, not just from dependency on medications, but from me. I wanted them to be truly free.

For those with mental illness, freedom is like an ephemeral dream. The field of psychiatry is practically defined by the words “incurable” and “unknown.” Attacked by illness from within, affected by medications from without, and surrounded by ineffectual interventions, a person with mental illness struggles with shackles as binding as the chains of slavery. As a traditional psychiatrist, I found that I was able to ease the pain from the chains of mental illness; but as a holistic psychiatrist, I was able to set people free. In time, I proved to myself that chronic mental illness was a side effect of ineffective, traditional psychiatric treatment, and not the defining characteristic of the illness at all.

George Orwell wrote in 1984, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Likewise, in today’s medical milieu, the choice to practice holistically is a revolutionary act. Although I initially chose orthomolecular psychiatry for its medical advantages, I learned that it had great social implications. By choosing a holistic approach, I stood for something that, for some, was unimaginable and could not exist. From some perspectives, what they could not imagine as possible, could not and should not exist for anyone else either. These people did, in time, hear about my practice, and my practice became a battlefield where the forces for convention tried to stamp out the forces for freedom.

And that is where I stand right now: in the midst of a struggle between traditional psychiatry and orthomolecular psychiatry. This struggle represents many things to me. But, as I think of my choices as a psychiatrist, I can’t help but step back and reflect, as I have done throughout my life, and observe people and events with the detachment of someone who has always been free and yet, not free. I understand both sides of the struggle and know that I have no enemies, just people who are more or less able or willing to be free.

On Maslow and Medicine

For the January, 2008 newsletter, I had a great idea for an article. It was to be called “Synopsis of Simple Truths.” I was all excited about sharing and compiling the wonderful ideas and concepts I had learned over the years since I began using orthomolecular and energy medicine in my psychiatric practice. These simple truths had given me the power to heal beyond my wildest hopes or dreams, and had helped me to be the holistic psychiatrist that I am today.

However, I realized as I sat down to the task, that such an article could be considered similar to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses–blaspheming against the church of the almighty medical establishment–and I could be considered as much a heretic of mainstream medical fundamentalism as Martin Luther during the Reformation. And since the Maryland Board is not pleased with me right now for suing them for their unconstitutional persecution of alternative medicine, I decided that now would not be the ideal time to unveil any simple truths. So, moving on.

Of course, being as I was stuck in my writing because of society’s state of medical affairs (which places our nation in the enviable position of spending the most money per capita for health care, yet placing us among the ranks of other third world countries in actually achieving health), I focused my thoughts on those factors that have not only interfered with my newsletter, but have interfered with progress in medicine as a whole.

In particular, I thought of the evolution of medicine within society, and the challenges physicians face during transitional periods in medicine. The movement from psychoanalysis to psychopharmacology was a such a shift in the 1950’s. Today’s shift from psychopharmacology to complementary and alternative medicine poses many of the same challenges for physicians, patients, and society. Change is difficult and often does not happen in a coordinated and smooth fashion. Sometimes physicians, such as I, are taught information and given tools which are accepted as self-evident by one part of society, e.g., among patients and cutting-edge academicians, but rejected by those who are slower to embrace change, e.g., certain government establishments. When these situations arise, the physician is left with conflicting responses to their progressive approach: acceptance on the one hand and rejection on the other. A choice must be made at this juncture: whether to continue the journey of self-actualization or to accept the status quo.

Which brings us to some ideas that Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), a leader in humanistic psychology, taught in self-actualization theory:

Maslow’s Self-Actualizing characteristics

* keen sense of reality – aware of real situations – objective judgment, rather than subjective
* see problems in terms of challenges and situations requiring solutions, rather than see problems as personal complaints or excuses
* need for privacy and comfortable being alone
* reliant on own experiences and judgment – independent – not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views
* not susceptible to social pressures – non-conformist
* democratic, fair and non-discriminating – embracing and enjoying all cultures, races and individual styles
* socially compassionate – possessing humanity
* accepting others as they are and not trying to change people
* comfortable with oneself – despite any unconventional tendencies
* a few close intimate friends rather than many surface relationships
* sense of humor directed at oneself or the human condition, rather than at the expense of others
* spontaneous and natural – true to oneself, rather than being how others want
* excited and interested in everything, even ordinary things
* creative, inventive and original
* seek peak experiences that leave a lasting impression

According to Maslow’s famous “Hierarchy of Needs,” a person’s highest need falls under the category called “Self-Actualization.” Here, the person is no longer a pawn of greed, status, or reputation, but has an inner drive of wholesome principles that govern the person in his or her life course. Maslow’s Self-Actualizing characteristics include, among others, “reliant on own experiences and judgment — independent — not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views,” “comfortable with oneself — despite any unconventional tendencies,” “true to oneself, rather than being how others want,” and finally, “creative, inventive and original.” After reading this list of Self-Actualizing characteristics, one could say that Maslow was either referring to a group of outlaws, or he might have been referring to those pioneers over the course of history that had transformed our society for good.

Needless to say, being “creative, inventive, and original” is not a quality of the highest priority in the medical field. Neither would being “reliant on own experiences and judgment — independent — not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views” be rewarded with any stars on the physician’s forehead. In fact, I would say that these characteristics are considered flaws of the highest sort in a physician of the 21st century — punishable by law through imprisonment, revocation of licenses, fines, and all those other acts that have replaced being burned at the stake. Perhaps for the unfortunate physician, self-actualization is an expensive luxury. For to do so, one would need to be flanked by several respected attorneys.

In my case, without meaning to be offensive to anyone, I had been unobtrusively learning the principles and practices of orthomolecular and energy medicine, integrating them into a coherent treatment system, and then developing ways to heal using basic principles learned in these fields as taught through textbooks, conferences, mentors, and authors long dead–but still useful. I was, in all modesty, “creative, inventive, and original.” As a result, I became quite good at helping patients recover from mental illness without needing to prescribe medications, and became capable of helping patients get off medications with much greater ease. In this natural progression of my understanding about healing, I found myself in the ironic predicament of being vilified by the Maryland Board of Physicians as an apostate and adored by my patients as a savior.

The process of self-actualization which lead to a conflict between my higher principles and the Maryland Board’s expectations of me as a physician would not have occurred had I been allowed to practice as a holistic psychiatrist undisturbed. However, it did become a conflict for me when the Maryland Board sought to impose the opinions of unqualified peer reviewers and nonexistent guidelines on my practice. Of the three peer reviewers asked to review me, only one admitted that there was no standard to judge by and gave me a positive review. Two others considered themselves qualified to judge my work in orthomolecular psychiatry and energy medicine without having any clinical experience or training in either field. Not only did these two peer reviewers lack the training and the ability to heal patients without medications, they lacked the ability to even imagine that it could be possible. In short, I was being measured by psychiatrists who had failed to demonstrate during the course of their career any interest or aptitude in alternative approaches to mental health care. Given their level of ignorance, it was no surprise that these two peer reviewers concluded that the appropriate “standard of care” would be to use the same prescription medications and dosages that the patient would have received had she gone to a traditional, allopathic psychiatrist who knew nothing about alternative interventions.

However, after all that I had learned above and beyond my medical training, I came to think of their “standard of care” as being substandard care. Substandard care defines mental illness as a chronic, incurable condition. The standard of care that had evolved in my practice allowed individuals to heal from mental illness without depending on prescription medications to achieve a natural state of wellness. The Maryland Board would not tolerate such independence of mind, and I would not tolerate substandard care for my patients. Therefore, I was forced to protect my right to heal holistically through the court system.

For the Board, the mere fact that I had attempted to heal holistically was interpreted as an act of negligence, for according to them, I had neglected to worship sufficiently the very heart of medicine and Big Pharma business–prescription medications. By the old paradigms of medical practice, a physician is judged by the appropriate use of prescription medications. In addition, the paradigm presumes that mental illness cannot be appropriately treated without relying on prescription medications. But what if science has outmoded these paradigms and the reality standing before them is a new kind of creature: a physician who does away with illness without using prescription medications? What to do with such an anomaly! Do physicians stop being physicians if they choose to heal without relying on prescription medications? Can one assume that mental illness only responds to drugs, and punish a physician for practicing orthomolecular psychiatry before any evidence of harm? And what is to be done when a physician continues to heal people right and left without needing prescription medications? Should they be reprimanded for forgetting to add that central ingredient–prescription medications–when obviously it is no longer quite so central?

These questions lie at the heart of the debate between the Board and I in court.

In the long scheme of things, I rest assured that progress will prevail as surely as the knowledge of the world being round eventually got around. The sun now spins in the center of the solar system rather than the earth. And the time will come when a physician will no longer need to justify in court the practice of healing people without relying on drugs.

However, for now, as a holistic physician, I must choose between the status quo (level 4) and fulfill my need for acceptance, or self-actualization (level 5) and risk losing my license. It is precisely at such crossroads that opportunities exist to show true character. As Maslow once noted, self-actualizers “seek peak experiences that leave a lasting impression.” The opportunities for leaving a lasting impression is inherent to the role of a psychiatrist. However, as a holistic physician, the opportunities to leave a lasting impression during these pivotal times in medicine include transforming society’s basic paradigms on health and healing and being champions for our patients who rely on our integrity and courage.

Heroes and Heroines: Patients that Make the Work Worthwhile

Sometimes, people ask me whether being a psychiatrist is a depressing job. On a tough day, I would say that it is. On those days, I would envy the baggers in the grocery store–how nice to have the task of putting groceries in a bag for someone! I’m sure that bagging groceries would also have its frustrations, but sometimes when I look at the baggers, I would yearn for the sheer simplicity of their work.

Consider for a moment what is required of a psychiatrist on a routine day: to fix minds and heal broken emotions, to save lives and salvage joy. Now that I am practicing as a holistic psychiatrist, I add to my list of patients those whose medications don’t work for them, or who want to get better using orthomolecular approaches–work that brings me fulfillment and joy, but also additional demands. Yes, on a tough day, it’s easy to see why all I want to do after work is curl up in a chair and read People Magazine. It’s a nice distraction.

However, just as a mother wouldn’t quit after years of struggling with crying, tantrums, vomit, or sleepless nights, a psychiatrist doesn’t just quit because the going gets tough. Patients are like children. As we serve, guide, and nurture them, we find ourselves learning, growing, and benefiting twice as much in return.

One of the most wonderful aspects of my work with patients is that I get to learn from them and admire them. Like crocuses raising their blossoms through snow, I see my patients bearing great challenges with a beautiful spirit of courage, faith, and humility. It’s one thing to be the doctor and tell the patient what to do, it’s quite another to be the one to do it and have to live with the consequences. Especially during the long journey of lowering psychiatric medications, the amount of faith and courage it takes for a patient to do so is beyond what most people can comprehend. For, consider this: what can be more devastating than losing one’s mind or emotions, and what kind of courage does it require for someone to voluntarily put his or her mental health at risk for the sake of freedom? The stakes are extremely high and the level of trust and faith a patient demonstrates must be equal to the task.

Many years ago, I had a six-year-old boy with bipolar disorder whose mother brought him in faithfully to see me once a week and sometimes twice a week. She was a single mother who had to struggle against the negativity of an unsupportive ex-husband. Through much of her son’s life, his illness caused him to treat her with disdain. In addition, the cost of treatment must have been a very heavy burden for her, for she worked in a grocery store. Despite times when she felt inadequate at facing the task of raising her son, her love and perseverance resulted in her son doing very well on nutritional supplements. Her perseverance through the treatment process allowed him to have a life free from psychotropic medications.

More recently, a man in his late fifties who worked part-time bagging groceries began his journey in coming off an antipsychotic medication. During his medication withdrawal, he would sometimes say, “I just need to work harder. I am doing all that I can.” His attitude touched me. There was something about his humility that was truly remarkable and admirable. Not once during his treatment did he complain about the over three hours of travel from his home to my office, nor the cost for the nutritional supplements that he was required to take. He was a go-getter, finding ways to facilitate his own healing process through reading, exercise, service, and prayer.

Another woman began her journey with a chronic history of severe depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Even a breeze during a walk could put her in bed for days due to her severe allergies. Over a period of years, we worked together to help her reduce her medications and stabilize her mood. Finally she was able to come off all medications completely and feel well. However, one day she encountered a problem that necessitated an earlier appointment date. By the time the date of her appointment arrived, however, she said that she was “feeling better by the minute” and had stabilized. This was a pattern that I had noticed about her: when faced with a challenge, her response was to do all that she could to help herself overcome the problem, using the tools that she had learned over the years. In this situation, she identified repressed childhood trauma as a root cause, understood its effects on her perspective on life, and used her energy medicine techniques to eliminate the problem. What amazing resourcefulness.

Life is not easy for my patients. They hobble into treatment on mental crutches, scarred by stigma and barred from abundance. As I begin to work with them, they become the heroes and heroines of my world. For these individuals, and many more that I can name, the power that moves me to help them is not from duty, pity, guilt, or fear. It is simply love that they deserve and have earned for who they are. They look to me to guide them out of their hell, and I look to them to lift me with the fire of their spirit. Then, when I am able to share in their triumphs along their journey to freedom, the joy we feel lights up the room–and that makes my work worthwhile.

A Psychiatrist’s Personal Opinions of Donald Trump

As I listen to Mitt Romney and the Republican party speak up against Donald Trump today (Transcript of Mitt Romney’s Speech), I feel compelled by civil duty to express my personal opinions on Donald Trump’s rise in politics.

It has been an interesting, incredible, and horrifying experience to see the rise and success of Donald Trump over the course of the Republican primary elections. When I first saw him during a Republican debate, I was greatly entertained by his theatrics and dramatic dialogue. It really was like watching a comedy show, but a reality comedy show. I had no doubt in the beginning that the American public would be able to see through his bluster, insults, and sales job.  But no.

The whole progression of Trump’s appeal to the public reminds me of the rise in power of Hitler. Before Hitler came into power, he promised a lot of things to the downtrodden, and he used the Jews as a scapegoat for the country’s problems. Hitler arose from an environment where fear and anger could be used to gain power.  People felt disillusioned with the government, and they hoped for a savior. Hitler had the narcissistic grandiosity to say, “Here I am. I will save you.” I see Trump using the same carrot to entice the public. Hitler thought of himself as above the law. I heard Trump tell Jeb Bush, during a debate, that if he had wanted to have a casino built in Florida, he would have. Meaning, he thought of himself as above the governing powers of that state. In other words, his wealth/power makes him above the rule of law. A leader of a democratic or republican nation does not think of himself as above the law or government. Monarchs and dictators, however, do. When Bush responded, “You would not have.” Trump replies, “Oh, yes I could!” Narcissism in action.

When I read books or watched movies about the Holocaust, I wondered what I would have done under the circumstances. Would I try to keep my head down and stay out of trouble, or would I have the courage to speak up about it? Would I try to bring some light and sanity into the country, or would I shrug my shoulders and retreat into a state of powerlessness? When I see what is going on right now in politics, I feel as if I am reliving the beginnings of an old, horrifying chapter of history that I thought would never, ever be allowed to repeat. And certainly not in the United States of America. And I am challenged to speak up, rather than avoid the issues confronting our nation.

Everyone I know thinks Trump is ridiculous and unworthy to be president. It is obvious, isn’t it?  It’s like saying the Emperor has no clothes. Don’t you see he’s naked, parading around like that? If it is not obvious, then here are just a few reasons why Trump would be ridiculous and unworthy to be president:

  1. He lacks the ability to be civil to his opponents. That is the whole point of politics, being able to work in a social setting without offending everyone you bump into.  Trump has the opposite ability.  He is an expert at bumping into people and offending everyone.  These are not helpful characteristics for the president of a dog food shop, much less the president of the United States.
  2. He does not use logical reasoning to persuade. He uses insults. In any given debate, I lose count of all the times he insults someone. How can such an illogical, abusive person ever hope to work with anyone in relative harmony?
  3. He projects all his anger towards another person or group, calls them names, and blames them for problems.  And he has a lot of anger and a lot of blame.  A president of a free nation does not behave in this manner. Dictators do.
  4. He has no experience as a law maker or working in government.  He does have a lot of experience bossing people around. He tried to boss around a television network, regarding who would have the right to interview during the debate, and he refused to attend the debate, when he didn’t get his way. This is how he will behave, if he becomes president, but in a larger context. Can you imagine how he will handle volatile nations whose leaders think he’s lower than the dirt on the bottom of their shoes? How do you think he will treat the issues of freedom of speech and the press, if he were to be elected?
  5. He denigrates people for their sex, race, and appearance.  These are extremely immature defense mechanisms.  But, in a political leader, this quality would be disastrous.  Hitler denigrated people, and then he acted on his feelings.
  6. He ridicules politicians for being the puppet of millionaire donors, claiming that donors control the way lawmakers make decisions in government, missing the point entirely that he is essentially a donor running for president, holding the same mind set. To elect him would be similar to eliminating other competing special interest groups that attempt to influence government, and electing the head of one special interest group as president of the United States. Do you think that will improve our government?

I hope as the election season progresses that Trump’s tax returns and more information will surface to make him more transparent to the public, as if what we know about him isn’t enough already to help us see him as he truly is. Could the Emperor be more naked than he already is?

Let us hope we can let go of our desires and fantasies for a savior enough to let us see Trump’s true nature. As disappointing as it may be to see him as a narcissist with grandiose and empty promises, it is far less painful than to face the nation the United States will become under his reign.

Orthomolecular News: No deaths from nutritional supplements

I like this article, in that it presents the safety on nutritional supplements to the public, to correct any misunderstanding of the supposed dangers of nutritional supplementation.


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 12, 2016

No Deaths from Supplements. No Deaths from Minerals. No Deaths from Amino Acids. No Deaths from Herbs.

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS, Jan 12, 2016) Not only are there no deaths from vitamins, there are also zero deaths from any supplement. The most recent (2014) information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System, and published in the journal Clinical Toxicology (1), shows no deaths whatsoever from dietary supplements across the board.

No deaths from minerals

There were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Reported in the “Electrolyte and Mineral” category was a fatality from the medical use of “Sodium and sodium salts” and another fatality from non-supplemental iron, which was clearly and specifically excluded from the supplement category.

No deaths from any other nutritional supplement

Additionally, there were zero deaths from any amino acid or single-ingredient herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, or melatonin. There were zero deaths from any homeopathic remedy.

But when in doubt, blame a supplement. Any supplement.

There was one death attributed to a “Multi-Botanical Without Ma Huang or Citrus Aurantium.” It is interesting that they knew what was not in it but did not know whatwas in it. This is hearsay at best, and scaremongering at worst. There was one death alleged from some “Unknown Dietary Supplement or Homeopathic Agent.” This, too, indicates complete lack of certainly as to what may or may not have been involved. One fatality was attributed to “Energy Products: Unknown.” First of all, energy drinks or “products” are not nutritional supplements. But more importantly, how can an accusation be based on the unknown? Equally unscientific are the two deaths attributed to “Energy Products: Other.” Well, what products were they? These are no more than vague, unsubstantiated allegations. Claiming causation without even knowing what substance or ingredient to accuse is baseless.

The truth: no man, woman or child died from any nutritional supplement. Period.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA, the news media, and even some physicians still claim, then where are the bodies?

References:

Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Brooks DE et al. (2015) 2014 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 32nd Annual Report, Clinical Toxicology, 53:10, 962-1147, http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/15563650.2015.1102927 .

The lengthy, full text article is also available for free download fromhttps://aapcc.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/annual_reports/2014_AAPCC_NPDS_Annual_Report.pdf or from http://www.aapcc.org/annual-reports/ .

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The New York Times: Talk Therapy Eases Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The New York Times: Talk Therapy Eases Symptoms of Schizophrenia

 

In the New York Times, dated October 20, 2015, an article on the benefits of talk therapy in recovery from schizophrenia.  This is a government funded study, and therefore, with less bias from pharmaceutical agencies, needing to promote their medications as the primary treatment of choice.  Please see an exerpt of the article below.

_____________________________________________

More than two million people in the United States have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the treatment for most of them mainly involves strong doses of antipsychotic drugs that blunt hallucinations and delusions but can come with unbearable side effects, like severe weight gain or debilitating tremors.

Now, results of a landmark government-funded study call that approach into question. The findings, from by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States, concluded that schizophrenia patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic medication and a bigger emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery over the first two years of treatment than patients who got the usual drug-focused care.

The report, to be published on Tuesday in The American Journal of Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, comes as Congress debates mental health reform and as interest in the effectiveness of treatments grows amid a debate over the possible role of mental illness in mass shootings.

More than two million people in the United States have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the treatment for most of them mainly involves strong doses of antipsychotic drugs that blunt hallucinations and delusions but can come with unbearable side effects, like severe weight gain or debilitating tremors.

Now, results of a landmark government-funded study call that approach into question. The findings, from by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States, concluded that schizophrenia patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic medication and a bigger emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery over the first two years of treatment than patients who got the usual drug-focused care.

Continue reading the main story

 

The report, to be published on Tuesday in The American Journal of Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, comes as Congress debates mental health reform and as interest in the effectiveness of treatments grows amid a debate over the possible role of mental illness in mass shootings.

Sustainable Mental Health: Fast, Easy and Cheap

What is the number one factor that gives a person the best prognosis and the best chance for sustainable mental health? Someone who takes care of their mental health before it falls apart! In one word: prevention.

The reason why it is important to take care of yourself when stressed is because, if it is ignored day after day, it often leads to “chronic” mental illness.  Usually this begins with problems with focus, advances to mood difficulties, then to mood modulation problems or severe anxiety, and for some, to psychotic symptoms.  When stressors affect a vulnerable person, with a weakened system, it may lead to a crisis, because the person becomes overwhelmed.  At that point, a psychiatric diagnostic label is given to the person that is often considered, in America, chronic and incurable. Also, often a prescription medication is initiated, during the crisis, that is very difficult to discontinue, leading to life-long psychiatric treatment and medication dependency.

Consider the number of individuals currently taking psychotropic medications.  Don’t be the person who waits around for this to happen to you. Do something to prevent it from occurring in your life or in the life of your loved ones.

What I wish for everyone who is under stress, but is not yet at a point of crisis or taking a prescription medication, is the opportunity to address it now, before it evolves into a health crisis.

For this purpose, I am offering all those who feel stressed and have wanted to receive help before they reach a crisis point, to consider a short–four sessions–in a holistic setting, learning how to maintain sustainable mental health–at a 50% discount off of my usual fees.  You will learn about the role of nutrition, supplements and energy medicine. With your new tools, you will be supported forever in facing the challenges and stressors of life and have the tools you need to sustain mental health, and you’ll be able to do this easily, quickly, and inexpensively.

NY Times: Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions, Abuse of Medications

Please see this article in the New York Times for the story of a young man who was prescribed stimulants by psychiatrists, despite his parents’ repeated warnings of their son’s abuse of the medication and repeated psychotic symptoms, until the patient committed suicide:

Drowned in Prescriptions

Prescription medications can often cause addiction. Often a psychiatrist will not tell you this important fact before they prescribe the medication to you. Some are addictive because the patient end up craving the medication for the high it gives, or the patient will suddenly experience severe dips in their mood and cognition. Others are addictive because the patient end up depending on the medication, or the withdrawal symptoms, which are often far worse than the actual disorder, return quickly upon cessation of the medication.

As a psychiatrist who regularly help patients get off psychiatric medications, I know about the addictive potential of psychiatric medications, and what can happen to patients, if they try to get off their medications without understanding the risks of withdrawal. I also understand how to help patients taper medications gradually, safely, and comfortably.

Avoid the cycle of addiction by using nutritional supports, proper diet, and other stress reducing approaches such as meditation or acupressure techniques. Give your mind the chance to heal naturally and safely.

Clinical Tip #5 - Prevention of Relapse in Mental Illness

Clinical Tip #5: Life is a dynamically changing process, and just as health can improve, it can also deteriorate. Relapsing after a period of wellness happens when the amount of energy for maintaining health and well-being has been depleted so completely that there is no longer a way for the person to keep functioning adequately, even with all the intelligence and resources that the body has at its disposal.

CLINICAL TIP:

Why do people relapse after being “healed” from their mental illness? The simplest answer is that the person has become stressed beyond what he or she can endure.  When this happens, the “Achilles heel” of the person’s health condition will be the first to express its displeasure.  If a person’s Achilles heel is inflammation, then aches or pains, eczema or psoriasis may appear.  If a person’s Achilles heel is mental dysfunction, then distractibility, depression, mania, or psychosis may appear.  This is the way the body tells us, “Ouch, I’m hurting!”

To get back to a true state of health then, would necessitate a reduction of stress.  Stress comes from various aspects of life: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social.  For many, social stressors are the most difficult to prevent and address, because they are often due to the choices and actions of others.  In order to maintain the healed state, however, the person must have the ability to overcome stressors, through coping strategies that they have learned, to keep their energies up.

There are as many ways to relapse as there are ways to heal.  Here are just a few common reasons why people relapse after being “healed”, so avoid them like the plague:

1) Overconfidence in one’s ability to maintain one’s health when going back to past, unhealthy habits: e.g. smoking, marijauna, dieting and restrictions on food, eating junk food.

2) failure to continue to support one’s health nutritionally after stopping one’s medication(s).  Sometimes nutritional supplementation may be necessary for the rest of the person’s life.

3) Social stressors not being dealt with appropriately when they occur: e.g. using EFT, getting support from others/professionals, increasing nutritional support.

4) Cutting back on treatment prematurely as soon as one feels well, rather than continuing to strengthen the foundation of health through ongoing integrative healing.

5) Stopping or tapering medications inappropriately and prematurely.  An incomplete withdrawal process often results in a relapse of old symptoms a few months later.

6) Overdoing, overstretching, or trying to “catch up” on  missed opportunities or activities. Ease into life after a long period of recovery and give the body a chance to gradually get accustomed to the stress of a full day of activities. Piling too much on one’s plate will end up punishing, rather than invigorating, one’s life.

Prevention of relapse should be part of one’s learning process during medication withdrawal. It relies on the understanding that health can only be maintained through the continued care and nurturing of one’s life. It is an an ongoing process that is dependent on a person’s daily choices.  Hopefully this clinical tip will help you to stay on course in your maintenance of health and well-being.

Clinical Tip #4 - Energy Medicine is Indispensable in Healing

When it comes to eliminating the most difficult symptoms, such as psychosis in schizophrenia, I find that supplements and diet alone is insufficient to do the amount of work required to help a patient heal completely.  What is necessary is the integrative use of energy medicine: meditative techniques, using intention and visualization, and the use of acupressure and applied kinesiology (muscle testing).

CLINICAL TIP:

Even within the alternative medicine community, there is a line physicians find difficult to cross, and that is the line between biochemistry and the quantum physics of energy medicine.  But, what I find in my clinical work is that the appropriate integration of energy medicine is critical and indispensable in speeding up the healing process and helping me to successfully heal the hardest to heal disorders, such as schizophrenia with its accompanying dependency on one or more antipsychotic medications. The proof of this is in the dearth of clinicians who are able to successfully help a patient get off an antipsychotic and heal from schizophrenia.  In fact, it is so unheard of, that any claims to doing so are generally discounted as being impossible.  I believe that if clinicians were more open to using energy medicine, their successes and abilities would be significantly expanded, and more clinicians would have the ability to help patients get off their antipsychotic medications safely and recover from schizophrenia naturally.

There are a number of reasons why integrating energy medicine can be helpful:

1)  It allows for quick access to information about the patient, regardless of distance or time constraints.

2) It creates the right framework of energy, information, and function for the supplements to work on.

3) It heals root causes, which have a general beneficial effect on the whole healing process, including the physical and social areas of functioning.

4) It allows changes to happen much faster than through biochemical pathways.

5) It empowers the patient learn simple techniques that allow them to take control of their recovery in a very positive way.

In addition to the academic skepticism engendered by energy medicine in alternative and integrative medicine, there are some patients who react to the power inherent in energy medicine with fear, rather than acceptance. They often do so because they believe it is a tool of the devil. Unfortunately for these patients, they lose the benefits from energy medicine that could lead them back to their highest potential, because of their association of these tools with their assumptions about God and religion.

Of course power can be dangerous, and may even seem God-like in its capacity. But for progress to occur, we must embrace power with wisdom, proper discernment, and charity.  Without openness to change and innovation, we would be stuck in the past, unable to improve our knowledge and capabilities.  Just as the caveman had to learn the uses of fire, create dwellings beyond a cave, and advance language over time, we need to learn the uses of energy medicine.  In essence, energy medicine in the world of medicine is the fire of healing, protection against injury, and the language of the universe that is analogous to the advances found in bringing fire, dwellings, and language to the caveman era.  Let’s use it for good.

Alice W. Lee, M.D.

Food as Medicine: Applying an Old Adage in a New Way

As Mark Hyman succinctly stated in his concluding statement at the Food As Medicine conference at Bethesda, Maryland (June, 2012), “It’s not ‘Food As Medicine.’  It’s ‘Food IsMedicine’.”

As a physician, I was taught to rely on prescription, pharmaceutical medications.  I made a big leap of faith when I changed my paradigm and began using nutritional supplements for healing underlying physiology.  But it still came in pills and tablets.  Then I made another leap of faith, when I incorporated the use of acupressure and meditation into my practice.  It was pill-less and tab-less.  But at the Food as Medicine conference, I am being reminded that food should be viewed just as seriously as an intervention as any supplement or technique.  We should take the foods we eat more seriously, and if we do, we will be surprised and quickly rewarded with a rapid return to health.  What a concept!

With this in mind, I was struck by an article posted today by the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.  The article highlighted the ambivalence demonstrated by a Reader’s Digest article on the dangers of eating red meat.  Apparently, the Reader’s Digest used research to substantiate the negative health consequences of eating red meat, and then, in the same article, recommended that its readers eat red meat.  It is the Standard American Diet at war with the new scientific evidence, which points to a new and better way of eating, demonstrated in the same article.  Here is the article below:

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, June 19, 2012
Another Reader’s Digest Absurdity:
Red meat is bad – no, wait – good for you!
Editorial by Helen Saul Case

(OMNS June 19, 2012) Browsing through the latest issue of Reader’s Digest, it’s not those witty “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” sections that are making me chuckle. It’s the ridiculous, contradictory health advice that the magazine gives to the reader.

Let’s start with what makes sense. In the article “Is Meat Good or Bad for You?” [1] the author explains that red meat might be killing us. He references a Harvard study [2] that tracked over 121,000 adults for up to 28 years and shares with us that “people who ate three ounces of red meat every day were about 13 percent more likely to die-often from heart disease or cancer-before the study ended than people who didn’t eat meat.”[1] And, folks who eat processed meat fared worse. They increased their risk of early death by 20 percent. This sounds like pretty important information, not to be taken lightly. He writes, “It’s no wonder that many experts recommend reducing or eliminating red meat from your diet.” That’s certainly true.

Alas, the author’s common sense ends there. As my grandmother said, “Common sense isn’t common.” Well, Grandma, is right again.

The author mentions in his rebuttal that regular eaters of lean beef get more protein, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins. Ah yes, protein. Good thing we have red meat! I mean, you can’t find adequate amounts of protein in anything else but red meat. Except for beans, of course. Oh, and cheese. And it’s also in tofu, nuts, lentils, eggs, yogurt, milk, seafood, and more. Still, how do those vegetarians survive!? Apparently they do, if the Harvard study is to be believed, and in greater numbers than the meat-eaters.

Okay, vitamins and minerals sure are important. You can’t get them anywhere but in a steak. Yeah, right.

With all that evidence the author just provided, we still want to know the final verdict: is red meat good or bad? Apparently, “You can still fit a daily serving of red meat into a healthy diet.” [1]

Really? A “daily serving” is considered to be about three ounces. Awesome! I get to eat three ounces of red meat a day!

Wait, didn’t the Harvard study just say that three ounces of red meat a day was killing people? Did the author read his own article? Qualifying the eating of red meat by using the phrase “as part of a healthy diet” makes about as much sense as the huge bowl of sugar-laden breakfast cereal pictured on the front of the cereal box that boasts being “part of a complete breakfast.” But this is only when presented next to a pile of whole wheat toast, fresh fruit, orange juice, and a pound of spinach. Okay, I made up the spinach part.

So, red meat is bad for us. But, according to the article that said so, we’re supposed to go ahead and eat it anyway.

Isn’t that what the reader of the Digest takes from the article? Must be. In the oxymoron box (or maybe just the “moron” box) entitled “How Healthy Carnivores Eat,” it recommends the “perfect” portion of meat is about the size of a deck of playing cards. Perfect for what? A coronary? Goodness knows, when many people eat red meat, the serving is larger than any “deck of cards” outside of a novelty shop. Nor will this advice likely prevent Americans from consuming their 100 pounds or more of red meat a year, an amount way out of proportion to our intake of fruits and vegetables.[3] Oh, but if red meat is a part of a healthy diet, we’ll be A-okay, says Reader’s Digest.

Uh huh. Because that’s your average American: fit and healthy. Eating lots of vegetables every day to deliberately offset that chunk of red flesh. Oh, please. Only about 30 percent of us get either two servings of fruit or three servings of vegetables [4], and only 11 percent of Americans are meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for both. [5] Surveys have found that there are a whopping 20 percent of folks out there that eat absolutely no veggies at all. [6]

Is it really so daring to recommend we skip red meat altogether? Would the Digest lose subscribers? Would the Digest lose advertisers? Well, they must be losing somebody, because the advice in the article encourages continuing to consume red meat and risk death and disease.

Folks, we don’t need to cow down on cow to obtain our daily dose of zinc and B vitamins. Vegetables have plenty. [7] And though the carnivore in us may be quick to disagree, plenty of widely available plant-based protein-packed foods can be placed in the shopping bag. Healthy sources of potassium are easy to find. Virtually all fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of potassium. [7] A vegetarian diet, selected with care, provides generous amounts of protein and all the other essential nutrients necessary for excellent health.

So, let’s see… eat red meat and risk death. Or, skip the meat, actually try to eat the healthy diet we should be eating anyway, packed with vegetables. And, while we are at it, take vitamins and eat fresh fruit. I think that’s doable.

Do yourself a favor and don’t “digest” Reader’s Digest ridiculousness. Toss it in the trash bin, and you’ll actually be a whole lot healthier for it.

(Helen Saul Case’s paper, “Raising Student Achievement through Better Nutrition,” is available for free access at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2006/pdf/2006-v21n02-p79.pdf . She is also the author of The Vitamin Cure for Women’s Health Problems.)

References:
1. Woolston, Chris. “Is Meat Good or Bad for you?” Reader’s Digest (July/August 2012): 36-38.

2. Pan A, Sun Q, Bernstein AM, Schulze MB et al. (2012) Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Arch Intern Med. 172(7):555-63. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2287.

3. Putnam, J., J. Allshouse, L. S. Kantor. U.S. per capita food supply trends: More calories, refined carbohydrates, and fats.” Food Review 25(3) (2002):2-15. http://ers.usda.gov/publications/FoodReview/DEC2002/frvol25i3a.pdf .

4. Centers for Disease Control. CDC Online Newsroom. Majority of Americans not meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.” Press Release, September 29, 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/r090929.htm .

5. Casagrande, S. S., Y. Wang, C. Anderson, et al. Have Americans increased their fruit and vegetable intake? The trends between 1988 and 2002. Am J Prev Med 32(4) (Apr 2007):257-263. Available online: http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2806%2900551-4/abstract

6. Balch, J. F., P. A. Balch. Prescriptions for Natural Healing. New York, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1990.

7. USDA nutrient database, SR24. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=22114

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine
Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor
To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:
Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
James A. Jackson, Ph.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org Readers may write in with their comments and questions for consideration for publication and as topic suggestions. However, OMNS is unable to respond to individual emails.

This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription linkhttp://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html and also the OMNS archive linkhttp://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml are included.

Clinical Tip #3 - Gentle Detoxification and Its Importance in Medication Withdrawal

Although I have known for many years that detoxification was critically important in helping to create a smooth medication withdrawal, I was faced with the problem of finding a detoxification approach that would be gentle enough for my patients.  Many approaches were too strong and caused my patients to feel worse.

CLINICAL TIP:

Recently I have been excited about two new detoxifiers that I have been able to add to my arsenal. They are both made by a company called Zortho Research.  The two products are called ZeSol and CandiClear5.

ZeSol is a gentle but highly effective remover of heavy metals.  CandiClear5 helps to remove many different toxins and pathogens from the gut, especially candida, while enhancing the nutrient status of the patient.  I began working with these supplements just recently and have been gratified with their strong clinical results. So much so that they have risen to my favorite list of supplements for my patients, and I am eager to share the good news with everyone.

Other favorite detoxification approaches have been Detox Foot Pads (Intention Health) and castor oil packs.  Of course nutritional and glandular supplements enhance detoxification: Liver Extract (Ecological Formulas), CysNAC (Neuroscience), Pure Harvest Greens (Integrative Therapeutics, Inc.), and Liposomal Glutathione (Your Energy Systems).

It is important to remember that when detoxifying, medication levels will fall faster and be lower than when you do not take detoxifiers.  So, be careful, when using medication, not to use detoxifying supplements without medical supervision.

Unfortunately, quite a few supplements that I use are only available to clinicians.  But you may be able to find these supplements online, despite their exclusivity.  The reason these supplements are only available to clinicians is probably because they have very specific clinical effects that require special monitoring and medical expertise for appropriate titration and use.

By using applied kinesiology, I can give a fairly good estimate of the dosages of supplements that patients will need on a daily basis.  With lowering toxicity levels, I saw their daily need for supplements decrease significantly.  Their nutritional regimens became less cumbersome, and their pocket books benefited as well. For me, this has demonstrated, in a concrete and measurable way, the correlation between toxicity and disease.

I am excited about finding gentle, helpful detoxification approaches for my patients, and I hope that you will also benefit from my growing clinical experiences.

Hope this helps,

Alice W. Lee, M.D.

The Simple Idea That Is Transforming Health Care (WSJ article, April 18, 2012)

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article called “The Simple Idea That is Transforming Health Care. I like simple ideas, so I read the article.  The simple idea is about clinicians asking patients how their health is affecting their quality of life.  Imagine that.

One patient in the article had severe asthma for over 25 years, with repeated hospitalizations, and she had never been asked questions concerning her quality of life, during the course of her medical treatment.

This question is especially relevant in the field of psychiatry, where medications often create more problems than they solve.  I remember that my first “orthomolecular” patient in 2002 was a young woman in her twenties who came to me loaded on medications.  Due to the side effects of her medications, she wore a diaper and had to sit on her hands to keep them from trembling.  In addition, her eyes constantly moved around and were unable to stay still.  Needless to say, she couldn’t date either.  She told me that the side effects from her medications were worse than her original illness.  I was desperate to help her in any way that I could, so I turned to nutritional supplements, and she got remarkably better.

Patients in my practice have significantly improved their quality of life since I’ve added alternative approaches to mental health.  I like that.  It’s fun and rewarding to see patients smile (or cry) in happiness.  Please see the original article by clicking on the link below:

The Simple Idea That Is Transforming Health Care

Clinical Tip #2 - Critical Glandular Support During Psychiatric Treatment

Glandular support is very important during psychiatric recovery.  Adrenal fatigue is well documented, but in my clinical experience, there are actually five glands that are fatigued and challenged during medication withdrawal and psychiatric recovery.  They are: pineal gland, parotid, liver, spleen, and adrenals.

CLINICAL TIP:

From clinical experience, and from information obtained through applied kinesiology, I have found the following glands to be exhausted, or challenged, during medication withdrawal and psychiatric recovery: pineal, parotid, liver, spleen, and adrenals.  There are at least three ways to support them: 1) through energy medicine, 2) through nutritional supplements/detoxification, and 3) by taking glandular supplements.

I get Pineal Glandular supplement from Deseret Biologicals, Liver Extract from Ecological Formulas/Cardiovascular Research, Adrenal Complex from Integrative Therapeutics Inc., and Parotid gland from Standard Process.

When a patient is taking medications, Liver Extract should not be given to the patient until medication levels are slightly elevated for the patient’s needs.  By adding Liver Extract, liver function will be enhanced, and therefore the ability to detoxify and rid the body of medications will also be accelerated, resulting in lower functional blood levels of medications.  I find that liver support will generally result in improved spleen function, so I have not needed to give spleen glandular supplements.

In general, my patients respond to adrenal glandular support with increased anxiety, so I do not use this approach very often.  Instead, I try to support the adrenals by decreasing histamine, which is a neuromodulator of the adrenals.  By decreasing histamine, I can lessen the work load on the adrenals. I can decrease histamine by doing energy work, taking out foods that the patient is hypersensitive to, and adding quercetin or Opsin II (by Deseret Biologicals).

I often need to support the pineal gland, during medication withdrawal, through glandular supplementation.  In particular, it seems to support the patient’s ability to sleep and maintain a healthy appetite, which often falter during medication withdrawal without it.

Often, I will address parotid gland stress by recommending a biological dentist to remove metal fillings appropriately, encourage the use of a good toothpaste (Dentarome Ultra by Young Living Essential Oils) that is flouride-free, and a good biological (holistic) dentist who avoids the use of toxic chemicals in dentistry.  I have not used parotid gland much, but will be doing so soon.

Of course the glands involved in reproductive hormones are also important, but this article is meant to provide clinical tips rather than a clinical treatise, so I will leave these glands for another day.

Hope this helps,

Alice W. Lee, M.D.

Clinical Tip #1 - Critical Supplements During Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal

Starting today, I’ve decided to leave short clinical tips on medication withdrawal that I hope will be helpful for people to know.  Some will be on the process of withdrawal and some will be on the content of withdrawal.  I hope that you will return to my website often to look for the latest clinical tip!

CLINICAL TIP:

From clinical experience, I’ve found that individuals with a history of psychosis, coming off of antipsychotics, need a lot of vitamin C (powdered buffered vitamin C is easy and cheaper to use), niacinamide (B3 without the flushing), antioxidants (organic, freeze-dried Goji powder, organic freeze-dried Acai powder, or sometimes organic freeze-dried maqui powder), Co-Enzyme Q 10, and GABA supplement support. They often need to follow a strict wheat-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free diet.  The four types of GABA supplement support that I have used with patients are: GABA Calm by Source Naturals, GABA 500 mg capsules, GABA homeopathic drops, and GABA rice (germinated brown rice).  Sometimes I recommend that individuals take both GABA Calm (passes the blood-brain barrier) and GABA caps (act more peripherally), and it results in much better sleep function.  Also, stress, especially emotional stress, can make it difficult for the individual to succeed with withdrawal.  So, it’s important to keep stress levels down during withdrawal.

Hope this helps,

Alice W. Lee, M.D.