Simple Guidelines for a Holistic Approach

Alice W. Lee, MD
Newsletter

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Hello Everyone,

To all the new subscribers, a warm welcome!  And for all those who've been following my newsletters, thank you for your interest!

Today, I want to write about the general rules that govern my holistic healing approach.  

There are two principles, five levels, and eight categories.  Keep reading for the quick review of what they are and why these rules in my holistic playbook lend structure to the healing process.

Have a great week!

Enjoy! 😄


From a holistic perspective, who/what heals the patient?  Is it the doctor, the supplements, or the diet?  Though all these aspects matter, I believe that healing comes from the body's own wisdom and innate ability to return back to its natural healthy state.  

To facilitate the body's healing process, I try to meet each unique patient armed with a few guiding principles that are generally applicable to just about any situation.  These rules in my playbook create a familiar playing field for me, despite the vast differences between each patient.  Here they are:

1)  The two principles of healing: good things in and bad things out. Health is a constant creative cycle where the "good stuff" is enough and the "bad stuff" is cleared out.  Often, the imbalance in these two processes, especially under stress, creates various biochemical states that look like different diagnoses, but are really an accumulation of undesirable metabolites/toxins, or a deficiency of desirable nutrients, aggravating inflammation and oxidative stress. 

When supporting a patient's healing process, I try to increase the "good stuff," whether they are nutrients, energy, or sleep and decrease the "bad stuff" whether it's through water, glutathione, liver extract, foot detox pads, or castor oil packs.  Without needing to know the exact underlying cause, patients tend to improve as the good stuff increases and the bad stuff decreases.

2)  The five levels of being: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social.  Most patients come to my practice understanding that they need to heal their health physically, but don't know the immense power for healing that can come from healing other levels of being as well.  By improving the patient's health at each level, the process of recovery is magnified exponentially.

Some patients who may not be able to use healing tools from one level can use healing tools from another level.  For example, if a patient cannot take nutritional supplements or has difficulty with their diet, it may be possible to heal him/her by providing help and support at the emotional/mental/energy level of being through Reiki, acupuncture, Logosynthesis, EFT, or meditation.

3)  The eight categories of nutritional/functional support: vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, G. I. support, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and detoxification.  When I create a nutritional regimen, I look to see if the patient has support in all these categories.  Some supplements meet many of these categories at once, such as a whole food supplement like Pure Harvest Greens by Integrative Therapeutics.  Other supplements mainly help in one category, such as Liver Extract by Cardiovascular Research.

It may not be necessary or even helpful to start everyone on all categories from the beginning, but typically, at some point in the treatment, all my patients are on all eight categories, in addition to their daily smoothie packed with living enzymes and fiber.  As I teach them:they need to meet and exceed their daily nutritional needs if they want to get better each day. 

So--two principles, five levels, and eight categories--these are the rules in my holistic playbook.

I hope that describing these simple guidelines for a holistic approach has empowered you in your healing journey.

May your week be filled with great healing experiences! 

I just updated my Energy Breaths page with an improved recording.
Click here to listen.

Learning From Our Mistakes

 Sometimes you just have to stick your neck out to get results!

Sometimes you just have to stick your neck out to get results!

Hello Everyone,

It's been another week of growth and adventure over here in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Today, I want to write about the process of growth, i.e. how growth happens, rather than what has been growing.

In particular, I want to focus on the paradox that growth can come through mistakes.

I'll share a couple of mistakes I discovered just last week and how I grew from them.

May you courageously and compassionately continue in your own journey of growth.

Enjoy!


"Let's see if this makes a difference," Michelle said, as she placed a bottle containing hydrochloric acid, an essential acid for digestion, on her Bioscan machine.

I sat in a chair across from her, holding the metal rods that connected me to her machine, feeling baffled, frustrated, and dismayed as I looked at the many rows ending in red, on her computer screen, that signified my poor state of biochemical balance. 

This was not the first time.  My scores have repeatedly been atrocious when I came for my sessions with Michelle, though I take a ton of supplements, look 15 years younger than my age, and feel "pretty fit."

Michelle Dion is a good friend.  She is also a great Naturopathic Doctor.  She takes care of me so I can live another day to stamp out mental illness.  Her office is in Chantilly, VA, and I refer my patients to her whenever they are "really tough."  We do our one-two punch and voilà! Problem solved.  

"Ack! I'm as bad as __!"  I exclaimed when I saw my scores on the machine.  Then, as all my values normalized with the hydrochloric acid, I said, "Why would I need more acid?  Why am I so alkaline?"  

As I asked this question out loud, I suddenly realized that I had been drinking alkalinized, ionized, purified water every day since 2010, compliments of my water filter by Tyent.  I was too alkaline because I'd believed that to be alkaline was a very good thing.  I've worked hard to be more alkaline for the past eight years. 

Michelle explained to me that pH had to be within a normal range--too acidic or alkaline, and the body would suffer.  Here is a link she gave me to help me understand my mistake: Lawrence Wilson, MD.  

Since my session with Michelle, I have only drunk water at a normal pH and have noticed that my wounds are healing faster (mosquito bites), less bloating after meals (no alkaline water to frustrate my stomach's need to be acidic), and less achy.  Okay, so I did have some symptoms going into her office...The domino effects of having a body that is too alkaline were many. 

Realizing my mistake (finally!) in drinking alkalinized water will undoubtedly add many more years to my life.  This, however, was only mistake number one.  I learned from a second mistake last week, and it had to do with the metabolic production of serotonin and melatonin...

"Why would you be feeling depressed?" I half muttered to myself, "I thought we had covered the serotonin system."  I looked at my patient's nutritional regimen and found the amino acid that was currently supporting her serotonin production--L-tryptophan. 

She had done so perfectly when withdrawing from Prozac, which required serotonin support, that I couldn't understand why she would be feeling depressed now.  Then it dawned on me that she had been taking 5-HTP when withdrawing from her Prozac.  About a month ago, I switched her to L-tryptophan to help her feel more sedated, believing that L-tryptophan would make both serotonin and melatonin for her, while 5-HTP would not.

"Let's see here..." I decided to quickly look up the metabolic steps for making serotonin and melatonin--two metabolic pathways that had never been connected in my mind into one coherent whole--and saw, for the first time, the exact metabolic steps for making serotonin and melatonin from L-tryptophan.  Yes, L-tryptophan was the parent amino acid that made both.  Serotonin was made first, and from serotonin, melatonin would be made later.  Here is the schematic for the biochemical production of melatonin. 

Clearly, the patient was not metabolizing L-tryptophan to 5-HTP and that was why she had become more depressed over the past month.  I asked her to go back to taking SeroPlus (Pure Encapsulations) and explained my hypothesis about why she had become more depressed.  If my hypothesis was correct, she would feel better as soon as she switched from her L-tryptophan to 5-HTP.  

The next week, the patient came back and reported that she was feeling a lot better.  Her depression resolved the next day after taking her SeroPlus, though her sleep was still lagging behind with regard to recovery.  This was understandable, since her serotonin levels were probably still in a state of recovery, and melatonin came from serotonin.  Also, her trepidation about attending college, during her last session, had transformed into confidence about signing up for college courses--all four of them.  

After that session, I told all the patients who were taking L-tryptophan to switch to 5-HTP.  I felt that perhaps many patients under my care may also have the same difficulty with the single enzymatic step that transformed L-tryptophan to 5-HTP.  And since I now knew that serotonin also transformed to melatonin, I wouldn't be making the mistake of using L-tryptophan to "improve" the production of melatonin again.

Sharing the mistakes that I made last week and what I learned from them is a long way of saying that growth comes from learning from our mistakes.

It's admirable to learn from other people's mistakes, but it is critical to learn from our own.

Realizing that a mistake has been made is just the first step towards growth.  Of course, it's not just realizing that one has made a mistake, but how one reacts to that realization that is critical.  Do we hide our mistakes?  Do we pretend we didn't make those mistakes?  Or do we choose to empower ourselves by learning from them and correcting any problems that may have arisen from our mistakes?  

It's inevitable that growth will occur as we continue to correct our mistakes.  Looking back on our past and shaking our heads over all the stupid mistakes we had made is just reason to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves on our continued evolution and development. 

May we transform our attitude towards mistakes from shame to gratitude, as we realize the empowering gifts that mistakes can bring.

The Top Three Attributes for a Quality Life

 Honoring those who embody attributes that enlighten, warm, and lift lives

Honoring those who embody attributes that enlighten, warm, and lift lives

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect, write, and share my thoughts with you on a regular basis in this newsletter.  Writing to you has supported my growth!

This week I want to highlight the top three qualities in people that I have admired, tried to emulate, and believe to be essential for a quality life, starting with the most difficult quality to embody of them all.

May your week be filled with warmth, laughter, and goodness!

Enjoy!


It has been a wonderful week filled with positive interactions with people who have brought light, joy, and goodness into my life.  I am filled with gratitude, not only for these wonderful people but for all the wonderful people who have enlightened and lifted me throughout my life.  I want to write about them.  In particular, I want to focus on the special attributes they embody that have set an example for me. 

Here are the top three attributes that I have noticed in quality people with an accompanying vignette about someone who embodied that attribute:

  1. Humility.  The rarest and one of the most beautiful attributes of all.  To me, humility means that the person is open to learning and is able to appreciate others without the need for self-aggrandizement. It allows the person to be present and to flow with the challenges of life. It also allows others to shine joyfully, being who they are, without needing to shrink themselves to avoid offending another person's pride.  Humble people are constantly growing and improving.  They learn from their setbacks, traumas, and mistakes.  They help others without envy, jealousy, greed, or pride getting in the way.  Never underestimate humility.  It is the power of being open to change that leads to success and positive results.

    One of my most successful patients was a humble accountant who had suffered most of his life with auditory hallucinations that constantly berated him.  When he was in his 50's, he called seven psychiatrists, asking them to help him taper off his medication.  Every psychiatrist refused.  When he reached me, I also didn't want to work with him initially, but he asked me to give him just one chance; he didn't care if he failed and got sick in the attempt.  Well, he didn't get sick.  He worked hard, followed directions, and healed completely.
     
  2. Compassion.  It is innate to be self-centered; it is inspirational to be compassionate.  Every person who has ever influenced me for good has done so because they embodied compassion.  Why is compassion important for a quality life?  I believe that compassion is the path of unselfishness that leads to deep joy and fulfillment in life. 

    During medical school, I was becoming numb to suffering and acclimating to the narcissistic, hierarchical setting when something amazing happened that I will never forget.

    One morning, we were standing around a patient for neurology rounds with an attending.  The patient was comatose, after having undergone brain surgery, where she had lost one eye.  As we stood around, the interns and residents began to quietly snicker and joke about her, calling her "The Cyclops."  They lacked compassion because they felt that she got what she deserved for delaying medical care due to her religious beliefs. I stood listening, weary from overstudy and lack of sleep.  Through my haze, the voice of the attending broke through, soft and measured.  He defended the helpless woman, as she lay bloated and still in her bed.  He told all of us to always be respectful of patients when we are by their bedside.  There was silence in the room as he spoke, and for a long while afterward.  I will never forget his noble compassion.  
     
  3. Integrity.  Integrity is the backbone of a quality life.  It is a combination of honesty, courage, strength, and goodness.  Whether you work as a plumber or as the president of the United States, your integrity will determine whether you are a light or a blight in other people's lives.  When one has integrity, one can stand strong in the midst of great challenges, for integrity is aligned and empowered by the energy of truth.  To have a quality life, you need the inner strength of integrity to face the winds and tides of fortune.  Otherwise, you can easily be blown off course and get lost.  

    In 2003, I went to an orthomolecular conference in Canada--my first.  An old man with white hair came up to me and asked for my business card.  He was Dr. Abram Hoffer.  After the conference, he emailed me, and we began to correspond with each other.  He usually answered my questions within an hour, which always surprised and pleased me.  He once joked that, in the past, they used to burn people at the stake, but now they just sued them.  He should know, since he faced tremendous persecution and lawsuits due to his pioneering work in orthomolecular psychiatry.  Dr. Hoffer was a humble man with integrity.  The second time I had to fight the Maryland Board, the original letter of complaint (from a source uninvolved with the patient's treatment) tried to paint me as a witch.  I then thought of Dr. Hoffer's joke and took comfort in knowing that I was in good company.

Humility, compassion, and integrity are my top three choices for attributes for a quality life.  Alas, there are no double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to reference for my preferences.  Instead, you will have to rely on your heart and intuition to weigh their importance in creating a quality life.

I hope that my thoughts will inspire you to reflect on important attributes, and to strengthen them as you move through life.

"Evidence-based Medicine" Energy Medicine Style

 Sun, wind and weeds: seeing the invisible through its effects on matter

Sun, wind and weeds: seeing the invisible through its effects on matter

Hello Everyone!

For those who've just signed up, a warm welcome!  And for those who've been reading my past newsletters, I'm so glad that you're back!

Today I want to write about a simple approach to demonstrating the mind-body connection and how the mind can strengthen the body.

May your week be filled with love, joy, peace, and strength,

Enjoy! 😄


It's difficult to teach patients about the invisible realm of energy, thoughts, and intentions.  In response to my awkward explanations about energy and its connection to physical function, when I first learned about energy medicine, a patient said, "That's evil."

After that experience, I resolved to be a better teacher. 

Over the years, I've tried to perfect my skill in showing patients the link between the mind and the body.  Before demonstrating the mind-body connection, however, I usually preface it with:

"In quantum physics, E=MC2--matter and energy are interchangeable.  Everything, all matter, can be thought of as being made of energy.  The body can be seen from these two perspectives also, as organized matter and as organized energy.  As matter, the body moves through space.  As energy, the body shifts through vibration."

I also say: "The body is like a light bulb.  For it to shine, it needs the bulb and the electricity to flow through it.  Using functional medicine is like fixing the physical light bulb.  Using energy medicine is like fixing the electricity flowing to the light bulb.  Both are important aspects of helping your life to shine."

Then, I go through my "Show and Tell" about the mind-body connection:

  1. To show how the body's strength shifts with changes in energy/information, I ask the patients to sit with their feet firmly planted on the ground.  It's a series of experiments, so I want them to be consistent each time.  Have them rest a few seconds between each trial to be consistent. 
     
  2. The patient is asked to extend her/his arm (doesn't matter if it's the right or left) straight in front of them at about shoulder height, while you push down with gradually increasing pressure at a point about two inches above the wrist with your fingers.  It is helpful to rest one hand on their shoulder for balance.  To get a "baseline," the patient is asked to clear her/his mind and resist as hard as they can (just for consistency sake) while you gradually push down.  You can change how/where you push down on their arm so that it only takes moderate effort to push their arm all the way down (not too hard or too easy). This is not a contest, so the patient is asked not to overstrain themselves when resisting.
     
  3. After the baseline, the patient is asked to focus on three different states of mind and their opposites: a) true vs. false thoughts, b) happy vs. sad feelings, and c) positive vs. negative words.

    For true vs. false, I use 2+2=4 vs. 2+2=6.  This information is not colored by emotions and is easy for most to distinguish as being true vs. false.  For happy vs. sad, I ask the patient to think of an image, event, or person that brings the corresponding feeling.  For positive vs. negative words, I usually use the words "yes" vs. "no."  I will explain that the words "yes" and "no" are not inherently good or bad, but one can think of it as saying "yes to life" or "no to life."  
     
  4. During each thought, for example, 2+2=4, push down on their arm with gradually increasing pressure to get their level of strength.  Rest a moment before testing them while they are focusing on the opposite thought, for example, 2+2=6.
     
  5. True thoughts, happy feelings, and positive words will result in a stronger hold (above baseline), while false thoughts, unhappy feelings, and negative words will result in a weaker hold (below baseline).  The difference in strength is generally obvious to the patient and to you, the tester.  These examples teach the patient that differences in thoughts, feelings, and words shift the strength and resilience of their arm, and by extension, the strength and resilience of their body.  The body's state of "health/being" is shifting all the time through shifts in energy and consciousness.  

At this point, most patients are wondering, "Why doesn't everyone know about this?"  They are now eager to learn how to use their mind to help heal their body.

The next step is to have the patient practice doing Energy Breaths--a simple guided visualization to help strengthen the body.  Since concrete evidence facilitates the understanding that thoughts/intentions have a powerful and immediate impact on the body, I will retest their arm after they finish doing Energy Breaths.  If the patient has focused enough to do the technique, their arm will be much stronger and will be able to resist strong pressure for a very long time. 

This is "evidence-based medicine" energy medicine style.  In the field of energy medicine, it's also called "muscle testing."  These simple cause-and-effect demonstrations form a bridge between energy and matter and are an indispensable teaching tool at a minimum.

Of course, a few will not be testable.  Some examples may be if:

  1. They've recently abused substances, such as Percocet.
  2. They are psychotic and not able to think logically or follow directions.
  3. They are being closed-minded and cynical while doing the test.  Their cynicism will muddy the tests' results.
  4. They have a lot of oxidative stress or mechanical pain and can't hold their arm with consistent strength from one test to another.

Using evidence helps patients to connect the invisible world of thoughts to their concrete effects.  As hard as it is to accept, "evidence-based medicine" doesn't always have to come from a lab, or within the pages of a journal.  Evidence-based medicine can easily be done during a session to empower patients with the understanding they need to heal.

A Reliable Source of Resilience

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Hello Everyone!

Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter.  I hope you are having a wonderful week.  Lately, I have been pondering on what has been the best way to reduce stress.  What has kept me strong, hopeful, and calm even when tomatoes were being thrown at me?  What has helped me to stay on course when I wanted to walk away? No, it's not ice cream. 🙄

Keep reading and I will share what I believe to be the most important source of stress resilience and how I teach my patients to tap into that source when healing.

May your life be filled with light and warmth!

Enjoy! 😄


After setting a legal precedent, Jacques Simon, my attorney who helped me win against the Maryland Board (2009) said, "You stayed calm through the whole thing.  A lot of doctors lose it when facing the Board."  Since Jacques specialized in defending holistic clinicians from their State Boards, he would know.

Life has its stressors.  The adventure of being fully alive comes from experiencing the ups and downs of life.  Like riding a roller coaster, the thrill of the ride comes from knowing that one is safe while experiencing the adrenaline of sheer terror.  

What has allowed me to feel safe while riding the roller coaster of lifehas been my confidence in a spiritual Source that is attentive, loving, and powerful.

My relationship with a spiritual Source helps me to prioritize values and principles above things.  Values and principles, in turn, help me to stay on track more easily, and they don't suddenly disappear beneath me.   

In 2007, when I read that first letter from the Maryland Board, fear flowed through me like a cold river as the blood drained from my head down to my queasy stomach.  I thought, "Wow!  This feels exactly like the novels described!" 

I had to find an attorney ASAP.  I discovered that to defend my practice, the legal costs would be over $10,000.00 per month and that every holistic practitioner before me had lost their license to the Maryland Board.  Ouch. 

I said, "God, I can't afford this.  So, if you want me to do this, you'll have to pay for it."

Money didn't fall from the sky, but my income grew to meet my needs, and one month when I had to pay for two expert witnesses and two attorneys (their time, flights, and hotel bills) my practice miraculously increased enough to cover all my expenses, just for that month. 

Early on, I had a vivid dream that symbolically showed me a course of events, and when I awoke, I felt that the dream had revealed that I would defeat the Board and how it would happen.  As events unfolded, the dream turned out to be accurate and prophetic.

Also, during a holistic medical conference, a woman whom I met the day before, came over to deliver a "message from an angel."  In her dream the night before, an angel wanted her to tell me that divine forces were working on my behalf and that I didn't need to worry.

You may assume that miracles occur rarely, don't happen to you, or they're just for Parting-the-Red-Sea-Stuff.  But I think miracles happen all the time, with everyone everywhere, and even with everyday stuff.  And of course, miracles can happen to you!

I also think it can happen more frequently, and perhaps more powerfully, if we practice connecting to a source of perfect Life Energy and direct its power through our intentions.

A book called, "The Tao of Psychology, Synchronicity and the Self" by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, talks about a power that creates synchronicity and order in life.  It is the presence of the Tao/Divine in daily living. 

To connect to Infinite Life Energy, the Tao, the Divine, or whatever one chooses to call it, I ask my patients to practice doing Energy Breaths, 20 breaths twice daily (total time around 5 minutes).

I show them that after they do Energy Breaths, they are more physically resilient when I push down on their arm, demonstrating that this simple guided visualization can greatly strengthen their physical resilience to stress instantly.  It is a reproducible experiment.

Daily life offers us opportunities to interact with the Infinite and to facilitate its manifestation in the physical world--a fun game of hide-and-seek.

As you go about your day, may you tap into the power of your connection with Perfect Life Energy, the Tao, the Source, and take comfort in a loving, empowering universe.

Pearls From the Practice

 Lantana and butterfly at Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Maryland

Lantana and butterfly at Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Maryland

Hello Everyone!

My holistic psychiatry practice is constantly progressing and changing because I am always learning new and helpful ways to improve mental health.  Today I would like to share a story about K. M. and what I learned over the past few weeks about the connection between anxiety and mitochondrial health.

May your week be filled with joy, success, and abundance!

Enjoy!


As I opened the door to the waiting room, I saw K. M. sitting alone on the couch--a good sign--on time--another good sign-- with a ready smile on her face.  Three good signs before I even said, "Hi!"  

Just last week, she was sitting there with her mom, who had to drive her to the appointment.  She had been over two hours late, and she greeted me with a look that made me go, "Uh oh!"

Since 2015, K. M. has struggled with panic attacks in spite of taking Prozac and Zoloft under a traditional psychiatrist's care (...and self-medicating with smoking pot daily).  With a holistic psychiatric approach, she has been healing smoothly from her anxiety disorder, getting off her two antidepressants and marijuana since January 2018.  In addition, her hair was growing, her strength was returning, and even her PMS was gone.

By the end of May, she had been able to taper off her Prozac, Zoloft, and marijuana with hardly a blip.  I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of her recovery!  

Just like in Dr. Seuss's book, "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew," I was strolling through her healing process enjoying the daisies when troubles suddenly started.  On June 3rd, just before leaving for vacation, K. M. began feeling anxious and started having recurring panic attacks again.  The situation was made even more difficult because she had forgotten to bring her CBD oil, which had been helping her with her marijuana withdrawal.  Insomnia and loss of appetite soon followed.  In addition, K. M. began feeling weak again. 

As Dr. Seuss would say:

"Then NEW troubles came!
From above!
And below!
A Skritz at my neck! 
And a Skrink at my toe!
And now I was really in trouble, you know."

Her symptoms suggested a problem with withdrawal.  But from what?  Although the most obvious cause was SSRI withdrawal, I felt confident that she had been properly supported with serotonin-building supplements.

After some checking, it became clear that K. M.'s anxiety was due to a switch in a supplement, three weeks before, from Liposomal Catalyst to another mitochondrial support supplement (Mito Cell) that didn't have the powerful liposomal delivery system.  DesBio, the company that made Liposomal Catalyst, couldn't find an ingredient it needed, stopped its production, and ran out of it for an entire month!

Within three weeks of stopping Liposomal Catalyst and starting Mito Cell, K. M.'s anxiety symptoms came back despite her taking a lot of other nutritional supports: glandulars, vitamins, minerals--you name it, she had it.  Stopping her CBD oil only aggravated her problem, but her panic symptoms began before she forgot to bring her CBD oil with her on vacation. 

While she was still on vacation, I asked her to work with what she brought with her: liposomal GABA and her other calming supplements.  Unfortunately, they made her feel apathetic, depressed, constipated, and nauseated.  Even smoking pot again didn't decrease her anxiety.  Once K. M. was able to get the Liposomal Catalyst, however, her anxiety resolved and her strength returned.

My experience with K. M. taught me a number of lessons:

  1. Mitochondrial support is central to the healing of anxiety for some patients.  Perhaps especially in those who experience fatigue and weakness along with anxiety and panic attacks.
  2. The liposomal delivery system was a critical factor in delivering the necessary nutritional support to the patient.
  3. The importance of not giving up on the holistic approach when patients suddenly relapse or worsen.  Rather, it is important to find the underlying cause and remedy it.  In this situation, the diagnostic techniques I learned in energy medicine were extremely helpful in supporting K. M.'s healing process and quickly finding the root cause.

K. M.'s rapid recovery without the need to go back to the use of SSRIs made all of us happy.  During the three weeks when she was restabilizing, K. M. felt some pressure from some individuals to "get back on her meds!" 

To press forward with the holistic tools, have faith in her ability to heal, and see her health return felt like a real victory for holistic medicine!

A Holistic and Integrative Approach to Weight Loss

Hello Everyone!

Have you ever wanted an approach that would help you towards:

*slimming down
*having more energy
*decreasing stress
*living longer

all simultaneously? 

Today I want to share how an integrative and holistic psychiatric approach can do just that. 

I hope that you're having a great summer and enjoying more time in the sun.  Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter!  

Enjoy!


We hear that "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."  In my life, it can also be, "When the teacher is ready, the student appears."  For me, when they do appear, they often come in twos.

Now, I am no Skinny Sally, but life has its ironies.  Recently, two wonderful women asked me to help them lose weight in the same week.  I reacted with pleasant surprise, "Who me?  You'd like ME to help you with weight loss?" 

Then, I thought, "Why not?  I've been working on this my whole life.  I can do this!"  Knowing that helping them would help me in the process, I agreed to work with them and focused on how to approach weight loss from a holistic psychiatrist's perspective.

In brief, I organized my approach for them as follows:

1) Mental/Emotional: each person has different reasons for their difficulties with weight.  Is it an issue with control, love, self-esteem, stress, or abuse?  Using EFT or Logosynthesisit's important to clear these blockages in order to establish a balanced, supportive attitude towards self-care and a healthy relationship with food.  I taught both women how to use  Logosynthesis, to help them decrease stress, and they both loved it! (Next session, working on their attitudes toward food!)

2) Physical: detoxification, nutritional supplements, proper diet, and exercise are central to lowering weight while keeping metabolism, energy, and mood up.

One way to improve metabolism is to support mitochondrial health (Liposomal Catalyst by DesBio, Mito Cell by Neurobiologix), and include daily smoothies that increase nutrients and living enzymes, to increase metabolism and energy, while lowering food cravings.

Detoxify by increasing fiber intake, foot detox pads, liver support, and N-acetylcysteine or glutathione.  Fat cells store toxins to mitigate harm to our bodies.  So when toxins are reduced, the fat cells are also reduced.

Stabilizing glucose levels and decreasing evening cravings for sugar can be done through additional chromium (with other general liquid ionic mineral support) and taking some Hoodia at night.  But the main way to decrease nighttime sugar cravings is to feed yourself consistently during the day so that your brain doesn't end up with a sugar deficit by the end of the day.  Your body may have been sedentary, but your brain has been working hard all day!

Exercise helps in so many ways that it would take a whole page just to list the benefits.  However, given my childhood background of having to do Tai Chi every morning from age 7 to 14 (ugh!), I try to avoid pressuring anyone to exercise.  Encouraging an active lifestyle and introducing a preferred mode of exercise will ensure integration over the long term.

When it comes to meals, I support patients by making simple shifts, replacing harmful foods with delicious alternatives, and making sure that meals are being consumed throughout the day to keep metabolism up.  It's not uncommon to find that a patient has been eating just one meal a day.  Eating multiple meals and snacks per day takes your body out of starvation mode and back into the fast lane.

3) Social: introduce the health benefits of having fun.  Sometimes this begins by giving people permission to have fun and to take time out for themselves.  When people relax and have fun, cortisol levels decrease and abdominal girth decreases too.

Frankly, I don't believe "weight loss" is the best way to measure success per se, since a body filled with muscles and minerals will obviously weigh more than the same amount in fat and flab.  I'd rather measure improvement in lowering inches, especially around the waistline.  That is where inflammation is often located and when that comes down, you're improving your health and longevity through lowering inflammation.

Ultimately, I believe that slimming down is just a side effect of health and well-being.  For myself, it has reflected my growing capacity to care for myself in a consistent, wholesome manner.


Extra! Extra! Here's my newest opinion piece on politics under Viewpoint on my website.

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A follow-up picture to last week's newsletter, "If life gives you chives..."

If life gives you chives...

 Before: Chives multiplying in my garden!  Help!

Before: Chives multiplying in my garden!  Help!

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter.  Today I want to share some thoughts that I had about chives, family, and forgiveness while weeding my garden during Father's Day.

Enjoy!


"I'm having a problem with the chives that Aunt Irene planted in my garden," I said over the phone to Sara, my daughter.

"My chives are inside the kitchen in a pot.  I don't even water them and they're still growing.  They're really hardy plants," my daughter said, adding, "I don't think it's a good idea to plant them in a garden."

"Yeah," I replied. "They're taking over the garden.  I saw a million blades of grass in there, and they're all chives!  Why would Aunt Irene plant them there when she knew they would spread like that?  I'm busy!  I don't have time to babysit chives and keep them from seeding!"

I have a small, fenced-in garden in my backyard where weeds cavort and play, and plants take over.  I seldom spend much time there, because I am afraid of being bitten by mosquitos. 

Three years ago, Aunt Irene flew all the way from Utah to visit, and she brought a couple of dozen chives from her garden which she laboriously planted in my garden.  It was a lot of work.  Tears streamed down her face from the pungent smell of the chives, but she planted them in my garden with love.

The chives survived, of course.  Last year I neglected the garden (even more than usual) because I had a big board exam to study for.  The chives flowered (how pretty! I thought) and seeded.  This year, I have chive-grass growing in my backyard.  The couple of dozen chives multiplied to several thousand and if I don't do something this year, they will soon be several million.

When I told my aunt about the problem, she said that I shouldn't have let them go to seed (now she tells me!), but that I could make chive dumplings with them if I have too many chives.

On Sunday, Father's Day, I spent several hours digging them out.  It was with some regret that I dug out all of them.  Let's be honest, they were not a good idea to begin with, no matter how well intentioned my dear aunt was to bring them.

As sweat rolled down my back and mosquitos sucked my blood, I thought of all the well-intentioned things my father had done or not done, said or not said that were like these chives--planted years ago, hard to get rid of, and generalizing into various corners of my life if left unattended. 

In order to save my garden, I had to get down on my hands and knees and pull them out.  Every one.  And make chive dumplings out of them.

And that's how forgiveness clears the field for new seeds to grow.  

May we all survive the loving efforts of our families. :-)

 After: Chives gone!  Reclaiming my garden ... for now.

After: Chives gone!  Reclaiming my garden ... for now.

On a Few Miracles

 The old house at Eagle Cliff Mine at Joshua Tree National Park--a symbol of resilience and creativity in the desert.

The old house at Eagle Cliff Mine at Joshua Tree National Park--a symbol of resilience and creativity in the desert.

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter.  I hope that I can add something of interest and value to your day.  Today, I want to tell you about two miracles.  

Of course, for many of you holistic clinicians, miracles happen all the time in your practices, so these stories are not really miracles, they are simply a manifestation of a different healing approach.  With more information and tools to work with, miraculous healing can be ordinary occurrences.

The first miracle is about a patient who had suffered from bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and depression for over 16 years.  She initially came to my practice two years ago, taking Seroquel, Lorazepam, Lithium, Lexapro, and Nature Throid.  She has worked hard and has successfully come off all her medications!  Her last one, Seroquel, was stopped in July 2017, and she has been thriving.  Here is her story: Healing from Bipolar Disorder and Safely Withdrawing from Seroquel. 

In addition, here is an important article on some insights on histamine that made it possible for her to successfully stop Seroquel.

My second miracle is about a woman who had a stroke in April 2016 that completely incapacitated her.  She recovered from it and regained her mobility and most of her cognitive function. 

About 2-3 months ago, she began experiencing numbness in her right foot that progressed up her leg, until it reached past her knee.  Her numbness terrified and overwhelmed her.  She went to the very best neurologist she could find in NYC and received multiple tests, but her condition did not improve.

I had been her psychiatrist for just two months (since April 2018), and for most of that time, she was living in New York.  I also knew that she was planning to fly to Europe for an extended stay (until October), so I started off the session saying that I didn't think I would be of much help to her in the interim and that we should schedule our next appointment when she returns in October.  She, surprisingly, disagreed and said that she needed emotional support from me.       

I didn't feel qualified to help her with her numbness, but emotional support I could do. I suggested that we could reduce her anxiety about her numbness with EFT.  With tears streaming down her face, she worked on releasing her fears about her numbness.  Then, we did a second round of EFT on her body holding the trauma of her stroke to help her body release the trauma.  After that, we did some Energy Breaths, setting some positive healing intentions.  The whole healing session took about an hour. 

It was after I took my hands off her head, that she said, "I can feel the sole of my foot, the leather in my shoes!"  She said that she had felt a tingling energy in her leg, and when she stood up, she was able to maintain her balance more easily.  The tears that streamed down her cheeks during her EFTs burst forth even more as she wept in joy.  

I was amazed, to say the least, and very happy for her. 

I guess I will conclude by emphasizing how grateful I am for being able to be a part of my patients' healing journeys. 

When I was young, I thought that love and joy would come to me if I were rich and famous.  I wrote for love and won awards for my writing in hopes that I could be loved for my achievements as a writer.  When I abandoned that path, it was because I wanted to find the kind of joy and love that could be felt through service. 

During a dark time in my life, when I was 17, God sent me a spiritual experience in which I had a vision of myself helping a little, old, frail lady cross a street, then I felt an incredible feeling of joy and love fill me at the same time--a feeling that I had never felt before.  From that moment, I knew a greater love and joy existed out there, and I wanted THAT.

I have worked hard to live in THAT kind of love and joy, and when a patient crosses the road of life and achieves something wonderful through their healing journey, I re-experience the deep, ineffable joy of service. 

I guess my newsletter was about three miracles, rather than two.    

May your light shine through your creative efforts, 

Alice

Three Great Tips on Publishing Your Own Book

Hello Everyone!

 Summer snowflake flowers at Brookside Garden, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Summer snowflake flowers at Brookside Garden, Silver Spring, Maryland.

If you're new here, welcome!  And if you've been here before, it's great to touch base again!  I just got back from the Hay House Writers Conference in Toronto, Canada, and I'm excited to share a brief summary of what I've learned about publishing your own book!

First: find a great editor.  Hay House introduced us to Kellie Notaras, its personal editor, who shared her insights on what an editor can do for a budding writer.  It's not just about correcting your grammar. 

Editors can coach you from beginning to end and help you with the structure and organization of your book.  Her company, knliterary.com, matches authors/editors to the writer's needs.  I found my editor: Annie Wylde, and I'm so grateful to have her help me with my book.

Second: build your platform.  This means that you have people who already know you through social media, radio talk shows, or websites.  Since my natural inclination is to be a hermit, this is my Achilles heel. 

Reid Tracy, the CEO of Hay House, advised attendees to have a WEEKLY newsletter with about five paragraphs.  This is my fifth paragraph already.  Uh oh!  

I am happy that you are part of my "platform" and am excited to share my progress as a writer with you.  It was my life-long ambition to "be an author someday."  I can still remember saying that when I was in grade school, and my dream has never stopped nagging me to "write your book!"

Third: Self-publishing is the new norm for new writers.  Did you know that Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer both self-published in the past?  There is no shame in publishing your own book through a self-publishing company. 

Balboa Press is Hay House's self-publishing arm and has the expertise to help fresh voices create a book from start to finish.  The important thing is to create a good product that will capture people's interests and help you reach your audience.

I will conclude with some powerful thoughts, on the art of writing, expressed by Robert Holden at the conference:

"Your inner critic has never been published."
"In our journey, we learn to move from writing for love to the love of writing."
And finally: "Start before you're ready." 


May your light shine through your creative efforts.

Click here to read my recent review on antipsychotic withdrawal, enjoy!


Here's a YouTube link to my interview with Lillian McDermott from May 29th on the topic of getting off psychotropic medications holistically. Click on the photo to watch.

If you would like to stream audio only, here's a link to that.