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Jan
06

A Few Hopeful Notes on OM icron

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A Few Hopeful Notes on OMcron OMicron is massively infectious, so much so that a significant percentage of the population is going to have a visit. The numbers are clearly much greater than the daily totals as the testing centres are overwhelmed and it appears that at best one in four cases is being confirmed. Has there has ever been a phenomenon quite like this? The speed and thoroughness of OMicron’s spread has been awesome to observe. OMicron is like a bush fire in a drought and everyone can and may well get it, so much so that it knits us all, vaccinated and unvaccinated, back together as one. OM. Most of the cases start with a sore throat, headache, some mucous, not too chesty, fatigue. Sometimes fever, sometimes not. Sometimes body aches, sometimes not.  In most, it is more like a head cold or mild to medium flu. Studies indicate...

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Aug
02

Making Herbal Medicines, My New Hobby

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 "I'm in the basement mixing up the medicine..." - Bob Dylan  Plant medicines in the form of herbal tinctures have gradually become an important part of my naturopathic practice that always and still centres on homeopathy. It is truly incredible the amount of scientific research into plant medicines in the last thirty years. Researching and applying this I've created a variety of formulations that have great clinical value. Generally, I buy the tinctures from several Canadian manufacturers, but my studies to improve the formulations has began turning up plants that I couldn't find in tincture form. Searching here and there I was able to source a number of these in certified organic dry form and began creating my own tinctures late last year. Some come from a grower in Thailand, some from suppliers out east or in the States. Recently, I began to expand the project to include some of the...

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Mar
29

Health Considerations for Spring 2020

Health Considerations for Spring 2020

Dear Friends, I wanted to share my findings after a period of research as well as a number of seminars with top practitioners. Firstly, though, as a disclaimer, it is necessary to say that my presentation here is for general informational purposes and is not meant to promote any preventive or curative measures for the Covid-19 virus. Naturopathic physicians in British Columbia have been designated an essential service and are following very closely the guidelines given out to health care practitioners by the Provincial Health Officer. I’ve left how my office is operating to the end of this paper. Of course, I’m going to keep this as simple as can be. Much will be repetition from what you may have already learned. Some will be new. Along with all of the necessary personal and social behaviours being promoted by public health authorities, it is certainly worth considering some of the research...

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Aug
15

My Berry Confession

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I am, among other things, a rabid lover of berries and my walking companions can find it a little annoying when I’m suddenly distracted by a stand of one species or another.  Of course, I am not above picking all manner of fruit when they present themselves along a lane or pathway. This particularly refers to the fig trees in the neighbourhood and the yellow plum tree on the street nearby.  However, it’s really the berries that excite me above all.  I think about how hunter’s and fisherman have to wait and wait.  Perhaps it was different in the days when fish and some species of birds and animals were abundant.  The natives of the prairies probably had jokes about the guy who couldn’t hit a buffalo in a herd. (Perhaps that’s why in this incarnation I stick to berries!) In the meantime, we berry pickers revel in abundance…at least for...

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Aug
16

The Quality of Natural Products

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In the U.S., reports emerge periodically indicating that herbal products are not to be trusted. When products have been tested from American chain drug stores, such as CVS, they are sometimes found to contain far less, if any of the labelled ingredients. These reports tend to cast a rather cynical shadow across the industry as a whole, but this is altogether mistaken. There are many companies in the natural products sector competing for market share and industry respect.  One way this is done is by incorporating advanced technologies and methods to ensure the quality and character of their end product. Ingredients that are particularly hot in the marketplace, such as curcumin (derived from turmeric), have companies virtually tumbling over each other to create ever more absorbable forms or cutting-edge formulations. In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit two herbal/natural product research laboratories and several natural product manufacturing...

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Jul
31

Choice, Fate and Aging

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It’s a wry fact that many of those who have been most vocal about best health practices have suffered the indignity of a relatively early death from seemingly preventable causes, sometimes the very diseases they said you could prevent by following their approach. It’s an interesting study and a little spooky for the fact that we’re reminded that the matter of health is not so simple as eating a great diet, the best supplements, exercise, etc.   Health Gurus who had untimely deaths: https://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/7-diet-gurus-who-died-of-poor-health https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/opinion/sunday/longevity-pritikin-atkins.html https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/deaths-of-fitness-diet-gurus#gypsy-boots) George Ohsawa, the founder of macrobiotics died of a heart attack at 74.  Jim Fixx, one of the foremost writers and exponents of the health and longevity benefits of running, died of a heart attack at 52, while running. Then there are those who are simply taken by ill-fate. Arnold Ehret, the famous founder of the Grape Diet and the Mucusless Healing System in the early...

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Mar
30

Taking a Sledgehammer to Heartburn

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You may be surprised to learn that medicine is subject to prescribing fads. For example, I’ve been astonished at the dramatic increase of patients that are taking drugs that turn off the acid production in your stomach, a trend well evidenced in the medical literature.  These drugs are called “Proton Pump Inhibitors”. In fact, drugs with names such as Nexium, Tecta, Prilosec, Losec, Prevacid, Periot, are now prescribed for a wide range of stomach problems and related esophageal and throat symptoms, across a remarkable range of ages. I’ve seen several cases of children and teenagers on acid inhibiting medications. In fact, there has been an astonishing rise in the prescription of these medications for children under the age of one for gastric irritation and to prevent infant reflux. As of 2010, there were 114 million prescriptions of acid suppressing medications per year in the United States. Over the last ten years, the number...

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Aug
01

Gluten Free or Fact Free?

Gluten Free or Fact Free?

Wheat and grains generally the focus of a great deal of controversy in recent years.  Publications like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain have created the impression that the ingestion of grains, particularly wheat, is the cause of major health worries such as obesity, diabetes, autoimmune illness, etc.   Despite these anti-grain opinions, the research evidence is strong that whole grains of all types are healthful and central to a nourishing natural food diet, as they have been for thousands of years.  Whole grains such as brown rice of different varieties, millet, buckwheat (a particular favourite), quinoa - all are a regular part of my plant-based diet. Today I would like to briefly discuss the issue of gluten that in a few short years has created an earthquake in the food and restaurant industry.  Gluten is a mixture of two proteins and found in grass grains, particularly wheat.  Gluten is the major factor increasingly blamed...

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Jul
02

The Benefits of Meditation

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What does meditation have to do with naturopathic medicine? If we understand health as a state of the person as a whole, it is easy to appreciate how meditation is a perfect complement to a holistic view of wellness. Cultivating an inner point of grounding and stillness is so valuable in an age when many sources of stress are playing on us more or less simultaneously. Yet even if one’s life circumstances were ideal, meditation would still be a wise practice to cultivate, as modern research has verified many direct physical and emotional benefits. Yes, there are evident, proven anti-stress benefits to meditation, yet there is much, much more. Would you like to slow the aging process , improve brain function and immunity? These are a very few of the many benefits that are available with meditation. In a recent review of fifteen studies on meditation in schools that involved almost...

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Jun
09

Skeptical of the Skeptics: Unreason in the name of Reason

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Sometime ago I happened to hear health skeptic Timothy Caulfield spreading his disdain for natural medicine on a Canadian broadcast morning show.  He had authored an essay on  the subject of medical institutions that were proposing to incorporate complementary health care methods. The thesis of his essay was that there is medical science and then there are the many pretenders to the healing arts that had, in his view, no evidential support.  http://www.irpp.org/en/po/public-square/caulfield/.  Caulfield's key assertion, is that for universities and medical clinics to associate themselves with purveyors of “nonsense”, such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, etc,. is to debase "scientific" medicine.   Study them if you must, but certainly don’t lower medicine by integrating alternative medicine practitioners or courses into clinics or institutions of higher learning. Caulfield and others have even suggested that research work associated with natural medicine, particularly homeopathy, should not be funded at all. He believes it is wrong...

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