Doctors Handcuffed on Natural Remedies
Powerful Patient, 2009 Week 21
Host: Joyce Graff, http://powerfulpatient.org, email@example.com 800-767-4845
Dr. Mary Zennett
Joyce talks with two proponents of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): Dr. Mary Zennett, author of “Health Care for Us All,” and Randy Eady, Director of Quest Education Foundation in Florida. Both are working with governments to increase the use of CAM as a way to increase our health and reduce the cost and need for standard medicine.
About Mary Zennett
Dr. Mary Zennett, Ph.D., is a psychiatrist who has become increasingly disturbed about our atttitude of “feel ill? Take a pill.” Among her patients are many people who are taking as many as 15 prescription medicines, not to mention vitamins and herbs . These medicines and supplements may be interacting in ways that are not good for this person’s health.
She has written a book, “Health Care for Us All” about how the U.S. Health Care system could be overhauled, utilizing more complementary and alternative medicine to support our health, reduce our need for prescription medicines, and reduce our rate of illness. The incidence of many diseases, such as diabetes, could be significantly reduced, not only reducing the cost of health care, but increasing the health and happiness of everyone.
She cautions people taking vitamins and herbs to be sure to share this information with their doctors, as these can also have negative interactions with some prescription medicines. According to one survey, 72% of Americans do not tell their doctors about their CAM remedies they are taking. This is a very dangerous practice.
While the United States has probably the best emergency care in the world, we are not at all good at preventive care – screening programs, controlling weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and prenatal care. In fact the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. healthcare system as 37th in the world.
She urges all of us to become more proactive and preventive in our approach to health. Rather than waiting for a problem to become so severe that one has to go to the Emergency Room, focus on maintaining health, preventive whenever possible, and taking action when problems are small.
About Randy Eady
Randy Eady, M.Ed, NCC Wellness Coordinator and Therapeutic Program Director Shimmering Pines Wellness and Therapeutic Education Center Originally trained as an anthropologist, behavioral scientist and therapeutic counselor, Randy Eady, established the International Quest Educational Foundation (QEF) with offices in Cologne, Germany, South Florida and Vancouver, Canada to facilitate mentor and legacy-elder training.
The International Quest Educational Foundation has been working with the Governor of Florida to reduce the cost of health care in the state. Quest has a number of programs that work with all ages, but in particular with two target populations: young children and “experienced” senior adults.
In both cases, they have been exploring the benefits of moving. Structured movement, especially cross-body movement (left leg and right arm, then right leg and left arm) are a normal part of Tai Chi conditioning exercises. This has been shown to benefit not only the coordination of the body but also the coordination of the mind. There have been significant gains for children with some form of autism, and with senior citizens keeping their minds healthy.
Eady’s immersion in the rites and rituals of American Indian Tribal practice helped guide his development of a Continuum-of-Movement-Ritual-Process called Ancient Walking to Primal Rhythms. This program, sculpted around the only therapeutic garden in North American (specifically designed for rare disease symptom relief) initiates a calming reflex that allows the body to meditate and the mind to move. Thus, freeing our critical body-rhythm and time-keeper function to once again serve as a prime orchestrator to regulate brain rhythm. Using an innovative form of tai chi technique, acupressure stimulation and labyrinth walking, this program encourages body~mind~spirit-centered integration. It stimulates a rhythmic flow of empathetic resonance based on the soothing symmetrical effect of spiral energy, breathing and exquisite bilateral coordination.
Contact Eady at Ko-Sha-Rey Rhuthms Wellness Center in Jupiter, Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out his work at:
Quest is introducing in summer 2009 a new kind of walker that supports the body in moving more naturally, and even allows someone to use the walker with one hand while walking a dog with a leash in the other hand. The benefit for seniors in having a pet companion is so great, that they wanted to support people in keeping a pet.
About Music and the Mind: A Different Kind of Dementia Therapy
Randy Eady contributed the following post to A Place for Mom’s Family: an online discussion group about elder care.
Mediate Body, Move Mind & Rejoice Spirit: Music as Medicine.
You know it intuitively: add music to relax, celebrate, share a moment, reminisce, delight your spirit. It’s a universal pleasure – and something more. The use of music for therapy and stress-reduction is on the rise.
Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, for instance , found music therapy reduced the average length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for premature infants by three days. Also, an article in the British Journal of Surgery discussed the benefits of "music with/as medicine" during surgery for both surgeons and patients. It improved surgeons’ speed and accuracy, increasing the patients’ pain tolerance and even stilled the heart to allow for more effectively and less costly cardiograms.
Throughout the United States a burgeoning recognition of music as therapy can be found in nursing homes, care centers, schools and wellness and health care facilities aspiring to improve mood, encourage socialization, stimulate physical response and enhance mental function of patients with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain and countless other health conditions.
Womb-mimicking heart-throb music has found a place in the most progressive NICUs. It has proven effective in respite for caregivers and even helped cancer patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy.
Here are some tips to help expand your musical therapy appreciation:
Rule One: There are no hard and fast rules. There’s certainly magic in music, but there is no magic music. It can caress with memories, feelings and emotions, but it’s only the more natural tones or harmonic frequency notes that create a universal effect.
So even if certain music is marketed for relaxation, there is no guarantee that you, personally, will find it relaxing. Keep looking until you find what works for you.
Rule Two: Initially, synchronize your music with your mood. After a stressful day at the office or with the kids, you may tend to play smooth, soothing music that doesn't match your mood at the time. It does match the mood you hope to obtain.
Ironically, it may be more efficient to relax by starting with faster music that matches your current mood, then incrementally moving to slower music. Give your mind and body a chance to slow down rather than shifting immediately from high gear to low.
This recommendation is based on physics and plenty of emerging fieldwork regarding the principle of entrainment.
Since certain frequencies occur in natural surrounding (such as the frequency of the heartbeat into the womb at 512 hertz) there’s strong empirical evidence to suggest everything in the world has a vibration at the molecular level. Because your body is composed mostly of water, it is an excellent conductor of sound and it attempts to resonate with the vibrations around you.
The principle also suggests that it is most efficient to meet where you are, entrain, then gradually change pace, pulse and pattern to reach your goal.
And what exactly is your goal? Perhaps it’s best to take a cue from a neonatal technique called Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). In the most progressive NICUs pre-term infants are placed in skin-to-skin contact (think kangaroo pouch) so a steady pulse, can syncopate between the maternal source and baby. This aids in circulation, breathing and body temperature regulation. A simple melody within a small range of resting heart rate (about 60 bpm) and some repetition promotes physiological relaxation, and a solid, slow-moving bass line helps with grounding.
Rule Three: Don't choose music for a particular purpose by genre. There are lots of variations within genres. Some people automatically think classical music is relaxing, but that’s not always true. Think of Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, which is full of angst and anger. On the other hand, some new age music is too thin: There isn't enough in it to help you relax.
Rule Four: The optimal music for relaxation is personal, so be aware of your own responses. Even if a piece of music meets all the standard criteria to be relaxing, if you’re not enjoying it, it’s not going to take you where you want to go.
Feeling the Beat
As you explore stress management through music, keep these practical tips in mind.
- Lyrics tend to be less relaxing because they engage the left brain and language center, often inspiring ideas, memories and emotions.
- Speakers create a general vibration, while headphones offer a more localized experience.
- Headphones can be helpful when trying to tune out the environment.
Experiment with different music in your quest for calm. And, since music and mood are so interlaced, don't be surprised if your reactions to the same music differ from day to day.