Affordable Healthcare

Today is the first day that Americans can go to their computers and check out their state health exchanges for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Personally and professionally I do not know if this solves any of our problems but politics aside, I think people should check it out an see if it actually is affordable for them and their families. 

Terrorism, the FBI and a Fish Tank

Sometime in the early 1990s, before the first attack on the World Trade Center, I was visited by a most anxious patient. It took only seconds to figure out what he did for a living when I saw his FBI badge and his Glock sidearm. He had been referred to me by a family friend who was a patient. Oscar was a member of the elite anti-terrorism unit based in New York. He came for treatment of an infection of his right arm. The persistent swollen lymph nodes throughout his arm and and armpit had not responded to antibiotic treatment. When the antibiotics failed to cure the infection, his doctor arranged to have one lymph node biopsied. The results revealed that Oscar had acquired an unusual infection. It was Mycobacterium marinum

A Homeopath on Vacation

In the professional life of every homeopathic physician there comes a turning point.  With growing confidence, trust and skill in the homeopathic method the physician closes the door on allopathic thinking.  Taking homeopathy to heart, it is a point of no return, an existential turn.  Homeopathy then penetrates into other aspects of one’s life beyond the daily clinical practice.  The method of healing becomes a way of understanding the world.  The similimum is not only the patient’s constitutional prescription but also a metaphor for understanding spouse, children, family and friends.  The remedy as type brings to light possibilities of behavior, strengths and weaknesses.  The homeopathic appreciation of those around us fosters understanding and tolerance.

Fishy Research

Last week, the mainstream press reported a study that linked consumption of fish oil to prostate cancer. A closer look at the study, however, calls the headline into question. The results were taken from a study that was designed to answer the association between selenium and vitamin C and cancer risk. The study was not initially designed to study the link between omega 3 oils and prostate cancer risk. The researchers included one (just one) measurement of blood levels of omega 3 oils. It is always dangerous to use a study designed for a specific purpose, such as selenium and vitamin C intake and cancer risk in general to answer a specific question about another factor such as fish oil consumption. One measurement in time gives no information about any subject’s daily intake in a disease that takes years to develop. The difference between the two groups, those with increased risk and the control was 4.66% vs. 4.48%.  This is at best a weak correlation and not causation. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Most patients who come for treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis) are already on medication for the control of their symptoms. They know that the conventional medication is not a cure, rather it is a life long treatment. The goal is to try and keep the symptoms mild, to treat any flare-ups aggressively, to provide additional nutritional support and thus decrease the risk of intestinal obstruction, abscess, fistula, colon resection or colon cancer.  Endoscopy can be used to check the progress of treatment whether it is conventional or holistic. 

Strange, Rare and Peculiar

Emma was 55 year old patient who was referred to me by another homeopathic doctor for a consultation. Thirty years earlier she walked into a closet and struck her head on a shelf. The pain was intense so she rubbed the top of her head vigorously to relieve the injury. From that point forward she continued to habitually rub her head. Soon, she began also rubbing her eyebrows to the point where she had rubbed off all of the hair on her eyebrows and the top part of her scalp. She had developed a condition known as trichotillomania. After 45 minutes of case taking I had only one reliable symptom that I could use: the sensation that her brain was rocking back and forth inside her skull.

All In The Family

These days with constantly shifting insurance coverage, its difficult to keep the same doctor from year to year let alone for a lifetime. So it is that we forget what the word “family” in family medicine can mean.  It means you treat families, generation to generation not just all members of one generation.  And so it is with little Maggie here. She’s weeks old and had a rather difficult birth.She underwent vacuum extraction just 2 weeks earlier that left her bruised and swollen. During her mom’s pregnancy it looked like an inflamed appendix was going to lead to surgery during pregnancy. Homeopathy to the rescue.

Fix Your Knee With A Therapeutic Shoe

Family Practice News reported on May 1, 2013 that two doctors at Rush University in Chicago invented a new type of shoe which decreases symptoms in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. This is not an orthotic, rather the sole is designed with strategically placed grooves which mimic walking barefoot. Wearing the shoes, at least 6 hours a day, six days a week lead to an 18% reduction in the load on the knees. This invention supports the osteopathic concept of treating the foot and ankle as part of the treatment of the knee. 

Homeopathy and Weight Loss

The most popular question in my practice is, “Do you take my insurance?”. The second most popular question is, “Do you have a remedy for weight loss?”.  My answer to that question usually runs something like this: If I did, I’d be on my private yacht right now. The truth is there is no specific remedy for any condition in homeopathy. Remedy selection is unique to the individual.

What is Holistic Medicine?

First, let me say what it is not. Holistic medicine is not alternative medicine whereby alternative substances such as herbs, vitamins, minerals and other supplements are used in place of conventional drugs. Neither is it complementary medicine whereby non-conventional therapies are added to mainstream medical practice. It is a philosophy, a way of practice in which understanding the entire person is required in order to prescribe a medication, in this case a homeopathic remedy. 

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