Second Childhood – The Intangible Spirit

We live on this planet with flora, fauna, and organisms of all kinds. When history speaks of ‘plagues’ it represents imbalance. Currently in the middle of a frightening pandemic (COVID-19) we are keenly aware of the devastation an invisible micro-organism can unleash – so how can we regain balance and maintain our best health in the face of world-wide imbalance?

We begin to heal when we ask ourselves important questions that inspire observation. For example, have you noticed that there are some people who have insatiable curiosity about the world around them? This is the curiosity of a child, without the restrictions of having to ask an adult in the room for permission.

Those so blessed to live into their fifth decade and beyond are given an opportunity to embrace a ‘second childhood’ which, frankly, can be much better than the first. In the second childhood we have confidence, excitement at everything we have the power to venture out to experience, and a sense of independence. We marvel and wonder at miracles overlooked during our first childhood.

In the fifth decade of life we feel gratitude for the simple things; for the richness of each new day. Opportunity is our new companion. And though the COVID-19 pandemic does put limitations on activities and socializing in the way in which we’ve become familiar, even while safely at home, some people can’t quite embrace their second childhood – with or without the frightening pandemic. Why is that? Answer: their mind, body and/or spirit are imbalanced. They feel pain.

 When the human body lives long enough, it begins to show wear and tear (mind, body and spirit). As we focus on the ‘intangible spirit’, open-mindedness and curiosity come into focus.  We lean on familiarity – in people, places, and things, all of which bring comfort.

But what happens when what was once familiar appears the same, but behaves differently from what we thought we knew?

Reclaiming relationships falls under this category. We may notice that couples around us begin to grow apart – even after 20 or 30 years together.  Why might that be? As the body needs proper nourishment to maintain agility and efficiently functioning organ systems, so too do relationships require emotional nourishment to maintain vigor and mutual satisfaction.

Sometimes we change and grow apart from our partner; or, we wake up to realize that what we thought we had, never really existed at all. The COVID-19 crisis forces us to focus on spirituality to a greater degree. We may decide to ‘settle for’ rather than ‘strive to become’ or ‘to reclaim’ – a personal decision, and not to be taken lightly.

We ask ourselves if we’ve ever faulted younger couples for not giving their relationship a chance – so often hearing of break-ups within the first 10 years of life together. But who is the wiser person? The one who takes 30 years to wake up or out-grow dysfunction? Or the younger person who recognizes right off the bat that things won’t work out?  Neither is the wiser. The answer is: there is no single way to achieve happiness. Mutual satisfaction is a goal for most, though onlookers might not recognize the agreement. Mutual satisfaction is achieved in countless ways.

Not everyone wants to “work” on a relationship. For those couples, emotional ‘attachment’ is never an issue. Relating is less heavy, permitting those people to put energy into healing the world on different levels – whether it is an accountant or lawyer being available to clients over family, or a medical professional putting patients before homelife. Not every couple strikes a balance that is meaningful to outsiders. The important thing is that each individual in the relationship finds enough personal satisfaction to channel healing energy to the earth. If part of a ‘couple’ then whatever is mutually agreed upon is ‘correct’ for the union.

Problems arise only if the spirit isn’t fed in the way in which it needs to be nourished. If spiritually starved, the distress inevitably renders the physical body incapacitated by the time the person reaches the fifth decade of life. An unsettled spirit expresses itself in the form of anxiety – which is often accompanied by heart palpitations, unchecked adrenaline, too much cortisol, and digestive issues, to mention a few.

The unsettled spirit impacts the physical body as deeply as would a tangible injury, such as a fall from a high ladder, or auto accident. The body responds to the unsettled spirit as it responds to the physical accidents: with inflammation. Inflammation is the first step to healing. It calls attention to ‘the injury’. What becomes confusing is when inflammation goes unaddressed.

If your car’s dashboard flashed an engine check light, you would go to a mechanic. You would certainly NOT cover the light with masking tape and then set out on a 3,000 mile road trip. And yet, that is exactly how most people treat inflammation of the joints and gastrointestinal system (the gut). These ‘flashing lights’ continue to interfere with comfort, as well as absorption of necessary healing nutrients. And yet, the masking tape often used to ‘cover the symptoms up’ come in the form of over-the-counter liquids and pills (or worse: pharmaceuticals prescribed to block pain) before the diagnosis of root cause is made. Of course, if the mechanic examines under the hood and determines the engine is fine, but the light is at fault, but no replacement is available, the mechanic might indeed say “ignore the light for a while” and that would be fine. So if the primary healthcare provider determines the cause and states a liquid or pill could handle the symptom without further harming the body, wonderful. However, self-treating or accepting treatment of a symptom before the root cause is determined is often devastating to brain chemistry.

To effectively calm inflammation of the joints and gut, it is most helpful to begin by eliminating processed foods and anything that has the following words on the package: modified, partially hydrogenated, white flour, sugar, corn syrup, and artificial. We need to add to our daily diet organically grown produce – can be fresh or frozen; humanely raised, fed and killed poultry (Google: ShopWithYourHeart for brands that offer this); eggs from humanely raised hens; grass-fed beef, and dairy products from humanely raised cows. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as wild caught Alaskan salmon and black cod provide important lubrication to joints and anti-inflammatory nutrition to the gut. Probiotics (to be discussed with your healthcare provider as there are categories of organisms that may be important to avoid, depending on your body), and responsible exposure to the sun’s rays (for Vitamin D3 that the body manufactures in response). Speak with your healthcare provider or dermatologist for recommendations here as your body might require sunblock on certain areas for optimal safety.

Then, we consider additional steps. While nutritional intervention is of great value, there is more that we can do to regain spiritual strength. Your body is your business and your brain is the CEO. It communicates through whispers and shouts. Learning the language of your brain facilitates a meaningful internal relationship between and among you and your mind, body and spirit. Pain calls attention to a need. It is a helpful flag requesting investigation as to root-cause.

In order to address flags of pain, it is often valuable to tap into resources such as a life coach, therapist, yoga and/or tai chi instructor, and more. These professionals should be licensed and certified to be certain they have the most appropriate techniques to facilitate healing of the spirit through emotional as well as postural intervention.

This is your life and sacred journey. While in your body, add positive energy to the conversation you have with it on a daily basis so that everything it has to say is something you want to hear. Here’s to your best health and balance. ~ Dr. Nancy Iankowitz

      About the author: Dr. Nancy Iankowitz DNP, RN, FNP-BC is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC (mission & vision: help you self-heal; no patient turned away based upon ability to pay), functional medicine provider, author of several books, and editor of medical and nursing articles in professional journals. www.driankowitz.com; driankowitz@yahoo.com.

Functional Medicine Embraces Prevention and Healing

 

The essence of Dr. Iankowitz’ approach to wellness is:

Logic, Prevention, Common Sense & Healing

Dr. Iankowitz sees the human body as a complex set of organ systems that are designed to self heal.  In the video below Dr. Iankowitz shares her views and approach to wellness.

 

1. We each have an innate ability to heal ourselves and others. Dr. Iankowitz offers a functional medical assessment, is respectful of your views, and works within whatever system and/or cultural background you feel will facilitate your healing.

2. People have unique relationships with whatever disease process they experience. When you request facilitated healing, it is important to determine how you perceive your  ‘illness’ or ‘condition.’  Once this is established,  your healing journey – guided by Dr. Iankowitz, begins.

3. If one has a secretly vested interest in holding on to a condition, this suggests the illness may be viewed by the patient as a friend. The response of the health practitioner must take the patient’s reality into account. Referrals are made to licensed, certified professionals including mental health, physical therapy, massage therapy, holistic optometry, herbal practitioners and more, upon patient request.

4. Patient perception governs the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of treatment. Dr. Iankowitz embraces and appreciates that success is defined by your comfort with your health status. Your physical and emotional ease, freedom and joy are key factors in determining your personal ‘success’ in facilitated healing.

Each individual embodies a multi-cultural reality, and each encounter is unique and valid. While the conventional medical model works within the central portion of the bell shaped curve (suggesting that ‘the norm’ should apply to ‘all’), the functional medical model permits a ‘patient-centered’ approach (recognizing that each individual is unique). Dr. Iankowitz embraces an eclectic view, in accordance with values supported by the Nurse Practitioner model blended with the evidence-based practice of functional medicine.

 

If You Are Taking A Prescribed Medication For Stomach Acid (PPI) This Is Worth Reading

Contact:  (917) 716-6802    By Appointment Only

Stomach distress and heartburn are not fun and may significantly impact your quality of life.

When these symptoms are treated as ‘problems’ rather than as ‘flags’ signaling greater problems, then the APPROACH to treatment becomes an additional cause for concern.

Dr. Susan Kolb  treats reflux by addressing the fungal overgrowth. She explains that she uses, “Nystatin oral solution to kill yeast affecting the cardiac valve along with Heartburn Free, a supplement that causes the valve to work better (orange peel extract) with good success.”  She avoids some of the popular prescriptions, noting that, “[r]educing acid with H2 blockers over time increases food allergies as well.”

Her approach recognizes that, “[w]hen amino acids do not get absorbed, one gets degenerative disc disease, rotator cuff issues, and other problems.” Her patient population is a unique group, “. . .  that is toxic from silicone and 100% of them have yeast overgrowth as well as malabsorption problems.” She uses Calorad or a broad amino acid supplement in many [of her] patients [and she addresses] the dysbiosis in the gut [that causes] leaky gut. All patients with immune deficiencies including those on chemoRx are at risk for these problems.”

Her entire approach to inflammation is wonderfully refreshing.  Feel free to look her up online.

Reminders as we continue with this discussion:

  • The mind often communicates with us through the body (i.e. anxiety, stomach issues, muscle tension etc).
  • The body communicates with us through pain and fever.
  • When we treat the ‘flags’ or ‘symptoms’ as if they are the actual problem, we risk silencing the valuable communication system, throwing off our mind/body/ spirit balance.

For more about how these bottom lines came to be, click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2, click here for Part 3.

The focus of this blog – Part 4:  

  • How the complex digestive system calls attention to itself
  • Evidence-based approaches to address underlying imbalances expressed

Gas, bloating, acid-reflux, “IBS” & “GERD”  FLAGS & SYMPTOMS often misunderstood & treated as if  they are the cause

Functional medicine addresses root causes.  As we age, our stomach experiences symptoms from naturally decreased acid (hypochlorhydria). Supplements may help.  Click here for an explanation and details about why and how.

When your symptoms include gas, bloating, and other discomfort of the stomach, and you are told “You have IBS”  (irritable bowel syndrome), the ROOT CAUSE is still yet to be addressed. Conventional medicine, however, stops at the diagnosis and prescribes an antacid, as if to ‘treat’ the symptoms.

Symptoms can’t be ‘treated’ . . . they can only be ‘masked’

Part of the approach functional medical doctor Dr. Mark Hyman MD takes includes analyzing food choices along with body responses, as well as the balance of bacteria that are present in the ‘gut’ of the individual patient. He addresses the ’cause’ and uses ‘symptoms’ to flag and guide.

Before offering a treatment, and certainly before prescribing a pharmaceutical medication, these factors are carefully assessed by functional medicine, and then addressed.  Click here to read more about how Dr. Hyman treats IBS.

Dr. Andrew Weil MD also offers interventions that include a wide range of evidence-based approaches to help patients heal stomach issues. If you are interested in herbal interventions, in addition to the other evidence-based recommendations he has to offer, click here.

The integrative medicine approach to GERD is to avoid PPIs (i.e  Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, click here for a more complete list) and to actually wean patients who are on them, OFF.  Click here for the current thinking and detailed rationale. As with ‘functional medicine’, the integrative medical approach addresses lifestyle, including diet and exercise, as well as what the patient’s body presents with (i.e. degree of stomach acid, organisms in the gut).

Pros and cons of over-the-counter and prescription antacids: The bottom line is that, while soothing of the symptoms does occur, long term use of these products is now known to contribute to bone fractures. Click here for research out of Forsyth Institute.

The above essay highlights ways in which your digestive system communicates with you through symptoms. It also suggests how functional and integrative approaches address the true causes, recognizing the importance of listening to rather than silencing the sophisticated ‘alert system’ your body has in place.

The bottom line is that there are many causes and ways of dealing with stomach issues.  When medication is the ONLY approach used and/or first line approach, the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Speak to your health provider about the information in this article and then, together with your provider, make decisions that are in the best interest of your mind/body/spirit balance.   It is your life.  Your journey.  Your body.  Here’s to your health.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional resources:

About the Author: Dr. Iankowitz is an ANCC board certified advanced practice nurse, in private practice as founder and Director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC.  Dr. Iankowitz is the editor and author of several articles and books, and founder of Universe’Secretary.

Other posts by this author:

The Mind/ Body/ Spirit Connection and Internal Communication To Facilitate Balance

Contact:  (917) 716-6802    By Appointment Only

The mind, body and spirit convey powerful messages through an intricate and very delicate communication system. The network includes, comfort, discomfort, anxiety, pain, fever and a host of other experiences that enrich life.

Some people carry anxiety in their necks or backs; that is, when we have a back pain, it might represent a structural issue (a trip to the chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment might help), OR indicate emotional tension, poor posture at the computer or dinner table, or might even be signaling a problem stemming from an internal organ (a trip to the doctor might be in order).  How can YOU tell what your own body is trying to express?

Click here to read about how the body communicates, how we can learn to listen, and what we can do to answer the call.

Living With Diabetes? Consider Cinnamon

There are different types of cinnamon – and this is important for people living with diabetes.  Ceylon (from Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) vs Cassia (from Cinnamomum Cassia – or Cinnamomum Aromaticum) would be an important distinction if you were to explore this approach medicinally.  It is the coumarin (blood thinning properties)  which needs to be monitored.  That is, the ceylon cinnamon has less than the cassia species.  When taking medicinal amounts of cinnamon, one needs to be certain not to overdose on the coumarin.

Cinnamon comes in sticks as well as powder form.  The picture featured on this article is that of ‘cassia’.  For additional information regarding what you need to know about cinnamon if you use it medicinally, as well as to see a photo of the ceylon cinnamon click here . **

** Always consult with your primary health care provider before beginning a new or manipulating an existing food, medication, herb, or any practice that may impact your mind/body/spirit balance.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gut Flora – REALLY?

As years progress, we discover increasingly important roles played by the gut in brain function, mood, immune function and more.  Not much of a surprise, then, to learn how important the digestive system is to auto-immune system glitches, as in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The conventional approach is to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis with pharmaceutical products. The functional medicine approach is to embrace the human body as a complex organism made up of organ systems that work together to achieve a harmonious experience we call life. Comfort is key. Maintaining equilibrium is what functional medicine tries to facilitate. For a video focused on the functional medical assessment and treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis CLICK HERE.

According to Dr. Hyman, “Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.”  Click here to read on about what Dr. Hyman has to say.

So what can you do to heal yourself? The functional medicine approach begins by screening you for infections (i.e. fungal – which oftentimes results from inappropriate and repetitive use of antibiotics –  click here for details), H. pylori  – which is appropriately treated with antibiotic therapy, food allergies and leaky gut. In addition, a functional medicine doctor will detoxify you from metals, clean up your sinuses, and heal your immune system. This is done by offering  supportive nutrients, such as zinc, fish oil, vitamin D, herbs, and probiotics. Additionally, your provider will help you incorporate dietary changes comprised of whole-foods (click here for a market that sells them) that are allergen-free and anti-inflammatory (click here for examples of anti-inflammatory foods).

Read more about the evidence and data that are building regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis and gut flora: Click here

You deserve to feel well. Today is a wonderful opportunity to set up your healthful short and long-term goals.  Here’s to your health.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

http://holisticprimarycare.net/topics/topics-a-g/chronic-disease/1712-rheumatoid-arthritis-linked-to-microbiome-changes.html

Learning How To Read Your Body

Each individual travels a unique and sacred journey through life. There is deviation from equilibrium; that is, there are ups and downs.  This is part of the adventure.  Learning how to cope, on the mind/spirit level comes with experience. Learning how to heal the body and, ultimately, restore balance to the mind/body/spirit relationship within yourself, also comes with experience – but takes mindfulness to a new level. Wisdom is the mentor in this scenario.

Prevention is the goal. Communication is the key. True wisdom is revealed by understanding that most presentations of ‘illness’ are merely symptoms of imbalance within the mind/ body/ spirit realm – which you can learn to address once you learn your body’s language.

Bottom line: When the mind/body/spirit balance is “OFF” it is represented uniquely by symptoms expressed by each system.

Find the answers: A symptom of MIND imbalance is expressed as confusion on some level. The BODY, when off balance, expresses itself through joints, muscles, energy, weight and, if it is ‘hormone-based’, may express itself AS IF it is ‘spiritual’ imbalance since, when the SPIRIT is off balance, it is expressed by mood.

All three (mind/body/spirit) are intricately intertwined; thus, there is no possible way that ONE single system can be out of balance without impacting another system. Does it matter where the imbalance began? It may – or, it might not.

What if you knew that, in one single hour, you could learn how to read your body with just a bit of guidance? You can.

Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC promises to offer tools, during your initial one-hour consultation, that you can use immediately to address any issue you present with, including stress, weight, muscle tone – even sinusitis and neck pain. You will learn how to figure out, for yourself, which system each problem represents, and you will have interventions you can use to address your mind, body and spirit appropriately without a pharmaceutical product. Dr. Iankowitz does not draw blood or collect body fluids. This is the most unique wellness experience one can have – and it is the wave of the future.

Download the “Patient Intake Form” from this link to see what you can expect from the first visit.

Then, click below to see what more you can learn about how to tap into your inner wisdom:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/108697040403085705800/dashboard/overview