Mindfulness in Therapy

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that was developed in the ancient Buddhist tradition and continues to be practiced today.  Itmeditation1 involves obtaining a calm and conscious awareness of one’s body functions and feelings.  Currently, many therapists are incorporating this practice of mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy to form a treatment for a variety of mental and physical conditions including substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and pain.  Some of the mindfulness-based therapy techniques currently in use include Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  Many books, DVDs, and Internet websites are available for any person interested in learning about this practice.  In addition there are many studies available for review that reveal the many uses and benefits of mindfulness meditation techniques, demonstrating this is evidence-based therapy we can incorporate with confidence for a variety of therapeutic needs.

Additional value in mindfulness meditation is that it is a non-drug treatment.  For those battling drug addictions, drug treatments may not be an option to treat co-occurring PTSD and pain.  Drug dependence theories posit that drug dependence is a disease state, in which physical dependency on the substance eventually leads to the compulsive and repetitive use of the substance despite the negative consequences to the user’s health, mental state, or social life (Shen, Orson, & Kosten, 2012).   This drug dependence is often a result of prescription drugs.  Research has revealed that individuals prescribed opioid drugs, used for the treatment of chronic pain, had a significantly higher rate of misuse than those with a history of drug abuse who were not prescribed opioids (Pohl & Smith, 2012).   This has become a serious problem in the United States with the overuse, abuse, and addiction to opioid medications.  Opioid dependence is considered to be a lifelong, chronic, and relapsing disorder for the individual (Shen, Orson, & Kosten, 2012).  Therefore, in patients who have a history of addiction or other risk factors for developing addiction, opioids should be prescribed with consideration of their tendency.  The need to explore alternatives is obvious.  Mindfulness techniques that address even complex co-occurring disorders such as substance use disorder with PTSD and pain are worthy of exploration.  At dohi Center for Well-being we utilize mindfulness techniques in counseling as well as teach Mindfulness Meditation to the clients we see, and we are very pleased with the results.

References:

Pohl, M., & Smith, L. (2012). Chronic pain and addiction: challenging co-occurring disorders. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs44(2), 119-124. doi:10.1080/02791072.2012.684621

Shen, X., Orson, F., & Kosten, T. (2012). Vaccines against drug abuse. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics91(1), 60-70. doi:10.1038/clpt.2011.281

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Drug-free Therapy for Pain

Our s

pecialty at dohi Center is to help our clients achieve optimum health and well-being, in a drug-free environment. What does this actually mean for a person? It can mean anything from just feeling good throughout the day, to healing and overcoming difficult health challenges. What it does not mean is maintaining drug use to an accepted perceived comfort level. Unfortunately many people believe that this is all they will ever be able to do. This is shocking to us because it is far from truth. The truth is, your body has amazing innate healing abilities, and we know how to work with these abilities to benefit you, our client. Innate abilities to heal means your own natural abilities to heal, even from chronic pain.

There are many options of therapy to benefit a person experiencing chronic pain, such as what one would experience in lower back pain from injury, while avoiding prescription opiate analgesics and other pain relieving drugs. Injuries are usually not permanent and a person has the potential for recovery from them. However, while dealing with the pain by using medications, the longer a person takes opiate analgesics the more they are put at risk by the dangers of drug tolerance, dependence, and addiction. An effective program to help a person with pain, who wishes to avoid medications, should include behavioral techniques in relaxation, mind-body medicine, and alternative therapies. This type of program can help the person in recovery from the injury and to be relieved of pain without drugs. Sounds simple doesn’t it. Remember, the results of this process are achieved by working with your innate ability to heal! This is our expertise at dohi Center.

Behavioral techniques that are used to help with back pain include relaxation as well as behavior modifications. Relaxation techniques have been shown to be beneficial for lower back pain when it is included in a person’s program (Brannon & Feist, 2010). Relaxation techniques involve progressive muscle relaxation, which the person can learn to do independently. In addition, operant conditioning to increase physical activity has been shown to effectively lower the need for medication (Brannon & Feist, 2010). Operant conditioning involves changing the behaviors that contribute to chronic pain and encourage the implementation of behaviors that will help with healing.

Techniques in mind-body medicine can be incorporated into a program for lower back pain. For example, mindfulness meditation has been shown to help individuals who suffer from lower back pain. Implementing mindfulness meditation into a person’s program may help with improvement in pain acceptance and also with physical function (Morone, Greco, & Weiner, 2008). Mindfulness meditation is also used effectively for stress reduction (Brannon & Feist, 2010), depression, PTSD, post-pregnancy depression, substance abuse, and other problems we will discuss here in other articles. To point out a key point, since stress plays a major role in lower back pain, we often use this technique to help in reducing pain.

The specific drug-free therapies we use at dohi Center include mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and operant conditioning to help our clients reduce pain while reducing the need for medications. We also incorporate your nutritional needs, which also play an important role in healing and reducing pain. Other alternative therapies can also be included in the program for lower back pain. Acupuncture has shown to be one of the most effective complementary treatments for lower back pain (Brannon & Feist, 2010). Both chiropractic manipulations and massage therapy are also very effective for relieving back pain, which can be incorporated into a drug-free pain program. In fact, chiropractic manipulations are shown to be a superior treatment for musculoskeletal pain over conventional medical treatments (Brannon & Feist, 2010).

So now you know…

By incorporating mind-body therapies into a pain program along with behavioral modifications and techniques in mind-body medicine, you have the opportunity to be relieved of pain while avoiding the medications used to address pain that can be so detrimental to your overall health, well-being, and life. You also know that we, at dohi Center, offer many therapies including mindfulness meditation, relaxation, operant conditioning, and behavior modification which reduce pain while reducing the need for medications. Each of these therapeutic options can be effectively incorporated into your drug-free program for the treatment of your acute or chronic pain.

creating Harmony & Balance in your life,

Charlotte Test, N.D., M.A., MRAS, CAADC,
Board Certified in Alternative Medicine

References

Brannon, L., & Feist, J., (2010). Health psychology. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Morone, N. E., Greco, C. M., & Weiner, D. K. (2008). Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: a randomized controlled pilot study. Pain, 134(3):310-9.

copyright Charlotte M. Test

Workplace Health Program

An effective workplace health program can help in promoting to workers healthy behaviors to avoid disease as well as help those already affected by disease to improve or delay disease progression.  While the evidence demonstrates good workplace health programs are beneficial, some employers choose not to invest in them or to cut funding for programs they have in place because they do not believe they can effectively reduce disease risks for their employees (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).  To ensure the program is effective it should have five key elements, which include health education; related employee services links; a physical and social environment that accommodates health improvement; health promotion is part of the organization’s culture; and employee screenings that include adequate treatment and follow up (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).  While the program is geared toward healthy individuals, everyone at the workplace is able to benefit.

Those that benefit from the workplace health programs mainly include individuals that are generally healthy (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).  An effective program is geared toward providing opportunity to those individuals who are not maintaining good health and who are at risk for acquiring preventable diseases.  These individuals benefit from a health promotion program that includes encouragement of fitness and exercise, eating a healthy diet, managing weight, managing stress, controlling the use of alcohol, and practicing safe sexual behaviors (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).

Individuals that are at high risk due to lifestyle behaviors will also find benefit in a workplace health promotion program.  These individuals may be smokers, are sedentary, have an unhealthy diet, have unsafe sexual behaviors, consume alcohol, or experience excessive stress (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).  They may also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, or excessive weight.  Individuals with these risk factors benefit from a workplace health promotion program that includes hypertension screening and management programs, support for smoking cessation, and classes for weight loss (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).

Individuals already affected by ailments such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, musculoskeletal related disorders, and depression, can benefit from a program in their workplace (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008).  The goal for these individuals is to improve the condition or to delay the progression of disease, through promotion of better compliance with their treatments, and changes in behaviors that reduce the risk for their disease.

Overall a workplace health promotion program is beneficial to everyone at the workplace.  An effective program can help reduce risk factors for disease in healthy individuals, while helping those change lifestyle behaviors that need to improve their state of health or delay the progression of disease they may already have.  The health programs are offered to individuals at the location they spend much of their time at, the workplace, which helps to improve compliance.  For the employer that invests in them, an effective health program is able to yield acceptable financial returns as well.

 

References

Brannon, L. & Feist, J., (2010).  Health psychology. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Goetzel, R. Z. & Ozminkowski, R. J. (2008). The health and cost benefits of work site health-promotion programs. The Annual Review of Public Health, 29, 303–323, doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.29.020907.090930.

 

RBTI Water Program – handout

LEMON WATER

The breakdown of the Liver is the beginning of illness. When the Liver is flushed and regenerated, its enzymes are sent all over the body and numerous issues begin to disappear, as there is enough anionic (negatively ionic or alkaline) Liver bile to handle the cationic (positively ionic or acid) foods, which are eaten. Anionic juice of fresh Lemon, mixed 4 oz. to 36 oz. of distilled water, is the natural base for the six billion different Liver enzymes needed for every organ and gland in the body.

Fresh lemon juice combined with distilled water is taken each hour for 10 hours throughout the day. Healthy people do not need Lemon water. Most people are put on lemon water one or two days a week and others up to seven days a week. Normally a chronically ill person will go on a one to five day lemon water fast at the start of the program. The body cannot consume or assimilate more than four (4) ounces of a fluid at a time. If you drink more than that, you are overloading the system. The liver flushes every thirty (30) minutes. If you drink the water, lemonade, or other juices every half hour, you will time the release of the bile from the liver. When you do this, you get more energy out of the food you are eating and drinking. This causes you to become healthier. (note: only Freshly juiced lemon is used)

Why drink lemon water?

According to Dr. Reams, the liver bile that is produced in our bodies is a hydrochloric acid. This liver bile is anionic, which means that the electron in the outer shell rotates in a clockwise rotation. All the foods that we eat are cationic, which means that the electron in the outer shell rotates in a counter-clockwise rotation. When you mix these two substances, the anionic and the cationic together, you create friction because the electrons are rotating in opposite directions. This friction creates energy and this energy is what produces your ability to work, function, and live. Without this energy and friction, you will die. When the liver bile becomes too weak, there is not enough friction from the food you eat, and you do not get the energy out of the food. According to Dr. Reams, when your body is functioning at its peak, the most energy that you can get out of the food is 2% of the energy it contains. The lemonade is a diluted hydrochloric acid, and it is anionic. It is the only substance in nature that Dr. Reams has ever found that is anionic. When you drink the lemonade in a systematic basis, you create more friction in the body with the cationic foods. When you cause more friction, you are able to pick up more energy from the foods you eat, and that is the purpose of the lemonade. To get the proper anionic minerals, it is recommended that the widest possible variety of fruits and vegetables be eaten.

Anyone going on a Lemon juice program should follow the advice of a Reams practitioner. Lemon juice is a highly energetic food and if the person is not monitored, it may release toxins too. Occasionally, people with a highly inflamed stomach or ulcers cannot drink lemon water because of irritation to the inflamed tissue. In certain neurological conditions it can be detrimental, if not monitored properly, and could also be detrimental to someone with very seriously high or low blood sugar. Thus it is essential to follow the instructions of a practitioner trained in the biological theory of ionization. About one person in a thousand is allergic to lemon juice. A person already on insulin is considered to have serious blood sugar problems. It is all right for them to start slowly, they should not fast without supervision.

DISTILLED WATER

  1. Distilled water is very high-energy water. That means that the water molecules have very little waste product within them to tie up any of their magnetic energy. Hard water has a high Level of mineral carried inside the water molecule so that there is little available electromagnetic energy left to bond with other things the water comes into contact with. Therefore, hard water is a low-energy water, as well as being considered a dry water.
  2. Distilled water is the perfect water that nature prefers. Rain is water that is distilled without the assistance of man. Fog is distilled water before it is condensed into drops. Glaciers are collections of frozen water that may have accumulated over thousands of years. The water came from nature’s distillation program.
  3. Just keep in mind that the use of distilled water is preferred not because of the lack of mineral so much as because of the higher energy. Distilled water will move through the system and especially the liver better than low energy water. Since the body is 60 to 80 percent water, WATER is the chief catalyst and MEDIUM for all the energy reactions that take place there. Using the higher energy, wetter, distilled water will help assure that all the body’s metabolic environment is at its best hydration.
  4. Yes, a person can drink too much water, though under consumption is usually the rule.
  5. You should be aware that smaller amounts of water, more often is much better, because it allows the liver to make full and efficient use of the total water consumed. Your liver can usually use not more than three or four ounces of water efficiently during any thirty-minute period of time.
  6. It should be pointed out that there are a number of waters available for purchase in the supermarket. Only one of these is best, and that is steam-distilled water. Do not purchase deionized water. Deionized water is not for consumption within the human body.

Handout for clients utilizing data from RBTI testing available at:

dohi Center for Well-being
1700 East Main Street
Waynesboro, PA 17325
717-473-4980

CharlotteTest@dohiwellbeing.com

Why Health Psychology?

Since 2002 I have been in practice as a Traditional Naturopathic Doctor.  I earned my degree from Trinity School of Natural Health who have been providing professional programs of study in Natural Health since 1991.  My education also included business management and dietetics.  Why did I continue my education in Health Psychology?  I have always  felt especially drawn to true mind-body medicine.  Naturopathy somewhat includes the psychological aspects of health but does not delve to the depths I wanted to go in learning the mental/emotional/behavioral, psychological, aspects in why people become physically ill and do not get better. Chronic illness.  Chronic pain.  Chronic blood sugar issues.  Chronic heart issues.  A chronic illness is something an individual is not overcoming.  They may be managing it somewhat but are not truly healing.

20180421_160327.jpgMy graduate studies in Health Psychology provided me insight and expertise which I utilize to guide my clients through life changing efforts in improving their health and well-being, and taking necessary steps for addressing chronic health concerns.  In Health Psychology we explore the interactions between the body and the mind.  We examine how stress and nutrition influence your physical and psychological health and well-being.  We work to help you work through issues such as eating disorders, substance use disorders, as well as problems you may have in meeting your health improvement goals.  In Health Psychology we also explore alternative medical approaches, which is a perfect compliment to my Naturopathic training, allowing me to help you create harmony and balance in your life.  Why Health Psychology?  The answer is obvious.  Your success is my success.  My extra schooling was worth it 🙂

Charlotte Test

Can herbs help addiction? (part 1)

Alcohol

An estimated 17.6 million American adults (8.5 percent) meet standard diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder according to results from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) reported in the current Archives of General Psychiatry [Volume 61, August 2004: 807-816].

Conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, the NESARC is a representative survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older. With more than 43,000 adult Americans participating, the NESARC is the largest study ever conducted of the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders among U.S. adults.

Alcoholism is a serious issue that not only impacts the well-being of the sufferer but also each and every family member, friends, employers, all persons that interact with this person.

Aside from interventions and counseling that should be provided to help a person overcome their addiction, herbs show promise and can be very effectively utilized:

A Combination of Kudzu and St. John’s Wort

This is a formula that was originally combined to help alcoholics overcome the stress of their addiction.  It does have other uses that include cooling inflammation in the gut and helping leaky gut syndrome.  It can be used for neck pain, mild depression, anxiety, and headaches. (source: Tree of Lite Publishing)

Kudzu: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, kudzu root is used in prescriptions for the treatment of wei, or “superficial,” syndrome (a disease that manifests just under the surface—mild, but with fever), thirst, headache, and stiff neck with pain due to high blood pressure. It is also recommended for allergies, migraine headaches, and diarrhea. The historical application for hangover and alcohol craving has become a major focal point of modern research on kudzu. There is evidence that links diadzin, a constituent of Kudzu, to the potential reduction in alcohol consumption.  A person who takes kudzu, may still drink alcohol, however, they will consume less than if they had not taken kudzu.   Kudzu is also used in modern Chinese medicine as a treatment for angina pectoris.  Its leaves are high in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and protein.

Common Names: Ge Gen (Mandarin), Kakkon (Japanese), Kalgun (Korean), Japanese Arrowroot, Pueraria Root.

Common Uses: Antioxidant; alcohol cravings; allergies; angina,; soothing digestive aid; diarrhea; headaches and migraines; fever; muscular tension; minor aches & pain; blood pressure support; culinary food starch thickener (powder).

St. John’s Wort: Long before the standardized extract of St. John’s Wort became popular, the whole herb has been used in traditional herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years as a potent anti-viral, calming and pain relieving herb.  The compound Hypericin was isolated in St. John’s Wort in 1942 and has been used as an antidepressant.  The whole herb is primarily used to help rebuild and repair nerve damage, relieve pain, remove phlegm from chest and lung area, reduce inflammation, and can be applied topically for scrapes, burns & pain.

Common use: Sedative; pain; viral infections; colds; chest & lung congestion; menstrual cramps; sciatica; arthritis; gout; diuretic.

Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination [Nervous] stock number 975-6

diadzin is a constituent of Kudzu that evidence shows is linked to the potential reduction in alcohol consumption.

“Isoflavone compounds naturally occurring in the root of the kudzu plant have been used historically to treat alcohol-related problems” (Penetar et al., 2012).  A pilot study by researchers Penetar et al. (2012) was conducted to assess the effects of one primary isoflavone – puerarin- for its ability to modify alcohol intake in humans. This study is the first to demonstrate that a single isoflavone found in the kudzu root can alter alcohol drinking in humans.

hypericin is the compound in St. John’s Wort which has been shown to reduce stress and depression.

Each capsule of Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination contains 1 mg of daidzin and 1 mg hypericin.

NOTE: While taking this product, avoid exposure to strong sunshine and tanning rays (tanning salons). Consult your health care provider before using this product if you are taking prescription anti-depressive drugs, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, as well as any MAO inhibitors.

Reference:  Penetar, D. M., Toto, L. H., Farmer, S. L., Lee, D. Y. W., Ma, Z., Liu, Y., & Lukas, S. E. (2012). The isoflavone puerarin reduces alcohol intake in heavy drinkers: A pilot study. Drug and alcohol dependence126(1), 251-256.

To order Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination, please visit www.mynsp.com/herbalhour
The item number is 975-6.

Or visit CLICK HERE for a direct link to the product.

We also have both Kudzu and St. John’s Wort in loose herb tea available for purchase online or at The Herb Peddler located in dohi Center for Well-being.

The information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.  Information on herbs and supplements provided on this site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure disease. We are not responsible for the results of your decisions in using this information, including, but not limited to, your choosing to seek or not to seek professional medical care, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatment based on the information.
If you have any medical health care questions, please consult a professional medical provider.  If you need treatment, please see a licensed provider.

Peace and good health,

Charlotte Test, ND, MH, BAPSY

– See more at: http://theherbpeddler.com/herbalhour