How Can Orthodontics Promote Whole Health?

Dental worker inspecting slide, orthodontics, whole health

Nearly 20% of people wearing braces in the U.S. are adults, yet it seems that many more can benefit from orthodontics. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that a large majority of people have malocclusion or misalignment, with only 35% of adults having well aligned mandibular incisors (the four incisors located on the jaw). Interestingly, this is a modern problem, since our hunter-gatherer ancestors had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding. The advent of farming and the greater availability of ‘soft’ foods like grains and legumes lessened the size of jaws without a corresponding change in tooth size. The result is that there is not enough space in the jaws and the result is misaligned or crowded teeth. This is one of the earliest examples of the interconnectedness of different body systems. Not to mention the close connection between oral and cardiovascular health (Sanchez, 2017). It shows the important link between our diet and our oral health, and is also indicative of why so many of us need orthodontics.

 Malocclusion and the Risk of Falls

A 2016 study by scientists at the University of Barcelona showed that having an imperfect bite (e.g. gaps between teeth, crowding of teeth, missing teeth) can affect our postural control. These postural problems can potentially increase the risk of falls in people with certain diseases, or even affect athletes’ performance, potentially increasing instability as tiredness increases. The researchers concluded that orthodontics should be considered both by members of the general population and by athletes as a way to help prevent falls and instability.

Orthodontics and Sleep

We know that quality sleep is vital for our physical and mental health, with chronic sleep deprivation linked to obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. A 2012 University of Eastern Finland study on children aged six to eight found that the risk of sleep-disordered breathing is increased by crossbite (a type of oral misalignment which occurs when the upper and lower sets of teeth don’t meet correctly), among other factors. The researchers stressed that children with disordered breathing should have their dental bite examined, since employing orthodontics to reduce sleep issues may be required. 

Braces for Better Mental Health

A 2018 study published in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences found that there is an important relationship between orthodontics, mental health, and body image. Researchers noted that participants who had worn braces or other orthodontic devices were overwhelmingly satisfied with the results. They concluded that orthodontic treatment could significantly improve one’s overall mental health and change one’s attitude towards one’s physical image.

Many of the biggest health problems on a global scale – including sleep deprivation, obesity, and falls, can be aided through orthodontics. We have mentioned just a few instances of the way in which orthodontics can enhance health, but its effects are significantly more numerous. Teeth that are correctly aligned, for instance, can help us enjoy our food more, and enjoy a wider variety of foods – including harder, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables – which are so useful for our heart and overall health. If you are an an adult who is bothered by missing teeth, malocclusion, gaps or other problems, see your dentist and discuss the suitability of orthodontics.


For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Author Credit: Allie Oliver

How Integrity Influences Your Health Choices

integrity and whole health

Driven by personal history and ambition, successful people offer perfect examples of the potential outcome of serotonin-driven self-soothing. This invites us to ask and answer questions about self-esteem and self-care. When we understand the relationship between our unconscious mind, our self-esteem, and the stress of looking for love “out there,” it becomes clear that what is at the core of our “super sizing” or over-eating is not solved by the diet of the month or the next how-to best seller. Rather, what is called for is an examination of:

-our ego state
-our personal world view
-our treatment of nature and others
-our values
-our beliefs
-our consumption
-our accumulations

Internal Alignment

When these aspects of self are aligned with choices that lead to moderation rather than ambition, that produces balance rather than extremes, which debunks the thinking that “more is better.” We then select the foods we innately know are healthy, even when we must choose from a fast food menu.

In a culture comprised of 5% of the world population, using 75% of the world’s resources, we have come to accept access as a way of life. The 1980’s Robin Leaches’ TV show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, tainted our appetites for over-consumption, which has brought us to where we are today– obese and chronically diseased.

A Tip from the National Institute of Whole Health

World wide, healthy cultural traditions offer us an opportunity to re-think our approach to the way we live. Folk wisdom invites us to ponder:

How much do I really need to —–

> have?
> eat?
> own?
> control?

What do I need in order to be content? And, what role does gratitude in my life is? Having a calm, well-functioning nervous system can be a main objective for all of us instead of trying to trick the body into doing what is not natural with the latest diet craze or supplement pills available.

A Different Question

It may be time for us to not only change the question we ask ourselves but the questions we are asked as consumers. What if, when making food purchases, the questions were “supersize or downsize” and the choice we make could result in significant weight loss rather than weight gain? That might put us on the road to health instead of heart disease and diabetes, which more and more research shows comes from stress and poor food choices.

So, are your food choices congruent with your personal values?

For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Could Visualization Speed Your Recovery?

Decades ago, in the 1990’s, Peggy Huddleston, author of “Prepare for Surgery Health Faster,” demonstrated the relationship between a patient visualizing their healing after surgery and a decrease in the need for pain medication and subsequent shorter hospital stays.

Huddleston conducted numerous studies at Boston area hospitals and, without exception, the use of healing visualization before and after surgery resulted in measurable improvements in the recovery from surgery. This also resulted in a decrease of costs related to hospitalization length of stay, medication, and the absence of complications after surgery. Thus, guided imagery is a useful tool.

Until recently, it was only nurses, social workers, and pastoral counselors who were advocates of guided imagery as a healing modality. But due to health consumers now educating their doctors about the healing benefits of guided imagery, physicians are also getting on board. Many are now recommending the use of guided imagery not only for pre- and post-operative benefits, but also as adjunctive therapy for chronic pain and disease.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, the well-known cardio-thoraic surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Medical center, recommends imagery for his patients. This trend can now be seen at all major medical centers and hospitals. In addition, with studies, explored in the health coach certification program, showing that imagery saves money, has no clinical risk, and can be administered without a practitioner, companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California have incorporated the modality into its paid services for its members.

In June of 2000, Blue Shield began a pre-surgery program involving Guided Imagery for its members who were approved for a major surgery. This established the first health plan to develop such a program.

Apart from its use with surgery, guided imagery can facilitate relaxation and reduction of stress. By imagining your body healing and growing stronger, messages are sent to the amygdala portion of the brain, which “automatically” sends messages to our immune system to create chemistry that will assist in the recovery or healing process that is desired.

Specific imagery learned in health coach certification for specific conditions can also greatly enhance the healing, but just visualizing the immune system sending out “messengers” to heal whatever part of the body is ailing can result in improved outcomes.

For more information about guided imagery and how it can help you or those you love, visit: www.academyforguidedimagery.com.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

The Passion Diet

the passion diet and whole person health

One of the frustrating aspects of health information is that just when you think you’ve got a handle on what you are supposed to do to be healthy – the information changes.

For example, not long ago those of us who were over 50 were assured that if we moderately cut back our portions, decreasing our calories, and exercised for a half hour 4-5 times a week, we could keep the extra body fat that creeps in after menopause, at bay.

How many women dutifully reduced their calories and did their daily half hour exercise routine, only to feel that there was “something wrong with them” because this formula didn’t work for their body, even though the “experts” said it was the right way to control weight after the age of 50.

The weight loss wisdom has now shifted for women past the age when our estrogen is dramatically lower than pre-menopause. Estrogen, as every woman knows, is that amazing hormone that is a metabolic calorie burner as well as a reproductive hormone. It keeps us heart healthy; keeps our skin healthy and it produces “pheromones” for attraction, among other amazing and important body functions

No longer is a half hour of exercise deemed adequate to increase the metabolic furnace that is slowed down by the loss of estrogen and the creeping weight gain around the middle. We now have to exercise a minimum of one hour per day and really watch everything we put in our mouths, especially carbohydrates, which we want more than ever for the serotonin surge they give us. This new information comes from the simple fact that women over 50 generally do not lose the weight they want with just a half hour of exercise.

What is important regarding losing weight and keeping it off after 50 is what our individual body tells us is right for our metabolism and body type. We need to ask ourselves what do we know about ourselves, and our own weight loss and weight gain pattern? Thatt should be more important than the “weight loss expert’s” advice.

The big question is, now that we are past the age of reproduction and our body no longer is protecting us against many of the maladies that come with getting older, what are we willing to make the priority in our lives and what do we know about our own metabolic profile and how food and exercise affects our body weight? What also happens past 50 that can liberate us from this body syndrome and how can we harness it for our whole health and well being?

After 50, we lose our inhibitions, accept ourselves for who we are more, surprise ourselves with finding new interests and passions and throw off the yoke of being so concerned with success and achievement. We may lose some physical passion, but mentally and spiritually we are “off and running” in a whole new way.

Important questions to ask ourselves about what we know about how to lose weight:

1- What do I know about how I gain weight?
2- What do I know about how I lose weight?
3- Do I eat when I’m stressed?
4- Do I lose weight when I’m stressed?
5- Do I use food for emotional soothing?
6- Does eating play a dominant role in my daily routine?
7- Is losing weight more important than eating what I like when I like it?
8- What am I willing to give up to get the body weight I want?
9- Do I feel my food choices need to improve?
10- What is my personal experience with exercise?
11- What works best for me, what kind of exercise do I enjoy?
12- What do I know about how my body responds to exercise?
13- Am I willing to make the time to take care of myself?
14- What are my health priorities?
15- What are my ego priorities?
16- What keeps me from being the weight I want to be- REALLY?

We know that the issue of weight loss is intimately connected with our relationship with our mental, emotional and physical energy. Rarely do we see an energetic, productive, organized individual (man or woman) who struggles with weight issues, even after 50 because they are often focused on their external interests and passions. Ironically, these folks often suffer from not taking the time to eat when or as much as they should.

One of the weight loss “secrets” I have learned over the years from my patients is that when they are excited, creative, interested and passionate about their work, their relationships, learning, doing or being, the issue of a naturally right body weigh solves itself. We are often over focused on the sensory experience and pleasure of food as a main stay for satisfaction and fulfillment.

However, when something else captures our attention and energy, the issue of fulfillment and gratification can come from a totally unexpected and different source. Something to consider ~ Let’s find our passion and joyfully burn those calories!



For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Our Pets Improve Our Health

While it may be difficult to get Americans to collectively agree on the many issues, it seems that when it comes to pets and the value we place on them, there is little disagreement. The 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association survey reported that an astounding 65% of all American households have a pet. An identified 79.7 households have dogs–over 100 million of them in all. Cat owner households total 42.9 million. Fresh water fish, birds, reptiles and horses, along with small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and others make up another 25-27 million pets.

Americans, it seems, have also come to view and treat their pets in human terms. No longer satisfied with relegating the family pet to its own domain, today’s pet lovers are demanding the highest quality products and services for those they love. The idea of buying a simple dog chew or catnip toy now takes a back seat to designer sweaters and jewelry for our beloved companions. The current trend of dog hotels instead of kennels, indoor animal toilets, perfume, a hugely popular service “doggie dates” and exotic animal sitting services have found their way into today’s pet economy.

For the most passionate pet lover, faux mink coats, lumberjack vests, designer jackets, matching jeweled leather collar and leash sets, Halloween costumes, and holiday outfits are becoming part of the new “pet fashion.” Safety seats for transporting pets in vehicles are also becoming popular. One of the larger pet expenditures is pet food. These days the pet food aisle looks strikingly similar to the rest of the “human food” aisles in chain grocery stores. Specialized, balanced gourmet meals are readily available in the refrigerator section as well as a plethora of animal treats, vitamins, and supplements. Special diet foods for the senior pet population offer life extension and prolonged health.

The country’s household expenditures on pets for 2015-16 was in excess of 62.75 billion dollars. It is easy to imagine that this number must be a mistake as this is more money being spent on pets in the United State than the gross national product numbers for all but 64 countries around the world. This 62.75 billion dollar figure also represents almost double the approximately $35 billion dollars Americans spend on going to movies, playing video games, or for listening to recorded music.

The approximate 20% of non-pet households are for the most part made up of individuals with allergies, or who live in apartments or other environments that do not welcome pets, and those who have no time left in their over-scheduled lives to care for a pet. It seems people of all ages, ranging from infants to very elderly, enjoy and welcome the company of pets. The presence of pets is so popular today that some nursing facilities now have therapy pets at the facility on a regular basis. The one down side to this practice is that sometimes the residents start arguing and competing over who gets to keep the cat, dog, or bird with them for the day.

What fuels our passion for pets? It is really quite simple. Our pets love us unconditionally. They listen to us when we speak, provide companionship without politics or the agenda of most relationships. They accept our love and affection the way we chose to give it, without complaint, and they provide us in return with affection and loyalty. They are the ultimate loving family member, and we are now treating them as such. Can anyone blame us?

Social networking has become the way we communicate and “do” relationships. These days it is often over e-mail and texting messages that we are starting relationships or ending them, sharing major life events–even proposing marriage. The intimate contact of human connections we had even 15 years ago before the dominance of the internet and cell phones is now being replaced by our pets.

Pets are not only beloved companions, but they are also taking on the role of healers. Dogs have been long known for their service as seeing eye dogs, but the use of dogs and other pets in many areas of healing and health monitoring are becoming more widespread. Dogs who alert their companions for seizures or “sniff out” cancer or horses that assist with helping autistic children to interact with others are easily found on the news or internet.

A recent study by researcher Dr. Karen Allen at the State University of New York at Buffalo identified that individuals suffering from hypertension when adopting a dog or cat had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than their counterparts who did not have a pet companion. The National Institute of Technology Assessment Workshop, Health Benefits of Pets, identified that pets provide greater psychological stability, which us protects not only from heart disease and other stress related conditions but also reduces depression. In the same study, pets have been shown to lower the cost of health care as individuals with pets make fewer doctor visits, especially “for non-serious medical conditions.”

A Perdue University study demonstrated that when seniors face traumas or other forms of adversity, the affection received by their pets and the bond between them helps prevent depress and loneliness. As a means of enhancing our psychological and physical well-being, pets have the power to love us, heal us, and help us to live longer. If only we could get other humans to do so with the same honesty and loyalty that our pet companions provide us.

Sources:

For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Why Is Integrative Medicine Popular?

There is no doubt that today more and more people are turning to integrative medicine and alternative modalities for their health concerns and disease prevention. This popular movement, winning one out of every two Americans as converts, may seem to some like a new idea or a “health revolution.” In reality, it is a return to period in time, over 400 years ago, when health was seen from a more whole person, integrated and even spiritual perspective.

Until the early 1600’s, the realm of human health was believed to represent a person’s spiritual state. If one was healthy that meant they bore not demons. If one was sick, that meant they needed to purge sickness, which was seen as “possession” or a spiritual incorrectness that had to be remedied. The prevailing church of the day, ruled by the Vatican, exerted a huge influence over the medical community and how people viewed the cause and cure of their disease.

In 1612, physician Anton Descartes, a powerful, influential physician and scientist, declared, “I think therefore I am” , stating that the mind and body were two separate, unrelated parts of a human being, and as such the study and treatment of the human being needed to be separated into the mind or spirit portion and the physical bodily portion.

integrativemedicineDescartes lead the political movement to separate the body from the soul, a separation in which he and his peers literally brokered a deal with the Vatican, which was reluctant to give up control over its flock. However, the “scientific revolution” was gripping the culture and the church knew it was prudent to agree. Thus, the division of mind and body began and the practice of medicine started down the slippery slope to where we find ourselves today.

Since this division set up a medical system that treated only physical health, it became considered, by the mass majority, that this form of medicine was the only legitimate form of health care. However, over the course of the past 50 years people have grown sicker and increasingly dissatisfied with the medical system.

This led to an increase in the use of “untried” remedies and treatments which offered success and often cures for varied ailments. These “alternatives” treatments attempt to address the whole person rather than just the physical body. Because of the success of alternative treatments, and their resultant popularity, we are currently experiencing a renaissance of the “whole-person” body, mind and spirit approach to healing that the National Institute of Whole Health’s accredited program is based on.

Today, thanks to the Internet, we have more information about every aspect of health than ever before. Still, there exists confusion between alleopathic medicine and integrative medicine, how their treatment approaches differ and how one can discern what is right for their particular need or condition. By comparing and contrasting both approaches individuals can be empowered with information to make an educated decision about how they would like to address their personal health care and what forms of health care they would like to incorporate.

Often called modern medicine, conventional or traditional, allopathic medicine defines health as the absence of disease. The term comes from the Greek roots meaning “opposite” and “disease”, referring to a principle of curing a disease, disorder or problem by administering drugs or surgery that produce the opposite effect of the problem.

The main cause of illness is considered to be viruses or bacteria and scientific tests are used to diagnose before drugs or surgery are prescribed. Furthermore, the emphasis here is more on “attacking the problem”, seen as an invader or enemy outside the self rather than exploring the cause and effect of the problem and working to identifying what needs to be changed or altered to bring about the return of health.

Alternative, natural, complementary or holistic medicine practices approach the problem or condition from a focus of identifying what particular choices or behaviors the individual might be making that is leading to the expression of symptoms collectively called their “disease or diagnosis”.

In contrast, because integrative medicine bridges the gap between traditional and alternative medicine, an integrative physician or practitioner would evaluate not only the patient’s physical health, but also the other aspects of their life that may be influencing their health.

Scientific evidence and ancient teachings have proven that there are multiple components to health that make up a whole person, therefore, illness cannot be cured or wellness realized without taking multiple aspects into account.

For example, a traditional alleopathic approach to a sore throat could include a drug substance or over the counter aspirin and possibly a cough and sore throat medicine. The integrative medical practitioner, trained to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential, may well prescribe nutritional changes, herbs, aromatherapy, gargling with various natural extracts, vitamins, garlic, broths, vegetable or juice extracts, calcium sources or homeopathic remedies.

By looking at different patient situations through our accredited health program we can see how traditional and integrative medicine differs in their approach. Patient A is a 35-year old male who is married with two children and works in a high stress job. He considers himself healthy however, despite working out fairly regularly and eating healthy, he is constantly tired and has trouble sleeping at night.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Patient B is a 50-year old single stay-at-home mom who is raising a young son. She has high cholesterol, is borderline diabetic and is generally not in good health.

Patient A: Conventional Analysis & Treatment Recommendation: This patient would most likely be given a blood test to check for anemia or pathology and then prescribed a sleeping pill to deal with the insomnia. If nothing showed up on the blood test, the practitioner would probably recommend addressing the stress with a pill to calm down to seeing a therapist to deal with his stress.

Patient A: Integrative Analysis & Treatment Recommendation: This practitioner would also probably order a blood test to check for anemia or pathology. After assessing that possibility, if the blood test came back “negative” (ironically, that’s positive!), the practitioner would then explore and discuss with the individual what they felt is contributing to their problem. Based on the patients’ self-awareness and the practitioners mindful listening and assessment of the patient, the practitioner might recommend a homeopathic remedy, a change in sleep venue or a new bed, meditation before retiring, an decrease in stimulating food such as caffeine and alcohol, and an increase in fruits and vegetables in t he diet. The multiple aspects of the individual’s life and their own innate awareness of their health would be considered.

Patient B: Conventional Analysis & Treatment Recommendation:This patient would be given a blood work-up to determine her levels of cholesterol and glucose or blood sugar. Depending upon the values found on the tests, the doctor would prescribe medications appropriate for lowering the levels of cholesterol and/or blood sugar. The doctor may also suggest the patient make an appointment with a dietician to go over dietary changes.

Patient B: Integrative Analysis & Treatment Recommendation: This practitioner would also do a blood work-up to assess the patient’s various blood values. However, rather than prescribing a drug to lower or later levels, this practitioner may invite the individual into a discussion about what she felt she could do to bring these levels down to avoid the need for a medication.

The discussion from our accredited health program would outline and recommend options for lowering cholesterol which would include natural supplements, dietary changes or adding more vegetables and whole sprouted grains instead of high fat foods, an exercise program that she would be able to follow, drinking more water, using homeopathic remedies to improve her overall health, discuss her social life and recreation. This practitioner would focus on changing the causes of her chronic condition rather than just medicate it.

The options we are offered today through Integrative Medicine invite us to become more pro-active and better informed as well as become better health care consumers. This empowers us to take greater control over our health outcomes and longevity. That’s a prescription for good health we can all live with.


For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Are Toxic Chemicals Hiding In Your Bathroom?

bathroom, washing hands, soap, chemicals,

Cleaning products can be as unhealthy for human lungs as smoking twenty tobacco-based cigarettes a day, according to a study from the University of Bergen. And with 28% of Americans spending more than seven hours a week cleaning their homes, there are potentially big risks involved in being around harmful chemicals. Whether it’s an increased risk of cancer or minor ailments like throat problems, these chemicals can cause significant health issues.

 Formaldehyde

This is one of the most common bathroom product dangers. It’s found in everything from laundry detergent to soap. Unlike green household product alternatives such as organic or self-made cleaning materials, it can cause severe health problems for people who are repeatedly exposed to it. These can include leukemia and other forms of cancer, given that formaldehyde is a carcinogen. Exposure methods are varied. It may be that you breathe it in, for example. You can also take it in through your digestive system if you eat food that has been contaminated by a formaldehyde-heavy environment.

Ammonia

Ammonia is also found in a number of major cleaning products, such as window cleaning fluids and bottles of multi-purpose spray. And it too can cause a number of issues. It’s possible that a person who is exposed to ammonia will experience a burning sensation in their throat, and in the worst case scenario, long-lasting lung problems. Cell damage is also a distinctive possibility for those who breathe in ammonia. When it combines with the naturally-present water inside the human body, it creates the dangerous and abrasive  ammonium hydroxide compound.

 Phthalates

Terms like “ammonia” are relatively well known, even if the exact effects that they can have on people aren’t as familiar. But the truth of the matter is that there are lots of other less recognized chemicals in many bathroom products which are just as problematic for your family – and potentially even more so. One of these is phthalates. These are found in all sorts of bathroom products, including air fresheners. They can even be found in toilet paper.

The effects of phthalates can be diverse, and usually negative. An experiment carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Harvard University found that men with pronounced phthalates levels in their bloodstreams saw lower sperm counts. They’re particularly associated with products which are artificially fragranced. So, it’s wise to go for more organic options if you’re considering buying a bathroom cleaning product designed to keep the smells at bay.

A tub of sanitizer or a bottle of bleach may seem like a must-have when it comes to health and hygiene around the bathroom. But the reality is that these products could be putting you and your family at risk. From the formaldehyde in detergents to the ammonia in those ever-handy surface sprays, there’s a lot to look out for – and it may be worth carrying out a bathroom product audit and weeding out the dangerous items.


For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Reproductive Glands From A Whole Health Perspective

Referred to as the “root chakra” in yoga circles, the reproductive glands are in the most primal sense, the survival component of Maslow’s Hierarchy and in fact, they are essential to the survival of the species – which is their primary purpose. They are, of course, part of the organs and system of reproduction which includes various accessory parts that are necessary to support the reproductive function.

That the Reproductive Glands belong to the physical aspect of Whole Health is very straight forward and evident. When we look at them in terms of Selye’s Stress Model we can see that they are connected to the “survival stressors” of:

  • Reproduction (Yes, sadly sex is another stressor for our bodies.)
  • Trauma
  • Exertion (too much exercise or over work)
  • Weather (excessive heat, sun, cold)
  • Surgery (very stressful to the entire body and nervous system but sometimes necessary to save out life)

These stressors have a strong effect on the reproductive system. Stress decreases drive and impulse to reproduce as the body wisely knows to conserve its energy until there is a well balanced system ready for reproduction.

So far, we have gone over five of the Seven Aspects. The last two are fun because they really clarify the emotional and behavioral aspects of these important and influential glands.

The virtue of the reproductive glands is spirituality – seeing the profound divine and unfathomable nature of reproducing and bringing forth, from the co-joining of two human beings, new human life. (If you’ve had children you know that they really do smell like they just came from “heaven” – what we imagine heaven to be anyway)

The deadly sin of the reproductive glands is – we all know this one – its all around us. Yes, indeed, good ‘ol lust, which of course is about self-gratification and not the co-joining of a partnership resulting in a new life.

Understanding this information is important when we look at a person’s physical presentation or dis-ease from a Whole Person perspective. What are the cause and effect factors at play that create disease? What is out of balance in the person’s seven aspects that is creating problems in this part of the body? Hope you’re enjoying this series because I’m having a great time with my favorite subject-the endocrine system!

For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

A Healthy Pituitary Gland And Interconnectedness

Called the “Master Gland” by many, the next endocrine gland to discuss is the Pituitary Gland. The Pituitary, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the third eye”. This is because the Pituitary Gland is associated with “higher awareness and higher consciousness”.

As the Pituitary gland is located in the frontal portion of the brain, right behind the space between our eyes, it is called the “third eye” as it also “sees” the world from a different perspective beyond just the physical appearance. The Pituitary sits on its own little throne, called the “Turk’s Saddle”, and holds court as a high ranking endocrine gland. It has been called the Master Gland because the Pituitary acts as a “dispatcher” of sorts, directing the various endocrine gland secretions to function on cue.

These cues come from the nervous system, the emotional center of the brain and the body’s chemical communications. The Pituitary is the interconnectedness component of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Just as the Pituitary interconnects all of the endocrine glands to each other, so does it relate to our awareness and consciousness regarding our connectedness to one another.

Whole Health Spotlight: The Pituitary Gland And InterconnectednessFrom your learning with the National Institute of Whole Health, you may recall that that the endocrine system is a completely inter-dependent system and if there is an abnormal function in one gland it has a direct effect on all of the other glands, each of which adapts to the hormonal change and “pitches in” to try and restore balance to the body chemistry.

This is actually what happens in healthy societies when each member works to serve the common good of all. Physically the Pituitary is connected to our Balance in the world and to the balance of the entire endocrine system.

Regarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Pituitary, holds a place for our “higher self” and responds to and expresses Trust, Acceptance and Integration. The Pituitary is the Spirituality component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.Spirituality being defined literally as “breath or life” or how we live within our self and with others.

So far we have gone over FIVE (5) of the SEVEN (7) aspects.The last two aspects, as we have seen with all the other endocrines clarify the emotional and behavioral aspects of each specific endocrine gland.

The VIRTUE of the Pituitary is Charity which expresses a generosity towards others and a giving of self. The Pituitary works on behalf of all the other glands, doing multiple jobs for the benefit of all. When we are accepting and gracious to all, we express the highest consciousness of the human experience and we are said to be living from our “third Eye Chakra”.

The DEADLY SIN of the Pituitary is the opposite of its virtue. The opposite of this charitable, hard working gland is SLOTH or laziness and self-serving behavior. While the higher expression of the Pituitary is Charity and generosity towards the good of all, the lower expression of the Pituitary is a laziness and uncaring self absorption. When we are too self-centered or narcissistic, we work against the common good and can become destructive.

It is very simple to see the value and importance of understanding how the body works in a whole integrated way during health coach certification. Many meditation and spiritual practices understand the power and potential of awakening the Pituitary or “Third Eye” consciousness. This awakening is not only for the benefit of others, but for our own emotional and physical health, as well as for our own happiness.


For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Are You Caring For Your Pancreas?

The Pancreas, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the solar plexus” chakra. From our whole health education, we know that the pancreas is one of the hardest working digestive and metabolic organs of the body. Both an endocrine and exocrine gland, this truly amazing organ/gland is the “end organ” of all digestive activity in the upper intestines. The health and function of your pancreas is of the utmost importance to your overall health and is probably the most abused gland/organ in the body.

The pancreas works 24/7. It deals with digestion as well as stress adaptation, reproduction needs, cellular nutrition needs and brain glucose imperatives. The pancreas is the belonging component of Maslow’s Hierarchy and it is evident that it expresses “the sweetness of our lives” (or not) when we look at its function and malfunctions and how intimately it is connected to our body’s glucose regulation. Like the adrenals, which we could not live without for long, without a properly working pancreas we would fall into a coma and die within days. Physically, it is intimately connected to our digestion, absorption and assimilation functions.

whole health pancreas healthRegarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Pancreas is “the proper or improper nutrition of our body” and all of its systems. It is the nutritional component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.

The virtue of the Pancreas is temperance or balance – not too much or too little consumption. This means not eating too much food, especially carbohydrates, which lead to hypertrophy of the beta cells of the pancreas. This leads to hyper-secretion of insulin which is the main disturbance in many chronic diseases.

The deadly sin of the Pancreas is very similar to that of the adrenals (greed). For the Pancreas the deadly sin is gluttony. Gluttony is when we eat too much, consume too much and create imbalance in our pancreatic function and whole body nutrition and chemistry. It is the act of gluttony, or taking in more than is appropriate or necessary that leads to most of the digestive problems and pathologies we see today.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of a comprehensive, whole person understanding of the digestive system. If there was one course and only one I could teach for the rest of my career it would be the digestive system, because to understand its anatomy, physiology and the whole picture of its function and integration with the rest of the body is utterly magnificent – and absolutely essential if you wish to facilitate authentic Whole Health with your patients or clients.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.