Dreamhealer Clinic is now open!

dreamhealer clinic

I am very excited to announce the opening of my new clinic in Vancouver, BC. For the last 10 years I have been studying at university about how the body works on a molecular and physiological level. Finally I have the opportunity to integrate all the amazing tools that Naturopathic medicine has to offer with energy medicine.

Energy medicine blends together very well with Naturopathic medicine to optimize the patients healing. At the clinic I often combine energy medicine with acupuncture. The acupuncture helps to stimulate the meridians and when combined with energy medicine this can rapidly restore the flow of energy in the body.

To read more about the clinic, visit the website: http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

If you would like to book an appointment, please send an email to appointments@yaletownnaturopathic.com.

If you want updates on the clinic make sure you follow us on twitter and like us on facebook!

Dr. Adam McLeod, BSc, ND

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Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease

Changes in intestinal bacteria may help explain why successfully treated HIV patients nonetheless experience life-shortening chronic diseases earlier than those who are uninfected, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco.

dr adam mcleodThese changes in gut bacteria may perpetuate inflammation initially triggered by the body’s immune response to HIV, researchers reported.

Their study was published online July 10 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The new findings support recent research pointing to such persistent inflammation is a possible cause of the early onset of common chronic diseases found in HIV patients, who now can live for decades without immune system destruction and death due to infection thanks to lifelong treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Likewise, in the general population, ongoing inflammation has been linked in some studies to chronic conditions, such as heart disease, dementia and obesity.

Studies have shown that inflammation is induced by HIV in both treated and untreated patients, and is associated with – and possibly causes – disease in both, according to Joseph M. McCune, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF and a senior author of the study. McCune has been investigating the causes of chronic inflammation in HIV-infected patients and has treated patients with HIV for more than three decades.

“We want to understand what allows the virus to persist in patients who have HIV disease, even after treatment,” he said. “In this study, we see that bacteria in the gut may play a role.”

A Closer Look at the Gut Microbiome

The study was initiated by Ivan Vujkovic-Cvijin, a graduate student working in McCune’s lab in collaboration with Susan Lynch, PhD, an associate professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at UCSF and an expert on the human microbiome, the collection of microbes the live in and on the human body.

Researchers estimate that humans have about 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells, and earlier studies have demonstrated that some of the microbes found within the intestines are able to drive immune responses, according to Lynch.

“We thought the gut microbiome might be different in HIV-infected individuals, and that the high degree of immune activation in the patients might be associated with and possibly due to the presence of specific members of the bacterial community,” Lynch said.

Vujkovic-Cvijin identified bacterial species in biopsied patient samples by tracking a gene that is distinct among different bacterial species. Working with co-first author, Richard Dunham, PhD, a UCSF postdoctoral fellow, he also tracked markers of inflammation in the blood.

The researchers compared seven untreated HIV patients, including six with active infection and one long-term patient who never developed AIDS; 18 HIV patients in whom ongoing drug treatment had reduced HIV in the blood to undetectable levels; and nine uninfected individuals matched for other health risks. The patients are part of a group being monitored through ongoing research led by UCSF’s Steven Deeks, MD, and Jeffrey Martin, MD, MPH, at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“We found that HIV-infected people have a very different gut microbiome than people who are uninfected,” Vujkovic-Cvijin said. “In particular, infected people harbor more bacteria that can cause harmful inflammation, like Pseudomonas, Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus.”

Restoring the Gut – And Eliminating HIV

The degree to which normal bacterial communities in the colon were disrupted corresponded to the levels of an inflammatory molecule, IL-6, in the blood, and also to the production of an enzyme called indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. The enzyme can impair the gut’s ability to function as a barrier, thereby allowing bacteria and molecules produced by bacteria to enter the body to fuel even more inflammation.

Species of bacteria that can mimic the action of this enzyme also were more abundant in HIV-infected participants, Vujkovic-Cvijin found.

The researchers do not believe that there is a single bacterial species responsible for disrupting the integrity of the gut nor do they propose a specific probiotic bacterial treatment to restore a healthy gut. Nonetheless, Lynch said, manipulating microbial populations is a promising idea.

“It appears that changes in the microbiome perpetuate a vicious cycle that drives inflammation in HIV-infected patients,” she said. “We are considering a restoration ecology approach to restore appropriate microbial colonization patterns and healthy functioning of the gut microbiome.”

McCune believes that inflammation may also play a role in maintaining the persistence of HIV, even in those with no circulating virus in the bloodstream.

“Our dream is to be able to make the virus go away, allowing HIV-infected people to lead longer lives without the need for life-long therapy,” he said. “Perhaps restoring the microbiome to normal will be one strategy to make that happen.”

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, UCSF, and the Harvey V. Berneking Living Trust.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Article source: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/07/107341/intestinal-bacteria-may-fuel-inflammation-and-worsen-hiv-disease

www.mcleodclinic.com

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Deepak Chopra: Secrets to a Better Brain

There are many books on the market that focus on treating the brain like any other organ of the body. To improve the brain, they advise eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and avoiding toxins like alcohol and nicotine.

These are sound bits of advice, but in my own book, “Super Brain,” written with professor Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard Medical School, the emphasis is on the brain’s uniqueness. The secret to improving your brain is to understand that uniqueness.

The brain is the only organ that changes instantly according to how the mind relates to it. You can relate to your brain in positive or negative ways, and depending on which one you choose, your brain cells, neural pathways and areas of high and low activity will be altered.

In short, thinking your brain into better functioning is the most efficient way to improve it. (Other organs of the body also respond to positive and negative thinking, but their response must come through the brain first; it functions as command central for the rest of the body.)

The best way to relate to your brain is to inspire it; the worst way is to ignore it. Since the brain embraces every thought, word and deed, the list of things under each heading is long but very much worth attending to. See which of the following applies to you.

Chopra: Reinventing the brain is closer than you think

How to inspire your brain

Take care of stress. Avoid dulling routine. Do something creative every day. Read poetry, spiritual material or anything else that makes you feel uplifted. Take time to be in nature. Bond with another person who is heartwarming. Pay attention to being happy. Make sure you take time every day by yourself to relax, meditate and self-reflect. Deal with negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Focus on activity that makes you feel fulfilled. Give of yourself. Follow a personal vision. Attach yourself to a cause that is bigger than you are. Take the risk to love and be loved.

How to ignore your brain

Get set in your ways. Don’t look beyond your opinions, likes and dislikes. Isolate yourself from others. Take relationships for granted. Reconcile yourself to going downhill as you age. Look upon the past as the best time of your life. Forget about having ideals. Act on selfish impulses. Don’t examine what makes you tick. Give in to anger and anxiety. Let life take care of itself. Go along to get along. Assume that you are automatically right. Avoid anything new or challenging. Put up with stress. Take no emotional risks. Distract yourself with mindless diversions like watching sports for hours on end.

The difference between these two lists is pretty stark. In one case, you are approaching the brain as if it had great untapped potential. In the other, you assume that the brain runs on automatic pilot.

It is undeniable that the brain is endlessly adaptable. It turns into whatever you expect it to be. So how you relate to your brain is never passive; you are always instructing it to function in a certain way. Thus the whole package of beliefs, expectations, likes and dislikes that you hold inside are creating change — or blocking it — at the level of brain circuitry.

Needless to say, it’s better to inspire your brain than to ignore it. Potential is a terrible thing to waste.

The first step in forming a better relationship with your brain is to realize that you have a relationship. Once you realize this, you can choose to pay attention to the relationship and nurture it. You are in on a secret that escapes countless people. Take advantage of it.

Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/04/health/chopra-better-brain/index.html?hpt=hp_abar

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