The Blessings of Functional Medicine

Tony Pics for SA BookTHE BLESSINGS OF FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

The human body functions much as a temple. Within its hallowed walls dwells the divine spirit that created and maintains it, and which all body-cells serve. A temple typically has columns that hold it up. The columns of the body temple are the functional systems that manage life in the body and facilitate the processes involved in transforming minerals and vital amino acids (vitamins) into the building blocks of the temple. These processes are what comprise our metabolism.

Our metabolism is a twofold creative process that includes the building up (anabolism) and tearing down (catabolism) of the various structures in the body – for one thing to keep them in good repair and working order. It also includes the chemical processing and conversion of foods into energy.

There are ten of these functional systems:
Endocrine System (hormonal glands),
Nervous System (brain, spinal chord & nerves),
Circulatory System (heart and blood vessels),
Respiratory System, (lungs and bronchial)
Lymphatic System, (thymus & lymph glands)
Genitourinary System (includes reproduction)
Digestive System, (liver, stomach, intestines)
Skeletal System, (bones & joints)
Muscular System, (ligaments & muscles)
Integumentary System (skin and fascia).

Cellular Level Health Care

At the macroscopic level, these systems are comprised of organs and glands, arteries and veins, connective tissues and ligaments, muscles and bones, fluids and marrow. At the microscopic level, all of this functional anatomy is comprised of cells, trillions of them, each one a living organism with systems identical in their functions to those in the larger body they comprise. In other words, cells breathe, eat, excrete waste, grow, reproduce and die. The cell is the basic unit of life in the body. As the cells live and die, so does the physical body. It is important, then, to maintaining cellular health and function.

This is essentially what functional medicine is all about. As its self-defining name implies, functional medicine concerns itself with the function of cells, organs and systems in the body, and the means and methods by which abnormal function may be normalized. Function is at the core of every condition known to medical science. There is not one disease, for example, that does not have at its root cause the failure of one or more organs and/or systems to function normally. Therefore, it follows logically, as well as clinically, that the correction of malfunction leads to healing and recovery.

This is not merely theory. It has been proven out over and over again in clinical settings throughout the civilized world where the natural approach of functional medicine is being used in the treatment of the whole person and not merely the disease. Chiropractic and clinical nutrition lead the way in the field of functional medicine.

Allopathic & Functional Medicine’s Forte

The treatment of disease is the forte of allopathic medicine, which uses drugs and surgery to intervene in the disease process and to relieve its painful symptoms. The restoration of function, and therefore of health, is the forte of functional medicine, which uses natural forces to support the healing process and thereby address the cause of disease. Both bestow their unique blessings, especially when and where they are allowed to work together. Our work is all about removing interferences to normal function in the body.

Wholistic Health Care

Wholistic health care concerns itself with the whole person and the various factors that go into manifesting healthy function in the body. For example, Chiropractic concerns itself with the correction of nerve impingement in the spine to free up the nerve supply essential to normal communication between the brain and the body’s parts and, therefore, normal function. Clinical Nutrition addresses the balancing of blood and body chemistry, both of which are essential to normal function. Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST) helps to restore normal function in the body as well as in the mind by removing interferences in the sub-conscious mind and feeling realm in the form of memories of past trauma. These memories can actually be “erased” so that they no longer trigger defensive emotional reactions that keep a person’s physical body in a stress response mode.  In a stress-response mode, the body cannot heal itself nor grow its health.

So, we can see how wholistic (or holistic) health care is more about treating the whole person than about treating disease and pain with “alternative medicine.”  We are more than vitamins and minerals, muscles and bones, organs and blood vessels. We are whole persons. 

Energy Medicine

A whole person is made up of spirit and matter.  The matter of our bodies is shaped and maintained by spirit, namely the spirit of Life.  In Chiropractic philosophy we call this spirit Innate Intelligence and see it as a part of Universal Intelligence (God, if you prefer).  The Innate Intelligence of the body runs the whole show without the input of our educated intelligence, but not without its cooperation.  It knows exactly what’s going on in the body at all times, including what it needs in the way of external help and assistance in correcting deficiencies and structural damage and mis-alignments (such as in the joints and spinal column).  We have learned how to access this information through Kinesology (muscle testing). This in Energy Medicine at its practical best.

Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA)

Contact Reflex Analysis, System Strength Analysis, Nutritional Response Analysis are all energetic methods of “reading” the body’s systems and communicating with its Innate Intelligence, which is more than willing to share with the practitioner information that will guide him in determining an appropriate approach to resolving health issues. This is a non-invasive procedure that is a hundred percent accurate.  I’ve been using CRA for many years and have never found it to be inaccurate.  It not only lets me know what to do but also in what order of priority.  It is truly a gift from God.  There is no question one cannot obtain an accurate answers to with muscle testing when one’s intentions are right and honorable.

Attunement — Vibrational Healing

I offer an energy-healing service called Attunement.  Although Attunement is not a healthcare modality as chiropractic and clinical nutrition are, it does help mend, clarify, and enrich the connecting substance of pneumaplasm with our core spirit and thereby bring about peace, order and harmony within. When body, mind, heart and spirit are functioning harmoniously together, there is peace and harmony in the physical body. In a climate of peace and harmony, the cells of the body are able to function without disruption and interference. This essentially is what vibrational healing brings to the health care field. Everything we do in our service is done for the sole purpose of restoring normal function in the body so the body can heal itself.

How Vitamins Support Function

Vitamin A – supports the function of the eyes and immune system (infection control), the gums and nervous system, and the healing of skin. It’s necessary to cell metabolism, respiration and blood cell generation (platelets).

Vitamin B – supports the function of the heart and blood vascular system, the adrenal glands, the pancreas in producing insulin and digestive juices, and the nervous system. It stimulates and promotes appetite and normal digestion, promotes growth and vigor, and is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and cell respiration, for normal pregnancy and lactation, and in maintaining muscle tonus.

Vitamin C – supports the function of the adrenal glands, the connective tissue, and the bones. Essential to health and integrity of endothelial tissues (raises resistance to infections), proper development of teeth, to oxygen metabolism, and to blood cell regeneration. It also maintains proper blood-clotting time.

Vitamin D – supports bone regeneration. Essential to proper mineral metabolism; absorption from alimentary tract, utilization and excretion of calcium and phosphorus. Necessary to successful pregnancy and lactation; for normalizing and reducing time of labor; to maintain blood platelets at normal level; to normal respiratory function. Maintains bone growth, muscle tonus and increases strength of capillaries.

Vitamin E – supports the skin, endocrine system (pituitary), heart, and sex-hormone production. Necessary to prevent irreparable sterility in male. Necessary to maintain mental alertness, growth and vigor. Possibly to prevent carcinoma. Necessary to resistance to infections.

Vitamin F – (Essential Fatty Acids) transports calcium from the blood into bones and tissues; necessary to cell respiration, hair health, and to brain function; supports prostate; converts sunlight into Vitamin D in skin.

Vitamin G – is one of the Vitamin B factors and supports circulation and brain function. Necessary to growth and development and cell respiration. As a growth stimulus, promotes normal repair processes and thereby delays senility. Necessary to blood regeneration.

Vitamin K – is not a single nutrient, but the name given to a group of vitamins of similar composition. The two main groups of vitamin K that occur naturally are vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). K1 is found in many vegetables and K2 is produced by bacteria. It is more popularly known as a blood coagulant.  However, it appears vitamin K, and vitamin K as MK-7 in particular, plays an important role in keeping calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. (Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD – see her article for important information about Vitamin K)

Note: Standard Process product labels prefix the vitamin with the word “Cataplex,” as in Cataplex A. This is due to the fact that vitamins do not stand alone in foods but are accompanied by complex co-factors that facilitate their function and preserve their integrity.  Commercially processed supplements do not afford these same benefits. This is why I use Standard Process wholefood supplements.

How Minerals Support Function

There are 12 organic minerals and some 72 trace mineral that support the function of vitamins and the production of enzymes in the body. They also conduct energy into and throughout the body.

Calcium – supports the bones and teeth, helps with blood coagulation, reduces neuromuscular irritability, facilitates and provides fuel for muscle contraction and nerve conduction in the heart muscles.

Magnesium – supports tooth formation, enzyme activation, nerve conduction, and muscle lubrication.

Sodium – plays a large role in acid-base balance, osmotic pressure, blood pH, muscle contractility and nerve transmission.

Potassium – plays a role in muscle activity, nerve transmission, intracellular acid-base balance and water retention, and energy management. It assists in escorting glucose into muscle cells for energy.

Phosphorus – in closely associated with Calcium and its functions with bone and teeth formation. It is used in establishing and maintaining acid-base balance, is a component of nucleic acids and is involved in energy production.

Iron – assists in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, contributes to the production of certain enzymes and iron-sulphur proteins.

Fluorine – is used in bone and tooth formation. Chlorine – is used in acid-base balance, osmotic pressure, blood pH and kidney function.

Silica – plays a role in the alchemical production of bone tissue through a process of “biological transmutation.” It may also play a role in memory storage, similar to that of the silica microchip in the computer.

Manganese – is essential to the function of the Pituitary, the tone of ligaments and cartilage, and plays a component part in the makeup of certain enzymes.

Sulphur – is an antibiotic that also helps with joint motility.
Iodine – is essential to the production of thyroid hormones for metabolism, growth and development.

The seventy-two or more trace minerals play empowering roles in the balancing of body chemistry, especially with the hormones. Just to site a few:

Selenium, found in wheat germ oil, plays a key role as part of the Vitamin E complex in the cardiovascular system.

Chromium promotes the utilization of glucose by the muscle cells, thereby supporting the glucose tolerance factor in the bloodstream.

Molybdenum is a transitional metal that forms oxides and is a component of a coenzyme essential to the activity of enzymes involved in preventing toxic levels of sulfite, xanthine and aldehyde (such as formaldehyde) in the blood stream.

Gold is essential to balanced and clear mental function. Silver is a protective element against pathogens, such as harmful bacteria and viruses.

Levels and Ratios Critical

These elements of the mineral kingdom are not only present in a healthy body, their levels and ratios to one another are critical to maintaining healthy function, strength and vitality in the body. Calcium is in critical ratio to Phosphorus, Magnesium and Potassium; Sodium is balanced by Potassium; Copper and Zinc need to be in balanced ratio, as well as Sodium and Magnesium, Copper and Iron. The degree to which these minerals are present in their proper levels and ratios, the body is healthy. To the degree they are not, the body is sick and dying.

While Copper intensifies cellular activity, activating estrogen in cell proliferation, Zinc, which activates progesterone and testosterone, cools it down. The body contains two to three grams of Zinc, found mainly in bones, teeth, hair, skin, the liver, muscle, leukocytes and in the testes. It plays a role in skin integrity, enzymes, wound healing and growth.

Whole Food Supplements Best – Function the Key Factor

Seeing as how vitamins and minerals  depend on one another for balance and orderly function, it becomes obvious that they are best taken into the body in whole-food form and not as isolated fractions, whether “natural” or synthetic, in “high potency” commercially prepared supplements.  They’re not “natural” if they are not part of their natural environment where they can best function, and are essentially and functionally drugs as they are designed to stimulate or suppress rather than nourish. As such they really should be under the control of a regulatory agency and prescribed and administered by licensed healthcare professionals.

Therapeutic foods, such as those Standard Process provide practitioners, are best administered by a licensed healthcare practitioner.  SP’s products can only be obtained in this manner. ❧

This concludes this reprint from Health Light Newsletter archives. This article was first published in May of 2007 as the last hard-copy publication and marked my semi-retirement from 45 years of practice. I thought it might be helpful to publish it in my blog for many more to benefit from it.  Until my next post,

Here’s to your health and healing.

Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN (Applied Clinical Nutrition)

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for interesting and inspiring considerations around subject that pique my interest, such as the current article “Sonic Geometry and the Music of the Spheres.”

For deeper and inspiring reading on the body as a temple, you may like to review my book Sacred Anatomy.

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Food Our Medicine — Medicine Our Food

As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.

As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.

Greek Physician, Scientist and the Father of Medicine wrote these profound words of wisdom that really were meant to steer medicine in a more natural direction. 

Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.  — Hippocrates (460 BC – 377 BC)

I lifted the following article with picture from a post by Veganism on Face Book.  Lots of good information here. Enjoy!

Food as MedicineFood is medicine and organic fruits and vegetables take center stage in achieving ultimate health and longevity. Morally and ethically, what is on the end of your fork clearly defines your approach to compassion, your environment, your health and well being. The following foods are valuable in sustaining your health, embracing life and avoiding surgeries, prescription drugs and the inevitable .

BLUEBERRIES POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS

The dye that is released from the blueberries’ skin may well be the most valuable nutrient the fruit has to offer. The pigments in blueberries and also in red crops such as cherries, plums, and red cabbage are powerful antioxidants. They have been determined to be a much-heralded chemical warrior against heart disease and also cancer. Blueberries actually have the highest antioxidant capacity because of their large anthocyanin concentration.

Antioxidants in our food can save us from virtually everything. Most of our health misfortunes are due to the perversity of oxygen. Our cells are perpetually besieged by toxic forms of oxygen which have been proved to have fierce destructive powers. So far scientists have linked destructive oxygen reactions to at least sixty different chronic diseases, as well as to aging itself. Oxygen free radicals can attack DNA, the genetic material of cells, causing them to mutate, which is a step on the path to cancer.

RED CABBAGE A POWERFUL DETOX FOOD

Red cabbage is a good source of phytonutrients that help to detoxify pollutants and other carcinogens that most people are exposed to on a daily basis. Like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, it’s high in glucosinolates, compounds which are metabolized by the body to form powerful cancer fighting chemicals known as isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates activate the liver enzymes that break down carcinogens, allowing them to be safely eliminated from the body. People who consume high quantities of cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Red cabbage is also a good source of indoles, compounds that may reduce the risk of breast cancer by altering estrogen metabolism.

RED BEETS HAVE ANTI-CARCINOGENS

Red Beet is unique for its high levels of anti-carcinogens and its very high carotenoid content. Red beets are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and it is an excellent source of folic acid. It is loaded with antioxidant that helps the body against heart disease, certain cancer especially colon cancer and even birth defects. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their red color; this pigment is absorbed into the blood corpuscles and can increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400 per cent. Don’t throw away the green leafy tops as they can be cooked like spinach and are also rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, chlorophyll, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.

BEET ROOT FOR LEUKEMIA

Beet root is a traditional treatment used for leukemia. Beet root contain an amino acid betaine which has an anti cancer properties. Red beet therapy, consisting of consumption of approximately two pounds of raw, mashed beets daily, has been favorably reported for cases of leukemia and tumors (includes cancer). Research also shows that beet juice can help inhibit the development of colon and stomach cancer. It is believed that red beets when eaten regularly may help against certain oxidative stress-related disorders. The fiber in red beets helps reduce serum cholesterol by 30 to 40%.Beets can help in normalizing blood pressure.

BEETS FOR HEALTHY ARTERIES AND VEINS

Beets helps to keep the elasticity of arteries, when consumed regularly it can help prevent varicose veins. The iron content of red beets, though not high but is of the finest quality that makes it a powerful cleanser and builder of blood. This is the reason why beets is very effective in treating many ailments caused by toxic environment and surrounding.

BEETS HAVE FOLIC ACID NEEDED IN PREGNANCY

Beet root is recommended for pregnant women because it contains folic acid that can help lower the risk of spinabifida and other neural tube defects in newborn infants.Beet juice helps stimulate the function of liver cells and protect the liver and bile ducts. Beet juice is highly alkaline which makes it effective in the treatment of acidosis. Drinking beets regularly can help relieve constipation. Beet juice and carrot juice when combined is excellent in the healing gout, kidney and gall bladder problem. You can tell that I love beets, I eat and juice at least six beets and the tops everyday religiously. One of my nicknames at the health food store that I frequent is “beet-man.”

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES DETOXIFY THE LIVER

Vegetables that are members of the cruciferous, or cabbage, family not only contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals (including antioxidants) that promote optimal health, they also contain sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These phytonutrients have been shown to stimulate enzymes in the body that help the liver remove carcinogens (and other toxic chemicals) and deactivate a powerful estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth.

STOP TUMOR GROWTH IN THE BREAST — ANTI-CANCER FOOD

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, various components in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to stop tumor growth in the breast, uterine lining, cervix, colon, lung, and liver and according to studies monitoring diets, eating calciferous vegetables can lower ones risk of getting prostate cancer. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard greens, radishes and mustard greens.

KALE FOR THE EYES

Kale is absolutely rich and abundant in calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. Kale is rich in Vitamin C not to mention the much needed fiber so lacking in the daily diet of processed food eating Americans. The “Icing on the Kale” are the naturally occurring all important phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles which research suggests may protect against cancer. Let’s not forget the all important antioxidant Vitamin E. Rest assured kale spares nothing in providing one with much needed nutrients and associated health benefits. The naturally rich sulfur content of kale deserves a bit more discussion.

Science has discovered that sulforaphane, helps boost the body’s detoxification enzymes, possibly by altering gene expression. This is turn is purported to help clear carcinogenic substances in a timely manner. Sulforaphane is formed when cruciferous vegetables like kale are chopped or chewed. This somehow triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer causing chemicals, of which we all are exposed on daily basis. A recently new study in the Journal of Nutrition (2004) demonstrates that sulforaphane helps stop breast cancer cell proliferation.

BEANS ARE COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

Beans are an often-overlooked source of incredible health benefits. – They have a lot of carbs, leading people to believe they should be avoided and seen as a weight gain risk only. Nothing could be farther from the truth though, as research has shown that the carbohydrates found in most beans are of the complex variety.

Complex carbohydrates are not contributors to any sort of weight gain, instead providing the brain and muscles with a lot of good, stable energy supplies. Beans actually contain a wider variety of healthy nutrients than most foods. These include calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid. These nutrients work together on several key areas of the body promoting total health.

SOURCE OF COMPLETE PROTEINS

Beans also happen to be good sources of complete proteins, which is rare in plants. Plants, while having many different nutrients, often lack complete proteins of any kind. This is unfortunate, as protein is a vital ingredient to the healthy and normal functioning of the human body, and the most readily available sources of protein have negative effects on the heart. Beans, however, are plentiful in protein. Most of the commotion that beans are generating in the scientific community has to do with the fact that they are showing to provide protection from many of the most feared and lethal diseases plaguing Americans today.

Studies done in universities have shown that eating beans on a regular basis reduces a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Sometimes the reduction in risk is substantial. The risk for heart disease, for example, may be reduced by as much as 22%. Beans help to curb hunger, and offer the body valuable sources of ready energy that it can burn quickly and effectively. Because of this, beans boost energy levels, and as a result, promote weight loss.

POWERFUL LITTLE FOOD

Beans are powerful little foods that have been ignored for far too long. Associated with Carbohydrates and gas, current studies have done a wonderful job of increasing our understanding of this plentiful food and revealed it to be packed with important nutrition. The benefits that can be attained from eating beans are as varied as all of the nutrients they contain, but what is important is that many of these benefits help to protect people from some of the most feared illnesses of our times. i eat beans regularly, both sprouted and cooked. I only buy organic beans in bulk and the ones that I fine the most nutritional is adzuki, mung and garbanzo.

WHOLE GRAINS PROVIDE UNIQUE ANTIOXIDANTS

Whole grains offer vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients. Whole grains contain protective antioxidants in amounts near or exceeding those in fruits and vegetables. They also provide some unique antioxidants not found in other foods. Studies have shown that eating more whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. New studies show that whole grains may lower triglycerides, improve insulin control, help in weight management, and slow the build-up of arterial plaque. Optimal whole grains are hulled barley, wheat berries, buckwheat, rye, spelt, quinoa, black rice and brown rice. Quinoa and buckwheat are actually fruit seeds but look like grains so I call them grains. They are powerfully nutritional loaded with protein and calcium among lots of fiber and many other nutrients.

Tony picVisit my HealingTones.org blog for more interesting and extraordinary articles. This issue features: “The Shaman’s Gift of Healing.”

Here’s to your health and healing,

Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN

Picture of Hyppocrates by Shakko.