What Is a Fascinoma?

Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Clifton Meador about his newest book Fascinomas.

fascinomas

A "fascinoma," as Dr. Meador defines it, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. And Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through these cases and coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories. He has collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters. Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis. Clifton's mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”

Yesterday Clifton visited Carl Bozeman's blog and spoke with Carl about advice doctors/healers can give when a patient has been diagnosed with chronic or acute symptoms but has determined they can "heal" themselves.

Here’s my interview with Clifton:

KATHI: I am constantly warning my clients about labeling their symptoms with a diagnosis, as this sometimes means that we treat only the symptoms and never discover what the true “cause” of our symptoms is, and are destined to repeat "groundhog day style," over and over. Can you explain what your research has shown regarding Western Medicine’s standard of diagnosing symptoms instead of attempting to learn their cause?

CLIFTON: I have not done systematic research, but from my experience I am in complete agreement with you. Of course with an acute illness, a correct diagnosis can lead to a specific treatment (consider all the infectious diseases for which there is a curative antibiotic). With chronic recurring symptoms then, focusing on the symptoms as a step to uncovering the cause is essential. In this case a diagnosis often brings a halt to further inquiry or observations. Consider these “diagnoses”- irritable bowel, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycaemia, even fibromyalgia. These diagnoses often bring a halt to further inquiry. What in the life of the patient correlates with the intensity of the symptoms? Who in the life of the patient is a toxic stressor? What substances correlate with the symptoms? What is the patient doing or not doing that is producing the symptoms. Full awareness comes only from careful observation. Full awareness often leads to a cure or amelioration of the symptoms.

KATHI: Could you give an explanation of how disease labels can often be harmful to the patient diagnosed?

CLIFTON: If the diagnosis is false then the real cause is hidden. The patient is often satisfied to have a label, albeit wrong. The search for the real cause either ceases or it is delayed, thus missing the opportunity to prevent harm.

If the diagnosis is correct, it often stops all searches for aggravating or precipitating factors. Even if one has coronary artery disease with chest pains, one needs to dig deeper. What events trigger the pain? What circumstances bring on the pain? What stressors in the life of the patient should be identified and corrected? These questions require careful self examination to answer. A diagnosis sounds so final that it precludes these essential observations of the life of the patient.

KATHI: One of the first practices that I ask my clients to start is a journal or daily log of everything that they ingest, any exercise they complete, as well as how their symptoms manifest. I see that you also recommend keeping a diary of symptoms, can you explain why you feel this is important and do you recommend it as a daily practice?

CLIFTON: You are so on target. Memory is tricky and often false. Writing down the observations is essential to find important correlations with the symptoms. Of course the more recurring and chronic the symptom, the more important are the diary entries. Most stressor or triggers for symptoms are hidden from consciousness. The diary brings them into consciousness. I believe once something is made fully aware, it can then be addressed or eliminated. Awareness is so important. I find that personal or professional toxic relationships are common and often denied or suppressed. Those old dictums are so true: he gives me a headache; he is a pain in the ass; he makes me want to throw up, and on and on.

I hope you enjoyed this short interview with Dr. Clifton Meador. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, the lab work, the imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas HERE.

Easy Walking Meditation

Here's a walking meditation that was a favorite of mine during my Yoga training at Yogaville. The ashram is on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with an amazing view from just about anywhere on the site. When we meditated outdoors it was as if we could reach up and touch God.

Yogaville

You'll need a grassy area or sandy beach, as we'll be walking barefoot.

Start by standing tall and lengthening your spine all the way up through your neck. Keep your head up, but your gaze around the ground where your feet will touch.

Walk very slowly and softly. The idea is not to leave a footprint. I know that's not possible, but that's the intention, so walk softly enough to make that almost happen.

Really look at the blades of grass in your path, or the sand on the beach while you're walking. Notice what color they are, the length of the grass, the seaweed in the sand. Inhale the scent of fresh mowed lawn or sea and sand... 

Continue your slow, purposeful walking for at least ten minutes.

When you're done, you will feel refreshed and calm! Your mind will have taken a nice little break from it's constant "to do" list..

Best of Health,

Kathi

Heal Yourself With EFT!

Do you believe you have the ability to improve your life?Do you actually think things can be better for you, or are you just hoping they will be? Does your wellness toolbox include EFT? Would you like it to?

I have talked about EFT (tapping) before, especially about how it is helping thousands of returning vets reduce their PTSD. I use tapping both personally and in my coaching, and I know it works. It works whether you are skeptical or not.

The good news is that it’s almost time for the annual World Tapping Summit! It’s a no cost event where you can learn how EFT has helped others and how you can use it for your own health and well being.

Last year for my telesummit on Natural Options for Healing Chronic Pain, I interviewed Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of “Mind Over Medicine”. She is great at explaining how EFT works physiologically, and Nick Ortner, producer of the World Tapping Summit, has just released a video interview with Lissa that is wonderful. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Do You Have Emotional Freedom?

What does the phrase "Emotional Freedom" mean to you? Have you ever thought about it? Just for a moment, close your eyes and see yesterday's routine. See yourself waking in the morning, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, dressing, going off to work, etc. As you walk through your day, notice when your emotions took control of a situation. Did you get angry when that driver cut you off during rush hour traffic? Did your boss or coworkers do anything to irritate you? How about customers if you are in sales or own your own business? The customer is not always right...

Odds are there are times in any given day when you are not the calm, cheerful self you would like to be. Sometimes it's just a minor irritation, and others are full blown tirades or crying jags. You are not alone. As humans, we are emotional beings. This does not mean we have to let our emotions spoil a good day or cause us more stress, however. There is a tool that can help you reduce a strong emotion, from a 10, down to a mere 2, or even all the way down to zero. And - BONUS - this tool is easy to learn and can be done anywhere!

It's called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or "Tapping," and I can teach you how to use this simple tool to curb food cravings, stop smoking and much more.

STOP living the life you don't want. Click here to finally live the life you really want right now! 

Best of Health,

Kathi

Yummy Healthy Recipe With Quinoa

Forearm plank for book better

 

Today I want to share a yummy recipe for all of those who are taking me up on my 30 day fitness challenge. We'll be ready for bathing suit season without compromising on taste!

 

 

Quinoa "Chowder" with Spinach, Feta and Scallions

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa (any color)

8 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lg garlic clove finely chopped

3/4 lb thin skinned potatoes, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves

4 oz feta cheese, diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley or cilantro 

lime juice 

black pepper

optional - 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 hard boiled egg per bowl for garnish

Instructions

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.

Bring quinoa and 8 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till the outer casings on the quinoa have popped (10-15 min)

Strain the quinoa, reserving the liquid.

Heat olive oil. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, cumin, salt and cook until potatoes begin to soften (3-5 minutes)

Add the reserved cooking liquid (and more water to make 6 cups), half of the scallions and simmer until potatoes are tender (15 min)

Add cooked quinoa, spinach and remaining scallions and simmer until spinach just begins to wilt. Remove pot from heat and stir in the feta and parsley or cilantro. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Top with chopped egg and enjoy!

Calories165, Cholesterol 13mg, Fat 52g, Fiber 4.1g, Protein 6g, Calcium 116mg 

How To Fit Fitness Into Your Daily Routine

Here are a few more steps that you can take to start 2014 off on the right foot and keep it going!

couch potato toothbrushing1.  Brushing your teeth can be a fabulous time to plan a little aerobic exercise. You brush at least twice a day, and most of us also floss, so there's 3-4 minutes where you can do a little jig, or march in place, or do some squats. Simple, yet think of how much time you'll have worked out at the end of the month when you make this 4 minute routine a habit! 

2.  How often do you talk on the phone? I know that many people text instead of talking these days, but for those of us who prefer hearing a voice, use your speaker or a headset and do some wall push-ups, lunges or squats while you are on the phone. Making this a habit will take some effort for the first couple of months of the year, but it's well worth the effort! Before you know it, you'll be working another ten minutes or more into your daily routine, and your body will love it!

3.  Why not start a new family tradition? If your kids are grown and it's just the two of you now, you'll get a chance to talk about your day, discuss vacations, dreams, plans, etc. while walking through the neighborhood. Start with just 20 minutes every other day. It'll be the best 20 minutes of the day and you'll be delighted with your progress! 

If you have kids at home, have them put the smart phones down and walk with you or ride their bikes. It's only 20 minutes. They can handle that!

Use your own creativity and come up with more ideas where you can "fit fitness" into your daily routine. And let me know about them!

FLOTUS Turns 50

Michelle Obama turns 50 today!

Michelle Obama Hosts Healthy Kids Fair At White House

 

Click HERE to see the Time article on how she stays so fit - I love that she continues to jump rope both on her own, with her children, and with kids in schools through her Let's Move programs.

She is definitely a great example for us Boomers!

Are We Addicted to Antibiotics?

A very sad report was published the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. It seems that in 2010 (the year that was studied) doctors prescribed antibiotic drugs for approx 1 in every 4 Americans. Good grief! The survey showed that the most frequently prescribed antibiotic was azithromycin, often used to treat bronchitis. The problem is that bronchitis is usually is caused by a virus, and antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, because antibiotics are intended for bacterial infections! 

The study, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed that the antibiotics were most prescribed for young children and the elderly. The CDC authors stated that the overuse of antibiotics is a major factor in the evolution of microbes that resist these drugs, which, in turn, makes it more difficult to treat certain diseases.

I often cringe when I read a Facebook post from another parent of a young child saying that their little one is “back on” an antibiotic. It’s a major concern that, as these kids grow up, and their bodies become resistant to antibiotics, if a serious bacterial infection comes their way, there may be no effective treatment for them. There are naturopaths and doctors who practice functional medicine in most areas of the country. These doctors tend to go with botanical or other alternative treatments first and don’t rush to the prescription pad. I recommend looking for one in your area and checking them out. You may decide they are not for you, but at least take a look. Compare what they offer with your western MD and make you own informed choice.

Best of Health,

Kathi   

Crustless Quiche With Healing Spices – Yummy!

This is one of my favorite recipes for Brunch on New Years Day!

Crustless Quiche4 Large eggs

1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1 lb Ricotta cheese (I use sheep’s Ricotta)

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup of shitake mushrooms

 

1 red pepper

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 lg. bunch of fresh spinach

3 crushed garlic cloves

1 tsp. fresh ginger (crushed)

dash of turmeric

salt and red pepper to taste

Lightly sauté red pepper, onion, mushrooms, zucchini and garlic in oil. At the last minute add the spinach just to wilt it a little.

In separate bowl beat eggs with Ricotta cheese, salt and pepper.

Add the sautéed vegetables and the Feta cheese to the egg mixture and mix until well blended

Pour into greased 9 inch tart pan or pie dish.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Cool 10 min before serving.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Alone For The Holidays-Blue Christmas…

Ma and pop dec 1941This time of year so often seems to fly by for most of us, but perhaps not so fast for Baby Boomers who find themselves alone - perhaps for the first time in many years. The office and neighborhood parties, family visits, shopping, and tree lighting ceremonies can be difficult for someone who is without their partner for the first time in too long to remember.

Many of our Baby Boomer friends and family members are struggling to keep the joy of the holiday season while their minds are full of thoughts and memories of a loved one who has recently passed on. It’s very difficult to keep a smile on your face when the overwhelming grief of your first holiday season without the love of your life is looming. Every family tradition has a memory attached and most of us can’t bear the thought of being alone during this time. Here are a few suggestions for coping with your grief, through finding the joy of today, while keeping safe the wonderful memories of years past.

  1. Friends can make a big difference in protecting you against loneliness and depression, as well as a host of physical ailments, according to a ten year Australian study. A good friend will also have memories of your loved one to share that can make you both smile! This is true of children too, so make an effort to spend some time with your friends, and if you have grandkids, teach them a card game or chess and bring a smile to everyone’s face!
  2. Pets provide consistency in our lives, which in turn, reduces our risk for depression. For example, walking the dog each morning before starting our day gives us something to look forward to, and an enjoyable reason to get out of bed. It’s also not easy to look into the eyes of your cat or dog and not smile! Pets instill a sense of well-being, promote lower blood pressure, decrease depression and increase self-esteem. Another dog-specific advantage is the extra motivation to take daily walks, which is good for the health and well-being of those on both ends of that leash. So, whatever furry, finned or feathered friend you enjoy, or have room for, take time to celebrate the joy that animals can bring to your life this holiday season and all through the year.
  3. Laughter truly is the best medicine – especially when you have the blues. According to William F. Fry, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Stanford University, laughing 100-200 times per day is the cardiovascular equivalent of rowing for ten minutes. When something strikes you as funny, you laugh. And when you laugh, your body responds. You flex, and relax 15 facial muscles plus dozens of others all over your body. Your pulse and respiration increase briefly, oxygenating your blood. You also release “feel good” hormones called endorphins; endorphins reduce the amount of harmful stress hormones flowing through your body, and also give your immune systems a boost. Laughter increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against infectious organisms entering through the respiratory tract, helping to reduce breathing difficulties in older Baby Boomers. Laughing benefits both our physical body, and the health of our mind and spirit as well.  So open those e-mail jokes from friends and grandkids, watch funny movies or TV shows, or try a laughing meditation session.

My special gift to all of you this holiday season is one of MY favorite things (I have my own list just like Oprah), laughter.  Here is a link to my laughing meditation sample.  Smile!

Best of Health,

Kathi

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