A Recommended Read on Nutrition

One of my favorite books to recommend for reading about nutrition is Dr Weston A Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  Weston A Price was a dentist in Cleveland, Ohio at the turn of the 20th century when the American food system was shifting from an agrarian focus to industrialization and processing.  Encountering rampant tooth decay and other chronic health issues, Dr Price decided to visit populations across the globe to conduct research on health and nutrition.  He studied isolated mountain populations in Switzerland, the Inuit population, Australian aboriginal populations, Melanesian and Polynesian populations, and tribal populations in Africa and South America.  What Dr Price found is that populations that relied on their native unprocessed traditional diets enjoyed better health compared to people of the same ethnic background that ate processed industrialized food.  Dr Price found that these isolated populations that ate native diets lived largely without obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes.

There are some diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes, where the focus of treatment and/or prevention needs to be on lifestyle factors including diet and exercise.  Shifting our diets to reflect more traditional diets that were eaten can help prevent these lifestyle-related diseases.  Traditional diets relied on eating food in its whole form with minimal or simple processing.  Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a fascinating read that presents Dr Price’s work in health and nutrition.


Price, Weston A.  Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  6th ed.  2003.

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Case of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay-fever)

sneezingThis is a recent case of a 26 year old female who presented with the following symptoms of 2 weeks duration:

  • obstructed nose with painful pressure in her nose that was worse during night when laying down (which led to difficulty with falling asleep)
  • even though her nose felt obstructed, her nose also constantly dripped a clear watery mucus that did not excoriate the nasal mucosa or the oral philtrum
  • frequent watery discharge from the eyes that would sting and burn
  • frequent sneezing

Based on a repertorization of her symptoms, I asked the patient to obtain an herbal tincture of the plant Euphrasia officinalis and asked her to take 3-5 drops of the tincture twice daily.  The patient reported that all of the symptoms described above had improved by 90% within 3 days of starting the tincture and were completely resolved 1 week later.  Since then, the patient has stopped taking the tincture and her allergic symptoms have not returned.


the plant Euphrasia officinalis

Euphrasia is one of many remedies in the homeopathic materia medica that can effectively treat seasonal allergies.  There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for seasonal allergies since there can be subtle differences in the symptoms of each person with allergies.


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Case of Persistent Cough

A 40 year old female presented with dry barking croupy cough persisting since last 14 days accompanied by headache and sinus pressure.  Patient had been to an urgent care center and had not experienced any relief from the cough syrup that was prescribed to her.  Patient described the headache as pulsating and throbbing in the occiput and described the sinus pressure as a feeling of blood rushing to her head.  On review of systems, patient had stools like marbles (type 1 on the Bristol stool chart).

A 2-rubric repertorization of croupy cough and type 1 stools using the Synthesis 9.1 Repertory brought up Spongia tosta as a remedy to consider for this case.

After reading a few materia medicas about it, I administered Spongia tosta 30C, 1 pellet as needed after each paroxysm of cough.  The patient reported rapid improvement in cough, headache, and sinus pressure within 2 hours of the first dose and resolution of symptoms 2 days later.


The remedy Spongia tosta is prepared from tincturing a brown-roasted sponge from a marine environment.


Samuel Hahnemann, MD writes about Spongia tosta:  “Head — Sensation in forehead as if the blood had accumulated in it.  Increased rush of blood to the head.    Catarrh and Respiratory Organs — Constant cough from a deep spot in the chest.  Dry cough day and night.”

William Boericke, MD writes about Spongia tosta: “Head — Rush of blood; bursting headache; worse, forehead.  Respiratory — Great dryness of all air-passages.  Cough, dry barking croupy.”

John Henry Clarke, MD writes about Spongia tosta: “Head — Throbbing and pulsation in head. Congestion of blood in head, with pressing, beating, and pulsation in forehead.  Respiratory organs — Affections in general of larynx and trachea, particularly in all such affections as croup and asthma where everything is perfectly tight and dry, no loose rattling sound appearing in the breathing or cough.”



Hahnemann, Samuel.  Materia Medica Pura. Vol IV.  1846

Boericke, William.  Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica.  Boericke & Runyon.  6th Edition.  1916.

Clarke, John Henry.  A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica.  Vol 2.  1902.

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Overview of CST


What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork that arose from Osteopathy.  CST involves working directly with the craniosacral system and fascial system.  CST treatment techniques are hands-on, gentle, non-forceful and non-invasive.  CST applies only a very light touch or physical pressure and is done with patients fully clothed.

CranioSacral System (CSS)
The principal component of the craniosacral system (CSS) is a tough, waterproof, three-layer membrane called the meninges that is filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).    The term craniosacral derives from the fact that the dura mater, the outermost layer of the meninges, attaches to the skull in the cranium and extends to the sacrum and coccyx at the end of the spinal column.  The dura mater forms a complete envelope or tube (sometimes called the dural tube) around the brain and spinal cord, the central nervous system of the body.  The CSF supplies vital nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and circulates hormones, neurotransmitters, and immune cells.

Fascial System
The fascial system is a network of fascia or connective tissue that connects all parts of the body. A superficial or outer layer of fascia forms a huge body stocking under the skin that holds the body together. Fascial tissue surrounds the dura mater and all internal organs.   Minor alterations in any portion of the fascial network affect the distribution of tension throughout.  Fascial tissue also forms a sheath around each bone, ligament, tendon, and every muscles, every individual muscle fiber, and every nerve fiber—all the way down to the cellular level. The combined fascia of the body forms a single fascial system that physically interconnects all parts of the body –  this is how the craniosacral rhythm can be felt at any part of the body and how CST can affect the entire body.

Craniosacral Rhythm
In an action similar to a hydraulic pump, the CSS produces, circulates and reabsorbs cerebrospinal fluid, creating a pulse or rhythm in the cerebrospinal fluid. This craniosacral rhythm is separate and distinct from the pulse rate (rhythm of blood circulation), breathing rate (rhythm of respiration), and other rhythms of body.  The craniosacral rhythm is usually 6 to 12 cycles per minute. The craniosacral rhythm is carried to all parts of the body through the fascial system and can be monitored by light touch on almost any part of the body. The hydraulic pump for the CSS is the subtle rocking motion (flexion and extension) of the sphenoid bone (which holds the pituitary gland) on a clamshell-like hinge joint with the occiput.

In the fascial system, deep fascia can thicken and lose flexibility in response to chronic tension in muscles.  Injuries, stresses, strains, sprains and other effects of working, playing and living can introduce structural misalignments or imbalances in the cranial bones, leading to disruptions in the flow of CSF, which causes many dysfunctions.  Due to disruptions in the CSS or the fascial system, the body may not have the vital energy necessary to fully recover from certain injuries or dysfunctions on its own. The body is willing to accept help from another person in order to overcome these roadblocks or barriers to self-healing.

I hope this brief overview will help you understand the body’s craniosacral system (CSS) and fascial system and their role in health and wellness.   Conditions that CST is particularly useful in treating include: headaches, sinus pressure/congestion, neck pain, back pain, jaw pain, TMJ dysfunction, insomnia, and anxiety.  A typical CST session in my practice lasts 20-30 minutes.


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Case of Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

This is a case of a 55 y.o. female with pain in her left shoulder that had been diagnosed as bursitis and then adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder.  The shoulder pain had progressively increased over the last two years.  Initially, the patient was diagnosed with bursitis from her medical doctor and received a cortisone shot but symptoms worsened.  The patient was not able to straighten her left arm at the elbow joint.  The shoulder pain was also affecting the patient’s sleep.  After an MRI, the patient was diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder.  The patient then began physical therapy but had not experienced much improvement after 1 month.

frozen shoulder

At this point, the patient came to see me.  My goal was to find out what was unique and characterizing about her frozen shoulder symptoms and also more.  From the perspective of homeopathy, the whole organism is affected in chronic dis-ease.  An altered state of health in the whole person is expressed through all of that person’s various parts; therefore, symptoms that may be unrelated to the patient’s chief complaint are still important to consider.

Sometimes in using homeopathy, we can get a “hole in one” and the patient gets better with 1 remedy.  However, many cases require a series of different remedies to bring the case to more lasting improvement or several strokes to get the ball into the hole, to continue the golf metaphor.

In this case, the patient received a total of 3 different remedies during the course of 4 months (each remedy was chosen at follow-up visits based on an evaluation of the entire current symptom picture and the response to the previous remedy given).  At the end of those 4 months, the patient was pain-free and had complete mobility of her left shoulder and left elbow joint.  In addition, the patient experienced improvement in energy level, mood, and sleep.  The patient’s physical therapist was impressed with the patient’s improvement since the average duration of frozen shoulder is 1-3 years.

Update: The most recent follow-up with this patient occurred 9 months after the initial appointment.  The patient reported that she has not been taking any remedies and has not had any relapse in symptoms.

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A Case of Chronic Tendonitis

Here is a summary of a recent case from my private practice.  Meghan was a female in her 30’s with chronic tendonitis in her left shoulder.  As a circus artist, Meghan had injured her left shoulder in 2009 and had been treated with a cortisone injection.   The injury seemed to be healed, but in 2011, Meghan felt a painful pull in that same shoulder while doing a rotational stretch at a contortion class.   Since that day in 2011, Meghan has had aching pain in that shoulder, specifically at the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle, with any motion or stretching of her left arm.

bicipital tendon


Even holding her arms up to handle the steering wheel while driving was painful.  Towards the end of an exercise session, Meghan would notice pain in the shoulder as she began to cool down; the pain radiated down the shoulder into her left arm and would remain for hours.  The pain was improved with rest but would recur with any activity and motion of her left arm.  Stressful situations at work also produced a painful throbbing in that left shoulder.  Meghan had seen several doctors and hadn’t found any improvement.  Meghan also had not seen improvement with topical administration of a popular combination homeopathic ointment.

After a thorough intake, I prescribed Meghan a single remedy to take daily.  After 1 week, there was no improvement in her pain.  I re-studied Meghan’s case and changed her prescription to a different remedy called Calcarea Carbonica.  Within the first week of taking this remedy, Meghan noticed a decrease in pain.  After 1 month of taking the remedy, Meghan did not have pain in the shoulder while cooling down from exercise.  However, Meghan still had some shoulder pain while holding a steering wheel to drive and had shoulder pain with any weight bearing activity, such as yoga.  After re-studying Meghan’s case with an emphasis on the most recent symptom picture, I recommended Meghan to take the remedy Ruta graveolens.  Three weeks later, I was thrilled to hear Meghan report the complete absence of pain in the shoulder during and after performing a plank pose; Meghan was able to participate in painting her home with no shoulder pain.  Meghan also had no pain with holding her arms up to handle a steering wheel while driving.

This case shows that homeopathy can be effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions such as tendonitis, even long after after the injury to the area had occurred.  A thorough intake and careful analysis led to successful treatment, as the first remedy administered in this case produced no improvement but the subsequent two remedies given led to complete resolution, allowing the patient to enjoy life more.

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Homeopathy for Bruising

Bruising after surgery is a common phenomenon.  Homeopathy can be effective in reducing this bruising.  Arnica is one of the most frequently used remedies for bruising.  SinecchTM is one preparation of Arnica that has been clinically studied in a variety of surgeries [1].  A study published in 2007 in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal compared the effects of Arnica and corticosteroids for patients undergoing rhinoplastic surgery.  On day 2 after the surgery, there was no difference observed between patients receiving Arnica and corticosteroids, with both groups showing decreased edema (fluid-filled swelling).  On day 8 after the surgery, the patients receiving Arnica had significantly less extent of bruising and less intensity of bruising, compared to those receiving corticosteroids, indicating that the patients receiving Arnica had faster resolution of their bruising [2].

Usually, a homeopathic remedy is chosen through careful consideration of an individual’s symptoms.  Why is it that Arnica can be routinely given pre- and post-operatively for most surgeries?  The reason is that the body’s response to surgery is pretty consistent across all individuals; there is not as much room for individualization of symptoms in this situation, and post-operative bruising and edema usually fits well within the scope of what Arnica is useful for.

Aside from surgery, people often tell me that they’ve tried Arnica for other bruises and it hasn’t worked.  I educate them that in these situations, Arnica is not always the remedy indicated when bruising is involved.  Discoloration of bruises can vary from dark purple to bright red to yellow.


The bruise may feel warm or cool, and may feel better with hot or cold applications.  The bruise may be edematous or it may be firm and hard.  Some bruises occur from damage to vascular tissue and others from contusions to soft tissues.   Due to the variety of characterizing symptoms, different homeopathic remedies become more useful for these different types of bruises.  These factors and more must be evaluated in order to choose the best indicated remedy to provide effective treatment for your specific type of bruising.

[1] http://www.alpinepharm.com/sinecch/

[2] Totonchi A, Guyuron B.  “A randomized, controlled comparison between arnica and steroids in the management of postrhinoplasty ecchymosis and edema.”  Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Jul; 120(1): 271-4.

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