Naturopathic Approach to the Microbiome

Microbiome imbalance impacts health in every part of the human body. Here are answers to some common questions about the microbiome. 

What is the microbiome? 

The collection of microbes including bacteria, viruses, fungi that inhabit various parts of the human body

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What is Naturopathic Medicine?

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is an alternative primary care paradigm. Anything that you would see your "regular" doctor for, from acne to thyroid disorders, from an acute cold to a chronic autoimmune condition, is something that you could see your accredited naturopathic doctor for. 

The six principles of naturopathic medicine are

1. Treat the Cause
2. Treat the Whole Person
3. Doctor as Teacher
4. Prevention
5. The Healing Power of Nature
6. Do No Harm

Naturopathic doctors apply this philosophy to each individual that they see. This is what makes us holistic in our approach to patient care. 

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Breath and the Organ Systems

artist -ย http://bedelgeuse.tumblr.com/

artist - http://bedelgeuse.tumblr.com/

We run up subway steps, sit in parks watching the world pass by, laugh loudly, or sit still, sometimes in loneliness. We notice the sounds of strangers' children, the warmth of navy blue jackets in winter time, and the shivering of gloveless hands. To live, we breath. Most of the time, we breath without even thinking about it, not noticing if it's happening fast or slow, if we're taking deep or shallow inhales and exhales.

Does breathing change throughout these experiences? Do our bodies respond to the outside world, to circumstance, to emotion? Does stress matter? How much?  Can stress affect breathing? Can being sick affect breathing? Do different parts of the body communicate with one another?

Physiology says yes. The lungs sit protected in the ribcage, surrounded by connective tissue, muscles, innervated by nerves, fed with blood vessels. They speak to the cardiovascular system through alveoli, which exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen-containing capillaries. 

The musculoskeletal system is also involved in breathing. There are primary muscles of breathing that always participate in inhalation, like the diaphragm, and secondary muscles , like the intercostals,  sternocleidomastoid, and in the case of the exhalation, the abdominal muscles, that only participate when the body in respiratory distress like in asthma, other lung conditions, exercise. 

Now we are taking the F to Coney Island in the middle of autumn to see the ocean. There is room to sit and it's Saturday. We notice our chests rising and falling, we pass by red leaves, violins play games in our headphones, and we don't have a care in the world. Muscles are moving, blood and lung tissues are collaborating, the respiratory centers in the brain are evaluating blood pH to make sure our bodies remember to inhale.

Basically, breathing is an integrated process involving many separate organ systems. Sometimes we're up and the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated; we fully, calmly breath all the way into bellies. And sometimes this strange, emotional, pre-election world can feel out of control and fight or flight mode can kick in and stay there. Then breathing becomes fast and shallow. 

We can affect organ systems, our nerves, heart, lungs, by changing our breath and we can affect breath by optimizing the function of the organ systems.

ND in NYC

Hello and welcome to my blog!

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This will document my experiences as a naturopath and educator in New York City. I'll cover some of my favorite herbal medicines, information on specific diseases, and photos of medicinal plants that I see growing around NYC. I will also write about the body by organ system (endocrine, cardiovascular, etc.) including some useful anatomy and physiology and try to answer common questions that arise.

Oh and I will certainly include references to books, articles, beautiful art, and music when relevant!

ND = naturopathic doctor
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