The Integrative Therapeutics blog is your destination for staying current on topics within the integrative medicine community.
// Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS, CFMP
Botanicals and herbs are consistently used with the goal of supporting a wide variety of health processes. The use of botanical supplements is broadly reported throughout history in the application of numerous folk and natural remedies, with the oldest evidence pointing to use approximately 5,000 years ago. Review a recommendation of what type of evidence to focus on when looking to use or recommend a botanical or herb.
// Lise Alschuler, ND
The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is our central stress response system. The HPA axis is an eloquent and every-dynamic intertwining of the central nervous system and endocrine system. This system works in a fairly straight-forward manner. The HPA is responsible for the adaptation component of the stress response. This response is characterized by hypothalamic release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). When CRF binds to CRF receptors on the anterior pituitary gland, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is released. ACTH binds to receptors on the adrenal cortex and stimulates adrenal release of cortisol.
// Erin E. Ducat, DC, CSCS, CCSP and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
In any sport, successful performance requires a planned approach to training and recovery. Poor or inadequate sleep affects athletic performance, recovery, and may have systemic effects. Many studies have evaluated sleep deprivation, a prolonged period of sleep loss such as a whole night or longer; however, sleep restriction, the partial disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle, is more akin to real world experiences of athletes. The following article is a sample of the evidence of sleep restriction in athletes that can help decision-making regarding the use of sleep support habits and/ or agents.
// Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
Assessing stress is complicated business. Many disciplines are asking profound and perhaps age-old questions about the differences between men and women and how they go about dealing with stress. Learn more about gender differences in dealing with stress now.
// Jennifer Pottruff, DBM, DNM, DO(Spain)
Adaptogenic herbs, also referred to as “adaptogens,” are defined as agents that support the body’s ability to accommodate varying physical and emotional stresses. How many times can you think of a point in your life where you could use that? (for example, stress at work, family stress, and physical stress on your body.) Is this something that could really be out there, easily accessible to us all?
// Lauren Martin, MS and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
Sleep is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although the standard recommendation of 7- 8 hours of continuous sleep is familiar, history shows that the biphasic sleep patterns (having two sleep periods) may not be as uncommon as we think. Learn more about alternative sleep patterns, the sleep cycle, and what it could mean for patient care.
// Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS
Human sex hormones have a dramatic impact upon bone health including growth, remodeling, and maintenance during each life stage. With this understanding and knowledge a clear picture is painted regarding the importance of estrogens and androgens in all ages of men and women for the healthy maintenance of bone. Read more about the connection between sex hormones and bone health here.
// Mathieu Bouchard and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
Stress, if harnessed properly, can be of great assistance, but if you lose control, the effects of stress can easily become your worst enemy. Stress is known to affect all systems in the human body by influencing a large array of functions through its effect on chemical messengers like cytokines. Stress hormones may also affect mitochondria.
// Christopher T. Arick, DC, MS
Clinicians may have heard the term ACTH resistance being tossed around clinical seminars and conferences related to adrenal function. These may all be descriptors or variants of ACTH resistance as an aspect of clinical presentation. Learn more about ACTH resistance and how it relates to lifestyle health, stress, and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
// Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family. The purported therapeutic actions of lavender are as a carminative which means it affects gastrointestinal gas production.* It also affects muscle tension and mood.* Lavender is thought to dilate capillaries and increase blood circulation via topical application and inhalation.The mechanism of how oral lavender works, however, is a matter of conflict. Read about this conflict and more on how Lavender works.