Integrative Blog

The Integrative Therapeutics blog is your destination for staying current on topics within the integrative medicine community.

Managing Stress During Uncertain Times

// Danielle Huntsman, MS, CNS, LDN

Patient encounters during turbulent times are akin to full moons in the hospital. Nothing is ordinary. One of my mentors touted this refrain. “Address the stress. It’s a mess. Listen to your patients, give them a quiz or give them a test.”

Sleep Smart: Identifying Underlying Factors

// Danielle Huntsman, MS, CNS, LDN

When looking at potential internal influences of occasional poor sleep - three factors stand out: psychological effects, glycemic regulation, and disruption in circadian rhythm.

Utilizing Adaptogens

// Danielle Huntsman, MS, CNS, LDN

As we continue to shift our focus on supporting the entire hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis rather than laser focusing on just the adrenal glands we can see the important role that stress has on the overall picture of health. Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Holy basil have been utilized in Ayurvedic and Chinese cultures for centuries.

Five Stars for Hamilton (Anxiety Rating Scale)

// Danielle Huntsman, MS, CNS, LDN

In 1959, Max Hamilton, MD developed and published the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, affectionately referred to as HAM-A. The HAM-A was the first rating scale to be published and is available in the public domain (meaning anyone can download and use it). After several decades of minimal use, a significant resurgence of use of the HAM-A over the last twenty years provides over 900 references in total using a very gross bibliometric method. 5

What could be responsible for the renewed interest?

What Patients Think and Don't Say about Occasional Anxiety

// Corey Schuler, RN, MS, CNS, CNSC, DC

A therapeutic encounter between a doctor and patient discussing occasional anxiety solutions.

Oral Lavender Supplement Dosing Considerations: 80mg vs. 160mg

Oral lavender oil is an evidence-based dietary supplement which has been studied in both 80 mg and 160 mg doses. While practitioners may not always think about a style of recommending or prescribing, the art of medicine requires it. We asked two clinicians about their style of recommending an oral lavender oil supplement.

Chronotypes and Nutrition - ‘Perfect Timing’

// Kate Hope, MS, CNS

Our daily sleep-wake cycle is governed by an internal biological clock that operates on a near 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. Chronobiology is the study of how this process regulates almost every function of life, including sleep, arousal, feeding, and a host of metabolic activities.1

The Level of Evidence Supporting Botanical and Herb Use

// 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.

The HPA Axis

// 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.

Sleep and Athletic Performance

// 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.


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