Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study
Last night, I started reading a new book called The Last Best Cure. It is written by a science journalist who undergoes a year of meditation, yoga, acupuncture and being among nature to turn around numerous chronic diseases that her body is expressing. As I am beginning the book, she is discussing the Adverse Childhood Experience study.
The Adverse Childhood Experience study examined how certain childhood experiences are linked to health conditions later in life. The results of this study stunned researchers. They discovered, in fact, a very high correlation between later life disease and those exposed to adverse experiences as a child. These adverse experiences included neglect, parental divorce/separation (and I think also includes death of a parent?), a mother being abused, drug and/or alcohol abuse in the home, imprisonment of a household member, mental illness of a household member, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. These adverse experiences were not limited to any one socioeconomic part of our population.
Those who have had more of these adverse experiences have been found to actually have a smaller hippocampus (part of the brain). Ultimately, these experiences can alter how our stress and immune response functions. Eventually, it has the potential to lead to chronic disease. More information about this study can be found at acestudy.org.
So, where's the light at the end of this bleak tunnel? It is this--our brain is malleable. There are techniques that can change our response and, thus, our health. A whole new field of science called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is emerging that describes how we can change our brain, immune and stress responses and reverse disease. Many of these techniques are not new, but rather ancient (i.e. mindfulness, loving-kindness meditation, yoga, being among nature, breathing techniques). It is just now that science is coming to understand just how profound their effects can be on changing health.