Thanksgiving Thoughts and Office Schedule

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, whether it’s to travel or to host a feast, I want to suggest that you take a moment each day to acknowledge what you appreciate in your life. In Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine, we like to use tools that have been shown to have a benefit. It’s been well studied that focusing our thoughts on what we love and appreciate can actually change how our brains function, improving our mood.

Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies happiness, has 2 exercises based on gratitude that have been proven to increase happiness and wellbeing – the Three Good Things Journal and the Gratitude Visit.

With the Three Good Things Journal, every day write down three good things that happened to you and why you think they happened. In Seligman’s studies, after doing this for a month, people’s moods were elevated and they had less depression which lasted for six months.

In the powerful exercise, the Gratitude Visit, you take a week to write a letter of gratitude to someone who has been especially kind to you, who you have never properly thanked. Then you deliver it in person. This practice has been shown to result in significant improvements in mood for the following month.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of your lives, sharing knowledge and practices that enrich us both.

So not only is this a time of harvest festivals around the globe, and preparations for the long dark winter to come, it is a time to gather those that we love and appreciate around us, and to truly give thanks, both for what we have and for the more lasting good cheer it brings.

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We will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving from Tuesday through Friday. And as always, I will be available by phone and email for your emergent needs.

Office closure 9/24-10/5/15

I’m off to the high desert of New Mexico for a little R&R. Part of my journey will be an age old healing tradition of “taking the waters.” There are plenty of rich mineral hot springs around Santa Fe and Taos, that have soothed the weary and achy for as long as there have been humans. There is also something so healing about the clear mountain air, brilliant sunshine, and the sheer beauty of the land, now highlighted with aspen trees turning bright yellow. Nature is the perfect antidote to our modern, crazy pace. I will see you after 10 days of resting and hiking, and continue the healing journey in the office refreshed. Dr. Babak Kanani will be available by phone for your emergency needs while I’m away.

When is your next walk or soak in nature?

Detox Advanced Practice Module

I’m off once again to an Institute of Functional Medicine conference, this time on detox, “Understanding Biotransformation and Recognizing Toxicity: Evaluation and Treatment in the Functional Medicine Model.” Certainly “detox” is quite a buzz word now and the band wagon is full of detox products and protocols. Sorting out what is needed for an individual is key – our bodies are constantly in the process of eliminating toxic substances that we absorb and some do this better than others, and some used to do it better than they do now. Figuring this out, how and when to support one’s detox systems, can make a huge difference to our health as we all now live in the toxic swamp that is modern life.

The office will be closed from July 13th through the 15th, reopening on Thursday the 16th. As always, I will be available for urgent calls and by email while I’m in Chicago for this conference.

Immune Advanced Practice Module, Institute of Functional Medicine

The office will be closed March 5th and 6th while I attend the IFM conference on the immune system. This is another exciting course in Functional Medicine, and looks at one of the foundational causes of disease, the dysfunction our immune system. This has wide reaching implications for treatment and prevention. For example, inflammation is a root cause of heart disease and a dysfunctional immune system is a root cause of cancer. There is also the possibility of modulating an immune system gone haywire, such as in rheumatoid arthritis. As always, I am delighted to bring back more advanced skills to my practice of medicine.

Happy New Year

The office will be closed this week over new years, from Monday 12/29/14 to 1/2/15. I’ll be back on Monday the 5th. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, fun New Years celebration.

The office will be closed 5/29-31/14.

The Annual Institute of Functional Medicine Conference is in San Francisco and is all about nutrition, one of my favorite topics.  The title is, “Functional Perspectives on Food and Nutrition:  The Ultimate Upstream Medicine.”  I’ll be there Thursday through Saturday, so I won’t be at the office but can be reached by phone if needed.  Food is our best medicine, and this will continue to deepen my knowledge and ability to bring the latest science to you for your health.

Office closing 3/27/14-3/30/14

Leonardo_da_vinci,_Heart_and_its_Blood_Vessels

“Heart and its Blood Vessels” by Leonardo da Vinci

I’m off to Boston for an Institute of Functional Medicine conference on Cardiovascular issues for this long weekend.  The office will be closed but I will be available by phone should you need me (unless it is an emergency, then the ER or 911 would be appropriate). The office will reopen Monday, 3/31/14.

About 2/3 of us will succumb to heart attacks.  This was not always the case.  Our modern diet and lifestyle are to blame for most of this.  Integrative medicine already has so much wisdom around how to reduce one’s risk, including options like changing to the Mediterranean diet.  This diet is based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil and fish, with small quantities of meat and poultry, with very little processed foods, flour, or sweets, and is proven to reduce your risk of heart attack, even if you’ve already had one.  This reduction can be up to 70%, more than any drug can boast, including statins.

This conference will dive more deeply into strategies to help prevent, reduce, and, in some cases, even reverse coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.  I’m excited to bring this knowledge back to all of you.

Deena

Meet Gene

September 16th to the 20th the office will be closed

I’m very excited to be off to Minneapolis for the week to study with the Institute of Functional Medicine.  The conference is “Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice.”  I won’t see much of the town, but will get a great big dose of practical medicine, the “thinking outside of the box” kind that I can’t wait to bring back to Berkeley.

This July 15th to the 24th the office will be closed

I will be going to a tiny little lake in the Catskills in NY to visit with family at a place we used to go often when I was a child.  It’s very quiet and serene, and hopefully full of watching nature, visiting with family and old friends, and a good book.  The perfect medicine!