People living in smaller communities within the South Okanagan no longer have to commute large distances to Penticton or Kelowna to meet face to face with a Naturopathic Doctor. In keeping with the Spokes' values of accessibility, community, and sustainability, we're moving back into the smaller under served centres.
The doctor is in! Spokes is Victoria's newest boutique Naturopathic medical clinic. We're located in the heart of Fernwood square, right across from the Belfry Theatre. The doors are open for business and so far the reviews have been great! Full website is in development and should be up and running by the end of the week.
I'm pretty sure Hawkeye never severed a corpus callosum on M.A.S.H., so I'm sure finding someone who has was on his bucket list when the show ended. When a corpus callosum is cut, the two halves of the brain can't communicate and operate totally separately. The video outlines some experiments that have been done with a guy who's had his cut. It's given us interesting insight into the differences in function between the left and right.
It turns out that our left brains are more concerned with analysis of cause, effect, interpretation, and explaining things. Logic and reason are the strength of the left brain. It seeks to break things down into their individual components and figure out mechanisms of how or why things work. Modern medicine operates almost exclusively in this hemisphere. This is reinforced at the end of the video where the Dr. Mike is clearly bias toward the left brain, which is not surprising given his vocation as a researcher. Math and science are realms that lend themselves to the left brain.
The right brain recognizes patterns. It's not concerned about the details, what happened in the past, or what may or may not happen tomorrow. It just perceives in the present. This is where our perceptive, creative, and intuitive brainpower comes from. This is the hemisphere where many of the alternative healing arts operate. The arts are experienced in the right hemisphere.
So why am I writing about it? Well, this division of labour has consequences on our health, and learning how to navigate between the two can be tremendously helpful for many of us - both patients and physicians.
Take anxiety or insomnia as an example. If you've ever found yourself lying in bed awake, and your mind is racing over the details of what happened yesterday, what may happen tomorrow, and what you need to the next day, that's your left brain in a death spiral. You can't talk or reason your way out of that spiral. That's like pouring water into a pool to help someone who's drowning. What you need to do is get into your right brain. This is done by brining your awareness to what your body is feeling in the present. There are many ways to do this. Deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, integrated body psychotherapy, biofeeback, meditation.. the list goes on. It's helpful to consult with a professional at first to help guide you through the process, but you'll find that over time, you'll be able to snap yourself out of it quite easily. I use a combination of some of the above, particularly breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
In my opinion we were given both hemispheres for a reason. Why limit yourself to half a brain? We have been given a tremendous ability to reason, interpret, and analyze. We've also been given highly sensitive and accurate perceptions, intuitive abilities, and artistic expression. You'll likely resonate a bit more with one or the other (I've always been a bit more of a lefty), but I encourage you to open your mind and give your other half a chance. You may be surprised at how much richer life can be.
On Monday night we successfully installed 12 virtual gastric band's in my office. 12 participants have now embarked on a trial program that will see them eat less, drop weight, and live healthier lives without the need for drastic diets or surgery. We also explored food addiction, why it is we feel compelled to eat tubby foods, and why we eat to soothe.
Of particular interest was one gentleman who had originally signed up for gastric bypass surgery, but was convinced otherwise after meeting with people who had "successfully" undergone the procedure. In his opinion although many of them had lost weight, they were less healthy, in his opinion, than if they'd not had the surgery.
Most people were optimistic about the endeavour, and we're all certainly excited to see how it turns out.
For Christmas this year I got a new pant.. size. I'm pretty sure what Mr. Claus has on his back there is a bag full of regret. I, however, enjoyed my holiday binge and am looking forward to getting back into shape.
If any of you feel the same, you may be interested in a new approach to the age old weight loss conundrum. A colleague Julia Andersen (a clinical hypnotherapist) and I have put together a FREE program for 12 people that incorporates a "virtual gastric band" and a naturopathic approach to safe and effective weight loss. We'll explore why we tend to overeat, use food for comfort, and provide a blueprint for getting you to the shape you want. We'll meet on Monday evenings for 8 sessions between January 9th and March 12th.
For more information and to sign up, check out the Living Healthy Victoria website. Perhaps you'll be one of the lucky few who get to partake!
I love December. I had my first egg-nog in October (only legit Naturopaths drink egg-nog). December is the month of giving and for many of you there's a little gift waiting for you that you may not even know about. It's from your extended health plan.
Most extended health plans have a yearly allotment for Naturopathic medicine. At the end of each calendar year, the unused benefits expire. If you've ever considered consulting a Naturopath, why not use what you've already paid for? This is the perfect time to do it. If you book in this month, you'll essentially have 2 years worth of benefits to use in the next 12 calendar months.
For Christmas this year, you're health insurance is offering you a jump-start on your new year's health goals. Let's face it we're all going to be hitting the food hard and repeatedly over the next 4 weeks, I promise I won't stand in the way. I will, however, be here to help put you back together when all is said and done.
See you soon, Bryn Vital Victoria Naturopathic Clinic (250) 386-3534