Psyche, Soma & Spirit

Want Better Rest? Ditch Your Sleep Tracker

By Ktristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

If a better night’s rest is what you’re after, think twice before using a sleep tracker. An abundance of modern health and wellness technologies promise benefits like improved sleep and relaxation. But research indicates that sleep tracking devices can actually reinforce some users’ sleep-related stress, making peaceful slumber even harder to attain. Sleep Aids Gain […]

Loneliness: The Other Pandemic

By Grant Jackson, MD, Contributing Writer

In the late 1950s, toward the end of her life, psychiatrist Frieda Fromm Reichmann sat by a catatonic patient in the hospital.  Inspired by an unexplainable hunch, she asked how lonely the patient was.  The young woman raised her hand with her thumb extended and the rest of the fingers folded under.  Dr. Fromm-Reichmann, an […]

Psychedelics: The Next Revolution In Healthcare

By Erik Goldman

A phase 3 study of psychotherapy with the addition of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) shows that inclusion of this psychedelic compound can markedly reduce the symptom burden of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and improve quality of life, compared with psychotherapy plus a placebo. The study, hailed as a landmark on the long road toward legitimizing medical use […]

How Financial Stress Impacts the Immune System

By Kristen Schepker

A recent study of a group of hedge fund traders suggests that the immune system responds to financial stress as if it were a disease. The findings suggest a striking correlation between the human immune system and the volatility of entire financial systems, including the stock market.

“Core” Values: How to Help Patients Build Strength and Improve Balance

By Stacy Collier, Contributing Writer

Balance is an essential concept in holistic medicine. The word is everywhere: we talk about work-life balance, balancing hormones and neurotransmitters, keeping an ideal acid-alkaline balance. All of those are important. But the reality is, many people struggle with the much more basic issue of physical balance. Especially as people age, the ability to stay […]

Mood by Microbe: Stress Response and the Gut-Brain Axis

By Erik Goldman

Multiple converging lines of evidence have shown that the primary cause of chronic systemic inflammation may be the dysfunction of the gut-brain axis. In this presentation, renowned integrative psychiatrist, David Scheiderer, MD, reviews the links between dysbiosis, meta-inflammation, and various psychiatric conditions. Dr. Scheiderer discusses the impact of medications, alcohol, diet, and lifestyle on the […]

Optimizing the Brain-Microbiome Axis

By Erik Goldman

The promise of the “psychobiotic revolution” is that many of the underlying drivers of chronic mental illness can be reversed with relatively simple interventions. “We cannot change the genes in our cells. But we can change the genes in our microbiota. That can have a positive—or a negative—health benefit,” says Ted Dinan, MD, PhD, a […]

Psychobiotics: Your Brain on Friendly Flora

By Grant Jackson, MD

The typical human body contains roughly 1.5 kilograms of microorganisms. That’s about equal in weight to the average human brain. It’s an interesting equivalence, given what we are learning about the myriad ways in which the gut microbiome influences the brain and central nervous system. Many common mental illnesses, including severe depression and anxiety, are […]

The Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis: A Primer for Clinicians

By Erik Goldman

The brain-gut-microbiota axis provides a bidirectional route of communication between the gut microbes and the brain. The axis involves the vagus nerve, short-chain fatty acids, tryptophan, cytokines and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. New evidence suggests that gut microbes are involved in neural development and function, both peripherally in the enteric nervous system and centrally in the […]