The Gut and Brain Connection in Major Depression
Longevity Love and other stuff! by Dr Jason Mallia IMD PhD Naturopath and Integrative Medicine
Longevity is a term thrown around to describe the length of time a person may life in their lifetime . What it does not describe is the state of wellness a person may have on this process . Now , the question is, would we still be want a long life or longevity with ill health? , ,most would probably say NO , what do you say ??? In my experience as a clinician and a student of life feel that there are several important factors that increase our life span and potential for wellness in this time , a popular book called the blue Zone decribes some of these.
They include things such as:
A diet rich in Phytonutrients
diet rich in Omega 3 from fish
a daily spiritual practice such as going to church
community and a social network .
Im my day to day practice what I see that is often deficient is the need for a Life purpose, a Passion and Love .People often come in with health conditions related to stress that is connected to these things . I ask many people do you love your job? and many respond with the answer no way its just a JOB and “thats why im here my job is stressing me” !. At this point we have the discussion about what job would you rather be doing and why are you not doing it ? After some time re-evalauting many come to the realisation that they need to follow their passion rather than just an income in their job .
The other area is the feild of LOVE, I often see diffuculty in this area or lack or this in their life weather it be in their job or in their relationships . I see many people with poor or broken relationships that is in turn starts affecting their health . When they have love in their life they seem to have a purpose and direction and rarely are unwell , when love is non-existant certain conditions arise causing ill health .
So when we think of health Wellness and longevity , ask your self what aspect of longevity is needing attention and start spreading the LOVE !
Many people now days suffers from stress, tiredness and fatigue and can not seem to break the cycle.
There are many known causes including , past viral infections, toxicity, emotional stress and simply just overwork !
In most cases rest , a change of diet or herbal meds can improve a condition, but many people don’t realise how important taking time out is .
As clinician I burnt out early as a result of working too many days and not taking enough time for me , now days I have a balanced work /life ethic to offset this happening .
For some to get back on track it is required to take a month or two off work and get away to ensure stresses are minimised . I often recommend patients take a well earned holiday .
To ensure you get the most out of your holiday I recommend the following:
My recommendation is that people take small regular breaks rather that 1 large break when all else has failed this will ensure you recharge regularly . For those on a budget try doing day trips to the sea , or blue mountains , if you can stay the night this is recommended .
And remember don’t forget take your supplements with you!
Jason Mallia Sydney Naturopath Acupuncturist
Many people complain of feeling flat when the weather cools down . In Summer due to the warmth your Qi (or energy) and Blood move around the body freely keeping you energised and healthy .However when the cold kicks in if a person has an underlying cold condition they may suffer as a result of stagnation of ther Qi and Blood . Symptoms may include , feeling flat , tiredness, acheing joints, depression and other . As a result many also dont get outside to replenish their vitamin D levels and become vitamin D deficient. Recent research has shown a link between Low plasma vitamin D and Depression .
Some tips to keep well this winter
Jason Mallia PhD naturopath Sydney
When searching for a practitioner as mentioned in my previous post it is essential they are not only qualified for the Job at hand but also are the right type of practitioner for the type of conditon you have
Below is a list of Practitioner qualfications and Associations to look out for
For more information about qualifications , please dont hesitate to call the clinic
Over my 15 years of practice it has come to my attention that Qualification for a particular modality is extremely important especially in todays day and age where financial gain is the primary focus for some individuals . Would you let a plasterer do a job of a builder? I think not.
When it comes to healthcare you would like to think that most people check the qualifications of the attending practitioner. Further more you would also normally think the best of the practitoner doing the treatment for you . The reality of it is many do not check of the person is duely qualified leaving them open to possible issues related to care that is not appropriate .
Tips for selecting the right practitioner
Integrative Eastern and Western Medicine
From the Book Concepts of Integrative Medicine by Dr Jason Mallia PhD
Integrative Medicine is also referred to in the practice of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Modern Western Medicine. Combining both disciplines in theory and in practice can be very difficult however very achievable in an integrative approach to health. The main challenge however today is the language barrier as much of the TCM knowledge and philosophy is not easily translated into usable western medical practice.
There is not yet enough research to support some forms of TCM for western medicine understanding to advocate its use in conjunction with Western Medicine practice however it is well regarded in Complementary medicine circles as a great adjunct to other modalities. These include Naturopathic, Osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.
With these challenges TCM still has found its way into the mainstream with many medical doctors recommending its use. In Australia TCM practitioners are government accredited practitioners and is covered by health insurance. Several Integrative Medicine wards have emerged inAustraliaincluding use of Acupuncture and other complementary medicines as part of an integrated approach to healthcare. In the coming years a hospital first of its kind will be opening in Sydney Australia which has the objective of providing Eastern and Western Medicine treatment and research.
Mainstream research into TCM has mainly been in the area of pain using Acupuncture, and many studies support its use in various pain conditions. This is not to say that Acupuncture works only in this area. TCM can help in a wide variety of conditions and thousands of years of use support its efficacy. The approach however of TCM practitioners differs greatly from that of Western Medicine.
For example a patient may present with clinical depression diagnosed by Western Medical practitioner. TCM theory is based on the ancient study of the meridian system and the interconnections to the organs and tissues, diagnosis of the patient is obtained by understanding the patient’s clinical pattern from their physical signs and symptoms. These include the Pulse, Tongue, hot and cold principles, smell and other. An understanding of a patient’s pattern of illness is then built based on these findings
A TCM practitioner may refer to the Western Diagnosis of Clinical Depression as a pattern of Liver qi Stagnation with wood affecting earth, Or liver qi stagnation with heat .The approach on the other hand by Western medical is to focus on the symptoms and the biochemical imbalance that constitute the prescription of neurotransmitter balancing drugs or psychiatry referral .
In TCM an individual is assessed and once the pattern identified it is treated using a variety of therapies including Acupuncture, cupping and Moxibustion on various points to treat the pattern imbalance. In the Case of Liver qi stagnation Liv 3 is a common point used for the condition which helps patients with depression.
As recent Study at theUniversityofTechnology Sydney(Dr Kirk Wilson Etal Acupuncture in the treatment of Depression) looked at an integrative treatment of Clinical Depression using SSRI medications and Acupuncture
Patients were treated over an 8 week period and given 12 treatments of acupuncture alongside their prescribed SSRI medication. After the treatment 89.66% of the subjects reported significant improvements to symptoms compared the group who received no acupuncture and SSRI medication alone
In conclusion patients with Diagnosed Clinical depression exhibiting Liver qi stagnation as their TCM pattern diagnosis, Acupuncture is shown to be an effective adjunct therapy which may reduce dependency on SSRI Medication.
Integration of TCM into a workable care plan for patients does have its challenges however very beneficial to the patient when done effectively
Integrative TCM and Western Medicine Case Studies
36 Year old female
Presenting Signs and Symptoms
Neck and Shoulder Pain and Headache, Frontal Sinus headache and sub occipital pain, with anxiety and depression, mild chronic lower back pain,low energy
Blood Type A
Medications Ventolin and Lexapro SSRI (long term use has tried coming off drug with no success) using a lot of pain medication (NSAIDS)
Depression, Anxiety ,OCD , Asthma,
Naturopathic Diagnosis Subluxation of C1 vertebra on right, pelvic rotation anterior on the right , Leg length discrepancy on right leg, Muscle hyper tonicity in Trapezius , levator scapulae and upper cervical muscle groups .Liver and general toxicity due to poor diet , stress , medication, dehydration , Gut dysbiosis related to poor diet and medications, Stress and tension related to life stresses
Red meat , little water , Tomatoes, and foods not suitable for blood type
TCM Differential Diagnosis
Coat Sticky coating
Liver yang rising heat rising
Liver chi stagnation
Chronic kidney chi deficiency
Spleen qi deficiency
Acupuncture treatment Plan
Move liver qi , tonify kidney spleen
Ashi Points/ Gb20 ashi gb21 bitong
Liv 3 Ki3 Sp 6 bladder 20 bladder 23 ,PC 5
Myofascial soft Tissue manipulation in upper neck , traps and entire spine
Re-Alignment of twisted pelvic and subluxation using the Dorn Method
Acupuncture was given on local pain points and according to pattern diagnosis.
Western/ Naturopathic treatment
Patient instructed to reduce NSAIDS and replace with
Natural Anti-inflammatory (Metagenics inflavanoid) take up to 8 daily to manage pain and minimize liver stress
Drugs to be continued as prescribed
Diet Blood Type A diet given , drink more fruit and vegetables and drink less coffee and more water
Western Herbal Medicine given to support eliminatory organs and support stress containing,
St Marys Thistle 80
Yellow dock 30
7.5 ml BID
Metagenics CalmX (containing high dose magnesium and Ph regulating nutrients . 2 scoop BID
Homeopathic Gel for pain applied topically
After the first treatment detoxification tiredness followed however pain had been reduced and less Pain Medication was required over subsequent visits.
Subsequent visits showed gradual improvement in Pain from a 9/10 to a 0/10 un medicated with NSAIDS.
Patients symptoms well managed while on treatment of natural medication and SSRI medication, however suggested working with her Doctor to slowly reduce Antidepressants while we are supporting her Emotional Symptoms
Up until this point effective and quick results where achieved with and integrated approach
Glen 68 Yr Old Female
Presenting Signs and Symptoms
Heavy smoker,SOB, Recently admitted to hospital for 02 therapy due to low blood oxygen ,Dry cough ,Cant sleep on sides due to pain ,Cellulites ,Legs on fire, Fatigue ,Cramps , Joint stiffness
Blood type O negative
Western Medical Diagnosis
Emphysema , treatment Oxygen therapy
Supplements Magnesium Vit D
Western Naturopathic Diagnosis
ES Teck Scan
Respiratory acidosis, metabolic acidosis, hypoventilation, Hypoxemia
Food intolerances, Hypertension, Liver inflammation, inflammatory bladder, decreased kidney function, increased PTH, Low 02 and ATP brain head area, arterial acidosis, electrolyte imbalances, Mis-alignment of L3 L4 L5 vertebra
Live Blood Analysis
Symplasts (high levels)
Atypical Lymphocytes (high)
Tongue cracked lung area sides red
Acupuncture treatment Plan
Lung yin deficiency
lung7 , kid 6 , liv 3 , bl 15 23
Weekly treatments using the above model
Western Naturopathic Treatment
Target Ph and peripheral system and tissues
Oxygenate the blood
Vasodilatation, increase energy to cells and improve fatigue
Replenish electrolytes and detoxify acids and toxins
Support kidney function and elimination
Increase 02 to head and improve mood, treat cough
Dorn Method Re-Alignment of Lumbar vertebras contributing to peripheral pain
4 weekly Follow up
Coleus forsikoli 100
Liquorice root 100
Panax gensing 100
CalmX 2 teaspoons BID (magnesium powder with Ph regulating minerals)
Cell Food 15 drops UID (02 drops)
Renoxl 1 BID (kidney tonic)
Hemagenics 1 (iron supplement)
Infavanoid (antiinflammatory herbs)
Metabolic Kit (tissue cleansing homeopathic)
Integrative Follow up 4 weeks later
After 4 weeks, Pain had markedly reduced from her joints, Patient was able to walk
With less SOB, Patient has been advised to stop smoking and hypnosis was
By Elle Halliwell
Model Miranda Kerr tells why she believes the blood type diet is best for her.
She has been blessed with more than her fair share of good looks, but Australian model Miranda Kerr says following the blood-type diet is the key to maintaining her lean, healthy physique.
Before Kerr captured the attention of the modelling world, the Gunnedah, NSW-born beauty had her sights set on a career in nutrition. She had even enrolled at the Academy of Natural Living in Queensland to study nutrition and health psychology.
The 26-year-old started following the blood-type eating plan six years ago after her naturopath gave her the book, Eat Right 4 Your Type (Putnam) by Peter D’Adamo. “It made a lot of sense to me so I started following the recommended eating plan and I just found I had so much more energy than I’d ever had; I was feeling really great,” she says.
According to naturopathic physician D’Adamo, the diet is based on the premise that certain foods are more compatible with particular blood types.
The diet’s celebrity followers include Demi Moore, Elizabeth Hurley and Courteney Cox Arquette.
People with type-O blood, which D’Adamo claims is the earliest human blood group, are said to benefit from a diet similar to the first humans, who ate a protein-rich diet, while type-B adults should stay away from wheat and chicken. The diet recommends AB blood types should eat small meals frequently and be aware of combining their food correctly.
Kerr, who has type-A blood, follows the book’s recommended vegetarian-based diet, which is high in organic vegetables, fresh juices and legumes. Despite her hectic schedule, which involves regular air travel and long days, the Victoria’s Secret model says her diet and exercise regime is easy to follow and says she carries healthy snacks wherever she goes.
“Some of my favourite snacks are organic almonds and blueberries, half an avocado with sea salt, and I also love eating Fuji apple pieces with almond butter and agave – it feels like a treat but it’s really good for you,” she says.
Kerr, a Nichiren Buddhist (a Japanese school of Buddhism), who meditates and practises yoga regularly, says low-impact, calming exercise is also recommended for people with an A blood type.
“I practise yoga daily; I do half an hour in the morning plus half an hour of meditation,” she says. “Dedication is key for me because with my constant travel schedule I find it very grounding and energising.”
The blood-type diet is viewed with scepticism by the medical fraternity. “There is no scientific link between your blood type and what you should be eating,” says Sharon Natoli, dietitian and director of Food & Nutrition Australia. Natoli says the diet is not recommended as a long-term eating plan as entire food groups are missing from some of its blood-group meal plans.
Tara Diversi, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, says people with Kerr’s blood type who are following the vegetarian-based A-type diet need to ensure they are eating plenty of protein- and calcium-rich foods, as well as legumes and grains, which are high in amino acids.
While Kerr follows the diet closely, the David Jones model says she occasionally indulges. Her weaknesses include dark chocolate Lindt balls and her nana’s steak pie. “I believe in a balanced life – it’s not about depriving yourself – so I eat 80 per cent organic, nutrient-rich foods and 20 per cent indulgence foods,” she says.
Another important part of Kerr’s diet is noni juice, which she says helps her combat everything from pimples to jetlag. “Whenever I’ve been sunburnt or had a pimple I’d soak a cotton ball in it and place it on my skin and it would be really soothing,” she says.
Kerr is such an advocate of the juice that it has become a core component of her new skincare range, Kora. Kerr has worked on the range, which has been produced in Australia, for the past three-and-a-half years. “Noni juice is scientifically proven to heal on a cellular level and it’s also beneficial for skin health,” she says. “It just made sense to have it as a key ingredient in my products.”
Here at the clinic we help people manage a wide variety of Conditions, It is important to point out that we employ the Hippocatic approach to disease management being to “ treat the person an not the illness” .
We find that best results are achieved when we assess each person individually as not two diseases are alike . For example several people may have Diabetes however each patient has their own indivual expression and cause of the disease. With this understood patients can be given a management program uniquie to their own needs . NOT simply a one drug fits all approach .
With the above in mind one can understand that most conditions can benefit from Integrative and Naturopathic treatment , even with the simplest of changes according to the individual , wether it be a comprehensive program or a simple dietary change.
Conditions commonly Managed in our clinic