Science and Alternative Healing | Science & U!

Science and Alternative Healing | Science & U!


DONNA HANNOVER: I’m Donna
Hannover. Treating the whole person, body, mind and spirit.
Both doctors and patients alike are embracing the whole
person approach to healing. It’s not just traditional
medicine anymore. Science&U! starts now.
♪ [Theme Music] ♪ TINABETH PINA: I’m TinaBeth
Piña, how about getting a prescription for a dose of
Bee Venom or leeches instead of an antibiotic, that’s coming
up next on Science&U! ANDREW FALZONE: Sitting
inside of this tank for an hour may not sound like a lot of
fun but it may be just what you need to help tune out the
rest of the world. I’m Andrew Falzone, that story
is coming up on Science&U! MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON:
Hello, I’m Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson. The next
time you have that cold and you want to run to the drugstore
for that medicine, remember there could be an alternative,
that’s coming up on Science&U! MIKE GILLIAM: I’m
Mike Gilliam for Science&U! When pets are sick, stressed
out or dying, it’s common practice to reach out to the
vet. But there are alternatives that can replace the pills and
surgery. One of them is animal reiki and we’re going to tell
you all about it on Science&U! DONNA HANNOVER: I’m Donna
Hannover here at the Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Center
for Health and Healing, which is the department of
Integrative Medicine. Some healing approaches, once
thought to be far out, are now considered significant
by many doctors. DONNA HANNOVER: The
center’s medical director, Dr. Martin Ehrlich
explains the concept of Integrative Medicine.
DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: It’s medicine that integrates all of
the wisdom, of the various systems of Medicine that had
been going on for thousands and thousands of years, so,
Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Indigenous medicine
from countries and cultures all over the world.
Much of western medicine is really about pathophysiology.
For example, when I go to medical school, when you start
medical school, the first thing you do is dissect a corpse
and spend years studying disease. There isn’t a course on
why we’re healthy, how we stay healthy.
DONNA HANNOVER: Here at the Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Center for
health and Healing, they offer care that includes Acupuncture,
Yoga, Japanese Reiki Therapy, Meditation, Massage,
Aromatherapy, Nutrition Education and Physical Therapy.
They are also primary care doctors and believe western
medicine does have great value. DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: It’s
fantastic for so many things. If I go out there and get hit by
a car, I want to get the best Orthopedist and the best
doctor to put me back together again and yet, with all our
advances, technological advances, for much of the ills
of society, much of the chronic diseases; the Arthritis and
the heart disease, we haven’t really those effective
treatments. We can put in a bypass and put in a stent but
in three months later or six months later, patients will
be back, with their next heart attack. For us, in
Integrative Medicine, we like to focus on things
that are relatively low tech, relatively simple and often
under the control of the patient, their diet,
their exercise or lack of it, their habits, good or bad.
There’s a lot of root causes that begin in lifestyle that can
often play a role in helping to treat people and help them
heal and prevent disease. DONNA HANNOVER: Dr. Ehrlich
says the body has a natural inflammatory response that is
part of healing where certain molecules rush to attack
an infection or invader. But this often causes painful
swelling, heat and redness in conditions like Rheumatoid
Arthritis. Inflammation is not so obvious but very
damaging in Type II Diabetes and heart disease.
DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: Inflammation turns out to be a really common
factor that underlies almost all chronic diseases.
DONNA HANNOVER: Dr. Ehrlich says studies have shown that
many patients who meditate reduce the level of
inflammatory molecules in their blood as well as their heart
rate and blood pressure. Meditation can also help
patients who need relief from pain.
DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: John Cabbidson at the University of
Massachusetts back in 1970 started a program
called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. That taught
people to meditate, to relax, to breathe. People from all
sorts of departments would send their patients, from pain,
from Oncology, from Cardiology because they had done
everything they could with these patients and they were
either still in pain or they just weren’t progressing.
That eight-week course turned out to be incredibly successful
for almost anybody who came. Whether they had
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, whether they had chronic pain,
they would improve. We do that here, we have course all year
along. It’s one of my most common prescriptions for
patients and it’s powerful. DONNA HANNOVER: Dr. Ehrlich
is trained in Acupuncture and believes that some non-western
medicine works by affecting the thin membrane throughout
the body known as myofascial tissue.
DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: This myofascial tissue, the stuff
that we don’t really understand very well that covers all our
organs, it covers our muscles and connects and send
messages all over. DONNA HANNOVER: Besides what
is offered at the center for Health and Healing, Dr. Ehrlich
says there was evidence to support other healing modalities
like pet and music therapy. Are there any of these wacky
things that you’ve heard about that you really want to say to
people, don’t do that or bring that to your doctor before
you start doing that? DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: I have
patients that come in here with two shopping bags full of
supplements. And sometimes my job is to get them to put
their supplements away. Vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin
A those supplements can build up to toxic levels without
people knowing about it. That certainly is something
that I see not infrequently. DONNA HANNOVER: Doctors
who practice solely western medicine send him patients
who want to try Integrative Medicine and hopes
of avoiding surgery or drugs. DR. MARTIN EHRLICH: Really a
more inclusive medicine that looks at the entire potential
that we have to help people heal.
DONNA HANNOVER: So many healing practices that were
once derided by western medicine are now getting a
thumbs-up from some doctors. The idea is to take a holistic
approach to patient care. I’m Donna Hannover for Science&U!
TINABETH PINA: I’m Tinabeth Pina. Back in a day;
doctors relied on nature to help their patients heal.
Nowadays, those folk remedies are resurfacing, allowing
people to turn to bugs and not drugs for treatment.
FREDERIQUE KELLER: I’ve always thought that the bee sting
was the original acupuncture needle, so it’s not that big
of a surprise that people are going back to some of
the “older remedies”. TINABETH PINA: Frederique
Keller, a licensed Acupuncturist and Apitherapist uses
all the products of a honey-bee hive, medicinally.
FREDERIQUE KELLER: So, each of the products of the
hive has its specific function within the hive and also
medicinally for human consumption as well.
TINABETH PINA: Like what? FREDERIQUE KELLER: So the
raw honey would be good for desensitization of allergies,
it’s good for promoting sleep at night, promoting digestion.
The pollen would be good for, it’s pure protein so, it would
be good for as a nutritional supplements. The bee venom
is obviously good for as an anti-inflammatory to relieve
pain for various conditions. TINABETH PINA: Although there
is no proven scientific evidence supporting the use of
Apitherapy, it can be used to help manage symptoms of
various diseases. FREDERIQUE KELLER: I would
see it more as an adjunct treatment because it is so
little known especially here in the western country,
especially the United States, that many people come
to it as a last resort after they’ve gone through a
lot of drug therapy and other therapies.
NIKOLE: Many years ago, about seven years ago I was
very sick with Lyme’s Disease, I had done the antibiotics for
a very long time and they were not working.
They would get me to a certain points but not get me better
and I’m really glad that I came because it helped me a lot.
It really took the pain away, took the inflammation away.
I would rather do this than take all sorts of medications
that can have negative reactions.
TINABETH PINA: Bee venom has a powerful effect on the
circulatory system and stimulates the release of
Cortisol while facilitating the elimination of toxins and
metabolic waste. It can lessen inflammation and
help regain movement for arthritic patients. But before
treatment, you have to get tested for allergies since one
to five percent of the general public is allergic to bees.
NIKOLE: For new patients, she’ll do a test
sting, just to show you how it feels and just to make sure
you’re not going to have a bad reaction to it. The first maybe
ten, fifteen seconds, it’s a pretty strong sharp sting
but it’s not bad. TINABETH PINA: And other folk
remedy handed down through the ages is Hirudo therapy
better known as Leech therapy. These bloodsuckers have been
around for thousands of years and were approved by
the FDA in 2004 as a medical tool for skin grafts
and reattachment surgery. They are also used outside
of the OR as an alternative treatment from mild to moderated
medical conditions. DENIS MALYSHEV: Outside of
medicine, we usually see leeches as parasites but
no, they’re really little pharmaceutical factories.
TINABETH PINA: Denis suffered a hematoma while playing
soccer and turned to leeches to bring down the inflammation
and relieve the pain. DENIS MALYSHEV: No bruising
left over right now and the swelling it went away in a
day as opposed to if I would have been just taking any
sort of home meds say, Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
it would have taken weeks to achieve the same result.
The leeches exchange their saliva with you so they
exchange anesthetic, which numbs all of the feeling,
they exchange anti-coagulants, which
makes the blood flow better. ALICJA KOLYSZKO: The myth was
that, leeches, they suck out the bad blood, so called bad
blood then they have to be a big and gorge and they have
to depart from the host and it’s not true. It’s the primary
indication and primary benefits from the Hirudotherapy
is injection of the substances, the proteins go to our body and
then oozing the second step from those little wounds so
at the leech creates, there is a post discharge and it release
of the accumulated toxins. TINABETH PINA: Leeches are
only used once per treatment and are euthanized immediately.
They can help relieve migraines, varicose veins, skin
and gastrointestinal diseases and can even help
treat glaucoma and cataracts. Do you literally put the leech
on somebody’s eyeball? ALICJA KOLYSZKO: No, no, we
don’t. No, they are biologically active points when you apply
the leeches and again they affect the smallest vessels
in the circulatory system and in the eye as well. And that’s
why you can take care of eye disease. We do apply leeches
as a local Hirudotherapy when the tissue involved is
damaged. We’re going to the essence of the
Hirudotherapy. It’s the blood and the whole
health and life is in our blood, other words and when the
circulatory system works and the micro-circulation
restore, you get back your balance, you get back
to homeostasis. TINABETH PINA: For those of you
that might be a little too squeamish, there is an
alternative to leech therapy. Scientists have developed
a mechanical leech that can perform some of the same
duties as a live leech without what some of you would
call the gross out factor. For Science&U!,
I’m Tinabeth Pina. ANDREW FALZONE: I’m Andrew
Falzon. Sitting inside of a dark box for an hour may
sound more like a torture technique than a rejuvenative
therapy, but if you need to escape the daily grind, you
might just be able to float your way to rest and relaxation.
DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: In Sweden, they’ve done research
where floatation is actually used and covered by insurance
to treat headaches, to treat depression, to treat anxieties.
ANDREW FALZONE: While most Americans probably haven’t
heard of float therapy, in other parts of the world,
it’s already considered a routine medical treatment.
DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: The newer name for it is rest therapy
or rest floatation, which is restricted environmental
stimulation therapy. So, that’s kind of the best way to
describe it where you’re in a restricted environment.
ANDREW FALZONE: Rest therapy was the creation of Dr. John
C. Lily, who did government research in Neuroscience in
the 1950’s. Though his later studies ventured into the
exotic outskirts of science, he’s considered the founding
father of Rest Therapy. Rest Therapy was originally called
Sensory Deprivation Therapy because it attempted to turn off
all input to the brain. Lily and his fellow scientists thought
lack of input would put the brain to sleep, but it
turns out, they were wrong. DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: A lot of
people will also experience hallucinations as well. Where
they’ll start to not necessarily have major
hallucinations but they’ll see colors or maybe hear
some subtle sounds. ANDREW FALZONE: Robert Schreyer
is a doctor of Physical Therapy and co-owner of the Aspire
Center for health and wellness in midtown Manhattan. His
practice uses innovative approaches like a bungee harness
to rehab leg injuries or a zero gravity treadmill that
makes you feel like you’re walking on the moon. One of
his more unique therapies are two float chambers while
researching to exactly how floatation therapy affects
the mind is still ongoing, Dr. Schreyer has observed that
most people enter the chamber are stressed New Yorkers
and come out feeling much more relaxed.
DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: So most people will say that they
essentially feel like they are falling asleep or they fell
asleep and then when the time is up, they come out of that
experience and they feel like they’ve only been in there ten,
fifteen minutes even though an hour, an hour and a
half has passed. ANDREW FALZONE: The float
chambers come in all different shapes. One of the chambers
at Aspire is shaped like an egg, the other like a box. The
bottom of each is filled with about twenty-four inches of
water. They’re totally enclosed but even those with
claustrophobia can still float. DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: You have
no sound; you have no really sense of awareness
of where you are. You’re in the dark, and also the
water is skin temperature. So after about ten,
fifteen minutes or so, you’re body blends in with
the water. ANDREW FALZONE: Also in the
water, is between twelve to sixteen hundred pounds of
dissolved Epsom salt. This makes the water incredibly
buoyant allowing the floater to levitate with
absolutely no effort. DR. ROBERT SCHREYER: So, I
really describe it as an experience where you’re
taking away all sensations and you’re being left with
only your conscious or subconscious ring.
ANDREW FALZONE: Nick Viseli has been floating at Aspire
for about a year. He says the sessions had helped him cope
with what can be a stressful career as an actor having
tried meditation and yoga, which can take years to master,
with flotation, Nick says the results were instant.
NICK VISELLI: The tank closes and you are in a period where
there’s no light, no sound. You’re deprived of your basic
senses and just doing that will literally force your body
into an automatic relaxed theta of state which is the
state you try to achieve when you meditate.
ANDREW FALZONE: As part of our story for Science&U!,
I decided to try it for myself. I laid in the tank for about
ten minutes before I fell into a deep comatose sleep and
experienced that other floaters have had as well.
NICK VISELLI: It was ninety minutes but it felt like
twenty minutes. The door opened at the end and I’m like wait
a second, it’s over already? And you come out of the tank
feeling so relaxed. ANDREW FALZONE: If you think
floatation therapy maybe for you, it’s a good idea
to consult your doctor first. If you need to find
the Float center in your area, head online to
floatationlocations.com. I’m Andrew Falzone for
Science&U! MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: I’m
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, we’re here at the New
York Institute of Aromatherapy, to find out if these little
bottles will heal the mind, body and spirit.
Amy Galper is the executive director
and founder of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy.
Well it seems like a relatively new phenomenon, she’s quick
to remind us that there’s nothing new about Aromatherapy.
AMY GALPER: Aromatherapy is just a form of herbal medicine
and before pharmaceuticals were around, human beings use
plants as their medicine. We forget the plants have
been around since the earth was created, we forget.
Whereas aspirin, maybe that’s a little over than a
hundred years old or something like that. And even most of
the modern drugs that we know didn’t even exist in my
parent’s lifetime. So we often forget that really the first
place that people reach to was their garden or was the forest.
In order to feel calm or soothe their digestion or increase
their reproductive urges or whatever it might have been
that plants where what we reach to at first.
MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: What is the biggest misconception
about aromatherapy? AMY GALPER: I would say that
people think that it is about fragrance and perfume and
it’s something to mask out other odors and they don’t
realize that it’s actually a healing modality. It’s actually
a part of herbal medicine. What makes I think aromatherapy
is so powerful is that it affects both the physical body
and the emotional, psychological and
spiritual body at once. So, if we’re taking herbal
medicine, let’s say Echinacea has become very popular right?
To boost your immune system when you’re feeling sick, so
that’s a direct application of an herbal medicine and it’s kind
of therapeutic actions but it doesn’t really have
an aromatic element to it. Aromatherapy uses those active
plant materials that affect our body physiologically
but then we also smell it, which affects our spiritual,
emotional and our psychology. How we look at
the world, our state of mind. MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON:
The most effective ways to use aromatherapy are through
the skin or by breathing it in with a nebulizer
or an inhaler. AMY GALPER: So the molecules
of the essential oils are broken down, either transdermally or
through the respiratory tract or through the olfactory passage
and then those molecules then get exchanged with
the blood vessels, what enters our skins, so there’s a lot of
research showing how these plant molecules actually affect
the chemistry of our body. MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON:
Galper says that lavender is one of the best multiuse
oils. AMY GALPER: This is lavender
that is wild harvested meaning it’s not farmed in an industrial
way. They actually climb up above ten thousand
feet in France and gather it on the mountainside. The best way
to smell an essential oil is just to hold it a little bit
under your nose and just breathe normally while holding
it back and forth. And that way you get to really experience
the whole bouquet of the flowers.
MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: What a dream, you close your
eyes; you’re in a field in France.
AMY GALPER: Yeah, it’s beautiful, that’s a really nice
one. So how would we use this? You just get one of
this empty little spray bottles, like maybe one or two ounce.
Feel it with water or distilled water and then I’ll put two
or three drops of lavender or maybe if I want more,
ten drops. Shake it up and I’ll just mist myself throughout
the day to help me calm down if I’m feeling nervous or
I miss the train or I’m late to the meeting. I’ll have it in
my purse and I’ll just spritz myself to just chill out.
MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: You can also mist lavender to
treat cuts, scrapes and burns because it’s also a great
antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: If you’re not feeling well and
you don’t know where to start, where to begin, what is
the best way for a person to want to treat themselves?
AMY GALPER: Well they can make an appointment with
an Aromatherapist, with someone who is trained in aromatic
plant medicine; the practitioner is approaching you from
the whole person looking at your psychological,
spiritual, physical areas. She finds about maybe what the
cause of the issue is or maybe the certain symptoms that
you need to immediately address? She will actually make a
customized product for that person that is uniquely
designed to affect the physical, emotional and
psychological issues. MAGALIE LAGUERRE-WILKINSON: So
the next time you feel that headache coming on or that
stress, instead of reaching for that little pill, try
some essential oils. I’m Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson
for Science&U! MIKE GILLIAM: I’m Mike Gilliam
for Science&U! Reiki, it’s not new. Energy
has been around forever and they’ve used it to help
humans for a very long time. But more and more people are
using animal reiki to help their pets.
Let’s take a look. MIKE GILLIAM: Participants
in this animal reiki class in SoHo looked inward first
preparing themselves to bring comfort to animals through
their spirituality. KATHLEEN PRASAD: So I encourage
all of you. When we’re working with the animals today to
be peace with the animal, be harmony with the animal, be
compassion with the animal. This is all we do
when we do reiki. MIKE GILLIAM: Kathleen Prasad
is the author of two books on Animal Reiki, and the president
of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association. She also teaches
classes around the world. So what is Animal Reiki?
KATHLEEN PRASAD: Reiki for animals in one sentence,
I would say it’s meditating with animals for healing.
MIKE GILLIAM: How does it work? KATHLEEN PRASAD: So,
reiki actually is a spiritual practice, which utilizes a lot
of different techniques to help us get into a meditative
peaceful space and so when we use the system of reiki with
animals, it’s sort of like peaceful heart, peaceful mind,
peaceful animals equals healing.
MIKE GILLIAM: Prasad says you never grab, touch or force help
on the animal, instead, you offer the help and let the
animal choose whether to accept it or not. Much of the training
has to do with deep breathing and seeking the
sense of balance. KATHLEEN PRASAD: When
we’re humble, then were balanced so, when we are
balanced the animals sense this and our drawn to our
energy especially if they’re having difficulty. So if they’ve
been abused, if they’ve been traumatized, if they
are ill, perhaps if they are transitioning, if they’re dying,
they’re drawn to that space of balance, it’s like a space
of well-being that we learn to radiate and they can step
into that space and it helps them. It helps them to remember
their own self-healing and their own balance, their own harmony,
so it can really help them with whatever issues
they are dealing with. MIKE GILLIAM: Sue Pfeffer
is from Toronto, she says she use animal reiki to help her
pet rabbit cope when he was dying and having trouble
breathing. She says she meditated near the animal.
SUE PFEFFER: I put my hands nearer to him and it felt to
me that he needed the comfort of my hands so I just put them
over top of him and as I kept my hands around him,
his breathing slowed down and he seem to relax and I was
so impressed, when his breathing had slowed down
to the point that he seemed very comfortable,
I just wrapped him up in a little blanket and I felt my
hands go cooler and he’d had enough.
MIKE GILLIAM: She says she wrapped Coke in a blanket
and he passed away overnight in the blanket and in
the same position. SUE PFEFFER: I believe he died
in a much happier state because of reiki and it helped me.
MIKE GILLIAM: Jenny Hughes is a reiki practitioner from
Doylestown, Pennsylvania who applied the technique to
her ailing cat, Huggies. JENNY HUGHES: He was diagnosed
with pyothorax, which is a condition that usually needs
surgery for it when you get fluid buildup in the thoracic
cavity and there’s usually surgery involved that requires
tubes and he was sixteen. And through antibiotic treatment
and reiki treatment every day, a month later the fluid was gone
completely from his thoracic cavity. And veterinarians mostly
said that it doesn’t happen with surgery.
MIKE GILLIAM: Animal reiki is also been used to alleviate
bad behavior in stressed out pets. Liz Wassall worked with
a terrier mix named Phoenix who was a stressed out
lost superstorm Sandy survivor.
LIZ WASSALL: She was hyperactive and on all the time and
everything set her off. MIKE GILLIAM: Eventually,
through reiki, she settled down and was adopted by a loving
family. Something before a dog that’s really stressing,
is this cut all of the noise? KATHLEEN PRASAD: Yes, it can
actually help animals to tune out the outer chaos and tune
in to their inner quiet. MIKE GILLIAM: Now I would
imagine, that nay sayers will say, “What is she talking
about? You take the dog to the vet if the dog is
stressed and get medicine.” What would
you say that at? KATHLEEN PRASAD: And I agree, I
take my dog to the vet. I love my vet, and I take my
dog to the acupuncturist and my horse gets chiropractic.
So I think every animal and person really has to, we need
a combination of therapies and for me, it’s the blending
of the conventional with the holistic. That’s the perfect
combination. So maybe you take your dog to get surgery
and then when they’re home recovering, you offer them reiki
and reiki can help with side effects from medications.
It can help with recovery from injuries and illnesses so it
actually just supports the process of veterinary
care. It is not a substitute. MIKE GILLIAM: And
followers say it works. JENNY HUGHES: I recommend
it for everybody, any age, any type of animals. It’s such
a calming therapy that anyone can handle it and
anyone can benefit from it. MIKE GILLIAM: Now, if you want
to learn more about animal reiki, we’ll have information
on links that you can visit at the end of the show.
I’m Mike Gilliam for Science&U! DONNA HANNOVER: That’s our
show for today; see you next time on Science&U!
♪ [Theme Music] ♪

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