Wednesday, November 21, 2012

etiology pathogenesis and treatment of Dementia and Alzheimer's

This past weekend I attended a seminar given by the  Upledger institute  on Craniosacral Therapy of Longevity and Reversal of the Aging Process.  On the first day, the presenter made a statement that deeply moved me, and is prompting me to get unstuck, change the topic of my Capstone dissertation and complete my DAOM.  He stated that research has shown that 40% of Alzheimer's patients coincidentally suffer from diabetes and many others from other inflammatory diseases and processes.  By promoting the production and flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), CranioSacral therapists have (validated by published studies one of which was a pilot study that the presenter conducted funded by the NIH) demonstrated a reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms. The presenter was Michael Morgan, LMT CST-D.   Based upon his conversations and studies with the late John Upledger, DO,  he theorized that inflammatory "hot spots" in the body caused by any number of  precipitants such as diabetes, musculo-skeletal diseases,  cardiovascular disease, digestive dysfunction, cancer and chemo and radiation treatments, and the sequela of surgery and medications among others causes, connect over time, accelerate the inflammatory response, percolate upward (inflammation involves heat, and heat rises upward in the body, right?) and compromise and cross the Blood Brain Barrier leading to Dementia and Alzheimer's.  It seemed to me that this complements beautifully the  two theories of aging that I am aware of in Chinese medical theory--those of Blood Stasis and depletion of  Yin manifesting as severe Yin and Jing Vacuity, for what is the CSF if not a form of Yin and Blood?  

My idea is, therefore, to explore these and other theories of aging in the Chinese Medical literature, come up with an anti-inflammatory treatment protocol, and perhaps even conduct a study to determine its efficacy in the diminution of symptoms. 

If anyone can direct me to specific additional research or studies that would support this premise I would be very grateful.     

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kehillas Chasidei Breslov d'Los Angeles

Dear Friends,

B'Chasdei Ha-Shem we had 3 wonderful Shabbosim together, but for at least this Shabbos we will  be meeting neither Friday afternoon nor Shabbos for mincha, as far as I know.

Let me share with you the 5 remarkable criteria that were the basis of our  minyan, and why this week we won't be meeting (and BTW, special thanks  to our friend and comrade Seth Merewitz for the inspiration and our meaningful exchange).

1. Achdus(unity)-This is everyone's minyan,  such that we would hope that each person would take initiative and feel a pride of ownership, working to spread the word, and feeling that we all  share our  davening and  activities with caring friends, and with a vision of forming a community.
2. Leibedickeit(warmth and spirit)- Everyone feels a warm spiritual lift from the avoda that brings us all together,  and  this is expressed with singing and dancing at appropriate times.
3. Kevod b'vais ha-tefila(decorum)-Together with these expressions of inclusiveness and expansiveness (hispashtus as an expression of Chesed) we also feel an awe of being  in a holy place, a house of prayer, with our behavior reflecting this awareness.
 4. Iyun tefila(prayer as reflection)-Davening is a thoughtful opportunity and not a mechanical obligation which one wants to get over with.
 5. Learning Breslover Chasidis- There is nothing like learning Rebbe Nachman's toras inside to speak to our inner depths, especially on Shabbos, and even more so with a community of friends.

I don't know about you, but these five principles really resonate with me and really made for amazing Shabbosim.  So what went wrong?  As a Breslover, one must answer emphatically, NOTHING and recognize the sweetness in everything that comes our way!  Yet one must also listen carefully to the hevel halev, that small inner voice which lovingly and carefully guides us  towards refinement and completing our tasks in this world.

The truth is that each of the 3 weeks our numbers dwindled for a number of reasons: Some people felt uncomfortable leaving their established minyanim, some felt that it was just too far, some just weren't prepared to make a firm weekly commitment, and some just didn't like the idea of learning before davening and davening slowly and thoughtfully.

But whatever the reasons, without a solid core, to put the minyan together becomes a burden on just one or two people rather than a group project which it needed to be to succeed.
That being said, personally, BE"H  I will continue bringing in Shabbos early and will continue learning Likutei Moraran each week at Congregation Tifereth Tzvi on Beverly Blvd 15 minutes before candle lighting time. Anyone is welcome to join me, this week at 4:25 pm

With much gratitude to Rabbi Huttler, president Phil Yankofsky and the congregants of Etz Jacob for the warmth and hospitality.  May you and all your loved ones be blessed with abundance, good health  and  harchavas  hada'as  (a  breadth  of  knowledge  to  always recognize what will please Ha-Shem).

Much simcha and brocho,