KTH Flashback: 5 Sleep Remedies You May Not Have Heard Of

Originally posted November 1, 2017

closed eyelidSo we’ve looked at why sleep is so important, which naturally raises the question: How can we get more of it – or get better sleep than we’re getting now?

For the sad fact is that most of us are constantly, chronically sleep-deprived – and we’ve all heard the reasons why: work demands, overscheduled lives, tablets and smartphones, chronic stress, and the like.

And we’ve heard the usual tips: go to bed at the same time every night; no electronics in the bedroom; no eating after 8pm; no caffeine at night.

Of course, there are the usual natural remedies you can try, many of which work very well. These include “sleepy” teas with ingredients such as valerian root, lemon grass, passionflower, and other botanicals known to help with relaxation and sleep. Others prefer using essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and marjoram. Melatonin supplements likewise help a lot of people and are readily available in most drug and grocery stores, as well as online.

But here are a few remedies and supplements that you may not have heard of and may want to try out to help you get a good night’s sleep. Note, though, that some of these are available only through health professionals. You can ask your local biological dentist or integrative physician about getting these supplements.

  1. Glysom
    This is an amino acid supplement (glycine) that, according to its producer, helps induce sleep by resetting your body’s internal clock, signalling the body to relax. Glycine is something your body naturally produces, and is not only an important structural component of proteins and enzymes but also functions as a neurotransmitter. You can just drop a packet of the powder directly on your tongue and let it dissolve. (It tastes vaguely lemony.) Or you can dissolve it in water to sip before bedtime. You can buy this supplement directly online.

  2. Hypothalmapath
    This compound homeopathic from energetix is terrific for encouraging a deeper sleep. Some patients who have used it say that they actually started dreaming more after starting this remedy, which is designed to address symptoms related to the endocrine and nervous symptoms. Communication between these two vital systems is accomplished by the hypothalamus via the pituitary gland (hence, the name). A half dropper before sleep is plenty.

  3. GABA Plus
    There are several different products by this name produced by different companies, each with slightly different ingredients but all designed to support sleep – mainly through GABA, which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. The blend we prefer is from ProThera, which also includes glycine, taurine (another amino acid), and inositol. The amino acids both support the calming effect, while inositol – a secondary messenger (a signalling molecule that triggers physiological changes) – is said to balance mood and stabilze emotions. Unlike the two remedies above, GABA plus is meant to be taken during the day between meals, swallowed in capsule form.

  4. HTP-5
    Again, there are many brands of HTP-5 available, but we favor the formulation from ProThera. HTP-5 is a safe, natural alternative to the amino acid tryptophan – that amino acid notorious for making you sleepy after your traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (This is a bit of myth, but it persists.). For tryptophan helps form serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter that’s also involved in melatonin production. ProThera’s HTP-5 comes in capsule form, with one to two capsules daily being the general recommendation.

  5. TheraSleep
    Also by ProThera, this herbal supplement contains hops, passionflower, and chamomile – all excellent botanicals for sleep support. One or two capsules may be taken about an hour before you want to fall asleep.

  6. Previously

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You’ve Seen Root Cause. Now What?

x-ray of root canal toothRoot Cause is a powerful film that’s raising awareness about the problems root canal-treated teeth can be.

But we’re also seeing a lot of viewers jumping to the conclusion that they must have their root canal teeth removed immediately, either to regain their health or prevent chronic health problems down the line. Will dentists jump the gun, as well?

Root canal teeth can indeed become what’s known as a focus: a source of infection that affects other areas of the body. This focal infection theory – firmly established by Dr. Weston Price back in the early decades of the 20th century – is being revisited today by many a periodontist, as we gain understanding of how gum disease may set the stage for many other chronic inflammatory illnesses.

What caused it to fall out of favor in the first place?

Aware of the basic findings of Dr. Price, dentists in the 1920s and 1930s began naively extracting root canal teeth left and right. Their intentions were good. They believed that their patients’ health would improve once the bacterial source was gone.

But most patients’ health stayed the same.

It wasn’t that the theory was wrong. It’s that the dentists’ understanding was incomplete. Even Price noted that the fate of a root canal tooth depends on the environment it’s in.

If the body’s internal environment, the extracellular matrix or biological terrain, is dysfunctional, there’s little benefit from just removing the root canal teeth and calling it a day. Indeed, the final outcome can even be worse.

As Dr. V wrote back in Biosis #45 (our free quarterly newsletter), removal of such foci should not

be viewed as a cure-all for every cancer state or other illness. If there are established lesions in the central nervous system, removal of foci will not cure them. In cases of trigeminal neuralgia, if there are already lesions in the Gasserian ganglion or brain stem, removing foci will not cure them. If there are perivenous plaques in disseminated sclerosis, removing foci will not cure them.

The purpose of surgical extractions of root canal filled teeth and their associated lesions – e.g., cysts and granulomas – and the surrounding infected bone, as well as the treatment of cavitations is straightforward: allow the individual’s immune and basic regulation systems to stop the progression of disease by preventing further dissemination of neurotoxins via the venous system to the spinal cord and brain.

[But] additional therapies are required to stimulate the body’s innate self-regulating abilities that make comprehensive healing possible.

If you’re worried about the impact root canals may be having on your overall health, we encourage you to keep learning all you can before deciding what action to take. We want your health choices to be informed ones. And we want you to get the health outcomes you desire.

Here are a few resources to help you get started:

Image by radiant guy, via Flickr

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Flaxseed for Radiation Exposure?

technician taking dental x-rayDental x-rays aren’t exactly fun, but sometimes, they’re necessary.

They remain the best tool we have for seeing conditions within the tooth, not to mention the supporting bone. More advanced dental imaging – such as CBCT/3D cone beam scanning – is also becoming much more common for diagnosing certain dental conditions (though, contrary to what some say, CBCT is not essential for identifying cavitations; other methods are available).

While digital imaging exposes you to far less radiation than conventional film, there’s still some exposure. It’s why we only take x-rays when they’re absolutely necessary to your dental care; we never take them “routinely.”

But short of avoiding x-rays altogether, is there anything you can do to offset the negative effects of radiation?

One study we recently ran across suggests one intriguing possibility: flaxseed.

The study, published in Cancer Biology & Therapy, involved two groups of lab mice exposed to x-ray radiation. Both groups ate the same diet, but one was also given a supplement of 10% flaxseed.

After four months, just 40% of the control group had survived compared with up to 88% of those given flaxseed. As GreenMedInfo reported,

The researchers point out that flaxseed boasts many other qualities that make it particularly attractive as a protection against radiation damage and a mitigator of exposure. “Flaxseed is safe, it’s very cheap, it’s readily available, there’s nothing you have to synthesize,” [lead author] Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou noted. “It can be given orally so it has a very convenient administration route. It can be packaged and manufactured in large quantities. Best of all, you can store it for very long periods of time,” making it especially interesting to government officials looking to stockpile radioprotective substances in case of accidental or terrorist-caused radiological disasters.

Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou has built upon these findings through additional research, such as this 2016 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

bowl of flaxseedHere, the research team exposed isolated rodent lung cells to radiation. Some were protected with the main lignan found in flaxseed – a protective compound called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, or SDG for short. “SDG,” note the study’s authors, “is a free radical scavenger, shown in cell free systems to protect DNA from radiation-induced damage.”

The SDG, they found, indeed protected the cells from radiation-induced death. It also reduced DNA damage and enhanced the antioxidant capacity of the cells.

Of course, there are other options for counteracting radiation exposure, as well, such as the Pekana remedies Radinex and Toxex, as well as the Sanum remedy Okoubasan, all of which we use in our office.

Flaxseed could be one more option, offering other health benefits, as well. As ever, though, you can get too much of a good thing. While flaxseed itself is generally safe, eating too much can have hormonal implications, laxative effects, and other unpleasant impacts. Moderation remains key.

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What a Visit with a Biological Dentist Is Like

It’s one thing to tell you, as we do on our home page, what we believe makes our practice special – or even just what our patients say they value about the holistic, biological dental care we provide.

It’s quite another when a patient tells you – which is why we were delighted to see the video one of them recently made on Facebook. We’re grateful that wellness coach Kori Anne Nuerge took the time to describe her recent visit in detail – what we did, what she learned, and how she felt about the experience as a whole.

We’re also grateful to her for giving us permission to share it with you. (Do be aware, though, that there’s a tiny bit of NSFW language toward the very end of the clip.)

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100004535269349%2Fvideos%2F1182198121941352%2F&show_text=0&width=560

To schedule your own consult with Dr. V, call or email us today.

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Biological Dental Health in 2018 – A Last Look Back

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been blogging for over 10 years now! Yes, our first post went online all the way back in May of 2008 – a simple quote from James H. West to set the tone:

Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well…and not today’s pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.

One thousand three hundred thirty-two posts later, here we are – with a last look back at where this blog has been in 2018. And what better way to do so than to start with the year-that-was as told through the first sentence of each month’s post?

But with as deep as an archive as we’ve built up over the past 10 years, plenty of folks were looking at older content, too. Our top 10 posts of the year reflect this.

They also reflect the wide range of topics we cover – from dental curiosities to the latest scientific research, and plenty in between:

  1. The Curious Case of the Syphilitic Teeth
  2. Detoxing Your Teeth & Gums?
  3. Tooth Bleaching & Mercury Amalgam Fillings
  4. Problems in the Mouth Can Indeed Mean Problems in the Body
  5. What to Do for Receding Gums
  6. Why Do Dentists Talk When They’re Working on Your Teeth?
  7. A Toothpaste Too Good to Be True?
  8. Accidentally Swallowing a Toothbrush Is “Impossible”? Impossible!
  9. Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue…Extracted? As a Matter of Fact, Yes!
  10. Dental Implants: Hype vs. Reality

As we move toward our 11th year of blogging, we just want to say thank you for reading and sharing our posts. We appreciate it. If there are topics or issues you’d like us to cover in the months to come, just shoot us an email and let us know!

All of us here at Dr. Verigin’s office hope you enjoy the happiest of holiday seasons and a wonderful start to the new year! We’ll see you back here in January!

Image by Susanne Nilsson, via Flick

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How Biological Terrain Assessment Can Help Make “Mystery” Illnesses a Lot Less Mysterious

By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN

You might be surprised to realize just how many health problems wind up labeled as idiopathic – that is, of unknown cause. But when you consider how most medicine is done from a linear mindset – one symptom, one cause – this fact becomes a lot less surprising.

All of the symptom clusters we call diseases have multiple causes. Dentistry can be one of them.

Indeed, quite a few of the new patients I’ve seen recently have come in to find out if their medical complaints might have something to do with past dental work they’ve had done. Many have lived for years or even decades with mercury fillings or root canal teeth or implants or chronic ischemic bone disease (“cavitations”) – often a combination of these.

mosaic of appleDespite all kinds of exams, blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and the like, many have also never been given a clear medical diagnosis. Others have been victims of overzealous early diagnoses and aggressive treatment that only added to their long list of complaints.

Those complaints – symptoms – are like the pieces that make up a mosaic. They only make a complete picture when arranged into a whole. Remove some pieces, and the image becomes distorted. One piece – one symptom – can never convey the whole picture.

Likewise, to truly be of help, a doctor must be able to see all the pieces and the big picture their arrangement conveys.

Missing the Medical Mark

Dr. Gilbert Welch is a professor at the Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine who has written several books now on the problem of unnecessary medical care, not to mention numerous articles in medical journals and the popular press alike. He’s especially concerned about biomedical companies designing ever more diagnostics, such as breath tests for cancer.

stethoscope pen and chartMore tests, more premature or off-base diagnoses, more unnecessary treatments. And the problem seems poised to worsen. “It’s a very frothy industry right now,” Welch says.

I’ve seen the results in my own practice, particularly with new patients who have previously gone to corporate dental clinics or high volume, commission-based private practice groups. The patient goes in for one thing only to be told they need all kinds of work done because some hint of a potential problem is taken as a problem in and of itself – something that’s commonly called an “incidentaloma” by the profession.

One of the cases Welch uses to illustrate the problem involves a new patient who consulted him about lingering hoarseness. The patient was referred to an ENT who found a small tumor on his vocal cords. The tumor was removed, and the hoarseness went away.

However, Welch was later informed that his patient had also had a CT scan which revealed a cancer in one of his kidneys – an incidentaloma. The urologist wanted the kidney removed, but Welch challenged him. Through 10 years of follow-up, the tumor never changed size. The patient eventually died of pneumonia.

This kind of problem is in no way restricted to medicine. I recently saw a patient who came in for a second opinion. Having acquired a new dental benefits plan, she had gone to a corporate dental clinic for a cleaning only to be told that she needed an implant, a root canal, two crowns, and four fillings. When I examined her teeth, I found they had been quite overzealous with their treatment plan. She didn’t need nearly so much dental work.

The patient was delighted to hear this, to say the least!

Case Report: 17 Health Professionals, 5 Years, No Answers

As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts. Yet with the rushing torrent of information we’re bombarded with every day, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between the two. There’s so much spin, it can make your head spin!

man in a bubbleOne of the dangers of this situation is that it can lead us to have entirely different realities. We become trapped in our own “filter bubble,” as activist Eli Pariser has called it – a metaphorical space in which we only see and hear what we already believe or what confirms our established world view. We are less apt to question it – and have less opportunity to see conflicting information that might challenge or deepen our understanding.

Consequently, a lot of people seem to have trouble separating solid science from popular belief. They become informed by myth, not fact; supposition, not science; headlines, not in-depth explorations. And it happens on both sides of the spectrum, holistic and conventional alike.

This is one of the ways in which conventional dentistry and medicine persist in treating all illness or dysfunction as having a single cause. If a cause can’t be found, the illness is declared to be unclear and the focus falls onto treating symptoms, typically with pills that beget even more symptoms to be treated.

Recently, I examined a new long-distance patient who had consulted at least 17 health professionals over the past five years for a variety of symptoms, including chronic sinusitis, chronic sore throat, left side facial pain in the upper bicuspid area radiating to the ear and up into her temple. It all started, she said, after she began to experience pain around her upper left bicuspids.

dentist shining light on patientThe first dentist she saw for it recommended removing a mercury amalgam filing from the second bicuspid. It had some open margins and slight chipping, so there was a gap where sweet and cold drinks could seep in and elicit pain. The dentist placed a new composite filling on the tooth, but the sensitivity persisted, so the patient consulted a second dentist. That dentist said that she needed a root canal and referred her to an endodontist who concurred, for the dental pulpal complex was inflamed.

Even after the root canal, the pain persisted, so she contacted a third dentist who advised that the first bicuspid should be crowned. The patient agreed to treatment but still got no relief. So she consulted yet other dentists, as well as two oral surgeons. She had two CT scans and an MRI. The net result was the loss of both bicuspids.

Some time after those extractions, she saw a third oral surgeon to re-open the surgical sites to see if cavitations had formed. After these procedures, she received numerous ozone injections, as well as vitamin C drips.

Most recently, the patient had consulted an infectious disease specialist who had ordered a variety of blood tests only to tell her that nothing was wrong. No further treatments were advised.

During this same five-year span, the patient had been put on several rounds of different antibiotics, fungal medicines, and pain pills. When she finally decided to get off the allopathic merry-go-round, she began using different herbs to ease her symptoms. If she skipped them even for a day or two, the sinus pain and sore throat would return, and she’d go back to the herbs and other supplements.

After discussing this history with her at some length, I advised that we do a Biological Terrain Assessment. As of this writing, she is still considering the path she wants to take.

Taking a Quantum Approach to Health

Biological Terrain Assessment, or BTA, is an invaluable test that isn’t nearly as known as it should be. I believe one reason why is because it’s pure physics. Western School Medicine and Dentistry speak solely in biological and biochemical terms. Physics is never considered, even though Einsteinian quantum physics has been the real basis of our science since the mid-1920s. Where classical physics fixates on certainties, quantum physics deals in probabilities.

Claude VincentBiological Terrain Assessment was developed by hydrologist Claude Vincent, who worked for the French government from about 1920 to 1950. His job was to find water and purify it so all the villages, towns, and cities in France had the best water possible. In the course of doing so, he found that there were different kinds of water and that the quality of water corresponded to certain kinds of illnesses.

The statistical work was difficult, as the authorities were rather tight-fisted with the data. Still, doing what he could, he found very high rates of cancer where the water was polluted and calcium-rich. The healthiest people, he found, lived where the water was very pure and contained few mineral salts. That included the water near his home in the village of Riom in central France: the Volvic spring system. In fact, it was the purest water he analyzed. Eventually, he placed a plaque there which was engraved with the first surah of the Koran: And we created all living things from water.

Vincent ultimately found that the technique he had developed for water testing could also be used to test an individual’s biological terrain, or the cumulative area between individual cells in the human body. Focused mainly on measuring protons, electrons, and minerals, BTA detects whether the condition of the terrain lends itself to health or illness.

For Pasteur was mistaken in his belief that microbes alone are the cause of disease. Rather, as his associate Claude Bernard taught, the environment that the microbe winds up in determines just what that microbe can do. The microbe can’t cause harm if the environment is inhospitable to it.

soil with plant shootsA good way to understand this is by the analogy of a garden. You’ll have a tough time growing nutritious vegetables if you just scatter seeds, rake them into the soil, and wait. The chemistry of that soil makes all the difference. Most vegetables and fruits grow best when the soil has a near-neutral pH (6.7 to 7.3 on the pH scale), though they can tolerate slightly acidic soil. A few plants actually prefer acidic soil, though (from 7 down to 3.5 pH), such as radishes, sweet potatoes, blueberries, currants, and cranberries.

When the soil is too acidic, problems arise with a process called cation exchange. (Cations are positively charged atoms or groups of atoms.) Cation exchange is how plants extract nutrients from the soil. When soil is acidic, nitrogen uptake in particular gets blocked. Nitrogen, of course, is a crucial nutrient for plant life. The soil may contain a lot of it, but if conditions are acidic, the nitrogen remains chemically locked up. The plants can’t obtain it.

This is why a nursery will provide phosphorous fertilizers to growers who buy plants, particularly trees and shrubs. Mixing that into the soil before placing the root ball helps unlock the existing nitrogen so the saplings get a healthy start.

Just as the condition of the soil dictates whether a particular plant will languish or thrive, so, too, the biological terrain.

Another way to understand the role of your body’s internal environment is to think of each of your cells as a goldfish swimming about in an aquarium. Not only do they live in water but the food provided, as well as the waste they generate. If the water is not regularly cleaned – if the proper environment is not maintained – the fish’s immune system weakens and the fish soon dies.

The cells in our body become toxic in a similar way. They, too, “swim” in the water that ever so slightly separates them. For water is plentiful in the human body. About 50 to 60% of a human’s body is made up of water. In infants, it’s about 75%. The brain and heart are each about 73% water, and the lungs are 83%.

If we don’t keep this internal environment clean, toxins of all kinds will ultimately make us sick. The life-quality of each cell depends on the purity of the biological terrain, which is far more important than genetics.

geneRecently, scientists at Calico Life Sciences collaborated with colleagues from Ancestry.com to establish whether genetic makeup affects longevity in any meaningful way. They crunched data from millions of people and “found that genes have a lower impact on how long a person can expect to live than scientists had previously believed.” Their findings were just published in the journal GENETICS.

Such research underscores the fact that, contrary to popular belief, genes have less to do with our health and longevity than previously thought.

And this points to one of the dangers of over-the-counter genetic testing that’s now allowed to report an individual’s risk of developing certain conditions, as well as their ancestry. As the president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Michael Watson, told Scientific American, such tests may actually confuse many consumers, since they won’t know how to quantitatively balance genetic risk against other factors such as environmental influences, lifestyle, and health status.

To be clear, genetic vulnerability is always in play, but as they say, genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.

That includes the internal environment of the extracellular matrix, or terrain.

Targeting Causes to Map a Path to Healing

Today’s BTA measures three key values of a patient’s extracellular matrix – pH, rH2, and R (Ohms) – using samples of their saliva and urine. (We used to have to test blood, as well, but this is no longer necessary since the software has been retooled to predict the outcome of blood values.) My job then becomes a matter of interpreting those results in light of the patient’s health history, exam results and other diagnostics, and the dynamics of German autoregulation theory.

We also have to look at their subtle energy fields for any missing links. Only then can we suss out the dynamic of causes that led to the patient’s current state of health and map a sensible route of healing.

By looking at the whole profile, we can learn a lot more than any simple blood test or x-ray or MRI can show.

Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees
only so long as its surface is undisturbed,
the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self
when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.
– Indra Devi

Images: mosaic by Karen Blakeman, bubble by I’m Mr P.,
via Flickr; dental exam via USAF

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When Root Canal “Myths” Aren’t Myths at All

It’s kind of annoying when you run across an article that promises to debunk certain myths and find that it just perpetuates others.

Case in point? A post on root canals that recently cropped up on Facebook, linking to the site of a company selling a new spin on an old procedure.

x-ray showing root canal toothSo naturally, the first myth they want to debunk is that “Root Canals Are Scary.”

Well, superficially, they’re no scarier than any other type of filling procedure. What is scary, though, is the evidence linking root canal treated teeth to systemic health problems, including autoimmune disorders, cancers, and enigmatic illnesses such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

This reality also flies in the face of the second myth they list: “Root Canals Lead to Bigger Problems.”

While some people are able to tolerate root canal treated teeth for a while, the risk of systemic problems remains. For it’s not just the root canals within the tooth that are loaded with pathogens but the miles of microscopic dentinal tubules within each tooth, where anaerobic bacteria can thrive. The teeth become harbors of not only bacteria but the highly toxic waste products they produce while proliferating.

Those are pretty significant problems, if you ask us.

When Weston Price conducted his important research on root canal teeth, he found that it could take upwards of a year for pathogens in the culture medium to prove positive. They weren’t on the top layer but deep within.

In fact, the tubules will always carry the DNA of any pathogens. Even if you saturated the inside of the tooth with ozone or could somehow autoclave the tooth 24/7 for a couple weeks, those traces would remain.

And that brings us to alleged myth number three: “Root Canals Kill Teeth.” Sure, sometimes a tooth is already dead when root canal therapy is recommended, but that’s not always the case. The treatment itself involves removing all living tissue from within the tooth. There are no more nerves. No blood supply. No circulation within the tooth.

If that’s not “killing a tooth,” we don’t know what would qualify.

Image by gillicious, via Flickr

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