Posts by: Carly Barrett

The Practice of Mindful Eating – Exploring the Research

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By Keegan Abernathy MS, CNS, LDN

Nutritional science typically explores the effect nutrients, foods, and eating patterns have on human biochemistry and health. But what about how we eat? In this post, I will explore the practice of mindful eating and its researched effects on health and psychology. 

Mindful Eating vs. Mindless Eating

To understand what mindful eating is and how it works, it is helpful to understand its opposite behavior. We can categorize a very common way of eating as mindless eating. This occurs when we are not aware of our experience of eating. There are many factors that can induce mindless eating such as stress, difficulty regulating emotions, being distracted while eating, or eating too quickly. Social situations, culture, and familial conditioning also play a role in how mindfully we eat (Wansink, 2010). Food choices can become more challenging when we haven’t eaten all day which means it is easier to eat mindlessly. 

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating happens when we are fully aware of the experience of eating. It includes noticing the flavor, satisfaction, smell and feel of food being eaten. When eating mindfully, one can notice internal states such as hunger level, satiety, and physical fullness (Kristeller et al., 2014). There tends to be self-reports of increased pleasure and satisfaction from food with the practice of mindful eating (Kristeller et al., 2014). Mindful eating can happen naturally, but its occurrence can be limited by learned eating habits, emotional states, and distractions (Wansink, 2010). Cultivating mindful eating as a new habit can occur with the support of training and practice. The Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) is a studied approach to eating mindfully. This training is a non-dieting approach to eating that teaches participants to become aware of the complexity, choices, and experiences that occur while eating (Kristeller et al., 2014). 

Researched Effects of MB-EAT

Several studies have been conducted exploring the effects of MB-EAT. Kristeller & Hallett (1999) performed a single-group, extended baseline follow-up design that included 18 participants, most of whom were obese middle-aged women with binge-eating disorder (BED). After MB-EAT intervention, binge episodes decreased from 4 per week to 1.5. Measures of depression and binge severity also decreased. In a randomized clinical trial, 194 adults with obesity were randomly placed into a 5.5 month program that either included MB-EAT or did not include MB-EAT (Daubenmier et al., 2016). While there were no substantial differences in weight loss between the groups, cardiometabolic markers such as fasting glucose and lipids were improved in the treatment group receiving MB-EAT.

Please note that this post is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional care by a physician or other qualified medical professionals. It is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you are interested in nutritional support, consider reaching out to the Natural Care Center for consultations by calling 443-906-9754 or emailing  

Natural Care Center (NCC)

Looking to see a Nutritionist at the Natural Care Center to meet your nutritional needs? Integrative nutritionists use science-based diet and nutrition therapies to support your personal health and well-being. They recognize that individualized nutrition is essential to health and their integrative approach is not limited to one dietary theory. And for more than 40 years, the Natural Care Center at Maryland University of Integrative Health, which includes our student teaching clinic and professional practitioners, has provided powerful, meaningful, and effective healing experiences for patients and clients that arrive with a wide array of health challenges.

During your first visit at the NCC, your practitioner will gather information about your health and personal history, review your dietary preferences and health concerns, and assess your nutritional status. Together with your nutritionist, you will craft a personalized nutrition plan to start you on your path to greater health and vitality.To talk with someone about making an appointment, call 443-906-5794 or email .

References:

Daubenmier, J., Moran, P. J., Kristeller, J., Acree, M., Bacchetti, P., Kemeny, M. E., … & Hecht, F. M. (2016). Effects of a mindfulness‐based weight loss intervention in adults with obesity: A randomized clinical trial. Obesity24(4), 794-804.

Kristeller, J. L., & Hallett, C. B. (1999). An exploratory study of a meditation-based intervention for binge eating disorder. Journal of Health Psychology. 4(3), 357-363.

Kristeller, J., Wolever, R. Q., & Sheets, V. (2014). Mindfulness-based eating awareness training (MB-EAT) for binge eating: A randomized clinical trial. Mindfulness5(3), 282-297.

Wansink, B. (2010). From mindless eating to mindlessly eating better. Physiology & behavior100(5), 454-463.

Gastrointestinal Inflammation & Licorice Root

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licorice root

Written by: Dr. Haneefa Willis – Johnson, Western Herbal Dispensary, Assistant Manager

Licorice Root for the use of Gastrointestinal Inflammation

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are small enzymatic molecules that are produced by cells in the mucosal lining of the intestines as well as activated innate immune cells. ROS enzymes: superoxide (02-), hydroxyl (OH), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are pivotal in fighting infection and wound healing however it is essential that epithelial exposure to ROS is balanced. A breakdown in the antigenic signaling pathway can result in a hyperinflammatory response. A toxic level of ROS production jeopardizes the integrity of the intestinal lining & efficient pathogen removal leading to chronic gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation (Aviello, 2017). In adults (>18 y/o), the occurrences of GI inflammation have risen by 0.9% since 1999 (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2019). Conventional treatments include aminosalicylate (5-ASA) drugs, immunomodulatory agents like corticosteroids, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from an antigen-matched donor (Aviello, 2017).

Alternatively, Licorice root Glycyrrhiza glabra is a traditional medicinal plant that has exhibited an impressive propensity to combat inflammation activity (Eichenfield, 2007). A major phytoconstituent of Licorice is the bitter-tasting triterpenoid saponin, glycyrrhizin. Numerous therapeutic capabilities of glycyrrhizin have been linked to antiviral, antibacterial, antihepatotoxic, and cytoprotective effects (Murray, 2020, p.642-643). Additionally, evidence-based laboratory research shows that glycyrrhizin also balances the excessive accumulation of neutrophil-mediated ROS (Akamatsu, 1991). Neutrophils are innate immune cells that activate in the presence of an antigen or allergen (Hosoki, 2016). Researchers Akamatsu, Komura, and Niwa (1991) looked at the three main functions of neutrophils (1) mobility to a target, (2) ability to ingest a target, and (3) generation of ROS each in assay systems concentrated with 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 mg/ml of glycyrrhizin. Akamatsu et al. (1991) found that the presence of glycyrrhizin at any concentration made no impact on the neutrophil’s mobility or phagocytic capacities. However, they found a significant decrease (P <0.05) in the neutrophil-mediated ROS production (O2-, OH, H202) which directly correlated to the glycyrrhizin concentration. The inhibition of neutrophil metabolism of ROS in the presence of glycyrrhizin can reduce the damaging effects seen in chronic gastrointestinal inflammation by limiting a hyperresponsive immune system (Akamatsu, 1991). Together, this finding and the scientific discovery of bitter taste receptors (T2R) in the GI lining clarifies the medicinal benefits observed clinically in a wide variety of cultures that expand thousands of years (Wu, 2002).

This newsletter article is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional care by a physician or other qualified medical professionals. It is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you are looking for help in your journey, we recommend you seek out a qualified MUIH herbal practitioner that can personalize herbal formulas specific to your needs. Contact us at (410)888-9048 ext. 6676 or for more information. Licorice root is not for use in persons with hypertension, liver disorders, edema, severe kidney insufficiency, low blood potassium, or heart disease.

MUIH Herbal Dispensary

Interested in purchasing herbs from the Herbal Dispensary at MUIH? The dispensary provides herbal teas, powders, and liquid extracts that are custom compounded to the unique specifications of practitioners who have tailored these products to meet the individual needs of their clients. Email  to request an account. Sign into your account here.

Herbal Medicine Programs at MUIH

MUIH’s one of a kind herbal medicine programs recognize and respect the power of nature and herbs in promoting health and wellness, by integrating cultural traditions and contemporary science and research. Graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical, research, manufacturing, and retail settings. The Herbal Dispensary at Maryland University of Integrative Health is a unique and valuable resource of the Herbal Medicine academic programs. The dispensary provides the tools and space for students to get hands-on experience creating, formulating, and compounding herbal preparations.

Resources

Akamatsu, H., Komura, J., Asada, Y., & Niwa, Y. (1991). Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory Action of Glycyrrhizin: Effect on Neutrophil Functions Including Reactive Oxygen Species Generation. Planta Medica, 57(02), 119–121. doi:10.1055/s-2006-960045

Aviello, G., & Knaus, U. G. (2017). ROS in gastrointestinal inflammation: Rescue Or Sabotage?. British journal of pharmacology, 174(12), 1704–1718. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.13428

Eichenfield, L. F., Fowler, J. F., Jr, Rigel, D. S., & Taylor, S. C. (2007). Natural advances in eczema care. Cutis, 80(6 Suppl), 2–16.

Hosoki, K., Itazawa, T., Boldogh, I., & Sur, S. (2016). Neutrophil recruitment by allergens contribute to allergic sensitization and allergic inflammation. Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology, 16(1), 45–50. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACI.0000000000000231

Murray, M. T. (2020). Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice). Textbook of Natural Medicine, 641–647.e3. doi:10.1016/b978- 0-323-43044-9.00085-6

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). (2019). Inflammatory Bowel Disease Prevalence (IBD) in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/data-statistics.htm#2

Nguyen GC, Chong CA, Chong RY. National estimates of the burden of inflammatory bowel disease among racial and ethnic groups in the United States. J Crohns Colitis. 2014;8:288–295. DOI: https://academic.oup.com/ecco- jcc/article/8/4/288/386357external icon. Accessed May 2, 2018.

Wu, S. V., Rozengurt, N., Yang, M., Young, S. H., Sinnett-Smith, J., & Rozengurt, E. (2002). Expression of bitter taste receptors of the T2R family in the gastrointestinal tract and enteroendocrine STC-1 cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(4), 2392–2397. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.042617699

Meditation for Beginners

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meditation for beginners

Meditation for Beginners

The word meditation is an open door. There are different ways of practicing it, which can also be traced back to ancient rituals and philosophies. However, for the most part, they all serve the same purpose, namely to reach different states of consciousness and to live in the present moment. It increases well-being and develops a sense of fulfillment in life. Beginners in meditation will quickly see the results.

The practice of Yoga is conduit to meditation. The completely guided practice through asanas, breathing exercises, repetition of mantras, aims or prepares the different bodies (mind, body, and spirit) to reach states of meditation and awareness. When done repeatedly, it leads to a transformation that brings benefits in mental and physical aspects.

Let Go of Expectations

If you are just starting out, or want to try meditation, it is important to have no expectations, and never think about whether you are practicing well or not. It takes time to learn to relate to your mind, to your thoughts and to let them decant. It takes discipline to keep practicing. There are also different tools where you can help yourself. For example, today there are apps with guided meditations. Attending a yoga studio, meditations, even taking an online course on meditation, like MUIH Professional and Continuing Education’s Meditation for Everyone Masterclass, can help a little more to understand meditation. Over time you will experience, what suits you best and what you feel comfortable with, the journey itself is the goal, not the outcome.

How to Begin Meditation?

Create the habit of setting aside 30 minutes a day for meditation practice.

Create a comfortable space where you can sit and dedicate some time to yourself. Have a space to sit in silence, recognize, and learn your breath. Remember that the most important space to take care of is your inner space. Wear comfortable clothing.

Having cushions and a mat can create comfort. If you sit in meditation posture, make sure your hips are higher than your knees. You can keep your eyes closed, put your inner sight in the middle of your forehead, shoulders away from your ears, back straight, all these practices help you to concentrate on your breathing. Recognize the length of your inhalation and your exhalation.

Another common way to practice meditation is to go for a walk and begin to recognize your steps; where you’re looking, your breathing, what you hear and perceive. This is the beginning of building the foundation for mindful meditation practice.

Chanting mantras or repetitive prayers are also ways to focus and exercise your mind and empty it of thoughts. This exercise can help you to increase your concentration and be present in the moment.

What Do You Gain from Beginning Meditation?

The practice of meditation has many benefits, such as mental and physical changes. After a few sessions, it can reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression, insomnia, and help the digestive system. Practicing meditation can be very helpful in the release of stress.

Start living mindfully and focus on the present moment. For example, savoring more when you eat, or simply looking at and appreciating nature. Your level of perspective on life will increase; this allos you to make better decisions.

Increase imagination and creativity. Discovering new hobbies, enjoying art, and finding new opportunities can be stimulated through meditation. It boosts productivity and helps you stay focused.

When you practice yoga, you also experience meditation and openness. It is a good discipline to allow negative emotions to pass by. This helps to eliminate blockages in your body to prevent future pain and emotional and physical imbalances. It relaxes and releases tensions in your muscles.

Meditation for beginners, and for everyone, is an empowering practice, it helps you cultivate acceptance, and with constant practice, your brain will be trained, and you will learn to cultivate patience, tolerance, and resilience. It will help you overcome and adapt to different challenges and situations in life.

With discipline, you learn to create an inner connection. This means that your intuition and sense of perspective will become more evident, developing the ability to listen to your inner self, following your calling or rediscovering your purpose, slightly redirected to achieve what you are meant to do or live in life.

The habit of daily meditation will help you develop the habit of self-care. Having time to listen to your inner voice, integrate your learning, create a sense of responsibility, and grow in many aspects of life.

Next Steps to Learning Meditation

For the next step, take a deep dive into a personal mindfulness and meditation practice while developing the teaching skills to share with others. To learn more about how to find a mindful Meditation practice for you and your clients and patients, join our online, self-paced Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) Meditation for Everyone Masterclass. Certified by the American Institute of Stress, this experiential course provides hands-on practice for a wide variety of meditation styles. You can incorporate these into your daily life or your clinical practice.

Learn more and enroll at https://ce.muih.edu/browse/ce/courses/meditation-for-everyone-masterclass! Explore all PCE offerings at www.muih.edu/ce

International Women’s Day

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international womens day at MUIH

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day—March 8th—a day celebrating the vast achievements of women across the globe. There are several ways to get involved in 2022, both in person and virtually. In honor of both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the DEI Committee encourages you to get involved by participating in events or taking time to engage with unfamiliar content. Here are just a few ways to do so:

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time when we celebrate the progress forged by countless women whose courage and sacrifices have contributed to the fight for securing equal rights, equal treatment, and equal opportunity for all women. This month, Maryland University of Integrative Health honors the extraordinary women from every country who are leading us to a better world for future generations of womenWomen who have fought for equality and against the status quo, and who have broken the bonds of discrimination, partiality, and injustice for the benefit of all. These women created a legacy that continues to inspire generations of women to live with confidence, to have a positive impact on their communities, and to improve our world every single day.

The theme for 2022 is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” an appropriate them to honor the lives of women that have impacted our history such as Margaret Chung, the first American-born Chinese woman doctor, civil rights leader Vel Phillips from Wisconsin, and Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first American Indian woman doctor. We hope you will take the opportunity during this month to explore some of the remarkable contributions made to our world by women.

The DEI Committee also brings you the March 2022 Calendar of Observances to highlight observances this month. The attached document provides a list of some observances along with a brief description and a link to further information on the observance noted. The calendar may also be accessed through our website.

Interested in More Student Activities at MUIH?

Whether you take your classes online or in-person, we cherish your presence and participation within our MUIH community. We offer many ways to engage with our community and we welcome you to get involved! Enrich your student experience – join us! Learn more about the activities we have on campus and virtual. And check out our Student Affairs resources to make the best of your student life here at MUIH!

Why Health Literacy is Important

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why health literacy is important

Introduction

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) Department Chair of Health and Wellness Coaching, Duston Morris, recently published research on health literacy education in Speech Language Pathology (SLP) programs. Dr. Duston Morris is a certified Health Education Specialist and Health Coach. He has been practicing and teaching in community health, public health, health and wellness, fitness and recreation for more than 25 years, and his research agenda explores the relationship between exercise, physical activity and other healthy lifestyle characteristics, the benefits of active infrastructure, and interprofessional education for healthcare students. Download the full publication here.

The Study

This study was part of a larger study that explored how SLP leaders (i.e., program administrators and faculty) implement health literacy education in SLP training programs. Health literacy skills are a vital aspect of an individual’s quality of life and well-being and low health literacy is related to low life expectancy and higher prevalence of disease and illness.

The Outcome

Historically, healthcare providers have overlooked the health literacy skills of their clients. Findings from the study reported that more than half (56%) of SLP leaders implemented HLE within their SLP programs. However, only 4% always teach students why health literacy is important and 75% never instruct students to encourage clients to ask questions. Although HLE occurred in SLP programs, use of HLE varied greatly across different programs. This research points to the importance of incorporating health education in healthcare training programs. Health and Wellness coaching programs should review their training protocol to ensure that students learn how to improve their own health literacy and are able to effectively assist their clients with health literacy education.

Study Health and Wellness Coaching at MUIH

Interested in learning more about studying Health and Wellness Coaching to help clients better implement health in their education programs? Visit our Health and Wellness Coaching Academic Programs to learn more about growing your future as a coach. As a student, you’ll learn the evidence-based approach and set of skills that empowers individuals to tap into their own inner source of motivation to restore and preserve health and well-being. Graduates are prepared for credentialing by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Acupuncture Treatment for a Patient with Stage IV Metastatic Cancer, An Overview of a Case Report

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alt="doctor of acupuncture, acupuncture degree, acupuncturist jobs"

Introduction

Acupuncture Treatments have been used for thousands of years to help treat a variety of ailments that plague the body. This is an overview of a case report written in February 2022 about the effects of Acupuncture Treatments on a patient with stage IV metastatic cancer. After the patient underwent surgery and chemotherapy as treatment for colorectal, they were diagnosed with liver cancer. Cancer-free for a year, the patient was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in his liver and right lung. Due to quality of life concerns, the patient sought acupuncture treatments for a period of 14 months. This case suggests that Five Element acupuncture can support the well-being of a patient diagnosed with cancer. Read the full Case Report here.

The Report

A patient who had been previously diagnosed with colon cancer, that had metastasized to his liver came to experience an acupuncture treatment. His colon cancer had been treated, as had the cancer that had invaded his liver. Shortly after starting acupuncture, one of his routine scans revealed that the cancer in his liver had grown.

He was treated with five element acupuncture to address the physical and emotional effects of several years of cancer. Five element acupuncture is a system that is extremely holistic, focusing not only on the physical symptoms, it also combines treatment of physical symptoms with supporting the mental and emotional/spiritual aspects of a person.

Acupuncture Treatment Outcomes

During the treatment, he addressed the emotions of guilt for ways he felt he let his family down over the years. The acupuncture treatment allowed him to move through these feelings, rebuild a stronger relationship with his family and friends, and accept himself. In addition, while the cancer did continue to grow, he remained symptom free from October, when he started acupuncture, until August. At that time, he took a trip to Africa to assist in the construction of several buildings. Upon his return, he demonstrated symptoms of cough and shortness of breath due to tumors in his lungs. He passed the following December.

This patient was able to move, with grace, through the stages of grief that accompanies a terminal diagnosis. In working on unresolved emotions, he found a new strength within himself and an ability to re-connect more deeply both with himself and his family. I was able to see him move from fear and frustration to acceptance and contentment. While sad that his time was coming to an end, he appeared to be more settled. His face shifted from closed and lined, from deeply felt unexpressed emotions to open and vibrant. He said, “Acupuncture treatment allowed me to have the energy to continue with my work and be with my family for a longer time than I thought I would be. I felt more vibrant and calmer and more able to accept my life and the future.”

Acupuncture Treatments at the Natural Care Center (NCC)

For more than 40 years, the Natural Care Center at Maryland University of Integrative Health, which includes our student teaching clinic and professional practitioners, has provided powerful, meaningful, and effective healing experiences for patients and clients that arrive with a wide array of health challenges. During an acupuncture treatment at the NCC, Acupuncturists insert sterile, hair-thin, single-use needles into the body with a specific intention to elicit an appropriate movement of energy. The desired result is to offer the patient a concrete sense of spiritual, emotional, and physical balance. Patients who pursue ongoing treatment for maintenance and promotion of good health report: staying well longer and recovering from illness more quickly; improved stamina and vitality; improved capacity to positively influence their own health; reductions in long-term health-care costs and less frequent visits to physicians; and deepened and more harmonious relationships with others.

During your first visit at the NCC, your practitioner will discuss your health concerns and have the opportunity to assess the underlying conditions leading to your current situation, perform a physical examination, and let you know what to expect when returning for regular treatments. To talk with someone about making an appointment, call 443-906-5794 or email 

Study Acupuncture at MUIH

Interested in learning more about studying acupuncture to help patients with healing experiences using complementary medicine? Visit our Acupuncture Academic Programs to learn more about growing your future in acupuncture. As a student, you’ll learn the the fundamental skills and knowledge to achieve clinical competency and to become a licensed acupuncturist. Coursework includes the study of western medical models as well as the philosophy, theory, and clinical application of acupuncture. Graduates are prepared to treat patients on the levels of mind, body and spirit, and to work in various health and wellness settings, especially private and small group practices.

Creating Psychological Safety in Healthcare: Brain-Based Strategies that Cultivate a Space for Positive Change

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psychological safety

Introduction

The capacity to ignite the human spirit in favor of transformation and growth is a collective endeavor. To co-create a different future, people need to feel cared for and psychologically safe. Neuroscience research illustrates the social nature of our brains and what this has to do with motivating ourselves and others to mobilize positive change. Healthcare leaders and integrative health practitioners are better equipped to navigate complex social environments when they understand that social interactions profoundly shape how our brains respond throughout the day.

Social neuroscience and our need for connection

Findings from social neuroscience demonstrate humans are wired to connect so that we can make sense of others; the brain is designed to be our social organ so that we can survive as a species. This has profound implications for helping people and communities embrace new ways of thinking, feeling, and doing that result in psychological and physical well-being. Science supports a new paradigm for change- one that rests on an understanding of our deep interconnectedness. Brain science research indicates we impact each other biologically, illustrating the capacity for healthcare practitioners to influence the decisions and choices clients make about their healthcare. Humans are mammals, and mammals work cooperatively toward a common goal through connection facilitated by an emotional bond. Our relationships mold how we think and behave, as well as the functioning of our immune systems. Modern brain science shows us we create each other through relationship.  

Human behavior is regulated by the overarching principle of the human brain to minimize threat and maximize reward. Approximately five times per second, the limbic system, a region of the brain often referred to as the emotional center, decides that something is either threatening (bad) or rewarding (good). When a threat response is triggered, the learning centers of the brain are impaired. Recent discoveries show the brain responds to social threats and rewards the same as it does to physical threats and rewards. Social needs are treated like survival needs in the human brain.  

Social needs domains

Five core social needs have been indicated as domains where we can be activated into a state of threat/avoid or reward/approach – esteem, understanding, choice, relatedness, and equity.  

  • Esteem is about our perceived importance to other people – or where we rank. 
  • Understanding refers to having a sense of certainty and our ability to predict the future. 
  • Choice relates to a sense of control over situations and events, or a sense of autonomy. 
  • Relatedness concerns feelings of safety with others based or whether someone is perceived as a friend or an enemy.  The brain classifies people into threat or reward, just like it does with situations, and foe is the default state unless diffused early on in interpersonal interactions.   
  • Equity is about exchanges between people being perceived as fair. The brain scans to assess if there is a level playing field. The perception that things are not fair activates the anterior insula, a region of the brain triggered during feelings of disgust. Translate this into a healthcare context, when clients feel that information is not being shared, it signals a threat response in the need for equity, decreasing the client’s thinking resources.  

The practitioner-client/patient relationship enables wellness.

When a practitioner perceives another healthcare professional to be working in isolation outside of the team process, it could arouse the limbic system and increases a threat response in the relatedness domain, breaking trust and the feeling that everybody is sharing the same goal. If a practitioner is not able to provide sufficient details about options for treatment, it may activate a danger response in the understanding social need driver, decreasing creativity, insight, and the ability to develop an effective plan for improved health outcomes. On the other hand, when clients are given choice and their voices are elicited in the decision-making process, an approach response is activated in the choice and understanding domains, increasing creative thinking and cognitive resources needed for complex problem solving. When healthcare leaders and practitioners focus their attention on progress it is socially rewarding in the human brain, especially in the social need for esteem. In the animal kingdom survival is closely linked to high status. Even the smallest recognition and acknowledgement of improvement ignites the reward circuitry at a neurobiological level, allowing access to areas in the brain associated with learning and growth.   

To effectively partner with clients, the human brain requires that social needs be met. Otherwise it will be directing its attention to figuring out how to survive versus engaging in higher order thinking necessary for navigating complex situations related to wellness goals. 

Facilitating a psychologically safe space for clients to learn and grow is not possible without the practitioner feeling psychologically safe.  

This underscores the importance of self-regulation.  

Studies highlight multiple avenues for how we communicate and influence each other’s emotions and capacity to engage in a vision for change.  One way is through our mirror neuron system.  Mirror neurons are a set of brain cells that get activated when we observe other people’s intentional behaviors.  This affords us the opportunity to ‘mirror’ what someone else is doing and saying at a neural level.  It is a component of our resonance circuitry, giving us the capability to map the emotional states and intended behaviors of others.  In a healthcare setting, the emotional disposition of the practitioner has a considerable impact on the client’s emotional status.  For instance, if the practitioner’s tone is pessimistic, it will activate the same neural circuits in the brain of the client, impairing the mental resources needed to engage in care planning.  We are neurochemically linked and moods are contagious, especially the mood of someone who may be perceived in a position of power or influence.  If a practitioner’s nervous system is in a dysregulated state, this can be mirrored in the client’s nervous system, shutting down the learning centers in the brain and shuttling resources to engage survival physiology.  Self-regulation supports co-regulation in a practitioner-client relationship.  This same dynamic occurs between leadership and practitioners in a healthcare organization, illustrating the importance of creating a culture that supports mindfulness and the cultivation of emotion regulation skills

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Based on how the human brain works, here are three strategies for cultivating a space for positive change in healthcare environments:

  • As a healthcare practitioner, create psychological safety by managing threats and rewards in the five social needs when interacting with your clients.
  • As a healthcare leader, ask yourself what you want your team to feel safe to do.  Then identify which type of threat you need to manage in order to create a sense of safety in your organization. 
  • Practice self-regulation rituals daily to cultivate physiological resilience to stress and the capacity to shift your nervous system to a state of regulation during interactions that call for higher order thinking, partnership, and creative problem solving. 

To engage further with this topic, we invite you to explore our Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) online programs below, or contact us to deliver a customized training program for your organization!

From Empathy to Compassion: The Science of Self-Care and Well-Being in Healthcare Settings

Healthcare Leader as Coach: A Brain-Based Approach to High Impact Conversations 

The Physiology of Building Stress Resilience Masterclass 

A Brain Based Approach to Upgrading Human Interactions Masterclass

PCE Resilience & Wellbeing Course Bundle

 

Author:

Laurie Ellington

MUIH Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) Faculty 

Laurie is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ancient Science, Inc., a leading-edge Integrative NeuroSomatic® human flourishing organization. Laurie uses science to radically expand consciousness, rewire the human nervous system for wellness, and transform the world with kindness and compassion. She is among the pioneers dedicated to cultivating positive social change by harnessing the power of the mind-body-brain-spirit connection. Combining ancient wisdom teachings with findings from modern neuroscience, mind-body research, functional medicine, epigenetics, and flow she helps individuals, leaders, and organizations elevate the way they think, feel, and show up in the world.

Laurie has over 25 years of experience in coaching, teaching, consulting, leadership, facilitation, and mind-body medicine. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Brain-Based Coach, Master Certified Coach, Registered Yoga Teacher, and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Laurie is appreciated for her ability to evoke untapped capacities and eliminate outdated habits that get in the way of transformation, healing, and growth. Her philosophy is that change happens from the inside out versus the outside in, and people have unleashed capacities to self-regulate, connect deeply as a human family, and heal. She is Associate Faculty within the Health and Wellness Coaching program at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) and Associate Faculty for the Professional and Continuing Education department at MUIH, with subject matter expertise on the neuroscience of human relationships and stress resilience. Laurie is also Associate Faculty with University of California- Davis, Office of Personnel Management Center for Leadership, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University.

Laurie is a living example of everything she teaches. She enjoys being in nature, inspiring stories, good food and wine, and spreading joy and kindness.

References:

Arnsten, A.F.T. (2009). Stress signaling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and 

            function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10 (6), 410-422.

Cacioppo, J. T. & Patrick, B. (2008).  Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social 

connection.  New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 

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inequalities in a modified Ultimatum Game. Neuroscience348, 126–134. 

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Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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acupuncture, doctor of acupuncture, master of acupuncture, online acupuncture

Is financial aid available for Acupuncture students?

Yes! The financial aid department is available to help with your questions and needs to afford any program. Check out our Student Eligibility Requirements and email us at with additional questions.

Do I need further licensing to practice acupuncture?

Each state, including Maryland, has specific licensing procedures that must be met. Governmental laws, regulations, legal opinions, and requirements differ from country to country and state to state. MUIH cannot provide assurance that completion of the program will qualify a graduate to be registered or accepted under a state law other than Maryland. However, the University’s Acupuncture programs are designed to provide basic, solid competence in traditional acupuncture.

What careers can I pursue with a Master of Acupuncture?

Graduates of MUIH’s acupuncture and herbal medicine programs are employed in a variety of settings. These include private practice, integrative group practices, health care systems, hospitals and wellness centers. They may also include pain management centers, addiction treatment centers, behavioral and mental health centers. As well as, fertility centers, veterans and military organizations and agencies, state and local health departments, and colleges. The career outlook for AHM practitioners is strong, and national statistics indicate that individuals pursuing such careers successfully earn income and either establish a solo practice or are hired into a number of different healthcare settings. The AHM career track has been categorized as a “BrightOutlook” occupation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and indicates that this occupation is predicted to experience rapid growth during the years 2018-2028.

What careers can I pursue with a Doctor of Acupuncture?

Graduates of MUIH’s acupuncture and herbal medicine programs are employed in a variety of settings. These include private practice, integrative group practices, health care systems, hospitals and wellness centers. They may also include pain management centers, addiction treatment centers, behavioral and mental health centers. As well as, fertility centers, veterans and military organizations and agencies, state and local health departments, and colleges. The career outlook for AHM practitioners is strong, and national statistics indicate that individuals pursuing such careers successfully earn income and either establish a solo practice or are hired into a number of different healthcare settings. The AHM career track has been categorized as a “BrightOutlook” occupation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and indicates that this occupation is predicted to experience rapid growth during the years 2018-2028.

How to become a doctor of oriental medicine?

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization degree integrates the DAC curriculum with a deep concentration in the study of Chinese Herbs. This prepares graduates to meet the growing need and opportunities for well-trained Chinese medical practitioners to serve in numerous types of integrative medicine settings across the country. Click here to view an expanded description of the program highlights, learning outcomes, and curriculum for how to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

How long does it take to become an acupuncturist?

Each curriculum for our AHM program ranges from 3-5 years (9-13 consecutive trimesters). Click here to view an expanded description of the program highlights, learning outcomes, and curriculum of the DAC program. See how it differs from the Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, and Master of Acupuncture degrees.

Do acupuncturists make good money?

NCCAOM job analysis statistics indicate that 36% of AHM practitioners reported a total gross income (before taxes) of $40,000-$100,000 with 11% reporting gross incomes of $100,000 and above. The BLS reports the median average salary for AHM practitioners in 2017 was $73,830. To find more information on career outcomes, view all of our AHM programs.

What kind of degree do you need to be an acupuncturist?

To become an acupuncturist in the U.S., attending an accredited acupuncture or Chinese medicine program and obtaining a master’s degree is recommended. The Master of Acupuncture and Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization programs of Maryland University of Integrative Health are accredited. They are accredited under master’s degree standards by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). This is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification exams offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Can you get an acupuncture degree online?

MUIH AHM programs are delivered primarily on campus with some online courses. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

Can I study acupuncture online?

MUIH AHM programs are delivered primarily on campus with some online courses. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

Is a doctor of acupuncture a real doctor?

Doctors of Acupuncture are doctors. Acupuncture has been recognized as a professional medical practitioner dating back over 2,500 years ago. The state of Maryland does recognize a Doctor of Acupuncture as a Doctor. However, there may be a waiting period between the completion of the program and the legal recognition allowing the graduate to begin practice. Until a graduate receives official notification of legal recognition to begin practice, they may continue to practice only under faculty supervision. Students who wish to continue to practice in Maryland after graduating, but prior to being licensed, must enroll in MUIH’s Trainee Program. Most states require successful completion of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine exam. For more information, refer to nccaom.org.

Culinary Health and Healing: A Personal Statement

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What we eat; Does it really define who we are? Food has always been central to my life. My journey with food began creating absurd after-school snacks with whatever we could find in the cupboard to becoming sous chef of a Michelin-starred fine-dining kitchen. Food taught me how to savor the moment, how to focus and work hard, how to appreciate cultures other than my own, and how to connect with people around me. It’s a common denominator – we all need it.  

But cooking in restaurants isn’t enough. There is too much pain, too much disparity, too much waste, too much sacrifice at all levels of the food system to ignore. As my passion, I knew I wanted to focus on food but in a healthy and sustainable way. So, I left the restaurant, but I stayed in the kitchen. After studying nutrition at MUIH I now manage community nutrition literacy programming, supporting underserved populations to take back control of their own health and healing through culinary skills training and wellness practices.  

MUIH is accepting applications for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing. This 8-month program is designed for individuals who want to reconnect to something essential for life. What does it mean to use food and cooking for personal and public good? If you are a chef looking to pivot your career, a caregiver for the chronically ill, a non-profit leader helping feed your community, a home-cook wanting to raise a healthy family, or if you are simply curious about nutrition and self-care – this is an opportunity to focus on how what we eat does define who we are. The food we consume impacts not just our bodies but our mentalities, economies, communities, and environments. It is essential that we understand these connections so that we can help build a healthier world from our kitchens. 

 

Christina Vollbrecht 
Adjunct Faculty/Cooking Lab Manager/Nutrition Literacy Outreach Programs 
MUIH MS Nutrition and Integrative Health Alumni 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing: Self-Efficacy and Community Health from the Kitchen

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Making healthy meal

Cooking is about more than flavor! A focus of MUIH’s new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing is giving students information they need to take back control of their own health and the tools they need to share this nutritional literacy with their communities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed our food and health care systems to the breaking point, at no fault of the individuals devoted to these industries. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotted more assistance to families and individuals in 2020 than in the history of the program (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2020) while hospitals are still running at maximum capacity to this day, dealing now with complications related to chronic illness like diabetes and high blood pressure as thousands delayed their medical care over the past year and a half. 

The Culinary Health and Healing curriculum provides students with the contextual, culinary, nutritional, and teaching background needed to make a significant difference in their communities. Malnutrition is more than not having enough to eat, it is not having the right food to eat, and is directly associated with the development of chronic disease and obesity. The multidimensional problem of malnutrition is related to culture, industry, the economy, politics, agriculture, education, healthcare, and inequitable division of power and resources. But there are accessible ways to regain individual health autonomy and prevent chronic disease in our communities. 

The program offers culinary skills training in addition to providing a solid introduction to behavior change, culinary education, and mindful eatingNutritional literacy is defined as individual knowledge, motivation, competencies, and awareness of one’s relationship to food, the food system, and nutrition (Vettori et al., 2019). Research and experience have demonstrated that higher nutritional literacy strengthens one’s self-efficacy, increases positive health behavior change, and returns power to the individual. This program combines knowledge with increased behavioral confidence for the students themselves and provides training for students to share this knowledge with others.  

MUIH is now accepting applications from individuals for the Spring 2022 start for this Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing. We’re looking for applicants who want to understand the science of cooking and make a positive impact on their own health and wellness in addition to becoming leaders in a quickly changing food and health landscape through sustainable and equitable nourishment practices. 

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals: Why it Pays to be Legally Covered

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Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals: Why to Pays to Be Legally Covered

By: Lisa Fraley, MUIH Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) Guest Faculty, JD, CHHC, AADP, Legal Coach®, Attorney, Speaker & #1 Best Selling Author

If you’re like most holistic health entrepreneurs, you’re probably thinking:

The last thing I want to do is deal with the legal stuff in my business.
Why are lawyers so expensive anyway?
Do I REALLY need to have legal documents on my website and for use with clients?

Can’t I just grab something cheaply off of the internet? Or better yet, can’t I just copy my friend’s legal document?

I know, I know. It’s not everyone’s idea of fun to get your legal documents in place. (Especially if you’re getting them without any Legal Love™ coming your way.)

You just want to:

  • focus on what you do best – working with clients and changing the world.
  • get what legal doc is fastest, easiest and cheapest, so you don’t have to spend too much money (or really ANY money).
  • buy some really cheap legal doc from an online service or use someone else’s document in your field.

Aren’t all legal docs essentially the same anyway?

Nope! They aren’t all the same.

Like with most things, when you’re trying to take a shortcut or the easy way out, you get what you pay for. The cheap version breaks. It gives out. It ends up being flimsy. It doesn’t hold up.

The same is true when it comes to legal documents.

Legal Love Tip™: Copying your friend’s legal document could make it worse. 

Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. It may not even fully cover you.

If your friend cut and pasted the wrong language from the internet or used someone else’s document, you could be exposed.

You could be getting a chopped up, piecemeal document (that neither you nor they know is piecemeal).

You could use a document that doesn’t even apply to you.

You could copy someone else’s legal document and make it worse than not having one at all.

One health coach client came to me to have me review her Client Agreement… only it was a template she got off the internet for a CONSTRUCTION company. She had no idea it was full of language that made no sense for a health coach and that could hurt her. I kid you not.

Even if a document was initially prepared by a lawyer, I can’t tell you how many times people try to edit their own legal documents and make mistakes.

Both of you could end up using legal language that doesn’t sufficiently cover either of you which can leave you open to giving refunds or dealing with conflicts and confrontation from clients or other people.

  1. It could be a violation.

Unbeknownst to you, copying a friend’s document is actually taking (some might say “stealing”) work that someone else paid for.

You might be violating their copyright rights. You might be using the document without permission.

Even if they say “it’s okay” to copy their document, it might not be okay. They could be violating copyright laws by giving it to you. Don’t put them or yourself in that position.

  1. It can be bad karma.

Copying someone else’s work probably isn’t truly in alignment with your core values and the type of person you want to be.

It can be bad juju. It can be low-vibe.

It’s not showing respect for your work or business or for other people’s work or business.

Did you know that when you put legit contracts and terms in place, you support your sacral chakra?

Your sacral chakra is your 2nd chakra down in your hip region “where all of the good stuff lives”, as I like to say. When you use high vibe (not copied!) legal documents, you’re aligning yourself with expansiveness, abundance, and boundaries associated with the sacral chakra.

You’re showing respect for your business – and as you do so, other people will tend to show your business trust and respect too.

Here’s to taking the time to get the right legal documents and legal tips for integrative health professionals for YOUR business by doing it right and honoring yourself and your biz – and not copying others’ docs.

As a MUIH PCE Partner*, we’re excited to extend a special 10% discount to the MUIH Community on all Legal Love trusted DIY Legal Templates with the promo code MUIH at checkout! 

With Legal Love™,

P.S. Hear more about these reasons and also receive 3 tips for choosing the right documents for you in this previously-aired Legally Enlightened Podcast Episode HERE. And if you need help with getting legal docs for your biz, just hit reply and let us know. We’re always happy to help or to refer you to another attorney who can help you.

Easy legal steps for entrepreneurs and small business owners – with lots of Legal Love™.
Get free legal tips, DIY legal templates and online legal courses at lisafraley.com

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals

*Affiliate Disclosure:  MUIH receives a referral commission on all purchases made through the MUIH partner link with the exclusive MUIH partner discount.  There is no additional cost to you by using this link, and your generous support allows us to offer more Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) programming in the future.

Why Sports Nutrition is Changing and Becoming a Required Subspeciality

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by Dr. Oscar Coetzee – Associate Professor/Clinician/Researcher

What is Sports Nutrition?

Nutrition is one of the fastest growing professions in the world according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. It will grow as a profession between 15% – 22% in the next five years, and it is estimated due to the chronic illness in the USA, the demand will outweigh the supply. The integration of the Functional Medical Paradigm all over the world in education, is setting nutritional professionals apart from any other medical specialty, as the true success of functional medicine lies in the nutritional intervention and lifestyle modifications. Thus, many subspecialities are forming in nutrition, and the one still on the outside looking in, is sports nutrition. 

The Importance of Sports Nutrition

Every aspect of sport performance enhancement today is at the highest level through the evolution of computer science and high-level biomedical research. Yet, in sports nutrition it is still about macros and calories, and pretty much a one size fits all approach. Some diets like Carbohydrate loading, Ketogenic or Paleolithic and certain nutraceuticals are highly touted for sports performance, but none of these have been truly investigated through proper research in the scientific literature. Bio-individuality seems to be left out when it comes to sports nutrition specifically. Various electrolytes, antioxidants, fatty acids and branched chain amino acids are frequently promoted as the all-encompassing nutrients for top athletes. But are they? Is it possible that for one athlete a specific amino acid or antioxidant can be a friend and for another a foe? As a part of my practice, I have worked with professional athletes for more than 15 years. I have sculpted my assessments and interventions through trial and error and created a new area of sports performance that I term Psychonutrigenomics. In collaboration with Diagnostic Lab Solutions, my team and I have been able to take sports performance, sports nutrition and sports immunity to a level of total athletic individuality. Through the implementation of this approach, we have had various international victories and successes, taking our athletes to the peak of individual achievement. 

It is time that we march to a different drummer, time to truly evolve the field of sports nutrition and performance by integrating the individual assessments of metabolic, physical, genetic, biochemical and psychological markers. As an example, mental clarity and anxiety control can come from proper nutrient absorption through the conversion of amino acids like tryptophan and tyrosine. They convert into neurotransmitters (NT) serotonin and dopamine, which in turn convert into some catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine. These NT and catecholamines have everything to do with focus, motivation, concentration and athletic performance and they require iron, vit. C and B6, and SAMe.  These micronutrients can only be obtained through food and supplementation, of which most humans in the USA are deficient. In addition to this, some people have issues genetically in converting these, and others are just in a state of malabsorption due to overtraining or intestinal permeability, thus they cannot have these intermediates convert properly. The science of nutritional assessment has come very far, and today we can determine if you have a genetic shortcoming, if you are immunocompromised, if you are malnourished, if you have an energy conversion deficit or all the above. 

In order to evolve athletes to optimal performance from a bio-individual perspective; the athlete needs to be assessed at 5 levels:

  1. Psychology of performance – assessing personality performance profiling. 
  2. Proteomicsthe large-scale study of proteins, and their involvement in human performance. 
  3. Metabolomicsthe scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates and products of metabolism, as it relates to energy and athletic performance. 
  4. Nutrigenomicsthe scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the optimizing performance.
  5. Microbiomesthe study of the totality of microorganisms and their collective genetic material present in or on the human body and the effect on human performance, recovery and immunity. 

In partnering with Diagnostic Solutions Lab, we incorporate various functional tests, to determine the origin and baseline of each athlete, in order to design the appropriate intervention strategy not only for performance but also recovery, something that is very often overlooked in professional athletes. 

Various tests we use from DSL to assess the above criteria: 

  1. The GI-MAP’s accuracy and reliability allows practitioners to create personalized treatment protocols to address gut dysfunction. Although qPCR is becoming more commonplace in in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), DSL is the only laboratory in the United States exclusively using qPCR technology for advanced comprehensive stool testing. This technology is used routinely in clinical and academic research because it provides highly-accurate quantification, as well as high levels of sensitivity and specificity. Standard PCR technology doesn’t offer the same level of sensitivity, or the ability to express precise numerical results.
  2. GenomicInsight provides a global view of the interconnectedness of SNPs and offers access to information that reveal lifestyle and therapeutic recommendations that may influence a gene’s expression and function. The role of genomics and epigenetics is recognized as an important tool in monitoring, preventing, and treating dysfunction. Furthermore, medical literature supports that epigenetics (the impact of the environment on gene expression) plays a critical role in human health. GenomicInsight with Opus23 Explorer identifies how the function or dysfunction of one gene impacts the expression and function of a separately-related gene or SNP. 
  3. Labrix introduced neurotransmitter testing in 2012, meeting the need for non-invasive solutions for practitioners who wanted a more comprehensive view of the body’s functional neuroendocrine status. Doctor’s Data neurotransmitter testing utilizes HPLC Triple Quadrupole MS/MS technology which is proving to be the most sensitive and accurate methodology for measuring urinary neurotransmitters. This testing has higher sensitivity and has stronger results reproducibility than has been available through other methodologies; this gives you far greater confidence in the reported results.
  4. Functional Blood work overview. All our athletes are also screened through their CBC and CMP panels from a functional perspective to review any underlying, or early-stage chronic inflammation or metabolic issues that can inhibit performance. Looking at conventional blood markers and assessing them based on optimal levels.  Too often people fall into “normal” ranges on their blood work performed by their doctors, and although they feel sick, they are told everything is normal.  By taking a deeper look, and combining regular blood work with additional functional markers, a more comprehensive assessment can be made regarding one’s current performance and in the future. In a 2019 review article by Pedlar et al. they found that serial blood test data can be used to monitor athletes and make inferences about the efficacy of training interventions, nutritional strategies or indeed the capacity to tolerate training load. Via a profiling and monitoring approach, blood biomarker measurement combined with contextual data has the potential to help athletes avoid injury and illness via adjustments to diet, training load and recovery strategies. Since wide inter-individual variability exists in many biomarkers, clinical population-based reference data can be of limited value in athletes, and statistical methods for longitudinal data are required to identify meaningful changes within an athlete. 
  5. Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in the urine of mammals that are products of metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of chemical reactions in living beings by which the body builds new molecules and breaks down molecules to eliminate waste products and produce energy – understanding energy is vital in athletes. Organic acids are most commonly analyzed in urine because they are not extensively reabsorbed in the kidney tubules after glomerular filtration.  Thus, organic acids in urine are often present at 100 times their concentration in the blood serum and thus are more readily detected in urine.  

How to Use Sports Nutrition in Practice

Once we have reviewed all the above information, we can build a nutritional protocol for athletes, around their genetic makeup, assisting in the weaker areas of the genetics, through a strong nutritional prevention strategy. We can assess inflammation, metabolic energy status, and the levels of immune suppression by looking at the other markers, and design intervention strategies to address those issues. 

This level of scientific precision and assessment on an individual nutritional level, is not going to be the exception but the rule for future professional athlete intervention. The change of a higher level in the standard of care has already begun for competitive athletes and weekend warriors. Using these tools at our disposal will help us in the future better understand the different needs of different kinds of athletes, and the level of stress and depletions these sports put on our bodies. 

Maryland University of Integrative Health is one educational institution that is taking the lead in enhancing this new subspeciality.It’s Masters of Nutrition and Integrative Health also trains the future nutritionist at a level of superior functional assessment by investigating all the above biochemical assessments in some of their core courses. The best way to become a good sports nutritionist is to have a very good base education in the overall nutritional sciences. 

In conclusion as biochemist Dr. Roger J. Williams states in his book “Biochemical Individuality”: There is no such thing as an average person, we are all genetically and biologically unique. But when sperm meets egg, our characteristics are not locked in stone, bad genes do not necessarily cause disease by themselves, and nutrition and environment can alter the outcome.

Resources

Pedlar, C.R., Newell, J. & Lewis, N.A. Blood Biomarker Profiling and Monitoring for High-Performance Physiology and Nutrition: Current Perspectives, Limitations and Recommendations. Sports Med 49, 185–198 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01158-x