Thursday, August 26, 2010

Treating Addictions: The Way of The Fist and The Palm

Addictions -and allergies- of any type can be treated by removing the stimuli (drug) and changing the receptivity of the person. As when a "kung-fu" salute ends, the fist and the palm must come apart and turn away from each other. The fist is the stimuli, and the palm is the person’s receptivity to it. “Pull the fist, turn the palm” is sage-like advice that works.

1. External trigger (The Fist): avoiding environmental exposure

1.1. Psychosocial:

Avoiding environmental/ informational/memory cues

1.2. Biological:

Avoiding slippery slope use of drug

2. Internal receptivity (The Palm): decreasing relapse risk

2.1. Psychosocial:

Increasing fear of adverse outcomes if drugs are used

Increasing support/self-esteem/importance if abstinence is practiced

Increasing desire to do good/ spirituality

2.2. Biological:

Treating withdrawal, blocking the effects of the drug

Treating other predisposing disorders (Axis I/II in psychiatry)

Increasing biological resilience: exercise, diet, meditation

Alexander B. Niculescu, III, MD, PhD

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aging, longevity and the mind

Aging and longevity are opposite sides of the same coin, in a Yin-Yang relationship.

There are passive and active mechanisms for aging. The passive mechanisms involve "mileage on the car" type wear and tear, free radical damage, fibrosis, necrosis. The active mechanisms involve "shutting down" due to chronic overwhelming stress, adverse environment, being damaged without hope of improvement and being a burden to extended kin. They involve active gene expression and apoptosis, triggered by anxiety, depression and their whole-body correlates. Antidepressant/antianxiety medications and therapies can have a role in mitigating these active mechanism. Modulate your Mindscape to modulate aging.

Similarly, there are passive and active mechanisms for longevity. The passive mechanisms involve "genetic lottery", inherited high levels of activity of detoxifying and free radical mopping enzymes. The active mechanisms involve "environmental choices and actions", upregulation of repair mechanisms triggered by intermittent manageable stress, such as with exercise and calorie restriction.