Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Theory of Opposing Processes in Illness and Healing


Maggie and Joe McCarey-Korkin

The Underlying Mechanism of Alternative Healing

Non-traditional healing methodologies, referred to as alternative healing, are now grudgingly acknowledged as providing varying degrees of benefit for a broad spectrum of physical illness. However, the non-invasive and nonvisual nature of these healing techniques gives scoffers the means to debunk their powerful underlying healing mechanisms and modes of therapeutic action.
These challenges are fueled both by religious and medical pedagogies based in tradition and domination rather than in testable explanations and predictions about the universe, or as it is known, science. To begin with, the medieval church gained control of medicine by hanging or burning anyone who practiced medicine outside its control. Using the populace’s archetypal fear of witches and medicine men, the church convinced people that such healing came from the devil, especially if the patient survived. Archetypes never die. To this day, alternative healing has been dismissed, at worst as witchcraft, and at best, as “alternative.”

Consequently, alternative healing modalities are still thought to be ignorant, dangerous, and parochial: hocus locus, based in pagan spirituality, rather than in science. This view is still believed and promoted by the medical community, including insurance companies, and law makers who disallow the efficacy of any healing method outside its control. And for good reason. There is no profit in alternative healing. which is found in the hands of all who accept that human beings are born with an ability to give and receive healing energy from each other. To challenge this innate power is to challenge the texts from which you derive your understanding of God’s nature, but the tightly managed fear of others, keeps the world afraid of gospel medicine.
We hope with this research to refute and debunk the AMA’s tight control over our bodies by providing a general theoretical framework and scientific application to the underlying mechanism of alternative healing.

A List of Alternative Healing Modalities
Yoga* Prayer* reiki* cranial sacral therapy* Singing* Laugh Therapy* meditative music* Deep Breathing* therapeutic touch* positive thinking* laying on of hands* acupuncture* bio-sonic repatterining* crystal healing, chakra* healing* tuning forks* humming bowls* chanting* quantum healing* AMMA therapy* aromatherapy* breema bodywork* dance therapy* Feldenkrais method* Jin Shin Jyutsu* hot rocks therapy* massage* myofascial release* Qi Cong* shiatsui* art therapy* color therapy* eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)* guided imagery* music therapy* neuro-linguistic programing (NLP)* stress management* T’ai Chi* herbal therapy, hydrotherapy* magnetic therapy* acupuncture, and more.

OUR HYPOTHESIS
SCIENCE:
All matter is composed of molecules which, in turn, are composed of atoms. Going further still, one finds that these atoms are composed of members of an ever-growing list of elemental particles. Atoms attain their unique character by virtue of the structural arrangement of their constituent elemental particles. This structural relationship is determined by the energetic interaction between those elemental particles. Similarly, the structure of molecules and their energetic interactions with atoms ensure an ongoing
dynamic present in the body. Let's explore how this concept can scale macroscopically within a biological context and understand why it may be significant.


The human body is composed of many mechanically and electrically inter-connected structures comprised of different types of cells. In this view, biological activity is analogous to our gross description of raw matter above. We know that if large enough quantities of those cellular components are altered from their normal composition the associated structure malfunctions. Profound consequences can result due to the inter-connected nature of those structures resulting in a domino effect of failure or disease.
MEDICAL SCIENCE:
As an example to introduce one of the central underpinnings of our theory, consider one aspect of the human heart: heart rate. The rate at which the heart beats is determined by
the signals it receives from the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. One system instructs the heart to beat faster in one system while the other system receives a slower instruction. The result is a constantly changing activation signal. Researchers disagree whether those activation signals can be strictly classified as chaotic or simply complex as viewed through the analytical lens of nonlinear dynamical systems theory. What is most interesting for our purpose is that if the complexity of the heart activation signal is lost or absent, so that the signal is uniform and periodic, then heart malfunction is imminent[1].

Here we observe two opposing processes such that if one were operating in isolation the destruction of the heart muscle would be rapid and certain. Yet it is the counter balancing effect of one process juxtaposed against the other that sustains the heart. Moreover the normal healthy functioning is one of controlled imbalance; the result is non-uniform. This elaborate dynamic has been identified in many areas of nature, physics and physiology.

ENERGY PHYSICS:
The two important features common to all normal functioning is the presence of simultaneous opposing processes and the resulting chaotic or non-uniform dynamic in which those processes engage each other.
How are these observations critical to healing in the context of the human body? The answer may be found within another area of research: energy physics. The property of sonoluminescence is the occurrence of a brief flash of light that is emitted from a collapsing gas bubble embedded in a viscous liquid that has been subjected to continuous sound waves. After the bubble reaches maximum compression and the flash of light is emitted from the core which is now in an extremely high energy state, it begins expanding rapidly. One would expect the bubble to simply expand and disintegrate but instead the resulting vacuum that is creating within the bubble prevents this by creating an internal counterforce to the rapidly accelerating bubble membrane. The bubble reaches a maximum expansion state until the arrival of a next sound wave which restarts the compression phase. Theories place the temperature of the compressed plasma within the bubble at around four times the temperature of our sun[3]. This phenomenon is neither revolutionary nor unique in our universe. “One of the key unsolved problems of physics relates to the motion continuous media and can be formulated as follows: Why is there a general tendency of the off-equilibrium motion of continuous media to be characterized by the formation of structures and the focusing of energy?” [4]

SCIENCE
A large percentage of the human body is continuous media whose off-equilibrium motion either on a macro or micro scale is critical to healthy functioning as we have illustrated with our earlier discussion of heart rate activation signals. If uniformity is imposed on those processes, passed from a healthy system to the sick system, normal function of the second system may be restored by retraining those processes such that its dynamic is once again non periodic or chaotic.

Before the world was round, it was flat. Before the body was understood, it was a stick figure, which after time, was known to have removable and non-removable parts.
A this stage in history, the human race is trying to understand that the body is more than a stick figure with removable and non-removable parts. It is trying to understand that, like planets and solar systems, it is both a macrocosm and microcosm of life. We are beginning to grasp the scientifically based notion that the body perfect synchronizes energetically and vibrationally to the All of Life—plants, trees, waves, sound, light vibration, and other living beings. We are slowly comprehending that the body perfect performs continuous media that looks like the above dominoes illustration in constant motion and in simultaneous overlaying configurations rather than the hours, days, and years we assign to explain existence: nonorganic words like life, death, eternity. The theologian Paul wrote a perfect description of learning to see life in the midst of life. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (Second Corinthians 4: 17-18. ) It is this principle of the unseen and our dedication “to see beyond the “accepted and approved” world” that holds the key to health in the future.


In the time you have read this paper your body has, ever so quietly, and ever so swiftly, used its intelligence to perform billions of little expansions and contractions. Unfortunately, when this silent process repeatedly misses a signal, it impedes the actions of the original blue print. No problem. Knowledge of missed signals is part of the body’s self-healing protocol. It simply finds a new route in order to sustain life. To the untrained eye, this valiant and creative effort to survive is called disease rather than correction. In truth, it is creative, not failed, and for us who have lipedema and/or lymphedema, the body correcting itself looks like this:

The unseen triumph of the lipese body is that it is determined to keep its malaise from the internal organs needed to sustain life. This view of the body is compatible with a cosmological notion that God knows even when a sparrow falls from the sky. Ever vigilant, concerned with survival, caring and nurturing the whole, it constantly adapts to heal itself.
THE SCIENCE OF ENTRAINMENT:
Some mechanism must first exist, either artificially or in nature, if retraining of a process or energy pattern to another pattern is to occur. Again we can benefit from a historically early exercise in basic scientific observation and method. The phenomenon of entrainment was discovered in 1660 by Christiaan Huygens when he observed that if two separate pendulum clocks are mounted to a board their pendulum swings will become synchronized [5]. This happens because each clock imparts a very small amount of energy to the other clock and a type of feedback loop is created the forces the clocks to synchronize. Entrainment of mutually coupled systems has been observed and studied in biological, physical, electrical, social and financial systems.

The synchronization of two separate pendulum clocks lead us to the “HOW” alternative healing works. Our research argues that this entrainment event is the core mechanism to the success of alternative healing.
We have shown results from energy physics that off-equilibrium motion within a continuous media results in the formation of structures and that the focusing of energy is ubiquitous in nature. We believe that an individual with a consciously maintained healthy energy structures resulting from off-equilibrium motion within there cellular media should be to focus the resulting energy field onto the energy field of a less healthy individual. Entrainment would then cause the less healthy field to lock to the healthy one.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW WE HEAL EACH OTHER:
Over time the associated underlying structures of the less healthy individual would also improve. It is critical to note that it is unlikely the healthy energy pattern would lock or entrain to the unhealthy one. The reason is that the unhealthy energy pattern is the result of passive entrainment to uniformity through the mechanisms of culture, diet and substances, whereas the healthy energy pattern is consciously cultivated and maintained and therefore more resilient.

Alternative healing then is analogous to a healthy person rewriting and rebooting the cellular memory of a person who is ill as defined in the phenomena of entrainment. His or her health state restores the unhealthy state back to healthy.
 
1. Wu GQ, Arzeno NM, Shen LL, Tang DK, Zheng DA, et al. (2009) Chaotic signatures of heart rate variability and its power spectrum in health, aging and heart failure. PLoS One
2. Vinita Rangroo Thrane, Alexander S. Thrane, Benjamin A. Plog, Meenakshisundaram Thiyagarajan, Jeffrey J. Iliff, Rashid Deane, Erlend A. Nagelhus, Maiken Nedergaard (2013).
"Paravascular microcirculation facilitates rapid lipid transport and astrocyte signaling in the brain". Scientific Reports 3 (2582). doi:10.1038/srep02582. Retrieved 9 December 2013.3. Putterman, Seth (1995). “Sonoluminescence: Sound into Light”. Scientific American(32), February 1995.
4. Seth Putterman, Professor UCLA. Sonoluminescence research website at ucla.edu
5. Birch, Thomas, "The History of the Royal Society of London, for Improving of Natural Knowledge, in which the most considerable of those papers...as a supplement to the Philosophical Transactions," vol 2, (1756) p 19.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Celebrating 100,000 blog views


By Maggie McCarey, Stefanie Gwinn-Vega, Christina Williams Routon & Tatjana van der Krabben

We’ve been posting on social media about a surprise, and to us it truly is. We certainly have been looking forward to this moment, guessing what day it would happen. And here it is!

In November 2012 we started the LIPESE blog with this blog post:
My Experience - MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) and Compression Therapy


 
3 years and almost 100 blog posts later we have hit 100,000 blog views! Early Christmas morning, no less.

Thank you for reading the LIPESE lipedema blog

Not even in our wildest dreams did we anticipate our blog to be this well-read, or that we would write this many blog posts. It has proven to be a valuable platform to spread realistic information about lipedema and lipedema treatment. It has proven its worth particularly for those living in corners of the world where there is no expert help present, or for those unable to travel to the conferences to hear about the latest research, or those who can’t afford to see an informed specialist. We sincerely hope it will continue to be that little light out there.

Giveaway to celebrate 100,000 blog views

To celebrate this milestone of 100,000 blog views we are giving away 10 copies of Tatjana’s ebook Welcome… which will appear January 2016. Part of the proceeds of this book will go towards lipedema research. For Lipese it will hopefully mark the start of supporting significant lipedema research financially.

If you would like to win a copy of Welcome…, you can enter by leaving your name in comments. On January 12, 2016 we’ll draw the winners!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Losing circumference and weight with lipedema legs

By Tatjana van der Krabben

Losing weight from your legs and losing circumference on your legs. Despite having lipedema. Can it be done? Many say no. Some say yes. Now, what is it? It’s individual, that’s what it is. It’s always individual cases of people saying they managed to lose weight and they do it with very personal, customized regimes.
But what makes weight-loss in lipedema legs possible for some?

There are 3 factors that we know of. If you’re lucky one or more of these factors could help you reduce mass on your legs (and lipedema arms).

Inflammation


Although still not broadly supported, and certainly not in literature, it is believed that lipedema flares up with inflammation. With inflammation not only comes pain and fatigue, but also swelling. If you manage to reduce inflammation, you may be able to reduce the swelling. You’ll mostly shift water weight and toxins, but as a big added bonus you’ll feel better for it, too.

We don’t respond all alike to inflammatory factors. Some of us have cut out so many foods, additives and allergens they are clueless what else could possibly be causing the remaining inflammation. Others drop bread and sugar to a degree and shed pounds instantly. No, fairness is not on the table in the lipedema world.

An untreated serious edema component

If you have lipo-lymphedema or a strong edema component with your lipedema for another reason and you haven’t started treatment for that, there’s a lot to gain. Or to lose, actually. The more edema you have, the more water weight could be shifted.

Could, because the edema component is there for a reason. If you’re prone to swelling, it won’t magically disappear with (self) management. Or perhaps you can’t afford treatment or don’t have access to proper treatment. It takes hard work and more so dedication, but with untreated edema there’s usually margin for improvement there.

Amount of lipedema tissue in your legs


The top two factors I was aware of. But this one was an eye opener:

We don’t all have the same amount of lipedema tissue in our limbs.
As explained to me in a presentation by a therapist specialized in lipedema: some of us are lucky and still have a good amount of normal fat cells in their legs. That would be good news since normal fat cells do what the fat police wants: they do respond to diet and exercise. And there’s your personal margin for improvement. Assuming your thyroid is on top of his game and you’re physically able to exercise and, and…

Unfortunately all these factors are highly individual. This makes good results with diet, exercise, supplements and what not also highly individual. “Because I did it” is not proof you can lose lipedema weight. Most likely, if you have lost weight, you lost water weight and/or normal, unaffected fat, which is great, of course. Even if you don’t care too much about your size, dragging less weight around with you is always easier. It also may very well be a sign you are not only managing your weight, but also your lipedema in a way you experience less symptoms.

I would say (self) management of lipedema matters always. Whether you manage to drop weight or not. There are other things to gain from lipedema management: less discomfort, less pain, less fatigue and improved mobility. As I get older I must say I value these factors more than that number on my scales.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The relationship between cortisol and estrogen - Part 4

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), the “master stress hormone” and the Greek Chorus

By Maggie McCarey


THE GREEK CHORUS: Each of us has a Greek chorus inside our heads, every waking and sleeping moment of the day.  Unbeknownst to us, they call upon our  hypothalamus to coordinate their reaction to everything we do.  Most often they are messengers of doom.
 
THE HYPOTHALAMUS: Vanessa Bennington describes the hypothalamus in What You Don’t Know About CRH Can Kill You. She says: Our hypothalamus is the control center. It receives messages from within the body that tell it if we are indeed in stress, and then the hypothalamus coordinates the actions needed for the body to react. Our emotions, skin temperature, pain level, and electrolyte balance are all things that the hypothalamus compares to our baseline. Basically, the hypothalamus functions as the epicenter for the mind-body connection.  http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/what-you-dont-know-about-crh-can-kill-you
 
Now, while we think of stress as negative, it is also positive: emotions and memories evoked at a wedding, for example, the thrill of a winning lottery ticket or receiving an unexpected compliment, a cool drink on a hot day. And, a stressful event can be contradictory like watching the Olympics, and feeling both joy and sympathy, when another country  falls behind your country’s team. Butterfly surges in the tummy are perfect happy examples of the hypothalamus at work, too.

TRANSLATED: you are what you fear; what you hate; what you sing; you are what you love; what you need; what you pray ….YOU ARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE because your emotions trigger your hypothalamus to receive all external stimuli, without judgement,  and then to send it on to the appropriate department, like your tear ducts to make water, the vocal chords to sing or scream, the hands to clinch, or the feet to run.

HOW THE GREEK CHORUS CAME TO BE:  They are the sum total of our reactions to everything we have ever encountered outside our bodies perfect, as well as our genetics. If  what you felt at any given moment, was only one or even a dozen emotions, life would be grand, but that is not how we live, particularly in this age with the world, good and evil, at our finger tips. We have layers of complexity coming at us all of the time: commutes in insane traffic, our workload, a multitude of relationships to maintain, technology to learn, 15 hour a day schedules multiplied by the number of family members we have, financial burdens, climate change, sickness, childhood trauma, fear of flying, dating, divorce, boredom, rain, drought, no food in the fridge, tires to buy, fear of death, and desire for salvation, all heading to the hypothalamus (clearing house) at the same time.  As a result of selectivity, some members of the chorus dominate; others are silent. There’s just not enough time in a day to cope with all of it.
 
CHRONIC STRESS and CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE (CRH):  Corticotropin-releasing hormone is also called the “master stress” hormone.  It is released by the hypothalamus in response to stressful stimulation. Do you see where this goes?  Again quoting Bennington: CRH functions as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. CRHs role as a hormone is to stimulate the anterior pituitary glad to release adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH). ACTH then reaches the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland, which causes the synthesis of cortisol as well as several other hormones. So, when a stressful situation occurs, CRH goes up and eventually stimulates more cortisol production.” http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/what-you-dont-know-about-crh-can-kill-you 
 
If you are chronically stressed you will also be chronically over-stimulated and you will make high levels of cortisol  so that daily living will trigger and affect your body perfect like a wrecking ball coming at you.  Bennington says:  “Chronically increased cortisol levels …can lead to all sorts of issues like the redistribution of fat from the thighs and buttocks to the abdomen and upper back, insulin resistance, fluid retention, high blood pressure, decreased immune function, muscle and connective tissue wasting (joint pain, anyone?), and inhibited peptide and hormone production. Absolutely 0% of that is good for health or fitness.”

Chronic Stress?  That’s the full Greek Chorus singing Mozart’s Requiem on a loop day after day.

If you read the first three blogs on cortisol and estrogen, you may have just raised your cortisol a little….but there is more.

UNTIL WE BECOME AWAKE ENOUGH TO TRUST OUR HIGHER SELVES AND THEIR INNATE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR BODIES PERFECT, WE WILL NOT ACHIEVE PEACE WITHIN. NEITHER WILL WE ACHIEVE DETENTE  WITH OUR FAT AND SELF-LOATHING ILLUSIONS.  CHRONIC STRESS WILL CONTROL OUR LIVES UNTIL WE CAN HEAR  THE GREEK CHORUS’ KEENING FOR ITS LOST MOTHER AND RETURN TO SELF AS ONE WHO IS STRONG AND WISE.

We have to become good parents to our bodies, break through their pain in order to parley with lipedema. Our bodies do talk to us and they will cooperate with us when we are calm. They only want to be loved as they are.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sneaking a poorly known medical condition into fiction

By Tatjana van der Krabben

Lipedema: a poorly understood yet common condition that causes the legs, hips, buttocks, and sometimes arms as well to swell with fat and fluid. Diet and exercise help manage the condition, but won’t make it go away. The swelling changes your appearance, is painful, and hinders mobility.

I devote a lot of time to raising awareness for lipedema, a condition I have myself. Some days, with social media already flooded with requests to share messages etc., you just can’t help but wonder: what else is there? On a sunbed on a gorgeous beach in the Caribbean, that question collided with another one: could I write fiction? I love writing different formats and fiction was still on my writer’s bucket list.

The clash of both questions was a happy one. Ideas started to come to me and evolved around a main character who conveniently has lipedema. Like many aspiring authors I was initially more like a perspiring author. It can feel silly to say out loud that you want to write a book, even after having published non-fiction already. Any book lover can tell you that a book is A Big Deal and writing one equally so.

In April/May 2013 I planned to go to New York and that location was firmly planted in my brain. The main character chose to stay there, so to speak. In May 2013 I was in Schenectady, New York and told Maggie McCarey, a friend, co-blogger with Lipese, and author, about my plan to write a book about a character with lipedema and asked her to be my editor*. From that moment on I truly felt like an aspiring author. I frantically took notes and pictures of locations I wanted to use. In June 2013 I started writing and in August I threw out what I had written so far. Idea vs. reality: a not so lucky clash.

I picked up the pieces and started over, writing nights. The setting was still New York City, but the lipedema became less prominent. First and foremost I wanted it to be a good book, not something that had to evolve around lipedema. After all, that’s not how we lead our lives. This condition gradually infringes upon our lives, but it doesn’t define you. Lipedema is something intangible until you – finally – figure out what it is. You may even take the symptoms for granted until someone points out this isn’t ‘normal’, which happened to me. It’s also how I worked it into the book.

Lipedema is not the plot, nor a key factor. Then why bother bringing it up in the book? I just hope this book will reach people who simply take an interest in the book itself and then casually learn a little bit about lipedema. In the end it will also make the main character, Anne, a little easier to understand; she’s not lazy or passive, but in fact she’s slowed down by pain and fatigue a lot of the time, which she, like so many of us until finally diagnosed, takes for granted for lack of answers.

WELCOME… will be self-published as an ebook. I haven’t even attempted to interest an agent or publisher. This is a story I want told as it is, including and specifically with the references to lipedema symptoms like subliminal messages. That’s the lipedema advocate in me. Also, for each book sold, $0.50 (of $3.99 sales price) will go toward lipedema research. I wanted to be free to make these decisions.
____________________________________________________________________

 
WELCOME… - Anne, a 22-year-old dreamer, gets invited to stay in an upscale Manhattan apartment by her aunt, a wealthy widow with a zest for life. All Anne needs to do in exchange for a rent-free stay in New York, is to watch her aunt’s cat for six months while she enjoys an extended vacation in the Caribbean.
It looks like a sweet deal, and a great opportunity to escape failing friendships and an overbearing mother. Anne eagerly commits to the cushy job, but soon learns the arrangement is too good to be true…

Stay tuned for release info via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TatjanaWrites/

* Although the book was written with the help and support of Maggie McCarey, it is not a project by Lipese. Since this project does aim to raise awareness and research funds for lipedema, it has been granted a blog entry on this platform.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Irene’s naked truth about lipedema

By Tatjana van der Krabben

Recently Irene Captijn started a website to raise awareness for lipedema. I’ve known Irene for some time and have worked with her on another lipedema awareness project: the Dutch lipedema film We want to keep moving. Like she had her heart set on making that film, she was passionate about this websiteShe had my attention in no time with a beautiful picture of her in UV body paint, a creation by Liliana Hopman, with the slogan: Are you brave enough to see my naked truth?


Time to have a chat with this amazing lady about her new project!

How did you discover you have lipedema?
Unfortunately it took a long time before I found out. I was always a little heavy. All my life I’ve been dealing with my weight and my being overweight. I saw one dietitian after another, but they always told me the same: “I don’t know what it is; your diet looks fine.” And so on. I had an obvious pear shape; the excess fat was all on the legs and hips. After my two pregnancies I couldn’t fit into regular pants anymore, not even plus size pants. I stuffed my legs into self-made, wide-leg pants and I can’t even sew!
One day, in the school’s playground, a mother approached me and gently brought up that her mother-in-law had legs just like mine and that she had lipedema. After I returned home I immediately googled that word and found Tilly Smidt’s website. My legs were exactly like the legs in the pictures I found on that website. My family doctor was not convinced and assumed it simply was a name someone had come up with for fat distribution that described a pear-shape as opposed to an apple-shape, nothing more. Luckily, my doctor was willing to refer me to a dermatologist who gave me a diagnosis on the spot. I was actually happy about the diagnosis. There was a reason for my shape. It wasn’t lack of effort or discipline that caused me to be overweight. Unfortunately that happy feeling didn’t last…

Where did you get the idea to be a body paint model?
I do notice my health is taking a turn for the worse, despite everything I do to manage my lipedema. But the most important reasons for my activism are my daughters and the fact that they, too, have lipedema and already in an advanced stage. My brain is on fire for the cause because I feel someone needs to shout out for attention. It’s not really in my nature to be the center point of attention, but when it comes to lipedema I’m very passionate. 

I’m sick and tired of being labeled fat and lazy by the doctors I encounter and that they refuse to treat me ‘until I start making the effort and lose weight’. To a degree I get it; I work in healthcare myself and I, too, was raised with the notion that being fat is all your own fault… Society sees me as a fat woman who really let herself go, but the feeling of injustice in this matter sticks and stings, unfortunately. I’m so ready to be finally met with a some understanding and insight. If raising awareness could be done at a larger scale, somewhere a group of doctors could get their wake up call from it and start focusing more on the causes of lipedema. At this point we don’t even know what the cause is! Research is incredibly important and unfortunately research is currently being conducted at such a small scale. There are so many women who need help NOW.
I always said I would even go naked if that’s what it takes to get attention for this miserable condition. And that opportunity is exactly what crossed my path: at work I met a young lady who spontaneously started to talk about her mother, Liliana Hopman, who placed third in the 2015 global bodypainting competition with UV body paint. She showed me pictures and BAM…the idea was born.

You created a website about lipedema. What kind of information can people find there?
I’ve worked as a doctor’s assistant for years. I’m well aware of the perception of most doctors: 10 calories in and 50 calories out is the road to weight-loss. Period. There is no other way. When too heavy you overeat and exercise too little. There are no other options in their mindset; it’s what they were taught. Through my website I want to offer different information. It’s basic and limited to a description of lipedema, where to get diagnosed and information on self-management. I limited myself to bit-sized information on purpose: doctors are not interested in reading lengthy texts to start out with. Especially not about women dealing with excess fat. After all, they assume to already know the answer to that problem. By keeping it short, odds are more in your favor they’ll actually read the information.

The site links to the more elaborate websites that are already around. That way you can get to more detailed information if you like. The website is also for women who believe they may have lipedema. I’m aiming for a short, accessible website, keeping all the information in one place and the opportunity to go more in-depth by clicking the links to other websites.
 What do you hope to accomplish through your new website?
Awareness! At some point the earth was believed to be flat, right? Perception can change and knowledge can expand! Well, big legs (and arms) are not always the result of overeating and laziness. This notion needs to sink in. We need our own Pythagoras among doctors to prove this, who could help open the eyes of other doctors to another reality.

If the website would inspire 1 family doctor to refrain from labeling his or her patient as obese, but keep an open mind and refer that patient to a specialist, I would consider my 'nude mission' to be a success. I also hope that women who do not know yet what is wrong with their legs, or women who do know, but want to inform others, will use the information on the website.

Most attempts to raise awareness in reality evolve around informing friends and relatives of patients. You would rather target doctors. Can you tell us more about that?
Informing your own circle of friends and family is incredibly important. But like with our Dutch film, if you’re not careful, you keep targeting the same circle of people. Who takes time to look at that film? Those most likely to are the patient, their relatives, a neighbor, a friend, possibly a few therapists. But how do you go from there? If you take that route and target your own circle of friends and family via social media, specialists won’t see it, family doctors won’t and so forth. What I’m actually hoping for is that the bodypaint will provide a different angle and attract a new audience and seduce them into checking out the website. I feel it’s art. Let me rephrase that: it is art! I’ve started out promoting the website via Facebook. I do also intend to promote the site through different channels in the future; I’ll get to that later.

Should people be interested in collaborating with you or offering their help in some way, can they contact you?
But of course they can and yes, please! I can’t do this alone. I’m open to ideas and collaboration and possibly to a sequel to this bodypainting project. Sharing the website also helps a lot, of course. The site is available in both Dutch and English. This is the link to my contact details.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Relationship between Cortisol and Estrogen - Part 3


Cortisol, Estrogen and Leptin: Is this the Party to Whom I am Speaking?

By Maggie McCarey
Life is a system engineered with such intelligence that humankind has barely grasped at the most elementary components of the body perfect and thus has contrived only the most remedial means of healing it. Five hundred years of allopathic medicine have remained essentially the same: cut the diseased area out if you can live without it, or if you have two of them, you have one to spare. Any  “diseased” organ is fair game:  tonsils, appendix, adenoids, gallbladder, uterus, kidney, lung, connectors in the frontal lobe of the brain. Or, they have treated the area of the body that can be seen via x-ray etc. with chemicals. 
 
Only in the last few years have researchers begun to see the body as a hubbub of activity with little messengers, peptides, neurotransmitters, etc., passing information from one organ to the next—billions of messages a second.

The researchers have also discovered that marauders known as bacteria and viruses attempt to trick, duplicate and replicate the body’s messengers in order to survive, which scrambles their ability to communicate and send forth proper messages. Worse yet, researchers have discovered that marauders  change DNA forward many generations causing major disruption in the body perfect, corrupting its memory and causing it to lose its ability to remain viable.
Slowly but surely, these discoveries move allopathic medicine in a new direction.  You will read more and more that researchers are looking for signals (messengers) which are stuck, failed, being held hostage or intercepted in diagnosing and curing disease.  In the very near future, identifying the “break” in the cable and repairing it, will become the foundation of good medicine.
If about now you are visualizing the human body as the beleaguered  Enterprise on a Star Trek episode, you have come to a greater understanding of living matter and its inter-dependent connectedness: your body perfect, a macrocosm of the universe.

So from now on, we are looking for the damaged signal,  the downed messenger, or the replicated virus posing as a messenger, and we are often looking for it in a gene marker in adipose. Yes, the organ that only a few years ago was called fat and turns out to be our first line of defense against illness. For example, adipocytes  within adipose secrete various factors known to play a role in immunological responses, vascular diseases and appetite regulation. One of those factors is leptin, a peptide hormone primarily made and secreted by mature adipocytes. It has various biological activities, including effects on appetite, food intake and body weight regulation, fertility, reproduction and hematopoiesis. (Source: Niemelä et al 2008)

We have much to learn about cortisol and estrogen through leptin. It is the hormone that keeps us from starving to death, and it teams up with estrogen in the brain at the hypothalamus. There, estrogen and leptin, perform their duties together, according to Geo Q, Horvath T. of Yale University, in a chewy paper entitled: Crosstalk BetweenEstrogen and Leptin Signaling in the Hypothalamus. In short, estrogen and leptin hook up in the brain and work together to keep a body balanced between starvation and unstoppable weight gain.  Apparently, our bodies didn’t get the message.
What happens if  you don’t have a high enough leptin level?
“…originally leptin was thought to exist to prevent obesity; this turns out to be incorrect. Rather, leptin exists to prevent starvation and the fall in leptin is what coordinates most of the bad things that happen on a diet. Your metabolic rate falls, dropping T3 (thyroid hormone) , increasing cortisol, increased appetite…”
All of these processes are adaptive to the fall in leptin when you diet. Did you catch that? Diets increase cortisol?  We now have cortisol and estrogen connected to leptin in the hypothalamus. Has this journey lead us to a cause of lipedema?  Probably not, but its better information with more potential to change our situation than the doctor’s perfunctory 1000 calories sheet handed to you for decades.

Let me underscore the above quote. “Rather, leptin exists to prevent starvation and the fall in leptin is what coordinates most of the bad things that happen on a diet.” Your metabolic rate falls, dropping T3 (thyroid hormone, increasing cortisol, increased appetite…” 

When you diet, you create an imbalance that increases cortisol which I speculate messes with the intricate language shared between estrogen and leptin. You wage war against against your own army of messengers.  To make matters worse, when the stomach shrinks from dieting,  compromised leptin is met in the stomach lining by ghrelin, a peptide hormone also known as the “hunger hormone” whose job is to maintain body weight.  Leptin  avoids starvation and is supported by friend ghrelin who intensifies the feeling of hunger when you diet for any length of time. You can observe this yourself when your body refuses to yield another pound.

How many times have you and I changed the signaling process between estrogen,  leptin, and other messengers, thus calling  for increased cortisol? Apparently, the answer is: the number of times we  have dieted.  What happens after years and years of destroying communication between estrogen and leptin? We know only one thing for sure.  We have increased cortisol in our body perfect. It is now on chronic  high alert. It is starving to death, or so it believes. And it lives in a world of want and despair.

Next:
Part 4 of Cortisol and Estrogen: All about Cortisol, How it Leads to Obesity, and What You Can Do About It.

Relationship between cortisol and estrogen, part I
Relationship between cortisol and estrogen, part II