A WAKE-UP CALL (or two….)
Just one week ago, we returned from the Inaugural ISEAI meeting just outside of Phoenix. It was a glorious meeting, and with the help of our “ISEAI village” it went remarkably smoothly. The excitement, (with over 300 folks in the audience) was palpable from the beginning of the meeting to its conclusion. Attendees, vendors and speakers were all caught up in our vision of creating a medical society that we hope will change the way we treat challenging patients, certify physicians to do so, and affect the consciousness of our world to the dangers of encroaching toxicity.
As Conference Chair I was so caught up in the moment that I did not have time to reflect on what I had learned, but am doing so now.
As I poured over my notes, I was struck by the realization that I was experiencing some reluctance to embrace some of the new information that was presented. Oh, my goodness, I am becoming complacent! The very quality that I have castigated conventional medical colleagues for, I was starting to slide into myself. I pride myself (nasty word, that, but perhaps truer than I would wish) on being on the cutting edge of learning and medical practice, and yet I realized in that moment that I have gotten a bit too comfortable with the way I practice medicine, that sometimes it seems “good enough”. But that is never true, and like the wake-up call this is, I have jumped back into studying and clarifying the treatment details I learned so that I can go back to helping my patients to improve optimally.
Thanks, I needed that!
Let me review what for me, were the highlights of our meeting. On Friday morning, Dr. Sonia Rapaport welcomed us warmly and began the process of the overview that is the ISEAI program. This was followed by a fabulous talk by Dr. Robert Naviaux that expanded his vision of the Cell Danger Response and provided for us a model of how to view chronic illness, even aging, with a cellular model that can be expanded to include the entire being.
Later that day, we were treated to a review by Dr. Joseph Brewer and Dr. Janette Hope of their research and approach to understanding and treating mold toxicity. This was followed by Michael Schrantz’s overview of how to evaluate moldy buildings (which he expanded upon the next day).
By now, the buzz that had started the meeting had grown.
Taking a deep breath, we prepared for the amazing line-up of our Saturday speakers. Bob Miller kicked it off with a breakfast meeting in which he outlined the biochemistry of chronic illness with a focus on
the importance of NADH.
This was followed by Dr. Joseph Burrascano’s review of the latest information on Lyme disease and its coinfections, and then by Dr. Richard Horowitz’s brilliant discussion of how to evaluate Lyme patients and the breakthrough work he has done on taking the research on persister cells done by Dr. Zhang at Johns Hopkins and converting that into a practical approach to treating Lyme and Bartonella patients who were not moving forward with their treatments.
The afternoon was spent in the company of Dr. Kelly McCann and Dr. Lyn Patrickwho delved into the frightening world of heavy metal and environmental toxins and had us all wondering what we, personally, were being exposed to and how well our bodies were handling it. I was motivated to go home and immediately order an analysis of my well water to see if I was getting exposed to something without my awareness. The excellence of these presentation was demonstrated by the realization of the audience at how toxic our world has become and how important that we begin to do something about it as soon as possible. Dr. Naviaux encouraged me to go to the website of the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.edu) to learn more about our environment and practical solutions for improving our ability to handle it. I had decided that when my own mold toxicity was completely resolved, that I would remain on a daily dose of chlorella, charcoal and clay to hold at bay the toxins to which we are all exposed, probably forever, and to continue taking supplements to improve the ability of my liver to detoxify, again, probably forever.
After taking another deep breath, the next day we were treated to a discussion by Annie Hopper on the importance of the limbic system, and we then went into some case reviews in detail.
During the conference, we had arranged to give awards to some of the physicians who have pioneered treatments and I was honored to present these to Dr. Naviaux, Dr. Brewer, Dr. Michael Gray, Dr. Burrascano and Dr. Horowitz, all of whom received standing ovations as their awards were presented. I was surprised and moved (near tears but I didn’t show it, I hope) when Dr. Rapaport then presented one of these awards to me, as well.
Neil and his ISEAI.org recognition award