How modern medicine is echoing ancient wisdom

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 30 March 2021

It would be very hard to argue the medical advances that we have made in the last century. I for one, am very grateful that I live in a time where I have access to antibiotics, modern day surgery techniques, and emergency drugs like an epi pen. These are all extremely helpful in emergency management and acute disease or trauma.

But what about chronic disease? This is where I believe naturopathic medicine has the basics right and modern medicine is starting to catch up.

Here are three of the top trending topics in cutting-edge medical research that have their origins in the ancient wisdom of naturopathic medicine:

  1. The Gut Microbiome:

The gut microbiome is a term used to describe the collective microbial community within your gastrointestinal system. For every one cell of you there are about 100 of them. Interest in the gut microbiome has been fuelled by efforts like the Human Microbiome Project, as well as an increasing awareness of the many ways in which the microbiome influences our systemic health, and especially the immune system.

From chronic infections to autoimmune disease, to ADD/ADHD, to mood disorders, and obesity. The sky is the limit for the research being done.

Want to go down the rabbit hole on this one? This is an easy place to start with links to many research articles by condition: Probiotic research

  1. Epigenetics:

Epigenetics translates to “above the genome”. If we think of the genome as our “book of life” and the genes as the stories within that book, then the epigenetic marks are either “sticky notes” that tell what stories are to be read in a specific cell, or “paper clips” that prevent reading of specific stories within the genome. So what ultimately controls the expression of our genome is our lifestyle and environment. Because the presence or absence of nutrients and toxins will either add sticky notes or paper clips. At least eighty percent of the chronic disease you will experience is determined by your lifestyle and environment choices. You are what you eat, what you think, and the environment you live in.

For more information on epigenetics, start with the so called father of epigenetic research Dr. Jeffrey Bland: The Disease Delusion on Pub Med

  1. Sleep Deprivation:

Is sleep deprivation as dangerous as smoking to your overall health and longevity? Decreased quantity and quality of sleep have been linked to a top cause of death - cardiovascular disease - and its risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Searching PubMed you will find 58,818 published research articles on sleep and obesity alone.

I find it interesting that what is now considered cutting edge research is actually information that naturopathic medicine has been promoting for decades.

As with life itself so many things come full circle. Now medical research is echoing ancient wisdom. Maybe your six best doctors will always be sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise, and diet.

Now I would love to hear from you. What is something that you have heard about in the news that is new research but your grandmother probably could have taught you? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

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