The Many Uses Of Medicinal Cannabis

On 2/19/18 I was joined by Dr. Harry Mcilroy on “About Health,” 94.1FM, KPFA.org, to discuss the health benefits of Cannabis.  If you missed any part of the show you can listen now at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=279505

This was the second of a two part series. You can listen to the show we did a few months ago by clicking here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=267049 

 “It’s surprising that cannabis ever left our medicine cabinets, since the plant has been used for millennia in cultures throughout the world as a curative for ailments of both mind and body.” —Andrew Weil, M.D.

Resources from the show:

https://cannabisnurses.org/

callaspringwellness.com

http://cannabisclinicians.org/

 

Guest:

Harry McIlroy, MD, is an integrative physician certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Before medical school and completion of residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, he had a background in nutrition and obtained a Master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Dr. Harry McIlroy strives to provide patients with health tools that empower them to improve their well being.

Little Big Steps After A Life Changing Injury

You can listen to an interview I did with Arash Bayatmakou, author of, Little Big Steps, A Life-Changing Injury and the Inspirational Journey to Overcome the Odds. 

https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=278251

Arash had a traumatic injury that changed his life forever. On his road to recovery he has worked diligently towards regaining function and getting back on his feet. Listen to his story! He is an inspiration for anyone who has suffered from a trauma or debilitating illness, and who can use an extra dose of hope.

Following his undergraduate studies, Arash Bayatmakou, used his knowledge of five languages to work in dozens of countries throughout four continents. He completed an MBA focusing on social enterprise and entrepreneurship from the University of San Francisco. He co-founded Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours and worked for two clean-tech startups. Arash suffered a traumatic cervical spinal cord injury in 2012 and was given a dire prognosis for recovery. Arash has written a memior, “Little Big Steps – A Life-Changing Injury and the Inspirational Journey to Overcome the Odds.” It details the pivotal moments, interactions, and breakthroughs, in the first two years following his injury. And he is still working, just as hard as ever, on improving his condition. You can find out more about him at https://arashrecovery.com and  http://www.nolimitscollaborative.org

Industrial Food and Chronic Illness

All too often health care providers prescribe medications and treatments without digging deep into the root causes of illness.  Also, some people prefer a medication prescription rather than making life style changes such as healthy eating—eliminating pesticides, processed foods, and allergens. And for other people, eating organic or non-GMO foods can be challenging because of cost and availability.

Food related causes of ill health is a personal, community, and national problem.You can listen to the January 22, 2018 show now at:

 https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=277764

Guest: Vincanne Adams, PhD, is a professor and vice-chair of Medical Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco. She has previously published six books on the social dynamics of health, scientific knowledge and politics, and is currently the editor for Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

More Health And Ease In The New Year

Tune in here to the show I did on 1/1/17 on About Health on KPFA, 94.1FM

2017 was a difficult year, causing many people to feel more stress, anxiety, and fear. We are faced with the reality that there are many things we can’t change….things out of our control, but there are things we can change. Are you wondering what will unfold on a global, local, and personal level in 2018? Join us to discuss how to set goals that are authentic and realistic to live happier and healthier lives….and stay strong and engaged to do what we can, to be conscious citizens of the planet.

Guest:

Marilynn Preston is the author of “All is Well, the Art and Science of personal well-being”. She is a journalist, healthy lifestyle expert, Emmy winning TV producer, and author of “Energy Express,” the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the US. In her 40 plus year career as a journalist, Marilynn spent 18 years at the Chicago Tribune as a media critic and feature writer. She is also an ACE-certified fitness trainer and certified Wellcoach. And is  the founding chair of Girls in the Game—a life-changing non profit that helps girls get the healthy lifestyle training they need to become strong confident women. To learn more about Marilynn go to http://marilynnpreston.com/ 

 

Trauma and Resilience

If you missed the show on @KPFA 94.1FM on Christmas Day (12/25/17) you can listen now: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=275452

The holiday season can be difficult for people suffering from trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder…better know as PTSD. During this time of year some people try to avoid situations that trigger memories of a traumatic event, or they avoid people they feel uncomfortable around. Sometimes family or friends are involved in a history of trauma, and seeing a specific person can be really challenging. The  holidays are “supposed to be joyful” but some people feel alienated for not pretending to be happy. And sometimes a person doesn’t even realize why she’s feeling down around this time of year.  It can be really helpful to understand some of the causes that are  influencing your emotional state, and also what to do about it.

Guest:

Rachel Walker received a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she specialized in Expressive Arts Therapy. In the past she worked with people with chronic mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, with criminal offenders, and with people suffering from addictions. She has provided individual, couple, and family therapy to clients facing a wide range of clinical issues including: anxiety, trauma, addiction, divorce, grief, bi-polar, cultural and diversity issues, eating disorders and creative and professional blocks. She is trained in modern dance and contact improvisation and Authentic Movement. Rachel has also studied improvisational writing, theater, and voice. Currently she sees clients as an EMDR and Expressive Arts Therapist in Berkeley, California. She is a certified EMDR therapist and approved EMDR consultant.  Go to http://rachelwalkermft.com/ to learn more about her work.

Homelessness: A public health crisis

Listen now to our show from  11/27/17, on KPFA.org 94.1FM

https://kpfa.org/archives

Being unhoused makes it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to access general health services. Poor health, addiction, mental illness, and violence are some things that lead to homelessness, and homelessness can make all of these things worse.

The majority of adults that experience homelessness have more than one health issue. They range from hypertension and diabetes to HIV and viral hepatitis, but the most significant reasons people go to emergency-rooms are mental illness and addiction. The sick and vulnerable become homeless, and the homeless become sicker and more vulnerable.

Guests:

Alejandro Soto-Vigil comes from a family of activists in the Bay Area. Last year he was re-elected to his second term on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. After 8 years working in the City of Berkeley as a legislative aide, Alejandro now serves as the program manager for the Berkeley Drop-In Center, an organization that has served Berkeley’s homeless residents for over 25 years. Alejandro majored in political sciences at UC Berkeley. 

 

Jeffrey Seal is the medical director and interim director of Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless, as well as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. He has worked at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health. He completed his medical degree at Boston University, a psychiatry residency at UCSF, and a chief residency at San Francisco General Hospital. He grew up on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, and currently lives in Oakland CA. He is a current California Health Care Foundation Leadership fellow and has special interests in public health systems, social determinants of health, re-entry populations, and trauma.

 

Stroke: Symptoms and Recovery

Listen to About Health’s show from 11/20/17 

KPFA.org, 94.1FM 

A stroke happens every 40 seconds in the U.S. and is the fifth leading cause of death, killing about 140,000 Americans each year.

The average person loses 1.9 million brain cells every minute a stroke goes untreated. Recovery from a stroke is a life long process, and there are many people, like my guest, Dr. Diane Barnes, who have a story to tell that might help you or a loved one with recovery and hope.

Common Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg—especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following test:

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

Guests

Dr. Diane Barnes is a third generation physician. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale University School of Medicine, and is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology. She left the practice of medicine in 2010.  After surviving the catastrophe that inspired her one-women show, My Stroke of Luck, Diane Barnes discovered improvisation. Now a Meisner-trained actor, she also completed the American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress, and studied with Anna Deavere Smith, Ann Randolph, Keith Johnstone, and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. You can find out more about her show, presented November 2-December 9, at www.themarsh.org,  or call The Marsh box office at 415-282-3055

Patricia Gill, MS, MFT, is the Executive Director at the Schurig Center. 

She started there in 2006 as a Teacher/Counselor and transitioned to Programs Director in 2007, and then Executive Director in 2009. Patricia earned a BA and MS in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University and has worked in research and clinical positions at UC Davis and UCSF. Other professional positions include management of an Alzheimer’s and Dementia residential program; administration of neuropsychological testing; teaching at the University of San Francisco; coordinating research projects at UCSF/USF; and providing psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, and groups. Patricia is passionate about providing services that enhance people’s lives and ability to meaningfully engage with the community.

 

The Brain, Memory, and Dementia

Listen now to todays show on About Health (June 26th) on @KPFA for a conversation about Dementia and the Brain.

 https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=262829

Dementia is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills, severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia. 

For local information on dementia care: http://daybreakcenters.org/

 

Josh Kornbluth, is currently engaged in a year-long residency as a scholar at the Global Brain Health Institute. He is spending his time with people who have dementia and their caregivers, as well as researchers, nurses, social workers, and others.  
Described as a cross between Woody Allen and Spalding Gray, Josh Kornbluth has been performing autobiographical one-man shows since 1987.  The San Francisco Chronicle declared, “Kornbluth takes a world we ignore, or barely observe, and brings it into brilliant comic relief.” He launched his career as a solo artist with Josh Kornbluth’s Daily World, in which he described his childhood as the son of communists in 1960s New York. He is currently working on a solo show based on his experiences as an artist-in-residence and volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. For two years he hosted an interview program, “The Josh Kornbluth Show,” on KQED TV. His latest feature film, Love & Taxes, is his second in collaboration with his brother Jacob; in a review, Variety called him “a nerd for our time.” His first feature film, Haiku Tunnel, is currently on HBO. Check out his web site at http://joshkornbluth.com/
Dr. Jennifer Yokoyama is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is building an independent research program in neurogenetics of aging. More specifically, she is interested in how genomic variation influences brain anatomy, physiology, and cognitive behaviors in healthy older adults, and how genomic variation relates to vulnerability, as well as resilience, against neurodegenerative processes of aging. Dr. Yokoyama obtained her doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics in 2010 at UCSF and completed her postdoctoral training in neuroimaging at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

The unhealthy cycle of high stress and the pressured pace of modern life

Do you recognize how the pressures of life impacts your health and relationships? And do you have ways to decompress?

Many people go at a fast pace, eat on the run, work long hours, and are sleep deprived on a regular basis. Without taking time to tune in to what you’re feeling and what your body needs, you may not realize that you are regularly depleted.  Some people get sick, irritable, anxious, or become dependent on substances like caffeine, pain pills, and the internet.

On Monday, June 19th from 2-3PM, on KPFA.org, 94.1FM. My guest Peter Wright discussed the fast-paced lives most people live, and it’s effect on well-being and health.

Listen Now https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20170619-Mon1400.mp3

Guest: 

Peter Wright, MFT, is a Somatic Psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley and San  Francisco. He is also Adjunct Faculty in the Somatics program at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS), Clinical Supervisor for the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy in San Francisco, and a consultant to clinicians and social service agencies throughout the Bay Area.  Many years of personal and professional studies with the founder of Formative Psychology®, Stanley Keleman, has deepened his understanding of Formative Principles, providing the primary frame for his work.  Peter has practiced the art of Aikido for over 20 years, a practice that informs his understanding of  transition, growth, and relationships.

 

Research Into Using Psychoactive Substances For Psychosocial Distress

Is it possible to use psychoactive substances in a clinical setting for anxiety or depression related to a terminal illness, or to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

LISTEN NOW: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=260947 

Our show aired on 5/29/17 on KPFA.org.

Psilocybin (active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”)  is a powerful medicine that is being researched in therapeutic settings. Researches caution against recreational use of psilocybin because of potential adverse psychological reactions.  New research suggests it has great potential as a treatment for severe anxiety caused by a serious illness,  or terminal diagnosis. Other psychoactive substances are being researched for PTSD, depression, and drug abuse.

Guests:

Adam Strauss is a writer and performer based in New York City. His show, The Mushroom Cure, is playing at the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco for its West Coast Premiere. His show is inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Adam won the Leffe Craft Your Character Storytelling Competition and the New York Fringe Festival’s Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance. He is also a stand-up comedian who performs throughout the US and the UK. Adam received his BA in psychology from Brown University. For more information about the show go to https://themarsh.org

Alicia Danforth, Ph.D. has worked in clinical research with psychedelic medicines since 2004 at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She has collaborated with Dr. Charles Grob on pilot studies of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential anxiety reactive to late-stage cancer and MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults. She currently is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the Silicon Valley and is beginning new research on psilocybin-assisted therapy for long-term survivors of HIV in San Francisco. Alicia co-taught the first graduate course for clinicians and researchers in training, entitled, “Psychedelics: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications.”

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Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley; and vice-chair of psychology at the University of California, S.F.

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