Tag Archives: Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Mind-Body Solutions Offer Healing Without Medicine

Trauma Becomes Biology, But There’s Hope

How do we help children with difficult childhoods grow into adulthood without becoming drug users?  Is healing possible without using medicine?  Can our health system devise ways to treat chronic pain and illness without using marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs?

Those who grow up in difficult, traumatic situations – those whose bodies hold a painful past of abuse, shock or emotional pain – respond to opioid pain pills differently from the way non-traumatized people do.  They may be primed for opioid pill addiction more than others, according to Jon Daily of Recovery Happens, Sacramento. Furthermore, emotional trauma during childhood also leads to hypertension and a host of chronic illnesses.

Popular writer Monica Cassani agrees.   She describes on her website how Chronic illness is trauma embodied.    Her blog is called Beyond Meds

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now recognize Adverse Childhood Experiences as part of public health.  Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs are considered contributing factors to depression and a host of chronic diseases.   Experts use 10 paradigms for testing childhood trauma.  A score of 4 or more ACEs makes a person 460 percent more likely to suffer from depression.  A score of 6 or more takes 20 years off life.  Adults with high ACE scores are susceptible to chronic diseases that are rare in those who do not have ACEs.

Childhood Disrupted and The Body Keeps the Score are two excellent books for understanding childhood trauma and its relationship to pain and illness.

The death of a parent, divorce, family drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse are among the events that can be counted as ACEs. These traumas are singled out because of their unexpected and unpredictable nature.  Severe bullying, excessive parental criticism are included, as well as living in a violent neighborhood.  Extreme poverty also creates stressful situations which can be compounded by abuse and the other problems.

Healing Chronic Disease Through Mind-Body Solutions

There’s good news.   Psychology,  Psychiatry and the medical field can lead the way for overcomimg both disease and emotional garbage. Understanding and applying the mind-body connection can work miracles without medicine.  Several notable scholars have led the way.  Francine Shapiro’s Getting Past Your Past and Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score provide excellent explanations and understanding.  Books by Daniel Siegel and Peter Levine offer therapeutic keys to healing.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa wrote one of the most straightforward explanations of healing ACEs in her new book.  Childhood Disrupted explains the causes of trauma in childhood and how to heal it.   In another book, The Last Best Cure, she describes her own healing from two debilitating auto-immune diseases.   (Nakazawa experienced the sudden traumatic death of her father when she was twelve.  While she outwardly coped, her body suffered deeply.) A science journalist, Nakazawa writes for the general public.

Part 2 will cover healing psychiatric problems through mind-body solutions, and Part 3 will summarize the growing problem of traumatized childrenPart 4 explains how we’re creating a new, larger generation of traumatized children.

Cutting Edge Therapies Treat PTSD, Pain Without Marijuana

Best Treatment Strategies for PTSD

A study of soldiers with PTSD by Wilkinson and others at Yale University showed that marijuana made them more violent and made their PTSD worse. *   Nonetheless, under intense pressure, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill allowing veterans to get marijuana for PTSD.   We published stories from two parents whose children — as veterans — used marijuana with tragic results:  Who Said No One Ever Died From Marijuana? and Help Save My Son for Himself and Others.

Cutting edge treatment for PTSDs include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Since 2004, it has been recommended by the American Psychiatric Association,  World Health Organization, SAMHSA, the International Society of Stress Studies and the Veterans of Foreign Affairs.  It can often bring about symptom relief more rapidly and more effectively than any other type of therapy.  It is described in detail in The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, who has been working with trauma patients for about 40 years.  As van der Kolk explains, trauma results in the fundamental reorganization of the way we manage perception.  It is not just an event.  It imprints on mind, brain and body.   Most of all, traumatic events affect the body and live on through the body.

EMDR therapy appears to link into the same neurological processes that take place in REM sleep and clean up the brain.  It reintegrates brains that have been dysregulated during adversity. This work can lead to rapid reduction in episodic memories of traumatic events that are stored in the hippocampus.   The International Society of Stress Studies categorized EMDR as an evidence-based level A treatment for PTSD in adults.  (There are professionals who advocate for Cognitive Behavior Therapy over EMDR for PTSD.  The search to  find any professional association that certifies that marijuana works for PTSD has proved fruitless.)

EMDR is important for not only the mind, but for the body processes by which it heals.   EMDR can be used as a treatment for chronic pain, too.   It is a mind-based pain treatment, which once again goes against the purpose of those pushing medical marijuana.

Neurofeedback, Mind-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), yoga, acupunction and acupressure also may reverse the course chronic pain or PTSD — without medication.   As with all therapies and medical procedures, there are differences in the skill, experience and training of practitioners who use these techniques.bigpharma

Pain strategies should take away the need for “medicating,” by treating the root cause of the pain.   A good book to describe how this happens is The Last Best Cure, by Donna Jackson Nazakawa.

Cynical Games to Mislead the Public

The marijuana industry is currently playing a cynical game of telling the world that addiction to pain pills should be replaced by another addictive substance — marijuana.   Yet — Colorado — known for its marijuana consumption — also leads the country in consumption of opiate pain pills, heroin and alcohol.   It defies common sense to replace one addictive substance for another.

At the moment, the marijuana industry is using pain, PTSD and seizures to aggressively advocate for marijuana legalization.  They’re exploiting veterans to get new users.  In addition to EMDR, yoga and dogs are other excellent treatments for those suffering from PTSD because thy facilitate connection.   The pot industry stands in the way of letting the public know about EMDR.   They stand in the way of letting about other mind-based treatments for both pain and PTSD.   These are  treatments that don’t involve permanent illness and disability.  The marijuana industry wants chronic “medical” users because addiction will keep Big Marijuana profitable.

Marijuana advocates claim it’s a plant from nature. However, poison ivy, hemlock and rattlesnakes also come from nature.  If more people knew the truth, the public wouldn’t need its medical marijuana.   It was planned as a ruse from the start.

*2,276 veterans were studied between 1992 to 2011.  An example of a veteran using marijuana for PTSD who became violent is Eddie Routh.  Routh shot and killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield when he became paranoid and thought they were going to hurt him.  He is now serving time in prison.