Integrated Therapies and Lamb Stew

Many thanks to Jacob, for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. He’s the doctor affirming me (definitely not a doctor) on my first timid return to a few tiny bits of health writing since my cancer diagnosis, and I very much appreciate the respect he’s given me. The mention also significantly increased traffic to my fledgling site, and I’d like to pay it forward.

Which I will do, just as soon I can decide on which blogs to nominate.

In the meantime, a quick post that might be of interest to other cancer survivors, or, for that matter, anyone dealing with damaged mitochondria for any reason.

First, April in Edmonton tends to be chilly, dusty, and dogged with snow-mold-laden winds, and it is, for me, the worst month of the year. But despite that, and perhaps strangely, I love it here. It’s where I have lived my adult life of marriage and children, successes and failures. It has the best river valley, friends, restaurants, and arts scene. My husband and I take in plays and concerts and music festivals enough to bring joy to the sorest of hearts, which is supremely important to me right now in my continual quest for health and joy.

This morning, as I have done weekly over the past year, through snow, spring rain, summer warmth, crisp fall sunshine, snow yet again, and now those chilly spring winds, I trotted off yet again to see my acupuncturist/massage therapist. The endorphin-producing magic generated by combination therapy like this is quite something, really, almost enough to help me forget completely last night’s insecurities. And if, as I’ve also written a little about recently, healing depends as much on psychological state as it does on nutrition and the mitigation of toxic factors—if endorphins and the presence of joy instead of pain are essential ingredients to healing—then my addiction to this weekly appointment (and to our arts scene, for that matter), is a good thing.

My persistent craving for lamb stew is a good thing too, it turns out, I see now that I’ve finally gone to the trouble to check out exactly what it is I’m craving. Thanks to The Weston Price Foundation, I’ve learned that it is loaded with nutrients necessary for mitochondrial repair—the right fats, b vitamins, and carnitine. Carnitine, of note to vegetarians with mitochondrial damage, isn’t found in vegetable foods. And the gelatin present in the soups and stews I’ve been making is high in amino acids (glycine and proline) that reduce susceptibility to stress, improve sleep, fight tumors, and improve thyroid function, all of which are commonly desired goals among cancer survivors.

I’ll keep chasing health and happiness, in another bowl of lamb stew, in writing, in a listening ear, being heard and understood and affirmed, and yes, in that weekly appointment at Integrated Therapies. Quality of life is everything.

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4 thoughts on “Integrated Therapies and Lamb Stew

  1. Great post. I’m a sucker for lamb stew…must be the Irish in me.

    Just to make sure I’m not deceiving anyone, I’m not a full-blown doctor yet, but a good chunk of the way through my training. Part of me wishes I were finished and out there practicing already; another part of me relishes the opportunity to indulge so fully in all of this learning with only a portion of the stress and responsibility I will eventually shoulder.

    Those amino acids are fascinating things. The smallest change can make the biggest difference. In the gene that gets transcribed to produce hemoglobin (which is a chain of 574 amino acids), one small change causes sickle-cell disease…replacing one glutamic acid with a valine. One out of 574 amino acids, and all of the sudden your red blood cells don’t bind to oxygen like they’re supposed to and your whole body deals with the consequences.

    • Full-blown graduated is over-rated. 🙂 It’s not like you’re treating me anyhow; it’s the respect of a medically-oriented mind I appreciated; you’ll no doubt teach me a few things!

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