Radical Health

direct mini-link to this page >>  http://bit.ly/RadicalHealth

Radical Health is a wide topic, and infact a way of summarising why we engage in permaculture design: good design is about optimal health of systems which is ultimately the way to achieve optimal health of all the individuals within that system.

"Radical" means going to the roots of things.

Here we will compile some resources - from all quadrants - which we'll later put in some kind of order.

(organic v. wild foods)

Integral Health

This is a reply by Stella to an article in Integral Life.  It is interesting to note the gaps that exist because of different 'disciplines' still not understanding each other.   So many fertile connections can start to happen once we integrate the Integral world with the Permaculture community.

See article this is a reply to, here

Integral Health, not 'medicine' - please (amplify the vision)

Posted March 5th, 2011 by Stella

I was delighted to see this topic, (re-visiting after long times off), as I coincidentally did a radio programme on Integral Health on the 2nd of march (will post here if anyone interested, it's part of a monthly series of programmes on Integral Permaculture that I have been doing for a local radio for a few years now - in Spanish).

It was interesting to see the very different emphasis in outlook.   My contention is that Integral Health can only be achieved when we design health for all quadrants, in the wider sense, meaning that we can't have healthy individuals if the social or the physical environments are toxic.  

Which they very much are, currently:

Bottom Right Quadrant: the physical environment is toxic - most of us in the west live in a cloud of physical poisons (the cocktail of man-made chemicals which is practically unavoidable and our organisms were not designed to cope with) - 'filtered purified water' ... is sooo lacking in ambition!   It is still dead water: our birth-right is drinking, bathing in and hearing fresh running water from a sparkling natural spring.   Way out...     We drive to air-conditioned gyms, whilst more pollution is caused by convoys of trucks bringing pesticide-laden food to our tables,  instead of doing the physical effort of growing our own organic food - which would safe-guard the health of our economy, environment AND bodies.   THEN we have to spend hours meditating to 'get connected'!    The absurdity of all this of course then in turn affects our minds.. again.

Bottom Left Quadrant:  our cultural / emotional environment is very toxic - just the 'background noise' is very highly toxic: the barrage of publicity most uf us take in without realising (some 3,000ads per day) creates a very damaging cultural environment - 92% of that goes straight into our sub-conscious, see Killing us Softly 4 for the other horrendous figures, and that continuously undermines our self-esteem, and indeed the very basis of who we think we are.   Add to that all the rest: the daily violence from opressive institutions, the violence from the absurdity of the things we must do & see on a daily basis, all that we learn and transmit of that in our relationships, watching lots of abuse of all kinds on TV, just one item of the news (there is evidence to show) would need many hours of emotional processing to 'get over': so packed with upsetting content it is, from all over the globe ... and this all becomes 'normal'.   Is it a marvel that emotional illness is increasing?    It is not due to lack of tranquilizers OR of 'relaxation techniques'!!


So it is sad for me to see anything purporting to be 'integral' that assumes (totally in line with the current 'healthcare' paradigm) that health is somehow related to medicine.   Which means that illness is somehow a factor of lack of ("adecuate" - whatever that means for different people) medical care.  

It is absurd and self-defeating to think this way.    Because every drop of time, effort & resources we put into trying to solve our problems at symptoms-level (putting band-aid on cancer / rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic, etc.) is time, effort & resources we do NOT put at solving the problems at causal level.   


My vision is that humans will be able to one day design truly healthy lower quadrants and with those as our base & soil, our individual behaviours, attitudes & collective health will be assured - or near enough perfect that no 'medicine' to speak of will be necessary (our bodies are already designed to self-heal, and progress would be to increase those abilities).    

Granted, that in order to get there we need to (temporarily & artificially) repair the constantly damaged health of enough people to create those structures - but we will never get there if the vision is one that doesn't question the very basis of our terrible health.

 The current paradigm (very much reflected in the article) keeps encouraging a narcissistic view of health as of anything else: my health right now IS a factor of how much resources I can accumulate for my 'treatments' and to isolate myself from as much as possible of the toxicity the vast majority of people have no choice but to endure. 

But that is not how it should or could be: we need to bring a lot more imagination to this issue and, in my opinion, especially a lot more genuinely radical, truly integral (& integrating) thinking.

The Scientific Power of Naps

Vídeo de YouTube

Want an excuse to sleep on the job? Take these scientific tips on "Power-Naps" to get the most energy out of your day, while remaining productive and non-reliant of caffeine. If done properly, naps can change your life!

This is a good example of "going with Nature, not against": look out for other things where we could say the same as here, "the thing we've been fighting off all along turns out to be the most beneficial".

The Scientific Power of Thought

Vídeo de YouTube

Killing us Softly

"Public health problems 

can only be changed 

by changing the environment"

Jean Kilbourne

How does our culture affect our mental health?   This is now increasingly recognized to be closely related to our physical health, so we can safely consider these interchangeable & complementary - certainly when looking at the world through an Integral Permaculture lens.

This is one example of a long-term study of advertising on our social education and internal self-image, how it relates to violence.   

See the intro video here

And the Sexism page here (in this e-book)

What Really Causes Heart Disease

Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

Dr. Dwight Lundell
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:58 CST
Dr Lundell
© n/a
from Scott.net
We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact. 

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled "opinion makers." Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. 

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice. 

It Is Not Working! 

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated. 

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences. 

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before. 

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year. 

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped. 

Inflammation is not complicated -- it is quite simply your body's natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial. 

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully. 

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. 

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. 

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods. 

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now. 

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation. 

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone. 

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick? 

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works. 

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat. 

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels. 

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator -- inflammation in their arteries. 

Let's get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6's are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell -- they must be in the correct balance with omega-3's. 

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation. 

Today's mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That's a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today's food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy. 

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer's disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated. 

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils. 

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them. 

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef. 

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the "science" that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today. 

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers. 

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Getting dirty could prevent depression

12:01AM BST 02 Apr 2007

People who suffer from depression could benefit from getting dirty, according to new research published today.

A "friendly" bacteria found in soil has the same uplifting effects as those produced by anti-depressant drugs, the study detailed in the journal Neuroscience found.

Scientists at Bristol University and University College London discovered that mice altered their behaviour and appeared more relaxed after being treated with the Mycobacterium vaccae.

The bacteria stimulated the immune system and activated a group of neurons in the brain which produce the mood-enhancing chemical seratonin.

Dr Chris Lowry, the lead author on the paper from Bristol University, said: "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health.

"They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all spend more time playing in the dirt. This soil which carries the bacteria is found almost anywhere. We now need to find a way of getting it in our system."

The study appears to support the "hygiene hypothesis", which argues a rise in conditions such as asthma and allergies could be linked to a lack of exposure to various micro-organisms.

The emphasis on cleaning and hygiene, particularly in urban Western environments, could be affecting people's immune systems. The current project arose after human cancer patients being treated with M. vaccae unexpectedly reported feeling their quality of life had improved.

Dr Lowry and his colleagues wanted to test if the effect might be caused by the activation of neurons in the brain that contained seratonin. A lack of the chemical in the brain has been linked to depression.

The findings support the idea that increasing the release of seratonin in the brain regulates mood.

"Cancer is Man-Made," Scientists Admit

A recent study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested that ... cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet.

Egyptian Mummies     In the extensive study conducted at the University's KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, scientists examined hundreds of mummies and found ... no signs of cancer—except for one isolated case.

     Professor Michael Zimmerman said: "In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases."  Therefore, the virtual absence of tumors and malignancies in mummies must necessarily be interpreted as evidence that cancer was indeed rare in ancient times. 

The 17th Century Ushers Cancer In
It wasn't until the 17th century that the first reports of cancer appeared in scientific literature—such as cancer of the scrotum (found in chimney sweeps in 1775, caused by soot particles); and nasal cancer found in users of snuff (finely ground tobacco) in 1761.

     The University of Manchester study indicates that cancer-causing factors exist only in modern, industrialized societies—and cancer is fueled by the excesses of modern life.

     The food you eat ... the air you breathe ... the clothes you wear ... the water you drink ... the personal care products you use ... the medications you take ... the water you bathe in ... virtually everything you consume, and everything you do—or are exposed to—causes cancer these days!

  Here are Just a Few Factors Present in
Modern Life That Cause Cancer:

*  Tobacco (including second-hand and third-hand smoke)
*  Genetically modified food
*  Most laundry detergents
  Commercial hair dyes
*  Air pollution (including carbon monoxide, methylene
      chloride, and acrolein)
*  Granite countertops (which emit radon)
*  Rancid peanuts and seeds
  Canola oil
*  Canned tomatoes
  Food laced with pesticides
*  Chemicals from aerosol cans
*  Mammograms
*  X-Rays
*  Food microwaved in plastic containers (including
        plastic wrap, the plastic trays that come with frozen
        TV dinners, and even plastic baby bottles)
*  Environmental pollutants (such as asbestos, benzene, and

Professor Rosalie David, at the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: 
There is Nothing in the Natural Environment That Can Cause Cancer ... So It Has to Be a Man-Made Disease

Given the prevalence of cancer-causing factors in the modern world, what can you do to escape cancer?

     Many scientists agree that a healthy diet ... regular physical activity ... and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent about one-third of the most common cancers.

     But ... eating healthy is not a guarantee that you'll never get cancer.  
Even those who think they have a healthy diet are not immune to cancer.  Consider the case of Linda McCartney, the late wife of Beatle Paul McCartney.  She was a life-long vegetarian, who also wrote a book on vegetarian cooking and produced a line of frozen vegetarian meals.  Yet, despite her healthy eating, she died of breast cancer at the age of 56. 

     Regular physical activity—although definitely a healthy thing to do—is not a guarantee either.  Consider Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France cycling champion.  He engaged in more physical activity than most people, and yet he was diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer.

     Maintaining a healthy weight also does not assure you of immunity from cancer.  Many physically fit celebrities have fallen prey to cancer—Patrick Swayze, Jaclyn Smith, Robert Urich, Suzanne Somers, Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, to name a few.

Being a revolutionary health activist is hard

In a Children's Psychiatric Hospital

From http://www.westonaprice.org/health-issues/in-a-childrens-psychiatric-hospital

Written by Kim Rodriguez   
March 26 2012

The number of children’s psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. is growing (www.ushosptial.info). I am the clinical dietitian of a children’s psychiatric hospital in Georgia. This hospital treats eighty children and is always full with a waiting list for admission. Approximately 86 percent of admissions are boys; 92 percent are African-American, and 65 percent are readmissions. Medicare and Medicaid pay for all admissions.


The hospital provides psychiatric and mental health treatment for mood, behavior and anxiety disorders for children and adolescents between the ages of nine and seventeen. Some of the children have committed crimes and are too young to be imprisoned. Most are diagnosed with “conduct disorder,” which means that their parents are unable to manage them. Other children have disorders manifested from family neglect and abuse. At times the hospital seeks to place children in a group or foster home following therapy.

Other psychiatric diagnoses might include anxiety, ADHD, mental retardation, chronic fatigue, substance abuse and self-mutilation. Medical diagnoses include diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and/ or triglycerides). Most children present with multiple diagnoses.

My job responsibility at this facility is to complete an initial assessment of each patient, addressing special diet orders written by the physician. I evaluate blood levels, if test reports are available, for vitamin deficiency. I am expected to recommend lowfat diet protocols for hyperlipidemia and monitor weight trend during the hospitalization. I feel that the true reason a dietitian is employed at most facilities is to meet state guidelines for reimbursement rather than to implement genuine nutritional therapy for these children.

If a diet instruction is performed, it must be ordered by the physician. Only one diet instruction has been requested in my three years of working at this facility, despite the fact that most of the children eat horribly and many are morbidly obese. That single diet instruction had been ordered for a lowfat, low-cholesterol diet to “lower cholesterol” in a thirteen-year-old patient taking a statin drug.

Most physicians believe that diet changes are not important, especially if the patient returns to a home environment where the family cannot provide proper foods because of financial strictures or other reasons. The hospital’s treatment plan is wholly based upon, and reliant upon, pharmaceutical intervention. Changing dietary habits is not, and never was, a part of the treatment plan.

See rest of the article at http://www.westonaprice.org/health-issues/in-a-childrens-psychiatric-hospital

Health blogger threatened with jail time for advocating Paleo diet that cured his diabetes

From http://www.naturalnews.com/035691_dieticians_free_speech_nutrition_advice.html

(NaturalNews) Internet free speech is under assault in America, and a dangerous new trend has surfaced that threatens to throw nutritional bloggers in jail for advocating healthy diets on their blogs or websites. As you read this, a blogger who wrote about using the Paleo diet to overcome diabetes is being threatened with jail time in North Carolina, where the state Board of Dietetics / Nutrition claims his nutritional advocacy is equivalent to the crime of "practicing nutrition without a license."

His name is Steve Cooksey, and his website is http://www.diabetes-warrior.net

He's being targeted by state "dieticians" (which is another word for "nutritional moron" as you'll see below) who say that Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to "practice dietetics or nutrition." His website's advocating of the Paleo diet for individuals who have health challenges is, they claim, a violation of law.

So they've threatened him with arrest if he does not take down his website... or at the very least stop advocating the Paleo diet to readers.

See also:

pages in this e-book


& the 




Integral Health, as we teach it 
in the Integral Permaculture Academy is a process  of de-colonizing our bodies, minds & souls.  If you are interested in being in a support group for this, you can join the FB group IntegralHealthForAll