Rhythm, Nature, and Science

Although Western medicine discovered circadian rhythms about 300 years ago, chronobiology, (the study of body rhythms and internal body clocks), is still very much in its infancy. Unfortunately, this research of physiological rhythm is consistently under-rated in both popular and professional circles. Most of us know that such rhythms exist, but we fail to appreciate their power in determining our health and fitness. We, in Western Medicine, are so locked into our various specializations that we fail to see large-scale relationships, especially those between the body and its environment. Physicians treat specific symptoms, but many of our afflictions stem from broader patterns of asynchronous living. What we fail to realize is that if you're missing the beat of the larger environment, your body will naturally become confused and disordered.

Almost all other cultural medicines view humans as a microcosm of the universe, seen as being part of the natural world and governed by the universal forces of nature and it’s cyclic rhythms. Human bodies do not exist in isolation; we are creatures of our environment. The physiology and performance of the human body is tightly linked to the natural oscillations of the natural world, especially diurnal and seasonal variations. Light is the drummer in the physiological rock band; it keeps the systems in our bodies playing along at the right tempo.

Given the ancient and intimate relationship between human physiology and the rhythms of the natural world, it is reasonable to suppose that separation from those rhythms will cause stress and in turn, increase the likelihood of illness and disease. As we all instinctively know, when our rhythms are in sync, life flows easily.

Stay tuned for my next post on Rhythm, 'Rhythm and Getting in the Flow'

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Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalitiesIn 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives. He is also the instructor of the mbg Video Course, 14-Day Detox.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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