The Brain – Gut Connection

The Brain – Gut Connection

Earlier research demonstrated that a big part of our emotions is influenced by the nerves in our gut. A newly discovered connection between the immune system, the brain, and social behavior furthers the association between the gut and mental health.

Lymphatic vessels (a ‘highway’ of vessels that are part of the immune system and serve as a connection between cells and blood) have been discovered in the brain. Previously it was thought there was no lymphatic system in the brain and, therefore, no physical connection between the immune system and the brain. Moreover, it has been discovered that this connection allows the immune system (much of which is in the gut) to influence social behavior.

This research may help in finding treatments for a variety of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism, migraines, brain and spinal cord injuries, and even multiple sclerosis.

The relationship between the gut and the brain suggests we should pay more attention to gut health, including what we (and are pets) eat, the importance of pre- and probiotics, and avoidance of unnecessary antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and environmental exposures that affect gut health. The impact of the gut on mental health also explains why people and pets with chronic gastrointestinal conditions may be more prone to mental health issues.

For more information on this topic, visit these links.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7560/full/nature14432.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150601122445.htm

https://news.virginia.edu/content/shocking-new-role-found-immune-system-controlling-social-interactions

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073018/

 
 
 

Gut Bacteria Predict Bowel Disease in Dogs

Gut Bacteria Predict Bowel Disease in Dogs

The type of bacteria found in a dog’s feces can accurately identify the presence of bowel disease in 90% of cases. It is not known if the type of bacteria found are a cause of the disease or a result of the disease. Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by digestive tract inflammation and includes diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Go to http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016177 to read the original research.

 
 
 

Mimicry to Build Relationships

Mimicry to Build Relationships

Dogs use Mimicry to Build Relationships. When a friend smiles at you, you quickly and involuntarily smile back.

In that split-second, you are mirroring the other person’s facial expression and building empathy. The same is true of dogs. They use rapid mimicry with other dogs to reinforce social bonds and initiate playful behavior.

Researchers studied two typical play behaviors, the open-mouthed, relaxed canine grin and the play bow in dogs meeting in a dog park. They confirmed the rapid mimicry of these behaviors among a wide variety of dogs and noted that play sessions lasted longer if they were initiated with mimicry. In addition, dogs who were already friends engaged in more mimicry than dogs who were strangers. Recently, it has been shown that mutual gazing between dogs and their owners is mediated by the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is thought to play a similar role in dog-dog behavior.

To read more about this research, visit http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/12/150505

mimicry-arf-na-nov-2016

 
 
 

Case Study – Holistic Treatment of Adrenal Tumor

Case Study – Holistic Treatment of Adrenal Tumor

Holistic Treatment of Adrenal Tumor Leads to Complete Recovery     

Modalities: Reiki, Herbs

Rusty after his recovery

Rusty after his recovery

This case study reports on the successful use of Reiki and herbs to support a 10 ½ year old welsh terrier in his full recovery from an adrenal tumor without the use of conventional methods such as drugs or surgery. The initial diagnosis and ultimate recovery were both documented using a standard medical procedure called ultrasound imaging. Rusty’s story begins in mid 2013 when he became weak and hypertensive and was diagnosed with an adrenal tumor by his conventional veterinarian. His owners, James and Meredith, opted for holistic treatment instead of the recommended surgery. With the support of herbal remedies recommended by a naturopathic doctor and reiki provided by a Reiki Master, Rusty’s tumor dissolved! Rusty has just had his 13th birthday and is healthy, happy and active, without any evidence of an adrenal tumor.

Please read the following accounts by Rusty’s owners and Reiki Master to learn more about this case. As you review this material, please keep in mind that holistic treatments are highly personalized. For that reason, we cannot provide you with a specific combination of herbs for the treatment of adrenal tumors. Instead, we encourage you to seek the help of an holistic practitioner who can develop a program directed to the specific needs of your pet. The practitioners who contributed to this case were:

Eileen Alexander, RYT, RM

Life & Grief Coach, Reiki Master

Reiki, Yoga & Meditation Teacher

Eileen Alexander Therapeutic Services

450 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 2C

Wayne, NJ 07470

973-600-4030

info@eileenalexander.com

www.eileenalexander.com

 

Dr. Sandi Kuglics, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy)

Health Awareness Laser Therapy

336 College Ave

Beaver, PA 15009

724-774-8515

skuglicsnd@comcast.net

 

Mary Duafala, MS, BCPP

Bioenergetic Practitioner and

Executive Director, The Abbeyrose Foundation

mary@abbeyrosefoundation.org

 

RUSTYS AMAZING RECOVERY by James and Meredith, owners

Rusty is usually very excited to go on his walks, but on the afternoon of June 30, 2013 he was unable to walk down the stairs and refused his dinner. After touching his belly, we noticed that his stomach was distended and he was extremely guarded about his stomach. We knew there was something very wrong. He also gave us “the look”. He was telling us, “This isn’t good, guys!”

Rusty 1Photo: Chelsea (L) and Rusty (R) a few days before Rusty’s diagnosis

 

We immediately took him to the vet. Upon initial external evaluation, no diagnosis could be determined. So, we left him for about an hour and a half for further testing, including an x-ray. It was determined that Rusty had gastroenteritis and high blood pressure; neither of which Rusty had ever had before. It was then noted, on one of the x-rays, that Rusty had a darkening around his right adrenal gland, pointing to the possibility of a tumor. The doctor recommended that Rusty stay for about three days to be monitored for the gastroenteritis, receive IV fluids and medications, and to receive an ultrasound on the area of the adrenal gland. (Note: There are 2 adrenal glands, one sitting on top of each of the kidneys. These glands produce a variety of hormones, including adrenaline and steroids. Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to view inside the body to see organs and blood flow. This is a common imaging procedure used by veterinarians and medical doctors.)

 

We received the ultrasound result after his stay, and it was showed a right adrenal gland tumor. His blood pressure remained slightly elevated, and he was slightly more agitated, primarily around unfamiliar dogs, and his abdomen was still tender. Rusty was started on a blood pressure medication.

 

We scheduled a visit with a veterinary surgeon, to do a CAT scan and to determine Rusty’s eligibility for surgery. This CAT scan was to determine the true size and impact of the tumor, and to determine if the tumor was operable. The tumor was deemed operable and the surgeon stated that the quality of life following an operation like this is excellent. However, it was also noted that the survival rate is only 85%—death rate being 15% during this type of surgery. Because Rusty is a smaller dog, the survival rate is actually a bit lower. However, there was little data to suggest how much lower.

 

Making a decision about your pet’s health is a nerve-racking one, just as it is with your family. We did not want to delay. However, we did spend much time considering all of the objective data that we received from every doctor involved. We decided that surgery was not an option for us. Rusty, at the time, was ten and a half years old. We knew that the 15% death rate with this surgery was not going to be something we were interested in gambling on. Furthermore, according to the doctors with whom we spoke, and in doing additional personal research, we found that many dogs can live with adrenal tumors—and live a comfortable life.

 

After making this decision, we knew that our ultimate goal would be to make Rusty’s life comfortable and happy for however long he decided to stay on this earth. We began to research alternate approaches, including naturopathic remedies, as well as energy healing. As we embarked on this journey into using Eastern medicine as opposed to Western medicine, we learned a great deal from others. We utilized resources from the Abbeyrose Foundation, Mary Duafala, and Pam Allen.

 

We decided to contact the wonderful naturopathic doctor, Dr. Sandi Kuglics, ND. At the beginning of Rusty’s treatment, Dr. Sandi determined where Rusty’s body needed support and identified weaknesses in his immune system, in his circulatory system, in his nervous system, and in his digestive system. She recommended remedies that would heal all of these areas.

 

Additionally, we began treating Rusty with Reiki with our dear friend, Eileen Alexander. We began Reiki immediately after the initial diagnosis. Rusty initially received three Reiki sessions per week. Following each Reiki session, Eileen would report a shift in his energy. After a few months, we did not continue Reiki, as Rusty had made significant gains.

 

We did continue with his naturopathic remedies, for overall sustained health and to treat any mild issues that would arise. In early February, Dr. Sandi reported she did not believe Rusty still had his tumor.

 

During Rusty’s yearly veterinary visit, on July 12, 2014, we asked to have an ultrasound done to determine the status of Rusty’s adrenal gland. According to this new ultrasound, the adrenal tumor and right adrenal gland where the tumor had grown were necrotized (i.e., the tumor and gland had died and were dissolving) and his healthy left adrenal gland was enlarged. The tumor was gone! According to our veterinarian, the necrosis of the adrenal gland along with the adrenal tumor is expected when a tumor is treated using medical approaches, for example, chemotherapy and radiation. In addition, when an adrenal gland and tumor are removed surgically, the remaining adrenal gland often enlarges to compensate for the loss of the other adrenal gland. But, Rusty had had none of those procedures!

 

Rusty’s healing appears to be complete. He no longer has an adrenal tumor nor is he ill. At this point, Rusty has mild arthritis, but he is incredibly happy and healthy.

 

All of our experiences during this time with Rusty are of huge benefit to the animal and human communities, alike. It provides amazing hope and interest in using Eastern medicine along with, or in place of Western medicine to heal ourselves. Our bodies are meant to heal themselves, and by supporting our bodies at the cellular level, as we did with Rusty, we can combat chronic illness and disease.

 

RUSTY’S REIKI TREATMENT by Eileen Alexander, Reiki Master

Rusty is a welsh terrier and was 11 years old when he was diagnosed with a tumor on his right adrenal gland in July of 2013. Rusty’s parents immediately began to seek out holistic support in treating Rusty rather than opting for invasive treatment. I began treating Rusty with Reiki in August of 2013, in conjunction with remedies prescribed by another practitioner. Initially, Rusty was described by his parents as not being himself. He seemed somewhat lethargic, less playful and his spine was notably curved.

 

I treated Rusty over a period of approximately six months. Treatments took place weekly on an average, with several visits a week at some points and slightly larger gaps in frequency of treatment at other times. Each treatment lasted between 25 and 40 minutes. It should be noted that Rusty’s Dad became a Reiki Level 1 practitioner shortly after his diagnosis and treated Rusty himself in between my sessions.

 

Rusty was very receptive to Reiki. During the first treatments, it would take him a few minutes to settle in. I treated him in his own home, in a small enclosed sunroom that is used by his Dad as a meditation room and contained many healing crystals. His Dad joined us during the earlier sessions to calm him down. Rusty would run around the room while I sat still and sent Reiki to him, but then ultimately make his way to me and settled in for hands-on treatment.   Once he settled in, Rusty would lie still for long periods of time receiving treatment. At times he would change body position, guiding me to where he wanted my hands on his body. He would lie on the floor at times and crawl into my lap at other times. For a couple of months midway through treatment, during his sessions, his hind leg would often twitch and tremor.   This stopped toward the end of his treatment regimen. Much of Rusty’s Reiki treatment was targeted to his First (Root) Chakra and Third (Solar Plexus) Chakra. A bloodstone was used to support Rusty in calming and grounding him.

 

As treatment moved forward and Rusty became more and more “himself”, his energy centers balanced more quickly and the time that he sat for treatment in each session became shorter. Over time Rusty’s energy level increased significantly, his spine returned to normal and overall he began to look and act like a much younger dog.

 

In the last month or so of treatment Rusty had become more anxious due to the addition of an infant into the home. His parents had welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world in October, 2013. Rusty was very protective of her, causing him to go into fight or flight mode very often as he sensed any activity outside the house. There was concern that this anxiety would have an adverse effect on his physical well-being. Much of the treatment during this time was focused on calming Rusty’s anxiety. In a short period of time Rusty’s anxiety settled and his health continued to improve.

 

I was thrilled to hear from Rusty’s parents his tumor was gone and that Rusty was in good health overall.

 
 
 

Dogs in Cancer Research

Dogs in Cancer Research

Research in dogs and cats with cancer may also aid in understanding human cancers.

The Morris Animal Foundation announced the launch of its Golden Retriever Lifetime Study in which 3000 dogs have been enrolled. They will be followed for at least 15 years in an attempt to identify risk factors for cancer and other diseases. Cancer is estimated to affect 60% of Golden Retrievers, but there is little good information on why and how it occurs. Owners and veterinarians of participating dogs will complete periodic questionnaires about the diet, activity, and health of the dog and provide blood samples. This and other research in cats and dogs will be used in an attempt to better understand cancer in humans. To read more about this research, go to http://caninelifetimehealth.org/  and http://www.fierceanimalhealth.com/story/vets-and-pharma-execs-gather-dc-trade-notes-pets-cancer-research/2015-06-17?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

Golden Retriever and cancer

 
 
 

Have you noticed that some people and their pets share a resemblance?

Have you noticed that some people and their pets share a resemblance?

Have you noticed that some people and their pets share a resemblance? Research shows that in about 80% of cases, they do!

In one study, 61 people were asked to look at photos of dog-human pairs and judge which pairs showed a physical resemblance. Some of the photo pairs were of people and their own pets (real pairs) and others were photos of people and dogs who were not their pets (fake pairs). The photos were simple head shots and did not show any interaction between the pair. Approximately 80% of judges identified the images of real-life pairs as those showing a resemblance. In an attempt to identify what enables us to correctly link owners and their dogs, psychologist Sadahiko Nakajima enlisted the help of 520 Japanese undergrads to judge photo pairs in which various features were blocked out. When only the mouths were masked, judges were 73% correct in identifying real pairs. When the eyes were masked, the ability to correctly select real pairs was lost. When all facial features were blocked except for the eyes, 74% of judges still chose the true pairs! The reason the eyes are such a powerful cue for correct selection of pairs is unknown.  To read more about this study go to  http://goo.gl/Bti0j4.