The AMN Perspective
If you ever take on the challenge of working with an individual who suffers the effects of a chronic disease, multiple chemical sensitivities, waves of despair, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or sleep disturbances, you will come to know what Holistic truly means.
It’s easy to preach and lecture to these individuals, pointing out ‘simple’ solutions like meditation and exercise, but you will learn not to be so arrogant. Often these individuals are highly intelligent, successful people who have a desire to be well and to regain their lives, and they have already tried many ‘simple’ solutions.
The truth is, it’s never as easy as ‘just do this’ or ‘all you need to do is that’. Your personal ideals and practices may promote high levels of function and health for you, but they may not be adequate or appropriate for a person with a complex, chronic disease process. You must remain sensitive to the process, take it one step at a time, and be flexible in applying the right stimulus at the right time.
While health is the natural state, it’s not always easy. Sometimes people are just unlucky in their health journey, and it takes more work and a different path for them to get to this state. If health comes easily to you, be grateful and compassionate. By adopting a holistic viewpoint instead of seeing health as a matter of checking off the right boxes, you will be able to be more helpful to others – and to yourself.
Health is a gift and the most important attribute you can have in your life.
Health is limitless possibility.
What is Holism?
Many of us in the health and wellness industry are drawn to the concept of holism. We are passionate about health, and we are naturally altruistic people. To that end we seek to learn what is required for health.
Thankfully, we live in a time when information is abundant. There are a lot of very smart people out there from whom we can learn, and we can translate their knowledge into application for our clients and ourselves. By learning and applying specific skills and methods, we may be able to point a client’s body towards a more positive state, or improve our own health in ways we hadn’t previously considered.
But holism goes beyond just following certain methods and rules. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Exercise and diet are important, but if you consider yourself a holistic practitioner, you will most likely include health of the mind. So, is mind, movement, and food enough to heal the world?
In many cases, yes, or at least enough to heal individual people, but at AMN we humbly propose that true holism should also consider the bigger picture of health. We think this includes:
- Non-native electromagnetic fields (nnEMF)
- Movement in multiple forms for multiple purposes
- An understanding of the Mind
Together, these factors can promote health in the healthy and aid those who have struggled to attain health. A veritable tapas menu of wellness promoting practices is helpful… but an understanding of what resonates behind each of them and ties each of the components together into a whole is what creates ‘Holism’.
The Inescapable Truth
The body is electric. The sun is electric, the earth is electric, your movements produce electricity, when you touch someone you donate or receive electrons, your brain is electric. Electromagnetic fields surround us, both essential and useful fields and useful but damaging ones.
To truly understand Holism of the body and health, we must understand electrons.
What Is An Electron?
Its a difficult question because a few really smart physicists disagree on the answer. The simplest answer is that an electron is part of an atom. An atom can have 1 to 103 electrons. Each electron is extremely tiny. They carry a negative electrical charge and flicker in and out of existence around the atom’s nucleus. Although tiny, they can be very important. Electrons can be disassociated, or stripped away from the atom to make an atom charged, create an electrical current, or make a gas behave like a plasma.
The other view is that electrons are clouds of possibility which exist always and everywhere, only collapsing in to the state described above when acted upon by a conscious observer!
Biologically speaking, electrons are imperative to health.
What role do electrons play in our health?
These bacterial cellular powerhouses rely on the donation of electrons from food and light to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP drives a multitude of biological processes, from thoughts to dancing. Without enough ATP, you’re in big trouble. (1)
Synapses are where one neuron (cells of the nervous system) sends its signal on to the next. The vast majority of research on how the brain functions has focused on chemical synapses, which utilise neurotransmitters and other chemicals to communicate. Now, electrical synapses are shown to be critical in initial wiring of the foetal brain, in repairing neurons, in plasticity, in synchronous oscillations, and in many other critical functions. In fact, chemical synapses cannot survive without electrical synapses.
James L Oschmann, the scientific research hero of energy medicine, proposed the theory of electron deficiency as the underlying source of heightened and sustained inflammatory states.
‘We suggest that the process of killing pathogens and clearing debris from injury sites with ROS and RNS evolved to take advantage of the body’s constant access to the virtually limitless source of mobile electrons the Earth provides when we are in contact with it’.
‘Antioxidants are electron donors, and the best electron donor, we strongly believe, is right under our feet: the surface of the Earth, with its virtually unlimited storehouse of accessible electrons’. (2)
An abundance of electrons increases the surface charge on Red Blood Cells, thereby reducing blood viscosity and clumping. (3)
Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA – Omega 3 fatty acids) converts photons (light particles) into electrons to drive approximately 48% of the neurological processes in the brain.
Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin, Thyroxine
You may have heard of these guys. Dopamine is one of our reward/feel good chemicals, and serotonin regulates mood, among other functions. Melatonin allows us to sleep and triggers the brain to clean up the cellular debris from daytime activity, and thyroxine plays vital roles in digestion, heart and muscle function, brain development, and maintenance of bones.
The synthesis of each of these are first stimulated by UV light, exciting electrons attached to the aromatic amino acids Phenylalanine and Tryptophan. Without electrons, we can’t use sunlight, and without sunlight, we ultimately can’t sleep.
- Sunlight → Phenylalanine → Tyrosine → L-DOPA → (Dopamine) → (Epinephrine) → (Norepinephrine)
- Sunlight → Tryptophan → 5-hydroxytryptophan → (Serotonin)
- Sunlight → Phenylalanine → Tyrosine → Thyroxine
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and the primary constituent of the connective tissue matrix (CTM). The CTM interconnects every cell of the body with the surface of the skin forming a harmonic resonance communication network. A healthy CTM maintains a net negative electrical potential, meaning it requires a predominance of electrons.
Piezoelectricity is electric charge generated via mechanical deformation. In our bodies, Bone Keratin, Elastin, Ligaments, Collagen in tendons, Fascia, Hyaluronic acid, some Amino Acids, Actin and Myosin of the muscle fibres, DNA, and even the Pineal gland all show Piezoelectric properties.
The structure of these various tissues means they hold an imbalance of electrons and protons. When a mechanical force such as compression is applied, be it through a joint mobilisation, massage, touch, tapping on bones, or of course through the natural movements of the body, Piezoelectric currents are generated.
The movement of the body from the gentle oscillations generated by the cardiorespiratory system during exercise and complex movement patterns release constant Piezoelectric currents, which maintain the proper electrical orientation of the Extracellular Matrix (the space and contents of the space around the cells). The proper electrical orientation is one of a predominance of electrons.
This specific mechanical-to-electrical tension provides a stimulus, and the autonomic nerve endings react by releasing neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, epinephrine, and numerous neuropeptides.
So as you can see, biology is electric.
Tapas (The Holistic Menu)
In a normal restaurant, we tend to order only a couple of things. A starter and a main course, or if you’re so inclined, a main and a dessert. However, at La maison de L’holistique, we recommend you consume each main course in equal measure.
The Holistic Menu includes Sunlight, Environment, Avoidance of Non-Native Electromagnetic Fields, Nutrition, Meditation and the Mind, and Movement.
Let’s take a look at each item in more depth.
Sunlight provides photons which stimulate biological processes directly and indirectly via the eye and skin.
The sun produces cosmic, gamma ray, x-ray, ultraviolet radiation, visible radiation, and infrared radiation. Most of this radiation is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere, but radiation from 290 nm into the infrared reaches the earth surface.
The skin and body respond to various wavelengths, affecting a variety of biologic processes, including:
- Vitamin D production
- Nitric oxide (NO) release and production
- Carbon monoxide (CO) production
- The expression of the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene which results in the production of an adrenal corticotropin hormone (ACTH) and beta endorphin
- Enhanced wound healing
The eye is both an optic camera, and an energetic light receptor which stimulates the retino-hypothalamic pathway of the endocrine-visceral system. A lack of sunlight exposure to the eye results in metabolic and hormonal disturbances.
A lack of sunlight exposure to both the eyes and skin, as well as overexposure to unnatural lighting has been linked to:
- Altered Circadian function, or sleep/wake patterns
- Altered Immune function with reduced Vitamin D synthesis
- A dramatic influence on cardiac mortality
- Increased BP and serum cholesterol levels
- An increased risk for developing multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes
- Altered ACTH, Cortisol, and Beta-Endorphin production
If you live in a city, lack of sunlight and overexposure to unnatural lighting most likely describes your daily life. Unfortunately, glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and windows all filter sunlight to some degree, making it even more difficult for us to get the proper amount of sunlight.
When we miss out on exposure to sunlight in the morning (being indoors near a window doesn’t count!), we also miss out on stimulating biological processes which aid
- The immune system
- Our ability to sleep and clean our brains of cellular debris
- Synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters
Ultimately leading to kicking our biological clocks out of whack.
Environment – Electric Earth
The surface of the earth is electrically conductive, possessing a continuously renewed and limitless supply of free electrons. It has a negative potential maintained by the global atmospheric electrical circuit.
To grab these electrons, we need to have our skin in contact with the ground. It’s true that we haven’t remained barefoot throughout history, but we have worn animal skins and then leather-soled shoes right up until the late 1800’s. Unfortunately, we then developed rubber-soled shoes and most of us are now constantly insulated from the electricity of the earth, walking around on air bubbles. We need to make an effort to get in contact with the earth now.
‘Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity’. (7)
We recommend getting at least 30 minutes contact between skin and earth each day. Barefoot contact with the grass around the roots of a tree is best. Also consider a method of grounding the body at night when sleeping.
Non-Native Electromagnetic Fields
While we would like you to indulge in the rest of the menu as much as possible, we suggest you be aware of and avoid these particular frequencies when you can.
There has been much controversy over the biological effects of so called Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR) over the years and the deleterious effects that these frequencies pose to health. Non-Ionising Radiation refers to electromagnetic radiation which is too weak to completely remove electrons from atoms, but instead simply excites the electron. The NIR spectrum is divided into two main regions:
- Optical radiations, ultraviolet, visible light, and infra-red
- Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as microwave, very high frequency, and low frequency radio wave
The suckers we would like you to avoid are, of course, the man-made frequencies seen in wireless communications, industrial, scientific and medical applications, as well as cellular communications and artificial blue light. These are the Non-Native Electromagnetic Fields (nnEMFs). (8)
In the paper; ‘Risks of carcinogenesis from electromagnetic radiation of mobile telephony devices’, authors Yakymenko and Sidorik state the reproducible biological effects of low-intensive microwave radiation. These are: an over production of Reactive Oxygen Species (electron stealers), expression of heat shock proteins (increased activity and expression of heat shock proteins are positively correlated with advanced stages cancer), DNA damage and apoptosis (cell death). (9)
Obviously, none of these are good things. While leading international health authorities maintain that nnEMFs are benign if exposure is kept below guidelines, a number of studies have documented their negative biological effects.
Some of these studies have described increased risks for childhood leukaemia associated with residential magnetic fields exposure (Ahlbom et al., 2000), greater risk for various cancers with occupational exposure to low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (Havas, 2000), miscarriages (Li et al., 2002), Lou Gehrig’s disease (Neutra et al., 2002), brain tumours associated with cell phone use (Kundi et al., 2004), as well as cancers and symptoms of electrical hypersensitivity (EHS) for people living near cell phone and broadcast antennas (Altpeter et al., 1995; Michelozzi et al., 2002). Laboratory studies report increased proliferation of human breast cancer cells (Liburdy et al., 1993), single- and double-strand DNA breaks (Lai and Singh, 2005), increased permeability of the blood brain barrier (Royal Society of Canada, 1999), changes in calcium flux (Blackman et al., 1985), and changes in ornithine decarboxylase activity (Salford et al., 1994). (10)
It has been hard to find consensus on how to study the effects of nnEMF. A main reason for this is that they elicit non-thermal effects. The study of thermodynamics is well understood, but nnEMFs appear to impact the body via a combination of their frequency and intensity, the chemical and physical composition of the surrounding medium, and the initial metabolic state of the organism in question. (11)
While we wait for more comprehensive research to be undertaken, there are some simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to nnEMFs. These include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, using blue light blockers on all backlit screens, limiting your cell phone usage, and grounding the body when using computers.
If you don’t already, consider regular ‘tech detoxes’ where you leave the phone at home and spend time in nature. Besides giving your body a break from exposure to nnEMFs, time spent in nature produces measurable results on its own, like lowered cortisol, blood pressure, and heart rate.
This is the obvious one. If you’re in the health and fitness biz, you’re probably used to making dietary recommendations based on body composition goals. Macronutrient ratios and food choices are a great place to start with fitness based goals, but there are many other factors to consider when considering food as medicine.
First and foremost, digestion status should be considered. This may reflect the health of the microbiome, or the levels of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL). Understanding a person’s digestive issues is the difference between improved health and energy levels, versus the continuation of symptoms, increased inflammation, and detrimental impact to the Enteric Nervous System, neurotransmitter synthesis, and subsequently the brain.
Other options that you may wish to consider under the banner of holistic nutrition would be the use of intermittent fasting, eating to help repair or optimise circadian function of the body, and seasonal eating.
In theory, seasonal eating offers food choices with a higher quantum yield. When we eat plants and fruits, which of course grow and develop via the process of photosynthesis, we are basically eating light that has been stored as electrons in the covalent bonds of food molecules. Eating plants which have grown and flourished under natural light conditions, rather than out-of-season in greenhouses, thus exhibit all their natural nutrients.
While all proteins, polysaccharides and fats are ultimately destined to become NADH and donate electrons to the electron transport chain of the inner mitochondrial membrane to produce ATP, foods which promote inflammatory responses can steal electrons along the way by feeding into free radical production. (12)
In high-stress lifestyles with increased levels of oxidative stress, natural live food choices with higher antioxidant potential could be considered an electrically good choice.
Meditation and the Mind
The Mind is a somewhat general term for the stuff going on in your brain. The idea of the mind should include the concept of behaviours, beliefs, and the relentlessness of the transient energy which flows through all of us, all the time – thoughts.
Today more than ever, there is a growing awareness of the practice of meditation. The scientific community has come around to the fact that it’s not a load of rubbish, and the success of certain introductory meditation apps is unprecedented.
This growing awareness and popularity of guided meditation practices is not without merit. After all, the mind affects everything we do and experience. Our thoughts are just thoughts; they only grow in influence when we lavish them with attention. The most advanced virtual reality machine ever created—the brain—colours and details the thoughts we ask it to, intertwining them with electrical and chemical alterations to our autonomic nervous system. We experience this as feelings, emotions.
If we practice particular thoughts regularly enough, we can build patterns, which may even expand into beliefs and drive our behaviour. These beliefs may or may not serve us well. Truth doesn’t really matter in this equation, since whether what we believe is true or not, our neurology and chemistry will change to make it feel right for us.
In the great Eastern tradition of Ayurveda, it is said that we shouldn’t try to control the mind. I completely agree. The mind does what the mind does, and it’s better to make friends with the mind and accept it as the crazy monkey that constantly jumps around inside your head, and focus instead on the goal of transcending the mind.
As we are all only human, we will always find ourselves getting caught up in the show of the mind sometimes, but we do have the ability to dissociate ourselves from the relentless thoughts and to find space in the calm that exists above thought. In so doing, emotions can become more stable, and we are able to experience the true reality of the moment, the now. Experience is not just our external circumstances, as real as they may seem. Our true experience is always a choice in some way.
Many people recommend meditation for a number of reasons, as do I. Meditation should be used as a tool to practice the art of not thinking and focusing one’s attention on a specific experience.
We conclude the Holistic Menu with one of the most familiar health-expanding practices that we have, which is of course movement. What I would like to present is a more holistic way to look at the effects of movement itself.
Classically, the notion of exercise is based around the desire to ‘get fit’ or to ‘lose weight’. There’s nothing wrong with these goals, but there are a few other factors in the overall importance of movement itself.
In our AMN Coach Certification we introduce the student to the concept of considering the brain and nervous system more closely with regards to movement and exercise. In our Level One Practitioner Certification, we explain in detail what kind of movement can directly improve the function of certain parts of the ‘motor system,’ and the top-down effects of such movements. In our Level Two Practitioner Certification, we look at normalising altered bioelectrical charge within the motor system through touch and tapping on bones to further improve an individual’s motor output—their movement performance.
So how is it that we can ultimately change how the body, the muscles, and the whole motor system performs by tapping and poking people? It once again comes down to electrons.
As covered earlier in this article, multiple body tissues are piezoelectric. The interstitial fluid, the connective tissue matrix, and the cellular cytoskeleton tissues create the living matrix of the body. (13)
It is imperative to our function that the electrostatic tone of these tissues, and their interaction with the cells, chemicals etc is maintained within a physiological normal range of a net negative electric potential.
One way the body acts to achieve this is through the constant generation of small piezoelectric currents which flow throughout the Extracellular Matrix. These are generated endogenously through motion and compression. (14)
Our Certifications teach how to initiate these currents to therapeutic effect, but it should be understood that the movements we make aren’t just about getting fit, but also about maintaining normal electrical function.
Movement can be coupled to our perception through focused attention, enhancing the number of neurons which fire in the brain as we move to promote synaptogenesis, which is an increase in the number and density of connections between neurons.
Cardiovascular exercise should be looked at not as an inefficient way to lose body fat, but rather as a great way of driving oxygenated blood to the frontal cortex and hippocampus. (15)
Our muscles are not dumb pieces of tissue which simply lengthen and shorten when told to. They are electrically entangled with our organs, which are electrically and chemically entangled with our emotions. Experientially, stretching certain muscles for extended periods of time seems to be able to affect our mood. The postures we assume are an expression of all of the tissues, chemicals, electrical charges, and emotions which directly influence hormone synthesis. (16)
There are researchers out there who propose the body as the subconscious mind. It is high time that the health and fitness industry considers movement in a more holistic way.
We should encourage others and ourselves to explore more of our movement potential than just the basic capacity paradigm of fitness training, and consider an expanded view of the effects of sunlight, earthing, nutrition, the mind, and movement on health to include the promotion and maintenance of bioelectrical communication within the body.
By understanding these different parts of the Holistic Menu and how they function together, we can be in a better position to put together ‘meal plans’ for a wide variety of people, from those who are generally in good functional health to those who are struggling with chronic illnesses and imbalances. Optimising each facet of holism will help achieve better overall health. (17)
Written by David Fleming, Director of Education @ AMN Academy