(Health Secrets) Many of us do everything the medical establishment asks when we are faced with injury, pain and chronic disease, yet we just can’t seem to get well. We are left with the question: Why can’t I achieve total recovery?
Dr. Gary Kaplan, Doctor of Osteopathy and author of Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression tells us the medical establishment’s thinking about disease is all wrong. Current research is revealing the neurological connection between physical pain and emotional pain as two sides of the same coin.
New research findings show that every injury, infection, toxin, and emotional assault we experience generates the same inflammation reaction in the brain. Inflammation activates tiny cells in the brain called microglia.
Inflammation is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection. Inflammation, which displays as localized heat, redness, swelling, and pain, increases nourishment and immune activity where healing is needed. But chronic inflammation can have devastating effects that contribute to chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, or possibly cancer.
Microglia are small non-neural cells, immune cells that form part of the supporting structure of the central nervous system. These cells, found in all regions of the brain and spinal cord, help to defend and repair the brain from injuries.
When the microglia receive too many assaults, this creates a devastating cumulative effect of hyper-reactivity. This hyper-reactivity is a key to understanding the connection between chronic physical pain and depression. A body in constant stress cannot completely heal.
In Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan tells us conventional treatment for health conditions focuses on symptoms, not causes. This leaves patients locked into a lifetime of pain and suffering. Dr. Kaplan has a unified theory of chronic pain and depression, which helps us understand the cause of these conditions as well as the issues we must address to create a pathway to healing.
Mark Hyman, MD, author and chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, remarks that with cutting edge science and clinical expertise, Kaplan has identified the source of the inflammation that has been keeping patients in an endless cycle of pain and depression. Kaplan offers excellent insight into the role our life experiences play as they create a cumulative effect on our health.
Andrew Weil, MD, author and founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center says that Kaplan’s Total Recovery is potentially life changing.
Brian Berman, MD. Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine reports Dr. Kaplan’s book offers us paradigm-shifting insights into the causes of chronic pain.
Wayne B. Jonas, MD, Former Director (1995-1999), Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health describes Gary Kaplan as the Sherlock Holmes of chronic pain. Total Recovery describes a method to uncover the underlying causes of chronic pain and how by correcting them, patients can move toward health. Jonas describes the book as a ‘must read’ at every pain center, by every pain physician, and for every patient with chronic pain.
Kaplan sees the whole person. He views the seemingly disconnected events of the individuals life history and health issues as source information for the brain’s microglia hyper-activity. This life and health history predisposes patients’ bodies and emotions to over-react to seeming small new traumas.
Kaplan offers a free online Total Recovery toolkit, which includes:
A 3-part video series on the gut brain connection
Dr. Kaplan discusses why people stay in pain in spite of treatment, and how treatment strategies must change to become more effective. Topics include:
- The neuro-physiological connection between the human gut and the brain
- The gut’s role in mediating chronic pain conditions
- The effect of pain medications and antibiotics on gut health
- The problem of “leaky gut” and how this condition contributes to chronic pain, inflammation, obesity, fatigue, metabolic syndrome and depression
- How to improve gut health through nutrition, exercise and stress management
Autogenic meditation instruction
The Total Recovery Toolkit also includes an 8-minute autogenic meditation instruction MP3 to guide you in exploring several relaxation techniques to help regulate physiological variables such as body temperature and blood pressure.
A weekly health diary
Keeping a current health diary assists with identifying any problematic aspects to your diet. The toolkit includes a template for your diary with tips for getting started.
A health timeline
Maintaining a health timeline helps you to see if/when a cumulative problematic health pattern has emerged. If you’re dealing with an illness, it will help you to find evidence of how your illness has evolved over the years. The toolkit includes a health timeline template to effectively track and chart your health history. You might be surprised at what you’ll find!
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