Segment 3

Find Segment 1 here

sweat

4. Movement and Form

 Engaging the will in a physical manner warms the body (expressing the I organization) and at its best will promote sweating (excretion is the activity of the soul body or astral). Regular exercise and diet modification has been shown to have a stronger therapeutic effect in diabetes than medication (metformin). Working with the holistic picture of diabetes as a disorder of incarnation/early excarnation more can be added than simply a recommendation for a gym membership. Rhythm, form and above all- meaning should be integrated into the physical activity. No better example of this integration exists than in Eurythmy therapy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZAM88E5BHE

This movement therapy is not widely available in the US. Tai Chi can be seen as the Eastern form of Eurythmy. It has been examined in multiple studies and has clear I organization benefits. This study in diabetics shows improvement in blood sugar control- there is a clear link between form and movement with integration of the I organization into the physical body.

Other activities that include rhythm and purpose include gardening and hiking. These allow access to impressions from nature- with gardening a direct impact of our physical activity on nature is paramount. This necessitates rhythmic application of the will forces and is quite therapeutic. It is best to exercise to the point of sweating as this is an outer sign of the higher members taking hold of the physical and life body. 

5. Supporting the "I am"

quartz

Several remedies are key in Anthroposophic (humanized) treatment of diabetes. Rosemary is a key healing plant that we have discussed in diabetes care before. Rosemary puts its sulphur forces of oil creation into its leaves. This supports the I organization as it takes hold of the physical body. Rosemary given as an herbal supplement will reduce insulin resistance and helps control blood sugar. In homeopathic form it can also be taken internally to support the incarnation of the I and astral.

Quartz (silica) has a relationship with light and structure. The sense organs develop in the company of the amniotic fluid which is high in silica. Diabetes is a disorder that affects sensing- this is not limited to just the well known issues with diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Internal sensing is disordered as well. It is well known that diabetics often have masked symptoms of heart attack, sometimes just feeling unwell or nauseated. Diabetics cannot "sense" and respond to boluses of food that then result in elevated blood sugar. With gastroparesis the stomach can have a meal inside and not respond to it. Typically quartz is given in mid-range potency. 

Where quartz structures light and holds its form giving properties, phosporus also stands in relation to light as the active, working, willing power of the I organization. Where our will is active we see the active working of phosphorus (ATP converts to ADP to give energy for nearly all biologic processes). Phosphorus and its relation to calcium is an astonishing picture in the human body of a polarity that we will explore another time. Phosphorus in low potency is incarnating and often used in the mornings in diabetes. 

6. Inner work

Diabetes points to the need to strengthen the human organism so it can live in the body it gets with our times, with the destiny that occurs through our current world. Nothing can be better than the six basic exercises developed by Rudolf Steiner. Each is done for 4 weeks before moving on to the next one. 

  1. Control of thoughts- each day 5 minutes are dedicated to thinking about a very simple object (pencil or paperclip)

  2. Control of actions- each day a simple, unnecessary action is performed at the same time (triggered only by us remembering to do it)

  3. Equanimity- through the day observe your feelings (tame your intense ones, increase your weak ones)

  4. Positivity- through the day look at situations with a positive stance

  5. Open-mindedness- through each day practice being open-minded

  6. Harmonization of the preceding 5 exercises.

Working with these exercises is beneficial for everyone but especially therapeutic for diabetics. 

An Integrative Approach 

Segment 2

Find Segment 1 here

In the previous segment we saw two tendencies resulting in the two types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes the upper element of the nerve-sense pole is over-emphasized and have trouble working into the lower organism (impaired incarnation). In type 2 diabetes the metabolism resists the action of the upper elements (early excarnation). There are subtypes of diabetes that can be put in one or both of these categories. For example, a type 1 diabetic can develop insulin resistance. These six general principles can offer a natural path to traversing the mission of diabetes. 

1. Remove Obstacles to Self-Actualization

snail

Everyone has their own issues both internal and external that keep them from fulfilling themselves fully. It is important to take a step back and attempt to observe your life from the outside. One helpful method is to describe your biography. What is your story so far- where has destiny brought you, and what do you want to accomplish? It is helpful to divide life into 7 year periods as these correspond to a higher reality of human development. Notable strokes of destiny occur throughout the biography.

Forgiving and reconciliation is an inner way of overcoming life's hurdles. We remove the poison from an experience when we can bring forgiveness (by granting or asking) into our life. Our true self becomes more powerful and can work deeper into the "real world".

Finding our own traits that need work is also possible through biography work and sensing our accomplishments and our shortcomings can give us direction in life.

Sometimes we can identify toxic issues that limit us. Perhaps a relationship is keeping us from being who we need really are. A job or another commitment can also be toxic. Can these things be changed? Can we only put boundaries in place so that we limit the toxicity? Do we need to leave entirely? Similarly we can find things in life that truly energize us. We need to focus on these activities and relationships. Looking back to the two characteristics of diabetes it is easy to see how preparing our life to enhance self-actualization is in itself a remedy to diabetes.

2. Diet

oats

Diet is a fundamental issue in diabetes. Humanized (Anthroposophic) medicine gives helpful indications of how certain foods can affect the entire body. A plant-based diet can help our upper members (astral and I organization) to work more intensely into the metabolism. Foods from the flower/fruit domain of the plant have a relevance to the metabolic domain in the human being. Oats are one instance of a special flower/fruit that can be used as a dietary aid against diabetes. Oats have a special relation to air, light and warmth. Oats help the higher members of the human being to grasp the metabolic pole. There are large studies on oats and their effect on diabetes control1. Significant oat intake was shown to improve blood sugars and reduce the A1C by almost half a percentage point. Lipid profiles were also improved.

Oat days are an easy way to integate oats as a medicine. For 2 days in a row, whole oats are made into a porridge (unsweetened) and fresh vegetables added. This oat preparation is eaten for each meal those 2 days. These "oat fasts" are done once a month and can reduce the need for insulin and improve diabetes control.

Coffee and green tea are also of benefit in diabetes.

Food quality is of utmost importance. Food that is fertilized with artificial fertilizers will nourish the head organism in a one sided way (salts bear a relationship with the root forces of a plant which relate inversely to our nerve-sense system). This overemphasis on the head forces itself can be diabetes promoting in the same way that early intellectualization of children promotes diabetes. Organic and optimally biodynamic foods support the integration of the upper members of the human being down into the metabolism. Following this thinking, I also recommend avoiding seedless fruits and vegetables modified to avoid flowering (many grapes and lettuces) though I have yet to see any funded study on this subject. 

Ketogenic diet can be an effective treatment and even a reverser of type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics should only use this diet under close physician supervision and supervision is needed in insulin using type 2 diabetics (as insulin requirement may substantially decrease). This diet should be relatively, mostly, or even completely meat-free with preferred meat being nutritional organ meat. Fat is the main component of this diet 85% of calories, with protein being about 10% and carbohydrates about 5%. Animal fats are acceptable but sources of fat and meat from pastured animals is key. The light and air elements are again prominent dietary factors.

Fats are the easiest source of foods for our digestion to metabolize. They directly relate to warmth and the ketogenic diet promotes a catabolic effect in the metabolism which can be especially therapeutic in the type 2 diabetic. The I organization must work hard for every bit of sugar it sees in this diet. The I supporting effect is seen in the protection from symptomatic hypoglycemia reported in the medical literature. Also in support of this I organization supporting effect are some remarkable case reports showing resolution of psychosis and schizophrenia that occurred in association with the ketogenic diet.  

Periphery Work

periphery

The issue in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes involves the periphery- the metabolic pole of the human being. In type 1 diabetes the upper organism needs to be "invited in" to the metabolism-limb domain. In type 2 diabetes the upper organism needs help- can we "open up" the metabolic-limb system so that the upper organism can take hold of it more easily? Rosemary oil is a powerful remedy in diabetes care. It promotes the warmth of the upper organism to penetrate the limb system. Rosemary has an awakening effect and is best used in the morning. This herb is useful in combatting neuropathy. The best way to address the periphery is through the Jungebad, a specialized oil dispersion bath. Oil is dispersed so finely in bathwater that the oil can be measured in the blood of patients who have had this bath therapy. Mistletoe can also be given in such a peripheral way to good effect in diabetics. Prunus spinosa in this type of bath will support the life (etheric) body. 

Massage of oils into the limbs is helpful in this "opening up, inviting in" treatment. Rhythmical Einreibung (a unique type of touch and oil application) can be of great effect in inviting in the upper members of the human being. 

Part 4-6 continued here

The giraffe's thyroid is located just under its head where it would wear a necktie to a party

Thyroid Holistic Treatment

Find Segment 1 here 

Iodine is a central element in thyroid hormone. In its occurence in nature we can see the catabolic effect of iodine. It is a popular and effective disinfectant so powerful that it is placed with a molecular buffer to make it less problematic in humans (povidone iodine). We have explored the process of breaking down (catabolism) and its occurence with qualities of awakening in the organism. It is not surprising that we see an awakening process occuring in association with the living iodine messenger of thyroid hormone. Iodine is useful where the astral body needs tied again into the living organism. 

Goitre

sponge

In treatment of a diffuse, soft enlargement of the thyroid we see the need to boost the astral body's activity in the metabolic system. This is fostered with use of a sulphur related remedy such as Weleda's Spongia D1 (16 drops in the morning). This remedy gives 200mcg of iodine per day and does so in an enlivend way (as opposed to giving simply elemental iodine. The salt polarity in goitre calls for the need to support the consciousness in the organism. Calcium iodatum D3 is used here. 

Hyperthyroidism

autumn crocus thyroid remedy

The maxim that the plant corresponds to an upside down human is helpful in the discovery and understanding of remedies. (We will more fully develop this in another place). The bulb or tuber corresponds to the neck region in the human. The autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) contains natural colchicine- used conventionally in gout. The delayed robust flower of this plant shows the strong working of astrality. The regular life processes are held back. Colchicum tuber D3 10 drops three times per day is a developed remedy for both subclinical and fully manifested hyperthyroidism. There is evidence in the medical literature of its effectiveness in regulating these conditions1. The symptoms associated with a too active thyroid such as insomnia and anxiety were also alleviated. Iron supports the working of the I activity and can be useful as an ointment placed over the neck in the morning. Here we are supporting the piloting skill of the rider on a wild horse (I restraining the astral body). 

In Grave's disease, the above cochicum is essential but more is needed. Cuprite and chalcocite support the I organization. Cuprite D3 (1 pinch 3 times daily) supports the I organization's formative role. Chalcocite supports the activity in the metabolic pole. Symptomatic relief can be obtained with bryophyllum- useful for insomnia and anxiety. Tachycardia can be naturally treated with cardiodoron 20 drops 3 times daily. Stibium is a useful "holding" remedy. 

Hypothyroidism

We have used the analogy of a rider on a tired horse to describe too low a thyroid. Levico water is a therapeutic spring water from the Italian Alps. It has a complex composition that includes homeopathic amounts of iron and arsenic- the arsenic is therapeutic to a weak astral body. Uriel's Aquavit contains Levico water and a mixture of vitalizing herbs and is a US available remedy for hypothyroidism- it also addresses and supports the etheric body which often has been neglected by the weak astral in hypothyroid patients. Selenium supplementation is a helpful adjuvunct to the thyoid also as it defends the thyroid from its own catabolic state. Arsenic D6 can be given as 20 drops in the morning to support the astral body. Copper ointment assists in the strengthening of the astral body in the region of the thyroid. It can be applied every evening. Here is a good list of natural thyroid support treatments.

The need to give the tools of thyroid hormone to the body is essential. It is remarkable that many patients do not feel "right" even with normal hormone levels when they are supplemented with synthetic thyroid hormone. Changing to an enlivened thyroid hormone supplement (Armour Thyroid) will often solve this issue.

Eurythmy and Inner Work

This healing movement art is used often in Anthroposphic (humanized) medicine. The human being can make gestures that correspond to vowels and consonants- these can work in a healing way back into the human being. The sequence L-M-S and S-M-I-A are both therapeutic for the thyroid.

Inner exercises can support thyroid health. Rudolf Steiner brought eight exercises that relate to the spiritual organ at the level of the larynx. These exercises are of course healthy for every person. 

 

thyroid-neck.jpg

Find Segment 1 Here!

Special thanks to Matthus Girke and his foundational book Anthroposophic Medicine

Thyroid and Health

The action of the thyroid can be compared to the horse with a rider. Hypothyroid states have a rider with a tired horse. Symptoms of fatigue, depression, and poor memory are common. Hyperthyroid states show a rider on a wild or disturbed horse. Anxiety, emotional swings and insomnia develop. The thyroid thus stands between the forces of light and the forces of life. It finds its place in the neck- a vulnerable spot in the human body. Body language such as covering the neck with the hand signifies feeling in a vulnerable situation. The liver is the organ at the seat of our life forces and it has a relationship to the thyroid. It actually produces the precursors that are used in the gland itself. The forces of light (closely related to our consciousness I forces or piloting forces) work into the human organism through the frontal lobe of the brain. 

Subclinical Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism- Too Coarse a Sieve?

coarse sieve

One tenth of the population has subclinical a subclinical thyroid disorder. Mostly this disorder goes undiagnosed and is considered as not causing any detectable symptoms. But science may be using too coarse of a sieve- are we missing subtle symptoms from these "subclinical" disorders?

We diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism when the thyroid hormone amount is normal but the hormone stimulating the thyroid (TSH) is high- the body has to more heavily encourage the gland to work. Subclinical hyperthyroidism occurs when the hormone is normal but the TSH is lower than normal- the thyroid is working without oversight from the body. Interestingly, though one would not expect to see any negative effect from a materialistic point of view as a normal amount of hormone is working through the body in both states, there have been several studies finding just the effects we would expect from a humanized, spiritual outlook.

In subclinical hypothyroidism that is untreated there are studies showing double the incidence of depression1 than the general population. Infertility may be greater in subclinical hypothyroid patients2 with treatment showing a positive effect on fertility. Heart disease and cholesterol abnormalities have been linked to the subclinical hypothyroid state as well3. The dynamic working of the astral soul element in the bodily constitution is decreased resulting in relative inelasticity of arteries and inability to conceive. Without surprise, some of the risks of subclinical hypothyroidism are not alleviated simply by giving artificial thyroiid hormone. The body is already producing enough natural hormone- a salutogenic (human supporting) approach needs to be taken instead. 

Subclinical hyperthyroidism has been associated with atrial fibrillation and death from heart failure4. Findings of increased risk of dementia5 in the elderly with this condition are concerning. Other psychiatric conditions are also being examined for a linkage but the evidence is less robust. 

The materialistic view of disease sees disease occurring from a physical issue. Our anthroposophic (humanized) approach with the thyroid sees an evolution of disease possible from spiritual (non-material) imbalances that affect the relationship to the higher members of our being (I organization, astral body, life body). This process eventually takes hold of the physical and results in material changes in our body. These thyroid conditions untreated will evolve into full hypo or hyper thyroid disorders. 

Indications to Therapy

horse thyroid

In thyroid disorders we can start to see that the pilot (I organization) needs to be addressed. In low thyroid states the pilot needs to nurture the too tired horse (the astral organization). In overactive thyroid states the pilot needs to actively rein in the wild horse. Movement therapy- especially eurythmy exercises can have a key role in treatment. Biographical work is another key aspect. The numerous pharmaceutical remedies will also be discussed but these will address the four-fold human constitution of body, life, soul and spirit. 

Find Segment 3 Here

sugar pile

Diabetes Mellitus Segment 1

Diabetes is a cardinal disease of our time. The rise in prevalence in the US has been noted. This article predicted a lifetime chance of being diagnosed as 31%, 49%, and 53% in women identifying as white, black, or hispanic respectfully. We can see the risk of diabetes increase in immigrants as a function of years lived in the West. Young Native American or African Americans are up to 9 times more likely to have diabetes than white youth. Conventionally, diabetes is seen as a disregualtion in controlling blood sugar- being coarsely diagnosed by a higher than normal blood sugar level. A fasting blood sugar of 126 or greater, a random blood sugar equal to or over 200 with symptoms, or a hemoglobin a1c equal or over 6.5 will diagnose diabetes. Treatment is seen as normalizing these levels and reducing risk factors. The above data point to a soul-spiritual component to diabetes that is overlooked in diagnosis and treatment. 

Diabetes relates to sugar. Rudolf Steiner connects sugar to the "I organization" -basically sugar is linked to the I activity working to make our body our own. In diabetes the I organization has trouble directing the process of glucose regulation. We can relate sweet consumption with the I organization- sugary foods are a big "comfort food". Low blood sugar is related to lack of piloting (I organization) and consciousness. The notable exception is the protective effect of the ketogenic diet on brittle diabetics. studies have noted that low blood sugar does not cause typical hypoglycemic symptoms. The ketogenic diet makes the I organization work hard to relate itself to sugar. It plays a main role in diabetes therapy- especially type 2 diabetics.

frog diabetic

Frogs are Nature's Diabetics

In nature we find frogs using high blood sugar to protect themselves against freezing. As the temperature drops they purposefully eat lots of jelly doughnuts to ready themselves for winter. Actually, their liver kicks in and makes tons of sugar. This dehydrates them and makes them quite resistant to freezing. The "I organization" properties of sugar also relate as expected to warmth. 

hummingbird

Hummingbirds are not really diabetic. Even though they have fasting blood sugars in the 300's and go as high as the 700's after eating, their metabolism and constant movement as well as their constitution prevent them from manifesting symptoms of diabetes. 

There are two main types of diabetes mellitus- type 1 and type 2. (A purely physical/destiny related diabetes exists called secondary diabetes where the pancreas is either removed or injured). Type 1 diabetes typically over emphasizes the form principle. This type is caused by an autoimmune attack on the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. It is point specific and the patients tend to be slender and of a nerve-sense polarity. In my clinical experience there is often a preceding "shock" to the I organization. This shock can be a divorce or death in the family. It may not be directly recognized as children can be deeply affected by situations that adults may easily miss. A retrospective study of Swedish children noted that type 1 diabetes was 3 times more likely to be associated with a documented "stressful life event" preceding the diagnosis. Here we are dealing with an "I shock" to thhe developing child.

cake

Type 2 diabetes is a process disorder. It happens in the periphery- the entire body is affected and causes the diabetic state. A combination of inactivity, overweight, high carbohydrate consumption and genetic predisposition shifts the metabolism such that it becomes resistant to insulin. The pancreas needs to produce more insulin to do the same amount of work regulating glucose. Eventually the body cannot keep up- though typically there is still insulin being produced. It is like talking to your grandfather before he turns on his hearing aids. Even though the pancreas "shouts" with its insulin, the body is still hard of hearing- and eventually the pancreas gets hoarse. It stops producing enough insulin and blood sugar goes high. This is a metabolic, process oriented disorder of I organization functioning. 

Diabetes, Culture, Self

It should be less puzzling that populations suffering from long term, systemic degradation of their culture have higher rates of diabetes (and this is the metabolic type 2 diabetes born in the will forces). African American and Native American populations have had cultural tragedies perpetrated on them historically. In the US it is much harder to fulfill one's destiny. Poverty also affects this. It is interesting that Western culture in general impacts an individual's ability to truly unfold as an individual (we are seeing the rise of diabetes in our culture). Type 2 diabetics generally have an actualization and activation problem. We will look at ways to address diabetes from this humanized viewpoint in the next segment. 

6 Aspects of Holistic Diabetes treatment continued here

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