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1030 E El Camino Real #342
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Get Healthy Naturally with Jennifer Schmid | Speaker.  Healer.  Nurse.  Naturopath. 

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Oasis Wellness Radio

Our latest blogs and podcasts on earth-based medicine, current trends in healthcare, and finding the balance.

Filtering by Category: patient advocacy

Emotions, the Immune System and Empathy

Jennifer Schmid

So my plan was to make a really cool video for you this week. The universe had other ideas.

I started feeling achy and funky on Friday, and by yesterday morning, it felt like two spear-fighting sumo wrestlers were fighting the match of the century in my throat every time I tried to talk.  Ouch.

Rather than leave you empty-handed, I want to share with you this amazing video about empathy. It was developed and produced by the Cleveland Clinic. 

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Why I do what I do: The case of "disappearing diabetes"

Jennifer Schmid

Back in November, my trusted friend and colleague, Press Maycock, came to the VA to give a presentation to Veterans and staff on the food-mood connection. 

Press shared information about foods that the doctors don’t provide to their patients. Maybe they don’t know, or maybe they don’t think it will make a difference, but either way, the docs and nutritionists almost never share 21st century, evidence-based nutritional information with their patients.

Press shared, and for one Vet in particular, he made a huge difference.

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9 Myths about Influenza and the Flu Vaccine

Jennifer Schmid

“Flu season” is almost upon us, and with it, influenza vaccine propaganda is everywhere. 

I don’t use the word “propaganda” lightly. It has a negative connotation and implies that misinformation is being fed to people to manipulate their beliefs and their actions. 

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we see when it comes to the influenza and the flu vaccine. And it’s only gotten worse over the last 10 years.

But wait, you say, thousands of people die every year from the flu. We have to get the influenza vaccine so that we are totally protected against getting the flu. And we have to get it every year. They're totally safe! 

None of those statements is true.

Let’s break down nine (9) of the biggest myths about influenza and the influenza vaccine.

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SB 277: What every parent needs to know to make an informed decision

Jennifer Schmid

When the California Senate began creating SB277, a draconian bill that would eliminate philosophical and religious exemptions for entry into public or private schools, I thought there was no way it could actually pass and be signed into law. Surely the legislators and governor would realize what a grievous affront the bill was against the right to informed consent and a child’s right to attend school, wouldn’t they? 

Nope. 

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Getting Vaxxed Shouldn't Mean Getting Burned

Jennifer Schmid

Last year I wrote a blog post called “Why I’m not afraid of measles.” It went viral (no pun intended) and continues to be my most popular blog ever, with over 50,000 hits. It also attracted the ire of pharmaceutical trolls and uneducated people alike who felt it was their duty to call me every nasty name in the book. I even got a death threat, which made me more angry than afraid. 

Since then I haven’t said much publicly about vaccination. Instead, I’ve been working behind the scenes to teach people about their international right to informed consent, to advocate for parents and children, and to help my clients discover the meaning of true health. 

Last week, however, I was moved and inspired by Robert DeNiro’s incredible display of courage when he appeared on the Today show in support of the movie Vaxxed, which had been pulled from his Tribeca Movie Festival after other filmmakers supposedly complained about its single scheduled showing. Vaxxed is a documentary focusing on how a CDC whistleblower came forward with proof that the CDC had destroyed information linking the MMR vaccine to increased rates of autism by as much as 300%, especially in African-American boys.

I suspect that there is a lot more to the movie being pulled, beyond a few artist complaints, because of how much could be lost if this information goes mainstream and gains traction. We’re talking billions of dollars and the reputations of hundreds of federal, state, and county officials who will have to answer to millions of parents and children.

In honor of Mr. DeNiro’s bravery, I’ll be coming out with an updated version of my measles blog in the next couple of weeks. So much has happened since then, including the passage of SB 277 here in California, despite public protests. Fear is so powerful.

Rather than shutting down people who question our national reliance on vaccination as our sole disease prevention strategy, we need to keep the conversations going. We need to keep asking the hard questions.

The heath of our nation could be at stake.

You can see the video of DeNiro on the Today show here. Fast forward to minute 2:20, when a father’s love and passion break free on national mainstream television. I could have weptfor him. 

http://www.today.com/video/robert-de-niro-on-anti-vaccine-film-controversy-let-s-find-out-the-truth-665031235642

And yes, he was absolutely excoriated in media and social media afterwards, simply because he thinks parents have a right to know the truth. 

Because everyone has a right to know the truth. 

You can watch the trailer for Vaxxed here. http://vaxxedthemovie.com/ Local screenings are being arranged throughout the country.

Stay tuned, my friends. I’m here to be your advocate, to fight for you, and make sure that we get some answers to those hard questions.

Busting the Pharmaceutical Myth (Podcast #1)

Jennifer Schmid

It’s finally here! Our inaugural Oasis Wellness podcast has gone live. And you gotta listen. Join me as I speak with fellow myth buster Gerald Roliz, certified nutritional consultant and author of The Pharmaceutical Myth. In this podcast, we will:

  • give you a sneak peak into pharmaceutical marketing practices;
  • explore why pharmaceutical drugs can be harmful; and 
  • provide you with applicable tools to take control of your own health by feeding your body the nutrients it needs.
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Creating Space, Creating Joy

Jennifer Schmid

Sometimes the only way that we can welcome changes into our lives is by creating space for them to live and breathe. If our fridge is full of take-out containers, pizza boxes, soda cans, and shriveled apples, we have no place to put the grass-fed beef, mineral water, beet salad, or fresh kale. Likewise, as we discussed in the previous blog, we might need to get rid of old habits that are not serving us in order to try out a new one.

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Improving Patient Outcomes and Creating Solutions through Practitioner Collaboration

Jennifer Schmid

I recently read a blog post titled “How to talk with your patients about alternative medicine.” I got really excited and thought Yes! Another physician who gets it. Well, no. The blog really should have been called “How to convince your patients why you think alternative medicine is bogus without offending them.” 

Because of the negative way alternative medicine is portrayed in the media, I had the misperception that the great majority of conventional practitioners were against it. I started digging, though, and happily found out, that is not necessarily the case.

The problem is, few of us are working together for the greater good to collaborate with other practitioners and offer patients what they really want.

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More Measles Musings from a Swollen-headed Narcissist

Jennifer Schmid

Whew. My previous blog about why I’m not afraid of measles has gotten over 21,000 hits and 5000 Facebook likes in 3 days. People are so hungry (ahem) for nutritional solutions to health care issues. The feedback for the blog has been overwhelmingly positive, though I have been called all sorts of untoward names. Someone even said to me that using whole food nutritional strategies to boost the immune system was akin to “snake oil.”

There is so much fear out there. There are so many people who truly believe that pharmaceuticals such as drugs and vaccines are the only answer, and without “modern medicine”, we are are all going to die. I have such compassion for people who live in that fear, because a) I used to live that way, and b) it’s not a joyful way to live.

So let me reiterate. We don’t have to be afraid. 

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Why I'm not afraid of measles

Jennifer Schmid

Update, January 30, 2015: Thank you so much for your positive feedback about this post! You people rock. Due to popular demand, I have revised the blog to include more citations so that you know I am not pulling the wool over your eyes. Likewise, at the request of nutrition guru, Sally Fallon Morrell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, I have added in two more effective prevention strategies to help boost immunity, both of which are, of course, back up by science, just like all the others. Be sure to download the revised Strategy flyer!

Everyone should follow a measles prevention strategy by strengthening their health and immune system, even if they're vaccinated. Here's my strategy.

 

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Oasis Wellness Empowerment Series #3: On the Journey towards Patient and Provider Empowerment

Jennifer Schmid

It’s not easy being an empowered patient in our current health care system, which places way too much emphasis on “the doctor/pharmaceutical company/FDA is always right”, and too little emphasis on what might actually work best for that patient.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. There’s ONE step that you have to take to become empowered. Just ONE. Ready?

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Oasis Wellness Empowerment Series #2: Disempowering Patients through Fear, Coercion, and Force

Jennifer Schmid

In the first segment of our 3-part Empowerment series, I discussed why it’s so important for patients and providers to feel empowered, and how we can use the Internet as a way to stay informed on best current practices. Today, we look at an uglier side of our health care system based on the outdated beliefs that the health care provider is always right, and Western medicine has all the answers.

Except in trauma, Western medicine excels at suppressing symptoms, but it’s not so good at helping people to heal. (I define healing as coming back as strong or even stronger than before the illness or health issue developed.) Even worse, our health care system is rife with practitioners – from all ranks of medicine, both conventional and alternative – who believe that they know better than their patients. And rather than using information to empower their patients, they use fear, coercion, and sometimes force to manipulate their patients into “patient compliance”, making them go along with treatments that are expensive, not evidence based, and/or may cause harm to the patient.

 I know these are strong words to use. The problem is, people contact me every week because they want options. They question why their doctor is “requiring” that they or their child endure a treatment or intervention that might cause them harm, whether those treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, or supplements. They feel intuitively there must be a different way, but their provider is not providing them with any options.

 It’s the ugly side of our health care system, and it is hurting patients.

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Oasis Wellness Empowerment Series #1: How the Internet can Empower Patients and Providers

Jennifer Schmid

If information is power, then the Internet – long crowned the “information superhighway” – provides both patients and health care providers a compelling platform for empowerment.  Patients want to know about their choices and treatment options -- ALL of their options, not just what was taught in medical school ten, twenty, thirty years ago. 

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Healing for the FUN of it

Justin Wood

Most of the time, people become my clients because they are unhappy with the prescriptions they get from their doctors, whether conventional or naturopathic. They are overwhelmed by the pharmaceuticals, supplements, and diet changes that their provider insists they must swallow and follow for what seems like an infinite amount of time -- a year, the foreseeable future, or in some cases, forever. And that saps any possibility of joy from their potential healing. The client loses their mojo. They see Mt. Everest before them. Huge. Looming. Insurmountable.

Why in the world would they want to invest the time, money, and energy in a process that might or might not heal them, but will, in their eyes, cause them to suffer, whether physically or emotionally? To me, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

I do not believe in telling my clients they have to “suffer through it,” “stick it out,” "feel crappy," “endure it,” or anything of that nature. Yuck.

One of the fundamental tenets of the work I do is to show people how to capture the joy in healing. Healing – no matter how it comes about -- should be FUN. If you’re going to spend the time, money, and energy to heal, it needs to feel good, whether it involves whole foods, herbs, or diet and lifestyle changes.

This is not some idealistic Pollyanna scam on my part. Like all of the work that I do, this premise is based on science. Just look at the research surrounding laughter as medicine. When patients feel joy, they feel better. It doesn’t matter if they’re depressed, have cancer, walk with pain, or are on dialysis. Their symptoms improve.

Therefore, incorporating joy and fun into a client’s journey towards optimal wellness is critical. They are integral components of earth-based medicine, especially where food is concerned.

We all understand the joy and comfort that we get from eating certain foods and drinking certain beverages. Unfortunately many of these foods and beverages take away from our health, particularly when we are dealing with some sort of health crisis.

For instance, I had a client, Liz*, who came to me wanting to lose weight and unable to kick a 30 year Diet Coke habit. She drank anywhere from 5-10 cans a day. She knew the Diet Coke was unhealthy and contributed to her weight gain, but she enjoyed drinking it during her stressful day as a high-tech executive. I asked her what she specifically liked about the soda, and she said, “The bubbles refresh me.” I suggested that she drink mineral water instead. Violà – the Diet Coke habit disappeared in one week, and she’s been on a healing journey ever since. All we had to do was tap into her joy.

Patricia*, who was already an amazing cook, has started listening to music while making dinner. She says the food tastes better, she is eating more slowly, and her digestion has improved.

Children especially need to have fun when they’re healing. Kate*, a beautiful 11 year old, came to me with her mom recently after dealing with debilitating joint pain for over a year. She has been to countless doctors, all of whose different diagnoses and prescriptions, despite their best intentions and steep costs, have caused Kate to suffer even more. Some recent bloodwork suggests that Kate needs to make some major changes to her diet, including not eating her Halloween candy. Together with her mom, we figured out what would bring her joy instead of the sugar, and she left my office empowered and smiling, knowing she would get some of her favorite Pangea Organics lip balm at the end of her candy-free week. There might even be a trip to Disneyland in the spring.

When you give people options, when you take the time to find out what brings them joy and what’s “fun” to them, you also tap into their innermost source of deep healing. Yes, healing can mean making major life changes, but these changes should be rooted in joy, not suffering.

I want my clients to have fun while they’re healing. I want them to savor the physical and emotional joy that comes from their symptoms disappearing and from living life to the fullest. My clients are redefining wellness for themselves and having a darn good time in the process. And that’s what I call medicine.

*Names have been changed to protect clients’ privacy.

Setting the self-care example for our patients

Justin Wood

How many people do you know who suppress their need to rejuvenate, who pick themselves up in the morning with their Starbucks grande and numb themselves in the evening with wine, beer, or whiskey? How many nurses and doctors do you know who are hooked on coffee, junk food, and Diet Coke to get through their long shifts? As a patient, how does it make you feel when you meet your doctor/nurse/practitioner for the first time, and they’re 50 pounds overweight, with big, dark circles under their eyes, and they too tired to greet you with a smile?

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Why I’m not afraid of Ebola (but you might be)

Justin Wood

I recently read a blog stating it would unethical to conduct a study on Ebola treatments using a placebo (fake treatment). I take that a step further. It is unethical to conduct a study using ONLY drugs. If Ebola is such a menace, why are we not using every possible means to heal people and to prevent illness?

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