Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Book Review 6

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

After the advice of a friend, I picked up this book at the local library and really identified with the content. Some parts of this book felt like the words came from my own thoughts! The author documents the progression from a 3D to 2D world away from nature as the effects of good intentions and fear ultimately have today's youth in house arrest. People do buy SUV's but unfortunately it never even gets to see a gravel road. Now, time is spent watching T.V., internet, gaming, or superficially communicating by instant text messaging. Or, if people do go out into the wilderness, it is to go racing with an ATV and there is no appreciation for the protection of the plants and animals. The author demonstrates how a "religious zeal for technology" and a devaluing and disconnect with nature has direct consequences on physical, emotional and spiritual health. I found the frequent nostalgic tone actually inspiring and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

During a class in my undergraduate degree, a professor presented an epidemiological projection that stated that the generation Dot Com (which followed gen-X) will be the first generation in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. As the "dangers" of playgrounds (ie. swing sets) are removed, we continue to sanitize the risk out of life as much as possible until we have the safest, yet sickest, children in history!

Check out Richard Louv's website at: to learn more about "nature-deficit disorder."

Also, check out the "Leave no Child inside" program at Robert Bateman's Website under the FOR KIDS link.

Friday, July 18, 2008


For the past 2 weeks, I had several interesting encounters with the use of Roundup (an herbicide sold by the chemical giant Monsanto - who is still stuck in the false utopia of the "Green Revolution" ushered in by Norman Borlaug). In a conversation, I was told the story apparently used by some agricultural reps that Roundup is safe and could be drank like Iced Tea! Then, I was out for a run and saw a man spraying a chemical that smelled like Kerosene around his driveway. When I asked him what it was, he stated that it was Roundup. I wondered if it was legal in town and he said that he bought it at the store so, he assumed it was. Furthermore, he was not worried about any harmful effects because there were no wells in the area. Then, this morning I was shown an article in the local paper, The Invermere Valley Echo, called All chemical herbicides are toxic, written by K. Jean Cottam, Ph.D.

A little research showed that there is tremendous controversy surrounding this chemical including court cases and scientific allegations against Monsanto. Glyphosate is the main active ingredient in Roundup but the surfactants used may be the key to toxicity in humans. I was surprised that Wikipedia, being often from a conventional approach, had a great article on Roundup which included a lot of the controversy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Review 5

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D.

This book is an inspiring read for those who are interested in psychology and the capability of the human brain. The central concept is "competitive plasticity" of the brain. At times the book is disturbingly descriptive but it presents insights into the scientific processes in neuroscience and also relates some amazing case studies. Furthermore, it challenges some controversial contemporary beliefs. Be sure to read the 2 Appendices at the end of the book which are also interesting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Yesterday I spent my first day of preceptoring (job shadowing) with a Naturopathic Doctor in Owen Sound. CCNM requires 100 hours of preceptoring before students graduate (Boucher requires 300 hours). It was a humbling experience to witness someone who is exceptional at their vocation guide patients (with very complex conditions) towards health. I was reminded why Naturopathic Doctors go to school for so long and how much more I have yet to learn.

2nd Year Summer Clinic

Last week I finished the 2nd year massage and hydrotherapy clinic rotation. This requirement can be completed any time between the end of 1st year and the beginning of 3rd year. Although getting patients for constitutional hydrotherapy was difficult in the summer, I enjoyed doing the practicals while the theory was still fresh on my mind. Also, doing the clinic in the summer should help ease the volume of second year slightly, I hope.

What an amazing experience, and initially a challenge, to keep the intake relevant and short, and then perform a treatment on a complete stranger. Overall, I found clinic a reward for a year of hard work.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quote of the Month

“Health is a matter of choice, not a mystery of chance.”


Naturopathic Movies VI

An Inconvenient Truth

I postponed watching this movie for quite some time because of all the propaganda surrounding it. Now, I have to say that this documentary hit me in an unexpected way and I'm sad that I did not full heartedly support it earlier. The presentation style and impact of the content was far more profound than I would have anticipated.

Please watch and tell others about this movie.