By Sarah A LoBisco


Many of us are still hoping that “they” really will find that powerful almighty panacea—the fountain of youth in a pill that seduces us with its ability to keep us healthy, strong, and youthful. Part of the lure for finding this miracle drug is that we can place accountability for our health in a bottle verses in our own capable hands. In other words, we would be able to keep up our hyperactive pace and destructive lifestyle and eating habits. We could pop a pill rather than set aside a block in our calendar for the true sustenance that only comes with rest, self-valuing lifestyle choices, and healthy, sustainable, relationships. This is actually the lifestyle of today. We are replacing a healthy diet with vegetable pills, we trade in our phone calls to tweets, and pop a cholesterol pill to go along with our big macs.

The problem with this approach is that although we may not feel the symptoms the drug or adrenaline rush is blocking, the body is still unbalanced. This leads to more symptoms, more drugs to cover them up, creating a poly-pharmacy of drugs and supplements and a resultant hyperactive society out of touch with their own healing power. I wish I could say the solution was as simple as making different choices, but the truth is our society sets us up for this stressful lifestyle pattern, feeding dysfunctional relationships with ourselves and others. It’s the mixing of medicine, media, and business, and it’s creating a host of chronic diseases that are killing people “quickly” due to the fact that warning signs have been taped over with creams, potions, lotions, and pills.

AN OVERDRUGGED SOCIETY? The solution may be in prescribing….

A recent article in the June 2011 Archives of Internal Medicine reported that the use of prescription medications has become excessive. With the emergence of super bugs and the increase in chronic diseases, it’s about time that we look at incorporating other methods. In fact, many studies are demonstrating the power of food and lifestyle as a more potent and lasting medicine.

The article offers 6 steps to prevent over-prescribing for doctors:

 (1) Think beyond precriptions for treatment

(2) Practice more strategic prescribing

(3) Maintain heightened vigilance regarding adverse effects

(4) Exercise caution and skepticism regarding new drugs

 (5) Work with patients for a shared agenda

(6) Consider long-term, broader impacts


Many studies have shown that diet and lifestyle have just as, or more, to do with health than finding the right cocktail of drug.

Here’s where the problem of media seduction, and convenience overpower our common sense and self-value! According to Dr. Hyman, a forerunner in functional medicine:

We live in a culture that makes it nearly impossible to make healthy food choices. A number of food industry and political factors keep us sick and fat…

In supermarkets 25% of the square footage is devoted to selling sugar.  

The Center for Consumer Freedom, a front group for the food industry put $600,000 ads in major newspapers trying to convince us that the obesity epidemic is hype.

The problem is multi-generational. Dr. Hyman lists ten reasons how these advertisements for non-nutritious, fake, Franken-foods are affecting our youth. They include:

  1. Modern foods are made by food chemists, not grown by farmers.
  2. Neighborhood playgrounds, school physical education, and after-school programs have all declined dramatically — while junk food vending machines are now everywhere in schools.
  3. A Harvard study of 750 children from 10 to 15 years old found that kids who watched five hours of television or more a day (compared to those who watched two hours or less), had a FIVE-fold (500 percent) greater risk of being overweight.

This leaves one to question, who do we go to for the right information for our own body?

I work with a lot of overstressed, over-stretched, overwhelmed, real-world, twitter-happy, cell phone obsessed working moms and business people. It is not nurturing, not self-loving, and not realistic to go to extremes. This will just drive their already poor, over-taxed adrenals more crazy. The goal is a lasting lifestyle shift, away from the hype into what works.

As a result of finding my own truth and observing my amazing clients, I’ve found a secret that keeps them on track, in-tune, and less obsessed with substituting a perfect unattainable diet for an extreme un-nurturing lifestyle. It’s called moderation and balance.

So, here’s what I’ve found to be the most helpful tip to become enlightened on how to sort through the hype and glitz in order to find your own health wisdom:

1. Start slow, try replacing one habit that is not serving your highest good at a time. For example, for one or two weeks, replace your breakfast with a gluten free option and increased protein content. Follow up with the same scenario for lunch on weeks three and four.  

I know and have put to use the “take out gluten, sugar, corn, soy, and everything yummy philosophy all at once”. I understand it, it does work. It works for some health leaders and it’s admirable.It has its place. Still, what I’ve found is that few patients are able to maintain it. Those that do can end up with a new issue, orthorexia, or health obsession.

The all-out-change philosophy is not realistic for most. I prefer empowering people to make healthy choices that feel good. Furthermore, we got to where we are in health by scaring people into taking drugs for every ill. Why would we now want to be scared into health?

I’d like you to walk away from this blog with the bottom line:

If you try to overhaul everything at once, then you may get fast results, but they usually do not last long, or can be easily maintained. It’s a process to retrain those brain and heart neural pathways that have been built over time. It’s about overcoming the cybernetic set point. Using mind-body medicine, essential oils, and nutrients help, but changing our beliefs about how to work with the body, instead of hammering it into health, tends to create the biggest success stories.

It is a toxic world, but we have really strong, really capable, miraculous bodies that want to thrive! We just need to re-teach our cute little bodies into a healthy set point!

In the next few weeks, I plan on going over the dietary trends in holistic medicine of why gluten free and probiotics are making headlines. (I also plan on not scaring you about making these changes too quickly).

Now, I’d like to hear from you…

Comment below on your experience of making changes in your life….

What worked best for you?

Did an extreme method or gentle method provide the best, lasting results?


Schiff GD, Galanter WL, Duhig J, Lodolce AE, Koronkowski MJ, Lambert BL. Principles of Conservative Prescribing (abstract). Arch Intern Med.2011 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21670331

Kasier Family Reports that the average number of drugs a 65 year old or older adult takes in one year is 31, with children taking 4 drugs.

Kasier Family Reports. Retail Rx by Age. State Health

Dr. Hyman, MD. How to Solve the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity & Disease. June 2011.

Dr. Hyman, MD. Is it impossible to make health food choices? Drhyman.Com. June 2011.

Georg Ivanovas. From Autism to Humanism – systems theory in medicine. 4. Systemic Basics. 4.4 Cybernetic Cycles.