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April Research and News

April 28, 2020

The Effects of Social Support on Sleep Quality of Medical Staff Treating Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in January and February 2020 in China

Our frontline in the coronavirus pandemic need your support and a good nights sleep. Medical staff in China in January and February treating patients with coronavirus experienced anxiety, stress, and self-efficacy in direct relationship to sleep quality and social support. If there were ever a time that family, friends and society in general needed to step up and support these providers that time is now. Send them a note of thanks, offer up prayers for their safety and restful sleep, send thoughtful healing energy to their patients, burn a candle, hold space for the skillful execution of their healing gifts and the safety of all, ask if their families need anything, send a card… remember them. 

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review

I have posted before about nature therapy and just the sound of this one feels sexy to me! Forest Bathing… love it, surrounded by the sounds, smells, colors, energy and vibration of the forest is enough to get me loading a pack. This study suggests that forest bathing is indicated for the reduction of reported modern-day “stress-state” and “technostress.”. When you consider that in the 7 million years the human species has inhabited the earth 99.99% of that time  we spent living in nature its not hard to see why we are drawn there and experience such relaxation and soothing effects from the experience. 

Stress, Energy and Immunity

This article takes an interesting look at the immune system and how it potentially fluctuates and prioritizes during different situations suggesting that at times optimism, under some circumstances, can create lesser immunity! Read on before you throw it out. Knowing that the stress response can dampen the immune response in preparation for fight or flight or when total well-being is at stake it’s difficult to see how in a person who is overly optimistic, the stress response might not trigger the immune system readying its defenses. The article also discusses the benefits and costs of immunosuppression in certain circumstances and suggests more research might be helpful in this area. 

Lavender Essential Oil in the Treatment of Migraine Headache: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

This is only an abstract but I was impressed. This clinical trial suggested that inhaling lavender essential oil might be just what the doctor ordered when dealing with acute migraines. 92 of 129 participants in a clinical trial responded to the essential oil treatment. If you suffer from migraine headaches trying essential oil is an inexpensive and simple remedy to try. 

Scientific Research and Medicinal Fungi

I am a big fan of mushrooms, both culinary and medicinal. When I ran across this article it intrigued me. This article is not scientific research, and it’s not high-level evidence. It  is a well cited and very educational article. I appreciate how it discusses the historic uses of mushrooms, types of mushrooms and modern day medications such as Lovastatin, a statin drug, which is derived from the enzyme produced by the secondary metabolite of a fungi. I found it fascinating. Give it a read I think you will enjoy it.

Integration of Botanicals in Contemporary Medicine: Roadblocks, Checkpoints, and Go-Ahead Signals

Have you ever wondered why herbal/botanical medicine is nor more mainstream? This article might shed some light on why and explore implications for the future direction of medicinal botanicals. I both agree and disagree with different points in the article. I agree that just because its natural does not mean it’s safe. Botanicals are medicinal, they are drugs, that should not be taken lightly or without the supervision or direction of an educated provider or other expert. However, the article suggests that health products, dietary supplements and nutraceuticals obtained from plants should be manufactured under strict regulatory controls and assessed for their efficacy. While there should be substantial effort towards the safety and quality of these products I think this is going to be a challenge to regulate nature. Indigenous cultures throughout history and modern culture today undisputedly benefit from mother natures bounty. How do you harness nature to fit modern man’s requirements?

Gardning is Beneficial for Health: A Meta-Analysis

Get your Zen on in the Garden! Given that I am just now planting a container garden on my patio I was so smug when I read this article! I have always thought dirt and plants were the perfect meditation. This meta-analysis presented robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. Results suggest that gardening can improve “physical, psychological, and social health”. When we look at the long-term perspective this could have far reaching effects related to alleviating and preventing various health issues our sedentary society suffers with. Gardening promotes mild exercise, intake of fresh air and exposure to sunshine. Not to mention it is available to everyone and will elevate your Zenness!!

Gut Microbiota - Brain Axis

“I feel it in my Gut, my gut told me”… yes it did. Because the gut affects the brains physiological, behavioral, and cognitive functions and the connections are an biodirectional information highway. There is so much to be learned about the connection and the symbiotic relationship between the two. This systematic review looks at the latest information about the gut microbiota-brain axis.


The Fork Functional Medicine
200 9th Ave S.
Franklin, TN 37064

Phone: (615) 721-8008
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