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2900 W 44th Ave
Denver, CO, 80211
United States

303-242-5701

Albert Stern is a healer, artist, and instructor. He practices acupuncture, visceral manipulation, and craniosacral therapy. He creates anatomical illustrations and fine art paintings. He is also an acupuncture instructor and teaches at various schools and facilities. He works with the Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine and Peak Research Institute. 

Blog

Filtering by Tag: Health

Are Parasitic Worms the Key to Treating Autoimmune Diseases?

Albert Stern

For the last half a dozen years I have been fascinated by the most unlikely research, helminth therapy.

Helminths are parasitic worms which infect humans, such as tapeworms or hookworms. Unchecked these creatures can create disease and illness. However, growing research is demonstrating a surprising positive effect on health. 

I first learned of this research from NPR's show RadioLab. The episode "Parasites" featured the story of Jasper Lawrence. Jasper cured himself of severe asthma by infecting himself with hookworm. His asthma quickly became manageable and under control. (He would regularly monitor the hookworm to ensure it did not grow out of control.)

In parts of the world where helminth infections are common, autoimmune diseases are rare. This has lead to researching if the worms are helping regulate the immune system in some unknown way. There is quite a lot of research examining how helminth may help those with autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis

The Guardian published a great overview of the topic. Here are a few quotes from the piece: 

"Joel Weinstock, a gastroenterologist at Tufts University in Massachusetts, which examined the effect of worms on patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Almost 75% of those who ingested the worms were cured, especially noteworthy given that they had not been helped by more traditional treatments."

“I’m convinced,” he says. “Based on the evidence I’ve seen, it is very effective,” he says. “It has a really good benefit-to-risk ratio, especially for serious autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disorder.”

There is likely no magic bullet for complex autoimmune diseases. However this is an extremely promising line of research.

It Is a Great Time of Year for Sleeping

Albert Stern

Last night I went to bed super early, about two hours earlier than my typical bed time. It was also the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. I had a long, luxurious, deep sleep. It felt great! This is the time of year, when there is less light and our bodies and brains are programmed to sleep more.

One of the most common things I see with clients, friends, and family are struggles around sleep. Not getting enough. Not being able to sleep. Not making it a priortiy. Too often sleep can seem like the least important part of the day. 

Sleep is hugely important. It keeps us healthy. Protects us from colds. Gives the brain time to problem solve. Sleep helps with metabolism and stress management.

It is a good time to share this TED Talk about sleep. The speaker is Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist. 

(Acupuncture students note what he says about learning and sleep!) 

Also, check out Sarah Fragoso's post over at Everyday Paleo for great tips around getting to sleep. The post includes items such as: 

  • Create a bedtime ritual
  • Exercise (or not.)
  • Blackout the room

There are fifteen tips and all are great for helping prioritize sleep as an important part of our lives! 

This is a great time of year to sleep...so sleep up!