Yesterday I offered up quotable quotes and info from some of the sessions I attended at the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium.  Today, I finish off with more notes from the conference.

Let’s dive in …

Walk the Talk – Esther Gokhale, L.Ac. and author of [amazon_link id=”0979303605″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back[/amazon_link]

S-shaped spines, which seems to be the modern spine, are associated with back pain.  The J-shaped spines of more traditional cultures are not.  The same can be said for disk degeneration.

Non-industrialized cultures do not suffer from back pain like industrialized cultures do.

“In Russia, they have a saying: Your first child is like your first pancake.”

(It seems random.  It fit in her talk.  And, it’s just so cute.  And true!)

If you tuck your pelvis, instead of your weight being distributed on your pubic bone, it will go on your pelvic floor which can lead to incontinence, hemorrhoids, and organ prolapse.

“One of our approaches in modern medicine is we just call things normal.”  (Specifically in regards to incontinence.)

It Ain’t Your Great-Grandparents World : Environmental Toxicity – Understanding It, and What to Do About It – Tim Gerstmar, N.D.

Why are some people affected by external toxins and chemicals and some people are not?  Because of the “genetics of detox,” i.e., some bodies do a better job of clearing toxins than others.

Process of detox involves: mobilization, inactivation and excretion.

You often find people who have gone through aggressive weight loss to suffer from toxins stored in the fat that is released in the body.

Chlorella during pregnancy has been shown to reduce levels of PCBs in maternal milk.

The Intersection of Nutrition and Autoimmune Disease Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. blogs at The Paleo Mom and is the author of the forthcoming book, [amazon_link id=”1936608391″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Paleo Approach : Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body[/amazon_link]

(I left Sarah’s talk early to get to Katy Bowman’s talk, but was able to catch a few pearls.)

There is an emerging paradigm of autoimmunity:

  • genetic susceptibility
  • environmental trigger
  • diet and lifestyle

A leaky gut and/or gut dysbiosis has been found in every autoimmune disease where it’s been investigated.

She systematically reviewed micronutrients and linked various deficiencies to AI disorders such as:

  • Vitamin A : alopecia areata, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis
  • Vitamin D : systemic lupus erythematosus, Type 1 Diabetes, autoimmune interstitial lung disease, Celiac disease, psoriasis, etc.
  • Vitamin E : psoriasis, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis

(and more)

Paleo Parenting : A Biomechanical Perspective – Katy Bowman, M.Sc. and author of [amazon_link id=”1936661071″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief[/amazon_link]

If you read my blog, you know I am an unabashed Katy Bowman fan.  So, I was like a giggly school girl when this happened:

ImageLet me tell you something about Katy.  We sat on the hotel lobby floor while I drilled her with questions and played with her sweet little Roan while she toddled around, smiling.  I noticed that she shifted her sitting position about every fourteen seconds or so.

That was lesson number one from her.  She not only preaches about movement, but she practices it, even unconsciously.  She wasn’t fidgety, she wasn’t obnoxious about it.  She just sat in a different position about four times a minute.  I unconsciously found myself doing the same.

Her talk, about the loads we offer up for our kids during their crucial developmental periods, delivers the same kind of message.  In a nutshell, she urges us to make sure that our children’s bodies experience all sorts of movement and load.

It’s about frequency – get them moving a lot – and variability – get them moving in lots of different ways with lots of different body parts.

The time a child spends in a “device” (i.e., carseat, stroller, baby carrier) is a time when her position is unchanging.  If you put your child in devices, vary them up.

“Unmovement” is part of the cellular experience and we are a product of our cellular experience.

As best as possible, we should try to re-create the loads that a baby would experience in nature.

When a baby drinks from a bottle, he is sucking.  When he nurses a breast, he is milking.  This is a different mechanism and causes different mechanical loads on the tissue.

Hunter-gatherers are “continual feeders” while our society tends to be “spaced feeders,” even those who breastfeed “on demand.”  (Continual tends towards greater frequency + shorter duration.)

When possible, carry your baby.  Even wearing him in a carrier reduces the amount of movement he must perform to stay upright.

Most traditional societies use “alloparents” but ours does not.

We need to reframe the ides of a crying baby.  Perhaps the crying is a signal of her biological demand for movement that is not being met.

“Movement is as basic a necessity as food.”

“Osteoporosis is a juvenile disease that manifests later in life.”

Melissa Hartwig of Whole 9 / Whole 30 and a new mom (to an adorable little fella who attended many sessions!) told Katy that she used many of her techniques during pregnancy but now worried about holding her little guy so much because of the awkward position of her shoulders (i.e., internal rotation.)  Katy said that that was okay, so long as Melissa was intentional about also getting those body parts moving in the other direction regularly, too.

Brain Food : The Vital Connection between Diet and Mental HealthGeorgia Ede, M.D.

“Brain chemicals come from food.”

“The brain is 57% fat.”

It’s not just about ratios, it’s also about which carbs, fats and proteins you eat.

Very little ALA (around 5%) gets converted into DHA.  For mental health, EPA seems to be the critical Omega 3.

How do refined carbohydrates worsen mood?

  1. oxidation
  2. inflammation
  3. hormonal havoc


Refined carbs are a “powerful pro-oxidant.”

Insulin is a growth hormone and turns on other functions signaling growth.

Serotonin is made from tryptophan which is an amino acid which comes from protein and not carbs.

She believes that the “softer” forms of bipolar disease are related to metabolism and cites two case studies where a ketogenic diet allowed patients with bipolar disorder II to cease medication.  (She noted that they were supervised closely, i.e., don’t try this at home without the assistance of professionals.)

Zinc and iron supplements have been shown to help relieve ADHD.

There are “excellent” studies showing a clear connection between artificial food colorings and ADHD.

“Any diet beats the Western diet.”

“If you wait for someone to do a study on your symptoms and a certain food, you’ll wait a long time.”

* * * * * * *

If you’ve made it through to this point, you pretty much earned an honorary AHS 2013 merit badge!

Let me know if anything you’ve read interests you and we can dig deeper.

3 Responses to “Quotable Quotes from AHS 2013, Part II”

  1. on 22 Aug 2013 at 10:56 pmKatie

    Love the part about babies crying for movement. Never thought about it that way but almost every night our little one would cry – not hungry, just wanted to walk. So we would do laps outside or even our downstairs, now it makes sense! He hates the stroller so we either carry or let him walk everywhere. He’s definitely a mover.

  2. on 23 Aug 2013 at 8:16 amKristine Rudolph

    I suspect Katy would distinguish the need for motion from the need for movement. I don’t know what she’d say, but I think babies need both. They’re accustomed to moving with mama in her belly, so it seems silly to me that they would pop out and all of the sudden want to be still all the time.

    She shared some amazing info about hunter-gatherer populations where babies are dangled from one arm starting at like two months. (The audience was pretty stunned at this idea!) She doesn’t suggest we all start doing it but it’s a great counterpoint to our American culture where babies are put on their backs in devices and left there all day long. H-G babies also tend to not crawl because they spend so much time upright and get so much challenge from a movement perspective. So they just go straight to walking. Which makes sense because mama needs them mobile as quickly as possible so she can get to work.

    All-in-all, really interesting challenges to assumptions that we make about how babies are!

  3. […] make me giggle.  The most clicked on link from Wednesday’s post?  The one about the controversy surrounding Professor Geoffrey Miller.  By a […]

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