Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Comments by Gary Gibbs, DO

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • the question above is can Holistic Psychiatry address alcoholism and ADHD. Of course a holistic approach is always useful, AA is an example of a holistic approach recognizing the importance of spirituality in any real recovery. ADHD responds well to brahmi, an Ayurvedic herb as well as looking at all the causes of attention problems, for example, the need for a tutor, understanding if there are family problems at home affecting concentration etc. The power of Brahmi in effectively overcoming ADHD has been demonstrated in scientific studies. Unless one understands the importance of schoolwork artificial stimulants such as Ritalin are only a bandaid approach and leads to addiction to a stimulant as well as risking chronic fatigue from artificial stimulation over a long term. Tratak, a yoga concentration exercise is also very helpful in cases of ADHD, and helps with developing the power of concentration and improves eyesight as well.

  • finding a true holistic psychiatrist is not easy. I believe you should look for the qualities I describe in my blog, also I describe my background in my website For me I believe being a true Holistic Psychiatrist includes being trained in a comprehensive holistic medical system such as Ayurveda or Unani or Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as taking a mind-body -spirit approach to psychotherapy- for me that includes mind charting, Greco-Roman Mind Training (this is based on study of Stoic Philosophy), teaching meditiation and pranayama. Many doctors who say they are holistic to me are not well trained. Unfortunately there is no residency or fellowship program in Holistic Psychiatry. I have a goal of trying to start a fellowship program in this, but first step is to get my book completed which is very close, then find an agent and get it published. I have been teaching classes from time to time to the American Osteopathic Association and also to an Ayurveda Confernce on Psychology. I believe a fellowship program is much needed in Holistic Psychiatry, but as of now this does not exist.

  • Unfortunately, many people who claim to be holistic practitioners are not adequately trained. To be a holistic psychiatrist I believe one needs to be both expert in the use of orthodox medications as well as being well trained in alternative medicines. For myself I am trained in Ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda is the ancient system of medicine of india, and is the sister since of yoga. Ayurveda use herbal medicines as well as working with diet, and yoga. The Buddha said “correct you thinking.” This means we need to examine our thoughts and find out ways to think in a new way. This is called Sattva Buddhi, which means the purified intellect. Negative emotions are the result of negative thinking. One needs to learn how to examine one’s own mind. A doctor who begins by saying he needs $4000 to help is like the gypsy fortuneteller who asks for thousand of dollars from her client to ward of negative demons. This type of request should immediately raise red flags.

  • Pranayama is a deep science. To realize the power of pranayama one ideally should be taught by a qualified teacher. Unfortunately many people say just take some deep breaths to stop a panic attack. However this is generally not effective. Until one begins to have a regular practice of pranayama one does not have enough control of one’s breathing to be able to change it in the throes of a panic attack. This being said, it is impossible to have a panic attack and have slow, smooth rhythmic breathing at the same time. That is why I first teach my patients Ujjayi breath, which is a slow breath making a sound by constricting the back of the throat. The sound is compared to the sound that one hears one one holds a seashell up to one’s ear. The term Ujjayi means “victory over the emotions”.Additionally Nadhi Sodhana, also called alternate nostril breathing, purifies the nervous system and helps to prevent panic attacks. It is considered the most important and basic pranayama practice in classical eight limbed yoga. However many patients try to simply to take slow deep breaths
    when panic begins and find they are unable to do this. It is like deciding to play tennis against a high level opponent and not having learned and practiced correct tennis strokes. Transformation of the breath transforms the mind. But this takes dedication and time. Revolutions don’t come easy. But nothing worthwhile in life ever does.

  • Psychiatry is a holy art.
    The word itself comes from the Greek psyche meaning soul, spirit or inspire (to breath in) and iateria, meaning healing, so psychiatry is the healing of the soul. It is not the art of simply prescribing a psychopetrochemical remedy. The purpose of psychiatry is to raise one’s consciousness. It is with this in mind that I advocate the practice of Holistic Psychiatry. Consciousness will not be raised simply by taking a pill. That is not to deny orthodox medicines as having no value. But it is to say psychiatry entails much more than this limited perspective.
    I agree, using books is part of a comprehensive approach, this is bibliotherapy.