Canada’s Syrian Refugee Mental

Health Outreach

Part Three Nutritional Considerations

An Introduction to AcuDestress as an Unique Answer to What to do About Refugee Mental Health

Part Three

By Brian C. Bailey M.D.

Program founder


From the outset, Dr. Wen, the Hong Kong neurosurgeon who discovered the remarkable property of the then 3-point ear acupuncture protocol to reverse substance addiction, wanted to investigate it fully. He wanted to determine something we rarely think of the West,  how many treatments of the protocol and how frequently would it take to make this a deliverable to all comers.


His first success had taken just one treatment, but he knew that this was the outlier, not the standard case. He  finally settled on 15 treatments in the course of 3-4 weeks. When Smith  then brought this protocol to America in 1974 he promptly substituted it for a 3-5 year methadone weaning off for heroine addiction, added two further ear points, and found he was getting results in the 85% success range.


In 2003-4 after eight years of experimenting with various forms of non-verbal work during the 3-4 weeks of treatment, my impression was that our success rate by adding the recognition of the differences among activating the three brains had reached about 70-75%. I had no real proof, but I was on the look out for a factor I hadn’t yet realized. The clinic where I worked soon provided an answer.


The clinic’s raison d’être was to diagnose and treat patients whose journey through mainstream medicine had failed to make them feel well enough to function normally. Many remained off work. All had symptoms which were unaccounted for and untreated. But
suddenly a new factor was showing up- gluten sensitivity. Many of the clinic’s patients now started to do well now that they’d gotten off gluten. It was much better, but not evidently the whole answer as yet. Some symptoms remained. The clinicians asked me if AcuDestress could help. I didn’t know but I soon found out that it did. It seems that gluten sensitives are all neurotransmitter deficient, and are only able to take measures that keep their heads above the
water. Over years, this becomes habit. Habit must be broken, says Dr. Perlmutter in his book Grain Brain. With AcuDestress they began to thrive. Soon I saw that my regular patients from outside the clinic were often gluten sensitive as well, and I began to see this as one of the factors promoting poor emotional functioning.


Now I want to know who’s gluten sensitive, as their treatment is far more likely to work if they get off gluten. Already, five years ago I was seeing an increase in results. Now even more.

 


Making Use of  a Gluten

Free Diet


The fact that gluten free has become a phenomena and a fad among those who are not as likely to benefit from it as others, has delayed some of the serious interest created by the University of Maryland’s Dr. Alessio Fasano and many others world wide, including an article I  had published myself, suggesting that possibly one out of every two chronically stressed individuals, who have a chronic physical illness and a poor response to antidepressant medications will benefit from going on  a gluten free diet if they test positive to the gold
standard withdrawal regime suggested by Fasano above.  This will be a great addition to the Syrian refugee initiative as it is known that the Fertile Crescent which includes Syria was the original seat of agriculture, that Middle Eastern countries report as high levels of gluten sensitivity as in the West,-and that the Syrian refugees with gluten issues will be harder to treat because many of them will have become gluten sensitive.  Thus will not be the easiest thing for them to do or even learn to do.And moistly, in north America we are induced to go about it in an expensive way, buying commercial products which are much more expensive than regular foods.


But it doesn’t have to be this way. Many web sites now show how to do this by spending less rather than more on food. What better time to  teach new buying and cooking skills that at the beginning of one’s time in an entirely new country and culture. I feel we will be able to take them right
into a North American kitchen and teach them regular cooking approaches at the same time as teaching English as a second language and getting hem to make gluten free choices where indicated.


There are questionnaire ways we can screen them for gluten sensitivity. While this is probably not exactly how we will do it, let me introduce you to a web site that allows you to determine  gluten sensitive or not. Those who seem likely, from the questionnaire (in Arabic of course) will be screened for Celiac Disease first and then the world gold standard way, as gastroenterologist Dr. David Perlmutter suggests, withdrawal of gluten for a month followed by a gluten challenge meal will be suggested to the “likely candidates.”


We know from a must-read literature reference by Stephen Genuis and Rebecca Lobo of the University of Alberta School of Medicine that gluten sensitivity has been found to be responsible for the strangest mental health decompensations, and have, like the authors, seen remarkable changes in the mental states of several of our patients, as a result of getting off gluten. We will be able to use our patient-facilitators to teach the actual skills of gluten-free baking, accentuating  the capacity (Gluten Free on a Shoestring) to eat gluten free for less than a regular diet, rather than at inflated prices Western consumers pay.
 
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