Archive for December, 2011


December 17th, 2011




The ABIHM was incorporated in 1996 with a vision to establish and maintain the highest standards of medical care, ignite and sustain the joy and passion of physicians in their work, establish the role of unconditional love as the basis of healing and support, and to recognize the importance of the health of the planet as integral to human health. Since 2000, the ABIHM has provided the only peer reviewed, psychometrically validated certification process in comprehensive integrative holistic medicine to over 1600 Diplomates.


When the ABIHM was incorporated, educational opportunities in integrative holistic medicine were scarce. The past 15 years have brought tremendous growth to the field, and training programs in integrative medicine now abound. Many residency programs are offering integrative opportunities, and fellowship training programs in integrative medicine are becoming increasingly available.

The leader in the integrative medicine fellowship arena is the Universityof Arizona(U of A), whose directors have initiated a relationship with the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) to develop a new board of integrative medicine. For more information about the ABPS, please see The ABIHM has been invited to participate in the development of the new board, as have a number of representatives from academic institutions. Many have historically inquired about the possibility that board certification in integrative medicine might be recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Both the ABIHM and the U of A have explored this prospect, and all indications are that the ABMS is not interested in recognizing such a specialty. The ABPS is currently officially recognized in 33 states, and it is our hope that more state medical boards will rapidly follow suit in recognizing the ABPS.

It is important to explain that the new board plans to require a fellowship level of training as a prerequisite for board certification. The number of required hours has yet to be determined.  However, at least during the first few years that the new board exam is offered, the fellowship requirement will be waived for active Diplomates of the ABIHM.  Nonetheless, ABIHM Diplomates who wish to pursue certification through the ABPS will need to sit for the new exam.  For ABIHM Diplomates who do not wish to undergo ABPS certification, the ABIHM intends to continue to offer its maintenance of certification process into the foreseeable future.

The ABPS anticipates offering the new certification exam as soon as 2013. Therefore, the ABIHM plans to stop offering its certification exam after January, 2013 (though these dates are not fully established). The ABIHM will offer the certification exam several times over the next year, as a means to offer more robust opportunities for those who do not wish to pursue a fellowship to become certified by the ABIHM and/or to be forgiven the fellowship requirement by the ABPS, should they wish to sit for the new exam:

  1. January 22nd, 2012, at the conclusion of the Scripps Natural Supplements Conference inSan Diego (paper and pencil exam);
  2. May 7th-18th, 2012; this is a computer based exam offered in 200 cities within theUSA andCanada;
  3. November 2nd, 2012, following the ABIHM/Scripps Annual Review Course, The Science and Clinical Application of Integrative Holistic Medicine inSan Diego (paper and pencil exam)
  4. January 28th-February 9th, 2013; computer based exam

The ABIHM supports the development of the new board as a natural progression of the work we have done over the past 15 years to establish the standard for knowledge in integrative holistic medicine. We see the new board as part of the evolution toward a higher and more broadly recognized standard, and we are proud to be a part of the process.

Feel free to contact our office by phone at 218.525.5651 or email at if you have questions about these plans. Please recognize that while we have described the current nature of the situation accurately, the process is still under development and subject to change.


Yours sincerely,

The Board of Directors of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine


Music for Healing

December 13th, 2011

As some of you may know, I’ve been on a journey for almost a decade and a half to find the connections between music, vibration and health or healing.  We have studied the works of indigenous man, listened to the quotes of comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell on the power of music, read Nancy Shute’s article about a study, published by the Cochrane Collaboration which looked at 30 clinical trials of music therapy, both those led by trained music therapists and ones where patients listened to recorded music on their own. Both methods were found to reduce anxiety and pain, and to improve mood and quality of life for cancer patients.  Music may also improve heart rate, breathing and blood pressure in cancer patients, the review says.

While at the Windber Research Institute we engaged in a study commissioned by the Yamaha Foundation to determine the genetic nuances of music as a stress reliever and a few weeks ago we passed around a story from NPR where a musician  and teacher named Holland performed sound studies on various cancer cells and saw a 50% reduction of cancer cells in pancreatic cancer . . . but this is still a work in progress.

We have known that indigenous man has used music as a part of healing ceremonies for thousands of years, and we know the impact that music can have on us emotionally.  In fact, back in the early part of the 21st Century we spoke with scientists and leaders from the University of Hawaii and the University of Pittsburgh who were doing studies regarding the bending and folding of proteins within our bodies as they responded to music.

There are also numerous studies demonstrating that music provides some relief from Autism, and from an undocumented Autism blog we read the following:  Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects children, and its effects can be seen as early as infancy. Symptoms may appear at the age of six months, and the disorder is established before the child reaches three years of age. Typical symptoms of autism include impaired communication and social interaction, repetitive behavior, and limited interest. Autism is considered a disorder because it prevents the affected person from being self-dependent and leading a normal life. Most autistic people are unable to take care of themselves, even after they reach adulthood, but there are a number of them who have succeeded in becoming independent after they received proper guidance during their childhood.
Music therapy helps in treating autistic children, but it has to be applied with kids in mind. It should not be too complicated for them to follow. Music that engages autistic children in dancing and singing works very well in helping them communicate and develop social skills. Autistic children respond to music by singing in the same note, and some of them may even start communicating through singing. They may take up an instrument to play, and this will help them gain interest in acquiring a certain skill. Music therapy can help different autistic patients in different ways, but generally, it is beneficial to them because it makes them more responsive to things around them.

The reason behind such great response to music is that autistic children do not engage in normal social activities, and music sessions give them an opportunity to express themselves. Music therapy for an autistic child starts with learning how to play a musical instrument, as he or she may get intimidated by human contact. Slowly, the therapy moves on to include singing and even dancing, if the child shows interest for such activities. This gives the child an emotional outlet as well as a sense of fulfillment, which were lacking in the past because of limited social activity.

I’m still not exactly sure where this is all going, but today, I heard a segment on “The Splendid Table” on NPR in which an Austrian wine maker has successfully applied music to the craft of making wine.

Sonor Wines    December 10, 2011
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December 10, 2011

Episode Rundown

19:36 – 25:03 Sonor Wines of Austria

Markus Bachmann uses a unique fermenting process with his wines: He drops a speaker in the tank, plays music, and “the yeast starts doing total different things.”

The speakers have magnet and not membranes which makes the wine fluid  the membrane.  The vibrations mix the yeast . . . and the movement of the sound waves determines the type of mix.   Consequently, the yeast doesn’t have to move to get its food.   This effect is referred to as glycering and produces high end and enriched aromas plus it causes the yeast to use all the sugar.   The result is that it produces a very dry wine and sometimes sweet flavors.  Through this method the wines taste very rich and very mature, but it is actually a new wine, a new wine that tastes three years old.  It also tastes wooden but has never been in a barrel.  Mr. Bachmann describes it as a very oily wine that when tilted against the side of the glass creates sheets and not legs.   Finally, he says that the key in the music is that it depends on frequencies, volume, pulse.  It is like mixing the wine and keeps it more alive.  He has discovered that there is 30% more yeast that is alive at the end of fermentation than in regular fermentation processes.

Music for Grapegrowing
by Angela Ricci on June 28, 2011 – 12:47 amNo Comment

Sonor Wines is the brainchild of Viennese food and wine expert and horn player Markus Bachmann. This pioneering method exposes the wine to music during fermentation – a process that, according to its Austrian inventor, refines the finished product.

Bachmann explains that once in the steel fermentation tanks, a biochemical reaction is set into motion by tiny vibrations triggered by the sound. He also believes that varieties of wine that have been treated using this technique contain less sugar, have a fuller flavor and are more drinkable.

Different genres of music are also said to give the wines different characteristics. In principle, any type of music can be used, from symphonic works to hunters’ classics, waltz and polka melodies and even Viennese folk sounds such as Schrammelmusik. The process has been put to the test at the Wienbauschule Klosterneuburg on a Grüner Veltliner white wine. A number of leading growers have put the new approach into practice, including Vienna-based producers Peter Uhler and Franz-Michael Mayer, who have already bottled the first generation of Sonor Wines.

So, I’m going to keep on keeping on as I look for music/healing answers and would enjoy hearing from scientists and healers alike as this journey continues.  Seriously, folks, we know that the vast majority of our pharmaceuticals come from the rain forests or the oceans . . . why isn’t it possible that all of the cures that we need for everything are right here within our grasp?  Hmmmmm or oooooooooooooM?