The Edges of Consciousness: Neurology, Psychology, and Botanical Medicine with Dr. Kenneth Proefrock
Dive into this 4-week intensive series with Dr. Kenneth Proefrock as we explore the edges of consciousness.
Live Dates: 8-10 pm EST, Thursdays, January 3, 10, 17, and 24
Classes will be recorded and available for participant viewing at any time.
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The Edges of Consciousness: Neurology, Psychology, and Botantical Medicine with Dr. Kenneth Proefrock
Our minds are the most powerful healing tool we possess. Our neurologic architecture is the physical infrastructure that allows our mind/consciousness to project into this world, neurologic inflammation and degeneration is becoming the single biggest threat to the ultimate quality of our lives. We will discuss how the brain changes itself over time, especially in response to large and small injuries and, through case studies, we will discuss strategies for assisting these neurologic changes in order to ensure the best possible outcomes.
The breakdown of topics for this webinar series includes:
Session 1: Immunopsychiatry, Epigenetics and Mental Health
The immune system has a strong influence over neurotransmitter function and hormonal production. Inflammation and immune dysfunction are strongly contributing factors to mental illness and neurological dysfunction. In this discussion, we turn our focus to the biochemistry of receptor sensitivity, the COMT, CBS, MTHFR, CYP450 metabolic enzyme systems and how hormonal and neurotransmitter functions impact the overall sense of well-being for a particular individual. We discuss current pharmaceutical models and theories of treatment for depression/anxiety, dysthymia, bipolar, OCD, PTSD, substance abuse and schizoaffective disorders as well as the wide range of what are known as ‘Shadow Syndromes’, conditions that brush close to the actual diagnosed pathology, but don’t lend themselves completely to the actual diagnosis and treatment. In addition to dietary and botanical medicine ideas, we also discuss physiological principles of specific physical activities and exercise strategies, along with experiential meditative and spiritually-oriented practices to cultivate a greater sense of mindfulness.
Session 2: Neurological inflammation and Trauma, CVA’s, Concussions and Seizures
Neurological inflammation can be overtly and obviously related to things like blunt trauma (concussion), and cerebrovascular disease (TIA or Stroke). More often we are finding that it is a product of the insidious accumulation of inflammatory instigators that each of us has daily contact with in a world that is progressively more and more toxic to neurologic tissue. We will discuss botanical medicine approaches to addressing the acute into chronic manifestations of neurologic injury, including the less obvious causes; hypoxia, heavy metals, chemical and mycotoxin exposure. Included is an in-depth discussion on the nutritional and botanical medicine management of seizure disorders in pediatric and adult populations.
Session 3: Neurodegenerative conditions, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia
As our population enters the most advanced average age that we have ever experienced, degenerative neurological conditions are becoming more and more common. Modern medicine has few answers for these situations; the drug model currently dominating medical intervention strategies is not well suited to most of these conditions. The cutting edge of research around neurologic inflammation is highly suggestive that a multifactorial, nutritionally supportive approach to the treatment of neurological degeneration has the best long-term potential. The playing field is currently rather chaotic with propaganda trumping actual empirical evidence, so many companies tend to overstate or misrepresent their products in the interest of boosting sales. It is incumbent on health care practitioners to have better discernment about what does actually work, and why, so that the most effective intervention can be created for the individuals that we serve. We will have a more in-depth discussion on the principles of compounding liposomally oriented botanical preparations and how they can be made in one's home or office.
Session 4: Our Neurodiverse World, A Spectrum of Autism to Addictive Personalities
The modern medical model contends that neurotransmitters and neural circuitry are the primary determiners of behavior and, therefore, presupposes that the mind is housed within the nervous system. Spirit, in some sense, supposedly resides in some kind of interaction between neurotransmitters and hormones as they pass across a vast array of neurons and synapses. We are certainly more than the sum of our parts and it may be a mistake to reduce the richness of human experience down to a series of chemical reactions within the nervous system. Even so, the graspable portion of this mystery that is life is often the solid, concrete, and measurable aspect of this state. What separates Herbalists from the other medical arts is a fundamental philosophy towards life and its interconnectedness. In this discussion, we play on the old idea of the ghost in the machine, with an overriding point to say that there is a consciousness present in each one of us that can vary tremendously through the stages of our lifetimes. With as many factors that can play into the formation of a nervous system, it is truly a wonder that we are as alike as we are. What unites us as humans is a constancy of experience, and each of us has times when we struggle with how we manifest in this world. Here we discuss the wondrous neurodiversity that finds expression in autistic tendencies as well as in addictive disorders. We discuss the common ground of social awkwardness, physical pain, and finding ease in an, often unsafe, and, unfriendly world. Botanical medicine has the ability to move beyond the limited biomedical model of interventions and provides a means for treating culturally derived and socially influenced types of soul sickness, social fatigue, trauma and addictive tendencies.
Dr. Kenneth Proefrock graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1996. He and his family live deep in the desert of Arizona with numerous snakes, lizards, tortoises, toads, dogs, horses and goats.
Prior to naturopathic medical school, he received degrees in Chemistry and Zoology from Northern Arizona University and worked as a Research and Development/Quality Assurance Chemist for Procter & Gamble.
For the past 22 years, he has conducted a very busy, botanical medicine oriented Naturopathic medical practice in Surprise, Arizona. He is also sole owner and formulator for Vital Force Naturopathic Compounding which provides consulting services and a wide variety of unique botanically-based compounds for other Naturopathic Physicians, Herbalists and their patients. He speaks at conferences across the country sharing his perspective on the modern practice of Naturopathic Medicine.
He is also the Vice-President for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners, the chairperson for the biochemistry portion of the Naturopathic Physician's Licensing Exam, and co-founder and current President of the Naturopathic Oncology Research Institute (NORI).
In his spare time, when such a thing really exists, he is in the desert with his kids, honing his skills in primitive archery, gardening, home brewing, wildcrafting, reading and writing poetry and studying obscure and old texts on spiritual matters, healing, and philosophy.