Thought Leaders – The Power of Social Connection

Jeremy Howick Ph.D.

Jeremy Howick, Ph.D., is a clinical epidemiologist and philosopher of science. He did his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics. He is a senior researcher in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford and the director of the Oxford Empathy Programme. He researches evidence-based medicine and the philosophy of medicine, including the use of placebos in clinical practice. He is the author of more than 75 peer-reviewed papers, as well as two books, The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine and Doctor You. He and Paul Aveyard received the Dawkins & Strutt grant from the British Medical Association to study pain treatment. He publishes in Philosophy of Medicine and other journals.

AUTHOR OF

Doctor You

The boundary between medicine and self-healing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/doctor-you/201906/social-relationships-blockbuster-drugs

SALIVA – A Miracle Fluid — Dr. Danenberg | Nutritional Periodontist

Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist June 3, 2019 Overall, the human body is made up of approximately 60% water.[1] The lungs are about 83% water; the muscles and kidneys are about 79%; the brain and heart are about 73%; the…

via SALIVA – A Miracle Fluid – — Dr. Danenberg | Nutritional Periodontist

What the wholedentalhealth.com?

Mission Statement

“A first person, critical narrative exploring and understanding  appropriate and available evidence focused on dental health improvement and its further implications and benefits for general health and well – being. Further more it questions, investigates, tests, reflects upon and understands new knowledge creation with implementation within my clinical workplace. The whole dental health approach is  non reductive, root cause focused and linked to general oral health improvement and clinical and client behaviour changes in line with my Scope of Practice and Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners. Whole dental health is safe, client centred, collaborative, reflective and creative.”

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Context Begins 

The primordial soup of http://www.wholedentalhealth.com began in 2006 when Toni and I returned to UK from New Zealand after the fallout from a family health crisis. We established our new base with our three children in Woking, Surrey. Money was tight and we realised our spare time would have to be used wisely to enable us to live more “off the land”. We learned to til the soil, sow the seeds and listen to the seasons song over the next 7 years. Toni found a clump of unusual looking mushrooms near to our home on White Rose Lane.  You really do need to know your mushrooms when it comes to eating, indeed even far more than your onions! So our lives from 2008 onwards charted the path of researching, observing, understanding, learning implementing knowledge into the practice of our life. the outcomes were foraged, cultivated and locally sourced foods. We made fruit wines, preserves, grew all manner of vegetables and what we saved through it enabled us to buy good quality produce like meat from local butchers. We also began a wine journey too. Maybe not so healthy. These journeys are all reflected and reported in the other two blogs we set up. You’ll find them in the menu bar. Please feel welcomed to trawl through them as they are documented evidence on those early days. We haven’t even started talking about dentistry and dental health yet!

Cepes from White Rose Lane, Chanterelles from Puttenham Common on a three cheese toastie.

My first inkling that this lifestyle change might be connected to dental health and well – being was when a friend, Tim, who hand begun his epic professional journey beyond the UK scene, told me about the American Academy of Oral and Systemic Health, https://aaosh.org/. The eureka moment came after I went to an ISDH meeting in Switzerland. I meet my colleague and friend Tim once again. He had a FitBit on and as we walked from our campsite in Sancerre by the mighty River Loire towards the wine and cheese village of Chavignol I was struck by the technology and data accumulation of it. I had always walked, in ancient forests searching for nuts, fruit, berries and fungi, and my dog too but I had never measured it. I got one on my return from Europe Duty Free and began to measure my metrics. My curiosity into whole health came with Tim and Dave, another trusted colleague, communicating to me via social media the change within them whilst they listen at EuroPerio in Glasgow. The presenter was one Phillipe Hujoel, a dental academic from Washington State, USA. This was the first time nutrition in a dental context had caught their, and very quickly, my professional and personal imagination. My vertical learning journey had begun with a spark and was further rocketed by a book written by two New Zealand Nutritional Academics with the assistance of a high-end Chef. The catchy title had caught my eye. I ordered it immediately and starting reading “What the Fat!”

So, primarily I owe a lot to Phillipe, Grant, Karen, Craig, Tim and Dave for my present status. The key reveal is linking systemic and metabolic health improvement with nutritional and lifestyle adaptation and behaviour changes. Secondly, and maybe just as importantly, I began to notice, almost at the same time the words spoken in conversation with clients regarding their health status be it good, usually improved by following a dietary routine, be it Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Healthy or High Fat, Low or Slow Sugar, Whole or whatever diet. I had seen them change physically and emotionally as a consequence and as they revealed the story of this change I got and still to this day get more and more curious. This was visual living testament to the changes they had sought and achieved through nutritional and life style behaviour change.

What the Fat with Author’s Craig Rodger, Grant Schofield and Karen Zinn

I started following the High Fat, Low Sugar sugar concept. I had some fasting lipid, HBA1c and CRP measurements taken a year previously at the behest of being “over 50” from my doctor. I knew not what all the numbers meant at the time but thought nothing of it at the time. This was very soon to change as a consequence of “What The Fat”. I started to get very interested. New acronyms like HDL, LDL, APoA, APoB, GI and GL,  abbreviations such as Trigs, good or bad Cholesterol, High Density, Low Density LPS as well as a new load of nutritional techno babble filled my brain. Later follow-up tests and measurements indicated my nutritional and lifestyle behaviour changes were having a similar positive effect. I continued on my journey with a fascination to learn more, every dog walk turned into a Podcast or YouTube experience. New books were bought on the basis of these experiences. New activists were found, new material to read engaged.

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There does appear to be a big increase in chronic non-communicable diseases and the association between them and modern nutritional and  lifestyle behaviours is growing stronger by the day. I began to sense that this “Band of Brothers” were extolling an important message. We appeared to have been led up the garden path by the big food and parma industry as well as medical and nutritional establishments. They had to silence, or try at least, those who were using the internet, social media and printed media to good effect. The first of these mavericks was Gary Taubes, followed by Nina Ticholz, Dr. Zoe Harcombe, Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. Aseem Maholtra. A very special mention needs to go to Dr’s. Tim Noakes and Gary Fettke. These brave and fearless souls and their good deeds will be featured in this website in good time.

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The need to put this out to my professional audience led me to negotiate with a dental supplies company to incorporate an Action Research Project I’d undertaken for almost a year as a result of this learning in with a product placement learning event. They seemed very suspicious initially as to its validity to the event but it worked out well in the end. More of this later too.

So, to end, I want http://www.wholedentalhealth.com to be a non reductive, qualitative and quantitative attempt to demonstrate and present the connection between dental and general health plus well-being and not just to follow the established models of health we are presented with today. It is an inclusive first person, reflective personal journey, with collaborations along the way, embodying action and alternative research for the purpose of new knowledge creation that investigates the new dental and health environments appearing on the horizon. I hope you can travel with me.

Come forth into the light.

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher”.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads.

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The Pilgrim Returns.

 

I remember the day very clearly, it was a Monday towards the end of July and the year was 1981. Botham and Willis had yet to etch their sporting heroics into the annals of English cricketing history against the crack Australians who had cheekily, perhaps, laid bets upon themselves becoming victors once more against the maligned and defeated English. It was a good month. Summer was here but more importantly I had left school. The Winston Churchill School, St.John’s, Woking had been my social hub and play ground but now the reckoning had began. My secondary exams had come and gone, gone being the operative word. I was lost, I remember in History lessons watching over the road that bisected the large school with Britain’s oldest cemetery, a rather dubious claim to fame and sadly one which I had visited on an official capacity fourteen months previously. I watched the smoke arise from the large chimney and ash settle on calmer days upon the outside window ledge. I hated the sight of it after 4th May 1980. My mother, Iris, had succumbed to a rare brain tumour and that was, as they say, that. She was cremated there. After that I lost any interest in learning, as a fifteen year old I was the youngest in a family of now four, with one, my elder, autistic brother, recovering we earnestly hoped from Leukemia. He was lucky, he survived.

Education I loathed but learning I loved and there was so much to learn. I hadn’t the slightest inclination to go back to school to resit. I therefore innocently went about the month, July also being the month my father remarried. I anticipated a year, maybe two at Woking Sixth Form and then what? I hadn’t a clue. July definitely brought about many changes, educationally, family and geography as I was moved to Hampshire and the concrete metropolis of Basingstoke.

Mike Brearley, above, the England Captain, was instrumental in the Ashes Victory, brought in from retirement, to replace Botham as Captain, was a mediocre batting average and a gentle character. However, a scholarly man with an eye for getting the best out of what he had on the field Brearley epitimises what a great teacher to me would have been. What he did best was allow and enable the individual to perform their best, to the benefit of the team.

It must have been very traumatic for my father, everything that went on that month and then me. A year of life learning with a pretty college drop out called Ann made me learn more about other aspects of life. Fun as they were my father subtly encouraged me not to continue on an academic road and I soon found myself in the RAF. I had found a YTS job in a dental laboratory locally and for a few months I was cleaning flasks, made cups of tea and aimlessly earned my 25 Pounds a week of which I had to pay board to my father. This was indeed a message, and I understood its meaning. I meet a Flt Lt Rimini at RAF Halton for an interview in the October of 1982 and within two months I was bound for a career in the RAF. That’s when my learning journey made a radical turn. Self Loading Rifles, don’t call them guns for Christ’s sake, bed packets and blanco for whitening muddy gym shoes became enforced learning and submission, surrender even. Six weeks later I passed out and began a fourteen year journey in blue. It ended when I decided the Mob was not the cushy number it’d been for a while. Postings started becoming tougher with family and yes a wife, Toni, who wanted, fairly too, her chance of a meaningful career. I had achieved my goal of getting to the dizzy heights of a technical rank and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. My work was done in uniform.

So, as I tap this introduction to my early learning journey I must confess a lot has been left out, maybe for another day when life is less busy. Suffice to say I am more aware of who I am as a learner now and how best I do it. I am a visual learner, an activist and a contrarian, someone who tries not to be too bound to convention but is deferential to those that impress and make sense to him. I am not impressed by letters after names but would find it in my mind to seek their discourse, where others would shy away and accept their authority as a “given.” I am also aware of the towering presence of the interests of others who benefit from our lack (willful ignorance) of wanting to gain knowledge and not knowing or caring how or where to achieve it. The architects of these organisations are very keen to have our obedience, loyalty and indifference. It is their craft to keep it that way it seems.

I believe we are the stakeholders in the destiny of our own educational journeys. We have choices, the routes to the destinations are as diverse or narrow as one chooses to make them. The ultimate goal can be as gracious and simple or can also be towering and majestical. My gut feeling tells me to tread a route that is true to my instincts, to plough the learning field between toil and struggle, to labour with like-minded fellow scribes, to challenge the established professional authodoxy of knowledge and learning with a blend of individual or group collaboration, reflection and new knowledge creation. Spread, broadcast and disseminate its truths where they maybe heard, critiqued and learned. This is known to only some, but where it is, it is called Action Research, a vehicle similar to Inquiry-Based Learning. Such a beast is within our scope, our purview and the tools to equip it are at hand, a curious questioning mind, the ability to critically gather information and research, the technology to combine words, thoughts, data, conclusions and new lively theory reflectively to others. This sounds like revolution, however to me its not, more akin to evolution, to taking what once was face value and using its veracity if born out by our workplace experience and revelation to proper purpose, the benefits felt and taken by those we are committed to appropriately and effectively care for, our clients.

 

Ian and Bob Triumphant

So, to come full circle to those Australians who back in the July of 1981 thought Ian and Bob were a spent force, that they were “lambs to the slaughter”, I am now myself living in that part of the globe, with their “poorer cousins” across the Tasman. I feel that it is my time to show some steel, gird my learning loins and to step back into action, Action Research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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