Dr. Norman Allan's

Vol 2, No. 5,
May 2006


*   newspaper clippings  
*   "first form" workshop: posture and presence
   open house (treatment available by donation)
*   archives
*   what's new in my "practice"

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  Again, the bulk of this newsletter is made up of items I've seen in the press, related to health, that you might have missed, that I found interesting.

It's also an opportunity for me to remind you of my
open house on Thurs. from 3 to 6 pm. (Treatment is available, by donation, at the Open House.)
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Newspaper clippings
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New York time 11 April 2006

In a large and much touted scientific study, one group of patients\Ts was told that strangers would pray for them, a second group was told strangers might or might not pray for them, and a third group was not prayed for at all. the $2.4 million study found that the stranger's prayers did not help patient's recovery.
      The results of the study, lead by Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston... [Benson is know for his work on the "relaxation response"]

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"Genetics and Stress Are Found Linked To fatigue Disorder"
New York Times, 21 April 2006

... researcher found that chronic fatigue patients had high levels of hormone secretion, blood pressure and other bodily responses to stress.
      Moreover, certain genetic sequence variations showed up consistently in chronic fatigue patients. ...
     (from earlier in the article) The research offers some of the first credible scientific evidence that genetics combined with stress can bring on chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition so hard to diagnose and so poorly understood that some people question whether it is even real. ...
    The research is described in a collection of 14 articles published in this month's issue of Pharmacogenomics. ...
 The disease control agency estimates that more than one million Americans have the condition (a gross underestimation), with women suffering four times the rate as men.

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In a recent newsletter we quoted from an article on the work of John Read which suggests that, contrary to current common belief in the scientific community, schizophrenia is strongly associated with early traumatic experience. But here again, as so often, science pushes in two directions...

"Schizophrenia As Misstep By Giant Gene"
New York Times, 18 April 2006

Researchers have made progress in understanding how a variant gene linked to schizophrenia may exert its influence in the brain. ... The gene, called neurogulin-1, was first implicated in schizophrenia in 2002... Neurogulin in one of about 10 genes so far linked to schizophrenia. ... (Neurogulin) is one of the largest genes in the human genome, sprawling over some 1,125,000 units of DNA (he means "base pairs"), and it generates at least six types of protein through a procedure known as alternative splicing, in which different components of the genes are mixed and matched so that each set specifies a different protein.
    Adding to the complexity, the variant stretch of DNA ... linked to schizophrenia does not lie in the neurogulin gene otself but just upstream of it, meaning that it presumably affects not the actual protein produced by the gene but the way the gene is controlled.
    The activity of genes is governed by transcription factors, which bind to specific sequences of DNA units that lies close to the gene. Alliteration of these sequences may cause the transcription factors to bind incorrectly and thus impair the proper expression of the gene. ...
   ... one protein is produced in larger amounts in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients. But there were reasons for thinking that this protein, the first of neurogulin's six types, might be an effect of schizophrenia rather than its cause. ... (so they looked at Type 4 because it's at the front end of the gene, near the "variant...")
     The researches found that people who inherited two versions of the variant segment, one from each parent, were producing 50% more of neurogulin's Type 4 protein ... This suggests, though does not prove, that the production rate of Type 4 protein is the mechanism through which the neurogulin gene contributes to schizophrenia. ...
    The role of neurogulin's Type 4 protein is unknown ...

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"Blasting of Kidney Stones Has Risks..."
"... patients who underwent the pulverizing procedure, known as lithotripsy, developed diabetes at almost four times the rate of those whose kidney stones were treated by other methods. The lithotripsy group also developed high blood pressure about 50% more often..."
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Prozac-type drugs increase birth risks..."
the headline is from the Globe and mail 6 April 2006,

(the brief descriptor comes more from the Toronto Star)

A new study suggests the use of popular antidepressants (SSRI's) such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft during pregnancy might be linked to premature birth, low birth weights,


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"Common Genetic Link to Obesity is Discovered"
New York Times, 18 Apruil 2006

Apparently, there are many genes links to obesity but hitherto those discovered were all rather rare and obscure. However ... The new genetic variant is common, occuring in 10 pwercent of Europeans and African-American populations. ... Those who inherit two copies, one from each parent (hey, that's 10% time 10% which is 1% - hardly a great factor), have a 22% extra risk of being obese.

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Research Ties lack of Sleep To risk for Hypertension
New York Times, 18 April 2006

In a study of more than 4800 men and women, people ages 32 to 59 who got five hours of sleep a night or less were about 60% more likely to develop hypertension...


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a workshop on
posture and "presence"

Dr. Norman Allan

6:30 to 9:00
Thursday the 25th May

at 2 College Street, suite 305



  Tai Chi's "first form" is standing. "First form" is a starting place: a place from which to observe (and correct) our posture; a place from which to observe the "self".

Paul Marcus developed a technique using "first form" that helps us perceive how we stand and who we are. It is a practice that brings us into "presence".

I have adapted Paul's "first form" work into a therapeutic tool to explore and experience our physical and emotional stance. This workshop helps to reveal our place in the world in it's many senses.


Enrollment is a limited
Register early -
(25$ prepaid)
(40$ at the door)

Phone 416 928 9272

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Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, April 2006: snippets from newspapers, various, which I hope are of interest.

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, March 2006: as above

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, February 2006:

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, January 2006:

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, December 2005:

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, November: 2005

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, October: 2005

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, August/September: 2005

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, June/July 2005:

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, May 2005:

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, March/April 2005: an essay on immune tonics published in "Healthy Directions" - and snippets from newspapers, various, which I hope are of interest.

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, February 2005: snippets from newspapers, various, which I hope are of interest - and a discussion of "C Reactive Protein" as an indicator of risk for heart disease.

Dr. Norman Allan's Newsletter, January 2005: snippets from newspapers, various.

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  Not new, but still noteworthy:-  

Office Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Open House
Thursdays, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Dr. Allan is available on Thursday afternoons to answer questions and to demonstrate techniques.

Treatments are available during these times on a donation basis.

visit Dr. Allan's home page at