Have you ever been surrounded by a community of people and known that you have found your family? Or walked into a venue and known that you have found your home?
That is what the Integrative Medicine Conference was for me this year.
The Integrative Medicine Meeting is an international gathering of hundreds of physicians who convene every two years to share knowledge, research, and clinical experience related to mistletoe therapy. The conference is hosted by Helixor, an international company focused on manufacturing mistletoe products to improve the quality of life for people with cancer.
One of the biggest takeaways from this meeting was that modern mistletoe research is very much alive, well, and gaining recognition among conventional medical communities. The event was co-chaired by two highly respected physicians in the field of integrative oncology: Dr. Gary Deng, MD, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Roman Huber, MD, of Freiburg University Hospital. These incredible doctors have been monumental in bridging the gap between the worlds of conventional and integrative oncology. They are both heads of the integrative oncology departments at their respective institutions and committed to patient-centered, evidence-based integrative therapies to empower cancer patients.
Dr. Deng and Dr. Huber did an outstanding job scheduling speakers and facilitating the event this year. I was thrilled when they chose me to be a keynote speaker. My presentation was on “Management of Oncotherapy-Related Side Effects.” I discussed the myriad ways we can keep our cells happy, like intermittent fasting, exercise, blue light mitigation, and nutritional supplements. In this photo, you can see me sharing some tidbits on how to balance our circadian rhythm to offset cancer treatment side effects and enhance outcomes.
My husband, Steve Ottersberg, gave a presentation on cannabis and its complex interactions with the endocannabinoid system and the immune system. Cannabis works by different mechanisms than mistletoe and can act as a complement to mistletoe and other immune therapies.
Ivelisse Page inspired us by sharing the heart and soul of her own journey with cancer. Ivelisse is the founder of Believe Big, a nonprofit organization that is helping to fund a groundbreaking Mistletoe Clinical Trial in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This image shows the mantra of Ivelisse and Believe Big!
The Integrative Medicine Meeting was held outside of Rosenfeld, Germany, on the beautiful gardens and grounds of the Helixor campus. The grounds are shared with the WALA Foundation, makers of Dr. Haushka cosmetics. The landscaping and building designs are informed by anthroposophy, a philosophy promoted by Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900s. Anthroposophy has inspired concepts of sustainable architecture, biodynamic farming, Waldorf education, and complimentary medicines. Rudolf Steiner initially suggested mistletoe as a therapy for cancer in the 1920s. According to anthroposophical medicine, mistletoe resembles a tumor because of the way it grows like a parasite around other trees. The gallery of images below only begins to capture the serene, peaceful, and healing nature of the grounds of the Helixor campus. Please scroll through and enjoy!
Again, I want to extend a big thank you and a huge virtual hug to Drs. Deng and Huber for their efforts in organizing the 2018 International Medicine Meeting. I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the meeting and look forward to ongoing discoveries from the emerging research on mistletoe therapy. (and heads up…my book on mistletoe therapy will be released soon, so stay tuned!)