In this episode of Turnpaugh Talks, Dr. Turnpaugh sits down with Dr. Erin Gattuso to learn a little bit more about how she got to where she is today. Dr. Gattuso comes from a family with a lot of unusual health conditions. She remembers going from doctor to doctor as a kid and seeing conventional medicine consistently fail to meet her family’s unique needs. This opened her eyes to alternative medicine. She studied neuroscience in undergrad. During this time, she heard about naturopathic medicine and, although hesitant at first, realized that was exactly what she wanted to do. Dr. Gattuso learned the gold standard of treatment, knowing which medications to give in a conventional setting, but also learned which herbs and dietary changes a patient may benefit from. She received a bottle of herbs early in her naturopathic studies. After years of trying to find a medication for something, she was able to use these herbs to treat it. This began her love for botanical medicine (herbs and plants). She uses this modality with her patients frequently. A lot of pharmaceutical medications are derived from plants and herbs. There is such a variety of ways plants and herbs can be used, even the same plant can be used for many different things. She shadowed Dr. Turnpaugh 8 years ago and had crossed paths with him at conferences multiple times since then. When THWC opened in Manheim, right down the street from her previous office, she saw it as a sign that this is where she was meant to be.
She worked in a pediatricians office before coming to THWC, where she specialized in Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST). Dr. Gattuso explained that the skull expands and contracts in response to cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid within the nervous system) and in order for the nervous system to be healthy, you need proper flow of this fluid. Sensitive hands can feel this expansion and contraction rhythm in the skull. This is essentially the basis for CST. It is toning the nervous system in a very gentle manner. Dr. Gattuso specializes in CST on infants who are having trouble breastfeeding and in treating children who are neuroatypical. She has discovered over the years that a baby having a latching problem and a child growing up to be neuroatypical often go hand-in-hand. This is because the feeding and latching reflex and primitive reflexes all have to be in place for the nervous system to mature in a functional way. The cranial bones are all connected. Dr. Gattuso can work on the back of the head or the temporals and notice a difference in latching, despite not working in or around the mouth. When she puts a hold on a part of the body, such as the temporals, it sends a message to the nervous system to bring attention to that area, allowing the nervous system to correct itself.
Many people don’t believe in Cranial Sacral Therapy, but there is so much evidence to show that there are parts of the nervous system that only respond to these light touches. We often use light touches ourselves, for example, when we bang our elbow on something, we gently rub it to help with the pain. Cerebrospinal fluid has a crucial impact on so many parts of the body. If you lose even just a few drops of it, you will be in terrible pain for days.
Dr. Gattuso interned at a water fasting facility called True North, the most researched and well known fasting facility in America. She saw so many miracles in her time there, she watched people come off their medications, saw their mental clarity go through the roof, and saw their mood significantly improve. It really worked well for psychological conditions. One of the patients there was a medical doctor who had bone cancer, she knew in conventional therapy she would have at most 6 months to live. A year and a half after her diagnosis, it was her third stay at the clinic. Since she had started fasting, her bone cancer did not get any worse. Your body goes into a pure healing mode after a while of fasting. It searches for amino acids that are not essential to your body anymore and metabolizes them. This can include tumors or growths that your body cleans up. In a way, modern medicine is catching up with traditional medicine, medical doctors are trying fasting clinics and alternative approaches that our ancestors did thousands of years ago.
At the THWC Spring Summit, Dr. Gattuso will be speaking on cell danger response. When cells are under too much stress, they go into a different state where they make enough energy to survive but not thrive. It is the root cause of many chronic conditions.
Ted Talk Referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ0q0JWRVn4
Thesis on Cerebrospinal Fluid Referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55QythvgRRk