Dr. Pressman-Robert O’Block’s Blog

This interview appeared in the summer 2013 issue of Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative Health. Published by Robert O'Block.

Interview with Dr. Alan Pressman, DC, CDN, DACBN

by Cheryl Barnett



How did you become interested in the field of naturopathy and integrative health?


I developed my interest at a very young age due to family issues. In 1948, at the height of the polio epidemic, my mother got polio and was taken off to a hospital. In those days they separated polio victims from their families for quite some time because they thought it was very contagious and where they did rehab and all that. When she came home from the hospital almost two years later, medicine had nothing to offer other than a little bit of physical therapy. We were living in Brooklyn at the time and my mom and dad started looking for alternatives in treating her. We found a chiropractor, interestingly enough, right in Brooklyn and his work with her was quite dramatic. We are speaking of 1948 and ‘49 and he was telling her about the amount of protein to eat and to make sure she got vitamin A and vitamin C and he was also giving her physical manipulation. She had some very nice improvement in general under his care; of course she remained paralyzed for the rest of her life. I used to watch him treat her and I was really curious about the vitamins and the physical manipulation, and I knew at a very early age that this was what I wanted to do. When I got to college, the only thing available in that arena back then was chiropractic. There were no real courses in clinical nutrition that I knew of, so I wound up going to the New York Chiropractic College. It was here where my interest in nutrition started to peak because there were required courses in clinical nutrition. In fact, to this day this is the only health profession that requires a reasonable amount of hours in clinical nutrition.

When I did an externship in the early 1960s, I was fortunate enough to do this with a chiropractor that was very involved in natural medicine, as well as nutrition and natural hygiene, which was what they used to call it in those days.

At that time I was a very avid listener to Carlton Fredericks who was a radio show host and had a radio program on alternative health care. I had the opportunity to be on his show a few times because I was president of the nutrition club at the college and through him and his show, I became even more interested in clinical nutrition.


Tell us a little about how your practice has evolved through the years.


It’s not really that my practice has evolved but more that the art and science of clinical nutrition has evolved. When I first began practicing clinical nutrition in 1963, we had little more than a question and answer case history and a blood test for patients. That was it. Now 50 years later we have an amazing amount of technology that allows us to investigate the deepest aspects of your physiology. In fact I did a program yesterday, and I’m going to teach a class tonight, on how to do a pronice profile. In other words, given how your biochemistry is now, we can literally predict, or make an assessment, as to which direction you are headed in. By looking at levels of certain parameters in blood and urine we can literally tell you that if you continue living your life the way you are now, and eating what you are eating and doing or not doing exercises, that this is what you are going to be prone to 10 years down the road. We didn’t have the technology when I started, but we do now.

Right now I’m the director of nutritional services and research at the Institute of Rehabilitative Nutrition, and we are looking at an entire arena of restorative neurology. We are looking at different ways to incorporate nutritional protocol to support neurological structure and function, and our main area of interest is in something called autophagy, which is the body’s ability, especially through the nervous system, to detoxify itself. Through utilizing nutritional protocols, we can encourage the brain’s ability to cleanse itself because the root cause of a great many of the neurological issues, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, is the bio accumulation of certain proteins and different forms of plaque and it’s up to the body to clean those proteins and plaques out of the neuron. We can support this nutritionally. So it’s gone from eat an apple a day, exercise and don’t eat sugar to being able to literally support neurological regeneration in order to create new neurons and new mitochondria with very sophisticated nuerosouticals.


Do doctors that specialize in naturopathy replace traditional physicians or is there a place for both?


There is definitely a place for both. I could care less if my neuro surgeon or cardiac surgeon knows anything about vitamin C. I want him to be a skilled surgeon and that’s basically the extent of the relationship, but on the other hand, I would sure want my cardiologist to know about nutrition. It all depends on the medical specialty. Neurology, without a doubt, cardiovascular health, without a doubt, gastroenterology, without a doubt.

I’ve got to tell you, as brilliant as some of those practitioners in those fields are, they render, what I consider, very incomplete services to their patients. It boils down to a 10 minute consultation, which is the average amount of time that you spend with your doctor. You’ve got your blood tests and your conversation and here’s your drug. Not only is there no conversation about clinical nutrition, but there is not even a referral to clinical nutritionists who work at the hospital. There are nutritionists and dieticians who work at every hospital in the country. These are board certified, registered dieticians, but the problem is that they are not getting the referrals to the degree that they should. Neither are patients being sent to cardiac rehab. It’s in the hospital and it’s there, but it’s often overlooked.


What are some of the highlights of your career?


I’ve had the opportunity during my career to have some really exciting patients. I practiced in Greenwich Village for 40 years or so and I was blessed to have wonderful patients. Neighborhood people mixed with celebrities. In the waiting room would be the mailman sitting next to Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Lauren Bacall, Paul Simon, Eliot Gould, or Leonard Bernstein. It was phenomenal.

The other thing professionally, was when I was offered the position of professor of nutrition research and Chairman of the Department of Clinical Nutrition at New York Chiropractic College. My responsibilities were designing and teaching nutrition courses at the college, which was a very big chiropractic college at the time and then from that a lot of things opened up. In 1974 I created what was called the Council on Nutrition of the American Chiropractic Association, which still exists.

In 1981 I created the Diplomate Board for the American Clinical Board of Nutrition which is still the only one federally recognized. Also, in the late 70’s early 80’s I was given the honor of developing the nutrition program at the University of Bridgeport. That developed into their college of naturopathic medicine.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to every chiropractic college in the world, and have given thousands of hours of lectures at the graduate, post graduate, and undergraduate levels, and I’ve written about 25 books. So I’ve been a busy guy!

I just turned 70 and I’m heading for 71. I’ve got two great kids: my daughter is the director of development at the Signature Theater Group in Manhattan, which is a big Off-Broadway theater on 42nd street, and my son is a professor who owns a media company where he makes apps and all those things I don’t understand. He’s got two kids so I’m a grandpa. I’m also very active doing research and consulting with patients.


Tell us about your radio program.


I started in radio in 1963 as a guest on Carlton Frederick’s program and was a guest off and on for many years. Then in 1974 I started working with Gary Null, who was a pretty big hot shot radio guy. We partnered up on WMCA and since that time I’ve been on radio pretty much every day on a variety of different stations up to and including now. For the last dozen years I’ve been on WWRL 1600 here in New York. I’m on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and Saturday at 8:00 a.m.; in addition to that I do a nationally syndicated radio program on Saturdays and Sundays that is aired all over the country. So I’m on radio pretty much seven days a week in one way or another.

What we talk about on my show is alternatives in medicine. The program is called Healthline and it’s a typical a.m. call-in show. I open the program each morning with the health news of the day, which they’re not going to hear unless they’re getting medical journals. Very rarely does health news of any significance come on CNN or any of the other news channels. So I open the program with ten minutes of what’s in the news and then I do another ten-minute segment on a health topic. I usually open that up with a quiz and then from the quiz we have a conversation. The last half of the program I have a guest, but I always take calls. It’s very interesting, and it’s the number one rated program on WWRL .

I’m doing more research than practicing right now, and it is based on this whole concept that by utilizing foods and and nutrient supplements, we can literally impact the way the brain cleans itself. We can improve brain circulation and we can improve brain cell membranes, all of which deteriorate with age. This is really very exciting. We can literally prevent brain shrinkage as we get older.

We are now doing complimentary, free of charge, health consultations by phone. I’m going to do that for six months. We’ve set aside 12 hours a week so if anyone wants to take advantage of this, they can go to www.drpressman.com. and fill out the 300 word questionnaire and then we will assign them a health coach for a complimentary nutritional consultation. That’s what I want to do and when you get to be 70, you do what you want to!



Interviewed by Cheryl Barnett

Published by Robert O'Block

Pills, Pills, & More Pills | Published by Robert O’Block

Published by Robert O'Block

Medicating Children and Adolescents

About the author

Irene Rosenberg Javors is a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association, a licensed mental health counselor, and a psychotherapist in New York City. She is also an adjunct associate professor of mental health counseling in the Mental Health Counseling Program of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. She is the author of Culture Notes: Essays on Sane Living (ACFEI Media, 2010).

In the article “So Young and So Many Pills (Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2010, sec.D, p.1), Anna Wilde Mathews reports that “more than 25% of kids and teens in the U.S. take prescriptions on a regular basis.” She goes on to inform us that “children and teens (are taking a wide variety of) medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs.” She also states that “prescriptions for antihypertensives in people aged 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year.”

Mathews further informs us that anti-psychotic medications have been prescribed to 6,546,000 young people, with the following breakdown: 1,396,000 to children 0–9 years and 5,150,000 to those 10–19 years; antidepressants to 9,614,000: 1,026,000 to children 0-9 years and 8,588,000, 10–19 years; and medications for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to 24,357,00: 7,018,000 to ages 0–9 years and 17,339,000 to ages 10–19 years.

My first response to reading these statistics: “Wow!” My next: What is going on here? And why are so many of our children and teens suffering from such chronic conditions? Mathews suggests that early detection may account for some of these numbers. She also points out that researchers attribute some of what’s going on to “unhealthy diets and lack of exercise among children, which lead to too much weight gain and obesity,” and that this “also fuels the use of some treatments, such as those for hypertension.”

For the most part, children are given medications that have been tested in adults and not young people. We have no idea what these drugs are doing to children. Mathews quotes Dr. Danny Benjamin, who is “leading a new National Institutes of Health initiative to study drugs in children,” as saying, “we know we’re making errors in dosing and safety.” He suggests that “parents do as much research as they can to understand the evidence for the medicine.”

As mental health professionals working with children, teens, parents, and other health care providers, we need to become very well-informed about all the medications that are prescribed for our clients. We need to be cautious in making a diagnosis as well as making sure to watch out for and identify side effects from the prescribed medication(s). We need to support parents’ efforts to find out as much as possible about the medications that are given to their children.

Mathews reports that “parents and doctors also say nondrug alternatives should be explored where possible.” She quotes Tom Wells, professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as saying, “obesity is really the biggest cause I see for high blood pressure in adolescents...but only 10% of families adhere to (his) diet and exercise recommendations.”

As counselors, we need to re-evaluate our relationship to medication. Do we suggest medication too quickly? Are there other ways of dealing with the problem? Are we still searching for the “magic bullet,” the quick fix to cure what ails us? How do we find a balance between over-reliance on drugs for symptom relief and finding a drug-free path to cope with and/or overcome pain and ill health? Are these chronically sick children who are suffering from asthma, high blood pressure and cholesterol, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, insomnia, and diabetes the proverbial “canaries in the mine,” sending us a loud message that the way we live, now, is making us very sick, if not killing us?

I hope that we are listening!


Robert O’Block: Parade Shooting

Robert O'Block reports that 12 people were injured during a shooting at a Mother's Day parade today. The police are searching for three suspects. Police were at the parade and saw two to three suspects running away from the scene after the shooting in the 7th ward. Police Chief Serpas reported that the youngest victim is believed to be a 10-year-old girl. It isn't believed that she was seriously hurt and just suffered a graze wound.

There were about 300 that were in attendance at the jazz band parade when the shots were fired. The police aren't sure what triggered the attack. There were 11 people admitted to Interim LSU Public Hospital. It is believed that none of the injuries were life threatening.

The parade was a second-line parade. This type of parade is one in which people form a loose procession and dance down the street as they follow a brass band. Sometimes this type of brand is impromptu and sometimes they are planned. Today's event was organized by a social club called The Original Big 7.

Published by Robert O'Block, founder of American College of Forensics Examiners Institute.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/12/as-many-as-12-shot-in-new-orleans-mother-day-parade/#ixzz2T7KgzkPk

Robert O’Block: Suspect Charged

Robert O'Block reports that federal authorities have charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with using a 'weapon of mass destruction.' He has been charged on a federal level, leaving open the possibility of the death penalty. Tsarnaev currently cannot speak as the result of a gunshot wound to the throat. He has been communicating through nodding and writing. The brothers allegedly used low-grade but deadly explosives that detonated a block apart. There is speculation that the two were planning more attacks in other locations.

There were three killed from the two blasts and more than 200 injured, but considering the power of the explosions, it could have been much worse. It appeared that the two brothers did not have an escape plan. The black jacket and white hat that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wore on the day of the bombings were found in his dorm room.

When the criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Boston, it ended the debate over how this terrorist attack, the first successful one since 9/11, should be handled. There were some in Congress that thought he should be designated as an "enemy combatant." This would allow the government to charge him under the laws of war or they could hold him indefinitely. White House press secretary Jay Carney stated on Monday at a White House news debriefing that "the suspect cannot be tried in a military commission under federal law because he is a U.S. citizen. "We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice."

Brought to you by Robert O'Block.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/alleged-bombers-aunt-tamerlan-tsarnaev-was-religious-but-not-radical/2013/04/22/ca8f3214-ab5c-11e2-a198-99893f10d6dd_story.html

Robert O’Block: Video Pursuit


Robert O'Block has found a live video feed with updates on the pursuit of the Boston suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, from Cambridge, MA. The other suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed last night during a shootout with police.

Boston skyline

Boston skyline

To view the video, click here.

Brought to you by Robert O'Block.

Image: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-978674p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">spirit of america</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

Robert O’Block: Investigator Testifies

CourthouseRobert O'Block reports that a computer forensic investigator testified in Middlesex Superior Court that shortly after Nathaniel Fujita was thought to have killed his ex-girlfriend and dumped her body in a marsh, he did an Internet search to find out if water erases fingerprints. The evidence was found on the former Wayland High School football star's laptop. "The evidence from a search of the former Wayland High School football star’s laptop followed a dramatic moment in the Woburn courtroom when a prosecutor walked slowly past each juror while holding up a leopard-print dress with spaghetti straps."

Her parents formed the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund after their daughter’s death, which supports programs to promote healthy teen relationships, as well as the arts and community service.

Lauren Astley and Fujita had dated throughout high school and their families had been close. They both appeared to have bright futures ahead of them. He was a star football player and had been accepted to Trinity College. She was a talented singer who was looking forward to rooming with her friends at college. The murder rocked the small town of Wayland and each day of the trial, the courtroom was filled with her friends and family.

After the sentencing at a press conference, Prosecutor Lisa McGovern said that she looked for a “message of hope in this horror.”

“Perhaps the foil here, the message is also that most men do not commit violence against women,” she said. “There are fathers in this case, the fathers of the beautiful women who you saw testify who are also disgusted by the idea that a man would use his strength in that way.”

Brought to you by Robert O'Block.


Source: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/02/official_fujita_searched_web_after_slay

Robert O’Block: Experts Look At Evidence

Robert O'Block reports that the massive investigation has begun on the very complex crime scene in Boston. Federal agents and police officers have been conducting an intense search of the 15 blocks around the Boston Marathon finish line. Among other things, they are looking for metal fragments that will give them clues in regards to the types of bombs that devastated the area on Monday. Danny Defenbaugh, the former FBI inspector in charge of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing investigation said, “It’s very tedious and complex work, because you literally are looking at components that now have changed because of the explosions.” According to U.S. Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), forensic test results for the materials and explosives used to make the bombs could be completed as early as today. Read the full story here.

Brought to you by Robert O'Block.

Source: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/boston_bombing_a_painstaking_venture_for_forensics_experts


Robert O’Block: Ricin suspect in custody

Robert O'Block reports that Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, has been arrested as a suspect in relation to the ricin letters sent to  Senator Roger Wicker and President Obama. Curtis believed that the government was trying to ruin his reputation and had hurt his cleaning business. He claimed to have uncovered a government conspiracy while working in a Mississippi hospital from 1998-2000 after uncovering a fridge full of body parts. For more information, click here.

This post was brought to you by Robert O'Block.

Wisconsin Dad Against Bullying

Dr. Robert O'Block reports that the actions of a Wisconsin dad who is fighting back against bullying is finally seeing action. Matthew Bent complained to his son's school in the Kaukauna Area School district about the bullying his son was being subjected to. When his complaints did not see results, he decided to take another course of action. He took a photo standing behind his son and his son was holding a sign which read: "I stand behind my son in the fight against bullying! Please "like" and "share" to send a message loud and clear that bullying needs to stop now. Tell school districts that protecting bullies by turning a blind eye is wrong." Since the picture was posted on March 26, it has received  more than 452,200 "likes" and has been shared more than 465,000 times. The father and son appeared on NBC's Today show and said they were amazed at the response. “The Facebook page has been unbelievable. I’ve heard from people around the world, some amazing stories,” Bent said, adding that the fight is far from over. Read the story in its entirety here.


Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/wisconsin-dad-facebook-post-bullying-sees-results-article-1.1316932

Last Moments Caught on Tape

Dr. Robert O'Block learned of a video released Thursday showing  the moment that a mother of 12 from Brooklyn was shot as she picked up her daughter from school. Zurana Horton, 34 was caught in a shootout between two gangs on October 21, 2011. Andrew Lopez, 20 and his half-brother, Jonathan Carrasquillo, 24, are both on trial for her murder. Lopez is accused of firing at rival gang members from a nearby rooftop. Carrasquillo allegedly told Lopez to "take care of their enemies." Read the full story here.



Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/video-shows-moments-brooklyn-mom-12-article-1.1314511