This interview by Richard Schiffman with Hollyhock Presenter Paul Stamets was originally published in The New Scientist, February 2016.
Tell me about the hat you’re wearing.
It’s made from a birch polypore mushroom. Our ancestors realized that you could get this tough bracket fungus off birch trees, hollow it out and put fire in it and carry it for days. This enabled the portability of fire that is so critical for human survival. When the same mushroom is boiled and stretched, it produces a fabric. There are only a handful of people in Transylvania who are making these hats now. Because of deforestation and the difficulty of finding large-enough mushrooms, the hats are becoming very rare.
Medicine is undergoing a major paradigm shift from a reactive, organ based diagnosis and disease management system to an engaged, proactive, molecular based systems approach. This is being called “4P Medicine: Personalized, Predictive, Preventive and Participatory.
This new medicine is emerging from the rapidly growing new science of systems biology including the study and application of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and the microbiome. The super-convergence of “omics”, new computational tools and an increasingly engaged and knowledgeable population who are using ever more sophisticated biometric tracking devices and learning from each other through social networks is fueling this revolution.
Yogi Eoin Finn interviews Dr. Lawrence Cheng on how the nervous system, immune system and hormonal system interact and what yoga can do to effect this. We discuss how the nervous system and the endocrine system function together and separately.
Dr. Lawrence Cheng is a integrative and functional medicine doctor who is passionate about intelligently combining the best of biomedicine and complementary therapies to help people and communities be healthy, vibrant and thrive. He has trained under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine. He is also a practicing Emergency Physician and has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard. He is the co-founder and co-director of Connect Health Centre for Integrative and Functional Medicine in Vancouver. connecthealthcare.ca
Globally renowned yoga teacher, ocean activist, surfer and Blissologist, Eoin Finn has been deepening his understanding of Yoga and Eastern Philosophy since 1989. In 1999 Eoin founded a yoga system called Blissology and has been teaching this unique, transformative, alignment based yoga. Through this practice he has been exploring strategies for bringing more joy, awe, love and bliss all over the world. Eoin is passionate about bringing spirituality down to earth, reclaiming quiet time in nature as the greatest spiritual portal and our best source of health and happiness. blissology.com
Co-creators of Tree Island Yogurt, Merissa Myles and her husband Scott DiGuistini make grass-fed, artisan yogurt at their production plant in the Comox Valley, BC. They’ve earned a reputation as champions of the local food movement—while also shifting the thinking of farmers, retailers, and even the Ministry of Agriculture.
Tree Island uses 100% fresh whole Canadian milk, and is committed to supporting local, grass-fed dairy farms with pastures that promote healthy ecosystems. In short, Merissa and Scott have built a business that is itself a powerful tool for change.
There is a lot of choice in yogurt on grocers’ shelves, but very few guarantee their milk comes from Canada or from grass-fed sources. Scott is proud to say “We are an early innovator—and one of very few. We only use fresh, whole milk in our recipes; there are no foreign milk powders or fillers. It’s very important for us to be part of the food movement and support local farmers.” This is the first shift Tree Island has contributed to making—increasing awareness and demand for Canadian, grass-fed milk. In the four years since they entered the market, yogurt made from fresh, grass-fed milk has gone from zero to be an established line in many local stores.
Jan Zwicky has led poetry workshops and taught in writing and philosophy programs across Canada. She has published nine volumes of poetry, including Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, which won Canada’s Governor General’s Award, and Forge, shortlisted for the Griffin prize. In 2015, Brick Books released an updated and revised edition of Wittgenstein Elegies.
Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better. Our learning centres are located on Cortes Island and Vancouver, BC.