FULLY ALIVE MEDICINE (FAM) for Treating, Preventing, & Curing Chronic Sinusitis, Asthma, & Allergies

*The asterisked products are recommended by Dr. Rav and can be purchased at a significant discount with a credit card by calling Fully Alive Medicine @ 303-404-2232, leave a message and someone will get back to you.

Fully Alive Breathe Easy (FABE) is an integrative holistic treatment program for creating and maintaining optimal health of the respiratory tract – nose, sinuses, and lungs.  For the past 35 years, this program has proven to be most effective for treating, preventing, and often curing the world’s three most common respiratory conditions – chronic sinusitis, asthma, and allergies.  This innovative approach has also resulted in significant improvement in patients suffering with chronic lung ailments such as chronic bronchitis, COPD, and bronchiectasis.

The FABE Program is a synthesis and update of the Sinus Survival and Asthma Survival treatment programs created by Dr. Rav Ivker.  He’s presented these respiratory healing approaches in the four editions of his best-selling book, Sinus Survival (1988, ’92, ’95, ’00), and in Asthma Survival (2001).  The primary objective of FABE is to heal the chronically inflamed tissue, the respiratory mucosa, lining our respiratory tract.

One of the major additions to this updated respiratory healing program is the inclusion of medicine’s newest specialty, Cannabis Medicine.  With the experience he’s gained from working with nearly 10,000 Medical Marijuana patients since 2011, and his research in writing the book, Cannabis for Chronic Pain (2017), it’s become quite clear that the greatest harm from consuming cannabis is to the respiratory tract.  Studies have repeatedly shown that smoking is by far the most popular form of consumption.  And when it becomes a daily habit, inevitably the mucosa is damaged to varying degrees, depending upon the extent to which one cares for their respiratory tract.  

It has also been noted that in recent years, and especially since the pandemic, there’s been a marked increase in smoking and vaporizing nicotine.  Both forms of inhalation are harmful to the respiratory tract.

Since 2011, Dr. Ivker has been practicing Fully Alive Medicine (FAM) in Boulder, CO.  Cannabis Medicine and Respiratory Healing are specialties within FAM, defined as care of the whole person – body, mind, emotions, relationships, and spirit.  It is based on the belief:  Unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer; and the perceived loss of love is our greatest health risk. 

He describes the Fully Alive Breathe Easy Program as the practice of loving your nose, sinuses, and lungs.

The primary cause of respiratory disease is chronic inflammation of the mucosa, the outer lining of the tissue covering the entire respiratory tract – nose, sinuses, and lungs.

Perhaps the greatest difference between the FABE Program and conventional medical treatment is its focus on mitigating and eliminating all of the causes for each of the most common respiratory conditions.  In most cases, conventional medicine’s sole focus is on treating symptoms.  The goal of treatment is typically management not cure.  

Addressing the multiple factors contributing to inflammation of the mucous membrane is why FABE has been so effective.  These are:

  • Air Quality
  • Smoking – Nicotine and/or Marijuana
  • Infection – Viral, Bacterial, Fungal
  • Weak Immune System
  • Diet
  • Allergy
  • Emotions

AIR QUALITY

Optimal air quality is:

  • Clean – not polluted (can’t see or smell it)
  • Moist – between 35 and 55% relative humidity
  • Warm – between 65 and 85° F.
  • Oxygen – 21% total volume and 100% saturation
  • Negative ions – 3,000 – 6,000 .001-micron ions per cubic centimeter

Since the primary job of the nose and sinuses is to protect the lungs by filtering, humidifying, and regulating the temperature of the air we inhale, it makes good sense that polluted, dry, and very cold or hot air would damage the mucosa lining the entire respiratory tract.

During the past 30 years Dr. Rav has treated several sinus patients who have lived in both Los Angeles and Denver.  As polluted as the air is in both cities, and LA is highest in the US, each one reported that their chronic sinusitis was worse in Denver.  Colorado is semi-arid with humidity levels typically below 20% and often less than 10%.  This feedback indicates not only how important it is to keep the mucosa moist, but also the factor of oxygen.  Denver, the Mile-High City (5280 ft.), has approximately 17% less oxygen than the sea-level air (100% oxygen saturation) of LA.

Indoor air is often more polluted (and drier, especially during winter with the heat on) than outdoor air, by as much as 100 times.  Since this is where we spend most of our time, and technology has made it possible to enhance indoor air quality, this has always been an essential component of FABE.  Keep in mind that we breathe on average approximately 25,000 times/day, so it’s important to pay attention to what we’re breathing.

Although negative ion content required for optimal health is considered to be between 3,000 and 6,000 ions/cm³, the EPA states that the average indoor environment in the US contains only 200 ions/cm³, and it’s typically lower than that in airplane cabins.  He has seen a number of patients who almost always develop a sinus infection following air travel.

SMOKING:

Inhaling smoke, either nicotine or marijuana, is perhaps the most damaging factor to the respiratory mucosa.  Although vaporizing is not quite as harmful, you’re still breathing air close to 400° F.  And when it becomes a daily habit, this can hurt the entire respiratory tract, in addition to making the smoker more vulnerable to respiratory infection and nasal allergy.  If you’re unable or unwilling to break the habit, the FABE Program can help to prevent infection and more damage to the mucosa.

INFECTION:

This most common respiratory infection is the common cold, caused by a multitude of different viruses.  In people with an inflamed mucous membrane, the cold can often lead to a bacterial infection, such as acute sinusitis or bronchitis.  These infections are typically treated with powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics.  And when patients have taken multiple courses of antibiotics it can easily lead to a condition not widely recognized within the medical community – candida (a type of fungus or yeast) overgrowth.  This causes increased inflammation throughout the body, but especially where candida organisms are normally found – in the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract.  Unless it’s accurately diagnosed and treated, patients will develop a worsening of their chronic sinusitis along with fungal sinusitis.  The fungal infection can often result in the onset or a flare-up of asthma.  Dr. Ivker refers to this condition as fungal asthma, although this term is not widely recognized within the medical community.  The cycle then continues with additional antibiotics and possibly steroids, both of which can increase the candida overgrowth and inflammation.

Sadly, this cycle has become quite common.  In spite of the fact that the Mayo Clinic first identified fungal sinusitis in a landmark study in 1999, there is still no consistently reliable laboratory test to make a definitive diagnosis.  In his FAM practice, Ivker uses the patient’s history, Dr. William Crook’s Candida Questionnaire & Scoresheet, along with their response to anti-fungal treatment to confirm the diagnosis of fungal sinusitis and fungal asthma.

DIET:

Diet can be a major contributor to maintaining and/or increasing inflammation.  The inflammatory foods are typically those that are more acidic, such as refined sugar and sugar-containing foods, milk and dairy products, bread and wheat, alcohol, red meat, high-glycemic fruits (bananas, prunes, dried fruit) and vegetables (dried beans, corn, potatoes, yams).  Foods to include (those that are more alkaline) include green leafy and other low-starch vegetables (e.g. celery, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, green beans, garlic, cauliflower), antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, fish, turkey, ground turkey, eggs (2-4/week), nuts and seeds.  Non-gluten grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, and amaranth should be rotated every 4 days.

ALLERGY:

Nasal allergies are our most common respiratory condition.  They are typically caused by either airborne allergens, such as pollen, mold, animal dander, dust mites, or chemical exposures; or by food.  The foods that most commonly cause food allergy are cow’s milk and all dairy products, wheat, chocolate, corn, sugar, soy, yeast (both brewer’s and baker’s), oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, white potatoes, eggs, fish, shellfish, cocoa, nuts, onions, garlic, peanuts, black pepper, red meat, coffee, black tea, beer, wine, and champagne.  Many food allergy sufferers are unaware that they are having negative reactions to the foods they eat.  Ironically the foods to which we react are often the foods we crave the most.

Milk is by far the most common food allergen contributing to hay fever.  It is the protein in milk, casein, not the fat that is the offending allergen.

There is also a strong genetic factor in people with allergy.  Often at least one parent or a sibling has had a history of hay fever, eczema, or asthma.

EMOTIONS:

Emotional stress is perhaps the key factor in weakening the immune system and making us more vulnerable to chronic respiratory dis-easeThis is also the most overlooked and least-studied aspect of the causes of disease.  However, from research in mind-body medicine, psychoneuroimmunology, together with four decades of focusing on treating patients with respiratory conditions, there has been a striking similarity in both emotions and personality traits in patients suffering with the same condition.

People with chronic sinusitis are often high achievers, somewhat perfectionistic, who hold themselves to a high standard of performance.  They tend to be very hard on themselves and have a high level of repressed anger, usually directed at themselves. 

Asthmatics are typically highly sensitive to disharmony in their physical, emotional, and social environment.  They are often people with a diminished sense of freedom of expression as a result of a family dynamic in which they experience enmeshment, a smothering love, usually from their mother.  They have a lack of joy resulting from an acute sense of loss.  Their grief stems from abandonment, physical and/or emotional (usually from father); a lack of nurturing touch and affection as an infant or child; and the absence of bonding between parents.  This dynamic can easily be described as the perceived loss of love.

In a ten-year study on asthmatics performed at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, they found that children in families that experienced intense levels of stress were 3 to 4 times more likely to develop asthma.  The earlier in life the stress was experienced (even while the child was in utero), the greater the risk of asthma.

The predominant emotion associated with allergies is fear.  It’s not surprising that 90% of children with asthma have allergies.  Their unsuccessful attempts to bond with the adults closest to them increases feelings of fear and abandonment and possibly even fear of not surviving.  Rather than a safe, joyful, positive experience of life, one in which they can “breathe in” fully and easily with those in their immediate environment, they have learned at an early age that their external environment is not entirely a happy, secure, or nurturing one.

The child’s immune system can then become more reactive – more allergic to his or her environment.  The lack of connection to one or both parents, engenders a deep sense of grief, loss, and loneliness – a metaphor for the loss of connection to the breath of life.

  • Enhance indoor air quality
  • Practice daily nasal hygiene
  • Treat infection – viral, bacterial, fungal
  • Reduce inflammation and allergies
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Open your airway
  • Breathe consciously
  • Heal the issues in your tissues

ENHANCE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

  • HEPA air cleaners or Negative-ion generators
  • Furnace filters – Filtrete (3M)
  • Air-duct cleaning
  • Carpet cleaning – using non-toxic environmentally-friendly cleaning agents
  • Indoor plants – those that serve as air cleaners while adding oxygen to the air; e.g. spider plants, dracaena, pothus, chrysanthemums

PRACTICE DAILY NASAL HYGIENE

  • Saline nasal spray (Sinus Survival Herbal spray*) + peppermint oil applied to outside of nostrils
  • Steam inhaler + essential oils (esp. eucalyptus + peppermint)
  • Nasal irrigation (SinuPulse* is most effective)
  • Drink filtered water – ½ oz./lb. body weight daily

TREAT VIRAL AND BACTERIAL INFECTION

  • The supplement Allimed* is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Each capsule contains 450mg. of 100% pure allicin, the active ingredient in garlic.  Studies have shown it to be effective in killing cold viruses (which trigger sinus infections), and MRSA, the flesh-eating staphylococcus resistant to most antibiotics.

TREAT CANDIDA OVERGROWTH/FUNGAL SINUSITIS/FUNGAL ASTHMA (if applicable)

  • Candida-control, hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Anti-fungal supplements (Allimed*, Candisol*, Caprylic Acid, Grapefruit seed extract, Oregano)
  • Probiotics – Sinus Survival Probiotic*, LateroFlora*

REDUCE INFLAMMATION AND ALLERGIES

  • Every component of FABE helps to reduce inflammation but in addition it helps to take the following supplements: Vitamins C, E, B6; NAC, Grape seed extract*, Fish oil/Omega-3, Tumeric, and CBD*. For asthma, add:  Resprin* and Pneumo-Complex*
  • For allergies, the following supplements are most helpful: Grape seed extract*, Quercetin + Bromelain, Nettles, Vitamin C, Allercide* (contains Quercetin, Bromelain, Nettles, and Vit. C
  • OTC or pharmaceutical antihistamines and/or corticosteroid nasal sprays if the supplements don’t relieve symptoms
  • Allergy desensitization injections can be helpful with severe pollen allergy

STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • Sleep – 7 to 9 hours
  • Exercise – 150 to 300 minutes/week of mild to moderate aerobic
  • Supplements – Vitamins D-3 and C, probiotics, Del Immune-V*

OPEN YOUR AIRWAY

  • Every component of FABE helps to open your airway by reducing inflammation, but with acute asthma and wheezing in addition it helps to take
  • Natural bronchodilators, such as Resprin*, magnesium, lobelia, and if they don’t work, then initially use a:
  • Pharmaceutical inhaler

BREATHE CONSCIOUSLY

  • Abdominal breathing
  • Pranayama
  • Wim Hof technique (increases breathing efficiency and decreases inflammation)

HEALING THE ISSUES IN YOUR TISSUES

  • Impacts physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health
  • Recognize perceived loss of love as a child and how it’s affecting the present
  • Acceptance of yourself and your emotions and behavior
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Feel your feelings
  • Identify goals and desires; create corresponding affirmations
  • Meditate and/or pray

*To order these products at a discount (between 15 and 25%), go to www.fullyalivemedicine.com, click on “STORE”, select your products and call FAM @ 303-404-2232 to leave a message and someone will get back to you.
**To order the Negative-ion generator click on https://weinproducts.com/products/vortex-vi-3500-room-ionic-air-purifier

***To order CBD at a 25% discount, go to https://trillpills.com/ref/DrRav/  and use the coupon code FACANN. 
****To order Omegagenics EPA/DHA – 720 or Chondrocare go to  Metagenics.com
*****To order the Fully Alive Vaporizer call FAM @ 303-404-2232 and leave a message and someone will get back to you.
******To order Resprin call 1-800-772-5568.

 Nearly all of the other recommended products can be found in most health food stores. The Steam Inhaler is available at most pharmacies.