Attention Deficit & its Phenomena

Mural Kristne 5Contemplation on the Phenomena of Attention Deficit

by Dr. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D.

Attention deficit is a wide spread phenomenon that a lot more people suffer from without carrying the official diagnosis given by a health care provider.

It is not just a diagnosis but a phenomenon of our time. No matter what terminology you would like to use…it is symbolic of our Western civilization with all its neurotic, externally oriented values, some of which are quite meaningless looking from a deeper spiritual, ethical development and aspect. The loss of inner connectedness results in an outer looking for meaning in people’s lives’ and an imbalance towards external values, resulting in loss of structure and inner balance. This results in a lot of confusion for the individual of what to focus on.

One of my patients once said: “It is not the attention deficit, it is the act of being over focused that is the issue. I will not put my book down before I have finished it, no matter how early the morning hours may be. “

If you are an adult suffering from attention deficit, or you want to increase your spiritual practice and efficiency, meditation or focus exercises are something you can do to decrease the attention deficit and increase your focus. After all, is the attention deficit not just an extreme scale of a phenomenon that we all are familiar with and carry in us as a potential deterioration that needs constant counterbalance and practice?  You may always look at the opposite value when trying to tackle an issue. No matter how you look at it: putting children or adults on drugs is only masking the underlying problem. Granted that there are some adults and children who because of the drugs can function and lead a proper life, which may be a welcome temporary crutch and have its purpose and justification, but like many other things, attention deficit should never be addressed with drugs alone.

Exercising and engaging the “will” is key to any long term therapeutic intervention. Focusing on only one thing at a time and creating a home and school study environment in such a way that the child has no unnecessary distractions and is allowed to focus and connect to the essentials.  Clearing the house of unnecessary distractions such as TV, video games, electronic music etc., keeping children from having access to phones & computers at inappropriate ages, will help tremendously in the long run to tackle the true root.  After all, the adults are the examples and facilitators for the child to display the symptoms of attention deficit through over stimulation. 

Putting individuals on chemical drugs may interfere with them being able to work on a human skill set that they came here to work on. This in turn may interfere with one of the most important aspects of human life: exercising the will, making things work out by applying your will force.

Dr. A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D. is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM). Amongst all the internal medical illnesses that she treats, she also sees patients that suffer from autism, attention deficit, depression. She specializes in holistic and anthroposophic treatment approaches in conjunction with conventional medicine and also in terminal diseases such as cancer. Of about fifty doctors practicing anthroposophic medicine in this country, Dr. Schaeffer-Pautz is one of the only two located in Florida. The practice can be reached at (904) 246-3583 in Jacksonville Beach.

The information provided on this website does NOT treat or diagnose any medical condition. If you need medical advice, consult with your health-care provider.

The Willingness to Hope and Cope – Building the Bonfire of the Soul

The Willingness to Hope and Cope – Building the Bonfire of the Soul
by Dr. A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D

Flames fireThe diagnosis of a serious illness can leave us feeling powerless, dismayed, and afraid. We may feel like a victim, slog through treatments, and worry about the outcome.  Coping with illness this way is unsatisfactory and improves little merely by “being positive.”  We need more insightful and effective ways of coping. Yet how can we be subjected to illness, even advanced disease, and not feel victimized? After all, doesn’t conventional wisdom consider disease to be an enemy? By developing a fuller, more encompassing attitude that steps out of victimization, we improve our odds. — We become active survivors.

We must act on a diagnosis appropriately. Overcoming is a process of deeds, requiring insight, courage, and willpower. Real energy and clout are needed to embrace and incorporate the seeming enemy. Handy for this struggle is a readily-available, inward force. If you will, the potent energy on tap for firing up the soul is Hope.

Fear is consciously countered by hope. Constantly refueling a positive attitude with hope stokes the inner fire higher. The more the fire burns, the greater courage becomes. When we witness fears being consumed, we are encouraged and empowered further. We may feel joy moving ahead.

Achieving a workable positive approach does not imply that a diagnosis should ever be ignored. No matter how hopeful we are, a problem ignored usually gets worse. Hope melts away fears, however, when it is properly supported with thought-out options. Understanding the options avoids false hopes.

All this is possible due to a certain magnificence. Because the inner life and its potential fire can be more encompassing than an illness, it is possible to contain and incorporate the diagnosis, to subsume the problem effectively within the inner life.

We know clinically in anthroposophic medicine(*) that an active, positive approachcropped-DSC03649.jpg favorably influences an outcome. An optimum situation develops when we take charge and embrace an illness appropriately. As experience – the assimilation of a situation in life – gradually consumes the passive feeling of victimization, we become aware of more options. We grow from the encounter. The quality of life improves, encouraging strength while increasing potential results. In the sense of learning from an illness, we befriend an enemy – a well-known phenomenon among breast cancer “victims” turned survivors.

Our ability to cope with any situation requires composure. Anthroposophic medicine applies this process of engaging the will in a conscious, full-feeling manner. Balance in our daily deeds is achieved by the completeness of thinking, feeling, and willing working in harmony.

How to build a soul bonfire:
1. Affirm that life is good despite it all. Think positively into your feelings. Embrace your fear; acknowledge that it’s “OK” to be afraid, but inform the fear that it’s not the only feeling in town.
2. Hold the spark of joy – fire it up with hope into an all-sustaining hope. Focus your thinking not on ultimates, not on living or dying, concentrate instead on moving forward each day.
3. Renew your mental and physical fortitude. With the hope expanding, feel your way positively into your body, into your will. You may experience a fire-like quality literally, an expansive warmth flowing into your extremities.
Repeat as needed, allowing the steps to support each other. For example, the warmth in the willpower provides positive feedback to your feelings and thoughts. The effort feels good and you know (think about) its appropriateness. Maintain healthy willpower with a consistent daily rhythm, a good diet, and exercise.
EKeeping hope on tap to fuel your fire may lead to a manageable outcome of an illness with proper treatment. The willingness to hope provides forward motion with renewed courage and vitality. The wisdom we transform into deeds of courage not only leads us out of victimization, this is in large measure essential to our very humanity. So too is wonder.
But of course, we all have to go some time. Dignity, joy, and a good quality of life are possible even to the moment of the great transition from this world. Individuals who are willing to cope with illness fully using the fire of hope can develop an amazing thankfulness for all that life offers.
(*) Anthroposophy (anthro-po-sophy) means the “wisdom of Man.” As a human-centered extension of conventional medicine, the anthroposophic approach incorporates the totality of the human being.

Note that this article is not intended to diagnose or treat. If you have a medical condition, please consult with your health care professional.

Dr. A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D. is a board certified internist and a board certified holistic medical doctor. Of about fifty anthroposophic physicians in America, Dr. Pautz is the only one in Florida. She heads the Persephone Healing Arts Center in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The center provides wide-ranging services including unique adjunctive treatments for advanced diseases and extensive counseling. First-time visits are two hours or more. (904) 246-3583.

Enthusiasm & The Warm & Fuzzies

Enthusiasm and the Warm and Fuzzies
by Dr. A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D.

sulamith-wulfing_unsorted_children_01Essential for health, warmth supports the development of the outer physical body in childhood and also the inward faculties we require later as adults. Staying warm is of course more than just avoiding catching a cold. And physical warmth is more than the body burning food calories to release energy. Throughout life, warmth not only supports and protects bodily life, it also nurtures and builds a basis for the inner life. Warmth as a process in childhood leads directly to warmth-like forces of soul in adulthood.

Clearly, the warmth enveloping a child is necessary for the proper formation of healthy physical organs. Over time, these physical organs gradually begin to support the “organs” of soul.  Calling soul and spiritual faculties “organs” may seem odd until we realize that clarity of thought and stability of emotion, for example, require a proper seating in their corresponding physical organs. Warmth nurtures these later-to-unfold faculties and forces of the inner-life.Copy of _R9Q3382

On the other hand, most Waldorf educators understand from experience that a consistent lack of warmth in childhood may lead to a “coldness” of soul later in life. Such coldness usually manifests in adulthood as one-sided intellectualism or judgementalism. Parallel to the body not being warmed through enough, thought forms become unable to penetrate (warm through) the nuances of more sophisticated ideas and perspectives.  This too may seem outlandish until we see the connection between nurturing warmth protecting the child and thought’s ability to love something outside its kin.

We can recall a memory of mom tucking us into bed: There is fullness to the feeling of protection, both the physical warmth of mom and the emotional, supporting sense of a loving parent. What happens if we don’t get enough of such warmth? We may become weak in our sense of self worth, have anxiety and fears, or develop one-sided mechanisms to cope with life.  It is easier for me to close down and block out a foreign idea than to embrace it. A little warm hugging of a child helps them hug big ideas later in life.

images S WKeeping children warm, including their hands and feet, is important to keeping them well in their body. Because of smaller body mass, a child’s body exchanges heat more rapidly than an adult’s – it is more difficult for children to maintain temperature. They cool off and heat up faster than we do. In cooler or colder weather, the child’s care giver should make more frequent adjustments than they might for themselves. Dress the child up in a warm sweater or jacket and scarf, if it’s real cold. During transitional weather, use thinner layers of clothing. Peel off a layer if they overheat during play. But be prepared to peel it back on – watch out that they don’t cool off again too rapidly. Doing this is certainly more an art form than skill. Warmth and heat improves the immune system, helping it to fight better.

During the colder seasons, underwear of cotton, silk, or even soft wool right against the skin gives a much appreciated feeling of being hugged by the touch. (For some, however, wool might be irritating.) Such undergarments are more appropriate than the typical loose-fit tee shirt. Of course, as any parent knows, many kids like to throw off their clothes at every opportunity. But if the child is brought up from infancy with the feeling of the right buffer of warm clothes, this won’t be an issue later.  And, by the way, independent of the amount of clothing worn, occasional sweating is healthy.

Infants inherently tend toward “womb-like” conditions. Remember placing a baby in the cradle or crib and later finding that the child had moved, nestled into an edge or corner? Often more than coincidental rolling around, the child needs touch, the feeling of surface. They seek a womb-like boundary of warm assurance. Warm touch reminds us of the welcoming physical world.

Proper clothing, while providing physical protection, helps to welcome the soul and spirit into the body. A good, hearty welcome in turn nurtures healthy physical and mental development. We need our body, our temple, to be at its best so that we can express soul and spirit into and through matter via the physical organism. This is what we strive to teach our patients in holistic medicine. And it is a foundation provided in Waldorf education: the protection in warmth and love for the growing child to move in healthy balance between heat and cold.

Physical heat is akin to emotional heat. By lifting the fire of the hearth into the alter-fire of soul, we can find courage to work in life’s fullness. Enthusiasm enables the Will power to carry idea through to deed.

Raised in a Waldorf environment, Dr. A. Pautz, M.D. is a trained eurythmist and is board certified in both internal and holistic medicine. She is also a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) doctor. She specializes in anthroposophic treatment approaches in conjunction with conventional medicine. The practice can be reached at (904) 246-3583 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Listen To Your Messages

Listen to Your Messages
by A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D.

Mural Kristne 5Physical and spiritual activities work in the events of life. Positive and negative outcomes such as joy and accident leave their traces on the path of life. These biographic events can be understood as messages revealing things we need to work on. We can ask what our own biography means and what the messages are trying to tell us. However, we may not always get the message or understand it fully.

Because it is fundamental, biography can play an essential role in medical treatment. With the right training, a medical doctor can assist us in understanding and working with the life events our biographies hold. With the doctor, we can take action on these messages to help us alter – or steady – our course along the path of life and healing.

How life affects us on the one hand, and how we respond on the other, form two parts of a whole. It is not just a play on words to say that “holistic” is both “holy” and “whole”.  When a life event is severe enough, the whole is disrupted. For this reason, Edgar Cayce says “disease” should be pronounced as “dis–ease.”  The physician can observe how biographic events, when left unresolved, may manifest as functional or physical symptoms, or go deeper into the physical body, leading to disease.

As many know from experience, the events of life often repeat until we finally “get it right.” That is, until we not only get and understand the event’s message, but also when we learn how to work it through. When we don’t listen to and implement the message, “destiny” repeats itself. Similar circumstances are attracted over and over again if not corrected and healed. This rhythm of accident and opportunity is like a pulse of messages full of meaning.

In the holistic sense of holy and whole, the term “anthroposophy” is aptly applied here. “Anthro-po-sophy” means “wisdom of Man.”  It is the wisdom we all have. That is, we have ability to consider the whole human being, both physical, where the life events manifest, and spiritual, where biography resides and functions.

As part of the medical practice, an anthroposophically-trained medical doctor listens to and Lotus Mural Kristen 3evaluates a patient’s biographic messages, comparing them to the ideal whole human being. In turn, through the use of dialog and counseling, without drugs – even without natural remedies – the physician is able to intervene through awareness and participation. This helps his or her patients take active charge of life, reduces the attraction of accidents requiring medical services, and may prevent disabilities.

By applying the messages of biography, the physician strives profoundly to assist patients in their own efforts to learn, balance, heal, and live well.  An anthroposophic medical doctor can also support a patient using holistic remedies from the disciplines of naturopathy, homeopathy, and nutrition, as well as with therapeutic eurythmy, which works deeply with the rhythms of life.

A.Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D.

As in taking the heart’s pulse, the doctor reads the pulse of life’s events, relaying them to the patient to work on freely in healing. A balanced life takes the “dis” out of dis–ease.

(Note that this is not intended to diagnose or treat. If you have a medical condition, please consult with your health care professional.)

29 Ichetucknee Canoe boatsDr. A. Schaeffer-Pautz, M.D. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM), She is also a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) doctor. She specializes in holistic treatment approaches in conjunction with conventional medicine and also in terminal diseases such as cancer. Of fifty doctors practicing anthroposophic medicine in this country, Dr. Schaeffer-Pautz is the only one located in Florida. The practice can be reached at (904) 246-3583 in Jacksonville Beach.


Autism & Treatment Approaches

As with everything in life, there are many different roads and approaches one may choose from. What our task is and what each of us has to learn from it will be consequently very unique and different from anyone else’s journey.

So it is also with the treatment options available for the individual with autism. The choices are vast, unique and may appear to be at times overwhelming. Caregivers and parents will need to choose according to their own belief system. What works for one individual or family may not work well or easily for another.

Dr. Pautz’s approach to treating individuals with autism is based on the wholeMaine russning res philosophy of the practice: first things first. What is true for the rest of us, is true for them too. For instance, if water helps us to flush out toxins, that is true for the autistic person also. If nutrition plays an integral part in a person’s life and how they feel, then this is again true for the autistic individual and must be taken as seriously for them as for any other person.  When these are taken into consideration and implemented then the other many different therapies/modalities you may choose for your loved one will work more effectively.

Dr. Pautz believes, among several other things, in bio-nutritional interventions and will help her autistic patients with more dynamic remedies such as, but not limited to homeopathy, movement & music therapy. Her expertise in evaluating the needs of the individual with autism will help with choosing modalities/therapies that will enhance progress, resulting in improvement and increased quality of life for the patient and those around them.

 With treatment she has seen children dramatically improve in many areas such as language skills, awareness of physical surroundings, improvement in mood, increased interaction with siblings, parents, friends and general increase in verbal skills. This is evidenced by going from (in some cases) being non-verbal to exciting verbal interactions with those around them within a period of one year.

It has also been noted that direct eye contact, as well as ability to follow commands may improve greatly. In many, self care and desire to perform activities of daily living such as dressing and undressing is markedly improved and able to be accomplished without direct supervision. Some may even no longer need or meet the diagnosis of autism by conventional psychological assessment (which we do not offer nor perform in our office). Major improvement  of physical complaints such as profoundly bad smelling bowel movements, constipation or diarrhea is often seen. 

 As with everything in life, commitment, sticking to the therapies and sessions chosen, trial and error is going to be crucial for any long term shifting and improvement.

DSC03604Just remember: whatever treatment intervention you may choose for your loved one: it is going to be work. As many parents of autistic children will tell you, the work you put in will with time, effort and perseverance pay off. Several parents of autistic children that Dr. Pautz has seen over the years have shared with her that their autistic child ultimately brought the whole family to a healthier life style again and also closer to a spiritual path for the whole family. They are grateful to the contributions from that family member, as everyone ultimately benefited.

As with everything that Dr. Pautz does: if the parent or parents relate to her approach, the results are different than when a parent does not relate. We need to work closely with the child, teenager, or autistic adult through the parents, caregivers, and teachers. The decision of the parent’s willingness to implement the chosen therapies congruent to their own philosophy on life will be crucial in how effective the different endeavors and therapies will ultimately be.

Music and movement is of utmost importance. They can be outlets to facilitate XX DPconnecting and are used as a bridge for the child to express and be comforted. Such is true for most of us. Even with “normally” developed children: some of them sing and even dance before they speak! Let’s help all of them with music and movement too.

For more questions or to schedule an appointment or to join us at our open house, please call (904) 246-3583.

The information provided on this website does NOT treat or diagnose any medical condition. If you need medical advice, consult with your health-care provider.

Depression & Anxiety & The Winter Holiday Season

Depression & Anxiety

thumb_christmas_tree_3As the Holiday Season approaches, it is always a fascinating phenomenon that may bring either joy, contentment and happiness, or creates more stress and anxiety. Oft times for many, it may generate a feeling of loneliness, depression and separation. A feeling of not truly being a part of the celebrations brings thoughts such as “I hope this is going to be over soon”, or “I cannot wait to put the Christmas tree down on the 26th” etc.. Suicidal ideation and even carrying through is a common struggle during this time of year and affects many.candles-141892_150

Most people enjoy Thanksgiving more than the rest of the Holiday Season or Christmas, as it isfather and son much less commercially influenced and brings families together for the sacredness of sharing a meal, enjoying the company of friends and family, giving thanks for the blessings of the year and does not have the exterior burden of forced presents purchased in hurry and distress.

People enjoying lifeFor Dr. Pautz, this season has been the happiest since she started celebrating it in her own space. This is a time that has to do with reflecting back on the year and looking at the relationships built, be it in her professional or personal space. It is an opportunity to touch those who have come into one’s life, and preparing the year ahead in a sacred and contemplative way. And yes, it always means physical clearing and decorating the space that one is in. Decorating the interior space, if not done, may contribute towards people feeling inwardly and outwardly disconnected.Old and depressed. The simpler the better. Traditions incorporating religious and spiritual practices are an important part, and bring a rhythm and natural breathing allowing a getting in touch with one’s inner being. Each year is an opportunity to get closer to the inner light that draws close during those weeks, so the New Year to come may be better and better.


Dr. Pautz, M.D. X-mas 2holds board certifications in both internal and holistic medicine. She counsels families and individuals for anxiety and depression, including for seasonal struggles. She has life coached a number of them through the years to experiencing a more in tune holiday season . To schedule an appointment with her, please call (904) 246-3583.