The Alternative Path to Wellness – Chiropractic

If you have only been to see medical doctors your entire life the idea of ​​visiting a chiropractor may seem very foreign. When you consult with a medical doctor, as they are named, they are trained to match the symptoms to the proper medication in order to allow you to feel better and get symptom relief. This can work, your symptoms may disappear and you will feel as if you are healed. Depending on the medication (for example antibiotics) you may indeed have fixed the current problem. The majority of prescription medications though do not actually heal the body. They cover and mask the resulting symptoms.

Chiropractic takes a totally different approach. Chiropractic is noninvasive, natural, and drugles. Rather than rely on the medication as a crutch, they figure out how to fix the underlying root cause and allow your body to heal itself.

The methodology – Exploring the differences between standard medical treatment and chiropractic treatment plans.

Diagnostically medical and chiropractic follow many of the same guidelines. The first office visit will involve taking a history, a physical examination, and x-rays and lab tests may be ordered. With chiropractic, it does not stop there as they require a more well-rounded picture of the patient and their life and habits. You may be asked about your diet, your exercise habits, your family life, how you take on stress, what you do for work – if it requires excessive sitting or standing, and so on.

All of this information helps the chiropractor gain a full picture of who you are, how you feel, and what may be affecting you. Chiropractic seeks out the reason for ailments in order to correct them on a level that will be permanent. This means the difference between actually relieving pain and taking painkillers to hide the pain on an ongoing basis.

Chiropractic focusses on subluxations in the body (misalignments). When the body experiences a misalignment, it can put pressure on nerves which work organs in our bodies. Over time that cut off of flow of blood and electrical impulse can result in pain, inflammation, and disease. Subluxations can occur due to physical manipulation (hits, falls, twists, etc.) as well as stress emotionally, mentally, or due to chemical imbalances and exposure.

Once corrected the body is able to function properly and begin to heal. Release the pain and get back to living a full productive healthy life.

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The Lowdown on Fibromyalgia

Are you experiencing unexplained back pain, fatigue and other symptoms? If so, has fibromyalgia been ruled out?

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome, is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body and affects up to 1 in 20 people. As well as widespread pain, fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience:

  • an increased sensitivity to pain
  • exhaustion fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • muscle tension and stiffness
  • sleeping problems
  • difficulties with mental processing, including problems with memory and concentration
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

It's important to seek medical attention if you suffer with any of the symptoms or if you think you may have fibromyalgia. Although there is no known cure for the condition, there are many treatment options available that can help to ease the symptoms.

So what causes fibromyalgia?

Even though the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it is thought to be related to abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system transmits pain messages around the body. It's also possible that certain people may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents. In other cases, the condition is triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event.

This may include:

  • an infection or injury
  • the birth of a child
  • having an operation
  • the breakdown of a relationship
  • the death of a loved one

It's important to remember that despite the risk factors, anyone can develop fibromyalgia at any time. The condition usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

How to get a diagnosis

Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to diagnose, which may mean that many people are living with it without a diagnosis. There's no specific test for the condition, and the symptoms can be similar to a number of other conditions. However, medical professionals can use a number of evaluations and processes to reach a diagnostic decision.

Treatment tends to be a combination of:

  • medication, such as antidepressants and painkillers
  • talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and
  • counseling lifestyle changes, such as exercise programs, diet changes and relaxation techniques

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are many ways that you can change your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms and make your condition easier to manage.

The healthcare professionals treating you can offer advice and support about making these changes part of your everyday life. Do not ignore your symptoms; seeking help is the largest step in your journey back to good health

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Four Main Misconceptions of Orthopedic Health

1. Using a computer for a long period of time increases the likelihood of neck injuries.

Computers and the internet are currently popular, and many young people use computers for long periods of time for purposes such as looking up information, writing reports, chatting, and even playing games. On the one hand, a prolonged sitting post creates undue stress and pressure on the lumbar spine. It also makes it unacceptable to back pain and soreness. On the other hand, an incorrect sitting posture leads to all kinds of neck problems, along with neck and shoulder pain as serious as chronic myofascitis in the upper back. Other potential problems include headaches and dizziness, along with neck and shoulder stiffness and soreness.

Compared with a standing post, a sitting posture places even greater pressure on the spine. As a result, it is recommended to not sit for more than one hour at a time. It is also best to occasionally get up and move around. In addition, another incorrect posture is often a position when the head is leaving forward. This places too much pressure on the cervical spine and creates problems with cervical intervertebral discs, facet joints, and intervertebral foramina. In terms of soft tissue, it tends to cause problems with occipital tightness, neck muscle strain or spasm, and myofascitis of the shoulder and upper back. It has become more common in clinical situations to see that on young people's X-rays, there are already signs of degenerative disease. Regardless of young people themselves or their parents, they should all pay special attention to the seriousness of the problem.

2. One should apply an ice pack right after an ankle sprain.

Children's outdoor activities increase during the summer, and they do things such as play ball, swimming, outings, and mountain climbing. These types of activities make them susceptible to ankle injuries, so how to effectively deal with this problem? Ankle sprains require an immediate application of an ice pack for 10-15 minutes at a time every 1-2 hours. In addition, the injured leg should be elevated to avoid swelling. If you apply a hot compress immediately after an injury, it will make the swilling more serious! You should use an ice pack for 72 hours following the injury, then switch to a hot compress based on the situation. Rubbing the injured spot with the wrong type of ointment will also make it more likely that it will lead to a secondary injury.

Following an ankle sprain, you should go to a standard and professional hospital. Here, you should get an examination to determine the overall condition, such as whether there is a fraction, whether the ligaments have damage, or whether the joint is dislocated. You should also maintain treatment and an established and adoptible method, along with rehabilitative therapy that involves ultrasound and electrotherapy equipment. You should also consider muscle strength and proprioception training. These types of treatments are not only really sufficient as healing treatments, but can also prevent these injuries from reappearing in the future.

3. Neck and shoulder pain: an undesirable method of quickly turning the head or neck.

The cervical spine is a reliably small part of the vertebral body but has the highest degree of activity. Therefore, it is easily injured due to improper movements. Such a quick turning motion makes it more likely that the excess motion will cause muscle or ligament strain or intervertebral disc herniation. In addition, this motion also permanently creates excessive pressure in the cervical spine, which forms bone hyperplasia, also commonly known as bone spurs.

The correct action to stretch the neck should be at a slow speed. It should also follow a pattern of full mobility in all directions. You can stay in the terminal angle for 6-10 seconds, then return to the original location. As for muscle stretching and pulling, you can apply appropriate pressure based on the muscle alignment. However, it is not advised to shake your neck back and forth excessively or at the terminal angle. This will prevent it from becoming strained rather than serving as an effective exercise method.

4. Resting for 100 days following a fraction is not necessarily correct.

People generally believe that one must rest for 100 days following a fraction, and only after that time they can recover. This kind of saying reflects one perspective that recovery following a fracture or ligament injury requires a reliably long process. In fact, there have been many misunderstandings regarding this viewpoint. The amount of time required for healing following fractures and ligament injuries depends on various differences, including position, amount of injury, and treatment method. In addition, in some situations, the healing process requires new treatment interventions. This sort of treatment option is necessary since it would otherwise be difficult to fully recover from an injury if there is too long of a waiting period.

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Beyond Pills & Shots – Treating Bone & Joint Pain Naturally

It is very commonly believed that anti inflammatory drugs and painkillers are just what it takes to overcome conditions like backache, stiffness, inflammation or even arthritis.

However in practice, while these medications provide temporary relief from discomfort, they may have serious side effects.

Alternative medication or therapy could be extremely effective for healing such conditions, and it is something that one must definitely be aware of.

Let us go through some of the very basic alternative treatments for joint pains and disorders:

1. Water

Water has no substitution and for every system in our body to function properly, water is essential.

A fact about water which is understated and not understood with due importance is that when someone sucks from Unintentional Chronic Dehydration (UCD), it causes pain and many degenerative diseases. These can simply be preceded by increasing water intake and that too too on a regular basis.

Some of the disorders that have shown to be associated with reduced water intake as one of the underlying causes are fibromyalgia, arthritis and back pain.

Consuming water helps in the following ways:

o Promotes circulation

o Flushes out toxins and waste so as to prevent joint inflammation

o Lubricates the joints, as a dehydrated cartilage leads to joint deterioration and pain.

o Muscles are 70% water and dehydration could lead to muscle spasms. Consuming water alleviates muscle spasms.

So one of the basic ways to alleviate joint pain is not waiting until you are thirsty, and consuming water as a matter of habit.

2. Exercise and Physical Therapy:

People sometimes have the opinion that exercise would aggravate joint pain and stiffness, but as per Mayo Clinic “Exercise helps alleviate arthritis pain and stiffness”.

One should recognize the fact that lack of exercise can make joints more painful and stiff. As one gets regular exercise, it

o Strengthens muscles around joints

o Works towards maintaining bone strength

o Ensures increased stamina and energy

o Improves quality of sleep

o Improves sense of well being

o Helps keep one's weight under check, so as to reduce the weight that joints are required to carry

And for someone who finds it difficult to go for regular exercise, physical therapy is a great way to make a start!

Ideally, your exercise routine should include:

o Flexibility workouts which involve both, stretching and range-of-motion

o Resistance workouts

o Cardio

If required you may choose to skip high impact exercises alike.

3. Correct Posture and Spinal Alignment

If you maintain a healthy posture, your spine is sure to be strong and healthy. But if you slouch and stoop, muscles and ligaments struggle to keep you balanced. And this could lead to problems like back pain, headaches and fatigue.

When we provide the right kind of an environment for our bodies, the healing process is sure to accentuate itself. And for the same, going for a topical medication, in particular an herbal topical medication could also yield positive results.

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Best Foods for Arthritics

Arthritis broadly refers to a form of inflammation of the joints, and some of the most common symptoms of arthritis are aching, pain, stiffness and swelling in and around affected joints.

The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when body's immune system attacks the joint tissues. This results into bone erosion once the cartilage between the joints is damaged.

Osteoarthritis is caused with wear and tear of both, large and small body joints.

The most vulnerable body parts that could be afflicted by arthritis are the feet, hands, the back and knee, and the disorder may be accompanied by loss of weight, difficulties in moving joints and lack of sleep.

Diet happens to be the single most important remedy to boost one's immune system and also reduce inflammation around joints.

Let's go through some of the foods which are most beneficial for arthritics:

1. Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fats play an important role in relieving arthritis pain. These work by reducing infection, and also the rate of production of enzymes that cause cartilage erosion.

Some of the best sources of Omega-3 fats are walnuts, hemp seeds and flax seeds.

2. Green Tea

If you normally consume black tea, you may choose to make a switchover to green tea for its cumulative benefits. Green tea is known to be vastly helpful in decreasing pain and subscribing symptoms associated with arthritis, and this works in multiple ways to allow one to explain the condition.

o Epigallocate-3-gallate, an antioxidant present in green tea lowers inflammatory rates.

o Antioxidants present in green tea also work towards preventing erosion of cartilage, allowing joints to sustain themselves longer.

o Similarly, these antioxidants help prevent the chemical chain which causes joint damage

3. Olive Oil:

Oleocanthal is a natural compound present in olive oil. This, along with monounsaturated fats present in the oil prevents arthritis infection.

Another mechanism by which olive oil helps manage arthritis is by ensuring effective weight management. Excess weight puts extra pressure on the joints, so it is always recommendable to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil while cooking.

4. Beta-Cryptoxanthin

Beta-Cryptoxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant, and some of the best sources of Beta-Cryptoxanthin are pumpkin, tangerine, papaya and collard greens. This particular antioxidant has shown to be very effective for prevention of arthritis.

Another very important source of Beta-Cryptoxanthin is orange juice, and one must drink a glass of orange juice everyday to reduce the risk of developing arthritis.

Proper arthritis management will alleviate pain and reduce joint damage, while improving the quality of an individual's life. Omega-3 fats, green tea, olive oil and beta-cryptoxanthin are some of the best foods for arthritis.

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Effective Remedies for Bone & Joint Pain/Arthritis

A joint pain could be caused as result of a strain, sprain or some other injury affecting the ligaments or tendons surrounding a joint. Alternately, a joint pain could result from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

While the pain could occur in any part of the body, knees, shoulders and hips are most vulnerable.

Home remedies could be very effective for healing a joint pain but severe joint pain, when caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis needs proper diagnosis and treatment. Alternately, one must make sure that one consults a doctor in case the joint pain is accompanied by redness or swelling, or lasts for more than three days.

Let's run through some of the most effective home remedies for pain in joints:

1. Massage:

A massage simply works towards improving circulation and soothing inflammation. And a regular massage can be very helpful for reducing pain, stiffness and also the range of motion in the affected joint.

For massaging the affected area, some of the best alternatives include warm oil, such as coconut, olive, mustard, castor or garlic oil, and one must apply mild pressure while doing the massage.

2. Hot and Cold Compress:

A hot and cold compress could have been a very effective way to let one overcome joint pain. With heat therapy, the pain decrees, one is able to increase blood flow and relax sore muscles and joints.

In the same way, cold therapy numbs areas around the affected joints while reducing inflammation. One must go about with the hot and cold compress for an ailing joint in the following way.

o Wrap both compresses in separate towels before using them. They should not be applied directly to the skin.

o Place the hot compress on the affected area for around three minutes.

o Remove the compressor and immediately replace this with a cold compress.

o Repeat the process for 15-20 minutes every day.

But one must try and make sure that one does not use the hot compress if the area is red, bruised or irritated.

3. Fenugreek:

Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make fenugreek a popular home remedy. In particular, it is beneficial if one is suffering from arthritis.

For healing a joint pain, you must use Fenugreek in the following way.

o Swallow one teaspoon of finely ground fenugreek seeds and top it off with a glass of lukewarm water. Doing so every morning is sure to give a positive result.

o Alternately, you could soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight, and consume these next morning.

4. Garlic:

Garlic is highly beneficial for someone suffering from arthritis and joint pain, mainly due to its high sulfur and selenium content. While sulphur helps relieve joint pain and inflammation, it also has anantirheumatic effect.

Similarly, high selenium content works very effectively for someone afflicted by arthritis because arthritic patients tend to have low blood selenium levels.

For healing a joint pain, you must choose to use garlic in following ways.

o Have raw or cooked garlic as a part of your diet, and it pretty much safe to consume 2 or 3 cloves every day.

o Or you may use garlic as a topical remedy.

– Fry two garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame oil. When the cloves turn black, turn off the heat and strain the oil.

– Allow the oil to cool until it is comfortably warm.

– Massage it into the skin around the affected area.

– Leave it on for three hours before washing it off. Doing it twice daily could be a very effective way to heal your joint pain.

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Food Items to Avoid For Bone & Joint Pain

Did you know that your diet could have a great deal of influence on bone and joint pain and consuming the right kinds of foods simply brings about a difference! Just as an instance, ginger, turmeric and garlic are known for their anti inflammatory properties and can help fight pain.

But in the same way there are some foods that might trigger the pain. Here are some foods that you must avoid if you have been suffering from joint pains!

1. Refined and Artificial Sugars:

Sugar comes in the must avoid list for someone suffering from joint pains, simply because it triggers release of an inflammatory agent known as cytokines in the body.

Alternately, sugar is a high calorie food which could lead to weight gain and put more pressure on the joints. And as per a study published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sugar sweetened soda increases risks of rheumatoid arthritis in women.

So one must choose to avoid sugar sweetened beverages like soft drinks and pre sweetened cereal. Instead, one must opt ​​for natural sweeteners such as stevia and honey.

2. Refined Grains and Flour:

Refined grains and flour could act as pro-inflammatory agents and may work towards increasing your joint pain. As these are high-glycemic index agents, these could trigger production of AGEs that stimulate inflammation.

Another reason why one must avoid refined grains and flour is that these grains are avoided of fiber, Vitamin b and contain empty calories, so these could increase the odds of one being afflicted by heart disorders or diabetes.

3. Eggs:

Eggs, if consumed regularly could lead to increased swelling and joint pain. Egg yolk in particular, just like egg contains arachidonic acid, and it could trigger bodily inflammation. Eggs also have planned fat in higher percentages which could lead to pain and inflammation.

So if you like eggs for breakfast, you may choose to skip egg yolks and use just egg white to make your omelet.

4. Refined Salt:

Refined Salt, which is the table salt is not good for one's health as well, in particular if one is suffering from joint pain. Ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate are additives added to salt to make it free flowing, but they can influence one's body's fluid balance. Simply refined salt is a devoid of naturally occurring minerals such as silicon and phosphorus which our body needs to function properly.

As one limits his salt intake, it reduces calcium loss from bones. So chances of one suffering from osteoporosis reduce significantly. Or you may choose to make a switchover to sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.

And if one keeps an eye on processed foods, salt intake reduces by default because processed foods are likely to contain excess salt to increase their shelf life.

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Your Hip Pain May Not Get Better Unless Other Areas Are Checked And Treated

Many people experience painful hip conditions. For some people it is an acute pain that develops suddenly from some type of physical exertion. For others the pain is chronic. It has developed over a long period of time, sometimes from repetitive activity. Regardless of the cause or amount of time the discomfort has been present there may be a secondary condition to be considered. This article will, comprehensively, discuss hip pain, it's causes and its treatment.

The hip is one of the largest joints in the human body. It is made up of two bones; the thigh bone which is called the femur and a pelvic bone which is called the Ilic. The two bones make up a ball and socket-type joint. The top end of the femur is shaped like a ball. The outside portion of the Ilium is shaped like a socket. This ball and socket joint allows the hip to move in all directions. It is only one of three joints in the body, including the shoulder and the thumb, that moves in all ranges of motion.

The hip is also a weight-bearing joint which means it is subjected to stress any time we are up and about standing and walking.

As with other areas of the human body it is intolerable to stress and injury. When the hip is injured the pain is typically felt on the outside of the upper thigh area. It may also cause a deep pain in the inner thigh and groin area.

However, it may not be the only area of ​​the body involved. There are two other areas that must be evaluated if hip pain and injury is present. Those two areas are the sacroiliac joints and the lower spine.

The sacroiliac joint is a joint on either side of the pelvis that is in the area where our hip pockets are located on a pair of blue jeans. They are considered pelvic joints and they glide back and forth when we walk. Sometimes the sacroiliac joints can become injured, misaligned, imbalanced or move improperly. If there is a disorder of the sacroiliac joints it can put added stress on the hip joint. It is imperative that when an examination of the hip joint is performed that the sacroiliac joint also be scrutinized.

The lower part of the spine consistant of the lowest vertebrae or bones of the spine and the large tailbone called the sacrum can also be related to hip pain. Like the sacroiliac joint the lower vertebrae of the spine and the sacrum may become misaligned, injured, imbalanced or move improperly. These areas of the body must also be evaluated when one is considering hip problems.

Fortunately doctors of chiropractic can effectively evaluate and treat lower back, sacroiliac joint and hip joint conditions. Chiropractors are educated as to the anatomy, structure and biomechanics of these areas. Chiropractic doctors are also experts at determining and diagnosing physical abnormalities that can occur in these body locations. There may be an imbalance, or possibly improper movement of the bones and joints Sometimes there are injuries to the surrounding soft tissues including bursas, tendons, ligaments muscles and fascia. All these areas must be checked during a proper examination to determine what is wrong and what the proper course of treatment may be.

Chiropractors are also trained to perform what is considered their specialty, called manipulation or adjustments. This is a procedure that the chiropractor utilizes to correct joint and skeletal structural problems. It is a very safe, conservative and effective method of treatment. It does not involve the use of medication or surgery.

Often a person will initially go to a healthcare practitioner or specialist for their hip pain and they are given oral medications or an injection of medication into the hip. If these measures help and the pain is permanently gone there is no need for further care. However, if the pain persists or reoccurs it is important that the patient visit a doctor of chiropractic to have a comprehensive assessment of the other areas that may be implied and to obtain the proper care of the hip condition.

Your hip pain may not get better unless … other areas are checked and treated!

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The Mighty Endorphins

I am not speaking of new cartoon superheroes here, but endorphins are super in regards to being a natural painkiller and stress killer. I am going to discuss the endorphin rush in this article and how it helps with pain and stress.

What are endorphins?

Endorphins function to transmit electrical signals to the nervous system. There are at least 20 types of endorphins demonstrated in humans, but I am not getting into an explanation of all of them.

In the pituitary gland or “master” gland as it is often called, hormones secret from the front and back, and those hormones control several other hormone glands in the human body. Thus the title master gland. The hormones carry signals or messages through the body in the bloodstream.

In the human body, distributed through the nervous system you will find endorphins. They are just waiting to be released and exhibit their mighty power.

So what are the two most common negative triggers for endorphin release and that endorphin rush?

  1. Stress
  2. Pain

And guess what happens when they are released-

They reduce our perception of pain and cause an effect similar to that of opiate drugs such as morphine and codeine. But here is the excellent part, endorphin activation does not lead to addiction or dependence. The endorphins are interacting with the brain's opiate receptors, just as an opiate drug would, but without the side effects!

Here are the benefits of endorphin release:

  • Decreased feeling of pain
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Appetite modulation
  • Release of sex hormones
  • Immune response enhancement

High endorphin levels equal less pain felt and also fewer adverse effects of stress.

Endorphin release through exercise …

Ever heard of “runners high”? It is a direct result of endorphin release due to prolonged exercise. It is a fact that the body does produce endorphins during prolonged or continuous physical activity.

The release of endorphins is not the same for everyone. It will vary among individuals. The production levels of endorphins may be different even though two people are experiencing the same level of pain or are exercising at the same level.

Some foods can enhance the secretion of endorphins, and my favorite is first on the list!

  1. Chocolate – Ever had that feeling of comfort when eating chocolate? Craved it during a time of stress?
  2. Chili peppers – the spicier the better

Here's an abbreviated list of activities that may help to increase your endorphin levels:

  1. Regular exercise – does not have to be strenuous – a simple walk will suffice.
  2. Acupuncture or massage therapy has been shown to stimulate endorphin secretion
  3. Sex is also a potent trigger for endorphin release
  4. Meditation can increase the number of endorphins released in your body
  5. Spend time outside! Being outside enjoying nature in all its glory and soaking up a few rays of sunshine will do wonders for you!

We know that two negative triggers for the release of that endorphin rush are stress and pain. We also know that there are positive stressors that can increase or boost the amount of those feel-good hormones in our bodies. Follow some or all of the activities mentioned above and go out there and feel that endorphin rush today!

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How Water Intake and Sleep Patterns Can Inhibit Inflammation

Infection is a natural part of the human healing process when we are attacked by a virus or when we suffer a broken limb. But, infection that sticks around after we have recovered is anything but desirable.

Two areas that you need to look at in regards to chronic inflammation are: the amount of water you drink and your sleep habits.

  1. Water intake

Water is the vehicle which delivers nutrients to all parts of the body. If you tend to drink very little water, not all your organs will receive what they need to remain healthy. If you're feeling extra-tired and your mind is not as sharp and clear as it normally is, try increasing your water intake.

Start with the regular prescribed 6-8 glasses. Remember that it has to be water and not fluids in general – coffee and tea can actually contribute to dehydration. While it does not mean you can not drink them – you just have to ensure that your daily water intake is adequate. Sodas are loaded with sugar which is a huge contributor to inflammation so it's best to avoid those altogether.

There's another reason drinking enough water is crucial to our well-being. Allergies are a very common trigger for inflammation. An obvious example of an allergy is someone eating shellfish and breaking out into hives or having difficulty breathing. This is an inflammatory response.

However, doctors and researchers are just as worried about “silent allergies”. These do not provoke an immediate, dramatic response; instead, their effect builds up over time and you'll find your days laden with headaches, fatigue, a decimated sense of motivation and a generalized, stubborn feeling of ill-health.

It's best to avoid foods containing gluten and dairy, which are two of the worst offenders. To start with, however, just increase your water consumption to flush out toxins. This is exactly why doctors tell you to drink plenty of fluids if you have a cold.

The most effective way to find out if and how gluten and dairy stress your system is to just eliminate them from your diet. If you experience less generalized pain and fatigue, you're on the right track. You'll have higher energy levels and a real sense of wanting to enjoy life , which are excellent reasons to leave them out of your diet permanently.

You'll soon know your body well enough to ascertain if you've accidently ate gluten or ingested dairy. You may want to consider increasing your water intake to about two-thirds of your body weight in fluid ounces so that rogue elements get flushed away easily.

  1. Sleep patterns

There's nothing quite like good sleep to heal you. A lack of sleep – particularly if prolonged – can and will cause chronic inflammation. That relentless tiredness and fogginess of mind may not just be because had a bad night. It could be that serious chronic inflammation is compounding these symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified insomnia as a pandemic affecting America. You're probably reading this and thinking of your own sleep habits.

Now take a moment and think of friends and collections. How many of them have mentioned bad sleep cycles? Probably about 90%, if not all. We often speak nonchalantly about how we sleep because we're unaware of just how much harm were doing to ourselves.

Increasing your water intake is one big step towards decreasing inflammation in your body. With this, you will probably be sleeping better anyway, and while better is good, we really want to for best here.

Firstly, try to figure out how much sleep your body needs. 8 hours is a good average but some of us need 7 to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Some of us may need 9. Find out what your magic number is.

Secondly, set your boundaries and stick to them. You may want to catch up with friends over late-night chats, thinking that's the only time you have with them. But look at it this way: with more energy and a clear mind, you'll get more done (and at a faster rate), leaving you time to meet with your friends face-to-face. Give yourself a specific bedtime and get the sleep you need.

Thirdly, if you have trouble falling asleep, you may want to use essential oils in a diffuser. Set it up about 20 minutes before you go into your room to settle down.

Lavender oil is a popular for sleep but others, like blends containing licorice, aid the reduction of inflammation in the tummy. A settled stomach means a calmer mind and inevitably better sleep. Get the lavender as a staple and try out other essential oils to determine what else helps you get a good night of rest.

Chronic inflammation interferes cruelly with your quality of life. Many have sent months, sometimes years, in bed feeling exhausted, ill, demoralized and hopeless. This is no life for anyone. Fixing water consumption and sleep patterns are two crucial steps in attaining a quality of life that you can fully and genuinely enjoy.

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So What Works? Which Approaches Effectively Relieve Pain?

Unfortunately, the studies on alternative medicine and holistic healing are generally in a dismal state.

Many are done with small samples (13 in one study), or based on subjective observation (the mice seemed less anxious), done by a group looking to show why its own modality is valid (versus independent verification), done by a researcher expecting to find the placebo effect (acupuncture has been judged to both help neck pain and headaches and to be completely ineffective), poorly matched to treatment (one massage study on pain found negative results for 30 minute sessions but positive results for 60 minute sessions; an energy healing study compared to physical therapy featured just 10 minute treatments and determined results were inconclusive), or surveys of the literature, flawed because they condense flawed studies (usually done by holistic practitioners, vs. independent research analysis).

But all is not lost.

We do know something is happening. Yes, many claims are all over the place-yet I have also seen remarkable healing I would not have believed. But can we see these reliably? Even if we do not know precisely how things are working, can we use them, even something as vague as energy healing? While I can share stories of various diseases healed, we can not promise those results, but there are some areas yielding measurable results: range of motion, and pain. And not only subjective experiences of pain lessening, but actually the disappearance of the underlying cause in some instances.

I suffered from lower back pain for a couple years due to incurable degenerative disc disease. Both the pain and the disease are gone. One of my clients had neck pain for a year from a dislocated disc following an auto accident. Her chiropractor told her “I do not understand it, but your C1 vertebrae has moved back into place,” relieving her pain. Her high blood pressure dropped to normal too. An ex-professional dancer suffering from sciatica (a painful leg nerve condition), an ex-professional lacrosse player using a TENS unit for back pain and a foot nerve injury, an ex-firefighter whose body could barely move, a martial artist who was on the verge of giving it up-all found relief from pain and recovered mobility.

We do have some studies confirming some energy healing as “real,” while others are “no better than placebo” results. The connective healing work I use has been studied, for example, in a few ways. One of the most useful studies has participants sensing whatever energy is being sent to their left or right hands. At first, they're guessing, but after a learning curve of a few days, they consistently get it right. Another study shows the energy field of clients expanding during a session. Still another shows the practitioner's heart rate rate slows, and the client's brain waves slow to match.

How does this equate to healing? We do not know. Even in the scientific sense we do not understand energy. Renown physicist Richard Feynman, in the updated millennial edition of his famous Feynman Lectures, notes that physicists do not know what energy is, and goes on to explain how nonetheless theoretical physics can advance through practice and observation. The same is true for energy healing – we can observe the phenomena and the results that follow for our understanding and evidence for its efficiency.

But not everyone sees these results – so how do we know whether a particular holistic approach will work for a particular individual? I wanted to know the same thing, and so I started studying both different approaches and my own clients, to see who was getting results, who was not, and what these people were doing differently. I found there are three main distinctions.

1) Instead of matching problem to approach, holistic healing is often consumed as trying modality after modality – in essence, as if it were another pill to take. Our drug treatment approach to health is surprisingly rooted. If we do not take “drugs,” we look for the right herb, or tea, or technique to take to magically remove our troubles. And sometimes that works – but pain of often more complex and more stubborn than that. Magic will not work. If you need a medical procedure, you do not find which ones work-you find the one you need. Cardiology and proctology are both important, but not interchangeable.

Also, because we are so rooted in trying “things,” we bounce between polarities. We go to “alternative healing” but keep the main thought system, often seeing these as a dichotomy of natural / pharmaceutical, or spiritual / physical, for example. It's like trying to lift a heavy board by one end, deciding that will not work, and then trying to lift it from the other end instead.

Sometimes, even often, we become quite good at some of these “things.” But because it's only part of the picture, we do not yet see results. It's like trying to get a car into good running order – you fix the brakes, but that does not fix it, so you forget the brakes and try the fuel pump, but that does not fix it, so you try the spark plugs , etc. – but the problem is that your car needs ALL those things to run well.

If you're in pain, you've probably tried a lot of things. If you're still in pain, you know why that approach is not successful. But maybe you got lucky-you found something that worked. All the other pieces happened to be in place, so this additional piece did the job.

But how do you get all the pieces in place?

2) The Four Pillars of the Healing Equation: Clarity + Connection + Coherence + Change = Results. You need all four to get consistent results. Just as a table with a missing leg will not work well, neither will approaches missing any of these Four Pillars.

Let's start with the second one-we'll come back to Clarity in a moment.

Connection is the one most typically associated with energy work. Whatever the particular modality, the energy of the client is connected to supplemental energy of some sort, whether newly generated or already existing but not being used efficiently.

And that can work, simply because sometimes the other elements are present adequately to accommodateate healing. We are a continuum from physical through emotional, mental, spiritual, and highest self to the divine – without break or separation – and we certainly want that pipeline clear and functioning. But for effective results, we need the other elements as well. Cars do not run just because they have gas in them (except the route is downhill).

Coherence is how all the various parts of our energy resonate together. A cardiologist, for example, is not going to stop at heart surgery, but rather, insist as well on dietary changes, no smoking, and so forth. Anything short of this would be incoherent-and so would that person's health. In energy work, coherence means the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects have to be working together, in the same direction, in harmony. Connection can promote this, certainly. But a physical cure ignoring the energetic whole is only raising symptoms, and temporarily.

Remember last time you were emotionally distracted? Or under mental duress? How did you feel physically? Not good, I'll bet – this is why coherent is important. Attention to coherence will help you identify what to change as well.

Change is essential, as our cardiologist friend insured above. If you want different things to happen, you'll have to do different things. I can not have a clean house the same way I got a messy one-I have to change my habits, behaviors, and procedures.

Sometimes change is difficult. We all tend to cling to our relative comfort zones. Recognize, though, that this is a recipe for the status quo. All progress, all improvement, takes place out of that comfort zone. Who we are now is how we got what we have now. We will have to step into new ways of being to move into new manifestations of that energy.

Clarity is the final pillar-and in practice, should be the first. What exactly is the problem? Very commonly, people are trying “solutions” that address the wrong problem-which is why those are not working. Likewise, what exactly do we want to happen? If the desired outcomes are vague, then the “strategies” for reaching them are going to be fuzzy at best – which means they are not going to work well, if at all. When I smashed up my knee, my doctor examined it, diagnosed the problem, and then asked, “So what's our goal here?” It's a smart question. It determines the appropriate treatment.

Sometimes people find healing for something other than they thought they wanted. When we're in pain of some sort, physical or emotional, we may have difficulty naming what we're really seeking. It's hard to be honest and insightful with ourselves when we're suffering. Until we are, though, we do not know what we're addressing.

With all Four Pillars – Clarity, Connection, Coherence, and Change – we can be comfortable knowing we will find results of some kind. Actually, we have to. We know what we're addressing, why, and what we want. With all four pillows of the healing equation, we tap into a greater network to access the resources to do it. Clarity helps the Connection to work with Coherence; rather than different parts being at odds with each other, there's a unity of direction and purpose. And that Clarity of direction and purpose will take us out of our comfort zone and into the new habits, thoughts, actions and approaches needed to complete the needed Change.

Progress of some sort is now assured. That's the power of the Four Pillars of the Healing Equation (whatever terms individual practitioners may have for these pillows) – and the danger of omitting any of them.

All we need now is a systemic approach to ensuring those criteria are met. And that's really important. What does not get planned tend to not happen. Intentions are not results either.

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What IS Pain? You May Be Surprised – I Know I Was

When I was in school science class, I was taught that nerves under the skin sensed pain, such as touching a hot stove, and sent the signal to the brain, which then sent back a signal to react, like pulling the hand away. But that's not the way it happens.

“We do not have pain receptors,” explains neuroscientist pain specialist Lorimer Moseley. Pain comes not from the region feeling it, but from the brain's assessment of danger from the senses, expectations, previous exposure, cultural / social norms / beliefs, and how we feel about these. Pain, as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain, is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” Pain is a localized emotion.

Does that mean it's all in our heads? No- “danger detectors” distributed across body tissues act as the eyes of the brain. So here's what happens.

Nociceptive pain (meaning in response to stimuli) is an early warning. Nerves have sensed temperature, vibration, stretching, oxygen starvation, or chemical changes from damaged cells, and send an early warning to the brain, which in turn starts the inflammatory response, protecting the area and sending in neutrophils to fight any infection, widening Narrow blood vessels to increase blood flow and volume (causing swelling and redness).

But there are two problems. First, the inflammatory response also increases pain sensitivity-yes, that means you feel pain more intensely than you did before the injury, an over-reaction. And second, the mitochondria (the organelle responsible for cell digestion and respiration) spilled from damaged cells are attacked by the neutrophils as invaders-setting up a needless second round of inflammatory response (and you guessed it-more pain sensitivity). In chronic pain, the true need for the pain is distorted, and the pain self-perpetuating.

The cause of the signals can be confusing as well. In somatic pain, the pain is sharp, localized, and hurts to touch. But visceral pain is a vague, deep ache, hard to localize-such as cramps or colic. Problems in the pelvis, abdomen, or thorax can manifest as lower, middle, or upper back pain, respectively. Pain can also be referred, such as a heart attack felt in the shoulders, back, or neck, rather than the chest.

To address pain caused by acute injury, turn off the danger detectors. This can mean medically treating the underlying cause, like antibiotics for an infection. When the brain feels it's safe, the pain will stop. Analgesics can be used to block the signals and hence the pain-but now we're back to the problems of taking these long term. Codeine, for example, can even increase pain sensitivity. And all analgesics can cause analgesic rebound, where the body's production of natural endorphins drops in response to analgesic use, increasing sensitivity to pain once again.

Non-nociceptive pain is another whole world. Here there's no outside stimulus, as the signal is coming from within the nervous system itself, whether between the nerves between the tissues and the spinal cord (peripheral nervous system) or between the spinal cord and the brain (central nervous system). The cause could be nerve degeneration (as in stroke, multiple sclerosis, or oxygen starvation), a trapped nerve (under pressure or a disc problem), nerve infection (such as shingles), a nerve injury (from a fracture or soft tissue injury ) – all signals misinterpreted as pain.

This sympathetic pain can be intense, to prevent use, which in turn causes new problems, like muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and stiffness in the joints (the new collagen is stiffer than the replaced collagen). It can even be pathological pain, an abnormal, amplified, malfunctioning, dysfunctional pain that includes fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and some headaches.

Neuropathic pain is responsible for both phantom limb pain, from mild “pins and needles” to a constant and severe burning sensation, and for the extreme limb pain of complex regional pain syndrome after a seemingly small tissue injury like an insect bite or a minor cut . But once pain becomes chronic, in conditions like lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia or cancer pain, treatment becomes elusive.

Pain not associated with an acute injury could be from any of a variety of factors: immune system, endocrine system, movement issues, cognition, or the very mechanisms by which the brain represents the body. Sensitivity increases, the dark side of neuroplasticity. Negative emotions increase the pain, such as sadness, anxiety, dwelling on the pain, or simply poor job satisfaction. Negative emotions are the result of chronic pain as well-depression is common in chronic pain sufferers.

Muscle knots, awkward posture, Vitamin D deficiency, bisphosphonates (for osteoporosis or Paget's disease), and statins (for lowering high cholesterol) can all cause pain. Even an easy to identify complaint such as back pain could be due to poor posture, bad lifting, overweight (hard on the knees too), curved spine, traumatic injury, high heels, poor mattress, poor shoes, aging / degeneration of the spine , disease (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gallbladder, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS), psychological factors following physical healing … it's complex.

So after your doctor has addressed the acute injury and offered analgesics if appropriate, imagine the immense and confusing task if the pain persists. So doctors and their patients try things: massage, TENS units, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, acupuncture, meditation, chiropractic, osteopaths, biofeedback, low impact exercise, stretching, physical therapy, cognitive behavior therapy – fact is, they're doing their best, but they're guessing.

“We do not have sufficient evidence from studies to know just which approach is right for which patient,” acknowledges Dr. Russell Porteny, chair of pain medicine at Beth Israel Hospital and past president of the American Pain Society. “Despite decades of research,” WebMD notes, “chronic pain remains poorly understood and notoriously hard to control. with chronic pain. ” And even that means managing pain, not curing it.

Pain and pain response varies from person to person, and with the same person moment to moment. “Any credible evidence that the body is in danger and protective behavior would be helpful will increase the likelihood and intensity of pain,” explains Dr. Moseley. “Any credible evidence that the body is safe will decrease the likelihood and intensity of pain.

“It is as simple and as difficult as that.”

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Are You in Pain? You Aren’t Alone

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans suffer chronic pain, from a wide range of injury and disease, at a cost of $ 600 billion annually (WebMD). The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 2/3 of these people experience pain daily with a severe impact on their quality of life, well-being, and enjoyment of life. 3/4 have low energy, trouble concentrating, and depression. 6/7 report an accessibility to sleep well – that's most of them (and that means over 1/4 of all Americans can not sleep well because of chronic pain).

Over half say they have little or no ability to control their pain. And yet, the National Institute of Health notes that half of people with the most severe pain, or pain as the disease itself, still rate their overall health as “good” or better than good. Ever see people discussing their pain? One says his knee hurts, the next says that's nothing compared to her headaches, the third says to be glad … and who ever has the most pain wins.

There's no real incentive to treat pain if you feel you're in good health. So we do the next best thing-treat the symptoms. And that generally means (or at least includes) drugs. Pain is the second largest pharmaceutical category after cancer drugs.

“In most countries, the use of opioid prescriptions is limited to acute hospitalization and trauma, such as burns, surgery, childbirth and end-of-life care, including patients with cancer and terminal illnesses. America can have 'a bottle of pills and then some,' “according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in a CNBC report. Doctors write 300 million pain prescriptions a year, adds Irina Koffler, senior analyst, specialty pharma, Mizuho Securities USA, making a $ 24 billion market.

With fewer than 5% of global population, the US consumes over 80% of the world's opioids. Americans consume 99% of hydrocodone (Vicodin). And 40 people a day die from prescription opioids. Yet the National Safety Council reports that 99% of physicians except the recommended three-day dosage limit, with a quarter of them writing prescriptions for a full month, mainly primary care doctors.

“Accidental overdoses from Vicodin and other narcotic pain relievers kill more people than car accidents in 17 states now,” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 2 million Americans are added to opioids, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Some move to heroin, as it's considerably cheaper.

In non-narcotics, reports the American Pain Foundation, 1 in 3 Americans over 65 take NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) daily for chronic pain. These drugs block prostaglandin production, those hormones that set in motion the healing process. Yeah, ironic, no? Painful menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, arthritis, and some types of cancer, explains the Hormone Health Network, are all connected to excessive prostaglandins levels, so blocking these reductions infection, and hence, pain.

But prostaglandins have a job to do – like protecting the stomach lining from stomach acid – so eliminating them causes stomach bleeding. Newer NSAIDs that addressed this (by targeting COX-2 instead of COX-1 enzymes) turn out to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. And, all NSAIDs damage the kidneys over time (while acetaminophen damages the liver). Turns out you can not attack your body's healing mechanism without ill effect.

Does not make much sense, does it?

I have great respect for doctors and western medicine. If you need a crisis intervention, these are the people you want-no one does acute care better. But chronic conditions pose a special problem: they have holistic causes. Science works, and works well, by isolating an aspect, testing it, and, with verification, advancing knowledge (and medicine). That's great when you've broken your leg – we know the problem and what to do. It's not great when your own body is apparently the cause.

This is why, as The National Center for Supplemental and Integrative Medicine reports, over 30% of adults use alternative medicine each year. Other than medication, medical doctors generally do not do pain well, so pain sufferers seek other options. But it's not the fault of the doctors – it's the nature of pain itself.

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Relieve Chronic Neck Pain Caused By Stress With These Easy Steps

Experiencing too much stress and anxiety can literally be a pain in the neck. When you go through tension and stress, it becomes evident in the body by emerging as tense and rigid muscles or a headache. The part of the body that is most affected when you experience chronic stress and tension is the neck. Ease your neck pain by carrying out these easy steps.

Meditation Is Everything

Calm your thoughts and relieve anxiety by calming down your mind. There is no better way to do this than meditation. You can switch on a guided mediation video or head to a class to perform meditation exercises.

Indulge In A Gentle Massage

You can minimize the pain in your neck by massaging the sore muscles. Having someone else do the massage for you helps you relax and reduce the strain to a great extent. You can also try adding hot or cold compresses for quick and effective relief.

Practice Neck Stretches

Regularly practicing neck stretches can loosen the tightness in the muscles. It can even expand the range of motion for your neck. See that you stretch out the muscle running from your lower back to the top of your neck. You do not need special equipment to carry out these stretches and you can do them from your home itself.

Make Exercise A Part Of Your Routine

Regular exercising releases endorphins. These hormones help to increase feelings of well being and minimize pain. Spending a certain amount of time in the gym reduces oxidative stress, advances cortisol levels, and relieves you from pain in the back, shoulders and neck.

Try Yoga

Yoga acts as a great way to release muscle tension, reduce stress, and minimize pain. You can choose to do the yoga poses in your own living room or even join a yoga class. Even a few minutes of yoga enhance your overall health and ability to cope with stress.

You can also try therapy or support groups, take the help of your family and friends and learn to master the art of prioritizing your tasks for the day. These easy steps are sure to tie the pain in your neck and even back for good.

Consult A Chiropractor

The single best thing you can do to alleviate your neck pain is to consult an experienced chiropractor. The chiropractor will conduct a thorough diagnosis and ask you about your medical history before recommending the best treatment options for you.

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How to Alleviate Pain With a Knee Brace

The knee is one of the human body's most important joints. There are many causes of knee pain. Poor walking posture and an excess load can cause knee joint strain and pain. For example, some people wear high-heeled shoes when walking for long distances. This makes the knees an experience an abnormal state of stress for a long period of time. It also results in chronic injury and presents an ongoing source of pain.

1. Strain and poor posture can lead to knee pain

Patients can try the following methods to deal with knee pain: hyperthermia therapy, hydrotherapy, ultrasound, acupuncture and other physical therapy that reduces the acute onset of pain. Patients can also take proprietary Chinese medicine as the main method of pain relief. This method can help promote blood circulation.

2. Sports injuries can lead to knee pain

Knee pain can result from engaging in physical activity. Once you sense this pain, immediately stop your move to avoid further aggravating the injury. Within 24 hours after the injury, the injured site should have a cold compress placed on it for 30 minutes. Patients should also avoid heat compresses, manipulation, massage or taking medication. After 24 hours, patients can take an analgesic anti-inflammatory topical painkiller latex. They can also massage the injured site to relax the muscles and promote blood circulation while warming and activating the meridians. Patients must also wear a knee brace to avoid secondary injuries.

3. Osteoarthritis can lead to knee pain

Physical therapy can gently and effectively alleviate knee joint pain and stiffness. There are also conventional physical therapy methods. Some of these are ultrashort wave, microwave, iontophoresis, red light, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

4. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to knee pain

You can also use hot iron, hot compress, manipulation, massage and other physical therapy to slow down the pain. At the same time, rheumatoid arthritis patients can use Chinese medicine, Western medicine, and physical therapy. These modalities can be supplemented by diet therapy that can help speed up the rehabilitation process.

How to alleviate pain with a knee brace

The knee is the human body's most complex joint. It is comprated of bone and cartilage along with ligaments and other multilayered structures. This increases the opportunities for injury. The elderly experience knee pain through the year due to osteoporosis, joint degeneration and other reasons. This kind of pain and limited mobility are common cases in orthopedic clinics. Young people often go to the hospital due to muscle strains around the knee, ligament tears or fractures caused by sports injuries. Of course, traumatic knee fractures accompanied by ligament injuries are also a kind of knee injury.

Elderly people with arthritis mostly rarely only on medications, joint brakes, maintaining warmth, knee braces and other symptomatic treatment. Young people with ligament injuries also need joint brakes and knee protection. Others may require arthroscopic surgery if necessary. The rehabilitation exercises for post-surgery fracture patients also require protective assistance and other exercises.

As a result, knee braces are an irreplaceable aspect of post-knee injury recovery.

The knee brace is made from polyester fiber, nylon, spandex and other lightweight, breathable, and comfortable materials. The metal support bar on both sides can bend forwards and supports the knee. However, this bar limits the knee by allowing it to move only laterally. This kind of knee brace does not affect knee flexion, has a limited impact on daily life after wearing, and is easily accepted by patients.

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