Posts Tagged With "Adult, Middle-Aged (40-55)"
Nottingham and Sherwood Forest
Nottingham, England is a beautiful "village" of around 300,000 people in the center of England. Originally a University town, Nottingham is dotted with both old and new architecture. The Sherrif of Nottingham, Robin Hood, this was once their haunts, and the accent of the native Nottingham resident is like a bird singing a song, so beautiful. My hosts, Don and Sarah Camilleri have an amazing flat right in the heart of Nottingham. Don, an engineer by trade is introducing me to what I believe will be a strong part of the Wild River Spa concept. Don is originally from the small island of Malta (close to Sicily) and arriving on a Sunday night meant I was treated to his Sunday Maltese dinner- chicken, tomato pastry, and of course wine.
Don, besides being a fabulous cook, is the design and mastermind behind a concept that was adopted from Holland, Centre Parcs. Center Parcs is day break and holiday village, started in dense woodlands creating an ecosystem with lakes, streams, and sustainably built cabins/houses, treehouses, and a village center complete with resturants, swimming facilities, stores, hiking, biking, playgrounds, sailing, golf, and the spa- Aqua Sana.
Sherwood Forest is just North of Nottingham, the land of Robin Hood. Twenty five years ago Don walked through Sherwood's dense woodlands, with not much ecosystem, water, or wildlife. Now the forest is teeming with deer and small animals. There is a lake for sailing, kayaking, and streams that are fishable. No cars are allowed in the village- only bikes and walking, so for the full week that guests are in the village, their car stays parked outside and the beauty of the forest is not scarred by the sounds of cars, and thus is very safe and promotes activity. There is an entire sporting facility, two bowling alleys, the waterpark with slides and a moving river. Center Parcs is teaming with families, (4000 people per week are staying in the village), and offers a holiday vacation like no other.
In the center of Centre Parcs is Aqua Sana- a community spa that Don has created from the ground up. Adopted from the Austrian concept, the Aqua Sana Spa is tailored for everyone (over age 16), and sends the goer through different healing rooms of water, heat, cold, and relaxation, using nature as a central theme. The list of experience rooms are as follows: Aqua Meditation Room, Finish Sauna, Greek Herbal Bath, Ice Fountain, Indian Blossom Steam room, Japanese Salt Steam Room, Japanese Zen Garden, Laconium, Multi-sensory Showers, Outdoor Heated Spa Pool, Reflexology Foot Baths, Tepidarium, Turkish Hamman, Tyrolean Garden, Tyrolean Sauna, and Water Beds.
With all those choices, there is a well mapped out routine that each visitor does, travels from cooler to hotter rooms, resting, hydrating, showering and swimming along the way. It takes about 3 hours to do the entire facility as prescribed. There are also ample wellness treatments to chose from: massages to mud wraps, reflexology to ear candles. With a beautiful cafe serving Italian fare, prossecco, and of course afternoon tea and cakes, Aqua Sana is a place to spend an entire day relaxing and rejuvenating, and is affordable, non pretenscious, and the staff is happy and helpful. After doing the 3 hour ritual of rooms, meditation garden, then a wonderful stone massage and facial I felt lighter, calmer, and my jet lag started to lift.
One big difference from the States is that Aqua Sana is co-ed. The place is full of couples, young and old, enjoying their afternoon together soaking in the waters, detoxing in the saunas, and relaxing outside in the beauty of nature. As I'll come to see on my travels deeper in Europe, the couples concept (and the inclusion of children) becomes an integral part of the healing experience. Community and membership spas are a wonderful service, they provide a healthy and relaxing activity for the ever increasing stress disease, but can this work in the States where the spa culture is not yet developed? Its a question I will continue to ponder as I move through this trip.
Center Parcs was a wonderful first introduction to the world of European spa, thanks to Don and Sarah Camilleri, such amazing hosts and now friends!
Read more about Center Parcs here.
And to see more pictures of my trip- like our Facebook page!
Best in Health,
*Next stop, the French countryside
After a long week of work in the wide open spaces of Montana, not only 15 hours later, I find myself eating a croissant and drinking cappuccino in the Charles De Gaul Paris International Airport, Paris. Today (well, yesterday) is the beginning of my three week European Wellness Adventure. It all started with my trip to Aspen, as my partners and I begin to roll out the Wild River Lodge and Wellness Spa in Washington. (Read my last blog to learn more about this) Being invited to visit Britain, Scotland, France, and Austria to explore the oldest and newest therapies using the age old healing of water, mud, sound, light, and color, as well as share my knowledge about NCR and Naturopathic Medicine, makes this not just a work trip, but a trip of a lifetime!
Russia: The beginning of my medical wellness journey.
I have only been to Europe once, on my way home from Russia where I did an internship in a sanatorium on the Black Sea for a summer. There we witnessed entire sanitoriums run with only mud, water, sun, massage, electrical, heat, and needle therapies prescribed by doctors from all over Russia. In the States we call this "alternative", but in many parts of the world, that is REAL medicine. It's cheaper, more sustainable, low force, and improves quality of life, not just relieving symptoms, and it's the basis of our Naturopathic Principles. And, it's cheaper than expensive drugs and surgery.
EUROPE: Time to learn and learn some more
With our current project we are looking to create a welllness center unlike anything in Washington, and it's now my job to figure out what it's going to entail, how big, what, etc etc. It's a big job but after months of planning, I am leaving my layover at Paris for my first destination, Nottingham, Great Britain.
There lives Sarah Camilleri, the editor and publisher of European Spa Magazine (europeanspamagazine.com) who has so graciously invited me to spend my first four days with her exploring central UK and the wellness retreats and treatments it has to offer.
I will then be traveling to middle France to visit a friends amazing countryside chateau, Paris, and then my wellness destination of Austria. There I have been invited for a week of touring the most unbelievable wellness facilities in the world. From Salzburg I will be traveling back to Scotland to meet with another friend that I met in Aspen who is going to tour me around to some spas and the sights, and mostly to consult with him and his wife regarding NCR and their youngest daughter. Then back to England, a trip to London and high tea and a possible chance to get a write up regarding NCR and our project in European Spa Magazine. It will then be time to fly back over the pond to Miami to witness the launch of GFC's (my brokerage company) new product- Youth H20 (youthh2o.com).
I can say that after 5 hours of driving, 2 hours of waiting, and 16 hours of flying, I'm waiting for the "crash", but the fact that yesterday I was driving through the great plains of Montana, and today I flew over the Eiffel Tower, my excitement is hard to hold back. Stay tuned each day for an updates, pictures, and videos, it's bound to get interesting! Now I have to finish the last episode of Dontown Abbey before the plane lands....
Dr Hillary :)
In the United States alone, the National Institute of Health ( www.nih.gov ) estimates that close to 1.4 million people are affected each year with Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts function of the brain. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild" i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe", i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. Of those 1.4 million TBI incidents per year, 1.1 million are the classic concussions that are medically evaluated and then sent home to watch, rest, and recover.
Now add the millions who never seek medical attention after sustaining a mild to moderate concussion, and the statistics of accident victims who don't actually hit their head, but sustain what are called acceleration-deceleration injuries like whiplash, spinal traumas, or hits to the body that result in the brain "hitting" the skull, and the head trauma numbers become staggering.
Populations that are most affected by head trauma and TBI are:
1) Men: They participate in contact/impact sports, have higher rates of assaults, and tend to work "higher" risk jobs.
2) Children between the ages of 0-4: think of your average toddler learning to walk, jumping off the coffee table, falling down the stairs, and being at the mercy of older siblings and adults.
3) Teenagers between 15-19.
4) Military: combat personnel are exposed to mortar attacks and "brain rattling" booms that alter brain function. There are thousands of veterans returning from duty in Afghanistan and Iraq who look normal and never sustained a penetrating head wound, but have brains that are damaged.
Even "minor" hits on a repetitive basis can cause biochemical and structural brain change, relating to many long term symptoms and diagnoses such as ADHD, Depression, Migraine, Fibromyalgia, OCD/Anxiety, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's Dementia. A recent study commissioned by the National Football League (NFL) reports that Alzheimer's disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league's former players vastly more often than in the national population - including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.
Increased scrutiny of head trauma and how to prevent it is a hot topic of discussion in the medical world today. Treatment options however remain minimal and consist of watch and wait, medications such as anti-seizure, anti-depressant, narcotics, and possible behavioral therapy. Structural integrity and nutrient imbalances experienced by the brain after trauma are important to address.
NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR), a structural therapy that addresses cranial shape, cerebral spinal fluid dynamics, and connective tissue tensions throughout the skull and muscular system can help treat the symptoms of head trauma. NCR can restore balance, decrease or eliminate symptoms of headaches, pain, mental imbalance, and improve blood flow. It is only minimally invasive, requires no drugs, no anesthesia, and most patients walk out feeling better than when they arrived.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMFT), of which we offer in our clinic, has also shown results in helping diminish symptoms of head trauma. Headaches are a common symptom of head trauma, PEMFT has been shown to decrease headache pain and intensity.
"In the active-treatment group, all assessed criteria were significantly improved at the end of the migraine/headache study. 76% of active-treatment patients experienced clear or very clear relief of their complaints. Only 1 placebo-patient (2.5%) felt some relief; 8% noted slight and 2% reported significant worsening of symptoms. No side effects were noted. " Advances in Therapy PMID: 11571822
Addressing the biochemical imbalances with drugs, nutrients, and hormones, can also help improve recovery outcomes. NCR and PEMFT, when used in conjunction with a biochemical protocol, can have amazing outcomes for those suffering from the short and long term effects of head trauma.
Quality of life is important to everyone, so if you or someone you love is living with lasting effects of Traumatic Brain Injury or head trauma, seek out all your options. In the meantime, wear your helmet, your seat belt, and avoid activities that involve hitting your head- your BODY and BRAIN with thank you.
The Basics Of Head Trauma & NCR
About This Video:
Dr. Hillary gives a simple 6 minute introduction to the basics of how to treat the effects of head trauma with NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR). She covers the three classes of concussion, the leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI), who is most at risk for TBI (men, children and teens, athletes, and military personnel) and why, statistics about TBI, common treatments, and why NCR improves the fluid dynamics in the head and neck to improve the neurological function of the body.
“What you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow.”
-Babe the Pig
This is from the movie "Babe" my daughters favorite movie at the current time, and even though you could interpret it a number of different ways, there is no doubt that what you eat controls each and every cell in your body. Since eating is something we all do, it seems like a good idea to put the conversation forward: Are your genetics influenced by the foods you eat, and even more importantly, do you have the power to control how your genes are turned on or off through nutrition?
The answer is: YES. The new future of medicine is known as Epigenetics- looking at how the genetic code is affected by environmental influences, and how we have the real ability to turn wellness or illness genes on or off through the foods we chose to put in our bodies. If you were to hear someone say, "it's all in my genes" it's true, but what you don't hear people say is, "but I have the power to control them." Now I'm not talking about hair color, eye color, skin color etc, these things are in the genetic code and make up your physical appearance. But lets say someone is meant to be 6 foot 5, but they were fed a horrible diet as a child- malnourished and under exercised. It's likely they wouldn't make it to that height due to the genetic code being altered by deficiency states.
It's the same with many of today's epidemic diseases in the modern world like heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity. In a family where both parents have diabetes type 2, some will argue there is a genetic link for their child to get diabetes type 2 when they are older. In truth, if the child was fed a healthy diet devoid of simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and full of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins (with adequate exercise) it is very unlikely that this grown adult will get diabetes, for if the gene existed, it wouldn't be turned on. However in today's world we see children getting type 2 diabetes, a sure sign that if we continue to eat (and stay sedentary) the way we do, gene destruction will happen at an alarming rate.
The bright side to all this is that you have the power over what you put in your body and even though you don't know every "bad" gene in your body, you do have the say in what your genes can do. Many will disagree with me here, but I have seen all to many times that when people improve their nutritional status, their bodies become efficient, leaner, and free of disease, while their minds are calmed and bright. Even those who are what we considered "diseased, can benefit from a clean whole foods diet, sometimes even reversing their conditions and/or optimizing their current states. Take this month to educate yourself and others about the importance of healthy food, and remember you aren't helpless to your genes.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder suffered by millions of Americans. During sleep the brain is deprived of oxygen, making it literally impossible for the person to get into deep REM sleep. This can create severe fatigue, irritability, heart problems, and overall poor daily function. The common treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP, a breathing device that is worn at night, forcing air down the throat so the person is not deprived of oxygen and can sleep.
Many of the patients we treat for sleep apnea have little or no ability to breath through their nose, so when wearing the CPAP, most feel as if they are suffocating, leading to poor compliance. Being able to breath through the nose is NOT overrated- think back on when you've had a horrible cold and had nasal congestion- it's fatiguing, irritating, and hard to focus.
Timothy, a 14-year-old boy, was referred to our office for a sleep apnea diagnosis and an asymmetrical facial growth that was affecting his speech and bite. Not wanting to use the CPAP, and wanting to avoid facial surgery, Timothy's mother brought him to us first.
Timothy had experienced breathing difficulty through his nose for most of his life. At birth he suffered oxygen deprivation, which caused some brain damage. At the age of 14 he has a 3rd grade reading level and is home schooled, due to auditory difficulties. Besides the sleep apnea diagnosis, poor nasal breathing (history of sinus surgery that did help him breathe some), his doctor had diagnosed that his maxilla (cheekbones) were not growing at the same rate as his mandible (jaw bone), and they wanted to do surgery to correct his this. He had just finished 5 years of vision therapy and sensory integration training- these are meant to help him use his senses together. For many "low functioning" children integrating all their senses together is very hard, they must focus on one thing at a time.
He complains of severe fatigue in the morning, brain fog, severe difficulty focusing on homework, low attention span, (all of which are symptoms of sleep apnea and sensory integration disorders), and Restless Leg Syndrome, (of which he had recently increased his medication due to increasing tolerance).
Timothy on first impression was a tall lanky, teenager with braces. He was very respectful and talkative, but did not make direct eye contact, was visibly fatigued, fidgety during intake and exam, and became easily irritated with his mother if she talked too much. He also exhibited tongue thrust (his tongue didn't fit in his mouth), decreased nasal breathing, and poor standing posture.
He cooperated tremendously however, and we were able to give him his first NCR treatment. On returning the second day, Timothy seemed calmer, even falling asleep on the table. His mother noted his "snoring" seemed less, and he was better able focus on his homework. Timothy told me he could breathe through his nose and had more energy on waking. After the second day of treatment, his mother stated he had no Restless Leg Syndrome for the last two nights without medication.
After the full 4-day session, Timothy exhibited increased focus, energy, and seemed to be more aware of me, and his surroundings. His maxilla and mandible had changed significantly, and he noted it felt like his tongue fit in his mouth, and his signs of sleep apnea were greatly decreased. His Restless Leg Syndrome had all but disappeared (along with the need for medication) and he was more stable and balanced in his standing posture.
The greatest change however, came from his mother. She stated that for the FIRST time in recent memory, even after 5 years of vision therapy, he was looking her in the eye when he talked to her. Not only that, he was interacting with improved confidence in social situations. This was a defining moment for Timothy and his family. Having a child with sensory deprivation suddenly become aware of his surroundings, and look into your eyes is something you will never forget.
Timothy's case is a perfect example of STRUCTURE AFFECTING FUNCTION, his brain needed more room, and with improved structural alignment, his overall sensory integration naturally improved. With the addition of dietary modifications and nutrient therapy, NCR has greatly changed the future for Timothy. As a doctor who knows the power of NCR, cases like Timothy's never stop amazing me. I have much to learn from all my patients, especially the children, it's been a great pleasure working with Timothy and his family!
*this case review was shared with permission of Timothy's parents, and names have been changed to protect the patient.