Posts Tagged With "Chronic Pain"
The average American consumes over 90% of their diet as processed foods. These refined foods are high is simple sugars, salt, and trans fats, stripped of natural nutrients, then fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals to replenish what was destroyed. At the same time we see catastrophic increases in cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few, all of which are categorized as diseases of inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs within the body when there is cellular damage. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage, thus promoting the most popular diseases in our culture and accelerating aging. Adding superfoods to your daily diet can play a great role in decreasing chronic inflammation and aiding in cellular regeneration. Unlike processed food, which creates more free radical inducing inflammation, superfoods provide ample amounts of essential nutrients and antioxidants to squelch these harmful molecules, assisting in disease prevention and anti-aging.
First, all whole unprocessed foods could be called superfoods. Organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, spices, grass-fed and free range meats, and wild fish are all superior to refined foods, and are the base of every clean, healthy diet. However, there are foods that are so nutrient dense they have gained the notority of what I call a SUPER DUPER food (SDfoods- my fancy term for reference). Smaller amounts of these SDfoods can be eaten with greater overall effects, truly packing
that superhero punch. Science is now helping us understand the biochemical makeupof these foods, letting us prove what ancient civilizations have known for centuries: SDfoods are nutrient dense, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and essential fatty acids, and are low in calories.
Hailing from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, SDfoods have much toteach us about harnessing the forces of nature to improve vitality. Consider Maca, a root vegetable grown 9,000-10,000 feet in the Andes of Peru for over 2600 years. It takes 7 to 9 months to mature in intense sunlight, high winds, and extreme temperature changes, but Maca's ability to adapt to it's environment, makes it a great immune and endocrine adaptogen. Adaptogens bring the body into balance, and whether low or high, they balance the body's response to stress. The relationships between the food and it's environment, can signal what type of systems the SDfood will nourish in our bodies.
These fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, seaweeds, leafy greens, and bee products may be less known than walnuts or spinach here in the Western world, but without a doubt are gaining ground in nutrition and health improvement, not because they are fads, but because they work! Adding SDfoods to your diet is one of the simplest but profound ways to improve your health. Benefits such as immune enhancement, hormone balancing, weight management, glowing skin and hair, less aches and pains, improved sleep and more stimulant free energy are all results of decreased inflammation and improved cellular nutrition. Harness the power of these foods, and discover what puts the SUPER DUPER in superfoods!
Dr Hillary’s favorite SUPER DUPER foods:
Fruit and Nuts:
Camu Camu, Purple Corn, Coconut, Cacoa, Acai, Goji Berry
Blue Green Algae, Chlorella, Spirulina, Marine Phytoplankton, Green leafy vegetables,
Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, Propolis
Arame, Wakame, Kelp, Nori
Root and Herbal:
Maca, Turmeric, Garlic, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Ginseng, Ginger. Aloe
Shitake, Reishi, Cordyceps. Maitake
Want more Super Duper food choices? Read Dr Hillary's blog on Camu Camu
Interested in learning how to improve your Nutrition? Make an appointment with Dr Hillary via phone, Skype, or in office.
Boosting Your Immune System Naturally
When I see the word Immunity, my brain automatically hears I am Unity. I am Unity could mean so many things, but when it comes to the immune system, I see all the little cells holding hands and singing Kumbaya, united together for one mission: To protect and defend. This is the time of year where illness travels around school, work, and home and the flu becomes a household "experience". Building immunity is a life long endeavor, different with each stage of life, but creating a robust immune system includes the basics for everyone, young or old. Below is my simple list- believe me the list could go on, and on, and on.....but lets start here.
1) Combat emotional stress. “Stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions.” - Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers.
Reducing stresses such as fear, worry, and conflict, while increasing love, pleasure, and laughter can increase biochemicals such as oxytocin, natural killer cells, and Immunoglobulin A,( all increase immunity), while decreasing cortisol and adrenaline (which increase blood pressure, elevate blood sugars, and suppress the thyroid). Adopting stress reducing habits, removing negativity, and processing traumatic events, can overtime add years to your life, improve your outlook, and strengthen your immune system.
2) Let food be your medicine. Over 70% of the immune system resides in the digestive system, thus what you choose to eat (or drink), directly affects your immunity.
Many illnesses can be avoided or lessened by eating nutrient dense foods such as lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes, all year round. Stay away from processed foods, sugars, trans fats, excessive alcohol, and foods that are not organic.
Organic foods are important because they are not sprayed with herbicides/pesticides, are hormone and antibiotic free, and are not derived from GMO products. These harmful compounds can alter hormone and immune function and even damage DNA.
Moderation is the key to success, and “cheating” a few times a week is fine, but cheating all day long every day of the year is going to decrease immunity, period.
3) Add Superfoods to your diet. SUPER DUPER foods (SDfoods) as I like to call them are a great example of high nutrient, low calorie foods, that are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that strengthen immunity. Look for high Vitamin C SDfoods such as Camu Camu (YouthH2O), acai, and goji berries. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that squelches free radicals and helps fight infection, thus boosting immunity. I will be posting my favorite SDfoods in the next few blogs, so stay tuned.
4)Exercise. Just like healthy nutrition, exercise is at the core of having a strong immune system. Exercise improves circulation aiding the body in elimination of toxins, decreases insulin levels and reduces the harmful inflammatory chemicals created by stress. This means you need to lift something heavy at least 2-3 times per week and increase your heart rate at least 4 times per week. Stress reducing activities such as yoga, Tai Ji, Qi Gong, and meditation are also immune stimulating. Besides, losing those excess pounds can't hurt. Yippee!
5) Sleep. Many studies show that sleep deprivation decreases T cells, inflammatory cytokines increase, and thus you are more succeptable to colds and flus. Millions also suffer from sleep related disorders such as sleep apnea, which recents studies have shown increased cancer diagnosis with severity of sleep apnea. Bottom line: Your immune system needs adequate restful sleep.
6) Get your head on straight and your body aligned. As many of you know I specialize in a powerful cranial, spinal, and neurological treatment, NeuroCranial Restructuring, and I can tell you from thousands of clinical examples that being pain free and standing tall has a direct impact on the immune system. Pain itself causes cascades of chemicals to be released into the system and chronic pain just plain wears everything out including your immunity. Other treatments I like: Reiki, Manual Ligament Therapy, Reflexology, Acupunture, and Hydrotherapy.
7) Vitamin D. Living in the rainy Northwest, I can tell you most everyone here and in any other dark climate during the winter, is deficient. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, it’s more like a super hormone, and some studies show it as or more effective than the flu vaccine. Taking Vit K2 with the D is important too, so consider this when beginning to supplement.
8) Probiotics. Since the digestive system holds most of your immunity, you need to support the good bacteria and help them thrive. Probiotics assist the body in a multitude of ways and are the true champions of our inner ecology.
9) Lastly, turn off your phone, your computer, your iPad, your X-box, your TV, your alarm clock, your WiFi.... and look others in the eye and have a real conversation, make love to your partner, hug your chidren and get outside and put your feet on the earth more. Electromagnetics are making us sick in more ways than one, but this is a topic for another blog. Connect with people, nature, and not just your devices, your immune system will thank you.
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.