Take a Deep Breath

By Editorial Staff at www.ToYourHealth.com

Adults take anywhere from 17,000 to 30,000 breaths a day, on average, most of the time without even realizing they’re doing it. Breathing is so natural that we usually take it for granted; that is, until something happens that threatens our ability to breathe.

deep-breathingWhen you’re swimming underwater, you’re focused intently on breathing; namely how long you can hold your breath. Strenuous exercise is another good example; the more fatigued you get, the more you become conscious of your breathing, usually because it becomes heavier and more labored.

Many people actually don’t breathe correctly, at least not on a consistent basis. “Correctly” means breathing that maximizes oxygen exchange in the lower lobes of the lungs. More oxygen equals more nourishment for cells.

A structure called the diaphragm separates the heart, lungs and ribs (the thoracic cavity) from the abdominal cavity. As we inhale, the diaphragm contracts, enlarging the thoracic cavity and helping the lungs fill with oxygen. As the diaphragm relaxes, we exhale, forcing carbon dioxide out of the lungs. This is why correct breathing technique is referred to as diaphragmatic breathing.

In more simple terms, ideal breathing is known as “abdominal” or “belly” breathing; it should engage the belly button, rather than the upper chest. Visually, if you’re breathing properly, your lower belly will rise more than your chest.

There are many reasons why healthy people don’t breathe correctly; everything from stress to fear to holding in your stomach to make it look tighter. Doing any of these things consistently will lead to shallow breathing, which will impair oxygen exchange.

So, how are you breathing? Find a quiet place and take a few slow, deep breaths, concentrating on letting your abdomen expand fully with incoming air. Place one hand just below your belly button; it should rise and fall about 1 inch with each breath. If you’re breathing incorrectly, practice doing it the right way; proper breathing can aid in relaxation, reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and of course, help deliver the most oxygen to body tissues.

 

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Sleep Better, Naturally

By James P. Meschino, DC, MS

insomnia_sheepChronic pain, which is reported to affect approximately 110 million Americans, is defined as three consecutive months of a painful condition. The most common conditions associated with chronic pain include arthritis / rheumatism; fibromyalgia; migraine headache; and low back pain.

Evidence suggests that a multidisciplinary approach yields the best results in chronic pain management, whereas the method yielding the worst results for the patient, the health care system and society entails reliance on prescription narcotic drugs.

Over the years medical doctors have prescribed and recommended many analgesic drugs such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory dsleeping_pills_640rugs (NSAIDs), and in more severe cases, narcotic drugs, as primary and sometimes exclusive methods of treatment in the management of chronic and acute muscle, joint and arthritic conditions. In recent years, documented evidence has shown that the frequent use of these medications for pain control has led to many serious unforeseen complications.

Fortunately, in recent years, research has shown the safe, effective pain-killing effects of California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). This herb has been shown to reduce night pain and induce sleep in patients with night pain without producing euphoria, addiction potential, physical dependency or serious side effects of any kind.

Health Complications From Standard Analgesic Drugs

Frequent use of acetaminophen has been shown to be a leading cause of liver failure, and acetaminophen ingestion is the leading cause of drug-induced liver failure, accounting for 50 percent of all acute liver failure cases in the U.S., half of which are unintentional (not suicide driven). Chronic intake of the recommended dosage of acetaminophen (up to 4 grams per day, with no single dose to exceed 1 gm) is responsible for most cases of acetaminophen-induced liver failure. Chronic use of acetaminophen has also been shown to damage the kidneys.

Heavy reliance on NSAIDs for chronic pain control has also yielded devastating health consequences. Recent studies confirm that in addition to gastrointestinal erosion, ulceration and bleeding, chronic NSAID use also increases the risk of kidney damage, liver damage, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and sudden cardiovascular death. Aspirin has long been associated with gastrointestinal damage and associated internal bleeding, but other NSAIDs are largely responsible for increased risk of cardiovascular death. This appears to be related to the promotion insomnia (1)of thrombosis, associated with many NSAIDs from ibuprofen to diclofenac (Voltaren ) to COX-2 inhibitors (e.g., Celebrex, Vioxx)

As such, doctors have been instructed not to recommend any NSAIDs, other than aspirin, for patients at high risk for heart disease. These recommendations also extend to precluding the recommendation of all NSAIDs for patients with any compromised kidney function. Low-dose aspirin, although recommended as a blood thinner for those who have suffered a previous heart attack, is no longer recommended to prevent first heart attack (primary prevention) due to the increasing reports of intestinal bleeds and bleeding into the brain, seen in patients prescribed low-dose aspirin (75-81 mg) for this purpose.

Narcotic Drugs – Rising Concerns About Addiction

Since the early 1990s governments have allowed doctors to prescribe narcotic drugs (e.g., oxycodone) for patients presenting with a wide variety of musculoskeletal pain conditions. Prior to this, narcotic drugs were only prescribed for patients with intractable pain, primarily due to terminal cancers (e.g., morphine drip). As such, physicians commonly use narcotics to reduce a patient’s post-operative pain or to reduce anxiety and induce anesthesia prior to an operation. These drugs are also commonly prescribed in an attempt to enable individuals with chronic pain to lead productive lives.

The problem is that many people who are prescribed and taking opioids for a period of time develop a physical dependence on the drug which canarticle-new_ehow_images_a00_01_jo_break-sleeping-pill-800x800 lead to abuse of the painkiller. Studies now show that 2.5 million Americans, of the 4.7 million who begin to abuse prescription drugs in any given year, use pain pills. Thus, more than 50 percent of all drug abuse cases involve analgesic drugs, and very often narcotics.

Recognizing the potential for opioid abuse, addiction, diversion and related mortality, many jurisdictions have developed guidelines or implemented programs to promote more judicious use of these drugs. Across the board, medical doctors are being instructed to cut back on their prescription writing for narcotic drugs, and systems are being put in place to track and integrate pharmacy dispensing of these drugs using electronic recording and monitoring systems.

A Safe Herbal Alternative

Recent studies have shown that the medicinal ingredients in the herb Eschscholzia californica(California poppy) block nighttime pain, allowing the patient to sleep through the night without being awakened by musculoskeletal pain. The herb also helps to induce sleep, enabling patients who are in pain to fall asleep and experience a restful sleep through the night. This, in turn, allows more rapid healing and improved response to other treatments.

Sleeping-PillsThe active ingredients in Eschscholzia californica relieve pain without producing euphoria or having addiction potential. Stimulation of opioid receptors blocks pain sensation in the brain and blocks pain conduction in the spinal cord from reaching higher brain centers. Activation of serotonin receptors is also known to block the sensation of pain and induce sleep.

Unlike narcotic drugs (e.g., Percocet, Oxydone) and benzodiazepine drugs (e.g., Valium, Ativan) often used to help patients in pain sleep through the night, supplements containing Eschscholzia californica do not cause addiction or destroy a person’s motivation to return to a productive life. The active constituents in this herb do not cause euphoria or feeling of being “stoned,” which allows individuals to function normally and better comply with treatment recommendations, including exercise.

Precautionary Notes

Patients should not take this herb if they are taking an evening or nighttime dose of a narcotic drug (e.g., Percodan, Oxycontin), anti-anxiety drug and/or a sleep-inducing drug (e.g., Valium, Sonata, Ambien). Patients taking narcotic or benzodiazepine drugs who wish to wean themselves off of these drugs by using Eschscholzia californica as a replacement for chronic pain management, must do so under the supervision and monitoring of their attending physician. Narcotic and benzodiazepine drugs are highly addictive; thus, each case requires individualized evaluation and attention. As always, talk to your doctor for more information.


James Meschino, DC, MS, practices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the author of four nutrition books, including The Meschino Optimal Living Program and Break the Weight Loss Barrier.

 

Resource: To Your Health
March, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 03)

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Another Reason to Avoid Epidural Steroids

By Editorial Staff

While the uproar surrounding tainted steroid injections causing fungal meningitis has left the mainstream news after months on the front pages, hundreds of reported illnesses and far too many deaths, it’s high time for a reminder of why epidural steroids – tainted or not – shouldn’t be so commonly prescribed for back pain.

According to a study in the research journal Spine, which compared spine patients who received epidural injections to patients who did not receive injections, steroids “were associated with significantly less improvement at 4 years among all patients with spinal stenosis.”

Epidural Steroids

In other words, patients who received the injections were in worse shape after four years than patients who did not receive injections – regardless of whether either type of patient ultimately underwent surgery to “relieve” their pain. Not exactly an endorsement of epidural steroid injections or surgery. What’s more, patients in both groups had similar initial symptoms / pain scores, dispelling the notion that patients who received injections had worse initial pain or a worse condition than non-injected patients.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces in the spine. As you might expect, this can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to neck or back pain. It is most commonly caused by wear and tear over time, which puts you at higher risk as you get older (particularly over age 50 or so).

Spinal stenosis and other conditions that cause back pain and related symptoms often don’t require medication, injections or surgery. Your doctor of chiropractic is an ideal health care provider to visit first if you’re suffering from back pain, particularly since research suggests your odds of undergoing spine surgery are much lower if your initial health care provider is a chiropractor versus a spine surgeon.

 

Resource: To Your Health
March, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 03)

 

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Frozen Shoulder – Dr. Keezer offering a new treatment

The Niel-Asher Technique™ (NAT)

The Niel-Asher Technique™ is a ‘natural’ method of treatment that utilizes the body’s own healing mechanisms. No drugs, no surgery.

download_nat_guide_fs_comicThe technique uses a specific and unique sequence of manipulations and pressure points to the shoulder joints and soft-tissues. In essence, these can be thought of as ‘inputs’ into the nervous system.

The technique has been in use since 1998 and has been adopted and approved by Doctors, Physio Therapists, Osteopaths, and Chiropractors in the UK, Europe, and the United States.

NAT works with the body, listening to the body’s wisdom, not by forcing the arm into the restricted ranges but by applying gentle stimulation to muscles whilst they are resting.

Helping the Body to Heal Itself

manNothing in the body happens without a good reason. The body is a beautifully complex system and when it goes wrong it is often because it is trying to protect us.

NAT embraces the body’s own healing processes, as an alternative to forcing the shoulder into painful movements, or using artificial chemicals and drugs to reduce inflammation.

The technique ‘fools’ the body/brain into healing itself by addressing the two main components of the problem – pain and stiffness.

The unique combination of exercises and pressure techniques, stimulates a new pathway in the brain, rapidly relieving injury and spasm and increasing strength and power. This is now known as Cortex-Neuro-Somatic- Programming® (CNSP®).

The initial phases of the technique are designed to significantly reduce the pain, by treating the swelling around various shoulder tendons (especially the long head biceps tendon). Following this, the technique moves on to rapidly defrost and improve the range of shoulder motion by stimulating a unique sequence of reflexes hidden deep within the muscles.

This works on the parts of the brain that co-ordinate the shoulder muscles called the motor cortex. By using a unique choreographed sequence of reflexes one against another the brain is fooled into changing the fixed capsular pattern. We do not force the arm; instead you keep it still whilst your partner applies the pressure.

How Does NAT Differ from other Treatments?

Traditional approaches to the frozen shoulder either address the inflammation (steroid tablets, steroid injections and hydrodilatation) or the stiffness (physical therapy, exercise therapy and surgical manipulation).

Physical therapies attempt to improve the range of motion by forcing the shoulder through the blockage; this in our opinion can make the condition considerably worse.

NAT works differently. We keep the arm still whilst we apply a sequence of pressure points to specific tissues. The treatment can still be painful, especially in the early freezing phase, but it is no worse than the pain of the frozen shoulder (you will know what we mean if you have had one of those nasty spasms).

The first few sessions of the technique initially address the inflammation in the rotator interval, after this the emphasis is on improving the range of motion. Depending how long you have had the problem and which phase you are in, results can be seen in as few as 4 sessions (range 4 -13).
The results can be dramatic and fast and the method is ‘totally natural’. We believe it should be the first line of treatment before injections and or surgery.

How does NAT work?

inside-img1A frozen shoulder seems to result from the way the brain responds to inflammation around the long head of the biceps, in the rotator interval (see anatomy). In some people, and we still don’t know why, the brain over-reacts to this inflammation by switching off groups of muscles and changing their dynamics.

Traditionally, muscles are thought to operate around joints in triangles; one muscle group holds the joint still (fixators), one muscle tenses up and pulls the joint one way (agonist) whilst another opposite muscle (antagonist) relaxes.

In shoulder problems these smooth and seamless operations no longer operate properly and agonists, antagonists and fixators become confused. The brain responds to this by recruiting alternative muscles to do jobs they are not designed for (synergists).

The Niel-Asher Technique™ stimulates groups of receptors embedded in the muscles to fire their messages to the brain. This creates a new and specific neurological profile within the part of the brain called the somato-sensory cortex. By stimulating these reflexes in a specific sequence, it is possible to change the way the brain fires muscles (the motor output).

This situation occurs in most shoulder problems and Niel-Asher has invented specific treatment sequences for a range of conditions such as Rotator cuff problems, biceps tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis and tendinopathy.

Free Symptom Test!

Having issues with Frozen Shoulder, let Dr. Keezer help you with The Niel-Asher Technique™.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE TODAY!

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Resource: http://www.frozenshoulder.com/