Medicine wasn’t always a pharmaceutical product, but rather materials one kind find in their own kitchen. Whether you are feeling under the weather and don’t have time for another trip to the pharmacy or you are concerned about the compound effects some drugs will have on your body, you will want to know about these easy home remedies for common ailments.
One great solution for a sore throat is simply a glass of salty water. The saline solution will reduce inflammation, as well as clear out allergens and bacteria that may be causing additional discomfort.
To see how this and a few other excellent remedies work, read Mandy Seay’s Home Remedies that Never Fail.
Obesity is an important topic today because it is both widespread and deadly. While genetics does contribute to the issue, we now know that inactivity is one of the biggest factors contributing to the epidemic, and desk-bound work plays no small part. Researchers are looking for a solution, and for the past year workers at the financial consulting firm Salo have been testing and loving one of them: the treadmill desk.
While users of the treadmill desk do not find themselves walking at a quick pace, but are going more of a modest 1.4 miles per hour, the results have been very positive. From Yahoo! News:
“Remarkable,” Salo director of operations Craig Dexheimer told NPR. “We didn’t even go to a gym. We just went to work!” Dexheimer says he has lost 25 pounds since switching to the treadmill desk.
Though it may be effective, it is important to use the equipment properly:
“There’s a tendency to want to jump on the treadmill and walk for hours and hours a day,” Dr. James Levine told NPR. “Don’t do that. Certainly, at the absolute maximum, do half-hour on, half an hour off, for two to three hours a day.”
The treadmill desk is a compelling alternative to other cardiovascular workouts that are inconvenient or perhaps too strenuous. It is commercially available, and if you would like to know more, read Treadmill desks might be the next office health trend by Eric Pfeiffer in Yahoo! News.
I was featured in an article from SOMA Orthopedics a while ago. It’s still relevant, so I wanted to share it with you!
Ashley is an avid cyclist who started noticing increased pain earlier and earlier in her exercise routine after she turned 42. When she learned she had an early form of arthritis, she asked her physician if there were any safe, non-invasive treatments for the condition. Her physician told her about the BioniCare Knee Device, an exciting alternative to the use of medications or surgery for knee pain due to joint wear and tear.
“Ashley’s case is somewhat unique,” said Dr. Moshe Lewis, a Physical Medicine and rehabilitation physician at California Pacific Medical Center, St. Luke’s Campus. “Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in males before the age of 45. Women are more prone to the disease after age 55.”
Osteoarthritis is the breakdown and eventual loss of the articular cartilage in one or more joints and occurs more frequently as we age. This process destroys the cushion-like qualities of cartilage, which is a natural shock absorber. About 50 million Americans suffer from some form of osteoarthritis and is sometimes found in multiple members of the same family, implying a genetic basis for the condition.
With aging, the water content of the cartilage in the knee increases and the protein makeup degenerates. Repetitive use of the joints over the years irritates and inflames the cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate by flaking or forming tiny cracks. In advanced cases of osteoarthritis, there is a complete loss of the cartilage cushion between the bones of the joints. The result is friction, leading to pain and reduced joint mobility.
Dr. Lewis specializes in non-surgical treatments for conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease. In the past two years, he has placed the Bionicare Knee Device on more than 100 patients.
“The device has reduced the use of pain medications and, in some cases, postponed the need for surgery in these patients,” Lewis said. “Active people want to stay healthy and perform at peak levels longer without pain. As a result, there is a growing interest in treatment options that have few side effects and the BioniCare device is a great example of that technology.”
The Knee Device was cleared for home use by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 and requires a physician prescription. It transmits pulsed electrical stimulation to the knee and may help rejuvenate of cartilage. During therapy, a wrap is applied and worn for 8-10 hours, typically while the patient sleeps. Patient’s who accumulate more than 750 hours of cumulative wearing time demonstrate the best results.
“This product has proven itself to be a great alternative for people like Ashley, who are in the early stages of osteoarthritis and wish to remain active without being dependent on pain medications or invasive procedures,” Lewis said. “It’s really represents good news.”
Head over to Physician’s Money Digest to read Ed Rabinowitz’s profile of Dr. Jet. An excerpt:
When Lewis was studying to be a physician, his original line of thinking was surgery. That changed before he finished medical school. His mother, who had been a nurse and inspired him to explore the health care field, experienced a stroke, and watching her work through rehabilitation changed his focus.
“I think anything that happens with your parents tends to inspire you,” Lewis explains. “Being involved there, trying to get her to walk again, and feed her again, because it was a pretty intense stroke, really got my interest going in that direction. And my sister is an occupational therapist, so we spent a lot of time together talking.”
Those experiences propelled Lewis into the world of pain management, and set the stage for his embracing an integrative approach to healing.
I love sharing what I know with others and discussing my patient care philosophy. I recently had such an opportunity with Jennylyn Gleave on The Jennylyn Show. We sat down together and discussed everything from the humble beginnings of my career as a 14-year-old hospital volunteer, to how the lifestyle of a professional athlete can impact overall health. I describe how the prescription drug abuse epidemic affects the doctor-patient relationship, and we discuss the issue of “biofeedback” and how emotional barriers can prevent effective treatment. Join us for an in-depth one-on-one.
We all have days, or moments throughout the day, when the insomnia from the night before catches up with us or a busy schedule seems to have consumed all of our energy. The question is: what to do about it? If coffee is your go-to pick-me-up but you’re tired of the inevitable crash, there are some great alternatives you should know about. The article 11 All-Natural, Instant Energy Boosters from Shape Magazine offers some useful suggestions such as drinking more water, spending a few minutes in the sun, or even just standing:
Are you reading this slumped over your computer, feeling tired at the moment? Perk up by standing up, says Moshe Lewis M.D., chief of the department of physical medicine and rehab at the California Pacific Medical Center, St. Luke’s Campus, in Redwood City, California.
Never sit too long. Vessels have a natural tendency to constrict during periods of inactivity, zapping you of energy and making you feel tired—even if you are not sleep deprived.
Standing up and walking around even just for a few minutes is enough to jump start your heart and muscles. Plus, it can help you be more productive once you sit down at your desk again, Dr. Lewis says.
While movement with osteoarthritis can be arduous, it actually can be a great way to relieve pain when done right. Some of the keys to look for in a good approach to exercise is a focus on low impact movement and, not surprisingly, fun. In a recent piece for EverydayHealth, I discuss how activities such as tai chi and water aerobics can improve your quality of life. By both strengthening your body and alleviating stress, these 5 activities can make life both more comfortable and enjoyable. Give them a try!
It’s no secret that it can be really difficult to maintain your fitness and overall health when so many of your days are spent in the office. Employees can develop carpal tunnel from repetitive wrist movements and a constant deficiency in circulation can cause a number of cardiovascular problems. There are, however, some great solutions to prevent discomfort and a deterioration in health while at work. Some of the best results come from employers that lead by example and implement programs such as a walking group or a push for ergonomics awareness.
A recent post on the Nuesoft Blog shares some great advice when it comes to workplace wellness. In the featured Neusoft video podcast, I talk with Lindsey Coates about how to engage in a routine that works for everyone as well as how to encourage good habits and comfort. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Designate a coordinator to get everyone involved.
- Create a board that will centralize all wellness information (leaflets, routines, leader board – if you want to make it a competition, etc.).
- Walk as a group during lunch around the building or floor you are on.
- Sit on a yoga ball for an hour a day while working on the computer. When your hour is up pass it to another team member.
- Sign up as a group to do a 5k, softball team or other sporting activity. It’ll also promote morale!
While many health problems do require specialized attention, there are some great remedies for health problems that may be in your own kitchen. As an advocate of natural remedies, I contributed to a recent article offering four easy fixes for some common ailments:
Try: honey and petroleum jelly.
Why: “Honey has been shown to have both antibacterial and wound-healing properties,” says Adam Friedman, MD, dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “When you combine it with the moisturizing effect of petroleum jelly, you’re relieving and curing chapped lips.”
How: Wet lips with lukewarm water, then apply a thin layer of honey to your lips and let it dry for a few seconds. Next, put a layer of petroleum jelly over it and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the moisturizing combo with a cotton swab dipped in warm water. Repeat once daily for a few days.
Try: salt water.
Why: A saline solution (salt and water) helps soothe inflamed tissues in the throat and also loosens mucus, which helps flush out irritants like allergens and bacteria, says Moshe Lewis, MD, a pain management specialist in San Francisco. In fact, one study found gargling with salt water three times a day reduced respiratory infections up to 40%.
How: Dissolve 1/2 tsp table salt in 8 oz warm water and gargle at least three times a day.
Why: Parsley contains chlorophyll, which is thought to fight the odor-causing bacteria that causes bad breath, says Jennifer Wider, MD, women’s health specialist and host of Am I Normal? on Cosmo Radio, found on Sirius Satellite.
How: Chew on a fresh sprig for a minute or two whenever necessary.
Try: chamomile tea.
Why: Research found that chamomile contains glycine, a chemical that egresses contractions in the lower intestine and may relieve muscle spasms, says Jessica Shepherd, MD, assistant professor of OB-GYN and women’s health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
How: Sip on a cup of chamomile tea at least once a day when you’re feeling crampy.
Chronic pain has the ability to strip individuals of their productivity, happiness, and well-being. ABC News wrote this great piece about Tiiu Leek and her pain in the workplace, describing how women feel more pain than men do. The article references a relatively new study from The Journal of Pain that showed women generally feel more pain than men. However, this study wasn’t thorough since it didn’t account for confounding factors such as emotional effects or an additional painful disease. Women tend to be better at analyzing and describing their pain to doctors which give the illusion they feel more pain. As a culture, men are expected to complain about pain less as well as talk about their emotions. One’s mental well-being has a huge effect on physical pain, thus conclusive studies are hard to produce. Nevertheless, the findings reflect what I see as a chronic pain specialist. Here is a telling excerpt from the ABC News article:
Meyer saw 13 doctors before she got a proper diagnosis and the majority were men. “It’s very uncomfortable for them to see real emotion: ‘Tell me the facts, m’am, just the facts.’ I see them tune out.”
Now, she consciously spares the doctor the emotional talk. “I can literally be in so much pain I am crying when the staff is in there, but I pull it together when the doctor is in the room and have no tears at all. And it’s not easy to have to do that.”
She said doctors need to listen more to their female patients – “feelings are a part of the equation … Patients shouldn’t have to shut things down.”
Both Meyer and Leek sit on the leadership circle at For Grace, an advocacy organization that educates, supports and empowers women in pain through annual conferences and legislative outreach.
For Grace’s “Fail First” bill recently got through the California State Assembly’s appropriations committee on a 12-5 vote. If signed by the governor, it will allow women in pain much better access to pain medications, bypassing insurance companies.
As for Leek, she has seen marked improvement in her pelvic pain thought exercise and homeopathic approaches. She also tries to surround herself with positive people.
“My career was lost, but not my optimism,” she said. “I continue to live well. I once read that if you can get through your 60s unscathed, you can have a pretty good life.”
Read this article on ABCnews.com
As I’ve mentioned several times in my blog and in my videos before, acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and withstood the test of time, but the traditional medicine community turns a blind eye towards the eastern approach to acupuncture. In this article written by BeckerSorthopedicAndSpine.com, author Abby Callard quotes me along with Christian Nix, an acupuncturist in Chicago, about the utility of acupuncture. Christian Nix explains how many aren’t educated in philosophy and practice of acupuncture and its place in the medical industry. I always recommend acupuncture to my patients due to its effectiveness, its low cost, and practicality. Below is an excerpt from the article:
Moshe Lewis, MD, SpineCare Medical Group, Daly City, Calif., and Pain Management and Rehabilitation, Redwood City, Calif., is an interventional pain management physician who employs acupuncture to help his chronic pain patients. He agrees that acupuncture has a place complementing interventional pain management procedures.
“Everything that we do in medicine is based on experience, data and clinical presentation,” he says. “I don’t want to say that acupuncture is going to work for everyone. However, on the flip side, I think that it has an important place in medicine and can be an effective treatment for several conditions.”
Acupuncture can be helpful with acute conditions such as epicondylitis, and it can also treat chronic conditions such as repetitive stress syndrome well, Dr. Moshe says. “Anyone who sits at a computer long enough is likely to encounter symptoms of repetitive stress syndrome or tendinitis,” he says.
This disorder generally presents with pain in the wrists and hands, and can cause achy muscles and even myofacial pain. Dr. Moshe says acupuncture works better with muscle disorders than bone disorders because the treatment can help to relax the muscles. Bones, discs and cartilage disorders are much harder to treat definitively. For example, an 80-year-old woman who has arthritis and is no longer walking straight will not be likely to improve her posture with acupuncture. It might alleviate the pain, but it won’t actually treat the problem, Dr. Moshe says. Therefore, acupuncture should always be customized for the appropriate patient and diagnosis where it is likely to be of benefit.
However, it’s the low cost of the treatment that has some insurance companies realizing the benefits of acupuncture, Dr. Moshe says. The cost is low, and patients want it. Insurance companies are beginning to cover it for some providers.
Do winter blues have you down? Here are some simple, inexpensive ideas to rejuvenate your body and improve your mood throughout the winter season.
Even if going to a spa is out of the budget, get yourself a handheld massager to use in the comfort of your own living room. And when it’s cold out, the next best thing to a massage is a hot bubble bath with some soothing music. You get the added benefit of increased blood flow to muscles, helping you relax. Music itself can be a relaxing way of helping you take your mind off your worries as it is the universal language of emotions. From timeless classics to contemporary jazz, indie, and fusion, the secret is to turn the volume down so low that it is almost imperceptible. This little trick allows you to focus on listening and helps silence racing thoughts.
Chronic stress can produce too much cortisol, a hormone that can ramp up appetite and lead to overeating. A simple exercise like walking just 30 minutes a day helps facilitate weight management and stress reduction all in one.
Nap time. Sleep loss causes slowed metabolism and increased appetite, putting us at risk for overeating, unhealthy food choices, and inactivity. Most of us don’t make enough time for rest. Curling up with a good book and some hot cider or tea before lying down can help us fall asleep faster during stressful times.
Cutting your expenses is a good idea any time of the year. Studies show that financial stress is one of the main reasons adults worry. This concern can be transmitted to your kids. While most kids don’t bear the financial responsibility of their parents, they can often sense something is wrong. Save money by drinking water instead of coffee and sugary beverages. Don’t plan to make any large purchases on credit until you are out of debt. Lastly, pay yourself first, even if it’s only a dollar a week.
Take up mood-boosting yoga, tai chi or meditation! These mind-body strategies incorporate improving posture, relaxing, and stretching to improve balance and coordination while simultaneously decreasing stress. Take time to breathe deeply and say a prayer, or just sit down in a quiet place and simply meditate with relative peace and quiet.
Never underestimate the power of a good, healthy sex life and reconnecting with your significant other. Enough said.
Comedy is good for the soul, and there are clear health benefits of laughter. Whether you rent movies, download comedy sketches, or even go to improv or karaoke, a good laugh goes a long way. Consider taking your kids or young family members skating, skiing, or snow boarding, where everyone is engaged in lighthearted physical activity. Laughter lowers stress hormones and improves blood flow, which increases your energy levels. The more energy you have, the less likely it is you’ll be overwhelmed by depression that sometimes comes with the winter season.
This article was featured on SutterHealth's "MyLifeStages".
Podcast Interview length: 51 minutes
Yoga Journal estimates that Americans spend over $5 billion a year on yoga classes and products. And this should come as no surprise – yoga is credited with lifting moods, revitalizing sex and reducing stress. But a recent New York Times Magazine article focused on how yoga can also cause serious injury. We discuss the safe practice of yoga.
Interview length: 56 minutes — Interview date: November 21st, 2011
In this interview with Dr. Michael A. Lenoir on KPFA Radio's About Health, we touched on acute vs. chronic pain, Michael Jackson and dietary considerations. We answered many listener questions regarding increased sensitivity to pain, acupuncture, avoiding surgery, chiropractors, arthritis, the stress caused by pain, and more.
Creating a weight loss lifestyle in 2012 doesn’t have to seem like an insurmountable goal. Break down your goals into smaller, more attainable pieces that will have you creating healthy eating habits, rather than shedding pounds using crash dieting methods that won’t last.
Weight loss is an excellent resolution to have in spite of how difficult it may seem. Although there are many diets and fads that come and go, even a 10-pound weight loss can improve your health and your risk for diseases associated with obesity, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
This article was written by Dr. Moshe Lewis and was featured on You Cant Outsource Weight Loss
When Jack Frost starts nipping at your nose, he might also be taking a jackhammer to your immune system. Everyone knows that winter weather is hard on your health, and the change of the season takes away easy access to health boosters like sunlight, outdoor exercise, and fresh vegetables. Add in the stress of the holiday season, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for overwhelming your immune system just in time to miss all of the festivities.
‘Tis the season for orange juice and echinacea—supermarkets and supplement stores are actively suggesting ways to give your immune system a natural boost. Researchers have been working for years to figure out which of these natural cures are best. Unfortunately, a surprising number of these immune boosters have something in common with Santa Claus—they only work because you believe in them. Here’s a guide to some of the most common natural immune strategies.
In general there are many obstacles to determine if an herbal product is effective or not. Most patients and physicians are not aware that products available under the same herbal name, for example supplements with the name Echinacea differ considerably in their composition (including different plants, e.g. Echinacea purpurea versus Echinacea angustifolia), use of variable plant parts (e.g. roots versus leaves) extraction methods (e.g. drying versus alcohol extractions) and the addition of other components. These obstacles are also seen in studies testing different things but calling it the same and then generalizing the results.
Conventional wisdom tells us that taking vitamins is good for our health. It turns out that multivitamins also affect our immune system. There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies—for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E—alter immune responses in animals. However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed. While we don’t yet know whether a multivitamin tablet can ward off a cold, it’s simply a good health practice to take vitamins, particularly in winter. Supplements can make up for the nutrition that we often get through fresh summer food, not to mention the vitamin D we get from sunlight.
Though we often call Vitamin C the gold standard immune system helper, recent reviews show us that that this may not be true unless you’re training for the annual Antarctica Marathon. A vitamin C supplement may help you to prevent illness if you’re under a significant amount of physical stress like cold exposure or extreme exercise. But even a super-dose of vitamin C won’t stop an average person from catching a cold or flu. That said, if you’ve been enjoying a daily glass of orange juice, don’t stop—new research suggests that vitamin C is an antioxidant, and plays a role in cancer prevention.
We’ve seen evidence that topical aloe vera is helpful for minor burns, wounds, or frostbite. Researchers have started paying attention to its internal and antioxidant effects as well. Although numerous claims have been published on the internet and elsewhere about aloe’s immune system benefits, no medical studies on aloe’s cold prevention properties have yet been published. Stay tuned, though. Aloe is a promising natural remedy, and plenty of new research on this plant is being published every year. Drinking aloe juice will certainly not harm your immune system, and you may find that you enjoy it.
Echinacea is one of the most common herbal health supplements for cold fighting—it has become the banner herb for winter immune boosting. On a 2009 meta-analysis (analysis of multiple studies) comparing treatment results of Echinacea with placebo, a significant effect was reported in nine comparisons, a trend in one, and no difference in six. Interestingly on another meta-analysis of 3 studies testing prevention of cold (after inoculation with the rhino-virus) found a 55% higher risk of getting the cold when Echinacea was not taken. At this point the jury is still debating this one, more to come.
Ginseng is a well-known herb used to promote health in Asian medicine. Astragalus is an herb used in Chinese medicine to help bolster the body against disease. Like many traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, ginseng and astragalus are receiving renewed attention in Western medicine. However, that attention has not yet resulted in definitive evidence that either of these herbs helps to fight colds. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) considers there have been insufficient large studies of a high enough quality to support the claims of immune boosting with ginseng. Similarly, the quality of the existing studies demonstrating the immune-stimulating properties of astragalus are poor; some suggest that astragalus may harm as much as it helps.
Garlic lovers will happily believe that it will cure anything that ails you. Medical science is showing a lot of love for the pungent bulb, as well. In laboratory tests, researchers have seen garlic work against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, there haven’t been enough well-designed human studies conducted to know whether this translates into human benefits.
Probiotics are good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which can safely dwell in your digestive tract. Thanks to a new generation of yogurt products, it is easy to incorporate a breadth of probiotics into your diet, resulting in a multitude of digestive benefits. However, though some probiotic enthusiasts claim that these wonder bacteria can help the immune system as well, it hasn’t yet been proven that probiotics directly influence immune strength. However, good health practices tend to help the immune system indirectly; probiotics may not help you to fight a cold, but they do contribute to your overall health.
If the news about supplements has been disappointing, don’t despair. Some of the best ways to avoid winter illnesses don’t involve supplements at all. Simply making basic common-sense efforts to take care of your health will go a long way toward avoiding sickness. For example, washing your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs will prevent illnesses before they even have a chance to tax your immune system.
Perhaps the best way boost your immunity this winter is to avoid stress in the first place. Though the holidays and New Year tend to stoke our ambitions, winter is not the best time of year to work yourself to death or take on herculean projects. So, for the sake of your health, find time to have fun. Go Christmas caroling, do a good deed or take a walk. Pay attention to your emotional wellbeing as well as your physical, and enjoy your healthiest winter yet.
Stretching, warming up, building endurance, taking care of your nutrition and feet, and mainly having fun are great ways to be healthier!
If you’ve been using your weekends to their athletic maximum to make up for sedentary time during the week, congratulations, Weekend Warrior! Weekend sports and outdoor adventures like team sports, hikes, swimming and skiing are good for both the mind and the body. Your well-earned weekend recreation has the added benefits of boosting your mood, reducing stress, increasing muscle and cardiovascular health, and providing a great social outlet.
But using physical recreation as a weekends-only reward comes with its own set of risks. Intermittent exercise quickly increases the risk of a muscle strain or ligament tear. Joints can easily be injured without the proper warm-up during the week. Repetitive stress injuries like plantar fasciitis or shin splints can put you in a walking boot for weeks. Skimping on weekday workouts leaves muscles stiff and poorly conditioned for weekend performance, so you’re far more likely to get injured in the pursuit of weekend excellence.
Luckily, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You can start immediately to optimize your weekday routines in order to excel at your weekend sports activities. Here are six simple tips that can make your weekend performance better, safer and more fun.
Stretching should always be the first step in a warm-up routine. Basic stretching allows you to prepare the muscles for the work they are going to do, preventing muscle strain injuries. More advanced stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates also improve your balance, core strength, back strength, and conditioning for the spine. You can reap the benefits of stretching even if you are unable to take a dedicated weekday class—just devote fifteen minutes to stretching a few days every week. Stretch before any strenuous athletic activity, on the weekend too. For a bit of variety, try an online yoga routine. You’ll feel better during your weekend activities, as well as the rest of your week.
Strength training is an essential way to build endurance for the Weekend Warrior. Muscles need resistance training to function at their full capacity. Utilize lighter weights with multiple reps to improve tone initially—even doing curls with a soup can will help to tone your muscles for endurance-based activities like hiking or distance running. If you’d like to build strength and bulk, gradually move to higher weights with fewer reps. When using heavier weights, don’t forget to rest and pace yourself.
Many of us are weekend warriors by necessity, not choice—our routine simply does not permit a lot of time to train during the week. But if you can find the time for even a little bit of simple aerobic conditioning, you’ll see a huge change in both your weekend performance and your everyday energy level. Activities like light jogging, hiking, aqua-therapy, tai-chi, yoga and rowing are easy, low impact ways to optimize cardiovascular health, limit damage to the cartilage and joint while having our body burn calories, thereby mobilizing muscles in a very natural way. For the athlete who prefers structured activity, a class or a second sport is an ideal way to train for weekend events. Aerobic fitness classes, dance classes, golfing, tennis and cross country skiing can all help you to step up your game while providing good cross training of multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Sometimes even tried-and-true exercises like running can cause knee pain, so don’t hesitate to decrease impact by using the elliptical or hopping in the pool every other day instead.
From Omega 3′s to glucosamine to antioxidants to vitamin D, the right nutrition and dietary supplements can make a big difference in your sports performance and your general wellbeing. Always consult your doctor, who can support your good health through the appropriate supplements. Remember, a healthy diet, including adequate fluid intake, are essential to all athletes, professionals and weekend warriors alike.
Good ergonomics, posture and even the wear of your shoes can make or break your technique. Take a page from professional athletes, who optimize the mechanics of their technique with custom orthotics, proper shoes, and correct body mechanics. Consider taking a few lessons from a professional trainer in your sport of choice. Also, consider seeing a podiatrist for advice on inserts and shoe wear, especially if you have foot pain. An investment in proper foot support is an investment in your long-term orthopedic health.
Most importantly, realize that exercise should be fun! This certainly goes for your weekend recreational events, but the fun doesn’t have to end on Sunday night. It’s far easier to keep up on your regular conditioning if you genuinely enjoy it and look forward to it. If you’ve been having trouble jogging to prepare for your weekend pursuits, why not substitute rigorous swing dancing? Swimming? Dog frisbee? Or even aerobic gardening? Any weekday physical activity is better than none, and regular light activity will help your body to be acclimated for weekly hard activity. If you can keep moving, stretching, and having fun during the week, you’ll reach new levels of excellence in your weekend pursuits in no time.
2. Rehab Manag. 2011 Apr;24(3):18-9. An ounce of prevention: physical activity plan can help weekend athletes allay overuse injuries. Berliner M.
3. N J Med. 1991 Sep;88(9):639-40. Recreational sports and the weekend athlete. White KM, McInerney VK, Hirsch PJ.
In alternative medicine, Reiki is a treatment in which healing energy is channeled from the practitioner to the patient to enhance energy and reduce stress, pain, and fatigue. Practically, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that is administered by "laying on hands."
It works by opening up a channel between healer and patient to transfer energy, a Reiki healer restores the body both physically and mentally. Muscles are relaxed and energy flow is unblocked. This helps reduce physical tension and pain. Anxiety and stress also are reduced, helping to unblock and release emotional pain. Although the patient may not be completely pain free, he or she feels relaxed, refreshed, and is better able to cope with his or her condition.
Research has attempted to answer how does Reiki release tension and help the body heal? That question has yet to be answered. Although there is increasing research evidence documenting the effects of Reiki (such as lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones; increased immune strength), we have only broad theories as to what causes these effects or the pathways through which the healing occurs.
The multileveled, rapid response to Reiki suggests a complex process that engages many body systems, simultaneously or in quick succession, shifting the body from domination by the "fight or flight" (stress) response to the relaxation response, and supporting the body's own healing mechanisms.
Reiki practitioners undergo a series of sessions under the direction of Reiki masters in which they learn to tap into their own universal life energy and transfer it to others. These sessions are called attunements. The first level of training usually consists of four three-hour sessions during which the basic hand positions are taught. A second level of training is offered that allows practitioners to intensify their healing powers to the degree that they can perform long-distance healing through visualization. A Reiki Master is a person who has been attuned to Reiki Levels (1 to 3) and is a Reiki Healer. A Reiki Master usually is a Reiki healer who goes further for attunement as a Reiki Master. Reiki Masters are attuned by Reiki Grand Masters. Practically one can find a Reiki master through websites like www.reiki-masters.org.
Relatively clear evidence emerged to suggest that t'ai chi is effective for fall prevention and improving psychological health and was associated with general health benefits for older people. t'ai chi is a practice that combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements and is based on the Confucian and Buddhist belief that health is controlled by 2 opposing life forces, yin and yang. This is based on a recent extensive review of the literature by Myeong Soo Lee as reported in the May 16th British Journal of Sports Medicine.
However, t'ai chi seems to be ineffective for the symptomatic treatment of cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Interestingly, a separate paper that was presented at the Royal College of Nursing’s research conference within the same week has found that T’ai Chi sessions may “help those with rheumatoid arthritis to gain increased self-efficacy and confidence through greater control over their mobility and condition within a supportive environment.”
It is also important to note that Tai Chi is only one form of Qi Gong. The various aspects of Qi Gong exercises can be even more beneficial for your health. T’ai Chi was developed hundreds of years ago in China as a series of graceful physical movements combined with deep breathing, and is now thought to be practiced by at least 2.5 million people around the world.
Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, and mobilization or manipulation of joints.
The philosophy of Osteopathy is what sets it apart from other medical disciplines. The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. When the body is free of restrictions in movement, Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimization, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that overall, studies have shown that spinal manipulation can provide mild-to-moderate relief from low-back pain and appears to be as effective as conventional medical treatments. In 2007 guidelines, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society include spinal manipulation as one of several treatment options for practitioners to consider using when pain does not improve with self-care. Recent research into spinal manipulation for low-back pain has begun to look at the effects of different forms of manipulation, as well as treatment duration and frequency. Studies have found that spinal manipulation provides relief from low-back pain at least over the short term (i.e., up to 3 months), and that pain-relieving effects may continue for up to 1 year. Spinal manipulation is generally a safe treatment for low-back pain. Serious complications are very rare.
The best way to find a good osteopath is by asking for referrals from friends, doctors, or other health experts. Health food and supplement stores will often have advertising material from osteopaths and other holistic health practitioners, but the best way to locate a really good osteopathic doctor is by finding somebody who experienced great results with osteopathy – and finding out who she or he saw. On the web start with the American Osteopathic Association here, www.osteopathic.org
Meditation has long been touted as a holistic approach to pain relief. And studies show that long-time meditators can tolerate quite a bit of pain.
Now researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have found you don't have to be a lifelong Buddhist monk to pull it off. Novices were able to tame pain after just a few training sessions.
Sounds a bit mystical, we know, but researchers using a special type of brain imaging were also able to see changes in the brain activity of newbies. Their conclusion? "A little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," Fadel Zeidan, a neuroscientist and the study's lead author, tells Shots. That finding's a first, Zeidan says.
By Moshe Lewis
Co-written by Mikel Davenport LAc
In Chinese medicine, there is a saying: where there is blockage there is pain, but where there is no blockage there is no pain. We know this to be true in western medicine, as well. When we are hurt, inflammation effectively blocks and redirects our body’s healing resources to the site of an injury or infection.
As a result, we often manipulate inflammation as a tool to bring about healing. For example, the orthopedic technique of prolotherapy requires injection of an irritant such as a sugar solution into a weak joint. This irritant induces inflammation, thus increasing the healing of nearby tendons and ligaments.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture works in much the same way: it creates minute traumas along the skin’s surface to bring a beneficial inflammatory response. Acupuncture does more than simply irritate local tissue, though. By directing inflammation to areas that stimulate orthopedic trigger points and our neural pain sensors, the effect of each needle can bring widespread and lasting relief. In my own practice I’ve found acupuncture to be a boon to chronic pain sufferers.
Dr. Moshe Lewis, a physician who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries and diseases at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, explains what rhabdomyolysis is, what causes it and how it is treated.
(via USA Today)
My colleague and friend Dr Perry is offering is stress reduction classes again at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It's an intensive 8-week course that helps people cope with physical and mental stress, and to reduce suffering from the conditions arising from stress. Read his statement below:
I am again offering a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class at Rainbow Medical in Palo Alto.
Curious? Maybe interested? Come to a free introductory class at my office on Saturday morning, February 5, 2011 from 9:30 until noon.
The class will begin the following Saturday, February 12, 2011, and will meet for 8 Saturdays from 9:30 until noon until April 9, 2011 (no class on March 12, 2011). The fee of $300 includes all materials (2 CD’s and a book).
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. developed MBSR in the 1980’s as a way to introduce the mindfulness concept, practices designed to cultivate mindfulness, and applications of mindfulness in reducing suffering. In his 1994 book, Wherever You Go There You Are, he gave a simple definition: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Since then, the teaching of MBSR has spread world wide, and hundreds if not thousands of research reports have revealed the power of these practices in relieving the suffering of those of us with all kinds of stress, including in particular chronic pain, anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, etc. Does anyone out there not have stress?
After studying with Renee Burgard, MFT and Bob Stahl, Ph.D., I began offering MBSR classes in my office several years ago. Our classes have been small, and the participants have been enthusiastic in describing the benefits.
(Read more at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website)
This article validates our patients on-going struggles with chronic pain.
Coping with chronic pain can affect every aspect of a person's life and cause conflict between what their mind wants to achieve and what their body allows them to do, according to research in the December issue of the Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness. Swedish researchers carried out in-depth interviews with ten people who had experienced chronic pain for between four and 32 years and were taking part in an outpatient rehabilitation programme. Nine of the patients, who ranged from 22 to 50 with an average age of 38, were unable to work because of their pain.
About the Video
ABC7's Emmy award-winning public affairs show, "Beyond the Headlines," provides in-depth coverage of the topics and issues facing the people of the Bay Area. Throughout the year, "Beyond the Headlines" airs half-hour specials on issues, ranging from Bay Area housing to same-sex marriage.
Today we are going to talk about chronic pain. We will hear from doctors who specialize in treating pain, and learn about some of the alternative treatments to help combat this issue.