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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Laugh (snort, chuckle, guffaw, chortle, giggle) for your health!

“Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!” Dr. Patch Adams

 

Laughter is one of the very best parts of life! Not only does laughter make our days brighter, but it is a terrific boon for our health.

Did you know that…

-Laughter raises our endorphins–this feel-good-chemical boost can last for hours and even help our bodies deal with pain and inflammation! Laughter also increases empathy and bonding with the release of oxytocin.

-Laughing is excellent for blood sugar levels. A study out of Japan had diabetic and non-diabetic participants eat a meal and watch a completely humorless lecture and then have their blood sugar tested. The next day they had them eat the same meal and then enjoy a comedy show followed by more glucose testing. After the show that had the participants laughing, their blood sugar readings were much lower. The researchers believe that laughter both positively affects the neuroendocrine system and causes more glucose to go into the muscles.

-Laughter makes the immune system stronger and more vibrant. A study out of Indiana State University’s Nursing Center shows that the killer cell activity that prevails against dangerous viruses and bacteria is much more active when we laugh!

-Laughter helps lower the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In cases of severe PTSD, the right-brain can be overwhelmed with hyper-vigilance and distress. According to clinical social worker, Joanne Strawder, laughing enables the right hemisphere of the brain to calm and cool; in addition it helps the left-brain to have higher functioning.

 

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Family health General

Drinking Tea Is Good For Your Brain

Tea has been shown to positively impact our health, but a new study has come out that links drinking tea with better brain health.

“Upon analysing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way…

We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”

And with so many delicious tea options, what an easy, low-cost, and pleasant way to do something good for both your body and brain. So the next time you come in for an appointment, sample one of our complimentary teas.

Drinking tea improves brain health, study suggests

A recent study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions — and this is associated with healthy cognitive function — compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining neuroimaging data of 36 older adults.

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Family health General

So What Does CBD Oil Treat?

Now that you’ve learned a little about the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and the isolate forms of CBD oil, let’s talk about what CBD oil is commonly used for.

Keep in mind that researchers are still in the early stages of determining the various ways CBD oil interacts with the human body. Much more work needs to be done to get a complete picture of what conditions respond well to CBD oil, as well as figuring out the mechanisms behind its healing properties. But the body of evidence is growing. Here’s a breakdown of what we know so far.

Heart Health

As you no doubt already know, high blood pressure is linked to a number of health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Recent research has shown that CBD may have several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. Researchers have speculated that CBD’s stress- and anxiety-reducing qualities are responsible for this. Its powerful antioxidant properties may also help reduce inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease, though this has only been demonstrated in animal studies thus far.

Pain Relief

As we discussed last week, our bodies contain a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate things like sleep, pain, appetite, and the immune system. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our nervous systems.

Studies have demonstrated that CBD may impact the endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters, thus reducing chronic pain. In fact, several studies have shown that a combination of CBD and THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) is effective in treating pain due to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. In fact, an oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is already approved in several countries to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis.

Cancer-related Symptoms

Cancer treatments often come with a host of side effects like nausea, vomiting, and pain. Several studies have shown a combination of CBD and THC to be effective in mitigating these side effects.

Promisingly, some test-tube and animal studies have also indicated that CBD may even have anticancer properties. Several studies (again, only in test-tubes and mice) have shown that CBD induced cell death of human breast cells and inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are leading contributors to disability and can have a devastating impact on health. Both conditions are generally treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which often have a number of side effects like agitation, insomnia, drowsiness, headache, and sexual dysfunction.

CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. Accordingly, CBD oil has shown promise in several studies as a treatment for depression and anxiety, leading many people with these disorders to become interested in this more natural approach. Studies have even it shown it to be effective in treating insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Neuroprotective Properties

For those with neurological disorders, CBD may prove beneficial because of its ability to act on the ECS and other brain signaling symptoms.

As mentioned above, CBD and THC have been proven to help people with multiple sclerosis. In addition, a number of studies have demonstrated its efficacy in treating epilepsy. People with these diseases experienced significantly fewer seizures and convulsions than those taking a placebo.

In addition, studies have demonstrated that CBD improved quality of life for people suffering from other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, though more research needs to be done as most of the research has been in test-tube and animal studies.

Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that is thought to be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria, genetics, overproduction of sebum (an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands in the skin), and inflammation. Because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to reduce sebum production, and its ability to prevent the activation of inflammatory cytokines, it may actually help treat acne.

Psychological Conditions

CBD has shown promise in modifying circuits in the brain related to drug addiction in rats, reducing morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior. Other studies have also suggested that CBD could help reduce psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

While all of this is very promising, there is so much more research that needs to be done on the efficacy for varying conditions within humans. And there may be some side effects that you should be aware of.

While it’s generally well-tolerated and considered safe, some studies have noted diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue as possible side effects. CBD oil may also interact with some medications, so we recommend discussing it with your doctor, particularly if you are taking medications or supplements that come with the “grapefruit warning.” CBD and grapefruit interfere with a group of enzymes called CYPs that are important to drug metabolism. Again, if you’re not sure, ask your doctor.

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Family health General

CBD Isolate vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. Full-Spectrum

We have recently started carrying CBD products, and we know you’ll have questions, so here’s a primer.

CBD refers to cannabinoids, which are the natural phytochemical found in the cannabis plant. There are over 113 different cannabinoids (CBD and THC have been researched the most), and they interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a variety of ways. The ECS is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters located in the brain, peripheral nervous system, immune system, and central nervous system. It controls many biological functions like memory, pain perception, stress management, cognition, immune response, and mood regulation.

Each cannabinoid has a unique relationship with the ECS. For instance, THC can induce psychoactive effects (i.e., getting high), and is a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Cannabidiol (CBD) won’t make you high, and can provide stress/anxiety relief and alter our perception of pain. CBD can be mildly stimulating at lower doses, and have a sedative effect at higher doses. Other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) can affect glaucoma and IBS symptoms, and cannabinol (CBN) may have sedative, antibacterial, neuroprotectant, appetite stimulation, and anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of all of the various types of cannabinoids creates the “cannabinoid spectrum.”

CBD products are all extracted from the cannabis plant using solvents. CBD oil derived from the hemp plant contains little to no THC (generally below 0.3%), and was approved on the federal level with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, making it legal.

What happens after the initial extraction of the cannabinoids determines whether the extract will be a CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. Each terms refers to the degree to which the product was processed.

CBD Isolates

A CBD isolate is the purest form and is made by removing all other ingredients after it has been extracted from its natural environment. Because isolates are generally 99% pure (i.e., 1 gram of isolate powder carries about 990mg of CBD), they have the highest concentration of CBD per serving. However, because all of the other ingredients have been removed, there will be no “entourage effect” (which we’ll discuss in a bit). But you can benefit solely from the effects of pure cannabidiol, and these products tend to be a lower price.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol as well as all of the plant’s other compounds except for THC. Removing the THC after the initial extraction means that not only won’t you get high, it won’t show up in a drug test. But it will still produce the entourage effect.

Full-spectrum CBD

Extracts that are full-spectrum contain all the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant. These include CBD, terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils – as well as a negligible (less than 0.3%) THC content. Because it does contain trace amounts of THC, it could produce a false positive on a drug test (particularly if you’re taking a high daily dose), so individuals who are likely to be drug tested should avoid taking this form. That being said, it’s non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Full-spectrum compounds will produce the entourage effect.

So let’s talk about the entourage effect. Simply put, each compound can amplify the therapeutic properties of the others while lessening their potential side effects. The components work together to enhance the plant’s benefits. When you take a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extract, in addition to the Cannabidiol (CBD), you’ll also be getting compounds like Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabidiol acid (CBDA), Cannabidivarin (CBDV) and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the unique aroma profits of various plants. The more than 200 terpenes found in cannabis bind to receptors in the body, providing an array of potential health benefits

Scientists have determined that full-spectrum CBD tends to be more effective than CBD isolate, and that it provides better effects at higher doses, while the effects of CBD isolates stays consistent even at increased intake levels.

So what is the best type for you? It takes some trial and error to figure out which type and brand is best for you. Each person has a unique body chemistry, weight, and lifestyle, and each of these factors can influence the way you react to different cannabinoid profiles. A product that may work well for someone you know may not work well for you. But generally speaking, most people will benefit from full-spectrum extracts the most, but if drug-testing is a concern, go with a broad-spectrum one. For users who were recommended to take very high doses of CBD, who may be sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids, or who prefer a flavorless and odorless product, a CBD isolate would be best.

CBD oil is available in tinctures, teas, honeys, caramels, capsules or gummies, or infused into skin care products, such as bath bombs, lotions, and salves. CBD oil skincare products can be absorbed into the skin and don’t need to be washed off.

Always start “low and slow” when trying a new product. Start with small doses spread several hours apart, and increase the dose and frequency until you achieve your desired results. How much you’ll need will vary depending on your body weight, metabolism, and body chemistry. Doses should be taken at least four to six hours apart, and you can take CBD oil at any time of day, but if you’re using it to improve sleep, take it before bed. The immediate effects of CBD usually take effect within 30 to 90 minutes, but long-term results may take several weeks to achieve. 

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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Is Grounding/Earthing Beneficial To Your Health?

A study from the National Institutes of Health showed that “grounding” or “earthing” might actually have a beneficial impact on health. The study states: “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”

And here’s where the news gets even better. Treatment is free. Literally all you need to do is sit or stand barefoot on the ground outdoors. Hug a tree. Do some snow angels in the grass. Really, anything that puts your body into physical contact with planet earth and nature can be good for your health.

So now that the weather is starting to cool, it’s the perfect time to head to the great outdoors (or even just your yard) for a little relaxation and grounding.

Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons

Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact.

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Family health General Orthopedic rehabilitation

Static Posture Linked To Pain

“Trapezius muscle activity variation during computer work performed by individuals with and without neck-shoulder pain.”
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Research published on July 25, 2019 found that individuals with neck and shoulder pain exhibited longer uninterrupted periods of muscle activation compared to their non-symptomatic counterparts. This suggests that static posture and not poor posture may be the greater concern and contributor to pain. The research reiterates the importance of taking regular breaks when sitting in front of a computer screen. 

Massage and acupuncture can help keep you functional, but studies like this show just how important it is for you to avoid being sedentary for too long.

Trapezius muscle activity variation during computer work performed by individuals with and without neck-shoulder pain

Aimed to compare muscle activation during computer use in those with and without pain. * Exposure variation analysis (EVA) applied to upper trapezius muscle activation. * EVA group differences and day-to-day reliability among controls determined. * Most EVA measures exhibited moderate-high reliability. * Pain group had more longer continuous durations of muscle activity than controls.

https://sciencedirect.com

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Angina and Acupuncture

A recent study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (July 29, 2019) reported that adjunctive acupuncture reduced angina frequency and pain intensity in those suffering from chronic stable angina (CSA). It was found to be more effective than antianginal therapy alone. Acupuncture treatment also resulted in better regulation of anxiety and depression within the treatment period. 
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The findings of the current study reported that the benefit is the result of acupuncture causing “autonomic remodeling by improving the balance between the vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous system during treatment.”
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All participants in the study received 12 sessions of acupuncture treatment (3 times a week for 4 weeks). The acupoints needled were PC6 and HT5.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2739058?fbclid=IwAR0ml1RxA5rA0dY2osoC_doukQCkr5dOhLfrsyXp9zwkkDPZoW3cepLZuGM

Yours in wellness,

Mary Clark

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Family health General

Fatigue and FGIDs

Almost 2/3 of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who initiate biologic therapy (infliximab, adalimumab, vedolizumab, or ustekinumab) continue to experience persistent fatigue up to 1 year later. 

Ongoing inflammation was thought to be the main cause of IBD related fatigue, however research now suggests that gut dysbiosis and a less diverse microbiome may be the prevailing factor. 

According to the lead study author, Nynke Z. Borren, MD, “We think that gut dysbiosis might be involved in inducing fatigue,” Dr. Borren said. “In the beginning, we thought that it might be due to ongoing inflammation, but our research has shown that we find a less diverse gut microbiome in those patients with fatigue compared to patients without fatigue while they were in remission. There is something in the gut that influences the central nervous system. We are still exploring this.”

Acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in the regulation of gut dysbiosis, intestinal barrier function, visceral hypersensitivity, gut motor dysfunction, depression/anxiety, and pain, and low vagal tone, all of which are factors that can significantly impact quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Persistent fatigue plagues many IBD patients

“Fatigue is one of the most heard complaints in the clinic,” lead study author Nynke Z. Borren, MD, said in an interview at the annual Digestive Disease Week. ® “In the past few years there has been more interest because we know there is a communication system between the gut and the brain.

Acupuncture in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Jun 18;25(7):1129-1139. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izy371.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

How Much Sleep Is the Right Amount of Sleep?

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged between 26-64 years, should receive 7 to 9 hours of sleep but not less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours. 

In clinic, l will often discuss sleep quantity and quality. Although l consider sleep to be a non negotiable and one of the pillars of health, I do appreciate the fact that sometimes personal circumstances will impact an individuals ability to sleep soundly. 

Some of us are going through a stressful time and are struggling to settle at night. Some of us have health issues that prevent us from getting the rest that we need. Some of us have little ones and are simply doing the best that we can.

I encourage those not having to navigate through extenuating circumstances to start small. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier for a week or so and see how that goes.

National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times

National Sleep Foundation Email: nsfmedia@sleepfoundation.org WASHINGTON, DC, ( February 2, 2015)–The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued its new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation .

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Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

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Family health General

Fibromyalgia and the Microbiome

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent syndrome, characterised by chronic widespread pain, fatigue and impaired sleep. Those that suffer from FM also have to contend with the fact that it is an “invisible disease” and not immediately apparent to others. FM can be debilitating and will often have a significant impact to the quality of life. It also continues to be challenging to diagnose and difficult to treat. 
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A study recently published in Pain (June 18, 2019) reported an altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia. There were differences in the serum levels of butyrate and propionate in patients with FM compared to those without FM.
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The promising news is that the study was the “first demonstration of gut microbiome alteration in non-visceral pain”, which is an observation that is likely to pave the way for further studies. The hope is that future studies will foster the exploration of new treatment modalities and offer some hope to FM patients.

https://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/publishahead/Altered_microbiome_composition_in_individuals_with.98647.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2Ro7xDzy-YXwl-Tqp1I7MTS01j9bXVRAa4zDc6iVRh5aqsWjJZWdVr0Go#pdf-link

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark