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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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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

Categories
General

How Does Stress Affect the Gut?

Feeling stressed, anxious, angry or sad while eating will have a short and long-term effect on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. 

Research continues to report that exposure to stress results in alterations of the bidirectional microbiota-gut-brain axis interactions (“brain-gut axis”). 
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“The major effects of stress on gut physiology include: 

1) alterations in gastrointestinal motility; 2) increase in visceral perception; 
3) changes in gastrointestinal secretion; 4) increase in intestinal permeability; 
5) negative effects on regenerative capacity of gastrointestinal mucosa and mucosal blood flow; and 
6) negative effects on intestinal microbiota.”
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Although functional GI disorders (FGIDs) are not considered to be psychological diseases, the research continues to support to notion that the brain plays an important role.  
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Dr. Emeran Mayer, MD recommends that: “we can each take care with what, when, and how we eat to promote healthy diversity in our gut microbiome. We can seek to maintain a positive emotional state as much as possible by relaxing and enjoy mealtimes. There are many simple forms of stress reduction that can be employed such as regular exercise, abdominal breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.”
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In clinical practice, I not only focus on what an individual is eating but will delve into when and how they eat. There is a significant difference between eating mindfully and slowly, and what l refer to as “inhaling” food. I encourage all of my patients to step away from their televisions, multiple screens and distractions, and eat in silence. Even if it begins with 5-10 minutes at a time, it is progress. 

https://iffgd.org/?fbclid=IwAR1cWYXEM6EdpbZ1Y5D0K8obYJyr7pVIS2WNl3-graOVEgumlPVDkQYUMHQ

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/cns.12490?fbclid=IwAR1zZTUrXcYuftgh3yHPhIYBgWmHLmqnfpKeAHl9nL8bVibfH2HMGVIxS3o&

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Family health General

Vitamin D and Hypertension

Is there a link between low vitamin D levels and resistant hypertension? 
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A study published in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypertension (April 2, 2019) believes that there is, and found a statistically significant association between Vitamin D deficiency (levels lower than 20 ng/ml) and resistant hypertension (a blood pressure >140/90 mmHg despite the concurrent use of 3 antihypertensive agents of different classes). 
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Based on my research, an optimal level of vitamin D is between 60-80 ng/ml, but most labs will consider a Vitamin D above 30ng/ml as within normal range. l encourage my patients to aim for optimal rather than the low end of the range. 
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As always, my message is: please be mindful when supplementing. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and over supplementing can result in toxicity. Please discuss your supplementation regime and lab work with your primary care provider, functional medicine doctor or other health professional.

The association between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of resistant hypertension.

Clin Exp Hypertens. 2020;42(2):177-180. doi: 10.1080/10641963.2019.1601204. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Family health General Sports Performance

Are You Magnesium Deficient?

Common symptoms of mild-to-moderate magnesium deficiency include anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, panic attacks, muscle cramps and twitches, chest tightness, hyperventilation, faintness, difficulty with mental concentration, memory loss, confusion, nuchal pain, headaches, intestinal complaints, tremor, palpitations, and certain types of cardiac arrhythmias.

Magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 different enzymes. It is essential for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s main storage form of energy.  Magnesium inhibits platelet aggregation, promotes dilation of blood vessels, and has an antispasmodic effect on skeletal and smooth muscle.1

I mostly use magnesium for its ability to help muscles relax.  It does this by binding to the calcium binding sites in the muscle and replacing the contraction-signaling calcium with magnesium, leading to muscle relaxation.2

Magnesium supplementation can come from oral supplements or epsom salt baths.  Usually 100-750mg/day is used. At the upper range it’s best to divide dosage throughout the day to help avoid diarrhea which is the primary symptom of excess magnesium. The formula I most frequently recommend includes potassium and some other vitamins that aid in potassium absorption, which is especially helpful after a workout.

1. Nutritional Medicine by Alan Gaby M.D.

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7286246

Wishing you wellness,

Michael Dunbar

Categories
General

Meet Michael Dunbar N.D., L.AC., LMT

We’re so pleased to introduce you to our newest team member:

Michael Dunbar is a Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist at Awakenings Health. In addition to private treatment sessions, Michael also does community acupuncture.

He was born and raised in Raleigh, NC before going to UNC-CH and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health – Nutrition.  Michael then moved to Oregon to pursue a dual degree of a Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters of Acupuncture. During his time at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, he also received his Oregon massage license specific to Shiatsu (acupressure) massage.

His path began with a desire to find treatments that did not just mask symptoms but instead help cure disease or avoid becoming sick all together.  This search is what led to the significant study and personal testing of a number of dietary regimen. He’s settled on a whole food based approach which can be customized to the needs of each individual.

At NUNM, Michael’s education led him to understand that certain lifestyle factors including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress management are the keys to health and by focusing on these basics many of the health issues people experience can be avoided or reversed.

Another basic principle Michael has incorporated into his healing practice is the healing power of mindfulness.  Michael has cultivated mindfulness through meditation, chi gong and Tai Chi, and uses this moment to moment awareness to inform his massage and acupuncture treatments.  This mindfulness is how he “gets out of the way” to create a healing space for his patients.

In his personal life, Michael enjoys Contra and Blues dancing, weight lifting, and travel.  He looks for a balance to maximize health and happiness in each day.