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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Healing Knee

An astonishing bit of research was published a few weeks ago that went largely unnoticed. It has now been demonstrated that the knee is unique among all the joints of the body because it has a built in repair mechanism. In the right environment, the knee can fix itself.

Yes, you heard me correctly. This means that all those knee replacements and arthroscopic surgeries may have been completely pointless and counter productive.The researchers at Duke University were stunned as well. The key is to provide the knee with the correct environment, and the correct environment consists of strengthening exercises for the muscles that surround and move the knee and a diet rich in Glucosamine Sulfate. Knee2.jpeg

In 2007 the journal Arthritis & Rhumatism published an article looking at the role of standard anti inflammatory medication versus quality Glucosamine Sulfate supplementation. They found that anti inflammatory medication had limited short term benefit, no long term benefit and a poor risk to benefit ratio. Glucosamine Sulfate supplementation on the other hand demonstrated "clinically significantly symptom modification over the medium term and intriguing suggestion of possible disease structure modification." Glucosamine sulfate works.

A word of caution however for those of you with shellfish allergies. Most commercial Glucosamine Sulfate supplements are made with shellfish so be sure to check first. As far as dosage is concerned, the recommendation is to take about 1500mg at a time once per day to start. This ensures that your blood levels will be high enough for this food supplement to do some good.

10:34 am pdt          Comments

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cancer Prevention and Vegetables

You may have heard the news that a diet rich in broccoli, bok choy and other "cruciferous" vegetables may lower the risk of cancer related illness and disease. This particular study examined the dietary intake of women in China who been diagnosed with breast cancer. A "dose related" correlation between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables and health was discovered. In practical terms this means that the greater the amount of cruciferous veggies you eat, the lower your risk. Cruciferous vegetables are characterized by their fibrous crossing internal structure. Examples of Cruciferous vegetables include:Cruciferous2.jpeg

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Daikon
  • Rutabaga
  • Radishes

I'll have much more on this topic in the future. In the mean time, eat well and be healthy!

12:56 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parkinson's Disease treatment and Mind Body Integration

Tai Chi has been found to help those suffering from myofascial pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and age related health problems such as osteoarthritis. The New England Journal of Medicine has just published an article indicating that Tai Chi is effective in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. This study has found that Tai Chi is more effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease than resistance training (weight lifting) and more effective than stretching.The benefits were seen in three areas.

  •  Posture and postural stability
  •  Length of stride
  •  Reach

This makes sense because Parkinson's is a disease effecting the areas of the brain that control movement rather than strength.

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that integrates brain and body. The movements are purposeful, they require focus, are well thought out and carefully performed. This is the key to it's effectiveness.

I have no affiliation with family physician Dr. Paul Lam, but in my opinion, his videos are a valuable resource.

10:41 am pst          Comments

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Aging Brains and Berries

Berry Update! New research indicates that berries improve communication between brain cells and prevent "age related degeneration."

Often when I read an MRI report of the brain in an older individual, a common finding is shrinkage of the brain, this is "age related neurodegeneration." In other words, the brain shrinks as it ages due to gradual progressive nerve cell death. We now have evidence that eating berries helps prevent this from happening.

In summary, eating berries daily will improve your memory, improve stability of brain cells and slow down the aging process to fight dementia and cognitive decline. 

 Blueberries.jpg

11:59 am pst          Comments

Monday, February 6, 2012

When Exercise is Harmful

I'm often asked if Yoga is an effective, healthy exercise. In my opinion, it certainly is healthy when done in a mindfull moderate manner. A recent article in the popular press describes many of the issues associated with strenuous exercises like Yoga if not done correctly.

Exercise needs to push your abilities in order for the body and mind to adapt and become stronger. This adaptation is exciting to see and experience. However when performing any type of exercise, it is important to be aware of the limitations of your body. I have seen hip, neck, knee, shoulder, elbow and low back injuries due to incorrectly exercising. If you experience the sudden onset of pain during exercise, stop immediately and seek professional help. If an instructor is pushing you too hard, stop and find a new instructor. If a particular type of exercise is causing injuries, stop and find a new type of exercise. 

Some post exercise soreness is normal due to the adaptation of muscles and tendons and this typically goes away in 24-48 hours after onset. If the soreness does not diminish, a longer interval of recovery may be necessary before another session of exercise is performed. If the soreness doesn't resolve, seek consultation with a qualified professional such as myself. Remember, exercise is best when it's fun, enjoyable and injury free.

12:07 pm pst          Comments

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meet Oliver Sacks

I happened across this lovely video of the brilliant neurologist Oliver Sacks yesterday. Dr. Sacks helped revolutionize the field of neurology and our understanding of the brain.

5:37 pm pdt          Comments

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chiropractic and Learning Disabilities

My friend and collegue, Dr. Robert Adams was recently featured on the television show, "Healing Quest." He was shown demonstrating an application of functional neurology we use in the field of Chiropractic Neurology. I have had similar results with my own patients.

11:17 am pst          Comments

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Better Brains Healthier Hearts

What are the two easiest things you can do to improve your health and increase your life span?

 

  • Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise improves memory, learning and the ability to think clearly. These remarkable findings were published in the journal Neuroscience. The benefits were found in test subjects who exercised at 80% of their aerobic capacity one hour per day, five days per week for five months. They have been attributed to increase blood flow providing increased nutrients to the brain. Poor lifestlye habits have proven to have dramatically adverse effects on health and longevity. People that don't get regular exercise, have poor eating habits, use alcohol and smoke have significantly higher rates of stroke, heart disease and reduced lifespan.
  • Eat smart. A Mediterranean style of diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil has been demonstrated to decrease mental decline and improve heart and brain health.
2:52 pm pdt          Comments

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Green Tea and Olive Oil

Green Tea and Olive Oil are proving to be major factors in disease prevention. The antioxidant compounds found in Green Tea are absorbed into your body and have now been demonstrated to penetrate into the tissues of the eyes including the lens and retina, potentially preventing diseases such as glaucoma. The protective effects of Green Tea consumption appear to last up to 20 hours and maximum concentration in eye tissue occurred from between one half to 12 hours after consumption.

While Green Tea is beneficial for the eyes, other healthy benefits of tea are found in both green and black tea.  These include the prevention of hardening of the arteries, and significant antioxidant activity.

Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil supresses a gene that promotes inflammation resulting in healthier tissues and decreases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

11:52 am pdt          Comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Healthy Chocolate

All right chocolate lovers I have good news for you! A diet that contains 50 grams of Chocolate per week may decrease your risk of having a stroke by 22% and your chance of death from stroke by 46%.

There are two mechanisms that can cause a stroke (also known as a cerebral vascular accident or CVA). An Ischemic stroke is caused by the blockage of an artery to a region of the nervous system. Because the circulation is blocked the tissue supplied by that artery undergoes a series of changes that makes the tissue less stable and at risk of death.

The other type of stroke is Hemorrhagic. This is when an artery leaks blood causing physical damage to the nervous system.  

Chocolate is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that reduce inflammation. Inflammation of arteries is a risk factor in the development of cerebralvascular disease and cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is richer in polyphenols than other types of chocolate. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in polyphenols, however in the realm of polyphenols Berries are Queen.

A smart strategy in stroke prevention involves stress and weight management through regular aerobic exercise and a diet rich in polyphenols, B vitamins and Omega 3 Fatty acids. Think grilled fish and richly colored vegetables with a nibble of dark chocolate and berries for dessert.

8:19 pm pst          Comments

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