Thursday, November 19th, 2009 | Author: admin

It may come as a surprise, but sometimes the cause of pain and discomfort in the body can stem from an unhealthy or burdened mind. Stress, emotional upset and negative thought patterns can wreak havoc on the body’s nervous system, which in turn can affect the organs, muscles and almost every other part of the body. Ask any good Ontario chiropractor and they are sure to agree that nurturing a positive mind can have a great impact on the body’s nervous system and therefore the rest of the body. It may sound too good to be true, but following these simple tips could be the answer to transforming your health:

1. Choose what you focus on
Recognize you are in control of where your mind’s energy is spent. Make a determined effort to focus on positive things and don’t allow yourself to dwell on negative emotions or thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively, come up with ways to redirect your thought patterns, e.g. by focusing on a goal, happy memory or something you are grateful for.

2. Positive affirmations
Plant positive seeds in your mind’s soil. Identify positive affirmations you want to believe, e.g., ‘I have the power to change my circumstances’ or ‘I am a valuable person’, and repeat them to yourself whenever you can. Soon, you will find yourself acting on what you allow yourself to believe.

3. Look for the positive in every situation.
Lost your job? Perhaps your job loss will help you find the career you’ve always wanted. Been dumped by your boyfriend? Maybe you’re better off without a boyfriend that doesn’t appreciate you. Turn a negative into a positive and find the good in bad things that happen to you. Ask yourself what you can take from your bad experiences to turn them into events that make you stronger or a better person. Remember - we can’t determine our circumstances, but we can determine how we react to them.

4. What are you grateful for?
Keep a journal of things you are grateful for. Take the time each day to jot down what you have valued from your day or what you are thankful for. Do the same about yourself. What are your personal strengths? What do you like about yourself? Focus on and remind yourself of these reasons to be happy everyday and you’re sure to chase those negative vibes away.

5. Be inspired!
There are sure to be people who have experienced the same negative events or circumstances that you might have encountered. If you find your particular experiences hard to deal with, buy a book or audio cassette of someone who has walked in your shoes but overcome their problems. Realize there is always hope in any situation and be inspired to go beyond your circumstances.

6. Reminisce
Think about times in your life when you have felt the happiest or most positive. Allow yourself moments to reminisce about these times and put a smile back on your face. Believe that more of these times can be created in your future.

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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 | Author: admin

Any good Ottawa chiropractor will tell you how important it is to your health to take care of your digestive system. Have you ever experienced any of these following a meal: bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, heartburn, cramping or nausea? If you have any of these symptoms more frequently than you’d like, you might need to take some serious steps to get your digestive system functioning at its best. Few people are aware that there are seven simple yet effective steps that can make all the difference to their digestive health:

1. Eat foods rich in fiber
Fiber is instrumental in ensuring your digestive system runs smoothly. It’s a food with a surprisingly large range of digestive health benefits - it helps the body eliminate waste, lowers cholesterol, feeds healthy bacteria and reduces your risks of developing irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer too. Find your servings of fiber in fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains.

2. Eat good amounts of fish
Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which are hailed as being highly beneficial to the digestive system. The essential fatty acids can improve certain digestive problems because of their special anti-inflammatory properties. Choose to eat three to five portions of fish rich in this nutrient each week.

3. Cut out fried and high-fat foods
Reduce the amount of fried and fattening foods that you eat. These are hard for you to digest and put extra pressure on your digestive functions. Other processed foods may contain ingredients which irritate the stomach. Instead, choose organic foods when possible - they are simpler and kinder to your system.

4. Take probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal system. They maintain its health by keeping bad bacteria at bay and creating a good harmony in your digestion’s ecosystem. They have been known to help ease conditions like gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Your probiotic levels will fall dramatically if you are under stress or taking antibiotics. Take a supplement of probiotics for the best support. Doses found in yogurt are minimal at best, and virtually none in flavored yogurts.

5. Develop good eating habits
It’s important to chew your food well to help it break down sufficiently before it reaches your stomach. Chewing is actually the first stage of digestion as enzymes in your saliva break down carbohydrates in the mouth. Other good practices which support your digestion is taking enough time to eat without rushing, avoiding large meals and avoiding eating a meal before you go to bed so your stomach can digest its food while you’re still upright.

6. Exercise regularly
Exercise is great for boosting your body’s natural functions and can improve the natural rhythm of your digestive system, too. It is also great for helping your food move through the digestive tract.

7. Choose healthy hydration
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and acid-producing fluids like soda can cause stomach aggravation, especially to sensitive stomachs. Instead, drink lots of water which prevents and alleviates constipation and generally eases the digestive process.

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Saturday, October 31st, 2009 | Author: admin

It is a fact that there are increasing amounts of harmful toxins we are likely to be exposed to everyday. Not all have been regulated well and many substances found in household items such as an oven cleaning solution or even our tap water can prove harmful to our bodies. Follow these top tips for avoiding exposure to environmental toxins:

1. Salmon and PCBs
If you choose to eat salmon, avoid farm-raised salmon which are usually fed other fish which have absorbed PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) that are still present in the environment - although this industrial chemical has been banned from the USA for decades. These have been linked to cancer and fetal brain abnormalities. Instead, choose high-quality, wild fish.

2. Pesticides
Fruit, vegetables, commercially-raised meat and bug sprays commonly contain pesticides. It is estimated that 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. They have also been linked to Parkinson Disease, miscarriage, nerve damage and birth defects. To avoid these chemicals, choose organic varieties of food whenever possible.

3. Plastics and Phthalates
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics - they are known to affect the hormonal system. They are found in plastic wrap, plastic food containers and plastic bottles, all of which can leak them into our food. One good way to do avoid these chemicals is to resist storing or microwaving food in plastic containers - choose glass or ceramic containers instead.

4. VOCs
VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds which are found in cosmetics, deodorants, drinking water and cleaning fluids. They have been linked to cancer, visual disorders, memory impairment and eye and respiratory tract irritations. To limit these, use a filter for your tap water and choose cosmetics, deodorants and cleaning fluids that have been made using natural ingredients.

5. Dioxins
Dioxins are chemicals found in commercial animal fats. They have been linked to cancer, hormonal problems, reproductive and developmental disorders and certain skin conditions. Choose meats that have been organically farmed to reduce exposure to these toxins.

6. Heavy metals
Metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum and cadmium can lead to cancer, neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal heart rate and decreased red and white blood cell production if they accumulate in our systems. You may find these metals in dental amalgams, drinking water, pesticides, antiperspirant and fish. Avoid these by asking your dentist not to use amalgam fillings (which contain mercury), filtering your drinking water, choosing wild fish that claim to have low or no mercury levels and opting for food and cosmetics that contain organic ingredients.

7. Cleaning agents and chlorine
This is one of the most used chemical agents and is often found in cleaning products. It is also highly toxic, causing harm to the lungs and respiratory system, and eye and skin irritation. Buy a household cleaner that doesn’t contain chlorine, or choose ones which are biodegradable and non-toxic. ‘Natural’ cleaning solutions are now more readily available in stores.

When in doubt about any of the conditions mentioned above, consult your local Ontario chiropractor, someone who can offer alternative methods to not only eliminate these toxins from your body, but also treat chronic symptoms the natural way.

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Friday, October 30th, 2009 | Author: admin

Menopause is a very personal condition.  It affects women in many different ways and each one of them has a very unique experience in regards to it.  Some women may not feel very different, while others see their lives fall apart as soon as they reach this stage in life.

Some of the most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and weight gain.  Nevertheless, there are other life threatening conditions that could arise with it, like heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Growing interest in natural options that inspire more respect for the person’s body has provoked the appearance of alternative remedies to treat almost any condition, including hormone problems and menopause.  Today, there are many options available to treat menopause symptoms, and there are many alternative therapies that center on specific symptoms, in order to support the woman’s specific needs directly.

The most common known treatment for menopause has been hormone replacement, but given its invasive nature, women started looking into more natural alternatives to alleviate the condition.  Sometimes, the secondary effects caused by the hormone replacement treatment are worse than the original menopause symptoms, leaving women unable to cope with their normal life routine.

There are many alternative treatment options for women.  One of the most used ones is natural herbs.  Herbs like black cohosh and flax seed are a very good source of relief for symptoms like depression, mood swings, hot flashes and night sweats.  Herbs work also as preventive care, because young women can start consuming them early on in order to prepare their bodies for the menopause stage.

Another important aspect of controlling menopause symptoms lies in enjoying a good balanced diet.  A healthy diet will keep the heart, blood, and other organs and systems, clean and working well, thus, eating lots of vegetables, fruits, omega 3 fatty acids and consuming less sugar will help you a long way in preventing undesirable symptoms once you reach the menopause age.

Chiropractic and acupuncture are also renowned methods for treating these symptoms.  These are considered alternative therapies, and must be administered by professional and certified personnel in order to be approved by the health industry.  If you are going to seek one of these options, make sure you do ample research about them in order to find and choose a serious professional, like a certified Ottawa chiropractor.

You should receive the best treatment for your case, be it natural or not, the doors are open for you to look into all that is offered.  Your body is your responsibility and you know what is good for you, do not let anyone tell you any different.

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Friday, October 30th, 2009 | Author: admin

Dealing appropriately with stress has always been a monumental task for people to deal with.  There is no doubt that everyone, in one way or another, has experienced it, some worse than others.  But the true way to deal with stress is not to avoid stress, but to find positive ways to deal with it.  One of these ways is through a holistic healing and natural medicine approach.  There are many simple and easy holistic, natural ways of dealing with stress that people have been using successfully for thousands of years.  Instead of just ignoring your stress levels, why not take some natural steps to deal positively with your stress once and for all?

One holistic way of dealing with stress is by practicing meditation.  Meditation is an excellent way of refocusing the body’s energy, and stress, into positive healing for the body.  Meditation will help to free the body of tension, and negative energy like stress and fear, and will work to clear your mind, body and soul.  Meditation can simply consist of deep breathing exercises, or it can consist of more complicated rhythmic breathing patterns.  Whatever type of meditation your Ottawa wellness practitioner recommends, remember to stick with it.  Meditation can be a difficult practice to undertake, and an even more difficult one to master, but with a concentrated effort and a lot of patience, it will pay great dividends in the long run.

Another way of dealing holistically with your stress levels is to get an adequate amount of sleep.  Sleep deprivation and high stress levels go hand in hand.  Depriving our bodies of the adequate amounts of sleep will cause our bodies to react much worse to stress than under normal circumstances.  The average amount of sleep necessary for a healthy body is usually 6-8 hours a day.  However, this is not always the same for everybody, as some people may require more or less sleep depending on the individual.

There are other important things you can do to deal naturally with stress.  One of these things is to watch your diet.  Eating healthy helps keep your body functioning properly, as well as helping to control weight, which can add to stress.  It is also important to get regular and ample amounts of exercise and fresh air, to keep the body active and invigorated.  Exercise is actually one of the best known stress reducers.  By maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, your body can adapt better to stress, as well as turn it into positive energy for the body.  Stress can be one of the greatest gifts to the body, if you know how to properly redirect it.  Consult your Ottawa wellness specialist before starting any new diet or stress reducing program.

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Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | Author: admin

Holistic methods of treating ailments and disease have been around since the beginning of medicine itself.  However, as people start to realize that maybe prescription drugs are not the end all, be all, miracle drugs, that we have been raised to believe, many people are turning their focus back to natural, holistic treatments.  Holistic medicine is a natural, alternative type of medicine that is based on the theory that any ailment needs to be treated not only physically, but spiritually and mentally as well.  This type of treatment works to treat the root causes of illnesses, not necessarily the symptoms of illnesses.  And one method of treatment that has found great popularity in recent years is Magnetic Field Therapy.

Magnetic Field Therapy may sound like something out of science fiction, but it’s actually been around for thousands of years.  It was even said to have been used by Cleopatra, who wore magnetic bracelets, as well as necklaces, which were said to have miraculous healing powers.  Western doctors started treating patients using Magnetic Field Therapy in the early 1800’s with varied success.  This treatment was almost totally forgotten, until it saw a recent boom in the early 1990’s.  Since then this method of therapy has flourished into a new, over 100 million dollar industry.  This method of treatment has seen a huge gain in popularity all over the world, including China, France, Japan, India, and the United States.  But what is Magnetic Field Therapy?

Magnetic therapy is thought to work by manipulating energy streams that naturally run through the body, helping to align these energy streams with electromagnetic fields found in the body.  Magnetic field therapy involves the usage of electromagnetic materials, such as magnets or magnetic bracelets, to treat illnesses, and to restore proper health and balance to the body.  Because the human body, as well as the earth, naturally produces electromagnetic energy, practitioners believe that the proper balance of these two fields can lead to total body wellness.  People who have undergone magnetic therapy have noticed improvement in various conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches, depression, strained muscles and ligaments, and pain relief.

Magnetic field therapy is 100 % safe, and a natural, alternative method of treatment for various, common illnesses.  Magnetic therapy works to restore imbalances in the body, caused by stress, emotional issues, or injury.  Magnetic therapy gives your body a chance to heal itself, much in the same way acupuncture is used, just without the needles.   If you’re experiencing chronic pain, or chronic symptoms of health problems, that won’t seem to go away, you might want to give magnetic field therapy a try.  You should consult your local Ontario wellness physician before beginning any new treatment.

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Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | Author: admin

Do you experience several of these symptoms…

•    sore throat?
•    memory loss?
•    recurring headaches?
•    pain that seems to alternate from one joint to another?
•    pain in the muscles, as if you had the flu?
•    enlarged, tender nodes in the armpits and neck?
•    dry eyes?
•    sleep disorders?
•    ringing in the ears?
•    light sensitivity?
•    low body temperature, like you are freezing, even in the summer?
•    depression?
•    fatigue that doesn’t go away after rest?

All of these are common Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms. As you can see, the condition contemplates something more than just a persistent fatigue. A few more questions:
•    Are you in your 40s or 50s?
•    Are you a woman?

Women, especially in their 40s, are more prone to experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) than men are. This condition forces a reduction in physical activity and may last several months or even years. It worsens with exercise. Because patients feel so exhausted, they become less active and frequently gain weight. In extreme cases, CFS patients experience an episode in which they can’t move for a few minutes or hours due to lack of strength and then they panic.

Chronic Fatigue Treatment
The causes of CFS are unknown and, therefore, there’s no true chronic fatigue treatment available. The only hope for a patient who’s been diagnosed CFS is symptomatic treatment and most people recover prior activity levels.

Usually, treatment relies on medication for sleep recovery and pain relief. Because the major problems in CFS relate to sleep deprivation, patients can use some over-the-counter products to get quality sleep. Vicks VapoRub, for example, when applied to the chest or throat, reduces congestion and, in turn, the patient has a better sleep.

Medications with paracetamol (Panadol, Anacin) or diphenhydramine HCl (an antihistamine with sedating properties, found in Tylenol Simple Sleep and Zolben, among others) help fight poor sleep quality as well.

For patients who suffer from headaches and other pains, Tylenol PM or Anacin Headache are better options, instead, because besides a sleeping aid ingredient they include acetaminophen, a pain reliever.

Other alternative treatments include exercise and psychological therapy.

Graded Exercise Therapy, for example, begins by finding out the point beyond which a patient’s symptoms worsen with physical activity. After monitoring daily routines and determining the threshold point, a therapist designs a special exercise program.

As CFS patients often have mood swings and some experience depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be effective for the treatment of these symptoms.

If you happen to live in Ottawa, and you think you may be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it is highly recommended that you consult your local Ottawa chiropractor, someone who specializes in alternative treatments to this ailment.

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 | Author: admin

Let us analyze what pain is, from a neurological point of view.

There are two basic types of pain: acute and chronic. The former occurs as an alert, informing the brain of a damage or potential damage if a certain stimulus persists. The latter, on the other hand, is not an alert and stays for a long time, even after the traumatic event has healed.

Broadly speaking, pain develops in four steps:
1.    stimulus
2.    nociceptor reception
3.    transmission
4.    and brain reception

A painful stimulus causes nerve endings to fire a signal to the central nervous system. The signal arrives to the thalamus and from there travels to the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain. Only when the brain receives the signal in the cortex you start feeling pain. The whole process is called nociception (from noceo, a Latin word for harm or hurt).

Three kinds of stimuli cause pain:
•    mechanical (as cuts, pressure or punctures)
•    thermal (heat)
•    or chemical (as from internal inflammatory mediators)

Let us pick up one stimulus and follow the nociception chain all the way up to the brain. For example, suppose you were holding a hammer and suddenly dropped it on your left toes.

You feel acute pain almost immediately, because pressure nociceptors in your toes sense the mechanical stimulus and send a signal through neurons. Neurons are very long cells. A single neuron can connect your toe with the spinal cord.

The second link in the chain (neurons in your spine) amplifies the signal and transmits it to the thalamus. A third link connects the thalamus with the cortex. Almost all sensory information (except olfactory) reaches the cortex via the thalamus.

Looking closer, you discover the hammer caused a tiny cut in the skin of a toe. Therefore, besides a pressure stimulus, the nociceptors in the toe fired a wound signal. Histamines and prostaglandins from the immune system invade the damaged area and you perceive inflammation.

Without inflammation, the cut tissue would never heal. However, inflammation releases some enzymes —chemicals that stimulate nerve endings— and you feel more pain. Hours later, you note the difference between pain caused by the hit and pain caused by the cut.

For pain relief, you take some aspirin. Aspirin, like ibuprofen, works locally by hindering the effect of the enzymes, reduces inflammation, and, thus, reduces pain.

However, you don’t see the stimulus associated with chronic pain. Why? Because when you perceive a chronic pain the stimulus may have disappeared several months or years ago.

There are several approaches for chronic pain treatment, depending on which of the three links in the pain chain will be attacked: locally, at the site of the damaged tissues; at the spinal cord or at the brain level.

Often, the damaged tissues that cause chronic pain show no local signs of inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), unlike aspirin, doesn’t have anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the production of prostaglandins, lipid compounds that exist in almost all body cells and that cause pain because they sensitize spinal neurons.

Chiropractic (from chiro; hand, in Greek) works at the second link in the chain, treating mechanical disorders in the spine and joints.

Hypnosis and behavioral therapy work at the third link level. Acupuncture, massage therapy and other alternative practices carried out by any Toronto, Montreal, or Ontario chiropractor may also provide chronic pain relief at all three levels.

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Sunday, October 25th, 2009 | Author: admin

All of us suffer from muscle spasms and twitches from time to time, but those with fibromyalgia often complain of this annoying occurrence as an ongoing condition.  The spasms can apparently come and go at any time and occur in any muscle, but most frequently they are in the back and legs.  People suffering with this condition are on the lookout constantly for treatments that work.

It is believed that a muscle spasm is usually caused by one of three things: a lack of oxygen to the affected muscle which is most likely caused by restricted blood flow to that area; a lack of oxygen due to overwork of that particular muscle; and, thirdly, that the spasm is simply a reflex reaction.  No one really knows for certain what causes a spasm at any given time.

Another theory suggests that muscle spasms can be due to certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and spinal/joint misalignments.  While these are all theories, it is always best to discuss the condition with your doctor and follow any medical advice you are given.

More than anything, muscle spasms are annoying for fibromyalgia sufferers who are already dealing with a multitude of ongoing symptoms every day.  The spasms themselves can further aggravate a person who already deals with headaches, muscle pain and interrupted sleep on a regular basis.  There are a few simple things you can do yourself to help reduce the incidents of their occurrence.

If the cause of the spasms is due to poor circulation, one thing you can do that may help is apply heat to the affected area.   This will increase the flow of oxygen to the area while keeping the muscle warm.

A therapist may recommend certain stretching exercises to keep the muscles limber to help prevent them from cramping up.  Always be sure these exercises are performed correctly or they can do more harm than good.

Regular massage can also help reduce the frequency of spasms and cramps.  With much of the similar benefits of heat compression, massage can also help to improve circulation and increase blood flow to the muscles.  Visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis is a great idea for fibromyalgia sufferers who experience more than normal aches and pains.

Some people affected with this type of chronic pain also experience some relief from trying chiropractic or acupuncture.  Health care practitioners, total wellness practitioners and naturopathic doctors can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of these treatments.

One last treatment that you can use at home to help with muscle spasms and aches when they occur is topical creams, similar to those used by arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.  The anti inflammatory properties help relieve symptoms as they are happening.

Regardless of which way you choose to treat your muscle spasms at home, always be sure to consult a professional or Ottawa wellness specialist for the best advice.

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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 | Author: admin

The practice of reflexology is a natural type of healing that works with the body itself to promote total wellness.  Reflexology takes into consideration both the physical and emotional state of one’s health working towards a goal of relaxing the body to allow healing to take place.

With the main focus on the body’s ability to heal itself once it is free of tension and stress, reflexology techniques can enhance sleep, alleviate muscle aches and pains, and provide relief from many types of headaches and pain and pressure from inflamed sinus membranes.  Reflexology is most often administered in conjunction with traditional or alternative medicine.

Reflexology is generally administered to the feet, but can also be applied to the hands as well.  Practitioners advocate that the areas of the feet and hands that they focus on are directly related to other body parts.  By massaging and applying various levels of pressure to certain areas of the hands or feet, the other corresponding body parts will benefit and respond, resulting in a healthier energy flow to the affected areas.  Generally, the left hand or foot represents the left side of the body and visa versa.  The inside of the foot represents the spine and the outside of the foot represents the arm and shoulder areas.  The head and neck are reflected in the toes and fingers, and the ball of the foot is believed to correlate to the upper back, heart and lungs.

Reflexologists are trained in applying just the right amount of pressure to just the right area to produce the needed relaxation and healing to the corresponding areas of the body.

It is important to realize that reflexology is not a cure for medical conditions but more of a promotion of positive attitudes and energies to encourage positive body awareness.  Many people believe that effective healing begins with a positive mental attitude.  The goal of reflexology is to relax the body and relieve tensions that can inhibit a positive outlook.

Reflexology clients often report that after treatments they feel very relaxed and calm.  A general sense of well being often replaces feelings of worry and stress during administration of the therapy.  Another benefit is believed to be better circulation to the hands and feet.

While the benefits of reflexology are not founded in scientific proof as of yet, it is an art that has been recorded as far back as Egyptian times and continues its popularity today by many who seek out various other alternative medicines from their Toronto, Ottawa or Ontario wellness specialists.  And who can argue with how wonderful it feels to have a good foot rub at the end of a long day?

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