The Uses and Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne PeppersThe Greek physician, Hippocrates, famously said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”  Knowing about foods and their benefits gives us the power to direct our health in a positive direction. This article will examine the benefits and uses of cayenne pepper for enhanced health and healing.Again and again, the therapeutic value of cayenne pepper has been medically validated”. What is cayenne pepper? What are common benefits? How does it affect the heart? Can it help me lose weight? Continue reading

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Cold, Influenza and Maintaining Wellness During the Flu Season

Why  do we catch colds and/or get the flu?

cold woman

As Autumn begins, so does the school year. This time of year also marks the beginning of cold and flu season, as the influx of bodies in crowded places creates a perfect environment for the precipitation of pathogens. The afflictions we can most likely expect to encounter are the common cold and the flu.

Colds are caused by viruses.

The rhinovirus is the most common virus causing the flu. Symptoms of the cold include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, coughing, watery eyes, body aches, and headaches. When the nose and sinuses are first infected, they create a clear mucus that helps flush out pathogens. Later as the cold progresses and begins to subsidcold-and-flu viruse, the natural bacteria found in the nose begin to return and the color of the mucous may change.
Parents are often fooled into thinking this means that their child needs antibiotics, but colored mucous is not always indicative of a bacterial infection. Moreover, antibiotics can’t help a cold get better because it’s caused by a virus which is unaffected by antibiotics. Their misuse can actually cause more harm than good. A healthcare practitioner should be consulted if a child’s temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees, if symptoms last longer than 10 days, or if symptoms are not relieved by over-the-counter medicines.

The influenza virus, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness.

Original Title: Sneeze_73bj.jpg

 

 

Its symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Not everyone with the flu will have a fever. The flu is most easily spread when people sneeze, cough, and even talk. The virus is especially adept at spreading, in part because people with the virus can be contagious up to one day before any symptoms develop, and for up to five to seven days after becoming sick. The flu’s virulence (how sick it can make someone) is unpredictable and fluctuates from year to year.

Flu season lasts from roughly October through May and thousands of people die from it every year, mostly older adults.

To curb the rate and severity of infection, a yearly flu vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone six-months-old and older (those with certain allergies may need to talk to a doctor first). The vaccine is even recommended for pregnant women, and a recent study showed that its administration in the demographic yielded a 92% rate of effectiveness for preventing flu-related hospitalization of infants (Benowitz, 2010).  Some people should not get the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,

People who can’t get the flu shot:

  • Children younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu shot
  • People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients. See Special Considerations Regarding Egg Allergy for more information about egg allergies and flu vaccine.Note: There are certain flu shots that have different age indications. For example people younger than 65 years of age should not get the high-dose flu shot and people who are younger than 18 years old or older than 64 years old should not get the intradermal flu shot.

senior-man-flu-shotPeople who cannot get the nasal spray vaccine:

  • Children younger than 2 years
  • Adults 50 years and older
  • People with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine
  • People who are allergic to eggs
  • Children or adolescents (2 years through 17 years of age) on long-term aspirin treatment.
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immune systems (immunosuppression)
  • Children 2 years through 4 years who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months.
  • People who have taken influenza antiviral drugs within the previous 48 hours.
  • People who care for severely immunocompromised persons who require a protective environment (or otherwise avoid contact with those persons for 7 days after getting the nasal spray vaccine).

Despite scientific research, whether or not the risks of the flu shot outweigh the benefits, remains controversial.

Multiple holistic and natural health practitioners, enthusiasts and advocates do not endorse the use of flu shots and site research warranting concern. A 2011 research study published in the International Journal of Medicine, (Lanza, et al, 2011), entitled “Inflammation-related effects of adjuvant influenza A vaccination on platelet activation and cardiac autonomic function,” revealed a fact that is not discussed by conventional health authorities, or mainstream news media reports. According to these researchers, flu shots result in inflammatory cardiovascular changes which cause increased risk for serious heart-related events such as heart attack.

Most flu shots have high quantities of mercury, higher than what is considered safe for most people.  Thimerosal, which is 49 percent mercury by volume, is a widely used vaccine preservative. It can be found in many different vaccines used in the U.S., including most seasonal flu vaccines, although there are a few million doses of thimerosal-free single dose vials of influenza vaccine made by drug companies which are reserved for infants and pregnant women. The amount of mercury in a single dose of the flu shot is deemed unsafe for people weighing less than 265 pounds.  It’s a well established fact that mercury is a neurotoxin, having harmful effects on the brain.  If you are getting a flu shot you can request that it be thimerosal-free.

An Act of Congress in 1986 that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011, decreed that a special court be created to handle all vaccine cases, Vaccine Court. The funds for settlements are paid by a vaccine sales tax.  The settlements in Vaccine Court can be downloaded and viewed and we have pasted it here below.  A large number of settlements have been for the flu shot for Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The flu shot has also been linked to narcolepsy in children, allergic reactions and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s in seniors.   Adjudicated settlements for 8/16/13 – 11/15/13 are below.  Note the number of Guillain-Barré Syndrome cases linked to flu shots. Compensation for injuries and deaths due to the flu vaccine were more than the total compensation paid out to eleven other vaccines.
Settlements Vaccine 1

Settlements Vaccine 2

Settlements Vaccine 3

Settlements Vaccine 4

Settlements Vaccine 5

Settlements Vaccine 5

Settlements Vaccine 6

Settlements Vaccine 7 Settlements Vaccine 8
Settlements Vaccine 9

Despite these multiple settlements for Guillain-Barré Syndrome, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention believes flu shots to be safe and strongly recommends that the advantages outweigh the risks and side effects, stating,

“For more than 50 years, seasonal flu vaccines have had very good safety track records. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines. The most common side effects following flu vaccinations are mild. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitor for any signs that flu vaccines are causing unexpected adverse events and are working with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events.”

 

Flu shotResearchers believe that the flu vaccine cannot give someone the flu.

Some vaccines are made from non-infectious, “inactive” viruses, and others, like the recombinant flu vaccine, are made without any viruses at all. At worst there are mild side-effects from the flu shot and nasal nasal spray such as headache or runny nose.  Some researchers conclude that the known benefits of flu vaccines far outweigh the cost of contracting the virus. Protecting yourself also helps protect others who might be more vulnerable. There will be 150 million doses of the vaccine available to the public this year. Additionally, new laws require health insurance policies to cover the vaccine so virtually no one should have to pay out of pocket.


A variety of alternative approaches to health and healing can improve immune function during cold and flu season.

Prevention-Tips-InfographicEngaging in a light exercise such as walking just a few times a week may improve the body’s immunity. It’s also important to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily.  Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit in addition to the other components of a balanced diet are paramount to staying well and optimizing immune responses during cold and flu season. Last, but no less important, is forming is the habit of frequent hand washing with soap and warm water. Soap and water is always superior to an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Natural remedies and treatments can be very successful in relieving or eliminating cold and flu symptoms and have less side effects than prescription drugs. 

Natural remedies and treatments include:

NaturalSuppressant
For cough
-wild cherry bark, marshmallow root, honey, ginger root, elderberries, mullien
For headache acupuncture, peppermint oil, hot water bottle, ginger tea, meditation, exercise, massage, ice pack and sleep.

Natural Headache Remedies
For sore throat
– salt-water gargle, herbal lozenges and throat sprays, fruit juices and fluids, vitamin C, honey and apple cider vinegar (do not give to young children), lemon or lime juice, ginger tea, neti-pot, marshmallow sap, horseradish, vaporizer, anise or licorice drops, frozen ice or frozen fruit, garlic
For sinus infection – netipot, quercetin, vitamin C, vitamin E, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, steam, rest, drinking plenty of fluids

 

Cold and flu season is unavoidable. Fortunately, its effects can be prevented or at least minimized if we are prepared and take the proper precautions to stay well.

 

References

Baker, Deborah, D.C,  Is There A Natural Cure For.. Flu Shot 2014-2015 Season  Retrieved online 9/30/14  http://www.drdeborahbaker.com/flu/

Benowitz I, Esposito DB, Gracey KD, et al. Influenza vaccine given to pregnant women reduces hospitalization due to influenza in their infants. Clin Infect Dis. 2010; 51(12):1355-61.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Vaccine Safety, Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

Ciszewski A, Bilinska ZT, Brydak LB, et al. Influenza vaccination in secondary prevention from coronary ischaemic events in coronary artery disease: FLUCAD study. Eur Heart J. 2008 Jun; 29(11):1350-8.

Ferdinands JM, Olsho LEW, Agan AA, et al. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine against life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed influenza illness in US children, 2010-2012. J Infect Dis. 2014; 210(5):674-683.

Flu Shot Causes Polio-like Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Are Rates Higher Than the Government Admits?
J Intern Med. 2011 Jan;269(1):118-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02285.x. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

Flu Vaccine is the most Dangerous Vaccine in the U. S. based on Settled Cases for Injuries,  Health Impact News,

Gach, Michael Reed , PhD, Acupressure Points for Sinus Problems & Nasal Congestion  Acupressure Points for Sinus Infection

Hills, Wellesley , MA , Gold Law Firm, LLC.,  The National Vaccine Law Firm Obtains Compensation for Man Injured By Flu Vaccine  Flu Shot Season is Upon Us—Gold Law Firm Files Petitions to Compensate Those Injured as a Result of Vaccination, Retrieved online 9/30/14 http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/12/prweb9037470.htm

Holzinger F, and Chenot J-F, Systematic Review of Clinical Trials Assessing the Effectiveness of Ivy Leaf (Hedera Helix) for Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 382789, 9 pages

Lanza GA1, Barone L, Scalone G, Pitocco D, Sgueglia GA, Mollo R, Nerla R, Zaccardi F, Ghirlanda G, Crea F, Inflammation-related effects of adjuvant influenza A vaccination on platelet activation and cardiac autonomic function .J Intern Med. 2011 Jan;269(1):118-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02285.x. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

Liu W, Jiang H, and Mao B, Chinese Herbal Medicine for Postinfectious Cough: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials,Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 906765. PMC385334810 Published online Nov 20, 2013. doi: 10.1155/2013/906765

Mercola, Dr., Flu Vaccination: The Hidden Risks in This Heavily Promoted Seasonal Routine. October 31, 2011 Retrieved online 9/30/14 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/31

Phrommintikul A, Kuanprasert S, Wongcharoen W,et al. Influenza vaccination reduces cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Eur Heart J. 2011; 32(14):1730-5.

Shadkam MN, et al. A comparison of the effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine on nightly cough and sleep quality in children and their parents. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16:787.

Smith, Deborahann, Natural Remedies for Sinusitis.  Gaiam Life: Your Guide to Better Living

Talbot HK, Griffin, MR, Chen Q, et al. Effectiveness of seasonal vaccine in preventing confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations in community dwelling older adults. J. Infect Dis 2011; 203:500-8.

Talbot HK, Zhu Y, Chen Q, et al. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations in adults, 2011-2012 influenza season. Clin Infect Dis. 2013; 56(12): 1774-7.

Udell JA, Zawi R, Bhatt DL, et al. Association between influenza vaccination and cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk patients: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2013; 310(16): 1711-20.

 

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Kevin McMahan3This article is written by Kevin McMahan and Jean Voice Dart, Health and Wellness Educators for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.

Kevin has had a lifelong interest in health and wellness. After graduating from Carmel High School he went on to get an associates degree in social sciences from Monterey Peninsula College, and a bachelors in kinesiology from California State University Monterey Bay. He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. “Your health is your wealth”, is something that he always likes to say.

 

Jean E. DartJean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University,  is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

 

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

What is Fibromyalgia? Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

fibromyalgia painDefinition of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder associated with multiple tender points, extreme fatigue and sleep disturbance. It is a very common disorder affecting about 5 million people in the United States, according to recent findings published by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health.

Children, men and women can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia however it is more prevalent among women. Unlike many other disorders, fibromyalgia is similar to a syndrome.

A syndrome is defined by the National Fibromyalgia Association as a “collection of signs, symptoms and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.”

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia suffer many symptoms, though the cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. Much research has been done to understand the disorder.

Symptoms
According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are as follows:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep Problems
  • Tender Points
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Fibromyalgia SymptomsAlong with these primary symptoms, some may experience other  symptoms including:

  • Diminished attention span
  • Tingling sensations in the hands and feet
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Stiffness
  • Cognitive problems (known as “fibrofog”)
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Cramping
  • Muscle spasms and twitching
  • Bowel disturbances
  • Anger
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Poor balance
  • Weight gain

Fibromyalgia Symptom StatisticsThe combination of widespread pain, extreme daily fatigue and occasional sleep disturbance can be very debilitating and may hinder in everyday activities.

The pain from fibromyalgia has been described as sharp, throbbing and aching pain felt in the muscles and tendons of the body. Factors that can intensify the pain include:

  • weather conditions
  • physical activity
  • lack of sleep
  • stress.

Fatigue from fibromyalgia lasts for an extensive period of time. The lingering feeling of exhaustion can interfere with personal and social activities. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, it states:

“During sleep, individuals with fibromyalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.”

People who have sleep problems from fibromyalgia have trouble falling asleep and can suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Diagnosis
The process of diagnosing fibromyalgia may be very difficult due to the fact that there are no laboratory tests present to diagnose the disorder. It can take up to five years to properly diagnose the disorder. The vast array of symptoms overlaps with other disorders and syndromes. A patient must meet certain diagnostic criteria to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A full medical history is needed to understand the history of the symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia test diagnosis is made by determining the number of pain “tender points” that are sensitive to touch using the WPI scoring method.

Your doctor may perform a physical examination to test for specific tender points on the body.  Your doctor may also want to perform blood tests to rule out the possibility of other diseases and disorders that may cause frequent pain and fatigue.

In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology created the “widespread pain index” (WPI) and a “symptom severity” (SS) scale.  These new guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia include the following criteria:

  1. A WPI score of greater than or equal to seven
  2. An SS score of greater than or equal to five
  3. Symptoms have been present for at least three months

Physicians using the WPI scoring method will document the number of areas in which the patient has felt pain over the past week. The score will be between zero and 19, and the physical areas evaluated include:

  • Left shoulder girdle
  • Right shoulder girdle
  • Left hip (buttock, trochanter)
  • Right hip (buttock, trochanter)
  • Left jaw
  • Right jaw
  • Left upper back
  • Right upper back
  • Lower back
  • Left upper arm
  • Right upper arm
  • Left upper leg
  • Right upper leg
  • Left chest
  • Neck
  • Right abdomen
  • Left lower arm
  • Right lower arm
  • Left lower leg
  • Right lower leg

Physicians will evaluate and record the severity of pain for each of the areas using the following SS scale:

  • 0 = No problem
  • 1 = Slight or mild problems, generally mild or intermittent
  • 2 = Moderate number of symptoms present at the moderate level
  • 3 = Great deal of symptoms present
Yoga Class Sit

Research shows that exercise is effective in controlling or reducing fibromyalgia pain

Treatment
Patients with fibromyalgia understand that living with the disorder means changing their lifestyle to decrease the symptoms and increase quality of life. To manage the pain associated with fibromyalgia, pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil may be taken. Regular exercise may help reduce pain and stiffness. Patients should make an effort to improve sleep habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Alternative Treatments
Take the time to speak to your doctor about which treatments might be appropriate for you. The following treatments may be considered:

  • Taking vitamin D and magnesium supplements may help improve symptoms associated with chronic pain disorders.
  • According to the Journal of Rheumatology, acupuncture therapy, based on ancient Chinese medical practices, has been shown to be effective in relieving fibromyalgia pain.
  • A regular practice of therapeutic massages has been used by many fibromyalgia patients to treat muscle tightness and pain.
  • Melatonin supplements are used by fibromyalgia patients to promote sleep.
  • According to research published in the American Journal of Medicine, deconditioning from lack of physical activity aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Conversely, exercise helps decrease fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine reported that Pilates, yoga, and resistance training have shown favorable results for patients with fibromyalgia.
  • Studies have shown that biofeedback can be effective in reducing and controlling fibromyalgia pain.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy has been used with fibromyalgia patients and resulted in substantial improvement in pain coping skills as well as reducing depression.

Resources
National Fibromyalgia Association – About Fibromyalgia
Mayo Clinic – Definition of Fibromyalgia
WebMD – Treatment for Fibromyalgia
American College of Rheumatology Fibromyalgia Criteria
NCBI Pub Med. US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health – Fibromyalgia Statistics

 

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 Hang Pham, MBHA Health EducatorThis article is written by Hang Pham, Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator.  Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam.  She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com

Disclaimer:
The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.


Disclaimer:

What is Subluxation? How does it affect the body?

Vertebral Subluxation

Vertebral Subluxation

What Causes Vertebral Subluxation? What are the most effective treatments?

Vertebral subluxation is a condition of the spinal column. Chiropractors and Medical doctors have differing definitions of subluxation. Medical doctors refer to “significant structural displacements” as subluxations, whereas chiropractors suggest that any disfunctional displacement of the spinal column should be referred to as a subluxation, whether or not it is “significant.” 

Spinal NerveSimply stated, vertebral subluxation occurs when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. The nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine are referred to as spinal nerves. The pressure on the nerves can cause the nerves to malfunction and might interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.

The World Health Organization, WHO, definines chiropractic vertebral subluxation as:

“A lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity.”

Spinal or vertebral subluxation has been controversial since 1895 when the phrase was first introduced.  Some chiropractors claim that subluxation affects many other systems of the body (physical, mental, emotional) and has dramatic effects on health and disease. However, others in the chiropractic profession reject this concept and do not use subluxation as a diagnositc tool.  Nonallopathic lesion is a phrase that has been commonly used in the United States and Canada instead of subluxation as a diagnosis.

What Areas of the Body are Affected with Vertebral Subluxation?

Vertebral Subluxation

Chart showing the corresponding body parts and organs effected by vertebral subluxation and possible symptoms (eg, croup, diarrhea, bladder problems, bronchitis, migraines, constipation, etc.)

According to Chiropractors who agree with the dramatic effects of subluxation on the body, multiple symptoms can occur as a result of the pressure placed on the spinal nerves.

For example, some chiropractors profess that subluxation pressure on the nerves in the cervical spine can result in headaches, migraines, allergies, head colds, arm pain, hand and finger numbness, vision problems, stiff neck and others.  For some it is believed that subluxation pressure on the thoracic vertebrae spinal nerves can result in middle back pain, difficulty breathing, asthma, liver conditions, stomach problems, gastritis, and other syndromes. Subluxation of the lumbar vertebrae, is thought by some to result in constipation, diarrhea, gas pain, menstrual problems, and pain or numbness in the legs, for example.

 

Spine Xray

Chiropractors use Xrays and spinal manipulation to correct spinal subluxations

What Do Chiropractors Claim to Do to Help Remedy Subluxation?
Chiropractors try to locate subluxations and reduce or correct them. They generally use X-rays to determine and make a diagnosis. The physical exam typically includes a variety of assessments, such as range of motion tests, palpation, reflex testing, muscle strength comparisons, and neurological and orthopedic tests focused on your complaint or goal.

Cervical Spine AdjustmentTreatment is generally done through a series of chiropractic adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine.  The chiropractic adjustment is a therapeutic manipulation that uses controlled force, leverage, direction, amplitude, and velocity directed at specific joints. With subluxation, the goal is to free the pressure that is placed upon the spinal nerve by moving the displaced bone, to bring the vertebrae into normal alignment.

 

Are Vertebral Subluxation Charts an Effective Diagnostic and Prescriptive Tool?
Research studies show chiropractic treatment can sometimes be a statistically significant method of treatment for relieving musculoskeletal pain, although more studies are needed. A 2004 Cochrane review by Bronfort and others found evidence that suggests spinal manipulation may be effective for migraine, tension headache and cervicogenic headaches.  Other similar studies found chiropractic care to be helpful in lower back pain and neck and shoulder pain, directly related to spinal or postural misalignment.

chiropractic subluxation

There is a controversy over the accuracy of subluxation theory and the use of charts as a diagnostic tool.

Although studies exist to show chiropractic treatment effective in relieving pain, at this time, there is no significant evidence to support the effectiveness of  subluxation theory as a diagnostic tool, and no evidence that using spinal manipulation and vertebral alignment is an effective treatment for other non-musculoskeletal syndromes or illnesses (such as cough, diarrhea, constipation, allergies, etc). Multiple studies show that using subluxation to cure illness or disease is not successful at a statistically significant level. Mirtz, and other researchers (2009) in a study entitled, “An epidemiological examination of the subluxation construct using Hill’s criteria of causation,” concluded:

“There is a significant lack of evidence to fulfill the basic criteria of causation. This lack of crucial supportive epidemiologic evidence prohibits the accurate promulgation of the chiropractic subluxation.”

chiropractic adjustmentAccording to Professor Philip S. Bolton of the School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Newcastle, Australia in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,

“The traditional chiropractic vertebral subluxation hypothesis proposes that vertebral misalignment cause illness, disease, or both. This hypothesis remains controversial…. Animal models suggest that vertebral displacements and putative vertebral subluxations may modulate activity in group I to IV afferent nerves. However, it is not clear whether these afferent nerves are modulated during normal day-to-day activities of living and, if so, what segmental or whole-body reflex effects they may have.”


Keating and others (2005) concluded,

“The dogma of subluxation is perhaps the greatest single barrier to professional development for chiropractors. It skews the practice of the art in directions that bring ridicule from the scientific community and uncertainty among the public. Failure to challenge subluxation dogma perpetuates a marketing tradition that inevitably prompts charges of quackery. Subluxation dogma leads to legal and political strategies that may amount to a house of cards and warp the profession’s sense of self and of mission. Commitment to this dogma undermines the motivation for scientific investigation of subluxation as hypothesis, and so perpetuates the cycle.”

 

Conclusion and Summary
Vertebral subluxation or a nonallopathic lesion is a condition where one or more bones of the spine are out of alignment and are putting pressure on the spinal nerves.  This can be treated by spinal manipulation, physical therapy, or even surgery.  Traditional subluxation theory professes that subluxation can create other illnesses. chiropractic neckAlthough traditional chiropractic vertebral subluxation theory is popular, whether or not vertebral misalignment causes illness, disease, or both, in other areas of the body and whether chiropractic vertebral adjustment can eliminate this disease or condition, still remains uncertain, and not yet statistically significant and proven by scientific data.  It may very well be true, but currently there is no evidence to support traditional chiropractic subluxation theory.  However, a limited number of studies on chiropractic spinal manipulation have proven chiropractic treatment to be a  significant and cost-effective treatment for many cases of lower back pain, neck pain, migraines, tension headache and cervicogenic headaches. These studies were limited, however, and more studies are needed.

References
Bolton P (2000). “Reflex effects of vertebral subluxations: the peripheral nervous system. An update”. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 23 (2): 101–3. 

Bronfort G, Nilsson N, Haas M, et al. (2004). “Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache”. In Brønfort, Gert. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD001878.

Brown R. President, British Chiropractic Association. BCA Statement on Vertebral Subluxation Complex. May 24, 2010. General Chiropractic Council Guidance on Claims Made for the Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Hart, J, Reduction of Resting Pulse Rate Following Chiropractic Adjustment of Atlas Subluxation,  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, March 3, 2014, pages 16-21.

Keating JC Jr, Charlton KH, Grod JP, Perle SM, Sikorski D, Winterstein JF (2005). “Subluxation: dogma or science?”. Chiropr Osteopat 13 (1): 17.

Gatterman, M. “The vertebral subluxation syndrome: is a rose by another name less thorny? The Journal of the CCA/Volume 36, No. 2/June, 1992, pages 102-104

Gatterman, M.,  One Step Further: The Vertebral Subluxation Syndrome. Dynamic Chiropractic, March 27, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 07.

Mirtz TA, Morgan L, Wyatt LH, Greene L. An epidemiological examination of the subluxation construct using Hill’s criteria of causation. Chiropractic & Osteopathy. 2009;17:13.

Zielinski E, & Blume N,  An Epidemiological Approach to the Effects Subluxation-Based Chiropractic Care Has on Managing CVD Risk Factors: A Case Study and Review of the Literature,  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, November 4, 2013, pages 77- 99


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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

 

Massage Therapy – Healing Hands

Massage Therapy

Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen. ~Shakti Gawain

WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY?
What are the different types of massage therapy? How is it beneficial? Massage therapy is a very popular and effective therapeutic treatment. There are probably more than 100 types of massage therapy. Swedish massage is one of the most commonly practiced types of massage in the United States.

Massage therapists use several different techniques including long, smooth strokes, kneading and other movements to stimulate. increase circulation, soothe, or relax superficial layers of muscle. Sometimes massage oil or lotion is used.

Locations for MassageHOW POPULAR IS MASSAGE THERAPY? According to the most recent American Massage Therapy Association survey, roughly 38 million adult Americans (18 percent) had a therapeutic massage at least once a year. More than half of adult Americans (59 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.

The average income for a massage therapist living in the United States is about $21,000 per year.  More than 50% of all massage therapists, earn a living doing another job, as well.  An average of 31 percent of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years.

Massage TherapistWHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY?
So why do people use massage therapy and what are the benefits?  Massage therapy can be beneficial in a number of different ways:

  • soothe achy joints
  • relieve depression
  • remove stress
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce level of stress hormone cortisol
  • boost neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine
  • reduce inflammation
  • improve sleep
  • increase disease-fighting white blood cells
  • reduce PMS symptoms, like bloating and mood swings
  • increase mental alertness
  • increase blood flow to improve complexion and skin
  • encourage lymphatic drainage
  • bring relief to chronic illness sufferers

and more.

WHEN SHOULD YOU NOT USE MASSAGE THERAPY? 

Massage and Medications

Massage therapy is not for everyone. Particular medications can affect the impact of massage therapy manipulations, as outlined above. Massage therapy is not recommended in the following situations

  • If you have an infectious skin disease or rash, massage therapy should not be allowed.
  • If you have an open wound, do not allow massage therapy near the wound.
  • If you have a torn muscle, with swelling and bruising, you should check with your doctor and wait for the area to heal.
  • If you are prone to blood clots, check with your doctor.
  • If you have heart disease you should check with your doctor before having a massage.
  • If you have recently had chemotherapy or radiation, check with your doctor before having a massage.
  • If the area is inflamed, do not allow massage to be done directly on top of the area of inflammation.
  • If you have tumors, you should not have massage done directly on top of the tumors.
  • If you have abdominal hernia, do not massage the hernia.
  • If you have fractures or broken bones, do not masssage directly over the area.
  • If you are pregnant, massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage should be used, after checking with your doctor.
  • It’s best not to eat a full meal just prior to massage therapy.

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF MASSAGE THERAPY?
There are probably more than one hundred different types of massage therapy available.  Here are a few of the more popular types of massage.

  1. Swedish Massage Therapy
    a. Effleurage
    b. Petrissage
    c. Friction
    d. Vibration
    e. Percussion
    f. Passive and active
  2. Thai Massage
  3. Aromatherapy Massage
  4. Deep Tissue Massage
  5. Shiatsu
  6. Pregnancy or Prenatal Massage
  7. Hot Stone Massage
  8. Reflexology
  9. Sports Massage
  10. Back Massage
  11. Trigger Point Therapy
  12. Cranial Sacral Therapy
  13. Geriatric Massage
  14. Chair Massage
  15. Neuromuscular Therapy Massage
  16. Active Release Technique Massage
  17. Bowen Technique
  18. Acupressure
  19. Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
  20. Lymphatic Massage
  21. Ayurvedic Massage
  22. Raindrop Therapy Massage
  23. Polarity Therapy Massage
  24. Breast Massage
  25. Rolfing Massage
  26. Feldenkrais Massage
  27. Aquatic Massage

For more information about massage therapy, visit the following websites.

Resources
The American Massage Therapy Association 
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB)
The National Association of Massage Therapists
The Massage Therapy Foundation

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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
 Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

 Disclaimer:The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

Natural Headache Remedies

God dag, Hej, health and wellness enthusiasts.

Natural Headache Remedies

Click, copy, save and share with friends and family members. What do you use to alleviate headache pain?

Headache is one of the most common ailments and can be the result of a variety of causes including physical, emotional and mental distress, and chronic or acute illness or injuries. The majority of people choose to eliminate headache pain as quickly as possible, through the use of prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Most people experience common minor headache pain because of stress and tension due to the affects of changes in behavior, diet, or environment. The following natural remedies for headache may prove to be very helpful. These remedies are not intended as a cure or substitute for a doctor’s care.   Headaches can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, so always check with your doctor or trusted health-care professional.

Here are a few helpful home remedies that might aide in relieving headache pain:

  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been used for centuries to relieve  tension, which may be causing the headache pain.
  • Peppermint oil – Put some peppermint oil on the temples, neck or shoulders, and gently massage. Peppermint oil can naturally energize and soothe the nerves.
  • Hot water bottle – A hot water bottle, heating pad, or heat pack can improve circulation and blood flow to the brain, which sometimes can cause headache pain.  Apply heat to back of head, neck, and  shoulders, to improve circulation.
  • Ginger tea – Ginger has been known to be effective in alleviating headache pain. You can slice pieces of ginger, boil in water, and strain, to produce ginger tea, or it can be commonly found in most grocery stores in tea bags. Fresh ginger is the most potent. Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger. Remove from heat and add lime juice and honey, or agave nectar to taste.
  • Meditation – Practice guided meditation techniques, deep breathing, listen to soft music, imagine you are in a place of peace and love, close your eyes, release the stress of the day, and allow yourself to experience a state of well-being.
  • Exercise – Lack of exercise can cause stiffness and tension in the muscles resulting in headache pain. Step  away from your work or daily routine and get outside, and go for a walk.  If you work all day outside in the bright sun, then walk away from that situation and go inside for awhile.  Do some light exercising and stretching. Jog, use a treadmill, do some situps. Get some fresh air.
  • Massage – Therapeutic massage has been known to be very effective in relieving headache pain. Massaging the face, forehead, skull, neck, shoulders, back and limbs can help to release tension naturally and allow the headache pain to disappear.  A full-body massage can be very relaxing and eliminate headache pain without the use of drugs and pain-killers, by reducing stress and increasing circulation.
  • Ice packs  – Cold packs can also be effective if heating pads or hot water bottles have not been.  Apply ice pack on your head, throat, shoulders, and back of  neck. Cold packs can help with headaches triggered from food allergies, stress, or worries.
  • Rest or sleep – Maintain a normal sleep schedule, get plenty of rest.  If it’s not possible to sleep, close your eyes, darken the room, and rest. Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep is one of the most common reasons for headache pain. If you believe that you are not getting enough sleep, you might choose to schedule an appointment with a sleep clinic.  Sleep clinics can determine the cause of restless sleep, including sleep apnea, a serious breathing disturbance, causing snoring, and resulting in not enough oxygen to the brain.  Eye strain is a very common cause of headache. If you wear glasses, make sure that your prescription is current. If you work on the computer all day, take time to rest your eyes several times throughout the day. Resting the eyes (from eye strain), voice (from talking all day), ears (from noisy environment), and body (from overdoing and straining  muscles) can eliminate headache triggers.

What has been effective in relieving your headache pain?
Best wishes to you for a healthy, happy day.
Your health and wellness friends at MBHA.