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Positive Period. April 21, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, best vancouver naturopath, best vancouver nutritionist, Emotion, exercise, Healing, Health.
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“Women complain about premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.”
Roseanne Barr

The Monthlies, Aunt Flo, TOM, The Crimson Curse, Shark Week! We all have our own euphemism for our “monthly visitor”. I won’t bore you or insult your intelligence by explaining what happens in your body to bring about your monthly friend (though if you are interested here is a link to short informative video http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-menstruation-works-emma-bryce). Instead, my intention is to maybe tell you some interesting and hopefully useful facts that you may not already know and hopefully open up a dialogue about this topic that takes up so much of our lives but that we are still a little shy about. For instance did you know that humans, monkeys, apes and bats are almost the only species known to go through a menstrual cycle like ours? Or that during the three to seven days you have your period, you lose about 30-40mLs of blood? This is only about 2-3 tablespoons, although up to 80mLs (5.4 tablespoons) is still considered normal. A lot less then you thought right? Well, we actually loose four to six tablespoons of menstrual fluid but only some of this is blood. The rest is made up of cervical mucus, vaginal secretions and flora and endometrial tissue and uterine lining- sorry if you find that gross but that’s the human body for you!

Let’s get serious for a second now though. Worldwide up to 90% of women use a homemade device in the place of a sanitary pad or tampon because they are too expensive to buy every month. In parts of the world girls miss 20% of school days (4.5 days per month) due to their periods. This is not simply crying off school due to PMS, but because schools lack the basic hygiene facilities for a girl to keep herself clean during her period. Another reason is the stigma and taboo that surround menstruation. In different cultures around the globe women are segregated from their own society during this time. In some cultures they are not allowed to even drink from the same water source as the rest of their village. Apart from being oppressive this practice of isolating women from society during their period (which incidentally makes up about 7% of your life) is damaging to women psychologically and to society as a whole. When women are isolated like this they cannot contribute to society in the ways they normally would through work etc. “Well that’s a shame but it doesn’t effect me” you might be saying to yourself. Well actually, it does. The stigma surrounding menstruation is not confined to developing countries. Naturally those of us lucky enough to live in the Western world enjoy a whole lot more privilege than our counterparts in different parts of the globe, but how many times have you lowered your voice when talking about your cycle? Or hidden your sanitary pad or tampon in your pocket when going out  to the washroom? We are taught from a young age that periods are shameful and we share a learned embarrassment about periods with women everywhere. So what can we do to counteract this? Of course education is key. Educating both boys and girls about menstruation from an early age is the first step in removing the misconceptions and stigma surrounding the topic. We can also contribute in our attitude towards the issue. Try to change your thinking and do not shy away from talking openly about your period. Perhaps use less of the hushed tones and circumlocution around the subject- although I will admit, some of those euphemisms are pretty funny.

The menstrual cycle which gives rise to your period is 28-35 days for most women. It begins for most women around 12-14 years of age and ends somewhere between the ages of 48-55. The average woman has about 450 periods in her lifetime and there are about 300 million women having theirs right now. One key thing to note about your period is that it does not just affect you the week you are menstruating. It’s not even just the week before when your suffering from the dreaded PMS. Your menstrual cycle, or rather the organs and hormones that control it, are at work constantly throughout the month to create the correct conditions within the body for follicular development, ovulation, implantation or menstruation. That is not to say that between the ages of 12 and 55 all women are on a hormonal rollercoaster that they have no control of. Looking at it in a different way we can see the positives associated with each phase of our cycle. At different times throughout the month our body is doing everything it can to get us in the perfect state for pregnancy- and this affects our brain too. Rather than surrendering to the unstoppable force that is nature/evolution/your own body there is no reason why we can’t ride the wave (so to speak) and harness all this power.

Follicular Phase- This is when the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) are secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. Neurochemically this is the time of the month that women have the most access to creative energy. It’s the perfect time to begin new projects. So as your body begins it’s new phase, so can you!

Ovulatory Phase- This is when when we have the most energy and highest communication skills. Try channeling this by having important talks with loved ones or professional colleagues during this time.

Leutial Phase- This is when the lining of your uterus is thickening. This is the time when our minds become most detail orientated. Use this time to organize! Your desk, your house, your mind, your life.

Menstruation- This is when there is the most communication between the right and left side of your brain. It’s a time to evaluate. Rather than harbour negative feeling about this time I like to use my period as my time to hibernate and give myself some TLC. This can be different for everyone. To some it might be slobbing it on the couch in PJs, to others its the time when they allow themselves those treats that they avoid the rest of the month. I like to think of it as my body physically reminding me that it’s there and it needs to be taken care of. It’s a good time to check in with yourself, in every sense. Here are some ways that I found helpful to “check in” with myself during my period (or anytime).

Step 1. Exercise!

Don’t get me wrong I’m the least motivated person in the world when it comes to getting myself to the gym. But if you can muster the willpower you know it will feel great. It doesn’t have to be a 10k run or a power turbo max blast crossfit workout (that’s not a real thing but you get my drift). Do a relaxed restorative yoga class -or youtube video if you don’t feel like leaving the house.  Take an evening stroll in the park. When have you ever exercised and thought afterwards “Well I would have been so much better off sitting at home eating a cookie”?. That’s right, never. And you can still have the cookie after if you really want it. You are on your period after all.

Step 2. Alone time

There is so much to be said for, closing your door and just being with your own thoughts and feelings. Hibernate. For some people this can be meditation or prayer. Some people like to go for a walk. Some like to light some candles and have a bath. Personally I like to listen to my favourite music and clean the house, because cleaning the house helps me to clear my mind too (but that’s just me). Whatever it is you like to do when you are totally by yourself- make some time and do that. And yes, you do have to switch your phone off for this one.

Step 3. Eating

You betcha! Every girl’s all time favourite thing to do when the reds are playing downtown. In keeping with the theme of self care during my period it’s a good time to try out some new healthy recipes that are also gonna be delicious. Taking the time to cook something yummy for yourself is a great way to be kind to you. If you’re not into that- get someone else to do it for you. Remember, red letter days are our excuse to make the rest of the world pick up the slack! Just try to give your body some wholesome, nutritious fuel during this time. No one is saying you can’t have chocolate AND kale.

Step 4. Think positive!

If you dread your period it’s going to be dreadful. Try and change any negative feelings you have around your period and think of it as your body’s automatic reset. Out with the old and in with the new! Consider this your time to reconnect, reevaluate and reassess. Of course not everyone has the best time during their period and there are physical and emotional hurdles to be overcome. You might feel like your body is your enemy during this time but it’s not, it’s the closest friend you’ll ever have – awh! So if you’re not feeling the best during this time find something that always cheers you up and make some time for that. Maybe catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while or seeing that movie you wanted to watch. If you really can’t face being social then at least make plans to do something nice next week so you can feel happy about that.

References

https://www.ted.com/talks/robyn_stein_deluca_the_good_news_about_pms?language=en#t-120387

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vKRj9yV8pI

To learn more on how to balance hormone or treat yourself with natural remedies contact us today at info@yaletownnaturopathic.com.

Exercise and Cancer March 2, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Cancer, exercise.
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Written by: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

Everyone has heard that exercise is good for your wellbeing. This is not debated at all in the medical community yet when it comes to cancer care patients often forget about the benefits of exercise as they focus their attention on more exotic treatment plans. Exercise is not a cure for cancer but it is certainly an important part of an integrative cancer program.

How does exercise benefit cancer patients? It turns out that there are a number of different reasons why exercise has such a positive impact on cancer patients. The immune system becomes more activated during exercise as the monocytes increase the concentration of specific receptors on their surface1. There are numerous physiological and psychological changes that occur with regular exercise that are very beneficial to cancer patients3.

Several studies clearly demonstrate that patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation do much better if they are exercising regularly2,4. Patients who regularly exercise during these therapies have better clinical outcomes and significantly improved quality of life. Although this is well established in the medical community it is rarely suggested by medical oncologists. This attitude needs to change because when the body is being exposed to toxic treatments it is essential to use every tool at our disposal to help the body adapt to this stress. Exercise is certainly one of many effective basic tools that can help patients deal with the stress of chemotherapy and radiation.

Not only is exercise important during cancer therapies, it is also effective at preventing cancer recurrence7. Although some researchers dispute the significance of recurrence prevention, no one disputes that regular exercise decreases overall mortality in cancer survivors5,6. Women with estrogen positive breast cancer after a successful surgery will be put on tamoxifen for 5 years minimum to reduce the risk of recurrence by only a few percentage points8. In a prospective observational study of almost 3000 RN’s with a history of breast cancer, it showed that women who walked 3-5 hours per week were 43% less likely to develop recurrent breast cancer and 50% less likely to die from breast cancer than women who engaged in less than 1 hour of physical activity per week9. I find it amazing that some patients will readily adhere to taking a drug for 5-10 years yet they are resistant to exercising.

The bottom line is that at every phase in cancer therapy, regular exercise is a powerful adjunct to conventional cancer therapy. It helps to prevent the development of cancer. It helps patients get through the aggressive cancer therapies necessary to kill the cancer. Regular exercise also helps to prevent the recurrence of cancer after a successfully eliminating the cancerous cells. More cancer patients need to be aware of the simple fact that regular exercise makes a big difference when fighting cancer.

A Naturopathic doctor that works with oncology will take the time to look at your case and help you effectively integrate exercise into your program. Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic to see how Naturopathic medicine can help you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:

1) Peters, C., et al. “Exercise, cancer and the immune response of monocytes.” Anticancer research 15.1 (1994): 175-179.

2) Mock, Victoria, et al. “Effects of exercise on fatigue, physical functioning, and emotional distress during radiation therapy for breast cancer.” Oncology nursing forum. Vol. 24. No. 6. 1997.

3) Burnham, Timothy R., and Anthony Wilcox. “Effects of exercise on physiological and psychological variables in cancer survivors.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2002).

4) Courneya, KERRY S. “Exercise in cancer survivors: an overview of research.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 35.11 (2003): 1846-1852.

5) Irwin, Melinda L., et al. “Randomized controlled trial of aerobic exercise on insulin and insulin-like growth factors in breast cancer survivors: the Yale Exercise and Survivorship study.” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 18.1 (2009): 306-313.

6) Irwin, Melinda L., et al. “Influence of pre-and postdiagnosis physical activity on mortality in breast cancer survivors: the health, eating, activity, and lifestyle study.” Journal of clinical oncology 26.24 (2008): 3958-3964.

7) Loprinzi, Paul D., et al. “Physical activity and the risk of breast cancer recurrence: a literature review.” Oncology nursing forum. Vol. 39. No. 3. Oncology Nursing Society, 2012.

8) Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group. “Relevance of breast cancer hormone receptors and other factors to the efficacy of adjuvant tamoxifen: patient-level meta-analysis of randomised trials.” The lancet 378.9793 (2011): 771-784.

9) Holmes, Michelle D., et al. “Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis.” Jama 293.20 (2005): 2479-2486.

Healthy lifestyle ‘slows cellular ageing’ September 25, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Aging, Alternative medicine, Dreamhealer, Energy Healing, exercise, Experiments, Healing, Health, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Research.
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Written by: Nick Collins

Healthy lifestyle changes such as eating whole foods and practising yoga could reverse the ageing of the body’s cells, a new study suggests.

Doctor Dreamhealer, Healer, Adam McLeod, DreamhealerPatients who adopted healthy diets, exercise regimes and “stress management” techniques such as meditation or yoga for five years developed younger-looking chromosomes.

The type of change seen in their chromosomes, the structures which house our genetic code, has previously been linked to a lower risk of age-related disease and greater life expectancy.

The findings, from a pilot study of prostate cancer patients, could equally apply to women and healthy men although larger studies are needed to confirm the results, researchers said.

They studied data on 35 patients who had a non-aggressive form of prostate cancer and had chosen to be regularly assessed by doctors rather than undergoing conventional treatment.

Ten of the men adopted a “lifestyle change intervention” which included eating a plant-based diet of whole foods, moderate exercise, stress management and regular group support classes, while the other 25 made no change to their lifestyle.

The scientists, from the University of California, San Francisco, examined changes in the men’s telomeres, structures which sit at the ends of chromosomes like the protective caps on the end of a shoelace.

Telomeres prevent the DNA within our chromosomes from being damaged, but as we grow older they become shorter and cells begin to age and die more rapidly.

Previous studies have linked the shortening of telomeres to a decrease in life expectancy and a greater risk of age-related diseases such as heart disease, vascular dementia, obesity, stroke, diabetes and various cancers.

But the new research found that in the group who adopted strict and comprehensive healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle, telomeres lengthened by an average of 10 per cent over five years.

The more positive changes the men made, the greater the increase in telomere length. In contrast, among those who did not alter their way of life, telomeres decreased in length by three per cent on average.

Although it is well known that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can result in a host of medical befits, the findings published in The Lancet Oncology journal, are the first evidence of such an effect on telomeres.

Prof Dean Ornish, who led the study, said: “The implications of this relatively small pilot study may go beyond men with prostate cancer.

“If validated by large-scale randomised controlled trials, these comprehensive lifestyle changes may significantly reduce the risk of a wide variety of diseases and premature mortality. Our genes, and our telomeres, are a predisposition, but they are not necessarily our fate.”

Dr Lynne Cox, a Biochemistry lecturer at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the study, said the findings “support the calls for adoption of and adherence to healthier lifestyles”.

It is “perhaps too soon to judge whether this increase in telomere length will correlate with increased longevity or healthspan”, she added.

Four lifestyle improvements which could lengthen telomeres

Diet

Participants adopted a diet high in whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains. They cut down on refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, and lowered their fat intake to less than 10 per cent of all the calories in their diet.

Exercise

The men were asked to undertake “moderate” levels of aerobic exercise for the duration of the study, for example walking for half an hour a day, six times per week.

Stress management

Exercises participants carried out to lower their stress levels were gentle yoga-based stretching routines, breathing exercises, meditation and “progressive relaxation”, a technique which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in turn.

Social support

The men were asked to attend one hour-long group “social support” session each week, led by a clinical psychologist.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10312716/Healthy-lifestyle-slows-cellular-ageing.html

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You’re What Kind of Doctor? July 20, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Dreamhealer, exercise, Experiments, Healing, Integrative Medicine, naturopathic, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy.
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adam dreamhealer

Article written by Dr. Michael Stanclift, N.D.

“Wait, you’re what kind of doctor? A nat-uro-pathic doctor? What’s that?”

I get this question all the time. It’s not so surprising when it comes from someone I meet in a coffee shop or on an airplane, but I still hear it from other doctors, too. In fact, it’s more surprising when someone (outside of Seattle or Portland) has actually heard of what I do. To be fair, I’d never heard of an audiologist until one moved in as a housemate.

My profession is rather small, and we’re yet to be licensed in every state. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are currently licensed to practice as medical professionals in 16 states, and two U.S. territories, and five provinces in Canada.

What we do probably wouldn’t make for a popular TV show like House or Grey’s Anatomy. Preventing heart disease and cancer through diet or helping someone break the pattern of insomnia is not nearly as exciting as rare diagnoses or ethically questionable emergency transplant surgeries. In fact, when some “alternative” health approach is portrayed on one of these shows, you can be fairly certain it’s why the patient is so ill. Ironic, considering the now-famous JAMA article reporting “medical treatment” as a leading cause of death in the United States.

When I say “naturopathic doctor,” to some folks it conjures up ideas of magic wands, potions, and Kramer’s holistic healer friend on Seinfeld. These sorts of clips (though hilarious!) highlight the misconceptions around what we do. Hopefully this article will help clarify what kind of training an ND gets and what they can do.

Licensed Naturopathic Doctors Have Scientific Medical Training:

Applicants to accredited naturopathic medical colleges need a bachelor’s degree and a competitive GPA in scientific prerequisites, just like applicants to “conventional” medical schools.

After admission, the course work of the first two years of naturopathic and “conventional” medical school is comparable both in subjects and in hours of training. We learn all the basic medical sciences like anatomy, pathology, and biochemistry. Unlike Kramer’s holistic healing friend, we learn to use the same labs, physical exams, and medical imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI) that hospitals and clinics utilize to diagnose diseases and monitor health. It’s pretty rare for me to have to break out the magic wand or have someone drink a cup of tea while wearing the pyramid hat!

Our clinical training is a bit different from “conventional” medical clerkships. As ND students, we spend all our clinical time in a family practice (outpatient) setting, under the supervision of an attending (usually ND) physician. Our training includes minor surgery, like removing a mole, but we don’t go into the major surgeries that happen in hospitals. Instead of rotating through a variety of medical specialties, we learn when and how to refer to specialists to diagnose or treat conditions beyond our scope, just like any other family doctor. There are few residencies available for NDs, and since all of our clinical time is spent in family medicine, we tend to go straight into private practice with other medical providers.

Depending on the state, our naturopathic medical license covers everything from dietary advice to pharmaceuticals and suturing wounds. For instance, in California my license is nearly identical to that of a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. In Washington and Oregon, the license covers a greater scope of practices and ND care is covered by nearly every insurance provider. Unfortunately, health insurance doesn’t cover ND services in every state we’re licensed to practice in, but our professional organization, the AANP, is working to change that.

Naturopathic Medicine Is Not the Same Thing as Homeopathy

Homeopathy means to give a medicine in a very small dose. Scientifically, we don’t know why it works, because the doses are so small. Naturopathic medicine is not how medicine is given specifically, but based on our six principles. Naturopathic medicine refers to an approach to treating people, and tends to favor natural and low-force interventions. Our treatments with patients might include dietary changes, supplementary nutrients, exercise, herbal medicine, pharmaceuticals or homeopathy. So homeopathy can be part of an ND’s treatment plan, but it’s not the only tool in the shed. That said, other medical providers may use homeopathy as well, and it doesn’t make them naturopathic doctors.

Naturopathic Doctors Work Alongside Medical Doctors

Some folks assume that NDs are against “conventional” medicine, but this isn’t true. Health care is best provided by a team, and NDs are only one part of the team. There are times when we shine, and times when specialists or other medical providers are best suited for the task at hand. We refer our patients to surgeons, cardiologists, and ERs when it’s clear their conditions are beyond of our scope of training.

Naturopathic Doctors and “Naturopaths” Are Different Things

This is probably one of the most confusing things in our field. Even in a state like California, where NDs are licensed as medical providers and the term “naturopathic doctor” is protected by law, people with questionable training can call themselves “naturopaths.” Someone operating as a “naturopath” can see clients as long as they don’t “practice medicine.” Luckily for patients, there are national and state professional associations for NDs, and departments in each state to check whether someone you’d like to see has passed their board exams and has a current license. Not every licensed ND will be a member of their professional organization (like me, since I live outside the U.S.), but they are a good place to start when looking for someone in your area.

Another thing patients need to look out for are people who advertise themselves as an ND (or NMD) without having a license. I’ve reported several people like this to California’s Naturopathic Medicine Committee in the last year. So the moral of the story is, check to see that your health care providers have current licenses issued by the state (they should also be displayed for you to see in their office).

What Makes Naturopathic Doctors Different

Our patients often tell us the face-to-face time we spend with them is a lot longer than other doctors they’ve seen. We spend that time getting to know each patient as a person. We ask about everything that’s going on with them physically, emotionally, and oftentimes spiritually. When making a specific recommendation or prescription, we spend time explaining treatment options and answering questions. We aim to teach our patients about their health, and how they can care for it.

Our treatments are advised using the therapeutic order, where we start by laying the basic foundations for healthy living, and use higher-force interventions (like specific nutrients, drugs and surgeries) as conditions become more severe. In this way, we also work with patients who haven’t developed a disease yet, and simply seek to improve their health whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually. We consider the term “health care” from its true meaning.

We know our patients are literally atoms, molecules, cells and organs, but we appreciate that they are so much more those physical components. We each exist uniquely in the world, with different values and priorities, and as NDs we believe our health care should reflect that.

So yeah, some of us are a little “out there,” and “touchy-feely.” But that’s not all that guides our practice. Remember, naturopathic doctors go to real medical school. We take realboard exams. Our “hippie” medicine works, and what we do is becoming less “alternative” and more “conventional” everyday.

Link to original article.

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Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized clinical trial June 27, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Dreamhealer, exercise, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Heart, Medication, naturopathic.
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Here is a recent randomized clinical trial that clearly demonstrated Naturopathic medicine can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Abstract:

Although cardiovascular disease may be partially preventable through dietary and lifestyle-based interventions, few individuals at risk receive intensive dietary and lifestyle counselling. We performed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of naturopathic care in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Results:

Of 246 participants randomly assigned to a study group, 207 completed the study. The characteristics of participants in both groups were similar at baseline. Compared with participants in the control group, at 52 weeks those in the naturopathic group had a reduced adjusted 10-year cardiovascular risk (control: 10.81%; naturopathic group: 7.74%; risk reduction −3.07% [95% confidence interval (CI) −4.35% to −1.78%], p < 0.001) and a lower adjusted frequency of metabolic syndrome (control group: 48.48%; naturopathic care: 31.58%; risk reduction −16.90% [95% CI −29.55% to −4.25%], p = 0.002). Our findings support the hypothesis that the addition of naturopathic care to enhanced usual care may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among those at high risk.

For those of you who wish to read the entire peer reviewed article, here is a direct link to the study:

Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized clinical trial

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Statin Benefits Questioned for Heart Disease Prevention June 8, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Dreamhealer, exercise, Government, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Heart, Medication.
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adam mcleod, dreamhealer

Cholesterol-lowering statins are heavily promoted for heart patients but research is calling into question their use as a preventive medicine.

Statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor) are among the widely used prescription drugs.

Since the drugs were first marketed 30 years ago in the U.S. for preventing a second heart attack or stroke in those who’ve already had one, there’s been a shift toward prescribing statins for otherwise healthy people in Canada and the U.S.

“These are patients who really haven’t had an event, a cardiovascular event, but they seem to be at high risk,” said pharmacy Prof. Muhammad Mamdani, who works at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

“You also get populations where people seem to be relatively healthy, their cholesterol levels aren’t that high, but for whatever reason, they are placed on a statin. That’s a patient population that is a lot more debatable and some practices may not be warranted.”

The medical community is debating the pros and cons of using statins for prevention as more independent research comes out on side-effects. This week, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested statins may be associated with an increase in musculoskeletal conditions and pain, especially in physically active individuals.

“If you look at all the studies that have ever been done with statins for primary prevention, so for people who have never had a heart attack or a stroke, if you give a statin to a patient for about five years we can reduce the chance of a person having a heart attack or a stroke by about one per cent,” said James McCormack, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of British Columbia.

Shifting focus from cholesterol numbers

Other potential side-effects include risk of Type 2 diabetes, reversible muscle damage and short-term kidney damage.

In Canada, as in the U.S., the majority of statin prescriptions go to primary prevention patients, not people with established heart disease, said Dr. Lee Green, a professor and chair of the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta who has surveyed doctors on their prescribing.

“It seems we need to retrain physicians, and the public, to focus on actual risks, not on a convenient number like cholesterol level,” Green said in an email.

In March, epidemiologist Colin Dormuth, an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology, pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, looked at the use of high potency statins and rates of admission for acute kidney injury.

“There are a lot of patients out there taking the drugs right now who don’t have a history of heart disease who are hoping to prevent heart disease and in all likelihood will derive absolutely no benefit,” Dormuth said.

In medical circles, discussions continue. A review published in January by British researchers who combed through trials sponsored by drug companies concluded that “statins are likely to be cost-effective in primary prevention.”

People like Jim Matheson, 62, of Toronto, are left to decide with their doctor.

“Within five years he told me that I had a 20 per cent chance of either having a stroke or a heart attack,” Matheson recalled. “He offered me the pill but I didn’t want to take it.”

Instead, Matheson opted to eat healthier foods and exercise more. His brother on the other hand decided to go on statins.

“I have sent him, probably for every article he has sent me on how good they are I have sent him 20 that says how bad they are. We’re still having the dialogue,” Matheson said.

“We’ll see who lasts longer,” he quipped.

Article retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/05/statins-cholesterol-heart-prevention.html

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Paralyzed Patient Moves Prosthetic Arm with her Mind May 7, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Dreamhealer, exercise, Experiments, Health, Research.
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adam the healer

Experimental robotic technology may also someday help people with amputations as well, experts hope.

The technology, known as brain-computer (or brain-machine) interface, is in its infancy as far as human use—though scientists have been studying the concept for years. But experts say that people with paralysis or amputations could be using the technology at home within the next decade.

It basically boils down to people using their thoughts to control a robot arm that then performs a desired task, like grasping and moving a cup. That’s done via tiny electrode “grids” implanted in the brain that read the movement signals firing from individual nerve cells, then translate them to the robot arm.

“We have the ability to capture information from the brain and use it to control the robotic arm,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, who presented her team’s latest findings on the technology Tuesday, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, in New Orleans.

However, she stressed, “we still have a ton to learn.”

Right now, the robot arm is confined to the lab. After getting their electrodes implanted, study patients come to the lab to work with the robotic limb under the researchers’ supervision. So far, Tyler-Kabara and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have tested the approach in one patient. Researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I., have done it in a handful of others.

One of the big questions, Tyler-Kabara said, is “how much control is enough?” That is, how well does the mind-controlled arm need to work to bring real everyday benefits to people?

At the meeting on Tuesday, Tyler-Kabara presented an update on how her team’s patient is faring. The 53-year-old woman had long-standing quadriplegia due to a disease called spinocerebellar degeneration—where, for unknown reasons, the connections between the brain and muscles slowly deteriorate.

Tyler-Kabara performed the surgery, where two tiny electrode grids were placed in the area of the brain that would normally control the movement of the right hand and arm. The electrode points penetrate the brain’s surface by about one-sixteenth of an inch.

“The idea is pretty scary,” Tyler-Kabara acknowledged. But her team’s patient had no complications from the surgery and left the hospital the next day. There’ve been no longer-term problems either, she said—though, in theory, there would be concerns about infection or bleeding over the long haul.

The surgery left the patient with two terminals that protrude through her skull. The researchers used those to connect the implanted electrodes to a computer, where they could see brain cells firing when the patient thought about moving her hand.

She was quickly able to master simple movements with the robotic arm, like high-fiving the researchers. And after six months, she was performing “10-degrees-of-freedom” movements, Tyler-Kabara reported at the meeting.

That includes not only moving the arm, but also flexing and rotating the wrist, grasping objects and affecting several different hand “postures.” She has accomplished feats like feeding herself chocolate.

The researchers initially used a computer in training sessions with the patient, but after that the robot arm is directly linked to the electrodes—so there is no need for “computer assistance,” according to Tyler-Kabara.

Still, before the technology can ultimately be used at home, she said, researchers have to devise a “fully implanted” wireless system for controlling the robot arm.

Another expert talked about the new technology.

“This is one more encouraging step toward developing something practical that people can use in their daily lives,” said Dr. Robert Grossman, a neurosurgeon at Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, who was not involved in the research.

It’s hard to put a time line on it all, Grossman said, since technological advances could changes things. He also noted that several research groups are looking at different approaches to brain-computer interfaces.

One, Grossman said, is to do it noninvasively, through electrodes placed on the scalp.

Study author Tyler-Kabara said that noninvasive approach has met with success in helping people perform simple tasks, like moving a cursor on a computer screen. “But I don’t think it will ever be good enough for performing complicated tasks,” she said, noting that it can’t work as precisely as the implanted electrodes.

A next step, Tyler-Kabara said, is to develop a “two-way” electrode system that stimulates the brain to generate sensation—with the aim of helping people adjust the robot’s grip strength.

She said there is also much to learn about which people will ultimately be good candidates for the technology. There may, for example, be some brain injuries that prevent people from benefiting. Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The research is being funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh.

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Article retrieved from: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-04-paralyzed-patient-prosthetic-arm-mind.html?utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer:%2BWardPlunet%2Bon%2Btwitter&buffer_share=1f91a

Intention Heals February 7, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Books, Dreamhealer, Energy Healing, exercise, Healing, Health, Integrative Medicine, Meditation, naturopathic.
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Our thoughts are energy. Intention is focused thought which affects all physical matter. Once you decide to take control of your mind which in turn regulates your body, then you will be in control.

My studies in University have shown me what science is beginning to discover about the biological and chemical correlates of our thoughts and intentions. The carrier or dynamic at work is energy. The beauty of self-empowerment is that you are making this discovery yourself, as you learn to activate and maximize your own innate energy abilities to create your reality of health and well-being.
Taken from my fourth book Intention Heals.
http://dreamhealer.com/books-dvds/

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The Healing Influence of Your Intentions January 8, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Alternatives, Dreamhealer, Energy Healing, exercise, Healing, Health, Integrative Medicine, Meditation, naturopathic.
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Recent findings in molecular biology show that your own intentions directly affect your health by their powerful influence on your metabolism.

So how can you use this knowledge to your advantage? The first step is to recognize your desire for change. Your mind and body will recognize whether or not you are ready and willing to make changes. If you truly are ready, your cells will interpret your intentions to heal as genuine. If your intentions are not sincere they will be viewed and dismissed by your body as background noise.

If you are attempting to feed yourself the same old unproductive thought patterns and just sugarcoat them, think again. For instance, if you are telling yourself that in spring you will start an exercise program, what you are really saying is that these changes are not important enough for you to start now. You are attempting to fool your own cells, and that will never work. They are too smart for that. Who knows you better than yourself? You can’t fool yourself, but you can change yourself.

What is most amazing about your brain is its adaptability. It conforms to your own thought processes through expectations, and is always rebuilding, repairing, and thereby recreating itself. A thought is translated in your brain and your body reacts to that thought. What you think is what you get.

Understand how your environment influences you. Become proactive in how you interpret events, as how you are influenced is up to you. Your perception of this influence is ultimately what affects you, rather than the events themselves. It is important to take in only information that is helpful to you in your healing.

Your sincere intention must be your singular focus. Become self-reflective and totally honest. Focus on how you think, understanding how each thought flows into another thought, and how your thoughts interact with one another. Intention helps to align your conscious awareness with your subconscious thoughts and beliefs. This makes it possible to get every cell working more effectively towards the same goal of health and healing. Your conscious intention must be synchronized, or aligned with your subconscious intention.

Ask yourself, “What do I want?” If your answer is that you want to be healthy, say it aloud. Shout, “I want to be healthy!” Let it resonate within you that this is your intention. This is what you expect. Focus on the expectation that this will happen. Your perception of outcome makes a huge difference. Change any habits or patterns that are not in synchronicity with your healing program. Absorb only information that is helpful to you. Let yourself know that you are seriously focused on the path toward change. Then use your own intentions to give you that extra edge in your healing.

Article retrieved from Examinerhttp://www.examiner.com/article/the-healing-influence-of-your-intentions

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Legumes May Aid Glycemic Control, Cut Lipids October 23, 2012

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Alternatives, Diabetes, Diet, Dreamhealer, Energy Healing, exercise, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Integrative Medicine, Longevity, naturopathic, Research, Skeptics, vitamins.
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By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: October 22, 2012

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Eating more legumes such as beans and chickpeas helped improve  glycemic control and lowered total cholesterol and triglycerieds in patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

In a randomized controlled trial, patients who ate at least an additional cup of legumes per day had a greater reduction in HbA1c than patients who increased their insoluble fiber consumption for 3 months (-0.5% versus -0.3%, P<0.001), David Jenkins, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto, and colleagues reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) have been shown to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, and legumes — such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils — were among the first foods recognized to have low GI values.

They’ve been recommended in many nutrition therapy guidelines for diabetes, but their effects on glycemic control and other parameters still remain controversial, researchers say.

So Jenkins and colleagues randomized 121 patients with type 2 diabetes to one of two diets for 3 months: a low-GI legume diet that required them to eat at least a cup of legumes per day, or to a diet that increased their intake of insoluble fiber via consumption of whole wheat products.

The primary outcome was change in HbA1c, with a secondary endpoint of calculated coronary heart disease risk.

The difference they found in HbA1c reduction remained significant after adjustment for body weight change, they reported (P=0.005).

In terms of cardiac parameters, they found that the legume diet significantly lowered mean total cholesterol (-8 mg/dL, P<0.001) and triglycerides (-22 mg/dL, P<0.001), without any changes in HDL cholesterol levels.

The insoluble fiber diet increased average HDL cholesterol levels (2 mg/dL, P=0.004), although the reasons for this are unclear, given that such an association hasn’t been seen before in the literature, the researchers noted.

And the legume diet reduced blood pressure and heart rate relative to the high insoluble fiber diet, they added.

Thus, the legume diet overall reduced heart risk significantly more than the insoluble fiber diet (-0.8%, P=0.003), and the researchers concluded that incorporating legumes into a low-GI diet can help improve glycemic control and reduce heart risk.

In an accompanying editorial, Marion Franz, MS, RD, questioned whether the modest benefits come from the dietary components or from a reduced energy intake overall.

She warned that low-GI diet has been controversial, with some smaller studies showing a benefit in terms of improved glycemic control but larger studies showing no such benefit.

Franz conceded that legumes are part of a healthy diet for diabetics and the general population, but “whether people with diabetes can eat the amount necessary to improve glycemic control is debatable, and, if legumes do improve glycemia, is it because of their low GI or high soluble fiber content?”

She concluded that nutrition therapy for diabetes is effective but “just as there is no one medication or insulin regimen appropriate for all persons with diabetes, there is no one nutrition therapy intervention.”

Action Points

  • Eating more legumes such as beans and chickpeas may help improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, a study has found.
  • Note that the legume diet significantly lowered mean total cholesterol and triglycerides, without any changes in HDL cholesterol levels.

Article retrieved from: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/35491

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