Natural Solutions to Pain Relief

Written by Joanne Taylor

Natural Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic
By Case Adams


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Tips for Maintaining your weight for 2018

Written by Joanne Taylor

By Nutrition Consultant, Jess Robinson


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When I tackled the Junk in my Emotional Closet....

Written by Joanne Taylor

When I Tackled The Junk In My Emotional Closet, I Found My Voice
By Anna Celestino


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The Toxins in our Brain and the Essential Oils that can Actually Help

Written by Joanne Taylor

The Toxins In Our Brain and the Essential Oils That Can Actually Help

By Jodi Cohen

Just like other organs in the body, the brain needs to regularly purge toxins, such as viruses and heavy metals. It is during our hours of sleep that our brain can unplug and detoxify, as it is constantly busy and engaged during our waking hours. While we sleep, the metabolic activity of our brain is about 10 times more active.
The cerebrospinal fluid moves quickly across the brain tissue in a sweeping motion around the neurons, removing toxins and delivering oxygen and nutrients, and then exits along the veins. Research shows that the neurons in the brain actually shrink by about 60 percent to make room for this cerebrospinal fluid to move through our brain.
How Toxins Accumulate in the Brain
Toxins, such as heavy metals, pathogens, infections, and viruses, can accumulate in the brain from microbes in the mouth that don’t physiologically belong there. For example, chronically inflamed tonsils or sinuses, dental amalgams, infected root canals, gums, or cavities in the jaw bone create toxins that then need to drain from the brain down the lymph channels on the side of the neck.
Unfortunately, the lymphatic system needs to be functioning optimally in order for toxins to be removed from the brain.
If you think of the body like a hydraulics system where congested tissue downstream prevents optimal flow upstream, congested lymphatic vessels in the neck can impede drainage of toxins from the brain.
If lymph flow is congested, these toxins—including environmental toxins, heavy metals, infections, or pathogens—can linger near and migrate into nerve endings. From there, the toxins can move into the nerves toward the brain stem where they can impact the face and other brain nerves.
Heavy metals and sulphur toxins have a high affinity to nerves. Because of the immense networking of sensory nerves and the nerves of the autonomic nervous system, toxins can be quickly absorbed in massive amounts.
Vagus Nerve Toxicity
One of the biggest dangers to our health is the contamination of the vagus nerve, one of the most important channels for sending messages to and from the brain to the body. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body and serves as the master controller of our immune cells, organs, and stem cells along with your mood, digestion, memory, cognitive function, blood pressure, and many other aspects of your health.
The vagus nerve is one of two extremely long cranial nerves that start at the base of the brain and travel down the neck on both sides of the body (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone). “Vagus” is Latin for “wandering,” and as the name implies, the vagus nerve travels through the body, networking the brain with every organ of digestion along with the lungs, heart, spleen, intestines, liver, and kidneys. It also connects with a range of other nerves that are involved in speech, eye contact, facial expressions, and even your ability to tune in to other people’s voices.
It is an extremely important channel for communication between the brain and body and plays a critical role in the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and health. For example, it is the vagus nerve that releases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which signals the heart rate to slow down.
Poor health can often be traced to an infected or poisoned vagus nerve, as it impacts the whole enteric nervous system.
Vagus Nerve Toxicity Impedes Health
A toxic vagus nerve can impede all downstream function of the digestive system, leading to malabsorption, constipation, or leaky gut. Malabsorption can then contribute to the accumulation of large-molecular matter in the lymph, which can further trigger allergic immune responses and intolerances. As the vagus nerve controls motility in the digestive process, a toxic vagus nerve can lead to poor or misregulated intestinal motility, contributing not only to constipation, but also to imbalances in the gut microbiome, that can contribute to SIBO, IBS, and candida overgrowth.
Similarly, since the vagus nerve signals the release of acetylcholine to slow down heart rate, a toxic vagus nerve can lead to cardiac issues. Root canals are often correlated with heart attacks for this very reason. The communication from the gut to the nervous system and the brain is also compromised, impairing the immune system and contributing to autoimmune reactions.
Vagus Nerve Toxicity Contributes to Nutrient Malabsorption
A correlation exists between malabsorption of nutrients and an infection of the vagus nerve. If the parasympathetic state isn’t triggered, insufficient stomach acid is released and nutrients are not properly broken down and assimilated. For example, proteins are not split or properly absorbed in sufficient amounts. Not enough bile flow prevents the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. If the excretion of pancreatic enzymes is insufficient, food is not digested properly, and this leads to the growth of pathogenic microbes further down in the colon.
Essential Oils to Support Brain Detoxification
Movement of fluid is critical to the detoxification of the brain, especially the systems that are composed of and transport fat through the body, namely the lymphatic system, which helps transport fats and fat-soluble vitamins throughout the body - and the brain, which is composed of roughly 60 percent fat.
It therefore makes sense that fat-soluble essential oils can serve as powerful tools in accessing these systems, especially when fat digestion or assimilation is compromised, as is often the case when gall bladders are removed or damaged.
Essential oils can be used to support sleep, vagus nerve signalling to help heal a toxic nerve, and lymphatic drainage.
For sleep, you can consider blends that are relaxing like lavender, spikenard, or valerian root. Stimulatory essential oils can be applied to the vagus nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone) to activate its downstream parasympathetic signals. Frankincense can be applied along the sides of the neck to help open up and support lymphatic flow.
www.elephantjournal.com


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How to Help Mental Disorders with Nutrition

Written by Joanne Taylor

How To Help Heal Mental Disorders With Nutrition
By Dr Joseph Mercola

Can you use specific nutrients to improve your mental health? Yes, you can. William Walsh, Ph.D., president of the non-profit Walsh Research Institute in Naperville, Illinois, and author of “Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain”, specialises in nutrient-based psychiatry and nutritional medicine.
He and I are both fellows of the American College of Nutrition. He has designed nutritional programs for Olympic athletes, NBA players and major league baseball players. More importantly, he’s spent a great deal of his career seeking to improve mental health through nutrition.
“I started off in the hard science. I was an experimentalist,” Walsh says. “I worked, in the beginning, in the nuclear field … with places like Los Alamos, the Institute for Atomic Research and University of Michigan Research Institute. I wound up at Argonne National Laboratory. While working as a scientist there, I started a volunteer project at the local prison, Stateville Penitentiary.
“I eventually got really interested in why people were violent … [W]hen we started the ex-offender program, I got to meet the families that had produced a criminal. I found some wonderful families, caring and capable families, that have other children who turned out just fine …
“I began to realise we didn’t understand why people had bad behaviour. We then asked the question … Could it be something related to their brain chemistry or their body chemistry?… I started doing lab studies of blood, urine and hair. I found out that they were very, very different from the rest of the population. That’s how I got started.”
Biochemistry and the Criminal Brain
Walsh received valuable direction after meeting Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, who was doing work on heavy metals and schizophrenia.
As it turns out, levels of metals, including copper, zinc and manganese, were all abnormal in criminals compared to the general population.
Walsh discovered four biochemical types of violent people. One of these was the sociopaths, all of whom had severe zinc deficiency, pyrrole disorder, low blood spermine and undermethylation. In all, it’s an unusual combination of bad biochemistry.
A collaborative investigation with Pfeiffer resulted in nutrient therapies for each of the behaviour types.
Pyrrole disorder is a stress condition commonly found in brain disorders. A urine test developed by niacin expert Abram Hoffer and Pfeiffer is the gold standard test for this genetic condition, which involves altered biochemistry in your bone marrow and spleen.
People who have pyrrole disorder may produce five to 10 times more pyrrole than normal — a by-product of natural reactions, like the formation of haemoglobin.
While harmless in and of itself, pyrrole bind to and draw out anything that is an aldehyde, such as B6. It also sharply depletes zinc.
As a result, people with pyrrole disorder have exceptionally low levels of B6 and zinc which can have serious effects on brain function, affecting memory and ability to read for example. B6 deficiency is quite common among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well.
The Earlier the Treatment the Better the Results
“Eventually, [Pfeiffer] and I jointly evaluated 500 patients, mostly violent adults and violent children. We got our best results with the kids, young people with the same kind of chemistry, who were mostly very violent,” Walsh says.
“I have to say we didn’t really succeed in finding a way to help the adult criminals. They would get better for six to eight months, and then I’d find out they were back in prison. That had a lot to do with the fact that they were abusing alcohol and illegal drugs … At about 1990, we decided to focus on children …
“It’s been very successful. If we can get a child before their lives are ruined, before they pass puberty perhaps, our success rate [is] very high … The doctors report a striking improvement in behaviour. Most of these kids, of course, [are] on drugs, everything from Ritalin to powerful antipsychotic medications. Usually when we’re finished and [have] balanced their chemistry, they can wean off the medication. They usually are fine without it …”
Nutrients Involved in the Synthesis or Functioning of Neurotransmitters Dictate Mental Function
Later on Walsh expanded to also include children with autism and ADHD. Fond of numbers, Walsh began amassing enormous databases.
At present, he has one of the world’s largest chemistry databases for autism, depression and behaviour disorders.
“When you look at these millions of chemical analyses of blood, urine and tissues, it’s obvious that there are very great differences,” he says. “I found that for mental disorders, about six or seven chemical imbalances dominate mental function. There are hundreds and hundreds of important nutrients in the body, but in the brain, there are about six or seven that [seem] to dominate everything. Eventually, I found out why …
“[T]hese are the nutrient factors that are either involved in synthesis of a neurotransmitter or the functioning of a neurotransmitter. They include methylation — undermethylation or overmethylation. In our database, 70 percent of all humans in the United States have normal, typical methylation; 22 percent are undermethylated … 8 percent are overmethylated.
“About 70 percent of all people who have a mental disorder have one of these methylation disorders. The symptoms are completely different, and the treatment they need is completely different. We also found that most people [who have mental disorders] are depleted or deficient in zinc. That’s the most common [deficiency] we see …
Virtually everyone with a mental disorder seems to need zinc and improves on it.”
Copper Overload Linked to Autism, Schizophrenia and Postpartum Depression
Copper is another important trace metal, as it plays a distinct role in the synthesis of norepinephrine, a major neurotransmitter. Divalent copper (Cu2+) is a dramatic factor in the ratio of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Animal studies have shown that when animals are starved of copper until they only have 25 percent of the normal amount of copper in their blood, the ratio between norepinephrine and dopamine is changed by more than a factor of three. Most of us have the ability to homeostatically control copper. However, some do not have that ability.
“It all has to do with an enzyme called metallothionein that is genetically expressed. Some people don’t have that system working,” Walsh explains. “These persons have copper overload, which we find virtually in every autistic patient, most patients with schizophrenia, and almost everyone with postpartum depression.
“That’s a recipe for very high norepinephrine — which means anxiety and depression — and low dopamine (a feel-good neurotransmitter), which is a hallmark of ADHD … a nasty combination.
“We find the sociopaths innately have low copper levels. People who have undermethylation tend to have low normal copper levels …
The good news for mental disorders is that there are more than 100 really important biochemicals in the body, but only a few dominate mental disorders.
“If we had to do lab testing for 100 of them, it would be really difficult. If we had to adjust the levels of these and normalise 100 different factors, it would make life very difficult. But we found that by just focusing on maybe seven or eight nutrient factors, we could help 95 percent of the patients we see with nutrient therapy.”
How to Measure Your Zinc and Copper Status
Zinc experts typically agree that plasma zinc provides the most accurate measurement. The taste test has some minor value but is among the least reliable. To accurately measure copper, serum copper is the way to go, and most labs throughout the world provide good copper assays.
Walsh recommends doing a ceruloplasmin test at the same time, because then you can determine how much free radical copper you have, which gives you a good indication of your level of oxidative stress. A high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) test would also be useful as a marker of inflammation.


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Get the most out of your massageā€¦

Written by Joanne Taylor

 

Get the most out of your massage…



• Keep hydrated! Drink water throughout the day in the lead up to your appointment. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

• If you need to eat, eat light, have a snack or piece of fruit. it is not ideal to eat a heavy meal right before your massage.

• Wear comfortable clothing. This is easier to slip in and out of before and after your massage.


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Signs you may need a massage!

Written by Joanne Taylor


We all know that massage therapy feels good and is a healthy reward for our overworked bodies. But, how do you know when you need a massage? Here is a little info to help you out.

  • You haven’t had one for months (or even years): Massage works best when it is received on a regular basis. Most massage therapists would recommend receiving a massage 1 a month for regular maintenance and even more often if you have an injury you are trying to rehabilitate.
  • You are in training: Weather in Brisbane means races, biking, hiking, kayaking, water skiing, and anything else you can fit into our nice weather. When you challenge your body physically, you should be treating your muscles to massage therapy. A good remedial massage therapist can help keep you active and injury free.
  • You have a pain in the neck (or back, or shoulder, or hip…..): Pain is your body’s way of communicating to you that something is wrong. The busier we get, the more we tend to ignore our body’s signals. You don’t want to ignore your pain or your injury could get worse. Make an appointment with a remedial massage therapist and they can help relieve your pain.
  • You’ve been getting headaches: When the muscles around your shoulders, back and head get tight, tension headaches can begin. Regular maintenance massage can relieve these tension headaches and help promote healthy posture. Massage therapy has been shown to provide some relief for migraine sufferers as well.
  • You don’t have full range of motion: Maybe you can’t turn your head/neck as far as you once could. Maybe you can’t lift your arm all the way up. Maybe you haven’t been able to touch your toes for a while. Whatever your case may be, if you have muscular restrictions, massage therapy may be able to help.
  • You don’t get enough sleep: It is amazing how many of my massage clients answer that they sleep ‘poorly’ . Sleep is incredibly important! We recover and heal when we sleep. Massage therapy helps promote healthy sleep habits by promoting relaxation.
  • You are stressed out: Let’s face it, most of us have a little more stress in our lives than what is probably healthy. One of the best ways to decrease levels of stress hormones and increase levels of endorphins is to get a massage. Massage therapy starts working immediately to help you relax.

Massage therapy = less pain, more function, better sleep, and less stress.
It’s a no-brainer.

 


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What are Essential Oils?

Written by Joanne Taylor

What is an Essential Oil?

If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

But what exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for applications inclusion in aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers.


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Shoulder stretches

Written by Joanne Taylor

Most of us sit for long periods of time in front of the computer, tablet or phone...here are 14 Simple Stretches for Tight Shoulders

You probably don’t notice it right away. It might creep up after you've been sitting at your desk for hours, chipping away at your daily to-dos. Or perhaps it's because you always carry your backpack on your right side or take calls by squeezing your phone between your shoulder and ear.

Whatever the reason, sooner or later it hits you: Your shoulders are scrunched, your neck hurts, and your muscles feel tight.


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Ice V Heat

Written by Joanne Taylor

A quick guide that explains when to ice, when to heat, when not to, and why.

There is a lot of confusion about this issue. It’s a shame because icing and heating — cryotherapy and thermotherapy — are rational, cheap self-treatment options with minimal risks. 

What are ice and heat for?..............Ice is for injuries, and heat is for muscles. Roughly.

The majority of icing is done for minor pain control, and there’s really no problem with that.
Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen. The inflammatory process is a healthy, normal, natural process … that also happens to be incredibly painful and more biologically stubborn than it needs to be. Icing is mostly just a mild, drugless way of dulling the pain of inflammation.


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