KEEPING YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY - SEPTEMBER 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 6

 

Volume 10, Issue 6

September 2018

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

You've likely heard that the Canadian population (and the populations of many other countries) has been aging for some time now and will continue to age over the next few decades. It's generally nice to know we're living longer, as long as we can stay healthy. An extremely important aspect of our health is brain health. Probably the biggest fear these days is of losing our cognitive functioning as we grow older. The good news is that it's never too early or too late to improve our brain health. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

How to Keep Your Brain Healthy

It's only fairly recently that the neuroplasticity of the brain has been understood - see our newsletter of October 2015. The brain is able to reorganize pathways, create new connections and even build new neurons throughout its entire lifetime. It is not at all the fixed structure it was believed to be until recently.

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There are many things we can do to help keep our brains healthy:

Get mental stimulation. Research has shown that using your brain stimulates new connections between nerve cells and may help the brain generate new cells, and building up a functional reserve that provides a hedge against future cell loss. Any mentally stimulating activity should help, e.g. read, take courses, try word puzzles or math problems. Activities that require manual dexterity, as well as mental efforts, such as drawing, painting, or crafts are very helpful.

Get physical exercise. Regular exercise increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain responsible for thought. Exercise results in the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells (synapses). Exercise also lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, helps blood sugar balance and reduces mental stress, all of which can help your brain as well as your heart.

Get quality sleep. The brain does not shut off when we're asleep. Much of the work going on while you sleep involves consolidating the learning that took place during the day. If you do not sleep properly, you not only lose the benefit of your learning experiences, but you will also not learn as well the following day. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to benefit fully and perform at their cognitive peak. See our June 2018 newsletter on sleep.

Improve your diet. Good nutrition can help your mind as well as your body. For example, people who eat a Mediterranean style diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils (olive oil), and plant sources of protein are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia. Brain-healthy foods include:

  • Blueberries help to protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may reduce the effects of age-related cognitive decline. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.
  • Wild salmon, and other fish, such as herring and sardines, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are necessary for brain function. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances.
  • Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, which protects against cognitive decline as we get older. 
  • Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. The monounsaturated fat in avocados contributes to healthy blood flow which results in a healthy brain.
  • Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice can reduce the risk of heart disease; the improved blood flow benefits the brain. Note: If you're gluten sensitive, avoid wheat and other grains containing gluten.
  • Freshly brewed tea contains a modest amount of caffeine which, when used judiciously, can boost brain power by enhancing memory, focus and mood. Tea also has powerful antioxidants, which promote healthy blood flow. Bottled or powdered teas are not recommended (the tea must be freshly brewed), but tea bags are fine.
  • Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants, and includes natural stimulants (including caffeine) which enhance focus, concentration and stimulate the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. One half to one ounce a day is all you need; more is not better!

Avoid tobacco in all its forms.

Protect your head. Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, increase the risk of cognitive impairment.

Build social networks. Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.

Meditate. Research shows that meditation improves concentration and memory. Studies have also tracked the growth in important areas of the brain associated with intelligent thinking over time as study participants practiced meditation. Meditation helps calm the mind.

Manage stress well. Avoid long-term chronic stress (meditation, physical activity and strong social ties are helpful). Stress deliberately prevents good learning. The stress response prioritizes immediate information and actually shortens attention span.

Don't abuse alcohol. Excessive drinking impairs cognitive function.

 

References

  1. 12 ways to keep your brain young. June 2006; updated January 16, 2018. health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young, accessed July 24, 2018.
  2. Roche B. 10 ways to improve your brain health. July 17, 2014. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/iq-boot-camp/201407/10-ways-improve-your-brain-health, Accessed July 24, 2018.
  3. Sorgen C. Eat smart for a healthier brain. webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain#1 Accessed August 30, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that would help you to maximize your brain health. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Blood Pressurex
  • CoQ10
  • Ginkgo & Hawthorn
  • Grapine
  • Super Omega 3
  • Vitamin D3
Milk Thistle

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

“Will I ever be able to dance at my niece’s wedding?" I asked myself. My feet are cramping and I cannot stand to wear shoes. I happened to have an appointment with Ramila and Megs on the day before the wedding. It seems I had been sensitive to magnesium all along. One desensitization treatment and Voila! I was able to dance the evening away! Thank you much Ramila and Megs.

-Johanne, Ottawa

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO SOFT DRINKS - AUGUST 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 5

 

Volume 10, Issue 5

August 2018

Healthy Alternatives to Soft Drinks

I hope you're enjoying a safe, healthy summer! One thing we tend to do more of in summer that isn't so healthy is drink soft drinks. Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking soft drinks on your waistline and your teeth. However, there are far more health risks than many of us may realize.

Of course, it's very important to stay well-hydrated, especially in the hot weather, and there are healthy cold and hot drinks we'll also discuss. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

The many reasons drinking soft drinks is bad for your health

  • Soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar. A 20 ounce can of (regular) Coca-Cola has the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories - empty calories with no nutritional value. It would take the average adult over one hour of walking to burn off the 240 calories.
  • The high levels of sugar in soft drinks place a lot of stress on your pancreas, potentially leaving it unable to keep up with the body's need for insulin. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%.
  • Similarly, drinking one or more soft drinks per day may increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and heart disease. In the Framingham study of over 9,000 participants, those who consumed one or more soft drinks per day over a four year period had a 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those consuming less than one soft drink daily.
  • Drinking soft drinks changes your metabolism. In one study, participants drank 140 grams of sugar every day for four weeks (less than two 20 ounce cans of Coke). Their metabolism changed during that time making it more difficult for them to burn fat and lose weight.
  • Daily soft drinks and other sugar sweetened drinks are linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In one study, 2,634 individuals completed a CT scan to measure the amount of fat in their liver. There was a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened drink per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Soft drinks increase the risk of obesity in children. Each additional soft drink or other sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese.
  • Diet soft drinks contain artificial sweeteners. Opting for diet soft drinks may lower your calorie intake, but artificial sweeteners are linked to many illnesses including cancer.
  • Diet soft drinks do not help you lose weight. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet soft drinks a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight.
  • Diet soft drinks are linked with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and dementia, as well as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
  • The many soft drinks that contain caffeine dehydrate - they are diuretics. When the body's cells are dehydrated, they have difficulty absorbing nutrients, and it is also more difficult for the body to eliminate waste.
  • The caramel colouring in colas is linked to cancer. The brown colouring is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulphites under high pressure and temperatures, not from caramelized sugar. These chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), which, in government-conducted studies, caused lung, liver and thyroid cancer and leukemia in laboratory mice and rats.
  • Soft drink cans are lined with BPA (bis-phenol A), which has been linked to a wide range of health problems from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems.
  • The acid in soft drinks wears away dental enamel. Drinking soft drinks regularly causes plaque to build up on the teeth and can lead to cavities and gum disease.
  • Soft drinks deplete your mineral levels. Soft drinks that contain phosphoric acid remove much-needed calcium from your bones. A study of several thousand men and women at Tufts University found that women who drank three or more cola-based soft drinks per day had almost 4% lower bone mineral density in their hips; the researchers controlled for their calcium and vitamin D intake.
  • Soft drinks have been linked to asthma. A study done in South Australia of almost 17,000 participants aged 16 years and older, showed high levels of soda consumption were positively associated with asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
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Healthy alternatives to soft drinks

  1. Water. Many people live in a state of chronic, low-level dehydration that can affect every part of their health including cognitive performance and mental health. If you're a soft drink addict and find it difficult to switch to water, try sparkling water. If you prefer drinking flavoured beverages, try infusing drinking water with a slice of lemon, lime, orange or other fresh fruit, or combinations of fresh fruit. To infuse water, you can try an infusion bottle, or simply make up a pitcher of water plus your choice of fruit (thinly sliced) and chill it in the refrigerator for four hours or overnight for a refreshing treat.
  2. Green tea is one of the best beverages for cancer prevention, and also improves artery function, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Note that adding milk (either cow's milk or soy milk) has been found to dramatically reduce the availability of the antioxidants in tea. Adding lemon, on the other hand, increases levels of antioxidants.
  3. Hibiscus tea was found to be the highest in antioxidants, in a study of 283 beverages. Hibiscus tea can be quite tart. Watermelon and lime can be added to create an interesting flavour combination.
  4. Water with apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for many ailments. There are many health benefits of consuming vinegar with a meal, including a reduction in the spike in blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides. It also increases the feeling of being full after a meal. Vinegar has also been found to reduce body weight and body fat mass in a recent Japanese study.
  5. White tea is the least processed (followed by green, then oolong, then black). White tea has a light, delicate flavour. Plain white tea doesn't have as high a level of antioxidants as green tea, but when combined with lemon, the level of antioxidants increased to a much higher level than green tea with lemon.

I hope you enjoy these healthy alternatives to soft drinks as well as Nature's Sunshine products recommended below

 

References


  1. McFarland E. 21 ways drinking soda is bad for your health. Food and Health July 25, 2016, foodrevolution.org/blog/category/blog/food-and-health/ Accessed July 4, 2018.
  2. Ten reasons to avoid soda (& how to kick the habit). Updated April 19, 2018, wellnessmama.com/379/avoid-soda/ Accessed July 17, 2018.
  3. Calderone J. The mounting evidence against diet sodas. May 24, 2017, consumerreports.org/soda/mounting-evidence-against-diet-sodas/ Accessed July 17, 2018.
  4. Mercola J. Give up soda. January 10, 2018, articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/01/10/drinking-soda-health-risks.aspx Accessed July 17, 2018.
  5. The 5 healthiest beverages you should be drinking now. foodrevolution.org/blog/healthiest-beverages/ Accessed July 4, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that would give you healthy substitutes for soft drinks. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Chlorophyll, Liquid (mix with water)
  • Solstic Energy (one per day is a healthy alternative to popular energy drinks)
  • Solstic Nutrition (a delicious multi-vitamin/mineral supplement drink mix; take one per day)
Milk Thistle

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

Ramila created a nutritional plan for me. She also taught me how to balance out my nutritional needs and what kinds of foods eat and to avoid. I started seeing major differences in my body and overall health in just 3 weeks. I had more energy, my headaches were fewer to none, and my feet and joints didn’t hurt as much. I stuck to the health plan and went from a size 15 to now a size 9. I have lost 40 lbs.

-RG

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

THE 2018 DIRTY DOZEN AND CLEAN FIFTEEN - JULY 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 4

 

Volume 10, Issue 4

July 2018

The 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

This is a wonderful time of year for enjoying fresh vegetables and fruits! Many people are not aware that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce, even after it is carefully washed or peeled. I really don't want to spoil your enjoyment, but I thought it would be helpful to let you know about the fruits and vegetables on this year's 'Dirty Dozen' list which is produced by the U.S. Environmental Working Group. On a more positive note, the 'Clean Fifteen' list shows produce with the least exposure to pesticides.

I'm not suggesting that you necessarily stop eating produce on the Dirty Dozen list, but you definitely want to consider buying organic versions of these fruits and vegetables or buying them from farms whose practices regarding pesticide use you are familiar with. You might also wish to eat more of the Clean Fifteen.

While I realize the situation in Canada may not be identical to the U.S., usually we're quite similar, so I think we can use this information to guide us in our choices. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

The 2018 Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit and nonpartisan group, has been ranking fresh produce based on their levels of pesticide contamination (number of pesticides and amount of each pesticide) since 2004. They produce the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, which is intended to be a resource for consumers who are unable to buy organic produce. The EWG does its own independent analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's pesticide testing.

The 2018 Dirty Dozen (in descending order of levels of pesticides):

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet bell peppers
  13. Hot peppers

Made that a baker's dozen - this year's list includes a 13th item, hot peppers. The EWG found that hot peppers tend to be contaminated with dangerous insecticides, so they suggest buying organic hot peppers, or at least cook conventionally grown hot peppers to help reduce insecticide levels.

The EWG says that rinsing produce under running tap water is a good way to reduce pesticide levels before consumption; however, research at the University of Massachusetts shows that soaking produce in a baking soda and water solution may do an even better job.

Key findings of the 2018 Dirty Dozen report:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tests found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed.
  • The EWG analyzed USDA pesticide residue data and found that almost 70% of non-organic produce sampled tested positive for pesticide contamination.
  • More than 98% of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
  • Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.

How risky is eating produce with higher levels of pesticides?

There is no easy answer to this question. There have been studies linking poorer pregnancy outcomes, as well as infertility in both men and women to pesticide exposure. There is also evidence that children with higher exposure to specific types of pesticides are at higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).  

It's important to note that 'organic' does not mean that no pesticides were used, but that the pesticides used were derived from natural substances, not synthetic ones. While natural substances sound healthier, it depends on how much of a substance you're ingesting. As the saying goes, "The poison isn't in the substance, but in the dose."

Several experts claim that the real risk is in not eating enough produce, rather than pesticide exposure. The Environmental Working Group agrees, saying, "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Eating conventionally grown produce is far better than skipping fruits and vegetables."

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The 2018 Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn*
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papayas*
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

The Clean Fifteen list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides.

  • Less than 1% of avocado and sweet corn samples tested positive for any detectable pesticides; they were the cleanest of all produce tested.
  • More than 80% of pineapples, papayas asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
  • None of the produce on the Clean Fifteen list tested positive for more than four pesticides.

*Note: Papayas and sweet corn in the U.S. (and sweet corn grown in Canada) is GMO unless organic, so it's best to choose organic for those.

A diet rich in produce is most important

I agree that it's most important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for optimum health and that exposure to pesticides, for most people, is a secondary concern. If you have access to organic produce, so much the better, but many nutritionists and other experts agree that eating enough produce is extremely important.

 

References

  1. 2018 dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists rank produce items by pesticide level. Food Safety Magazine, April 10, 2018, foodsafetymagazine.com/news/2018-dirty-dozen-and-clean-fifteen-lists-rank-produce-items-by-pesticide-level/ Accessed May 31, 2018.
  2. Lunder S. EWG's shopper's guide to pesticides in produce™. April 10, 2018,  ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php Accessed May 31, 2018. 
  3. Axe J. Dirty dozen list: are you eating the most pesticide-laden produce? draxe.com/dirty-dozen/ Accessed May 31, 2018.
  4. Cassetty S. What a nutritionist wants you to know about pesticides and produce. April 14, 2018, nbcnews.com/better/health/produce-side-pesticides-what-nutritionist-wants-you-know-about-ewg-ncna864156 Accessed July 3, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are Nature's Sunshine supplements relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • CurcuminBP
  • Dandelion
  • Milk Thistle
  • LIV-A
  • LIV-C
  • BP
  • K
  • Potas
  • Parsley
  • Ginger
Milk Thistle

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

Our family is so grateful for curing us from many environmental and food sensitivities we were living with since birth. It is our new-found freedom not to have food restrictions, especially at social gatherings. We also appreciate Ramilas determination to finding relief to my son's ongoing eczema breakouts. It made a huge difference to this 15 year old boy's self-esteem.

-Lise & Family Ottawa

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP TO OUR HEALTH - JUNE 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 3

 

Volume 10, Issue 3

June 2018

The Importance of Sleep to Our Health

I hope you're enjoying the warmer weather and longer days. It's not the time of year that most of us are thinking about getting enough sleep; we just want to enjoy the summer. However, it's really important to remember that getting enough good quality sleep is just as important to our physical and mental health during the summer as at any other time of year.  

We know a lot more about how sleep (or lack of) affects us, thanks to a recently published book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, PhD, founder and director of the University of California Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

The Importance of Sleep

According to Dr. Walker, two-thirds of all adults living in developed nations fail to obtain the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night. The consequences are major. Routinely sleeping less than seven hours per night...

  • demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer
  • contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease
  • disrupts blood sugar levels to the extent that you would be classified as pre-diabetic
  • increases the likelihood of coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke and congestive heart failure
  • contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression and anxiety
  • increases your desire to eat more, even when you're full, leading to weight gain

When you add all this up, you can clearly see that if you sleep too little, your life span will be shorter. Not only that, but the quality of your life will not be as good.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared sleep loss epidemic throughout industrialized nations. Walker attributes society's apathy toward sleep to be at least partly due to the failure of science to explain why we need it.

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Why Do We Need Sleep?

We need sleep for a large, complex number of reasons. All major organs within the body, and processes within the brain, are optimally enhanced by sleep, and impaired when we don't get enough.

  • Within the brain, sleep enhances our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions and choices.  
  • Sleep is also crucial for our psychological health; it re-calibrates our emotional brain circuits, so we can navigate the next day's social and psychological challenges effectively.  
  • Dreaming provides numerous benefits, including a 'consoling neurochemical bath' that mollifies painful memories, and a virtual reality space where the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.
  • In the body, sleep restores the immune system, warding off all types of sickness, including helping to fight malignancy and prevent infection.  
  • Sleep repairs the body's metabolic state by fine-tuning the balance of insulin and circulating glucose. 
  • Sleep also regulates our appetite, helping us to make healthy choices in selecting our food, rather than giving in to cravings.  
  • Sleep helps to maintain a healthy microbiome (see our newsletter of June 2017).  
  • Adequate sleep is essential for our cardiovascular fitness, lowering blood pressure and keeping our hearts in good condition.

Of course, a balanced diet and exercise are vitally important, as well, but now sleep is seen as the most important component of the three, without which, the benefits of the other two cannot be enjoyed. In short, sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.

Why Don't We Sleep Enough?

There are many reasons that many of us don't sleep enough. There are several sleep disorders, of which insomnia is the most common. Walker has identified key factors that have changed how much and how well we sleep:

  • Constant electric light and LED light delays the release of melatonin so you can't fall asleep quickly when you turn the lights off. Even a dim light will reduce melatonin levels. Blue LED lights have twice the harmful impact of the old incandescent bulbs, even when their lux intensities are matched. LED-powered laptop screens, smartphones and tablets also have a real impact on melatonin release and ability to get to sleep.
  • We keep our bedrooms too warm. Decreasing room temperature at night to 65°F or 18.5°C is ideal for sleep, assuming standard bedding and clothing. This may not be feasible in the summer, but you can adjust your bedding and clothing accordingly. 
  • Caffeine, alcohol and sleeping pills interfere with sleep quality and sleep time. 
  • Some people view lack of sleep as a badge of honour - a sign of drive, ambition and achievement. Even worse, good sleep is viewed by some as a sign of sloth. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Tips for Healthy Sleep

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  2. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days, but not later than 2 to 3 hours before your bedtime.
  3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  4. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion, and a lot of fluids at night can have you running to the bathroom during the night.
  5. Some medications can disrupt sleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, check with your health care provider to see if anything you're taking could be contributing to insomnia and if they can be taken at other times of day.
  6. Don't take naps after 3 pm. Late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  7. Relax and unwind before bed by reading or listening to music.
  8. Take a hot bath or shower before bed so your core temperature will drop - and a bath will help you relax as well.  
  9. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, comfortable and free of gadgets (including a TV, cell phone, and computer). Don't watch the clock. Have a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  10. Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day in natural sunlight.
  11. Don't lie awake in bed. If you are still awake after more than 20 minutes, or if you're anxious or worried, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
  12. There are many reasons not to take sleeping pills; however, there are natural supplements that can help you sleep without the disadvantages of sleeping pills - see below.
 

References

  1. Walker M. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. New York: Scribner, 2017.
  2. Mercola J. Why sleeping less than seven hours a night is a recipe for ill health and a shortened life span. May 12, 2018. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/05/12/sleep-deprivation-shortened-life-span.aspx Accessed May 13, 2018.
  3. Tips for getting a good night's sleep. NIH Medline Plus Summer 2012 Issue:7(2), page 20 medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/summer12/articles/summer12pg20.html Accessed May 29, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There is a Nature's Sunshine supplement relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about this product and purchase it in our online store:

  • Zerenity
  • Passion Flower
  • RE-X
  • Melatonin Extra
  • Calcium-Magnesium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium Complex
  • Cal-Mag Plus
Zerenity

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

Dr. Ramila is a kind person who fielded numerous neurotic questions and helped me to better understand how and why the body functions the way it does. She provided me with an easy to implement lifestyle change to ensure I don’t have to fight with yeast again, as opposed to the ‘band-aid’ approach that Western medicine offered. Dr. Ramila’s compassion is evident in her voice – seeing her in person would have been nice, but is certainly not necessary to complete the treatment.

-Elise, Montreal, QC

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

WHY DECLUTTERING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH - MAY 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 2

 

Volume 10, Issue 2

May 2018

Why Decluttering is Good for Your Health

Last month we talked about clearing clutter from the body, specifically cleansing the liver and kidneys. This month, to continue with spring cleaning, I'd like to focus not just on cleaning, but on decluttering our homes. It's easy to turn a blind eye to the clutter we live with, but it feels so good to remove it - you'll feel so much lighter! Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

What is Clutter?

Clutter has been defined as anything you're keeping around your house that doesn't add value to your life. How do you decide what is clutter? Ask yourself a few questions:  

Does it work? If it doesn't work, either get rid of it or get it fixed right away.

When did you last use it? Advice varies, but most people say get rid of anything you haven't used in the past 6 months (some say 12 months). Depending on the item and your circumstances, you may find that a more generous time allowance is more appropriate.

Do you love it? If not, and you haven't used it in the past 6 months (or so), it's probably time to get rid of it. Don't keep things out of guilt, for example because great aunt Mary gave it to you, but you really don't like it.

Does it add value to your life? If not, get rid of it!

declutter

Why is Clutter a Problem?

For many people, clutter can be a drain on their energy; this may be because they waste huge amounts of time looking for things they can't find. Clutter can be bad for our health because we tend to feel as if our life is out of control when we surround ourselves with too many things. Messy homes and work spaces can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Clutter is rarely recognized as a source of stress, but clearing it definitely lowers stress levels.

What are the benefits of decluttering? Decluttering reduces stress by providing a sense of control and accomplishment. It can even be enjoyable! You'll have more space, and you'll be able to find things easily.

Why Should I Declutter?

There's a great deal of advice available for how to declutter, much of it conflicting. I'm going to present a few options, and leave it up to you to decide what works best for you.

Many people suggest decluttering by location, e.g. room by room, or even specific spaces within a room. However, Marie Kondo, best-selling author of The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, considers this to be a mistake. She recommends sorting by category, not by location. This is because people often store the same type of item in more than one place. This means we repeat the same work in different locations, and may not remember we already have kept what we need of the particular category of stuff. It's up to you to decide how you prefer to proceed.

According to Marie Kondo, tidying must start with discarding. You may need to divide the discarded stuff into garbage, recycling, donating or giving to a friend, and sort it accordingly. Basically, there are only two possible decisions: what to discard and where to store the stuff you're keeping

Some decluttering tips:

Organize first; buy second. Do not buy a ton of storage pieces and supplies before you go through your home. Discard first, then see what storage you really need; buy just a few bins to start.

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't plan to spend an entire day to organize your whole house. It's much better to spend a few hours - 2 or 3 - on one project or space. This way, you won't reach the point where you can't make one more decision, and give up in frustration.

Complete each task completely. Once you've decided where something is going to go, take it there. Don't let it sit - take the bags and boxes to the trash or recycling immediately. Similarly, take anything to be donated where it needs to go as soon as you have a car load of it.

Be prepared to maintain your decluttered space. You need to expect to do regular upkeep to prevent clutter from piling up again.

Don't be a perfectionist. The goal is to create a space that works well for your needs, not to look like an ad for a magazine. It's a space that's used by humans, not a staged home for non-existent residents.

Additional strategies:

Give away one item each day. Or give away one item on the first day, two on the second day, three on the third day, and so on, for 30 days.

Fill one trash bag. Or one bag to donate to a charity.

Designate a spot for incoming papers. This avoids having piles of paper in various locations.

Schedule a decluttering weekend. You may not finish everything but you'll make great progress. Note: take breaks so you don't end up on overwhelm.

Spend a few minutes visualizing the room. Take a moment to think about how you want it to look. Then figure out what's essential and get rid of the rest. 

Create a "maybe" box. There may be some stuff you don't use but can't bear to get rid of. Put it in the "maybe" box and look at it again in six months. Usually, it will be easier to get rid of those things, given that you haven't needed them for six months.

Take everything out of a drawer. Then sort it into three piles: 1. Stuff that really should go in the drawer; 2. stuff that belongs elsewhere; 3. stuff to get rid of. Clean the drawer, then put the stuff back that should go there neatly. Deal with the other piles right away!

Have a conversation with your family/ significant other/ roommate. An uncluttered home is the result of a shared philosophy of simplicity of everyone living in the house. Explain that you really want an uncluttered house, and that you need their help - do this in an encouraging, persuasive way, don't nag.

Enjoy your new uncluttered look. Take the time to admire the improvements you've made, and then nip clutter in the bud when it starts to form again.

I hope you find this helpful! I know it's hard to get started with decluttering, but it feels great once it's done. It's helpful to realize that acquiring more and more stuff isn't the answer - it doesn't make us happier, and when it creates clutter, it actually has a negative effect on us.

 

References

  1. The ridiculously thorough guide to decluttering your home. budgetdumpster.com/resources/how-to-declutter-your-home.php  Accessed April 6, 2018.
  2. The best decluttering advice we've heard. huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-best-decluttering-advice-weve-heard_us_5a0c8906e4b0b17ffce1ffb8  Accessed April 6, 2018.
  3. Bourg Carter S. Why mess causes stress: 8 reasons, 8 remedies. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies Accessed April 25, 2018.
  4. Kondo M. The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014.
  5. Morris C. Pro organizer tips: what NOT to do when decluttering your home. apartmenttherapy.com/pro-organizer-tips-what-not-to-do-when-decluttering-your-home-168836  Accessed April 6, 2018.
  6. Becker J. 10 creative ways to declutter your home. becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/  Accessed April 6, 2018.
  7. 18 five-minute decluttering tips to start conquering your mess. zenhabits.net/18-five-minute-decluttering-tips-to-start-conquering-your-mess/  April 3, 2008. Accessed April 6, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

 

Supplements

There is a Nature's Sunshine supplement relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about this product and purchase it in our online store:

  • Zerenity
Zerenity

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

"If you are suffering, want to finally be free of emotional baggage, grief, depression or anything causing you pain. Be kind to yourself and take the next step and contact Ramilas healing arts Clinic." — I.S., Ottawa

The Belly of the Beast

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1437 Woodroffe Avenue

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SPRING LIVER AND KIDNEY CLEANSES - APRIL 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 1

 

Volume 10, Issue 1

April 2018

Spring Liver and Kidney Cleanses

[twittertweet] [lnkdinshare]

I hope you're enjoying the early signs of spring! It's time again for spring cleaning, and of course, that includes ourselves, not just where we live. This month I want to focus on cleansing the liver and kidneys. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

Liver and Kidney Cleanses

There are many, many different ways to go about a liver or kidney cleanse. This newsletter can only give you some general suggestions. If you are interested in more detail, please make an appointment to see me.

Prevention of liver and kidney disease

First, it makes sense to look at prevention of ill health of your liver and kidneys:

  1. The health of your liver and kidneys is very much dependent on maintaining a normal weight. The obesity epidemic along with metabolic syndrome (see our newsletter of August 2017) and type 2 diabetes are major risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). So by maintaining a normal weight and avoiding both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, you've already done a lot to keep your liver happy. If you are concerned about losing weight, please contact our office at 613.829.0427 for a consultation; we offer a really effective weight loss program.
  2. Another important preventive measure is exercise. Physical activity almost every day is recommended. Brisk walking or something equivalent is good.
  3. Drinking plenty of water is essential, particularly to keep your kidneys healthy. The amount you should drink per day: your weight in pounds divided by 2 equals the number of ounces you should drink to a maximum of 100oz.
  4. You also need to eat a healthy diet.
  5. Don't smoke.
  6. Limit alcohol intake.
  7. Get enough good quality sleep.
good morning

Liver

Functions of the liver

The liver is a very busy and important organ. Some of its essential functions include:

  • processing nutrients absorbed by the intestines so they are more efficiently absorbed
  • regulating blood composition to balance protein, fat and sugar
  • destroying old red blood cells
  • producing essential chemicals to help blood clot properly
  • breaking down and metabolizing alcohol and medications
  • producing essential proteins and cholesterol
  • removing toxins from the bloodstream
  • storing minerals, iron and vitamin A

Cleanse your liver

With our constant exposure to toxins in our environment, not to mention processed foods, the liver could use some help! To help your liver cleanse itself, it's important to:

Remove toxic foods from your diet. This means processed foods (and all the additives they contain), sugars and other refined carbohydrates, and trans fats (hydrogenated oils).

Drink raw vegetable juice. Vegetables ideal for a liver cleanse include cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. You can add other vegetables you like for a more appealing taste, such as carrots, cucumber, beets and greens. You can also add fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, ginger and others to make the juices more enjoyable.


Load up on potassium-rich foods. They help to lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping to cleanse your liver.




  • Sweet potatoes are actually even richer in potassium than bananas. One medium sweet potato has only 131 calories, yet is rich in vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium and iron. Even though it is naturally sweet, the sugars are released slowly into the bloodstream through the liver, without causing a spike in blood sugar.
  • Tomato sauces contain concentrated potassium compared to fresh tomatoes.
  • Beet greens and spinach are rich in antioxidants, and can be added to your fresh juice recipe, added to salads, or lightly sautéed. Beets also naturally cleanse the gallbladder and improve bile flow.
  • Beans, especially white beans, kidney beans and Lima beans are all rich in potassium, protein and fibre.
  • Bananas help with digestion and help to release toxins and heavy metals from the body, in addition to being rich in potassium.

Take milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric/curcumin. (See the links to Nature's Sunshine products below.)

  • Milk thistle helps to eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, prescription medications, environmental pollutants and alcohol in the liver. The active ingredient, silymarin, helps to strengthen the cell walls in the liver and supports regeneration.
  • Dandelion is not just a weed, it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, allowing your liver to more quickly eliminate toxins. It also helps strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe digestive upset.
  • Turmeric or curcumin supports a healthy liver, aids in digestion, helps to restore a healthy blood sugar balance, and is an effective antidepressant.
 

Kidneys

Function of the kidneys

The kidneys also play a major role in detoxifying your body; they clear waste, balance body fluids, form urine and help maintain the body's pH, and regulate blood pressure. They process the blood to sift out waste products and extra water - these become urine.

Cleanse your kidneys

Helpful supplements include Nature's Sunshine products K, Potas, Parsley, GreenZone (spirulina and chlorella), in addition to Dandelion, CurcuminBP, and Ginger.

Recommended herbs include stinging nettle, burdock, ginger and turmeric.

High-antioxidant fruit: Cranberries are especially good because they also prevent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Black cherries and blueberries are also excellent.

Beets stimulate the production of NO (nitric oxide) which increases circulation and naturally cleanses the blood, as well as supports kidney function.

Seaweed contains spirulina and chlorella which have been shown to detox heavy metals from the body. You can also obtain these from Nature's Sunshine's GreenZone.

Lemon juice (freshly squeezed) in water is recommended first thing in the morning. It helps with digestion and detoxification. It also helps to prevent kidney stones.

Spinach is high in B vitamins and certain antioxidants that help cleanse the entire body, especially the kidneys.


I hope this helps you with your personal 'spring cleaning'. Stay tuned - next month, we'll look at the benefits of decluttering your home.

 

References

  1. Definition & facts of NAFLD & NASH. niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/definition-facts November 2016.  Accessed March 29, 2018.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567 March 7, 2018. Accessed March 29, 2018. 
  3. Axe J. Detox your liver: try my 6-step liver cleanse. draxe.com/liver-cleanse/ Accessed March 28, 2018.
  4. Hills J. Kidney cleanse: the best foods an herbs for kidney health. healthyandnaturalworld.com/best-foods-and-herbs-to-cleanse-your-kidneys/ Accessed March 28, 2018.
  5. Axe J. How to do a kidney cleanse to boost energy & heal your adrenals. draxe.com/kidney-cleanse/ Accessed March 28, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • K
  • CurcuminBP
  • Dandelion
  • Milk Thistle
  • LIV-A
  • LIV-C
  • BP
  • Potas
  • Parsley
  • Ginger
  • GreenZone
milk thistle

"In May 2005, I contracted a viral throat infection which persisted for several weeks and made swallowing difficult. A medical test confirmed that the infection was not bacterial and no treatment was prescribed. During this time, Ramila detected a virus in my body through sensitivity testing and cleared it from my body a week after detecting it. My throat infection began to diminish within a few hours of the virus being clearing and it disappeared the next day."

-Philip, Ottawa

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

LOW INTENSITY LASER THERAPY TREATS PAIN – MARCH 2018 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 11

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 11

Low Intensity Laser Therapy Treats Pain

I'm very excited to tell you about a new service we introduced at the Clinic a few months ago - low intensity laser therapy, or LILT for short. LILT is a really safe and effective way to treat many different types of pain and inflammation. In addition, it enhances the body's immune system response and facilitates natural healing. Treatments are non-invasive, and the benefits are long-lasting. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

What's the history of low intensity laser therapy (LILT)?


Research on the effectiveness of LILT (in both animals and humans) dates back to the 1960s and 1970s, with a lot of activity from the '80s onward. So it's been used for well over 40 years. While researchers commonly conclude that more research is needed, there is still consensus that LILT is an effective therapy. In a meta-analysis of the use of LILT in tissue repair and pain control, it was concluded that "laser phototherapy is a highly effective therapeutic armamentarium for tissue repair and pain relief."

How does LILT work?


LILT is a form of laser medicine that uses low level (low power) lasers or light emitting diodes to alter cellular function and stimulate healing. The laser often referred to as a 'cold laser', is a hand-held device which can be about the size of a flashlight.  


Laser therapy is non-invasive and pain-free. It uses red and infrared light to target inflamed, injured and diseased tissues. Photons of light stimulate ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production which accelerates the healing process. (ATP is able to store and transport chemical energy within cells.) Patients recover from musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve injuries with less scar tissue, accelerated cell regeneration, and improved function.


LILT results in the following:


  • Angiogenesis and neovascularization: An increase in oxygenated blood to the injured tissue accelerates tissue healing.
  • Collagen production: Proper alignment and remodelling of collagen reduces internal scar formation and enhances tissue elasticity.
  • Muscle regeneration is increased and muscle atrophy is reduced: Repair of damaged muscle fibres and activation of myogenic satellite cells leads to regeneration of muscle tissue.
  • Inflammation and edema are reduced: An increase in inflammatory mediators, such as macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes, accelerates and resolves the inflammatory process.
  • Nerve regeneration is increased: Proliferation of growth factors promotes neuronal sprouting and myelin formation for optimal nerve recovery.
  • Cartilage production is increased: Increase in chondrocyte and collagen production allows for improved cartilage deposition and joint function.
  • Bone formation is increased: Proliferation of osteocytes and remodelling of bone extracellular matrix results in accelerated bone repair.
 

What does laser therapy treat?


Laser therapy safely and effectively treats musculoskeletal conditions, arthritis and sports injuries as well as a number of general health conditions:


Soft tissue and sports injuries

  • Ligament and tendon tears
  • Muscle sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Contusions

Repetitive stress injuries

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Tennis elbow

Arthritic conditions

  • Degenerative osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vertebral radiculopathy, sciatica
  • Spinal problems

General health problems

  • Headaches including migraines
  • Herniated discs
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

Tissue repair and wound healing

  • Soft tissue lesions (trauma)
  • Dermal ulcers
  • Venous stasis
  • Compression

Treatments


The number and length of treatments will vary according to the condition being treated and its severity, as well as individuals' variation in their reaction to LILT. There is also variation in the speed with which pain and inflammation are reduced and eliminated but, in most cases, there is noticeable improvement within a few treatments. In fact, most people start seeing positive results after the first treatment.


Laser therapy is a promising option for treating many conditions involving pain and inflammation, especially for people who prefer to avoid medications or surgery. It is also often used when other treatments, such as medications, surgery and physiotherapy, have failed to relieve pain.

 

References

  1. Enwemeka CS, Parker JC, Dowdy DS et al. The efficacy of low-power lasers in tissue repair and pain control: a meta-analysis study. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery 2004;22(4):323-329.
  2. Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic Low Intensity Laser therapy. Pamphlet available from Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic on request.
  3. Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT). Healthworks Chiropractic & Wellness Centre healthworkscentre.com/services/low-intensity-laser-therapy Accessed December 7, 2017.
  4. ATP molecule. https://www.worldofmolecules.com/life/atp.htm Accessed March 1, 2018.
  5. Schnee AK. Cold laser therapy pain management treatment. spine-health.com/treatment/pain-management/cold-laser-therapy-pain-management-treatment Updated February 13, 2009. Accessed December 7, 2017. 
  6. Laser therapy - conditions treated with LILT. GrassRoots National Health & Wellness. grassrootsnaturalhealth.ca/PDF/Laser-Therapy-Conditions-Treated.pdf Accessed March 1, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • CurcuminBP
  • Eight
  • EverFlex Analgesic Cream
  • Glucosamine
  • MSM
Passion Flower

“I was struggling with chronic headaches, joint pain and lack of energy. I knew my weight was also a factor. A friend recommended I see Ramila. In July of 2015 I finally made the best decision of my life. Ramila created a nutritional plan for me. She also taught me how to balance out my nutritional needs and what kinds of food to eat and to avoid. I started seeing major differences in my body and overall health in just 3 weeks. I had more energy, my headaches were fewer to none, and my feet and joints didn’t hurt as much. I stuck to the heath plan and went from a size 15 to now a size 9. I have lost 40 lbs. I feel amazing; I have my self confidence back. And now my daughter, seeing my results, has started the same meal plan and she’s already down 10lbs. Thank you, Ramila. I couldn’t put a price on the knowledge you have given me.”

— RG

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY - FEBRUARY 2018 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 10

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 10

Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

I hope you had a really happy Valentine's day! We've looked at different aspects of heart health in a few February newsletters. However, there are still some aspects of heart health we have not touched on before. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

A brief review of ways to keep your heart healthy


Maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat a healthy diet, eat 'real food' - avoid added sugars, other refined carbohydrates, trans fats, processed foods.  
  • Antioxidants are heart-healthy.
  • Dark chocolate is cardioprotective; note the emphasis on dark, and enjoy in moderation.
  • Be physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get adequate, good quality sleep.
  • Laugh - be sure to focus on things you enjoy and laugh every day.
  • Don't smoke.
  • If you drink alcohol, be sure to drink moderately (no more than one or two drinks per day).
  • Practice gratitude - it's linked to better health, including heart health.
  • Avoid inflammation, including practicing good dental hygiene (plus a healthy diet, good stress management, physical activity and enough sleep).

Additional ways to promote heart health


In our October 2017 newsletter, we discussed stress management techniques in relation to reducing inflammation caused by mental stress. These techniques are also relevant to reducing our risk of heart disease (which can be the result of inflammation).


In addition to a healthy lifestyle, we looked at counselling, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as an effective way to reduce stress. We also looked at relaxation techniques including:

  1. deep breathing exercises
  2. progressive muscle relaxation, often combined with deep breathing
  3. meditation - the goal is to quiet your mind; you can start by simply observing your thoughts
  4. listening to music - soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels

You can find more information on relaxation techniques in my book, thebellyofthebeast.ca

Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been receiving attention recently as having an important connection to a healthy heart.


Mindfulness has been defined as the ability to attend non-judgmentally to one's own physical and mental processes; or paying attention to what you're doing in the present moment. "Dispositional mindfulness" is a person's awareness and attention to what they are thinking and feeling in the present moment.


In the New England Family Study of 382 participants, those with higher mindfulness scores had an 83% greater prevalence of good cardiovascular health. Those with lower mindfulness scores had difficulty with 4 of 7 cardiovascular indicators; namely body mass index, physical activity, fasting glucose and cigarette smoking.


What is a possible mechanism for these associations? It has been suggested that people who are more mindful have a greater awareness of their behavioural routines, and the factors driving the behaviour. Because they pay greater attention to their behaviours, they have improved abilities to initiate or prevent the particular behaviour itself.


The authors caution this is a preliminary, cross-sectional analysis, and that further longitudinal studies could evaluate whether mindfulness-based interventions consistently improve cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes.


Looking at this issue further in a review article, the authors found "promising but still inconclusive" evidence of associations of mindfulness with cardiovascular health and CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk factors, specifically smoking, blood pressure, diabetes, physical activity, obesity and diet. Customized mindfulness interventions could eventually be developed as the mechanisms affecting the results are more clearly understood. This is consistent with the findings of the New England Family Study and will be an interesting topic to follow as more research is conducted.

Pet ownership

Another way to promote heart health may be to own a pet - but I would caution you this is only a good idea if you're committed to taking care of a pet, and loving the pet you would choose. Studies suggest that owning a pet may help improve your heart and lung function, as well as lower your risk of dying from heart disease.


A recent study also suggests that owning a dog may result in less heart disease and longer life. The 12-year study followed 3.4 million Swedish adults aged 40 to 80. The researchers found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to heart disease, and the benefit was especially evident in people who (otherwise) lived alone, compared to single people who didn't own dogs. Dogs may ease stress, loneliness and depression, and inspire people to be more active and socially connected - all factors that seem to promote heart health. However, there could be other reasons for the findings; perhaps healthier people, or those who are making the kinds of lifestyle changes that reduce heart risk, are more likely to have a dog than people in poorer health.

The American Heart Association published a scientific statement on pet ownership and cardiovascular risk, and concluded that pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may have some causal role in reducing CVD risk. However, it cautions that pet adoption, rescue or purchase should not be done for the primary purpose of reducing CVD risk.

I hope you find these tips helpful - here's to a heart-healthy 2018!

 

References

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to cardiovascular health. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Arginine Plus Mixed Berry
  • Blood Pressurex
  • Capsicum
  • CoQ10
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Ginkgo & Hawthorn
  • Ginkgo Biloba Extract
  • Grapine
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Hawthorn
  • HS-C
  • I-X
  • Lecithin
  • MC
  • Oregon Grape Extract
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Red Clover
  • Super Omega 3
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E with Selenium
  • Zambroza
Passion Flower

“I had my first visit to a holistic clinic for a very bad sinus infection and I am so pleased I went to see Ramila. After 2 weeks of congestion, followed by 3 days of complete blockage and body aches, I was 90% better in 48 hours. My respiratory health was fully restored in just 4 days, with no recurrence of symptoms. I am amazed with the results and although maintain my health through proper nutrition and exercise, its comforting to know I can count on Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic for natural treatments. Thank you.”

-Valarie L

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

The Belly of the Beast

AVAILABLE NOW

thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD GUT HEALTH - DECEMBER 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 9

The Importance of Good Gut Health

I hope you're enjoying a happy, healthy holiday season and enjoying the delicious food that's so abundant at this time of year! I'm not about to tell you not to eat your favourite foods; only to avoid foods you are sensitive to, or that you can't digest. But I thought you might appreciate a few tips to keep your gut healthy. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Best wishes for a relaxed, healthy and happy holiday season!

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila

The Belly Of The Beast is now available at thebellyofthebeast.ca

Download the free recipe book, as well, for some healthy new recipes to try over the holidays.

The Importance of Good Gut Health


We recently looked at the importance of a healthy gut (see our newsletter of June 2017 on the microbiome), but I thought it would be helpful to summarize a few key points here.

  • Good gut health is essential to maintain a strong immune system. Beneficial microbes help prevent disease.
  • The microbes in the gut (microbiome) are responsible for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
  • The gut is known as our second brain. It has its own nervous system, the enteric nervous system which is connected to the central nervous system by the vagus nerve. Thus the gut can transmit information to the brain. For example, it can affect our mood, weight, and hormone levels depending on its health and what we eat.

Maintain a Healthy Gut During the Holiday Season


Even at this time of year, a healthy gut is really very important. Hippocrates is frequently quoted as saying, "All disease begins in the gut." More than 2000 years ago, he understood this and, generally speaking, we're just beginning to appreciate how right he was. Here are a few tips that can make all the difference to how you feel over the holidays.

  • Take a good quality probiotic daily to keep your microbiome healthy. The gut is home to about 100 trillion microorganisms, most of which are friendly or neutral. Your daily probiotic helps maintain the right balance, and keep you healthy.
  • Eat fermented foods. Some good examples include sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir (fermented milk), natto (fermented soy) and kombucha (fermented tea).
  • Feed the good bacteria in your gut by eating foods containing prebiotics, such as foods containing inulin, e.g. bananas, asparagus, and garlic. Any fruit or vegetable will boost your fibre consumption and support the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Take digestive enzymes, ideally daily, but especially if you are planning on eating a large meal.
  • Be sure you eat plenty of high fibre foods, and possibly also take a fibre supplement, such as psyllium.
  • Be sure to stay well hydrated - drink lots of water. The formula: divide your weight in pounds by 2 - that is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day, to a maximum of 100 ounces. This is a good guide, but it also depends on the weather, how much you sweat, how much exercise you get and how much liquid you ingest from foods, e.g. fruits and vegetables.
  • Slow down! Don't hurry when you eat or drink. Chew your food well. Your digestive system will thank you. Plus you will be less likely to overeat because your stomach will be able to signal your brain that you're full.
  • Choose your indulgences wisely. Pick items that are only available at this time of year; don't waste calories on food you can have any time.  
  • Keep healthy snacks at the office, so you're not tempted by all the treats others bring. Snack on fibre, so you feel fuller.
  • Bring a favourite dish to the party. This way you can easily avoid any food sensitivities, and anything you know will upset your digestion.
  • Lower your stress levels by:
  • consistently getting enough good quality sleep;
  • meditating (see our November 2017 newsletter);
  • getting enough exercise to help keep you clear headed. Also, physical activity is associated with greater gut microbial diversity, i.e. a healthier gut.
  • Schedule some "me" time. Big family or other gatherings can be challenging. So plan time to do whatever relaxes you - take a walk, read a good book, just spend a little time recharging.


Here's to starting 2018 with a healthy gut! I hope you find this helpful, and I wish you all the best in the New Year!

 

References

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Fibre Boost
  • Psyllium
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Passion Flower
  • Lavender, Organic Essential Oil
  • Melatonin Extra
  • Zerenity
Passion Flower

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

WHAT IS MEDITATION? - NOVEMBER 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 8

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 8

Meditation Reduces Stress and More

Last month we looked at mental stress and some ways to reduce its effects, including meditation. This month, especially since the holiday season is fast approaching, I'd like to take a closer look at meditation. I hope that you can use this information to help you enjoy a more relaxed holiday season. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Best wishes for a relaxed, healthy and happy holiday season!

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

What is meditation?

Some people may think of meditation as prayer or worship, but it is, in fact, a form of mental exercise, of focused attention and awareness. It does not interfere with any religious practice. 


The goal of meditation is to quiet the mind. "Meditation is mind without agitation." When you meditate, your mind is free of scattered and racing thoughts. It is a state of consciousness. It is a state of stillness, where you can be observing your breath, listening to the birds or the waves, and feeling in total harmony with yourself without having any thoughts. Or you can simply observe your thoughts and let them pass without judgment. Some people would consider taking a walk in the woods (known as a walking meditation), or gardening or doing art to be meditation.


Through meditation, you attain mental calmness and introspection. Research shows there are also many physiologic benefits you can attain by meditating.  


Meditation allows people to take charge of their own nervous system and emotions. Studies show that meditation improves one's ability to regulate emotions.

 

How to meditate

There are many different techniques for meditation. You could start with guided meditation, either in a group setting or listening to a prerecorded meditation. You could repeat a word (mantra) to help you focus your mind, or just focus on your breath.  


Meditation does require discipline. You might start by meditating for 5 minutes at a time, and increase the time as you get more comfortable. There are many apps that you can download - find the method that works best for you.


Meditation requires consistency and commitment to a time every day in order to get results. It's not necessary to sit cross-legged with closed eyes; it really is a state of being where you are training your mind to be still.


A very brief summary of a few of the different types of meditation include:

  • Mantra meditation is where you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. Transcendental meditation is a well-known example of this type of meditation.
  • Mindfulness meditation is based on being mindful or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You can focus on your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment. We shouldn't stop being mindful when we stop meditation; the purpose of mindfulness meditation is to become mindful in all aspects of our life.  
  • MBSR or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a well known practice developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He does not call this program meditation, but it is based on his many years of studying Buddhism and yoga, which he integrates with his background in science. The program supports Western medicine to help people manage stress, anxiety, illnesses and chronic pain.
  • Yoga can be done as a meditation where you perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. Moving through poses that require balance and concentration, you're encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more in the moment.
 

Why would I want to meditate?

In addition to reducing stress (and anxiety), there are many ways that regularly meditating can improve your life. Meditation...

  • encourages a healthy lifestyle. People who meditate tend to want to do things that are better for them, such as quit smoking, eat healthy food. 
  • slows aging. Studies show that meditation changes brain physiology to slow aging. Meditation is associated with longer telomeres, the caps on chromosomes that indicate biological age (rather than chronological age).
  • improves cognitive function and memory.
  • increases cardiovascular and immune function. Meditation induces relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and, subsequently, blood pressure to drop. One study showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditation could stop taking their blood pressure medication.
  • decreases pain.
  • decreases inflammation at the cellular level.
  • increases positive emotions and happiness.
  • increases self-awareness.
  • decreases depression and negative emotions.
  • increases social connection.
  • makes you more compassionate, patient and tolerant.
  • increases acceptance.
  • makes you feel less lonely.
  • boosts your self-control.
  • improves concentration and ability to focus.
  • improves your creativity and ability to think outside the box.


Studies have shown that meditation changes the grey matter in the brain. In one study, a magnetic resonance image (MRI) was taken of 14 participants before and after they participated in the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for about 30 minutes a day. They were compared to 14 controls, matched on age and education, who were given the same 2 MRIs approximately 2 months apart. The MRI images focused on areas of the brain where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, and found increased grey matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in areas associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.


I hope this brief look at meditation encourages you to look into it in more detail and find a type that you like.

 

References

  1. Crane K. 8 ways mediation can improve your life. Huffington Post, September 19, 2014, huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/19/meditation-benefits_n_5842870.html Accessed September 20, 2017.
  2. Padiachy R. The Belly of the Beast. Stouffville: Black Card Books, 2017. 
  3. Mindworks Team. What are the different types of meditation? mindworks.org/meditation-knowledge/different-types-meditation/ Accessed November 1, 2017. 
  4. Eisler M. 11 mediation styles and techniques explained. May 6, 2015. mindfulminutes.com/meditation-styles-techniques-explained/ Accessed November 1, 2017.
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff. Meditation: a simple, fast way to reduce stress. mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858 Accessed September 20, 2017.
  6. Seppälä EM. 20 scientific reasons to start meditating today. psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201309/20-scientific-reasons-start-meditating-today/ September 11, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2017.
  7. McGreevey S. Eight weeks to a better brain - meditation study shows changes associated with awareness, stress. news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/ Accessed February 1, 2017.
  8. Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M. et al. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatr Res Neuroimaging 2011;191:36-43.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Stress Formula
  • RE-X
  • Passion Flower
  • Lavender, Organic Essential Oil
  • Melatonin Extra
  • STR-J
  • Stress Pak
  • Zerenity

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

MENTAL STRESS AND INFLAMMATION – OCTOBER 2017 – VOLUME 9, ISSUE 7

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 7

Mental Stress and Inflammation

Now that we are settled into our busy routines after summer holidays, it's a good time to look at the effects of mental stress on our health, and in particular on inflammation, which, in turn, can cause any number of other forms of ill health. Rest assured, we will also look at how you can alleviate this stress! Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

Mental stress as a cause of inflammation

Most people have come to understand that chronic inflammation is a major underlying cause of most chronic disease. But what causes the inflammation? Of course, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep contribute to inflammation, too, but I want to focus on mental stress because it is an extremely important cause of inflammation we may tend to underestimate or even overlook.

First, it's important to make the distinction between acute and chronic mental stress. Acute stress results from specific events or situations and is short term, for example, an argument with your spouse, or an unkind criticism from your boss. However, chronic stress results if stressful events occur repeatedly, for example, your boss is always criticizing you or you are in a bad relationship.

Acute stress is not necessarily bad for us. The fight-flight-freeze response is designed to handle acute stress. Cortisol (among other substances) is released which immediately increases energy and, in the case of a 'real' emergency, this can be lifesaving, e.g. running away from a dangerous situation. It's when stressors become chronic that we have a problem, often because we feel we have little or no control over the situation. Also, many of these chronic stressors may be more of an annoyance than a real threat to us, e.g. spending time every day in traffic jams, but the body responds as if the threat is real.

Common chronic mental stressors include:

  • ongoing work pressure
  • long-term relationship problems
  • loneliness
  • persistent financial worries
  • any combination of these and/or other chronic mental stressors, e.g. a high pressure job plus ongoing relationship problems

Research has shown that dwelling on negative experiences increases inflammation in the body due to elevated levels of C-reactive protein. Inflammation is the immune system's response to outside dangers and shows that the body is working to repair any damage. However, chronic inflammation has been linked to many health problems, including depression, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis) and diabetes.

 

How can I reduce chronic mental stress?

You will likely find a combination of strategies more effective than a single approach. What works for one person does not necessarily work for someone else. So you need to be prepared to try different methods to see what combination works best for you.

First, a healthy lifestyle is essential. You can make yourself more stress-resistant by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet (eat lots of vegetables, fruits, adequate water; skip the processed foods, refined carbohydrates including added sugars, excessive caffeine and alcohol), and get enough good quality sleep.

Counselling may help you reduce your reaction to mental stressors. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective way to reduce stress. It typically includes identifying sources of stress, restructuring priorities, changing one's response to stress, and finding methods for managing and reducing stress.

Relaxation and other alternative techniques include:

Deep breathing exercises: During stress, breathing becomes shallow and rapid. Taking deep breaths is an effective way to calm yourself or maintain a relaxed state.

Muscle relaxation: Muscle relaxation techniques, often combined with deep breathing, are easy to learn and very useful for getting to sleep. You can start either from the top of the body or the bottom, tensing each muscle as much as you can for 5-10 seconds, then releasing it completely. 

Meditation: The goal of meditation is simply to quiet the mind. This may take some practice, but you can start by simply observing your thoughts. It is not necessary to meditate for hours at a time; 15-20 minutes is enough. There are many apps and guided meditations available. You can look at a number of them to see what works best for you. In our November 2017 newsletter, we will take a closer look at meditation - stay tuned!

Listen to music: It is an effective stress reducer, and research shows that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels.

Herbal and natural remedies: I recommend a few Nature's Sunshine products - please see below. While there are many products available, you want to be sure they are of excellent quality; otherwise, consuming these products could have unintended and undesirable effects. Of course, it is important to follow the instructions; taking more of a product will not necessarily produce a better result. In fact, the opposite is more likely.

You can find more information on relaxation techniques in my book, The Belly of the Beast, soon to be released.

 

References

  1. Stress. An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of stress. University of Maryland Medical Center. umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/stress Accessed September 15, 2017.
  2. Chronic stress changes immune cell genes, leading to inflammation: study. Healthy Living 11/07/2013 huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/chronic-stress-health-inflammation-genes_n_4226420.html Accessed September 14, 2017.
  3. Krans B. Dwelling on stressful events increases inflammation in the body. Healthline News, March 18, 2013, healthline.com/health-news/mental-dwelling-on-stressful-events-increases-inflammation-031813#1 Accessed September 14, 2017.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Stress Formula
  • RE-X
  • Passion Flower
  • Lavender, Organic Essential Oil
  • Melatonin Extra
  • STR-J
  • Stress Pak
  • Zerenity

“Have you ever been to a funhouse and looked at yourself in the mirror only to see someone you did not recognize? That is how I saw myself for many years until I went to Ramila for emotional release therapy. I had been battling an eating/ body image disorder for many, many years and after having my daughter I didn’t want her to go through what I was going through. Just one session with Ramila and over the next couple of days I started seeing a new person in the mirror. The REAL me, not the one I had seen for so many years. It was quite the eye-opener."

-Patricia R., Ottawa

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

The Belly of the Beast

COMING SOON!

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

WHY KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE MAKES SENSE – SEPTEMBER 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 6

 
 

Volume 9, Issue 6

Why Keeping Track of Your Blood Pressure Makes Sense

Last month, we discussed metabolic syndrome, and one of its major components is high blood pressure or hypertension. This month, we look at hypertension in more detail, since it is very common. Because it's mostly symptom-free, it is important to understand how important it is to keep track of your blood pressure so that you can take action to lower it if necessary. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure. 

  • Systolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart beats or pumps the blood
  • Diastolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.

A blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg is read as '120 over 80 milligrams of mercury' (or just 120 over 80).

Normal blood pressure is defined as under 120/80 mmHg. However, it should be at least 90/60; lower than that is defined as hypotension (low blood pressure).

Prehypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 - 139 and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80 - 89 mmHg.

High blood pressure stage 1 is defined as systolic blood pressure of 140 - 159 and/or diastolic blood pressure of 90 - 99.

High blood pressure stage 2 is defined as systolic blood pressure of 160 or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 100 or more.

 

What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

Excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure is, and the longer it stays high, the more likely you are to suffer ill effects.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack or stroke - High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
  • Aneurysm - Increased blood pressure can cause blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
  • Heart failure - To pump blood against the higher pressure in your blood vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have difficulty pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys can prevent them from functioning normally.
  • Metabolic syndrome - High blood pressure is one of the disorders that is part of metabolic syndrome. See our newsletter of August 2017 for more detail.
  • Peripheral artery disease - High blood pressure can involve the build-up of plaque in leg arteries, and can affect the flow of blood in the legs. The most common symptoms are pain, cramping, numbness, aching, or heaviness in the legs, feet and buttocks, especially after walking or climbing stairs.
  • Trouble with memory and understanding - Uncontrolled blood pressure can affect your ability to think, remember and learn.

High blood pressure is known as 'the silent killer' because it is mostly symptom-free. Very high blood pressure, known as malignant hypertension, is very dangerous, and symptoms can include:

  • severe headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • confusion
  • vision changes
  • nosebleeds

Who is more likely to develop high blood pressure?

While the causes of high blood pressure are not precisely known, there are a number of risk factors for it, including:

  • smoking
  • being overweight or obese
  • stress and anxiety
  • lack of physical activity
  • too much processed salt in the diet
  • added sugars - cutting processed foods from your diet may help not only by reducing refined salt but also by reducing sugar
  • too little potassium in your diet
  • too little vitamin D
  • too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • older age
  • genetics
  • family history of high blood pressure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • sleep apnea
  • some medicines, such as asthma or hormone therapies, including birth control pills and estrogen, as well as over-the-counter medicines, e.g. for the relief of colds
 

How can I prevent or manage high blood pressure?

Many risk factors for high blood pressure are modifiable. There's a lot you can do to help control your blood pressure yourself, including:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fibre. As always, it's important to eat lots of vegetables, as well as legumes and fruit, and limit added sugars. Garlic helps to lower blood pressure.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.
  • Manage stress effectively. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to reduce stress; physical activity also reduces stress levels.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight - a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women.
  • Use Himalayan salt or sea salt in moderation. Avoid processed foods with the typically excessive amounts of processed salt.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to stiff arteries.
  • Optimize your omega 6:3 ratio. Most North Americans get too much omega 6 and too little omega-3. While we need both, too much omega-6 causes inflammation. Omega-6 fats are found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oil - they should be consumed in limited quantities. The best source of omega-3 is a safe source of fish, or krill oil.
  • Take CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10).
  • Optimize your gut flora. Consuming probiotics has been shown to help lower blood pressure. The best way to optimize your gut flora is to avoid sugar and processed foods. Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables are very helpful.
  • Maintain an optimal sodium-potassium ratio.
  • Vitamins C and E may help to lower blood pressure.

If you have done all you can to control your blood pressure, but are still experiencing problems, please seek medical help. I would be glad to see you and recommend supplements. Please call 613.829.0429 for an appointment.

 

References

  1. High blood pressure. New York Times, Monday, July 24, 2017, nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hypertension/overview.html Accessed July 31, 2017.
  2. Description of high blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp Accessed July 24, 2017.
  3. Hypotension. Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypotension Accessed July 31, 2017.
  4. High blood pressure (hypertension). Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580 Accessed July 31, 2017.
  5. Mercola J. Study suggests sugar is worse than salt for blood pressure. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/sugar-blood-pressure.aspx Accessed July 24, 2017.
  6. Axe J. 5 natural ways to lower blood pressure. draxe.com/natural-ways-to-lower-blood-pressure/ Accessed July 24, 2017.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Blood pressurex
  • CardioxLDL
  • CoQ10
  • Garlic, High Potency
  • Grapine
  • Hawthorn
  • Passionflower
  • Super Omega-3
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E with Selenium
  • Zerenity

New! BioFlex Laser Therapy

Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser or light therapy, is a treatment that uses specific types of light to interact with tissue. It is used to eliminate pain and promote healing.

Laser therapy offers patients a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of medical conditions, including soft tissue and sports injuries, arthritic conditions, repetitive stress injuries, wound healing, and a variety of general health problems.

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

The Belly of the Beast

COMING SOON!

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

Facebook info@ramilas.comWebsite

WHAT IS METABOLIC SYNDROME? - AUGUST 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 5

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

I hope you're continuing to enjoy a fun and relaxing summer! This month I would like to draw your attention to a disorder that was only identified less than 20 years ago. In spite of this, it affects about 40% of the population aged 60 and over. It is called metabolic syndrome. As the obesity epidemic increases, younger people, even children, are increasingly affected, as well. Read on below...

 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better, it is a step toward longevity.

clinic

We now offer Physiotherapy Services and Laser Rehabilitation

Clinically proven to eliminate pain!

Volume 9, Issue 5

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

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What is Metabolic Syndrome?

If you have metabolic syndrome, it does not simply mean that your metabolism is out of whack. Metabolic syndrome (sometimes referred to as syndrome X) is a metabolic disorder defined as a combination of 3 or more of the following health issues:

  • abdominal obesity (a large waistline, 35 inches for women, 40 inches for men; 'apple' shape)
  • high fasting blood sugar
  • high triglyceride levels (a type of fat found in the blood)
  • high blood pressure
  • low HDL ('good') cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease. It is a group of risk factors - risk factors for some major diseases that affect a large number of people, namely heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetesOther risk factors for metabolic syndrome include:

  • age
  • physical inactivity
  • a poor diet, e.g. processed foods, high amounts of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, trans fat, diet soft drinks
  • low-grade inflammation throughout the body
  • a fatty liver (non-alcoholic fatter liver disease or NAFLD)
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) - see our March 2017 newsletter
  • gallstones
  • breathing problems during sleep, such as sleep apnea
  • heavy alcohol consumption (However, very light alcohol intake is actually associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. This means no more than 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 for women. One drink is 12oz of beer, 5oz of wine or 1.5oz of liquor.)

 

Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome

Prevention


physical activityThe best preventive strategies for metabolic syndrome are:

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • be physically active
  • eat a healthy diet (see below for details)
  • manage stress effectively
  • don't smoke

 

Treatment


Heart-healthy lifestyle changes are typically the main treatment for metabolic syndrome.

 

In other words, do as recommended for prevention of metabolic syndrome above, and you will, to a large extent, treat it. Let's look in more detail at how you might accomplish this.

 

Maintain a healthy weight


Through eating a healthy diet and exercising, losing weight can reduce insulin resistance and blood pressure. Foods that make metabolic syndrome worse:

  • Avoid processed foods (including fast food) as much as possible; they are typically filled with additives and preservatives that are bad for your health.
  • Artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, Splenda, sucralose and saccharin may increase your risk of excessive weight gain, as well as the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Avoid diet soft drinks!
  • Trans fats are found in food made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as margarine and shortening, and in baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies, coffee creamers). They raise LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are bad for your waistline, heart health and metabolic disorders.
  • Sugar and other refined carbohydrates are major contributors to high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, the development of metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol consumption; as noted above, light alcohol consumption is not a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, however, heavier consumption is.

Food that help prevent and treat metabolic syndrome:

  • Fish and other foods with omega-3 fatty acids: The omega-3 found in wild-caught, cold water fish helps to regulate heartbeat, reduce blood pressure, decrease blood clot formation, and reduce overall inflammation. This decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Omega-3 foods also help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Other foods rich in omega-3 include walnuts, flaxseeds, natto and grass-fed beef.
  • Vegetables: Dark leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach), avocado, broccoli, cabbage, different colours of bell peppers, squash, eggplant, arugula and carrots are a few of the healthy options for increasing your daily intake of vegetables which are loaded with disease-fighting anti-inflammatory antioxidants and phytonutrients. Avocados have been clinically associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome in the U.S.; it is believed this is because avocados benefit the gut.
  • Fruits: In moderation (because of the natural sugar), daily fruit consumption helps to ward off metabolic syndrome. In particular, pomegranate and pomegranate seeds have been shown to help ameliorate metabolic syndrome.
  • Legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lima beans are rich in fibre and protein. They help to keep blood sugar stable, and have been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Whole grains, like oatmeal and brown rice, are high in fibre, have proven benefits for diabetes and heart health, and help keep your waistline in check.

 

Physical activity


Regular, moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking briskly, will help control your weight. At least 30 minutes per day is recommended; however, you can start more gradually if you need to and work up to that.

 

The good news is you can prevent or reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome with healthy lifestyle choices. However, if you would like help maintaining a healthy weight, or with any other aspect of metabolic syndrome, please contact me at 613.829.0427. I'll be more than happy to help you.

 

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

 

Berberine
Blood pressurex
CardioxLDL
CoQ10
Garlic, High Potency
Grapine
GreenZone
Hawthorn
Super Omega-3
Vitamin D3
Zambroza

For additional information, email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Visit our website where you can see back issues of this newsletter, information about services and our clinic, and order products.

 

References:

 

  1. What is metabolic syndrome? webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome-what-is-it#1 Accessed July 17, 2017.
  2. Axe J. Metabolic syndrome: proven diet & natural treatment plan. draxe.com/metabolic-syndrome/ Accessed July 17, 2017.
  3. What is metabolic syndrome? nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms Accessed July 17, 2017.
  4. Abdominal fat and what to do about it. Harvard Health Publications, September, 2005, updated October 9, 2015 health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it Accessed July 17, 2017.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

 

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

  

 

Stay Tuned!! I am so excited that The BELLY OF THE BEAST is in the final stages of publishing.

THE TELOMERE EFFECT - JULY 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 4

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

I hope you're enjoying a fun and relaxing summer! This is a great time of year to take a break, and generally take things a little easier and reduce our stress levels. I'd like to give you an idea of how important this, and other healthy behaviours are for slowing down the rate at which we age. Read on below...

 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

clinic

Volume 9, Issue 4

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

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What's a Telomere?

You may have heard or read about telomeres. Briefly, each chromosome (containing DNA) has a sort of cap on each end - these caps are telomeres. As cells repeatedly divide over a person's lifetime, as a general rule, the telomeres become shorter. The length of our telomeres can tell us a lot about how well we're aging.

 

In January 2017, Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel published a book, The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer. This book makes Nobel Prize winning research conducted by Elizabeth Blackburn and others available beyond academia, to a more general audience.

 

The Telomere Effect

Our lifestyle choices affect our telomeres and how we age. And it's possible to measure telomere length to get some indication of how we're doing.

 

As I mentioned, the chromosomes in each of our cells contain our DNA. At the ends of each chromosome are telomeres, which have been described as being like the caps on the ends of shoelaces, that keep the shoelaces/chromosomes from unravelling.

 

Each time a cell divides, the telomeres become a little bit shorter, until they become too short to protect the chromosome. At this point the cell has aged, and cannot properly do its job any more. Having too many of these senescent cells accelerates aging. This doesn't cause any specific disease, but it is believed you'll be more likely to develop any disease you might be prone to.

 

How can we affect the rate at which we age? Blackburn was part of a team that won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2009 for discovering the role of an enzyme - telomerase - that can help lengthen your telomeres. Blackburn and Epel make the case that telomeres are just one pathway of aging, and that certain aspects of your lifestyle may stabilize or even increase telomere length and help slow down or prevent aging.

 

peacefulnessFactors that help protect your telomeres include:

  • a healthy diet - The Mediterranean diet is associated with longer telomeres. Adequate nutrition including antioxidants, in general, and specifically vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are also important.
  • being physically active - A small study found 45 minutes of moderate exercise, three times a week for six months increased telomerase activity twofold.
  • adequate, good quality sleep - A 2012 study found that sleeping fewer hours was associated with shorter telomere length in healthy men.
  • avoiding (or managing) chronic stress
  • meditation
  • mental well-being
  • social support
  • level of trust and safety in your neighbourhood

Conversely, factors that promote cellular aging and shortening of telomeres include:

  • stress hormones
  • oxidative stress
  • inflammatory stress

Note that no long term studies have been done, so we don't know what effect maintaining telomere length has on longevity. At this point we are looking at associations, not cause and effect. However, a longer 'health span' (and reduced 'disease span') is likely to be the outcome of maintaining longer telomeres.

 

Too much as bad as too little? Too little telomerase resulting in shorter telomeres can increase the risk of cancer because mutations can occur when the cells don't replicate properly. However, too much telomerase can help confer immortality onto cancer cells and increase the likelihood of cancer. Telomerase has been found to be 10 to 20 times more active in cancer cells than in normal body cells. It is believed that if this telomerase activity could be turned off, then telomeres in cancer cells would shorten (as they do in normal cells) and this would prevent the cancer cells from dividing uncontrollably in their early stages of development, or prevent relapse after the removal of a more advanced tumour. This could be a promising avenue for better cancer treatment. It is also clear that healthy lifestyle choices are better than taking telomerase as a medication - we wouldn't know if we were increasing the length of the telomeres of good cells or cancer cells.

 

Haven't I already heard these recommendations for improving my health? Yes, absolutely. However, now there is a way to document how well we're doing, by measuring the length of our telomeres. Telomere length can change in both directions - you may have longer telomeres one year, and shorter ones the next year - so Dr. Blackburn does not actually recommend getting your telomeres tested, but it's possible.

 

According to S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, of the University of Illinois, Chicago, "The only equivalent of a fountain of youth that exists is exercise and diet and avoiding harmful behaviour and risk factors like smoking and obesity. If you are doing this, you are doing as much as you can to allow your genetic potential to play out."

 

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter.

 

You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

 

Super Omega 3
Super Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin D3
Vitamin E with Selenium
Vitamin C 1000 mg
Vitamin B Complex
Zambroza
 

 

For additional information, email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Visit our website where you can see back issues of this newsletter, information about services and our clinic, and order products.