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!

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Ottawa ON (map)

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR MICROBIOME HEALTHY - JUNE 2017 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 3

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

Last month we mentioned the role of the microbiome in relation to Candida infections. This month, I am giving you additional information about the microbiome and its huge importance to your good 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. It is a step toward longevity.

clinic

Volume 9, Issue 3

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

Like us on Facebook

What is the Microbiome and Why is it Important?

The microbiome is made up of microbiota, or a community of microbes or microorganisms that live on or in the body. Our human microbiome is made up of communities of bacteria, some of which protect us (symbiotic), some of which are neutral (commensal), and some of which can be harmful to us (pathogenic).

 

Bacteria and our microbiome are an integral part of who we are. In fact, you have 10 times more bacteria living in your body than cells that make up your body. To put it in perspective, there are 10 trillion cells that make up the human body and 100 trillion bacteria living in your body. The vast majority live in your gut, and weigh between three and four pounds.

 

The human microbiome develops from the time an infant is born, and a first important factor is whether the mother gives birth vaginally or has a C-section. Exposure to the birth canal exposes a baby to its mother's microbiome and, especially if combined with mother's milk, gives a baby's microbiome a good start in life. Don't despair if you were born by C-section and bottle-fed. A recent study has shown that by about age 40, the advantages of those exposed to the birth canal and who were breast-fed have largely disappeared.

 

The organisms in our microbiome carry out a variety of functions which are essential for good health, well-being and even our survival.

 

Beneficial microbes prevent disease. One of the most important functions of the microbiome is its role in relation to our immune system. The microbiome helps our bodies to determine whether something it encounters is a friend or foe. When it is functioning well, it ensures that opportunistic pathogens are kept to a minimum, and also keeps our body from attacking itself (which would result in autoimmune diseases).

 

Another extremely important function of the microbiome is the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Without it, we would not be able to digest most of what we eat, or to extract essential nutrients we need to function.

 

The microbiome also plays an important role in depression, weight/obesity and hormone function.

 

The gut-brain connection: The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. Scientists are calling the gut our second brain; it's the only organ with its own nervous system, called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The central nervous system and the ENS are connected by the vagus nerve, the 10th cranial nerve which runs from the brainstem to the abdomen. This is the route the gut bacteria use to transmit information to the brain. This connection helps to explain the association between the microbiome and depression.

 

What Causes Problems with the Microbiome?

Two of the most important determinants of the health of our microbiome are diet and antibiotic use.

 

Diet

 

Processed food contains many additives that are detrimental to the health of our microbiome. Sugars, other refined carbohydrates, and the many added chemicals also have a negative effect on our microbiome. Avoid foods containing glyphosate (GMO foods). It's best to eat organic, *real food*. Transit time affects the composition of gut microbiota, which reinforces the importance of diet, particularly fibre intake.

 

Antibiotics

 

We know the importance of antibiotics and would not want to be without them for a serious infection. However, research shows we are becoming resistant to antibiotics because they are overprescribed. And a single course of antibiotics can disrupt a person's microbiome for an entire year.

 

Note there are sources of antibiotic exposure that may not be obvious to everyone. For example, meat from animals given antibiotics will contain antibiotic residue. According to the FDA, up to 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US are for livestock, not humans - a scary thought! If you're eating fast food, you're definitely exposed to antibiotics.

 

How can I Keep/Make My Microbiome Healthy and What are the Benefits?

Clearly, avoiding processed foods and any antibiotics that are not absolutely essential are two ways to maintain a healthy microbiome. Also avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates as much as possible. A diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit is beneficial.
 
Eating fermented foods is very beneficial to the microbiome. Healthy choices include kefir (fermented milk), kombucha (fermented tea), natto (fermented soy), kimchi (a traditional Korean side dish of fermented vegetables) and other fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut.
 
A high quality probiotic can help maintain the health of your microbiome, and restore balance to your microbiota, especially when taking antibiotics or eating processed foods. It's also advisable if you are not consuming fermented foods on a daily basis.
 
In summary, keeping your microbiome healthy helps you to:
live a longer, healthier life 
normalize your weight
ward off type 2 diabetes
strengthen your immune system, control the growth of disease-causing bacteria
counteract inflammation
produce vitamins, absorb materials and eliminate toxins
control asthma and reduce your risk of allergies
improve your mood and mental health.
 

New Research

 

This is a huge topic and a new area of research. It's impossible to really do it justice in one newsletter, but I hope it helps you understand the huge importance of your microbiome and of keeping it healthy. You will be able to find additional information about the microbiome in my upcoming book, The Belly of the Beast.

 

The Belly of the Beast will be published soon! I don't know the exact date yet, but as soon as it's available, I will let you know.

 

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:

 

Probiotic 11
 
Bifidophilus Flora Force
 
NutriBiome Bacillus Coagulans Probiotics
 
Psyllium Hulls Combination
 

 

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. Microbiome 101: understanding gut microbiota. prescript-assist.com/intestinal-health/gut-microbiome/ Accessed April 10, 2017.
  2. Padiachy R. The Belly of the Beast, 2017.
  3. Weintraub K. Findings from the gut - new insights into the human microbiome. April 29, 2016. scientificamerican.com/article/findings-from-the-gut-new-insights-into-the-human-microbiome1/ Accessed April 10, 2017.
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain-gut connection. hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection Accessed January 25, 2017.
  5. Mercola J. Your microbiome may be key factor to determining your health and longevity. March 9, 2015. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/09/gut-bacteria-microbiome.aspx Accessed April 10, 2017.
  6. The overuse of antibiotics in food animals threatens public health. Consumers Union consumersunion.org/research/the-overuse-of-antibiotics-in-food-animals-threatens-public-health/ Accessed May 24, 2017.
  7. Mercola J. The importance of microbial diversity in gut health and disease. May 15, 2014. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/15/microbial-diversity-gut-flora.aspx Accessed February 2, 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.

 

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For my path to wellness, Ramila had suggested sensitivity clearing for my allergies, as well as herbal supplements. I also gained tremendous relief from her emotional release technique. After each treatment I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I would never have believed how your emotions could play such a pivotal role in your physical well-being.

- AJ, Ottawa

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

WHY DON'T NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS WORK? - DECEMBER 2016 - VOLUME 8, ISSUE 9

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season! Since the New Year is almost here, it’s a good idea to look at some strategies for making New Year's resolutions actually work this time around. We know all too well that the majority of resolutions don't last very far into the new year. The question is, how can we change this? Fortunately, there are many ways we can change the way we think about resolutions and how we approach them.
 
I hope you find this helpful! Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year, and good luck with your resolutions!
 
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 8, Issue 9

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

 

Like us on Facebook

Why Don't New Year's Resolutions Work?

failureFirst, it's important to understand why so many New Year's resolutions don't work. Here are some key reasons:

  • Your expectations were unrealistic. It's great to challenge yourself, and also good to further your personal development. However, if you take on too much, you will most likely end up being overwhelmed and feeling like a failure because you're not meeting all your goals. The next thing you know, you give up entirely.
  • You didn't clearly define your goals. You say you're going to get in shape, but what does that mean? Do you plan to lose weight? How much? Do you plan to run 5 km nonstop? Fit into size (pick a size) jeans? You need to be specific about what getting into shape means to you.
  • You are guilty of "all or nothing" thinking. You give up completely when everything doesn't go exactly according to plan. For example, you have French fries with dinner, then decide since you've blown your diet, you might as well have dessert. Then you decide you might as well continue to indulge for the entire weekend, and start over again next week.
  • You can't find time to do what you've resolved to do, for example attend exercise class 4 times a week, declutter your closet, or become more involved in your community organization.
  • You don't keep track of your progress, so you feel as if you're not getting anywhere with achieving your resolutions, and understandably you get discouraged.

 

How to succeed with your New Year's resolutions this time

  • Set short-term goals for long-term results. You may have an ambitious goal, but if you "chunk it down" into smaller, manageable chunks, and tackle them individually, you will be much more likely to succeed with the larger goal.
  • Clearly define your goals. Set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. For example, don't say, "I'm going to lose 10 pounds." Instead, say, "By April 30, 2017 at 5pm I will weigh 135 pounds."
  • It's better to do something than nothing. If you can't find an hour to spend at the gym, exercise for 30 minutes or even just 20 minutes. The shorter time will still move you toward your goal.
    • So you ate the French fries and dessert for dinner. Tomorrow morning, get back on track right away and minimize the damage. You'll start moving toward your goal again, and even better, you won't continue to move away from it. Any effort toward your goal is better than none.
  • Schedule your goal. Make your resolution a priority and actually write it into your schedule. Schedule time for getting fit. Schedule time to declutter your closet. You are much more likely to do what you schedule.
  • Keep track of your progress. Measure the changes you make and write them down. Don't expect your progress to be totally consistent, but know that if you hit a plateau, for example, with losing weight, that may point to a need to adjust your efforts, not to give up! Be patient.
  • Celebrate little victories. Be sure that the rewards you choose don't work against your goal. For example, if you've lost some weight, don't reward yourself with food, instead, perhaps treat yourself to a bubble bath or a good movie.
  • Make your resolution about the journey, not the outcome. Instead of deciding to lose 10 pounds, resolutions about getting enough physical activity on a regular basis and eating a healthy diet may be more beneficial. That way you will develop a healthier life style; the number on the scales is less important than that.
  • Resolve to do something you love. Not all resolutions have to be to do something you dread. Instead, make at least one resolution to do something you really love and want to do, such as read a fun novel or watch a good movie (or both) every month.
  • Start with just one goal. Even if you have many resolutions you would like to accomplish this year, your chances of success will be much higher if you focus on just one goal to start with. You can add another goal each time you're ready.

If weight loss combined with a healthier lifestyle are your goals, I would be very glad to help you. Please contact our office at 613.829.0427 for an appointment.

 

References:

  1. Flaxington BD. 5 reasons why New Year's resolutions fail... and 5 steps to successfully fulfilling them. Psychology Today, psychologytoday.com/blog/understand-other-people/201512/5-reasons-why-new-year-s-resolutions-fail, December 29, 2015.
  2. Kruse K. A psychologist's secrets to making New Year's resolutions stick. Forbes, forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/01/03/making-new-years-resolutions-stick/#562f8a621807 Accessed December 5, 2016
  3. Canfield J. The Success Principles. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2007.
  4. Pavini J. 10 tricks to help you actually keep your New Year's resolutions. Huffington Post. huffingtonpost.com/jeanette-pavini/10-tricks-to-help-you-actually-keep-your-new-years-resolutions_b_4550549.html, updated March 8, 2014.
  5. Gaskill L. 11 easy ways to keep your New Year's resolutions. Forbes. forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/01/01/11-easy-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions/#117e37586dc3, January 1, 2015.

 

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.

"In 4 months I was 37lbs lighter and 3 sizes smaller. I feel great, I am not hungry, I am getting lots of compliments, and I am much happier. I still have some extra pounds to get rid off, but I am not giving up!"

- Inessa

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

Cancer Prevention - July 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 4

Cancer. It’s the diagnosis no one wants, and everyone fears. But often cancer can be prevented. In the past 30 years, millions of dollars have been raised for research with the ultimate aim of curing cancer. During the summer we have different marathons and fundraisers. However, we have not made much progress and are still far away from curing the many different types of cancer. Therefore, it is time to take a closer look at what we may do for our health, and how we can be active and prevent cancer. The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is nowhere truer than with cancer. At least 50% of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living.
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