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Well-Adjusted For Life: Chiropractic Care Can Begin Right After Birth

Dr. Ray Vactor No Comments

A healthy spine is good for people of all ages. Regardless of your age, size or condition, safe and natural chiropractic care makes perfect sense, and it can begin as early as a few days old.

It’s hard to imagine a tiny human, who can’t walk or even roll over, already having a misalignment, but it’s true. During the birth process, especially if it was a difficult birth, the infant can become subject to blocked nerves and even central motor impairment.

Have you known any babies who suffered from colic? Colic is thought to be an infant’s response to pain. Chances are, you either had a baby who cried violently for lengthy amounts of time for no apparent reason, or you’ve probably known someone who’s had a colicky infant. Usually, digestion is the lead suspect, but it’s the belief of chiropractors, that due to the high incidence of abnormal spinal joint function found in colicky infants, that spinal dysfunction may be a significant cause of colic. Researchers concluded in a study of infants with colic, that standard chiropractic treatment constitutes an effective treatment of colic.

Even if the baby isn’t colicky, it’s still a good idea to have a trained chiropractor check your baby’s alignment to get them started off on the right foot, so to speak. Not only could there be a subluxation, but the hips or other joints may be misaligned as well.

“We’ve seen babies as young as just a few days old in our office. The proper attention to the development of the spinal structure early on can lead to fewer spinal problems as adults,” says Dr. Ray Vactor of Wexford Chiropractic Centre.

The chiropractic treatment of infants is the same as adults but with very little force and is isolated to a smaller area. This is the most natural and gentle treatment your baby can experience. If you’re a new parent, you’re scheduling your baby’s pediatrician visits, so why not schedule a chiropractic consultation today!

 Dr. Raymond Vactor has been practicing for over 30 years in Western, PA and believes the key to wellness is the combination of exercise, nutrition and chiropractic care. www.wexfordchiropractic.com   724-935-1610

CONTINUING THE STRESS MANAGEMENT TALK: Combat the Effects of Stress in Order to Sleep Better & Live Longer!

Dr. Ray Vactor No Comments

You’re being pulled in a hundred directions and attempting super-hero-like feats in order to get through the day. And no doubt – you’re stressed.

As we discussed in our previous blog post, the effects of stress can be traced to our adrenal glands – those important little guys atop the kidneys that produce vital hormones and respond to our stress. Over-stressed means our adrenal glands are overworked. Patients suffering from adrenal fatigue will experience symptoms such as nausea, salt and sugar cravings, poor appetite, excessive exhaustion, and memory loss. So, we need to tend to our adrenals in order to maintain or regain our health.

We touched on some things you can do to help out our warn-out adrenals, but we want to give you some more practical ways to get healthy via adrenal gland maintenance.  If we can’t cut the external stuff out of our lives that’s wearing us down, let’s at least fuel our bodies to be in top condition for the battle.

What can we eat to combat the effects of stress?

It’s a great idea to adopt a natural, whole foods diet and your first step in accomplishing this is by making sure your diet contains quality protein and raw vegetables. Those high sodium veggies – such as green beans, celery, avocados, onions, zucchini and tomatoes – are smart choices. Stressed out? Grab a veggie!

You may also consider snacking on nuts such as almonds, walnuts or Brazil nuts. Another great food to incorporate into your diet that’s rich in quality protein and smart for your adrenals are hemp seeds. But, maybe you prefer fruits instead, so a few wise choices would be oranges, lemons, or Goji berries.  And you can never go wrong with beans, like kidney beans.

Other adrenal-smart foods include wild oats, shitake mushrooms, ginseng, squash and kale. (One more food tip: replace table salt with sea salt!)

What vitamins and supplements can aid the over-worked adrenal glands?

Another way to preserve our adrenals is by making sure you’re taking a high strength B-complex supplement. And every day, be sure to take 2,000-5,000 milligrams of Vitamin C.  This, along with quality fish oils are a great way to supplement your diet.

Dr. Ray Vactor of Wexford Chiropractic Centre recommends supplements that support adrenal function. One is AdrenaMax from Nutritional Frontiers. “If you’re unable to lower your stress, ask me about these supplements or schedule an appointment for nutritional evaluation. We carry numerous supplements to help adrenal function because one may not work the same for everyone. At your evaluation, we’ll determine what supplement works best for you,” says Dr. Vactor.

Dr. Vactor urges patients to control cortisol levels – in other words, take care of those adrenals – in order to feel better, sleep better and live longer!

Dr. Raymond Vactor has been practicing for over 30 years in Western, PA and believes the key to wellness is the combination of exercise, nutrition and chiropractic care. www.wexfordchiropractic.com 724-935-1610

PROTECT THIS ONE GLAND AND LENGTHEN YOUR LIFE!

Dr. Ray Vactor No Comments

Stress is killing us. It robs us of our health – mentally, physically and emotionally. Too much stress weakens our immune system and shortens our lifespan. It’s an epidemic that seems to be on the rise in our overworked and uber-busy society. Of course, we can’t get rid of all of life’s stressers like our jobs, our kids or our obligations, but there are ways to reduce stress’s destruction to our bodies.

And it starts by protecting two small-but-mighty glands – our adrenal glands.

What’s an adrenal gland and what does it do?

These two important glands sit right on top of each kidney and are responsible for keeping us alive and safe – nature’s built-in alarm system, if you will. Also known as our Sympathetic Nervous System, these glands provide our body’s “Fight-or-Flight” mechanism. By releasing hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and androgens, they also help control our heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water/salt balance – all life-sustaining functions. When our adrenals are balanced and functioning well, our energy levels (and systems) are strong and vibrant.

 What does stress do to our adrenal glands?

The adrenals release cortisol, which is the body’s main stress hormone, and works with the brain to control our mood, our sleep cycle, and boost our energy, among other things. If your body is on high alert (super stressed), cortisol will inhibit other functions not needed during that time, such as digestion, the immune system or reproduction system. After the stresser passes, everything in your body should return to normal. But if you’re under constant stress, this barrage of cortisol doesn’t subside and can lead to health issues such as anxiety, depression, headaches, heart disease, digestion issues and memory issues as well as interfere with sleep. And often times, when we feel fatigued by stress (and lack of sleep), we turn to caffeine and sugar, becoming over-stimulated.

In healthy conditions, the opposite of our Sympathetic Nervous System – our Parasympathic System – should kick in to stimulate our body’s unconscious action of resting and recovering. However, if our adrenals are in overdrive and overstimulated, the Parasympathic System can’t do its job effectively. Our adrenals are unable to replenish, and our body can’t heal and recover.

 How do we help our adrenals become balanced?

Besides lowering the many stresses in our life, we can also give our body some well-deserved self-care. In addition to healthy food choices and exercise, we can also do our body a great service by visiting a chiropractor regularly. Why? Since our central nervous system is housed within our spine, the spine’s alignment is vital. When it’s not aligned, nerve blockages occur, impeding proper energy flow throughout out nervous system and ultimately to all of our vital organs. (Only 10% of our nerves sense pain, so some could be blocked without exhibiting any symptoms!)

“A chiropractor helps support the adrenals by assuring that the parasympathetic system and the sympathetic systems work in harmony and in balance,” says Dr. Ray Vactor, of Wexford Chiropractic Centre. “This is achieved through making sure the nervous system is unimpeded and the energy is flowing properly. Chiropractic care helps your body to rest, recover and heal. This, combined with exercise and a healthy diet, can help you achieve your healthiest you, and live a longer, healthier life.”

The doctor feels the other component of healthy adrenal glands is nutritional support. “When your adrenals have been stressed and depleted you usually need to support them with supplementation for faster and complete healing and a great sense of well-being. At our office, we can test you for deficiencies to find what adrenal support is best for you,” says Dr. Vactor.

We will cover other ways to manage stress and increase your energy in upcoming posts, but for now, take care of those important adrenal glands!

Dr. Raymond Vactor has been practicing for over 30 years in Western, PA and believes the key to wellness is the combination of exercise, nutrition and chiropractic care.  www.wexfordchiropractic.com 724-935-1610

 

The Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification

Dr. Ray Vactor No Comments

Story at-a-glance

The best mercury test analyzes blood, hair, and urine to identify the type of mercury you have in your body, allowing you to determine the best course for detoxification
Glutathione is the dominant agent that binds to and helps move mercury and other heavy metals out of your tissues. Part of effective detox involves upregulating chemistry that then mobilizes and eliminates the metals
Three pillars of heavy metal detox are: cleanse and clear your GI tract of metals and toxins, optimize glutathione, and upregulate detox genes. Kidney- and liver-supporting herbs and supplements are valuable adjuncts
What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?
Flavorful Butternut Squash Breakfast Bowl Recipe

By Dr. Mercola

Mercury is a pernicious neurotoxin. Removing it, however, needs to be done with great care, lest you cause even more problems.

Chris Shade, Ph.D., is probably one of the foremost experts in the world on the subject of heavy metal detoxification, and in this interview, he shares his wisdom on this important topic.

Shade received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he studied the environmental transformations of mercury.

He’s developed a patented liquid chromatographic mercury speciation technology that differentiates and identifies the exactly source of your mercury — whether it’s from your dental amalgams, or from eating contaminated seafood.

He’s also involved in developing new lipid-based delivery systems for nutraceuticals, including liposomes and micro-emulsion systems to address the need for effective and affordable detoxification.

“We had sophisticated computational tools for telling us what kind of ligands (binding molecules) are holding the mercury. What I was tasked with was developing an analytical system for separating different forms of mercury out,” he says.

“You’ve got methylmercury (which is the form that builds up in fish) and then you have inorganic mercury. In the environment, inorganic mercury is everywhere …

I developed these chromatographic tools that would enable a high-throughput analysis of biological samples to separate these different forms.”

The Mercury Tri-Test
In your body, glutathione is the dominant agent that binds to and helps move mercury (and other heavy metals) out of your tissues. Part of effectively eliminating mercury involves methods that help upregulate certain aspects of your chemistry that then mobilizes and moves the mercury out.

I actually used Shade’s diagnostic tests and detox processes about five years ago to help me detox from mercury amalgams, and was able to cut my mercury level down to normal, quite quickly.

The test he developed is called the Mercury Tri-Test, because it looks at three different kinds of samples: blood, hair, and urine. You always have more mercury in your tissues than in your blood. But there’s a steady state or ratio between what’s in your blood and what’s in your tissues.

Hair is an excretion marker for methylmercury, while urine is an excretion marker for inorganic mercury. These levels should be directly proportional to the levels in your blood.

“The most telling of these, the most importantly diagnostic of these ratios, is looking at the inorganic mercury in the blood compared to the inorganic mercury in the urine.

For a given amount of inorganic [mercury] in the blood, there should be roughly a seven-fold increase in the urine, as [mercury] is filtered out in the urine. But what we find that a lot of people have low [mercury in] urine, and high [mercury in their] blood.”

What the Blood to Urine Ratios Indicate
The reason for this has to do with retention toxicity. If two people have 10 amalgams, the sicker of the two will be the one whose urine output of mercury is lower; typically due to damage to the active transport system in the proximal tubules of the nephrons.

More specifically, when the mercury in your blood rises above the 1:7 ratio to the urine, it means your proximal tubule transporters in your kidneys have been damaged.

Your kidneys filter everything in your blood. After the general filtration, in the proximal tubules your body resorbs ions and nutrients it needs to keep, while toxins are actively shuttled out into the urine flow.

“This is what we’re measuring — that movement into the urinary flow of the toxic conjugates. That area in the proximal tubules is very, very easily damaged. In mouse models, a combination of endotoxin and mercury exposure creates that damage to those transport proteins.

Obviously, probably the biggest thing on the radar of integrative and functional medicine right now is leaky gut syndrome and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. They are the number one cause of getting high endotoxin levels in your body.

If you have a high mercury level and a leaky gut, you’re very likely to damage the very transport system that’s getting that mercury out of your body.

That’s going to lead to [increased] inorganic mercury levels in the blood. That diagnostic is really important. If that ratio’s off, we need to start by treating your kidneys before we go into the main detoxification.”

The Difference Between Inorganic Mercury and Methylmercury
The Mercury Tri-Test is the only clinical test out there that differentiates between the inorganic form of mercury (typically found in amalgam fillings) and organic mercury or methylmercury (from fish), allowing you to tailor the most ideal detoxification protocol for your situation.

While many believe all mercury is the same, this is not necessarily the case. Inorganic mercury is much more toxic to the extracellular matrix and thus to connective tissues.

If you’re having joint problems or fibromyalgia-like pain, you need to work on getting rid of this inorganic mercury, and you need to make sure your kidney transporters are working well.

Metylmercury is a less cytotoxic (toxic to the cells) form of mercury. If you only have methylmercury in your body, it’s all going through glutathione conjugation to your liver, and on to your GI tract.

On the cellular level, the inorganic mercury, is more disruptive because it can bind to more sulfhydryl groups and disrupt more chemistry than methylmercury can.

“For instance, if somebody only has methyl mercury exposure from eating fish and has no amalgams … they’re going to break down a certain amount of the methyl mercury into the inorganic mercury pool. But that’s not a fixed rate. That’s an individual reaction that we don’t really understand.

I suspect it’s related to oxidative stress. But some people break down a lot and really build up this inorganic mercury pool despite not having amalgams; some people breakdown only a little bit.

Those who break down a lot are much more at risk from toxicity from their fish than if they’re not doing that. They have two forms of mercury building up in their blood, including the worst one — the inorganic mercury. It’s important that we divide those and see how well you’re excreting the two.”

Primary Sources of Mercury Exposure
Seafood is essentially the sole source of methylmercury. However, it’s a major source of mercury, and it can be problematic if you eat a lot of seafood. The type of seafood you eat also plays a big role. At the top of the food chain, a shark might have 4 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm methylmercury in its tissues. According to Shade, swordfish is routinely 1 to 5 ppm, and tuna is routinely in the 1 to 2 ppm range.

Toward the bottom of the food chain you have sardines and anchovies, which may contain 1 to 10 parts per billion (ppb) of methylmercury, or nearly 1,000 times less mercury.

Wild salmon like Coho and sockeye can be in the 10 to 100 ppb range — a hundred-plus-fold lower level than high-level shark, tuna, and swordfish. Depending on the fish you compare, there could be a thousand-fold difference between the mercury levels. To put that into perspective, it’s like eating 1,000 pounds of anchovies versus 1 pound of shark. So if you eat fish on a regular basis, it’s really important to look for species known to be low in mercury.

“A dentist I know, Dr. Dave Regiani, had mercury levels measured with us. I said, ‘You obviously don’t eat any fish. He goes, ‘I eat fish every day.’ So I said, ‘Sardines and anchovies?’ He said, ‘You got it.’ It looks like he’s not eating fish at all. When you get down into kippers, anchovies, and sardines, you can eat them at will all day long, and you’re never going to build up high levels [of mercury].”

Inorganic mercury exposure is dominantly from dental amalgam and the breakdown of fish-based mercury into the inorganic form. Airborne mercury is the third and least troublesome source. Exceptions include some older buildings, such as old medical, dental, agricultural, and scientific buildings, where mercury levels could be quite significant.

How Mercury Damages Your Health
Inorganic mercury and cadmium are the two heavy metals that cause the most damage to your kidneys. They tend to build up there, causing a downward spiral where the more damage there is to the proximal tubules, the more metals accumulate, and the more damage is created. Many have suffered damage from doing chelation for this reason. By using the Tri-Test, you can determine whether chelation is a good idea or not.

When you take a chelating agent, such as DMSA, you solubilize a lot of mercury in the form that needs to be filtered out through the proximal tubules. This can be a risky type of mercury detoxification and typically isn’t necessary. Nevertheless, if you choose to use it, make sure you are working with a highly skilled clinician in this area.

This is because if your kidneys are not working properly, then mercury gets bound up, causing inflammatory damage around the kidneys, which can actually worsen the problem by causing chronic renal insufficiency. (On a side note, a relatively low-protein diet [typically less than 40 to 50 grams per day] can be a beneficial strategy if you have kidney problems such as this.)

“The central nervous system and nephrotoxicity (or kidney toxicity) are the most well-understood damages,” Shade says. “It should be said that in neurotoxicity, the most common site for damage is the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor or the glutamate receptor, which causes hyperglutamate activity, which leads to anxiety.

Glutamate excess or excess activity of the glutamate receptor makes a chronic peroxynitrite free radical cascade coming off of those receptors that causes neuroinflammation, which gives you brain fog and fuzzy thinking. It also causes a lot of anxiety and disrupts your autonomic nervous system function … That’s another downward spiral.

Thyroid problems is also a huge one — hypothyroid activity or lack of thyroid activity. It’s mostly damaging the deiodinase, which takes the T4 and moves it to T3. If you’re looking at your thyroid labs and you have a high T4 but a low T3, mercury, cadmium, or arsenic are the most dominant players in breaking that chain.

Inorganic mercury also builds up in connective tissue, leading to a lot of joint pains. If you’re having lower back pain, a lot of hip pains, connective tissue pains, or diffused pains like fibromyalgia, and you have dental amalgams, that’s a very common situation. We see people’s joint pains and connective tissue pains clear up a lot when they get rid of their amalgams and clear all that mercury out.”

The Importance of Optimizing Your GI Tract
Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems, and Shade’s work has led to treatment strategies that are far safer and more effective than earlier detox methods used by many alternative practitioners, including myself and Shade.

“Most of us are pioneers because we poison ourselves and had to figure ourselves how to get out of that. That was exactly what I did and that’s exactly how this all came about …

Nigel Plummer, Ph.D., (one of the probiotic leaders of the world) and Dr. Robert Rountree (one of the leaders in GI and functional medicine) were speaking back to back at the Colorado Functional Medicine Forum, talking about how the GI tract reacts to the toxins coming through it and is signaling your immune systems on how to do things.

At the time, I was doing really badly with my DMSA chelation protocol, and I suddenly realized I was accumulating mercury in the GI tract and not moving that out. That was stagnating the system. I started taking strong mercury binders. We have one called Intestinal Metal Detox (IMD), which is a silica particle saturated with sulfhydryl groups. One 6-gram bottle of that is equal to 3,000 to 5,000 chlorellas, which is what had been used naturopathically.

Once I cleared that metal out of the GI tract, it seemed to open up the liver’s ability to work with the small intestine, start moving that load out of there, and take the load away from the kidney. It worked so well, that provoked me to do a lot of research and figure out exactly why it worked,” Shade says.

In short, when there’s inflammation and/or toxin build-up in the GI tract, the movement of toxins from the liver and the GI tract ceases, and everything gets shuttled over to the kidneys. Unless you can open up that liver-GI path, you end up overloading your kidney with toxins. Then, if you try to mobilize all that mercury with a chelator, it all hits the kidneys and cause even more damage. So part of the solution is to “clear out” the GI path first.

Detox Step 1: Optimize Your Filtration Mechanisms
Intestinal Metal Detox (IMD) is a powerful mercury and heavy metal chelator, hundreds of times more potent than chlorella. It helps take the pressure off your kidneys by restoring the natural dominant detox pathway — from your liver to your GI tract and out through fecal excretion. So the first part of the detox involves clearing the metal out of your GI tract with specific metal binders.

The primary endotoxin binder is charcoal, and clay binds to aflatoxin. Ideally, you’ll want to use a combination of IMD/chlorella, charcoal, and clay to cover all the bases. Quicksilver Scientific is the sole source for IMD. Chlorella, charcoal and clay can be found in most health food stores and grocery stores.

“I like a cocktail of GI binders, including a metal-specific one like IMD or chlorella, charcoal (which gets almost all the other mycotoxins, except for aflatoxin), and clay (which gets aflatoxin but not the other mycotoxins). Then you’ve got the pesticides and herbicides. In that mix of different binders, you’re going to be able to get almost all of them. It’s really important in a detox to have a good cocktail of GI binders,” Shade says.

Remember, detoxing involves moving the toxin out of the cell; squeezing the toxin out of the cell into your blood circulation, and then filtering out the metals through your kidneys, liver, and GI tract. However, you need to begin by assessing your filtration capacity before you start moving toxins out of your tissues. If you’re feeling awful, it means toxins are building up in circulation faster than they’re being filtered out.

To ensure your filters are working properly, begin by supporting your kidneys, liver, and GI tract, and use binders to capture and eliminate metals and toxins in your GI tract.

Classic herbs known to support healthy liver and kidney function include: dandelion, milk thistle, and bitters like gentian and myrrh. For added kidney support, cranberry (a diuretic), solidago (goldenrod), and corn silk can be used. Shade’s favorite is goldenrod. General kidney and liver support formulas are also viable options.

Adding burdock will help clear your blood. Dandelion is a good all-around option as it supports blood, liver, and kidney. Be sure to drink lots of water to flush the toxins out.

Detox Step 2: Address Detoxification Biochemistry
Next, you need to optimize the metabolic biochemistry needed for detoxification. That biochemistry involves glutathione and the enzymes and transporters that work with it, such as the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST), which is responsible for catalyzing and moving the mercury off the cellular proteins onto the glutathione.

There are several well-known nutraceuticals that help accomplish this. The most well-known and most reliable is lipoic acid. R-lipoic acid is the biologically active form, which is the most useful. Alpha-lipoic acid does work, but that’s a mixture of R-lipoic acid and S-lipoic acid, the latter of which actually works against the process. So R-lipoic acid (sometimes also called R-alpha-lipoic acid) is the one to look for.

“R-lipoic acid hits a switch called nuclear factor erythroid 2 (Nrf2). It’s a protein made to translocate into the nucleus. It hits promoter regions on genes. Promoter regions are signals for families of genes to turn on. If you want to accomplish something, there’s usually not just one protein that does it; there’s a family of proteins.

A promoter regions brings up a family of proteins. The Nrf2 promoter region is called the antioxidant response element. It brings up the family of detox or chemo-protection genes.

There are a number of different nutraceuticals and also pro-oxidants that do that … My favorite is called haritaki or terminalia chebula. It’s an Ayurvedic plant filled with polyphenols … Then you’ve got sulfur compounds from brassicas. Sulforaphane is a well-known one from broccoli seed extract. Erucin comes from all the brassicas.

You’ve got allicin and diallyl disulfide from garlic. All of these upregulate Nrf2. They create little free radical cascades that hit that Nrf2 and move it into the nucleus, so that you can detoxify the compounds. So in effect, these compounds are well targeted mild toxins that stimulate a response from the body.”

Which Is Best? Precursors or Direct Delivery or Glutathione?
If everything is working well in your body, you can simply use precursors to glutathione, like N-acetylcysteine (NAC) which will support glutathione production. If things aren’t working well, Shade recommends using a direct delivery of glutathione.

It’s important to realize that most oral glutathione supplements do not work. It’s simply going to break down to its constituent amino acids, so it’s not an effective intervention. Shade recommends and uses a nanoliposomal glutathione that absorbs under your tongue and is far easier and less expensive than IV glutathione.

Again, whether you can make do with precursors or need direct delivery of glutathione has a lot to do with how well your glutathione system is working, and your current state of health. Poor immune function is a sign of glutathione insufficiency, and a tip-off that a precursor might not be enough. In studies on HIV positive patients, 1,000 times more precursor than glutathione was necessary to restore cellular function in those with active disease.

“Another example of that is the herpes family. Cell cultures of herpes 1, the herpes that you get on your lip, will grow in a petri dish and kill all the cells. If you put glutathione in first, it doesn’t grow at all. If you start it and it starts killing the cells, and you throw glutathione in it, it stops it in its tracks. In fact, liposomes are a topical as well as a systemic. They were originally used in the cosmetic industry.

You can use a liposomal glutathione topically to penetrate in and help stop the propagation of a virus in a cold sore or any other herpes diseases,” Shade says. “You hear reports from people who get their amalgams out, detoxify and bring their glutathione system up that they stop getting recurring herpes infections, because herpes is living in the situation of reduced glutathione in the immune system.”

Leave Chelation for Last
The chelating agent EDTA is a powerful biofilm breaker. When taken systemically it opens up biofilms throughout your body, revealing various organisms to your immune system. As a result, you may experience immune reactions. A lot of the fatigue that people feel when chelating is in fact due to immune reactions to organisms, and is reflective of systemic biofilm-based infections. According to Shade, “If you’re not having success with detox, you need to go after microbial injections almost every time.”

Also, it’s important not to indiscriminately chelate for lead. If you go through the glutathione system upregulation discussed above, you’re not just getting mercury, cadmium, and arsenic out. You’re also getting a whole host of other toxins, including fluorinated, brominated, chlorinated hydrocarbons, pesticides, and herbicides.

“Start low, work up, and pulse on and off. That’s the key to making that happen. That will stop the toxic manifestations of lead. But mobilizing lead out of the body using EDTA, DMSA, or 2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) has to be done with a qualified practitioner.

I would say, do the glutathione system upregulation. Get rid of all that other junk. Really build up your body’s own ability to deal with these toxins, and then mobilize the lead. And always do that with a practitioner,” Shade says.

Addressing Toxic Metals Besides Mercury
To detect heavy metals besides mercury, Shade uses an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) scan of blood for nutrient and toxic metals. This is important, because you need to have your nutrient metals in order before you can go after toxic metals. Most of the toxic metals displace zinc, and zinc drives many important metabolic reactions. If you have low zinc, you’re not going to be able to detoxify metals well.

If you have high copper and low zinc, you will present symptoms of heavy metal poisoning, and it will be synergistically toxic with any heavy metals present in your system. High calcium and low magnesium stops detoxification by restricting magnesium-dependent transporters and by putting you in a state of chronic inflammation. You also need to have adequate molybdenum, selenium, and lithium in order to detoxify.

“You need to bring up the ones that are low, and you need to stop supplementing or stop exposing yourself to the ones that are high. It’s a little bit more complex with copper. But generally, when you get the glutathione system in order and when you get methylation in order, the copper levels will come down.

Now as far as the toxic metals, when we do glutathione system upregulation, we handle mercury, cadmium, and arsenic — three of the Big Four. The only one we really want to chelate for is lead. If lead is very high, you need the guidance of a qualified licensed practitioner to use either our liposomal EDTA or a little bit of DMSA and DMPS.

In general, I don’t like DMSA and DMPS unless you’ve already cleared the system of the mercury, you’ve normalized the glutathione system, and you’ve established very importantly that your kidneys are able to filter those chelates.”

Three Pillars of Detoxification
The three pillars of detoxification in general and metal detoxification in particular are:

1. Cleanse and clear your GI tract of metals and toxins using a thiol-functionalized silica (Intestinal Metal Detox, or IMD) with a practitioner, or chlorella, plus charcoal and clay, which bind to all the other toxins. Herbs like dandelion and goldenrod are good for added liver and kidney support. Burdock and dandelion helps clear your blood. Be sure to drink extra water to flush the toxins out.

Remember, if you’re detoxing and feeling really unwell, you need to clear more toxins out of your GI tract and blood. When you do that, back off your Nrf2 upregulators, and instead take more GI binders, and more liver and kidney supporting herbs. Drink a lot of water. When you’re feeling clear again, restart the Nrf2 upregulators.

2. Glutathione optimization. Increase glutathione levels either by using precursors (such as N-acetylcysteine [NAC], or a liposomal glutathione formulation.

3. Nrf2 upregulation in the cells using R-lipoic acid, polyphenols, and sulfur-based compounds from cruciferous vegetables and alliums. The Ayurvedic herb haritaki is beneficial, as are sulforaphane (broccoli seed extract), and allicin and diallyl disulfide (garlic). All of these upregulate Nrf2 and aids detoxification.

Last but not least, remember that detoxing is a marathon, not a sprint. Start all your doses low and work your way up. Do not jump in and do too much all at once. Typically, detoxing will take anywhere from three to 12 months; sometimes longer. Also, pulse the treatment on and off, or else it will lose its effectiveness.

Advice for New Patients: What to Expect from your visit

Dr. Ray Vactor No Comments

Thinking of Coming in to see Dr. Ray Vactor at Wexford Chiropractic Centre?

That’s great! We can’t wait to see you!

Here’s some things to expect:

1. Friendly and informative Care

Dr. Ray Vactor and his staff are happy to meet you and assist you in your Integrative Care Journey. We want to help you feel the best you possibly can.

2. Alignments

Alignments/spinal adjustments can be a bit daunting to a first time patient. Just remember that you are in good hands!

3. Nutritional Assessment

Not all Chiropractors give you a thorough nutritional assessment. Dr. Ray Vactor will find out what your body is deficient in and give you the supplements you need to balance your body and help you feel better, more energized and overall more healthy!

4. A thorough follow up
Dr. Ray Vactor isn’t interested in getting you out of the door…he’s interested in getting you out of the door feeling better and back in for your next appointment.

Chiropractic Care is not a one time thing, or fix, it is a method to get you as healthy and happy with your body as you can be with a better aligned spine and a better performing central nervous and endocrine system.

So what are you waiting for come see Dr. Ray Vactor at Wexford Chiropractic Centre today!!!

The Biggest Misconception about Chiropratic Care: Scooby Doo

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Many people have some crazy ideas about what Chiropractic Care means.

They even fear coming to the Wexford Chiropractic Centre with visions of “Witch Doctors” in their heads.

That is a famous character on Scooby Doo…not anyone you’ll find practicing Integrative Medicine,

So let’s focus on taking this Misconception based on a stereotype and find out the truth.

Integrative medicine focuses on body, mind, and spirit sure, but it’s not a scary pseudo-religious thing like on Scooby Doo, instead Chiropractic Care is about systemic medicine, how each part of the body reacts and effects the other.

An aligned back, relieves the tension and stress off of joints and muscles, making you feel better.

Testing you for what nutrients you are deficient in and creating a nutrition plan with vitamins and a diet and exercise plan is a vital part of chiropractic care AND a way to get your body working better as a whole.

So never fear! Dr. Ray Vactor is here!

Come on in and find out how integrative care can benefit (not scare) you.

How can Stress throw off your efforts to eat healthier?

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Story at-a-glance

  • Stress may counteract some of the benefits of a healthy diet
  • When women had low stress levels, they had higher markers of inflammation after eating an unhealthy meal but not after eating a healthy meal
  • When women were stressed out, their inflammation levels were elevated even when they ate a healthy meal
  • Women with a history of major depressive disorder also had higher post-meal blood pressure levels than women without a history of depression

By Dr. Mercola

Your mental state, including negative emotions like stress as well as depression, and your diet can alter levels of inflammation in your body.

Health problems such as obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, periodontal disease, stroke and heart disease are all rooted in inflammation, particularly chronic inflammation that may fester out of control in your body.

Ordinarily, eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to keep inflammation in check, but recent research suggests that even that may not be enough if you’re also under stress.

Does Stress Counteract the Benefits of a Healthy Diet?

A study of 58 women, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, showed the impacts of stress on health, even in the presence of healthy eating.1

The women were given two meals, one healthy and one not, and filled out questionnaires assessing symptoms of depression over the prior week and stressors over the past 24 hours.

When women had low stress levels, they had higher markers of inflammation after eating an unhealthy meal but not after eating a healthy meal. When women were stressed out, however, their inflammation levels were elevated regardless of which meal they ate.

Women with a history of major depressive disorder also had higher post-meal blood pressure levels than women without a history of depression.

There are some potential issues with the study — namely the researchers’ definition of what constitutes a healthy versus unhealthy meal — but the results showing that stress is associated with higher levels of inflammation are not surprising, nonetheless.

In a study published in 2015, the researchers also found daily stressors were associated with changes in metabolic responses that could make a person gain almost 11 pounds a year.

“These findings illustrate how stress and depression alter metabolic responses to high-fat meals in ways that promote obesity,” the researchers explained.2

Eating Junk Food While You’re Stressed May Compound the Problem

The take-home message is certainly not that eating healthy is futile if you’re feeling stressed out. Certain healthy foods may help to improve your mood when you’re stressed but, unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of Americans report overeating or eating unhealthy foodsas a result of stress.3

This will only make matters worse. For instance, among a group of chronically stressed women (those caring for a spouse or parent with dementia), eating foods high in unhealthy fats and sugar led to concerning health effects, including a larger waistline, increased abdominal fat, more oxidative damage and more insulin resistance.4

The combination of junk food andstress was particularly dangerous, as low-stress women who ate similar foods did not experience such profound changes over the course of the study.

The study’s lead author, Kirstin Aschbacher, Ph.D, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, said:5

“Many people think a calorie is a calorie, but this study suggests that two women who eat the same thing could have different metabolic responses based on their level of stress.

There appears to be a stress pathway that works through diet — for example, it could be similar to what we see in animals, where fat cells grow faster in response to junk food when the body is chronically stressed.”

Why Stress Is so Detrimental to Your Health

Stress is a known trigger for systemic low-grade inflammation, and the fact that this negative emotional state may counteract some of the beneficial effects of healthy eating is revealing.

Stress clearly affects virtually your whole body, but according to neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., in the documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer“, the following are the most common health conditions that are caused by or worsened by stress:

Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Depression
Anxiety Sexual dysfunction Infertility and irregular cycles
Frequent colds Insomnia and fatigue Trouble concentrating
Memory loss Appetite changes Digestive problems and dysbiosis

Further, stress has a notable impact on your gut, including affecting movement and contractions in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and increasing inflammation. It’s not surprising that it may also alter the benefits your body receives from healthy foods, as the stress response is also known to cause:6

  • Decreased nutrient absorption
  • Decreased oxygenation to your gut
  • As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism
  • Decreased enzymatic output in your gut — as much as 20,000-fold!

Anti-Stress Foods to Add to Your Diet

Your diet can support or derail your positive mood, which is why when you’re under stress it’s especially important to eat well. One of the worst choices you can make is to go on a sugar binge, as sugar consumption promotes chronic inflammation.

In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, which is linked to a greater risk of depression. Sugar (particularly fructose) and grains also contribute to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in your mental health.

So what should you eat when you’re under a great deal of stress? Here are some top anti-stress foods to consider.

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. One 2012 study found people who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression than those who ate the least.7

Not to mention, research from the University of Otago found eating fruits and vegetables of any sort (except fruit juice and dried fruit) helped young adults calm their nerves.8

2.Fermented Foods

Unhealthy gut flora can have a detrimental impact on your brain health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression. Beneficial bacteria have a direct effect on brain chemistry, transmitting mood- and behavior-regulating signals to your brain via your vagus nerve.

For instance, the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus was found to have a marked effect on GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.9

3.Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon, Sardines and Anchovies

Found in salmon, sardines and anchovies, or supplement form, such as krill oil, the animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play a role in your emotional well-being.

One study in Brain Behavior and Immunity showed a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among medical students taking omega-3,10 while past research has shown omega-3 fats work just as well as antidepressants in preventing the signs of depression, but without any of the side effects.

Why choose Dr. Ray Vactor?

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how to detox your body, ten day detox,

Dr. Ray Vactor is one of the best chiropractors around and there is good reason for it.

His knowledge of chiropractic care enables patients to feel relieved of their pain, more stable posture, moods, chronic pain levels and have a better understanding of what it means to take care of your body.

What we love about him:

#1 His chiropractic adjustments

After a session with Dr. Ray Vactor, your body feels more aligned and chronic health problems are alleviated.

#2 His Friendly Quality Care

Dr. Ray Vactor is kind and helpful for the whole family.

Whether it’s Dad’s football injury, or mom’s anxiety with every visit and kind word, the whole family feels better!

#3 Supplements

Dr. Vactor had a way with supplements. He knows just what supplements your body needs to bounce back.

If your feeling low or unmotivated supplements may need just what you need and Dr. Vactor will know exactly what to give you.

Adjustments, Quality Care, Supplements, what more could we ask for in a chiropractor?

Drugged Driving Now Causes More Fatal Crashes Than Drunk Driving

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Drugged Driving Now Causes More Fatal Crashes Than Drunk Driving

One in 4 Americans reports knowing someone addicted to opioids, and driving under the influence of these and other drugs has become a serious problem, now causing more fatal car crashes than drunk driving
Prescription and/or illegal drugs were involved in 43 percent of fatal car crashes in 2015; 37 percent involved illegal amounts of alcohol, highlighting the need for law enforcement training in identifying drug-impaired driving
Drugs metabolize in very different ways and at different rates, making testing using blood, urine or saliva challenging — nor can any single test measure all the possible drugs a driver might be on
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By Dr. Mercola

One in 4 Americans (and 1 in 3 millennials) reports knowing someone addicted to opioids,1 and recent statistics reveal driving under the influence of these and other drugs has become a serious problem, now causing more fatal car crashes than drunk driving.2

Many who go on to develop an addiction to opioids start out merely seeking relief from their aches and pains. Back pain is a leading cause of opioid use, but many also get hooked on these potent painkillers after receiving a prescription following a sports injury or a minor surgical procedure such as a tooth extraction.

Little did they know the painkiller they were taking would lead them down such a dark and troublesome path. For years, drug makers misled doctors and patients about the addictive nature of their narcotic painkillers. As it turns out, opioids are highly addictive and have become the No. 1 gateway drug to heroin.

While the rising death toll from opioid overdoses has received much-needed attention in the last couple of years, another related problem is now surfacing. Millions of people are driving under the influence of opioids, yet law enforcement has few reliable tools to identify drugged driving, or for measuring opioids and other drugs in someone suspected of driving under the influence.

Drugged Driving Is a Leading Cause of Fatal Car Crashes
According to a report3,4,5 compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, prescription and/or illegal drugs were involved in 43 percent of fatal car crashes in 2015, while 37 percent involved illegal amounts of alcohol. The findings highlight an urgent need for law enforcement training in identifying drug-impaired driving. As reported in the Chicago Tribune:6

“The drugged driving report, which summarizes findings from multiple studies, said law enforcement officers often have a hard time recognizing drivers under the influence of drugs, who are more difficult to assess than those driving drunk.

‘Officers need to know more than they do for alcohol how to suspect drug impairment, and know that it can exhibit itself in different ways,’ [lead author and former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official Jim] Hedlund said in an interview. ‘Drug impairment has different signs and symptoms — think of the difference between uppers and downers.’”

Many drivers also make the mistake of not taking their drug use into account before getting behind the wheel. Illegal drugs are far from the only drugs capable of impairing your judgment. As noted in the report, hundreds of medications can impair your driving ability, including some sold over-the-counter (OTC). Opioids are certainly part of that list. Drugs — both prescription and illegal — in combination with alcohol is particularly risky.

Identifying Drugged Driving Poses Unique Challenges
When it comes to measuring the amount of drugs in a person’s system, the fact that different drugs metabolize in very different ways and at different rates makes testing of blood, urine or saliva extremely challenging, not to mention the fact that no single test can measure all the possible drugs a driver might be on. An alternative is to use other types of tests to evaluate whether a driver might be impaired by drugs.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is giving out $100,000 in grants this year to train police officers in five states on the identification of drug-impaired driving. The U.S. Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, for example, teaches law enforcement to use a 12-step evaluation. The drawback is, it’s a 90-minute procedure that is not easily done roadside.

Adding to the dilemma is that while “driving while impaired” is illegal in all 50 states, the specific definition of “drug impairment” varies. There’s also no uniformity in what drugs are actually screened for when impairment is suspected. Testing for all of the hundreds of drugs known to cause impairment is hardly feasible either.

Crash Risk Associated With Drugs
According to the report, marijuana accounted for 35 percent of fatally injured drivers found to have drugs in their system; amphetamines accounted for 9 percent, while more than half were caused by “other drugs.” In terms of crash risk, European studies have found the following associations, assuming a driver with no drugs or alcohol in their system has a relative crash risk assessment of 1:7

Marijuana is associated with a slightly elevated risk, with a relative risk of 1 to 3 (increasing your crash risk by anywhere from 22 to 36 percent according to different studies)
Opioids, cocaine and benzodiazepines are associated with a medium increased risk, with a relative risk of 2 to 10
Amphetamines and/or multiple drug combinations are associated with a highly-elevated risk, with a relative risk of 5 to 30
Drugs in combination are associated with an extremely elevated risk, with a relative risk of 20 to 200
Opioids Versus Marijuana — Don’t Lose Sight of the Greater Issue
While the report and most subsequent media articles have homed in on marijuana, let’s remember that the majority of the fatal crashes, over 50 percent, involved “other drugs,” and that opioids have a higher relative crash risk than marijuana.

While 1 in 8 American adults (13 percent) reports smoking marijuana,8 the opioid problem surely outweighs recreational marijuana use. More than 259 million prescriptions for opioids are written in the U.S. each year9 — an astounding 1 in 5 patients with a pain-related diagnosis is prescribed opioids, and in some states opioid prescriptions outnumber the residents.10

More than 12 million Americans report using prescription painkillers for nonmedical purposes11 and 2 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted specifically to opioid painkillers.12,13 One in 4 Americans and 1 in 3 millennials reports knowing someone addicted to opioids.14

Homing in on how the legalization of marijuana may impact road safety without saying a single word about the impact of opioids is just reprehensible. We cannot continue sweeping the matter of opioid overuse and addiction under the rug and simply point fingers at marijuana.

Clearly, you should not drive if you’ve been smoking pot (CBC-based medical cannabis is different, as CBC does not have a psychoactive effect), but you also clearly should not drive if you’ve recently taken an opioid, even if you’re taking it as prescribed. The recent arrest of Tiger Woods15,16 highlights this common-sense advice.

Tiger Woods Arrested for Drugged Driving
According to a CNN report,17 Jupiter, Florida, police found Woods asleep at the wheel in his car on the side of the road. The driver’s side had minor damage, and both front and rear tires on that side were flat. When the officer woke him up, Woods’ speech was slurred, and he said he didn’t know where he was. He was arrested and charged with DUI. A Breathalyzer test revealed he had no alcohol in his system, however, and he admitted he was taking “several prescriptions.”

In a public apology,18 Woods blamed his impairment on “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.” He’s recovering from surgery, so the medications he’s referring to may have been prescribed in relation to that.

“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” Woods said — a comment that highlights the social stigma of drinking and driving. But we now need to recognize that medications are just as dangerous when you’re behind the wheel. A prescription is not a “free pass” to avoid personal responsibility. You still have to make sure you are in fact not impaired before driving.

The same goes for over-the-counter drugs. Certain allergy medications and cough syrup, for example, can make you drowsy and the side effects may linger well into the next day. A California man was even charged with DUI resulting from excessive caffeine intake earlier this year.

The man was arrested for “erratic, reckless driving” and charged with DUI. When testing failed to reveal drugs or alcohol, he was cited for driving under the influence of caffeine — the only substance found in his system. The charges raised many an eyebrow and were eventually dropped, but not without some legal wrangling.

Carefully Weigh Your Need for Narcotic Pain Relievers
It’s extremely important to be cognizant of your level of impairment when taking ANY drug. Also beware of the addictive potential of opioid drugs. I urge you to seriously weigh your need for them. If you have not seen it yet, watch the documentary “Chasing the Dragon” before filling that prescription. There are so many other ways to address pain.

Below is a long list of suggestions. If you are in pain that is bearable, please try these options first, before resorting to prescription painkillers of any kind.

If you need a pain reliever, consider an over-the-counter (OTC) option. Research19 shows prescription-strength naproxen (Naprosyn, sold OTC in lower dosages as Aleve) provides the same pain relief as more dangerous narcotic painkillers. However, while naproxen may be a better alternative to narcotic painkillers, it still comes with a very long list of potential side effects,20 and the risks increase with frequency of use.

Non-Drug Solutions for Pain Relief
Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars from your diet

Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels and decrease insulin and leptin resistance, which is one of the most important reasons why inflammatory prostaglandins are produced. That is why stopping sugar and sweets is so important to controlling your pain and other types of chronic illnesses.
Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat

Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, by manipulating prostaglandins.) Good sources include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies, which are all high in healthy omega-3s while being low in contaminants such as mercury. As for supplements, my favorite is krill oil, as it has a number of benefits superior to fish oil.
Optimize your sun exposure and production of vitamin D

Optimize your vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain. Sun exposure also has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects that are unrelated to vitamin D production, and these benefits cannot be obtained from a vitamin D supplement.

Red, near-, mid- and far-infrared light therapy (photobiology) and/or infrared saunas may also be quite helpful as it promotes and speeds tissue healing, even deep inside the body.
Medical cannabis

Medical marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic and is now legal in 28 states. You can learn more about the laws in your state on medicalmarijuana.procon.org.21
Kratom

Kratom (Mitragyna speciose) is another plant remedy that has become a popular opioid substitute.22 In August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a notice saying it was planning to ban kratom, listing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, following massive outrage from kratom users who say opioids are their only alternative, the agency reversed its decision.23

Kratom is likely safer than an opioid for someone in serious and chronic pain. However, it’s important to recognize that it is a psychoactive substance and should not be used carelessly. There’s very little research showing how to use it safely and effectively, and it may have a very different effect from one person to the next.

Also, while it may be useful for weaning people off opioids, kratom is in itself addictive. So, while it appears to be a far safer alternative to opioids, it’s still a powerful and potentially addictive substance. So please, do your own research before trying it.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

EFT is a drug-free approach for pain management of all kinds. EFT borrows from the principles of acupuncture in that it helps you balance out your subtle energy system. It helps resolve underlying, often subconscious, and negative emotions that may be exacerbating your physical pain. By stimulating (tapping) well-established acupuncture points with your fingertips, you rebalance your energy system, which tends to dissipate pain.

Meditation and Mindfulness Training

Among volunteers who had never meditated before, those who attended four 20-minute classes to learn a meditation technique called focused attention (a form of mindfulness meditation) experienced significant pain relief — a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness.24
K-Laser, Class 4 Laser Therapy

If you suffer pain from an injury, arthritis or other inflammation-based pain, I’d strongly encourage you to try K-Laser therapy. It can be an excellent choice for many painful conditions, including acute injuries. By addressing the underlying cause of the pain, you will no longer need to rely on painkillers.

K-Laser is a class 4 infrared laser therapy treatment that helps reduce pain, reduce inflammation and enhance tissue healing — both in hard and soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments or even bones. The infrared wavelengths used in the K-Laser allow for targeting specific areas of your body and can penetrate deeply into the body to reach areas such as your spine and hip.
Chiropractic

Many studies have confirmed that chiropractic management is much safer and less expensive than allopathic medical treatments, especially when used for pain such as low back pain.

Qualified chiropractic, osteopathic and naturopathic physicians are reliable, as they have received extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal disorders during their course of graduate health care training, which lasts between four to six years. These health experts have comprehensive training in musculoskeletal management.
Acupuncture

Research has discovered a “clear and robust” effect of acupuncture in the treatment of back, neck and shoulder pain, and osteoarthritis and headaches.
Physical therapy

Physical therapy has been shown to be as good as surgery for painful conditions such as torn cartilage and arthritis.
Foundation Training

Foundation training is an innovative method developed by Dr. Eric Goodman to treat his own chronic low back pain. It’s an excellent alternative to painkillers and surgery, as it actually addresses the cause of the problem.
Massage

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Pain Medicine included 60 high-quality and seven low-quality studies that looked into the use of massage for various types of pain, including muscle and bone pain, headaches, deep internal pain, fibromyalgia pain and spinal cord pain.25

The review revealed massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all. When compared to other pain treatments like acupuncture and physical therapy, massage therapy still proved beneficial and had few side effects. In addition to relieving pain, massage therapy also improved anxiety and health-related quality of life.
Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is one of the most effective fat-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs. Higher doses are typically required and you may need 8 milligrams (mg) or more per day to achieve this benefit.
Ginger

This herb has potent anti-inflammatory activity and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
Curcumin

In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. A past study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the overproduction of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.26
Boswellia

Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Bromelain

This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple, including some of the bromelain-rich stem, may also be helpful.
Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO)

This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a joint lubricant and anti-inflammatory. I have used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and carpal tunnel syndrome. I used a topical preparation for this.
Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils

These contain the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is particularly useful for treating arthritic pain.
Cayenne Cream

Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.
Methods such as hot and cold packs, aquatic therapy, yoga, various mind-body techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy27 can also result in astonishing pain relief without drugs.
Grounding

Walking barefoot on the earth may also provide a certain measure of pain relief by combating inflammation.
Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, originally developed in the early 1960s for the treatment of opioid addiction. When taken at very low doses (LDN, available only by prescription), it triggers endorphin production, which can boost your immune function and ease pain.

Yoga offers help to victims of sexual abuse

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Story at-a-glance

  • Yoga has been shown to improve mental health, including depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma and sexual abuse
  • Yoga is uniquely suitable for treating trauma, as regulated breathing calms your parasympathetic nervous system, and the mindfulness required helps counteract dissociative effects of trauma
  • In teenagers, yoga has been found to strengthen emotional resilience and ability to manage anger; in the elderly, it’s been shown to stave off cognitive decline to a greater degree than aerobic exercise

 

Yoga — a form of moving meditation that demands focused attention on your body — has many physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual benefits that can be helpful for those struggling with pain- and/or stress-related health problems. As you learn new ways of moving and responding to your body, your mind and emotions tend to shift and change as well.

In a sense, you not only become more physically flexible, but your mental outlook and approach to life may also gain newfound flexibility.

Yoga appears to be particularly beneficial when it comes to mental health, with studies showing it helps improve psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.1,2,3,4 Some of these studies suggest yoga can actually have an effect similar to that of antidepressants and psychotherapy.

In studies with teenage participants, yoga has been found to strengthen emotional resilience and ability to manage anger.5 In the elderly, it’s been shown to stave off cognitive decline6 to a greater degree than aerobic exercise.7,8 Most recently, gentle yoga practice has been identified as a valuable aid in healing childhood trauma, known to be a source of not only poor mental health but also a contributor to chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.9

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