Nobody wants to get a colonoscopy. But, much like going to the dentist, it’s a preventive care necessity. Unlike most other diagnostic tests, colonoscopies not only detect cancer, but can also prevent it by removing polyps which may develop into cancer. In fact, researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard recently concluded that colonoscopies are by far the most accurate tests to identify and reduce the risk of cancerous growths both in the distal (right) and proximal (left) sides of the colon.
Tags: Berries, Cancer, Mediterranean Diet
Posted in Exercise, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 1 Comment
By now, the health benefits of exercise have been fairly well established in the scientific literature. In fact, there’s very little controversy or debate regarding the general value of physical activity on everything from cardiovascular to mental health. Even so, research into the therapeutic effects of exercise is ongoing and continues to reveal intriguing, new applications. One of the more exciting findings of late is the role which aerobic exercise plays in the promotion of liver health.
Tags: Inflammation, Liver, Milk Thistle
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Exercise | 2 Comments
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year”, Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is a goal I aspire to, but often fall short of reaching. Sometimes I feel down despite the fact that there is so much for which to be grateful. And, judging by the accounts of many clients, colleagues and friends, I’m not alone. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research indicating that natural practices and remedies can help those of us who are inclined to disproportionately experience darker moods.
Tags: Aromatherapy, Meditation, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 2 Comments
Last week, a column in the New York Times entitled, “How to Get Fit in a Few Minutes a Week” garnered quite a lot of attention. The idea of achieving physical fitness in such little time is appealing to just about everyone, myself included. But, is this claim supported by real science? Or is this a case of: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is?”
Tags: aging, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Heart Health | 3 Comments
In a recent interview with AARP (The American Association of Retired Persons), Linda Ronstadt, a 67 year old, multi-platinum singer who’s earned 11 Grammy Awards, revealed that she’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Because of her illness, she’s now unable to sing and has effectively retired. In the past, other celebrities including Muhammed Ali, internationally acclaimed activist and boxer, and Michael J. Fox, one of the top grossing actors of all time, have also gone public with their Parkinson’s diagnosis in an effort to raise awareness and money for research to improve the care for those living with this life altering disease.
Tags: Balance, CoQ10, Dance
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | No Comments;
In the Los Angeles area, there’s a popular weekend radio problem hosted by a physician who specializes in a form of treatment known as prolotherapy. After hearing the show for the first time, a client inquired about the science behind this unconventional technique which involves the injection of a “sugar-water” solution into joint, ligament and tendinous spaces. How is it possible that injecting a mixture consisting primarily of dextrose and water can help improve inflammatory conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis and tendinopathy, while at the same time promoting a healing reaction? Admittedly, this sounds counterintuitive. Injections, in and of themselves, evoke pain. Dextrose, a high glycemic variety of sugar, is typically associated with ill effects. In prolotherapy, this combination is turned on its head. Research reveals that immediately following each injection, localized inflammation does, in fact, occur. However, as time goes on, this initial inflammation shifts to pain modulation and encourages the proliferation of new tissue via the induction of tissue growth factors
Tags: Arthritis, Pain, Sugar
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | No Comments;
Cost is one of the most popular excuses used to avoid good health practices. In some instances, there’s a kernel of truth to the assertion that money assists with the promotion of wellness. A few examples include greater access to medical care and a wider array of alternative and complementary therapies. On the other hand, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and stress management are usually completely free of charge. This past week, researchers from Kansas State University (KSU) added one additional, 100% free activity that just might save your life while, at the same time, lower projected health care spending. According to Dr. Richard Rosenkrantz, of KSU, “We know that with very high confidence that more physically active people do better with regard to chronic disease compared with less physically active people, but we should also be looking at reducing sitting”.
Tags: Diet and Weight Loss, High Blood Pressure
Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | No Comments;
In recent years, scientists from esteemed institutes of learning have identified an apparent link between an optimistic mindset and physical wellness. The latest entry into this topic comes from the Harvard School of Public Health. An analysis of nearly 1,000 middle-aged men and women determined that higher levels of self-reported optimism were associated with greater concentrations of serum antioxidants (carotenoids). The reason is likely due to a bidirectional effect in which “optimists are likely to engage in health behaviors associated with more serum antioxidants, and more serum antioxidants are likely associated with better physical health that enhances optimism”. This newly observed antioxidant effect may also, in part, explain why greater optimism has been continually linked to a lower risk of cardiac events and strokes.
Tags: Antioxidants, Heart Health, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | No Comments;
The topic of conventional chemotherapy is quite controversial in the natural health community. And, there’s certainly a time and place for people of goodwill to debate the pros and cons of this prevalent form of cancer treatment. However, once the decision has been made to utilize chemotherapy, the goal should then shift to finding safe ways of improving the efficacy and tolerability of this widely used procedure.
Tags: Cancer, Chemotherapy, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 1 Comment
Many health experts, myself included, recommend exercising a minimum of several times a week. This “prescription” is challenging enough due to various factors ranging from lack of motivation to time constraints. But, some committed exercisers have an additional hurdle to overcome: DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
Tags: Curcumin, Pomegranate, Tea
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments
When I consider the concept of holistic health care, a hierarchy comes to mind. If you imagine it as a ranking system based on importance, here’s what it would look like: diet, regular exercise/physical activity, mind-body techniques or stress management practices and the judicious use of dietary supplements. The food we eat, the movements we make and supplements we take to “fill in the gaps” present a scenario much like taking care of a valuable piece of machinery. How you care for your car is a good analogy. Without driving it from time to time, gas and the addition of various fluids, sooner or later it will stop working in peak form. However, unlike machines, the human existence is complicated by the influence of emotions and the stress response.
Tags: Chia Seeds, Low Carb, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Exercise | No Comments;
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30% of adults over the age 65 experience a fall each year. Not only are falls the leading cause of injury related deaths in seniors, but they’re also the most prevalent cause of hospital admissions due to physical trauma. Thankfully, there’s quite a lot that can be done to prevent falls. And, as with most health care and safety issues, a combination of conventional and holistic strategies is likely to yield the best results.
Tags: Calcium, Tai Chi, Vitamin D
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 1 Comment
To some extent, symptoms of an enlarged prostate plague the majority of older men. In fact, if you’re male and fortunate enough to live a long life, you can almost certainly count on more frequent trips to the loo at night. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only potential consequence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Many senior men also experience urinary urgency during their waking hours. What’s more, conventional and natural remedies don’t always provide satisfactory relief. But, Kegel exercises or Kegels are a free, safe and well researched option which work in conjunction with other treatments to greatly improve urinary dysfunction in this rapidly growing population.
Tags: aging, Incontinence, Prostate
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Men's Health | No Comments;
Recently, a client of mine experienced a very positive response to a natural regimen I recommended for improving skeletal health. Today’s column highlights the basic principles my client used to turn the tide from losing bone to gaining it. I can’t promise that others will find the same results. However, I hope that this real life example will encourage everyone concerned about osteoporosis to examine how they’re approaching it from a dietary, lifestyle and supplemental standpoint.
Tags: Calcium, Magnesium, Osteoporosis
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Exercise, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments
In previous columns, I’ve described the health benefits of various forms of deep breathing in diseases ranging from asthma to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux). But, there’s another, vastly different school of thought in the world of breath retraining. The Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) contrasts from practices such as diaphragmatic and Senobi breathing in that it actually recommends reducing depth and frequency of breath in order to assist asthmatics to better control their symptoms.
Tags: asthma, Breathing, Buteyko
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise | 5 Comments
Changes in breathing patterns and muscle tension are two of the more obvious physical responses to stress. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that mindful breathing and stretching are two of the best ways of counteracting the impact of anxious feelings. Several recent studies confirm this truism. But, the breadth of health benefits imparted by breathing exercises and stretching go much further than you might imagine.
Tags: asthma, Depression, GERD
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 12 Comments