Posts Tagged ‘Fibromyalgia’

Tea Seed Oil

October 14, 2016 Written by JP

In recent years, the low fat diet trend has lost a lot of steam. These days, many health authorities no longer recommend restricting dietary fat indiscriminately. Having said that, there is still a fair share of disagreement about what exactly constitutes healthy lipid sources. Just about everyone agrees that hydrogenated fats (aka trans-fats) are harmful. Likewise, most nutritional experts recommend seeking out omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in cold water fish, grass fed meat and select seeds, including flax, hemp and chia. On the other hand, saturated fats and vegetable oils tend to fall into the “questionable” category.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 3 Comments & Updates

Prescription 2015: Walk This Way

December 2, 2015 Written by JP

These days there are more exercise alternatives than ever before. At community pools you can do aquatic aerobics and balance training. Athletic clubs and gyms offer a wide array of classes from Crossfit to Pilates, in addition to mind-body exercises such as Qigong, Tai Chi and various styles of yoga. Even traditional martial arts and boxing are now commonly practiced as novel ways of getting into better shape. From my perspective, this is a very positive trend. Keeping exercise interesting and varied helps a lot people stick to a regular fitness routine.

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Posted in Exercise, Heart Health, Mental Health | 12 Comments & Updates

Natural Products Expo West 2014 Part Two

March 19, 2014 Written by JP

One of the surprises at this year’s Natural Products Expo West was a relative lack of innovative supplements. Don’t get me wrong, there were hundreds of new products on the convention floor. And, certainly I didn’t have the chance to evaluate each and every one of them. But, when I applied my gold-standard test to the products I saw there, only one stood out as a new supplement that I would recommend to clients, family and friends.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Craniosacral Therapy Research

June 2, 2013 Written by JP

Cheerio! I’m back in jolly old England to share some of the local healing tradition. The inspiration for today’s column comes courtesy of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM). There, patients are offered the best of both complementary and conventional care in an outpatient setting. The RLHIM administers an impressive array of holistic healing modalities including aromatherapy, homeopathy and reflexology. Also popular at this healing institution is a form of bodywork known as craniosacral therapy or CST.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Barley Grass Juice

June 25, 2012 Written by JP

One of the veteran products available at many health food stores is barley leaf juice powder. As its name implies, this is a dehydrated extract taken from young barley grass or “leaves”. Think of it as a close relative of wheat grass, an even more popular “super food”. Typically, barley leaf supplements are sold in a pale green, powdered from that boast names such as “Green Magma” or “Just Barley”. The labels of these products imply numerous health benefits, including detoxifying effects, immune system enhancement and increased energy. And, since these products have been around for decades and have amassed a large following of admirers, you might assume that there’s plenty of research to back them up. Surprisingly, this is not the case.

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Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments & Updates

SAM-e for Depression

November 23, 2011 Written by JP

S-adenosylmethionine or SAM-e, a natural antidepressant, has been in the news lately thanks to Dr. Andrew Weil. In Dr. Weil’s new book, Spontaneous Happiness, he recommends SAM-e for prompt relief of low mood states that don’t respond to other dietary and lifestyle modifications. A review in the June 2011 issue of the journal Canadian Family Physician also presents a largely optimistic view of this nutritional supplement. In the summary, the primary criticism of SAM-e is how much it costs. In order to reach a therapeutic dosage, the author of the piece estimates a monthly expense of $80 – an amount that likely won’t be covered by most insurance plans. In reality, savvy online shoppers can find even lower prices in the $60/month neighborhood.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments & Updates

CoQ10 News and Research

November 4, 2011 Written by JP

The “heart health” sections of most health foods stores are flush with supplements containing coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a naturally occurring compound found in small quantities in fish and organ meats. There’s good justification for this strategic product placement. In fact, the most current studies using CoQ10 in patients with cardiovascular disease have turned up very positive findings. In particular, improvements in endothelial function, oxidative status and physical performance in those with coronary artery disease and chronic heart failure have been noted. But, there’s much more to the CoQ10 story than just that. Because this coenzyme possesses antioxidant properties and the ability to support cellular energy, it also has applications in other areas ranging from aging skin to migraine headaches.

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Posted in Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 18 Comments & Updates

Pilates Research

September 14, 2011 Written by JP

Pilates is a gentle, yet demanding, form of body conditioning that promotes flexibility, stamina and strength. Proponents claim that regular practice also supports a more positive mindset. Although it was originally conceived to assist recovery from injury, it has recently become the exercise of choice of many athletes, celebrities and fitness gurus. More importantly, its current popularity has spawned an important collection of scientific data suitable for medical review and scrutiny.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Heart Health | 22 Comments & Updates

Medical Marijuana

September 12, 2011 Written by JP

The July-August edition of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine addresses one of the more contentious medical, political and societal issues of our time: medical marijuana. The review provides a balanced perspective about the pros and cons of cannabis use in modern medicine. It not only describes scientific evidence pertaining to legal and illegal cannabis, but also points out issues that require more clarification and future study including: the addictive potential of the “drug”, optimal delivery methods and quality control issues involving natural and synthetic contaminants. My own investigation into the medicinal use of marijuana uncovered some promising and troubling findings. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Memory, Mental Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Tai Chi News You Can Use

April 1, 2011 Written by JP

I bet we’ve all heard someone say: “My body is so out of shape” or “I really need to get my head in order”. Those words are spoken as if the body and brain live their very own, distinct and separate existence. The irony goes far beyond the fact that the brain perches directly on top of the rest of the body. Deep down we all understand that every function of the body, whether voluntary or involuntary, is dictated by the brain. And yet, many people still have a hard time accepting the concept that certain behaviors and practices that support the body also support the mind and vice-versa. But Tai Chi is an excellent example of a practice that does just that.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 8 Comments & Updates

Best Of Exercise for Pain Relief

February 7, 2011 Written by JP

The last thing anyone wants to do when in pain is exercise. Certain injuries require allowing the body time to recover. However, mental and physical discomfort shouldn’t always be used as an excuse to slow down. In fact, many times, the desire for bed rest may actually be counterproductive. This certainly appears to be the case with some very common, inflammatory conditions that affect both the body and the mind.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 10 Comments & Updates

Essential Minerals

January 27, 2010 Written by JP

My parents, Giuliana and Gianfranco, have contributed greatly to my understanding of natural medicine. Anyone who knows my folks will tell you that they’re among the most generous and kindhearted people you could ever hope to meet. Being exposed to that type of example has obviously been of tremendous value. But perhaps the most important gift they’ve given me with respect to my profession is allowing me to learn through their experience. They’ve placed their faith and trust in me as a consultant in most of their health care decisions. Part of this long term arrangement involves me designing a tailor-fit diet, exercise routine and supplement program for them both. Along the way, I’ve learned some lessons – chief among them is that it’s absolutely vital for me to fully comprehend and explicitly convey why I recommend what I recommend. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 22 Comments & Updates

Exercise for Pain Relief

October 13, 2009 Written by JP

The last thing anyone wants to do when in pain is exercise. Certain injuries require allowing the body time to recover. However, mental and physical discomfort shouldn’t always be used as an excuse to slow down. In fact, many times, the desire for bed rest may actually be counterproductive. This certainly appears to be the case with some very common, inflammatory conditions that affect both the body and the mind. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Aquatic Therapy

August 18, 2009 Written by JP

When we think of a serious work out our minds often conjure up images of lifting heavy weights, running long distances or employing advanced technologies such as elliptical trainers. Frequently, swimming and aquatic therapies are not regarded as highly as the previously mentioned exercises. But fortunately, science doesn’t care much about popular perception. In the past few years, a good deal of study has investigated the merits of water based exercises. The results may have far reaching implications for the modern management of a number of health conditions. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Heart Health | 6 Comments & Updates

Vitamin D and Chronic Pain

July 27, 2009 Written by JP

Many people throughout the world suffer from chronic pain. The exact locations of the symptoms and the causes of the discomfort vary widely. Determining the origin of inflammatory processes can often be elusive. Therefore, doctors and patients alike generally turn to powerful medications to alleviate physical suffering. This is, of course, understandable and sometimes necessary. But there is new research that may offer an innovative tool in the fight against many pain related conditions. It turns out that the answer may lie in a simple blood test, some added sunshine and an inexpensive nutrient known as vitamin D. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health | 10 Comments & Updates

The Feldenkrais Method

June 24, 2009 Written by JP

Poor balance is a leading cause of disability and infirmity in the elder population. If you aren’t a part of that age group yet, please don’t tune out. The Feldenkrais Method is a unique mind-body technique that helps to improve balance, but, may also help a wide range of other conditions, including chronic pain, depression, eating disorders, fibromyalgia and, even, multiple sclerosis. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 13 Comments & Updates