The first question I ask during a first visit consultation is “What are you eating for breakfast?”
This is the first and most important time that we can re-boot the system, whether you are fasting or not!
If you are consuming some kind of grain, even a wholegrain first thing when you wake up, this is where you are starting a low-grade systemic inflammation day in and day out. All too often, I see people come to me with migraines, headaches, neck or back pains, recurrent injuries that are not healing or a chronic injury that doesn’t want to heal. Period pains, gut dysfunctions, thyroid problems, all sorts of hormonal imbalances. Underpinning many of these illnesses, in fact, all of those, is inflammation.
Here are three very simple alternatives that you can make in your diet, in your lifestyle, that are going to have a huge impact downstream on your likelihood of developing systemic inflammation and chronic illness.
If you experience a digestive disturbance, achy, painful joints, poor sleep, it can even show up as depression and anxiety. These symptoms that we tend to start thinking of as just being normal, everyday type symptoms can actually be classic giveaway signs that your body is inflamed.
Grain Free:- We were told that you need to have wholegrains! So wheat, oats, spelt, cereal & breads. These all contain gluten. What is Gluten? Gluten is a form of lectin, and the problem with gluten is it often promotes what is known as a ‘leaky gut’.
Think of your gut as a long tube from your mouth through to your anus, that can become permeable, like a Swiss cheese, with holes in it. These lectins within grains promote the production of a chemical knows as zonulin, which can increase the size of the gaps between the cells of your gut, creating holes. Now the foods that you eat cross through what’s known as the gut barrier, into the bloodstream where it starts an immune response. The body forms antibodies against these foreign bodies that shouldn’t be there, and that drives inflammation.
Interestingly, you don’t necessarily have to be diagnosed as being celiac for gluten to bother you. You can be gluten-sensitive, and you can have a leaky gut without ever realising that you have digestive problems. Sometimes a few hours after eating, you might not just feel good. You might feel tired, you might develop a headache, you might get brain fog. These are all classic signs that you have inflammation being driven from the foods that you eat. When you look at the underpinning to all of this, it’s usually a leaky gut. The trouble is that gluten drives that leaky gut. grains with pesticides. There’s a very common one used throughout the world called Roundup. It’s made by the Monsanto company, the evil company that you might hear about in the news once in a while. The chemical actually in Roundup is called glyphosate. Glyphosate has actually been studied and it’s been proven to get in the body and do a number of perilous things, really, to our systems. The company, Monsanto, actually claim that Roundup is safe, but we know categorically that it’s not. It’s been studied far and wide these days, and it’s been proven to have two key problems with it.
First of all, it creates nutritional deficiencies in your body. You end up deficient in key nutrients that are required for optimal health. It also causes toxicity, first up because it’s a chemical. It challenges your detoxification pathways. Secondly, it seems to disturb gut bacteria. Your gut bacteria have an amazingly important job when it comes to detoxifying chemicals from your environment. They can no longer do this because the good bacteria have been hampered by this chemical, by the glyphosate, and that also then creates a further problem where bad bacteria can now proliferate because there’s not enough of the good bacteria in the system anymore. These bad bacteria produce further toxins that your body now has to deal with. Gradually over time then, you get systemically toxic.
They’ve actually shown that the majority of people in the western world actually have glyphosate within their blood cells. You can actually track, you can take tests for this. Around about 60% of bread in the UK can be found to have traces of the glyphosate chemical in it. It’s a problem, and it’s everywhere. The trouble is that they say it’s safe, but the science is starting to show otherwise.
Now, we could talk probably all day about the challenges with grains. They also have other chemicals, or other compounds in them called phytates. The phytates actually bind onto the minerals and the nutrients in your food and actually stop you absorbing them. Phytic acid also helps to create permeability of the gut membranes and lead to leaky gut. There’s a number of problems with grains, and it’s pretty miraculous what happens to human bodies when you start to remove the grains from the system.
A really simple dietary exchange that you can make to start cutting out the ravages of grain from your diet is to consume pseudo grains instead. Things like quinoa and buckwheat, which are actually seeds, have a very similar consistency and taste, they’re easy to prepare like most grains, but they don’t have the same negative effects on the human body. Amaranth is another one of those, and another fantastic option is rice. You can get organic wild rice; you can get organic brown rice or even white rice. The brown and the wild rice are probably preferable for most people because they don’t create such a sugar load for you to handle once you’ve eaten them.
Remember, grains will break down into sugar more or less instantly once you start to chew on them. If you ever want to test that out, chew a piece of bread for around about 20 seconds and don’t swallow it, just keep chewing it in your mouth, and you’ll notice that you can start to taste the sugar. It’s been shown, actually, that two slices of whole wheat bread create the same sugar burden in your body as a can of Coke. We know that these things create a huge burden, and we’ll talk more about sugar in a moment because that’s one of the other exchanges, but this drives inflammation through the sugar pathways too.
If you are struggling with your health, if you’re struggling with weight loss and pain, you might want to choose the brown rice over the white rice because white rice will more quickly break down into sugar, yet rice doesn’t have the same problems with gluten and the other lectins that will harm the gut. For most people, that’s a good exchange.
Here’s one of my favourites: cauliflower rice. If you haven’t tried cauliflower rice, well, you heard it here first, you haven’t lived yet. Cauliflower rice is the most incredible thing that you can make in the kitchen in my opinion, because it tastes just like normal rice. The same consistency, the same size, the same shape. Very satisfying to eat, yet there’s zero grain. Absolutely zero grain, zero sugar load on it. Nothing but good quality nutrients, and it’s super delicious and very, very easy to make. All you’ve got to do is just finely dice up some cauliflower and just saute it in a pan with some healthy oil, and you will get cauliflower rice out the other end in just a short few minutes.
There are plenty of great exchanges. You’re looking at the pseudo grains, the quinoa, the amaranth, the buckwheat, or you can look at rice, or you can create cauliflower rice from the vegetable cauliflower. It’s super easy to start making this transition away from grains, and it’s probably one of the main things you can do to start shifting your health in the right direction. Grains drive inflammation, they drive leaky gut, they’re at the root cause of a heck of a lot of autoimmune and gut and chronic conditions that human beings suffer with in the modern world. That’s a fantastically easy exchange that you can make.
The second one is to cut out the quick sugars. So you must exchange that for something as simple as Stevia. What is Stevia? It is very easy to buy online, very easy to find in the health shops as well, but it’s not just any old Stevia. It’s super-duper easy to add into your diet. It’s actually very sweet. It’s like 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so you don’t need very much of it.
It is an acquired taste. It’s not quite the same kind of taste or aftertaste that sugar gives you, but you can learn to like it. One of the classic mistakes that I see people make time and time again is they add in artificial sweeteners, things like Sweetex or NutraSweet. The fundamental chemical in most of these is called aspartame. Aspartame, it’s a dangerous chemical. It’s an excitotoxin, so it gets into your brain and it actually stimulates your brain cells and it overexcites them. This can actually make you addicted.
It’s not uncommon for me to also enquire to a new patient whilst delving into their lifestyle choices, where I find that they drink two or three litres of Diet Coke a day. My brother was also one of them!
It’s more addictive than sugar, and sugar is also known to be as addictive as cocaine. It affects the same dopamine receptors in your brain as cocaine. We’re looking at something that’s particularly devastating to your health here. Some of the more challenging patients I’ve seen over the years have had high levels of these artificial sweeteners in their diet. You really want to watch out for this. Not good, for a number of reasons. We’ve just barely scratched the surface here.
If you’re taking it for weight loss, which is the curious reason why a lot of people start drinking these diet drinks, listen, it still triggers your hormonal system. It still causes a release of insulin. It still affects things like the leptin hormones in your body, and it affects your ability to lose weight. Actually it can cause the creation of fat in your body rather than helping you aid the loss of fat. Really, it’s a triple, double-edged, quadruple-edged sword that you really don’t want to be consuming these artificial sweeteners.
Once again, Stevia, it’s actually a plant. It’s a natural thing. The research is still a little bit inconclusive as to how badly it affects your hormones. It probably does a little bit, but it’s a far superior, far more preferable addition to your diet than either table sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Let’s cover a little bit more about the sugar. Basically, you’re trying to cut out all refined sugars. That’s anything basically that has -ose on the end. If you see that on the label, you probably don’t want to put it in your body. These are things like glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose. They’re everywhere. You’ll see all different forms of sugar within your food. The same goes for cane juice, for raw coconut sugars, for agave nectar. Probably the worst offender of them all is high-fructose corn syrup. Thankfully, in the UK, you won’t see this in too many products, but I have seen it in some processed foods. High-fructose corn syrup is just devastating, from a physiological perspective.
Really, just any sugar that you add in is going to cause you problems. If you want to age quickly, eat sugar. It’s known to rapidly increase your rate of ageing. It basically rusts your cells from the inside out. It makes these compounds that are very appropriately named, very aptly named, and they’re called AGEs: advanced glycated end-products. Essentially what those do is they rust your cells from the inside out. They cause a tremendous amount of internal cellular damage, and these sugars promote inflammation and basically just fan the flames of inflammation and drastically increase your risks of chronic illness. Exchanging out sugars instead for Stevia, a natural sweetener, is a very, very smart move.
Here’s what I’ve found. These days I don’t really crave sugar, ever. I just don’t put sugar on anything, I don’t feel the need to eat sugar, but it wasn’t always that way. If you’re hooked on sugar, which I used to be in my teenage years and early 20s, it’s not easy to get off. It’s just not easy, so an exchange like this can be very useful.
Really, what we’re talking about here is the added sugars. It’s okay to eat some fruits, just don’t go overboard on them. The berries are generally better, things like raspberries or blueberries or blackberries. They have a very low glycemic load. You get a little bit of sweetness. Probably the worst offenders when it comes to sugar rush are dried fruits, and grapes, melons, and bananas. Eat those things in moderation. You can eat as many berries as you want. Just try not to add any sugar to your food or any sweeteners other than Stevia, and certainly read your labels, make sure you’re not getting any hidden sources of sugar.
This second exchange, super easy to make, has a huge impact on your chances of developing chronic illness, and also how you function day by day. Inflammation, like I said at the start of this little talk here, is the main driver of all the health problems that we see in practice. Well worth your time getting on top of this now, and you’ll probably live longer as well, since we know sugar and inflammation speed up the rate of ageing.
Last alternative of all, this one is a big topic. Essentially we’re going to create an oil change in the body. We’re going to switch out bad oils for good oils. You’re not missing out on anything, you’re just making a sensible change. You’re just doing things differently.
The bad oils are … Let’s start with the worst offender of them all, trans fats. Anything that’s deep-fried, any processed food – read your labels – will probably have trans fats in it. Trans fats are terrible molecules to put in the body. They wreak havoc with your cells, they’re known to cause cancer, and they cause inflammation and all sorts of other problems.
Margarine is also a form of trans fat. It’s not actually a food at all. Margarine is not a food. You can put margarine outside in the summer, in the park, next to a slab of butter, and if you come back an hour later you’ll find bugs all over the butter and you’ll find the margarine is completely untouched. It’s because margarine is essentially plastic. It has no business in the human body. You just actually find it very difficult to get this out of your system.
I’ve read statistics and I’ve read reports that it’s actually one molecule away from being paint. It’s similar to paint in its molecular makeup. It’s not a food, and it has a very high half-life, just like trans fats. It takes 50 days, around about the half-life of a trans fat. After 50 days of eating crisps or other deep-fried foods, you’ve got half of it still left in your body 50 days later. Margarine is around about the same. These things are not great, and they’re very difficult to get out of your body once they’re in.
Here are the other bad oils: you’ve got your vegetable oils, essentially. These are the ones that you want to try and cut out. Sunflower, safflower oil, vegetable oils, corn oils, canola oil, soybean oil, these are the classic what are called omega-6 vegetable fats. The trouble with these is they promote inflammation in your body. We have far too many of these omega-6 fats from all angles, even from the foods that we eat, like proteins. Chicken and lamb and beef often have a lot of these omega-6 fats in it. We get bombarded with it from across the board, and it promotes inflammation. We want to try and minimise these by making a simple switch-out to the healthier fats.
We’re looking at things like grass-fed organic butter. Usually, when I say this, people start to worry that, “Isn’t that a saturated fat? Doesn’t that change my cholesterol? Doesn’t that leave me vulnerable to heart disease?” Look, this is a big topic. I don’t want to go into too much detail here because it is something that requires a deep explanation to really understand well, but I will say this: cholesterol itself doesn’t cause heart disease. It’s the particle that comes off the back of it that has been known to be linked to it. It’s actually been studied that more people die from heart attacks or cardiac problems with normal or low cholesterol than die with high cholesterol. It’s not the cause of heart disease, it’s not the cause of why people get heart disease. It’s more complicated than that.
Cholesterol is probably one of the healthiest fats in your body. Your brain runs off of it. Cholesterol is the backbone to all the steroid hormones that help your body adjust to stress and handle stress and adapt to a changing environment. They’re very, very healthy fats, the cholesterols and the saturated fats. We need them to run our internal physiology, our hormonal health, but also to run our metabolism. We’re more designed to be fat-burning creatures than we are to be sugar- or grain-burning creatures. The moment we make this switch to start getting more healthy fats in the body, you actually improve your metabolism, you improve your hormonal profile, and a lot of things start getting better in your health. This is a big topic. I don’t want to go too far down the cholesterol rabbit hole, but just know there’s much more to this topic in health than meets the eye. There’s much more than what the conventional wisdom that hits the public says.
There’s an interesting thing that I like to call the 180-degree truth concept, and that’s that whatever is actually in the mainstream media, you could flip that around 180 degrees and you’re probably going to land on your feet. In general, if it’s heath advice that’s being promoted in newspapers, chances are it’s probably not all that. It’s probably not all accurate. The issues around cholesterol and fats definitely fall into this 180-degree truth concept here. Worth looking into more. It’s a topic for another day, cholesterol.
Butter is a fantastically healthy fat to add in, just make sure it’s grass-fed or organic. You can get really good brands in the supermarket. There’s two there, there’s Yeo Valley organic non-salted, and there’s also Kerrygold organic non-salted butter. These come from grass-fed cows, they’re very healthy, very, very good ones. You can also get others online. They’re the only two that I would typically recommend from supermarkets, though.
Coconut oil is another fantastically useful oil to add in instead of those vegetable oils. Most people really like the taste. If you don’t like the taste, you can actually get odorless coconut oils. There’s a company called Biona that make that. You’ve got other options as well, I’ll explain in a moment. Coconut oil, it’s a medium-chain triglyceride fat. Your body digests that very quickly and turns it to fuel before it’s ever even … It doesn’t have to go through the entire digestive system to do that. It gets converted in the liver, and it creates ketone bodies which are actually the preferred fuel for your brain. It makes your brain much more concentrated. It’s got a lot of healthy and useful products and molecules within coconut oil that help to cleanse the gut. It’s just a fantastically useful thing.
It doesn’t smoke when you cook with it, either, so it’s a healthy, useful fat to fry with or to cook at high temperatures. It stays stable, it doesn’t denature. It’s got a very high smoke point, whereas the other healthier fats don’t. Avocado oil or olive oil, these don’t really have very high smoke points. Avocado oil is higher than olive oil, but in general you don’t really want to be frying or cooking with these things. They are also good alternatives if you don’t like coconut oil. Just keep them to low-temperature cooking.
There’s another oil you can get called MCT oil, medium-chain triglyceride. It’s not an easy one to say. Medium-chain triglyceride oils. You can get that online. It’s essentially the same as coconut oil, it’s just the extracted MCT. This is very good to add into things like coffee, a teaspoon in a glass of coffee. You can add it to salads, you can cook with it. It’s stable, again, at high temperatures. There is a bulletproof (TM) verssion of this and it is very expensive but you can shop around and buy all of these items seperately and the cost is nearly halved.
These are all healthy fats. Don’t forget fish oil as well. A high-quality fish oil supplement is an omega-3 fat. This is something that really helps to fuel healthy metabolism and keep your inflammation down.
Also, one of the worst sources or biggest sources of unhealthy fat actually comes from meat. If you’re going to be eating things like beef, you want to make sure that you’re getting grass-fed organic. It’s very easy to get that online, but supermarket beef is typically not grass-fed. That means they feed them grains, and these grains actually get inside the meat of the cow and it changes the fat profile of the meat. You can get an awful lot of omega-6 fats, these unhealthy inflammation-creating fats, from supermarket meat if you’re not careful. You want to go and get that from high-quality butchers that are organic and grass-fed, or wild game. These kind of meats are generally the best.
In supermarkets, lamb is actually pretty good, organic lamb. They’re pretty fussy eaters, they’ll only eat grass, so lamb is a good bet from the supermarkets.
Fish is another interesting one. Fish often is farmed, and the farmed fishes, again, they don’t feel them their natural diet. They’re actually fed grains, amongst other things. They’re fed remains of other dead fish, they put all sorts of other things in the feed to change the colour of the fish and it can quickly become a far from optimally healthy food. In Waitrose you can actually get line-caught Atlantic salmon, and that’s actually a pretty good one that has good, healthy fats in it. In general, you want to avoid farmed salmons and other farmed fish because the fat profiles in those is not going to be natural and it’s not going to be health-promoting. It will likely to the opposite way and drive inflammation into your body.
There you have it. Three very simple exchanges. Actually, there’s no hard work required there. Instead of having grains, you’re going to have pseudo grains or rice, or cauliflower rice. Sugar you switch out for Stevia. You can actually have occasionally some raw organic honey or some maple syrup, but you don’t want to be having that every day. You don’t want to be having copious amounts of it because it will spike your blood sugar, but at least those are more natural forms of sugar. Then when it comes to the fats, you’re going to change out the bad oils for the good oils. You’ll cut out all vegetable oils or margarine or trans fats, and switch in healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter, MCT oils, avocado oils, olive oil and fish oil. These are simple things.
(Taken from Spine central/ R.Gliddon, 2017).
Why does a sitting meditation practise help us to develop?
By Diane Musho-Hamilton
How does the practice of sitting meditation contribute to being able to DO something differently. Mediation helps to unwind the nervous system, develop focused attention, and relax the tight grip of self-identification. But while It may support individual well-being, it is hard to see how in the middle of a tense or confusing meeting, the practice will help us act in a fresh way that makes a difference to others.
In Chinese, there are two hexagrams that represent the word Zen. The first means to “realize;” the second or “manifest” or “enact.” The practice of zazen, or just sitting, suspends the powerful discriminating mind – the analytic function that divides this from that, black from white, up from down, good from bad. Instead, sitting deeply embodied, present, and still, one recognizes or “realizes” the inseparability of all things. It becomes abundantly clear that everything is, indeed, one seamless whole, and all parts arise in relation to this wholeness. This is referred to in the tradition as wisdom.
We can think about this, but we must experience it; we must feel this complete continuity in our own body. A facilitator steeped in meditative discipline is fully present to this wholeness, fully aware in here and now, and foregoes the deep habit of judging everything that happens as good or bad, right or wrong. Instead, we allow the space for what IS to actually happen.
This produces an ability to include more in awareness; to attune (if you will) to our own feelings and thoughts, to the felt experience of the participants, to the vision of their goals and aspirations, as well as the burden of their obstacles, unspoken issues, and power struggles. Everything is revealed as it is, and our open, spacious awareness gives room for it all to be here. In a facilitator, this capacity is quite relieving to participants. To be in the company of someone who is at ease with how things are, and isn’t compulsively editing out parts of their experience or denying the more unpleasant aspects paves the way for ease, efficiency, and creativity in the group.
Moreover, the capacity to be at ease with whatever arises is what underlies mastery. Most of the time, in learning how to work with challenges like conflict and emotionality, we must discover how to relate to these experiences differently. It isn’t about making them go away. Yes, methods for negotiating or skills for soothing a heated moment are important. But our ability to use those skills well depends first on our ability to stay present to the challenging situation, to name it, and to make it explicit to others. If we practice an openness, curiosity and willingness to be with even the most uncomfortable of situations, we can respond from a place of choice and creativity. This is the source of true mastery.
Wisdom changes how we see and compassion addresses how we respond. The facilitator’s awareness functions as an instrument of wholeness, and their actions are a form of compassion. After all, what is compassion except a warm, sensitive, and generous response to things as they are? Meditation gives a nimbleness, curiosity, and flexibility in the mind, and the heart naturally turns towards the well being of others. Our communications will naturally reflect this disposition. We are able to reflect and reshape meaning in our words, or take actions that maintain or restore harmony and balance in group dynamics. Because a facilitator is willing to be truthful and present with everything, that includes being open to the feedback that inevitably results from our communications and actions. The Tibetan meditation master, Choygram Trungpa Rinpoche advised, “Be yourself — the world will give you feedback.” This is invaluable for a facilitator because the immediate feedback is always instructing us on what to do next.
Finally, without corrosive, habitual judgements in the mind, the meditative facilitator embodies freedom of expression and movement. We can actually be straightforward, saying things that, perhaps, others might not. Mindfulness teaches us to simplify our message, to be straightforward and immediate in our contact with others. Usually we discover this messaging has more impact. We can behave spontaneously, taking risks, changing the plan, trying out new approaches to problem solving. We can occasionally place a challenge to our groups, asking them to do more or differently and even better.
It is also true that the practice of sitting involves the practice of allowing things to come and to go more readily. This is a great source of freedom. It is essential when working with groups to keep letting go of our ideas about what should have happened, and instead, allow for what IS happening. This ability to let go enables a facilitator to be light on their feet in the service of the group.
When we talk about the value of presence for engaging with complex challenges in our world (and facilitation is certainly a complex challenge), we are speaking about the source of our creativity and skillfull means. When standing up in front of a room, let alone stepping out our door each morning, anything can happen. From the meditative perspective, preparedness isn’t about acquisition. Rather, what prepares us to act is the practice of relinquishing what obstructs our ability to engage clearly, wisely, and compassionately.
By Diane Musho Hamilton, Zen Practioner
There are 100 trillion bacteria, and about 1 quadrillion viruses in your body. In fact we are actually a walking ‘microbe’ These cells outnumber your cells to 10-1.
When they are balanced and nourished they will maintain or restore both physical and mental health. A lack of specific micrbiome has been associated with many physical and mental diseases.
After Watson and Crick discovered DNA, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was formed and science was expected to find gene based remedies to health concerns. Recently it has been discovered that our genetic make-up plays only a smaller role in our health. After ‘epigenetic’ based science becoming more popular, I was interested to know what else we could do with the new discoveries in science and genetics.
Genes are only responsible for 10 % of diseases. The remaining 90% are coming from environmental factors and the microbiome is now being seen as one of the most important factors in health.
One dose of antibiotics can disrupt a microbiome and thereby alter your gut health and the strength of your immune system.
Your genes are actually being turned on and off by your microbiome. So your genes are like a library, you have all of the genetic potential to express things like cancer etc but these genes are turned on or off by your environment (chemical exposures) and this includes your 21st century lifestyle and of course diet!
The gut flora is affected by processed foods, antibiotics, pesticides etc. Unfortunately, if you are not buying a cleanser for your fruit of veg and not buying organic you are contributing further to your health destiny. If you are not buying organic then I would recommend buying a cleanser for your produce. Please ask at your next visit and I can give you a couple of options.
Gut bacteria can influence your weight.
The bacteria appear to influence health and disease in two important ways. Some can be good and some can be bad.
When they’re lacking, you end up losing this protection, which allows the disease process to set in.
For example, by eradicating four species of bacteria (Lactobacillus, Allobaculum, Rikenelleceae, and Candidatus arthromitus), researchers were able to trigger metabolic changes in lab animals that led to obesity.
As time goes on, it seems increasingly reasonable to think that obesity is largely influenced by gut bacteria. This in no way changes the fact that certain foods will make you pack on the pounds, the bacteria just play a major role in facilitating that process.
The foods known to produce metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance (such as processed foods, fructose/sugar, and artificial sweeteners) also decimate beneficial gut bacteria, and it may well be that this is a key mechanism by which these foods promote obesity.
Chemicals may also contribute to your weight problem by way of your gut microbiome.
For example, a study published in the July issue of Environmental Health Perspectives found that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found in food altered the gut microbiome in mice, thereby contributing to the development of obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
Another study found that one microbe called Akkermansia muciniphila helps ward off obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by lowering blood sugar, improving insulin resistance, and promoting a healthier distribution of body fat.
A. muciniphila is associated with a fibre-rich diet, and fibrehas long been recognized for its beneficial effects on health and weight. It’s still not known whether A. muciniphila produces these effects all on its own, or whether it helps promote other beneficial bacteria, however.
According to the authors:
“Our findings demonstrate the need for further investigation to ascertain the therapeutic applicability of A. muciniphila in the treatment of insulin resistance.
A. muciniphila may be identified as a diagnostic or prognostic tool to predict the potential success of dietary interventions.”
Fiber-Digesting Bacteria Also Influence Your Immune Function
Previous research has also shown that gut microbes specializing in fermenting soluble fibre play an important role in preventing inflammatory disorders, as they help calibrate your immune system.
Specifically, the byproducts of this fermenting activity help nourish the cells lining your colon, thereby preventing leaky gut — a condition in which toxins are allowed to migrate from your gut into your blood stream.
The inflammatory response actually starts in your gut and then travels to your brain, which subsequently sends signals to the rest of your body in a complex feedback loop.
So in order to address chronic inflammation and inflammatory diseases, it’s important to nourish your gut flora with the right foods. Examples include traditionally fermented foods and raw foods, and especially those high in fibre.
Sugar, on the other hand, feeds fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis. Researchers have also linked high-sugar diets to memory – and learning impairments, courtesy of altered gut bacteria.9,10 According to lead author Dr. Kathy Magnusson 2016
“We’ve known for a while that too much fat and sugar are not good for you. This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you. It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.” Dr.Mercola.2016
Fibre and Fermented Foods Are Key Components of a Healthy Diet
While it’s virtually impossible to determine the composition of an ideal microbiome, seeing how our gut flora is as individual as our finger print, what we do know is that a healthy diet is key for optimizing your individual microbiome. We’ve also come to realize that fermented foods and foods high in fibre are very important components of a healthy diet, as these foods help nourish a wide variety of beneficial bacteria.
Such foods have been part of the human diet since ancient times, and replacing them with chemically altered and “sterilized” processed foods has led to many of our current health problems. Traditional sauerkraut, for example, has been identified as a heart-healthy superfood. As reported by The Epoch Times.
“Research in the medical journal Food and Function found that unpasteurized sauerkraut contained a potent probiotic known as wild lactobacillus plantarum FC225, to which many of sauerkraut’s heart-healing abilities could be attributed. Upon investigation, the scientists conducting the study found that the probiotic-rich sauerkraut helped in the following ways:
• Reduced cholesterol levels
• Reduced triglyceride levels
• Significantly increased levels of two powerful antioxidants known as superoxide disumutase (SOD) and glutathione
If you have been looking for an answer to your pain and know that your injury/complaint is termed as muscular, finding the right practitioner can be confusing. I wanted to believe that an exercise would resolve my pain and as such studied musculoskeletal rehabilitative medicine. Rehab as it is known in the physical therapy profession is a physical medicine concerned with the correction of structure using exercises. There are many authorities in this subject of which point to the ‘core’ or the ‘inner unit’ as it was originally described in the 1980’s. The core essentially is the pelvic floor and the abdominal-hip movement complex. You may have already been told by somebody that you likely have a weakness or an inflexibility in one or more components of the ‘core’.
The truth is that most of us will experience back or nerve pain in our lives – and a speedy recovery is therefore essential for your development or decline in health.
Whether you are helped by a fully-trained and registered Chiropractor, a Physio, or an Osteopath you are probably not fussed about what their exact title is.
Osteopaths, Physios and Chiros can and often do employ an enormous range of therapies into their practice an no practitioners are the same – even within the same profession!
Chiropractors and Osteopaths are highly trained in making specific ‘adjustments’ to your body that are safe and effective for most types of pain and restriction. Physios tend more toward rehabilitation style therapies for the body and do an amazing job with tissue tightness.
There is so much cross-over these days as many Chiros and Osteopaths focus on sports therapies, which was traditionally the realm of Physios, and now some Physios endeavour to learn basic manipulation for their set of skills.
Posture is something we here at Phelps Family Chiropractic have found to be responsible for short, tight and weak muscles.
I had previously thought like that you that I needed to improve my muscle strength and core and after much work, time, and pain whilst working on my core. I eventually created a herniated disc, and unfortunately, I became weaker. I employed specialists to observe my movements, and went on to teach many people how to change their movements albeit with only little success.
Working together with a small group of chiropractors and other health professionals in the UK, US, Australia and Europe we focussed on posture and now use a new method to assess your posture. You are in a relaxed position of slouching, that is not you holding your shoulders back, chest and tummy in!
One issue that we find is that people have their own definition of what posture is. We describe ‘real’ posture as being how your body holds your skeleton and tissues up. NOT how your memory and sense of self holds you up!
Posture is seen essentially by the shape of your skeleton and the tension in your muscles, spine and importantly the tissues surrounding your spinal cord in your spine and not so much the muscles.
There is a tendency in medicine to focus and describe muscle and ligament strains of which are certainly present in injuries, but what about if you have no trauma but pain?
What is causing these micr-traumas? or perhaps injuries?
Does changing your movements and physical habits solve your pain? Maybe! However, this is similar to thinking that you need to change the world to change your experience of it.
People wrongly believe that their skeleton shape is fine. Most people are seen by us to be crooked from head to toe, not because of muscle problems but because their skeleton is crooked. This is a result of poor bone alignment, bone deformity increasing faulty movements and consequently pain..
Amazingly, there is an assumption that as bones are the strongest tissues in the body that they don’t bend or flex like other tissues. Think of a tree for a moment that is leaning to one side due to the elements and perhaps over time. The branches like your bones respond to the stress and grow in the direction of the stress!
This new syndrome illustrates nicely ‘one’ way in which we are breaking our bodies down!
The most prevalent physical stress here on earth is gravity ~10 m/s/s. Our senses feel this as our weight.
Please consider that if you are a desk-jockey, standing all day, or even just looking down at your phone, etc for several hours a day. The average human male head weighs ~6kg/13lbs and this against gravity using your muscles, connective tissue, meninges and bones.
Your muscles tire (which they will eventually) this weight of your head pulls bones out of alignment all throughout your body (but especially the base of the neck and lower back). Your muscles (no matter how strong) cannot “pull” every bone back to the correct position as we don’t have a muscle for every direction. In the spine (from the base of the neck down) we cannot pull a bone from front to back.
Since the bone alignment is off, your relaxed posture is off. Your muscles cannot fix you and you are stuck. The longer this cycle continues, the tighter some muscles get in “response” to the stress. These tight muscles are mostly in your posterior chain as they hold up your head. Other muscles become weak as they are not needed in the head down position e.g. deep neck flexors.
After several weeks/months/years the bones twist and change due to the severe pressures they are under. There is lots more to it though!
We can correct this problem using Advanced BioStructural Correction (TM) that is suitable for infants, adults and athletes.
Schedule a free consultation or read our reviews on this site or on Google Reviews.
With Thanks and In Health,
What is Chiropractic? By Dr. Mark Postles
Chiropractic is natural
We put nothing in to your body and take nothing out.
The basic premise is so simple.
Your body knows what to do as long as there is no interference.
Chiropractor’s actions are straight forward. Find any area in the body where the trillions of nerve signals travelling every second between your brain and body are being blocked (this is called a subluxation complex) and unblock them scientifically and specifically (this is called an adjustment).
Your body knows what to do from there.
So often the answer-many educated and health conscious people are making visits to our office part of their lifestyle.
Interestingly, Herodotus, a contemporary of Hippocrates, gained fame curing diseases by correcting spinal abnormalities through therapeutic exercises. If the practice member was too weak to exercise, Herodotus would manipulate the practice members’s spine. The philosopher Aristotle was critical of Herodotus’ tonic-free approach because, “he made old men young and thus prolonged their lives too greatly.”
Adjustment of the spine was still misunderstood until Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer discovered the specific spinal adjustment. He was also the one to develop the philosophy of chiropractic which forms the foundation for the profession.
“I am not the first person to replace subluxated vertebrae, but I do claim to be the first person to replace displaced vertebrae by using the spinous and transverse processes as levers…and to develop the philosophy and science of chiropractic adjustments.” D.D. Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic I
The following information is a synopsis of chiropractic’s rich and colourful history. Much of the following has been sourced from the text by Walter Wardwell, PhD., entitled, “Chiropractic: History and Evolution of a New Profession” Published by Mosby, 1993.
The Early Years… Dr. Daniel David Palmer – The Father of Chiropractic
The first chiropractic adjustment was performed in Davenport, Iowa in the year 1895 by a man named Daniel David Palmer. D.D. Palmer was a frontier renaissance man. During his lifetime, Palmer would be a school teacher, a farmer–developing a new variety of raspberry, which he called “Sweet Home”–a grocer and eventually practicing as a “Magnetic Healer” in Davenport for a number of years prior to founding chiropractic.
Contrary to what its name suggests, magnetic healing had nothing to do with magnets. Rather it was a cross between massage and meridian therapies–which is based upon the concepts of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Magnetic healing rose up as an alternative to mainstream medicine at the end of the civil war. In 1895 it was still common for medical doctors to use blood letting as a method for curing disease.
D.D. Palmer’s own words describing his magnetic healing practice…
“In 1886 I began as a business. Although I practiced under the name of magnetic, I did not slap or rub, as others. I questioned many M.D.s as to the cause of disease. I desired to know why such a person had asthma, rheumatism, or other afflictions. I wished to know what differences there were in two persons that caused on to have certain symptoms called disease which his neighbour living under the same conditions did not have…In my practice of the first 10 years which I named magnetic, I treated nerves, followed and relieved them of inflammation. I made many good cures, as many are doing today under a similar method.”
As the above quotation states, Palmer was interested in finding the true cause(s) of disease. He wanted to know why two people who lived in the same house, drank the same water, breathed the same air and often had the same parents, could have two dramatically different constitutions, one being healthy and free of disease and the other sickly. Palmer felt that there must be something other than environmental factors or bad luck that influenced an individual’s health. His theory was that this internal factor was the function of the nervous system. On September 18, 1895, D.D. Palmer would have the chance to prove his theory.
“Harvey Lillard a janitor in the Ryan Block, where I had my office, had been so deaf for 17 years that he could not hear the racket of a wagon on the street or the ticking of a watch. I made inquiry as to the cause of his deafness and was informed that when he was exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something give way in his back and immediately became deaf. An examination showed a vertebrae racked from its normal position. I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half-hour’s talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever and soon the man could hear as before. There was nothing “accidental” about this, as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing “crude” about this adjustment; it was specific, so much so that no Chiropractor has equaled it.”
Palmer felt that Lillard’s hearing loss was due to a blockage of the spinal nerves which control the inner ear. This nerve blockage, in Palmer’s estimation, was caused by an irritation of the spinal nerves by a misaligned vertebrae. When Palmer corrected the misalignment by pushing the vertebrae back into place, the nerve pathways were reopened and thus Lillard’s hearing was restored. Today we know that the mechanism involved with spinal misalignments (The Vertebral Subluxation Complex) is much more complicated than originally postulated by Palmer. However, Palmer’s basic concept of nervous system interference adversely effecting health has held true over the last 100 plus years.
The term “chiropractic” was first coined by D.D. Palmer’s close friend, the Reverend Samuel H. Weed. The term chiropractic was taken from the two Greek words:
Cheir (Chiro), Meaning “Hand”
Praxis (Practic), Meaning “Practice”
Thus chiropractic means “Done by Hand”
In 1898 Palmer took on his first chiropractic student. That fist year there was one student, in 1899 there were three and four in 1902. The course was six months in duration and cost $500. Among those four students in 1902 was D.D.’s twenty year old son Bartlett Joshua Palmer (know as B.J.). It is also interesting to note that five of D.D.’s first fifteen students were either M.D.s or D.O.s.
Dr. B. J. Palmer – The Developer of Chiropractic
Palmer son, B.J. would become the most significant figure in chiropractic’s first fifty years. He took over the day to day running of the Palmer School and Infirmary of Chiropractic in 1902.
B.J. was a much more flamboyant spokesmen for chiropractic than his father. It was during his tenure at the Palmer School that chiropractic would grow and fight its first battles with the medical profession. In fact, during 1903 B.J. would be charged with practicing medicine without a license. During the prosecution of his case B.J. would be forced to close down the school until sometime in 1904. The indictment was eventually thrown out, but B.J. would not be allowed to practice chiropractic, however, he was still able to teach it and in 1905 held the first official graduation from the Palmer School.
First Use of X-Rays
Besides writing the first chiropractic textbook and running the first chiropractic college, D. D. Palmer’s son B. J. pioneered in imaging technology. In 1910, he became one of the first health educators in the world to include the new, X-ray imaging technology or, as he called it, “spinography” into the Palmer curriculum. X-rays had been discovered in France in 1895, the same year chiropractic was born.
Chiropractic’s history has been anything but ‘plain sailing’. The attacks on this renegade profession by the vested interests of the medical and pharmaceutical cartels have been unrelenting. The constraints imposed on chiropractic by the media and government is nothing short of criminal. And yet, despite all of this, chiropractic is now the third largest health care discipline in the world.
Chiropractic has ‘seeded’ numerous other professions including a whole range of Kinesiologies, Touch for health, Bowen and Emotional release techniques to name a few.
Although the profession has advanced tremendously since the days of D.D. and B.J., the basic tenets and understanding of chiropractic as a drug-free method of correcting vertebral subluxations in order to remove nerve interference still stand.
By Dr. Mark Postles