Vision Deterioration

Many people have difficulties with vision as they get older and associate it with ageing and therefore unavoidable. This may be true to a degree, as the lens loses its elasticity and, therefore its ability to accommodate as we get older.

However much of this loss of elasticity can be due to not just ‘ageing’ but to the fact that our modern lives entail that we do an excessive amount of work using only a very few of the eye muscles.
Rarely do our eyes move through their full range of movement.
Rarely do we focus on minute detail at a distance.

Consider how much close vision work you do compared to looking into the distance, or looking down compared to looking up. Over time muscular imbalance develops as some muscles weaken and others strengthen. Our ability to accommodate and therefore focus then deteriorates, especially when trying to bring near objects into focus.

Doing eye exercises several times a day can greatly improve vision for many people, as can raising TV and computer screens to above eye level, or making sure that you look out a window into the distance regularly when having to do close work.

Neck strain also has a huge impact on vision. Straining and tense neck muscles will cause the vision to be poor, in fact specific vision malfunctions have been found to correspond with specific tensions and contractions in the body.
On many occasions I have seen great improvement in vision once the muscles of the neck and shoulders has been relieved.

Also many people gain improvement in their sight by taking supplements aimed at improving eye health and circulation. Some of the best are products that contain herbs such as Eyebright, as an eye tonic, Bilberry as a potent antioxidant and Ginkgo Biloba, to improve circulation to the eye with the addition of Lutein. The more Lutein the better!

Lutein is known to have a direct affect on the macula which both helps prevent the deterioration of the macula and improves such things as glare sensitivity.

 

Vitex Agnus Castus

Vitex Agnus Castus or ‘Chaste tree’, does not supply a hormonal substance but acts directly on the  Pituitary gland to inhibit the secretion of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and promote the secretion of LH (lutinizing hormone).

FSH causes the granulosa and theca cells in ovarian cells to grow and secrete a follicular fluid that contains a high amount of estrogen. Therefore inhibition of FSH secretion should reduce elevated estrogen levels.

LH is essential for the creation of the corpus luteum in the ovaries.
The corpus luteum then produces progesterone. When enough progesterone is produced, it slows the pituitary influence.
If LH is limited because of pituitary imbalance, oestrogen continues to be the dominant female hormone during the second phase of the cycle, known as the ‘luteal phase defect’, and leads to symptoms such as cramping, breast tenderness and mood swings, (the typical PMS symptoms).
Therefore what appears to be an oestrogen excess can actually be a deficiency of progesterone.

Vitex Agnus Castus also inhibits the secretion of prolactin. As prolactin suppresses the corpus luteum, this leads to a reduction in progesterone production. Therefore if prolactin is reduced it follows that the corpus luteum would increase its production of progesterone.

Vitex Agnus Castus, then will have a balancing effect on hormones with particular effect on increasing progesterone. It can decrease PMT symptoms, help regulate an irregular cycle and other menstrual irregularities and can help in cases of infertility due to luteal phase defect.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder of the skin in which the melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) are destroyed resulting in whitish patches appearing on the skin. It has no known specific cause.

It is possible that it can be caused by fungal infection, some hair dyes (containing phenylenediamines), prolonged stress, psychological distress, sub-clinical thyroid imbalance or auto-immune problems that may prevent the skin producing melanin (the
coloured pigment of the skin) from L-tyrosine via the enzyme tyrosinase.

Vitiligo may also be made worse by the use of beta-blocking drugs. Also, through a series of chemical reactions in the body it is possible that there may be excessive amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the involved areas of epidermis as well as an increase in free radicals.

Check first that hair dyes and/or beta-blockers are not involved.

Also, (especially if a recent trip has been made overseas to island areas), treat the affected areas with an anti-fungal preparation.

The next step would be to greatly increase mineral levels in the body as this will help the skin heal and also improve immune status.  I have seen success treating this problem simply by supplementing with minerals. The mineral supplement used was Barley Grass, in doses of about 3000mg daily, which would have had the combined effect of providing both more minerals to the body along with extra B Vitamins and proteins.

The addition of extra anti-oxidants would also be beneficial.

I have also found reference to the herb Polypodium Leucotomos helping in some cases of Vitiligo. It is a fern found in central America which has a long traditional use as a blood tonic. Its mode of action being to stimulate the immune system by increasing the lymphocyte level.
It is possible that if this the case, then other herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus and Phyllanthus and other immune boosting herbs could also possibly work as the effects in the body are similar.

In a recent publication I also found the following reference to some research done in India to the effect that Ginkgo Biloba is capable of helping to arrest the spread of depigmentation. In some of the research group the skin was actually repigmented.
The dose used was high, 40mg three times daily and was tried because of the combined anti-oxidant and immuno-modulatory properties. This study was carried out over 6 months but it is possible that faster results could be obtained if combined with other similar therapies.

Other references were to Homeopathic treatments that appeared to be centred on improving the overall constitution of the body and reported slow but good results. This would also be worth looking into and could well get better results if combined with the use of minerals.

If thyroid problems are suspected (tendency to lethargy, gradual increase in weight, susceptible to cold etc), then the use of a supplement containing Potassium Iodide would be a great help.

Auto-immune problems can be helped by the use of increased minerals, herbal anti-inflammatories and digestive enzymes.

If psychological distress is a possibility, then counselling may be worth considering. It has been known to help in some instances.

Water Intake

Drinking WATER is one of the best things you can dofor your health. Fantastic for glowing skin, marvellousfor weightmanagement, and essential for cleansing the system, for kidney healthand regulating body temperature.

Body water deficit of as little as 2% has beenknown to impairphysical performance.
Mild dehydration can affectmood and cognitive function.

A quick check of hydration status is to pinch the skin on the back of the hand. A well hydrated skin will feel and look quite ‘plump’, whereas a dehydrated skin will feel and look thin, dry and wrinkly! Drink more water!

Urine colour can also give an estimate of hydration status, a darker urine indicating
a need for more fluids.

How much do you actually need to drink?

The recommended two litres per day (or about 6 – 8 glasses) is about right for most people of average weight, but to be more exact, try this.

Multiply your weight (in kilograms) by 29.09 and it will give you how many litres per day you need to drink (then divide by 0.250 if you want to know it in cups).

You would need more if you have a very active job, are exercising hard, if the weather is warm, if you are exposed to air conditioning for long periods of time, if you are ill, pregnant or breast feeding.

You may also need more if your normal diet includes alot of salt, spices or animal
products.

People whose normal diet consists mainly of fruit and vegetables would naturally obtain alot of their water intake via their diet so will find that they actually need to drink less.

The two litres can also be made up of all fluid intake. It doesn’t have to be plain water (although this would be preferable).

If your intake is from sources other than plain water then be aware that beverages that contain alcohol are quite strong diuretics, tea and coffee are very mild diuretics.
and you will loose more water in the urine than you have drunk. You will need to add a further litre or so to your daily intake.

All beverages that contain sugar will certainly supply you with the much needed water but will also supply you with the not so needed sugar and will be fattening.

It is also possible to drink too much water and upset the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.

Tamoxifen / Black Cohosh

Original Question: I have heard of the herb Black Cohosh being used to try and help alleviate hot flushes while a person is using Tamoxifen. I am not sure as to whether it is advisable to use this herb as well as the drug. Have you had experience with people using the two together or can give any advice on this option??

…………….Hot flushes are a frequent adverse effect of Tamoxifen therapy. I have often wondered myself whether it was advisable to use Black Cohosh to help reduce these adverse effects while the patient remained on Tamoxifen.

In doing some research I have read of two clinical trials evaluating the combined administration of Black Cohosh with Tamoxifen or Black Cohosh alone in women who have had breast cancer.

In the first using premenopausal breast cancer survivors on Tamoxifen treatment it was found that Black Cohosh may be a useful adjuvant therapy for the treatment of hot flushes in breast cancer survivors using Tamoxifen, as the frequency of hot flushes reduced and were less severe.

In the second study this observation was not upheld. However this study was of much shorter duration. More and longer trials are needed.

A recent review of these studies stated that Black Cohosh has a relatively good safely record, but that the effectiveness of the herb in regards to treatment remained inconclusive.
My own observations in clinical practice would agree with this conclusion. I have in some cases seen what the patient regarded as discernable improvement but this does not happen in every case.

The mechanism of action for Black Cohosh is thought to be via action in the brain rather than through any oestrogenic effect. It appears to be safe even in women at risk for breast cancer as well as breast cancer survivors.

A study in breast cancer cell lines showed Black Cohosh extract exerts no prolific activity
on these cells, but actually promotes both oestrogen receptor positive and receptor negative breast cancer cells to commit cellular suicide (apoptosis), however to my knowledge this also has not been studied over the long term.

If deciding to use Black Cohosh please consult with your doctor so that progress can be monitored safely.

Taurine

The importance of the amino acid Taurine for many years was not fully understood. Over recent years however the fact that it does play a very important role has become clearer.

Taurine is now known to play a major role in the brain and other excitable tissue such as the heart.
It also plays a major role in detoxification.

The dietary source of taurine is synthesis from methionine and cysteine with magnesium, B6 and B5 as co-factors.

Normally the body makes all the taurine it requires however under certain conditions such as excessive stress, physical exertion, sickness or injury the body may not be able to manufacture enough.

Taurine may also become deficient in the body due to lack of animal protein (the source of methionine and cysteine), from malabsorption or from deficiency of vitamins/minerals needed for its synthesis. Ie magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon in NZ and can be a factor in many conditions where the muscles cramp, twitch or ache, in Osteoporosis, in anxiety states and possibly even in allergic conditions.

Taurine is present in relatively high concentrations in the heart and modulates activity.
A taurine deficiency is now known to be one cause of cardiac arrhythmias.

The theory behind this fact is that when glucose is introduced into a taurine deficient heart muscle, potassium and sodium leave the cell and the sodium/calcium ratio rises within the cell, which can cause an arrhythmia.
Supplementation reverses the calcium/potassium imbalance.

In cases where chemical sensitivity causes cardiac arrhythmia supplementation has
also been shown to help.

Taurine also inhibits epinephrine (stress related) induced cardiac arrhythmias.

Taurine is also found in high concentrations in brain tissue and taurine supplementation has been shown to alleviate some seizure conditions. It is thought that it stabilizes glutamic acid/GABA ratios and likely also stabilizes calcium.

Abnormally low taurine levels are also a common feature found in chemically sensitive people, as taurine together with glycine are the major amino acids associated with the
removal of toxic chemicals from the body.
Sensitivities to environmental chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, alcohols, petroleum solvents and ammonia may result where taurine is deficient.
Go to On-line shop for Taurine

Testicles – Slow to descend

The failure of one or both of the testes to fail to descend into the scrotum is known as ‘cryptorchidism’.

In the unborn child the testes lie close to the kidneys. During approximately the 7th month the testes start to descend through the inguinal canal and into the scrotum.  Occasionally, an improperly developed testis may be halted in its descent in the abdomen and may not produce the hormones that induce secondary sex characteristics.

A testis lodged in the inguinal canal may well produce these secondary sex characteristics but may not produce spermatozoa. Usually, only one testis is involved and the other produces sufficient numbers of spermatozoa.
To have both testes fail to descend is unusual.

According to information I have read, undescended testis can be brought down into the scrotum by medical treatment with the gonadotrophic hormone and that this is the preferred treatment to surgery.
I am not very informed on this particular problem so it might be an idea to ask your GP some more searching questions, as to this possibility.

I have also read that it is possible to use hormonal herbs to achieve the same result. I have not had experience trying this either and the only herbs I have seen mentioned were a Chinese blend available over the internet but with no particular ingredients mentioned.

Most herbs used for ‘male’ problems are generally tonifying and I do not know if they would actually activate the gonadotrophic hormone.

Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by an exotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani – which is a gram positive, anaerobic bacillus. It forms spores which remain viable in the soil for years and can enter the body via trivial as well as deep contaminated wounds.

However it is more likely to occur where there is a lower if oxygen level in the tissues (as it is an anaerobic baccillus) as in drug addicts, burn patients, surgical wounds or people who are older or otherwise unwell or rundown.

Incubation period is 2 -50 days, but usually 5 – 10days. The most frequent symptom is a stiff jaw, but difficulty swallowing, restlessness, stiff neck/arms/legs, headache, fever, sore throat, chilliness and spasms occur as well.
Spasms can also be localised near the sight of the infection.

A clean bleeding wound and/or thorough cleaning of a wound makes multiplication of the bacillus less likely.
Antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline can be effective if given at the time of the wound, as can an immediate vaccination.

Natural remedies would include Clostridium tetani 30c, which can be used as a prophylactic given once or twice weekly for three weeks after any wound or Ledum 30c, which can also be used three times weekly after any animal bite or wound.

I have heard that Hypercium (St. John’s Wort) can be effective against Clostridium tetani, but as yet have seen no scientific evidence to back this up.

There are also differing views on the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies – I do not profess to be an expert in this field, so will make no comment.

However, it is important to remember to properly clean any wound, no matter how small, and to keep the body’s oxygen levels as high as possible.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus can be caused by a number of factors, several of which can be associated with high blood pressure or atherosclerosis.
Other problems that can be associated with tinnitus are neck or jaw injury, noise induced hearing loss, head injury or acoustic trauma, diabetes and certain allergies.

Tinnitus can also occur as a symptom of nearly all ear disorders, including ear infection or fluid build up in the Eustachian tube (‘glue ear’) and Meniere’s disease.

One of the preventable causes of inner ear tinnitus is excessive noise exposure. In some instances of noise exposure, tinnitus is the first symptom before hearing loss develops, so it should be considered a warning sign and an indication of the need for hearing protection in noisy environments.

Other possible causes can be toxicity to some drugs or chemicals, including salicylates,
quinine some diuretics and some antibiotics, heavy metals and alcohol.
These may damage inner ear hair cells and cause tinnitus.
These include non-prescription medications such as aspirin, one of the most common and best known medications that can cause tinnitus and eventual hearing loss.
See page on ‘Tinnitus and medications’.

Also as we age, the incidence of tinnitus increases. Hearing loss associated with aging  typically involves loss of and damage to the ear hair cells.

The over-activity of your jaw can make your ear canal sensitive and cause tinnitus.
The ear has two important muscles: the tensor tympani (it attaches to the ear drum, and stabilizes it from the excess vibration caused by loud sounds) and the tensor levi palatine (it attaches to the Eustachian tube, and helps to open and close the tube, thereby equalizing pressure within the inner ear…it is what “unplugs” your ears as you chew gum in an airplane).

It is not unusual for the patient with TMJ/CMD tension to complain of ringing in their ears, or vertigo.

I also suspect that a deficiency of vitamin B12, and/or Iron, may contribute to instances of tinnitus as can inflammation of the labyrinth of the ear, cervical misalignments and congestion in the occipital region.

Most of the time, the tinnitus is ”subjective”—that is, the internal sounds can be heard only by the individual.

Commonly tinnitus will sound like a buzzing, roaring, ringing or whistling in the ears which can vary in intensity, be intermittent of continuous.
It is often far more noticeable at night. This is known as ‘subjective’ tinnitus.

Occasionally, tinnitus is “objective,” meaning that the examiner can actually listen in with a stethoscope or an ear tube and hear the sounds the patient hears

Things to do:
Try increasing your vitamin and mineral intake. Barley Grass and/or Spirulina are good sources of both minerals and Vitamin B12, however you do need to take reasonably high doses (at least 1tsp three times daily) to be effective. Alternatively you could use Colloidal minerals plus a separate B12 supplement.
In this case simply taking a B complex tablet usually does not work.

Also check what medications you are taking and check your blood pressure regularly.

Have a nurse or GP check for any infection or fluid build up in the ear canal or Eustachian tubes.
See page on ‘Glue Ear’.

Have an Osteopathic check of the spine. In my experience many times tinnitus can be caused (or aggravated by) by tension in the muscles surrounding the ear or by excessive tension in the shoulder muscles.
This type of tinnitus may change in pitch at times (subjective).

A practitioner of this type should also be able to improve drainage of the occipital area and also of the Eustachian tubes.If excessive congestion is suspected but doesn’t appear to be due cervical misalignment then supplementing with Quercetin at night will help keep the
lymphatic system draining more effectively and will also relieve any inflammation.

Tinnitus may also be caused or aggravated by low blood supply to the head region. Supplementing with or adding Flaxseed oil, Fish oils, Cayenne, Ginger and Garlic to the diet can all help.  You may also want to supplement with Ginkgo Biloba or Gotu Kola.

Go to a yoga class. I have also known tinnitus to improve over time when people go to yoga classes regularly. This would help improve muscular tension around the neck/head area and may improve circulation to the head.

Up-dated August 2013.

Tinnitus & medications

Original Question: I have been bothered by a type of Tinnitus that I think maybe started when I was given a certain drug when in hospital once. I am not sure about this but can think of no other reason. Is it possible that this could be the cause?

Answer: It is possible for some drugs to cause tinnitus but your GP would generally be aware of these. I feel many times people will blame a particular drug but it is often not borne out to be the cause as tinnitus can in actual fact be caused by any one of a number of factors.

If it were drug related it would most likely be that the drug used falls into one of several
categories.
– NSAIDs
– Aspirin or another salicylate
– Diuretics such as ‘frusemide’
– ‘Mycin’ type antibiotics
– Quinine and related drugs
– Some chemotherapy agents
Web sites also implicate other drugs such as Methotrexate and Amitriptyline and a number of others as well as heavy metals and the over use of alcohol.
I can’t comment on how likely this is.

For more information see page on ‘Tinnitus’

 

Titanium – ?Possible side effects

Original Question: ‘Some years ago I had a Titanium plate put in my arm after a severe break. The bones have healed well but the plate is still in place. I have been wondering whether leaving the plate in my arm in the long term can cause side effects, because although I have been told that Titanium is inert in the body I have been getting strange itchy sensations on the back of my hands.
Have you come across any information on this subject?’

……….I wondered about this myself some years ago when I encountered a young lady who had recently had a Titanium plate inserted in her leg. Very shortly afterward she became covered in psoriasis which previously she had not had.
It could of course been a stress reaction of the body but I couldn’t be sure.

I have also seen referrals to studies that suggest that particulate (tiny particles) titanium may cause health problems either at the site overlying the implant or in more distant organs such as lungs and lymph nodes, particularly after some time of frictional wear.

The only actual study I have come across that attempted to prove this was carried out on sheep (poor things) and reported in the Australian Dental Journal 2002.The conclusion of this report was that there was no significant release of Titanium particles in the short term but there were some longer term trends that indicated that there could be an increase of debris after longer periods, particularly in the lungs.

I have not seen any further reports of this type, most back up the theory that Titanium is inert in the body.

There are a number of reports of suspected reactions to Titanium contained in sunscreens, however these could well be reactions to other constituents of the sunscreen.

I have also seen accumulations of Titanium in hair samples taken from people using either sunscreens or other skin products containing Titanium, but I guess this could be seen as an indication that the body rids itself of excess quite efficiently.

Sun Screens

I have always felt that many popular sunscreens are more dangerous to your skin and well being than is reasonable amounts of sun exposure.
My long held belief is that it is safer to ‘cover up’ with light clothing, wear a hat and use a basic Zinc Oxide type of sun-screen rather than fancy chemical ones and to be sensible about how long you stay exposed to the sun.

My own experience of noticing skin sensitivity to many chemical sun-screens has strengthened this view.

Now days it is common for people to come to the clinic with skin rashes, inflamed areas, itchiness and other sensitivities after using skin care products.

Chemical ingredients such as octyl methoxcinnamate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor, benzophene-3, PABA etc are now known to be possible causes of ADHD, asthma, allergies, skin sensitivity, and can cause further cell damage by creating free radical damage.

I also wonder about the excessive use of Titanium dioxide (the shimmery ingredient) as I have found excessive levels in hair samples from people using skin cosmetics containing
this chemical.

International studies have now found that melanoma rates are highest in countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted.

This could be due partly to the chemical ingredients and partly due to people erroneously
thinking that they are completely safe when covered in sun-screen and staying exposed even longer than is applicable.

Our sun-light (in New Zealand) is definitely becoming more dangerous and can cause damage to the deeper levels of the skin even while using sun-screens.
Every-one needs to be careful about when and how long they stay in the sun.

However there are times when we all find our-selves out-side for longer than we intended or many of us work out-side and have little choice in the matter.

We are fortunate now that naturally derived sun-screens are starting to appear on the market. Most are Zinc Oxide based, but are now lovely and soft to use unlike the old Zinc creams that left a dense white splash across the nose!!

The best of these natural sun blocks that contain many natural oils and anti-oxidants and blend nicely into the skin and are also reasonably water proof.
This type of sun-screen is not only safer to use but also lets essential Vitamin D find its way into the skin and are suitable for all skin types.
I usually have sunblocks of this type available in the clinic. Go to On-line shop.

Styes

Styes are a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands along the eyelids. To prevent these occurring, the eyelid area needs to be as kept clean as possible.
Try to avoid rubbing the eyes at any time.

To further prevent styes occurring, you could try taking extra vitamin A daily.
One or two 500mg cod-liver oil capsules daily would be sufficient.

Alternatively take herbals to improve the immune system and fight the infection.
Golden Seal (Hydrastis Canadensis) would be applicable in the short term or
Echinacea and/or Garlic over a longer period.
These herbs could be included in a Homeobotanical remedy if treating children.
Use the ‘Contact us’ page if needing to order herbs.

If inflammation is already present, try compressing the eyelid with a hot compress of Eyebright and Chamomile to help ease the pain and bring the stye to a head.

Any preparation containing Quercetin is very effective as it not only helps fight the infection and is a great anti-inflammatory but also helps drain the glands.
Go to On-line shop for Quercetin

 

Stretch marks

Original question: “Why would stretch marks appear on teenagers?’

Stretch marks certainly can occur on teenagers and males as well as on pregnant women.
They may appear if there is excessive weight gain but usually only if there is a dietary lack of Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin A or E or a deficiency of B Vitamins (specifically B5).
In New Zealand the prime suspect would be a deficiency of zinc which can occur very
easily even if the diet is of reasonable quality.
See page on ‘ Zinc’.

Vitamins C should not become deficient if the diet contains adequate fresh friut and
vegetables.
Vitamin A and E should be adequate if several meals of oily fish are consumed on a regular basis. If this is not so then it would be prudent to supplement with a fish oil capsule daily.
Adequate B Vitamins can be easily obtained by eating lots of green veges and some red meat products but if this poses a problem then a time released B vitamin tablet will do the trick.

Removing stretch marks or scarring of any sort is not easy but can be possible if zinc and vitamin E levels are increased and maintained at adequate levels long term.
About 400IU of Vitamin E would be sufficient and approximately 2ml of zinc liquid daily (or 10-15ml of Colloidal Minerals).

Adequate levels of Zinc can be easily checked for by tasting the undiluted liquid. It should taste ‘terrible’ (as in strongly metallic), if the levels are
good!!
See page on ‘Minerals – facts’ and ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.

Vitamin A and E oils can also get good results in the long term if massaged into the affected area on a regular basis. Try Rose Hip Oil (very high in Vitamin A).

Stress, and how to deal wth it.

Stress is something we all have to deal with at some time in our lives. It is not always a bad thing. Certain amount of ‘stress’ is needed to actually ‘move’ us along. However excessive stress over long periods is always detrimental and many of us now live in that state.
The body always tries to tell us when it is stressed, but how many of us actually listen or even recognise the signs.

The signs are the little things such as:
–  Not sleeping as well as you used to. This could be due to many things such as the mind working over- time, worrying, or to pain, muscle tension or to spinal misalignments. These are all stresses to the body.
Feeling overly tired, lacking normal energy. Often this is the first signal that the body is fighting off an infection. It needs to rest. Do this and you will be fine. Ignore the signal and there is a strong chance that you will be ill for days!
Anxiety, mood swings, depression.
Poor memory.
Muscular tension
Drinking more alcohol than usual – maybe you think it helps you sleep!
Smoking more than usual – maybe you think it helps you relax!
Your blood pressure starting to rise. You may not even be aware of this one. But what about that mild feeling of pressure in the head, the feeling of a strangely tight chest, a pulse that feels a bit fast at times. These do not happen for no reason, the body is showing signs of stress.
Your ‘diet’ going out the window, or loss of appetite. You may be a person who eats excessively whenstressed or you may be a person who forgets to eat. Either way it is not good and will ultimately affect your body in a detrimental fashion. You may gain weight, lose weight or end up
with diabetes.
Drinking more coffee than usual or actually surviving on coffee!
The bowel not behaving as regularly as it used to, becoming erratic, loose, constipated, bloated.
Your hair starting to fall excessively.
Constantly having small accidents. Silly things like bumping into door frames, tripping on steps, hitting your head on the car hatch….not major …..but the next one might be. Slow down, take stock.
These are all signs that something is amiss.

Nothing of course is as good as getting rid of the source of the stress, or even just getting some time away from the stress helps, but as we all know it’s not always as easy as that.
Things don’t just GO AWAY and if you GO AWAY then you generally have to come
back!!
So a question I am asked very, very frequently is HOW TO COPE.

The following are some methods of treatment I have found to work well. Of course not everything works perfectly for everybody, we are all different and so are the life’s stresses that we are coping with.

– Take time out to go and exercise. Make sure it is exercise that you enjoy (No point in persevering with some activity if it is not enjoyable) and NOT to strenuous. This might sound strange to some but if the body is tired then IT IS TIRED. It does not need to
be made MORE TIRED!! Yoga can be great or even just a walk on the beach, or
through forest, or along a river.
Get out and have a coffee (One organic coffee only or tea!) with a friend. (Even exercising is better with a friend, especially one that doesn’t mind if you ‘off load’!) Do it on a regular
basis.
Take time out for yourself. This may mean off loading the kids somewhere else, but it’s better than being a snappy parent!
– Always make sure that you are taking plenty of B vitamins and minerals. Sometimes a simple Multi-vit will do the trick but at other times minerals have to be far more specific. As anyone who has visited this clinic will know my first recommendation is generally minerals!
Get regular Massage, Reflexology or Osteopathic treatments that help balance the body. To do this regularly is important it is not sufficient to think of doing this once a year (or
less)!
Buy a SPA!!
Make sure you get sufficient sleep. This is so VERY important.

Make sure the body gets sufficient minerals, especially Zinc and Magnesium.
Supplement with B Complex.

– Use herbal remedies that help alleviate stress in the body.
The herbs Siberian Ginseng and Californian Poppy I recommend alot in stressful situations.  Siberian Ginseng is an ‘adaptogen’ and appears to generally strengthen the body and help it to cope with stressful situations. It also appears to help strengthen the immune system. Panax Ginseng too can be useful.
It has been used for thousands of years for conditions for fatigue, mental stress, blood sugar regulation, improving libido and longevity.
Licorice is highly regarded in treating conditions associated with poor adrenal function. Be aware that the use of this herb may affect blood pressure.
Saint John’s Wort has long been used to reduce stress and depression. The best way I can describe the effect of this herb is that it ‘takes the bumps out of life’. It does not give a huge lift as some people seem to expect, but does definitely help people cope far better with the day to day stresses of life.
Evening primrose Oil also can be extremely useful in stressful situations. The effect of this herb is slightly different. It is better used in cases of emotional anxiety. Hence its popularity for use with PMS!
Go to on-line shop for Magnesium Glycinate or organic Evening Primrose Oil.

Sometimes other herbs can be added such as Passiflora, Valerian, Kava, Lemon verbena, Hops etc depending on the circumstance.
Bacopa (known as ‘brahmi’ in India) has long been used for improving memory and cognitive function but I personally have always recommended it when people are very run down and tired.
Also, Withania a type of Ginseng, I have also often recommended this herb when people are tired, run down and when the thyroid appears to be implicated.
More recently both Rhodiola rosea root and Rehmannia Root have become popular to improve resistance to a variety of stressors.
Go to Contact us if you want any of these herbals.

– Bach Flower remedies can be extremely beneficial especially when the problems are of the mind. For example the mind dwelling on certain things or the mind just not settling down and forever ‘thinking’.
Find music that makes you happy.
Keep the company of healthy, happy people. Avoid those who pull you down.

Above all……Listen to the body. Take note of what it is telling you.
All the suggestions here can help.
Do not be too busy to listen….and act.
Now read this Poem – ‘Slow dance’. It’s beautiful.

This body is the only one you have. Look after it and it will look after you.

Up-dated Oct 2014

Spinal Treatments

Although it is a very good idea to visit a good Osteopath for a check up if you feel that you need it or have an obvious spinal problem, personally I feel that continual frequent spinal treatments in many cases are not necessary if the nutritional health of the body is taken care of adequately.

In many parts of NZ the magnesium levels are extremely low and this causes, among other things, excessive muscle tension.

If the muscles are in a state of tension then no amount of massage or manipulations are going to help for very long, as the muscle will very quickly go back into spasm and pull the spine back out of alignment.
A course of magnesium given to a patient with continual back pain often has very good results. As an added bonus you will often find that the accompanying constipation and at times heart fibrillations that are further effects of magnesium deficiency will disappear.

This is best followed up by taking Colloidal minerals in the long term as
the overall mineral balance is better than simply supplementing magnesium on its own.
See page on ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.

There are also other supplements available that work beautifully where there appears to be a long term problem affecting the spine.

Glucosamine works well, as does Green lipped mussel (Seatone TM) extract, in relieving inflammatory symptoms and helping strengthen the ligaments. If taking either of these supplements take note that they need to be taken over a long period of time for good results to be obtained.
Also see page on ‘Glucosamine vs NSAIDs’.

Go to On-line shop for any of the products mentioned above.

Flaxseed oil is also a very necessary and useful supplement if you are not already obtaining sufficient Omega 3 in your diet. Omega 3 improves the flow of blood through out the body and you will notice that the joints will move far more freely.

A classic sign of Omega 3 being deficient in the body is the ‘clickyness’ of the joints, otherwise known as ‘crepitus’. About 1tbsp a day is necessary to correct this.

A further supplement that is very effective where there is deep seated nerve pain present (as opposed to a more superficial muscle ache), is Vitamin B12. This needs to taken separately, but in conjunction with a B complex, preferably on an empty stomach in order to improve absorption.
See page on ‘Vitamin B12’