A Chronic Back Pain Sufferers’ Guide To Developing A New Yoga Practice
March 22, 2019
A healthful physical goal of any yoga is to lift up the body and decrease compressive forces in joints and on the spine. This is one reason yoga can help chronic back and other pain sufferers where joint compression is a problem. Compression and pain of joints comes two fold: (1) from weakness or injury of the immediately surrounding the muscles and tissues, and (2) overcompensation and tightening of other muscle groups in efforts to protect the focally pained area. A great challenge of learning a new yoga practice for both teachers and chronic pain sufferers is finding flexibility and stretch through an ability to relax and breath.
The following 5 skills will help chronic pain sufferers develop a yoga practice:
1. Understanding embodiment and mindfulness: This means having awareness and control of the body. The feeling of whole-body alignment and core integration will lead to physical benefits that allow one to trust their internal strength and better support painful or injured parts of the body. Neuromuscular patterning in chronic pain orients the body to tighten large muscle groups around injured or painful areas. Such guarding initially serves to protect one from painful compressive forces of gravity, but unless reprogrammed, will paradoxically add compression to a broader area of the body and cause new stress over time, more inflammation and even more focal scaring or degenerative processes. Learning to use one’s core strength allows the body to lift away from gravity in a way that one can still stretch and be relaxed in poses, supported by breath and able to find length, flexibility, and increased freedom in joints.
2. Breath offers more than just relaxation: The lungs are the most important organs for sustaining vitality because inhalation brings oxygen to the body and stimulates movement of energy. This is why pranayama and lung exercises come first in most yoga lineages. Inhaling and exhaling with the arms overhead, like in mountain pose, increases lung volume and decreases compressive forces on the internal organs as well as the low spine and pelvic bowl, which frees compressive pain symptoms. The breath also massages our innards and brings subtle movements deep into our injured and stagnant areas. Breathing thus both supports us and is where the exchange of healing takes place, like an ocean current.
3. Sun salutations A and B are there for a reason: They are not the only way to get the job done, however laws of spinal kinematics support reasons to warm up the spine with simple motions like flexion and extension before proceeding to more complex asymmetrical motions and twists. When motion is introduced in more than one plane, which is it in complex yoga poses, motion in any one plane modifies and reduces the effects and range of motion in all other planes. Complex movements thus challenge embodiment more, have shorter ranges of motion in each plane respectively and make it more difficult to recognize one’s physical barriers for each plane of motion. The body is thus more prone to injury or overstretching, especially if not properly warmed up.
4. Free fascia from the periphery: Fascia construes the natural web that envelopes and encases our tissues. It surrounds our muscles and binds all body parts from the smallest periphery of our limbs to the large core of our centers. Freeing fascia from the periphery naturally helps ease motion in our core. If we epitome our fascia to a pair of toed leggings, general discomfort happens when focal bunching or unbalanced pull occurs. We would not put our leggings on for best comfort starting by balancing the waist band first; we would start be freeing the fascia around toes and wrapping that fabric comfortably to support the foot and ankle before moving up the calf to the knee and hip, and adjust back and waistband last. From a fascial perspective, stretching the fingers frees motion in the hands and wrist, which frees the elbow, which in turn frees the shoulder and ultimately the neck. Neck pain sufferers should start their workout and stretching in the arms and shoulders; low back pain suffers should start by opening the hips, hamstrings and calves.
5. Dedication is key, as are rewards for one’s own personal milestones: A regular practice takes dedication to fully achieve its best results. While it is discouraging to begin something that challenges one’s pain tolerances, most regular yoga practices happen 2-4 times per week and for years to life. Persistence will pay off and every little step deserves reward. Realize small gains lead to bigger ones. Learn how to maintain patience and knowing that one is doing the right thing. Following one’s own path without comparing it to others. Restrengthening weakened painful areas and rediscovering one’s core after injury is hard work, however baby steps will continue to advance one into a regular yogi capable of navigating most studios with a practice capable of liberation from the constraints of chronic pain.
HOW TO HEAL CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
September 15, 2018
Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body defend itself from harm and heal from infection, illness and injury. Unfortunately inflammation can sometimes run wild, become chronic and lead to various health problems. Fortunately,there is much you can do to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. This article will describe the inflammatory process and provide advice for what to include or avoid for optimum daily health and enhanced ability to heal from disease.
Inflammation in the body is intended to serve a protective response when harmful damage occurs, such as from trauma, irritants,and pathogens. Inflammation involves a host of biochemical reactions that function to alert the body, eliminate the cause of injury, clear out any resultant dead or damagedtissue, and then attempt repairs.
Typically we think of inflammation from something like an infectionorburn, a metabolic cascade increasesblood flow with an influx of cells of your immune-system, which causes redness and warmth. Then blood vessels become permeable enabling the immune system to infiltrate the tissue, which causes swelling. The biochemical reactions leave tissue acidic, which causes pain and reduces one’s desire for activity.
This generic inflammatory cascade is innately wired into your genes, like a common reflex. The benefit of an easy goto response that lacks specificity is ability to respond to a variety of damaging agents quickly. The downfall is lack of specificity that allows biochemical overreaction, hypersensitivity, and even autoimmune mistakes. Thus inflammation needs to be managed well or it can become chronic, or long term.
Chronic inflammation occurs when we (1) fail to eliminate the reason for acute inflammation, (2) develop an autoimmune disorder that mistakes healthy tissue for something pro-inflammatory, or (3) have continuous exposure to low levels of irritating stimuli such as emotional stress or environmental pollutants and toxins.
Regardless, once inflammation lets the immune system in, the immune system matures and evolves antibodies as well as other cellular mediators that are now part of you, sometimes permanently, to help address inflammatory sources more effectively in the future should you re-encounter them. The system is thus wired to be able to stop, yet remember and self-perpetual should it need to in the future.
Termination of the inflammatory response when it is no longer needed, prevents unnecessary damage to surrounding tissues. This is essential and failure to do so results in chronic inappropriate inflammation, to which scientists are now asking the question, “What role does does chronic inflammation have in many severe and common disease states?”.
Certain lifestyle factors that promote chronic inflammation include an overly sedentary lifestyle, obesity, excessive stress, lack of sleep, poor diets, smoking, etc. Environmental factors that promote it are everywhere from genetically modified organisms to processed food, antibiotics in our healthcare and food, radiation, metal exposure, environmental pollutants, constant traffic, lack of clean food and pure water, long work hours, etc.
Today we are afflicted with more inflammatory driven illnesses, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity disease than ever before. Last year for the first time in history, we saw a decrease in life expectancy, while at the same time we have rising incidences of disorders ranging from heart disease and atherosclerosis to depression, cancer, celiac, inflammatory bowel, gluten sensitivity, early aging, hair loss, rosacea, arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, microbiome imbalances, leaky gut, etc.
Fortunately many health practitioners are discovering better anti-inflammatory advice, diets, and lifestyles. It’s funny because the recipe looks a lot like it does for just about everything unhealthy… ironic?
- Eat healthy
- Relax and decompress
The Dietary Inflammatory Index is being developed to describe the inflammatory potential of specific foods.
The most anti-inflammatory types of foods include kale, pineapple, mushrooms, broccoli, green foods, seaweed, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, avocado, green tea, some beer, some wine, some coffee, dark yellow or green leafy vegetables, peppers, grapes, virgin pressed olive oil, coconut oil, dark chocolate and cocoa, tomatoes, walnuts, almonds, sauerkraut, whole grains, spices, herbs, garlic, ginger, turmeric, bone broth, wild salmon and other fatty fish like sardines or anchovies,
The most inflammatory types of foods have sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, processed and red meats, organ meat, processed snacks, packaged foods, unhealthy fats, trans fats, vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oils, fried food, red meat, excessive alcohol, high-energy beverages, refined grains and carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta are the most inflammatory types of foods.
Hydration (ie. drinking water) is the most effective natural strategy to detox and dilute pollutants, and aid their breakdown and elimination. Hydrating heavily in the morning by drinking 32-64 ounces of water before consuming your first meal will help flush out your body and get it primed for the day. Water should be purified and free of contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals, etc.. I recommend reverse osmosis water and adding natural Himalayan pink salt to provide proper electrolytes.
Popular anti-inflammatory supplements include fish oil, curcumin or turmeric, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, glutathione & glutathione boosting agents, devil’s claw, cat’s claw, mangosteen, frankincense, willow bark:, hyssop, ginger, cannabis
Regular movement and exercise is essential to healthy bones, muscles, organs, circulation, and the anti-inflammatory process.
Reduce stress and improve sleep.
TREAT YOUR BODY AND YOUR MICROBIOME LIKE A TEMPLE
March 15, 2018
Your body is an ecosystem to itself, host to trillions of microorganisms residing within the environmental niche of your human self. Several hundred different species of bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and other cellular organisms live in your gastrointestinal tract, mouth, vagina and skin. They are collectively referred to as your microbiome and you plus them compose a single ecological unit that has co-evolved synergistically since the beginning of time.
The cells of your microbiome outnumber your own cells ten to one and account for a 100x greater fold in gene expression than what your human genome is capable of. While DNA is 99.9% similar between every person, our microbiomes are incredibly diverse and scientists are correlating specific microbiome patterns with certain disease states and behaviors, and is accounting for more than what genetics alone can predict.
A thriving microbiome serves vital immunologic, anti-inflammatory, metabolic and homeostatic functions. It helps us digest food, produce vitamins, educate our immune system, pull nutrients in, push toxins out, protect from disease, fight off harmful microorganisms, and even regulate mood.
Studies have linked changes in the microbiome to obesity, heart disease, arthritis, IBS, allergies, diminished response to cancer immunotherapies, and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, pain sensitivity, eating behaviors, stress responses, emotional dysregulation, and even social interacting. We are thus on the verge of a new health revolution that’s asking “If we damage our microbiome, what other health problems are we causing?”.
The process of building your microbiome starts immediately after birth. We’re born sterile inside. Passage through the birth canal introduces both gut and skin microorganisms from your mother. Breast milk introduces more bacteria from all over the body. Food from dirt takes over and the microbiome fully matures by age three. It’s a process of symbiotic co-evolution where our microbiomes are as much a part of our human landscape as the person themselves.
When things go wrong with the microbiome, from stress or diet, it becomes depleted, thinned, and overrun by pathogens. This eliminates the protective effect and the gut lining becomes exposed. Direct effects of inflammation cause the gut to erode (leading to poor nutrient absorption and food sensitivities) and even fall apart (leading to leaky gut and direct input of toxins to the bloodstream).
So what’s the #1 way to treat your body and microbiome like a shrine? Remove toxins and pathogens from your body while focusing on what goes in through diet. Agricultural and pharmacologic antibiotics kill off the microbiome, so do food pesticides. GMOs, food irradiation, microwaving, overcooking and over-utilized sterilization processes deplete the microbiome before food even hits the plate. Replacing good ingredients with refined sugars, processed flours, fillers, etc. serves to support yeast and parasite growth that competes with and replaces the microbiome. Finally, modern world stress weakens and inflames our microbiome, which in turn sends out the immune-mediated biological markers that augment self-fulfilling cycles that spiral us towards autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue and pain.
- Recommendations suggest getting the most probiotic diversity from diet by eating probiotic foods ranging from kombucha to sauerkraut and yogurt.
- Prebiotic diets utilize natural forms of fiber that increase GI motility and bacterial turnover, which encourages low populations to flourish. Inulin and oligoscaharides make the best prebiotic fibers and are found in foods like onions, garlic, asparagus, green bananas, and whole grains.
- Fruits and Vegetables are #1 source or probiotic and prebiotic foods. Modern diets lack sufficient fiber. Fiber not only feeds the microbiome, it aids stool transit times. Digestion is a time-sensitive process by which we want to absorb the good before things begin to putrefy.
- Removing toxins from your diet and body is tough no matter how carefully you choose food. According to David Sandoval, pesticides are found in >75% of the food we eat and every American tested has been shown to have it in their bodies. Chelation is a difficult process by which we use substances to bind and remove toxins/metals from our body. Chlorella is a normal microbiome organism that produces glutahione, the major natural chelator in humans. Other products like Biome Medic ® are being marketed as pesticide chelators.
- Avoid antacids in leu of having natural stomach acidity that kills harmful bacteria.
- Chew food well. Saliva has many semi-dormant probiotic bacteria that get mixed into and activated with food, and can literally make a scoby out of each meal.
- Processed sugars and corn syrup inflame your cells and serve as superfood for yeast and candida mold species that take over and replace the normal microbiome. Yeast is not probiotic. It produces large amounts of gases CO2 and ethanol which further irritate and compete for your body’s use of oxygen.
- Meat protein is hard to digest, which not only slows transit time, its byproducts of metabolism (ammonia, sulfites, methane and ethanol) could be comparable to the main ingredients in household cleaners, explosives, and gasoline.
Once our food was as pure as the earth, water ran clean and dirt was full of minerals. We lived by our gut instincts. We woke by the sun, slept by the stars, and a real circadian rhythm vs. go-go modern day challenges. We did not eat coloring, flavoring, added sugar, binding agents, fillers, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, radiated ingredients, and GMOs.
The microbiome is not well understood yet is receiving a lot of recent attention, this may be because our modern world has made it almost impossible to care for it. Evolutionarily, microbial symbiosis of the intestinal tract started in the ocean when we were primitive wormlike ingestive tubes, and we have since evolved into a complex single ecological unit. We know the microbiome has widespread physiologic roles that are positive for us, that we use the same chemical messengers, share DNA, low numbers correlate with different disease conditions, and while it cannot speak, it has mastered unique ways of signaling the entire body. All together it raises a very esoteric question of whom exists for who. It’s like the alien invasion never left, they still reside inside and are desperately trying to tell us something about both our environments… so what is your gut telling you?
BEYOND FIGHT OR FLIGHT
September 20, 2017
Often in yoga we refer to something called “fight or flight”to account for the mundane worries of the world that steal our presence during practice.Fight or flight refers to our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which are the “autonomic” nerves to organs believed to be out of our control. General understanding is that the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) revs us up or excites us, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) revs us down or relaxes us, but there is much more to it than that. This article addressed the entire nervous system, including the peripheral or “somatic” part we do control and how it also ties in. My ultimate goal is to (1) explain how yoga and asana integrate with all parts of the nervous system, (2) help you understand why some poses stimulate certain pathways either consciously or subconsciously, and (3) show how to pair the PNS and SNS into a yoga class for those perfect sensations whether your shooting for peak asana or something more subtle.
Part 1 – Nervous System Integration:
The PNS does not inhibit the SNS, they are both excitatory systems. Ideally, these systems are in balance with each other, one waxing while the other one wanes. The SNS excites us when it is time to fight or flee (heart races, eyes widen and dilate, lungs open up, sphincters close, digestion stops, adrenals release epinephrin, stored energy becomes sugar, etc.) while the PNS excites us to rest and digest (eyes constrict, heart slows, sphincters relax, digestion begins, etc.). Notice that with each, the organs are being stimulated for a purpose but not two purposes at once. IBS is a problem where a confused gut becomes dually excited, causing a painfully mixed reaction of both PNS and SNS activity.
Energetically the SNS is (+) and the PNS is (–) however the (-)s don’t turn off (+)s. The key to sustainability is balance without extremes so we can experience healthful levels of excitation to lift us up while also providing our body with energizing rest that restores us. Unbalanced SNS activity drives anxiety or anger, and too much PNS makes one lazy or depressed. Demands of the modern world frequently drive towards too much SNS and we get adrenal fatigue.
A different “somatic” nervous system controls our skeletal muscles and sensations like pain vs. comfort. Somatic sensations go to the brain and work in concert with our emotions and past experience to change and modulate the outputs of the autonomics. When properly aligned, or at least comfortable in asana, we calm somatic inputs that may over-excite the protective need of the PNS or SNS. Our yoga may then relax us into a state of presence, and our thoughts and control of wellbeing is not influenced by external altercations or stimuli.Here we may hypothesize why yoga “miraculously” healed Iyengar and Paramahansa Yogananda whereas most forms of modern medicine try to only adjust outputs to organs and cannot create true natural healing from within.
Part 2 – Stimulatory Effects of Poses:
Nerves pass up and down through ganglia or “switchboards”. SNS switchboards are located along the thoracic and lumbar spines and is why dancer pose is so exhilarating. PNS switchboards are located at the neck and sacrum and is why child’s pose is so relaxing.
Perfect experiences in poses like camel balance both PNS and SNS switchboards by evenly distributing the curve to make us feel proud, strong and energized through the mid-spine while also making us feel relaxed but poised and protected through the neck and pelvic regions. When poses are properly embodied, somatics speak comfort to the brain and we perceive a safe place, the SNS and PNS are balanced and naturally oscillate between excitatory states without extremes. Extremes overly heighten the system and drive one towards the opposite excitatory state, ie. crunching of the lumbar spine in camel that suddenly drives us into child’s pose, or a pigeon pose that just doesn’t feel accomplished without becoming a mermaid.
Part 3 – Pairing of Asana and Flow:
As yoga teachers, we must be experts in neuroplasticity and ask ourselves what we want to achieve, and then strategize a practice that uses somatics to balance the body without extremes or drastic autonomic cycling. Yoga thus provides a way for teachers and students to actively remodel how the body handles stress and disease.
All yoga poses have their perfection, but we want to teach to the purpose of the class. Compliment sustained flow of poses affect both SNS and PNS equally in turn, but don’t push one system too hard and creates an enjoyable sustainable practice. From an anatomical model, movement and engagement in the thoracic and lumbar spines stimulate the SNS more. The PNS is stimulated more through the neck and pelvis. Asanas that intensify awareness in these parts of the spine or add rapid cyclic motion to them will heighten the effect, as do focused assists and touch.
Thoughtfully creating yoga classes involves more than just warming up and stretching the muscles and joints and also include fully balancing the needs of the automatics. Classes that build to those climactic poses do so best though the gradual crescendo of SNS excitation of the thoracic and lumbars without overstimulating a premature collapse into the PNS. Restorative flows calm us down greatly by stimulating areas of the neck and pelvis. Asanas that go back and forth without pushing one too far gives us something enjoyable and sustainable in between.
In a standard yoga teacher training, we learn how to build heat or create cooling in various intensities, and think ahead as to why this is important for the rest of the class. A deeper art is understanding why some poses stimulate autonomic pathways either consciously or subconsciously, and how to build flow to pair the pathway for those perfect sensations whether your shooting for peak asana or something more subtle. Embodiment that allows somatics to deliver sensations of safety and wellbeing avoids triggering the protective need of the SNS or PNS. Doing so balances the the SNS and PNS into naturally healthy oscillations of excitation without extremes and is fundamental to helping students truly feel yoga liberated from the instinct of fight or flight.
MAKING YOGA THERAPY ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL
April 25, 2017
THE CASE FOR BILLABLE YOGA
Yoga is one of YCHC’s medical tools because all three are ingrained into yoga’s core. We are currently seeking insurance contracts for reimbursement for community based classes and private one-on-one sessions that focus on yoga as medical treatment for people who would not otherwise believe they can do yoga for health reasons but could actually use it most.
Yoga is already an accepted medical treatment within the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS) as well as other medical treatment guidelines, and is recommended as an option for select motivated patients. The guidelines state there is considerable evidence of efficacy in the treatment of chronic pain, and the impact on depression and disability are considered important outcomes for further study. Yoga is recommend for approval when requested by a specific patient, but not adoption for use by any patient. The cost of yoga as a health modality is believed to cost fraction of that spent on traditional health care delivery systems and results in more permanently sustainable, cheaper and healthier lifestyle changes than traditional health care alone.
Medical visits also rise for a myriad of symptoms and conditions during times of increased normal stress (ie. finals week for students or major life events like home purchase or marriage) but as few as 3% of doctors actually talk to patients about how to reduce or deal with these normal stress patterns in leu of prescribing medicine alone. During normal times of increased stress, people with yogic practices are shown to find improved embodiment, sleeping habits, mood and support that is less likely to drive them to the doctor for perceived symptoms of organic illness.
MEDICAL STUDIES ON YOGA
A growing body of research is showing that that mindful practices like yoga are inexpensive relative to the cost of standard medical care, and effective for treating physical and mental health problems ranging from heart disease to depression. People who have a regular yoga practice will go to the doctor less and utilize much fewer health care resources including doctor visits, diagnostics or lab tests, emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
In a well referenced research article, The Public Library of Science, up to 70% of a physician’s’ caseloads stem from stress-related problems ranging from headache and back pain to insomnia, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and chest pain. These are the third highest health care expenditures in the U.S., right after heart disease and cancer. Records were compared from 4,452 people who took an eight-week relaxation program that revolved around yogic practices and meditation vs. 13,149 people who didn’t, and their use of clinical services dropped by 43% overall (25% when matched for age, ethnicity, gender and disease specific processes) in the following year. Principal investigator, Dr. James Stahl, section chief of general internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center says “We’ve had a lot of data over the years showing that this stuff helps people’s physiology, their heart rate, blood pressure and inflammation all the way down to the genetic level, but we haven’t really looked at it from the health-systems perspective. If someone is feeling well and healthier, they wouldn’t want to use the emergency room as often, and the study really bore that out.” The article estimates the price of a standard mind-body medical service averages $500 in the medical world (YCHC estimates it to be less than half of this) while a typical emergency room visit can cost over $4,000 at the low end. Interventions like these would save anywhere from $640-$25,500 per patient each year. Stahl further states that the cause-effect is real, sustainable, reproducible and “the data is pretty unequivocal that doing these kinds of tools would really help you in terms of your health and wellness.” Dr. Scott LaJoie, an associate professor of behavioral sciences at the University of Louisville and coauthor states, “as a professor in public health, I think these reductions in health costs are very exciting. Very few public health interventions have been shown to be so cost saving. The next step is devising public health interventions to make mind-body medicine more accessible to a larger subset of the population.”
An article in the Harvard Business Review recommends that health insurers cover wellness and prevention-oriented therapies like yoga and meditation that are both low-cost and evidence-based. The article discusses a study of Aetna employees who participated in the company’s mindfulness program and enjoyed a 28% reduction in stress, 20% better sleep, 19% less pain and an increase in worker productivity worth an estimated $3,000 per employee per year. The company offers free yoga and meditation programs to its employees.
Another study, The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Healthcare Utilization in the Inner City, focused on measuring symptom reduction in middle-class and working-class populations, and found that mind-body relaxation practices helped contain healthcare costs by decreasing the number of visits made by inner-city patients to their primary care providers.
Nejati, 2015, hypertension can lead to other illnesses such as myocardial infarction, stroke and kidney disease. 30 patients aged 30 to 55 years old with diagnoses of hypertension were followed only two months after a yoga based relaxation program and showed drops in mean blood pressure from 155 to 136 systolic and from 91 to 86 diastolic compared to rises or no significant drops in control groups (p <.001) who did not receive yogic practices.
BENEFITS OF YOGIC THERAPY
April 21, 2017
Although yoga may seem like the newest exercise fad, the practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years and is still deeply rooted in health care systems of India and the far east. Yoga is perfect for individuals of all ages and genders regardless if they have had prior experience or not. Yoga incorporates a form of meditation and different stretching poses that lead to a great workout and stress relief. Yoga targets all the muscles of the body and cardiopulmonary system, and improves your flexibility and neural integration. YCHC addresses yoga as medicine with design to offer adaptation for people who might, for health reasons, not otherwise be able to take and receive benefits of a public class where they may simply be shoved into poses.
Yoga in general helps decrease tension, fatigue and anxiety while increasing energy and feelings of well-being. It has been linked to significant reductions in back pain as well as asthma symptoms, pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improved immune system function.
IMMEDIATE HEALTH EFFECTS AFTER GOING TO A YOGA CLASS:
- IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION
- LOWER STRESS
- IMPROVED LUNG FUNCTION
- LOWER BLOOD SUGAR.
WITHIN JUST A FEW WEEKS OF REGULAR PRACTICE
- INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
- BETTER POSTURE
- ENHANCED METABOLIC GENE EXPRESSIONS SUCH AS IMPROVED INSULIN SENSITIVITY AND REVERSE HEPATASTEATOTOSIS
- LOWER LEVELS OF THE STRESS HORMONE CORTISOL.
AFTER A FEW MONTHS
- HEALTHIER HOMEOSTASIS OF METABOLIC SYNDROME IS REACHED
- IMPROVED BLOOD PRESSURE
- IMPROVED SEXUAL FUNCTION
- DECREASED CHRONIC PAIN
- BETTER SENSE OF BALANCE THROUGH PERMANENT NEUROMUSCULAR RE-EDUCATION
- INCREASED LUBRICATION OF THE JOINTS, LIGAMENTS AND TENDONS
- IMPROVED STRENGTH PARTICULARLY IN THE ABS, HAMSTRINGS, QUADRICEPS, ARMS AND LOWER BACK
- ANXIETY RELIEF
- HEIGHTENED BRAIN CHEMISTRY THAT COMBATS DEPRESSION
- GREATER SENSE OF COMMUNITY.
AFTER A YEAR OR MORE
- PRACTITIONERS HAVE STRONGER BONES
- INCREASED BONE DENSITY
- HEALTHIER WEIGHT AND FAT TO MUSCLE RATIOS
- LOWER RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Yoga is a gateway to living at its healthiest and away from illnesses often associated with medications or polypharmacy, which are important steps towards prolonging our lives and enhancing the quality of our lives for ourselves and those whom we love.
SUPPLEMENTS, VITAMINS AND YOUR HEALTH
March 03, 2017
Healing is energy on a cellular level. The amount of energy a cell has is directly proportional to its ability to create proteins. Without proteins, your cells can’t divide; without cell division, you can’t grow or heal. Proteins are the building blocks of life, your DNA and everything. Proteins synthesis for the purpose of building our body up instead of tearing it down is influenced by the amount of foreign substance and inflammation you have in your body.
Our net epidemiological loads (or that which composes the stressors that lead us from health) from an integrative health perspective boils down to our nutrition and food supply, environmental toxins, fragmented family and chronic stress, rising poverty, indoor living or lack of nature, and sedentary lifestyles. We enhance integration of our body’s healthy power by creating consciousness and power of awareness of the environments we create and ingest. One of the greatest modifiable factors comes from diet and the integration of nutrition.
Nutritional support is best achieved through diets rich in natural non-GMO organic foods, fruits and vegetables that come more quickly from local sources. Through nutrition, we should account for all the proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber our bodies need. Supplements (e.i. naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and nutrients you can buy) may be used when one’s diet is deficient or requiring extra healing. Supplements are not recommended by the AMA and FDA for non-physiological reasons. This is despite common sense to serve the body by giving it what it needs or lacks, especially if we can avoid pharmacological prescriptions our medical system so readily sells as “cures”.
For example, while the FDA still forces supplementation of things like folate and non-physiologic forms of fluoride, most everyone these days is (rather) deficient in magnesium, the 4th most abundant mineral in the body that is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions that help restore and heal tissues of your nerves, muscles, bones and immune system. It also makes you sleepy… anyone with chronic pain or injuries having trouble sleeping?
I find the following functional categories useful when determining what supplements might be most useful to you:
Acute Inflammation and pain:Curcumin/turmeric is a powerful yet natural anti-inflammatory substance for the entire body.
Muscle Support:Magnesium plus zinc support nighttime muscle restoration while you sleep. Vitamin-K (bananas) is essential for protein synthesis, building muscle and proper nerve function. B-vitamins support functioning of all our metabolic processes, and Coenzyme-Q strengthens that response for enhanced activity, improved strength and reduced oxidative stress.
Chronic Bone Support:Calcium, Vitamin-D and morning sunshine. Manganese also helps the body absorb calcium and form connective tissue, which is especially useful during wound healing.
Bone Degeneration and Arthritis:Glucosamine containing substances or MSM provide sulfur, which is the binding molecule for proteins that comprise our joint tissues including but not limited to cartilage, tendons and joint fluid.
Anti-oxidation, Anti-aging and Detoxification:Vitamin-C offers electrons to free radicals to help with their elimination. Bioflavinoids are the naturally occurring antioxidants in green tea and fruits. Glutathione reduces toxic di-sulphide bonds and drives metabolic processes that regenerate other naturally occurring antioxidants like Vitamin-C and E. Alpha Lipioc Acid (ALA) scavenges free radicals, especially in muscles, and chelates them; it also helps convert glucose to energy and enhances oxygenation of cells; ALA is often combined with glutathione because it augments glutathione activity. Calcium- AEP works much like glutathione at the level of the nerve membranes.
Performance Enhancement:Arginine opens blood vessels for enhanced tissue oxygenation. Carnitine boosts energy and strength by burning triglycerides and free fat instead of stored forms of energy or tissues; it thus decreases muscle fatigue and is also great for cardiovascular health because it lets you burn your fats first. Lysine helps carnitine work better.
For Growth and Healing:Lysine is the primary stimulus for muscle protein synthesis and therefore opposes muscle degradation; it is also important for proper growth and collagen development, and therefore also prevents bone and tissue breakdown. Proline is a component of collagen. Valine aids B and other vitamin metabolism, especially in muscles.
On a final note, no metabolic process of the body, whether for building or detoxifying, will run well without adequate amounts of fresh/clean water, not the kind we get from our city water supplies. At least half your body weight in ounces per day is required on a normal day and you need even more when challenged in any way for exercise, healing or illness.