Natural Health Questions Answered

Natural Health Questions Answered

Hi folks. Thanks to all who emailed me their natural health related questions from my FaceBook post, much appreciated! Lots of questions centering around similar things so I have chosen the best and most common to answer for you. Now please understand that by me answering these, it does NOT constitute a MEDICAL assessment nor is it to replace any existing therapy or treatment programme currently in place. These are just generalized answers for informational purposes. Now that we have the legal BS covered we can get on with it!

1. Does regular massage therapy help with arthritis? – According to the US Arthritis Foundation, massage can help with arthritis in two ways. First, it reduces muscle pain that is usually caused by spasms. Second, it increases your body’s ability to produce endorphins which reduces pain. Going back to a study reported in late 2006, some clinical findings regarding osteoarthritis of the knee had a lot of good to say about massage. In a December of 2006 article, The Archives of Internal Medicine said that those receiving massage therapy had less stiffness, pain and increased physical function in their knees. There are really two issues with massage therapy as it relates to arthritis. The first is what it accomplishes. That is, that massage helps the arthritis sufferer by loosening up the joints. Namely, in the muscles and ligaments that break up the adhesion that slow or hinder motion. And, when gentle joint stretching is done it can actually stimulate the production of synovial fluid which acts as a cushion. This reduces inflammation and pain.

2. How does proper pH balance aid immunity? – If our pH levels are not properly balanced we can no longer process essential minerals and nutrients appropriately. In order to function properly, our cells need to be slightly alkaline. Additionally, viruses, bacteria, and diseases tend to thrive in a more acidic environment but struggle to survive in an alkaline environment, therefore increasing our alkalinity will help to combat these conditions. Unfortunately, our diets tends to be more acidic leading to poor body function and unnecessary susceptibility to disease. An improper pH balance can not only severely impact your quality of life, but it can also shorten your life!

3. Will acupuncture/acupressure help with diabetes?– Chinese medicine identified excess blood sugar as a symptom of diabetes over 1,300 years ago.    Chinese medicine practitioners were able to diagnose diabetes using ants.  The practitioner would leave a urine sample close to an ant colony.  If the ants were attracted to the urine the practitioner knew there was excess sugar in the blood.  Ancient Chinese medicine had many effective herbal treatments including pig pancreas.   Chinese medicine has identified over 20 acupuncture points that can help control blood sugar symptoms. Modern Chinese medicine has integrated Western scientific research, and many very effective acupuncture and herbal treatments have been developed. Acupuncture is effective at controlling blood sugar levels, reducing appetite and thirst, improving blood flow and circulation, and preserving nerve function.  There are 20 commonly used acupuncture points that help to control blood sugar levels. Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for assisting younger people more recently diagnosed with diabetes in controlling blood sugar levels.  Acupuncture can help to manage cholesterol levels which reduce the cardiovascular complications of diabetes.  Peripheral neuropathy can be managed with acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments for diabetics are usually on-going and used long-term to manage symptoms of diabetes.  Treatments are recommended 1-2 times per week in relation to blood sugar levels and symptoms.  Acupuncture is usually combined with herbal remedies for best results.

4. Does a high protein diet make you lose weight? – In a word NO! Initially you may lose some weight because you are losing fluid weight but over the longer term you will gain more weight. Another side effect of a high protein diet is acidity. You become more acidic and this leave you more susceptible to poor well being and further weight gain. If you want to really lose weight, see a dietician or nutritionist and make the “LIFESTYLE’ change you need to in order to drop body fat in a healthful, realistic way using food and exercise.

5. Can herbal remedies help with menopause? – Yes! In many cases they are the prefered option for many women but as always you should seek out the advice of a professional first to ensure your situation is tailored to. Herbs such as St John’s Wort may be used for up to 2 years for mild depression. Soy isoflavones(Soy Protein) may be useful for aiding in night sweats and hot flushes for up to 2 years. Those with a history of breast cancer need to be aware that it may influence estrogen-dependant breast cancer. Black Cohosh may also help in night sweats. Chaste Tree Berry(Vitex Angus Castus) is also great as it is a hormone balancer. This may inhibit prolactin, a natural hormone that acts on the breast. It is touted for breast pain and premenstrual syndrome. There are very few studies in menopausal women. A study of women with premenstrual syndrome found they reported improvements in mood, anger, headache, breast fullness, but not bloating and other symptoms. Evening primrose produces seeds rich in gamma-linolenic acid, which some experts believe is the nutritionally perfect fatty acid for humans. Evening primrose capsules are believed to be useful for breast pain, bladder symptoms and menopausal symptoms. Wild yam may also be effective in helping balance hormones and finally Ginseng may be useful for aiding in promoting feelings of general well being and aiding in immunity and stamina.

Well they’re about it for this time around friends. Feel free to email me or contact me at anytime for questions, I’ll do my best to help.

Have a great day!

Craig Hitchens – MST & Natural Health Specialist

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