September 2020 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Chiropractic and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
» Meditation and Exercise May Reduce Cold Symptoms
» Beat Insomnia With More Exercise

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter  
What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:PLoS One. July 2, 2008.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia  

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author:Reuters
Source:Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.
Copyright:Reuters 2010


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Chiropractic and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects more than 3 million people annually and occurs when there is compression of the median nerve where the nerve runs through the carpal bones of the wrist. The result is numbness, tingling and/or weakness in the hand. A review of CTS studies that include joint mobilization indicates, according to researchers, "…joint mobilization was associated with positive clinical effects for persons with CTS." Joint mobilization of the wrist is nothing more than introducing safe, controlled force to the carpal bones of the wrist in order to reduce pressure to the median nerve, break adhesions and improve blood flow. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and fully skilled in the art of joint mobilization, which is commonly called "adjustments." If you are suffering from CTS, or similar soft tissue ailment, we encourage you to consider chiropractic care today.


Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JMPT Online, August 26, 2020.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2020


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Meditation and Exercise May Reduce Cold Symptoms  

A small study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that meditation and exercise significantly reduced the number of days people missed work due to colds or flu. The results need to be confirmed, but could add another tool to the prevention options available for the respiratory illnesses. Currently there is no vaccine for the common cold, and flu vaccines are only effective 60-70% of the time. The only other preventative measures available for the illnesses are hand washing and to avoid contact with infected persons. While the common cold and most strains of the flu are considered mild by doctors, the estimated costs of them to society run into billions of dollars annually. Working from a thesis that exercise and meditation could prevent illness, Dr. Bruce Barrett and his colleagues randomly assigned 149 patients into three groups; one group participated in an eight week exercise training, one group participated in an eight week meditation training and the third participated as a control and received no special instructions. After the training periods were completed, the researchers tracked illness incidents in the groups through cold and flu season. Of the 50 people in the control group, 40 got sick as opposed to 27 in the meditation group and 26 in the exercise group. Furthermore, the exercise and meditation groups reported feeling sick for an average of only five days, while the control group felt ill for nine. The exercise and meditation groups also missed less work. The researchers speculate that exercise helped strengthen the immune systems of test subjects, while meditation left subjects better prepared to cope with the effects of illness. Dr. Barrett stated however, that the findings were preliminary and needed more study.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Ann Fam Med. July/August 2012. Vol. 10, No. 4.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2012


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Beat Insomnia With More Exercise  

For the nearly half of Americans who experience occasional insomnia, and the 22 percent who suffer from the condition nightly, a new survey by the non-profit National Sleep Foundation suggests the key to restful sleep is vigorous exercise. The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by phone and over the internet, indicates that people who exercise regularly have less problems getting to sleep and enjoy a better quality of sleep than those who do not. More than 75 percent of the respondents who reported themselves as working out regularly reported sleeping well, as compared to just over half of the people who reported not exercising at all. Interestingly, both groups reported getting the same amount of sleep; an average of just under seven hours a night during the work week. However, respondents who were physically active reported falling asleep more quickly, experiencing less sleeping problems and needing less sleep to function during the day. The sedentary people reported problems falling asleep at night, staying asleep, keeping awake during the day, taking more naps and exhibiting more symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition that causes breathing problems while sleeping. The experts concluded that even ten minutes of exercise a day could have a significant impact on the duration and quality of sleep.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America® poll. March 4, 2013.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2013


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