Tag Archives: pain relief

Awareness Through Movement

Dear one,

What appeared in today’s New York Times in Jean Brody’s Health post is a must share with you and all your friends. She talks about Feldenkrais, a technique and practice I discovered many, many years ago when what I needed most was Awareness Through Movement. Becci Parsons in my local Feldenkrais guru. She has saved me from debilitating arthritic pain in the past. In the present, she guided my mind and body through the process of a spine fusion by Dr. Peter Nora and the subsequent repatterning of my nerve damaged legs. Jean Brody wasn’t and isn’t about to require surgery for her pain. She just wanted a better quality “every day”. Please read on for her remarks. When you have read her post, go to Becci Parson’s website and find a class. She teaches all the time in convenient locations north of the ship canal in Seattle. Living somewhere else? Do a search and find a practitioner.

Be well and Keep Moving, Betsy

(To read about supplements that help with pain, go to this post.)

Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain
Personal Health
By JANE E. BRODY OCT. 30, 2017

After two hourlong sessions focused first on body awareness and then on movement retraining at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York, I understood what it meant to experience an incredible lightness of being. Having, temporarily at least, released the muscle tension that aggravates my back and hip pain, I felt like I was walking on air.

Thanks to Paul Rogers  for this cartoon from the NYTimes.

I had long refrained from writing about this method of countering pain because I thought it was some sort of New Age gobbledygook with no scientific basis. Boy, was I wrong!
The Feldenkrais method is one of several increasingly popular movement techniques, similar to the Alexander technique, that attempt to better integrate the connections between mind and body. By becoming aware of how one’s body interacts with its surroundings and learning how to behave in less stressful ways, it becomes possible to relinquish habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to chronic pain.

The method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, mechanical engineer and expert in martial arts, after a knee injury threatened to leave him unable to walk. Relying on his expert knowledge of gravity and the mechanics of motion, he developed exercises to help teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move.

I went to the institute at the urging of Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the recently published book “Crooked” that details the nature and results of virtually every current approach to treating back pain, a problem that has plagued me on and off (now mostly on) for decades. Having benefited from Feldenkrais lessons herself, Ms. Ramin had good reason to believe they would help me.

In her book, she recounts the experience of Courtney King, who first experienced crippling back spasms in her late 20s. Ms. King was taking several dance classes a week and practicing yoga, and she thought the stress of these activities might be causing the pain in her tight, inflexible back. But after a number of Feldenkrais sessions, she told Ms. Ramin, “I realized that the pain had more to do with the way I carried myself every day.”

Even after just one session, I understood what she meant. When I make a point of walking upright and fluid, sitting straight, even cooking relaxed and unhurried, I have no pain. The slow, gentle, repetitive movements I practiced in a Feldenkrais group class helped foster an awareness of how I use my body in relation to my environment, and awareness is the first step to changing one’s behavior.

One common problem of which I’m often guilty is using small muscles to accomplish tasks meant for large, heavy-duty ones, resulting in undue fatigue and pain.

The group class, called Awareness Through Movement, was followed by an individual session called Functional Integration with a therapist that helped to free tight muscles and joints that were limiting my motion and increasing my discomfort. Using gentle manipulation and passive movements, the therapist individualized his approach to my particular needs.

The ultimate goal of both sessions is, in effect, to retrain the brain – to establish new neural pathways that result in easy, simple movements that are physiologically effective and comfortable. Although the Feldenkrais method was developed in the mid-20th century, neurophysiologists have since demonstrated the plasticity of the brain, its ability to form new cells, reorganize itself and, in effect, learn new ways to do things.

 

The beauty of Feldenkrais lessons is that they are both relatively low-cost (group classes average $15 to $25, individual sessions $100 to $200) and potentially accessible to nearly everyone. There are more than 7,000 teachers and practitioners working in 18 countries, including large numbers in the United States. You can be any age, strength, fitness level and state of well-being to participate. The exercises are slow, gentle and adjustable to whatever might ail you. Their calming effect counters the stress that results in contracted muscles, tightness and pain.
Feldenkrais practitioners like Marek Wyszynski, director of the New York center, typically start professional life as physical therapists. They then undergo three years of training to become certified in the Feldenkrais method.

Mr. Wyszynski explained that he starts by observing how patients are using their skeletons – how they sit, stand and walk in ways that may cause or contribute to their pathology, be it spinal disc disease, arthritis, shoulder pain or damaged knee joints. In accordance with Dr. Feldenkrais’s astute observation, “If you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t do what you want,” patients are then given a clear sensory experience of how their posture and behavior contribute to their pain and physical limitations.

For example, some people may use excessive force, clench their teeth, hold their breath or rush, causing undue muscle tension and skeletal stress. Years ago, I realized that my frequent headaches resulted from an unconscious habit of clenching my jaw when I concentrated intently on a task like sewing or cooking. Feldenkrais teachers do not give formulas for a proper way of behaving; rather, they rely on their patients’ ability to self-discover and self-correct.
Once aware of their counterproductive habits, students are given the opportunity to experience alternative movements, postures and behaviors and, through practice, create new habits that are less likely to cause pain.

Mr. Wyszynski told me that there are more than 1,000 distinct Feldenkrais lessons currently available, most of which involve everyday actions like reaching, getting up from a chair, turning, bending and walking.

As a mechanical engineer and physicist, Dr. Feldenkrais understood that the job of the human skeleton was to accommodate the effects of gravity in order to remain upright. And he wanted people to achieve this in the most efficient way possible.

Using two tall foam cylinders, one perched on top of the other, Mr. Wyszynski demonstrated a guiding principle of the Feldenkrais method. When the top cylinder was centered on the bottom one, it stood in place without assistance. But when it was off center, perched near the edge of the bottom cylinder, it tipped over. If instead of cylinders these were someone’s skeletal parts that were askew, tightened muscles would have to keep the patient from falling over.
As Mr. Wyszynski explained, “Good posture allows the skeleton to hold up and support the body without expending unnecessary energy despite the pull of gravity. However, with poor posture, the muscles are doing part of the job of the bones, and with poor skeletal support, the muscles have to remain contracted to prevent the body from falling.”

I wish you the best of health. Betsy

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surgery for arthritis

Gentle Reader,

There comes a time when surgery for arthritis makes sense. I have reached that time. I began blogging at www.NoWheelchair.wordpress.com in 2004, to share strategies a person with arthritis could use to avoid taking medication or having surgery. My posts have been about my own journey to manage increasingly severe osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, and more recently a condition known as listhesis, or the collapsing of vertebra to the left and to the right. As my Feldenkrais practitioner keeps telling me, “You’ve got a complicated spine.”

It has been an interesting process to dedicate this year to a protocol of my own making. I have gone to a physical medicine specialist, Dr. Ren, at the Polyclinic who suggested physical therapy for eight sessions. The PT exercises did nothing to alleviate the weakness in my legs, nor the pain, lovely as it was to show up to the attention of admiring young men twice a week.

I decided to take Dr. Ren’s offer of an injection of steroids in L5 and L4 and I had a good four pain free weeks. With less pain, I was able to pay attention to my gait and realized I was so unstable on my right side that my right hip was swinging out with every step. I decided to go back to Becci Parsons, my Feldenkrais practitioner for help getting symmetrical again. Walking everywhere with hiking sticks helps with symmetry. My strong upper body lifts my weaker legs up and the hiking sticks keep me parallel. They are less for balance than for lifting weight off the collapsed vertebra.

Nerve pain came back after a short time. Dr. Ren thought I might be a good candidate for surgery. Becci has had two operations for very similar conditions so I went to her neurosurgeon, Dr.Peter Nora. Dr. Nora has twenty years of back surgery under his belt. When I met him, I looked at his hands which are small and delicate. A good sign. He put me through the diagnostic paces where you resist pressing your knees together and then apart; your feet in and then out; your knee lifting against pressure; all of which I passed with flying colors. It seemed obvious this 79 year old woman showed no sign of weakness. He tried one last diagnostic tool: I stood against the wall pressing my heals, my back and my head against it. The test: stand for ten minutes in that position. I lasted 5 seconds before my legs gave way.

I so appreciated Dr. Nora’s willingness to listen to my experience. When I stand around for a while, the right leg loses feeling and will not support my weight. Think about when standing around is what we do as humans: hanging out in the kitchen with family while we cook; looking at a painting in the museum; holding a drink at a cocktail party or reception; singing in the choir at church; waiting in line at Starbucks, at the airport, at the bank. All of these scenarios result in weakness and the sensation of getting ready to fall over. Dr. Nora heard me and kept trying moves so he could reproduce my experience in a controlled clinical setting. Thank goodness. I once had an orthopedist kick me out of his office after I told him I walked to Broadway and Madison from the 3rd Ave bus stop, a distance of about a mile, most of it up a steep hill. I was using my sticks so I could do it.

Dr. Nora explained the surgery by showing me the MRI of my spine from the bottom to the top as if you were looking up a tube in which the spinal cord runs. Between L3, L4 and L5, the poor spinal cord disappeared completely. He will carve off the bonein those areas to stop the pinching of the nerves. It could be a big change for the better. Since I have been avoiding surgery for so many years, there is no guarantee all the nerves will come back, but the pain should reduce considerably.

You would think I would get in for surgery for arthritis as quickly as possible. But my calendar is full this summer with harvesting the raspberries (bending, lifting and twisting), camping with family, traveling to Hawaii with a granddaughter and several graduations. The first stretch of time when I could commit to no bending, no twisting and no lifting for a month begins August 16th. So that is when the surgery is scheduled.

In the mean time, Dr. Ren’s Assistant, Diana Ferdana, who calls me pharmaceutically naive, meaning I have little experience with drugs, prescribed Gabapentin. This drug prevents seizures and also blocks nerve pain. Side effects bother me as I am a little loopy, a little sleepy, but the benefit of the smallest possible dose is considerable. I still take Shaklee’s Pain Relief Complex to keep other arthritis under control, like my thumbs and fingers and shoulder.  She also gave me an industrial sized back brace which I wear when picking raspberries, doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor. You get the idea, bending, lifting and twisting.

I still go to the Xgym every week. My trainer has talked to Becci and together they have a workout plan that stabilizes my core while building upper body strength. These exercises don’t ask much from my weak legs other than stability although I am doing controlled lunges with hiking sticks. Staying fit is important when heading for major surgery. The guys at Xgym will help me get back on my feet when the surgery is over.

I am still walking most days although forty minutes to an hour is as long as I can go without sitting down to give my back relief. So no hiking with my group. This is the hardest loss for me as I have been in the wilderness nearly every week since 2004, summer and winter. Happily there are plenty of parks nearby with old growth forest and trails, but there is nothing like deep wilderness. I miss it and my hiking buddies.

I share all this personal experience with the hope that you or someone you know will take heart in their own struggle with arthritis. Don’t give up and sit down. We have to keep moving to avoid further damage and disability. At this point for me, I can do damage by over-doing so I have to learn to listen to the signals that say, enough. Most days at least a mile of walking works. I begin each day with tiny Feldenkrais movements to activate the core, the psoas and the multifidae that go up and down my spine to stabilize it. Just half an hour of that careful “exploration”, as Becci calls it, makes the difference for movement all day.

So, Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.
Feel free to share this. And don’t forget to like me on Face book.

Comments and questions are encouraged.

Betsy

206 933 1889

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Heal Back Pain

new purse cropped
This new purse holds my hiking sticks. The new normal: carry sticks when I leave the house walking anywhere.

Heal Back Pain

I struck gold when mining my magazine and journal basket in the bathroom recently. In a 2011 issue (January) of Seattle Woman Magazine, Nancy Shatz Aton gives us 10 ways to heal back pain. This excellent list comes from her book, The Healthy Back Book: A Guide to Whole Healing for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Other Active People. It’s a book on my wish list, for sure. Here are her 10 suggestions with my comments. Put this away somewhere handy for when you need it, or put the suggestions to use right now.

Most Americans suffer back pain at least once during their life time and some of us develop chronic lower back pain conditions that give us grief on a regular basis. That would include me. I am so happy I saved and now found Nancy Alton’s tips for managing this pain.

 

  1. Take charge of your healing. Although working with a knowledgeable practitioner who discusses every aspect of an injury can be helpful, it is important to realize you are in charge of your own healing. Whether you experience back pain daily or only a few times a year, living with it is about self-management. This is the premise of my GrandmaBetsyBell blog: self-care. Picture the various types of therapies available to you as spokes of a wheel. Imagine yourself as standing on the hub of that wheel. You can select any combination of therapies, or spokes, from that big wheel.

 

  1. Tune into the mind-body connection. I find it interesting that this is her #2. Becoming self-aware is key. Pain has a physical component, but it also derives from our emotions. We tell ourselves a “story” about why we have low-back pain. We sometimes ignore the emotional side of the tale, But thinking that way overlooks the powerful role emotions play in the story of pain. Both the rational explanation and the emotional component are part of the mind-body connection; that is, how our minds and the emotions, thoughts and feelings emanating from them affect our bodies. “Like all experiences, pain is influenced by everything that is going on in a person’s life at the time, and probably everything that has gone on in the past,” says Dr. J. David Sinclair, a pain-management specialist in Seattle.
  2. Move often. Keep Moving! It is ideal to exercise your body every day. Of course, after a back injury you’ll need your doctor’s OK before you begin exercising. Resume normal activities and movement patterns as soon as possible; moving your body leads to healing. A 1996 health campaign in Australia erected billboards and produced radio and television spots with messages such as, “Does your back hurt? Get up and take a walk.” And “Back pain—don’t take it lying down.” The campaign conveyed the message that engaging in the daily activities of life is often the best treatment for back pain. During and directly after the campaign, the rate of medical payments for back claims fell more than 25 percent!

 

  1. Find a good rehabilitation specialist. When your back goes out, often the first person you call is your primary care doctor. Next time, you might want to try booking an appointment with a physiatrist (fi-see-a-trist) as well. My primary doc. sent me to Dr. Ren, a physiatrist, or Sports medicine doctor. Way more useful than a referral to the orthopedist. Dr. Ren urged me to walk 30 minutes every day, with hiking sticks, if necessary. No sitting down because of the pain from sciatica. Keep walking. She offered me hard drugs, but so far I’ve been able to get by with the Shaklee Pain Relief. She encouraged me to change from Aleve to Tylenol which I think will be good for my stomach. More than 3 Aleve a day made me sick to my stomach.

 

 

A physiatrist is a specialist in treating illnesses and injuries that affect how people move their bodies, and ae especially well qualified to deal with back injuries. Physiatrist believe in educating patients about their conditions and helping people understand that movement is an important tool for easing low-back pain.

 

  1. Try out different bodywork treatments. Hands-on therapies can be incredibly healing. Adding one or more of these complementary practices to your medical care might promote healing, ease pain and contribute to a sense of wholeness. More than 80 types of therapies fall within the category of massage, from Swedish massage to RuiNa. It’s worth finding a well-recommended practitioner and looking into unfamiliar bodywork therapies. Your road to healing may begin with an appointment with a bodywork practitioner. Have you thought about trying Bowenwork, Rolfing, Heller work structural integration, hypnotherapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy or acupuncture?

 

  1. Strengthen Muscles. Back injuries often stem from muscular imbalances. This is why practicing yoga or Pilates can be so beneficial for both easing back pain and preventing future back pain episodes. Both yoga and Pilates help develop a person’s core strength, which includes the abdominal, pelvic floor, buttocks, hip and lower back muscles. During class, you strengthen these muscles, build muscular endurance and learn how to initiate movement from the core area. The way you move on the mat will begin to carry over into your daily life, which can correct poor postural traits and eliminate the corresponding low-back pain. Two other movement therapy practices that have proven successful in easing and healing low-back pain are the Feldenkrais Method and the Alexander Technique. I have posted my recommendations and experience with Myo fascial release therapy, Feldenkrais and Pilates for low back pain.

 

The caveat here is you will be paying for these therapies out of pocket in almost all health insurance plans and it is expensive. I just began a 4 week course with a therapeutic yoga specialist and see results already. Four weeks cost $150. Every Myo facial release session with Cedron Sterling costs $160 for 90 minutes. His work has made a huge difference and certainly worth the expense. Most of us cannot afford these wonderful therapies that keep us out of the orthopedist’s surgery theater.

 

 

  1. Mediate. Practicing meditation can help bring relief to back pain. Mindfulness meditation had numerous benefits for the chronic back pain sufferers who took part in an eight-week study reported in Pain in 2008. These patients experienced less pain, improved physical function, pain acceptance and better sleep. Meditation can be any activity that elicits the relaxation response in a person, which simply means your body calms down, lowering metabolism, blood pressure, heart and breathing rates. Forms of meditation include the relaxation response, transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, repetitive prayer and walking meditation. Practicing any movement therapy that has you focus on your breathing while moving your body with intention can be a meditative experience.

 

  1. Watch what you eat. Inflammation often causes pain and swelling. You can modulate your body’s inflammatory response system through diet. Through simple changes, you can decrease your likelihood of generating an overly high inflammatory response during a back pain episode. To decrease inflammation in your body, include the following foods in your diet: cold-water fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and high fiber foods and water. The following food can increase inflammation, so minimize these food types in your meal plan: red meat and high-fat dairy products, sugar white food, flavored drink and highly processed foods.

 

I have posted an extensive commentary on foods that reduce inflammation. The best of these posts is here.

 

  1. If it involves a disk, be patient. Disk herniations heal without surgery more than 85% of the time and several studies have shown that after two years, people who have had surgery and people who have not had surgery recovered at equivalent rates. If you feel your back pain stems from a herniated disk or disks, try all avenues of noon-operative care. “Probably upwards of 40 percent of people who eventually get surgery aren’t happy with it in the end,” says family physician Sarah J. D’Heilly, MD.

 

My original injury involved a herniation at L5. It is much less protruded now and had pretty much healed, although that is the place here the sciatica pain originates.

 

  1. Keep trying. Sometimes a doctor or a practice might not be the right fit for your low-back problem. If you try a therapy or new practitioner and don’t find any relief or see any progress after a handful of sessions, it might be time to move on. This can be discouraging. Still, it is worthwhile to try new paths to healing, whether that means trying a different bodywork technique or Pilates or talking to your back specialist about other options. It is also helpful to think about the term healing, which isn’t defined by a cure. There isn’t always a cure for low-back pain, but you can begin to see yourself as a whole person with low-back pain. Healing might mean learning self-care methods to alleviate your pain, practicing yoga a few times a week, seeing your doctor as needed and living your daily life a fully as possible.

 

My new normal is never leaving the house to walk anywhere without my hiking sticks. Sometimes I don’t need them. But it lowers my anxiety and allows me to keep walking when I have them with me. I recently bought a new purse that holds the folded sticks. I can look relatively sheik going to the opera with this purse, don’t you think?

 

Be well, Do well and Keep moving.

 

Betsy

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Pain Management

Last week I questioned the wisdom of masking pain, asking if I might be missing a diagnosis by taking my Pain Relief Complex. Following up with you after 72 hours of no herbal pain tablets, I can tell you that taking them alleviated discomfort. Not taking them left me with the discomfort of aching hip joints, sore knee and ankle.  The numbness in my right leg came and went, mostly went.   I experienced a tough workout at the hands of JR at the Xgym, walked four miles up and down the hills of West Seattle, sat at the computer, drove the car, and attended meetings all without debilitating pain.  I was happy at the end of the experiment to take a Pain Relief Complex before going to bed to insure a pain-free sleep.

I visited my chiropractor, David Kirdahy, during this hiatus.  He found the usual pelvis miss-alignment, clicking and prodding everything back in place.  He wondered if I might have a neuropathy in the right leg and foot.  I was not able to give him specific cues as to the center of the numbness. It is hard to help with pain management when I can’t identify exactly where the pain is.

 

In answer to the questions, is there anything you can’t do because of numbness or pain? I had to answer, no.

 

I am left with the annoying unanswered question, in spite of advice from a neurologist and a nurse who read my blog post, if my activities are not impaired, why seek further diagnosis?  I did that already in May of last year and have the report from the sports medicine doctor at the Polyclinic.  Clearly, taking Pain Relief Complex is not covering up a condition that may need attention.  I seem to be able to handle my pain management with all the measures I already use.

I wanted to show you a schematic of the COX 1 and COX2 pathways, but the pictures and science is too complicated for me to introduce here.  I don’t understand it well enough to comment scientifically.  I do remember the schematic the Shaklee scientist used to describe how Pain Relief Complex works. You can explore this for yourself if you are interested.

My intention here is to look at the more typical medications prescribed and over the counter that people use for pain management.  The wisdom in the alternative world is that pain medication masks conditions and that pain is an indicator of something that needs medical attention.  I agree with that, hence my experiment. What I have been taking for pain did alleviate discomfort.  Stopping it did not reveal a condition that seems to require immediate attention.

 

Type of pain

Every one experiences pain differently.  Some of us push through.  Others of us want to eliminate the slightest hint of discomfort.  Pain is a communicator from the body to us, telling us something is amiss.  Pain management is different for each of us.  If it weren’t for pain, we wouldn’t know to take our finger off the hot stove, or to rest with our foot elevated after spraining an ankle.

 

Pain can be categorized.  Acute pain typically comes on suddenly and has a limited duration. It’s frequently caused by damage to tissue such as bone, muscle, or organs, and the onset is often accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress.

Chronic pain lasts longer than acute pain and is generally somewhat resistant to medical treatment. It’s usually associated with a long-term illness, such as osteoarthritis. In some cases, such as with fibromyalgia, it’s one of the defining characteristic of the disease. Chronic pain can be the result of damaged tissue, but very often is attributable to nerve damage. See WebMD. A third type of pain is psychogenic, the emotional side of physical pain.

 

The WebMD article classifies pain in a couple other ways: tissue damage or nerve damage; type of tissue or part of the body affected such as back pain or chest pain, muscle or joint pain.

Drug Therapy most often prescribed for acute or chronic pain

Milder forms of pain may be relieved by over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs relieve pain caused by muscle aches and stiffness, and reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). Topical pain relievers are also available, such as creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain and inflammation from sore muscles and arthritis.

If over-the-counter drugs do not provide relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs (such as diazepam), antidepressants (like Cymbalta for musculoskeletal pain), prescription NSAIDs such as Celebrex, or a short course of stronger painkillers (such as codeine, Fentanyl, Percocet, or Vicodin). A limited number of steroid injections at the site of a joint problem can reduce swelling and inflammation.

In April 2005, the FDA asked that Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory drug, carry new warnings about the potential risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as potential stomach ulcer bleeding risks.  At the same time, the FDA asked that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs — except for aspirin – revise their labels to include information about potential stomach ulcer bleeding risks. [WebMD article on pain management]

A couple hundred milligrams of aspirin, or other NSAIDS, Tylenol or other acetaminophens for a short period of time, say 48 hours, is fairly safe.  However, one of the most well known risks of painkillers is liver damage from acetaminophen. “Although [acetaminophen] has been used for years and overall is extremely safe, liver toxicity can occur with use of more than 4,000 milligrams in a day,” says Dr. Glaser. “This would be eight 500-milligram pills, which is the dosage of extra-strength Tylenol. Liver damage or failure may also occur at lower doses in those who drink alcohol regularly or who have pre-existing liver disease, such as hepatitis C.”

Because acetaminophen is often incorporated into other drugs, you may not be aware of exactly how much you’re taking, which further compounds your risk. “It’s also included in multiple other remedies for colds or sinus symptoms and is commonly paired with other stronger painkillers in medications such as Vicodin and Percocet,” says Glaser. “If an individual is not aware of this fact, he may unintentionally expose himself to amounts of acetaminophen in the danger zone.”

NSAIDs and Ulcers

Taking ibuprofen and naproxen doesn’t pose as great a risk to liver function as acetaminophen. However, some damage to the stomach lining is a possibility, which can lead to blood loss from the irritated area, stomach pains (gastritis), and even ulcers. This is also true of aspirin, which is related to NSAIDs and has many of the same properties. And if you use aspirin along with ibuprofen or naproxen, the risk to your stomach is even greater.

“Any of these pain drugs alone can cause ulcers, and using them together only increases the risk,” says Glaser. “All three of these medications reduce pain through their effects on the prostaglandin pathways.” Unfortunately, those same effects are what lead to an increased risk of gastritis and ulcer formation.

The prostaglandin pathways carry the pain signal to the brain.  What these drugs are doing is interrupting the COX 2 pain pathway.  Unfortunately these drugs also affected the COX 1 pathway, which resulted in stomach bleeding.  Celebrex was the miracle when it came out because it did not cause damage to the stomach.  Unfortunately for patients and for the drug company, Celebrex was implicated in heart attacks. [for further understanding of COX 1 and COX 2, go here.]

NSAIDs and Kidney Function

Though it’s rare, some people could risk kidney problems from using ibuprofen or naproxen. “A less common but severe complication related to these medications is kidney failure, which occurs more commonly in patients who have co-existing risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure,” Glaser says.

Addiction

Some painkillers prescribed by doctors can become addicting, in particular Vicodin and Percocet which contain opiates.  You can explore the internet to discover how high the abuse of these drugs has become, especially among high school students seeking to numb psychological suffering.  If you have unused painkillers in your medicine chest, left over after surgery, get rid of them, especially if there are teenagers in your world.

But I digress, showing my bias against the use of medications. My original blog post tells my anti-drug bias.

There are many other options.  My blog posts are full of them.  I am particularly unwilling to take NSAIDS given the fact that I had Hepatitis C as a young adult, communicated by a dirty needle in the hospital when I was having a D&C after a miscarriage.  In and of themselves, these drugs can be helpful. It is when they are used frequently and without regard for other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stomach issues, high consumption of alcohol.  It can become a stew of interacting foreign substances.

Personally, I have found that the herbal Pain Relieve Complex does a pretty good job of keeping me pain free, along with chiropractic, Feldenkrais, frequent long walks, yoga, massage, Pilates moves and strength building training sessions at the Xgym. My trainers constantly check for good posture and make sure I avoid putting stress on joints that are compromised by osteoarthritis.  Pain Relieve Complex is a COX 2 inhibitor.  The Shaklee scientists found plant compounds that interrupt the pain path without any damage to the stomach or heart.  I plan to keep doing what I am doing until break-through pain or severe numbness stop me in my tracks.  Then I will check in with the sports doc for a new MRI.  I am convinced I am not increasing my risk by waiting.

To understand how Pain Relief Complex works, click here.  To order some from my personal Shaklee web site, click here.

I welcome your comments.  It takes a village.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving,

Betsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do I need a pain diagnosis?

Do I need a pain diagnosis?

I was standing in front of the piano along with my fellow choir members.  Heading back to my seat, I realized my right leg was dangling from my hip. No feeling. Just a dead weight.  While standing for rehearsal something, probably in my back, pinched off a nerve to the entire leg.  Numb.  If I took a step, would I crash to the ground?

 

This has happened before.  I was alarmed by the numbness in late May of 2013. I was leaving in a few days for a writers’ retreat in southern France.  While I have experience the numbness off and on during the past two and a half years, when it came on right before leaving for a 100-mile hike in England in May of 2014, I was worried.  I remembered walking from Montmartre to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the left bank, talking to my right leg the whole way, “Lift, swing, step, lift, swing, step.”

 

The incident last week was much worse.

 

Dr. Kirdahy, the chiropractor who has been keeping me out of the operating room for years, was puzzled when I went to see him.  “You have no pain?”  “No” I reassured him.  “I have no pain.”  “How can that be?”

 

Maybe because I take Shaklee’s Pain Relief Complex first thing in the morning and as often as required to keep pain at bay all day long.

 

“What’s in this Pain Relief?”

Pain Relief contains two herbs:  Boswellia and Safflower

 

Boswellia extract

  • A controlled clinical trial found that a daily dosage of 1,000 mg of Boswellia

Extract taken in divided doses significantly improved joint discomfort,

Knee flexion, and walking distance.1

  • In a clinical study, an extract containing boswellic acids was shown to promote

comfortable joint movement.2

Safflower extract

  • The benefits of the safflower are newly discovered in the West, but have a long

tradition of use in Asia.3

 

  1. Kimmatkar et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee: a

randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003;10:3–7.

  1. Etzel R. Special extract of Boswellia serrata (H15) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Phytomedicine.

1996;3:91–94.

  1. Hsu HY. Oriental Materia Medica. A Concise Guide. 1986. New Canaan, CT, Keats Publishing Inc. and

Oriental Healing Arts Institute, Long Beach, CA.

[From the Shaklee Product Guide, a fact sheet]

 

I told Dr. Kirdahy I would come back next week after 36 hours without any Pain Relief Complex.

This chiropractic visit induced a search of the literature for the answer to my question: does pain help diagnosis?

According to Spine Health, because the causes of back pain can be very complex, it is often more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis for back pain than for other medical conditions. While some spinal diagnoses are relatively straightforward (such as tumors, infections, or fractures), for many conditions there is little agreement among spine specialists about a diagnosis.

However, getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of back pain is critical, because different diagnoses will require very different treatment approaches. And the sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner the patient can find an appropriate treatment for pain relief and to improve his or her ability to enjoy everyday activities.

Pain is our friendliest enemy — it keeps us out of trouble even though it often seems to actually be the problem.

The body ‘locates’ pain near the surface quite well but has trouble indicating the source when the pain is deep. Pain from deep injuries, diseases or infections of organs, such as the heart, stomach, lungs and back may seem to come from somewhere else nearby or may radiate into multiple places. Intense pain may be more localizing but not always.

Therefore, when back pain is accompanied with other changes, fever, swelling, redness, heat, neurological problems or changes in body functions, the diagnosis may be sharper — and the back pain diagnosis may be more serious.

 The milder backaches that one feels over one’s lifetime can generally be successfully managed by simple back pain treatments — rest, medication, massage, the application of salves, exercise, weight loss and learning to put up with it.

So, if the severity of back pain does not serve as a guide for when to see a physician, the question is how does one know? While there are exceptions, there are several generally accepted guidelines of when to see a doctor for back pain:

If the back pain has any of the following characteristics, it is a good idea to see a physician for an evaluation:

  • Back pain that follows a trauma, such as a car accident or fall off a ladder
  • The pain is constant and getting worse
  • Back pain that continues for more than four to six weeks
  • The pain is severe and does not improve after a day or two of typical remedies, such as rest, ice and common pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or Tylenol)
  • The pain is worse at night (most common forms of back pain are alleviated by rest)
  • Severe pain at night (e.g. pain that wakes one up from deep sleep)
  • Abdominal pain that accompanies the back pain
  • Numbness or altered sensation in the saddle area (upper inner thighs, groin area, buttock or genital area)
  • Neurological problems, such as weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg(s) or arm(s).

I have seen orthopedists, neurologists and sports medicine doctors for my chronic pain.  Currently, I handle the pain pain relief20667with Pain Relief Complex, exercise, Back2Life machine every morning, and moving as much as possible during the day (sometimes a challenge as I am a writer!)  So I would say I live my life pain free.

The above article persuades me that it is time to cut out the Pain Relief for a day or two to see just how bad this pain is.  Before leaving for England last May, I had an MRI and a consultation with the Sports medicine doctor at my clinic. She told me I have several bulging discs, a normal condition in people my age, but that I was not at risk for hospitalization or major trauma on my hike.  In fact, she assured me, the 100 miles hike would be good for me.

And it was.

The degree of increase in the numbness worries me.  Doing without Pain Relief even for 48 hours worries me, too.

I’ll keep you posted.  Next week, I will discuss the most common medications used to handle osteoarthritis pain, and why you might want to think twice about using them habitually.  Stay tuned.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

Leave your comments.  They help other readers and me, too.

 

 

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OTC pain meds

Gentle Reader,

The aftermath of my bike crash calls into question two of my closely held beliefs:  OTC pain meds are bad for you; keep moving, no matter what.  I was on the dunes path at Long Beach, WA with twelve Finneys of all ages.  Nothing like a little crowd around the beginning of the last section of trail to get a person off kilter and into the sand.  My recovery seemed fine while at the beach because I was icing and taking a lot of Shaklee Pain Relief Complex and doing nothing.  (My granddaughter reminds me that I split some wood with a heavy ax.) The pain worsened, keeping me awake at night.  Coughing hurt unbearably.  I went to my doctor.  Dr. Pepin knows I am not a willing patient.  He is working hard to play the role of a team member in my health care.  He makes a special effort to honor my preference for natural healing practices—acupuncture, massage, individual training and supplements.  He sent me for an x-ray.

When I got home, My Chart contained the message that I had broken the 9th rib on the left side, but only a hairline fracture.  In his notes, he suggested more icing and anti-inflammatories.  I decided to take Aleve.  I took another one 8 hours later.  I took a third 8 hours after that.  I iced off and on for the next 36 hours.  Everything improved.  The depression in the muscles beneath the broken lower back rib normalized.  The muscles on the opposite side calmed down to normal.  I slept soundly, happy that pain did not disturb me.  It seemed like a miracle.

What is so bad about NSAIDS? What do they do?  Why have I resisted taking them so consistently?

It turns out when taken for a brief time (2 – 10 days), anti-inflammatories calm down injured muscles allowing healing to take place.  The danger with these drugs appears when taken habitually over a long period of time to manage chronic pain.  The NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) intercept 2 enzymes called Cox 1 and Cox 2 that are involved with inflammation.  Inhibiting Cox 1 has the side effect of damaging the stomach lining, causing bleeding.  Advil, Motrin and Aleve are the most popular of these non-specific anti-inflammatories and regularly cause damage to the stomach lining when taken over a long period of time.

The risks from taking NSAIDS, besides internal bleeding, are most severe for people who have heart conditions.  People with stomach problems should avoid them.  For healthy people with no blood pressure or other heart issues, taking NSAIDS for a few days to bring down inflammation carries low risk and brings much relief.

I am satisfied that taking NSAIDS for a few days to help the immediate problem is a good thing for my body and does not put me at risk.

Now let me think out loud about my other closely held belief: Keep Moving under any and all circumstances.  This week I have not hiked, gone to yoga practice, worked out with my trainer or done much of anything. I did walk around Green Lake, a 3 miles meander on the flat, and twice I walked to the West Seattle Junction, down and up  a hill, repeated in the opposite direction, about 2 miles total.  Moving, yes; pain free, pretty much.  At least pain free around the injured area.  But after a dozen steps, chronic pain kicked in: hips, knees and lower back.  I found myself questioning the value of moving, especially since moving causes pain.

It turns out that Not moving is lethal.

Bone Loss

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, our bones require applied stress for them to grow. Bone stress sends a signal to the body to build bone density. If you don’t stress your bones by exercising, you can suffer from low bone density, which can turn into a case of osteoporosis. Also, if you never exercise and stretch your joints, your arthritic joints will stiffen over time and their adjoining tissues will weaken, causing more arthritis.

Muscle Loss

Your bones need stress exerted on them to grow, and so do your muscles. A muscle’s fibers need to tear for it to rebuild itself larger and stronger. So as you may already know from experience, if you don’t use your muscles, you “lose” them.

Increased Risk of Disease

Muscle loss caused by inactivity makes your metabolism slow down. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body converts food and drink into usable energy. If you have a slow metabolism, your body ends up storing a lot of the food and drink energy instead of using it to get your body moving. This storage leads to weight gain and puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, depression and anxiety, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

Weaker Immune System

According to MayoClinic.com, without regular aerobic exercise, your immune system weakens. This makes it harder for your body to fight viruses such as the flu and the common cold. So if you never exercise, you’re likely to find yourself getting sick more often.

Keep Moving will remain my closely held belief.  Since the pain I experience when I move is chronic, caused by arthritis, I will continue to use Shaklee’s Pain Relief Complex.  Its herbal formula is a pain path inhibitor (Cox 2 and 5 Lox) but does not interfere with Cox 1.  Therefore there is no risk to the stomach or to the heart.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,

I promise I will.  Join me.

Betsy

Comments?  I love to hear them.

Thanks to Lindsay Haskell  of AZ who blogs about health, fitness, culture and fashion.

 

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Alternative pain relief

Plants for Alternative Pain Relief

Boswellia serrata

Boswellia serrata

Extracts of Boswellia serrata have been clinically studied for osteoarthritis and joint function, particularly for osteoarthritis of the knee. Positive effects of Boswellia in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been reported. A Boswellia extract marketed under the name Wokvel has undergone human efficacy, comparative, pharmacokinetic studies. Some see Boswellia serrata as a promising alternative to NSAIDs, warranting further investigation in pharmacological studies and clinical trials. (from Wikipedia)

Boswellia is a tree found in India known for its gum resin which has many pharmacological uses, particularly as an anti-inflammatory. It’s also known as Indian frankincense, salai guggal, and boswellin. Its proper botanic name is boswellia serrata.

As a side note, the Biblical incense frankincense was probably an extract from the resin of the tree, boswellia sacra.

Boswellia has been used for thousands of years to treat many types of conditions. Recent research has determined many of the conditions were caused by inflammation.

Safflower flower

saflower flowerSafflower is a highly-branched annual thistle-like herb that grows to a height of 3 feet producing yellow or reddish flowers. Each branch will usually have several flower heads containing 15-20 seeds per head. The dried flowers of the plant and its seeds are used commercially.

Traditionally, safflowers were grown for their seeds and used for coloring foods and making red and yellow dyes. Its flowers can be used alone or in formulas. They can be prepared as dried powder, tinctures, or decoctions (extracts).

The oil from the seed has been used externally in therapeutic massage and as a natural alternative to mineral oil for use on babies. It’s also beneficial in applications for bruises, sprains and arthritis pain

Safflower is source of several flavonoids

More recently, the plant has been identified as the source of several flavonoids with strong antioxidant compounds.

Flavonoids are any of a group of oxygen-containing aromatic antioxidant compounds that includes many common pigments that help to lower inflammation as well as counteract the damaging effects of oxidation on body tissues.

The well-known antioxidant, guercetin, is one of the flavonoids found in safflower. Quercetin has many health benefits among which it can help reduce the inflammation that results from bursitis, gout, and arthritis.

Side effects

The safflower flower is often used in conjunction with herbs with no reported interactions. There are also no reported interactions of the extract or oil with standard pharmaceuticals.

Its use in dissolving clots, however, suggests that it should not be taken with blood-thinning treatments.

Safflower and boswellia combination effective for joint discomfort

Every day, many of us push ourselves to the limit both occupationally and recreationally. In the end, our bodies, and especially our joints, pay the price. Pain is the common symptom. It’s the body’s natural warning system and it deserves a natural response.

Safflower extract and boswellia extract are proven effective and safe for relief of arthritis pain, joint discomfort, and restricted knee flexion.

When combined in a natural product that contains a patent-pending blend of both extracts. it provides long-term relief within just a few weeks and is especially helpful for relieving chronic pain. Continued use of this natural product keeps pain away or markedly reduces pain daily.  [thanks to Marty Saffell] Thanks to the anti-inflammatory plants Safflower and boswellia combination, so effective for joint discomfort

A web search for other herbs that are helpful with joint pain produced this anti-inflammatory triad:

Turmeric, ginger and bromelain work as effective anti-inflammatory agents. Each works to relieve pain, stiffness and swelling. In combination, they provide a powerhouse of natural medicine. The three substances are synergistic to one another, each boosting the other’s effectiveness…  You can google products containing the three herbs together.  I know of no clinical trials to substantiate these claims, nor can I vouch for standardization or purity of the herbs used.

Personally, I have been using the products Shaklee makes with Boswellia serrata and safflower flower extract for a number of years to manage my arthritis pain.  I can recommend Pain Relief Complex without reservation.  These Cox 2 and 5 Lox pain path inhibitors do no damage to the stomach, can be taken multiple times daily with no side effects whatsoever.  It is a great relief to me to find an arthritis pain reliever that does not have any damaging side effects as I took a great deal of aspirin for years to try to kill the pain in my knees from early onset arthritis.  I have no knee pain today.  It is wonderful to have anti-inflammatory herbs to take.

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Gifts for arthritis

Gentle Reader,

Who do you know who suffers from sore, painful knees, hips, fingers or shoulders?  You love this person who has arthritis and you are going to go shopping to buy them something for Christmas.  Why not combine a cozy lap blanket with an herbal pain reliever and a deep-tissue cream that could bring comfort as well as warmth?

I’m not a shopper so I was stunned Wed. night when a friend and I went to a movie in Seattle’s endless mall area with a big AMC.  We were thinking the parking would be easier.  Whoa! People are out shopping already—in droves and into the night.  In this blog, I’m inviting you to shop.  ‘Tis the season, right?

You might appreciate choosing gifts that bring better health to those you care about.  This is an invitation to shop for health.  Bring meaning to every purchase.

Have you watched Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff?  Take a minute to watch before piling up a mound and consider the necessity of each purchase and how it got to the store and what the received is going to do with that gift later.

I make an argument for buying a Shaklee product over something else because I believe in the company’s philosophy of living in harmony with nature in every aspect of their corporate life.  In the end, stuff is stuff, and all the great suggestions I have for you about things you can add to a Shaklee product to make a sweet, health enhancing gift still accumulates stuff.  It is tricky being a fierce environmentalist and a sales person of goods I love and buy myself.

So, having suggested you buy nothing this Christmas here goes my suggestions for what to buy for someone who has been complaining of arthritis.  After all, I know you and I are going to buy some stuff anyway.

Joint & Muscle Pain Relief Cream with a microwaveable comfort pillow.

Pain Relief Complex and Physique After Workout Recovery Drink with Peggy Cappy’s DVD “Easy Yoga for the Rest of Us” especially for arthritis.  Add a yoga mat to make this gift special.

Joint Health Complex and Peggy Cappy’s CD meditation for back health.   I listen to this CD nearly every night and I’m convinced her quiet words have helped heal the arthritis in my lower back.  You can add an orthopedic pillow.  This is the one I have used for the last 15 years and I love it.

I have a lo-o-o-ng list of healthy living gifts on my resource page www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com.

If you decide to do any of these suggestions, I’d love to hear about the results.  You can shop for the Shaklee part of the gift at www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com/shop.  Or you can click on the links above.

Have a great Thanksgiving, pain free and full of love.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

Enjoy the list.  I hope you get some great ideas.  Let me know if you have questions.

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Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements and weight loss

Gentle Reader,

Can an arthritis sufferer who is also over weight benefit from Medicinal Herbs & Herbal Supplements?  Perhaps you are one of those people like a friend of mine.  She’s in her late 40s and has been unable to get to her ideal weight for her entire life.  She was a fat baby.  She has eaten the perfect diet:  low carbs, lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables and hardly any snack foods that most of us would consider OK for once-in-a-while treats.  She has developed aches and pains, those joint issues that come when a person exercises a lot (trying to get that weight down) and fears arthritis is creeping in.  She already takes medicinal herbs and herbal supplements made by Shaklee which help with pain relief.  I have described the benefit of Pain Relieve Complex in several previous posts.

In desperation, she consulted a physician who suggested the Atkins diet.  For the beginning months she ate nothing but protein and then slowed added carbohydrates in the form of raw vegetables, 25 grams a day, no more.  (One protein source she loves is Shaklee’s Instant Protein Soy Mix, a pure, non-GMO protein source with no carbohydrates at all.)  She began using the medicinal herbs and herbal supplement Glucose Regulation Complex.

Taken in the middle of a meal, the herbs in this Glucose Regulation Complex unlock the doors of the stubborn cells and allow the sugars to enter!  Voila!  And Halleluiah!  At last her body is using the glucose to energize her and the pounds are coming off.

Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements abound on the market today.  How do you decide where to buy them and from whom?  Let me suggest the following bench marks to consider.  If your product does not meet all these requirements, look further, or shop for the Shaklee product.  (If the Shaklee corporation makes the medicinal herb or herbal supplement you are looking for, you are in luck.  If not, ask these questions of the manufacturer before you buy.)

  • Does the company control the source material from which the medicinal herb or herbal supplement is created?
  • If not, does it inspect with a plant chromatography methods?  In other words, does the batch of raw material pass through a thorough inspection of all the properties to determine if there are contaminants, and if the plant material is what it supposed to be?
  • Has the company conducted double blind scientific testing to see if the medicinal herbs and herbal supplements manufactured by the company itself reached the blood stream in the human body and performed as predicted?  Was the study conducted well enough for a peer-review journal to publish the results?
  • Does the company provide a money back guarantee on the medicinal herb or herbal supplement so that if the customer does not get the results they are looking for, they get their money back?

If all these points cannot be answered in the affirmative, I would not recommend buying that medicinal herb or herbal supplement.

OK, then.  Are you one of those people who are ready to try a medicinal herb or herbal supplement to see if you can get your body to accept glucose into the cells?  If so, please take a look at Glucose Regulation Complex.  The active ingredients include

  • Chromium (as chromium polynicotinate)
  • Taurine
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Banaba Leaf Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Standardized to contain 18% colosolic acid
  • Vanadium (as vanadium amino acid chelate)

Other ingredients include Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) and Zinc (as zinc gluconate)

These ingredients help the sugars you eat get into the cells where they belong.  End of sugar cravings!

With the loss of extra pounds, arthritis pain goes down and maybe even away.  Of course, I can’t predict your individual outcome, but what if Glucose Regulation Complex worked for you the way it has for my friend?  Why not give it a try?

The side benefits of Glucose Regulation Complex include lowering cholesterol.  The scientific information you will want to study is in this pdf.  I have put the document on the resources page of my blog www.grandmabetsybell.com/resources/.

Feel free to pass this post along to friends and family who struggle with weight loss.  This may provide the missing ingredient.

I’d love your comments so others can benefit from your wisdom.

Be well, Do well and keep moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

 

 

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Does a Blood Type Diet Work?

Gentle Reader,

How do we know if a blood type diet works?  How do we know if vitamins work?  How do we evaluate health claims?I recently checked in on a new customer to see how her vitamin regimen was going.  We had talked at length about the value of the Shaklee supplements and the ease of the Vita strip in Vitalizer.  She had not reordered.

Her husband decided Vitalizer was too expensive and she should stick with the many bottles of individual supplements recommended by the local health food store.   My friend suffers from aches and pains as well as other health issues and is taking a goodly number of vitamins and herbs.

I thought of them when I read about a recent publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A group of Belgian scientists did a systematic search of the literature to see if there was any evidence to support the basic premise behind Eat Right 4 Your Type, published in 1997 by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.  This book has sold in the millions.   Perhaps you are among those who have bought, read and followed his recommendation based on your blood type.

Have you found it makes a difference?  Do you stick to it?

blood type diet

Dr Steve Chaney, Dr. Richard Brouse, Dr. Frank Painter, Dr. Bruce Miller are all students of the latest claims about diet and eating that promise life-changing results.  What each of these men study is the research behind the claims.  The question to ask of a blood type diet is whether it could be that simple, given that there is tremendous variation in the human genetic makeup?  Is a blood type related to the health outcomes of different diets?

Where is the evidence?  

Out of 1415 articles with blood type diet in the title, only one matched their criteria

  • Did the study start with human subjects grouped according to blood type?
  • Did the study have an intervention in which the subjects were required to adhere to a particular type of diet?
  • Did the study measure a health outcome of the dietary intervention?

You can read the study here, and the newsletter about it from Dr. Chaney here.  The one study that met the criteria was based on an entirely different way of typing blood.

The take-away from this discussion is the question of evidence.  Why follow a diet based on blood type without doing the same research you would do before buying a new car or paint for your house?  If you truly purchase and consume products based only on price, evidence may not sway you to search further.  If you purchase your products based on the recommendation of a trusted friend or professional, you may or may not be getting the best value.

I have not followed the blood type diet.  I started a Shaklee nutritional program and felt better in many surprising ways.  Then I called the company and asked for 2 clinical studies published in peer-review scientific journals.  My body told me I had taken a positive step with vitamins and a protein smoothie.  Now I wanted scientific evidence.  A thick packet arrived with the articles.  I knew how to read the studies and evaluate whether their set up, process and conclusions were valid.  Their studies follow the above criteria.

  • Group the subjects according to the criteria
  • Track the intervention
  • Measure the results

Whether it’s a blood type study, a pain relief study, a vitamin delivery system study, it must follow clean scientific protocal and the results must be accepted for what they are.  All of Shaklee’s products are tested in this way.  I trust them.  Don’t take my word for it.  Google Shaklee science yourself.

Finally, if your body doesn’t give you strong signals that a new regimen or product is effective for you, ask yourself if you have given it enough time and if you have been consistent in following the program.

There are a lot of fads in the health and wellness world.  Some of them may be harmless.  Others may harm.  If you are working to increase your mobility, lessen your pain level, or just want to prevent illness and have more energy, check the quality of the product.  Do your research.

Let me know what your criteria are when deciding what to eat and what vitamins to take?

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

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