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Stuffy nose from sinusitis or allergies?

You could try a little self facial massage:

Place your thumbs, with the nail down, on the area between your cheekbones and your nose. Press and hold breathing deeply through both nostrils (if they are fully stuffed up just try anyway). Let go and breathe deeply through your nose again.

With your thumbs in the same spot press the edge of your knuckle of the index finger on the eyebrow and press down while breathing deeply.

 

Also at the base of the spine between the neck and head there are two bony prominences we call the mastoids, they are located just medial to your earlobes, press the bit of muscle and tendon underneath those two bumbs  and breathe deeply.

 

These acupressure exercises can relieve some of the sinus symptoms for 20-30 seconds but sometimes they will help to unlock the sinuses allowing your to breathe freer. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Health Restorations

 

Stomach Pain? Not Alka Seltzer, Not prevacid…. Vinegar?

There are many causes of stomach pain. The digestive system which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and anus is also complemented by such important organs as the liver and gallbladder. I also consider the pancreas as a complimentary digestive organ because of its importance in producing insulin which regulates blood sugar levels.

I want to give some pointers on proper digestion. Let me start by saying this:

1) Chew your food properly. Mastication, or chewing, is an important part of digestion and where the body starts to break down food. Amylase is an enzyme in saliva that helps the initial break down of starchy carbohydrates into sugars. Never stuff your mouth or swallow large chunks (aka bolus) of food. The stomach has a harder time separating carbs/fats/proteins if the food isn’t initially digested by the amylase.

2) Rest between bites. Food wasn’t made to be eaten as fast as possible and proper digestion is aided by smaller portioning. If you consider the stomach like a processing plant, the greater volumes can back up production. Smaller food boluses tends to be more efficiently broken down because there is more proportional surface area for the peptic acid to work. The stomach acid is a like small lake with a strong pH (highly acidic) environment. Overloading that lake with food tends to drop the pH making it harder and increasing the time it take to fully digest. Eat a couple of bites, wait a few moments, then continue.

3) Allow your body some time to digest the food after you’ve eaten. That means no swimming, jogging, laying down or sleeping or driving. These are activities that tend to leach focus and energy away from the body’s very important task of digesting the food you’ve just eaten. Lions binge eat, then rest all day while they digest. Things that are beneficial to digestion are: light walking, reading, watching television, and unfortunately smoking (the nicotine aids digestion and stimulates the peristaltic movement of the digestive system).

 

Next I’ll go over some of the common digestion problems that any of us might have after eating an especially heavy fat meal.

A) Indigestion – The most common cause of non-systemic digestive problems. People who experience indigestion are probably on the go eaters who have a short lunch break and are always back at their desk workin at 100 mph directly after lunch. Working takes concentration and diverts the energy used for digesting food. If you eat a big cheeseburger and then run a mile you’ll know how these people feel every day. It feels like you’ve got a small baseball (or for some of us a bowling ball) moving around in your stomach and your breath smells like a rancid version of your last meal.

The body has not fully digested the volume of food and it is just sitting in your stomach swishing around waiting for the next time you eat or rest to produce the peptic acid necessary to finish the job.

Solution:

1) Don’t take prevacid, rolaids, tums, pepto bismol, or even drink milk. All of the above are substances that tend to either coat the stomach or cut off the acid production in the stomach. However I just explained that the body needs enough of this acid to do the job, but not so much that it burns the inner lining of the stomach. Rolaids, Tums and Pepto Bismol all tends to alkalize the stomach, neutralizing the effectiveness of the acid you have in your stomach. Instead drink a shot of vinegar. Beside the horrid taste, acetic acid has a high pH and won’t damage the inner lining of the stomach (unless you have many ulcers). I prefer apple cider vinegar, but any vinegar works. Soda (coca cola or sprite) can help because it is highly acidic and has the carbonation that can calm the stomach while not requiring more acid production, may work better for people with ulcers.

2) Massaging the internal organs to promote better digestion is a well known Chinese trick for indigestion. In small circular motions going clockwise, rub your belly 30 times. Next do counter clockwise making a larger circle that covers the stomach, diaphragm, and just to above your genitals, and rub your stomach this way another 30 times. The first smaller circle promotes the peristaltic movement of the stomach and small intestine. The larger circle helps move the contents of your previous meal around your colon to your anus.

After doing this exercise don’t be surprised if you fart or have to empty your bowel. That is how you know your digestion is working properly.

 

B) You have extreme pain after eating a heavy meal with sharp spasming pain and you seize up holding your stomach area until the spasm goes away. Possible followed by a bout of constipation then diarrhea. This condition, unlike indigestion is more a cause of the body digesting properly, but of the food not being handled properly. ALso known as Montezuma’s revenge, this occurs when a person comes into contact with bacteria or organisms in food where the chef didn’t wash their hands properly or the body is just not used to that kind of bacteria. Bacteria is in all foods, we have beneficial kinds of bacteria in our stomach and all throughout our intestines, but the exact specimen to bacteria is regional and local to a population. When you go to Mexico and drink the water it is just like if you go to the river and drink the water from a static lake. Both have organisms that can produce diarrhea, but the people in Mexico are used to their bacteria while we are not.

Solution:

a) Water loss in diarrhea is important and a serious consequence if you are in a third world  impoverished environment and for us it important to replace those fluids.

b) In these cases you’ve ingested an abnormal amount of a bacteria that your body isn’t equipped to handle. In most of these cases the bacteria has to run it’s course and may take from  several hours to several days. Monitoring the patient to make sure they don’t develop a fever is very important (fever indicated their body is losing the war against this bacteria or virus). Emptying of the bowels helps as well as abstaining from meals until the digestive system is allowed to settle.

 

c) You have a very sharp pain on the right side of your abdomen after you eaten a fatty meal high in cholesterol. This can indicate cholecystitis which is an inflammation of the gall bladder. The gall bladder is a very important organ especially to use fatty Americans. It releases bile which is a highly acidic substance and releases this into the first portion of the small intestine where food goes immediately after it has left the digesting portion of the stomach. Here in the duodenum, the bile breaks down fats and if there are large volumes of fats the gall bladder has to work overtime to produce more bile which can tax and overwork the gall bladder.

Solution: This kind of problem requires the help of a specialist (unless you are gonna just cut the amount of fat in your diet) who may need to do some testing to make sure there isn’t an infection of the gall bladder or a gall bladder stone(s) making the organ overwork itself. See your gastroenterologist for tests that will help the doc determine if it’s your gall bladder that is the problem.

 

Eat healthy, Live an active lifestyle and take your time to digest!

 
 

Lance Armstrong and the US anti-Doping Agency

Lance Armstrong is being accused of doping by the US anti-doping Agency of having taken performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. This is a major shock to the sports world because A)Lance Armstrong is such a unique individual in mainstream sports (a Tiger Woods like figure who has dominated his sport) B) because it calls into question the 7 Tour de France consecutive titles. C) The controversy over this can undermine not just his athletic competitive career, but also undermines the millions of Armstrong (“Live Strong”) followers who have used his story as an inspiration in their own lives.

Here’s why if you are a sports writer or sports cyclist enthusiast, you’re not surprised by this turn.

A) Cycling is well known to have the most rampant abuse of performance enhancing drugs (PED) and many of its competitors have lost their titles when the fact of their doping came known (including recent US team members).

B) Reporters have long been wary of Armstrong’s rhetoric about doping and many stories have surfaced that implicate Lance Armstrong, not just in using PED’s, but in showing others how to use them and how to circumvent testing.

c) The claim is made by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA founded in 2000 specifically to clean up PED in sports and they oversee the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and have adopted standards that are considered the gold standard in PED testing. USADA does not oversee Cycling or the Tour de France, but as soon as Armstrong decided to do a triathalon, his blood was subject to testing.

These are very heavy claims, so why isn’t the sports world going ape shit today over this? Because insiders in the sport know it is a very corrupt and aren’t taken aback by it anymore. Are we enraged that Manny Pacquaio was handed a loss in his latest fight although compubox numbers had him controlling the fight with 30% more punches thrown and a higher landing percentage? No ! Why? Because we all know that Boxing is inherently corrupt in infrastructure and scoring is kept subjective enough to hide all the back door dealings that go on.

I am not roasting Lance Armstrong over a fire. The evidence is circumstantial still when compared to his record of never being positive for PEDS, but this is also the first time another agency has proof of him using a PED. Exogenous Erythropeotin (EPO) is a touchy subject for PED’s and the length that athletes will go to play in their sport cannot be underestimated.

Obviously the USADA (which is an independent organization but backed by the USOC, IOC, and all Olympic, para-olympic type games) has the prestige to designate what is performance enhancing and what isn’t (For instance, marijuana is a banned substance but it’s performance enhancing effects are debatable). The USADA is also responsible for what goes on the World Anti-Doping Agency list or WADA list that. This does not, however, make the USADA infallible and false positive tests are a factor. For example:

If you are a NFL player and was given a suspension due to having ingested a substance which shows up on the WADA list you might have been taking your Adderall medication and received the suspension becuase Adderall is on that list. It is clear Adderall is not a PED, but this shows you some of the flaws of the system that says “an athlete is responsible for everything that goes into his body”

As for Lance Armstrong, we all want to give him the benefit of the doubt because of the great inspiration his story has given us, but what I find more egregious is if he was doping all this time while condemning other people and protesting his innocence in a Roger Clemens sort of way. Either way it is an eye opener.

For any of those interested in reading the letter sent to Lance Armstrong and the medical staff responsible for the alleged doping go to

http://on.fb.me/Lphyfw

The evidence is circumstantial and based mostly on eye witness accounts and his latest positive test, however it is damning in the sense that all his team members have, under oath, cooperated with anti-doping agencies, but  he vehemently denies ever having interacted with teammates and staff in that way. If it is a case of he said vs. she said, then this situation would be better characterized by “They said vs. He said”.

If you’ve got an opinion on this I’d like to hear it.

 
 

Shingles… aka Herpes Zoster

Originally posted July 2011

Shingles aka Herpes Zoster… Also known as chicken pox to children. We all know about the all-over itching vesicles that cover a child’s body but what isn’t as commonly known is that the same virus can affect adults who have never come into contact with chicken pox when they were younger. Of course this particular virus is more dangerous when caught at as an adult (hence the pox parties where parents take their kids purposefully to infect them). Even less known is that herpes zoster remains dormant in your system and may express themselves as shingles later on in life. So even if you’ve had chicken pox as a kid, you may still get a flare up of shingles when your immune system weakens as a result of old age.

Shingles are differentiated from other skin lesion in that the vesicles (unlike the child chicken pox version) follow a distribution corresponding to a specific peripheral nerve or dermatome. In other words, the skin lesions are in a pattern that follows the length of a nerve typically on the midback or face, but also commonly along the arms. The virus attacks the length of the particular nerve usually starting with itchiness followed by a skin lesion that is obviously different than a mosquito bite (they may be clustered together and scar and heal at different rates). As the virus travels down the length of the nerve, you may feel swelling, and sharp pain upon touching or movement of the area (especially if the virus has went down to the hands) in addition to the skin lesions.

If the pain persists over a month then you may have developed one of the side conditions associated with Shingles, called Post Herpetic Neuralgia/Neuropathy. This condition results in extreme pain and swelling, not just of one joint but the total infected area with the highest degree of pain where the virus has last traveled to (this virus like to go from one end of a nerve starting in your spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion to the distal ends, like the ulnar innervations of the hand).

The importance of this blog is that as the baby boomers reach past 60 there will be more and more cases of Shingles as they currently occur to approximately 50% of the population at one point in their lives. As you age the ability of your immune system to combat the various bacteria, viruses, and oxidative aging becomes less effective leaving you vulnerable to conditions such as pneumonia. Herpes zoster is one of those conditions that one would not know about unless you are a doctor or you had them, and if you’ve had shingles and the more painful after-effects of PHN then you would know that it is a condition to be feared and should be an impetus for to take better care of ourselves in our older age.

If you suspect you have Shingles, please note that it can be contagious to the touch to others with slightly compromised immune systems or who have never come into contact with the chicken pox virus. Please see your family physician and take the anti-viral medication as prescribed before seeing a chiropractor about alleviation of the pain symptoms.

June 9th 2012,

Returning to the subject of Shingles, I have found an increasing number of shingles cases in the past year, all from patients who are under the 50 year demographic. Cases where the nerve affect is a Cranial Nerve, like a case of shingles in the inner ear affecting the 8th Cranial Nerve can be dangerous and cause lasting health consequences becuase it may also affect other functions of the body that share nerve innervation with the affected nerve.

Let me explain that shingles aka Herpes Zoster in adults tends to start specifically in the nerve, but also like to start at the dorsal root ganglion of the nerve. The DRG (as we call the in neurologist circles) is where the nerves exit the spinal cord to give power and energy input into superficial structures like skin, muscles, joint mechanoreceptos. From here the shingles virus will travel the length of the nerve until it reaches the nerve ending like in the hands or the skin of the face.  Because of this after the virus has run its course and the antiviral medication has finished its process patients can be left with reoccurring, temporary, dermatomal pain in a pattern on the skin which is highly suggestive of the nerve root being affected. This leads to the condition described above called Post-Herpetic Neuropathy.

Treatment options: Although I have not found electrical stimulation to be affective, it in theory should work to restimulate the nerve endings through the skin to the muscles. Low level settings are required because if the patient is suffering from PHN the electrical stimulation will be more painful than it may be worth, however TENS units and E-stim units at the Sensory Level Stimulus (SLS level, meaning intensity only to where the patient can feel the pulsation and no muscle pumping, can be practical and beneficial. Acupuncture, in theory can be quite useful for the pain management and even can help to fight the virus through a boosted immune system however practitioners again should be wary of electrical stimulation of these patients. Heat as opposed to ice as a rule.

I have found the best by far is therapeutic ultrasound therapy. Herpes Zoster like to feed on the myelin sheath that protects and insulates nerves and then on the epineural components of the nerves themselves. Ultrasound therapy can help to reinvigorate these nerve cells and receptors without the customary inflammation that electrical stimulation can bring.

 
 

So Fluoride is bad now?

Remember when our doctors told us that Fluoride is great for teeth and that’s why they “fortify” our tap water with this chemical. This started in 1945, endorsed by your Public Health and Safety Department. The US is one of the few countries that fluoridates their drinking water. According to the Fluoride Action Network and research done by Dr. Paul Connett, et al, up to 70% of Americans drink water that is artificially fluoridated. In some countries like China their is naturally fluoridated water. However, they are finding that there are some adverse effects from long term ingestion of floride.

First of all despite the fact that fluoride has been added to community water supplies for over 60 years, “there have been no randomized trials of water fluoridation” (Cheng 2007). Would you trust a drug that has no proven scientific basis? The NIH (responsible for health surveys and statisitcs in America) has found no relation between tooth decay and the amount of floridation in the water (Warren 2009). Flouride is added to drinking water not to enhanced the purity of water but as a sort of communal medicine. Much like the issue of vaccines, we are led to believe these things are done in our own best collective interest, but are they really beneficial to us or are there hidden dangers that are left undisclosed?

You can’t control the amount of flouride you receive because it is tied to drinking water. So those who drink more water will end up having more fluoridation that others. Fluorosis is a medical condition that stems from fluoride toxicity. In China, studies have shown that Fluoride even reduces IQ. It can exacerbate iodine deficiency (Lin Fa-Fu 1991), and a more recent study (Ding 2011) shows a pattern of decreased IQ in direct proportion to levels of fluoride.

Flouride acculmuates in the human body much like other neurotoxins (aspartame, LSD, strict nine, nicotine) and can affect thyroid function leading to hypothyroidism (BTW Synthroid was the 2nd most prescribed medicine in 2010). Fluoride has also been shown to cause calcification of the Pineal gland in the brain. The pineal gland is not well understood by modern medicine, but Indian Yoga and many spiritual practices have long held that this gland is penultimately important in our perception of the world, and may even house the seat of the soul. In Indian chakras it is known as the 3rd eye.

Flourosis affects bone decreasing the tensile strength and leading to more incidents of fractures in children and elderly according to multiple studies (Schnitzler 1990 being one). In fact in trials to benefit osteporotic patients they found that treatment with fluoride actually increased the number of fractures. It is said that flouride causes an increase in cortical bone defects. Cortical bone is the hard white plaster like surface of bone and it’s integrity is the cause of fractures.

There may also be a link to an increase in bone sarcomas, sarcomas being a kind of insidious cancer. People with lowered immune systems, kidney or liver related problems, nutritional absorption problems (like Crohns), or just the malnutrition of income deprived families are more prone to the adverse effects of flouride.

There are many other issues regarding clean water, Dioxins from plastic bottles, depletion of lakes and water sources (for instance the Owens Valley River where California gets its water from now, is dropping at an alarming rate for that eco environment), and don’t get me started on the politics of Fiji Water, which is so popular with the ciche Hollywood crowd, but native Fijians can’t even get their own fresh water).

In addition to the chemical properties, fluoridation also causes tap water to become more acidic on a pH scale. Acidity in our bodies tends to make great environments for bacteria, viruses, and promotes infections and genetic mutations (cancer). When a person’s body is more towards the alkaline side it is visibly much healthier and alkaline diets are very popular (usually consisting of a greater proportion of plant material which is alkaline, as opposed to meat which is more acidic.

There is a pure water movement and some companies like Kangen water advertised filtration systems that alkalize the water and remove contaminants like fluoride, chlorine, and other impurities. There has been some studies to show that alkaline water has beneficial effects when compared with acidic water, not just by ingestion but topically as well. For more information on Kangen water please contact my friend Yukari Nagaoya on Facebook.

Please go to the Fluoride Action Network for more information at http://www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm

 
 

Antibiotics. What your physician wont tell you

Antibiotic treatments as an umbrella term are normally safe for individuals with certain biological infections, but everyone should also know what risks may be involved. I advocate the use of antibiotics for immunological disorders and infections that overpower your body, but the body has natural healing ability and it needs the exercise just like your muscles.

Antibodies are like the evidence the police needs to arrest you and the police are white blood cells made in your marrow and spleen. These WBC, as opposed to red blood cells (RBCs), help to clean up toxins in the body. The body produces antibodies to foreign pathogens (i.e. virus or bacteria) so that WBC can correctly mark the invading cells for deletion by phagocytes (WBC). When the body incorreclty designates living healthy tissue as invaders and produces antibodies against normal healthy living tissue we get Auto immune disorders like psoriasis, Lupus, Rheumatiod Arthritis, even HIV, though these are topics for a later date.

Antibiotics are like the doc feeding you through an IV dismembered particles of a pathogen so that your body can recognize them, all gravy right? The only problem is that like any medication there are side effects for a small population and the side effects can be serious in a few cases, allow me to expound with a case I came along a few years back.

A young high school boy came to see me while I was a chiropractic intern. Immediately a red light flashed into my head when he spoke. His words came out unanunciated as if he was deaf, but he had enough idea of how to anunciate the words meaning to me possible hearing loss not from birth but from some other environmental factor after birth. When he told me his sister had almost lost her hearing as well I knew I had to get to the bottom of this. After talking with his mother I had found they had been prescribed an antibiotic, Gentamicin, widely prescribed (and especially in 3rd world countries) for ear infection. Here let me interject myself and say that ear infections are a common problem for children and adolescents ask any pediatrician or mom and they’ll tell you. However an overwhelming number of those resolve themselves and have no symptoms other than pain. In this case, the mother had been prescribed this by her doctor and being an nurse she trused her physician.

What her physician didn’t tell her is that there is an “acceptable” number of cases where Gentamicin causes sensory hearing loss in individuals. Acceptable to, I assume, physicians and pharmeceutical companies that produce them. What’s more disturbing is the fact that this sensory hearing loss association with gentamicin has a genetic, hereditary component meaning that other members of the immediate family and offspring may be prone to this antibiotic side effect. This explains how both brother and sister ( and later I found even the mother) were both losing their hearing. If a member of your family has either partial of full hearing loss in one ear due to an antibiotic, do not give the same antibiotic to your children or they may also experience hearing loss.

A starting point in treating these cases would be to ingest fish oils either through eating fish or supplements. Omega-3-fatty acids (DHA and EPA) are responsible for relining the outer coating of nerves insulating them from further destruction.

Please contact me at Dr.MichaelStevenLee@yahoo.com if you have a case like this as I am working with acupuncture doctors to find alternative, natural therapies that may reduce the rate of hearing loss and regenerate nerve fibers from the 8th Cranial Nerve.

 

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Health Restorations

 

Why Fish oils?

The topic of the day is fish oils and how they are beneficial to your body. You may have heard your doctor, physical therapist, or even the really fit aerobic queen living on your block talk about the benefits of fish oils. 

Since this is a blog, there are many chances for me to talk negatively about a type of treatment, course of supplements or even complain about what is going into our dietary products. But fish oils is one supplement that is hard to badmouth.

Like vitamin C, there hasn’t been any reported cases of overdosing, or side effects. For example a person must take an inordinate amount of vitamin C in order to get to a level that becomes toxic (i.e. present the body with negative side effects). The toxic side effects of you eating too much oranges is you may experience diarrhea. However the negatives of not getting enough vitamin C is well documented as scurvy, and involves bleeding of the gums because the vitamin C is important in keeping the blood at the right viscosity. So in short, there isn’t a ceiling amount of vitamin that must be respected, unlike vitamins like A, in which having too much can lead to toxicity.

 What this all boils down to is that though there may be many differing fish oil supplements, the generalization that fish oils are good for you cannot be denied scientifically. The only possible negative aspect is if you think that high mercury toxicity may be a factor, and that is a debatable issue.

Fish oils contain omega-3-fatty acids which help to keep the inflammation of the body down. This means that anyone who is injured, recovering from an operation, has joint pain, or is a living breathing individual who doesn’t eat fish daily, can probably reap great benefits from fish oils.

Supplements are great ways for people to get their doses without having to eat fish, but my experience tells me that is better to get your fish oils the way the body intended, by eating them. Salmon is very high in omega-3’s but so is mackerel, yellowtail (my favorite), and raw shellfish.  

So what are the benefits? Less pain of chronic injuries, slimmer waist (yes, eating more fish oils can slim you down), healthier skin (vit E is oil based and you can get a lot from fish oils), and healthier less painful joints. For systemic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol fish oils is going to be a requirement for these patients in the future.

If you eat enough fish you may get a necessary amount, but you can always increase the amount of fish oils you get if you become injured, and like I said, there aren’t any negative side effects.

 

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Health Restorations

 
 
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