Tag Archives: exercise

Did you need that buzz and burn just to feel well… before you got fibromyalgia?

Marcusby Holistic Osteopath, Marcus Webb

Over the years of working with fibromyalgia (FM) sufferers and writing about FM stress always bobs up as a key associated factor closely followed by the inevitable cause and effect argument that tends to ensue with no one really coming out any the wiser! Naturally, suffering from a disabling, medically unexplained and often untreatable condition brings inherent stresses of its own with it, but there is some compelling data suggesting that a pre-FM state of being may exist in many sufferers that is stress sensitive and may possibly form the basis of their system breakdown that ultimately leads on to the clinical picture we know as FM.

It is not uncommon for me to hear how a FM suffer is finding it so hard to get use to a reduced level of activity after being “so busy” or “driven” in work or sports. Many FM sufferers can recall how well they use to multi-task juggling work, family life and the gym without a second thought and how they needed that ‘burn’ at the gym to feel energised and on top of life and if they missed their routine fix of exercise how flat they felt, and this was before they developed FM. The interesting thing with all these stories if just how similar they are; active, driven often very successful individuals now living lives they could never imagine; lives of pain, fatigue, loss of motivation and in many cases social isolation. Naturally, depression and stress are more than likely to develop in such circumstances but what is even more intriguing is the idea that a pre-FM state existed that actually required all the stimuli of multi-tasking, the work-buzz and the physical burn of the gym just to keep that person feeling normal. The key tipping point is when it all stopped… that’s when the system crashed and burned.

Within the FM community, how many times do we hear the story of how well everything was going before that ‘virus’ hit and confined the person to bed for some time or that ‘injury’ took the person out of circulation for a good while as it healed. Alternatively, someone’s entire life and routine could be blown out of the water by a bereavement or redundancy at work. A virus, an injury, loss/bereavement, redundancy… there are all very common triggers for FM but are they actually to blame or were they simply the catalyst that broke the behaviours that simply kept the person going? Data to support this theory does exist and revolves around exercise-based research. We now know that within a group of healthy individuals who are exposed to regular exercise some develop widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and mood disturbances (the same or very similar profile to that of FM) after a brief period of the exercise withdrawal while some don’t. Even more profound was the fact that the symptomatic individuals, who appeared to suffer so badly following the withdrawal of their exercise, also displayed other typical features of FM such as altered autonomic function, reduced immune (especially NK-cell) responsiveness and other bodily reactions typical of hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) dysfunction. In essence, they appeared to develop all or many of the clinical features of FM!

The authors of the study suggested that, in some, there exists a pre-existing hypo-functioning stress system that requires regular stimulus just to remain normally stimulated. This mechanism follows the principles of what is known as ‘allostasis’, in which the body seeks to maintain balance, and may explain why so many FM sufferers report living very active, stimulating and to onlookers stressful lives prior to developing FM. It appears that while they were unknowingly self-medicating with stimulus from all angles they were doing so simply to feel normal; it was the only way they could kick their hypo-functioning stress systems into life. However, with this theory comes further questions such as why do some people have hypo-functioning stress system to start with? The possible answers to this part of the puzzle may lie in the long accepted association between early life stress and a dysfunctional stress regulating systems. It is known that early life stress is strongly linked to the development of FM with the pivotal trigger being an over or under active stress regulating system; it is known that early life stress can trigger one or the other. In the case of an under active stress regulating system, having a life full of stimulus and arousal not only distracts from us from dwelling on negative life events it also stimulates the body and maintains a normal level of being. Anything that interferes with this will tip the body into a negative spiral both emotionally and physically as the full effects of the underactive HPA system kicks in. With prolonged removal from life events and routines that enhance arousal a chronic state of low HPA activity becomes the normal and the clinical picture of chronic fatigue syndrome with FM (CFS/FM) becomes established.

While this will not offer a universal explanation to the development of CFS/FM it does put forward a provocative argument for many cases and should assist in managing stress or a system that needs a bit of stress to feel normal. May be this helps to explain why some CFS/FM sufferers do so well on natural agents such as TriAdren (a special blend of standardised adrenal supporting ingredients; ginseng liquorice root and vitamin C) while others feel such a benefit from agents designed to calm an over active HPA system such as Zen-Time with Lactium. In the case of the low functioning HPA system enhancement with graded exercise and carefully balanced adrenal stimulants such as those in TriAdren help to give the lift this subset of CFS/FM sufferers need while the central nervous system calming effects of the Lactium ingredient contained in the Zen-Time formula eases the agitation and stress related symptoms that typify an over active HPA system. Either way, managing CFS/FM is an ever evolving science and art but the basic science that underpins the simple act of withdrawing exercise and observing the effects on healthy individuals has open many new angles for further study.

Learn more about TriAdren at www.supersupps.com

Learn more about Zen-Time with Lactium (and take the FREE online stress test) at www.zen-time.co.uk

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Beet Root & Blood pressure: more positive support!

More support for Beet Roots in lowering blood pressure…
In the November issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology researchers from the University of Exeter. They cleaverly tested the effects of beet root on blood presure using supplements of natural beet root and supplements of natural beet root with the nitrate removed. Our previous issue of our TAV news letter is still available to download and described the nitrate mechanism that lies behing the effect on blood pressure.The results of their investigation indicates the positive effects of a 6 day course of beet root supplementation on blood pressure and exercise is attributed to its high nitrate level.

Key resources

Beet Root supplement
University of Exeter beet rood research pages
Journal of Applied Physiology research summary
Beet root and brain health news

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7 pointers to better health

Dr Rosenbaum PharmD

Seven Balance Point Model To Better Health

By Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum

Holistic Clinical Pharmacist

How would you define health? For many of us, health is strictly focused on our physical condition.  Yet, holistic teachings guide us to equally consider value in body, mind, and spiritual health.  I’d like to propose there are at least seven aspects to explore when planning a health and wellness regimen.  We will call these aspects taken together ‘the seven balance point model’ for healing and wellness (e.g., physical, nutrition/supplements, sleep, exercise, social, emotional, and spiritual health).  Here is a brief summary of each aspect.

Physical: It’s important to select and develop a good relationship with your primary care physician who will coordinate your traditional and non-traditional health care team as you partner to develop a personalized health regimen.  Keep up with maintenance and preventative testing as directed by him/her.  We all need a 50,000 mile tune up from time to time just like with our cars!

Nutrition/Supplements: The Mediterranean Diet is considered the world’s gold standard diet for healthy eating and is evidence based. Read about this strategy and try to incorporate more beans, nuts, oily fish, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and monounsaturated fatty acids like extra virgin olive oil into your diet. You’ll be amazed at how much better you start to feel.  Use dietary supplements sparingly at the advice and consent of your healthcare practitioner.  Supplements can never replace good nutrition or eating whole organic foods.

Sleep: Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night.  If you have trouble sleeping, drink a glass of milk or decaffeinated green tea before bedtime.  Milk contains tryptophan and green tea contains L-theanine, both of which are relaxing constituents.  Keep your bedroom very cool to allow the body’s natural melatonin levels to rise and help you fall asleep.  Place a drop of lavender essential oil on your pillow as a relaxing fragrance. Play soft music with nature sounds at bedtime.  Light candles to make the room inviting (but be careful not to burn down the house); extinguish them before retiring.

Exercise: We need about 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.  Walking qualifies and is easy for many of us to do around the neighborhood, at the club, mall, or even at work.  Walking in nature is even better to encourage us to drink in earth’s beauty and become one with the universe.

Social: Develop relationships and friends for your emotional support and for whom you may be a good support in return.  We were not placed on this earth to be isolated.  Being around others helps us feel more alive and stay young.

Emotional Health: Forgive others and self.  Manage your stress with regular massages, laughter, and musical enjoyment.  Dancing is a fabulous outlet to bring a smile to your face.  Deep breathing is a Yoga technique and helps center and calm for stressful times in life.  Try it sometime and see for yourself.  As much as possible, try to focus on the positives in life and change the mental tape if you start to think negative thoughts.

Spiritual Health: Again, spend more time in nature. Explore your understanding of a higher power. Focus on the big picture in life.  Volunteer in your community and give back to serve others and give thanks for your blessings.

Good luck and may you be blessed in body, mind, and spirit.

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Tune in tonight: Art Therapy on Your Holistic Health

It is my pleasure to welcome Dr Cathy Rosenbaum to Hadley Wood Healthcare’s blog. Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum is a holistic clinical pharmacist in the USA and Founder & CEO, Rx Integrative Solutions, Inc, a consulting practice in holistic medicine www.rxintegrativesolutions.com .  She is author, lecturer, radio show host, and consultant and has traveled to China to study herbal research and global health care solutions.  Dr. Rosenbaum is experienced in pharmaceutical industry, academia, hospital based practice, patient safety, and integrative health and medicine.  She believes in the seven balance point model for health and healing (e.g., physical, nutrition/supplements, sleep, exercise, emotional, social/relationship, spiritual health).  Dr. Rosenbaum states that prescription medications are running our lives and there is a better path to healing through non-traditional medicine.

Tonight, Dr. Rosenbaum interviews Art Therapist Sara Jankowski on her radio show Your Holistic Health, hosted by the Cincinnati based radio station WMKV 89.3 FM. Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can tune in at 9.30 UK time by clicking here and selecting the ‘Listen Now’ option.

Hadley Wood Healthcare has enjoyed a long and valuable relationship with the American natural health movement and we feel sure that our new hook-up with Dr. Rosenbaum will prove to be an indispensable resource of information and experience.

We will be posting a regular new feature … Ask the Holistic Pharmacist… where I will pose some questions and I invite our blog readers to do the same.

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