Energy Medicine

Alternative medicine is an umbrella term used to describe several different schools of thought and practice that are aimed at healing through alternatives other than western medicine. One such practice is Energy Medicine.

In short, energy medicine is the use of healing energy by a healer to help their client manage or overcome an ailment. The healer will channel the positive healing energy into their client in order to help the body, mind, spirit reconnect and join in the healing process.

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So what is energy? Energy is everything. It is not just the electrical impulses in our brains. It encompasses the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Energy medicine is not to be confused with a faith healing. Energy medicine has no faith prerequisite, whereas faith healing will take place within a religious context.

There is controversy surrounding energy medicine as there are with many other alternative approaches. Often times, healers are referred to as frauds and scam artists because energy medicine is not widely accepted by the medical community. However, there have been positive results for many of those who choose to use energy medicine. shutterstock_120187948

Inflammation and Nutrition

Julie Daniluk RHN, NNCP, is a nutritionist, television co-host, and an award winning author. Julie is the author of Meals That Heal Inflammation (Random House Canada), a book based exploring the causes of inflammation while teaching about nutrition and its connection  to inflammation. In addition to her book, Julie has a blog containing information on food and health as well as delicious recipes. Julie also co-hosts Healthy Gourmet on OWN, a show that explores the choices we make about food and the ongoing struggle to produce meals that not only taste great but are great for you as well. Julie has been recognized as an author and nutrition expert. She received the prestigious awards  in 2012 for Organic Achievement and ‘Healthiest Cookbook’. She is a guest on Mind Matters discussing the Anti-Inflammation Diet.

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Pain. Heat. Redness. Swelling. Loss of function.

These are some of the more common signs that you are experiencing inflammation. So what is inflammation? Put simply, inflammation is your body attempting to protect you from harmful stimuli. These harmful stimuli can be anything from a sliver in your foot to the food that you eat. Inflammation can occur in many different parts of the body. Not only does the inflammation affect your body, it also impairs your cognitive abilities and can lead to a decline in mood. The important thing to remember about inflammation is that it is preventable and treatable.

There are some foods that can cause inflammation. Foods that are processed, packaged, and prepared are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to foods that cause inflammation. Some other types of foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Dairy

  • White Sugar and Sweets

  • Alcohol

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The anti-inflammatory diet is comprised of foods that will help heal your body. These foods are healthy, wholesome, and unprocessed. Fruits and veggies, the cornerstones of any healthy diet, are part of the anti-inflammatory diet, as are proteins that are rich with omega-3 (salmon, walnuts, etc.). That being said, taste does not have to be sacrificed in the name of the nutritional quality. Julie Daniluk’s blog showcases some great and tasty recipes, as well as meal ideas for those new to the anti-inflammatory diet.

Natural supplements are a great addition to the anti-inflammatory diet. It is important to consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements as they may interact with other medications or aggravate other current conditions.

Whether it is caused from diet or other factors, inflammation is a natural response from your body. However, it is not a necessary one. By modifying your diet and being aware of what you are putting into your body, inflammation does not have to be a persistent and recurring issue.

For more information, please visit Julie Daniluk’s website.

Astrology

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For as long as man has been on this earth, we have looked to the skies for answers. Whether it is looking to God or looking to the stars, we have often wondered how far it reaches and if there are answers that can be drawn from what lies above us. Astrology began as an account of meaning derived from what appeared in the night sky. Ancient civilizations used astrology to map out seasons as well as lunar patterns and influences.

Throughout the decades, astrology developed into the interpretation of signs from the stars. Reading star patterns/movement and making predictions about life patterns based upon these readings became an important part of aristocratic life. Astrologers were not only giving advice about love and money, but about the best time to make a journey and harvest, as well as diagnosing and treating mental illness.

Presently astrology serves as a link between man and the stars, linking us with the movements and giving predictions and advice based on the stars.  Western astrology focuses mainly on the zodiac signs and their relative placement to each other for predictions, taking into account the alignment of planets.  Horoscopes are also a large part of Western astrology.

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Time and time again people ask how much truth there is to horoscopes.  Horoscope comes from the Greek word horoskopos, meaning a look at the hours. This is what a horoscope is about; looking at the planets and constellations, determining their relative position to each other and basing a prediction of life events on this positioning. Horoscopes are meant to be a general guideline, not a specific and exact prediction of the day/month/year that it is written for.  Astrological signs and the planets can also be used to chart relationship compatibility and longevity.  Like the other aspects that astrology can be used with, it is more meant to be a general guideline rather than a specific and exact prediction.  The following is a general idea of how the planets are used to make these connections:

As with many practices like astrology, much is left up to interpretation.  As mentioned above, astrological predictions are meant more as a general guideline.  With this in mind the choice is ultimately yours on what is truth and what is fiction based upon your own experiences. There are many that fraud innocent people saying that their predictions are 100% accurate and will change your life.  It is important to do your research if you are choosing to see an astrologer, in order to choose the best one suited for you and your needs.  Looking to the stars for answers is a natural part of life experience and history. However, it is important to take joy in the beauty and blessings that surround our everyday lives, even when we are not expecting them.

HGH and PRP in Sport’s Medicine

Dr. Anthony Galea is founder and medical director of The Institute of Sports Medicine Health & Wellness Centre. Dr. Galea not only lectures internationally, but maintained his position with Toronto Argonauts as the team physician for several years. Despite controversy surrounding him, Dr. Galea practices with integrity and continues to innovate in the treatment of injuries for professional athletes.

We have all heard of controversy surrounding some of the world’s most famous athletes and performance enhancing substances. “Doping” as it is quite often referred to by the media and athletes alike, is against the rules in all sports and athletes are subject to testing to insure they are not using performance enhancing substances. However, the mental and physical strain that athletes are under, if left untreated, can spiral out of control and lead to many things (substance abuse, addiction, mental illness, etc.). Being aware of the causes of “doping” and other self destructive behaviours exhibited by athletes is the root to understanding the “doping” itself.

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Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has been used along with anabolic steroids in an attempt to build muscle and improve athletic performance. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support that HGH does in fact boost performance. HGH has been approved to treat specific disorders in children and adults. HGH has also been prescribed with an off-label use as an anti-aging serum. Many companies advertise these products similar to beauty conglomerates advertising their anti-aging products, both having a lack of sufficient evidence supporting the claims that they will “turn back your biological clock”. HGH carries some heavy side effects and caution should be used when purchasing/receiving/using HGH and products containing HGH.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have come to the attention of media and physicians alike as a treatment for sports-related injuries. PRP injections are more commonly used as a surgical tool for plastic surgery and oral surgery. PRP injections were once on the list of prohibited treatments upheld by World Anti-Doping Agency. Due to inconclusive findings as to their use for performance enhancement, PRP injections have since been removed from this list.

So what are the ramifications when choosing to use HGH and/or PRP injections in sports medicine? While PRP injections are not against the rules, HGH is.HGH is now being tested for in some sports  with other organizations following suit. Being caught using HGH that is not otherwise prescribed for a disorder would gain the player consequences similar to those of the consequences by players doping with other substances.

Assisting players in seeking the help that they need is an important part of any team doctor’s job. Doing so may help in preventing “doping” and other self destructive patterns in players.

An In Depth Look at Carbs and Cravings: Part 1

Dr. Natasha Turner ,founder of the Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique in Toronto, is a best-selling author, clinician, and highly sought after speaker.  Dr. Turner’s book, The Hormone Diet, was #1 bestseller a week into its release in 2009. Dr. Turner has made appearances on The Dr. Oz Show (as well as many others) to educate people on the importance of hormonal balance.

Insulin is an essential part of the human body. Insulin is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It is so important to carefully consider what you are putting into your body.

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We all have habits that are detrimental to our insulin levels. An insulin overdose can cause type-2 diabetes. So what causes insulin overload?

Overeating causes a surge of insulin in the body to deal with the incoming carbs and fats. Late night eating is also a cause of insulin overload. The habit of eating late at night is disruptive to regular sleep patterns. Failing to eat a balance of proteins and carbohydrates is also going to cause an insulin overload. Long term these things can lead to an excessive appetite, overeating, as well as weight gain. A hormonal imbalance will ensue, leading to insulin resistance (type-2 diabetes).

Things that we eat can also cause an insulin overload. Foods heavy with sugars and white flours are very likely to cause a spike insulin, spur inflammation, and increase leptin resistance (the hormone responsible for regulating energy intake and expenditure). Products containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as well as an increased intake of alcohol can result in insulin resistance and obesity.

So what can we do? Switching out our sweets for insulin-sensitizing foods is a great way to reduce the risk for an insulin overload. Some of these foods include:

  • Blueberries
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Avocados
  • Chai seed and Flaxseed
  • Spices
  • Olive Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Eggs
  • Cherries
  • Vinegar
  • Nuts & Nut Butters

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Some may even reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes for those who are already at a high-risk. There are many health benefits to consuming these types of foods that will stretch not only to your body, but your mind and soul as well.

Alternative Solutions and Mental Health: Part 2

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The Brain-Gut connection is one that many people take for granted. Stress, anxiety, anger, happiness, and all other emotions effect the gastrointestinal tract, as it is sensitive to emotion. This is where feelings in your stomach like “butterflies” come from. It is a direct reaction from your emotional state, triggered by your brain and received in your stomach.

  • The brain and stomach have direct effects on each other. This is presented in many different ways.
  • Troubled intestine sends messages to the brain which can lead to emotional turmoil (stress, anxiety, depression).
  • Troubled brain sends messages to the intestines and stomach causing intestinal trouble (nausea, stomach aches and pains).
  • Brain notifies the stomach that you are hungry, stomach provides the digestive juices needed to digest the food before it arrives.

With the above things considered, it is often times hard to determine whether the intestinal problems are a product of emotional turmoil or the cause of emotional terminal. This is especially evident when you experience gastrointestinal upset without obvious physical cause.

Stress has a large part to play with GI upset. It might explain the nausea before giving an important presentation, or the stomach pains during times of high stress. This does not mean that all GI illnesses are just “all in your head”. They are however linked. Psychological symptoms influence the physiological symptoms and the physiology of the gut itself.

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Environmental toxins also play a large role in the overall wellbeing as well as the wellness of the brain and mood. Many toxins in our environment are able to pass the blood-brain barrier, making the brain more susceptible to their toxic effects. Chemical toxins, drugs, radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers all cross the blood-brain barrier and cause toxic stress. Toxic stress leads to mood changes and disorders caused by the imbalances in the brain because of the excess or lack of the proper hormones.

So what does all of this information mean? The important thing to remember is that there is a strong mind-body connection. With this connection comes many ways in which the mind and body effect each other. It is also important to remember that because of this mind-body connection, it is important to look after the entire self, not just the physical or psychological separately.

For more information, please visit http://www.wyldeonhealth.com/ .

Alternative Solutions and Mental Health: Part 1

Bryce Wylde is a leading expert in alternative medicine. In addition to being a clinician, Bryce is also a highly sought after television host, educator, author and philanthropist. Revolutionizing the way we think about alternative medicine, through his writing and other endeavors, Bryce has made a significant contribution to the medical community.

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In July of 2011, along with 18 dedicated supporters of Markham Stouffville Hospital, Bryce and I were on a journey of a lifetime. We climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, in Africa to raise money for the expansion of the mental health department at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Our children and adolescents are suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse. Youth suicide is a growing concern. The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps many people from seeking help. Raising awareness is key to overcoming the stigma.  The goal of the Climb to Conquer was to help improve the quality of life for children and adolescents struggling with mental illness by raising money for the hospitals Mental Health Program and by raising public awareness.

Mental health is an essential part of overall health. It is a part that is often overlooked until our mental health comes into question because of persistent and debilitating symptoms. In order to achieve overall wellbeing, it is important that we take a look at not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. The study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the body is referred to as Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). PNI links psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious diseases, endocrinology, and rheumatology, in such a way so that the connections
between the various systems in the body can be made.Brain

The link between mental health and physical health is very strong. The aches and pains of depression are just one sign that our brain is telling the rest of the body that it is in pain. Many times the aches and pains just get grouped together with the rest of the illness, but what if they are caused by something else all on its own? Part of Bryce Wylde’s practice is to take a look at the connections between the brain and the rest of our body, to identify the cause/effect relationship, and work on developing a strategy to work towards overall wellbeing.

An important part of our physical health is nutrition, and nutrition can also have a huge effect on overall mood and manner, as well as mental health. Bryce developed The Dopamine Diet, a list of dopamine rich foods that can help to lift your mood. There is a link in between your dopamine level and obesity, as explained in Bryce’s article (http://www.wyldeabouthealth.com/articles/view/59). Just simply eating healthier and being conscious of what is in your food is not something that your body will thank you for, but your brain will thank you for it as well.
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Dopamine is just one of the many important things that your brain needs to remain healthy. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, makes up a large amount of our brain and has been shown to improve intelligence and cognitive functioning, as well as mood. There has also been a link between DHA and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

For more information, please visit http://www.wyldeonhealth.com/ .

Fibromyalgia and Alternative Therapies

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that can be very difficult to understand. It can have an impact on virtually every part of your body. And with an array of symptoms that are not visible on medical tests, it is not often easy to diagnose or treat.

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Fibromyalgia is a condition that can deeply affect a person’s life in many different ways. It is known to take a healthy, happy, well-functioning person, and turn them into someone wrought with constant pain and fatigue, robbing them of the initiative to complete even the simplest of daily routines. It greatly affects the overall well being of the person, as people suffering with Fibromyalgia are much more likely to suffer from depression as well. The depression is likely linked to the physical symptoms and the lack of an ability to maintain routine when the pain is unbearable. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are very much in line with those of depression, which can further delay the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

So what treatments are out there for fibromyalgia? There is a varying degree of treatments from western medicine to adjustments in diet and workout. Not everything works for everyone. However, choosing an alternative to the medications that are offered by your regular family physician can allow for overall wellbeing, as well as pain relief.

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Western Medicine approaches fibromyalgia through pain medications, as well as using strategies to improve sleep and exercise conditioning.

Those following with the energy-based approach believe that the root cause of fibromyalgia is sensitivities to substances (both natural and man-made (i.e. vaccines and medications, as well as chemicals in everyday items)). The energy-based approach focuses on acupuncture as the chief reliever of the pain and anxiety/depression based in fibromyalgia.

While depression is linked heavily with fibromyalgia, those following the psychological approach suggest that depression can amplify the pain caused by Fibromyalgia. Cognitive behaviour therapy can improve the symptoms of depression greatly, by helping the patient identify the sources of stress that magnify their depression symptoms.

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Those choosing the nutrition-based approach choose to take supplements to help with sleep, hormones, immunity, and nutrition. Regular exercise is also a large part of this approach.

Dr. Fred Hui, a licensed and practicing MD in Toronto, approaches Fibromyalgia as a chronic flu. Dr. Hui treats fibromyalgia with a combination of I.V. treatments and other therapies to improve sleep, nutrition, and the various toxins in the body.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia is based on what is best for each patient. Many find success with each of the above listed treatments; however, not every treatment is suitable for every patient. It is important to keep in mind that it is your body, mind, and soul in these treatments. Trying different treatments is your choice, and exploring your options is an important part of the process.