Friday, July 30, 2010

Benefits of Omega 3 Oils

This morning was very interesting at the office. One of my patients was reading a book about the benefits of fish oil and omega 3 oils. She was inspired to get some omega 3 oil that was endorsed by a celebrity. The good thing was now my patient was on board with supplementing her diet with omega 3 oils.

I mentioned to her some of the benefits of fish oils:

1. Regulates blood pressure
2. Regulates heart rhythm
3. Thins the blood
4. Lowers inflammation
5. Improves memory
6. Lengthens telomeres

Telomeres are part of our genes and will shorten as we age. So it was found that people who take omega 3 oils have longer telomeres. This is a significent anti-aging marker.

The only thing was that the product she bought had very little actual omega 3 oil in it! So I explained to her about how the nutrition industry is not regulated very well if at all. It is much like the wild west with so many companies touting claims about their "tonics".

My advice to everyone out there is "caveat emptor" - that is buyer beware. Actually, Caveat emptor reminds me of a Brady Bunch episode, anyone with me on that? Anyway the lesson is clear, research the company that makes the supplements you are buying and proceed with caution.

I have helped my patients steer clear of the nutritional industry mine fields and directed them to the right supplements for over 20 years.

Mo Shouka, DC

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The "code" for health

Self-preservation seems to be one of the strongest codes passed down through our genes. When it comes to life and death situations, people are astonished at what they are willing and able to do. Everyone can understand the concept of self-preservation.

The idea of "preservation of the species" is a stronger code that we have to understand better. When will someone sacrifice themselves for the sake of others? One example is when a mother will give up her life for the sake of her children. Another example is when a soldier allows himself to be put in harm's way for the protection of his country.

My point is that somewhere in our genetic code we have this program and it can be triggered without our conscious awareness. Another example is in the case of religious zealots that are willing to sacrifice themselves for a philosophy. Somehow while imbibed in their worship their minds are impregnated with the idealogy of sacrificing themselves.

These are all too familiar concepts, however what I want to discuss is how and why "survival of the species" can have a detrimental affect on our health. The code can be triggered from within our bodies and can set the wheels of doom in motion. This can lead to a gradual breakdown of our biological systems.

Quite often we hear of stories or know of people that have gone through extremely stressful life situations. Soon after they are plagued with some delibitating illness. Chronic pains or illness can be the consequence of a bad divorce or bankruptcy.

Traumatic life events that occur too near to each other will produce a multiplied effect on the well-being of the individual. The bigger the emotional stress from these events the more risk we are at developing illness.

Basically, what happens when we are bombarded with stress repeatedy is that our bodies become frustrated. Every system in our body has some kind of backup mechanism. The body will try to survive by adapting. However, if the options that it tries do not work, it is at risk of giving up and triggering the "code".

If you think of stress you can realize that there are two categories of stress. One type of stress is good for us and pushes us to grow and improve. With this type of stress we feel that we have some sense of control over it.

The bad type of stress is the one that is overwhelming and feels like it is out of control. Impending doom seems to be looming in the shadows. Recognizing the difference and categorizing our stress is the first step.

We have to identify the stressors that feel like they are out of control. You can ask yourself how do you feel about that stressful thing. You should be able to put it into one of these emotional categories. It can make you feel angry, sad, scared, worried, or frustrated.

By identifying stress and putting it into a category we are exercising our will over stress. By doing this we are gradually moving it from the "bad" category to the "good" one. We are demonsttrating some sense of control over the situation.

There are many approaches or techniques one can use to mitigate the negative effects of stress on our lives. The most important point is that we do not let our body trigger the negative "code" that can lead to illness or early demise.

We have to remind ourselves that we have options. As long as we believe we have options our bodies will still have hope and continue to fight on. Because we are emotional beings we have to harness the power of our positive emotions and curtail the effects of the negative emotions

Our bodies and physiology will support our gut feelings and will bend for us to give us more health and vitality. As long as we feel that we are thriving our bodies will find ways to keep us living. You have to thrive to be alive.

Mo Shouka, DC

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Read and Heal

Healing Passage

The ancient study of Oriental Medicine has correlated certain emotional states with decreased function of the internal organs. The lungs are associated with grief or sorrow. Afflictions of the lungs such as asthma, bronchitis, etc... have an emotional component that needs to be resolved. The kidneys are associated with fear. Anxiety and terror could also affect the kidneys. Anger can damage the liver such as in the angry alcoholic. Unexpressed anger becomes harbored as resentment which collects in the gallbladder. Holding on to bad feelings can cause thickened bile and gallstones. The heart energy is affected by sadness. Worry is associated with the stomach. This can cause indigestion. heartburn and ulcers. Frustration and the large intestines are correlated in this system.

The seven deadly emotional sins are anger, resentment, fear, worry, frustration, sadness, and grief. The four positive energizers and negativity neutralizers are joy, safety, expression, and forgiveness.

Worry is just the fear of something that is going to happen or not happen. So you can reposition worry as fear. Anxiety is the nervousness that is similar to worry and therefore fear. The dissolution of fear is realized by focusing on safety. Through repetition, the mantra of " I am safe" will eventually reach the subconscious.

The subconscious mind dictates the emotional state and biological tension within our mind and bodies. The subconscious has a guardian or sentinel that protects it from outside influence. Once the subconscious has accepted a premise, it will always try to create situations and observations that support
the idea. Through repitition, the mantra of " I am safe" will eventually reach the subconscious.

Repeating the mantra " I am safe" will cause it to be accepted by the subconscious mind. Safety neutralizes any of the effects of fear, anxiety, or we repeat the mantra " I am safe", our fears, anxieties, and worries disappear.

Anger and resentment hurt the liver and gallbladder respectively. Resentment is bottled up anger that is never expressed. Usually due to the fact that expressing the anger might make things worse. The only solution is by employing the super neutralizer known as forgiveness. Forgiveness frees the body
to function as designed. " I am forgiving" is the mantra to neutralize anger and resentment.

Reaching for revenge or even justice is what prevents us from getting better. Forgiveness frees the body to function as designed. " I am forgiving" is the mantra to neutralize anger and resentment.

"I am a safe and forgiving person" is the mantra that neutralizes fear, worry, anger and resentment.

Frustration occurs when we are unable to see all of our options. The choices that we see are not suitable and frustration is the consequence. The large intestines correspond to frustration. Digestive distress and frustration can be neutralized with expression. " I am an expressive person" is a mantra that can neutralize frustration.

Options and choices appear limited during times of stress. Frustration can be neutralized with expression. " I am an expressive person" releases frustration.

"I am a safe, forgiving, and expressive person" releases fear, worry, anger, resentment, and frustration. "I am a safe, forgiving, and expressive person."

Sadness affects the heart and grief affects the lungs and they are both neutralized with joy and enjoyment of life. "I have joy in my life" when said repeatedly will recharge the heart and lungs. Repeating the mantra will eventually pass the subconscious sentry and seep into the reality of your life.

"I am a safe, forgiving, and expressive person that enjoys life" releases fear, worry, anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, and grief.

. "I am a safe, forgiving, and expressive person that enjoys life" releases fear, worry, anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, and grief.

"I am a safe, forgiving, and expressive person that enjoys life" releases fear, worry, anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, and grief.

Mo Shouka, DC QME

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vertigo, TMJ and Sleep Apnea connection

There is a place where your skull, jaw and neck meet just behind your earlobe. If you poke there gently, you may find that it is sensitive and maybe painful. This is the anatomical location where cranial nerves 9, 10, 11, and 12 can get irritated and cause many symptoms. Nearby there are muscles that can squeeze cranial nerve 7 and 8.

A closer look at where those nerves go and what functions are affected is very interesting.

Cranial nerves 9 and 10 go to the pharyngeal muscles-these are the muscles that flap around if we snore. If they are weak the airway gets smaller and we get less oxygen into our bodies with each breath. These are the muscles that are implicated in obstructive sleep apnea. Decreased oxygen saturation in the body during sleep causes a slight panic reaction that causes clinching and grinding the teeth known as bruxism.

Bruxism damages the teeth leading to stress fractures and possible loss of the teeth. It can damage the TMJ-temporomandibular joint leading to jaw pain, headaches, dizzyness and neck pain.

Decreased oxygen saturation can cause the heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Sometimes this can happen suddenly and the rapid rise in pulse and blood pressure produces a rebound suppresion of heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden drop in cardiac output can cause a person to feint. This is called syncope or vasovagal response. By the way cranial nerve 10 is also known as the vagus nerve.

CN 10 - The vagus nerve has multiple functions throughout the body. It an affect sleep, digestion, and your sex life. can make you feint. Oh and branches from CN 9 go to the carotid artery and can raise your blood pressure.

CN 12 goes to the tongue and in severe cases of sleep apnea thae tongue falls back and can close the airway completely. CN 11 goes to the SCM and Trapezius muscles that stabilize the head into the proper position.

If CN 7 is irritated it can produce paralysis of the face as in Bell's palsy. In Bell's palsy, half of the face can get weak and/or paralized. CN 8 affects the ear for hearing and balance. Irritation to CN 8 is commonly related to vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. If you have all three then you can be diagnosed with Meniere's syndrome.

One cranial nerve that is affected is CN 5 which connects the chewing muscles with the uppermost nerves of the neck. It can cause Trigeminal Neuralgia, a very painful syndrome of facial pain.

The crushing and irritation of these cranial nerves can cause degradation of the nerve function and produce a myriad or constellation of symptoms. Symptoms that may not seem to berelated until we understand the proximity and function of the nerves.

Symptoms such as migraine headaches, vertigo, TMJ syndrome, sleep apnea, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, digestive problems, anxiety, neck pain and back pain can all bea caused by pressure on these cranial nerves.

A proper history and examination can help determine if the cranial nervs are involved. A proper treatment plan can be implemented to correct the problems.

Mo Shouka, DC, QME

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Placebo or Coincidence

The other day my patient told his father that the ringing in his ears is decreasing ever since he started treatments with me. The patient's ear has been constantly ringing day and night for 5 years. His father, a retired medical doctor, dismissed this to mere coincidence.

That response rang a bell with me as it seems that I have heard comments like these thoughout my career as a healthcare provider for over 20 years. There are 3 basic responses that my patients hear from their medical doctors.

1. They only feel better because of placebo effect.
2. They never really had the problem to begin with.
3. It was just a coincidence.

I wonder how many people got better through some type of therapy other than drugs or surgey and were quickly dismissed by their medical doctor. People know when they are better, when the symptoms subside, and function improves. and their suffering ends. Share your stories with others and inspire those that are suffering and give them hope.

Mo Shouka, DC, QME