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Why Every Athlete in Oyster Town Should Consider Spinal Realignment

Keeping the body in tip-top shape for competition isn’t always easy. The last year has been a real challenge for many athletes and athletic-minded people here in Norwalk and all around the country. Many have been sidelined and benched thanks to the bully on the field, COVID-19.

But just because you may not be in the game right now, it doesn’t mean you should stop working to be your best self, and part of that means getting regular spinal realignments.

What to Expect Here

We’re athletes, so we get it. Being out of the game plays with your emotions and can be demotivating. Perhaps there’s a little more stress to release in your workouts, or maybe you haven’t been working out at all (I hope that’s not the case)! A spinal realignment could be just what you need to give your energy a healthy boost and readjust your mood in either scenario.

This post will talk about what a spinal realignment is and how it affects your body.  After that, I show you the top five benefits every athlete in Oyster Town can benefit from, even if you’re temporarily benched.

What Exactly Is A Spinal Realignment?

Sometimes referred to as spinal manipulation or adjustment, a realignment is precisely what you’d expect it to be; it’s a chiropractor using a specific force to put your vertebrae (the bones in your spine) back in their correct place.

A spinal realignment improves your range of motion, which is just a fancy way of talking about your ability to move around and do all those snazzy dance moves you’ve been working on in quarantine. A spinal realignment can also reduce the pesky lower back pain that tends to be a thorn in the side for many athletes.

What Happens When the Spine is Out of Alignment?

You can survive with your spine out of alignment, but you may not like it much. It causes a distracting level of discomfort, prevents an even flow of your body’s fluids, and makes movement a chore. Once you get a few regular realignments, however, you’ll feel the difference of a misalignment.

Allowing a spinal misalignment to go on for an extended period can cause sluggishness, extreme fatigue, and irritability. It can also lead to headaches, muscle pain, and joint stiffness too.

 

How Athletes Benefit from Spinal Realignment

There are several benefits athletes receive from a spinal realignment. Here are the top five:

  1. Perhaps most importantly, a realignment can enhance performance. You’ll feel more energized, even in the cold, wet winters of Norwalk.
  2. There are no drugs or chemicals involved. Drugs and chemicals that treat back pain and discomfort can tank your performance.
  3. A misalignment can exacerbate even the smallest injury, but regular spinal manipulation will strengthen your spine and help you prevent serious injury.
  4. Related to #3, not only can regular spinal realignments strengthen the spine, but it can reduce recovery time when you pull a muscle doing that fancy footwork, break a bone in your push to the winning line, or lift those weights without proper support.
  5. Finally, every athlete has some pain, whether from a previous injury or something new. Spinal realignment opens the flow of nurturing and nourishing fluids that help reduce common pains in athletes and active people.

 

How to Recognize a Misalignment

You can see if your spine is out of alignment in the following ways?

  1. Check the heels on your shoes. If they wear out unevenly, you’re putting too much pressure or weight on one leg, which could mean your spine needs to be realigned.
  2. If it’s difficult to pivot your head or hips easily, you’ll want to talk to us about a spinal realignment.
  3. Check the way you walk or run.  Go in a straight line for about 20 yards. If there is any limping or hobbling, it’s time to schedule a spinal realignment.

Staying in shape is vital for athletes, even during the cold weather and darker months. Spinal realignments can help keep your body healthy and your mood uplifted.  Please schedule an appointment with us to get the VIP treatment for your spinal realignment. Our office is safely organized and appropriately sanitized.

 

Sources:

5 Benefits of Chiro Care for Athletes

Chiropractic Medicine for Athletes

9 Signs Your Spine is Out of Alignment

 

This holiday season may your heart and home be filled with happiness, health, peace, and prosperity.
We look forward to seeing you in 2021.
With much love and gratitude, -Dr. Brenda, Dr. Erik, Yasmin, and Alejandra

6 Ways To Protect Your Neck and Back While Shoveling Snow This Winter

6 Ways To Protect Your Neck and Back While Shoveling Snow This Winter

A big storm is coming! Connecticut is bracing for the biggest storm it’s seen in three years!

As winter storms continue to threaten the East Coast, snow is an obstacle to many Americans daily. Here are some of our best tips on how to avoid risking a back injury while shoveling snow.

First, you should start with a quality shovel with an ergonomic design. Choose a push blade with wheels, a snow scoop, or a push snow shovel. A traditional snow shovel will put too much pressure on your neck muscles due to the “scooping” motion, whereas pushing will not. A snow blower is always the best choice for deep snow.

Second, try shoveling when there are no more than two to four inches on the ground. I know, this means you will need to shovel more, but the snow will be easier to lift, and this movement will be healthier on your back. Spraying the shovel with a silicone or WD 40 is also another favorite trick of mine and will help move the shovel through the snow quicker as well as keep the shovel clean between passes.

Third, always shovel loose snow. Hard-packed and frozen snow will require tremendous strain on your muscles and be too heavy. Take care to shovel small amounts of snow, so as not to overwhelm yourself.

Fourth, shovel the snow by pushing it rather than bending down to scoop it; try pushing the snow to the side of a driveway or walkway.

Fifth, try placing one hand on the shovel mid-shaft to make it easier to handle and keep the loaded shovel as close to your body as possible.

And last, but certainly not least, always think about your body’s posture when shoveling. Don’t reach or stretch to reach the area you’re focusing on; instead, move closer to it. Always bend at the knees and hips, keeping your back and neck straight, and let your weight help you push the snow.

This storm looks like a big one!

It’s very common for our office to become quite busy with lower back injuries following a storm like this or even smaller ones. Hopefully, these little reminders will help you through without injury. Snow shoveling is tough. Remember to take your time, don’t dress too heavy, and take frequent breaks. We’re here if you need us. Stay safe!

How to Avoid Winter Stress Meltdowns

For millions, winter is anything but a wonderland.  Managing the anxiety, fatigue and mood swings associated with winter stress can be a challenge.

Whether you call it winter stress or holiday blues, the period between November and January sends many people careening toward anxiety, overwhelming busyness and even feelings of inadequacy, and that’s without the added stress of Covid.

To help you start winter off right, here are several valuable and timely tips to help you avoid holiday meltdown and survive the anxiety often associated with the winter season.

First, start by really taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally. You are much more likely to avoid bouts of anxiety and drastic mood swings with this one simple step. Just be aware of what you are currently doing so you may make changes for the better.

For example, many people tend to overeat when anxious or stressed, particularly during the holiday season when high-calorie foods are plentiful.  While comfort food can be a great thing every now and then, over-doing it can have some unexpectedly unpleasant effects.  Indulging in too many sweets or high-fat meals can trigger increased anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and even erratic behavior.

By simply paying attention to the types of foods being consumed, as well as the amount, you can avoid many of the nasty pitfalls associated with using food as a stress reliever.

Second, caffeinated beverages can also have a definite negative impact on winter stress.  Studies have shown caffeine consumption increases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.  This can result in increased feelings of anxiety and nervousness as well as increased fat accumulation, particularly around the belly area.

Of course, the most well-known effects of caffeine are “jitters” and sleeplessness, which often aggravate and intensify physical and emotional stressors.

The issue of sleeplessness frequently goes hand-in-hand with winter and holiday stress. And that is why it is number three on our list of things to help avoid winter stress meltdowns. Irregular or hectic schedules can leave you lying awake at night with thoughts and worries keeping sleep frustratingly away.  A lack of good, recuperative sleep plays havoc on the body’s hormones which affect physical and mental health.  The result is an increased level of anxiety, depression  and often even anger.

If you find yourself frequently losing sleep, try going to bed and rising on a regular schedule.  Yes, even on the weekends. Also, avoid heavy meals, sugar-laden snacks or alcoholic beverages within three hours before your regular bedtime.  As you lay down to sleep, make a conscious effort to create a mental picture of yourself relaxing on a beach, getting a massage or perhaps curled up in front of a warm fire.  Whatever you consider relaxing, send your thoughts there.

Another excellent way to help ensure a good night’s sleep is regular exercise during the day.  Staying active also relieves stress and encourages the production of mood-lifting hormones.  If hitting the gym every morning just does not fit your lifestyle or schedule, at least commit to taking three or four brisk 30-minute walks per week.  With this little bit of regular exercise, those extra pieces of pie or fudge will have a harder time finding their way to your waistline.

Number 4: Mediation is another highly effective “stress buster.”  This can be in the form of yoga, deep breathing or simply turning down the lights and listening to soothing music.  You do not need elaborate equipment or a special room for this.  Just find a quiet corner and spend 20 minutes letting the stress of the day wash away.

Finally, number 5. Set specific, attainable goals for the holidays, for next year, heck even for next week!  For instance, if you want to lose weight, create a plan, and do your best to stick to it. Goal-setting is a great way to take control of your life, particularly when faced with stressful situations.  And be sure to celebrate each milestone you achieve while working toward your goals, no matter the size.

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

There’s nothing quite as heart-wrenching as watching your child breakdown from the pain that is seemingly impossible to control. If you’ve ever thought, “what the hell is happening to my baby?!” then this article may be helpful for you. I’ll explore the link between sleep disturbances and pediatric migraines, identify a few health concerns, and provide ways you can help your child get and stay better.

What You Should Know About Childhood and Adolescent Migraines

Migraines in children are common and can be silent or ferociously painful in several ways. Here’s some research about pediatric migraines that’ll help you understand the condition better:

  • Infantile colic was a problem in children with migraines.
  • Mothers with migraines are 2.5 times more likely to have an infant with colic.
  • Fathers with migraines are two times more likely to have a colicky baby.
  • Boys aged 7 to 10 years can experience more migraines sooner than girls (until puberty, when girls tend to get more)
  • Food allergies lead to leaky gut syndrome, and leaky gut causes migraines. This is the biggest problem in most migraineurs.

How is Sleep Connected to Pediatric Migraines?

A 2008 study found that children with migraines are twice as likely to suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) than children without migraines. Researchers found that more than half (56%) of children with migraines suffered a sleep-related breathing disorder in that study. Children who got less sleep, took longer to fall asleep, and had shorter REM cycles reported severe migraine pain. 

What Happens When Your Child Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

Anyone who’s tried to wrangle a child into the car after a few nights of terrible sleep knows how a lack of it feels, but it doesn’t just cause irritability, crankiness, and a lot of tearful screaming. It also affects your child’s ability to learn and retain information in school and at home. Sleep deprivation lowers their pain (and patience) threshold, so symptoms are exacerbated. Further, sleep disturbance can cause conditions like:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching)
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety
  • Obesity

A Few Ways You Can Help Them

It can be summed up in one word: routine. There may be an allergy at play that’s making life difficult, and I would urge you to keep a close eye on food and drink, as these are the primary concerns in children with migraines. However, creating a sleep routine will be the ultimate support. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) and creating a practice they do every night and morning. Involve them in the process. Ask what they’d like to do and make a calendar or set timers. Here are some ideas to add to your routine:

  1. Drink a small glass of warm water an hour before bed.
  2. Take a low dose of melatonin for a few nights. Melatonin is made naturally in the body, so this should be used just to help on rough nights.
  3. Take a warm bath or shower 30 minutes before bed.
  4. Keep the lights dim for 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  5. Limit noise and screen-time two hours before bed. Try not to let them have more than two hours of screen time a day. Interact with them: read a story, cuddle, color, or do something relaxing.
  6. Use aromatherapy by putting a diffuser in their room. Oils like lavender and peppermint can help them relax.
  7. Keep the bedroom clean, cool, and dark.

Sleep is the body’s natural state. It is necessary for survival and good health. A lack of it can be problematic for both adults and children. It has no bias – no matter who you are or what you do, your body will break down if you don’t sleep. In the development years of childhood and adolescence, sleep deprivation can alter their life’s path and make becoming a productive member of society more difficult. I want to help. If you need support, have questions, or want to know more about me, please reach out through social media or my website.  You aren’t alone.

 

Sources:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Link Between Migraines and Sleep Disorders in Children

PubMed (Headache): Pediatric Headache and Sleep Disturbance

Springer Link (Current Pain and Headache Reports): Pediatric Migraines and Academics

JCSM: Sleep Disturbance in Pediatric Intracranial Hypertension

Pain Medication Marketing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It seems like every month a new pain medication is brought to market. No matter the medication, it always seems to have a laundry list of side effects and a heaping dose of fear-based, “don’t-miss-out” advertising campaigns. Anyone who has been in the U.S. healthcare system understands drug prices are extraordinarily high, and the costs far exceed those in other countries. Why?!

In this blog article, I am going to tell you more about Big Pharma’s excessive profits and discuss how their marketing communications create a sense of dependency while poking at the fear of missing out. Before getting into the profits, however, it’s important to understand what I mean by marketing.  There are four Ps to bringing a new drug to market:

  1. Develop a product
  2. Create a pricing strategy
  3. Determine placement in the market
  4. Promote it to the public

Many often think of marketing in terms of the fourth P – promotion, and that’s because we’re bombarded with advertisements every day; however, that’s really the last part of marketing. There are three other steps to bring a new drug to the market. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen in the previous few decades is an exponential growth in medications and a decline in public health. The amount of money put into what Big Pharma calls “innovation research” is astronomical and reflected in pricing strategies, which are placed heavily on the backs of chronically ill Americans who are being maintained in illness.

Follow the Money: Big Pharma Profits

In an original investigation from JAMA in 2020, researchers found that the cost of medications for Americans is as much as 190% higher than in nine other high-income countries. That’s because those other countries have regulations on drug pricing, while America does not.

Let’s examine personal relationships for a moment. Modern medical professionals partner with pharmaceutical companies to prescribe drugs that treat a variety of symptoms for a seemingly endless list of diseases. While there are laws to monitor how Big Pharma spends money, it’s not illegal to pay doctors who will help them research and promote their drugs. According to Pew Research, 74% of Americans have an overall positive view of their doctor, with 90% believing their doctor cares about them. A high level of trust and reverence is awarded to doctors, and science is deemed an honorable field.

Now we have a scientific, profit-geared relationship between the doctor and the pharmaceutical company with a trusting and emotional connection between the doctor and the patient. To me, that sounds like a disastrous recipe for your pocketbook.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Pain Medication Marketing

The advancement of medical science is vital for the growth and development of humanity; however, when profits are the driving force behind the innovation, we defeat the purpose. There is one good thing that comes out of pain medication marketing:  the regulations that govern what the patient – or potential patient – must know about the drug. For example, advertisements must indicate the purpose of the drug, along with contraindications and side effects. Companies are required to inform consumers at all levels of the process – in the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, and in the comfort of your home. Here’s an example:

That’s about the extent of the good. The bad things pile up quickly, but here are just a few:

  • Government and pharmaceutical companies continue to downplay the dependency factor of pain medications.
  • Side effects are also downplayed by companies and treating physicians, especially when patients are on a variety of other medications.
  • The FDA – the government body that gives the formal nod of approval for drugs to go to market – was created by the same “doctors” of the 19th century. They intentionally suffocated natural medicine in favor of experimentation on the human body (see the book, For Her Own Good for more information on this topic). They have a vested interest in this form of “science.”
  • There is too little research on synthetic drugs, and that means the list of side effects is overgeneralized and incomplete.
  • Every new drug comes with a 20-year non-compete. That means generic drug companies cannot manufacture a cheaper version of the drug until the original creator has made their money. Competition in a free market keeps prices low, and this 20-year protection has continued to lead to the development of dangerous medications and exorbitant profits.
  • Advertising campaigns try to make viewers feel like they’re missing out on something important. They poke at our need to feel better the same way a domestic abuser blames the victim. Take the “I am here” campaign from Amgen for the drug, Aimovig. It touches on emotional needs and tries to convince you the drug will help you achieve those goals.

The ugly truth is that Big Pharma is making you, the everyday American with a painful condition, pay for ill health by making it seem like you need this medication or that one to feel better. They are draining your bank account while filling up their coffers. I would argue that Big Pharma and their partnering medical professionals are creating diseases they can treat with more drugs.

There is a great need for healthcare reform in this country, but not in the sense of money alone. We need to reform the meaning of health care and stop perpetuating the system of sick care. This is one of the biggest reasons I have focused my doctorly studies on functional medicine. Your body is incredibly powerful, and it can heal naturally, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s about capitalizing and leveraging the strongest parts of your physiology.

Remember that you’re not alone on this journey. If you’re looking to start reducing the number of medications, or you want to avoid using pain medications, in particular, reach out. I can help you find a regimen that works. It’ll take time and patience, but it’s worth it when you start to feel like yourself again.

Sources:

Grand View Research

National Center for Biotechnology Information

JAMA Network

The Commonwealth Fund

The Dangers of MSG – Your Brain and Your Body

The Dangers of MSG – Your Brain and Your Body

 

More than half a century after MSG’s adverse health effects were first recorded, 4 in 10 Americans are still avoiding the ingredient. In this article, I’m going to address how MSG is scientifically proven to have adverse effects on the body and brain, especially in migraineurs who are hypersensitive to chemicals, herbs, and spices.

The Science of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

I’ll start with the obvious issue with MSG, the ingredients.  MSG occurs naturally in foods, which is vital to consider when you’re creating a diet plan. A Japanese professor in the early 1900s found, the flavor in seaweed broth heightened the flavors of other foods, making them more savory. However, mass production made a few changes to how the crystallized version of MSG we know today is made.

No longer is MSG extracted from a single ingredient – seaweed broth. Now, MSG is made from fermented starch and sugar – usually beets and corn. Corn was never supposed to be ingested by humans. It’s closer to a grass than a vegetable fit for human consumption. Further, sugar beets are sugar. When sugar beets are not available, manufacturers use cane sugar or molasses. All those ingredients should frighten a migraineur, who is well versed in how sugar and starches wage war on their bodies.

Observational research and consumer reports list cringe-worthy symptoms from MSG like:

  • Headaches
  • Flushing and sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Tingling and numbing in the legs
  • Rapid or fluttering heart rate (some have reported fearing a heart attack)
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Chest pain
  • Facial pressure

Even with those complaints, some “scientists” are still claiming that since the research doesn’t reflect the charges, these claims are false, and we’re all just crazy, prejudiced sheep. Rather than try to understand why some people insist on telling us we’re wrong about our health, we must do what’s best for ourselves. If you believe MSG is causing pain, do what you can to avoid it, no matter what “they” say.

It’s also important to note, MSG has over 100 different names.  There are also over 40 different products that contain MSG as part of its chemical make up.

Names of ingredients that always contain MSG

Glutamic acid (E 620) *2
Glutamate (E 620)
Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
Calcium glutamate (E 623)
Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
Natrium glutamate
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
Yeast extract, Torula yeast
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast
Gelatin
Textured protein
Whey protein
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Soy protein
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Anything “protein”
Anything “protein fortified”
Soy sauce
Soy sauce extract
Protease
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Anything “fermented”
Vetsin
Ajinomoto
Umami
Zinc proteninate

 A full list of these names can be found here.

 

How MSG Affects the Brain and Body

There seems to be a direct line of danger in MSG for migraineurs who are struggling to figure out trigger foods, with the most common triggers being primary ingredients in the manufacturing of monosodium glutamate.

study in 2016 found higher levels of concentrated MSG affected more women than men in number, frequency, and severity of headaches. If we take what we know about beets, sugar, and starches like corn, we can see the link to MSG and adverse migrainous reactions. The available research tells us that high levels of concentrated MSG are likely the cause of the participants’ increased pain and symptoms. With the average American taking in an average of 0.55-0.58 grams per day, headaches and other symptoms showed up in females with highly concentrated doses at 3 grams.

I think you should avoid added MSG at all costs, but most especially if you’re a female migraineur. You are at a higher risk of suffering MSG-related symptoms. Also, keep an eye out for hidden sugars, and be sure to pay close attention to how your body is responding to different foods.

Remember, “you are what you eat.” That’s as true now as it was when it was first coined in 1826. A mind is a powerful tool. If you believe you’re sensitive to an ingredient, you’re probably right. No test, journalist, doctor, or scientist can take that away from you.  Listen to your gut, literally. If you need sound medical advice regarding your migraine treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out. I work with people all over the world!

Sources:

“The Silent Epidemic”

People all over the world have spent months indoors, and the more time you spend inside, the likelihood of obtaining a healthy amount of sunlight exposure, and the vitamin produced as a result — vitamin D3 — continues to decline.

Why does this matter? [Watch video HERE]

Vitamin D deficiency has been called a, “The Silent Epidemic,” and some experts estimate that as high as 90% of Americans – or 9 in 10 – suffer from it.

Vitamin D functions more like a hormone than a vitamin, with extremely minute doses being essential for the regulation of most of the genes in the human body as well as innumerable cellular pathways and processes. Perhaps the most well-known function of vitamin D’s role in the modulation and regulation of the human immune system. There’s compelling evidence to suggest optimizing your vitamin D level can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other viral infections such as seasonal influenza. A number of different scientists are calling for people and governments to prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 come fall, both in the U.S. and abroad. Considering SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be responsive to temperature and humidity, with infectiousness increasing with lower temperatures and humidity levels, we’re likely going to see a reemergence of COVID-19 infections in the fall, during normal influenza season.

Which brings me to my point.

Right now, what’s REALLY IMPORTANT: Optimize Your Vitamin D Level Before Fall!

What this means is you now have a known “deadline” for optimizing your vitamin D level. To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 80 ng/mL by fall.

Historically, December typically has the highest flu activity in the U.S., but it would probably be good to aim for October, or maybe even earlier depending on your location. Optimizing your vitamin D is particularly important if you have darker skin, as darker skin places you at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency — and serious COVID-19 infection. As reported by The Guardian, the COVID-19 mortality among black Americans is three times higher than that of whites, and researchers have long known that blacks cannot achieve optimal vitamin D levels from sun exposure at any time of the year in Northern America.

So, how do you go about optimizing your vitamin D level?

First, you need to find out what your base level is, this is done using a simple blood test.  Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. Again, the ideal level you’re looking for is above 40 ng/mL, and ideally between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL  The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, safe sun exposure, but if you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect. Those with very light skin may only need 15 minutes a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, even with light skill people will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. So, depending on your situation, you may need to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. How much do you need? On average, people should take approximately 27 IU of D per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, you should take 2700IU of D daily. If the average male weighs 170 lbs, you should be taking approximately 4500IU of D, depending upon your skin color and your base dose of course.

I urge everyone to share this information with friends, family, and community at large so that we can minimize a second outbreak. The media is already telling us we are going to have another outbreak. They are going to make sure it happens.

Optimizing your vitamin D could help save many lives; far more than any vaccine program ever could.

Why Do Some Get Sick and Others Don’t?

Pasteur Was Wrong. “It’s Not The Seed. It’s The Soil”

Conventional Western medicine is based upon the tenets of germ the theory. It’s the basis for the use of antibiotics and vaccines. The germ theory states that certain diseases are caused by the invasion of the body by microorganisms (seeds), organisms too small to be seen except through a microscope.

The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is given much of the credit for development and acceptance of the theory.

The germ theory was partly shaped around Pasteur’s idea that the human body is sterile and devoid of any germs. According to the germ theory there are fixed, external germs, which invade the body and are the direct cause of a variety of separate and definable diseases.

However, there is another theory called the terrain theory, which believes that it is not the “germ” that determines disease, but rather, the state of our internal health (the host).

What If Pasteur Was Wrong?

Pasteur’s friend, the physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878), argued instead for the importance of balance in the body’s internal environment – what he called le milieu intérieur“ or terrain theory.

The terrain theory initiated by Claude Bernard and later built upon by Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908), claimed there was a healthy terrain which could handle various pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms that were encountered. Béchamp’s research revealed that our bodies are, in effect, are “mini ecosystems.”

When an individual’s internal ecosystem becomes weakened (dis-ease)—whether due to poor nutrition, toxicity, stress, trauma, or other factors—it changes the function of the microbes that are naturally present in the body, producing disease.

In other words, microorganisms only become pathogenic (cause of disease) after the host’s cellular “terrain” has been compromised.

The renowned 20th century French-American microbiologist René Dubos (1901-1982) agreed with Bernard’s terrain principle: “Most microbial diseases are caused by organisms present in the body of a normal individual. They become the cause of disease when a disturbance arises which upsets the equilibrium of the body.”

Modern research validates the terrain theory with numerous studies showing how a healthy terrain can repel certain disease processes, including viruses, bacteria, and even ulcers.

For instance, consider the study In Science, which looked into immune responses to Heliobacter –a germ/pathogen, strongly associated with ulcers, chronic gastritis, stomach cancer, and other gut issues.

The researchers looked at what happened to mice when samples of the bacteria were introduced into their guts under differing conditions. They found that introducing it into healthy mice raised in a nearly germ-free environment, caused no harm.

But when the same type of bacteria was introduced to the gut of an unhealthy mouse with colitis (inflammation of the colon), it caused an immune threat response by causing the gut inflammation to even become worse.

Humans are mostly microbes/germs, over 100 trillion of them. These viruses, bacteria, and other microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. The majority of these microbes live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and other needed vitamins. The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and nutrition. The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but beneficial colonizers.

Researchers who study the microbiome point out that under optimal circumstances, exposure to microorganisms educates the immune system “from the moment we are born”—and that “correct microbial-based education of immune cells may be critical in preventing the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Diminished microorganism diversity in the gut has been associated with a variety of conditions including “allergies, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and mood disorders.

The presence of germs does not constitute the presence of a disease. Germs or bacteria have no influence, whatsoever, on live cells. They are not the cause of the disease, any more than rats, flies and maggots cause garbage. Flies, maggots, and rats do not cause garbage but rather feed on it. You normally don’t find rates in a clean environment. However, rats are common in garbage-plagued areas.

Rudolf Virchow, father of the germ theory, stated in his later years, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.”

We do not catch diseases. We do however, invite them through our choices in what we eat, drink, and think, our daily habits, and lifestyle. These choices, day in, day out year after year, create our internal environment and the state of our health! Healthy choices typically are rewarded with a healthier terrain. Poor health choices, over time, create the environment for disease.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine doctors recognize that certain germs trigger unwanted infections. These germs include cold, flu, herpes, mono, and other viruses.

But rather than blaming the germ, functional medicine focuses on the underlying health of the host or their terrain.

The goal of functional medicine is to optimize and restore balance to the body’s own self-healing mechanisms to prevent or overcome disease.

I believe optimal health is created through maintaining a healthy diet, ongoing health habits (exercise, prayer, mediation, hobbies, etc.), genes, environment, emotional and physical stress, and nutritional status-all determines the health of our terrain and resistance to dis-ease.

God Gave Us The Ability To Be Self-Healing Dynamos

Humans are born with an innate, inborn healing system. We don’t have to think about mending a broken bone, healing a cut finger or fighting off a virus.

Our body is equipped with the chemicals and genetic instructions needed to stay healthy. Genetics, environment, emotions, stress, diet, daily habits, and lifestyle all play a role in determining the state of our health. But the healthier our terrain, the less likely we will be vulnerable and attract disease.

What do you need to do to have a healthy terrain?

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Avoid sugar it compromises your immune system.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Get plenty of rest. Consistent deep restorative sleep is crucial.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid “junk food.”
  • Laugh often.
  • Stretch or gentle exercise on a daily basis.
  • Stay connected to family and friends. Pick up your phone and give them a call.

 

The BEST thing you can do to reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection is to avoid coming in contact. And practice super vigilant hygiene-frequently wash your hands any time you go out in public.

Please know that stress can compromise your immune system and sabotage your terrain.

Second, on the list is to remain calm. Don’t stress out, it will only lead to more stress and a weakened immune system. Meditate, pray, do easy stretches and exercise daily. Turn off the news and watch a funny movie or “oldie.”

As my mom would always say “this too shall pass.”

Third, address any underlying health issues with the appropriate nutrients. Take  good multivitamin, digestive enzyme, probiotic, etc.

A strong immune system and healthy body is your best defense against COVID-19 or any illness.

By the way its said that Pasteur renounced his germ theory on his death-bed, saying that “Bernard is right. The microbe is nothing. The environment is everything.”

10 Tips for Better Sleep

For most adrenal fatigue sufferers, sleep is a common and consistent problem. It’s one of the biggest reasons for the total exhaustion and symptoms that accompanies this obscure and difficult to treat syndrome.  Your adrenal glands are like a motor for the body. When your hormone stores in these glands are depleted, your body as a vehicle can’t run.

Sleep is necessary for life. Without adequate, restorative sleep, your body will start shutting down. Something physiologically magical happens when you’re asleep (assuming you have a regular sleeping pattern) – all the glands and “working components” of your body are restored and replenished.

Unfortunately, we’ve taught ourselves as a culture a lack of sleep is good and burning the midnight oil is something that should be rewarded. We tend to see those who get enough sleep as being “lazy” or “unambitious.” But here’s the thing: people who get good sleep are healthier, more productive, and less stressed.

While sleep is sometimes elusive, especially when you’ve got a lot going on like high stress levels or a psychological condition like PTSD, it’s not impossible to reach a level of normalcy.  You can train your brain to “shut down” for sleep.  You do that by finding different hygienic practices that will help you develop a pattern and routine for sleep.

My Top 10 Tips for Better Sleep 

  1. First and foremost, be gentle with yourself. Sleep doesn’t always come naturally, especially if you’ve been struggling with it for years. Be kind and forgiving.
  2. Sleep thrives with routine. Create a sleep regimen and do it every night.  Here are a few examples of what I mean:
  3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, yes, even on the weekends.
  4. Take a hot shower or bath 30 minutes before bed every night.
  5. Meditate for 15 minutes before bed each night.
  6. Stop eating at night, especially carbs. Avoid food two to three hours before you go to bed. The body will keep the mind awake to digest the food.
  7. Exercise in the morning or at lunch. This will give your body time to come down and relax after raising that heart rate.
  8. Limit liquid intake an hour or two before bed. Water is immensely helpful when you drink a lot of it throughout the day; however, it can keep you up all night with toe-stubbing bathroom trips in the dark if you are not careful.
  9. Shut down electronics 45 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Whatever is on the screen can wait. The lights on the screens activate certain parts of the brain and make you more wakeful. It’s hard to bring the brain down to rest after looking at a screen.
  10. Create some stress coping techniques. Stress is one of the biggest causes of adrenal fatigue. Limiting stress is about your well-being – it’s not about the person or thing causing the stress.
  11. Try taking supplements like 5-HTP, GABA, and melatonin (sparingly).  GABA is especially good for stress management and sleep.
  12. Caffeine is always a tough subject. You’re exhausted, so you may feel like you need caffeine, but the truth is, it’s probably doing you more harm than good. Switch to decaf.
  13. Stay away from sleeping pills. They have serious side effects can lead to dependence. There are better ways to find sleep relief.

There are so many ways you can improve sleep. I urge you to pay close attention to the number 1 tip above: be kind to yourself. More to the point, believe in yourself. You can get better, and you will feel better if you do the work. There is a lot of it, but it’s rewarding work that’ll benefit you.  Even if none of these tips work quite right, there are still more ways you can reduce adrenal fatigue symptoms.  You never have to do any of this alone. I’m just a phone call or e-mail message away.  Get in touch, and let’s find out what you need.

Sources:

Natural Healing Ways – Sleeping Well with Adrenal Fatigue

Progress Your Health – Improving Sleep with Adrenal Fatigue

Your Fibro Doctor – Fibromyalgia, Your Sleep, and Adrenal Fatigue