How to Prevent Colds Naturally!

Did you know that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a great way to prevent and treat colds and illnesses?

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and has been used very effectively to treat  all kinds of illnesses. I find in my practice that if a patient can come in for treatment in the first 24 to 48 hours of a cold or flu onset, that the illness can be stopped. This is great news, since most people don’t have time to be sick. 

In Chinese Medicine the action of the acupuncture brings the illness to the surface of the body where it can be “expelled” and not go deeper, such as in to the lungs causing respiratory illness. Usually one acupuncture treatment works great if given in the initial onset stage. One of the reasons it works so well is that not only does it “expel” the illness, the treatment also uses points that strengthen the immune system.

 Another treatment involves Chinese Herbs, and specifically I use Gan Mao Ling. Many of you may have this at home now, since the best time to use it is again at the onset of an illness, like when that first signs of a sore throat show up. Acupuncture also works great for sinus infections and sinus congestion, or the residual effects of a lingering illness.

Tips to prevent illness during flu and cold season:

  • Always wear a hat or head covering when it is windy and/or cold. In Chinese Medicine it is the “Wind” that will drive the illness into the energy meridians of the body. Keeping the wind from entering through your head is a great preventative measure to take.
  • Decreasing your sugar intake can help your immune system, since within hours of eating sugar your immunity lowers.
  • I love the Traditional Medicinal line of herbal teas. You can find them at your local grocery stores and health food stores. I recommend Gypsy Cold Care for cold symptoms, Echinacea for boosting your immunity, and Ginger Aid for sore throat and stomach upset. 

 

 

Natural Solutions for Headaches! Part 2

Headaches and Allergies

Did you know that allergies can cause headaches? Allergies to foods and to things in the environment can cause all kinds of headaches including migraines, tension and sinus headaches. If you are allergic to foods you eat everyday it can be difficult to figure out which item is the culprit. Dairy products, wheat products, corn and soy can all be highly allergenic foods. So, for example, what if you eat wheat products 3 times a day, and every day? If you have an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance you will be activating your immune system every time you eat that item, which can create inflammation and symptoms. The symptoms can be different for everyone, some people may have digestive problems and some may have a rash or a headache. If you have tried everything else for your headaches, such as medicine, chiropractic or acupuncture then consider the possibility that you may have a food allergy.

 So what can you do about it?  One approach is to use an elimination diet, where you eliminate all the foods that you are allergic or sensitive to. But that can be difficult if you don’t know what you are sensitive or allergic to, or you have a long list of allergens. Here is what we know about allergies, and why using the elimination diet can be so difficult:

Allergies are the result of your body’s immune system fighting off a foreign substance that your body views as toxic. These substances can be anything you eat or drink (yes, even healthy foods), anything outside like plants, trees and flowers,  anything you put on your body like lotions, soaps and shampoos, and even fabrics, clothing and bedding, and your pets.

You can have a true allergy which is an immune reaction by the body, or you can also have intolerances and sensitivities. While not true allergies, intolerances and sensitivities can cause the same symptoms and difficulties that allergies can.

Many people who don’t think they have allergies but have many chronic health problems may be suffering from hidden allergies. These are the IgG immune responses that are delayed reactions, for example, you eat an apple on Mon and on Wed you have an itchy skin rash, or you have chronic headaches. These allergies are the toughest to figure out and so people can go on for years with chronic health problems that can’t be solved by their doctors.

Instead of recommending difficult to follow elimination diets I use NAET in my practice

So exactly what is NAET?

NAET is Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique.

This revolutionary technique is non-invasive and natural, and designed to help alleviate and eliminate allergies of all kinds. This includes food allergies, environmental allergies as well as pet allergies.  NAET is based on principles of acupuncture and acupressure, chiropractic, allopathy, nutrition and kinesiology.

 Who can benefit from NAET?

NAET treatment can be done on children to adults of all ages.  NAET can be used to eliminate and alleviate known allergies, such as to foods or seasonal allergies. NAET can also be used to find hidden allergies that may be causing chronic health problems, disease or chronic unwellness.

How long does it take?

NAET treats one allergen at time. Most of the time an allergen will clear in one treatment, and in general it can take about 15-20 treatments to desensitize your body to about 15-20 allergens. Each treatment takes about 30-45 minutes in the office. After the treatment you will need to eliminate the item you were treated for for 25 hours.Then you will be able to introduce it back into your diet or environment safely.

Further Questions about NAET? Please visit my website at http://www.betterhealthcolorado.com for more info.

I hope this 2 part series has been helpful about different causes of headaches.

My goal is help you live pain free naturally!

 

 

 

Natural Solutions for Headaches! Part 1

In my chiropractic and acupuncture in Golden, CO, I see a lot of patients complaining of headaches. There are many different reasons that headaches occur in the body. I always appreciate when patients come in with x-rays of the neck, and/or MRI’s of the neck and brain. These studies help to rule out major problems in those areas. However the most common outcome is that the patient is told that the study is normal and they will just have to take medications for the pain. Not true! There are many natural treatments that can help or eliminate headaches, and that includes tension or stress headaches, neck headaches as well as migraine and sinus headaches. Today I would give you some insight into how chiropractic and acupuncture can help, and then some tips as well for self help.

Chiropractic and Headaches

Headaches can certainly be a “pain” for those who suffer from them. Whether tension, migraine or sinus headaches I have seen many patients over the years that have these frequent headaches, either daily or weekly, and it certainly interferes with quality of life.

The good news is that chiropractic treatment for headaches can be very effective. Mis-alignments in the spine can restrict the motion of the neck, and can cause nerve irritation to the nerves that provide the pain sensation to the head, neck and face. Typically the mis-alignments will be in the upper part of the neck right under the skull, and many patients will have pain and tenderness in those areas. Chiropractic treatment helps to realign the spine, and can reduce muscle tightness and nerve irritation. It can be much more effective than taking medications, since long term use of medications can interfere with the body’s natural pain control mechanism. This can result in a “rebound” headache and continues the cycle of pain.

Acupuncture and Headaches

Acupuncture is another very effective treatment for headaches. Acupuncture allows endorphins (pain killing hormones, like opiates) to be released. The needling also can release spasms or tightness in the muscles in the neck and at the base of the skull.

The other benefit of acupuncture is that it treats your internal energies. Balancing your meridians or channels of energy is important in Chinese Medicine. For example, the Liver allows your Chi, or energy, to flow freely through the body, and when this energy is obstructed or restricted then symptoms such as headaches can occur.  I have had very good results with helping patients with migraine headaches with a combination of acupuncture and chiropractic, and they are very grateful to be off their headache medications!  This treatment can also help with those nasty sinus headaches, as acupuncture can help drain and clear the sinuses.

Here are some tips you can use at home for headache care:

  • Use and ice pack over the back of your neck and base of your skull if it is tight or sore
  • An ice pack or cooling mask can be used over your eyes or forehead for pain in those areas as well
  • Acupressure can help; locate the point in the web between your thumb and first finger, and then press and hold. This activates and acupuncture point that is used to treat headaches. You can also rub the points in your forehead about an inch above the center of your eyebrow, these may be tender but this can help relieve the tension in these points and entire forehead.

Look for Part 2 coming up, with more about headaches from allergies, sinuses and food related headaches…………..

Natural Stress Relief, Now!

Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally

 Do you have stress in your life? Who doesn’t to some degree? Did you know that chronic low grade stress can cause health problems and even hormone imbalances? And the crazy thing is that chronic stress can lead to insomnia, and then you have the added stress of not being able to sleep. This is just one example of how stress can affect us.

The adrenal glands are small glands on top of the kidney that regulate hormones for a “fight or flight” response to a big stress or event in life. But in our busy world these days most people are under low grade continuous stress, which causes health problems because that is not the way our adrenal glands were designed to work. They were designed to respond to the “big” event or stress and then not have to work so hard. Since we are all under some kind of chronic stress today I would like to give you some tips on how to reduce stress in your life on a daily basis.

 Stress reduction tips:

  • Meditation is a wonderful way to quiet the mind, and to just be present in the moment for a little while. Meditation is not hard, but takes practice. Just sit and breathe and be present, even for a few minutes a day. Of course the longer you sit the better it gets!
  • Can’t meditate sitting? Yes, I have heard that one a lot, so another way of practicing is walking meditation. You get the benefit of exercise, as well as quieting your mind and being present in the moment and space you are in. No thinking about grocery lists or things to do on this walk, just be present and breathe!
  • As a woman I feel I must be excellent at multi-tasking, since I do it all the time. But am I really good at it or is it just a big distraction? A new idea is to do one thing at a time! See if it works for you in reducing stress or anxiety in your day.
  • Self care can mean different things to different people. Incorporate things into your day that you enjoy and make you feel good. I love taking a hot bath at the end of a day of being on my feet. But sometimes I think I’m too busy. But am always glad when I slow down to do this!
  • Herbs and supplements can really help with physical relaxation. Magnesium and calcium are time tested methods relaxing muscles (without drugs). Passionflower, valerian and chamomile are great for relaxation and better sleep. In my practice my patients really like Myocalm and Myocalm P.M. for natural muscle relaxation and sleep. I also really like RelaxMax, which is a powder supplement containing amino acids to support healthy brain chemistry and magnesium for the muscles.
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are also great for stress relief. By balancing your energy and realigning your spine this helps to relax muscles and improve well being.

Know your hormone levels! I offer blood testing and saliva testing that can test for hormones, thyroid and adrenal levels for women and men. Why do you need to know this? Chronic stress can mean that your hormones are out of balance, and I can offer natural solutions to help you.

 

Strategies for Natural Pain Relief

Chiropractic and acupuncture can offer a great way to manage pain naturally. They are alternatives to using drugs to manage pain, and are much healthier for the body.

Millions of Americans depend on over the counter and prescription drugs to manage pain. Here are some reasons why this may not be such a good idea:

  • Painkillers are NSAIDS (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen and Motrin) and COX-2 Inhibitors (prescription drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex). These drugs are linked to heart attacks and strokes.
  • The FDA has asked manufacturers of drugs containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to change the labeling to limit the dosage and add a liver toxicity warning.
  • Vioxx is a painkiller that was pulled off the market in 2004 after 60,000 people died from its increased heart risks.
  • The painkiller NSAIDS can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as bleeding in the stomach. Many people find they can’t take these drugs for this reason.

Chiropractic care, by working on aligning the spine, will help reduce pain by restoring the body to better function, and muscles are less tight and work with less strain. Acupuncture helps with pain as well, as it releases endorphins, which are painkilling hormones, and are like opiates that go into the brain. Have you ever had runner’s high? That’s the endorphins kicking in.

Tips for Natural Pain Relief:

  • Chiropractic and acupuncture are an effective drug free alternative to use for back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, sports injuries, and pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Hidden or known allergies to food, the environment or even pets can cause an immune reaction and this in turn can be a cause of acute or chronic pain. Dr. Foley specializes in using NAET Allergy Elimination techniques to detect and eliminate these allergies, and any symptoms, such as pain, that they may cause.

There are some very effective supplements that can be used:

  • For pain relief White Willow bark, is a natural form of salicylic acid (which is used in synthetic form in aspirin).
  • For inflammation try Omega -3 fish oils. I always recommend using enteric coated fish oils (which open in the small intestine) so there is no fishy aftertaste.
  • For joint pain and arthritis you can combine the above with Glucosamine Sulfate (no Chondroitin needed). Glucosamine needs to be in a sulfate form to be best absorbed.
  • Always make sure you buy good quality supplements with superior ingredients. This assures you that they nutrients will be absorbed and utilized by your body.
  • A diet low in grains and sugars will help to reduce inflammation in the body. Grains, including wheat, barley, oats, rice, and any processed sugars can also cause joint pain.

If you have any questions or would like a Free Consulation please call Dr. Erin Foley at 303-271-1701.

Plantar Fasciitis… A Pain in the Foot!

So what is plantar fasciitis? The plantar fascia wraps around the bottom of the foot, as an extension of the calf muscle. The fascia can become inflamed and can tighten up due to injury or overuse, such as standing or walking for long periods, or overuse from running. The fascia can also pull or tug on the heel bone, or calcaneus, and this can cause a heel spur to grow. The heel can then be very painful when standing or walking.

If you have plantar fasciitis you will usually have the most pain in the morning getting out of bed and you may find yourself hobbling around at first. The fascia may loosen up a little during the day, but then gets worse again at night, and can be very painful. Medical treatment usually involves medication, cortisone shots or surgery.

The good news is that there is natural help for this painful condition!

  •  Acupuncture is extremely effective in treating the pain and loosening up the muscles and fascia.
  •  Chiropractic care is important for aligning for spine and hips, which affect the alignment of the knees, ankles and feet.
  • Ultrasound therapy is also effective in reducing swelling and pain of the foot.
  • Orthotics can be helpful for proper alignment of the foot when standing, walking or running.
  • For home care you can take a plastic bottle that has ridges in it and freeze water in it. When frozen you can roll your foot over the bottle to reduce inflammation and pain.

I have had a lot of success treating plantar fasciitis with all of these therapies, and my goal is to help you get well without painful shots or surgeries. Call me at 303-271-1701 if you have any questions.