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Aging and arthritis in Canada

A common myth amongst Canadians is that arthritis is a disease of aging, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While it is often worse as we age, early detection can help along with other tactics. So if you’re older, get your children tested as it can make a huge difference for them and yourself. Over 6 million Canadians are affected by arthritis and most commonly, osteoarthritis. Women also suffer more than men from what can be a debilitating chronic condition with over 60% of Canadians with arthritis being women. Women are affected most because their tendons and joints are more elastic due to childbirth and it is also believed that the drop in estrogen levels after menopause plays a key factor. For men, they are mostly affected in the hip joints. September is arthritis awareness month in Canada and the Canadian Arthritis Society is launching a national awareness

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Health

Pain meds and gut health

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts take Ibuprofen and similar medications to help them exercise in the face of aches, pains and minor injuries. A note of caution: This practice can be harmful to your digestive health. Having played sports my entire life, I have taken my fair share of Ibuprofen for the usual aches and pains, at least until several years ago when my naturopathic doctor suggested that it might be causing my eczema and digestive problems. Developed in the 1960s, Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce pain and inflammation. She called my condition “leaky gut,” where some material from the gut (the gastrointestinal tract) leaks out into the bloodstream rather than being digested normally. A leaky gut, I learned, increases a person’s susceptibility to infections and autoimmune diseases such as eczema, and is related to atherosclerosis, chronic heart failure, allergies, autism and inflammatory-induced metabolic diseases

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Mind

How to curb your anxiety

The feeling of excessive worry, negative thoughts, and fear are all common in people. But too much of these kinds of thoughts could be affecting your well-being. Give your mind a break with these stress-busting tips. Stress is a common, natural response to daily life circumstances. However, when symptoms start reoccurring and get difficult to control, anxiety might be creeping in. Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, worry or fear about a situation and/or event that can cause many emotional and physical symptoms to occur. However, if it becomes debilitating and interfering with daily life, therein lies the problem. The feeling of panic, excessive worrying, negative thoughts, inability to concentrate, catastrophizing, accelerated heart rate, and lightheadedness are just some of the symptoms that could be hijacking your well-being. It’s an evolutionary response to fear, one that can consume your mind and tackle your body, bringing you on a downward spiral. According to the National

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Health

The healing power of touch

Healing touch can ease the torment of pain, improving the body’s own healing response. Even the terminally ill can benefit. SUFFERERS of chronic pain rightfully engage in a search for relief. Conventional and alternative medicine, drug therapy, physiotherapy, hot packs and cold packs — sound familiar? As a certified Healing Touch practitioner working with terminally ill cancer clients, I have seen firsthand what chronic pain can do to the body, mind and spirit. Over a 15-year practice, I have observed that healing touch (HT) helps even those whose intractable pain robs them of any prospect of a gentle journey to the end. There are many definitions of healing. My own is to gain relief from pain and suffering, which is different from curing a disease in the conventional sense. When symptoms of the disease or its effects subside, relief is palpable. HT can help people with many conditions, including chronic or

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Health

A natural approach to chronic pain

Chronic pain can have many underlying factors. A natural approach can improve quality of life by reducing its causes and symptoms. DO you have pain that just won’t go away? If you suffer from an old injury, an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or reccurring migraines, you know that persistent pain can signifi- cantly impact many aspects of life. In a word, it can take away the fun. he question to ask: Why do you have chronic pain? Food sensitivities, stress, poor diet and lifestyle choices, and environmental exposures or sensitivities may all contribute to the underlying reason for pain. Ongoing pain often requires thorough investigation and a comprehensive treatment plan. By decreasing pain, natural therapies can help you revive the joy of living. Acupuncture: The ancient Chinese solution Acupuncture is used to treat many conditions. According to a recent survey published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in the US, the most common

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Fitness

Exercises for neck pain

Release neck pain with these gentle yoga-based stretches. /DEK Muscular tension in the shoulders doesn’t just stay there.  It often runs up into the neck, causing pain and even headaches. The following stretches will help release tension over time, easing both the neck and shoulders.  It is best to perform these stretches without having a headache or head pain, as they can create additional aggravation to the already inflamed area. However, if done every day they will lead to more mobility and more pain-free days.  For best results during stretches, make sure to work with the breath, moving deeper into the stretch as you exhale. Another tip: move through shoulder rolls both forward and back in between each stretch. If choosing only one stretch, roll shoulders both before and after.  Chest expansion: Reach your hands behind your back as if you have magnets on your palms. Extend your arms fully

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Health

How to keep inflammation at bay

Don’t let joint discomfort compromise your exercise routine, which is one of the best ways to prevent chronic medical conditions. THE amount of research demonstrating the benefits of physical activity to body and mind is staggering. Recently, a team of experts in movement science referred to physical activity as a “super-drug” for the prevention and treatment of chronic medical conditions. Who could argue this truth? I see it every day in my transformational consulting practice. The story of chronic, low-grade inflammation is a story of the immune system, as well as the physical and nutrition elements, and all three are connected. Sedentary behaviour and unhealthy dietary choices can ratchet up low-grade inflammation, including the production of pain-promoting and mood-compromising immune chemicals called cytokines. In my new book, Your Health Destiny (HarperOne, 2015), I underscore that just the right amount and type of exercise is critical to healthy immune system functioning. Dietary

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Health

Ready, sip, go!

Maintain your joint health with Nature’s Way Joint Movement Glucosamine. While you’re more likely to get arthritis as you age, two thirds of people with arthritis are below the age of 65. Most people with arthritis experience chronic pain, fatigue, restricted mobility, lowered mood and other symptoms that can combine to erode their quality of life. For millions of Canadians, arthritis can threaten their ability to enjoy freedom of movement, productive work, restful sleep, and an existence free of unnecessary pain. Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects 4.6 million Canadians – in other words, one in every six adults is dealing with chronic pain and discomfort daily. The Most Common Type of Arthritis Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more Canadians than all other forms of arthritis combined and often referred to as the “wear-and-tear” kind of arthritis. Osteoarthritis leads to the breakdown of cartilage (the

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Health

Finding the root cause of pain

“The closer one is able to get to the root cause and resolve it, the more likely it is to find a cure or significant long-term pain relief,” says Dr. Ko. Like Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, originator of this Four-Component theory in treating chronic disease, he asks the patient, “What was happening at the very beginning of the pain problem?” This often gives clues about the area to focus on. For example, structural causes of low back pain include car accidents, falls, collision sports and traumatic childbirth. These often lead to strained sacroiliac joint ligaments, which Dr. Ko treats with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. Biochemical causes include Celiac disease (gluten sensitivity—only 50% of patients have bowel complaints), hidden infections such as Lyme disease, and exposure to toxins such as pesticides on a farm or golf course, heavy metals and solvents. Psychological problems include post-traumatic stress disorder (a screening question is to

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