Trauma

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

Our physical bodies out-picture all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and identities.  When these feelings are acknowledged and processed, our mind-body system functions properly.  However, when they get stuck in our bodies, physical dis-ease may occur.  Patients in my holistic chiropractic office often present with muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic pain. Often, these conditions are the result of past TRAUMA experienced by the patient.

Flickr photo credit lee Carson

What is trauma?  In my practice, trauma is an emotional insult that creates a charge in the nervous system. It is a one-time or repeated stress that gets lodged in the body and disrupts the flow of energy in the Triad of Health.  The greater the repetition of the event, the deeper is the charge.

Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, yet any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.

 

An event will most likely lead to emotional trauma if:

• It happened unexpectedly.

• You were unprepared for it.

• You felt powerless to prevent it.

• It happened repeatedly.

• Someone was intentionally cruel.

• It happened in childhood.

Flickr photo credit Marc Andre Lariviere

For example, let’s say that as a child at the dinner table, you spilled your milk and your father yelled at you.  In time, you develop an allergy to milk, a result of this unexpected event.

Experiencing trauma in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect. Adverse experiences in childhood generate strong emotions in children. Children who have been traumatized see the world as a frightening and dangerous place. When childhood trauma is not resolved, this fundamental sense of fear and helplessness carries over into adulthood, setting the stage for further trauma.

The cause of the trauma is not always obvious. Here are some commonly overlooked causes of emotional and psychological trauma:

• Falls or sports injuries

• Surgery (especially in the first 3 years of life)

• The sudden death of someone close

• A car accident

• The breakup of a significant relationship

• A humiliating or deeply disappointing experience

• The discovery of a life-threatening illness or

disabling condition

Photo credit Christy

Trauma disrupts the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing us in a state of hyper-arousal and fear. In essence, our nervous system gets stuck in overdrive.  Our innate fight-or-flight system can be overworked from ongoing, relentless stress.  This is especially true when trauma occurs in the early stages of life.  Persistent stress can trigger diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and addiction later on.

I use protocols in my practice to uncover and clear past trauma that is stuck in the body and has resulted in illness and pain.  My patients are amazed at how much better they feel before they even leave the office!  Please call Crystal in our Ventura office (805-644-0461) to make an appointment with me and release that which is holding you back from optimum health and wellness.

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Where’s the Block?

By Dr. Michael Roth

I believe that we all have the power to change, to grow, to move from an old way of being into a new way of being in our lives.  Every day in my holistic chiropractic office I work with people who are suffering with chronic pain.  They have been to many doctors, have spent large amounts of money on prescription drugs, remedies and devices to alleviate their pain, all to no avail. They are stressed and unhappy.

Using muscle response testing, the first thing I ask them to say is, “I am OK having my pain be gone” or “I am OK getting out of pain.” Usually, the muscle checking indicates that their mind-body system is NOT in congruence with the concept of being pain-free.  This tells me that there is a hidden belief that is sabotaging their efforts to heal.

How can this be, you ask? Why would someone unconsciously be holding on to his or her chronic pain? Somewhere, there is a payoff to keeping the pain—perhaps to get more attention directed their way, to have less responsibility, to not have to make decisions, etc. There is a blind spot that is unconsciously keeping them from healing. The emotional component is so powerful as to block the healing that is being applied to the physical body.

Flickr photo credit Washington State Dept. of Transportation

How we value ourselves, our beliefs about our self-worth, can be a factor blocking healing. If we don’t think we are worthy enough to be whole and healthy, we have created a block. If we are under constant stress, from pollutants in air and water, traffic jams, over-packed schedules, eating unnatural and over-processed foods our bodies weren’t built to digest, the demands of work and family, financial obligations and so on, this stress can severely reduce our ability to live life with grace, ease and power, and to heal our bodies.

There may be chemical stressors on our system that are blocking healing. Whether they are prescribed, over-the-counter, or otherwise, drugs introduce toxic ingredients to our body’s organic system. If we’ve lived a lifetime ingesting chemicals, we’ve been compromising our body’s capacity for healing. Not only do inorganic chemical compounds mess with our physical system, they can play havoc on our energetic wiring, our emotions and the way our mind processes information.

In the over 20 years that I have worked with the mind-body connection, I have found that holding on to bitterness or resentments, or in any way being unable to forgive one’s self or others is a major block to healing of any kind. When we forgive, the energy to heal is released and flows more freely.

Flickr photo credit Iqbal Osman

 

No amount of healers in the world can help us if we don’t allow it. Belief is mighty. Belief moves mountains and changes lives – for better or worse. When we believe our well-being is out of our hands, then it surely is.  I work closely with my patients, coaching them to feel empowered that they can and will heal!

If you or someone you care about has been suffering from chronic pain, please call Crystal in our Ventura office at (805) 644-0461 and make an appointment for a consultation with me.  Don’t let unrecognized beliefs block your road to healing and living a full and vibrant life!

 

HEALING IS A CHOICE!

Published in: on June 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Life in Chiropractic

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

Hello! My name is Michael Roth and I am a holistic chiropractor licensed to practice in the states of California and Hawaii.  After I graduated from the Los Angeles Chiropractor College in 1984, I joined a well-established practice here in Ventura, California.  I wore a white jacket and applied hot compresses to my patients’ sore spots before I manually adjusted their backs and necks.

Dr. Roth cropped

If needed, I attached wires to their skin to administer tiny electric shocks to help release tight muscles.  I would have several patients in different rooms at the same time, running back and forth in an attempt to meet everyone’s needs at once.  Often, I saw the same people three times a week, week after week, with the hope of eventually relieving their pain.

 

I learned that this very traditional form of chiropractic was not for me. I was frustrated with the low rate of complete healing that my patients were experiencing, despite repeated office visits.  I started to look at other healing modalities that I could add to my “menu” of wellness practices.

 

The first alternative modality I learned is called Neuro Emotional Technique. What makes NET unique is its focus on releasing patients’ emotional blocks stored in the body’s memory through simple chiropractic adjustments. It also relies on aspects as unusual as a five-element acupuncture model, acupressure points, and homeopathic combination remedies.

Dr. Roth NETThis technique started to give my patients the complete healing for which I was looking!  As I connected the dots in each individual’s healing process, I became more and more convinced of the importance their thoughts, beliefs and emotions had in their healing process. I was excited and wanted to learn more!  Now I also utilize CRA, QNRT, and NMT in the evaluation and healing of my patients.  (Visit  www.RothWellnessCenter.com  for more information on these techniques.)

 

Triad of health book coverIn the past 25 years, I have dedicated myself to balancing each patient’s individual Triad of Health.  When the structural, chemical and emotional systems of the body are in sync, the body’s natural ability to heal itself is able to come forth and manifest wellness.   Healing the patient who has been suffering from chronic pain is one of my biggest joys!

 

I have witnessed incredible transformations in only a few sessions and I absolutely know I am in the right place at the right time and doing what I was put on this planet to accomplish! The mind-body connection is my specialty and my work continues to excite me to this day, 29 years after getting my Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

 

Please feel free to share my story with your friends and relatives and refer them to Crystal in my Ventura office to set up a free consultation. 805-644-0461. I want to make a difference in the health of the world, and it starts right here, right now!

Dr. Roth treatment

 

A Pro-Active Approach to Reducing Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

This post concludes my three-part series on stress, excerpted from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health. I specialize in the mind/ body connection, and as I’ve stated in previous newsletter articles, stress is the underlying culprit of many of the issues my clients present in my Ventura holistic chiropractic practice. Here are three tried-and-true activities you can start using right now to reduce stress.

Flickr photo credit Giuseppe Milo

Dr. Herbert Benson is a pioneer in mind/body medicine. In his 35-plus-year career, he has defined the relaxation response and continues to lead teaching and research into its efficacy in counteracting the harmful effects of stress. When Dr. Benson introduced this simple, effective, mind/body approach to relieving stress in 1975, his book became an instant national bestseller. The Relaxation Response has become the classic reference recommended by most health care professionals and authorities to treat the harmful effects of stress.

Relaxation Response

by Dr. Herbert Benson

1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.

4. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word “ONE” silently to yourself. For example, breathe IN…OUT, “ONE”; IN…OUT, “ONE”, etc. Breathe easily and naturally.

5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.

6. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.

7. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

8. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating “ONE.”

9. With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

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The neck is a primary target for stress. Here is a simple exercise to release tightness and tension in the neck and shoulders.

NECK AND SHOULDER RELEASE

1. Begin by letting your left ear drift slowly towards your left shoulder. Only go within your normal range of motion, and relax.

2. Place your arms on your lap or at your sides. Then, move your right hand behind your back to extend the flexion for that area.

3. Breathe and relax in that position for 15 to 30 seconds.

4. Repeat on the other side.

5. Next, gently let your chin fall to your chest. Slowly rotate your head in a small semicircle from one side of your collarbone to the other.  Hold your extension for a few seconds at any spot that is a particularly stressed or tight.

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This last exercise is designed to release tension in the neck and shoulders and increase the natural range of motion when turning your head side to side.

TRAPEZIUS RELEASE

 1. With the right hand, grasp the top of your left shoulder muscle (trapezius) and squeeze it gently.

2. Take in a deep breath. When you exhale, turn your head away from the hand, while looking over your right shoulder. Inhale when turning the head back to center.

3. Exhale while turning the head to look over the left shoulder. Return the head to center position.

4. Exhale, drop the chin to the chest. Inhale and raise the head to face forward.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 three times.

6. Next grasp the top of the right shoulder with the left hand and repeat steps 2-5 on the other side.

I encourage you to practice these exercises and feel for yourself the difference they make. As always, I am here to support you in health and wellness. Please call Crystal in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461 for an appointment.

 

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

 

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Attitude Creates a New Path

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

Today  I offer the second of three selections from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health. We continue our look at stress and the havoc it can wreak on our bodies. Stress is the number one underlying cause of many of the conditions I see in my patients in my holistic chiropractic practice. I specialize in the mind/body connection and I am constantly reminded through my work of how deep and tangible this connection can be.

 

Some people see their cup as half full, others half empty. Some people like change, others resist and fear it. Some see the unknown as full of potential, while others go into drama and trauma.

 

The secret is your outlook – your attitude – and how you perceive your reality. Some take stress and convert it into positive energy that drives them forward to success – that’s called eustress.

 

Others let stress wear them down until eventually they die and cease to exist anymore in our physical world. Outlook and perception are the keys you need to investigate.

 

Take a moment, and think about what could happen when stress is continued over years and years and years. Eventually you’re going to have problems with the various systems of the body: digestive, circulatory, reproductive, etc. Stresses result in disease – it’s plain and simple, and you won’t find one doctor on the planet that’ll tell you to increase your stress levels to improve your health.

Flickr photo credit Bernard Goldbach

Sooner or later, you’ll reach your stress limit and then a lot of things are going to degenerate. It could start with arthritis that affects all the joints of your body because you’re holding emotional stress. Most people report that arthritis (rheumatoid-type) makes it difficult to grasp things with their hands. Psychologically (or emotionally) arthritis of the hands relates to being incapable of grasping why something in life is the way it is.

 

Cancer is another stress disease, or stress-related condition that can be traced back to the root cause. When speaking to cancer patients, the question is almost always asked, “Are you depressed?” The answer, of course, is YES! Then, when asked if they had had depression before their diagnosis, the majority said YES again.

 

Depression, I believe, is the major cause of non-tobacco-related cancer. Therapies may treat the depression with expression, positive thinking, and positive visualization, along with allopathic or other medical choices. The key here is that the restriction of energy flow causes more stress which creates depression and disease in the human body.

 

What disease will stress cause you? None, I hope, but perhaps there is a science to this ill thought out plan of reaction to STRESS. Here is a chart of some common diseases with their possible emotional causes:

 

DISEASE                                                         CAUSATION

Arthritis                                                           Inability to grasp situations

Cancer                                                              Depression – lack of expression

Diabetes                                                           Lack of Sweetness (happiness) in life

Gallstones                                                       Suppressed anger, bitterness (gall)

Sexual dysfunctions                                      Guilt or shame

Skin Conditions                                              Inability to face life

Urinary system problems                            Inability to let go of hurts

 

This is the short list; the real list is actually endless. Either the causation is either related to stress, or some form of infection or toxic environmental reaction. Remember that your body reacts to your thoughts. You don’t have to accept any illness or disease into your body. Keep this in mind: your brain is the ultimate computer operating system; your heart is the ultimate power supply unit. You simply don’t have to accept anything that is not good for your health! Reject stress.

Flickr photo credit Celestine Chua

 

If you are wondering if stress may be the underlying cause of your dis-ease, I invite you to call Amber in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment to discuss your issues.

 

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

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Published in: on August 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Summing Up Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

“Mind is where the action is… body is where the reaction is.”               Frederick Eikerenkoetter (Rev. Ike)

In my holistic chiropractic office in Ventura, I often see clients whose conditions are aggravated or even caused by excess stress. This month’s article is an excerpt from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health.

SUMMING UP STRESS

Flickr photo credit sandiegopersonalinjuryattorneydotnet

Over the last 50 years, many researchers (psychologists and computer language specialists) have compared the brain/mind relationship to that of a computer and its operating system (program that directs the computer).  When the program is properly written, fully functional, and free from flaws, the computer functions perfectly, giving accurate responses and producing valuable and necessary operations.

The mentally balanced human being functions perfectly when under conditions of no stress to low stress. Under conditions of high stress, the overload causes restriction to the flow of energy, which leads us to disease, illness, exhaustion, system breakdowns, etc.

Your own state of health comes from your most constant, deepest felt, emotionally based, thoughts. Negations, those diseased (dis-eased or lacking ease) thoughts, transmute themselves into sick cells and a sick body.

For example, if you tell yourself, “I can’t stand it when my boss does this or that”; your body simply responds with a “Yes, sir!” as if a soldier was respectfully doing what was ordered by the commander.

The body is the servant of the mind and it will obey the commands you just gave when you said, “I can’t stand…” That’s what your mind heard and therefore, created. It might takes a few months or maybe even several years, but the repeated negative thought will eventually give you a reaction that you don’t really want.

Flickr photo credit Trizoultro

Thus, the mind (or brain/mind) is where the action is, and body is where the reaction is. If you say you can’t stand something, expect back and leg problems.

WATCH YOUR WORDS – whether your thoughts are intentional or spontaneous, they will create some reaction. When the mind is directed by negative or fearful thoughts, the bodily response usually will be disease and/ or functional failure.

Fearful thoughts cause STRESS. The two combined (fear + stress) are as deadly as the most dreaded diseases of our time. Fear, caused by excessive and/or non-rational worrisome thinking, kills people everyday.

Flickr photo credit Nate Steiner

Stress is more deadly than any influence, viral infection, or any disease currently affecting humanity. Stress is responsible for 95% of the disease on the planet. Just as it drives people to smoke, drink, use drugs (legal and not legal) to manage it, if left unmanaged it leads to smoking, drinking, drug use, and life-threatening disease.

People who live in fear of disease are too often those who get ill. They who fear the worst can always discover it in their lives or in the lives of those they know.

When you are fearful, upset, anxious, or nervous, those stressful forces can begin the gradual breakdown of your entire nervous and immunological system and your entire body. Stress, caused by negative thoughts that include fear, guilt, shame, envy, jealousy, and more, will kill you if you don’t control it.

Negative thoughts open the body to physical disease by taking the Triad (the balance of the physical, emotional and chemical components of your body) out of balance by weakening the mental/ emotional side. They also weaken the immune system by blocking  the natural flow of energy within your body. It has been shown, time and time again, that fearful, unbalanced, disharmonious thoughts can lead to the stresses that damage your health.

 

When your mind is given pleasant and courageous thoughts, a world of wonder, beauty, health and happiness prevails. Positive, strong, pure, and healthy thoughts always bring health and vitality.

Most members of the medical profession have either heard or believe that positive thinking, happiness, and humor can reduce the effects of disease or surgery and aid in the recovery process.

If you possess thoughts that are impure, or if you have thoughts that lack a high vibrational quality, meaning that they are negative in nature and vibrate in opposition to your values and beliefs, you’ll have a body with toxins in your bloodstream, weakened antibodies, and you’ll get sick regularly with illnesses that are very difficult to remedy.

From a clean heart and mind comes a clean body. From an unclean one, comes a diseased and weakened body. Always remember that health or disease and the quality of your experience on Earth is up to you, your attitudes, and your thoughts.

Flickr photo credit Matt Madd

If you would like to make an appointment for an office visit, please call Amber in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461.

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

emotional_book

Beyond Diet and Exercise (or Other Reasons Your Weight May be Sticking Around!)

by Dr. Michael Roth

 

Guess what? There is more to losing weight than a healthy diet and regular exercise!

 

Many of the patients I see in my holistic chiropractic practice are making good food choices, moving their bodies, reducing their stress and are willing to do the work digging into the emotional reasons behind their eating habits. Yet, some are still not losing weight as fast as they would like.

 

If you’ve been stuck on a weight-loss plateau, read on. This month I want to tell you about six other causes that can slow down weight loss.

Flickr photo credit tipstimes.comdiet

1. Lack of Sleep

Not enough sleep can have a negative impact on your weight loss by altering levels of hormones that regulate hunger. In one study at the University of Chicago, people who slept only four hours a night had an 18% reduction in the hormone leptin that signals your brain it has had enough food and a 28% increase in ghrelin, the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry! Plus, after such little sleep, the participants craved sugar, salty and starchy food and had a 24% increase in their appetite for candy, chips and pasta.

2. Sitting too Much

If you spend too much time sitting during your day, you could be packing on the pounds. It isn’t simply the lack of exercise. Even those who exercise regularly may experience this phenomenon. Sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. When you sit, instead of being absorbed by your muscles, the fat recirculates in your blood stream where it may end up being stored as body fat!

 

Sitting not only has a negative effect on fat and cholesterol metabolism, but also stimulates disease-promoting processes. Standing and moving slightly will re-engage the enzymes. So remember to stand rather than sit as often as you can!

3. Depression

Depression and being overweight often go hand-in-hand. People who are depressed are more likely to become overweight and those who are overweight are more likely to become depressed. Depression increases the risk of obesity by 58% according to a recent study by Dutch researchers. It is common for people with depression to overeat, especially “comfort” foods that may be high in fat and sugar.

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

 

4. Medications

Certain prescription drugs may have the side effect of weight gain. They include corticosteroids, antidepressants, epilepsy drugs, and drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Also birth control pills, diabetes drugs, and blood pressure drugs may cause weight gain.

5. Portion Sizes

You may be watching the types of food you eat and making better choices, yet if your portion sizes are too large, you won’t be losing the pounds. Portion sizes in the United States have been growing larger over the past decades. For example, in 1970 a bagel weighed three ounces and contained 230 calories. Today, the average bagel is about six ounces and 550 calories! I recently attended a seminar locally in which some of the participants were from Canada and they were all commenting on the size of the portions they received in the restaurant here!

6. Obesity as a Symptom

If you feel you are doing everything you can to lose weight and are still not getting anywhere, it could be a red flag that there is another underlying health problem. The following conditions could be the cause: thyroid disorders, diabetes, lupus, cancer, congestive heart failure, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and metabolic syndrome. See your health care professional to determine if one of these conditions may be involved.

 

It is my desire to support each of my patients to their greater health and wellness. I will work with you to determine your weight loss goals and how to effectively achieve those goals. Weight loss and better health are achievable and I am willing to go the distance with you. Please call Amber in our Ventura office today and make an appointment for an office visit to get you on the wellness wagon!

The Myth of Cholesterol

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

It seems common knowledge in this day and age that a high cholesterol count is bad for your health. Cholesterol is blamed for heart attacks and arterial disease. As a holistic chiropractor, I see patients who are stressed because they have been told they have high cholesterol. Yet, remembering that our bodies are innately programmed for wellness and wholeness, let’s take a look at just what cholesterol is and why we need it.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. Cholesterol is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.

 

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat.

 

Cholesterol has received plenty of negative media over the last decade as the reason behind heart attacks and arterial disease. Yet, several pivotal studies have shown that cholesterol is not the cause behind problems of the heart as once thought.

 

Cholesterol has been blamed for heart disease, however inflammation is actually the true culprit. When the body experiences an inflammatory response due to an injury, the system responds by constricting blood vessels, thickening the blood, and triggering cells to multiply in order to repair the damage.

 

Cholesterol is produced because cells need it to form. It helps create plaque in our blood vessels when a damaged artery needs to be repaired. When an individual is in a chronic state of inflammation, the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack greatly increases. It is the chronic inflammation, not the cholesterol that increases the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure.

 

The Great Cholesterol Myth authors Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra reviewed the data of numerous studies and found that cholesterol levels are not a good predictor of heart attacks:

• Half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol

• Half of the people with high cholesterol have healthy hearts

• Keeping cholesterol levels low has few benefits

The Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 and continues to this day, distinctly shows that those who lived the longest were inclined to be in the highest cholesterol category.

 

In another study in the 1990s, researchers in France decided to observe the effect of different diets on heart disease. One group was asked to eat the American Heart Association diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. The second group ate a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, and olive oil.

 

The study ended early because the results of the Mediterranean diet were so striking. Those in this group had a 70 percent reduction in fatal heart attacks, yet their high cholesterol levels remained the same throughout the study!

Flickr photo credit Kelly Sue Deconnick

So, what does this all mean to you? Turn your attention away from your cholesterol level number and the pharmaceuticals that you may be using to “control” it and put your attention on the things that you can control that will make a difference. Eat healthy foods, take nutritional supplements and reduce your stress to improve your heart health.

 

Please call Amber in our Ventura office at (805) 644-0461 and make an appointment with me for an office visit to discuss the health of your heart and body. Your choices do affect your health and your health is more than just a number!

Your Gut Response

By Dr. Michael Roth

At one time or another, most of us have felt our stomach talking to us. Perhaps we overate, or ate something that didn’t agree with us. Maybe we are stressed by our thoughts or our circumstances, or can’t “stomach” what is going on in our lives and it is affecting our health.

The fact is that most of us will suffer from one digestive disorder or another at some time in our lives. The highest number of calls received by the National Health Service is from people suffering with digestive problems. Our diet and the foods we eat play a major role in keeping our digestive system in good order. This month, I’d like to discuss three common digestive problems that I see in patients in my holistic chiropractic practice: heartburn, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

Heartburn

First of all, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart itself. Rather, it is a term used to describe the burning sensation that occurs in the chest area, just behind the breastbone. Heartburn pain is often worse when lying down or bending over.

It may be accompanied by other symptoms including: regurgitation, a bitter taste at the back of the mouth or throat, excess salivation, belching, and difficulty or pain when swallowing. There is often a feeling of “fullness” after eating, feeling sick and/or vomiting. Heartburn can develop at any time and may not always be as a result of eating or drinking. Stress is also a common cause of heartburn.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Normally when you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. The acid backup may be worse when you’re bent over or lying down.

Flickr photo credit evindc

The advice for sufferers is to eat slowly and in a relaxed environment, concentrate on enjoying your food and chew it thoroughly. Do not drink too much while eating. Sip fennel, mint, chamomile or apple tea.

Foods to avoid include crisps, chips, nuts and rich creamy or fried foods; acidic foods like vinegar and pickles; citrus fruits or unripe fruit can cause acid reflex. Smoking can also cause heartburn—another reason to quit!

 

Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term used to describe one or more symptoms including a feeling of fullness during a meal, uncomfortable fullness after a meal, and burning or pain in the upper abdomen. Sometimes the term indigestion is used to describe the symptoms of heartburn, but these are two different conditions. A person can have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn.

Indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive tract such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts. If the condition improves or resolves, the symptoms of indigestion usually improve.

Sometimes, however, a person has indigestion for which  a cause cannot be found. This type of indigestion, called  functional dyspepsia, is thought to occur in the area where  the stomach meets the small intestine. The indigestion  may be related to abnormal motility—the squeezing or  relaxing action—of the stomach muscle as it receives, digests, and moves food into the small intestine.

Most people with indigestion experience more than one of the following symptoms:

Fullness during a meal. The person feels overly full soon after the   meal starts and cannot finish the meal.

Bothersome fullness after a meal. The person feels overly full after a meal—it may feel like the food is staying in the stomach too long.

Epigastric pain. The epigastric area is between the lower end of the chest bone and the navel. The person may experience epigastric pain ranging from mild to severe.

Epigastric burning. The person feels an unpleasant sensation of heat in the epigastric area.

 

Some people may experience relief from symptoms of indigestion by eating several small, low-fat meals throughout the day at a slow pace, refraining from smoking, abstaining from consuming coffee, carbonated beverages and alcohol, stopping use of medications that may irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, getting enough rest, and finding ways to decrease emotional and physical stress, such as relaxation therapy or exercise.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS affects a third of the population at some time or another and about one in ten people suffer symptoms bad enough to go to the doctor. It can be painful and distressing, and a qualified medical practitioner should confirm diagnosis of IBS.

Symptoms include abdominal pain or a sharp pain felt low down inside the rectum, spasm/diarrhea and bloated stomach, rumbling noises and wind, constipation, nausea, belching and vomiting. Stress is believed to play a significant part in the occurrence of IBS.

Despite current awareness of IBS and its effect on the quality of life, a cure has yet to be found. Some people find their IBS is due to food intolerance. Foods to avoid are wheat products, cereals, pastries and pasta and sauces made with flour. Cut down on diary intake – milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and custard.

It is best to keep food as light as possible – try milk substitutes such as organic soy or rice milk. IBS is sometimes aggravated by particularly fatty and rich foods like fried or creamy dishes.

 

Stress

The common denominator found in all three of these conditions is STRESS!  Mental, emotional and physical stress often shows up as dis-ease in our body. Our “gut response” is a communication from our body that something needs to change.

I have found QNRT (Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy) to be an excellent program to remove the emotional stressors that prevent the body from functioning at its best. QNRT is a great complimentary therapy designed to aid with any other treatment you are now seeking to find relief from disease, behavioral issues, relationship challenges and addictions.

Flickr photo credit Celestine Chua

If your gut has been talking to you and you don’t know what it is saying or asking, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment for an office visit with me. Don’t let the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion or IBS rule your body and your life. You CAN take charge of your health and wellbeing!

Your Thyroid Gland — The Butterfly in Your Throat

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

The thyroid gland is part of the body’s endocrine system. This means it is a gland that produces secretions called hormones, which are delivered to the body through the blood. The thyroid gland is located in the neck, just under what we call the Adam’s apple. It is in the shape of a butterfly, with 2 ‘wings’ or ‘lobes’.

 

 

Controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, the thyroid combines iodine from the food we consume with the amino acid tyrosine and produces two main hormones. Over the years, in my holistic practice at my chiropractic office in Ventura, I have seen the health of many of my patients compromised by an out-of-balance thyroid.

 

The hormones produced by the thyroid do two important things:

1) They help the necessary enzymes and electrolytes pass into each cell of the body.

2) They help the processes of energy production in the mitochondria.

 

The mitochondria are the “energy-generating stations” within each cell. In the mitochondrion (singular), enzymes are used to combine carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, forming carbon dioxide and water, and releasing chemical energy. This process of converting oxygen and the food consumed into energy needed by the body is referred to as metabolism. This conversion is imperative to carry out every function necessary to maintain life.

 

The hormones produced by the thyroid also perform the following functions:

1. Raise the metabolic rate of almost all the cells in the body

2. Stimulate protein synthesis and degradation

3. Stimulate the heart

4. Increase the breakdown of fat

5. Interact with the adrenals and the catecholamines (the fight-or-flight hormones)

 

When the thyroid is working improperly, or is out of balance, one of two conditions tends to happen. Hypothyroidism is the term referred to when the thyroid produces too little or is underproductive. The overproduction state is called hyperthyroidism.

 

If the thyroid is under-producing, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue or lethargy, weight gain, cold hands and feet, infertility, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), constipation, dry skin and hair, sensitivity to cold, sinus congestion, premenstrual syndrome and depression.

 

An overactive thyroid may leave you with feelings of being anxious or nervous for no apparent reason, increased pulse rate and rapid heartbeat, the inability to gain weight even when eating above-normal calories daily, frequent loose bowel movements, and excessive sweating.

 

These are not comprehensive lists, yet they show the diversity of the effects of an out-of-balance thyroid. Because the symptoms of a thyroid condition can appear to be problems all their own, thyroid conditions are often mis- or under-diagnosed. As a holistic chiropractor, I use non-invasive procedures to determine if the thyroid gland is the culprit in my patient’s dis-ease.

 

Stress, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins and other diseases such as diabetes and cancer wreak havoc on the thyroid. Therefore developing a healthy lifestyle is just as much key to having a healthy thyroid gland as it is to your general overall health.

 

Ensure you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, taking omega-3 oils, eating complex carbohydrates rather than refined sugars, and limiting your fat intake. Remember the higher the quality of nutrition your body has to work with, the better quality fuel it can create.

 

Exercising, getting plenty of uninterrupted sleep and reducing or dealing with life-stressors as efficiently as possible, are also lifestyle factors that can help keep you running your best.

Flickr photo credit der wunderbare mandarin

 

If you are experiencing any of the possible symptoms of an over-or under-active thyroid, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461and make an appointment with me for an evaluation.