One of the many fast-growing trends in the healthcare industry is telehealth is putting healthcare providers in direct contact with patients through the Internet and telephone, saving time and money, and prioritizing patient well-being and convenience without compromising positive health outcomes.Continue reading
David Entwistle has a storied career as a healthcare executive leading new innovations and steering strategic growth at academic medical centers. As the CEO and president of Stanford Health Care, he spearheaded the completion of the new state-of-the-art Stanford Hospital, which opened four years ago.Continue reading
Virtual doctor’s appointments are helping healthcare companies reduce carbon emissions, though sustainability is mostly seen as a side benefit of telehealth rather than its main driver.Continue reading
Over the colder months, do you find yourself feeling more joint pain and arthritic symptoms? Or do your regular workouts end up with stiffness and body aches the next day?
Whether you struggle with joint pain or have diagnosed arthritis, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that one in four American adults have arthritis, with even more adults struggling with stiff or painful joints from time to time. And cold weather decreases the amount of lubrication between joints, which causes this number to get even higher in the winter.
Before we dive into what causes joint pain and how you can (naturally) alleviate stiffness, let’s briefly cover joint basics.
Joints are locations in the body where two bones, or bone and cartilage, come together, typically (but not always) to facilitate movement. Joints are made up of bone, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. When you think about your joints, you’re likely thinking about your synovial joints, which are the most common in the body, particularly in your limbs. This is where two bones join in a cavity filled with synovial fluid to spur movement.
We experience joint pain most frequently due to inflammation. Whether from lifestyle, diet, stress, or vitamin deficiencies, our body will frequently experience inflammation. When inflammation becomes chronic, we may experience symptoms like joint pain regularly and feel at a loss for how to alleviate it.
A quick fix may be taking an Advil or a pain reliever, but this rarely addresses the root of the problem. So in this blog, we’ve outlined four actions you can take to help get to the root of your joint pain.
Do a lifestyle check
There are a variety of lifestyle factors that can contribute to joint pain: stress levels, sleep quality, and level of hydration. Any discrepancy in one of these can contribute to joint pain.
First, stress is one of the main causes of inflammation in the body. Rising cortisol levels caused by stress can elicit an inflammatory response, which can have an effect on your joints. To decrease your stress, consider a meditation routine, or another stress management tactic outlined in this blog..
Next, consider your sleep hygiene. During sleep, the body repairs itself, nurtures, replenishes, and prepares for the next day. If you’re not sleeping enough, or if your quality of sleep is poor, your body will have higher levels of stress and inadequate time for repair and replenishment. Try getting to bed an hour earlier – especially in the winter months – to increase your sleep time.
Lastly, hydration. How often do you hear people saying to drink more water? Not often enough, because the majority of us are constantly dehydrated, even if we don’t realize it. Water is key to lubricating your joints, so aim to drink at least half of your body weight in water each day. For example, if you’re 150 lbs, you’ll want to aim for 75 ounces each day!
Foods to add and remove
You’ll want to become aware of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods in your diet as well. Nutrition is often the first place where you can make small changes to see big results, and you want to focus on foods that support repair, rather than promoting inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods stabilize blood sugar levels, provide more nutrients, and, as the name suggests, help fight inflammation in the body.
Foods to incorporate are less processed and more natural, with limited sugar, refined carbohydrates or unhealthy fats (but healthy fats are great for your joints!)
Consider foods like:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Berries and citrus fruit
- Pasture-fed meat and poultry
- Herbs and spices (garlic, rosemary, turmeric, etc.)
- Wild caught fish
- Fermented vegetables
- Olive oil, olives, avocados (healthy fats!)
Foods to avoid are highly processed, sugary foods like fast food, frozen meals, vegetable oils, trans fats, and refined wheat products.
Move regularly and (somewhat) gently
The ideal type of exercise for people with joint pain is low-impact exercise. Physical activity helps decrease inflammation, mobilize fluid in the joints, and helps the body with its overall waste removal processes.
Consider the following exercises:
- Tai Chi
You want to be gentle on your joints with your exercise, and you also will want to prioritize stretching. Yoga is great for this, and you can also find short videos online that help you stretch out each morning or evening. This gets your joints moving, helps decrease inflammation, and improves overall health. You can check out this 7-minute guided stretch below!
Add supplements into your regimen
Four specific supplements can be extremely powerful in decreasing inflammation and improving your joint pain: magnesium, proteolytic enzymes, collagen, and omega-3 fatty acids. We outline each below!
Magnesium supports the cartilage in joints, while also aiding in the digestion of other important nutrients in the body, like vitamin D and calcium. The majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium, and adding it into your routine can be immensely helpful to your overall health.
For more magnesium, check out Bio-optimizer’s all-seven forms of magnesium supplement, found here.
Proteolytic Enzymes have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, with specific effects in the joints. They help remove scar tissue in the joints, while also preventing any other fibrolytic tissue from building up. Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme which may be helpful for joint pain. Though not widely studied, clinical studies show preliminary information that serrapeptase may work as an analgesic for inflamed tissues. Here’s one to try.
Collagen is the protein in our bodies found in our joints – particularly in the ligaments and tendons – and aids their movement. Adding collagen to the diet can improve pain and motility in people with joint pain and associated diseases.
We recommend Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen (find your favorite flavor!) as a boost to your smoothies. You can check it out here.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are another anti-inflammatory. Moreover, they also provide a boost of healthy fats in your diet, which provide further lubrication and support to your joints! You can find these fatty acids in salmon, nuts, eggs, and seeds, but if you want a supplement to provide Omega-3s regularly, we recommend Carlson Maximum Omega 2000, which you can find here.
Joint pain can limit your motility, comfort, and happiness, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Incorporate a few of these tips into your regular schedule to fight inflammation, soothe discomfort, and help address the root cause of any joint issues.
Remember: Preventing pain is easier than treating pain!
Many healthcare organizations are learning that creating an effective, scalable remote monitoring program is not easy. Most engage only about half of eligible patients. When patients do engage, providers struggle to keep them connected, find actionable insights in the data, and achieve optimal reimbursement.Continue reading
I’m sure many of us are happy to say goodbye to 2020 and have plans to kick off the new year with resolutions, lifestyle changes and programs to improve our well-being. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions as I always break them so I prefer to make small changes as I go. So in this blog, I’m providing some simple tips and guidelines on diet and exercise that you could consider and easily adopt as part of your new lifestyle in 2021.
It’s often easier to add something to a diet than to eliminate something completely. So, here are some suggestions on what to add to your diet to improve your overall well-being when it comes to eating.
- Fat – Opt for healthy fats like olives, avocados, flax seeds, MCT oil and fat from pasture-raised meats and wild-caught small fish
- Fruit – Stick with low-glycemic fruits like berries and grapefruit and eat them whole with the fiber, not in juice form
- Non-starchy veggies, cruciferous vegetables and mushrooms – Kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, fennel, leeks, cucumbers, radishes, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, shiitake, button and portobello mushrooms
- Nuts – Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds. Read my blog on nuts.
- Protein – For plant protein, beans are a great option. Check out my blog here. For animal protein, opt for wild-caught, grass-fed and/or pasture-raised. Fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies are great for their omega-3 content. And remember the “condi-meat rule” – small portions are all you need.
- Seeds – Black cumin, hemp seed, flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed. Check out my blog on seeds here.
Now here’s what to limit or avoid:
- Dairy – Avoid conventionally-raised dairy that includes milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream. If you are sensitive to dairy, it’s best to avoid or limit consumption. Many of us are lactose intolerant and that’s our body’s way of telling us to NOT eat it. I think it’s funny that Lactaid is so popular. We still insist on eating something that our bodies are telling us otherwise. I will occasionally indulge in ice cream and rich dairy products with Lactaid knowing that I am creating inflammation in the body – but infrequently, I think it’s ok.
- Gluten can be tolerated by some people based on their genetic profile but not others – so if you’re like me and cannot process gluten, limit foods like wheat, rye, and barley to avoid inflammation caused by these proteins.
- Refined grains, processed foods – If its shelf life is for months/years and it comes out of a bag or box and has ingredients that you cannot comprehend (or pronounce), just don’t eat it!
- Sugar of all types including high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, cane sugar, aspartame and artificial sweeteners. And that includes not only drinks but in dressings, dried fruits and even frozen foods. Real maple syrup and sustainably-raised honey are good in moderation – but remember, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean you should eat a LOT of it.
If you’re planning to add more movement and strength training in the new year, adding variety to spice up your workouts will create sustainability and fun to your new lifestyle. Here are some options to add to your training program:
- High Intensity Interval Training – There is compelling research that shows that high intensity interval training (short bursts of high intensity exercise) provides significant health benefits like boosting your body’s production of fat-busting enzymes, human growth hormone, while improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. This is one of the most efficient and effective forms of exercise and it can be done in under 20 minutes. Here’s one to try.
- Hiking – If you are a fan of the outdoors, hiking is a fun activity that can make your body work harder as you navigate through the different terrains and long distances. Here is a map of all the trails in the US. Just enter the city and state where you are interested in hiking and all the trails will come up.
- Jump Rope – Jump roping is inexpensive and one of the most effective cardio exercises you can do. It’s quick and challenges your endurance and your hand-eye coordination. And you only need 10 minutes to get started! Check out this video.
- Rowing – If you’re in search of a low intensity workout that is a calorie crusher, try a rowing class. It’s a low impact exercise that engages the core muscles on your legs, glutes and lower back without beating up your joints. If you’re looking for something a bit more pedestrian try paddle boarding or kayaking.
- Swimming – This is considered the king of all exercises because it works every muscle in your body and builds strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Also, it’s fantastic for those with excess weight and/or joint problems. Look for your local Y or a fitness center that has a lap pool so you can get in 30 minutes of swim time.
- Treadmill – How about walking or running on the treadmill on a virtual trail with rivers and waterfalls? Try this video to simulate being outside enjoying nature. It’s a 45 minute virtual walk.
- Yoga – There are many health benefits of practicing yoga like strength, balance, flexibility and stress reduction but did you know that research indicates that yoga can provide similar benefits as other moderate to vigorous exercises? Yoga was found to be superior to other forms of exercise for improving self-reported outcomes on aerobic fitness, muscular strength and health status on older adults. It’s also been found to benefit those who are already aerobically strong as yoga strengthened the running performance of distance runners. Similarly, yoga performed for 8 weeks led to improved balance, leg strength and muscle control in young athletes. Need we say more? If you want to do yoga but don’t want to pay for a class, try the Yoga with Adriene series. There’s something for everyone on this site.
by Dagmar Ehling
Homeopathic medicine is based on a system that uses microdoses of substances derived from plants, minerals, or animals to stimulate a natural healing response. Homeopathy is a therapeutic system founded on the principle “simila similibus curentur” translated as “like cures like.”
Homeopathy is practiced worldwide, and was introduced in the U.S. in 1825. It was widely practiced in the early 1900s by U.S. physicians but its use declined with changes in medical practice coinciding with the publication of the Flexner report in 1910. In the 1970s it regained popularity among Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) modalities. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health estimated that in 2012, about 6 million Americans used homeopathic medicines.
In 1796, Dr. Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) postulated the correlation that medicines can cure a pathological state that is similar to the state that the medicine produces in healthy subjects. Surprisingly, he found that a single drop was more effective and produced fewer side effects than a larger dose. He reduced the doses further by diluting the individual substances. By creating a so-called mother or source tincture of a substance and then diluting it multiple times, he discovered that those medicines were effective in treating patients’ complaints without side-effects. He coined the term homeopathy stemming from the Greek words “homoisos” meaning similar, and “pathos” meaning suffering. The law of similars was previously described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus, but Hahnemann created a medical system which utilized this law.
To manufacture a homeopathic remedy, a so-called “source tincture” of a plant, animal, or mineral is created. For a remedy with a 30c potency, one drop of the source tincture is taken and diluted with 99 drops of water. This is succussed (shaken) vigorously. One drop from that tincture is removed and again diluted with 99 drops of water and succussed. This is done 28 more times to create a 30c potency. For a 200c remedy, this dilution process is done 200 times. For a 30x potency, one drop from the source tincture is diluted with 10 drops of water thirty times. Homeopaths work on the principle that higher dilutions result in more potent remedies. X remedies are less potent than C remedies.
Succussing homeopathic remedies causes intense turbulence and particle collision which breaks the source tincture components into extremely small particles – nanoparticles (NP). These NP can be detected using state-of-the-art technology. Chikramane, et al showed that extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 parts (200c) still contained nanogram quantities of measureable amounts in the form of nanoparticles of the source tincture material.
NP have unique properties including absorptive, electromagnetic, optical, thermal, and quantum properties. They show increased chemical reactivity and high conductivity. In the human body, NPs cross the gut, skin, lung and blood-brain barrier. NPs are highly bio-available, therefore, only small dosages are needed when compared to herbs, supplements and pharmaceuticals.
Most homeopathic products do not have any pharmacological effects, drug interactions, or other harmful effects, especially since they do not pass through cytochrome P450 which is the pathway in the liver through which most pharmaceuticals are metabolized. The paper The Structure of Liquid Water; Novel Insights from Materials Research; Potential Relevance to Homeopathy by Rustum Roy, et al, published in 2004, sheds insights on how the frequency of water can be changed. Dilutions of any potency contain the nanoparticles which show electric conductivity of the original active ingredient. The human body contains 70% water and homeopathy can change the structure of the body’s water by the frequency of the remedy, much like acupuncture needles that function like electrodes when inserted into the human body.
As stated on the website of the Banerji Clinic (discussed below) http://www.pbhrfindia.org/a-new-beginning-2/12-what-is-homeopathy.html:
“The Arnold Schultz Law expresses and highlights the differences between conventional and homeopathic approaches very succinctly: “large doses of a poisonous substance may prove lethal, smaller doses of the same poison can actually stimulate vital cellular activity”. Consequently, it is not improbable that ultra-micro doses of homeopathic medicines should exert profound influence on the vital force of the patients. Another important basic difference exists between conventional medical therapy and homeopathy. In conventional therapy, the aim often is to control the illness through regular use of medical substances, even if the medication is nothing more than vitamins. If the medication is withdrawn, however, the person returns to illness. There is no permanent cure. A person who takes a pill for high blood pressure every day is not undergoing a cure but is only controlling the symptoms. Conventional medicine acts as if all symptoms were alike. It therefore offers a series of suppressive drugs, something to suppress the symptoms and something to ease falling asleep.”
Pharmaceuticals act as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-histamines, anti-coagulant, anti-biotic or anti-hypertensive to inhibit physiology; when they are stopped, the illness comes back. However, homeopathy (as well as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, for that matter) seeks to correct the patient’s physiology so it can function on its own eventually.
The capacity of a homeopathic medicine to stimulate the innate healing capacity of an organism is person-specific rather than diagnosis-specific. Successful clinical practice depends on a thorough understanding of the characteristics of both the patient and the medicinal substance. A homeopathic Materia Medica is a book or website that lists all available homeopathic preparations and their respective time-tested indications for specific conditions or symptoms.
The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (HPCUS, 1995) of the United States was grandfathered into the 1938 Food and Drug Act that created the FDA. Homeopathic medicines are currently classified by the FDA, in consultation with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS), mostly in the over-the-counter (OTC) category (USFDA, 1988). Reflecting their safety, many of them are available to the general public for self-prescribing.
Homeopathy has special utility in five particular areas of clinical practice:
- where no effective conventional treatment exists;
- where conventional medicine may be unsafe;
- where side-effects of conventional medicines are unacceptable;
- to reduce dependence on conventional treatments for chronic diseases;
- patient’s personal preference.
Homeopathy complements all conventional therapies, medical or surgical, and can be used independently or together with most complementary therapies.
Hundreds of state-of-the-art double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled studies, many in peer-reviewed journals, demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathic medicines for a wide range of conditions, including asthma, depression and anxiety, chronic illness, allergic rhinitis, hypertension, headaches/migraines, sepsis, mild traumatic brain injury, otitis media, side-effects of cancer therapy, and many other conditions. The American Institute of Homeopathy maintains and continually updates an extensive database, available free to the public, with over 6,000 research articles. https://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Homeopathy-Research-Evidence-Base-05-15-2019.pdf
Banerji Approach to Homeopathy
The type of homeopathy practiced at Oriental Health Solutions is not “classical homeopathy” which seeks to identify a patient’s constitutional remedy. Instead, we use outcomes-driven procotols based on the Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation in Kolcata, India. Ten to twelve homeopathic physicians see about 6,000 patients per week at this homeopathic clinic, and they utilize time-tested protocols that have shown benefit about 80% of the time for a complaint or disease. The ancestors of Drs. Prasanta and Pratip Banerji have collected 150 years’ worth of outcomes data from treating specific Western Medicine-diagnosed conditions with homeopathic protocols as first perceived by the late Dr. Pareshnath Banerji. Pratip Banerji is the fourth generation homeopathic doctor who currently runs the clinic.
The Banerjis generalize the common symptoms of each potential disease and determine a group of likely remedies for each disease, thus arriving at fixed protocols for treatment. This is the concept that has given birth to the Banerji Protocols which are summarized in the book “The Banerji Protocols”, published in 2013.
Often between one to up to six remedies are combined and given at certain intervals. The dilution of medicine is done either in generally accepted ranges (molecular dilution – remedies ranging from source remedy to 3x or 30c) or beyond the generally accepted quantitaters range (nanoparticle range – remedies from 200c or higher).
The Banerji Protocols work as follows: a patient has a specific disease diagnosis with his/her unique
symptomatology. Based on clinical observation, a specific remedy or remedy combination is selected. The patient takes these remedies for a few weeks, sometimes several months. Based on his/her response, the remedies continue or are adjusted, until ultimately, the condition or symptoms resolve. The remedies can then be discontinued as normal physiology has been restored. Joette Calabrese, a well-known homeopath in the United States, has studied with the Banerjis during multiple trips to India and has popularized their work by writing a weekly blog and offering courses on many disease patterns. We are happy to offer this style of homeopathy to our patients.