What us health professionals have to do each year/cycle is to accumulate what’s called continued learning points. A few years ago, I attended a seminar called “Nutritional strategies for optimum musculoskeletal function“, presented by Dr. Robert Silverman. This man is an expert! A chiropractor from the U.S.A, who has about 12 different certifications under his name (http://www.drrobertsilverman.com/dr_silverman.htm). It was incredible. How can we use food and natural supplements to help heal our muscles and bones?
I’m going to share with you some of the interesting points I learned (a.k.a. pearls of wisdom).
Don’t treat the symptoms, treat the systems – How many of you have been battling with ongoing illness, injury, fatigue, stomach problems, asthma, allergies? How many of you have been on constant medication, antibiotics, anti inflammatories? Have you ever thought of using nutrition to help these problems? Have you ever thought that your kidney or liver might need attention or that your gut may be completely out of balance.
STOP CHASING PAIN and sort your body out! Did you know that incorrect movement of the body (musculoskeletal system) can also release more acid than food and that anti-inflammatories do decrease pain but also reduce healing time. Many health professionals are very focused on treating symptoms, so question them. As Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough”.
If man made it, don’t eat it – processed, enriched, enhanced etc. These days man made food is too weak to replete depleted cells and bodies, so why do we continue to eat it? Are you aware what you are putting into your bodies? PROCESSED. That word alone sounds distasteful. But these days the big corporations have learnt how to make it appetizing and appealing to us. I know it’s sometimes very hard to avoid it, but be aware of this.
Why do we need supplements? I liked how Dr. Silvermann described this. “Is air clean?”, “Is water pure?”, “Does everyone exercise?”. How true is that! But be careful. This is an unregulated industry! One must ask for studies and approval as well as 3rd party certifications (GSM, TSA). Have you ever checked your supplements for this? A good “multi” supplement must have: A complete natural vitamin E profile, powerful plant derived factors, B vitamins, nutrients to help the body produce anti-inflammatory enzymes and highly absorbable minerals. However, take your supplements in moderation. You can get a lot from food, just pick the right food and be aware of where your food is coming from. Supplement where necessary and where you think your diet might be lacking.
Nutrients for pain and inflammation – Yes there is such a thing. I can vow that probably 90% of my injured patients have taken a “medical chemical” when injured. Even I have found myself doing it when in pain… it’s a quick fix really. But would you believe, your body has the natural ability to heal itself? YES!
By inflammation. Confusing? Inflammation is actually a natural process which encourages healing and repair. Yes it takes longer but chances are, that injury won’t come back to bite you down the line.
“Too much of something is a bad thing” remember this, especially when training. If you over train (do too much), you will permanently have reduced nutrition supply to your tendon junctions which will cause excessive inflammation and eventually weakness of these areas. Achilles, hamstring, knee pain…sound familiar? So what can you take that will help reduce (not stop) this inflammation? TUMERIC, GINGER, CAYENNE PEPPER, BOSWELLIA (also known as Indian Frankincense, is a herbal extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree), 4 natural ingredients that constantly came up during the seminar. Found this really interesting! But these are to be used at the acute stage of an injury (within 3 days according to Dr Silverman). Calcium and magnesium can also be incorporated to reduce muscle spasm.
Tendinopathies and Chronic Injury – From 4 days onwards (up to 8 weeks), scar tissue starts to form. Hence, your muscle does not return to it’s normal length. That is why it is so important to seek attention within 3 days of an injury . Skeletal tissue can take between 4-6 weeks to completely heal. It fascinated me that at this stage of an injury, one could still be using food to help heal. At this stage your extracellular matrix (tendons, ligaments, fascia, cartilage), start to take a knock. The aim here is to try build up collagen. So what can you incorporate into your diets? For a tendinopathy you could start off with FOLIC ACID, ZINC, BIOTIN and to aid collagen synthesis AMINO ACIDS, GLUCOSAMINE, CHONDROITIN, MSM. You can’t get this all from food but you can supplement correctly and where needed. Incorporating FATTY ACIDS and PROBIOTICS in your diet can also help with chronic issues but these should be included in your diet regardless. There are many other supplements/natural remedies you can take for various conditions, these above are just a basic guideline.
Detox – Did you know that before going on a weight loss program, one should do a detox first. Why? Fat cells hold toxins. When you start to lose weight these toxins become exposed. So a detox should be designed to remove fat soluble toxins from the body. Toxins are found everywhere. Plastics (water bottles, tuppaware), seafood, second hand smoke and even tampons (for the ladies). “What you measure you can manage”, so why count calories, when you should be counting chemicals. Far more important! Chemicals cause cell membranes to become inflamed, this decreases their fluidity and therefore decreases their nutrient intake. Causing you to become fatigued. Picture your liver (which is one of our big detox organs) as a garbage bag, this is where you toss all your rubbish (toxins). Imagine if you never empty that garbage bag of its rubbish (detox), imagine the state of it.
Food to avoid in inflammatory conditions/ injuries – Oranges, corn, potato, tomato, peppers, eggplant, wheat, rye, soy, peanuts, beef, pork, milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, margarine, sodas, chocolate, ketchup, sugar, processed food.
I have only but given you a taste of some goodness. There are thousands of research papers and articles (by experts). Be careful what/who you choose to believe. There are many “gimmicks” out there.
“If you do not change direction, you’ll end up where you heading”.
Resin made from boswellia extract has been used for centuries in Asian and African folk medicine to treat chronic inflammatory illnesses, as well as a number of other health conditions. It is available as a resin, pill, or cream.
Studies show that boswellia may reduce inflammation and may be useful in treating: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), asthma, inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Kirsten E.