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January 2022 Health Newsletter

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» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» The Quality of Your Posture Is Linked to Fall Risk
» Obesity Grows Around The World
» Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter

What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. July 2, 2008.


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.


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The Quality of Your Posture Is Linked to Fall Risk

Whether your golden years are now or decades off, good posture is correlated to reduced fall risk. And the other good part? Your favorite chiropractor is a great resource for both achieving and maintaining good posture.†

The Link Between Posture and Fall Risk

Hereís the not-so-good part: not only does poor posture lead to back pain, it leads to an increased fall risk. Youíre twice as likely to fall if you have back pain, according to studies. And if youíre in pain, youíre less likely to move, which leads to weaker muscles for both movement and posture, which then lead to an even greater risk of falling. It can become quite the vicious cycle.† Back pain is not only linked to an increased risk of falling, itís often tied to poor posture. And if you have poor posture, your body is poorly balanced and you may also have hindered range of motion. For example, if you trip or slip, your poor, imbalanced posture makes it harder to get your feet back under you in time.

Falling Statistics

Falling statistics go beyond the number elderly of folks who take a tumble in any given year. Thereís associated injuries (broken hips and head injuries top the list), medical costs (falls incur over $50 billion annually), deaths and more.† The other problem is that all these numbers get worse year over year. The CDC projects that the fall death rate in the U.S. alone will rise to 7 deaths every hour by 2030. Part of that is due to our baby boomer generation entering the 65+ age group, and part of it is due to a life of sitting at computers and/or on couches. Statistics also show that youíre more likely to fall if you experience foot pain as well. Improper posture places uneven wear and tear on your feet, often leading to pain.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help With Posture

Chiropractors are trained to evaluate posture and aid in promoting correct posture. They can help in four powerful ways.

Quality Testing - Fixing posture is more than remembering to sit or stand straight. And to properly fix posture, it takes getting to know your unique case. Poor posture can stem from improper curvature in the neck or back, scoliosis, how you hold your head, injury, poor ergonomics and more. Chiropractors have various posture assessments and tests to correctly identify the root cause(s) of poor posture and the best approach to treating you and only you.

Ergonomics Evaluation - One of the best ways to avoid poor posture is to develop a lifestyle that promotes good posture. Your chiropractor can evaluate your workspace and home lifestyle, and give you guidance on how to adjust your lifestyle in a way that proper posture will come more easily.

Chiropractic Adjustments - Chronically poor posture reshapes your neck and spine, and changes how your muscles hold all those bones together. Chiropractic adjustments can coax your spine back into alignment, making it easier for your body to achieve and maintain correct posture.††

Muscle Work - Building off of adjustments, your muscles need rehabilitative work, too. For example, if youíre hunched forward, then muscles on your backside are going to be longer than they should be while muscles in front are shorter. Your chiropractor can guide you through carefully calculated stretches and rehabilitative work to balance your body out and hold correct posture.†

Good posture can protect you and potentially save your life. You donít have to live in fear of falling. You can work with your chiropractor to improve your posture, thus significantly reducing both pain levels and your risk of falling.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html


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Obesity Grows Around The World

In early 2016, the global population totaled more than 640 million obese people. These new totals now show that more than half the world is overweight. This increase in obesity means that one in seven women and one in 10 men are obese, with a body mass index of more than 30 (overweight is 25). During the last 40 years, the average male BMI has risen from 21.7 to 24.2 while females saw a rise from 22.1 to 24.4. That totals to an average of 3.3 pounds gained per decade. The study looked at almost 20 million adults worldwide. It's an epidemic that has seen worldwide attention as countries address food labeling practices, food pricing, taxes on unhealthy foods, and government nutrition recommendations. At the same time, many of the world's poorest are underweight, suffering from a lack of food. Obesity can have both health and economic effects. As healthcare costs rise, problems due to an unhealthy weight can affect the economic stability of millions of households. But it doesn't have to be this way. Leading a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a smart diet can allow you to live a longer and better life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters, online March 31, 2016.


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Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

Fitness trackers are exploding in popularity, tracking everything from heart rate to steps taken. But a new study from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo shows that this technology isn't always accurate at tracking energy expenditure. Researchers tested 12 fitness trackers against current methods of detecting energy expenditure. The results suggest that these trackers can both under and overestimate energy expenditure, sometimes by hundreds of calories. Some devices underestimated calories burned by almost 600 calories while others overestimated by around 200. Researchers say it is possible the trackers are inaccurate due to people taking them off during the day. For people who use fitness trackers to make health decisions based on fitness level, both over and underestimates can be harmful. Those trying to lose weight could be actually burning too few calories. Those watching their activity levels due to heart problems may be too active. Thereís not much research on trackers yet, and devices could vary from brand to brand. Either way, people using fitness trackers to make health decisions should be cautious about relying too much on device data.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online March 21, 2016.


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