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October 2021 Health Newsletter

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» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» ‘Keep Moving’ During National Chiropractic Health Month
» Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Children?
» Yoga May Improve Common Heart Ailment

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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‘Keep Moving’ During National Chiropractic Health Month

The American Chiropractic Association and doctors of chiropractic nationwide are promoting the benefits of movement during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) 2021 this October. This year's theme, "Keep Moving!" highlights how moving more can enhance our physical and mental health.  Many people have learned the hard way over the past year that lack of movement and physical activity can lead not only to weight gain but also achy joints, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. In a 2020 survey, ACA members cited stress as another factor contributing to an increase of musculoskeletal problems since the beginning of the pandemic. Making an effort to move more throughout the day can improve physical health and stamina as well as mental health by reducing stress and anxiety—helping us all to keep moving through challenging times.  During NCHM 2021, chiropractors will provide information on the benefits of movement, recommended physical activity levels, and share advice on how people can incorporate more movement into their daily lives.  "With their expertise in musculoskeletal health, doctors of chiropractic have helped many people to keep moving over the past year, including those with physically demanding front-line jobs," said ACA President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD. "Chiropractors are a resource for anyone who seeks a natural approach to pain relief, health promotion and physical fitness."  This October, learn more about chiropractic and find tips on how to “Keep Moving!” on ACA’s consumer website, www.HandsDownBetter.org. You can also follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KeepMoving!

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.org


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Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Children?

Children are different than adults. Their growing bodies have different needs, and children require a different medical approach than their adult counterparts. Pediatric medicine, therefore, specializes in treatment tailored specifically to the needs of children, whether those needs are dental, orthopedic, or emotional. Chiropractic care is no exception, and can be an incredibly beneficial component of a growing child's care. This month, the American Chiropractic Academy (ACA) published a statement that "pediatric chiropractic care, when administered properly, is effective, safe and gentle." This statement came on the heels of a report last month from the Chiropractors' Association of Australia (CAA) about the demonstrated safety of childhood chiropractic care in Australia. Both the ACA and the CAA illustrated the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for children in scientific literature. Large studies from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics show that serious adverse events in pediatric chiropractic care are extremely rare. Furthermore, chiropractic treatment has been investigated as an effective approach for colic in infants, as well as for suboptimal breastfeeding. A cross-sectional survey of 956 chiropractors in Europe revealed that pediatric chiropractors also treat gastrointestinal, immune-related, and neurologic conditions. There is overwhelming evidence that with proper application, chiropractic care for children can be a safe and effective treatment for many conditions. Most chiropractors have pediatric patients, and extensive specialized training in pediatric chiropractic care ensures the best possible outcomes. Children rely on a robust healthcare team for their best overall health, and chiropractors are a valuable member of that ensemble. Strict regulation, rigorous training, and precise guidelines ensure that children are receiving the best, safest chiropractic care to support their optimal well-being.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: ACAToday.org. June 1, 2016.


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Yoga May Improve Common Heart Ailment

The University of Kansas Medical Center recently reported that regular yoga classes appeared to decrease occurrences of a common heart condition known as atrial fibrillation in patients, as well as decreasing stress and improving their overall well-being. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition in which the heart's upper chambers quiver chaotically instead of contracting normally. The attacks are painful and often prevent the patients from enjoying regular activities. People with AF are often prescribed drugs such as beta blockers to help control their heart rate and rhythm, but the medicines don't alleviate symptoms for all patients. The American Heart Association estimates that about 2.7 million people in the U.S. have the heart condition. The new study included 49 people who'd had atrial fibrillation for an average of five years. Researchers began by tracking study volunteers' heart symptoms, blood pressure and heart rate, as well as their anxiety, depression and general quality of life. The participants then went to group yoga classes at least twice a week for three months, again reporting on their symptoms and quality of life. All of the patients were on stable medications throughout the study period. The patients reported a 50 percent drop of AF occurrences, which was also confirmed by heart monitors. Anxiety scores declined from an average of 34, on a scale of 20 to 80, to 25 after three months of yoga. Reported depression and general mental health improved as well. The researchers pointed out that the classes may make their arrhythmia "more tolerable" and reduce visits to the emergency room when symptoms flare up. However, the classes were not suggested as an alternative to regular medical care.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2012.11.060


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