Category Archives: Health Article

Anxiety- Big Picture Exercise

I have a powerful exercise for you today. This exercise is not an easy one but none of the powerful ones are.

It is called the Big Picture Exercise and it will give you the motivation to achieve a full recovery from anxiety. This is an imaginary exercise but I really want you to play along with it in order to get the full benefit of doing it. You will need a pen and paper for this exercise.

The Big Picture

The exercise begins with an ending… I want you to imagine your life has suddenly ended! This very second without any warning, you have just passed away (from natural causes). You now find yourself in the peaceful celestial realms of the afterlife. In your hands you find a beautiful book with your name inscribed on the front of it.

As you open it and look inside, you find snapshots of your entire life. The snapshots start with your birth and lead right up until this very moment. Start at the beginning of the book and take as much time as you need to go through it all in your imagination. Close your eyes if it helps to achieve this.

Recall as much of your life as you can. Events from your early childhood leading up and through your adolescence and into your adult life. It does not matter if you can’t remember much from certain periods. The idea is to just get a nice overview of your life.

Flow with whatever comes to mind. As you do this exercise pay attention to any feelings that arise.

What moments do you remember that bring you joy? Are there regrets? Are there things you wished you could have said or done? Is this more difficult now that you have passed away and can no longer change anything about your life? What would you give to have just one more shot at life?

Write down whatever comes to mind down. Now lets focus on just the anxiety you experienced in your life. I want you to, as honestly as possible, see what effect anxiety has had on your life up until your imaginary passing.

As painful as it might be, consider what the cost of anxiety has been to your life. I don’t mean in financial terms, (that’s pretty irrelevant now that you have passed away), I mean more so in terms of how it affected your sense of freedom, or friendships , career, love, or family. Be as honest in your feelings as possible and allow whatever comes up to surface and just sit with it.

I understand how hard this can be but trust me it is important to get a proper perspective and understand of the impact anxiety has had on your life. Take some time and write down whatever comes to mind. Now… by divine intervention, your life has been miraculously returned to you. You find yourself back in your old life alive and well!

What is it like to suddenly have your life back?

If you really threw yourself into this imaginary journey you might have a few things that you want to address. Maybe people you want to communicate with or maybe things you want to put right. Maybe no such things have come to mind and that is ok too. I want to keep the focus now just on the anxiety aspect of your life. You might now have a clearer understanding of the impact anxiety has had on your life in general.

If your anxiety is only a recent problem then that impact will be negligible but if it has been going on for many years the impact has probably been quite significant. Now with the same paper and pen I want you to set some goals for the life that has been given back to you. You are the master of your fate.

How do you wish your remaining years to be? What are the obstacles anxiety has created that you now wish to finally overcome?

Write it all out on a new page. Go into detail about the things you want to achieve with the time that has been given to you back on this earth. Each person is different. Some may map out small goals others will have really big ones. These goals are going to become your motivation to keep you focused on achieving a full recovery from anxiety.

What you write here will give you the power to achieve what you want and to get you through any setback. Keep this piece of paper someplace private that you can revisit any time you need a reminder.

Your brave new life is waiting for you.

ORIGINAK POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/934.cfm

How to remove 87% of toxins from your air at home?

When it comes to air quality in your home I commonly recommend a good hepa filter like the Austin brand (http://austinair.com). However there is another good alternative that many people are doing and may not be aware of the benefits.

This includes filling your home with house plants. NASA has found that some species of houseplants can eliminate up to 87 percent of toxins from the air, including formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and even dust. The best plants found to be the most effective for optimal air quality include: English ivy, spider plants and the Boston fern. One or two plants won’t make that much difference. It is recommended to have many plants through-out your home.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1291.cfm

What do the numbers 3,4, 8 and 9 have to do with your health and wellness?

You know those little stickers on fruits and veggies? They’re called price look-up (PLU) codes and they contain numbers that cashiers use to ring you up. But you can also use them to make sure you’re getting what you paid for. If you are interested in staying healthy, here’s what to look for:

  • • A five-digit number that starts with a 9  means the item is organic. Eating organically—or better yet, biodynamically—grown produce is paramount. This can be identified at the grocery store by a five-digit bar code starting with the number “9,” or purchased from your local biodynamic grower.
  • • A four-digit code beginning with a 3 or a 4 means the produce is probably conventionally grown. For example, regular small lemons sold in the U.S. are labeled 4033, large are 4053; small organic lemons are coded 94033, large are 94053. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of food quality when it comes to the prevention of disease. Sure, a conventionally grown bell pepper (identified by a sticker with a four-digit bar code starting with the number “4”) will contain the healthy compound beta-cryptoxanthin, but it will also come with a whole host of cancer-causing chemicals on it. 
  • • A five-digit code that starts with an 8 means the item is genetically modified (it has genes from other organisms). You won’t see many of those because only genetically modified versions of corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, papaya, and squash are now widely sold. And because PLU codes aren’t mandatory, companies can label those items as conventional. 

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1290.cfm

Is Your Teenager At Risk of Dying From Heart Failure? What Every Parent MUST Know to Prevent Sudden Death!

Doctor with stethoscope listening to huge heart beat. Ischemic heart disease, heart disease and coronary artery disease concept on white background. Header or footer banner template with copy space.

An athletic 20 year man is playing basketball and suddenly collapses on the court and dies.

On a hot July day, a young and vibrant college football player suddenly makes a great tackle and never gets up.. only to be pronounced dead 5 minutes later.

High School track runner dies after finishing second in a race. The sad truth is 1 out of 50,000 young adults will fall victim to Sudden Death. Most sudden deaths have been linked to a thickened, enlarged heart called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), or by a condition that disturbs the rhythm of the heart called an arrhythmia.

When one sweats, a significant amount of magnesium is lost.

Magnesium is the most under-recognized electrolyte disorder in the U.S. Dr. Mildred Seelig, one of the country’s leading authorities on magnesium suggests that 80%-90% of the population is deficient is magnesium It is beyond the extent of this article why the public is being denied the truth of the seriousness of magnesium deficiency and sudden death. The amount of medical research could fill a book, but it is unfortunately being ignored.

According to Micheal A. Brodsky M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and the director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at the University of California, mineral imbalances interfere with the heart’s normal nerve function. While most athletes have been conditioned to drink a potassium rich drink after sweating, very few have been educated on the dangers of a magnesium deficiency. Dr. Brodsky states that arrhythmia therapy should focus on replenishing two key minerals: potassium and magnesium.

Almost all physicians have known for some time just how vital potassium is for normal heartbeat. Magnesium is an entirely different story, however. According to Carla Sueta M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and cardiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine “apparently, many doctors still don’t realize how important a role this mineral can play in some heart patients.

In fact, most never check the magnesium level. She has shown through her research that magnesium reduced the incidence of several types of ventricular arrhythmia by 53 to 76 percent. Magnesium deficiency can be induced by the very drugs meant to help heart problems. Some types of diuretics (water pills) cause the body to excrete both magnesium and potassium, as does digitalis. And magnesium deficiency is often at the bottom of what’s called refractory potassium deficiency. The amount of magnesium in the body determines the amount of a particular enzyme that determines the amount of potassium in the body,” he explains. So if you are magnesium-deficient, you may in turn be potassium-deficient, and no amount of potassium is going to correct this unless you are also getting enough magnesium.

The Best Test To Determine Your Level of Magnesium

Although most physicians rarely check this important mineral, the few that do usually rely on test called Serum Magnesium. Unfortunately, this test only measures approximately 1% of the magnesium in your body; a poor test at best. The “Gold Standard” and the most accurate test is the RBC Minerals or more commonly called Elemental Analysis in Packed Erythrocytes.

This test examines the levels of eight minerals and seven toxic heavy metals. The erythrocyte is the red blood cell that floats in our serum to carry oxygen to our cells. The minerals this test analyzes from inside the red blood cell includes magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc. Another test which has proven to be extremely valuable in detecting magnesium deficiencies is called the Urine Magnesium.

In this test, the patient collects a 24-hour urine sample and the total magnesium is measured. The patient is then given a dose Magnesium Chloride 18% and another 24-hour urine specimen is collected. The magnesium is again measured. If the body retains more than a certain amount of magnesium, then it is concluded that the body is magnesium deficient.

Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

The most common symptoms include back and neck pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, panic disorders, Raynaud’s spastic vessels, arrhythmia, fatigue, eye twitches, vertigo, migraines.

Best Sources of Magnesium

The best way of insuring enough magnesium is to eat a variety of whole foods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables, preferably food grown on naturally composted soil. The green color of green vegetables is due to chlorophyll, which is a molecule that contains magnesium. Avoid refined processed foods, especially white sugar and white flour products, as most magnesium is removed from them.

Here is an excellent form of magnesium I recommend

NutriCology’s Magnesium Chloride Liquid 8 fl oz

Dr. Grisanti’s Comments:

If you are suffering with a heart problem and have not had your magnesium checked, then I want to urge you to have your physician order the two tests listed above. Unless you have proof that your magnesium is within normal levels, I want you to realize that you are playing with your health!

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1294.cfm

Grounding — A Simple, Pleasurable Way to Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Disease

Story at-a-glance

  • Grounding or earthing is defined as placing one’s bare feet on the ground, whether it be dirt, grass, sand or unsealed, unpainted concrete (especially when humid or wet)
  • When you ground to the electron-enriched Earth, an improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system occurs
  • Being grounded cuts inflammation by thinning your blood and infusing your body with negatively charged ions
  • To take advantage of grounding indoors, your best bet is to use a grounding pad to sleep, stand barefoot or sit on
  • Grounding may be one of the most important overlooked factors in public health. When grounding is restored, many people report significant improvement in a wide range of ailments

Did you know the energy from the Earth can help you live a healthier life? The concept is known as earthing or grounding, which is no more complicated than walking barefoot.

In “Down to Earth”1 — which received the IndieFEST Award of Excellence for a documentary short in January 2017 — I speak alongside other experts to shed light on this super simple yet commonly overlooked way to protect and improve human health. As cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, author of “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?” explains in the film:

“[G]rounding is literally putting your bare feet on the ground. When you do that, you’re in contact with the Earth, and mother Earth is endowed with electrons, and these electrons are literally absorbed through your feet. It’s like taking handfuls of antioxidants, but you’re getting it through your feet.”

Your Body Needs Grounding

Research suggests a general lack of grounding, also referred to as “electron deficiency syndrome,” has a lot to do with the rise of modern diseases.

It’s not unusual for Americans to spend entire days without being grounded. But though it has become the norm, it’s completely unnatural, and didn’t really become widespread until the advent of shoes with artificial soles that prevent grounding. When you’re grounded, free electrons from the Earth are transferred into your body, and these free electrons are among the most potent antioxidants known to man.

As electrons are negatively charged and free radicals are positively charged, any free radicals encountered in your tissues are electrically neutralized or canceled out by these free electrons. This is why grounding is so effective against chronic inflammation. Dr. Laura Koniver, who discovered grounding quite by accident after it seemed to soothe her crying infant, says in the film, “Grounding … supports the body as a whole but it specifically supports organ systems down to the tissues and the cellular function of the entire body.”

Also, while you may not think of your body as a generator of electricity, you are very much an electrical being, and this is in large part why it’s so important to use grounding to harness the electrical charge of the Earth. In the film, Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., an engineer/physicist who has studied grounding, explains:

“Unbeknownst to us, we live inside a battery. The surface of the Earth is charged negatively and the ionosphere, a layer of the atmosphere about 60 miles up, is ionized by the sun. The rays of the sun are so strong that they split the molecules in two, a positive charge and a negative charge.

The negative charges are transferred to the surface of the Earth, through lightening mainly, and the positive charges stay 60 miles up. The problem arises when we don’t have a negative charge. We need grounding just as we need air and we need sunshine.”

Grounding Reduces Electric Field Induction

There’s even evidence that grounding reduces the voltage induced on your body from electricity in your environment — a factor that has become increasingly important in the modern world. As noted in the 2012 review:3

“Applewhite, an electrical engineer and expert in the design of electrostatic discharge systems in the electronic industry, was both subject and author of the study.4 Measurements were taken while ungrounded and then grounded using a conductive patch and conductive bed pad … Each method (patch and sheet) immediately reduced the common alternating current (AC) 60?Hz ambient voltage induced on the body by a highly significant factor of about 70 on average.

The study showed that when the body is grounded, its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth’s electrical potential … This, in turn, prevents the 60?Hz mode from producing an AC electric potential at the surface of the body and from producing perturbations of the electric charges of the molecules inside the body.

The study confirms the ‘umbrella’ effect of earthing the body explained by Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism. Feynman said that when the body potential is the same as the Earth’s electric potential (and thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth’s gigantic electric system. The Earth’s potential thus becomes the ‘working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away electric fields from the body.'”

Benefits of Grounding

While it may sound “too easy,” the simple pleasure of walking barefoot can be a powerful health-promoting activity. A scientific review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012 found that grounding can help:5

  • Improve quality of sleep and feelings of restfulness upon waking.
  • Reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.6
  • Reduce chronic pain.

Normalize secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, so that it adheres to a typical cycle of peaking in the morning and dipping lowest at midnight. This in turn helps promote more restful sleep and improve blood sugar regulation and weight control.


  • Reduce stress and balance your autonomic nervous system by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (which rules the “rest and digest” functions of the body) and quieting the sympathetic nervous system (which cues the “fight or flight” response).
  • Reduce the severity of the inflammatory response after intense workouts.
  • Raise your heart rate variability (your heart’s ability to respond to stimuli).
  • Speed up wound healing.
  • Improve mood. In one study,7 grounding for one hour significantly improved mood among adults.

Reduce inflammation.8 In the film, grounding pioneer Clint Ober explains how grounding quenches inflammation: “Inflammation is produced by neutrophils, which are white blood cells. [When] you have an injury … a damaged cell … these white blood cells come over and encapsulate the damaged cell and … release reactive oxygen species, which rip electrons from the damaged cell and that destroys the damaged cell.

If there’s not enough free electrons there to reduce the remaining radicals, they’re going to steal an electron from a healthy cell and in the process damage it. Then the message goes out to the immune system and another neutrophil does the same thing and eliminates that cell, and then you have a chain reaction.”


Thin your blood, making it less viscous, by strengthening the negative electrical surface charge on your red blood cells. This improves their ability to repel each other and allows them to flow more easily through tiny capillaries, and is incredibly valuable as cardiovascular disease is correlated with thicker, slow-moving blood. It can also help protect against blood clots.

In fact, this blood-thinning effect is so profound that if you are taking a blood thinner such as Coumadin, you should consult your doctor before you start grounding regularly. You may need to lower your dosage to avoid overdosing on your medication.

Research9 published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that two hours of grounding increased the surface charge of red blood cells, thereby reducing blood viscosity and clumping. According to the authors, “Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.”


Increase the structure of the water in your cells. Water is in every cell in your body, and this water is highly ordered (structured) and charged. If you don’t have properly structured water in your cells, it can impact the functioning of the much larger protein molecules (and others) that interface with the cell. The water inside the cell also interfaces with water outside the cell, which has the opposite charge, creating a battery effect.

Your body’s ability to generate electricity is actually a key part of your achieving health. Electrical charges delivered from cell to cell allows for nearly instantaneous communication within your body, and the messages conducted via these electrical signals are responsible for controlling the rhythm of your heartbeat, the movement of blood around your body and much more.

In fact, most of your biological processes are electrical. The water in your cells achieves its ordered structure from energy obtained from the environment, typically in the form of electromagnetic radiation, including sunlight and infrared heat.

But grounding may also play an important role. Just as water increases in structure when a negative charge is introduced by an electrode, the negatively charged electrons you receive when grounded help increase the structure of the water in your cells. By restructuring the water, you promote more efficient tissue healing. So, when you ground, you are charging every single cell in your body with energy your body can use for self-healing.


How and Where to Ground

While connecting just about any part of your skin to the Earth is beneficial, one area that is particularly potent is the center of the ball of your foot; a point known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1 (K1). It’s a well-known acupuncture point that conductively connects to all of the acupuncture meridians in your body. Exercising barefoot outdoors is a great way to incorporate earthing into your daily life and will also help speed up tissue repair and ease muscle pain associated with strenuous exercise.

The ideal location for walking barefoot is the beach, close to or in the water, as saltwater is a great conductor. (Your body is also somewhat conductive because it contains a large number of charged ions, called electrolytes, dissolved in water. Your blood and other body fluids are therefore good conductors.)

A close second would be a grassy area, especially if it’s covered with dew, and /or bare soil. Ceramic tiles and concrete are good conductors as long as they’ve not been sealed; painted concrete does not allow electrons to pass through very well. Materials like asphalt, wood and typical insulators like rubber or plastic will not allow electrons to pass through and are not suitable for barefoot grounding.

While any amount of grounding is better than none, research has demonstrated it takes about 80 minutes for the free electrons from the Earth to reach your blood stream and transform your blood, which is when you reap the greatest benefits. So, ideally, aim for 80 to 120 minutes of grounding each day.

How to Ground Indoors

Just as walking barefoot was once widespread, so too was sleeping on the ground. In the modern world, sleeping indoors serves to further insulate you from the Earth. There’s also the issue of elevation. When you are grounded, your body cannot carry a charge, which is good. The greater the distance between your body and the Earth, the greater charge your body carries. In fact, this has been precisely calculated. For every meter (3.28 feet) you are above the ground, 300 volts of charge will build up in your body.10

So, if you are in a second story bedroom, your charge would be 1,000 volts, on average, and this increased charge may increase your risk of health problems. For example, one 2009 study11 found a 40 percent increase in stroke risk among people living in multistory homes. Flying can also make you severely ungrounded. When indoors, and/or at elevation, you can ground by:

  • Using a grounding pad or grounding sheet to ground your mattress while sleeping.
  • Keeping your bare feet on a grounding mat while working. Grounding mats work well provided you have a grounded electrical outlet and can be particularly beneficial if you live in a high-rise. A grounded outlet is generally identifiable by the fact it’s a 3-prong outlet with a ground port (bottom outlet). Most modern homes built after 1970 will have a grounded electrical system. When using an earthing mat, make sure your bare skin is in contact with it. There should not be a layer of clothing between you and the mat.
  • Using a grounded yoga mat when exercising indoors. Research12 has shown doing yoga indoors on a grounded yoga mat helps reduce blood viscosity and exercise-induced inflammation, the same effects you’d expect from walking barefoot outdoors.
  • Touching the faucet with one hand while shaving or brushing your teeth with the other.
  • Taking off your shoes and placing your feet (bare or with socks) on the steel struts of the chair in front of you when flying in an airplane.

Grounding May Be Essential for Life and Health

It’s important to understand that grounding is not a “treatment” or “cure” for any disease or disorder. Rather, it is one of the key mechanisms by which your body maintains equilibrium and health. The human body evolved in constant contact with the Earth, and your body needs this continuous interchange of energy to function properly.

Free radical stress from exposure to pollution, cigarettes, pesticides, processed foods and electromagnetic radiation, just to name a few, continually deplete your body of electrons. The Earth, however is always electron-rich and can serve as a powerful and abundant supply of antioxidant free radical-busting electrons, provided you make an effort to stay grounded.

Without a proper supply of antioxidants, the free radicals can overwhelm your system leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and accelerated aging. “We now know that oxidative stress causes disease. It causes inflammation,” Sinatra says. “[But] we have this Earth — Mother Earth — that’s going to give us all these free electrons.”

Again, exercising barefoot outdoors is a wonderful way to incorporate grounding into your daily routine. Alternatively, simply take off your shoes as much as you can when you’re outdoors to take advantage of the Earth’s natural healing potential.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1280.cfm

Want To Lower Your Blood Pressure By 20 Points? Try This Exercise…

Want to know about an exercise that can lower blood pressure significantly? We’re talking as much as 10-20 mmHg. No, it’s not an endurance exercise. No, it’s not strength exercise. It’s actually an exercise you can do anytime and anywhere. It’s called isometrics.

What are Isometric Exercises?

Isometric exercises, the kind where you contract large muscles without actually moving the body part, may help reduce blood pressure in healthy people, a study shows. And something as simple as squeezing your inner thigh muscles together while you sit would qualify.

That’s right. Isometric exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and they don’t require you to bend or lift. In a handful of studies, folks with normal blood pressure who did three 15 to 20 minutes sessions of isometric exercises every week for 10 weeks experienced more than a 10-point plunge in their systolic blood pressure. And their diastolic pressure fell almost 7 points. Not bad for not lifting a finger! Simple things like doing a static hand grip, flexing the bottoms muscles, or doing leg squeezes all count. In the research, the three weekly sessions included doing multiple 2-minute rounds of isometric exercises like those, with 1 to 3 minute rests in between.

In one study a hand grip spring dynamo-meter was used for IHG (Isometric Handgrip) exercise training. A total of 30 normal healthy volunteers in the age group of 20-40 y were enrolled for the study. Exercise training protocol consisted of five 3-min bouts of IHG exercise at 30% of maximum voluntary contraction separated by 5 min rest periods. The exercise was performed 3 times/wk for 10 wk. Subject’s blood pressure was measured before and after exercise.

There was a significant reduction in resting blood pressure following 10 wk of exercise training. Both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly.

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. Air Force asked Dr. Ronald Wiley, an expert in heart and lung physiology, to find a way to keep fighter pilots from losing consciousness when flying the F-16 fighter. This jet could accelerate so fast that the G-forces it generated made it difficult for the pilot’s heart to pump blood to the brain, causing vision problems, trouble thinking, and blackouts.

One of Wiley’s strategies was a hand grip that pilots could squeeze to boost their blood pressure enough to maintain circulation to the brain. As he worked with pilots, he was struck by a contradiction ” Those who practiced with the hand grip for a few weeks lowered their resting blood pressure.

Types of Isometric Exercise

Plank Bridge

Lie down in the push-up position and place your elbows under your chest. Rest your body on the floor. Now, the entire weight of your body will be concentrated on your forearms. Push up your body and count to 10. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times. This is one of the simplest forms of isometric exercises, and it can be performed daily.

Isometric Push Up

Get into the pushup position as before and lie down with your arms extended. Lower your body to the halfway position and hold for about 10 seconds or count slowly until 10. This exercise can be repeated for 2 or 3 times, depending on your fitness level. Most isometric exercises are not very tiring, but you must take it slowly if you’re a beginner.

Isometric Bicep Exercise

This is the simplest type of isometric exercise, and it can be easily done at the office. Put your hands under the desk and place them against the tabletop, with your palms up. Now, press against the tabletop, keeping your elbows tight against your ribs. Hold your hands in this position for 10 seconds or count slowly until 10, and then repeat 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Shoulder Raises

For this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise both arms upwards from the side until they’re parallel to the ground. Hold them in this position for about 10 to 25 seconds, and repeat 2 to 3 times. If you find it difficult to raise both hands at the same time, you can start by raising one hand at a time.

Ball Squeeze

The ball squeeze exercise requires only a tennis ball or any other small ball. Hold the ball in one hand and squeeze it for 60 to 90 seconds. Place the ball in your other hand and repeat the squeeze for the same amount of time. Repeat the exercise three times with each hand.

Athletic Gripper Hold

Athletic grippers can be found at nearly any sporting good store. Grippers generally come in different resistances so you’ll have to choose one appropriate for you. Ideally, you should use one that you are able to squeeze for two minutes before your muscles fatigue. Hold the athletic gripper in one hand and squeeze it for two minutes then switch hands and repeat the exercise. Complete the exercise twice with each hand.

Practicing isometric exercises offers various benefits to our body and they are:

  1. Isometric exercises help in strengthening and conditioning muscles.
  2. They aid in strengthening dormant muscle tissues on isolated muscles.
  3. They improve one’s control over the body.
  4. Improve body posture and spine alignment.
  5. Help in preventing injury.
  6. These exercises are used in injury rehabilitation.
  7. Help in the development of lean muscles.
  8. Improve bone density and make them strong.
  9. Increase resistance power and endurance ability.
  10. These exercises activate all the major units in the body.
  11. These exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
  12. Most isometric exercises do not require any equipment, or at most a set of dumbbells is enough.
  13. Help in graceful aging, keeping body posture straight and erect even in the old age.
  14. These exercises can also be done by elderly people and are considered good for them.

As with any new exercise routine please speak with your family practitioner to see if you are able to start this practice. For those diagnosed with high blood pressure, I would start with the isometric hand grip exercises. Isometric exercises using the plank or weights can cause spikes in blood pressure. Again please consult your physician.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1278.cfm

Low magnesium associated with coronary artery calcification

Magnesium is probably the greatest predictor of all aspects of heart disease. Approximately more than 50% of Americans are deficient in this mineral. Magnesium plays a key role in more than 350 enzymes and is involved in virtually every metabolic process occurring in the body. 

Studies have suggested an association between low serum magnesium levels and cardiovascular disease. Low magnesium intake has also been associated with future risk of hypertension and stroke. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that low serum magnesium is associated with vascular calcification, but there have been no studies examining a relationship to coronary artery calcification. 

In a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, researchers analyzed 34,553 participants who underwent coronary multi-detector computed tomography and serum magnesium level measurement from 2010 to 2012 as part of a health examination program. According to the analysis, low serum magnesium was associated with coronary artery calcification after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, eGFR, serum calcium and phosphorus, hs-CRP, current smoking status, alcohol intake and vigorous exercise frequency.

Low serum magnesium was significantly associated with coronary artery calcification for those at low risk for developing cardiovascular disease. This association was significant after adjustment for various risk factors related to cardiovascular disease and was even withheld in groups without risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

Keep in mind that serum magnesium only represents only 1% of magnesium stores. Magnesium is homeostatically controlled in the serum and measuring serum magnesium levels provides many false negatives. By the time an individual’s serum magnesium is low, they are very deficient in magnesium, as the body cannot maintain the serum magnesium levels. RBC magnesium is definitely a better choice and the most accurate test we have. This can be done by most laboratories.

We have seen decades of increased dietary calcium intake in the American population that has not been balanced with an increase in dietary magnesium intake, and as a result the majority of adults have become magnesium deficient. Dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios have continued to increase and studies are showing that calcium supplements not balanced with magnesium actually contribute to an increase in the risk of heart disease.

To find a healthcare professional certified in functional medicine, go to www.FunctionalMedicineDoctors.com. These are clinicians who have been trained at Functional Medicine University (www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com)

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1099.cfm

Acupuncture For Myopia Better Vision Results

Acupuncture is an effective measure against juvenile myopia. In one investigation, eye chart testing confirms that a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine produces a high success rate for eyesight improvement. Another investigation confirms the results with added measurements including reductions in photophobia, eye dryness, and visual fatigue.

In one study on juvenile myopia, researchers (Changchun, China) adopted an integrated method of applying Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy. The sample was comprised of 186 patients. The patients were classified into three age groups: 7-10 years (61 cases), 11-13 (59 cases), 4-17 (66 cases). The treatments lasted for a session period of 10 days. Patients’ eyesight significantly improved following treatment, with an effective rate of 95.5%. [1] Outcome measures relied on how many lines patients could read on standard eye charts. The following herbs were prescribed as part of the treatment?

  • Yuan Zhi (??), 10g
  • Chang Pu (??), 10g
  • Dang Shen (??), 9g
  • Fu Ling (??), 9g
  • Shi Hu (??), 9g

Fifteen-minute acupuncture treatments were applied on the following points:

  • ST1 (Chengqi)
  • Yiming (extra point, ??)
  • ST2 (Sibai)
  • LI15 (Jianzhongyu)
  • ST8 (Touwei)
  • MHN8 (Qiuhou)
  • BL1 (Jingming)
  • GB37 (Guangming)

The authors of the research note that, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles, juvenile myopia is primarily caused by asthenia. Specifically, congenital and spleen qi deficiency, yin deficiency due to overuse of the eyes, or an imbalanced diet. Prolonged working hours is an aggravating factor contributing to short-sightedness. From a TCM perspective, myopia is associated with qi stagnation and blood stasis; therefore, exerting certain stimulation on the specific acupoints can soothe the meridians and collaterals, activate qi and blood, regulate zang-fu organ functions, and thus improve one’s well-being. Many meridian routes converge around the eyes through the neck channels. Accordingly, treatment applied to acupoints in this area can significantly treat the qi and blood.

A similar type of research was conducted on 88 adolescents with moderate myopia in two hospitals in Jiangsu from April 2015 to January 2018. Patients were randomly divided into a control group and an observation group. Exclusion parameters for patients admitted to the study included organic lesions of the heart, liver, or kidneys, acute cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, macular diseases, xerophthalmia, hereditary myopia, or a history of eye injuries or surgeries.

The control group was given 0.25% tropicamide eye drops at bedtime while the observation group received 30-minute acupuncture treatments for 6 consecutive days in a week, and the entire course lasted for 4 weeks. Clinical parameters, including visual acuity, diopter, axial length, intraocular pressure, and TCM syndrome scores were recorded. The researchers documented significant improvements across far vision, length of eye axis, intraocular pressures, blurriness, photophobia, eye dryness, and visual fatigue parameters. As a result, the researchers note, “The short-term effect of acupuncture on moderate adolescent myopia is remarkable. It is worth popularizing to reduce diopter needs, improve naked eye vision, and improve TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] syndromes.” [2] Needles were inserted to acupoints around the eyes to obtain a deqi sensation:

  • MHN6 (Yuyao)
  • BL1 (Jingming)
  • BL2 (Cuanzhu)
  • ST2 (Sibai)
  • MHN9 (Taiyang)

Additional points used were the following:

  • GV20 (baihui)
  • TB17 (Yifeng)
  • LI4 (hegu)
  • ST36 (zusanli)
  • GB37 (Guangming)
  • SP6 (Sanyinjiao)

The above research indicates that acupuncture or a combined treatment protocol with Chinese herbal medicine is an appropriate treatment modality for juvenile myopia.

References:
[1] Gai Yonghong, Sun Yan, Clinical observation of treating 186 adolescent myopia cases with Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy, China Practical Medicine, May 2008, Vol.3, No.14.
[2] Zhou Qianqian, Wang Jihong, Wang Rongrong, Pan Xubin, Chu Ting 2, Shen Haicui,
Study on the Short-term Effect of Acupuncture in the treatment of Moderate Adolescent Myopia,Chinese Archives of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 20200817.