Posts by Dr. Martin

Aging

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Healing Holistic Health, Meditation, Yoga | 0 comments

Everyone is concerned with aging. We would all love to live to a ripe old age and enjoy our grandchildren. But we would not enjoy a long life if it included all sorts of health conditions and physical suffering. So the two topics here are: living longer, and living healthier. From extensive research on aging, (because even researchers want to live longer!), there are two factors that stand out. The first is stress. The sympathetic nerve reaction known as the ‘flight or fight response’ includes multiple physiologic changes intended to help you get through the emergency situation. The problem is that many people feel a fair amount of stress every day, enough to trigger at least some of the ‘fight or flight response.’ This daily sympathetic overload can cause hypertension, spasms in the neck, low back and jaw, exhausted adrenal glands and headaches, but also seemingly unrelated conditions such as high cholesterol, obesity and even cancer. From the research, it appears that stress makes just about everything worse in our bodies. So any predispositions toward diseases your parents and grandparents had will be encouraged to manifest if stress is a factor. The second factor that stands out is diet. Through the China Study, where huge population samples were analyzed for the effect of diet, and other important studies, it has been definitely shown that diet makes a huge difference in both life extension and disease avoidance. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is key, but why? One reason is fiber. Keeping a clean colon is very important for health. Another reason is that vegetables and fruits keep us more alkaline, a state that helps resist the onset of disease. A third and extremely important reason is ‘antioxidants’. Antioxidants are the reason everyone is eating blueberries. There are many types of antioxidants, including vitamin C, selenium and the herb tumeric, as well as powerful ones you may not have heard of like glutathione and N-acetyl-L-Cysteine. But they all have one thing in common: They all destroy ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are atoms and molecules with free electrons that damage cell membranes and DNA through oxidation. Some are produced naturally by our bodies but they are greatly increased from fatty diets, pollution, cigarette smoke, herbicides and stress. It is extremely important that we get a rich supply of antioxidants from our food, fruits and vegetables having the richest supply by far. In addition, they are the source of most of our vitamins and minerals that are essential to health and healing. Two other dietary recommendations for life extension and disease prevention are reducing sugar and animal products, both meats and dairy. Both are acidifying and animal fats contain arachadonic acid which increases inflammatory prostaglandins. Inflammation, like free radicals, will lead to tissue breakdown and aging. We all know that genetics play a role in our life span as well. And we’ve all heard the stories of people smoking and drinking and living well into their nineties. But it’s all about playing the odds. By the manner in which we live our lives, and by the daily choices we make, we can either encourage or discourage those bad genes from manifesting. George Burns, the beloved entertainer, continued performing until he passed away at the age of 100. On stage in his nineties he would often make the comedic remark, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” I think he did just fine. Maybe he had no stress, good genes and a reasonably good diet. Many people are not so fortunate. Don’t chance it. Take better care of yourself. Another unexpected finding from sociology was that the longest lived people had, fairly consistently, some type of belief in a greater power. This gave them a sense of peace and calm, as though they were being looked after and that everything was basically O.K. My recommendations are to practice stress management techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing, eat more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and animal products, and in your own...

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The Hidden Causes of Back Pain

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Ayurveda, Back Pain, Pain, Stress, Therapy, Yoga | 0 comments

As a chiropractor I am often asked why so many people get low back pain. Obviously, if someone has a car accident or a slip and fall, the low back can suffer from pulled muscles, vertebrae out of alignment and inflammation. But what about all the people who develop back pain without an obvious initiating cause? Countless times in my practice a patient would come in holding their back and tell me all they did was pick up a sock off the floor and ‘bam’, crippling back pain! One important cause of back pain, which often has to do with spasms of the large muscles that hold us upright, is stress. It is common for a person that worries and hurries a lot, skips meals and stays up late, to tighten up in the low back area. A person might think they have the same routine every day, so why, suddenly, does something like this happen? What they are not aware of are other contributing factors. One example is the weather. Big changes in weather patterns can add inflammation and tightness into the mix. Another example is specific emotions that, subconsciously, might be triggering an old frustration or hurt, i.e., ‘pushing your buttons’, again leading to tightness of certain muscle groups. The tightening up of low back muscles can gradually and subtly increase until the bending over to pick up the sock is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back,’ or at least ‘threw it out’. Another less obvious factor that causes back pain is constipation and other bowel issues. Even individuals who say they are ‘regular’ can have some degree of constipation, with little awareness of it, and that is a huge number of people. Simple gas and bloating can also contribute to back pain. These bowel issues, even subtle ones, can also cause the back muscles to spasm, leading to a back going out. One other more obvious cause of back pain is worth mentioning. People who engage in an activity that utilizes muscle groups in ways they have not been used to, such as starting a yoga class, new types of exercises at the gym, or, more obviously, the seasonal raking of leaves or shoveling snow, even if they are being slow and careful, are commonly subjected to spasms and inflammation, leading to their backs going out. All of the above scenarios usually involve a complex of imbalances. These typically include spasms of various muscles, inflammation of the joint capsules and discs, and certainly vertebrae being pulled out of alignment. In my treatment of back pain I always include a variety of therapies and modalities such as myofascial release, vibration and far infra-red, that address all of these. In my experience it is rarely enough to give only a chiropractic adjustment. I always assume multiple factors. If you suffer from chronic low back pain with no obvious initiating cause, consider stress management techniques like yoga or gently stretching, meditation, warm bathes with epsom salts, and making sure the diet you are eating keeps your bowels clean, healthy and regular. There are plenty of natural herbal remedies to keep the bowels happy. Wisdom from ‘ayurvedic medicine’ suggests soothing the ‘vata dosha.’ This means avoiding too much exposure to cold, both environmentally and in your food, and favoring warm and calming activity and food. This is especially true for the skinny, worry-hurry ‘vata’ type people. In extreme cases enemas can be very helpful. Other tips if you have nagging low back pain are to avoid walking in high-heeled shoes, avoid jumping, jogging or strenuous exercise and minimize sexual activity. By all means practice mindfulness and avoid letting yourself get carried away by the activities you are engaged...

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Relieve Your Stress With Meditation

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Meditation, Stress | 0 comments

Meditation is the ultimate stress reliever and much more.  My personal experience with starting my meditation practice, which began at the age of 17, was a progression from feeling calmer and clearer for that day, to headaches disappearing, to a consistent sense of peace. The issue with stress is that our minds get caught up in things, filled with panic and worry.  From there the body is affected with tension, digestive complaints, headaches and eventually adrenal gland exhaustion, and these can then lead to more serious health conditions.  This is the result of over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.  Known as the ‘fight or flight response,’ this stress reaction can go on day after day simply from busy work schedules, traffic jams and family responsibilities.  Meditation reverses the fight or flight response, creating a deep relaxation and fostering a calm and clear state of mind that carries over into all your activities. The art of meditation is using techniques, and there are many, that quiet your thoughts.  Doing so leads to a deep peace in mind and body.  Meditating once in a while is great for that day, so by all means do it. Meditating regularly creates more and more lasting peace and calm, even with a crazy schedule.  Regular practice naturally leads to more and more of this baseline of calm clarity spilling over into your activities. And don’t think you have to be buzzing with energy and intensity to do a better job at work.  You will find that the opposite is true, that calm clarity allows for better decisions and more getting done with less effort. Meditation, for its beneficial effects on mind and body, is one of the best therapies that I offer to my patients for their health and well-being.  I’ve taught many classes and workshops on meditation at Live Well and out in the community, and now I am excited to be offering private one on one meditation for my patients.  If you are interested in getting started, please call us or go online here to schedule a private meditation training session with me.  You will love it!  Sessions are typically 30 minutes, $75, and I’m always happy to combine other health questions or mini treatments along with the training as long as we plan our time accordingly. Yours, With a Peaceful and Quiet Mind, Dr. Martin Orimenko Chiropractor, Naturopath &...

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Flu Prevention

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Energy, Healing, Healing Holistic Health, Immune System, Nutrition | 0 comments

Avoiding a serious case of influenza is not about vaccination but more about maintaining a healthy, well functioning immune system. The flu shot is not something I recommend.  They are typically geared toward only a couple of flu virus strains when there are about 200 out there.  Statistically, they are not proven to be effective AND can have side effects, some of which are quite serious.  By following the simple guidelines below, you can help keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you’re far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick with the flu, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs your immune response and harms your beneficial intestinal bacteria, feeding the pathogenic yeast and viruses. Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice, and in forms you typically might dismiss, like high fructose corn syrup and cane juice. If you are healthy then small amounts of sugar might be fine, but absolutely avoid it while you are sick. Optimize your vitamin D levels. This is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds.  Due to less sun exposure in Winter, vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu – not the flu virus itself.  If you are not getting good sun exposure then take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. We have excellent vitamin D supplements here at Live Well Holistic Health Center, both capsule and liquid drops. Boost your immune system.  Other supplements from our health center that do an excellent job of prevention are our colostrum formula, astragalus with vitamin C formula and camu powder.  If you do get the flu, we have excellent supplements for clearing the condition in any of its varied forms. Optimize Your Gut Flora. With 75% of your immune system residing in your intestines, this may be the single most important strategy you can implement.  The bacteria in your gut have enormous control of your immune response. The best way to improve your beneficial bacteria ratio is to do a mini-candida cleanse pre-season, take a high quality probiotic, avoid sugar and processed foods, and eat a whole foods diet (rich in nutrient-dense foods) such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut oil and fruits, as well as probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut.  Meats and eggs are fine, but limit milk-based foods. Get Plenty of Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. My advice is to get an extra half-hour of sleep in Autumn and Spring, and an extra hour in Winter. Have Effective Tools to Address Stress. We all have some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using our energy psychology tool called ‘NeuroEmotional Technique’ which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.  Regular meditation/yoga can be very helpful.  I incorporate this technique into new patient visits and also regular/full visits whenever it would be helpful for my patients. Also consider taking ‘adaptagenic’ herbs such as our rhodiola, ashwagandha or Stress Manager formula, all of which we carry in our health center. Get Regular Moderate Exercise. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the components of your immune system are better circulated and have a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. However, it would be wise to reduce the intensity of your workouts as it may deplete you.  And be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Wash Your Hands Often. Washing your hands will decrease...

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What is Ayurveda?

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Ayurveda, Energy, Natural | 0 comments

‘Ayurveda’ (the ‘science of life’) is the most ancient complete system of natural medicine in the world. It was developed in ancient India and refined over the ages. It combines physical, psychological and spiritual therapies in an approach to health that is as relevant to the modern world as it was to the ancient. Utilizing herbs and minerals, proper nutrition and purification and, above all, affirmative ways of living, Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person and emphasizes prevention of disease to avoid the need for a cure. One of the principles in Ayurveda is that each person is made up of their own particular mix of the three fundamental elemental energies, or ‘doshas’. Although we can’t see them, the three doshas are responsible for all processes of the mind and body. They affect our physical makeup and our mental and emotional qualities. These underlying forces determine who we are, what we like to eat, how thirsty we get, how much sleep we need, etc. They influence our reactions to stress and our predisposition to various illnesses. The doshas even affect how compassionate, relaxed, or talkative we are. Knowing a person’s dosha is very valuable in determining which foods, herbs and lifestyle changes will be most beneficial for their healing and overall balance. An example of this is a person who is skinny and runs around extra busy and worrying about everything. In this person the ‘vata’ dosha is dominant. Balance can be brought with warm and soothing activities and foods. Gentle yoga and relaxation massage are perfect. For an intense, high pressure, athletic person the ‘pitta’ dosha is dominating. Balance can be brought with cooling and calming activities and foods. This person should avoid things like eating spicy food everyday and going running in the middle of hot summer days. Different doshas predominate in the different seasons as well. Therefore it is helpful to have a basic understanding of them so you can self regulate your diet and lifestyle. For example, in autumn the vata dosha increases. During these months it is best to reduce foods that increase vata such as raw vegetables, beans, cold foods and foods that are dry and rough like crackers and pretzels, It is more balancing to increase richer foods and warm, cooked foods like soups and casseroles. In spring and summer the reverse is true for the most part. There also exists within Ayurveda a whole science of longevity. This has to do with purification, healthy balancing routines and mind and body exercises. Various cleanses are recommended seasonally. Yoga and meditation are important not only for mind and body health, but to connect with your spiritual source as well. These add up to peace, health and life extension. Principles from ayurveda can be easily incorporated into one’s life to bring further health and balance. It has been very helpful in treating and advising my patients for many...

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