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MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS: HOW TO COPE-IN VARIOUS SITUATIONSC-AT HOME: PROBLEMS WITH BREAST-FEEDING

April 29th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

Some women find that the first period they have after their baby is born brings a problem they had never imagined. If you’re breast-feeding, your periods probably won’t start again until you have weaned the baby which could be anything from six weeks to a year after the birth, depending on how long you both decide to continue. But some women find that even though they are breast-feeding successfully, their periods start again. And although most babies don’t seem to notice what’s going on, others react quite strongly. As Sylvia Close puts it in her helpful book The Know-how of Infant Feeding, the baby seems to go on strike. He won’t suck; he grizzles; he’s fretful and difficult. This could be because our skins smell different at period time, or because the baby can smell our blood. Either way it’s likely to be very upsetting for a mother to be rejected like this by her baby.

But don’t worry. You can deal with it if you know how. For a start be as relaxed about the whole business as possible. Don’t give your baby a bottle and don’t try to force him to feed. Wait until he is hungry and then try again. But this time see if you can take a warm scented bath or a shower beforehand. Often this is all that’s needed. Once you smell like yourself again, the baby is happy. But I should warn you that it does sometimes take several efforts before you are back together again as you were before. If you’re bottle feeding, you are far more likely to start having periods again soon after the birth — which seems to me another very good reason to try to

breast-feed.

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AN A-Z OF EMOTIONAL PAIN: CONFLICT

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

The beginning of the resolution of conflict is when we acknowledge that we all think differently. Our values vary depending on when we were born and where, as well as the influences of our parents, teachers, relatives, friends, music, films, TV and books. All these have the power to change our attitudes. We can defuse a difficult situation if we take into account that we are all looking at it from differing viewpoints.

In resolving conflict it is important to allow each person to have their say without interruption. This gives everyone a chance to express their feelings. Nothing is more aggravating than not being heard. Listen and watch heated discussions on television with two hard-headed opponents drowning each other out. Absolutely nothing is ever resolved and it has now been proved that conflict reduces our immune systems significantly.

The world is such that we can no longer have winners and losers. Everyone must feel that their viewpoint has been heard and the resulting decisions made with mutual agreement. The same techniques used to solve family problems can be used in the larger world of business negotiations and national affairs. What works for one will give you an idea of how you can handle the other. We must learn to co-operate.

There will always be some tension and resentment in any group. A successful means of communication is to ask people how they feel about a subject and really listen to the answer. This takes time, and isn’t that what older people have available to give to the young?

The 8 a.m. breakfast-school-time is perhaps the most stressful in households with children. This was the scenario with one of my friends. Daughter was late with homework unfinished, and mother became very angry when daughter missed the bus. Everyone was at flash point, when ‘conflict resolution technique’ (which we had studied together) was instituted. This consists of closing your eyes, thinking of a peaceful place you’d rather be in, taking some slow deep breaths, calming down, sitting down and holding hands. Then one person at a time has three minutes to state what they are feeling and why. No interruptions are allowed.

It didn’t take long before the child had explained that the homework was not needed until the next day, and the mother realised that what had made her tense was an unresolved problem with her husband that had nothing to do with her child. Hugs and apologies all round. Mother then drove daughter to school so she wasn’t late.

It’s amazing how we hold our breath when we are tense and angry. This raises our blood pressure and you notice it when people go red in the face. If they are already hypertensive, it can be a serious situation as a blood vessel may burst.

The solution is obvious but alas not till it is pointed out to you. Slow the breath down just enough to control the episode till reason prevails. This can save your life! Don’t overdo it or you could become dizzy. Business executives are taught this control technique in biofeedback classes. It’s good to feel you are in control.

Acupuncture is my first choice but it takes time to come to the clinic! These are homoeopathics for people who go red in the face when stressed. Excellent Bach Flower remedies are sweet chestnut and vervain.

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KNEE PAIN

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

Many a knee strain is the unrecognised cause of back problems. There are quite a few tests which indicate to the practitioner the exact trouble spot in the knee. It can be caused by a twist in soccer, or simply by kneeling in the garden.

Muscles can be strained and never realigned until the knee packs it in. Often it needs tender loving care using massage and acupuncture before adjustment. I apply traction with my own body weight (which is considerable) as I adjust the joint.

Ronnie’s story-A t the age of fifty-five, I went to the doctor with a sore knee. I was told it was arthritis and I would have to live with it. My wife told me to go and see her chiropractor. After an examination and some massage, she adjusted my knee. I heard and felt my knee go click. Two days later I was back jogging and playing golf, no further treatment was necessary. This was five years ago.

After this, I lost a lot of faith in doctors for this trouble and for any muscle, cartilage or joint problem, I go directly to the expert . . . my chiropractor.

Another pain which radiates to the inside of the knee is merely a symptom of a groin pain that is really a symptom of pelvic sprain. This condition is a referred pain needing an accurate diagnosis and adjustment by a chiropractor/osteopath.

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EXERCISES TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

Bending to touch your toes, unless done by an athlete, makes a lot of work for practitioners involved in back care! This movement puts pressure on the discs and can start you off on another round of corrective adjustment.

Many new patients arrive at our offices for adjustment because they decided to ‘get fit. Their first exercise leaves them in pain. The happy amateur never warms up and starts immediately into the most difficult exercise routine with great gusto.

It’s much better to swim and walk. First go and check up on all the neighbours’ gardens. Do it at a progressively faster rate. Add some hills. Time yourself. Join a bushwalking or bike riding association. Buy an exercise bike for the wet cold days.

The following exercises are from How to Live with a Bad Back, by Dr Otto C. Reinert (Marion Press, 1982), an eminent American chiropractor, now retired, with forty years’ experience in backache.

Caution: Perform all actions slowly, carefully and with deliberation. Do not force, or exert sudden and abrupt actions. If any movement produces sharp pain, stop immediately and discuss the advisability of exercise with the specialist treating you.

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AN A-Z OF DORSAL AND THORACIC PAIN: PALPITATIONS

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

Palpitations of the heart are, in my experience, most successfully treated by adjusting the upper dorsal spine (between the shoulder blades). Massaging the area is a good start and applying deep heat to relax the area is another. Then an adjustment is required when there is structural stress. It works very well.

Acupuncture is then employed to put chi energy into the pericardial meridian and reduce stress if this is the problem. It may be necessary to reduce excessive energy in the fire meridian.

Support the diet with whatever herbals or homoeopathics are specific to that person, and correct their vitamin/mineral balance. Reducing such stimulants as caffeine (tea, coffee and cola drinks) and nicotine are imperative.

Certain prescribed drugs can also cause palpitations. Check all medication with your doctor; he knows what’s what in drugs. Herbal hawthorn is recommended but see your herbalist.

Ella’s story-My first visit to Leonie was the turning point of my life. After twenty-eight years of poor health suffering palpitations, a misdiagnosis of a diseased gall bladder and an operation that nearly took my life with complications, it was said to be ‘nerves’. Then followed eight years of trying to get myself well again. All I wanted to do was sit in every chair I passed, the weariness was so great. I was told I was lucky to be as well as I was, considering all that had gone wrong. I kept complaining to the doctors that I felt ‘out of balance’.

Her first words to me were just that: ‘You are badly out of balance.’ Instantly I felt a great surge of relief that at last someone understood. After that first acupuncture treatment I instantly had the energy to go home and push a lawnmower around! I thought my husband had at last fixed the wheels! To realise that the improvement was in me and not the machine was miraculous. Now aged sixty, I have spent these past years of good health with plenty of energy, and little need for medical attention. I feel that orthodox medicine and natural healing work side by side quite comfortably.

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AN A-Z OF HEAD, NECK AND ARM PAIN: WHIPLASH INJURY

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

The fastest developing causes of structural strain today are whiplash injuries. Car accidents are happening more frequently and, while seat belts do save lives, they can also be the cause of many spinal torsion injuries.

Most particularly minor car accidents, when people get up and walk away, can often be the start of these ignored neck injuries. Just because there is no fracture to record, soft tissue injury can make its mark a few weeks, months or even years later. Like a decaying tooth, the condition is asymptomatic initially.

Often people suffer several of these apparently minor mishaps. The strains accumulate and uncorrected neck injuries start to cause pain in the neck and arms, headaches, tiredness and frequent head colds.

A small intervertebral artery runs down through each side of the neck bones. Any stretching or pinching of these delicate tissues can cause interruption of the blood flow to or from the head causing dizzy spells and light-headedness.

This is why chiropractors are specially trained to test for this occurrence before any adjustment is carried out. Several tests are performed as it is just as important for the practitioner to know of any contra-indication as it is for the patient.

Sometimes the adjustment is performed with the patient sitting up as the headache can pound when lying down. Some whiplash injuries do much damage by tearing ligaments around the spinal joints in the neck and between the shoulder blades. In these cases the ligaments must be healed before the adjustments can be given. They also cause soft tissue damage in the supporting muscles. Untreated, these tissues become fibrotic because the muscle fibres form adhesions as they try to heal. But the twisted and knotted fibres cause pain when the head is turned.

If this type of injury is left unadjusted it heals out of alignment, and this is the beginning of so much pain in the short term, and neck arthritis in the long term.

Because these injuries involve the small bones in the neck, the nerve supply to the head, face, shoulders and arms can be impaired. Conditions such as sinusitis, facial neuralgia, earache, weakened eyesight and more can develop over time.

In addition, the sprained joints of the neck do not allow the lymphatic system to drain freely. Soon glandular troubles can be added to the feeling that you always have a head cold. Your head sinuses block up and you start a desperate round of antibiotics for infection.

The practitioner has the task of reversing this situation. All that is needed is a neck adjustment. Done with expertise, as soon as possible, adjustments (which don’t hurt in the right hands) will correct these problems. Leave it till later, as many do, and you will have to undergo a series of corrective treatments.

No-one wants this, but the therapist cannot go faster than the time your own body allows itself to heal. We wish we could correct in one treatment, but it is not always possible. If the injury has happened fairly recently to a strong, healthy and young body, chances of a rapid readjustment are much better.

I had experienced a whiplash injury in a car accident in Ireland. We were driving around a curve when a passing car with a boat trailer side-swiped us. I had been looking out of the window and hit my head on the side of the car window. The reaction was immediate . . . it was as if I was getting a cold. My head became stuffed up and my neck was sore. A headache began and I became miserable.

We called in to a local osteopath. The neck adjustment stopped all symptoms immediately as I knew it would. I wasn’t going to suffer the next day or have a cold for my holiday. The practitioner was a charming man with a fascinating brogue.

It mustn’t be forgotten that muscle damage from whiplash also extends down into the rib area, between the shoulder blades. This part of the injury can’t be ignored or chest pain and breathing difficulties will certainly chase you for years.

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: SELF-HELP

March 11th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

Two of the most important things you can do to get rid of high blood pressure are to keep slim and exercise. The results of dieting can be quite dramatic. An obese person with moderately high blood pressure can have their blood pressure brought down to normal simply by getting rid of their excess fat.

It may also help to limit your alcohol intake to lour units a week (one unit equals half a pint of beer, one measure of spirits, or one glass of wine).

Some doctors feel that limiting salt intake can help. The evidence for this is a bit mixed, but some patients with high blood pressure may be helped by reducing excess salt in their food. Don’t use too much in cooking, and certainly don’t add sail at the table.

Relaxation therapy (particularly biofeedback) is also thought to benefit the reduction of high blood pressure. However, relaxation therapy by itself will probably not bring down established high blood pressure. On the other hand, it will join together with other forms of treatment to reduce high blood pressure without requiring such heavy doses of drugs.

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HEADACHES: SUB-ARACHNOID HAEMORRHAGE, ORTHODOX TREATMENT

March 11th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

A sub-arachnoid haemorrhage is a medical emergency of the first order. Immediate admission to hospital is necessary. Recovery from a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage can take a long time and may not be complete. The degree of recovery depends very much on how big the bleed was, and how quickly the patient was operated on. Untreated, sub-arachnoid haemorrhage is usually lethal; even after operation, in severe cases, there may be permanent brain damage; but a gratifyingly high proportion of patients make an excellent and complete recovery.

Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage leaves scars, both physical and mental. The external scars of the operation are unimportant; operations inside the brain are surprisingly easy to disguise because mostly they are hidden by hair.

The real scars are internal. There may be the after-effects of brain damage -stroke-like symptoms, where there is weakness or paralysis of the hands or feet; impediments in the speech; reduction in concentration; reduced quality of mental functions; and, of course, persistent headaches.

Often the biggest scar is psychological. There is frequently a feeling of terror that the same thing is going to happen again; after all, berry aneurysms are often multiple, and at first any headache (even from flu) is likely to set the patient telephoning the doctor in a panic. It can often take a long time for the patient to recover their confidence alter such a near death experience.

In actual fact, the prognosis for the future is bright. There’s often a slow, but steady return of physical and mental functions, with few set-backs. Second haemorrhages are very rare (though this doesn’t stop the patient feeling frightened, especially when doing anything that requires exertion or straining). In fact, the only thing that needs observation and control is blood pressure; sub-arachnoid haemorrhage tends to occur more frequently in patients with high blood pressure.

The bad news, however, is that persistent headaches may follow the haemorrhage, even after the patient has recovered from the bleed itself. Undoubtedly, some of this is due to anxiety and tension; but it would be amazing if there were no ill-effects after the bashing the brain has received from the massive bleed, the subsequent extra pressure, and the ensuing operation. These headaches are controllable, though, and usually subside with the passage of time.

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HEADACHES, SINUSITIS: ORTHODOX TREATMENT

March 11th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

There are three aspects to orthodox medical treatment. The first is to stop any Infection with an antibiotic; the second is to reduce the swelling of the lining of the nose with a decongestant, such as pseudoephedrine, thus enlarging the Opening to the sinus; and thirdly, to reduce any allergic response.

Why is the allergic response so important? Simply because it causes the cells pound the hole leading to the sinus to become inflamed, swollen and produce I Vet) more mucus. All this reduces the diameter of the hole of the antrum even further. In fact, a large number of people get sinusitis mainly because they have nasal allergies to inhaled pollen, dust, tobacco smoke, or other substances. The more allergic we are, the more the cells lining the nose are likely to swell, and the more the antrum will get blocked.

Because the allergic response is so important, often your doctor will prescribe anti-allergic medication – an antihistamine; sodium cromoglycate as drops or spray; or a steroid nasal spray. Sometimes it’s convenient to use an over-the-counter decongestive cough remedy for a short time – these typically contain a decongestant to dry up the production of mucus, and an antihistamine to reduce the local inflammation.

Some people are more prone to sinusitis than others. In some, the antrum is anatomically on the small side; in others, allergies to pollen, dust, or foods may cause the cells lining it to swell, blocking it, or reducing its size enough to cause problems whenever an infection strikes – a cold, for example. Anyone with frequent attacks of sinusitis is usually well advised to try to keep under control any allergies he has.

Food allergies may also have a part to play. Some patients find that they are sensitive to a particular food, which makes them sneeze, and gives them a blocked-up, running nose. However, the role of food allergy in sinusitis is not fully accepted by all doctors, and while all agree that pollen and dust can cause problems in sensitive individuals, many doctors are hesitant about the role that food sensitivities play.

However, all doctors agree that once an allergy has been identified the substance causing it should be avoided where possible. Often this is easier said than done; for example, although it is possible to reduce your exposure to household dust, it’s impossible to get rid of it altogether, because even the best-kept house has dust floating in the air. Nor is it easy to avoid pollen; you can stay indoors on days with a high pollen count, wear dark glasses, avoid parks, gardens, fields and the countryside in general, and walk on the shady side of the street, but all you’ll do is minimise your exposure rather than remove it altogether.

Unfortunately, minimising your exposure in this way may not be enough. Because allergies tend to work in an all-or-nothing fashion, exposure to even small quantities may trigger off almost a maximum response.

On the other hand, it is quite possible, if sometimes a little awkward, to avoid foods to which you are sensitive. And, if there are other substances you’re allergic to, like chemicals, paint, and so on, you may be able to adapt your lifestyle to avoid them.

If it’s impossible to avoid those things to which you are allergic, then you’ll need a second or third line of defence. Calming down the inflammatory reaction in the nose with antihistamines, anti-allergy drops and sprays (such as sodium cromoglycate) and local steroid preparations (such as beclomethasone) can often be very helpful. Drops of dilute salt solution can also help by liquefying mucus.

One thing the chronic sinusitis sufferer should not use for any length of time are decongestant sprays, pills or linctuses. While these are very useful in the short term – say, up to ten days – using them for a longer period lets the mucous cells lining the nose get accustomed to the medication. Then, when the spray is stopped, there is rebound extra production of mucus. So the patient starts using the spray again, What he doesn’t realise is that the spray itself is making matters worse – the more he uses his decongestant spray the more rebound secretion will occur.

The really long-term sinus sufferer may need to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. Doing an operation to wash out the sinuses may help clear out accumulated debris and infection. This is important because the presence of foreign material, old pus, etc, can often act as a source of further and continuing infection.

Sometimes, where the hole into the sinus is small, or there’s gross obstruction from allergy or infection, and particularly where the sinuses never drain properly and keep on re-infecting themselves, the ENT surgeon can perform an operation called an antrostomy to widen the antrum, the hole which leads from the sinus into the nose. Because the sinuses are formed inside bone, the surgeon has to drill bone away in order to enlarge this hole.

Sometimes just a small increase in the aperture of the drainage hole is sufficient to allow the infected secretions inside to get out properly. An antrostomy is often combined with a sinus washout. Operations like these are done quite frequently, and are often very successful.

I mentioned earlier that the cells lining the sinus are covered with microscopic hairs, called cilia, which waft debris out of the sinus. These cells are very important. The antrum is actually up at the top of the sinus, so gravity won’t drain away debris. The cilia must be intact and working properly in order to pull the debris up the incline to the antrum.

Unfortunately, tobacco smoke poisons the cilia and stops them working, which is one reason why sinusitis sufferers should stop smoking. Without the cilia working properly, it’s much easier for debris to remain within the sinus – a prime source for infection.

The second reason why smoking is bad for your sinuses is that both by the direct effects of the smoke particles and through (he allergic reaction of the lining of the nose to tobacco smoke, smoking inflames the cells lining the sinuses and closes off the antrum, making infection more likely.

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MENINGITIS: ORTHODOX TREATMENT

March 11th, 2009 Posted in Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers | No Comments »

There is only one place for a person with suspected meningitis, and that is the hospital, and very quickly, too. After a quick examination, the hospital doctor will perform a lumbar puncture, in which a needle is put in the small of the back so that it reaches the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. This is the safest place to tap cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) without damaging the spinal nerves.

The doctor will then check if the CSF is cloudy. If it is, the patient, has meningitis, probably bacterial. If it is clear, the patient may still have meningitis (more likely viral in this case). Analysis of the CSF in the lab, in particular culturing it for bacteria, will not only tell the doctor what type of infection the patient has, but also show the antibiotics to which the bacteria is sensitive.

The treatment for bacterial meningitis is antibiotics. Often a cocktail of several antibiotics is used, in case the bacteria are resistant to one of them. Often these antibiotics are initially given by injection, sometimes into muscle, sometimes into a drip which is inserted directly into a vein, which takes them directly into the bloodstream. In some cases, the doctor will inject antibiotics into the spine at the time of the lumbar puncture, so that the antibiotics go directly into the spinal fluid surrounding the infected meninges.

From then on it is a matter of waiting and hoping. Despite the fact that in lab tests the bacteria causing meningitis are often sensitive to antibiotics, in the patient the same antibiotics do not necessarily work as quickly nor as effectively as we would like. Even with full doses of antibiotics it is still quite possible for the patient to die, or be brain damaged, by the infection. One reason for this is that some types of bacteria release toxins, so that even if the bacteria have been killed the toxins are still in the system, doing damage and causing toxic shock.

After the initial infection is over, rest and recuperation are the order of the day, and it may be many weeks before the patient is fit enough to resume their usual duties.

What about viral meningitis? Here is a different problem. While bacterial meningitis is sensitive to antibiotics, viral meningitis isn’t. There are one or two anti-viral agents that can sometimes be used, but by and large, viral meningitis has to resolve of its own accord rather than by anything the doctor can do. After a time the immune system of the body works out how to respond to the invading viruses, and starts destroying them. Thankfully, viral meningitis doesn’t do anything like the same amount of damage as bacterial meningitis, though it can still be lethal.

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