NPR Talks about Relieving Back Pain

Back Pain

Most people experience back pain. On February 20th, an NPR story http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/20/515675259/got-back-pain-try-yoga-or-massage-before-reaching-for-the-pills suggested that drugs – even over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – should be a last resort to treat acute lower back pain. I agree.

From my perspective, the regenerative injections we provide use inflammation to stimulate regeneration, accelerating or intensifying the body’s natural healing response. It’s the body’s first response to injuries: increasing the flow of blood (and other biological factors) to the injury actually causes healing to happen. Anti-inflammatory medications may slow or prevent the natural healing process, and may turn a simple, temporary injury into long-lasting pain.

Modern medicine has many “solutions” to partly or completely mask pain, offering immediate relief (treating the symptom), without addressing the cause. This sets the stage for worse problems down the road. We may initially avoid exercise, yoga, massage/manipulation, physical therapy and acupuncture because we think they might increase our pain, and we sure don’t want to do that. Turns out those treatments really are a great place to start, and they often give your back what it needs to recover.

If your back pain isn’t improving after a couple of weeks with these alternative treatments, that’s when it makes sense to consider regenerative therapies. These treatments restore healthy tissue and function. We start with the easiest and least invasive treatment. Depending on how the injury responds, we may progress to a more intensive therapy to induce the proliferation of new cells. Prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma, and stem cells are the steps in that progression, emerging tools in the medical toolbox to help heal, not just mask, the causes of pain.

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Chronicles of Health Creation

We’d like to highlight this article entitled: “Chronicles of Health Creation: The Naturopathic Profession’s Impact on Integrative and Functional Medicine” and was featured on the Huffington Post. Enjoy!

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What You Need to Know About Supplement Purity

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When you decide to take vitamins or other dietary supplements, your goal is better health. That’s why it’s imperative that you do your homework to ensure that the products you use and give your family can be trusted to be pure and free from adulterants.

 

Quality Is Essential

High-quality nutrients are fragile, like high quality foods.

Each ingredient must be carefully and correctly handled at each stage of harvesting, extraction and processing, under clean and controlled conditions and following an exacting production process that has been proven to yield consistent results. Additionally, nutrients can have different fragilities that must be controlled, such as temperature and humidity.

The finished product must contain the ingredients in the amounts on the label, in a form that is absorbable, without adulterants and with a reasonable and honest shelf life.

Many online sellers, Big Box retailers and pharmacy chains outsource their vitamin manufacture to countries that are without regulation, which means they have little control over the quality of each pill. There are many sophisticated ways an ingredient can be made to look good when in reality, it is of poor quality. The more expensive and “in demand” an ingredient is (such as Co Q 10 and Red Yeast Extract), the more likely it is to be adulterated or even fraudulent.

Responsible supplement manufacturers follow industry regulations that are designed to protect consumers by ensuring product potency, identifying inappropriate or ineffective ingredients such as pesticides, and implementing manufacturing protocols that help keep product quality high. These manufacturers refuse to cut corners by purchasing questionable ingredients as a way of cutting costs and increasing profits.

 

Purity Is Critical

Another crucial aspect of supplement manufacture involves making sure the products you buy contain no harmful substances such as the solvents used in extraction, melamine (added to pet food made in China), and mercury (found in imported ayurvedic products). Herbal products may contain pesticide residues.

Other forms of adulteration occur through the addition of substances that offer no therapeutic benefit but serve only to make the manufacturing process easier and more convenient, such as adding magnesium stearate (a form of soap to lubricate the powders in the machines) and aluminum (a flow agent).

Some harmful substances can find their way into supplements simply because manufacturers are not conscientious enough to take specific measures to prevent these issues from occurring. Fraud is when a drug is combined with a supplement to give it an added effect; this is seen most often in body building products.

 

Ensuring Product Safety, Quality and Purity

So, how can you ensure that the dietary supplements you buy are safe, pure and high enough quality to enhance your health and well-being?

One way is to look to your healthcare provider.  Another is to use retailers with a lot to lose by being embarrassed. For example, Whole Foods is more fastidious than Walgreens when it comes to ingredient quality.

There are agencies that have dedicated themselves to helping manufacturers and consumers in the areas mentioned above. These industry watchdogs help manufacturers stay compliant, while providing consumers with the confidence they need to purchase the highest-quality products for themselves and their families.

 

Regulatory Oversight

Before buying any supplement, check the reputation of the manufacturer. Many have a seal of approval from one of the organizations that offer official validation of product quality, such as NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and ODS, the Office of Dietary Supplements within the NIH.  These organizations use a few different methods for ensuring product quality.

Some organizations, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) provide oversight to manufacturers and others involved in the production, processing, or packaging of supplements. They draft regulations, such as the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), helping to ensure that the manufacturer has followed a prescribed production protocol that meets the standards the organization has set for the product type.

In cases of noncompliance, organizations such as the FDA, which oversees the GMP program, have the power to levy fines, seize or recall products or even order jail time.

 

Voluntary Product Testing

Other organizations engage in voluntary product testing to help manufacturers identify unknown product components and potential contaminants and verify the safety and efficacy of products and product ingredients. The Emerson Quality Program (EQP) is administered by one such organization, Emerson Ecologics.

What do all these organizations have in common? All engage in an ongoing effort to help protect consumers. They provide this protection by making sure that the supplements and other products we buy that are intended to support our health or enhance our well-being actually contain ingredients that are consistent with that goal. For more information, follow this link to view articles by Vital Nutrients, a quality manufacturer: vitalnutrients.net.

 

Knowledge is Power at the Supplement Shelf

You can be confident that you have many allies in your effort to find supplements that are safe and effective. The organizations mentioned above are your key to gaining the knowledge – and power – you need to make wise choices at the supplement shelf. They not only certify products to help you find the best quality and value for your supplement dollar, but they also provide valuable information about the supplements themselves and the standards and regulations that govern them.

Here at Naturopathic Physicians Group, we are dedicated to arming patients with the information they need to make informed and healthy choices. We invite you to spend some time looking through the resources on our website, or give us a call at (480) 451-6161.

 

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Get Healthy this Winter with a Naturopathic Whole Health Review

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If you are suffering from fatigue, having trouble sleeping, dealing with low hormones or just want to improve your overall health, consider schedule an appointment with the doctors at NPG for a Whole Health Review.

 

From aches and pains to specific health challenges, your Health Review will be personalized for your unique health needs. The doctors at NPG can address multiple problem areas simultaneously, focusing on some or all of the following areas:

 

Diet and Nutrition

Your diet and the nutrients you put into your body greatly affect what you get out of it. NPG provides testing to identify the nutritional needs for our patients. We can perform food sensitivity testing to see if there are any food allergies and we can recommend an anti-inflammatory diet that is personalized based on your unique system. We also test red blood cells to see how well your body can absorb vitamins and minerals, and we can check your fatty acid levels and protein needs. Our diet plans are unique in that they are based on your body’s specific requirements.

 

Weight Loss

We can help you achieve your healthy and ideal weight  ̶  and give you a practical plan to get there  ̶  by addressing diet/nutrition, potential hormone imbalances and thyroid issues.

 

Hormone Imbalances

Hormone health is critical to overall health.  Hormone imbalances can contribute to a number of different ailments such as chronic fatigue, poor immune health, digestion problems, migraines, insomnia, arthritis, osteoporosis, excess weight and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety.  We utilize our 24-hour hormone research lab test to check the levels of adrenal hormones, as well as six estrogens, and testosterones to determine if anything is out of balance, and provide individualized naturopathic solutions.

 

Joint Pain

Joint pain  ̶  which includes spine, neck and knee pain, and arthritis  ̶  affects millions, and can influence your sleep, movement and overall quality of life.  NPG uses Prolotherapy and Platelet-Rich Therapy to heal joint painand restore and regenerate the body’s musculoskeletal system.

 

Brain Health

Brain health often gets overlooked but it is a key component of overall health.  Lab testing can identify possible brain health issues such as thyroid function, hormone levels, neurotransmitter levels and nutrient deficiencies.  NPG also offers brain wave optimization to help restore the brain back to its proper functioning.

 

Environmental Detox

Our world is filled with pollutants ̶  including toxins, allergens, chemicals and hormone disruptors, which can all alter our body’s natural processes.  NPG’s Detox program cleanses the organ tissues that store these toxins: the kidneys, liver, thyroid, brain and bones. Your personalized Detox program will address the specific concerns of your environment and help your body to rid itself from these contaminants.

 

Ready to achieve optimum wellness this winter?  Call us at (480) 451-6161 to discuss your Whole Health Review.

 

 Want more information on NPG’s approach to whole health? Download our free white paper.

 

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How can Cold Laser Therapy Help my Joint Pain?

Cold laser therapy is a laser beam technology used for treating pain and reducing inflammation.  Typically, this treatment is used for sports injuries, burns to the skin, swelling of joints, and repairing nerve and muscle tissue.

The low intensity of this laser is safer on the skin and generally less invasive than other laser therapies.  Cold laser therapy induces increased blood circulation to the affected area, allowing the body to heal naturally.  NPG uses this therapy to isolate a specific area of pain or inflammation, allowing the laser beam wavelengths to stem blood flow and heal nerve cells.

 

How Does it all Work?

Cold laser therapy is also referred to as “low level laser therapy” (LLLT) or “soft laser therapy” because of the specific wavelength the laser beams are calibrated to.  At this wavelength, the lasers have the potential to repair damaged nerves and stimulate cells inside our body.

This stimulation allows for increased blood circulation leading to natural healing and a reduction in inflammation.  Specific parts of the body can be targeted, and patients have reported feeling a reduction in pain both during and after treatment. The laser beams work to repair and strengthen damaged muscle tissue for the long term.

Cold laser therapy is able to penetrate the epidermis, between 2 and 5 centimeters, without being so powerful that it damages the skin.  It is particularly successful at reducing inflammation and treating chronic pain.

 

Benefits:

  • Cold laser therapy is safe and non-toxic.
  • Treatment is generally much less expensive than the available alternatives and is cost effective to administer.
  •  Cold laser therapy can greatly reduce the need for future surgery.

 

What Does it Treat?

  • Back Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling of the joints or muscles
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

 

You are not Alone…

In the United States alone, 1 out of every 5 adults is affected by some type of arthritis or joint pain.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the U.S. over 50 million adults have reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.   By 2030 the CDC expects that number to increase to 67 million.

While there are many underlying causes that can lead to joint pain and arthritis, factors such as genetics and aging play a key role.  Fortunately, cold laser therapy offers a pathway to treating and alleviating such pain, with the results to back to back up the claim.  There are more than 100 double-blind positive studies confirming the clinical effect of LLLT and more than 2500 research reports published on the topic.

While more and more research is being conducted every day, clinical trials being conducted across the country demonstrate the benefits of LLLT for individuals seeking an alternative solution to pain.

If you’re dealing with joint pain, call the doctors at NPG to discuss how cold laser therapy can help.

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Does your body need a DETOX?

Why detox?

Everyday throughout our lives, we encounter thousands of pollutants, chemicals, and pollen that cause harm to our body.  These pollutants accumulate in our body, interfering with our natural functions.  They act as waste, building up in vital areas of the body, often resulting in weight gain, illness, or long-term health problems.

 

A cleansing of this waste can help boost the vulnerable immune system as well as protect against potential toxic threats.  These threats consist of everything from the air pollution we breathe to the processed foods we ingest.  Synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, household cleaning supplies, food pesticides and even chemicals found in the gas of our car all pose potential risks to our health.  While the threat of these pollutants is unavoidable, a naturopathic detox can provide the remedy for protection.

 

Who should detox?

Contrary to common belief a detox program is extremely beneficial no matter who you are.  While it is true detox programs are useful in cleansing the body of toxins and chemicals after a period of poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption or exposure to potent chemicals, even seemingly healthy individuals with good habits can benefit greatly from a naturopathic detox cleanse.  Regardless of age, gender or dietary restrictions, the doctors at NPG can create the right detox program for you.

 

How does detoxing help my body?

 

It removes toxins from your body. 

A naturopathic detox cleanses your body of harmful pollutants and protects against potential illnesses and disease.

 

It boosts your immune system.

It’s no secret we are all a little more vulnerable to illness as the winter season approaches.  Both the change in our climate and type of pollen  in the area threaten our well-being and often result in the common cold or worse.  A detox program can jumpstart your immune system and better prepare your body for the upcoming winter season.

 

It increases energy.

A detox can help strengthen your immune system and remove chemicals that can cause fatigue or drowsiness.  Natural detox programs not only increase energy but can also improve skin quality as well as mental clarity.

 

It improves weight loss and overall health.

When pollutants and toxins build up inside us, our body tries to protect us and ends up storing these chemicals elsewhere in body tissue.  This is why many nutritionists recommended natural detox programs for both cleansing harmful pollutants as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

 

It restores balance to your body’s systems. 

When we put pollutants into our body or encounter environments with high levels of toxins, our internal system is thrown out of balance.  Restoring this balance is important in preventing chronic diseases and can help slow down premature aging.

 

Ready to improve your health with a detox?

 

Your detox program should be designed specifically for you.  At NPG, we can provide you with a personalized detox program based on your individual symptoms and history.  Contact us to schedule an appointment.

 

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Naturopathic Physicians Group Represent USA at the International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine in Paris

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This year hailed an important milestone in Naturopathic Medicine when naturopathic physicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals from more than 46 countries gathered in Paris, France for the 2nd International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine.

 

Drs. Michael and Kyle Cronin were invited to present represent the United States and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Michael Cronin presented on Naturopathic Physical Medicine in North America and Dr Kyle presented on Bio-identical hormone therapy integrated with Naturopathic therapies.  The International Congress was attended by some of the finest, internationally recognized researchers, clinicians, and naturopathic physicians, who shared cutting-edge advances and global developments in the field of naturopathic medicine.

 

Countries from all over the world, including Australia, France, Zambia, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Spain participated in this three day conference, which is destined to shape the future and direction of Naturopathic Medicine as practiced today – and in the future!

 

Dr Mike Presents on Prolotherapy, Platelet Therapy and Naturopathic Physical Medicine

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Dr. Michael Cronin’s presentation spotlighted the huge increase in surgical replacement of joints in the U.S. and the successful treatment for relieving chronic pain caused by traumatic injuries and degeneration of major joints. Using Prolotherapy and Platelet therapy has produced remarkable results in injuries that have progressed from acute and moderate pain to severe, chronic pain with degeneration requiring pain medications.

 

Necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and feet all contain joints that are the weak links in our body’s musculo-skeletal frame. Any trauma to the body – whether from a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury – impacts the body, especially the ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Therefore the joint is often where the most damage, and the most pain, occurs. Simple, usually easy tasks, like typing, or walking can aggravate a traumatic injury especially for repetitive injuries if they are repeated enough.

 

Once an injury and the accompanying degeneration it causes in a joint have passed a certain point of deterioration, Dr. Cronin has discovered that using Prolotherapy, in conjunction with Platelet therapy, will provide relief and healing where other therapies have failed.

 

His work with Prolotherapy and Platelet therapy has been proven to be a significantly progressive advance in the relief of chronic joint pain. This medically therapeutic approach to the problem of severe chronic joint pain is one that goes far beyond soft tissue manipulation or other forms of chronic joint pain therapy that is used in many other countries.

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Dr. Kyle Cronin’s presentation focused on her work with women and addressing their hormonal imbalances through the use of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) as provided by a woman doctor in North America.

 

Her work includes all aspects of enhancing women’s health using naturopathic medicine but specializes in those hormonal issues unresponsive to conventional medicine and methods. Dr Kyle uses low-dose bioidentical hormone balancing based on the person’s history, symptoms and lab results, measuring 25 hormones from a 24-hour urine collection. This test is unique in the normal course of medicine in that it assesses the body’s production of hormones over a full 24 hour day. While this method of testing is more rigorous and time consuming, it results in a more detailed and accurate picture of a woman’s physiology and overall hormonal health, including adrenal function.

 

Dr. Cronin’s work in BHRT and women’s health represents her experience over 30+ years of practice. It highlights the vital importance of the in-depth interview, listening carefully to the person’s health history and life challenges in order to properly diagnose and effectively treat the whole patient, no matter their gender, age, or ailment.

 

Naturopathic Medicine Recognized by Congress as Vital to American Healthcare System

 

It’s important to know that last year the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution that established October 7th through October 13th as Naturopathic Medicine Week. This means that America has clearly identified the immense importance of naturopathic medicine, and the need for naturopathic physicians within our health care system.

 

Millions of people in the United States for over 100 years have valued this branch of medicine, which emphasizes personal responsibility for good health and how education can motivate good health habits. The Paris meeting of the International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine is an indication that people around the globe are embracing the care of Naturopathic physicians that provide real solutions using natural medicine. Drs. Kyle and Michael Cronin are proud to be in the vanguard of this important and vital world event!

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What is “Low-dose Bioidentical Hormone Therapy” and how can it help with Menopause Symptoms?

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According to a survey by the North American Menopause Society, more than two thirds of survey respondents experienced uncomfortable menopause symptoms. 88% experienced hot flashes, 49% of which were moderate and 34% of which were severe. 71% of respondents had tried lifestyle changes and 52% tried over-the-counter products to mitigate their symptoms. 84% of women surveyed believed traditional hormone therapy (HT) was unsafe, and 30% had experienced an adverse reaction to traditional HT. 

 

Menopause Facts:

  • Menopause usually occurs in women in their 40’s & 50’s.
  • Not every woman experiences the same signs or symptoms.
  • The best way to diagnose menopause is to get a physician’s evaluation. This should include a discussion of: medical history, symptoms, menstrual periods, followed by blood tests and a physical exam.

 

Some of the negative symptoms associated with menopause include wild fluctuations in estrogen levels, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, depression, fuzzy or impaired thinking, headaches, and weight gain. This stage of a woman’s life can be unsettling, disruptive and stressful. Many women say their quality of life plummets dramatically. Hormonal imbalance is the keynote of this stage. This does not have to be the case.

 

How “Low Dose Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) can Reduce or Eliminate Menopause Symptoms

Women should never have to suffer needlessly from the disruptive effects of menopause. Beyond symptoms, hormonal imbalance upsets the normal functioning of many organs and systems. This imbalance sets the stage for many aging-related diseases.

 

A shift is taking place in medicine. Healthcare is becoming more proactive, more participatory and more personalized. We live in a new age that calls for new thinking and new solutions. We are beyond the time of merely treating symptoms and not the root cause of medical issues.

 

“Low-dose bio-identical hormone balancing” is now being acknowledged as a vital part of the total health picture for the aging population. This approach emphasizes optimizing the bodies own hormone production by improving thyroid, adrenal, ovary and liver functions. These organs produce the hormones needed for an energetic and happy demeanor. Using a 24-hour urine test to assess the many hormones is the start of this process to fine tune the body. Many highly-respected physicians and medical organizations are rethinking their positions on both hormone replacement and bioidentical hormone therapy.

 

Many people are now exploring the use of bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) to help rebalance hormone insufficiencies. BHRT treats the symptoms of menopause, perimenopause and postmenopause. Specific hormones used in BHRT include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and estriol.  These bioidentical hormones are made from soy and yams to be exactly the same structure as the hormones that your body produces. The body recognizes them. This enables them to bind appropriately to the same receptors as their human counterparts. The bioidentical plant-based hormones are applied via a cream or a suppository, are taken by mouth or are injected.

 

The body metabolizes bioidentical hormones in the way it was designed to in order to produce the same physiologic responses. Thus, bioidenticals can provide vital support to the body’s organs, tissues and cells. In fact, low dose bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, when administered properly, can be virtually side-effect free. Additionally, bioidenticals are compounded to meet the dosage needs of each individual.  That isn’t possible with mass-produced pharmaceutical synthetic hormones.

 

It’s clear that women need more options when it comes to combating menopause symptoms. When hormonal deficiencies are correctly identified and bioidentical hormones are prescribed, negative menopausal symptoms can be greatly reduced if not eliminated.

 

To speak with an NPG doctor about how Low Dose BHRT can improve the menopause symptoms of you or your loved one, request an appointment or call our office at (480) 451-6161.

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Brain Wave Optimization: A Natural Step To A Healthier You

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Do you suffer from poor sleep? Feel anxious or depressed? Ever have trouble maintaining focus during the day? These are all symptoms of poor brain health common to the chaotic and modern world we live in, but it doesn’t need to be that way!

Poor Brain Health Can Be A Real Killer

Just like the rest of the body, the brain functions best when every part is in alignment. When trauma causes things to become imbalanced, we start noticing health problems. Injury, stress, drug use, and poor diet can all contribute towards these issues, and the longer they go untreated the worse the trauma becomes. Your brain health depends on you taking concrete steps to improve it.

Hidden Traumas: Recognizing And Treating Poor Brain Health

Most people know to go to the doctor when they are sick, but poor brain health often goes unrecognized and untreated. People too readily dismiss problems like insomnia or anxiety as just a feature of the world that we have to live in. What’s worse, when someone does seek treatment for a symptom of poor brain health they are usually prescribed pharmaceutical drugs and, while they may have some effectiveness against the intended symptom, they often create a whole host of symptoms on their own.

Brain Wave Optimization: A Revolutionary Technique To Heal Your Brain

If you’re looking for a natural, non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical treatment to improve brain health, consider brain wave optimization. Brain wave optimization is a powerful technique clinically proven to promote the brain’s own healing mechanism by realigning the brain’s delicate electric and magnetic patterns. When conventional therapies have been ineffective, brain wave optimization can dramatically improve your health and your life.

How Does It Work?

The procedure begins with a consultation and a brain wave assessment. We want to find out as much about your symptoms as possible, in order to best refine your treatment plan. Every patient has a slightly different condition, so it’s vitally important to make the sessions as individually-tuned as possible. During the assessment, we use EEG meters to read the electric patterns in your brain, creating a baseline map that will help us find where imbalances exist. The treatment itself uses non-invasive brain wave sensors to record and translate your brain waves, creating biofeedback in the brain that calibrates and refines your brain wave pattern. Over time, this calibration helps your brain undo past traumas and achieve peak performance. We typically recommend patients attend 10 sessions for best results.

It’s Really A No-Brainer

When your brain is healthy, you’re healthy; optimizing your brain is crucial step in maintaining your overall well-being. Our team of naturopathic physicians is looking forward to bringing the benefits of natural medicine to your life. Contact NPG today to schedule an appointment!   Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/dLSKTQ

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Exercise as Medicine

It would be difficult to find someone in the United States today who would argue that we are in the middle of a public health crisis.  Turn on the news, watch TV, surf the internet and you will undoubtedly find a plethora of articles on chronic health problems that are plaguing our society.  Diabetes, cancers, and obesity just to name a few are ever increasing and are being discovered across the population.  Despite all of the trendy diets, medications, etc. these issues continue to become more problematic, but they do not have to be.  It is time for each and every one of us to take personal responsibility for the public health crisis and start exercising our way back to health.

 

Now I know what you are thinking: “you are not telling me anything I do not already know.”  Maybe not, but lets take a scientific look at the effect that exercise has on the body and chronic illnesses.  Physical inactivity has been linked to a great increase in all chronic illnesses (Durstine, Gordon, Wang, & Luo, 2013).   Their research indicates that chronic illness is being seen in increasingly younger populations.  They discovered that 77 percent of children under the age of 13 reported no vigorous activity in a seven-day period and only 15 percent reporting at least one-hour of activity.  These are pretty compelling statistics in that not only are older populations being effected by lack of exercise, but childhood sedentary behavior is on the rise along with chronic illnesses.  So then what are we to do about it?

 

To often, exercise has been seen as a form of punishment.  As a kid you may have been told to “take a lap” when you were late for gym class or your mom or dad told you to “go outside” when you were getting on their nerves.  We have to change that belief to look at exercise as medicine.  Think of it this way, if your doctor has prescribed you a Statin medication for cholesterol and he/she told you to take it everyday or you will die, most of us would race to the pharmacy and start taking it immediately and follow the doctor’s orders.  We need to look at exercise in the same way.  Exercise should be a part of your daily rituals much in the same way you brush your teeth to keep them healthy, or take a prescription to keep your cholesterol under control.  More importantly, if you do follow the exercise prescription (along with a healthy diet) your need for all of the other medicines may decrease to the point where exercise is the only medicine you would need.  So how do we do that?

 

As a sport psychologist I have spent my career helping athletes of all levels and abilities reach their goals.  If you are suffering from a chronic illness and your naturopathic physician has prescribed exercise as a part of your treatment plan then it starts with a shift in the way you think about exercise.

 

  1. Think of exercise as medicine.  It is cheap and easy and may save your life.
  2. Start small.  Exercise does not require that you run a marathon or climb Mount Everest.  Start with what you can accomplish comfortably with the mindset of improvement to challenge yourself across time.
  3. Set daily, weekly, monthly goals in an effort to keep yourself motivated.  As you monitor your daily successes and exercise gains then you can give yourself credit for the success and not some pill.
  4. Get help.  Exercise can be a challenge and you may need help.  This can come in many forms.  A workout partner, a trainer, a sport psychologist, but do not be afraid to reach out for help.  You asked your doctor for help now continue that help to other professionals who are trained to help you achieve your goals.

Hopefully, these simple pieces of advice have given you something to think about and consider.  Remember that many chronic illnesses are the result of years of unhealthy living (poor diet, no exercise, etc.).  You did not get this way in a day and you are not going to fix yourself in a day so be patient, but be persistent in taking you medicine and in this case that medicine is EXERCISE.

 

About the Author:

Dr. Strickland is certified by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), an international professional organization that promotes professional standards in the field of sport psychology.

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