Altered Sense of Humor an Early Warning Sign of Dementia

man laughingTo laugh is human.……

Our sci­en­tif­ic under­stand­ing of the role of a sense of humor as part of health is grow­ing. What’s also emerg­ing is an under­stand­ing that a shift in the types of things that make you laugh can be a clue to a change in men­tal abil­i­ties.

A 2016 arti­cle in the Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease report­ed on the results of a ques­tion­naire about humor pref­er­ences.

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Running is healthy for your knees

The tra­di­tion­al argu­ment against run­ning was that the pound­ing of run­ning com­pacts your knee car­ti­lage and speeds up the process of arthri­tis.

Here’s the coun­ter­ar­gu­ment: car­ti­lage becomes health­i­er when it’s sub­ject to cycles of load­ing and unload­ing. Since a large frac­tion of your knee car­ti­lage has no direct blood sup­ply, the only way to get nutri­tion into the car­ti­lage (and flush waste prod­ucts out) is to repeat­ed­ly squeeze and then release the tis­sue, just like wring­ing water out of a sponge.

The anti-run­ning argu­ment has always had numer­ous holes. For one thing, it’s been hard to doc­u­ment the neg­a­tive effects of run­ning in a sci­en­tif­ic lab­o­ra­to­ry. And long term stud­ies show that run­ners don’t have an increased inci­dence of knee arthri­tis.

Now the pro-run­ning argu­ment has gained even more sup­port.

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New clues in chronic fatigue syndrome

If you have chron­ic fatigue syn­drome, you con­front a para­dox: phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is help­ful, but exer­cise can also back­fire and leave you total­ly exhaust­ed. You might feel burn­ing or aching in your mus­cles as if you’ve run a marathon even when you’ve only walked around the block.

This hall­mark of chron­ic fatigue has a sci­en­tif­ic name: “post-exer­tion­al malaise.” Post-exer­tion­al malaise is con­sid­ered one of the symp­toms that offi­cial­ly defines the diag­no­sis of chron­ic fatigue syn­drome.

Now sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered a clue about the ener­gy metab­o­lism of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from chron­ic fatigue syn­drome that might account for post-exer­tion­al malaise.

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Reverse Hip Joint Arthritis

I’m on a mis­sion to make hip joint degen­er­a­tion a rel­ic of the past.

Many of my patients have ben­e­fit­ted from a pro­gram that slows the process­es that grind down the hip joint, revers­es some of the accu­mu­lat­ed dam­age, and pre­vents or delays the need to have hip joint replace­ment surgery.

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Harm Reduction vs. Restoring Health: Why Blood Pressure Pills Don’t Make You Healthier

When­ev­er I see my per­son­al med­ical doc­tor I’m remind­ed of the dif­fer­ences between the allo­path­ic med­ical phi­los­o­phy and the chi­ro­prac­tic per­spec­tive.

If you’re not able to con­trol your blood pres­sure with lifestyle changes,” she was telling me, “You should take blood pres­sure med­ica­tion to improve your health.”  Why did this state­ment sound off-base to me?

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Love exercise? Loathe exercise? It may be in your genes.

I’ve spent my entire career try­ing to inspire peo­ple to enjoy the plea­sures of body move­ment. That’s one of the rea­sons I orga­nized the 2016 Prince­ton Fit­ness Chal­lenge — to moti­vate com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to estab­lish con­sis­tent fit­ness habits.

Still, it seems that there’s a com­mit­ted core of couch pota­toes who – no mat­ter how I try to moti­vate them — sim­ply don’t enjoy exer­cise as much as I think they should.

New research sug­gests that the prob­lem may lie in their genes.

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New Research on Low Back Pain and Its Treatment

1.  A sub­stan­tial per­cent­age of low back pain patients (40 – 70%, depend­ing on the mea­sure used) did not show sig­nif­i­cant clin­i­cal improve­ment after their course of phys­i­cal ther­a­py.  And, if you smoke or are over­weight, the odds are stacked against you even more.

More on adding chi­ro­prac­tic meth­ods to the treat­ment of low back pain

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2. A patient does bet­ter in a pain man­age­ment pro­gram if goals are set based on what’s impor­tant for the patient, rather than shoot­ing for a pre-fab set of stan­dard­ized goals.

More on the impor­tance of per­son­al­iza­tion in the treat­ment of low back pain

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3.  Although med­ical guide­lines try to elim­i­nate the use of unnec­es­sary MRI’s, many pri­ma­ry care physi­cians find it dif­fi­cult to fol­low the guide­lines.

More on unnec­es­sary MRI’s

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Craniosacral Therapy: More is More? Or Less is More?

There are two oppo­site philoso­phies about try­ing to heal the body: “more is more” vs. “less is more”.

I used to be most com­fort­able with a “more is more” approach. I want­ed to give my patients the ben­e­fit of all of my knowl­edge, and heap on the entire range of my ther­a­peu­tic meth­ods, con­vinced that the more I added, the quick­er they’d get bet­ter.

But that was before I got trained in Cran­iosacral Ther­a­py (in the late 1980’s) and began to lis­ten to the feed­back I got from my patients.

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Posted in Brain Health, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain | Tagged | 1 Comment

Food and Pain — The Top 8 Nutrition Strategies to Get Relief

If we are not feed­ing our cells appro­pri­ate­ly, or we are feed­ing our cells tox­ic prod­ucts or inflam­ma­to­ry prod­ucts, the end result is going to be inflam­ma­tion and pain.”

That’s the opin­ion of Robert Bonakdar, MD, Direc­tor of Pain Man­age­ment for the Scripps Cen­ter for Inte­gra­tive Med­i­cine, who addressed the 2016 meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pain Man­age­ment.

Dr. Bonakdar went on to out­line his top eight tips for using food to reduce pain.

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The natural treatment for pain that starts with your brain

Sci­en­tists agree: brain func­tion is cen­tral to the pain expe­ri­ence.

The brain cal­cu­lates and eval­u­ates all of the sig­nals that come from your body. The incom­ing sig­nals aren’t expe­ri­enced as painful until your brain decides they are.

That’s why opti­mal pain ther­a­py must mod­i­fy the way the brain process­es the sig­nals com­ing from your joints, mus­cles, and inter­nal organs.

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