Reduce the Three Ts and Get Healthier Faster

When it comes to getting healthy and staying healthy there are rarely short-cuts. Sadly, there’s no magic pill. It really comes down to educating yourself properly, and then taking the necessary steps.

We all know that stress kills. However, when most of us think of stress, we tend to focus solely on emotional stress, and that is a big one to be sure. But are you aware of all the chemical and physical stress that your body absorbs day in and day out?

The truth is that our world, while becoming more convenient and more comfortable for most of us, is also becoming much more toxic. Not to mention the physical stress that all this convenience and comfort places on us daily (Which sounds like an oxymoron, but you’ll soon see that it’s not.) And your ability to remove some of this stress will determine just how healthy you are.

T #1 – Thoughts

Our bodies were built to produce stress responses that are short and intense and as a means of survival. You may know it as our fight-or-flight response. And in an emergency, from out-running your neighbor’s rabid dog to lifting an unusually heavy object off someone you care about, you’ll be glad your body is wired this way.

What our bodies aren’t wired for is continual stress, also known as chronic stress. This type of stress, that isn’t initiated by an emergency, taxes our nervous system in very dangerous ways. And this kind of stress is something most of us have felt in our lives, whether it be from personal relationships, rush-hour traffic, or from a boss that seems to take pleasure in making you suffer.

You have control over your thoughts, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. You have the ability to think differently about these types of stressors, and too react differently. But when we allow these negative thoughts to consume us, not only are we putting undue stress on our nervous systems, but we’re also inviting illness and disease into our lives.

Emotional stress has been shown to hinder our immune response which makes us much more susceptible to illness and disease. Emotional stress has a direct effect on our digestive health and increases your chances of suffering from IBS and other digestive disorders. And emotional stress can even manifest itself as physical pain, particularly back pain.

So, what can you do? Lifestyle changes are the best place to start, as learning how to deal with emotional stress is your ticket to overcoming it. Because you cannot control rush hour traffic. And you certainly can’t keep your boss from tormenting you. But you can control how you respond to it.

Focus on ways to improve your mind/body connection, as in meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices. Exercise more. Get outside more. Practice deep breathing. (You may have noticed that when you’re stressed out, your breathing becomes very shallow, so to reverse it, go deeper.)

Check out our blog article – Natural Stress Relief Methods that Work – for a number of great stress relief tips.

T #2 – Toxins

How many chemicals do you think are licensed in the U.S? This may shock you, but there are more than 75,000. Many of these are hormone-disrupters. Many more are poisonous. (That Round-Up you spray on your yard to kill the weeds? There’s a reason you don’t want to get it on your skin.) And a good deal of those 75,000 chemicals are carcinogenic, meaning cancer-causing.

Now, it’s impossible to completely protect yourself in our toxic, modern world. You can, however, limit your exposure. And that begins by knowing where the most toxins are, and what you can do to remove some of those threats.

Read labels. On your food, your hygiene products, and cleaning products. When it comes to food, eating organic, whole foods rather than processed foods and fast food, will help you avoid most of those toxins. As for hygiene and cleaning products, either make your own (which is easy and cheap in most cases) or buy natural products.

Now, if you’re thinking, but they’re so much more expensive. The thing is, one way or another, you will spend, either now on better products, or later when you succumb to illness and disease as a result of that toxic exposure.

To remove toxins from your home, get an air purifier or plants that are especially adept at purifying the air. Get a water purifier, or buy clean, pure water. Exercise more, as sweat is a great way to remove toxins. Try dry skin brushing, because if your dead skin cells are clogging your pores, you won’t be able to sweat away those toxins as easily. And try a short-term detox diet and invest in a few select foods and herbs that are great at removing toxins, like chlorella.

T #3 – Trauma

When we think of physical trauma, we tend to think about car accidents, sports injuries, or other literal causes of pain. But what about this modern lifestyle of convenience and comfort?

How much time do you spend staring down at your phone? Did you know that Forward Head Posture is a very real concern for most of us, as it puts undue strain on your spine? Did you also know that you’re only as healthy as the health of your spine?

A quick chiropractic lesson: When your spine is out of alignment, this can easily put pressure on your nervous system. Your nervous system is how your brain sends messages to the rest of your body. If this communication is disrupted, you can experience problems in every system, organ, tissue, and cell. And leaning over your computer for hours each day or staring down at your phone isn’t helping the situation.

How much time do you spend sitting or lying down in a 24-hour period? It’s probably shocking if you take the time to think about it. Your body wasn’t meant to be inactive and sedentary, and it wasn’t that long ago that we had to move as part of our agricultural lifestyle. But in the modern world, where we often sit all day under unnatural lighting, this produces negative effects.

Of course, there’s also the matter of obesity. Carrying around a few extra pounds places added stress on every part of your body.

Get a standing desk or get up more often and move around. Pay attention to HOW you’re sitting at your desk. Is your head forward? Are you leaning into your desk? Get your head back; sit up straight. And put down that phone once in a while. Or at least hold it differently.

The modern lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle. But there are simple changes you can make. However, if your problems run deeper, particularly those that are causing you pain, contact us today.

Know more about Dr. Raju Mantena.

You don’t have to live with pain.

The Incredible Health Benefits of Antioxidants

You’ve probably heard of antioxidants, and you also probably understand that they’re beneficial for your health. But do you know why we need antioxidants?

To put it simply, antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation. So, what is oxidation? Well, if this is your first time hearing this, it may sound more like the plot of a bad action movie, than a process that is ongoing in your body 24/7.

It all begins with free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms or groups of atoms, and the reason they are unstable is because they’re missing an electron. To make up for this missing electron, they go on a thieving-spree, aggressively attacking other molecules (oxidation) in an attempt to steal electrons from those atoms, which obviously creates even more free radicals. (And more oxidation.)

If left unchecked, as in an absence of antioxidants designed to combat the free radicals, this can cause a chain-reaction and trail of cellular death and destruction. Which actually does sound like the plot of a bad movie. Except this carnage isn’t happening at a theatre near you; it’s happening in your body even as you read this.

So, now that we got that out of the way, and you completely understand why we need more antioxidants, let’s find some great sources of antioxidants. So your body can more easily combat those pesky free radicals.

Your Best Sources of Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

There are numerous types of antioxidants. Some are generalists, like Vitamin C, lycopene, and all the carotenoids. While some, like superoxide dismutase, are considered specialists. But we’re not going to worry too much about the details, and instead focus on getting more of them in general into your diet.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a score given to all foods, herbs, and supplements as an indication of their antioxidant potency. The higher the ORAC score, the stronger the antioxidant. And it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that herbs score highest, as they tend to be more nutritionally beneficial than foods. (Certain supplements, like astaxanthin, score even higher.)

Top 10 Herbs with High ORAC Scores

  1. Cloves: 314,446
  2. Cinnamon: 267,537
  3. Oregano: 159,277
  4. Turmeric: 102,700
  5. Cocoa: 80,933
  6. Cumin: 76,800
  7. Parsley (dried): 74,349
  8. Basil: 67,553
  9. Ginger: 28,811
  10. Thyme: 27,426

Getting some of these into your diet may be a challenge, while others will be pretty easy. Cinnamon can easily be added to smoothies, coffee, and other drinks, or sprinkled on top of your morning oatmeal or granola and yogurt. Turmeric, one of our favorite superfoods, can be added to most cooked dishes, soups, and stews without altering the flavor very much.

Fresh ginger can be added to black or herbal teas for a healthy and delicious drink. You can use basil and oregano in all Italian recipes and even many that aren’t. And parsley is extremely versatile, and not just for decoration at restaurants.

Top 10 Foods with High ORAC Scores

  1. Dark chocolate: 20,816
  2. Pecans: 17,940
  3. Elderberries: 14,697
  4. Wild blueberries: 9,621
  5. Artichoke (boiled): 9,416
  6. Cranberries: 9,090
  7. Kidney beans: 8,606
  8. Blackberries: 5,905
  9. Cilantro: 5,141
  10. Goji berries: 4,310

You may notice a pattern here, as half of this list is made up of berries. Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. And when it comes to berries, or foods in general, look for those with really deep, dark colors. Because all those colors come from nutrients; the darker the color, the more nutrients.

Also, the different colors represent different nutrients. Think about beta-Carotene – it’s an orange or red pigment responsible for the orange in carrots, or the red in red peppers. Which means if you want to get more variety in your diet, aim for more colors when strolling down the produce aisle at your grocery store.

The purpose and power of antioxidants cannot be overstated. If you want a way to increase your lifespan and fight the effects of age-related decline, getting more antioxidants into your diet is essential.

You’re only as healthy as the health of your cells. If you allow free radicals to run amok in your body at the cellular level, you won’t be healthy at any level. Which makes getting more of these super-healthful food and herbs an absolute must.

Antioxidants equip your body to fight disease and inflammation, which is kind of like the foundation that disease grows from. A body that’s in a state of chronic inflammation is a body that will likely succumb to disease.

If you’re looking for a way to slow the aging process, ward off disease, reduce the inflammation that contributes to disease, then you want to get more antioxidants into your body. And the way you do that is entirely through the foods you eat. Make better food choices, have better health.

Know more about Dr. Raju Mantena.


An Existential View of Addiction and What You Can Do to Overcome It

For most of us, when we think of addiction, we tend to picture a junkie strung out on heroin. Or maybe an alcoholic, or someone who can’t go half an hour without smoking a cigarette. But our addictions go way beyond the obvious, and something most of us probably struggle with more than we realize.

With gambling becoming more legalized and accessible (online gambling), there’s a very real concern for an increase in gambling addiction. Speaking of computers, how many of you have children with a gaming addiction? Or cell phone addiction? And what about food?

Have you heard that sugar just might be the most addictive substance on the planet not named heroin? And, of course, there’s this little thing called the Opiate Epidemic. Any time we give a name to something, you know it’s become an issue.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.

They go on to classify it as an “inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioural control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviours and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.

That definition sure does leave a lot of room for interpretation and equally covers much ground. In the modern world, the way we overcome most things is with medication, and addiction is no different. But aren’t we simply trading one addiction for another.

In fact, the best way to overcome addiction is through substitution. However, what you substitute for can either be healthy or unhealthy. Which makes trading in one drug for another kind of silly. While trading in that same drug for an exercise routine a much better choice.

Think about alcoholics and the old joke about them trading in alcohol for weekly meetings, more cigarettes, and umpteen cups of lukewarm coffee. There’s truth in this stereotype because substitution works. But sometimes so does abstinence.

The best way to beat a sugar addiction is to quit eating sugar. Sure, you’ll have cravings for a while, but those physical cravings will subside, and usually in only a few days you’ll likely begin to notice a shift. But will the psychological cravings end?

Same goes for carbohydrates and the dreaded addiction to bread. It only takes a few days to get over that craving physically. But mentally? How do you stop dreaming of bread?

Is there a way to shift the way we think? The way we react and respond to certain triggers? Isn’t an addict always an addict?

Look at that addiction definition one more time. Particularly, the last three words: dysfunctional emotional response.

The Mind/Body Connection is the Key to Everything

Buddhists will be familiar with the Four Noble Truths, the first of which is this: Suffering, pain, and misery exist in life. The Second Truth is that this suffering is caused by selfish craving and personal desire. And the third states that this can be overcome. (While the fourth hints at Enlightenment as the end goal.)

Is it possible we humans have too much self-awareness? Aren’t we the only living things (most likely) that know from an early age that we have an expiration date? And could it be that most of our addictions stem from our desire to be distracted from this knowledge?

Sorry to get so deep on you, but in disease we talk about getting to the root of the problem to really solve that problem, as opposed to medications that simply mask it. Which means to truly solve the addiction riddle, we need to get to the root of it.

This isn’t going to be easy! (And yes, sometimes an addiction is just an addiction. But since everything has a root, has a beginning, has a cause with a subsequent effect, maybe an addiction is NEVER just an addiction.)

Let’s look at the cause and effect relationship as it pertains to addiction. Let’s also acknowledge that death isn’t the only thing causing us mental and emotional distress, and that any addiction can be a distraction from any cause, no matter how superficial.

If our thoughts of anguish are the cause, and our actions of addiction are the effect, this combination could be summed up as: the mind/body connection. So, how do we solve addiction issues? By acknowledging this connection exists, and then doing the things that bring us into a more centered state in both areas.

Calling it a mind/body connection is actually misleading, because when we say mind, what we really mean is emotional, and perhaps even spiritual. Your brain and body share the same chemical language, and your hormones and neurotransmitters are the messengers. Which is why emotions manifest themselves in physical form.

Think about times in your life when you’ve been nervous or anxious. Ever been to a job interview and realized your palms are sweaty? And knowing that you’re about to shake hands with the person conducting the interview makes them even more sweaty. Or how about butterflies in your stomach during a first date, or before an important presentation at work?

Your mind and body are not separate entities. They exist as parts of the same whole. Which means your negative emotions and thought patterns can cause imbalances physically. So, to restore balance in both areas, which should greatly aid in overcoming your addictions, let’s focus on exercises and practices that incorporate both.

Mindfulness Practice

The meaning is simple – to be present physically, mentally, emotionally, in all that you do. Rather than our default, which is in our heads, stuck on negative self-talk, worrying about the future, or obsessing about the past.

When we’re completely present, or mindful, we’re not engaged in this self-talk. We see the world as it is. We experience everything fully. Now, it also helps if you can to this while also being free of judgement. But as just living mindfully is difficult enough, let’s save that one for the master class.


Meditation is equally tricky. Freeing your mind from all thoughts is much easier said than done. But the benefits are mind-blowing. Meditation has shown an ability to change brain chemistry. And it’s through this change in brain chemistry, that you’re able to change your emotional responses to stress, stimuli, and your addiction triggers.

If you’ve tried meditation before and discovered an inability to quiet your mind, give guided meditation a try. Or incorporate audio programs that use binaural beats to help put your mind into the proper brain state, which is the theta state.

Also, try adding a deep breathing practice into your daily routine. Add yoga or tai chi to your exercise routine, both of which are very much focused on mind and body. Exercise in general is great for rewiring brain chemistry and thus helping you to overcome addiction. But those exercises that focus on both body and mind will be even more beneficial.

You cannot separate mind and body. And since addiction is a disease that affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally, a total approach that addresses all of these areas will likely be your best, and healthiest, bet to overcome whatever addictions you’re suffering from.

Know more about Dr. Raju Mantena.

Yoga for Pain Relief

Chronic pain has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with 8 out of 10 Americans reporting that they experience regular, and sometimes chronic, back pain. Unfortunately, the most common treatment for this pain involves pain medications. But is there a better way? A more natural way?

The American Chiropractic Association has some pretty alarming statistics when it comes to Americans and back pain, which is by far the most common type of pain.

  • 31 million Americans experience lower back pain
  • Half of all working Americans say they have back pain
  • Back pain is the most common reason people miss work
  • Back pain is the second most common reason people visit a doctor
  • 75 – 85% of Americans will experience back pain at some point
  • Americans spend at least 86 billion dollars each year treating it

Yoga has many health benefits for your body and your mind, as it’s both physical and mental. It involves a combination of controlled breathing, stretching, and meditation. And while it’s still relatively new in the U.S. (since the 60s or 70s), yoga has been around for thousands of years in Asian countries like India. But can you do yoga to actually treat your pain?

What is Causing Your Back Pain?

All pain can be debilitating, and at the end of this blog post we’ll link to some specific yoga poses for a wide variety of pain. But as back pain is by far the most common, let’s look at the why and how of back pain first.

Accidents and injuries are the most common reason people experience back pain, but even simple movements, along with other physical and psychological factors, can contribute to your pain. Some of the more common include:

  • Poor posture
  • Inactivity, a sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Emotional distress

The interesting thing about this short list, is that it indicates that your back pain can be caused by poor lifestyle choices, poor eating habits, and even poor emotional health. Which means treating your back pain will likely involve making some improvements in a few areas.

Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle is a sign of our modern times, as most of us sit all day at work, then sit again in the evening in front of our TVs. And then it’s bedtime. All this sitting, combined with poor posture while sitting, is the number one culprit contributing to not just your back pain, but many health ailments. So, aim to get up more. Get a standing desk. Stand while watch Monday Night Football. Or even better, do yoga while watching TV.

The emotional aspect of back pain deserves special attention. We’re beginning to find evidence that poor emotional health can definitely contribute to pain. A four-year study conducted in 2004 followed 100 participants who began the study pain-free. All of them underwent psychological evaluations. And over the course of those four years, the patients who scored poorly in those evaluations were three times more likely to experience back pain by the end of the study.

Can Some Simple Yoga Poses Really Help?

The short answer is, yes. Look at that list again from above. Then look at what yoga can provide. There’s a tremendous amount of overlap. Back problems can be triggered by your poor physical health, emotional health, and mental health. And yoga can benefit you in all three areas. When you look at it in that way, it feels really obvious.

When we experience pain, especially chronic pain, this can easily lead to anxiety over our pain, which can contribute even more to our pain symptoms. Our breathing becomes shallower when we experience pain. We begin to move less because of it, or differently, which puts other areas of your body at risk. Our entire body becomes more tense. And we think differently – less optimistically, which can lead to depression.

Yoga provides the kind of mind/body connection that can ease your anxiety over pain. It stresses deep breathing from your diaphragm. The movements are big and involve your entire body and greatly help to relieve muscle tension. And then there’s the mental benefits that come from yoga.

Movement can be medicine, when it comes to pain. The problem is that our natural inclination is to move less. However, the key is finding the right kind of movements. It should also be noted that yoga isn’t just for pain relief. Fixing is always more difficult than maintaining. So, consider yoga a great preventative solution for staying pain-free.

Where yoga really excels in terms of physical benefits is improving flexibility and core strength. Many back problems, especially lower-back conditions, originate in our core. If your core muscles are weak, you’ll be more susceptible to back problems.

In another study, patients suffering from lower back pain were divided into groups. The group of patients who took just one yoga class per week showed more improvement than the groups receiving medication or physical therapy.

If you’re suffering with lower back pain, in particular, any yoga pose that helps elongate and lengthen the spine should provide relief. Even something as simple as bending over and touching your toes. Think again about the modern, sedentary lifestyle most of us have, and how all that sitting compresses the spine. It only makes sense that doing exercises that lengthen it will help counteract that inactivity.

There’s also a trial and error aspect to using movement as pain relief, as we’re all unique. The trick is finding what works for you. Furthermore, not all yoga poses will help your condition, and some may make your pain worse. If your problem is lower back pain, a bridge pose may not be the best idea.

There’s something special about deep breathing exercises that contributes to better health in all areas – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

If you’re experiencing pain that won’t go away no matter what you try, it may be time to seek professional help. The dedicated health professionals at 360 Pain Treatment have a number of treatment options at their disposal, all of which are safe and effective. Don’t let pain slow you down. Request an appointment today.

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Understanding the Lymphatic System

You’re all probably aware of your cardiovascular system, as heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the modern world. And you’re probably well-versed in the goings-on of your digestive system, what with all the focus on probiotics, prebiotics, and now synbiotics. But how many of you know about the lymphatic system – what it does, how to improve it, and so forth?

This may come as a shock to you, but your lymphatic system may be even more important than those other two above combined. Now is that exaggeration? Yes, probably so. But as you’ll soon see, not by much.

What is Your Lymphatic System?

Your lymphatic system is actually part of another famous system in your body, your immune system, which means it also helps to protect you against illness, disease, and the inflammation responsible for much of that illness and disease. In particular, your lymphatic system specializes in combating outside threats like bacteria and infections.

Your lymph system includes glands like your tonsils and adenoids – the glands at the back of your nose that helps protect your lungs and digestive system. And it includes organs, such as your spleen and thymus.

Your lymphatic system is a drainage system, comprised of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carry fluids around your body, from your tissues to your blood stream and vice versa. It’s similar to your circulatory system, except that it carries lymph instead of blood. And, in fact, your lymphatic system is where your white blood cells are produced and stored.

And in case you’re wondering, lymph is a watery, clear liquid, made up of salts, glucose, protein molecules, bacteria and other substances.

Why is a Healthy Lymphatic System Important?

Your lymphatic system is responsible for removing cellular debris and toxins from your body. It can become easily congested, especially as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, which weakens immune function and thus hinders our ability to fight illness and disease.

To make matters worse, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump in the way your circulatory system does. Instead, it relies on movement and stimulation to work properly. And when it’s not functioning as it should, those toxins that were supposed to exit the body get trapped in your lymph nodes instead.

You’ve all probably experienced swollen lymph nodes before when you were sick. This is normal. Your lymph nodes are where your immune system finds, attacks, and attempts to destroy all perceived threats. They also filter out bacteria and produce disease-fighting white blood cells.

If there’s congestion, not only do you experience mild symptoms like bloating, headaches, stiffness, and skin problems, but your body will likely experience toxic overload, which can lead to a host of problems. In turn, your lymph nodes will have a harder time doing its job, when it comes to producing those white blood cells that keep your immunity strong.

Ways to Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

The good news is that there are a wide range of strategies for getting your lymph circulating as it should. By utilizing certain exercises, massage, dry skin brushing, and adapting your diet to include a few select foods and herbs, you’ll have your lymphatic system in tip-top shape before you know it. And trust us, you’ll feel the difference.

Exercises to Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

By far the best exercise to get your lymph circulating again is also a fun and easy exercise, and how often do you hear that as it pertains to getting healthier. It’s called rebounding, and it has nothing to do with basketball.

A rebounder is basically a mini-trampoline, like the kind you see at halftime during basketball games, where the mascot bounces high in the air to dunk over a gaggle of cheerleaders. (OK, maybe it has a little to do with basketball.)

A rebounder only takes up a small amount of space, as opposed to the full-grown outdoor trampoline, and only 10 minutes a day will produce fantastic results. But any type of movement and exercise will benefit your lymphatic system.

Other good options include high intensity interval training, yoga, even walking. Just remember, if you’re stagnant, your lymphatic system will likely be as well.

Dry Skin Brushing

Many of your lymph nodes are located just under your skin, which means stimulating those areas will improve your lymphatic circulation and drainage.

Dry skin brushing helps get rid of dead skin cells, of which we have millions, if not billions, just sitting on top of our skin. As you might imagine, this can cause a traffic jam of sorts, as one part of your body responsible for the elimination of toxins is your skin.

Toxins that don’t exit the body through your skin can be reabsorbed by the body, or even contribute to cellulite. Dry skin brushing is an invigorating experience, it allows your skin to breathe and look its healthiest, and it even relieves stress.

Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic massage is another great way to manipulate your body into circulating more lymph. Unlike a bruising Thai massage, lymphatic massages are gentle, as you’re merely rubbing or pushing the skin in the direction of the lymphatic flow.

You can see a specialist for this type of massage, or you can learn do it on yourself, particularly areas you can reach like around your face, which will help with sinus congestion. Lymphatic massages are also a great natural remedy for fibromyalgia, migraines, improving range of motion after surgery, and as a treatment for reducing cellulite.

Food and Herbs that Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

Getting healthy is as much about what you eliminate as what you add. So, let’s start with eliminating the bad. And first on the list is no food before bedtime, at least three hours. Eating before bedtime handicaps your lymphatic system by giving it too much to do during a period when you’ll be doing very little.

Milk and milk products are another lymphatic clogging culprit. As are sugars, hydronated oils, and refined foods or processed foods.

Flavonoids are high on the list of what to add, as they have an augmenting function on your lymphatic system. So, aim to get more fruits, vegetables, and herbs into your diet, particularly those with deep, dark colors. Some that deserve special mention are red clover, echinacea, goldenseal, and ginseng.

Cucumber juice, in particular, will help purify your lymphatic system. And don’t discount hydration in general, which is vital. And when we say, hydration, we’re referring to more clean, pure water, not diet soda. Herbal teas are also a great option, but not as a water substitute.

In general, you want to get more alkalising foods and herbs into your diet. And red foods are particularly beneficial for your lymphatic system, which makes beets an excellent vegetable choice.

Remember, your lymphatic system is responsible for improving your immunity to disease and illness, and unlike most systems in your body, it really needs your help to be at its best. Which means getting up and moving around more. And actually, that’s good advice in general.

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Repair and Regenerate with Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy holds a lot of promise for the future, and you may be tempted to think of it solely in futuristic terms. But as we continue to explore all the ways we can use it, it should be mentioned that stem cell therapy is already in use today – most commonly as a treatment for blood diseases like leukaemia and for tissue grafts for skin and bone diseases or injuries.

While stem cell therapy is gaining steam as a viable treatment option for numerous diseases and conditions, few people know much about it. What are stem cells? Where do they come from? Why is there such an interest in them? And what is the controversy surrounding them?

What are Stem Cells?

Think of your stem cells as your body’s raw materials, on top of which all other cells (and everything else for that matter) are generated. Under optimal conditions, they divide and create new cells known as daughter cells.

These daughter cells then go on to become stem cells or specialized cells, meaning they have a specific function. Your stem cells are the only cells in your body capable of generating new cell types. So, to say they’re important for your health, would be like saying breathing is important.

Where do Stem Cells Come From?

There are several sources of stem cells that researchers have identified for the purpose of stem cell therapy. These include embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, adult stem cells that have embryonic properties, and perinatal stem cells.

As the name suggests, embryonic stem cells come from embryos, usually between three and five days old. Their use is currently limited; however, these are the stem cells with the greatest power to regenerate and help repair organs and tissues that have been damaged.

Adult stem cells can be found in most tissues, like fat and bone marrow. They’re regenerative abilities are significantly lower than embryonic stem cells. And adult stem cells with embryonic properties are those adult cells that have been reprogrammed genetically to act more like embryonic stem cells.

The last group, perinatal stem cells, comes from the amniotic fluid that helps protect the fetus while it’s in the uterus. These stem cells can change into specialized cells, but there is still much about these that we don’t know.

Why is there Controversy Around Stem Cells?

Using embryonic stem cells, as opposed to adult stem cells, is a matter of ethics for some, since they’re obtained from human embryos. More specifically, they come from embryos created in vitro (meaning outside a living organism, as in a laboratory) rather than from a female uterus.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created specific guidelines for the use of embryonic stem cells, including how they’re used and how they’re donated. And if you’re wondering why we just don’t use the adult stem cells, it’s because they are not nearly as powerful, versatile, or durable.

Why Such an Interest in Stem Cells?

You are only as healthy as the health of your cells. Healthy cells, healthy body. It’s that simple.

Healthy stem cells can be used to replace diseased cells. They can repair damaged tissue and have strong regenerative capabilities as well. And by watching them mature and grow in a laboratory setting, researchers may gain a better understanding of how diseases and health conditions arise in the first place.

The wondrous aspect of stem cell therapy is that it mimics your own body’s process for promoting healing and disease prevention. No manipulation is necessary. The stem cells know exactly where to go and what to do.

If you have inflammation in your body, or tissue damage, they know to home in on that problem and fix it. In fact, the list of conditions and diseases that stem cell therapy could potentially help treat is limitless and includes:

  • Diabetes
  • Vision loss and impairment
  • Hair loss
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain trauma
  • Orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure
  • Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s

We can all probably agree that the fabled Fountain of Youth is a myth, even though the famous explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years trying to find these magical waters. But what if stem cell therapy proves to be just that – a way to live both healthier and longer than we ever thought possible?

Interested in stem cell therapy? Check out our stem cell therapy page for a list of conditions, information on whether it’s right for you, and what you can expect from treatment. Remember, your pain is treatable. And the first step is contacting the health professionals at 360 Pain Treatment.

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All that you need to know about Sciatica

There seems to much confusion and misinformation surrounding what sciatica really is, how to treat it, and even what causes it. And when it comes to your health, misinformation can mean the difference between wellness and illness.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a neurological condition and collection of symptoms usually resulting from an underlying problem with the lower spine. Though not always. It’s equally important to understand what sciatica isn’t: a disease.

Your nervous system is how your brain communicates with the rest of your body, and it does this through your nerves. This communication is responsible for every process and function in your body, from automatic processes like blood pressure control, to all your voluntary movement.

Your sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower spine, down each leg, and into each foot. Sciatica usually effects just one side of the body, and this can result in tingling, weakness, numbness, and varying degrees of pain from your buttocks and hips all the way down to your feet.

As with any symptom, it’s important to find the root cause. Only then can you fix what’s really ailing you.

Causes of Sciatica

There are a number of conditions and circumstances that may result in sciatica pain, which is one reason diagnosing it can be problematic. Let’s look at some of the more common causes.

Lumbar herniated disc – if your spinal disc is leaking fluid, certain proteins can inflame and irritate the sciatic nerve.
Degenerative disc disease – the weakening of the spinal discs can occur with age, leading to a reduction in its ability to absorb shocks, which can cause pressure on the nerve.
Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – this occurs when one spinal disc slips over another and pinches the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis Syndrome – your piriformis muscle in your buttocks sits on top of your sciatic nerve and certain movements can irritate it.
Lumbar spinal stenosis – arthritis can cause your spinal canal to narrow, putting undue pressure on the nerve.

Other possible causes of your sciatica pain could be due to pregnancy, injury to a muscle, scar tissue, and in rare cases a tumor.

Sciatica Symptoms

We already know that underlying problems are responsible for your sciatica discomfort, which is why your symptoms are likely to come and go, get worse, get better, and change considerably over time.

It may begin as numbness in your thigh. It could result in pain and loss of movement in your foot. Certain movements could result in a shooting pain anywhere in your leg, hips, or buttocks. Or you could feel like part of your leg is burning, or you may experience a tingling sensation.

When it comes sciatica symptoms, the range and varying degrees of discomfort are pretty astounding.

Sciatica Treatment

Treatment for your sciatica pain will always depend on the circumstances contributing to it. However, the first approach should be of the non-invasive variety. And only then, should those options fail, should surgery be considered.

Prescription medication, including muscle relaxants, narcotics, and/or anti-seizure medication;
Cold and hot packs – helpful in treating the onset of pain. Alternate between the two to find which works better for you.
Aromatherapy – if inflammation is responsible for your sciatica pain, try lowering it with essential oils that have anti-inflammatory effects like St. John’s wort. You’ll need a diffuser to take advantage of this method.
Massage therapy – if the cause of your sciatica is muscular, massage therapy can help loosen the muscles affected, restore mobility, and decrease your pain.
Acupuncture – this ancient Chinese practice helps stimulate your body’s energy pathways using very thin needles that are inserted around the area of concern.
Chiropractic adjustment – if a spinal subluxation (misalignment) is putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, a spinal adjustment may resolve the issue.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection – if lumbar radiculopathy is causing your pain, this treatment, that involves placing a tiny needle in the epidural space and injecting a small amount of pain medication, may provide relief.
Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection – this treatment is similar to the one above, but the medication is directed onto the sciatic nerve fibers, resulting in a more direct medication delivery.
Physical therapy– to correct posture, strengthen muscles, and improve flexibility.

Lifestyle plays a big role in our health. If you’re sitting down for much of the day, and especially if your posture is poor while sitting, this can contribute to sciatica. Explore ways to get more movement into your day. Incorporate a routine that gets you up and away from your desk.

How about a standing desk? Or stretching breaks. (Yoga, in particular, is great for lengthening the spine and keeping it healthy.) Take a short walk. And try alternating between sitting and lying down when you do experience pain. Find a position that works best for you. And the effect posture has on your health cannot be discounted. Keep your spine straight regardless of your position.

Also, don’t overlook the effect proper rest can have on your sciatica pain. And if these non-invasive strategies don’t help, it may be time to consider more modern treatment options.

Sciatica can be a real pain in the foot, leg, hips, and buttocks. Unfortunately, this pain isn’t your biggest problem. That distinction belongs to whatever is causing your discomfort.

If you think you’re suffering from sciatica symptoms, it’s important to see a physician immediately. Many conditions are reversible. However, nerve damage isn’t. So, don’t let it get to that point.

360 Pain Treatment can properly diagnosis your sciatica, as well as find the root cause of your pain. And we have a number of treatment options, one of which is sure to help.

Don’t let your sciatica pain slow you down.

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Natural Stress Relief Methods that Work

We all know the modern world can be stressful. Whether it’s job stress, relationship stress, or even environmental stress, it appears that no one is immune. The important thing is how you deal with it.

Humans aren’t meant to be in a prolonged stressful state. When our fight or flight response (completely normal when outrunning a grizzly bear) lingers too long, or isn’t caused by a rampaging grizzly, this is known as chronic stress. And chronic stress is a very serious problem.

It’s estimated that 75 – 90 percent of all doctor visits are stress-related. The physiological effects are similar to poor sleep – the forgotten nutrient – and poor diet choices. Chronic stress can quickly lead to chronic inflammation, which is the foundation for most disease and illness. Heart disease, autoimmune diseases, obesity, mental disorders, even cancer, can all be attributed to chronic stress.

So, now that we know what it is, why it’s bad, and that most of us, if not all, have some experience with it, what can you do to combat chronic stress naturally? Thankfully, there are some great options.

Adaptogenic Herbs

There’s no really no point in “burying the lead” as journalists call it. If you want to crush your chronic stress, why not consume some herbs that do exactly that?

To put it simply, adaptogens are a unique class of plant/herb that helps your body adapt to stress, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or environmental.
Adaptogenic herbs can “adapt” their function based on your body’s specific
needs. Which is why adaptogens can simultaneously give you an energy boost
and calm your body.

Adaptogens, like rhodiola for instance, balance your entire biological system safely and without side effects. The term “adaptogen” was coined by Russian scientist N.V. Lazarev in 1947. Which is appropriate since rhodiola hid behind the soviet curtain until a couple of decades ago. During the cold war, rhodiola was secretly used to benefit Russian military officers, political leaders, cosmonauts, and Olympic athletes. They were well aware of the benefits it provided. You may recall the Soviets’ dominance at the Olympics during this cold war period.

Other powerful adaptogens include: Schisandra, ashwagandha, eleuthero, and medicinal mushrooms like chaga and cordyceps. Cordyceps is a wildly-popular supplement with China’s aging population, as it restores vigor and vitality, and helps relieve fatigue.


There’s no doubt that exercise benefits health in a variety of ways. But did you know that exercise releases endorphins – brain chemicals that are strong mood-enhancers?

Exercise also helps normalize your circadian rhythm, which contributes to better sleep, more optimal blood-sugar levels, and also an improved mood. And don’t discount the effects that good sleep can have on your emotional state.

Yoga, in particular, is an excellent exercise for reducing your stress levels, and numerous studies have been done to support this. It can help reduce anxiety, depression, and also improve sleep. But it’s the combination of mind, breath, and body that makes yoga such a great stress reliever. It’s impossible to be stressed AND doing yoga.


Are you struggling to achieve inner peace? Well, those struggles can produce outer consequences. Meditation is great for combating stress, worry, and anxiety. You don’t need any equipment, you can do it in your home or office or car (not while driving, preferably), and just 10 – 15 minutes per day can yield some positive benefits.

If you’re one of those people that say, I can’t quiet my mind long enough to meditate, unfortunately you need it more than most. And if you have tried it before with little success, how about getting a little guidance?

Guided meditation audio programs are popular these days, and for good reason. Some even incorporate binaural beats into the audio file that help put your brain into the proper state, which makes meditation much more achievable. It’s truly a game changer. Check out Brain Sync if interested in exploring this option further.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Talk about a game-changer. It may take a lifetime to acquire some of our emotional challenges, shall we say, but with EFT you may just be able to eliminate them in minutes.

A quick warning: if you’ve never seen EFT before, it may come as a shock. Just know that there is a ton of science backing this very-effective stress relief method. But it’s not just for stress relief. Any negative emotions, fears, concerns, even physical pain, can often be lessened or even completely wiped away with just a few minutes of EFT.

The most important point to remember if trying EFT is that details matter. The more you can tune-in to your problem while tapping, along with how exactly you phrase your problem when speaking it aloud, will contribute much more to your success in resolving your problem.

Check out this all-encompassing resource on all things EFT. And here’s an EFT video on using it for stress relief. Simply follow along and tap your problems away. EFT, by the way, works similarly to acupuncture and acupressure, but with a more-emotional element.

Back to Nature

There’s something about being in nature that helps calm people down. Surrounded by more trees than people, cars, pollution, and noise can have wonderful effects on your ability to cope. Perhaps it’s seeing the bigger picture that nature has a way of reminding us of. Or it could be as simple as getting more sun and oxygen. Vitamin D, in particular, through sun exposure has tremendous emotional benefits.


Keeping a journal is another way to combat the effects of chronic stress. If you’re the type of person who keeps everything inside, the simple act of getting it out, even if it’s on paper, can make a huge impact. Plus, writing our problems down gives more awareness to them. And anytime we’re more aware of something, there’s a greater chance of us taking the steps to correct it.

Don’t discount the effects that being proactive can have on your emotional state and stress levels. When we’re proactive, we feel more in control of our lives. And there’s nothing stress-free about feeling out of control.

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Achieve the Results You Want with Intermittent Fasting

Those of you familiar with the Paleo diet may recall it being billed as eating like a caveman. The theory behind it is that our physiology has evolved based on a certain diet – meat, fish, animal fat, root vegetables, berries, etc.

But what about our eating patterns? Do you think our ancient ancestors were sitting down to a small meal every 2-3 hours? Not likely. And more like the exact opposite – as in feast or famine.

What is Intermittent Fasting

Fasting, in general, is defined as a prolonged abstinence from food, whether you’re talking about skipping one meal, or 30 days of meals. It should be noted that all of us currently fast every night while we sleep. Then we Break our Fast at breakfast each morning. Or at least we used to.

Intermittent fasting is about reducing your eating window each day from the normal 12 – 14 hours, to something in the 4 – 8-hour range. And unfortunately, the easiest way to do this is by skipping breakfast. (Don’t worry, you can still have bacon and eggs for dinner!)

For most intermittent fasters, this means eating lunch and dinner only. If you want to reduce your eating window to eight hours, eat your lunch at noon, followed by dinner at 8pm or earlier. If you’re shooting for a six-hour window, perhaps eat dinner a couple hours earlier, or lunch a couple hours later.

The smaller your window, the greater the benefits. Though it may take some time to get there. One thing you’ll want to be careful of regardless is not eating too close to bedtime. As a rule of thumb, don’t consume any calories at least three hours prior.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Numerous studies have been done on calorie restriction in animals that show significant life-extension benefits. Without getting too science-y on you, our body’s preferred fuel is fat. That’s what our bodies were made to burn, and the reason the keto diet is so beneficial to your health. In fact, ketogenesis and intermittent fasting share many of the same benefits.

When you eat constantly, as in the outdated six-small-meals model, your body is simply burning whatever your last meal was. Whereas, when your body is in a fasted state, it burns stored fat. Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to burn stored fat, you have to stop eating long enough to do so.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Obviously, burning fat will have cosmetic benefits – fat loss – and also quite obviously, when you cut an entire meal out of your day, you’re likely to eat fewer calories naturally. So, if you’ve struggled with weight management in the past, intermittent fasting may be the perfect solution.

However, it’s your body’s sensitivity to insulin, along with the increase in HGH production, that provide the most beneficial reasons for adopting a new, calorie-restrictive eating pattern.

You want to become more sensitive to insulin, as opposed to becoming more insulin-resistant. Your body is better able to fight disease with improved insulin sensitivity, you’ll experience less cognitive decline, and you’ll look and feel a whole lot better. Check out this resource for an in-depth look at all the benefits of increased insulin sensitivity.

Increased HGH production deserves special mention as well, as it’s the closest thing we humans have found to the fountain of youth. It’s also the reason that one benefit of intermittent fasting is that it promotes muscle growth. If you want to stay feeling and looking as young as you can for as long as you can, you want to stimulate your body’s natural HGH production.

Complications of Intermittent Fasting

We humans are truly habitual creatures, and although your body doesn’t really need to eat breakfast, your mind will feel quite the opposite. You have to get past this. And you may have to deal with some hunger signals and ignore them. At least until you become accustomed to skipping everyone’s favorite meal. (Seriously, having bacon and eggs for dinner feels like Christmas morning!)

For some, skipping breakfast will be a breeze, and the entire intermittent fasting model will feel very natural. For others, there’s going to be a learning curve – the mental aspect of skipping meals. If you’re in the latter category, as are most of us, try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It looks goofy. But you can learn it in minutes, it’s free, and it works.

Who Shouldn’t Intermittently Fast

If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or a blood-sugar regulation issue, you may want to check with your physician before giving this a try, or at the very least, extend your eating window to begin with, and reduce it little by little over time.

Also, we are all unique in our own little biological ways. In other words, what works for one may not work for another. Try it and see how you feel. And adapt the principals to fit your needs and lifestyle as best you can. For instance, maybe it’s easier for you to skip dinner. Go right ahead!

The Two Most Common Questions

If I skip a meal, won’t I have less energy? The short answer is, no. The longer answer is, this, too, is mental. Remember, your body wants to burn fat. It’s an efficient energy source. And one most of us have stored in abundance.

Besides, your digestive process requires a significant amount of energy – up to 30% of your body’s total. If you’re not using this energy for digestion, it makes sense that you can use it elsewhere.

Can I still exercise even if I skip breakfast? You bet! In fact, you should exercise in a fasted state, particularly if you’re doing it to lose fat. If you eat before exercise, you’re only burning off those calories. But when you exercise in a fasted state, you really ramp up your body’s stored fat-burning.

If this is new to you, it may be a shock. You’ve been led to believe that you need numerous small meals each day, and that you want to jump-start your metabolism with a morning meal. But it’s simply not true. And pretty far removed from how our cavemen (and women) ancestors ate.

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