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5 Food-Medicines That Could Quite Possibly Save Your Life

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5 Food-Medicines That Could Quite Possibly Save Your Life
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This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it originally appeared. Posted here with permission.

Some of the most powerful medicines on the planet are masquerading around as foods and spices. While they do not lend themselves to being patented, nor will multi-billion dollar human clinical trials ever be funded to prove them efficacious, they have been used since time immemorial to both nourish our bodies, and to prevent and treat disease.

So valued were these in ancient times that they were worth their weight in gold, and entire civilizations either rose to great power or collapsed as a result of their relationship to them.

What is even more amazing is that many of these “plant allies” are found growing in our backyards, and often sitting there in our refrigerators and spice racks, neglected and underappreciated. In fact, many of us use these daily unaware that this is why we don’t get sick as often as those who do not incorporate them into their diet. Let’s look at a few examples….

Garlic

With the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria and the failure of the conventional, drug-based model to develop effective solutions against them (nor accepting responsibility for creating them), spices have regained their once universal reign as broad spectrum infection-fighters with sometimes life-saving power. Garlic, in fact, has several hundred therapeutic properties, confirmed by a growing body of scientific research, which you can view directly on GreenMedInfo.com.[i]  One quick example of garlic’s power, is in killing multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which the mainstream media has termed the “white plague,” roiling the masses with a fear of drug-resistant (but not plant-extract resistant) they are made to believe they are defenceless against.  Last year an article was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal showing that garlic was capable of inhibiting a wide range of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis strains.[ii] The authors concluded “The use of garlic against MDR-TB may be of great importance regarding public health.”  Garlic’s anti-infective properties do not end with MDR-TB, as it has been demonstrated to inhibit the following pathogens as well:

  • Amoeba Entamoeba histolytica (parasite)
  • Cholera
  • Clostridium
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Dermatophytoses (a type of topical fungal infection)
  • Haemophilus Influenzae
  • Helicobacter Pylori
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
  • Klebsiella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus A. (MRSA)
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Peridontal Infection
  • Pneumococcal Infections
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Streptococcus Mutans
  • Streptococcus Infections: Group A
  • Streptococcus Infections: Group B
  • Streptococcus pyrogenes
  • Thrush (oral fungal infection)

This amazing list underscores how important it is to keep a supply of garlic close by!

Honey

Bees produce a wide range of therapeutic substances beyond honey, e.g. propolis, bee venom, royal jelly, beeswax, bee pollen, etc., but this sweet, sticky stuff that we all love to dip our paw into occasionally, is the most well-known and most copiously consumed of them all – and for good reason, it tastes great!  But did you know that this sweet treat is one of nature’s most powerful healing agents, as well? Here is just a smattering of some of honey’s more scientifically researched health benefits and/or applications:

  • Aspirin-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity  (honey  coats the delicate linings of the stomach, preventing aspirin-induced lesions and bleeding)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Burns
  • Candida infection (despite the fact that honey contains sugar, it demonstrates anti-fungal properties)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dental plaque (a recent study showed that Manuka honey was a viable alternative to chemical mouthwash in dissolving dental plaque)[iii]
  • Dermatitis
  • Diabetic Ulcer
  • Herpes-related ulcers
  • MRSA (especially for Manuka honey)

There are many more uses for honey than covered here. Needless to say, replacing synthetic sweeteners or highly processed sugars or high fructose corn syrup with a moderate amount of honey may be a great preventative health step to take.

Apples

An apple a day does in fact keep the doctor away, especially cancer specialists it would seem.  For instance, one of the most well-established health benefits of consuming apples is to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The more apples you consume, the less likely you are to develop this potentially fatal disease. To view the 5 studies that reference this relationship, go to the GGreenmedInfo.com apple research page where you will also find 50 other health benefits of apple or apple byproducts (e.g. apple vinegar) consumption which include:

  • Aging, Reduce Rate
  • Allergies
  • Allopecia (Hair Loss)
  • Diarrhea
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Liver Cancer
  • Radiation Induced Illness
  • Staphylococcol Infection
Sunlight

This one may throw some of you off, but sunlight possesses both energy and information with real, metabolic value and is therefore a source of usable energy for the body – and so, in a very real sense it can be considered a form of food that we consume through our skin by way of its built in, melanin-based “solar panels.”  Not only does adequate sunlight exposure result in the production of vitamin D, a hormone-like substance that regulates over 2,000 genes in the human body — and as a result prevents or ameliorates hundreds of vitamin D deficiency associated health conditions — but sunlight exposure itself has a unique set of health benefits not reducible to simply vitamin D production alone.  One of the more interesting studies performed on sunlight exposure, based on data gathered from over 100 countries and published earlier this year in the journal Anticancer Research, showed that there was “a strong inverse correlations with solar UVB for 15 types of cancer,” with weaker, though still significant evidence for the protective role of sunlight in 9 other cancers. Here are some additional benefits of sunlight exposure:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Dopamine Deficiency
  • Dermatitis
  • Influenza
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
Turmeric

This is quite possibly the world’s most important herb. Named “Kanchani,” or literally “Golden Goddess,” in the ancient Indian healing tradition, its healing properties have been deeply appreciated, if not revered for countless centuries. In fact, I believe it is a physical embodiment of compassion. Turmeric has been scientifically documented to have over 800 applications in disease prevention and treatment. It also has been shown to modulate over 150 distinct biological and genetic/epigenetic pathways of value in health, demonstrating a complexity as well as gentleness that no drug on the planet has ever been shown to possess.

As there are too many health conditions that turmeric may benefit to list, we are listing the top 10 as determined by the GreenMedInfo algorithm which calculates both the evidence quantity (number of articles) and evidence quality (human study valued higher than animal, and so on). Also, the number in parentheses denotes the number of studies on the database demonstrating the beneficial relationship.

  • Oxidative Stress (160)
  • Inflammation (51)
  • DNA Damage (48)
  • Lipid Peroxidation (34)
  • Colorectal Cancer (24)
  • Breast Cancer (60)
  • Colon Cancer (52)
  • Chemically-Induced Liver Damage (34)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (34)
  • Tumours (23)

For a more in depth look at the 1500+ studies on our site on Turmeric (and its primary polyphenol Curcumin), watch the video below and please share it with others if you find the information compelling.

References

[i] Greenmedinfo.com, Garlic Research Page

[ii] Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan;24(1):81-5. PMID: 21190924

[iii] Contemp Clin Dent. 2010 Oct ;1(4):214-7. PMID: 22114423

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine,Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

Original Article

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New York Hospital Giving Coronavirus Patients Massive Amounts Of Vitamin C

Some doctors in New York are treating coronavirus patients with Vitamin C after seeing it used in China.

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Elias Marat, The Mind Unleashed

As New York State’s hospital system faces an unprecedented surge of sick coronavirus patients, some doctors have reportedly found success in improving their symptoms through the application of massive Vitamin C doses.

The administering of 1,500 milligrams of intravenous Vitamin C is over 16 times the recommended dietary allowance of the antioxidant, but has resulted in patients treated with the vitamin faring “significantly” better than those patients who aren’t receiving the treatment, reports the New York Post.

According to pulmonologist and critical-care specialist Dr. Andrew G. Weber, who is affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, intensive-care patients infected with the novel virus are immediately administered the massive dosage when they arrive in ICU. The powerful vitamin C dosage is re-administered intravenously three or four times per day, he added.

Weber explained that the inspiration for the treatment comes after doctors in Shanghai, China, also used it.

Weber told the Post:

“The patients who received Vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get Vitamin C.

It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”

The Vitamin C is administered along with medicines including the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as well as the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics and blood thinners, Weber added.

While there is no scientific research that supports the use of high doses of Vitamin C in the treatment of CoViD-19, intravenous Vitamin C has long been used by some doctors to treat cold and flu symptoms.

According to a study published in 1999, “Overall, reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C.”

The study concluded:

Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group.”

Weber said that coronavirus patients see dramatic falls in their levels of Vitamin C when they suffer sepsis, the lethal inflammatory response to CoViD-19 infection.

He added:

“It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of Vitamin C.”

Clinical trials of the treatment began February 14 at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the disease rapidly emerged last December. The study is expected to run through the end of September after which study findings will be published.

On Tuesday, hospitals in New York were granted permission from federal authorities to use a mixture of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat severely ill patients on the basis of “compassionate care.”

President Trump has tweeted that the cocktail has “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” despite health officials urging caution about treating the drug as some panacea prior to rigorous clinical studies.

However, some experts have cautioned that the experimental intravenous treatment’s ability to fight off pneumonia remains unproven.

Although vitamin C does have some small effect on the common cold, it’s unlikely that taking large amounts of vitamin C supplements will cure a COVID-19 infection—or have a large effect at all,” Peter McCaffery, professor of biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, wrote in the Conversation.

Carol DerSarkissian, MD told MedicineNet:

“Your immune system does need Vitamin C to work right. But extra won’t help you avoid a cold. It may make it go away faster or not feel as bad—if you were taking it before you got sick.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?

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Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

An article published by LiveScience, a mainstream science website, states that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus.” Mainstream media has been attacking the idea that vitamin C could have some potential to prevent or even treat the new coronavirus. This rhetoric follows statements that have come out from government health regulatory agencies. Take Health Canada, for example, who recently tweeted that there are no natural health products “that are authorized to protect against” the new coronavirus. They go on to state that “any claims otherwise are false.”

This is a problem that’s plagued our world since the introduction of the mainstream medical industry. Arnold Seymour Relman, a former Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal, states this problem clearly:

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

The question people need to be asking is, where does government loyalty lie? Perhaps it’s with the industry that spends two times more than any other lobby in congress. This is why nothing can be used as a treatment, for any disease, unless it’s patented and presented to us by a pharmaceutical company. “Alternative” treatments are always branded as ‘fake’ and even ‘dangerous’.

Vitamin C Trials and Treatment

This recent coronavirus outbreak might provide the latest insight into this matter. Going back to the statement above from LiveScience that states “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”: if this is really the case, then why would China start multiple clinical trials to examine whether or not intravenous vitamin C can be helpful in treating people with coronavirus?

The article in LiveScience did not acknowledge this originally, but they added an update stating that researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University had launched a clinical trial with 140 patients in February to test whether ultrahigh doses of vitamin C, delivered intravenously, could treat the viral infection more effectively than a placebo. The test group will receive infusions twice a day for seven days, with each infusion containing 12g of vitamin C. (The daily recommendation for an adult man is only 90mg.) The trial will be completed in September, and no results are yet available, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

That being said, Dr. Richard Cheng, MD, has been updating everyone via his YouTube channel about vitamin C treatment cases out of China. We have been covering his updates as he is in direct contact with this treatment and isn’t simply an armchair scientist at the moment. We feel at this time this is a very important detail as he is seeing and hearing results first hand, not simply theoretically. Dr. Cheng is a US board-certified anti-aging specialist. He claims that vitamin C is now in the Shanghai Government treatment plan.

Dr. Cheng was paramount in bringing high-dose vitamin C to the table as part of potential treatment and prevention measures. Unfortunately in the West, this option is still being denied by much of mainstream media and governments are not talking about it. Instead, it’s fear and chaos which we do not feel helps anyone to stay healthy or get better.

According to Cheng, 50 moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 infection were treated with high-dose IVC. Dosing of IVC ranged from 10,000 – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases. The first bit of good news was that all patients who received IVC improved and there has been no mortality. Secondly, as compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay of about 3-5 days shorter than the other patients.

In one particularly severe case where the patient was deteriorating rapidly, an extra dose of 50,000 mg IVC was given over a period of 4 hours and it caused the patient’s pulmonary (oxygenation index) status to stabilize and improve as the critical care team observed in real time. You can watch all of the updates from Cheng via his Youtube Channel.

So, at the very worst we can officially say that we don’t know, but there are some positive signs thus far, which again, is obvious due to the fact that they would even begin a clinical trial, and the explanation as to why such a hypothesis exists is explained within the clinical trial website listed earlier. To say that it’s false or extremely unlikely is, in fact, the false news.

The Takeaway

Is it really safe and truthful to make the claim that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”? This is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from mainstream media sources for quite a while, and articles posted on social media providing evidence that it may show some promise are being flagged by fact checkers as fake news. Again, if it was extremely unlikely, why use so many resources that are required to start a clinical trial in the first place? Why are we getting a completely different perspective from an MD in China that’s providing the world with updates? These are important questions to ask, as this example simply highlights one of the biggest problems that plagues the mainstream medical industry, which is a complete denial of the potential of natural treatments. Because these treatments cannot be patented and turned a profit, they are ridiculed, ignored and brushed off.

This article (Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?)was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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16 Tips On Boosting Immunity: Our Best Defense Against COVID-19 And Other Viruses

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16 Tips On Boosting Immunity: Our Best Defense Against COVID-19 And Other Viruses
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

As the World Health Organization declares the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, fear captures the world. The media continues to focus on fast-tracking a vaccination, which often means little to no real safety or efficacy studies.

The “medical experts” on news stations across the world say that vitamins such as A, C and D do not boost immunity. We have all been led to believe that health comes from a needle and a pill, they recommend hand-washing, social distancing, but seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to improve our health and support the body to fight off illness.

The good news:

“When our immune system is working correctly, we don’t even notice it. It’s when the performance of our immune system is compromised that we face illness.” – Dr Axe

Helpful Hints & Remedies To Optimize Your Immune System
1. Keep Your Gut Healthy To Maintain A Robust Immune System

Eat a healthy diet high in organic fruits and vegetables. These nutrient-dense, high antioxidant foods fight off illness and provide important fibre to feed the healthy gut biome. Taking a high-quality probiotic and eating fermented foods can also be very helpful. “The microbiota plays a fundamental role in the induction, training, and function of the host immune system.”

2. Avoid Refined Sugar And Processed Food

White blood cells help fight off illness, and eating sugar puts our white blood cells into a temporary coma. In the 1970’s Dr. Linus Pauling, one of the most significant researchers in the field of microbiology, discovered that vitamin C is needed by white blood cells to engulf and absorb viruses and bacteria. High blood sugar prevents the body from adequately utilizing vitamin C and reduces the white blood cell’s ability to absorb and destroy viruses by up to 75%. Sugar also inflames the body, which suppresses the immune system and interferes with the absorption of vital immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Processed foods are void of bioavailable nutrition and contain salt, chemicals, and preservatives, which damages the immune system.

3. Stay Hydrated With Mineral And Coconut Water

Coconut water boosts electrolytes. Coconut water is a well-balanced fluid loaded with minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and manganese, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, and cytokinins, many nutrients that help improve immune health. Minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, and potassium are often overlooked, but they are essential in providing the body enough energy to create immune cells.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep IsImperative For A Healthy Immune System. Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions. Investigations of the healthy sleep-wake cycle showed that immune parameters like numbers of undifferentiated naïve T cells and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines exhibit peaks during early nocturnal sleep. T-cells are a type of white blood cell, which tailors the bodies response to pathogens. Inflammatory cytokines play a role in initiating an inflammatory response to defend against pathogens.

5. Minimize Long-Term Stress

Although some stress can be beneficial to the immune system because it signals the body to activate and can help to turn on the immune system response – chronic stress can have a profound negative effect on the immune system and health. It can lead to chronic inflammation and increases the risk of developing autoimmune conditions. Stress also impacts hormones such as cortisol, and hormones impact the immune system—making immune cells produce more of the stress molecule cytokines. Meditate, do yoga, listen to music, and exercise.  Exercise not only reduces stress, but it also protects the immune system. A 2018 human study published in Aging Cell revealed that high levels of physical activity and exercise help to decrease the gradual deterioration of the immune system.

6. Induce A Fever With An Infrared Sauna & Do Not Be Quick To Lower It

At the first sign of a fever we often look to reduce it. However, studies show us that a fever between 100.4 and 103.2 is excellent for us. It stimulates the body’s immune response. According to research, higher body temperatures drive the activity of specific proteins that, in turn, switch genes responsible for the body’s immune response on and off.

7. Vitamin A

Is excellentfor viral infections; a high dose vitamin A protocol is often used by naturopathic and functional medicine physicians.Cod liver oil or vitamin-A palmitate is often used. In clinical trials, it has been seen to treat measles quite successfully. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and can accumulate in the body, and could be toxic if levels are too high. It is often recommended to get enough vitamin A in your diet. Best sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, red peppers, paprika, chilli powder, carrots, squash, herbs, cantaloupe, lettuce, and dried apricots. During an acute infection, high dosing is often recommended for a short time.

8. Vitamin C

Is a powerful antioxidant necessary for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It helps to strengthen our immune system to fight illness by assisting our white blood cells. According to Orthomolecular Medicinethere were three independent clinical trials on the use of vitamin C in the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Chinese government announced a recommendation to use high dose intravenous treatment of vitamin C to treat the outbreaks. For the prevention of a cold or flu at home, Ultra-Potent C by Metagenics is good because it also has lysine and glutathione, which assists in fighting viruses. Some great natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red and hot chilli peppers, red peppers, thyme, parsley, dark green leafy vegetables, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi.

9. Vitamin D3

Is an essential vitamin required by the body for proper immune functioning, and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Our body makes vitamin D with the help of the sun. It is believed we only get twenty-percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, caviar, meat, eggs, and mushrooms. It is often a good idea to supplement vitamin D in the cold and darker months.

10. Elderberry

Has been used for centuries as medicine to combatinfluenza, colds, and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. The Journal of International Medical Research reported that when treating with elderberry, symptoms were relieved on average four days earlier, and the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo.

PLEASE NOTE: There are concerns of elderberry potentially causing a cytokine storm. Please be sure to consult with a trusted medical professional before introducing elderberry or any new supplement into your system.

11. Fish Oil & Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Have potentanti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities in a wide array of diseases. Modulators of the immune response, research demonstrates that it assists the body heal from a wide range of autoimmune disease, and infections. Fatty acids are considered one of the essential nutrients for immunity. The right balance of unrefined essential fatty acids tends to attract oxygen to the cells, which is one of the best ways to deactivate a virus.

12. Zinc

Is vital for cell survival, and alsohelps the body fight off invading bacteria and viruses.  The Journal of Molecular Medicine reports that zinc improves immune health by improving T-cell (white blood cell) function. The best sources of zinc include lamb, beef, scallops, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, oats, turkey, shrimp, and green peas.

13. Echinacea

Contains many chemical constituents, which are powerful immune system stimulants that can provide significant value. It has been used for centuries and is making a comeback in recent years. This North American flower is highly effective in fighting infections, especially the common cold and the flu. When coupled with Golden Seal, it ‘sit’s a dynamic duo.

14. Garlic

Is one of the best natural antibiotics and antivirals. The unique Sulphur compound in garlic helps resolve illnesses of all kinds, including pneumonia, prevents food poisoning, and it improves intestinal health. Unlike traditional medications, garlic, like many herbs, is intelligent. Garlic is highly effective in killing off a host of gut pathogens, including candida, while at the same time feeding and encouraging the growth of beneficial microbes.

15. Ginger

Is a potent antioxidant that is excellent for boosting our immune health. High in many nutrients, this powerful root vegetable benefits many organs of our body. Research backs of a long history of claims that ginger has unique therapeutic significance owing to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory potential.

16. Colloidal Silver

Is an old-time remedy that destroys disease-causing pathogens in minutes when exposed to small amounts, according to over 650 documents released by Larry C. Ford, MD.

Flu Remedy

Wipe it out quickly with Sovereign Silver, organic elderberry syrup, vitamin C, vitamin D, and l-lysine.

When treating an acute infection, seek help from a qualified functional medicine practitioner or naturopathic, so they can recommend proper therapeutic dosages.

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on how to grow and care for lavender? CLICK HERE

This article (16 Tips on Boosting Immunity: Our Best Defense Against COVID-19 and Other Viruses) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Yoga, Tai Chi And Qigong Shown To Be Effective For Back Pain

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Yoga, Tai Chi And Qigong Shown To Be Effective For Back Pain
Photo Credit: www.scitechdaily.com

Nikki Harper, Wake Up World

Back pain: we’ve almost all had it at some point, and everyone knows that sinking feeling when you realize you’re going to be in pain and with limited movement for a while. Statistics suggest that 80% of people worldwide will experience lower back pain in their lifetime, lasting for anything from a few days to several months [1]. 8% of us will go on to develop chronic back pain which is bad enough to limit our day to day activities [2] – intensely physically debilitating but also psychologically distressing.

The normal treatment for back pain in our mainstream healthcare systems ranges from nothing at all – the go away and put it with it model – to the use of opioid painkillers, physical therapy (physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy) and self-help stretches. Sometimes people are offered cognitive behavioural therapy to help deal with the psychological effects of the pain. Surgery is sometimes an option if the pain has a specific, identifiable cause. However, the efficacy of all of these interventions is questionable in the long term, not to mention that they are economically expensive and, in the case of drug interventions, potentially harmful.

However, a new review has highlighted how “movement-based mind-body interventions”, such as YogaTai Chi and Oigong, can be effective treatments for back pain. Yoga is popular worldwide for its physical and mental health benefits, while Tai Chi combines gentle exercise with mindfulness. Qigong blends slow movements with body awareness. The review, carried out by Florida Atlantic University and the Lynn College of Nursing, has been published in Holistic Nursing Practice, and calls for more research into this potentially promising area [3].

25 of the studies reviewed by researchers involved the benefits of Yoga for back pain; there were 4 studies into Tai Chi and back pain and just 3 involving qigong and back pain. Researchers found that Yoga and Tai Chic appeared to be effective therapies, resulting in a reduction of pain, a reduction of psychological distress, and improved movement function. There were not enough Oigong studies for them to draw reliable conclusions, but they do believe that there is potential there too. “Yoga, Tai Chi and qigong could be used as effective treatment alternatives to pain medications, surgery, or injection-based treatments such as nerve blocks, which are associated with high incidence of adverse effects in treating lower back pain,” said Juyoung Park, Ph.D, one of the study authors [4].

The beauty of these movement-based mind-body interventions appears to be that they link gentle bodily stretches and mobility-enhancing movements with a meditative, mindful or spiritual psychological component too. The researchers measured evidence of a positive effect on pain perception, coping strategies and quality of life through Yoga, Tai Chi and Oigong for back pain sufferers, and found improvements in all three metrics.

However, with research in this area currently thin on the ground, particularly with regard to Tai Chi and Oigong, more research is needed if we are to see doctors and nurse practitioners routinely referring patients to Yoga, Tai Chi or Oigong for back pain. The possibility is intriguing, nonetheless – and such a direction of travel would help to move away from the potential harmful effects of drug based therapy, as well as boosting the psychological morale of those suffering from chronic back pain.

Sources

About the Author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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