The journal Neurology Research International published a fascinating paper in 2015 linking numerous neurological conditions—including seizures, migraines, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS and ALS—to the joint connecting the head to the top of the neck, referred to as the craniocervical junction (CCJ).
What is the CCJ, and how can it be the underlying cause of so many different brain problems?
The CCJ is comprised of the base of the skull, the first two bones in the neck (C1 and C2) and all of the anatomy passing through that space. Anything going into or out of the head and brain must pass through the CCJ.
According to The Merck Manual, one of the most widely used medical resources for physicians, an abnormality or misalignment of the CCJ can be the underlying cause of:
Sensory issues and muscle weakness in any part of the body
Problems with eye movement, hearing, speech, balance and muscle coordination
Fainting, vertigo, brain fog, weakness and visual disturbance
Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose—Many people suffer with seasonal allergies, and some suffer all year-round. An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction, with the body overreacting to a substance that would otherwise be considered harmless. Symptoms vary, but may include sinus irritation, skin rash and breathing difficulty. Continue reading →
“Ecology” is defined as the relationship between organisms and their environment. Like global warming, there is a parallel ecological crisis in our bodies, contributing to the epidemic of chronic diseases of adults and children.
Individually, we are ecological webs. We were designed to carry trillions of organisms that are not us, both in us and on us. In fact, we comprise only 10 percent of the total cellular population. Despite our illusion of being in control, we are at the mercy of this ecology. Continue reading →
Serving up healthy snacks for a holiday party is easier (and tastier) than ever. With a bit of advanced planning, it’s easy to create delectable party appetizers that are both healthy and delicious.
Holiday Favorite:Flatbread Pizza
Lighten it up: Grab some flatbread from the local bakery, add some low-fat mozzarella, a handful of fresh veggies (peppers, mushrooms and spinach is a popular combination) and a jar of organic tomato sauce for the makings of a crowd-pleasing party starter. “The veggies add a nutritional punch of healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber,” explains Stephanie Perez, retail dietitian supervisor at ShopRite supermarket. “The best part is that you won’t be lacking in flavor.” Continue reading →
Over the last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has implemented the legislative Act 16 of 2016, allowing for a medical cannabis program, without any major delays. Regulations have been drafted and published, and the first round of licenses for growing, processing and distributing medical cannabis have been awarded.
Seventeen qualifying conditions allow patients to receive medical cannabis therapy, including HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal or neurological indication of spasticity, inflammatory bowel, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, intractable seizures, glaucoma, autism, sickle cell anemia, neuropathy and pain, defined in the statute as “severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective. Continue reading →
Aging gracefully often means staying as young-looking as possible. Annual doctor visits check the blood, heart, reflexes and medications. Yet, attention is rarely given to our brains unless we experience memory problems. It should go without saying that aging gracefully does not include developing dementia.
Statistics show there is good reason to focus on brain health. The World Health Organization estimates the number of people living with dementia worldwide to be 47 million and projects that number to almost triple by 2050. By age 65, Americans have a 12 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a specific type of dementia, and by age 85, that number increases to almost 50 percent.
The good news is that dementia is not a natural part of aging—it often has specific causes that can be addressed, treated and reversed, sometimes completely. The brain, like all organs, can be monitored and checked over the course of our lives. A variety of diagnostics, from eye exams to inflammation markers in the blood, can be used to identify an underlying issue years before signs of memory loss become apparent.
There’s something inherently satisfying about creating with one’s own hands. Whether growing vegetables in a garden or baking a tray of muffins from scratch, being able to create helps us connect with our creative abilities as well as with ourselves. Studies have shown that adults that participate in crafts such as knitting, sculpting, painting or sewing experience therapeutic benefits that can greatly benefit their physical, mental and social well-being.
Many students are passionate about their artistic and creative hobbies. However, as young adults begin to contemplate which career path to follow, very few will choose a profession in the world of art or dance. This phenomenon suggests that there are some glaring obstacles preventing young people from continuing to pursue their passion.
Dance is a physically demanding job with harsh competition; as dancers age, they are more susceptible to injuries and often cannot “out dance” younger counterparts. To compete in the world of dance, one must study from a young age and dedicate a significant amount of time to the art form. Professional dancers typically spend seven hours of their day in dance classes and rehearsals and often must work for even longer when performing in shows. As a result, dancers on average retire in their mid-30s, either due to competition, age or injuries and, therefore, run the risk of losing a significant portion of their income.
For those that wish to have a financially stable job that allows for dance and artistic expression, dance therapy is a great career choice. Dance therapy, the use of dance and movement as a psychotherapeutic tool, is rooted in the idea that the body and the mind are connected, and it is based on the idea that movement reflects one’s emotional and mental state. Dance/movement therapy benefits a wide variety of people, from those that struggle with their body image to patients that are autistic or suffer from dementia.
Studies by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection show the state continues to be number one in reported cases of Lyme disease in the U.S., with cases increasing each year. This year will be no exception, with the CDC reporting that the combination of last year’s large white-footed mouse population and the mild winter will result in an even larger increase of infected ticks.
Bucks County Lyme holds support group meetings at 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month at the Middletown Municipal Building in Langhorne. Those that can’t make a meeting this summer can follow these simple and important prevention tips.
The late Dr. William Fife of Texas A&M University pioneered groundbreaking research into the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to treat a wide spectrum of conditions, including Lyme disease. His extensive research revealed that, in many cases, patients with Lyme disease were able to stop using antibiotics and other medications after HBOT resulted in dramatic improvements to their overall health.
HBOT works to promote healing by increasing the oxygen concentration in the body at the cellular level and is often used in conjunction with antibiotics. Each patient receives an individualized evaluation before starting what is typically a protocol of 40 treatments. As a result, body functions are restored and the immune system receives a massive boost.
There will be three days of peace and music taking place August 18 through 20, almost 48 years to the exact weekend of the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969. There will be yoga and meditation—maybe even a sighting of “Mud People”, depending on the weather. Just don’t expect any announcements warning about “brown acid” at the second annual Lovelight Yoga + Arts Festival, in Darlington, Maryland, the brainchild of original Woodstock producer Michael Lang. His goal, along with partners’ musician Wynne Paris and event producer Kim Maddox, is to channel the spirit and activism from the original Woodstock, minus the alcohol and drugs.
“We wanted to create an event based on the values of that generation but to make it appropriate for families,” Lang, now 72, said in a recent telephone interview. “This event isn’t just for millennials, it’s multigenerational—and we want everyone to feel comfortable and safe when they come, and for their peace of mind we decided to keep it alcohol-free.”
Summer is a time for people to enjoy the outdoors. But for many in Pennsylvania, there’s a dangerous underbelly to the season.
There were 7,351 reported cases of Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s up from 6,470 in 2014, making the state by far the highest in the nation for documented incidences.
Southeastern Pennsylvania has been hit especially hard: Bucks County alone had 287 cases in 2014 and 454 in 2015, with Montgomery County showing 384 and 409, respectively. Even more alarming is the CDC’s acknowledgement that Lyme infections are underreported.
The disease, along with a host of possible bacterial co-infections, is transmitted through bites from blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks.