This article was written by Premier Neuro Therapy co-owner, Zach Michael.
A few weeks ago, I started working with a client that has multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite living with MS, she is one of the most positive, hard working clients I have had the pleasure to work with at Premier.
In conjuction with her Neuro Therapy sessions, we have talked a lot about how she can optimize her diet to give her body what it needs to decrease the symptoms associated with MS, like fatigue, muscle spasms, loss of balance, and pain.
While I am no expert in the area, the client had already read a book by Dr. Terry Wahls who was able to drastically turn around her MS journey by eating a special diet. Because I wanted to help in way I could (and was curious about Dr. Wahls' approach), I decided to give the book a read.
What I found out is that following the rules of this diet can not only help those living with MS, but optimize everyone's health and drastically reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
For those of you that don't know, multiple sclerosis is diagnosed when an overactive immune system starts to attack the nervous system. It leaves lesions in the spinal cord and brain, which can cause neuro communication issues throughout the body.
But this same "overactive immune system" can cause different issues from person to person. In one person, it may attack the nervous system, meaning you have MS. In another, it may attack the cardiovascular system, putting you at risk for heart disease.
Note; Other dieseases linked to an overactive immmune system include: allergies, Alzheimer's, ALS, anemia, arthritis, asthma, autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes types 1 & 2, fibromyalgia, common intestinal disorderes, kidney failure, lupus, pain, pancreatitis, and psoriasis and eczema, just to name a few.
In general, the immune system is responsible for generating an inflammatory response when it senses a threat. It's a great thing to have when we need it. However, if it becomes overactive, it can generate chronic inflammation, which can lead to the host of diseases listed above.
When the immune system is overactive and the inflammation becomes chronic, reactive free radicals of the inflammatory process start to destroy the healthy tissue around it.
So what is Dr. Wahls' "miracle"diet for dealing with the symptoms of an overactive immune system (in her case, multiple sclerosis)?
And how can this apply to optimizing our everyday health, even if we aren't living with MS?
It all comes down to one basic principle:
Limit the number of things you ingest that trigger an inflammatory response. If you limit the number of times you "trigger" your overactive immune system, you will lower the risk for developing a chronic disease.
Dr. Wahl's suggestions (slightly simplified) for doing so include:
For a more detailed breakdown, you can head here. The article at the link below does a great job providing a detailed breakdown of the book and diet.
When you boil down chronic diseases (and chronic pain) to this one basic principle involving the inflammatory response, health becomes so much more simple.
And it makes you realize how much more in control you really are over your health!
You are 100% in control over what goes in your mouth. Even if you are exercising regularly to burn the residual calories, there's other ways your diet can adversely affect your health, and we all need to start being more conscious of it.
Start thinking about how you can optimize your diet NOW to decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases over time.
At Premier, we see a fair amount of clients after catastrophic knee events. Whether it is an ACL tear, MCL strain, dislocation, or total knee replacement, the body responds in a very simlar way.
When most people think about these types of events and what happens to the body afterwards, they often describe physiological symptomss like inflammation, weakness, stiffness, and pain.
But what is it that triggers these events?
It's the nervous system.
As soon as the nervous system senses that something is "not right" with the knee, it responds by putting the knee in lockdown mode.
In lockdown mode, the nervous system shuts down neurological communication to the muscles of the quad (even more specifically the vastus medialis and vastus lasteralis). It refuses to use these muscles, because it fears using the muscles will put too much stress on the knee.
And without proper use of the quads, the knee feels extremely stiff and the leg can feel weak.
This is a beneficial response for the body, at first. It ensures that you will not continue to participate in activities that can put the integrity of the knee at risk.
But what about when it's safe to start using the knee again? Does the brain automatically turn the neurological communication back on to these muscles?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. And it's one of the major challenges of recovering from a catastrophic knee event.
Even when it's safe to start using the knee, the brain has latched on to the idea that the brain needs to be protected. It continues to lockdown the quadriceps muscle, which actually delays your recovery and puts you at a higher risk for re-injury.
In order to addreses this problem at Premier, we combine direct current electrical stimulation of the quadriceps with active range of motion exerecises. By doing so, we re-train the nervous system to relax the quadriceps, which promotes a more efficient recovery and quickly decreases symptoms like pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
If you, a friend, or family member are dealing with the after effects of a catastrophic knee event (whether it's been 1 day or 1000 days), make sure you ask your therapy team what they're doing to address this problem - it is the number one reason recovery from these events doesn't always go as well as planned.
This week’s post highlights a success story from one of our clients, Liz.
We met Liz at an open house at Reflex Functional Fitness, and found out she had been dealing with a string of repetitive foot and ankle injuries.
Not only were the injuries affecting her ability to go for runs and work out (and feel confident doing it), but they were also causing her hips, back, and even neck to feel tight.
After learning more about Liz’s history at the open house, we scanned her leg, foot, and ankle for any Neuro communication issues that could be contributing to her repeat injuries and muscle tightness.
During the scan, we identified an area around her big toe that seemed to be the driver for her problems. Liz was surprised – she used to have pain in that exact spot, but she thought the issue had gone away.
It turned out that while the pain went away, the issue hadn’t, and it was causing a host of problems for the rest of her foot, ankle, hips, back, and even neck.
Within 2 weeks of Neuro Therapy, Liz was back to running 2-3 miles without pain. Within 4 weeks, she was ready to sign up for her first half marathon since 2013.
Watch the video below to hear more from Liz on her Premier Neuro Therapy story.
If you're wondering if Neuro Therapy can help solve your biggest problem, schedule a time to talk to a member of our team by clicking this link:
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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