Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How To Change Your DNA And Your Fate

Last week I wrote about the two major life patterns that I see in my practice in people with joint degeneration and how to prolong the life in your joints and improve the overall health of your body by eating foods that nourish your joints and by and realigning and repatterning your body structure with Structural Integration. This week, I am going to give you a few more specifics on the hows’ and whys’ of this strategy.

To reiterate, the number one pattern that I see in people who come into my practice associated with joint degeneration is misalignment of the body segments themselves. So, how then do the body segments become misaligned in the first place? In other words, what is the cause or origin of this misalignment and how can you then more properly align the body segments relative to one another? This is a question that I get asked all the time and it is one that requires a bit of a bigger picture view of how your bodiy respond s to the various life events that you experience.

You see, some of the deepest structural patterns are formed while in the womb- the position of the developing baby, the shape and confines of the mothers body, the patterns that she uses her body in during pregnancy, her posture, any trauma that may have occured, etc.. These all have an effect on the the structural patterns present in a newborn baby. Add to that a lifetime of patterns of use, various accidents, trauma, and the effects of gravitys’ downward pull on the body. In an attempt to fulfill the functional demands that you put on your body, your body develops structural compensations to make up for the functional challenges.

In the end you have a relatively inefficient, relatively uncomfortable human body, out of alignment, and at war with gravity. This is not the optimal situation, however, it IS a typical situation. No wonder, then that the joints wear quickly and unevenly. Luckily though, by reorganizing and realigning the body segments relative to one another, you can actually use gravity to our advantage. The result is a body that moves more efficiently, has more energy, joints wear evenly and last longer, sleep improves, amongst many other benefits. In short you look and feel about 10 years younger.

So, “what about genetics?” you may ask. Its a great question and one that needs to be addressed. Because for the last 30 or so years the idea that our “genetic fate” is predetermined and set in stone has been beaten into our head by the very scientists who now talk about epigenetics or the plasticity of the very DNA code itself. (DNA Is Not Destiny) The idea here is that the human form has greater plasticity and therefore greater potential than we once thought. Your DNA changes depending on what you eat, feel, think, and experience. Your structure does the same. In light of this discovery, then, the bottom line is that the quality of life that you choose to experience is just that -a choice.

Join me next week when I will get more into the specifics of what types of foods you can add to your diet to build, heal, and preserve your joints.

Please share this post by clicking on the "Retweet This" button below =)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are Your Joints Going To Last?

Recently, I read an article in the NY Times entitled “Caring for Hips and Knees to Avoid Artificial Joints” that rankled me a little bit partly for what advice it gave but also for what it left out. Rather than go over what they said in detail, I will let you read the article for yourself and will focus on what, I believe, would serve you best in your endeavour to keep the comfortable function of your joints for a long, long, time.

While joint wear has many variables, over my years in practice, I have noticed many similarities in the life patterns of those with failing, failed, repaired, or replaced knee, hip, and vertebrae. The similarities fall into several categories of which I will address two today. Then, I will offer some useful suggestions for you to consider integrating into your daily regimen.

The number one proximal cause of joint degeneration that I see in my clients is improper alignment of the joint (knee, hip, vertebra) leading to non uniform loading of the joint and premature wear on one side of the joint. A good example of this is the knee joint. The knee joint is designed to hinge in one plane only (front to back-with slight mobility supported side to side). Generally though, knees are not well aligned. That is the lower leg is not well aligned with the upper leg. There is a twist in the joint which then leads to uneven weight and force distribution across the joint. Now this is common enough, but add to that uneven wearing, an overweight body, unbalanced muscular strength across the joint, and malnutrition caused by a deficient diet and you are in for fast uneven wear of the joint, likely inflammation, and possibly joint failure.

Prior to joint failure, there are several, fairly simple solutions to this problem: the twist in the joint can be alleviated by proper alignment of the joint, the weight can be lost through diet and movement, and the inflammation can be alleviated by the first two plus anti inflammatory herbal and nutritional supplements.

So then, what are the specifics of these individual solutions? Glad you asked.

Proper alignment of the joints can be effectively addressed by properly balancing the tensioning of the muscles that cross the joint and hold it in its alignment. This is best accomplished by going through the Basic Series of Structural Integration- a process designed to lengthen, balance, and align the body along its central axis- and with the pull of the gravitational force. Better balance and alignment mean that the force of gravitys downward pull on the body is neutralized. This is because the upward force of the earth is transmitted more efficiently relative to the vertical alignment the body structure itself. Better alignment= more even wear of the joints and less downward force means happy, long lasting joints.

Weight, nutritional deficiency, and inflammation can be addressed fairly easily with a bit of attention to dietary intake. The easiest things to remove from your diet to minimize inflammation are processed foods such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, sugar. All of these things not only challenge the digestive tract, liver, and adrenal, but they also deplete the pancreas and promote insulin resistance (a symptom of type II diabetes). Additionally, these foods promote (relative) internal acidity which the body tries to balance out by putting mineral ions into the blood. These mineral ions have to come from somewhere and the biggest stores of the mineral ions in the body are the teeth, bones, and joints.

So- if you are chronically pulling minerals from your teeth, bones and joints- you are continually weakening your teeth, bones and joints. An added bonus of limiting these foods is that as you break the insulin resistant cycle you will begin to lose weight as well. Stay tuned for next weeks article where I will give you more specifics on the how and why of nutrition and Structural Integration for joint longevity and comfort.

As always, comments and questions are appreciated and retweets are welcomed.

Please retweet this post by pressing the "Tweet This" button below.