Zinc And The Common Cold

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New research shows that zinc may be very effective in fighting the common cold, especially whentakenin the first 24 hours of noticing symptoms.  The article states that zinc appears to have antiviral properties that prevent the cold virus from replicating or attaching to nasal membranes.  Which for the cold sufferer means less time feeling yucky.

It seems that the research is still in some early stages as far as clear cut recommendations about the optimal dose, formulation or duration of zinc use.  But if you go to your local health food store, there are ample zinc products to try and usually some knowledgeable staff to help you find the right product.  I have found the straight up zinc lozenge to be helpful as well as a zinc with propolis spray which I’ve used for sore throat.  Feel free to read the article below.  Be Well!

For Cold Virus, Zinc May Edge Out Even Chicken Soup

By TARA PARKER-POPE

Scientists still haven’t discovered a cure for the common cold, but researchers now say zinc may be the next best thing.

A sweeping new review of the medical research on zinc shows that sniffing, sneezing, coughing and stuffy-headed cold sufferers finally have a better option than just tissue and chicken soup. When taken within 24 hours of the first runny nose or sore throat, zinc lozenges, tablets or syrups can cut colds short by an average of a day or more and sharply reduce the severity of symptoms, according to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, a respected medical clearinghouse.

In some of the cited studies, the benefits of zinc were significant. A March 2008 report in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, for example, found that zinc lozenges cut the duration of colds to four days from seven days, and reduced coughing to two days from five.

While the findings are certain to send droves of miserable cold sufferers to the drugstore in search of zinc treatments, the study authors offered no guidance on what type of zinc product to buy. The authors declined to make recommendations about the optimal dose, formulation or duration of zinc use, saying that more work was needed before they could make recommendations.

“Over all, it appears that zinc does have an effect in controlling the common cold,” said Dr. Meenu Singh, the review’s lead author and a professor in the department of pediatrics at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India. “But there still needs to be consensus about the dose.”

Zinc experts say that many over-the-counter zinc products may not be as effective as those studied by researchers because commercial lozenges and syrups often are made with different formulations of zinc and various flavors and binders that can alter the effectiveness of the treatment.

“A lot of preparations have added so many things that they aren’t releasing zinc properly,” said Dr. Ananda Prasad, professor in the department of oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and an early pioneer of research into zinc as an essential mineral. Two of Dr. Prasad’s studies were included in the Cochrane report.

“The public is confused because people have used the wrong dose, they have used the wrong sort of zinc or they have not started the treatment within 24 hours of onset,” he said.

Even so, the new report gives credence to the long-debated theory that zinc can be an effective treatment for colds. While it’s not certain how the mineral curbs colds, it appears to have antiviral properties that prevent the cold virus from replicating or attaching to nasal membranes.

The first study to show that zinc might be a useful treatment for the common cold was published in 1984, but the research was criticized for its poor methods. Since that study, 18 more trials of zinc for colds have been conducted: 11 of them showed it to be a useful treatment, while seven of them showed no benefit, according to the review.

Although a majority of trials have shown some benefit from zinc, many of them have been criticized for failing to “mask” the treatment, meaning the participants most likely knew they were using zinc, which may have skewed the results. At the same time, many of the trials that showed no benefit from zinc have been criticized for using formulations that may have contained ingredients that blunted the effectiveness of zinc.

The Cochrane reviewers selected 15 studies that enrolled a combined 1,360 participants. The studies were all considered to have good methodological quality with a low risk of bias, but they were far from perfect. All the studies compared zinc use with a placebo, but in several studies the zinc users complained about the taste of lozenges, suggesting that some people may have known that they were using zinc rather than a placebo.

Even so, when the data was pooled, the effect shown was strong. The review found that not only did zinc reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms, but regular zinc use also worked to prevent colds, leading to fewer school absences and less antibiotic use in children. People who used zinc were also far less likely to have a cold that lasted more than seven days.

The studies used various forms and doses of zinc, including zinc gluconate or zinc acetate lozenges and zinc sulfate syrup, and the dose ranged from 30 to 160 milligrams a day. Several studies in the Cochrane review used zinc acetate lozenges from the Web site ColdCure.com, created by George Eby, the researcher who wrote the first zinc study in 1984.

Dr. Prasad said his studies have used zinc acetate lozenges from ColdCure.com that contained about 13 milligrams of zinc. Study participants took a lozenge every three to four hours during the day for four consecutive days, resulting in a daily dose of 50 to 65 milligrams a day, he said.

Some cold sufferers have been wary about using zinc since the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to stop using Zicam nasal sprays and swabs, which contain zinc, after numerous reports that some users lost their sense of smell after using the product. The Cochrane report did not review any studies of nasal zinc products.

How Do You Get Rid Of That Lingering Cough This Cold Season?

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I’ve been seeing a lot of people in my practice this cold season who come in complaining of a cough they’ve had for several weeks even though their cold is gone.  I hear almost the same sentence each time ” don’t worry I’m not still sick.  It’s just this cough won’t go away.”        

The first thing I tell them is “Don’t worry.  Even if you were still sick this is the perfect place to be. Receiving craniosacral therapy will give your immune system the boost it needs to get you through it sooner.”  The next thing I say is ” About that cough, let’s look at your lungs.”

One of the techniques I use in my practice is called Visceral Manipulation.  This method of manual therapy allows me to work directly with the internal organs of the body.  In the case of the persistent and lingering cough, we’re going to work with the lungs and the bronchi.

This is where most people want to know how I’m going to get to their lungs which are deep in the body cavity.  Using palpation skills and knowledge of anatomy, I use techniques which help me locate the lung and its support structures.  Once I’ve got the lung I feel for the motion it has available.  In a healthy lung we would feel a nice fluid coordinated motion of the lung and bronchi.  This has not been the case in those I’ve treated that complain of a lingering cough.  What I’ve found instead are fixations within the lungs and bronchi and sometimes up into the trachea(windpipe) and the esophagus.

“Life is movement, rhythm, exchange and perpetual adaptation to new situations, assimilation and rejection, and defense.”  When our visceral (organ) system looses its ability to move freely, the body is forced to compensate for this situation.  This can lead to a functional problem and eventually, if the compensation is inadequate, to a structural problem.

Back to our cough.  Without adequate motion the organs of respiration can not do their job; coughs become unproductive, they linger on and are re-triggered by the very act of breathing.  Treatment has consisted of stimulating the lung, bronchi, trachea and support structures in order to restore primary physiological motion.  The result:  clients report easier fuller breaths, less coughing almost immediately, or a more productive cough which allows the body to finish what it needs to.  Clients have also reported that their cough is usually gone with in the week, sometimes sooner.

If you are someone you know can’t seem to shake their cold or cough, check out the benefits that visceral manipulation can offer before you take that next round of antibiotics.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective this therapy is!

The Benefits Of Massage Therapy

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I was recently sent an article from The New York Times about a study that the National Center for Complementary andAlternative Medicine did on the effects of massage.  They wanted to know if massage did more than “just relax your muscles.” What they found was surprising.

The researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angles recruited 53 healthy adults and randomly assigned 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue massage and the other 24 to a session of light massage.  All of the subjects were fitted with intravenous catheters so blood samples could be taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward.

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

The study was published online in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

The lead author, Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai, said the findings were “very, very intriguing and very, very exciting — and I’m a skeptic.”

Yay for deep tissue massage and double yay for light massage!  As some of you may know, CranioSacral Therapy is part of this category of light massage.  I see the same effects of this study in my practice and hear first hand my clients experiences – ” I don’t seem to get sick as much now that I receive craniosacral therapy regularly, My life hasn’t changed but how I respond to it has.  Since I’ve been receiving light massage regularly I am better able to manage my stress.”

Now if only we could get health insurance to cover massage therapy.

What Do We Need To Know About Cell Phone Radiation

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I just happened to tune into 91.7 yesterday and heard the last half of this interesting show about cell phone radiation and the possible effects of it to our health.  Devra Davis is a scientist and professor.  She founded the Environmental Health Trust and the first ever Center for Environmental Oncology.  I’ll post the link to the show here.  If you are at all wondering or worried about the possible effects of radiation we are all absorbing every day from using our cell phones, please listen to this show.  Even the first 10 minutes will give you some insight.   Devra also talks about the dangers of kids using cell phones, keeping cell phones on our body ( in a pocket ) and using computers in bed where we have the computer balanced on our lap or chest.

Devra is not suggesting that we all stop using cell phones or wifi but that there are ways to protect our self from the harmful effects of radio waves that the industry has left unsaid.  On February 1st 2011 an ordinance goes into effect here in San Francisco that will require the cell phone retailers to list in plain sight absorption levels of the different phones, which is the amount of radio waves absorbed into the cell phone user’s body tissue.

Again, interesting information.  Listen and decide for yourself.

http://yourcallradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-do-we-need-to-know-about-cell.html

If you go to Devra’s website you’ll find some very helpful tips on how to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation.

http://www.environmentalhealthtrust.org/content/10-things-you-can-do-reduce-cancer-risk-cell-phones

Walking the Labyrinth

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In honor of completing my website and opening a new location in San Francisco I decided to spend an afternoon in quiet refection walking the beautiful labyrinth at Grace Cathedral.  If you haven’t been there I highly recommend it.  They have an indoor and outdoor labyrinth and both are lovely.  I walked them both.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon, stepping out of time for a bit and letting my mind rest.

As I walked, occasionally I would pass others on the labyrinth.  I enjoyed these silent meetings of my fellow human, deciding without words how to pass on the path.  There was always a kind smile to be had.  There is something so soothing and rejuvenating about labyrinths.  A sense of calm expansiveness, focused energy and a quiet mind.

When I arrived at the center of the labyrinth I stood there for some time, soaking in the stillness of my mind, the quiet of my body and freedom that I felt.  Anything is possible was the message to me that day.

I stood there longer and allowed that message to really take root in me.  When I felt I was ready to leave the comfort of this space I began my journey back into the world.  I again followed the winding path, leaving the way I had entered.  My intriguing discovery – the path was the same, I was different.  I rejoined the world with focus, excitement, and strength.

Here’s a link to the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral:

http://www.gracecathedral.org/community/labyrinths/

Are you on Facebook?

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Not long time ago we shared a delightful piece of information with you about our second office opening in San Francisco.

We have been working hard and are proud to invite you to join us on our Facebook page. We hope that this page will be a resource for health and wellness related information as well as a community resource page for other practitioners you may want to check out. Feel free to post comments, say hi, tell us how you’re doing after one of our sessions or pass on Moon’s info to others who you feel may benefit from her work.

We love hearing from our customers about their healing experiences and we love meeting new people!

Stop by to say “hi” –

… we will be impatiently waiting

Journeys Inward Now in San Francisco!

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I am excited to announce that as of August 2nd I will have an office in San Francisco! I’m so happy to finally have a place to see people on this side of the bay. I’ll be in a beautiful office in the Castro with several other practitioners offering a variety of health care services. It’s amazing how quite it is once you step inside the door, a whole different world from the bustle of Castro Street.

Make an appointment today not to miss this wonderful opportunity to be my first client in San Francisco!

Welcome!

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Our bodies are designed to continually gravitate towards a dynamic state of balance and ease, but sometimes through injury, illness, trauma or misuse we forget where home is, and the functioning of our body becomes compromised.  Perhaps you had an injury that didn’t quite heal or you have this nagging sense that something is off, but every doctor and test says you should be fine.  Perhaps you’re recovering from trauma and are uncertain how to resolve the myriad of symptoms, or stress is draining your vitality.  It is from this place that we begin to question how to regain our well-being.  It is here that your journey inward, towards a greater sense of wholeness begins.

Healing is the process of recognizing our own limitations and evolving through them. It is a remarkable journey that invites change, ignites courage and ultimately unburdens the soul so that we may move through the world with an ongoing sense of wholeness, and a deeper sense of purpose.  This process permeates the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our being, and provides the guidance for what is needed to rediscover balance, function and ease.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.

The labyrinth and the “journey inward” are both symbols of the healing process.  The journey inward is about building awareness, listening to the stories of our body, and letting go of what no longer serves us. The center of the labyrinth represents arriving home to our authentic self, into this broader and deeper understanding of who we are.  It is from here that we shed our preconceived limitations of body and mind and learn to access our innate gifts and talents.

To complete the journey we must now walk back into the world.  The path is the same, but our perspective has changed.  We have changed.  This time, as we walk back into the world we bring with us a sense of presence and connection to our self, to others, and to the world around us.  And life begins in a whole new way.