From the monthly archives: "July 2008"
Good news: More than one million sexual health screens were conducted in Britain in 2007, up 10% from 2006.

Bad news: Diagnosed cases of chlamydia increased by more than 22,000 in the United Kingdom. Youch!

Chlamydia isn’t reserved for the UK alone; heck, no–we’ve got plenty of cases in the United States too. Estimates have American chlamydia cases at 2.3 million with less than half of those actually reported in all 50 states. Yikes!!!

So you know what that means? Well, first let me give you a few facts: Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is often silent–that is, many people infected with the bacterium (Chlamydia trachomatis) don’t even know it. People that do know generally find out when they develop symptoms: Burning and itching around the penis in men, along with discharge and pissing razor blades. In women, abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating, while those whose infection spreads to the cervix and fallopian tubes might experience lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

Worse yet, because chlamydia is silent in so many people–in other words, no symptoms–many cases go undetected, and thus untreated. As a result, infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. In women it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (you don’t want that) and ultimately, ectopic pregnancy and infertility (definitely don’t want that) . Complications in men are rare but can lead to infection of the epididymis, which can cause sterility.

OK, so now what does this all mean? First, one in ten women are infected. So guys, one out of every ten women you hit on are potential carriers* And for women who like women…bad news–you can get chlamydia through oral sex, so infection of the throat is not uncommon. And women who like guys–one in every twelve men is infected, so if you have many options in the dating scene…ahem…practice caution. And guys to guys–well, you’ve got the triple threat, so see the prevention tips below.

Finally, which group is catching and passing chlamydia the most? Youngsters–people aged 18-24 are the highest risk group. So what to do? Here are the tips:

  • Keeping it in your pants is the best all around protection, period. Too prudish for you?
  • Then having a long-term, monogamous relationship also helps. But if that just isn’t in the cards,
  • then using condoms, properly, every time you have sex is a must. No glove, no love, baby.
  • and then getting tested annually is a great idea, especially if you’re female, under twenty-five, and sexually active (particularly if you have multiple sex partners).

If you fear that you might have a sexually transmitted disease, don’t hesitate, get tested. If you need further info, check out:

Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/std

*I’m using British numbers here, but for all intents and purposes, we can extrapolate them to qualify the point–U.S. chlamydia numbers are actually 0.1% higher; and since our population is about five times greater than the U.K.’s…well, you do the math.

Minutes after winning the EliteXC welterweight championship Saturday night, mixed martial arts fighter Jake Shields thanked his chiropractor at In Motion Chiropractic. Booyah!!!

That’s right! When you want to function at your optimal best and reach the top of your game, look no farther than your neighborhood chiropractic office. Elite athletes like the spry Mr. Shields choose chiropractic as a way to maintain their health and gain an edge in their sports. This was evident in the rapid defeat of Nick “The Goat” Thompson within 1:03 of the start of the bout Saturday night. Shields used a modified guillotine choke to subdue the burly Thompson. It was a quick and decisive victory for Shields who is now 21-4-1.

Good job, Jake, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a regular chiropractic client. You know that chiropractic is the quintessential body-care system for great health and functioning. You join the ranks of other elite athletes who have been using chiropractic to keep their million dollar bodies lean, mean and firing sharp machines. This list includes:

And now the tough-as-nails Jake Shields. Congratulations on the big win, Jake! And congratulations for using chiropractic–you know the power. Smart man.

Seems like the risks keep piling up for antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Paxil have enough side effects to fill a book, like:
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Sedation (can interfere with driving or operating machinery)
  • Sleep disruption
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance/diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Inability to achieve an erection (limp D)
  • Inability to achieve an orgasm (men and women)
  • Loss of libido
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety

They have also been proven to increase suicidality (have you read my book?). And if taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), another type of antidepressant, the combination can kill you. But if that ain’t enough, a new study has come out linking the SSRI antidepressants to intestinal bleeding. Woowee! Ever poop blood, boy? Keep taking that Prozac and you just might.

Never fear, though, medical science has an answer. According to the research team, the gastrointestinal bleeding associated with antidepressant use can be easily remedy with…a simple antacid. No really, a magic bullet is all that’s needed. So if you’re hooked on antidepressants you should rest assured that by simply countering with an acid-suppressing medication, your risk for GI bleeding will be almost nil. You’ll simply need to deal with the other annoying side effects of the SSRIs and possibly a few more caused by the antacid. Piece of cake! Ain’t science grand?

And who may we thank for this study? Why AstraZeneca, that’s who…you know, the makers of Nexium and Prilosec, those quite useful acid-suppressing drugs that you’ll need to combat GI bleeding, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……..

Okay, now I’ve heard it ALL! Check this out: the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines stating that children as young as two should be screened for high cholesterol. And even better, get this: they are recommending that children as young as eight should be started on statins. Whoa, ho, ho…hold on, Nellie…isn’t that the sickest thing you’ve ever heard? Our nation’s pediatric association–the professionals taking care of our children–is recommending statins, cholesterol lowering drugs, for our youngsters? I don’t know about you, but I’ve effin’ heard it all now.

Let me get this straight: the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that American children should be screened for high cholesterol and given statins to combat any risk of future heart disease, instead of getting their asses up and moving and exercising like normal kids? Holy crapoly!

Now to be fair, I understand where this idiocy stems from; I mean, let’s face it, Americans are blowing up to gargantuan proportions. Recent reports disclose that the number of obese Americans has grown significantly, yet again, over the last two years, making the current numbers 25% of the general population. I spend a great deal of ink on this tragic situation in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, and, yes, it’s a many-faceted problem for the obese adult.

But childhood obesity? Excuse my language, but…that’s effin’ child neglect and abuse by lazy, undisciplined, ignorant parents. There, I’ve said it, and you all know it’s true. Letting your kid drink more than one Coke a week is child abuse. Feeding your kid Frosted Flakes is asinine and inexcusably ignorant or neglectful, or both. Letting your kid sit his or her fat ass in front of the T.V. for hours watching the Kardashians’ fat asses is equally ignorant and neglectful, and is also child abuse. According to a recent Canadian study on childhood obesity, kids who watch television while eating lunch take in 228 more calories than those who ate without the television on. Duh! Wake the eff up, parents! Sitting on your ass all day watching the boob tube and stuffing your face makes you fat. It does the same to your kids who–guess what?–learn from you! Duh!

And another study points out that parenting styles are what have the greatest effect on children’s eating habits. Duh! We need a study to know that? Wake the eff up, parents! Being too permissive in what you let your children eat will eventually lead to obesity. Yes, Junior wants PopTarts. Too bad…you’re getting an apple…now put down that WiiFii and go out and play.

And being too strict isn’t any good, either. You know exactly who I’m talking about, Food Nazis. Let the kid have an ice cream every now and again. Being authoritarian when it comes to food practices can also lead to obesity…the closet kind. I don’t know why Junior is blowing up, he only gets radishes at home. Duh!

According to nutritional experts conducting the study, the best thing parents can do to influence healthy eating habits in their children is to “set a good example with their own diets.” Duh! Both strict and permissive parents typically fail to serve as good dietary role models for their children, according to the researchers.

But here is my biggest beef: What the hell is wrong with the parent who sees their kid blowing up and doesn’t make him run his fat ass around the block every damn day till he gets back in kid shape? But he doesn’t want to…Yeah, no kidding. Get up and run, Engelberg! You mean, you’d rather give your kid statins than make him exercise or send him to military school? WTF?!?! And the American American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this???

According to one idiot doctor: “If we are more aggressive about this in childhood, I think we can have an impact on what happens later in life…and avoid some of these heart attacks and strokes in adulthood, says Dr. Stephen Daniels, of the academy’s nutrition committee. You know, this is what’s so pathetic about our current health system and it’s downright brain-dead paradigm: drugs like statins have been developed for lazy, undisciplined individuals who know better but just can’t get themselves to do what’s right because they have zero willpower. Doctors know this, and many will rightly say, “Patients don’t comply.” Yeah, that’s why they recommend statins and other meds, because they know the average lazy American (or busy, or challenged, or depressed, or underprivileged, or whatever convenient BS excuse is needed to not work hard) won’t do what it takes, so give ‘em the ol’ magic bullet. Kids, however, are under the guidance, and yes, control of their parents. In no way should non-compliance be allowed–not by doctors, not by P.E. teachers, not by parents, nobody. Period!

So now you know how I feel. If you want to eat whatever you want to, at whichever quantity you want, if you don’t want to exercise, if you would rather be obese than do the work to bring it down, I’ll be the first to say, “That’s your choice, killer…do as you please.” But when it comes to your kids, if you are not teaching them the right dietary habits, if you are not acting as proper role models for their health and future well being, if you are not insisting that they go outdoors and play and exercise like normal kids should be doing, and you are thinking about giving them statins, then you are a child abuser plain and simple. Don’t do that to your kid. Shape up!

Over the hill. Old. Ready for retirement. What the heck is in these terms? Nothing, as far as I’m concerned. Aging is a state of mind. No doubt time moves forward, but does that mean life slows down? For some, maybe; but plenty of people are taking their lives to the next level–the next experience–as they age. Rock on! That’s the way I’m gonna do it, for sure.Baby boomers are taking these sentiments to heart: This generation is the first to take an active lifestyle into older age. I commend them. Keep truckin’ baby boomers. Just make sure you learn to partake in your activities in the right way. Learn how to train properly. Take a yoga or Pilates class and master the form. You’ll keep truckin’ for years to come that way.

And younger generations take heed. You’d be wise to look to the boomers for inspiration. Looking to generations earlier than boomers might just land you in the rocking chair. Start exercising and taking care of your health now, today. Eat well, get plenty of rest, and never, ever stop training your mind–it’s imperative to keeping your wits and staying youthful. And don’t ever fall into the, “I’m too old for that” trap. Believe you can and you will–guaranteed. Don’t think so? Look at these young middle-agers and their extraordinary accomplishments:

  • Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres–at 41, Torres is heading for her fifth Olympics, despite taking several years off, giving birth just two years ago and undergoing two surgeries within the past eight months.
  • Barry Bonds–at 44, broke the major league home run record held by Hank Aaron for 33 years (which Aaron, himself, broke at age 40). Bonds also won a batting title at 38 (considered old for baseball!).
  • George Foreman–in 1994, at age 45, Foreman captures the IBF and WBA championships to become the oldest champion in any weight class.
  • Jack Nicklaus–in 1986, Nicklaus wins the Masters at age 46.
  • Leonid Hurwicz–in 1997, became the oldest person at 90 to win the Nobel Prize for his work in economics.
  • George Burns and Jessica Tandy–oldest competitive Oscar winners for their work in The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) respectively.
  • Min Bahadur Sherchan–at 76, the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Understand? If you can see it and believe it, you can achieve it, no matter what your age. Nuff said.

Warning! Breaking News: The culprit that caused the salmonella outbreak, which sickened more than 1,200 people over the last several months, appears to be jalapeño peppers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have found a jalapeño pepper contaminated with Salmonella saintpaul, the bacteria that has been causing the widespread illness. The contaminated pepper was isolated from a distribution center called Agricola Zaragosa in McAllen, Texas.

Officials are not sure if the contamination originated in Mexico where the peppers are from or if the contamination was centralized in the Texas plant. Either way, one thing is for sure: DON’T EAT JALAPEÑO PEPPERS!!! Not until they’ve been cleared. So…hold the peppers, hold the salsa, no chipotle, nothing, nada. Can’t think of a worse fate: a bug that gives you the runs in a pepper that makes you shoot fire. Yow!

Also, tomatoes, you’re off the hook. Officials thought for a moment that it was this vitamin c laden fruit that was causing the runny woes, but lo and behold: TOMATOES ARE INNOCENT. Abbondanza!

There you have it–you heard it here first. From your source of health news and information with a twist. Now ‘scuze me–gotta run to the….aaaarrrgghhhh!!!!

Well, it’s official: Red wine makes life better. You heard it here first. Drinking red wine officially improves life, but not in quantity. So says a new study from the US National Institute of Aging.

According to the study, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, slowed the aging of the heart, bones, and eyes in mice that were fed an otherwise healthy diet. Scientists hope that we might be able to extrapolate these findings to humans, but maybe we better not jump the gun just yet; so let’s simply proclaim that red wine makes life better for mice…for now. Now I wonder: would that be all mice or just our French furry friends? Oui, oui Monsieur souris, jouir d’une bonne santé.

If the findings can be extrapolated to man, then, this is great news for sommeliers–red wine is a blessing for better health. The study did not show any benefits to longevity, though, despite the hinting of such from an earlier study. In a 2006 study, researchers found that resveratrol, a compound found naturally in foods like grapes and nuts, improved the health and increased the life expectancy of overweight, older mice; however, not this time.

Well, either way, it’s good news. Scientists point out that the effects of resveratrol mimic the effects of calorie reduction, the most effective way found to date to minimize the effects of aging on mammals. If you’ve read my book, you know what I’ve said about caloric restriction without malnutrition.

So if you want to slow down the aging process, reduce the quantity of food you regularly eat, and enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner. If that doesn’t keep you looking and feeling youthful then at least it should make cheese more enjoyable.

Do your part to save the male appendage today: Stay healthy at all costs! What?!?! You heard me right–staying healthy is your best insurance to keeping your organs, appendages, digits, and yes, your genitalia too.

According to a recent report, a Romanian man lost his penis in an “accidental” severing during a testicular surgery. Whoops! And the surgeon performing the operation wasn’t a hack, either; he was a renowned and “highly respected” urologist and anatomy professor. Double oops! Ain’t that just enough to make you cringe?

The slippery-wristed surgeon was ordered to pay the 38-year-old man $500,00 euros (785,000 dollars) in compensation. That’s all?!?! for an amputation of that nature? Sheesh! I guess I think very highly of myself, but, well…I wouldn’t have been happy with less than $10 million that’s for sure–I’m still building my family, for heaven’s sake!

I’m not posting this story to poke fun at this poor man’s misfortune–his wife has since left him, to add insult to injury–but I use this as an example of why it’s best to use the medical system as little as possible–emergency and life threatening situations only; for the most part, anyway. As I discuss in detail in the first chapter of my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in this country. I guess they happen in Europe, too.

Listen, we need modern medicine: it is absolutely critical in times of crisis, and many of its marvels have improved the quality and quantity of life significantly for millions of people around the world. However, far too many use it as a quick fix for all their health woes, even the most minor ones; and frankly, that’s foolish. Be smart–take care of your health to the best of your ability. Honor your body and put in at least the minimal amount of work to maintain it. Follow the six keys to optimal health and assure yourself the greatest chance of staying healthy and vibrant for years to come. And as a result, you may just do your part to save a penis one day.

Want to know which natural substances have been shown to clear the mind of brain fog and improve mental function and memory? Antioxidants, that’s what.

An interesting study out of the University of Toronto found that antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, can clear mental sluggishness, confusion and forgetfulness in people with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance and high blood sugar. This type of diabetes is known as adult-onset diabetes because it is usually related to lifestyle–that is, poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity.

People with type 2 diabetes often get brain fog following a fatty meal. This mental sluggishness, the researcher have found, is due to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, tissues, and DNA, which can lead to cancer. They also speed up the aging process. Case in point, according to the Canadian scientists, brain fog in type 2 diabetics “makes the 50-year-old brain more like the 75-year-old brain.”

So what makes this study important? If brain fog is caused by oxidative damage from free radicals, don’t you think everybody might benefit from antioxidant supplementation? Yeah, so do I. Once again, that’s vitamins C and E, as well as vitamin A and selenium. And if you’ve read my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, then you know I really like alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is known as the universal antioxidant because it is both water and fat soluble, and it crosses the blood-brain barrier easily. It’s powerful and I highly recommend it. Research conducted at UC Berkeley showed alpha-lipoic acid to improve brain function and memory.

I don’t know about you guys but my mind is important to me, so I’m all about supplementing with antioxidants. If supplements aren’t your thing–and I’d strongly advise you to reconsider–then at least pound the real fruit juices I talked about in an earlier post. But for those of you who supplement regularly, don’t forget to include vitamins C, E and ALA in your nutritional regimen.

Ever had a burnt tongue feeling? I have. Just recently, too. Yeah, it sucks.

What’s a burning tongue? Everybody has burnt their tongue before, right? Hot coffee, hot soup, hot lasagna….goes away in a day or two, but not burnt tongue syndrome. Burnt tongue syndrome is the feeling of a burnt tongue that lasts for several days, weeks, months, or years. Yowsa! It can be caused by menopause, oral thrush, dry mouth (xerostomia), nutritional deficiencies, and psychological problems including anxiety and depression.

So I’ve had this sensation for the last five days–had me real perplexed, too. But I remember that vitamin B deficiency can cause some unusual tongue symptoms, so I started pounding the vitamin B (actually three supplement capsules a day). And what do you know? Burnt feeling going away slowly but surely.

How does one become vitamin B deficient? Chronic stress, heavy alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, heavy sugar consumption, heavy coffee drinking and poor digestion (inflammatory bowel syndrome) among other things. In my case, could have been any of those things, with the exception of alcohol and smoking since I don’t do either. But I love sugar, and I do get stress out…plenty. And, when I don’t eat right (for me–i.e. sugar, caffeine, wheat, pork, mint, and other food substances) I definitely have digestive disturbances (read my book, it’s in there).

So if you find yourself with a burnt tongue sensation for more than a couple days, try increasing your vitamin B. If it doesn’t get better within a few days, then you’d better get it checked out by your medical doctor.

Want to know the most healthy juices to drink? A UCLA study looked at the antioxidant levels of a number of fruit juices and came up with some exciting conclusions. When it comes to healthy juices, pomegranate is the best; it is highest in antioxidants.

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are substances that can damage cells, tissues, and DNA. These harmful substances can lead to degenerative disorders like cancer, and they also speed up the aging process. As I point out in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, “Free radicals are formed naturally in the body during certain metabolic processes as well as by cells of the immune system to fight infections. They can also be formed by outside agents like cigarette smoke, pollution, and radiation.”

Vitamins and minerals that act as powerful antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral selenium. I highly recommend supplementing with these essential vitamins. I personally take 1,000 mg vitamin C per day. But I also think that taking 2,000 mg isn’t such a bad idea. In fact, the great chemist and forward-thinker, Linus Pauling, believed that people should be taking much more than that (check out this interview), especially people battling cancer.

A great source of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables–that’s why nutritionist recommend eating so many servings of each. But another great source is fruit juice: this is what makes these findings so exciting. So here you go–the list.

  1. Pomegranate juice–the healthiest of them all because it contains the most of every type of antioxidant.
  2. Concord Grape juice–a great source of antioxidants. May also be good for the heart and decrease blood pressure.
  3. Blueberry juice (yum, my favorite!)–contains antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C…and it’s blue, dammit.
  4. Black Cherry juice–some studies have shown this juice to reduce muscle soreness following exercise. Booyah!
  5. Cranberry juice*–can actually prevent urinary tract infections in women.

Enjoy, and start drinking your fruit juice. Remember, eating the whole fruit is always better, but for a big blast, fruit juices pack the antioxidants in. It also packs in the calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight, then definitely stick to the whole fruit. Otherwise, juice away!

*Please note that there is a huge difference between real juice and the juice cocktails sold in most grocery stores. If you want the real deal, please visit your local hippie store, they’ll take care of you. And if you are in L.A.–ask me, I can get you the good stuff.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a few daily servings of broccoli can ward off cancer. So says a new study out of Great Britain. Not only does the study show broccoli’s anti-cancerous effects, but it shows just how the cruciferous vegetable does it.

According to researchers, isothiocyanate–a chemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and watercress–sparks a cascade of genetic effects which ultimately provide the body protection against cancer. Broccoli, however, is particularly powerful since it also contains the compound called sulforaphane, which may give it an extra cancer-fighting kick.

The study looked specifically at men with precancerous lesions of the prostrate, and found that by eating four extra servings of broccoli each week, genetic changes occurred such that certain cancer-fighting genes were turned on while other genes, those which tend to fuel tumors, were turned off. Brilliant! According to Richard Mithen, biologist at Britain’s Institute of Food Research, and one of the study’s authors, “When people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on. What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread.”

So there you have it: Reason to start pounding this stuff. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer killer of men following lung cancer. Each year some 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 220,000 will die from it. So fellas, eat your broccoli by the bushel full. And women, you eat it too, since scientists believe that the cancer-protective effects of broccoli extend to other tissues besides the prostate. Remember, a large percentage of illnesses plaguing society are preventable. Now you know.

Check out this cool broccoli-blog.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Your high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are the cholesterol readings that matter the most. If you remember my earlier posts, and my podcast on statins (Episode 7), you’ll recall that HDLs, or “good” cholesterol, are more important than low density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol when it comes to predicting whether you’ll develop heart disease. If you don’t, then maybe your HDL levels need a little boost.

According to British researchers, middled-aged people with low levels of HDLs had greater memory decline and were at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The study looked at 3,700 British men and women, and found that falling levels of HDL cholesterol were linked to declining memory by age 60. The subjects were given a memory test, whereby they had twenty words read to them and then were instructed to write down in two minutes as many of the words they could remember. At age 55, those with low HDL cholesterol had a 27% higher risk of memory loss than those with high HDLs. At age 60, those with low HDLs had a 53% higher risk of memory loss compared to those with high HDLs.

I’m trying to tell you how important keeping your HDL levels up is. Here are the ways to increase HDL levels:

  • Regular aerobic exercise–walking, jogging, hiking, treadmill, stair climber–anything that makes you sweat for 20-30 minutes uninterrupted
  • Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids–take these every day. I carry the best in my office
  • Losing weight–the two previous activities will help in this regard as will portion control (and by cutting sodas, and by going on the wagon)
  • Kicking the smoking habit

Pick up these habits, one at a time if you need to, and watch your HDL levels climb. You’ll not only benefit by reducing your chances of having a heart attack and retaining your sharp mental wit, but you’ll also feel better. And look better, too. Can I motivate you any more than that?

You are getting sleepy, sleeeeepy….

Ever tried hypnosis? Good stuff I tell you. I’ve done it several times and I got it right away. Hypnosis is the practice of taking the mind through mental and visual processes to help control the physical and material plane. Huh? Let me rephrase that: If you’ve got a physical problem, hypnosis can help guide you mentally to change your physiology. And, if you want to create or change an experience in your life–quit smoking, lose weight, gain confidence, reduce fears–hypnosis can also help there by guiding you through visualizations and help change mental patterns. Think it’s BS? Well check this out:

British researchers have found that hypnosis may help reduce bowel inflammation seen in ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes chronic inflammation in the lining of the colon and rectum, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Although the standard medical treatment is drugs, a small study suggests that hypnosis may aid in the healing process.

In the study, scientists looked at 25 people with ulcerative colitis. Seventeen were taken through 50-minute session of “gut-focused” hypnotherapy aimed at relaxation and relief of inflammation, while eight simply listened to music of their choice for the same period. What they found was astounding: blood levels of IL-6–a marker of inflammation in the body–fell by 53 percent in the hypnosis group, whereas music listeners showed no substantial change. And they found a decrease in other chemical markers of inflammation as well.

The researchers were not sure why hypnosis eased inflammation but think that it might have direct effects on colon activity or it might affect people’s pain tolerance or perceptions of their symptoms. To me it’s quite simple: you cannot separate the body from the mind. In fact, all physical processes–both health and illness–have their origins in the mind. Trip on that for a minute. And if that’s true, then they must have mental solutions (components) as well. That’s my belief, anybody disagree?

I know two very talented hypnotherapists that I love to send clients to, one in Los Angeles and one in The Valley. Check them out–they work magic.

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