Mindfulness meditation and chronic pain

Mindfulness meditation utilizes the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain to target trauma and stress associated with the discomfort of chronic pain. This interesting article explains how meditation can process pain and ease our body with the power of our mind.

 

IS ONE OF YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS KILLING YOU?

Millions of people around the word are using dangerous drugs. Unfortunately, in many cases they are prescribed by their doctors.  While some medications actually reduce disease risk, many are used to relieve symptoms but offer no health benefit.  And in many cases, their side-effects can be harmful.

 

Are your medications increasing your Alzheimer’s risk?

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that overdoses of benzodiazepine drugs (with names like lorazepam, diazepam or clonazepam) increased about fourfold between 1996-2013.

 

EEG data reveals the nature of pain – even in infants

A recent study looking at babies’ brainwaves points to the growing role of EEG data in revealing brain function.

 

 

Does lithium protect the brain?

Researchers from Rutgers University have recently published data suggesting that lithium may help reduce damage that can occur after a traumatic brain injury.   This drug, which has been used for decades to treat bipolar disorder, has also been used by integrative physicians to promote brain health.

 

Bringing chelation therapy to Costa Rica

Ever since we found it, the idyllic waterfall property that we hope to turn into Seekers Falls has brought a unique energy to our team and our work.  Our vision is to create a one-day experience for visitors from around the world that combines nature, adventure, healing and education.

 

 

Detox your home

Lurking. That is the probably the best way to describe the hidden toxins that live in our households. It is a pretty safe bet that if it toxin chemicals are in our environment, they are probably in our bloodstream as well.

 

 

Let food be your medicine

My practice is based on my approach to medicine – that there are many ways of treating health problems. In most cases, my prescription includes something very simple and obvious that is often overlooked by people: food.

 

 

The BEAM Project

The BEAM project was established to develop mobile tools for collecting data. These will allow Complimentary and Alternative Medicine providers to document exactly what they do during their interactions with patients, including details of specific procedures and prescriptions.

 

 

Acupuncture for your brain

Modern medicine has been described as the greatest gift to mankind.  While its role is different, I think acupuncture is just as precious a gift.  This safe, simple treatment has been used by millions in China for thousands of years.

 

 

Do you have adrenal fatigue?

If you are suffering from chronic health problems, you may have a problem with your adrenal glands.  In most cases, this problem cannot be diagnosed using standard medical tests of adrenal function.

 

 

inflamed brainIs your brain inflamed?

Many different brain disorders have been linked to inflammation in the brain.  This includes post-concussion syndrome, depression and Alzheimer’s dementia.  A recent literature review found that blood tests measuring inflammation are also increased in people with Parkinson’s disease.

 

blood test vials

A blood test for brain injury?

A recent study reports, for the first time ever, that a blood test taken immediately after a concussion can predict recovery.  The study, which was published in the journal Neurology, involved a protein called tau.  This protein can be seen as tangled fibres in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s dementia, and over a dozen other brain diseases.

 

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor. FreedomDon’t Worry, Be Happy

Most people don’t think about their health.  At least not when they still have it.  Those of us whose bodies and brains are functional, allowing us to eat, sleep, move around and do what we need to do, don’t pay much attention to the incredible machine they are driving.

 

 

Your best winter ever

This week will bring the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.  This means that even though we will be dealing with cold weather for awhile, the sun will be shining for a few extra minutes every day.  For those of you who struggle with winter – for whatever reason – there are little things you can do to make it better.

 

ear seedSeed for your ears – and your brain

One of the most versatile and effective tools that we use at Seekers is ear acupuncture.  We typically use needles to treat specific points we locate on each individual patient, but there are other ways to treat these points.  Another approach, which we can use instead of needles or in combination with them, is ear seeds.

 

variety of loose pillsHow to use pain medication

In most cases, pain medication does not heal.  At its best, it helps to reduce pain and relieve suffering, leading to improved function and greater well-being.  At its worst, it leads to harmful side-effects, reduced function, addiction and in the case of opioids to accidental overdose and suicide.  If you need medication for pain, you should use it wisely.

 

fasciaGet to know your fascia

Treating fascia is one of the most important elements of effective treatment of injuries, pain and the brain.  Stretching, posture and massage all involve fascia.  Many physiotherapists and manual therapists have become focused on fascia.  But the importance of fascia – and its treatment – are still missing from modern medicine.

 

image of breadIs wheat affecting your brain?

We have supervised hundreds of patients during a trial of a gluten-free diet.  What we have seen has been nothing short of amazing. This does not just include GI problems like bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation, stomach pain and diarrhea.  We see improvement in fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain.  Less depression and anxiety.

 

neuronsA vitamin for Stephen Hawking

Every once in awhile I come across a study that blows my mind. A study that should have been talked about in the media, and certainly in the medical literature.  It was a study that found that acetyl-L-carnitine, a widely available and well-researched health supplement, prolonged the lives of people with ALS.

 

safflowerCan saffron heal the brain?

I married into a Persian family, which introduced me to the alluring flavor and aroma of saffron.  Some of the best saffron in the world comes from Iran, where it is prized and used in many foods.  It comes from tiny red threads that hang from Crocus flowers. The threads from 4500 plants must be collected to produce a single ounce of saffron.

 

pomegranatePomegranate, bacteria and the brain

Pomegranate season is coming soon.  This once unknown fruit has become a brain food superstar.  As an Arab-Canadian boy, I grew up eating pomegranate seeds in rosewater while watching Hockey Night in Canada.  Back then, I was the only kid on my street who ate that fruit, but pomegranate is everywhere now.

 

omega 3 foodsDHA, omega fat and the brain

There are many natural health products that are promoted for brain health.  While many have potential, most have not been properly studied yet.  One exception is an omega-3 fat called DHA.

 

 

tree with changing leavesBe Reborn

Today is the first day of autumn and the leaves have just begun to turn.  I noticed a few yellow leaves atop a beautiful maple on my street yesterday morning. The coming weeks will be beautiful, with its crisp air, great sweaters,  warm drinks and return to work and school.  The ancient Canadian ritual of preparing for winter has also quietly begun.

 

superfoodConsciousness and Food

Millions of people have transformed the way they think about food. There are very few people who put food in their mouths without thinking about how what they are eating will affect their health. Even the people who decide that they don’t care about their health are thinking about it.

 

 

concussionConcussions – should we treat them all?

Most people who have had a concussion would call themselves normal.  They may have had symptoms for a day or two, but when those symptoms faded they returned to their normal work, sport and day-to-day lives.  While those people may seem normal, their brains are not.

 

 

Lymph and the brain

This recent discovery of a lymphatic system in the brain has been reported as a revolution in neuroscience. It was always assumed that there was no connection between the brain and the immune system of the body. But powerful new evidence, which includes beautiful images, shows that a rich network of lymphatic vessels travel along the veins that drain the brain.

 

derek drouin high jumpingOvercoming pain for Canadian gold

Derek Drouin, a high jumper from Sarnia, Ontario, just won Canada’s third Olympic gold medal.  He even invented a new way to high jump technique that some say will revolutionize the sport.  He did so with chronic nagging pain and stiffness in his back.  Apparently, he and his coaches were even told that he should consider taking a break from the sport.

 

SARS signSARS and the journey to the Seekers Centre

It was the spring of 2003, and Toronto was a weird, eerie place. One of the great cities of the world was brought to its knees by a virus. It was called bird flu at first, but it was later called SARS. N95 face masks were sold out across the country, and you could see them everywhere you looked. On the streets, in subways, in shops and public places, there were masked figures in the crowds.

 

wheat in fieldResearchers find a biological explanation for wheat sensitivity

One of the most common treatable factors that we see affecting our patients with chronic pain is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).  These folks test negative for celiac disease, but they have health problems that go away when they are on a strict gluten-free diet … and return when they eat gluten, even in trace amounts.

 

brainqEEG and Neurofeedback for the injured brain

There has been a huge increase in awareness of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) in recent years.  Those of us who work with people with PCS, as healthcare providers, researchers, lawyers or advocates, are encouraged by this.  There have been more media stories, more prevention efforts, more research dollars, more conferences and workshops.

 

6 easy pieces of detoxSix easy pieces of detox – for free!

Many of my patients have asked me for advice about how to do a ‘detox’.  This is certainly an important issue, because we all have hundreds of synthetic chemicals in our brains and bodies that don’t belong there.  There is a decent amount of science to support the notion that reducing your toxic load can improve your health.  It also makes a lot of sense, which is why you should Detox your Life.

 

france flagHealing the pain of Bastille Day

I was out with family yesterday evening when my cousin, visiting from abroad, showed me a video of bloody bodies littering the streets of France.  None of us could bear these images; we all looked away.  How are ordinary people, shocked and saddened by this atrocity, supposed to react?  What are the nations of the world supposed to do?  How can we make this better?

 

SARS signSARS and the journey to the Seekers Centre

It was the spring of 2003, and Toronto was a weird, eerie place. One of the great cities of the world was brought to its knees by a virus. It was called bird flu at first, but it was later called SARS. N95. Face masks were sold out across the country, and you could see them everywhere you looked. On the streets, in subways, in shops and public places.

 

Your cell phone and your brain

The results of a US government study released recently provide the strongest evidence to date that cell phones cause brain cancer. It may be time for you to take another look at your exposure to cell phones and other EMFs – and consider an electricity detox.

 

Zika – Fact vs. Fear

The Zika virus has forced many of us to think about mosquitoes in the middle of winter.  This virus, which was first reported in Uganda in 1947, recently made its way to America.  It likely came from the Micronesian islands in the South Pacific, where over 70% of the population were infected in 2007.

 

Dr. Nahas’ Interview on Body, Mind, and Spirit – CHRW Radio

Click to listen to Dr. Nahas’ 1 hour long radio interview with Pat Kennedy on her radio show “Body, Mind, and Spirit” on CHRW 94.9 FM. During this interview, Dr. Nahas discusses our clinic’s practices and treatments, our goals for healing our patients, as well as his journey that lead him to integrative pain medicine.

 

Low-Dose Naltrexone

New research has brought our attention to the tremendous potential of low-dose naltrexone to help people with chronic pain.  We have used this treatment in hundreds of patients with a wide range of health problems, but we recently began prescribing it for patients in our chronic pain program with very encouraging results.

 

Do Pain Killers Cause Chronic Pain?

Millions of people who live with chronic pain use prescription drugs to help them get through the day.  For many of them, the only drugs that provide relief are the opioids.  While the opioid drugs can reduce pain in the short-term, new research shows that they might actually make chronic pain worse.

 

Self care after MVA

You have just been in a car accident. You are sore, tight or stiff. You might be stressed, worried or tense. Maybe you are feeling dizzy or tired, having trouble seeing clearly or thinking clearly. You are struggling to relax your body or your mind.   These problems are affecting your sleep, your work performance, your daily routine at home, your social and family life.

 

Time to heal the system

At the Seekers Centre, we treat people with disabilities related to chronic pain.  While this is our main focus, we also provide assessments for people who need an unbiased medical opinion for legal and insurance-related reasons.  This is challenging work, but it has provided us with unique insight into the system that our patients depend on for their livelihood.