My Blog
By Brunswick Family Medicine
December 02, 2021
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Aloe Vera  
Aloe VeraAloe vera is a gelatinous substance that can be obtained from the leaves of the aloe plant, a spiky plant that grows in dry, hot climates such as Africa and the southern and western US. Aloe vera was once referred to as the “plant of immortality” during Ancient Egypt, and even today aloe vera has been touted for treating a variety of injuries, burns, and health conditions due to the high number of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids it contains. Here are just some of the things that aloe vera might be able to offer.

Reduce Blood Glucose Levels

Some studies have found that consuming aloe can actually reduce fasting blood glucose in those with diabetes after just two weeks. It may also be able to improve glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

Wound Healing

Research has also found that aloe vera can increase the production of fibroblast cells, cells that are found in connective tissue, which make collagen and elastin. As a result, consuming aloe vera may assist in producing more fibroblast cells, which could aid in healing minor soft tissue wounds.

Improve Digestion and Alleviate Heartburn

Dealing with an upset stomach? Fighting heartburn? If so, drinking aloe vera may help with these common digestive problems. After all, enzymes within aloe vera are responsible for breaking down fats and sugars, making it easier to digest certain foods. It may also help to reduce irritation of the digestive tract to provide relief for those dealing with heartburn.

It Can Alleviate Constipation

If you’re having a hard time going to the bathroom you may be surprised to discover that aloe vera may be able to help. That’s because aloe vera also contains aloin, which is known for its laxative properties. While you won’t find an aloe vera-based laxative on the market these days, you may want to try adding consumable aloe vera (read all instructions before consuming) to your daily diet.

If you are looking for advice and recommendations regarding natural alternatives, treatments, and supplements to improve your health and wellbeing, an osteopath is going to be a helpful medical professional to turn to. An osteopath focuses on holistic treatment options to help you feel your best.
By Brunswick Family Medicine
November 19, 2021
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Detox  
DetoxMost people these days complain of chronic fatigue, energy zaps, brain fog, and increased weight gain. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the best way to restore balance in their bodies. An osteopath can offer a natural and gentle solution to help detox and cleanse the body to alleviate symptoms and to help you feel your best.

What is a holistic detox?

Most people think of detox and they think of a digestive cleanse. The only difference is that instead of just trying to cleanse and clean the GI tract, we are going to cleanse and detox the body as a whole, helping the body to expel toxins caused by:
  • Alcohol and recreational drug use
  • Prescription medications
  • Pollutants
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
It’s believed that heavy metals and other pollutants in the body have the ability to cause:
  • Acne, rashes, and other skin problems
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Loss of energy
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Digestive problems
  • Unexplained weight gain
While these cleanses won’t actually improve the function of the liver (the liver is already designed to naturally eliminate toxins from the body), what a holistic detox will do is help to cleanse different pathways in the body to more swiftly and efficiently remove these toxins to improve how the body functions as a whole.

What is involved in a holistic detox?

Every doctor is different when it comes to how they perform a holistic detox. When you visit your osteopath, they will discuss with you the diet you’ll follow, how long you’ll need to follow that diet and whether you’ll need supplements or other therapies such as sauna to improve the detoxification process. During your detox, it’s important that you are drinking a lot of water to help the body flush out toxins and other harmful elements in the body.

What are the benefits of holistic detox?

Everyone experiences different relief and health benefits as a result of a holistic detox. Once the toxins have been eliminated you may find that your digestive tract works more smoothly and you’re able to pass stools more easily. You may also see healthier and more radiant skin, improved energy, a boost to your immune system, a reduction in stress, and curbed cravings.

Whether you’re looking to nix sugar cravings, improve your metabolism, or just feel more energized, a holistic detox may be able to help. Talk with your osteopath today to kickstart your holistic detox plan so you can start feeling better.
By Brunswick Family Medicine
October 29, 2021
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Yoga  
YogaWhen people imagine yoga, they think of deep stretches, meditation, and an amazing tool for wellness and stress relief. Indeed, yoga is an ancient technique that has been proven to be an effective relaxation, mindfulness, and all-around health tool.

The benefits of yoga are extensive and well-documented. In addition, yoga can be easily done with little or no extra tools, making it the perfect exercise for those with limited means or on the go.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. Yoga brings together physical, mental, and spiritual practices.

Yoga involves various methods for mindfulness, including deep breathing, physical poses, relaxation of muscles, stretching, and concentration. Yoga is now widely practiced by many Americans, with a survey showing that one out of every seven people practice yoga! The name yoga literally means "to join," and comes from the word "Yuj" in Sanskrit. 

Physical Benefits

Besides being physical exercise, yoga is a great way to combine the body, mind, and spirit to better increase overall health. Physically, yoga helps people:
  • Build muscle strength
  • Increase flexibility
  • Reduce muscle tension and stress
  • Improve sleep through relaxation
It's estimated that people burn an average of 180 to 460 calories during a single yoga session. This is, of course, based on the type of yoga done, the intensity of the session and length of time, and if the person doing yoga is male or female. Because of the number of calories burned, yoga is a great weight-loss tool when combined with healthy eating habits and other lifestyle changes.

Mindfulness Benefits

Because yoga incorporates mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, it is thought to be beneficial to those undergoing treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that, after practicing Hatha yoga, people's PHQ-9 scores (measuring depression) dropped 3.7 points.

In addition, deep breathing during yoga has been found to be one of the best ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to slow down anxious thinking and stop anxiety in its tracks.

Although yoga shouldn't completely replace other therapies or treatments for mental disorders, it can be a powerful tool to help those struggling with anxiety and depression. By helping people increase mindfulness, people are better able to reduce stress and manage anxious and negative thoughts.

Starting Yoga

Talk to your osteopath about starting a new exercise such as yoga. After you get the OK, there are ample videos online and even free yoga classes to help you increase your overall health.
By Brunswick Family Medicine
October 15, 2021
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Muscle Cramps   Stretching  
Muscle CrampsThere are a variety of reasons why people can get muscle cramps. From dehydration to lack of vitamins and minerals, muscle cramps can be painful and even scary. Luckily, most muscle cramps are thought to be due to the overuse of muscles, muscle strains, or holding a position for too long.

Stretching can help tackle these common causes of muscle cramps and help people find relief from cramps. In addition, stretching can help prevent future muscle cramps from forming and strengthen your body overall.

How Can Stretching Help my Muscle Cramps?

Stretching your muscles helps cramps by massaging out the affected muscle and allowing it to relax again. Cramps are caused by muscles not being able to relax, causing a contraction that is uncontrollable. Stretching, using a warm compress, and making sure to stay hydrated can all help alleviate even the most painful muscle cramps.

Proper Stretching Techniques

No matter the muscle you stretch, it's important to never over-extend muscles through stretching. This can cause increased injury and can even lead to muscle sprains and strains. Instead, when stretching your muscles, start off slow and warm up your muscles by walking or doing gentle movements. For the arms, arm circles are a good start. For the legs, doing gentle running in place or walking can help.
Every muscle can benefit from different stretches. For instance, intense back cramps can benefit from the child's pose in yoga, which involves kneeling on the ground and placing your front torso forward with outstretched arms. Alternatively, you can try knees to chest stretch, or a lumbar rotation stretch.
More common muscle cramps that involve the calf can be treated with gentle stretching by pulling the toes toward the body while keeping the knees as straight as possible. 

How Long Do I Stretch For?

Whatever stretch you choose to do, it's important to remember to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time for the muscle to fully benefit from the stretch. However, if you find yourself in extreme pain, do not continue with the stretch. Instead, go back to the least painful position and hold the stretch from there.

Other Benefits of Stretching

Besides being good for muscle cramps, stretching can also help people with:
  • Stress relief
  • Improve their posture
  • Improve blood flow to the muscles
  • Improve flexibility
  • Help range of motion
Stretching can help you feel immediate relief from cramps and are a great alternative to muscle relaxers and other pain medication. However, if you feel stretching doesn't help your cramps, or your cramps continue, speak to your osteopath today.
By Brunswick Family Medicine
September 29, 2021
Tags: Carpal Tunnel  
Carpal TunnelWhen the large nerve within the hand, known as the median nerve, is compressed you may develop numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand and wrist. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome, and it’s more common than you might realize; however, carpal tunnel does require proper treatment to prevent permanent damage. An osteopath is a doctor that focuses on providing therapeutic and hands-on care to improve not just how the hand and wrist function but also how the body functions as a whole.

How is carpal tunnel typically treated?

How carpal tunnel is usually treated will depend on the severity of your symptoms. For most, rest is important; however, this may be more challenging for people who have to type or perform certain labor-intensive tasks for work. Splinting the wrist at night can help to reduce numbness and tingling while you sleep, while cortisone injections may be beneficial for those dealing with more moderate to severe pain.
Of course, when conservative treatment hasn’t worked, many doctors recommend surgery; however, surgery should not be taken lightly. In fact, an osteopath may be able to provide you with the treatment and relief you need from carpal tunnel syndrome without ever needing to resort to surgery.

How can an osteopath help me?

Through spinal adjustments and manipulative techniques, an osteopath can realign the spine, improve blood flow to the wrists (and other areas of the body), stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms, and also improve the nervous and lymphatic systems. The techniques that an osteopath will employ will focus on taking pressure off of the median nerve to improve wrist functionality and range of motion, while also reducing pain and swelling. By improving circulation within the wrist, we can also stimulate better blood flow and healing to the tissue and nerves of the wrist and hands.

You must see an osteopath regularly for manipulation therapy. Yes, many people experience relief from their symptoms after a single session but most people will benefit the most from several sessions. Even once the problem has been fully addressed, coming in for maintenance sessions can also prevent a relapse.

If you are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, you must seek the proper medical care you need to prevent further complications, and an osteopath is just the physician for the job.

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