green onion for RSD?

OK who knows.  But recently I’ve noticed circulation changes in my legs and feet as well as a change in how I sweat.   The only thing I’ve been doing differently is eating green onions nearly every day for a month or so in fairly large amounts. I’ve been eating at least one green onion but sometimes two a day.

Granted, it’s been extra warm here so I imagine perhaps some perspiration and circulation credit might belong to the sun.  But it’s been warm here all summer and for other years that RSD has been with me.  I still couldn’t sweat properly and my circulation has never been what it once was.  So, being the obsessive googler that I am, I looked up the health benefits of green onions.  Initially I was eating them for anti-fungal/anti-viral benefits to build my immunity and clear my digestive tract.  That was the extent of my motivation and knowledge of the potentials of what i now feel may be the most underrated onion out there.

I found this:

“Many other advantages of the green onions in medicine include that it clears out the respiratory tract and expels sputum or phlegm. It also stimulates our sweat glands and promotes sweating which is important for our existence. Many people suffering from perspiring disorders may use it for their betterment…It has vitamins like A and C in the stem and calcium in the white part. Lastly it speeds up blood circulation and helps in the absorption of vitamin B1.”   See link below to article.

Again, I am not a doctor. I don’t know if too much green onion would have a negative reaction for anyone on certain meds or blood thinners.  People do not always appreciate that foods can alter the effect of medication so always check with your doctor to be sure there’s no conflict.

it’s expired. do i still take it?

I think whether you’re staring at (and let’s admit it, sniffing) a condiment that’s been in your fridge for eons or holding a bottle of prescription meds that’s just out of date, it seems like a fairly universal quandary:  is it safe to consume a product after the date stamp of expiration?  At least my morning half & half that’s straddling the line has a questionable smell to tip me off.   With medication, how can we be sure?

Here’s an article about this topic (link below).  The title of the story seems a tad misleading given that they say the chances of poisoning oneself are slim.  It appears that, more often than not, the drugs lose potency.  It certainly seems that one could assume a drug is not working, take more and then be faced with too much in the system kicking in simultaneously. Obviously that could get sketchy real fast.

“When in doubt, throw it out” still seems like the way to go. Or, better yet, perhaps your local police or fire station has a lock box drop off to prevent pills from getting into the wrong hands.

qi gong for late-stage rsd: a small study

The blog I am linking to below is well worth the read for anyone with RSD/CRPS or chronic pain of any kind. This study is what caught my eye:

“In a block-random placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers studied the effect of qigong on treatment resistant patients with late-stage complex regional pain syndrome type 1.  It consisted of 26 adult patients between the ages of 18-65.  The experimental group received qi emission and qigong instruction (including home exercise) by a qigong master.

The control group received a similar set of instructions from a sham master.  22 completed the protocol.  Among the genuine qigong group, 82% reported less pain by the end of the first training session compared to 45% of control patients.  By the last training session, 91% of the qigong patients reported analgesia compared to 36% of control patients. The study concluded that qigong training was found to result in transient pain reduction and long-term anxiety reduction.

hope and healing

I love this. The entire CNN article is linked below.   Hope might just have healing effects on motor function, circulation and pain.

“How hope can help you heal”

“Few things are more ethereal than hope. It isn’t tangible, easily measurable or available in pill form. That’s likely why the idea that hope may wield a significant influence on healing — and even survival — may be tough to take for our bean-counter brains, hardwired by evolution to seek certainty at any cost…The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman’s “The Anatomy of Hope,” where he writes: “Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry. “Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.”

the small things

That’s perhaps an odd title for a blog post about the benefits of sleeping naked.

I am a big believer that all the small things I do to decrease stress and to assist my body in feeling less pain add up to a much larger effect.

The article linked below from lists 7 benefits of sleeping sans clothing.  I copied portions of the article here and it’s worth the full read.  I think that numbers 1 through 5 are great reasons someone with RSD might want to add birthday suit sleep to their list of small things.

1. You’ll slow down the signs of aging and look more beautiful and youthful.

Sleeping naked in a room maintained at a temperature no higher than 70˚F (21˚C) stimulates the release of the anti-aging hormone called melatonin

2. You’ll feel happier and more stress-free.

That’s because sleeping naked boosts the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”) is a powerful feel-good hormone that is involved in orgasm and sexual responsiveness, combating stress and depressionreducing intestinal inflammation by improving gut motility, and blood pressure reduction

3. You’ll get better quality of sleep.

An Australian study found that some forms of insomnia can be provoked by improper body temperature regulation at night. Another study showed that the regulation of in-bed body temperature could significantly help in improving sleep quality and reaching deeper slumber

4. You’ll lower your cortisol levels and maintain healthy body composition.

Poor or no sleep is associated with the release of cortisol, or the so-called stress hormone, as well as hunger hormones that can trigger our appetite for comfort foods and thus lead to overeating…Because sleeping naked helps you get deeper sleep and keeps your body temperature at the optimal ranges, your body is better able to regulate cortisol

5. You’ll boost your immune system.

Moreover, increased oxytocin and reduced cortisol levels – both previously mentioned – contribute to a more robust immune system. Keeping these important chemicals at their optimal amounts in your body’s ecosystem by sleeping naked means giving yourself the best shot at fending off germs, viruses and other disease-causing organisms…

6. You’ll protect your lady parts from infections.

The vagina will get more ventilation, when you sleep naked, increasing its ability to stay dry and reducing the probability of fungal infection…

7. You’ll increase your virility.

This applies to men. Gentlemen, sleeping naked has been found to increase virility by keeping the testes cooler, which is why the testes are located outside of the body in the first place…

Link to full article:

Depression and screen time

I hope they didn’t pay a lot for this study.  But it’s a good reminder to us all that too much screen time and not enough live interaction makes us more susceptible to depression.  Of course, for those of us with chronic pain, getting out three times a week for social occasions can be quite difficult.

“Replacing face-to-face contact with friends and family with emails, text messages and phone calls could double the risk of depression, a major study suggests.  Research on 11,000 adults found that those who meet friends and family at least three times a week are far less likely to suffer from depression.  Individuals who had such contact just once every few months had an 11.5 per cent chance of later suffering from depressive symptoms two years later….Dr Alan Teo, lead author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, said: “We found that all forms of socialisation aren’t equal. Phone calls and digital communication, with friends or family members, do not have the same power as face-to-face social interactions in helping to stave off depression.”

A thin line between chore and Zen

Uh…not sure I’m into this but makes sense.  I am always looking for new ways to cope with stress to keep my pain levels down.  I’m also into soaking pots for days out of sheer procrastination.   And then running the dishwasher.

But I suppose bringing a state of mindfulness to any household chore will bring a level of calm.  According to this study, you need to really be in the moment to get those benefits.

“Florida State University researchers found that individuals who wash the dishes mindfully by taking in the soap’s scent and sensing the water temperatures experienced increased feelings of inspiration and decreased nervousness, as reported by Newser.  But researchers say it’s all about the way you approach the process of cleaning your dishes. If you aren’t mindful enough, it’s possible you won’t experience any added benefits.”

*I will report back if I am overwhelmed by feelings of inspiration when I clean that crusted egg pan from breakfast that still sits on the stove. 

Gut health and asthma link

New study out.  Perhaps doctors need to look into probiotics and stress management for breast feeding new mommies.  But something tells me a new drug will be developed instead.

Babies who have acquired four key bacteria in their gut by the age of three months may be protected against asthma, a new study suggests…The study showed lower levels of four specific gut bacteria – Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella and Rothia – in three-month-olds who were later found to be at an increased risk for asthma. However, differences in levels of these bacteria were negligible by the time children reached one year, meaning the first three months were the critical time period for a baby’s developing immune system. “It shows there’s a short, maybe 100-day window for giving babies therapeutic interventions to protect against asthma,” said study lead co-author Professor Stuart Turvey, Pediatrics Professor at the University of British Columbia.”

acupressure mat for pain relief

At some point earlier this year I decided I needed a way to help my back through the times when I had a lot of spasm and tightness.  I felt like I needed a way to be in more control of that symptom.  It hit me that instead of trying to locate all these acupressure points on myself that perhaps there was something to do that for me.

I did a little research and found the Nayoya Mat.  I used to pay $85 for one cupping session to feel as good as I feel from this mat. I paid $50 something dollars and have gotten hundreds of uses out of this.  There is also the option of buying without the pillow which makes it considerably cheaper.  It seems to work wonders on pain and anxiety.  No, I am not on the Nayoya payroll.  It just has helped immensely.

Pain relief game changer.  Here is a link to Amazon. The reviews are pretty amazing and I feel many of the good ones are spot on:

Here’s a great blog about the benefits of using acu mats:

“You need to just lay down on your acupressure mat for more than 20 minutes a day. Using an acupressure mat for more than 20 minutes a day will help your body to recover from muscle pains and back pains.”

7 reasons to try qi gong for RSD

Ok maybe 8.  I’m adding one.  It’s FREE.  I should say that usually you must pay to have a teacher show you the form (which is often the cost of one massage or acupuncture treatment).  Then you have the tools to help yourself whenever you need it. For FREE.  For a LIFETIME.  But I do know there are podcasts on itunes as well if you want to try to go completely cost-free.

It’s almost unbelievable, right? No, i am over the FREE part.  Actually, I’m not.  That still excites me.  But what I am getting at is how a form of moving meditation can alleviate pain and so many symptoms. Here are 7 benefits of qi gong and tai chi from the blog linked below.  I have never tried tai chi but I imagine at some point I will.  What I love  most about qi gong is that I feel confident in my abilities to control my pain.  It takes work but I feel it has helped me immensely.

Cultivating the Qi through Integral Qigong and Tai Chi triggers numerous health benefits:

  1. Qigong and Tai Chi initiate the “relaxation response,” which is fostered when the mind is freed from its many distractions. This decreases the sympathetic function of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn reduces heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the blood capillaries, and optimizes the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the tissues.
  2. Qigong and Tai Chi alter the neurochemistry profile toward accelerated inner healing function. Neurotransmitters, also called information molecules, bond with receptor sites in the immune, nervous, digestive, endocrine and other systems to excite or inhibit function to moderate pain, enhance organ capacity, reduce anxiety or depression, and neutralize addictive cravings.
  3. Qigong and Tai Chi enhance the efficiency of the immune system through increased rate and flow of the lymphatic fluid and activation of immune cells. Resistance to disease and infection is accelerated by the elimination of toxic metabolic by-products from the interstitial spaces in the tissues, organs, and glands through the lymphatic system.
  4. Qigong and Tai Chi increases the efficiency of cell metabolism and tissue regeneration through increased circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain, organs, and tissues.
  5. Qigong and Tai Chi coordinate and balance right/left brain hemisphere dominance promoting deeper sleep, reduced anxiety, and mental clarity.
  6. Qigong and Tai Chi induce alpha and, in some cases, theta brain waves which reduce heart rate and blood pressure, facilitating relaxation, and mental focus; this optimizes the body’s self-regulative mechanisms by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
  7. Qigong and Tai Chi moderate the function of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands, as well as the cerebrospinal fluid system of the brain and spinal cord, which manages pain and mood as well as optimizing immune function.