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A Treatment for TMJ that works

A few years ago I was suffering from Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder, or TMJ. TMJ refers to acute or chronic inflammation of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull and typically results from habitual clenching and grinding of the teeth. My case had not yet progressed to the level that many people sufferer from, but still, the pain was enough to keep me up at night and it seemed to be getting worse over time.

To prevent my TMJ from worsening, my dentist fitted me with a mouth guard that was designed to prevent me from clenching and grinding my teeth at night. The night guard didn’t seem to work well for me and it caused me to drool buckets while I tried to fall asleep. I still had escalating tension in my jaw. Upon rising, my jaw felt like it didn’t line up correctly after wearing the night guard. With no other options except surgery, I tried to ignore the problem and push on through.

Then I found out about FSMT – Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy. I found a local natural health doctor who offered this service.

According to this doctor, my TMJ pain was caused by inflammation brought about over time by stress. While the jaw is inflamed it can’t heal. Further stress caused me to continue to grind my teeth and hold more tension in my jaw. The body needs the inflammation to go down before it can heal. That is exactly what FSMT does – it reduces inflammation very quickly.

Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist and 7-time winner of the Tour de France, used this same technology after each training session. FSMT greatly reduces inflammation of muscles and joints, which enabled Lance to train longer, without injury. Injury is the limiting factor for athletes. The longer you can train without injury the more you will be at your peak.

The doctor claimed she could cure TMJ with only a few treatments of FSMT. Such claims are all too common among natural health practitioners and western doctors alike, so I was skeptical. But the price was reasonable and I was out of options, so I decided to give it a try.

The treatment is totally painless. The current is applied for a short amount of time and the healing starts immediately. In my case, I had a total of three treatments for my TMJ.

That was 3 years ago and it has not returned since. Obviously, each person is different. It may take longer for some. But this was one of the few times in my life that a healing modality worked this quickly and permanently. If you suffer from TMJ, try Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy rather than living with the pain or resorting to surgery.

Forced creativity through CSAs

raw spring rollsAs I mentioned in a recent post, we have joined a Community Supported Agriculture program through which we receive a box full of produce every week. We have no control over what comes in the box. They just give us whatever the farm is growing.

This has been absolutely fantastic. The box is always jam packed full of leafy greens, which accounts for most of the produce that we eat normally. We’ve also found some very fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in there. But we also get certain items that we don’t eat normally buy, such as beets, radishes, and cabbage.

Since my dad drilled it into my head that wasting food was not an option, I feel compelled each week to finish each and every vegetable in that box. This has forced me to create some dishes that I might never have thought of otherwise.

This week, I created something that I will generously call a raw spring roll. The mix of vegetables tasted so good together that I didn’t feel the need to add sauce or seasonings.

2 cups cabbage, shredded
3 small beets, shredded
2 red radishes, shredded
1/4 yellow onion, shredded
1 cup dried seaweed (I used wakame)
1 tomato, chopped

Combine all ingredients and let sit until the seaweed is rehydrated. Wrap inside of whole cabbage leaves and eat.  Serves 4.

Finding fluoride-free water

In the previous article, we looked at reasons why fluoridated water, which is very common throughout the United States, is a public health problem.  In this post, we will find out how to get water that is free or nearly free of fluoride.

Information about water purification systems is everywhere, but is surrounded by a considerable amount of hype and misinformation. This makes it very difficult to determine which systems are best.

Independent research and comparisons are scarce and much of what exists is put out by the manufacturers of water filtration systems themselves. Many water purification websites offer no data about the effectiveness of their systems or how long these systems will last. You will see tables or materials that say things like “removes fluoride,” but this often means that only a fraction of the fluoride is removed.

There are only three ways to remove a substantial amount fluoride from your drinking water: reverse osmosis, special alumina fluoride removal filters, and distillation.

Reverse Osmosis uses pressure to force water through a membrane that removes pollutants. It does a good job of removing fluoride but it is expensive and not practical for a home system since it flushes water down the drain to purify the smaller amount. Reverse osmosis is used in many bottled water dispensaries at grocery stores.

Alumina fluoride removal filters are filled with treated alumina beads that filter out much of the fluoride. There is a range of effectiveness with these filters dependent upon the water pressure, age of the filter, and the level of fluoride of the water going in. The best systems implement a separate fluoride filter after the general filter.

Distillation purifies water by heating it and catching the steam. Anything that is not pure water, including fluoride, is left behind. Distillation creates the cleanest water available but systems can be expensive to buy and operate, and they generate a lot of heat. Buying distilled water by the bottle can be a fairly economical way to get clean water. Be careful when buying distilled water marketed for babies – some companies actually put the fluoride back in.

A standard Brita or Pur water filter is definitely better than nothing at all. But keep in mind that the vast majority of available water filters remove little or no fluoride. No system is perfect, but limiting your intake of toxins will help your body to handle the rest.

Why be concerned about fluoridated water?

Like most people in the United States, I was raised to believe that adding fluoride to the water supply was a critical part of combating tooth decay. Fluoride is added to virtually all of the public water supply in the U.S. but a growing number of organizations are now demanding that this practice be stopped.

There is no shortage of credible information about why fluoridation of drinking water is bad, but here are a few highlights to get your started:

  • Fluoride is not a necessary nutrient. There are no symptoms of fluoride deficiency.
  • The type of fluoride in our water supply is sodium fluoride, a toxic waste by-product from the Aluminum industry. Calcium fluoride is the type which is found in nature.
  • The amount of fluoride put into the water supply is 1 part per million. This is 100-200 times the amount of fluoride in mother’s milk (0.005 – 0.01 parts per million).
  • Fluoride has been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Ingestion of fluoride has been shown to lower IQ in children by as much as 15 points.
  • Fluoride toxicity in children can cause dental fluorosis – an irreversible cosmetic condition caused by orally consuming fluoride during the tooth forming years.
  • Most of Europe never fluoridated or stopped fluoridating their water due to health and ethics concerns.

There is still debate over whether or not rinsing your mouth with fluoride is beneficial for dental health. Drinking fluoride, however, has been shown to have absolutely no benefit. Fluoride is a highly toxic substance that, when ingested, creates havoc with our bodies. Like any toxin, it affects some people worse than others.

It turns out that fluoride isn’t easy to get rid of in water. Most water filtration systems do not remove fluoride. In my next article, I will lay out the options I have discovered for truly clean, fluoride-free water.

Community Supported Agriculture

Jakes Farm CSA covered rowsBuying local is relatively new positive trend, particularly for produce. Buying local helps support small farms, reduces your carbon footprint, and delivers fresher produce. Many natural food stores now label their local produce, but unfortunately, it isn’t always readily available, especially if you buy organic.

Now is a great time to look into Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs. Many of them are just getting started up for the year around the U.S. They all work a little differently, so you’ll have to search online for one near you to get the details.

The basic idea is that you buy a “share” in a local farm. Most of them ask you to pay up front to have a box of produce reserved for you every week for a certain amount of time. Every week, you will either pick up your box, or have it delivered, depending on the farm.

Jakes Farm CSA plant rowsHere in Asheville, we bought a share in Jake’s Farm. For $650, we will receive produce for a minimum of 20 weeks. If the farm has a good year and the weather cooperates, they may extend it beyond that for no additional charge. So for $32.50 per week, we get enough farm fresh, organic produce to probably last us (we eat A LOT of produce) half the week. Of course, a lot what we buy isn’t grown at Jake’s Farm so we still need to do some shopping at the grocery store for things like bananas, avocados, and oranges.

The produce is boxed and ready for us every Tuesday at the farm. Jake’s Farm does not offer delivery, but it is a gorgeous drive in the country and not much farther of a drive than to the grocery store.

You don’t get to pick and choose what you buy through most CSAs. Whatever they are growing is what you get. Our CSA does make some substitutions for food allergies, but that’s about it. If you’re the least bit adventurous, this is a great way to branch out and try some new types of vegetables that you may not have bought before.

Jakes Farm CSA produceKeep in mind though, investing in a CSA is a little like investing in a stock. If the farm has a great year, you receive a bountiful selection of fruits and vegetables. If, on the other hand, catastrophe strikes, you don’t get your money back. You are literally investing in your community farm.

Find out about CSAs or other local farm programs in your area. Call them up and ask for a tour. Most likely, they will be thrilled to show you around. Local organic farms take great pride in their land and the food they grow. Seeing a farm full of beautiful, fresh, fruits and vegetables is a much more inspiring experience than walking through a grocery store produce aisle. Continue Reading »

Lower your toxic load

Toxins from more than 55,000 regulated chemical dumps enter into our food supply each year (not to mention the estimated 200,000 illegal chemical dumps in the U.S.). These toxins eventually find their way into the food supply.

Ingesting and absorbing toxins lead to disease by interfering with the way your body was designed to work. They cause the body to send the wrong messages to the various systems of the body and as a result, your body doesn’t heal itself properly. The level of toxins that you are carrying is called your “toxic load.” Even infants carry a toxic load because they receive toxins from their mothers.

Lowering your toxic load will allow your body more energy to heal itself and maintain good health. It will also lower your chances of developing cancers caused by chemical exposure. Because toxic substances are so pervasive, it is impossible to entirely avoid them, but there are some steps you can take to lower your toxic load.

  • Drink distilled water. Water is a big money-maker these days. There are a lot of filtration systems that will make your water taste good but a good distillation system will provide you with the cleanest source of water. Distillation is also one of the few systems that remove fluoride.
  • Buy organic produce as much as possible. If organic produce is limited in your area, at least avoid non-organic foods that carry a particularly high level of pesticides.
  • Don’t use personal care products that you couldn’t eat. Because your skin absorbs a lot of toxins through its pores, applying these substances directly to your skin adds to your toxic load.
  • Get a shower filter to eliminate the chlorine from your shower. Chlorine has been linked to cancer.
  • Avoid toxic cleaning supplies. Use gloves when you can’t avoid them.
  • Use non-toxic paints and finishes and remove carpet from your home. According to the EPA, indoor air is three times as polluted as outdoor air. Paints, finishes, and wall-to-wall carpeting are major contributors.

It is important to remember that your body does all the healing. It isn’t medicine or the food you eat that accomplishes the healing. Medicines and food can only help create an environment that allows your body to do its work. Lowering your toxic load by decreasing your exposure to and ingestion of toxic substances is the best way to create that environment.

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