Health Promotion Newsletter Issue No.11

15 Oct

Welcome to the Fall Season as the weather is gradually changing. The foliage season is just beginning and if you have the opportunity do go out to catch a glimpse of nature’s splendor. From bright yellows to vibrant reds, the leaves transform, showing their rich and vibrant hues. At the same time, this is a good moment to enjoy a cup of hot fruit tea or a cup of hot chocolate to sooth your mind and soul.

• During this changing season, please don’t forget to put your summer clothing away and get ready for your fall and winter wardrobe.

• Thanks to Trillium College for their time in giving us a presentation on therapeutic massage in the last workshop. Many clients had the opportunity to experience a massage session performed by the students.

• I am very pleased to announce Marc Miltenburg, a professional hair stylist, is willing to provide all ACAS clients a discount on his service on every Tuesday from 1:00 – 7:00pm at his salon. The price is $12 including haircut and shampoo for men, and $15 including haircut and shampoo for women. Please visit his website at www. mhair.ca. If you are interested, please book your initial appointment with the support staff.

Finally, this month’s topic is about the importance of water. Please read the attachment.

Kenneth Poon Health Promotion Worker

download healthnews_issue11 (.pdf file)


a THRIST for WATER: Enhancing your Vital Force


By: Kirti Nanda
ND Candidate 2013
Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic

It is well understood the effects of water temperature on circulation, that cold water can reduce swelling or inflammation and hot water has the ability to relax a tight muscle. In naturopathic medicine, it doesn’t stop there. It goes beyond these mechanical effects, in a way to improve the quality of blood. This is where naturopathic doctors use the term hydrotherapy to describe the application of water in any form (hot or cold), in the treatment of disease and for the maintenance of health. The earliest mechanisms of healing associated with naturopathy, involved hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy can be thought of as the manipulation of circulation to maximize the astounding functions of blood.

Blood is the fluid of life, a vital life force that all humans need in order to live and sustain life. It circulates throughout our system providing oxygen to all parts of our body, while removing wastes at the same time. Some important functions of blood are transportation of nutrients, regulation of the bodies pH and temperature, acts as a defense against pathogens and toxins, and promotes healing. As you can see, blood’s composition and proper circulation is required to sustain a healthy body.

In relation to the functions of blood listed above, by enhancing the blood flow, you can improve the elimination of undesirable toxins by increasing blood flow through the organs of elimination, increase the distribution of oxygen and nurients to all parts of the body, and improve the natural healing processes through distribution of white blood cells.

The normal flow of healthy blood is seen to be proportional to health, and therefore healing, when talking about naturopathic hydrotherapy. The quantity and quality of blood flowing through a given tissue can contribute to one’s health. Depending on the case, naturopathic doctors will either increase the circulation or reduce the circulation to particular parts of the body.


How is HYDROTHERAPY used in naturopathic medicine today? 


The heating and cooling effects of hydrotherapy are produced by conduction of heat from the water to the body. This can be accomplished by a means of baths, showers, sprays, compresses, packs, etc.

One of the most common and effective ways to provide an increased blood flow through the body is by the use of alternating hot/cold either as a compress, bath, shower, spray, etc. This can be termed contrast hydrotherapy. The local, alternating hot and cold applications can have a tremendous effect on local circulation. Many variations exist regarding the optimal treatment times of hot and cold. Therefore it is best for practitioners to determine their own ideals based on their clinical impression. Overall, the ratoi of hot to cold can be thought of as being in a 3:1 ratio, for example 45 seconds of hot, alternating with 15 seconds of cold, in repititions of three cycles. Basically, the application of cold must be long enough to produce vasoconstriction, which has been shown to occur in only 20 seconds.
INDICATIONS:
• For pain: can be used as an analgesic
• Increase in mental alertness and activity
• Stimulte the immune system: combat infections, enhance healing after injuries (sprains, strains)
• Arthritis
• Edema

One of the most classical ways to stimulate the self-healing mechanism of the body is through constitutional hydrotherapy. It is very simple, inexpensive, and applicable in many cases. Under the supervision of a naturopathic doctor, the procedure involves placement of hot and then cold towels on the trunk and back (in a specific sequence, depending on the case), usually accompanied by a sine wave stimulation of the the digestive tract.
INDICATIONS:
• Enhance digestion: in cases of constipation or IBS
• Enhance the immune function: patients who are prone to getting frequent colds and flus or seasonal allergies
• Stimulates toxin elimination: clinical detoxification
• Respiratory conditions: cases of chronic asthma, bronchitis

Steam Inhalation is another type of hydrotherapy using the properties of heat to cause a vasodilation effect to the respiratory system. The procedure entails inhalation of direct steam into the nasal passage. It is a quick and simple method to enhance the expulsion of phlegm or congestion by liquifying the mucus from the respiratory tract with hot, wet air. The heat can also increase circulation to the respiratory tract and decrease congestion. It is common to add a couple of drops of an aromatic oil to increase penetration and add their own medicinal effect. Commonly used aromatic oils are eucalyptus or lavender.
INDICATIONS:
• Cough, Dry throat
• Laryngitis
• Respiratory tract congestion
• Sore throat
• Spasmodic breathing

CAUTION: with the use of hot/cold applications, many contraindications and cautions exist, therefore consulting a naturopathic doctor is recommended.

Remember, it is not the water, either hot or cold, that heals the body, only the body heals. Enhancing the bodies capacity to heal is where hydrotherapy comes into play.
Hydrotherapy can be powerful treatment, therefore is must be used with care and precision. Consult your nearest naturopathic doctor to find out more about hydrotherapy and how it may help you!

References

Boyle W, Saine A. Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy. Eclectic Medical Publications. Sandy, Oregan. 1995.
Pizzorno JE, Murray MT. Hydrotherapy. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 3rd Ed Vol 1. Churchill Livingstone Title. London, UK. 1999.


download healthnews_issue11 (.pdf file)

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