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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a simple therapy which I have recently learnt. It is mainly used for releasing unhelpful negative emotions that may be holding us back, but can also be used to reduce stress, pain, anxiety, fear and physical problems too.

It involves tapping on specific acupressure points whilst repeating an affirmation related to your feelings. The first time I tried it on myself I was astounded at the change in feeling! And it’s so quick and easy too. For example, if you are worried about a forthcoming job interview, you simply tap the acupressure points whilst repeating something like ‘I’m so worried about the job interview next week’. After the procedure, the stress or worry is very much reduced. Sometimes it’s hard to understand that you had the worry in the first place!

Of course I will be using this wonderful technique with my clients!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Recent Bad Press About Nutritional Supplements...

If you are one of my clients, you will know that I often recommend nutritional supplements as part of a nutritional therapy programme. I have used them with myself and clients for years and I think they are extremely useful, safe and effective.

Recently we have been confronted with headlines such as 'Vitamin Supplements May Increase Mortality'. This kind of headline is designed solely to sell newspapers, and fortunately the science behind it is unsound and misleading.

Here is an excerpt from a newsletter I have just been sent, regarding this recent review:


The "study" was led by Serbian scientist and "visiting researcher" at Copenhagen University Hospital, Goran Bjelakovic, whose name is now synonymous with vitamin meta-analyses (studies of other studies) which appear to show that vitamin supplements either don't work or end up increasing your risk of death.

The Danish researchers reviewed 67 trials dating back to 1977 in which the effect of antioxidants were analysed, and have come to the conclusion that beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E may increase mortality. The strangest thing about this review is that the relative mortality risk, which forms the basis of the claims that vitamins decrease life expectancy, is calculated using information from studies which sometimes quote the exact opposite. For example, the trial with the highest increased mortality risk of 3.3% (1 patient in a study of 12) was conducted by Prince et al(1) who clearly concluded that “one patient died from unrelated causes during active treatment”.

Another trial which the review claims found an increased mortality rate was by Chylak et al(2). A closer inspection reveals that what the researchers actually recorded was that “twelve patients died during the course of the five year trial. Fishers exact test did not reach significance for the difference between treatment groups”. They even go on to say that “there were no serious safety issues during the trial”.

Mooney et al(3), while having one of the highest mortality risk increases according to the Danish reviewers, actually records a section in the full report entitled “Adverse events” which goes on to clarify that “one participant died from a myocardial infarct and 2 cancers were identified during the study. It is unlikely that these events were associated with vitamin supplementations due to the short exposure before diagnosis and the long latency of cancer”. Not only that - this trial actually found that taking vitamins E and C could significantly reduce the levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are elevated in smokers, “suggesting that antioxidant supplementation may mitigate some of the procarcinogenic effects of exposure”.

If you look a little further into the full text of a study by Manuel-y-Keenoy et al(4), which has been recorded by the reviewers as resulting in a 3% increase in mortality risk, you can see that nowhere in the study does it state that anyone even died. It does record that “during the course of the study one patient from each group dropped out, one due to thyroid dysfunction and one due to an accident. These two patients are not included in the statistical analysis”.

While being used by the Danish researchers as further evidence of the danger of antioxidants, what Salonen et al (5) actually say in their study is that “Both the vitamin E and C were safe. There were neither excess deaths nor excess of other adverse events in the groups randomised to supplements”. It is interesting just to note that the authors of this trial concluded that “this randomised clinical trial shows that long term supplementation of hypercholesterolemic persons with reasonable doses of both vitamin E and slow- release vitamin C combined can retard the progression of common carotid atherosclerosis, especially in men”.


(1.) Prince MI, Mitchison HC, Ashley D, et al. Oral antioxidant supplementation for fatigue associated with primary biliary cirrhosis: results of a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003;17:137-143

(2.) Chylak LT Jr, Brown NP, Bron A, et al. The Roche European American Cataract Trial (REACT): a randomised clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of an oral antioxidant micronutrient mixture to slow progression of age-related cataract. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2002;9:49-80
(3.) Mooney LA, Madsen AM, Tang D, et al. Antioxidant vitamin supplementation reduces benzo(a)pyrene-DNA adducts and potential cancer risk in female smokers. Cancer Epidemiol BioMarkers Prev. 2005;14:237-242

(4.) Manuel-y-Keenoy B, Vinckx M, Vertommen J, Van Gaal L, De Leeuw I. Impact of vitamin E supplementation on lipoprotein peroxidation and composition in type I diabetic patients treated with atorvasstatin. Atherosclerosis. 2004;175:369-376

(5.) Salonen RM, Nyyssonen K, Kaikkonen J, et al. Antioxidant supplmentation in atherosclerosis prevention study:six year effect of combined vitamin A and E supplementation on therosclerotic progression: the Antioxidant Supplementation in Atherosclerosis Prevention (ASAP) Study. Circulation. 2003;107:947-953


This information was provided Nutri. If you have any questions about the use of nutritional supplements, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Cats More Effective than Cholesterol Meds for Preventing Heart Disease Deaths

During my research I came across this article, which I just love.

"A research study found that having a cat can reduce stress in people's lives, and consequently lowers the risk of having a heart attack or stroke or developing a heart disease. The findings are based on a 10-year study, carried out by the researchers at the Stroke Research Center at the University of Minnesota. The study, which looked at 4,435 Americans aged 30 to 75, showed that those who did not have a cat had a 40 percent higher risk of having a heart attack and a 30 percent greater risk of dying from other heart diseases than those who have or have had a cat. The study was presented at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans. Unfortunately, in this study owning a dog did not have the same heart protective benefits.
Several studies have confirmed that owning a pet reduces stress, decreases blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces risk of depression. This makes cats (and other natural methods) much safer, cheaper and more fun than cholesterol lowering medications!"


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Free advice from Alternative Practitioners!

Yes, free advice, freely available.

All you need to do is join everybodybetter and ask a question on one of the forums there.

It's such a great site - I answer questions there myself. Gives me a chance to show off my knowledge! And there are common interest groups to join so that you can discuss health related matters with like-minded people. And there's up to the minute news about natural health issues.

Go on and register - it's free!

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