Breathing Man meditating - breathing optimally...

How You Deal With Stress is the Number One Contributor to Your Mortality

Our Cortisol Slope, via Our Relationship to Stress, is The Greatest Predictor of Total Mortality

A fascinating video (linked at the bottom) from Food Matters TV during their recent Sleep and Stress Online Event chatting with Dr Alan Chritianson discussing the relationship with stress and mortality and highlighted some findings from the Whitehall II study in the UK, which revealed that for cardiovascular mortality, cigarette smoking was the number one predictor of mortality, with cortisol slope (via our relationship to stress) following closely behind. They also compares these with the usual health metrics such as exercise levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels etc. etc.

Yet, for overall mortality, cortisol slope was the highest predictor of mortality.

The implications for this on how to prioritise your health incentives are huge – Dr Christianson, said these results hit him like a tonne of bricks. You could be a non smoker, non-alcohol drinking, clean food eating, exercise loving health nut, yet if your relationship with stress, or how you deal with stress is dysfunctional, it could make you ill or kill you quicker than a smoking, drinking, junk food eating couch potato who doesn’t get overly stressed too much. That sucks!!

These results basically suggest that, whilst it is important to focus on our nutrition, exercise, alcohol consumption, eliminating cigarette smoking etc. for our health, we should make how we deal with stress our number one priority.

Fortunately, two of the modalities I use with clients focus one exactly that.

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing – of all of the automatic functions that our body performs, breathing is the only one that we can consciously control, with ease. And the same nervous system that regulates our automatic functions (including breathing), the autonomic nervous system (ANS), is also the same nervous system that regulates stress. Moreover, most of us breathe in emergency mode, far too quickly, with an exhale to inhale ratio that is out of whack, so we end up in permanent emergency mode, or ‘fight or flight’ functioning. By learning how to diaphragm breathe in certain rhythms, we can get out of emergency, or ‘fight or flight’ mode, and restore a nervous system that is more restful and relaxed, than it is on the go.
  2. Mickel Therapy – this technique, which is far from therapy as you might think of it, is an ‘action based’ technique that focuses on restoring harmony and optimal function to the ‘hypothalamus’ gland in our brain stem, which is the gland responsible for regulating the function or our autonomic nervous system, and therefore our stress response, all automatic and endocrine gland functions of our body, our immune system, our sleep cycles, neurotransmitter levels and many other bodily functions. It is like the ‘general’ of our bodily functions and it’s job is to maintain homeostasis, or efficient, healthy functioning of our body. It is also like a link between our brain and our body. A healthy relationship with stress requires, at the highest levels of our functioning (in our brain) a healthy relationship between our instinctive, emotional brain (which registers threats to our system and, therefore, stress) and our thinking, or rational brain (which, ideally, interprets the signals of stress sent by the emotional brain, negative emotions, and creates actions to deal with them). This allows us to functionally deal with stress as it arises. However, we ‘modern’ humans have created a huge mismatch between the bodies we have inherited (from our hunter gatherer ancestors) and the culture we have created, and this mismatch leads this healthy relationship in our brain between our instinctive emotions and our thinking, to break down. The result being that rather than dealing with stress functionally, most of us, most of the time, suppress it; and the hypothalamus is the gland in the body that first deals with this suppressed stress, causing it to go into overdrive. The follow on effect of this is that homeostasis within our body is upset and our automatic functions start to go into emergency mode, resulting often in symptoms of acute and/or chronic illness.

Hopefully these explanations may shed some light on why our relationship to stress is the number one predictor of overall mortality.

If you would like to explore using these modalities to improve your relationship with stress, overcome any chronic illness that you believe stress may play a role in (CFS, Fibromylagia, IBS, Anxiety/Depression, Auto-Immune etc), or you would like to explore increasing your quality of life, or the duration between now and your inevitable mortality :-), then contact me via tim@timaltman.com.au or call 0425 739 918.

https://www.facebook.com/foodmatters/videos/10154761999126570/

 

Gluten

Opinion Article: The Myth of Big Bad Gluten

A very interesting article that suggests, bases on research available, gluten may not be as evil is suggested so often in the modern world.

Rather than it being that our bodies have not adapted at all to grain as yet, it is possible that the cause of the dramatic increase in Coeliac’s disease and immune system dysfunction in the modern world has more to do with the impact on cultures and environments we have exposed our immune systems to since we moved away from hunter gatherer living.

Food for thought 🙂 ……

 

Obesity

Research: Consuming more of daily caloric intake at dinner predisposes to obesity.

Consuming more of daily caloric intake at dinner predisposes to obesity. A 6-year population-based prospective cohort study.

Linked below is a study confirming the old adage “Breakfast like the king/queen, dinner like a pauper”.

Quoted here is the conclusion: “Consuming more of the daily energy intake at dinner is associated with an increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD).”

Well, technically this study only suggests the second part – ‘dinner like a pauper’. Or, certainly not a king or queen.

However plenty of studies have found that those who make their breakfast (or first meal of the day) their most substantial meal, they eat better and less for the next 24 hours.

I certainly have found consistently with clients in clinic that eating substantially at breakfast and less at dinner is much better for regulating blood sugar levels, having even and consistent energy throughout the day, and definitely helps to stay lean or lose weight.

Most clients who come to see me often really understand what foods are good, and not good, however many of these people simply do not know how to put together their daily nutrition to get the most out of themselves. They may be eating organic foods, and consuming lots of ‘super-nutrients’ (I quietly hate that term), but so often they don’t regulate their blood sugar levels, so end up having sporadic energy levels and mental functioning, and can often battle to keep prevent weight gain.

If you feel you would like help in working out the best way to plan your daily nutrition, please email me at tim@timaltman.com.au or phone 0425 739 918.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25250617

Nutrition for energy and performance

TED Talk: Research Reveals Nutrition Improves Mental Health Better Than Prescription Medication

A great TED talk and article outlining that good nutrition is often more potent than medication.  It doesn’t just stop at mental health.

The findings cross over to longevity, chronic illness and the immune system.

If you want to get the most out of your nutrition and yourself, email me at tim@timaltman.com.au or call to book on 0425 739 918

In the mean time, it’s definitely worth watching this great TED talk

tims detox

Why Fast? The Benefits of Fasting

The Process and Benefits of Fasting

Whilst individual experiences may differ, there are a number of common experiences and metabolic changes that occur during, and as a result of fasting.

The following summary by Dr Elson, M Haas, ‘Staying Healthy With Nutrition’ is a very accurate and detailed description of some of these:

‘First, fasting is a catalyst for change and an essential part of transformational medicine. It promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports greater spiritual awareness. Many fasters feel a letting go of past actions and experiences and develop a positive attitude toward the present. Having energy to get things done and clean up old areas, both personal and environmental, without the usual procrastination is also a common experience. Fasting clearly improves motivation and creative energy; it also enhances health and vitality and lets many of body systems rest.’

Fasting is a process that allows us to see from direct experience the incredible innate healing and restorative powers that our bodies possess as well as the incredible inherent capacity for health that we all possess as our birthright – a capacity for which most people only ever experience a fraction of its ultimate potential.

From a physiological perspective, fasting minimises the work done by the digestive organs, including the stomach, intestines, pancreas, gallbladder and liver – the latter of which is the body’s large production and metabolic factory which, when rested during fasting, can attribute more energy to detoxifying and metabolising stored and unwanted chemicals, wastes and microbes (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi); and creating many new essential substances for our use.

The blood and lymph also have the opportunity to be cleaned of toxins as all the eliminative functions are enhanced with fasting. Increased release of toxins from the colon, kidneys and bladder, lungs and sinuses, and skin is allowed to occur. Discharge, such as mucous, from many of these eliminative organs during fasting is often a correction of the discord created by our imbalanced (with nature) lifestyle.
Each cell of the body has the opportunity to catch up on its work; with fewer demands it can repair itself and dump its waste for elimination.

Most fasters also experience a new vibrancy of their skin and clarity of mind and body. It is literally like a huge ‘spring cleaning’ for the entire body-mind system.

Some Benefits of Fasting

 

Purification Rejuvenation Revitalisation
Rest for digestive organs Clearer skin Anti-ageing effects
Improved senses – vision, hearing, taste More clarity mentally and emotionally Better resistance to disease
Reduction of allergies Weight loss Drug detoxification
More energy Better, quieter sleep More relaxation
More positive attitude Inspiration Creativity & new ideas
Enhanced spiritual awareness Clearer planning Change of habits
Better discipline Right use of will Diet changes

 

Nutritionally, fasting helps us appreciate a good wholesome, natural diet more as less food and simple flavours become far more satisfying. For example, the taste buds experience an explosion of tastes that leave one with the desire to eat more natural foods. The experience of eating an apple in the re-introduction to food becomes a tantalising pleasure.

Mentally, fasting improves clarity and attentiveness; emotionally, it may make us more sensitive and aware of feelings. Decisions based on enhanced clarities are often made during fasts. Fasting clearly supports transformation and life-changing processes. Whilst fasting, we can feel empowered to do things we only thought about before.

Fasting can also precipitate emotional cleansing, and mental attitude and general motivation are often uplifted.

Spiritually, fasting offers a lesson in self-restraint and control of desires, which help us in many evenues of life. Many fasters also experience an increased connection with their internal selves and God; and many relate that their meditation quality, clarity and quietness increases dramatically during a fast.

I will finish this section on the benefits of fasting with another quote from Dr Elson Haas:

I look at fasting as ‘taking a week off work’ to handle other aspects of life for which there is often little time. With fasting we can take time to nurture ourselves and rest. Fasting is also like turning off and cleaning a complex and valuable machine so that it will function better and longer. Resting the gastrointestinal tract, letting the cells and tissues repair themselves, and allowing the lymph, blood and organs to clear out old, defective, or diseased cells and unneeded chemicals all leas to less degeneration and sickness. As healthy cell growth is stimulated, so is our level of vitality, immune function and disease resistance, and our potential for greater longevity.

Contact me via phone or email if you’d like to discuss whether a fast would suit you, and the type of fast most suited.

Plato fasting

Fasting: History and Purposes

The History and Use of Fasting

The use of fasting has a long and ancient history as a healing process and a spiritual-religious process. It has been a tradition in most religions including Christianity, Judaism and the Eastern religions to purify the system and enhance communion with god or higher sources or intelligences.

For many ancient philosophers, scientists, and physicians, fasting was an essential part of life, health, resistance to disease and recovery from illness. These included Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen and the forefather of modern medicine, Hippocrates, from whom we derive the ‘Hippocratic Oath’.  Many yogis have used fasting as an excellent health measure.

Juice fasting may be used in treatment plans for many diseases, to increase our natural resistance to disease, to detoxify from drugs, alcohol or coffee, to promote transformation or life transition, or to provide increased mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

Some of the chronic conditions for which fasting may be beneficial as a part of the treatment plan are listed as follows:

  • Colds and flus – and prevention of these
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Digestive complaints – constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, IBS, food allergies/sensitivities, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Skin conditions
  • Insomnia
  • CVD disorders – atherosclerosis, hypertension, HBP, coronary artery disease, angina pectoris
  • Fatigue – in many cases
  • Mental illness – in some cases
  • Immune conditions – hypersensitivities, auto-immune conditions

Fasting is very versatile and generally fairly safe; however it should not be used without proper supervision from an experienced health practitioner who can monitor physical, physiological and biochemical changes.

Find out about the Benefits of Fasting and Fasting Programs Offered through naturopath, Tim Altman. Phone 0425 739 9148 or email.

Juice Fasting

Fasting As a Solution To Optimal Health

Introduction to Fasting

Fasting is a process that allows us to see from direct experience the incredible innate healing and restorative powers that our bodies possess as well as the incredible inherent capacity for health that we all possess as our birthright – a capacity for which most people only ever experience a fraction of its ultimate potential.

In his book ‘Staying Healthy With Nutrition’, Dr Elson, M Haas M.D. describes fasting as nature’s ancient, universal “remedy” for many problems and the single greatest natural healing therapy. Animals instinctively fast when ill. It is the oldest treatment known to us, the instinctive therapy for many illnesses, nature’s doctor and knifeless surgeon and the greatest therapist and tool for preventing disease.

Further, Dr Haas calls fasting, or the cleansing process, the “missing link in the Western diet”.

Most of the conditions for which fasting is recommended are ones that result from the discord to the human system created Western diet and lifestyle. Conditions which are best described as resulting from “chronic sub-clinical malnourishment” (despite having more choice than ever before in human history) in the face of severe “over-consumption or over-nutrition”. In other words, we consume excessive amounts of toxic nutrients such as refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, and chemicals, yet receive inadequate amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fats.

These conditions are the chronic degenerative diseases including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Chronic immune system disorders or deficiencies.
  • Weight Loss – via intermittent fasting only.

Over 90% of deaths in Western countries result from these chronic degenerative disorders. Indeed, ignorance (of how to live in accordance with nature) may be our greatest disease.

Fasting is therapeutic and, more importantly, preventative of many of these diseases.

The term fasting here is used to describe the avoidance of solid foods and the intake of liquids only and we offer mainly juice fasts. Juice fasts support the body nutritionally by providing some of the essential nutrients it requires whilst offering a deep and profound cleansing and detoxification of the system.

Dr Haas describes detoxification via fasting as an important “corrective and rejuvenating process in our cycle of nutrition” (balancing and building being other processes), and a time when we allow our cells to “breathe out, become current and restore themselves”.

It was through the use of fasting to heal a very chronic and debilitating illness that I became involved in natural medicine and nutrition. It literally changed my life and gave me a completely new outlook on food and the incredible innate capacity our bodies have for health if we only take a step back and live our lives naturally in accord with how our evolutionary history has modelled our systems’ to function optimally.

Instead of suffocating my cells and organs via overconsumption of processed and refined foods and ‘new to nature’ chemicals, I simply started eating and living naturally. As such, I have continued to fast occasionally and have continued to enjoy the preventative, healing and transformative benefits that this beautiful and natural cleaning process avails.

Intermittent fasting, or fasting over smaller intervals, but more regularly, has been heavily researched and implemented as an extremely effective solution for reducing weight and inflammation (that contributes to most of the chronic degenerative disorders we suffer and die from).

We now offer a variety of fasting options to clients as a fantastic way of enhancing wellness, slowing down ageing, treating a variety of illnesses and increasing resistance to disease.

Contact me via email, tim@timaltman.com.au or 0425 739 918 to book in or discuss what type of fast would most suit you. I offer consultations in Melbourne and Torquay, or online via Skype…

Mickel Therapy

There Is a Cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Article: Queensland Scientists Make Chronic Fatigue Breakthrough

Linked below is an article outlining that Queensland scientists have made a world first breakthrough in discovering a link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and  a dysfunctional immune system.

More specifically, “Griffith University’s National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases identified a defective cell receptor that appeared to be central to the development of CFS and the related myalgic encephalomyelitis.”

Queensland’s Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said; “This discovery is great news for all people living with CFS and the related Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), as it confirms what people with these conditions have long known – that it is a ‘real’ illness – not a psychological issue.”

“CFS and ME are notoriously difficult to diagnose, with sufferers often going for years without getting the proper care and attention they need.

“Currently, there is no effective treatment.”

The two diseases are believed to affect 250,000 Australians, with diagnosis, treatment and management estimated to cost more than $700 million annually.

This is a fantastic breakthrough given the anguish and frustration so many sufferers go through in tying to even get a diagnosis or recognition for their ails.

However I take issue with one comment made by Ms Enoch. That is that current there is no effective treatment.

Is that based on their research. But, have they researched all treatments?

I am just a clinician at the coal face of CFS who has specialised in treating it for almost 20 years now, and I lack the time and resources to conduct my own studies, but I definitely do my own research to better treat my clients, and I do believe there are extremely effective treatments. Dare I say it, even cures for CFS.

I am very comfortable in saying that Mickel Therapy which I adopted as a clinician 3 years ago, is one such cure. This technique takes a major paradigm shift by taking the attention or search for the cause of CFS to higher levels in the brain, which regulate the rest of the systems in the body.

Mickel Therapy, developed in 1999 by a medical doctor (Dr David Mickel) which seeks to address problems with the Hypothalamus gland in the brain. This gland which normally regulates everything in the body becomes overactive creating a wide range of symptoms.

Another way of putting it is Mickel Therapy works by identifying the emotional, mental and behavioural factors which drive the hypothalamus into overdrive, and consequently create physical symptoms.

From the evolutionary medicine perspective, the Mickel technique looks at what should be a harmonious working relationship between how we process emotion and how we think (therefore how we process stress), and makes significant, action based change with the effectiveness of this relationship, or how we process stress.

I have been very humbled by guiding and witnessing dozens of complete recoveries from CFS, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, depression and IBS using this technique in this time.

If you suffer from CFS, fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety/depression, auto-immune illness (or know someone who does) feel free to contact me and discuss whether Mickel Therapy would be suitable for you.

 

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/02/21/queensland-scientists-make-chronic-fatigue-breakthrough

 

Juices

Fasting to Regenerate Your Immune System

Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System in 72 Hours

Much of the treatment used in healing my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in the early to mid 90-‘s utilised fasting as a healing tool.

It was very daunting to me at first – the idea of not eating for extended periods of time did not sit well with me! In my case, I went on a 16 day juice fast – involving 350ml of freshly made vegetable and fruit juices twice a day, the occasional herbal tea, plenty of water, and frequent gut cleaning via herbal enemas.

Not a lot was known about fasting then, and I had MANY well intentioned ‘experts’ tell me I was doing more harm than good. This increased my anxiousness about doing the fast, however the practitioner who was treating me was a former research biochemist in the former Soviet Union who had done extensive research on fasting to treat chronic illnesses and to create optimal levels of health. Yes, the Russians were way ahead of the Western scientific community in their understanding of fasting and many natural health treatments. It is only over the last 10 years or so that Western scientists have started to catch up in this research.

At the time, I was desperate as nothing that anyone else had used or told me about to treat this condition had helped – in fact, most doctors told me I was making it up. I can assure you I didn’t exactly like being as tired and ill as I was all of the time. It was devastating. It shattered sporting dreams I had held since I was a kid and halted my university education severely.

Because of this, and because I trusted the Russian practitioner I was working with, I embraced my fears and discovered the wonderful healing powers of fasting. It was a process that not only helped me completely recover from CFS (no sign of a flare up in the 20 years since), it also changed the direction of my life.

I pursued a career in natural health as a naturopath and have used fasting as a modality in my clinical work ever since, implementing various fasting lengths (from 1-21 days) and types. This is a tool that should not be taken lightly and I have always supervised clients who are conducting fasts, to ensure that they are conducting them properly and coping well.

I have also personally done the same fast 5-6 times since the original one and many one to three day fasts over the ensuing years. My experience has always been that my immune system is far more robust for at least 12-24 months following a longer fast and my energy levels and mental clarity also stay very strong for an extended period after the fast.

The same occurs, in similar ways, when I have fasted periodically; i.e. one day a week or fortnight for several months at a time.

Whilst fasting is not the only modality I use in treating chronic illnesses such as CFS or to create optimal health and vitality in clients, it is certainly one of the most potent arrows in my quiver. And a practice I maintain personally.

Whilst I thank the well intentioned ‘doubting Thomas’s’ for their concern all those years ago, I’m glad I didn’t listen as they had not done their homework.

If fasting is an idea you would like to explore for your own health goals, I would be happy to assist you and supervise you through it. I can work with you in person if you are near Geelong or Torquay, or online and via Skype or phone if you live more remotely. I have several fasting programs prepared that may suit your needs.

Below is a great article showing the potent power of fasting as a healing tool to regenerate your digestive and immune system.

http://althealthworks.com/4651/california-researchers-discover-how-to-regenerate-your-entire-immune-system-in-72-hours-and-its-cheap-too/?c=soe