01.06.2015 Astrology

Ageing and Arthritis

Reducing our stress levels and staying flexible in mind is key to beating this accepted burden of ageing, says naturopath David G. Arenson ND

Australia is undergoing dramatic changes in health and longevity patterns as lifespans have increased but they are accompanied by chronic diseases associated with the ageing process. An expanding understanding of the epigenome and how genes switch on and off is also increasing our perception of how chronic conditions develop.

Traditionally, ageing has been seen to be an unavoidable sentence of decline, but recent studies have shown increasingly that there are positive and preventative measures we can take to prolong our health and wellbeing. This is most pronounced when we follow the best habits of our ancestors.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects over three million Australians, with no universally recognised cure. It is the major cause of disability particularly given Australia's ageing population. Often the first signs appear as morning stiffness.

Western allopathic treatments focus on reducing pain and inflammation particularly in the weight-bearing joints most affected (like knees and hips). While providing relief from pain, allopathic medicines do nothing to treat the underlying causes. Sadly, relying on drugs can actually hasten the progression of the disease as they play no part in healing or reversing degeneration of joint tissues and cartilage. They can also lead to unwanted "side effects" like initiating leaky gut syndrome (which may lead to gut sensitivities and autoimmune disorders down the track).

In various studies, osteoarthritis has been shown to be caused by bacteria including salmonella and streptococcus.

Many factors cause and exacerbate osteoarthritis including age, genetics, wear and tear, injury, environmental toxins, food allergies, infections, poor nutrition (particularly a lack of intake and absorption of vital nutrients such as omega 3s, vitamins and minerals (like calcium, selenium and magnesium)).

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Infection a cause

A fluid-filled joint capsule encloses joints. Although blood is unable to pass through the fibrous layers of the joint capsule walls, bacteria and other microorganisms can, infecting the bone, cartilage and connection tissues. Joint tissues are a breeding ground for infections. Without a blood supply, white blood cells are unable to ward off infection. In various studies, osteoarthritis has been shown to be caused by bacteria including salmonella and streptococcus 1 2.

Infection is rarely identifiable and seldom tested by mainstream doctors. It is difficult to treat an infection of the joint capsule, as antibiotics are less effective unless taken intravenously followed by weeks of oral antibiotics. Antibiotics have no effect on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites 3.

Many factors cause and exacerbate osteoarthritis including age, genetics, wear and tear, injury, environmental toxins, food allergies, infections, poor nutrition.

The connection between osteoarthritis and infection is well established in laboratory studies 4. The fungus Candida albicans has been shown to be a particularly common cause. Candida is found naturally in the digestive tract, but antibiotics, poor diet and lifestyle factors which lower our immune function can lead to a Candida overgrowth (Candidiasis) that spreads to other areas of the body including the joints.

In effect, the key to optimal health is flexibility of all kinds.

A two month old girl was put on antibiotics for diarrhoea, which cured the infection, yet harmed the friendly bacteria in her gut, leading to candidiasis 5. The candida caused osteoarthritis in her knees, left hip and other joints. This is evidence that even in the absence of old age or excessive wear and tear, osteoarthritis can develop from yeast infections or candida overgrowth.

Boosting Immunity

In his book, The New Arthritis Cure: Eliminate Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Pain Permanently author Bruce Fife promotes building the immune system with an active lifestyle, exercise, healthy diet of organic vegetables, fruit and organic meats, and avoiding processed foods (particularly sugar and refined grains). Nutrients to build joints include turmeric and glucosamine sulphate. Coconut oil is recommended to support the immune system.

As well as its use in food, coconut oil is promoted as a daily mouth gargle to fight microorganisms found in the mouth that may be absorbed into the bloodstream. “Oil pulling” using coconut oil is well known in the Aryuvedic tradition to “pull” the bacteria, fungus, mucus and toxins from the mouth. This oily mouthwash must not be swallowed.

When digested, coconut oil, which contains medium chain fatty acids, is broken down into tiny cells that penetrate through cell membranes, attacking the arthritis-causing organisms in the body and strengthening the immune system. Other suggestions include:

  • Promoting healthy detoxification via supporting the channels of elimination
  • Supporting gut function
  • Regulation of the body’s pH balance via diet and lifestyle

Genes overrated

The old adage that we are victims of our genes is no longer accepted. Lifestyle choices influence ageing so much that Paul Thompson, Professor of Neurology at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, is quoted as saying that “genes are not even the dominant factor” for most people. This means that, in layman’s terms, it’s easier to stop or delay something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened.

Towards the end of his life, Louis Pasteur, credited with “germ theory” came to see that the true cause of disease is the internal environment.

Stanford researcher and cellular biologist, Bruce Lipton, PhD, released new research in 1998 based on Einstein’s energy formula, E=mc². Lipton’s hypothesis is that the environmental context we inhabit switches genes on and off, and that the cause of illness is not faulty genes, but a mistaken belief that leads to a destructive energy or vibrational frequency. This destructive energy manifests itself as a disease or physical illness.

Destructive Stress

Stress is a major contributing factor to almost all diseases of the body. Fear and negative or inaccurate beliefs cause the nervous system to switch into "fight or flight" mode. When the body is in this stressed mode, its resources are diverted from its major organ functions to the peripheral muscles, particularly the arms and legs, so that a person may literally fight or take flight.

Any activities that uplift the spirit will help to reduce tension.

As we age, we naturally become less resilient to stress and yet the importance of being less stressed increases. A five year study showed that "stress junkies" had double the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease versus more relaxed people. In effect, the key to optimal health is flexibility of all kinds. This requires releasing all negativity including anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, grumpiness and so on.

Some options for pursuing a stress relieving lifestyle include religious and spiritual practices like prayer and meditation, lovemaking, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, yoga, golf, massage, walking and social outings. Any activities that uplift the spirit will help to reduce tension.

Revitalising Qi

In TCM, blockage of energy flow (Qi) results in conditions like arthritis where blood and other bodily fluids are stagnant. To counter this stagnancy, habits that speed the inner circulation of energy are beneficial. They include ancient Qi Gong practices, acupuncture and massage, as well as taking herbs internally or rubbed on the body externally.

In Taoist Secrets of Love by Mantak Chia, the author expounds on the benefits of opening up one's energy meridians, particularly the microcosmic channel. The Microcosmic Orbit is recognised by acupuncturists as the body's main energy channel that moves up the spine to the head and down the front of the body. By keeping this energy channel open and clear of blockages, one may promote longevity and the prevention of arthritis.

Chia describes the vital Qi energy as something one is born with, yet if not managed well, it is depleted via our consumerist mindset and poor habits, leading to premature ageing. Circulating this warm, flowing life force energy keeps this vital current of life within and revitalises all parts of the body.

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In traditional Zhan Zhuang Qi Gong, the foundation of practice is called "Holding the Balloon". This position speeds up the internal circulation of energy to the feet, hands and entire body and promotes the feeling of weightlessness. If you start with a five minute practice, you may initially feel muscle tension and fatigue. Be patient with this practice to derive maximum benefit in returning to the body's natural state. (You'll find various You Tube videos on the internet demonstrating this practice) 6.

As we age, we are culturally conditioned to accept certain inflexibility in our attitudes. This inflexibility becomes incarcerated within the body tissues.

We must accept that perfect health is possible, yet also accept that it's very hard to find anyone on this planet at the moment who does not suffer in some way. It is unrealistic to expect it another way, or to judge the self for having health problems, pain and discomfort. An attitude of kindness toward yourself is always an essential practice. You can acknowledge the stressful thoughts and fearful beliefs that may have caused your ill health by aligning your judgements and instilling in yourself a state of allowance. Loving the self and living in joy with ease and grace promotes a state of wellness and lack of disease. This effortless state of perfect alignment means that even if you are not feeling in perfect health and wellbeing, you retain an open stance and acceptance of all that is your reality.

It may be the heart's desire to heal the body, yet the soul may be in conflict with this goal. The judgements that are created from beliefs that cause stress in the body separate us from our Creator energy. Such beliefs reside in thought-forms that deny our divinity. These are always at the core of illness, representative of the non-acceptance and non-embracement of emotion.

Towards the end of his life, Louis Pasteur, credited with "germ theory" came to see that the true cause of disease is the internal environment. Legend has it that his last words were "terrain is everything." It is a weakened body that leads to it being susceptible to opportunistic viruses and bacteria and other forms of illness and disease (not those viruses and bacteria in themselves). Supporting the "Qi" in the body as related to internal energy, power and developing optimal resilience is key. Ultimately, it is wholesome daily habits that make all the difference, as opposed to tackling a health issue after it has already done some damage.

As the 4th century (BC) Almanac, The Yellow Emperor states: "Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one feels thirsty or forging weapons after the war has already begun."

David Zenon Starlyte

David is a channel for Divine wisdom. His intuitive coaching, speaking and healing sessions invoke purposeful shifts into deeper connection, confidence, self love, abundance and happiness. An empath, David's healing is focused on bridging the gap between addressing core wounds and reaching limitless possibilities, to living an extraordinary life. David’s passion for synthesising Eastern and Western approaches to spiritual wellbeing, has seen him immersing himself in the biblical tradition as a monastic, studying Western Naturopathic Medicine and Buddhist / Taoist Healing under three living masters - Master Chen in China, Grand Master Mantak Chia (Time magazine’s top 100 most spiritually influential living people) in Thailand and Ajahn Brahm (one of the world’s foremost masters of meditation) in Australia.

For more information, he can be found at: Website: http://davidstarlyte.com, , Email: davidstarlyte@gmail.com , Facebook: http://facebook.com/iamstarlyte

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