Don’t Overlook This Key Nutrient’s Impact on Your Neuropathy Diet!
Would you believe that 20 years ago, I was treating diabetic neuropathy with a specialized neuropathy diet? Then and now, one of the components of a therapeutic diet for neuropathy includes inositol.
Unlike vitamins (which have to be absorbed from dietary sources), inositol is one of a few substances that our own bodies can produce. We naturally synthesize inositol, a type of carbohydrate, from glucose.
The thing is, we don’t really make high enough amounts to be considered a therapeutic dose, so we have to supplement through dietary intake.
Why is inositol so important? In particular, why is it vital for people with neuropathic pain who need a healing neuropathy diet?
In short, this substance helps your body to lower cholesterol and break down fats. Inositol also has a positive effect on the way that insulin interacts with certain types of cells—which is why diabetic neuropathy sufferers need to know about this important supplement. If you’re dealing with diabetes and its side effects, you already know that insulin is a pancreatic hormone that has several vital roles in the body, including fat storage and control of blood sugar.
Other patients who have been helped by inositol include women with polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), as well as those with non-standard lipid profiles like those found in metabolic syndrome. In addition, mental health challenges like bipolar disorder and depression have sometimes been treated with inositol due to its known capacity to positively support brain function and nerve health.
For your neuropathy diet, some of the best sources of inositol include fruits, nuts, and several types of vegetables. Naturally, if you are struggling with neuropathy related to diabetes, you will need to limit fruit intake because of its sugar content.
Looking for more information about the effectiveness and format of the ideal neuropathy diet? Click here for I Beat Neuropathy, a comprehensive guide to self-treatment through diet and lifestyle changes.
Neuropathy Diet Essentials: What You Need to Know About Inositol is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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Are You Surprised That Making Art Could Be a Supportive Addition to Your Neuropathy Treatments?
One of the most effective at-home neuropathy treatments can be done anytime, anywhere, and you don’t need special materials to do it. You don’t even have to have a special talent or training in art.
Making art can include everything from drawing or painting to collage, scrapbooking, or even flower arranging. The basic human drive to make art, going back to cave paintings many thousands of years ago, is simply about making things that are special and unique that have personal meaning or bring beauty into your world.
And as it turns out, making art is physically good for you! Creativity might even be the perfect way to supplement neuropathy treatments.
Even way back in 2008, the National Institutes of Health described in their newsletter that scientists had already begun studying how the process of making art can reduce stress, ease pain, and improve quality of life. Art therapy has been shown positive benefits with many medical and emotional issues, from trauma or depression to chemotherapy fatigue. In other words, creativity can be a great supplement to your other neuropathy treatments.
There are many options for making art besides drawing and painting, and anyone can do these relaxing creative activities without any special training or materials. Try one of these easy art options.
Magazine Collage Journal
Materials you’ll need:
- Blank journal or spiral notebook
Flip through any magazine looking for images that speak to you. Perhaps they make you feel happy or excited, or they remind you of good memories. Choose three images to glue down to your journal page in any way that looks right to you. If you want, flip to a new page in your journal and write down your thoughts about the images you selected today.
Index Card Mandala
Materials you’ll need:
- Index cards
- Small jar lid
- Markers or colored pencils
“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word for “sacred circle.” Psychologist Carl Jung used to make a daily practice of creating mandala designs to help him process his ideas. Coloring mandalas has also been shown to be relaxing to your nervous system. All you need to do is find a small circular object, like a jar lid, and trace around it onto your index card. Now use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to fill in the circle with any shapes, colors, and lines that you want. If you prefer to color in larger and more elaborate mandala designs, you can find free printable mandalas online.
Blind Contour Drawing
Materials you’ll need:
- A Sharpie marker
- Blank paper
- Willingness to try something new
Elizabeth Layton is famous for having become an artist at the age of 68, using a daily practice of making blind contour drawings to help her battle depression. “Blind contour” means that you will be drawing a continuous line without looking at the paper; instead, you focus your gaze on the object you’re drawing. The end result obviously won’t be a perfect drawing, but what’s important in this process is the experience of drawing. I recommend a Sharpie marker because there’s no temptation to erase or “fix” anything and you can concentrate on really seeing an object, rather than forcing your drawing to look a certain way. Try it for a few days and see how much fun it can be to create messy, process-oriented drawings!
Are you curious about how to add a creativity prescription to your neuropathy treatments? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.
Neuropathy Treatments Can Be Supplemented with Creativity is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.
When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.
But I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.
Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.
1. Sitting meditation
Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.
2. Walking meditation
This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.
3. Meditating in bed
For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.
4. Mindfully doing a creative act
Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.
5. Mindfully completing any household chore
Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.
Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.
Have you tried meditation? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.
How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment (Part 2): 5 Surprising Ways to Meditate is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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How to Transform Negative Self-Talk into Positivity for Healing Chronic Disease
The bad news: Negative self-talk can be very damaging to your health.
The good news: You can easily learn to transform negative self-talk into positive thinking that can actively help you in healing chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.
What is negative self-talk? This is the term for the kind of demeaning, insulting, or belittling internal messages that we give ourselves when we are frustrated by our perceived failings. “I’m so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody could ever love me.”
These messages are so hurtful because they are based on labeling and judgment. They tell you that there is something wrong with you as a person. When your goal is healing chronic disease, negative self-talk tells you that instead of getting better, you ought to BE a better person.
You wouldn’t allow your best friend to talk this way to herself. It’s time to become your own best friend and intervene in negative self-talk. All you have to do is learn to break the pattern and replace negativity with truly healing actions that support you in healing chronic disease. Remember that healing begins from within, and you have total control over the mindset that is either helping or hurting your chance at optimum health.
Begin by simply noticing during the day when you use negative self-talk. Write down what the circumstances were, what you said or thought to yourself that was negative, and how those thoughts made you feel. Then, pick one recurring negative thought and decide how you will turn it around into a healing action.
For example, if you have noticed that you think to yourself “I’m such a klutz,” use this thought as a cue to notice what you need. The next time you catch yourself thinking about being a klutz, stop and say, “What do I need right now?” Maybe it’s a rest break, some water to rehydrate you, or a kind word from a good friend. Then take that healing action.
We think of negative self-talk as “automatic thoughts,” but the truth is that you can break the negative cycle and turn the negative into a positive. Let your negative thoughts be a signal that it’s time for a wellness check-in to find what your body needs right now. Soon, every moment will become a healing moment on the path to healing chronic disease.
Come take part in the ongoing conversation at our Facebook page!
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Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.
Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.
Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.
Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.
The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.
Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.
Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.
Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?
You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.
Building your support network is just one way that you can take control of your own health and overcome chronic pain. Learn more by visiting our Facebook page.
Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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