Does it Really Hurt?

Lots of research is being conducted on pain, and no wonder! According to pain specialists at Johns Hopkins University, nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, more than those who have diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.1 To help find and improve treatments, researchers attempt to understand more about the underlying causes of pain.

Pain is actually a warning signal that something is wrong. The pain starts in receptor nerve cells located beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body. There are many different types of pain, but the most common stem from arthritis, spinal issues and headaches.

  • Arthritis refers to more than 100 different conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to joint inflammation. Although there is no cure, there are treatment plans with short-term and long-term goals, dependent on the severity and type of arthritis.
  • Back pain is so common that the National Institutes of Health contend that eight out of 10 people will have some sort of spinal issue in their lifetimes.
  • Headaches vary, with migraines being one of the most debilitating types. They can be triggered by stress, fatigue and certain foods. Children can have headaches triggered by hormones, stress, medications, dehydration, depression and anxiety. Genetics can play a part in headaches.

Pain is the most common reason for people to seek medical care. It also is one of the reasons people frequently turn to complementary and integrative health approaches.2 Pain costs the United States an estimated $635 billion a year in terms of lost productivity and medical expenditures, with chronic pain being the leading cause of long-term disability in adults.3

Given the huge opioid crisis in the United States, many suffering from chronic pain are now dealing with limited access to prescriptions—alternatives to drugs are needed even more. These alternatives can range from outright tolerance (the grit your teeth school of pain management) to methodical breathing (similar to Lamaze techniques during childbirth) to yoga and meditation.

There also are a wide range of topical ointments, patches, orthopedic support systems and homeopathic formulations. For example, Nikken CM Complex Cream and Kenzen® Joint,  both contain cetyl myristoleate, a naturally occurring compound that is believed to help ease joint discomfort. The soothing nature of the compound was discovered by National Institutes of Health researcher Dr. H.W. Diehl. The Nikken formulation is endorsed by Dr. Diehl’s estate.

Health practitioners who practice pain management contend that expectations are key to whether patients become overly dependent on prescription pain relievers. Expectations of pain relief can range from total painlessness to taking the edge off. Search and Rescue USA states that of 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 40% involved a prescription opioid.4 The higher the expectation, the more drugs are involved.

A concrete example of varying expectations can be witnessed with the changing trends in childbirth. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women had no choice but to tolerate the pain of childbirth. By the 1940s and 1950s, many giving birth were completely “knocked out” or “put under” because childbirth was considered a medical procedure. By the 1960s and 1970s, the pendulum swung in the other direction and the natural childbirth movement began. By the 1980s, epidural anesthesia became common; as a result, many opted to stay awake but without feeling acute labor pains and Cesarean sections increased.5 By the 1990s, there was a swing back to birthing without drugs. With each decade, mothers and their families had a different set of expectations and pain was managed accordingly.

Whatever types of pain we may experience and whichever treatments we seek largely depend on our expectations. Barring life-threatening diseases that require extreme forms of pain management, an Active Wellness lifestyle can help enhance any other way of relieving pain.

KenkoTherm® Support Wraps  help strained or achy muscles and joints function more smoothly. The strong yet stretchable wraps have warming ceramic reflective fibers that help provide a sense of confidence while they support movement. KenkoTherm DUK® Tape  is made with 100% cotton tape and hypoallergenic. You can cut it to the size you want to obtain the support right where you need it. It’s water-resistant and lasts all day to help ease muscle and joint discomfort.

 

1https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/september_pain_awareness_month.html

2 https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain

3 https://uspainawarenessmonth.com/

4https://searchandrescueusa.org/theopioidcrisis/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=2018_PFDK_Nonbrand_Opioid_Epidemic&utm_term=opioid%20crisis&&gclid=CjwKCAjwnrjrBRAMEiwAXsCc476-NCl8uukeG9RFfQIzrmyfp0p3cNrC_xQz-YSvnVCB52lhm5lfLhoCE0oQAvD_BwE

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595017/

Do You Have Itchy Skin and Stiff Joints?

At Nikken, we promote Active Wellness as a way of living. It’s a proactive rather than reactive approach to life. That means taking measures to maintain health and doing the best to prevent bodily and mental breakdown. Ironically, as we make huge advances in technology, we continue to be confronted with challenges that often have no sure-fire solutions. This is the case with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 125 million people worldwide.1

No one knows the exact cause of psoriasis, but since August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, it is a good time to learn about it, whether we suffer from outbreaks of scaly skin or not. Researchers believe psoriasis can be triggered by cuts, scrapes or surgery, as well as emotional stress, infections, and even certain medications, such as beta-blockers that control blood pressure and antimalarial drugs.2 This skin disorder causes skin cells to multiply 10 times faster than normal, building into bumpy red patches with white scales.3 It’s not contagious but sometimes occurs with members of the same family.

Although not curable, certain precautions can be taken to help prevent flare-ups:

  • Stay warm in cold, dry weather. Researchers have shown that psoriasis occurs more often in wintry weather, so limiting the skin’s exposure to the cold is a proactive measure.
  • Keep skin moisturized. Dry skin is a trigger and can make scaling more severe. A humidifier may be helpful, especially in winter months. Alternatively, use True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care to cleanse, tone and hydrate skin year round.
  • Get short, regular bursts of sunlight, because ultraviolet radiation has immunosuppressive effects. UV light therapy is a known treatment option for psoriasis.
  • Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Skin damage of any kind is a trigger for flareups.
  • Make sure to get enough Vitamin D, since a deficiency is common in people with psoriasis.
  • Take extra care when cutting nails or shaving and avoid scratching insect bites. Wear gloves when gardening and be careful when preparing food with knives.
  • Reduce stress. Reports suggest that stress may trigger flare-ups in 68% of adults with psoriaris.4 Practice yoga and meditation to ease stress.
  • Eat a whole food diet that includes nuts and seeds, since they contain good fats, which may help improve skin health. Avoid food that is known to be inflammatory, especially processed carbohydrates and anything with lots of added sugar.
  • Take Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA. Research suggests that omega fatty acids may improve various signs and symptoms of psoriasis.5 Since Omega Green + DHA is made with flaxseed oil, cranberry seed oil and red algae, it comes from sustainable resources that are kosher, vegan certified and gluten-free. OmegaDHANew_317x310With all three types of omega fatty acids formulated in optimal proportions (3, 6, 9), Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is designed for heart health, an added benefit, since the risk of heart disease rises for those suffering from psoriasis.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is found among people with psoriasis, especially females 60 years of age and older.7 Keep a PiMag® Waterfall  in your kitchen for cooking purposes as well as drinking, and take a PiMag® Sport Bottle with you everywhere.
  • Take Kenzen® Joint. Although symptoms of psoriasis depend on the specific type, sufferers commonly experience some combination of itchy skin, burning or sore skin, scaly skin and swollen or stiff joints. Kenzen® Joint nutritionally supports collagen, bone and connective tissue repair with a high concentration of cetyl myristoleate combined with glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and compounds from the boswellia plant.
  • Use CM Complex Cream  for its naturally soothing and cooling effects on achy joints. In addition to cetyl myristoleate, this topical formulation includes aloe, menthol and peppermint, which are derived from plants and offer a natural alternative to chemical ointments.

All the precautions mentioned above may help those trying to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. They also are part of the Active Wellness approach to wellbeing for anyone seeking to maintain or improve health—physically and mentally.

 

1, 7 https://www.philips.co.uk/c-e/challenge-psoriasis/psoriasis-stop/life/staying-well-hydrated-with-psoriasis.html

2, 3 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics#1

4 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324185.php

5, 7 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322302.php

 

Just Walk Every Day and Reap the Benefits

Arthritis is often misunderstood. Many people think arthritis only strikes the elderly, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. In America, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children suffer from arthritis. 1 And, contrary to common belief, there are more than a hundred types of arthritis and related conditions.

Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion in the joints. Any variety of these symptoms can range from mild to severe. The effects are just as varied, from being an annoyance to being debilitating. Limitations can include difficulties moving and performing daily tasks, such as typing, opening jars, getting up from a sofa, and much more.

Counter-intuitively, walking is recommended for those who suffer from arthritis. It may cause discomfort to get moving, but moving will slow down the rate of degeneration. In other words, an Active Wellness lifestyle is key to living with arthritis.

According to Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should take a 30-minute walk daily, five days a week. If that seems to be too much, the 30 minutes can be broken down into 10-minute increments. For example, take a 10-minute walk in the morning, another in the afternoon and then one more after dinner. Jobs that are sedentary aggravate arthritis and sufferers need to consciously get up and walk around at least once every hour.

Here are some tips to manage mild to moderate joint-related symptoms of the most common type of arthritis, known as osteoarthritis: 2

  • Balance activity with rest
  • Use hot and cold therapies
  • Be physically active (walk!)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Strengthen muscles around the joint for added support
  • Avoid excessive repetitive movements

In addition to these lifestyle recommendations, Nikken offers two products that are formulated specifically to support joint function.* Kenzen® Joint is a dietary supplement designed to work from the inside out, while CM Complex Cream is applied on the skin to work from the outside in. Both of these formulas are based on the active ingredient known as cetyl myristoleate (CM), discovered by Dr. H.W. Diehl, then of the National Institutes of Health. Both products carry the endorsement of Dr. Diehl’s estate.

From Tuesday, July 17 through Monday, July 23, purchase both Kenzen® Joint and CM Complex Cream in a stand-alone call-in order and receive a yellow Kenko PowerBand® necklace as our gift. Excludes Autoship orders. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1, 2 https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php