All posts by sperling

image of pathogen

Self-Care During the Age of COVID-19

During this time of quarantine and social distancing, it is easy to get caught up in the horrifying statistics on the news or the daily stories of friends or loved ones who are vulnerable. That’s why, more than ever before, we all need to practice a little self-care… every single day. This can help our mental and emotional state as well as refresh us enough to continue what we are doing at home to prevent the spread of this virus. 

We often hear the words “self-care,” but not a lot of us practice this or even know exactly what to do to care for ourselves in a way that can rejuvenate or replenish. Today’s blog will explore a few simple things you can do to take care of yourself so you can continue on with work, caring for your children, and doing what each of us needs to do. 

What Is Self-Care? 

According to PsychCentral, self-care is, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”

Self-care should not be something we force ourselves to do, but rather to refuel ourselves to handle what life can throw at us. 

Where To Start With Self-Care

For some people who are “going” constantly, it may be hard to recognize things that can help us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our suggestion is to start small. If during this pandemic you find yourself juggling working remotely, caring for children or elders, and still trying to maintain your sanity, it is a good idea to carve out a small amount of time when you can plan your self-care. 

Ask yourself some simple questions: 

  • What brings you joy? 
  • What calms you? 
  • What feeds your body and spirit? 

Start with spending some time alone to determine how you can care for yourself. Create a list of things that will help you stay refreshed, mentally focused, and strong in spirit. 

Self-Care Opportunities 

Everyone is different, so self-care options should look a little different for each person. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • If you feel the panic rising, take a breath, and then another one and then another one. Do this until you can feel your heart rate lowering and your mind settling. 
  • Take 5 minute meditation breaks several times through the day – close your eyes and listen to the sound of your breathing in and then out slowly. There are some great meditation apps that can help you do this. 
  • Take a 10 minute walk around the block, in your yard or in nature. Avoid contact with others and take the time to listen, smell, and see nature all around you.
  • Remember to hydrate with electrolytes. Drink water to keep your body functioning well and purify your organis. 
  • Limit news input. Turn the news on for 10 minutes three times a day. Do not leave it on for the entire day – this will cause stress and panic.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and try to stay away from the comfort foods high in sugar that weaken your immune system. 
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep so turn off the news and remember good sleep hygiene.

Here at Angel Healing Group, we recommend self-care to maintain a healthy attitude and mental state, as well as keep your body functioning well. If you have questions or comments on your own self-care routine, contact us or check out our website for more helpful ideas or testimonials

coronavirus and a woman with mask on

The Potential Role of Herbs in the Age of COVID-19

As we enter the first critical weeks of dealing with the novel Coronavirus in the United States, it seems like a good time to examine what our holistic health community can do and how the herbs we study can help in this pandemic. 

What is Covid-19? 

COVID-19, as it is referred to by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) is a respiratory virus that can spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets passed when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible to transmit the virus by touching the surface of an object that has the virus on it and then touching your face, mouth, nose or eyes. The virus is believed to spread between people who are in close contact, meaning 6 feet or closer. 

Symptoms and Impact on Lungs 

Initial research on this new virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 showed that symptoms include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The vast majority of people who contract the Coronavirus will only experience mild symptoms and will recover completely without needing medical intervention or specialist care. Unfortunately, for about one-in-six people, once the virus has entered the system, it can begin to ravage the lungs. 

For those experiencing severe respiratory syndrome, the symptoms can be critical and somewhat alarming.  Almost all the more severe cases include pneumonia-like symptoms including: inability to breathe on own, need for intubation, and artificial breathing mechanisms. 

Both the lower and upper respiratory tract are extremely susceptible to becoming injured and/or compromised due to this virus. These tracts can then become inflamed and irritated. If they become infected they respond by pouring out inflammatory material into the air sacs that are at the bottom of our lungs. This can lead to pneumonia and potentially not enough oxygen in the bloodstream. 

Treatment and Holistic Care Options 

Respiratory specialists and epidemiologists have been supporting patients with supportive treatments such as ventilators and intensive care measures. These steps are in the hope of maintaining high oxygen levels until their lungs are able to function in a normal way again as they recover.

In our holistic industry, we want to recognize that there are herbs that can also aid in the protecting and healing the tissue of the lungs. 

Research supports the use of dietary supplements that can maintain immune system health. While there are no current clinical studies that show that these supplements can prevent the novel Coronavirus, there are a number of herbs that show in vitro viral activity against some forms of coronaviruses. Three that we would like to examine briefly include: Elderberry, Oregano Oil, and Salvia Miltorhiza. 

Elderberry

Elderberry, the dark purple berry from the European Elder tree, is a good pre-treatment tonic. The naturally occurring mucopolysaccharides coat cells and discourage viral adhesion. However, if viruses do stick, enter cells, and replicate then the ensuing types of inflammation must be modulated. 

Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. According to a Holistic Primary Care article, Oregano OIl has shown to inhibit the H1N1 and HSV viruses in the past. Oregano Oil can inhibit proliferation of Coronavirus and reduce viral titers. The research completed in 2003 as a preliminary in vitro experiment was in early stage basic research started long before this pandemic. It would need to be trialed on actual humans before drawing any firm conclusions about its efficacy. (Holistic Primary Care Vol. 21 No. 1) 

Salvia Miltiorrhiza

Salvia Miltiorrhiza is also referred to as Asia Red Sage. It is the root of the Asian herb Salvia miltiorrhizae (sometimes called “Red Salvia”) is a “blood vitalizing” herb now used widely in Asia to improve and support blood circulation. Red Sage outperforms many herbs in that it helps to manage lung fibrosing that occurs with this type and other respiratory viruses. Although more commonly used in heart and cardiovascular supportive formulas, this herb can be added along with lung herbs to support blood flow to the lungs and reduce possible fibrosing.

There are formulas used in Oriental Herbalism and Western Herbalism that support the lungs and bronchioles such as Yin Chiao, Gan Mao Ling, Eupatorium, Pleurisy root and English Ivy Extract. Always contact your local clinical herbalist for more specific applications of herbs and herbals formulas for your personalized needs. Not all herbs are applicable to every person even with the same presenting symptoms.

For further reading on the use of herbs in the face of viruses, we encourage you to read the 2013 book, Herbal Antivirals by herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner. He goes into great depth about the mechanisms by which viruses attach to and infect human cells. 




COVID-19

An Update on the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Unless you are living off the grid and are happily blissful about the happenings in the world, you have heard the news and startling statistics of the spread and consequences of the novel Coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19. 

In writing about epidemics, pandemics, and this uniquely deadly current virus, it is important to always put forth the latest and most accurate information for readers, most especially our clients who are looking for direction. 

As a graduate and current faculty member at East West School of Planetary Herbology

As well as a proud alumni of New England School of Homeopathy, I put my trust in learning from the researchers and experts in our field. Here is a quick update to keep you knowledgeable and aware of the current state of the virus and the spread of this unprecedented pandemic. 

What is the Coronavirus or COVID-19? 

The novel or new Coronavirus was first identified in the Wuhan province of China late in 2019. While genetic analysis is still underway as to the origin of this particular virus, it is believed to have been initially transmitted from animal to human. 

According to the New England School of Homeopathy, “Historically, SARS, another coronavirus, originated with civet cats. MERS, which also impacted humans, arose from camels. There has also been noted person to person spread of these various Coronaviruses.” 

hand washing

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19? 

The spring is a time of changing temperatures, emerging allergens, and the flu season. Unfortunately, some of the same symptoms that are associated with these  viruses are also symptoms of the COVID-19. That means, try not to panic and listen to your body when it comes to what specific symptoms you may have.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, symptoms of this severe respiratory illness can include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after initial exposure to the virus. 

Emergency warning signs of respiratory distress can also include: persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. 

What Can I Do To Prevent the Spread? 

Some of the simple steps you can do in your own home include: washing your hands, sneezing into your elbow (rather than hands), staying home from school or work as necessary (particularly if experiencing lowered immunity), wear a mask, and follow other cold/flu prevention methods. 

The state and federal government are currently instituting quarantine protocols to slow the spread of the virus. We must do our part to help keep our bodies healthy and the healthcare system functioning. 

The influenza division of Herscu Laboratoryunder the leadership of Paul Herscu, ND, MPH, also suggests: 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when handwashing is not possible.
  • Limit handling doorknobs and other public surfaces without gloves. If in the midst of a severe epidemic, consider using gloves whenever outside to limit contact. Wash gloves daily. 
  • Avoid people who are sick.
woman with a mask on

What If I Get the Virus? 

Currently, there are natural medicines and other approaches that can foster enhanced immunity while helping to create and maintain healthy mucous membrane tissue, essential for fending off germs:

  • Research has shown there are botanical medicines known to help prevent flu including licorice root, North American ginseng, elderberry, echinacea, and garlic.  
  • Likewise, nutritional supplements can be taken to help insure optimal immune system function. These include: zinc, selenium, vitamin C, probiotics, and seaweed extract. 
  • Use a humidifier as higher air humidity reduces virus survival for other viruses and may well decrease transmission here. 

Continue to hydrate properly, utilizing sugar free electrolyte powders (my favorite is Bioplasma Sport) in 16 oz of water and talk to our practitioners about specific methods that may help alleviate the symptoms and strengthen your immune response. 

The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Inflammation

If you have ever broken a bone, contracted strep throat, or even just stubbed your toe on a piece of furniture, you know what inflammation is. The swelling and redness is an important part of your body’s immune system response to an injury or infection. Simply put, it’s the body’s way of signaling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. 

Without the process of inflammation, wounds could fester and infections could become worse and potentially deadly. Unfortunately, if inflammation persists or becomes chronic, then that is problematic as well. LiveScience reports that chronic inflammation has been linked to certain diseases such as heart disease or stroke, and may also lead to autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

Inflammation can be categorized as acute or chronic with many patients trying traditional treatments such as anti-inflammatory diets or over-the-counter and prescription medications. Unfortunately, these methods of treatment are not always successful.

Researchers are still working to understand the implications of chronic inflammation on the body and the mechanisms involved in the process, but it’s known to play a role in the development of many diseases. Numerous studies have reported chronic inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease, Atherosclerosis, Autism, Cancer, Stroke, Diabetes, Traumatic Brain Injury, and many other chronic health challenges.

How does HBOT Alleviate Inflammation? 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, a patient’s lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure, such as outdoors. The blood then carries this oxygen throughout the body, including to the brain.

The International Hyperbarics Association explains further the way that HBOT alleviates inflammation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has shown to substantially attenuate inflammation throughout the body. HBOT drives increased levels of oxygen into the body, which travels through the plasma, subsequently reducing inflammation and pain. Studies have shown that HBOT increases anti-inflammatory levels and provides increased cellular aid to heal target regions. As oxygen serves as one of the primary mechanisms to ameliorating inflammation, HBOT creates an environment where this process is stimulated and enhanced. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of HBOT for inflammation with the following: supporting the anti-inflammatory process at the cellular level, reducing neuroinflammation, decreases in gastrointestinal inflammation, relief of soft tissue/joint inflammation, and prevention of the onset of chronic inflammatory-related diseases. 

A 2008 study on mice with atherosclerosis examined how inflammation was reduced after HBOT treatment: 

Two groups of mice were treated with either 5 or 10 weeks of HBOT, whereas two other groups remained untreated and used as a control group. After the introduction of low-density lipoprotein, the treated group exhibited positive changes in the immune/ inflammatory response. This represents a critical component of the beneficial effects of HBOT. This study demonstrated that HBOT significantly reduced the circulating levels of low-density lipoprotein that can cause heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Additionally, HBOT resulted in a substantial attenuation in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to an inflammatory stimulus, and showed a marked increase in the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 (Interleukin 10) by spleen cells. The observed improvements were already noted after only 5 weeks of treatment.

Do you need more information about how inflammation can be positively impacted by HBOT? Call our practitioners at Angel Healing Group to find out more. 

Hyperbarics and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Did you know that each year, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability? The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are approximately 2.87 million annual TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US, including over 837,000 of these health events affecting children. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is showing positive signs of enhancing the recovery from a TBI and augment brain activity. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of HBOT when facing a traumatic brain injury. 

What is TBI? 

Traumatic brain injuries are a bump, blow, or jolt to the head caused by incidents such as sports concussions, car accidents, or even war injuries. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” which could mean a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” which could include an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. People with a mild TBI typically recover within a few weeks but, for as many as 20%, problems can linger for months or years. 

For patients who are in the latter category and find themselves dealing with symptoms for months or years, hyperbarics may help. Known as post-concussion syndrome, Many patients find themselves suffering from post-concussion syndrome with symptoms including depression, cognitive problems, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and mental fogginess. While antidepressants can lift a patient’s mood, painkillers can ease the headaches, and physical therapy may help alleviate dizziness, most researchers agree that these remedies don’t heal the injury within the brain.

That is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes in. A growing body of evidence supports the belief of many scientists that HBOT can dramatically help cases of TBI. 

What is HBOT and how can it help? 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment where a patient breathes 100% oxygen in what’s called a hyperbaric chamber, and the result is a dramatic increase in the amount of oxygen in the blood and a dramatic decrease in swelling and inflammation.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy “can help augment brain activity by reducing hypoxia and neuroinflammation, while increasing circulation in the brain. In addition, HBOT has been reported to synergistically enhance the effects of other therapies including standard intensive rehabilitation for TBI patients to help accelerate recovery.” (Source: International Hyperbarics Association) 

Clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of HBOT for TBI in the following ways: attenuates the effects of hypoxia and inflammation in the brain, promotes neurogenesis, moderates mitochondrial, enhances stem cell mobilization and proliferation, increases the penumbra tissue recovery, stimulates neuroplasticity, induces remyelination, and augments concussion recovery. 

Patients may experience improvement in gross and fine motor control, improved speech and cognitive understanding, advanced cognitive functions, and improved balance. Patients have also experienced fewer seizures and an alleviation of spasticity. 

A 2014 controlled longitudinal study showed evidence of motor function improvement in children who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The eight-month study examined 150 children with cerebral palsy. HBOT was included in three of the four groups of children with their standard rehabilitation. A control group did not undergo HBOT and only were offered standard therapy. Each group that was offered HBOT received 40 one-hour sessions, six days a week. Each HBOT group was treated with different levels of ATAs (atmospheres absolute) ranging from 1.3 to 1.75 ATA. 

The results were promising. All four groups improved in motor control. However, the three groups that also received HBOT showed, on average, 3 times higher improvement in fine and gross motor control! 

Hyperbaric treatment massively increases the amount of oxygen to the brain. The benefits can be life-changing for those afflicted with traumatic brain injuries. Check out the research and studies by clicking the links. For more information on how HBOT could help you, contact Angel Healing Group. 

The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Lyme Disease Treatment

What is the fastest-growing infectious disease in the United States? One might guess HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis, or one of the other pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi, spread directly or indirectly. The answer is the tick-borne illness known as Lyme Disease. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported by state health departments and the District of Columbia annually. However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that is diagnosed in the United States every year. Recent estimates using methods other than the standard national surveillance by public health officials suggest that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States.

This number may be shocking to many, especially those who live in Lyme prevalent areas such as the northeast and Great Lakes region of the United States. Add to these statistics the fact that many cases of Lyme Disease go misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed and we have a recipe for years of pain and suffering by those who have inflicted. 

What Is Lyme Disease? 

The CDC describes Lyme as a disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, AKA the deer tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is usually diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings such as a tell-tale rash, and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Unfortunately, many people who have been bitten do not experience symptoms or the rash as it may lie dormant in the human body for years. 

The science behind the dormancy or lack of immediate symptoms lies in the characteristics of the bacteria itself. The tick-borne bacterium, or spirochete, is protected by a biofilm it creates to hide from the immune system. Often times, antibiotic intervention falls short of providing much needed symptomatic relief. 

The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a procedure that takes place inside an air sealed, transparent chamber filled with 100% pure oxygen increased atmospheric pressure. This process helps the body to absorb oxygen in a greater amount and transports it to the blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid, and other body fluids. HBOT has been shown to elevate tissue oxygenation, which can be lethal to bacteria. This oxygen therapy also increases white blood cell activity and enhances antimicrobial responses. According to studies reported in the International Hyperbarics Association, “Oxygen is critical in the killing of bacteria and by exponentially raising oxygen levels throughout the body, the efficiency of bactericidal action of white blood cells can be enhanced dramatically.” 

Clinical data and case reports have demonstrated the lasting benefits of HBOT for Lyme disease. Some improvements of note include decreased neuroinflammation, enhanced short term memory, reduced chronic fatigue, improved concentration, decrease in chronic headaches, lowering the risk of depression, and moderation of insomnia. 

A trial at Texas A&M University examined the impact of HBOT on 91 patients with Lyme Disease. All of the patients in the trial failed to respond to intravenous antibiotics. During the trial, 67% of the patients remained on antibiotics throughout the trial. During the trial, 75% of the patients completed between 10-133 HBOT treatments. These treatments lasted one hour, twice a day, five times a week. Approximately 85% reported significant improvement with either a decrease in symptoms or a complete elimination of them. Most patients continued to see improvement even well after HBOT treatments. Long-term follow-ups showed that, from 6 weeks to 6 years, the benefits were sustained in 70% of patients. 

Why I created the Tick Bite Rescue™ Kit

I took ill when I was 28 years old and wasn’t recovering. I went from being an active triathlete to barely being able to get out of bed. I had pain all over my body. My joints and muscles ached and I had migraines that were relentless. I had a constellation of other symptoms that would take too long to recount in this document. It took 8 months to finally get a diagnosis. Finally, in 1993 I got the bad news, I had Lyme Disease. I had very little understanding of Lyme disease and its many ramifications at the time. I was in a state of shock as I was told to get my affairs in order, that I would very likely die soon. I didn’t even remember the tick bite and I never saw a bulls-eye rash, but the test results were conclusive. I was given the standard of care at the time, had a negative reaction from the protocol and spent the next 10 years and thousands of dollars trying to recover my original state of wellness.

As the years marched on and I slowly started to regain some health with the expert help of some very talented alternative practitioners, I noticed that even though I was now able to get out and about almost as before, I was avoiding going into nature. So much so, that I wouldn’t walk in the grass even if it was near my house for fear of encountering another tick.

The peace of mind, beauty and connectedness that drew me to nature in my youth had turned into fear and avoidance. When I finally noticed this shift in my general outlook I decided it was time to make my way back to nature, but this time I would stay aware and go prepared.

By that time, inspired by those who had helped me so much, I had become a clinical herbalist and lifelong student of homeopathy. I began to deeply study all the aspects of what we knew so far about the infectious agents related to tick borne illness. I read Dr. Burgdorfer’s seminal text on Lyme Disease. I read about its known vectors and the known species and strains of the bacteria itself, Borrelia burgdorferi as well as the form the disease could take in the body, the genus spirochete. I interviewed a few authorities who were knowledgeable on the subject and after gathering an enormous amount of information, I set in motion some habits of protection that I use successfully to this day.

Tick borne illnesses can be extremely serious and, in some cases fatal for humans as well as dogs. According to Dr. Burgdorfer, there were 7 known strains of Borrelia that carried varying degrees of disease virulence as well as a spirochete named Leptospira, found in some spiders, which mimics many of the same symptoms of Borrelia. Since Dr. Burgdorfer’s death, there have been additional strains of Borrelia catalogued. In addition to those different strains of Borrelia, ticks can all carry various types of co-infectious agents in the contents of their stomachs such as Babesia, Bartonella, Epstein Barr virus, Encephalitis and the list goes on.

After all I had been through and seeing others with similar health issues, simply removing the tick, watching and waiting was never going to be proactive enough for me. Demanding Doxycycline every time my dogs or I were bitten wasn’t a solution for me either, since this could contribute to antibiotic resistance and have significant negative effects on the health of my dogs as well as my own microbiome. In 2000, it occurred to me that I needed an intermediary between the repellant and the standard of care in medicine. Historically, we managed our insect bites not just to reduce itching but to encourage self-care. Somewhere along the way, people lost the ability and interest in managing bites and stings, surrendering to poisonous sprays such as DEET or running to a clinic demanding antibiotics if they were exposed. This just didn’t resonate with me and my need to be able to help myself. So, I designed a kit in order to be proactive in managing tick bites that occurred in spite of bug sprays, the recommended ways of dressing to avoid tick bites.

This was the prototype of the Tick Bite Rescue kit, and I have used an iteration of it ever since with great success. It is my desire that this kit may help to provide a better level of protection for you and your loved ones and to allow you, your families and your pets to be outdoors without fear.

What’s in the Tick Bite Rescue™ Kit?

There are several functional parts of the Tick Bite Rescue Kit. Proper removal of the tick is step one and it’s crucial. If you pull the imbedded tick out with your fingers or flat tweezers you could leave behind the head or tiny parts of the tick’s mouth, which you will come to find in a moment, can leave you exposed to infection and the spread of tick- borne illnesses. Some use dish soap, touting that the tick unlatches its jaws and disengages by itself. Unfortunately, unless you own a microscope, you wouldn’t know or see that the tick “vomits” before releasing its bite when you employ the detergent method. When that happens, whatever is in the contents of the tick’s stomach is now in the bite site. I systematically went about testing 5 different types of tick removal tools, trying to find tweezers that could be depended on to safely remove the complete tick, mouth parts and all. The “Tick Tweezers” (included in this kit), hands down, were the best tool for properly removing all parts of the tick from people and pets.

In order to be thorough and manage the bite as effectively as possible, there are four other actions that I feel need to be taken. I, myself, personally care for the bite in the following manner every time I have found a tick imbedded in my skin or my dogs’ skin. First, as stated, I remove the tick. After properly removing the tick, I use the following procedures. Nano-particle silver gel is a natural antiseptic and is applied to the bite after removing the tick. Organic Echinacea purpurea is used for local immune support at the bite site, to help stimulate healthy immune response. Homeopathic Ledum, 30C, is used for systemic immune support and an activated charcoal patch is used as a cautionary absorptive, just in case any part of the tick or its saliva remains at the bite site. It can be very difficult to see these with the naked eye.

Nano-particle silver gel

Silver has been used for centuries to prevent illness and to improve recovery from injury. The use of silver has spanned generations, cultures and continents. The Greeks used vessels made from silver to keep water and other liquids fresh. The Roman Empire stored wine in silver urns to prevent spoilage. Before the invention of germicides and antibiotics, it was known that disease-causing germs could not survive in the presence of silver. Thus, silver was used in dishware, drinking containers and eating utensils.

Settlers in the Australian outback used silverware in their water tanks to retard spoilage.

Pioneers in the American West found that if they placed silver coins in their casks of water, it kept the water safe from growth of bacteria, algae, etc. Silver leaf was used to combat infection in battle wounds sustained by soldiers during World War I.

Before the introduction of antibiotics, silver was commonly used in hospitals and has been known and used as an antibacterial agent for over 1000 years.

In the early 1800s, doctors used silver sutures in surgical wounds with successful results.

SilverSol® was created to improve on current formulas to make them safer and more effective. Through a new manufacturing technology, patented under multiple patents, the SilverSol® technology advanced nano-silver solution has become the new standard by which all other silver products are measured. Not only is SilverSol® Technology more advanced than the original colloidal silvers, but through years of research at leading universities, SilverSol® was then put through rigorous studies and tests for efficacy and safety. The parent company has compiled thousands of pages of test work documenting many key advances. SilverSol® has been proven to be completely safe in human ingestion studies and didn’t produce any side effects or negative reactions. Nano-particle silver gel can be used on insect bites, burns, skin abrasions and other skin eruptions where the integrity of the skin has been compromised.

Echinacea purpurea

In April 2007, Juncadella and colleagues determined that Salp15, an enzyme found in the saliva of ticks, inhibited T-cell activation by interfering with the binding of CD4 receptors on T-cells and disrupting their signaling cascade. They confirmed that the Salp15-CD4 interactions caused premature activation and a defective immune response thus rendering the host’s skin based immune system less effective, which allowed the infectious agents safe passage into the host.

The root of Echinacea purpurea is also called Snakeroot and was historically used by Native Americans and later, western herbalists to manage snake, spider and other insect bites. The use of Echinacea was shared by Native American Healers with Eclectic Physicians and herbalists in early America.  Echinacea purpurea is an herb that gained greater use to counter winter season imbalances. Multiple studies have researched the herb’s positive effects on humans. Published in the journal of International Immunopharmacology, March 2014 and posted on the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) website, Echinacea purpurea, in an extract of ethanol (grain alcohol) and water, had moderate effect on up-regulating T-cells, the very types of cells that are inhibited by the Tick’s saliva.

Homeopathic Ledum 30C

The underlying premise of homeopathy was used as far back as 3,500 years ago in India. It was called “visa chikitsa”and is discussed in the book “Discourses on Mahabharata” and in the chapter entitled “Medical Practices of the Age” by P.R. Sakar (English edition 1981, Ananda Press, Calcutta India). Hippocrates also used a system so close to Homeopathy and what is now known as the Law of Similars that it is difficult to assign the complete origination of Homeopathy to Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who is credited for creating Homeopathy and the first modern text on this medical theory entitled The Organon of Rational Medicine. Our current vaccines are based on a very similar premise of using a very small amount of the disease agent, which has been inactivated, to inform our immune system to recognize and mobilize against the foreign invader before we develop a debilitating or life threating illness from that disease.

A homeopathic has to go through a rigorous testing period on humans called a “proving” in order to be accepted as a remedy. Suffice it to say, homeopathy is used successfully and extensively throughout Europe, India, Asia, South America, Australia and Canada.

Because Homeopathy is gentle and strives to “first do no harm”, using a proper remedy will not upset the body unnecessarily and yet offer an appropriate approach to a tick, spider or insect bite. Ledum 30C is used for the bites of spiders and insects and the homeopathic in the Tick Bite Rescue kit is lactose free and the first certified organic homeopathic in the market today. Since we often have no idea how long the tick has been attached and how long our exposure time has been, I wanted my kit to have a gentle but effective systemic immune support ingredient in addition to the Echinacea, for local bite immune support, in case the tick has been attached for longer than a couple of hours.

Activated charcoal patch

Activated charcoal is one of the substances in the so-called Bremen List, a list compiled by the poison control center in northern Germany of five antidotes that emergency rescue service workers should always have at hand. Activated charcoal was given in cases of poisoning in childhood and was registered for such in the USA in 2013. In that year, it was recommended for over 50,000 patients across all age groups. Activated charcoal is used as an “adsorbent” (not to be confused with an “absorbent”). An “adsorbent” binds atoms, ions, or molecules to its surface. The application of activated charcoal plays a major role in both primary and secondary detoxification of the tick bite site. In the event that there is any part of the tick or its saliva that wasn’t removed or neutralized by the other remedies in the kit, the application of the activated charcoal patch is meant to be the final, thorough management of any tick bite.

The patch is made of bamboo and is completely biodegradable. It is conveniently equipped with infused activated charcoal that sits on the skin. If you had to dig out the tick or if you didn’t use the magnifying glass and aren’t sure if everything has been cleared, then using the patch to support normal detoxification is a good strategy. In my earlier kit prototypes, I had used bentonite clay, but this posed a problem since it comes as a powder and needs to be mixed in water before using. It was too messy and added too many parts to the kit. Activated charcoal is used in hospitals and in emergency situations to encourage detoxification and is an extra insurance added to the other parts of the kit.

Additional techniques to manage ticks

My immediate outdoor living area is next to a pond and is basically on a heavily wooded 3-acre piece of property.

I invest in completely natural sprays and strategies to repel ticks from my property without disturbing the pond or nature in its delicate balance. Personally, I hire the services of “oh Deer” (a company located in my area and I believe syndicated in other parts of the country) from April until October to spray a proprietary blend of essential oils that are non-toxic to aquatic and land animals and that break down easily. They have been truly amazing in reducing the tick population on my property. I have found this to be completely effective and safe for my three dogs and me.

I do not go out into nature without my Tick Bite Rescue Kit and some sort of repellant spray. My choices for repellants are natural and organic essential oils. I find these formulas very effective although none, including DEET, are 100% foolproof.

The two essential oils I use the most are lemon eucalyptus and rose geranium, both of which can be suspended in witch hazel or purified water for ease of application in a spray bottle.

There are many more options as preemptive strategies and I will write more about those in future blogs.

May you be well and may the Tick Bite Rescue™ kit protect you and your loved ones.

“Love Your Body” Guide – Valentine’s Day Edition

Social media, commercials, and the beauty industry bombard us daily with an unrealistic and often unhealthy view of what our bodies should look and feel like. We are shown photoshopped and edited versions of real women and men to shape our ideas of what beauty is. It’s time we get back to loving our amazing bodies and how they function. This Valentine’s Day, our staff at Angel Healing Group recommends celebrating your body for what it can do rather than what the media tells us we should believe beauty to be.

The statistics in our society are scary, at best. The National Organization for Women (NOW) reports that “By age thirteen, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.” In order to counteract these negative feelings and sense of body-shaming, experts suggest de-emphasizing numbers such as the ones we see on the scale or on the tags of clothing. In fact, neither weight nor Body Mass Index tells practitioners anything substantial about body composition and overall health. Instead, eating habits, activity patterns, and other self-care choices are much more important in the larger scheme of things.

While there is no magic cure to solving our society’s obsession with beauty, we can counteract some of these messages with our own challenge to you this year – “Love Your Body.” How can you do this? Here are just a few of the ways that you can begin to embrace and celebrate the way that our bodies work to keep us safe, healthy, and happy.

  • Find a holistic practitioner who can help you discover the right foods for your body. This will include a guide to wholesome foods to eat and an adequate water intake.  Avoid fad diets and how problematic these can be. At Angel Healing Group we help clients discover their constitutional body type according to Ayurveda so people can choose foods and herbs that are more appropriate for their constitution versus a “one diet for everyone.”
  • Change your mindset about your body. You are a person, not a number on a scale or a size on a tag. Your body is made up of interdependent parts. When one part is not working correctly, all parts are impacted. Therefore, if there is an imbalance in one area, it may be affecting another area. Take care of your whole body and help it function the way it was meant to.
  • Explore alternative methods to support your body. For example, our IonCleanse® Foot Soaks can help detox your body and give your organs and systems the support they need to cleanse themselves. Or consider Therapeutic Body Massage to improve: muscle tone, circulation, sleep patterns, mental clarity, mood and range of motion. For those of you struggling with long-term or chronic health challenges, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or Far Infrared Therapy may be a better fit. Our practitioners can discuss which treatment is right for you and your lifestyle or health situation.
  • Think about how you feel. For many on a better health journey, they forget to consider how they feel on a daily basis. Are aches and pains subsiding? Is there a better range of motion when doing tasks around the house? Can you enjoy your hobbies or sports? Instead of envisioning what the media has taught us about being healthy and doing activities, like going to the gym, think about how you feel on a daily basis.
  • Be mindful. When you hear yourself thinking negative things about your body, or comparing yourself to airbrushed models, remind yourself about your body’s abilities. Transform those negative thoughts into reflections of how far you have come or how good you feel after eating right, exercising, or taking part in meditation. Loving your body starts in your mind!

 

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy being with your loved ones, but don’t forget to love your body too. Nurturing the parts of your body, mind, and spirit as one can make this year a great one. If you are interested in supporting your body in order for it to work the way it was intended, contact our practitioners through the contact page on our website. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May this year be the one you learn to appreciate and love your body both inside and out.

 

The Medical Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – HBOT

What do you know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its many medical benefits? Many of us think of sci-fi movies when we think about a hyperbaric chamber, but there is so much more to this natural therapy that can greatly speed recovery and promote healing for many different medical conditions. Angel Healing Group has an onsite Hyperbaric Chamber and Oxygen Concentrator that can help with some of these medical issues in a safe and natural way. Read on to find out more about our HBOT therapy and the medical benefits it provides.

What Is HBOT?

To understand Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy it is important to understand the way it works. First, the terms may seem confusing, but they are actually describing exactly what an HBOT chamber does. “Hyper-” means increased and “-baric” means pressure. Therefore, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a special chamber where the normal 21% oxygen breathed under typical atmospheric conditions increases to 100%. This non-invasive chamber supports the entire body as it pressurizes to 100 percent oxygen – the equivalent of diving 33 to 45 feet below sea level.

What are the Benefits of Increasing Oxygen to 100%?

Oxygen is necessary for the production of cellular energy in the mitochondria of every cell in the body. By using 100% pure oxygen, the HBOT chamber has been shown to have extraordinary health benefits. When the human body takes pure oxygen into the bloodstream it dissolves at a greater rate. This means that the blood plasma becomes saturated, carrying 20 to 30 times the normal amount of oxygen to the body’s tissue. More oxygen to the tissues can speed healing and recovery time. Over time and with multiple sessions of HBOT, the increased oxygen can support the body’s natural (oxygen dependent) wound healing mechanisms, reduce inflammation in bones and tissue, and improve new blood cell formation and nerve growth. HBOT improves oxygenation and can help patients with non-healing wounds, chronic wounds, ulcers, diabetic damage to feet/lower extremities, and aid in the healing of injuries and sores due to radiation therapy for certain cancers. Research has also found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy also has medical benefits including the following:

  • Restoration of functions for patients with traumatic brain injuries
  • Decompression illness due to diving
  • Patients with rapidly spreading infections
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Thermal burns
  • Brain abscesses
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Reduction in inflammation for those with radiation injuries
  • Some positive improvements in the functioning of autistic patients such as receptive language, eye contact, cognitive awareness, and an overall improvement in functioning.  in some.

In general, HBOT can: increase oxygenation to the body’s tissues, increase blood flow and circulation, boost white blood cell counts, enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics, and reduce swelling and pain. Our trained technicians can show you exactly what the therapy entails and how you may feel during the procedure. Most of our clients report feeling extra pressure in their ears, similar to going up or down in an airplane, but that regulates after a short time. The time spent in the chamber can be a time to relax, nap or watch some television.

Are you looking to find out more about HBOT beyond what the celebrities and science fiction movies have portrayed? Talk to one of our technicians about how this therapy can benefit you. We have included resources for you to explore, but don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact page on our website.

 

 

Resources:

“Hyperbaric oxygen inhibits stimulus-induced proinflammatory cytokine synthesis by human blood-derived monocyte-macrophages.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology

The Health Benefits of HyperBaric Oxygen Therapy

Novant Health – Hyperbaric Healing