Parkinson’s Disease By Niki Medlock James Parkinson was the first person to systematically describe six individuals with symptoms of the disease that bears his name in a document called “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” published in 1817. Almost 200 years later, even with many new discoveries about the biology of the disease, diagnosis still depends on the core features described by James Parkinson – tremor, slowness, stiffness and problems with balance and walking. Certain nerve cells in the brain produce Dopamine - a chemical neurotransmitter allowing communication between the parts of the brain controlling smooth, balanced muscle movement. Progressive impairment or deterioration of these cells, with resultant decreasing of Dopamine levels, causes abnormal nerve function with loss of controlled body movements. Research shows that genetics sometimes play a role in this cellular breakdown, but so far there is not enough proof to show that it is inherited. In rare instances, the cause can be viral or through exposure to environmental toxins (pesticides/carbon dioxide) but, in the large majority of cases, the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown. There are no lab or blood tests to diagnose Parkinson’s and your doctor needs to take a careful medical history and do a full physical examination to come to any diagnosis, as although parkinsonism (a general term used to refer to a set of symptoms) is commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease it can also stem from other causes such as stroke, brain tumour, adverse reaction to prescription or illegal drugs and these need to be ruled out before a final diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can be made. NEXT MONTH: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment. Niki Medlock is head nurse at www.luzdoc.com
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Reflexology for Pain Relief By Kathy McLauchlan All of us experience pain at times and appreciate the feeling of relief when it passes. Transitory pain, whilst unpleasant, can make us grateful for our generally pain free life. People who suffer from chronic pain (that lasts over months) have a difficult path. Chronic pain can impair many aspects of life including attention control, problem solving, mental agility and memory. It can also be associated with emotional imbalance including anxiety, anger and even depression. Living with pain, makes it more difficult to enjoy and take pleasure. At Madrugada we investigate different ways to ease and manage pain, and to support patients through their conventional healthcare. We have found that Reflexology has an amazing ability to induce a state of deep relaxation. It is claimed that reflexology helps to restore balance and maintain homeostasis. Once a state of deep relaxation is achieved, the body’s own healing abilities start to take over. Clients frequently report improved sleep and experience beneficial effects from the treatment. Although, it is not known as yet from a scientific perspective, how reflexology works, its benefits are becoming increasingly recognized by the NHS and the use of Reflexology is becoming further integrated into clinical practice in the UK. Nurses are also opting for training in reflexology to use as part of their toolkit. Reflexology is
increasingly available in hospices and day centres across the UK where patients are referred by the clinical team. At Madrugada we understand that Reflexology is also an art where sensitivity, care and a gentle approach to mind, body and spirit are fundamental. When you come for a reflexology session at our centre in Praia da Luz - whether you are a patient or carer - we ask you to provide details regarding your health. Then you will be asked to lie down, fully clothed but with bare feet. After cleaning your feet, the reflexologist lightly massages your feet before working on one foot at a time. The treatment lasts approximately an hour. There is no charge for this treatment for patients or their carers, but for those who have the ability, we suggest a small donation to cover basic costs. Call Kathy at the Madrugada Centre on: 282 761 375 or e-mail: email@example.com Madrugada is a charity that helps people (and their families) who are living and coping with serious illness in the Algarve. www.madrugada-portugal.com
Ulcers, gastric problems and the ‘super’ vegetable By Meri Hanlin Ulcers are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter Pylori, which is present in two thirds of the world population. H.Pylori is the only known bacteria able to survive in the highly acidic environment of the stomach. “Brassicare” is an extract naturally found in fresh broccoli. The effect of “Brassicare” has been proven to be an effective anti-bacterial agent for H.Pylori and can help prevent and cure stomach ulcers and other gut problems caused by this tough bacterium. The current path used by most doctors to “treat” this bacterium is by using antibiotics but it has been pretty well proven that this H.Pylori is resistant to any antibiotic on the market. So that route will not destroy the H.Pylori but also upset the already delicate balance
of friendly flora in the gut...making the situation worse! “Brassicare” also has proven anti-oxidant properties which act as a booster of the Pantone 2748 detoxifying system (particularly the liver!). This helps the body counter the negative effects of modern life: increased stress, unbalanced diet, alcohol consumption, etc. There is only one capsule taken daily and one mont’s supply is, in the vast majority of cases, enough to wipe out this nasty bacterium, which can make so many people feel miserable. And to think it comes from something as basic as broccoli!! Simple... always best! If you want to have a chat with Meri, please pop in to Harmony Earth in Luz.