Allergies

The Vagus Nerve – the self-help key to beating stress

The Vagus nerve is one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Unlike almost all our other nerves that emerge from the spine (hence chiropractic's fascination for spinal manipulation), cranial nerves emerge directly out of the brain to travel to their target tissues. The job of cranial nerves is usually of critical importance to survival. In the case of the Vagus Nerve, we have our primary mechanism for dealing with stress and its long term destructive effects.

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Methylation and Histamine sensitivity

Do you have a sensitivity to pollen in the air at various times of the year? How about skin reactions to certain foods or things you touch that can respond to claritine or other antihistamine medications?  Watery eyes, runny nose or post nasal drip? Do you have a weak stomach? Maybe a history of panic attacks, depression or mental fatigue? If so, you might have a sensitivity to (or build up of) Histamine - a chemical naturally produced by the body, and consumed in foods. The problem is often a genetic limitation in processing and excreting histamine from the body, which is often linked to a process called under methylation. Undermethylation and its many consequences can cause a wide variety of symptoms in different people.

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Amine Sensitivity

Amines are naturally occurring chemicals caused by the breakdown of proteins especially in meats, fish and dairy, as well as in the fermentation of other foods such as vegetables, wines, beers, ciders, vinegars, and soy sauces. They are highest in concentration in the aging and curing of meats such as in salamis, prosciuttos, hams, etc.; when meats are cooked or grilled and in the production of cheeses. Amines enhance the flavour of food - think of the difference in flavour between a raw steak and a grilled one.  Proteins are necessary for survival, so the best way to ensure a minimal input of amines is to eat meats and other amine containing foods in their freshest possible state, as aging (such as with beef and pork packaging in supermarkets) will cause increased amine production even if the food hasn't "gone off". It has been noted that even freezing wont stop amine production, so the rule of strictly fresh is best to follow.

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Retained Neonatal Reflexes

NEONATAL REFLEXES Infants are born with a strongly developed set of reflexes called neonatal or primitive reflexes. Experts believe that the purpose of these reflexes is survival based. Examples of these  include: The suckling reflex- where stimulating the lips or side of the mouth causes the baby to turn toward the stimulus and begin a suckling action The palmar grip reflex - where lightly stroking the palm, or placing a finger in the hand of the infant causes them to close it and grip strongly The Moro reflex - where a sudden backwards tilt causes the infant to throw their arms and legs outward Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex- when the baby is on its back, turning its head to the left causes the left arm to straighten and the right arm to bend (& vice versa) Galant Reflex - stroking along the spine causes a twitch in the back muscles on the same side Around six months of age, many of the reflexes begin to wane (or integrate) and are slowly replaced by postural reflexes, whose purpose is to allow independent movement of limbs from head movement; manipulation of objects by hand, to sit up, crawl and eventually balance on two legs and walk. The chart below (courtesy of Inspiral Paediatric seminars) shows a timeline of the transition from primitive reflexes to postural reflexes.  

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