Vida Lotus Changed My Life

Marilyn now migraine free thanks for Vida Lotus

Marilyn Baruco’s Testimonial of Healing Migraines, Insomnia and Depression

Before Vida Lotus

The following videos are of Marilyn speaking in Spanish, but the full text has been translated and is given below.

“Before coming to Vida Lotus, I had many headaches, migraines, a bit of depression. Emotionally I was disoriented, unable to concentrate due to insomnia. I stayed awake for a long time… 24 hours … I couldn’t sleep. My diet was very, very bad. I had very much stress. I felt tired before coming to Vida Lotus. ”
(more…)

Headache and Migraines up 193% due to Economic Recession

According to a study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine(1), headache symptoms, including migraines, were up 193 percent between 2009 and 2011. The study, conducted by Benjamin M. Althouse and others, compared the number of Google searches done pre- and post-recession and found an increase of 1.52 million queries for headache-related terms at the end of the recession, compared with the beginning. The number of queries had declined steadily in the three years prior to the recession (2006-2009).

Using Google searches to estimate the total number of headache and migraine sufferers is not an ideal method, as there is no guarantee that every headache and migraine sufferer will check with Google. But headaches and migraines are conditions that are both under-diagnosed by doctors, as many patients self-medicate with over-the-counter medications or simply wait for the symptoms to pass. Patients may neglect to mention these symptoms during a later visit to the doctor when the patient is feeling better. Considering this, the Google trend does seem to give a valuable insight into the overall trend. Plus, Google search results are much more readily available and less expensive to analyse than the old methods of conducting surveys and counting visits to hospitals and clinics.

As you can see from the graphs below, the trend for both headache symptoms including migraine (bottom graph) and ulcer symptoms (top graph) shows a clear and dramatic increase during the years hardest hit by the recession.

Headache Migraine and Ulcer Trend 2006-2011
Headache/Migraine and Ulcer Trend 2006-2011

Althouse and his colleagues looked at the searches related to 383 medical conditions. The report, which was blocked from publication until just this month, gives greater details on the 100 conditions that increased most substantially during the recession. Ulcers and headaches were the two conditions with the greatest increase, 228% and 193% respectively.

How is (Economic) Stress Related to Headaches and Migraines

Money certainly doesn’t buy happiness or health. Some folks live in abject poverty and manage to sidestep ulcers and headaches, while many of the world’s wealthiest indeed suffer both of these conditions regularly.

But for some people, economic stress seems to put them on a downward spiral that starts with negative emotions, followed by declining lifestyle habits (especially diet and exercise). Dr. John W. Ayers, a research professor at San Diego State University, said “by the end of the great recession in 2011, queries were still substantially higher than before the recession… People were not getting better with the economy. People were potentially much sicker.” (2) If lack of money could directly cause ulcers, headaches and migraines, then these conditions should have improved notably at the end of the great recession. This study clearly shows that economic stress is but one contributor to these and many other conditions.

Health problems most often result from an accumulation of stress and toxins.  If you have lived in a toxic environment, or have eaten a toxic diet for a number of years, then you can expect that you have accumulated toxins in your body. Moving to a less toxic area and choosing less toxic food will certainly help you avoid worsening the accumulation, but this will not necessarily mean that the prior accumulation will disappear.

Similarly, stressful situations such as an economic recession may elicit an unhealthy physical/mental response in some people, leading to accumulated physical/mental tension. When the stressful situation passes, this does not automatically mean that the accumulated tension will dissipate. Unless one takes a specific action to eliminate the accumulated toxins and physical/mental tension, then the symptoms are likely to persist beyond the removal of the external causal factor.

How to Stay Healthy and Avoid Headaches and Migraines, Even During Stressful Times

My wellness-generating Lotus Lifestyle contains all of the essential lifestyle elements for getting and staying healthy. The 9-point system includes a proper diet, the right kind of exercise, and seven other key points. Following my system costs nothing, and will give you the best chance at eliminating and avoiding stress-and-lifestyle-related symptoms.

It is certainly wise to avoid whichever toxins and stressful situations that we reasonably can. But we must recognise that some toxins and some stressful situations are impossible to avoid, therefore we must adopt a healthy attitude and select a healthful response to such situations.

Whenever there is an uncomfortable situation, such as getting robbed, yelled at, accused, attacked, or when dealing with economic problems such as filing taxes, paying bills or getting fired, it is easy to become so absorbed in emotion that one fails to observe the physical consequence: often a tightening of certain muscles and of the myofascial tissues. Over time, our bodies adjust (unhealthily) to the repetitive stress. This results in a cumulative loss of “wiggliness”, which upsets the normal energy flow that is required to keep all of our systems functioning healthfully.

The healthy response to stressful situations is to continue observing one’s inner (physical/mental) state while also taking care of the external situation. If one is forced to react to the external situation immediately, as in the life-threatening situation of being attacked, then  look inside as soon as the danger passes. When we look “inside” we can often notice that our heart rate has increased, our breath has become more shallow and some muscles have become tighter. We should remind ourselves to breathe deeply and slowly, and this will directly cause a normalisation of the heart rate and will leave us feeling much better overall. The tightening of the muscles must also be released, since tight muscles leads to a lack of wiggliness. And when we lose our wiggliness, conditions like headaches and anxiety “suddenly” appear.

If the anxious person fails to take the appropriate steps of breathing deeply and getting wiggly, he may instead seek instant gratification  with a mad dash to the fridge or an urgent stop at a fast food restaurant for some . The anxious person is not thinking about long term health, which would involve selecting proper foods and lovingly preparing them without adding harmful chemicals. The anxious person is looking to stuff his face and his belly right this moment to divert his attention from the anxiety itself or from the stressful situation he is facing.

Sadly, it seems the world fully caters to the anxious customer… 24-hour drive-throughs and supermarkets provide so many choices,  almost none of which are free of toxins, and almost all of which cause acidity. Stomach acidity directly causes ulcers and indirectly leads to a host of other physical and mental symptoms including anxiety and headaches.

Eating healthy food is the best way to avoid ingesting harmful chemicals. But even if you select the very healthiest option, an organic raw vegan diet (recipes here),  that doesn’t mean that you will never take in any toxin. There are plenty of toxins that will find their way into your body without your having eaten them, such as from the air that we breathe. So we still need to consider a regular detox regimen such as the daily use of a sauna, or perhaps a yearly (supervised) water fast.

References

  1. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Benjamin M. Althouse et al. 2014. View report.
  2. New York Times. January 8, 2014. Hard Times and Headaches. Nicholas Bakalar.

Information on Migraines and Headaches

Nearly everyone experiences at least an occasional headache, while around 15% of people suffer its most painful and debilitating form, the migraine. My protocol addresses the underlying cause of these conditions, which produces long-lasting results while other practitioners rely on techniques that at best mask the symptoms and sometimes contribute to a progressive worsening of the disease.

Jump to…

A headache is like an alarm that begs for a specific action. The alarm should persist, at least intermittently, until the original cause for the alarm has been solved. Failing to address the real cause of these conditions, the noise continues. Lacking a viable method of achieving true peace, some simply ignore the noise, while others  hide from it with prescription or illicit drugs. The American Migraine Foundation states that “there is no cure for migraines” and that “Current Migraine Treatments are Inadequate”. I agree with them regarding the current popular treatments, but I expect they may change their opinion once they learn about the system that I have created.

 

A Description of Migraines

From the New England Journal of Medicine: There are two main types of migraine. Both types of migraine typically affect patients for the major part of their lives, at considerable socioeconomic and personal expense. (1) The first, migraine without aura (previously called common migraine), is characterized by headache attacks lasting 4 to 72 hours. The headache is usually severe, unilateral, pulsating, aggravated by physical activity, and accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia (hypersensitivity to light), and phonophobia (hypersensitivity to sound). (1) In the second type, migraine with aura (previously called classic migraine), the attacks are initiated by neurologic symptoms called aura (visual, sensory, speech, or motor symptoms). Otherwise, the attacks are the same as those in migraine without aura. (1)

 

Migraine Statistics

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, six percent of the population have migraine without aura during a one-year period, and 9 percent have it at some time in their lives. The corresponding figures for migraine with aura are 4 percent and 6 percent. The male:female ratio for both types of migraine is approximately 1:3. (1) The World Health Organization lists Migraines as one of the 20 most disabling medical illnesses in its Global Burden of Disease Study (updated in 2004), because the average migraine sufferer loses 1.3% of their years due to disability (YLD). 1.3% may sound like a small number, but it translates to 114 hours per year or 8,550 excruciating hours or nearly one full year of intense pain over a 75-year lifespan. The WHO also states that in terms of its disabling effect, migraines compare with dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis. The Migraine Trust, a charitable health and medical research center for migraines estimates that there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the United Kingdom alone.

 

Barriers to effective care

(From the World Health Organization) Lack of knowledge among health-care providers is the principal clinical barrier. Worldwide, on average only four hours of undergraduate medical education are dedicated to instruction on headache disorders. The minority of individuals with headache disorders worldwide are professionally diagnosed; 40% for those with migraine and TTH, while for MOH it is only 10%. Poor awareness extends to the general public. Headache disorders are not perceived by the public as serious since they are mostly episodic, do not cause death, and are not contagious. The low consultation rates in developed countries may indicate that many sufferers are unaware that effective treatments exist. 50% of people with headache are estimated to be self-treating. Many governments, seeking to constrain health-care costs, do not acknowledge the substantial burden of headache on society. They might not recognize that the direct costs of treating headache are small in comparison with the huge indirect-cost savings that might be made (eg, by reducing lost working days) if resources were allocated to treat headache disorders appropriately.

 

The High Cost of Migraines

According to new data presented at the 48th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society, migraine headaches cost American employers more than $24 billion a year in direct and indirect healthcare costs. Source: PR Newswire

 

Conventional Migraine Treatments

Conventional medicine recommends the use of pain medication to hide the most troublesome symptoms. Avoidance of triggers is not itself a treatment but doctors frequently recommend this as a prophylactic or preventative technique. Doctors also sometimes prescribe medications as an additional prophylactic.

 

Alternative Migraine Treatments

Popular alternative remedies include acupuncture, chiropractic and massage treatments. From Wikipedia: While acupuncture is effective “true” acupuncture is not more efficient than sham acupuncture, with both appearing more effective than routine care, with fewer adverse effects than prophylactic drug treatment. Chiropractic manipulation, physiotherapy, massage and relaxation might be as effective as propranolol or topiramate in the prevention of migraine headaches…There is some tentative evidence of benefit for magnesium, coenzyme Q(10), riboflavin, vitamin B(12), and feverfew… Of the alternative medicines, Petasites hybridus (butterbur) has the best evidence for migraine prevention.

 

Common Migraine Triggers

Many people find that their migraine begins soon after consuming a particular food, or in the presence of a particular environmental factor. Author Alexander Mauskop lists these common triggers as: cheese, bacon, nuts, avocados, chocolate, yeast, spices, hot dogs, corn, anything fermemented, red wine, beer, beverages containing caffeine, skipping meals, stress, fatigue, bright lights, strong odors, certain medications, perfumes and other odors, air pollution, hormonal changes, the weather, seasonal changes and altitude.

 

The Problem with Avoiding Migraine Triggers

While some of these items should rightfully be avoided anyway, others, such as avocados, spices, the weather and seasonal changes are healthy, enjoyable parts of living well. Avocados provide some of the healthiest fat on Earth. As for spices… surely migraine sufferers shouldn’t be expected to avoid all 350+ common spices, many of which provide important nutrients and are indispensable in preventing many diseases. Those living high in the mountains could certainly move their household to a lower city, but with a considerable expense and inconvenience. And just how would you go about avoiding the weather. Either you must stay indoors forever, or perhaps move to San Diego, Malta or Colombia. You may indeed get some more enjoyment out of life by selecting one of these places to live, but this certainly cannot be an acceptable recommendation for avoiding migraines.

Avoid These Migraine-Causing Chemicals

I strongly suggest avoiding all of the following chemicals, even if you do not suffer from migraines. These chemicals are linked with migraines and a host of other serious physical and mental conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to cancer to epileptic seizures and more. Aspartame, a popular sweetener found in many packaged foods labelled “sugar free”, is linked to migraines and many other conditions. The journal Pediatric Neurology recently published a study on teens that frequently chew gum (most of which contains the chemical Aspartame). Of the thirty patients studied, 26 reported significant improvement and 19 reported a complete improvement after discontinuing the habit of gum-chewing. All twenty patients that resumed the habit experienced headache or migraine within days. Bisphenol A (BPA), which mimics oestrogen, frequently leaches into food and beverages from its plastic container. A recent study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences provides more proof that BPA causes migraines. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an excitatory neurotoxin (or excitotoxin) that is commonly added to packaged foods and even restaurant foods (particularly Chinese restaurant food) to enhance the neurologic perception of the food’s taste. In other words, the food does not actually taste better, but the brain is tricked into perceiving a better taste. The brain cells that are excited by MSG then die, so the enhanced pleasure comes at a great cost.   A 2010 study from the University of Oxford found that a gene called TRESK was implicated in some migraine patients. The researchers found that if the TRESK gene malfunctions, other factors (such as MSG) can more easily trigger a migraine.

 

Migraine Medications

Web-md.com lists 91 pharmaceutical medications for temporary migraine relief. Some doctors prescribe one or more of these medications for acute migraine attacks and others also prescribe medication as a prophylactic, that is, to prevent future migraines. Prophylactic treatments are considered effective if they cut down the severity or frequency of the migraine attacks by half or more.

 

Medication-Overuse Headaches (MOH)

A common side effect of migraine medicines is that they actually cause  migraines.(2) Sometimes this side effect does not appear the first few times a new medication is taken, suggesting that the medication accumulates in the body, worsening the condition over time. This is called Medication-overuse Headaches (MOH). This study, sponsored by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline examined Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Alone or With a Triptan and Reports of Transition From Episodic to Chronic Migraine. The study was completed in 2011 but the results were never published. Dare I guess the reason that the results remain hidden? The most likely answer is that the results of the study were not particularly flattering to the drug giant.

 

Other Common Side Effects of Popular Migraine Medications

Other side effects of popular migraine medications include an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and bleeding, sometimes-fatal hepatic (liver) problems, renal (kidney) problems, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea and mental health problems including depression, anxiety, irritability, and psychotic reactions, and sleep disturbances such as insomnia and nightmares. Some migraine medications cause weight gain and hair loss. Using Botox as a migraine treatment can cause headaches, bruising and pain at the injections sites, drooping eyelid, muscle pain and stiffness, and the inability to raise the eyebrows for the 3 months the Botox is in effect.

My Quest for the Migraine Cure

I began searching for an effective treatment for migraine at a very young age, to provide relief for two family members. Initially I looked at massage and myotherapy, without finding immediate success in either of these methods. I began reading about reflexology, acupuncture, chiropractic and other physical manipulation techniques. Each of these methods has been successful for some patients but not for the majority. I read up on homeopathy, naturopathy, and nutrition. These last two seemed to offer a real solution that would require patience and dedication on the part of the sufferer to produce results. I have incorporated this knowledge into my protocol, but I still needed to develop a method to provide immediate relief for those experiencing an acute migraine attack, and a system that could pre-empt future migraine attacks for at least the length of time needed to implement the naturalistic nutrition and lifestyle plans. I continued reading and experimenting for many years.

My Key Discovery: Wiggliness is Wellness!

By experimenting on more than a thousand volunteers I discovered that those suffering with migraines (and other serious health conditions) were less wiggly than healthier volunteers. I began to associate wiggliness with wellness. I noticed that wiggliness was not directly associated with any other physical attribute such as flexibility, body constitution/shape or overall fitness level. I began to focus more and more on wiggliness. Babies are the wiggliest humans and tend to be healthy. The elderly are the least wiggly and tend to suffer many chronic health conditions. There are other factors at play besides wiggliness, of course, but I was nonetheless interested to find a method for restoring wiggliness. I eventually developed a method that works, and the results have been called “miraculous” by those that experienced immediate and lasting relief from my system, when countless other systems had previously failed.

Read part 2 of this article: My Protocol for Rapid Migraine Relief.

 

References

  1. Understanding the Biologic Basis of Migraine: Jes Olesen, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, December 22, 1994
  2. Too frequent use of painkillers can cause rather than cure headaches: Hawkes N. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991196 British Medical Journal. September 18, 2012
  3. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs Alone or With a Triptan and Reports of Transition From Episodic to Chronic Migraine (study completed but results never published) ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01435941
  4. The Influence of Excessive Chewing Gum Use on Headache Frequency and Severity Among Adolescents, Pediatric Neurology, Nov 1, 2013

  5. Migraine Headaches, Journal of American Medical Association, June 24, 2009, Vol 301, No. 24
  6. Excitotoxins in Foods, Neurotoxicology. 1994 Fall;15(3):535-44.
  7. The American Migraine Foundation
  8. PR Newswire American Headache Society
  9. World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease Study
  10. The Migraine Trust