Monday 9 April 2012

World Health Day - Good health adds life to years

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO.

World Health Day is a global campaign, inviting everyone – from global leaders to the public in all countries – to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. Focusing on new and emerging health issues, World Health Day provides an opportunity to start collective action to protect people's health and well-being.

The topic of World Health Day in 2012 is Ageing and health with the theme "Good health adds life to years". The focus is how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Ageing concerns each and every one of us – whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor – no matter where we live.

Ageing and health - to which each and every one of us can relate - is the theme of this year's World Health Day. Using the slogan "Good health adds life to years", campaign activities and materials will focus on how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically and the world will soon have more older people than children. This social transformation represents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, countries may only have a single generation to prepare their health and social systems for an ageing world.

The Global brief for World Health Day 2012 takes a fresh look at health data on ageing to help us better understand the needs of older people. Sections include key points, the demographics of ageing and the epidemiology of population ageing. The document also outlines four key actions that governments and societies can take now for healthier and more active ageing.

For more information visit the World Health Organization -

Tuesday 3 April 2012

National Autism Awareness Month

Throughout April it will be National Autism Awareness Month, a chance to highlight autism, a condition which is thought to affect a staggering 1 in 110 children.

The month was first established in the 1970s to keep the public informed about autism and how to help sufferers within the community.

The easiest way to mark this special month is to wear one of the Autism Society's Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbons, showing your support.

By using websites such as facebook or twitter you can also update your status to raise awareness and spread the word.

By making a donation or volunteering to help out in your local area, you can really make a difference and shine a light on an issue which many people feel uncomfortable talking about.

Visit The National Autistic Society website to find out more information about how you can involved in National Autism Awareness Month.

There are lots of tips on how to raise money and awareness to help people with autism and aspergers, so why not get involved today and help out with a fantastic cause!

To find out how The Therapy Room can help you with Autism for example through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) please call us to book your free consultation. 01223 315400

The 6th and final Life Principle - Sleep

Sleeping Less - you're not alone

Most modern sleep experts agree that the average amount of sleep Westerners get nowadays is significantly less than it was one hundred years ago. Prior to the invention of the electric light, around 1879, we probably spent nine to twelve hours a day in bed. The exact figure would have been a little higher in the winter and a little lower in the summer. Back in those days we were still obliged to synchronize our sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythms) with the rise and fall of the sun much like we had for thousands of years. This is without considering those who have trouble getting to sleep or waking during the night.

Circadian rhythms are regular changes in mental and physical characteristics that occur in the course of a day (circadian is Latin for “around a day”). Most circadian rhythms are controlled by the body’s biological “clock.” This clock, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN, is actually a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that together contain about 20,000 neurons. The SCN rests in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, just above the point where the optic nerves cross. Light that reaches photoreceptors in the retina (a tissue at the back of the eye) creates signals that travel along the optic nerve to the SCN. This creates a release of all your awakening hormones for the day.
Signals from the SCN travel to several brain regions, including the pineal gland, which responds to light-induced signals by switching off production of the hormone melatonin. The body’s level of melatonin (and other repair and regeneration hormones) normally increases after darkness falls, making people feel drowsy. The SCN also governs functions that are synchronized with the sleep/wake cycle, including body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and changes in blood pressure.

Causes of Sleep Dysfunction:
1.  Being Overweight: This creates the rib cage and the sternum to drop, putting more weight on the lungs. This increased pressure makes one breath more often and more shallow.

2. Sleep Apnea: One of the main causes of sleep apnea is serotonin deficiency. Studies using AA tryptophan and 5HTP have shown them to be helpful. Why? First, serotonin directly affects the lungs (my assumption is that is causing more of a parasympathetic response). Second, lots of O2 is required for serotonin production, so if physical obstructions block O2 flow, serotonin production is diminished. Third, if a pre-existing low-serotonin condition caused characteristic afternoon and evening carb craving, increased weight could easily result, contributing to obstructed breathing.

3. Drinking too much caffeine during the day: Caffeine has a half life of 6 hrs. So if you drink it later than noon, it is still coursing through your blood at 6pm.

4. Bright lights at night: TV, computer, etc all create a flickering light. This stimulates your body to release awakening hormones, secondary to the light. This can create difficulty falling asleep. As well, most people watch the news at night, which can be quite stressful.

5. Hormonal Imbalances: If you have adrenal gland problems, in the beginning stages you will be releasing more cortisol later in the day (when it should be going down). This will create disturbed sleep.

6. Sugar: Sugar inhibits your immune system, is a large stress to the body (which in turn makes the body release cortisol, which keeps you awake) as well as creates a roller coaster ride of insulin dips and spikes during the day. This can create highs and lows, which create highs and lows at night.

7. Dehydration: The first place the body steals water from when you are dehydrated is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and colon. If the central nervous system looses water, one might feel anxious and wired.

8. Overthinking and worrying: For one, you are what you think! So if you can’t shut your mind off at night and it is still working, well the body will not shut off as well. Overthinking is typically a sign of not staying present with oneself and always focusing on the what was and what could be. Stillness is created with being present.

1. Consult a nutrition and lifestyle coach, to help customise your diet and make the lifestyle changes you need.

2. Low serotonin, food allergies, being overweight, low/high cortisol and low progesterone have been shown to create sleep apnea. We recommend getting some Functional Lab testing done at The Therapy Room Cambridge.

3. Drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning with no sugar or sweetener. Do not drink any caffeine after 12 noon.

4. Eliminate bright lights one hour prior to bed.

5. Learn adaptive stress techniques (Qi gong, Tai Chi, etc) that you can adapt into your life, take time out during the day for you, start picking up some hobbies and remember time is something we create so we think we are in control! You could also consult with our mind body specialist at The TherapyRoom Cambridge

6. Eliminate all sugar!

7. Work up to drinking 0.033% of your weight in kgs  in litres of water per day.

8. Using essential oils at night (lavender), drinking tea at night (Lian Zi Xin) or taking the neurotransmitter GABA Calm with help reduce anxiety and overthinking. You could also consult with a homeopath, kinesiologist or our integrated health consultant, all available at The Therapy Room Cambridge.