CANNABIS/CBD THE LATEST BUZZ WORD IN HEALTH AND IN FOOD…

 

According to Food Dive, both consumers and manufacturers have been buzzing about including cannabis in food and beverage in the last several years. And with President Trump’s signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, items made from the plants known for their psychoactive and relaxation qualities are getting closer to being a part of everyday grocery carts.

Under the Farm Bill, cultivation of hemp — a plant in the cannabis family — becomes legal. And derivatives from hemp — including the cannabinoid CBD, which is known as an aid for relaxation, anxiety and pain — are no longer considered Schedule I narcotics.

Whatever seems to happen in the USA, Great Britain seems to catch up in the end. On a daily basis now I seem to get in the region of around 20-30 emails promoting CBD and its benefits for health. I’ve been approached by a number of companies asking me if I would be willing to try a course of CBD and then review it. But, I guess I am still old school and I just don’t feel comfortable about trying something I have always been told is illegal in this country.

The Guardian Newspaper only wrote an article in July saying ‘Don’t fall out for the CBD scam’, so where do you really start with this drug? They say that ‘Sellers in the UK are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements. In this, they are supported by breathless, uncritical media reports on CBD use for airily unspecified “wellbeing” purposes.

Britain is poorly prepared for the wide-ranging changes to cannabis law that are flowering worldwide. British hemp farmers face serious commercial disadvantage as CBD may be legally extracted only from the stem and leaves of hemp crops, not from the flower, where the cannabinoids are produced in the greatest profusion. Most CBD is therefore imported: a wasted opportunity to create and control – and tax – a new industry.

What is clear is that legal reform on cannabis, while welcome, is not moving anywhere near quickly enough to benefit millions of patients.

The CBD market urgently needs proper regulation and more broadly, both the THC and CBD sectors demand the creation of a new medical model that accommodates the complexity of a plant that has been used as a medicine by humans for thousands of years.

 Mike Power is a freelance journalist specialising in drugs, science and technology

I guess it’s like many other pain relief medications it’s a case of watch and wait and see what happens in the not too distant future.

 

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HOW TO BE INSPIRED TO WRITE A BOOK…

One of my lovely blog friends (Deacongill Gods School) wrote a post recently about her daughter who had written a book and got it published. Convinced it would never get published her daughter was in total shock when she realised she also had to talk about her book at a book launch attended by over 100 people.

This young lady ( according to her Mum) is an introvert who has been very honest in her book about how her own failures and questions her book ‘on failure’. In the details on her book she asks ‘Does failure, or feelings of failure, affect you to the point where you find it hard to move on? Do you avoid situations where you might fail or find it difficult to confront failure? Caris Grimes takes a frank, no-nonsense look at different aspects of failure and what we can learn from them….

I am sure there are many other people will relate to what Chris means about failure but this book would inspire anyone to put pen to paper and give it a go. Caris’s book in her own words ‘is a book on failure’ but I think the word ‘failure’ is used far too much nowadays putting pressure on anyone who maybe feeling that way.

I have to admit I always felt a bit of a ‘failure’ when I was young, not very good academic wise leaving school with just two ‘o’levels and not in the least bit sporty. I really didn’t know where I would go when I left school. Straight to secretarial school was where myself and my parents decided and that’s where I began to flourish.

We are far to quick to pull people down rather than praise them and I just want to say congratulations to Caris Grimes on writing, finishing and getting her book published and to my blog friend Gill, who I am sure is one very proud Mum.

You can get Caris Grimes book Failing Intelligently Facing and Learning from the Impact of Failure from WH Smith, Amazon and other good bookshops.

NEW REMOTE CONTROL ZAPPER FOR BACK PAIN…

A new type of remote control ‘pacemaker’ for back pain is being trialled in the UK. The matchbox-sized device sends electrical pulses to muscles around the spine to strengthen them. The idea according to The Daily Mail Health is that stronger muscles take the strain off the damaged spine and thus reduce pain.

Six out of ten patients responded to treatment and now, around 100 are taking part in a new, larger clinical trial in the UK and elsewhere. They say that there is more evidence that muscles play a major role in low back pain and one of the theories is that the brain tries to limit painful movement by reducing or blocking the nerve signals that activate muscles. This then aggravates the initial problem and the muscles become fragile from not being used and then cannot properly support the spine.

This new device is a less invasive surgical option for low back pain and is designed to replace the nerve signals blocked by the brain and stimulate the muscles to keep them strong. It consists of a battery and tiny electrodes and is implanted in the back just under the skin above the waistline, in an hour-long operation which is done under general anaesthetic.

The electrodes are attached to the dorsal nerves in the spinal cord that supply the muscles. Patients then use a remote control to activate the stimulation for 30 minutes a day. As the muscles around the spine are strengthened over time, the brain senses reactivation and again starts firing the nerve signals that activate the muscles and further stabilise the spine.

Recent results from earlier trials involving 53 patients showed that the device can be very effective. Improvements were seen in around 60 per cent and quality of life improved in 80 per cent. It’s certainly something I am personally going to keep my eye on for the future.

 

THE EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN OF MOVING HOMES…

As I am sure most of my readers know I have been in the process for the last seven months of moving from my home of 33 years in Nottinghamshire to the sunny West Sussex countryside.

After caring for my father last year for three months while he was in hospital I had made a conscious decision that I would like to move nearer to my children to avoid the stress, pain and emotional upset of looking after me when I am older.

Dad was a sprightly 93 years young with an active brain but being in the hospital for three months changed all that which meant we could not leave him on his own at all. He was far too fragile and had good and bad days. I just knew that I would never like to my children through what I had just gone through. With both my married siblings living down south the decision was made that we would downsize and move to Sussex.

I am now 15 minutes from my daughter and 50 minutes from my son. Quite a difference from the four hours it used to take to come over to see them.

My Dad was a hoarder of papers and had bank statements going back years and years ago. In fact, we used an industrial shredder to get rid of 10 bags of paperwork of his but what surprised me was that we had about 8 bags of it and I’ve been using online facilities for years. I had to make some firm decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. After all, those school reports you keep as you are so proud of them don’t deserve to be shredded up but neither of the children wanted them so I simply kept the best of the bunch and took some pictures of others.

 

After living in our old house for 33 years it was no wonder that we had accumulated a substantial about of ‘stuff’, and it took us a good and I mean a good 3 months to slowly go through all the personal stuff and that was before we started on the furniture and ornaments collected throughout the years but we were downsizing so a lot had to go.

I must admit it was quite therapeutic going through everything and my old house seemed to look so much bigger without so much ‘junk’, and I kept telling myself that when I moved I would NOT collect the same again.

The last few weeks of the move were the most stressful with contracts not exchanged at the last minute and nearly becoming homeless, but that stressful few week was worth it all. We are now in our much ‘tinier’ but lovely home with some lovely views from upstairs windows over the South Downs.

The only way I could get through all the unpacking (as the removal guys did the packing) was by trying to pace myself but you cannot help but get a bit carried away with it all and want to get straight as quickly as possible. But my body started to slow down once the adrenalin stopped and I slowly started going back onto my Tramadol again.

I decided I needed to get myself registered with a local doctor down here as it will take a couple of months to get me into the system for my injections which are due at the end of August. I felt so organised before we moved and I know I was running entirely on adrenalin but the holiday period of this move has now gone and life has to get back to normality again soon.

TOP PICKS ON THE BEST WAYS AND PRODUCTS TO KEEP PAIN AT BAY WHILE TRAVELLING…

Over the years I have tried many different products to ease the pain while travelling. I have NEVER let my pain stop me from going to places, I have just tried to find the best products to help me along the way.

 

All the planning for your holiday fun are ready but I bet the last person you have thought about was yourself.  We are busy planning fun for the children and visit’s to different places instead of thinking about ourselves.

My top pick on the best ways and products to keep your pain at bay while travelling are –

The easy way to avoid a flare-up is to plan ahead. Walk the event through your head. How long will you be in the car? if it’s going to be a long haul journey make sure you have your coccyx wedge cushion with you. They are not just for sciatica pain but is great for low back and fibromyalgia pain.  It’s easily portable so think about what you will be sitting on when you arrive at your destination.

Magnetic back support belts are great for back pain but can also help avoid back pain by wearing them when you travel. They are self-heating and you really can feel the heat coming through after they have been on you for only a short time.

Think about what the temperature is going to be like where you are going to. Pack your pain relief cushions which are great hot or cold for neck pain or any other body pain and can come in handy if someone else in the family has some pain. This company do a number of different shapes and sizes.

Buy yourself a 14-day pill organiser as it’s easy to forget when you last had your medication while away from your usual environment. Pack a second lot of pills and pop in another suitcase in case the original got lost during the flight ( this has happened to me). I love this colourful one by BOENFU, the colours brighten your day rather than looking unappealing.

 Finally, don’t forget to pack your walking stick as you will, without doubt, be walking on completely different terrine to what you are used to at home and that can soon trigger off low back pain. Folding walking sticks are cheap enough to buy nowadays and there are also some pretty and floral ones around.  I learnt very quickly to make sure I had a spare in the boot of the car or in my suitcase in case I lost my original one en route.

I found this very interesting pin on Pinterest from The Viking Abroad blog who has written down her tips on how to travel with Fibromyalgia.

The writer Vibeke who is a travel writer and photographer is also a Fibromyalgia sufferer and so has to plan carefully for her trips around the world.

She comments that good shoes are the key which of course is essential. The latest ones that I have seen which are ideal for travel are Joya shoes. The positive effect of a soft, springy surface on the locomotive system has been put to good use by a physiotherapist for a long time now and is a highly topical subject in the fields of prevention/rehabilitation. The Joya brand has developed a shoe which makes use of this principle. The soft, supple material of the patented Joya sole means the load on the sole of your feet is ideally distributed as you walk and stand instead of being concentrated only on certain spots.

Walk more in readiness for your holiday, and that means pounding the streets a bit with the correct shoes on to see how far you can walk without pain. Try and increase it a little every day as you would be surprised at how much more walking you do when you are away on holiday.

Sleep and rest enough ready for the travel which can drain you if it’s a long haul.

Plan your first 24 hours so that you give yourself time to get over the travel which will then help you to enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Research your destination IN FULL.  Look if there are any steps and how many there are to get from a to be. Find out how far away you are from any of the amenities that are available.

The most important thing is that you are prepared and can then enjoy your holiday without any problems.