Holistic Pain Management: Strategies to Reduce Systemic Inflammation

In the relentless pursuit of well-being, adopting a holistic approach to pain and systemic inflammation management is crucial. Below are lifestyle and wellness tips that can help ease muscle pain and tackle systemic inflammation.

1. Nutrient-Rich Foods for Systemic Inflammation Management:

  • Transitioning to incorporating organic, local, and seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet can indeed make a significant impact.
  • Additionally, make it a habit to add a form of protein to each meal to support overall health.
  • For a more personalized approach, it’s advisable to consider scheduling a food sensitivity test to identify potential inflammation triggers.
  • Lastly, it’s advisable to avoid universally inflammatory foods like nightshades, tomatoes, dairy, and sugar.

2. Quality Sleep: A Pillar in Pain Management

  • Delve into understanding the profound effects of quality sleep on pain management and inflammation reduction.

3. Mindful Meditation for Pain Relief and Inflammation Control:

  • Discover how integrating mindful meditation techniques contributes to stress reduction and healing processes.

4. Medium-Intensity Exercise and Mobility: Dual Benefits for Pain and Inflammation:

  • Combining medium-intensity exercises (like strenght training) and improved mobility (through yoga/stretching), can significantly aid in pain management and inflammation reduction.

5. Integrating Lifestyle Strategies for Holistic Pain Relief:

  • By combining various lifestyle strategies, you can create a comprehensive approach to pain management and inflammation control.

By strategically optimizing your lifestyle with these targeted strategies, you can actively manage pain and effectively reduce systemic inflammation. Embrace this holistic approach to unlock the potential for transformative well-being, thereby allowing you to navigate life with vitality and comfort. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for personalized guidance on implementing these strategies into your daily routine.

Holistic Health: Comprehensive Blood Tests in Amsterdam with Healthy Bestari and Fitsurance

Are you in Amsterdam and seeking comprehensive blood tests with a holistic approach to health management? Healthy Bestari, in collaboration with Fitsurance, now offers convenient and non-invasive blood testing services right in Amsterdam. Situated at the Art of Physio clinic in the Zuidas area, these blood tests require just 5ml of blood, ensuring a painless and comfortable experience for all.

The primary objective of these blood tests is to provide insights into critical health indicators pivotal to your overall well-being. Covering essential markers such as Total Cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides, LDL, HbA1c, and Hs-CRP, Healthy Bestari’s holistic approach emphasizes understanding and managing these factors to promote your health and well-being.

Let’s explore the importance of each Key Blood Test

Total Cholesterol:

  • Total Cholesterol is a fundamental marker for assessing heart disease risk, incorporating both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. High total cholesterol levels may signal an increased risk, but it’s essential to evaluate these levels alongside LDL and HDL cholesterol specifics.

HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol:

  • Known as “good” cholesterol, HDL plays a crucial role in heart health by transporting cholesterol away from arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

Triglycerides:

  • Elevated triglyceride levels can elevate the risk of heart disease, underscoring the importance of monitoring and managing them for a holistic health approach.

LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol:

  • Referred to as “bad” cholesterol, high LDL levels can lead to plaque buildup in arteries, escalating the risk of heart disease and stroke. Measuring LDL cholesterol is crucial for assessing cardiovascular risk and guiding treatment strategies.

HbA1c (Haemoglobin A1c):

  • This blood test provides insights into average blood glucose levels over recent months. Monitoring HbA1c aids in understanding and managing blood sugar levels for improved health and assessing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

High Sensitive C-Reactive Protein (Hs-CRP):

  • Hs-CRP indicates inflammation levels in the body. Chronic high CRP levels are linked to various health conditions, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, and stress management play a significant role in maintaining healthy CRP levels.

At the core of these comprehensive blood tests lies the HDL to Triglyceride ratio, a crucial marker for heart health. This ratio embodies the holistic approach to health, offering insights into the balance between protective and risk factors in the bloodstream.

A high HDL to Triglyceride ratio signifies a lower risk of heart disease, making it integral to integrated health. A favorable lipid profile, with high HDL and low triglycerides, aligns with holistic well-being, promoting heart health and reducing inflammation.

By offering comprehensive blood tests in Amsterdam with this integrated approach, Fitsurance and Healthy Bestari aim to empower individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their health. Healthy Bestari’s mission is to implement lifestyle changes through exercise, nutrition, breathing, and sleep to improve health metrics, making integrated health a reality for all. Understanding and managing these key biomarkers are fundamental to the integrated health philosophy, guiding individuals toward proactive measures in their health journey. Prevention and self-monitoring are key.

Discover the convenience and comfort of comprehensive blood tests in Amsterdam, and take the first step towards a healthier, holistic lifestyle.

Building a Strong Foundation: Corrective Exercises, Muscle Capacity, Range of Motion, and the FRC System for Pain Reduction and Posture Improvement

In our fast-paced world, maintaining good posture and mobility while reducing pain are essential to enhance our health. Many individuals turn to physiotherapy, targeted exercises, and advanced systems like Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) to enhance their health. We all look for solutions to low back pain, knee pain, and all sorts of aches. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore effective ways to enhance your health by improving posture, the role of physiotherapy in pain reduction, practical solutions for low back pain. 

Corrective Exercises for Improved Posture

Corrective exercises are foundational for achieving better posture and mobility, reducing pain, and enhancing your health. Explore a range of exercises that address low back and knee pain while improving overall posture:

  • Planks for Core Stability: Discover how planks can help you strengthen your core and provide a foundation for better posture. Increasing the capacity of your abdominals will help with bracing and lower back relief. Abdominal muscles stop your spine muscles from being overused. They, therefore, help stabilize your spine. Furthermore, developing the ability to dynamically use the abdominals in a lengthened or shortened position will help. Coiling is the coined term for this utilisation of the core, while the core can be defined as the abdominals and supporting muscles of the pelvis and spine. 
  • Hip Bridges to Enhance Low Back Health: Learn how hip bridges can alleviate low back pain and promote proper posture. The use of our gluteal muscles will alleviate lower back strain and help utilise our hip hinge. This is a crucial movement pattern to assure longevity of the spine. 
  • The mobility of our joints and sum of our joints will also allow us to have more pain-free range of motion. Corrective exercises hence address these areas depending on our mobility deficiencies. Mobility is defined as controlled range of motion of a joint or of multiple joints, making it an active component of fitness. As opposed to flexibility, mobility has a key role in motor control.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Enhancing your Health

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in pain reduction and in enhancing your health. Understand how physiotherapists can assist in managing low back and knee pain while improving overall posture:

  • Physiotherapy Techniques: Explore various physiotherapy techniques that are effective in reducing pain and promoting musculoskeletal health.There are debates on myofascial release through manual therapy. There is good clinical evidence that when manual therapy is combined with specific exercises that address the proper utilisation of muscles, pain reduction can quickly arise. 
  • Customized Treatment Plans: It is important to think of the body as a chain rather than treating separate issues. By working with a movement specialist & manual therapist that constantly looks at your overall health quality, you will achieve better results.

Effective Solutions for Low Back Pain

Discover practical solutions for low back pain, including exercises, lifestyle changes, and expert advice:

  • Exercise Routines: Explore targeted exercise routines designed to alleviate low back pain, improve posture which will enhance your health. To get results we must first understand where the pain comes from. Adapting a proper routine which addresses the root cause will help alleviate symptoms and increase resilience towards spinal instability. There are many stages in lower back pain. There is hence no one size fits all solution and this makes it quite a difficult journey for the patient. With proper assessment, treatment, there is a guarantee for good results.
  • Ergonomic Tips: Get valuable tips on creating an ergonomic workspace to prevent and manage low back pain. Better recovery will come from increasing spinal hygiene and addressing workspace,living space and bettering sleeping circumstances.

The FRC System: Enhancing Your Health through Pain Reduction and Posture Improvement Journey

Introducing the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) system, an advanced approach to optimizing musculoskeletal health and mobility. Learn how FRC can take your journey to the next level:

  • Muscle Control at All Lengths: Understand how FRC emphasizes muscle strength across the entire spectrum, promoting pain reduction and better control during movements.

  • Joint Health and Mobility: Explore FRC’s focus on joint health, ensuring that your joints are prepared for a wide range of movements, contributing significantly to better posture and movement quality.

In conclusion, improving posture and mobility while reducing pain are attainable goals. Whether you’re seeking solutions for low back pain, knee pain, or posture enhancement, physiotherapy, targeted exercises, and the innovative FRC system offer effective pathways to a healthier and more comfortable life. Implement these solutions and take proactive steps towards improved posture, reduced pain, and enhanced musculoskeletal health today.

Understanding the Importance of REM Sleep for Holistic Health and Fitness

Sleep Quality

REM and Sleep Quality

Importance of REM:

To quantify sleep quality, we can examine Rapid Eye Movement (REM), a crucial stage that plays a significant role in exercise, body transformation, and holistic health. REM sleep facilitates essential repairs, releases growth hormones, and boosts the immune system, contributing to optimal physical health.

In addition to its physical benefits, REM sleep is vital for emotional regulation and memory consolidation, crucial components of holistic well-being. Studies indicate that REM sleep deprivation can lead to emotional instability, anxiety, depression, and impairments in learning, memory, and cognitive function.

REM benefits the mind, body and helps keep hormones balanced

In the realm of body transformation and exercise, REM sleep is indispensable for muscle growth, recovery, and overall sleep quality. The release of growth hormones during REM sleep aids in tissue repair and regeneration, essential for achieving peak physical fitness.

To optimize REM sleep for holistic health, prioritize sleep hygiene practices like maintaining a regular sleep schedule, reducing caffeine intake, and avoiding electronic devices before bed. Adequate REM sleep is also integral for weight loss and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular issues.

In conclusion, REM sleep stands as a critical factor in attaining optimal physical health, body transformation, and holistic well-being. By emphasizing healthy sleep hygiene practices and ensuring sufficient REM sleep, individuals can enhance their overall health, well-being, and fitness aspirations.

 
 

Unlocking Optimal Wellness: A Guide to the Holistic Health Cake

Welcome to the Healthy Bestari Health Cake!

This metaphorical journey offers a delectable guide to maintaining optimal wellness: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise and Breathwork. Instead of traditional nutrition pyramids, we introduce the Health Cake analogy, encompassing all aspects of healthy living!

Sleep: 

  1. Total time in bed 
    1. From lights out to morning alarm. 
  2. REM vs. Deep vs. Light Sleep
    1. The easiest way to measure your quality of sleep is by using wearables like the Apple Watch.
  3. Number of significant waking moments
    1. We all tend to wake up during the night, if you begin counting the amount of times this can happen, you can trace the reason behind it. Maybe you forgo a glass of water before bed! In some instances, such as being a young parent, this is impossible to alter, but there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality, such as proper supplementation. We recommend taking a probiotic and Vitamin D before sleep. You can also alternate with Magnesium and Dormavit – but check with your doctor beforehand. 
  4. Percent of time with Heart Rate (HR) below Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
    1. Your resting heart rate is the average HR you have when you are resting. It is a good indicator of health as the stronger your heart is, the more blood it pumps per second, hence decreasing the beats per minute. When you are sleeping you are at a state of low metabolic need, meaning a lower need for oxygen. Your body needs less oxygen then even when you are at ‘rest’ (sitting, laying down, not moving) during the day. However, certain things such as when you eat before bed, alcohol, caffeine and other factors that stress out your digestion or adrenals can lead your heart rate to be above your RHR preventing you from achieving proper rest and recovery.

Nutrition:

  1. Timing
    1. Make sure to leave enough fasting time between meals to fully digest your previous meal. It prevents your digestive tract from getting stressed out and keeps your colon happy. We also suggest avoiding meals or snacks a few hours before bed as eating before bed can tamper with your sleep quality. 
  2. Micro and Macro Nutrients
    1. Ensuring you are getting enough vitamins and minerals through your diet by eating as organic as possible.
  3. Total Kcal
    1. Using a calorie counter app on your smartphone can help you count your calorie intake. Try not to get too caught up in counting calories though, it mainly comes down to eating enough and not too much and moving your body.
  4. Pre-Pro-Post Biotics for your Microbiome
    1. Prebiotics are defined by the amount of food that your gut bacteria have at their disposal. Usually non-soluble fiber, found in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, are what these bacterias feed on. The probiotics are defined by the type and diversity of the species of bacteria that are found in the small but mostly large intestine. You can add probiotic foods to your daily diet such as: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, raw cheese, nato, umeboshi, etc. Postbiotic is the inter-relation between bacteria that is created by the gases and by-product that one bacteria might produce, which is then used by another bacteria allowing for an even more biodiverse environment. Aim to have a good balance of both pre and probiotics in your daily diet for optimal gut health. 

Exercise:

  1. Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time
    1. Try to switch up your workout routine. Aim to balance between High Intensity Cardio and Strength Training to prevent injury.
  2. Is it stress and fuel matched?
    1. When you are functioning at a high stress level, high intensity exercises can be beneficial for stress release. In order to prevent chronic stress in your body, it is important to wind down after high intensity workouts and to balance your intense workouts with calmer activities such as yoga or strength training. 
    2. Make sure to match your fuel to your workout, carbohydrates help prepare your body for high stress exercise, whereas a protein shake can be beneficial on strengthening days.

Breathwork:

  1. Chest vs. Diaphragm
    1. Shallow vs. Deep breathing: Always take time for long deep breaths throughout your day to lower your cortisol and stress response. Try our favourite breathwork practice here. 
  2. Frequency
    1. How often do you remember to breathe? Most of us don’t realize we are shallow breathing throughout the day. Therefore, it stresses out our adrenal system over time and limit you on your path to health. This book is a great way to reconnect to your breath.
  3. Nasal vs. Mouth
    1. Nasal breathing promotes the production of Nitrous Oxide, which vasodilates to increase blood flow. Despite this, achieving high ventilation frequency is more challenging due to the narrower nasal pathway compared to mouth breathing. Opting for nasal breathing during workouts challenges the cardiovascular system without surpassing the anaerobic threshold. Thus, facilitating access to the rest and digest state for better recovery.We love using a Neti Pot with Pink Salt once in a while to keep your nasal passages clear, especially during allergy season!

Curbing Cravings around the Holidays

We know it is almost impossible to stick to a nutrition plan during the holidays, so here is a short cheat sheet that will help you feel less guilty and sluggish after indulging this holiday season and help curb cravings. If you are unsure about supplementing your diet, please speak with your family doctor beforehand.

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our bodies. It minimises our sugar cravings as it is able to quickly convert to glucose, which stops the cravings signalling from our brain. It also helps maintain seratonin balance, which influences appetite signals, preventing us from overeating. During the holiday season, up your protein intake to ensure you are getting enough glutamine and if you are eating a mainly plant-based diet, we reccomend supplementing appropriately.

Eat High Fat Whole Foods

Eating high fat foods (think avocado, coconut milk, nut butters), satisfies a sweet tooth without causing an insulin release. Now is the time to make that chocolate avocado mousse you’ve seen floating around social media as it will not affect your blood sugar levels the same way too many pieces of holiday fudge will.

Probiotics

Keeping our gut happy is the key to living a healthy life. Taking a daily probiotic (and doubling up on heavy holiday food days) is the perfect way to keep your body and digestion in tact during the holiday season.

Holiday Seasonal Stress got you down?

Here is a quick and easy way to unwind for your mental health

With the holiday season upon us and fatigue from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the current situation of the world post-pandemic, our stress levels are running quite high. Here is a short breathwork practice to help prevent burnout and help you manage your stress before we delve into the holidays. Maintaining your wellness practice around this time of year can be difficult but short bursts of movement or moments of calm can help you and your holiday plans run a bit smoother.

Enhance your breathwork practice with a warm drink, such as caffeine free herbal tea or an adaptogenic latte and a face mist to set the mood.

 

3 Easy Ways to Embrace Self Care in your Daily Routine

Dry Brush 

You may have heard of dry brushing before but if not, it is the practice of brushing your body in small circular motions in the direction of your heart. It is best done before showering as it can bring toxins to the surface of your skin. By dry brushing, you are stimulating your body’s lymphatic system and promoting the drainage of extra fluid or toxins. It helps with bloating, blood circulation, swelling and sluggishness. The process only takes a few minutes and is an easy self care activity to add to your daily routine. We love a dry brush with copper as it has the added benefit of exfoliating the skin and provides a stronger lymphatic reaction than regular bristled dry brushes. 

Hydrate

This health tip sounds so simple but it is truly difficult to remember to continously drink water throughout the day. We reccomend investing in a water bottle you genuinely enjoy using and sourcing the cleanest water possibly. We love a carbon filter attached to the faucet as water filters that use plastic containers tend to contain microplastics.

No Devices Before Bed

It is one of the most difficult tasks, but putting your electronics away an hour before bed has proven to improve your sleep quality. The blue light emitted from our phones interrupts our natural sleep cycle and does not allow our mind and body to prepare for bedtime. Since it is almost wintertime, with less sunlight and shorter days, we suggest using a SAD lamp that alternates with morning and evening lighting cycles to mimic a sunrise and sunset. It makes it easier to wake up in the morning and go to bed, without the harsh light from our electronics. Instead of falling asleep to the social media scroll, check out a few of our favorite reads:

  1. A book on Ayurvedic Self Care
  2. Cooking for a Healthy Life
  3. The Travel Book – perfect for lulling yourself into your dream holiday sleep

Health Tips to Boost Your Morning Coffee

Boost your morning coffee

Although I recommend avoiding caffeine where possible, I understand that sometimes, even for myself, it is just impossible. So let’s focus on boosting your morning cup of joe to ensure you are filling your body with the right nutrients to stay focused and elevated throughout your morning!

Medicinal Mushrooms and Adaptogens

We love FourSigmatic, a medicinal mushroom company that specializes in caffeinated goodness to keep your body and mind balanced but also awake. You can learn more about the benefits of medical mushrooms here and even try out a more local brand, Pilz-Kaffee. We also love to add adaptogens to our coffee. Adaptogens are herbs that aid our adrenals and support our overall health, they can lessen the unwelcome side effects of caffeine (think: insomnia and anxiety). You can learn more about their benefits and uses here. Scoop your adaptogens in style and enjoy brain supportive adaptogen powders such as this one

Milk? Mylk? Alt-Milk?

Choosing the right milk for you can feel intimidating nowadays since there are so many options out there. If you can handle it, we recommend finding a good organic whole milk to use in your cappuccinos. If not, a dairy-free milk with no additives or unnecessary oils (always check the ingredient list) or simply adding a collagen boosting creamer to blend right in with your coffee. We love to blend with this milk frother.

Local Roasters and the Right Tools

We love supporting our local roasters where we can, you can easily type ‘local coffee roaster’ into GoogleMaps to find one in your neighbourhood! In Amsterdam we are lucky to have a plethora of local coffee roasters with a great selection of beans for sale. A lot of roasters pride themselves on fair trade practices and sourcing organic coffee beans, better for you and the planet! 

When it comes to making your morning coffee, we love to have a special coffee corner where we can embrace this morning ritual. We use a Solis espresso machine, you can use an electric bean grinder or try out our favorite morning arm workout, the manual Porlex grinder. Enjoy your enhanced morning cup of coffee at home or on the go!

Flu Season is back: Easy Health Tips to boost your Immunity

Supplement with Vitamin D3

As the days grow shorter, our body absorbs less Vitamin D3, which is a crucial vitamin for our immune system. During the winter months, it is recommended to supplement with Vitamin D3 to improve our immune response when faced with all the colds and flus of this season, it can also aid in bettering your sleep.  

We recommend a liquid Vitamin D3 taken daily before bed. You can also drink an immune boosting tea during the day instead of reaching for another cup of caffeine. We like the organic selection offered at Ekoplaza in The Netherlands. 

Eat your Vitamins

Add whole foods high in Vitamin C and antibacterial foods to your diet. We recommend: garlic, citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, cruciferous vegetables, cinnamon, turmeric, cranberries, currants. Avoid any processed sugar as it significantly raises blood sugar and causes inflammation in the body and brain, which can lower the strength of your immune response. 

At the onset of cold and flu symptoms, we recommend taking a Protect Plus supplement and oil of oregano to kill any bad bacteria brewing in your body. Make sure to take both with food to avoid any potential nausea.

As the temperature cools down, we love looking at different cookbooks to explore warming recipes to soothe the body and mind during the autumn/winter season. This is the holy grail of soup recipes. In our household, Pho is a family favorite, this book is a great start to learn different ways to make this Vietnamese dish. 

Move your body!

The best way to adjust to the changing seasons is to get outside and embrace fresh air. Going for 2 short walks a day can boost your mood and get in those steps! It is tempting to curl up and Netflix and chill but taking a half an hour every day to stretch out and strengthen your body keeps your lymphatic system moving and your immune response strong. Amsterdam has plenty of parks to enjoy and lots of cute doggies to motivate you to get out there and enjoy the fresh air. 

If the overcast skies are too daunting, here is a quick Posture Reset workout you can try in the comfort of your own living room after a long day of working in front of the computer: