All posts by Kgregory


FREE WEBINAR: Many concussion patients experience vestibular symptoms, such as prolonged dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. VEDA will be hosting a webinar Sept. 16th during Balance Awareness Week where we will learn about concussions and their impacts on the vestibular system. Just in time for back to school, this webinar is geared toward parents, teachers, and school administrators who want to prevent concussions in youth who participate in sports and other impactful activities.

There is limited space for the live webinar, but a recording will be available afterward. Please share with anyone you think might be interested.


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Know when to seek help for anxiety.

Behavioral HealthA fierce dog barks at you, or lightning strikes a tree near your house. Your heart seems to jump into your mouth, your hands begin to sweat and your stomach hurts, too. In short, you feel anxious.

Most of the time, feeling anxious doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. When you feel anxious at appropriate times, these uncomfortable feelings may prompt you to call animal control about the dog running loose or to go indoors during a storm.

However, anxiety can become counterproductive, and, when it does, it’s time to find mental and physical relief. Symptoms of ongoing anxiety include being easily startled, breathlessness, constant worrying, frequent urination, headaches, sleeplessness, sweating, tension and inability to relax, trembling, upset stomach and even hot flashes.

If constant worries are ruining your sense of well-being, try these coping strategies.

  • Breathe. Deep breathing from your diaphragm may help symptoms recede. Breathe deep into your belly—place your hand above your navel to feel your stomach expand. Then breathe out, tightening your abdominal muscles. Repeat slowly.
  • Speak gently to yourself. Known as “positive self-talk,” messages such as “this too shall pass” or a favorite line of inspirational verse may reduce your anxiety.
  • Calm your body. Plentiful, regular sleep, frequent exercise and gradual reduction of alcohol and caffeine in your diet may help reduce anxiety.

Seek Sound Advice

Sometimes, people find that their anxiety is persistent. If you feel worried much of the time for six months or more, or if you cannot control your anxiety symptoms even when you try, visit a health provider such as a doctor or counselor. He or she may teach you behavioral strategies or prescribe medications to help you. Many insurance plans now cover behavioral health screenings at no cost.

Unmask Anxiety Mimics

“It’s just stress. I’ll feel better in a little while.”

When you feel your chest flutter or your breath quicken, you may be tempted to dismiss the symptoms, especially if you know you suffer from anxiety from time to time. However, serious medical conditions may present with the same signs as anxiety attacks.

  • Atrial fibrillation (A-fib). Your heart may race up to 250 beats a minute during a panic attack or when you have atrial fibrillation. However, A-fib is a physical condition that can damage the heart.
  • Heart attacks in women may share anxiety symptoms, including nausea and sweating. For any chest pain or other possible heart symptoms, seek emergency care.
  • Hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include nervousness, sleeplessness and heart arrhythmia. Patients may also have muscle weakness or weight loss despite healthy eating. Ask your doctor for a thyroid test if you don’t think an anxiety diagnosis covers all your symptoms.

© 2015. True North Custom. All Rights Reser

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Top Ten Facts about Vestibular Disorders.

Top Ten Facts about Vestibular Disorders
The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and
brain that process sensory information involved with
Over 35% of US
adults aged 40 years and older (69 million
Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in
their lives.
Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning
by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain
injury, or agin
g. Many vestibular disorders occur from
unexplained causes.
Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation),
imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting,
hearing loss, anxiety, and
cognitive difficulties.
Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose.
It is common for a patient to consult 4
physicians over a period several years before
receiving an accurate
There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They ma
y be treated with medication,
physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers.
In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life
altering limitations.
Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families ph
ysically, mentally, and
emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular
patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular
patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear
of falling and the loss of their
Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV),
Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine.
In the US, medical care for patients with chroni
c balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per
The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing
information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide
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Movement Disorders.

Movement Disorders

Movement Disorders and Dystonia Treatment

It is most unfortunate when someone suffering from a medical disorder, such as dystonia, is told to learn to live with it, or worse still, that their problem is in their head. Yet this seems all too common as many of our patients have been told these very things by other so called experts in the field in which they specialize.  I actually have folders full of MRI reports where the patients were alleged to be “uncooperative” because they would not stay still during the study.  Because dystonia is a rhythmic involuntary spasm of muscle groups, it is apparent to any observer, trained or untrained, that staying still is not an option.  In fact, it is the goal of the patient to one day be able to stay still.  Yet we continue to see so many patients who are told that they are not cooperating simply because of the doctor’s lack of knowledge in what they are dealing with.  Most horrifying, to say the least.  Yet it is a common occurrence amongst this group of movement disorder patients.  When you begin to understand the neurophysiology of these disorders one can truly demonstrate the deserved compassion for sufferers of dystonia and the family of movement disorders.

Dystonia Symptoms

Occasionally referred to as torticollis, which is a type of dystonia, dystonia is a type of neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions, or spasms.  As far as movement disorders, dystonia is in the top three, with Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors.  Dystonia is not gender or race specific.  Frequently, certain parts of the body will be forced into abnormal, painful, movements or postures. Dystonia varies by affect and may involve any part of the body including the arms and legs, trunk, neck, eyelids, (blepharospasm), face, or vocal cords, (as a tic).

While dystonia is not fatal, it is a chronic disorder and prognosis is difficult to predict.  Impairment caused by dystonia is due to muscle contracture, which can interfere with normal function. Although cognition,  and the senses, including vision and hearing are technically normal, they are routinely affected both neurologically with progression of the disorder, as well as due to the inability to prevent movement, allowing continual over correction to be made with the eyes.  With progression of the disorder, twisted postures associated with the muscle spasms affecting limbs and trunk, bizarre walking with bending and twisting of the torso, rapid and sometimes rhythmic jerking movements, and progression of symptoms leading eventually to sustained fixed postural deformities are not uncommon.  Needless to say, this is associated with significant pain.  Cervical dystonia is sometimes associated with a “no-no” or “yes-yes” tremor, causing the head to shake in an oscillatory fashion.

What is Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm is an abnormal, involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids.

Orthostatic Tremor

Primary orthostatic tremor is a rare movement disorder characterized by high frequency tremors of the legs when standing, (13-18 Hz) causing severe contractions of the muscles of both legs simultaneously. The tremor worsens the longer the patient tries to stand without movement.  This disorder is very often misdiagnosed as other neurological problems such as Parkinson’s, MS etc.  The tremor disappears partially or completely when an affected person is walking or sitting. Individuals with primary orthostatic tremor experience feelings of unsteadiness or imbalance.

Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is the most common neurologic movement disorder.  Essential tremor is a chronic condition characterized by involuntary, rhythmic tremor of a body part, typically the hands and arms.  Hand tremor is the most common form of essential tremor. It  involves agonist and antagonist muscles and is usually, but not always, bilateral.  Essential tremor may progress to involve the head, followed by the voice, tongue, legs, or trunk. The movements associated with head tremor usually occur in a horizontal “no-no” pattern.  Head tremors may also occur in a vertical “yes-yes” pattern.

  • Static or Resting Tremor

Resting tremor occurs when a body part is at complete rest against gravity. Tremor amplitude decreases with voluntary activity.

  • Kinetic or Intention Tremor

Kinetic tremor occurs during voluntary movement. Intention tremor manifests as a marked increase in tremor amplitude during a terminal portion of targeted movement.

  • Postural Tremor

Postural tremor occurs during maintenance of a position against gravity and increases with action.

Research Based Non-surgical Treatment for Dystonia

Recent research by Frederick Carrick, DC, PhD, DACNB proved the tremendous effect chiropractic neurologists can have on cervical dystonia when managed in accordance to brain based neurology. The study included 111 subjects in a clinical setting. Patients were treated as determined by physiologic blind spot mapping of the eyes and other neurologic findings. Each subject was treated an average of six times. Follow-ups two months later rated 67.6% had at least a 50% improvement in movement, 55.2% had at least a 50% reduction in tremors, 57.7% had at least a 50% decrease in muscle spasticity and 77.5% had at least a 50% decrease in pain. These results are outstanding and provide hope for dystonic patients looking for non-surgical treatment options.

Botulism Toxin Injections for Dystonia

It is most unfortunate for most, that it is typically the first order of treatment to render botulism toxin injections for treatment of dystonia.  These injections, which are only temporary at best, should obviously be reserved for secondary treatment following failed more conservative measures, or, in conjunction with conservative measures.  Botulism toxin is not curative.  If it works at all, it is temporary and must be performed continually with expression of symptomatology.

Actual Case of Myoclonic Dystonia Tremor Treated Without Drugs Or Surgery

This Patient video is of a 27 year old female suffering with myoclonus dystonia. The first half of the video is from her initial examination with me.  She was apparently told by another alleged expert in movement disorders that her condition was in her head and to see a psychiatrist.  The second half of the video demonstrates a marked reduction of myoclonic dystonic tremor of better than 80% after only two weeks and five treatments with me.

Treatment of Patient With Myoclonus Dystonia

We have seen many similar miraculous recoveries from this dreadful disorder, dystonia.  As many of our patients are from out of state, we oftentimes do not have the opportunity to take “after” videos demonstrating the patients recovery.  In this case, this patient lives in NJ so we were able to get “after” videos which the patient was kind enough to allow us to share on our website.

Please reference our Treatment page for information on how our office manages patients with dystonia.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation, or just have questions, please contact us from our Contact page.

Copyright © 2004 Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.

Dr. Scopelliti is a Functional Neurologist in Monmouth County NJ.

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Blackstrap Molasses and its health benefits!

Blackstrap Molasses Combats Stress & Promotes Healthy Skin

Blackstrap molasses - Dr. Axe

Blackstrap molasses is the dark, viscous molasses that remains after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has the consistency of a thick syrup, as the third boiling of sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses. This concentrated byproduct is left over after the sugar’s sucrose has been crystallized. It has a robust flavor described as bittersweet. Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses contains essential vitamins and minerals — boasting a number of powerful health benefits.

As the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses becomes better known, more and more molasses products are being sold in the supermarket. As opposed to refined sugar, molasses has the power to naturally relieve PMS symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health, treat symptoms of ADHD and boost skin health.

Blackstrap Molasses Nutrition Facts

Blackstrap molasses contains the vitamins and minerals that it absorbs from the sugar cane plant. Molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55, which makes it a better choice than refined sugar, especially for people with diabetes. It contains high levels of vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium.

100 grams of blackstrap molasses has about:

  • 290 calories
  • zero fat
  • zero cholesterol
  • 37 milligrams sodium
  • 75 grams carbohydrate
  • zero dietary fiber
  • 55 grams sugar
  • zero protein
  • 0.7 vitamin B6 (34 percent DV)
  • 0.8 milligrams pantothenic acid (8 percent DV)
  • 0.9 milligrams niacin (5 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams thiamine (3 percent DV)
  • 1.5 milligrams manganese (77 percent DV)
  • 242 milligrams magnesium (61 percent DV)
  • 1,464 milligrams potassium (42 percent DV)
  • 4.7 milligrams iron (26 percent DV)
  • 17 micrograms selenium (25 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams copper (24 percent DV)
  • 205 milligrams calcium (20 percent DV)
  • 31 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
  • 37 milligrams sodium (2 percent DV)

9 Blackstrap Molasses Benefits 

1. Relieves PMS Symptoms

Blackstrap molasses is a high source of iron; women need more iron than men, according to the Centers for Disease Control, because they lose a certain amount of iron during their normal menstrual cycle each month. Starting at around the time of adolescence when a woman begins having her menstrual cycle, her daily needs of iron increases, but then the level decreases once again as the woman reaches menopause.

Iron can also improve your mood, which relies on a balance of hormones — including serotonin, dopamine and other vital hormones — that cannot properly be synthesized in the brain when oxygen levels are low. This is why iron deficiency sometimes results in a poor mood, bad sleep, low energy levels and a lack of motivation. If you notice changes in your mood and feelings of mild depression or anxiety, especially during menstruation, an iron deficiency could possibly be a contributor.

Also, essential minerals in blackstrap molasses, such as magnesium, manganese and calcium, prevent the clotting of blood, which relieves menstrual cramps and maintains the health of uterine muscles.

2. Combats Stress

B vitamins, calcium and magnesium each play a role in combatting stress and anxiety, and blackstrap molasses contains all these vital minerals. Vitamin B6, for example, raises serotonin levels in the brain. This is an important hormone that controls mood and prevents pain, depression and fatigue, and blackstrap molasses’ vitamin B6 content makes adding it to your diet a great way to bust stress.

A 2004 study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that low levels of vitamin B6 causes depression, as the vitamin contributes to the tryptophan-serotonin pathway. Of the 140 participants, 13 percent of them were evaluated as depressed and vitamin B6-deficient. Although this is not a staggering number, the research suggests that the vitamin deficiency is correlated to depression levels and needs to be addressed in patients who have symptoms of moodiness and depression.

3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Blackstrap molasses helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be extremely beneficial for people with diabetes. It has a low glycemic index and naturally slows the metabolism of glucose and carbohydrates — resulting in less insulin production. Blackstrap molasses also contains a high level of chromium, which increases glucose tolerance. Chromium plays a role in the insulin-signaling pathways that allow our bodies to control the amount of sugar we take in, helping balance blood glucose levels and giving us stable energy.

A 1997 study conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that chromium is an essential nutrient involved in normal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. In the study, 180 individuals being treated with type 2 diabetes were either given a placebo or chromium supplements over a four-month period, while continuing to take normal medications and not changing eating habits. As a result of chromium treatment, insulin values and cholesterol levels decreased significantly compared to the placebo group.

This study did have patients continue their normal medications for treatment diabetes, so it is important to note that chromium consumption seems to be only partly responsible for the positive results.

4. Helps Prevent Cancer

A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association suggests that blackstrap molasses serves as a nutritious alternative to refined sugar because it offers the potential benefit of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions including cancer.

High-antioxidant foods, like blackstrap molasses, help reduce free radicals in the body, which are believed to be the primary cause of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes; however, at high concentrations, free radicals can be hazardous to the body and damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins and cell membranes.

5. Promotes Skin Health

Blackstrap molasses contains lactic acid, which is produced by bacteria that plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. Lactic acid serves as a natural acne treatment and heals other skin conditions.

A 2002 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology found that lactic acid worked as a preventative solution for acne. The study involved 22 patients who experienced lesions, inflammation and cysts. Lactate lotion was used topically all over the face twice a day, and then it was used like a cosmetic for a year. At the end of one year, 90 percent to 100 percent reduction of the inflammatory lesions was achieved in 41 percent of the patients, and non-inflammatory lesions reduced in 23 percent of the patients. The remaining patients showed 50 percent to 90 percent reduction, while two patients showed less than 50 percent reduction in the non-inflammatory lesions.

This research suggests that lactic acid treatment results in significant reduction of acne symptoms, including the development of lesions.

Blackstrap molasses also promotes the growth of healthy tissues, so it serves as a natural wound healer. Consuming blackstrap molasses accelerates the healing time of cuts, wounds, burns and signs of acne — helping you maintain clear and healthy skin.


Blackstrap molasses benefits - Dr. Axe

6. Improves Bone Health

Because blackstrap molasses serves as a high source of calcium, it promotes strong and healthy bones. Since we lose calcium every day through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and stool, and we cannot make it within our own body, it’s important that we eat calcium-rich foods regularly.

Calcium is the most present mineral in the body, stored in the body mostly in the bones and teeth. About 99 percent of our calcium is found in bones and teeth, mostly in the form of calcium deposits, with the other remaining 1 percent being stored throughout bodily tissue. Calcium is involved in the growth and maintenance of bones. Without enough calcium present in the body, known as a calcium deficiency, bones are susceptible to becoming weak and pliable, making them prone to fractures and breaks.

The calcium, plus the iron and copper levels, in blackstrap molasses undoubtedly improves bone health, helps heal broken bones, and reduces the risk of weak and brittle bones.

7. Serves as Natural Remedy for ADD and ADHD

Research has shown that the same symptoms evident in children with ADD/ADHD are also seen in people who are nutritionally deficient in zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. ADHD and ADD are neurological and behavior-related conditions that cause difficulty in concentrating, impulsiveness and excessive energy. Individuals with ADHD not only have a challenge in concentrating, but have a challenge sitting still.

Sugar is a major problem because it causes blood-sugar spikes, causing hyperactivity. Then as blood-sugar levels spike down, a person loses focus. Blackstrap molasses is a more nutritious alternative to refined sugar, and it does not have the same effects on blood-sugar levels. Also, consuming molasses provides iron and B vitamins — which have the ability to remedy ADHD naturally. These vitamins and minerals support the nervous system and brain function, improving focus.

8. Treats Arthritis

Arthritis is a joint disease that causes swelling and pain in the joints. It’s either classified as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage between joints wears down, causing inflammation and pain, and rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune dysfunction where the white blood cells destroy the cartilage. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties in blackstrap molasses, it relieves swelling and joint pain, working as a natural arthritis treatment.

9. Contains Cholesterol-Lowing Potassium

Just two teaspoons of this, rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium. Potassium-rich foods help lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver. Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your body’s sodium-potassium pump.

Blackstrap Molasses History & Interesting Facts

Blackstrap molasses has been imported from the Caribbean Islands since the time of the first settlers. Because it was much more affordable than refined sugar, molasses was popular up until the late 19th century. In fact, molasses was so popular that the British crown passed the Molasses Act of 1733 in order to discourage colonists from trading with the West Indies, which was not under British rule. Colonists had to pay six pence for every gallon of molasses, which was commonly used in rum and spirits at the time.

The growing corruption of local officials and the bitterness and resentment of British Law that was caused by this act only continued with the passing of the Stamp and Townshend Acts; by 1776, the colonists were fighting for their independence from British rule during the American Revolution.

Since then, blackstrap molasses has made a comeback. This is due to the “health food movement” that is popularizing nutritious and vitamin-filled foods. The largest producers of molasses are currently India, Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and the United States.

How to Use Blackstrap Molasses

It’s easy to find blackstrap molasses at your local market or health food store. When purchasing blackstrap molasses, look for products that are organic and unsulfered.

Blackstrap molasses is commonly used as a natural sweetener and sugar alternative. Molasses has a unique, rich flavor. Some people use it as a spread or topping on toast, oatmeal and porridges. It’s also a great sweetener for marinades, barbeque sauce and to use while baking. You can even add blackstrap molasses to coffee — it intensifies the richness of the coffee while lowering the acidic taste and enhancing coffee’s nutrition value.

Blackstrap molasses serves as a brown sugar alternative, too; you can use molasses to create brown sugar by adding two tablespoons of molasses for each ½ cup of coconut sugar that a recipe calls for. Put the coconut sugar and the molasses in a food processor, and pulse until the consistency of commercial brown sugar is reached. The result is a more nutritious “brown sugar” that still tastes great.

Blackstrap molasses is about two-thirds as sweet as refined sugar, but it can be used in recipes that call for brown sugar, honey and maple syrup. Try experimenting with this nutritious product today — you’re going to love it!

Blackstrap Molasses Recipes 

Because blackstrap molasses can sub in for maple syrup, trying using it in my Maple-Glazed Rosemary Carrots Recipe. The bittersweet flavor of molasses goes perfectly with the rosemary in this recipe.

Another way to use blackstrap molasses in place of maple syrup is with my Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns Recipe. This recipe is delicious, healthy and gluten-free! The texture of molasses compliments the stickiness of a cinnamon bun too.

Blackstrap molasses is commonly used to make marinades, sauces and glazes. You can use molasses in place of honey; it provides the same texture and a slightly bitter flavor. My Grilled Honey-Glazed Salmon Recipe would be perfect for blackstrap molasses because it creates the thick consistency that works perfectly for salmon glazes.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

This gluten-free gingerbread cookies recipe is delicious! It satisfies sweet cravings without the processed sugar.




Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 12


  • 9 medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, sprinkled
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Blend dates in a food processor until chopped finely, then add oil, molasses and ginger while processor is running.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sea salt to food processor slowly and process until dough-like.
  5. Chill dough for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Flour your counter or workspace, then roll out the dough until approx 1/4″ thick.
  7. Cut shapes with cookie cutters or squares with a knife.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.

Possible Blackstrap Molasses Side Effects

It’s perfectly safe to consume blackstrap molasses in food amounts, and it supplies the essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body functioning properly.

Some people might develop allergic reactions to molasses due to a sensitivity toward the sulfite present in sulfured molasses. For this reason, I suggest you purchase unsulfered blackstrap molasses. Also, keep in mind that the glycemic index for molasses is 55, which is moderate and means that people should not consume large amounts of it. It should be used as a more nutritious sweetener.

Josh AxeDr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world…Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE



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