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Q & A Session on Pain with Dr. Michele Burklund, NMD Pt. 2 - Blog Puriya

May 09, 2019

This is Dr. Michele Burklund’s second session on PAIN!

The questions for this video include…

  1. What are the ingredients in the Ultra Relief Cream and their purpose?
  2. As a naturopathic doctor, how do you address complaints with pain?
  3. Why does my pain get worse when I’m stressed?
  4. I’ve tried many different topical pain relievers how is yours different?
  5. What are some common triggers that can make the pain worse?
  6. Is meditation good for pain relief?
  7. Are there any supplements/vitamins that I can take to reduce my pain?

If you want your questions to be included in our future FB live sessions write a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:01) – Hi everyone, good morning. Thank you for joining me today. So my name is Dr. Michele Burklund. I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya and a lot of what I do is behind the scenes work. So I’m working on different formulations for supplements, writing the medical literature, doing the research, writing blog post, lots of things like that, but once a week, I’m going to be here with you answering your questions. So each week we actually focus on a different topic. Last week we focused on eczema and this week we are focusing on pain relief and I have a lot of great questions from you guys to answer today.

(00:39) – Okay, so while we are waiting, I wanna remind all of you to sign up for our newsletter, if you haven’t. We have a lot of great health tips, blog articles, announcements about the company, great things with the newsletter and soon you will be getting a free e-book if you sign up for our newsletter, that I wrote all about clean living. So lots of great things. Or you can also follow me here on Facebook Live, and then you can get a reminder next time I’m doing the question and answer session next week, just in case you forget and also you will be notified on the topic as well, so if you wanna join in.

(01:18) – Okay, so I hope you guys are all having a good Friday morning. And I also wanna remind you, if you do have any questions, we have a lot of great questions we’ve already compiled for this Facebook Live, but feel free to put them in the comments below and I will answer them or somebody from our company will, if you email us. Your question can always be added to our next session as well. So we have a lot of great ones today. If you do have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them after the Facebook session, if you put them in the comments. And feel free to comment about anything too, we’d love to hear your thoughts. And today we’re going to be focusing specifically on pain and the Ultra Relief Cream. So if you’re familiar with that, please join in, and if you’re not, feel free to join in and learn a little bit as well.

(02:11) – So the first question is a great question and we could actually spend the whole time answering this, but I’ll do my best to be a little quick on this one: “What are the ingredients in the Ultra Relief Cream and what are their purpose?” So, I love this question. So one of the ingredients is called MSM plant sulfur, and let me attempt to pronounce this right, methylsulfonylmethane. And what it is, it’s a natural compound found in nature and it has been shown to help decrease inflammation. And also why we use this in the Ultra Relief Cream, is because it takes other ingredients and it helps penetrate them deeper into the skin. So it acts on its own as a natural inflammatory and also a driver to drive ingredients deeper into the skin so you can have more of those therapeutic benefits. Another ingredient we have is lemongrass, one of my personal favorites. It’s been shown to decrease the inflammatory response in a lot of animal studies. There’s a lot of great things about lemongrass oil. So, topically for pain relief, you wanna focus on decreasing inflammation and also decreasing the pain sensation. So lemongrass we love for that.

(03:31) – Lavender oil. There’s an interesting journal article about lavender oil from the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, and it found that lavender oil was an effective pain relief for patients with osteoarthritis. So we’re big fans of lavender here at Puriya. We use it in a lot of our different products. And I think in the last session, I was saying the other name for lavender oil is, “first aid in a bottle,” because there’s so many great things you can do with this, for the aromatherapy properties and also for the direct pain-relieving properties. So that’s why we included it in the Ultra Relief Cream.

(04:11) – Another thing that we included was natural menthol. There’s a lot of different ways you can decrease the pain sensation. A lot of people use menthol or capsaicin or camphor oil, but we specifically chose menthol for the cooling sensation that it has. So it actually blocks a specific channel, to get a little too technical, it’s the TRPM8 channel, also known as the cold receptor channel. And what this does is when you put it on, it blocks that pain pathway and you have this cooling sensation instead. So we love menthol because of the type of sensation and because it’s very, very effective too.

(04:54) – We also have different vitamins. We have vitamin A which helps support healing. We have vitamin C which also helps as a cofactor, a nutrient to help build more collagen, especially if you have arthritis to act as a cofactor to support cartilage production. And we have vitamin E for its soothing abilities and to decrease inflammation.

(05:21) – One of my other favorites that we have in the Ultra Relief Cream is the chamomile flower extract. So, in botanical medicine, it’s considered a nervine because it helps relax the central nervous system. But studies have also shown that chamomile extract can block the inflammatory pathway, the COX-2 pathway. So that’s the similar pathway that aspirin or other NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, typically block. So we love chamomile for so many different things, for the ability to relax the nervous system and also to decrease the inflammatory pathway. And we also have great oils in there. We have sunflower oil, which in itself has been shown to have great anti-inflammatory properties as well. So we could go on forever, but I’m trying to be quick and give you just a short detail about each ingredient, each therapeutic ingredient we have and why we have it in the formulation.

(06:19) – Okay, the next question and I love this question: “As a naturopathic doctor, how do you address complaints with pain?” So, first off, pain is very multifactorial. It has physical components and also a lot of mental, emotional components as well. And there’s also a lot of different pain. So for example, there’s nociceptive conditions like osteoarthritis, there’s neuropathic pain like diabetic neuropathy, and then hypersensitivity that you can find in fibromyalgia. So different types of pain. And then also the mood, a lot of studies have shown that if you suffer from stress or depression or anxiety, your pain perception is actually higher. So we have the different types of pain and then we have the mental component too. So I wanna address each of those as we go along.

(07:20) – So first off, a lot of syndromes with pain and a lot of different types of pain have to do with inflammation. So to address that in a naturopathic way, I would recommend a topical application like our Ultra Relief Cream to help reduce the inflammation on the topical level, but I also wanna address things that deal with that in an internal level, with nutraceuticals, with the botanicals, food, all of those things. There’s so many great things we can do internally to decrease inflammation with our diets and with nutraceuticals. And last time we spoke about pain, I mentioned the Mediterranean diet as a great anti-inflammatory diet, to increase your Omega-3s, to increase all of your greens, your phytonutrients.

(08:11) – First off, when we’re dealing with pain, we need to address it internally, we need to address the inflammation, we need to see if there’s anything that’s increasing inflammation in your body. If you have any food allergies or allergens or anything that is making that worse, we want to address that and get that out as well. Secondly, we wanna support regeneration and healing, and that’s also through nutrition, through topicals, and through nutraceuticals. We want to help heal that area if it’s damaged, and support the mechanisms that need healing, whether it’s helping build cartilage or healing the damaged area like a nerve, a bruise, so many different things, if it’s a sore muscle, but supporting the regeneration of that area.

(09:04) – Also, when we’re dealing with pain relief, we want to make you feel comfortable, and by doing that it’s decreasing the pain sensation. So with our Ultra Relief Cream, we help block the pain pathway of TRPM8, the cooling pathway, so when you put it on, you feel a nice cooling sensation and it helps numb that pain in that area. And so this is more symptom relief, but this is a big deal too because pain can be very traumatizing emotionally and exhausting. So while we deal internally on a naturopathic level, we definitely wanna treat that pain, that annoying pain that you wanna get rid of during that time.

(09:50) – Now, something else that I would want to address as a naturopathic doctor is to keep moving. It’s so important to continue with your mobility. A lot of people who have pain don’t wanna exercise or the thought of it just makes everything so much worse, but I say keep moving in some sort of way. Don’t over exert yourself, don’t make it worse, but if you can find some sort of exercise, whether it’s water aerobics, light walking, something to keep your body mobile, I think it’s very important during that time too. Light resistant exercises, stationary bikes, qigong, one of my favorites. When I was actually in China recently, I’d walk down the street and there would be groups of people doing Tai Chi and qigong in the park and everywhere in China, and a lot of them are in their 70s and 80s, and it’s very inspiring to see how powerful these daily movements can be on your body and to really help you. So I highly recommend moving your body, if you can, in very nice gentle ways too, to keep that mobility going.

(11:04) – Another thing in naturopathic medicine that we do with pain relief is supporting circulation. One of the oldest forms of medicine, and one of my favorites, is hydrotherapy. And so many different ways you can do this with different hot and cold applications to specific areas of your body, immersion therapy, even using ice. All these different things is actually just hydrotherapy, and I’m a huge fan of that. So when you’re dealing with pain, I always recommend incorporating some sort of practice depending on the type of pain you have.

(11:39) – Oh, and I wanna talk about this article too. There’s a great study from 2014 published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, that evaluates many different types of hydrotherapy for different conditions and it concludes that hydrotherapy can improve immunity and be very helpful in pain management. So we’re big fans of hydrotherapy here, and that’s a very core principle in naturopathic medicine to help with pain. Another part of pain, addressing the whole picture as a naturopathic doctor, is talking about mood. There’s so much evidence out there that having a depressed mood, you can feel pain even more, and chronic pain can lead to depression and anxiety and all these things because it’s so frustrating and so hard to go through. So there’s two different variables here in supporting mood. I would recommend either going to counseling, seeing friends, talking to people about this, joining a support group, even just getting fresh air, going outside, finding a way to release that stress, and whether it’s a different meditation or even neurotransmitter support or even supporting this through nutrition, I highly recommend that the mind-body, whole picture of pain addressing the mood, and emotional support is a very big deal for coping with pain too. So I don’t want that to be forgotten here.

(13:15) – Another reason why we formulated our Ultra Relief Cream specifically, we chose menthol because in studies, people had this positive response to the smell of menthol over the different ingredients we could have used to help reduce the pain. And we chose that because we want people to have a positive response and to feel that soothing pleasure when you put it on. That was very strategic in how we chose the lavender and the menthol in the pain relief because we look at the whole picture when we put it together.

(13:50) – Okay, I like this question too, I actually answered this not that long ago for Eczema. It says: “Why does my pain get worse when I’m stressed?” This is a great question. First off, stress has been shown to reduce immune function and it can increase inflammation in your body. And it can affect so many different things, it can affect mood, it can… It creates anxiety, it can increase depression, and it can increase the level of pain perception. So what you perceive the pain to be it can actually increase that. Simply put, stress can greatly impact all areas of your life and contribute negatively to a lot conditions; pain and many others. So it’s incredibly important to manage stress and help support your mood. Mood, anxiety, all these things, I think it’s a huge component of pain. So I’m gonna talk to you about some basic things, just about helping balance stress in your body. Of course I’m going to say, get more sleep and I know that’s much more easier said than done. But getting restorative sleep, helps your body restore itself; restorative sleep. And make sure that you don’t have any artificial lights around your bed at night, move your phone away from your bed, all these things… Get off your laptop, at least an hour before bed. All these basic sleep habits can have profound effects on your mind, your body, and your stress level.

(15:27) – And I always wanna talk to everybody about just taking 10 minutes out of the day, 10 minutes to find an area to de-stress, to practice mindfulness, meditation, just sitting there in quietness, something like that can have great effects on your stress and just taking some time for you during the day because the day can get so hectic and you think you can’t even take 10 minutes, but yes, you can take 10 minutes, find a place and just relax, which can have great effects on your health. If positive, try to go outside for a little… If possible try to go outside for just a little bit. I also wanna talk about decreasing the acidity in your body by reducing alcohol, reducing coffee, red meat, all of those things as well.

(16:20) – So yeah, stress can have profound effects on your mind, your body, and definitely pain. So try to take some time for yourself during the day, try to get enough sleep. All these things for self-care is greatly important because it can reduce your pain, and improve your mood at the same time.

(16:42) – Okay, moving on to the next question: “I’ve tried many different topical pain relievers. How is yours different?” So here at Puriya, we focused on specific mechanisms of action, right? We wanted to decrease inflammation, help support the cellular regeneration, the repair mechanisms and also reduce the pain, and so we formulated it kind of on this multi, different options to focus on and also the aromatherapy component, the mind-body medicine, as much as we could do that with the topical cream we try to focus on. But I also want to say we here at Puriya, we want you to get better and we have a 180-day money back guarantee where no questions asked, if the product did not work for you, we will return it and refund your money. So I want you to know that we understand everybody’s different and we want to support you on your healing journey. So on top of the way we formulated and focused on the mechanisms of action, if for some reason it doesn’t work for you, we wanna support that 100% and we want to help you in whatever works for you, so we do have that… What makes us unique is our 180-day money back guarantee on top of our formulation and how we did a complete holistic approach.

(18:08) – So I hope that answers your question. I will move on to the next question: “What are some common triggers that can make pain worse?” Well, we already talked about stress and mood and also different eating habits like coffee, alcohol, red meat, those can increase acidity in your body. But I wanna talk about stretching. It’s very important to stretch before and after movement. I wanna remind you to not over-exert yourself, learn to listen to your body, and when you feel like enough is enough, then stop pushing and just kind of learn to listen to that. We spoke a little bit about anti-inflammatory foods. Fresh foods. I like to tell people this, if it takes longer than five minutes to open it, the food’s probably too processed, and it’s not gonna be good for you, so focus on whole fresh foods, things that are in its most natural state, all of these things are good for you. Lots of greens, lots of vegetables, things like that.

(19:15) – So avoid processed foods, stretch, learn to listen to your body, don’t overdo it, stay hydrated. Dehydration is linked to so many different elements. So I want to remind you to drink water, not coffee, not other things but stay hydrated, and drink great water during the day. And something that is commonly overlooked as well is how you sleep. I highly recommend investing in a good mattress. You spend a huge amount of your time in bed sleeping, and you want that to be restorative, so make sure you are sleeping on a good mattress, that can help greatly with pain and that can also improve your recovery. So if you’re thinking about something to invest in, a mattress is very good for your health.

(20:08) – Oh, I like this question too: “Is meditation good for pain relief?” Yes absolutely. I think that meditation can have profound effects. And the question is, what meditation works for you? Does guided meditation, or visualization, or muscle relaxation, or simply listening to classical music or soothing music, even using an app on your iPhone, all of these great things can help you and can help your pain relief on so many different levels. You know, there was actually a trial done that said mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce chronic pain as much as 57%. That’s huge, that’s huge. Just the mind-body relationship with pain is such a big component and so, yes, meditation can do amazing things for pain relief.

(21:06) – And the definition of mindfulness, essentially, is focusing on the moment. Releasing the past, releasing the future and taking deep breaths and tuning into your body at that moment. So that’s kind of the definition of mindfulness and that’s been able to help a lot of people in this study managing their pain. Not the anxiety of, “Is there gonna be more pain?” Or thinking about the past, but just going into that moment and taking deep breaths. So yes, I highly recommend it and never underestimate the power of the mind when it has to do with the mind-body connection in pain management.

(21:45) – Okay, so we have just one more question to go over, so thank you for joining me today everyone. I like this question a lot: “Are there any supplements or vitamins I can take to reduce my pain?” Yes, there’s so many different options, but as I’ve said in many of these question and answer sessions in the past as a naturopathic physician there is no one size fits all. It depends on the type of pain you have, the condition and also the medication that you’re taking. You know, you don’t want anything to conflict with it. And something that I feel like a lot of people aren’t completely aware of is how different the quality is out there for different nutraceuticals. If you go to the store, a lot of people might choose the cheapest one, or listen to whatever the sales person says is the best remedy for their pain. And I say, please see a professional about this, this is just as important. If you want it to work, you need to focus on high quality and you need to focus on a specific mechanism of action, not just get caught up in what the latest supplement or vitamin craze is out there.

(23:03) – So I highly recommend that, and I wanna talk about a specific study. It was a Canadian study done in 2013 and they tested 44 different products and used 12 different companies, and they looked at stores like Target, Walmart, GNC, and what they found, very few people know that quality matters so much when you’re looking at supplements and it’s so important to find a good brand that is standardized. They found in a study that 59% of the supplements that they analysed contained ingredients not listed on the label. They also found that one-third contained fillers not listed. And, shockingly one-third of the tested products contained none of the labeled ingredients. So, I want to talk to you about if a product isn’t working, I mean it could be the level of quality, not necessarily the targeted mechanism of action. So always see a professional. I think it’s so important to find something that’s standard, clinical-grade and tested. Tested from the company, tested outside of the company, to ensure that it does have the ingredients listed.

(24:21) – So here at Puriya, we appreciate quality, very much so, and we are going to be formulating many supplements that have amazing sources of the botanicals and where the ingredients comes from that will be standardized and will be amazing. But I want everyone to know that if you go out and you’re buying supplements for your pain relief right now, make sure it’s a standardized supplement, and see a professional, see a licensed naturopathic doctor, ’cause it makes a huge difference in your recovery if you’re getting exactly what you need or if you’re getting a product that doesn’t even contain those ingredients.

(25:00) – So those are all the questions we had today. Of course, pain, we could talk about so many different things but I hope I answered all of your questions and if you have more, please feel free to write it in the comments below and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as we can. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, you will get reminders of when our next Q&A session is. And we are also going to have interviews with a lot of other people in the wellness field. So, I’m very excited about that and you will be notified through our newsletter when the next one is. There’s a lot of great things coming, so I’m so excited. Thank you for joining me today, I hope all of you have an amazing Friday. Or if you’re catching this on the replay, I hope you’re having an amazing day, and I will see you next week. Thanks.

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