There are a few key factors that determine a person’s nutritional needs. One is the overall stress affecting the body, next is the ability of the body to digest foods, and lastly, past exposure to poor nutrient quality. Individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) are often in urgent need of adequate nutrition due to the elevated stress levels in their body and from common multiple interventions among people with this condition that generate an environment of poor digestive capacity. Vital nutrition needs to start at birth and then be an everyday part of the person’s ongoing care. Optimal nutrition has five fundamental rules that can be paired with four basic guidelines and acupuncture treatment that will help improve and magnify overall health, inflammatory response, energy, and the quality of life of those stricken with CP. Those guidelines may not differ that much from the optimal nutritional requirements that all individuals require. But when the body is in dire need of it, it is important that good nutrition is applied with great care. If digestive inflammation sets in or basic nutrient deficiencies arise, it becomes more difficult to treat. To provide essential inflammatory control and avoid experiencing any consequences later in life, one needs to apply good nutrition from birth.
CP-related deficits are usually static, although one can also develop additional problems when a problem in one area affects another part of the body; when this happens, nutritional support becomes extremely important. The immune system, large intestine, and the adrenal glands are the common areas commonly affected by increased stress. The nutrient needs of the patient increases as his/her stress level grows. Lifelong health factors depend greatly on the quality of nutrition of a person during childhood.
Although not always possible, children function best when they have been breastfed. In cases when this is not possible, breastfeeding can be substituted with milk formula that follows the guidelines of the Weston Price foundation. Formulas traditionally bought at stores usually contain additives, processed fats, and sugars that can disrupt digestive function and may create a pattern of impaired nutrient absorption and digestive inflammation that later on can lead to an increase in one’s sensitivity to foods.
Digestive inflammation can be brought about by longstanding eating of foods that are difficult to digest. Inflammation can lead to masked symptoms and get misinterpreted although typically can be categorized as food sensitivities. Food allergies and food sensitivities are different from each other. Food sensitivity is more of an inflammatory reaction to a certain type of food. It can lead to mild symptoms that may turn into large scale tissue inflammation; common foods that a lot of people are sensitive to include peanut, corn, soy, wheat, egg, and wheat. Inflammation can then develop, which in turn can produce digestive problems such as a leaky gut once sensitivities set in. Leaky gut is a condition that develops when the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed which causes the junctions between cells to expand and undigested foods to travel into the blood stream before being broken down completely. These food particles trigger an immune reaction as the body sees them as a bacteria or virus. If this happens every day many times a day, it may lead to long term low level inflammation accompanied by digestive symptoms such as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. Other body areas may also manifest associated symptoms such as diminished strength and muscle function, fatigue, allergies, frequent infections and colds, sleeping problems, bed wetting, easy frustration, and anger. To prevent this from happening and to maintain adequate digestive function, proper support nutrients must be utilized and the right foods eaten.
Foods consumed must be of high quality, produced with very little processing, and close to their source In order to maximize nutritional absorption. Food that is fit for consumption needs to still resemble what it comes from, such as an egg or an apple. It should be additive and preservative-free as most compounds used to preserve foods are known to cause adverse effects on the brain and the nervous system. In order to minimize exposure to pesticides and chemicals used in large scale commercial farming, one should consume organic foods as much as possible. Even though guidelines tend to differ based on the person’s needs and unique body chemistry, the basics remain the same. Protein requirements can came from animal sources that were not given hormones and processed minimally or from vegetable source such as seeds, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, and beans. A good source of quality fats is eggs that also can provide for the cholesterol needed to produce hormones. Eggs that are of good quality should have an orange yolk that glows with vibrant color. Indispensable requirements for long term health are fats. The fats best for the body are lard from pasture-raised animals, full fat raw milk, butter from organic milk, cold pressed olive oil, and raw coconut oil. Fats that can disrupt health and generate inflammatory cycles are vegetable fats such as corn and canola oil. Carbohydrate requirements ideally should be derived from vegetable sources; when grains are eaten, they should be ideally sprouted in origin and in unbleached form. Nutrition is basically about chemistry. The way that nutrients get into and become incorporated into cellular function, and how they interact will determine the health quality of the individual. Supplementation is very important for most people and when properly applied can qualitatively improve digestive function and overall health. Even when few nutrients are properly applied, it can make a significant impact on one’s health.
Supplementation has four key categories that are essential to everyone. Multi supplements that are of high quality are antioxidants and supports cellular function. The next are supplements that are rich in essential fatty acid such as fermented cod liver oil, the next is a probiotic that should contain soil based organisms and HSO. Lastly, an antioxidant support formula that specifically elevates the levels of glutathione in the body. All these categories can provide inflammatory control, boost long term health, and provide basic support. The implementation of the right nutritional routines and the inclusion of acupuncture treatment will magnify and increase efficacy enhancing digestive function and controlling inflammation.
Each person is unique and treatment plans will vary although typically, the benefits of acupuncture treatment are enhanced through multiple treatments.
Acupuncture treatment and well -applied nutritional therapy can lead to a dramatic improvement in a person’s health. CP sufferers have specific functional handicaps, but uncontrolled inflammation and poor nutrition can transform functional challenges into global malfunctions. Well-implemented nutritional support enhances life quality and prevents body dysfunction due to stress.
Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983