News You Can Use
Janet Alexander and Chris Maund
January/February 2014   
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We're a month into 2014 and the main complaint around these parts concerns lack of snow in the mountains! Hopefully you have all recovered from the excesses of Christmas and are now focused on getting in shape. In this newsletter we take a look at two common problems: mercury amalgam fillings and nocturnal leg cramps.
Mercury Amalgam Fillings 
It is generally agreed nowadays that these are a VERY bad idea. If you have dark fillings in your mouth then you have amalgam fillings. As well as mercury these can be a source of other poisonous heavy metals.

If you suffer from poor energy, general feelings of malaise and a sense that "something is wrong" it could well be due to what is in your teeth. It's a good idea to get these amalgam fillings replaced with more modern ceramic materials or even gold.

If you have symptoms and you are sure that your fillings are responsible then get them removed BUT be sure you select a dentist who knows how to do this in a manner that does not expose you to more heavy metals during the procedure.

Talk to at least 3 dentists who claim to specialise in this type of amalgam replacement work and you will soon get a sense of who is being careful and who is down playing the risks. In general you should ensure that your dentist is going to use a rubber dam, constant suction/vacuum, nasal oxygen and will do only one quarter of your mouth at a time.

Having your entire mouth done all in one go is NOT a good idea if you already have symptoms of mercury toxicity. You are likely to feel worse after a "whole mouth" procedure because even with VERY careful dentistry you WILL be exposed to mercury vapour during the extraction process.

For those of you who have no symptoms but are concerned about your long term health, you might be able to tolerate a "whole mouth" procedure. The other option for the asymptomatic is to wait until the amalgam requires replacement due to cracking/failure...just make sure that your dentist does not intend to put a new amalgam filling in there. Some dentists still use amalgam...hard to believe but it's true! 
Nocturnal Leg Cramps 
Nocturnal leg cramps are very common, particularly in the calves although the hamstrings and sartorious are often involved. In our experience the solution usually comes from one or more of these three:

1. Daily stretching
2. Drinking more water
3. Adding sea salt to your food and water

If you try all 3 of these then you should notice some major improvement in your cramping situation. We'll discuss each in more detail:

1. Daily stretching...if your calves are the main problem area then do two separate stretches for the gastrocnemius and the soleus. To stretch the gastrocnemius you will need a slanted wooden board and the best one we have seen is made by Jeremy Pricer. Jeremy's e-mail is [email protected] he will ship one to your house. It is adjustable to 4 different angles. Start at a nice easy angle and get your knee FULLY locked with most of your weight in your heel. Stretch just one leg at a time as this will give you a MUCH stronger stretch. Hold each stretch for just 30s and alternate between left and right legs until you have done each leg at least 3 times. If you want faster changes then do 6 times on each leg but never more than a 30s hold.
To stretch the soleus do a similar stretch but your knee must now be bent by at least 20-30 degrees i.e. 150-160 degree angle at the knee AND you must lift and separate your toes.
Again do 3 times on each leg in an alternating manner using 30s holds.

2. Drinking more a rough guide you should drink water according to this scale:

If you weigh 100lbs you should drink AT LEAST 50 fluid ounces per day.

If you weigh 150lbs you should drink AT LEAST 75 fluid ounces per day.

If you weigh 200lbs you should drink AT LEAST 100 fluid ounces per day.

The rule of thumb is thus "drink half your body weight in fluid ounces per day".

3. Adding sea salt to your food and water...most of us are mineral depleted and drinking lots of water often makes this worse so add a pinch or two of sea salt to every glass of water you drink and sprinkle sea salt over your food at every meal. If you have salt cravings be VERY liberal with the sea salt and if you are the type of person who has dried salt on their skin after heavy sweating be VERY VERY liberal with sea salt!

Let us know what you notice when you try these "cramp control" techniques.

Enjoy the rest of February and Happy Valentines Day!