Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paul to complete a Firewalk for 'The Stroke Association' on February 20, 2011

On February 20, 2011, Paul will be walking across 1300 Degrees F Coals for The Stroke Association.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in or around the brain from a burst blood vessel.

Paul's Dad - Johann Hopfensperger (b. 1923)

In 1990, 6 months after retiring, my dad had what is called a TIA (transient ischaemic attack) sometimes called a mini-stroke. For many hours he did not know where he was, where he had been that day or anything you told him literally 10 seconds previous. Just over 10 years later in 2001, he had a full stroke which affected his speech, and right arm and leg. He has never fully recovered and requires a zimmer frame to walk. But he was one of the lucky ones as you will see below.

Facts about stroke

Every 5 minutes someone in the UK has a stroke. Each year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. A quarter of a million people in England and Wales are living with long-term disability as a result of stroke.

What is The Stroke Association?

It is the only charity solely concerned with combating stroke in people of all ages. They want a world where there are fewer strokes and all those touched by stroke get the help they need. Their mission is to prevent strokes and reduce their affect through providing services, campaigning, education and research. The Stroke Association helped my dad, and so now I will be helping raise funds for them.

I will be doing a firewalk for The Stroke Association on Sunday February 20, 2011. The firewalk will involve walking barefoot over a 5 - 6 metre strip of burning hot embers reaching temperatures of 1300 Degrees F. A fire-team builds the fire, and when it has burned to red-hot embers it is raked level and prepared for the walk. I will remove my footwear and walk across the coals! Prior to the event, I will use my Neuro-Lingustic Programming (NLP) skills to mentally prepare myself for the challenge. I will visualise the event many, many times before the actual day, and on the day, the brain will not know the difference between the mental rehearsals and the actual event.

Please sponsor me...

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

So please dig deep and sponsor me now @:

Thank You.

Paul Hopfensperger (Hoffy)

Diet & Nutrition to assist with Stroke Prevention

Good diet and nutrition, with good quality supplementation is an important element in stroke prevention. A massive study on nurses, found that those who consumed 15-20mg of betacorotene per day, had a 40 per cent lower risk of a stroke and a 22 per cent lower risk of a heart attack compared with those only consuming 6mg per day. Those with the high dietary intake of betacarotene had half the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Betacarotene is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as apricots, cantaloupes, and carrots, as well as leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Betacarotene is a substance from plants that the body converts into vitamin A.

Foods to eat

Whole grains, fish (especially those rich in Omega-3: salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines), rye (good-quality rye bread), potatoes and sweet potatoes, squash, beans, peas, and soybean products such as tofu, green and yellow vegetables, round vegetables, root vegetables, especially carrots, mild spices and cooking herbs, including garlic, ginger, turmeric and shallots.

Foods not to eat

Foods high in fat, especially red meat, dairy products and eggs, sugar, salt (minimise the intake of salt which causes high blood pressure, a major cause of stroke, alcohol and tobacco.

Vitamin A (retinol and betacarotene)

Vitamin A comes in two forms: retinol which is the animal form and is stored in the body, and betacarotene, the vegetable form which is converted into retinol unless body levels are already high. It is needed for healthy skin, inside and out, protecting against infections. It is an antioxidant and immune-system booster and protects against many forms of cancer (source: Patrick Holford, The Optimum Nutrition Bible).


At Body and Mind Studio, we strongly recommend daily supplementation to ensure that our bodies receive a balanced diet with the optimum nutrition our bodies require. This is the foundation of our business, and something we have practiced on a daily basis as a family for over 23 years. We recommend the following 
Nature's Sunshine® Products as a minimum daily nutritional supplement to help ensure good health and well being:-

Super Supplemental Vitamins & Minerals (Contains 1000mg Vitamin A: 80% Retinol, 20% Betacarotene), SynerProTein® (Protein Drink: Chocolate : Original), Total Nutrition Today (TNT - Fibre), Super Omega-3, Pro B11, Proactazyme (Digestive Enzymes), Zambroza® (One of the most effective Antioxidant drinks on the market!). Call Paul on +44(0)1284 756444 if you are unsure of your specific requirements before purchasing these products so a consultation can be undertaken.

Treatment after Stroke at Body and Mind Studio

At Body and Mind Studio, we have a regular client who having suffered a stroke in 2010 and following consent from his doctor for us to massage him, has seen significant benefits in his well being following regular monthly massage with us.

I would like to reproduce an article by John W. Cartmell, LMP called "Massage for Strokes" published in "Progressive Health CHOICES", Spring 1997, which I think speaks for itself.

Massage is probably the most effective therapy there is for restoring normal nerve function after a stroke, but it’s been virtually ignored as a therapy option. Nerve damage occurs when areas of the brain are deprived of adequate oxygen, usually from a burst blood vessel, blood clot or a spasm in an artery. Symptoms may include numbness, muscle weakness or paralysis, confusion and memory disruption or pain.  Potentially every cell and organ in the body can be affected.

One of my mother’s fears was that something like this might happen to her and she’d be resigned to a life of having to depend on others. It was very discouraging for her when at age 67, with diabetes and heart disease, she suffered a stroke that left her numb on her entire left side. She couldn’t walk without a limp or write her own name, her mouth drooped, she slurred her speech and her eyes crossed so she couldn’t read or watch TV.

That happened during the second week of my massage schooling. Our homework included doing a full massage on someone every day. I asked if I could do all of my massages on my mother because of her recent stroke, and the instructor, who had used massage therapy to recover from a stroke herself, readily agreed.

With strokes, the intent of massage is to stimulate the nerves in such a way that the nervous system can’t ignore the stimulation. It’s believed the tactile stimulation of "Nerve Strokes" causes the nervous system to track and process the tactile sensations. In trying to find better more efficient ways of handling the information, the brain is forced to develop new circuitry by establishing cellular connections around the damaged areas. Traditional massage is also recommended for the therapeutic benefits stated above, but the primary focus of massage for strokes should be to stimulate the nerves.

"Nerve Strokes" are done by dragging the full palm, fingers trailing, slowly and lightly from head to feet or down the arms to the hands. The pattern is changed frequently so as not to become monotonous. After a few times stroking from the head to the hands, you go perhaps from the head to the hands and on to the leg on one side, while the hand on the other side goes perhaps only to the elbow... Then, every ten minutes or so you may do some fast, brisk strokes from feet to head, and then resume the traditional slow tactile strokes. These slow strokes can also be varied and done just above the skin so that just the electrical field from the therapist’s nerves is impacting the patient’s nerve field. Frequency of treatment should be daily for weeks or months. Best results are probably achieved if massage is begun as soon after the stroke as possible. Complete recovery is common when massage is utilized in this manner.

I had a 52 year old male client who was unable to walk across the room without the aid of his wife. After 5 treatments, he was driving himself alone to my office and walking down the steps without a handrail. I had another client in her 70’s who’s pain after her stroke all but disappeared after 3 treatments. As for my mother, except for a little numbness on the tip of her tongue and two toes, she fully recovered from her stroke after 5 months of daily massage.

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