I was working with a fibromyalgia / lower back patient restoring her strength and ability. She had been debilitated by fibromyalgia for some5 years prior and had strained her back while attempting to cope with life in a weakened state. For the 20 years prior this 40-something gal had been an executive for a well known cosmetics company. Along with the rehab and general strengthening exercises we were doing, I had her start taking Systemic Enzymes as a natural no side effect way to relieve the inflammation causing her back pain and, to eat away at the fibrosis of her Fibromyalgia. (Fibrosis is the actual cause of the ischemic muscle pain of fibromyalgia).
Three months went by with this determined gal exercising hard, getting stronger raising her energy levels and improving her ability to do the all important Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). One day she bounces into the office and announces that not only is her back and Fibromyalgia pain mostly gone but a great many of her spider veins had disappeared and her varicose veins no longer hurt! It had to be something we were doing she said, either the exercise or the enzymes because nothing else was different in her life or daily routine!
After a bit of head scratching and research diving we discovered it was mostly the enzymes that were doing the trick. Yes, large range-of-motion resistance exercise pushes the pooled blood out of the stretched blood vessels and can temporarily drain them. Yet, in all the decades of exercise research, no one has ever found a way of making spider veins go away or reducing the flaccidity of veins that are already fully stretched out (varicosed) using exercise of any sort.
So what are enzymes? Enzymes are "bio-catalysts" they cause chemical reactions to happen. We have some 3000 enzymes and over 7000 enzymatic reactions in our bodies. Without enzymes we would be stone cold dead! Moreover, enzymes are essential for vitamins and minerals to work. Everyone has experienced the fact that even though a certain vitamin or mineral is supposed to do a particular thing, it does not work for everyone the same way all the time. Most of us take supplements and really cant tell whether they are working or not. One person might feel great another not feel any good effect at all.
Vitamins and minerals are misnamed, they are really co-enzymes and co-factors. In other words, they are things that make enzymes work better; but what if you dont have much of the enzymes to begin with? Then the co-enzymes wont work! In our youth we made a slew of enzymes, thats what kept us young, strong, without pain, healing quickly and frankly looking good. Physiology teaches that after the age of 27 we enter "old age! Thats right, 27! From 27 to 35 we have the fastest and steepest drop in our health, looks and ability well ever have in less than a decade. Why?
Enzymes or the lack of them are the trigger to aging. Dr. Max Wolf MD and Ph.D. x 7 is the fellow who discovered the enzyme / aging relationship while he was doing research at Columbia University in the 1930s and 40s. He found that the body makes a finite amount of enzymes in a lifetime. We use up a good many of them in our youth and so round about 27 the body slows down the release of its protein cutting enzymes (the most important ones), and then begins to dole them out with an eyedropper instead of a tablespoon as it did before. And further, every year it produces less and less enzymes in order to stretch life out a little further. What happens as this depletion progresses? The hydrolytic / proteolytic (protein cutting) enzymes are responsible for hundreds of things but their most important actions are:
- They are the bodies first line of defense against inflammation. Think of when you were a kid, you walked off or shrugged off injuries that now would lay you up for a week. Enzymes.
- Enzymes control the rate and accuracy of healing. They speed healing without allowing the build up of scar tissue. Think of the wounds you healed as a kid, with their thin, strong, pliable, almost invisible scar. Now think of your wounds lately, thicker, knotty with scar tissue, not as strong and certainly not invisible!
- Systemic Enzymes eat away at the fibrosis the body does not need! Though the development of fibrosis conditions such as Fibro Cystic Breast Disease, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis are all linked with being Estrogen Dominant, fibrosis conditions of all types cannot happen or are dramatically lessened if there are enough strong protein cutting enzymes present in the body.
- They also clean the protein coating that connective tissue builds up (polymerization). Why is that important? Well if the connective tissue is under the skin and holding it up, when it develops a coating of protein, it wont hold water any more and collapses - bingo youve got a wrinkle. Restore the water holding ability of the connective tissue and the wrinkle is gone or eased considerably.
- Enzymes regulate immune function. If the system is too run down, the enzymes will increase the cleaning / killing action of the white blood cells on bugs and increase the bodies production of good things called Natural Killer cells. If the immune system is running too high and creating auto immune conditions such as MS, Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, then the enzymes will down shift the immune system, control inflammation and eat the antibodies the immune system is creating to attack its own tissue!
- Protein cutting enzymes clean the blood of all the debris the liver cant manage to clear out of the blood on the "first pass" or the first time the garbage goes though the liver in the blood. This purifies the blood and makes it flow easier. Not only do they clean the blood, the enzymes also strengthen blood vessel walls and open micro circulation passages clogged with fibrin improving circulation overall.
Even if they didnt make spider veins disappear, all those actions listed above are enough of a reason to go and supplement enzymes for the rest of your life. The Systemic Enzymes effect on spider veins was discovered when patients in Europe, where doctors prescribe systemic enzymes, reported the clearing up of spider veins and easing of varicose vein discomfort. Studies done afterward on the effect of oral enzymes in circulatory diseases confirmed the casual findings.
Now be warned; just like anything else that works, there are some folks who will turn out a like product that wont. Enzymes are finicky living critters and if not handled just right during the blending, tableting or encapsulation process they will die and not ever work. In 2000, I had my wife Michele on a load of a leading systemic enzyme to prevent the formation of scar tissue after the emergency c-section birth of our son. To my astonishment almost a year afterward, her scar tissue development was extensive. It ran from the incision to just under her ribs, and wound into the abdomen threatening to choke off her intestines! (That danger usually requires surgery to free the bowels).
Her "bubble" of spider web like scar tissue was palpable (touchable) from the outside and was even restricting her leaning back. I changed to a different enzyme product in 2002 and in 6 weeks the scar tissue was completely and totally gone - eaten away safely and painlessly! Sounds like fairy dust; too good to be true" you say! Look up the recommended readings below and convince yourself otherwise that spider veins, wrinkles, inflammation and fibrosis are not incurable conditions. Remember beauty begins on the inside!
- Enzymes the Fountain of Life by: D. A. Lopez MD. R.M. Williams MD, and K Miehlke MD. Published by Neville Press 1994.
- The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy by: Anthony Cichoke DC. Published by Avery 1999.
- 10 Natural Treatments You Haven't Heard of Until Now by: William Wong ND, Ph.D. , Published by Timeless Voyager Press, 1999.
- The Best Natural Sports Medicine Book Ever by: William Wong ND, Ph.D., Published by Timeless Voyager Press, to be released Dec. 2002.
Dr. William Wong is a Texas State Naturopathic Medical Association professional member, World Sports Medicine Hall of Fame member, a Classical Naturopath, a Ph.D. Exercise Physiologist, a Certified Athletic Trainer (AATA), a Certified Sports Medicine Trainer (ASMA), and a Health/Fitness Consultant. Dr. Wong has more than 23 years of professional experience in natural health, as applied to sports medicine and rehabilitation, with the last 12 devoted almost exclusively to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Wong has authored books on natural healing and has taught Physical Medicine at the South West College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. His shorter writings have appeared in such diverse magazines as G.Q., Black Belt, Survival Guide, The Townsend Letter for Doctors, and Well Being Journal. In 1993, he was also inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Wing Chun Kung Fu Instructor of the Year.
Dr. Wong has been a guest on over 500 national and local radio programs, as well as appearing on the nationally acclaimed PBS series Healthy Living hosted by Jane Seymour. In November 2002, Dr. Wong appeared on the Heartbeat of America show hosted by William Shatner. Currently, using a blend of movement, nutrition, exercise and spirituality, Dr. Wong is specializing in developing programs for longevity and virility to help people overcome the effects of aging and the after effects of chronic debilitating conditions.
Dr. William Wong and his wife Michele are devoted to bringing forth information on new and effective natural treatments for chronic illnesses, teaching little known information about exercise and spreading their philosophy on what they've found to be the cornerstones of a healthy and active life.