Saturday, July 7, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes - Breast Cancer, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes

As you know, breast cancer is considered to be epidemic amongst women over age fifty. Insulin resistance which is the underlying problem for the vast majority of people with Type 2 diabetes, has also been linked to an increased risk for this type of cancer.
Investigators at the University of North Carolina in the United States looked further into the problem of Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. Their interest was in other factors associated with diabetes and this form of cancer, and with survival.
Their study, published in July 2012 in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, included 1,447 women with diabetes, and 1,453 without.
  • women with diabetes were at a 35 per cent higher risk of developing breast cancer after menopause than were women without diabetes.
  • non-white women with diabetes were more than three times more likely to develop breast cancer both before and after menopause.
The risk of death from any cause was greater in diabetic women with breast cancer than in non-diabetic women, and that difference was particularly significant among women who were obese when cancer was diagnosed. How long the volunteers had known they had Type 2 diabetes and the type of treatment they were receiving for it, had no influence upon the cancer.
From these results, it was concluded diabetes could increase the incidence of this type of cancer in older women and non-whites and the incidence of death due to any cause.
Eight basic signs and symptoms can indicate the possibility of breast cancer:
  • a hard mass in the side the breast or underarm, can sometimes be felt. Breasts naturally have soft lumps, but a hard lump should be examined by a doctor.
  • a breast with cancer can swell or become warm, red, or darker.
  • the usual shape of the breast can change.
  • dimpling or puckering of the skin, giving it the appearance of orange peel, is another sign.
  • the nipple or other part of the breast can be pulled in.
  • an itchy, scaly sore or rash can develop on the nipple.
  • a sudden nipple discharge can develop. Bloody or clear discharge can indicate cancer or infection.
  • a new pain that stays in one place can be a symptom of breast cancer.
When in doubt, have your breasts examined.
Breast mammography is recommended beginning at age 40 for women with average risk. For women with a family history of breast cancer, mammography can start earlier. Professional breast exams should be performed beginning at age 20 and every 3 years thereafter until the age of 40, when the frequency should be increased to every year.
Some ways of preventing breast cancer include breastfeeding if possible, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol intake, and limiting the use of postmenopausal hormones.
The woman's menstrual history can apparently affect your risk of breast cancer, but many experts are in conflict as to how significant a role it really plays in the big picture.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Naturally Fragrant Air Conditioner

Peppermint, with its strong, minty aroma, is typically associated with the holidays. Think of candy canes hanging on the Christmas tree and taped to beautifully wrapped packages. Or how about chocolate peppermint bark or peppermint-flavored hard tack candies?
But don't be fooled. This scent of the season is not so seasonal after all. While thoughts of peppermint may evoke feelings of warmth in November and December, peppermint is also for the dog days of summer.
So hot that it's cool, so cool that it's hot
Essential oil of peppermint is known as an adaptogen in aromatherapy parlance. In other words, it adapts to whatever it is you need it to do. Peppermint warms you up when you're cold, and when you're hot it cools you down. Other popular, adaptive essential oils include lavender and lemon. Their effects are either sedating or stimulating, and, like peppermint, they adapt in the direction that most benefits you.
Peppermint or Mentha piperita, the plant's Latin botanical name, is a very popular herb that many people plant in their gardens. In fact, I'm growing some peppermint in a terracotta pot on my patio this summer. Here's a fun experiment: Try "petting" the leaf of the plant, like some visitors to my home did earlier today. Then smell your hand that caressed those leaves. My guests found it delightful that their fingers smelled of peppermint. While touching the plant's leaves they had crushed and therefore released its fragrant molecules.
These tiny, aromatic molecules are what compose essential oils, which not only smell wonderfully and benefit us in many ways, but in nature they serve to protect plants from predators. Simultaneously, they attract the "good guys" with their aroma. These "good guys" include pollinators such as bees and moths that help a plant species propagate.
Distilling it all down
Various parts of botanicals, such as leaves, stems, blossoms, and roots, are steam distilled to extract essential oil. If you're a person of a certain age, think of Granny Clampett making her moonshine and you'll have a good idea of the distillation process.
During distillation, the plant's oil is forced out by steam, and afterward the water and the oil are separated from each other. The resulting "essential oil" is a light and water-like substance. Essential oils are in stark contrast to the heavy, fatty vegetable oils, such as olive and almond, which are indeed "oily" to the touch.
Making scents of it all
Essential oils are used in the creation of perfumes, soaps and in all types of consumer products such as toothpaste.
In aromatherapy, we use pure essential oils to enhance our overall wellbeing. The oils have been time-tested throughout the ages as healing aids for the human body and emotions. Although the practice of aromatherapy has long been considered part of folklore, modern science is beginning to support what our ancestors knew and what modern-day aromatherapy practitioners know: we can benefit in many ways from the healing properties of botanical essences.
If you've decided to make yourself a Peppermint Spritzer to help cool off this summer, use a good quality essential oil-not synthetic fragrance oil. The best place for a consumer to start is at a health food store you trust. There are also many online sources for pure essential oils, but my experience is that most people who are not all that familiar with aromatherapy feel better visiting a health food store and talking with someone who is knowledgable about essential oils.
One quick way to discern a true essential oil from synthetic fragrance oil is to look for the Latin botanical name on the bottle. If you don't see it, don't buy the oil because it's most likely synthetic fragrance oil and not a true essential oil.
Almost all essential oils require dilution prior to their use, usually in a carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil. However, for our purposes we will use spring water or distilled water as our carrier.
My personal blend during the summer months is 10 drops of high-quality essential oil of peppermint in 4 ounces of distilled water. I blend the formula in an amber glass spray bottle. You can find these bottles online; however, you will usually need to buy in quantity and it is difficult (but not impossible) to find single, amber glass bottles with a sprayer for sale. Fortunately, many health food stores sell individual amber glass bottles with sprayers. Why amber glass? An amber glass bottle is a must because you want to keep sunlight away from the essential oil. Otherwise, the efficacy of the oil may be compromised as a result of exposure to direct sunlight.
I keep my Peppermint Spritzer refrigerated so that it's doubly cooling. Simply shake the bottle before each use and then spritz yourself, using common sense caution by avoiding your eyes, pets and children.
In addition, I also keep a bottle at the bedside for those hot flashes that come in the middle of the night. Women in midlife may find this basic blend a powerful solution to annoying, episodic "heated moments" that often occur pre-menopause, during menopause and post-menopause.
Essential oil of peppermint has many other wonderfully amazing uses due to its chemical make up. For example, it's often used for nausea and gastrointestinal distress-but that's an article for another time.
Finally, essential oil of peppermint has rejuvenating and refreshing properties, so another benefit of your Peppermint Spritzer is that it won't only cool you down physically, but it will also lift your spirits.
How to make a Peppermint Spritzer
Items you'll need
• 4 oz. amber glass bottle with sprayer
• 10 drops of essential oil of peppermint (from a dropper top bottle or else you will need an actual dropper)
• Distilled or spring water
• Add enough water to almost fill the bottle, but not enough to make the water overflow when you place the sprayer inside the bottle
• Add 10 drops of essential oil of peppermint
• Insert the sprayer into the bottle-and your blend is ready.
How to use
• Shake well before spraying and blend the essential oil and water.
• Spritz yourself during those times you need to cool off, or when you need to revive your spirits.
Hint: store your Peppermint Spritzer in the refrigerator to keep this cooling blend really cool.
Please use common sense caution, especially if you have sensitivities, are pregnant or ill. Avoid mucous membranes, and keep away from your eyes. Keep the Peppermint Spritz blend and all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
Melanie McMillan is a writer, editor and lecturer, as well as a student of theology and a certified aromatherapist who has formally studied botanical essences in the U.S. and in France.
She recently authored her first e-Book, Fashion from the field, which is a short, quirky little book with helpful hints gleaned from Melanie's days spent as a style editor for a small, weekly newspaper in a rural area of Connecticut where many key names in the fashion industry have homes or second homes. Some of the advice in Fashion from the Field comes from these "names," and also from Melanie's own mother, who graces the cover of the book.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Aromatherapy For Aches And Pains

Lately a lot of clients have complained of aches and pains from back and knee injuries, arthritis, joint pain, overdoing it in the garden, sports or just general twinges here and there, tight shoulders and lower back pain.
A good remedy for all of these is Marjoram oil which I use in a blend with several other oils depending on your temperament. The other oils supplement any other tension you may have in the body or any other issues you may need rectified. If you suffer from any aches or pains or have hurt yourself why not treat it the gentle way with oil? Add some lavender and peppermint to relax and refresh you.
Good oils for stress and tension are: Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Melissa, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Rosewood and Ylang Ylang. Just a few drops in a burner will set a nice atmosphere and lower your stress levels. Alternatively mix a few drops of each in a base of jojoba, grapeseed or almond oil and use as massage oil or in the bath.
An alternative to manufactured shampoos is to start making your own. Buy just the shampoo base which will cost you about $5-$6 for a huge container which will last months. Mix a carrier oil of almond, jojoba or grapeseed (about 50mls) with some Roman chamomile (12 drops), Lavender (8 drops), Rosemary (5 drops), Frankincense (5 drops). Make sure you only buy the natural oils. They cost a bit more but it's worth it. You don't want chemicals in your hair. Shake and add this to the shampoo base and then shake the mixture again. Use this to shampoo as you would any other shop bought shampoos. Do not use anything else on your hair except this for about three months. You will notice a change.
Remember its important with essential oils to not use Neroli or Rosemary if you are pregnant or epileptic. Also do not use Ylang Ylang if you have LOW blood pressure. Less is best when mixing oils and always mix oils in a carrier oil for massaging into hair or skin. Make sure the oils are all natural so no chemicals release into your body. As a rule go by what smells nice to you, and don't mix more than a few oils together at a time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lavender Oil Health Scents

Lavender Oil is highly regarded for its pleasing smell, making it a popular addition to soaps, fragrances and aroma therapy candles. However, this oil extracted from the lovely lavender plant is more than just a pleasing fragrance. Lavender oil has been found to have many different health benefits from stress relief to joint pain making it a must have oil for everyone interested in holistic health and healing.
Here are some of the ways Lavender Oil can benefit you:
Stress Relief
One of the main reasons that many of us like to burn lavender scented candles is because of the oil's ability to relieve stress and tension. Just a few drops of the oil can help refresh the mind and can even promote sleep when applied to your pillow.
Inhaling lavender oil via a vaporizer is a great way to help deal with congestion caused by colds or allergies. It is also a great way to find relief from sinus headaches.
Stings, Bites and Burns
Lavender Oil has natural analgesic properties making it an ideal application for bug bites and bee stings. Simple use a cotton swab to apply the oil to the affected area and the pain and irritation will cease. These same pain relieving properties also make the oil great for sunburns.
Joint Pain
Mixing lavender with jojoba oil is a great way to help massage away the pain caused by inflammation of the joints. This is especially ideal for people who are sensitive to over the counter pain medications. Be sure to get the massage done by an experience person in order to get the most use out of the oil.
Fungal Infections
Lavender has natural anti-fungal properties making it a natural treatment for athlete's feet. Simply soak your feet in warm water with a few drops of lavender oil. It is also affective against planter's warts as well as psoriasis.
Skin and Scalp Problems
Lavender is great for your skin. You can treat eczema and acne my mixing lavender oil with chamomile and applying it to the trouble spots.
Taken internally, lavender essential oil can help with digestion, blood circulation an d improve your digestive system. This is only recommended for adults.
Now you can see why lavender oil is such a popular addition to soaps, shampoos and perfumes. Having these products around can help a person find relief from stress and having the oil handy can help with all sorts of ailments. Since allergic reactions are possible and some people cannot handle the odor, be sure to test the oil out first before using it. Lavender oil is not recommended for small children, pregnant women or diabetics.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Soy Candles and Their Alchemy

Long ago, candles were important for everyday life, giving a source of lighting after sunset. These days, scented candles are a luxury - using fragrance to create varied moods, while their dancing flame soothes the mind.
Candles consist of two basic elements: 1) a fuel source i.e. wax and 2) a wick. The wick is significant to the candle function as it serves as the fuel delivery system.
A naked flame is used to ignite the wick, which then melts some of the wax at the candle exterior. The liquefied wax is drawn up through the wick fibres by capillary action - this is because of the way soy wax molecules adhere to the wick fibres.
After the soy wax reaches the uppermost part of the wick, it turns to vapour upon contact with the burning flame. Combustion occurs as hot soy wax vapour combines with oxygen, producing the candle flame. Heat and light are released in this exothermic reaction.
Interestingly, a candle wick only burns at its very tip. The other parts of the wick are involved in capillary action, and are protected from burning by the vaporisation of the fuel. This has to do with a chemical property named the latent heat of vaporisation, in which the fuel takes up much of the nearby heat, allowing it to change from liquid to gas. This effect maintains the wick at a lower temperature than it would typically be.
The flame keeps burning, generating generous amounts of liquid wax, which is used as a fuel and vaporised. This creates the highly fragrant essential oils into the air.
Why are natural soy wax candles good?
Soy is a native East Asian plant that is both a renewable material and biodegradable - hence it is an eco-friendly option for the responsible consumer. The soy plant can be continually developed without harming the natural ecosystem.
To generate soy wax, the soy beans are farmed from the plant and processed into oil, which is then distilled and hydrogenated. Converting unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fat - generating a firm creamy white wax.
Soy wax has the benefit that it is slow burning due to its low melting point, this results in appreciably longer burn times for soy candles. It is also a very clean burning wax, and does not discharge dangerous chemicals such as toluene and benzene as paraffin based candles can.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Professional Care Needed for Safe and Effective Aromatherapy

Essential oils have powerful healing properties and have been used to treat imbalances of the mind, body and spirit for hundreds of years.
In aromatherapy massage, essential oils complement a holistic treatment plan which is unique to each individual client. They are highly concentrated plant oils which have a wide range of healing properties which can boost your mood in a variety of ways including, stress relief, boosting energy, detoxifying, decongesting and uplifting.
Calm and slow movements are used to massage the oils into the skin. This enhances physical and emotional wellbeing by encouraging deep relaxation. They are absorbed into the skin during the massage and reach the internal organs through the body's circulatory system.
The scent of the essential oils is inhaled during the massage and can influence the emotions, hormones and nervous system. Benefits of this include relieving tension and stress, encouraging deep relaxation, stimulating the immune system and improving blood and lymph circulation, boosting energy levels and enhancing overall wellbeing and mental calm.
There is a considerable difference between the essential oils used for aromatherapy massage and the blended oils that are used for treatments in beauty spas and salons. Handling and using the oils requires specialist training as they are highly concentrated and potent. Often, only a few drops are needed to reach the desired effect.
Occasionally, clients need to be aware that the combination of massage and essential oils can be over stimulating. Pregnant women, for example, require specialist massage treatment and should speak to their massage therapist before beginning treatment.
Unfortunately aromatherapy can be seen as a 'lightweight' or just for 'a bit of relaxation and a pamper' and often when offered through beauty salons and spas this is how it is described and advertised. However, essential oils are an excellent treatment for a range of emotional and physical stresses and can calm the mind and boost the body's natural energy sources.
To get the full benefits, these potent oils should be handled carefully and used to enhance a bespoke treatment that focuses on the individual needs of each client. Before beginning treatment ensure that the therapist you have chosen is qualified and experienced in the use of these potent natural extracts and that you have discussed fully with your therapist the symptoms you are experiencing and required relief.
Often after a thorough consultation and depending on the skills and qualifications your selected professional massage therapist has they will combine aromatherapy massage with other massage therapy techniques to create a unique treatment plan for you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Light Therapy Pain Relief: NASA Study Opens the Door for Drug Free Treatment

Light therapy pain relief has become a staple form of treatment for individuals in both the Navy and NASA. Their initial studies on bone marrow transplant patients have led to the implementation of this medication alternative in specific professions to lessen the amount of experienced discomfort or inflammation of a patient. The NASA studies centered on how infrared light at defined wavelengths is capable of promoting cell regeneration, cell functions, and general discomfort alleviation. Their confirmation of treatment effectiveness to alleviate pain safely has caused the method to be adopted in various medical areas.
Advanced light therapy has been proven to expedite wound restoration, reduce inflammation, and decrease pain. The procedure involves using a device to emit the required wavelength to a designated area of the body through a concentrated source by means of Light Emitting Diodes (LED's). It has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for every kind of ailment, but the NASA studies generated awareness of this option as an alternative to traditional drugs.
Why is Advanced Light Therapy Effective?
Advanced light therapy is a procedure where photons are emitted through a special device designed to reach unhealthy or abnormal cells underneath surface tissue by means of a certain light wavelength. The LED's provide necessary photons for energizing damaged cell mitochondria to speed up repair while alleviating discomfort. Fast cell regrowth limits the time required to regenerate a wounded area and supplies a reduced amount of pain. Quick regeneration eliminates discomfort as an individual's health is restored. The non-invasive treatment requires multiple visits or home applications to be effective. Session counts vary based on the type of ailment and the level of experienced discomfort. The main benefits offered by using light therapy pain relief are elimination of harmful drugs, faster relief, and a shortened recovery time. Individuals considering remedying acute or chronic pain by these means are encouraged to discuss all options with a doctor before making a choice.
This treatment choice has proven highly effective in the alleviation of joint or muscle aches. NASA found that patients receiving bone marrow transplants had a noticeable discomfort reduction when advanced light therapy was applied. Plant studies showed cells exposed to LED's grew as much as two hundred percent faster than those receiving no stimulation. A more recent study displayed the possible benefits of LED application among pediatric cancer patients. Bone marrow transplant patients in particular develop a condition called oral mucositis, which causes mouth or throat ulcerations, extreme soreness, and intestinal tract inflammation. They have a difficult time chewing due to the ulcerations and swallowing is sometimes near impossible. Inability to drink or eat quickly diminishes the patient's health, with medication providing the only relief.
Latest studies prove that LEDs can help alleviate many of these symptoms. Dr. Harry Whelan found the study results to be encouraging, and the extended research has caused light therapy pain relief to become a justifiable choice over the administration of multiple medications. The study has opened eyes among medical professionals regarding the possible benefits of this treatment for remedying discomfort without the use of drugs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food Remedies For People With Cervical Spondylosis

One of the many degenerative conditions suffered in old age is Cervical Spondylosis. The condition is a result from the wear and tear of the joints and intervertebral discs in the neck area and is mostly more evident in men than in women. Recent studies have shown that Cervical Spondylosis develops in relation to sedentary lifestyle.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the development of Cervical Spondylosis. Some of these factors include old age, sleeping positions, sedentary lifestyles and even genetics. During the development of the disease, the intervertebral discs thicken as a response to the upcoming threat of bone fusion. Osteocytes, which are also known as, bone spurs are mostly responsible for the thickening of the discs. There is an increased risk for the development of nerve compression and slipped discs when the intervertebral discs increase in size. Most often than not, the recurrence of neck pains is associated with Cervical Spondylosis.
People diagnosed with Cervical Spondylosis have several treatment options to choose from to slow down the progression of the disease. For natural treatments, home remedies which has been effectively proven to alleviate pain brought about by the disease, are usually introduced. These remedies can be performed even in your home as the organic constituents of the alternative are mostly found in your kitchen.
Eating 2-3 cloves of garlic in the morning along with the application of garlic oil can provide a fast relief from neck pain. You can even prepare your own garlic oil by frying 10 cloves of garlic in about 60 grams of oil. Apply this on your neck when the oil has already cooled down. It is suggested that a warm batch follows after for best results. Do this routine consecutively for 15 days.
Neck massage can also ease the pain that is felt because of Cervical Spondylosis. An aromatic massage which contains lavender fragrances is ideal for a heavy massage in the neck. Massage your neck with the oil to a point that you can no longer feel any neck strain. To avoid the pain from coming back, it is advised that you avoid prolonged bending or leaning of your neck forward.
A preparation of lemon juice in your kitchen can also be helpful as this was approved by the experts. For best results, consume lemon juice three times a day along with a pinch of roc salt. Chebulic myrobalan, which should be consumed after meals, can also help in providing a fast relief against neck pain.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Benefits Are Offered Through Light Therapy Pain Relief

While treating discomfort with medication is preferred among most doctors and individuals, a new form of relief is available that eliminates the need for introducing drugs into the body. Light therapy pain relief uses LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology to create a concentrated source of artificial light that helps alleviate many ailments. A wavelength ranging from six hundred and thirty to seven hundred nanometers is capable of reaching a depth of ten nanometers into the tissue. It is a feasible alternative to drugs for ailments near the surface of the skin, such as:
  • Wounds
  • Cuts
  • Scars
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Infections
Infrared light ranging from eight-hundred to one thousand nanometers is capable of providing relief at an amplified depth of approximately forty millimeters. It has been applied in studies to evaluate effectiveness regarding bone, joint, and deep muscle tissue relief. Advance light therapy has also been used to treat organ issues and for general discomfort, but is not a solution for every type of ailment. Individuals suffering from a severe condition should consult with their doctor before replacing medications with this type of treatment.
Advance Light Therapy Reduces Discomfort While Promoting Cell Regeneration
Advance light therapy concentrates on providing a certain wavelength to aid in pain reduction. Every cell type and tissue in a person's body has specific characteristics concerning the wavelength they are capable of absorbing. Skin layers do well with red lighting because it contains a large amount of blood, while calcium requires another type of wavelength. LED methods are a newer technology designed to reduce discomfort without the harmful side effects seen in previous devices. Individuals using pulsating LED's enhance experienced results when using light therapy for pain relief. The rates supplied in these devices are referred to as Nogier frequencies and were founded by Dr. Paul Nogier, a doctor and medical researcher. Dr. Nogier found that the supplied bio-resonate effects aid in treating specific bodily tissues and reinforces its ability to function. Experienced benefits seen with this treatment include:
  • Increased Blood Circulation
  • Improved Vascular Activity
  • Heightened Production of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Decreased Scared Tissue
  • Stimulated Wound Restoration
  • Improved Regeneration
  • Pain Reduction
  • Mood Elevation
  • Inflammation Reduction
Advance light therapy stimulates the production of many items that promote the development or regeneration of cells, which aids in the regeneration of tissue. Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, for example, works as an energy source for supporting muscle contraction, boosting cellular process metabolism, and maintaining the sustainability of living systems. The phagocytosis process is enhanced, thus allowing dead or degenerated cells to be eliminated for reduced chance of infection. It promotes cellular reproduction by accelerating the process of damaged cell replacement. Light therapy pain relief increases the amount of endorphins and enkephelins found in the body to decrease experienced discomfort.
An LED based device designed to provide the right concentrated wavelength source has the possibility of providing muscle, joint, and tissue relief. While not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, this method of treatment has been proven to be effective in various studies, including ones performed by NASA in pediatric cancer patients.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Correcting Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly the Natural Way

Whilst cranial head remoulding is necessary for some infants suffering from brachycephaly or plagiocephaly, there is a natural method which can dramatically improve and eventually even correct the condition. The vast majority of babies are born with a slightly funny shaped skull - this is due to time spent confined in the womb and from the stretching and squashing which naturally occurs during birth - babies skulls are naturally malleable for this precise reason. Usually your little one's skull will return to a more normal shape after 6 weeks but for those that don't and for babies who develop an abnormal skull shape after this time, during infancy, treatment is usually recommended.
Cranial head remoulding (also known as cranial moulding orthosis) is one common treatment. It involves remoulding your baby's skull by placing it in a specially designed helmet which encourages the skull to grow into the correct shape over time. For children with mild-to-moderate plagiocephaly or brachycephaly (flat head syndrome) this is a fairly intensive treatment, it involves almost full time wearing of the helmet. Whilst this treatment is very effective, there are other routes you might like to pursue first which are free and which can work well.
Tummy Time
As any new parent will know, all advice states that you should ensure your baby sleeps on his or her back to reduce the risk of cot death. Although this advice is sound and should be heeded, it has caused the number of cases of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in particular to sky rocket. This is because your baby's skull remains very malleable until they reach around one year old. By ensuring they always sleep in the same position on their back their skull can become flattened in the area where it usually rests.
'Tummy time' is a technique which encourages your baby to stay on their front during their waking hours. It really is as easy as that. By ensuring your baby spends time with their head in a different position, you dramatically reduce the amount of pressure placed on the flattened area of skull and give the skull time and space to correct itself. 30 minutes of supervised 'tummy time' is a good place to start, eventually you'll be looking to spend at least half of your baby's waking hours on their belly. It also helps your little one develop the muscles required for crawling and rolling!
Not all babies are keen to spend time on their bellies, start small and be creative - then gradually increase the time. Try lying face up and placing your little bundle on your belly so you are face to face. There are all sorts of tricks you can try! Toys and mirrors are especially helpful. Alternating the direction your baby's head is in while she or he sleeps (Monday, to the right - Tuesday, to the left etc.) can also help reduce the flattening effect of sleeping in one position.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Your Second Brain: The Belly Has a Mind of It's Own

It's often said that many of us think with our stomachs. It turns out this tongue and cheek axiom is grounded in scientific validity. According to Michael D. Gerson, distinguished doctor and professor of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, we all have a "second brain" made up of the abdomen and all of its complex systems.
Dr. Gerson has devoted over 30 years to studying the abdomen and founded the burgeoning field of medicine known as "Neurogastroenterology." In 1998 he published the groundbreaking book, "The Second Brain" detailing the findings of this new field of medicine.
What Exactly is the Second Brain?
According to Dr. Gershon, the gut has its own nervous system known as the "enteric nervous system." It is vitally important to the operation of the human body and even functions without input from the spinal cord or brain.
The gut plays a vital role in our emotional and physical well-being. The feeling of "butterflies" in your stomach when you are nervous or excited or a sinking feeling in your belly when you dread something is your gut's way of communicating with you.
How is the Second Brain Different from the Brain in our Head?
The "second brain" or abdominal brain is much different from the brain in our heads. Our cranial brain performs complex cognitive functions such as reasoning, calculations and making plans based on logic. In contrast, our second brain is intuitive and receives signals and messages regarding our bodies and the environment that it sends back to our cranial brain and vice versa.
Understanding the second brain and its functions is the answer to helping people who are plagued with gastrointestinal problems that are often dismissed by traditional medical practitioners that often label patients as neurotic.
Why is the Gut Called a Brain?
According to Dr. Gershon, the second brain contains an astounding 100 million neurons - more than the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system combined. The gut is called a brain because it controls the complex process of digestion without assistance of the cranial brain.
The second brain produces an immense amount of chemical compounds, including every type of neurotransmitter found in the cranial brain. In fact, the gut (second brain) produces 95% of the chemical serotonin. Without adequate levels of serotonin, we experience insomnia and depression.
How the Two Brains are Connected
The cranial and abdominal brains are connected by a cable known as the vagus nerve. Neurotransmission allows the two brains to be able to communicate with each other and work together so the body can operate in harmony. When these two brains connect - we are able to connect more deeply with ourselves.
The second brain shapes and forms our emotional state of being. The condition of the abdomen gives rise to depression or enthusiasm, sadness or joy, despair or fulfillment. In our gut reside all of our emotional impressions throughout our lives! Protected from our awareness this tissue holds many of our deepest secrets. At some point in our lives these secrets and internal conflicts manifest as physical symptoms.
These symptoms act as warning signals. It's our body's way of saying, "Pay attention to me! Pay attention to my gut!"
The Gut and our Emotional Problems
Researchers are now beginning to understand the complex relationship between the second brain and psychological disorders.
Dr. Emeran Mayer, professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, said that most patients with anxiety and depression have gastrointestinal problems as well.
Researchers are finding out that depression, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, Parkinson's and even Alzheimer's disease manifest at the level of both brain and gut.
Dr. Mayer stated up to 70% of his patients with chronic stomach problems have experienced early childhood traumas which affect how they respond to stress. They remain in an ongoing state of emergency with all of the body's systems ready to deal with approaching danger - even though the original event occurred years before.
Heal the Second Brain and the Rest will Follow
Ten years ago I was experiencing heavy feelings of anxiousness and fear. I was also stuck in my creative work. I tried every healing modality under the sun to no avail. In my quest for healing, I learned that the Taoists have known for centuries that the abdomen, and the emotions and tensions within it, are the cause of many ailments and diseases. I was intrigued.
I found a holistic healing modality based on this ancient knowledge called Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) that focuses on healing the second brain. "Chi" means energy and information, and "Nei Tsang" means visceral or internal. I decided to try it.
During my CNT treatments I was able to connect with myself in a deeper way than ever before. In time, I was able to release the negative energy stored in my gut that was producing anxiety, anger and fear. The emotional energy was released and I was free!
As I continued with treatments, my enthusiasm for life deepened and I experienced an explosion of creativity! My mind slowed, I felt calm, grounded, less reactive and emotionally mature. The years of accumulated stress had vanished. I felt at home with myself and others for the first time.
That was many years ago, and I am happy to report I am still experiencing the beneficial effects of CNT. In fact, my profound experience led me to become a practitioner of the art, which I have been practicing over the last 10 years.
I love working on the abdomen, or second brain, because it allows me to help people find deep healing on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. There is no condition, whether manifested physically, emotionally or spiritually that cannot be helped by Chi Nei Tsang.
A New Hope for Healing
Prescription drug use for gastrointestinal and mental conditions is at an all-time high. People are still suffering and walking around in a drug-induced haze. Gilles Marin, my teacher and Director of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute once stated, "Once people connect with the emotional reason why they are sick and are able to evolve and change the way they their emotions affect them internally, there is no more reason whatsoever that they can continue to be sick".
The stagnant patterns and fear of change we hold inside ourselves are preventing the flowering of our potential. With the emerging understanding of our second brain - a revolution in healing is taking place. With knowledge of the brain in our gut; its power and function, we now have an opportunity to heal at the deepest level, to find our life purpose and to do our part in creating the world we yearn for.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Strength Training Build Stronger Bones

Everyone wants to be physically fit and strong, because it helps prevent physical illnesses such as osteoporosis. People nowadays tend to try all sorts of exercises, just so they can improve their bone density, weight, and other aspects of their bodies. Chances are you have tried weight training some time in your life; tried drinking milk which promised that you would have stronger bones, or tried regular exercise.
However, today, strength training is probably the most common activity done by individuals to build stronger bones. Strength training, or weight training, helps build muscles in your body. Similarly, it also improves the bones' strength and density as you exert effort or a degree of overload on them. This is the reason why people who are getting older are the ones who go to the gym more often, rather than those who are in their early or mid-twenties.
When you are in the gym doing a physical activity, like a weight-bearing exercise, it provides you mechanical stimuli which are known for improving the bone strength. This is because your muscles, and also your bones work against gravity, which makes you control your own weight. Another example of strength training is when you do intensity-related exercises like moving weights. The more weight you move and the heavier it is, the more that it makes your bones stronger.
Strength training does so many things for your bones and your muscles, and so as you grow older, the more you will need these exercises to maintain the capacity of your bones, and also to avoid the risks of getting osteoporosis and other fractures. In addition, when you have stronger bones and muscles, it gives you more strength as you go along with your daily activities, and so you are able to last longer than you normally do. You will be able to endure tedious activities, and even those that require a lot of effort-in case you are a sports fanatic.
If you want to strengthen your bones, you may start with simple workouts each day, like running around for a couple of minutes. You may also do simple stretches to warm your bones up, so that you would not feel much pain when you start lifting weights. Of course, you need not to lift heavy weights the moment you begin; you should just start with light weights, those you can lift comfortably for a couple of times. After which, you can gradually add more weights, so that you can improve more until you can do resistance training. This works best when you want to make your bones stronger.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bones Stronger When They Heal

Your bones play a very important role in pre-forming everyday tasks. They are made of hard components to support your body as well as your vital organs. Your bones have the ability to bend but only in a limited degree. However, when too much pressure is on it, bones can break or snap. There are a lot of instances in which you can break your bone like when you fall from a tree or smashing into a moving car.
A fracture is a condition in which a bone is broken. However, there is more than one way to break or fracture a bone. When a bone is totally broken into two, it is called a complete fracture. When a bone cracks halfway through, it is called a greenstick fracture. A single fracture happens when a bone is broken only in one place. When the bone is broken into more than two pieces, it is called a comminuted fracture. In children, when the bone bends but does not break, it is called a bowling fracture. There is also an open fracture when the bone is sticking through the skin.
When fractures happen, the doctors would make use of an X-ray so they can see which bones are to set back to their positions. Then the bones would heal naturally. The fractured part will produce new bone cells as well as blood vessels to rebuild the damaged bone. The cells would cover up the broken part of the bone until it is as good as new.
You may have heard that broken bones become stronger when they are healed. Though bones can get stronger under pressure, this is only true up to some point. Athletes develop greater bone mass after trainings which they need to perform well on their games. However, there is no such proof that when a broken bone heals, it would be stronger than it was before the fracture happens.
The process of bone recovery after a fracture is truly a remarkable process in which the fractured area becomes stronger than the bone surrounding it. This is because calcium is concentrated on that part for rebuilding purposes. The plaster cast is also worn to protect the fractured area only. And since there is no pressure on the surrounding bones, they become relatively weaker during the healing process. However, when you use your arm or your leg later after the bone has finally recovered, the fractured area before and the surrounding bones will reach equal strength already. The place of the fracture have the same chances of being broken again just like any bone in your body. In tests conducted with healed fractures, it was proven that there is an equal distribution of another bone breakage.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Causes Stress Fractures In Bones

It is so easy to think that your bones are strong to the point that very little and rare circumstances would lead to their failure. This is why most people are alarmed when they get fractures or bone disorders. They tend to think that as the disorder is able to affect something as strong as a bone, then it must be really serious. Actually, it is not entirely the case. Any part of your body is susceptible to illnesses and disorders. Your bones are no exceptions. Therefore, you have to understand the causes of most disorders affecting your bones to be able to protect yourself from them.
One of the common disorders that affect your bones is a stress fracture. This is a type of fracture attributed to overusing your bones. Putting on pressure and work load to your bone is met by a resistance within. Your bones change and repair themselves to continuously cope with the force and pressure put on them. Calcium, a substance that strengthens the bones, is distributed to the certain parts that experience most of the external pressure. This is a natural reaction that ensures your bones would not easily break under the pressure.
However, when loads and pressures are repetitively charged against a specific part of your bone the natural course of repairing is disrupted. It causes stress on the pressured points until eventually, small cracks form. As the condition worsens, your bones cannot find anymore time to harden the pressured points and cracks can turn into stress fractures.
A stress fracture is caused by constant pressure placed on the bone with a frequency that allows no room for repairing. This happens mostly to athletes who engage in physical activities and exercise routines that are constantly stressing out the bones and muscles. It can also occur in cases where a usually inactive body is forced to undergo extreme physical activities.
A rare cause of stress fractures is muscle fatigue. This occurs when you are engaged in an activity that requires both of your muscle and bone working together to exert effort. But eventually, your muscles get tired. This leaves the bones bearing most of the pressure and strain until stress fracture occurs.
It is really frightening to think of your bones having stress fractures because it may weaken your bone structure. To avoid being affected negatively by stress fractures, you can consult your trusted doctor or your trusted osteopath. They will help you strengthen your bones and release tension from within to avoid the fractures and cracks from forming.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Inside Our Bones

Looking at the bones of the animals that you eat, it has been quite easy to picture your own bones. From pictures in books and on the Internet, you have also been shown how a human bone looks. You know that it basically has a pearly white color and a smooth surface like that of a marble. In actual though, your bones have more inside it than being that white thing.
There are different layers inside your bones. The hard and outermost layer is called the periosteum. This part of your bone is the most sensitive to external pressures. It contains within it various blood vessels and veins that transport blood and nutrients to be used by the different parts of your body.
After the hard layer of periosteum, the next is the compact bone. The tissue inside the compact bone has very little gaps or spaces thus making it only 5% to 30% porous. It is mostly responsible for giving your bones their common attributes of being white, smooth and strong. In an adult skeleton, 80% of the total bone mass is attributed to the compact bone.
Under the layer of compact bone is the trabecular or cancellous bone. 20% of the total bone mass in your skeleton is attributed to this layer of your bones. It is found mostly in the interior part of your bone and resembles a sponge in terms of physical appearance. As such, it is relatively softer than the compact bone, 30% to 90% porous and with generous amounts of space for the marrow.
Finally, you have the marrow in the innermost part. In terms of physical appearance, it can be likened to a jelly with either a red or yellow hue. The bone marrow is a popular layer because of its important function of producing new blood cells for your body.
Aside from the layers of the bones, there are of course cells within it. There are several types of these cells. One is the osteoblasts, located on the surface of the osteoid seams. They produce a type of protein that manufactures bones and produces hormones. Another type of cell within your bones is the osteocytes. Their main functions include the formation and maintenance of your bone matrix as well as the regulation of the way your bones cope with stress. Lastly, you have the osteoclasts that are mainly responsible for the breaking down of the old bone to be replaced by a new one.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Personal Trainers Work Better Than Gyms

Generally there a variety of approaches to improve your fitness level and to get into the very best form of yourself. You are able to lift weights, jog, go walking, or maybe engage in well-known fitness courses such as Zumba or even Pilates. For those who wish to be your very best, however, you have to find the best fitness expert. Personal training can certainly make a major difference for individuals who want to satisfy his or her individual objectives. To find the best fitness instructor, you must look at several important elements. Get a personal fitness trainer who is a devoted professional and also someone who will offer you a prepared exercise program, a personalized assessment, and solid recommendations.
The 1st step is to discover a professional career fitness instructor. Consult with workers at the nearby work out center to obtain prospects regarding full-time coaches who happen to be participating in further education. Health clubs across the nation often retain these people who'd be more than prepared to serve as a personal fitness instructor. Refrain from individuals who see personal fitness training as a pastime or perhaps a side job.
The next step is usually to talk about evaluation as well as exercise plan options along with your fitness instructor candidates. Be sure you choose a fitness trainer that will spend some time to learn everything to know about you. This specific assessment will include measurements of your respective present level of fitness as well as a talk of any limitations you have. If your first appointment is not entirely concerning the personal trainer understanding yourself, move on to the next candidate.
It is also vital that you be certain your own coach provide you with an itemized exercise program. Before you'll hit an understanding, be sure to have a clear thought of precisely what your individual trainer have planned for your personal health and fitness. Make sure you are ready to follow his / her advice. In case your fitness instructor thinks you should spend time inside a physical fitness bootcamp program, nevertheless, you don't have any purpose of doing this, the particular instructor isn't a good match for you personally.
Last but not least, before you employ a personal trainer, request for before and after pictures of clients and phone numbers of references. If you're armed with testimonials and photographic evidence of results with other customers, you will be on a stronger position to establish a final choice. In fact, would you get a used car based on the vendor's message that it is great? Obviously you would not. As your fitness trainer will be accountable for your overall health and also fitness, the decision has to be the best one.