Category Archives: Health

Does Stress Affect Your Health?

The question is,”Does stress affect your health”?   If you have elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and or belly fat you need to read this article.

It will help you understand why taking medication is not the only answer or choice to reducing cholesterol.  I will share with you a general understanding of how stress drives up cholesterol, blood pressure and belly fat.

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

Elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a big concern for many. The first question to ask is ” where does cholesterol come from”?

Research shows, 15-30% of the total blood cholesterol comes from your diet depending on what you eat.

Over the last 25 years or so there has been a huge public awareness campaign for people to stop eating cholesterol.  So we see food packages with a “no cholesterol” label.

And here is a key finding… many have actually reduced their cholesterol intake yet they may still have elevated cholesterol in their blood. How is this happening?

Your body makes cholesterol in the liver and this may account for some 70-85% of the total cholesterol in your blood.

So even if you eat zero cholesterol your body would make all it needs in the liver.How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

A smart question to ask is “why is my body making cholesterol”?

What is stimulating it to produce it and an even better question would be “how can I slow it down”?   What is becoming very clear in the research is that one of the strongest stimuli on the liver to produce cholesterol is… insulin!

Yes that’s the hormone involved in blood sugar management.

Insulin is a very powerful stimulus that tells the body to store energy and produce cholesterol. In the liver it turns on enzymes that produce cholesterol. Insulin also stimulates the liver to make more LDL the “bad” cholesterol.

Now you are probable asking, “what makes my insulin levels go up”?

Great question. One of the biggest components is your diet and specifically your intake of the sugar spiking foods. We call these the High Glycemic foods.

It can also be the excessive intake of carbohydrates which as a society we take in way too many.

Nutrient insufficiencies can also contribute to “insulin resistance”.

This means the insulin receptors that help bring down blood sugar don’t work quite right, so the body compensates and produces more insulin to get the job done, and to drive the sugar into the cells.

There are also other factors at play that alter your physiology to increase insulin.

One very key player is lack of sleep.

Reducing your sleep from 8 hours to just 6 hours a night for 7 days can greatly increase your insulin production. (It will also increase hormones that make you eat more as well, and reduce your satiety so you don’t feel full and keep eating.)

And finally the elevated stress hormone, which is called cortisol, also drives up insulin in turn driving up cholesterol production.

Cortisol elevates blood sugar and insulin reduces it, thus they work in opposition. Chronic stress drives up insulin, which in turn drives up cholesterol production.

It is also interesting to note that lack of sleep also greatly drives up cortisol levels and feeds forward this cycle. Cortisol also directly acts directly on the liver to increase cholesterol production.

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

The story doesn’t stop here.

It has been know for a long time that elevated blood pressure is part of the “ticking time bomb” of cardiovascular disease.

It is not uncommon for many to have elevated cholesterol and elevated blood pressure and maybe even belly fat at the same time.

Insulin also working through multiple mechanisms contributes to “vascular inflammation” which is what drives up blood pressure (BP). And chronic stress also causes elevated blood pressure directly.

Earlier it was stated that insulin promotes storage of fat.

It does this everywhere on the body including the belly area. The fat tissue around your organs is unique in that it has high levels of cortisol receptors. What this means to you is…

when you are chronically stressed, your fat cells are continually getting the signal to “store fat”.

The external “symptom” is that you gain belly fat. It is a sign that your physiology is out of balance and has been for a while.  Simply cutting calories is not the answer to reducing belly fat.

It is vital to understand that belly fat sits in you not on you.

It sits deep within your abdominal area around your organs where it causes damage. It is the most dangerous type of fat.

There is a condition called Metabolic Syndrome which to simplify we could say is kind of like “pre-diabetes”.

Some of the “symptoms” include elevated blood pressure and or cholesterol, and or elevated LDL and low HDL and belly fat.  Can you see how these pieces of the puzzle work together to give or take away your health?

Elevated cholesterol is not your problem.

Your out of balance physiology which is driving up cholesterol production is.  And that’s most likely due to your lifestyle.

You have complete control over these factors! As a matter of fact, believe it or not, the major governing bodies that recommend treatment to doctors recommend diet and lifestyle before medications!

Now, you could use medications (statin drugs) to bring down your cholesterol.

And they can do that, but they do have some negative effects associated with them, including muscle pain and fatigue.

Or you could work “upstream” and take actions which give you direct control and which directly target the root cause of your elevated cholesterol (and other risk factors!). What’s your choice?

Some key solutions include:

Improving the amount of your sleep to the recommended eight hours per night.

Focus on reducing stress in all the different areas of your life (workplace, home life, life purpose, mission, direction, reducing sources of inflammation, financial stress, etc) .

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

And also key is reducing your intake of high glycemic carbohydrates.

It is important to reduce intake of “liquid candy” and boost your diet with key nutrients to overcome any shortfalls (multi vitamin-mineral).

Increasing both soluble and insoluble fibers: 

This will help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce insulin as well as bind cholesterol before it enters your blood which all bring cholesterol down.

I can also strongly recommend and encourage you to move more.

Can you move more for fun, joy purpose and socialization?  Of course you can.

Exercise helps tire one out so we sleep better.  It works better than any medication to improve insulin resistance and lower insulin levels.

It also  helps “burn” stress and fat and it gives our bodies muscle tone which is sexy! NICE. We did it as kids and we can do it as adults.

I hope this article serves you well and shows you how stress drives up your cholesterol, BP and belly fat. I also hope it empowers you to take control of your health.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Natural Sound Sleep!

Natural sound sleep is something we all need, but are you one who easily gets to sleep, then you wake up at some point and cannot get back to sleep?

Or do you struggle to fall asleep, staying awake late into the night?

We take sleep for granted, assuming it will just happen… until it doesn’t.

The frustration of feeling tired more often than energetic is a growing problem that requires attention beyond medication.

Sound Sleep!

If you are ready to improve your sleep then consider implementing the following five steps.

 

  1.  Create a dark sleeping space.

Add room darkening curtains and remove any visible light from clocks or electronics.

You might also consider adding smart technology with LEDs for your bedside lamp that transition from energizing white light in the morning to calming, subdued orange light before bedtime.

 

2.  Establish a bedtime routine.

At least 30 minutes or more before sleeping, turn off all electronic devices: computer, TV, e-readers (Kindle, Nook or other), cell phone or any other device you use to “fall asleep” – the blue light emitted from each of these is actually stimulating brain waves to keep active.

Even if you fall asleep, your brain activity does not support a sound sleep, only a restless one. Turn it all off; anything truly important will be there tomorrow when you have more energy to be more efficient.

 

3.  Drink water.

Sound Sleep!

Optimal hydration is required for your body to help you sleep soundly!

Fatigue, headache, and food cravings are often a signal of dehydration, so drink more water. However, the water your body requires needs to be ingested during the activity of your day. Stop drinking any water or other beverage at least 1 hour before sleeping.

Do not keep a glass of water available to drink during the night. When you drink anything before bed or during the night you give your body permission to wake you up to use the bathroom.

Create a water intake habit that is met during waking hours. Aim to drink a minimum of 60+ ounces of water daily, or up to half your total body weight in ounces.

 

4.  Eat more vegetables.

Nutrition is a primary tool for getting your body to sleep more soundly.

Increased sugar or caffeine during the day will deplete nutritional reserves needed for digestive activity and sound sleep. Your body needs you to eat more vegetables and leafy greens rich in fiber and antioxidants.

These critical nutrients support your physical body to optimize your body’s metabolism.  All the colors of vegetables support digestive processes that reduce inflammation, improve nutrient absorption, and deliver more hours of restful sleep, greater energy during your waking hours.

Eat a minimum of 4 fist-sized servings of vegetables daily.

 

5.  Practice gratitude, mindfulness.

The purpose of all of these previous suggestions is to teach your body to let go of accumulated stress.

Consider breathing techniques or practice mindfulness options as a way to train your mind to embrace a still point for helping you to relax muscles and quiet unrelenting energy related to thinking or worrying.

There are true emergencies (or small children) that need attention regardless of sleep, but many of the stressors we reflect on are chronic issues, accumulating tension. They will be there tomorrow – let yourself sleep tonight.

Pray, breathe deep and slow, create thoughts of gratitude, sleep.

Commit to do these steps for 6 weeks by making just one change each week.

Sound Sleep!

Chart the hours you sleep each night and  create a total at the end of each week. Observe how your body responds to slow and steady changes.

The key to these steps is to add each one as a daily habit.

Transforming restless or interrupted sleep into sound sleep requires you to re frame existing habits. The profound benefit is a more energized, happy life.

If sleep is still elusive after 6 weeks of making changes, you may need the support of a nutritionist to evaluate any nutritional deficiency, dig a little deeper into your unique physiology or add supplemental support to reduce other factors known to interfere with sleep.

I am here to support you.  Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Improved Dental Care

General dentistry services are instrumental in promoting oral health.  In this blog we will look at some of the smart ways that technology has improved dental care.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

The facilities that offer these services are keen on ensuring that they provide high-quality services to their customers. They do this by investing in advanced equipment and technologies.

Instant Results

Patients suffering from missing, damaged, or broken teeth used to have to make countless trips to the dentist and suffer through numerous painful injections. The recovery period after treatment was long and unpleasant.

With new technologies, such as crown printing and 3D imaging, dentists are now able to perform same-day procedures.

Some of the facilities have invested in computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing technology (CAD-CAM) that captures and reproduces a 3D image of the damaged tooth and prints a perfect match in minutes.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

Messy impressions and temporary crowns are being phased out as a result of this technology.

Interactive Treatment Options

Using an advanced intra-oral camera, patients are able to see everything that the doctor is doing during the procedure. This small device also enables dentists to examine teeth in detail to recommend the most appropriate treatment.

In addition, the camera pinpoints the specific areas one should focus on when brushing, thereby promoting overall oral hygiene.

No More Pain

Many people fear going for checkups due to anticipated pain. Laser procedures have changed that fear by allowing personnel to conduct procedures, such as tooth extraction, painlessly.

For example, the CO2 dental laser equipment allows experts in this field to work on soft and hard tissues without exposing the patients to excruciating pain.

Safer and Faster Diagnoses

X-rays are used to diagnose various oral health conditions, especially conditions that affect the gums. Unfortunately, research studies have proven that traditional x-rays expose individuals to high levels of radiation, which can lead to other complications.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

On the flip side, modern digital x-rays machines have made the diagnostic process easier and safer. These images are transferred to a computer system for analyses in minutes, thereby enabling the expert to offer comprehensive treatment.

Concisely, digital x-rays provide more comfort and reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation by up to 90 percent.

Increase Profits and Reduce Overhead Costs

By investing in a modern practice management system, health care facilities save money and time, which was previously used to call patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments.

New programs also allow an office to capture and update a patient’s information and records automatically.

New management systems streamline these processes, thereby reducing overhead costs and increasing profits.

How about comments or questions?

Causes of Night Leg Cramps

The causes of night leg cramps have long been debated, but following are some of the possibilities, and most likely causes and remedies:

Nocturnal leg cramps are agonies that happen in the legs during the night. As a rule they cause arousal from rest, but they might likewise happen while conscious, during the evening amid times of dormancy.

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

These cramps are usually in the calf muscles but can likewise happen in the thighs or feet.

Nocturnal leg issues are very excruciating and cause the influenced muscles to feel tight or hitched. Pain might last from a few seconds up to a few minutes. There might likewise be muscle soreness after the issue leaves.

Cramps are more normal in grown-ups over age 50.  However, they   can happen in more youthful grown-ups and youngsters.  Both men and ladies appear to be similarly affected.

What causes Nocturnal leg spasms?

The reason for leg issues is in many cases obscure, yet a few cases have been connected to:

 .   Sitting for drawn out periods of time

 Over-use of the muscles

 Standing or playing sports on solid floors

.   Sitting in odd positions

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Nocturnal leg issues have likewise been connected to certain other conditions . These include:

Pregnancy

Alcoholism

Dehydration/electrolyte uneven characters

Parkinson’s  disease

 Endocrine disarrangement (diabetes, hypothyroidism)

 Who gets Nocturnal foot spasms?

Anybody can get these sorts of spasms. On the other hand, they have a tendency to occur more frequently in individuals who are middle aged or more advanced in age..

Do I need any testing done to assess my leg issues?

On the off chance that leg issues are continuous and extreme, your specialist might arrange lab work to guarantee that there is no electrolyte lopsided characteristics.

What would I be able to do to keep these issues from happening?

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

  1.  Make sure, beyond any doubt, that you stay hydrated.  In other words, make sure that you drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day.

2.  Wear appropriately fitted shoes while still up .

3.  Gently extend your leg muscles before you go to rest.

4.  Spend a couple of minutes riding a stationary bike before going to bed.

5.  Keep covers and sheets free around your feet so toes are not twisted.

What would I be able to do to make nighttime leg issues leave in the event that they happen?

Immediately extending the affected muscle is generally the best approach to soothing the issue. You may have the capacity to ease the spasm by strolling around, shaking your leg, or rubbing the leg.

Even just putting weight on your feet may do the trick.  On the other hand, applying ice has additionally demonstrated some advantage.

Are nocturnal foot issues the same as eager legs disorder?

No. While both sorts of foot aggravations have a tendency to happen during the evening, or when you are very still, eager leg disorder does not bring about torment or cramping.

Eager leg disorder is to a greater extent a distress, or a creeping sensation, which culminates in a craving to move the legs. While moving, the anxiety is alleviated, yet the uneasiness returns when movement stops.

This does not happen with cramps where the fixed muscle should be effectively extended for alleviation.

Is there any prevention for leg issues?

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

If  known, dependable attempts to treat the basic cause first fail, then Vitamin E supplements or Vitamin B complex might be useful.

Magnesium supplements have likewise demonstrated some advantage, for the most part in pregnant ladies.

Quinine used to be utilized for the treatment of leg spasms, but because of its potential for genuine and life-undermining unfavorable impacts (heart arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia, and excessive touchiness responses), it is no longer recommended as a treatment option.

As always, your comments or questions are welcome.

5 Tips For Seasonal Depression Treatment

It is good to have on hand some knowledge about  seasonal depression treatment.

Many people experience seasonalI depression, commonly known as seasonal  affective disorder (SAD) that causes depressive episodes during different seasons.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that around 4 to 10 percent of people in the United States suffer from SAD. This is probably similar in other countries as well.

However, some studies suggest that nearly 20 percent of people may be affected by this disorder. Though more people are affected by SAD during the winter season, one can exhibit depressive symptoms even during the summer season.

When summer is marked by rainy days, things tend to worsen.  Rainy days mean less light, which makes a person sleepy and gloomy with the body signaling that it is time to rest.

If you do not like summer and feel that depression engulfs you in this weather, here are five summer depression busters that you can adopt:

    1. Plan something to lift the mood:5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

To beat the summer blues, one does not have to plan an exotic holiday that might create a hole in the pocket. Going to a quiet café for lunch with a friend, or going on a long drive might just help beat the low mood.

Planning something interesting throughout the entire summer can boost the mood and cut down depressive episodes.

        2. Don’t dehydrate:

Summer is the time when dehydration can catch you unawares. Have adequate water, citrus fruits, or refreshing juices to keep yourself hydrated

. According to studies conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, even mild dehydration can significantly alter a person’s mood, energy levels and his ability to think clearly.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal DepressionResearchers recommend that individuals should drink eight, 8 ounce gasses or  water a day, which is approximately equivalent to about 2 liters.

          3. Be near people:

Being in isolation can make one more depressed than ever. One of the best things to do when depressed is to catch hold of a few friends and spend time with them.

One can chat near a pool or just watch TV together. Even picking up a phone and calling up someone can help beat summer blues.

          4. Involve yourself in something new:

Summer is a great time to take part in new activities.

Break the monotony and try new things. For example, getting up early in the morning and taking a jog at a park will refresh the mind.

Learning a new sport can also help better the mood and distract from depressive thoughts.

          5. Eat foods that help boost moods:

When depressed, a person is prone to eating more.  Moreover, during the summers, diet soda, ice cream, sweets, etc., usually become an integral part of our daily food.

It must be remembered,however, that sugar can aggravate depressive symptoms.  Once the sugary flavor wears out, one might just feel worse than ever.

Thus, it is recommended to consume healthful foods that boost the moods, like walnuts, blueberries, yogurt, chocolates, turkey, greasy fish, etc.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

            Battling summer depression

Just when beating the heat was a task in itself, depression stepped in to add to the problems.

However, with little efforts from our own self, we can fight depression this summer and feel new and refreshed.

But if depression persists and there is no relief from the terrible mood swings, opt for a depression help.

Please feel free to offer your comments.

Why Are Pets Good For Your Health?

Much has been written and spoken about the value of having pets in the home.  So why are pets good for your health?

For example, in some cases having a pet in the home can actually help a child from developing some allergies and develop stronger immune systems.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

When a child is brought up with pets, it is less likely they will develop allergies to animals. As they grow up they will have more self-confidence and a better self-image because of the responsibilities they are given with feeding, caring for and playing with their pets. They will be a more compassionate and caring person.

A pet can help improve your socialization skills as you meet and interact with other pet owners. You may meet others at training classes where others are trying to train their pet with the same parenting skills or you may interact with others at a dog park.

Pet owners enjoy sharing information about their pets good or bad. So if you are shy, share your pets stories with others and you will find how other pet owners or lover of pets will listen and begin a conversation sharing their information that may be similar or even more hilarious than yours.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

This is also a good way to meet others of the opposite sex.

The National institute of Health has conducted heart-related studies and the findings show that pet owners had decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels which can minimize the risk of a heart attack.

Hugging an animal and even petting them helps calm you. They are warm, soft and responds to your affection which calms your nerves and makes you feel relaxed.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

Watch fish in an aquarium and you will find peace and serenity as the fish swim silently back and forth up and down. Your anxieties developed during your difficult and busy day will be lessened and you’ll enjoy your evening better with your loved ones and friends.

Dog owners are able to walk, run, jog, bike, hike with their canine friend which are exercises that can help you stay fit. It’s so much better exercising with a friend as a dog or as some people do with their pig, or cat.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

Have you seen people train their pets to ride on their motorcycle or even train them on surfboards?  What fine companions,  and it makes exercising more fun. The time will go by much quicker.

When you are feeling depressed or lonely, a pet may give you that feeling of joy and happiness, especially if you are sick and elderly. Pets sometimes do funny antics and you’ll have someone to talk to instead of being home alone.

You can complain and curse and they won’t walk away from you and tell you to stop complaining. They sit and listen and don’t judge what you are saying. They take away that loneliness because they are faithful and loyal to you always there.

Dogs and even some cats are good at keeping you safe as they warn you of intruders and even dangers in the house. Best of all you don’t even have to live in a house and they will still love you.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

There are so many reasons pets are useful animals in helping humans remain healthy. So if a person is not already allergic to the pet fur and does not have a pet, go out and adopt a cat, dog, fish, rabbit or whatever animal that may appeal to you.

Out there is an animal that may help make you live longer, feel euphoric, and become a better person.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

There are many animals in the animal shelters that are waiting to be adopted who can help you solve some of your health problems. Go out there today and make a pet happy and yourself healthier.

Tell us about how your pet or pets help you.

How To Gain Control of Your Emotions

The following is a good example of how to gain control of your emotions:

If you drop by a fire station on any given Monday, there is a good chance there will be something interesting to see.

Most likely you will arrive to see a crew of firefighters intently going through compartments on the fire truck. They will be pulling out metal toolboxes and large bulky bags and packs.

How To Gain Control of Emotions

If you watch a little longer you will see the crews going through the bags, pulling out all kinds of equipment such as hand tools, power tools, and specialty tools alike, and checking them over like concerned mother ducks.

It’s “Monday Jobs” day,  and the crews are beginning their routines of maintaining and running all the pieces of equipment that are carried on the fire truck.  After all, they must be ready with fueled saws, gas blowers, hydraulic rescue tools, working axes, pike poles,  and ceiling pullers, used for ventilation operations, rescue, or forcible entry.

You might see hundreds of feet of different colored rope, for high angle rescue, being pulled out of bright orange bags and given the once over.

You might see a flash of silver as carabineers and pulleys are double and triple checked.  You might jump with a start as the growl of a gas blower, or the scream of a chainsaw, hits your ear drums.

Items that are broken and worn get fixed or replaced.

It is a big part of the job to go through the many packs on the truck and maintain the  tools and equipment so that the firemen  may be ready at a moment’s notice for whatever comes next.

The Forgotten Backpack

For all of their careful preparation and maintenance, however, there is one backpack that firefighters often forget to check.  This one is the one for which no daily, weekly, or monthly check off list exists, the one bag  not required to check, but which may be the one that needs the most attention and maintenance of all.

For in this backpack, carried invisibly on each firefighter’s back, sit the calls, the thousands of emergency calls, the really bad ones especially, and the multitude of stuffed feelings that may accompany them.

Firefighters see bad things. It is part of their job and it is what they signed up to do.  And while they may be good at handling the emergency scene, many times their feelings become an after thought, something they have to try to push away after an especially difficult emergency.

Of course, firefighters are, by far, not the only ones who see difficult things in the world. Yes, feelings of pain and suffering are most definitely a universal part of our human experience.

So here is the thing.

We ALL carry our own invisible emotional backpacks on our backs, and it would serve us well to check them regularly. 

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

In our personal backpacks we carry those things that weigh on our shoulders and our minds, many of them unexpressed thoughts and feelings, that we have hurriedly stuffed away, even years ago, because they felt uncomfortable and messy.

Your Feelings Are Part of Your Humaneness

The assortment of feelings may include all the big ones, such as guilt, shame, anger, fear, and despair.  For many of us, dealing with feelings is a challenge.  Has it become a habit to avoid your feelings or avoid expressing them authentically? There are many reasons why it can be hard to express how we are really feeling.

We may have learned in our impressionable youth that it was not okay to show feelings–the “children should be seen not heard” syndrome.  Maybe when we were young and we did show our feelings, we were judged somehow. “Man up”‘ or even a benign sounding “Don’t cry,” are instant ways to shut down someone’s true expression.

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

We might worry about what others will think, if we show our feelings. “Can’t let them see me angry or sad. I want to appear in control.” Maybe we listen to our internal judge, “Oh I shouldn’t let myself get upset about that.”

For some of us, even feelings of joy might be hard for us to express. “I wouldn’t want to look silly or undignified,” our mind might chatter. Firefighters may think,”I do not want to burden my loved ones with my feelings.”

Our reasons are many, for hiding our true feelings.  But whatever the case, it serves us enormously to realize that feelings are natural to have and express. They are an integral part of our human experience. They are what make us uniquely human!

Express Yourself

When we stuff our feelings away and hide them in our backpacks, we set ourselves up for problems in our future.  Do we explode one day, all those feelings coming out all over the place with a messy bang?

Or do those unexpressed emotions start to eat away at our insides literally,  causing physical ailment, illness, or dis-ease.

When our personal backpacks become too full and overloaded, they spill out, usually in messy ways.

When our feelings run amok at the slightest event at work or home, we know that our backpack has become too full. It serves us well to be aware of the weight of our backpacks.

Good fire organizations encourage their firefighters to attend critical incident stress debriefings after an especially bad call. This is the time for crews to check through their backpacks, and see what it is that  can be acknowledged, felt, and expressed.

Just as we take care of ourselves by staying physically fit and knowing our jobs, I believe it is just as vital to maintain and take care of our emotional well-being too.

There are many ways we all can choose to empty our overflowing backpacks.  A conversation with a mentor may give us relief.  We may seek out professional therapies or our closest friends for support.

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

. Processing our feelings through art, dance, and creativity may feel right. Whatever the way we choose to affirm and honor our feelings, we will begin to feel relief when we release the weight of old thought patterns and stuffed feelings.

So today, friends, let us remember to:

Give yourself permission to feel your natural human feelings.

Especially give yourself permission to feel the ones that get the bad rap. Let yourself feel jealous, intolerant, impatient, angry, sad and fearful.

Practice feeling your feelings fully.

It is OK if this takes time.  Some of our feelings are buried deep. If it is sadness, feel it fully, let the tears flow. If it is anger, feel it, scream it, write about it, run it out, dance it through.  Let it out!

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

Resolve to maintain and empty your backpack.

Frequently. You will feel lighter and freer as you authentically express your feelings on your journey.

It takes courage to be human. It takes courage to be authentic in our humaneness.  And it takes great courage to feel our feelings fully and then express them.

Let’s remember to take care of ourselves. We can gently remind one another.

Let us lighten our load and empty our backpacks.

If you have anything you would like to share with others, please feel free to do it here in the comment section.

Natural Ways To Relieve Pain

We need to know natural ways to relieve pain, because pain causes so much discomfort in the body, and it may cause one to lose normal function of the body part for some time.

Know The Natural Ways That Can Help Relieve Body Pain

Whether you have a headache, earache, or whatever kind of pain, the first thing most people do is reach out for that painkiller. While this may be useful in relieving pain, taking too many painkillers may cause one to have a dependency syndrome where he or she cannot do without the painkillers.

That is why it is good to have natural ways, such as the use of best organic supplements to relieve pain.

There are various natural ways that you can use to relieve, manage or cope with pain and these include:

1. Soaking in warm water

This will help alleviate any form of muscle spasms and muscle pain, especially in arthritis. Warm water makes the joints loose and makes one feel at ease as it reduces the gravity force that compresses the joints and it offers a 360 degree support for sore limbs. Soak for about 20 minutes so that there is a prolonged effect after you are done.

One may add essential oils which are the best organic supplements as they will help relax the muscles, hence making stretching exercises more tolerable and beneficial.

2. Heat therapy

When you apply some form of heat, it will ease the pain. You can use a hot water bottle, or a heating pad or a hot bath. The heat increases the flow of nutrients and healing oxygen to the area that has pain, and it suppresses the pain which helps in repairing the damaged tissues.

The sensory receptors in the skin are stimulated by heat, which decreases the pain transmission to the brain and relieves discomfort.

3. MassageKnow The Natural Ways That Can Help Relieve Body Pain

Massage make the body feel great and reduces pain on the back, osteoarthritis, neck pain, and surgery related pain.

Massage therapy boosts endorphin and serotonin levels which are natural body pain killers and also reduces the stress levels. Massage also relieves discomfort after one has done intense exercises which make the muscles sore.

4. Taking herbal supplements

The best organic supplements have anti-inflammatory properties in them so they can treat the inflammation and reduce pain.

Other herbs play a critical role in ensuring that the muscles relax, there is good blood and oxygen flow to the joints and muscles hence reducing pain. These herbs can be in the form of capsules or liquids, or they can be brewed in tea.

5. Acupuncture

Know The Natural Ways That Can Help Relieve Body Pain

This is an ancient pain relieving method that was used by the Chinese and it involves inserting tiny needles into specific points in the body. The needles, then cause an incomplete imbalance of energy and also affect the adenosine activity in the body, hence it eases the pain after an injury.

Acupuncture also improves the nervous and musculoskeletal system functions which often cause pain.

6. Yoga and meditation

Yoga has been found to relieve pain and also reduce stress levels. It enhances the stress coping mechanisms hence lessen the amount of stress, which may intensify the pain.

Yoga is used in most places to treat lower back pain. Meditation involves relaxing and having simple breathing exercises.

7. Exercises

Pain can be caused by stiff muscles or tension in the muscles. When you exercise, you strengthen and stretch the affected muscles, hence reducing the inflammation and pain.

Know The Natural Ways That Can Help Relieve Body Pain

Exercises also make muscles and joints much stronger hence one has fewer chances of getting injuries.

When you are obese or overweight, you are causing too much pressure on the joints which in turn become painful. Exercising helps one reduce the weight and then it reduces the chances of degeneration of bone diseases such as osteoporosis which is painful.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions.

Back Surgery Alternatives

Suffering from back pain and wondering if surgery is the way to go? Well here is the cold hard truth.  Back surgery should not be your first or only option. You should first check out your back surgery alternatives.

There are many types of surgery for the back.  Here are a few: Spinal Fusion, Laminectomy, Foraminotomy, Discectomy, Disc Replacement and Interlaminar. The type of surgery obviously depends on your specific symptoms.

Along with these types of operations, advances in surgical techniques has made operations less invasive, resulting in less risk, speedier recovery and shorter hospital stays.  Also all this means a better chance of a successful operation and elimination of your back / spinal problems.Back Surgery: The Cold, Hard Truth

This is all great news and certainly surgery is a very viable option. But there are also risks involved in any surgical procedure, e.g.. blood clots, infections, reactions to medications and anesthesia and nerve damage.

Many times the surgery is successful, but the pain continues. There is even a term to describe this. It is called “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”. Some statistics claim that the failure rate is as high as seventy-four percent!

The biggest reason is the fact that back pain is very hard to identify.

Back Surgery: The Cold, Hard Truth

The back and spine is a very complex system of nerves, muscles, bones and ligaments. Even with the best diagnostic tools it is very hard to pin point the problem. Also many times the muscles and nerves have been inflamed for so long that recovery is very slow if at all.

I also think that too many patients, and for that matter doctors, see surgery as the only solution.  Back pain sufferers believe that all they have to do is have an operation and presto the pain is gone.

While that is true for some, for many the pain is still there.

I know people who have  had back pain and surgery.  Based on their experiences, here are my suggestions.  Now I am no expert, so take these ideas as based on one person’s observation and research.

However many studies have concluded that anyone suffering from back pain should consider the following suggestions before resorting to surgery.

  1. Rest: Many times simply resting for a few day and taking over the counter painkillers will alleviate the problem.
  2. Lose weight: The amount of stress a few extra pounds of weight places on the back is enormous, and although this is a long term solution, and results will not be felt for some time.  It is definitely a good course of action.
  3. Exercise: Again, like losing weight, this will take time, but again the results are worth it. Walking is probably the best single thing you can do for a bad back. There are also specific exercises for your particular back problem.
  4. Avoidance: Learn what types of activities cause the back pain and avoid them. Sounds easy I know, but hard to do in practice. For me shoveling snow can set off my back. So if I have to shovel I use an ergonomic shovel, take smaller scoops and rest frequently.  Of course moving further South would solve this problem!

Back Surgery: The Cold, Hard Truth

So the cold hard truth is surgery is a viable option.  But in my opinion taking an alternative approach and exploring these non- surgical options first is the way to go.

Your comments or questions below are always welcome.

Protein Marker May Help in Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

Diagnosing one of the most complex psychological problems, bipolar disorder, is a daunting task and a wrong treatment can exacerbate the condition.

Doctors, psychiatrists, and researchers have long been trying to fathom it and invent an elixir for it, but to no avail.  However, a recent study has unraveled a protein that might help detect the disorder.

Living with bipolar is an uphill task because of unpredictable mood upheavals, sometimes high and at times dismally low. It is even marked by depression, racing thoughts, delusions of grandeur and thoughts of inconceivable miseries.Life gets jeopardized as bipolar affects every aspect of one’s life, be it the job or relationship with family members and society.

Diagnosis of bipolar

The current bipolar diagnosis does not have a foolproof system in place and draws most of its inferences from questionnaires, brain scans or blood tests, that also just to rule out other potential conditions.

Apart from these, there are no other procedures which can help in the diagnosis. But the latest study comes as a respite and offers some hope to the cause of bipolar treatment.

A study by the Mayo Clinic tried to identify a marker in the blood for bipolar,  and analyzed 272 different proteins in blood samples of 288 patients. The researchers said, “It is one of the first studies to assess the feasibility of high throughput multiplexed immunoassay technology (272 proteins) trying to distinguish different types of mood disorders.”

The group of participants was divided into four recognized clinical subsections of the disease – bipolar I disorder (46), bipolar II disorder (49), unipolar depression (52) and 141 individuals without mood disorders, to act as controls.

Of the 272 different proteins, the researchers found that 73 proteins differed between the four study groups and six were found to significantly differ between bipolar I disorder and the control group.

The findings, though in the initial stage, lay the foundation for further research and give a new hope to those battling the debilitating condition.

Understanding bipolar disorder

Protein Marker May Help in Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), categorizes bipolar into four recognized clinical subsections:

Bipolar I disorder: It is characterized by manic episodes that last at least for a week. The attacks could be so intense that the individual might need immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes are also seen here.

Bipolar II disorder: It is marked by depressive episodes and hypomanic (less serious than manic) episodes, but no full manic episodes.

Bipolar disorder not normally specified (BP-NOS): In this case, though bipolar symptoms can be seen, they do not fit the criteria for types I or II.

Cyclothymic disorder (Cyclothymia): It is characterized by episodes of hypomania and mild depression for at least two years, but does not meet the diagnostic requirements of the bipolar types mentioned above.

Available treatment options

Though not curable, it can be treated and contained to a large extent. A proper diagnosis is important for that and at the right juncture. But a proper diagnosis is the biggest challenge in the treatment of bipolar.

If you have any things you wish to contribute to this subject  or questions to ask,  please feel free to leave them here.

 

Good Feet Insole Prices — Review

Walking or standing for a prolonged period can cause health problems that you might not be aware of while you are still young. However, as we grow old, the stress that we put on our joints can cause not only joint pains but other health issues as well.

One way to help relieve our joints is to use insoles. Insoles are basically removable pads that are placed inside one’s footwear to provide comfort and support to the person as well as stability for some patients that are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

Insole Types:

When purchasing your insoles, there are 3 kinds that you will encounter – comfort, support and custom orthotics.

  1.  Comfort type

These are basically sold in a health store,  department store or box  store, as one does not need a prescription or a podiatrist’s advice to get them.

These soles are made with gel or foam and are commonly called the insole that is “one size fits all”.  They are also lightweight and easy to slip on.  For people who have to stand for a prolonged period of time, wearing these would not only improve shock absorption but also provide comfort.

2.  Support type

Arch support is the most common support type and often used in sports to provide players with flexibility and shock absorption especially for heavy sports activities.

Because I have fallen arches and require support, years ago I had to invest in several pairs of insoles to support my arches..  I added them to all my shoes and slippers, and from that time, I have no longer had to walk with pain in the arches of my feet. .  I am very happy and even though they cost a lot of money at the time, they were well worth it.

I just wish I had known then that I could buy good quality insoles on line for less money.  To check out the kind I used at a price less than I paid click here.

3.  CustoImized insoles

These are made from molds of the patient’s feet to correct any problems.  Some patients also use these insoles to help ease pain and speed up recovery time by alleviating the pressure on the body.

Purchasing Insoles 

When purchasing insoles, fit is important.. Try standing on one and balance yourself with the other foot. If you feel wobbly or your heels are overlapping the heel cup then you might want a different size.

Remember that it will take some getting used to and it might be difficult at first.  However, once you use the insoles every day, you will notice a difference in your health.  Insoles should last for years if cleaned and dried out properly.

Please tell us about your experience with insoles or ask questions, if  you like.