Massage For Your Health

These days people are turning to massage for general relaxation and a feeling of peace and calm, or using a specific massage style to deal with say an injury or limited range of movement in the neck, for example.

Massage will improve your bodies circulation which will help with eliminating waste and also your cells will be nourished.Just the feeling of human touch will relax you and maybe try some Thai massage for knotted muscles and to stretch your body.

If your massage therapist can relax you mentally this will help relieve you of stress.Your heart rate will also lower as will your blood pressure.Your immune system will receive a real boost and you will feel great.Massage therapy is also thought to induce a relaxation response, which lowers the heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure and will boost the immune system; and generally, decreases the physical effects of stress.You will feel great afterward.

If you can find a visiting massage therapist a great time to have your massage is just before sleep.Massage will relax you and in turn lead to a great nights sleep and hopefully a productive next day.

Natural Health for Animals

Pets are important members of our family and when they get sick, we get very distressed. In these pages we offer a few simple solutions to common cat and dog health problems, as well as some guidelines toward a healthy diet for your pet. Just as in humans, the best way to keep your pet healthy is to avoid sickness and disease with preventive natural healthcare.

We are starting off with information for cats and dogs because they’re usually the animals we have most contact with, however, we hope to expand this section to include other types of pets and also provide information on wildlife, habitat and animal protection issues.

How Can We Prevent Smelly Feet?

Smelly feet can not only be an embarrassment but can seriously damage the self-esteem. There are many people, especially guys, who have to deal with this problem every day, and also are the victims of numerous medicines that didn’t help. To help them I wrote this article hopping to at least make them understand what is causing this problem and how to prevent it. So here it is.

Smelly feet, also known as “bromhidrosis”, are the result of the interaction between perspiration and the bacteria that lurk in your shoes and socks. The foot and hands contain the most sweat glands than any other part of the body (about 3000 glands per square inch). Inside the shoe, the temperature reaches sometimes 102 F. So this temperature combined with the moisture generated by the sweat glands constitute the perfect environment and a fertile breeding ground for the bacteria responsible for your smelly feet.

The bacteria that are often found in foot odour are usually corynebacterium and Micrococcus species. They produce the isovaleric acid which is main substance responsible for the smelly feet. So, successful treatment of smelly feet depends on eliminating the organisms.

Smelly feet can also be caused by an inherited condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, which primarily affects males. Stress, fluid intake and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration your body produces.

The bacteria that are often found in foot odour are usually corynebacterium and Micrococcus species successful treatment of smelly feet depends on eliminating these organisms.

Preventing smelly feet.

Smelly feet generally can be controlled with a few preventive measures. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends that you:

  • Maintain good feet hygiene this way you keep the bacteria population to a minimum level.
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once per day.
  • Bathe your feet daily in warm water then dry them well.
  • Dust your feet frequently with a non medicated baby powder or foot powder.
  • Look for fungal infections between your toes and on the bottom of your feet and if you spot redness and dry skin get treatment.
  • Wear thick, soft socks made from cotton to absorb the moisture away from the feet and don’t wear nylon socks under any circumstances.
  • – Let your feet breath by wearing leather shoes and don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. (Let your shoes to wear out at least 24 hours)

You must remember that these measures are mostly preventive and not curative and if you still have smelly feet after using these prevention methods, it is time for you to visit a doctor and get a proper examination and a professional opinion.

By: Raul Gallu

Relieve Migraine Headaches Naturally

Most people just take a pain pill, but how safe is that?If you are worried about taking potentially dangerous medications for your migraine headaches maybe you should try one of the many safe and effective natural approaches that are available today.

There are many new migraine headache treatments available that can be both safe and effective. Natural treatments for migraine headaches are usually safer and cheaper than traditional pain medications. And in many instances they can relieve pain just as well or even better than prescription or non-prescription drugs. The possibility of a negative reaction to a safe and natural migraine headache treatment is still there, but it is less with most natural treatment methods than it is with pain-relieving medications.

Every person on the face of the earth is unique. Their body chemistry is different than anyone else’s. One person may find relief from their migraine headaches with one type of treatment while someone else may try that same treatment and find no relief at all. No two people will experience the same reaction from the same treatment. But why is that?

Every body is made up of a mixture of chemicals. Every person produces certain chemicals in their body so that they will be able to function at their best. Histamines will increase gastric secretion and dilate the capillaries. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and helps regulate the blood sugar levels. Hormones are produced by the body for many different functions. Adrenaline (epinephrine) is produced in response to stress. Every body is unique and produces different chemicals in differing amounts. When a person takes aspirin (a chemical) for their migraine headaches it changes the chemical make-up of that person’s body.

You’ve always heard that when two chemicals, in the same amounts, at the same temperature, etc. are mixed together they will cause the same reaction. That may be true, but when one chemical (such as aspirin) is taken by two separate people their reactions will never be exactly the same because no two people have identical chemicals in their body. One person taking aspirin will not have the same reaction as someone else taking aspirin. And it’s the same with natural migraine headache treatments. Since no two people are identical no two people will respond exactly the same to a treatment method for migraine headaches.

So just because one migraine headache treatment does not work for one person does not mean it won’t work for your migraine headaches. There are many effective alternatives to taking medications when it comes to relieving migraine headaches. You just have to try one for yourself to see if it will work for you.

One natural and popular treatment method for migraine headaches is chiropractic care, or chiropractic manipulations. Studies have shown that over 80% of headache patients find some type of relief for their headaches with chiropractic treatment. And chiropractic treatment has been shown to be extremely safe. Spinal problems cause headaches and when these spinal problems are treated by chiropractors a high percentage of their patients experience relief from their pain.

Another natural way to relieve migraine headaches is biofeedback. This is a safe and potentially effective way to eliminate pain. Biofeedback is not actually a treatment, but a training program designed to help a person develop the ability to control their autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Functions that are normally automatic in the body, such as blood pressure regulation or heart rate can be controlled voluntarily. This technique makes it possible for a person to control their own heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature or relaxation of their muscles.

It’s no secret that stress causes muscle tension. And nobody will deny that muscle tension causes pain and headaches. And it’s also a fact that by relaxing this muscle tension, especially in the neck and head, it is possible to relieve the migraine headaches or neck pain that is being caused by the tension. With biofeedback the machinery is not always necessary. Once the biofeedback technique is learned there is no longer any need for the equipment. The patient with migraine headaches can now produce the desired effect at any time. A person that has been trained with biofeedback can control some of their bodily functions, such as muscle relaxation, which can help relieve their headache pain.

Another cause of headaches can be the intake of too much salt. Some people just can’t get enough of it. They pour it onto their food with wreckless abandon. And too much salt can and does cause headaches. What’s the solution? Simply lessening the salt intake can sometimes prevent the headaches from occurring.

Food sensitivities have also been shown to cause migraine headaches in some people. Foods such as cheese, alcohol, MSG (monosodium glutamate – a food additive), yeast, wheat, nuts, avocados, beans, bananas, oranges (and other citrus fruits), pork, vinegar (and pickled foods), dairy products, caffeine, chocolate, onions and others can cause migraines. Foods that cause migraine headaches are called “migraine triggers.” People who experience migraine headaches because of food allergies can reduce or eliminate their pain by eliminating the foods that cause the headaches.

It sounds simple, but it takes a little detective work to figure out which foods, if any, are causing the migraine headaches. So how can you determine which foods are the culprits? The logical way is to keep a diary of what you eat and when. Get a small notebook, with each page representing one day, and make three columns on each of the pages. The first column on the left side of the page will contain the hours in the day. The second column down the middle of the page will be a list of the foods eaten that day. And the third column on the right side of the page will list the symptoms (headaches) that you experience.

Here’s how the food diary works: if you had an orange, cereal and milk for breakfast at 8 AM you would write “orange, cereal, milk” in the middle (food) column directly to the right of 8 AM in the left (time) column. Make a note of everything that you eat on this list and at what time you ate them.

Next, whenever you experience a migraine headache write “migraine headache” or “headache” in the right (symptoms) column that corresponds with the time (in the left column) your headache began. For example, if you started feeling pain from one of your migraine headaches at 2 PM you would write “headache” in the right (symptoms) column directly across from 2 PM in the left (time) column.

Once you’ve had enough time to experience a few migraine headaches you will be able to examine your food diary to determine which foods you ate shortly before you began experiencing your pain. For example, if you had 3 migraine headaches over a one-month period, and you had milk shortly before each of the migraine attacks, milk may be the culprit. It may take a few weeks or even a few months to come to any conclusions, but over time, by figuring out which foods or ingredients in these foods, are causing your pain, you will be able to eliminate these ingredients and relieve your pain caused by these foods.

Probably the most common cause of headaches is just plain old stress. People who experience tension in their lives can get headaches from their increased tension. Stress can be caused by many things including work-related stress or family-related stress. And although it’s not always possible to eliminate the cause of the stress it is often possible to relieve the muscle tension and pain that originates from the stress.

Biofeedback training (as explained above) is one way to help reduce stress. Other ways are taking a warm bath or shower, lying down and relaxing in a quiet dark room, having someone massage your neck and head (temporal region) muscles to help relieve your tension and muscle spasms or placing something cold (ice) on the back of the neck (at the base of the skull). When using ice it should not be placed directly on the skin. Some wet paper towels that have had the water wrung out of them should be placed between the ice and the skin. Regular exercise can also, over time, reduce tension.

We have discussed 5 natural treatment methods that are available to migraine headache patients. They are all considered safe and are effective for many people. There are many other natural treatment methods out there for you to try. If you have headaches it may be beneficial for you to try some of these treatments or search for others on your own. But as a word of advice, it is always a good idea to talk with a chiropractor or medical doctor before treating yourself for a health condition.

By: Dr Larry A. Johnson, D.C

Staying Young Naturally

Forget the extreme pain that comes with extreme makeovers, here are 5 quick tips to help you stay young….naturally!

1. Quit Smoking

When it comes to staying young, smoking is one of the most destructive things you can do to rob yourself of your youthfulness. While some people think it helps keep them slim, you only have to look at long-term smokers to see its side effects like sallow skin, yellow teeth and lips, coughing, shortness of breath and those unsightly lip lines from pursed lips around a cigarette. Smokers also run an increased risk of developing lung cancer, they are severely depleted of essential nutrients like vitamin C and Zinc which can lead to frequent infections and further complications. Quit Smoking Today!

2. Eat Fresh Berries

Although much has been written lately about the very excellent blueberry, you will find that most berries are an excellent source of “age-fighting” anti-oxidants. Try strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and blueberries of course. Choose organic berries if possible as they are free from harmful chemicals and they taste better.

3. Boost Your Intake of Beta Carotene and Vitamins C and E

Beta Carotene is cleansing, nourishing and stimulating to the whole body. Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients in repairing cell damage. Vitamin E has been shown in laboratory tests to slow down the ageing process. Together, these three nutrients assist each other in having an even more powerful effect than either of them alone. You can take supplements or you can eat carrots, pumpkin and mango for beta-carotene; citrus, tomatoes and capsicum for vitamin C; and nuts, avocado and whole-grains for vitamin E.

4. Give Yourself A Natural Face Lift

When done regularly, these exercises will strengthen your facial muscles to maintain a youthful elasticity. Scrunch up your whole face for a few seconds and release. Next, do the opposite by opening your mouth and eyes as wide as possible for a few seconds. Next, purse your lips and inflate your cheeks for a few seconds and lastly, grin widely and open your eyes widely for a few seconds.

5. Relax and Learn to Fight Stress

Learning to deal with stress is an effective way to keep your organs and body processes functioning normally giving your body numerous age-defying benefits. Visit our stress relief pages for effective ways to deal with stress.

Stop Smoking Using Natural Alternatives

One of the difficulties in trying to quit smoking is that smokers become physically dependant on nicotine. Smoking affects the parts of the brain that relate to reward and pleasure. It increases the amount of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and the nature of nicotine is that it creates a cycle of positive reinforcement within your brain that makes you want more.

Scientists have found that when you withdraw from chronic nicotine use, it results in changes in these neural pleasure pathways. And the effect on the brain is similar to what someone addicted to cocaine, opiates and other drugs experiences. Hence, depression and anxiety are common.

Fortunately, some resourceful modern herbalists began applying traditional knowledge to a modern problem. In Ayurvedic medicine, common garden variety oats (but not oat straw), is used to treat opium withdrawal. The herbalist Anand, using a tincture (an alcoholic extract of the herb), applied this same reasoning to nicotine withdrawal, with significant results.

In a group of 26 heavy smokers, he gave an oat tincture, and in another group of 26, he gave a placebo. The group who took the oat tincture smoked less cigarettes, and this effect remained for two months after they stopped treatment. The herbalist Weiss theorizes that it is the sedative effect of oats. Oats contain as active constituents the indole alkaloid, gramine, and the alkaloids avenine and trigonelline. Oats are described in herbal medicine texts as helping create a feeling of well-being whilst simultaneously acting as a tonic to the nervous system. But unlike narcotics, these are mild, non-habit forming effects.

My herbal teacher, Ses Salmond, suggested the following formula for those trying to stop smoking. In a 50ml bottle, mix the following herbal tinctures:

  • 15ml green oats
  • 10ml white horehound
  • 10ml mullein
  • 5ml golden seal
  • 10ml peppermint

Take 6 drops on the tongue whenever the craving to have a cigarette is felt.

Acupuncture is also an excellent support option. HerbMed offers the following herbal option, to be used on appropriate acupuncture points. Mix oil of cloves, oil of wintergreen, an extract of evodia fruit, an extract of sichuan lovage rhizome, and msg, and apply to specific acupuncture points. Unfortunately, they don’t say which acupuncture points, but this may be determined by what each person presents with.

Resources:

1. www.herbmed.org/herbs/herb36.htm#Category24Herb36

2. Class notes by Ses Salmond

3. C Fisher & G Painter, Materia Medica Of Western Herbs For The Southern Hemisphere

4. R Weiss, Herbal Medicine (Beaconsfield Arcanum, 1988)

5. www.drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/Tobacco.html

By: Rebecca Prescott

Taking care of the Environment for Better Health

Whether it’s land, water or air; our environment is a precious resource that has a huge impact on our health.

We live in a modern world with many necessary industries and processes, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept the levels of pollution we currently have. We’re affecting climate change much faster than the natural rate and that means problems will manifest themselves much faster than we can cope with them.

The links on the left give you simple things we can all do to help preserve our planet.

Alzheimer Disease and Antioxidants

At the present time, one out of ten adults have some form of Alzheimer disease. According to Dr. Greengard, Director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at the Rockefeller University, that number is expected to strike up to three times as many in the coming decades. Alzheimer’s is considered a disease of the elderly and with the average lifespan of the US population rising to 74, a solution to the medical problem is being sought.

For Scientists the largest concern is what causes Alzheimer’s and how can it be eradicated. For possible victims and their families it is how do we prevent the dreaded affliction or stop it in its tracks once it is diagnosed.

Scientists are in agreement and have narrowed down the contributing factor causing Alzheimer’s disease. Most researchers agree that Beta-amyloid is one of the agents thought to cause damage to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease. The research is attempting to find a deterrent and is recognizing antioxidants to be significant in protecting at risk patients.

According to the Harvard Medical Center, continuing research and studies are being conducted with some positive results. Even though some studies by the French point to wine as a protectant, the results are considerably controversial. The component in the wine that was indicated to be responsible for the protectant agent is still somewhat ambiguous.

Recent studies, including the study on wine, point to antioxidants for Alzheimer and Dementia risk reduction.

In an Italian study conducted by A. Russo, et.al., it was found that black grape skin extract protected cells in a test tube from oxidative damage and DNA fragmentation when exposed to beta-amyloid. An even more recent study by E. Savaskan, et.al, examined the red wine ingredient resveratrol, and found it to be neuroprotective against beta-amyloid oxidative stress, again supporting an antioxidant mechanism.

What these studies point to is, red wine may have an effect that could provide some protection against Alzheimer’s disease, but indication says it is the antioxidant factor that is the hero. This is consistent with the fact that other antioxidants, most notably vitamin E, are being studied with great interest as potential protective agents against Alzheimer’s disease. According to Dr. Steve Seiner, of Harvard Medical School, “While the results of these studies do not necessarily suggest that people should drink wine in order to lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease, they do support the potential role of antioxidant treatment in preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

In another study by Robert P. Friedland, MD chief of the neurogeriatrics laboratory at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, “If antioxidants prove to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, it is probably because they reduce what is called ‘oxidative stress’ in cells.” He went on to say that his team believes free radicals are the culprit of oxidative stress in cells caused by the inappropriate consumption of some foods such as those high in fat content. In this study Friedland is recommending a “to-do” list for those who want to improve their chances of maintaining a healthy brain. He suggests:

  • Eat a diet high in antioxidants
  • Eat fish
  • Take vitamin E
  • Take B vitamins
  • Take folic acid
  • Be mentally and physically active throughout life
  • Avoid head injuries

When addressing the reduction of free radicals it is essential to recognize the importance of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC’s) as the most powerful antioxidant known in scientific studies. OPC’s are products commonly derived from a combination of grape seed extract, red wine extract and/or pine bark extract. They are very powerful bioflavanoids used as a natural food supplement ready to be absorbed into the body and begin to attack the free radicals.

OPC’s are safe and have been used for over 20 years throughout Europe. Extensive studies and laboratory testing reveal no evidence for human toxicity, allergic reactions, birth defects, or carcinogenicity. OPC’s work synergistically with other antioxidant vitamins, regenerating the antioxidant properties of vitamin C and vitamin E.

However, Bill Thies, PhD, vice president of medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association says although Friedmand’s recommendations are probably useful and that he agrees with all of them, he wants to “be very clear that the association is not making any recommendations about ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. Thies is, however, involved in reading and learning about all studies concerning Alzheimer’s Disease.

A study conducted in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Dr. Monique Breteler with the Eras UM Medical Center, found the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E appear to be equally protective as a reducing factor in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Her results of the 5,000 volunteers over the past 14 years, confirmed some earlier studies that point to antioxidants as a way to lower risk of dementia. She also said the protective effect of antioxidants was “more pronounced among smokers and among those who are carriers of the Alzheimer’s gene.”

It was also pointed out that diets rich in antioxidants are helpful, but in order to consume the necessary requirements, a person would have to triple, or more, their current consumption, which Breteler says, is most unlikely. Recommendations for proper amounts of ingestion are through antioxidant supplements including OPC’s, vitamin E and vitamin C.

By: Aaron Cummings