What to Do When Your Dog Or Cat Won’t Eat

Your dog won’t eat. Or your cat is a picky eater. So what on earth do you do?

First, a caveat. No animal will willingly starve itself. But ALWAYS have your pet seen by a vet when there’s a change in behavior. You need to rule out illness before embarking on solving a pet’s eating problem. Be sure to check for a bad tooth as this is often overlooked as a cause of eating issues. The second caveat: Eating problems can be complex and the tips offered here are simplistic. I offer them with 30 years of experience as a dog owner, breeder, handler and fancier in the world of dogs, but you should discuss them with your vet to see if any are a plausible remedy for your pet’s situation.

We’ll start with dogs, and assuming that your dog is healthy but not a good eater, here are some potential reasons why and ideas for fixing it.

If you feed your dog treats during the day, stop. You want your dog hungry at meal times.If your dog is a show dog, remember that bait should be offered in TINY pieces, it’s not meant to be dinner. When it comes to meals, put the dog’s food bowl on the floor, give her 10 minutes to eat it, and if it isn’t touched, pick it up and put it away. Don’t feed again until the next meal, and resist the temptation to give treats. Do this for a whole week because what you’re doing here is behavior modification. Remember, a healthy dog won’t starve itself to death, but a stubborn, healthy dog could modify YOUR behavior if you cave in.

If you change pet foods frequently, stop. Frequent diet changes can create a finicky eater. The dog learns to “holdout” to see what will be offered next. When you find a nutritious diet your pet will eat, stay with it. If you MUST change the pet’s diet, do it gradually over a two week period. Add a small amount of the new diet to the old food, and each day, increase the amount of the new feed while decreasing the amount of the current food. This gradual change will help prevent diarrhea, vomiting and finicky eating.

With picky eaters, it’s important to feed a “super premium” brand of dog food. These foods cost a little more and are made with better ingredients, but they are nutritionally dense. This means that your dog is actually eating less in quantity than the cheaper brands bought at grocery stores (these foods have the nutritional value of bark), but because there are more “calories per cup” in a premium food, they’re actually getting more nutrition. Look for brands such as Merrick’s “Grammy’s Pot Pie” (canned food), California Natural, Prarie, Canidae, Flint River, Nutro, Wellness, Eagle Pack Holistic or Nutrisource.

Mixing kibble with a small amount of canned dog food and water will also make it enticing. This next part is important: The single most natural way to increase a pet’s appetite is to warm their food because it increases the smell and makes it more appetizing.

Perhaps your dog has a health issue or is on a medication that makes him not want to eat. She’s under a vet’s care, but the task of getting nutrition into her falls on you. Now what? First, understand that the less a dog eats, the less he WANTS to eat. Add to that the dog who comes to associate food with nausea and you have a real problem, so the sooner you can get your dog to WANT to eat on his own, the better. So much for the obvious.

We’ll start with the simplest remedies and work our way up to a radical solution that worked for one of my dogs. Assuming that your dog is on a high quality feed but still not eating, you may need to go to the next step: making dog food taste even better.

You don’t want to make these next foods a daily staple, mostly because the high sodium content of many of them would be contra-indicated for dogs in renal failure or with heart issues (if your dog does have kidney issues, check out a really informative web site here.) The following foods have been tried and tested by people in the dog fancy and are suggested ONLY as a means to jump start the appetite in a sick or compromised dog: Sardines, canned cat food, Gerber’s baby food – especially turkey or sweet potato, braunschweiger, Limburger Cheese, broth, pureed liver, Dinty Moore Beef Stew, yogurt, cottage cheese/cream cheese, canned mackerel, scrambled eggs with cream cheese, chicken noodle soup – and even this one: hard-boiled eggs smashed up in French Vanilla yogurt, slightly warmed.

Sometimes, you may need to “jump start” an appetite with something so enticing, it’s irresistible. Here is the original recipe for “Satin Balls,” one of the most requested recipes on Wellpet, Showdogs-L, VetMed, and other popular e-mail lists for serious dog people:

10 pounds of cheap hamburger meat

1 lg. box of Total cereal

1 lg. box oatmeal

1 jar of wheat germ

1 1/4 cup veg oil

1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses

10 raw eggs AND shells

10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin

pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf. Divide the batch into 10 quart freezer bags and freeze.Thaw as needed and feed raw! (This is also a good way to put weight on a skinny dog, increase energy, and to alleviate itchy, flaky skin). This isn’t a substitute for meals, it’s meant to whet a dog’s appetite. If the dog is eating this eagerly, start mixing it with kibble gradually. The idea is to wean them off the Satin Balls and onto kibble.

Next, we move on to “fixes” that come in a tube or pill. Remember that the point of these products is to stimulate an appetite and are not long term solutions; We start with Re-Vita whose products are said to be effective for problem appetites; “Pet-Tinic” is a liquid dietary supplement containing iron, copper and 5 essential vitamins. The palable meat-flavored liquid is readily accepted and one “tester” reported that it brought back her pet’s appetite almost immediately, Because of its contents, you’ll want to have your vet’s approval before using this. “Nutri-Cal” is pure nutrition that squeezes out like toothpaste; dogs like its taste and it’s a quick way to get nutrition into a dog. When diluted with water, Dyne High Calorie Dietary Supplement can be used to combat dehydration and provide energy because each ounce provides approximately 150 calories containing vitamins and minerals that maintain constant therapeutic blood levels.

If none of the aforementioned tips work, this is where I get pretty serious because my own philosophy is that a lack of appetite is a lousy reason for a dog to die. What you’ll read next isn’t pleasant – but if you love your dog, you have to get nutrition into her. As far as I know,there are four ways to do this when the dog can’t eat on his own: syringe food into the dog’s mouth, stuff food down the dog’s throat, hook the dog up to an IV, or insert a stomach tube. I’ve done all of them at one time or another. And they all stink, but they’re preferable to the alternative: a dog who wastes away and dies.

Syringing: You’ll need a couple of large syringes from your vet. Using canned food; determine the amount your dog needs to sustain his weight, divide that amount in half and spoon that much into a blender (you and this blender will become inseparable over the coming days). Add enough warm water to blend easily into a very fine puree and for each meal, gently syringe the puree into the side of the dog’s lips. Or, you can cut to the chase. Pry the dog’s mouth open and squeeze the syringe plunger down so that the food trickles to the side and back of the dog’s mouth. It takes a bit of time to get the hang of this since you don’t want the dog to aspirate food into his lungs. Speak to the dog soothingly and praise him when you’re done. Remember, it’s not the dog’s fault he’s unable to eat and it’s only temporary until the appetite comes back.

Stuffing: This was my least favorite means of getting food into a dog. It was messy and degrading. In a nutshell, you make “food bombs” that are narrow enough to slide down the back of the dog’s throat. These “bombs” are a mixture of wet & dry food that’s been pureed into a texture that allows shaping. There are folks out there who are really good at doing this – and some dogs who just don’t eat well become so used to eating this way that they’ll stand calmly, lift up their little heads and open their mouths like guppies in anticipation for the next “bomb.” Since all we care about is getting nutrition into the dog, if this works for you,that’s what counts.

IV: A “no brainer.” At this point, a dog is so ill that this is pretty much the last resort. It’s no substitute for the calories gotten from real food, but sometimes it serves as a band-aid until the dog is back on its feet and able to eat the real thing.

Stomach tube: Proverbially speaking, this is what separates the men from the boys. When I was faced with a dog whose heart medication caused anorexia but who was otherwise healthy, I had but little choice to pull out all the stops. Syringe feeding, food bombs – these were not long term solutions. Guided by my vet, we made an informed decision to insert a stomach tube. Mind you, at the time we thought it would be a short term fix until my dog ate on his own. Keep reading.

The first tube put in was an ugly, brown rubber tube that was SO long, it had to be wrapped around my dog’s mid section and secured with a lady’s tube top when not in use. I prepared the food as if I was going to syringe it into my dog’s mouth, only it was syringed into a tube that had been inserted into his side over the stomach. In less than a week, the dog knew the sound of the blender, knew what was coming and would lie down on his side in preparation for his meal.

Each day before I approached the blender, I always offered the dog his meal in a bowl since it was my fondest desire that the dog eat like a dog. After many weeks, however, I knew this wasn’t going to happen. Ever. At this point, my vet and I had a frank discussion about options and he mentioned a permanent tube, one inserted from the inside out. The “Bard” was a gastronomy device made of silicon that was successfully used to feed disabled children but had never been used in canines. My nearly 14 year old Puli would be the first dog to have the slick silicon “button” inserted. It fit flush against his stomach and a little “lid” flicked open like the flip-top portion of a tube of toothpaste. Compared to what I had been working with, it was a Porsche compared to an Edsel and no one else ever knew it was there.

The tube enabled my dog to live a couple of more years. Feeding him took less than five minutes and afterwards, he would run with the other dogs,bark into the wind, enjoy the sun on his back and know that I adored him. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Because of the seemingly radical step we took to ensure this dog’s survival, it wasn’t something I discussed openly. Too many people out there feel that if a dog can’t eat on his own, he’s not meant to live. To them I say, “Phooey.” The dog wanted to live, to survive and feel the hand of those who loved him rubbing his ears. But he couldn’t eat. His spirit was willing and he would have done anything to please me, but this one thing he couldn’t do. How then, was I to deny him the one thing I could do to help him?

Cats: Needless to say, cats are not like dogs. They can get liver damage from not eating even for just a day or two. When a cat stops eating, their body will start to use its fat stores as fuel. The old fat stores are mobilized to the liver, which should begin fat burning. But when the fat arrives at the liver, the liver doesn’t burn the fat efficiently and it accumulates in the liver.

The resulting liver disorder is known as “hepatic lipidosis”, or “fatty liver disease.” This condition may be suggested when blood tests show impaired liver function. Getting fatty liver disease is not isolated only to cats, and fasting cats don’t always get this condition, they just seem more prone to it when they don’t eat.

But according to the Cornell Online Consultant, there are 454 more possible Diagnoses for Feline Anorexia. Wow. A good web site you can visit here explains the different reasons a cat might not be eating, from acid stomach to ulcers and including fatty liver disease. The bottom line, however,is that you have less “wiggle room” when a cat won’t eat. Tries these tips:

-Warm the food because warmed food has a stronger smell which will make a cat want to eat.

-Handfeeding: Sit with your cat and talk to her. Offer a little piece of food to her.

-Offer special treats like canned or pouched food instead of dry kibble.

-Offer tuna and cheese or milk or cream, all in small amounts.

-Tasty liquids, like water from tuna packed in water or, rarely, oil. Avoid tuna packed in vegetable broth as itmay contain onions. Try clam juice or low-salt chicken broth. Avoid onions and anything made with bouillan as it’s too salty;

-Sprinkle some catnip on the food.

Pull out all the stops and make some Home Made Cat Food with this recipe:

Switch off the protein sources with each batch or two. Switch between:

– Half Pound of minced boneless chicken breast or thigh

– Six Ounces of dark-mean ground turkey or minced turkey

– Half Pound of lean, minced beef

– Half Pound of minced beef, chicken or turkey heart. About three times a week, include one chopped hard-boiled or scrambled egg. Occasionally substitute a five-ounce can of salmon or tuna for the meat. Avoid canned salmon or tuna for cats that are prone to urinary tract infections.

Mix foods together.

There are some drugs that can help stimulate a cat’s appetite including Diazepam (Valium). Other drugs to ask your vet about are Periactin (generic name Cyproheptadine), Serax (generic name Oxazepam) and Dalmane (generic name Flurazepam). All have potential side effects so it’s important to talk with your vet.

Syringe feeding and feeding tubes as mentioned in the section for dogs is also an option for cats.

Good luck and know that you’re not alone. Feeding issues are among the most frustrating of concerns.

How to Rebuild Your Vision by Breathing Properly

Did you know that breathing the right way is crucial in having perfect eyesight?

An article from Bates’ Better Eyesight Magazine 1923 wrote,

“Many people with imperfect sight are benefited by breathing. One of the best methods is to separate the teeth while keeping the lips closed, breathe deeply as if one were yawning. When done properly one can feel the air cold as it passes through the nose and down the throat. This method of breathing secures a great amount of relaxation of the nose, throat, the body generally, including the eyes and ears.”

If you think about it, breathing has always been advocated as an excellent relaxing tool in meditation classes. Most of us are not aware of the fact that effort causes us to strain our eyes.

Therefore a logical solution to chronically strained eyes, is naturally relaxation. Think about it.

The problem is, most of us are not breathing the nature intended to be. We tend to breathe shallowly. To do it correctly try the following method:

  1. Lie on your back and relax your body.
  2. Place a small cushion just below your knee.
  3. Position your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen.
  4. Now exhale all the air in your lungs.
  5. When you start to inhale, note which part of your body is rising first.
  6. Ideally, your left hand is the one which should rise while your right hand should rise only by a small amount, and only after your abdomen has risen.

It’s normal if it feels weird the first few times you try or if you feel dizzy. That’s your body trying to adjest to the right way fo breathing. As you continue breathing this way, it will become a habit and you’ll longer need to put any effort into it – just like the way you are breathing now.

That’s the beauty of this technique – once you got it, you don’t even realize you’re doing it. But remember that although this is beneficial to your vision (and many people practices it to keep their perfect eyesight), it is not sufficient to rebuild your visions if you’ve been wearing glasses for long periods of time.

For your body to be able to truly regain control your eyes, three parts are necessary:

  1. Good vision habits just like the one I explained here.
  2. Eye exercises.
  3. Supplements.

I hope this articles helps you achieve the habits because it’s the easiest to do.

Warning – Shaky Hands Before Eating is a Symptom of Diabetes and Low Blood Sugar

If you have shaky hands and feel not able to concentrate before lunch no matter if you had a snack after breakfast we can suspect you are suffering of reactive hypoglycemia you can just be in the initial phase, and this can just be an annoying crash but if not treated, this condition is just going to get worse. Here we are going to see how to stabilize your blood sugar levels to help you avoid those crashes.

Commonly hypoglycemia occurs due to adrenal fatigue, adrenal glands produce cortisol and with these not working properly we got lowered blood cortisol. The liver has to work harder to convert glycogen into blood sugar, during stress insulin levels are increased because the cells demand more energy, and without the right cortisol levels to elevate the blood sugar levels the increased demand is impossible to meet.

People suffering of adrenal fatigue when even under mild stress like an argument at work can not produce the increased demand for blood glucose as a result of the fatigued adrenals unable to cope with the cortisol needed , increasing the insulin at the same time that the demand of glucose is increasing, setting the stage for tragedy.

You can not treat diabetes low blood sugar with coffee and sweet snacks, this only throws your body into a constant roller coaster ride trough the day, at the end you just going to fell exhausted without having done anything. Is like driving with the brakes and flooring the accelerator at the same time.

More than sixty percent of people with diabetes low blood sugar go on to become diabetics!

You can be in the other side of the fence with an hypoglycemia diet while treating your adrenal glands and in less than 3 months you can improve remarkably.

Are There Side Effects of Taking FRS Healthy Energy? (FRS Healthy Energy Drink Side Effects-Dangers)

Since this is often being called the healthiest energy drink on the market, it’s important to learn about any side effects of taking FRS Healthy Energy drink before allowing it into our bodies.

FRS Healthy Energy has proven its benefits including decreased fatigue, increased energy and endurance, sharper focus and concentration, and improved overall health.

It seems that there are no known side effects of FRS Healthy Energy drink for almost all normal, healthy people, but a deeper look at the key ingredients can help determine if people with specific food allergies or people who are taking certain medications might experience negative side effects if taking FRS energy drink.

Caffeine in FRS Healthy Energy

First off, energy drink caffeine in excessive amounts is never healthy. Anywhere from 200-300 mg of caffeine a day is generally considered a healthy amount to stick to.

Depending on your age, weight, smoking habits, drug and medicine use, stress levels and other health factors, consuming 500-600 mg of caffeine in a day may have such health risks and side effects as heart arrhythmia, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, muscle tremors, headaches and nausea.

Thankfully, FRS Healthy Energy derives its caffeine primarily from green tea extract, and a single serving contains only 48mg of caffeine, which is about the amount of a half a cup of coffee.

You would need to drink about 11 cans of FRS energy supplement in a single day in order to risk the harmful side effects of caffeine. I should hope this won’t not be a problem! The FRS Healthy Energy company themselves recommend consuming three servings per day for optimal results.

The caffeine in FRS is meant to enhance the uptake and processing of the key ingredients (namely, quercetin and B-vitamin) rather than to directly give energy.

Quercetin in FRS Healthy Energy

Quercetin is the secret to FRS Healthy Energy’s patented ingredients. This powerful antioxidant helps turn your body into its own energy-production powerhouse.

Normal, healthy people should not be concerned with any side effects of the quercetin in FRS energy drink, but here are some known medication interactions that you should be aware of depending on what drugs you’re currently taking.

While it is unclear the specific nature of the interaction, it is believed that there is a reaction between quercetin and antibiotics. Until more definitive research emerges, it’s important to be aware of this possibility.

FRS quercetin is also thought to have an interaction with some metabolic enzymes, which has lead to theories that FRS might have the ability to increase the effects of some medications on the body. While this has not been proven, it’s wise to bear in mind if you are someone who takes a lot of medications and has sensitive or unstable health.

Food Dyes in FRS Healthy Energy

Finally, there are trace amounts of food dye in FRS drinks, so if you are someone who suffers from a severe allergy to food dyes, then it would be best to avoid this product completely just to be safe.

Bottom Line: Are There Any FRS Healthy Energy Drink Side Effects?

For almost all healthy individuals, FRS energy supplement does not have any known side effects. As with anything though, make sure to drink FRS in reasonable quantities. If you do experience any negative side effects, stop or reduce consumption.

The natural and healthy ingredients in FRS Healthy Energy should actually provide you with more health benefits than negative side effects. The only known and documented effects are increased energy, drive and focus as well as a boost in overall health.

June Gloom Got You Down?

What is with this June Gloom? Is everyone experiencing it or is it just us Californians? It seems as though it is never going away and I’m trying not to let it get me down. It comes at the most odd time of the year to me, right when you are truly enjoying the amazing spring sunshine and getting ready for those hot summer days it hits. It’s crazy! It’s like all of a sudden you are pulling out pieces from your winter wardrobe that you just packed away once spring hit. It definitely does not make sense to keep wearing the fabulous sandals and flip flops you just bought when it’s sprinkling outside. I just don’t get it, so I decided to do some research on this June Gloom and find out the facts.

According to Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia) June Gloom (also May Gray) is a California term for a weather pattern that results in overcast skies with mild temperatures during the late spring and early summer. The condition is prevalent in many parts of the world where marine stratus or stratocumulus clouds are common, particularly off the western coasts of continents-especially off Peru, Namibia, Western Australia, and California. Such cloud systems are persistent year-round off the coast, yet in certain seasons they blow ashore and create the gloomy “May Gray” effect on land. The June Gloom phenomenon has also been known to occur during the early fall in California.

Early mornings during this period are typically foggy, with an occasional drizzle. The fog turns to low clouds by late morning and early afternoon. Finally, by late afternoon, solar heating is sufficient to evaporate the clouds. Often the overcast will be evaporated (“burned off”) quickly inland, but will linger along the immediate coast.

In California, the number of days from May to June that are gloomy vary from year to year. Cooler ocean temperatures, associated with La Nina, usually foretell a grayer period.

June Gloom has been reported by some Californians to bring on symptoms consistent with seasonal affective disorder. It is often cited as a time of depression. Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, repeatedly, year after year? The US National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety. There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapies with bright lights, anti-depression medication, ionized-air administration, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.

So if this June Gloom has got you down, you are not alone. This weather just seems to make me feel like hibernating. Thank goodness it will only be here for a short time then onto our sunshine filled summer we go.

Anxiety Panic Attacks Caused by Malfunction in the Inner Ear – Motion and Visual Related Phobias!

The inner-ear processes all motion-related information. If it is impaired, you may be hypersensitive to horizontal motion, vertical motion, clockwise motion, counterclockwise motion, or any combination of the above.

Depending on what types of motion you are sensitive to, and your degree of sensitivity to each, the movement of a boat, plane, car, elevator, escalator, or even a rocking chair can provoke any or all of the following symptoms:

o Anxiety, and related symptoms

o Dizziness

o Light-headedness

o Nausea

o Vomiting

o Retching

If your anxiety is severe or uncontrollable, phobias may result.

Motion-Related Phobias: An Example

Chris has a motion-related fear of flying. Notice how his fear is specifically related to horizontal motion sensitivity:

“I’ve only been on an airplane once. That was enough. It was during takeoff. The plane started picking up speed, and suddenly I was pinned to the back of my seat. I couldn’t move. I could barely breathe. My stomach was inside out. It was as if I had lost control of my body… like I was having some kind of seizure. As soon as the plane stabilized I felt a little better, so I started drinking. I don’t remember much after that.”

An inner-ear dysfunction can also result in motion insensitivity. Individuals with this problem need to be in motion and become anxious when they are stuck, trapped, tied down, or unable to move literally or symbolically. This motion-related claustrophobic anxiety can result in a wide variety of phobias.

Some individuals have the worst of both worlds. They are hypersensitive to some forms of motion and hyposensitive to others. These individuals often suffer from numerous motion-related phobias.

VISUAL PHOBIAS

The inner-ear system processes all visual information. If this system is impaired, you may be hypersensitive to bright lights, fluorescent lights-even certain colors. Any or all of these may provoke anxiety.

A wide variety of visual distractions can also provoke anxiety, including: flickering lights, blurred images, the dark, and various hypnotic patterns as tiled floors, moving cars, oncoming headlights, crowds, wallpaper patterns, food displays, etc.

If visually triggered anxiety is severe or uncontrollable, various phobias may develop, including: fear of the dark, fear of bright lights, fear of crowds, fear of supermarkets, fear of driving, etc.

A Visual Tracking Problem:

Sensitivity to visual distractions is often the result of a tracking problem. The inner-ear system guides the movement of our eyes, enabling us to track the movement of visual information in our environment. If this tracking process is impaired, the eyes may be incapable of keeping pace with this visual information and anxiety may surface.

Gloria’s fear of driving stems from a visual tracking problem. Note how she describes her fear:

“Driving has always terrified me. Even if I’m being driven somewhere, I can’t look at the road all of the time I get overloaded. I thought that if I could learn to drive I wouldn’t be so frightened, so I signed up for a driver’s education course. I quit as soon as we started driving on big streets. I just couldn’t handle it. There were too many things to watch for, cars in front, cars behind, cars on your sides, lights, signs. And everything seemed to be coming at me so fast. I had no time to react. I froze in total panic. The instructor started to scream at me. Then the car behind us hit us. That was the end of my driving career.”

A COMBINATION EFFECT

Many visual phobias are partially determined by underlying balance and/or compass and/or motion-related problems.

When our senses of balance, direction, and/or motion stability are impaired, we often become more dependent on visual information to compensate, and think of how getting a visual fix on land suppresses motion sickness.

If the brain is not receiving this necessary visual information, balance, compass, and motion-related problems are aggravated. This triggers anxiety. Although the anxiety is provoked by visual distractions, it really stems from other, inner-ear problems.

The interaction of visual and balance problems can be clearly seen in Charlotte’s description of a frightening panic attack:

“We had gone to see a Broadway show and my husband didn’t tell me that he had gotten balcony seats. There was a mirrored ball that hung in the middle of the ceiling. Flickering lights would bounce off the ball and spin around the theater while the skaters skated in a circle. I was looking down from the balcony, and the place suddenly started to spin. I panicked. I literally had to crawl out, pretty much on my hands and knees, to get out of the balcony seat. I got so dizzy… just from watching the skaters going in a circle and the lights and the ball spinning.”

The vast majority of phobias can be traced to a physiological problem: a malfunction within the inner-ear system! The inner-ear system plays an important role in modulating and controlling anxiety. In my blog, please click on the link below, I have further discussed these problems.

Muscles Only Relax When the Brain Says So

 What is a knot? A knot is when the sufferer feels tension, and reaching his hand to touch the spot, he feels a raised lump of muscle.

What is the lump made of? If he rubs it back and forth, it feels crunchy, as if there were some substance in there. This crunching has lead many to guess that there are “calcium crystals” in there. When this image is believed, clearly the way to cure the knot would be to “break up the crystals.” This requires “stripping,” “breaking,” and generally mechanical forces from outside the body to “tenderize” the meat of the muscles, like one of those wooden mallets used by thrifty cooks to tenderize cheaper cuts of beef. Of course, after mechanical force is applied from outside, he feels sore the next day. This is why he is advised to “drink lots of water.” But what if a knot is not made of crunchy crystals?

I believe a knot is nothing but smooth muscle, raised to a wrinkle because it is pulling so hard. It is like rope that you twist and twist, until finally the fibers kink in the middle.

Why do I think this? Any muscle will soften in seconds when the person’s brain changes its mind. After thirty seconds of softening, when I rub the muscle back and forth, there is no more crunching. If there were crystals there, where did they go? If nobody broke any crystals, how did they soften?

If instead, knots are only muscle fibers kinked from tension, then when the brain stops signaling it to “pull”, the kink naturally flattens out without any mechanical force from outside.

The nice thing about relaxing muscles from within, is that there will be no soreness afterward. There will be soreness after “crystal breaking” or any mechanical force intended to break something in the muscle. When you intend to break something, something will break! Soreness includes bruising of the skin, bruising of the muscle, and little bits of broken muscle fiber. Of course you need to drink more water for a few days that the immune system needs to clean up the broken fibers and heal the bruises. On the other hand, when muscles relax from within, there is no need to drink more water because nothing was broken.

How do muscles relax?

Muscles respond only to brain decisions. (Well, that’s mostly true. There are mini-brains in the spine that can also signal muscles to contract or relax temporarily. But after the spinal reflex is finished, the muscle will return to the last instructions the brain gave.) Muscles relax for good only when the brain commands them to relax.

In the absence of new signals from the brain, muscles will continue to do as they were doing. Muscles will actively contract (or “guard”), day and night, even after death, if this was the last command heard from the brain. (for this reason, animals who know they are about to be killed tense up, and the meat–which is only muscle–will still be contracting when it gets to your plate, you’ll be eating millions of “tense up” molecular messengers sent from the animal’s last thoughts to its muscles.)

We need to figure out what the brain wants, so that it will choose to relax.

Here is what does not work: Lengthening muscles by force. The brain knows that force is being used and so it will subconsciously choose to relent temporarily, returning to its previous tension settings by the time the person wakes the next morning. Worse, the brain now subconsciously mistrusts whomever used force to overcome its guard.

How To Invoke The Brain To Relax The Body

If we want the brain to freely choose relaxation, then it cannot be forced to change.

Instead of forcing change, why not agree with the brain? When you find you can’t rotate your head to the left, don’t force it! Turn your head to the easy way. Contract lightly in the directions of comfort for about twenty seconds then gradually let it return to neutral. Do this a few times a day. If your body wants to go into a curled or bent position when you sleep, allow the body to go where it wants and help it. Get into a pool and let the body bend and curl in any direction it wants.

When it feels it has been heard, the brain feels honored that someone has taken the time to listen without judging the guarding as bad. It feels supported that someone is on its side and actually wants to assist its plan.

How Does It Work?

Once the brain sees that its limbs, joints and muscles are in the fullest contortion of guarding, (something happens within and) the guarding releases like magic. What happened? Maybe the brain has a sense of humor and needed to see how silly the guarding really looked when it was allowed to do what it planned. Maybe the most guarded position is a secret key that unlocks the double-lock vault where the tension was originally stored. Maybe it is just a playful time that allows the brain and body to lighten up. Maybe the symbolism of guarding as far as one can go, wears out the original command and it simply runs out of steam. Probably all of the above and more reasons too.

The Importance Of Immediate Feedback

Every muscle treatment I give, I ask the person, “Hey this muscle is softening, do you feel it?” Before the question, her brain had monitored relaxation only subconsciously. When a person has enough experiences noticing her own muscles relax, she gains conscious influence over her own muscle tension. Soon enough, she no longer needs outside assistance from a massage therapist, she can relax her own muscles from within, all by herself.

Complaints That Benefit From Invoking Brain To Relax Muscles

(please understand I am not a Doctor, I am not licensed to diagnose, and I am not saying that any disease would be “cured.”) Relaxation From Within Helps With:

  • Aging (triggers PNS parasympathetic nervous system) gives back years of quality living, healthier skin, nails, hair, better digestion, lower heart rate, better blood pressure, lower anxiety, deeper breathing, etc.

  • Asthma, Allergies, Histamine Reactions, Chemical Sensitivity, Hyper Sensitivities

  • Athletes: those specific cramps at mile 22, low back pain for black belts (psoas muscle), Tendinitis (relax the muscle attached to that tendon), Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, etc.

  • Atlas and Axis: by relaxing obliquus inferior and superior muscles that were jamming these two joints

  • Brain: TBI brain injury, Stroke, MS, ALS, Encephalitis, Lyme, etc. (by boosting brain-muscle communication, intra-brain communication is enhanced)

  • Dancers (psoas)

  • Emotional Release (release not in outbursts, but gradually and constantly leaks away, a gentle rivulet of release), PTSD, “Shell Shock,” automobile accident trauma, major surgery (traumatization can reside for decades after anesthesia and surgery), past life trauma (encapsulated in pearl gray capsules in the hippocampus and medulla oblongata, regulated by the centrum and the cerebellum)

  • Fatigue, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Candida, etc. (reducing muscle tension without the next-day soreness, ends the pain-spasm-pain loop)

  • Hip Rotators and Shoulder Rotator Cuff (tendons heal faster when no longer under tension from muscles)

  • Irritable Bowel or Poor Digestion (colon has spiral muscles that need to relax to move the food smoothly and effectively)

  • I-T band (which is the common tendon of the Tensor Fascia Latte and Gluteus Maximus muscles)

  • Job-Related Injuries, Stress, Overuse Injuries, Tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel (more likely wrist extensors), Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, tingling in the fingers, numbness, (pectoralis minor, scalenes, atlanto/axial joint, subscapularis), Sciatica, Bursitis, pain down the leg, numbness or tingling in the foot (piriformis, pectineus, TFL) (muscle tension restricts vein, artery and nerve flow)

  • Low Back Pain: (relax the lumbar sidebenders and psoas)

  • Lumbar Rotation, sometimes diagnosed as rotoscoleosis: (tight psoas muscle can rotate lumbar spine)

  • Type “A” personality, SNS (sympathetic nervous system) always on, “Fight Or Flight,” Adrenaline Junkie, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Cold Hands and Feet, Sweaty Palms, Anxiety, Tongue Tied, Butterflies In Stomach, etc.

  • Yoga Practitioners and Teachers: overstretching injuries, low back pain (psoas,) loss of hip medial rotation (piriformis too tight, TFL too weak)

We live in a generation of dramatic change. Force never really worked well. We never really needed to depend on an Authority Of Healing to fix our knots, kinks, and ailments. It is time to use the gifts within.

Remedies For Ovarian Cysts Using the Medicinal Powers of Food

If you have a loved one or even a best friend that has been suffering from the pain of an ovarian cyst, then may be you could point her in the direction of some remedies for ovarian cysts that she may not have tried. No doubt she has had numerous visits to her doctor, who has probably told her to sit back patiently and wait to see what develops. Well this is all fine and good, but in the majority of cases, women that wait often end up having surgery because their cysts have grown larger and become more troublesome.

Recent scientific studies have shown that there are many properties in natural food that can be used medicinally as opposed to relying on chemically produced pills and potions. Because ovarian cysts thrive in toxic conditions, it is vital to detox your body before embarking on any change of diet. The liver works hard to filter out impurities and so the best place to start is with a healthy liver and New Year detox. Below is a delicious salad recipe to kick start your detox

Beetroot and Artichoke Quinoa, With Rocket Salad

1 small beetroot

half a jar of cooked artichoke hearts

2 large handfuls of quinoa

rocket to garnish

Boil the quinoa until soft. Steam the beetroot until soft, then dice into small cubes. Chop artichoke. Mix and garnish with rocket as a side salad.

Medicinal properties

Beetroot contains a deep purple pigment, called “betacyanin”. This helps the liver to process toxins such as alcohol. Artichoke and rocket contain active chemicals to carry toxins away from the liver.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are not only delicious but they contain some wonderful healing and soothing properties that that make them a very effective remedy for ovarian cysts, as they calm both body and mind and help to break down inflamed areas. Chamomile and mint tea are two types worth trying.

Below I have also listed a very good anti-inflammatory recipe that can also be taken to help with ovarian pain

Pineapple and Ginger Juice

Blend 3.4 a fresh pineapple

2″ piece of ginger

2 celery stalks

half a glass of apple juice

Medicinal Properties

Pineapple contains a powerful enzyme called “bromelain” that helps reduce inflammation and also softens swollen tissue. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and celery contains a powerful natural painkiller.

This is just a taster of the way different properties in our food can help as a remedy to the pain and inflammation caused b y ovarian cysts. There are, however, numerous other natural treatments and remedies that can effectively shrink ovarian cysts and prevent them from recurring.

Life is too short to be spent waiting for a cyst to develop so why not take action yourself to win the battle against ovarian cysts and learn how to help your body fight against the development of cysts.

Caring for Turtles – 3 Rules of Caring for Pet Turtles

At first glance turtles would appear to be the ideal pet. They stay in a tank primarily, eat little scraps of food….whats not to love? The problem is that caring for turtles is a bit more advanced than that. Turtles are unique animals that have their own quirks about them, and the more informed you are as the owner the easier it will be to care for pet turtles.

1) Never Over feed Your Turtle: Turtles are like dogs when it comes to food. If you Give them far too much food and leave them alone with it they will eat themselves to obesity. This is incredibly unhealthy and can lead to some serious diseases that require hefty vet bills to treat.

Turtles don’t have access to never-ending supplies of food in the wild and if they did they would eventually eat themselves to obesity. A good rule of thumb is to feed your turtle a hunk of food no bigger than its head and neck, and then allow them 15 minutes to eat. When the 15 minutes is up take the food away and that is their daily feeding.

2) Always Keep the Environment Clean: This is for your benefit as well as the turtle. Turtles are messy eaters and not the least bit concerned about where they poop. Rotting food bits and feces in the swimming area makes an unsanitary environment, not to mention a tank that will make your whole living room smelly!

Make sure to get a powerful filter for the swimming area rated for at least twice the capacity of the water and scoop out any large bits daily to keep the water from becoming acidic. Setting up an area in the turtles tank or even an eating area outside of the tank will reduce how much old food gets sprawled about.

3) Turtles Don’t Like Being Manhandled: This is particularly true with children that love nothing better than to turn the turtle around in all kinds of directions to explore the different sides of the shell. The problem is that turtles get stressed easily when handled.

When they are really small it is actually illegal to sell turtles under 4 inches long because the smaller the turtle the more likely it is that a child will put it in their mouth and get salmonella poisoning. All turtles of all sizes carry the salmonella gene, so anytime you do need to handle the animal make sure to wash your hands before and after.

Wash before touching the turtle to keep from contaminating the Turtle and then wash after so that you are not contaminated yourself. Needless to say Turtles are NOT good pets for children, an adult must constantly maintain the Turtles environment.

Caring for turtles is a lot like caring for other pets if you think about it. Any pet requires you to provide it with a safe and sanitary environment to live in. Nothing should be in that environment that would allow the animal to potentially harm itself. Turtles are very similar in this aspect. You have to keep in mind that Turtles don’t necessarily know what is best for them and could care less about being tidy. As long as you are informed you will do a fine job caring for turtles.

How to Get Rid of Phlegm

You might want to hold off with that wish. Phlegm is actually good for you. Well, not the thing itself, but what it represents. Phlegm is mucous that becomes congealed and visible. It’s almost always a sign of your body fighting off whatever infection is wreaking havoc on your respiratory system – which is actually a good thing. Phlegm is primarily composed of mucous, dead bacteria and virus, dead white blood cells, and various tissues and cells. The difference between phlegm and other mucous is that phlegm comes from your lungs, not from your nasal passages.

In around 400 B.C. it was thought that phlegm was part of the four humours, the four basic substances that were supposed to comprise the human body. The other three humours were black bile, bile, and blood, and when they were balanced, the body would achieve harmony and would thus be healthy. A lack or excess of any of the humours resulted in diseases or disabilities. It was the ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates (of the Hippocratic Oath fame) who is credited for coming up with this theory. For 2,000 years, it influenced medical thinking until it was discredited in the 1800s.

While phlegm is an indication that your body’s immune system is working overtime to get rid of those nasty invaders that are trying to make you sick, coughing up phlegm every few minutes is still a rather unpleasant practice. Here are several things you can do to get rid of the phlegm quicker so you won’t have to find yourself in potentially embarrassing and totally awkward situations.

Phlegm Elimination

If you’re a smoker, cut the habit. Everyone knows that smoking aggravates and promotes several lung and bronchial problems. As if body infections are not enough, respiratory diseases caused by smoking will give your body additional health issue baggage it does not need. Smoking interferes with your body’s ability to fight off any infection, so whatever problems it is currently engaged in that resulted in the formation of mucous will be prolonged. Thus, your phlegm problem will drag on longer. Smoking also kills the cilia that line your lungs, making it harder for you to cough out phlegm. If you’ve been coughing up brown or gray-colored phlegm, it means that your body is screaming for you to lay off the cigarettes. It would do you well to cut out the filthy habit before those browns and grays become speckled with red – a sure precursor to something serious, like lung cancer.

Treat any nasal or sinus infection that you have. As mentioned earlier, phlegm is just an accumulation of mucous and other dead substances that coagulate and become visible. Mucous isn’t a foreign object – your body’s airways produce mucous regularly. These mucus secretions don’t accumulate because they’re regularly cleared to your throat where they are carried down by the saliva. If you have an infection that blocks normal passage to the airways and throat, the mucus doesn’t get drained down by the saliva and thus accumulates. Fixing the infection will help fix the additional congestion, easing the accumulation of mucus and phlegm.

Take an expectorant. Expectorants are medicines you can take to clear and loosen up any mucus and phlegm in your respiratory tract. They work by thinning out the mucus so you will be able to easily dislodge it when you cough. Common expectorant medicines are those that contain guaifenesin and bromhexine, so when buying expectorants, be sure to check if these ingredients are present. As with buying any medicine over the counter, be sure to consult with your physician first, just in case you might be subject to complications because of them.

Don’t take cough suppressants. Sure, it is pretty annoying when you have a hacking cough every five minutes, causing you to spit out phlegm at pretty much the same rate, but coughing is your body’s way of trying to dislodge the phlegm. If you’re taking cough suppressants or anything that inhibits your ability to cough, you’re essentially allowing the production and build-up of mucus and phlegm in your system since you’ve basically shut down your body’s mechanism to expel them. The sooner you get all the phlegm out of your system, the sooner your coughing will stop, and the sooner you will find relief.

Drink plenty of fluids and liquids. Plenty of liquids and fluids help loosen up any hard, sticky phlegm that is congesting your system. Fluids also help wash down mucus that is regularly deposited on your throat, thereby lessening their chances of building up and coagulating. There are also herbal teas and drinks that help you deal with respiratory problems, and the fewer complications you have, the better your chances of getting rid of respiratory disease effects – mucus and phlegm included.

Spit the phlegm out; don’t swallow it. Among the many components that make up phlegm are substances like immunoglobulins and glycoproteins that help your body fight off the infection. When these substances get killed (together with the bacteria and virus they were fighting), they become part of what makes up phlegm. When phlegm gets coughed out, it means that they have served their purpose – remnants and refuse of the battle, so to speak – and are no longer necessary in the proper functioning of the body. They have to be expelled. Therefore, spit them out and don’t swallow them back. Aside from the fact that swallowing phlegm is gross and unsanitary, it sometimes gets reintroduced to your pulmonary system, worsening your situation.

There are also home brew remedies you can try that will help in getting rid of your phlegm. Eucalyptus oil mixed with boiling water is a good way to decongest your chest and lessen the abundance of phlegm in your respiratory system. Two to three drops of the oil in boiling water should be enough to do the trick. Hold a towel over your head and deeply breathe in the steam. This will help clear out congested passageways of your respiratory tract, allowing you to spit out the phlegm more easily. Garlic is also said to have expectorant properties, and is considered to be a good supplement for treating congestion.

When your phlegm starts showing up in different colors, it’s about time to have yourself checked by a physician. Take a sample of your phlegm for analysis. Different colors usually indicate an underlying condition. Normal phlegm is usually clear and white. Yellow phlegm means that your immune system is functioning properly and is responding to something. Greenish phlegm means that there is definitely an infection in your body. Rusty spots in green phlegm are often an indication of something serious, like internal respiratory micro-bleeding or pneumonia. Brownish phlegm can be a sign of infection, as well as symptoms of too much smoking, as resin is sticking to the phlegm. When this happens, it is always advisable to limit or just stop your smoking habit, as it may be exacerbating whatever respiratory condition you may have.

Do You Have Knee Pain? Genu Valgum May Be the Culprit

A friend of minewent on a bicycle ride with me, and after about an hour started to experience severe knee pain. After checking her lower extremity I found she had “knock knees”. The clinical term for “knock knees” is Genu Valgum. The opposite would be “bowlegged” or Genu Varum. Since Genu Varum isn’t normally associated with pain or problems, we’ll concentrate on my friend with Genu Valgum. However, both of these conditions are the resultant of the Q-angle.

 

The Q-angle is determined in the frontal plane by drawing a line from the anterior superior spine of the ilium to the middle of the patella, and a second line from the middle of the patella down to the tibial tuberosity. A normal Q-angle for quadriceps femoris function is usually 10 -14 degrees for males and 15 -17 degrees for females.

 

 Anyway, back to my friend… 

 

When assessing the lower extremity you have to “get out of the box” sort of speak, says Ruben Salinas PT, OCS. Ruben is the clinical director of the Fortansce and Associates Physical Therapy clinic in Arcadia, CA. “Don’t just focus where the pain lies look at the whole picture. Remember, the lower extremity is a closed chain, especially in cycling.”

 

Normally associated with Genu Valgum you’ll find pronation or flat feet, tight gastrocnemius and in some cases trochanteric bursitis.

 

Let’s look at one at a time:

At the ankle, the body will try and compensate for the valgus stress at the knee (tensile forces on the medial side of the knee; compressive forces on the lateral side) by pronating. In gait you have to dorsiflex one ankle in order to swing through with the other leg.

 

If your clients gastroc is tight, they won’t be able to dorsiflex, which will cause the foot to cave in. This will indeed affect the knee and then the hip. To lengthen the gastroc, have your client stretch. Be careful to insure their foot doesn’t cave in while stretching. If needed, support the inside of their foot with a wooden block so their foot won’t pronate.

 

For the tibialis posterior (which is an inverter and crosses the ankle) have your client perform “windshield wipers.” By strengthening the inverters, (see diagram) you’ll cause the foot to supinate which is the opposite of pronation.

 

Here’s how:

Lie a light weight on a towel. With their feet flat on the floor have the person slide the weighted towel inwards towards their other foot. There are other ways of helping the foot out, but that’s a whole other article.

 

My friend wasn’t complaining about her feet though, the pain was on the lateral or outside part of her knee.

 

So let’s examine the knee:

Because of the excessive Q-angle there will be more compressive forces on the lateral side and more tensile or distraction forces on the medial side of the knee. So how do you fix that?

 

“This is topic a large grey area in the physical therapy world,” says Ruben Salinas. He is an expert on knees. VMO weakness or the inability to fire has been suggested as the culprit for patella – femoral dysfunction. The experts still can’t agree. It’s definitely worth trying though. To increase VMO activity, try quad sets in all directions or have your client put a small ball or rolled up towel between their legs when the perform leg extensions. Have them squeeze tightly or adduct at the top of the extension.

Another method Ruben suggests is Bio-feedback. Have the client put their hands on both the Vastus lateralis and Vastus Medialis, then have them contract their leg. Through their fingers they should be able to feel which side contracts first. Try and get them to “fire” the inside (vastus medialis) first. It would be nice if you had some surface EMG’s, but hey, we’re just trainers!

 

At the hip, you’ll often find weak external rotators. It’s almost as if the head of the femur has rolled forward and inward. When this happens, the greater trochanter starts to smash up against a bursa which eventually could lead to bursitis.

 

The external rotators of your hip are the key here. Concentrate on the gluteus maxims and not the gluteus medius. Remember, the medius is an internal rotator. Don’t forget the deep external rotators either. By performing external rotation with a cable or tubing attached around the ankle, you will strengthen the piriformis, superior and inferior gemellus, obturator externus and internus as well as the quadratus femoris. This will help stabilize the hip so that smashing of bone against bone doesn’t occur.

 

Be aware, some clients may have an aversion. This is the angle of the femoral neck in the frontal plane. (see diagram). Anteversion will turn the toe turn inwards, increase mechanical advantage of the gluteus maxims as an external rotator, increase the Q-angle and cause more pronation at the foot. Anteversion is structural, so you can’t repair that without a scalpel and a chain saw.

 

In conclusion, I hope you can see that in the case of the lower extremity you must take a holistic approach. Ask a lot of questions. How did they get this way? Is the condition acute or chronic? Is it congenital? Is it structural or muscular? Examine their gait. 

 

If there is pain when performing these exercises, refer them out and get a medical release.

 

I hope this will help you and your clients, and I sincerely hope you’ll assess their posture before you load anyone with a weight.

 

By the way, after a little RICE, (rest, ice, compression, elevation) my friend was able to walk again. Now she just needs one of you to train her.

Top Warning Signs of Diabetes in Toddlers

Mostly kids are unable to explain any problem or communicate any discomfort they are experiencing. This makes the situation difficult to comprehend for the parents. In this modern fast paced society our kids are at an increased risk of many chronic illnesses including diabetes. As kids are too small to be able to recognize the signs of diabetes in them so it is the responsibility of the parents to keep a constant eye on their health and general fitness.

Though it is believed that children show different signs of diabetes but the warning diabetic symptoms in toddlers are more or less the same. If the toddler is suffering from type 1 diabetes, his pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin. If the child is suffering from type 2 diabetes, toddlers start to generate the needed amount of insulin but the body cells become unable to respond positively towards this insulin.

The increasing rate of obesity in kids is another sign of diabetes. If as parents you know well the warning of signs of diabetes in kids then you are in a better position of detecting the disease at its earliest.

Excessive Urination: It is the trademark of diabetes. It is the sign that is easily recognized by the adults. In type 1 diabetes the blood sugar level increase because of deficiency of insulin production. The sugar is then strained through urine. This sugar is diluted with water and then extracted via kidneys. This excessive water causes the kids to urinate even more often. The sign of diabetes can be noticed if child pees a lot during the day and gets up for the same during the night.

Extreme Thirst: Frequent urination leads to extreme thirst. The body of the diabetic toddler required excessive water. As they are getting dehydrated so they drink extra water to replenish the stock.

Extreme Hunger: Unexpectedly the kid stat to crave foods at abrupt intervals. Lack of insulin results in improper supply of energy to various body organs. The body then has to use fat as a main fuel for the body.

Unexplained Weight Loss: The most alarming sign of diabetes is that a healthy child suddenly starts to lose weight. Another sign of diabetes is a sudden loss in weight. It is important that parents consider this sign every serious and talk to their pediatrician.

Diaper Rash: These are very uncomfortable for the toddlers. If these rashes are not healing even after applying the ointments then it is better to ask for medical advice.

Tiredness: The children who suffer from diabetes also suffer from weakness. The body is unable to produce energy through the consumed food so the child feels tired and fatigued.

Apart from above mentioned signs of diabetes, the child starts to feel dizzy, depressed and nauseous.

Amazing Bee Pollen Benefits – Is It Worth The Risk For Your Family

You have no doubt heard a lot of talk about bee pollen benefits. You are also probably thinking that it is just another health fad. Well the opposite is actually true, in fact as a health supplement it has been around for centuries. This is the stuff the ancient Greeks referred to as the Nectar of the Gods. They may not have known exactly what was in it but they new it would keep you healthy, virile and strong like no other edible substance in nature.

The bee pollen benefits are not just for a few. Serving this amazing food to the entire family will help to keep them healthy and strong. It only makes sense really that you could share these wonderful benefits with the ones you love most. The only drawback really is that a lot of doctors say that children under two years should not be given pollen. Even then what they do not say is that it is only out of concern for themselves in case the child has an allergic reaction.

Why so serious? This would not be a true testament to the absolutely amazing bee pollen benefits to your health without giving you information on the risks of taking bee pollen. This risk factor is why it is not recommended for the under two set. It all has to do with the dangers of an allergic reaction. Most of the reactions to Pollen will be mild but in a few cases people have been known to go into anaphylactic shock.

Before we get into the bee pollen benefits we will tell you what to look for and how to avoid the more serious symptoms. First, what is anaphylaxis it actually is a severe type of hypersensitivity to a substance. The symptoms come on so rapidly and progress really fast and this could result in death. What to look for? According to the Mayo Clinic you will see symptoms like these:

  • A feeling of being exceptionally warm that comes over you suddenly
  • Feeling like there is a lump in your throat
  • Hives along with itching, flushed or pale skin (these are always present with anaphylaxis)
  • Constricted the airways, a swollen tongue or throat
  • The feeling like you are doomed
  • The pulse will be weak but rapid
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness followed by fainting

Now these seems like its a bad thing and it is really but if you are going to be using a supplement you should first test it to see if there is a reaction. With this in mind and because I am serious about this food as a supplement I am going to give you what you need to test the family.

It is called a tolerance test and it is really very simple.

1. Start by placing one granule beneath the tongue. We put it here because the mucus membranes there will allow for the fastest absorption.

2. Once the granule is fully absorbed, observe each person for any of the aforementioned symptoms. They may be mild or severe, if no symptoms present themselves, feel free to move to the next step.

3. Add another granule and do what you did before, keep adding granules and checking for signs of allergy until you have reached the amount that would make a full serving. By adding them one at a time you can see just how much of the pollen the body can tolerate.

Why did I tell you all of this, when I am a staunch defender of people taking advantage of bee pollen benefits. It is simple really, I believe a person should make an informed choice. You can find the full list of proteins, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, all 96 of them listed all over the web. Everyone who is selling this wonder food will have this listed for you.

Not only should you test but you should also be aware of where your pollen comes from. Highly industrialized countries have a lot of toxins floating in the air and this falls onto the blossoms of plants. Buy only pollen from a source that can harvest the cleanest pollen.

7 Things to Avoid in Skin Lightening Products

Do you find that your skin has lost its luster?   Let’s face it, radiant and fresh-looking skin is sometimes hard to achieve. You want your skin tone to be as even as possible.  Your skin should be supple, soft, and blemish-free. To get that look you’ve always wanted, you might have already resorted to using certain commercial creams. But improving your complexion isn’t always as straightforward or safe as you may think. There are many dangerous substances included in popular skin whitening creams that you may not know about.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you must remain cautious of if you’re considering using a skin whitener. Be on the lookout for the following harmful ingredients:

1.  Mercury derivatives – Absorbing these substances through your skin can lead to serious kidney problems, mental problems such as irritability and depression, and neurotoxic problems such as hearing and speech problems and ataxia.

2.  Hydroquinone – This dangerous substance, used in some skin whitening products, has been found to cause cancer in lab tests. It can also cause a condition called ochronosis, a darkening and thickening of the skin with occasional spots.

3.  Topical steroids – These creams or ointments might reduce the appearance of skin blemishes, but they also could be equally responsible for problems like eczema, acne, bacterial and fungal infections, skin atrophy, and pigmentation disorders.

4.  Dioxane – This is an artificial coconut derivative that is commonly found in various skincare products. Like hydroquinone, some studies have found it to be carcinogenic.

5.  Mineral oil – This extremely common ingredient may go by several different names, such as liquid paraffin, petrolatum, and paraffin wax. Because it is so inexpensive, mineral oil can be found in almost every kind of skin care product. The problem is that once it is applied, it clogs your pores and prevents your skin from “breathing”.  In addition, mineral oil also interferes with your skin’s natural ability to eliminate toxins, and can cause pimples and acne. Worst of all, this substance contributes to premature skin aging.

6.  Alcohols – Though these harsh agents don’t all have the same properties, what they do have in common is a tendency to irritate your skin and dry it out. The list includes isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, and methanol.

7.  Fragrances – Many attractive scents found in skincare products are made from ingredients that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.

With so many dangerous or dubious ingredients, it’s no wonder why skin lightening is on its way out, and skin brightening is in.  Skin brighteners such as Revitol use natural, non-toxic ingredients, with no harmful additives that could damage your skin or your health. These ingredients include shea butter, grapefruit seed extract, evening primrose oil, and vitamins A, C and E. Skin brighteners are excellent alternatives to skin whiteners or skin lighteners, keeping you at your best while remaining absolutely safe to use.

Grad School Perfectionism Creates Stress, Anxiety and Depression Rather Than Excellence

Grad school is often the final phase of structured education and it is also the transitional process to a desired professional or academic identity.

As you point your sights towards your future as a professional in your field. There is often a sense that it is a critical “make-it-or-break-it” point for progress into an academic or professional career. It is also the point where academically you are given the most freedom and responsibility for self-definition and self-correction as you establish yourself personally as an authority in your domain.

This situation is both a challenge and an opportunity. With the imagined weight of their professional future hanging in the balance, it is not surprising that most grad students work very hard and put forward their best efforts… but for some students, this transition is a psychological tipping point. For a student who is already inclined to define themselves by academic excellence, this sometimes creates a situation where their need for achievement leads to an “over-valued idea” about doing “perfect” work

Grad students vary in their susceptibility to be pushed by positive and negative pressures and the departments in which they find themselves vary in the amounts of pressure or reward that they offer.

Levels of perfectionism therefore will vary from person to person and situation to situation, depending on the value that you, or others in your life, place on achievement in academics. (You may, for example, be very perfectionistic about school projects, but not perfectionistic about housekeeping). But often when perfectionism is problematic it appears in many parts a person’s life.

Four Signs of Perfectionism

  • Setting very high standards and placing high importance on these standards. Feeling that you will be a second rate person if you do not live up to these standards
  • Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, and organization.
  • Concern and negative reactions to mistakes. Having a tendency to interpret mistakes as failure and believing that you will lose the respect of others for your mistakes.
  • Doubting your ability to do a task.

NOTE: Perfectionism is not to be mistaken for effort and desire for excellence

Origin in the family

Anxiety and concern about mistakes distinguishes perfectionism from healthy effort and desire for excellence. The origin of these concerns can often be found in childhood.

Perfectionists often resonate with statements such as:

  • “My parents expected excellence.”
  • “I was punished for being less than perfect.”
  • “I could never reach my parent’s standards.”

These internalized standards were developed in early life and may have been automatically transferred to professors, supervisors and whole academic departments so that they are responded to with the same over-heated desire for approval and fear of rejection that was originally directed towards family members.

Perfectionists are certainly better than average at:

  • Setting unobtainably high goals for themselves and considering themselves a failure when these goals are not met.
  • Feeling that others have set unobtainable standards and goals for them and believing that they must meet these goals to gain the other’s approval.
  • Setting unreasonably high goals and standards for others and then suffering from hostile feelings when others cannot, do not or will not live up to them.

Human and non-human solutions:

    Because perfectionism leads a person to treat supervisors and professors as potentially hypercritical others, it reduces the likelihood of turning to them for help and guidance in the very areas where they are the most expert.
    Because perfectionism makes self-exposure as a flawed and frightened person so frightening and shameful, it prevents a person from turning to others for human comfort and regulation.

Instead of turning to others for help, support and a realistic perspective on their projects, perfectionist students may turn to non-human solutions such as:

  • Self medication with drugs and alcohol to lower their physical tension or escape into addictive computer games… or even excessive housework to distract them
  • Use of performance enhancing stimulants to increase their ability to prod produce, produce at an inhuman rate.
  • Unconsciously driven neglect and inattention can lead to “hardware solutions” to perfectionist pressure. Computers break down at in-opportune moments leading to psychologically acceptable delays and respites.
  • Psychosomatic solutions: The continual high level of self doubt, self criticalness, isolation and anxiety may become too much to handle psychologically and lead to breakdown. Physical illnesses which are most easily affected by stress such as headaches, migraines, stomach problems and asthma become exacerbated . While they are physically distressing they provide a much needed psychological respite. Often students who respond physically to stress also suffered in this way as children when feeling sick was considered by perfectionistic parents as the only acceptable reason for a break from school effort.

Psychologically, perfectionism is always a “defense”. Perfectionism stems from a wish for total control of the situation. It is an attempt to defeat anxiety-causing chaos, uncertainty and randomness.

Perfectionism exacts a high price.

    Because perfectionism refuses to compassionately admit to human limits, it continually undermines self esteem. It makes it impossible to accept the inadequacies and frailties which are the result of our individual uniqueness which we must accept in order to accept ourselves.
    Because it proposes inhuman standards on self and others, it makes it impossible to ever feel successful, accomplished or proud… no matter how much good work has been done.
    At the graduate school level original thinking becomes part of the skill set that the academic program is trying to develop. When perfectionism limits spontaneity, flexibility, and willingness to take risks and explore imperfect partial responses, it also tends to limit or block creativity.
    The impossibly extreme demands that perfectionism creates can lead to equally extreme feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and despair…. and a loss of realistic perspective on the situation as thoughts and emotions circle endlessly, trapped between the impossibility of the imagined demands and the (equally imagined) shame of failure to live up to these outrageous standards. Depression can result as you psychologically “stall out” in the face of what feels like an impossible situation.

Tackling perfectionism is challenge which leads to real personal development.

The good news is that since much of the problem is internal to the sufferer it is not usually necessary to drop out of an “impossibly” demanding program or to take up arms against an “abusive” academic system.

Perfectionism is a barrier to psychological and professional development.

Fear of not being able to meet challenges “perfectly” often results in procrastination and the avoidance of stimulating but more risky challenges. Perfectionists may actually workbelow their true level of performance in order to avoid any possibility of failure. Research and writing may be limited to areas that feel safe and easy. Academic work may be limited in amount, stereotyped in style or defined entirely by what will please someone else.

It is worth struggling to lay aside perfectionism because the benefits of putting down that burden are real and important.

Often what is needed is an internal reality check. Since much perfectionism begins in family life, it is often helpful to tease out the true origin of your ideas around what makes you a worthwhile human being. It may be helpful to seek out the support of a trained counselor as you examine the roots of your stress-producing perfectionistic ideal. Sometimes what is most needed is compassionate and encouraging human contact which provides reassurance that you are valuable and valued in the world as a person outside your studies.

Feeling less perfectionistic facilitates:

  • Higher and more genuine self-esteem and self compassion.
  • Better, warmer and richer personal and professional relationships.
  • More flexibility, creativity, curiosity and exploration.

Tackling perfectionism can result in better health, less psychological distress, better human relationships inside and out of school…. and paradoxically, better, more creative academic production. Putting aside perfectionism creates time and mental space for self exploration and self-creation outside the academic domain and leads to a fuller richer human life.