Cold Weather Effects on Heart and Circulatory System

Your body’s reaction to heat loss is involuntary and driven by the hypothalamus, the tiny gland in the brain acting as a thermostat. The hypothalamus is very sensitive to any temperature variation in your body. Even a small drop brings the temperature regulation mechanisms into action: blood vessels in the skin constrict to prevent excessive heat loss and muscles shiver to create heat.


The hypothalamus is a cruel gland, though. Its only concern is to keep the vital organs at an acceptable temperature, and couldn’t care less if your toes or fingers became icicles. All of the thermoregulation mechanisms are designed to protect the core.


To guarantee wellbeing, the body’s core temperature needs to be maintained at around 36.9°C. What comprises the core? It includes all the vital organs such as heart, lungs, liver and kidneys central to your body. Because the brain is also important for your survival, it is part of the core despite being nowhere near the centre.


Surrounding the core is the periphery. It includes the skin, the muscles, arms and legs. Shake the hands of someone on a cold day and you’ll find out that the temperature of the periphery can be well below the core temperature icy-cold hands. However, a cold periphery is quite natural and, to a degree, an advantage. You constantly lose heat to a cooler environment until the periphery reaches the same temperature, and then the heat flow stops and you preserve heat.


This has its limits. The problems begin when the surroundings have a very low temperature. In this case, the temperature exchange between your body and the environment doesn’t stop and your core temperature starts to drop. Women have an advantage over men in that respect because their skin generally reaches a slightly lower temperature, so they have less heat to lose.


Every person reacts differently to thermal stress. Age, fitness level and underlying diseases play a major part in someones reaction. In addition, cold reactions are not Your teeth chatter, your body shivers and despite all efforts, you can’t prevent it. The tiny hairs on your body stand upright and try desperately to function as an insulating fur. Your skin looks bloodless and feels cold. All these reactions are an attempt by your body to preserve heat, although not a very successful one. Humans are well equipped to lose heat, but are less efficient in retaining it.

Necessarily associated with wintry conditions, as a sharp temperature drop in summer may have similar effects. Cold snaps bring relief from stifling heatwaves, but the cardiovascular system has not much time to adjust to the rapid temperature change and is, therefore, subjected to immense stress.


What are the effects on our cardiovascular system?


When blood vessels constrict to preserve heat, the heart has to work harder to squeeze blood through the narrow vessels. This may be too much for a sick heart. Surveys of blood donors revealed that blood pressure rose markedly after temperature drops. Published figures showed increases of between 12 and 18mmHg. While such an increase is not significant for a healthy person, it is sometimes a deciding factor for a person suffering already from high blood pressure.


Further, a heart under strain needs a high volume of oxygen-rich blood. However, narrow vessels do restrict the supply and symptoms of angina could develop. The British Heart Foundation defines angina as:

Avoid Eating Chicken Skin

In the Philippines, there are many great chicken dishes that you can choose from. Similarly, this poultry product is loved worldwide and available in almost anywhere. Chicken is my favorite food especially its delicious skin.

In South East Asia particularly in Bangkok and Manila, intestines, feet and even the blood are all prepared as food cuisines in various restaurants. Cook experts even said that poultry products are much more patronized in Asia than meat products. So what are the benefits and health hazards of eating chicken?

First off, compared to beef and pork, chicken meat are high in protein and has less cholesterol which our body highly requires. You can find white meat in chicken in the breast area. Unfortunately, that is the only chicken part that is quite safe to eat, health wise. Other parts like neck, wings and feet all pose many health risks.

But did you know that chicken skin is the most deadly part? Yes, the skin is delicious and very tasty, but it can make your heart prone to many problems such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

The skin part contains high in bad cholesterol that can make your heart works double time. Incorporate it with deadly saturated cooking oil and mixing powder ingredients and you now have a perfect cancer causing food at your dining table. Wonder why chicken skin is very addictive in fast food chains? That is because of high bad cholesterol content.

Once you consume too much neck, wings, legs, feet and skin of a fried chicken regularly, you are highly prone to this diseases.

– cancer

– digestive problems

– allergies

– cardiovascular problems

– liver disorders

– kidney problems

– high blood pressure

– stroke

– pimples and acne

Since chicken skin is high in bad cholesterol, you are highly susceptible to heart disease which is the number one cause of death today. It is also one of the major factors of cancer development in the body’s cellular structure. Not only that, it can also trigger fatty liver, kidney stones and digestive ulcers. Lastly, it can lead to high blood pressure and brain stroke.

If you can’t resist the goodness of a chicken cuisine, all you have to do is to scrape the skin out of your plate and avoid eating it. Take the white meat because that is much more beneficial to health. So love your health and prevent eating chicken skin for life.

Cluster Training: The Athlete’s Size and Strength Edge

All sport coaches would like big, strong athletes and most combative athletes want to be big and strong. However, most athletes and coaches run into a problem when training for both size and strength at the same time. The longer an athlete trains; usually they begin to hit a plateau with their current routine. They increase the volume (an increase in sets) or they increase the intensity (percentage of 1 repetition maximum, not perceived muscular discomfort), however they do not do both. Volume training is great for increasing muscle mass, and increasing strength-endurance, however it is not an effective method for stimulating neural (strength) gains.

Muscle mass is generally stimulated by neural gains. The higher the athlete’s maximal strength levels, the higher the intensity used in repetition exercises can be used. Another problem coaches and athletes run into with neural training is the rest intervals must be higher in intensity training for recovery of the neural system (CNS).

The problem is in the old saying, a trainee can train hard (intensity) or train long (volume) but cannot do both. Some coaches, such as T-Nation’s Chad Waterbury have proposed using a low(er) intensity 75-85% bracket and increasing the volume to accommodate this intensity bracket and a decrease in the rest intervals (i.e. 10 sets of 3 with a 6 repetition maximum, with 60 seconds rest intervals). While this is an excellent method and I am not putting it down, I feel there is a better way to work in a higher intensity bracket (80% to 100%) and utilize sufficient volume to increase both size AND strength!

Generally, novice athletes and trainees can make fantastic gains within the 60-70% intensity bracket, usually working their way to 80%. This 80% threshold rule is that strength generally is stimulated above this percentage and this usually calls for a decrease in sets and an increase in rest intervals. So our method will be working above this 80% threshold in every scenario.

Enter Cluster Training

Cluster training is not a new concept; in fact most Olympic weightlifters use this method without knowing it! Some very well know authors have done much to bring this powerful method to light such as Charles Poliquin, Christian Thibaudeau, and Mike Mahler to name a few. Olympic weightlifters must drop the weight to the ground after each repetition; this is followed by a short pause, and another repetition. Most Olympic weightlifters outside of the super-heavy weight division sport tremendously muscular, athletic physiques to go along with their incredible strength!

Cluster training allows the athlete or trainee to utilize intensity above the 80% threshold rule (generally even higher 85-100%), with sufficient volume to increase both strength and size (i.e. more reps at a higher intensity). However, this method is highly demanding on the central nervous system and is not recommended for beginners or high school freshmen and sophomores. While this is a powerful method, it should only be applied to ONE lift per movement group (horizontal push/pull, vertical push/pull, etc.) or ONE exercise per body part. Another caveat is that this method necessitates excellent spotters. If you do not have at least one good spotter, do not do this method. This is not a method that will be kind to an athlete if their spotter(s) decide to take a nap! Cluster training must also be broken into, not jumped into. I show will a progressive model to breaking into cluster training and moving into more advanced methods. Coach Thibaudeau breaks them into levels, level 1 consisting of three methods, level 2 consisting of three methods and level 3 consisting of two methods. For athletic purposes I will only be covering levels 1 and 2, level 3 will come at a later time.

Level 1

The first progression in cluster training is the extended 5s method, coined by Coach Thibaudeau. The goal of the extended 5s method is for the athlete to do 10 repetitions with a weight they can only do for 5 repetitions. Obviously this is an outstanding growth stimulus, as there is an increase in both intensity and volume (85% x 10 repetitions). An extended 5s set would go like this…

The athlete takes their 5 repetitions maximum (RM) and does 5 reps and then racks the bar. Resting approx 7-12 seconds (counted out loud by a training partner or spotter), the athlete then un-racks the bar and does another 2-3 repetitions. Upon racking the bar again, another rest of 7-12 seconds is taken, and a final 2-3 repetitions are performed. The goal of the set is to get 10 repetitions total. Generally an athlete will need two to three pauses to accomplish this. The athlete rests 3-5 minutes and repeats 3-5 times. This is an excellent introductory method to cluster training! Here is a summary…

Extended 5s Method

· Load- 80-85% of 1 RM or 5 RM (repetition maximum)

· Reps- 5 Reps with 5 RM, 7-12 pause, 2-3 Reps, 7-12 pause, 2-3 Reps

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 10 Repetitions with a 5 RM

The next progression in cluster training is the classic cluster method. Charles Poliquin wrote about this method in his text Modern Trends in Strength Training (2001) and Mike Mahler has written articles on this method calling it Rest-Pause Training. Regardless of the name, it is a powerful and effective method. This method is best used for increases in relative and maximal strength and hypertrophy of the type II-B muscle fibers (the ones with the most potential for force and power output). This method uses a higher intensity bracket than the extended 5s method, usually 87-92% of 1 RM and attempts to hit 5 intermitted repetitions with that load. A classic cluster set would go like this…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep, 7-12 second pause in the rack, 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, and a final 1 rep, and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Classic Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause, 1, pause, 1, pause, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM

The last progression in level 1 is the antagonist cluster method. This is basically a variation of the classic cluster method, with the exception being that the athlete alternates between to opposing exercises with minimal rest (the pause is taken by the opposing exercise being performed). Reps and sets still apply, however the execution of a set is a little different…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep of bench press, racks the bar, proceeds to do 1 rep of bent over barbell rows, 1 rep on the bench press, 1 rep of the row, 1 rep bench press, 1 rep of the row, 1 rep on the bench, 1 rep on the row, and a final 1 rep on the bench, and 1 final rep of the row and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Antagonist Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps each antagonist exercise, 1 Rep Exercise 1, 1 Rep Exercise 2, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM on two opposing exercises

· For those who need to know antagonists, examples would be horizontal push and horizontal pull (bench and row), vertical push and vertical pull (shoulder press and chin up), quad dominant and hip dominant (squat and good morning), arms (curl and triceps extensions).

Level 2

It goes without saying that a foundation of cluster training should have been built in the previous level prior to taking on the more advanced methods here!

The first progression of the second level is named after the late Mike Mentzer, a highly successful bodybuilder. I first learned the Mentzer cluster method through Coach Thibaudeau’s excellent DVD on cluster training, and I continued to research it by reading Weight Training the Mike Mentzer Way. This is a very powerful method and should not be taken lightly. The goal of this method is to perform 4 to 5 total reps at 100-80% intensity. First the athlete will perform 2-3 singles in classic cluster fashion at 90-100% intensity and drop the weight approx 10% and perform another 1-2 repetitions with that weight in classic cluster fashion. For example…

The athlete takes 98% of their 1 RM and does 1 rep, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, another 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, another 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, the spotter reduces the weight (in 7-12 seconds) and the athlete performs 1 more rep with this weight. Here is a summary…

Mentzer Cluster Method

· Load- 90-98% of 1 RM

· Reps- 4-5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause, 1, pause, 1, pause, reduce weight 10%, 1 Rep

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 4-5 Repetitions with a 1-3 RM

The second progression is called the drop set cluster. This is a blend of the classic cluster method and the Mentzer cluster method. Most trainees know what a drop set is, a descending scheme of dropping weight after performing some repetitions. The drop set cluster still uses high intensity (90-100%) and drops the weight 5-10 lbs per drop on single repetitions. Again 5 reps are the target goal. An example being…

The athlete does 1 rep with 98-100% intensity, racks the bar, and the training partner or spotters remove 5-10 lbs from the bar during the 7-12 seconds pause, the athlete does another single, Racks the bar, the spotters proceed to strip 5-10 lbs, athlete performs another single, racks the bar and more weight is stripped, athlete does another rep, racks and spotters reduce weight further, and athlete completes last rep. The drop set cluster allows a higher level of muscular tension, due to the repetition’s slow speed and the rep is being performed at 100% maximal momentary strength (i.e. all muscle fibers are being recruited to lift the load) (Poliquin, Modern Trends in Strength Training, 18-19). A summary can be found here…

Drop Set Cluster Method

· Load- 90-100% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1 Rep, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1 Rep, pause lower weight.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 1-3 RM

The final progression in level 2 is called the accentuated eccentric cluster method. Caution: this method will require a competent spotter! As you might know, I do like to accentuate the eccentric portion of an exercise (see Eccentric Training for Athletes article). This method combines the classic cluster method with an accentuated eccentric portion of the lift. Again, the set and rep scheme stays close to the classic cluster method, however during the eccentric or lowering portion of the exercise, the training partner will push down on the bar and release at the mid point. This requires a very skilled spotter! They should only apply enough resistance to have the athlete still lower the bar under control! If the bar is dropping like a bag of bricks, it is not helping the athlete it is hurting them! Here is an example…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 second pause in the rack, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 seconds pause, and a final 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Classic Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM

Advantages for the Athlete

In his Modern Trends in Strength Training (2001) text Charles Poliquin points out the advantages of using cluster training for athletes, this is what he wrote…

· A higher total number of repetitions with a higher mean intensity in the same amount of time as classic strength or neural based training

· Increased total training time under tension for the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers; a prerequisite for reaching hypertrophy of these selected fibers. This may seem contradictory to the concept of relative strength, but hypertrophy can be beneficial if it is done in the right motor units.

· Higher force/lower velocities repetitions-a prerequisite for inducing maximal strength gains.

Putting it together

Cluster training is without a doubt a growth and strength stimulus. But how do you incorporate it into a plan? Clusters should not be used for more than 3-4 weeks, or else the method will become stale and your body will have adapted to the method anyway. So the method must be integrated into a yearly plan or at least a periodized cycle.

If an athlete or coach utilizes a conjugate method approach, cluster training would fall into the plan as a Maximal Effort Method, due to its use of high loads. So one would essentially use it like this…

Max Effort Day

ME- Classic Cluster Method

Assistance work done using classic hypertrophy methods (2-4 x 8-12)

If the athlete or coach decides to utilize linear periodization, cluster training would fall within the Strength Phase bracket and each movement would be given the cluster training method.

Strength Phase

Day 1- Horizontal Push/Pull

Bench Press- Classic Cluster Method

Bent Over Barbell Row- Classic Cluster Method

If the athlete or coach is utilizing undulating periodization (i.e. rotating between various strength methods by weeks with a training cycle) cluster training could be used for maximal strength work.

Strength Weeks

Week 1 and 5

Day 1- Horizontal Push/Pull

Day 2- Hips Dominant/Quad Dominant

Day 3- Vertical Push/Pull

1 Exercise per Movement Group-

Classic Cluster Method

Cluster training is very versatile, and athletes can benefit from this method by increasing both strength and size. However, like any other training tool, this one should only be used in moderation due to the intense fatiguing effect it has on the Central Nervous System. Also this method requires competent spotters, a luxury some do not have.

Cluster training done properly can help to jump start new growth or new strength adaptations in athletes. It can also increase all ready existing levels of size and strength. Any athlete (with the proper foundation) can benefit from this style of training! Good luck implementing this method in your and your athlete’s training!

Sources & Further Study

1. Poliquin, Charles Modern Trends in Strength Training (Self Published) 2001.

2. Thibaudeau, Christian (2005) Cluster Training [DVD].

Camphor Blocks and Their Healing Properties

Camphor blocks have been used for their natural therapeutic properties for years, and for many have even become a symbol of their grandmother’s old fashioned remedies. Camphor has many faithful followers and they swear blind by its wonderful healing powers and always keep some to hand, for a whole range of purposes.

Camphor originally comes from a tree native to Japan and China and is one the main ingredients in tiger balm. If you have ever used tiger balm, you’ll know how potent and pungent camphor can be! It can also be found in aromatherapy oil form, where it can be used as part of a massage oil or even for burning.

One of the most popular uses for camphor blocks is in helping to sooth chest complaints. Back to grandma’s remedies, it was common for children to wear it hanging around their neck at chest level to ward of any coughs and cold that were around. If you were unfortunate enough to get ill, it could be used in the same way to help clear any congestion on the chest.

Another way to clear the chest is wrap it in a pillow case, a stocking or in muslin and place in the bed beneath the sheets. Again, making sure that the camphor block is wrapped up to avoid direct contact with the skin, it can also be used to great affect to ease aches and pains in the joints. Many athletes have used camphor for just this purpose, making use of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of its strong and pungent aroma, it can also be used for getting rid of musty or damp smells. It is often hung in wardrobes to keep clothes fresh.

But what about using camphor blocks for more spiritual purposes? There are many uses here and it is excellent for blowing away the cobwebs and giving your soul a bit of a spring clean! If you perform spells, rituals or prayers then you can grate camphor blocks and burn them over a charcoal block. This is a very cleansing and purifying process.

For calming down your spirits, if you are feeling very stressed or your nerves are ‘jangly’, place the camphor blocks in the four corners of your room. You will then be literally surrounded with it’s influence and energies and will effortlessly absorb it’s powers.

Camphor blocks have also been associated with psychic and prophetic dreams. You can use the burning method or the placing 4 blocks in your room as you sleep method but if you would like to foretell what is to happen in your life, try concentrating on what you wish to know or the questions you seek answers to before you drift off to sleep. The camphor will help to inspire you. Camphor blocks are also associated with the Chariot tarot card, which represents the ego and self belief. If you feel that you need a boost to your self esteem you can also use camphor blocks for this purpose too.

I would like to end on a serious note. Please do not use camphor blocks if you are pregnant, or use with children unless advised that it is OK by a doctor. Modern camphor blocks often use synthetic materials that can be toxic if consumed directly so it is best to avoid any risk of harm by taking these precautions.

Otherwise, I hope this doesn’t put you off enjoying the wonderful, therapeutic affects of camphor blocks!

The Miracle of Bio-Magnetic Water

What is Bio-Magnetic Water?

Water is paramagnetic – meaning that it will hold a magnetic charge. In nature, the earth’s magnetic field naturally charges water in lakes, wells, and running streams. However, as water passes through treatment plants and is transported through pipes to your home or work place, it loses its magnetic charge. Treating water with magnetic fields simple restores the natural energy and balance that nature intended. Magnetized water has more hydroxyl (OH-) ions that form alkaline molecules which reduces the acidity. Normal tap water has a pH of about 7. Magnetized water is more alkaline and can have a pH as high as 9.2. Magnetizing water reduces the surface tension of the water making it feel softer. It is thinner, wetter, and more absorb able, so it is better able to penetrate cell walls and deliver the nutrients that it carries.

Health Benefits

Your body is over 70% water. All biological functions including circulation, digestion, absorption, and excretion depend on water. Water is required for blood, the lymphatic system, and healthy skin and muscles. It is well known among health professionals that when you are sick, the pH of your body is more acidic. Magnetized water, which is more alkaline, raises the pH of your body, which allows the body to get rid of the toxins. Bio-magnetized water is believed to be energy-building, activating, cleansing, and detoxifying. People have reported resolving bladder problems, recovering quickly from a stroke, alleviating arthritis pain, reducing blood pressure, and breaking up kidney and gall stones by drinking magnetic water. Scientific studies have proven that magnetized water has health benefits for animals. Therefore it seems reasonable that it should also be beneficial for humans. Reported health benefits of drinking magnetic water include:

o Magnetic water tastes sweeter and has more clarity.

o Magnetic water reduces acidity in the body and promotes a more alkaline pH.

o Magnetic water promotes healing of wounds and burns.

o Magnetic water has a therapeutic effect of digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

o Magnetic water can be beneficial for asthma, fevers, colds, coughs, bronchitis, and sore throats.

o Magnetic water can be beneficial for menstrual and menopause discomfort.

o Magnetic water revitalized the body.

o Magnetic water has a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system.

o Magnetic water can help regulate the heart function and clear clogged arteries.

o Magnetic water is beneficial for kidney ailments (removal and prevention of stones), gout, obesity (it improves metabolic activity), and premature aging.

o Magnetic water helps relieve pain.

o Magnetic water infuses energy into the body, controls bacteria, and stimulates brain function.

o Magnetic water can help dissipate toxic deposits in the body’s connective tissue.

o Magnetic water can regulate blood pressure (high or low).

o Magnetic water can be used to wash and disinfect external cuts and scrapes.

o Magnetic water will remove the plaque on your teeth if you use it to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, and drink.

o Magnetic water will make your hair softer and more manageable while using less shampoo when used to wash your hair.

o Magnetic water is ionic so it helps reset the charge on cell walls, thus promoting better circulation.


Your pets will enjoy many of the same benefits from bio-magnetic water that you do. They will drink more water, have more energy, and feel younger and healthier. A friend was giving her dogs magnetic water. When she moved, she temporarily had to give them tap water. After a few days, they began scratching all the time. When she started them back on bio-magnetic water, the scratching stopped almost completely.


Bio-Magnetized water will help your plants grow stronger, greener, and larger. In one study seedlings’ germination rates were 68 % with bio-magnetized water, while with non-magnetized water only 8% germinated. In another study, Texas A&M researchers found that squash weighed 24% more when it was grown with magnetized water vs. non-magnetized water. Bio-magnetic water is more solvent and has a lower surface tension, so nutrients in the water are absorbed more readily. Thus you get a healthier plant while using less fertilizer.

Other Fluids & Uses

Almost any fluid can be magnetized. Using Bio-Magnetic Water will drastically improve the taste of coffee, tea, and foods. Foods and beverages made using magnetic water will acquire the same healing powers as bio-magnetic water. Cosmetics, facial and skin products function a lot better when magnetized. Magnetized milk will give vigor and vitality to the weak and exhausted person. Magnetized milk has been proven useful for recuperating and enhancing sexual power. When fruit juices are treated with bio-magnets, they become more refreshing and give more nourishment. Beer can be magnetized to give better effect. Magnetized olive oil can be very rewarding in the treatment of gout and rheumatism.

Use bio-magnetic water to make your coffee and after a month or two the inside of your coffee maker will look like new. The bio-magnetic water will remove the scale build-up in your coffee maker.

How to make Bio-Magnetic Water

Making Bio-magnetic water is quite simple: just place a glass or container filled with water on a magnetic pad. Never use a metal container. You want to use a container that has a flat bottom without any raised edges. You want the bottom of the container touching the magnet pad. How long you need to leave the water on the magnet will depend on how much water you have. I usually use a gallon milk container and leave it on the pad for 4-6 hours or longer. It won’t hurt to leave it there longer, you can even just leave the container on the pad and refill it as you use the water. The water will stay magnetized for several days after you take it off the magnet.


There is a long history of the use of magnets to improve the quality and health benefits of water. Many countries have been using magnetic water for patients with digestive, urinary, and nervous problems, for pain, swelling, and many other ailments. Whether all of the claims are true or false remains to be tested by science. However, Magnetic Therapy has been accepted by many for the relief of pain. It is now accepted that each of our cells possess a small magnetic field and that water can be magnetized. Then, the logical conclusion is that magnetic water has the ability to affect our cells and help our body perform as it was meant. There is much evidence that bio-magnetic water is beneficial and none that it can be harmful.

Visit our website for more information about Bio-Magnetic Therapy and Bio-Magnetic water.

Ankle Sprain Exercises – The Way to Completely Heal Your Ankle Injury

If you just had an ankle sprain and if you are 80% recovered from the pain, swelling, and bleeding by now, you’d be interested to get some tips that will help you get to a 100% recovery, right? The last 20% of your full recovery from ankle sprain is the most crucial part. You do not want to encounter a repeat experience where you suffer a relapse or get injured again, bringing you back to square one. That could be a very tough situation to handle.

You are now ready for active rehabilitation and in this phase, you are fully responsible for the process. You have to undergo some ankle sprain exercises to make your recovery faster. This stage addresses the restoration of your fitness components; namely, flexibility, strength, power, balance, muscular endurance, and coordination.

One very important thing to remember is that you should be active. It is usually advised that you rest, but without any physical activity, there is less blood flow on the injured area, which could slow down your recovery.

Just a word of warning, though – do not ever attempt to engage in any activity that can hurt your ankle. Never push yourself to the limit, no matter how much you want to attain quick healing and recovery. Stop when you experience great pain. Being patient and careful is the only way you can safeguard and avoid hurting your ankle any further.

The following ankle sprain exercises can help preserve your ankle’s ability to move, and stretch the ligaments that were injured during the ankle sprain.

1. Let’s take up the Range of Motion exercises first. The main concern of these exercises is to restore ankle joint motion. There are two very good exercises that can accomplish the objective.

· The towel/Achilles stretch can be done three to four times a day. It can be done right after the ankle sprain and can be performed lying down or sitting.

· The alphabet writing exercise simply means you write the alphabet using your toes, which can make a vast difference in improving the range of motion of your sprained ankle.

2. Next, you have to regain the strength of your injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Strength exercises can increase the muscle strength in your ankle joint. You can start with toe raise, then proceed to heel and toe walking (you can either merely stand up or walk on your toes).

3. The third set is the balancing drills and exercises, as the balance of the ankle joint may have been affected by the sprained ankle. Wobble board exercises will help in regaining your balance along with other motion and strengthening activities.

4. The last part of the process is the sports specific exercises, which will eventually get your ankle into its pre-injury state. In this stage, various exercises are included to strengthen the ankle and make it stronger. Once the ankle has fully recovered, you can do sports again. At this stage, you can start walking, jogging and do some intense athletic exercises.

Always keep in mind that these ankle sprain exercises are forceful, which means that you have to take extra care. Don’t rush yourself to recovery. Take it one step at a time.

Sun Tzu Art of War – Five Fatal Characteristics of a General

Thus, there are five dangers that will plague any general. If he is reckless, he can be killed. If he is cowardly and desperate to live, he can be captured. If he is easily angered, he can be provoked. If he is sensitive to honor, he can be insulted. If he is overly compassionate to people, he can be disturbed and harassed. These five characteristics are the greatest pitfalls and mistakes of a general and the cause of disasters in any military operation. The destruction of an army and the deaths of generals are caused by these five dangers, thus they should be examined thoroughly. – Sun Tzu Art of War, Chapter Eight

The five characteristics mentioned in the section above are:

  • Recklessness
  • Cowardly
  • Easily angered
  • Sensitive to honor
  • Overly compassionate

And Sun Tzu briefly mentioned the consequences of such characteristics if they are found in the generals.


So in business, what are these five characteristics analogous to what Sun Tzu mentioned?

  • Recklessness would still be recklessness
  • Cowardly would be indecisive and risk averse
  • Easily angered would still be easily angered
  • Sensitive to honor would be egoistic
  • Overly compassionate would still be the same


As I have mentioned just now, a lot of people focused on favorable factors without consideration for the unfavorable factors, thus they become reckless and jump into a decision too soon. Such quick decisions often result in fatal mistakes that could make a company incur huge costs. For example, seeing that most of your clients have move their factories to China, you also started to shift your factories to be near them, without considering the infrastructure, the labor, the regulations and so on before you decide to set up your factory. A factory with equipments and land costs a lot to a company. Moreover such assets are not easily liquidated. Such reckless decision would deal a huge blow to the company’s financial strength, and may render it insolvent.


As mentioned would this would be analogous to being indecisive or too risk averse. Often, these people have what we call, analysis paralysis. They analyze too much into data and information so much so that they are not able to make decisions fast. If a leader commits too much time into making a decision, he would be reduced to inaction and in the end, not able to capitalize on opportunities or limiting damages by competitors’ moves. Again, damages if not limited would be again fatal to the company.


Have you ever try to do your planning in an angered state? Were you able to see a lot of loopholes in your plan after you come back and review it in a calm state? Anger will block off a lot of information from our brain and we are unable to think properly as well. So if one is angered easily, he is often not able to think and plan thoroughly and will miss out a lot of details. And we have seen in Chapter One of Sun Tzu Art of War, how much emphasis, Sun Zi place on a detailed assessment and planning, such a general would be a danger to its own troops.


Having a certain amount of self esteem is good as it boosts confidence, and with confidence people are able to carry out their tasks. But for someone who is egoistic, thinking that he is the greatest and the company would be dead without him. Such person is blind to the benefits to the company of certain project and will always be on the lookout for his own benefits. He is likely to be very protective over other people comments on him and would unlikely change and learn from lessons. Such person can be easily angered and also be reckless in their decisions. The consequences would be the same as that of a easily angered person and a reckless person.


As I have mentioned before, if a leader is over compassionate towards his staff, it would sapped their fighting spirit and it gives the staff the idea that they are in control. The leader would not be able to make his team members carry out the instructions he passed down resulting in a breakdown of the department. If a department is not functional anymore, similar to a breakdown in an organ of a body, the whole company cannot function properly. Having an overly compassionate leader in the organization is tantamount to having a cancerous tumor in the company. Sooner or later, the tumor will cause death onto the whole company. As mentioned before, there need to be discipline. Usually, a leader who is overly compassionate is not able to instill discipline in his teams, not because he did not set an example but it is because the leader would not punish them even if they misbehave.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura – Inflammation Link to ITP Disease & Other Autoimmune Disorders

Science is showing that when the body suffers from chronic inflammation it breaks down and is one of the main contributing factors of autoimmune disease causes. This really seems to make sense especially in the case of auto immune disorders such as Lupus and ITP disease.

Let’s use ITP blood disease for an example: the immune system breaks down and the body starts attacking itself by destroying it’s blood platelets which are very necessary for blood clotting , which causes bleeding and bruising and can sometimes be very dangerous.

Exactly what is inflammation and why is it so problematic?Isn’t that when you get an infected cut or something? Precisely, but there are many classic signs. Pain, redness, swelling and heat, are but a few. It’s kind of like when you get a sore throat, fever or infected toenail. Under normal circumstances this is a good thing as it helps the body fight off foreign invaders.

Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against toxins, bacteria, infections, foreign molecules, allergies and irritants and the like. The body mobilizes its defenses by utilizing its white blood cells and other chemicals (known as cytokines) to do battle against the invasion.

But what happens when the body’s defenses are disrupted and its natural balance gets out of whack? Well…the immune system shifts into a state of chronic low grade war with destruction everywhere. Just imagine a simmering, smoldering fire throughout various parts of the body unknown by you. This type of insidious inflammation comes like a thief in the night, so subtle and quiet that you don’t even feel a thing, until you realize that your body has been robbed! Robbed of its precious health.

This inner smoldering is the known cause of our most common modern day diseases. In fact they all start with chronic inflammation. Localized fire in the heart causes heart disease; in the brain, Alzheimer’s; various parts of the body, cancer. The list goes on and on, blindness, rheumatism, arthritis, lupus, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura and more.    

How does one get chronic inflammation anyway? Some of the most common triggers are our modern diet (sugar, trans fats and processed food), as well as the constant exposure to stress, chemical toxins found in our everyday body care and household cleaning products. Even the water we drink can cause inflammation in our body, whether it is from the chemicals in the plastic throw-away containers or all the chemical additives in our municipal drinking water. And when you really think about it, our whole lives are surrounded by substances and lifestyles which are ultimately guaranteed to destroy and rob us of our God given good health.

If you are despairing right now about your impending doom of slowly simmering to death…don’t. There are a lot of natural measures that you can take to either prevent chronic inflammation or to quench the fire already smoldering within. You must do your research and educate yourself about inflammation and how it can lead to diseases such as ITP.

Diabetes Treatment – Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent type of diabetes, and is accountable for over 80% of diabetes cases world wide.

It is commonly found in adults but sadly nowadays, many adolescents are developing this type due to an intake of excess food and a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise.

How should it be treated? How should it be handled?

The first step is that a diabetic must always be conscious of his blood sugar levels. A sufferer must check his blood sugar levels regularly to ensure it does not rise and when it does rises, takes effective steps to bring it down to tolerable levels.

The next step is to curtail food intake. Basically, diabetes is caused when the body over a period of time takes in more calories than it can handle. This impairs the pancreas and leads to insulin resistance. And since insulin breaks down the body’s sugar, an excess of sugar accumulates in the body.

Since carbohydrates are the major source of sugars(glucose) in the body, it is recommended that carbohydrates account for between 40-60% of the their daily intake of food of a diabetic. With a reduction in the intake of carbohydrates will come reduction in the quantity of sugar available in the blood system.

One must also reduce the intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as this can negate the effect of the lower carbohydrate intake. The two fats can be substituted with saturated fats.

Diet should be kept to a regimen of 1,500 – 1,800 calories a day of food. Variables exist in the calorie intake due to factors such as height, sex drive, age and other issues of the concerned persons. What matters is that the diabetic controls his or her food intake for the purpose of managing the blood sugar levels.

The next step is exercise. Exercise to me is the most important.

Exercise has the ability to not only burn off the excess body fat but most importantly has the natural ability to cut down the food intake of the sufferer by reducing the appetite for food.

So what kinds of exercises are best for a diabetic?

It has been found out that a an exercise that is a mix of aerobic and resistance training had the best results on glycemic levels. Though aerobics and resistance training can be conducted separately, the best results were gotten when they were combined.

The amount of exercise needed is not extreme but has to be consistent. For most people, exercise starts off with a little of fanfare and after a while, interest dims and the exercise regime stops. Consistency in the exercise regimen is the key here to reducing the weight and therefore glycemic levels.

The truth about diabetes is that once the weight is well controlled, the level of sugar in the blood drops to tolerable levels.

Most sufferers must see to it that they develop a healthy exercise regime which they adhere to so as to bring their glycemic levels down and also reduce their appetite for foods.

Even a brisk 45minutes walk everyday or taking the stairs rather than the lifts can make a remarkable difference.

It is common to prescribe drugs for diabetes treatment. Type 2 however responds very well to exercise and a sensible diet.

If however the above regimen does not appeal to you, perhaps you find it too tasking or unappealing, it is advised you follow a drug regimen.

Treat That Irksome Cellulite Problem With Advanced Anti Cellulite Products

Causes of Cellulite

The formation of cellulite occurs as a result of complex physiological changes that occur in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. Fluid, fats and toxins gets accumulated in the deeper layers of the skin, leading to the stretching and manipulation of the connective tissues. This result in irregular and patchy dimpling on the skin called cellulite. Many people associate cellulite with obesity but this is not always the case. Obesity increases your risk of having cellulite but the problem is reported in thin women as well. Some of the leading factors that are said to cause cellulite include:

  • Genetics – Your genes greatly determine your chance of developing cellulite
  • Hormones – As cellulite affects mainly women, experts believe that the condition is caused by high levels of female hormone
  • Poor lifestyle – Improper diet and sedentary lifestyle increases your chances of developing cellulite
  • Not drinking enough water – Water helps to flush out toxins from your body. As cellulite consists of fat, water and toxic wastes that your body fails to eliminate. Drinking plenty of water help increase circulation and diminish cellulite
  • Smoking – It has been researched that smoking damages the connective tissue in your body and thereby promotes cellulite
  • Medication – Diet pills, sleeping pills, diuretics and birth control pills also increase cellulite formation because of its tendency to produce high levels of estrogen. In addition, these medicines lead to water retention which inhibit the body from flushing the system off toxins, leading to the formation of cellulite

Treatment for Cellulite

One of the best natural treatments for cellulite includes consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables as they help to breakdown fat and cellulite in your body. Experts also recommend drinking lots of water to flush out toxins. Besides, regular exercise helps to reduce fat and lessen the appearance of cellulite. Many people also go in for dermatological treatments. Topical application of retinoids that contain Retin-A and Tazorac help stimulate collagen and breakdown cellulite.

Advanced treatments for the reduction of cellulite include Lipomassage by Endermologie. The deep-tissue massage increases circulation under the skin and helps your fat lose that ugly dimpled look. Many people also go in for laser treatment. A small laser beam is run over the cellulite affected skin that stimulates microcirculation and improves skin elasticity.

These days, you also have the option of home-based laser treatment for cellulite; you can take the help of anti cellulite products such as Rio Cellulite Laser. The scientifically advanced, safe for home use device makes use of Low Level Laser Technology in combination with clinically formulated caffeine rich Liporeductyl serum to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Unexpected Masturbation Side Effects – Help for a Stressed Penis

Masturbation is a fact of life for most men, and by all accounts, it is a natural and healthy practice. It allows men to become familiar with their own sexuality and to experiment with what feels good (and what does not). According to many sexual health experts, self-pleasuring can help guys to become better partners. Aside from these benefits, ejaculation causes a release of hormones that can give a man a sense of well-being and help him to relax, which is beneficial for his overall health.

However, despite these benefits, improper handling can lead to some unexpected side effects, which may range from minor to life-altering if they are not addressed adequately. Maintaining penis health and performance can depend on understanding these effects and taking measures to prevent them.

Dry masturbation:

Masturbating without the benefit of a personal lubricant can stress the penile skin and cause damage to the underlying tissue. While men are not always prepared with a bottle of lotion at hand, and the temptation can be overwhelming, it is important to be aware of these potential issues:

· Dry masturbation increases the risk for infection. Vigorous stimulation not only leads to a sore penis; the excessive friction can cause microscopic cracks and lesions that allow harmful bacteria to take hold. Bacterial infections can cause pain, swelling, and an unpleasant discharge. If allowed to progress, these bacteria can become extremely difficult to eradicate. Untreated bacterial infections may even lead to a condition known as prostatitis, an inflammatory condition of the prostate that can cause severe pain in the perineal area, testicles, abdomen and penis, as well as cramping and aching on ejaculation.

· Dry masturbation may cause “toughening” of the penile skin. Like the skin on other parts of the body, the penis skin reacts to constant stress by undergoing a process of keratinization. Essentially, this amounts to a thickening of the skin, similar to the calluses that tend to develop on the hands and feet. While this process is the body’s way of protecting itself, the net effect is that the thickened layer of penis skin reduces the ability to detect tactile stimulation. Men often compensate for this loss of penis sensation by gripping the penis even more firmly during masturbation; this, in turn, exacerbates the effects of rough handling.

Aggressive masturbation:

Even men who are vigilant about using a lotion or lubricant during self-pleasuring sessions may be tempted to get rough from time to time. Aggressive stroking and bending of the penis during self-stimulation can lead to the formation of scar tissue around the erectile chambers. Because scar tissue does not expand in the same manner as the surrounding penile tissue, a bow-string effect may result. This can lead to pronounced bending or curvature of the penis during an erection; in some cases, this can make intercourse painful or prevent it altogether. Men with this condition, known as Peyronie’s disease, may also experience shortening of the penis.

Avoiding penis damage and minimizing the effects of masturbation

In order to reduce the risk of unpleasant side effects and to increase the body’s ability to repair itself when damage does occur, some proactive measures are necessary.

First, hygiene is a major factor in this process. Keeping the penis clean with a mild cleanser and warm water can help to reduce the number of harmful organisms that are present on the skin. For men who are uncircumcised, this is especially important.

Second, using a personal lubricant during masturbation is advised to prevent drying and irritation to the penis skin. While men are often tempted to reach for the soap or shampoo in the shower, or grab a bottle of hand lotion, these often contain chemicals that may add to irritation and skin damage. Fragrance-free, water-based lubes that are intended for intimate use are best for this purpose.

Third, keeping the penis well-nourished with vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids can protect the penis from infection, toughening of the penis skin, and the formation of scar tissue. Aspecially formulated penis vitamin cream (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) may help not only to guard against masturbation side effects and promote healing; it can improve the tone and texture of the penis skin and even boost sensitivity, leading to greater enjoyment of sex.

Dead Skin Cells – Are They A Problem?

About Our Skin

The human skin is a complex organ. It consists of several layers, which are involved in a range of functions, from defence against external pathogens to temperature regulation. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and renews itself every 28 – 30 days.

In an earlier article, I provided a detailed description of the various functions of each of the layers that make up the skin, so I will not discuss these here. This article however, will look at the potential problems dead skin cells can cause if a proper skin care regime is not followed.

Skin Structure Review

The structure of the skin is basically divided into two general layers, the dermis (link to previous article) and the epidermis. The latter is divided further into 5 layers. The layer at the very surface of the skin is called the Stratum corneum, which consists mainly of dead skin cells.

Dead Skin Cells

The body sheds these dead skin cells of it’s own accord, however, exfoliation through the use of skin brushes, luffah’s or exfoliant skin care products, helps to stimulate new cell growth and reduces build up of dead skin cells.

So, how do dead skin cells impact the skin’s health? As the dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin, they have the potential to act as a barrier to absorption of nutrients from nourishing creams and lotions; they also have the potential to block sweat glands, which can result in white heads, black heads or acne.

Of course you do need a certain amount of dead skin cells to cover your skin, however, it does not need to be very thick to execute it’s function as a barrier. If the rate of skin cell production/death is higher than normal, as for example is psoriasis, the body is unable to shed old cells quickly enough for the new cells to replace them. As the new cells push their way to the surface of the skin, the old cells create a build up of dead skin, which appear as raised patches.

Under normal circumstances, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin – that’s about 4 kilograms per year of dead skin cells. In fact, much of the dust in a house is to a great extent comprised of our dead skin cells.

Effective regulation of dead skin cells

There are basically two reasons for using a daily skin care regime. The first is to keep the skin clean and the dead skin cell layer to a healthy minimum. The second reason is to provide the skin with nutrients and nourishment for optimum functionality.

As aforementioned, using a natural exfoliant skin care product is a great option to gently remove some of the dead skin cells and provide some nutrients at the same time. Following the exfoliation using a cleanser to remove deep-seated dirt and stale oils from skin pores and wrinkles is a necessary next step. This is not just to remove dirt etc., but also helps to keep microbes down, as many of the natural skin cleansers utilise essential oils, which are anti-septic in nature and thus help reduce the chance of skin infections.

Once the cleansing has been completed, it is time to close the pores of the skin to prevent dust and other environmental particles from entering the open pores. This is where a natural toning lotion is ideal. Being formulated to contain astringents and other nourishing ingredients, toners will prepare the skin for the final step – Moisturising.

Moisturising your skin is critical. Moisturisers provide essential nutrients for the skin and at the same time help the skin to retain moisture, preventing dehydration of the skin and acceleration of skin cell death.

Implementing a good daily skin care regime will not only help to remove excessive dead skin cells, but will provide the skin with moisture, nutrients and assist it in its defence against microbial infections.

Hives – They May Be A Warning Signal!

If you’re like most of my patients, you’ve likely experienced an outbreak of hives at least once in your life. They are fairly common responses to something you came in contact with that you were either slightly, or badly, allergic to in food, medicine, or something in your environment like dust, pollen, weeds, and insect bite. They can affect anyone, young or old, and show no preference for race or gender. They can even be brought on by stress or excess perspiration!

They appear as raised red welts that resemble a mosquito bite, and can itch or burn. They usually show up in clusters of 2 or more and are a result of the body releasing histamine – a chemical agent your body produces when it comes in contact with something foreign and/or just doesn’t like. Let me share some important information about hives as they may be an important warning signal to you!

Types of Hives

There are several types of hives that you should be aware of in case of an outbreak. They include:

Acute urticaria – these are the hives that most people get most frequently. They are raised, little red bumps on the skin that itch. They are usually very short-lived in their outbreak, and may be due to some food (chocolate, eggs, nuts, fish, fresh berries, raw produce, milk) or drugs (ibuprofen, high blood pressure medication, pain killers like codeine), an insect bite, or some illness (like the flu).

Chronic urticaria – this type of hives is longer lasting and can be accompanied by diarrhea, shortness of breath, and sore muscles. The exact cause of this type of hives is often unknown and can be a symptom of an underlying illness.

Physical urticaria – these hives appear about 1 hour after physical stimulation to the skin from cold, heat, vibration or pressure, or rubbing against the area.

Dermatographism – these hives form after some deliberate touching or scratching of the skin.

Treatments for Hives/Angioedema

When I have patients come in with an outbreak of hives, treatment with an antihistamine is the first order. Hives are usually harmless but indicate that the body is sensitive, and/or allergic, to something contacted. Some allergies on first presentation are mild with maybe just hives/itching as a symptom. If this initial presentation is ignored and left undiagnosed, you may come in contact with this agent again and have a much more severe second-time reaction, or even anaphylaxis, a severe, allergic reaction.

For example, a patient of mine had to undergo an x-ray of her kidneys in which they had to inject contrast dye. A few moments after receiving the contrast injection she started to develop hives on her face and arms. The radiologist stopped the test immediately and referred her to a dermatologist who tested her for contrast dye allergy. It was found that, indeed, she did have a severe allergy to the iodine in contrast dye that she was not aware that she had. In this way, hives are the body’s warning signals that you may have anywhere from just an ordinary allergy to a life-threatening one!

Another patient broke out in hives on his face whenever he cleaned his house! Again, after allergy testing, it was shown that he had a mild/moderate reaction to dust mites (which many people do). Very important is to determine, if possible, the cause of the hives at the time they breakout, especially if you break out in a pattern. A detailed question and answer session between you and your doctor may be necessary to tease out the cause of your hives.

The best treatment for avoiding an outbreak of hives is to avoid contact with the source of the reaction in the future. However, like my patient with the dust mite allergy, it’s not always possible to avoid the allergen, especially in public. So, usually an as-needed treatment with antihistamines is likely what your doctor will advise.

Depending on the severity of your allergy, antihistamine products can range from over-the-counter antihistamines such as the old, favorite standard, Benadryl (diphenhydramine), to other prescription antihistamines. You may be able to take these just at the time the hives occur or may have to be on a low, chronic dose, to ensure that the hives outbreak is suppressed. My patient with the dust mite allergy carries an over-the-counter pack of Benadryl on him to take when needed.

While waiting for the hives to clear, you can apply cool compresses, or even ice wrapped inside a washcloth, to the affected areas. This will help take out the sting and itch as well as shrink the hives to give you some relief.

Serious Warning Signs of Hives

As mentioned above, hives outbreak can be a warning of a severe allergic reaction especially if accompanied by these symptoms:

•Swelling of the lips, tongue or face

•Tightness, or “closing sensation”, of the throat

•Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing


If you experience any of these symptoms along with the hives, contact your doctor, 911, or get to the closest emergency room immediately, as these can be signs of anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Otherwise, most hives are just temporary nuisances that can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine and will clear within a short period of time. If you break out with hives often, do contact your doctor to set up allergy testing with a dermatologist to determine the cause of your hives reactions.

Free Winter Screensavers – Beauty for SAD Sufferers

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also commonly referred to as winter depression, affects approximately 4-6% of the U.S. population. It is estimated that another 10-20% may suffer from a more mild form of the disorder called the “winter blues.” It is hard to believe that a condition that only came to light in the public eye in the early 1980’s is now affecting up to 30% of U.S. citizens. Rates are said to be even higher in other parts of the world, like northern Europe and Australia.

So, what exactly is SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder was first named and defined by Dr. Norman Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health. In an article written for the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1984, Dr. Rosenthal defines SAD as a syndrome characterized by recurrent depressions that occur annually at the same time each year. Most people with SAD experience these symptoms at the onset of winter. As the days get colder and shorter, SAD sufferers deal with symptoms such as sadness and depression, lack of energy and fatigue, cravings for starches and sweets, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and irritability.

The most popular and proven treatment for SAD is bright light therapy. As light enters the eyes and is registered by the brain, the chemical serotonin is released. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps nerve cells work together. When light is diminished, due to the shortened winter days, serotonin levels can drop. For some people, this can result in a variety of symptoms including drastic changes in mood.

Further complications come from changes in melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that is released at night and is believed to help regulate sleep. Naturally, as the daylight hours decrease during winter, more melatonin may be produced by the body causing lethargy and fatigue.

To overcome a decrease in serotonin and an increase in melatonin, the simple answer is to introduce more bright light. Sunlight is the best source of therapy, but what happens if you suffer from SAD and spend 8 or more hours a day in an office or cubical with little or no access to windows and daylight?

Two natural solutions are to add a SAD light therapy lamp to your environment and surround yourself with things of beauty. While these are no replacement for true sunlight, the lamp will help physically, and creating an area of beauty will help mentally. Both can lighten your mood and help manage the stress that leads to melancholy feelings.

According to Dr. Gila Lindsley, if you “establish a mental set” to enjoy the winter time, it helps to control the sadness. In other words, trying to keep a positive spirit will help to reduce SAD symptoms. It is important, then, that you create a revitalizing environment that will bring you a degree of happiness. You must discover the beauty in winter in order to take some pleasure in this season you dread.

One way to discover winter’s wonders is through the calming effects of free winter screensavers. Screensavers like 3D Snowy Cottages and Majestic Winter Screensaver can help lift the mood and reduce stress by adding something bright and beautiful into your world.

There are many things you can do to add beauty to your cubical or office area, but the benefit of the screensavers at is that they are free, quick, and easy. Adding a winter screensaver allows you to experience the extraordinary wonder of winter without ever setting foot in the snow or frigid temperatures.

If you suffer from SAD or just a case of the winter blues, add a low cost light therapy lamp and a free winter screensaver to your workspace to help you get through the long winter days and experience joy in the season.

3 Home Remedies For Candida Depression

Depression is an evil side effect of a candida infection, and there are home remedies for candida depression that you can use. Here are 3 home remedies for candida depression and helping you get through it.

The first of home remedies for candida depression is to get some St. John’s Wart. This is a natural herb that you can find at any pharmacy or nutritional store. St. John’s Wart has been used for centuries as a mood stabilizer and is used by many people on a regular basis to help with depression or bouts of anxiety. It only costs a few dollars and though it won’t completely cure the depression, it will significantly increase your positive moods and help fight off the depression.

The second of home remedies for candida depression is to start a candida diet. Since the depression is caused by the candida, getting rid of the candida will help cure the depression. Start by increasing the amount of high fiber low starch vegetables you eat. Foods such as celery, broccoli, radish, and asparagus are a good start. Also cut back drastically on the amount of sugar, carbohydrates, yeast products, pasta, and acidic foods you eat.

The third home remedies for candida depression is very simple in principle. Get out and do stuff. It has been scientifically proven that sun light is a necessary ingredient for stabilizing our moods. Interact with family and friends and go out and get a hobby or do things you like to do. We tend to lock ourselves away when we feel depressed or down in the dumps. Sunlight will help as well as good company. A pet and good friends often help our moods significantly.