Penis Bruising 911 – When a Sore Dangler Signifies a Serious Problem

By the time a guy has reached adulthood, a variety of bumps and bruises have been experienced. From bruised hands, knees or elbows, to a bruised ego – and everything in between. One type of bruising that many men may not have experienced – and certainly hope to avoid – is penis bruising. Luckily, for the average, non-stunt double man, the twigs and berries are relatively protected from accidental contact and hopefully further protected by an athletic cup during activities that put it at a higher risk for injury. Even still, there are a variety of reasons that could be behind those black and blue spots. Learn more about the causes of penile bruising and how to keep the penis healthy – and bruise free.

What causes a bruised boner?

Of course, there are the obvious reasons for a sore penis. A soccer ball to the junk, slipping off a bicycle seat, or even a poorly-timed bedroom maneuver can all cause a bruise-worthy shot to the baby maker. But what about those mystery bruises that seem to show up out of nowhere? If a man is noticing a bruise below the belt that he does not remember getting, it is possible that he was a little overzealous during his last one-handed rendezvous. Yes, squeezing too tight during masturbation can cause a penis bruise.

The tiny blood vessels below the surface of the skin are susceptible to breaking during masturbation. Typically, the bruise will clear up on its own in a week or two, depending on the size of the bruise. No treatment is needed, but if the bruise is uncomfortable or accompanied by swelling, a bag of frozen peas on the goods for 10 or 15 minutes can do wonders. Alternatively, the purple mark may be what is known as a purpura, or blood spot. Unlike a bruise, a blood spot is not caused by an injury and may just show up on its own. A blood spot may present as a small, flat red or purple spot, or it may look similar to a bruise, but without the pain.

Does the bruising ever indicate something more serious?

By and large, most bruises on the penis are just that. However, recurrent blood spots or bruising that doesn’t go away after a few weeks, or frequent large bruises from minor injuries could be an indication of a more serious problem and require medical attention. Excessive, persistent bruising may be the result of a medication, a serious infection that caused a buildup of toxins in the body, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia, nutritional deficiencies, or inflammation of the blood vessels. Some chronic conditions are also associated with unexplained bruising or blood spots including: chronic inflammatory diseases like lupus, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and multiple myeloma. If there is a marked increase in unexplained bruising, or pain with the bruising, a medical evaluation is needed immediately.

Keeping the penis bruise-free

Naturally, one cannot avoid unexpected accidents, but prevention is always the best medicine. A man should always wear an athletic cup when engaging in any contact sport – even a friendly game of kick-ball at the family reunion can lead to a painful nut shot – so wear a cup whenever possible. As far as masturbation goes – loosen up! Though a common slang term is choke the chicken, a man does not need to take that phrase literally. If excessive pressure or aggressive masturbation is the only way to achieve orgasm, it is possible that the penis has become desensitized – or that nerve damage has occurred – leading to more stimulation needed for the desired result.

Unfortunately, continuing down the path of a too firm grip puts the penis at risk of developing Peyronie’s disease – or a curvature of the penis – caused by build up of plaque and scar tissue, which are both contributed to by aggressive penis play. Try using a high-quality lubricant to achieve a different form of stimulation and hopefully allow the act to be performed with less pressure. Finally, add a daily penis vitamin formula (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) to the hygiene routine to help keep the penis healthy. Choosing one with Acetyl L Carnitine can help repair peripheral nerve damage and restore sensitivity to a sore, tired penis.

Dog Allergy Symptoms: Does Your Dog Have an Allergy?

Dog allergy symptoms often tend to be similar, irrespective of the cause of the allergy, and this does not help when you are trying to find out the cause of the problem. However, there are small indicators you should look out for if you believe your dog has an allergy, and that can be used to determine a likely cause.

Dogs are no different to humans when it comes to allergies, and dog allergy symptoms are very similar to ours – sneezing, itching, and watering eyes. However, we humans generally have a rough idea of what is causing our allergy, and we also know that we have one, but your poor dog has no idea what is causing that awful itch.

He sure can’t tell you, so let’s have a look at the more common dog allergy symptoms, and how they can be used to perhaps determine what is causing them. ‘Perhaps’ is used because dog allergies are notoriously difficult to diagnose, but the dog itself might help you.

Itching, Redness and Scratching

Itching is caused by irritation to the skin, and causes the dog to scratch the affected area. This turns it red and perhaps even inflamed if the dog starts biting and gnawing at the irritation. As inflammation sets in and the immune system kicks into gear, then the dog can get really agitated and distressed. The skin can become broken and subject to bacterial contamination that causes pustules to form.

There are two major causes of these dog allergy symptoms: contact allergens such as fleas, and food allergies. It is not so much the ‘flea bite’ that causes these symptoms, though it can be irritating, but the flea’s saliva. A flea bite is not an allergic reaction, but many dogs will have an allergic reaction to the saliva of the flea, which is used to prevent the blood from clotting as the flea feeds.

Other contact allergens include detergents, hairs (even human hairs) and some airborne allergens that land on the skin such as pollen, dust mites and other types of dust – they affect dogs just as they affect humans. The behavior of dogs suffering from any type of irritating itching is scratching and rubbing its skin on the ground – particularly a carpet or something slightly rough. Dog’s sometime sit down and walk with their front paws and their behind on the ground when they have itching at their rear end.

Food allergies in dogs can cause exactly the same symptoms unfortunately, but the ‘tell’ here is that a dog may also vomit, have loose stools or the abnormal behavior can often coincide with a change of food. If you notice this, and change the food back to regular, then the problem should go. Alternatively try only tinned foods, preferably organic if you can afford it, and that should cure a food allergy.

Running Eyes, Licking Paws

Just like humans are affected by pollen, hay fever is also a form of dog allergy. Their skin can become irritated, so they may scratch with most of the symptoms above, but the ‘tell’ here is that bitches are more affected than dogs, and their eyes tend to water just as with humans. Not only that, but another of the specific dog allergy symptoms is licking their paws.

They do this to alleviate itching in their paws, and you should give their feet a careful examination because ticks and fleas can be picked up from grass, and of course, dogs do not usually wear shoes so can pick up all sorts of infections when they are outside, not only allergens. However, by walking in clover fields, or even among daisies and buttercups in your garden, they can experience severe itching from the pollen, in which case their eyes my not water but they will be seen to be licking their paws excessively, and sometimes even gnawing at them.

So, while it is difficult to establish the exact cause of dog allergy symptoms, you can narrow it down by keeping your eyes open and observing your dog’s behavior. You can generally tell a contact allergen from a food allergy, and frequently hay fever can be diagnosed by the time of the year, your dog’s exposure and they way its eyes water or it licks its paws.

Nevertheless, if you are unsure, and your dog is suffering and displaying extreme dog allergy symptoms, you should play safe and pay a visit to the vet.

Can Chinese Food Be Consumed During Pregnancy?

A lot of women wonder if Chinese food can be a part of their diet during pregnancy. Well, the answer is yes. All you need to do is to know what you can eat and what not. The basic rule of consuming Chinese food is to have it in moderation. It will be nice to stick to rice, steamed vegetables, noodles, fish, and meat. You must avoid any kind of fried Chinese food. Food items like fried rice and egg rolls consist of high fat and therefore should be avoided.

Another important fact to know is that most Chinese food preparations use soy sauce. Such items consist of high amount of sodium which is not recommended to be consumed frequently. No matter you are pregnant or not, take such food items only occasionally. Sodium consumption causes water retention, something that most pregnant women are already coping up with. So, it is better to stay away from such food in such time.

It is advised not to eat Chinese sea food. Sea food items like fish consist of Mercury in them which is not at all advised to be consumed in such time. Avoid undercooked or raw sea food as well. If you are really unsure about your diet, you can consult a good dietician regarding your routing diet. So, now you know that what Chinese food items you must avoid when you are expecting, however, there are a number of food items too that you can consume without any problem.

If you like Chinese food very much, a better way is to locate a good Chinese restaurant and ask them about food preparation before placing an order. Be specific of what you have to avoid and then it is safe to have your food. You can take help of any website that offer service to locate a good Chinese Restaurant in your locality.

What’s the Meaning of Blood in My Poop?

What does it mean if I see blood in my poop?

First, don’t get scared. At least for younger people, the reason is not always serious. It could be hemorrhoids, it could be medicine you’re taking, it could be colitis, and (usually in older people) it could be cancer.

If you actually see blood, then most likely it’s red, but sometimes it can be black. Blood that mixes with stomach acid turns black and means the bleeding is coming from high in the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach or duodenum). If you see unusually dark or black-colored stools (called melena), or ones that look like tar, it may be blood that’s passed all the way down from your stomach through your intestines. A stomach ulcer or irritation is commonly the culprit. Since this can be serious, see your doctor right away.

Now if the blood is red, first a question: is it a streak on the outside of the bowel movement, or blood in the toilet water, or blood mixed in with the stool (poop)?

If there’s a streak on the outside of the bowel movement, it’s often caused by external hemorrhoids. There may be pain associated with this type of bleeding, which is commonly seen with constipation or large stools.

If there’s blood on the stool and perhaps some dripping into the toilet water, this may be internal hemorrhoids, which are often painless. These, too, are associated with constipation and hard stools, but also with diarrhea and straining.

You should confirm these conditions with your doctor, but hemorrhoids are probably the “best case” scenario and are easily treated (most of the time). Occasionally a tumor (such as cancer) will present this way as well. Anyone over age 50 should be checked for colon cancer.

If the blood is mixed in with the stool but you have no other symptoms, cancer is again a possibility, along with colitis, diverticulitis, and medication effects. If you are taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other anti-inflammatory drug or blood thinner, stopping these medicines and consulting your doctor is advisable. If you have infection or inflammation (such as diverticulitis, colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease) you’d probably have some sort of symptom other than just bleeding: abdominal discomfort, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea. However, some patients just have bleeding. Either way, having blood mixed in with the stool is usually serious and you should have this evaluated promptly.

Sometimes people have diarrhea (with or without blood) after taking an antibiotic. This may be due to antibiotic-related colitis (clostridium difficile colitis, ” c. diff”) and requires prompt attention. Report these symptoms to your doctor right away, as you’ll probably require a second antibiotic to treat this condition. However, certain antibiotics may cause diarrhea on their own without causing c. diff colitis.

Lastly, sometimes red dye or red food can look like blood, but isn’t. Beets, red jello, and other red foods have been known to be confused with blood, but don’t attritube red discoloration to food unless you’re sure.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J Koelker MD

Acid Reflux Chokes Me Awake At Night

Acid reflux has forced me to suddenly wake up countless times, in a state of panic, choking on my own acid and gasping for breath.

Nothing can really describe the burning bile feeling, or the taste it leaves in your mouth as you try not to gag and throw-up. I have had to stick a pinch of toothpaste into my mouth and leave it there to try and cut the bile taste.

I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia as a teenager, which may contribute to acid reflux. The burning acid had left me alone for most of my 20’s. However, a high stress job and a subsequent gain in weight and lack of exercise brought the acid reflux back on with a vengeance in my 30’s.

When I started having almost constant waves of heartburn and acid indigestion, sitting upright at my desk, I knew it was time to see the doctor.

At that time, I had never heard of acid reflux.

He told me that more than 60 million people suffer from frequent heartburn, acid indigestion or GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease).

Acid reflux describes the regurgitation of acid back up the throat. It can also lead to more serious medical conditions that may require hospitalization.

My doctor explained this happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, which is called acid indigestion.

Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.

When I finally went and saw my doctor, I was having almost constant heartburn and acid indigestion.

He further explained that symptoms are usually worse at night when the person is lying flat and acid flows easily from the stomach back up the esophagus.

Anyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GERD.

I was told to make some lifestyle and dietary changes. They included:

1. Using a wedge pillow to elevate my body at bedtime

2. Eating plenty of fiber and drinking lots of fluids.

3. Eating small meals and eating slowly.

4. Not lying down for at least 1-2 hours after eating.

5. Losing extra pounds. Added weight causes extra pressure on your stomach and can irritate symptoms.

6. Wearing loose clothing. Tightly fitting clothes put extra pressure on your stomach.

7. Not exercising for at least one hour after eating.

8. Avoiding the following: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, chocolate, carbonated beverages, spices, fried and fatty foods, tomato products, citrus, and peppermint.

I am a non smoker and I don’t drink that much. I do drink a fair bit of coffee however. The real culprit for me though has been drinking fruit juice of any kind before bed. When I have, my acid reflux has been significantly worse.

As I have made many of these changes to my lifestyle, I have seen some relief.

The elevated pillow works wonderfully. I have also started taking proton pump inhibitor medication, which reduces acid production in my stomach. I have been told surgery may be an option down the road.

Tea and Acid Reflux – Natural Way to Treat Acid Reflux

Tea and Acid Reflux go together like light and dark. If light comes into a dark room, the darkness disappears! Tea can also make reflux disappear!

Many people have given up on their antacids which no longer work! After years and years of taking antacids, it seems like they are becoming more and more ineffective the longer they are used. On the other hand, tea is a natural and smoothing treatment that works to cure the cause behind acid reflux.

Let me explain how tea can work to treat acid reflux naturally and what types of teas are beneficial.

Treat Acid Reflux Cause

By treating the acid reflux cause, you will ultimately eliminate acid reflux. But do you know what the usual cause behind acid reflux is?

Acid reflux is most often caused by a damaged or weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The sphincter is the muscle tissue that sets on top of the stomach and is responsible for keeping food and stomach acid in the stomach. Unfortunately, after years of neglecting the health of your sphincter, your sphincter will become weaker and reflux is the result.

In order to cure the cause, you must use your diet and beverages to strengthen the sphincter. Here are some teas that you may want to consider for their healing ability.

Teas Curing Reflux

1. Green tea and honey has been an extremely popular tea for GERD sufferers. Honey has been long known for its healing abilities for tissue. Since the sphincter’s tissue is partially damaged and weak, honey makes perfect sense for the remedy.

Green tea comes in both caffeinated and decaffeinated. You should make sure to buy the decaffeinated kind because caffeine has been shown to trigger heartburn attacks. Many experts believe that green tea is extremely popular because it relieves upset stomachs and helps with effective digestion. A teaspoon of honey makes the beverage a bit sweeter and also aids with healing the sphincter.

2. Many people also try herbal teas to remedy reflux. One great herbal tea for GERD is chicory root which can also be supplemented with honey. Chamomile and fennel teas have also been popular. Again, these teas will aid in digestion which will greatly diminish the chances of refluxed food. Honey can be added to all of these types of teas for its healing properties.

3. Another remedy you may wish to try to treat hiatus hernias is a baking soda tea. Warm up water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of water. This baking soda tea works because baking soda will raise the pH level in your body and balance the acids with alkalines. In other words, you are neutralizing the refluxed acid.

4. Lastly, I would also recommend adding aloe vera to some of your green teas. Aloe vera has been long known for healing tissue. Aloe vera juice can be found in most health food stores.

Trigger Point Therapy

Introduction

Medical massage therapy procedure consists of mobilization of skin, fascia and muscular tissue, trigger point therapy, and post-isometric relaxation techniques. Each of these modalities is equally important in order to reach rapid and sustained results. For decades, massive utilization of medical massage has proven to be a safe and very effective method of treatment for the support and movement system disorders, inner organ disorders, stress management, and more.

In the last few years, there have been numerous arguments in within the professional community about practitioners utilizing manual therapy and trigger point therapy. In recent professional publications many authors have been raising the following questions: Is a trigger point a formation of fibroconnective tissue in muscles? Have histological studies ever been done on trigger points? Is there a theory of peripheral nerve pain at the motor end plate a new theory and the only theory? Are ischemic compression techniques for trigger point therapy safe and effective?

The brief answers on aforementioned questions are:

1. Fibroconnective tissue formation in muscles is myogelosis, an incurable muscular pathology.

2. In many cases myogelosis is the result of inadequate treatment of trigger points.

3. A trigger point is a pinpoint localization of pain that can be found in muscles, connective tissue, and periosteum. The morphology of this point of pain is such that the demand of blood supply is much higher than the actual blood supply.

4. The theory of peripheral nerve pain at the motor end plate is not a new theory.

5. Any theory must be supported by clinical output.

6. Ischemic compression as a method of trigger point therapy has been proven by at least 4 decades of massive utilization as a safe and effective method.

7. Ischemic compression techniques are applied by gradually increasing pressure, thus excluding the possibility of doing harm to the patient and to the therapist.

In the search for true understanding of pathophysiology, the body’s sophistication and complexity requires us to take an integrative approach to any issue. Thus I would like to present to the reader a short scientific review of the trigger point issue and the trigger point therapy concept.

The Nature of Trigger Points

There is no statement in the modern scientific literature that calls a trigger point a “taut band of fibro-connective tissue.” However, it was once used in the late 19th/early 20th century until histological studies conducted by German scientists (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951; Miehlke et al., 1950) showed that there is no connective tissue proliferation (myogelosis) in the area of a trigger point in muscles. “In our opinion, fibrositis (in regard to trigger points) has become a hopelessly ambiguous diagnosis… is best avoided” (Travell, Simons, 1983). However, connective tissue will grow between muscle fibers when a core of the myogelosis is formed (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951). Myogelosis is a clinical outcome of years of reactivation of the active trigger point in the same area. At the same time, trigger point therapy is useless if the core of the myogelosis is already formed.

In 1843, for the first time, the German physician Dr. F. Froriep described trigger points as painful formation in skeletal muscles. In 1921 another German scientist, Dr. H. Schade, examined them histologically and formed the concept of myogelosis. In 1923 the British physician Dr. J. Mackenzie offered the first pathophysiological explanation of the trigger point formation mechanism and formulated the concept of the reflex zones in the skeletal muscles where the central and peripheral nervous system play a critical role. The reflex zones concept was further developed by the American scientist Prof. I. Korr in 1941 in a series of brilliantly designed experimental studies. Thus, the trigger point concept was developed long before the work of Travell and Simons, who based their publication (see references in “Trigger Point Manual” by Travell and Simons) on the works of the scientists mentioned.

There are numerous published results of histological evaluations of the trigger point areas. Even in the short list of references at the end of this article you can find ample evidence under references 5, 6, 7, 13, and 15.

It is misleading to state that Dr. Travell and Dr. Simons recommended using ischemic compression for trigger point therapy. They advocated injection, stretch and spray techniques, and muscle energy techniques for trigger point therapy. Although, Travell and Simons did mention ischemic compression as an option based on the European medical sources, they never recommended it as a treatment method.

The Role of Vasodilators in Local Ischemia

Awad (1973) examined biopsy tissues from trigger points using an electron microscope and detected a significant increase in the number of platelets, which caused the release of serotonin and mast cells, which in turn released histamine. Both serotonin and histamine are potent vasodilators and their increase is a clear sign that body is trying to fight the local ischemia in the trigger point area. In his now classical work, Fassbender (1975) conducted a histological examination of the circulation in the area of the trigger point and proved once and for all that “… the trigger point represents a region of local ischemia.” The same results were obtained by Popelansky et al., (1986) who used radioisotope evaluation of blood circulation in the area of the trigger point.

The End Plate Theory

The end plate theory is not a new theory. Travell and Simmons constantly emphasize the nervous system as a critical factor in the development of the trigger point and point out the importance of end-plate zones. They even name special types of trigger points called “motor trigger points,” which are located in the middle of the muscle belly at the neuromuscular junction. “The functionally significant structure with regard to the innervation of muscle fibers is the myoneural junction (end-plate zone)…” and “Some trigger points are closely associated with myoneural junctions, others not.” (Travell and Simmons, 1983). The idea of the nervous system and the role of end-plate zones is not a new concept. As early as 1947 Prof. Korr addressed the same issues in his research.

According to histological studies (Heine, 1997; Gogoleva, 2001) chronic pain and low grade tension in the skeletal muscles and fascia are responsible for the low grade inflammation around the terminal parts of the sensory and motor neurons which end in the soft tissues. This chronic inflammation activates the local fibroblasts, which deposit collagen around the nerve endings forming so-called “collagen cuffs.” This additional irritating factor triggers an afferent sensory flow to the central nervous system, which is interpreted by the brain as pain. This mechanism is partially described by the generation of pain in the area of motor trigger points. We have to consider that the terminal parts of the sensory and motor neurons are located in the soft tissues, including skeletal muscles. In other words, it would be logical to assume that something must irritate the terminal parts of sensory and motor neurons. This something is a tension in the skeletal muscles, including trigger points that are not associated with motor trigger points (since they are located in other parts of the skeletal muscle). Keep in mind that any inflammatory condition, whether in motor end plates or in muscular tissue, means that there is a decreased amount of blood supply to this inflamed tissue. From this it follows that gradual ischemic compression can be viewed as an anti-inflammatory effort.

There is no doubt that myofascial pain can be the result of peripheral nerve abnormalities. An example of this would be the irritation of the sciatic nerve by an over-tensed piriformis muscle resulting in the formation of trigger points in muscles innervated by the sciatic nerve. This list can be continued because any peripheral nerve’s entrapment in the key areas will cause formation of trigger points in muscles innervated by this nerve.

If one examines a patient with peripheral arterial disorder (e.g., Buerger’s disease) one will find numerous active and dormant trigger points in the leg and foot muscles. It would most certainly be agreeable that insufficient arterial blood supply as a result vascular abnormality is responsible for the formation of trigger points in the skeletal muscles rather than abnormalities in the motor end-plates. The same is true for trigger points in the skeletal muscles, which are developed as a result of chronic visceral disorders (e.g., patients with cardiac disorders exhibit active trigger points in the trapezius, levator scapulae, and rhomboideus muscles). In such cases the end-plate abnormalities do not have anything to do with formation of trigger points in the skeletal muscles. They are the result of the phenomenon of convergence of pain stimuli within the same segments of the spinal cord, which are responsible for the innervation of both the affected inner organ and the skeletal muscles. In 1955 Dr. Glezer and Dalicho formulated the theory that still stands clinically proven. They proposed and developed maps of reflex zone abnormalities of the skin, fascia and muscles, including trigger point development.

The Energy Crisis Theory

There is another theory, which links formation of trigger points with the shortage of ATP in the affected muscles as a result of insufficient arterial circulation. ATP is the energy source for cellular function, including muscles. Authors of this theory, called the Energy Crisis Theory, pointed out the formation of the trigger points in very healthy athletes who did not have signs of peripheral nerve abnormalities and still developed active trigger points. Gradual increase of the resting muscular tone in normal muscles triggers local vasoconstriction, interstitial edema, and ATP exhaustion with the subsequent formation of active trigger points. Prof. D. Simons reviewed this theory as well, and even used extensively works done by his colleagues, Dr. D.R Hubbard and Dr. G.M. Berkoff, in his own research.

Trigger Point Therapy Protocol

Ultimately trigger point therapy has the following goals:

1. Eliminate protective muscular tension in the muscles that harbor active trigger points.

2. Eliminate condition of the hyperirritability of the peripheral receptors, especially pain receptors.

3. Block the pain-analyzing system of the patient.

4. Produce reflex vasodilation.

5. Eliminate local ischemia.

To effectively achieve these goals the practitioner should conduct trigger point therapy utilizing several equally important components:

1. Detect location of the active trigger point.

2. Detect the pathway of pain radiation and examine tissues along this pathway in case satellite trigger points are formed.

3. Place finger in the trigger point. Slowly apply vertical compression of the tissues until the patient feels the first sign of pain. As soon as he or she reports it stop increasing pressure but maintain it at that same level. After 10 seconds of pressure application, the pain that the patient initially felt will disappear. The patient should immediately report to you as soon as he or she feels the pain cease. During the next 20 seconds the practitioner will be able to get to the “bottom” of the trigger point without unwanted activation of the pain analyzing system and generating protective muscular tension in the affected muscle or muscles in the region.

4. To accomplish the first three goals apply effleurage and kneading techniques on the affected muscles in the inhibitory regime for 5-7 minutes (comfortable gradual increase of pressure, in the same direction of the strokes).

5. Exit the trigger point as fast as possible to produce quick and effective vasodilation and elimination of the local ischemia.

The correct protocol of trigger point therapy does not have pitfalls. This protocol is equally effective for the motor trigger points, as well as for other trigger points. The applied pressure is never strong enough to go over the patient’s threshold of pain, causing the pain and injury of motor nerve endings. Peripheral vasodilation restores local pH to normal, increases oxygenation of the tissues in the area of the trigger point, and gradually eliminates the trigger point.

References

1. Awad, E.A.: Interstitial myofibrositis: hypothesis of the mechanism, Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab, 54(10):449-453, 1973

2. Fassbender H.G. Pathology of the Rheumatic Diseases. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1975

3. Froriep, F. Ein Beitrag zur Pathologie und Therapie des Rheumatismus. Weimar, 1843.

4. Glezer, O., Dalicho, V.A. Segmentmassage. Leipzig, 1955

5. Glogowski, G., Wallraff, J. “Ein beitrag zur Klinik und Histologie der Muskkelharten (Myogelosen)”, Z. Orthop., 80:237-268, 1951

6. Gogoleva, E.F. “New Approaches to Diagnosis and Therapy of Fibromyalgia associated with Spondylosis.” Ther. Arch., 4:40-45, 2001.

7. Heine, H. Lehbruh der biologischen Medicine. Stuttgart, Hippokrates, 1997.

8. Hubbard, D.R., Berkoff, G.M. “Myofascial trigger points show spontaneous needle EMG activity”, Spine, 18:1803-1807, 1993.

9. Korr, I.M. “The Neural Basis of the Osteopathic Lesion.” JAOA, 47(4): 191-198, 1947.

10. Kreymer, A.Y. Vibration Massage in Diseases of the Nervous System.

Tomsk University, Tomsk, 1987.

11. Mackenzie, J. Angina Pectoris. Henry, Frowde & Hodder & Stroughton, London, 1923.

12. Mezlack, R., Wall, P. “Pain Mechanism: A New Theory.” Science, 150 (Nov): 971-979, 1965.

13. Miehlke, K., Schulze, G., Eger, W. ” Klinische und experimentelle Untersuchungen zum Fibrositis-syndrom. Z. Rheumaforsch, 19:310-330, 1960.

14. Popelansky, Y.Y., Zaslavsky, E.S., Veselovsky, V.P. Medicosocial significance, etiology, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of non-articular diseases of soft tissues of the lims and back. Vorpr. Rheumat., 3:38-43, 1986.

15. Schade, H. “Untersuchungen in der Erkaltungstrade: III. Uber den Rheumatismus, in besondere den Muskelrheumatismus (Myogelose).” Munch. Med. Wschr., 68, 95-99, 1921.

16. Travell, J.G., Simons, D.G. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. The Trigger Points Manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983.

17. Wall, P.D., Crowly-Dillon, J.R. “Pain, Itch and Vibration.” A.M.A. Arch. Neurol., 2: 19-29, 1960.

Why I Love Chia Seeds

I first learned about chia seeds when I read the book “Born To Run” almost 10 years ago. The Tarahumara Indians used the seeds in a cocktail that allowed for what seemed like super-human strength and endurance. So how could you not want to give that a try, right?

Not knowing too much about the nutritional qualities of this seed back then, I started adding a couple of tablespoons to my morning routine, and have never stopped. As I transitioned my career to the health and fitness industry by becoming a certified personal trainer and nutritional counselor, I began to appreciate the amazing benefits of incorporating it into my daily eating routine.

Here are a few reasons why you should add chia seeds to your daily routine:

1. Helps You Lose Weight:

Chia seeds can help you lose weight in a couple of different ways. The first is that the insane amount of fiber in a chia seed absorbs tons of water and expands your stomach. This makes you feel full. When you feel full, you stop eating. Also, they are high in protein, which helps to satiate you and reduce your hunger response. The result? Eat less food, shrink your stomach, and lose weight. Since most weight gain is the result of “overeating”, they can help you lose weight. The second is that the chia seeds slow the absorption of food, which aids in weight loss

2. Helps To Prevent Cancer:

Chia seeds have a high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage the molecules in cells and be a major contributor to diseases like cancer. The molecular damage caused by free radicals also accelerates the aging process.

3. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease:

Chia seeds have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. By lowering LDL cholesterol, you reduce the potential for the buildup of this goo on the walls of your arteries, which allows for better blood flow. The HDL cholesterol is like a guy in a hazmat suit that removes the toxic LDL goo from your arteries. So not only are you reducing the bad stuff, you are boosting the good stuff. This all adds up to better heart health.

They are best absorbed when added to food during prep. If you start your day off with a morning smoothie, put a tablespoon in with the mix. If you like to cook up some oatmeal, add a tablespoon while cooking. Sprinkle them on salads, add to your cold drink after a workout, add it to sauces. The possibilities are endless.

Chia seeds best ways to purchase chia seeds is in bulk. You pay a fortune for the little seed when you buy it in a store like Whole Foods. Try Costco or Amazon and buy a big bag. You will save a ton of money this way, which will allow you to eat them every day.

One word of caution about the chia seeds – When you cook with the seed, like in oatmeal and sauces, make sure that you do not allow any seeds to escape down the drain. You see, the seed will basically sprout and grow ANYWHERE, like in your trap in your drainpipe. One day, I turned on the water in my sink only to find the drain hopelessly clogged. I called the plumber and he snaked the pipe. What do you think he found? Yup. There was a gig ole Chia Pet growing in my drainpipe.

Start enjoying the health benefits of chia seeds today. You will be glad you did.

What Causes Shortness of Breath?

Shortness of breath is also known as Dyspnea which is one of the scariest conditions that happens to human beings. Shortness of breath occurs if you cannot get enough air inside the lungs. If it occurs in severe condition, then it is recommended to consult with your doctor as early as possible.

Shortness of breath is potentially a life threatening emergency that causes serious diseases like heart attack, pulmonary embolism etc. Shortness of breath can be identified while running. If you feel some difficulties while running, then you can confirm as shortness of breath. In such cases, you have to consult with your doctor. Even shortness of breath occurs in low oxygen at high altitude places like hill stations.

There are many causes and diseases for shortness of breath which results in heart disease, muscle and nerve diseases and anxiety etc. The possible causes and diseases that occur due to shortness of breath are as follows:

1) Heart valves may be leaky.

2) During exercise, the heart muscles do not get enough blood.

3) Heart muscles may be stiff.

4) Opening in the heart which stops the lungs from getting enough oxygen inside and also inside the blood.

5) High blood pressure can cause which is also known as pulmonary hypertension.

6) Carbon monoxide poisoning

7) Asthma, which is a breathing disease that occurs at regular intervals. It can occur while running or dancing. Even asthma can occur if entered in to dusty areas.

8) Pneumonia

9) Congestive heart failure

10) Bronchitis

11) Collapsed lungs which are otherwise known as pneumothorax.

12) Muscular dystrophy

13) Polymyositis

14) Dermatomyositis

15) Acidosis which is aspirin poisoning

16) Even kidney failure is also a cause for this shortness of breath.

The following above are the major cause of shortness of breath. Apart from these, other causes are also possible. They are:

1) Hyperventilation- this causes when breathing too fast which results in feelings of panic.

2) Gastro esophageal reflux- stomach acids that splash up into the throat.

3) Low level of physical fitness which is called as Deconditioning.

4) Postnasal discharge- this occurs when sinus drainage collects in the back of the throat.

KSM-66 Ashwagandha – Health Benefits

Ashwagandha, a herb, finds extensive usage in Ayurvedic medicine. It is popularly known as Indian Ginseng. However, KSM-66 Ashwagandha is not related to ginseng in any way. Ashwagandha is comprised of two Sanskrit words, “ashwa” meaning “horse” and “gandha” meaning “smell”. These words throw light on the properties of the herb. It works as a sedative and calms the mind.

What is KSM-66 Ashwagandha?

KSM-66 is a specialized extract of Ashwagandha, where the active ingredients of the herb (Withanolides) are sourced from only the root. In other extracts, the active ingredients have been sourced from both the leaf and the root. The latter extracts go against the practices of traditional Ayurveda.

Health Benefits of KSM-66 Ashwagandha

  • In recent years, Ashwagandha has been the topic of much research. Many studies have shown that the herb has a rich content of steroidal lactones and alkaloids. Besides, it is rich in amino acids, fatty acids, and choline.
  • Ashwagandha has myriad health benefits that can be used to treat several diseases and disorders.
  • KSM-66 Ashwagandha works like an adaptogen. This means that it effectively combats daily stress and tension. Ashwagandha, when taken in regular amounts, increases the body’s resistance to stress, simultaneously increasing energy levels.
  • It gives a tremendous boost to the immune system. This could reduce the onset of various ailments and disorders.
  • Ashwagandha has proven benefits on the functioning of the brain, ensuring enhanced thinking and betterment in decision making. The herb has positive effects on memory and concentration, which can be used for the benefits of students.
  • KSM-66 Ashwagandha functions like an anti-anxiety agent, which can reduce anxiety levels as well as depression. It has a soothing effect on the brain, and due to its sedative effects, it can help treat insomnia.
  • This herb prevents brain cell degeneration, which could prevent or delay the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • A known aphrodisiac, Ashwagandha alleviates fertility problems in women and men. In addition, it can give a boost to your libido.
  • This herb alleviates pain and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it supremely useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Ashwagandha is known to regulate blood sugar levels; thus helping those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
  • Some studies have shown that Ashwagandha can lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Thus it can prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases.
  • This herb inhibits cancer cell growth in the colon, breast, and lungs with no effect on normal cells. These properties make it ideal for use an anti-cancer herb.
  • Because it plays the role of an adaptogen, it can be used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Besides, it can help treat wounds and reduce back pain.
  • Other disorders where Ashwagandha has known positive effects include tuberculosis, asthma, fibromyalgia, bronchitis, chronic liver disease, and menstrual problems.
  • KSM-66 Ashwagandha also has numerous benefits for the skin. It demonstrates anti-ageing properties, which delays the onset of wrinkles and gives you a youthful appearance. It can effectively treat leucoderma and other skin conditions and infections.

Now that you know the health benefits of this wonder herb, waste no time in procuring it and reaping its positive effects.

How to Care For Cambria Orchids

Bringing plants indoors is a wonderful way to add natural appeal to any space. However, taking care of potted plants can often be quite a challenge. This is why horticulturists have developed hybrid species such as Cambria orchids. This handsome man-made bloom boasts bold beautiful colors and sweet speckles that make it easy to look at, but more importantly its hardy composition makes it easy to nurture.

Even though these plants are designed to be extremely sturdy and flourish with little help, it is still essential to know about what the Cambria’s favorable environment settings are so that you can make sure it remains happy and healthy in your home.

1. Potting

Though the plant is hardy, its roots are a bit sensitive. There are a few requirements about how to pot this plant that will make the rest of its upkeep a breeze. It will thrive best in an opaque pot made of porous material, like terracotta, that can protect the roots from daylight, allow the greatest amount of air flow, and soak up extra wetness. Filling the pot with a matter specialized for orchids containing bulky absorbent material will provide the most positive growth results.

2. Temperature

Cambria orchids, like most people, is happiest in moderate temperatures, typically between 65 and 68 degrees. Just make sure that the orchid is in a room that gets used enough so that the air doesn’t get stale and the temperature does not drop too much.

3. Light

This plant loves the light, most of the time. Cambria orchids can stand to be in a liberal amount of sunshine during some of the year. But, shade is best during the months between March and September when their leaves are more sensitive and susceptible to scorching.

4. Water

The best rule to remember when watering any orchid is that less is more. It is possible to over-water the Cambria orchid, especially when the plant is in full bloom. This is when Cambria orchids develop new growth by storing water and nutrients in a pseudobulb. The roots absorb just as much moisture as the plant needs and prefer consistently damp soil rather than frequent drenching. Feel the potting substance around the plant and add water only when necessary.

5. Humidity

Just like the roots want a warm and damp environment, the plant itself enjoys the same. Maintain a slightly elevated humidity level in the room by keeping a container of water, wet stones or even a humidifier close to the plant.

6. Fertilizer

As with all plants, you’ll get better results when you feed them. For optimal blooms, add an orchid-specific fertilizer once a month. Special foods are made for specific phases of the plant’s growth and can be found at garden centers.

Cambria orchids were designed to be a beautiful no hassle bloom that will allow even those with the blackest of thumbs to revel in the fulfillment of cultivating such an elegant plant. It requires very little effort to take care of and can provide many years of satisfaction and incredible visual pleasure.

Ayurveda and Cancer – Ayurvedic Treatment For Gall Bladder Cancer

Gall bladder cancer is also known as cholangiocarcinoma and is a malignant growth of the biliary duct system and bile ducts, and may originate either in the liver or outside it. The majority of these tumours are adenocarcinomas, while about 10% are made up of squamous cell tumours. These are slow growing tumours which usually result from chronic infection, chronic inflammation or damage to the biliary duct system. Common symptoms include jaundice, clay-colored stools, dark urine, severe itching, weight loss, abdominal pain, and – in the later stages – a palpable lump in the right upper side of the abdomen.

Gall bladder cancer can be diagnosed with the help of various tests such as liver function tests, ultrasound examination, CT scan, PET scan, MRI, ERCP, brush cytology, and various tumour markers. The tumour is classified according to the TNM (tumour, lymph node, and metastasis) mode of classification or graded from 0 to 4, which indicate the extent and spread of the tumour as well as the overall prognosis. At the time of diagnosis, more than 90% of patients are not eligible for curative surgery, and in spite of aggressive therapy, the overall survival for advanced gall bladder cancer is just about six months. Stent implantation, photodynamic therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are usually used as palliative measures.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be judiciously utilised in the successful management and treatment of gall bladder cancer in order to bring about a remission of the tumour, and significantly improve the survival of the affected individual. Herbal medicines which have a specific action on the liver and gall bladder are used in the management of this condition. These medicines act on the gall bladder tumour and bring about a significant reduction in its size within a short span of a few months. Most gall bladder patients, at the time of presentation, have complications like fistula formation, with bile flowing through the fistula. These complications can be managed on an emergency basis with the help of simple herbal medicines which heal the fistula and redirect the bile into the intestines.

Herbal medicines are also used to prevent the spread of the gall bladder tumour into the surrounding parts of the abdomen as well as prevent metastasis to other parts of the body. Some medicines which are useful in the management of gall bladder cancer include Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhuk (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Arogyavardhini, Punarnavadi Qadha, and Varunadi Qadha. In addition to treatment which is specific for gall bladder cancer, immunomodulatory treatment is also a must in order to boost the immune status of the affected individual. The building up of a strong immune system helps to bring about a faster therapeutic response, a longer survival, and improved chances of a complete remission of the tumour.

Most individuals affected with gall bladder cancer require aggressive Ayurvedic herbal treatment for about 9 to15 months in order to get significant improvement in the condition. Regular Ayurvedic treatment on a long-term basis can help in improving the chances for survival, and the earlier treatment is instituted, the better. Depending upon the presentation of symptoms and the severity of the cancer, Ayurvedic treatment needs to the tailor-made for each individual affected with this condition, in order to derive maximum benefit from treatment. Ayurvedic herbal treatment undoubtedly has a definite role to play in the management and treatment of gall bladder cancer.

Reflux Esophagitis

The predominant presenting symptom of reflux is burning chest pain (heartburn) resulting from recurrent mucosal injury, frequently worse at night, when lying supine, or right after consumption of foods or drugs that diminish lower esophageal valve tone. Typical causes of reflux esophagitis are those problems that outcome in persistent or repetitive acid exposure towards the esophageal mucosa.

These consist of disorders that increase the rate of spontaneous transient reduced esophageal sphincter relaxations or impair reflexes that usually adhere to transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations having a secondary wave of esophageal peristalsis. Problems that increase gastric volume or pressure (eg, partial or total gastric outlet obstruction and problems that improve acid production) also lead.

Occasionally, reflux esophagitis could be caused by alkaline injury (eg, pancreatic juice refluxing through both an incompetent pyloric valve along with a relaxed lower esophageal sphincter). Hiatal hernia, a disorder by which a portion from the proximal abdomen slides into the chest cavity with upward displacement from the lower esophageal valve, can lead towards the development of reflux.

Normally, the tonically contracted lower esophageal sphincter offers an effective barrier to reflux of acid from the stomach back into the esophagus. This really is reinforced by secondary esophageal peristaltic waves in response to transient reduced esophageal sphincter relaxation.

Effectiveness of that barrier could be altered by loss of lower esophageal valve tone (ie, the opposite of achalasia), increased frequency of transient relaxations, reduction of secondary peristalsis right after a transient relaxation, increased stomach volume or stress, or increased manufacturing of acid, all of which can make more likely reflux of acidic stomach contents sufficient to trigger pain or erosion.

Recurrent reflux can damage the mucosa, resulting in inflammation, hence the term “reflux esophagitis.” Recurrent reflux itself predisposes to further reflux simply because the scarring that occurs with healing from the inflamed epithelium renders the lower esophageal valve progressively less competent being a barrier.

Even though typically a consequence of acid reflux, esophagitis can also outcome from reflux of pepsin or bile. In most instances of esophageal reflux disease, a typical pathophysiologic thread could be identified. Recurrent mucosal damage results in infiltration of granulocytes and eosinophils, hyperplasia of basal cells, and at some point the improvement of friable, bleeding ulcers and exudates over the mucosal surface.

These pathologic modifications set the stage for scar formation and valve incompetence, predisposing to recurrent cycles of inflammation. Elevated frequency of transient reduced esophageal valve relaxations might be partly in response to increased gastric distension. Normally, transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations are accompanied by elevated esophageal peristalsis.

Individuals with defects in excitatory pathways that promote peristalsis might, consequently, be at elevated risk for the development of esophageal reflux. Changes in the kinds of prostaglandins created by the esophagus are already noted in reflux esophagitis, possibly contributing to impairment of healing and predisposing to recurrences.

In contrast to other types of acid-mediated injury, H pylori infection does not appear to lead to the improvement of reflux or esophagitis. Heartburn is the usual symptom of reflux esophagitis, typically worsening on lying prone. With recurrent reflux, a array of problems may produce. Probably the most typical complication may be the development of stricture within the distal esophagus.

Progressive obstruction, initially to solid food and later to liquid, presents as dysphagia. Other problems of recurrent reflux include hemorrhage or perforation; hoarseness, coughing, or wheezing; and pneumonia consequently of aspiration of gastric contents to the lungs, particularly throughout sleep.

Epidemiologic studies recommend that cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse associated with recurrent reflux outcome in a change within the esophageal epithelium from squamous to columnar histology, termed Barrett’s esophagus. In 2-5% of cases, Barrett’s esophagus leads towards the development of adenocarcinoma.

Treating Hypothyroidism With Synthroid

Synthroid is a brand name for levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone responsible for bodies metabolism. Synthroid is given as a treatment for hypothyroidism, which is a disorder whereby the thyroid gland has stopped producing enough thyroid hormone.

This condition causes the body’s rate of metabolism to drop, with resulting negative effects on its reproductive system. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, swallowing difficulty, wild mood swings, hoarse voice, forgetfulness, sensitivity to cold and dry/coarse hair and skin.

Synthroid has to be cautiously prescribed by a doctor as a supplement or replacement, in order to restore the delicate balance of the thyroid hormone in your body.

When undergoing a Synthroid treatment, avoid the following food products, which can cause your body to absorb less of this synthetic hormone: infant soy formula, cottonseed meal, walnuts, and high-fiber foods. Make sure not to change brands without first asking your doctor as different brands of levothyroxine may work differently for the same patient.

Therefore, if you have a prescription refill with different looking pills inside than what you are used to, you would need to talk to your doctor or the pharmacist.

If you overdose on Synthroid, seek medical attention immediately. You will get these symptoms on overdose of this medicine: chest pain, pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, tremor, leg cramps, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures.

In addition, should you have missed a dose on Synthroid, do not double up on it on your next dosage. Keep to a regularly scheduled time with the prescribed dosage, never to add extra to make up for any missed dose. Your doctor may change the dosage required over time to get the best results, follow the instructions properly. Do not continue taking the dosage for longer than what the doctor prescribed.

Take Synthroid 30 minutes before eating, preferably in the morning, and remember to take it at the same time each day, according to doctor’s instructions. It is important that you take Synthroid with a full glass (8 ounces) of water, as the tablet can dissolve very quickly and swell in your throat causing gagging or choking.

You will need to schedule regular visits to your doctor for blood, liver, or kidney tests while undergoing this treatment, and do not forget these scheduled visits. You would also need to inform any other doctor or dentist you are visiting, that you are using Synthroid.

Once you are on Synthroid however, chances are high that you will continue taking it for the rest of your life. If you take levothyroxine for long periods of time, it may cause loss of bone, leading to osteoporosis. Be sure this possibility is addressed when talking to your doctor.

Other things you need to discuss before taking Synthroid include if you have any history of heart disease, coronary artery disease, anemia, diabetes, adrenal or pituitary gland problems, or blood clots.

Disclaimer: If you need more information about Synthroid, talk to your doctor or a qualified professional.

Treating Mononucleosis Naturally

In the majority of mono infections, drugs will be of little use. Doctors may prescribe drugs that mask your symptoms temporarily but do nothing to get rid of the virus. Fortunately treating mononucleosis naturally can have excellent results in relieving symptoms and stopping the virus from relapsing.

Let’s have a look at the most popular ways of treating mononucleosis naturally.

Quality sleep

For optimal recovery from mono it is essential that you get at least 8 – 10 hours of deep, unbroken sleep a night. Children and teenagers need even more. It is when you get quality sleep that your body produces growth hormone – your body’s repair hormone.

Vitamins and minerals

Sensible supplementation in the form of vitamins and minerals can give you the edge in treating mononucleosis naturally.

During recovery from mono it’s essential to bolster your immune system with nutrients like vitamin A, C, E, zinc and selenium. The B complex vitamins and magnesium help support the adrenal glands, which help the body cope with stress. They’re also involved in energy production which makes them essential for treating mononucleosis naturally.

Herbs

Popular herbs for mono include echinacea, garlic, olive leaf extract, astragalus and milk thistle. Herbs are useful for treating mononucleosis naturally as they can boost immunity, cleanse the liver and support the body’s adrenal glands.

Diet

Fresh vegetables and low carb fruit should make up the bulk of your diet – about 80% is ideal. Fresh vegetables and fruit are very alkalising and will help cleanse toxins from your system.

If you are having trouble eating lots of vegetables and fruit, then a freshly squeezed juice may be the easy answer. You can also make up healthy vegetable soups or broths which are easy to get down if you still get a sore throat or poor appetite. Adding some anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, cayenne and fresh pineapple or pawpaw, will make your diet even more effective.

Your immune-boosting diet should also include some good quality protein foods like chicken, fish, lean red meat, cheese, eggs and whey powder. If you’re vegetarian, go for alternatives like legumes, tofu and tempeh. Healthy fats like avocado, fish oil, raw nuts and seeds and flaxseed oil are a vital part of treating mononucleosis naturally.

Liver cleansing

Liver cleansing is a cornerstone of treating mononucleosis naturally.

The first step to eliminating unhealthy toxins in the body is to do some gentle liver and bowel cleansing. Just starting with half a lemon squeezed into warm water on rising in the morning every day is a good bowel and liver tonic. Drinking at least 2-3 litres a day of pure water will help flush the virus and toxins from your system.

When you are a bit stronger you can do a more thorough liver cleanse with a liver tonic or cleansing kit. These are available from your health food shop or naturopath.

These treatments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mono treatment. There are many more effective natural therapies available.