Patients on Anti-Coagulants – Be Careful of What You Drink

Many heart patients are routinely placed on anti-coagulants. Anti-coagulants help keep blood thin and flowing freely through veins and arteries; decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Heart patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), in particular, are advised to take anti-coagulants.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of persistent, irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia). In atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers beat irregularly, affecting blood flow to the heart muscle and to the rest of the body. It increases the patient’s risk of blood clots, which can cause strokes and what is known as TIA (transient ischemic attack). TIA is what most people refer to as a “mini-stroke”, in which the patient suffers the effects of a stroke, but only for the short term.

For patients with AF, the heart beat may return to normal on its own, or the doctor may use electrical shock to get the heart back into its normal rhythm. Some patients, however, do not respond to this therapy, and require anti-coagulants to prevent stroke and other complications. In addition to AF, other heart problems may also require treatment with anti-coagulants.

Some doctors prescribe an aspirin each day for its blood thinning and anti-coagulant effects, but some patients require something stronger than the simple aspirin. For these patients, there are many prescription anti-coagulants and blood thinners from which doctors choose.

Anti-coagulants do have side effects; the most prevalent of which is the inability of your blood to properly clot in the event of surgery, or other bleeding. It is, therefore, very important to inform your doctors that you are on anti-coagulants, and to stop taking them before you have surgery. In addition, anti-coagulants may interact negatively with other medications and cause complications.

The most common anti-coagulant is warfarin, also known as coumadin. If your doctor prescribes warfarin, you should carefully follow all the recommendations that go along with warfarin, including having a thorough understanding of all the interactions. The most important things you should know about warfarin include:

o You should not become pregnant while taking warfarin. Be certain that you’re using a reliable form of birth control while taking this medicine. If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, let your doctor know immediately. Warfarin can cause birth defects.

o You must temporarily stop taking warfarin if you require any sort of surgery, including a spinal tap.

o Do not take warfarin in combination with aspirin or NSAIDs, (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) unless your doctor advises you that it’s ok. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, and diclofenac. Even our very common over the counter pain relievers like motrin and advil are ibuprofen, and can cause serious interactions with warfarin. Serious bleeding in your stomach and intestines can result when you combine warfarin and these drugs.

o Watch what you eat and drink. This may be the most surprising consideration for patients who take warfarin. Many patients have no idea that their diet can significantly affect how warfarin works for them.

Dietary Concerns for Patients of Warfarin

Warfarin can be seriously affected by the amount of vitamin K in your diet. And, vitamin K is in many of the foods that we eat in large amounts, including the following:

o liver

o broccoli

o brussels sprouts

o spinach

o Swiss chard

o Coriander

o Collards

o Cabbage

o other green leafy vegetables

Even green tea, which has received rave reviews lately for its health benefits, can have a negative interaction with warfarin because of its vitamin K level. This is important for patients to understand, because many people have begun to drink green tea for its health benefits, particularly for those with heart problems.

The reason that green tea has been recommended for heart patients is because it has been shown to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol that clogs our arteries). In addition, green tea inhibits the formation of abnormal blood clots, which are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. So, we have begun to think of green tea as a healthy beverage for people who have heart disease or may be genetically predisposed to heart disease.

However, we now know that those heart patients who are taking warfarin for its anti-coagulation benefits should not drink green tea – or at least should not do so without permission from their doctor.

One compelling piece of information was discovered by the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Florida. One patient receiving warfarin after having a mechanical valve replacement in his aorta, was progressing well with the warfarin treatment. However, his body’s absorption of the drug suddenly changed.

Within one week, the patient’s absorption of the warfarin dropped dramatically. Upon examination of the patient’s diet, it was discovered that he had recently begun to drink about one half to one gallon of green tea per day. Once the patient stopped drinking the green tea, his absorption of the warfarin began to return to normal.

Many people do not recognize that green tea is a significant source of vitamin K, so even if patients have been advised to avoid foods rich in vitamin K, they may not realize that green tea falls into this category.

So, if you’re a heart patient, be sure to talk to your doctor about green tea. Green tea contains many healthful benefits, and can be particularly healthy for heart patients. However, if you’re a heart patient who has been prescribed warfarin, green tea could significantly reduce the absorption of your medication.

If you’d like to drink green tea for its health benefits, your doctor may be able to advise you on a quantity that would be acceptable along with your warfarin.

The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet

Low-sodium diets are useful in the management of hypertension and in conditions in which sodium retention and edema are prominent features, particularly congestive heart failure, chronic liver disease, and chronic renal failure. Sodium restriction is beneficial with or without diuretic therapy. Low-sodium diets are widely reported to reduce blood pressure and are recommended by the American College of Cardiology in the treatment of mild hypertension.

Seaweed preparations have been shown to decrease blood pressure by a mechanism involving ion exchange. Low-sodium diets are prescribed to help control high blood pressure. These limit the amount of sodium in the diet to less than 2 grams per day (about half the amount of sodium in the average diet). Low sodium diets are often used with diuretics to get rid of surplus fluid. This combination helps to reduce weight. These diets are also helpful if we are fortunate it can help add some time to our life.

Low sodium diets are beneficial in preventing heart disease. Eliminate foods that are high in salt content. They are helpful in reducing urinary output. Thiazides or indomethacin may also help reduce urinary output , though there are side effects to consider. Low sodium diets are a necessity for some and a goal for others. Sodium is not only found in a salt shaker, 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged foods alone. Special low sodium foods are available from many gourmet meat and foods purveyors. Low sodium diets are often advised to prevent heart disease and followed by people who have an existing heart condition or a family history of heart disease.

There has been much publicity regarding the amount of salt included in the majority of processed foods. The Dash Diet is considered to be one of the most effective diets for lowering sodium intake and blood pressure. The most common source of sodium in our diet is table salt added to foods. Low-sodium cottage cheese spoils quickly, and has very low demand. I can understand why most stores do not want to carry it.

The low sodium diet is the type of diet that is easy to maintain as there are many food choices that are available. As a result, a low sodium lifestyle does not have to be boring and it will not become old. Until next time keep living your best life.

Akalize Or Die

As I continue my research for Natural Cancer Cures, I decided to review a wonderful book that was given to me by my friend about six years ago: “Alkalize or Die”. The author, Dr. Baroody, is quite accomplished in his education and studies, being a Chiropractor, a Naturopathic Doctor, as well as a Ph.D in Nutrition.

His premise for Alkalinity is based on the belief that all illnesses are caused by “too much tissue acid waste in the body!” For those of you who have been following my natural cancer cures research articles, you know that toxicity is the secondary cause of disease, but the primary cause of any disease is oxygen deficiency. However, that small discrepancy is not very important in this review of his most noteworthy and useful reference book, “ALKALIZE OR DIE”.

Though we can measure acidity in the bodily fluids, urine, saliva, and blood, there is no concrete way to evaluate and measure the body’s tissue acidity, since the fluids are constantly running through the cellular tissues, busy removing excess tissue acid wastes. According to Dr. Baroody, “waste acids that are not eliminated when they should be are reabsorbed from the colon into the liver, and put back into the general circulation where they deposit in the cellular tissues (that are most deficient in oxygen). His understanding is that it is these tissue residue re-deposits that determine sickness and health. This is where we differ in the concept of toxicity and how it occurs.

With my research and recent discovery of the importance of oxygen in curing cancer, and all other diseases, in general, I imagine that once the oxygen level declines to such a low state, that the toxins from the cells just stay at the cellular level, because the cells are unable to eliminate, even their own toxic wastes into the bloodstream. Consequently, the toxins remain stationary inside each cell and accumulate more and more. Because the area is oxygen-deficient, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other pathogens (along with their toxic wastes) are naturally attracted to the oxygen deficient cellular tissue areas. When critically abundant levels of toxins accumulate in any location, the body creates tumors (trash bags) as an attempt to isolate and confine the toxins to one place. However, I do think that the toxins in tumors eventually become a combination of both stationary and re-deposited toxins, as the oxygen deficiency becomes more critical, and the elimination organs become affected by those increased deficiencies. Nevertheless, his theory also assumes that the elimination organs simply malfunction (without explanation), rather than the cells in the cellular tissue initially malfunctioning, and not being able to perform their job of elimination of even their own toxic wastes into the blood. So essentially, the cells become “sick” first, and then the organs become sick.

While we can’t accurately measure our cellular tissue acidity with any measuring device, Dr. Baroody has ingeniously devised an ACID SYMPTOM CHECKLIST which uses actual illnesses and bodily discomforts as the “acidity” measuring device. You can use these lists to determine YOUR current level of acidity.

BEGINNING SYMPTOMS

Acne

Agitation

Muscular Pain

Cold hands and feet

Dizziness

Low energy

Joint pains that travel

Food allergies

Chemical sensitivities to odors, gas heat

Hyperactivity

Panic attacks

Premenstrual and menstrual cramping

Premenstrual anxiety and depression

Lack of sex drive

Bloating

Heartburn

Diarrhea

Constipation

Hot urine

Strong smelling urine

Mild headaches

Rapid panting breath

Rapid heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat

White coated tongue

Hard to get up in morning

Excess head mucous (stuffiness)

Metallic taste in mouth

INTERMEDIATE SYMPTOMS

Cold sores

Depression

Loss of memory

Loss of concentration

Migraine Headaches

Insomnia

Disturbance in smell, taste, vision, hearing

Asthma

Bronchitis

Hay fever

Earaches

Hives

Swelling

Viral infections (colds,flu)

Bacterial infections (staph, strep)

Fungal infection (candida albicans, athlete’s foot, vaginal)

Impotence

Urethritis

Cystitis

Urinary infection

Gastritis

Colitis

Excessive falling hair

Psoriasis

Endometriosis

Stuttering

Numbness and tingling

Sinusitis

ADVANCED SYMPTOMS

Crohn’s disease

Schizophrenia

Learning disabled

Hodgkin’s Disease

Systemic Lupus Erythematosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Sarcoidosis

Rheumatoid arthritis

Myasthenia gravis

Scleroderma

Leukemia

Tuberculosis

All other forms of cancer

You can see from these lists that ANY bodily discomfort is a sign of acid toxic waste build-up in one or more parts of your body (caused by nutrient and oxygen deficiency)! These lists will help you pinpoint what tissue acid wastes are present, so that you can begin to alkalize yourself and rid these acids from your cellular tissue and eventually your entire body. The reward will be superior health, energy and strength! Ignoring these symptoms will most likely result in premature death! The choice is most definitely each one of ours to make! I am happy to say that I suffer from none of the symptoms on any of these lists, so I assume that my “alkaline reserve” is abundantly sufficient, and I will expect that reserve to increase with my recent change to an even stricter Vegetarian Diet!

Understanding Minerals

Minerals are extremely important in the alkaline/acid equation. Certain minerals in foods are “acid-binding” which means that in the body they bind acid-toxins and leave alkaline-forming residue in the urine. The “acid-binding” or “alkaline-forming” minerals are the following: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and sodium. Foods or other eaten substances that contain theses minerals, usually leave an alkaline urine residue. Because of this, these foods are considered “alkaline-forming”.

Other minerals are alkaline-binding. This means that they bind the alkaline reserve minerals and leave and acid-forming residue in the urine. The alkaline-binding, or acid-forming minerals are the following: Bromine, Chlorine, Copper, Fluorine, Iodine, Phosphorous, Silicon, and Sulfur. Foods or other substances that contain these minerals usually yield an acid urine residue.

Because Dr. Baroody discovered that other factors besides diet (i.e. emotional, mental, and physical)) also caused changes in urine residue, he attached another component to the definition of alkaline-forming and acid-forming…namely – energy.

Definition: An alkaline-forming reaction refers to any chemical alteration in the body that produces an increased ability to energize the system (body) and leaves and alkaline-residue in the urine.

Definition: An acid-forming reaction refers to any chemical alteration in the body that produces a decreased ability to energize the system and leaves and acid residue in the urine.

Whether something is alkaline or acidic is determined by its pH(potential Hydrogen), which simply measures the number of hydroxyl(OH-) ions, which are negative and alkaline-forming as opposed to the amount of hydrogen (H+) ions that are positive and acid-forming. So, in short, pH measures how much the positive and negative ions counter-balance one another.

We are vibrating (energy) beings and the stronger the inner vibration, the healthier we are! Thus, it is the alkaline-forming reaction that produces an increased ability to supply that vibrating energy!

Dr. Baroody imagines the acid wastes in the body “attacking” our joints, tissues, organs, muscles, organs, and glands (without any explanation as to why): however, I imagine these various areas of the body becoming oxygen and/or nutrient-deficient first and because of the anaerobic nature of bacteria, viruses, pathogens and parasites, they are specifically “attracted” to these areas of the body and start to grow and multiply, causing various illnesses and discomforts wherever they conjugate. Because of these deficiencies within the cells, they don’t have the power or energy to get rid of their own wastes, much less rid the tissue area of the intruders or their toxic wastes. This scenario is the beginning of disease.

Regardless of this subtle difference in opinion concerning acid wastes “attacking” or being “attracted” to various parts of the body, the basic reality is that alkaline food and water are major contributors to optimum health!

Dr. Baroody suggests an easy method to remember the 80/20 Rule for maintaining an “alkaline reserve”. This is of utmost importance because when your alkaline reserve runs out, death occurs! Eat 80% of your daily food from the Alkaline Food list and no more than 20% from the Acid Food List. This proportion will guarantee the much necessary reserve. He provides a convenient Alkaline/Acidity Chart and assigns the relative alkaline and acid values to a large variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, condiments, beverages, meats, animal products, nuts, seeds, oils, sugars, and starches. I have very happily utilized this feature of the book for about 6 years! The doctor also provides a 3-week high Alkaline Menu Planner which is an easy way to start eating a high Alkaline Food Diet immediately.

I was very surprised to discover that all fruits are alkaline-forming EXCEPT blueberries, prunes, plums, and cranberries! According to the doctor’s charts, lemons and watermelons have the highest Alkaline-forming Value of all fruits (but you must remember to eat watermelon, and other melons, all by themselves on an empty stomach, or they will lose value, and most likely become acid-forming). In the Vegetable category, Parsley, Watercress, Seaweed, and Asparagus have the highest alkaline-forming values. For all you avid meat-eaters, THERE ARE NO MEATS that are Alkaline-Forming, so you must counter-balance your daily diet with PLENTY of alkaline-forming foods! For the Grains, the ONLY Alkaline-forming grains are Amaranth, Quinoa and Millet! I remember, years ago when I first read this book, I immediately went out and purchased all three grains and started preparing them exclusively for my morning cereal! I’m sure you will be surprised by some of the values, as I was, but it will definitely make you take notice of what you are eating and when! By the way, the doctor also provides a food-combing chart because if you combine the wrong foods together when you eat, you change their alkaline-forming ability, sometimes, in fact, they even become acid-forming, like the melons! Lots to learn here, but you will be much healthier for paying attention to everything that this doctor points out!

Dr. Baroody also covers many other important factors in detail besides food, that have direct effect on the alkalinity level in our bodies, like the level of Hydrochloric Acid, Water (I will be referencing the doctor’s findings on water in a future post, they are very enlightening!), Sunlight, Moonlight, Physical Trauma, Mental, Music, Art, and Prayer. This is an excellent book for learning how the body works with the very best natural cancer cure in the world… Organic alkaline foods! And to have as a wonderful reference for regaining and maintaining optimum health for the rest of your life!

Remember our goal… Get Well and Stay Well!

Business Alliances – Strategy For Small Business Growth

Business alliances are often overlooked or not given much consideration by small businesses, yet they can be vital in helping a company grow and prosper. All too often, small businesses think alliances are just for big businesses; as a result, they neither explore nor pursue them. However, they can be just as beneficial for small businesses as they are for large corporations. If a small business is serious about gaining access to new markets, capitalizing on technology, growing profits using shared resources, they should consider a business alliance.

It’s no secret, businesses that share resources can create greater efficiencies and become more profitable. Business alliances can increase synergies and mitigate potential risk, while allowing companies to work together toward common goals as they maintain their individuality. There are several types of business alliances, each with its unique attributes.

Now is the time to assess what your business brings to the table. What assets, either tangible or intangible, does your business possess that when leveraged with another company can unlock greater potential for each business?

Alliance opportunities can be developed with suppliers, customers, investors, complementary businesses and friendly competitors. Some alliances are natural matches, while others require some creative thinking. I’ve listed the different types of alliances below, along with a description and example of each. When reading through them, think about how your business can create the benefits of a win-win proposition with another company.

JOINT VENTURE

A joint venture is a contractual arrangement whereby a separate entity is created to carry on a trade or business on its own, separate from the core business of the participating companies. Businesses often come together to share knowledge, markets, funds and profits. In some cases, a large company can decide to form a joint venture with a smaller business in order to quickly acquire critical intellectual property, technology, or resources otherwise hard to obtain. Companies with identical products and services can also join forces to penetrate markets they wouldn’t or couldn’t consider without investing a tremendous amount of resources. Separation is often inevitable because JVs generally have a limited life and purpose.

Example: You’ve developed a product but have a limited distribution base. Another company has the distribution system in place with a sizable market and wants to expand its company’s product offerings. You form a joint venture with the other company to jointly promote the product. It’s a win-win because you don’t have to fund the costs of reaching the potential customers and the other company expands its value and product offering to its current distribution base without having to fund the research and development costs of a new product. A contract would be signed detailing the aspects of the agreement.

STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

A strategic alliance is generally an arrangement whereby a separate entity is not created. Participants engage in joint activities but do not create an entity that would carry on trade or business on its own. The strategic alliance partners may provide resources such as products, distribution channels, manufacturing capabilities, capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, or intellectual property. Each party in the alliance maintains autonomy.

Example: A business management consultant wants to expand his services. He currently offers coaching, marketing, financial and operational consulting. He has noticed an increase demand for HR and diversity consulting from his clientele. He currently has no desire to hire additional personnel with the degrees and certifications required to offer these services. He seeks a strategic alliance with a HR and diversity consulting firm. The new firm agrees to work with his firm when opportunities arise for their services and a percentage of the revenue generated from the services provided will be returned to his firm.

PARTNERSHIP

A partnership is a legal agreement between two parties wherein both the parties agree to share profits and losses of a common business with no anticipated end date.

Example: A company whose primary function is to sell ads and produce unique coupon circulars to promote a variety of small businesses to the residential community had a substantial printing bill monthly. The company sought a partnership with a small printing company. The printing company had the expertise but limited printing volume. It required purchasing equipment that the printer didn’t have but saw a need for. A contract was signed establishing the new company; cost of the equipment was split between the two entities. The coupon circular producer sent all its business to the new venture at a substantial discount. The profits from the new venture were divided among the coupon circular company and the printing company. Each kept their original businesses separate from the new business.

MARKETING ALLIANCE

A marketing alliance is an agreement involving two or more companies to share cost and resources to promote each of the companies within the group. The target markets of the companies within the alliance usually share similar characteristics. The alliance can be a formal or an informal agreement.

Example: A group of locally owned and operated restaurants band together to form a marketing alliance. The alliance, similar to groups throughout the nation, promotes the uniqueness of their cuisines in an effort to stand out against the national chains. The group pools their resources to run ads and produce a direct mail guide to promote their menus, while offering discounts. They pay an upfront fee and then contribute several hundred dollars in gift certificates every quarter. Those certificates are sold online at a discount to help fund their marketing efforts. Donating gift certificates help keep the cost down for the participating restaurateurs.

COLLABORATION

A collaboration is when two or more businesses come together to share resources to create greater efficiencies such as the sharing of employees, equipment, shipping cost, rent, products and etc. Collaborations are generally for specific time periods and resources.

Example: As a small business you may have a difficult time throwing a first class holiday party for your employees. You want to show them just how much they are appreciated but the economy is tight and company funds are even tighter. Pooling your resources to have a party with a complementary company, saves money for both companies and could potentially pay off in new business opportunities and networking.

Managing the Alliances

Each company should bring a balance set of strengths to the alliance but there are other considerations as well. You must manage the alliance to ensure it contributes to the success of each company. Listed below are few of the things you should consider to produce a successful alliance:

1. Alliances should be made with the decision maker. You must have the support and commitment from the business owner and not just a manager.

2. Communication is a key ingredient. Clearly communicate the goals and objectives of the alliance in the beginning.

3. Develop the metrics the alliance will be measured against. Determine how the performance of each of the companies will be measured.

4. Allocate proper resources to the alliance. Don’t get half way through the project before you determine the proper resources were not allocated to the venture.

5. Ensure that all participating employees are committed to the success of the alliance. You need buy-in from everyone involved, not just a few select people.

6. Detail the responsibilities of each of the participating companies. Be explicit in what the expectations are for each of the companies in the alliance.

7. Just like all things, nothing is perfect. Be prepared to make changes if something is not working.

8. Stay committed and focused on the benefits of the alliance rather than the inconveniences the alliance may cause.

Each party must benefit from the alliance for it to be successful. Otherwise, like a marriage, the relationship will go from honeymoon to divorce court quickly and all parties will suffer.

Heartburn: Don’t Blame Stress; It’s Usually an Infection

If you belch or have burning in your stomach or chest, particularly when your stomach is empty, you have either an infection, a tumor, or a condition called GERD in which you belch and have pain and don’t have the foggiest idea why. Your gastroenterologist probably will want to put a tube down your mouth and into your stomach, but the biopsy that he will do to find the germ can often miss the germ when it is there.

At least 24 different bacteria have been shown to cause stomach ulcers. Since doctors do not have any way to check for all 24 different bacteria, all people with belching and burning in the stomach should be given the one-week course of antibiotics that is used to treat the most common cause of stomach ulcers, called Helicobacter Pylori.

I recommend that you get an upper GI series X ray to rule out a tumor, which almost always comes back negative. Then you get a blood test for Helicobacter Pylori and you should be treated with antibiotics, even if the blood test is negative, because there are at least 23 other species of bacteria that this test does not detect. Otherwise, you will be stuck with a diagnosis of regurgitation, called GERD, and you will take medication for the rest of your life.

Twenty years ago, everone believed that stomach problems were caused by stress. In 1983 they laughed at Dr. Barry Marshall when he reported that stomach ulcers were caused by infection with helicobacter pylori and could be cured with antibiotics. Fellow physicians were so mean to him that he responded by swallowing a vial of helicobacter and almost died. This year he won the Nobel Prize for his discovery and his courage.

Now almost every reasonable physician agrees that all people who have belching and burning in the stomach and a positive blood test for helicobacter pylori can be cured with antibiotics, but many gastroenterologists stubbornly refuse to treat patients with a negative blood test or biopsy for that germ. They are clearly wrong because many other bacteria can cause the same symptoms, including including H. helmannii, H. felis, H. rappini, H. cinaedi, H sp. Strain Mainz, H. fennelliae , H. pullorum, H. hepaticus, H. Billis, H. canis, H. Hills, H. mesocricetorum sp nov, cytomegalovirus and mycoplasma.

These germs also grow in saliva, so they can be transmitted between family members and pets. So some doctors prescribe antibiotics to all people with belching and stomach burning, and check the other members of the household for symptoms. The standard treatment, one week of clarithromycin 500 mg twice a day, metronidazole 500 mg twice a day and omeperazole 20 mg once a day, is safe and effective.

At least 12 weeks later, you need a follow up blood test for helicobacter. If your symptoms are gone and the titre drops, you are probably cured. If your helicobacter titre is still high, your helicobacter is probably resistant to metronidazole and you need to be treated for at least ten days with amoxacillin 500 mg four times a day, tetracycline 500 mg three times a day and omeperazole 20 mg once a day. If you have regurgitation of stomach acid into your esophagus (reflux, hiatal hernia), you may need to be treated with 20 mg omeperazole once a day. Some people who are not infected with helicobacter may benefit from taking clarithromycin or other antibiotic for a longer period of time. Check with your doctor.

Helicobacter may also cause liver disease, blood vessel diseases such as clotting and heart attacks, and certain skin conditions such as rosacea.

A Story About Aboriginal Identity

My story begins as a descendant of the original inhabitants of Australia; I am Aboriginal, with a mixture of English and Dutch heritage. During my infant and primary school years until the age of 8 years, I lived with my extended family in a place called “Blackman’s Point”. Like most eastern NSW state localities this too was a massacre site for Aboriginal forefathers and mothers that occurred during the settlement of the coastal town of Port Macquarie in the middle of the 1800’s. “Blackman’s Point” is called “Goolawahl”. (Pronounce as gool-a-wall.) in birripi culture.

The many rivers that flow from the mountains from the west and the Great Diving Range to our coastal sea (Pacific Ocean) in the main have Aboriginal stories about “creation” tied to them. Just as the Western Australian / Northern Territory “Noongar” people and the South Australian “Pitjanjarra” have their “dreamtime” culture and beliefs. So do the NSW, Queensland and Victorian Aboriginal bloodlines.

Australia Aboriginal people in NSW refer to themselves as either ” Goori”,”Boori” or “Murri” and relate this way as opposed to the European version of “Koori”. The kinship we all shared in the 60’s was strong as I remember our rented old farm house at “Blackmans Point” had to endure (just as we did) three major floods being 1963, 1964 and 1966.

Practically the whole entire town of Port Macquarie was under water at some point during those occasions of summer when months of heavy rain falls caused masses of water from the mountains to flow down along the Hastings River (Dhoongang) out to reach the sea only to be pushed back inside by the huge King tides from the Pacific Ocean.

It was during the 1964 flood (biggest on record for Port Macquarie) that our family lost sister Patricia as we both were hospitalised from the onset of double pneumonia. Patricia was one year old, I was 3 years. After the floods of 1966 and up until 1968 our extended families of cousins, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunties, mother,father, grandmothers, grandfathers had to leave the old farm houses (their was two farm houses separated by a bridge over a tributary to the river),they had taken a lot of damage while the floods were raging and no wooden structure could have stood ground like they did any longer when the bridge was washed away, the roads were washed away, the cattle, the sheep, the farmers crops and every other living creature that did not have wings. Luckily Uncle Trevor Rumbel (he was licensed fisherman) had two boats to save us while the Hastings River was pouring in through the front door at 2am in the morning. The front door was elevated 6 feet with wooden stairs down to the creek. (tributary)

My sister Tanya was born in 1966 and Jo-anne was born in 1968, the Vietnam war was on television and little room for all of us kids (their was 13 of us) to fit in front of the one and only black and white television set. We had lots of other swimming, fishing and climbing trees activities to do most of the time. After leaving Port Macquarie and extended family, Dad, Mum, Tanya, Jo-anne and myself moved further north 160 miles or so to the town of Evans Head. Yes, another important Aboriginal place, of the “Bunjalung” people. Evans Head (Goanna Headland) is a mythological site from the “dreamtime”.

Corroboree and cerermonies were conducted on that headland (bora ground) to honour their Goanna spirit totem as well as increase the fish supplies with their Bungalung tribal songs. Evans Head is today as then a fishing town with fishing trawlers and recreational boats moored at the Fish Co-operative along the Evans Head River.

Evans Head had large clay banks (used for ceremonial body painting). After leaving in 1969, we returned back down the coast to Sawtell, which is 10 miles south of Coffs Harbour (pioneer cedar timber mill) with a major jetty built for the ships to transport the rich cedar to England and Europe. Starting 6th grade was in a town called “Woolgoolga”(pop currently 25000) approximately 15 miles north of Coffs Harbour (pop 100,000) on the mid north coast of NSW. Woolgoolga, Sawtell and Coffs Harbour are towns situated in “Gumbaynggir” or “Gumbangar” country. “Woolgoolga is a variation of the Gumbaynggir word for “Weilga” or native plum. My Grandfather William “Goola”(koala) Holten ( 1923 -2002) would tell me that when disputes between tribes of the “Birripi” and neighbouring “Dunghutti”(crow people) occurred it was the Gumbaynggir whom mediated in quarrels. Birripi and Dunghutti people have a long association with the Gumbaynggir. I also learned that the birripi goanna spirit “Booral-men-den-di” (size of Boeing 767)caused sand to be placed high on top of “Yarrahapinni” Mountain (three koala’s rolling down a hill – Gumbaynggir legend) whilst flicking his giant tail into the sandy loam to escape the attacks from the giant “Crows” (Dhungutti). According to “Dreamtime” the Birripi giant goanna spewed fire at the giant crows (Dhungutti) and that is why all crows are black today.

During the European settlement of Port Macquarie as a penal colony in the 1800’s a great battle between European and the combined Birripi, Dhungutti and Gumbaynggir people fought at “Goolawahl”. The story of the battle describes how the Hastings River had turned red with the blood of the fallen.

My mother and sister remain in Woolgoolga and my sister Tanya, Dad and Grandmother have passed away there. After the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed in 1983 which empowered Aboriginal people to claim crown land for its community members in NSW, a lot of great improvements in education, employment and self determination for the Aboriginal people in NSW has eventuated.

In 1993 the High Court of Australia overturned the doctrine of “terra nullius” that Australia was unoccupied when Europeans settled at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). Eddie Mabo elder of the Meriam people claimed common law title to their Murri island off the North Queensland coast and asserted common law rights through the Queensland Federal courts for 10 years that his people had undefeated ownership and occupation of their island and no government of Australia had a better title to it than they.

Eddie Koiki Mabo (1936-1992) passed away before the decision was handed down by the High Court.

In 1997 the Native Title Act 1993 was all but reduced to water with the amendments enacted by the Liberal Government of Australia and then Prime Minister Hon John Howard MP. The so called 10 point “Wik Plan”

(Wik was the name of the Northern Territory, Gulf of Carpentaria tribe) whom were faced with a scheme in order for them to be granted native title they would also have to agree to allow pastoral leases to co-exist with their native title claim in the Gulf of Carpentaria Australia. Also the common law rights of all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people claiming native title were subject to the 10 point Wik Plan.

As planned the “Wik” people:

(whom spoke no English nor could understand a word ) voted ain the affirmative for the proposed amendments to the 1993 Native Title Act to allow pastoral leases over tribal land to co-exist with Native Title owners and for the rest of the Aboriginal race of Australia to prove Native Title in a Federal Court for each application to claim Native Title rights.

I was informed (no names mentioned) that due to the interpreter (government appointed) oversight at the “Wik” conference 1997 it was sometime before the Wik representatives had lowered their hands from the call to vote. Apparently the interpreter had forgot to tell them to stop voting. (tongue in cheek)

Since 1993 ten native title claims have been determined.

As at 2000 561 claimant native title claims have been lodged in Australia.

As at 2000 63 claimant native title claims been lodged for Northern Territory.

I have worked for and a member of Aboriginal Land Council’s since 1992. I was elected Board Member of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council,September 2009.

It Takes Time, But Neck Exercises Do Beautify the Throat

Molding or massage treatments and the use of a brisk astringent are essential steps toward banishing a double chin or flabby throatline, but also you must concentrate on exercises.

Even though you feel a bit skeptical about their effectiveness at first, practice first, practice them regularly for a couple of weeks and you will settle down to doing them in earnest because you can see so much improvement.

Stand with head erect, shoulders square, chest high. Turn the chin over the right shoulder, slowly, stretching all the way. Then turn over the left and as far back as you can. Repeat five times in each direction.

Now drop the chin onto the chest as though your head were too heavy to support. Slowly lift the head and drop backward as far as it will go. Repeat this five to ten times.

Next roll the head slowly all the way around the shoulders, touching the body all the way. To the right five times, then reverse and roll the head around to the left. Sit in a straight-backed chair while you are doing this one as it may make you feel a bit dizzy at first.

Finally, drop the head back as far as you can and slowly open and close the mouth ten times. Remember to do all these exercises slowly. It is the steady, deliberate pull on the muscles that strengthens them and restores their elasticity.

Be sure to cleanse and cream the neck well before any massage treatment or exercise. And finish by wiping off the cream and patting briskly with ice water or astringent to help further in firming and toning the tissues.

For the chin that is not really double, but merely baggy and loose, do the same exercises, only less strenuously. Use plenty of facial oil or rich cream.

If the throat is creepy, stringy looking or scrawny, take the same exercises. Exercise uses the muscles, making them fuller, stimulating the circulation and improving the skin texture and color. Use lots of rich cream and occasionally, when you have time for a prolonged treatment, a warm oil or a milk mask preparation that will speed up circulation, banish that dull look and cause flakes of dead skin to slough off. All chins need cold water smacked under them in the morning and occasionally a quick ice rub before make-up is applied.

And do pay more attention to make-up. Necks need the same thoughtful treatment you give your face. Use a foundation. A powder lotion is generally considered best as it lasts and lasts and is less likely to rub off on the collar of your frock. If the neck is thin and dry, however, you may use some of your cream foundation if you will put it on sparingly, powder with more care, then go over the area quickly with a pad of cotton moistened with cold water. This will set the makeup and give a clear, natural look to the skin.

There’s another enemy you may have to eliminate or at least try to avoid if you want a pleasantly youthful face – the lines from the corners, of the nose to the mouth. Give them some attention when you are having your throat treatment. Apply rich cream and with two fingers of each hand, begin at the sides of the chin and mold upward to the nose. Think of something pleasant while you work so the corners of the lips will be automatically lifted and relaxed. Repeat the upward massage about twenty times.

Another exercise that’s equally good is to hold the lips together firmly and fill the cheeks with air. Then smack briskly up over the same lines. Slowly expel the air, relax and repeat several times.

How to Boost Your Immune System to Fight Off Colds and Flu

If you would like to learn about how to boost your immune system then you’ll want to read this article. Did you know that that there are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold. Some of the more common ones include rhinovirus, corona virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and para-influenza, and the most famous one as of late is the swine flu virus, each one with their own severity.

Influenza which is commonly mistaken merely as a severe cold due to their similarities of symptoms, is one of the more serious and contagious viruses around. Many viruses can cause a cold but only a few can cause flu. Contrary to popular beliefs you cannot catch flu from cold temperatures. The Flu is more serious than a cold as it has the potential of leading to other complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infection and even meningitis. A person with severely weakened immune system death is even probable.

Our immune system is a network of specialized cells that work to clear infection and to protect our body from the millions of bacteria and viruses we may be exposed to every day. Therefore it is best, if our immune system is at its strongest and performing at its best possible level, to be able to fight the many different types of bacteria and viruses no matter what its origin.

Due to the sheer number of viruses, currently there is no medical cure for colds. Therefore preventative measures that will strengthen your immune system have proven significantly successful and is generally the recommended route.

Our bone marrow produces immune cells which is called B-cell lymphocytes. These produce antibodies and attach to any foreign bodies in our system ready for their destruction. While T-cell lymphocytes, which are produced in our thymus attack and destroy any diseased cells and foreign bodies until any infection is cleared.

When our immune system is not working correctly due to poor nutrition, alcohol and drug abuse or exposure to toxins, its ability to fight off infections and diseases is greatly compromised. To ensure our immune system has the strength it needs to keep our body healthy and functioning optimally, we need to obtain all the nutrients we need to sustain good chemical, nutritional and hormonal balance, giving our natural defenses the tools and weapon it needs to combat any destructive foreign invaders within our body.

Common sense dictates that first we need to adopt good healthy eating habits. Eating processed foods have no nutritional value that can provide our bodies useful tools and immune weapons, so to speak. Only by eating the right kinds of foods and you know what I am talking about, can we give our body the helping hand it needs to boost our immune system.

Now, it would be great if we can get all the nutrients our bodies need from the foods we eat everyday but we know that is not reality. Therefore the only way to make sure we get the most optimized nutrition is to incorporate quality supplements into our diets. Supplements that contain essential minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and specialty nutrients are vital in boosting and maintaining a strong immune system.

Conclusion: Catching a cold or even flu for most of us is inevitable. But by creating a strong immune system we can be assured that our body’s defense system can almost handle anything thrown against it thus improving our quality of life. Isn’t that what we are all after?

To learn more about the quality supplements I recommend see the resource below.

Resource:

How Do Vibration Platforms Work to Strengthen Muscle and Bone?

What are vibration platforms and how do they work?Vibration Platforms are exercise machines which consist of a vibrating or oscillating platform, when you stand or sit on this platform or do a workout using the platform the mechanical energy oscillations are transferred to the body as a whole. This is one reason it has also been called Whole Body Exercise Vibration Training.

The vibration plate causes very rapid muscle contractions thirty to fifty times per second that work your muscles continuously. These contractions not only build muscle and bone density, but improve flexibility, burn fat, increase metabolism, improve circulation, improve cellular oxygen and nutrient delivery which slows the degenerative/ageing process!The platform drops either 2 or 4 mm. This is a very small and gentle drop.

For example, let’s say that you are standing on the vibration plate with a gentle knee bend. Once the platform drops 2 mm, your muscle is quickly lengthened, or ‘stretched’. The body reacts to this by quickly contracting the muscle. By the time it does that, the platform is already back at the first position. The platform drops again and this is repeated. Since the platform has been designed to do this 20 to 50 times per second, you can get a maximum of 50 muscle contractions per second! In one minute, you can actually get 3000 safe and gentle muscle contractions. This is the equivalent to doing 3000 knee bends. You can only imagine how long that would take without the platform.No matter what your physical condition, the subconscious stretch reflexes will tighten almost all your muscles at once with vibration exercise. That compares with just 45 per cent of muscle fibres used during conventional training.

Traditional training increases muscle strength because your body reacts to the extra resistance created by the weights over and above regular gravity. With Vibration Training your body reacts to acceleration rather than extra weight, which is many times greater than standard training stimuli. And one repeated 30 or 50 times a second. Your body has to adapt even more to overcome this greater load, and so achieve your training targets faster. Further, the vibrations increase the production of regenerative and repair hormones, improve blood circulation in skin and muscles, strengthen bone tissue, improve lymph drainage and increase the basal metabolic rate. All this results in more strength, more speed, more stamina, rapid recovery of muscles and tissue, increased flexibility, mobility and coordination, anticellulitis, collagen improvement, and fat reduction. The “more is better” principle does not apply to vibration training. You look and feel fitter, but you do not have to train more intensively.

The added value of the Vibration Plate is improved training quality and effectiveness, so you can shorten your sessions and recover faster. The superior muscle-activation that the vibration machine stimulates compared to conventional training, means that less time is required to work muscle groups completely. A one minute workout on this vibration platform burns more energy and creates strength improvements. In addition to these muscle contractions, vibration exercise is also able to work more of the muscles. Because the vibration effect makes the muscles contract involuntarily, all muscles that are being exercised will be activated. In fact, with regular training such as weight lifting, only 40% of your muscles will be working. With vibration exercise, that number can reach nearly 100%. Not only will you get more muscle contractions in a short period of time, but also more of your muscles will be working during this time. All improved his leads to vibration exercise being a safe and fast way to exercise effectively.This is achieved with minimal stress on the joints and ligaments. You can perform static or dynamic movements including standing, sitting, kneeling, lying, and placing your hands on it. Almost any exercise from a typical gym workout to passively sitting on a chair and resting your feet can be done on a vibration platform.

Benefits for Strength Training

Force = Mass X Acceleration

Don’t let this formula scare you! All it simply means is the following: Whenever we exercise our muscles, we are using Force to lift more or lift faster. There are two ways to get stronger: lift heavy weights (increasing the MASS to get more Force), or lift lighter weights but faster (keep the same weight but increase the ACCELERATION). WAVE vibration exercise works on increasing acceleration (rapid movement of the platform) rather than increasing the amount you lift, thereby placing less stress on your joints and ligaments. Positive benefits on circulationGentle rapid contractions allow the muscle to work as a pump, resulting in increased blood flow within the circulatory system. This results in the body to carry off waste products much faster, thereby enhancing circulation and recovery. Positive benefits on boneVibration exercise has a positive effect on bone. This is based upon Wolffe’s law, which states that bone responds to the physical stresses put on it. Rapid muscular contractions with the vibration platform will lead to increased strength and favorable stresses being placed on the bone.

Positive benefits to Geriatrics

Aging is not simply about extending life years, but increasing the quality of life. ‘Functional age’ is much more important that ‘chronological age.’ This is interpreted as the ability of an individual to maintain certain parameters as they age, such as strength, balance, and agility. Exercise has shown significant benefits in combating some of these problems.

Aging and Inactivity

Muscle loss occurs at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 40 Bone density is correlated with muscle strength. Decreases in muscle mass and strength can affect bone density Loss of muscle strength may increase risk of falls and fractures To implement an exercise program for the aging population, it must be safe, gentle, and effective. Whole body vibration has attracted increased attention as an exercise alternative to combat the effects of inactivity and aging. Current research has shown positive benefits. These results have led to continuing research around the world, reinforcing vibration exercise’s role in promoting healthy aging.

Aging and Vibration Exercise

  • Improvement in chair rising test, indicative of improvement in muscle power
  • Improved elements of fall risk and health-related quality of life
  • Ability to promote ambulatory competence (improved walking) in elderly women
  • Beneficial for balance and mobility in nursing home residents with limited functional dependency
  • High compliance with vibration exercise

Scientific principles underlying vibration training:

  • Myotatic Stretch Reflex
  • Tonic Vibration Reflex
  • Neurological Adaptation to Exercise Excitation of the GTO (Golgi Tendon Organ)
  • Optimal Recruitment of Motor Units
  • Force and power output through increased acceleration Stretch-Shortening-Cycle (SSC)
  • Model Effects on the Hormonal System
  • Effects on the Circulatory System
  • Effect on the skeletal system through Wolff’s Law adaptation, shifting the force/velocity curve to the right (faster strength gains)

Exercise is an excellent preventative method in dealing with the disability associated with the progression of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing and resistance-training exercises are often recommended. However, with traditional vigorous exercise programs, there is a lack of long-term compliance in addition to having the potential to increase the risk of fracture. Whole body vibration exercise can be seen as an excellent alternative or complement to regular training, allowing an individual to effortlessly achieve similar results to conventional training in less time, thereby increasing compliance. Mechanical stress produced by muscle contractions plays a significant role in the maintenance of bone strength. Vibration exercises ability to improve muscle force and power, may be an effective strategy for preventing the onset and progression of osteoporosis.

Whole body vibration has demonstrated positive effects on blood flow. Gentle rapid contractions, repeated at a high rate, allow the muscle to work as a pump, resulting in increased blood flow within the peripheral circulatory system. This results in the body carrying off waste products much faster, thereby enhancing recovery.

Summary of vibration exercise effects:

  • Similar strength gains from 3 months of vibration exercise (maximum time 20 minutes) compared to 1 hour of conventional strength training
  • Doubling of blood circulation after vibration training, resulting in the body carrying off waste products much faster, thereby enhancing recovery.
  • Duration vibration exercise stimulates force and power output
  • Significant hormonal effects from training (increased testosterone and growth hormone, and decreased cortisol, ‘stress hormone’) Increased flexibility Increased explosive power
  • Explosive strength increases from 10 minutes a day of vibration training for 10 days is equivalent to those found from 200 drop-jumps from 24 inches, twice a week, for a year
  • Accelerated gains in neurological adaptation, shifting the force/velocity curve to the right (faster strength gains)

Results of a Client Study: After 12 weeks of steady use once, twice or three times per week with 20 subjects, these positive effects have been reported by those involved in this trial:1.Increased endocrine balance:

a) improved blood sugar control which may be from reduced insulin resistance

b) reduced cortisol response and improved recovery and sense of well-being from overall reduction in stress hormone

c) improved anabolic state: cosmetic hair regrowth in eyebrows, lower legs, arms and hands

d) no delayed-onset muscle soreness due to anabolic state after challenging strength exercise

e) elimination of hot flashes

f) restoration of normal female menstrual cycle

2. Increased range of motion

a) improved joint range in throacic spine in all planes of movement

b) improved flexibility in all muscle groups and in overall ROM (Range of Movement)

c) improved ability to tolerate new ranges of motion in ideal form

d) restoration of normal length tensions (tight muscles disappeared)

3. Improved circulation and lymphatic return:

a) swelling reduced in inflamed joints

b) body feels like you’ve done an hour of cardio in 10 mintues

c) improved respiration function

d) growing hair on lower legs, forearms and hands again

e) clients feel better, improved state

4. Rapid growth of lean muscle:a.) personal records in strength and performance:

a.)clients are lifting heavier than ever and able to hit the golf ball in good form further than ever before

b.) most clients have reduced their clothing by one size while gaining one or two pounds

c.) clients are and appear visibly leaner

5. Improved proprioception, balance, righting and tilting reflexesa.)

a.)clients with movement processing challenges are able to learn new motor patterns quickly and then are able to perform the new task on the ground in ideal form

b.) previous processing problems are eliminated by proprioceptive advantages of Power Plate: clients can “feel” the ideal form better and learn more quickly

6. Loss of subcutaneous fat:

a.) cellulite remodeling: dimples are vanishing

b.) “skin fits better”

7. Pain reduction

a.) clients with pain are able to diffuse pain in 30 seconds on the Power Plate, then perform their workout

b.) stabilizer muscles activate more completely and efficiently: when segmental stabilization is required, clients can “find” the fibers more easily, and stabilization occurs more like a symphony as a result

8. Increased energy

a.) Clients feel better, the report a “spring in their step”

b.) Clients are sleeping better, reporting less need for sleep aids

c.) Clients are reporting having the energy to make healthy food choices and are hungry for healthier foods

Overall, myself included, all members of the trial feel better each time they use the Power Plate.

Study participants include some individuals with training experience, some with no exercise training age. Twelve women participated whose ages range from 16 to mid-forties, fifties, low sixties. Three men participated whose ages are 19, 44, 74.

Top 10 Common Pet Iguana Illnesses

Iguanas are not immune to falling ill. Just like humans, they can become sick at any time and when it happens they will need the necessary treatment and care to recover from their illnesses. Here are some common iguana sicknesses that need veterinary attention immediately as well as sufficient medication. Take note, otherwise you could end up losing your favorite pet.

1) Fibrous Osteodystrophy or Metabolic Bone Disease: This results from extreme malnutrition and bad feeding. When you purchase your pet, you should take advice on nutrition from the pet shop. A common issue with iguana owners is that they often like to feed their pets lettuce and squash. However, lettuce contains no nutrient value and is therefore referred to as a water sponge. What happens here is that the situation will become worse because there is a lack of vitamin D3 and therefore insufficient calcium intake by your iguana. This can be dangerous and can even lead to death. Symptoms of this disease include a soft, rubbery face and lower jaw, a swollen lower jaw, listlessness, swollen limbs and difficulty in eating. The limbs and spine can be easily fractured as well.

2) Paralysis of the back legs: This is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 and often the iguana’s tail will also become badly affected. In order to cure this condition, your vet will inject the essential required vitamins and minerals into your pet and will also recommend an immediate change in diet.

3) Nose abrasions: When an iguana is unhappy or insecure in its new environment it will try to escape several times and this can cause scratches and abrasions on the nose and face. While they look for an escape route they usually scratch and rub their noses on the wire, glass or plastic tank enclosures. If the abrasions remain untreated by you, bacterial infection, ulceration of the rostrum and various other deformities are likely to occur.

4) Thermal injuries or burns: If you are not careful when installing the light bulbs or hot rocks in your pet’s cage, then these areas can be easily exposed and therefore can cause burns through contact with them. Lights must be situated above the enclosures so that they cannot be reached by the iguana and hot rocks should be avoided altogether.

5) Bacterial infection: There are a couple of different types of bacterial infections that can harm your iguana. If your pet is continuously exposed to a damp and filthy environment, it may become infected with the blister disease. Lack of proper hygiene and adequate sanitation can lead to dry gangrene of the toes and nails. These areas then become dark gray or black and begin to break off. If your iguana has swelling, inflammation or pus in its mouth, then it has got the Mouth Rot infection. The pus will cause abscesses in the mouth as well.

6) Parasites: Parasites are a common cause of death in iguanas that are held in captivity. They will settle inside the blood contained in the gastrointestinal tract which is very dangerous. Parasites, like other diseases, should be treated immediately.

7) Viral Infection: There is still ongoing research with regard to the causes and cures of these infections in iguanas but regardless there are known to be very harmful to iguanas.

8) Organ failure: This usually occurs due to old age or as a result of an existing bacterial infection. Your pet will show signs of loss of appetite, bloating, weight loss, listlessness and it might even cause death.

9) Bladder stones: This can cause the abdomen to become enlarged and can cause a lot of discomfort and pain to your iguana.

10) Egg-binding: This occurs in females when they cannot pass their egg through their reproductive tract. A little assistance from you in this case can help.

These are some of the more common illnesses that can affect your iguana’s health. Should you notice any symptoms of these conditions be sure to take immediate action and if required take your pet to the vet.

The Transverse Abdominis – The Spanx of Your Abdominal Muscles

Spring is here and summer is around the corner. Many people equate this time of the year with beautiful weather, vacation, warmer temperatures, less clothing, and the beach. I think you know where I am going with this. We are entering the dreaded bathing suit season!

If you are looking to firm up your stomach, prevent or reduce low back pain, prepare for childbirth or postpartum recovery, or just want to look good on the beach, continue reading. The following article will teach you the importance of strengthening your transverse abdominis muscle so that you can begin flattening your stomach this week.

Are you wondering what the transverse abdominis is?

The transverse abdominis, also known as the TVA muscle, is the deepest innermost layer of all abdominal muscles and is located underneath your rectus abdominis (the six-pack stomach muscle). The transverse abdominis muscle runs horizontally across the abdomen and is recruited almost anytime a limb moves.

The transverse abdominis assists in the breathing process by assisting in exhalation and helps compress the internal organs. However, its main function is to activate the core musculature and stabilize the pelvis and low back prior to movement of the body. It acts as a natural “weight belt” or muscular girdle by resisting flexion of the lumbar spine. In return, the TVA keeps the cervical spine in a neutral position during core training and helps to improve posture, muscle balance, and stabilization. A strong TVA provides a solid foundation for any movement.

So why care about the transverse abdominis?

Since the TVA acts as a muscular girdle, it stabilizes your pelvis and provides more support against outside forces. It protects against repetitive physical stresses from various motions your body makes such as twisting, bending, running, squatting, etc. A strong TVA will help you transfer force more efficiently through the muscles, rather than through your back and joints, thus aiding in the prevention and reduction of aches and pains caused by related forces.

That all sounds good, but what about that bikini/beach ready body that was mentioned in the first part of this article?

Not only does a developed transverse abdominis muscle help protect your back and joints during movement, but a strong and well developed TVA also equates to a tighter, slimmer waist.

How does the TVA aid in a flatter stomach and what is the difference between the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis muscles?

If you have ever seen a fit individual with a washboard or “six-pack” stomach, they most likely have very developed rectus abdominis muscles. The rectus abdominis muscle is the most superficial of all abdominal muscles. It runs vertically and has the main role of flexing the body forward. Whenever these muscles are developed, they grow outward. This can be good, but depending on your total body fat percentage, this can also be bad. If you have a very low body fat percentage, this can create the infamous six pack stomach look. However, if you have a higher body fat content and a layer of fat over these muscles, your stomach may look as if it bulges outward. It may not even matter that your rectus abdominis muscles are well developed and strong. If there is fat over these muscles, you will look more bulky in your stomach region. Building your rectus abdominis muscle and not focusing on strengthening other areas is analogous to letting out your belt.

While the rectus abdominis muscle responds to strengthening exercises by developing outward, the transverse abdominis muscle develops inward and in effect, as mentioned earlier, is analogous to tightening your belt or wearing a muscular girdle. It is like the Spanx of the abdominal muscles! So, regardless of your current body fat percentage, developing the transverse abdominis muscle will help flatten your tummy and ultimately help you feel better in your clothes. For those who have a lesser body fat percentage, a developed TVA muscle will create excellent definition and frame around your stomach so that you will look and feel better without looking bulky or too muscular. Remember, this is true as long as you eat a well balanced, holistic and nutritional diet geared towards your body-type, participate in cardiovascular activities 4-5 days per week, and strength train your entire body, not just one part.

What causes a weak transverse abdominis and what are some problems associated with weakness in this muscle?

In many cases, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can cause weakness in the transverse abdominis. Surgical procedures that involve cutting of the abdominal wall can also create a dysfunctional TVA. Caesarian sections, hysterectomies, hernias, and child-birth are just some of the procedures that can be responsible for this weakness. During such surgeries, the muscles, nerves, and tissues are cut causing a loss of neurological impulse. After these surgeries, your brain will try to recruit your stomach muscles to wake them up, but they oftentimes do not answer. A lack of neural drive to the core muscles can create the belly to push outward, creating a “pooch belly.” This pooch belly will be more pronounced the weaker your TVA is and/or the heavier you are as an individual.

A weak TVA can further create poor body movement quality and instability, which oftentimes leads to early degeneration of bones and joints. Exercises geared towards strengthening the TVA muscle aid in reconnecting the nervous and muscular systems so that the stomach muscles can function properly again and rid of the pooch belly.

Another cause of a weak transverse abdominis is improper training of the core. For the vast majority of us, abdominal training has involved flexion and extension (bending) movements that focus almost exclusively on the rectus abdominus. For many years, people have been taught to train the wrong muscle during abdominal exercises. How many times have you been told to focus on flexion and extension exercises to strengthen your core? By doing crunches and other bending exercises for your stomach muscles, you are essentially only shortening the rectus abdominis and in effect pushing out the abdomen, not pulling it in, which can cause problems if you are not also training your TVA.

How do you get a stronger transverse abdominis?

If you dread or despise crunches, you are in luck. To develop and strengthen the transverse abdominis, you will not have to do any flexion or extension exercises. To build strength in your TVA muscle, you will need to know how to activate it through a series of “draw-in” abdominal maneuvers. “Drawing in your abdominal muscles” is a conscious process and takes a lot of practice, but once you get it, you will see great results.

For many people, learning to draw in the abdominals is a difficult process. Most people are used to working their core by developing the rectus abdominis muscles through conventional methods such as crunches, sit-ups, and other flexion/extension exercises which push out the abdominal wall. The concept of drawing in is the exact opposite of rectus abdominis training. It is the process where you pull in your abdominal wall.

The lying draw-in maneuver is just one of several exercises that can be used to train the TVA, the most important abdominal muscle in your body. It is a great one to add to your fitness program, as it will help you fine-tune your body and abs so that you can feel confident and sexy in your clothes, bathing suit, bikini and swim trunks this summer! To learn how to do this TVA exercise, type in “lying draw in maneuver” into your favorite search engine and click on the links listed for more information.

Good luck,

Glandular Fever Treatment and Mould (Biotoxic Illness)

Most patients respond well to a natural glandular fever treatment plan that involves adequate rest, a healthy diet, nutritional support, liver cleansing, stress management and graded exercise. However there is a small proportion of patients who seem to stay sick regardless of what they do.

When glandular fever treatment is not working it is important to look at the patient’s immediate environment. Could something in their workplace or home be suppressing their immune system to the point where they can’t mount a defence to the Epstein Barr virus that causes GF?

Recent research has spotlighted mould exposure as a reason why some people have poor immunity and an inability to shake off common infections. Symptoms of mould exposure are similar to those of Epstein Barr – fatigue, headaches, swollen glands, malaise, poor concentration, red sore throat and respiratory disorders.

If you suspect that your glandular fever treatment is not working then have a good look around your home and work place. Can you see any visible mould? Is there a musty smell in your living areas? Do your clothes or shoes go mouldy in your cupboard or drawers? Has your home been flooded or water damaged? Do your colleagues think your work place is unhealthy or talk of “Sick Building Syndrome”.

If you answered yes to any of the above then you may need to consider a mould eradication program as part of your glandular fever treatment plan.

The first step is to throw out any damp or mouldy items in your living areas. The second step is to fix the cause of any dampness like a wet basement, leaky roof or rising damp. Mould experts can come into your home to remove toxic mould and eliminate mould spores. It is advisable that these jobs are not done by you if you are undergoing glandular fever treatment as they may make you temporarily sicker.

Finding a good holistic doctor who can treat mould exposure may be a necessary step for some patients during glandular fever treatment. Recent research by American doctor Dr Richie Shoemaker is showing promising results with the use of certain medications which bind to mould and mould toxins in the body. Research is still in the early stages but good inroads are being made every year in this complex area.

If you are undergoing glandular fever treatment then please consider your immediate environment and your exposure to mould.

Ayurveda Treatment For Diabetes

Diabetes is a wide spread chronic disease of which 80-90% are Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Beta Cells of the Pancreas Glands is responsible for Insulin which is essential for proper utilisation of carbohydrates. If insulin is absent, the carbohydrates is not utilised and these appear in the blood in the form of Glucose. Main problem with Diabetes is that it is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The main symptoms are: excessive urine formation & frequent urination, burning of palms and soles, increased hunger, excessive thirst, sweet taste to mouth, weight loss, blurry vision, wounds that take time to heal, skin Infections, unexplained extreme fatigue etc. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to Heart attacks, Strokes, Blindness, Nerve damage, Impotence etc.

Drugs, Insulin injections and all other Medicines available for diabetes can only control the level of sugar in blood stream and may not be effective at all times. And also it should be consumed throughout your life time.

According to Ayurveda, diabetes is not just lack of insulin. Its most probable cause is poor maintenance of your body which can be improved through Panchakarma treatments like hebal purge for the liver, pancreas, spleen, colon and the digestive tract and herbal massages, modification of diet and exercise, Yoga and breathing exercise.

Treatments Methods for Diabetes

After the diagnosis, the doctor sets out to treat the patient in a very systematic manner. This would include a set of appropriate Panchakarma treatments and Rasayana therapies .

The Panchakarma Treatments are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.

The Rasayana Therapies are meant to nourish the body, to bring the doshas back to balance and to regenerate the body.These comprise diet regulations, daily regimens, intake of oral medicines and ayurveda tonics, yoga and a stress free life. After the treatment the ayurveda doctors will advise you how to lead a healthy life. The benefits and results of the treatment are shown only after the Rasyana Treatment is over and doctors advise is strictly followed. The results will manifest itself normally after 3 to 4 weeks as the body takes time to regenerate itself.

Panchakarma for Diabetes

Pre-purification therapies are the first ones applied to loosen the toxins, open up the circulation channels and get the body ready for discarding these wastes. These methods are highly relaxing for the body and mind. The commonly adopted pre-purification therapies for Diabetes are Snehapanam, thalapothichil and thakradhara.

Snehapanam: Medicated ghee, eaten in empty stomach, for its first hand therapeutic value, is called Snehapanam. The treatment involves the removal of hard-core toxins and wastes from the body. Snehapanam is one of the excellent preparatory methods before the main Panchakarma. The ghee lubricates all the channels of the body, including the lymph, and forces out the toxins from them, into the digestive tract. It also calms down the mind and reduces mental stress. As a result, the body immunity increases, the effects of the ailments subside and frequent recurrence of the disease is prevented. It also increases the person’s appetite level and accelerates peristaltic movements of the intestine.

The medicated ghee is prepared by processing herbal paste, herbal juice, milk, ghee etc. The herbal paste and juice are selected, based on the disease being treated, from herbs like amaltas,Sarsaparilla,Jaman,Indian Kino Tree, guggul, ginger, neem, onion, chopchini, tribhala, malabar nut, sweet flag, mustard etc. The herb chopchini has powerful anti inflammatory and antibiotic properties and gives the effect of a steroid. Snehapanam, done once a day in empty stomach, is usually continued for 3 to 7 days. The exact duration and type of ghee to be used are decided by the doctors who treat you .

Thalapothichil, In Thalapothichil, the person’s scalp is completely applied with high value medicinal pastes. This enables the medicines to penetrate faster into the brain cells. The healing properties of the herbs also calm down the nervous system and rejuvenate the person. To start the treatment, the person sits on a chair, well relaxed. Selected medicinal herbs, thoroughly ground and made into fine paste, is then thickly applied on to his scalp. The head is then covered up with leaves, usually banana leaves, to form a perfect mask. This is done to allow the medicines to stay on and function well. The mask remains on the person’s head for almost 40 to 50 minutes giving wonderful relaxation to the mind. The effect of the medicines calms down the nerves, relieves mental tension, increases the person’s memory power and improves his sleep pattern. Herbs and fruits such as gooseberry, henna, asparagus, moringa ,guggul, lotus, seeds, sandalwood, nut grass tuber etc. are used in the treatment. They are first moisturized in buttermilk before being grinded to a paste form. The paste thus obtained becomes a rich blend of various cooling agents.

Thakradhara Thakradhara means the profuse pouring of medicine-rich buttermilk on a person’s forehead. The treatment induces coolness to the brain, relaxes the mind, reduces mental stress and increases memory power. Thakradhara is a good treatment for diabetes. Thakradhara starts with a mild, full body oil massage to loosen the nerves and muscles. After this, medicated buttermilk is poured on the person’s forehead relentlessly for almost an hour. Such continuous out pour of buttermilk, directly on the head, gives wonderful relaxation to the mind and soul. A prolonged treatment for 2-3 weeks not only removes diabetes but also recoups the total mental status of the person. Excellent cooling and therapeutic agents are used in this treatment. The buttermilk is made by boiling milk with assorted herbs. It is then cooled, fermented and cream-removed. The left over buttermilk is the medium used for Thakradhara. The assorted herbs used are gooseberry, sida plant, neem, bark of ficus, nut grass tuber, sandal wood, lotus, etc. Gooseberry and lotus are excellent cooling agents.

Main purification Therapies for Diabetes

This is the phase of elimination of toxins that were loosened at the pre-purification treatment stage. These therapies are highly potential methods and are usually overseen by doctors. The three commonly adopted Panchakarma treatments for Diabetes are Vamanam, Virechanam and Vasti .

Vamanam Induced vomiting, using herbal medicine is called Vamanam. This treatment is effective for diabetes. It is one among the renowned Panchakarma treatments. Through vamanam, the toxins and acids of the upper parts of the body are completely eradicated. As the channels are freed from harmful toxins, the body tissues get recharged. The person’s memory power also increases, the sense organs get better clarity and his digestive fire increases. In total, the person gets a powerful revitalized feeling. Vamanam, in addition to treating many diseases, also rejuvenates the person’s body and mind. These methods loosen the impurities of the body channels and prepare the body for the main treatment. The person is made to drink sweetened milk stomach full, followed by a single dose of medicinal decoction. In 2 or 3 minutes he vomits, throwing out all the excessive acids, and toxic substances of the body. The medicinal decoction used is made of black Pepper, beetle killer root,Tamarind and Liquorice. Salt and honey are also added to it when consumed.

Virechanam is the intake of oral medicines leading to the elimination of toxins through the anal route. It eliminates excess bile toxins from the mid zone of the body. Virechanam constitutes one of the treatments of Panchakarma. When the digestive tract is clean and toxic-free, it benefits the entire body system. As a result, the person’s appetite increases, body strength enhances and the person becomes active and buoyant. Thus virechanam also functions as an excellent rejuvenative procedure. Herbal powder, medicated castor oil, or herbal paste is commonly used as the purgative medicine. Avipathychoornam is the herbal powder generally used for the treatment. It is a mixture of herbs like turpith, embellia fruits, dry ginger,lotus,cardamom, long pepper,konch,sweet flag, cinnamon, etc. The treatment usually begins early in the morning. The person consumes the appropriate herbal medicine in empty stomach. The medicine does a good cleansing of the entire digestive system. And within 1 to 2 hours he empties his bowels, expelling along with it, all the accumulated toxins. The dose of medicines, diet patterns etc. are to be strictly followed as per the doctor’s recommendation. Virechanam, using strong medicines, is mostly done only once in a month under the supervision of doctors.

Vasthi is an enema therapy and is considered the ace colon cleaning panchakarma treatment. In this form of treatment special medicines are introduced through the anal route for the evacuation of accumulated toxins and metabolic wastes. It washes out all the toxins in the metabolic system through the digestive tract. It is highly recommended in the treatment of diabetes. As an effective rejuvenating health therapy, vasthi imparts high immunity and longevity, reduces degeneration of tissues, and prevents aging. Dill seeds, bael, honey, rock salt, herbal pastes, oils and decoctions are the main ingredients used in vasthi.

Rasayana Therapies for Diabetes

These are body nourishing therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind after the Panchakarma treatments. They keep the enzymes in the tissue cells in their normal functioning condition, restore and balance the body functions and maintain the overall health and well being of an individual for much longer periods after the Panchakarma course. Rasayana includes oral medicines and diet regulation.

Oral medicines for Diabetes

Oral medicines used for treating diabetes will be extracts of pure medicinal herbs, leaves, spices etc. These are prepared specifically to restore the lost balance and to provide the needed inputs to cure Diabetes.Kashayam and Arishtam – herbal decoctions and fermentationsLehyams – semi solid formulation are commonly prescribed. Some of the herbs and spices used in the preparation of kashayams and lehyams for treating Diabetes include neem, gurmar leaves, karela and vinca rose etc.

Diet regulations for Diabetes

Diet regulation will be suggested for patients suffering from Diabetes during and after the treatment. They should strictly avoid sugar in any form. Apart from this consumption of rice, bananas, potatoes, and sweet fruits should also be avoided. They can however consume a low calorie, low fat and alkaline diet. Seeds of bitter gourd, and fenugreek, Vegetables such as bitter gourd, cucumber, onion, garlic, Fruits such as Indian gooseberry and grape fruits, Grains such as Bengal gram and black gram, Dairy products such as home made cottage cheese, curd, butter milk etc can all be consumed. Besides, consumption of raw vegetables are always advisable. You can find out your type of prakruthi and decide a diet for yourself

Yoga and Life style for Diabetes

Yoga and meditation are always beneficial and have always played a vital part in curing every type of disease. Yoga exercises done every day replenish and re balance the physical and emotional systems that are depleted by the everyday stresses that lie so heavy on our lives. Yoga makes it possible to rest on a strong base of confidence and strength within oneself. Light yoga postures, meditations and breathing exercises are advised. Yoga exercises such as Bhujang Asana,( cobra pose), Shalabah Asana( Locust pose) and Dhanur Asana( Bow pose ) are highly beneficial.

Life Style for Diabetes Patients suffering from Diabetes are advised to take at least one or two weeks of rest after the Panchakarma experience. At this time the body is weak after the purification process and needs time to get back to normalcy. Diabetes patients are advised to avoid sleep during the day. It should be remembered that they should avoid all sorts of injuries as any injury, especially that of the foot may take long time to heal . Proper care must be given to the upkeep of the eyes as the disease in an advanced stage can cause major problems for the eyes. Exercises such as cycling, swimming and jogging are recommended.

Type 2 Diabetes – The Key to the State of Your Health Is Your Diet!

If more people became educated about the importance of a healthy diet, there wouldn’t be nearly as many health problems in our society. Practically all of the common diseases encountered by adults today are a result of a poor lifestyle, where an unhealthy diet is an ultimate factor. Everything revolves around your food choices: your weight, your energy levels, your immune system, and your internal well-being all depend on a healthy diet to be at an optimal state…

  • if you eat too much, you’ll gain weight,
  • if your diet does not contain a healthy balance of nutrients, your energy levels will suffer, and
  • if your diet is poor, your immune system will be compromised.

And of course, you’ll leave yourself vulnerable to a host of diseases if your internal health is impaired.

While physical activity is an essential factor worth mentioning, nothing is more important than your eating plan as it pertains to your health.

It’s a shame so many adults are Type 2 diabetic nowadays. Type 2 diabetes, a disease once called “adult-onset diabetes,” now affects adolescents and children. A short time ago it only affected adults since one’s health becomes much more sensitive with age. Now we see the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children. Children suffering from Type 2 diabetes is a tragedy, to say the least. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, was essentially the only scenario where a child would have the disease.

But things have changed. Due to mediocre lifestyle factors, namely poor diet and physical inactivity, Type 2 diabetes also affects young populations.

How is the average diet a problem?

  • overeating is an issue,
  • lack of fruits and vegetables is another. And
  • the choice of carbohydrates is perhaps the biggest culprit.

Quite simply, the majority of people rely on low-quality carbs as their primary source of carbohydrates, and this invites all sorts of insulin and blood sugar related problems…

  • white bread,
  • pasta,
  • white rice,
  • pastries,
  • cookies and
  • sweets

have become the cornerstone of many diets: these foods choices are a health disaster. It’s easy to see why so many people have high blood sugar levels when the majority of foods they eat are high in refined sugars.

If there’s one point you should takeaway from this discussion is the quality of your food choices is imperative to your health. It’s not only about avoiding harmful carbs, either. Besides fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy fats are also important. So eat your eggs, lean meats, and mixed nuts.

While we’re at it, start exercising if you haven’t already. The health benefits of physical activity are indeed understated where Type 2 diabetes and blood sugar control is concerned.

Micropenis and Erectile Dysfunction

We all want a larger sexual organ for some reason. The desires to increase pleasure with your partner or simply win a contest against your friends are arguably both viable answers. For the unfortunate few that suffer from Micropenis the decision to increase is more than simply choice.

What is Micropenis

A rough definition of Micropenis is the erect penis is smaller than 2.5 inches when fully erect. This condition is a malformation of the organ usually caused by a genetic defect. This condition is usually accompanied by reduction such as abnormal testicular development. The genetic causes are not necessarily correlated to the sex chromosomes though sometimes Micropenis is attributed to congenital grow hormone deficiency. Furthermore, this condition is only evident in men that have diminished quantities of the male hormone, testorone.

Do I have Micropenis

Fortunately for most men Micropenis only affect a very small percentage of the population (less than 1%). The symptoms of the condition are often mistaken by some other explanation. Often it is the surrounding tissue or systems which make the organ appear smaller in relative size. People who suffer from obesity or are simply overweight may appear to be smaller than they actually are. Often the penis is surrounded within the fat that surrounds the organ, making it look relatively undersized. Also larger framed individuals, such as weight lifters may seem insufficient considering their mass. Delayed puberty can also confuses and frustrates many teenagers. We all grow differently and sometimes or biological clocks do not tick away as quickly as we would like.

Solutions

If caught during infancy a simple prescription of testosterone fixes the problem. This is not the answer for later life and research shows the prescribing testosterone may actually reduce penile size. In terms of a solution for early to late adulthood many have turned to penis enlargers. Some forms of penis elongation surgery have been attempted though results are unconvincing. When looking at a penis enlarger please be careful and measure the benefits versus the risks.

Erectile Dysfunction

There is a process, an order of events, as the penis erects. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a breakdown in the system of events. The process is complex, involving the proper sequencing of muscle, tendon, tissue, veins, arteries, nerves and blood all cycling at the right time. When this progression breaks down many men turn to some form of penile enhancement, which usually leads them to penis enlargers.

Is There a Cure for ED

There are of course multiple penis enlargers promising a cure to ED and the promises are usually dishonest. I use the word “usually” very loosely, there has been one form of penile enhancement that has proven itself and this is surgery. There are forms of ED surgery that will reinforce the walls of the penis and provide some rigidity but all come with drawbacks. A permanent, rigid penis is not what every man desires and the cost of surgery is extravagant, to say the least. So are there any penile enhancement devices that can assist in the process?

Of course there is; enter the penis pump. Penis enlargers, like the pump, are receiving bad press because many men use them for the wrong purpose. When it comes to penis enlargers and erectile dysfunction, you can count on the penis pump.

If you believe the pumps temporary fix is not for you then maybe it is time for a prosthetic. That’s right there is one more surgery. This penile enhancement surgery has the ability for you to inflate and deflate as needed. If you can afford the cost of the operation then this is your best bet and it works.