Penis Health Begins With Proper Care – Cleaning, Grooming and Nourishing the Manhood

Most men, when asked to name their favorite body part, will immediately indicate the area directly below the belt. From the day he is born, the penis serves as a source of fascination and pleasure which only increases as he gets older. But given the importance of the manhood to a man’s psyche, surprisingly few men give much thought to caring for it properly. But lack of knowledge about the proper care of the package can lead to all sorts of problems. With the right information about penis care, men can take the 3 most important steps that are needed to improve and maintain their penis health.

Cleaning the manhood – the right way

An unwashed manhood is not just stinky and unappealing; when not cleaned properly, the penile skin becomes a haven for bacteria, fungal spores, dead skin cells and body oils, and a host of other nasty materials that can cause infections, acne, and skin that is rough, raw and sore.

Keeping things clean should be the first stop in any man’s daily personal care routine. On the other hand, this does not mean that he should take a scouring pad to the sensitive tissue to scrub away the filth. Rinsing the penis in warm water to soften the skin, and then using a gentle cleanser to wash away any accumulated body fluids, skin cells and other materials is all that is needed. Rather than using a towel or washcloth, the fingertips or a very soft cloth should be used to avoid abrasions and irritation. Afterward, the penis should be rinsed thoroughly again and then patted dry with a soft cloth. A penis moisturizer, applied to the skin while it is still warm and damp, can help to improve the quality and overall appearance of the skin.

Grooming for better health

The idea of shaving the pelvic region may seem foreign to many men, but the idea is actually catching on in many parts of the world, as more and more guys are coming to realize the benefits. While not everyone likes a sleek, manscaped look, a large number of women do report that they find this more attractive than a knotted thicket of hair and are more likely to get up close and personal with the package if it is clean-shaven.

This is not the only consideration, though – the hair is actually one of the dirtiest parts of the body, even when it is washed often. Hair traps all sorts of debris from the outside world, and it provides an ideal environment for harboring diseases. In the pelvic area, it also allows stale urine, sweat and other bodily fluids to cling to its surface, leading to extremely unpleasant odors.

Removing the hair in this area can leave a man smelling fresher, help to prevent infection, and eliminate the need to constantly scratch at the trousers.

Feeding the penis

Like any other body part, a man’s equipment relies on the right combination of nutrients to function properly and stay healthy. Many of these nutrients are provided in a man’s diet, provided that he takes care to choose the right ingredients; but for men who need a little extra assistance in this area, a penis nutrient creme that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and natural emollients (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) is an excellent source of nourishment for the penile tissue. The right combination of nutrients can support healthy skin, boost sensory function and enhance the body’s natural disease-fighting response. Men who are serious about the health of their manhood should look for products that are designed specifically for the penis, as creams that are made for the hands and body often contain fragrances, alcohol, and other chemicals that are too harsh for the delicate penile skin.

Causes of Penis Redness and Irritation

At the first signs of penis redness and irritation, many men become concerned about the possibility that they have contracted an STD. Fortunately, penis problems are more frequently caused by common skin conditions that result in rash, soreness, itching and burning; most of these problems are easily treatable at home, using a penis health crème that contains natural antibacterial agents and moisturizers.

Common conditions that cause penis redness and irritation

Numerous penis health problems can result in dry, cracked and reddened skin on the shaft and head of the penis, as well as around the scrotum or anal area. While these symptoms are most often harmless and easily treated, it is best to see a doctor for symptoms that worsen or do not go away on their own in a few days.

Allergic Reactions

Allergies and skin sensitivities may cause itching or burning, redness, rash and peeling. Common substances such as laundry detergents, synthetic clothing, skin creams that contain chemicals, lubricants and latex condoms may all cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. Switching to dye- and scent-free laundry detergent, wearing all-cotton underwear, using all-natural skin moisturizers and lubricants, and wearing non-latex condoms may help to alleviate these issues.

Dry Skin

Skin that is dry and flaking may become further irritated during masturbation or sex, leading to redness and discomfort. Men with dry, cracked penis skin may find relief from using a chemical-free, all-natural moisturizer that can help speed healing and prevent dryness and irritation from recurring.

Psoriasis

Men who have psoriasis elsewhere on the body may also experience symptoms on the shaft of the penis; these can cause redness, peeling and itching that may lead to social embarrassment, as well as discomfort during sex or masturbation. Natural penis care solutions containing vitamin A (which is commonly used in the treatment of psoriasis) may be effective in healing and preventing psoriasis symptoms.

Bacterial or fungal infections

There are numerous types of bacterial and fungal infections that can affect penis health, causing redness, irritation, rash, soreness, itching and burning. Dry, cracked skin can allow bacteria found on the skin’s surface to penetrate the outer dermal layer, leading to uncomfortable penis symptoms that are often mistaken for signs of an STD. In addition, fungal infections such as Candida (the same fungus that causes yeast infection in women) and jock itch can cause red bumps or rash, itching, and peeling of the skin. Treating these conditions depends on the type of infection; the best option is to prevent them from occurring by keeping the skin smooth and clear with a natural moisturizer.

STDs

Certain STDs, including HPV and herpes, can cause red bumps and discomfort during sex. For men who may have been exposed to an STD, it is important to abstain from sex until seeing a doctor for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Poor hygiene

Poor personal hygiene can lead to unpleasant penis symptoms, especially in uncircumcised men. To avoid this issue, it is important to keep the penis clean and dry; men who are not circumcised should be sure to pull back the foreskin and clean underneath on a regular basis. Using a penis skin crème can help to keep the skin in good condition and prevent problems related to chafing, bacterial or fungal infections, and other penis health problems.

Keeping Your Penis Healthy

The best way to prevent penis problems is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding the use of tobacco products; it is also important to be selective about the choice of sexual partners and to keep the penis clean. In addition, it is a good idea that a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) containing penis-specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients be used daily to moisturize the skin and protect the penis from bacterial or fungal infections, which can cause discomfort and may even lead to more serious penis health issues. Applying a penis crème directly to the skin ensures immediate absorption for maximum health benefits.

Fight Yeast Infection Naturally

Yeast infection or the overgrowth of Candida fungus is a common problem for women. If you have this infection, you know the difficulty of suffering from itching and burning sensation around your genitals. And worst, the infection keeps coming back, giving you more misery and annoyance. Seek medical help to ease your sufferings and at the same time you have the option to fight yeast infection naturally.

Here are some tips on how to fight yeast infection:

Clean your underwear thoroughly. If you already have yeast infection, you must wash your undergarments thoroughly to kill the fungus before wearing them again. Soaking them in bleach and then washing them using unscented soap will kill the Candida fungus. Pressing your clean underwear with a hot iron will also kill the fungus.

Keep your genitals clean and dry. Candida fungus thrives on warm and moist environment and the vagina is a good home for them. Avoid tight fitting clothes that will promote sweating and will not allow air to circulate. Choose underwear made of cotton because it absorbs moisture to keep you dry. At night give your genital area a relief by sleeping naked or remove your underwear and let air circulation on your vaginal area to keep it dry and cool.

Avoid scratching when you feel the burning itching sensation. This could be difficult but over the counter medicines to fight yeast infection could give immediate relief to lessen the itching until you get a professional advice or prescription medicine to totally get rid of the infection.

To fight yeast infection, use unscented products and avoid scented feminine hygiene products because it irritates the vagina and will promote itching. The vagina has a self-cleaning property, wash your vaginal area with plain water.

One reason why women are prone to infection is because the anus is too close to the vaginal area. To fight yeast infection wipe from front to back after bowel movement and avoid touching the vaginal area.

Avoid sweets. Sugar feeds yeast, so avoid sweets to prevent over growth of Candida fungus. Control sugar from your diet to fight yeast infection.

Lactobacillus acidophilus in yogurt helps fight yeast infection naturally. The live cultures in yogurt help balance the candida fungus which is naturally present in our body to prevent infection. Eat unsweetened yogurt.

Boost your immune system to fight yeast infection. Nothing beats a healthy body and a strong immune system. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, have a regular exercise and avoid stress to boost your immune system.

Allergies And Sinus Support – Allergies Can Also Speed Up Your Heart Rate

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that allergic disorders affect at least 50 million people in the US. Type 1 Allergies and symptoms include asthma, eczema, hay fever, headaches, swellings, fatigue, chills, sensitivity to light and loss of appetite. Type 2 Allergies could start in infancy or during childhood due to inherited tendencies and exposure to pollen, dust and environmental toxins, including all the chemicals we breathe and eat. It all starts with your immune system not handling whatever comes along!

Nature’s Way has the popular Sambucol Immune System, which is a combination of liquid Elderberry, Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C and propolis (comes from the bee – a natural antibiotic). Elderberry was used by the Gypsies in Europe to make their wine. Many of the severe allergy symptoms are triggered by one’s inhalation of certain functions of both T and B immune cells, important to all Cell-Mediated Immunity. Astra 8 Defense Builder by Health Concerns is a Chinese herbology formula, which has been designed as a response for what’s happening within. It contains ( Astragalus for throat and cough), Ganoderma (Reishi) Ginseng, Codonopsis (for breathing), Schizandra (for liver) and Licorice (anti-inflammatory calming Lungs, Spleen and Kidney). Our clever Immune System is designed to differentiate between healthy compounds and harmful substances.

However, when it encounters the bad guys, it changes into an Allergic reaction. Chinese medicine calls it a pattern of imbalance and stagnation. Planetary Formulas with Mullein Lung Complex, (formerly known as Breeze Free), is an ancient botanical support for the Lungs, stuffy breathing, and other such conditions. It is a combo of Chinese Herbs (non-stimulant). Uncomfortable and unpleasant as these symptoms are, bloating and mood swings, of which any food can be allergenic, Wheat, Milk, Eggs, Corn, Soy, Yeast, and Food Additives, are some of the culprits. Type 2 is usually triggered by foods and environmental factors including hyperactivity and memory loss. Natures Herbs has an Old Fashioned Remedy CL-7 Formula with respiratory support herbs including Mullein (glands), Slippery Elm Bark (stomach), Elecampane (cough) and Hyssop.

Type 1 allergies are most commonly caused by Histamines, best known for chemicals that cause the action of an enzyme on Mast Cells. Histamines are released by specialized cells, the Mast Cells which causes small Blood Cells to become more adaptable to fluid (no wonder we get bloated!). Results are Swellings, Hives, nasal congestion and Eye Tearing. Simufix Caps and Sinumist by Natural Care are 2 helpers that will soothe Dry Irritated Nasal Passages promoting a Healthy Immune Response for Sinus and Allergy Symptoms. They contain Oregano Extract 4 to 1, Nettle, Quercetin (which strengthens the walls of the Blood Vessels), Goldenseal (a natural Antibiotic) and Grapefruit Seed Extract (also a powerful Antibiotic). The Mist is to spray in your Nasal Passages. I introduced this to some Fireman, who had worked on the mountain fires is Southern California that year.

They had been completely overwhelmed by the disastrous smoke in their lungs and it also played havoc with their Sinuses. Dr. John W Tintera, MD. found that deficient function of the Adrenal Glands accounted for various kinds of Allergies. Cited in his book “The Adrenal Syndrome”, a deficiency of Adrenal response can account for many types of allergens that have their beginnings in Adrenal Gland Failures, part of your Endocrine Glands located near the Kidneys. Now Foods has Adrenal Support containing Cayenne, Ginseng (an adaptogenic herb), Astragalus, Gota Kola (Ayurvedic) and Licorice. Now Foods also has Air Defense with its Patented Extract of Paractin with Andrographis (excellent for the tummy and Immune), Elderberry, Echinacea, Astragalus and Olive Leaf (for immunity and infections). You can certainly combine this with Herb Pharm’s Adrenal Support Tonic Tincture. Throw in a little Proplis Drops from Herb Pharm for Allergies, Respiratory-Big Time Fighters.

Histamine also causes a contraction of the smooth muscles and walls of the Lungs, Blood Vessels and Intestinal Tract and Bladder, itchy, Painful Ear and Stuffed Up Nasal Congestion (no fun). Clear Products has Clear Sinus And Ear, formulated by Stash Oz, (Masters In Traditional Oriental Medicine). Go to my Web Site to read all about our seminar. It has no stimulants, reduces swellings, ear Pressure and Moisture with Magnolia Flower (Xin Yi Hua), Scutellaris (Huang Quin), Perilla Leaf (Zi Su Ye) and Angelica Root (Bai Zhi). Another TCM is DR. Shen’s Min Kan Wan for Dust, Pollen, and Animal Hair Allergens. Now for some Allergic Relief for those Peepers (eyes) subjected to all environmental toxins and chemicals. King Bio has Allergy/Red Eye Relief for Inflamed Watery Conjunctivitis and Swollen Shut Eyes with Granules stuck in the morning, when one awakes. Bioforce USA, the famous Dr. Vogel’s Homeopathic Formulas has options for Swollen Watery Eyes and Inflamed Sinuses with Congestion. Similar to the Old Remedy Mustard Plaster, Dr. Singhas Mustard Bath opens all your portals, especially soothing for Stuffed Up Head, and doing away with toxic accumulations.

Allergies can also speed up your Heart Rate. Using a watch with a second hand, count your heartbeats for 60 seconds to find your average pulse. This is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Take this Pulse Test to find out which food you could be Allergic to. Take your Pulse 5 minutes before eating, after you have finished eating, if your Pulse varies as much as 12 to 20 beats after, a suspected food may be the answer. To give your Digestive Tract more ammunition Food Science Of Vermont has the Mega-Probiotic Nd with FOS (what’s that? Fructo oligo saccharides-this promotes the good Bacteria from Veggies and helps break down Protein from undigested foods, another cause for Allergies). Another work in Progress for foods that are holding and causing dysfunction is the Planetary Formulas Three Spices Sinus Support. Hit this one with lots of Vitamin C. Now Foods has Pantothenic Acid which taken throughout the day could cater to those dreadful Sinus Headaches. You have to take enough, but it works! Or you might try .

More American Indian Herbs for clearing. Bio-Allers- Natra Bio Homeopathics has the year Round and Seasonal Relief Formulas. Great options for all ages, stimulating the body’s natural defenses and inherited resistance to Allergies. For Air Borne Allergies, Tree Pollen. Mold Yeast & Dust Dairy Allergies, Grain Allergies, Animal Hair & Dander, Pet Allergies can be taken on a continuous basis. In addition, it is also good for the relief from down or clothing containing Allergens from Sheep or Wool. Conventional Medicine answers disease with powerful drugs never getting to the roots.

Over the counter Anti-histamines create undesirable side effects and toxicity. It may be true sometime we need them for the short term. Heel has the Euphorbium Nasal Sinus Relief Spray for Viral, Bacterial Rhinitis. Natra-Bio has Cold And Sinus Spray. Some of the Herbal Teas can help. Health King with Head And Throat Soother (you can image what that does!) Longjiang River Teas has some unusual herbs in the teas, but good tasting. Handy Packs for travel-just in case Nelson Homeopatics has the Sinus Packs. Food additives include antibiotics, food colorings, sulfites, MSG. All these increase Allergic Response. Stress, excessive intake of processed refined foods and nutritional deficiencies all are contributors. Allergies are now showing up in children of all ages. Hebron Naturals USA has Kids Goodypops Berry Buddies with Echinacea and Vitamin C. Allergy Shots are not always the panacea. Finding the right program that works for you, whether it be Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Chinese Herbology, it still comes down to finding the Wellness Within.

The Symptoms of Menopause

Overall, medical professionals agree that there are at least 37 indicators of menopause, ranging from the mild and easy-to-overlook, to the more dramatic and potentially disruptive to your lifestyle. While the average age of onset for menopause is between 50 and 52, bear in mind that most women start experiencing the symptoms several years beforehand. Here is brief information about the more common symptoms, followed by a list of the remaining ones. When you read this, don’t be worried. Every one is merely a sign that your body is functioning like a normal woman’s body should!

1. Hot or cold flushes:

Many women report having hot of cold flushes, as well as feelings of associated clamminess or sweatiness. Indeed the hot flush has become one of the more ‘stereotypical’ signs of menopause. Both hot and cold flushes reflect a change in your body’s internal thermostat, a factor that is regulated by the hypothalamus. During menopause, less estrogen is produced by the ovaries. The hypothalamus detects this drop in estrogen levels, and responds by altering your body’s temperature hence causing these otherwise unexplained feelings of hotness or coldness.

2. Periods of rapid or irregular heart rate:

This is one of the lesser-known and more frightening symptoms of menopause. In fact, some women say they feel as if they are having heart failure, palpitations, or a panic attack. Despite research into this matter, the medical community has no clear answer as to why heart arrhythmia occurs in some menopausal women. It often begins during the lead-up to menopause proper (during the “peri-menopause” phase) and naturally it causes concern. It is important to report this symptom to your physician to eliminate other, potentially more serious causes.

3. Moodiness, ill temper and feelings of irritability:

See-sawing emotions can make menopausal women feel as if they are on a rollercoaster they can’t control. Like pre-menstrual-syndrome, feelings of irritability or moodiness during menopause are very common and easily explained. They are caused by natural hormonal fluctuations. Most women learn to cope with mood swings by doing regular exercise, or performing relaxation techniques such as meditation, and yoga.

4. Becoming easily upset and teary:

Because their hormones are changing so dramatically, menopausal women can also find they become teary and emotional at the drop of a hat, and sometimes for no reason at all. Again, dealing with unpredictable mood swings isn’t easy but by learning coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, you can start to lessen the impact.

5. Disrupted or disordered sleeping patterns:

For various reasons, menopausal women can often develop calcium deficiencies. Because calcium acts as a sedative on the human body, this deficiency can lead to restlessness, an inability to fall to sleep, as well as poor sleeping patterns throughout the night. Naturally, this can be extremely frustrating and tiring for women. Not surprising, a lack of quality sleep can also compound other problems such as feeling emotional or experiencing moodiness. The answer for many women is a calcium supplement, as well as engaging in gentle relaxation exercises to help them better sleep.

6. Unusual or irregular menstrual cycles, including lighter or heavier bleeding:

Since menopause is the cessation of menstruation, it seems self-evident that women would experience changes to their menstrual cycle, finally culminating in a failure to menstruate at all. What women might not know is that disturbances to their periods can occur well before menopause begins. Indeed some women report unusually long or short periods, different bleeding patterns, as well as skipped periods well before menopause takes place.

7. Decrease or loss of libido:

With menopause comes a decrease in hormonal levels, including a drop in estrogen levels. This can cause a reduction in libido or lowered interest in sex. That said, some research points out that although many menopausal women report having a lower libido, their level of sexual activity nevertheless remains steady, suggesting the relationship between normal menopausal hormonal changes and libido is a complex one.

8. Vaginal dryness:

As mentioned earlier, menopause involves a reduction in estrogen. Estrogen is the so-called “female” hormone, which amongst other things, is responsible for maintaining healthy, supple vaginal tissue and lubrication. When estrogen drops, as it does during menopause, this leads to vaginal dryness. An unfortunate consequence can be painful sexual intercourse.

9. Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating:

Many women aren’t aware that balanced hormones help keep their gastrointestinal tract functioning normally. Indeed, it’s not until there is an imbalance (such as there is during menopause) that they come to realize how important hormones are to digestion. For instance, estrogen is a stimulant for the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore the drop in estrogen levels can cause any number of symptoms, such as gas, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Likewise changes to progesterone levels during menopause can cause disruptions to your usual bowel patterns. Menopause also places pressure on your liver, leaving it less energy to do its usual cleansing duties.

Other symptoms of menopause include:

10. Anxiety

11. Morbid thoughts and feelings of dread and apprehension

12. Mental vagueness and inability to concentrate

13. Memory loss

14. Incontinence and “frequency” of urination

15. Unusual sensation on one’s skin, such as phantom itches, and crawling skin

16. Sore joints

17. Muscle tension and soreness

18. Tender breasts and hypersensitive nipples

19. Headaches and migraines

21. Feeling bloated

22. Depression

23. Changes to, or worsening of, existing health problems

24. Exacerbation of allergies

25. Weight gain and metabolic imbalances

26. Thinning or loss of hair on the head

27. Increase in facial hair

28. Giddiness, loss of balance and light-headedness

29. Strange or unpleasant body odors

30. Increased perspiration

31. Poor circulation, tingling sensation in limbs and extremities

32. Sensitive and/or bleeding gums

33. Gingivitis

34. “Burning Mouth Syndrome” or the sensation of one’s tongue, or mouth burning as well as strange taste in the mouth

35. Osteoporosis

36. Tinnitus (ie. Ringing or strange noises in the ears)

37. Lethargy

Not all women will experience everything on this list or may go through a combination of several. The secret to getting through menopause is to remember that each symptom is normal and will eventually pass.

Spices For Depression – They Really Can Spice Up Your Mood

Some spices such as saffron, sage, cardamom and chillies are known to have specific anti-depressant effects; while others work indirectly by improving the general health of the individual.

General effects of spices

Spices have the highest antioxidant activity of all food types including fruit and vegetables (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006). Antioxidants are very important in countering free radical damage which can in turn aggravate or cause many degenerative diseases.

All chronic degenerative diseases are associated with free radical damage and an increased incidence of depression. Therefore preventing or treating them by eating antioxidant-rich foods like spices, will also help to reduce the incidence of depression.

Saffron

For centuries, saffron has been used to treat depression in traditional Persian medical systems.

Recently several clinical trials have shown that this yellow spice is indeed as effective as many of our current anti-depressant drugs in treating mild to moderate depression.

The first of these was a double-blind placebo controlled trial where patients with depression were given 30mg of saffron extract daily for six weeks. By the end of this period depression in the treatment group had improved by a far greater extent than the placebo group.

In two other clinical trials depressed patients taking saffron were compared to those taking two commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs, imipramine and fluexitine (Prozac). In both these trials saffron was found to be at least as effective as the two modern drugs. An important bonus was that no side effects were observed in the patients taking saffron.

Chillies

Chillies also have mood elevating effects. They work by stimulating a specific type of pain receptor (called TRPV1) on sensory nerve endings. When these nerves are stimulated they signal the brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins, in turn, stimulate the release of the brain chemical, dopamine which in turn acts as a mood elevator and relieves depression.

Many modern antidepressant drugs also work by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain.

Sage

A double blind placebo controlled trial has shown that sage reduces anxiety and elevates mood. It has been known for several years that compounds in this spice work by inhibiting cholinesterase, an enzyme that is intimately involved in the transmission of signals across nerve synapses.

Sage has the added benefit of improving memory.

Cardamom

Cardamom has been used by traditional Ayurvedic practitioners to treat depression in India for thousands of years. Although there are no clinical trials to back up the use of this spice to treat depression there are biochemical reasons that give an indication as to why it is effective.

As with other organs the brain is subject to toxins, free radical damage and other environmental and genetic insults. Aging and damage caused by environmental agents can aggravate a propensity to develop depression. However this susceptibility can be reduced by using one or more of those spices known to have anti-depressive properties. In addition the diet should include a variety of other spices most of which contain neuro-protective phytonutrients; some of which may also have yet-to-be-discovered mood-elevating properties.

How to Overcome Fear of Gagging, Swallowing, and Choking

Do you inordinately fear gagging, swallowing, and choking, to the point that you are unable to do ordinary things like eat or have oral sexual intercourse? If so, you’re not alone. The sensation of having your throat close up, preparing to emit whatever’s in there, is not a pleasant one. It’s not designed to be. The gag reflex is designed to facilitate vomiting, which is one of your body’s foremost defenses against the ingestion of harmful substances. It’s also a defense against choking: your throat muscles contract in an effort to help your body emit the dangerous foreign substance blocking up your digestive passageways. Unfortunately, some people are so traumatized by the experience of gagging and choking that they develop a real phobia. They’re on the verge of panic whenever anything comes into contact with their esophagus. Every swallow of food becomes fraught with anxiety.

How Phobias Work

Unfortunately, the mind affects the body more than one would expect. Thus, the gag reflex and the sensation of fright are closely related to one another. Indeed, your mental state is large part of how your body determines whether or not to permit you to put an object into your throat. If you love to eat horseradish, and swallow a huge chunk of it in while in a calm and pleased state, your throat will readily accept what your mind perceives as a tasty morsel. On the other hand, if you hate horseradish and are convinced that your body cannot accept it, you throat might close up, and you might end up gagging.

A Self-Perpetuating Phobia

In other words, the anticipation of gagging on something will make you far more likely that you will gag. This doesn’t just apply to food, but to other foreign objects you insert into your throat and mouth, as well. If you stay calm while your dentist or throat doctor probes you, your visit will probably be free of incidents. On the other hand, if you become overtaken by a fear of gagging on the doctor’s implement, your throat will convulse, confirming your fear.

Don’t Fear Gagging, Swallowing, Or Choking Ever Again

As described in the previous paragraph, a severe preoccupation with the unpleasant sensation of your throat muscles contracting as they struggle to push out foreign objects, can become a severe impediment in your life (including your sex life). Fortunately, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy techniques work very well to rid your mind of its unwanted responses.

NLP Re-Trains Your Mind

Whenever you experience the adverse reaction that leads to unwanted gagging, your mind follows a consistent, predictable thought pattern in response to a given stimulus (i.e. the sensation of something in your throat). Regardless of why your mind works that way, NLP techniques can help you re-condition it. Through a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy, you can learn how to put yourself into a calm, relaxed state of mind at will. Then, you can learn to associate that state with the same triggers that typically cause you to choke. In this way, after a few sessions of NLP and hypnotherapy, you’ll never need to fear gagging, swallowing, or choking ever again.

Neuroplasticity Exercises in Treating Anxiety

It has been said that what we know about the brain only encompasses approximately 10% of what our brains are fully capable of. There is no question that our brain is capable of performing a small number of countless acts every second of every day. To fully understand each of these millions of countless acts in any given day is next to impossible.

That being said, one of the few things that we do know about the human brain is that it is very plastic in nature. The term for this is neuroplasticity, and the plasticity of the human brain is a remarkable thing. No longer can we accept the fact that our brain is a fixed organ, as even in adulthood, our brain is capable of making connections and strengthening itself for better overall human function.

When it comes to the treatment of anxiety disorders, this is particularly important, because neuroplasticity refers to the reorganization of the brain’s neural connections as a response to new stimuli or circumstances. What this means is that therapists can work with an individual to provide new stimuli and new experiences to the brain in the hopes that these neural connections will be strengthened, and negative thought processes can be treated.

Because many anxiety disorders are the result of faulty thought processes and distorted thinking, neuroplasticity exercises will work to strengthen the connections of the brain’s cognitive processes and ultimately eliminate these distorted thoughts. This is exciting news for those suffering from anxiety disorders such as Social Anxiety Disorder, as we now know that an individual can change these thoughts and distorted cognitions by allowing us to consciously manage our neural connections in a dynamic process. For anybody that suffers from Social Anxiety Disorders or any anxiety disorders with faulty thought processes and fears as their base, this is a kind of hope that has never been offered.

Living with Social Anxiety or any anxiety disorder for that matter is a paralyzing experience for the individual. Every day they are torn with fears and thoughts that debilitate their daily living, and prevents them from fully experiencing a high quality of life. If neuroplasticity exercises can be used to retrain these thought processes, and strengthen the flow of positive cognitions, then this hope for Social Anxiety sufferers is the kind of hope they need to believe that their lives will not be paralyzing for forever. For someone suffering from anxiety disorders, this kind of hope is a gift that is priceless.

Could Dust Mites Be Preventing a Good Night’s Sleep?

Tiredness and fatigue is just a part of everyday life for many busy people. Between a busy job and a full family life it doesn’t always seem like there is enough time for sleep. What a lot of people who are feeling tired and run down don’t realize is that it may not be the amount of sleep they are getting that is leaving them tired, it may simply be the quality of sleep that is lacking.

In the average mattress there are anywhere between 100,000 and ten million dust mites. These microscopic insects thrive in the warm and humid conditions of our beds. They breed quickly and multiply to the point where up to half of the weight of your mattress could simply be made up of dust mites and their waste matter. Dust mites themselves are not the threat to quality sleep. Rather, their waste matter is.

The waste matter of dust mites contains a protein that many people are allergic too. It is also known to worsen asthma, eczema and bronchitis in those that suffer these illnesses. The allergic condition caused by dust mites is called perennial allergic rhinitis. It feels a bit like you have a cold all of the time. Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, head aches and ear aches. Those who are allergic to dust mites will often wake up feeling terrible but by 10 or 11am the symptoms have disappeared. A lot don’t even realize that the dust mite allergy is the cause of the symptoms.

Other than feeling like you have the flu when you wake up every morning, this allergy can cause serious disturbance to sleep. Each night, as we drift deeper into sleep our brain goes through a cycle which includes many different types of sleep. We need to experience these types of sleep to be at our full mental capacity. An allergy can cause a sufferer to wake up ten or twenty times during the night. On most of these occasions they will fall straight back to sleep and not even be aware that they woke up, however the brain never reaches the deepest stages of sleep. The next day, the lack of quality sleep leaves them tired and irritable and unable to be at their best.

Perhaps the worst effect of dust mites is that most people do not even realize that they are being affected. They simply go about their lives trying to treat the symptoms instead of eliminating the cause. By getting rid of these microscopic bugs from your bedroom you could experience a massive increase in sleep quality.

There are many ways to get rid of dust mites. Subjecting your linen to freezing temperatures will kill them an air purifiers can eliminate floating particles. The majority of the dust mites will be found in your mattress and pillows. The most thorough and direct treatment is by having your mattress and pillow cleaned every year. A professional can eliminate dust mites and other bacteria, viruses, germs, and fungi with a chemical free system that utilizes UV-C rays and promises to rid you of dust mites, their eggs and their waste matter.

Foot Calluses Prevention – Four Simple Rules to Prevent Foot Calluses

Foot calluses are extremely common particularly amongst women. They are basically an accumulation of hard skin that harden and thicken over an area of the foot, usually in response to some form of pressure. The following four simple rules should be followed to help prevent foot calluses from forming.

1. Take good care of your feet. Inspect them daily for developing calluses and other foot problems, and treat accordingly – the sooner the better.

2. Wear shoes that fit. A simple instruction but one that is frequently ignored particularly by those following fashion. Unfortunately ill fitting shoes are the source of many a foot problem. Ideally shoes should fit well and not rub anywhere. If necessary add insoles or protective cushions. Remember anything that causes rubbing, pressure or pinching can result in a callus

3. Try not to walk barefoot on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete for any length of time, or protective calluses will begin to form on the soles of your feet.

4. If overweight, commit to losing some excess weight. The combination of excess weight and ill fitting shoes results in way too much pressure being applied on your poor suffering feet and will encourage callus formation.

It is important however to be sensible and whilst the above measures provide a decent preventative programme, if your calluses are not responding to treatment and are becoming painful, then do see a foot specialist. Diabetic and elderly people frequently need assistance with foot care, because of circulatory problems or because they just can’t bend over to scrub the rough spots. Also, the foot calluses may not be just the result of friction, but could be forming because of a foot misalignment problem, which would need to be treated.

4 Quick Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair Growth, Healthy Skin, Weight Loss, Digestion Help

Coconut oil has been used over hundreds of years for maintaining healthy hair, healthy skin, healthy digestive system and helps with weight loss.

The proof of these benefit’s are within the Asian and Islander civilisations of the world. Take a look at their hair, how thick and shiny it is or the great condition their skin is in.

Coconut oil is used as a hair treatment product, skin moisturizer and cooking oil. As you can see, it has many uses.

The health benefits are derived from the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid and its properties such as anti microbial, anti oxidant, anti fungal and anti bacterial.

Ayurveda medicine one of India’s traditional medical systems and one of the world’s oldest extensively uses marvellous product in many practices.

Hair Health

One of the main benefits of using coconut oil is for hair treatment. You will find when you apply it to your hair it feels so much more thicker, looks shinier and your scalp is cleaner.

There are three factors that contribute significantly to great hair. There are genetics, diet and hair treatment.

We all know that genetics are out of our control therefore to obtain the best healthy hair we need a diet that is supportive for hair growth. The third factor is hair treatment; the products we feed our hair should contain essential oils and protein that will nourish our hair.

Eat a great deal of vegetables and nuts that provide the protein and nutrients essential for stronger and shinier hair. Use natural products like coconut oil for the very best hair therapy.

Healthy Skin Care

Coconut oil contains significant ingredients used for many body care products such as soaps, lotions and creams.

What makes it such a great moisturizer and skin care product is it contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. You can apply it on any type of skin as a moisturizer.

The benefits include; preventing dryness, flaking, reduce wrinkles and reduce sagging of skin.

There are cases on treating skin conditions such as: psoriases, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

It’s effective on bruises as it speeds up the repairing process of skin.

Digestive System Improvement

Coconut oil can be used as cooking oil. Digestive related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion has been known to be healed by using it for cooking.

This is because the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and is effective in fighting bacteria, fungi and parasites.

The body absorbs nutrients better by using it as cooking oil.

Weight loss

Coconut oil when used in cooking has the added benefit of helping in weight loss.

This is because of the chemical properties of it. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that are known to reduce excessive weight.

The body metabolism increases and thus increases the burning of energy and this helps in weight loss. It’s very inexpensive and has no side effects.

There are much more health benefits than the four briefly described above, so please do not stop learning more about the health benefits of this marvellous natural product.

To Bike Or Not to Bike? Off-Season Training For Hockey

Some fitness coaches who specialize in hockey training insist that hockey players should stay off the ice during the summer months. The advocate a return just in the weeks prior to training camp. Some believe that riding the bike is the best mode of energy system development for hockey players. Others, like me, use a combination of modes to train hockey players who will be fitter, faster and more injury resistant.

The elite level players that I train skate 1-2 times per week. Some of them go to the local power skating guru and work on their skating skill. This is my preference, I do not really want them scrimmaging, I want them skating. For the pro players, we go on the ice twice per week, once for medium duration interval sessions and once for agility and quickness training. The skating is supplemented with land-based agility training, a track or hill workout and yes, even some biking. You may be asking yourself, “What is the difference? As long as they are getting more fit what does it matter if they only bike or not?” To be clear, I am not saying that hockey players should not ride the bike. I have my hockey players ride the bike at times during the summer, just not all the time. And I think it is a great tool to use during the season. Here are a few of the pros and cons of using the bicycle with hockey players:  

PROs   I like biking because you can very easily adjust the resistance. It is relatively safe; no athlete is going to sprain their ankle riding the bike. From a skill perspective, there is a level playing field for different athletes. If you are running at the track, some hockey players have a great running stride whereas some athletes are not nearly as proficient. Finally, the player will get a great leg workout. When we do intervals on the bike they will tell me that their legs feel the same fatigue they feel when they are on the ice.  

CONs   I dislike the bike because it trains the hockey player in a hip flexed, spine flexed position, a position where they already spend a good amount of their time on the ice and sitting on the bench. If they are a student then they spend all day sitting at their desks in a hip flexed, spine flexed position. With these sustained postures we see shortening of the hip flexors among other adaptations. When a player skates she must extend at the hip to get a full powerful stride. If the hip flexor is tight they will not be able to get this range from the hip joint and will likely compensate by either taking short choppy strides or by hyper-extending the lower back. This will reduce their skating performance and may lead to overuse injuries.   

One of the arguments against skating in the off-season is that it lets the player’s groins recover from the use they get when skating. This is used to support the use of the bicycle as a training tool. If you look at someone bicycling you notice that their thighs stay parallel as they pedal, the movement is in the saggital plane. So you can see how this will not put the groins on a stretch the way skating does.   

If I take an athlete who needs to abduct at the hip (which puts stretch on the adductors or groin muscles) to move in their sport and train them in a way that does not put any stretch on those muscles, can you see how they may adaptively shorten in response to the new demands? They are not being repeatedly stretched, so they do not need to be as long and they will shorten. Then if the athlete starts skating everyday, they are now putting those adaptively shortened groin muscles on repeated stretch and risk a strain. Not a great way to start training camp.   

So my argument against riding the bike in the off-season is that it compounds muscle imbalances that already occur in hockey players and undoes some of the adaptive lengthening that is necessary in the adductor (groin) muscles. Both may reduce skating efficiency and contribute to overuse injuries.   

I will finish by saying that there are some amazing fitness coaches out there who specialize in training hockey players, love the stationary bike, use it effectively as a part of their overall hockey training system and produce some very effective players. Clearly they are addressing the muscle imbalances and mobility issues in other areas of their training. My goal is to encourage you to continue thinking about the specific demands of hockey on your athletes and train them systematically with those demands in mind.

Root Cause of Suicide and Depression

What causes suicide and depression? Spiritual death. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God and so, his heart vibrated with His virtue (peace, fellowship)(knowledge) but suffered separation anxiety when he disobeyed God’s commandment and ate of the tree of good and evil. The Lord told Adam that he would die if he did this (Genesis 2:17). If you know the story, you know Adam did not physically die when he partook of the forbidden fruit but died spiritually (loss of light). It was this connection with God that Adam lost, which he also passed onto his seed (mankind).

Spiritual Death? What does that Mean?

“But when we came into this strange land, pure praise was no longer ours, nor righteous prayer, nor understanding hearts, nor sweet thoughts, nor just counsels, nor long discernment, nor upright feelings, neither is our bright nature left us. (1 Book Adam and Eve 23:7)

We can understand the concept of the connection or fellowship that Adam had with God through our own experiences with one another and our environment (things of the world): intimacy, friendship, loyalty, career, hobbies, through taste, smell, touch etc. However, these experiences do not bring completion to the soul because it is incompatible with the soul. Ignorantly, man is trying to find completion through these things. Man was created in the image and likeness of God, so his soul has to be filled with the substance of God by faith. Man can find temporary stratification in these activities but it soon wears off.

The Need for Rest

Incompatibility results in unrest and exhaustion. Like a fish out of water or swimming against the current. The soul was only designed for the things of the Spirit. So when man tries to fill it (bring completion) through the things of the world, it always comes back on him in a negative loop, compounding spiritual death to the point of madness.

The will is weakened by this activity and no longer has the drive for engagement (depression). In extreme cases, the soul is in such a state of unrest and contradiction, that a person thinks they can find it through suicide but this is never the answer. The reasons in both cases always vary but the need to escape death (it’s effect) is the constant in every situation.

Sweet Thoughts

Being born into the condition of death, it is hard for man to understand what he was created for and the connection to God that was lost, that he subconsciously seeks for completion.

Gods revelation brings hope, not despair. Gods revelation gives strength to the will for faith, not bruise it. The joy, peace and rest that comes through this knowledge of that hope, lifts up our head and thankfulness fills the heart. This is the connection that God returns us to that Adam lost: the hope of his calling and how God will get us there.

Smoking And Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Worst Friends Forever!

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the colon, which is also known as the large intestine. The person may experience abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as spastic colon, mucus colitis or functional bowel disease. It is not a life-threatening disease, nor is it cancerous or contagious. The disease causes discomfort and stress, disrupting daily activities and often affects the sexual life of the patients.

Smoking worsens the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome. The symptoms of IBS are worsened by tobacco and it does not matter whether the tobacco is chewed, smoked or inhaled. The fact is that tobacco is a very potent gastrointestinal tract irritant, a carcinogen and a stimulant. Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract and are therefore very susceptible to some stimuli that may include certain foods, tobacco, caffeine and alcohol. Of all these stimulants, tobacco is probably the worst.

In general, smoking and tobacco affects all the parts of the human digestive system. It is the biggest cause for cancer. Smoking causes heartburn and reflux, the two triggers for symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Smoking also damages the esophageal sphincter causing the acidic contents in the stomach to flow upwards into the esophagus.

Ulcers are caused by the helicobacter pylori bacteria; however, peptic ulcers are caused due to smoking of tobacco. Smoking prevents healing of the ulcers causing it to recur more often. The reason for this is that smoking aggravates the ulcer perforation tenfold. Besides triggering irritable bowel syndrome and causing ulcers, smoking increases the possibility of Crohn’s disease and lead to the formation of gallstones.

Nicotine found in tobacco has addictive properties and is a toxin that tends to weaken the esophageal sphincter. This leads to the increased production of acid in the stomach and reduces the generation of sodium bicarbonate that is important in counterbalancing the stomach acid.

Besides nicotine, tobacco contains about four hundred toxins and forty three carcinogens.

These harmful substances are carried by the bloodstream to the digestive tract, thus triggering IBS symptoms. Inhaling tobacco smoke can cause gas, belching and bloating that are symptoms of IBS.

Smoking is known to cause cancer of the colon, the kidney, bladder, stomach or pancreas. Long term smoking increases the likelihood of colorectal cancer. The carcinogens in the tobacco smoke enter the colon and tend to increase the polyp size which may lead to cancerous growth. Studies have shown that twelve percent of colorectal cancers are due to smoking.

As we all know, smoking is injurious to health. Smoking increases the incidence of irritable bowel syndrome and can lead to more serious diseases like cancer. Thus, for the sake of your health, quit smoking and lead a healthy life.

7 Ovarian Cyst Symptoms and How to Overcome Them

Ovarian cysts affect a lot of women. It is a very serious disease because once you have it you can never be completely cured. You will always have some of the symptoms for the rest of your life.

You can control the disease and it is important to do what you can to keep it in remission so that is does not get worse and worse.

Awareness is very important for this reason. Many women develop ovarian cysts and do not know it. This means that the situation is allowed to worsen while they do nothing to treat it.

Not knowing will cost these women valuable time in fighting the disease and can be the difference in a good recovery and a lifetime of suffering with symptoms or worse.

If left undetected and untreated, ovarian cysts can lead to ovarian cancer. That is why it is critical that women are tested for these cysts on a regular basis so that they are detected before they turn into cancerous cells.

If detected early, the cysts can be controlled and the cancer prevented. Once the cancer takes hold, however, it is a long and difficult and not always successful process to treat it.

This brings back the old saying about the ounce of prevention being worth more than the pound of cure. And it could not be truer than in the case of ovarian cysts.

Often the first warning a woman will have that she has ovarian cysts is when one or more of them ruptures. This will lead to symptoms like:

1) Bleeding when you are not having you period.

2) Pelvic region pain, often a throbbing that is worse and more intense than cramps.

3) Irregular menstrual cycles.

4) Frequent urination often accompanied by painful urination or painful bowel movements.

5) Morning sickness without pregnancy.

6) Weight gain.

7) Tender breasts.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms you should immediately make an appointment to see you doctor.

It is well worth getting checked to find out what the cause is because it could be ovarian cysts or something else equally serious.

If your doctor determines that you have ovarian cysts, you need to move forward on a method of treatment right away. Luckily you have a lot of different options and your doctor can help you decide which one is right for your situation.

If the cysts are serious, there is the option of surgery. This is the traditional treatment method and it is effective at getting rid of the current cysts, but does nothing to prevent new ones from emerging. And as with any surgery there are inherent risks involved.

Regardless of whether or not you need to undergo the surgery there are other things you should do to help manage the cysts and take care of yourself. These include:

1) Eating a healthy and balanced diet. Your body’s immune system is much better at fighting when it is well fueled.

2) Avoid excess red meat and dairy, as moderation of these foods is better for your health.

3) Drink eight glasses of water a day as well as herbal teas to help flush toxins from your system.

4) Get plenty of sleep and exercise.

None of the radical treatments but they are all ways to make your body healthier and less susceptible to cancers.