Yoga for Bone Density

Studies show that Yoga helps to fight one of the most common diseases affecting older Americans. Osteoporosis, a disorder that results in the loss of bone density and the thinning of bone tissue, affects 20 percent of American women over the age of 50. Bone loss is gradual and for some adults it may start before the age of 40.

When we are young, our bodies use calcium and phosphate to produce strong, healthy bones. With age, production of these minerals declines, making bones brittle and vulnerable to fractures. Although bone loss is more common in women, it also affects men.

Areas like the spine, wrists, and hips are especially prone to breaking. Yoga helps to build bone density, improve posture, and prevent hunched backs. Depending on the health and age of the practitioner, exercises can be adapted to fit individual needs. For beginners with osteoporosis, chair Yoga may be a good choice. However, a specialist chair Yoga instructor is essential for a safe class.

Ten Poses that Increase Bone Density

• Chair Pose

• Cobra Pose

• Mountain Pose

• Forward Bends

• Backward Bends

• Warrior Pose

• Bridge Pose

• Triangle Pose

• Upward Facing Dog

• Downward Facing Dog

Although Yoga is a weight-bearing exercise, it is much less likely to overwork the joints or damage cartilage than exercises like walking or jogging. Instead, asanas lengthen muscles and pull on bones, stressing and strengthening them in the process.

In a small study done in 2009, older adults with bone disease practiced a series of ten asanas. Two years later, bones scans showed that 85% of the participants had increased bone growth in the hips and spine. An unpublished study completed at California State University also showed that participants who practiced Yoga increased the density of bones in their vertebrae.

Another weapon in the war against osteoporosis is Yoga’s ability to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone produced during “flight or fight” response. Not only does cortisol suppress the immune system and raise the blood pressure, but it also depletes the supply of calcium in the bones and inhibits its absorption in the intestines.

Although an early start helps to prevent problems that come with aging, it’s never too late to begin a Yoga practice. Especially for people already suffering from bone loss or other health problems, it’s always a good idea to speak with a doctor before starting a new program.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

5 Tips for Selecting Your Converter

The overall performance of most stock cars with stock engines is usually best when using stock converters. Minor changes in cam-shafts that push the power range up in RPM may require a different converter. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to buy a new one. Keep the following in mind when trying to select a converter for your vehicle:

1.) Race Converters are Not for Regular Cars!

It is important to understand if your car is driven on a regular road, it is most likely not a race car. Race car converters will not provide satisfactory performance for a regular vehicle so don’t waste your time looking at those types of converters.

2.) Select a Converter for Your Engine Type

Don’t install a converter designed for a small-block into a car with a large-displacement or high torque engine. Some companies state right in their ads “not for use with big-block engines.” This statement doesn’t mean that the converter is low quality and the additional toque from a strong running big-block engine is going to kill it. This also means that the low-speed coupling efficiency is designed more for engines that produce less torque. High-torque big-block engines or even small-block engines with large displacement should use converters closely matched to their power output at lower engine speeds.

3.) Don’t Add a Converter the is Too Loose with A Street RPM Engine

If you have a race car and you do this, you’ll run out of RPM much too early in the quarter-mile race. Most vehicles are set up to go through the quarter-mile in high gear. It is important to keep in mind that the efficiency of converters is greatly affected by the engine RPM at the trap seed. We’ve seen loose converters slip nearly 1,000 RPM in high great and this should be factored into converter selection.

4.) Consider All Variables Such as Tire Size, Gear Ratio and Maximum RPM

All reputable part suppliers will ask about these aspects on your car prior to selling you your converter. Know all of these characteristics before going to buy your part.

The correct converter will provide some minor creep in Drive at your normal idle speed and will allow normal acceleration in traffic without excessive slippage and high RPM. It will provide a constant speed on the road without noticeable engine RPM changes when climbing and descending hills.

5.) A Torque-Converter Clutch can Improve your Converter

The torque-converter clutch (TCC) can be used to cease all torque multiplication for drag racing, road racing and many racers will use the TCC as early as second gear to provide a direct coupling between the engine and rear axle. This allows for a relatively loose converter to be used for maximum starting-line performance and still see the benefits of full power transfer during the run and lowest possible RPM at trap speeds.

The multiple-disk clutch assemblies increase the amount of friction material to greatly increase holding power when the TCC is applied. The pump cover and pump assembly are made of much stronger materials to hold their shape properly. These converters are available from most companies for applications where the user plans on using the TCC when the engine is making full power and they want all of the power produced to go directly to the transmission.

What is the Right Shingles Medication?

Anyone who has had chicken pox may later also have shingles. This disease however may need some other kind of treatment that is different from chicken pox medication. Given below are some types of shingles medication.

Consulting with Your Doctor

Although shingles do disappear on their own after a couple of weeks, it is important to immediately seek medical attention once you experience shingles symptoms. Shingles medication given by a doctor can help reduce the discomforts that accompany shingles and prevent complications. A doctor too would be able to give you the right combination and dosage of medications in consideration of your age and severity of condition.

Antiviral Shingles Medication

The first type of shingles medication that most doctors prescribe for shingles patients is antiviral medication. This is because shingles is caused by a virus and an antiviral can help prevent the development or increase of the virus. Antiviral medications also speed up the healing of shingles blisters and help ease pain. Experts say that antiviral medication should be given within 3 days of the first signs of shingles for best results. It is also believed that prompt and early medication can help limit the possibility of a patient developing post herpetic   neuralgia  or PHN. PHN is a condition in which pain persists for a long time after the shingles rashes have healed.

All patients with shingles may benefit from antiviral shingles medication. Early antiviral treatment however may be especially helpful for the elderly and those with severe cases of shingles. In some cases, antiviral medication may result in headaches as a side effect.

Corticosteriods Shingles Medication

Sometimes doctors may also prescribe corticosteroids in addition to antiviral shingles medication. Just like antiviral medicines, corticosteroids also work best when give early. Some doctors however recommend that corticosteroids only be given to patients who are more than 50 years old or those who have shingles on the face and are in extreme pain. This type of shingles medication can reduce pain, decrease itchiness and limit swelling.

The problem with the use of corticosteroids as shingles medication is that it might result in a number of side effects headache, stomach upset, moodiness, thirstiness, insomnia and increase in weight. Corticosteriods have also been known to make shingles rashes appear worse. The worst possible side effects of using this medication for a long time include meningitis, osteoporosis and cataract.

Other Medication

Your doctor might also additionally allow the use of over the counter anti inflammatory pain medication to help relieve pain further. Antibiotic ointments are also recommended to prevent infections that originate from shingles blisters.

Post Herpetic  Neuralgia  (PHN)

In rare cases, shingles patients may develop PHN, in which case a different set of medications is required. Medical treatment for PHN includes tricyclic antidepressants, nerve blockers, opioids, anticonvulsants and topical pain relievers.

Antidepressants in particular have become a common mode of treatment for PHN. Low doses of certain antidepressants have been observed to relieve pain. Further studies however are still required to understand exactly how antidepressants help with PHN.

Common Causes And Treatments For Sore Throat Pain In Children

Childhood illnesses can take its toll on the child and the parents as well. Knowing how to effectively treat your child when they get sick falls to the pediatrician primarily, but it can help you deal with the situation better if you understand what is causing your child’s illness and how it can be diagnosed and treated. A sore throat can be caused by a variety of triggers and its treatment will depend on discovering its root cause as well as how quickly it is diagnosed.

Common Causes for Sore Throat Pain

If your child develops a dry throat or complains of throat pain, it is most likely being caused by one of three distinct possibilities: a virus, bacteria, or by an allergic reaction. Allergies can account for a lot of illnesses in children and throat pain is usually an indicator that something in the environment, like dust, is causing the tissues inside the throat to swell. This is one of the many reasons that children should see their doctors as soon as they present any unusual symptoms, so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be given as soon as possible.

Throat pain is often a sign that your child has a viral infection, like that of the common cold or flu symptoms. Some viruses affect the adenoids, and could lead to illnesses like tonsillitis, so if your child presents any symptoms of throat pain, fever, runny or congested nose or tenderness inside their mouth, it is wise to take them to see their pediatrician as soon as possible for diagnosis.

A bacterial infection, on the other hand, is often more serious and can be quite debilitating to your child’s overall health. The most common bacterial infection involving the streptococcus bacterium can have symptoms involving a sore throat and fever of at least 100 or higher, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches and a swelling of the glands of the neck. If your child has any of these symptoms, it is vitally important they receive treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, more serious conditions such as rheumatic fever can develop, which can leave them struggling with a much longer recovery period.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Two tests can be done to determine what the root cause of the child’s throat pain. The first, known as the rapid test, is primarily used to check for the presence of viruses and the results come back fairly quickly. The doctor swabs the back and sides of the throat and then runs the test. Viruses can be normally treated with rest, lots of fluids and non-aspirin based pain relievers, like gargling solutions. Once the fever breaks and stays gone for at last 24 hours, the child can usually return to their normal routine.

If the rapid test comes back negative, most doctors will still swab again so that they can run a throat culture, to eliminate the possibility of a bacterial infection like strep throat. A throat culture usually takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to fully develop and the bacterium can easily be identified from their growth in a Petri dish. If a bacterial infection is identified, then the child will be treated with antibiotics, fluids, non-aspirin based pain relievers and bed rest. Once the child has been successfully treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours, they will no longer be considered contagious and may return to normal activities, like school.

Antibiotics are given to destroy the bacteria but will do nothing for the sore throat pain, which is what the milder pain relievers are for. Aspirin should never be given to any child under the age of 18, because of the documented risk of a more serious condition, like Reyes Syndrome, developing. Bed rest, fluids and frequent gargling will aid the other symptoms and help prevent dehydration from developing.

Tonsilith Treatments – How to Cure Tonsiliths

Tonsiliths? What’s that?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of tonsiliths. Tonsilith or “tonsil stones”, are collections of various matter bound together in your tonsils. This matter is comprised mostly of food particles, dead cells, and oral bacteria which can form into hardened white balls and cause bad breath.

You may be a sufferer of tonsiliths and not even realise it. If you have chronic bad breath or a sore throat and feel like there is something stuck in the back of your throat, then there is a chance you have this condition. Tonsil stones form on the tonsil crevices and can harden and grow as they mature. They can become visible and can grow up to the size of marbles.

Unfortunately there is no certain potion or pill for treating tonsilith. Many people look to antibiotics such as penicillin to treat tonsil stones as they misdiagnose this for tonsillitis. Although antibiotics may relieve some of the outward symptoms, such as trouble swallowing and a chronic sore throat, it does not actually treat tonsilith.

There are several ways to treat tonsilith and get rid of those smelly white balls on your tonsils. If the tonsiliths have not hardened and matured you may be able to simply gargle the bacteria away with salt water.

If you can reach the tonsil stone with your toothbrush, try to scrape them away. You can also try pressing a q-tip down on your tonsils which sometimes pop the tonsiliths out of place.

If the tonsilith have become too hard you might need to see a doctor who may decide to remove your tonsils altogether. This is called a tonsillectomy. Or, another option is laser tonsillectomy which uses a carbon dioxide laser to literally ‘beam’ the tonsil crevices flat. Without tonsil crevices, the food particles and debris have nowhere to latch onto and thus your tonsiliths will disappear.

In most cases the tonsiliths will eventually remove themselves. However, they can be extremely irritating, painful and embarrassing as the odour is anything but pleasant. Ensure you practice extra good oral care with brushing, flossing and rinsing as part of your daily routine.

You can also chew on herbs such as cinnamon, thyme and mint during the day to ensure those annoying tonsil stones are under control no matter where you go.

Hand Arthritis – Symptoms and Treatment

Arthritis in the hand or wrists is common, but can be very debilitating. We use our hands for the vast majority of our daily living activities, from washing and dressing to more intricate tasks such as typing or threading a needle. When the joints in the hand and the digits are affected by arthritis, day to day living can be very difficult.

What causes hand arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of hand arthritis. The hands and wrists are made up of many small bones and joints, which interact with each other to provide the range of motion needed. The joints are protected by a layer of cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber and provides a smooth surface for the bones of the joints to glide over easily. However, over time cartilage can become worn or damaged due to disease or injury. As we age, our cartilage is less able to repair itself, and eventually the smooth, pain free motion of the joint is lost. As the bones begin to rub against the rough surfaces of the worn cartilage and eventually against each other, they can lose their normal shape and become disfigured.

Synoval fluid is naturally produced by the body as lubrication for the joints, but when cartilage becomes damaged, the body will often produce more synoval fluid in an attempt to cushion the joint. However, this can cause swelling within the joint, and reduce motion.

An injury to the hand or wrist, such as a fracture or dislocation, can make the joints more susceptible to arthritis, especially if the surface or the joint has been damaged.

Hand arthritis can also occur as the result of disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which affects the whole body, so it is likely that other joints will also be affected, and other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue and general stiffness, may also be experienced.

Symptoms

The first symptoms of hand arthritis are general joint pain or a burning sensation in the affected area. This is likely to occur after repeated use, such as heavy lifting or prolonged typing. Stiffness of the affected area, particularly first thing in the morning, is also a common symptom.

These symptoms will increase in severity as the disease progresses. Sensations of pain may be present constantly, not just when the hands are in use. Swelling of the affected joints is likely to occur, which can make them appear larger, and the area may be red and appear warm to the touch. The motion and use of the joints is likely to be affected, and daily living tasks will become increasingly more difficult.

Crepitus may be experienced; crepitus is the grating or clicking sensation experienced by the damaged cartilage surfaces rubbing against each other. If the end finger joints are affected, small cysts can develop.

If rheumatoid arthritis is the cause, subcutaneous nodules can develop under the skin and can be accompanied by joint damage and deformity.

Arthritis caused by osteoarthritis can be diagnosed by X-ray or bone scans if the disease is in the early stages. Rheumatoid arthritis can generally be detected by blood tests.

Treatment

There are a range of treatments available for hand arthritis, consisting of non surgical or surgical options.

Non surgical treatments work by relieving pain and inflammation, and preventing further deterioration of the joints. Anti-inflammatory medications are likely to be prescribed.

Cortisone Injections may also be used, which contain a long lasting anesthetic to reduce pain. Although these injections can provide pain relief for several weeks, their use should be limited as they can cause side effects such as infection and tendon and ligament weakness.

Some patients experience relief by using heat and ice packs on the affected areas, and gently exercising or massaging the joints and fingers can help to maintain joint mobility.

A splint can also be applied to affected joints to support the area during times of use. A splint should only be worn when stress is likely to be placed on the affected area or when pain is experienced, as prolonged use can cause muscle wasting.

If non surgical treatment does not relieve symptoms, or if the condition is advanced, then surgical treatment may be considered. There are several different options for surgery, including joint fusions, joint reconstruction or joint replacement. Your doctor should be able to advise on which option would be best for you based on the progression of the arthritis, your age and your lifestyle.

Although hand arthritis cannot be cured, the range of treatments now available can minimize your symptoms and help you to continue to live a full and active life.

Diabetes Symptoms

 Diabetes  is a disease that all too often goes undetected because the symptoms are either so mild or common to other problems. Because of this, many people walk around with  diabetes  without even knowing it until they finally go to the doctor for a blood and urine test. This article is going to review the most common symptoms of  diabetes  so that you’re alerted to what to look out for. The sooner your  diabetes  is diagnosed, the quicker you can receive treatment.

Probably the most common symptom of  diabetes  is extreme thirst. The reason for this is that the kidneys of a diabetic spill excessive levels of glucose into the urine which results in taking more water with it. That’s why diabetics are so thirsty, because they are losing more water than non diabetics.

Another common symptom of  diabetes  is frequent urination. This is also caused by the same problem as above. Diabetics usually wake up many times during the night. Diabetics have a difficult time taking long trips because of this urination problem.

Another common symptom of  diabetes  is extreme hunger. This is caused by the body not producing enough insulin, which is needed for glucose to enter our cells. Because our cells don’t get enough glucose, which gives us our energy, we are constantly hungry. This same problem also causes fatigue and weight loss as well.

Another common symptom of  diabetes  is headache. The reason diabetics get headaches frequently is because our brain cells need a constant supply of energy, which they are not getting because not enough glucose is getting into our cells. This also tends to make diabetics nervous and irritable.

Another very common problem of  diabetes  is blurred vision, which can ultimately lead to blindness if your  diabetes  isn’t kept in check. The reason for the blurred vision is because of the high levels of glucose in the cells. This damages the cells and causes them to leak. This makes the retina bleed and swell, which is what causes the blurred vision.

There are many more symptoms of  diabetes  such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, skin infections, impotence, wounds that take a long time to heal, no tolerance to cold, itching, numbness in fingers and toes, heart palpitations and excessive perspiration.

Because many of these symptoms can occur with other diseases, it is important to see your doctor for a blood test and urinalysis in order to determine whether or not you have  diabetes .

 Diabetes , if caught early, can be treated and controlled.

To YOUR Health,

Steve Wagner

Adolescence Obesity

Do we have reason to be concerned about adolescent  obesity ? Over the past three decades the number of overweight and obese children has nearly tripled. Statistically adolescent  obesity  accounts for over 17% of those numbers. Overweight children have a higher risk of developing lifelong health problems more than their adult counterparts because  obesity  during childhood is associated with an increased rate of illness and even death in adulthood. Adult  obesity  is far more difficult to treat which means if adolescent  obesity  is not treated the consequences could be grave.

There are many reasons for the increase in adolescent  obesity  one particular reason is the world that we live in. Technologically we have advanced and gurus are always trying to find ways of simplifying our lives. The problem is that because of the almighty dollar some of the technological advances are targeting our youth. Video games, computers, and big screen television sets have all contributed to sedentary lifestyles. The lure and excitement of these gadgets also come at a price with advertising. Particularly the internet and social networking which entices adolescence with free ring tones and other offers to gain access to an e-mail address. The result is e-mail marketing for convenience foods and fast foods that are high in fat and calories. The most common cause, of course, is eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise.

Everyone needs and has some fat tissue in their bodies but when teens have too much it results in adolescent  obesity . There are several different methods used to calculate body fat percentage the most commonly used method is called the body mass index. This is a measurement of an individuals height in relation to weight. The result is a figure that is used to determine their body mass index. There are three categories of  obesity . Class I  obesity  is defined as a BMI score of 30-34.9, and Class II  obesity  is defined as a BMI of 35-39.9. Lastly, Class III  obesity , also known as morbid  obesity  or severe  obesity , is defined as a BMI score of 40 or higher. Based on these numbers, as many as one-third of all Americans are considered obese.

Adolescent  obesity  takes no prisoners. It effects all ethnic groups, religious groups, genders, financially secure and insecure families, educational levels and more. There are many influences for the increase in overweight children such as environmental factors. Parents are spending less time with their children because of the need for two income sources and they are unable to monitor the eating habits and exercise that their children get. Issues in school with peer pressure and taunting or teasing. Many overweight children get picked on leading them into isolation and contributing to adolescent  obesity . Family conflict also contributes to  obesity  in children. When families are struggling many times children become secondary and they turn to food to nurture hurt feelings. Parents become less aware of the effects of the conflict on their adolescents and how they are venting their anger and pain.

Solving the problem of adolescent  obesity  can be accomplished with the help of schools, the community and most of all the parents. Focusing on healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, exercise, and doing it as a family. It all starts at home. Parental involvement and support is critical for adolescents to gain control of their weight.

Skin Rashes

Skin rash is defined as skin that is not normal in appearance and texture. It is characterized by redness, bumps, blotches, cracks, blisters or swelling and may be accompanied by itching and, in severe cases, by fever. A rash may be localized or may spread to the entire body. If medical attention is not given on time, the problem can worsen.

Skin rashes can have many causes. Each one pertains to a particular condition of the skin or a particular type of disease. It requires the help of a dermatologist to decide what the problem is and what treatment is to be given.

Contact dermatitis is a rash caused by touching something that was previously contaminated or does not suit your body chemistry. Eczema is a skin problem related to people with allergies and asthma. Sebhoric dermatitis deals with flaky skin. If it is on the scalp, it is called dandruff.

Skin rashes are myriad in nature. Each condition is relative to certain problems. Simple problems occur due to allergies to certain foods, detergents, perfumes, plants, etc. Others could be related to diseases like measles, chicken pox, shingles, hand and foot diseases etc. If the problem is considered serious, then you may be advised to have a skin biopsy to rule out diseases like cancer.

These days there are vaccinations available that take care of diseases that could cause rashes. In all cases, it is important to maintain a hygienic routine. When you are affected, find out what products and medications make you break out, and keep this list handy to prevent further problems. As much as possible, avoid over-the-counter remedies except to treat very basic skin problems. Get professional advice and take the required medication, as it is necessary to get rid of the problem at its root.

Most skin conditions need cream or lotion applications to alleviate the problem, and in some cases a course of antibiotics could be prescribed. Read up on some basic medicines, get tips from doctors, and keep a first-aid kit handy and you may prevent a simple rash from turning into a bigger problem.

Do You Have a Commitment Phobia?

It’s not because you have a face only your mother can love, nor because of your too long nose that you can’t get yourself into a relationship. In fact, you find it easy to talk to somebody and ask her out. It’s when you’re about to like her that much that you tend to withdraw.

Chances are you have a commitment  phobia . There are many causes of commitment  phobias . One of the major causes is a traumatic incident during childhood or the significant formative years. This usually happens after parental separation or any experience of abuse or maltreatment which colors the way they perceive and take in their own relationships as adults.

It’s easy to figure out a person who has commitment  phobia . Many sufferers of commitment  phobia  are those who want to commit themselves seriously in a relationship and eventually get married, but they have unrealistic ideals for suitors. These are the people whom others usually consider too picky.

Most of the time these people would tend to fall in love with people of the opposite sex who are not likely to commit with them which makes them safe from having to commit themselves for a long-term relationship.

More often people who are suffering from commitment  phobia  are not open to discuss their views, opinions, and thoughts about living together or getting married. They also consider marrying as that of losing one’s self for the relationship to work.

Usually a person with commitment  phobia  would tend to still flirt around and entice people of the opposite sex to be interested with them but eventually the fear sets in and everything crumbles.

Some are even worse than that. They tend to shy away from attention because it might trigger somebody to start a relationship. They would device a way that would show anyone the way out before too long. This is their way of protecting themselves from people who would like to get close with them.

Another thing a person who suffers from commitment  phobia  does is to hurt and annoy the person he or she loves simply to sabotage the relationship even if it is working well. This avoidance to commit is not only limited to relationships but to tasks and responsibilities as well. If you find yourself in this situation several times, it might be better to ask for medical help as soon as possible.

Anxiety Cures – Discover Over Nine

In order to consider options for anxiety cures, it is important to really understand what causes anxiety. Anxiety ISN’T something we genetically inherit or an illness or disease we contract. Anxiety is something we produce ourselves. We do this by the way we’ve learned to live and interact in the world. Essentially, we live more stressfully and fearfully than others. And as a result, we cause the body more stress and that stress produces symptoms of stress, which leads to anxiety attacks; and thus we need anxiety cures.

While medication can help to diminish symptoms, medication should NEVER be considered as a cure. Because once you stop medication, and if you haven’t adjusted the way you live, your symptoms will return again in time, and often, over and over again. This approach is not an anxiety cure.

Learning what anxiety is, what it does to the mind and body, how you personally cause it to develop, and more importantly, what you can do to eliminate it as a condition, IS the cure. Once you learn how to stop producing anxiety, anxiety as a condition goes away, and consequently, so do the symptoms.

What kinds of therapies are available that can be anxiety cures? Besides avoiding the triggers of an anxiety attack, there are many things that both decrease anxiousness, and calm you down, once an attack has begun.

1. Change your diet. Excess amounts of caffeine in foods like energy drinks, coffee and aerated water will build up pressure and anxiety in your body since caffeine is known to excite panic attacks. Introduce more liquids to your diet and avoid alcohol as it excites your brain. Wholemeal pasta, brown rice, wholemeal bread, oats, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, pumpkin seeds also help to reduce anxiety.

2. Introduce a regular exercise regimen to your daily routine to act as an outlet to vent your stress and anxiety – especially aerobic exercise.

3. Aromatherapy is a wonderful anxiety reliever (anxiety cure) – and may help to avoid an attack as well. Essential oils aid and relieve tension making it possible for people to relax. Some of these include oils such as Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Melissa, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Marjoram and Ylang-ylang. These can be utilized as massage oils, infusers and mix in bath soaps or water.

4. Massage Therapy works wonders. Bodyworks (or massage) utilizes many different approaches such as Shiatsu, Swedish and Thai massage, Hot Stone therapy, Lomi-Lomi, Deep Tissue therapy, Lymphatic drainage, Cranio-Sacral therapy- all of which can help manage anxiousness. On top of that, it reduces anxiety, relieves muscle tensions and promotes a restful sleep.

5. Meditation, self-hypnosis, biofeedback, and breathing exercises are some of the greatest approaches of self- help for anxiety, and lower stress levels significantly. Meditative routines like Yoga and Tai Chi are effective strain relievers.

6. Herbal self help for anxiety: St. John’s Wort improves mood. Kava Kava is very useful for anxiety treatment, perhaps as effective as prescription drugs. Kava has a relaxing effect on the muscles. It seems to quiet down anxiety, calm anger and can make one feel more sociable. Valerian helps you sleep. Passion flower is utilized for creating calm and relaxation. Some reports indicate that Passion Flower aids in easing worry and insomnia.

7. Amino Acids: Tryptophan alleviates insomnia.

8. Vitamin Supplements: Vitamin B enables the entire body to handle anxiety. In addition; many green, leafy vegetables contain the vitamin. Vitamin B1improves mood. Vitamin B5 is needed to make anti-stress hormones. Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 helps to produce “feel-good” (euphoric) brain chemicals.

9. Mineral Supplements: Magnesium dietary supplements have a calming influence especially for all those struggling from strain and depression. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and is crucial for nerve function. People often find relief from nervousness and sleeplessness when using calcium and magnesium together.Folic acid reduces homocysteine levels, which can decrease depression. Calcium helps you relax. Chromium stabilizes blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar can dramatically affect a person’s level of anxiety.

Although the above is not a comprehensive list, it does provide you with an idea of what you can do yourself to obtain anxiety cures – without using a prescription. Obviously, if you need to seek professional help, do so. But always realize that the best solution for anxiety cures lies within you. You have the power to change your life! It may not happen overnight, but surely you are worth the challenge – and the work that it takes to have an anxiety attack-free life.

Insomnia – A Real Solution

A client of mine recently told his doctor that he had trouble sleeping. No surprise: The doctor gave him yet another prescription. He is already taking pills three times a day! I can tell you what I cannot legally tell him: This is crazy. He may become dependent on the drug–and it will certainly contribute to his health problems.

 Insomnia  is a real problem, but more drugs are not the answer. Let’s take a fresh look at this issue.

 Insomnia  is generally the result of conscious and/or subconscious thoughts that are stressful or exciting. These thoughts can involve unsolved problems or just nervous excitement. Other factors may include the effects of medications or drugs (e.g. Coffee too close to bedtime), pain, noise and exercising too close to bedtime.

Address these issues in advance so that your  insomnia  occurs less frequently. For example, try to resolve family conflicts so that you don’t have to sleep on them. And don’t focus on problems or unpleasant events in the hours before bedtime.

To deal with  insomnia  without drugs, you need a plan. Here’s my suggestions.

First, address noise issues: If intrusive noise is a problem, you have two options.

Your first option is to purchase noise-canceling headphones or similar devices that eliminate most of the noise. Many of these devices can cancel out noise with or without listening to music. ConsumerReports.org has information and ratings on available products.

Your second option is to purchase a device that emits audible sound that drowns out the noise. According to the September 2008 issue of Consumer Reports, these are the top two items to consider:

1) Sleep Sound Machine from Brookstone – Tranquil Moments – Clinically Proven Acoustic Technology.

2) Marpac SleepMate 980A Electro-Mechanical Sound Conditioner. Some people find these devices helpful even in the absence of noise issues.

Second, select a particular exercise that can be done if you can’t sleep. The exercise should be sufficiently strenuous to dissipate tension. I know I said exercise too close to bedtime is sometimes a problem, but once you can’t sleep, at this point exercise becomes useful. I use push ups. I can’t imagine anything that works better.

Third, always have at least one productive activity planned that can been done if you can’t sleep. This way, you win whether you can sleep or not!

Ideally, this activity should involve concentrated mental effort. Studying any subject not related to psychology or emotional problems will work. Casual reading doesn’t work nearly as well. By forcing your conscious mind to focus, you also prevent your subconscious mind from continuing to dwell on the thoughts that are keeping you awake. This study period should be at least 20 minutes. Usually, you will start to feel tired after 20-30 minutes.

The next best thing would be some type of productive physical labor combined with listening to the radio or a CD (Again, nothing involving psychology or problems). The labor will work off some stress and provide a sense of accomplishment. The radio/CD will keep your mind occupied on something that does not create stress. Both will help with your  insomnia .

Now, you need to get a 3×5 card and write down your own personalized  insomnia  plan. Just make a list of items that will help you get to sleep–in the order that you will try them. You then use as many of these items as necessary.

An example of an  Insomnia  Plan follows:

  • Set timer.
  • Exercise.
  • Prayer.
  • Study 20 minutes.
  • Work/Radio

Often, only the first three items will be needed. But, if you later find that you need more, just get up again and complete another item on the list. I always set a timer first so that I don’t spend more time awake than I intend to. This prevents unproductive daydreaming–or worse, thinking about problems.

Once you have completed a sufficient number of these items, go back to sleep doing one of the following:

1) Listen to soft, relaxing music. Soft Christmas music, for example, works well.

2) Listen to a non-music CD, audio book or a relaxing radio program. Christians, for example, can listen to an undramatized version of the Bible. The idea is to keep your mind occupied so that you don’t again start focusing on problems. Increase the volume–within reason–as necessary. Many clock/radio/CD players have a jack for an ear bud. This will help if someone is sleeping with you who doesn’t want to be disturbed.

3) For people of faith: Continuous prayer until you fall asleep: This prayer should only involve praise and the giving of thanks. Don’t ask God for anything–doing so will refocus your mind on problems–and you won’t be able to sleep.

I suggest you put a CD player on the headboard above your bed. This way, you can easily adjust the volume. The CD player should be set to turn off after a specified period of time.

Get up as soon as you can, once you realize you can’t sleep. The above program will work much better if you get up right away–rather than after hours of tossing and turning.

Medications or alcohol should be used only on rare occasions for  insomnia . These often become habit forming–you soon won’t be able to sleep without them. And there are often side effects. The newer medications pose particular risks. An excellent article entitled “How did you sleep last night” was published in the September 2008 issue of Consumer Reports.

People with a history of drug or alcohol abuse probably should not ever use drugs or alcohol for  insomnia .

If you have any concerns about your ability to do strenuous exercise, consult your doctor in advance. Also, have your doctor rule out Sleep Apnea and address other medical conditions that may be related to your  insomnia .

So, these are my suggestions. They work for me. And I’m confident they will work for you as well.

10 Homemade Pedicure Tips for Beautiful Feet

What Is A Homemade Pedicure?

A homemade pedicure is one of the easiest and cost effective ways of improving the appearance of your feet and their nails.

Essentially, it is a manicure of the feet with a few additions to keep them feeling comfortable in both open toed and enclosed footwear.

The word Pedicure comes from the Latin word ‘pes’ (meaning ‘foot’) and ‘cura’ (meaning ‘care’) and also has relevance to other foot conditions such as ‘pes plano’ which means flat footed.

An at home pedicure is good for several reason,s but most importantly it enables you to check over the feet in detail to identify and hopefully prevent any problems, such as fungal nails and athlete’s foot, before they occur.

A Homemade Pedicure In 10 Simple Steps…

1) Remove Polish

Remove any existing nail polish or gel coverings preferably using a non-solvent-based nail polish remover, this will prevent the nail plate from being damaged and drying out. Try to use cotton bands instead of cotton wool balls so as not to leave any traces of cotton behind.

2) Soak Feet

Use a bowl of warm water or a foot spa and add a drop of shampoo and a tablespoon full of sea salt or Epsom salts as this is good for any cracks in the skin. You can also add an essential oil such as tea tree or eucalyptus. Soak your feet for around 10 to 15 min. If you have heavy calluses you may need to soak them for longer.

3) Exfoliate

Gently exfoliate your feet and heels with a ready-made foot scrub, or a face scrub. This will help with any dead skin and minor calluses. You can also use a pumice stone at this stage or the coarse biodegradable pumice pad to treat minor calluses.

Do not scrub too hard as you may damage the upper layers of your skin and make it sore Use a fine foot file once the feet are completely dry to smooth the skin before applying cream.

Never use a razor to remove calluses as all too often you will end up cutting yourself which may lead to more serious problems. If they are that bad, visit your podiatrist who will scalpel them down for you.

However, remember calluses are there for a reason-to protect your foot from friction and pressure. If you remove them without addressing the cause they may become very sore.

4) Dry Properly

Make sure you dry your feet correctly particularly in between the toes to prevent a damp environment for bacteria and fungus such as athlete’s foot to get hold. Use a foot towel specifically for your feet and no other member of your family to prevent cross infection problems.

5) Tidy Cuticles

Apply a cuticle softener to each cuticle on the toes, carefully rubbing it in and wait 3 to 5 min. Ten very gently push back the cuticles using a clean orange stick.

Tip: if you don’t have a cuticle softener, using olive oil will work just as well.

6) Trim Nails

Carefully trim and cut your toenails with a pair of nail clippers or scissors. Be careful not to cut them to short or you would damage the nail bed or worse make it bleed.

Always use a good quality and clean (preferably sterilised) pair of clippers and cut them straight across.

This will reduce the risk of ingrown nails from cutting down the sides. However, cutting straight across often leads to sharp corners which need to be filed carefully with a special file called a ‘blacks file’ by podiatrists or an ‘ingrown toenail file’ by pedicurists.

Tip: If visiting a salon always make sure the tools/instruments they use have been sterilised correctly so as to avoid bacterial and fungal contamination of the nails and skin.

7) File Nails

A glass file is often best for filing toenails, although metal ones can be sterilised. However, most people opt for the disposable emery board type. File in one direction so as not to split the nail and remove any sharp corners left from cutting as in step six.

8) Massage Your Feet

Give your feet a gentle reflexology style massage to finish your homemade pedicure and make them feel fresh and new again prior to applying any nail polishes.

9) Separate Toes

Use a foam toe separator to separate the toes prior to painting. This will help with any smudging or marking of the nails if you have to walk about while they dry.

10) Polish Nails

Always apply a good quality base coat before applying your nail polish as it will protect your nails from any solvent in the polish, which can lead to destruction of the nail plate over time. Let your nails completely dry before wearing shoes or sandals.

Tip: Keep nail polishes in a cool, dry place like the fridge-they will last longer.

Nail Fungus Picture

If you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection, you will find it useful to view a nail fungus picture, as well as pictures of other nail conditions. This is because, although fungal infection is one of the more common nail abnormalities, it is only one of many things that can cause nails to look bad. Photographs can be very informative; however, self-diagnosis is risky. Even if you are sure you know what is wrong, have a doctor or a dermatologist look at your nail and make a proper diagnosis so that you can get the appropriate treatment. This article provides urls for several internet sites that have excellent photographs of fungal nail infections and other nail abnormalities.

Every one of the pictures at DermNet NZ, http://www.dermnetnz.org/fungal/onychomycosis.html, is a fungus nail picture showing the variation of this common infection. Some of the pictures provide the species name of the fungus that was isolated from that particular infection, but it is not possible to identify a fungal species by just looking at an infected nail or a nail fungus picture: laboratory culture of nail clippings to grow the fungus is required to get this information. You may notice that most of the pictures show nails that are yellowish or brownish in color, while one, with secondary bacterial infection, shows black nails. While dark green or black color is more typical of bacterial colonization, fungus can cause a black color as well.

Visit [http://tray.dermatology.uiowa.edu/Onychomyco01.htm] for an excellent fungus nail picture of an infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans. This yeast is the same one that causes oral and throat infections in some individuals and yeast infections in women. The difference between a yeast and a fungus nail picture can be subtle, but one typical feature is paronychia – involvement of the soft tissue adjacent to the nail. Although a fungus can also spread beyond the nail, fungal skin infections are generally quite superficial and do not cause deep tissue inflammation.

A photo gallery at Hooked On Nails, http://www.hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.html, has an excellent selection of pictures of nail abnormalities. The collection includes more than one nail fungus picture, but also superb photographs and comments on other nail conditions. For the average reader who lacks detailed medical knowledge, this is perhaps the most useful site of those mentioned here. Another collection of both fungus nail pictures and other types of abnormalities can be found at Medline Plus, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003247.htm, along with some general information about the conditions covered.

Again, although your nail may look entirely typical of one of the conditions shown in these nail fungus pictures, have a physician examine it to get a professional opinion.

How to Rehab a Sprained Ankle

Everyone always hears the same old advice when they sprain an ankle. Ice it and rest. This is known as the R.I.C.E. system which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While this is an okay approach in the immediate short term, there a re a lot of significant shortcomings to this system of rehab. They include:

Drawbacks of R.I.C.E.

* Usually takes at least 2-8 weeks to heal.

* Does not increase range of motion.

* Does not repair neural damage.

* Does not strengthen ankle.

* Increases risk of ankle injury in the future.

* Increases risk of knee (A.C.L. – Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and hip injuries.

I have sprained my own ankle a number of times in the past, because I play a lot of basketball. I have personally been through all the frustration and pain that is involved with this kind of injury. Eventually, I wondered if there was a better way to rehab myself then the old version of R.I.C.E. Since I am a certified trainer from one of the most prestigious fitness programs in the United States, (N.A.S.M. National Academy of Sports Medicine), I already knew that there had to be a better way. I just had to discover it.

I did a great deal of research and learned that there is indeed a much more effective way to treat a sprained ankle. One of the biggest drawbacks of R.I.C.E. is that it tells you to just rest and ice. But, you actually need to get moving just as quickly as possible. Besides, ice is only effective for a short while and that only contains the swelling, it doesn’t decrease it. So, I set about developing a program that anyone could use to heal a sprained ankle in a matter of days instead of weeks.

When you sprain an ankle, a lot of things happen. Beyond the obvious swelling, stiffness, and bruising, there are three main issues that must be addressed to heal the ankle quickly and correctly:

1) The body tends to heal very slowly. Left to itself, an ankle injury usually takes about 2-8 weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. But, when you actively rehabilitate it with specific exercises that strengthen it and increase range of motion, the ankle responds very quickly and swelling goes down rapidly. My clients recover from a sprained ankle in days not weeks. They are usually walking normally within 3-5 days after an ankle sprain injury.

2) The ankle joint is weakened by the injury. If it is not properly rehabilitated, it will remain weak and will be very slow to heal. It will also be at such greater risk of re-injury. You have to strengthen the ligaments and muscles around the ankle joint. Since they have been damaged, they need to be stretched and strengthened in order to heal properly. Further, by stretching and strengthening the ankle, we keep the blood moving in and out of that area which helps the ankle heal significantly faster.

3) After an ankle injury, there is a neural impairment. In other words, the communication between the nervous system and the ankle joint will be decreased. If this isn’t addressed, healing will naturally take much longer. Also, after you think your ankle is better, the neural impairment will continue, putting you at risk for injury in the future.

My system works to reduce swelling, bruising and pain while at the same time strengthening the muscles around the ankle joint and increasing flexibility. These are not contradictory things. You may think you just need rest and ice, but that will insure your recovery process is slow and incomplete. The ligaments need to be stretched and worked in such a way that the body will trigger the healing process. In other words, the more flexible and strong your ankle becomes, the quicker your body will work through the healing process. But, you have to be very careful to not over-work the muscles by doing exercises that may overwork the muscles and possible cause more damage.

But, the best part about my program is that it’s not just about speed. One of the unique things about my system is that it also repairs the neuromuscular damage from the injury. When you do damage to ligaments as in an ankle sprain, the nervous system and muscles in the ankle joint to communicate as well anymore. If that’s not addressed, then you will always have weaker, less flexible ankles that are at risk for future injury. In order to properly heal the ankle joint, we must first correct the impaired neural communication between the muscles and nervous system. This is completely addressed in my system with a few surprisingly simple and easy to do exercises.

Here are the main benefits of the system:

* Pain free walking in days.

* Back to sports in about a week.

* Significantly increases strength and flexibility.

* Heals neuromuscular damage from the injury.

* Dramatically reduces your risk of future injury.

* Helps correct posture and muscle imbalances.

* May help dramatically reduce knee, hip, back pain.

* Anyone can do it.

* It’s simple and only takes minutes a day.

* Filled with high quality images to insure ease of use.