Herbal Remedies For Heart Disease

When dealing with heart problems there are many things that you can do. You need to manage your stress levels, improve your diet to increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that you eat to about 60-80% and you need to increase the exercise that you have, There are also vitamins and herbs that you can take to cleanse your body of toxins and thus cleanse your arteries and to build and repair your arteries and strengthen the heart itself. In a previous article we looked at the vitamins and minerals that you need and in this article we will explore the herbs that can help to overcome heart disease.

There are two main groupings of herbs for the circulatory system:

  • those that have a direct action on the heart, and
  • those that affect the peripheral blood vessels (that is, vessels of the limbs).

Herbs for the Heart

  • broom – strengthens and normalizes the heart and also rids the body of any build-up of water that is due to insufficient heart strength. Care has to be taken though with this herb as it can increase blood pressure.
  • bugleweed – whilst this herb increases the strength of the heart beat it also decreases its rate and is valuable as a relaxant as well.
  • figwort – is known for its treatment of skin problems but it also strengthens the heart’s contractions.
  • hawthorn berries – are one of the most valuable remedies for the circulatory system. They strengthen the force of the contraction of the heart muscle while also dilating the vessels of the coronary circulation. They can be used in most circulatory problems as they will relax or stimulate the heart according to its need and normalize heart function.
  • lily of the valley – can be used where the strength of the heart is insufficient, as in angina, or in the treatment of an aging heart. This is particularly the case when there are fatty deposits in the blood vessels.
  • motherwort – is a relaxing herb and for the circulatory system it will strengthen and normalize the heart function.
  • night blooming cereus – can be use similarly to lily of the valley and is particularly useful where there is any change in the rhythm of the heart beat.

You will notice that foxglove has been left off the list. It is a plant derived medicine used extensively by orthodox medicine as an effective treatment for the heart. However there are marked dangers with this poisonous plant and therefore it has been left out. This does not mean however that there are no effective herbal remedies for the heart. Lily of the valley is one of these effective herbs. The danger of poisoning with lily of the valley does not exist as its glycosides have a unique chemical structure that ensures they are easily excreted and do not build up in the body – but there is still the possibility of some toxicity. To strengthen the heart the following mixture should be taken over an extended period of time.

  • 2 parts hawthorn berries
  • 2 parts motherwort
  • 1 part lily of the valley

Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons full of the herb mix and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day. At the same time an adequate intake of potassium has to be ensured. Eat plenty of potassium containing foods, such as grapes, tomatoes and bananas. If there is any water retention 1 part dandelion should be added to the mix above. If tension and anxiety are present use the following:

  • 1 part balm
  • 1 part lime (linden) blossom

Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons full of the dried herbs and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day or as often as needed. If this does not prove strong enough, use skullcap and valerian instead. If you suffer from angina the following mixture may be of assistance.

  • 3 parts hawthorn berries
  • 2 parts motherwort
  • 2 parts lime (linden) blossom
  • 1 part lily of the valley

Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons full of the dried herbs and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day over a long period. It will not immediately relieve the pain of an attack.

Herbs for Peripheral Circulation As was the case with the heart herbs, a number of herbs are available to improve the peripheral circulation. The most important herbal agents for the circulation include:

  • broom,
  • buckwheat,
  • cayenne,
  • dandelion,
  • ginger,
  • hawthorn,
  • horse chestnut,
  • lime (linden) blossom,
  • mistletoe and
  • yarrow,

Some of these herbs are also heart tonics, while others stimulate the peripheral circulation (cayenne and ginger) and others are diuretics (yarrow). The actual herbs used will depend on the nature of the problems for a particular individual and the range of causes and contributing factors.

Additional herbs When problems with the circulatory system develop there is often the need to assist the body in the removal of water. When the heart is weak and fails to circulate effectively and insufficient blood is passed through the kidneys or when the blood vessels (particularly the veins in the legs) are weak, a build up of water in the body can occur. In such conditions herbal diuretics can help. These diuretics include:

  • broom,
  • dandelion,
  • lily of the valley, and
  • yarrow.

One of the most important diuretics for the circulatory system is dandelion. When any remedy is used to increase the function of the heart there is always the danger of causing potassium depletion in the body – this would in turn aggravate the heart problem. Therefore whenever a diuretic is prescribed in orthodox medicine (other than the so-called ‘potassium sparing’ varieties) a potassium supplement is almost always added. However, when dandelion is used it already contains a high level of potassium. Indeed there is an overall gain in potassium with dandelion, which makes its value apparent. Anxiety and stress can lead to circulatory system problems and it is sometimes difficult to isolate a particular cause. Whenever there is a cardiovascular problem the use of relaxing herbs needs to be considered as in many cases stress and anxiety are involved. The most useful nervines for cardiovascular system problems are:

  • balm,
  • hops,
  • lime (linden) flowers,
  • motherwort,
  • pasque flowers,
  • skullcap and
  • valerian.

There are many things that you can do to improve the health of the heart. It is important to remove accumulated toxins from your body – the accumulation of atheroma on your arteries is an example of toxic build up. You need to start with cleaning you colon and liver and then cleanse your arteries. I recommend you read Safe Colon Cleansing Your Good Health Guide. You need to start by cleansing your major organs of elimination (colon and liver). When they are clean they will function better and assist in the work of cleaning you arteries. If you smoke you also need to quit – smoking is a cause of heart disease. You can also use vitamin and minerals and herbs to help to repair and heal your body. If you are new to herbal remedies be sure to read about how to use them safely and seek the assistance of a herbalist if you have any doubts.

A Quick Guide to Common Koi Fish Diseases

Your Koi is a unique species of aquatic life. The Koi fish symbolizes friendship and love. It is a popular fish that developed long ago in the 1820s in Japan. They are sometimes known as Japanese Carp. There are several colors and varieties available in the Koi. This fish is often found in an outdoor pool for decorative purposes.

Koi fish can be subject to many different types of koi disease that can be harmful. It is important to inspect your tank regularly and be alert to the different signs and symptoms of these different diseases. Treatment for these koi diseases should be started as soon as a problem is recognized.

Cancer

If your Koi has any indication of a circular area around an open wound, it could be cancer. This type of Koi disease is indicated by a white color with the center being pink. The treatment for this Koi disease is removal of the cancer tissue.

Infection

An open wound that is discolored on your fish could indicate Koi disease infection. Removal of the dead skin surrounding the area is recommended to prevent further infection and to promote healing of the area. You can help your Koi by taking a piece of gauze and rubbing the area. This has to be done extremely gently. A soft toothbrush will work well also.

The Eye

A Koi with an eye disease is quite noticeable. A common Koi disease of the eye is called Popeye or exophthalmia. It is characterized by a protrusion of the eye from the eye socket. The cause of this likely stems from either tuberculosis or a mycobacterial infection.

This is encouraged secondary to an eye granuloma, an eye abscess, a choroid infection, a viral infection or trauma. An eye Koi disease can be difficult to resolve as the Koi’s eyes have a limited vascularity. The medications used to treat an eye disease in the Koi are not highly receptive to this area. Tuberculosis in a Koi fish can be transmitted to humans. Caution when dealing with this problem is highly recommended.

The Mouth

An ulcer or an abscess may be found in some Koi fish. Your Koi will have difficulty closing its mouths if he comes down with this affliction. This ulcer or abscess will most likely have come from a bacterial infection. The infection travels through the mouth region and inflames the ligaments of the Koi fish’s mouth.

Starting your Koi fish on an antibiotic as soon as possible is ideal. However, permanent damage to your Koi may already have taken place.

Enjoy your Koi fish and act upon the first sign of any illness to avoid further koi disease of your favourite pet. Always consult your local vet or koi expert if you are in doubt at all. It could be disastrous to leave any koi disease untreated.

How to Regrow New Hair and Stimulate Hair Regrowth

Are you pretty thin on the top? Are you wondering what are the best way to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth?

Let’s face it. How many of us would bother to care about the looks of our hair when it is in full volume? But when hair loss stuck, I am sure you’ll feel a sense of panic and fright.

Even though I can understand that it is very devastating to lose one’s hair but my advice is not to let it distress you any further. Instead, act today to overcome this hair diminishing problem.

If you are resolute about restoring the hair you lost, then you’ll be glad that there are indeed solutions that are available to help you in your fight against hair loss. Here are 3 tips that can help you achieve a fuller set of hair quickly.

1. Pharmaceutical Solution

There are only a few drugs that are approved by the FDA for treatment against hair loss. Minoxidil is one of them. This drug is able to inhibit the activity of DHT (dihydrotestostrone), which is a hormone that wrecks chaos and mayhem at your hair follicles. With the aid of this powerful drug, you can promote healthier scalp and hair follicles reproduction.

2. Surgical Solution

Now, unless you are really sure about this method, I would advise you to try over the counter or other hair loss treatment first. This is because regrowing your hair through surgery is a very expensive and risky affair. You need to pick the right surgeons and restorative treatment before it can work successfully. Unless you are absolutely certain about it, this method is best to be avoided.

3. Natural Solution

A better option in my opinion is to try out herbs such as Saw Palmetto, Nettle Roots or Rosemary Oil. These herbs can block the activity of DHT and slow down any buildup of hormones that can harm your hair follicles.

How To Treat Colon Cancer?

Cancer is the name for a disease that can affect cells from all the organs and body’s structures and is considered to be life threatening. The colon and rectum are a part of the large intestine and their function is to absorb nutrients and water from the food that passes through the intestine before it goes out of the body. Colorectal cancer is the disease that affects the cells from the colon and rectum creating a malign or benign tumor.

Treatment is possible for those who suffer of colon cancer. The treatment is based of three procedures: surgery, using radiations, and chemotherapy.

Generally the colon cancer is treated with surgery and this depends on the stage of the cancer. If the cancer is in an early stage then the doctor will take the tumor out by putting a tube that passes the rectum until it reaches the colon and only then cutting the tumor. This means that the doctor performs a local excision when the cancer is localized on a polyp than the procedure will be classified as a polypectomy. If the cancer is in a more advanced stage the doctor will have to cut that tumor out along with a part of the healthy colon. Then the two parts of healthy colon will be sewed together. The lymph nodes around the affected area will also be removed and analyzed at the microscope.

Sometimes the doctor can not sew the two heads of the colon and will be forced to make a hole on the surface of the body in order to create another anus, also known as a colostomy. This second anus will not be kept forever, it will be kept until the colon heals and can be sewed back. Sometimes if the situation is bad and the colon can not be saved, this colostomy will be permanent. The patient will further need a special bag made for collecting the body wastes. These bags are only for one use and are not able to be seen due to clothing and are easy to replace even by the patient.

Another procedure to treat cancer is radiotherapy. This therapy uses x-rays for killing cancerous cells and making the tumor stop its evolution and even shrink. Radiation therapy can be performed by special machines situated near the body and by special tubes that contain radioactive material and are placed inside the body near the intestines. The radiation therapy can be combined with surgery and other procedures for treating cancer.

Chemotherapy is also used in treating cancer. Chemotherapy uses pills or substances that go by vein in the organism. As these drugs travel the blood stream and can kill cancerous cell all over the body the chemotherapy is known to as a systemic therapy. Chemotherapy can be associated with surgery. While the surgeon removes the tumors that can be seen with by a naked eye, chemotherapy destroys those small cells that the surgeon can not remove.

Also, biological therapy can be used as it increases the forces of the organism to fight cancer and will help the body increase its defenses.

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Lung Cancer?

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is almost always caused by cigarette smoking. Many times it’s not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease which normally means that it has already spread to other tissue and organs. It’s also the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US in both men and women which is sad as the risks of developing it significantly decrease if a person does not smoke.

What are the early warning signs?

Lung cancer has many symptoms however some of the earliest signs can be mistaken for common everyday illnesses. Many of the symptoms of lung cancer do not show up until the cancer is in a later stage. Some of the early warning signs can include:

o Persistent Cough

o Recurrent Bronchitis or Pneumonia

o Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss

o Chest Pain

Some of the additional symptoms of Lung Cancer are listed below. While having any of these symptoms does not mean you have cancer, a Dr. should be consulted if you are suffering from any of the following:

o Fever without a known reason

o Abnormal Chest X-ray

o Coughing Up Blood

o Hoarseness

o Chronic Shortness of Breath

If you are suffering from any or several of these symptoms and you are a current or former smoker, you should contact your physician and schedule an appointment to have an examination. There are tests that can be done to determine the cause of your symptoms and these tests can either diagnose or rule out lung cancer. Some of the tests available include a blood count test, X-ray as well as bone scan or sputum exam.

Conclusion

If you are a smoker and are concerned about any of the symptoms you are experiencing remember the sooner you are diagnosed the better. Cancer can spread very rapidly and by beginning treatments as soon as possible you can improve your chance of survival.

Fish Oil Pills Vs Cod Liver Oil: Which Is the Better Omega-3 Source?

The best source of omega-3 is deep sea fatty fish, which obtain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from the smaller fish they eat. You can eat the flesh of the fish itself, but most people prefer taking supplements because they contain concentrated amounts of omega-3 fats. One of the most common questions people have is about the a difference between fish oil pills and cod liver oil. Is there a difference between the two? Which one is a better source of omega-3 fats?

Fish oil and cod liver oil

Let’s take a look at where these two supplements come from. Fish oil is distilled from the tissue of deep-sea fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cod liver is obtained from the liver of white fish like halibut and cod. Both types contained omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, but in different ratios – the former has a higher EPA to DHA ratio while the latter a higher DHA to EPA ratio.

But the biggest difference between the two is that fish oil contains only EPA and DHA, while cod liver has high amounts of vitamins A and D. They are fat soluble, which that even excess amount gets stored in the liver and tissues. The presence of vitamins A and D in fish liver might place you at risk for an overdose of these two vitamins, especially if you are pregnant.

Safety issues of cod liver oil

Vitamin D is manufactured by the body when it is regularly exposed to sunlight and an overdose is uncommon, even among those who take cod liver oil. What you should be careful about is its vitamin A content. An overdose of vitamin A can cause fatigue, vomiting, and brittle bones and skin. In pregnant women, a dose higher than 10,000 IU per day may increase the risk of birth defects.

Another concern about cod liver supplements is the fact that the liver is where toxins are filtered out. Omega-3 rich fish have the highest concentration of ocean pollutants because of their environment and because they consume smaller fish that may have been exposed to toxins. Even with the best distillation methods, there may still be traces of methylmercury, PCBs, and other toxins in cod liver oil.

The safer source of omega-3s

Although both oils contain DHA and EPA, fish oil pills has twice the amount of total omega-3 fats than cod liver oil. So if your aim is to increase your omega-3 consumption and you are choosing between the two oils, fish oils are the better source, especially for children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mother. Cod liver oil might be a good alternative to fish oil during the winter months, when the lack of sunlight can place you at risk for a vitamin D deficiency.

The Benefits of Organic Tulsi Tea

Organic Tulsi Tea is a refreshing and healthier substitute for coffee. Made from organic Tulsi or Holy Basil as it is popularly known; the tea is a perfect blend of Tulsi leaves and blossoms with various other herbs that include lemon, ginger, chamomile, Brahmi, honey, Jasmine flowers etc. Not only is the flavor spectacular with combinations that include pomegranate with Tulsi and raspberry with Tulsi but you also get the benefits of all the herbs used in the concoction.

Tulsi alone is a remarkably potent herb with various medicinal properties. It is considered to be sacred in most Indian households and has long enjoyed a position of hegemony in Ayurvedic scriptures. Some of the benefits associated with the consumption of Tulsi include: Tulsi is a potent nerve tonic and works as a memory booster. It also helps to remove the chest congestion by removing the phlegm from the bronchial tubes. The leaves are very good for the digestive system and can help in weight reduction.

Basil is extremely effective against common ailments like fever and cold. It is also potent against malaria and dengue fever. Tulsi has long been used in Ayurveda as a herbal cough syrup and expectorant. It also helps to reduce the intensity of asthma attacks. Tulsi works well against all respiratory disorders. When combined with honey and ginger it can be used as a remedy against influenza, cough, cold and asthma. It also helps to cure sore throat.

Basil is also known to strengthen the kidney and help in the expulsion of kidney stones through the urinary tract. It reduces blood cholesterol level and hence is very useful against cardio vascular ailments and resultant weakness. Basil is particularly effective against children’s ailments like cough, cold, fever, vomiting and even chicken pox. It is a strong anti stress agent and helps in the purification of blood. It promotes healthy skin, teeth and hair.

Tulsi is rich in antioxidants and protects the cells from damage caused due to free radicals hence it helps to fight the signs of aging. When coupled with the other herbs the concoction is not only delicious but has several benefits including:

o Promotes clarity and calmness

o Boosts Stamina

o Very rich in antioxidants

o It is nature’s own anti-aging treatment

o Improves Metabolism and helps in weight reduction

o Boosts the immune system

"Knots" Between Your Shoulder Blades and Spine – How to Get Rid of Painful Shoulder Knots

There is a reason for the painful “knots” you get in your back near your shoulder blades. The reason is that you have muscles pulling on your shoulder blade. That causes your shoulder blade to pull the muscles on its’ other side. The muscles that are being “pulled” on become taut (a kind of tightness) to protect themselves. That tautness is the “knot.”

So, what muscles are pulling on your shoulder blade, and why?

If you are right-handed, you probably have that hand and arm in front of your body a lot, writing, mousing, or doing other similar work that requires your right hand. Is this correct?

Being in that position, with your arm and hand in front of your body for long periods, causes the muscles on the front of your arm and chest to become short and tight. They get short just because you are holding them in a shortened position and they get used to being short.

Also, you might also be dropping your right shoulder for one reason or another. Maybe, the position of your desk causes you to tilt, or maybe you prefer to scrunch up on one side of the couch (sofa) all the time, or maybe you sleep on your left side most of the time. All of those things will cause the muscles on the right side of your body between basically your shoulder and waist to shorten.

So, now you can see that you may have muscles pulling on your shoulder blade from at least three places: (1) the muscles in front of your body (your shoulder blade attaches to those muscles near your collar bone) (2) the muscles on the outside (lateral) side of your shoulder blade (under your arm pit and on your ribs) and (3) the muscles below your shoulder blade (back and rib muscles.)

Those are the muscles that must be released first.

Manual release (massage) of the pulling muscles makes the process go faster than stretching alone, but if you will stretch, that will also help correct your problem.

The stretching movements are primarily to move your arm up (over your head) and outward (to open and stretch your chest muscles.) You can stretch both sides, but the shortened (symptom-side) muscles need to be stretched 4x as much.

Also, if you strengthen the muscles between your spine and shoulder blades, that will help correct this problem (because the spasmed muscles will be more able to “hold their own” when pulled on.) And, strengthening will also help prevent future pain.

Types of Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Frozen shoulder is a medical condition that is known clinically as adhesive capsulitis. It causes stiffness and restricted movement in the shoulder and arm.

The shoulder capsule or joint is the part of the shoulder that houses the tendons and ligaments. These tendons and ligaments attach the arm bone to the shoulder blade bone. When this joint develops inflammation, it becomes very difficult to move the arm in any direction.

Frozen shoulder has no known cause. However, other medical conditions are thought to add to a patient’s propensity for developing this condition. Diabetes, a history of heart surgery or shoulder injury, and hyperthyroidism are all medical conditions that may affect whether or not a person develops frozen shoulder.

There are three phases to frozen shoulder. First, the patient will experience severe pain in the arm and shoulder region. This pain will cause the patient to be reluctant to move the arm resulting in stiffness and possible temporary paralysis. This is the second phase. During the third phase, the inflammation will begin to improve and the patient will notice restored range of motion.

The severity of the pain and stiffness will determine the treatment that is prescribed. Most physicians agree that the most effective treatment is physical therapy, steroid injections, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

When physical therapy is done for its treatment, there are exercises that patients must do on a daily basis if the physical therapy is to be successful. If the pain is intense, a nerve block might help to relieve some of the pain.

If all other types of frozen shoulder treatment have failed, there are extreme measures that can be taken to correct the problem. The physician may elect to do a shoulder manipulation while the patient is under anesthesia.

This is, however, not an option most physicians like because there is a chance of dislocation of the shoulder or tearing of the shoulder tendons and ligaments. The other option involves surgically cutting any tight ligaments and removing the offending scar tissue.

Why Would A Doctor Need To Re-Break Your Bone?

If you hear your doctor say that he needs to re-break your bones, what would you feel? You may feel confused and scared because in most cases, bones need to be treated and not broken by a physician. However, you did not hear the doctor incorrectly. He is in fact telling you that he needs to break your bones so that he can proceed with the treatment. If you want to know why it has to be done, then you are on the right page! This article will tell you just why this procedure is needed.

Here’s the thing. The term used is “re-break.” This means that the doctor is going to break again a bone that has previously been broken before. In a more technical term, this is referred to as fracture reduction or resetting. It is the procedure that aims to restore and align correctly the broken bones.

The first and main reason why re-breaking is necessary is that the bones heal incorrectly sometimes. When your bones break, they become deformed. When they heal by themselves, they are still deformed and this condition may have some problems. First, bone deformity can affect how you move. You may not be able to move as freely as before if some of your bones are not aligned correctly. Second, bone deformity is not visually pleasing. It does not look good therefore a lot of people undergo resetting of the bones.

There are two types reduction method. The first method is the open reduction. This usually does not involve re-breaking because the fracture is still fresh. This is a condition wherein the broken bones cut the skin and are exposed. It could also mean that the surgeon exposed the bone to better dissect the tissues affected by the fracture. The second type is the closed reduction. In this procedure, the bones are not exposed in the air. The skin may be cut but the bones remain hidden beneath.

After the re-breaking of your bone, your doctor will proceed to aligning the bones so that when they heal, they will heal in the right manner and position. Painkillers and sedatives will be given in order for you not to feel the pain so much. After the whole procedure, your doctor may either use implants or casts. For bone fractures that are quite severe, implants may be necessary to add internally to hold the bones together. However, if the bones were just slightly fractured and can heal by themselves effectively, casts and tractions are enough.

Always listen to your doctor about what is best for your condition. They know exactly what you need. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you have worries about the procedure. For more information about healthy bones, consult your doctor, osteopath or physiotherapist.

Shoulder Blade Pain Causes

Pain is a very unpleasant experience whether it’s acute, chronic or both. It is the body’s way of communicating to us that something is not quite right and needs attention.

Fortunately for us the body has the most amazing capabilities and usually will heal itself. This is especially true when we are young, fit and mobile.

Shoulder blade pain is like any other type of pain in that it hurts and quite often will cause a reduction in the capacity to move the shoulder. It is always wise to seek medical attention if your pain remains the same or does not improve with ‘over the counter’ medication after a few days.

The most likely health care providers to help assess the cause of the pain is a General Practitioner (Doctor), Osteopath or Chiro-practor. They will use a their own clinical judgement and quite possibly the help of Xray, Ultrasound or MRI to find the cause.

The shoulder blade is triangular in shape and commonly known as the scapula. It is supported by a network or muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The shoulder blade is positioned on the upper right and left side of the back, with the spine running down the middle.

Shoulder blade pain may be caused by damage through a movement or activity to any of the tendons, ligaments or muscles that support it. Sometimes it can be associated by a trapped nerve caused by a disc pressing down on the nerve.

Types of pain

Pain itself is subjective and whilst one individual may experience a high degree of pain for a certain injury, another may be able to tolerate more pain. The different types of pain can sometimes help define the nature of the injury. Throbbing, burning, cramping, tightness, stabbing are just some of the types of pain described. You may experience more than one type of pain.

Shoulder blade pain can be associated with myocardial infarction, commonly known as a ‘heart attack’ Symptoms that would need following up immediately would be:

Chest tightness

Central chest pain

Pain radiating to the left arm and/or left jaw

Central crushing pain, sometimes described as having a tight band around your chest

New pain, similar to indigestion

Chest pain or breathlessness on exertion.

You should call the emergency services if you experience any of these types of pain. If you are not sure you should still call the emergency services or speak to your Doctor straight away.

Shoulder Blade Pain Causes;

There are many things that can cause shoulder blade pain. The more common types of pain are caused by injury to the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder blade.

Arthritis of the spine may cause a disc between the vertebrae of the spine to protrude and press on a nerve.

Fracture to the shoulder blade through trauma.

Bursitis – The soft cushioning between the joint and muscle can become stiff and swollen.

Rotator cuff – Tendons supporting the shoulder get damaged through injury or repeated use.

Shoulder A-C separation – ligaments connecting the collar bone and shoulder blade are stretched or torn, causing pain.

Tendonitis – Pain is experienced when the tendons become inflamed and swollen.

Basic recovery tips:

1) Bruising and most strains may be treated with ice or heat pads and some over the counter pain relief. Restricting movement until the area has healed may also help considerably.

2) An exercise regime may help to speed up the recovery process, however it is best to seek avoid professional advice to avoid any further damage.

Change Your Paradigms Change Your Life!

Paradigms are the way we see life: they are our governing belief systems. They are the driving forces behind every decision we make and are responsible for the persona we all currently portray. There are many different interpretations of the actual meaning of a paradigm. Basically a paradigm is “…a constellation of concepts, values, perceptions and practices held by an individual or shared by a community which forms a particular vision of reality that is the basis of the way an individual or community organises itself.”

Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

Paradigms are an effort to make things explainable and understandable, they drive all behavior, and behavior drives results. Paradigms are mental models or ways of thinking about something,they define what we view as important and how we approach problems and activities. They focus our attention, they concentrate our efforts on what we have deemed to be important, they give us the confidence to solve problems.

Ideally shifting your paradigms will allow you to change from who you think you are, to who you truly are. It is a movement from the accepted paradigm, to a new one, a restructuring of the patterns we rely on for decision-making, and is the only way to achieve a better outcome.The problem with a paradigm shift is that you do not know you are in it, until the new paradigm becomes the ‘conventional wisdom’ (rarely do people like Einstein come along and write a small book and shatter a paradigm, as he did overturning Newtonian physics which had dominated for hundreds of years and, within the scientific community, was the prevailing paradigm of thought). The process the mind goes through during a paradigm shift is, to many, fascinating.

Paradigm shifts can be shaped by the choices we make, by forces beyond our control, or a combination of the two.They are not just ideas that are used by scientists, they are a part of the way our brains work and we all rely upon them.They are one way of creating an instant belief change, and can take place only after a sudden and opposite change in our perceptions, which is normally different from reality. Perhaps the greatest barrier to shifting our paradigms, in some cases, is the reality of paradigm paralysis, the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking. This is similar to what Psychologists term Confirmation Bias which is usually defined as when as humans we seek out information that confirms our held beliefs and ignore facts that run counter to those beliefs.

Historically, one such shift is the Copernican revolution in which a belief in the world being flat was first challenged by the invention of the telescope, and then with the progression of science, discarded. Also consider the Swiss who failed to patent or market the quartz watch, even though they invented it, because they couldn’t shift paradigms. They couldn’t shift paradigms because they couldn’t see that there would be a market for another kind of watch besides the kind they had already been successfully making and selling for generations.

Essentially, a paradigm shift is a complete change in thinking or belief systems that allow the creation of a new condition previously thought impossible or unacceptable. Paradigm shifting is the movement from one paradigm to another. Paradigms are unquestioned convictions, unquestioned because almost everyone has accepted and bought into that same view of life, and are beliefs about life albeit not necessarily true or accurate.They are the mental models that each of us carries in our minds. When anomalies or inconsistencies arise within a given paradigm and present problems that we are unable to solve, our view of reality must change, as must the way we perceive, think, and value the world. A paradigm shift is the only way to achieve a better outcome.

New Advance in Back Pain Treatment: Stem Cell Therapy

If you have chronic back pain, it is important to be aware of all your treatment options before considering surgery. A new technique to heal structures of the back uses a component of the patient’s body: stem cells.

Stem cells are the blank slate of cells: They can become other cells in the body. The cells used to treat back pain and other chronic pain conditions are called mesenchymal, and they can become bone, cartilage or fat cells depending on the environment they are put in. Adult cells are used, which differ from embryonic cells that can become any other type of cell. Taking the cells from an adult eliminates the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cell research from this form of treatment.

Stem cells may be able to treat a range of conditions due to their versatility, including degenerative disc disease, vertebral fracture, ligament damage and facet joint syndrome. Research is underway to determine the efficacy of this new therapy in treating various types of back pain causes.

The Procedure

Mesenchymal cells are taken from bone marrow, usually from the patient’s hip. This may be painful depending on the technique used. The company Regenexx uses a small needle to take a sample from the hip marrow and claims that this is a relatively painless procedure. After the cells have been isolated from the marrow, they are generally combined with platelets from your blood which contain growth factors. To make the procedure a fast one, many practitioners combine the cell and platelet mixture with platelet-rich plasma or another substance to encourage the speedy reproduction of stem cells. The cells and their growth factors are then injected into the area of the body that needs repair. If injected in a joint, cartilage will form; if in a disc, new disc material will grow; if in bone, new bone will form.

Stem cells have also been used to perform spinal fusion surgery, in which case a damaged disc is removed and the cell mixture is placed between two vertebrae to grow into bone and fuse them. Unlike the injection procedure, this is an invasive surgical procedure. Trials are underway to test stem cells’ ability to regrow damaged discs. See the case study at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721921 to learn more about the potentials of disc regeneration.

Currently, this therapy is new and not the most accessible treatment. It is only offered to those participating in clinical trials or by a couple of companies, such as Regenexx. An exact cost of stem cell therapy is not available and likely depends on your location, condition and the procedure selected to treat it. Non-surgical techniques such as the injection of cells is likely much cheaper than common surgeries like spinal fusion.

It will probably be a couple of years before stem cell therapy is widely available to those with back pain. It is best to undergo available conservative treatments like physical therapy and decompression treatments first. In the coming years, we may see the procedure become commonplace for those looking to avoid surgery.

New advances in back pain treatment offer hope to those who feel they’ve tried everything. There are many options for ending your pain, and stem cell therapy may be one of them.

Have You Ever Dreamed of Racing? Build a $500 Race Car

Ever since I saw my first 1972 Pontiac Trans Am with a 455 HO engine I have wanted to drive a “race” car. My neighbor was going to school at UCLA and used the new Trans Am to pull his boat. Passing buy I said “cool car”. He told me all about it, I was nine. I went home that night and told my dad about the “race car” up the street and that he should get one. He laughed a little since he had just bought the new Cadillac Brougham, and our next door neighbor one up-ed him by getting a gently used Rolls Royce of some kind. Better yet, he convinced the state of California his license plate MR BS was OK since BS were his initials. It didn’t hurt that he was an attorney.

Shortly after that conversation with my dad, we passed the TransAm, and he laughed at me saying “that car is ugly, it needs some chrome man, geez look at that boring thing”. Eventually my dad took me to a car show in East LA. Not the safest place in town, but chrome was all the rage. The early lowriders and hot rodders were pimping their rides to no end. The only cars that impressed me were the fast cars with the big motors. My dad was big into the 70’s version of “Bling”, a “Rat Pack” want to be its’ finest form.

After seeing all the cars with metallic multi-layer paint, small tires and chrome wheels, I went to my neighbors and asked why he didn’t get cool chrome wheels. At nine years old I got the lesson of a lifetime. We started with an lesson in metallurgy, magnesium wheels are lighter than chrome over steel so your car can go faster. Next was physics, newtons law, force = mass x acceleration so you need bigger tires for better g-forces. I think we finished with his favorite “There is no replacement for displacement”.

Later that week I went to my grandfathers, and talked cars. I think it was the happiest I ever saw him. We went out to the garage and he pulled out the cover of a car magazine. Tattered and torn the cover had a picture of my younger grandfather and his motorcycle and hot rod. My grandfather had four daughters and none of them are into cars. No one appreciated what he had done. We went for a ride in his Opel GT and he continued my neighbors car classes. We talked about the rolling efficiency of drum brakes vs. the then newer disc brakes. We talked about horsepower and displacement as it related to the weight of the car and told me that really the power to weight ratio was the key, not total displacement.

He took me to his friends garage and they introduced me to a car with a Paxton Supercharger and explained how relative displacement could be increased by forcing more air into the engine. It was the best time I ever had with my grandfather. We both got a butt chewing when we got home making it all the better. Neither of us told anyone we left, and in 1973 none of us could afford a mobile phone.

I have dreamed of racing a car on a track in a real race ever since then. I have gone to drag races, NASCAR races, American Le Mans races, GT races, autocross races and go kart races. I even went to Porsche Driving School and the Richard Petty Experience to fulfill my fantasy of being a race car driver. Then I found it.

One day going to work I stumbled on a little blurb about the 24 Hours of Lemons. The article said “Get a $500 car and race”. Man could I do that! After finding the website and learning one of the “Le Mons races” was just an hour from my house, I knew I was in. Building the car and the team was slightly more challenging than I expected, that is another story.

When we finally got the team to the track and the car on the track, it was like my dream of being a driver was fulfilled. I imagined my grandfather being there watching our 1993 rusted out Cavalier running around the track. Even though I was up until 3:30 AM getting the car ready, I was awake, alert and smiling every time the car made another lap. My wife made a comment as the cavalier flew by at 60 miles an hour with the tires squealing around the turn that I looked the happiest and most relaxed I had been since we moved from California. I figured it was the lack of sleep and delirium at the time.

After the fourth driver finished his time in the car, I suited up and jumped in. It was like nothing I ever felt before. Flying jets in the Air Force was a blast, but this was clearly it. As I pushed the pedal to the floor at the end of the pit lane and tried to time my merge into traffic all I could think was, “a little more displacement would be nice now”. I made the merge and got so focused on the track that I missed my time window and drove into the next drivers’ time. Since radios weren’t in the first budget, all we had was a cardboard sign with a spray painted 53 on it to communicate it was time to pit. Yup, 53 was the last number available, go figure.

When I pitted my mom took a picture that my wife calls my “Cheshire Cat” smile. She said I hadn’t smiled like that in years, and I should keep racing. The rest of the weekend was everything a “LeMons” race is about, we were bumped, scraped, blacked flagged and caused a yellow flag. We were entered in the “passing during yellow” parade where they pull you from the track and drive you around the paddocks and stands with a bullhorn as the race continues. The worst fine was the spare tire. We had to bolt a tire to the roof and the cavalier was noticeably slower.

If you want to test your dream of driving a race car, this is a great place to try it. All of the leadership required for team building, hassles of car ownership and nuttiness of a New Orleans Mardi Gras are rolled into one weekend. We get to do it twice a year in Houston. Clearing the mind both on the track, and at the Saturday night parties is a great way to solve the worlds problems and move your life forward. Running a car in the 24 Hours of LeMons convinced me to make some changes in how I approach people, life and business. What dream can you fulfill or what hobby can you pick up that lets you look at life from a different angle? Get focused – and let life be great!

Fast Sciatic Nerve Treatment – Top 3 Reasons to Use an Infrared Heating Pad

Living with sciatic nerve pain is no easy feat. There is nothing simple about it. The pain can range from a small aggravation to a life altering menace. Treatment is hard, finding something that you can rely on at home between doctors appointments is even harder. There is good news though, infrared heat is becoming a common term in sciatica forums. Many sciaticans are realizing the benefits infrared heat has for that deep muscle pain and how it can help them.

Using Infrared Heat for Fast Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief:

1 – Reach the pain on it’s deepest level – unlike traditional heating pads, infrared heat goes straight to the source of the pain. It penetrates deep into muscle tissue, bone, or joints to alleviate discomfort. In a matter of minutes, this special heat is at the source of the pain, yet remains gentle on the outer layer of the skin. Because it heats evenly, an infrared heating pad can be used for prolonged periods of time, allowing for fast sciatic nerve pain relief.

2 – Expand Blood Vessels in the Affected Area – while blood flow may not be the primary cause for sciatica, there are many blood vessels around the sciatic nerve. During a sciatic flare, the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve become inflamed, putting pressure on the blood vessels that sit closest to the nerve. Expanding these blood vessels will relieve some of the pain. Because infrared heat works so quickly, it can provide fast sciatic nerve pain relief by rapidly targeting those blood vessels.

3 – Heal Damaged Cells– there is much talk about the importance of the cells in our bodies and how they affect our everyday life. Scientists are learning more and more how these tiny cells affect every aspect of our life. ‘Wear and Tear’ on the body creates damage for these precious cells. Using Infrared heating is able to reach and heal these cells, enhancing your overall quality of life.