Facts About Shingles in the Eyes

Many people do not know that it is possible to get shingles in the eyes. The reason for this could be that this condition is quite rare, but it is a serious one. The condition occurs when one of the nerves in the eye is infected by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus which is responsible for chicken pox. In fact, people, who have previously had chicken pox, are more prone to getting shingles.

It is a known fact that after a person gets chicken pox, the virus does not disappear from the body. Instead it lies dormant in some nerve cells. As a person grows older, the immune system becomes weak and it is then that this dormant virus wakes up causing shingles. Shingles in the eyes is medically termed as ophthalmic shingles, and around 20 percent of all people suffering from shingles have it. It has been seen that usually people who are 50 years and above tend to get shingles in and around the eye.

The main symptom of shingles in and around the eye is a characteristic rash in the area. The rash is red in color and could develop into blisters. In fact, the rash is very similar to the blisters that appear due chicken pox. However, the pain is very severe which usually comes on around 2 weeks before the rash appears. Also, the skin around the eye will tend to become tender to touch. The rash will keep developing for two weeks after which it will subside and start drying up. During this period the person will have severe pain and itching in the eye, inflammation of the eye, excessive tear production and problems with the vision. At times, the person can also suffer from low grade fever and fatigue.

Shingles in the eye should not be neglected. You should immediately consult an ophthalmologist. The condition can adversely affect your vision and also cause other eye-related problems like glaucoma, eyelid edema, blepharitis, retinitis, ptosis, optic neuritis, conjunctivitis and post-herpetic neuralgia. It is affects your optic nerve, it can be damaging to your vision.

Blepharospasm: That Blinkety-Blink Movement Disorder

The range of ailments falling under the umbrella-term of “abnormal involuntary movement disorders” is diverse and includes conditions as different from each other as Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome and blepharospasm. Cases of blepharospasm, like those of other movement disorders, often go unrecognized or are blamed on other causes.

The term “blepharospasm” is the sum of its parts. “Blepharon” is Greek for eyelid and “spasm” means excessive muscular contractions. In blepharospasm the eyes blink excessively. The blinking can be too frequent, too sustained, or both. The distinction between normal blinking and excessive blinking is not exact. A practical method for sorting out cases relies on the answers to two questions:

  • Does the blinking cause distress?
  • Does the blinking interfere with usual activities?

Blepharospasm can occur alone or in combination with other involuntary movements. When paired with involuntary movements of the lower face — like puckering of the lips or grimacing expressions — the problem is collectively known as Meige syndrome, named for Dr. Henri Meige who described the condition in 1904. Blepharospasm and Meige syndrome are forms of dystonia, a sub-grouping within the overall range of involuntary movement disorders. Another example of dystonia is torticollis, in which there is sustained involuntary twisting or cocking of the neck.

Blepharospasm, like any other condition, can be mild, moderate or severe. It is not necessarily disabling, but if the blinking is so frequent or sustained that it interferes with vision, then it can impact activities like driving. Blepharospasm does not appear to be an insurmountable barrier for people whose job is to appear in public, as a well-known television personality with blepharospasm seems to be doing just fine.

How common is this condition? Not very. Researchers at Mayo Clinic tracked cases of blepharospasm in Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1976 and 1995. They calculated just 1.2 new cases per year per population of 100,000, although this might be an underestimate of the true incidence because it doesn’t include undiagnosed cases. The diagnosed patients were equally divided between the sexes and half of the people had Meige syndrome, meaning that the blepharospasm was accompanied by dystonia of the lower face. One in four cases resolved on their own.

The diagnosis of blepharospasm is based mainly on its appearance. This condition is sometimes misidentified as a reaction to (or “secondary” to) an irritation of the eyes, and is treated with eyedrops. However, in true cases of blepharospasm (designated as “primary” or “essential” blepharospasm) the excessive blinking is not driven by irritation of the eyes. Instead, the eyelids are just following orders from overactive brain-circuits, though in fairness, those brain-circuits might be misinterpreting non-irritated eyes as being irritated. Eyedrops are not helpful for primary blepharospasm.

Another condition which is similar in appearance is hemifacial spasm in which there is excessive blinking of just one eye, often accompanied by excessive twitching of the lower face on the same side. But hemifacial spasm is not a form of primary blepharospasm. In hemifacial spasm the affected muscles are driven by an overactive nerve rather than an overactive brain-circuit. That’s why just one side of the face is affected. There is another, unaffected nerve controlling the opposite side of the face.

Although the source of excessive blinking in blepharospasm is undoubtedly the brain, the disorder does not show up on usual, brain-oriented tests like computed tomographic (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or electroencephalograms (EEGs).

How about treatment? There is no curative treatment available. Existing treatments can relieve symptoms, but don’t affect the course of the underlying disorder which usually continues long-term. Thus, the state of a person’s blepharospasm in five or ten years will be the same whether or not symptom-relieving treatment is used in the meantime.

That said, many patients benefit from symptom-relieving treatment which nowadays usually takes the form of periodic injections of botulinum toxin (e.g. brand name Botox) beneath the skin, overlying the affected muscles. This weakens or relaxes the muscles involved in the excessive blinking to an extent that relieves the symptom without interfering with normal eye closure. Typical treatment cycles are no more often than every three months. Prior to the development of botulinum treatment for blepharospasm it was often treated with orally administered medications, though usually with a lower success rate.

As an example of clinical experience in treating blepharospasm, we can look at the results obtained by neurologists at the Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil. Over the ten-year span from 1993 to 2003 they administered a total of 379 botulinum toxin treatments to 30 patients with blepharospasm. Sixty-six percent of the patients had previously tried oral medications for their condition and just 15% considered them satisfactory. (Of course, patients who were totally satisfied with oral medications were unlikely to seek treatment with botulinum toxin, so this figure probably underestimates the success rate with oral medication.)

So how did they do? Ninety-three percent of the patients showed significant improvement after their first injections with botulinum toxin and there was no loss of effectiveness when the first and last treatments were compared. Adverse effects — “mostly minor” — developed at least once in 53% of the patients. Six patients (20%) discontinued the treatment.

(C) 2006 by Gary Cordingley

Diabetes Research – Type 1 and Type 2

Diabetes is known as a rich person’s disease, and it has seen a dramatic increase in the developed world over the past 30 years. This relatively simple to prevent disease adversely impacts millions of people each year. The impact ranges from the relatively minor inconvenience of dietary changes and insulin injections all the way up to death. Diabetes research is targeted at finding ways of preventing and combating this disease.

Diabetes comes primarily in two forms, which appropriately enough are known as type one and type two. In type one diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin. This type of diabetes usually manifests itself while the patient is fairly young, and is also commonly known as juvenile diabetes. If someone has type 1, they must inject insulin periodically and carefully monitor their sugar intake. This must be done for the rest of their life. With careful monitoring, a patient can live a relatively asymptomatic and fulfilling life. However, the danger of a sugar overload or an insulin induced coma is always there for a patient.

Type two diabetes is more commonly found among adults, especially seniors. With this type, the body actually becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. This resistance creates a vicious circle that eventually results in a person’s near complete inability to utilize insulin to break down sugar. With type two, there may or may not be any initial problem with the pancreas’s production of insulin. Sometimes, the resistance causes the pancreas to slowly kill off insulin production, as the insulin it does produce lingers in the bloodstream instead of being used. This form of the disease is also known as adult onset diabetes.

Researchers aren’t certain of the exact causes of type one diabetes, but they have a much clearer picture of the risk factors involved with type two. Eating a large quantity of processed sweeteners, such as those found in candy, chips, and other junk food elevates your risk of becoming pre-diabetic, a condition where you are prone to spiky blood sugar levels. Obesity is also a risk factor, as is a sedentary lifestyle. These three things are why diabetes is known as the disease of affluence, because in order to contract it, you must be well off enough to eat more than you need to live, and not engage in physical labor. The disparity in diabetes rates between developing and developed countries is astounding.

Current diabetes research is focusing on ways to mitigate the body’s resistance to insulin. Many medications are in the trial stages which hope to enable those who are currently resistant to resume a normal life. For those of us without the disease, the best course is to stay active and minimize our intake of highly processed foods. Maintaining a healthy weight and a moderate level of physical activity are the best ways to ensure you do not contract diabetes, and they both yield dividends in other areas of health as well.

Obesity in Seniors – Added Risks Make Overweight Elderly Particularly Vulnerable to Health Problems

Obesity is a problem for people of all ages from young to old. It can lead to serious medical conditions that can be life threatening. Obesity in seniors is very risky because these people are already at a stage in their life in which their bodily functions slow down and their metabolic rate decreases. In turn, they are more likely to become obese and get serious medical problems. Furthermore, seniors are more likely to fall ill in general. Obesity may further complicate their health problems.

Aging is the main factor determining the health of a senior citizen and with obesity lurking in the fore front, health complications are more likely to occur. In turn, the elderly people are at higher risk of being affected by various diseases. Regrettably, most people are not even aware that they are medically obese. For this reason, awareness must be created so that positive steps can be adopted to get rid of obesity.

Obesity stands out as a real threat to longevity and healthy life. The dangers of excess body fat are many in adults. This is because with the advancing of age their body physiology slows down as and their body organs also don’t function as efficiently as in young adults. So seniors should take special care that they do not get obese.

The hearts of overweight seniors have to work harder to pump blood. This results in the enlargement of the heart muscle. This can lead to serious heart diseases. Hypertension is another health problem that senior adults face. The problem can go unnoticed for a long time and lead to heart disease. Additionally, obese people are at higher risk of getting high cholesterol. As cholesterol builds up in the arteries the blood flow is obstructed. This also leads to a higher risk of developing heart problems. If the internal organs stop getting adequate blood supply they cease to function properly.

The presence of excess body fat may result in a hormonal imbalance and lead to cancer. Similarly, some foods such as meat develop carcinogenic substances when they are exposed to excess heat. For all these reasons, older men are at a risk of developing prostate cancer while older women are more likely to fall victim to endometrial and breast cancer. In general, seniors who are obese are more likely to develop different kinds of gastrointestinal cancer, such as colorectal cancer.

Even though these are the main ones, there are innumerable other diseases that can result from obesity in seniors. That is why it is best that you always keep yourself in good shape. Adopt a healthy diet that can suit your comfort level and will work out best for you. Your diet can be planned by a medical expert who knows what ingredients will help you lose weight and stay healthy and fit for a long time. People who have an active lifestyle and good eating habits are less likely to suffer from such complications. It’s time to take control over the situation as soon as possible as. Keep in mind that it’s never too late to get rid of the excess body weight by following precise health plans.

Depression is another problem that can be caused by obesity. Obese people are less likely to enjoy recreational activities and even simple ones, such as going to the local store. They are more worried about their looks. Furthermore, the more depressed you are the more you eat. This makes the problem even more serious. When a person feels depressed, certain hormones cause him to feel low and thus, he ends up indulging in activities like overeating. This makes him even more obese. In general, senior citizens are more likely to suffer from depression when they live a lonelier life and try to justify their loneliness by uncontrollable eating habit.

The reality is that by losing weight you can fix much of the damages caused by your obesity and reduce the risk factors of various diseases. Just by losing weight you can live a happier life. The lower weight guarantees ease of movement and brings more self-confidence. This will allow you to enjoy life, despite your advanced age. This is beneficial for the physical as well as for the psychological health.

Preventing Penis Rash From Manscaping – Best Male Grooming Techniques

Male hair removal, colloquially known as manscaping, is a growing trend among men these days. No longer a concern just for the ladies, men are faced with the very personal decision to remain au natural, go completely bare, or land somewhere safely in the middle of the continuum. There are many different things for a man to consider when electing to manscape including: aesthetics, upkeep and even hygiene. While some men do not give manscaping a second thought, others meticulously groom themselves as part of a daily penis care routine. Men who are on the fence about this hot trend should read on for the inside info on manscaping, as well as preventing penis rash from shaving.

The different degrees of manscaping

When it comes to the virtual hair canvas that most men are, the grooming possibilities are almost endless. While some men may elect to get quite creative with their body hair, the most typical styles are listed below.

Wild and unruly: Some men – and women – feel that men are men are men and their body hair should be manly. Men who go the untamed route, don’t care if they have a thicket of body hair pushing its way out the top of the shirt collar, or a reverse treasure trail down their back. That’s all well and good – but best to remain civilized and keep the nose and ear hair to a bare minimum.

Trimming the hedges: Men who prefer a trimmed look may just take the old scissors round the bushes once in a while to keep things under control. These men appreciate the rugged look, but don’t want to look like a close relative of a cave man either. A quick buzz with an electric trimmer can also take down coarse body hair in a jiff, making it an easy manscaping option.

Up close and personal: Men seeking a smoother look may prefer to shave their body hair. Common areas include the chest, back, and neck, in addition to the below the belt region. Careful wielding of the razor is necessary; however, nobody wants to nick their nether regions during this process.

The full Monty: Men looking for the smoothest skin possible may elect to go the full Monty – in other words, no genital hair whatsoever. Women have come to know this process as “the Brazilian” and for most effective results, waxing is often the best method. Some men also choose to wax their chest, eyebrows, face, arms, legs and – believe it or not – their butt. Though a painful process, waxing can keep the hair at bay for 4 weeks or more, depending on the coarseness of the hair. Though an at home kit may seem like a good idea, it’s not; body waxing of that area is best performed by a professional.

What are the benefits?

Some men simply prefer to be hair free, or at least have partners who prefer and enjoy that benefit. Other men tout the benefits of improved hygiene, as they feel the area may be easier to clean without the thicket of hair to deal with. They may be on to something, considering the fact that bacteria and yeast tend to thrive in warm, moist places. A decreased body odor may be another positive side effect to a shaved sac, given the fact that pubic hair can trap and hold the scent of sweat and urine in the area. Lastly, and probably the most popular reason for a little manscaping: the added inch. No, the length of one’s pubic hair is not inversely related to the size of one’s penis – if it were – every man would be waxing. However, cleaning up the area a bit does create the illusion of a longer Johnson. Without all that messy hair in the way, ones shaft – in all its glory – can be seen, which makes it appear longer than before.

Penis care and grooming

Whatever manscaping route a man chooses, he is at risk of getting the occasional penis rash from razor burn or ingrown hair. While perfectly harmless, these little beauties can be quite painful to get rid of. Using a shaving cream, shaving with the grain of the hair – not against – and using a penis vitamin cream can all help prevent painful penis bumps. A penis vitamin lotion – particularly one with bacteria fighting Vitamin A – (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can help eliminate bacteria in the genital area that contribute to redness, irritation, bumps and odor. A lotion which contains vitamin E and Shea butter will also keep a newly manscaped area smooth and supple, which is half the reason for shaving in the first place.

Itchy Scalp, Natural Scalp Treatments: Using A Natural Home Remedy For Itchy Scalp Conditions

Yes it can be extremely annoying and embarrassing having a scalp condition like dandruff, eczema, scalp infections or a nasty itchy red rash on your scalp.

If you are suffering from:

itchy scalp, sore scalp or do you have a flaky dry scalp with redness and rashes that drive you crazy?

scalp picking – do you constantly find yourself picking at & scratching?

oily scalp and limp hair leaving you feeling less than your best

embarrassing dandruff falling on your clothes

or even a fungal infection of your scalp…that can lead to lesions or scalp sores.

Hair falling out & patches on your scalp

Your instinct might be to pick up a product from the store shelf or your doctor. Most of these scalp treatments that promise relief from dry scalp conditions sound very attractive until you start reading the fine print.

Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)? What’s that? Why do you have to call a Poison Control Center if you accidentally swallow shampoo? And what are those warning labels on the back all about? What does it do to your head if it’s that toxic?

Stop! What you must know is that several chemicals, especially SLS, strip the natural oils from the skin and even corrode it, along with your eye membranes. Have you also noticed that your hair has been thinning? Well hair follicle damage is another little known but very common symptom of these chemicals.

Actually, most commercial shampoos & scalp treatments are designed to meet people’s “sensory” expectations…offering instant gratification and the illusion that they are doing their job. So therein lies the problem. For example adding silicone to conditioner induces an artificial shine but in truth can create problems long term including sensitivities.

Most people expect a shampoo to:

Foam up nicely

Smell good

Take all the so-called “nasty” oiliness out of their hair

Make their hair feel squeaky-clean

And that’s a reasonable ask – think about it…if your shampoo didn’t foam up, smell good, or leave your hair feeling squeaky-clean, would you trust it? Well, here’s the thing: 90% of commercial shampoos achieve the foaming effect using the equivalent of engine degreasers to strip off not only dirt and grime but also valuable natural oils that your scalp needs.

Yes –your scalp needs natural oils. Without them, your body has no natural defence – those oils are there for a reason! Your scalp needs to maintain a natural PH balance that if disturbed – can develop into a dry, itchy irritated scalp. The good news is that there are many natural remedies you can use with moisturising oils and natural powerful alternatives to heal & reverse any scalp problem by restoring balance safely. You can easily repair follicle and damage – even boost hair growth and use your own home remedy for scalp cell regeneration. There are also the artificial aromas that are added – its alarming the huge percentage of people who are mildly to severely averse or allergic to artificial scents – resulting in itchy scalp, skin rashes etc and we don’t even know it.

So what non toxic itchy scalp treatments and natural remedies can help? Well there are many non toxic shampoos which are nourishing and conditioning while still giving you’re the “foam effect”, they smell devine with the addition of the natural oils they contain. So you do have a choice and it does NOT have to cost you more – in fact most of them are less – you just have to know what to look for.

So lets have a look at natural oils for treating your scalp…

Here are some of my favorite natural oils you can use for hair & scalp treatments.

Zinc Pyrithione: Wonderful stuff for dandruff & itchy scalp conditions. First synthesized in the 1930’s, this is the most widely used active ingredient from a natural source. It’s used to treat dandruff, seborrheic dermatitus, psoriasis, eczema and numerous other skin and scalp disorders. It has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Jojoba: Is excellent as a scalp moisturiser and helps to rebalance sebum.

Tea Tree: Oily hair … Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands, enlivens the scalp and brings the cells & follicles to attention

Basil: Oily hair … promotes growth

Chamomile: Fine to normal hair … gives golden highlights

Clary sage: All types of hair … dandruff treatment

Lavender: Normal hair … Scalp treatment for itchiness, dandruff, and even lice!

Lemon: Oily hair … Gives golden highlights; treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands

Myrrh: Dry hair … Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands

Patchouli: Oily hair … Dandruff treatment

Peppermint: Dry hair … Promotes hair growth

Rose: Fine hair … Soothes scalp

Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil: Itchy Scalp, Dry Scalp Excellent for itchy scalp, dry scalp and dandruff

Rosemary: Oily hair … Dandruff treatment; promotes hair growth

Tea tree: Oily hair … Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands

Ylang-ylang: Oily hair … Dandruff treatment

Neem: … a wonder oil from India. Neem is amazing for all of the wonderful “stuff” it does. It’s also derived from a type of tree bark. Neem is an effective fungicide and insecticide (great for head lice when used with geranium, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus oils). In clinical studies Neem extracts and oil were found to be as effective as coal tar and cortisone in treating psoriasis with none of the usual side effects accompanying the use of Neem as there was with Coal tar and cortisone. Neem extracts and oil removes redness and itching when applied directly to your scalp…and it’s a great skin conditioner. Best of all its excellent for relieving itching fast.

The best part of knowing that there are alternatives is that you can have mix these into super powerful blends like a super moisture boosting home remedy for dry scalp, or soothing itchy scalp treatments. Dry itchy scalp can be dealt with fast and permanently without spending a ton on traditional scalp med products.

Here’s just one easy remedy you can make today:

Home remedy for dry itchy scalp Take ¼ c oatmeal and soak in water for 20 mins. Mix well and then strain the liquid adding it to a cup. Add 5 drops lavender oil (or lavender stalks steeped in ¼ cup hot water. Add 5 drops rosemary (or rosemary stalks steeped in ¼ cup hot water. Allow to cool until tepid.

Mix the liquids together and dab on your scalp…leave in for 10 mins to soothe the itch. This a good temporary soother for itching. Chamomile tea is also soothing!

There are hundreds of ideas that are excellent scalp treatments from dandruff to scalp infections like scalp sores & psoriasis. These remedies combined with the knowledge of what causes itchy scalp and other scalp conditions will enable you to be free from itching, dryness and allow you to grow fabulously thick, shiny beautiful hair also…..so have fun experimenting and “luxuriating” by giving your hair a treat using the many natural gifts from nature that are right under our noses! There are also many natural shampoos that so not use these ingredients and do wonders for your hair such as Akin shampoo, and Thursday Plantation which is fantastic as an effective anti-dandruff shampoo.

I have included a few more remedies and uses for oils below. There are many many more in “Beautiful Hair & Healthy Scalp Secrets & Remedies ” and a list of shampoos that are not toxic. They are nourishing & repairing for your scalp & hair.

SOOTHING & HEALING ANTIFLAMMATORY REMEDY: Apply a mixture of 1 teaspoon of Neem oil (antifungal & antiitching) 1 teaspoon Teatree or Manuka (also antifungal) which much stronger than teatree, one teaspoon of Rosemary oil and one teaspoon of Lavender oil together in 3 tablespoons of carrier oils such as Olive or Almond oil (Wheatgerm and Macadamia carrier oils closely match your natural sebum) and apply to your scalp daily.

Alternatively add the oils together minus the olive/almond oil to one cup if water in spray bottle and shake vigorously then spray on your roots. If you can get a teaspoon of hemp oil add that to the mix as well.

GARDEN REMEDY: Go to your garden and get 3 sprigs of Rosemary, and chop up and add to 3 tea bags of Chamomile tea. Boil gently, let cool, strain and rinse your hair with this liquid for a calming antiflammatory effect.

As with all remedies please patch test first and use at your own risk. And but only non toxic shampoos without ingredients that cause your head to react, flake itch and burn….plus more remedies in “Beautiful Hair & Healthy Scalp Secrets & Remedies “

Heres a little about the oils above which can be mixed to create various formulas to treat different conditions and add condition to your hair found in my eBook “Beautiful Hair & Healthy Scalp Secrets & Remedies “.

Neem Oil: Derived from a type of tree bark it is an effective fungicide and insecticide (great for head lice when used with geranium, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus oils). It has a very strong odor which can overpower other fragrances but its effectiveness is proven:

In clinical studies Neem extracts and oil were found to be as effective as coal tar and cortisone in treating psoriasis with none of the usual side effects accompanying the use of Neem as there was with Coal tar and cortisone.

When applied to the skin, Neem extracts and oil removes redness and itching while improving the condition of the skin while being treated. In the case of eczema clinical studies demonstrate that even the application of weaker Neem leaf extracts effectively cured acute conditions of eczema with the fresh cold pressed oil with its high concentration of active ingredients.

Neem effectively kills the bacteria that cause Acne and studies prove that Neem will reduce inflammation caused by acne and other bacterial infections.

Its also good for other skin conditions such as Dry Skin, Wrinkles, Dandruff, Itchy Scalp, Skin Ulcers and Warts which can be effectively remedied with soaps and other products containing Neem oil.

Lavender Oil: Lavender is known for its calming properties both emotional and physical. There are different varieties of lavender and certain ones are favored more than others for medicinal treatments. Lavender is effective to soothe itching from skin and sore scalp inflammations such as burning red itchy scalp, and dandruff to insect bites as well as having a powerful calming effect to treat scalp itching and irritated scalp as well as relax you and help you nod off to sleep.

In one study of 86 people with alopecia areata (a disease of unknown cause characterized by significant hair loss, generally in patches), those who massaged their scalps with lavender and other essential oils daily for 7 months experienced significant hair re-growth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. It is not entirely clear from this study whether lavender (or a combination of lavender and other essential oils) was responsible for the beneficial effects. Scalp massage is also highly beneficial to stimulate follicles and blood supply to the skin’s surface.

Aromatherapists also use lavender as a tonic in inhalation therapy to treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Herbalists treat skin ailments, such as fungal infections (like candidiasis), dandruff, eczema of the scalp, wounds, scalp acne, with lavender oil. It is also used externally in a healing bath for circulatory disorders and as a rub for rheumatic ailments (conditions affecting the muscles and joints).

Tea Tree Oil: One of the strongest known natural antiseptics. Also has punative skin penetrating capacity as an anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial, germicide and fungicide. The scientific name for it is Melaleuca Alternifolia.

Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil has a pronounced action on the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for clearing the mind and mental awareness, while having excellent brain stimulant properties, as well as improving memory.

It helps with headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue and nervous exhaustion and the antiseptic action of rosemary oil is especially suitable for intestinal infections and diarrhea, easing colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders and jaundice and relieving pain associated with itchy flaky scalp, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain and gout. It also helps for arteriosclerosis, palpitations, poor circulation and varicose veins.

The diuretic properties of rosemary oil are useful with reducing water retention during menstruation, and also with obesity and cellulite.

On the respiratory system, it is effective for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, sinus and whooping cough. Because of its astringent action, it is also effective for countering sagging skin. Its stimulating action benefits scalp disorders and encourages hair growth.

On the skin, it helps to ease congestion, puffiness and swelling and can also be used for acne, dry inflamed scalp, dermatitis and eczema, but a very popular use of this oil is the use in hair care products, as it has a pronounced positive effect on the health of the hair and scalp. It increases the circulation to the scalpand is therefore also effective for promoting hair growth after having conditions such as dandruff or scalp sores causing hair loss, scalp itching and scratching.

Rosemary oil is effective for mental fatigue, circulation problems, pain relief for the muscular system, decongests the respiratory tract and is a skin and hair booster.

Psoriasis and Hair Loss

Psoriasis affects many bodily functions including hair loss. Having the ailment is bad enough, but not knowing what to do to cope with it makes it worse. One of the areas of most concern is the scalp, hair loss prevention or restoration. Learn what you can do to help with hair loss prevention and how to have a healthy scalp.

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a non-contagious immune-mediated disorder that affects areas and functions of the body including the scalp. Appearing as raised red patches of skin, it can be accompanied by burning or itching sensations. It has been thought to be the result of reactions to certain drugs, thinning of the intestinal walls, toxemia, infections and emotional stress.

Psoriasis on the scalp

Scalp psoriasis has been present in at least half of the people with psoriasis. Similar to seborrhea, scalp psoriasis can cause hair loss if left untreated. Special shampoos and topical creams containing salicylic acid and tar can be used as treatment.

It is essential to refrain from scratching or picking at any scabs on the scalp as this can cause hair follicle damage and permanent hair loss. Hair loss from psoriasis is usually temporary and will grow back once the ailment clears up, providing the hair follicles have not been damaged.

Itching

In order to stop the itching, use common mouthwash such as Listerine or Lavoris gently rubbed onto the scalp. Use Carbolated Vaseline along the hairline to relieve the symptoms.

Make sure to avoid using hair dyes, permanents, chemical treatments and relaxers with psoriasis. These chemicals can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle over a short time of use.

Cure

Psoriasis cannot be cured with drugs but only by the body healing itself. Everyone suffering with psoriasis also suffers from toxemia. When the body becomes toxic different ailments present themselves with one of them being psoriasis. Toxemia is caused by poor circulation and thinning of the intestine walls.

Once a person blood becomes toxic, then the acidity comes through the skin and thus psoriasis develops. Some known cases of psoriasis have been healed through natural processes such as quitting smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, increasing the consumption of distilled water, internal cleansing, increased sun exposure, stress reduction, meditation, and the elimination of certain foods such as eggplant, peppers, white potatoes, paprika and tomatoes. Pizza is one common food among psoriasis suffers that cause discomfort and should be avoided.

Psoriasis sufferers should eat poultry, lamb, fish, low fat milk or buttermilk and maintain an alkaline diet. Any fish product containing Omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed for the skin and scalp. Most fish is recommended but limit consuming bluefish, sushi, shellfish and mackerel.

Avoid consuming fried foods, white bread, fatty milk acid and alcohol, which are all acid forming. Substitute small amounts of whole grain bread, low-fat or non-fat milk and a small glass of red wine.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder?

Exploring the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The very first step in dealing with bipolar disorder and those that have it is to get a good understanding of the symptoms. There are four different type of mood episodes, each with their own unique symptoms.

Mania

  • Person feels all-powerful. May have hallucinations or delusions of grandeur.
  • Euphoria – feels excessively optimistic, on top of the world.
  • Extremely irritable – angry with aggressive or provocative actions.
  • Restless – unable to concentrate, easily distracted.
  • Unusually talkative – talks fast, feels a need to keep talking.
  • Less need for sleep – goes for days on very little or no sleep.
  • High risk behavior – pleasure seeking, involvement in high risk actions like sex, drugs, gambling, etc.
  • Extremely energetic – feelings of creativity and increased productiveness.
  • Aggressive behavior – rudeness, causes trouble.
  • Poor judgment – reckless, impulsive, no idea of abnormal behavior.

Hypomania

  • Milder form of mania – less severe, not as difficult to function normally.
  • Euphoria – feels productive and energetic.
  • Can do day-t0-day activities – no delusions or hallucinations.
  • Very agreeable – may seem to be in an usually good mood.
  • Often turns spirals into a full-blown manic episode, followed by major depression.

Depression

  • Fatigue – loss of energy, may move and speak slowly.
  • Depressed – hopeless, sad, feels empty.
  • Loses interest in previous pleasurable activities – sex, hobbies, social activities.
  • Restless – unable to sit still, nervousness.
  • Change in sleep pattern – oversleeps or has insomnia.
  • Weight and appetite changes – may have significant weight gain or loss.
  • Problems with memory – can’t concentrate, difficulty making decisions.
  • Feelings of worthlessness – very critical and hard on themself, dislikes self.

Mixed Episodes (Mania and Depression)

  • Full blown symptoms of both mania and depression.
  • May alternate between the two extremes or suffer affects of both at the same time.
  • Mixes irritability and the low moods of depression with the agitation of mania.
  • Combination of high energy mixed with depression make suicide a high risk.

Depression – Can Energy Healing Help Heal Depression?

Can’t fight your way out of the depressions box? Can energy healing help heal depression? Absolutely! Read on and consider one of the energy healing modalities (Brennan Healing, Healing Touch, Reiki) as part of your healing plan.

Everything you see, hear, taste, smell, touch has a vibration. A low music note is a different vibration than a high note. The color red is a different vibration than blue or green. Likewise you body is a computation of vibrations. Your moods and emotions have vibrations. Moods and emotions interact with your body and vice versa. “Joy” has a different chemical make up than that of being “bummed out”.

We have an aura, or an envelop, of energy that surrounds and penetrates the body. The aura contains the templates for the body, all our thoughts, our emotions, our relationships, our beliefs, and our connection with the Divine. It is all vibration. Illness (low vibration) occurs in the aura first before it manifests in the body. And like wise, illness is healed in the aura before physical healing occurs. Energy healing modalities such as Brennan Healing Science or Healing Touch or Reiki open, balance and charge the energy field.

Oh, you don’t see auras or energy fields. Well, let me give you some visuals. Think of someone who has a “sunny” disposition (higher vibration). Or think of another person who is angry (lower vibration, with chaos). The person who is sunny would look and feel different than the one who is angry and giving off sparks. For an example of depression (very low vibration), I think of “Pig Pen” from the Peanut Cartoon. Poor, Pig Pen is depicted as disheveled, and with a cloud of dirt all around him.

Depression is a lot like that. The aura is dense, murky, congested, weighted down. If you are in this state, you know that it is very hard for someone’s kind words to get through. Energy work takes the denseness, congestion, murkiness and weight out of the energy field. It opens the energy field, restores balance and can charge the field. It changes the pattern, for a time at least. With some work, the client learns the difference between the “depression” pattern (Pig Pen) and a healthier pattern of say “sunny” and how to move from depression to happy and satisfied.

Fear of Snakes – How to Overcome Phobia of Snakes Easily

Many people harbor fears of snakes. There are obvious reasons for this. These reptiles are well-known for the deadly venom of their bite. Although most species of snake do not have a poisonous bite, the ones that do have effectively determined snakes’ overall reputation. In addition to their bite, many snakes have a frightening style of motion. They can move stealthily and low to the ground; they can strike their prey suddenly, without any warning. Furthermore, snakes have facial characteristics that many people fear. Their beady eyes and fixed grins appear utterly inhuman. Their dry and scaly skins also contribute to many people’s phobias.

When Fear Is A Problem

In urban areas of the US and UK, people with severe snake phobia can lead normal lives most of the time. They are unlikely to encounter the scaly creatures outside of zoos, pet stores, and, perhaps, friends’ houses. However, what if someone who is afraid of these reptiles has to, or wants to be, in an environment where he or she is likely to encounter snakes? A classic example of this is in the Indiana Jones movies. The life of the title character would have been significantly easier if he did not harbor a phobia of snakes.

One real-life situation in which it would be problematic to be afraid of these animals is hiking. People who fear the snake must refrain from hiking in some of the most scenic parts of California. In fact, crawling reptiles inhabit most of the wilderness areas of North America. In short, anyone who aspires to spending a large portion of his or her life exploring the outdoors would be severely hampered by an undue fear of serpents.

How People Have Dealt With The Fear Of Snakes

Most people are afraid of slithering serpents to some extent. Historically, those whose fears of serpents have amounted to severe phobia (as well as those exhibiting a typical degree of nervousness around the creatures, who simply wanted to become more comfortable around them), have tried to overcome their fear by exposing themselves to different varieties of snake. There are classes on how to properly handle gentle garden snakes, pythons, and even poisonous rattlesnakes and pit vipers. However, some people just seem to have a mental block, or an instinctive reaction, that causes them to panic every time they so much as see a snake. For these people, know amount of animal handling knowledge seems to help. A snake-handling class might only traumatize them more, especially if they panic and cause an incident.

NLP Is A Possible Solution

One often-overlooked solution for conquering irrational fears, including an excessive reaction to slithering reptiles, is NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). NLP is an excellent way to change one’s conditioned responses, which most phobias are considered to be. With NLP, you’ll learn to recognize the ultimately predictable thought patterns that lead to your fear. Then, you’ll be able to change those thought patterns, and re-train yourself. Many of the most effective therapists use a combination of NLP and hypnosis techniques to change clients’ reaction of fear into one of calmness and confidence. In this way, clients overcome their fears of snakes surprisingly quickly.

Anxiety, GERD and Finding Relief

Everyone who suffers from GERD (acid reflux) knows that what can cause problems for them might not be a problem for someone else with the same condition. Some foods bother some while other people can eat them with no problems. Some have to stay away from alcohol while others aren’t effected by it. The same can be said about stress. Some experience huge anxiety GERD related problems, and others seem to have no response what-so-ever. When someone has a flare up of acid when confronted with stress, they have to learn to keep that stress under control.

A lot of people are under the impression that stress is a direct cause of heartburn, but it actually aggravates it in a more round about way.

When someone is stressed out, they tend to do many things that make acid reflux worse. For example eat while on the go, eat ‘convenience’ foods, drink more and smoke more.

To avoid the temptation of these actions, it is always a good idea to manage the stress rather than ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Though there are many types of good stress, most of the overwhelming stresses that people experience is not helping their acid reflux at all. In fact, it might be the leading reason why people stop eating and drinking the right things.

Those under stress some times go out drinking. This is not true for everyone, but it is a habit for some. Not only is this bad for the liver, it is also bad for reflux.

Alcohol is one of the things that those with acid reflux should avoid, as it can stimulate acid production and bring on severe symptoms. Many people like to deal with stress by eating comfort foods. These are often stodgy, fat laden dishes or sweet things, and both of these are also know to aggravate heartburn. When stress is high, both of these bad habits become common occurrences, and they will both be actions someone with GERD will come to regret!

One of the best ways to avoid stress is to take up a good exercise program. This doesn’t have to mean pounding away in the gym, just talking a walk each day can be hugely beneficial in relieving stress.

Activities like yoga are good, as they incorporate breathing exercises that are great for washing away stress. Exercise will also help you sleep better at night, and getting a good amount of sleep will help reduce stress as well. Though eight hours are recommended, some people find that seven is all they need to feel rested and relaxed each morning. Aim for the amount of sleep that makes you feel great in the mornings.

There are other small things a person can do to get rid of stress like avoiding caffeine and stopping smoking. Though a lot of smokers think smoking helps manage their stress levels, the opposite is actually true. Smoking also aggravates GERD, so giving away the cigarettes is a great move.

No matter what type of stress relief someone tries to do, any way to get rid of it will be beneficial. Once the anxiety GERD symptoms start to go away and you see improvements, giving up things will become much easier. Even better, the elimination of many of these habits has a great impact on other aspects of life, which can live you feeling healthy and full of vitality – a great added bonus.

Causes of Childhood Insomnia – Dealing With Insomnia in Children and Teens

More than likely you have heard of insomnia, but usually you think of it as an adult problem. Insomnia is very common in adults; however, often kids have sleep problems as well. If you happen to have a child who is having trouble sleeping they may be dealing with childhood insomnia.

When it comes to adult insomnia, figuring out the causes can be a bit difficult; however, usually with children there is usually a cause that is quite obvious. So, here are a few of the causes of childhood insomnia you need to be aware of.

Cause #1 – Upset Stomach – One very common cause of insomnia in children can actually be an upset stomach. If your child is dealing with an upset stomach or constipation that is dealing with stomach pain, this could be causing the insomnia problem. Take time to figure out whether your child is eating right and going to the bathroom regularly.

Cause #2 – Stress – Many of adults deal with insomnia that is caused by stress, and stress can cause insomnia in children as well. Talk to your child and try to find out what is going on in their lives. Are they dealing with a tough time in school, are things tense around the home, or is your child having problems with a bully? There can be many things that stress out your child, which can lead to insomnia.

Stress is also a major cause of insomnia in teens. Teenagers in high school are usually under a great deal of pressure to study long hours. They may also be dealing with relationship problems and competition on the sports field or in the classroom. Extracting information from a teenager isn’t easy, but it’s worth persevering. Counseling is also available.

Cause #3 – Sleep Apnea – Believe it or not, children can be affected by sleep apnea as well, which is when they stop breathing during their sleep. If you think that this could be the problem with your child, they may need to be evaluated medically to see if this is really the problem. If your child is constantly tired despite sleeping long hours, sleep apnea may well be the culprit.

Cause #4 – Pain – Pain is another common cause of childhood insomnia, and the pain can come from a number of different places. Children can get fibromyalgia, childhood rheumatoid arthritis can hit or growing pains may even be the problem. If your child is playing sports, muscle cramps could even be causing pain that keeps them up at night.

As you can see there are a variety of causes of insomnia in children. No doubt you want to find ways that you can help alleviate the problem. Well, in many cases, it’s as simple as finding a natural cure.

There are a variety of natural cures out there today that can help treat childhood insomnia . You won’t want to give them prescription medications or over the counter treatments that are full of chemicals and dangerous drugs, so consider some of the excellent natural options that can be found to treat insomnia in children.

Vick’s Salve For Toenail Fungus – Does it Actually Work?

By far, one of the most asked questions on the web is does Vick’s Salve for toenail fungus actually work? The reason this so many people want to find out about Vick’s is because they don’t want to deal with the dangers or expense of prescription drugs.

Many of the prescription drugs offered to fight toenail fungus are very costly and some of them can cause major and long term damage to your liver.

Vick’s, also known as Vick’s VapoRub, has been around since the early 1900’s. It’s primary purpose is to help with congestion for anyone dealing with cold type symptoms. Vick’s is probably best known for its cooling menthol that gives a specific sensation when placed on the skin.

However, it is probably another active ingredient in Vick’s that may be responsible for any ability to fight toenail fungus. Camphor, which is basically in Vick’s as a cough suppressant, is also known as an antimicrobial ingredient that may help to kill or inhibit the growth of fungi.

There is currently no definite medical proof as to whether or not Vick’s will work to stop toenail fungus, however, that does slow down the number of requests about whether or not it works.

One of the potential drawbacks to using something like Vick’s is the fact that it keeps the skin super moist once applied. Some think that this could cause a problem in trying to get rid of nail fungus.

If you do want to try the Vick’s home remedy, it is normally recommended to wash and dry your feet completely, and then to apply the Vick’s to the affected area, followed by a pair of clean socks before going to bed.

According to Snopes, which verifies internet rumors, the company that manufactures Vick’s had a recording on their toll free line which stated that Vicks was not meant for use on toenail fungus. However, when that number was called, there was only a routine message giving the hours of operation.

Preventing Toe Nail Fungus From Returning Once It Has Been Treated

Toe nail fungus is a very common condition that is treated around the world on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many people who are successfully treated for this infection tend to have it return some time in the future. This article will discuss ways to prevent nail fungus from returning.

Nail fungus is an infection involving a small group of microscopic organisms in the fungus family. It is easily contracted when fungus present on the skin surface moves into the space under the nail plate through a small crack or break in the plate. Some people seem to be more susceptible to this infection, while others are able to resist it. Even individual nails may have different levels of resistance. Skin fungus can be contracted anywhere there is moisture and one walks barefoot with others, such as showers, locker rooms, pools, and even home bathrooms. One the fungus gets under the nail, it is very difficult to treat. Creams and lotions that normally eradicate skin fungus do not penetrate through the nail, and are not effective for nail fungus. Prescription oral antifungal medication or specially formulated liquid applications are needed to destroy the infection. Unfortunately, the treatment does not simply end after the medication kills the fungus.

Foot fungus is difficult to avoid, even if great care is taken to minimize one’s exposure to it. For that reason, people who have been cured of nail fungus need to take steps to ensure that their exposure to fungus is minimal. No effort will completely avoid fungus, but several simple steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood it will cause an infection. The first step is to simply exercise caution in places where foot fungus thrives. Sandals should be worn in all public showers or locker rooms, and when walking around pools, waterparks, or changing areas. If a family member has athlete’s foot, then they should be immediately treated, and should not go barefoot about the house. They should use a secondary bathroom if one is available until the infection is cleared, and the shower should be cleaned thoroughly afterward with a disinfecting cleaner.

An often overlooked source of reinfection is one’s own shoes. Fungus can live in shin debris shed directly off the foot or pushed through a porous sock, and can make somewhat of a home in one’s shoe interior. This can potentially reinfect the skin, which can then cause a nail infection to return. By treating one’s shoes with a commercially available antifungal spray, one can eliminate the risk of reinfection through shoes contaminated by the previous infection. After spraying the shoes, it is a good idea to seal them up overnight in an airtight plastic bag to increase the spray’s effectiveness.

Simple hygiene can also be important in the fight against fungus. By eliminating favorable conditions for fungus to grow, one can prevent it from building up on the skin. Since fungus likes warm, dark, moist environments, simple hygienic steps like regular foot cleaning, careful drying of the spaces in between the toes, and regular changing of one’s socks will reduce the potential for fungus to thrive on the skin.

Finally, one of the best ways to prevent fungus from reinfecting toe nails is to destroy any fungus that may have made its way onto the skin, despite all the above measures. This can be accomplished by applying an antifungal cream to the skin once or twice a week to destroy any budding fungus presence. Areas that should be concentrated on include the toes and ball of the foot. Many different high quality antifungal creams and gels are available at pharmacies to use for this purpose. Unfortunately, the skin treatment is needed in the long term picture of preventing fungus, and for some may need to be applied for life if one is particularly susceptible to fungus infections.

By employing the above steps, one can have a reasonable chance of avoiding skin fungus infections converting to nail fungus infections, effectively breaking the cycle of reoccurring nail fungus. Of course, one’s podiatrist should be consulted regarding chronic fungal infections, as more involved steps may be needed in some individuals.

Tips for Using Ice Therapy on Strains and Sprains

Using ice for acute soft tissue injuries is a standard first-line measure and it is even used in the rehabilitation of chronic injuries. Also called cryotherapy, immediate ice application after a strain or sprain can decrease swelling and pain, which hastens recovery and prevents further injury.

The acute phase of an injury is the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice application should be used in this phase of the healing process and then discontinued. Ice treatment is a common home remedy for bumps, muscle pain, and other minor injuries and many of us use a bag of crushed ice or even frozen peas for this purpose quite often. However, there is a right way and wrong way to use ice to treat soft tissue injuries.

Basic Guidelines for Ice Application

Use a bag of melting ice water wrapped in a towel. Ice alone is not cold enough and commercial ice packs are inconsistent, either being too cold or not cold enough. However, as part of a first aid kit for when ice is not available commercial cold packs should be considered a viable option. A bag of frozen peas, as mentioned above, can work in a pinch but ice water is more effective at reducing the temperature of the soft tissues.

The cold compresses used for sports injuries should not be confused with the commercial ice packs such as Rubbermaid’s Blue Ice packs which are used for keeping foods cool in coolers. These are much too cold and should never be used on injuries as they could damage the skin and even result in nerve damage.

The goal of cryotherapy is to reduce the temperature in the muscle or joint and to sustain this reduced temperature during the initial recovery phase from an acute injury. The best time frame tends to be around ten minutes. Any longer than that and you risk damaging the skin and possible pain within the muscles, which counter productive as it causes the muscle to spasm. So icing too long at once will further injure the tissue. The target temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or ten degrees Celsius.

Using short and repeated applications will allow the skin temperature to return to normal but the muscle temperature will remain low. Direct ice application is not good for sustained cooling of muscle since there will tend to be a reflex “heating” of the tissues. During competitive sports situations ice is the best for an immediate return to play.

Keep in mind, however, that reflex and coordination can be affected by the ice application. When you sprain an ankle and then ice it down your ankle is not going to be very usable. In these compression wrapping is also used to stabilize the joint.

If an immediate return to activity is not needed, as with training related injuries, then stop training immediately, rest, and apply ice for periods of ten minutes. In between wait for the skin temperature to return to normal, then repeat.

Other Cryotherapy Methods

Cold water immersion can be used for joint injuries in the first 24 hours and there is some evidence that immersion is a more effective way to reduce swelling in the joint than ice. It is a direct and concentrated way to cool the area. Immersion is only useful for injuries of the hand or foot, however. For ice therapy to be useful the cooling must be concentrated to the injured area. When injuries occur to other parts of the body immersion requires large area to be submerged and cooled rather than just the injured area.

Instead of ice packs, ice massage is sometimes recommended. The simplest way to use ice massage is to freeze water in a small paper cup and then rip off the top of the cup to expose the top layer of ice. Massage the inured area with circular motions for periods of ten minutes. This method is often said to be superior to ice water bags. However there is no reason to support this conclusion. Although massaging ice directly across the skin feels colder, the goal is not to freeze the skin but to reduce the temperature in the underlying soft tissues. Lowering the temperature of the skin too quickly will simply make it more difficult to sustain the ice application. The cold from ice massage tends not to penetrate as deeply or last as long

Regardless if one keeps the ice cup moving, ice massage is extremely uncomfortable and most people will not want to keep it up for ten minutes. Normally for ice therapy to be effective a buffer is used between the cold pack and the skin to sustain the treatment long enough to slowly cool the tissues without injuring the skin or causing pain. So plastic bags filled with ice water for all soft tissue injuries and cold water immersion for hand and foot injuries are the most effective means of cryotherapy.

Discontinue ice therapy after the first 48 hours. Prolonging the use of ice after this initial period may inhibit rather than hasten healing. Heat application, however, should still be avoided until at least 72 hours after the initial injury. Please note that these tips are for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice.