Animal Therapy for Depression

Who could dispute that animals can have a positive effect on emotional well-being? With research being conducted into the field of alternative medicine on an on-going basis, more and more people are beginning to realize the cathartic effects that animals are having on individuals well-being, especially so in those patients suffering with depression.

While some people recover from depression using medications alone, there are many others, who would prefer to use a combination of alternative therapies to try to alleviate the symptoms of depression. One of these treatments being studied is ‘Pet Therapy’, but what is this alternative and how could it help?

Many scientists have spent endless hours looking into the different types of therapy available for treating depression as an illness; ‘Pet Therapy’ has been concluded as one of these therapies. Animals have long been recognized as being a positive force in the healing process.

Dogs notably have a calming and therapeutic effect on people. They can help individuals to cope with the emotional issues related to their illness. They also offer physical contact with another living creature and help to divert a person’s attention from their pressing daily problems. Owning a dog brings about a sense of responsibility. Dogs rely on their owners for feeding, walking, attention and love. What better excuse for a depressed person to get out of bed in the morning?

Dogs love almost everyone without any degree of prejudice or rejection. You do not need to speak any type of language to communicate with a four-legged friend. Give them a treat, tickle their tummy and they will love you without bounds. Dogs are aware of illness and sadness and genuinely want to provide companionship and comfort; they show an abundance of intelligence and are both intuitive and compassionate. Any dog owner will relate and agree with me when I say that it is a warm feeling when their dog can detect their sorrow and lick their tears away.

Pet Therapy can facilitate many positive changes one such example being increased socialization skills. Animals can be used as part of group therapy programs to encourage communication and increase the ability to focus. Helping to develop a person’s self-esteem and reducing their loneliness and anxiety are just some potential benefits of individual-animal therapy.

The bond between humans and animals is demonstrated every day in millions of homes around the world. It is also becoming a powerful, common mode of therapy in many facilities such as hospitals, schools and residential homes.

While it is difficult to measure and quantify the benefits of dog therapy with hard scientific fact, there is no question that the magical interaction possible between animal and human is unmistakable. Tears can be dried. Scowls transform into smiles. Silence is broken and lastly but not least importantly loneliness and isolation can be ejected from a person through mere touch and cuddles. Dogs offer their owner’s absolute and unconditional love and a level of boundless patience that no human could ever possibly give. The love of a dog is unlimited, what better form of alternative therapy could there be?

Author reserves all rights to this work.

(c) Samantha Weaver 2006

How to Stop Fears, Phobias and Anxieties

If you have phobias and anxieties, you may require support to help stop fears from overtaking your life. You can use a number of different approaches to guide you to success. Any anti-fear approach can be augmented with self-hypnosis.

Phobia

A phobia is a fear that has gotten out of control. Your fright is a natural, healthy response to threatening circumstances. Your body is very effective in keeping you out of danger when it uses this emotion. The physical effects are enough to encourage you to avoid dangerous situations.

When the natural protective emotion gets out of control, it develops into a phobia. You know you have this condition if you are constantly worried about running into your source of distress. Your feelings are irrational and overwhelming.

Phobias interfere with your ability to function normally on a regular basis. You may avoid normal situations and you obsess over the fearful experiences. The very notion of facing the source of your phobia can cause you to feel great anxiety.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a response that you feel when you are overwhelmed with emotion and nervousness. Anxiousness and phobic state of mind can lead to feelings of panic that seem to come out of nowhere. The anxiety and fearful responses are all encompassing, making it seemingly impossible to control.

Treatment approaches

You can use a few different psychological interventions to help stop fears before they get out of control. Even when the fearfulness develops into a phobia, there are steps you can take to work through them. Each approach can be complemented with self-hypnosis to maximize their effectiveness.

Desensitization is a great approach for dealing with phobic and frightful responses to situations, animals and objects. This systematic approach begins with you simply picturing your source of anxiety in your mind. Gradually, you are introduced to the object of fear until you can face it without feeling anxiety.

Cognitive therapy helps you retrain the way that you think about your source of distress. This approach uses your conceptual thoughts to work through your anxiety and phobic responses. Cognitive therapy is a process that takes considerable time but it does yield excellent results.

Help Stop Fears Using Self-Hypnosis

Each approach can be augmented with self-hypnosis. This complementary approach is ideal because it supports you as you try to use your conscious mind to guide you to feelings of calm and relaxation, no matter what you face. Hypnosis creates a path to the subconscious mind.

Your subconscious is the hub of automatic responses like fearful reactions to certain situations or objects. Self-hypnosis works directly with the inner workings of your mind, easing you through your recovery process. This is the perfect complement to desensitization and cognitive therapy.

Both desensitization and cognitive therapy rely on your conscious mind to do the work. This can be counterproductive if you subconscious mind is convinced that there is reason to be fearful. Self-hypnosis can help stop fears as an augmentative approach or independently.

Insomnia – A Chi Imbalance

Do you toss and turn every night, have vivid disturbing dreams or are unable to either fall asleep or stay asleep? It could be that you are suffering from a Chi energy imbalance.

Restful sleep is a sign of internal Chi balance. Sleep, like healthy eating and exercise is a vital and important part of well-being. Regularly disturbed sleep reduces your energy levels and your mental abilities, it negatively affects your moods, increases the time it takes to recover from illnesses and makes you more susceptible to anxiety and depression.

Types of Insomnia

When looking at insomnia, TCM believes that there are four main types and each one has a different cause and therefore a different treatment approach.

Dream-disturbed sleep: Do you dream constantly? Do your dreams affect the quality of your sleep? If you find that you have nightmares, then you could have a gall-bladder meridian imbalance. If you find that you can’t sleep because your mind is constantly on overdrive, then you may have a spleen meridian imbalance.

Difficulty falling asleep: Do you lie awake, tossing and turning for hours? You may have a liver meridian imbalance.

Waking up easily: Do you fall asleep easily, but then wake up and find it difficult to go back to sleep again? This may indicate a spleen imbalance.

Waking up at a specific time every night: Do you find that no matter what time you go to sleep, you wake up at the same time during the night? In TCM theory, the body’s Chi circulates through the twelve main meridians at a specific time of day and spends 2 hours in each one. Each meridian relates to an internal organ and each organ relates to specific emotions.

* 11pm – 1am: represents gallbladder imbalance

* 1am – 3am: represents liver imbalance

* 3am – 5am: represents lung imbalance

* 5am – 7am: represents large intestine imbalance

Causes of Insomnia

From a TCM perspective, insomnia originates as a disharmony of the heart meridian and the Shen. The Shen (a type of Chi) can be thought of as your spirit or psych while the heart is responsible for ‘housing the Shen.’ A disruption in the ability of the heart to hold the Shen or an aggravation of the Shen itself can lead to insomnia.

The following meridian systems and Chi imbalances can affect the ability of the heart to house the Shen or disrupt the Shen directly:

Yin/Yang Imbalance

Insufficient tranquility (deficient Yin energy) or excess stimulation (excess Yang energy) can aggravate the Shen. This yin/yang imbalance can be addressed by increasing Yin energy through meditation, ChiYo, breathing exercises or listening to relaxing music and decreasing Yang energy through avoiding excess mental stimulation especially before sleeping.

Spleen Meridian Imbalance

Overwork, physical or mental exhaustion, excessive worry and over-thinking, irregular diet, excessive intake of cold and raw food can all damage your spleen Chi. As the spleen is responsible for blood production, if the spleen is weak it the heart and Shen.

Kidney Meridian Imbalance

The kidneys, like all the body’s organs, store energy. When the kidney’s ability to store energy is compromised, by anxiety and fear, traumatic experiences, ageing, major illnesses, the cold and overworking, and it’s Yin energy is depleted, it will not be able to nourish or support the heart, so the Shen cannot rest.

Liver Meridian Imbalance

Anxiety, anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, repressed emotions, excessive stress, fatty foods and alcohol impair the normal functions of the liver meridian, resulting in liver Chi stagnation. This liver Chi stagnation results in reduced blood flow to the heart, reducing the ability of the heart to house the Shen. Overtime, this stagnation causes heat which rises up and disrupts the heart and the Shen.

Stomach Meridian Imbalance

Overindulgence in greasy or sweet foods can result in the retention of fluids and phlegm in the stomach, causing heat which disrupts the Shen.

Wear Toecaps to Protect Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown nails occur when the nail curves downward into the skin, at the nail borders. This often leads to pain, redness and swelling. If the nail breaks the skin, bacteria set into this wound to create an infection with a foul odor and drainage.

The main causes for ingrown nails are ill-fitting shoes and improper trimming of nails. Tight shoes that press the nail sides make the nail curl into the skin while nails trimmed down at the corners tend to grow inwards.

Sometimes trauma to the nail plate or two like while stubbing the toenail or dropping something on it can lead to irregular growth of the nail into its flesh.

Symptoms

Though ingrown nails can occur in any nail, it is predominantly occurs in the big toe. Once dirt and sweat enters the infected region, the skin of the nail becomes red, tender and swollen. At times, there may also be some pus.

Treatment

For mild conditions, soaking your foot in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes and then placing some dry cotton on the corners of the nail is sufficient treatment. However if the condition gets worse with increased pain, swelling and drainage in the area, minor surgery will be required to remove the part of the nail that pokes into the skin.

There are various over the counter preparations available to use to harden the skin and in the process, shrink the tissues surrounding the nail so that it grows normally. If required, you may wear a soft, foam toecap to protect the ingrown nail till it heals.

While it is possible to take care of ingrown toenails on your own, if the pain gets severe, it is better to approach your doctor who will be able to take the necessary steps to provide relief and to avoid complications. People suffering from diabetes and other conditions that lead to a poor circulation in their feet are at a greater risk of suffering from complications that arise from ingrown nails.

Best Medication to Treat Nail Fungus

Best Treatments For Nail Fungus

Embarrassing conditions can be just as traumatic for the sufferer as the more serious health complaints. Nail fungus is a typical example.

There are approximately 30 million known suffers of Onychomycosis, the medical name for nail fungus, in the United States alone. There may be many more cases but the very nature of the condition can stop sufferers from seeking medical attention or a remedy.

Nail fungus can strike anyone at anytime, although adults are more likely to become infected by the condition and men are more likely to suffer than women.

So What Is Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is nasty bacteria that lives quite happily under the toenail or fingernails. It thrives in warm damp condition and so your nail bed is a perfect environment for the fungal infection to survive. Nail fungus can spread from toenail to toenail and fingernail to fingernail, it can also be passed to other people.

What Can I Do To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus

If you have the first signs of the fungal infection you should treat immediately, the initial signs of nail fungus are a slight pitting of the nail, discoloration and distortion. If diagnosed early enough a home remedy can stop the infection and kill the bacteria from spreading.

Nail Fungus Home Remedies

There are several homeopathic or home remedies that have proven to be quite effective for treating the early stages of the infection. Some of the most common are Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil, Vicks Vapo Rub and Listerine.

Of the four mention the most likely to bring success is Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV provides an acidic environment that can stop reproduction and fungal growth. It has be stressed that most of the home remedies listed do requite time, patience and dedication. Even the mildest form of nail fungus can take several weeks or months or treatment.

Doctor Prescribed Nail Fungus Medication

Many nail fungus suffers choose to ignore the symptoms until the condition worsens to such a degree that several nails have fallen victim to the condition. It is only then that suffers wake to reality and admit they have a problem

Some sufferers will seek medical attention for severe fungal infections, some of the most likely prescribed anti fungal medicines are Lamisil, Sporanox, Penlac and Diflucan. Most of the aforementioned are effective at killing the infection and reducing the visible signs but can often cause more problems than they solve.

The prescription anti fungal medicines are usually drug based and a world apart from the more natural homeopathic home remedy. Prescription anti fungal medicines can cause side effects from the minor to the more serious. It has been well documented the connection between Lamisil and possible liver damage.

Over The Counter Nail Fungus Medicine

Somewhere in the middle there are the over the counter or commercially available nail fungus treatments. This genre combines research driven clinical data with natural substances and offers sufferers of nail fungus a powerful effective treatment without the side effects associated with chemically produced drugs.

To stand out anti fungal medications are ZetaClear and NailRX. Both products contain natural substances and do not cause side effects. Both are topical and applied to the nail directly and are not consumed.

Of the two commercially available, over the counter products, ZetaClear has the best credentials. ZetaClear is an FDA registered homeopathic treatment for nail fungus that uses strong natural anti fungal substances and does pose a risk to health.

So there you have it, if you have a very mild form of nail fungus the best treatment is the Apple Cider Vinegar home remedy — so long as expectation levels are set to weeks and possibly months.

For the more serious nail fungal infections an over the counter fungal medicine such as ZetaClear would provide an outstanding chance of killing the bacteria, reversing the visible signs of toenail or finger nail damage and allowing you to once again avoid the embarrassment of showing your feet and hands in public again.

Ankle Sprains – Successful Treatment Tips

Ankle sprains can easily become chronic in nature if not treated correctly. Proper initial care can mean the difference between a single sprain, or a lifetime of ankle problems. Below are a few tips that will help you along with your recovery, and get you back to sports faster and safer.

Control Your Swelling

You may have heard of R.I.C.E. – Rest, ice, compression, elevation. These principles are the first and most important part of treating your ankle sprain. With R.I.C.E. you can effectively control the swelling that occurs after an ankle sprain, and literally cut your recovery time in half.

The most important part of R.I.C.E. is the compression. It is the most effective way to treat your swelling. Ice alone will not prevent excessive swelling. Elevation and rest alone will not prevent swelling. Only compression can work to eliminate excessive swelling around your ankle. This is the key to getting your recovery started right.

To control swelling, use an elastic wrap and horseshoe pad around the ankle. Apply the wrap all the way down to your toes and half way up your calf. Keep it on all the time for the first 7-10 days after your sprain.

Forget About ‘No Pain, No Gain’

When it comes to healing, pain is the indicator that you are over stressing the tissue. That means that when you are recovering from your ankle sprain, you should avoid activities that cause pain. So, if walking is very painful – use crutches. It isn’t a matter of just walking it off. Rest is important during the first 1-3 days after your injury. This is when your body works to control internal bleeding and to start forming the scar matrix to heal the ligament. Unnecessary stress on the healing tissues means you will not get good healing and you may suffer from chronic instability. So avoid painful activities, especially during the first few days.

Range of Motion First

Before you worry about strengthening your ankle, you need to restore normal range of motion. Normal motion helps your body to absorb swelling, provides nutrients to the joint surfaces, and will allow the muscles to work efficiently once you do begin strengthening. You can start working on gentle range of motion within the first 24-48 hours after injury. Just remember to make sure it is gentle and relatively pain free. Mild discomfort is OK but avoid severe pain.

Range of motion exercises can be as simple as pointing your toes, turning your foot in and out, or drawing circles or the alphabet with your foot. Just try to work through all of the different ranges, moving as far as you can without significant pain.

Strengthening Your Ankle

Ankle strengthening is an essential part of recovering from an ankle sprain. The key is to make sure you don’t go too fast. Again, pain is an indicator that you may be doing too much too soon. Elastic band exercises are a good way to work on improving ankle strength. Other exercises like calf raises, lunges, and step ups will also work to strengthen your ankle muscles.

Balance is the Key

Balance exercises are one area of ankle sprain recovery that many people overlook…and they are possibly the most important part of any recovery program. In order for your ankle to be stable, the muscles and joints all have to work together efficiently. After an ankle sprain the communication between the muscles and joints is disrupted. Balance exercises are the most effective way to restore that communication and improve the efficiency of the muscles.

A simple single leg balance, where you stand on your injured leg only for a short period of time, is a great exercise to start with. Try balancing for 30 seconds without touching down. Once that becomes easy, you can progress your balancing by turning your head from side to side while you balance, or try rotating your arms and trunk side to side. You can also try to balance on a cushion or pillow – this will make balancing much more challenging.

Ask For A Referral

Ankle sprains are often underestimated. That is why the recurrence rate can be so high. Sprains that are treated with just R.I.C.E. and no type of range of motion, strengthening, or balance exercises will heal, but the overall function of your ankle will be worse than it was before injury. You can avoid lifetime problems by simply asking your physician for a referral for rehabilitation. Most insurances will cover rehabilitation for an ankle sprain, especially if your normal daily activities are limited. Just a few therapy sessions can make a huge difference in your ankle function…and it just may prevent a future sprain.

So ask for a referral.

Slow Healing Cuts or Bruises May Be A Symptom of Diabetes

“This cut just won’t heal.”

“I can’t wear shorts because of that ugly bruise on my calf.”

“I have no idea how I got this bruise.”

“I can’t wear short sleeve shirts because of that ugly cut on my arm.”

“I’ve had this bruise for the longest time.”

“I had to finally admit to myself that I can no longer wear shorts in public.”

If you’ve ever said or thought any of these statements, you’re not alone. But, yet you’re wondering why you keep getting bruises and cuts. Most of the time you’re not even aware when you got the bruise or when you cut yourself. All you’re aware of the slow healing time of your unwanted cuts or bruises.

I’m not going to lie to you, friend, but slow healing cuts or bruises may be symptoms of diabetes. If you suspect you are diabetic, it’s important you learn about all the symptoms of diabetes. You have a lot to lose if you don’t address your health concerns. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to diabetes. Let me say it again, slow healing cuts or bruises may be symptom of diabetes.

Every diabetic has the risk of obtaining a bruise or a slow healing cut. I’m here to inform you that you can prevent bruises and cuts. You can help speed up the recovery process for those slow healing cuts and unwanted bruises. And most importantly, you can prevent these diabetes symptoms from invading your life.

“I don’t have any bruises or cuts, but I want to prevent them from happening.”

“I’ve seen the bruises on my grandma, but didn’t know it may be diabetes.”

“I have family members and friends who’ve had bruises and cuts for the longest time and I want to help them.”

If you’ve ever said or thought these statements, you’ve come to the right place because I have the answer. Become aware of the warning signs listed in this diabetes acronym!

Diabetes is easier to prevent than to manage or reverse.

Infections are common for diabetics.

Abrasions or wounds need special attention at the first sign.

Beating the infection before it starts will shorten the healing time.

Exercising will speed up the healing process.

Time is the enemy; it will take a long time for bruises and cuts to heal.

Elevated blood sugar levels are life threatening and must be controlled.

Signs of infections are numerous and should be carefully monitored.

“I think I am diabetic. Is there a product out there that can help me?”

“I can’t do this by myself. Is there anything that can help me?”

“I’m willing to become pro-active in my health, but I still need help.”

These discouraging questions have been either thought or said by many diabetics, but you don’t have to say or think them any more! I have the perfect answer that can help you! Regular exercise and diet changes can make drastic improvements in a diabetic’s health. Read some of my other articles for some good suggestions on diabetic diets and exercise routines.

“I feel alive!”

“My energy level has changed 180 degrees!”

“I can start living again!”

These statements are what you can say now that you know about the warning signs and the perfect supplement. Start living again and enjoy your life without slow healing cuts or embarrassing bruises.

Post Surgery Massage Therapy

My goal in writing this article is to educate the public, but most principally medical students and physicians and surgeons to the need to inform post-surgery patients of the benefits of massage therapy in reducing contractures, relaxing muscles which have become tight and guarding due to the trauma of the surgery and the displacement by surgical tools, and the laying down of collagen substructures which cause scar tissues around the incision and surrounding tissues. There is always enormous swelling and reduced flexibility and stiffness following surgery. The incision site and the underlying adhesions to muscle tissue and fascia because of tension, displacement, and cutting/suturing create scar tissue. It is vital that that incision site and joints be massaged after 7 days of healing. Of course pressure and intensity of massage will be light at first and will increase as time goes on helping to reduce swelling, redness, and pain.

I encounter many clients who are post-surgery and who have never received any instruction by their general physicians or surgeons to seek massage therapy as an integral and necessary part of their post-surgery treatment. I don’t know whether this information is not made available at universities or whether the consequences of neglecting to inform patients is not fully appreciated.

The result is that the post-surgery population is suffering needlessly in pain for months and years because of untreated contractures, muscle adhesions, guarding muscles and scar tissues and its resulting consequences of reduced range of motion. Therapeutic massage has been scientifically proven to assist in solving these type of post-surgery issues.

I have achieved tremendous reductions in pain and noticeable and measurable improvements in tissue texture suppleness, and increased range of motion from the application of repeated therapeutic massage treatments for a range of surgery patients. The clients which have benefited from these treatments include shoulder rotator-cuff surgeries, breast reconstruction post-mastectomy, knee re-construction, hip replacement, and bi-femoral bypass affecting the groin and abdominal regions.

I would like to emphasize the importance to our post-surgery patients in reducing their post-surgery trauma, pain, and assist in improving the mobility and flexibility of tissue and joints through the use of regular therapeutic massage treatments.

I am disappointed and angry when my patients tell me that their surgeons and physicians tell them that there is no benefit for them to receive massage therapy post-surgery. My patients comments are all the same:

“I was not told of the benefits of therapeutic massage treatments after my surgery”.

How to Increase Pancreas Function

If average individuals would be asked where their pancreas is located or the function of the pancreas, many of them would scratch their head. You might hear the vague answer “It is somewhere inside the stomach”, “pancreas causes diabetes”, “pancreatic cancer is an awful disease” and so on.

The pancreas is a vital organ for our body. People can survive without the stomach, small intestine and colon but not long without the pancreas. Life depends on this small gland, deeply hidden inside the abdomen cavity. The pancreas is an organ with dual tasks. Most individuals are only aware about the role of the pancreas in sugar metabolism and that pancreas produces insulin, the vital hormone to prevent diabetes.

The second function of the pancreas is producing digestive enzymes – powerful proteins that split food we eat into particles small enough to travel through the intestinal wall so that we can digest and assimilate this food.

Only by using our pancreatic digestive enzymes, we can transform our food into the energy and make our own cells. Without pancreatic digestive enzymes we could not live. The function of many organs and systems and the whole body’s health, strongly depend upon the health of our digestive system and especially our pancreas.

What is happened if pancreas produces low amount or not good quality of digestive enzymes?

Our digestive system is long muscular tube, stretching from the mouth to the anus. Pancreas releases pancreatic juice filled with digestive enzymes into the duodenum – the first part of the small intestine. Small intestine is the most important place for digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There also place for vitamins and minerals to get into our system.

Without proper amount of pancreatic enzymes indigested food fermented, spoiled, rot by intestinal micro organisms and irritates the intestinal walls. To get rid of this waste our body has just two openings: mouth and anus.

Ask anyone around and almost everyone has some sort of unpleasant GI symptoms: gas, abdominal distention, belching, heartburn, abdominal cramps, pains, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, and so on. These are symptoms of indigestion and have strong correlation with low pancreatic function.

Most human diseases depend on two big problems:

1. The deficiency of vital substances in the body such as water, proteins, minerals, trace elements, vitamins and so on: As your car without gasoline would stop moving, so will the deficiency of the vital nutrients stop the organs from performing their proper tasks.

2. Toxicity (chemical or biological): Toxicity literally kills the cells and harmfully influences the body’s metabolism causing inflammation, pain, cancer development and so on.

These two factors are directly related to pancreatic health.

The pancreas is a hard worker. It produces normally almost 60-85 oz of a clear, colorless, alkaline fluid. This is pancreatic juice, which consists of very important ingredients for digestion such as water, minerals, proteins, bicarbonates and enzymes.

Non-processed, natural, whole food consists of plenty of digestive enzymes. Lack of these enzymes in the modern foods causes huge effort for pancreas to manufacture its digestive enzymes. Therefore, many modern people have large pancreases.

Chemicals such as preservatives, colorings, additives, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides in the processed food are not healthy for pancreas. The worst enemy for pancreas is also alcohol. Alcoholic pancreatititis; inflammation of this gland caused by alcohol is the most common pancreatic disorder.

So, how to increase pancreas function naturally? By common sense, we need to supply the body with natural digestive enzymes from food. Pancreas is alkaline gland hence our food has to be alkaline with sufficient amount of the minerals, bicarbonates and vitamins for proper manufacturing of pancreatic digestive enzymes and appropriate alkaline environment to work.

Any actions to decrease inner toxicity such as drinking water, healing mineral water, herbal teas, juices and blends, colon hydrotherapy, massage, infrared sauna, controlling constipation, reestablishing friendly intestinal flora, etc., may help to cleanse the pancreas.

Europeans widely practice vacation in healthy mineral spas. Healthy foods, drinking healing mineral water, massage, colonics, and exercises improve health of thousands people in Europe and another countries.

Balneotherapy (healing with mineral water) is known science in European medical schools so many European doctors recommend their patients with chronic pancreatic disorders healing mineral spas.

The most known drinking healing mineral water is from the Karlovy Vary resort in the Czech Republic – the spa pearl of Europe. The Czech town of Karlovy Vary has been a famous international healing mineral water resort since 18 century. Europeans call the town’s mineral water “healing gift from the earth” or the “miracle mineral water.” Guests from Europe and Asia took a trip to Karlovy Vary for one to six month stays to drink the Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water (KVHMW) for different chronic health conditions, cleansing and detoxification.

Hundreds years this healing mineral water was distributed all over the Europe by bottles and barrels until in 1764, a method was discovered that made it possible to vaporize the water and make mineral salt. Czech doctors find out that the mineral water produced from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt had the same healing properties as at the spring.

From that time on, people who could not travel to Karlovy Vary could undergo or continue the treatment at home.

A lot of scientific studies were done by European doctors to verify the healing action of the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water on pancreatic health by:

• Supplying essential minerals and microelements for the manufacturing of digestive enzymes

• Supplying bicarbonates, the main ingredient of pancreatic juices (pancreatic enzymes can work only in an alkaline environment)

• Increasing secretion of pancreatic juices

• Increasing digestive activity of pancreatic enzymes

• Neutralizing high levels of gastric acid

• Opening the Sphincter of Oddi (this decreases pressure in the system, promotes secretion and elimination of pancreatic juices and decreases congestion)

Some spices and healing herbs have a long history of using in digestive disorders. They not only improve the taste of food, but help to digest this food without gas, abdominal distention, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea or constipation and protect people from harmful parasites and microorganisms.

All pancreatic enzymes are proteins connected with minerals or trace elements. Very important for health of pancreas and whole digestive system is proper supply of magnesium, potassium, cobalt, sulfur, zinc. Lack of sufficient amount of these compounds in the modern foods requires their nutritional supplementation for proper production of the pancreatic digestive enzymes.

Normal pancreas function depends upon actions of some water and fat-soluble vitamins. From the other hand, low quality and low amount of the pancreatic enzymes diminish digestion of these vital nutrients causing vicious circle. Taking essential vitamins from foods or supplements is a very important step to normal digestive (pancreatic) health.

Human pancreas has a huge amount of the functional capacity. Real symptoms of the pancreatic failure such as chronic diarrhea with indigested fats and foul-smelling stool, losing weight and weakness occur when 90% of pancreatic function gone. Until that time, chronic indigestion is sign of low pancreatic function. Increasing pancreas function naturally without drugs is possible by supervision of the knowledgeable health professionals

The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified licensed professional.

The 6 Top Causes of Dry Hair (4 of Them Potentially Serious)

Dry hair lacks the oil and moisture it needs to give it sheen and a soft texture. As a result, hair that’s dry will be brittle and dull and have a straw-like texture. Most of us will get dry hair at one point or another–either due to over-processing or exposing it to sun, wind and chlorinated swimming pools.

Dry hair that comes and goes from these external causes is an annoyance. Chronic dry hair that comes from an internal source, however, can be a sign of an underlying health problem. That’s why, if your hair is dry, it’s important to take a look through these six top causes and try to pinpoint yours. If conditioning treatments do not improve your hair’s moisture level, it may be time to contact a health care provider.

1. Excessive Washing and Blow-Drying, Harsh Detergents

Washing your hair too often, especially with a harsh shampoo, is a surefire way to strip moisture away. Heat from blow dryers, curling irons and electric curlers will also contribute to dryness.

“It’s in vogue these days to shampoo every day, but shampooing doesn’t only wash away dirt, it washes out the hair’s protective oils,” says Thomas Goodman, Jr., M.D., a dermatologist from Memphis, Tennessee, and assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences.

If your hair is dry, try washing it just two or three times a week using a mild shampoo and a quality conditioner like Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, which uses vegetable proteins to reconstruct extremely dry and damaged hair.

Like home remedies? “Mayonnaise makes an excellent conditioner,” says Steven Docherty, senior art director at New York City’s Vidal Sassoon Salon. Leave it on for five minutes to an hour before washing out.

2. Environmental Dryness

The climate you live in can also dry out your hair. Areas with lots of sun, dry heat and little humidity, for instance, will definitely make your hair drier than tropical, humid locales. Likewise, if you’re an outdoorsy person who likes to spend time in the sun, wind, ocean or pool, your hair also risks being dry. You can cut down on the damage to your hair from the elements by wearing a hat while outdoors and always using a swim cap when swimming in chlorinated water.

3. Anorexia

Because people with anorexia engage in self-starving to stay dangerously thin, their bodies are denied the nutrients they need to function. This includes the nutrients necessary to maintain luster, shine and softness in their hair. Dry hair (along with dry skin and hair loss) is a common side effect of anorexia, and one that may manifest early on.

4. Malnutrition

Similar to anorexia, a person who is malnourished does not take in the nutrients necessary for the body to maintain healthy hair. As a result, the hair becomes dry, brittle and damaged. In particular, dry hair can be a sign that your diet is lacking in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can be found in salmon and fish oil, walnuts and flax seeds.

5. Hypothyroidism

This is a condition in which the body produces too little of the thyroid hormone. Dry, brittle and thin hair is an early symptom of hypothyroidism, along with weakness, fatigue, depression and joint or muscle pain. If left untreated, the condition causes the body to slow its functions, leading to mental and physical sluggishness and other symptoms that can range from mild to severe.

6. Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparthyroidism is having too little parathyroid hormone, which causes blood levels of calcium to fall and phosphorus to rise. This can lead to dry hair, scaly skin, cataracts, muscles cramps and spasms, seizures and more. The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is injury to the parathyroid glands during head and neck surgery.

Gynecological Disorders – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

A woman’s menstrual cycle comes monthly from puberty through menopause. Unfortunately a dangerous trend has begun to take place with the addition of so many synthetic hormones that have been added into the food source via chicken, eggs, meat and etc girls are getting their menstrual cycle earlier and earlier and at an alarming rate.

One of the side effects of these synthetic hormones on our young girls is that they are developing breasts at 9 and 10 years of age.

Another side affect of synthetic hormones is severe PMS in women which is caused by the elevated estrogen in the blood. In a recent article at http://www.godswaynutrition.com it states that the “synthetic hormones found in shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, body lotions, deodorants, make up, finger nail polish, many kinds of papers and plastics and found that structurally these plastics are so close to estrogen that they have been found to fit in the same receptor sites which stops the hormones from being able to do their job. In addition, the average person carries any where from 400-600 chemicals in their body at any given time many of which can cause problems for a women and her menstrual cycle.

Common Gynecological Disorders:

There are many kinds of gynecological disorders that women are afflicted with; lack of menstrual bleeding, irregular bleeding, regular heavy bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge or pelvic pain.

Irregular bleeding can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, eating disorders, extreme exercise, medications or hormonal imbalances while regular heavy bleeding may be caused by fibroids, polyps, cervical lesions or endometrial hyperplasia (which is a thickening of the uterine lining).

Abnormal vaginal discharge may occur from candidiasis (yeast infection), bacterial vaginitis (thin milky discharge and fishy odor), Chlamydia or gonorrhea (bacterial disease spread through sexual contact) and trichomoniasis vaginitis (parasite spread through sexual contact).

How does one propagate healthy vaginal health? There are several key things that you should do. Candida Albicans are a fungus that in many, many people becomes overgrown in the intestines due to antibiotics which offset the delicate balance of the intestinal eco-system. When Candida Albicans become overgrown they lower a women’s immune system and in many cases become systemic infections when they leave the intestines and travel through out the body. There are several things you can do to combat Candida including eat a lot of garlic as it very irritating to garlic, take probiotics to increase the good gut flora to try and bring about balance to your gut flora and drink lots of green drinks and eat green foods. Candida Albicans feed on sugar and literally can not survive in an alkaline environment – candida thrives in an acidic environment. A great green drink that I recommend is IsaGreens at http://www.livefood.isagenix.com

An Owner’s Guide to Ear Polyps in Cats

Ear polyps in cats are benign growths in the middle ear, close to the ear drum, or in the back of the throat. This condition is very rare. When it does, it can affect cats of any age or sex. However, cats no older than four years old are usually affected.

Cause

You may be wondering what causes these growths in your cat. Unfortunately, no one knows their exact cause, but there are a few possible reasons for their appearance. One possible cause is inflammation caused by bacteria or fungi. It is also thought that the calicivirus can also cause the polyps.

Symptoms

Ear polyps in cats causes some of the same symptoms brought on by an ear infection. Your cat will shake and scratch his head frequently. Sometimes, a thick discharge will emerge from the affected ear. Cats may also experience loss of coordination that will prevent them from walking in a straight line. Other common symptoms include difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Diagnosis

Although benign, these growths can cause severe damage to your cat’s ear drum if not caught in time. If a polyp is expected, he will use an otoscope to exam your cat’s ears and mouth. Sometimes, a head x-ray may be necessary to detect the growth. If one is found, a biopsy will be done to determine if its cancerous or benign.

Treatment

Surgery is the main method of treatment for ear polyps in cats. There are two forms of surgery. A non-invasive procedure cuts the stalk of the polyp then removes it. However, since the base of the growth isn’t cut, it will likely recur in a few months.

There is also an invasive procedure. With this method, the base of the polyps are removed also. The bone that surrounds the inner ear will have to be removed beforehand to allow access to the base. This method of treatment leaves the least chance for recurrence.

Case Study – Protein, Good Nutrition and Uterine Fibroid Treatment

About 80% of all women in the US have benign tumors, called fibroids, which grow on the uterine wall. Only about 25% of women with fibroids ever notice them, because they are not large enough, but, fibroids are the main reason for hysterectomies in the United States. Fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping, pain or pressure in the pelvis, complications during pregnancy and painful intercourse. There are not many risk factors to look for, with the exception of a family history of fibroid tumors.

Treatment of Fibroid Tumors

Other than having a hysterectomy, there are alternatives when it comes to treating fibroid tumors. Many physicians recommend birth control pills. These will not actually affect or change the tumor, but they will ease some of the symptoms, including excessive bleeding. Women who wish to get pregnant can undergo surgery to remove the fibroid tumor, but there is always the risk of the tumor returning in the future. There is also a new treatment which involves a specialized ultrasound, which takes about three hours to complete.

Maintaining good health is necessary in the treatment of fibroid tumors, and this includes exercise, quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place), maintain a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. One important macro-nutrient that is necessary for survival, and ideal for treatment of fibroid tumors, is protein. Protein is made up of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon.

Dietary Treatment For Fibroid Tumor Patients

It is essential for everyone, not just patients with fibroid tumors, to eat a well-balanced diet that has all of the essential macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. About 50% of a healthy diet should come from carbohydrates, with 30% coming from protein and the other 30% coming from fats. The American Heart Association recommends that no protein be taken in than this amount for optimal results.

Include These Foods In Diets For Fibroid Tumor Treatment

Patients with fibroid tumors are often recommended to add soy products to their diets, because soy is a complete protein, containing all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Fiber is also recommended, as it is one of the best ways to help the liver process and eliminate excess estrogen. Some of the best sources of dietary fiber include: whole grains, all beans, tofu and miso. There are also many protein supplements made from soy that are great additions to any diet. Other foods that are healthy sources of protein, and good for patients with fibroid tumors, are cold water fishes, including salmon. Otherwise, vegetable proteins, and protein supplements, are the way to go, at least at first. After a few months, patients can begin adding hormone-free animal proteins to their diets.

Avoid These Foods

Because fibroids are fed by estrogen, patients should definitely avoid any foods that have synthetic estrogens, such as red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Because these are also dietary sources of protein, patients must find other alternatives to get the protein they need in their diets.

Using Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are a great way to do get the right amount of protein in one’s diet. Protein supplements that are very popular include:

Protein powders – These are one of the most versatile types of protein supplements available. Not only can you add flavorless protein powders to just about all of your favorite recipes, there are also delicious flavored powders that can be used to make great-tasting shakes, smoothies and slushies. Protein powders come in a number of flavors, including berry, fruit punch, chocolate and vanilla.

Protein shots – This is a great way to get a whole lot of protein in one small drink. These shots are less than three ounces each, and provide 25-30 grams of protein in each low-calorie serving. Protein shots are available in such delicious flavors as green apple, raspberry, lime and grape.

Liquid protein supplements – These are available in a number of ready-to-drink shakes and smoothies, such as chocolate and vanilla, and there are also flavorless liquid protein supplements as well, which can be added to many recipes. Because many of these supplements are made from milk-based proteins, people who have milk allergies or lactose intolerances should read the ingredients carefully to make sure these ingredients are not included in a particular supplement.

Marie, A Patient With Fibroid Tumors, Adds Protein To Her Diet

When Marie was diagnosed with fibroid tumors that were not large enough to bother with surgery, she asked her doctor how to treat them. Her doctor initially recommended birth control, as Marie reported heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding and cramping, and told her that the pill would ease some of her symptoms. Marie’s doctor also recommended that she make some drastic changes to her diet, including eliminating red meat and other animal sources of protein.

Marie, who has some understanding of nutrition, asked her doctor how she was to get the protein she needed in her diet without eating these foods, and was told that in addition to a number of healthy, delicious vegetable proteins, such as soy (a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids and all 14 non-essential amino acids). Marie’s doctor also recommended that she add protein supplements to her diet. Marie’s doctor told her that a liquid protein supplement was terrific for just about any diet, because it not only contains 25 grams of protein per 2.9 fluid ounce serving, it contains no fat and carbohydrates, and is only 100 calories per serving.

Marie followed her doctor’s recommendations, and soon found that her symptoms were not as severe as they once were, and the need for any surgery had been eliminated. Because she was so happy with her new diet and how good it made her feel, Marie continues to use protein supplements each and every day, for health and energy.

Septated Ovarian Cysts – Causes and Treatments

A septated or complex ovarian cysts is composed of both solid and liquid matter. Women should be aware that these types of cysts are very dangerous especially if they are not treated immediately. Individuals with ovarian cysts usually feel a lot of pain and discomfort. The presence of cysts in the ovary can be detected during a regular checkup. One of the symptoms of this kind of cysts is severe abdominal pain.

Basically, there are three types of septated ovarian cysts. These are Dermoid cysts, Endometrionoma and Cystadenomas. Dermoid cysts come from the egg cells of a woman. This explains why this kind of cyst can sometime look like a human being complete with body parts such as hair and teeth. Dermoid cysts are not cancerous but it causes a lot of pain and discomfort.

Endometrionoma is a cyst that can be found outside the uterus. This type of ovarian cyst can lead to other complications and therefore is best to be treated immediately.

The last type of this type of cysts, namely, Cystadenomas are composed usually of liquid and mucus. Among the three, Cystadenomas tend to be the biggest. Women with Cystadenomas complain of severe pain and discomfort.

The cause of this kind of cysts is not yet known. Experts though believe that certain factors which include genetics, neglect, weak immune system, obesity, etc. can make one susceptible to acquiring the disease. There is no single way to treat a septated ovarian cyst. Often, surgery is required to fully remove the cysts in the ovary. Sometimes though the condition can be treated with the use of drugs alone. The type of treatment usually depends on the type and severity of the cysts. Generally though, traditional Western medicine and treatment often fail to go to the root of the problem and only treat symptoms.

Another method of treatment for this cysts that is worth looking at is the so-called holistic approach or system. Based on its name, a holistic system is a way of treating a disease by trying to understand the root of the disease. Holistic also tries to determine the link of the disease with other aspects of the patients life.

Thrush, Candida and Yeast Infections – The Underlying Causes

The most important thing you need to know about thrush, candida and yeast infections is that they are all only symptoms of a bigger problem.

Many people carry yeast in and on their bodies without even knowing. It is a natural organism, known as candida albicans, and is normally found in the intestines, vagina, mouth and skin, where ‘friendly’ bacteria help to keep yeast levels low. However, when this balance is disrupted and the yeast is allowed to grow unchecked, it causes havoc in the body.

The vagina is one of the areas most likely to be affected by yeast infections and these are more commonly referred to as thrush. Although the vagina is generally too acidic for yeast to grow out of control, it is sensitive to small changes and can easily become an ideal environment for yeast to flourish. Too much, and the vaginal tissues become irritated, leading to the itching and burning sensations, which are the typical symptoms of thrush.

Most people view thrush, candida and yeast infections as minor problems, exclusive to women. But this is totally incorrect. As many as 75% of humans will be afflicted with one of the many types of this irritation at some point in our lives, whether it be in the form of nappy rash, the white coating on the cheeks and tongue of oral thrush, an itchy weeping sweat rash in a skin fold, or a slight soreness around the tip of the penis which men ignore and can then pass on to their female partners during sex..

For some people, the yeast can proliferate and leech into the bloodstream infesting other parts of the body and releasing toxins which, in addition to the usual vaginal thrush, can also be responsible for causing cystitis, eczema, blotchy skin, dryness, itching, oral thrush, sinus problems, constipation, diarrhea, restless sleep, bloating, lack of energy, mood swings, cravings for sweet food, food allergies and many more.

These yeast spores can remain dormant for years and then suddenly flare up resulting in an outbreak of any of the above. Many health professionals persist in handing out prescriptions that treat only the symptoms and this can result in a return of the infections in ever more virulent forms until they become resistant to the available drugs.

This means that it is down to you to take responsibility for your health and to start investigating the causes. Isolating what it is that worsens the symptoms for you personally.

Repeated doses of antibiotics are a well-known trigger, as is a diet rich in yeast, fungus, sugar and refined, processed produce. The physiological effects of stress are also a major factor in providing an environment which encourages the overgrowth of candida.

Unfortunately, antibiotics are often used to ‘cure’ the problems mentioned previously as being caused by candida and yeast infections so, again, an ever repeating cycle of problem/medication/problem is set in motion.

If you search the internet, you will discover all sorts of natural ‘cures’, but so many of these are replicating the problems with the pharmaceutical method in that they treat the symptoms of thrush, candida and yeast infections, not the root cause.

At the end of the day, you need to make a lifestyle choice and properly address the issues behind your susceptibility to candidiasis.