Caught in a Stress Storm?

Imagine you’re on your way to meet friends at a bar. You’re late and stuck behind a slow-moving van when the entire street lurches into darkness. Suddenly that man crossing the street in front of you looks like a potential robber. The cars around you seem to be hemming you in. Everyone and everything appears dangerous. You’ve gone from slightly stressed to completely strung-out in an instant.

When you finally get to the bar, your friends are deep in conversation about blackouts, crime and their plans to leave the country. What should have been a light-hearted, fun-filled evening has turned into one riddled with anxiety.

It’s as though a cloud of dark heaviness is hanging above us right now. Most of us are unaware of the extent to which worrying issues are affecting us. But if a high level of stress continues over a long period, paralyzing feelings of being overwhelmed can set in.Many of us could be in the heart of what is termed as a ‘stress storm’. Have you ever been in the situation where, because of stress, you couldn’t remember the name of one of your own family members? Perhaps you’re stuck in a depression, or maybe you’ve accomplished something great but the next morning you don’t want to get out of bed because you’re so down.

These are indications that you are caught in a stress storm – a place filled with fear and confusion, where you’re no longer thinking rationally. If this sounds familiar, read on to understand better what’s happening to you – and how to get to grips with it.

Why are we so Stressed?

In the USA we have a set of stressors to contend with – high crime rates, rising costs of food and gas, and an economic situation in which retrenchments are increasingly common. These compound everyday stressors such as work, family conflicts and financial pressures. We don’t let our bodies or minds relax, and develop distorted perceptions about ourselves – for example, we may think we’re accepted only if we’re performing well.

When people are taxed on so many levels, their resilience rapidly erodes. Most people can deal with one stressful area in their lives – even two – but few people can function optimally when every area of their life is affected by instability and stress.

Stress Poisoning

Our bodies are built to handle stress in short, sharp bursts, but when there is no let-up, stress can in fact be toxic for our bodies. When we’re stressed, our adrenal glands pump out cortisol. This ‘stress hormone’ is preparing our muscles for the fight-or-flight response triggered when our lives are in danger. All energy is diverted from other functions, such as digestion, giving our bodies a burst of energy to ensure we can fight or flee if necessary. Modern stressors, however, such as traffic jams, don’t come and go quite as fast as, say, an attacking buffalo. Consequently, the cortisol and adrenaline that our stressors produce never leave our bodies – our lives are constantly turned to a high-alert setting.

On a physical level – which is where symptoms are easiest to detect and treat – stress may show up as migraines, headaches, muscle aches and pains, skin breakouts (acne, psoriasis, eczema) and stomach problems (including irritable bowel syndrome and constipation). Emotionally, we become more prone to outbursts of temper, mood swings and negativity. Mentally, we feel less able to cope. Our outlook becomes distorted and it becomes very difficult to keep our perspective. Highly stressed people become ‘reactive’. This means they react more to everything in their lives, from the lack of milk in the fridge to the geyser bursting. We become so overwhelmed that we literally get ‘beside ourselves’.

Living on Autopilot

Jane, 27, a fashion planner, knows this feeling all too well. While working in a high-pressure corporate fashion job reporting to a demanding boss, she was being pushed to work longer hours and perform tasks she didn’t feel prepared for.

‘As the pressure built up over about five months, I began feeling increasingly anxious. My short-term memory started to let me down and I would forget things I was meant to do. For example, I’d walk into a room and then go blank, forgetting why I was there. I felt confused all the time and began talking more slowly and slurred my words. I lost a lot of weight and at the height of my stress my right arm would get very tense and feel taut. It’s a scary place to be. It can feel as though you don’t know yourself – as though you’re having a mental meltdown.’

This feeling is not uncommon. Stressed people often describe themselves as being on autopilot – as though they’re participating in the show of their own life, but not starring. They’re overwhelmed and often feel clumsy, awkward and off-centre. They may forget names of people or even the names of simple, everyday objects. This is due to the prolonged periods of cortisol production, but also, because we’re trying to remember too many things.

High levels of stress can affect our relationships too. Some people, like Jane, are too tired to go out and socialize, and often feel they’re a burden on other people. ‘Friends tried to help,’ remembers Jane. ‘I’d lost a lot of weight so they could see I was in distress but they didn’t really know how to help other than telling me to chill out’.

Others may drink more to be more sociable or in an attempt to forget, so the glass of wine suddenly turns into a bottle of wine. According to research women could be more prone to developing stress-related addictions (such as cocaine addiction) than men. The good news, though, is that stress is our body’s way of telling us to do something. But what?

The suggestions below are a good start. Don’t knock them for sounding obvious – at least not till you’ve actually tried them.

Stress Busters

Gain Perspective

Understand that there are certain things in your life that you have control over and others that you don’t. If, for example, you are concerned about the political situation, vote. If you’re concerned about crime, join or start a neighborhood-watch program. Be proactive about things you can influence and let go of those you can’t.

Breathe

At work, if you find yourself getting stressed or anxious, go somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breathing. Imagine your breathing is like waves breaking on a beach. Maintain a regular rhythm. Imagine you are breathing all the way down to your toes when you breathe in, and all the way back up again as you breathe out.

Eat Well

Don’t hand your power over to food and drink. That fatty hamburger isn’t going to release your stress. Rather ask, ‘What will this drink or food do to my body over the long term?’ Cut down on sugar. Sugar gives you a temporary lift followed by a downer. If you’re craving something sweet, try eating fruit or a handful of nuts. Drink lots of water. Stress tends to dehydrate the body. Keeping your body hydrated will lessen stress symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.

Exercise More

One of the most effective ways of dealing with stress is to exercise. Try to do some form of exercise at least three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes.

Develop a Positive Internal Dialogue

This is a powerful way to help ourselves when we’re stressed. We tend to feel anxious about things we have no control over (the future, other people), and most of what we fear never happens. Remain in the moment. If you start to stress about tomorrow, remind yourself that you can only live today – tomorrow does not yet exist.

Talk to a Professional

Jane consulted a psychologist, who helped her see that getting through her stress storm meant removing herself from her stressful job. ‘I took three months off, stayed home and just slept, watched TV and did nothing.’ She saw her psychologist for a few months and gradually became her old self again, but this time with the tools to recognize and avoid another stress storm.

How Much Force Can Our Bones Handle Before They Break

You have known all along that your bones are the strongest part of your body. As they are assigned to give your body a structure, to hold your posture up and to protect your internal organs, your bones have to maintain their strength at all times. Of course, you cannot prevent external and unexpected circumstances from damaging your bones. But as much as you can, you can prevent it from happening.

Probably one of the best ways which you can protect your bones is to know just how much force they are capable of handling before they reach their breaking point. Your bones are really strong. In fact sometimes they are even considered as stronger than steel. But in principle, if you divide your bones by cubic inch sizes each can handle the weight of any object equivalent to 19,000 lbs or approximately 8,626 kilos.

However, considering force requires a different understanding. As most experts say, your bones can handle weight in various ways depending on the force with which they are delivered. The more force you apply to a bone, the easier it is to break it.

In some studies, it was found out that bones can handle about 3,300 Newton of force if thrown into a rib and up to 4,000 Newton if released onto the femur. The ribs can take a smaller amount of force because they are relatively thinner than the femur.

But these are only estimates of the force that can subject you to a fracture. It does not mean that these calculations are the least amount of force that your bones can handle. In fact, they are simply estimates in between because it still depends on the density and strength of your bones. Of course, your bones can handle less than 3,300 Newton of force if they are weaker and with lesser density. Therefore, you have to check first the strength of your bones to prevent overexertion and possible fractures.

It is great to know the estimates of how much force your bones can handle before they reach their breaking point. It is suggested that you consult with your doctor or osteopath first to ensure that your bones are in healthy condition. They may be able to prescribe exercises to maintain bone strength or alert you to possible future conditions that may present problems. Your trusted osteopath is the right person you should talk regarding all bone problems.

Striking The Superb Figure Of The Morgan Horse

Justin Morgan was a teacher, composer, businessman, and horseman who acquired a small rough-coated bay colt of relatively unknown lineage who was born in 1789 and named him Figure. He was a rather unremarkable horse that nobody wanted because he was too small, yet he became the foundation of an entire breed of horses recognized for quality and dependability.

The ancestry of the colt name Figure who founded the Morgan breed is unknown, but is thought to be of Dutch, Thoroughbred, or Arabian breeding. History’s best guess is that his sire was True Briton, who was respected for his excellence and who sired quality horses. His unnamed dam was described as being of the “Wild-air breed” with her sire being a son of Church’s Wildair by Wildair (Delancey’s) out of a mare named Wildair.

There is quite an in-depth history and many stories about this particular little horse, including a Disney movie in 1972 “Justin Morgan Had a Horse” that was based on a book of the same name. Figure’s ability to out walk, out trot, outrun, and out pull other horses was legendary. For example, it is said that he pulled a log that no draft horse could budge, and that he outran the most winning racehorse central Vermont had ever known. From these anecdotes came the Morgan Horse owners’ claim that “this horse can do anything”, and apparently the breed does. Whatever equine discipline you can think of, the Morgan Horse will be found to be a part of it and likely excelling in it. Even when harness racing was popular in the1800’s, the world’s fastest trotting stallion was Ethan Allen 50, Justin Morgan’s great-grandson.

After Justin Morgan’s death, Figure was passed on to new owners and in the tradition of the times, he became known by his former owner’s name, Justin Morgan. He spent his life working on farms, hauling freight, and as a parade mount at militia trainings. Over a period of 30 years, the little horse remained sound in limb, stamina and sight, throughout a lifetime of two ordinary horses. He also had showy, ground-covering gaits with speed to spare at any one of them and was an extremely gentle horse around children.

Justin Morgan’s most valuable asset was the prepotency of his genes. No matter what type of mare he was bred to, draft or light racing horse, his offspring inherited his image, his abilities and his distinguishing characteristics. And not only his offspring inherited the traits, but the prepotency also went through several generations. Today, every registered Morgan Horse traces back to Justin Morgan through his most famous sons Woodbury, Bulrush, and Sherman. Sadly, the little Justin Morgan died in 1821 from an untreated kick received from another horse, so his true longevity was never realized.

Morgan Horses were used as cavalry mounts and artillery horses. They were sensible under fire; could march tirelessly all day; could maintain their condition on unpredictable rations; and were loyal to their riders. The only survivor in the Battle of Little Big Horn was Keogh’s Morgan-bred horse, Comanche. The First Vermont Cavalry was mounted entirely on Morgan Horses but of their more than 1200 horses, only 200 survived the war and in 1894, the first volume of the American Morgan Horse Register was published by Colonel Joseph Battell.

The American Morgan Horse Farm was established in Weybridge, Vermont in 1907, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the breeding and preservation of the Morgan horse. But it was not until 1909 that the Morgan Horse Club (MHC) was formed at the Vermont State Fair. In 1921, the MHC presented the Justin Morgan statue to the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm on the 100th anniversary of the death of Justin Morgan, and it is still exhibited there today.

The Morgan Horse ranges from 14.1 to 15.2 hands high with some individuals that are taller or shorter. They come in wide variety of colors, from bay, brown and black to silver dapple, roan, palomino, buckskin, dun, grulla, cremello, perlino, smoky cream, gray, flaxen, sabino, splashed white, and others.

The head is expressive with a broad forehead, large prominent eyes and a straight or slightly dished short face. The ears are short and shapely, set rather wide apart and carried alertly with mares having slightly longer ears. The throatlatch is deeper than other breeds. The neck is slightly arched with the top line of the neck being considerably longer than the bottom line and the stallion has more of a crest. The body of the Morgan Horse is compact with a short back and high-set tail that is carried gracefully and straight. The feet are in proportion to the size of the horse.

The Morgan Horse is distinctive for its stamina and vigor, personality and eagerness and strong natural way of moving. The Morgan walk is rapid, flat-footed, and has a four-beat elastic cadence with the accent on flexion in the pastern while the trot of the Morgan is a two-beat, diagonal gait that is animated, elastic, square and collected with the rear action in balance with the front action. The overall impression is a unique combination of draft-like substance, Arabian-like heads with a Saddlebred-like elegance.

The Morgan Horse is considered to be the oldest of all American breeds and was strong enough to contribute greatly to almost every other American light horse breed while retaining its own identity across two centuries. The American Saddlebred, the Quarter Horse, the English Hackney, the American Standardbred, and the Tennessee Walking Horse, among others, all owe much to the Morgan Horses in their own ancestry.

In Honor Of National Diabetes Month-2 Silver Bullets For Sugar Balance

IN HONOR OF “NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH”

CRAVING TOO MUCH SUGAR?

2 SILVER BULLETS FOR SUGAR BALANCE NOW!

Did you know that the average American consumes more than 120 pounds of sugar per year, which is approximately 45 teaspoons per day?

Did you know that recent statistics have shown that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and that thirty percent of American children are obese?

According to the latest research out of the University of Missouri, one in four Americans are struggling with diabetes with the majority of them as type 2. In addition, millions of us are in a state of insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes, that could progress into diabetes.

Do you remember hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Now imagine how you feel when you skip breakfast. Your body begins to run low on energy, and your fuel supply, like the engine in your car, begins to slow down thereby causing you to run on fumes. So, by mid morning, you grab a high-calorie food item like a muffin or donut to relieve your hunger.What happens next? This high calorie, sugary snack causes insulin to be releasedout of the pancreas into the bloodstream, while the body is trying to adapt to the surge in blood glucose from the snack just eaten.

When this pattern is repeated throughout the day, blood sugar levels show sharp spikes-both highs and lows. Over time, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas wear outleading to high levels of blood glucose which is called diabetes.Normal fasting blood sugar should be less than 100mg/dl.

Diabetes can cause many serious health issues and is associated with obesity, heart disease, and increased mortality.It is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States.A preventative approach would be to make sure that blood glucose levels are stable throughout the day. Our brain needs a continuous level of blood sugar to avoid anxiety caused by blood sugar fluctuations.

Are you at risk for diabetes?

·Do you have a family history of diabetes?

·Are you overweight?

·Do you have high blood pressure?

·Are your cholesterol levels abnormal?

·Are you over 45?

·Do you have a history of gestational diabetes?

A new meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials involved more than 33,000 people showed that drug treatment of type 2 diabetes is not only ineffective, it’s dangerous as well.These medications poison the enzymes in our body and disrupt the normal biochemical pathways. In general, a drug therapy protocol should treat the underlying cause of the illness that the drug is being prescribed for. Treatment with glucose-lowering drugs actually showed the potential to increase your risk of death from heart-related and all other causes.These medications should be used as a last resort, after diet and lifestyle modifications have been explored.

Keep in mind that the medical community that runs the major research and treatment protocols for diabetes does not look favorably on chiropractic and nutritional supplementation.The American Diabetes Association does NOT recommend vitamin or mineral supplementation-in fact they recommend against it.However, it’s okay to have a daily alcoholic beverage.Therefore, be aware that you may need help to better discern the advice you are receiving from the many sources.

So, what are the keys in diabetes prevention?

There are real action steps every American can do to support their health and well-being focusing on lifestyle choices daily that include diet and exercise.

First line treatments in blood sugar balance include lifestyle modifications with weight loss as one of the primary goals.Dietary modifications are paramount, asit has been suggested that a person 30% or more overweight for over 30 years will develop diabetes.

Increasing fiber, (guar, pectin, oats, psyllium, bran, fruits, vegetables and beans) and watching the glycemic index of foods (foods which don’t create a quick glucose-insulin response) is essential in managing blood sugar levels.

A regimen high in whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and whole fruits (whole fruits are much lower on the glycemic index than juices) will keep the blood sugar even without fluctuation.

Avoid refined, processed foods, as they have “hidden” sources of fructose in them. Fructoseshould be eliminated from your diet with a total daily intake of below 25 grams.

Increase complex carbohydrates and fiber, and balance with enough high protein foods. Most refined foods contain high levels of high fructose corn syrup, which lack vital nutrients and cause wide blood sugar fluctuations.

Two servings of beans per day may help control blood sugar levels (soak beans in several drops of iodine) to alleviate gas-producing effects.

Moderate amounts of lean meat, fish and unsaturated fats are helpful.

Small, frequent meals eaten throughout the course of the day will alleviate adrenal and pancreas stress by maintaining blood glucose levels.

A vegetarian diet may be helpful. Onions and garlic have blood-sugar lowering effects.(Murray, M., N.D. Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs, William Morrow and company, Inc NY, 1994, p.179).

Follow an elimination/rotationdiet to detect food allergies or sensitivities.

Diets eliminating an entire food category, like “Atkins”, will likely be ineffective in the long term.

Diets that severely restrict calories provide too little nutrition and are not metabolically healthy. (below 1200 calories)

Being around overweight people regularly makes it more difficult to lose weight. (ie. Similar to a smoker trying to quit smoking and being with smokers socially)

Supplementation may include:

+ Vitamin D

+ Cinnamon

+ Fish Oil

+ Co-Q-10

+ Chromium

+ Biotin

+ Magnesium Citrate (commonly deficient in diabetes)

+Iodine (commonly deficient in diabetes)

+ Alpha Lipoic Acid

+ Niacin

+ Vitamin E, C, B’s

+ Phosphatidylcholine

+ Bromelain

+Quercetin

+ Zinc

+ Adrenal and pancreas support

+ HCL and pancreatic enzymes

+ Calcium and magnesium

+Vanadium

+Folic Acid

+Cinnamon Bark

Herbal products may include:

+ Fenugreek

+ Guar gum

+ Milk Thistle

+ Gymnema

+ Bitter Melon

+ Apple pectin, Beet powder and Oat Fiber

Exercise:

Studies have shown that exercise (with a goal of at least 150 min/week) resulting in weight loss reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. Moderate exercise is suggested to increase cell sensitivity to insulin. The same studies found lifestyle changesto be superior to Metformin.Regular exercise can result in a loss of fatfrom the abdominal section of your body and reduce the inflammatory cells that cause insulin resistance and diabetes.Be mindful of your exercise routine and don’t overdo it when you are a beginner.Some important keys to consider with exercise include:Frequency, Intensity and Length of time.A comprehensive workout plan should include cardio-vascular training, core exercises, strength training and flexibility/ stretching.

Stress and Hormones:

Decreasing stress, thereby lessening strain on the adrenal glands will result in better overall health and contribute to keeping the body’s insulin levels in check.DHEA is one of our adrenalhormones which help to regulate our blood sugar and an effective weight management tool. Type 2 Diabetes may also occur from a faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance. Leptin is produced in your fat cells and is a hormone that regulates appetite and body weight. It signals our brain regarding when to start and stop eating and how much to eat. It’s greatly responsible for whether or not one becomes insulin resistant.Therefore, it is vital to have one’s hormones evaluated by an integrative medical professional.

Other lifestyle/diet changes to consider:

You can eat sweets occasionally, as a treat,without feeling guilty, however, moderation is the key. Consider swapping a high carbohydrate-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates as a sweet. For example, if you were going to include a potato, rice or pasta with your meal and a slice of bread, consider not eating that and instead enjoy a cupcake, or the like.

Artificial Sweeteners:

Be aware that many products made with artificial sweeteners, as baked goods and artificially sweetened puddings, etc still contain calories and carbohydrates that can affect your blood sugar level. Sugar alcohols still contain calories, so check product labels for words as: “isomalt,” “mannitol,” “sorbitol,” and “xylitol.” In general, eating foods that are chemically created may not be the best choice. Items containing saccharin, aspartame and sucralose (splenda) have been shown to cause various adverse reactions.

Two natural sweeteners, Stevia (Truvia, Pure Via) which is a plant found in South America and agave nectar (Wholesome Sweeteners, Madhava) offer other options for sweetening your food. However, you will need to experiment with the sugar-to-sweetener ratio, which is different for each product, until you like the taste. Since agave nectar isn’t calorie or carbohydrate-free, it shouldn’t be considered for weight management, however, it does have a lower glycemic index than does sugar, so it won’t affect your glucose level as much.

Eating healthfully and regular exercise are vital parts of the solution to control obesity, heart disease and diabetes.The results have a magical effect on resetting one’s metabolic clock thereby shifting the pattern of storing fat to a pattern of burning fat.

Stopping smoking, moderating alcohol intake and proper sleeping habits will help to alleviate blood chemistry surges, which in turn will promote a thriving, well-balanced body.

Therefore, by correcting the underlying causes of poor lifestyle choices which include a diet of whole, living foods, supplementation, exercise, and hormonal balance, one can effectively manage their blood sugar.

Nutrition for Expecting Women and Breastfeeding Mothers

Most women usually think twice about using food supplements when they are expecting a child. Women really have to take all the crucial precautions before taking any medication during this very important part of their lives.

GNLD International (Golden Neo-Life Diamite) is a global organisation delivering organic wholefood nutrition supplements to health conscious individuals since 1958 and GNLD nutritional products are highly recommended for use by pregnant women and those who are currently breastfeeding.

Support for all Women

GNLD offers a whole line of premium quality supplements to provide nutrient support for expecting women as well as moms who are nursing. These nutritionals can help moms supplement the key nutrients that are necessary by mother and child. Pregnant women need a lot of nutritional support, even after giving birth. Mothers should replenish their supply of nutrients for their little one’s sake.

Pro Vitality Pack

The GNLD Pro Vitality Pack is one of several multi-nutritional products from GNLD. Each pack contains the very same wholesome nutrients you can get from an often recommended dose of fresh fruits and vegetables, essentially coming from the carotenoid complex content. A consistent balanced fruit and veggie diet helps improve mom’s blood circulation and reduces the chances of birth defects. Each pack contains a carotenoid complex, one Tre-en-en, and one Salmon Oil Plus. In other words; Pro Vitality pack contains fundamental nutrients that promotes ideal prenatal development.

Zinc (Chelated)

Every parent doesn’t want their newborns to develop any birth defects, which makes zinc an important mineral in mommy’s diet. This GNLD mineral product also includes chelated amino acids to make it easier to absorb. Not only does it prevent birth defects in newborns, zinc also improves the overall immune health of a child. Making it an important factor.

GNLD Formula IV Plus

Another suggested nutritional pack from the line of GNLD products is Formula IV Plus. This recommended product offers all the essential vitamins, minerals, and folic acid that mums (and everyone else) need. Moms who need that extra burst of energy to beat down stress can get it from this vitamin power pack.

Cal-Mag + Vitamin D (Chelated)

This is one of the GNLD products that is often recommended for pregnant mums. Women need sound bones and teeth since they are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men. This crucial vitamin and mineral supplement supplies the essential amounts of both calcium and magnesium. Note that sufficient amounts of magnesium helps with uterine contraction pain during the time when women are about to give birth.

GNLD Nourishake Protein –

Mothers need to have the proper amount of protein in their diet. It essentially helps in the production of muscles, tendons, hormones, ligaments, hair, brain tissue, and nerves. It also helps sustain one’s energy. Nourishake Protein Drink comes in three sweet flavours.

Precautions

Even though these products are food based and safe, we advise for pregnant mums to seek medical advice from their doctor before taking vitamin supplements. This is especially true for those who plan to take food supplements while on prescribed medications.

Other GNLD products commended for pregnant mothers include Vitamin C (Threshold controlled), Vitamin E Complex, Feminine Herbal Complex, and Garlic Allium Complex.

History of the Suzuki GT550

The Suzuki GT 550 was part of their famous GT (Grand Touring) series of the 1970s, which included the GT750 and GT380. Manufactured for six years (1972 to ’77), the GT550 was available in 6 different models, starting with the 1972 GT550J and ending with the 1977 GT550B. As a result, each year the motorcycle came with improved features, although the main specs remained almost unchanged. Overall, over 60,000 units of this touring bike were sold around the world, making it one of the more popular high-end Suzuki machines from those times.

At the heart of the Suzuki GT550 was a powerful 543cc engine that was among the first three-cylinder, two-stroke motorcycles to be seen on the UK roads. Drawing heavily from technologies developed for Suzuki racing motorcycles, the GT550 incorporated several unique features. One of these was the ram air control system, which forced airflow over the internal cylinders, helping to keep operating temperatures under control. This was important since Suzuki realized that two-stroke engines lose power rapidly when overheated, which would affect any touring experience. As a result, the Suzuki GT550 was one of the first large two-stroke motorcycles that could comfortably cruise for several hours at a time. It also featured automatic fuel-oil mixing and a visible emissions control.

The engine on the Suzuki GT550 gave 48.5 hp at 6500 rpm (improved to 53 hp in later models), giving it plenty of push for the large 440-pound bike. On the open road, riders could use the 5-speed constant mesh transmission to coax top speeds exceeding 100mph, making this bike a match for even more powerful street bikes. Earlier models came with only drum brakes, though a disk brake was quickly adopted by Suzuki for safer braking. The long wheelbase and stable suspension meant that the GT550 was quite stable and manageable for its size, improving the riding experience.

Although the Suzuki GT550 was a popular touring bike all through the 1970s, some of its glory was stolen by the more glamorous GT750, which took part in several races. As a result, most collectors and enthusiasts would prefer other GTs, though a strong core loyal group still exists for this brilliant design. It can be difficult to find genuine spare parts, so it’s advisable to always check around with reputable dealers. After all, with the right care and maintenance, a Suzuki GT550 still offers performance to rival several current production bikes!

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD or Emphysema, is a disease which causes difficulty in breathing and usually gets worse over time. Symptoms include cough with a large amount of expectoration, wheezing, breathlessness and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. In addition, long-term exposure to other lung irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes or dust, may also contribute to COPD. This condition is a major cause of disability and a leading cause of death.

The Ayurvedic treatment of COPD is aimed at relieving the symptoms, slowing down the progress of the disease, improving exercise tolerance, preventing and treating complications and improving overall health. Medicines like Shwas-Kuthar-Ras, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Gojivhadi-Qadha, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Pippali (Piper longum), Som (Ephedra vulgaris), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Kushtha (Alpimia galangal), Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka) and Behada (Terminalia bellerica) are used to reduce cough and breathlessness. Medicines which act on the ‘Rakta’ dhatu (tissue) are useful in this condition. These include Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha ( Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Triphala (Three fruits) and Nimba (Azadirachta indica).

A special course of Pippali, boiled in milk, is used in a gradually increasing and then decreasing dose. This course usually lasts for 19 days. Repeated such courses are given with gaps of a few days in between. This treatment helps to improve the damage in the lungs and also helps repair the mucous membrane which lines the respiratory tract. Other medicines like Abhrak Bhasma, Laghu-Malini-Vasant, Madhu-Malini-Vasant, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant and Chyawanprash are also used to slow the progress of the disease, reduce lung damage and improve overall health.

Additional measures like quitting of smoking, avoiding lung irritants, breathing exercises like Pranayam, and Yogasanas can help in reducing the symptoms of this condition. It is important to start treatment early in the course of this disease in order to reduce disability and the risk of mortality.

Sex Drive, Sex Addiction And Anger

In psychiatry, we do a mental state examination that is quite like a physical examination. In it, one of the questions we ask of every patient is- How is your sexual appetite? In many parts of the world this question can be considered offensive especially when asked by the member of the opposite sex. But in the western world, people can talk freely about it. So in psychiatry, one has to be respectful of the culture one is working in.

The importance of this question is that sexual drive determines the mental health of a person. In most psychiatric conditions, the drive is reduced. This happens in depression and anxiety conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder. In certain conditions like mania, it increases. In a person who is not manic, but has an unhealthy, elevated sexual drive, it is considered to be a sign of an addiction. An addiction has the quality of being compulsive and it is in excess to the norm. This excess starts damaging the person’s financial, social and personal condition. In such situations, it is a sign of ill health.

In my experience, sex drive is the indicator of the physical and mental tension a person carries. When the tension increases to the extent that the body and the nervous system start getting tired, the drive reduces. If the tension is reduced, the drive comes back. In my experience, this happens typically in people who suffer with depression. Depression, is suppressed anger. When a depressed person, having low sex drive, starts releasing anger, the nervous system experiences a release and the sex drive or libido is increased as a result.

Excessive sexual drive is the result of excessive tension or stress being produced in the body. The fact that regular physical exercise produces a healthy sex drive is a clinically known fact. When the tension is increased in the body, as happens in anger and following physical exercise, there is an upsurge in sex hormones. At that stage, the drive can become excessive. Despite having regular sexual partners, such people will feel the need to masturbate frequently to reduce their nervous tension. Such people are usually normal individuals except that they are torn inside with guilt about masturbation. If such people were to do nothing about their ‘sex addiction’, they would end up being depressed. This is because the body has a limit to tolerate tension. When the limit is reached,the nervous system becomes fatigued and features of depression kick in.

In medical practice, medicines can be prescribed to control the excessive sexual drive. In my work, I have used meditation and imagery exercises to help the patients reduce their anger. The reduction in their sexual drive is a natural spontaneous follow up.

Many years ago, there was an earthquake in the region of California. In the studies done at that time, scientists were perplexed to learn that immediately after the earthquake, the survivors reported a surge in their sexual drives. The reason for this, as I understand is this. Sex is an activity that is gift from nature to the animal world to continue with the progeny. During times of danger, the survival of the species or individual is threatened. This causes an anger drive that is necessary to undo the effects of the danger. Testosterone is a typical male hormone that increases muscle tension and produces energy in the body. Its secretion is increased at such times too. In order for the progeny to continue, reproductive activity has to take place. So there is a consequent increase in sexual drive.

On the other hand, what would happen, if the anger tension is considerably reduced in the body? In all kinds of spiritual literature, there is emphasis on celibacy. Some religions enforce it on their followers. This is so because if you meditate regularly, the body’s physical and mental needs reduce considerably. There is also a reduction in anger levels and the body’s tension. The sexual drive reduces as a result. In such cases reduction in sexual drive is a sign of excellent mental health rather than the sign of mental illness. In spiritual literatures, sex is not a weakness because it provides pleasure, but because it is a sign of tension. Spiritual practices, like meditation, reduce this tension. Engaging in sex is a ‘weakness’ from anger/tension perspective in spirituality. It has nothing to do with denial of pleasure.

How to Tell If Your Hair is Thinning

I often have readers with TE (telogen effluvium), CTE (chronic telogen effluvium), and AGA (androgenic alopecia or genetic thinning) who write in and ask me how to tell if this shedding or hair loss is thinning their hair (or if it is growing in thinner.)  After all, often quick, healthy regrowth ensures that you retain a nice, thick head of hair, despite the loss. So, in the following article, I’ll tell you three ways to help you determine if your hair is really thinning or if it is growing back in correctly, with no real net loss.

The Ponytail Method: One quick and easy way to determine how much thinning has taken place is take inventory of your ponytail.  Many women know how many times they have to turn the ponytail holder or band to secure it.  If you’re having to turn it one or more times, then obviously, there is less mass there. Now, some readers will write and say, “well, isn’t the regrowth too short to get in the ponytail?” Yes, it is, but often the healthy regrowth will cause bulk that will allow a similar sized tail.  I can tell you that in the worst times of my shedding, my ponytail went from the size of a quarter, to the size of a nickel, to the size of a dime, but I was regrowing hair all the time.  Unfortunately, there was not enough regrowth and what was there came in thin and fine.

The Hair Pull Test: A dermatologist will often do this test in their office, but you can do it at home.  Do not wash your hair for a day before this.  Take a small amount of hair in between your fingers and count how many hairs are there.  Write the number down and then gently pull.  Then, determine the percentage of hairs that came out.  A healthy head of hair will only have 10% of loss of the hair pulled out. Anything over 25% is a cause for concern.  This means that you are shedding enough to cause over all thinning and a loss of volume. You’ll need to be aggressive with your regrowth regimen if this is your result.

The Hair Density / Quality Comparison: One way to see how well your regrowth is coming in is to identify a long, course, thick healthy hair. Tweeze it out and set it aside.  Then, find a few regrowth hairs that are at least 2 1/2 to 4 inches in length, pluck these two hairs and then compare them to the thick healthy hair.  Are they as thick and dense?  They should be somewhat comparable.  (Hair can become thicker as it gets longer, so a slight variation can be normal.)  The pulled / tweezed hairs should have a darker sheath or bulb that is rounded and large.  This shows that they are being properly nourished within your scalp.

If the regrowth hairs are thin, sickly, flyaway or lighter in color, then you may want to suspect that something (DHT, inflammation, bacteria or yeast) is compromising and miniaturizing your regrowth.)  It is extremely hard, if not impossible, to get your volume back unless your regrowth is of a good quality.  

Temperament in Life and Work

Free will can carry us far but not infinitely beyond our genetic limits. We can stretch ourselves like a rubber band can stretch, but only so much. It's like Stephen King is never going to be Stephen Colbert, no matter how much he polishes his comic delivery, and Stephen Colbert can never be Stephen King, no matter how much time he spends alone writing. A person's preference for stimulating turns out to be a specific characteristic, and once you realize your own preferences, you can begin to intentionally situate yourself in environments favorable to your own temperament-yet over-stimulating nor under-stimulating, either boring nor stressful. By attaching to the range of preferences in your and your family's life, you can tap into increased energy and satisfaction.

Even though people can push to the outer limits of their temperament, it's often better to situ ourselves squarely inside our own unique sweet spot. Too much stimulation produces a sense of being unable to think straight, it makes people tongue-tied, and it's the feeling when you've had enough and want to go home. Not enough stimulation is something like cabin fever: you feel idgy, restless, sluggish, like not enough is happening and it's time to get out of the house.

It's overly simplistic to say that we should always seek moderate levels of stimulation. After all, excited fans at a soccer game crave more stimulation, while people who visit spas for relaxation seek low levels, and confusingly, high stimulation levels measured in the brain do not always correlate with how we feel. Also there are many different kinds of stimulation: loud music is not the same as mortar fire, which is not the same as presiding over a meeting. Furthermore, you may be more sensitive to one form of stimulation than another, and some of us seem to enjoy more stimulation than others.

We naturally seek our own sweet spot of optimal stimulation, and we do it without much awareness. It's a dynamic process. Imagine sitting contentedly under a grape arbor reading a fantastic novel. This is a sweet spot, but after half an hour, you realize that you've read the same sentence five times. Now you're under stimulated, so you call a friend to go for coffee. In other words, you ratchet up your stimulation level. As you laugh and talk, you're back, thank goodness, inside your sweet spot. However this agreeable state lasts only until your friend (who needs more stimulation than you) persuades you to accompany her to a party, where you're confronted by loud music, plates of food, alcohol, and a room full of strangers. The people seem affable enough, but you feel pressured to make small talk above the din of music. Now-bam, just like that-you've moved away from your sweet spot, except this time you're overstimulated.

The recognition of the role stimulation plays in your own actions and emotions is a powerful tool, and now you'll be much better at understanding the dynamics between too much and too little. Once you become attuned to your temperament in terms of stimulation you'll be able to design your office, home, and social life for as much time inside your sweet spot as possible. People who inhabit their sweet spots the majority of time gain the ability to stretch when they want to, work with people in more useful ways, and change parts of their environment that exhausts them.

The Joy of Living

Life is beautiful on its own. I realize this after I translated the short story Good Luck and Best Wishes from Chinese into English.

In the story, people live a primitive life with few modern belongings in a far-off mountainous area; however, they enjoy life enormously. A bowl of fermented spirits, a flowery bun, colorful strings, spices, scented pouches, and longing for love and marriage bring them great joy of living.

Mom teaches her teen daughter how to hold a needle and how to use a thimble to sew flowered cloth into the shape of a heart to make a scented pouch, and how to spread aromatic spices to make the scented pouch bulge. The girl savors the pleasure of using a thimble to push a needle, the pleasure of pulling a needle through a cloth, and the pleasure of joining two pieces of cloth together.

Dad teaches his young boy to pound the spices in a mortar with a stone pestle, but spices jump out mischievously. Through pounding and pounding, the boy finally can make the spices turn compliant and burst into flowers, which satisfies him. As he pounds the pestle up and down, the house becomes filled with the aroma.

The atmosphere is aromatic and mystic and the practice means more than itself. The teenagers feel that it is something beautiful and worth expecting. The implication of sex education is evasive, beautiful and healthy.

On Dragon Boat Festival (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month), the young boys and young girls climb onto mountaintop to collect Chinese spicy mugwort plants, they feel like harvesting good luck and best wishes for the entire year. They enjoy being young, being together, being pure and being in love.

The story doesn’t provide a specific time setting nor a particular place. There is nothing to do with politics. It is simply an ode to life. Living is meaningful and beautiful by itself. It doesn’t take much to be happy.

Good Luck and Best Wishes, authored by Wenbin Guo, is included in the short story collection Street Wizards and Other New Folklore, one volume of 21st Century Chinese Literature, which presents a kaleidoscope of Chinese folk customs and provides a view of the multifaceted and living China.

Wenbin Guo, born in 1966 in Xiji County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, now is a chair of the Federation of Literary and Art Circles of Yinchuan City and vice Chair of Ningxia Writer’s Association. Good Luck and Best Wishes has won the People’s Literature Prize and other awards in China.

Ear Pain Relief – Quick and Easy

There are pains that can stop you from your daily activity and having a good time at life like you normally do. When you have ear pain, it can keep you up at night with excruciating pain. This will make you frustrated and restless. What you need is ear pain relief quickly. Ear pain can cause headache pain at the same time. You must make sure that you take care of the earache pain because it can affect the hearing if not treated. Here are some suggestions and tips that will help provide quick and fast ear ache pain relief.

Some Causes of Ear Infection Pain Relief

Some of the common causes of ear ache pain are:

Swimming – when you swim without ear plugs and this allows the water to enter your ear canal. There are different bacteria in the pool from all the other users of the pool. This water get into you ear and causes ear infection and you will need ear pain relief.

Common cold – this can cause pressure to build up in the ears, causing ear ache pain relief.

Injured part of the body that is related to the ear, like a tooth ache, can cause headache pain.Each of the different ear pain has different types of pain relief. But there are some things that you can do to get relief from many different types of instances. This will help you get a good nights rest.

The Different Types of Ear Pain Relief

When you or someone in the family is suffering from ear ache pain, try to sleep with the bad ear facing up. Sometimes you think that sleeping on the painful ear will help, but in fact it doesn’t.There are pain killers that you can take to help with ear pain relief. These pain killers contain acetaminophen like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help with the headache pain relief. You need to be careful on how much you take as they can cause stomach problems.You can also find antiseptic eardrops. These eardrops will provide fast and efficient ear ache pain relief. Use them according to the instructions on the box.There is also warm compresses, like a hand towel that can be applied to the hurt ear for quick ear pain relief.If you don’t have any medicated eardrops available to use, here is a household remedy. Warm up some garlic, vegetable or olive oil and put a couple of drops in the infected ear for ear pain relief. You need to make sure that the oil is warm and not hot. If the oil is hot, you can cause permanent damage, such as affecting your hearing.

There is an easy way for you to check to see if the oil is warm or hot. Apply a drop on your inner arm to see if it is okay to administer in your ear infection for fast pain relief.

What you Need to Know

If you have any liquid such as puss coming out of the hurt ear, do not apply any drops or oil in the ear. Instead see you doctor immediately. When there is puss you have an ear infection and you need antibiotics. You can still use the warm compresses to get through the nigh for temporary ear ache pain relief.If your ear is swollen, and you are not getting any ear pain relief in 24 hour from the above medication, you need to see the doctor so you can get ear pain relief.

Which Is Harder To Master, Classical or Jazz Piano?

Classical pianists are faced with the rigorous task of sight reading. Sight reading includes being completely fluent in reading rhythm as well as melody. Reading sheet music is probably one of the most arduous and tedious tasks of playing classical music. Because classical music relies almost entirely on sight reading music written by previous master composers such as Mozart, Hadyn, Bartok, Bach and the like, there are many guidelines as to how songs should be played. Advanced classical technique is also very strenuous and complex. Some advanced pieces may take an average classical pianist several months to learn.

Jazz relies heavily on improvisation. Because jazz is more free spirited and in the moment, many think that it’s easy. Coming from a classical background, this is definitely not the case. Complex chords are often used in jazz music that are never found in classical music. Extended chords such as 9ths, flat 13ths etc. would sound quite dissonant to a classical ear. If Beethoven or Mozart had heard jazz piano played, they might have wrinkled their nose a bit pondering questions of harmony before really taking a liking to it. It definitely took some acclimation for me to appreciate this style of music.

One of the most complex things about jazz is theory. Although students of classical music learn a lot of theory, not much of it is actually used because students are not reliant on theory to play their pieces. All they have to do is learn music from sheets and then commit it to memory.

As for jazz, there are so many different chords and inversions that students will need to learn before being able to improvise melodies and rhythms over them. Understanding music theory is a very integral part of playing this form of music. Jazz chord changes are also very complex and irregular compared to traditional classical piano pieces. Though both advanced classical and jazz students will know all the scales in different keys, jazz musicians will use this knowledge in a more hands on way than an average classical pianist.

Finger technique for both genres can be extremely difficult. In my opinion, neither of them is harder than the other although many classical riffs may be a bit more complex as jazz melodies are often created by running scales. Learning complex classical and jazz riffs will take much dedication and practice to master and proper finger technique will dictate how well one can play for both genres.

In conclusion, the two genres have different obstacles and challenges that students will have to surmount and face. I would say both can be equally as challenging but just in different aspects. A real master pianist will have comprehensive knowledge of both.

The Side Effects Of Vitamin B12

This article discusses vitamin B12 and most of the reported side effects of taking B12. It also outlines some of the medical conditions that taking B12 may exacerbate.

Background

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin needed for normal cell activity. It is a part of a group of cobalt containing B complex vitamins, which are also known as cobalamins. Like other B vitamins, vitamin B12is important for metabolism. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells and in maintaining the central nervous system. It is found in most foods which come from animal products including liver, fish, shell fish, meat and dairy products.

Side Effects

The good news is that vitamin B 12 is usually non-toxic, even when taken in large doses. However, people have experienced some adverse effects, even though these side effects are quite rare. Generally, when vitamin B12 supplements are taken orally then there is little chance of side effects occurring. Some people choose to take vitamin B12 administered with an injection. This type of ingestion as been associated with the following side effects:

o mild diarrhoea

o anxiety and panic attacks

o heart palpitations

o insomnia

o breathing problems

o chest pain

o skin rash, hives or itchy swollen skin

Some health professionals believe that patients develop these reactions not because of the B12, but because of the preservatives that are part of the injection formula. Currently, most injections contain preservatives. To be on the safe side, it is probably better to take B12 orally.

Medical Conditions

Other side effects may be experienced by people who have an allergy or a sensitive to cobalamin and cobalt. If this is the case, then it is advisable to avoid vitamin B12 supplementation altogether and instead seek to eat the foods that contain naturally occurring B12. In addition B12 should be avoided by people suffering from Leber’s disease, a hereditary disease in which the optic nerve wastes away. Ingesting vitamin B12 can actually speed up the atrophy of the optic nerve resulting in rapid loss of central vision.

There is also evidence to suggest that patients who have undergone heart surgery and received coronary stents may have an increased risk of the artery narrowing again when they take vitamin B12. A small risk, but one to bear in mind.

On a positive note, pregnant and breastfeeding women can take vitamin B12 quite confidently when it is taken orally in amounts not exceeding the recommended daily allowance (2.6 mcg/day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg/day if breastfeeding)

As can be seen, vitamin B12 is a relatively safe vitamin with very few adverse side effects even when taken in large doses. More problems than not arise from B12 deficiency than they do from ingestion of the vitamin itself.