What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome? The different causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are mostly difficult to distinguish. Carpal tunnel syndrome could be mostly found in individuals who often use their hands to work. Actually, the rate of carpal tunnel syndrome are high in those individuals who have several health related problems and work-related conditions.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

•Work-Related. This is the number one factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. The repetitive motion of the hands at workplace is the primary factor why there is carpal tunnel syndrome for most individuals. These could be a contributing factor for this medical condition. The precipitating factors related to the work of an individual would include direct pressure and vibration of the hands, increased strength on the hands and wrist, awkward posture of the joints, rhythmic movements of the hands, as well as constrained posture of the elbow and shoulders.

•Medical Conditions. What causes carpal tunnel syndrome are due to the fracture and dislocation the wrist bones or other several health-related problems such as arthritis that put pressure on the nerve. A few other medical conditions would include autoimmune diseases, like the diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism. These medical problems trigger pain due to the fluid accumulation that exerts strain in the carpal tunnel.

•Heredity or Genetics-Related Conditions. There is a higher risk of having carpal tunnel syndrome in a family history of this medical problem, which signifies that it is inherited genetically. Presence of abnormal myelin structures , a fatty substance which function as an insulator for the nerve fibers, actually predispose  the condition. Also, there are a few people who are born with carpal bones abnormalities.

•Hormonal Problems. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may as well be aggravated with the different problems with the hormones especially during menopause, and fluid accumulation in the hands and feet during pregnancy.

In fact, what causes carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms totally depends on the entire health and lifestyle of individuals. Treatment modalities are made available foe every individual with CTS. Most of these are for alleviating the different symptoms of the condtion. Doing some carpal tunnel exercises is a good idea for pain reduction. Braces and splints are as well given to reduce the exerted pressure in median nerves.

Health Insurance

There are a few kinds of health insurance available:

O Hospital and Surgical Insurance

O Hospital Cash Benefit

O Critical Illness

O Long Term Care Insurance

O Disability Income Insurance

Hospital and Surgical Insurance is most immediate, urgent and a must plan for everyone.

Illness and accident can occur to anyone any time, anywhere. So when it is so serious that hospitalization and / or surgery is required, there will be a substantial sum of money incurred. And it is a NECESSITY to get us well and up again so that we can continue to lead our normal life, be it be continue to work, take care of family or to study.

If we buy any shield plan to cover the hospitalization needs, the premium can be paid from your own or family member's Medisave. With an additional small sum of premium, there are now a few private shield plans that covers the full hospital bills for both the government / structure and private hospital. Even if you are financially stable and cash-rich, you may not want the hospitalization to wipe out your savings for business expansion, your child's education, your holiday plan or even your retirement! It is a small sum of premium to pay to enjoy such a great assurance just in case … Touch wood, but disaster or accident always strikes when you least expect it.

There are currently two insurers that offer total coverage (ie as charged) from first dollars, NTUC Income and Prudential. You may check out their websites for the premium and coverage. Note also that even if the medical procedure / operation is covered by the insurance, pre-hospitalization deposit may still be required when admitting to hospital unless a letter of Guarantee is provided for by the insurer.

Hospital Cash Benefit is a benefit plan where the insurer will pay you regardless of the number of policies you have and the actual expenditure you incurred in hospital. It can be used to offset the lost income and personal expenses while in hospital. T pays a fixed sum of money per day, up to 365 days.

Critical Illness varies among insurers but it usually includes heart attack, cancers, stroke, kidney failure, paralysis, major organ transplant etc. It is important to all ages because we will need the money to buy essential medicine, tonics to improve our health once out of hospital. There may be a need to even employ maid to take care of our everyday livings and / or essential aids to help in our daily livings. All this cost money and we do not want to impinge financial burden to our family. Critical illness insurance is about getting ourselves well again from the insurer's payout.

Long Term Care Insurance is designed to meet the cost of care of a person who is physically impaired that he needs help from others to perform the most basic activities of daily living. The activities of daily living include washing / bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, mobility and transferring. Some insurer will start the payout if the insured can not perform any 3 of the activities. Eldershield is the long term care insurance offered by the Singapore Government from age 40.

Disability Income Insurance provides a personal income replacement if the insured is unable to work in the current job. The amount is payable monthly and it is up to a certain percentage (usually 75%) of the salary drawn. The insured has to be disabled for 3-6 months before the insurer will commence the payment of benefits to the insured till he recovers or till a certain age, say 65 years old. This insurance is important to the sole breadwinner who brings beacon to the family.

How to Do the Mediterranean Diet in the US

Since the Mediterranean diet became popular, lots of people have started adopting it. This is no doubt due to the fact that the diet is effective in helping people increase their chances of living longer, avoiding heart related diseases, helping them keep their weight down and generally helping them live better and richer lives without the guilt of obesity. The Mediterranean diet is also popular because the meals are tasty and really good.

So, it is like living and eating really well without necessarily gaining excess fat. If you live in the US and would like to adopt this diet plan or lifestyle, then you should listen up. Americans are generally lazy about their health. This is further worsened by the amount of junk food available. Research has shown than 2 out of every 3 American are overweight and 2 out of every 4 American adults are obese.

Also, 4 out of every five American child -80%- are overweight and tending towards obesity. This is no doubt, due to the kinds of food consumed on a daily basis. To implement the Mediterranean diet, here are a few tips to guide you.

1. Cut Back on the Junk

Truth be told, the average American eats a sizable amount of junk food every day. If it isn’t some fries, it is some burger or sandwich. If it isn’t any of the two, it is some soda, beer or ice cream. All these foods have high calories and have a huge tendency to clog up the arteries, causing heart related problem in the process. If you want to get the best out of the Mediterranean diet plan, you have got to cut back on the junk and start eating healthy foods. While it is okay to indulge yourself once in a while, avoid doing it too often. Get rid of the ice-cream, beer, hot dogs, sandwiches, snacks, chocolate, fries and others.

2. Drink More Wine and Water

The average Mediterranean diet plan recommends that you take a glass of wine or twice daily. This is because wine contains a huge number of antioxidants which basically help eliminate free radicals and toxins from your body. If wine isn’t available, you might want to try red grape juice. Also, drink at least eight glasses of water per day regardless of the nature of your work. If you do not like the bland taste of water, you can opt for minty or flavoured water. These are good substitutes and are often free of excess sugar.

3. Eat More fruits

The Mediterranean diet recommends eating more fruits and vegetables per day. In fact, fruits should be your snack as they are healthy for the body. So, whenever you get the urge to go grab a snack, do yourself a favor and grab a fruit. Fruits have been proven to be rich in antioxidants which help expel the free radicals in the body and are able to increase the amount of oxygen in the body.

4. Eat More Fish, Whole Grain Carbs and Olive Oil

Instead of eating more red meat, you should start eating more fish like salmon. This is because fishes have a high amount of omega 3 fatty acid which is important in the maintenance of the heart. Getting rid of saturated oils is also an integral part of the program. In place of saturated oils, you can use olive oils which are known to be healthy and lacking in huge amounts of calories.

The Mediterranean diet is easy to stick to and you can never tire of coming up with different meals as there are a lot of recipes to use.

How Lymphatic Drainage is Anti Aging

Lymphatic drainage plays an important role in any health or anti aging regime on a number of fronts. Not only does it improve overall skin tone, getting proper lymph flow and detoxification helps with healthy cell renewal.

In a nutshell the lymphatic system is a pumping system made up of lymph nodes and lymph fluid. Lymph fluid is one of the body’s mechanisms for carrying away toxins placing them in the bowel or pushing them through the skin for removal. When you have lymphatic drainage work most people notice a strong smell coming from their skin. This is the oxidation of the toxic chemicals being released.

A quick way to see if your lymph system is blocked or overburdened is to lightly touch your face and skin on your forearm and upper arm with your finger tips. If the skin feels spongy or like swam water, your lymphatic system is sluggish and in need of help. The deeper the sponginess the more severe the blockage.

When the lymphatic system becomes blocked in the nodes and fluid and or the pumping system slows down due to inactivity and weight gain, the system fails to remove the body’s toxins. This not only affects the look of your skin, it also effects your immune system through lack of good white blood cell count production.

The Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Work

Lymphatic drainage opens up the blockages in the lymph nodes and stimulates the body’s pumping system. In this way the toxins begin to be released. The results vary from client to client but most people can expect the following:

  • Immediate uplifting in energy
  • You feel like you could run a marathon
  • Inch loss (in most cases)
  • Brighter firmer skin
  • Relieves pain (particularly arthritis pain)
  • Reduces swelling and fluid retention
  • Speeds up healing (particularly skin abrasions and burns)
  • Deep sense of relaxation
  • Promotes healing and overall health

Some people can and do experience a detox reaction in the form of a headache or tiredness. This is caused by too many toxins being released all at once. This happens usually in overweight and very toxic bodies that are dehydrated. If you are going to take on lymphatic drainage work be sure to quit drinking alcohol, sodas, sugary drinks, coffee and caffeinated tea as well as red meat and dairy for at least 3 days prior to the work and also during. Drink at least 10 glasses of purified non-fluoridated water daily to flush out the toxins. This will got a long way to preventing a detox reaction. Doing a bowel cleanse prior to lymphatic work is also recommended and keeping your colon open 3-4 times a day is important. You may need to take extra fiber if you do not eliminate that many times in one day.

Manual versus Mechanical Treatments

Whether you choose to have a manual lymphatic drainage massage or mechanical one with Lumology, Endermolie, the Derma Ray and Jade Esthetics Massage, any lymphatic drainage is better than nothing. Both can be very relaxing and enjoyable. Manual massage can be more relaxing as pulsing is used to open up the lymph nodes. However, mechanical lymphatic drainage is faster and more efficient at opening up the lymph nodes and getting pumping action happening. It is also more effective for weight loss. The Derma Ray combination with Jade Esthetics Massage is deep and very fast and has the added bonus of leaving your skin looking young, new and silky.

For health and well being purposes doing 6 lymphatic drainage sessions within 3 weeks twice a year in spring and autumn is recommended. For anti aging purposes 3 every turn of the season a year for slim people and 6 times every turn of the season for overweight people. Bottom line is in this toxic world we live in lymphatic drainage does play a very important role in over all health, prevention of disease and is good to add to your anti aging routine.

Organic Or Inorganic Baby Products?

Organic baby products (ie, products manufactured with or based on natural ingredients as opposed to artificial products) are undetected the best food products for the babies guaranteeing them with a healthy upbringing (as scientifically proven). Such products are also cheaper since making them quite attractive for the parents. It is certainly true that parents these days have become somewhat sensitive and fully cognizant of the need to provide their child with the best products for a better physical and mental growth.

Reason being, artificial products have numerous side effects due to the chemicals (including parabens in skin and haare care products, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Lauramide DA and Triethanolamine which is commonly known as TEA in bating products and it contains, which may hamper the physical well Being (including skin conditions) and mental nourishment of the baby, as it grows. The artificial products also contain what is known as talc which may lead to blockages in the respiration system of the baby and worse may lead to the life threatening disease of cancer .

On the other hand, organic products (which include vital oils) have a magic effect of treating the baby's rashes and keeping the skin moisturized as the same is extremely important for the baby's sensitive skin. Using organic products provide the parents with the peace of mind and comfort that their baby is not exposed to harmful or toxic substances which can easily absorb through the thin skin of the babies. Parent's affection is best described by opting and preferring the organic products over the inorganic ones for the obvious reasons.

The Psychology of Fear

On fear as emotions, fear as feelings, fear as anxieties and fear as phobias

Although fear has been classified as an emotion by psychologists, it is a very basic human emotion and can be almost considered as a simple feeling. In fact if emotions comprise of feelings and bodily reactions, then fear would be the basic feeling component of anxiety or phobias as has been explained in the psychology of emotions. I prefer the use of fear as feeling rather than as an emotion and to explain this, it is important to distinguish between feelings and emotions in psychology. As of now this distinction is blurred and psychologists do not distinguish between feeling and emotion extensively.

Emotions are complex mental and physical processes as emotions involve feelings which are mental or psychological components and bodily reactions which are physical reactions. Thus feeling is an essential part of emotion. The simple feeling is purely psychological and does not involve bodily reactions and that is how fear which may or may not involve bodily reactions could be both a feeling and an emotion. For example fear of a student at the examination center would have been accompanied by bodily reactions such as rapid heart beats or flushed face, dilated pupils and so on. Although fear which could be a feeling component may be very simple and generalized and could be even unconscious without the presence of bodily reaction, although not as intense as anxiety which necessarily involves bodily reactions. So because you are on stage and performing a play, you may not directly sense any bodily reaction and could be calm and normal but you may still harbor a feeling of fear as in some sort of uneasiness.

Fear could be both a feeling and an emotion yet fear as an entirely subjective or mental feeling component would be difficult to detect as it would not be accompanied by visible or noticeable physical reactions as in fear as an emotion. Anxiety on the other hand is considered a distinct internalized emotion as it arises internally from a perceived threat rather than fear which is due to external stimuli. Fear could be defined as an externalized emotion or internalized feeling which may or may not be accompanied by bodily reactions and fear could be conscious or unconscious.

A psychology of fear would distinguish fear as an emotion and fear as a feeling, fear as conscious and fear as unconscious as well as fear with bodily reactions and fear without bodily reactions and fear in anxiety and fear in phobias. It would be important to understand why fear occur and what are the bodily reactions when fear is a strong conscious emotion and how this differences from fear as a feeling which may not have bodily reactions and could be conscious but would more likely be unconscious.

Say for example you have an unconscious fear of old haunted dilapidated homes and you repeatedly dream of events in such houses that could cause some bodily reactions but it is not quite obvious that the fear is causing the bodily reaction. So in this case, the fear itself is simply unconscious and a feeling which manifests in dreams and the dreams are associated with bodily reactions and not the fear. So here fear is a feeling rather than an emotion. Some psychologists would ever argue that this 'fear' could simply be an undefined anxiety but since the psychologists would also identify the cause of the fear (or anxiety as they would say) which is a fear of haunted houses, this is still an externalized fear And not internalized anxiety. Fear is that externalized whether it is a feeling or an emotion.

The distinction between feelings and emotions are like trying to distinguish between meteoroids and asteroids in outer space and the distinction would require very detailed analysis of the layers of the mind. At this point we do not have sufficient frameworks or scientific evidence that would help to make this distinction easy. Modern studies in consciousness have focused on this problem of feeling. As Thomas Nagel highlighted in his very famous paper 'What is it like to be Bat?' This subjective feeling of 'what it is like to be' is very important. With the study of consciousness, the subjective aspects of emotions are all important and despite hardcore physicalists who believe that our minds are nothing but neuronal firings would ignore that an emotion would have a feeling aspect, studies in consciousness have provided that feeling or the subjective aspect Of being the core of being human.

However the topic being the psychology of fear, it is essential to understand why fear happens and what would be the therapeutic directions for fear. Fear could be characterized as a general unconscious feeling of incompetence or could be more complex emotion such as anxiety and externalized fear. Fear could also be phobias which are persistent pathological consequences directed towards specific objects and situations. Phobias could be of spiders or heights and these are exaggerated or extreme forms of fear with severe bodily reactions, almost bordering on paranoid reactions. Fear could thus be revealed as severe emotions with bodily reactions, and can be characterized as anxiety or phobia, fear could also be a general feeling. In order to understand why fear happens we distinguish the types of fear:

Fear as Emotions – Fear when accompanied by bodily reactions would signify strong emotional response to a situation or an object or event. Since the feeling of fear is internalized, fear would naturally begin with a feeling or a subjective component. This means the individual would first 'feel' afraid of the situation and then react to it. Such fear in which the individual is conscious of the emotion and reacts strongly to it is generally an emotional response and this sort of fear is thus identified as a strong emotion.

Fear as Feeling – Fear could be simply manifested as a subjective feeling, a sense of uneasiness or unconscious perception of some sort of danger or threat that may not evoke strong bodily reactions. Fear as feeling is thus unconsciously released in dreams, slips of tongue, lapses of attention etc.

Fear as Anxiety – Fear as a feeling could also be the subjective basis of anxiety as when internalized and even unexplained anxiety has a general feeling of fear. Anxiety therefore also begins with a fear but this could have been very unconscious, internalized and more generalized. But anxiety has distinct bodily reactions and that is how anxiety differs from fear as a feeling.

Fear as Phobias – Fear as phobias consist of persistent pathological emotional response towards specific objects or events. The difference between anxiety and phobia is that phobias are always externalized whereas anxiety is internalized and fear again being externalized as an emotion or internalized as a feeling would be a part of both anxiety and phobias. However phobias are not emotions but pathological challenges consist of fear as a complex emotion and bodily reaction. Since phobias are compositions of emotions and strong reactions, the reactions are expressed in exaggerated forms in phobias so individuals with phobias would react in extreme ways and could develop a state of panic especially due to the extreme and uncontrollable bodily reactions.

In the therapeutic treatment of psychology it will be necessary to understand the origin of fear and this could be done with neurological studies and studies of bodily reactions and mental states. Fear as simple feelings or complex emotional responses should be identified in specific situations and intensive fear could be studied in anxiety and phobia.

This essay was first published on Futurehealth.org, October 2010

How to Wake Up Early in the Morning for Work

If waking up early in the morning to go to work looks harder than work itself try applying these simple steps and seeing a difference in your sleeping habits (or should I say waking habits).

Make a schedule
The appropriate amount of sleep needed to cope with a demanding day at work is approximately eight hours. Keep this in mind when scheduling your day and organizing your everyday tasks. Take into account the time needed to get to work from the moment you wake up and define a bedtime hour.

Clear your mind
Going to sleep is almost impossible if you have too many things on your mind. Be sure to leave at least one hour before bedtime to clear your mind. Your problems can wait until the next morning. Spend time with your friends or family and choose not to discuss about topics that cause stress and anxiety.

Turn of the TV!
Even though it's hard to admit, watching television is an addiction. Once you turn the TV on it's almost impossible to keep your eyes off it. Time passes by quickly and even though you initially feel a sense of relaxation, at the end of the night you've wasted a couple of hours of your life feeling even more tired than were to begin with. Start to gradually reduce the hours you spend in front of your television every night. Soon you will realize that you have more time on your hands to do things that are more rewarding to your body and mind. Try taking a hot bath or reading a book instead of being glued to your couch.

Change your eating habits
Late night snacks are a delightful habit but they do no good to your health and wont help you go to sleep early. Dinner should be served at least two hours before bedtime and you should never go to bed with a full stomach in order to avoid sleeping disorders. Waking up early in the morning depends on adjusting your lifestyle to a schedule that will change your sleeping habits. Although this may seem difficult at the beginning, it will only take a couple of weeks for your body to accept new sleeping patterns.

Training Your Dog To Be Groomed

Grooming can be a pleasure for the dog and owner, or it can be a nightmare. A dog must be taught to be groomed and this is not always an easy prospect. Of course you would be much better off to start with a young puppy so that it becomes used to being groomed early on, but unfortunately this can not always be the case. Dogs who are older and are placed in adoptive homes from shelters, for example, may not have gotten used to this process at an early age.

Many owners will ignore the grooming when they find out that they can not control the dog to do it. (Or they will spend big bucks with a groomer). However, it is very important that a dog with a long coat or a double coat be groomed on a regular basis. The coat that has mats can block air from getting to the skin, causing hot spots. A dog that is not groomed is not pleasant to be around, it will either be smelly or it will drip shedding hair off onto the furniture or your clothes. Sometimes this is one of the reasons some dogs are banished to live outside rather than in the home! Furthermore, grooming the dog on a regular basis will stimulate the skin and keep the dog healthy, in the same way that a human must wash the scalp and brush the hair to maintain a healthy scalp.

Training a dog to be groomed is not too difficult if you make up your mind to do it and get the right equipment. Getting the equipment is a small expense compared to the expense of taking the dog to a groomer. A good pair of clippers is indispensable if you have a dog with a long coat. The usual cost for clippers is about $ 80.00. A comb, with both wide spaced and close spaced teeth is around $ 7.00. An undercoat rake is around $ 5.00, a pin brush, $ 12.00 and a slicker brush, $ 5.00. Then of course, there are nail clippers, which will run around $ 12.00. Dogs with short coats will not require as much, a grooming mitten or a slicker brush will be plenty. These products are just basics but are a good start and certainly will be paid for after only or two groomings at a professional groomers!

Some people go all out and purchase a grooming table with an arm and a big fancy dryer. As a matter of fact, most "show people" with "show dogs" will have that and much more, but the average pet owner purely needs to make sure that they have the basics.

Once you have the equipment, it is necessary that you learn how to control your dog so that you can groom him. Here is where the "training" comes in. Both long coated dogs and short coated dogs should be trained to lie or sit quietly during the grooming process and should know to roll over and expose their bellies and should allow you to handle their feet and clean their ears. Start by putting the dog into a down position and follow through with the word "stay!" Then simply start to brush the dog, gently. For heaven's sakes, do not start right off the bat with yanking out big mats. Simply start in places you know the dog will enjoy being brushed, usually just along the top of the back and the shoulders. Gradually work into the places that are more tender. Push or pull the dog as necessary into the positions you need to, but be gentle and firm and speak to him as you brush. Work through the coat gently and persuade the dog with a treat to distract him when it is going to be a touchy spot. When you do get to places where mats build up and the skin is tender, this is where the clippers can come in mighty handy. Simply clipping out the mats between the hind legs and behind the ears is way easier on the dog's tender skin and certainly works just as well if not better than yanking out those mats with a comb.

Building up to longer sessions is necessary. Keep the grooming sessions short and gradually make them longer. Grooming often, several times a week, a bit at a time, will get the dog used to be handled and combed. Just keep in mind that one step at a time will eventually lead to a dog that will love to lie down and get a nice grooming. It is a great time to bond with your dog and it is something that you can make the time for, if you just make up your mind to do it. Both of you will be happier, in the end.

Massage Benefits And Types Of Massage

Massage is a widely used therapeutic procedure that has been used for thousands of years for healing the diseases of patient. It has also a preventive aspect to protect and preserve the health. It has occupied an importance place in Naturopathy. This article discusses the health benefits of massage and various types of massage.

Benefits of Massage

There are various benefits of massage. It removes fatigue and pains, increases vision, produces good body, good sleep, and good skin. It eliminates toxins out of the body from the skin. It stimulates circulation of the blood and soothes the nervous system. It reduces the tension in the muscles and relieves muscular pain. Systematic massage reduces the burden on the heart, and thus increases its efficiency.

Types of Massage

There are five methods of manipulation of massage. They are:

1. Effleurage (Stroking)
2. Petrissage (Kneading)
3. Friction (Rubbing)
4. Tapotement (Percussion)
5. Vibration (Shaking or Trembling)

Effleurage (Stroking)

This type of massage is done with strokes over the body on the skin. It is also done in five different ways: palms of one hand; palms of two hands; the knuckles; the ball of the thumb; the finger tips. Effleurage has various benefits. It increases circulation of blood. It soothes the nervous system. It is beneficial in lean, thin individuals. It relaxes and warms the skin and muscles.

Petrissage (Kneading)

In this type, pressing, rolling and kneading of the muscles, skin and tissues are done with one or both hands or with thumb or thumb fingers. A light pressure is done for superficial kneading. For deep kneading heavy pressure is to be done. Petrissage massage is beneficial for muscles, to strengthen it, to nourish, and relieves the congestion of intestines and it eliminates poison and soothes the nerves.

Friction (Rubbing)

In this type, circular massage is done over and around the joints. It is helpful in toning the muscles, and tendons of the joints. It reduces the pain, redness and swelling which are the cardinal signs of the inflammation.

Tapotement (Percussion)

In this type, tapping, clapping, hacking and beating is done by sticking the human body rapidly. Quick and short blows are commonly gives by wrist. Tapotement has various benefits. It is useful in wasting of muscles. It soothes the nerves. It strengthens the muscles.

Vibration (Trembling)

In this type of massage, pressing and shaking on the body either by use of hands or fingers is done. It is beneficial in neuralgia, neuritis. It not only stimulates circulation but also the nerves. It regulates the bowel. It is used to tone up the muscles and to relieve pain in the body. This massage is done from electrically operated machine by a trained person.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Copyright © Nick Mutt, All Rights Reserved. If you want to use this article on your website or in your ezine, make all the urls (links) active.

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Resveratrol – The New Miracle Natural Remedy?

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is found in a lot of plants. It protects them from harmful infections like fungus and viruses. The antioxidant is found mostly in red wine and various other fruits. You may have seen health care specialists recommending the consumption of red wine as a health benefit, but for a long time a lot of people did not understand why. The health component in red wine is resveratrol, and scientists have now concluded that the same antioxidants that protect plants from diseases can also be beneficial to the human body as well.

Where to find foods rich in resveratrol:

You can find resveratrol in any of the dark fruits you can find at your store. Blueberries for example will be a great source of resveratrol; Cranberries will be an excellent source as well as plums and darker berries. I would not say that resveratrol is a miracle drug, but more of a health benefit that has been around for a while yet only recently discovered and researched.

The human body needs these types of nutrients to help it fight disease and other problems. If you have a diet rich in resveratrol you will be in better shape than most of the people out there who take regular hard vitamins.

Resveratrol has been said to be a powerful anti inflammatory agent:

Inflammation leads to many complications of the body. There is skin infection, but then you can have internal inflammation that might go undetected. This is why it is said to eat fruits and products that are rich in this component. You may be able to stop some of the inflammation before it gets too out of hand.

You will clearly be able to see infection on the skin and take the proper measures to treat it, but you will not be as easily able to detect internal infection unless it is too late and you are in pain. By being able to use resveratrol rich products you can ease the inflammation, as a result you can also help fight cancer, heart disease, and many of the other body ailments that come about as the result of inflammation.

It can help treat the common cold and the flu:

Resveratrol can help prevent the flu and common cold if it is consumed on a regular basis. It will help your body build up its immune system so that it is able to fight off diseases faster and with more effectiveness. Your body's immune system will sometimes not be as strong as you need it because you are not feeding it the proper vitamins to help it produce white blood cells. Resveratrol will help white cell reproduction so building up your immune system stronger to fight the common cold or the flu.

Resveratrol alone is not a miracle drug; You should practice good health and other healthy habits so your body is really able to benefit. A good diet added to the consumption of resveratrol will help you see maximum benefits.

Herniated Disc, Disc Protrusion, Disc Bulge

What is a herniated disc?

 Many patients with back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles are diagnosed with a herniated disc. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. A herniated disc would not be a problem if it weren’t for the spinal nerves that are very close to the edge of these spinal discs.

What is the spinal disc?
The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertabrae of the spine. This spinal disc becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually looses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury. In fact, even in individuals as young as 30, MRIs show evidence of disc deterioration in about 30% of people.

What happens with a ‘herniated disc’?
(Click here for a cool illustration) There are several causes for  disc herniations. The most common is related to degenerative changes associated with chronic subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae). When vertebrae are left out of place not only can it cause pain, but the misalignment causes degenerative changes .  As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary–this is called a herniated disc. When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched.

What causes symptoms of a herniated disc?
When the herniated disc ruptures and pushes out, the nerves may become pinched. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually due to subluxations that have been left uncorrected resulting in repetitive trauma of the spine. Often people who experience a herniated disc already have misalignment of their vertebrae or spinal stenosis, a problem that causes narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves. When a herniated disc occurs, the space for the nerves is further diminished, and irritation of the nerve results. This makes any misalignment of the vertebrae, much more critical.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
When the spinal cord or spinal nerves become compressed, they don’t work properly. This means that abnormal signals may get passed from the compressed nerves, or signals may not get passed at all. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:

 ·         Electric Shock PainPressure on the nerve can cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms, when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs.

 ·         Tingling & Numbness
Patients often have abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, or pins and needles. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations.

 ·         Muscle Weakness
Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can also be tested by examining reflexes.

 ·         Bowel or Bladder Problems
These symptoms are important because it may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a possible condition resulting from a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency, and your should see your doctor immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals.

All of these symptoms are due to the irritation of the nerve from the herniated disc. By interfering with the pathway by which signals are sent from your brain out to your extremities and back to the brain, all of these symptoms can be caused by a herniated disc pressing against the nerves.  

How is the diagnosis of a herniated disc made?
At Barton Chiropractic in Concord  the diagnosis of a herniated disc is made by physical examination. By testing sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes, your Chiropractor can often establish the diagnosis of a herniated disc.  

An MRI is commonly used to aid in making the diagnosis of a herniated disc. It is very important that patients understand that the MRI is only useful when used in conjunction with examination findings. Patients in their 20s may begin to have signs of disc wear, and this type of wear would be expected on MRIs of patients in their 40s and 50s. This is due to the fact that most people have chronic conditions that have been left unchecked for years. Low back pain that has “gone away by itself.” Symptoms come and go, but problems do not correct themselves.  

Making the diagnosis of a herniated disc, and coming up with a treatment plan depends on the symptoms experienced by the patient, the physical examination findings, and the x-ray and MRI results. Only once this information is put together can a reasonable treatment plan be considered.  

Treatment of a herniated disc depends on a number of factors including:

·         Symptoms experienced by the patient

·         Age of the patient

·         Activity level of the patient

·         Presence of worsening symptoms

Most often, treatments of a herniated disc begin conservatively, and become more aggressive if the symptoms persist. After diagnosing a herniated disc, treatment usually begins with:

 ·         Chiropractic adjustments                                                                                                                                                                     

 ·         This is the only way to correct the underlying cause of the herniation which is the misalignment of the vertebrae.

 ·         Rest & Activity Modification
The first treatment is to rest and avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms. It is important to avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms.

 ·         Ice & Heat Applications
Ice application can be extremely helpful in relieving the painful symptoms of a disc herniation. By helping to relax the muscles of the back, ice and heat applications can relieve muscle spasm and provide significant pain relief. Check with your doctor at Barton Chiropractic in Concord to see which is right for you.  

 ·         Physical Therapy
Physical therapy and lumbar stabilization exercises do not directly affect the recovery of the herniated disc, but they can stabilize the lumbar spine muscles. This has an effect of decreasing the load experienced by the disc and vertebrae. Stronger, well balanced muscles help control the lumbar spine and minimize the risk or injury to the nerves and the disc, however recent research has shown that more often than not, patients will increase the severity of their condition by exercising due to the fact that the vertebrae are misaligned. The safest exercise for a herniated disc is walking and nothing else unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.  When your doctor feels you are ready, we will start you on a rehabilitative exercise program.  

 ·         Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed, and often help relieve the pain associated with a disc herniation. By reducing inflammation, these drugs can relieve some pressure on the compressed nerves. NSAIDs should be used only under your doctor’s supervision and as a last resort.  They just cover up the pain.

 ·         Oral Steroid Drugs
Oral steroid drugs can be very helpful in episodes of an acute (sudden) disc herniation. Drugs used include Prednisone and Medrol. However these drugs have severe side effects.

 The side effects of prednisone include adrenal suppression, Adrenal suppression refers to      the body’s inability to synthesize natural corticosteroids, resulting in a dependency on the   prednisone taken by the patient. Stopping prednisone treatment abruptly can cause the life-threatening Addison’s disease, in which in the body no longer produces sufficient amounts of  adrenal steroid hormones

The short-term side effects of prednisone use include high blood glucose levels. Other short-term side effects of prednisone include insomnia, euphoria and, in some cases, even mania. Using prednisone for long periods can cause side effects such as Cushing’s syndrome, weight gain, osteoporosis, glaucoma and type II diabetes mellitus. Upon withdrawal of prednisone after long-term use, patients also suffer from depression. Almost all long-term users of prednisone experience a reduction in their sex drive, as well.

Prednisone use can affect the eyes as well. The most common side effects in the context are glaucoma and cataract formation.

 Prednisone use of any period can give rise to many other side effects such as unnatural fatigue or weakness, abdominal pain, blurring of vision, peptic ulcers, infections, pain in the hips or shoulders, osteoporosis, occurrence of acne and sleeplessness. Some of the less serious side effects of prednisone include weight gain, stretch marks on the skin, swelling in the face, nervousness, increase in appetite and hyperactivity.

 ·         Epidural Steroid Injections
Injections of cortisone can be administered directly in the area of nerve compression. Like oral anti-inflammatory drugs, the idea is to relieve the compression on the nerves. When the injection is used, the drug is delivered to the area of the disc herniation, rather than being taken orally and travelling throughout your body.

    Is back surgery necessary in the treatment of a disc herniation?
   Not usually. Chiropractic care has been showt to have amazing results whith disc    herniations. (Click to read research documents).

High School Wrestling: John Jesse’s Wisdom on Strength and Conditioning

In 1974, a book entitled Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published. This book was written by a man named John Jesse.

Conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta writes, "You are probably asking who is John Jesse? John Jesse was an expert on strength training, injury prevention and rehabilitation from Southern California."

I never knew of this book’s existence until recently even though it’s obviously been around a long time. I came across it while surfing the internet and researching wrestling conditioning.

I borrowed a copy from the public library and found it really fascinating. John Jesse’s book doesn’t seem that outdated even though it was published 38 years ago. He really knew a lot about strength and conditioning.

So, what did he know?

Year-Round Training

Jesse emphasizes the importance of continuity in training. Continuous year-round physical training is imperative if a wrestler wishes to be successful. When discussing the importance of continuity he points out that, “Repeated efforts are required for the formation of conditioned-reflexes in the nervous system required for the development of great skill.”

A wrestler needs to train continuously the entire calendar year. However, Jesse recognizes the importance of breaking down the yearly training into cycles. Jesse divides the year-round training into four cycles.

The Four Cycles

  • Transition (Active Rest) Cycle – a period of one month immediately following the competitive season
  • Basic (Foundation) Cycle – a period of five months divided into three stages
  • Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle – a period of two months
  • Competitive – generally a period of four months

Jesse advises to take one week totally off immediately following the season and then begin the transition cycle. However, you are not to engage in any wrestling or skills work during the transition cycle. During that cycle one should abstain from any wrestling, but you need to begin training for strength, endurance, and flexibly again. If you take too long of a break the physical attributes you’ve gained will begin to dissipate.

I’m sure that most of you have learned about the concept of periodization. Well, as you can see, that’s exactly what John Jesse is writing about.

In this current age, periodization is still used. Periodization is basically just planning your training. Dr. Fred Hatfield (a.k.a. Dr. Squat) is a big advocate of periodization. In an article entitled The Simplicity of Periodicity he writes of the “tremendous value of short-term periodization in your training.”

Moreover, he adds, “As your competition draws nearer and nearer, your training objectives change, and therefore your training methods change commensurably.”

Sports scientist Tudor Bompa has said, “We either have periodization or chaos.”

John Jesse writes something very similar in his book. He states, “Without a long-range training plan the athlete’s training can easily degenerate into chaos.”

Jesse knew what he was talking about.

Do you think champion wrestlers only work out during wrestling season? Do you think they train in some haphazard fashion? No! They train year-round with a well developed plan in mind just like John Jesse advocated and strength and conditioning experts still advocate.

Individuality and Specificity

Regarding individuality Jesses writes, “Training is an individual problem. All individuals react differently to the same training load.

Further, he states, that “No athlete should base his training plan on that used by some champion or outstanding athlete particularly as to the intensity of training loads.”

For instance, a high school wrestler may not be able to tolerate the training load that a college wrestler handles during a training year. You may not be able to train with the same load or intensity that Dan Gable or John Smith used while training.

According to Dr Fred Hatfield, there are seven laws of training that most sports scientists subscribe to. One of those laws is the law of individual differences. According to Hatfield, “We all have different abilities and weaknesses, and we all respond differently (to a degree) to any given system of training. These differences should be taken into consideration when designing your training program.”

Jesse knew the importance of individuality just as coaches do now and you should too.

Regarding specificity Jesse writes, “This principle maintains that training and its effects is specific to the muscle cells, organs and movements of the body in the development of either strength, endurance, flexibility or skill.”

Further, he states, “The specificity principle is of particular importance to the wrestler who requires various types of strength and endurance in order to excel in competition.”

Another of the seven laws of training is the specificity principle. According to Hatfield, “You’ll get stronger at squats by doing squats as opposed to leg presses, and you’ll get greater endurance for the marathon by running long distances than you will by (say) cycling long distances.”

A closely related law is the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

You are a wrestler. Therefore, you must wrestle to improve at wrestling. You must also train for the demands of wrestling. You are not a marathoner so do not train like one. Wrestling is an anaerobic sport requiring strength, power, endurance, and many other abilities. So, train accordingly.

John Jesse knew the importance of specificity. Now you do too.

Supremacy of Strength

Jesse states, “The importance of strength in wrestling competition as the primary source of human power is frequently underestimated by coaches and wrestler alike. Strength underlies all other factors when one considers the total functioning of the body. Without sufficient strength other factors such as endurance, flexibility, agility, and skill cannot be used effectively.”

Similarly, performance coach Kelly Baggett states, "Maximum strength is the backbone upon which all other strength qualities lie. You’ll hear me talk a lot about being fast and the importance of speed, power, reactive ability etc. All of these qualities of strength are very important, but truthfully, unless you have enough raw horsepower in your engine you won’t be going anywhere or doing anything in a hurry!"

You may be interested in plyometrics, circuit training, and other modes of conditioning. However, one of your first priorities should be building a good strength base.

All-Round Strength

In Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, all-round strength or total body strength is discussed. A wrestler wants his total body to work in a harmonious manner as a well-coordinated whole unit.

Some exercises recommended for the development of all-round strength include the one arm get-up, two arm get-up, dumbbell clean and jerk, barbell clean and jerk, barbell push press, barbell jerk press, deadlift, one hand swing, two hand swing, high pull to chest, and dead hang clean.

It’s interesting to note that the one arm and two arm get-ups and the one hand and two hand swings are illustrated using dumbbells. These exercises are popular choices now for athletes using kettlebells. The get-up is usually called the Turkish get-up. The Turkish get-up is hailed as a fantastic all-round strength and conditioning exercise. In addition, the Turkish get-up is endorsed because it requires all the muscles

of the body to work together in order to accomplish the labor.

Kettlebell swings are considered the foundation kettlebell exercise and are said to burn fat, build strength, and enhance cardiovascular fitness.

His book doesn’t mention kettlebells, but John Jesse knew the importance of all-round strength.

Strength Endurance

John writes, “The type of endurance that is in general overlooked in the conditioning of wrestlers is strength endurance. It is perhaps the most important basic physical quality a wrestler should develop.”

He suggests that one way of building strength endurance is to pick two exercises and do 4 sets of each. You do one set with 30, 50, 70, and 80 percent of your 1RM respectively. You would do this during the Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle.

Some current strength and conditioning coaches may argue that Jesse’s routine is more suited to building muscular endurance than strength endurance.

The point is that John Jesse knew that after acquiring strength a wrestler needed to convert that strength into strength that he could use repeatedly over the duration of a match.

Trainer and coach Ross Enamait states, "Strength endurance is defined as the ability to effectively maintain muscular functioning under work conditions of long duration. Strength endurance is a vital strength quality for any combat athlete. Power and speed are useless without the stamina necessary to apply these physical attributes throughout the contest."

Similarly, strength and conditioning specialist Matt Wiggins writes about strength often being the most beneficial when you can take advantage of that strength over an extended period of time. He prefers to build strength endurance by using heavy weights and shortened rest periods.

Others prefer to do circuits using dumbbells or kettlebells combined with bodyweight exercises.

The bottom line is that you want to be as strong as possible for as long as possible. Jesse really emphasized strength endurance in the strength and conditioning training plan of a wrestler.

Rotational Strength

John believed that athletes placed too much emphasis on developing the muscles of the arms, shoulders and legs, while overlooking the importance of strength in the muscles of the lower back, sides, and abdomen.

He states, “No athlete engaged in activities that involve rotational and lateral movements against resistance such as wrestling, can truly project the concept of total body strength in movement if he is relatively weak in the muscles surrounding the lower trunk.”

When writing of John Jesse, conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta states, "He was preaching tri-plane work in the late 1940’s. Big emphasis on rotary work, a surprise to the gurus of today who think they invented rotary work." He also adds, "His ideas are very contemporary; he was a man ahead of his time."

Interestingly, certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreres states that many sport movements include either large or subtle rotational elements. For example, imagine a wrestler attempting to take down an opponent. Does a double leg or single leg take down only involve strength in the vertical plane? I don’t believe so. You don’t lift your opponent straight up. One is usually lifting, moving laterally, and rotating.

Throws certainly occur in the transverse plane. What’s the transverse plane? Or, for that matter, what are the sagittal and frontal planes?

According to functional training expert Fraser Quelch, "As the body moves through space, it uses any combination of three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse." He adds, "Most traditional strengthening programs heavily favor sagittal-plane movement in a training environment that promotes one-dimensional motor patterns. These factors can undermine the body’s ability to move effectively in any given direction, and, in many cases, may lead to joint dysfunction."

Strength and conditioning coach Chad Waterbury states, "Rotational strength is probably the most important strength movement quality for MMA fighters. Sure, deadlifts, cleans, squats, chins, etc. are great strength building exercises, but they only establish a base of strength: that strength base must be further enhanced with rotational movements."

So, you see, John Jesse knew the importance of rotational strength for combative athletes. He mentions various rotational exercises in his book involving barbells, swingbells, and sandbags. You may have no idea what a swingbell is. That’s fine. There are many things an athlete can do with medicine balls or simply his bodyweight to exercise in the frontal and transverse planes.

Grip Strength

Jesse states, “No other athletic activity requires the combined strength and endurance of the grip as that required in the sport of wrestling.”

Similarly, Zach Even-Esh states, "Having strong hands and a powerful grip is misunderstood and undervalued by most wrestlers. Remember, everything passes through your hands in wrestling. The stronger your hands, the stronger your holds will be. The stronger your hands, the less likely your grip is to be a limiting factor in holding an opponent or finishing a move."

Joe Makovec, strength and conditioning coach for the nationally ranked Hofstra wrestling team, discussed some grip exercises with STACK Magazine (2007). He states, "We do a lot of wrist rollers and fat bar exercises, like rows and curls. We do a farmer’s carry, too, with a fat bar and with regular dumbbells. We also do a lot of pulling motions where you have to grip a rope."

Strength coach Charles Poliquin advocates thick bar training for grip. In an article about thick bar training he tells an anecdote about a Russian wrestler who displayed his grip strength at a press conference during the 1970s by producing two pairs of pliers and proceeding to squeeze them so hard that they snapped. After this Russian wrestler defeated an American wrestler, the defeated US wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise grip.

Can you maintain wrist and hand control on your opponents throughout a match? It is essential to have a strong grip. Good grip strength will greatly add to your ability to control or take down an opponent.

Hamstrings and Hips

Every wrestler has heard how important the hips are in wrestling whether it be properly using your own hip strength and power or the need to control your opponent’s hips.

Jesse discusses the fact that most of the holds used by a wrestler employ the hamstring, leg adductor, and hip flexor muscles to a much greater extent than leg extensor muscles. He believed that the strength of the hamstring muscles also played an important role in the prevention of injury to the knee.

According to STACK Magazine (2005), Gary Calcagno, head strength and conditioning coach for Oklahoma State University, says that lower body strength training is as simple as doing squats, glute ham raises, and lunges.

According to Coach Dave Tate, "We have known for years that the Glute Ham Raise (GHR) was regarded as one the best movements for the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves)."

And, Testosterone Magazine says of glute ham raises, "In addition to building up those hammies, it can also make an athlete virtually invulnerable to hamstring injuries as the movement lengthens the sarcomeres to an unparalleled degree."

You may not have access to a glute ham machine. Doesn’t matter. You can do them without a machine. I’m simply pointing out that current strength coaches realize the importance of strong hamstrings.

According to Coach John Gaglione, "The strength of a wrestler’s posterior chain is extremely important for optimal performance on the mat. Most athletes only focus on the muscles they can see in the mirror; often times neglecting the muscles they can’t see such as the glutes, hamstrings, and low back. This is a HUGE mistake, especially when these muscles play a paramount role in many movements you see in competition."

According to Patrick Dale, "Hip strength is vital in grappling sports such as wrestling and jiujitsu. Throwing your opponent to the ground and escaping from a pin attempt require power in your hip muscles. There are a variety of muscles that cross your hip joints, including the gluteus maximus or butt muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors."

Hip flexion brings the legs forward. Hip flexors are the muscles that bring the torso and leg closer together Think of how you lower your level before shooting a takedown.

Strength and conditioning coach Kevin O’Neill states, "Through my experience working with athletes in a variety of sports I have come to the belief that athletes and coaches do not train the hip flexors for strength gains nearly enough as they should."

He says the stronger the hip flexors, (along with the hamstrings and glutes), the faster the athlete is going to be.

It’s possible (even common) to have hip flexors that are too tight. It’s possible to overdevelop the strength in your hip flexors as well which is undesirable.

Hip extension is extremely important too. Don’t neglect the importance of hip flexion or extension.

Interestingly, Kelly Baggett claims that one of the main differences between average athletes and good athletes can be attributed to the strength, development, and function of the glute musculature. I had no idea the glutes were so important.

The anatomy and physiology stuff can be confusing. I think the main point I’m trying to make is that John Jesse knew the importance that the hamstrings and hips play in wrestling and so do current strength coaches. He knew the effect proper training of those muscles could have on performance and so do current strength coaches.

Anaerobic Endurance

Jesse discusses the fact that during a match a wrestler will engage in many bouts of oxygen debt activity. Therefore, a wrestler requires a high degree of anaerobic metabolism efficiency and resistance to oxygen debt discomfort.

The author discusses the fact that a wrestler needs the capacity to continue at a high level of work in the interval between the "oxygen debt" periods of maximum exertion and still efficiently clear the waste products of the oxygen debt periods that produce fatigue in the muscles.

Have you ever seen your strength or speed drop in the third period because your muscles were burning with fatigue? It’s difficult to shoot a powerful takedown in the third period if you’re feeling fatigued.

The author discusses how a great capillary structure aids a runner in his efforts to clear waste products from his lower body. However, running cannot help a wrestler to develop endurance in the other muscles of his body such as the muscles of the back, chest, arms, and shoulders. A different form of training is required for that.

Jesse states, “Strength endurance training programs develop the wrestler’s ability to tolerate “oxygen debt” (anaerobic endurance) and vastly improve the all-important psychological quality that is called the “will-to-win.”

It’s interesting to note that strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove has a similar view. He states, "Some conditioning coaches use sprint training as their sole method of energy system development (ESD). This is at best a short-sighted approach. It is not uncommon to see well-conditioned fighters who have used sprint based ESD fatigue rapidly in hard matches. This is because although their cardio system is well-conditioned, the effect of lactic acid on their localized muscle groups is devastating. If we do not condition the muscle groups themselves to handle high levels of lactate, the cardio system will feel fine, but that area will lock up and shut down."

Cosgrove recommends using barbell complexes. Barbell complexes involve doing a series of exercises one after the other without putting the bar down. Complexes may help condition your body to handle the high levels of lactate that will be produced during a wrestling match.

In their article The Physiological Basis of Wrestling: Implications for Conditioning Programs, Kraemer et al. (2004) state, "As a combative sport, wrestling imposes unique stresses on the body. From a metabolic perspective, the acid-base balance is severely disrupted. For example, a college or freestyle match lasts between 6 and 8 minutes (including overtime) and can elevate blood lactate concentrations in excess of 15 mmol/L and sometimes reach nearly 20 mmol/L."

In other words, a wrestling match can produce a lot of lactate. This disruption can cause fatigue. So, how can a wrestler train to tolerate this disruption? The authors recommend a circuit training format with brief rest periods. Circuit training is similar to complex training. Interestingly, the authors (much like John Jesse and Alwyn Cosgrove) note, "It is also vital that the upper body is trained in this manner to increase the capability of upper-body musculature to directly adapt to the dramatic acid-base shifts that occur with wrestling."

You may want to research anaerobic threshold training, lactate threshold training, complexes, and circuit training.

Interval Training

You may be aware that interval training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage right now. The Tabata protocol is especially popular. Interval training involves alternating between bouts of high-intensity work and recovery periods of lower intensity work.

For instance, instead of running at a slow steady pace for 24 minutes a person may run hard for 2 minutes and jog for 4 minutes (6 minutes total) and repeat this protocol 4 times (a total of 24 minutes). Both workouts are 24 minutes in length, but the second workout may elicit a different training response. Or, a person may perform several 30 second sprints with each sprint followed by a recovery period and then run perhaps 10 sprints total.

The high intensity nature of the training is supposed to burn more fat, enhance one’s lactate threshold, and promote greater cardiovascular benefit than traditional slow, steady-state cardiovascular work. An athlete’s work to rest ratio could be 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and other combinations.

Did John Jesse know about interval work? Yes! Regarding interval work training Jesse writes, “This is physical work or activity of a given intensity, interspersed with pauses.” Further, he adds, “The steady work uptake and the repeated slowing down or stoppages of work (jogging, walking, lying down, etc.) stimulates the organism to much higher physiological adaptations, thereby forcing the organism to its optimal development, endurance wise.”

Of course, even in 1974 when Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published interval training was nothing new. Interval training was first developed by German physiologists Reindell and Gerschler in the 1930s. Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes, used interval training.

The point is that John Jesse knew the benefits that this type of training could offer to athletes including wrestlers. He knew that it had many advantages over continuous steady-state types of training.


John discusses the fact that sandbags are awkward to handle. That is one of the main reasons that strength and conditioning coaches advocate sandbag training.

According to strength coach Brian Jones, "During a sandbag rep or set the load may shift substantially from one side to the other, sag in the middle, or otherwise try to escape your grasp. Such shifting forces your core and stabilizers to work overtime in an attempt to get the weight back under control. You will be forced to work considerably harder to control a given load."

John Jesse also believed that sandbag training mimicked the lifting and pulling movements encountered in wrestling. Also, he believed that sandbag training was good for developing rotational strength and power.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist Mark Roozen states, "Using sandbags in a training program can help develop power, quickness, agility, and conditioning components. This can all be accomplished with a piece of equipment that can simulate contact, throws, and be utilized in ways that solid resistance equipment could not be used."

Sandbags are becoming a very popular training tool. You can find many articles online about sandbag training.

Calisthenics and Running Combined

Jesse writes, “Athletic coaches in all sports use combined programs of running, calisthenics, rope skipping, stadium steps running, etc., for the development of strength, muscular and circulo-respiratory endurance and agility.”

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Mahler likes the benefits that can be derived from "roadwork." He states, "Here is how it works, go out for a jog and every 50 yards or so, drop down and do some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Crank out 25 reps and then get up immediately and start jogging again. After another 50 yards or so, drop down again and crank out some more bodyweight drills. This is an efficient way to build up cardio and muscular endurance that will carry over to the ring."

For anaerobic endurance training Mike Fry suggests visiting your local football field. He writes, "Starting at the goal line, sprint to the 10 yd line and walk back to the goal line and do 10 push-ups, continue by increasing your sprint by 10 yds each time and walking back to the goal line. Do pushups after each return to the goal line." Make sure to do a warm up before and a cool down afterwards.

Legendary wrestler and former Iowa Hawkeye coach Dan Gable used to enjoy utilizing the stadium steps of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to condition his wrestlers. Walking up those steps with a buddy on your back could be especially grueling.

Drilling and Technique

Jesse emphasizes the importance of “improving skill (technique, use of leverage, etc.) to eliminate unnecessary movements that waste energy and use up oxygen.”

Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland writes very similar words. He states, "It is always best to include skill practice before resistance or endurance training. The goal of skill training is not to just practice… it is to get better! It amazes me how often this simple principle is overlooked. It is my experience that people don’t really understand how to practice to make improvements, at least not beyond a basic level of skill. Skill practice is analyzing every single aspect of every movement you make and finding more efficiency, better leverage, etc."

If one desires to use sparring as a method of developing endurance for mixed martial arts, strength coach Charles Poliquin suggests, "The best way would be to pair up with 5 other fighters that each take turns to fight you. Since they are fresh, they will give you a run for your money. Depending on the system you want to develop you would manipulate the work /rest interval. For example 6-10 minutes work on fighter 1, 2 minutes off, 6-10 minutes work on fighter 2, 2 minutes off, etc. The permutations of that type of work are staggering. Twice a week should be plenty. What is good about it is that you will be forced to make decisions in conditions of fatigue, which is a determinant in MMA fighting."

Interestingly, in Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, the author writes of a wrestling drill for building endurance that is a bit similar to the MMA routine above. He writes, "Wrestler remains on mat and wrestles for 9 minutes against a fresh opponent each minute, with 10-second rest intervals."

Cycling Work and Rest

Even though year-round training is encouraged, one is not expected to train with the same volume and intensity year-round. Jesse recognizes the need for varying volume and intensity in the training plan. Some days will be low intensity, some medium, and others high. Some days may involve total rest.

According to Dr. Owen Anderson, "Any periodization scheme must begin with one basic element – rest. This is intuitively and logically obvious: the human body simply needs ‘down’ (restoration) periods to recover from extended periods of stress; you must convalesce from the training you carried out in your just-completed mesocycle or macrocycle."

Proper Weight Reduction

John Jesse warns the reader about the dangers and foolishness of crash starvation diets and dehydration. He recognized that crash starvation diets can have devastating effects on a wrestler’s performance. He suggests that it’s better not to diet unless you actually have weight to lose. Many wrestlers are already lean to begin with and then starve and dehydrate themselves to make weight.

Professor William Kraemer points out that a wrestler will not be functioning optimally physiologically if he engages in dehydration practices for the purpose of weight reduction.

He also notes, "Adopting different weight-loss strategies that stabilize muscle mass and body mass to prepare for a match appears to be the best way to eliminate physiological breakdown and allow the wrestler to perform at a higher level of physiological readiness."

Improper weight loss techniques can be detrimental to a wrestler’s conditioning and to his performance in competition.

Craig Horswill, PhD suggests some possible options regarding weight loss in wrestlers. Describing one of these options, he writes, "Lift weights and grow into the weight class. Be stronger at the end of the season. How many wrestlers start strong but fade in the tournaments because they are burned out after weight cutting has taken its toll? If a wrestler can grow into the weight class to the point that he needs to begin cutting weight only by the end of the season, he spares himself three months of nutritional deprivation and improves his chances of not becoming over trained. He is fresh when it really counts."

Interestingly, John Jesse mentioned that some wrestling coaches had achieved success by letting wrestlers stay at their natural weight or perhaps even gain weight during the season.


Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia also covers topics such as flexibility, injury prevention, circuit training, gymnastic apparatus exercises, isometrics, proper nutrition, and more.

In his article Seven Keys to Athletic Success, strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove discusses concepts of physical training such as the importance of strength, explosive power, endurance, flexibility, injury prevention, and core training.

John Jesse addressed all of those concepts in his book in 1974. You may want to borrow a copy of this book or buy it online. I think you’d learn a lot and enjoy reading it. If you don’t read the book it’s no big deal. The important thing is that John Jesse knew that proper training for wrestling based on science as well as years of experience had the potential to dramatically improve a wrestler’s performance.

The main reason I wrote this article is because I believe that John Jesse and his book deserve to be recognized and remembered.

But, as I said, you don’t need to read his book. So much incredible information regarding the training for wrestling and other combative sports can be found in books, magazines and journals, and online. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is out there. Take advantage of science and let it help you become the best wrestler that you can be.

Acne Can Be Defeated Naturally

Unfortunately, the so-called treatments available over-the-counter or even by prescription only seem to work on the external surface aspect and never really address the root cause. Whether you try the inexpensive creams, ointments, astringents or you use a much more potent prescription medication, they only manage to keep the oily condition at bay for a short period of time.

The real shame is that neither the medical establishment nor the pharmaceutical industry are really interested in finding a cure for root causes of acne. That is because it is not in their best interest to do so because there are million and millions of dollars to be made from just treating the symptoms.

Some facts about acne

Though the facial area is the most typical place to find acne, you can also find it on back, chest, and shoulders. There are actually numerous types of acne that can afflict the body and the following are some examples:

acne vulgaris

acne conglobata

acne rosacea

acne fulminans







Treating the root cause, what a novel concept

As with just about all chronic diseases that afflict the human body, the typical treatment for acne involves using some form medication or cream designed to treat only the visual surface or symptoms.

This is because it is big business for the companies that make stuff and the doctors and practitioners that prescribe the stuff. So what are your options, continue to follow the lead of the doctors and throw away your hard earned money on remedies that are not really designed to make the acne disappear permanently or find the ones that would offer the permanent cure.

The Acne Cure through a Holistic Approach

Now that we discussed the wrong approach to solving the long standing problem that plagues many people, let’s take a look at the much more logical way to finding the answers.

It has been discovered that much of what we see on the outside of our bodies is the direct result of what is going on or better yet going wrong inside our bodies. Therefore, to find the best solution to the agonizing results of acne like, severe breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads and reddening of the skin, is to find and treat the imbalance within your body.

By using a non-chemical or drug treatment to restore the balance inside you will result in a much more pleasing result on the outside. To find the holistic approach to curing acne.

Excessive Fatigue May Be a Sign of Candida Syndrome – Candida Symptoms Explored

Excessive fatigue or fatigue that is unexplainable may be a sign of Candida Syndrome, a common condition that often goes undiagnosed in the United States. Candida Syndrome occurs with the balance of they yeast Candida Albicans is upset by an incorrect balance of bacteria in the body, causing the yeast organism to proliferate and take over healthy microorganisms. Normal amounts of Candida Albicans live in harmony with a variety of microorganisms in our bodies, but once this hardy organism proliferates it can cause a variety of problems including excessive fatigue.

Candida Symptoms

Candida often goes undiagnosed and Americans suffer with Candida Syndrome sometimes for years being told that the symptoms are all in their heads. Some common Candida Symptoms are:

Cravings for sweets Inability to think or concentrate Hyperactivity Mood swings Diarrhea Constipation Itching Vaginitis Anxiety Excessive fatigue Headaches Abdominal pain or gas Acne Muscle weakness Irritability Learning difficulties Thrush Athletes foot Earaches Low sex drive Persistent cough Sore throat Acid reflux Chronic pain

In addition to these Candida symptoms, Candida Syndrome may lead to almost any chronic illness you can think of. Alcoholism, anxiety disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, clinical depression, lupus, migraines and more can all be linked back to Candida Syndrome.

Preventing or Reducing Candida Symptoms

Nutritionists recommend taking acidophilus on a daily basis to defend against yeast overgrowth, especially if you’re on antibiotics because antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria present in your body which keeps Candida Albicans in check. Another trick to reducing your risk for Candida Syndrome is to eliminate sugars and refined foods in your diet. Some nutritionists even recommend eliminated fruits and high carbohydrate foods from your diet. Choose instead to eat healthy alternatives such as brown rice or potatoes, vegetables and yogurt, meat and eggs. Adding oxygen based products into your diet such as oregano, grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver are also known to help reduce Candida symptoms. Supplements such as Protandim that help to remove free radicals that cause oxidative stress may also help reduce Candida symptoms because it increases dietary intake of antioxidants.

When Excessive Fatigue Isn’t From Candida Syndrome

Although Candida Syndrome is a common cause of fatigue, it’s certainly not the only cause. Excessive fatigue can be caused by a number of factors including, stress, anxiety, lack of exercise, poor diet, and oxidative stress caused by free radicals in your body. The most effective way to eliminate oxidative stress is to combat it with antioxidants. To counteract oxidative stress, the body already produces antioxidants to defend itself. It’s the job of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that can harm our cells. Poor diet, smoking and pollution can all reduce the amount of antioxidants your body can produce.

However, your body’s internal production of antioxidants is not enough to neutralize all the free radicals and it is wise to increase your dietary intake of antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in many foods including blueberries, pomagranants, black and green teas, citrus fruits, carrots and tomatoes. Studies have shown that people who eat foods high in antioxidants are less likely to get cancer, heart disease and stroke. Plus, if you have enough antioxidants in your body to neutralize free radicals you’ll suffer less from excessive fatigue, mood swings and anxiety.

Unfortunately, eating antioxidant foods doesn’t always introduce enough antioxidants into our bodies to fully combat free radicals, and the number of Americans who claim that fatigue plagues them is increasing to alarming rates. There are also a variety of supplements that can be taken which decrease oxidative stress, such as Protandim, which triggers the creation of enzymes to eliminate over a million free radical molecules in your body per second. Protandim is more effective than foods like blueberries because it reduces anti-oxidative stress at a much faster rate than foods can.

Are Eating Disorders Related to Bad Habits (part 1)?

Eating disorders are characterized by an abnormal obsession with food and weight. Eating disorders are much more noticed in women than in men due to the fact that men often don’t seek help.

We believe, that for most people, a link exists between habits formed long ago and eating disorders.

An eating disorder is a complex compulsion to eat in a way which disturbs physical, mental, and psychological health. The eating may be excessive (compulsive over-eating); to limited (restricting); may include normal eating punctuated with episodes of purging; may include cycles of binging and purging; or may encompass the ingesting of non-foods.

Being overweight is generally caused by the intake of more calories (by eating) than are expended by the body (by exercise and everyday living). Factors which may contribute to this imbalance include:

* Limited exercise and sedentary lifestyle * Overeating * Genetic predisposition * A high glycemic index diet (i.e. a diet that consists of meals that give high postprandial blood sugar) * Hormone imbalances (e.g. hypothyroidism) * Metabolic disorders, which could be caused by repeated attempts to lose weight by weight cycling * An eating disorder (such as binge eating disorder) * Stress * Insufficient sleep * Psychotropic medications * Smoking cessation

The amount of body fat is regulated to some extent subconsciously by the brain (by controlling caloric intake through appetite and food preferences). Although the exact mechanisms by which this occurs are not entirely known, one common theory suggests that each person may possess an inherent “set point” weight which the brain attempts to maintain, and that this set point may vary for each individual depending on a variety of factors including genetic predisposition, environment, and past experience. A habit link from the past can trigger this set point.

This leads to the conclusion that some individuals may be predisposed to naturally maintaining different body weights than others, and thus it may be easier for some people to avoid being overweight, while others may find it much more difficult. It also suggests, however, that an individual’s set point may be changeable with appropriate environment and conditioning.


A large number of people undergo some form of treatment to attempt to reduce their weight, usually either in an attempt to improve their health, to improve their lifestyle, or for cosmetic reasons. The generally recommended treatment for being overweight is a modified or controlled diet in conjunction with increased exercise. For those who are obese rather than overweight, more intensive therapies such as drugs or surgery are sometimes used.

Studies suggest that reducing calorie intake by itself (dieting) may have short-term effects but does not lead to long-term weight loss, and can often result in gaining back all of the lost weight and more in the longer term. For this reason, it is generally recommended that weight-loss diets not be attempted on their own but instead in combination with increased exercise and long-term planning and weight management.

Moreover, for all individuals, repeatedly losing weight and then gaining it back (“yo-yo dieting”), is believed to do more harm than good and can be the cause of significant additional health problems.

Is there a underlining issue that may work better than dieting for eating disorders?

Definition: Habit – Noun – Singular

1. an action done on a regular basis.

Example: It’s become a habit of mine to have a cup of coffee after dinner.

Let’s take the above example. Many years ago, we started a habit of drinking coffee after dinner. It was a time to relax and talk about the day. Unfortunately, the coffee must have 2 teaspoons of sugar for our tastes. If we wanted 2 cups of coffee that became 4 teaspoons. Every night, day after day, week after week the sugar and calories added up.

Another example was our lunch time at work. The sub sandwich shops figured out years ago that to increase the revenue per customer, a combo meal made a great “up sell”. Unfortunately, the combo meal usually included a large selection of chips. High in fat and questionable nutrition value, chips have become a habit in our eating styles.

How many of you also stop at the local coffee store on the way into work for calorie loaded coffee and maybe a muffin to make you feel full going to work?

Each of these examples OVER TIME becomes a habit. The habit makes your brain crave the food/drink/mood when you stop or alter the routine. We now know that good habits can replace bad habits if the desire is truly there.

Our next article will talk about what steps you must take to change the habits creating a chaotic eating disorder.

copyright by Keith Crovatt