Monthly Archives: February 2014

Health Tips to Avoid Alzheimer’s

The connections between mental and physical health and stress cannot be denied. Studies and research have shown links between stress and various health issues. Some of the health issues linked to stress are reduced blood sugar levels, alterations in your brain’s chemistry, high blood pressure, increased inflammation, immune function and most recently Alzheimer’s.

How Stress is Related to Alzheimer’s
Argentina researchers have recently shown evidence that suggest stress may be a trigger for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers studied two groups of people with similar demographics and found the stresses experienced by the Alzheimer’s group involved:

  • a family member being diagnosed of a chronic / severe illnessf
  • financial problems such as ‘pension shock’
  • car accidents
  • violent experiences
  • bereavementbereavement

How Disease is Caused by Stress
Stress hormones such as cortisol are released by your body when you are experiencing acute stress. These hormones prepare your body to flee or fight the stressful event. Research presented by APS (American Psychosomatic Society) in Miami, Florida found that mulling over a stressful incident is likely to increase your C-reactive protein level which is an inflammation marker in your body. Inflammation is considered to be the hallmark of most diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Health Tips to Reduce Work Related Stress
Studies and research have shown that the leading source of stress in people’s lives is work. A recent survey showed that the five health tips used to reduce work related stress were:

how to deal with stress

  1. Improvement of communication skills
  2. Incorporation of relaxation exercise during a working day
  3. Learning to ignore or handle interruptions
  4. Keeping your work space organized and clean
  5. Addition of personal touches to your work space like live plants, art or photographs

Health Tips To Deal with Stress
healthy livingAs much as you are not able, nor is it advisable, to completely avoid stress in your life, you can provide your body with the tools that compensate for the bioelectrical short-circuiting that occurs when you are anxious. Energy psychology techniques such as EFT (emotional freedom techniques) can help you reprogram how your body reacts to stressors that are unavoidable in everyday life.  This in turn will reduce the chances of you experiencing negative health effects. Crucial release valves that can help you control your stress are many including meditation, getting enough sleep and regular exercise.

Health Tips for Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease
When you have an optimized nutrition plan, you will not only treat and prevent virtually all chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but also maintain a healthy brain and body function. Renowned neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter explained in a recent interview that Alzheimer’s is a disease that is mainly brought about by lifestyle choices. The two main causes are excessive gluten and sugar consumption.

Another major factor that is contributing to Alzheimer’s is the increased consumption and development of GE (genetically engineered) grains. These are currently pervasive in the majority of processed foods sold in the United States. The best way to avoid Alzheimer’s is by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Living Meanshealthy food

  • Avoiding statin and anticholinergic drugs
  • Challenging your mind everyday
  • Consumption of blueberries
  • Avoiding flu vaccinations
  • Exercising often
  • Avoiding aluminum
  • Eating a diet that is rich in folate and nutritious
  • Vitamin B12
  • Keeping your fasting insulin levels below three
  • Safe sun exposure to optimize your Vitamin D levels
  • Increasing your magnesium levels
  • Reducing your calorie consumption
  • Increasing healthful fats consumption. This should include animal based omega 3
  • Gut flora optimization
  • Avoiding casein and gluten (mainly pasteurized dairy and wheat, but not dairy based fat such as butter)
  • Avoiding fructose and sugarexercise for healthy living

Alzheimer's Disease is a debilitating disease and sadly no known cure for this disease has been found.  The treatments available are of little benefit although there has been advancement over the years.  We all can be sure however, that dealing with stress and enjoying healthy living is one of the best ways to prevent it.

 

Acupuncture for Anxiety Disorders

Natural remedies for anxiety are becoming more and more popular.  While traditional Western medicine often favours medication, traditional Chinese medicine TCM) diagnoses the patients’ symptoms differently.  Today TCM claims to cure a number of problems by using a variety of methods.  One such method is acupuncture.  

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one area of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also includes herbs, diet and massage. 

needles are used

Acupressure is a blend of acupuncture and pressure and uses physical pressure applied to acupressure points by the hand, elbow, or with a variety of devices.

acupressure

According to TCM the body has 12 major channels (meridians) of flowing energy which are the life force of existence.  Along these 12 points lie 365 specifically-mapped acupuncture points which lie close to the surface of the skin. Apart from these points, there are over 1,000 other points on the ear, hand and scalp.

While traditional Western medicine often favours medication, TCM diagnoses the patients’ symptoms differently.  Today TCM claims to cure a number of problems. 

Acupuncture focuses on the "seven inquiries".  These include chills and fever; perspiration; appetite, thirst and taste; defecation and urination; pain; sleep; and menses and leukorrhea during pregnancy.

Benefits of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been found to be a most effective treatment for a number of ailments and diseases.  Apart from anxiety and depression, acupuncture can help allergies, angina, asthma, fibromyalgia, headaches (including migraines), high blood pressure, infertility, menopausal symptoms, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, shingles, stroke rehabilitation, tinnitus, and urinary tract infections.  Many types of pain also appear to be helped by acupuncture treatment.

acupuncture benefits

What Would You Expect if You Visit a Practitioner

The acupuncturist observes several areas of the body. Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, colour and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.

Examination of the tongue is among the principal diagnostic methods in TCM. Certain sectors of the tongue's surface are believed to help with diagnosis of diseases. For example, teeth marks on one part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the heart, while teeth marks on another part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the liver.

Practitioners listen for particular sounds such as wheezing, the quality of breathing or the sound of the voice.  They also observe body odour, the smell of the breath.

pulse pointsPulse palpation is also another principal diagnostic method in TCM.  It involves measuring the pulse at a superficial and at a deep level at three locations:  two finger breadths from the wrist crease; one fingerbreadth from the wrist crease; and right at the wrist crease.  It is usually palpated with the index, middle and ring finger of each arm, for 12 pulses.  The pulse is examined for several characteristics including rhythm, strength and volume, and described with qualities like "floating, slippery, bolstering-like, feeble, thready and quick". Each of these qualities can then indicate to the acupuncturist whether there are certain diseases present.  Learning TCM pulse diagnosis can take several years to master.

The acupuncturist also interviews the patient asking questions in order to evaluate a pattern of deficiency or excess contributing to the disease.  He/she also hopes to evaluate the state of health of the body’s internal organs and energy channels.

Once the patient has been diagnosed a number a number of very thin stainless steel needles are inserted along the energy meridians in order to promote the flow of energy and restore balance to the body.

small needles for the faceNeedles generally are made of stainless steel making them more flexible and preventing them from breaking.  A needle is used only once to prevent contamination.  Needles are between 13 to 130 millimetres in length with the shorter needles being used near the face and eyes, while the longer ones are used in the fleshier body areas.  Tubes are often used for the thinner needles for easier insertion.  If the needle tip is too sharp it can easily break, but at the same time, if it is too blunt, it may cause more pain.

Does Acupuncture Only Include Needles?

No, it also includes:

acupuncture - fire cupping glass

  • Suction cups (fire cupping) which draws heat from the body.
  • ‘Guasha’ uses spoons to apply friction to the skin.
  • ‘Tuina’ is a TCM method of attempting to stimulate the flow of energy by bare handed techniques rather than using needles.

electroacupuncture

  • Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture in which needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses which is used to stimulate the points.  This is hardly noticeable by the patient.
  • Sonopuncture or acutonics is a stimulation of the body similar to acupuncture but uses sound and again no needles.
  • Acupuncture point injection is the injection of various substances such as drugs, vitamins or herbal extracts which are injected into the acupuncture points.

moxibustionAcupuncture is often followed by moxibustion, the burning of cone-shaped preparations of mugword on or near the skin, but generally near or on an acupuncture point.  Traditionally acupuncture was used to treat acute conditions, while moxibustion was used for chronic diseases.  

Moxibustion could be direct (the cone was placed directly on the skin and allowed to burn the skin producing a blister and eventually a scar), or indirect (either a cone of mugwort was placed on a slice of garlic, ginger or other vegetable, or a cylinder of mugwort was held above the skin, close enough to either warm or burn it.

A session in the United States can last from 10 to 60 minutes and sometimes needles are left in the ear for up to 3 days.

acupuncture - calm the mind

Today many Western doctors are changing their opinions on the benefits of acupuncture and have found it to be of assistance as an alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments for a number of problems, including anxiety. Because it has so many positive effects on the body with minimal side effects, it is often considered an integrative medicine treatment plan.

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Learn how traditional Chinese medicine is useful for treating anxiety disorders.  Acupuncturists sometimes use a method called the four gates in order to help alleviate stress. Learn more about this and how it can help you by viewing this video.

Panic Attack Meditation Techniques

There are some simple self help tips you can do yourself to combat anxious situations and panic attacks.  Using relaxation and meditation techniques may help you remain calm and control the situation around you so you do not enter into a severe attack. 

meditation techniques

Before you begin:

Identify Your Symptoms

Panic attack self help first starts with identifying your symptoms.  Another term used for identifying your symptoms is ‘triggers’.  These triggers are what make your anxiety level rise and what makes you go into an attack.  It can help to write down the times you have experienced an attack and what happened immediately before it to find out the reason that lead you to that point.

Panic Attack Self Help

Negative thoughts and negative self talk can be worrisome and anxiety provoking.  If you are the type of person that puts yourself down a lot or doesn’t give yourself the benefit of the doubt, you may be causing yourself anxiety.  The worry and depression you may feel feeds on itself and the next thing you know you have built up a situation where you can’t do anything right and you are useless. 

talk to yourselfInstead of beating yourself up, try to talk yourself up.  Tell yourself that things are going well and point out to yourself all of the positives that you have accomplished.  Continue to tell yourself that you are good person and that people love you.  This will make a world of a difference in the way you feel and what you are able to do during the day.

Setup Routines
Get into a routine may seem stressful, but once daily routines are established everything in your home will run much smoother. Stress builds in chaotic environments, so setting guidelines and daily routines for everyone in the family will help reduce stress. When you’re less stressed at home, it’s easier to deal with the stress of the outside world because you know you can escape the world’s chaos when you get home.

Meditation Techniques

Breathe for Relaxation

breathing correctly for panic attackBreathing is the best relaxation technique you can use to calm your mind and body.  When you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth you are letting your body take in the clean oxygen it needs.  It also keeps you breathing rhythmically.  When you become anxious, you may not notice but your breathing will speed up and you will start to take short breathes.  This will make you feel worse and aid in making you feel more anxious.  By slowing your breathing and concentrating on it, you will be able to take a break from the anxiety provoking situation and keep your body in control.

Countdown from 100

Counting down from 100 is another useful self help relaxation technique.  The idea of this is similar to the breathing technique.  By counting down, you will be able to focus on something other than what is causing you fear or worry.

Imagery

close your eyesClosing your eyes and picturing yourself in a faraway place that is peaceful and relaxing can significantly reduce your anxiety, fear and worry that may lead you to an attack.

Yoga for Relaxation –
yoga for relaxation

 

Yoga which has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years combines meditation and physical exercise to achieve improved health and sense of well-being. It involves repeating movements that can help improve strength and flexibility as well as promote mental and physical health and greater self-understanding. The movements are very graceful and have spiritual significance. Paying careful attention to breathing is also part of practicing yoga

 

Not all of these meditation techniques may work for you.  The key is to find out which ones work for you and use them when you need them.  Which ever method you try, do not expect results immediately, but with continued use these techniques can be effective and can significantly reduce you having a panic attack.

 

Panic Attacks and Anxiety can also be cured with the help of Bach Flower Remedies. These Remedies work on the emotional level, removing emotional imbalances such as depression and anxiety.  They are 100% safe with no side effects.

 

View this video showing you some simple yoga positions that everyone can use to cure their anxiety and panic attacks. Check the positions as they show the quickest and most effective solutions out there.