Skin Brushing

On August 17, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

It is lovely to see the days getting longer with more sunshine and daylight; it certainly feels as if the dark days of winter are behind us. Now is a good time to start preparing your skin for spring and summer. One of the best ways to improve the condition of the skin on your body is dry skin brushing. Not only does dry skin brushing improve the condition of the skin by whisking away dead skin cells, it stimulates lymphatic drainage and the elimination of as much as one third of body wastes. Complaints such as arthritis, cellulite, high blood pressure and even depression have been linked to poor lymphatic drainage.

You will need a purpose designed natural bristle brush with a long handle so you can reach your back. The brush must always be used dry but cleaned in warm soapy water (with a few drops of tea-tree added) every two weeks.

Brush the body daily before you morning bath or shower. It is a good idea to take a week’s break every month as skin brushing, like many natural detoxification techniques, is more effective if the body does not become too accustomed to it.

To brush the skin, make gentle sweeping upward movements. Don’t apply too much pressure as you will scratch the skin, you will find that you will be able to gradually increase the pressure used over time, but this shouldn’t hurt so ease off on the pressure if it does. Begin with your feet (including the soles) and sweep upwards and move up the legs covering the front and back, sweep out across the buttocks and up the back. . Brush the hands; work up the arms, across the shoulders, down the chest and down the back. Finally brush the abdomen using a clockwise circular motion, following the colon. Always work towards the heart and bring toxins towards the colon.

The skin on the face is too sensitive for body brush treatment, but there are softer varieties of facial brush / exfoliating pads that are suitable for the face.

Skin brushing need take no longer than a few minutes and is easily done while you are waiting for the shower to heat up or the bath to fill. After the bath or shower apply you r favorite essential oil blend to damp skin to nourish.

Skin brushing is safe for almost everyone, do not skin brush over infected or broken skin, i.e. eczema or psoriasis. Also avoid any areas where you have severe varicose veins.

If, during the first week of skin brushing, you break out in pimples here and there, do not be put off. This indicates that your body is throwing off toxins and eliminating these through your skin. After a week or two your skin will look and feel healthy and glow!

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About Cognitive Decline

On August 15, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

The Cache County Study confirms previous observational studies, and accurately predicts the results of WHIMS when the age of HT initiation is comparable. This becomes a critical issue in reconciling the results of WHIMS with other observational studies in which the larger and more recent studies consistently demonstrate a reduction in the risk of AD or dementia by 30% to 80%. To simply dismiss these studies as being flawed by selection biases inherent in observational studies is nai”ve, and impedes the advancement of our understanding of the complexity of hormone action on the brain.

In typical observational studies, the majority of women would have initiated HT at the time of the menopause; relatively few would have initiated HT after the age of 65 years. However, the inclusion of both past and current users underestimates the magnitude of the effect of past use, as illustrated in the Cache County Study. In two studies that excluded past users, HT was found not to reduce the risk of dementia. There is a growing appreciation for the concept of a relatively limited window of opportunity for HT to significantly affect both the age-related decline in cognitive function and the progression and expression of AD. This concept has been ably articulated in recent reviews. Women with past but not current use of HT experienced a slowing of their rate of decline in cognitive function when assessed in their 70s. This difference cannot be explained by the duration of exposure to HT. Duration of use in past users was 5.2 years, one-third the duration of current users. However, past users initiated HT at an average age of 49 years, whereas current users initiated HT at an average age of 52 years. Thus, past users were more likely to have initiated HT at the time of the menopause, 20 to 30 years before the assessment of their rate of cognitive decline. A similar phenomenon is suggested by the study of Tang in which women who had used HT for less than 1 year appeared to have a 40% reduction in their risk of dementia at age 85 years. The authors note that most of these women had initiated HT at the time of the menopause.

The results of WHIMS provide some insight as to potential mechanism for these adverse effects on the expression of AD and dementia. Reminiscent of the effects of HT on cardiovascular disease, the incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the precursor to dementia, peaked in the 2nd year of follow-up and then declined so that the incidence of MCI was greater in the placebo group in the 4th and 5th year of follow-up. The incidence of dementia peaked later but also declined in the 5th year in women on HT relative to women on placebo. This pattern suggests that HT triggers the progression of preclinical dementia to dementia in a relatively small, vulnerable population of women. In AD, the pathologic process is believed to be evident in the brain at least 5 to 10 years prior to the clinical manifestations of the disease. Thus, HT could not have initiated the underlying pathology of dementia observed in WHIMS. The exception would be dementia secondary to stroke. Although there was a 31% increase in the relative risk of stroke, exclusion of these few cases did not change the significance of the increase in dementias associated with HT. Furthermore, HT had a significant beneficial effect on cognitive function in women at risk for vascular dementia, consistent with an earlier clinical trial. The decline in the MCI over the last 2 years of observation raises the intriguing possibility that continuing HT may have either a null effect or even a beneficial effect on dementia. In the Cache County Study, more than 10 years of current HT had a null effect on dementia incidence.

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Natural Therapies for Good Health

On August 13, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

Alternative and complementary natural therapies are a great addition to vitamins, minerals and herbs. There are so many other things you can do to improve your health from acupuncture to massage. Implementing the use of these therapies is taking off because people want to avoid going the route of more invasive type procedures.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common natural therapies people are using. Baby boomers are some of the biggest clientele using these therapies.

Acupressure — uses principles based on Chinese medicine. The practitioners apply pressure to the acupoints on your body which produces higher levels of important biochemicals and can increase blood flow in your body tissues. Even though acupressure points can be measured electrically, scientists can’t figure out why it works. Acupressure is typically used for but not limited to stress, back problems, headaches, cold, flu, allergies, respiratory problems, digestive problems, and healing from injuries.

Acupuncture — follows the same type of treatment options as acupressure only it it involves the use of very fine needles. This also is a very old practice used in Chinese medicine even though our culture considers it a “new therapy”.

Biological Dentistry — is removing amalgam (metal) dental fillings or teeth that may contain toxins which are believed to cause systemic diseases and pain. The idea is that replacing the metal fillings with nontoxic compounds will eliminate toxins from the body and increase resistance to disease.

Electromagnetic Therapy — involves the use of energy and magnetism to diagnose or treat disease. Practitioners claim that applying electromagnetic energy outside the body, it can correct imbalances in the body. Treatment is used for ulcers, cancer, headaches, burns, nerve injuries, asthma, arthritis, cerebral palsy, heart disease, chronic pain, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, tumors and more.

Light Therapy — involves the use of ultraviolet light to treat certain conditions. Some conditions light therapy is used for are depression, seasonal affective disorder, psoriasis, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, and reduce bilirubin levels. Some light therapies are Colored Light Therapy, Light Box Therapy, Ultarviolet Light Therapy, UV Blood Irradiation and Photodynamic Therapy.

Massage — involves rubbing, kneading and manipulation of your body’s muscles and soft tissue to promote relaxation and enhance function. Some uses of massage are to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain, stiffness, backaches, headaches, increase flexibility, improve posture and improve sleep.

And so many others!!! To find out more about a specific therapy click on the link below that interests you. It will take you to a site that focuses on that particular therapy in more depth to see if it is right for you and the condition you are dealing with.

Meal Replacement Diets

On August 12, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

Meal replacement diets provide for the body in ways that other diets, especially fad diets, cannot. Meal replacement diets actually provide the nutrients that your body needs while you are losing weight.

Many diets require complicated meal preparation and exercise routines. Often, these can be so difficult to prepare and follow, that the diets end up failing. The all to often unfortunate consequence of this, is that the person taking the diet feels as though they have again failed at losing the weight.

Many times, this feelings of guilt accompany this failure, and while the person should place the blame on the diet, they instead blame themselves. This can add stress and anxiety, which are often very devastating to the results of any diet.

Meal replacement diets often leave you feeling, less hungry, and more energetic than other diets. Meal replacement diets are also much easier to complete than other diets. They do not require hours of preparation, nor do they require you to count every calorie from every meal.

In most cases, meal replacement diets come in a powder, or crystalline form. They generally replace one or two meals per day, and leave you the option of enjoying many of your favorite foods.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a meal replacement diet is the time it saves you. Meal replacement diets are most popular with busy, young professionals who have very little time to spend for food preparation.

When you substitute a meal or two a day with a meal replacement powder serving, you are not only saving yourself the time it takes to prepare your own meal, you are also saving time on going to the grocery store or fast food restaurant.

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Arthritis Remedies

On August 11, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

Millions of people suffer from painful and swollen joints each day. For some, their arthritis is nothing more than a faint, dull ache. But for many people the pain and discomfort they feel gets in the way of their daily life. It stops them from exercising, from doing hobbies and in some of the worse cases it may even force them to give up their job. There are many arthritis remedies available and the key to combating the pain is finding a solution that works for you, as every person is different!

This disease comes in several different forms and each one brings a different set of symptoms. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This affects many people and is often referred to as a wear and tear condition meaning that as we age, our joints take on arthritis as a result of how much we’ve used them. The type of arthritis remedies that work for osteoarthritis vary but in many cases taking a simple anti-inflammatory does the trick. There are also natural arthritis remedies that claim to work wonders and two that have gotten a lot of attention in recent years are Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

Neither of these natural cures will help if you suffer from one of the more serious forms of the disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you are looking for rheumatoid arthritis remedies your first stop should always be a physician. The reason for this is that with this type of condition the effects go well beyond just joint pain and stiffness. In many cases, the arthritis remedies you’ll be prescribed will include medication to help slow the disease.

In addition to what a doctor orders there are other things you can do that will help alleviate the pain and stiffness you are likely to feel. Some of the arthritis remedies that help regardless of which type of the disease you have may include changing your diet and increasing your weekly exercise. There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that avoiding certain foods helps with the symptoms of the disease. Therefore effective arthritis remedies may include limiting your intake of coffee, red meat and shellfish. Each person’s body chemistry is different so you need to chart how you feel after eating certain foods to get a good idea of what does affect you the most.

Exercise is really important for several reasons. The most obvious is because it helps loosen up tight joints. If you suffer from a great deal of pain your exercise arthritis remedies may be a bit more restricted than someone who is much more mobile. There are gentle effective exercises that can help and those include Pilates and yoga. Keeping your body in good shape is without question one of the most important arthritis remedies.

Memory Study and Hormone Therapy

On August 10, 2010, in Health Articles, by admin

Once again, we are confronted with disturbing headlines admonishing women that hormone therapy (HT) should not be used for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. In fact, new reports have suggested that HT may accelerate the decline in cognitive function and double a woman’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Do the results of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) reported by Shumaker and Rapp repudiate decades of basic science, clinical observational studies, and clinical trials that lead us to believe use of HT would slow age-related cognitive decline and significantly reduce a woman’s risk of AD? What are the implications for women considering initiation of HT and for those currently on HT?

At the time that the WHIMS trial began as an ancillary study to the two larger Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) HT trials, observational studies revealed that women with a history of HT use at any time had a reduced risk of AD. These data were supported by some, but not all, observational studies and intervention trials demonstrating that HT exposure was associated with better cognitive function. An extensive body of knowledge developed by neurobiologists in experimental animal models has demonstrated multiple beneficial effects of estrogen on neuronal structure and function, providing a compelling scientific rationale that estrogen therapy would have a beneficial effect on cognitive function and brain aging. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study provided a unique opportunity to determine the effect of HT on brain aging and AD. Of the 27,000 women participating in the HT component of WHI, WHIMS recruited 7,480 non-demented women; 4,532 were randomized to either combination HT (0.625 mg conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate) or placebo daily. The remaining 2,948 women who had undergone a hysterectomy were randomized to an unopposed estrogen arm, 0.625 mg of CEE, of the WHI. Because the primary outcome was the incidence of AD and dementia, recruitment was limited to women over age 65 years in order to achieve sufficient events to detect an effect of HT. Thus, the mean age of the population was slightly over age 70 years when HT was initiated.

The principal finding of the first of the two reports from WHIMS was an increased incidence of dementia in women on HT (45 vs 22 events per 10,000 person-years) resulting in a hazard ratio of 2.05 (95% CI 1.21 – 3.48). Although this outcome would not have been anticipated 10 years ago, it is very consistent with the results obtained from the Cache County Study published in JAMA last year .

In that prospective observational study, men and women with an average age of 73 years were assessed at two points at an interval of 3 years for incident dementia. Ascertainment of AD and other dementias used a similar tiered screening process as in WHIMS. Both studies used a pre-determined cut-point on the modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) to identify participants for additional testing and ultimate evaluation by a physician and laboratory studies. What was unique about the Cache County Study is that past and current users of HT were analyzed separately. The average age of patients currently using HT for less than 10 years was 70 years, and therefore had initiated HT after the age of 60 years. The point estimate for the hazard ratio of incident AD was 2.41 in women who currently used HT for <3 years, and 2.12 in women using HT for 3 to 10 years, remarkably similar to the point estimate of risk of 2.05 observed in WHIMS. On the other hand, past users of HT for <3 years had a 42% reduction in incident dementia, whereas past users of HT for >10 years experienced an 83% reduction in incident dementia.

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