Browsing Posts published in May, 2011

Oh, threats of hell and hopes of paradise!
One thing at least is certain-this life flies;
One thing is certain, and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown forever dies.

~Omar Khayyam, born May 18, 1048 (D. 1131), from the Rubaiyat

Well, the world did not end on May 21 as the latest Christian fundamentalist sect predicted it would. As a result, we all have to slog on, doing what we can to make our way forward, day after day until at last the merciful end of (our) time comes to pass. Oh well.

The “End of Times” business based on vague babbling of Iron Age goat herders taken seriously by mentally deranged cultists makes one wonder: Is the exercise of rationality in America as insufficient as the exercise of major muscle groups? Sadly, I suspect it’s even worse. Among other consequences, the absence of minimal levels of critical thinking by large segments of the population does more to inhibit wellness lifestyles than junk food, smoking, sedentary living, sexual repression, the Republican and stress combined. Given the number and range of opinions I harbor, this is quite an assertion!

Have you any doubt about this assertion of massive irrationality loose in the land? Just in case, a few examples might be of interest.

For starters, the market for weight loss products in this country is $40 billion annually. (Source: Answers.com) Non-prescription pills, dietary supplements and assorted over-the-counter weight loss products alone bring in $782 million. But, just wait till you hear about some of the things people are buying.

Would you believe a soap that washes off fat (Aoqili Defat Seaweed Soap)? Or, how about miracle pills that eliminate excess pounds without dieting or exercise. Would you buy something like that? How about plastic earplugs that diminish appetite? These are commercial hits. My favorite is a shiny ring called “Fat-Be-Gone.” I’m not making this up, as Dave Barry might say. The ring, even though it is only on one finger, is promoted as the easy way to trim hips, buttocks and thighs. If you have any brain cells left, it probably reduces this diminishing bodily resource, as well.

People whose ancestors once sold shares in the Brooklyn Bridge have found new products for new suckers.

Among the characteristics of sales pitches that act as viruses of the mind, anesthetizing brains never used for critical thinking are:

  • Promises of quick and easy solutions.
  • Fantastic claims never mind unaccompanied by a scintilla of evidence.
  • Absence of any suggestions, sometimes found in conventional weight loss regimens, that products require sweat and sacrifice.
  • Even the industry is worried about the ridiculousness of some diet industry claims. A few years ago, the head of the Electronic Retailing Association, was quoted in a New York Times piece: “There are scoundrels and charlatans who are abusing the medium and giving the industry a black eye… are making claims that absolutely challenge credulity.” (“Fraudulent Marketers Capitalize on Demand for Sweat-Free Diets,” October 29, 2000.)

Consumer education programs that make even minimal requests to persuade Americans to reform their lifestyle adjustments are less successful than ever. One reason is the flight from responsibility and toward irrationality. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig suffered business declines of $1 billion plus in recent years. Weight Watchers, with approximately 1.3 million members, generated $1.4 billion in revenue and $177 million in net income in 2009, according to Wikinvest.com. Unfortunately for the diet industry, a weak economy led to a fall of 8.9% in 2009. With or without diet industry products, lifestyle changes are slow to work and hard to maintain.
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There are plenty of business models that depend on citizen poor thinking for their profits. Like Walgreens, for example. Walgreens sells the infamous “Fat-Be-Gone” ring.” You have to wonder: Do salespeople laugh their arses off when someone buys this product? The success of this item by itself hints at a contagion of irrationality amongst Americans. The ring was advertised as so effective that wearing it would have the same effect as “jogging up to six miles a day.” Furthermore, the ads suggested that when worn on the little finger, the ring would slim the thighs; worn on the ring finger-the pounds come off the stomach! And so it went.

Unbelievable but true. Maybe I’ll start a Ripley’s-like “Believe It Or Not” museum devoted to the irrational things Americans believe. Every book by Deepak Chopra would be in my museum, as would the Republican plan to turn Medicare over to the private insurance market.

Speaking of politicians, Congress did the nation a great disservice in 1994 with legislation, promoted by the supplement industry, that directly abetted health fraud. Congress forbade the FDA from regulating product claims, a tool the FDA had used to protect consumers. Before the 1994 legislation, companies had to get FDA approval for ingredients used in over-the- counter weight loss products. Naturally, the FDA expected some evidence (imagine that!), which required the companies to invest in actual studies to show that their pills and potions enabled consumers to do what was promised, such as lose weight. Congress acting on behalf of special interests, eliminated the pre-approval process. This enabled weight loss elixir claims, such as seen with the “fat ring” promotions, to go on the market without evidence of efficacy.

Considering that more than half the population is overweight (and nearly half of these people are obese), bizarre and ineffective weight-loss junk distracts people from serious lifestyle efforts. Given the links between excess weight and heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other illnesses, the problem of irrationality transcends economic damage to life or death consequences.

As always, you can take steps to avoid this nationwide problem; no need to wait for government assistance or other intervention beyond what you can do yourself. Society as a whole may need help, but you can learn to think effectively, look for evidence and build your decision-making skills on your own. Do so in order not to fall for nonsensical product claims for bogus products likely to remain on the market for some time, if not always.

Good luck, enjoy your own creative approaches to wellness and look on the bright side of life. Embrace reason over superstition, exuberance over moderation, athleticism over normalcy and liberty over inhibition.

Acne is a young person’s worst nightmare. The “curse of the zits” is there for the whole world to see. The fact that the most young people get them at some stage and will eventually grow out of them, is little consolation. So, the search for acne treatments that work is the number one concern of thousands of youngsters, whose looks are so important to them. Every day, those acne sufferers are bombarded with images of people with gloriously smooth, healthy skin and that only adds to their desperate need to find that “magic” acne cure. Consequently, the pharmaceutical companies that churn out those acne creams and lotions in vast quantities make huge profits.

So, the question that most acne sufferers ask, is where can they find that cure which will provide the relief that they long for so much. In the meantime they spend a small fortune in their search. Unfortunately for most of them, they are looking in the wrong place.

The fact that acne is a skin complaint is quite true, hence the popularity of those creams and lotions which it is claimed will clear up the problem. But this is just not possible. Acne is a condition which appears as a skin complaint but is actually caused by internal factors. This is why conventional treatments will never cure the problem but only treat it temporarily. Fortunately, you can cure those horrible zits. However, to do so, you do need to understand what causes them and then treat those causes. Simply treating the symptoms is not enough; you must deal with all the factors that are causing those symptoms to occur. The factors that cause acne can be hormonal, nutritional, chemical, psychological and environmental, so a one dimensional approach, such as taking antibiotics or applying a cream will never work. So, forget about the “magic bullet”, it does not exist. Now, having established that there numerous factors that are causing those zits, you need to take action and set about dealing effectively with all of them. Acne treatments that work, must take a holistic approach to treating the problem and will combine such remedies as:-

  • correcting a hormonal imbalance
  • modifying your diet and lifestyle
  • internal cleansing and detoxification
  • dealing with stress and other emotional problems
  • avoiding allergy triggers

… and more. The good news is that a great deal of research has gone in to solving your problem and this has resulted in the development of several holistic programs of treatment that have produced permanent relief for thousands of former sufferers. With the right guidance, you firstly establish what is causing your particular form of acne and then set about dealing with it, as a whole, with a combination of remedies such as those listed above. It will not be an overnight cure and it will require effort on your part. However, you will see results quite quickly and this will give you the encouragement to continue. So, do some investigation on-line you will be delighted to find that there are acne treatments that work and will work for you, if you choose carefully and follow the right guidance. Yes, you will finally be able to say goodbye to those zits for good.

Depending on the frequency of systems, asthma is thus diagnosed.

So, if you have about:

  • two per week, then that is considered intermittent asthma,
  • more than two per week is considered mild persistent,
  • daily asthma is moderately persistent,
  • severe persistent asthma is when it affects you all day.

Many factors can cause and exacerbate asthma, such as in bronchial asthma, it is exercise induced and an inflammatory disorder that causes much coughing and trouble breathing.

Usually, asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways that cause all of the nearby muscles to become very tight and swelling the air passage lining. Thus, the amount of air that can travel through is severely limited and breathing becomes highly difficult. For many other people, there are so many other things that can set off and trigger asthma, such as animals and their pet hair, like cats, and dogs, and rats, and other kinds of animals with hair that sheds, even horses and sometimes birds. Dust in the air or on shelves or floating outside or in a musty room can really make asthma worse, as well as weather changes, like the air turning very cold can trigger asthma too and make it hard to breathe.

Chemicals that are in the air such as gasoline or pollution, other toxins released, or even chemicals present in food and beverages can make asthma much worse as well. As mentioned, exercise can have that effect, too, and so can mold left on moldy bread or in the walls or in a damp place, or pollen released from flowers or found in gardens, can have an effect on inducing an attack. If the person already has an infection there, like a cold, asthma will be thus more triggered and the smoke of passing cigarette smokers and exhaust from cars can also cause it. And finally, things like stress, anger, sadness, or any other extremity of an emotion can also trigger it. In fact, in some patients, some aspirins and other drugs can also have an effect.

Most patients have some symptoms that are not too terrible, such as shortness of breath, some wheezing that comes once in a while and usually goes away on its own, or is triggered by heartburn or exercise. These symptoms are not too dangerous and can still be handled functionally. But, there are some emergent symptoms that require immediate help, such as the lips and face turning a bluish color, some really difficult time breathing, extreme sweating, a rapid pulse, and some extreme anxiety, as well. In these cases a hospital visit might be needed as the person will be gasping for air. An inhaler is needed in these cases, too, to help the person breathe.

Basically, asthma is treated when the causes are determined. A doctor will perform tests to see what things affect the patient the most, whether it be bugs, pollen, or a variety of other things, determined through blood tests and x-rays, and then those things will be avoided and there will be drugs administered to help with daily symptoms.

The kidney is the organ of birth, death, and reproduction. It provides our basic essence of health-whether we are born healthy and meant to live a long, disease-free life, or we are born to a host of illnesses, all depends on the kidney. This organ is responsible for bone, teeth, and development, so people born with spinal or congenital issues are said to have weak kidney energy.

The kidney is also the organ that gives us our reservoir of the energy that gets us through the day.

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  • If the kidney is weak, the patient will feel fatigued, even after a full night’s rest.
  • If the kidney energy is strong, the patient will be strong and full of vitality.

As the kidney essence declines throughout life, symptoms become more pronounced;that’s why we start feeling less energetic as we get older. Due to its link with bone, declining kidney energy also leads to low back, knee, and ankle pain. Since the kidney rules the process of aging, you can lay the blame for that bald spot here. Lost teeth, missing hair, and premature graying are all due to the kidney. Hearing loss is also a sign of declining kidney energy.

Long-lasting, chronic issues are connected to the kidney. If someone has an issue that has been going on for years, such as degenerative disks or osteoporosis, it is linked to this organ. It also has a lot to do with reproduction, so if the energy is weak, the patient will have difficulty conceiving or be prone to frequent miscarriages (although both issues can stem from imbalances in other organ systems as well.)

  • For the males, weak kidneys can lead to impotence, premature ejaculation, or a diminished sex drive. Excess Yang energy of the kidney can have the opposite effect, leading to an unhealthy and excessive desire for sex.
  • In the case of females, the loss of kidney energy becomes more marked during menopause, when the lack of Yin brings on the end of the period, and of the ability to conceive.

Two distinct signs that the kidneys are out of balance are tinnitus and cock’s crow diarrhea. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) that is low-pitched is related to the kidney, while hearing a high-pitched sound points to an imbalance of the Liver. Cock’s crow diarrhea is diarrhea that is only experienced early in the morning. This is a sign that the energy of the kidney is not working with the spleen to assist in assimilation and absorption of food.

With our daily busy schedules and many other demanding commitments to follow in life, proper sleep has been conveniently pushed to the back. Sleeping is of paramount importance in one’s schedule, sound sleep at night works wonders to rejuvenate our body and mind and meet the day’s challenges with increased vigor. However, it is essential that you select good beds and mattresses as they have a tremendous impact on the quality of your sleep. Lumpy or uncomfortable mattresses can affect your sleep making you grumpy and lethargic in the morning. Productivity goes for a toss, and the person is irritable the whole day. Prolonged sleep problems can fester into lifestyle diseases.

With the advent of modern technology, it is now very easy to find mattresses that guarantee sleep like that of a baby. Talk about refreshing sleep! Silentnight Mattress is one of the popular manufacturers that are known to give you comfortable and peaceful sleep. However, you may find that these mattresses are as the simple and ordinary like any other brands you see. But, they are certainly a cut above the rest.

Silentnight Mattresses help your body relax so that each night you get a soothing experience. If you do not give your body rest, it will definitely show drastic effects later on. Each day, we come home tired and crave for an inviting mattress to have dreamless sleep so that we are recharged for the next day. A troubled sleep pattern can probably gnaw at your stamina and energy levels. It may also cause anxiety and stress in life. These mattresses work efficiently to ensure strong mental, physical, and emotional health.

We find many people complaining about back pain. The main cause of this can be attributed to a flawed mattress. Too soft or too firm mattresses can also cause discomfort as they provide abnormal levels of pressure to certain areas of your back. Therefore, you should select a mattress that is designed for comfort. Silentnight mattresses are perfect to make sure your body is not subjected to stress and you sleep peacefully.

Latex Sprung Edge Divan beds will ensure tranquil sleep. It comes with a unique miracoil spring system that promotes firmer and better support when sleeping. Also, it comes with a layer of foam that easily adjusts according to the contours of the sleeping person. In addition, it also gives you storage options-added advantage.

To summarize, Silentnight mattresses offer people a comfortable option. These mattresses are certainly worth every penny of yours. Good sleep is the doorway for a happy, healthier life. If you crave for this soothing experience, avail the benefit of the Internet. There are many service providers here to make online shopping simpler and fun. These sites have catalogs from where you can select the bed and mattress of your preference. They come in array of shapes, sizes, and makes. Some research will help you get an excellent deal. So, log on to the relevant site, and avail the benefits now.

As hypertension sufferers, we are familiar with that sudden high blood pressure rush to the head causing dizziness and disorientation for a short while. This event is often associated with some everyday activities. Making small changes to how we do these things will greatly reduce the risk of having a head rush and avoid some potentially serious consequences.

Risks associated with a high blood pressure rush to the head

Hypertension sufferers are at risk from two main problems associated with a rush of blood to the head:

Disorientation and dizziness: We may not know where we are or unsure of which way to go, especially if we are in unfamiliar surroundings.Our coordination may also be disturbed. The sudden need to grab a chair,or table or someone or something to stop us falling down causes concern to the people around us for our overall health. They may even call a paramedic.
Causing injury to yourself: With a sudden change in our blood pressure comes the risk of injuring ourselves if we become faint and fall down.

Injury may be caused by:

  • Hitting a hard object, such as a table or chair, as we collapse onto the floor. If we do, we might suffer some cuts and painful bruising, but there is also the risk of a serious head injury;
  • Injury can also be caused by landing heavily on a hard surface, either indoors or outdoors. Such injuries can include broken bones and an increased risk of suffering a head injury. Elderly people are at risk of breaking their hip, which can have serious consequences for them.

How to avoid a high blood pressure rush to the head

These events are often associated with some everyday activities that involve a sudden change in our position from reclining or sitting to standing as well as bending down quickly.

Modifying how we make these movements, as described below, will greatly reduce the chances of us having an episode and thereby reduce the risk of us injuring ourselves.

# 1. Getting out of bed

  • Avoid leaping out of bed in the morning. Take a bit of time doing it.
  • Lay in bed for a minute or so after waking up.
  • Then sit up and slowly put your feet on the floor. Sit on the edge of the bed for a few moments. This allows time for your body to get used to the change in blood flow.
  • Stay by the side of the bed when you stand up. Sit down again if your feel dizzy or faint.
  • If you feel no ill-effects after standing for 10 to 15 seconds, you can start walking.

# 2. Getting up from a chair

  • When getting up from a seated position, we move our centre of gravity forwards. This makes our head move forward and lower toward your knees.
  • It increases our blood pressure as we bend over and gravity lowers it suddenly as we stand up.
  • Pause before standing up.
  • When you do stand up, stand up straight and do not lean forward. If the chair has armrests, use them to lever yourself up.

# 3. Bending down

We experience a sudden change in blood pressure and rush to the head when we bend down suddenly.
Other than when we have to take urgent evasive action, it is best not to bend from the waist, but to bend our knees.

Regardless of your body position, try to break up your movements with a slight rest before standing up. These short pauses will help prevent you from having a high blood pressure rush to the head.

STILL can’t get that nicotine monkey off your back? I bet it’s getting heavier and heavier. The main reason why smoking is such a difficult habit to kick off is that nicotine is addictive – crave and crave for more.

The human body has natural nicotine transmitters and nicotinic receptors. Nicotine is a stimulant which makes you feel good, keeps you alert, and makes you perform better. Research has proved that the more nicotine you take in, the number of nicotinic receptors also increases. These nicotinic receptors need to be fed or filled up every couple of hours or so. Hungry nicotine receptors tell your body that you need to take in more nicotine thus, in effect, unconsciously reminding you to light another cigarette. This cycle will go on forever, unless you starve those nicotine receptors making them non-functional. Now that’s the difficult part.

Starving those nicotinic receptors have driven people off the cliff! Well, at least for the most part, not literally. The only way to prevent that undesirable effect is to, yes you guessed it, light another cigarette. Believe me, these nicotinic receptors breed like rabbits, and yes, the effect on your smoking habit is proportional to the number of nicotinic receptors present.

Several products are available in the market to help you kick off that nasty habit of smoking, primarily to protect you from the harmful effects, primarily lung cancer, of the contents in cigarette smoke. These products contain nicotine as well, to feed those hungry receptors, and satisfy your craving for cigarettes but not for nicotine.

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So, how do you quit? Medical experts would agree that the best cure is prevention. Don’t start, or at least influence people around you, especially your kids, not to start. This takes more effort than losing those excess weight around your belly. Quitting the habit of smoking is not impossible. Taking drugs to help you quit is one option but make sure that you read through the effects and side-effects first before taking it. More importantly, visit your doctor first to see if you are okay to take these medications. You can browse the internet and look for inspirational stories on how millions of people quit and remained sober. Ask family members or friends to help you with your journey towards a healthier life. It is the people around you that matter during the times that you will be thinking of jumping off a cliff, I hope not literally.

If you are looking for products that claim to be the best for giving you a full head of healthy looking hair, or making it grow faster and thicker there is no shortage. We see them advertised on television and in print on a daily basis. The truth is that in order to do this you need to be looking at the best vitamins for hair. These essential nutrients will provide you with what you are looking for by strengthening your immune system and improving circulation which will help prevent hair loss.

VITAMIN A

The first place that you have to start in having a healthy head of hair is caring for your scalp. If you do not do this the scalp will become dry and unhealthy. Vitamin A does this by aiding in the secretion of oil called sebum. This oil is manufactured by glands in the scalp. Fish, meat, eggs and green vegetables can supply adequate levels of vitamin A. If these are not foods that you normally eat then supplementation is an excellent option. Vitamin A will also help to keep the immune system functioning properly.

B VITAMINS

B-Complex vitamins are water soluble vitamins which mean that they are not stored by the body. We use as much as is required and eliminated any excess through urine. For this reason they need to be replaced regularly. Vitamin B12 is essential to having a well functioning nervous system as well as preventing hair loss. Vitamin B3, which you will also hear referred to as niacin, will aid in improving circulation to the scalp. B5 and B6 also play an essential role in the prevention of hair loss. Chicken, fish, egg yolks and whole grain cereals are all good sources of B vitamins.

BIOTIN

Probably the most recognized B-Complex vitamin for hair is biotin. This is because there are several products that claim to be beneficial to healthy hair because they contain this nutrient. The reality is that because this is a water soluble vitamin it is not readily absorbed through the skin. These claims are more about marketing than providing you with a full head of healthy and beautiful looking hair. So do yourself a favor and save some money by get this either through supplementation or from the diet you eat. Lentils, brown rice and sunflower seeds all contain biotin.

VITAMIN C

Most of us associate vitamin C with cold and flu season. We have been told for years that it can shorten both the length and severity of these events. Another benefit that it has is that of being a very good antioxidant which can promote healthy hair as well as vibrant youthful looking skin. Foods that contain high levels of this vitamin would be tomatoes, green peppers and citrus fruits.

VITAMIN E

We get a dual benefit from vitamin E. It increases the amount of oxygen being carried by the blood which improves circulation to the scalp and secondly it works to enhance the immune system.

In conclusion, for a full head of healthy looking head of hair we need to combine a balanced and nutritious diet with the best vitamins for hair. This will assure the look that we all want for many years to come.

You start your diet, and you follow all the instructions you were given. You keep to the diet constantly, but you do not lose the weight. Maybe you follow the diet, and you do lose the weight, and you feel great. In addition you have reached your goal, great. Then you gain the weight back and maybe more. Most people start a diet not knowing that a diet is not temporary. A diet is really a weight management program which includes good protein, nutrition, and exercise.

 

How does protein affect your weight? According to an article by David Heber M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N. and the Director of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is a organic compound composed of 22 amino acids, also known as the building blocks of life. Protein stored in the muscles and organs till the body uses it to build and to repair tissue, and it produces enzymes and hormones. Protein also makes possible for the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body.

There’s widespread popularity of high protein diets. This is due to their ability to help manage hunger. When protein is absorbed, it send a signal to lower your hunger. Also help in raising your resting metabolism by maintaining muscle mass. A lack of protein can cause the loss of muscle mass, decrease immunity, and weakening the heart,and respiratory systems. as we age muscle mass decreases with out exercise. Staying fit is the key to burning fat and keeping your metabolism high.

Consider the source. You can obtain good source of protein without high levels of saturated fat. For example, whole grains, nuts, and soybeans provide protein without a lot of saturated fat and offers plenty of healthy fiber, and turkey, chicken, pork, lean beef, red meat, fish,and beans are all a good source of protein. here, is a common meal, a cheese burger, french fries, and a soda. This meal is high with saturated fats and sugar. Do not forget about your snacks, you will want healthy snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables, and consider protein snacks to feel full till it meal time.

Are you drinking enough water? As a guideline you will want to drink six to eight 8 oz glasses of water. For replacing fluids, soft drinks and fruit juices make a bad choice because of their calorie content. When you are ready to lose weight you will want to find a good program that teaches you how to lose the weight and to keep it off.

There are millions of people who have suffered with a headache at some time or other. Then there are those who live with it on a daily basis. A headache is defined by a pain that is felt in the head or upper neck area. There are many causes for getting headaches and that is why it is often difficult to determine the root of the problem. Treatment and total relief may take awhile as you may have to undergo several tests before reaching a conclusion.

Headaches have the potential to be so debilitating that it may require an immediate doctor’s care. There are some individuals who have such severe headache pain they honestly believe they are going to die. If you have not had one of these headaches then you just will not understand the pain and what the person has gone through. But most commonly there are two categories of headaches. They are considered primary and secondary headaches. A primary headache is not considered to be caused by a disease where the secondary can be caused by those who have had a stroke, meningitis, or a brain tumor.
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If a person suffers with frequent headaches, it’s important that they take note of the symptoms surrounding the headache so they are able to relay this information to the doctor. Descriptions such as how severe the paid was, how long it lasted and the type of pain are all helpful to the doctors when determining a diagnosis as way as stating any other symptoms that accompanied the headache.

Another valuable piece of information would be to note what might have triggered the headache initially. Be aware of any changes you may be experiencing such as lack of sleep, more than usual stress and the types of food you ingested before getting the headache. Some food allergies and certain medications can trigger headaches. This information gives the doctor a better idea of possible causes and therefore can make a better diagnosis.

If you experience a headache with such intense pain and never had a headache that bad before, it can be a symptom of a very serious condition that needs to be addressed quickly. Headache pain of this degree may be an indication of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. Another sign of this would be a sudden onset and accompanied by nausea. Do not wait for the headache to subside, get medical attention immediately.