Browsing Posts published in June, 2011

Everyone experiences stress in their lives. However for some, stress levels can become damaging when left for prolonged periods of time and not addressed. In order to regain some balance to your busy life, there are some exercises which can be used to help you restore a healthy equilibrium. A four step system moving through progressive muscle relaxation, slow breathing, calming meditation and finally relaxing imagery can be helpful to reduce stress levels and begin feeling more centred again. The following techniques can also be performed individually to help you find some inner balance.

1. Muscle Relaxation

When starting any relaxation process you should try and relax your muscles a little as they can generally hold on to tension.

  • Lie down or sit in a comfortable position where you feel warm and it is quiet.
  • By tensing the muscles in your hands make a fist and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Be aware of the tension building and then release the stress from your hands. Notice your hands feeling more relaxed.
  • Now do the same your forearms followed by your upper arms and shoulders.
  • Continue the process moving onto your head, firstly with your forehead then eyes, followed with your nose, cheeks and jaw.
  • Carry on with the rest of your body starting with the neck, moving through the chest, abdomen, pelvis, thighs, calves, and feet. Now move down to the neck and carefully tighten so that you feel tension, now release.

Your body should now be feeling relaxed.

2. Slow Breathing

Now that your muscles are feeling more relaxed its time to focus on your breathing for a few minutes.

  • Try to slow the rhythm of your breathing.
  • With your eyes closed, take a comfortable and deep breath through your nose.
  • Hold your breath for only a moment and breathe out very slowly through your mouth.
  • Continue this exercise for 3 to 5 minutes or until you feel settled and calm.

3. Meditation

At this point you should be feeling much more relaxed. Now we can begin the practice of meditation.

  • Again you should be sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Make sure that there are no distractions or noises near you.
  • Begin to watch your breath as you resume the slow breathing exercise.
  • Focus on observing your breath.
  • If your mind starts wonder gently bring your attention back to the breath without judgement. Continue repeating this process.

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind with awareness. It is a practice not a destination and therefore requires a little patience. Begin with practicing meditation for 5 minutes at a time; slowly increase until practicing 30 minutes per day.

4. Imagery

The final phase of relaxation is imagery. Imagery is used to create a peaceful environment where you feel total relaxed both mentally and physically.

  • Close your eyes while taking 3 slow and deep breaths.
  • Now imagine yourself sitting in completely serene place, it could be a beach, a temple, a park or even a rain forest. It is your place of peace.
  • Wander around slowly noticing everything you can see, smell, taste, touch and hear. The more detail and vivid, the better.
  • Smell your environment; do you smell salt or fresh grass? Do you hear birds or waves?
  • Stay in your place and enjoy the stillness, it is whatever you make it… a place of escape.

These stress management and relaxation strategies are offered by Canberra based Clinical Psychologist Nesh Nikolic as a guide. If you are still feeling stressed after following these exercises, please contact your GP to discuss alternate stress management strategies.

In this article I want to reveal a secret that will help you get rid of acne in just a matter of days. I had severe acne for many years before I discovered this information so read on to find out.

What many doctors and dermatologists will not tell you because most do not know this, is that the root cause of acne is imbalanced hormones. In addition to this the skincare and acne industry do not know this either and so create products that generally do the wrong thing to try and clear up acne.

So if you’ve had your acne treated without results by things such as antibiotics, accutane, face cleansers or three step herbal remedies this is why they were ineffective for you as they were for me too. They don’t treat the root cause of acne!

So the questions are why do you have imbalanced hormones in the first place and what can balance them to cure acne?

Well there’s no question that acne sufferers have a genetic pre-disposition to having imbalanced hormones that cause acne. It seems that acne sufferers are much more sensitive to the factors that imbalance hormones. But that doesn’t mean you can’t balance them and clear up your skin forever.

I’m going to talk about one of the main factors that causes the hormones that cause acne to become imbalanced. This is down to a certain food ingredient called vegetable oil which causes massive hormonal imbalance and leads to the worst types of acne including cystic acne.

When I stopped eating vegetable oil the worst of my acne cleared up in just a few days never to return.

So it’s important to learn more about vegetable oil as it’s one of the most important secret keys to being acne-free for life. Vegetable oils like sunflower oil and rapeseed oil are used in various ways in western cooking and food but can be easily be avoided so that you consume only a fraction of what you would normally consume.

Cooking with sunflower oil is fairly common and if you simply swap to butter instead then that’s a big improvement. Vegetable oils are sometimes added to food as an ingredient such as in junk foods like cookies and potato chips. By checking on the ingredients label before you buy and eat foods like this to make sure it doesn’t contain vegetable oil you can easily avoid eating it.

By making this one simple change my acne cleared up dramatically and so can yours too.

There’s no need to suffer from the pain of panic attacks if you follow the correct advice. Do you find that your fear and anxiety are extremely disruptive to your everyday life? Do they cause you intense mental pain? You’re not alone. Anyone who suffers from anxiety disorder will automatically shy away from any situation that they think may put them in danger. As a result it is extremely difficult for anxiety disorder sufferers to lead a normal life – the fear of experiencing another panic attack may also be very annoying for those around you.


The tendency is to choose a ‘quick fix’ of a course of medication so often advocated by the medical profession. Let me tell you that this is not the correct way to a permanent cure. You might also be tempted to try short-term natural methods of controlling your anxiety, such as deep abdominal breathing. While a useful short-term fix this still won’t have the ideal result of freeing you completely from the threat of panic attacks.

Having suffered for years from an anxiety disorder I am now happy to tell you that I no longer fear panic attacks, nor am I anxious about facing up to imagined or real threats. How did I achieve this happy state? Through following a self-help course of cognitive therapy.

Cognitive therapy taught me the most valuable method of controlling my anxiety disorder. In particular the ‘One Move Technique’ gave me the ability to instantly stop fearing the onset of panic. Put simply, the self-help course taught me how to break free of the endless cycle of fear – anxiety attack – fear, in a way that I need never worry about suffering another panic attack. But this is not only my experience; cognitive therapy has been a satisfactory solution for the tens of thousands of people who have followed this particular program.

First of all I should point out that the self-help course that I use and recommend shows you exactly how you can break free of the endless pattern of anxiety, fear and panic attacks. As with all self-help treatment programs, this course may or may not work for you. It is all about how determined you are to rid yourself of your anxiety disorder. You should know that if the methods given are not followed exactly as instructed it is very likely that you will not rid yourself of the threat of panic attacks permanently.

Secondly you must keep in mind the goal of long-term freedom from anxiety and fear. Cognitive therapy is a professional course that is highly effective in banishing panic attacks and anxiety issues, but is not to be undertaken lightly. I would not want you to waste your time and money on something that doesn’t meet your objectives.

As an example a person with underlying emotional and mental health problems might not respond to a self-help program. Only you can decide whether this type of course is right for your health problems. However I can say that, if you are really determined to free yourself of anxiety and fear, then you should look carefully at a self-help course as it might well be the solution which finally rids you of panic attacks forever.

Stye eye condition looks similar to a pimple that shows up on the eyelid. It’s caused by an infection in the sebaceous glands of the eye. Even though this condition will not result in permanent damage, sufferers will experience a lot of pain. In case you have this condition right now, it is best to pay attention and ensure that it is properly cared for with the most effective stye treatment.

Causes
This infection is generally attributable to a bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus. This could happen to anybody regardless of their age, but it is often more widespread amongst young children. Some other causes could include poor nutrition, stress and razor blades used to shave close to the eyes. In addition, this can be simply a secondary side effect for additional conditions.

Signs and Symptoms
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Some of the first signs that you are developing this condition would be redness, tenderness and pain. Swelling, itching, watery eyes, swelling, sensitivity to lights and discomfort whilst blinking will quickly follow, which cause a yellowish bump to become noticeable in the most pronounced instances.

Stye Treatment
In most cases, this condition would drain itself over time, but this could take awhile. A hot compress can be used to hasten the healing process in addition to pulling the eyelash close to the area. Polysporin ointment can be used topically on the affected region, but care should be taken to prevent the cream from getting into the eyes.
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In the event that proper treatments are used, this condition could be successfully treated in one week. Of course, you could pop it because it is actually a pimple on your face, but this could cause more harm than good. This kind of procedure requires the expertise of professionals because of its closeness to the eye. Considering that it is an infection, it is not recommended to touch it and this must be avoided whenever possible. You can use a warm cloth to get some relief from the discomfort.

At times, medical professionals recommend lancing a consistent or a particularly annoying stye using a needle to empty it immediately, but this is actually a last resort if everything else fails. The growth of stye could also be avoided with an erythromycin opthalmic cream such as Neosporin. You could also get a prescription for Amoxicillin for one week to deal with the infection.

Some people in their zeal and overdrive train so hard and so often, that they start suffering from overtraining. Extreme of anything including exercises and weight trainings are more harmful than helpful. The ideal situation is to keep your training to the optimum and balanced, rather than swing from one extreme to another. People, who have been lazy and careless about their health and wellbeing, suddenly get inspired and take to training to make up for all the lost time. These people often do vigorous training to achieve fantastic results in the shortest possible time, hurting themselves badly in the process.

What causes overtraining?

Just like other cause and effects, overtraining symptoms rise because of many causes. If you are advised by your personal trainer to exercise for just five days a week, you should stick to it. Forcing yourself to train more than designated days of training in the hope to achieve faster results is a fallacy and should be avoided. Rest after training is just as important for the body to recover and gain enough strength. Same applies to the duration of the exercise. Keeping at it beyond endurance and capacity will cause harm. If a set of exercises are to be run through in sixty or ninety minutes, observe this rule and try not to overextend.

Overextending beyond the necessary

If you are the type who believes that time is at premium and you must complete your exercise program of three months in thirty days, you are putting yourself in harm’s way for sure. Take for instance, training with weights. Lifting beyond capacity and increasing the weight not gradually but suddenly is a sure recipe for disaster. Performing too many sets of exercises for all round muscle tone is also harmful. On the other hand, spending the entire time on just one exercise can also prove to be harmful. It is always better to carefully listen to your personal trainer and not go beyond his brief.

Symptoms of overtraining

As you start to veer into the overtraining zone, you may be horrified to discover that your power and strength has suddenly dropped. Instead of gaining more power, your muscle groups with overtraining get fatigued and you start to feel more tired and weak. The muscles which have been put to work, beyond the call of duty will start protesting and you will find a soreness which refuses to go away.

Overtraining can also cause you to lose your appetite, resulting in lesser intake of proteins and nutrients, causing further complications. Discard the belief that training harder will make you hungrier and you will eat like a lion and be like one. The body’s defense mechanism and immune system can also lower its guard with overtraining, resulting in frequent colds and flues.

Prevention

  • Give your body a break it deserves after a hectic training schedule to repair all the stressed tissues and ligaments. Workout and rest should be judiciously balanced for best results.
  • Cut out monotony and introduce more variation in your training. Include other routines like jogging, aerobics and treadmills for all round development.

Diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2, like everyone else enjoy beverages while they eat. The problem comes in when they make the wrong choices and they find themselves consuming them outside of meals, as well.

There is a massive difference in having a beverage and sabotaging your eating plan. You first have to know what is acceptable to drink that won’t cause undue issues with blood sugar levels, and then you have to make the determination of when you can have it. Finally, you have to mentally stay on top of how much is okay and when it crosses the line into unhealthy.

Sodas are a common beverage for diabetics and, when consumed in moderation, the right beverage is fine… for a while. Of course, the better option would be to eliminate them altogether, but some people have a problem making that decision. Slowly weaning off of them will give a person the ability to one day put them down altogether.

Some may contend substituting diet sodas are the answer, but this is actually not the case. Giving your body an artificially sweetened drink may give it a sense of being tricked into thinking that it will gain a sugary treat, when in fact it is being fooled. The body will often respond by demanding it receive what was intended… sugar.

Another problem with diet drinks are that diabetics often use them as a way to justify overeating. While a diet drink does reduce calories, it is not a free pass to consume more calories. In the end, it is still overeating… no matter what you are drinking.

So what about fruit juice instead of soda? Since they are made from fruit they have to be healthier, right? Wrong! While fruit juices are often derived from fruit, they contain massive amounts of sugar… the problem is the fiber has been removed in the juicing process. Also one glass of juice contains at least three or four pieces of fruit; often sugar has also been added. Take a look at the label of your favorite fruit juice and you’ll see that downing one of these is like ringing the dinner bell for spiked blood sugar. Plus, it tends to crank up your sugar cravings, which leads to more sugar.

What to drink instead?

Any of the following is fine:

  • The best choice for a diabetic is to drink lots of water. While this might not be appealing during meals, there are ways around it. Squeezing a little lemon or lime juice into water gives it taste and doesn’t add any of the bad stuff. There may also be powders that can be added to water, on occasion, when you just have to have a little more than plain water.
  • Sparkling water (plain or calorie-free flavored)
  • Unsweetened ice tea
  • Coffee. Coffee can raise your blood sugar levels, so if you find this to be the case change to decaf.

It is no secret that the size of our population is increasing. And I do mean outwards rather than in numbers. Discussions as to why this is the case are numerous and include anything from the type of food that we eat, the serving size, gut toxicity and hormones imbalances.

And now a study (St-Onge, March 2011) has found that not enough sleep can contribute. The study found that when tired, women ate around 328.6 extra calories a day compared to men who ate 262.7 extra calories a day.

Having worked night shift for some years, this really comes as no surprise to me. Without adequate sleep it is difficult to motivate oneself to cook a healthy meal. For me personally, waking up after only a few hours of sleep always ended up in a trip to the fridge. Having witnessed what was eaten on night shift by my fellow workers in the hospital (sweets & lollies, chips from the vending machine etc.); it is also of no surprise that sleep deprived people put on weight.

But when it comes to putting on weight and sleeping irregular hours, other factors also come in to play. The body has its own 24 hour clock called the circadian rhythm which is programmed for sleeping and eating at specific times of the day. For example our adrenal hormones are raised early in the mornings to support us becoming active as we prepare ourselves for the day. Our digestive function is supposedly at its most active at 8am in the morning. So for shift workers, going to sleep in the daytime and staying away through the night is fighting against the inbuilt functions of our body.

Stress can often be the cause of problem sleep, especially if a person is waking between 2 and 3 am. Raised cortisol levels can be the result of stress. These hormones are glucose based and can subsequently disrupt the burning of fat.
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As tempting as it may be to stay up late to watch a movie or to go out clubbing at 10 o’clock at night, remember that these habits do not support your health. If working night shift is unavoidable here’s a few tips to help control your weight and your health.

  • Plan ahead to ensure that you have plenty of healthy food available in the house, otherwise you may be tempted to grab the first thing at hand when you wake up hungry.
  • Take a packet of nuts to work with you – nibbling on these is a healthy option that provides a good source of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
  • Take food to work with you. This way you are less likely to join in the early morning sugar hit that many of your work mates will be relying on to get them through their shift.
  • Try to avoid eating 4 hours prior to sleep time or having caffeine drinks late into your shift. This will only make sleep matters worse.
  • Be prepared to change your exercise habits – abandoning them while doing night work will not help with sleep or burning those extra calories that might sneak in each day.
  • Increase your sleep quality by establishing an environment that is sleep enhancing e.g.blackening out your bedroom, reducing all noise e.g. using an air conditioner to block out unwanted noise, no television in the room. Also take the phone off the hook, ask the neighbours to keep quite, avoid stimulating activity (e.g. exercise) prior to sleep.

By incorporating a few of these simple steps, longterm health and weight issues could be avoided.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is very similar to clinical depression. The main difference between SAD and clinical depression is the time of year and light levels, especially in the northern latitudes. While clinical depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and is usually persistent throughout the year, SAD is seasonal. The symptoms usually appear during the fall and winter and go disappear during the spring and summer.

Receptors in the eye sense light levels, and the change in light levels affect the levels of brain chemicals. Two important brain chemicals that it affects are melatonin and serotonin. In SAD sufferers, serotonin decreases during the fall and winter. Serotonin not only affects mood, energy levels, it can cause carbohydrate cravings and weight gain too.

On the other hand, melatonin is produced in the darkness, and production stops with daylight. When light decreases during the fall and winter, it can skew the levels of melatonin and affect the quality and length of sleep. Furthermore, melatonin is produced from serotonin. When the levels of serotonin fall, melatonin levels can fall too. Consequently, SAD sufferers not only suffer from depression, but they can suffer from sleep disorders too. Even with non-seasonal depression, there is a close connection between depression and sleep. Researchers have discovered that depression can cause sleep disorders, and sleep disorders can depression. Regardless of which came first, it becomes a viscious circle. While some SAD sufferers sleep too much, others develop insomnia or circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Tragically, in addition to the link between depression and sleep, a chronic lack of sleep can cause an increased risk of heart problems, diabetes, traffic and work-related accidents, and more.

The four standard ways of treating SAD are antidepressants, light therapy, negative ion therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, the antidepressants for treating SAD can have negative side effects while cognitive behavioral therapy can be slow process. In fact, in some people, the antidepressants can increase suicidal feelings and violent behavior. Fortunately, in clinical trials, light therapy has been found to be just as effect as antidepressants, and negative ion therapy has been found to be almost as effective as light therapy.

There are two different types of light therapy: SAD lights and wakeup lights/sunrise alarm clocks. SAD light treatment consists of sitting nearby a light box that produces certain wavelengths of lights for approximately thirty minutes upon awakening.

However, even if you don’t feel like you have thirty minutes every minutes, there is still hope. SAD light visors and wake up lights make light therapy even easier. Light visors can be worn on your favorite cap while you’re going about your morning routine while wakeup lights are even more convenient yet. Unlike light boxes, wakeup lights use dawn simulation. Dawn simulation mimics the morning sun. It uses a gradually intensifying light thirty minutes before arising and to helps you awaken more easily and feel refreshed on those dark winter mornings. Some wakeup lights even have more features like dusk simulation, white noise, and more.

The act of eating should be a pleasant and rewarding experience. However, some people feel a sharp pain whenever their teeth come in contact with an especially hot, cold or sweet food. Such men and women then begin to search for information on how to reduce tooth sensitivity.

Frequent brushing can limit the extent to which a tooth responds to foods served at abnormally high or low temperatures. Ideally, the teeth should be cleaned after every meal or snack. However, two brushings a day should reduce the sensitivity of the chewing tools that nature has given to each human being.

When brushing his or her teeth, a man or woman should use a toothbrush with soft bristles. He or she should put on that brush toothpaste that contains fluoride. Any sort of whitening or tartar control paste should be avoided.

An end of the brushing routine should not signal an end to the tooth care regimen for that period of the day or night. Flossing ought to be part of the daily routine that is followed by anyone who has extra sensitive teeth. Regular flossing limits the amount of plague build-up and helps to prevent development of gingivitis.

After the container of floss has been put back on the shelf, then the man or woman who wants to avoid unnecessary pain reaches for a bottle of mouthwash. That mouth-rinsing liquid should contain added fluoride. It should not contain alcohol or be too very acidic. However, the acidity of a favored mouthwash can be reduced by rinsing the freshened mouth with water.

Eating and lifestyle habits ought to be evaluated, if a man or woman wants to limit the amount of pain he or she endures after eating certain foods. A diet rich in acid foods can increase the sensitivity of each tooth inside of mouth. Certain habits also heighten the sensitivity of each chewing tool. Those natural tools should be used to chew food, not tobacco. Neither should they be exposed to lots of sugar, as from a sucked candy.

By sticking with good eating habits and by avoiding unhealthful habits, a man or woman should not feel ashamed about his or her molars and incisors. He or she should not hesitate to open his or her mouth in dentist’s office. That is something that should be included on a list of activities that can help a person to reduce the sensitivity of his or her teeth.

You may have been told that acne is a condition that cannot be cured and the best that you can do is to treat it with some cream or tablet. Well that is simply NOT TRUE. You CAN get rid of acne if you are prepared to take a totally different approach to solving your problem. You really can “blitz those zits” for good.

Rest assured, this is no idle claim and does not require you to sell your soul to the devil. It does however, involve a totally natural approach to dealing with your condition which may conjure up images of weird practices and black magic rituals. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Natural remedies and treatment are rapidly becoming highly popular and millions of people have discovered that not only are they equally if not more effective than conventional treatments but can, in many cases, actually cure complaints that the medical profession tells us have no cure. The natural treatment for acne is a perfect example.

Furthermore, because they are totally natural they produce no adverse, potentially harmful side effects which many drug based medications are known to do. This is perhaps the main driving force for the majority of people who have turned to natural treatments to deal with their complaints.

So how do natural treatments for acne differ from conventional treatments? How can they provide a way to get rid of acne permanently?

There is fundamental flaw in the way that conventional acne medication works. It simply treats the symptoms of the problem – those horrid zits – but does nothing to deal with the underlying factors that cause those zits to form in the first place. That is the crux of the matter.

When taking a totally natural approach to getting rid of acne, you firstly need to understand what is causing it. Actually, there are a range of factors, mostly internal, that can cause your acne to occur. In most cases, it is a combination of these factors which interact and produce the conditions that cause your zits to develop.

The main factors that can cause acne include

  • a hormonal imbalance
  • build up of toxins in your body
  • inappropriate diet and lifestyle
  • hygiene, both internal and external
  • emotional issues and stress

So you see, acne is in fact a complex condition and simply spreading some cream over the infected parts is not enough to get rid of it. You have to deal with the root cause of your problem. You must find a way to deal effectively with all the factors that are causing your acne.

Fortunately the hard work has been done for you and there are now various programs of totally natural treatment available on-line that will guide you through the whole process.

In basic terms what you need to do is:

  1. Identify which particular factors are causing the problem,
  2. Then follow a course of treatment that works by stimulating your body’s own defences into action to combat those factors.
  3. Eliminate all the causes and cure your problem.

It may sound simple but it does work. Thousands of former sufferers have proven it already. But don’t simply take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.

Do some investigation on line and you will find the help and advice that will lead you to what must be the best treatment for acne. Then, with some effort on your part and that all important guidance, you can get rid of acne, permanently.