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June Issue of Natural Alternatives
June 01, 2011

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health


June 2011

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!


I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a favor and pay it forward!

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates


IN THIS ISSUE:

1) DEMYSTIFYING MEDITATION: BRAIN IMAGING ILLUSTRATES HOW MEDITATION REDUCES PAIN

2) JUICE OR GEL? ALOE VERA FACTS

3) THERE IS TRUTH WHAT YOUR MOTHER SAID ABOUT EATING VEGETABLES


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1) DEMYSTIFYING MEDITATION: BRAIN IMAGING ILLUSTRATES HOW MEDITATION REDUCES PAIN

Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.

"This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

"We found a big effect about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent."

For the study, 15 healthy volunteers who had never meditated attended four, 20-minute classes to learn a meditation technique known as focused attention. Focused attention is a form of mindfulness meditation where people are taught to attend to the breath and let go of distracting thoughts and emotions.

Both before and after meditation training, study participants' brain activity was examined using a special type of imaging -- arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI) -- that captures longer duration brain processes, such as meditation, better than a standard MRI scan of brain function. During these scans, a pain-inducing heat device was placed on the participants' right legs. This device heated a small area of their skin to 120° Fahrenheit, a temperature that most people find painful, over a 5-minute period.

The scans taken after meditation training showed that every participant's pain ratings were reduced, with decreases ranging from 11 to 93 percent, Zeidan said.

At the same time, meditation significantly reduced brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that is crucially involved in creating the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is. The scans taken before meditation training showed activity in this area was very high. However, when participants were meditating during the scans, activity in this important pain-processing region could not be detected.

The research also showed that meditation increased brain activity in areas including the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the orbito-frontal cortex. "These areas all shape how the brain builds an experience of pain from nerve signals that are coming in from the body," said Robert C. Coghill, Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist.

"Consistent with this function, the more that these areas were activated by meditation the more that pain was reduced. One of the reasons that meditation may have been so effective in blocking pain was that it did not work at just one place in the brain, but instead reduced pain at multiple levels of processing."

Zeidan and colleagues believe that meditation has great potential for clinical use because so little training was required to produce such dramatic pain-relieving effects. "This study shows that meditation produces real effects in the brain and can provide an effective way for people to substantially reduce their pain without medications," Zeidan said.

Funding for the study was provided by the Mind and Life Institute in Boulder, Colo., and the Center for Biomolecular Imaging at Wake Forest Baptist.

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

 

2) JUICE OR GEL? ALOE VERA FACTS
By S. Jeeva Poorani


A succulent perennial plant belonging to the lily family, aloe vera is also known as a ‘miracle plant’ or ‘natural healer’.


Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited. But, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing and healing properties of aloe Vera. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt and beverages, and is recommended by many nutritionists. 

Aloe vera juice is often suggested to improve circulation, regulate blood pressure, heal bones and joints, strengthen the immune system, defend the body against bacteria, heal internal tissue damage, heal ulcers, improve and even eliminate constipation, and reduce itchiness in psoriasis. Aloe vera is said to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Some even argue that aloe vera works to reduce and stabilize the body mass index by stimulating the metabolic rate in the liver cells so that more energy is burnt. Carrisyn, an extract of aloe vera, is believed to stimulate the production of infection-fighting blood cells and, in so doing, strengthens the immune system.

Aloe vera juice contains 19 amino acids and 20 minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Aloe vera has been used externally as a soothing balm and a remedy for cuts, scrapes and burns.

But there are certain precautions one must take before consuming aloe vera juice/ extract:

*First, get the ‘go-ahead’ from your physician.

*One of the most common side effects of consuming aloe vera juice is stomach pain or abdominal cramps. Since aloe vera juice contains laxative compounds, diarrhea and electrolyte imbalance are common side effects. So, aloe vera juice is not recommended for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, or ulcers.

*Consumption of aloe vera juice can result in the lowering of potassium levels. This is generally seen in people suffering from diabetes, heart trouble, or kidney ailments.

*People suffering from thyroid trouble should refrain from drinking aloe vera juice.

*Consumption of aloe vera or aloe vera juice is not advisable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It can cause cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and uterine contractions, which can lead to abortion in pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid consumption of aloe vera juice as it could cause complications for the newborn.

*Often, an allergic reaction occurs when one starts drinking aloe vera juice. Rashes, if any, could last for a few days.

 


3) THERE IS TRUTH WHAT YOUR MOTHER SAID ABOUT EATING VEGETABLES By Timothy moore Ph.D.


Your mother was right if she made you eat your vegetables. You probably thought she was being mean or wicked, but there was a reason she demanded that you eat your vegetables. She saw the big picture. She wanted you to grow healthy and live longer.

When I listen to all kinds of health-related problems that people have to deal with, I’m amazed that they find it hard to believe that eating healthy food can solve most of their problems. So why are vegetables an important part of the healing process? They’ll fortify your body to fight cancer, diabetes and other health-related problems.

Healing has to start from within. You have to believe in yourself, change your diet, and then change your lifestyle, if it’s the reason your health is failing. Also, you should believe the outcome before it actually happens. OK! Those are tidbits to get you pumped up and excited about eating healthy.

It shouldn’t be hard to believe that alternative medicine is a prescription for overall good health, and that conventional medicine – in many cases, a derivative of some sort, such as herbs – can lead to harmful side effects. You might be surprised to learn that the people who chose alternative medicine are living longer, even though loved ones may have given up on them.

I’m surprised myself at the number of people who really don’t know the benefits of eating vegetables. When I’m teaching inquisitive minds about eating good vegetables and how to prepare a healthy and balanced meal, a Q & A generally follows. For example: “I’ve never heard of that vegetable. How do you prepare it?”

Some of the basic vegetables that puzzle people are kale greens, spinach, celery, collard greens, bell peppers, purple cabbage and mustard greens. I’m often asked about the benefits of eating those vegetables. Here’s why:

Kale greens, for example, is rich in antioxidant, helps regulate estrogen, and fights colon cancer. It has more beta-carotene and lutein than any other vegetable.

Spinach is not only good for strength (Just ask Popeye, the sailor.), it also is rich in antioxidants and very high in fiber. Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetable and considered the first cancer-fighting vegetable.

Purple cabbage is a great cancer fighter as well. The best benefits of cabbage, though, are eating it raw.

Celery contains at least eight anticancer compounds that helps Detox pollutants.

Collard greens are full of anticancer agents and have the potential to block the spread of breast cancer. However, individuals with kidney stones are advised not to consume collard greens.

Bell peppers are very rich in vitamin c and also anti-oxidants.

The aforementioned are just a few known vegetables that can assist you in your quest for great health.

When eating non-processed vegetables, you’ll get a feeling of satisfaction. The key to staying alive is watching what you eat and put into your body. Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, for example, can be controlled with nutrition, emotional balance, exercising, and love of self.

Eating your vegetables can put you on a fast healing track. Your mother was right; she knew that vegetables are the building blocks of life. But our belief system is shaken sometimes and we’re left wondering if vegetables really do the body good.  Or pondering this question: Will they work for me?

A lifestyle of joy and recovery can start now. I heard a message the other day, and what struck me the most were the words, “Lord, have mercy on me.” Do we really want the Lord to have mercy on us? Of course. But try this: Look in the mirror, and if you’re not happy with what you see, do something about it – today.  

I often ask the questions: What is the price of life if you could live just one more day and enjoy it? What would you do with your time, if it’s your last, and how would you spend it?

Listen to your mother.


(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at cheftimothy@wnm.net or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)


PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!


Thank you for reading.


Livia
http://www.natural-health-and-healing.com
Brampton, Ontario, Canada


P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.


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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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