|Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health
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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) THE NATURE OF STRESS – 2 KEY INDICATORS
2) CUPPING THERAPY BENEFITS
3) GARLIC : AN ALL -AROUND HEALTH BOOSTING HERB
1) THE NATURE OF STRESS – 2 KEY INDICATORS
What is stressful for some, may be exciting, even invigorating for others. Think of the high dive, a colossal roller coaster or a ride down the rapids. Perhaps these all might cause some trepidation in anyone, but consider what your attitudes, or perceptions are about these activities?
The road to excessive stress is partly built upon perceptions. It is our perception of events and challenges that cause much of our stress, according to Institute of HeartMath (IHM) research who has studied stress and emotions for more than 22 years.
How people facing a mountain of bills or breaking up with a partner perceive these things can determine their success or the balance and ease with which they handle them – in part. In part because, IHM’s research shows, another key driver of stress is our emotional responses to our perceptions of events and challenges.
Here’s an example:
A woman in software sales is up for promotion, but must go through an interview with her bosses. Her employment record is good, she has ideas that could benefit the company and she’s sure she’ll handle the new position well. She also had been confident of getting the promotion – until recently, when a “situation” arose.
During an exchange over the loss of a large account because of the late shipment of an urgent order, the woman became heated with someone when responsibility was wrongly attributed to her. The exchange was with one of the bosses who would conduct her promotion interview. Now, the woman could worry herself to distraction over the incident. Was I too forceful? Did I get personal? Did I get my point across? Will the incident come up during the interview? She could become so absorbed in what could happen that she might have trouble sleeping, be less attentive at work and home or lose confidence that she’ll get the promotion, even perhaps doubt her desire for it.
Challenges can throw people off-kilter temporarily or for much longer. They can delay and even derail their dreams, and all because of their perceptions of events and challenges and their responses to those perceptions.
It is our perceptions of events and challenges and our emotional responses to our perceptions that cause most stress.
Two Key Indicators of Stress
Emotional Indicators – Your feelings about and reactions to certain events and challenges in your life.
There are lots of questions you can ask yourself related to emotional indicators of stress.
Are you anxious about something today?
Do you have a relationship issue?
Are you angry with someone?
Do you constantly judge what others do?
These are all examples of potential triggers for stress-producing responses. Think of all the actual ways you or people you’ve known have felt about and reacted to challenges in their lives: the angry person who shouts and storms about; the judgmental person who is relentless in criticizing what people do; the frustrated person who just gives up.
It’s not hard to imagine, either out of personal experience or by taking an educated guess, how these kinds of feelings and responses can make a person feel.
Physical Indicators – The things that can actually happen to your body when you have stress-producing responses to events and challenges.
There is a long list of the physical indicators of stress and potential problems it can cause: less energy, burnout, heart problems, deterioration of immune system and hormonal imbalance among many others. HeartMath’s internationally distributed book, Transforming Stress, describes some of the physical indicators of stress.
“Stress affects people in different ways. … Too much stress creates overload; your creativity and clarity decline, and you feel disconnected from yourself. You experience stress overload as aches and pains, fragmented thinking, and negative attitudes that things are out of control. … When the body can no longer tolerate the overload imposed by stress, it undergoes more physiological changes to try to adapt to the situation and you can end up exhausted and depressed.”
The Institute of HeartMath’s research into the nature and causes of stress also has led to development of many solutions for self-regulating stress in the moment and building the resilience necessary to effectively manage future challenges. The nonprofit Institute of HeartMath has an entire website dedicated to helping people manage stress and emotions, utilize the intelligence of their hearts and much more. Here’s a link for the site’s Solutions for Stress free resources.
About the Author: Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.
2) CUPPING THERAPY BENEFITS
by: Dr Tamer Shaban
Cupping is a method of relieving local congestion by applying a partial vacuum which is created in a cup or cups, either by heat or by suction. Cupping has been used for thousands of years. Although it is often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, the entire world once knew this therapy and used it. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese used cupping therapy. The oldest recorded medical textbook, Ebers Papyrus, written in approximately 1550 BCE in Egypt mentions cupping (Curtis, 2005). In the UK the practice of Cupping Therapy also dates back a long way with one of the leading medical journals The Lancet being named after this practice as it means the surgical instrument that can scrape the skin to do cupping.
Types of Cupping
There are various types of cupping such as:
* Light Cupping - Uses a weak suction in the cup to do light cupping, it is suitable for children and elderly people.
*Medium Cupping - A medium strength, general purpose cupping.
* Strong Cupping - Suction will be great and therefore it is not suitable for children and elderly people.
* Moving Cupping or Massage Cupping - This is a great method of massage and is done by applying oil to the skin and moving the cup, by a weak suction, on the area to be treated.
* Needle Cupping - Acupuncture and cupping are done in the same place by applying the needle first; then the cup is applied over it
* Hot Cupping - Dried Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) leaves, sometimes called by its oriental name Moxa, is a great warming herb. A needle is used, warmed by Dried Mugwort; then the cup is applied over it.
* Flash Cupping - This is a term used to describe the practice when several medium cuppings are preformed several times in quick succession along the area being treated to stimulate it.
* Bleeding Cupping - Also called Full Cupping or Wet Cupping, it is the most frequently used, oldest and often the most effective method. A surgical instrument is used to scrape the skin and the cup is then applied to collect blood.
* Herbal Cupping - A suitable herbal tincture is put into the cup and then suction is applied.
* Water Cupping - This is the least practiced method. It involves filling a third of the cup with warm water. Whilst holding the cup close to the client with one hand, it is brought to the point to be cupped and then burning cotton wool is inserted into the cup, then swiftly and simultaneously the cup is turned onto the skin. When performed properly, no water spillage occurs.
Conditions Which Can Benefit From Cupping
Conditions which can benefit from cupping include headache, back pain, joint and muscular pain, infertility, sexual disorders, rheumatic diseases, hypertension, breast enhancement, bed wetting, common colds and flu, insomnia, stroke, fever, constipation and diarrhea, chest pain, asthma and blood disorders.
Precautions and Contra-Indications
Always take sensible precautions when using cupping or be sure that the therapist you seek cupping treatment from follows these precautions. These include:
* Sterilization: this is the main key to success.
* Use suitable cups for the area being treated.
* Take extra care with children and the elderly.
* Do not apply strong cupping to the face.
* Do not treat pregnant women.
* Do not use cupping on inflamed or cut skin.
* Take extra care when scraping the skin and do not cut a vein or artery.
* Do not treat people with a serious heart disease.
Applying Cupping on Acupuncture Points
In the Journal of Biomechanics (2005), researchers L. M. Thama, H. P. Leea, and C. Lua state that "Cupping is known to be an effective alternative to needles in stimulating acupoints in acupuncture treatment. One of the major advantages must be that transmission of blood-borne diseases can be avoided since the skin is not penetrated."
Therefore we can use cupping as an alternative to acupuncture, or in conjunction with it. Many researchers have investigated and demonstrated the benefits of cupping and I think that it will be the most used alternative medical practice very soon.
3) GARLIC : AN ALL -AROUND HEALTH BOOSTING HERB
by Dr. Mercola
If you want a simple way to increase the disease-fighting power of your meals, be generous with your use of high-quality herbs and spices. This applies year-round, but as cold and flu season nears, you may want to consider spicing things up more than you might normally.
There is no shortage of research showing that herbs and spices are among the healthiest you can consume. And they’re a “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of, regardless of your budget.
Garlic in particular has long been hailed for its healing powers, especially against infectious diseases like cold and flu.
This is likely due to its immune boosting effects. Fresh garlic is also a potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent. But its therapeutic effects may go much further than that.
The featured article in Medical News Today1 contains an impressive list of garlic’s historical use as a natural medicine, and modern research to back up the wisdom of such antiquated claims. Green Med Info has also assembled a list of studies demonstrating more than 150 beneficial health effects of garlic! For example, studies show that regular consumption of (primarily raw) garlic:
May be effective against drug-resistant bacteria,
reduces risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke,
helps normalize your cholesterol and blood pressure,
protects against cancer, including brain, lung, and prostate cancer, reduces risk of osteoarthritis.
It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. Other health-promoting compounds include oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium and flavonoids.
Research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.
This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume. Garlic is also a triple threat against infections, offering antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Not only is it effective at killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, but it also fights yeast infections, viruses and parasites. Garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits though.
The fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin in turn rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.
A single medium size clove or two is usually sufficient, and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless.
You also won’t reap all the health benefits garlic has to offer if you use jarred, powdered or dried versions. Worse yet, at least two supermarket-brands containing garlic powder imported from China have been found to be contaminated with high levels of lead, arsenic and added sulfites, according to a recent article by PreventDisease.com.
If you develop a socially offensive odor, just decrease the amount of garlic you’re consuming until there is no odor present. If garlic makes you feel ill, this is probably your body's way of letting you know you should avoid it.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!
Thank you for reading.
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
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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.