Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Lower Back Pain And 6 Lesser Known Ways To Deal With It

Lower Back Pain And How To Deal With It

 I hope these tips help if you have lower back pain.

6 Lesser-Known Ways To Deal With Lower Back Pain

by DailyHealthPost

6-lesser-known-ways-to-deal-with-lower-back-painLower back pain can come from all sorts of sources, and there’s no one universal cure. Many people go through a process of trial and error when it comes to finding relief for their lower back pain, and medical approaches can be frustrating, focusing on addressing anatomical issues when there may be more at play.
A well-rounded, holistic approach is best when dealing with any kind of unexplained pain, especially lower back pain. Here are some lesser-known methods for dealing with this aggravation:

1. Release Endorphins

Endorphins are “feel-good” hormones produced naturally by your body, and their effect can be just as strong as that of any prescription pain medication(1). Endorphins help block pain signals and alleviate stress, anxiety and depression – all of which are associated with chronic back pain.
To release these feel-good messengers, try these time-tested methods:
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Massage therapy
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Laughing and smiling
  • Eating dark chocolate
  • Listening to music you love
  • Being social

2. Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Pain is the number one cause of insomnia when it comes to medical conditions – many patients with lower back pain also suffer from sleep disorders. But not getting enough sleep can aggravate back pain, creating a vicious cycle which makes treatment less effective and pain worse(2). When treating your chronic back pain, it’s important to get enough rest.
Read more: Got Back Pain When Sleeping? Here’s How to Fix It
Cutting back on caffeine can help you get a good night’s sleep, but it’s also important to practice good “sleep hygiene” – keeping a regular sleep schedule, not taking electronics like your laptop or phone to bed with you, and not eating immediately before bed. You can also try drinking tart cherry juice.

3. Build Your Muscles

The muscles in your back and abs have an important role to play in supporting your spine. If these muscles don’t get a regular workout, you’re at risk for developing back pain(3). Make sure you work out the muscles in your back and abs regularly.
Read more: 7 Easy Stretches For Better Flexibility And Complete Lower Back Pain Relief

4. Hamstring Stretches

This one is easy – gentle hamstring stretches are one of the simplest things you can do to help with lower back pain. Tight hamstrings can place stress on your lower back, placing you at risk for lower back pain(4). To avoid this, you should perform gentle hamstring stretches at least twice a day.

5. Keep Your Brain Active

Many pain specialists feel that pain is more complex than we may realize. Our brain’s activity can play a major role in how we interpret and process pain signals, as well as how we perceive our pain.
The good news is that mindfulness exercises have been shown to help significantly with pain management(5), indicating that there are things we can do to help our brain process pain better. Developing these skills can go a long way towards helping to manage chronic back pain.

Keeping A Balance

Chronic pain can wreak havoc on your daily life, so it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between work, rest and play even when you’re experiencing pain.
Maintaining relationships with people, staying active, and staying engaged with your life is crucial for living well with a chronic pain condition.
It is possible to live well with chronic back pain – many people manage this every day – but it takes commitment and effort. With these techniques, you can be on your way to a life less affected by regular pain.
Originally posted 2015-09-11 14:27:25.

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Pumpkin Seeds For Health

Pumpkin Seeds And Their Benefits

Pumpkin Seeds are delicious, and I had no idea they were so nutritious.  Learning all the time .........................

Pumpkin seeds, like all edible seeds, pack an immense nutritional  and medicinal punch. After all, they contain future worlds within their compact structure. As Emerson said, "the creation of a thousand forests is within one acorn."
In order to prepare their "babies" for survival outside the pumpkin, Nature equips these seeds with an extremely dense source of organically-bound nutrients, including exceptionally high levels of key, health-promoting minerals.
For example, a one cup serving (64 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 44% daily value (DV) of zinc, 22% of copper, 42% magnesium, 16% manganese, 17% potassium, and enough iron (17% DV) to improve iron-deficiency associated anemia. And remember, food-derived minerals are far more bioavailable and biocompatible than inorganic forms, as we recently discussed in the article: Is Your MultiVitamin Trying to Kill You?
But beyond the obvious nutritional virtues of the seed, recent scientific investigations have revealed that pumpkin seed meal, as well as its pressed oil, may have great therapeutic value in alleviating the following conditions:
  1. Prostate Growth: pumpkin seed has been studied for its ability to inhibit testosterone-induced prostate growth, a common causative factor in benign prostatic hyperplasia.[i] [ii] It was also proven safe and effective in a 2014 clinical trial comparing it to the drug Prozasin. More details here.
  2. Postmenopausal Symptoms: Women supplemented with 2,000 mg of pumpkin seed oil over the course of 12 weeks were found to have reduced blood pressure, increased HDL cholesterol, as well as reduction in the severity of hormone insufficiency associated symptoms, e.g. hot flash, headaches and join pain.[iii]  Additional experimental research indicates that adverse cardiovascular changes associated with estrogen deficiency, such as blood pressure and lipid abnormalities, can be mitigated with pumpkin seed oil. [iv]
  3. Calcium-Oxalate Kidney Stones: According to a study performed in 1987 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children with calcium-oxalate crystals in their urine responded favorably to the supplementation of their diet with pumpkin seeds.[v]
  4. Cardiovascular and Liver Disease: A mixture of flaxseed and pumpkin seed was found to have heart-protective and liver-protective properties in an animal study from 2008 published in the Journal of Food Chemistry & Toxicology.[vi]
  5. Drug & Chemical Toxicity: The protein isolate of pumpkin seed has been shown to alleviate acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity on the liver,[vii] and as methotrexate-induced small intestine damage in an animal model.[viii] It has also been studied to protect against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury.[ix]
  6. Arthritis: Pumpkin seed oil was found to compare favorably with the NSAID drug indomethacin in an experimental model of arthritis, but without causing liver damage, in a study published in 1995 in the journal of Pharmacological Research.[x]
  7. Hypertension: Animals fed pumpkin seed oil were found to respond more favorably to conventional drug-treatment with Ace-inhibitors and  Calcium Channel Blockers, likely because of its beneficial antioxidant properties.[xi]
  8. Parasites: A preclinical canine study has shown that pumpkin seeds have significant activity against canine intestinal parasites.[xii]
  9. Insomnia/Anxiety:  Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of tryptophan (22mg/gram of pumpkin seed protein), the amino acid precursor to serotonin – which is itself converted to melatonin, the "sleep hormone," in the evening. Research published in 2007 in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that when de-oiled pumpkin seed was taken in combination with glucose, a clinical effect similar to that of pharmaceutical-grade tryptophan was achieved.[xiii]  A 2005 study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that pumpkin seed sourced tryptophan in combination with carbohydrate was as effective as pharmaceutical tryptophan in reducing awake time during the night.
  10. Androgenic Alopecia (i.e. male pattern baldness): A 2014 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in Evid Based Complement Alternat Med found that men receiving pumpkin seed oil saw 30-40% increased hair counts while the placebo group showed only 5-10% more hair count on average. Learn more in our report on the study here. Pumpkin Seed Oil Found to Help Reverse Balding.
  11. Overactive Bladder/Urinary Disorders: A 2014 clinical trial found that pumpkin seed oil, at 10 grams a day for 12 weeks, was safe and effective in reducing Overactive Bladder Symptom Score (OABSS) in patients with Overactive Bladder. More details here

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What’s Making You Sick: An in-Depth Look at Food-Borne Illnesses

What’s Making You Sick: An in-Depth Look at Food-Borne Illnesses:

 Pretty Scary!

 A UAB Infectious Diseases physician discusses bacteria found in food-borne illnesses and why you should wash your hands.

  • Hand hygiene and prevention of cross-contamination are key to protecting yourself from contracting bacteria that could cause sickness.
  • Babies and senior adults are most at risk.
  • Some foods are OK to be left out without chilling or heat, as long as they are cooked thoroughly.
  • Wash kitchen utensils thoroughly to prevent contamination of meats, cakes, sandwiches and salads.
  • Know what you are reheating. Starch-based foods that have been previously contaminated can cause the bacteria to flourish the second time they are heated.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Healing Powers Of Honey

The Healing Powers of Honey

Honey is an amazing health promoting food.  My mother swore by it and took a few tablespoonfuls on a daily basis.  It was the pure honey from my father's bees as beekeeping was his hobby.

Honey, unlike almost everything else we consume in our diet, was intended solely to be a form of nourishment – albeit, for the bees.  Only milk, to my knowledge, shares this singular biological imperative. But honey is far more than a source of sweetness and quick energy within the human diet.

Honey has profound medicinal applications, some of which are as follows:
  • Feeds the good bacteria: it is a little-known fact that bees have a diverse population of beneficial lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in their honey crop, the bulge between the esophagus and the gizzard of the bee. In fact, according to newly published research in PLoS, "studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association."[i]  Indeed, raw honey feeds good bacteria. It has been experimentally demonstrated in in vitro (petri dish) conditions to increase the number of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum counts 10-100 fold compared with sucrose.[ii]
  • Fights the "bad" bacteria, i.e. MRSA: Reports of honey eradicating MRSA infection have been reported in the medical literature for well over a decade.[iii]  MRSA, an acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, produces a biofilm which makes it especially resistant to conventional antimicrobial agents. Honey has been shown to be effective at killing biofilm-associated MRSA isolates from patients suffering from chronic rhinosinusitus.[iv] This has also been demonstrated in human research, with a 70% effective rate in destroying MRSA in chronic venous ulcers.[v]  Moreover, manuka also synergizes with conventional antibiotics making MRSA bacterial isolates more susceptible to their antibacterial action.[vi]
  • Kills Dental Plaque-Causing Bacteria: Manuka honey, a special honey produced by the flowers of the manuka plant that grows in New Zealand and Australia, was shown at least as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine gluconate, often used in mouthwash, in reducing plaque formation as a mouthwash.[vii]
  • Superior to Pharmaceutical at Killing Herpes:  A 2004 study published in the Medical Science Monitor, showed that topical  honey was far superior to the drug acyclovir (trade name Zovirax) in treating both labial (lip) and genital herpes lesion. According to the amazing study "For labial herpes, the mean duration of attacks and pain, occurrence of crusting, and mean healing time with honey treatment were 35%, 39%, 28% and 43% better, respectively, than with acyclovir treatment. For genital herpes, the mean duration of attacks and pain, occurrence of crusting, and mean healing time with honey treatment were 53%, 50%, 49% and 59% better, respectively, than with acyclovir. Two cases of labial herpes and one case of genital herpes remitted completely with the use of honey. The lesions crusted in 3 patients with labial herpes and in 4 patients with genital herpes. With acyclovir treatment, none of the attacks remitted, and all the lesions, labial and genital, developed crust. No side effects were observed with repeated applications of honey, whereas 3 patients developed local itching with acyclovir."[viii]
  • Protective Against Gastric Damage: Honey has been shown to prevent alcohol-, indomethacin- (a NSAID pain-killer) and aspirin-induced lesions.[ix]

Sunday, 15 October 2017

the Revolutionary Power Of Diverse Thought

Diverse thought

 When I saw this post there was an instant spark.  Writers can teach us a world of thought processes, all very illuminating:

 "From populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy," says novelist Elif Shafak. "From isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism." A native of Turkey, Shafak has experienced firsthand the devastation that a loss of diversity can bring -- and she knows the revolutionary power of plurality in response to authoritarianism. In this passionate, personal talk, she reminds us that there are no binaries, in politics, emotions and our identities. "One should never, ever remain silent for fear of complexity," Shafak says.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

How to Grow Ginger At Home

How To Grow Ginger At Home

 This amazing herb is fairly reasonably priced too if you can't grow it at home.  I have tried to grow it and failed, perhaps I shall give it another try!

Story at-a-glance

  • Ginger is a wonderful addition to your cooking and has a wide variety of medicinal benefits, including broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and antiparasitic properties
  • Growing your own ginger is a simple way to ensure you always have this medicinal wonder worker on hand, and will provide you with something you won’t get at the store — so-called “stem” ginger, which has its own culinary uses
  • Stem ginger — the fresh-from-the-ground rhizome — has a warm, delicate, almost floral flavor, devoid of ginger’s usual fieriness. As the root dries and develops that papery outer surface, it becomes “hotter”
  • Growing ginger is really easy, and can be done either in a container, kept indoors or out, or directly in your garden bed. All you need to get started is a fresh leftover piece
  • To propagate, start with a firm, plump piece with smooth skin and visible eyes — tiny yellow tips on the rhizome that will eventually develop into new sprouts. Root is ready for harvest in six to eight months

Friday, 13 October 2017

Why Jobs Of The Future Won't Feel Like Work

We've all heard that robots are going to take our jobs -- but what can we do about it? Innovation expert David Lee says that we should start designing jobs that unlock our hidden talents and passions -- the things we spend our weekends doing -- to keep us relevant in the age of robotics. "Start asking people what problems they're inspired to solve and what talents they want to bring to work," Lee says. "When you invite people to be more, they can amaze us with how much more they can be." 

Jobs Of The Future Won't Feel Like Work