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Archive for September, 2009

The mouth-body connection is a new finding that is changing the way we view our oral health and making it front and center in terms of healthcare.

We are now discovering that what is going on in the mouth no longer exists on its own but is intimately connected with the health of the body. The mouth holds clues that were unrealized before now and may hold the key to understanding infection, inflammation and diseases.

Let us continue to look at what the mouth-body connection could mean for your health …

Oral Health and Heart Disease

At present the jury has not come back on whether oral health and heart disease are related in any way. However the American Heart Association has found through a number of research studies that poor oral health could increase your chances of developing heart disease. It is theorized that it is the bacteria, or the inflammatory response caused by the bacteria, that causes plaque buildup in blood vessels and inflammation to develop around the heart. Until a  clear link can be established between heart health and oral health, your best protection is to brush and floss your teeth regularly and get professional cleanings at least twice a year.

Oral Health and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones over time and makes them less dense. This is related to a loss of the mineral calcium. Osteoporosis could also be the cause of tooth loss in some individuals. The jaw is a bone which holds the teeth in place. It can be as vulnerable to osteoporosis as can all of the other bones in the human body. If the jaw become weaker and less dense then the risk of losing teeth becomes that much greater.

If you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis then you will want to be extremely conscientious when it comes to your daily ritual of brushing after every meal and flossing before bedtime. If you develop periodontal disease then this can add insult to injury and make a bad problem that much worse. You are already losing bone mass but the two diseases combined could put you in a higher risk category for losing teeth.

Women who suffer from osteoporosis are three times more likely to risk tooth loss than are those who do not have the disease. To help prevent getting this disease you should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take a calcium and vitamin D supplement.

Oral Health and Women’s Special Concerns

Due to hormonal ups and downs throughout their lives, women are particularly vulnerable to developing oral health problems in the form of gum disease and/or periodontal disease. High hormone levels in the body can cause inflammation in the gums that surround the teeth. Puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause can all cause hormones to increase to greater levels than normal. High hormone levels can cause females to be more sensitive to even a small percentage of bacteria or plaque on the teeth. That is why above average dental care is strongly recommended for all women.

At present a link between periodontal disease and being pregnant has been established that shows that this oral disease could put your unborn baby at risk. Maternal periodontal disease has been associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight.

Now that you understand the significance of the mouth-body connection your oral health should take on a whole new meaning. Open up now and see what it is telling you about the condition your body is in.

Samantha

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More and more evidence points to the fact that your mouth holds the secret to your overall level of health.

You have probably heard of the mind-body connection, but how about the mouth-body connection? Also sometimes referred to as the oral-body health connection, research shows that the condition of your teeth and gums holds secrets to what is really happening inside your body. In fact your next visit to the dentist may speak volumes about your health and your well-being.

Open your mouth and allow it to reveal clues to what is working well and what could use a tune-up. Compare it to the workings of a car and it should be easy to comprehend.

Researchers have begun to zero in on the connection that exists between gum disease, cavities and heart disease. At the present time no link has been clearly established but studies are ongoing. There are diseases however that have been found to be associated with a higher than average risk of developing any number of infections. For example, loose teeth could be a symptom of osteoporosis while those who suffer from diabetes are more likely to experience gingival and periodontal infections and inflammation.

Let us take a closer look at what the mouth-body connection could mean for you …

Oral Health and Smoking

Here is a good place to start. If you think you can hide your smoking habit from your dentist then think again. Your yellow stained teeth will give you away immediately! Smokers are at a greater risk for any oral problem as compared to non-smokers. Tooth loss is the number one concern. Talk about a way to ruin a lovely smile! An estimated 41 percent of those over the age of 65 who smoke on a daily basis are toothless. Smoking can also lead to a greater level of calculus on the teeth. It can lead to mouth sores, deep pockets between the teeth and gums, loss of bone and tissue and the risk of oral cancer.

Oral Heath and Diabetes

Diabetes is the one disease that the medical community is well aware can affect the condition of the bones and gums that surround the teeth. This is because of blood sugar. If your blood sugar level is not being controlled in the body then it will also be out of whack in your mouth. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and then attack the enamel that protects the teeth. Over time this can wear down the teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities.

Diabetes that is out of control can weaken the body’s ability to fight off infection with its white blood cells which can then make your oral health problematic. High blood sugar levels lead to higher than average levels of bacteria which can open the door wide to gum disease or periodontal disease.

Individuals with diabetes need to work closely with their dentist to ensure the best oral health possible. They also need to do their part at home to take care of their teeth and gums by brushing and flossing regularly.

Continue on to part two of this post to learn more about the mouth-body connection.

Samantha

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Your fat burning power can be improved upon if you feed your body the right selection of foods.

While garlic and onions may be a little stinky for your tastes, both of these powerhouse foods are excellent for your health. They are full of phytochemicals which break down fatty deposits that build up in the body. They also kill bacteria, viruses and fungi that threaten the body’s delicate system. Garlic and onions can break down cholesterol in the bloodstream and can fight against heart disease. Garlic and onions are a winning combination and also work just as well on their own. They fight fat and disease. Can you beat that power?

Speaking of phytochemicals, tomatoes contain both vitamin C as well as the phytochemical lycopene. Tomatoes support the development of an amino acid called carnitine. Carnitine is a fat burning powerhouse for sure! Research has shown that it speeds up the body’s ability to burn fat by as much as one-third of its capacity.

If you are not used to eating beans and legumes then it is time to begin! Legumes are one of the best sources of fiber of any food known to man and womankind. Not only do they keep your bowels working regularly and properly, but they also keep blood sugar at a normal level. Soy is a prime example of a food in this category that breaks down fat stores in the body.

Olives and olive oil are both composed of healthy (also known as monounsaturated) fats. Just like oatmeal, they both make the stomach feel fuller for a longer span of time and they reduce cravings for junk food. Yet another advantage of these foods is that they reduce blood pressure that has become too high.

Eating nuts that are raw and unsalted can give you an extra dose of essential fatty acids which can encourage the burning of fat. Nuts are very good for you in other ways as well. Did you know that they can lower your risk of having a heart attack by as much as 60 percent? They can.

The consumption of flax seeds and flax seed oil can attract oil-soluble toxins that find their way into the fatty tissues of the body and from there, help to get rid of fat-soluble toxins. This means that less fat will be stored in the body. Say bye bye to dreaded fat and hello to a thinner looking you!

Cayenne (or cayenne pepper as it is sometimes called) is a hot spice that is often referred to as a kind of natural antibiotic. Cayenne speeds up the process of metabolism and it lowers blood sugar in order that excess insulin will not be stored as fat. To burn more fat you might want to add cayenne to some of your favorite recipes.

So now you have it- an array of foods that have excellent fat burning potential for your body. You do not have to put up with lingering fat around your middle that serves no useful purpose whatsoever. Eat your way to a slimmer and trimmer you!

Samantha

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Forget fighting fire with fire – how about fighting fat with foods that increase your fat burning capacity?

If you are sick and tired of the extra pounds around your middle that  have become comfortable exactly where they are at and they just do not want to leave you in peace, then it is time to carefully examine the foods you are eating on a regular basis. There are certain foods that support your body in burning fat because they promote the main organ that handles fat – the liver – to work to the very best of its ability.

While there are many foods that have this unique fat burning potential, here we look at a selection of the top choices in no special order. Bear in mind however that you still need to watch how many calories you consume on a daily basis. As well, portion control is still important.

Do not unlace your sneakers either! Eating fat burning foods does not mean that you can give up exercising! You will still need to continue with your time in the gym and with the dreaded sit-ups. Eating more foods with the potential to burn fat is just another item to add to your arsenal to help you win the war you are having with your weight, as opposed to the other way around!

Start the Day by Burning Fat

To begin with, add green tea to your choice of beverages. Drink at least three to four cups a day and drink it black. Green tea is an excellent fat burning addition to your life. Start your day off right with a cup of green tea, steeped just the way you like it.

Speaking of starting the day off right, don’t stop with green tea. Maximize your fat burning potential even more by eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oatmeal is the good and most definitely, healthy kind of complex carbohydrate that keeps you feeling full for a lengthy period of time because it does not digest at a swift rate. This means that it should sustain you until lunch time. It will also keep your blood sugar level stable and will reduce your craving for fatty foods. Eat oatmeal plain or add some cinnamon for a little dash of flavor. Do not smother it with brown sugar and /or milk or you will defeat its fat burning potential (and purpose).

Everything is Coming Up Green!

You are probably constantly hearing about the importance of leafy green vegetables. There is a reason for that. Leafy greens are abundance in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There is almost nothing healthier that you could possibly eat than leafy greens. Here is yet another reason to eat as many of them as possible- they provide plenty of fiber which your body needs. They also prevent you from being hungry. Leafy greens also help to keep your memory intact and they help to prevent cancer, heart disease and cataracts. Eat as much broccoli, spinach, mustard greens, kale, bok choy and other dark leafy green vegetables as you can handle.Watch your weight start to turn in your favor!

Read on for more foods that can fight fat big time in my follow-up post!

Samantha

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Now that you have learned some of the common myths and facts about vitamins, are you ready to tackle some more?

Here is one that many people are quick to believe- supplements found on the shelves  in grocery stores and in health food stores  must be safe for consumers otherwise they would not be on the market. Right? Not necessarily.

To date there is no official pre-market approval needed to sell any type of supplements, whether they be vitamins, minerals or herbal supplements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not limit in any way the concentration or the percentage of nutrients in any supplement on the market. The one exception is that of folacin. For this reason, taking a supplement is something you do at your own risk.

Myth: Herbal supplement are natural and therefore could never cause any harm to come to an individual who took them.

Fact: There are plenty of naturally obtained substances in the world that can do harm and in large enough dosages can prove deadly. Fungus is an example of one. Nevertheless the key is to take the correct dosage to ensure safety. Don’t overdo a good thing! Vitamins can help you and are a welcome addition to a healthy lifestyle but you can damage your health permanently if you go overboard!

Myth: The consumption of vitamins can take the place of food so a person can eat less.

Fact: Vitamins and all other supplements are not miracle workers. You cannot just pop a pill and have instant good health. What most people fail to realize is that vitamins require the energy that comes from food. They need proteins, fats and carbohydrates for proper absorption. For that reason it is smart to eat a selection of foods that provide you with all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential amino acids that you need (as well as the energy you require) and then take supplements when you are suffering from a deficit of  vitamins or minerals. In this way you get the vitamins you need the way nature intended- through your food!

Myth: For maximum absorption, vitamins should be consumed on an empty stomach.

Fact: Hold on there- back up! It is actually best to take supplements with food or at meal times. It is also wise to take smaller portions of vitamins with more than one meal as opposed to a large dosage all at once. In particular fat-soluble vitamins absorb better when there is already some fat present in the digestive system.

Now that you can separate the myths from the facts, you can approach vitamin supplements with a safe and smart approach!

Samantha

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Common myths about vitamins are everywhere you turn, but thankfully so is the information needed to set the record straight.

Here is a common myth that can be very dangerous- has anyone ever told you that the more vitamins you consume the better it is for your health?

Yes, no, maybe?

Here is the truth- while vitamins are good for you, consuming them in high quantities can be harmful to the body. This is especially the case for the fat-soluble ones such as A, D, E and K. Don’t overdo it by any means!

Let us look at some other common myths that can easily trip you up. Always follow the trail of the facts and information as opposed to the false fallacies!

Myth: If you take vitamins then you can eat whatever you like and do not have to worry about eating a nutritious diet.

Fact: This is false- so false! Vitamins cannot replace a healthy diet and they cannot provide you with all the essential nutrients you need to be healthy. You need to consume a healthy diet each and every day. This means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, lean meats and seafood.

Myth: Taking vitamins means that exercise is not important.

Fact: Exercise is always important. In fact it never ceases to be important no matter how old you are. Even if you only take a 30 minute walk once a day or walk the same length of time on a treadmill, lace up your sneakers and get going! Walks are good for everyone but they are particularly good for those who have high blood pressure or are overweight.

Myth: Organic vitamins are much safer and healthier than are their synthetic counterparts.

Fact: Only you know that there is a difference between organic vitamins and synthetic ones. The body is not able to tell the difference. One advantage of organic vitamins is that the food that they come from is rich in fiber and other types of nutrients whereas the synthetic vitamins have none of that.

Myth: One of the best ways to guarantee good health for yourself and your family is to take vitamins.

Fact: Vitamins can help you if you are suffering a deficiency or if you have been sick or are in need of extra nutrients due to lack of access to healthy foods, etc. However the body does not have a lot of areas where it can store the supplements you take in. In fact a great deal of the vitamins you consume are excreted from the body fairly quickly. The most appropriate way to remain as healthy as possible and to ensure good health for your family is to eat a regular diet of healthy foods and to exercise on a consistent basis.

Continue on to part two of this post to uncover more truths and untruths about vitamins.

Samantha

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Reiki energy is the life force which is a spiritual healing tradition that is used in many areas throughout the world.

It is because we all have life force flowing through us that we are alive. Life force is within the physical body of every person and travels through pathways known as meridians, nadis and chakras. It is also all around us in what is often described as our aura or our field of energy. It is important to be aware that the life force flowing inside of you and surrounding you is very much tuned into your thoughts and your feelings.

What Does Reiki Mean?

Reiki derives from a Japanese word that means “healing.” The “Rei” part of the word Reiki stands for “spiritual” or “universal” while the “Ki” part of the word means “life force energy.” In the western world most individuals think of Reiki as a universal energy or as universal life force energy. It is universal energy as opposed to personal or individual energy that is responsible for Reiki healing.

A Reiki treatment is often described as a “laying on of hands.” If you decide that you would like to visit a Reiki practitioner then find one who is certified, well trained, and preferably experienced in the practice. This ensures the safety of both the patient and the practitioner.

What is a Reiki Treatment Like?

At the start of a Reiki treatment the patient is instructed to lie down on a padded table that affords plenty of comfort for the back. The patient (or client) is fully clothed. The Reiki practitioner carefully uses his hands to run through a series of positions that are designed to transfer energy from his hands to the patient’s body. The practitioner will begin by lightly resting his hands on the patient’s head (or in some cases the practitioner’s hands will rest above the patient’s head). He will do this for a period of three to five minutes. The sequence of hand positions will be repeatedly systematically as the practitioner works his way down the patient’s body, ending at the feet. A full Reiki treatment takes approximately an hour to complete.

The patient should feel energy flowing into his body almost immediately after the practitioner has gotten started. It may be felt as a heat or cold sensation or it could just feel like a strange feeling that has never been experienced before and is difficult to explain.

Reiki is believed to be its most effective for healing when it is performed very soon after a trauma has taken place, whether it be a mental shock that has occurred or a physical illness or injury.

What is Reiki Energy?

Reiki energy is not experienced in exactly the same way by every person who undergoes treatment. Every person has a different pattern of energy that is unique to them. This is one of the many things that make one person different from another. It is comparable to DNA and fingerprints. A pattern of energy is often referred to as personal vibrations. Please be aware that the energy pattern of human beings is not the same as the energy patterns that other species exhibit.

To learn more about what Reiki therapy has to offer you, please visit these websites:

http://www.dhyansanjivani.org/what_doesreiki_do.asp
http://www.reiki.org/FAQ/HowDoesReikiWork.html

Samantha

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