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Archive for October, 2012

You have heard people talk about “catching a cold.” What exactly does it mean to catch a cold? It sounds like a funny way of talking about coming down with a head cold, but it is a common expression, especially during the cold and flu season (predominantly the fall and winter months).

But you may have been misled about the manner in which you “catch” a cold!

We are often led to believe that it is germs that cause diseases and such health issues as the common cold. Germs are everywhere and so are the many viruses that can herald the start of illness.

But … the story does not end there. In fact it is only the beginning of it.

Germs create disease when the conditions are right for it to occur in the human body. When the environment is already bordering on unhealthy, this is when germs can wreck havoc and strike. However, it can only happen if the immune system is run down. If the immune system is well fortified and going strong, germs have no impact. That is a force field that they are not able to penetrate.

The immune system is an integral part of the functioning of your body. It plays a vital role in how healthy you are (or how healthy you are not!). Your body’s immune system function never takes a day-or night- off. The immune system is successful at fending off germs and other pathogens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When the circumstances of your immune system are not ideal, symptoms of illness will appear. If you know that you are stressed out, overtired, and not taking proper care of yourself, your chances of getting sick are much greater. Hello cold virus!

When it comes to a compromised immune system, we need to ask ourselves what we are doing or thinking to cause the problem. It is not just a question of what is happening with our physical health. Our emotional and mental health is often common culprits of illness and disease as well.

Instead of focusing on germs or viruses (which can often cause you needless worry), focus on living a healthy and disease-free life. Make that a priority. Do everything you can to promote the health and wellness of your hardworking (and often under appreciated!) immune system. By boosting the effectiveness of your immunity, you will strengthen your body’s ability to fight off unwanted visitors in the form of unhealthy germs, bacteria and viruses.

A good place to start is to look at what you eat. Eat a nutritious diet that consists of as many organic foods as you can find (and afford). If you can grow your own fruits and vegetables, plant a garden and enjoy your own pesticide free produce.

Exercise regularly, get enough sleep and find effective ways to cope with stress. Regular massages are beneficial, as is periodic chiropractic care. Meditation and yoga are both good ways to relax every part of your being.

Taking care of yourself properly enables your immune system to do the job that nature intended it to do. It can do a super duper job the better you nurture it!

Samantha

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Pain is … well… never a welcome feeling for anyone to experience. Have you ever wondered what the purpose of pain really is?

Pain is not something that is meant to torture us. Instead, it is sending us a message that something in a particular area of our body is not as it should be.  Nobody wants to suffer in pain but pain is necessary. Not feeling any pain would actually be much worse. It is hard to believe but it is so true.

Pain’s Purpose:

What pain does it is it causes you to pay closer attention to something in your body that is no longer working correctly. In other words, the function of the organ or body part has ceased to do what it is supposed to do. There could be any number of reasons for this. Pain is a warning that a limit has been reached in terms of the functionality of the area in question. It means that the body has reached its limit of what it can handle and it is not able to adapt any further.

Pain is certainly not subtle in many cases and indeed, it is not supposed to be.

Its goal is to make you sit up and take notice of it, and from there to take appropriate action to improve the health situation. Once something is done (i.e. a proper diagnosis followed by a treatment plan) then the pain will subside and will cease to bother you further. You will have taken care of the medical issues at hand. Pain is the body’s cry for help!

The body uses pain to alert you that what is needed is a change of action or approach to your health. It is a sign that something is not right! Pain should never be ignored because it is actually doing you a tremendous favor.

Pain does not always set in immediately. There could be something wrong with one of your muscles for instance and you do not realize it until the pain is suddenly overwhelming you and you can think of nothing else. In many cases the pain starts out very small and builds because nothing is done to remedy it.

In many ways, pain is a good thing because it indicates that a problem exists somewhere in your body.  You may misinterpret the source of the pain however, as sometimes it is not the targeted area that radiates pain but an area that is in close proximity to it.

We can get into trouble if we refuse to acknowledge the pain or if we look for ways to make it go away without addressing the underlying cause of it. Many people resort to popping pain medication to relieve the pain they are suffering from. All this does it is temporarily makes the pain disappear. However in the long-term, the body’s organs, such as the kidneys and liver, will pay the price for the pill popping habit used to self-medicate.

Numbing the body with drugs is never the long-term answer. It may be convenient or easy at the time, but it is unhealthy and ultimately, very expensive as well. Drugs are able to mask the pain but not make the problem go away. What is needed is a holistic approach to dealing with the health problem that has brought on the pain and discomfort. If pain persists seek medical advice and ensure the root cause of the issue is uncovered.

Becca

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What is acne? Do you have it? If you do, then you probably want to know how you can cope with it, preferably as naturally as possible. Let us take a closer look at some effective means of coping with this skin condition.

Acne is a skin problem that most often affects teenagers but can also affect adults of any age. Mild acne is easier to cope with than is severe acne. Teenage acne can be particularly difficult because it can range from mild to moderate to extreme. There are different types of acne and this skin disorder can vary in how extreme it becomes.

A Closer Look at Acne:

It is not dirt per se that causes the development of acne. Cosmetics can irritate the skin and lead to worse problems. Air pollution, dust and shaving are also factors that can contribute to the problem because they can cause irritation and can also clog the pores of the skin. Air pollution and dust cause bacteria which leads to the formation of acne pimples, as well as blackheads and whiteheads. In the severest cases, papules and pustules can result.

Mild to moderate acne vulgaris is skin acne that shows itself in the form of blackheads and/or whiteheads.

The former are brought about by pores that have become partially blocked. The latter is brought about by pores that are completely blocked. Acne nodules on the other hand are a characteristic of severe acne vulgaris and can be described as being hard, large bumps that develop under the surface of the skin.

Treating Acne:

To treat mild forms of acne you need to care for your skin in a consistent and gentle manner. One of the ways that you do this is by taking care of it from the inside out. This means eating a balanced and nutritious diet which will nourish your skin and provide it with all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs to be as healthy as possible. The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better it is for your acne prone skin.

Keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water. Consuming eight glasses of water a day will flush impurities from your skin and it will also help to keep your skin elastic and supple. Drink up as often as possible. Water is not only healthy for your skin but your entire body!

Cleanse your skin thoroughly but do not be rough with it. To get rid of mild acne and to prevent it from flaring up, make sure you choose a gentle cleanser that is suitable for skin that has blemishes.

Toning should also be part of your skincare regimen if you have acne. You should also moisturize and exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells that can make your complexion look dull. Look for products that contain salicylic acid which helps to dry up acne and make it go away with leaving scars acne in its place.

Be good to your skin and be consistent with your efforts to maintain it. By so doing, your acne will not flare up often and will become a thing of the past!

Samantha

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You do everything you can to take care of yourself as naturally as possible but sometimes the need to take an aspirin is there. Before you reach into the medicine cabinet for the bottle of aspirin, there are some things you need to know. Here we look at enteric coated aspirin.

Be aware that aspirin with an enteric coating offers control over the area of the digestive system that it is absorbed in. An enteric coated aspirin is not released into the body until it finds its way to the small intestine.

Uses and Benefits of Aspirin:

Aspirin has many uses, as well as benefits. It can be used to relieve mild to moderate discomfort due to such things as head colds, headaches, toothaches and aches in the muscles and joints. It can also be used to reduce fever and to reduce pain and swelling that often accompanies medical problems such as arthritis.

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and also a salicylate. What this means is that it acts by blocking a substance that is naturally found in the body in order to reduce swelling, pain and overall discomfort. Aspirin therapy is often recommended for those who have high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. In fact, aspirin works as a preventative for blood clots and is often used as a blood thinner for those who have recently had a surgical procedure performed for clogged arteries. Aspirin also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin can be life saving!

Aspirin Side Effects:

Enteric coated aspirin also has some side effects worth being aware of before you take it. An upset stomach and/or heartburn sometimes occur when a coated aspirin is taken. If you find this happens a lot then speak to your physician about it.

Serious side effects are not common with coated aspirin. However if you experience problems with your hearing, ringing in your ears, the tendency to bruise or bleed easily, persistent or severe nausea or vomiting then tell your physician right away. The same can be said if you notice a yellow cast to your skin or eyes or if you notice that your urine is getting darker. If you experience dizziness that cannot be explained, or find yourself suffering from fatigue then these are side effects that should not go untreated.

Taking Enteric Aspirin:

Before you start using enteric coated aspirin to treat yourself, you should talk it over with your doctor and then take it as prescribed. It is also important for you to read over the information in the package insert and then follow the directions carefully.

Aspirin is taken by mouth and should be consumed with a full glass of water (which is to say an eight ounce glass). Swallow the aspirin whole. Do not crush it or chew it. This will decrease the effectiveness of the enteric coating and may cause your stomach to become upset.

Samantha

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