Stroke: A Deadly Traitor

Strokes account for one of every five deaths from cardiovascular disease.

The brain is a glutton. It demands one-fifth of the blood the heart pumps. But it also starves quickly. If its supply of blood is reduced for any reason, permanent damage can occur within five minutes. That’s what happens when a stroke occurs—a sudden interruption in the blood flow to the brain and subsequent brain damage. Four out of five victims will survive the first stroke with only partial brain damage and handicaps of varying degrees. But strokes account for one of every five deaths from cardiovascular disease. About 80 percent of these occur in people over 65 years of age. 28 percent of stroke victims are younger than age 65.

The symptoms of stroke can develop within minutes. The victim usually loses consciousness and collapses. The face may be flushed. Vomiting and convulsions may follow. Often the damage is on one side of the brain, so it affects only one side of the body. The pupil in one eye may appear larger than the other. The muscles may be weakened on one side of the body. The mouth may be pulled to one side. Immediate medical attention is important.

Recovery is slow and tedious and often involves a program of muscle therapy. Exercises may help a person regain some of the functions that were affected by the stroke. Many have to learn how to walk again. It takes time and patience, and often, the effort means being able to resume former responsibilities.

The tragedy of stroke is that though it strikes suddenly, the weakened health condition which leads to it is one that develops slowly and is usually preventable. The cause of stroke is often traceable to lifestyle—lack of exercise, high stress, or a diet high in fats—particularly lard and animal fats.

If a person has arteriosclerosis, a floating piece of blood clot can lodge in one of the narrow arteries in the brain. Sometimes, because of high blood pressure, a brain artery may rupture at a weak point, causing blood to flow into the brain tissue and cutting off the supply of blood to other areas of the brain.

Developing a lifestyle that includes attention to health habits will pay off in the long run. Reducing the chances of becoming a stroke victim is just one of the benefits you’ll receive.

Copyright © 11/30/2009 Athena Goodlight (Healthmad)

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Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

 There are many causes of bad breath, but with careful study of the problem the cause can usually be determined and treated.
Bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem of great concern to many people. The word “halitosis” comes from the Latin “halitus” (breath) and the Greek suffix “osis” (condition or pathologic process).
There are many causes of bad breath, but with careful study of the problem the cause can usually be determined and treated.

* Dehydration is a primary cause of bad breath. Drink enough water to keep the urine pale at all times. Early morning halitosis is often caused by dehydration. There is no flow of saliva during sleep, which allows putrefaction of the oral epithelial cells which have flaked off, but have not been removed by the flow of saliva.
* Disorders of the oral cavity are felt to cause 56 to 85 percent of all cases of bad breath. Poor oral hygiene, plaque, caries, gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontitis, “hairy tongue,” and oral carcinoma have all been known to cause bad breath. Proper dental care, frequent flossing and brushing of the teeth, and brushing of the tongue are adequate to control bad breath in most cases. The American Council Dental Therapeutics believes that mouthwash does not substantially contribute to oral health and the Food and Drug Administration has required the manufacturers of mouthwash to stop using advertisements claiming that their product is effective in destroying the bacteria that cause bad breath. Toothpaste is pleasant to use for oral hygiene.
* Breathing through the mouth causes bad breath by decreasing the amount of saliva due to evaporation. Such conditions as enlarged adenoids, nasal infection, hay fever, and a deviated nasal septum encourage mouth breathing.
* A foul smelling discharge associated with sinusitis may cause bad breath. Treating the sinusitis will cure the bad breath. Adenoids, pulmonary abcess, bronchiectasis, empyema, peritonsillar abcesses, tonsillitis, etc. and numerous systemic diseases may also induce bad breath.
* Brush the tongue carefully. The tongue is often coated with food particles or debris and should be cleaned.
* If you suspect that you have bad breath you may use a simple test. Touch the back of your hand with your tongue and smell the hand. The odor will give you the answer. Another test is to cover the mouth and nose with both hands and exhale strongly, smelling the breath.
* Detergent foods such as apples, carrots, celery, etc., help in cleansing the teeth and removing odor-causing bacteria from the mouth.
* Some people believe that outdoor exercise, such as walking, brings more oxygen into the lungs, diluting and removing odorous substances in the system and decreasing bad breath.
* Halitosis has also been called “heavy breath.” Reports of food allergies inducing heavy breath have appeared in the medical literature. A trial period of elimination of the most common allergy-producing foods may be worthwhile.
* The therapy of true halitosis lies in reducing in the diet the intake of fatty aromatic substances, particularly the milk or butter fats.
* Avoiding constipation will help reduce bad breath.
* Taking charcoal tablets by mouth will also help reduce bad breath caused by constipation or oral factors. Let the charcoal tablet dissolve slowly in the mouth.
* Thyme tea may be quite helpful in cases of bad breath caused by gastric disturbances

Copyright © 11/30/2009 Athena Goodlight (Healthmad)

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Testicular Cancer: Who's st Risk?

Testicular cancer most commonly strikes men between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five, but it can strike any adult male. Thousands are and would be diagnosed with the disease and in a year, hundreds would die from it.

There are two main types of testicular cancer: seminomas, usually found in men between the ages of thirty and fifty, and non-seminoma cancers, which tend to develop earlier, usually in men in their twenties. Seminomas grow more slowly than non-seminomas and usually don’t spread. So a seminoma case generally has a better prognosis, although both types are quite curable.

White American men have four times the risk of African-American men. A brother with the disease is also an indicator of risk. But the main risk factor for testicular cancer is a condition called cryptorchidism, or undescended testicles, which occurs in about 3 percent of boys at birth. About 14 percent of testicular cancers occur in men with a history of this disorder.

The symptoms include a painful lump on a testicle, or testicular swelling. Men may also experience a sensation of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. In rare cases, they may experience breast tenderness or enlargement. Lower back pain is common in late-stage cases. However, some men with testicular cancer have no symptoms at all, and are diagnosed during checkups.

If a man comes to the doctor with a lump, the doctor will first rule out bacterial infection. Other disorders, such as cysts, are rare, so most lumps in the testicles are cancerous. Blood tests can often detect tumor-marker proteins that may be present in abnormal amounts. To make a definitive diagnosis, the affected testicle is removed – a procedure called inguinal orchiectomy—in order to obtain a tissue sample. A surgeon won’t remove just part of the testicle because cancer cells could be released into the surrounding tissue.

To determine if the cancer has spread, most patients will have an ultrasound screening and CAT scan of various sections of the body. “But this can be a fast-growing cancer and can escalate in a few months,” says George J. Bosl, M.D., from the department of medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. “If you feel a lump, don’t wait around—get to the doctor fast.”
Frequently Asked Questions about Testicular Cancer (FAQ: Teen Life)
Both types of testicular cancer are 90 percent curable if detected early enough. In such cases, non-seminomas can be treated with surgery, which usually entails the removal of the testicle and some of the lymph nodes in the abdomen. Early-stage seminoma tumors normally require surgical removal of the testes along with external beam radiation to the lymph nodes of the abdomen. With either type, if the cancer has spread, chemotherapy is generally used.

Copyright © 11/29/2009 Athena Goodlight (Healthmad)

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Meningococcemia: A Deadly Infection

Meningococcemia is passed from person to person through droplets released into the air during sneezing or coughing.

Meningococcemia, affects two thousand to four thousand people a year, most of them children under the age of five. Approximately 25 percent of the population carries bacteria in their respiratory tracts, but most never suffer from infection. Meningococcemia is passed from person to person through droplets released into the air during sneezing or coughing. Doctors are continuously studying on what makes some people susceptible to the bacteria while others can be exposed and never get sick.

Unfortunately, parents often mistake a meningococcemia infection for the flu, since the two ailments share the same symptoms, including fever, chills and fatigue. One marker of meningococcemia is the large bruise-like lesions that appear on the skin, and attack the inside organs. These lesions, the result of the leakage from the breakdown of inflamed blood vessels, inflict the same damage as a third-degree burn, and cause the body to go into shock and respiratory failure.

Although the disease has an incubation period of one to ten days, once the meningococcemia strikes, patients experience a rapid decline in health. If it is not diagnosed and treated immediately, meningococcemia is often fatal. “Vaccines have been developed but is not yet safe for children under two.” says Douglas Beal, M.D. “Early detection still offers the best chance of survival,” he adds. Dr. Beal encourages parents to pay close attention to their children’s symptoms: “If there’s ever the combination of a fever and rash of any sort, or your child is acting much sicker than what you’d expect for the flu, contact your doctor right away.

Facts About Depression in Children

While it is painful to see any child suffer, we can’t deny the fact that depression is an illness that can also strike children.

Although its extent is unknown, most specialists believe that childhood depression can be as severe as the adult form. Recognizing depression in pre-adolescent children can be difficult. However, any significant, persistent change in a child’s normal behavior can signal the possibility of depression.

Common warning signs: sad expressions; a desire to be alone (refusal to go to school, participate in group activities or to play with friends); changes in eating or sleeping habits; poor concentration, decline in school work; references to death or suicide (there is a growing recognition that children as young as five or six can have suicidal thoughts); or aggressive behavior.

A thorough examination by a child psychiatrist, psychologist or child mental health team can determine if a child is depressed. Such an evaluation is important because depressed children may grow up to be depressed adults, unless they are treated.

Copyright © 11/13/2009 Athena Goodlight (Healthmad)

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How to Protect Your Eyes From Injuries

Whether you’re at home, work, school, or play, you should be aware of how to best protect your eyesight.

First, play it safe.  Consider any injury to the eyes serious.  All of us know how sensitive our eyes are.  Even an eyelash or small speck of dirt can cause an almost excruciating pain.  It is wise, especially if the pain continues or if the eye reddens and the surrounding tissues continue to water, to see a physician or an ophthalmologist in order to assess the full extent of injury.

Here are some specific things you can do to avoid eye injuries:

1.  Around the house

AO Safety 91264 Professional Chemical Splash Goggle
Always read labels for user directions before using cleaning powders and fluids, drain decloggers, degreasers, or any caustic chemical.  Be sure nozzles of aerosol products and pressure sprayers are always directed away from you before pressing the release valve.  Use grease shields to avoid splattering oil when you are cooking, especially frying, food. Wear safety glasses or goggles when you use toxic chemicals.

2.  At work
Neiko Extra-Soft Lab Safety Goggles Anti-Fog - ANSI Z87.1 Approved
When you work involves small particles such as flying fragments or wood or metal, electrical sparks, and splashed chemicals, always wear safety glasses.  When your line of work involves much use of the computer, opt for an LCD monitor.  I this is not possible and wear multi-coated eyeglass lenses to protect your eyes.

3.  In sports

Wear protective safety glasses, protective caps, and helmets with face protectors when appropriate.

4.  In other places
Unique Over Glasses Eye Guard
Use extreme caution around fireworks, garden tools, and pesticides.  Be careful when you’re working on an automobile engine, jump-starting a car, or woodcutting.  Teach children correct precautions to protect their eyes.

Copyright © 11/28/2009 Athena Goodlight

The Kensington Way: A Diet and Weight-loss Book

A book review on The Kensington Way: the Revolutionary Diet & Lifestyle Plan for Losing Weight & Creating Perfect Health.

The Kensington Way by Stephen Twigg, a holistic health practitioner who counts the late Princess Diana among his clients, is a weight-loss program that relies on combining specific foods, rotating food choices, and using mind-body techniques – such as affirmations – to transform you from fat to fit.

The right food combinations—fish or poultry with vegetables, for instance – take off pounds, Twigg contends.  Conversely, the wrong ones – like proteins coupled with starchy carbohydrates—keep them on.  Likewise, he says, all the foods you eat should be on a five-day rotation, except for fruits, vegetables, and yogurt, to eliminate the toxins in the body.
Is this brilliant science – or sheer nonsense?  “Whenever you put limits on what you eat, it leads to weight loss because you eat fewer calories,” Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD,
 Family and Preventive Medicine professor says.  “But this plan isn’t healthy because you’re likely to miss lots of nutrients.  There’s little guidance on portion control – and no scientific evidence that food combining works.  The food-rotation concept is another trick to make you not eat stuff you’d normally eat.  The whole thing is amazingly unscientific.”

Copyright © 11/18/2009 Athena Goodlight (Bookstove)

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Men, You Need to See The Doctor, Too

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Only 60 percent of men get a checkup every year, and almost 10 percent haven’t set foot inside a physician’s office in a span of 10 years.
The numbers tell the story. Only 60 percent of men get a checkup every year, and almost 10 percent haven’t set foot inside a physician’s office in a span of 10 years. Perhaps these numbers explain why women live an average of almost seven years longer than men. “Women are experienced health-care consumers, and they know how to deal with doctors,” says Kenneth Goldberg, M.D., of the Male Health Institute at Baylor Health Center, in Irving Texas, and author of How Men Can Live as Long as Women. “Men simply don’t.”
According to researches and surveys, there is an array of reasons why most men have to be dragged to the doctor: They are more uncomfortable than women in discussing their health problems; they prefer to tough it out when they’re sick; and worst of all, they wait until they are really sick before seeking help, so the news they get is often not good.

The great irony is that some of the most common medical problems men face as they age—like heart disease – can be cured or at least controlled by adopting better health habits.

The Healing Words

There is such a thing as verbal medicine.

Encouraging words while you’re under the knife may mean faster recovery from surgery, with fewer complications, according to the doctors at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, London. The subjects in their study were thirty-nine women who underwent hysterectomies, “but there’s no reason to assume it wouldn’t work with men as well,” says Dr. P.H. Richardson, senior lecturer in psychology at the medical school. All of the women wore headphones during the operation, but a blank tape was played for twenty of them; the others heard a recorded voice that told them how to have a smoother convalescence (even the surgeons weren’t told which tape was played). Information was given about postoperative procedures, along with therapeutic suggestions such as “You will not have any pain.” The results were impressive. Patients in this group had significantly fewer incidences of fever and digestive distress in the post-op period than did the others, and many left the hospital more than a day earlier. Nurses rated the recovery of sixteen of the nineteen as “better than expected.” Conversely, Richardson notes that ill-considered remarks made by operating room personnel when a patient is under the anesthetic appear to impede recovery.

Copyright © 2009 Athena Goodlight (11/05/2009 Healthmad)
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Simple Exercises to Help You Relax

As soon as you become aware of what tension feels like, you have started step one in the art of progressive relaxation.

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The following exercises are best done while lying down, so you can practice them before dropping off to sleep.  Step by step, here’s what’s involved.
  1. Begin with the arm and forearm to locate and feel tension.
  2. Close your hand, making a fist.
  3. Tightly clench both fists.  Notice the pull or tension on your wrists, around your elbows, and even up in the shoulders.  This is extreme muscular tension.
  4. Open your fists.  Immediately release contraction from the muscles of the hands, forearms, upper arms, and shoulders.  You will feel the tension leave.
  5. Close your eyes and think “relax” – breathe slowly and deeply.
  6. Now do it all over again, then, do it once more.  In other words, perform the above exercises three times.
  7. Next, bend toes and feet downward, then push or stretch downward with the heels.  Notice the pull or tension in your ankles, feet, hips, and thighs, but most particularly in the calves of your legs.  This is muscular tension.
  8. Now let go, and the muscular tension disappears.
  9. Do the foot exercise three times.
  10. The final relaxing exercise is for the muscles of the neck, throat and face.  Close your eyes more tightly than usual.  Shut them as tight as you can.  At the same time press your lips together, and bite hard with your jaws’ strength.  This contracts the muscles of your eyes, forehead, mouth, jaws and neck.  You can easily feel the tension about the head—and even hear it ringing in your ears.
  11. Now let go of the tension from your jaws and face.
  12. Perform the face and jaw exercises three times.  You may need to practice this last exercise before you can master it.  Among all body muscles, those in the face are among the most difficult to relax.  Check on yourself when you are unable to sleep, and you will often find your eyebrows knit together, your forehead wrinkled up, and muscles around the eyes and jaws tense.

Copyright © 10/29/2009 Athena Goodlight (Triond)

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Extra Care Needed for Pregnancy During Older Age

If you are in your thirties and having your first baby, you are one of thousands of women each year who have planned motherhood at a later age. Reasons for delaying childbirth vary from woman to woman. Education, economics, career advancement, and other reasons have been weighed against concerns regarding fertility and problems in pregnancy.

As with other things, having children later in life means accepting trade-offs. Age does affect fertility and may slightly increase the chances of the pregnant woman developing certain medical problems; but good health ad good prenatal care can reduce most of these risks.

A major concern for women over thirty is their ability to become pregnant. Biologically, a woman’s peak reproductive years are her twenties, with a decline in fertility as she grows older. Some fertility problems are naturally a result of the aging process; others are linked to pelvic infections and other diseases.

However, the decline in fertility is not as drastic as some have suggested. Couples who waited to have a child and now experience infertility problems have access to tests and procedures that may offer some solutions.

Of major concern to older mothers, whether it is their first child or not, is that the risks of some birth defects increase with age. For instance, the incidence of Down’s syndrome rises from about one baby in one thousand at age twenty nine to about one baby in one hundred at age forty. Because of this increased possibility of birth defects, it is recommended that women around age thirty-five or older have a test, called amniocentesis, that may determine some—but will not discover all – genetic problems during pregnancy. This procedure is carried out around the sixteenth week of pregnancy and involves a slight risk of cramping, bleeding, or miscarriage.

Older mothers appear to have a slightly higher chance of experiencing certain medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, premature labor, and miscarriage. The increased risks of these problems are small, but the older pregnant woman generally has her pregnancy monitored more closely.

It is important to remember that many of these risks can be reduced if a woman is in good health before and during pregnancy and gets good prenatal care. The choices we make will always have an effect on the future of our own lives and our offspring; so we have to be ready for any consequence in whatever form. So, if you decide to delay having children, pay attention to your health and discuss plans with your doctor; then enjoy your long-awaited pregnancy and baby.
Copyright © 2009 Athena Goodlight  (published on Factoidz 11/25/2009)

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Product Review: Skechers Women's Shape-Ups Toners

Toning sneakers have been circulating for a few years now, but only in the last year, more or less that their popularity has truly surged. Though many brands are on the market, Skechers Women’s Shape-Ups Toners remain the most popular and are selling like hotcakes everywhere! So, are they worth the hype?

These are specially made sneakers that promise to aid you to tone up quicker, enhance your posture and to burn more calories.

Read more: Product Review: Skechers Women's Shape-Ups Toners

Fitflop Women’s Toning Flip Flop: Do They Actually Work?

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First arrived the toning sneakers, now, for summer, come the toning flip flops! Now the FitFlop brand is taking the world by storm. The question now is how does the FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flop truly "shape up" when you look at the evidence?

What To Search For In Toning Flip Flops

1) Style: The assumption regarding the FitFlop is that you'll benefit more from day-to-day activities like taking a walk. This doesn't imply you wish to look like you're outfitted to go to the gym the whole day each day, though, so you will want your toning flip flops to appear stylish.

2) Comfort: Naturally, your toning flip flops must be comfortable. If not, you won't be wearing them, and you're never going to benefit!

3) Fitness Benefits: The primary point of these flip flops is that they have to be substantially designed to help you enhance your fitness.

Features of The FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flops

* Sizes: FitFlops are available in US sizes 5-11.
* Styles: FitFlops come in a huge number of styles including metallic leather, sequins, suede and rhinestones.
* Color: Each style can be purchased in a variety of different colors.
* Design: They are made with EVA foam to create a "destabilizing effect".
* Benefits: They can help to improve leg, calf and gluteal muscle activity and posture.

What Buyers Are Saying Regarding The FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flop

FitFlops have been a few of the best selling shoes lately. Customers are not only purchasing them to enhance their fitness and reduce weight, they are flying off the shelves since they are exceedingly comfortable and fashionable at the same time. Reviews are usually quite positive!

Customer Complaints About FitFlops

Regrettably, FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flops are only currently sold in whole sizes. If you ordinarily wear a half size then the makers urge that you select the smaller of the two sizes. Aside from this, customers have discovered that some styles of the shoe are a bit narrow and might not be ideal for those who have wide feet. And, because of the height of the FitFlop, they're not ideal for all terrain walking.

Could Toning Flip Flops Actually Work?

When you are searching for a shoe to help you lose weight and tone up, this could be the big question and perhaps the biggest consideration before buying. Similar to other makes of toning footwear, the FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flops is constructed using EVA foam that produces a "destabilizing effect" when you walk. In short, they will not work miracles, but they'll rock backward and forward while you have them on to assist your muscles to be more active when you are walking, which aids you to tone up faster than you would typically.

The experts are unwaveringly divided when it bears on toning footwear, with a lot arguing that it's merely the extra walking you are doing that creates the difference in your physical fitness efforts. Nevertheless, a lot of happy customers have described the feeling of being extra tired and achey after using these shoes on their usual workouts. The design of the shoe can facilitate you to walk the "right way" i.e. the most efficient way for getting to work the most of those muscles.

It is up to you whether you believe it's worth giving the FitFlop Women's Toning Flip Flop a try. Numerous happy ladies swear by these shoes, but you will only see effects when you put in some effort!

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Wii Fit Plus With Balance Board: Is This Fitness Game Right For You?

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Fitness games were virtually unheard of until the advent of the Wii Fit which practically changed everything. Having a revolutionary balance board, Nintendo in some way managed to merge video games with getting fit! Ever since, Wii Fit has been improved and added with the release of Wii Fit Plus.

What You Get

This is the package to get if you have not yet bought the original Wii Fit and balance board. You'll get the game along with the radical balance board that made for several people into the fitness gaming world.

Some of the features of this package include:
* The balance board that can measure your movements and weight
* Four game categories: Aerobic, Balance, Yoga and Strength
* The new improved Wii Fit Plus game
* Work with a personal trainer as you learn how to perform each exercise
* As you improve and play for longer you'll unlock new activities or increase the number of reps for each exercise
* Wii Fit Plus brings several new features like routines and targeted areas of focus

Wii Fit Plus VS the Original Wii Fit

If you already got the original Wii Fit then you can simply get the upgrade by purchasing the software alone without the balance board. This game includes the original content of the Wii Fit, but brings an entire different level of game play. Some of the new features involve mixing and matching some flowing exercises and yoga and strength activities together seamlessly for an effective every day workout routine.

Other new features:
* A much larger range of customization options
* "My Routine" allows you to put together your own routines
* 15 new balance games
* "Favorites" is a collection of workouts you use the most
* 6 new strength and yoga activities
* Users can choose which area of health and fitness to focus on
* See how many calories you've burned
* New feature allows users to weigh their cats and dogs

What Customers Are Saying

The Wii Fit Plus got generally positive reviews, with customers remarking how the new game has covered a lot of of the shortcomings of the original Wii Fit. On the original, while fresh and fun, several would soon desert it because of the lack of ability for seamless workouts and more command over which regions to work on. Customers have cited how they are now a lot more incited to go on exercising having the Wii Fit Plus every day.


Some customers have cited that the new games are generally added for fun, but won't have much effect when it concerns exercising. Only 6 new strength and yoga games are added to help enhance fitness. The tailor-made workouts are by far the greatest upgrade, but the primary drawback of this is that they don't include the balance or aerobic activities.


When the pilot Wii Fit first got into stores, it was all we had.  Since then, fitness games have gone a long way. A lot of individuals regarded the original Wii Fit overly basic to keep their interest, and the new Wii Fit Plus has addressed those issues. If you do not already own the balance board, there is no reason to get the old version. Still, if you already have a balance board then it's your decision to compare Wii Fit Plus to other fitness games available on the market to get the one that meets your interests.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight  

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Can Massage Therapy Be Part of A Regular Health Care Program?

Therapeutic massage isn’t a new concept. More than 3,000 years ago massage was conducted in China and practiced by Ayurvedic doctors in India. A lot of the ancient Mediterranean cultures, especially those of Greece and Rome, included massage after exercise and bathing as part of a training that accentuated equal growth of body and mind. Massage was likewise part of standard health care in ancient Greece. As a matter of fact, the Greek physician Hippocrates remarked that "the physician must be familiar with many things, assuredly with rubbing."

Nowadays, therapeutic massage, manipulation of the body’s soft tissues to keep away or alleviate pain and to bring down stress, is once more a progressively recognized part of health care. According to a survey commissioned by the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy is popular amongst all age groups and in both sexes. The nearly 20% of Americans who look for the services of a massage therapist would have, on average, 6 to 8 massages per year.

Some of those searching for massage therapy will not have to go far to find it. Research has established that workplace massage has a positive effect on productiveness and helps control absenteeism, high medical disbursements, and stress. As stated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, onsite massage therapy is now offered up by manufacturers, law firms, hospitals, and such large companies like United Airlines, Apple Computer, and Boeing.

Another flourishing field of massage therapy is massage for infants and kids. Clinical studies have advised that massage can be applied to help at-risk infants gain required weight, to help asthmatic kids breathe more easily, to better motor development in premature babies, and to help infants sleep better.

Massage therapy is conducted in private clinics, clients’ homes, hospitals, spas and health clubs, chiropractors’ offices, nursing homes, resorts, fitness centers, and sports centers.

The first question you must ask yourself is, what type of massage do I wish or require? Am I searching for massage therapy because I need help with a medical condition, because I am stressed, or because I have injured myself while playing touch football with the kids?
There are almost 150 forms of massage and body work. Classical European massage constitutes the foundation of numerous techniques, including both Swedish and Russian massage, which use similar techniques as kneading, friction, and long stroking motions. These methods encourage relaxation, rehabilitation after injury, and general good health. Other forms of massage include amma, shiatsu, and acupressure—Asian styles of body work that center on energy flow and use finger pressure on respective parts of the body. Reflexology is a manipulation of the hands, feet, or ears. Sports massage utilizes an assortment of techniques and targets particular muscle groups.

A lot of therapists can do more than one type of therapeutic massage. You need to fit the style of massage with your certain need.

Health care providers are a good source of referrals. In truth, this is a rather good place to begin because a lot of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and insurance companies would now pay for massage therapy. Fitness centers, health food stores, and massage schools can also direct you in the right place.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Alternative Butter Spreads For People With Peanut Allergy

 The growing number of peanut allergy cases prompted many food manufacturers to produce suitable alternatives for peanut butter spreads. Cocoa butter, Hazelnut butter, and soy nut butter are three of the popular choices for peanut butter substitutes.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter (also known as cacao butter) is the fat extracted from cocoa beans, cream-hued, that’s most often utilized to add flavor, smoothness and scent to the chocolate we all adore (basically, to claim a product chocolate, it should have cocoa butter.) Although this Mayan butter is rich with saturated fat-8 grams in one tablespoon- most of it is in the form of stearic acid, and research shows it has no damaging impact on cholesterol levels and heart health. It dissolves at body temperature, and cocoa butter can also be a wonderful skin moisturizer.

To add up chocolate tinges to brownies, muffins and cakes, apply cocoa butter as a direct substitute for some or all of cow’s butter in your recipes. One caution though, you have to melt it first.

Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnut butter holds in a perfect ratio of good to unhealthful fat, and is crammed with vitamin E, copper, B vitamins such as folate and magnesium, a mineral that takes part in hundreds of biochemical reactions such as those involved in blood-sugar regulation, immunity and nerve function. Almost dangerously runny, hazelnut butter requires a great deal of mixing and must be stashed away in the fridge.

To turn hazelnut butter into a delicious dip for bananas and strawberries, mix it well with equal parts cocoa powder, cane sugar and a pinch of cayenne.

Soy Nut Butter

Soy nut butter is a perfect peanut butter alternate for allergy sufferers of tree nut , because it is from the beans family, not nuts. It is likewise a leading source of phytoestrogens, protein, folate, the B vitamin that protects against depression, birth defects and strokes.. A study found that 8 weeks of elevated soy nut protein ingestion bettered blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels in those who participated. Get organic on this one to prevent slathering genetically altered soya on your bagel.

To create a protein-rich smoothie, add a glob of soy nut butter into a blender together with 1/2 cup soy milk and 1/2 cup soy yogurt, a generous handful of frozen berries, half of a banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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4 Natural Treatments for Swollen and Sore Feet

Extended durations of walking, running or standing can cause sore and swollen feet.  Here are four natural ways you can do at home to pamper and treat your aching feet.

Cold Water Method
Cold-water foot bath is one excellent treatment for a foot or ankle injury or swollen feet. Have some ice cubes close by as well for extra soothing.

Topical Ointment Method
Use ointment or arnica gel that is homeopathic for treating any sprains, sore or overworked muscle. It works wonders for swelling, bruises and stiffness induced by physical trauma.  Respected for its healing properties, arnica montana comes in homeopathic preparations in the form of homeopathic pellets and/or tincture, which are available in most major health food stores. They have been found to be effective and safe. The gel and ointment are for external use only on unbroken skin. If you are a traveler, never leave home without it.  Arnica ointment must be the last to be put on following an essential oil massage blend. Arnica massage oil is also quite useful for relief of an overworked back or for massaging sore feet.

Bath tub method
The tub method of foot bath is the easiest to do since you don't have to haul out a dish basin. Blend your foot bath oils early on and carry them with you especially when you travel.  The tub method works best inside your hotel room.

Dish Basin Method
You will need a vessel that will allow your feet to fit well and holds plenty of water to cover the feet up to the ankles. An enamel wash basin or a plastic dish basin is preferable since it is deep enough to prevent the water from splashing over the sides when being carried, or from overflowing when you put your feet in. Using essential oils on automatic foot baths that vibrate and massage the feet may work as well but might deteriorate the parts when it comes in contact with the oils. Check you machine’s manual.

A good thing about dish basin is the ease of cleaning and portability — you can read and relax on the couch or sit in front of the TV, while soaking sore feet. Keeping a kettle of water heating on the stove is good so you will be able to keep warming up the foot bath as necessary. Keep in mind to put a towel next to your soaking area so you have it prepared to cover your relaxed toes when you are done.

Start out the bath by cleaning your feet prior to setting them into the basin to soak. Essential oils must be added to the basin just before plunging your feet. A total of 8 to 10 drops of essential oil is adequate and the combinations are virtually endless. Use varying combinations of peppermint, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, lemon, tea tree, patchouli, rose geranium, eucalyptus and clary sage. Much like on a tub bath, you must be sure the oils are well blended with the water prior to soaking.

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Types of Yoga For Fitness and Wellness

There are various forms of yoga. This type of exercise can leave you toned and slender or you might even be spiritually illuminated according to some teachers. Yoga is the latest thing. It has remolded some of the biggest stars all the way from Madonna to Sting.

Some forms of yoga are more physical and a few are highly spiritual. Yoga is exceedingly good for fatigue, depression, aging, arthritis, stress-related illness, PMS, migraine, back pain and mobility problems.

You must first determine why you wish to start yoga then go about selecting the appropriate form for you. The precepts of yoga are quite simple - relax, tune out everything and stretch and you'll feel a lot better.

If you are looking forward to get fit, these types of yoga are for you:

Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga is founded on controlled stretching.

An emphasis is placed on the development a flexible spine. This type of yoga is perfect for all levels of fitness.

Vini yoga

This type of yoga is gentle and safe and is rather good for older people. It is instructed by a teacher called a Desikachar and is typically taught on an individual basis.

If you actually want to get physical then you should choose these types of yoga:

Lyenger yoga

This type of yoga centers on correct postures. It often makes use of ropes and blocks to keep these postures.

Sivananda yoga

This type of yoga is appropriate for every age and covers a broad range of poses which range from simple to complex.

Ashtanga yoga

This type of yoga is called power yoga. It is very demanding and is only appropriate for those people who are very fit.

For those of you who prefer to get spiritual, then you would want to choose from these types of yoga:

Raja yoga

This is often cited as royal yoga. It is focused with the mind.

Dru yoga

This is group yoga which focuses very heavily on breath work.

Jnana yoga

This centers on the philosophical aspects of yoga and is very spiritual and meditative.

© 2011 Athena Goodlight
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