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Posts Tagged "stress"

Top Tips For Keeping Healthy in 2014: Part 1

Top Tips For Keeping Healthy in 2014: Part 1

This year is a great opportunity to make some beneficial changes to your health and wellbeing. With all the general doom and gloom surrounding us today it is vital that we take control in our general mental and physical health. The way the NHS is heading, it is more important than ever to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This has many obvious benefits both individually and globally. A simple and very effective way of improving your health is by modifying your diet and not over eating. Studies have shown that people who generally consume fewer calories live longer. The way we eat also has an impact on our health. Eating in a hurry or “on the go” can lead to indigestion and heartburn. The following tips can be used as a good basic start for your health. 1. Regular Exercise: this has so many health benefits both physically and emotionally. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing depression.  If you are new to exercise, then start by walking. Even a 20min daily walk will make you feel healthier. Exercising has the added benefits of keeping your heart muscles strong, helping you lose weight, keep your cholesterol level down and making you feel more energetic. Incorporating some sort of weight bearing exercise, such as weight training, will help you burn more calories and keep your bones and joints healthy. If you have not trained with weights before, please train under the supervision of qualified personal trainer. Taking up a new sport is an excellent way of staying fit without the mental block of going to the gym or going for a run. Team sports are also a good way of socialising and makes exercising more fun. Martial arts such as Wing Chun and Tai Chi have the added benefit of providing a “work-out” for the mind as well as body. 2. De-Stress: Stress is one of the main culprits of ill health in the western world. With all the talk of recessions and lack of job security, it’s no wonder that we are now more stressed than ever. Stress has been linked with numerous illnesses such as heart disease, insomnia, migraines, stomach ulcers and depression. Stress...

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How to help with Christmas stress

The run up to Christmas unfortunately brings about stress and panic in many people. This can be related to family pressures, financial problems or work pressures. To make matters worse, this is usually the time of the year when most of us are generally slightly run down due to the shorter days and lack of vitamin D. Whilst, natural remedies cannot remove or treat the cause of the Christmas stress, they can help you cope in the short term. These natural remedies and supplements can help your body to remain in a state of harmony and in turn help you to get through the stressful Christmas period. The following natural remedies are available at most pharmacies and health food stores. Vitamin B Complex is a supplement that has multiple benefits. B vitamins help to nourish and maintain a healthy nervous system. This group of vitamins also help to support the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing the stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, ephinephrine). Ginseng is a Chinese herb that has adaptogenic properties. Adaptogenic herbs help to support the body through times of stress (physical or mental). Ginseng is available as a capsule, tablet or liquid. This herb is sometimes combined with multivitamins in a single preparation. Please consult your pharmacist if you are taking prescription medications. Other adaptogenic herbs are astragalus, rhodiola and ashwagandha, which is often referref to as “Indian Ginseng”. All of these adaptogenic herbs can help to maintain good immune function and help the body through times of stress. Please consult with your pharmacist if you take regular prescription medication before taking these herbs. Valerian and Passiflora are herbal remedies that are available as tinctures or combined tablets, such as Kalms Stress, Quiet Life or Stressless. Bach Flower remedies such as Nelson’s Rescue Remedy or Ainsworths Emergency Spray and Recovery Remedy provide can help you get through stressful periods. Magnesium supplements can help to relieve insomnia that may be caused to excessive stress and fatigue. This supplement works be relaxing muscle tension and aiding good quality sleep. Theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found green tea leaves. This amino acid has gained in popularity over recent years as a supplement to...

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Natural Anti-Ageing Tips

Natural Anti-Ageing Tips

There is alot of information on anti-ageing in the media ranging from vitamin supplements to the latest magical creams and lotions. All of this information can seem confusing and overwhelming. There are a number of simple measures that you can take to “age healthily”. Factors that can influence the ageing process are nutrition, exercise, levels of stress and relaxation. Addressing these factors can result in a dramatic improvement in general health as well as slowing down the ageing process. Natural anti-ageing tips are all around, but here is our selection from us at Healthy3. Healthy ageing does not work with a quick fix approach or just supplemneting with lots of vitamins. A healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and the addition of antioxidants is the key to keeping you healthy and young. The following simple tips can help you achieve your target of healthy ageing: Nutrition A diet high in caffiene, alcohol, saturated fat, salt and processed foods is unsurprisingly going to result in unhealthy skin, and will starve the body of nutrients. A diet that is going to help the anti-ageing process should include plenty of vegetables, water, essential fatty acids (from oily fish, nuts and seeds), and fruits. Anti-oxidants are also very important in anti-ageing. There are a number of supplements that are discussed in the article What are anti-oxidants?”. Foods that have high levels of anti-oxidants are garlic, colourful vegetables and fruits, extra virgin olive oil, pink grapefruit, walnuts, almonds, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Alchohol consumption should be kept to a minimum as it causes dehydration throughout the body. This also applies to processed foods, which are high in sugar and salt.  You should aim to drink 8 glasses or 1.5 litres of water a day. Exercise Regular exercise is very important in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Exercise causes an increase of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural mood boosting chemicals and are released during exercise. Exercise also reduces the stress hormones such as cortisol. Several studies have shown that regular exercise can slow down the ageing process. The types of exercise that can be incorporated into a regime should include flexibility training, strength training and a cardiovascular workout. If you haven’t done any strenuous exercise recently, you should consult...

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Being Stressed at Work: Bad for your Health!

Being Stressed at Work: Bad for your Health!

Stress is often thought to be responsible for many illnesses and health conditions. A recent study has shown that long term stress disrupts the immune system and increases the chances of developing colds and being generally run down. In recent years many people are often becoming stressed at work. Being run down is a very common complaint in modern society. This is highlighted by the popularity of stimulant vitamins and energy drinks. Long working hours, erratic eating habits and excessive alcohol consumption all contribute to a compromised immune system. The study was carried out in the U.S, where scientists questioned 176 men and women about difficult experiences they had in the past year. The volunteers then had drops of the common cold virus dripped into their nose to check if they caught the germ. The people who had been under stress were twice as likely to develop a cold. This study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the immune systems had become less sensitive to cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal gland which causes an imbalance in the body, and suppresses the immune system. This causes an increase in the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response occurs at a sign of injury or trauma. It is the body’s natural response and involves a rush of white blood cells to the site of trauma. This shows up as redness, itchiness,inflammation and pain at the site. This is an essential first step at warding off disease. However, problems can arise when this inflammatory response persists. Professor Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania said, “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease”. Inflammation is linked to various diseases and illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma, arthritis and autoimmune diseases. This leads to the question, how to cope with stress? There are many ways of managing stress, which will be discussed in another article… We hope you found this article on “being stressed at work” useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Acupuncture for Stress

Acupuncture for Stress

Researchers from Georgetown UniversityMedical Centre (GUMC) have found that acupuncture can significantly reduce stress levels (something I most of us have suffered with over the past week or so!). Whilst the study was carried out on animals, the researchers suggest that these results could explain why so many people report a sense of well being from this form of complementary medicine. If these findings can be replicated on humans then acupuncture for stress could provide an invaluable tool in the treatment of this condition that continues to affect many individuals. Stress is responsible for many illnesses and diseases such as heart disease, heartburn and stomach ulcers. The study was lead by Ladan Eshkevari, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies, a part of GUMC. Eshkevari is a nurse anaesthetist as well as a certified acupuncturist conducted the study as many of her patients had reported an improvement in overall wellbeing after treatments. Her patients also remarked that they felt less stressed after acupuncture treatment. The claim that acupuncture can reduce stress levels may sound like breaking news, but these benefits have been known for many years by practitioners. Eshkevari designed the study to test the effectiveness of acupuncture on blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY). This is a peptide that is released by the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is involved in the “fight or flight” response to stress. This leads to a cascade of events that result in increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and a sense of panic throughout the body. Eshkevari selected a single acupuncture point, Zuslani, which is one of the most frequently used points used in this therapy. This point is said to relieve many conditions including stress. The Zuslani point is located on the leg below the knee. She used a form of acupuncture called electroacupuncture, which involves an acupuncture needle that delivers a small harmless electrical charge. The rats used for the 14 day study were separated into four groups: 1. A control group that was not stressed and received no acupuncture. 2. A group that was stressed for 1 hour a day without receiving acupuncture. 3. A group that was stressed and received a...

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The Effects of Stress During Pregnancy

A new study has found that stress during pregnancy can shorten the length of a pregnancy and increase the chance of miscarriage. Researchers found that mothers-to-be, who are highly stressed during the second and third trimesters at a higher risk of giving birth prematurely and miscarrying baby boys. This is the first study to highlight the effect that stress can have on individual sexes. These findings suggest that the extra risk to boys starts earlier in pregnancy. The results of this study are from an investigation into the effect of stress after the 2005 Tarapaca earthquake in Chile. This earthquake was measured at 7.9 which is classified as “disastrous”. The results of the research found that women who lived closest to the site of the earthquake during the first trimester had shorter pregnancies and had a higher risk of delivering pre-term.  The normal average for pre-term births is on average 6 out of every 100 births, but for the women that were exposed to the earthquake, this increased by over 3%. This equates to over 9 out of every 100 births being pre-term. The researchers also found that fewer baby boys survived pregnancy through to delivery. Although this study was conducted on women exposed to the natural disaster, the researchers claim that there could be implications for pregnant women who are exposed to more “normal” stressful situations. Stress at any time of your life can have detrimental effect on your health, but stress during pregnancy this can have an added effect on the baby. Stress during pregnancy can cause an increase in blood pressure, increased heart rate and a negative effect on your immune system. It is important to manage and prevent stress during pregnancy. This can be achieved through relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga and regular gentle exercise.  Cutting down on caffeine will also help the body reacting to stress. Many health companies promote vitamin supplements for throughout pregnancy. I would recommend a product that contains a mix of B vitamins, as these will help to support the adrenal glands and keep your stress levels low. We hope you found our stress during pregnancy article useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Causes of Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion

Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion arises when there is a prolonged pressure on the adrenal glands to produce the required amount of the stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, ephinephrine). This can occur when the body is under a period of physical or emotional stress. Physical stress can occur is response to infection and inflammation. The adrenal glands release more cortisol to reduce inflammation, however at times of prolonged physical stress the adrenal glands can become exhausted due to the increased workload. This leads to a decrease in the production of cortisol and other stress hormones, which results increased inflammation and more infections. Periods of excessive emotional stress can also cause the adrenal glands to “dry up” and stop producing sufficient amounts of stress hormones. The way we eat can also affect levels of stress hormones in our body. Eating “on the go”, or in a rush also increase levels of stress in our body, and can lead to adrenal exhaustion.  A diet that is high in refined carbohydrates, processed foods and saturated fats can cause adrenal fatigue. Eating high amounts of carbohydrates, especially foods such as bread, pasta, white rice, sugar, etc.., will cause a sudden increase in blood sugar. This is in turn causes extra pressure on our adrenal glands to produce the stress hormones. Nutritional deficiences can also contribute to this condition. Most diets are also low in nutrients that are vital for healthy adrenal function. These include the B Vitamins, especially Vit B5 (panthothenic acid), Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc, Co-enzyme Q10, Chromium and Selenium. The “coffee culture” that is widely prevelant in our society plays is one of the main contributing reasons for the increasing numbers of people that are developing adrenal exhaustion and general lack of energy. Having a cup of coffee a day is perfectly healthy, but many of us have developed a more frequent habit. Our dependence on coffee providing us with energy or a pick-up, can eventually lead to a “burn-out”. Over a period of time, you will require more coffee to provide the “pick-up” to get going and this can lead to an even higher work load on the adrenals. This is because coffee and other stimulants, such as caffeinated energy drinks...

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What is Adrenal Fatigue / Exhaustion?

What is Adrenal Fatigue / Exhaustion?

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that is becoming increasingly well known amongst health professionals. Modern living is a main contributing factor to adrenal fatigue. Excessive and constant stress (due to family, work life, financial pressures) in our everyday lives puts more pressure on the adrenal glands and can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue or exhaustion.  Unfortunately, this condition is going to be more common due to continued work uncertainty and financial concerns that more people face.  Adrenal fatigue is becoming more common in younger people. Poor diet is also contributes to this condition. The high intake of processed foods, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, sugar and salt all put extra pressure on the adrenal glands. The adrenals are a pair of glands that sit above each kidney. The glands are the size of a large grape and they are responsible for producing various essential hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, aldosterone, norepinepherine and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Aldosterone is involved in maintaining the correct water / salt balance in the body. Adrenaline, cortisol, ephinephrine and DHEA are the body’s main stress hormones, which are released if we become stressed. These hormones are naturally released at the highest level in the morning and the lowest at night. Cortisol is required for the breakdown of carbohydrates and the regulation of blood sugar. As you can see the adrenal glands are responsible for a variety of essential functions in the body. Periods of prolonged stress can cause an imbalance of these hormones and lead to various health problems.  Both reduced and increased adrenal function can cause a cascade of health problems. Reduced adrenal function can lead to various health disorders such as low blood pressure, recurrent infections, allergies, depression, and thyroid problems. Increased adrenal function can cause illnesses such as depression, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, weight gain, weak bones, decreased immune function, mood swings and period problems in women.  The adrenal glands need to be in a state of balance to in order for us to be healthy. Signs of adrenal fatigue/exhaustion. This is a list of the common symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue / exhaustion:          Depression or low mood.          Tiredness – especially on waking in the morning.          Increased frequency of infections (low...

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What is a natural acne treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition that usually affects teenagers at the time of puberty but can also affect adults. It usually affects the face, back and shoulders. The skin eruptions usually appear in the form of spots that are raised and painful. The spots appear as blackheads, whiteheads (small hard lumps with a white centre), pustules (spots with a lot of pus) and nodules (hard, painful lumps under the skin). It is important to look after your body so why not try a natural acne treatment. There is also the risk of scarring when these spots disappear. Acne is normally causes by hormone imbalances. Sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps to protect the skin. Hormone imbalances cause an increase in the production of sebum, which blocks the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of spots and inflammation.  Acne is not only related to hormone imbalances. Other factors that can contribute to acne are nutritional deficiencies, stress, certain medications, a diet high in saturated fat and food allergies. The skin is also a major detox organ, so if the body contains a lot of toxins, this process may also contribute to acne. It is not surprising that acne is a condition that can affect people both physically and emotionally. Acne on the face can cause a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. This can have a knock on effect in the person’s social and work life. People often give up with over the counter skin creams and washes and are often prescribed long term antibiotics and retinoids which can have harmful side effects. There are however a number of natural approaches to skin health that can help to improve the general health of your skin. Nutrition is the most important factor in the health of your skin. A diet high in refined sugar, salt and hydrogenated fat can cause and aggravate acne. Processed food can also aggravate acne, as these foods contain very few enzymes and are generally high in sugar and salt. A diet that contains a variety of fibre, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and essential fatty acids will benefit the health of the skin as well as...

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Probiotics

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body. They are essential for proper digestion, preventing overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. Probiotics also improve the absorption of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream. Probiotics also support the immune system. They do this by lining the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria, which prevents the absorption of harmful bacteria and viruses into the body. These beneficial bacteria “crowd out” the bad bacteria and help to maintain a healthy immune system. As the digestive tract plays a major role in boosting the immune system, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut. There are several factors that can cause the levels of probiotics decrease: Ageing Stress Medicines such as antibiotics and Non Steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Aspirin. Travelling abroad Constipation A diet high in meat and fats Smoking and alcohol Antibiotics kill both the “bad” and “good” bacteria, which leads to a decrease in the levels of probiotics in the gut. This is why people who have taken antibiotics experience side effects such as diarrhoea and thrush. It is very important to take a good quality probiotic during and after finishing the course of antibiotics, to replenish all the good bacteria that have been destroyed. Probiotics can be taken to help with several health conditions. These are a few conditions that can be helped with additional probiotics: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Constipation & Diarrhoea Bloating Eczema Food Intolerances or allergies Low immune function Thrush Indigestion and...

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Reflexology

What is reflexology?   Reflexology is a healing therapy based on the principle that our organs, glands, spinal column and other parts of the body are mapped out on our feet, hands and even ears.  For example, the big toe represents the head and neck and the ball of the foot represents the chest area.   A reflexologist will apply pressure to specific points or reflexes on the feet, hands or ears, gradually releasing any congestion or crystalline deposits which are hindering the efficient circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the corresponding organ or gland.   In traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese Shiatsu, reflexology is based on the belief in meridians or energy pathways.  Energy flows through the body freely and with ease when a person is well.  When there is a state of dis-ease, the energy flow is blocked.  Applying pressure on these reflexes will stimulate the flow of energy through the meridians, allowing the body to heal itself.   Reflexology has a healing effect on the whole person – the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – and it works to regain equilibrium in all these areas. Origins of reflexology Reflexology dates back centuries.  Pressure massage to the feet, hands and ears as a form of healing has been passed through generations in the East and evidence proves this has been practised since 2500BC. In the 20th Century, the West introduced zone therapy where the body could be divided into zones running from the head to the toes.  It was proven that applying pressure to one part of the body will anaesthetize a corresponding area within the same zone.  Zone therapy was developed further into foot reflexology when it was found that the feet were the most responsive areas for working the zones through alternating pressure techniques. How will reflexology help me? Reflexology is a natural, effective method of bringing the body and mind back to a state of equilibrium, harmonising the human systems including the endocrine system which controls the production of hormones, the digestive system, reproductive system and nervous system. It is a known fact that if we don’t manage stress well our defence systems break down and we are more susceptible to illness.  Over 75%...

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Homeopathic treatments for Colic

Colic is a very common problem with infants and can start a few a weeks after birth. There a few possible causes such as a reaction to the mother’s breast milk, which may be because of the mother’s diet. Examples of foods that can trigger colic in breast fed infants are dairy products, wheat, citrus fruits chocolate, cabbage or spicy foods. It is also recommended to cut out or minimise caffeine intake when breast feeding.  There are many benefits to homeopathic treatments for colic. The colic may also be caused by the infant having sensitivity to formula milk. It would be recommended to change formula if this is suspected.  Another possible cause of colic in nursing infants is stress or anxiety in the mother. This may be helped with homeopathic remedies such as Sepia, Arsen Alb or Nux Vomica. Colic can cause painful gas, trapped wind, stomach cramps and can unsurprisingly cause great upset to the infant and parents. These are some homeopathic remedies that can be given to the infant to help alleviate any discomfort. Chamomilla. This is the most commonly used remedy for colic, and is usually given in the form of granules.  The infant will have flatulence and diarrhoea which is yellow-green in colour with and smell like bad eggs. The infant will be very irritable and will want to be carried and will feel hot. The colic symptoms are usually worse at night, and at times of teething. This is a good remedy that will cover both the symptoms of colic and teething. Colocynthis should be given if the infant has intense cramping pains. These will be described with the infant pulling their legs to the abdomen, as this movement provides some relief.  The infant may also have watery diarrhoea. The pains are worse at night and worse for lying on the abdomen. Massaging the stomach may provide some relief. Mag Phos is the remedy of choice for cramping pains that improve with gentle massage and warmth applications. The infant may also have flatulence and will find relief when drawing their legs to the abdomen. Dioscorea. The key difference with this homeopathic remedy is that the infant will find relief by stretching out or bending...

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