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Hypnosis - A Non-Intrusive Therapy

June 28th, 2006

These days many people resort to Hypnosis as a therapy for many different issues. Hypnosis as a therapy is a process in which the patient and the therapist cooperate for the benefit of the client.

For many years Hypnosis had an unsavory reputation in the public mind and in the medical profession. This was largely due to Hypnosis being associated with the theater or music halls. Hypnotists would select members of the audience, put them in a trance and then persuade them to act out or confess to unconscious longings or fears. Although Hypnosis is still used as an entertainment tool it is being reevaluated and is seen by many as a useful technique that has a place in a wide range of medical, psychological and investigative pursuits.

Hypnotherapy combines both art and science. Franz Anton Mesmer back in the late 1700s believed that man could redistribute the quasimagnetic fluid to bring about healing. Not long after that James Braid a Scottish surgeon working Manchester England created the term Hypnosis.

The term Hypnosis actually is derived from the Greek word sleep but the individual under Hypnosis is not asleep or unconscious and is in fact more alert than ever.

Today Hypnosis has developed into a well-respected practice and is used by certified hypnotherapists, doctors, psychologists and law enforcement. It is used for a variety of reasons for example pain control, Stress related disorders, anesthesia, psychotherapy and memory recall. The management of a wide range of phobic Anxiety and other psychological disorders can also be aided by the use of hypnotism.

The practice of hypnotism is safe and can be extremely helpful in area where there are not many other effective treatments other than drugs. Things such as Stress reduction, Sexual Problems, phobias, Insomnia, stopping smoking, weight loss and lack of motivation. Hypnotherapy has also been found useful in areas of law and it has sometimes been the only way that vital pieces of evidence have been discovered.

If you have ever felt that you have a problem that is all in the head or in fact your own doctor has felt that way then Hypnotherapy could be the ideal solution. If your head created the problem then it can be used to treat it.

There are a few people who cannot be hypnotized to a depth that will be helpful and these are the feeble-minded, the insane and the senile. And, as it does take mind power to Hypnotize, very young children who have not developed sufficient mind power are not good subjects.

People who are helped by Hypnotherapy will see changes rapidly. A person does not have to work hard for Hypnotherapy to be effective as it is a natural state of mind. In fact with Hypnotherapy the harder you try the more you fail. So the rule is do not try to be hypnotized just remain passive and let it happen.

Hypnotherapy is a great way to unlock the potential of the subconscious mind and can be taught to use alone, at will and without complicated procedure.

After Hypnosis most people feel wonderfully warm and relaxed.

About the author

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Hypnosis

What is Manual Lymph Drainage Massage?

June 28th, 2006

By Debra Redman, LMT, NCTMB

Margarette is the picture of health, so a mini health crisis came as a surprise. In the same week her divorce was to be final, she was scheduled as an outpatient for an ablation (a type of heart Surgery) on Wednesday and replacement breast implant Surgery on Friday.

The post-surgical recovery would have most people flat on their backs for more than just a few days. Imagine my surprise when she answered her door for a manual lymph drainage massage the day after the heart Surgery.

The Immune System does not react well to being over-Stressed. Margarette was experiencing a very stressful time in her life. She had swelling in her right leg from the malfunctioning valve in her heart. The collapsed breast implant left her chest feeling heavy.

As a medical Massage Therapist, I suggested she relieve some of the discomfort with a medical massage modality called Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD). This specialized technique is designed to stimulate the Immune System and help the lymphatic system achieve healing in the body.

Margarette received MLD both before and immediately after her surgeries. Pre-operative MLD cleans the area so that there is little bleeding, creating an environment that decreases pain levels and the chance for infection. This primed her lymph system to start moving toxins out of her body before the surgeries.

The effects of MLD last up to 72 hours, depending upon the duration of the massage. The result is that it slows the amount of bleeding during Surgery and causes the body to begin detoxifying the chemicals from the anesthesia and other medications immediately.

The post-operative session kept the process going, diminishing pain levels to the point where Margarette didn’t need any medication. She recovered so quickly, she was back at work by the following Wednesday, missing only five workdays.

MLD uses very gentle, precise strokes to promote the release of fluid build-up in the body called edema. Any interruption in lymph circulation can impair the functioning of the body’s Immune System, its ability to repair damaged tissue, and cause chemical imbalance in the body. If left untreated, the swelling could potentially lead to a more serious medical condition called lymphedema.

Edema is a condition defined as swelling that occurs when interstitial fluid builds up in the muscles of the body. Lymphedema is a build up of fluid in the lymph system.

Unlike edema, lymphedema can become a chronic condition that has consequences for the whole body. Swelling, pain, numbness, sensation of pressure, increased susceptibility to infection, loss of mobility, and impaired wound healing are all a result of chronic lymphedema. Chronic swelling has four levels of manifestation: micro edema, mild or pitting edema, non-pitting edema, and severe hardening. The first two can be reversed and usually completely alleviated with MLD. The last two cannot be reversed but MLD may help relieve the symptoms.

Some reasons why the lymph system will respond with edema include illness, lack of Exercise, injury (i.e. sports, Surgery, disease) and being on an airplane flight. MLD helps both acute and chronic conditions. Types of conditions that MLD cannot help include Kidney Disease (nephritis), leaking blood vessels, varicose veins, third degree burns, congestive heart failure, untreated High Blood Pressure, obstructions in the circulation system (thrombosis or clots), and active cancers.

Most people learn about the effects of lymphedema when they experience cancer. Based on client feedback, very little information is disseminated to non-cancer patients about how to take care of the swelling they experience after a sports injury, accident, or surgical procedure. Not very many people are told about the benefits of MLD prior to surgical events or the impact on healing after Surgery.

I have discussed MLD with heart surgeons, podiatrists, chiropractors, and orthopedic and plastic surgeons. It is my concern that few know how to fully utilize MLD or pay any attention to the role that edema plays in healing. Doctors don’t seem to be addressing the impact chronic swelling has when treating conditions that won’t heal appropriately.

I have used MLD to treat clients who have experienced Injuries from sports (acute and chronic), accidents or surgeries; cancer patients in remission, Parkinson’s patients, Pregnant women, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Allergies and sinus problems. I recommend MLD for breast cancer prevention and maintenance.

If you knew that this natural, non-invasive treatment was available and it works, why wouldn’t you do it?

About the author

Debra is a nationally certified and licensed Massage Therapist, whose practice is located at 1216 Franklin Rd, Marietta in Labyrinth Centre. Call 770.298.0991

Hematite - Crystal Profile

June 28th, 2006

Colour: Silver grey, black and dark red (all metallic)

Chakra: Base (1st) & Heart (4th)

LIFESTONE, KEYSTONE, TOUCHSTONE & HEARTSTONE

Number: 9

Cultures: Native American, South American, Germanic & England

Being one of the most versatile and compatible stones to mankind, Hematite can easily be described as a gem for all people. It has so many qualities and virtues, that it crosses numerous boundaries and categories. It is a member of the mineral world, and that has equal appeal to both men and women. Its two main functions are as Heart stones and life stones, balancing these energies. It serves to help heal these two areas simultaneously, aligning the body and heart to work in Resonance with one another. In today’s society, our Heart –centres are often cut off from the rest of our life’s activity. Hematite is a gemstone that releases that releases repressed Heart centred energy, by grounding us into this plane of reality. It initiates the dormant energies present at the base of the spine. Hematite, because of its Heart chakra affinity, draws this energy up into the HEARTSTONE, and kindles a warm and nurturing mood.

This gemstone works on many levels of reality at the same time. It helps to create a state of balance between the etheric and physical realms. Hematite helps us to face our shadow nature and illuminate it. It also activates our potential for self love, and allows us to see our true self, and value from a higher point of view.

Hematite, because of its high iron content, has an affinity with the blood. It can have a favourable and balancing effect on the circulatory system. It has a strong connection with feminine energy, and promoting a state of balance within the female system.

Because of its grounding nature, Hematite is useful in gemstone layouts, to support a general stabilization of the physical body. It is also a beneficial gemstone to carry near us, as we move about in everyday world. It carries a protective energy field, to insulate us against the harsher realities of the world.

This gemstone is strongly attuned with the mind and mental body, assisting their refinements to higher levels. This is achieved by encouraging an alignment of the physical and non-physical levels of being, through the release of old emotional and mental patterns that no longer serve us.

As a sleep or Meditation aid, Hematite is highly effective. Either through consciously accessing the stones energy, by placing it over the heart, or by placing it next to the bed before sleep. Hematite can connect us with the needed regenerative forces. The Astral level, which is the place of dreams, will be more easily accessible through contact with this gem.

Best with: Jasper, Tiger Eye, Selenite and Obsidian

The message of Hematite is: Embrace your shadow nature and illuminate it Divine Light

Do Houseplants Help Clean the Air?

June 28th, 2006

One positive result of the 1970s energy crisis was the development and widespread adoption of improved insulation materials to maintain indoor energy efficiency. Unfortunately, however, many of these materials have compromised indoor air quality due to their tendency to “off-gas” various airborne toxins, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene and other volatile Organic compounds (VOCs).

Much of the synthetic carpeting, upholstery and paint used indoors also contain sometimes noxious gases that get trapped inside air-tight homes and offices and which can build up gradually over time. And most synthetic air fresheners only make matters worse, adding even more harmful VOCs to the indoor air. With most people spending upwards of 90 percent of their time indoors, it may be no coincidence that cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases have been on the rise in recent years.

The unlikely hero in this scenario may in fact be the humble houseplant. In a landmark 1984 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study, initially commissioned to find ways to clean air in space bases and vehicles, researcher Bill Wolverton found that some common houseplants actually cleaned polluted indoor air. He found that philodendrons and golden pothos excelled at stripping formaldehyde from the air, gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums wiped out excessive amounts of indoor benzene, and pot mums and peace lilies absorbed a toxic degreasing solvent known as TCE.

A later NASA study, also conducted by Wolverton, saw houseplants removing up to 87 percent of toxic indoor air within 24 hours. And a 1994 German study reported that one spider plant could cleanse a small room of formaldehyde in just six hours. Further, English ivy, bamboo palm and snake plants have been shown to be effective in removing cigarette smoke as well as noxious odors from carpeting and chemical-laden household cleaners.

Just how can a houseplant be so good at cleansing the air? The reason lies in its basic ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air while releasing oxygen as part of the photosynthetic process. Houseplants are essentially doing indoors what other plants and trees ordinarily do outdoors.

To maximize the benefits of houseplants in cleaning indoor air, it is generally recommended to use one plant for every 100 square feet of indoor space. Besides those plants mentioned above, other good indoor air cleaners include palms, ferns, dracaenas, corn plants, weeping figs, dumb canes, orchids, arrowheads, dwarf bananas and Chinese evergreens.

For its part, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends opening the windows and letting in some good old-fashioned fresh air as the best antidote to Breathing in off-gassed airborne toxins in both homes and offices. But many modern buildings do not permit such exchanges between indoor and outdoor air, and it is in just these situations where houseplants can really make the difference.

About the author

CONTACT: Plant-Care

Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

June 28th, 2006

Ginkgo trees, are one of the oldest species of trees cultivated in China and are believed to be 150 to 200 million years old. The Ginkgo trees grow in average soil and even in full sun. The tree can grow 100 – 120 feet. Ginkgo trees are very resistant to pollution and infection and hardly suffer any disease. Insects rarely attack these plants. Due to these reasons these trees are most tolerant even in urban conditions and are grown as shade trees.

Ginkgo or Ginkgo Biloba extracts is made from various parts of these trees. Chinease has used Ginkgo Biloba for the centuries for treating various ailments. Now it is most researched herb and is used by most of the countries as Herbal Medicine.

Working of Ginkgo Biloba:

Ginkgo leaves contains two groups of active components known as flavonoid glycosides and ginkgolides. These active ingredients helps in increasing blood flow to the brain and improving overall network of blood vessels, and consequently increases the inflow of oxygen and essential nutrients to brain and other important organs of the body and simultaneously helps controlling in Allergic inflammation and asthma.

Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba:

The research on this Herbal Medicine continues for the last three decades and some of the benefits as evidenced by clinical studies have been summarized below.

• It has a positive effect on vascular system and it allows the system to act more efficiently by allowing more blood flow and consequently more oxygen to the vital organs of the body including brain.

• Brain, being the highest oxygen consumer (20%) of the total oxygen requirement of the human body, regulates the body more efficiently.

• The improved blood circulation to brain including microcirculation in smaller capillaries increases memory and metabolic efficiency including neurotransmitters regulation.

Ginkgo Biloba is useful for relaxing coronary arteries constricted by cholesterol.

Ginkgo Biloba is also useful for relieving Tension and Anxiety.

Ginkgo Biloba is also beneficial to elevate mood and restore energy.

Ginkgo Biloba controls platelet activity factor (PAF). Excessive platelet factor (PAF) in the body may cause physical Stress, brain disorder, and skin problem including Psoriasis, cardiovascular disease and other hearing disorders.

Ginkgo Biloba is beneficial for treating vertigo and tinnitus.

Ginkgo Biloba acts as an antioxidant and inhibits free radical formed in the body. Antioxidant plays a vital role for protecting cardiovascular and central Nervous system (CNS). The combined effect of improved circulatory system and antioxidant improves blood flow to retina and controls retinal deterioration causing an overall improvement in visual activity.

• Some of the clinical trials indicate that Ginkgo Biloba is beneficial for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Ginkgo Biloba is also used as supportive Herbal Medicine for treating Infertility disorder in males.

Precaution:

Although it is a Herbal Medicine with enormous benefits, it should not be combined with certain antidepressants such as MAO (mono amine oxidase). Persons taking medicine for blood clotting disorders should avoid taking Ginkgo Biloba, as the medicine will increase the effect of prescribed medicine.

If you are Pregnant or plan to Become Pregnant, you should not take Ginkgo Biloba.

Side Effects:

The possible side effects of the medicine include

Ginkgo Biloba may cause some gastrointestinal disorders.

Ginkgo Biloba increases the risk of bleeding and if you have or had any blood clotting disorder, you should not take Ginkgo Biloba.

• The other common side effects of Ginkgo Biloba may include Nausea, diarrhea, Vomiting, dizziness, headache and Restlessness.

If you observe any of the side effect as mentioned above or any other side effect, you should stop taking Ginkgo Biloba and consult your doctor.

About the author

Author Rich Marsiglia, Natural Health Products at YourHealthyPlace.

How Your Mind Affects Your Health

June 28th, 2006

A hostile attitude raises heart attack risk, while dummy drugs “cure’ 30 per cent of people. What’s going on?

Mind and body were once thought to operate completely separately, but increasingly, science is showing that this isn’t the case. There’s now biological evidence that what we think, feel and believe can have a direct effect on the way in which our bodies function - and, consequently, on our wellbeing.

Although the holistic nature of many complementary medicines means that they are largely centred around a mind/body link, orthodox medicine has only just started to catch up and acknowledge the role that attitude, thought and emotion play in health, particularly in people’s ability to combat illness.

This connection between the brain and the Immune System is being explored by the relatively new science of psychoneuroimmunology. It began in earnest in the 1970s when, in the course of an experiment, scientists gave rats a saccharine-flavoured solution along with a drug that causes stomach upsets and suppresses the Immune System. When they were given the saccharine on its own the rats began to die; it seemed that their immune systems had learned to shut down in response to it, even in the absence of the drug, suggesting that there is a link between the brain and the mechanisms that fight disease.

Since then, research has increasingly discovered ways in which the brain connects and communicates with the Immune System and other systems in the body. The processes at work in the mind/body link are highly complex. Neurotransmitters in the brain can be affected by emotions and, in turn, trigger physical reactions in other parts of the body, including the systems that combat illness. And illness, of course, affects emotions and behaviour.

“There is a clear, established link between how we are in ourselves and the health of our bodies,’ says Dr David Reilly, Consultant Physician at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. “Think of how just a moment’s embarrassment can make you blush. Now imagine what long-standing and burning inner feelings might do.

“Being hostile predicts future Heart Disease better than High Cholesterol, smoking or body-mass index. Hopelessness likewise. Optimists on average live nine years longer than pessimists. Every thought and feeling has to be reflected and expressed through the body.’

Stressed out

Stress, for example, is one area in which body and mind are strongly linked. Stress and Anxiety raise levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body, which affect the Immune System. Stress has also been shown to trigger other chemicals, which are linked with “illness type’ behaviour including changes in mood and eating and sleeping patterns.

Many conditions appear to be exacerbated by Stress. Studies have shown, for example, that relapses in people with multiple sclerosis can be associated with stressful events.

But feeling good can affect the Immune System too. A Californian study proved that laughter is good for you by showing that medical students who had just watched a comedy video had an increased number of virus-fighting T-cells and more vigorous immune-boosting natural killer cells in their systems.

Placebos please

Nowhere is the effect of mind over matter more evident than in the case of placebos. It’s estimated that dummy treatments given in the course of research can effect a cure for 30 per cent of patients, or even more in some cases. Sometimes a patient’s faith in a cure can be the best medicine of all. In one study for example, a placebo emerged as a more effective treatment for Depression than either St John’s Wort or a prescription Anti-Depressant.

It’s not just drugs either - placebo Surgery has been shown to work too. In one American study, patients with Arthritis of the knee were treated just as successfully with a small incision and no further action as those who had a proper operation.

Although the jury is still out on whether placebos actually produce physical changes in the body, their effectiveness undoubtedly helps to strengthen evidence for the mind/body link.

Good thinking

The increasing credibility of this link is evident in the way in which it’s become accepted that attitudes to illnesses affect outcomes. A study by Dr Stephen Greer carried out at King’s College in London, for example, suggested that women with breast cancer who have a “fighting spirit’ live longer than those who react fatalistically. Another study has shown that Heart Disease progressed more rapidly in men who felt helpless than those who did not.

However, the association between attitude and prognosis is by no means clear cut. A review of 26 studies investigating psychological coping styles and survival from cancer concluded that there is little consistent evidence that attitudes such as fighting spirit or denial affect the progress of the illness. “People with cancer should not feel pressured into adopting particular coping styles to improve survival or reduce the risk of recurrence,’ say the review’s authors.

Furthermore, findings that suggest that a person’s mental attitude is crucial can engender guilt in people suffering from illnesses if they feel they are not reacting in the “right’ way. This can make people feel as if they are to blame when they get sick, or when their attitude to their illness is not “up to scratch’.

In her book, The Human Side of Cancer, US doctor Jimmie C Holland talks about what she calls “the tyranny of positive thinking’ - the way in which people who are ill are made to think that they are to blame for not getting better if they fail to approach their condition with an optimistic “fighting’ stance.

“Many people with cancer come to see me or other therapists for help with Depressed feelings precisely because they don’t fit today’s popular model for coping with cancer,’ she says. “They assume it must be their fault, that they’re out of step, that there must be something wrong with them.’ Obviously, this is not very helpful.

Health in mind

While it’s far from established that people can actually think themselves into a cure for a particular illness, it’s possible that a generally sociable and involved lifestyle can keep us healthier for longer. “Of course nothing in the end stops us ageing, getting sick and dying - that is natural and inevitable - but we can influence this to a degree,’ says Dr Reilly.

“Elderly people who help with housework, childcare and other tasks reduce the risk of dying by almost 60 per cent compared with those who don’t help. It seems isolated social states and emotional states do not help life or happiness thrive. We need to help ourselves adopt as much inner peace as we can.’



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