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Constipation – What Works and Why

Constipation is a normal occurrence that everyone will experience at one time or another within their lifetime. The older we get, the higher the tendency to become constipated. The age of forty seems to be a benchmark. People in this age bracket usually have a robust schedule, and there is usually less time for them to eat well, and exercise. Making eating disorders or bad eating habits a common cause of constipation.

Constipation is simply the inability to discharge digested food from the colon. The intestines are designed to remove nutrients from the food we eat. In the final stages, moisture is removed to allow well formed stools to pass out of the body easily. When the organs supporting the colon are not functioning properly, they either remove too much moisture and cause constipation or too little, and cause diarrhea.

Constipation can be a very painful condition, accompanied by stomach cramps, bloating, and pain sitting or standing. At its worst, fecal impaction or a blocked colon could result.

As the waste remains in the colon, some of the toxic waste from the stool might be reabsorbed into the bloodstream, causing fevers in some individuals.

CAUSES

The environment we live in also contributes to the tendency to be irregular. Stress and worry are key triggers which upset the normal body functions. As we stress out over the numerous interruptions in our lives, certain key organs fail to produce the enzymes and gastric juices which regulate the bowels for healthy passage of the waste from the body.

Similarly, our bodies react to the drugs we take into our system. Often after surgery, the patient will not have normal bowel movements until the drugs used wear off. The body seems to go into shock, and many vital functions either stop or slow down. Recreational and Prescribed drugs will send our systems into shock. Unfortunately, coffee drinkers have a high incidence of constipation, because it is a stimulant which alters the body’s normal chemistry.

Another contributing factor is the bad habit of holding back when we feel the need to “go”. Many people think because they are too busy, it can always come later. By then, moisture is reabsorbed leaving the stools hard and dry. The victims may end up passing a stool, but there is always a tendency that some of the now toxic waste will remain in the colon.

Unfortunately, most of us reach for the laxative before we really know what the cause of the problem is. Until the actual cause of the condition is treated, no solution will be permanent. The constipation will return time after time until the individual’s health is in jeopardy. If the causes are environmental; stress, drugs, or prolonging trips to the rest room, eliminating that cause will be the only way to insure complete relief.

METHODS OF RELIEF

Relief can come in several ways. There are the mechanical, drug induced, and natural methods of obtaining relief.

A. Diet –

1. Eat Right

To stem the continuous occurrence of constipation in the daily life of an individual, the best thing is to change your eating habits. This can safely be said to drastically reduce the incidence of constipation as most of the constipation people get is from eating low fiber foods and excess fatty foods. Foods that are rich in fiber such as wheat, bran, psyllium husks work wonders in the relieving constipation and its frequent occurrence.

2. Drink Lots of Water

The lack of sufficient fluids, particularly water ,is also an important contributor to constipation. Because we are always in a rush, we often forget to drink at least eight glasses of water everyday.

3. Exercise

Individuals who do a lot more exercise are often better physically that those who live a sedentary life. They look younger, brighter, their eyes sparkle, they have boundless energy and are generally healthier. They have a limitless zest for life and as a result of all these can fight diseases because they have a vibrant, healthy immune system. Recent stats have proved that people who lead sedentary lives are more prone to constipation that those who are active. So, just getting up and walking around the block in the morning is good enough to get your bowels moving.

B. Mechanical Relief –

1. Colonics

Mechanical methods include enemas and colonics. Some naturopathic physicians suggest you have a colonic at least once a year to remove any waste that has failed to pass through the system. Colonics are performed by a doctor in his treatment center. The patient is injected with as much warm water as possible while reclining on a bed. The solution is held in the bowel for a period of time and then the gates are opened and the re-moistened waste is discharged. The results are so drastic, that this is not appropriate to do at home. Since the only reason it is stuck in your colon is it is too dry to come out, the added moisture is very effective.

2. Enemas

Enemas are very similar, except on a much smaller scale. Usually using a water bottle held above the body while sitting on a toilet, or reclining in a bathtub or other receptacle, water flows into the rectum, and adds moisture to the colon. At some point the water is discharged, along with some of the waste. Often a second or third treatment is required to unplug the colon. Hospitals used to use this method frequently, and most nurses are trained in administering this treatment. However, the latest research on enemas and colonics seems to indicate that these methods cause as much harm as the good they do.

People who use A homemade colon cleanse enema tend to apply more water quantity than the commercially available ones; for instance, a homemade colon cleanse enema contains ¾ of water, peppermint, frankincense or fennel. Sometimes they combine one or more of these together or even all at the same time. It is important to note the role these oils play in getting an individual to have bowel movements. They act as stimulators of the colon muscles which in turn contract to expel the stool in the colon. Please note that in case you settle for this option, you need to add nothing more than 1-3 drops of the oils to the water you’ll be using as an enema.

While you may be satisfied with this, it is better that you know that applying it is pretty difficult. It entails having to lie down comfortably, being close to the toilet, the temperature of the water being between ninety eight and one hundred and three (98-103) degrees Fahrenheit, bag containing the enema hanging at least 2 ft above the body

C. Laxatives

There are numerous drug related laxatives on the market. Again these are only temporary solutions until the real cause can be found and treated. Like all drugs, they cause an organ to interrupt its normal function, and adjust to provide more moisture in the colon. As the largest organ in the body, the intestines use the gall bladder, liver, pancreas, and stomach to increase or decrease digestive enzymes, bacteria, and digestive acids as needed to accomplish its function. Anytime you change the way an organ functions, you risk an unfavorable reaction. Often laxatives over do their correction and the patient develops diarrhea, the opposite condition. The very last thing we want is to be subject to a mere chemical. Many people who have become very familiar with laxatives can even swear to its ability to make an individual dependent on it for bowel movement. Feelers that we are getting from health boards all over the world are that we avoid laxatives as much as possible.

1. Hyperosmolar Laxatives

These are compounds that can’t be digested or absorbed into the intestine. As a result they remain in the colon to retain the water that is in the colon. Hence, there is a softening of the stool as a result of the presence of moisture. Examples of this are sorbitol, lactulose and polyethylene glycol. These laxatives are only available by prescription. They have side effects -hence the restriction in access to it- and are used for the long term treatment of constipation. Part of the side effects it has on the body is abdominal bloating and flatulence. This occurs as a result of the laxative being digested by bacteria and its subsequent turning into gas. If this continues, a reduction in the dosage usually reduces the incidence of bloating and flatulence. In some cases however, the gas may reduce in volume by itself.

2. Saline Laxatives

These are laxatives that are made up of ions that can’t be absorbed by the colon. Examples of such ions are phosphate, citrate which can be found in the following combination’s: sodium phosphate, and magnesium hydroxide. They function by drawing water into the colon which in return softens that stool. This treatment has its disadvantages. People with weak kidneys may find it hard to expel resulting in the formation of kidney stones. This happens if it is used over a long period of time. Thus, short term usage in perfect order. It may also cause diarrhea which may lead to dehydration if the amount of fluid lost by the body is not replaced immediately. Saline laxatives are found in solutions such as Milk of magnesia or Epsom Salt.

3. Stimulant Laxatives

These incite the small intestine and colon muscles to push their substance faster. This they do by increasing the water content in the small intestine or inhibiting the amount of water absorbed by the colon. These laxatives can be found in Castor oil, Senna and Aloe Vera oils. They are quite useful in alleviating and curing constipation but also has its disadvantages. Because of its potency, it can instigate diarrhea which would result in dehydration if the individual does not take liquids. They can also cause intestinal cramping and long term intensive use can result in colon damage and worse constipation. Finally, not all of the constipation help methods are applicable. You can either consult your physician or get a quick, fast relief from constipation.

D. NATURAL REMEDIES

Before the advent of patent medicines, before there were doctors, people developed constipation. How did they handle it? Ancient Americans, the Aztecs, Mayas, and even the American Indian found that plants growing naturally had the desired effects on the body. And because they were all natural, they had no side effects. Many of our modern drugs are synthesized in factories to mimic the results of these naturally occurring herbs. One might ask, “Why manufacture something like a natural occurring substance. Unfortunately, it is expensive to grow and harvest the volume of the drug needed to satisfy the need. Or in otherwise “Greed.”

1. Boysenberry. The juice of this fruit is capable of functioning as a gentle laxative. It is to be used in the case of mild constipation not chronic ones.

2. Cantaloupe fruit is a very great fruit and is adequate for helping to relieve constipation. Its high fiber content is what actually makes it very useful to those who have constipation. It is also a rich source of both Vitamins A and C and lots of minerals.

3. Flaxseed Oil has been proven time and again to be an effective constipation remedy. All you need for maximum results is to take 1-2 tablespoonfuls with lots of water immediately after lunch or dinner.

4. Elder flower Tea is also very effective. Use as many times as it is needed daily.

5. Epsom Salts is also another good remedy. To use it as a constipation remedy, mix one teaspoonful in half glass of water just before bed. Please note that it is bitter, so the taste does not hit you unawares.

6. Adding roasted black gram powder to chapatti made of wheat including the husks too can enhance constipation relief.

7. Molasses which have high calorie content are also very good. Beware though as it has a strong taste and you’ll want to add fruit juice or milk to it when taking it. All you really need is two tablespoonfuls of black strap molasses just before sleeping at night.

8. Take half a cup of cabbage juice twice a day. This is very effective in treating and curing constipation.

9. If you have got access to mango, take one in the morning right after brushing before breakfast, and one at night after dinner. Mangoes are very effective bowel movers. There is a sure guarantee that you’ll have to “go” at least twice before nightfall.

10. Create a mixture of Spiegel seeds and warm milk. This is done by dipping the Spiegel seeds (5-10g) in warm milk (200g). To this, mixture, add sugar and you have for yourself a highly effective treatment method.

11. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, take a drink of figs dipped in water in the morning. If taken in copious amounts, you’ll definitely find yourself reaching for the next available toilet.

12. If you want instant relief from constipation, drink water that has been kept in a copper container and has been left overnight. It acts as a superb constipation relief.

13. Get half a glass of water and mix one-quarter (¼) of Epsom salts with it for fast constipation relief.

14. Also try pouring a whole sachet of Andrew’s Liver Salt in a glass of water sand gulp down immediately. This will also produce a fast constipation relief.

E. COLON CLEANSES

Doctors specializing in natural medicines recommend at least one colon cleanse a year to eliminate the toxins and excess waste that builds up over time in the intestinal tract. The body is like a highly functional machine. A machine as we well know must go through a period of complete readjustment, cleaning, realigning, refurbishing etc, so also should our body.

There are several good colon cleanses on the market. results vary from one manufacturer to another. Some are natural, other use ingredients you may have trouble pronouncing, because they are synthesized rather than natural.

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Canker Sore Treatment – Difference Between Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcer) and Fever Blisters (Cold Sore)

There are a number of differences between canker sores and cold sores. If you find out more about the features, you will easily distinguish and find the right methods that will lead to quick treatment and recovery. You might even discover the preventive measures by knowing the causes and triggers. Here are some more tips on how to differentiate the two and what you can do to alleviate these conditions should you have them.

The Canker Sore

Described as an open and painful sore in the mouth, canker sores appear yellow or white and are usually surrounded by a bright red area which indicates inflammation. These are benign and not cancerous. Canker sores are a basic form of ulcer in the mouth. These usually appear in women more often compared to men. These can also appear at any age, although they are initially present between 10 to 40 years old. They will be found on the inner surface of the lips, soft palate, cheeks, tongue and the base of the gums. The sores can also occur in families.

These are usually related to conditions that are associated with the immune system or defense system of the body. The sores can also happen after you acquire mouth injury because of aggressive tooth cleaning, dental work or accidentally biting the cheek, tongue or lip. They are usually caused by emotional stress, menstrual periods, dietary problems from lack of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron, food allergies, hormonal changes and other similar problems. These can also appear during viral infections. The cause may not be identified all the time.

Canker Sore Symptoms

The initial symptoms are burning or tingling sensation that you get before other symptoms arise. You might discover a painful red bump or spot that will develop into an open ulcer. The center usually appears white or yellow, measuring less than 1 cm, although it can be bigger at times. You might get one or more bumps in the area. The sore might also turn gray before it starts to heal.

About Cold Sores

Fever blisters or cold sores are common skin problems that happen in 15% to 30% of the United States population. The sores are generally caused by the HSV or herpes simplex virus and are usually indicative of herpes simplex virus infection. Fever blisters are triggered frequently by the HSV-1 or the herpes simplex virus type 1 compared to HSV-2. Over 85% of the population worldwide have experienced having HSV-1 at one point. The first outbreak is usually very painful and will last longer compared to the following infections.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

The blisters usually appear red or purple and are filled with fluid. These appear at the corners of the mouth or around the lips. The blisters will rise then collapse within a few days. A yellow crust usually develops over the sores and will heal without scarring in 2 weeks. Other symptoms include sore throat, general body aches, fever, swollen lymph nodes and soreness in the lips and mouth. Canker sore treatment will then be different.

To conclude, cankers sores and fever blisters are largely a result of improper skin management and hygiene. Are you sick and tired of dealing with the pain caused by canker sores? To be able to know the difference between the two will also be a big help in taking preventive measures.

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What is Expanded Awareness?

Through the NLP technique of expanded awareness, we can take in more information from the world around u, both in terms of what is observed from a rational conscious state as well as from subjective experiences. It enables you to sense more than your five senses allow, giving you something of a sixth sense to perceive what is occurring around you.

Expanded awareness is said to have been practiced by Samurai warriors who were required to notice an enemy coming from beyond in what could be sensed in a normal state of awareness.

Other than that, I find expanded awareness extremely useful in NLP training and coaching. It allows me to take in more information from the client in coaching as well as the ability to notice what is going on in an entire room of people.

Also you can induce a state of relaxation or trance in yourself, or others if you guide them towards a state of expanded awareness. I find it extremely useful to do on transatlantic flights, which I like to do from an altered state so I can zone out, or play with my own brain. After all, how can you NOT use NLP in moments when you are trying to preserve your sanity? You may as well put your brain to some good use, even in economy class!

Learning how to practice this technique is easy and fun once you get the hang of it. Please see my article entitled “Expanded Awareness Technique in NLP” to learn how you can try out yourself.

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Tips for Using Mineral Oil in the Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Talking about Hemorrhoids is not one of the most pleasant topic to discuss even with your best friend or even your doctor as it is an embarrassing subject and this is why many people who suffer from them hemorrhoid tend to avoid talking about them. However, having Hemorrhoids is very common and almost half of the American population will have suffered from them by the age of 50, though approx ten million Americans are suffering from painful hemorrhoids right now only 5% are seeking medical attention.

Having a hemorrhoid is not a fatal condition, but with lack of information, it may become dangerous, and it is important to identify the causes of Hemorrhoids to avoid them becoming worse and even to prevent it from becoming pathological, one must also be informed of the kinds of hemorrhoids and their recommended treatment.

Most Hemorrhoids will actually heal up on their own, which is good to know. Unless you continue to strain when defecating or have chronic constipation or diarrhea, which causes it to flare up, most hemorrhoids heal naturally with out any interventions.

You know when you have hemorrhoids when you find it difficult to even have a bowel movement. You will experience pain, itching, swelling and often bleeding because of your hemorrhoids. If any such symptoms occur to you, it is wise to first consult your doctor.

Your doctor may advise lifestyle changes and the use of a hemorrhoid treatment cream to treat your condition. However, in the world of hemorrhoid sufferers, the word ‘cure’ actually means that your particular hemorrhoid will shrink and so stop giving you the discomfort of the associated problems.

So is it possible for you to completely cure your hemorrhoid problem? Well, unfortunately the simple answer is “no.” The truth is that no matter what a treatment program claims it can do, the problem veins will remain in your anal walls. So although there is no way to permanently “cure” the problem, there are a number of treatments that help not only in minimizing your risk of hemorrhoid but can also help at shrinking the size and reducing the pain and irritation that is associated with hemorrhoids. We must then look at methods that ensure the veins in your anal walls stay stress-free as reducing this is a key way to keeping these veins from struggling and swelling to prevent hemorrhoids.

What sufferers really need are tips on how to avoid getting hemorrhoids in the first place and tips to reduce the suffering they inflict without resorting to surgery or expensive ointments, preferably using a natural remedy.

Tip 1. Check your Diet and lifestyle first:

A little knowledge of the main causes of hemorrhoids may help to prevent hemorrhoid in becoming pathological. They are most frequently due to an unbalanced diet and straining during excretion in the anal part. These two main causes are connected, because when you eat the wrong foods, it will lead to poor bowel movements which will often lead to constipation and straining in the toilet.

The Western diet makes many people much more liable to hemorrhoids, this is largely because the western diet has become full of processed contents lacking in fiber content, and consumption of processed foods has increased still further with the sheer numbers and variety of fast food outlets.

Tip 2 The Use of a Protectant.

Protectants such as Mineral Oil (Balneol) are used to prevent irritation, itching, pain and burning of the perianal area by forming a physical barrier on the skin. Some of the main protectants used are:

  • Aluminum hydroxide gel
  • Cocoa butter
  • Glycerin
  • Kaolin
  • Lanolin
  • Mineral oil (Balneol)
  • White petrolatum
  • Starch
  • Zinc oxide or calamine (which contains zinc oxide) in concentrations of up to 25%
  • Cod liver oil or shark liver oil if the amount of vitamin A is 10,000 USP units/day.

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Hypnotizability – Do You Have It?

Hypnotizability is the ability to experience hypnotic trance, usually via self-hypnosis or under the instruction of another person, such as a hypnotherapist. People vary in their ability to go into trance at will and on purpose. As a human trait, hypnotizability seems to be “normally” distributed throughout the population. In other words, statistically, the distribution of hypnotizability in the general population follows the bell-shaped curve. This means that a small percentage of people, about 10%, are highly hypnotizable and access trance quite easily. They seem to have a natural, inborn ability to go into trance. At the other end of the continuum, there is a small percentage of people for whom accessing trance (at least on purpose or at someone’s instruction) is difficult. The rest of the population, about 80%, are in the middle of the continuum of hypnotizability—they are low average, average and high average. In this sense, hypnotizability varies from person to person, just as other naturally-occurring traits, such as intelligence or height.

Certain psychological, social, and physiological factors correlate with hypnotizability, and may actually contribute to hypnotizability. When a hypnotherapist conducts formal or informal “tests of hypnotizability” he or she is asking the client to perform some simple exercises designed to elicit one or more of the factors that correspond to hypnotizability. According to Dr. Steven Gurgevich in his Self-Hypnosis Home Study Course (Sounds True, 2006) there are many common indicators of hypnotizability. These factors, or indicators, of hypnotizability are discussed below in the following paragraphs.

Ability to Follow Instructions

Some people follow instructions willingly when they believe it is in their interests to do so–and are very compliant with a hypnotherapist’s instructions. These people will have go into trance more easily than other who do not like being told what to do and will often have a compelling drive to disobey or ignore instructions, just to maintain their own sense of self-direction and independent thinking. People in the latter category (independent) can be hypnotized, as long as the hypnotherapist does not use an authoritarian approach.

The authoritarian approach usually will not work well with independent thinkers. To have success with independent thinkers, the hypnotherapist must reinforce the client’s own decision-making capabilities throughout the hypnosis process, and allow the client to consider options on how to best use and respond to the hypnotic process.

Capacity for Daydreaming and Deep Concentration

If you easily slip into daydreaming, and you get easily absorbed in movies, books, and video games, then you probably have a good level of hypnotizability. If you are distractible and find it hard to sit still for even a few minutes, you will probably have less hypnotizability.

Imagination

If you have a good ability to visualize and imagine new possibilities, then you are a good hypnotic candidate. The success of hypnosis often relies on your ability to imagine carrying out new behaviors. If you are lacking in imagination, your hypnotizability may be less than optimal.

The Eye-Roll Phenomenon

In the 1960’s Dr. Herbert Speigel conducted studies that showed a strong correlation between the ability to tilt one’s eyes up toward the forehead, and hypnotizability. The more white area one can show on the underside of the raised eyeball, the higher the hypnotizability. No one is sure why this correlation exists.

Interest in How the Mind Works

People with an interest in the mind and how it works usually become adept with hypnotic trance. People with an interest in the mind are those who often seek self-improvement by attending seminars, reading self-help books, listening to self-improvement CDs and DVDs, and spending time in activities such as meditation, journaling, yoga, relaxation, and hypnosis. People who have little interest in the mind will usually not even consider hypnosis as a viable option for solving a personal problem or for self-improvement.

An Open Mind

People usually succeed with hypnosis when they maintain an open mind about the process. They are curious and willing to explore what hypnosis is and how to use it. They maintain a positive expectation that hypnosis will be a pleasant, perhaps beneficial experience. People who are dead set against hypnosis or who want to prove that hypnosis doesn’t work or won’t work for them will usually not succeed with hypnosis.

Ability to Think Non-analytically

A person who thinks only in a logical, analytical manner will not have high hypnotizability. People with high hypnotizability can easily shift between analytical thinking and intuitive, creative, imaginative thinking.

Intellect

It is a common misconception that hypnotizability is usually linked to mental weakness or gullibility. Actually, the opposite is true. Those with high intelligence are often very good candidates for hypnosis.

A Word about Control Issues

Some beginners who don’t know much about hypnosis are reluctant to pursue hypnosis, and difficult to hypnotize, because they worry that hypnosis will cause them to give up self-control. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hypnosis actually helps people acquire more control over their thinking, actions, and emotions. In fact, many people seek hypnosis because they are habitually engaging in some behavior that is out of control (smoking, overeating, gambling, etc.). A person with control issues will do best in hypnosis with a thorough understanding of the process in advance.

Paper and Pencil Tests

There are some paper and pencil tests of hypnotizability, but not all are well-documented for predictability and msny have not been subjected to rigorous scientific analysis as to what they actually measure. The tests that are well-documented are usually used in scientific studies in which hypnotizability is a variable. Hypnotherapists rarely use these tests in actual practice because:

1) The tests are time consuming and expensive.

2) Most people are hypnotizable under the right circumstances, regardless of what the tests might show.

3) Hypnotizability also depends on one’s own expectations. If you think you are hypnotizable, your chances of going into trance are improved. If a test says you have low hypnotizability, it may lower your expectations and your low expectations may actually reduce your ability to go into trance.

Other Factors that influence the Success of Hypnosis

There are other factors that influence the success of hypnosis. Rapport with the person conducting hypnosis is one. Even if you want to be hypnotized, if the hypnotist or hypnotherapist working with you doesn’t seem completely trustworthy, or sincere, or skilled in working with you, you may encounter difficulty accessing trance. If you don’t feel comfortable with the individual conducting hypnosis with you, some part of your mind will be on guard.

Motivation is a very important factor in hypnosis. Motivation is highest when the individual sees benefit to accomplishing the goal, is willing to engage in the processes and steps that lead to the accomplishment, is totally congruent about wanting the accomplishment, and believes in his or her own capability to accomplish the goal. The most hypnotizable people are those who sincerely want to be hypnotized, expect hypnosis to work, and who want real results from hypnosis. A person who is not motivated to make a change will not be easily persuaded to do so with hypnosis.

If you feel half-way motivated to make a change, but still have some concerns or conflicts, it may be necessary for you to do extra work with your hypnotherapist to get satisfying or lasting results with hypnosis. Your conflicts may be due to:

o Competing goals: You can have result A or result B but not both.

o Competing values: The goal is linked to a significant personal value or belief, but having it also violates another significant personal value or belief.

o Wanting the goal, but not the work or steps required to achieve it.

o Wanting the goal, but not the attendant problems and/or responsibilities that might come with the accomplishment.

o Wanting the goal, but not knowing how to accomplish it.

o Wanting the goal, but feeling blocked by fears, inhibitions, and limiting beliefs rooted in past experiences.

To complicate matters, the exact source of the conflict often resides in the subconscious and is not available for cognitive, conscious analysis. In this case, the conflicted individual has to contend with dread, procrastination, or self-sabotage, without actually getting at the heart of the matter.

Reaching resolution on one’s own is tough. A psychotherapist who is also a hypnotherapist can use a variety of hypnotic processes to help you identify the type of conflict you may be encountering and can assist you to work through it, reach resolution, come to terms with it, and put it behind you.

What to do if You Think you have Low Hypnotizability

Surprisingly, belief in one’s own hypnotizability does not seem to be a significant factor in hypnotizability. I’ve had several clients who came to my practice doubting, for one reason or another, that they could be hypnotized. Yet, once I explained the process to them, and worked with them, they easily accessed trance. I’ve also had a few clients who were told by other hypnotherapists that they were not hypnotizable, or who found they could not access trance with previous hypnotherapists. Many of these clients have also accessed trance, under my guidance and instruction. Most people can access trance once they understand the hypnotic process, and they truly have motivation to be hypnotized.

If you think you have little hypnotizability or believe you could be a poor candidate for hypnosis, don’t give up. Find and work with a skilled hypnotherapist with whom you feel comfortable. Sometimes people with low hypnotizability require a few sessions of practice before they can access trance. A skilled hypnotherapist will experiment with different approaches and inductions to find the methods that work best for each client.

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Ginseng is Good For You, But Do Not Overuse

Ginseng is a perennial herb that starts flowering in its fourth year. It grows in the United States, Canada, & the mountainous forests of eastern Asia. The translucent, yellowish brown roots are harvested when plants reach between 3 & 6 years of age. This herb has been used in the Orient for 5000 years as a tonic. According to traditional Chinese medicine’s philosophy of opposites, American ginseng is a cool or yin tonic used to treat hot symptoms such as stress, insomnia, palpitations, & headache.

In parallel, Asian ginseng is hot or yang & is used to treat cold diseases. In the Orient, ginseng is considered a cure all. This stems from the Doctrine of Signatures, because the root is said to resemble a man’s appearance & is therefore useful to treat all of man’s ailments. Throughout history, the root has been used as a treatment for asthenia, atherosclerosis, blood & bleeding disorders, colitis, & relief of symptoms associated with aging, cancer, & senility. Ginseng is also widely believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Ginseng is classified as an ‘adaptogen’, helping the body to adapt to stress, improving stamina & concentration & providing a normalizing & restorative effect. It is also widely promoted as an aphrodisiac. The Korean root is highly prized & the most expensive. Long term use of ginseng can lead to symptoms similar to those of corticosteroid poisoning, including hypertension, nervousness & sleeplessness in some subjects, yet hypotension & tranquillizing effects in others. The benefits of ginseng treatment are by no means confirmed at the pharmacological level.

One promising example of cancer preventive effects that are not specific to any organ is Panax ginseng, an herb with a long medicinal history. The genus name of ginseng, Panax, is derived from the Greek pan (all) akos (cure), meaning cure-all. No single herb can be considered a panacea, but ginseng comes close to it. Ginseng is a tonic herb that helps to improve overall health & restore the body to balance, & helps the body to heal by itself. Its protective influence against cancer has been shown by extensive preclinical & epidemiological studies.

Ginseng is a very slow growing perennial herb, reaching about 2 ft in height. The older the root, the greater is the concentration of ginsenosides, the active chemical compounds; thus the ginseng becomes more potent with time. More than 28 ginsenosides have been extracted from ginseng, & might be associated with a wide range of therapeutic actions in the central nervous system, cardiovascular, endocrine systems. Indeed, ginseng promotes immune function, metabolism, possesses antistress & anti-aging activities. Several ginsenosides were proven to be nonorgan-specific tumor suppressors & to improve learning & memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Consumer Reports revealed that the amount of ginsenosides in Ginsana®, the ginseng market leader in the United States, is well standardized. The manufacturer claims that each Ginsana capsule contains 100 mg of standardized, concentrated ginseng. A study of the Swedish Ginsana product revealed consistency in ginsenoside content between batches. Ginsana is available in the United States in soft gel capsules & chewy squares. The capsules are green because chlorophyll is added. Other forms of ginseng are most commonly available in capsule or tablet form & are usually brown. Dosage strengths normally range between 50 mg & 300 mg of Panax ginseng extract per capsule or tablet. Also, several combination products are available. For example, Ginkogin® is a combination of Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, & garlic. There are other types of ginseng on the market including Siberian, Brazilian, & Indian ginseng. These are not of the genus Panax & do not contain ginsenosides.

However, two studies have also suggested that administration of ginseng and ginkgo biloba has no effect on cognition or mood. Hartley and colleagues evaluated the effects of a 6 or 12 week course of a ginkgo & ginseng combination product (Gincosan®) on the mood and cognition of postmenopausal women. Subjects were administered a battery of mood, somatic anxiety, sleepiness, and menopausal symptom tests.

No improvement in memory performance evaluated by eight separate tests was noted in either the group receiving ginseng or the group receiving ginkgo biloba. Thus, it appears that conflicting results still exist as to the ability of ginseng to improve memory and cognition; however, even in those studies demonstrating a positive effect, the enhancement was generally small in magnitude.

If ginseng are being over consume or overused symptoms of toxicity such as hypertension, shortness of breath, dizziness, inability to concentrate, a loud palpable fourth heart sound, thrusting apical pulse, and hypertensive changes on examination were reported in a 39-year-old man who had taken various ginseng products for 3 years. His blood pressure measured 140/100 mmHg on three occasions over 6 weeks, and when referred for management of his hypertension it was 154/106 mmHg. He was advised to discontinue the ginseng products and 3-month later, his symptoms had resolved.

In addition, A 72-year-old woman experienced vaginal bleeding after taking 200 mg daily of a Swiss-Austrian geriatric formulation of ginseng (Geriatric Pharmaton, Bernardgrass, Austria) for an unspecified time. In a similar case, a 62-year-old woman had undergone a total hysterectomy 14 years previously and had been taking Rumanian ginseng alternating with Gerovital® every 2 weeks for 1 year. The patient derived a marked estrogenic effect from the product based on microscopy of vaginal smears as well as the gross appearance of the vaginal and cervical epithelium.

So the bottom line is ginseng comes pretty close as one of the best natural remedy that promotes various healthy well being. It is a fantastic option for longevity but just be aware that too much of a good thing might not give you desirable result. Use ginseng in moderation & you will enjoy the great benefit of this ancient perennial herb.

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Joseph Pilates in His Later Years

Joseph Pilates met his future wife Clara, a kindergarten teacher, on the boat to Ellis Island. The story goes that Clara suffered from arthritis and Joe worked with her to increase her mobility and relieve her pain. Once in New York they opened their gym at 939 Eighth Avenue, in the same building that housed rehearsal studios for George Ballanchine’s New York City Ballet.

Joseph Pilates never received the level of recognition that his brilliant work clearly deserved, and even today it is difficult to wade through the myth and find the true story. This is partially true because most of what we know about his life has come from students of students of his students.

While many facts about Joe’s life are verifiable, sources still disagree on the basics. In fact, I have reviewed several websites and each gives a different year of death (1966, 1967, 1968) as well as a different cause of death (he died in a fire, as a result of a fire, as a result of smoke inhalation from a fire etc.). According to his New York Times obituary Joseph Pilates died in 1967 at Lenox Hill Hospital, but the Times never mentions cause of death. And there was indeed a fire on the same floor as his studio in 1965 where Joe suffered a bad leg scrape while inspecting the studio.

According to Pilates Elder Mary Bowen, “To set the record straight – no, Joe did not die in a fire. He died two years later…of advanced emphysema from smoking cigars for too many years…” Apparently all the good breathing in the world could not keep his scarred lungs (recall that he was rheumatic and asthmatic as a child) from feeling the effects of smoking. As Joe left no will, Clara took over and ran the studio until she retired in the mid-70s. This is where the story gets a bit more interesting, as this when the different schools of Pilates were formed.

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Night Sweating – Common Causes of Night Sweats

If you suffer from night sweating, you probably often wake up in the middle of the night, with your sheets soaked in sweat. It can be very unpleasant, and what’s worse – the nightly interruptions can rob you of precious sleep that your body needs to feel healthy and energized.

There are several kinds of night sweats. One is the occasional night sweat that is not very severe, or even a more severe kind of night sweat that occurs when a person has a psychologically very intensive dream. There is nothing to worry about with this kind of nightly sweating problem, and no need for any kind of treatment or remedy. If it is bothering you, simple relaxation techniques can help you to have a more calm sleep. Meditation, progressive relaxation, tai chi, qi gong, yoga or other ways to calm down your nerves can help to reduce anxiety or stress. Also, avoid eating heavy meals before going to bed, do not watch TV, or if you want to, at least make it a funny comedy or a romantic love movie.

Another cause of night sweat can be a general hyperhidrosis. If you also sweat a lot during the day, you might simply have a general excessive sweating problem. Some simple adjustments in your diet, your lifestyle and your hygiene habits can help you to reduce your sweating back to your normal levels. For example, avoid eating spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine or other foods and beverages that are known to cause heavy sweating. An exception of that is green tea: Green tea causes you to sweat more directly after you drink it for about three hours, but afterwards your sweat production normalizes.

For women, one of the most common causes of night sweating is the variety of hormonal changes that their bodies undergo during menopause or pregnancy. In these cases, it is best to simply use some sweat absorbing night  gowns and always have a glass of cool water next to your bed. This condition might be troublesome, but it will pass sooner than you think. There are also natural ways of dealing with the symptoms of menopause that can help to reduce night sweating.

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Can Self Hypnosis Make You More Beautiful?

Many people are aware that self-hypnosis may be used to change bad habits. But they often ask whether self hypnosis can really be used to actually make you more beautiful and attractive. The answer is a qualified yes! As always, the objective of all hypnosis is to bypass the critical gatekeeper of the mind. That way, most of the improvements in our lives come to us much easier. But real change isn’t limited to habit control. The subconscious is also in charge of bodily systems, including the organs, cells, muscles, hormones and so much more.

Science has verified that the physical body, including things like psychosomatic natural improvement of body appearance, may be changed through self-hypnosis with the powerful tools of hypnotic suggestion. Whether it’s to lose body fat, increase muscular strength, reduce body pain or all the other things you’d you like to work on, if you can systematically and artfully provide yourself with the correct hypnotic suggestions, there are many wondrous changes that can happen for you.

In short, you can make yourself more beautiful with self-hypnosis provided you know what kind of suggestions will profoundly affect your subconscious mind! Here’s a good example from a self hypnosis lecture I recently gave. Marta, a self-hypnosis student, told me and the class she wanted to have more beautiful hair. So I encouraged the class to help craft some really effective self-hypnosis suggestions. Here’s how we broke it down.

We started with this suggestion: “I grow beautiful and lustrous black hair.” We then had her imagine what it would feel like and look like to have that kind of hair. And though it took her several applications of hypnosis over several weeks to achieve what she wanted, the change was finally apparent to Marta and all the classmates.

Her new hair seemed thicker, stronger and shinier while its texture seemed much improved to everyone around her. (She confirmed that her hair care products and regimen remained the same since we started this informal test.) Like Marta, if there is a particular area of your appearance you would like to beautify, you can use specific self-hypnosis suggestions to make it happen. Men, of course, can benefit just as well as women, with self-suggestions to make themselves look more handsome, vigorous and attractive also.

Self-hypnosis suggestions don’t have to get this specific to get results for you. You can craft suggestions to become more “overall” beautiful, handsome or attractive. That is enough for the subconscious to really begin making noticeable changes in your appearance. For best results, make sure your suggestions include the following:

  • Determine and recognize that your own subconscious mind can make you more attractive
  • Create vivid descriptions of just how it will feel to be more beautiful or handsome
  • Express in words how you will find greater benefit in your life (like attracting someone special)

Like Marta, it may take you time and application to make those hypnosis suggestions produce these exciting benefits. But I’ve seen it happen for my hypnotherapy clients who wanted to lose weight, control their diabetes blood glucose – and improve their appearance too. Just be patient, look for the changes and enjoy the transformation. It costs a lot less than cosmetic surgery, and it’s much more natural and a lot safer too.

Hypnosis can indeed make you more beautiful.

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Peptic Ulcer – 10 Ways To Manage It

Different types of drugs are employed in the management of peptic ulcer. The different groups of drugs each play a specific role in the healing of the ulcer or in helping to reduce the secretion of gastric juices. Diet control and surgery can also be involved depending on the type and stage of the ulcer. Some of the drugs for the management of peptic ulcer include:

1. Anbiotics: With recent knowledge that peptic ulcer is caused by a bacterium, antibiotics treatment is now being employed to get rid of the offending organism. In most cases there is the use of a combination of two different antibiotics which ensure the organism is completely destroyed.

2. Antacids: Antacids are used for the symptomatic relief of peptic ulcer pains. They help to neutralize the gastric acid and also inactivate pepsin. When given for a fairly long period they aid healing. One basic problem they have is that they may interfere with the absorption of other drugs employed in the treatment of the ulcer. It is therefore advisable to take antacids about 1hr before taking other medications or 2hrs after. Examples of antacids include: Magnesium hydroxide (Philip’s milk of magnesia); Magnesium hydroxide and Aluminium hydroxide (Gestid, Maalox and Mylanta); Aluminium hydroxide (Amphogel and Alternagel); Sodium bicarbonate and Calcium carbonate (Rolaids, Titralac, etc)

3. Histamine H2-receptor antagonists: They block histamine receptor thereby minimizing gastric secretions. Examples of these drugs are Cimetidine (Tagament), Ranitidine (Zantac), Nizatidine (Axid), Famotidine (Pepcid) etc

4. Proton-pump inhibitors: helps to decrease gastric acid production and as such limit the damage done by the gastric acid on the gastric mucosal lining. Examples of this drug include Omeprazole (Prilosec), Rabeprazole (Aciphex), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Pantoprazole (Protonix) and Lansoprazole (Prevacid).

5. Sedatives: May help to reduce stress and tension which are known to increase gastric secretion. These drugs include Diazepam and Phenobarbitone. They may be given in large doses at bed time.

6. Anticholinergics: They inhibit the action of acetylcholine thereby helping to reduce gastric acid secretion and also reduce pain. They may produce nasty side effects such as decreased visual acuity, difficulty in urinating and dryness of the mouth. Example of such drug is Pro-Banthine.

7. Sucralfate (Carafate): This drug helps to make a protective coating over the crater created by the ulcer thereby preventing further damage to the affected area.

8. Surgery: Surgery may be advocated if the use of drugs fail to control the acid secretion. Surgery could also be carried out when there is severe bleeding or perforation. Some of the surgical treatments include Vagotomy and Gastric resection (subtotal gastrectomy). Gastrectomy involves removal of the ulcer bearing part of the stomach, while vagotomy is to select the branches of the vagus nerve supplying the stomach and resect it to reduce gastric secretion and decrease gastric motility.

9. Patient education: Patient should be properly educated as to the cause of the disease, complications and their prevention; the need to adhere to the diet and drug therapy and the need to report signs of complication to the doctor. Patient should also be told to avoid NSAIDS, corticosteroids, alcohol, cigarette, caffeine, etc

10. Other methods of management may include the use of herbs, homeopathy and chiropractic.

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