Avoiding Stress for Better Health

happy photoUnfortunately we have to admit. Stress is a part of our every day routine, and is a natural part of the human experience.

Stress has been a topic of high medical interest for years.

If we would like to maintain good health and a positive quality of life – stress reduction is critical.

Just think for a moment about stress in the workplace. Work pressure and job strain can lead to a much higher risk of developing heart desease and an increased risk of stroke.

Not mentioning that it can also lead to weight gain if you turn to food for comfort.

When we are stressed, we tend to overeat, drink, limit our physical activity and watch too much TV.

To lessen your stress and reduce your risk of stress-related health problems you need to make healthy choices in life like being physically active, staying socially connected, getting good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight.

Just remember it’s all in your hands!

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A Biopsychosocial Perspective How To Live A Healthy Life

To achieve and maintain overall good health is everyone’s goal. The secret in achieving this goal can be described in a single wordbalance. If you balance the physical, mental and social facets of your life, you make a strong move toward good health.

Certainly our lives are complex, juggling the stress and strain of everyday living in our modern, fast-paced world. Yet, you need not be overwhelmed in your quest to be healthy if you begin with an approach that emphasizes balance. This slightly cumbersome term, a biopsychosocial perspective, merely means to keep your physical (bio) body, your mental (psycho) condition, and the social parts of your life in balance.

Taken one at a time, each area of your life can be analyzed, using simple steps to assess and promote homeostasis, that is, to maintain balance. Our physical or biological state is always adjusting to maintain a balance; when we are overheated, we perspire so that we may cool down. When we are lacking energy, we become hungry so that we may re-fuel our bodies. When thinking about the physical aspect of your body, remember to think of its basic needs and how well these needs are being met. Of primary importance is the fuel or nutrition you give your body. Begin by knowing how much you should eat and drink to maintain your weight. Each day, consume the calories that you know you will burn. Strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise each day. This allows your body to burn calories, as well as helping you maintain good physical and cardiovascular fitness.

Your body requires a variety of nutritious foods to stay in top condition. The key here is nutritiousit is not enough to merely feed your body, you must be sure you are providing it with balanced nutrition. Optimally, you will choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and low-fat dairy products. You will include adequate protein in your diet, including fish. Limit the foods and drinks that are high in calories but low in nutrients, and remember to limit saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.

If your eating habits are less than perfect, or you know you tend to avoid a specific food group, you can augment your diet with multi-vitamins or specific vitamin supplements. As with any supplement, you should always consult your primary care physician when making your decisions. Purchasing vitamins to help balance your eating habits need not be expensive, thanks to quality discount vitamins available through the Internet or at large drug stores and pharmacies.

The second key to good health is to be sure the mental aspect of your life is balanced by minimizing stress and maintaining good sleep and work habits. Psychologically, the body works best when it is functioning with a positive outlook, has adequate rest to allow for both physical and mental recuperation, and is not in a constant state of stress. While some stress in our lives is inevitable, the body is ill prepared to remain in a constant state of siege.

Two factors that contribute to your overall positive mental health include enjoying the work that you do, and knowing how to handle the stressors that life presents. If one or both of these areas in your life is in need of improvement, you can take steps to move in a healthier direction. Consider a different focus at work or sign up for training to add additional skills to your current knowledge; take a class for fun, to allow yourself to relax and unwind. Talk to your friends and family about your plans and goals, and they may be able to contribute new ideas for staying mentally active and involved.

And this brings us to the third segment of a balanced and healthy life, that of your social and community activities. Research tells us that people with adequate social networks live longer, healthier lives. Friends and family are the part of your life that brings your mental and physical states together in activity. Positive interactions with others allow your mind and your body to thrive. These interactions begin at the very closest level, with family and close friends. They form your immediate support system, as well as your purpose in doing and giving to those near to you.

Next comes your interactions with those in a wider community, the people you work with and pass on the street each day. These social exchanges, if positive, can directly affect both your physical well being as well as your mental state of mind. These acquaintances also allow you to design your own groups, people who share your passion for classical music, or who love to play a round of golf with you on a Sunday afternoon. Whatever your activities with others, positive social experiences contribute to good health.

On a larger scale, the social arena of your city or even your state can be a way to positively interact, by earning a living and by contributing to a higher purpose such as promoting justice in our society. While your social focus may be far reaching in the people it touches, it continues to have a close and personal impact on your own health. Just as with nutrition, when you sometimes need to add more nutritious food or to purchase affordable discount vitamins to supplement your food intake, you may want to add more positive social interactions to your life, in the form of friends or community activities. As with diet when you restrict your intake of saturated fats, you may also decide to limit social activities that are more stressful than they are rewarding.

Maintaining a balance in your life, keeping your body healthy (don’t forget to research for discount vitamins and start a vitamin regimen), keeping your mind alert with positive activities, and your social interactions productive and positive will reward you with one of life’s greatest gifts, that of overall good health.

Acai Berry Natural And Healthy Detox Supplement

Do you know that Acai berry is a 100% natural and organic cleansing diet? Acai berry helps to cleanse and remove harmful toxins and excess fat to keep your body healthy and fit. Acai berry diet supplements are a natural way to improve digestion and boost metabolic activity of the body. Acai berry, a healthy detox supplement is harvested directly from the Brazilian rain forests. The acai berry has an incredible number of health benefits. The following lists few of them:
1. Acai berry detoxifies body: The Acai berry detox supplement contains essential nutrients which help to flush toxins from your bloodstream. Acai berry contains powerful antioxidants due to which it acts as a natural deterrent to the accumulation of harmful toxins. The consumption of acai berry detox supplements helps to flush out blocked fecal matter, harmful parasites and free radicals.
2. Acai Berries Reduces Weight: Due to over eating, our body keeps on accumulating fat which in turn leads to the formation of toxic substances in our body. These toxins lead to various health problems such as obesity, higher cholesterol levels, lower stamina, low potency levels and high blood pressure levels. In such cases, Acai berry detox supplements such as Acai berry juice (http://www.acaiberryboutique.com/acai-store/juicebottles.php), powder or pills is a natural way to convert excess fat content into muscle.
3. The Acai Berry Minimize Internal Damage: Acai berry supplements help to reduce internal damage as it improves your immunity system. The diet supplements boost the immune system to avert health problems such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart problems etc.
Acai berries healing power repairs damaged cells to make your skin glowing and refreshed. These factors and many other health benefits make Acai Berry a highly effective diet. Along with the consumption of Acai berry supplements, if you include an exercise regimen into your routine, you can shape and mould your body to get a look you have always desired.

A Healthy Diet Menu

If you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and get rid of toxins in your system, creating and following a healthy diet menu is critical to your success. There are many foods that are going to make you a healthier person in general, and if you follow the proper dietary guidelines, it may also result in weight loss, a finer body composition, and overall better health, which is your ultimate goal. So, considering the foods you are currently eating, and considering the small changes that have to be made to your dietary plan, is the initial step in creating a healthy diet menu, and in creating a meal plan that you are going to be able to sustain for an extended period of time, rather than simply thinking about it as a diet.

Some things that will make a healthier eating style includes:

– cutting out processed foods

– lowering intake of carbs, and considering whole grains as opposed to white

– eating a higher protein diet (poultry, lean meat, fish, etc.)

– including health supplements (multivitamins, protein shakes, etc.)

– eating healthier fats, as opposed to saturated fats, and fried foods

Although these changes may seem simple, many people will find that they are currently not doing these things, and that by simply cutting back on certain foods, or making small changes to meals that are cooked (olive oil instead of canola), they are going to be transforming their current eating style to a healthy diet menu.

One of the main things to consider when trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and trying to maintain certain standards for your healthy diet menu, is to choose foods that you enjoy, and making a meal plan you are going to be able to follow through with. One of the most common reasons people fail when trying to eat healthier foods is that they consider it a diet; instead of doing this, considering the new healthy diet menu a lifestyle change, will make the body and mind realize that you are doing this forever, as opposed to doing it for a month or two to lose a few pounds. So, by simply changing your mentality, and the way you look at the foods you are going to be eating on a day to day basis, you will find that it is much easier to sustain the changes, and to make the healthy food and lifestyle changes that have to be made, in order to transfer to the healthy lifestyle.

Regardless of the goals you have set in mind, there are many great benefits to following a healthy diet menu. From losing weight, to seeing cholesterol levels go down, to feeling more energy on a daily basis. Each of these things is going to come along with the lifestyle change, and you are going to notice almost immediately that you are not as tired or lazy, and that you have much more energy during the course of the day, when you are following a healthier meal plan.

There is more free information as well as a free E-book to help making better choices.

Yoga Therapy And Preventative Health

Yoga therapy has been sitting by quietly, while the mainstream population has begun to “try Yoga,” but that may soon change. With the world’s governments and financial markets struggling along, there will be many changes in the near future. The world’s governments will have to consider the massive cost of national defense, retirement programs, education, healthcare, energy, education, and preventative health.

At this time, prevention in healthcare is a “field of dreams.” As we know, some medical conditions are inherent within our specific genetic pool. However, there are many ailments, diseases, and conditions, which are preventable.

This is where healing modalities such as, Yoga therapy can become cost-effective alternatives to an over burdened medical system. Below is a question and answer session about the need for Yoga as a recognized form of therapy.

Q: What is Yoga Therapy?

A: Most of today’s Yoga therapy can be traced back to Sri Swami Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who trained his share of modern masters, including his son T.K.V. Desikachar (Viniyoga) and B.K.S. Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga).

Yoga has therapeutic value and can be modified for any person. This is not the same form of Yoga movement seen in most health clubs. Yoga therapy involves teaching customized techniques, to one individual, based upon his or her specific needs.

This may encompass postures, specific breathing, meditation, and a large variety of Yogic techniques. The Yoga therapist’s primary objective is to treat the whole person. Complete physical health cannot be separated from emotional and mental health.

In fact, spiritual health also plays an important factor in recovery. We know that the power of prayer, mantra, and positive affirmation, will enable a person to heal faster. There is much conflict over which specific religion a person practices. Yet, this is a private decision and, as such, should be left to the individual.

Q: Why should Yoga teachers be concerned with Yoga therapy?

A: Some teachers are content teaching athletic forms of Yoga. This is a wonderful thing, but as we, and our students, grow older, teachers become aware of a variety of ailments. Constant pain creates a need for relief, because you can think of nothing else.

If you have a migraine, or back pain, can you think of much else? The mind is totally focused on pain. Hence, there is a need for inner calm and pain relief, which therapeutic Yoga can give.

Q: What is Yoga Therapy’s future role in alternative health?

A: Yoga is the source of many different healing modalities. As I have stated many times, “Yoga is the mother of all health maintenance systems.” Contemporary medicine and Yoga therapy have plenty of space together on the path to heal humanity.

There is no shortage of people who are in pain. Yoga is a cost-effective form of therapy. Together, medicine and Yoga can effectively help people who are suffering from a variety of ailments.

Science Update Stem Cells and Cardiovascular Health

Thanks to a growing body of research, scientists are now recognizing that having more stem cells in ones bloodstream could be one of the greatest strategies for optimal health. For example, a number of recent studies have shown that a greater number of circulating stem cells equated to greater cardiovascular health.

Lets look at some of these studies in a little more detail so you can grasp the potential benefits of supporting your bodys natural release of stem cells into the bloodstream

In 2001, Vasa et al reported that compared to healthy individuals, people with cardiovascular problems had fewer endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in their bloodstream. EPCs are a type of stem cells responsible for the development of new blood vessels. The study also demonstrated that the EPCs isolated from people with cardiovascular problems showed less ability to migrate in tissues. The Vasa group also reported that smokers had fewer EPCs in their blood.

In 2004 Schmidt-Lucke et al measured the number of EPCs in the bloodstream of 120 individuals (43 controls and 77 individuals at risk for cardiovascular problems) and observed these individuals for ten months. At the end of this time, the authors reported that a reduced number of circulating EPCs was linked to a poor cardiovascular health prognosis.

The next year, in a similar but more extensive study, Werner et al measured the number of EPCs in the bloodstream of 19 individuals, and observed these individuals for one year. Overall, the people with more circulating EPCs experienced fewer cardiovascular problems and, conversely, the people who had fewer EPCs in their blood showed increased incidences of cardiovascular events.

Thanks to recent studies, scientists now understand why greater numbers of stem cells in the bloodstream equate to better cardiovascular health. In essence, when a tissue has poor blood circulation, it lacks oxygen. And when a tissue lacks oxygen, it releases compounds that accomplish two specific tasks: 1) attraction of EPCs into the tissue, and 2) conversion of EPCs into capillary cells. Therefore, whenever a tissue is lacking oxygen, a process is triggered whereby circulating stem cells migrate to the tissue and contribute to the development of new capillaries. This leads to greater delivery of oxygen and nutrients, thereby helping the tissue maintain better health.

When we understand that poor oxygen and insufficient nutrient delivery to organs and tissues are two of the most common underlying causes for a wide variety of health problems, it is clear that increasing the number of circulating stem cells becomes one of the most valuable strategies for maintaining optimal health.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and any products mentioned, while supported by science, are not intended to diagnose, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.

For information on supporting your bodys natural ability to release stem cells, and to take advantage of financial opportunities in this exciting arena, visit:

Why Vegetarians Are Less Healthy

Roughly, about 6% of the world’s population is vegetarian, a trend that is growing. Yet study after study shows that vegetarians are less healthy than their non-vegetarians peers. Why is this so? Surely a diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables should make you healthier, not less healthy, so what’s going on?

In the light of extraordinary new research it is becoming apparent that most vegetarians are in fact less healthy than their non-vegetarian peers. By “peers” I mean people of a similar socio-economic and cultural background. Any valid comparison between vegetarians and non-vegetarians must compare apples with apples. For example, any study that compared an affluent health-conscious vegetarian from California with an impoverished meat eater from the slums of Calcutta is not likely to be meaningful.

Recent studies are clearly showing that compared to their non-vegetarians peers, vegetarians are more at risk of diseases such as infertility, cancer, heart disease, eating disorders, mental disease, and obesity.

Several studies have compared health-conscious vegetarians with health-conscious non-vegetarians from the same demographic (the same socio-economic, health-conscious cohort). In other words, scientists have compared vegetarians and non-vegetarians from similar backgrounds so as to validate the results and they have come up with some surprising conclusions.

For example, in a study of 76,000 people conducted over many years data from five studies were pooled into a very large collaborative analysis of mortality in vegetarians and non-vegetarians (Appleby PN, Key TJ, Thorogood M, Burr ML, Mann J. Mortality in British vegetarians. Public Health Nutr. 2002 Feb;5(1):29-36).

The Appleby Study compared vegetarians and non-vegetarians, adjusted for age, sex and smoking. The results for all-cause mortality showed no significant difference between vegetarians and their non-vegetarian peers. Many studies have shown that vegetarians live longer than the population at large, but the Appleby Study showed that this is not the case when you compare people within the same demographic. The study concluded that ‘Overall mortality was the same between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. But vegetarians had 2.2 times the death rate from mental and neurological diseases as non-vegetarians.’

Several studies have compared vegetarians and non-vegetarians within the same demographic and the research is clearly showing that vegetarians are at greater risk of heart disease, cancer, infertility and other diseases. As most studies have compared vegetarians with the population at large, this is not widely known; such studies provide a false picture because the population at large is not particularly health-conscious.

This begs the question: does this mean that eating animal products is good for health? The research on the whole says NO. So if vegetarians are less healthy than their non-vegetarian peers, what is the reason? Why is it that vegetarians are less healthy than their non-vegetarians peers in the same demographic? This is the vegetarian paradox.

Science and Health Scientist Addresses Cancer Concerns Related to Atrazine

Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) posted a great entry on ACSHs Health Facts and Fears blog on the growing attempts by activist groups to convince the EPA to ban atrazine due to cancer claims and other health concerns.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. It helps farmers fight weeds on corn, sugar cane and other crops, leading to dramatic increases in crop yields. Without it, our food supply would be in jeopardy. Activists want the public to believe that atrazine causes cancer and birth defects, but its simply not true. Whelan writes:

“Atrazines health and safety record is stellar. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires monitoring for a multitude of chemicals, including atrazine. Levels of atrazine in U.S. waters are well within the federal lifetime drinking water standard  a level containing a 1,000-fold safety buffer. The Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 completed a 12-year review involving 60,000 different studies and concluded that the current use of atrazine poses “no harm” to the general population  infants, children and adults. According to this same regulatory agency (which oversees pesticide use) atrazine is “one of the most closely examined pesticides in the marketplace.”

Whelan points out that many activists are not willing to accept this assessment and were able to cast doubts upon the issue with the EPA. As a result, last fall the EPA announced it would initiate a re-re-re-evaluation of atrazine and health. These activists will not be happy until the EPA bans this herbicide, which would then open the door for activists to attack more chemicals, claiming they are unsafe.

Finally, Whelan points to the media for “scaring” the public into thinking that these “chemicals” are unsafe and that the manner in which they are evaluated should be changed:

“Many of the recent media chemical scares, like the two hour “toxic” presentation on CNN, argue that a) there are tens of thousands of “chemicals” out there; and b) the current government policy, assuming these chemicals are safe until contrary evidence was presented, must be reversed so that a chemical is considered hazardous until it is “proven safe.” But how do you prove something to be safe? Its like trying to prove a negative  it cant be done. The example of atrazine  with decades of safe use, thousands of studies that found no harm to humans and years of getting a green light from EPA (which is not known for understating chemical risks) leaves us with the question: After all these evaluations and years of use, if atrazine doesnt meet the criteria for “safety,” what chemical possibly could?”

Yoga Sandals & Toe Spreaders – Healthy Toes And Feet In No Time

Yoga Sandals and Toe spreaders are popular tools to re-train your toes to be able to spread. Also they can re-align the toes into their natural position after they have been squeezed in shoes for several hours (especially women suffer from toe misalignment due to unhealthy footwear like high heels and pointed toes).

Why wear yoga sandals?
In yoga training, there is an emphasis on separating the toes in the standing postures to improve the sense of grounding and balance, and these sandals re-train the toes to do just that, while exercising the foot muscles.

The dual action of heel bone support and spreading the toes strengthens foot muscles, keeps bones flexible and allows the arch to work naturally. Controlling the alignment of the heel improves ambulatory stability of the arch and reduces strain on the lower leg muscles. Break the myth – high arch support in shoes actually weakens the arch muscles. Heal support is critical to foot health. Our sandals promote proper foot motion from heel strike, rolling over to the litle toe and finishing the step on the big toe. Recommended by doctors, yoga instructors and upscale health spas.

Why use Toe Spreaders?
Exercises your feet and stretches your toes into healthy alignment. After continued use Healthytoes Toe Spreaders will work to relax, heal, beautify, and even strengthen your feet and toes. Also used by massage therapists, spas, nail salons, health educators and podiatrists, to help beautify, strengthen and heal active or inactive feet.

Where can I buy Yoga Sandals and Healthytoes Toe Spreaders?
If you look for an extensive range of Yoga Sandals and Healthytoes Toe spreaders, EMP Industries in Melbourne is the right choice for you. They offer great quality products at great prices.

What else can you get at EMP Industries?
EMP Industries is an Australian based and owned company that is now run in third generation. They have made themselves a name by offering the top American yoga clothing labels in Australia. EMP Industries is also famous for offering Yoga Mats, Pilates Mats, Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Stretching Straps, Yoga Sandals, Stretch Bands, Exercise Balls, Yoga DVDs, Dance DVDs,Pilates Rings, and many many more. EMP sells its products to the end customer but also offers wholesale prices for bulk buyers (usually prices start dropping when you order more than 10 items of one product). That is the reason EMP Industries counts most large yoga and pilates studios in Australia as their customers!

Science & social responsibility in public health

Epidemiologists and environmental health researchers have a joint responsibility to acquire scientific knowledge that matters to public health and to apply the knowledge gained in public health practice. We examine the nature and source of these social responsibilities, discuss a debate in the epidemiological literature on roles and responsibilities, and cite approaches to environmental justice as reflective of them. At one level, responsibility refers to accountability, as in being responsible for actions taken. A deeper meaning of responsibility corresponds to commitment to the pursuit and achievement of a valued end

Public health ethics is on the map. In the past year, bioethicists and public health practitioners have begun to focus their critical attention on this complex and understudied topic. Much remains to be done. Childress et al. (2002), for example, describe their account of public health ethics as a rough conceptual map of a terrain with undefined boundaries.

Our focus will be on the responsibilities of epidemiologists, a choice made for several compelling reasons. Epidemiology sits at the center of the science and practice of environmental health, and more generally, at the center of public health. Although it is often referred to as a basic science of public health, epidemiology connects the acquisition of scientific knowledge with its application in preventive interventions, programs, and policies. This connection suggests a fundamental question: What are our responsibilities as epidemiologists? Do we, for example, have a joint responsibility to participate in science and to apply the knowledge gained? This is a key concern for us as researchers, health professionals, and as teachers.

The social responsibility of public health professionals is but one of many concerns in the broader picture of public health ethics. It is nevertheless a central concern. As Ogletree (1996) reminds us, responsibility is a concept particularly well suited to flame many key aspects of the ethics of professions faced with making decisions and taking actions in complex situations. These decisions often involve advanced technologies, high levels of specialization, and overlapping areas of expertise and concern among decision makers from diverse educational, political, and social backgrounds, precisely the situation in contemporary epidemiology and public health. In sum, responsibility organizes many (although not all) of public health’s ethical issues in terms appropriate for professional practitioners.

Responsibility has a deeper meaning as well, corresponding to commitment. To be responsible means to be committed to someone or to some thing. Being responsible in this deeper sense involves a commitment to positive action, to the pursuit and achievement of something of value, such as a social good (Jonas 1984). We will return to the notion of social goods in public health. For now, we want to emphasize that responsibility focuses attention on professional commitments

Finally, our inquiry is intended to assist all public health researchers who seek to define their social responsibilities. For those who are involved primarily in environmental health research, we can think of at least two connected and current topics–environmental justice and community-based participatory research.