Posts tagged sickness

Heal the Body with Foot Massage

I am sure you have heard of healing foot massage. In fact, it was a big craze a few years ago and people couldn’t keep foot massagers in stock. But what many people discovered was that general foot massage, with no goals in mind, is only good for relieving foot pain or general foot exhaustion after being on the feet all day but it did nothing for general well being. But this is only because a general foot massager won’t do the trick. You have to know what parts of the feet directly influence which parts of the body in order for food massage to help with healing your body. Also, you can find out where your body is in trouble with foot pressure and I will show you how to do this, too. It’s all really the same thing. If you know what’s wrong with you.. ie, you have a headache, then you can go to a certain portion of the foot, massage it and get releif for your headache. Conversely, if you don’t have any idea why you feel like crap, you can feel around your foot, applying pressure and rubbing gently, until you uncover the area that gives you grief. That area will directly relate to a part of the body and it is this part of the body that is in need of help. Sound hard? Sound complicated? It’s not! I will show you with diagrams and written directions how to do all of this just by rubbing your feet.

This type of massage is called reflexology. However, I do not have training in these  methods so I am just passing on what I have experienced through my own massage therapy. I will not claim this to be “reflexology” but sort of my own map of the areas on the foot that will help relieve physical pain and discomfort. Now, I will include maps of the feet to show you where to find the area on your foot. Also, conversely, I will show you which area of the body is indicated by pain or discomfort in your feet. But do not consider these maps to be related to reflexology or to have any connection to that practice. These are not reflexology maps. In this method, which is not relexology, you will also use essential oils in a base massage oil while you do it. You will use the oils whenever you massage, although massage without the oils won’t do any harm. The technique is just far more productive with the oils. I will give you the recipes for the oils you will use on each part of the foot and you should follow them exactly and not improvise. It’s far better to do without than to work with only a part of a recipe or an improvisation that may not only be ineffective but could be harmful. So follow instructions.

I want you to begin the process by sitting down when you have the time and won’t be interrupted. After you get good at it, you can massage your feet on a quick break at work but at first you should have quiet time to concentrate. Start by washing your feet so you won’t be distracted by any smells or end up rubbing glass or stones into your feet. Your feet pick up all sorts of stuff even when you have shoes on so be mindful of that. After washing and drying your feet, sit down and start rubbing the bottom of the foot. You can start anywhere, just be sure to rub every part of the foot, moving from area to area and paying attention to how it feels as you do it. There will be really sensitive areas, areas that cause pain or discomfort and areas that feel so good you might even get ecstatic. Pay attention to what areas on your foot create each sensation. Be especially mindful of strong physical responses, even good ones. If there is repulsion or irritation when rubbing a certain area, please be mindful of this as well. You do not have to continue massaging that area right now but you should be aware that this area will be cause for concern. So start rubbing your feet, moving from area to area, from the toes to the heel, and pay attention to the responses your body gives you. And then move on to the instructions and charts I am providing you in order to start the healing process.

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Natural Remedies for Arthritis

As winter fades and spring arrives, we want to get out and get active. We just feel like having fun and playing games outdoors. Walking, gardening, fishing, swimming, water skiing, whatever your poison, you need to need to get rid of your pain so you can start doing it. Arthritis gets bad in the winter, but it doesn’t matter as much as it does the rest of the year. We are indoors, sitting or just doing easy things around the house, going to bed early, sometimes sleeping late. We just aren’t as active so treating the pain is easier. You can tolerate more stiffness, too.

But how do you handle the pain and stiffness? How long can you take NSAIDs without upsetting your system and getting sick to your stomach? Do you switch to Tylenol whent the stomach pain starts? And then you have to be careful about how much and how often or risk hurting your liver. There is no easy solution. It seems like everything you can take for pain has a big price tag. Stomach ulcers, liver failure or addiction to stronger relief like Oxycodone or Codeine. Way too much to worry about when you’re just trying to get moving again and everything hurts.


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Hypothyroidism- Alternative and Natural Treatments

This is an issue dear to my heart because I have this condition. It started with me when I was 11 years old, just after I entered puberty. I started menstruating early and I had a hormonal imbalance right away, with overly enlarged breasts and a startling gain in weight. But I was not, at first, hypothyroid. In fact, treatment with thyroid hormones made me violently ill, complete with seizures and foaming at the mouth. The subsequent rush from doctor to doctor eventually revealed the truth: I had Graves Disease. I had this condition from that moment on and am still considered suffering from it, but in remission. This remission was acheived by destroying my thyroid gland with drugs and forcing it into failure. So today I am dependant on synthetic thyroid for the rest of my life.

Right off the bat, let me say that I would never advocate not taking your thyroid meds. Whatever they are, do not stop, even if you consider trying other therapies. I have made the unfortunate mistake of stopping mine and I can tell you that myxedema, the result of this stupidity, is not an experience you will relish. It takes forever to lose the edema, the puffiness that results but that is the small of it. The loss of hair is substantial and the weight gain is tragic. I was pulling my hair out in handfuls and since then it has never been the same. So DO NOT ever stop taking your meds, not even because of lack of funds.. I would stop buying food or paying for the car before I’d give up my medication. And you should do the same.

But what I do want to suggest or advocate is to experiment with different therapies that might aid your gland, support your immune system and/or lessen the symptoms to some degree. No matter how much thyroid you take (I take the highest dosage available), whether you are only slightly hypothyroid or if you are like me, at the outer limits, you can benefit to some degree by using alternative therapies and supplements. I do not advocate taking thryoid drugs if you do not have a thyroid condition. The urban legend that I keep hearing is that they will make you lose weight and make you feel peppy. For one thing, they take two weeks to get into your system so if you’re willing to wait that long just to feel peppy then that might be the result but it won’t be like you imagine it to be, it isn’t like cocaine or meth. And, on the issue of being a weight control medication, I can debunk that. It is just as hard for me to lose a pound on the pills as it is off of them. They do not make that much difference, even for those who are diagnosed with the disease. They just don’t raise your metabolism anymore than thyroid by itself does this for your body when you’re healthy. Metabolism is created by a large number of various organs and hormones combined in your body. If you’re healthy, just say Thank God! and enjoy it.

For those of you who are dragging around, feeling the exhaustion that so many thyroid sufferers feel, there are treatments you might want to think about. The objective of any supplemental treatment is to improve all sysmptoms, prevent and treat later complications, correct imbalance, adjust the immune system and most importantly to boost energy and strengthen the body for better health and quality of life. The following herbs have been shown to have some effect on hypothyroidism and can be used in combination with the presciption medication.

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Bug Spray, Arthritis and Lupus

You guys are gonna love this… just kidding. But it’s more testimony for the case of going natural and dumping all these chemicals! Especially bug sprays and other deadly poisons. It seems that research that was done in Philadelphia is suggesting a link between women’s exposure to household insecticides (including roach and mosquito killers) and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Do you realize how many women have these diseases? It’s unnatural. And that previous research hinted at a link between agricultural pesticides and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I think it’s time to take this information seriously. Lupus and RA are nothing to take lightly; in general, autoimmune diseases are diseases where the immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body. And to ice the cake, it was also shown that farmers are a high risk group for these diseases and the reason now seems to be bug killers. Ugh.

Women in the study who reported use of insecticides presented a higher risk of developing the two autoimmune disorders than women who reported no insecticide use, whether or not they had lived on a farm. Those who used the insecticide the most often and most frequently had double the risk! Are you using this stuff? Do you want to develop RA? I know people who have this and, take my word for it, you don’t! But I guess the powers that be just don’t care about any of this; after all, the people who make the bug spray make a lot of the OTC meds that are used to treat the pain. Bayer comes to mind. They make insecticides and herbacides and also make the aspirin you’re taking to treat your arthritis. So many drug companies today have merged with larger corporate interests so that many different product lines are mixed and this mix can cause conflicts of interest. So it’s up to you to investigate and find out who’s who in the zoo.

This involves reading the lables and taking precautions to limit your own exposure to dangerous chemicals. Epidemiologists are saying that this should include products you’ve taken in the past and even those you know are no longer available. Especially if that product has since been implicated in health issues or larger crises. Keep your ear to the ground about whatever chemicals you currently use or feel you cannot give up. If you hear anything at all about possible health risks, have yourself assessed as soon as possible. It is true that more research is needed to nail down the direct link between insecticides and autoimmune disease. In this case, the researchers examined data from a previous study of almost 77,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Even if you do not meet this criteria, care should be taken when deciding to use deadly poisons or toxic chemicals. In general, the insecticides implicated in the study include insect killers, such as those designed to eradicate ants, wasps, termites, mosquitoes and roaches. This is the stuff that will actually kill the bugs. The study didn’t include insect repellents or skin rubs for mosquitoes, flies or fleas.

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Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu

Here we are in the middle of a deep freeze and cold and flus are rampant. With the addition of H1N1 to our concerns, the need for vaccines and other preventatives have never been higher. But if you are among those who are not high risk for swine flu or who refuse the vaccines for whatever reason you may prefer to use herbal remedies for the everyday coughs and sneezes as they come along. Personally I am always in favor of the most natural solution to any illness or everyday need.

Here are some of my favorite fixes for coughs, colds and flu. Depending on how bad your brand is, it will be up to you to decide which remedy might help and when it is time to run up the white flag and head to the doctor. But for most of us, a sore throat or cough usually just means Vitamin C tablets and Echinacea tea and this can often be good enough. But in case you are looking for more ammunition in your arsenal, here are some good ideas.

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The Healing Powers of Common Kitchen Spices

You have a cabinet full of miracle medicine at home! I’m sure you realize that some of it is good for you, this sort of information has been all over the news. But the information is scattered and comes in small doses so that unless you keep a journal you will have trouble putting it all together. So I thought it might be handy to list every spice, explain how it works and give ideas for uses in your cooking. I will be posting in the future recipes that will help heal certain diseases. I am waiting until Winter because most of my recipes are too hearty for summer fare.

Although I have covered the subject in various ways and to a certain extent in previous posts, I am going to bring it all together now. Which spices can be used to heal what? And how do I use that spice in a meal? Here are the answers, in a simple list form:

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Aromatherapy from A-Z

You’ve heard a lot about aromatherapy over the past decade, as it has gained in popularity. It is the use of oils of herbs and plants to alter mood and promote healing. Most of the oils are made from herbs and flowers, common ones like Lavender and Basil. Huge amounts of these herbs and flowers are used in the making of the oil (1,000 lbs of jasmine, for instance, makes only one lb of oil), which guarantees intense potency in every blend. You can always make your own oils if you wish, but many of these are already available commercially at reasonable prices.

Most commonly, the oils are used in the bath (The water should be no more than l00°F and the oils should be put in at the end) or in a diffuser or placed on a handkerchief and inhaled when you need a lift. Although the descriptions give general uses for healing, aromatherapy is limited to the external use of the oil. Usually just the inhalation of the oil, massage with or bathing in the oil. And since essential oils are very potent, they should always be diluted with a base oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed before being put on your skin. And don’t ingest any or get any in your eyes. So do not use the oils as listed internally; only fresh herbs or tonics are to be ingested this way, not the oils.

If you are pregnant or have a chronic illness of any kind, consult your physician before using any.

Here are some of the most common oils and their qualities:

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Essential Oils for Anxiety

Boy, oh, boy, do we need help with anxiety these days! I mean, seriously. Our economy is in a melt down, many of us have lost our jobs, violent crime is on the rise and health insurance is a rare animal. What on earth would you do if you got sick? I mean, right now? If you think about it, anxiety makes people sick more than any other mental activity. You worry and your heart and nerves go haywire. Losing sleep, fretting, building on your own fears. It’s like the 800 pound Gorilla. Anxiety. In the middle of your life.

If you know anything about herbs you know that many herbs are good for anxiety. Teas made of Chamomile, Kava Kava and Valerian make people relax and they work really well. But did you know that you can use essential oils, externally, to reduce stress? Did you know that certain odors and certain atmospheres are conducive to anxiety and others are conducive to relaxation? You know that a hot bath, candlelight, a glass of wine, soft music, all these things help us relax. But when the fear goes really deep, the bug a boos are keeping us frantic all the time, these usual methods fall short. I can grit my teeth through a hot bath and tap my foot through a glass of wine. And when I’m really wound up, soft music just makes me cranky.

At these times, when the world is driving your blood pressure through the roof, you need something that changes the environment entirely and works from the inside out. Smells, colors, certain flavors do this very subtly, working from the inside out, changing our moods. But did you know that essential oils have all of these properties? Through their odor and texture they create a taste in our mouths that is translated through our glands and tissue. We react to these subtle influences in the same way that we react to certain foods and aromas. Let me show you which oils work and how.

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Herbal Remedies For Bronchitis

It is hard core cold and flu season again this year with so much inclement weather all over the country. Heck, down here in the “sunshine” state we were hit with 3 straight days of hard freeze, which may well be a record or, at least, close to it. I don’t think I recall such a streak in my own lifetime; I was freezing my tush off, if you know what I mean. And being bundled up in crowded rooms with the heater blowing dry air and dust all over the place, many of us come away with coughs, sneezes and sore throats. But the very worst thing that happens, especially to smokers and people with lung problems or asthma, is that the cough advances to bronchitis. And nothing makes life more miserable than bronchial inflammations. The painful truth is that, unless you have a bacterial infection that causes this condition, there is very little modern medicine can do for you. Cough syrups, mucus relief, expectorants, inhalers, all help to some degree but they can also have drug like effects and unpleasant chemicals. How many of you have spent most of the winter with “medicine head”? How fun is that? And how often have you taken some chemical laden cough syrup only to find that you are still coughing?

I will not claim that herbs will fix all of that or even make it go away completely but I can assert that they are just as effective as any over the counter thing you’re consuming and they are far less harmful. No “medicine head” or side effects. No nausea or diarrhea from dyes, syrups or additives. And even if the chosen herb only works for a short while, you can use it over and over again without fear of overdosing or falling asleep at the wheel. The herb recipes I have to help with bronchitis will not cure it, nothing will, but they will help just as much as any OTC combination and I guarantee they are safe. In fact, many of the herbs have other good effects, such as lowering blood pressure, settling the stomach or acting as a gentle diuretic, all of which can be welcome when we’re sick. And then there’s always the bonus of making it yourself, controlling the dosage and the type of ingredients. If you’re a forager, or have skills at growing or identifying weeds, then you’re really gonna save some money, too! How green can you get? So are you ready to try a homemade mix? I’ve got some easy recipes you can work up today.

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Herbs That Detox The Body

When I think of detox I often think of alcoholics and drug addicts going through withdrawals and then detox to clean their bodies. But it’s a fact that detox is useful for all sorts of ailments and to maintain an already healthy system. We are exposed on a daily basis to chemicals, pollutants, foods and medicines which introduce toxins into our bodies. Just living a normal life, even without drinking, using drugs or smoking cigarettes, you can still get big diseases like Cancer and Heart or Liver disease. It’s true that you reduce your susceptibility by living a clean life but I just bet there isn’t anyone on this planet who can live a day without exposure.

So this brings to mind the idea of detoxifying the body. You can buy ready made detox products in the health food stores and these are good formulas. However, this is a hit and miss method for many of us. We don’t all need the same herbs and compounds while there are herbs or vitamins that are left out that could be preventative for others. And if you look at the formulas for these products you will most often see Dandelion or Burdock Root. Why on earth would you buy these herbs when they are growing in many yards as weeds? I want to give you some guidelines and list of herbs and weeds you can use for various detox programs and show you how you can either get them for free or for cheap. So here is the list.

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