Choosing Disease For…Beauty?

Did you know that the choices you make for the sake of your beauty may be driving you toward disease? According to recent studies, darker hair color and chemical hair relaxers have been linked to an increased risk for developing breast cancer.

It was noted that those with the most risk were women who regularly used both dark hair color and compound relaxers. According to Adana Llanos, a disease transmission specialist at Rutgers School of Public Health, the best thing to reduce the risk of such disease is, “…we should be more mindful of the sorts of exposures [we have] in the items we utilize.”

Why is it that using these chemicals like these on our skin increases the risk of cancerous disease? It is commonly known that the skin is the human body’s largest organ, responsible for protecting us from the environment, while also helping to rid the body of toxins when the liver and kidneys are not effectively handling the job.

That said, the skin is also porous, and according to several studies, many of the chemicals that we put on our skin are absorbed into our blood stream. In fact, one study looked at the chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, and found more than 400 chemicals and 287 toxins present in these babies.

We live in a very chemical laden world, and it may be impossible to protect ourselves from these chemicals entirely. However, by following Llanos’ advice, and becoming more aware of what we are voluntarily exposing ourselves to, we can begin to reduce the risk and make better choices.

Winning The War Against Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in this country. Childhood obesity hits around elementary school age and continues through high school. It is thought that childhood obesity is due to learning unhealthy eating habits at an early age, along with living in a low income home. Researchers in Massachusetts decided to turn things around for low income families in two small Massachusetts towns. The researchers focused on changing the behavior that led to obesity. For example, it is a well known fact that kids are attracted to all those unhealthy snacks, that line the supermarket shelves. Researchers decided to focus on teaching kids healthy food alternatives and more in their war against childhood obesity.

Physical Activity & Healthy Eating
Certainly, it just makes good common sense that eating sensibly and getting the proper amount of exercise, leads to weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. The fact is that the average kid spends a tremendous amount of time in front of the television, computer, or playing games on a game system. Therefore, it should not be surprising that getting the kids up and moving should lead to weight loss. The study definitely demonstrated that changing bad habits worked. Certainly, this is good news for the kids in this country. However, the CDC or Center For Disease Control noted that we have a long way to go. One out of every five kids in this country is considered obese. This is a frightening statistic. Kids with obesity problems develop a number of health concerns later on.

Can Meditation Help With Anxiety And Depression?

A reader of the Huffington Post asked if meditation can help them deal with anxiety and depression. Huffington Post writer, Allison Fox did some research and wrote an article in response to this reader’s question. Here is what she wrote and discovered.

Meditation can indeed help people cope with depression and anxiety. One of the ways that meditation fights these symptoms is by reducing stress. Interestingly, meditation has been shown to reduce biological markers such as stress hormones in the body when practiced over a long period of time. This shows that not only can meditation make you feel better and more relaxed, but it can also have an impact on the cellular and biological level.

Past studies done into meditation and stress, depression and anxiety have all been positive when it came to the effects of meditation. There has been an issue raised with expectancy. That is people expected to feel better and less stressful after mediation and thus reported this during the research trails.

New studies have avoided mentioning that the study is about measuring the effects of meditation or impact on stress levels and anxiety. This is to get a more accurate readings and to confirm that the benefits do indeed come from meditation and not from something else. The new studies have also confirmed what the previous studies have. Meditation reduces stress and helps people with anxiety and depression cope with their problems.

Mental health experts say that meditation can be a great additional tool to fight against depression and anxiety. When combined with therapy and medicine, it can help patients get out of their depression or overcome their mental health issues. The best part of meditation is how easy it is to do. All one needs is some spare time and a quite room or place to just think.

Mounting Evidence That Holistic Medicine Is the Real Lifesaver

Holistic medicine is a term which covers a rather wide range of subjects. It can involve everything from herbal medicine to healthy lifestyle choices. There’s usually one unifying factor for all of it though. Holistic medicine is medical practice which sees health as more than a collection of separate processes. Basically, holistic medicine aims to treat the whole person rather than a single isolated point on their bodies.

A recent study provides the perfect example of just how important this holistic view of the body can be. The study focuses on one of the single most important parts of holistic medicine. Herbal cures and medication practices are the most novel part of holistic medicine for most people. But it’s really just general preventive medicine that forms the basic foundation on which any holistic practice should be built.

This preventative medicine is usually fairly simple. Really, it just comes down to avoiding the most extreme health risks while embracing a few healthy lifestyle options. When people think of preventative medicine it’s common to imagine extremes where everyone needs to carefully focus on every single muscle in their body. In fact, this runs counter to some of the basic principles of holistic medicine. Again, holistic medicine focuses on the whole body and how connected biological processes are.

The study showed that simply avoiding obesity, not smoking and drinking in moderation was enough to add eleven or twelve years to someone’s life. That might be reduced to seven years if the moderate alcohol consumption is pushed up or down. It’s also notable that those extra years weren’t simply tacked on at the end of an extended period of biological decline. The extra years were the result of simply being healthier for a larger percentage of one’s overall average lifespan.

The results vindicate one of the basic principles of holistic medicine. Keep the system itself healthy and that health will extend to everything it touches. Healthy lungs translate to healthy breathing. Healthy breathing, in turn, helps to keep circulating blood healthy and oxygenated. This all comes together to prove that working with the body as a whole can improve every single aspect of one’s health.

The Link Between Mental Illness And Opioid Use

The number of individuals with mental health conditions being prescribed opioids is staggering. According to a study by the University of Michigan and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center 51 percent of all prescriptions for painkillers are for patients diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Individuals with mental health issues have a higher risk of abusing opioids and 38.6 million individuals in America have a mood disorder. Roughly sixty million painkiller prescriptions are written for this group a year. Prescriptions for opioid’s have quadrupled in the United States between 1999 and 2015. During this time there were 183,000 deaths from medication overdoses. Approximately 500,000 individuals are expected to die from overdoses in the next decade.

The current theory is opioids are being prescribed for mental health patients to deal with chronic pain but this increases risks for both anxiety and depression. Its possible prescription medications are also being used by patients with mental illnesses connected to diseases including endometriosis and fibromyalgia. Most of the country’s opioids are being prescribed to a small and vulnerable group of patients as a short term fix but they do not provide long term solutions. For more information on the opioid use of patients with mental illnesses please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mental-illness-opioids_us_595261b0e4b02734df2d63eb?utm_hp_ref=alternative-medicine.

The data shows more integration is required between behavioral health practices and primary care practices. Specialists must be available to offer options in treatment methods including cognitive behavioral therapy which is targeted for patients with mental illness. This could allow the disorders effects to be managed more quickly if the professionals in the mental health field make themselves available at the physician’s office. Research has additionally shown more patients take this type of medication when specialists are not available nearby. Unfortunately many of the prescriptions being written are done so with a proper diagnosis which only contributes to the problem.

Amicus Therapeutics Look To Solve The Problems Of Many Rare Medical Conditions

The establishment of Amicus Therapeutics in 2002 was the starting point for a more than decade long journey to find assistance for those affected by some of the rarest medical conditions in the world (http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/fold). The medical research field is not one that allows products to be rushed onto the market, but the work being completed by Amicus Therapeutics has led to the company receiving different grants and endorsements from a range of groups, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation to continue the advances already being made at the Amicus campuses in New Jersey and San Diego.

Amicus Therapeutics has been seeking to establish itself as a leading medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturer for drugs designed to treat a range of conditions; the most impressive and longest lasting research completed by Amicus Therapeutics has been the consistent development of ASD-101 has progressed to the late stages of development as an aid for those affected by the rare Fabry Disease. Fabry Disease is a rare condition affecting the genes of an individual in a condition often linked closely to Sphingolipidoses that can often be misdiagnosed because of its rarity and lack of clinical research.

Although Amicus Therapeutics has yet to move into production with its offerings towards the medical community the company has already built a strong reputation as a leader in medical research for conditions and diseases often seen as too rare or difficult to treat to be worth the time of large-scale pharmaceutical companies. A sign of the growing importance of Amicus Therapeutics has been the awarding of grants from some of the most prestigious organizations in the U.S., including a joint research grant awarded to the company by the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (YahooFinance). The research being completed by Amicus Therapeutics into Alzheimer’s Disease has attracted the interest of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation which has provided over $200,000 in donations to Amicus Therapeutics to continue the search for drugs to assist in treating and curing this medical condition.

More about Amicus Therapeutics on Twitter

Why Are More People Taking a Holistic Approach to Their Health?

Modern medicine has come a long way, and it isn’t horribly uncommon to go to the doctor’s office with an ailment and be prescribed a pill the very same day. While most modern medicine has been the savior for many individuals, it also comes with a load of side effects and problems. In fact, many patients have found that the side effects for a specific treatment or pill were worse than the ailment itself. Because of this, a lot of people are taking a more holistic and natural approach to their healthcare.

Diet changes, exercise implementation and herbal supplements are key when taking a natural approach to healing and preventative healthcare. Many body and mental ailments are caused by deficiencies in certain vitamins, so patients are realizing the need for proper nutrition along with visiting their regular doctor. If you feel that it is time to take a natural approach to your health, there are a few things you need to understand. The first is that you still need to follow doctor’s orders. For example, if you’re on a cholesterol-lowering medication, going off of it and trying your own thing could be more dangerous than you think.

If you feel that your doctor isn’t hearing your wishes and isn’t understanding your need for a more natural approach, you should consider switching healthcare providers and going to see a holistic doctor. Holistic doctors are trained professionals who have still gone to medical school, but they are more apt to take a natural approach when it comes to their patients’ health. There aren’t as many holistic doctors readily available as are regular physicians, but they can still be found locally by doing a quick and effortless search online. Keep in mind that most insurance providers do not cover the costs of holistic healthcare, so you may wind up shelling out all of the money yourself just to get the care that you need. However, this has been a beneficial switch for many who are struggling to obtain better health.

Ayurveda Holds Secrets to Wellness

It seems there is always a new medication on the market to alleviate some of the mental and physical illnesses that are so prevalent in our society. However, a more holistic approach, inspired by Eastern medicine, could be part of the solution for living a more balanced and healthy life.

Ayurveda is a practice that has been around for centuries, and is quite common in Indian medicine. Ayurveda focuses on determine why and how the body became out of balance, so that people concentrate on reestablishing this balance to get rid of pain and sickness.

The practice of Ayurveda supports the notion that everyone is independent in terms of their physical needs. Each individual has a combination of a body type or dosha that was “assigned” to him/her at the time of conception. Although there are times when two people will have similar symptoms because of their doshas, the remedies for each person could be vastly different. This is because these individual’s may be experiencing imbalance for a number of reasons, including exposure to toxic chemicals, poor digestion, lack of restful sleep, and or changes in stress levels and hormones. Changes in the seasons can also cause imbalance in the body.

The purpose of Ayurveda is always to bring the body back to a state of homeostasis, or the natural state of balance. The treatment to achieve homeostasis can include using natural oils, herbal supplements and even dietary adjustments or changes.

Eating the right foods for a person’s body type is also a part of Ayurvedic medicine. The right foods can pacify a person’s dosha, and the diet should also be paired with physical activity like yoga and pranayama to increase strength and flexibility. The dharma is also an important part of Ayurveda. Dharma is the passion or life’s mission of a person, and practicing the dharma can promote love, peace and tranquility in an individual’s life.

It’s important to know that while not all types of integrative or alternative therapies will work for everyone, there are a number of benefits to practicing Ayurveda. This way of life promotes balance in the mind, spirit and body, which could encourage people to find the workout routines, diet plans and relationships that are best for them.

Strawberries: Endangered Tortoises Want Them and So Should You

In today’s world, there are a lot of foods that you can eat, and unfortunately, the vast majority of those foods are not really what would be considered “healthy” or good for living a holistic, healthy lifestyle all around.

Fortunately, however, we have animals to be our guides in terms of what is good for us and what is not. Don’t believe it? Just consider the fact that ants are known to go around and bypass artificial sugars. And, if that’s not enough for you, consider the cute video recently broadcast by Buzzfeed.

In the video, you will find an absolutely adorable little endangered tortoise reaching desperately to nibble at a strawberry- a simple, sweet, all natural strawberry, which, you guessed it, is good for holistic health!

The health benefits of strawberries, as the tortoise in the video seems to know,are great. To start off with, they’re a killer addition to your plate if you’re trying to lose extra weight, particularly around your midsection. Strawberries contain something known as anthocyanins, which can help the body to burn stored fat, enabling eaters to look and feel their very best!

They are also known for promoting positive eye health. In fact, some studies reveal that eating a serving or more of strawberries per day can actually lower your risk of vision loss and/or macular degeneration. So, move over carrots (which are also eye-friendly), strawberries are just as good (and even sweeter!) at promoting eye health.

These are just a few of many benefits of strawberries, which is why they are definitely worth adding to your diet, just like the cute little tortoise in the even cuter video tried to do!

Alternative Pain Remedy

The fact is that millions of people across the country suffer with chronic pain on a daily basis. They suffer with migraine headaches, backaches, knee pain, and more. Generally, people turn to their doctor for help to ease the pain. The doctors prescribe pills to help them cope with the pain. However, researchers discovered that an ancient alternative healing method is very effective at alleviating pain. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing method enjoyed for generations. Traditional doctors found that acupuncture might actually ease chronic pain more effectively in patients that suffer with chronic pain on a continual basis.

Changing Health Policies
The fact is that researchers have been well aware of the power of acupuncture to reduce pain for years. Now, it is starting to affect health policies in countries around the world. Traditional doctors are well aware of the studies and some would like to combine traditional methods with alternative health methods like acupuncture. It is interesting to note that researchers found that acupuncture is very effective at treating chronic pain. Acupuncture is also very effective at treating depression. Some studies report that acupuncture is more effective at treating depression than counseling.

About The Placebo Effect
Some might think that acupuncture is a sham science and that it simply produces a placebo like effect on some patients. Studies show that acupuncture works on chronic pain by stimulating the release of endogenous opioids that medicate pain receptors, along with inhibition of the pain impulses to the brain. More health research on acupuncture determined that acupuncture is effective and very cost effective too. The hope in some circles is that acupuncture will combine with standard medical treatment for patients that suffer with chronic pain and depression.