When’s the Last Time You Drained Your Lymph Fluids

Lymphatic System

 

 

 

 

When’s The Last Time You Drained Your Lymph Fluids ?

The lymphatic system plays a very important role in the human body’s fight against disease. It’s largely made up of a network of thin tubes (filled with clear lymphatic fluid) and lymph nodes. The thymus, spleen and bone marrow also all play vital parts in the function of the lymphatic system.

The lymph nodes house the lymphatic fluid which contains lymphocytes and other white blood cells, vital components of our blood that fight infection and cancer

If our lymph fluids get backed up in the nodes or if there are problems with our lymph ducts, it can cause the nodes to swell and become inflamed, on top of compromising the body’s immune system. [1]

White blood cells are the primary reason why the lymphatic system is so important. If your blood is drawn during a medical checkup, WBC levels are one of the things your doctor will look at in determining if you have an infection. When pathogens invade the body, white blood cells exit the lymph nodes and enter the bloodstream to fight the infection – this is characterized typically by two things: a fever and a high WBC count. Low WBC counts in the presence of a fever can signify a problem with your immunity. [2]

Unlike the cardiovascular system however, the lymphatic system is not a closed system – and in humans it does not have a pump. This means that the movement of the lymph fluid relies on the physical movement of the body in order to circulate and prevent the nodes and ducts from becoming blocked with dead white blood cells. Without adequate movement of the fluid, lymph nodes can become infected and disturb the normal homeostasis in the body’s immune and vascular systems. In the brain, a lack of lymph drainage can damage memory and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. The same thing happens when the lymph nodes near our major organ systems don’t flow and drain effectively – it can cause widespread organ dysfunction. [3]

Certain kinds of movement and exercise are regarded as beneficial to the lymphatic system as they assist the movement and drainage of the lymph.

Natural Drainage Of Lymph: 3 Methods

#1: Massage

This method is one of the most popular ways to manually drain your lymph nodes, particularly in areas like the breast and armpit. When massaging the breast, gently make circular motions that lead away from the areola and towards the armpit, then downwards. This promotes drainage of the lymph fluid away from the nodes of the breast and axilla to the body’s vasculature. You can also apply this technique to other lymph nodes of the body. [4]

#2: Exercise

Another way to effectively get all your lymph nodes properly drained is to exercise! Moderate exercise that helps improve vascular circulation also promotes adequate drainage of lymph fluid, about two to three times better than not doing any exercise at all. This is because lymph flow in and out of the nodes is increased during exercise. You can try jogging, walking, cycling, or other similar exercises for at least 30 minutes, three times a week to promote proper drainage of your lymph nodes. [5]

#3: Rebound Therapy

Did you know another name for a rebounder is lymphasizer ?

This last method is technically a form of exercise but warrants its own special focus as a unique and valuable drainage method. Rebound therapy is slowly gaining recognition for a variety of health benefits that range from physical to emotional. Have you ever wondered why kids instinctively want to bounce – on anything from a bouncy castle to your newly made double bed? There might be something to it… it’s really good for your health!

Through gentle bouncing or rebounding on a trampoline (or similar surface), circulation and lymph drainage is improved, aside from promoting an increased state of wellbeing. The science behind it lies with the lymph ducts’ valves. In this regard, bouncing can be likened to a more intense form of walking. When pressure is placed on the lower extremities (when you prepare for a bounce or take a step), the valves in the lymph ducts close and open when the pressure is released. When you bounce, the valves close and open more fully than walking or jogging, promoting better lymph fluid evacuation. [6][7]

Many people who are into this exercise obtain a special rebounding trampoline – a portable 36″ (or similar size) mini-trampoline that allows them to get in their bounce time. It’s a great form of exercise and lots of fun – just put on your favorite music and bounce to it, what could be more awesome than that? 🙂

References:

[1] National Institutes of Health. Lymph system. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002247.htm

[2] National Institutes of Health. WBC count. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003643.htm

[3] Weller, R., Djuanda, E., Yow, H. & Carare, R. (2009). Lymphatic drainage of the brain and of neurological disease. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00401-008-0457-0

[4] Estourgie, S., et. al. (2004). Lymphatic Drainage Patters From the Breast. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1356216/

[5] Lane, K., et. al. (2005). Exercise and the Lymphatic System. http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200535060-00001

[6] Zimmermann, B. (2014). Flush Out Body Toxins Through Rebounding Exercise. http://beyondgoodhealthclinics.com.au/flush-body-toxins-rebounding-exercise/

[7] Rennie, J. (2007). Learning Disability: Physical Therapy Treatment, A Collaborative Approach. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dueeIxJ3ilkC&oi=fnd&pg=PA249

 

 

 

 

Why Massage Your Feet at Night ?

Why Massage Your Feet at Night?

Foot-massage-chartWP

 

 

 

 

 

Massage has many therapeutic benefits, ranging from the promotion of rest and relaxation to improvement of circulation in various organs in the body. Adults aren’t the only ones who benefit from therapeutic massage, even infants as well! According to traditional Chinese medicine, the feet benefit most from massage, because of the belief that the soles of feet are connected to different systems in the body and stimulating a particular area of the foot also stimulates a specific organ or system.

Foot massage is an excellent way to promote relaxation, blood flow, and over-all wellbeing in people of different ages and with different health conditions. Even if you are physically healthy, you will still be able to benefit from a daily foot massage by improving your mental and emotional health. A simple self-administration of foot massage for 10 to 15 minutes each day before bed can do wonders for your health.

Over the past several decades, there have been numerous studies done on the therapeutic benefits of touch and massage. They focus on the physical and psychological benefits of massage on a variety of health conditions and ages:

Scientific Research On Foot Massage

– A 2014 study on the geriatric population of a care facility showed that a 15 minute massage was able to improve their physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. [1]

– A 2015 study on Chinese massage revealed that it is able to stimulate the body’s parasympathetic response (the rest and relaxation response), with the effects reaching their peak after 10 minutes. Heart rate was significantly reduced as well. [2]

– A study on self-acupressure in 2015 revealed that it was able to alleviate the signs and symptoms of different conditions – from allergies, nausea, vomiting, pain, and stress in healthy subjects. [3]

– A 2014 study on infants with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and massage therapy revealed a decrease in GERD signs and symptoms and infant stress and an increase in weight after regular massage was done for 30 minutes each session, for six weeks. [4]

– After a period of two weeks wherein diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy were administered Thai foot massages, the subjects’ range of motion, balance, and foot sensation improved significantly. In fact, results were seen as early as after the first session. [5]

– Post-operative pain is a common problem among surgical patients, especially those affected with cancer. According to Ucuzal and Kanan (2014), foot massage was able to reduce pain scores and vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate) after five minutes of foot massage, effectively reducing post-operative pain in post-operative breast cancer patients. [6]

– Another common problem among surgical patients is pre-operative anxiety. Patients undergoing either major or minor surgery often experience some form of anxiety. In a 2014 study, anxiety levels were significantly reduced after 20-minute sessions over four days. A decrease in anxiety was also seen in the experiement’s control group who were given gentle foot rubs with oil for one minute over the same period of time. [7]

– Foot massage was studied in relation to patients affected by dementia, showing a positive change in alertness, relaxation, and mood compared to a therapeutic technique called quiet presence. [8]

Foot Massage Before Bed

The most beneficial time to receive a massage is at night. Why? According to a study published in 2013 about the best massage timing, massage is most beneficial when performed after an exercise, because the benefits are reaped after strenuous activity. [9] This concept can be applied to simple activities of daily living — your body is in the best condition to receive the benefits of a foot massage at the end of the day, after all your activities have been done and it’s a perfect way to relax and nurture in preparation for a restful sleep.

References:

[1] Ogawa, N., et. al. (2014). Psychophysiological effects of hand massage in geriatric facility residents. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24476592

[2] Fazeli, M., et. al. (2015). The Effect of Head Massage on the Regulation of the Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System: A Pilot Randomized Crossover Trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26562003

[3] Song, H., et. al. (2015). Effect of self-acupressure for symptom management: a systematic review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25637155

[4] Neu, M., et. al. (2013). Benefits of massage therapy for infants with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24379449

[5] Chatchawan, U. Eungpinichpong, W., Plandee, P. & Yamauchi, J. (2015). Effects of thai foot massage on balance performance in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy: a randomized parallel-controlled trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25892354

[6] Ucuzal, M. & Kanan, N. (2014). Foot massage: effectiveness on postoperative pain in breast surgery patients. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24882025

[7] Bagheri-Nesami, M., et. al. (2014). The effects of foot reflexology massage on anxiety in patients following coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a randomized controlled trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24439644

[8] Moyle, W., et. al. (2014). Foot massage versus quiet presence on agitation and mood in people with dementia: a randomised controlled trial.

 

Working With the Breath

Working With the Breath

 

A girl doing yoga

A girl doing yoga

Do you ever catch yourself holding your breath? If I am deep in thought, stressed, trying to figure something out, or juggling a bazillion things — I often realize I am holding my breath. Even when I am not completely holding my breath, I notice that my breathing can be shallow and short. Many of us don’t think twice about our breathing because it’s automatic — we are apparently doing it just fine if we are alive. However, just because breathing is involuntary and we are meeting oxygen demands doesn’t mean that we are breathing properly. Almost all of us underestimate the power of this essential function, and poor breathing habits can have a negative effect on our health.

The Benefits of Deep Breathing

You might be thinking, “I breathe all of the time so what’s the big deal?” Unfortunately, most of us are not taught how to breathe. In fact, we tend to lose the ability to breathe properly over time. If you observe a newborn baby or an animal you will notice that when they inhale their stomach rises and then falls on the exhale. This diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing, utilizes the entire capacity of the lungs. As we go through life and experience stressors, our breathing becomes shallow and we only use the top portion of our lungs. So why is it important to breathe deeply?

Deep breathing:

  • Massages our internal organs to help them to do their job, especially the liver, the stomach, and the intestines.
  • Helps oxygenate the body, which increases alkalinity and makes it harder for diseases to thrive.
  • Helps the lymphatic system and the lungs expel toxins.
  • Relieves stress by turning on the parasympathetic nervous system—the relaxation system.
  • Supports peristalsis, which is the mechanical pumping in the intestines. If you are constipated try deep breathing.
  • Releases endorphins, our bodies’ natural painkillers.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Improves circulation and supports the heart so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
  • Improves posture.

When we are stressed, angry, frightened, etc., our natural response is to take short shallow breaths from the upper lungs. This can activate our sympathetic nervous system — “fight or flight” response. From an evolutionary perspective, humans have spent the majority of our time in the parasympathetic (relaxed) state. Unfortunately, as we go through modern life, the majority of us default to “fight or flight” style breathing, which in turn supports a stressed state. By practicing particular breathing techniques, we have the ability to influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. In other words, by imposing rhythms on the breath voluntarily, it gradually induces those rhythms in the involuntary nervous system. Ultimately, practicing deep breathing can increase our parasympathetic state and decrease sympathetic reaction and have long-term health benefits.

Deep Breathing Practices

So how do you breathe? Sounds funny to ask but it is vital to know. One of the key elements in deep breathing is utilizing both the upper and lower lobes of the lungs. To practice for the first time, it can be helpful to lie on your back. Place your hands on your belly. Take a long slow inhale through your nose and your hands should rise. After you fill the lower portion of your lungs (keep breathing in) then allow your chest to rise. On the exhale, do the opposite. Allow your chest to fall first followed by the abdomen. Continue in a slow rhythmic cycle. You will notice that you can breathe in so much more oxygen using this style of breathing.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a basic rule for breathing practice is to try to make your breaths deeper, slower, and more regular. To deepen your breathing, practice exhaling beyond your normal breathing sequence. Exhaling completely builds muscles between your ribs, and your exhalations will naturally become deeper and longer over time.1 In addition, by squeezing more air out you will automatically breathe more in. Weil recommends the following “4-7-8 breathing” technique as a way to improve your breathing rhythms:

  • Put your tongue on the ridge of the tissue behind your front teeth.
  • Forcefully exhale, making a wind noise.
  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds,
  • Hold your breath for 7
  • Release air through your mouth for 8
  • Repeat four times at least twice daily. You may increase to eight repetitions, but Weil discourages doing more than eight repetitions at a time.

Weil claims that this breathing technique is the most powerful anti-anxiety intervention you have available to you.2 You can’t be upset or anxious and perform this exercise at the same time. In addition to doing this breathing technique twice daily, try doing it during stressful moments in your day (working on overwhelming projects, listening to screaming kids, dealing with relationship conflict) in order to neutralize stress on the spot. It literally shifts the autonomic nervous system.

We have many opportunities in the day to practice deep breathing (remember using upper and lower lungs and exhaling completely are key). Some ways to incorporate deep breathing into your daily life:

  • During a walk — this will rev up your internal fire and increase the health benefits of your walk.
  • Practice Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong — forms of gentle exercise that incorporate deep breathing.
  • While driving — stopped at a red light? Breathe!
  • When tired — take some deep breaths and watch as your energy returns.
  • While you wait — can aid in hindering that impatient feeling that can arise.
  • In a sauna — will enhance both relaxation and detoxification.
  • In nature — adds extra benefits due to the negatively charged ions that are abundant in nature, especially when near moving water.
  • Upon waking — can help you wake-up and expel built-up carbon dioxide.
  • Before falling asleep — helps put the body into a deeply relaxed state.

For more insight into different breathing techniques that are great for health, I recommend the book The Tao of Detox: The Secrets of Yang-Sheng Dao written by Daniel Reid.

Breathe deep my friends!

References

  1. Andrew Weil, “The Art and Science of Breathing,” Weil Lifestyle, com, Retrieved on 15 February 2016 at http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02039/the-art-and-science-of-breathing.html.
  2. Andrew Weil, “Anti-Inflammatory Health with Andrew Weil, MD,” lecture, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York, 5 January 2015.
  3. Daniel Reid, The Tao of Detox: The Secretes of Yang-Sheng Dao, (VT: Simon and Schuster, 2006).

Bovine Gelatin

BOVINE GELATIN – Healing Foods

Gelatin 3What is gelatin? by Linda Paterson

Gelatin is derived from collagen found in the bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and skin of both animals and humans.  Collagen makes up almost a third of all the protein in the human body.  It is a big, fibrous molecule that makes skin, bones and tendons both strong and somewhat elastic.  As you get older, your body makes less collagen and this may present itself with stiff joints (from less flexible tendons) or wrinkles (from loss of skin elasticity).

 

Traditional diets are very high in gelatin because they consumed bones and cartilage as a staple meal in homemade bone and meat stocks, soups and stews.  Our grandmothers know that the stock made from meat and bones were a rescue remedy for the sick.  It is well known to aid in digestion and promote muscle strength for athletes.  GAPS promotes the use of stocks and soups as a daily staple to ensure that the nutrients and important amino acids are received.  This can get a little discouraging during the hotter months, however there are several ways you  can receive additional gelatin with Bernard Jensen’s Gelatin powder by mixing into your smoothies, shakes, juice or cooking recipes such as jello/jelly and other desserts calling for gelatin.

Supplementing gelatin will provide you with the added protein and much needed amino acids to help rebuild the cells in the damaged gut wall. Proteins are made of components called amino acids.  The human body is able to synthesize some amino acids on its own: however other important amino acids need to come from our diet. “Essential Amino Acids” are the components that need to come from an outside source.  Edible gelatin contains nine of the ten essential amino acids.

Half of the 18 amino acids in gelatin are considered essential, meaning they cannot be produced by the human body but must be consumed from the diet.  Glycine (for example) an amino acid found in gelatin must be present in order for the liver to efficiently remove toxins from our systems.  Lysine, another amino acid (easily accessible through gelatin), helps the body to absorb calcium and develop muscle protein.

Information and Uses for Bernard Jensen’s Gelatin

Good natural source of natural protein and amino acids. Animal protein powders are easity absorbed by your cells with the benefits of important amino acids to help heal the damaged gut wall.

Good source of collagen to help regenerate aging skin

Anti-inflammatory properties to reduce joint pain and alleviate arthritis

Adding to recipes to help maintain structure such as: jello/jelly, mousse, desserts, cheesecake and making marshmallows.

Aids in the relief of allergies

Strengthens hair and nails

Add your gelatin to a cup of juice, smoothy or stock

This brand is recommended by the Weston A Price foundation and we have chosen this brand because it is derived from grass fed cows not pork.  This product has been minimally processed to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of free glutamic acids. There is no added sugar and the powder has no flavour.

Bernard Jensen’s 100% Bovine Gelatin Powder: Non-GMO, made from cows (not pork) unsweetened and unflavoured.

“The food of a thousand uses”, one level tablespoon of pure gelatin will gel one pint (473ml) of liquid, for the use of any recipe calling for gelatin.

If you haven’t the time or for some reason are unable to make your own bone broth this is a very simple option.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For Managing Anxiety Without Drugs

Tips For Managing Anxiety Without Drugs by Frank Lipman

Anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

As a holistic psychiatrist practicing in New York City, I see a lot of anxiety.  It ‘s disheartening to see so many of my patients on loads of psychiatric medications that are not necessarily helping and may even be causing harm.  Meanwhile, these highly medicated folks are still suffering from anxiety! This is because we’re going about it all wrong.  Anxiety is not a Xanax*-deficiency disorder! There is so much we can do with diet and lifestyle to manage anxiety, and much of it is safer and more effective than medication.  Here are tips for managing anxiety naturally:

*Xanax is medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Maintain Stable Blood Sugar

“It isn’t disrespectful to the complexity of existence to point out that despair is, often, just low blood sugar and exhaustion.”- Alain de Botton

  • The American diet ( NZ much the same unfortunately) promotes a blood sugar roller coaster, and every time we’re on the ride down, we can feel anxious.
  • When our blood sugar crashes, our body responds with a stress response.  We secrete stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, which tell our liver to make more blood sugar to keep us alive.  The good news: we stay alive.  The bad news: this hormonal response feels identical to anxiety.
  • By stabilizing blood sugar, you can avoid this stress response and decrease your anxiety.

Here’s how to maintain stable blood sugar:

  • Eat more protein and healthy fats (eg. olive oil, coconut oil, butter and ghee from pasture-raised animals).
  • Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks daily; don’t skip meals.
  • Take a spoonful of coconut oil upon waking, in the afternoon and right before bed: this will serve as a blood sugar safety net throughout the day.
  • Always have a snack handy ( eg. nuts, hard-boiled egg, dark chocolate, salmon, almond butter.

Do a Trial Off Caffeine

  • Don’t underestimate the relationship between caffeine and anxiety.
  • Think of it like this: If we have caffeinated our nervous system, it is ready for a fight.  Introduce a stressor and you have an all out anxiety response.
  • If you suffer from anxiety, you owe it to your self to do a trial off caffeine.
  • I know, I know, the idea of going off caffeine is giving you anxiety right now.  If you reduce your intake gradually (coff->half-caf-black tea->green tea->herbal tea) over the course of a week or two, you’ll avoid withdrawal symptoms.  After a few weeks you may be surprised to see that your anxiety has decreased, your sleep has improved, your energy is stabilized and you even tolerate stress better.
  • If you had a successful trial off caffeine but you want to go back to having that morning ritual consider making green tea your go-to beverage rather than a ” Vanilla Latte”.

Sleep

  • Getting adequate good quality sleep is your best protection against anxiety.
  • There’s a 2-way street between anxiety and sleep-anxiety, which subsequently can cause insomnia and sleep deprivation and thus makes us vulnerable to anxiety.
  • The best way to address this is to set ourselves up for better sleep.  Conveniently, the way to do this overlaps with the overall approach to anxiety.

Heal the Gut

Create the conditions for the gut to heal:

  • Squatty potty can be life-changing.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Manage stress with yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, unplugging, acupuncture, being in nature.
  • Treat gut infections.  If you suspect you may have a chronic gut infection, get evaluated by an integrative or functional medicine practitioner.
  • Perhaps you’ve seen some of the recent articles about the relationship between gut flora and mood.
  • The bugs in our digestive tract have a profound impact on how we feel and play an integral role in anxiety disorders.

Here’s how to promote healthy gut flora and heal the gut…

Here is what irritates the gut:

  • Food: Gluten, sugar, industrial vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, alcohol.
  • Certain medications: Antacids, antibiotics, oral contraceptives (only make changes under close supervision from your doctor).

Add in what soothes the gut:

  • Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kefir (if you tolerate dairy).
  • Starchy tubers: Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, plantain, taro, yucca.
  • Bone broth: make your own or purchase from a reputable retail outlet.

Supplements:

  • Take a probiotic
  • Consider supplementing with glutamine and collagen

Exercise:

  • Exercise is the best anti-anxiety medicine.
  • If you struggle to exercise regularly, forget the boot camps and triathlons.  Get in the habit of mini workouts.  Do small amounts of exercise in your living room or take a brief walk outside.  Sustainability is key.
  • In general, stand more, sit less, walk whenever possible and lower your standards for exercise.
  • Yoga and Tai Qi are particularly beneficial for anxiety, but the most important thing is to find something you enjoy.

Be Strategic About Light:

  • Let your eyes see bright light in the morning and dim light at night.
  • If your room isn’t completely dark when you sleep, wear an eye mask or get blackout curtains.
  • Wind down and unplug before bed.

Magnesium:

  • Magnesium is mothernature’s Xanax.
  • Many of us are deficient in magnesium, since our food is grown in magnesium depleted soil.
  • You can supplement with magnesium in a few different ways:
  • Take an Epsom salt bath.
  • Take a chelated magnesium supplement (eg. magnesium glycinate)
  • Try a topical magnesium gel or oil.

Anxiety has a significant impact on quality of life.  Maintaining stable blood sugar, reducing caffeine, getting enough sleep, healing the gut, getting some exercise and filling the body with magnesium are safe tactics that go a long way toward reducing anxiety.  If your anxiety does not respond to these lifestyle interventions, I recommend having a consultation with a qualified mental health provider.

Frank Lipman

http://www.bewellbydrfranklipman.com/

A pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Frank Lipman is the founder and director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City and the creator of Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, a proprietary brand of dietary supplements, detoxifying cleanses and health coaching services. Dr. Lipman received his initial medical training at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Qualifying in 1979, he worked as a General Practitioner and immigrated to the United States in 1984. After 3 years as an internal medicine residency, he became board certified and served as Chief Medical Resident at Lincoln Hospital in New York City. While practicing Western Medicine, he became more and more aware of both the weaknesses and strengths of his training. Over time he found that by combining cutting nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East, he was able to help a lot of people – effectively, safely and without side effects. Dr. Lipman is the author of 3 books: Total Renewal – 7 Key Steps to Resilience Vitality and Long Term Health; Revive – End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again; The New Health Rules – Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness. Dr. Lipman sits on the Board of the Ubuntu Education Fund, a non-profit Educational Fund in South Africa, and lectures throughout the world on health related topics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Why You Must Drink Water Right After You Wake

Why You Must Drink Water Right After You Wake

Why-You-MUST-Drink-Water-Right-After-You-Wake-Up2

 

 

 

Water is an integral component of the human body. We are literally more water than anything else. Because water is easily lost through daily activities and illness, we must be vigilant in replacing the losses.

On this page we have listed four important reasons to stay hydrated throughout the day, reasons why drinking water as soon as you wake up is important and further genius tips to help you stay more hydrated throughout the day.

Four Great Reasons To Stay Hydrated

#1: Lower risk for kidney disease Kidney problems are associated with high salt intake and resulting hypertension, which damages the kidney’s blood vessels. According to an observational study on water intake, how much water a person drinks in a day is also directly related to the development of CKD – or chronic kidney disease. The higher the fluid intake, the lower risk for CKD. This implies that increasing your water intake will help prevent renal problems. [2]

#2: Water intake can actually help you lose or maintain a healthy weight. Water helps regulate the body’s normal process, like metabolism. Poor water intake is usually associated with a decline in physical activities, which can cause weight gain. By drinking a lot of water, you can maintain the balance between the calories your body uses and stores, as well as the oxidation of stored fat – both of which contribute to weight loss. [3] Choosing food with a higher water content can also cut down on your calorie intake because these kinds of food are more filling and take a longer time to be digested by the body, thereby decreasing your appetite. [4]

#3: Water improves your skin condition. When a person is dehydrated, their skin feels rough and dry, with poor elasticity – meaning it doesn’t bounce back when pinched or stretched. When the skin has poor skin turgor, it is more prone to damage and takes a longer time to heal. When skin has good turgor, it has better elasticity and looks a lot healthier. [5]

#4: Water helps keep bowel movement regular. There are three factors to consider when promoting regular bowel movement – fiber intake, physical activity, and water intake. These three things work together to ensure that we get all the nutrients we need from the food we eat and that the waste product is expelled completely from the body. Without enough water in our diet, the fiber can’t do its job properly in cleansing the body, leaving the stool hard and difficult to pass. [6]

Why Drinking Water Right After Waking Up Is Important

When you wake up, you are usually very dehydrated and quite possibly at your “peak dehydration” in any 24-hour cycle. Depending on how long you sleep, your body hasn’t had any water intake at all for several hours. Also its regulatory processes have slowed, meaning your body and energy levels are very low. Place a glass or bottle of water on the bedside table / nightstand before bed. That way, when you are in that “awake but still not energized enough to get up” state, you will be able to reach out and grab some water earlier than you would do if you had to get up to do so.

Interestingly, drinking water when you wake up “wakes up” your body too. Drinking it an hour or more before breakfast also curbs your appetite, which can help with weight loss. As your body gets used to drinking at least one large glass of water at the start of the day, it’ll help manage your appetite in the long run.

Four Awesome Water Drinking Tips

1) Skip the canned drinks. Although they contain water, avoid drinking soft drinks and fruit juices made with high fructose corn syrup, sugar or artificial sweeteners. One of the biggest factors that contribute to low water intake is drinking a lot of unhealthy drinks like soda. A person is actually less inclined to drink water the more he or she includes other kinds of drinks in his or her diet. [7]

2) Have water to hand when working or at home. If you work at a desk, having a pitcher of water on the desk, perhaps with a few slices of lemon or cucumber added, will almost certainly ensure that you drink far more water than you would if you had to get up and go to the kitchen to get some, disrupting your work flow.

3) Take a water bottle out with you. Similarly, when out and about for the day, do you have water with you? Invest in a good quality water bottle that is durable and BPA-free and take it with you. You are almost guaranteed to get more water throughout the day. Also, you will save money and the environment because buying beverages in plastic bottles and styrofoam cups not only costs money but adds to the waste stream.

4) Add healthy + delicious things to your water. It’s hard to down 8 glasses of water per day because it is just boring! However adding lemon, cucumber and more increases the flavor, adds healthful/detoxing qualities and also encourages you to drink more because it is more enjoyable.

References:

[1] H4H Initiative. Water and hydration: Physiological basis in Adults – Water in the body. http://www.h4hinitiative.com/h4h-academy/hydration-lab/water-and-hydration-physiological-basis-adults/water-body

[2] Clark, W., et. al. (2014). “Drink at least 7 glasses of water a day to be healthy???”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24685756

[3] Wisniewska, K., Kurowska, E. & Okreglicka, K. (2014). Effect of water intake on body weight. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25764787

[4] Zelman, K. (2008). 6 Reasons to drink water. http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=1

[5] National Institutes of Health. Skin

 

Health Benefits of Cucumbers!

Health-Benefits-Of-Cucumbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beneficial to health for numerous reasons. We’ve picked out 10 benefits of cucumbers for you to learn about. Note – as with other salad vegetables, it’s important to wash them properly first. Organic produce is recommended so as to avoid intake of pesticide sprays.

  1. Morning Pick-me-up: Cucumbers contain minerals and vitamins that are important for wakefulness and clarity of mind. So instead of drinking espresso in the morning — just eat a cucumber! You will not believe how effective cucumbers are as a immediate “pick me up” because of the potent rejuvenating properties contained within.
  2. Skin Health: Cucumbers are great for skin health. [1] The skin of the cucumber is very effective as a soothing agent for sunburn and other skin problems. Have you ever gone to the spa or gotten a facial? You might recall that cucumbers were placed over your eyes! This is done because cucumbers help to reduce puffiness and help the skin to tighten, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
  3. Healthy Hair: Cucumbers contain silicon and sulfur, which are minerals that support and promote hair growth and strength. [1]
  4. Cancer prevention: Cucumbers may also prevent cancer, because of the lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol they contain. These three lignans have been associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. [2]
  5. Mosquito repellant: Another interesting, little known-fact we learned is that cucumber works as mosquito repellent! Instead of using commercial products that contain deet and other chemicals, you can rub a cucumber on your skin and avoid irritating insect bites. [3]
  6. Rich in vitamins: Cucumbers not only refresh and hydrate the body, but they replenish the vitamins we lose throughout the day. Fat free, cholesterol free, and extremely low in calories— cucumbers perfect for a snack between meals.
  7. Hangover cure: We also learned that the Vitamin B and electrolytes they contain make them the perfect cure for hangover and headache. In addition, studies show they may be effective for weight loss and useful as a natural treatment for indigestion and constipation.
  8. Diabetes: We also found out that cucumbers are high in magnesium, fiber, and potassium, which aid in the treatment and prevention of diabetes. [4]
  9. Arthritis and joint inflammation: Eating cucumbers may help to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints— which can aid in preventing or treating arthritis.
  10. Cholesterol The minerals in cucumbers are also considered beneficial towards lowering high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Bonus: Did you know that cucumbers can be used to clean fog off a mirror, and can also be used as a natural alternative to products like WD40 to fix squeaky door hinges.

The amazing properties of cucumbers makes us want to coin the phrase “A cucumber a day keeps the doctor away!”

References:

[1] Minaiyan M1, Zolfaghari B, Kamal A. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011 Sep;14(5):436-42. Effect of Hydroalcoholic and Buthanolic Extract of Cucumis sativus Seeds on Blood Glucose Level of Normal and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23493930

[2] Gao Y1, Islam MS1, Tian J1, Lui VW2, Xiao D3. Cancer Lett. 2014 Mar 29. pii: S0304-3835(14)00160-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2014.03.015. [Epub ahead of print] Inactivation of ATP citrate lyase by Cucurbitacin B: A bioactive compound from cucumber, inhibits prostate cancer growth. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24690568

[3] Wood, Gayle K. Uncommon Uses for Household Products. F C & A Pub, Dec 1, 2003.

[4] Sahu RK, Roy A, Dwivedi J, Jha AK. Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Jan 1;17(1):146-50. Promotion and computation of inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity of herbal cream by incorporating indigenous medicinal plants. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24783796

 

 

THE CLEAN FIFTEEN AND THE DIRTY DOZEN

THE CLEAN FIFTEEN AND THE DIRTY DOZEN

This is a guide to the most and least contaminated foods. It will help you make better choices because it is not always possible to buy organic and can be expensive.
It is all about reducing our risk of chemical contamination as much as possible.The Clean FifteenThe Dirty Dozen

Jane Iredale Lip Crayons

PlayOn-Lip-Crayons-Blog-Image3READY TO GO WEAR COLLECTION

Seven luxurious and wonderfully wearable shades to choose from, you’re sure to fall instantly in love with our range of NEW jumbo lip crayons! From nudes, reds, pinks and corals to suit everyone’s favourite lip.

To apply the crayons lightly for a tint of colour, or layer to achieve a deeper, more vibrant shade. For added shine apply a layer of Pure Gloss to really make your lips stand out!

Bestow Brides

bride-image

Bestow Beautiful Skin for Brides

Having radiant skin, healthy hair and strong nails is important for your wedding day and your beauty therapist is one of the best people to help you achieve this with the products and treatments she has available at her fingertips.

But another thing you need to consider is what is happening from the inside? As you know, your skin, hair and nails are all created, nourished and renewed from the inside. So this means you are able to improve their appearance by working from within – if you know the secrets to achieving this.

Bestow Beauty is an intensive range of internal cosmetics that make use of will help you look fabulous on your wedding day.

bestow-oil

BESTOW BEAUTY OIL
Your moisturiser from within

  • A great-tasting, edible oil that is mixed or poured over your food to nourish your skin, hair and nails from the inside
  • Keeps your skin supple and smooth
  • Helps prevent blockages and ‘breakouts’
  • Ensures your skin’s oil is healing and anti-inflammatory
  • Helps reduce redness in inflamed skin
  • Helps treat skin problems from acne to eczema.

BESTOW BEAUTY POWDER
bestow-powder

Your edible cosmetic

  • A delicious smoothie powder that delivers the same anti-aging ingredients that your skin care does only directly to the cells that use them in the deepest layers of your skin.
  • Feeds your skin, hair and nails with all the nutrients they need to be strong, healthy and beautiful
  • Contains flaxseed fibre, kelp, spirulina, wheatgrass, alfalfa, coconut, blackcurrant extract & pumpkin flour.

BESTOW BE CLEANSED
bestow-be-cleansed

Detoxify, purify, beautify

Your skin tends to reflect what’s happening on the inside. If your body isn’t eliminating toxins efficiently, this can result in dull, devitalised skin, and can contribute to many skin disorders such as acne, blemishes and eczema.
Bestow Be Cleansed is a natural detox powder designed to bestow a clearer, more radiant complexion by encouraging the liver and bowel to (gently) eliminate toxins.

Bride image by Tauranga photographers Katie & Quinn Photography