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Alternative Medicine - Information & News About Alternative Medicine

People around the world have begun to realize that allopathic medicine is not the panacea they have put their trust in for most of their lives. Medical practices that were once widely accepted are now questioned by many as their main concern is safeguarding their health and that of their family. Alternative medicine is fast becoming the gold standard in health care for those who are disenchanted with the results - or lack thereof' that conventional medicine has produced for them.

We are bombarded with television and magazine advertisements for medications that promise to cure, or at least control, almost every ailment known to mankind. If you watch any TV at all, you've seen the skillfully edited commercials that feature smiling, happy people who seem as if they don't have a care in the world because they were given a pharmaceutical drug for some sort of medical problem they were having. The magazine ads are just as misleading to the public. Though each of these media outlets mentions the drug's side effects, it is done quickly and unobtrusively, almost as if it is an afterthought.

Alternative medicine has become so popular in part because of these undesirable effects. Take for example these adverse side effects of the popular hormone replacement therapy:

- Premarin

- Migraine headache

- Chest pain

- Confusion and memory problems

- Swelling of the lower extremities

Most women would probably prefer to have the hot flashes of menopause than to experience any of these reactions on a regular basis. But, you don't have to put up with either one when you use alternative medicine! A consultation with an herbalist would reveal that a combination of dong quai and black cohosh extract will safely control all symptoms related to the change of life.

Alternative medicine believes that achieving wellness involves treating the entire body. Traditional allopathic, or Western medicine, concentrates on analyzing and managing specific complaints and illnesses. Treatment of these complaints almost always includes the prescription of one or more drugs. People have become rather leery of taking these medications without first doing a little research about what they are putting into their bodies. a little research into the world of natural health will prove that there is a medicine alternative for nearly every type of medicine on the market. Here are just a few examples.

- For the pain and inflammation of arthritis, instead of taking Celebrex, a prescription drug with many documented side effects, try the medicine alternative of fish oil capsules. This is a natural anti-inflammatory with no side effects at a much lower price. Capsaicin cream worked wonders on muscle and joint pain, too. Made from edible hot peppers, you can't get much more natural relief!

- Sufferers of migraine headaches will find that the medicine alternative of an herb called feverfew will work just as quickly as the prescription Imitrex, but without the side effects of heart attack and stroke.

- When you are in the throes of a winter cold, the first things you want to do is bring home some OTC cold medicines along with the Kleenex and chicken soup. But all these medicines do is relieve the cold symptoms short term. Minerals, herbs, and vitamins used as a medicine alternative can actually make your cold last almost half the time as usual. Zinc lozenges and Vitamin C will give you far more relief that conventional remedies. Plus, the addition of amino acids and antioxidants like cysteine and quercetin boost the immune system and lessen the symptoms of a cold.

- Studies have proven that the herb called St John's Wort is a viable medicine alternative to most of the antidepressants on the market.

- Garlic has been shown to be a medicine alternative for prescription antibiotics, and also has lowered blood pressure in some individuals.

Many allopathic doctors have begun to embrace certain alternative medicine remedies and treatments, as they have seen for themselves the power behind these age-old solutions for good health. Alternative medicine is more respected by conventional doctors when treatments like this work better than the usual standard cancer fighting arsenal. This proves that even though conventional medicine is based on years of scientific study, complementary and alternative medicine can be just as effective at treating an illness or disease. You can expect alternative medicine to continue to influence the way we approach health care as it permeates mainstream medicine a little more each year.

Copyright (c) 2008 Vernon DeFlanders

By: Vernon DeFlanders

Article Directory:

Vernon De Flanders - Webmaster of Alternative Medicine Info provides fresh information in form of articles, videos, podcasts on A broad area of Alternative Medicines from Acupuncture to Yoga. Get Your Free Special Report; Introduction to Music Therapy - Hitting the right notes to your health.

US heart health varies by state.

Arthritis Drug Vioxx Recalled - CBS News

Activities for Mental Health Groups

Choosing the Best Activity for Your Mental Health Group

When choosing the best activity for your population of clients, take into account where the patients are currently. Build the clients to where you want them by choosing activities in the best order. For example, discussion groups work best once clients are comfortable talking with each other and are functioning well as a group. Games can help break the ice if you need to get them to that point.

If your population is unable to focus for long periods of time, using an activity that is less attention demanding is best. Or, using a highly-engaging format will give the clients the extra focus you need to teach them. Choose the mental health group topic and then choose the best activity for your group.

Activities for Kids

Games, crafts, and role-playing are a few of the best activities for kids. Within just these three types of activities you can do many different variations. These activities can also be useful with adults in some circumstances.


Board Games: Order one or make up a board game. There are many different ways to modify board games to be therapeutic. The easiest way is by creating your own cards with questions to replace the cards that come with the game.

Cooperation Games: Cooperation activities include problem solving and team building tasks. Gym activities allow cooperation activities to be conducted on a large scale.

Trivia Games: Trivia games are great for learning information or memorizing. Use a trivia game if you need kids to learn something well at a shallow level.

Pictionary or Charades Games: Getting kids to draw or act out things includes their motor movement into the learning process.

Arts and Crafts:

Create a Book or Brochure: Split the kids into small groups to work on a book about any topic. Provide them with reference materials in needed, but set clear guidelines for the quality of work.

Coloring: For very young children, coloring is a great way to get them focused on therapy topics. Have pictures of good behaviors and bad behaviors, and then ask them to color all the pictures of good behavior.

Collage: A collage can be created individually or in groups. The variety of topics you can use is wide. Family therapy group collages can help clients and family members identify strengths and commonalities.

Origami: Young kids love folding paper. While you are folding with clients, it's a great time to talk about what to do when mistakes are made or how to deal with frustration. Origami takes patience, having a vision, and following directions.

Role Playing:

Anger Coping Skills Role-Play: Before doing the role-play, have the kids identify a real anger trigger that can be part of the role play. Then ask them to identify warning signs for their anger. Finally, ask them to put it all together with the coping skills that they want to practice. So, they will role play in this order... Anger Trigger -->Anger Warning Signs -->Anger Coping Skill.

Role Play Communication: This one works like the coping skill role-play, only the clients will practice using communication with others to handle the problem. Teach the kids to use humor or assertiveness to communicate calmly. This is a great way to get kids to practice using "I Statements."

Music Therapy Activities

Music and emotions are closely related. Music activities are a great way to engage people who love music, which is just about everyone. This is a list of some activities that involve music.

Mental Stimulation: For an aging population, singing and playing music can stimulate the mind. This is also helpful for depressed patients who might otherwise keep quiet during groups.

Emotional Awareness: Play clips of different songs, asking your clients to write or draw thoughts and feelings. After the series of songs, discuss the fluid nature of emotions, the difficulty of identifying emotions, and the way thoughts lead to emotions.

Relaxation Groups: Music is historically one of the most effective non-medicine prescriptions for relaxation. Choose some music with calming properties. Play it for patients as they practice relaxation skills such as deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or imagery.

Insight Building: Lyrics are simply poems set to music. Many songs can be used therapeutically by dissecting and discussing the meaning of the lyrics. You can even ask patients to change the lyrics of a song to fit themselves. One great song to use for this is "What a Wonderful World."

Discussion Activities

Discussion activities are useful if these are your goals:

Increase interest in the topic

Assess prior knowledge and understanding

Improve communication skills about difficult topics

Create curiosity around a subject

Improve readiness to change

The purpose of having a discussion activity is to give structure and guidance to clients while allowing them to think for themselves and express their thoughts. As the facilitator of the group, you should give guidance without giving all the answers. Your job is to ask the questions that lead the clients to the correct understandings.

Use these tips to ensure a successful discussion group:

Explain the purpose of the discussion before beginning

Limit monopolizers from doing all the talking

Build your way up to difficult or deep topics

Set clear limits and do not allow disrespect in order to create a safe environment

Structure the discussion around relevant topics

Model the behavior you want

Use a marker board or visual aid when possible

Just because it's sweet and sticky doesn't mean it's 'honey': FDA

WASHINGTON Tue Apr 8, 2014 12:29pm EDT

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A vendor, who is also a beekeeper, sells honey at a road side market, some 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Astana June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

A vendor, who is also a beekeeper, sells honey at a road side market, some 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Astana June 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Honey mixed with sugar might be sweet, but it is not "honey."

Food companies and other producers who add sweeteners to honey have to alert consumers by labeling their products as a "blend," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.

Only manufactures that do not add sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners should label their products as pure "honey," the FDA said in draft guidelines posted online.

The proposal aims "to advise the regulated food industry on the proper labeling of honey and honey products to help ensure that honey and honey products are not adulterated or misbranded," the agency wrote.

Americans consume more than 400 million pounds of honey each year, according to U.S. government and industry estimates. But just 149 million pounds were produced in the United States last year, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed.

To feed America's sweet tooth, much honey is imported, and U.S. producers are worried about cheap substitutes.

Pure honey is generally more expensive than those mixed with corn syrup and traditional sugar, and prices reached a record high of $2.12 a pound last year, according to the USDA.

The FDA's review follows a petition from the American Beekeeping Federation and several other related groups seeking a standard U.S. definition for the natural sweetener to promote fair trade.

While the agency rejected their request, it said it was willing to look at labeling.

The FDA inspected imported honey to see whether it had been "adulterated" with corn or cane sugars. In recent decades, it detained honey containing such substitutes from countries such as Brazil and Mexico, according to the agency.

Manufacturers have 60 days to comment on the proposal before final guidelines are issued. Even then, however, guidelines are not mandatory.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Weathering 'Superfood' Crises - :

If you've been a faithful regular consumer of tofu and now are mortified by the finding that regular consumption of tofu may raise the risk of memory loss, take heart. As always with studies of the effects of food on health the analysis is very complex, there are plenty of question marks and there is still a great deal more work to do.

This crisis reminds me of the warnings about consuming farmed salmon. In principle, salmon is a terrific food, delivering loads of healthy Omega-3 fats that offer an excellent protection against a range of diseases. As farmed salmon are fed with fish meal that apparently concentrates toxic substances in the environment, the red flag was raised over farmed salmon. Wild salmon is hard to come by on a regular basis and when it is available is too expensive for most people. In Scandinavia, where salmon is a staple food, people had to ask themselves whether they were better off with no salmon at all or with some farmed salmon in their diet. The logical and intelligent answer was, of course, the latter.

These types of crises over 'superfoods' can help each of us to mature when it comes to understanding what a healthy diet is. After you have been through a few of these crises, what you begin to realize is that your values and principles around food are of greater importance than having a list of foods that you do and do not eat (with the exception of foods that you are allergic to). Moderation and variety are two principles that come in handy throughout life and certainly during 'superfood' crises.

There are others too that can help you to flourish not flounder in the food jungle that we live in today. These are not rigid, constraining ideas, rather they are values that open up a new and joyful dimension of life. Healthy eating is about challenging your creativity; it has to do with learning about nature; it is about dining together and making a beautiful table; it concerns learning about ecology and how food is produced in the world; it is about eating who you are and expressing your individuality.

If you are looking for some inspiration to get started visit the food section at!

Mental Health Stigma

Janine Francolini

As we struggled to make sense of hundreds of statistics and research studies on recidivism, gun violence, homicide, suicide and juvenile justice, one clear, simple concept emerged: We know what to do. We just need the will to do it. Where does this will come from?

Cold & Flu,symptoms And Treatments

Cold and flu symptoms can include any of the following; runny nose, cough, aches and pains, fever, sneezing, sore throat, head aches and muscle fatigue. Most of the colds and flu reactions today are caused by a virus that is why it is absolutely critical to strengthen your body's ability to fight viral infections.

Sometimes, the symptoms come on almost unnoticed. You're not aware of much other than a vague feeling of malaise. There aren't any strong symptoms, you just know you're not well, or you know the signs that you may be going down with something.

The symptoms that do well with this homeopathic remedy are generally worse at night or early morning. And they are often worse on the right side. So the right side of your throat is sorer than the left, for instance. And might might wake you at 4 am. Or you might have a sleepless night, but you're not sure why.

The common cold or flu is one of medicines greatest mysteries. While there are plenty of pharmaceutical products offered to help ease the symptoms of these illnesses, our local drug stores still offer us no opportunities to rid ourselves of the ailment itself.

The pharmaceutical market offers such products as Vicks and Theraflu, but these products are only designed to make you feel better for the duration of your cold. While you may lose the coughing or running nose symptoms, there is still a sickness tugging at your body.

The Swine Flu, also known as H1N1, is causing a lot of headlines. Hey, any flu, can cause serious problems and deaths especially among our most vulnerable. How can a layperson like you or me distinguish between just a common cold and the flu? Many of the symptoms are similar. Although this should not be construed as medical advice, i.e. contact your doctor if in doubt, there are some differences in symptoms.


The best solution is to go to the core issue and that is to strengthen one's immune system is to take either Echinacea or Isamune. Isamune contains the highest quality of bovine colostrum, which can help to rebuild the immune system and boost immune response. Colostrum is a rich source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antibodies.

Christine Regan Lake is an author and active proponent of nutrition and holistic healing and believes in prevention as the greatest means of defense against illness and disease. She is NOT a doctor and does NOT give medical advice. Read her book "My Body Cleanse" and learn for yourself the secrets of health and longevity.

Cold and flu symptoms can include any of the following; runny nose, cough, aches and pains, fever, sneezing, sore throat, head aches and muscle fatigue. Most of the colds and flu reactions today are caused by a virus that is why it is absolutely critical to strengthen your body's ability to fight viral infections.

Clearly, using herbal medicine for cold and flu problems can be a great way to clear up your sickness. As an alternative to the modern medicine offered in drug stores today, these substances usually have a greater effect on the problem while resulting in less side effects.


For many dealing with a cold is just a matter of heading to the drug store and getting the most popular cold and flu medicine, however, that is not a great solution. It will just temporarily mute what is really going on in the body.

When one breaks out into a cold or flu that is the body's response to disease and disorder and it is called a healing crisis. When the body is pushing out mucous it is pushing out toxins and trying to heal the body.

Though it may sound mundane but whatever remedy you choose will depend on the severity of your problem. If your cold is not that severe but if you have chosen a product that is meant for curing severe cases of cold then you could suffer from side-effects like headache or some kind of an allergic reaction.

Flu and common cold can attack persons of any age group. Allopathic treatment of flu and cold involves use of drugs, often with strong dosage which could harm young children ad even teens.

People older than 50 also find it difficult to manage the side effects produced by allopathic drugs since they generally lead to lethargy and drowsiness. Safer options of treatment such as naturopathy are now gaining popularity for the treatment of cold and flu.

Naturopathy trusts the healing power of nature. Naturopathy believes that the body can heal itself and rid itself of any diseases when supported by certain dietary and lifestyle changes. Naturopathy identifies the root cause of the disease and treats it instead of merely treating the symptoms of a particular disease.

The best solution is to go to the core issue and that is to strengthen one's immune system is to take either Echinacea or Isamune. Isamune contains the highest quality of bovine colostrum, which can help to rebuild the immune system and boost immune response. Colostrum is a rich source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antibodies.

Get lots of rest at night. Get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night and avoid drinking too much alcohol. Indulging in excessive alcohol can reduce your body's ability to create anti-viral antibodies by two-thirds.

How do I take Chinese herbs?

Chinese herbs have been used in China for 3,000 years in order to treat a variety of conditions. These herbs are derived from roots, bark, flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves and branches, all of which are found in nature. According to, there are over 3,000 different herbs used for medical use, but only 300 to 500 of these are commonly used to kill bacteria or viruses, to heal chronic illnesses and to maintain a healthy immune system. According to, it is important to take these herbs correctly in order to receive the most benefit.

Use As Directed

According to, many Chinese herbs are meant to be taken as an herbal tea so that the body absorbs and digests the herbs quickly, though many are also available in powder or tablet form. If you purchase herbs in raw form, mix a bag of herbs into two cups of boiled water for a two day supply. Reheat directly before consuming the tea, and drink half a cup twice a day, preferably before or after a meal. If you take a tablet or powder form, take as suggested. If the herbs have a specific purpose, such as to help you sleep, take before bed or when recommended.

Visit A Specialist

Clinics are available with experts in Chinese herbology who can discuss your reasons for wanting to take herbs and any symptoms that you want relief from. With this information, they can help you decide which herbs would benefit you most. They can help you find the herbs, decide what form of the herb your should take and direct you on when and how often to take the herb. By discussing with an expert, you will obtain information on how to get the most out of the Chinese herbs. If you cannot find a clinic in your area, talk to a specialist at an acupuncture clinic or a health food store

What Not To Do

If you are taking Chinese herbs along with a medication, suggests you take the herbs an hour or two apart from when you take the medication. Talk to your doctor about the herbs that you use. You should refrain from eating cold, raw, spicy and oily foods with the herbs, or cold or acidic beverages. These products are more difficult to digest. If itching or burning occurs when you consume the herbs, it means you are having an allergic reaction and you should not continue using them. If you do not notice improvement, do not stop taking the herb, according to It takes time for the body to respond to the herbs.


How to Take Chinese Herbs

How To Take Herbs and What To Take

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine


Herbal Counseling Clinic

How Do You Take Chinese Herbs?

Eyelash Growth For Unmatched Beauty by Rebecca Jones

Different people have different eyelashes of varied lengths. However, every woman wants to have long and thick eyelashes. There are varieties of cosmetic products available in the market such as eyelash conditioner, mascara, eye putty and other products that are develop to enhance and beautify the looks of their lashes. If you?re one of those women who want to increase your eyelash growth, this article is meant for you as it will provide an insight on eyelash growth.

Since ancient times eyelashes of a woman are considered an important part of a woman?s beauty. This is the reasons why women pay too much attention to this part of their body in order to flaunt their femininity. In order to get sustained eyelash growth, many women have gone to some extent. Let?s understand how they grow.

Generally the rate of eyelash growth is extremely slow and takes several months before they grow to the right size. There are three stages involved into eyelash growth and include Anagen growth phase, Catagen growth phase and Telogen growth stage. There are various factors that affect the growth of eyelashes. The major factor for hair growth is your diet. Those people that don?t have healthy and balanced diet are more prone to have irregular hair growth and hair quality. The reason is the absence of proper treatment required to have a healthy growth. People taking healthy diet are more likely to have enhanced hair growth.

There are a lot of eyelash growth products available in the market that can help you have those eyelashes that you?re looking for. An eyelash conditioner is a remarkable product that is used like ordinary mascara. It helps in moisturizing the lashes in order to increase their growth rate. Moreover, it also help in supplying the required nutrients to the eyelashes.

Family food allergies 101 -

Learning about food allergies is one way parents of allergic children can feel more in control.


There are several theories on why there are so many food allergies

Parents of allergic kids try to normalize their everyday lives

Don't forget to take care of yourself and manage stress

Editor's note: Mireille Schwartz is the founder and executive director of the
Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board, an organization that promotes education and awareness, and provides no-cost medical care and medication to San Francisco Bay Area families with severely allergic children. She is the author of "The Family Food Allergy Book."

(CNN) -- Food allergies are on the rise, and are currently the fifth leading chronic illness in the United States.

Since the mid-1990s, food allergies have shifted into high gear; what used to be a relative rarity has become increasingly commonplace, with scientists estimating that the problem is getting worse.

My own fish allergy is so severe that even aerosolized fish in the air -- just a whiff -- can cause my body to overreact. I have become so overwhelmed by just the vapors of airborne fish proteins I've been forced to rush to emergency rooms for immediate, life-saving medical help. Fortunately, my own daughter Charlotte's allergy to peanuts and tree nuts is slightly less pronounced.

There are three main theories to explain why there are so many food allergies in the first place, and what's responsible:


Allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis (or "hay fever"), atopic dermatitis ("eczema"), and food allergy tend to run in families. So the tendency to have food allergies is definitely inherited.

The hygiene hypothesis

This popular premise suggests that the overly sanitized state of our modern environment is upsetting the normal development of the immune system, leading to a possible overproduction of specific allergy-causing antibodies.

upwave: Are food allergies making me gain weight?

The main idea is that decreased exposure to germs and other disease-causing substances due to characteristics of our modern, Western lifestyles has affected our immune system's opportunity to develop standard immune responses. Because of this lack of opportunity, the immune system becomes prone to respond by reacting to otherwise harmless substances -- in other words, by developing allergies.

The GMO theory

In 1996 GMOs (genetically modified organisms) were introduced into our food supply. It has now become possible to insert genes that can, for example, make a plant resistant to specific diseases or insects, make a plant easier to grow with less chemical weed killers, or improve how it ripens.

Every major scientific regulatory oversight body in the world, including the National Academies of Science and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has concluded that genetically modified foods pose no harm. To date, there are no documented ill effects, and both regulatory and scientific agencies have developed international guidelines to address safety, with attention to nutrition, toxicity and a variety of concerns in addition to allergy. Still, this is a prevailing emerging theory.


Parents should become familiar with the early signs of allergic disease such as eczema, hives, repeated diarrhea and vomiting in reaction to formulas, and talk to a doctor about symptoms. There are promising new clinical trials to fight food allergies, but to date no medication can be taken to prevent food allergies, so strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Medications are administered to control symptoms after a reaction occurs, so it's essential to carry an auto-injector (or two) of epinephrine. There are a few auto-injectors now which are approved by the FDA and are available with a prescription. These devices operate in different ways, so it's important to discuss options with your doctor and be properly trained to use the mechanism.

New treatment may offer hope for peanut allergy

Day-to-day strategies

Parents of children with food allergies often exhibit high levels of stress. While some chronic conditions are primarily managed by medications or surgery, the only viable method for managing food allergies, so far, is avoiding allergens and treating emergencies when they occur. And unlike diets aimed at reducing weight or cholesterol, with an allergen-avoidance diet there's no wiggle room for mistakes.

There's also pragmatic stress involved with managing food allergies. Dining out or attending social functions takes practice and can be extremely difficult -- in some cases not even feasible. Then there's creating action plans with schools and day care centers, educating caregivers about emergency treatment, reading food labels and balancing kids' everyday social activities with the need to keep them safe from allergens.

Still, as parents we strive diligently to somehow normalize our family life despite the daily hurdles and even disbelief from those around us who may find it hard to understand that "healthy foods" like milk, bread, eggs and nuts could possibly harm your child. They really don't seem to understand that for our children, one bite (or less) of an allergen really can lead to an extreme allergic reaction or even loss of life.

Educate yourself

Learn all you can about food allergies and how you and your family can manage them. Researchers have found that food allergy patients with the best overall mental health were those who viewed themselves as basically healthy people with a condition they were in control of; in contrast, people who viewed themselves as ill and demonstrated poor coping strategies scored lower on indexes of psychological distress.

Study: Eating nuts during pregnancy may reduce baby's allergy risk

Agreed: we can't control the way our bodies respond to food allergies. However, knowing what to do in an emergency, recognizing how our families' allergens appear on food labels, and educating your child and your child's caregivers to recognize an allergic reaction are among the tangible steps you can take to develop the optimal mindset of control.

Read food labels

You'll need to become an avid label reader. Fortunately, packaged foods have ingredient labels that plainly state whether the product contains potential allergens. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protecting Act (FALCPA), which took effect January 1, 2006, requires that the labels of foods containing the big eight food allergens (egg, milk, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts) note the allergen in plain language.

Chill out

Seek out moments to relax and celebrate life. Get creative at mealtimes! Once you start brainstorming, you'll find there are numerous inventive, personal ways from A to Z to reduce stress and have fun while keeping body and mind calm. Relaxation reduces muscle tension, decreases stress hormones and even helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure -- which in turn greatly improves your quality of life.

Navigating the holidays with food allergies

Caroline Marie - Chicago Holistic Health Examiner - Holistic Health

March 29, 2012

Holistic Living is all about living a happy, health, and balanced lifestyle. Holistic means whole. It will make you feel much better about yourself in a lot of ways. Your mental, physical, and spiritual life and health will benefit. I...


Test Your Nutrition IQ


By Kate Rockwood

Research shows that the average person makes more than 200 food decisions a day -- white or wheat? coffee or tea? salad or fries? -- yet the most wholesome options aren't always obvious. To test your health knowledge, pick the food you think is the healthiest in each of the groups below.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost OWN on Facebook and Twitter .

Third annual "Hair Fitness" contest promotes exercise - Photo 1 - Pictures

The third annual "Hair Fitness" competition, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare and Bronner Bros., took place at the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show on Aug. 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Ga.

The contest, part of UnitedHealthcare's Hair Fitness Initiative, challenged stylists to create fashionable, exercise-friendly hairstyle to help African American women lead healthy and active lives.

The Hair Fitness Initiative was created in response to the obesity epidemic affecting the African-American community, according to UnitedHealthcare.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity, with 45.9 percent of the population. According to the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings, obesity prevalence among African Americans exceeded 30 percent in 36 states in 2011. "Studies show that many African American women avoid certain kinds of fitness activities in order to maintain their hairstyles, citing the time and cost involved," UnitedHealthcare said in a press release.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Over 50 stylists competed and displayed innovative, fitness-friendly hairstyles. Linette Battle of Palm Beach, Fla., won first place and took home $5,000 and a trophy for outstanding design and execution. In the photo (left to right): Sherita Cherry, Bronner Bros. master hairstylist; Regina M. Benjamin, M.D. Surgeon General of the United States; Elgin Charles, celebrity hair stylist, known as the "Emperor of Hair" and star of VH1's Beverly Hills Fabulous, Linette Battle, grand prize winner and her model Ashley; and James Bronner.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

A closer look at grand prize winner Linette Battle's winning look, modeled by Ashley. "I'm thrilled to have been recognized at this year's Hair Fitness contest. I've been leading a healthy lifestyle and talking to my clients about it for years, so it's wonderful to see a company like UnitedHealthcare helping to bring attention to this issue. I can't wait to share what I learned with my clients and community," Battle said in the press release.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

The back of grand prize winner Linette Battle's winning look, modeled by Ashley.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

"A big part of (the obesity epidemic) is that African American women are not exercising nearly enough," Dr. Reed Tuckson, UnitedHealth Group's Chief Medical Officer, told HealthPop. "The more we dug into exercise, we found out for a significant people the amount of money on spent on their hairstyle and the amount of money that they spent on upkeep, it is inconsistent to them (to ruin it with) exercise." In the photo (left to right): Reed Tuckson, UnitedHealth Group's Chief Medical Officer; Regina M. Benjamin, M.D. Surgeon General of the United States; Ashley Robinson, WNBA Washington Mystics player; and Elgin Charles, celebrity hair stylist, known as the "Emperor of Hair" and star of VH1's Beverly Hills Fabulous.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

The stylists were judged on the technical execution of the hairstyle, originality, new ideas, and suitability and head contour.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

The different categories included: low-impact workout, which involves little to no sweat and requires only one shampoo/condition per week; moderate-impact workout, which involves modest sweat and requires one to two shampoos/conditions per week; and high-impact, which involves profuse sweating and requires two to three shampoos/conditions per week.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

"There's no questions the fight against obesity is around too much food going in and too much bad food going on and the need to exercise more," Tuckson explained.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

In addition to the contest, a "Stylin' Healthier Futures" class was offered for attendees of the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show. About 100 people learned hairstyles that both looked good and were able to support a healthy lifestyle. A health care professional also was on hand to teach stylists how to teach healthy living practices to their customers.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

The classes were an extension of a similar UnitedHealthcare program that taught hairstylists in Wisconsin healthy hairstyles, along with diet and exercise tips so they can be a "positive influence" in their communities, Tuckson said. The program has been deemed a success and will be expanded to other states.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Tuckson said UnitedHealthcare decided to target hair salons because for many African Americans, the establishment is one of the central places for their neighborhood and a fundamental place where people gather in the community. Many hairstylists told Tuckson that they saw their customers at least every other week.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

"What's been really fun about it is that prominent hairstylists are starting to recognize now that what we are doing by emphasizing the hairstylist's role is much more profound, that doing hair can play into overall healthiness and wellness for their customers," Tuckson explained. "So many of them are starting view their role as more important."

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Most importantly, Tuckson hopes that people learn that their health should be something that is valued. He doesn't accept that people don't have time or money to exercise, arguing that something as simple as walking around the block or moving the coffee table and stretching at home could be beneficial for one's well-being.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

"I think the most important thing is making the decision to putting my health high on the list of priorities. So many women are disproportionally poor and are struggling with so many socioeconomic and income challenges that they think exercise is something they don't have time for," Tuckson stated.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Tuckson wants people to recognize that exercise is fun and makes you feel better, making it an important part of overall attitude - not to mention that it can help prevent disease and unnecessary chronic illness. Exercise as preventive care can also help cut down on medication costs and the time needed to visit hospitals and doctors.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

But most importantly, exercise can help mothers show young children that being healthy and fit is an important part of life, according to Tuckson. Especially with the number of obese children rising, this can be an important life lesson.

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

"We're trying to help women to understand that your children are watching you as a role model," Tuckson said. "Above all, we're helping people to recognize they can have a healthy attitude about their lives ... It's an army of positive reinforcement. It's not actually just about the hair styles but an overall lifestyle."

Credit: Courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

Fitness Trackers Get Stylish, But Accuracy May Need Work, Experts Say

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Activity trackers -- wearable devices that count steps and measure calorie burn -- are going through a boom. Sales of the devices last year topped $330 million, according the market research group NPD, and consumers have more than two dozen brands and styles to choose from, including shoe chips, bracelets, anklets, pendants and clip-ons.

To think it all started with a pair of "magic underwear."

Dr. James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, studies the relationship between movement performed outside the gym and obesity. About a decade ago, he rigged up an undergarment with sensors designed to catch the body's every little shift in movement.

Related: Step by Step for Better Health?

"I figured that most people wear underwear most of the time so this was a good way to figure out what most people do for activity throughout the day," Levine recalled.

By having his subjects wear what he called the magic underwear or "fidget pants," Levine discovered that thin people tap their feet, jiggle their pencils and shift in their seats about two and half hours more each day than obese people do. Sensing he was onto something that could help people control their weight, he said his next goal was to turn his experimental undies into a gadget that could help motivate the average person to get up and move more.

Levine realized he couldn't ask Americans to wear complex panties to measure their movement. His studies showed that wrapping a sensor around the spine would also provide good data. But that too was a tough sell, he said. So he and his team created a chip that inserted into the heel of a shoe and then later, a motion-tracking bracelet.

The idea of a simple, stylish tracker has caught on. Many consumers are now obsessed with tracking their every move. But some experts say the tradeoff for style and comfort has been accuracy.

How Good Are Trackers?

"Most brands of trackers use proprietary algorithms and formulas that haven't been independently tested in the lab and they aren't available to the public so it's impossible to know how they are capturing their information," said John Jakicic, director of the physical activity and weight management research center at the University of Pittsburgh.

As Jakicic explained it, most trackers rely on a piece of hardware known as a three-axis accelerometer to gather data. Using a technology similar to what a cell phone uses to change the orientation of its screen when you shift its position, accelerometers combine hip and foot movement with speed of movement and changes in direction to come up with an estimation of steps, mileage and calorie count.

If a tracker relies on is accelerometer alone, Jakicic said, the information it provides may not be completely reliable.

For example, a bracelet gadget will do a good job detecting steps from walking and running because the wrist moves during this kind of activity. But it won't give you any credit for pedaling away on a stationary bike with your hands planted on the handlebars.

Related: Battle of the Activity Tracking Bracelets

Product Reviews :: Phoenix Active Wear

Phoenix Active Wear offers an excellent collection of women's clothing on a fresh note. It aims to give a new range of clothing, transforming the usual women to a fashionable mode. It helps to inhibit confidence, promote growth and strengthen balance life to achieve the fresh idea of fashion. Phoenix active wear aims to provide the best with satisfying their dreams and wants each woman wished for. It holds a unique collection of clothing of Sports Wear ranging in different sizes and beautiful colors. Their collection includes exclusive women's wear with ideal tops and bottoms. Every range of its clothing is suitable for active outdoors in sports, gym, or while practicing yoga.

The Athletic Apparel includes featherweight yoga tops and pinion camisole tops. These are designed on a unique flattering design, which serves as a best Sports Clothing. The pinion camisole tops is made up on a class fabric called wicking material which helps to keep the user dry. It comes in four different sizes, like extra small, small, medium and large. It is a four way stretch fabric with a weight of 320 gsm. It is used for as an active outfit on all sporty outdoors.

Unique pants range includes Peregrine crop and Flex Short are designed with the majority of nylon fibrider material. The pants are very flexible serves as a multi-purpose apparel, useful for yoga, cycling and also as a Gym Clothing. It comes in four beautiful unique colors like white, black, lavender and turquoise. It is attractive and comfortable in every stretch of life.

The other exclusive Yoga Pants from the branded Phoenix collections are Raven Yoga pant. It comes with a slight flare below the knee with providing complete flexibility and perfection to every women. This is also a multi purpose range designed in definite sizes and colors.

With providing the finest range of Fitness Clothing, Phoenix also offers excellent accessories like iPhone case, minimalist gym towel and talon water bottle. The gym towel comes in three different colors like white linen, baby blue and pink. It is available at an affordable price. The towels are soft and light-weight designed on a quality material, which is easy to handle and are used at any sports outdoors.

There are options like exchange and return, where clients could return in case of dissatisfaction. The exchange forms should be downloaded filled and submitted in order to refund the amount.

Phoenix aims for quality and value in their products. Therefore, there is no chance of dissatisfaction in products.

Nutrition for Underweight Children

child weight gainFor parents with underweight children, getting them to eat and promote weight gain can be very frustrating and stressful. A child's lack of weight gain can be caused by many different reasons. A chronic or acute illness can trigger a poor appetite and feeding problems. Medications can also decrease appetite and cause nausea. For some children lack of weight gain may be due to picky eating or food jags (eating the same food over and over).

Adequate growth is an important part of a child's development. A child who goes a long period of time with decreased calorie intake is at risk for malnutrition. This can affect developing bones, teeth, and muscles. By providing a child, who has poor appetite, with calorie and protein dense foods a parent can help promote healthy growth.

Increasing Intake in Underweight children

Limit fluid intake right before and at meals. Fluids can fill up the stomach and make the child feel full quickly.

Eat small frequent meals (6-8 times per day).

Make mealtimes a positive experience. Mealtimes should be relaxed and happy.

Make meals fun, be creative. For example, cut sandwiches, pancakes, waffles and pizza into various shapes using cookie cutters.

Light exercise or play time right before a meal may help increase a child's appetite.

Power Packing

Power packing is one method that can help a parent increase the amount of calories and protein in food with out increasing the volume of the food the child eats. The easiest way to power pack is to add additional calories and protein to foods your child is already eating.

Fortify milk: to one quart of whole milk add 1 cup of instant non-fat dry milk. Mix until power dissolves and refrigerate. This milk can be used to increase the calories and protein in foods like macaroni and cheese, soups, mashed potatoes, hot chocolate and any recipe that calls for milk.

Add cheese to cream sauces, vegetables, soups or casseroles

Use canned fruit that are packed in heavy syrups

Dried fruits are good concentrated sources of calories

When eating bread products such as toast, muffins and biscuits use both butter and jam, honey or cream cheese.

Calorie Dense Combinations

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Macaroni and cheese

Crackers and hummus

Fruit shakes made with ice cream

Baked potato with butter, cheese and sour cream

Soup and cornbread

French toast or pancakes with fruit in heavy syrup

Sample Power Packing Menu

While the goal is to provide a well balanced diet it is important to remember that when a child has a poor appetite and eating only small amounts of food, any source of calorie and protein is better than not eating.

Yoga for Children with Disabilities

The science of Yoga has been known to aid certain diseases. Though, yet to be claimed by researches, there are clear indications that it sanctifies our mind and heals our body. The general functioning of vital organs and body systems is regulated and the body is purged out of toxins. However, lately most mentally retarded schools have also integrated it into their training curriculum as it is quite beneficial for such children as well.

Children with mental or physical disabilities require special care and attention. A relatively small change in their surroundings can trigger irritation and stubbornness in them. Some children also suffer from learning difficulties and concentration issues, others may lack hand eye coordination and motor skills. If your child has a problem, then keeping up with therapies treatments and mentally retarded schools would be an integral part of your routine. However, including yoga amongst his daily activities can lubricate his daily functioning; if not completely heal the condition. Practicing meditation and pranayama can check his temper, make him calmer, increase concentration levels, eases any other minor physical problems like constipation, gastric troubles, cold & cough etc., which can help you to train him better. Also, children are treated by anti-depressants anti-convulsions, steroids etc. The complete effects of some of the drugs are not even known while others certainly come with side effects. Yoga can help purge out these as well.

Though, it is difficult to teach children with profound mental illness or physical disabilities, they can still be trained to practice some simpler actions. You would need to physically assist them to attain postures, and send them to training camps. However, most of the schools for physically challenged already follow it as an integral part of the training module. For physically disabled children, poses can be especially beneficial. Those poses (depending on the nature of disability) that flex the counterpart of disabled limb or organ can be adopted to fortify their other strengths. You must consult a trainer (if the school doesn't include it in the curriculum already) to know what is best for your child.

Also, you can start with meditation training at home. It can be difficult but even the trying to concentrate will help. You can teach the child to chant the 'Om' sound, by pronouncing. If the child is capable of counting, you can ask him to count his breath, by breathing deeper each time he reaches a count of 10. You can teach him to focus on the revolving fan or tik-tok of a clock (Tratak and Concentraton exercise). Add interesting aspects to it, for example, you can tell the child to keep looking at the seconds hand till it reaches the vertical position or if it tocks on the same position everytime when it goes round. Find creative ways to involve him in the activity.

Thus, with proper training you can actually see an improvement in your child's condition.

Strong pound hits UK engineer Smiths; shares slump

As soon as you read this blog post we want you to know just why our group re-posted it on this site. Go ahead and take a look at our website once you have read this interesting story.

British engineer Smiths Group Plc said full-year earnings would be reduced by 4-5 percent if foreign exchange rates remained at current levels, sending its shares tumbling as much as 7 percent on Wednesday. Smiths Group, which generates about 95 percent of its revenue from outside the UK, also reported a 3 percent fall in first-half profit, hurt by a stronger pound. “The key challenge for us as we move into the second half is the rate at which we are translating our U.S. dollar earnings into sterling,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Turner said on a conference call. …read more

Source: Yahoo News – Health

Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Ears

This article was earlier presented in the web based magazine directly below. I've noted it is extremely good and we do hope you should also.

If a typical day finds you blasting your iPod, shouting over the din at dinner and blaring the TV, this will come as no surprise: “Hearing loss is now a growing epidemic among women in their 30s and 40s,” says Douglas Backous, MD, medical director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. Even in the quietest places, we can face unrelated issues, like infection, vertigo and congestion. All ears now? Follow our guide to caring for and protecting this key organ.

Problem No. 1: Hearing loss

The lowdown This isn't a concern …read more

Source: Healthy & Happy –

Give Me Your Truth. ~ Sherri Rosen

The information supplied by this site is always interesting. Your comments are strongly appreciated.

By elephant journal Don’t give yourself over out of fear. …read more

Source: Elephant Journal

The Truth About the Five-Second Rule

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What science has to say about how legit it is

It's a familiar situation: You've just cooked an amazing dinner, complete with bacon-wrapped scallops (!), when you drop one on the floor. All of a sudden, you're faced with a very important decision: Do you pick it up and …read more

Source: WomensHealth

The 8 Unhealthy Habits of Interpersonally Sensitive People [Health]

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The 8 Unhealthy Habits of Interpersonally Sensitive People

It's not easy for anyone to experience rejection, but for some, fear of being abandoned takes on unhealthy proportions. When this fear becomes pronounced, it can put you at risk not only for emotional, but for physical health risks as well. Fortunately, having these 8 qualities doesn't have to condemn you to a life of poor health as long as you know how to change them. Read More

by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. on March, 29, 2014 in Fulfillment at Any Age

Topic: Health

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Source: Psychology Today

​HTC One 2014 Review: Faster, Stronger, Bigger, Better

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By Brent Rose on Gizmodo, shared by Whitson Gordon to Lifehacker

​HTC One 2014 Review: Faster, Stronger, Bigger, Better

Last year, …

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Source: Lifehacker

For Your Eyes Only [Sex]

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For Your Eyes Only

Many of us have had unintentional voyeuristic experiences such as walking into our parent’s bedroom – or in on friends at parties – while they are having sex. How might these experiences affect us? Read More

by Rosemary K.M. Sword on January, 26, 2014 in The Time Cure
Topic: Sex

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Source: Psychology Today

Q&A – What are the alternatives for treating fungal nail infections?

This brief article was previously shared in the web based magazine shown below. I have found it to be extremely valuable we imagine you may also.

By NYR Natural News

Q – Is there anything, apart from conventional antifungals, that can be done to cure persistent fungal nail infection? I have suffered from this condition for several years and nothing seems to cure it completely.

A – While this type of infection is less common than athlete’s foot, it is thought that fungal infection of the nail affect around 2-3% of the people in the UK. The condition (also known as called onychomycosis, or tinea unguim) is more common on the toenails than the fingernails and is generally thought to strike younger people such as swimmers and athletes …read more

Source: NYR Natural News

Mental Illness in Children

Title: Mental Illness in Children
Category: Diseases and Conditions
Created: 1/31/2005 5:39:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/18/2013 12:00:00 AM …read more