By Natural Advocate | July 31, 2009 - 11:24 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

I read the most interesting article on a therapy that uses music to help aid dying patients in their comfort and peace during their final days.  It was more so interesting to me because I actually have a family member who is currently dying of cancer.  I saw him last week and felt helpless for words or actions to comfort him.  It’s hard to know what you can do for people who are truly living out their last moments here on earth, but this kind of therapy helps bring the closure and peace to the family of the dying as well as to the dying themselves by playing peaceful, rhythmic, soothing music for them.

Thanatology has actually been around for years, and it’s based on the Greek root word for death.  It uses music in various ways, usually a harp because the harp is portable and has low, soothing sounds that help relax people, to help comfort people and even help guide them through any pain they may still be feeling in their last moments.  If there is a thanatologist on staff at hospitals where patients are terminal, the service is usually performed at no cost to the patient or their family, which is excellent, especially when the families and the people themselves are dealing with so much to begin with, coming to terms with impending cessation of life.

Music has long shown to be therapeutic to the human race, both in end of life situations, and just as a daily therapy for unwinding, getting frustrations out, and soothing the ears, heart and mind at the end of a long day. When I have a lot of work to do, I always have to put on a specific type of classical music.  The tempo can’t be too upbeat, and not too slow, but I have it figured out so that I know which CD’s will make me the most productive without overwhelming me by their sounds, but rather complementing my concentration.

Most people have a love for music.  It is something that we collect, that we listen to on an almost daily basis, that we discuss, we adore, and that we also feel defines as a person with individual tastes and unique personalities.  It is only suiting that music is also used to help relieve pain and suffering and help bring peace to those who are in their last moments.  Many staff at hospitals feel that thanatologists help dying patients more than any drug could ever help.

By Natural Advocate | July 29, 2009 - 6:01 am - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

Cholesterol levels that are too high put us at risk for heart disease and stroke.  Factors that can effect cholesterol levels are unhealthy diets or a genetic predisposition to elevated cholesterol levels.  Some of the steps you can take to bring your cholesterol levels under control are dietary alterations, an increase in physical activity, weight loss if you are overweight and taking cholesterol lowering medication if your physician prescribes it.

The ideal level for cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL to have a lower risk for heart disease or stroke.  Even if your doctor prescribed medication to lower your cholesterol levels, you should still adjust your diet to a low cholesterol intake and become more physically active.

The recommendation for a low cholesterol diet is to dramatically increase the fruits and vegetables you eat up to five to nine servings per day.  Eating more fruits and vegetables will make you eat less fats and keep you full longer on healthier nutrition.  The heavy accent on fruits and vegetables will almost always lead to weight loss with the added bonus of increasing your antioxidants.

Increase your consumption of fish which is low in saturated fats and high in omega-3 fatty acids.  Certain fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines are the highest in the omega-3 fatty acids to give you the maximum health benefits.  Starting the day with a whole grain cereal which is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates will stay with you longer and decrease your hunger throughout the day.  Whole grains help you reduce your LDL which is your “bad” cholesterol.

Eating a small amount of nuts each day can help you lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol level.  Just remember to keep the portion small and stop at a handful or about one ounce of nuts.  Nuts are high in calories but have the monounsaturated fat and omega 3 fats which is what helps lower cholesterol.  Limit your intake of any kind of fats due to the high calorie nature of fats.  For the fats you do consume, as we all need some fat in our diet, stay with the unsaturated fats such as olive, canola  or sunflower oils.  These fats actually lower the LDL cholesterol levels.

Increase the consumption of beans in your diet and decrease the potatoes.  Also, select whole grains for your carbohydrates instead of white bread, white potatoes and white rice.
When eating out in a restaurant, choose your food steamed, boiled or baked and get your sauces on the side to stay on track for your lower cholesterol diet.

By Natural Advocate | July 26, 2009 - 9:16 pm - Posted in Hair Loss Treatments

When it comes to losing your hair, you are gonna like the options you have for beefing up your diet to help prevent against losing that precious commodity on the top of your head early on in life, or perhaps at all.  Of course, genetics play a large role, especially for men, when it comes to balding prematurely and thinning hair receding hairlines.  When I realized what foods are high in the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help protect you against losing your hair, and helping to strengthen the hair that you have, I was happy since I actually really enjoy the majority of these foods in my diet today.

Not only can these foods help solidify the hair you have on your head, but they also play a huge role in making your hair look silky and healthy, vibrant and “young” for a longer time.  That and a good bottle of hair dye!  :)  Herbal Remedies for hair loss such as provillus and profollica can definitely help play a role in keeping your hair healthy and keeping it on your head, but if you’re more the type to like adding foods to your diet to get your nutrients, then let’s talk about those hair-pleasing foods.

The first, which is one of my favorite snack foods, is almonds.  Almonds contain a lot of omega 3 fatty acids.  These are great for any of your connective tissues, the least of which is not your hair.  They are also really high in vitamin E and zinc.  Zinc plays a huge role in helping to regrow the hair, and has been identified as a deficiency in some who find their hair is thinning more and more beyond their control.

Get your vitamin C.  Oranges and other fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C are excellent for hair growth and healthy hair maintenance.  Vitamin C also helps promote the production of collagen, which is vital to hair’s growth and development, and ultimately it’s survival.  It also helps your body to absorb iron, an important mineral in hair growth and development.  If you’re looking for meats that contain tons of protein and also that all important mineral to your hair, zinc, then look no further than steak and swordfish, both tasty additions to your diet no matter what you like to eat – a great option for keeping your hair healthy.

By Natural Advocate | July 24, 2009 - 8:05 pm - Posted in Natural Anti Aging

One of the more fascinating possibilities on the medical horizon for potential antiaging usage is the drug called Rapamycin.  Rapamycin was initially found in the 1970’s in the soil of Easter Island.  It has been used for it’s immunosuppressive qualities with transplant patients to minimize the chance of organ rejection.

HGH for anti aging has been a known hormone that is circulating in our bodies naturally, which scientists have tried to duplicate via injections and even HGH supplements, but this is a little different because it is something that is found in the earth, not a chemical that is in our body already.

Experiments and research on mice are finding another possible use for Rapamycin which is a signifigant slowing of the aging process.  The mice used for the research were about equivalent to a human that was 60 years old.  Researchers used a special feed to administer a time released version of the Rapamycin so the mice could absorb the drug into their bloodstream.  The results if these experiments showed that Rapamycin did increase the life span for the trial mice, both male and female, at all three testing centers.

The increase in the life span of the mice averaged 28 to 38% which translates to about 30 years in a human life.  The research is intriguing and shows a lot of hope but researchers caution that we do not know if humans would benefit in the same way that the mice responded to the Rapamycin.

Of major concern with the use of Rapamycin for humans is the immunosuppressive qualities.  The mice involved in the study were kept in a pathogen free environment to protect against infection.  For the human population, the avoidance of infection in the same manner would not be feasible.

Rapamycin is also marketed under the name Sirolimus.  In addition to it’s immunosuppressive qualities, Rapamycin is also antiproliferative.  Sirolimus is being researched for possible treatment of cancer as well as the treatment of autism.

By Natural Advocate | July 21, 2009 - 9:29 pm - Posted in Foods

Celiac disease, which is a disease in which a person cannot digest wheat derived gluten properly, is on the rise here in the US and possibly abroad as well, and it has some doctors scratching their heads as to why it has quadrupled in a relatively short time period.  Celiac disease is one where the person cannot eat gluten without getting diarrhea and extreme intestinal discomfort.  It’s extremly hard not to eat gluten in today’s diet offerings because gluten is in nearly every single processed food that you see on shelves. Even foods that you logically would not think had gluten in them do, so you really have to shop in a specialty section for your foods to make sure they are gluten free and wont’ give you symptoms before you try to eat them.

If you have celiac disease, you may notice that you have lost a lot of weight and also that you tend to have frequent diarrhea.  Most people don’t put two and two together, and so it’s hypothesized that most people who have celiac don’t even know they have it and therefore go through life eating the same gluten packed foods while impacting their system even more, resulting in a domino effect of health problems.

So, why the extreme increase in this annoying disease that makes life a lot harder to live because of the special foods you have to eat?  Well, the number one suspect right now is that we live in a more germ free and germ controlled environment than we used to, and this is the suspected reason for both celiac disease and other diseases in which the digestive system and the immune system tend to turn on themselves and behave irrationally, such as with celiac disease where the system does not digest something that it really shouldn’t have a problem with.

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