By Natural Advocate | February 27, 2011 - 2:58 pm - Posted in Smoking Cessation

E-cigarettes have been touted as a great way to quit smoking. But some people aren’t so sure about their actual safety, and there are even questions of their legality in some places.  The e-cigarette is an invention that is designed to take the place of a cigarette for those who are addicted to the habit and are trying to quit, but still need that action of smoking and the nicotine to curb their cravings.

However, the vapor that is inhaled, which usually contains a dose of nicotine, may not be safe to inhale either.  Essentially, anything that you inhale in to your lungs can be considered a carcinogen if it is anything other than pure air.

For this reason, many people have decided to forgo the e-cigarette and try natural quit smoking patches instead to kick this unhealthy and extremely addictive habit.  E-cigarettes have one benefit over other natural methods for quitting smoking.

They look and feel like a cigarette in a person’s hand, and that helps to cure the craving for an oral and hand fixation, where you actually miss the “movement” and action of smoking a cigarette – it’s purely the mental part of smoking that this aspect of the e-cigarette helps.

However, e-cigarettes are not allowed on airplanes, as decided by the Department of Transportation recently, so e-cigarettes are still considered a smoked substance.  The other good thing about them over real cigarettes is that they don’t release all that cigarette smoke into the air, leaving people to deal with second hand smoke.

It’s amazing how toxic cigarettes really are.  Our house was built about 7 years ago, and I knew a woman who’s boyfriend actually worked on the foundation. She told me jokingly that cigarettes were littered under our foundation.  I had always wondered why I get a wiff of cigarettes in the house, even though my husband and I both don’t smoke!

It’s been proven that cigarette smoke permeates homes and materials for years after it is smoked, and can be toxic for years to come. So, if someone seems like a stickler for not letting people smoke indoors, they’re really just protecting their home from a toxic burden.

By Natural Advocate | February 25, 2011 - 8:07 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

Music therapy, as an adjunct to traditional medicine, is effective in the healing process.  According to a recent study, listening to music releases dopamine in the brain.

During the new study on the effects of listening to music, PET scans showed the brain released more dopamine (which is a natural antidepressant) when listening to their favorite music and less for other pieces of music.  Participants in the study chose a vast variety of music to listen to.

The music was instrumental only with no vocals added.  Music therapy used in combination with other medical treatments has been shown to relieve pain, lower heart rate, increase lung function, decrease anxiety and increase relaxation.  All of these effects increase the body’s healing power.

When music is used as therapy, the therapist will play an instrument and sing while a patient joins in either by singing or playing an instrument.  The patient’s participation will often be determined by what their medical condition will allow them to do.

The purpose of the music therapy is to provide a diversion from the patient’s disease process and pain and to increase serotonin and diminish the stress hormones.

Music therapy helps to “rewire” the brain and create new pathways for relearning skills lost.  Music therapy helps to reintegrate all parts of brain function.  This is particularly important as a benefit for any patient with neurological damage from a stroke or a brain injury.

For patients who have had a traumatic and painful injury from burns, music therapy is very helpful.  The music therapy helps to decrease their anxiety, not only from the pain of the burn but also from anticipating the painful treatments of cleaning their wounds.

Music therapy is useful in palliative care for patients whose disease can be managed but not cured and often they are in chronic pain.  Pain management, in many forms, is a high priority for these patients.

Music therapists, who are board certified, must undergo intense training, have several degrees, know two instruments well at a college level and have to pass a difficult exam by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

By Natural Advocate | February 22, 2011 - 8:57 pm - Posted in General Health Updates

Happiness is an elusive quality to quantify and look at from a strictly scientific point of view.  The definition of happiness according to the dictionary is “a state of well being and contentment ; joy”.

When looking at surrounding circumstances that we equate with happiness, we think of wealth, health and youth.  Yet, none of these factors equate into happiness.

So, what does bring joy and happiness into most people’s lives?  A social network of family ties and long lasting quality friendships is one key ingredient to happiness and also key to avoiding depression.

An attitude of gratitude is always consistent with a more fulfilling joyful life.  The old adage of counting your blessings every day really does make you feel more contented and helps you find pleasure in the simpler little joys of life.

Always longing for more material possessions will leave you feeling short changed in life and will lead to envy and resentment towards those that possess more than you do.  Money, by itself, does not lead to happiness.

As long as your basic needs are met, such as food, shelter and clothing, any added material goods or wealth will not add to your level of happiness.  Generally speaking, people who volunteer and use their talents for the greater good of their community will tend to be happier types of people.

An effort to be kind in your words and deeds will pave the way to feelings of contentment and peace.  Stress is a constant factor in all of our lives and none of us can escape this fact of life whether we are a happy or a gloomy type of a person.

Finding creative ways of dealing with stress through spirituality, exercise, yoga, hobbies and even humor can help to keep you more positive and cope better.Happiness does go hand in hand with a stronger immune system and a longer life expectancy.

A lot of the reasoning scientifically for this fact is that happy people tend to have better health habits and take better care of themselves.  A happy person is more likely to exercise and less likely to engage in habits such as smoking or drinking excessively.

Emphasizing positive social interactions can help to keep a person happy.  Learning to forgive quickly and easily will help you to better cope with anger and to move on with your life.  Holding grudges and hanging on to your anger will only make you an unhappy person.

Spending as much time as possible with family and friends is mentally beneficial for your happiness.  Making it a point to thank people for any help or kindness will make your life more pleasant.  Bad things do occur in everyone’s life at some time.

The loss of a loved one or any major setback emotionally or financially will cause anyone to be unhappy for some time.  However, if you are an optimistic happier type of person, you will be more likely to move through these rough patches in life with better coping skills in place.

By Natural Advocate | February 20, 2011 - 10:23 pm - Posted in Hair Loss Treatments

Hair loss can be very upsetting and damaging to the self esteem for both men and women.   One of the more innovative treatments for regrowth of hair is platelet rich plasma cell therapy.  Be sure to check out two of our recommendations for hair loss which are very affordable, Profollica and Provillus as well.

This is a therapy using the body’s own stem cells and, from the article I read, is in an experimental stage as it was presented as a clinical study.

Platelet rich plasma cell therapy is called PRP cell therapy and in this instance, your own stem cells are used for the purpose of regrowth of hair. The benefits of PRP cell therapy are that it is drug free, safe and is done as an outpatient procedure.

The process of PRP cell therapy starts by putting the consumer on oral support for stem cells so they can elevate the number of stem cells in the patient’s bloodstream.

Next, blood is drawn and then is separated to obtain the stem cells and growth factors that will cause cell proliferation.  Then, a topical anesthetic is used to numb the patient’s scalp and the growth formula is injected into their scalp.

The procedure takes about an hour.  Within three months, hair growth is seen in balding and thinning spots.   After the hair growth has started, a low level laser therapy is applied to optimize results.

Follow up exams are done at three months, six months, nine months and twelve months to monitor progress.  At the follow up exams, the physicians measure hair count and hair diameter and take photographs.

After treatment, therapy is lasting instead of temporary.  Therefore there is no need to repeat any procedures or for hair transplants or wigs.  Stem cells have many potential uses in the medical field and the use of it for regeneration of hair growth is fascinating.  The cost of this kind of treatment would be high, however if the hair loss is traumatic , it would be worth the price.

Stem cells occur naturally in our bodies and have the purpose of fighting disease and repairing damage.  They originate in the bone marrow and then can be found circulating in the bloodstream for injury or when new cells are needed.

Medical technology is just starting to discover the many uses of stem cells for present and future purposes in regenerative and aesthetic medicine.  Particularly important in relation to the study of stem cell use is the many applications for fighting diseases and the prolonging of the human life and functionality.

For those that want to regrow hair, there are a variety of viable herbal supplements for hair growth that make quite a difference in your hair regrowth and the health and resilience of the hair you have on your head.

By Natural Advocate | February 18, 2011 - 6:16 am - Posted in General Health Updates

Your total number for your cholesterol should be under 200.  When looking at your cholesterol level, you should have a lipid panel done to measure your LDL and HDL level to see how these components are working together.  Your LDL level should be lower than 130 while your HDL level should be over 35.

If your cholesterol level is too high, discuss it with your health care professional to determine how you can bring it under control effectively.  Some people may be able to lower cholesterol with a low fat diet and exercise while some people may require medication.  A healthy cholesterol level is vital to the health of your heart.

One of the next factors related to your heart health is the measurement of your blood pressure.  Your blood pressure is, just as it sounds, the pressure put on your blood vessel walls by your circulating blood.  If your blood pressure is too high, it can lead to heart disease, heart failure and many other health problems.

When your blood pressure is measured, there are 2 numbers.  The systolic is the top number and the diastolic is the bottom number.  A normal blood pressure is about 112/64, however if your blood pressure is 120/80 or below, you have a healthy blood pressure.

If you have a blood pressure of 140/90 or above, you are considered to have hypertension.  For an accurate reading of your blood pressure, you should avoid coffee, cigarettes or strenuous exercise for 30 minutes before it is taken.

If you find that your blood pressure is high, discuss various ways to control it with your health care professional.  Usually, treatment is a combination of a healthy eating plan, no smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and learning stress management and coping skills.

If these methods do not control your blood pressure, medications can be used to bring your blood pressure down.  I think you should take a look at our review of Hypercet as well, an all natural supplement which may help to control your blood pressure along with a healthy diet and exercise.

You can have high cholesterol and high blood pressure and have no symptoms so getting these checked are important to keeping and staying heart healthy.

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