“Better brain power with coconut oil – Complementary Med. Association

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine. Coconut oil is high in a saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides. These fats work differently than other types of saturated fat in the body.

Research on the effects of these types of fats in the body is very preliminary.

Coconut oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, used topically for psoriasis and a skin moisturizer,  Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

Canadian researcher, Stephen Cunnane studies brain metabolism at Universite de Sherbrooke. Using PET scans, he found that ketones are indeed a possible alternative brain fuel… suggesting that the brain is slowly starving as  Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

If you provide an alternative fuel to replace the loss of glucose in the aging brain, the coconut oil may rejuvenate the brain.

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“Angry leave it for the dogs”

“If your dog doesn’t like someone you probably shouldn’t either.”
– Unknown

Has your behavior gone to the dogs?

Even if you are in an angry mood never bark at anyone. It is bad for your image and makes communication tougher.-MW

“The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times in public acts of aggression. Humans and animals for example make loud sounds, attempt to look physically larger, bare their teeth, and stare. The behaviors associated with anger are designed to warn aggressors to stop their threatening behavior. Rarely does a physical altercation occur without the prior expression of anger by at least one of the participants. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of “what has happened to them,” psychologists point out that an angry person can be very well mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.”

Speak from your heart so anger never overruns you.

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“Explore the science of happiness”

“…happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should have known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of “The Science of Happiness” at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.

“Skewering the popular wisdom that beauty is a social construct, this Harvard psychologist argues that we ogle such features because they radiate the health and fertility our species needs to survive.”

Time

Explore the  The science of happiness with Dr. Nancy Etcoff click here

courtesy of Ted.com

“Behind influencing others lurks a monster”

The back side to influencing others –

Does power or positions of influence over others

like doctors, lawyers, minsters, government … corrupt?

Behavior of the powerful can and often does poison even the most intelligent and well-meaning people when their influential positions go to their head and let ego run the show.

Beware of  the following symptoms of developing ego corruption:

  • focusing more on your own needs and wants and less on the needs and reactions of others;
  • having less empathy for others, acting like the rules don’t apply to you and simply using others for your own selfish ends;
  • exhibiting less impulse control – too much sex, food, drugs, wild life and erratic emotional highs and lows.
  • They do inane things that damage themselves, their families, their business or organization and their country.

The good news is we do have fine examples to follow Dr. Deepak Chopra, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama who stay grounded and growing in health, warmth, compassion and spirituality even at the height of their power.

Resources

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“Hearing loss in teens may be due to loud ipod music”

What is that you are saying?  Didn’t you hear me?

How many times do parents or teachers say this to their children? It seems there may be an organic reason for this temporary deafness.

Hearing loss among U.S. adolescents has surged, possibly, because of the level of noise coming through their earbuds on their  ipods while listening to music. Continue reading ““Hearing loss in teens may be due to loud ipod music””

“Ashwagandha helps calm nerves and improve brain funtioning”

Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, has been used for centuries for anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders and inflammation. It is high in antioxidants.Ashwaganda is also used therapeutically for patients with nervous exhaustion, and debility due to stress. It is also used as an immune stimulant as it has been shown to prevent brain cell degeneration from chronic stress.
For centuries, Indian and African medicine have used it an anti-inflammatory, for fever relief, and against infectious disease. Many believe ashwagandha to be effective in stimulating the immune system. It also appears to inhibit swelling and aid memory and can act as a general health tonic.

A study done in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts of ashwagandha had GABA-like activity. This may account for this herb’s anti-anxiety effects.
Ashwagandha is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. Researchers from the University of Leipzig in Germany wanted to find out which neurotransmitters were influenced by ashwagandha. After injecting some of the chemicals in ashwagandha into rats, they later examined slices of their brain and found an increase in acetylcholine receptor activity. The researchers say, The drug-induced increase in acetylcholine receptor capacity might partly explain the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects of extracts from Withania somnifera [ashwagandha] observed in animals and humans.

A 2002 laboratory study indicated that ashwagandha stimulates the growth of axons and dendrites. A 2001 animal study showed ashwagandha had memory boosting ability. A 2000 study with rodents showed ashwagandha to have anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects. However, no clinical studies have been carried out to support its efficacy in humans.

Part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family as the tomato, Ashwaganda grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm (5.6 ft). Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and yellow-Orange to red Berry type fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. It grows prolifically in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha extract is considered an adaptogen or a substance that helps to normalize physiological function of the body and mind. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.
It has sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha.

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"To be or not to be stressed out of it-that is the question"

“Fight or flight”, to be stress or not produces in the body a hormonal response (cortisol and other stress hormones), are released within the body, slowing down or halting tissue repair, reproduction, growth and the effectiveness of theimmune system. A decrease in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas also occurs.

Anxious feelings initially appear as our entire being prepares to physically either flee or fight . . .but if these anxious feelings are left on, they can worsen and may eventually turn into anxiety and or depressive related conditions. If these stress hormones continue to be released and are not turned off, they most likely will cause adverse physical symptoms, as well, which can lead to chronic physical and emotional distress. Because our stress and social situations have evolved so we cannot “Flee or Fight,” we find ourselves in a state where we “Freeze.” In this state we continue to produce the stress hormones, and often find ourselves not knowing how to respond for fear of losing a job, upsetting a spouse etc., or we may “overreact” with a behavior that does not have much thought to it, often compounding work-related/family or social problems or interactions.

If “fight or flight” response  is left on, these stress hormones released within the body, slow down or stop tissue repair, reproduction, growth and decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. A drop in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas will take place.

Stress hormones such as cortisol, GH and norepinephrine are released at periods of high stress. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and norepinephrine is believed to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.

Stress hormones also rise in the body during  surgery, during grief, poor sleep, and even when a person receives exceptionally good and exciting news. The hormones can stay elevated for 72 hours and then return to their normal level.

Prolonged and protracted stress can create anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilance in a variety of ways. The body was never designed to maintain high prolonged periods of stress. It can bring on physical and emotional pain and disease.

There are many integrated/complementary medicine has many ways to address physical and emotional stress successfully. Natural medicine is not used to just address symptoms, but to use the symptoms to create opportunities for the individual to de-stress, address the challenges of their life and heal.

One modality that is used homeopathy. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that listens to the person’s story, carefully assess the effects of the person’s responses to the stresses in their life and chooses a remedy to fit the person.

Each person is unique and responds to a crisis in a different way so there would be  no reason to give the same remedy to each person.

An example: A family has suddenly lost their only son.

  1. Father may refuse to talk about it and be emotionally unsupportive of other family members.
  2. Mother may cry around the clock at the about of their lost son.
  3. Grandmother may put on a strong face in front of everyone, but cry only when she is alone in her room.

All are grieving, but all need different homeopathic medicines to bring them back to a calmer more relaxed  state of effective being. The medicines do not block or suppress grieving, but allow the person to breathe more freely and express themselves so the healing can begin and their mind and body will not stuff feelings away to make them sick later.

Submitted by M.Wolken, PhD Healthy Living Center

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"TM -one way to concentrate and sleep better"

Josh Goulding was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in second grade, after his impulsive and disruptive behavior frequently landed him in the school principal’s office. “Over several years, I was put on a whole gamut of drugs, and nothing worked well,” says Goulding, now 24. By his second year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Goulding was still struggling to concentrate in classes and complete his work, and his medications were causing mood swings and irritability.

The Conventional Rx: Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Almost 4.5 million children between ages 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and nearly half of them take prescription medications, often for years. Long term, these drugs may be physically and psychologically harmful, and side effects such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, weight loss, and mood disorders can require further medication.

The Alternative Rx: Transcendental Meditation (TM). In the first study on ADHD and TM, middle-school-age children who did twice daily nonreligious meditations for 10 minutes reduced their stress levels by over 50 percent–resulting in fewer ADHD symptoms. “TM helps children focus on a special mantra or sound, which helps the child transcend mental busyness and stress,” says Sarina Grosswald, EdD, coauthor of the study. “This allows the child’s body to completely relax and his mind to stay fully awake without effort. The results are improved behavior, grades, creativity, and inner stability.”

Success As a result of Goulding learned TM techniques of relaxing and concentration:

his sleep improved

better ability to focus his attention

ability to communicate with others more effectively inproved

GPA (grades) improved.

blood pressure was lower

no longer needed ADHD medications

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"Concussions and their effects on the rise in children and adults"

If the NFL has begun to educate their players on concussion awareness, maybe all sporting enthusiasts should follow suit. In schools at all levels there is no agreed upon care for head injuries. A concussion can change a player’s life and a player’s family lives forever.

Concussions can happen to anyone who injures their brain through a blow to the head; that can result in loss of consciousness. Trauma to the brain when mild can be called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), mild head injury (MHI), minor head trauma and concussion.

Factors that contribute to increasing the risk of TBI include:
* A previous concussion or head injury
* Sex: being a male
* Specific  age groups: ( 1) Children age o to 5 years, teens, (2) young adults 15 to 24 years of age, and (3) older people over 75 years of age
* Contact sports, such as football, soccer, rugby, hockey or boxing
* Work that involves farming, logging, , or construction
* Traveling by vehicle at a high rate of speed
* Alcohol use
* Lack of sleep
* Medications that cause drowsiness

Symptoms that may appear in a person with a concussion include:

* Listlessness, memory problems or tiring easily
* Irritability, hypersensitivity of the senses, or lack of patience with self or others
* Changes in normal habits: eating or sleeping patterns, behaviors, school performance, decrease motivation
* Decreasing interest in being with friends, playing with favorite toys, activities, or sports
* Loss of new skills, such as toilet training, jumping, bike riding, spelling or reading
* Change in balance, dizziness, visual field disturbances, unsteady walking, ringing in ears

Concussions among high-school athletes occur with alarming frequency. The report from the Government Accountability Office finds that three national databases of concussions among high school athletes are too low. Surprisingly only Texas, Oregon and Washington have enacted laws to meaningfully tackle the issue, the GAO reports. Oregon and Texas require athletes to be removed from play the day of the injury, while Washington gives coaches responsibility for removal.

Just taking an injured person off the field is not enough. All coaches need training to recognize and be able to administer several cognitive tests to test for memory and physical impairment. recovery often takes much longer. The Concussion Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio estimates 400,000 concussions occurred among 7.5 million student athletes who participated in high-school sports during the 2008-2009 school year.

A recent clinical study by the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington found that more than 80% of student athletes who experienced concussions reported a significant worsening of symptoms over the first four weeks after attempting to return to school academics. Typically when the stress of school activities increases concentration and the ability to remember and respond appropriately overload the brain’s biological software and the result is an increase in post-concussion symptoms. These symptoms would only be exasperated for an individual with learning or behavior challenges.

Next:  how integrated medicine can augment tradition care of TBIs.

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