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Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Our Psychological Health Triggers Our Immune System

It is very obvious that unhappy persons suffer mentally and physically. The people with a positive approach towards life stay physically and mentally fit and healthy. But is there any relation between our mind (psychological health)and our immune system?

It now appears that immune function and psychological health may be directly related.

One recent study, for example, found that women with histories of long-term sexual abuse had lower ratios of certain immune cells, resulting in "significant immunological abnormalities." Another study suggests that the ability to express one’s distress can improve immune function.

This relationship between psychological health and immunity can have a profound effect on how the body reacts to illness. In the 1970s Carl and Stephanie Simonton began teaching cancer patients the use of visualization at the Cancer Counseling and Research Center in Dallas. Patients visualized forces coming to fight their cancer. The survival rates of their patients doubled. Some even experienced spontaneous remissions. Researchers do not fully understand this connection between psychological well-being and immune function, but there is considerable evidence that this link exists. Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen conducted a series of experiments at Rochester University Medical School.

Beginning in the 1970s they administered a drug that lowers immune response in water flavored with saccharin to mice. They then measured the immune response of the mice. After testing, they administered saccharin alone. The mice showed the same immune suppression without being given the immuno-suppressant drug. The response came with exposure to saccharin alone – a conditioned response. This suggested a strong link between immune function and psychological learning.

Relationship between the nervous system and the immune system:

One kind of immune cells, lymphocytes, remain undivided and unchanged throughout your lifetime ö just like brain cells. One set of lymphocytes even develops at the same stages and in the same place as your brain cells. The immune system and the nervous system also share a number of features, including memory and recognition. It now appears that bidirectional pathways, two-way avenues of communication, exist between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. The phrase psychoneuroimmunology describes the combined study of the psyche, nervous system and immune system. Coined by Robert Adler as early as 1975, the fruits of this complex area of study have only recently begun to become available.

Yale researcher Bernie Siegel is widely known for his work on visualization. He focuses on helping patient to achieve peace of mind, and notes that when they do, diseases and illnesses often disappear. "My message is peace of mind, not curing cancer or paralysis," Siegel says. "In achieving peace of mind, cancer may be healed and paralysis may disappear. These things may occur through peace of mind, which creates a healing environment in the body."

Similarly, Jon Kabat-Zinn, who heads the Stress Reduction Clinic at University of Massachusetts Medical Center, emphasizes that use of meditation must center on healing not on cure. "In order to be effective for healing, we believe that the use of visualization and imagery needs to be embedded in a larger context, one that understands and honors non-doing and non-striving," he writes. "Otherwise, visualization exercises can too easily degenerate from meditation into wishful thinking, and the intrinsic healing power and wisdom of the simple mindfulness practice itself can remain untapped or be trivialized in the quest for something more elaborate and goal oriented." Ironically, it seems the best way to use meditation to increase healing involves letting go of the immediate goal and practicing mindfulness or meditation for its own sake. "To bring calmness to the mind and body requires that at a certain point we be willing to let go of wanting anything at all to happen and just accept things as they are and ourselves as we are with an open, receptive heart," Kabat-Zinn explains. "This inner peace and acceptance lie at the heart of both health and wisdom."

Links between the immune system and psychological well being are not yet fully understood, but they clearly exist. An integrated approach toward heath will involve not only the development of knowledge of the immune system, and learning detoxification and methods of supporting the immune system, but will incorporate some sort of spiritual orientation and practice. Unresolved psychological wounds appear to have a real impact on our health, and the work of psychological growth and healing cannot be ignored in moving toward full health. Perhaps most importantly, full health involves creating and sustaining an image of yourself as a healthy and fulfilled person. That work of visualization and imagery can be started today, at no cost, by first seeing yourself as the person you hope to be.

Source: Psychoneuroimmunology First published at: How Our Psychological Health Triggers Our Immune System ?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to diagnose wet cough?

Cough may be dry or wet, but there is a lot of difference between symptoms and diagnose of both. This article helps you learn about cough, kinds of cough, symptoms and diagnose.

A cough is only a symptom, not a disease, and often the importance of your cough can be determined only when other symptoms are evaluated. Coughing is the body’s way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages or of reacting to an irritated airway. Coughs have distinctive traits you can learn to recognize. There are two kinds of wet coughs, productive and non-productive wet cough. The symptoms of these cough conditions can help a health professional decide further test or go for treatment procedure.

Illnesses That may Cause a Cough
  1. Common Cold
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Bronchitis  
If it is a wet, productive cough, the
  • It could be pneumonia.
  • Possibly bronchitis.
  • It may be the flu.  
Read more: Wet Cough Diagnosis

Friday, February 25, 2011

Food Combinations That may Cause Gas

Correct food combinations are important for proper digestion, utilization, and assimulation of the nutrients in our diet. Different foods require different digestive enzymes to aid in the digestive process - some acid, some alkaline. When acids and alkalines come in contact, they neutralize each other and this retards digestion. Poor food combining or food combinations can be a cause of indigestion or stomach disorders in the body. Ulcerative Colitis, Gastritis, Acid Reflux are some of the stomach disorder examples. When wrong foods are consumed at the same time, you are likely to get digestive disorders.

The reason for these ailments is that certain food groups do not digest well together. Some foods digest primarily in the stomach, others in the small intestine. Some foods digest in minutes while others take many hours. Some foods require an acid medium to digest in and others an alkaline medium. Therefore certain foods eaten together do not digest properly and thus tend to become toxic.

Food combining is an area where everyone seems to have an opinion. One way to find out what is right for yourself is to experiment. Try it and see how you feel. Listen to your body. What works for one person may not work for another person.

By understanding the food combinations that you should avoid, you will be able to keep your digestive system in top working order and stay feeling healthier and happier in general.

Read more: Food Combinations

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Redesign Your Diet to Deflate High Blood Pressure?

Most of us know the fact that food makes us healthy and at the same time wrong choices make us sick. Hypertension is known as the "silent killer" and is one of the most common diseases of the cardiovascular system. As hypertension in the body becomes prolonged, the risk for heart failure, vascular disease, kidney (renal) failure, and stroke increases. Mainly it is suggested that alcohol, salt and fats should be avoided to lower your high blood pressure.

Although there has been no cause identified for hypertension in 90 percent of people, dietary factors have been shown to influence blood pressure. People with hypertension can deflate high blood pressure by redesigning their diet. By changing a few simple dietary habits, including counting calories and watching portion sizes to boost weight loss, you may be able to lower your blood pressure — a proven risk for heart disease. Findings show that potassium, magnesium, and fiber may also affect blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber and low in sodium. Also, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, and poultry are good sources of magnesium.

Read more: How to Redesign Your Diet to Deflate High Blood Pressure?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Does Nutrition Help Bringing Positive Change in Child Behavior

There is a direct link with right food choices and child behavior. Normally we can notice that when a child is not properly nourished, he/she cannot perform well in physical or mental tasks at school or home. Nutrition play an important role in not only physical or mental growth of a child but in child’s behavior as well. This post provides facts and statistics proving that nutrition can help bring positive change regarding child behavior.

Experts have discovered that food can ramp-up children’s behavior. Now recent research and studies have proved that foods and ingredients can, indeed, make a difference. It makes perfect sense that what kids eat affects their behavior. It is well established that poor nutritional intake and deficiencies in zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein can impair brain function and lead to violence and antisocial behavior in children. Nutritional deficiencies, including zinc, magnesium, calcium and essential fatty acids, as well as carbohydrate cravings, have also been noted in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD).

Read more: How Does Nutrition Help Bringing Positive Change in Child Behavior

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Keep Your Eyes Safe and Healthy Using Contact Lenses?

Approximately 6% of contact lens wearers per year will develop some problem associated with their use, although the majority of these problems will be fairly minor. Use of contact lenses as an alternative of glasses is not safe and there are some risk factors involved we can still keep our eyes safe and healthy by getting knowledge of basic care, risk factors and precaution. This post is written to bring an awareness for contact lens wearers about the problems we can face due to some reasons and how we can keep our eyes healthy.

Contact lenses have provided an excellent alternative to glasses for correction of refractive errors. However, contact lens use is not without risk, and the potential for vision threatening problems is present. The wearing of contact lenses causes changes in the cornea in terms of structure, turnover, tear production and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. These changes in themselves can produce problems and may also exacerbate pre-existing conditions.

Contact lens related problems may be associated with the type of lens used (e.g. soft, rigid, gas permeable), the frequency with which the lenses are changed, the cleaning systems used for the lenses as well as wearer related factors. The range of problems which may occur include minor problems from inadequate rinsing to loss of vision as a result of microbial keratitis.

Read more: How to Keep Your Eyes Safe and Healthy While Using Contact Lenses?

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