Tag Archives: Stress

Women Vitamins: The Low Down on High Blood Pressure


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Summer time should be the perfect time…but the stress of high temperatures, the strain of kids out of school, the extra expenses of vacations and the high cost of utility bills can put our happiness, our health, and our hearts at risk.

An estimated 60 million Americans have high blood pressure (or hypertension), an increase of 10 million over the last 10 years. Most people aren’t even aware that they have high blood pressure and it goes untreated. Yet, hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases), and is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

It is estimated that high blood pressure  has or will affect 90% of Americans at one time or another. Main causes of this condition include lifestyle factors that are controllable: eating a high-grain, high-sugar diet and not exercising and factors and some factors that are out of our control: excessive stress.

Happily, most people can normalize their blood pressure by following a healthy nutrition plan, participating in exercise, and rebalancing emotions and stress responses.

One old standby to combat high blood pressure is vitamin C.  Studies of the effect of Vitamin C in relation to hypertension go back well over a decade.  It is a powerful antioxidant that has continually proven its efficacy against hypertension.

A study (published in the Lancet ,1999) of 45 people with hypertension, noted that blood pressure levels fell by 9.1% after taking 500 mg supplement of vitamin C daily for a month. Duffy SJ, Gokce N, Holbrook M, et al. Treatment of hypertension with ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, may lower blood pressure by protecting the body’s supply of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels, contributing to healthy blood pressure levels. Studies have also shown that vitamin C may help protect against certain cancers and chest pain when consumed as part of a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Recently, 2 studies (Brazilian and Israeli) looked at the benefits of vitamin C on hypertension and blood sugar levels.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, led by Erika E Nishi, focused on the results of specific testing on 32 male Wistar rats, and determined that vitamin C lessened the severity of hypertension and protected blood cells against hypertension-induced genotoxicity. (Genotoxicity is a property possessed by some substances that makes them harmful to the genetic information contained in organism).   Brain, liver and heart cells were all protected by vitamin C after hypertension-induced DNA damage.    Human & Experimental Toxicology

Israeli researchers gave 70 patients from their hypertension clinic either a placebo, or a combination of antioxidants: vitamin C (1,000 mg/day), vitamin E (400 iu/day), coenzyme Q10 (120 mg/day) and selenium (200 mcg/day).

Participants were tested at 3 and 6 months.  Both testings showed those who took the supplements had improved blood sugar control, lowered blood pressure, significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol,  and healthier arteries.  Those who took the placebo showed no differences.

The bad news is high blood pressure is a silent threat to your health and the number of people suffering from high blood pressure is increasing.

The good news is that taking steps to provide yourself with a nutritious diet, simple exercises, proper supplementation, and practicing stress reduction techniques like EFT, can help guard you from something as potentially dangerous as hypertension.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM; Washington, DC) estimated that hypertension prevalence might be reduced by as much as 22% if Americans consumed less salt in their diet and ate more vegetables, fruit, and lean protein.  A recent study calculated that reducing salt intake from 3,400 milligrams to the currently advised maximum intake level of 2,300 milligrams per day could bring down the number of individuals with high blood pressure by about 11.1 million and result in approximately $17.8 billion in health care cost savings annually.  The committee also estimated that an initiative to help overweight and obese Americans each lose 10 pounds could reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure in the overall population by 7 to 8%.  An exercise program that gets physically inactive people more active could decrease prevalence by 4 to 6%.

Be safe, be healthy, take your Women Vitamins and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Some -ing’s Worth Consider-ing


Women Vitamins wishes you health and happiness

We all desire health and happiness….but it’s hard to be happy if you are sometimes feeling off-centered, and not quite right.  Nothing to run to a doctor about, maybe just tired, or achy…

I have studied alternative healing methods long enough to understand that there are many simple techniques that  alleviate common ailments.  Some might be considered folk-remedies, others are re-alignments that adjust the energy levels of the body, mind, and soul.

Tapping

Tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) was founded by Gary Craig…  and is continued on by hundreds of thousands of people, including such as Dr Mercola whose mercola.com is the #1 natural health newsletter online.

If you are fatigued, tap on the top of your head or on top of your hand between the thumb and forefinger.

If you are tense, tapping behind your ears or between your eyebrows can instantly relax you.

The premise of EFT is a little more complex than random tapping…and it insists that addressing underlying emotional issues assists with physical well being.

Rubbing

Upset stomach, morning sickness, post operative nausea, motion sickness?  Lightly rub the inside of your forearm about an inch and a half up from the base of your palm (Pericardium 6 accupressure point) that immediately and effectively reduces stomach queasiness.

Throat tickles can be subdued by gently rubbing your ear.  The nerves in your ear are connected to nerves in your throat, and rubbing calms the throat nerves.

Settling

To lower blood pressure, be quiet!  Being still, non-verbal and consciously breathing deeply and slowly can reduce blood pressure by 10-50% according to the University of Maryland…being quiet even reduces BP who use sign language!

Smiling

Prevent heart disease by laughing.  Cardiologist at the U of M School of Medicine in Baltimore found that laughing releases endophins (nitric oxide) that relax blood vessels by an average of 22%, resulting in a better blood flow, a sign of healthy arteries.

Live longer—smile!  Sincere smiling seems to promote a longer life-span, and encourages a more positive grateful response to the world.  Smiling also begets smiling…you get what you give.

Chilling

Toothache?  Try chilling the webbing between your thumb and forefinger on the hand on the same side as the toothache.  Rub an ice-cube on the webbed area for about 7 minutes and see a marked decrease in your tooth pain.   Nerve pathways at the base of that V area stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from your head and your hand.

Head aches?  Try the ice cube rubbed on the V portion of the hand, or on the sides of your temples. On your temples, the chill of the ice-cube being rubbed tends to lessen blood flow which may be causing the headache.

Swinging

Swinging your arms vigorously back and forth, 10 to 100 times, is an ancient Chinese headache remedy.  The number of swings depends on the severity of your headache.  Swinging diverts the blood from your head to your extremities, which then reduces the swelling of blood vessels that may cause your headache.  Swinging also encourages blood flow, keeps your hands from swelling, and works on your balance.

Focusing

Warts disappear with vivid imagery….yes, it’s true!  Canadian researchers found that focusing your thoughts on the warts gradually disappearing, actually caused warts to disappear.  Volunteers spent 5 minutes a day visualizing their warts diminishing and then disappearing….and they did!  Those with best results were those who reported vivid images on the first day they tried this technique.  SO FOCUS!

Rewarding

Chocoholics rejoice!  Chocolate calms chronic coughs.  University College London, discovered that theobromine, and ingredient in cocoa is 33% more effective at relieving chronic coughs than codeine.  Theobromine suppresses vagus nerve activity, responsible for causing coughs…..dark chocolate contains 5-10 X’s more theobromine than milk chocolate.  Chocolate also releases endorphins, those good feelings.

Chewing

Boost your memory and concentration by chewing spearmint gum.  Chewing while learning new facts, increases blood flow to the brain by 25-40% and improves your memory of those new facts.  Studies have shown that students chewing gum do better on math tests.  The spearmint flavor may have something to do with it too, as those who only sucked on their gum had increased memory as well.

Gum chewing reduces muscle tension and stress, and it heightens awareness; 2 reasons why the Army has supplied spearmint gum to soldiers since WW1.

Playing

Increase libido by playing competitive sports…tennis, flag football, soft ball…competition raises a woman’s level of testosterone by 49% .   The higher this hormone, the higher your sex drive.  Just thinking about participating in competitive sports can raise the testosterone level in a woman by as much as 24%….A man’s testosterone level rises by 15% if he participates….but if he loses, unlike women, his testosterone levels plunge…

Turning

Restless sleep?  Could be due to heartburn that you aren’t even aware of.  Try sleeping on your left side.  The esophagus is raise, making it much harder for stomach acid to leak up.  Surprisingly, the opposite is true if you are sleeping on your right side.

Supplementing

Overall health and reduced waistlines?  In spite of recent controversy, a  Chinese study released in March, 201o  found that women who took a multivitamin/ mineral supplement had significantly lower body weight, body mass index, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, while also demonstrating higher resting energy expenditure and HDL cholesterol.  Their respiratory quotient and waist circumference also improved.

Blessing

Be healthy, be safe, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: To Sleep, Perchance to Live Longer & Better


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Oh those blissful days of summer. We anticipate more sunshine, more vitamin D,  more pleasurable activities, and possibly less sleep.

We live away from the natural circadian rhythm of light and darkness that ruled our ancestors lives. We are sleeping less, at later times, thinking that we can make it up “some day.”

The truth is, we need sleep and  our body seems to work best with 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep…  We need to sleep during the darkest hours, and we need to sleep regularly.  Contrary to what you may tell yourself, there really is no making up lost sleep.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Americans slept an average of 9 hours, based on available light. Now  the average American sleeps 7.5 hours, a shortening mostly likely to accommodate more working hours or the pursuit of increased recreational and pleasure times.

6 or less hours of sleep falls under the label of sleep deprivation. Although we may get used to feeling fatigued or un-rested, the truth is that sleep deprivation aggravates and accelerates aging and ill-health. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss are common symptoms of an un-rested life.

16 studies involving more than 1.3 million participants who were followed for up to 20 years, has revealed that people who sleep for less than 6 hours each night are more likely to die prematurely.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, of the Sleep, Health, and Society Programme at the University of Warwick (UK) worked  with the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy. His research found that people who slept less than six hours each night were 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who got the recommended 6-8 hours of rest.

Researchers also found that adults under 40 who typically slept for 5 hours or less each night had a greater accumulation of belly fat, both the “superficial” fat layers just below the skin and the “visceral” fat that surrounds the abdominal organs.  Research suggests that sleep loss alters people’s levels of appetite-regulating hormones — which could  account for the urge to overeat and it’s subsequent obesity.  Cortisol, (a stress hormone that stimulates the storage of fat cells, particularly around the waist area), is also activated by the lack of consistent sleep.

Tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Get regular, daily exercise.  A study by Stanford University revealed that after 16 weeks of moderate exercise, participants fell asleep about 15 minutes earlier and slept about 45 minutes longer.
  • Stop eating after 7PM, and avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars which raises blood sugar levels and inhibits sleep.
  • Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. Protein provides the L-tryptophan need to produce melatonin and serotonin, two components of good sleep.
  • Listen to relaxation cd’s, nature sounds, or white noises CD’s.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and most liquid drinks before bed.
  • Read something religious or spiritual, practice meditation and pray…all these ease the mind
  • Sleep in the dark, unplug electronics with LED red or blue lights, light interfers with the  pineal gland’s production of melatonin and seratonin…even a brief flash of light can disrupt this production.
  • Don’t watch TV before bed, and get your TV out of the bedroom. TV stimulates your brain and it will take longer to fall asleep.
  • During winter months, wear socks to bed. Cold feet affect the quality of your sleep. Wearing socks reduces night waking.
  • Get to bed fairly early.Your body does most of its repair and recovery between 11 PM and 1AM.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, somewhere around 70 – 74 degrees. Your sleep is disturbed if you are too hot.

Sleep well, sleep enough, stay healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Listening to that Still, Small Voice


About 10 years ago, while my loving father was dying of cancer, I wondered if Dad had heard any messages from his body about the cancer…and I realized that I no longer heard messages from my body.

I know that I “heard” my body as a child.  I remembered that  if I didn’t get meat for dinner, I had a tummy ache that night,  if I didn’t get outdoors to play, I felt grumpy and anti-social.  If I had not forgiven or been forgiven, I felt awful and achy all over.  Then I sort of forgot to listen, for too many years.  And I knew I had to start listening again.

I was lucky, I was ready, and the Universe supplied me with wonderful teachers who taught me to be still and listen again.

You may not find a teacher as quickly as I did, but I know that we can teach ourselves to hear:  Be still and listen…hear your heart, your joints, your breath, your muscles and the alignment of your bones.  Listen to your organs, the stomach telling you  it is satisfied before the plate is empty, the joy of your heart when you forgive or are forgiven, the blessing of the sun upon your face in early morn.

Listening to your body is not something we are taught.  We run ourselves ragged thinking we can always rest later, eat later, resolve issues later, be healthy later…and then when our system breaks down, we run to a doctor and hope for a prescribed pill to put us immediately to rights….and we are off again, never having taken time to deal with the real issues.

We are delicate machines, meant be maintained by the  healthy equilibrium of body, mind and spirit…  We have lost the ability to hear our body’s thirst, pain, and hunger.  We filter the  “I’m out of balance” cry…it’s too inconvenient and maybe too uncomfortable to acknowledge that voice.

7chakra
7 chakras for balanced health

In yoga, we learn there are 7 chakras, each a portal for a particular energy center:

The Root Chakra affects the health, structure and safety of your body. This chakra, symbolized by the color red,  is associated with how one’s body links to the material world.

The orange-colored, Naval Chakra is associated with the feelings of love, passion, sexuality and pleasure.

The Solar Plexus Chakra is found just above the navel and below the chest. This yellow chakra is the point at which

self-control, will power, authority and discipline are focused.

The Heart Chakra, green in color,  is found in the middle of the chest. Love and understanding are the focused in this chakra.

Located in the throat area  is the sky blue Throat Chakra that is linked to communication and understanding.

The Brow Chakra sometimes called the Third Eye Chakra is indigo in color, and is associated with sensitivity outside the physical sphere as a clairvoyance-related focus point.

The Crown Chakra dwells at the center point on top of the head, and is concerned with the spirit and the mind. One’s consciousness and items related to the High Self are dictated by the violet-coloured Crown Chakra.

My shamanic teachers often mentioned that unresolved issues manifested as disease in specific areas…..throat problems when you didn’t speak your truth, leg cramps and foot problems when you weren’t on the path you should be on, heart issues with unresolved emotional wounds and abandonment, stomach issues over dealing with authority, anger and the inability to forgive, eye problems when you refused to see the truth….

Some of this may be over simplified…perhaps…some is just uncomfortable truth…

So what am I saying?

Take time to listen to your deepest, inner-most self….It wants to start a conversation with you.

Learn to bless the  foods you prepare that satisfy your deeper needs… instead of filling up on hollow-calorie junk foods. Relearn the sweetness of fruits instead of grabbing those sugary processed foods.  Enjoy the exhilaration of a brisk walk, a run around the block, take a bike ride to the local park instead of playing on the computer or watching TV for hours.  Gather your friends and family members around you and bless them for the richness they add to your life.

Listen to that still, small voice.  Be healthy, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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Vitamins for Women: The Sweetness of a Kiss


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…what a beautiful holiday: dedicated to love, joy, appreciation, and peace.  We think of candy and cards and flowers and kissing….just makes you feel better thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Out of those 4, let’s examine my fave: KISSING!  Nothing beats a good kiss, a sweet kiss, a kiss of atonement, a kiss of forgiveness, a kiss that wipes away despair and loneliness.  There are kisses of passion and kisses of tenderness, kisses of joy and kisses of promise.

The kiss is universal; it expresses affection and needs no translation.

Kissing is also good for you.  In fact, some of the health benefits of kissing are just amazing!  Consider these facts:

  • Kissing your partner good morning and goodbye can add 5 years to your life
  • Kissing improves your self esteem…you feel appreciated and it boosts your state of mind
  • Kissing releases stress, tension, lessens negative energy and produces a sense of well-being
  • Kissing burns up calories…about 3 calories a minute and your metabolic rate rises
  • Kissing passionately at least 3 times a day (minimum lip locking time of 20 seconds) can cause you to lose a pound a year…Can you say “I’m on a kissing diet?”
  • Kissing utilizes 30 facial muscles and can actually tighten facial features, prevent baggy cheeks, smooths the skin and increases circulation
  • Kissing frequently seems to make you less likely to suffer from bladder, blood, and stomach infections
  • Kissing stimulates  secretion of natural antibodies in the saliva and a type of anesthetic that helps alleviate pain
  • Kissing lowers the stress hormone cortisol
  • Kissing increases adrenaline that pumps up the heart, causing better circulation
  • Kissing frequently has been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activities, improving your heart’s health
  • Kissing decreases blood pressure and lowers cholesterol
  • Kissing reduces anxiety
  • Kissing stops the “negative noise/talk” in your mind
  • Kissing increases oxytocin levels which in turn calms you and produces peaceful feelings
  • Kissing produces endorphins that are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Whew!

So I say, pucker up baby and start kissing!pucker up for womens health

Happy Valentine’s Day, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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