Spring: A Time For Allergies…and Asthma?

It is hard to believe winter is almost over; it feels like it never even really arrived. The trees are blooming though, which is a sure sign, and for those with tree allergies, spring is brutal. It can bring on itchy, sneezey, watery eyes, congestion and even sinus infections. For those with asthma, it can trigger attacks. And, for those who sniffle constantly, it can potentially lead to asthma.

How so you ask? Part of the mechanism behind asthma is over-breathing. When we breathe too much our carbon dioxide levels drop. Insufficient carbon dioxide causes smooth muscle spasms throughout the body, such as in the brain (as in migraines) and in the bronchii (as during asthma attacks). Despite more air entering the lungs of an “overbreather”, no increase in blood oxygen level is has been shown, but because of the lowered CO2 level, less oxygen actually makes it to the cells that need it.

Chronic over breathing over prolonged periods of time can change the set-point for the autonomic trigger of when to take the next breath. It is not possible to just hold your breath to increase the amount of CO2 in your body because you will automatically gasp air when it is slightly beyond what it is accustomed to. Holding your breath also makes you take an even bigger, deeper breath when you do take your next breath.

Still, if you can overbreath your way into asthma (no matter what triggers the overbreathing), you can underbreath your way out of it.

The Buteyko method  is a form of physical therapy that consists of “breathing retraining” as a treatment for asthma as well as other conditions. One very good Buteyko based program I have found is called Kick Asthma Naturally.

You can read more about it, as well as my experience with it at the above link. I have seen it work miracles and use some of the techniques myself periodically even though I am not asthmatic. I know plenty of people who became asthmatic in mid-life and I plan on NOT becoming one of them!

 

 

Fitness And Weight Loss Tops List Of Broken New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Years! Did you make any resolutions this year?

I find it interesting that fitness and weight loss rank second and third right behind spending more time with family. It tops the list however on broken resolutions (with eating healthier as the #5 most broken resolution)

So, what happens in the month of January that takes people from being all fired up about their goals and resolutions breaking them?

One possibility is that the foods themselves (“healthy” or not) are interfering with, and PREVENTING weight loss and motivation to exercise. This is a phenomenon called food intolerance. Food intolerance causes swelling, inflammation, fatigue, cravings as well as a variety of other symptoms one might not necessarily trace back to being food related, like skin disorders, headaches, aches and pains, foggy mindedness, depression, and general malaise. Removing the offending foods can created a quick and surprisingly effective method of reversing unpleasant associated symptoms–which often baffle doctors. (Why every doctor does not run this test as part of an annual physical, I do not know.

The information I gained from getting tested myself has been invaluable. I no longer eat onions, apples, eggs or turkey –and I feel 100 times better than I did before I knew that those specific food were NOT healthy choices for ME! My energy increased dramatically within just a few days, and the bonus was that I lost 8 lbs in the first 3 weeks without even trying.

The results I see in clients is often just as impressive if not more so. I have seen people lose 10lbs in a week, horrible skin conditions (that they had had for years) disappear in three. It is the norm, not the exception,  for weight to drop and energy to go up as a result of making some “this not that” tweaks to diet using the information obtained with the Food Intolerance test. It is my TOP recommended test, especially those struggling with low/inconsistent energy and inflammatory conditions.

It is an easy way to to stay on track…making specific, easy, doable, changes that give good, and sometimes even miraculous results.

Sometimes it is the little changes we make that has the biggest impact on overall health. It doesn’t have to be hard.

 

Clear & Clean Sinuses Forever!

Did you know that the symptoms of chronic sinus issues go far beyond congestion and pressure? In the U.S., sinus problems are the #1 reason people see a doctor. Symptoms you might not necessarily trace back to your sinus’s include; bad breath, sore throat, and excessive fatigue and more.

I talk to more people who tell me they have not only allergies, but chronic sinus problems as well. I used to be one of those people. There was a period in my life, that for two months out of the year I could not go more than 10 feet from a box of tissues without having to use my sleeve.

That was when I discovered how effective acupuncture is for allergy relief (read more). I had one treatment and never had another sniffle or itch again. Even though I’m much better since then, I do get occasional symptoms.

I keep dairy and other mucus forming foods to a minimum, use my neti pot regularly, and have had subsequent acupuncture treatments…I still I feel like I have not figured out how to manage the issue 100%. So, a couple of weeks ago I caught a little bug and within 12 hours I had sinus pressure to the point I could not sleep. To me this was clear evidence that I had already had a sinus issue brewing.

I know the anatomy of a human head and the laws of physics well enough to know that there is no way the saline solution from my neti pot is getting everywhere it has to wash away pollen, viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungi that floats in the air.

I went on a hunt for a deeper solution, literally! After a bit of research I came across a sinus rinse technique different and better than anything I had read before. It is called the “FRIGGY FLIP TURN”. It describes a safe and effective method to irrigate all 8 of the sinuses instead of only the 2 or 4 that the neti pot effectively reaches.

In addition to the detailed explanation of how to do it, there are over 200 comments from people who have used the technique, often after a lifetime of chronic problems, and had miraculous results.

Symptoms of Chronic sinusitis include:
• Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
• Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
• Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
• Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
• Reduced sense of smell and taste
• Cough, which may be worse at night

Other signs and symptoms can include:
• Ear pain
• Sore throat
• Bad breath (halitosis)
• Fatigue or irritability
• Nausea

Taking control of sinus health is easier that might sound. I did the “flip” for a couple of weeks after my little episode and it worked like a charm. By the end of the 2nd day I was completely out of pain. Since then the persistent post-nasal drip I had is gone too. Whether you have occasional or chronic problems, this could very well be the solution you have been looking for.

Since the Friggy Flip-Turn guide is lacking in pictures I had to do some trial and error to get it just right. If you have questions or want some extra guidance I would be happy to help. It would be my pleasure to further the crusade against sinus pain and post nail drip (not to mention the halitosis. LOL!).

Keeping Active Kids Hydrated

As the summer wares on, dehydration can be a problem, especially for children.

A number of factors place young children, and especially young athletes, at an increased risk for dehydration and various heat illnesses. First, the higher energy expenditure of young athletes means that they produce more metabolic heat. In addition, young athletes don’t sweat as efficiently as older athletes and thus cannot cool their bodies as effectively. Finally, young athletes are not as diligent about drinking fluids and their core body temperature, during dehydration, tends to increase faster. For these reasons it is essential that young athletes be encouraged to drink frequently even when they are not thirsty.

Research studies have shown that providing a cooled and flavored beverage produces greater fluid consumption among children and helps prevent dehydration. Parents should make sure that athletes arrive at practice sessions, games or competitions fully hydrated. Coaches should enforce drink “pauses” every 15-20 minutes even when athletes do not feel thirsty. Parents, coaches and the athletes themselves should watch for the “warning signs of dehydration:”

* Thirst
* Irritability
* Headache
* Decreased performance
* Weakness
* Dizziness
* Cramps
* Nausea

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides the following guidelines for the maintenance of optimal hydration:

Before Exercise: 16 – 20 full ounces within the 2-hour period prior to exercise

During Exercise: 4 – 6 full ounces

Post Exercise: replace 24 full ounces for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
** As a matter of practice, most people do not weigh their children before and after exercise. Rather than measuring pounds and ounces, it is better to just create a routine habit of drinking 12-24 oz after exercise, depending on intensity.

NOTE: While Sports Energy Drinks taste good, the best source of hydration is still good old fashioned water. Sports drinks are designed for strenuous activity that lasts longer than 2 hours. A regulation soccer match lasts only 90 minutes (at U19 and above). As a compromise a 50/50 mix of sports drink and water can be used. Temperature and humidity are factors, as well as initial hydration levels, so it is a good idea to be prepared with a replenishing drink for shorter efforts as well.

Furthermore, a sports drink, which consists of electrolytes (salts and minerals), sugar, and water, ideally is NOT full of artificial color, artificial flavors, too much sugar, and preservatives.
For a truly healthy, and very easy to make recipe for a sports drink, read the post “The Ultimate Sports Drink” in Electrolytes category.

The Ultimate Sports Drink

(Recipe included)

I recently gave an injured friend of mine a small jar of SOLE (so-lay). SOLE, a saturated salt solution made from Himalayan salt crystals, is natural salt complete with all of the 84 minerals found in the human body. In contrast, regular salt is washed clean of all other minerals leaving ONLY sodium chloride and possibly some iodine added back to it.

“Jack” had torn his hamstring during a baseball game. As he was describing the event, how he felt leading up to it, how it happened, and that it had happened before (and he expected it to happen again), it became clear to me that he was describing chronic dehydration. He drinks plenty of water and plenty of sports drinks, and yet, he was dehydrated. This is more common than you might think. If fluids consumed are not absorbed by the body hydration is not achieved. There are many reasons for this, including improper electrolyte balance.

Jack called me a few weeks later to let me know he was back out on the ball field and almost totally healed. He said his whole body felt different and better. His daughter, also an athlete, shared the new electrolyte supplement with her dad. Since the first day she began to use the SOLE, (instead of drinking commercial sports drinks) she has not had to use her inhaler once!! Yes, that’s right, asthma is directly affected by hydration (read more)!! I can’t emphasize the importance of hydration for health enough. It is fundamental for all cellular functions; joint health, brain function, digestion and elimination, immune function, hormone regulation, and the list goes on and on.

I am inspired to post the SOLE recipe here since it is so effective, inexpensive, and easy to make. It is not, it’s self, a sports drink per-sey, although it will be fabulous in helping to regulate hydration. Sports drinks are a mixture of electrolytes (salts and minerals), carbohydrates (which help with exercise recovery), and water. I found some recipes on line for home-made sports drinks but they were ANYTHING BUT healthy!!! They had ingredients like table salt, white sugar, honey, fruit juice, and even kool-aid mix. I will skip ranting about how bad for you this kind of nutritionally empty beverage can be…This recipe I have posted is guaranteed to be delicious and good for you too.

Preparation of Sole: (I keep a jar of it in my kitchen at all times)

1. Place several Himalayan Crystal Salt stones in a glass container and add spring water until full. The larger the container, the more salt and water you will need so don’t go too big.

2. After approximately 24 hours, look to see if the salt crystals have completely dissolved. If so, add a few more crystals. When the water can no longer dissolve any more salt, the salt crystals will sit at the bottom of the jar without dissolving. At this point the solution becomes saturated at 26%, which is stable and ready for consumption.

3. Take 1 teaspoon of the solution in a glass of water every morning. This is sufficient for the average daily intake. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

NOTES:
• Use only the solution from the top 1/3 of the jar leaving the sediment at the bottom.
• The glass container can be refilled again and again with water and salt, to continue the process.

Linda’s Home-Made Sports Drink Recipe:

• 16oz filtered or spring water
• Juice of 1-2 lemons
• 2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon sole
• For an added kick you can put in a dash of cayenne pepper –which is a vasodilator and will help to keep you cool in hot weather.
Mix ingredients together and keep cool until consumed.

More about my recipe:
I chose all of the ingredients and amounts for this recipe for specific reasons.

–Lemons– are a great source of minerals, especially magnesium and potassium, and very rich as vitamin-C as well. They are full of phyto-nutrients and enzymes and without the high levels of fructose found in other juices. They are also delicious, refreshing, and easy to find.

–Grade B maple syrup– is full of minerals as well. It is an excellent source of manganese and zinc, and also has potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and more. It is important to use Grade B since the lighter syrups are also lighter in mineral content. An additional benefit of maple syrup as a sweetener is that it is sucrose, not fructose which has been linked to metabolic syndrome and decreased glucose tolerance. For the purposes of re-hydration and recovery, a 6% solution is best; too much sugar is dehydrating, too little will not be particularly beneficial in recovery.

–SOLE– is a solution of Himalayan salt, containing all of the 84 minerals found in the human body, and is mined from deep in the earth. Because of this it is free of toxins and impurities.

–Cayenne pepper– is optional in this recipe. Its health benefits include: increased metabolism, improved circulation and heart health, benefits digestive function, immune function, and many others…(read more)

–Spring water– is best, filtered water is second best, and tap water is last choice, especially if it is chlorinated and fluoridated.

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I would love to hear your feedback on this topic. I would especially like to hear more stories like “Jack’s”☺, so please send them on after you have tried this!!