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Monday, January 31, 2011

Supplements: Natural vs. Synthetic - Does it Matter?

Why not shop for the best price and buy the cheaper synthetic varieties of food supplements? Should we assume that if a product is sold in a health food store that it is a quality product?

Products made from chemicals will never compare favorably with what nature created. The living cell of the plant, a complex compilation of the life-giving rays of the sun, minerals derived from fertile soil, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and many unknown substances, make up life. An excellent example of this is the commercially sold ascorbic acid, also labeled as Vitamin C. It is our opinion that ascorbic acid should not be labeled as Vitamin C, because the original concept of Vitamin C was that it would cure scurvy.

Ascorbic acid synthetically produced will not alleviate the condition of scurvy, although a product containing ascorbic acid from a natural source with all the associated factors will relieve the condition with ease. What's the difference between synthetic, crystalline and natural vitamins?.

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Worst Allergy Cities in America

Unveiling the worst spring allergy cities in America has become an annual tradition. The lists are released by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, in Washington, D.C., and many factors are plugged in to figure out which cities will get the dubious honor each year, says Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the foundation.

The foundation experts look at the most populated cities and take into account factors such as the region's pollen score (pollen count and other factors), along with the number of allergy medications prescribed and the number of board-certified allergists practicing there. Each city gets a score and then the list of 100 cities is drawn up. Read the entire article.

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Best Superfoods for Women of Every Age

In your 20s, you need to have sustained energy throughout the day. In your 30s, you need to stay mentally alert in your work throughout the day. As we age, we need to get more nutritional value out of the calories we consume. These superfoods, which are loaded with various nutrients, can help women live a long , healthy and full life. Read the entire article.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Do Genes Affect Health?

Epigenetics and Health
Created by Dr. William J. Keller

For several years now I have been hearing “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” A thought-provoking spinoff from this comment is “What happens in Vegas could affect your kids.” Another popular saying: “You are what you eat.” But a more recent and comprehensive statement reads “You are not only what you eat, but what your parents ate.” These recent commentary revisions all relate to the rapidly developing science called epigenetics.

The prefix epi means “on top of” and genome refers to genetic material. And so, the epigenome is situated on top of the genome in the nucleus of the cell. Chemicals, called epigenetic marks, provide basic instructions to the genes, telling them to either switch on or switch off. The genome can be viewed as cellular hardware, while the epigenome can be considered cellular software. The epigenetic changes, either activation or suppression of a gene, are definitely affected by the environment and can be passed on to offspring. Many health problems, ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease to obesity, can all be caused, in part, by environmental epigenetic-mediated effects on DNA. In the case of cancer, tumor-suppressor genes genetically control cancer by acting as a brake on rapid cancerous cell growth. It is now clear that certain lifestyle choices can result in a change in certain epigenetic marks, which can switch off tumor-suppressor genes. This is called epigenetic silencing and, in this case, if the tumor-suppressing action is switched off, cancer will likely develop.

A fascinating study that focused on the inhabitants of Overkalix, a remote town in northern Sweden, has revealed that environment and lifestyle have a direct impact on future generations. During the early 1900s, there were periods of feast or famine depending on the success or failure of crops in the isolated Overkalix. Young men and women who went from a normal diet to routine overeating during a year of crop success produced children and grandchildren who experienced far shorter lives. The difference in longevity between these offspring and the offspring from parents who had endured a poor harvest was 32 years (1).

Epigenetic changes, which do not involve alterations to the genetic DNA code, are known to have several different mechanisms. One of these mechanisms has been shown to involve the addition of a methyl group to a gene (DNA methylation), which can change that gene’s expression. The B vitamins folic acid and cyanocobalamin (B12) are excellent methyl donors and have been shown to effectively contribute to gene methylation. DNA methylation can change gene expression, turning it on or off, and this can be transferred to offspring/descendents for up to four generations.

In a landmark experiment, a specific strain of mouse called agouti, which expresses a gene that results in a high probability of obesity and diabetes, was a model that yielded some amazing data. Pregnant agouti mice were divided into two groups with one group receiving a diet rich in folic acid and vitamin B12 and the other group receiving no dietary supplementation of the B vitamins. The folate and B12 methylated the agouti gene, thereby modifying its expression. This resulted in offspring of normal weight and no tendency to develop diabetes. The pregnant agouti mice that did not receive B vitamin supplementation gave birth to obese pups, many of which developed diabetes (2).

Unfortunately, a prolonged unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices do not “stay in Vegas” but rather are passed on to your children and their children. Of course, this applies to those in their child-bearing years. Keep in mind that not only are the children adversely affected by the parent(s) poor choice of diet and lifestyle but these parents will probably experience diminished longevity as well. And so, if you are young, be sure to make wise dietary and lifestyle choices for your future children and yourself. Older individuals also need to be prudent in their decisions on diet and lifestyle in order to extend their longevity. We all can have a longer, healthier life by using common sense and paying attention to evolving scientific information in our approach to diet and lifestyle.

References
1. Bygren, L. O. et al. Acta Biotheoretica 49(1):53 (2001). Abstract available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/x61m87x016213823/

2. Waterland, R. A. et al Mol. Cell Biol. 23(15):5293 (2003). Available at: http://mcb.asm.org/cgi/content/full/23/15/5293?view=long&pmid=12861015

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Health Risks of Using Air Fresheners

Enzyme Spray
The air freshener fad is obvious. Our TVs are booming with air freshener commercials and almost every bathroom, dorm room and hospital has it on hand for a daily, if not hourly, refreshing spritz. We readily have these products on hand because they smell good. They accomplish the job of “freshening” the air, but is that all they’re doing?

Most have never even considered what air fresheners are made of. When we spray their contents into the air, we inhale their fumes and our skin absorbs their chemicals. So wouldn’t you like to know what your air freshener is made of and how those ingredients affect your health?

Essential Oil
In a recent study, the Natural Resources Defense Council tested 14 air fresheners taken from the shelf of a nation-wide drug store. They found that 12 out of the 14 products contained the hormone-disrupting chemical phthalates. None of the 12 included phthalates in their list of ingredients on their product label. The federal government does not enforce ingredient regulation on air freshener makers and therefore does not require a complete list of ingredients for consumers.

Exposure to phthalates has been known to disrupt reproductive normalities, brain development and even cognitive behavior. Studies show that infants and small children exposed to phthalates significantly increase their risks of developing autism.

Aroma Ball
Phthalates are only one of the many chemicals emitted by air fresheners.  What’s in your air freshener? If you use one of the common off-the-shelf products, there is a good chance you are exposing yourself to chemicals you would otherwise avoid.

A better alternative would be to increase air circulation by opening windows or even finding a more natural air freshening solution like Nature’s Fresh Enzyme Spray or using essential oils with an AromaBall to diffuse your favorite scents into a room.

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Placebos Work Even Without Deception

For most of us, the 'placebo effect' is synonymous with the power of positive thinking; it works because you believe you're taking a real drug. But a new study rattles this assumption.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School's Osher Research Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have found that placebos work even when administered without the seemingly requisite deception.

Because such 'deception' is ethically questionable, HMS associate professor of medicine Ted Kaptchuk teamed up with colleagues at BIDMC to explore whether or not the power of placebos can be harnessed honestly and respectfully. Read the entire article.

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Best Way to Jump-Start Your Metabolism

I'm 5'8" and 26 years old and started at 247 pounds and am at 203 pounds now, in about 22 weeks. I've seemed to stop losing weight when I used to average about two pounds a week. I've tried other exercises but almost to no effect. Any suggestions?

Diet and Fitness Expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis, Physician Nutrition Specialist answers this question to help people work through this challenging situation rather than giving up on their weight loss goals.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

ON SALE: Kidney Activator and Ginkgo/Gotu Kola Conc.


ON SALE - 01/23 - 01/29/11
Expires Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:15 PM MST



$2 OFF - $21.75
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $95.00

Ginkgo/Gotu Kola Concentrate is an energetic combination containing 100 mg gotu kola and 40 mg of ginkgo biloba leaf extract per tablet, standardized to 24 percent ginkgo flavone glycosides.


$1 OFF - $10.35
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $45.40

Kidney Activator nutritionally supports the urinary system, specifically bladder and kidney health.  Benefits include:

* Kidney Strengthening
* Eliminates Occasional Water Retention
* Supports Bladder and Kidney Health


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ear Infections - Research Shows Herbal Drops Effective

As many parents know, ear infections can be one of the most painful — and common — conditions that afflict children. Millions of cases are diagnosed every year, and some studies show that about 90 percent of all children in the United States experience at least one episode of acute otitis media, as the condition is known scientifically.

But treatment is controversial. Many doctors write antibiotic prescriptions even though medical experts say they do almost nothing to help, and in some cases may do more harm than good.

In one study, published in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in 2001, a team of pediatricians recruited 103 children ages 6 to 18 with earaches resulting from acute otitis media. The subjects were randomly split into groups and assigned to be treated with either anesthetic ear drops or an herbal ear drop known as Otikon, which contains extracts of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents like garlic, calendula, St. John’s wort and mullein (a flowering plant) in an olive oil solution.

At the end of the study, the researchers found reductions in ear pain in both groups, and concluded that the herbal ear drop was just as effective as the anesthetic one. Read the entire article.

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Love of Possessions Can Run Deep

Researchers visited five car shows in Arizona and conducted interviews with male and female car enthusiasts, aged 19 to 68, and found that those with an especially strong attachment used pet names rather than brand names when describing their cars.

In addition, some people used this emotional connection to their cars to ease pain and disappointment in their romantic lives.

"Material possession relationships may reduce the negative consequences of social isolation and loneliness, and can contribute to consumer well-being, especially when considered relative to less-desirable alternative responses like substance abuse, delinquency and the side effects of antidepressant medications," they wrote in a journal news release.

There were various combinations of passion, intimacy and commitment in people's relationships with their cars. Read the entire article.

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Help Ease Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting are common among pregnant women. Although these symptoms often are dubbed morning sickness, they can last all day. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help alleviate morning sickness.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

On SALE: MetaboMax Plus and Thyroid Activator

ON SALE - 01/16 - 01/22/11
Expires Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM MST

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METABOMAX PLUS (120 CAPSULES) - Buy Now
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $119.80
$2 OFF - $27.95

Key ingredients capsicum and green tea extract help to decrease body fat. Bitter orange fruit, yerba mate and guarana stimulate metabolism. These are combined in a synergistic herbal base of ginger and chickweed. This effective blend increases energy and may help boost calorie expenditure.

THYROID ACTIVATOR - Buy Now
$2 OFF - $9.15
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $44.60

Thyroid Activator was formulated by Dr. John Christopher, noted American herbalist, who had great success using Thyroid Activator combination to supply trace elements often lacking in a normal diet. The entire glandular system is benefited, along with the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dangers of Toxic Home Cleaning Products

Surface Cleaner
Without knowing much about their ingredients, Americans put a great amount of trust in their store-bought cleaning products. Most don’t realize that their home “cleaning” products may be doing more harm than help. Many of these solutions use chemicals that come with health risks we all want to avoid—not referring to the rare cases when products are accidently ingested.

Surface Wipes
Simply using the products the way labels instruct can put not only you but everyone interacting with the “cleaned” space at risk. A 2010 study involving over 1,500 women found that exposure to home cleaning products significantly increased their risk of developing breast cancer. The study concluded that the women who reported the highest cleaning product use had doubled their risk of breast cancer compared to those that reported the lowest use of the toxic chemicals.

As Americans spend the majority of their time indoors, whether at home or at work, they are constantly bombarded with indoor air pollution. With poor ventilation and confined spaces, the fumes emitted by cleaning products are major contributors to the poor air quality inside. And though some assume that those harmed by the harsh chemicals are affected only after ingesting them, they are wrong. Home cleaning products are attacking our health every day as the body more readily absorbs their chemicals through the skin and respiratory tract.

What can you do? Think twice about the cleaning products you use to maintain a healthy home. Consider using alternative products and avoid the typical shelf products that have been found as a health threat.

More natural home cleaning solutions are always a better choice when it comes to any type of cleaning—laundry, fabric brightener (bleach), air freshening, dish washing, surface cleaning or surface wipes.


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Control What You Breathe In Around You

Start Controlling What You Breathe
by Darlyn Britt


The Boomerang utilizes new-generation technology to sanitize the air and surfaces, killing or neutralizing harmful particles, microbes and gases.

Indoor air pollutants are plentiful, and many can be harmful to health. From hair spray to cleaning chemicals, from cigarette smoke to dander, these odors and particles present health challenges to many people—even those without an unusual respiratory intolerance.

The Boomerang Air Sanitizer helps neutralize indoor air pollutants, sanitizing and freshening the air you breathe.

This amazing unit:

• Kills airborne microbes and neutralizes pollen and particulates, making the air you breathe cleaner and less harmful.

• Helps neutralize indoor odors of all types—pets, smoke, chemicals, ammonia, etc.

• Costs very little to operate (draws 14 watts of electricity).

• Meets new California guidelines for ozone emission (less than .05 ppm).

• Only available from Nature’s Sunshine.

The Boomerang’s effectiveness comes from a patent-pending Silver+ Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) cell. The cell contains nano-sized metals—silver, nickel and rhodium, and added copper and titanium—that react with photons from a high-grade ultraviolet (UV) light to create millions of redundant oxidizers or negative ions.

Positively charged particles in the air (dust, bacteria, viruses, pollen, etc.) are attracted to negatively charged ions from the Boomerang. They collide and fall to the floor, ready for vacuuming. Negative ions actually neutralize airborne organisms on a cellular level so they can no longer replicate.

Researchers at West Texas A and M University found that Silver+ PCO technology purifies the air and sanitizes surfaces. They measured tremendous reductions in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on surfaces after using Boomerang technology.

The study also measured a 75% reduction in fungus/mold, bacteria, viruses and aeroallergens (pollen) after just eight hours of use!

Additional studies showed that microbes exposed to Silver+ PCO technology over longer periods of time were almost completely eradicated. The unit sanitizes 2,000 square feet of open living space.  View studies. View video.

Place your Boomerang on a flat surface (counter, shelf ), or mount it on the wall. Then plug it in and forget about it!

The Boomerang:
• Requires no maintenance for up to three years!
• Is safe for pets, even exotic birds.
• Is lightweight and energy efficient; it draws only 15 watts of electricity.
• Features quiet operation—similar to a home computer in noise output.
• Is made in the U.S., using only the highest quality parts.

Start controlling what you breathe with Nature’s Sunshine’s Boomerang Air Sanitizer.

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Pharma Apology Needed For DES Drug

Caitlin McCarthy, a Massachusetts High School English teacher, screenwriter and former marketing and public relations expert, has all the necessary qualities and gumption to make sure her State Senators know all about matters arising for victims of DES (diethylstilbestrol).

Caitlin is pushing hard, lobbying for a National Apology for DES, the world’s first drug disaster, and her commonsense initiative is fast gaining attention in the U.S. and overseas.

Known as the 'hidden Thalidomide,' DES was an anti-miscarriage drug, a toxic and carcinogenic estrogen, prescribed to pregnant women from 1938 until 1971 (and sometimes beyond).

With its harmful effects of cancer and reproductive abnormalities, DES has wrought havoc worldwide on the lives of millions of women given DES, and their children exposed in the womb to this drug. The drug was a top money-maker for Big Pharma!

In spite of all the medical proof (from 1953), the FDA only withdrew its approval of DES for humans in 2000. And to this day, not one drug company has ever apologized or accepted responsibility for the DES tragedy. Read the entire article.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

On SALE: Kelp and Pau d'Arco

ON SALE - 01/09 - 01/15/11
Expires Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 11:15 PM MST

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KELP - Buy Now
$1 OFF - $8.45
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $37.80

Kelp, commonly referred to as seaweed, grows along coastlines around the world. It is a rich source of natural vitamins and minerals, including essential trace minerals (Those minerals include Magnesium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Selenium, Potassium, Iron, and Iodine. , which must be present for proper glandular function and metabolism). 

PAU D'ARCO (100 CAPSULES) - Buy Now
$1 OFF - $9.75
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $43.00

The tree grows as tall as 30 meters and is known by the name taheebo. Unlike other trees in the area, pau d'arco does not develop fungus growth. The tree bark was one of the major plants used to promote health and immunity among the Incas, and its use has continued among the Callawaya tribe in South America.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

What About the Cost of Supplements?

by Dr. James Scala

Driving is a daily gamble, so we purchase auto insurance. Similarly, we realize we can't always avoid accidents and even illness, so we get hospitalization insurance.

Some people admit it's difficult, if not impossible, to eat a balanced diet, so they take a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement as nutrition insurance, and usually take calcium supplements, too. These people who take "nutritional insurance" recognize that it costs money, but they also recognize some common habits cost a lot more. For instance:

Adults and children, on the average, consume 8 ounces of soft drinks daily. This costs about five times the price of supplements.

Most women have their hair done at least monthly. When costed out on a daily basis, this is about five times the cost of supplements.

About 50% of adults drink alcoholic beverages, which cost about 10 times the cost of nutritional insurance.

On the average, enough cigarettes are smoked to provide nutrition insurance for everyone.

In short, the cost of nutrition insurance would be cheap at twice the price. Nutrition is personal, preventive health care, and food supplements are a vehicle of its practice.

No other habit can provide nutrition insurance so that you will meet your recommended daily allowance of all vitamins and minerals. In an increasingly complex, polluted world, sensible supplementation gives the foundation for natural, optimum health. Add a good diet and a wholesome lifestyle, and you will achieve optimum health. Buy quality supplements at wholesale prices.

Check for signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency with these charts.

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Supplements For Sleep

What's your ploy for getting a decent night's sleep? Doctors say it's important to look at your lifestyle -- whether too much caffeine, too little exercise, or too much late-night work or TV is the problem. If lifestyle changes aren't enough, medications can help. Supplements may also have a place in providing a peaceful night's sleep.

For advice on sleep supplements, WebMD turned to Sharon Plank, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the University of Pittsburgh Medical School Center for Integrative Medicine. We also spoke with Alon Avidan, MD, a sleep researcher and professor of neurology at UCLA School of Medicine." Read the entire article.

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Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Sugar addiction has certainly been an issue for me, especially chocolate. Since childhood I struggled with the love of chocolate and I certainly knew the power it had over me in my 20's and 30's.

I struggled to quit in many ways and many times. I would be off of it for months or even years at times, but then I would believe I was off of it long enough to indulge "just one time." That never works ... with alcohol or chocolate or any other addiction. Addictions create a spiritual issue with our soul and spirits since we are to be slaves to nothing.

So, the end of my story is that I did overcome the addiction and November 2010 was twelve (12) years since I've had chocolate. Let me assure you that when you are free, you are free indeed.  I have no cravings at all since I settled the issue.  True Freedom - to love nothing more than the Lord my God! Read My No-Chocolate Anniversary article from 2009 which was 11 years.

And here's some solid, practical tips/steps on getting over sugar addiction from Goop.com:

In the past generation we’ve seen the amount of sugar we consume grow exponentially. Until recently, we had been eating sugar mainly found naturally in foods. It was used as a treat or in small quantities and was never a problem.

But today, over a third of the calories we consume come from sugar or white flour, which is highly refined and acts just like sugar in our system.

Our bodies cannot cope with such an enormous load. Sugar gives you an initial high, then you crash, then you crave more, so you consume more sugar. It’s this series of highs and lows that provoke unnecessary stress on your adrenals. You get anxious, moody (sugar is a mood-altering drug) and eventually you feel exhausted.

Sugar is also associated with many chronic problems that include decreased immunity, some chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, pain syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, ADD, chronic fatigue, and candida.

Research suggests that one of the main causes for decreased immunity is that sugars inhibit the entrance of Vitamin C into white blood cells, which then inhibits immunity. The more sugar, the less productive your white blood cells are and thus, the less immune you are.

Furthermore, sugars stimulate insulin secretion in the pancreas, which in turn stimulates the liver’s triglyceride production. Triglycerides are linked to stroke, heart disease and obesity. The list goes on and on. Dr. Frank Lipman provides us with all the info on how to curb a sugar addiction.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

On SALE: Breathe Activator & Children's Antioxidant

ON SALE - 01/02 - 01/08/11
Expires Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 11:15 PM MST

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BREATHE ACTIVATOR TCM CONC. - Buy Now
$2 OFF - $19.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $85.00

This formula supports the body in the battle to remove toxins from the entire respiratory tract, especially the lungs.

SUNSHINE HEROES WHOLE FOOD-ANTIOXIDANT - Buy Now
Buy 3 Get 1 FREE - $44.85
$2 OFF - $12.95

Sunshine Heroes Whole Foods Antioxidant offers the antioxidant power equivalent to two average servings of fruit or vegetables (based on ORAC values)

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rub That Joint and Muscle Pain Away

From Nature's Field by Steven Horne, RH (AHG).

Anyone who’s ever rubbed a sore elbow or shoulder knows massage can bring immediate relief to pain and stiffness. But few realize what a potent tool self-massage can be in healing arthritic joints.

Inflammation causes tissues to swell, which means that excess fluid gets trapped in the spaces around the cells. This inhibits oxygen and nutrients from getting to the tissues and slows the removal of waste materials.

When we only take supplements internally for joint problems like arthritis, the lack of micro-circulation in the damaged joint makes it difficult for the nutrients and healing constituents to reach the areas where they are needed. Massage removes this excess fluid by pumping it into the lymphatic system. This removes waste material from around the cells and brings healing oxygen and nutrition to tissues. Since pain is often indicates a lack of oxygen at the cellular level, massage can bring immediate relief from pain and promote long-term healing at the same time.

Of course, the effects of massage don't last forever. Eventually, the pain returns. The problem is that chronic inflammation causes connective tissue to lose structural tone, which means it is very easy for a damaged area to swell again. The famous lymphologist, Dr. C. Samuel West, likened this to a balloon that has been inflated so many times that it has lost it’s elasticity. Thus, the area readily swells again.

According to Dr. West, if you could make the pain go away for even a short while by massaging the area, it was possible to get the tissue to heal completely. The key was to not just rub the fluid out until the pain stopped, it was to massage it often enough that you never allow it to swell up again. This keeps the fluid out of the tissue so that healing can take place.

The Secret to Massage for Chronic Pain Relief

So, if you can massage a painful joint or area of the body and make the pain go away, don’t wait until the pain has returned before massaging again. Massage the area again while it still feels good or, at least, when the pain has started up but is still at a relatively low level. Dr. West suggested that if the pain returns after four hours, then massage the area every two or three hours.

Don’t be discouraged, you won’t have to do this forever. If you do it consistently for a few days, you will be amazed at how quickly the area will start to heal. As you keep the fluid out of the tissues, the structural tone will begin to return, making it harder for the tissue to swell again. So, the longer you do it, the less often you will have to massage the area to keep it pain free.

You will eventually get to the point where you may not have to massage it at all, and this can start happening in as little as three to four weeks. You may not think you have time for this, but what’s the inconvenience of massaging an area half a dozen times a day for a few weeks, compared to the costs and risks of surgery or long-term pharmaceutical use?

Using Topical Analgesics

You can make this massage technique even more effective by using topical healing remedies every time you massage the area. NSP offers many options in this area; here is some information about each.

Tei Fu Oil and Lotion

My old standby is Tei Fu Oil, a formula developed by Tei Fu Chin, a Chinese doctor who worked for NSP at one time and then founded his own herb company, SunRider. These types of essential oil blends are commonly used in the Orient as topical remedies for pain and there are a number of such blends on the marketplace, such as Tiger Balm. I’ve tried a lot of them, but Tei Fu is still my favorite.

Tei Fu contains wintergreen oil (which contains salycilates, a natural form of aspirin), clove (a topical analgesic), lavender (which relaxes tense muscles and nerves), eucalyptus (a great oil for opening respiratory passages) and menthol and camphor (both well-recognized topical remedies for pain). These essential oils are in a base of the fixed oil from safflowers. They are also found in a cream base in Tei Fu lotion and in an aloe vera gel base in Herbal Trim.

Lobelia, Capsicum and Tei Fu

Tei Fu Oil is a first aid kit you can carry in your purse and an amazing topical analgesic for joint and muscle pains, as well as headaches, respiratory congestion, insect bites and stings and much more. I use it as part of my pain relief trio, lobelia, capsicum and Tei Fu. I’ve used these three remedies for all kinds of injuries and pain, including backache, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and strained muscles from over exertion.

To use this pain relief trio, start by mixing equal parts of lobelia extract and capsicum extract and applying them topically to the affected area. Lobelia eases muscle spasms and cramps and capsicum draws healing blood to the area. Capsicum also contains the pain-relieving substance capsaicin, which blocks pain receptors.

After massaging this in to loosen tense muscles and ease the pain, you follow it with an application of Tei Fu Oil or Tei Fu Massage Lotion. This completes the analgesic effect and appears to drive the lobelia and capsicum deeper into the tissues. It also creates a more sustained effect.

There are too many uses for Tei Fu to put into this newsletter, so you’ll have to go online and read the article I’ve posted about Tei Fu Oil. I’ve also posted an article on lobelia and there is another article already online about capsicum.

Deep Relief Oil

Another essential oil blend that can be applied topically to ease pain is Deep Relief. Deep Relief also contains the topical analgesic clove, but it combines it with ginger and nutmeg oils. Nutmeg is also an analgesic and a very powerful one. In fact, when I was in Maylasia during the 1980s, I discovered that they use nutmeg like many Western herbalists use capsicum, as a kind of cure-all. In my experience Deep Relief oil is a stronger analgesic, but Tei Fu is a better general healer (and I like the smell better).

MSM/Glucosamine Cream

For arthritis and other joint pains, however, there are two products that are much more targeted. The first is my favorite, MSM/Glucosamine Cream. MSM is an organic sulfur compound that penetrates readily through the skin. It is a derivative of DMSO, which has a long history of use as an anti-inflammatory agent. MSM is safer than DMSO, but is still great for reducing inflammation and pain and helping rebuild tissues.

This formula also contains glucosamine sulfate, a compound, which is part of the cartilage in healthy joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which involves a breakdown of cartilage in the joints. With the penetrating effects of MSM, this cream can help deliver glucosamine directly to damaged joints to aid repair, while reducing pain and inflammation.

I use MSM/Glucosamine Cream on my right knee (which was injured twice when I was a teenager) and broken when I was a young adult. I also use it on the vertebrae in my upper back (near the shoulders) where I get pain from working too much on computers. After applying the MSM/Glucosamine Cream to these areas, I follow it up with some Tei Fu oil. This has worked wonders for easing any pain or discomfort I develop in these areas.

Other Topical Pain Relievers

There is also Everflex Pain Cream which contains menthol and MSM in a cream base. This is another option for easing joint and muscle pain, but is not a product with which I have personal experience.

Where there is a new injury to tissues (such as a bump, sprain, tear, pull or strain) the best choice for topical application is Healing AC Cream. This blend of homeopathic arnica and calendula in a cream base can rapidly reduce swelling in injured tissues, prevent bruising, ease pain and promote rapid healing. Normally, arnica is not used on broken skin, but with the calendula in this cream, this product can also be applied to abraided areas as well, because calendula is for healing cuts.

Where there is scar tissue in the area of old injuries, Helicrysum essential oil diluted with Vitamin E and Super GLA as a carrier oil can promote healing. Helicrysum is an expensive oil, but it is amazing what it can do to soften scar tissue and speed healing, especially when mixed with vitamin E.

Using self-massage to ease pain and promote healing is a simple, yet very powerful, tool, which is completely free. It just takes a little thought and time, but small, persistent efforts will yield powerful results.

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Chronic Pain Relief Alternatives

What sets chronic pain apart from more acute pain is its relentlessness. Acute pain fades away as the body heals from an injury. Chronic pain doesn’t.

Experts say -- depending on what’s causing your pain -- supplements may help.

“I think supplements can be the cornerstone of good pain management,” says David C. Leopold, MD, director of Integrative Medical Education at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego. “People are also looking to supplements more and more. They have less tolerance for the side effects of traditional pain medications. They want something different.”

“Unfortunately, the conventional medical treatment of chronic pain still isn’t very good,” says Leopold. Perhaps the treatment doesn’t work well and the pain is still interfering with your life. Or maybe the side effects are too severe. Opioid painkillers can cause sedation, constipation, and a risk of addiction. NSAID painkillers -- from over-the-counter drugs like Advil to prescription medicines like Celebrex -- pose a danger of bleeding, stomach problems, and cardiovascular risks. Read the entire article.

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How We Deplete Our Nutrients

Below is a list of various nutrients and the corresponding substance(s) that deplete the specific nutrient from your body. The list doesn't mention that many of these nutrients are for the most part water-soluble meaning that every day they need to be replaced to keep a sufficient amount of nutrients for us to survive.

Is it any wonder that after we indulge in certain foods, drinks, and drugs, that needed nutrients are depleted to such a sufficient amount that our body systems become compromised. All the more reason to have a well-balanced supplement program.

B COMPLEX VITAMINS
B1 - cooking, caffeine, alcohol, estrogen, sugar, sulfa drugs and food processing
B2 - ultraviolet light, estrogen, sugar, sulfa drugs and alcohol
Niacin (B3) - sulfa drugs, sleeping pills, estrogen and sugar
Pantothentic Acid (B5) - canning, caffeine, sulfa drugs, sleeping pills, estrogen, alcohol and sugar
B6 - canning, roasting, long food storage, stewing of meat, alcohol, estrogen
Folic Acid - heat, light, unprotected storage at room temperature, sulfa drugs, estrogen and boiling foods
B15 - sunlight
Biotin - raw egg whites, sulfa drugs, antibiotics, estrogen and alcohol
Choline - sulfa drugs, estrogen, food processing, alcohol
Inositol - caffeine, coffee, sulfa drugs, estrogen, food poisoning and alcohol
PABA - sulfa drugs, food processing, alcohol and estrogen

VITAMINS
C - stress, smoking, high fever, aspirin, pain killers, cooking, heat, light, alcohol
D - smog and mineral oil
E - heat, oxygen, freezing temperatures, inorganic iron, chlorine, mineral oil and frying
Essential Fatty Acids - saturated fats and heat
K - coumadin or blood thinners
Bioflavonoids - boiling, cooking, heat, light and smoking
U - heat

MINERALS
Calcium - large quantities of fat, oxalic acid, phytic acid
Chromium - sugar, refined carbohydrates, refined foods and junk foods
Cobalt - acids, alkalies, sunlight, alcohol, estrogen, sleeping pills
Copper - too much zinc
Fluorine - aluminum salts of fluoride
Iodine - iodine poor soil, food processing
Iron - phosphate food additives, E.D.T.A. (a food preservative and chelating agent). tannic acid in tea and coffee
Magnesium - alcohol, diuretics, sugar, refined flour, protein, food processing
Manganese - large phosphorous and calcium intake, milk and meat eating
Molybdenum - refined foods
Phosphorus - too much aluminum, magnesium and iron
Potassium - alcohol, coffee, sugar, diuretics and refined foods
Selenium - food processing, high fat foods, infection, injury stress, blood loss, old age
Sodium - vomiting, diarrhea, sweating for fevers, heat or exercise
Sulfur - none known
Vanadium - none known
Zinc - food processing, nutrient poor soil, old age, contraceptives and alcohol

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