The ‘Good Health is wealth’ is an adage that does not change even for a pregnant woman and the best way to maintain overall health is to exercise regularly.

In fact a moderate and regular exercise regimen during pregnancy can improve the tone and strength of muscles, boost energy levels and even help to keep those varicose veins at bay.

A word of caution though—be careful about the kind of exercise that you do. Safety first should be your watchword. Check out with the obstetrician whether you can exercise and after 20 weeks any exercise that requires you to be in a supine position is taboo.

In the initial stages of pregnancy, it is easier to exercise but as it advances, remember that your body weight and balance is altered. So you need to modify your exercise program accordingly. Walking, swimming or riding a stationary bike have always been good options, but be careful to gradually he time you spend exercising.

When you exercise, the supply of blood and oxygen to the muscles is increased. This means that the flow to other parts is considerably reduced. Hence any workout should neither be strenuous nor should it cause you to feel exhausted. Exercise is supposed to benefit you and the baby. That, remember is the bottom line. A warm up before exercise and a cool down after is important.

If you are one of those fitness freaks who have always exercised even before pregnancy, you can maintain the same routine with slight modifications. In fact there is no hard and fast rule. Exercise so long as you feel comfortable.

Avoid any exercise that poses a risk. Horseback riding, skiing, scuba diving, playing jerky and vigorous games like tennis and hockey are better avoided. Light Swimming is seen to be beneficial. It is an absolutely safe exercise that does not cause any stress to your joints. Brisk Walking is preferred to running or jogging.

Wear sensible shoes and avoid dehydration. Stretching exercises are relaxing and they tone the body. Stretch very gently and slowly. In pregnant women, the hormone relaxing causes the muscles and ligaments to be more supple and elastic than usual and it is very easy to pull a muscle.

Stretching in the water is a good idea because the water buoys you up. Kegal exercises, which strengthen pelvic muscles, augur easier births. Yoga in its non-rigorous form is extremely safe and beneficial because it eases the stress and strain on the back. So 5 minutes of slow walking or cycling followed by 15 minutes of moderate exercise and 5-10 minutes of slow activity accompanied by gentle stretching should keep you in good shape.

If you can talk easily without being out of breath while you exercise, you are probably on the right track. Check your pulse rate during the workout. Multiplying that by 6 gives you the heart rate. Ensure that at no time this goes over 140 beats\minute. Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and sensible shoes while exercising.

At high altitudes, refrain from exercising. Avoid overheating or exhaustion; drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise, and above all listen to your muscles. Stop immediately if you feel tired, dizzy, out of breath or have any abdominal pain. If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or have encountered problems during earlier pregnancies, do not exercise without consulting the obstetrician. Weight training is generally not advisable. You could sprain a muscle or harm a joint.

In short exercise is good both for the mother and her baby. The benefit of exercise is transferred to the child also. It has been found that babies, which are born to women who have maintained a regimen of exercise during pregnancy, have better neurodevelopment and are stronger and healthier. So keep exercising during pregnancy and enjoy the benefits that accrue.

The aloe plant is a part of the lily family but it is Aloe barbadensis commonly called aloe Vera, which is of great significance. The health benefits of aloe Vera have been propagated throughout the world and there are very few places where it has not made a dent.

Aloe Vera is available as a gel, spray, lotion, liquid, cream and in the form of a capsule. In India, physicians have been recommending creams made from aloe Vera especially for skin eruptions and allergies. Gels and lotions have become very popular in ayurvedic pharmacies Indian cosmetologists are turning to aloe Vera more than ever before.

The gel of aloe Vera has as many as 75 nutrients, which augur good health, has also turned out to be a very popular remedy for burns and wound. One important point to note is that it must be immediately applied in order to get relief from pain.

The gel of aloe Vera is potent and it is got from the leaves. In fact, minor cuts, bruises and scrapes heal quickly on application of the gel. Even shingles, which can be very painful at times, responds to Aloe Vera.

Apart from providing relief from itching, it helps to heal the blisters and sores. For people suffering from Psoriasis, aloe Vera has provided relief by reducing the pain and itching. It has been proved that the gel causes considerable improvement in the nature of the lesions.

Although the benefits of aloe Vera are very useful for skin disorders, the juice is used in cases of people suffering from heartburn, ulcers and other digestive disorders. People suffering from indigestion or the irritable bowel syndrome have claimed that the juice of aloe Vera does provide comfort. It is sometimes used as a laxative.

This juice acts as an anti inflammatory agent and in some cases is known to reduce the amount of stomach juices that are secreted. Several Japanese studies and clinical trials that have been conducted have shown that aloe Vera does have an impact on digestive system disorders.

The benefits of aloe Vera extend even to stimulating production of collagen and elastin both of which are necessary to prevent aging of the skin. As a moisturizer, aloe Vera is very popular as it removes dead cells and also aids in the penetration of healthy substances. It reduces the intensity of pigmentation and lightens dark spots on the face,. The cosmetic industry is exploring its potential and the world may soon see a mini revolution.

Muscle pain and pain in the joints occurring because of arthritis can be alleviated by the application of aloe Vera gels or sprays. In fact if it is used regularly, it can actually help regress arthritis. The gel of aloe Vera is said to have a beneficial effect in the decrease of total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood fat lipid levels.

As these are major factors, which cause coronary heart disease, it is worth exploring its full potential. The extract of aloe Vera is known to steady even blood sugar levels.

The full power of aloe Vera and the health benefits of aloe Vera have yet to be tapped. It contains almost 20 amino acids, vital minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium in sufficient quantities, enzymes, vitamins, polysaccharides, nitrogen and other components which make it a miracle substance

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Celebrities have an advantage over others. They are heard when they talk. And when they can’t talk, their actions speaks louder than any voice. And, if they are celebrities with disabilities, they become role models, for people to emulate their actions. They are celebrities by virtue of their grit and determination to not let their disability become a handicap, and by motivating others to reach out beyond their own disabilities.

A list of some of these eminent & famous people with cerebral palsy will help in that I am not alone feeling and will go a long way in sharing strength and courage.

Stephen Hawking: The internationally renowned Physicist, has defied time and doctor’s pronouncements that he would not live 2-years beyond his 21 years of age when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The symptoms are very similar to those of CP; Hawking cannot walk, talk, breathe easy, swallow and has difficulty in holding up his head.

But he is still beating life at its own game. Confined to a wheelchair, he uses a special computer to transfer his thoughts into a readable form, which he himself reads with an electronic voice support system. A Ph. D from Cambridge, Stephen Hawkings fascination for the study of the Universe and laws governing it, has only grown with the passage of time.

His book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes explains many of his physical and mathematical ideas, and calculations without using math. The book, a best seller was later made into a movie.

Signing the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island, Stephen said, My hand may shake but my heart does not.

Jhamak Ghimire: What Helen Keller was to India, Jhamak Ghimire is to Nepal. Born in 1980 with Cerebral Palsy, Ghimire did not let it get her down. Despite all odds, she learnt to read and write and went on to become one of the most leading, and respected literary figures of Nepal.

Greg Walloch, Chris Fonseca and Geri Jewell combated CP to become the finest comedians, actors and performers. Geri is still remembered for her role in the television show, ‘The Facts of Life’.

Chris Nolan and Christy Brown: eminent Irish Writers /Poets. Christy Brown’s life formed the backdrop of the Academy Award winning film, ‘My Left Foot’. He typed and painted with his left foot, to which the film owes its name.

Thomas Ritter, Attorney and Brother of Actor John Ritter, helped start United Cerebral Palsy Associations Inc., Anne McDonald is an Australian Writer and Social Critic; Ruth Senkenwitz Mercer, Writer/Lecturer; Gaby Brimmer, overcame the challenges of severe Cerebral Palsy, by writing novels using her left foot; John Callahan is a quadriplegic cartoonist; Arthur Campbell Jr. was a stout advocate of his rights as a CP individual; Dan Keplinger paints using his head pointer, while Christopher Nolen, a novelist, uses his head pointer to type out his novelist.

Such is their spirit to be free, and not shackled by disabilities. What needs to be seen is the person, not the disability!

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An endless range of cellulite products have flooded the market. Before resorting to anti cellulite treatment and using anti-cellulite products it is necessary to understand why cellulite is so stubborn. The tissue beneath our skin is called the subcutaneous layer and this contains connective tissue which has vertical fat cell chambers.

There is a network of fibers which holds the connective tissues together and also offers protection for the organs. Normally there is efficient disposal of fats and toxic waste, but when circulation is diminished, there is no removal of fluids and toxins. This gets trapped, and the connective tissue slowly thickens forming cellulite.

So the function of cellulite products is two fold -first to strengthen those connective tissues and get them back to shape and second to improve the circulation of blood so that the stored fat can be used to produce energy. Fat loss and improved metabolism is the underlying basis for all cellulite products.

Natural cellulite products that fight stubborn fat can be found in the form of herbs, seed extracts and oils. Gotu kola stimulates the body to produce substances that strengthen the collagen fibers and improve circulation of blood. Aescin, which is a component of horsechestnut, decreases the size of pores on the walls of the capillaries and improves blood flow.

Grape seed extract reinforces the fibers of collagen, is an antioxidant and helps to maintain the elasticity of the blood vessels. Ginkgo bilobais a vasodilator acts as an oxidant and helps in the smooth passage of blood. Kelp with its high iodine content boosts the body’s metabolism and helps to burn more calories. Other natural products that help combat cellulite are caffeine, theophylline, lipase, Asiatic acid, madecassic acid, and plant extracts like green tea.

Amino acids, especially L-Carnitine, which helps in the oxidation of fats and removal of toxic ketones, is an important cellulite fighter. Cytochrome-C acts as a catalyst in aerobic metabolism by increasing the amount of oxygen to all cells of the body especially the mitochondria. For fat to burn oxygen is required. Hydroxycitric Acid retards the production of fat during metabolism.

– Synthetic cellulite products like Cellulite body massage gel and anti-eau body treatment oils made from plant extracts help to reduce the spongy feeling in the legs by strengthening the tissues and stimulating cellular exchanges. Body firming cream bolster the support fibers of the skin making it firm.

Body lift contour control tightens and tones areas where cellulite is present thereby retexturing the skin and reinforcing the support network. Bath and shower concentrates help to diffuse the aromatic essence throughout the body targeting cellulite prone areas. Mineral rich spring water and algae have been known to effectively reduce cellulite. The cellulite eraser does its work effectively and quickly by reducing the appearance of cellulite.

With so many cellulite products in the market, you are understandably confused. So change your lifestyle. High fiber and a Low fat diet supplemented by fruits and vegetables are the key to good eating habits. Drink fresh fruit juices (no sugar at all) and lots of water. Lemon juice with a little honey helps to increase body metabolism. Drink it the first thing in the morning. During the day, there is nothing like a glass of cool of buttermilk. Whenever you feel like eating something sweet, cut yourself a generous slice of watermelon.

It staves of those sugar pangs. Aerobic activities like walking or cycling, light asanas, which stretch the muscles, and massaging of the cellulite deposited area with hand or brush (always brush towards the heart) will help remove cellulite, strengthen connective tissues, and remove stubborn fat and tone the body. Above all, you require patience and persistence to keep cellulite at bay.

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As our lives become more and more sedentary, �the battle of the bulge� is on. A constant tug of war between fad diets and potions, which profess to make you lose weight, seem to be of no avail. There are just no short cuts. Learn to accept the fact that exercise and a balanced diet are the primary factors that burn fat and reduce weight. You have to burn more calories than you eat otherwise those extra calories are going to get stored as fat. So what sort of exercises do we do? Let us take a look.

Exercise Programs should be tailored to cater to the needs and goals of the individual. Planning a regimen of exercise depends on health, age, fitness level and also interests. There is nothing like playing a few games of tennis or basketball every day. Such sports exercise all the muscles and are a good way to lose a few kilos, trim that midline while enjoying yourself. Exercise should be a way of life rather than something that you just have to do. Exercise throughout the week and do not too much in one-day.

Warm up exercises are a must. You have to prepare the body for a state of activity. It increases the flexibility of the muscles and reduces the chances of injury. Perform these exercises for 5-10 minutes. Slow walking, trunk rotations or low intensity movements are ideal. Now concentrate on muscular strength and endurance exercises. Simple weight exercises combined with push-ups and sit-ups should take care of both the factors.

No exercise program is complete without cardiovascular exercises. These do the main job of burning those unwanted calories, reducing fat, and strengthening heart and the lungs. Brisk walking, long runs and swims, cycling, skipping and rowing are fantastic fat burners.

STRETCHING exercises are important as they increase neuromuscular coordination, eliminate stiffness of limbs and stress in muscles. Sit and reach out and see how flexible your joints and muscles are.10 minutes of stretching after a warm up or during a cool down should be sufficient.

Yoga poses which increase metabolism and burn calories are emerging trends. The big factor is that yoga creates a sense of well-being and makes you want to lose weight permanently. So include yoga in your daily routine. It will help in a big way.

If you want to succeed in shedding those extra pounds, there are a few things that you must remember. Build up the level of any activity slowly over a period of time. Pay heed to those signals from your body and act accordingly. If you experience dizziness, pain or pressure in any part stop and get medical attention. Have short-term goals and work towards long term ones. Keep track of the progress you make and if you can work out with a friend. Working out together is fun and motivating. Increase the intensity of exercise gradually and you will see that the scales are in your favor. So, Exercise, eat healthy and adopt a good lifestyle. Permanent weight loss is on the cards.. ~ author M. Swami.

The service is provided as general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor. We not responsible for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.

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As you age, arthritis dogs your footsteps and if you are not careful it could cripple you mentally and physically. The joints are usually affected especially the knees and elbows.

Synovial fluid is the name given to the lubricant present in the joints and the cartilage is the special tissue, which absorbs shocks and ensures that the ends of the bones are protected. When this is damaged, then the ends of the bones rub against each other and cause pain. This is known as osteo-arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which means the immune system which is supposed to defend the body starts attacking the body’s tissues and causes abnormal growth of tissue.. This could be because of infection or injury to the tissue.

So, if you want to ward off the ill effects of osteo arthritis, anti oxidants is the key – the natural cure for arthritis. They ensure that the cartilage remains fairly intact. It is apparent then that the treatment of arthritis can be accomplished by eating fruits and vegetables as they are very good sources of antioxidants.

Consumed in adequate amounts, they can minimize the effects of joint damage. Processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar are taboo. High fiber foods, minimum fat and flavonoid rich foods like cherries help to minimize destruction to the joints.

Vegetable juices especially a mixture of carrot, beet and cucumber is very beneficial. Green salad with lemon juice, cooked vegetables like pumpkin, spices like ginger, coriander, asafetida, and turmeric all contribute to the well being of the joints.

Fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, papaya should be taken liberally. In this context it is seen that Vitamin E is helpful not only in preventing breakdown of cartilage but also in generating the components necessary for the manufacture of cartilage. Collagen, which is an important constituent of cartilage, requires the presence of vitamin C. In some individuals, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers can prevent collagen repair, so the diet needs to be suitably altered to exclude these. It has been found that allergic foods can trigger joint pain, so the first step is to identify these foods and eliminate them from your diet. Be sure to go low on tea, sugar, yogurt, chocolate and tempting spicy and fried foods. A radical change in your lifestyle can do wonders for arthritis.

Ultrasound heat therapy is also known to benefit individuals suffering from arthritis. Ultrasound energy uses a gel or mineral oil as a conducting agent. What ultrasound actually does is to first warm the areas and then invade the body and reach the inner tissue. Muscle tissue and ligaments are very receptive to this form of energy while fat tissue is sluggish in acceptance. The relief this form of treatment provides is long lasting.

Diathermy has always been a popular mode of deep heat treatment. An insulated wire coil is used to transfer heat to the affected part. As it uses a magnetic field on the connective tissues ,even fat tissues are receptive to this form of energy. Diathermy on a regular basis provides relief. In addition to diet and physical therapy, exercise is a must. Of course, confine yourself to those activities, which cause least strain.

One very effective cure for osteo-athritis is the naturally occurring glucosamine sulfate, because it helps connective tissue to be formed. As it consists of hydrogen, glucose and nitrogen amine, it is often referred to as an amino sugar. Rather than providing energy as sugars usually do, it helps in construction of body tissue of bones, ligaments, digestive system and several other areas. Unfortunately as you age, the ability to manufacture this wonder substance also decreases. The cartilage is hence destroyed and the ends of the bones rub against each other causing pain. However, external supplements of glucosamine sulfate in combination with Chondrotin sulfate has been known to work wonders when combined with exercise and proper nutrition.

In India, Ayurveda focuses on “doshas” and in the case of Rheumatic joint pains it believes that “vata” dosha has in some way been aggravated. In addition, the toxins of improper indigestion deposit itself in areas, which are weak. Ayurvedic treatment strongly advocates massage with mustard or sesame oil on the areas of concern. Light exercise is also advised. Vitamin C and the herb Guggul taken twice a day is said to produce beneficial effects. Turmeric, which is used freely in Indian cooking is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and ginger either in the form of oil or extract is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Here again diet plays an important part in controlling arthritis. A low protein diet, no milk or milk products, no polyunsaturated oils, an increase in omega3
fatty acids, walnuts and flaxseeds should go a long way in affording relief.
Yoga, relaxation techniques, and meditation have also known to be effective natural remedies for arthritis.

In layman’s language cellulite is nothing but fat cells being trapped by fibers that have formed a network. These fibers are constantly cleansed by body fluids and poor circulation retards this cleansing process. The result is disastrous. Waste materials accumulate; they slowly thicken and become hard pockets of immovable fat. This is what causes the “orange peel effect” or dimpling as it is often called. Feeling of heaviness or tightness in the legs, tenderness when pressed or massaged is common. That is the downside of cellulite. The good news is that it is not a disease or illness in the real sense of the word, but a sign that your lifestyle is unhealthy.

There is no quick fix solution for cellulite reduction, and the obvious and most inexpensive way to treat cellulite is to watch what you eat and drink, and burn those calories by exercising on a regular basis. Thousands of OTC potions, creams and pills to combat cellulite have flooded the market but the fact remains that Cellulite is stubborn and refuses to budge easily.

Liposuction removes the deposits of fat which lie trapped between the skin and muscle. It is a surgical procedure that is done under general anesthesia. A cannula connected to a suction pump is allowed to penetrate the skin through small incisions. Suction breaks through the layers of deposited fat. Tumescent liposuction avoids general anesthesia by using a dilute solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) in combination with epinephrine. This being a vasoconstrictor, loss of blood is minimal. The endermologie machine also targets cellulite. It massages affected areas with rollers and gently suctions fat molecules. As it elongates the connective fibers that hold the fat cells, toxins and water are expelled. When the machine is used on you, be prepared to have your body encased in a huge stocking.

Tri-Active Laser Dermology is a high tech new fangled massager. It uses laser technology and has 3 different functions. Like any other machine, it first breaks up fat molecules and collagen, and then smaller lasers generate new collagen making surface skin smooth. Then it offers localized cooling to prevent bruising and swelling. Micro massaging is rendered possible by cellulite hosiery that effectively massages even as you wear it thereby improving circulation and increasing lymphatic drainage. It reduces cellulite, tones the muscles and makes skin look firm. A truly promising form of cellulite treatment.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage increases the functioning of the lymphatic system, and helps to remove and filter waste, toxins and excess fluids from the body. Good lymph fluid circulation prevents the fluid from solidifying and binding with collagen fibers of the fat cells. Heat and Water Treatments, which include hydrotherapy, saunas, and steam baths, help to increase circulation. This brings the toxins closer to the surface of the skin. During the process of excretion, these toxins find their way out and the pressure on the lymph system is greatly reduced. The principle involved in Hydrotherapy is pretty much the same. Baths, showers and hydro massage treatments encourage weight loss; increase circulation and boosts lymph flow. All this impedes the formation of cellulite.

Cellulite treatment is as varied as it can get. Water, suction, laser, massage and now there is the electric muscle stimulation. Electric currents passing through pads placed on the body cause the muscles to contract and relax alternatively. A good work out no doubt to build the muscles, but to what extent it is good for cellulite is really hard to say. Body Brushing removes dead cells from the surface of the skin, making it easy for toxins to be removed. The new Vibratory Endermatic system for cellulite treatment increases blood circulation, stretches the connective fibers and reduces dimpling of skin. These systems can conform to different body shapes and the main advantage is that it does not cause harm to the collagen, does not destroy subcutaneous tissue nor does it damage the elastin layers of the skin. A combination of massage techniques with endermatic applicators is known to have produced specific body results.

Patch contour deals with the application of patches which contain Celidium cartilagineum that converts fat into energy and eliminates unwanted toxins. Used like a sticking plaster, it has produced good results by reducing stubborn cellulite.

New therapies like the jet therapy, which breaks fat cells with the help of compressed air blown onto the skin through a small filtration system, is yet to gain credibility. Gene therapy works on the principle of an inherited cellulite gene on the x chromosome. Replacement of the cellulite-causing gene engineered to follow a different pattern could prove to be the ultimate breakthrough. New ones that would augur cellulite free frames will replace old cells. This however is a long way off. Both the therapies are only airborne and need to surface.

All said and done, a good balanced fat free diet, drinking plentyof water, eating fiber and wholegrain foods, and consuming fresh fruit and vegetables does not allow fat tissues to form. Coupled with 30 minutes of exercise everyday will ensure that you maintain the shape of your body. Avoid smoking and unnecessary medication, and de-stress by doing yoga. This is be the easiest way to lead a cellulite free life.

The Flaxseed plant also called Linum Usitatissimum has its origin in Europe where it was a source of fiber. Gradually it came to be used as a healing herb and was often used in the place of what is now a multi vitamin supplement. It is rich in omega 3 acids, fatty acids (EFAs) and is touted to be useful in treating cardiac ailments ands even lupus.  The EFAs are the key components present in flaxseed oil because similar acids are required to protect cell membranes. The omega 3 acids are good for the heart and the omega 6 are similar to the ones found in vegetable oils.

Flaxseed oil contains lignans, which can be used to counter hormone related problems and ward off the ill effects of certain, bacteria and fungi. Studies, which have been conducted show that the health benefits of flaxseed oil are extensive. It controls high blood pressure, helps to lower cholesterol and guards against heart disease. Flaxseed oil also protects against angina and could prevent a second heart attack. The health benefits of flaxseed oil also extend to combating inflammation due to gout, lupus and also inflammation in the joints and kidneys. Flaxseed oil reduces the intensity of joint pain and also reduces joint swelling. The omega 3 acids present in flaxseed oil helps to absorb the iodine and this is very useful in treating conditions where this element is present in small amounts.

Surprisingly, flaxseed oil is also useful in controlling constipation. The dietary fiber content in the oil is considerable and helps to ease bowel movements. As it has been known to combat inflammation, it is useful in repairing any intestinal tract damage. It has been known to keep those gallstones at bay and sometimes dissolve existing stones.

Problems associated with the skin have a ready remedy in flaxseed oil. The EFAs target the sites of inflammation and brings about an overall soothing. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea have all been known to respond favorably to flaxseed oil. The omega 3 acids ensure healthy hair and nails and it also helps to revitalize skin and prevents nails from cracking and breaking.

Flaxseed oil helps to reduce the severity of nerve damage and also aids in the triggering of nerve impulses. As it nourishes the nerve, it may possibly be of some use in the treating of Parkinson’s disease. It helps to combat the effects of aging and the lignans present in the oil guard against cancer. Sprains and bruises heal faster on the application of flaxseed oil. Another important area where it is of great help is the brain. The omega 3 fatty acids help retain emotional health of a person, helping to tackle depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Used externally, it can soften dry skin. The gel of flaxseed has been used as a poultice on injured areas in many Indian homes.. In fact, rural India  has been advocating the use of flaxseed oil for quite a long time.

The oil is used in cooking and is ingested in the capsule form for various other disorders. 2-3 grams of flaxseed oil is good although no side effects have been detected with people who consume more. Flaxseeds themselves can be crushed and used along with beverages, bread and other baked products. The oil should however be kept away from heat and light. In the light of so many advantages, it actually seems worthwhile to do away with vegetable oils and replace it with flaxseed oil. The health benefits afforded by flaxseed oil almost makes it out to be a miracle oil.

Category editors : M.Hemdev, Karishma Bajaj, Lata. S Batra, F. Peris, Monica Khatri…

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Care after vaccination for children | Preparing children for vaccination | What you need to ask before vaccination | BCG vaccine | Oral Polio Vaccine |
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Insomnia is a common feature and is prevalent in young and old alike. A decreased level of melatonin in the brain is one reason why people are not able to sleep.

Stress, depression or a deficiency in magnesium or iron could be other causes for insomnia. Sometimes there is a hormonal imbalance or individuals suffer from RLS(restless leg syndrome) which prevents from getting adequate sleep.

There are other reasons but what is more important is how to treat insomnia? The more natural the cure is for insomnia, the better it is, for drugs can have many side effects.

What you eat or drink before retiring for the day may have an impact on your sleep pattern. So do ensure that you do not overeat and also that you do not take any stimulating beverage like coffee. Stick to the good old glass of warm milk. It contains Tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin (the good feel chemical) and then to melatonin—the sleep-inducing chemical. Avoid eating sweets and try to eat magnesium rich foods for dinner. Magnesium is a natural sleep-inducing element and is found in legumes, dark leafy vegetables, almonds, and whole grains.

Honey is also said to promote sleep and is a good wholesome natural cure for insomnia. 2 teaspoons in  a large cup of water should do the trick. In fact a cup of Chamomile tea with honey is even better. Bedtime tea consisting of valerian root, kava kava, chamomile and catnip in the right proportion is  a very calming concoction. Another cure for insomnia, which is supposed to work wonders, is to take a pinch of cinnamon, roast it until it turns black. Boil this in water (a glassful) and take it just half an hour before you want to retire. It is professed to work.

The use of vitamins and minerals in our lives cannot be emphasized enough. Calcium, The B vitamins and Vitamin D contribute in the regulating of the nervous system. So approximately 1000mg calcium, combined with about 400 units of vitamin D and B complex should in the long run ensure that your insomnia is cured. In India, Ayurveda states that insomnia is because of a “vata” imbalance. Massaging with oil on the extremities with either warm mustard or sesame oil is said to cure insomnia. In many parts of India, we see this being done and very effectively too.

Aromatherapy is gaining ground as a natural remedy. Chamomile and lavender oils do promote sleep and also lengthen sleep time, making individuals feel refreshed. A lavender sachet under your pillow, or 2 drops of lavender oil applied to the temples is believed to induce sleep. The oil actually helps muscles to relax, and decreases the metabolic activity. Massaging the neck and shoulders with a few drops of either chamomile, lavender, sandalwood or rose oil is very soothing and calms the nerves. What massage actually does is to increase the levels of Tryptophan, which in turn increases the levels of serotonin and that in turn causes melatonin to be produced. Not only does massage increase the circulation of blood, but also helps to push the lymph fluids into the blood stream thus ensuring optimum utilization of body chemicals.
Acupressure and acupuncture may help to cure insomnia. Acupressure would involve applying pressure to the back of head at the base of the skull while prolonged acupuncture (4-5 weeks) increases the amount of melatonin produced in the evening. PMR or progressive muscle relaxation is a great natural remedy for insomnia.

What is involved here is a constant tensing and relaxing of muscle groups. This in turn relaxes the mind and the body and hastens sleep. Breathing exercises like pranayama hasten sleep.

Learning to breathe deeply and slowly so as to involve the diaphragm as you inhale and exhale and focusing on your breathing encourages you to divert your mind from anything that is stressful. This should soothe and calm your nerves lulling you to sleep. Some yoga postures that you can do lying down without any strain while listening to relaxing music de stresses your body.

Hydrotherapy is stated to set up a rhythm in the body. Stand in the bathtub so that the water covers your ankles and march up and down for about five minutes. It may help you to sleep. Visualization or imagery relaxation when practiced properly helps the body to relax. Visualize smooth motions, peaceful scenes, and relaxing actions in a repetitive manner. It works very much like the proverbial counting sheep. Use cotton bedding and make your bed as comfortable as possible. Remove all the clutter in the vicinity and open the windows to let in the fresh air. Do not look at the clock, it will only reinforce the fact that you are not sleeping when you actually should be. Do not worry if you cannot sleep, the worry itself is enough to keep you awake.

See that the bedroom is dimly lit, bright light can keep you awake and also influence hormone production. Try to shut out outside noise by using a ear plug or by switching on the fan to mask the irritant. Keep bedtimes consistent and do not do any work while in bed. Put an end to those quick catnaps that you tend to have in the afternoon. Learn to combat stress. Set realistic demands, indulge in hobbies and pleasant pastimes, and have a quiet period for introspection. Avoid watching or reading about anything aggressive. In short, do not stimulate the visual cortex.