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Citizen Health
Heal South Africa - A project dedicated to uniting & empowering the people of South Africa, with the goal of peace, happiness and health for all. Heal South Africa - A project dedicated to uniting & empowering the people of South Africa, with the goal of peace, happiness and health for all.

    Print Version 

Keith McFarlane of HealSA & Light in SA, is writing a series of articles for the
Citizen newspaper's monthly CITI HEALTH section
printed on the last Tuesday of every month.

The articles are in order from first through to most current.
Should you have missed an article in the newspaper
please click on the quick link's indicated below.



CITI HEALTH ARTICLES - Section 3
Power Alert  |  Shield Yourself From Cancer  |  We Need To Be Intimate  | Shaping Up For The New Year  |   Immune Alert  |  The 'D' Factor  |  New Hope in Deadly Disease  |  Has the World Gone Mad?                         The Heart Of The Matter  |  Momentary Highs Not Worth the Pain  |  The Lighter Side of the Big 'C'

CITI HEALTH ARTICLES - Section 1

CITI HEALTH ARTICLES - Section 2


 

POWER ALERT
- Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 29th Apr 2008

One of the first things I am asked, when consulting companies on health and well being, is how to boost profit margins.

Obviously, poor health equates to poor performance, but short of absenteeism, how would you monitor health on a day to day basis? Most people get up, go to work and put in their hours. Unfortunately, attendance is often the prime criteria when monitoring an individual’s contribution to the health and wellbeing of a company. Lack of focus, poor creativity, weak interpersonal relations; not to mention, headaches, aches and pains and more complicated conditions rarely surface, or if they do they are usually sedated with tea, coffee, donuts, pain killers or prescription medication.

So how do we gauge our performance?

Energy Potential

Whether you are talking profits or human potential, the bottom line is - you are talking energy. The more you have at your disposal, the more potential you have for success.

In a recent study, it was discovered that the average employee is at best only able to offer 75% of their personal capacity. In the words of Mr. Scott in Star Trek, ‘we just don’t have any more power’.

I am always intrigued at the synchronicity of life. When the nation’s power supplies began dwindling, cries of miss management, poor maintenance and corruption reached a crescendo. Now we either ‘make a plan’, or accept the scheduled load shedding.

In much the same way, most people simply accept their poor energy levels, yet few would admit miss management or poor maintenance. It is just a sign of the stressful times that we live in; but perhaps the real truth is, few of us know how our bodies actually work.

Load shedding

We take supplements, we sweat it out in gyms 3 times a week and we drink water. We may even add a salad to our meals, hoping that the mix will provide an elixir that will boost our health and vitality. Yet we still experience personal load shedding.

The most obvious example of this is after lunch, when fullness saps our energy, leaving us lethargic and unable to think. The reason is simple – the digestive demands of the body take priority over muscular and cognitive needs. If energy levels are already weakened, we literally shut down. Some even refer to the afternoon as ‘the graveyard shift’. In business terms – money down the drain.

Personal Generators

Much like a company, an individual’s health and wellbeing relies on the input of the 75 trillion cells that make up their body. What most people don’t know, is each and every one of these cells is a little energy generator. For your eyes to see, your brain to think, your muscles to work or any other part of your body to function optimally, your cells must provide the necessary energy.

This process relies on one simple thing - circulation. Every cell must receive its quota of nutrients and it must be cleared of all waste build-up. As long as this happens, you will have energy.

While the actual mechanism is complicated, it boils down to breathing and movement. Unfortunately, most of us of spend our days in front of a computer, a steering wheel, a telephone or a television. This has dire consequences for our energy levels.

Firstly, we are not moving. This reduces both the delivery of nutrients to and the removal of waste from the cells. Secondly, most of the time we are so engrossed that our breathing is shallow and erratic. This deprives us of our most needed nutrient – oxygen.

We can survive months without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen - oxygen creates energy. Add to this the enclosed spaces that we spend much of our day in, which are void of free flowing fresh air and green plant life and it is a wonder that we make it to lunch time.

The bottom line is anything that diminishes cellular oxygen, will deplete our energy. Anything that increases it will boost energy. Whether you are at home or work, it is essential that you take regular breaks to recharge your batteries.

Recharge Points

To see a rapid change in the quality of your daily energy, you need to:

Take 3 to 5 deep breaths every hour, preferably in fresh, flowing air.

Move your body hourly, to increase circulation of oxygen and removal of waste. The most effective way is to use what I refer to as a personal generator – a mini trampoline. Two minutes of gentle bouncing with deep breathing, not only improves circulation, but also relaxes the body and mind and can quite literally buy back your last hour of sitting.

Follow your bounce with a half a glass of water to optimize circulation.

Add green powder (made from nutrient rich grasses and sea-vegetables) to your water, to neutralize waste build up and provide optimum nutrients.

For more information on the corporate Power Alert Program, contact Keith McFarlane at 011 682-3584 or visit www.reboundsa.co.za.



SHIELD YOURSELF FROM CANCER
- Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 25th Mar 2008

A lot has changed in the last 50 years. We’ve been to space and to the bottom of the ocean; more people have access to healthcare and education and with cell phones, media and the internet, the world has become an intimate global village.

However, with all of our technological advancement, we’ve also created problems such as soil depletion, deforestation, global warming and pollution. Fast food has replaced home cooked meals, bottled water clean drinking water, and family has become a nostalgic memory.

With statistics indicating one out of every three people are likely to get some form of cancer, there is no doubt that it is more prevalent than 50 years ago. Some studies have even suggested that cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death.

What is cancer?

According to research, cancer occurs when the cells of the body become oxygen deprived, causing a mutation of the cellular genes and abnormal growth patterns.

This may be due to a combination of toxic waste build up around the cells, poor breathing habits and depleted atmospheric oxygen levels. It is well recognized, that all of us are continually forming cells that are potentially cancerous; with 75 trillion cells in the body, the average person has about 1100 mutant cells daily. Fortunately our immune system has the ability to seek out and destroy these abnormal cells before they can become harmful to us.

At the same time, it is the role of the lymphatic system, a prime part of the immune system, to maintain a favourable environment for optimum cell oxygenation.

It would seem therefore, that cancer is a symptom of an inefficient immune system. In his book ‘The Cancer Answer’, Prof Albert Carter suggests that our only real defense against cancer is a healthy immune system.

The Immune System

The single most important factor influencing the efficiency of our lymphatic and immune system is lifestyle; how we interact with one another, breathe, drink, eat, rest and exercise.

Poor breathing habits and a sedentary lifestyle are the leading causes of poor lymphatic circulation. In addition, many elements of the environment we live in today compromise the defense ability of our immune system. Immune suppressors can be of the physical or emotional type. Physical immune suppressors are any chemical material, which is foreign to the body and not needed for a specific function. They include air and water pollutants, chemical additives to food and in household cleaners, pesticides, toxins, the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs as well as refined sugar. Emotional immune suppressors include harboring negative emotions such as fear, hate, anger, grief, anxiety, depression, resentment, frustration, feelings of guilt, hopelessness and helplessness. Debilitating stress, which overloads the nervous system, also weakens our immunity.

Strengthening the Immune System

Immunity is partly inherited and partly shaped by lifestyle, but we can take steps to improve its ability to function optimally.  

We’ve heard the advice so many times before that it can seem to simple and easy to be effective. But the reality is – if we eliminate as many immune suppressors as we can, and increase immune enhancers – we can have a tangible impact on restoring the normal healing mechanism of the body;

Choose a diet as high in organically grown grains, fruits and vegetables as possible, particularly green leafy vegetable.

Avoid processed foods containing artificial additives.

Include moderate exercise in your daily and weekly routine.

Replace negative emotions with positive ones; adopt a positive, cheerful, hopeful, loving, giving and winning attitude.

Include nutritional supplements that are known to have an immune enhancing effect such as vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene.



WE NEED TO BE INTIMATE
- Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 26th Feb 2008

It seems that wherever you go these days, sex is on our minds. From movies and music to magazines and the internet; it’s in the work place, the schools, the shopping malls and sometimes even in the bedroom!

Like beauty and the beast, sex can be the ultimate pleasure and the cause of all our suffering. Whether you love it or hate it, one thing is for sure, it is an integral part of our lives and to put it simply - without it, we wouldn’t be here.

But what is it about sex that intrigues us so much?

Basic Needs

Along with food, drink and sleep, touch is one of our most basic needs. Of all the urges that drive us, it is the passion to be held that makes itself first known. From the moment of our conception, we experience an intimacy that goes beyond words, an all encompassing communion of mind, body and spirit. Once we enter the world, we hunger for it, even more than for food and water.

Doctors recognize that touch is essential for infant growth and development. When lovingly touched, premature infants show increased development, not only by gaining weight faster, but also in mental and motor skills. Studies show that they also sleep better and are generally more relaxed.

Skin Depravation

As technology advances, human interaction is fast becoming a rare experience. As we float deeper into the virtual world of cyberspace, we are at grave risk of losing our most needed contact with one another. It is not uncommon for our most intimate exchanges to take place on line or via a cell phone. What is even more tragic is that many people are more intimately involved with their ‘soap’ characters than their own family.

When our needs aren’t met we experience a vast range of emotions from worry, fear, anger and sadness to a deep sense of abandonment, poor self worth and a loss of trust and this pushes us even further apart. It is not uncommon for us to become confused, pessimistic and even hostile and as a result, possibly prompted by multimedia attention, our need for intimacy turns to its most powerful form – sexual intercourse.

The reality of this is no more frighteningly evident than the headlines that read: “Six Year Old Boys Caught Having Sex at Day Camp”.

Education and Responsibility

The consequences of underage and unprotected sex are irrefutable; with teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer and of course AIDS of prime concern. Yet, as the cries for abstinence and condoms reach a crescendo shouldn’t we ask: ‘are we simply treating the symptoms and not the cause?’

Casual and illicit sex can offer no more than a fleeting moment of reprieve; a hollow victory that leaves us empty and feeling betrayed, simply because our most basic needs have not been met.

On the other hand, just as good nutrition, adequate hydration and rest can improve our health; so too can a fulfilling, loving and committed intimate relationship. It is all about being nurtured, it begins at birth and continues throughout life.

All we need is the right understanding, a sense of responsibility and a willingness to keep in touch.



SHAPING UP FOR THE NEW YEAR
- Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 29th Jan 2008

As the first month of 2008 draws to a close, many people will have already forgotten their well intended New Years resolutions.

According to polls, health and fitness rank highest when it comes to resolutions, with weight loss consistently claiming the number one spot. Unfortunately, research shows that 90% of these resolutions will be history by the 15th January, with only a brave 5% making it through the year!

Pain vs Pleasure

The greatest hurdle all resolutions face is that they ask for change and this usually involves discomfort. We are all driven by two prime motivations – to avoid pain and to find pleasure, however, when faced with the choice, avoiding pain wins every time.

In other words, even though the idea of being slim, fit and healthy may seem appealing, the thought of ‘sweating it out on a treadmill’ and ‘starving yourself with rabbit food’, quickly overshadows any prospect of pleasure.

If you want to succeed, you must find a way to turn your pain into pleasure.

Keeping it Simple

While most of us dream of a magic pill, potion or device that will instantly melt the fat away, everyone knows that when it comes to losing weight, there is only one way to do it - you must exercise more and eat less. No matter what the advertisers say, there is simply no getting away from. There is however a way to reduce the pain and make it more pleasurable.

Making your mind up

The first step is to be clear about your objective. ‘I want to lose weight’ will simply not cut it. You must be more specific - How much weight, how many centimeters, which clothes do you want to fit into and how do you want to feel once you have lost the weight?

To succeed, you must have a clear picture in your mind of what the ‘new you’ will look and feel like and you must remain focused upon your goal.

Having Fun

Do you remember, as a small child, having to think about exercise? Did your parents or teachers have to beg you to go outside and play? The answer is undoubtedly NO!

Play was exercise for the pure enjoyment of whatever activity you chose. Cardiovascular and muscular benefits were just side effects that never crossed your mind.

Today, other priorities like schoolwork, jobs, relationships and bill paying have increased stress levels while reducing our free time. Exercise is now work and no longer the fun it used to be.

Fortunately there is a way to reclaim the fun of youthful play, while still gaining the maximum benefits of exercise.

Most Effective Exercise

Hailed by NASA as the most efficient form of exercise yet devised by man; bouncing on a mini trampoline or rebounder can be likened to ‘cellular aerobics’. By harnessing the forces of gravity, rebounding reduces body fat, strengthening and firming your legs, thighs, abdomen, arms and hips all while providing an aerobic effect for your heart. It also increases agility, improves your sense of balance and can rejuvenate your body when it is tired.

Studies show that 2 minutes of effective rebounding can have the same whole body effect as 6 minutes of running, 10 minutes of swimming and 22 minutes of walking; making it 3 times more effective than regular exercise. At the same time, it can boost lymphatic circulation by up to 20 times, reducing recovery time and strengthening your immune system.

It has been found to be 68% more effective than a treadmill and can be used by all ages and all levels of fitness. It is important to use a good quality rebounder, as this can reduce joint impact by up to 87%, making it safer and much more enjoyable to use.

Eat to lose

The secret to long term weight loss success is eating more wholesome foods, like fruits, fibrous vegetables and lean, healthy proteins. All processed, refined and artificial products are out.

Eating 5 or 6 small, balanced meals a day, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, sustains a healthy calorie burning metabolism and ensures that you don’t get hungry. Planning your meals and choosing a good variety of foods also makes eating much more fun.

At the end of the day, you must draw up a plan that will become a way of life for you, rather than simply a New Year’s resolution.

For more details on rebounding visit www.reboundsa.co.za



IMMUNE ALERT
 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 11th Dec 2007

Mother Theresa was quoted as saying ‘I will never attend an anti-war rally; however, if you have a peace rally, invite me.’

As the world attention focuses on the war on AIDS, I can’t help wondering whether her words have any relevance in this matter. It is now well recognised, that the more you focus on something, whether good or bad, the more real it becomes. This was recently brought to the world’s attention in the film ‘The Secret’, which reveals the Law of Attraction … what you think about most, you bring about.

So much attention is focused on fighting AIDS, not only the virus and the many related symptoms, but also the conflicting opinions relating to the cause and remedy of the condition. From vaccinations, drugs and poverty to beetroot, multivitamins and garlic, the war rages on as the infection rate rises.

New Focus

The one thing all HIV patients share is a compromised immune system. By focusing our attention and efforts on rebuilding immune functioning, we would certainly provide a better defense against the threat of opportunistic infection.

In addition, education would empower many patients, by instilling a sense of self-responsibility in personal health care.

Key Elements

Good breathing habits as well as appropriate exercise are essential for optimum oxygenation and lymphatic circulation; two of the most important factors concerning health. Without them immune function will most certainly be compromised.

Optimum hydration ensures good circulation and internal energy production. Cellular dehydration can lead to immune suppression and a host of symptomatic complaints. In addition, impure water (including chlorination and fluoridation) will contribute to immune breakdown.

Healthy nutrition provides the key macro and micronutrients that contribute to health and vitality. Malnourishment, through inadequate food choices (including processed, refined and artificial foods) drains immune functioning and leads to increased acidity and toxification, which further depletes the system. It is recognised that all HIV patients suffer from specific nutrient deficiencies, which include certain amino acids and minerals.

Internal organ cleanliness is essential for health and optimum immune functioning. As acidity levels rise, major organ functioning is affected, most notable the colon and the liver. As internal toxicity rises, so too does microbial infection. Parasites, bacteria, mould, fungi and yeast not only deplete the body of vital nutrients, but also excrete toxins, which add to immune overload.

Finally, it has been shown through research performed by the Institute of HeartMath that strong emotions noticeably affect immune functioning. Feelings of love, gratitude and appreciation greatly enhance natural immunity, while stress causes the release of particular hormones that can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

Optimizing Immune Function

Perform regular deep breathing and maintain good lymphatic flow through appropriate activity (most notably rebounding).

Drink 8 glasses of pure water everyday

Eat plenty of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts to nourish and alkalize the blood. Avoid all processed, refined and artificial foods as well as foods with added salt, sugar and hydrolyzed fats. Key supplements include Selenium, Glutamine, Cysteine and Tryptophan as well as Essential Fatty Acids.

Maintain internal health through liver and colon cleansing and take steps to remove parasites and heavy metals.

There is growing evidence that how people cope with their condition, greatly influences how rapidly it spreads. Surround yourself with positive support and take steps to lift your spirits and relieve stress.

In all matters of health, a shift of focus may well be the best medicine to take.

 

THE 'D' FACTOR
 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 27th Nov 2007

Contrary to popular belief, a growing body of evidence is now revealing that exposing your skin to the sun may stop certain cancers from growing, including skin cancer.

In recent studies, researchers have found that an increased production of vitamin D made by sun-exposed skin, actually reduces the risk of cancer. It was also found that 60% of patients who took a vitamin D supplement also showed a reduced cancer risk.

These studies may force conventional medicine to re-evaluate its vitamin D recommendations. It is now believed that a deficiency in this vital nutrient may contribute to numerous other diseases in addition to cancer. One researcher pointed out, "We don't really know what the status of chronic disease is, until we normalize vitamin D status."

Inverse Correlation

When examining cancer mortality from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems, researchers in the US found a close inverse correlation between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet B light. Deaths in geographical regions with little sunlight were twice as high than those further south; despite a diet that varies little between regions.

While the study focused on white Americans, the same geographical trend showed for black Americans, whose overall cancer rates are significantly higher. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.

In another study of eating patterns across the US, Asia and Europe, an association between breast cancer and sunlight exposure has been confirmed. The link between latitude and breast cancer suggests that higher UV-B exposure spurs the production of vitamin D in the body, which may provide greater protection against the disease.

There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumours of the bladder, uterus, oesophagus, rectum, and stomach.

In a recently published exploratory study, it was revealed that mortality from multiple sclerosis (MS) was also reduced by exposure to sunlight. Depending on the degree of sunlight exposure, the risk of death from MS was reduced by up to 76%.

Obtaining Vitamin D

The safest way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is through appropriate sun exposure. Spend up to 20 minutes every day in the gentle sunlight before 10am or after 3pm. Always start slowly, with 5 to 10 minutes of exposure on your face, arms and legs. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 to 30 times more sun exposure than fair skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D.

As your skin gradually becomes accustomed to sunlight it gains a protective pigment or tan. This can act as a natural filter to keep harmful UV radiation from penetrating further into the skin.

Minimise sun exposure when the sun is at it’s hottest, usually between 10am and 3pm and always avoid getting burnt!

When spending extended periods in the sun, always use some protection. Cover up, wear a hat and use a safe, natural sunscreen that contains powerful antioxidants to prevent free radical damage to your skin. Remember, UV rays can penetrate flimsy fabrics, so don’t rely on clothing for complete protection.

For those who spend most of their days indoors however, taking a high-quality cod liver oil is a reasonable alternative. Always choose a high quality, reputable brand that has been purified of mercury and other toxins. In addition, it is a good idea to take some extra vitamin E.

When supplementing with vitamin D, it is a good idea to get your blood level checked. If you use cod liver oil without doing blood tests for vitamin D levels, you should keep the dose at one to two teaspoons per day to prevent overdosing.

Maintaining appropriate levels of Vitamin D may be one of the most important things that you can do to prevent and treat not only skin but all cancers.


 

NEW HOPE FOR DEADLY DISEASE
 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 30th Oct 2007

Malaria is one of the world’s deadliest diseases and one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the developing world. According to the World Health Organisation, 300 to 500 million cases are recorded every year, resulting in 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths.

It is responsible for as many as half the deaths of African children under the age of five, killing more than one million children - 2,800 per day - each year in Africa alone. 80 to 90% of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of the infected people live.

According to studies, the direct and indirect costs of malaria in Africa amount to over $1.8 billion annually.

Causes

Malaria is caused by a tiny parasite called plasmodium that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

Once it enters the body, the parasite grows in the liver of the host for a few days and then enters the bloodstream, infecting and multiplying in the red blood cells, causing them to burst open and release a new crop of parasites.

Symptoms

The main symptom in a malarial attack is high fever, accompanied by chills, headaches, shivering and pain in the limbs. The main complications are anaemia, kidney failure and dysentery.

 

Risk Factors

Malnutrition is common in many high-risk areas and according to researchers, dietary deficiencies and a lack of vitamins and minerals, most notably vitamin A, zinc, iron and folate, are responsible for a ‘substantial proportion’ of malaria-related sickness and death among children, especially in sub Saharan Africa.

These nutrients are important for a strong immune system and are often scarce in areas where malaria is rife. It is interesting to note that sub Saharan Africa is also extremely deficient in the mineral Selenium, an essential nutrient for immune functioning.

Treatment

Malaria is probably the only disease of its kind that can be easily treated in just 3 days, yet if the diagnosis and proper treatment are delayed, it can kill the patient very quickly and easily. 

The treatment of malaria depends on a number of factors, including the type and severity of infection as well as the status of the host and any other associated conditions or diseases.

The effectiveness of anti-malarial drugs differs with different species of the parasite and with different stages of the parasite's life cycle and to complicate matters, growing drug resistances now poses one of the greatest threats to malaria control and the increase in malaria morbidity and mortality.

New Hope

Following research in London and Kenya, a new treatment based on fluid replacement for critically ill children with malaria has been developed, that could prevent as many as 80 per cent of the deaths caused by severe malaria.

Recognising fluid depletion as an important contributing factor to this critical illness, the researchers had to find a way to safely replace fluids, without increasing the risk of brain swelling. By adding albumin (a blood protein molecule that holds water inside blood vessels) to the resuscitation fluid, they observed a marked reduction in mortality in the children receiving treatment. Malarial patients have very low levels of blood albumin, which is linked to poor lymphatic circulation and weakened immunity.

In a separate study, it was discovered that a diet high in fish oils but containing no vitamin E, had a devastating effect on the malarial parasite.

In the 1950’s, Nobel nominee Dr. Joanna Budwig, also discovered that the blood of diseased persons lacked albumin and essential fatty acids. She showed that through a simple nutritional program, seriously weakened patients could find their way back to full health.

Prevention

Whether you live in, or are planning to travel to a high-risk area it is recommended that you take precautionary measures.

These include the use of medicinal or homeopathic remedies, as well as repellants, netting and protective clothing. Remember, infected mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and feed between dusk and dawn.

For more information on blood protein and its effect on the immune system, download the free health book – Neo Health, at www.reboundsa.co.za.



HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?
 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 25th Sep 2007

According to worldwide research, it is estimated that about 400 million people suffer from some form of mental, neurological or psychosocial disorder.

With the growing concern nationwide about violence, drug abuse, illiteracy, and other pressing social ills, more and more people are turning to the psychiatric industry for answers.

Since the 1960s, when tranquillisers first came on to the market, the use of psychiatric drugs has increased sharply. Today, antidepressants and anti-anxiety agents have become the most commonly prescribed medication, more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and even headaches.

Perhaps even more alarming are the numbers of children taking psychiatric drugs, primarily for Attention Deficit Disorder.

While many may be finding solace in their prescriptions, a large number of people dislike the effects that psychiatric medication has on them. It can dull the senses and cause all kinds of emotional and physical reactions.

Fortunately, research is now showing that very simple and logical alternatives do exist.

Alternative Mental Health

Unlike physical symptoms, mental illness is often dismissed as a figment of one’s imagination. However, during the last half century there has been quite a revolution in the understanding and treatment of major mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia, manic depression and anxiety.

Rather than a flaw in the character or a consequence of dysfunctional family, research has shown that mental illness has biological roots.

As a result, an alternative approach to mental health care is emerging that emphasizes the interrelationship between mind and body.

While great strides are being made in the areas of self help, pastoral counselling, animal assisted therapies, expressive therapies, culturally based healing arts and stress reduction and relaxation techniques; perhaps one of the most notable areas currently being researched is that of diet and nutrition.

Key Deficiencies

Adjusting both diet and nutrition may help some people with mental illnesses manage their symptoms and promote recovery. For example, research suggests that eliminating milk and wheat products can reduce the severity of symptoms for some people who have schizophrenia and some children with autism. Similarly, some holistic/natural physicians use herbal treatments, amino acids, B-complex vitamins, riboflavin, magnesium and thiamine to treat anxiety, autism, depression, drug-induced psychoses and hyperactivity.

Numerous studies suggest that the following eight risk factors may be implicated in certain mental health conditions:

· Food and additive allergies

· Heavy metal toxicity and other environmental toxins

· Low protein/high carbohydrate diets

· Mineral imbalances

· Essential Fatty Acid deficiencies

· Amino acid deficiencies

· Thyroid disorders

· Vitamin B deficiencies

A major concern now recognised in many mental health conditions is hypoglycaemia; the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar levels, causing the level of sugar in the blood to be too low, or to fall too rapidly. This can be caused by an artificial, processed and refined diet, high in sugar.

It is important to note that the use of Aspartame, now found in over 9000 products has been linked to psychiatric and behavioural problems including anxiety, manic depression, hallucinations, insomnia, panic attacks, paranoia, mood swings and hostility.

In addition, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that spending time in ordinary ‘green’ settings—such as parks, farms or grassy backyards—reduces symptoms of ADHD when compared to time spent at indoor playgrounds and man-made recreation areas of concrete and asphalt.

Once again, it would seem that a return to a more natural lifestyle, with good breathing, drinking and eating habits as well as appropriate exercise and rest may well be the answer to many health concerns, both physical as well as mental. For more information, visit www.alternativementalhealth.com.


THE HEART OF THE MATTER
 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 26th Aug 2007

As the leading cause of death in the world, heart disease has now become an accepted fact of life.

Have we lost our voice to the silent killer, or have we simply resigned ourselves to an inevitable consequence of the way we live. Diet is now recognised as a primary factor in this regard, yet many seem unable or unwilling to make the necessary changes. Another factor is long term chronic dehydration, which can compromise blood flow, leading to increased vascular pressure and poor circulation. There is also the case for exercise and rest. Many people are straining their hearts with too much or too little exercise.

Missing Link

An unmentioned factor, which could supersede all of these, is the connection between breathing and heart rhythm. In the early part of the 20th century, Prof Arnold Ehret offered the seemingly outrageous proposition that the heart was not the natural pump of the blood stream, but in fact a regulating valve.

In his book ‘Mucousless-Diet Healing System’, Prof Ehret suggests that the lungs naturally provide the ‘bellows-like’ pressure to pump the blood and other fluids throughout the body and it is the circulating blood that drives the heart, rather than the currently accepted reverse.

To validate his theory, he notes that an increase in breathing will cause lung air pressure to rise, which will speed up blood circulation and therefore the number of heart beats. He adds that other factors like exercise exertion and stimulating poisons (alcohol, sugar and medication) will also influence vascular pressure and heartbeat.

In support of his proposition, current medical research now reveals that slow, rhythmic, deep breathing can decrease blood pressure and reduce heart rate. In addition, it is well recognised that a simple diet, rich in natural foods supported by regular light to moderate exercise are the keys to maintaining circulation and a healthy heart.

Stagnation

Changes in our breathing patterns will not only influence heart rate, but also the vitally important circulation of lymphatic fluid. Recognised as the ‘clean-up’ system of the body, its primary role is to maintain the favourable cellular environment necessary for optimum health. Any stagnation in this circulatory flow results in waste build up and cellular oedema. This compromises the delicate mineral balance in and around the cells and can lead to an increase in vascular pressure, reduced circulation and malnourishment.

In his research, cardiac specialist Dr. Sodi-Pallares, concluded that heart disease is not a disease of the heart, but a disease of the body - particularly the loss of potassium and excess sodium. In his treatment of heart disease patients, he addressed this mineral imbalance by giving a low sodium and high potassium diet.

Circulation is Life

It is now evident that poor breathing habits and a sedentary lifestyle initiate the underlying degenerative condition that leads to compromised health.

By ensuring optimum circulation through correct breathing, appropriate activity, adequate hydration and a balanced, natural food diet, we can all look forward to a happy, healthy heart.



MOMENTARY HIGHS NOT WORTH THE PAIN

 - Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 26th Jun 2007

In matters pertaining to health, one tends to think of nutrition, exercise, hydration and even internal cleansing. However, with the incidence of drug abuse becoming more and more widespread, authorities are now citing health as one of the main reasons for drug prohibition.

Seen as rebellious, adventurous, calming and exciting, drug taking is notoriously antisocial and addictive; however its use is seldom linked to disease. Aside from the debilitating effects that drugs have on families and societies, more and more evidence is now emerging that reveals the devastating effects of drugs on the body.

What is a drug?

Any substance that has an effect on how the body works, once it gets inside the body, can be classified as a drug. While normally associated with pharmaceutical and illicit substances, in its truest sense, it also includes sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.

Effects of drugs on body

Once they enter the bloodstream, drugs travel throughout the body, primarily affecting organs with a rich blood supply. This would include the heart, the lungs and the brain, often at the same time.

Once they reach the organs, drugs combine with specific cell receptors and a ‘message’ is sent to the cell, changing its normal activity.

Stimulants combine with nerve cells to increase the rate of electrical conduction, raising heart rate and blood pressure while sedatives interact with brain cells to slow electrical conduction, causing intoxication.

Who uses drugs?

For most people, drug abuse conjures images of gangsters, dropouts and the seedy side of life. However, this image no longer accurately portrays the many people who have succumbed to the lure of chemical intoxication.

Studies now show that stress and depression are two of the most powerful triggers for drug craving and relapse to drug abuse. This affects people from all walks of life.

Prescription drug abuse has now gained favour among many classes of people who deny having a problem since their medication was ‘prescribed by a doctor.’ Pain relievers, stimulants, tranquillizers, and anti-depressants are among the most commonly abused prescription medications.

Unfortunately, many people do not understand the long-term health effects that habitual drug use can cause.

Health risks associated with drug abuse

Drug addiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, affecting human behaviour. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug use.

The impact of addiction can be far reaching. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug abuse. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use, however, some may occur after just one use.

Drug abuse not only weakens the immune system but is also linked to risky behaviours like needle sharing and unsafe sex, which greatly increases the likelihood of acquiring HIV-AIDS, hepatitis and many other infectious diseases.

Some drugs may cause significant liver damage as well as kidney damage or failure.

In addition to the effects various drugs may have on specific organs of the body, many produce global body changes such as dramatic changes in appetite and increases in body temperature, which may impact a variety of health conditions.

Withdrawal from drug use also may lead to numerous adverse health effects, including restlessness, mood swings, fatigue, changes in appetite, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, cold flashes, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Drug-related deaths have more than doubled since the early 1980s. There are more deaths, illness, and disabilities from substance abuse than from any other preventable health condition. Today, one in four deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.

Moment of high for a lifetime of risk

Drugs can harm your entire body. The more you take drugs, the more harm you do to yourself. Remember, the long-term effects far outweigh the short term high.



THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE BIG 'C'
- Article by Keith McFarlane for CITI HEALTH - 31st July 2007

I knew a man with cancer, who was a comedian by profession. The thing that most struck me about him, was not so much that he wanted to beat cancer, it was that he had an unrelenting desire to write and perform a one man show entitled: ‘The Lighter Side of the Big C’. He firmly believed that most people suffered more from the diagnosis than the actual disease. Sadly, he never got to share his light-hearted opinion.

To many, cancer is one of the most mysterious and dreaded diseases. Along with heart disease, it has the formidable reputation of being one of the leading causes of death in the world today. It continues to plague millions of people, regardless of the countless trillions of dollars that have been spent on research and thus far, there is seemingly no known medical cure.

National Cancer Prevention Week

Prevention is by far a safer route to take than hoping for a cure. However, the first thing we have to do, when facing the thought of cancer, is understand the nature of the beast. Until now, many cancer patients are still trying to come to terms with the idea that ‘one of their cells has gone mad and it is making others mad too!’

According to Nobel Laureate, Dr Otto Warburg ‘there is no disease whose prime cause is better known. Today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention’. In his research he found that ‘the primary cause of cancer is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of body cells by anaerobic cell respiration.’

In other words, cancer is primarily a state of oxygen deficiency.

In his Textbook of Medical Physiology, Dr Arthur C. Guyton writes: ‘All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused from a lack of oxygen at the cell levels’.

Given its essential role, the most natural form of cancer prevention would be to ensure that we always get enough oxygen. There are only two reasons why we don’t: either we aren’t breathing enough or it is not actually getting to our cells.

The State of Health

While most people have erratic, shallow breathing habits, Professor Guyton noted that our cells need to be in a very specific state to ensure optimum oxygenation. He called it the ‘Dry State’, where there is ‘only enough fluid to fill the crevices between the cells and that is all’.

Any build up around the cells will compromise oxygen delivery by the blood stream. It is the role of the lymphatic system to ensure that we remain in this healthy state. As the blood delivers essential nutrients to the cells, so the lymph cleans up afterwards; it is our immune system.

Two natural functions ensure good lymphatic circulation: regular movement and deep breathing. Given our sedentary lifestyles and poor breathing habits, most of us have sluggish lymphatic systems. It is worth mentioning that cancer is now recognised as an Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

In his book ‘The Cancer Answer', medical journalist Albert E. Carter, suggests that our cellular health depends upon the right cellular environment, optimum nutrition and the circulation of lymphatic fluid.

How Cancer Develops

Normally, cells grow, divide and die. If the cellular environment changes, they can mutate and begin to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells.

Reduced circulation causes cancerous cells to grow. In an attempt to survive, the cells in the affected area try to draw supplies from surrounding healthy cells. The resulting growth then uses this supply line to feed itself at the expense of surrounding tissue.

There are many different types of cancer, but all cancers begin with abnormal or oxygen deficient cells growing out of control. The type of cancer is determined by where the growth of abnormal cells begins. The leading cancers are lung, skin, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.

Al Carter believes that the best defense against cancer is a healthy immune system.

Essential Prevention

To strengthen our immune systems, we need to ensure that our lymph keeps flowing, that we are providing the right nutrients necessary for healthy cell function and perhaps most importantly, that we are not compromising our health by toxifying our cellular environment.

The best habit we can develop is to take 5 to 10 deep, relaxed breaths every hour to improve our oxygen intake and lymphatic circulation.

The most effective way to encourage lymphatic circulation is to perform a gentle bounce on a rebounder or mini trampoline. Declared by NASA as the most effective form of exercise yet devised by man, rebounding can increase lymph circulation by up to 20 times.

By adding 6 to 8 glasses of purified water every day and a diet high in unrefined, unprocessed, whole, natural foods, we are well on the way to a strong and healthy immune system.

To complete the picture health, we should reduce stress, stop smoking and eliminate foods that toxify our cellular environment. This would include all convenience foods, which tend to be over-processed, chemical-saturated, high in fats and deficient in important micronutrients and dietary fiber.

Finally, it is worth noting that it is always the people with the best attitude who fair better when dealing with cancer. Perhaps a lighter approach to life may well be one of the best preventative measures we can take.

For more information on the Healthy Dry State, download my free ebook ‘Essential Health Protocols’ at www.reboundsa.co.za .


 
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