Critical Health News

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Pictures this:  a Chinese peasant is having a baby.  She’s screaming and writhing with the pain all mothers have known since the beginning of time.  A medical man comes into her room, sticks a couple of needles in a few strategic spots in her body and just like that her previously unbearable agony begins to lighten up.  Within a few minutes her misery is but a memory.

Or how about this: my brother, addicted to his Camel Lights, tries without success, to quit smoking.  Over the course of 15 years and countless attempts to kick the habit, he’s still hooked.  Yet an alternative health care professional sticks a few needles in his ear and just like the addiction monkey is off his back he hasn’t touched a cigarette in over two decades.

Another woman with chronic excruciating pain following a car accident can’t recall the last time she’s had a full night’s sleep.  To make matters worse the pain and sleeplessness have caused a generalized sense of anxiety and depression.  Within several months of weekly acupuncture treatments, she feels less discomfort in her extremities.  Her right side becomes much more flexible and her range of motion is dramatically improved. And, on top of that her anxiety lessens and her depression is gone.  Her friends say she looks healthier and she seems like an all-around less nervous person.

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"Fight or Flight" vs. "Rest and Digest"

Nervous System

While you probably know that you have a nervous system that controls the flow of the electrical energy in the body, as it turns out, you actually have two nervous systems!

One, which has been called the “fight or flight” system, is technically known as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and it directs energy into the activities that keep us alive in emergency and life-threatening situations. The second, called the parasympathetic system (PNS) is involved with more long-term activities. The PNS is sometimes called the “the rest and digest” system and the more time we spend in this parasympathetic realm, the longer we will be alive and healthy. Or to put it another way the less time we spend in "fight or flight" mode the longer we will be alive and healthy.

Many of the signs of illness and disease reflect chronic SNS activation and overload. Cardiovascular health issues especially high blood pressure and blood clotting are classics signs of fight or flight. Same goes for immune system suppression and frequent colds and flues. Cold sores and other skin problems may indicate sympathetic nervous system has been kicking in. Constipation, cramping and digestive problems often mean the body is in survival mode. For women dealing with menopause, hot flashes, night sweats jitteriness and anxiety are also signs that the body’s SNS emergency system has been activated.

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SAM-e the "Supernutrient"

Supernutrient

Back in the 1990’s SAM-e was popular as an antidepressant and energizer. Although its effectiveness may have been overstated, the fact remains that SAM-e can be a very important nutritional supplement for a lot of mental health issues, anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression.   SAM-e, which was first discovered in the 1950’s, is involved in the production of the stress management hormone serotonin and the pleasure and reward brain chemical dopamine.

SAM-e, a derivative of the amino acid methionine, is a vital bio-chemical that’s involved in the healthy functioning of the brain and the nervous system.  SAM-e is also required for helping keep the insulation of nerves resilient and intact.  This insulation which is called myelin is required for keeping the conduction of electrical energy flowing smoothly.  Movement disorders, neuropathies, paralysis, impaired vision, numbness, muscle weakness, difficulties with speech or with hearing, even incontinence and weak bladder control can all be examples of health issues that can be associated with myelin defects.  SAM-e is made in the body so it’s not really technically “essential” but rather it is said to be “conditionally essential”.  That basically means you don’t absolutely have to be ingesting it on a regular basis, but doing so might not be a bad idea! 

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