General Health

Natural Oxytocin Boosters

July 17, 2013 Written by JP

Just about everyone can relate to this scenario: You’re at a family gathering, a party or work and you experience one form or another of rejection. For many, the first instinct is to retreat from the situation i.e. leave as quickly as possible. But, a recent study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology suggests you’d be better off taking an entirely different tack. Namely, you may be able to improve your mood almost instantaneously if you stick around and force yourself to interact and seek support from those around you. However, doing so, may, in fact, require higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a pivotal role in breastfeeding, childbirth and many expressions of social connectedness.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 6 Comments

Daytime Sleepiness Remedy

May 10, 2013 Written by JP

The terms “daytime sleepiness” and “mental exhaustion” creep into the lives of many people. In some instances, the cause stems from physical influences such as anemia, inadequate nutrition or sleep and, occasionally, hypothyroidism. Likewise, numerous psychological issues and stressors can drain ones energy. The first step in addressing fatigue of any kind is to try to establish the origin with the assistance of a medical professional. However, if no organic or psychological cause is apparent, natural remedies may help get you “over the hump”.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 4 Comments

Gratitude Journal

May 3, 2013 Written by JP

A primary tenet of my health care philosophy is that almost any action that improves your well being will likely benefit those around you. But, making inspiring, positive changes in your lifestyle goes far beyond obvious strategies such as changing your diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Your attitude is at least as important. The trouble is that for many, a change in attitude seems even more formidable than giving up junk food, going to the gym or setting a consistent sleep schedule.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments

Natural Norovirus Protection

January 27, 2013 Written by JP

If you’ve been following the news this past week, you probably came across the latest warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apparently, there’s a new strain of the norovirus (or Norwalk virus) that has recently been causing digestive havoc in Australia, Japan and Western Europe. And, now, this so-called GII 4 Sydney strain of the norovirus is making a new home in the United States. Given this, you might be wondering if there’s anything in the natural health sector that can help protect you and yours from this highly contagious viral offender.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, General Health | 2 Comments

Natural Flu News You Can Use

January 11, 2013 Written by JP

Flu season is in full swing once again. This past week, the nightly news has been inundated with stories warning of a particularly troublesome flu pattern that’s currently in effect and expected to continue in the days, weeks and months to come. The advice from many conventional doctors is to get vaccinated immediately and to seek medical assistance at the first sign of the flu. The latter suggestion typically involves the use of antiviral medications such as Relenza and Tamiflu. Alternative and complementary physicians often take a more holistic approach advocating such practices as supplementing with immune boosting herbs, mushrooms and nutrients. Dietary changes, including a reduction in refined carbohydrates and daily consumption of green tea, are frequently recommended by alt-med practitioners as well.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 4 Comments

Organic Food Debate

September 7, 2012 Written by JP

On a daily basis, headlines appear on your computer screen, radio and television that may lead you to question almost everything you think you know about how to stay well. The latest and most provocative example is a news item that puts into question the value of consuming organic foods. Conventional media outlets, including Reuters, have posted pieces with definitive sounding titles such as, “Organic Food No More Nutritious Than Non-Organic”. However, a closer look at the source data and current studies appearing in the scientific literature suggest that there’s more to the story than just this sort of headline.

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Posted in Food and Drink, General Health, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Probiotics for Travelers

August 10, 2012 Written by JP

The last thing you want to contend with while on a business trip or vacation is TD or traveler’s diarrhea. And, while many people assume TD only affects those visiting exotic or remote locales, I can assure you this isn’t always the case. In fact, I was quite surprised to find that my digestive system was in a bad way for about a week following a recent trip to New York. There, we stayed at a pretty high end hotel and ate mostly at top-notch restaurants. Nevertheless, some troublemaking bacteria, protozoa or virus temporarily camped out in my body and made me quite miserable in the process.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Natural Melatonin Boosters

July 2, 2012 Written by JP

A reader recently asked if there were any natural ways to increase melatonin production without resorting to supplements. I replied that the best way to encourage nighttime melatonin release is to minimize light exposure close to bedtime. I went on to explain that certain foods such as cherries, grapes and walnuts also contain naturally occurring melatonin and may, therefore, make good, late night snacks.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments

Alternatives for Toenail Fungus

June 13, 2012 Written by JP

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like lounging around the pool in a swimsuit and flip flops. But, if you’re one of the millions of people with toenail fungus, wearing sandals may be something you dread. Fungal infections of the toenail (onychomycosis) affect an estimated 6 to 8% of the adult population. And, although they rarely present a serious health risk, it’s still an unsightly reminder that an infection has taken hold. Worse still, conventional treatments for this largely cosmetic condition often carry the risk of serious side effects including liver damage. Thankfully, both allopathic and alternative healers have some non-pharamacological options worth considering.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, General Health | No Comments;

Microwave Danger?

May 21, 2012 Written by JP

The Internet has opened up a world of scientific information previously inaccessible to most people. I frequently pour through dozens upon dozens of medical journals that I couldn’t possibly subscribe to, and would otherwise have to access through an academic library. Quite simply, the Internet makes the consulting and written work I do much, much easier and efficient. However, the vast stores of information currently available on the ‘net’ isn’t always reputable. The combination of easy, free access and sometimes sensational information is often the basis for the modern myths that are widely spread today. One of the more popular urban tales has to do with the implications of cooking using a microwave oven.

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Posted in Food and Drink, General Health, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Happy, Healthy and Wise

April 25, 2012 Written by JP

Happiness seems like it has little to do with the modern health care system. But, in medicine, as in life, appearances can be deceiving. Statistics reveal that people who have a positive outlook are more likely to be in better physical health. Now, some theorize that happy people are healthier because they take better care of themselves. Simply put, they have more of a reason to want to live longer. There’s certainly some truth to that assertion. However, recent developments in the field of psychology explain that the link between contentment and wellness may very well be a two way street.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | No Comments;

Hypnosis Revelations

April 6, 2012 Written by JP

Clinical hypnosis is quickly making inroads into the mainstream of medicine. Thankfully, it’s no longer being viewed as the exclusive domain of esoteric healers or second rate magicians. This is due, in large part, to a growing body of scientific trials that have been conducted at prestigious centers of learning throughout the world. The findings of these recent inquiries are beginning to reveal the true potential of this mind-body modality.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | No Comments;

Volunteering for Health

February 8, 2012 Written by JP

I recently had the pleasure of visiting a senior community center in Santa Monica, California. While touring the facility, I was impressed by the emphasis placed on volunteering opportunities – from peer counseling to reading programs and even free lunch service. Doing good may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of giving back to the community. But, the administrators of this senior center are also keenly aware of another benefit of volunteerism: it improves mental and physical health in more ways than one.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments

Echinacea Revelations

January 20, 2012 Written by JP

Echinacea is widely known as an immune boosting herb that is used at the onset of cold and influenza infections. But, if you’re only using it when your nose starts to “run” and throat gets scratchy, you’re missing out. According to a new publication in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, in addition to Echinacea’s immune-modulating activity, this traditional Native American treasure also possesses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which may address conditions ranging from fungal and parasitic infections to poor wound healing.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Astaxanthin Update

December 21, 2011 Written by JP

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably consumed astaxanthin at one point or another in your life. Arctic shrimp and wild salmon are among the most common dietary sources of this crimson colored carotenoid. But, these days you’re also likely to find astaxanthin in everything from multivitamins to sports drinks. In many instances, it’s included as a way of increasing the antioxidant content of functional foods and nutritional supplements. Other times, its primary purpose is to act as natural preservative for delicate fatty acids such as those contained in fish or krill oil.

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Posted in General Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments

Important Add-On Supplements

December 9, 2011 Written by JP

The exact number of supplements you take should be predicated upon a variety of personal issues. Finances, diet and lifestyle and the ability to swallow pills are important considerations. In addition, genetic factors, pre-existing health conditions and the potential for drug-supplement interactions ought to be evaluated as well. The following list of supplements is what I consider valuable “add-ons” to my core list of recommendations. These are not essential for everyone. However, the health benefits they impart appeal to a broad cross-section of the population at large. They also adhere to my personal standards with regard to efficacy and safety.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 12 Comments