Monday, June 28, 2010

Causes of Brain Damage

The human brain is a fascinating subject of numerous studies--and to quote one writer--
“the most complex, powerful organism in the universe.”

Without any doubt, our brain is vital to our existence. We use it to function in the physical world. But like the rest of our body, the brain is subject to aging, decay, and death.

Studies show that some habits can cause brain damage:
  • Omitting Breakfast. Not taking breakfast lowers blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.
  • Overeating. Eating too much hardens the brain arteries, decreasing mental power.
  • High Sugar Consumption. Too much sugar interrupts the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and interfering with brain development.
  • Smoking. Multiple brain shrinkage and Alzheimer’s disease are effects of smoking.
  • Air Pollution. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.
  • Sleep Deprivation. Long term sleep deprivation accelerates the death of brain cells. Sleep allows our brain to rest.
  • Head covered while sleeping. Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decreases the concentration of oxygen, leading to brain damage.
  • Working your brain during illness. Working hard or studying while one is sick may decrease the effectiveness of the brain and damage it.
  • Lack of stimulating thoughts. Thinking is the best way to train our brain. Without much stimulating thoughts, the brain may shrink.
  • Conversations. Intellectual conversations promote brain efficiency.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exercise for High Morale

Exercise can release tension and reduce stress. But do you know that high morale is also one of its important benefits?

Physiologists and psychologists have observed for years that persons who exercise regularly have a more positive mental attitude than unfit and sedentary individuals.

Two reasons for the phenomenon are that persons free of tension and physically fit simply feel better—they have less reason to be depressed or mentally sluggish—and persons who have the self-discipline necessary to follow an exercise program are achievers: they already possess high morale.

Studies suggest that exercise causes chemical changes in the brain which alters its thinking process. The changes in attitude and morale are therefore effects directly related to exercise.

Clinical psychologists found that mental alertness was improved when large amounts of pure oxygen were delivered to brain cells. They administered pure oxygen to senile patients placed in a pressurized chamber. After receiving pure oxygen treatments twice a day for 15 days, the patients took a standard memory test. Their scores improved by as much as 25 percent from previous experiments.

It was noted that male participants who were 50 years old and above felt better and enjoyed their lives more by being active.

Two important findings were confirmed by the clinical studies:

  • To have a good oxygen supply to the brain, it must be delivered by a healthy heart and strong blood vessels. This delivery system should be kept in the best condition.
  • For the brain cells to perform efficiently, they should not be deprived of a sufficient amount of oxygen; otherwise, this will cause the decline of intellect and reasoning power, which may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Let us then exercise, while breathing deeply and diaphragmatically. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Unraveling The Mystery Of Migraine

Those who have experienced migraine know how painful and disabling it is. The headaches come without warning.

Symptoms such as dizziness, sensitivity to light, anxiety, and even nausea (the impulse to vomit) precede an attack of migraine. It can last for hours or even days, causing discomfort and apprehension in one’s life and family.

Present studies confirm that there’s no one cause for migraines. It could be a combination of several causes which doctors call “systemic.” Cancer, for one, is systemic: it is caused by several possible causes. That is why alternative or integrative medicine offers multiple protocols when it treats degenerative diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, etc.

Let’s try to discuss some possible causes of migraines from various studies.

  • Stress triggers a pain-producing substance by nerve cells called “substance P.” This substance dilates blood vessels, releasing allergic compounds as histamines. Chronic stress and food allergies may also cause migraines.
  • Food preservatives, like chemical sweeteners and aspartame, also trigger many migraines. Consumption of excitotoxins such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG); food ingredients that contain MSG, such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, processed sodium, to name a few, are the most common causes of migraines.
  • Weak ligaments in the neck or “stiff neck,” is another cause of migraines for some individuals. Therapeutic massage done by a licensed practitioner, like a chiropractor, may overcome migraines.
  • Other substances that can trigger migraines are tyramine, nitrates, and caffeine. Tyramine is derived from the amino acid tyrosine that is found in aged cheese, beans, red wine, grape juice and soy sauce.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Overcoming The Smoking Habit

What we are finding is that precisely the methods which are known to improve heart health also help build the needed motivation to stop smoking.

Exercise is one example. Regular, rhythmic physical activity strengthens the heart and also does something inside a person that reduces the urge to smoke.

When people start brisk-walking or jogging, they find that smoking impedes their performance, and that cigarettes no longer taste good. So they stop the habit.

Smoking is definitely on the decline among people who jog or do brisk-walking.

A healthful diet can create the same anti-smoking effect. One of the best diets for improving heart and circulation features raw, whole plant foods like seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Research has documented the value of that diet for heart improvement.

Equally interesting is the observation that people who are able to stick with a raw food diet not only lose their desire to smoke, but soon find cigarettes less tasteful; eventually,
they are not able to tolerate the smoking habit at all.

Combining a healthful diet and regular exercise with the inhaling of smokeless air will lead people to the achievement of a glow of aliveness that is so good it cannot be described in words alone. You have to feel it to believe what can happen to you.

To those who find it hard to stop smoking because they will experience stress if they do so, here’s some advice from health researchers: Regular exercise provides a degree of protection against emotional stress by conditioning the body’s stress adaptation mechanism. Researchers have discovered, for instance, that physically-fit individuals have a better reserve of such hormone-like chemicals as adrenaline which help the body overcome prolonged tension. Psychologists offer yet another reason: exercise releases nervous tension and anxiety by providing an outlet for pent-up feelings of aggression and hostility.