Monday, July 25, 2011

The Eyes: Our Precious Possssion, Part 2

Eyes and Diet. The eyes are affected by diet as any part of the body. Fed by the bloodstream, it depends upon that for its general state of health. A person with a toxic condition of the body is bound to find that his eyes suffer. It is essential that the body must be kept clean and free of poison.

The best way to maintain good healthy eyes is be eating bulk foods--fruits, vegetables and whole grain products--which relieves constipation and cleans the digestive system without using purgatives. With constipation under control, one of the main causes of dull eyes and hardening lenses is eradicated.

Bulk foods are not the only ones necessary for good eye health, but also those containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, selenium, zinc and antioxidants. Excellent sources of these nutrients are the following: Vegetables--broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, lettuce, celery, watercress, cabbage, pumpkins, turnips, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, red pepper; Fruits--avocado, apple, apricots, banana, pineapple, mango, prunes, papaya, guava; Nuts--almonds, walnuts, pistachios; Herbs: lutein, eyebright, bilberry.

In addition to vitamins and nutrients, which a well-planned diet yields, using supplements in convenient and easy-to-take capsules is a highly desirable form of health insurance.

Eye Exercises. Sit, keeping the spine straight, open your eyes, and do the following exercises without moving your head:

1) Look up to the ceiling, then down to the floor.
2) Look to the right side, then to the left side.
3) Look up to the right corner (diagonally) and then down to the left corner.
4) Look up to the left corner (diagonally) and then down to the right corner.
5) Roll the eyes clockwise.
6) Roll the eyes counter-clockwise.

7) Palm the eyes, sitting in a relaxed position with elbows comfortably on a table or cushion, and lightly cover the closed eyelids with your palms. To get good results from this
exercise, your head should not be bent forward. Your neck and spine must be straight
and relaxed so that there is no strain on your nerves or muscles. Use a pillow on a low
table to elevate your elbow.

Palming is an excellent method for relaxation. It is particularly beneficial to persons
whose work requires a great deal of reading and computer work. There are thousands of nerve centers within the palm of the hand, and it is quite likely that the old masters of the East had practised palming to increase magnetic forces to heal the body. Palm for ten
minutes at a time--and while doing so--breathe deeply. Afterwards, you will feel relaxed and rested.

Blink gently and close your eyes after doing each of the above exercises.

Develop the habit of frequent blinking when reading, working
or watching a movie or television.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Eyes: Our Precious Possession, Part 1

We have only one pair of eyes to last us a lifetime. That's why we have to take very good care of these two precious "jewels."

The eyes are not only as important as the other organs of the body but more so because they are our windows to the outside world; without the eyes, we will see nothing but darkness.

To keep the eyes healthy, they require a regular supply of blood and nutrients, as well as exercise, sleep and rest. When the eyes are overused, we feel discomfort, pain, headache, and heaviness. These are the eyes' way of telling us to give them rest.

Studies show that accommodation--the ability of the eyes' lens to focus on objects at different distances--varies with the person's age. As the person grows older, the ability of the eyes to accommodate decreases because of chemical and physical changes in the lens and muscles.

At the age of 20, the eyes' power of accommodating itself to focus on a near object is 30% less than it was when the individual was ten. At 30, the ability is 50% reduced from that of ten, and from then on, the reduction becomes greater.

Upon reaching age 40, your eyes' accommodation is two-thirds of what it was at 30, and at 45, it is reduced to half. Thus it is said that a person's age may be judged by the condition of the eyes, the elasticity of the lens, and the power of accommodation to changing distances.

Many eye problems are caused by eyestrain, and symptoms may vary: pain in or around the eyes, headaches which increase in intensity when the eyes are used for close work, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, twitching facial muscles, or migraine may all be the symptoms of a strain on the eyes.

The eyes also serve as the barometer of the body's general state of health: if the body is
diseased, the condition is naturally shown in the blood that reaches the eyes, which appear dull or get strained if there is general toxemia.

By looking at a person's eyes, we can discover the ways he feels. If the eyes are bright and clear, there is little chance that he is feeling poorly. But if the eyes look heavy, yellow or bloodshot, the person is unwell--perhaps not so ill as to have to go to bed, but suffering from some toxic state which is indicated by the eyes.

(Part 2, which will discuss nutrients and exercises for the eyes, will appear next posting)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stress Diseases Affect Health, Part 3

We cannot just do much to alter external events that raise our stress levels, like occupational or work stress, family problems, financial difficulties, and relationship complications. But we can change the way we react or deal with them. Some problems will be more disturbing to us than to others, depending on our personality and personal circumstances.

Actually, we can manage stress, either positively or negatively. Exercise is positive; smoking is not. There are, however, stressors beyond our control, such as death in the family, separation, divorce, or losing one's job. In such cases, it's our attitude that can solve these problems. Instead of being overwhelmed by them, we can choose our action by standing for hope and optimism.

Take the example of a housewife whose husband had left her for another woman. She might feel unloved and worthless, but this is a negative reaction that only adds to her miseries. The better option is to examine her failed marriage and the reason her husband abandoned her.

Here are some thoughts to consider about stress:
  • Stress is inevitable, even normal, so long as it does not overwhelm us.
  • Stress is not necessarily bad as our ability to cope with it.
  • What is stressful for one person may not necessarily be to another.
  • It is not what happens to us from the outside--which we have no full control--but how we react to such a stressor that can affect us negatively.
Ten health tips to help us overcome stress:
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
  • Take a vitamin-mineral-antioxidant supplement.
  • Drink enough pure water (aim for 10-12 glasses of water daily).
  • Exercise regularly (walking, aerobics, yoga, stretching, etc.).
  • Breathe deeply (to relax).
  • Sunbath (before 8:30 am, but not more than 10 minutes to prevent overexposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays).
  • Listen to relaxing music.
  • Read (spiritual, inspirational or motivational books).
  • Sleep (8 hours every night to lessen stress).
  • Laugh (remember: "Laughter is the best medicine.").

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stress Diseases Affect Health, Part 2

We have seen how our emotions can cause bodily symptoms. A person who is worried may get a headache.

Fright may cause the heart to palpitate. Unpleasant thoughts may cause the stomach to turn over and even induce vomiting. Anxiety is known to cause frequent urination and induce diarrhea.

Although bodily symptoms usually predominate in stress diseases, underlying cause is really mental, acting through the emotions. It is known that toxic goiter commonly follows some emotional upset in young women; it may also occur in men because of excessive worry.

A feature of the disease is the way the symptoms periodically come and go. The patient is always worse during times of stress but almost certain to be free from symptoms when relaxed.

Nonrenal hypertension (high blood pressure which is not due to kidney disease) is a frequent complaint of modern civilization, its exact cause is said by doctors to be unknown. What is known, however, is that the arteries are surrounded by a network of nerves. These nerves, working automatically, can cause the arteries to dilate or contract.

When a person suddenly springs out of bed, the arteries in the legs must contract slightly; otherwise, the blood in the body would drain suddenly down to the legs away from the brain, causing the person to faint. He can be revived by raising his legs above the level of the head.

The effect of anger, worry and anxiety is easy to picture. The whole arterial system of the body is slightly contracted because of the nervous tension that is generated. As the arteries are narrowed down, the blood pressure goes up.

It can be seen that in all stress diseases, the real cause is the nervous tension that is developed as a result of fear, worry, anxiety and other negative emotions. And the most damaging effect of stress is aging--and consequently, a shorter life span.

Medical studies fully recognize the importance of rest and relaxation in countering stress diseases. Patients are advised to take it easy, relax, and stop worrying. By not worrying about the future, one can develop a calm and philosophical state of mind.

(In next week's posting, we shall offer suggestions on how to further reduce and minimize stress)