Wellness resources Archives

Aging Research

Just a few decades ago, a lot of people really thought that aging research would soon yield a miracle.

 

Research into aging had its eye firmly on the prize – immortality. Scientists were discovering more and more about the mechanisms of cellular aging, and a lot of people figured that soon, we would be able to stop the individual cells from degrading at all. Things, of course, did not work out that way in the long run.

We run into some hitches in research into aging that science had not anticipated. The crux of the matter is that we will not be able to completely stop aging for a while, if ever.

When you are looking for a miracle, any setback looks like a huge disappointment. If you look at the aging research of the last 30 years or so from a more realistic perspective, however, you can see how far we have come. Nowadays, people live longer, healthier lives than ever before in human history. And it only promises to keep getting better.

Research into aging can treat previously incurable forms of cancer, set back the clock on skin aging, and allow older people to live more active, healthy lives than ever before. And things seem to be only getting better from there. Who knows what tomorrow might hold.

There are many different kinds of aging research. Although it seems like we will not be able to stop cells from growing old and dying the way we thought we could, we do understand a lot more about cell health than we used to. For example, one of the byproducts of aging research is that we can now check the uncontrolled growth of some sorts of cancer cells in a way that we never could before.

Research into aging has also yielded more mundane advancements in cell health. We understand what makes a healthy and an unhealthy diet, and how those diets affect cell regeneration. We know foods which can slow down the aging process dramatically, and even undo some damage that we have done to our cells.

Still, the most fascinating fields of aging research are the ones that we haven't gotten very deeply into yet. What do we do with genetic engineering, for example?

Could aging researchers possibly reformulate the genetic code to slow down the aging process or stop it altogether?

What about nanotechnology?

Will it ever be possible to build miniature machines that can repair cell damage when they are injected into the bloodstream?

Aging research has yet to answer these questions, but when we do find the answers, it is likely will make great strides. Even every failure yields new question and opens new doors. I firmly believe that one day, humanity will be able to live forever.

Alternative Medicine

I've been interested in alternative medicine for about 20 years now, and my interest has gone from a solidly skeptical beginning to a more optimistic end.

 

When I first started researching alternative treatment, it was over concern about a friend. I had a good friend who was a big fan of complementary medicine, and I was worried that he wasn't getting the treatment that he needed.

I figured that, by refusing conventional treatment in favor of alternate medicine, he might be doing more harm than good.

At the time, I didn't fully understand my friends position. I thought that his position on alternative medicine was a little bit extreme, but it turned out that I was the extreme one. He basically believed that it was a mistake to take harsh pills and other sorts of Western medicine before looking for more subtle, holistic cures.

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Activities For Seniors

More and more, scientific studies are showing that an active senior is a healthy senior.

 

Between physical activities for seniors, staying mentally active, and keeping up a healthy social circle, older people can prolong healthy living by years or even decades. With all the attention people put into good nutrition and exercise when they're young, it is amazing that senior activities have escaped attention until recently. Fortunately, things are changing, and changing quickly!

Within a decade, active seniors will be the norm and the days of old people sitting bored in front of the TV all day will be a distant memory.

Choosing appropriate activities for seniors is easier than you might think. The main thing is that seniors live in or have access to facilities where social activities are organized. A lot of senior homes nowadays have poker nights, bingo games, water aerobics, and many other types of physical fitness activities and social gatherings that seniors enjoy.
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The Differences Between Alternative Health Therapies

Modern may methods of medication which involve regular visits to the doctor and taking multiple medications and drugs to fight off diseases and illnesses are something that we are all familiar with. But what is becoming increasingly popular these days especially among the youth who are becoming more health conscious are alternative and traditional methods of healing and medication such as acupuncture, acupressure, body therapy and alternative health methods and ways of keeping healthy.
 
These are forms of healing that have long been around, even before there were doctors and hospitals that we know of today and long before we simply ran to the nearest doctor to cure any symptom we had, and it was how the people in the old days used to keep in shape and more importantly, make sure their health was at an optimum level. The best part about these forms of therapy and healing is that unlike the medication we get when we visit the doctors which simply cure our ailments and nothing more, these traditional forms of healing promote overall health and well being of not just the body, but the mind and spirit as well. No wonder our ancestors were so healthy, because they had these alternative remedies to turn to. 
 
Although the alternative healing therapies like the ones mentioned above go by different names, their function is the same, and that is to help us achieve our optimum, overall health of the mind, body and spirit. It is truly the ideal alternative to modern day medication and many physicians are even recommending some of these healing therapies to be used side-by-side along with our modern day medication.
 
For those who are still new to alternative healing therapies like these, here are some short descriptions of each to give you a better understanding of what each one is and what it is supposed to do:

- Acupuncture: one of the main and oldest forms of traditional Chinese medication, this method involves sticking long, thin, fine needles into various but specific locations or pressure points along the body. This age old tradition is based on the principle or knowledge that there in our body, there are energetic pathways, or channels that influence associated internal organs and structures. The energy from these pathways surfaces at various points on the body and these are what acupuncturists identify as acupuncture points. Each of these acupuncture points serve as a tunnel into the deeper circulatory channels within the body. This method is believed to be able to help adjust and alter the body's energy flow into healthier patterns to help achieve better overall health. Because it is popular and its effectiveness is proven, it is used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health conditions.

- Acupuncturists: the name actually speaks for itself. This is a person who is skilled in the art of acupuncture and the very person you should go and see should you wish to undergo this traditional treatment. Obviously you should not try such a process by yourself because you can't simply stick needles into random parts of your body as you could wind up injuring yourself, and that is where this professional comes in. The acupuncturists will know exactly what to do and how best to treat your ailments and problems so you should always go to one for consultation.
 
- Acupressure: this method is similar to the acupuncture method, except instead of using needles, it simple involves the application of pressure on specific points on the body most commonly through massage. It is a form of "touch" therapy that utilizes and incorporates the principles of massage into it, and it is used to relieve a variety of symptoms and pain by putting pressure on or massaging certain specific points on the body.
 
- Body Therapy: this usually involves overall body massage, which is one of the oldest, and simplest forms of therapy we can come across these days. Massages have been known to be highly effective for relieving pain, and to relax, stimulate and tone the body, and this helps to promote health of the mind, body and spirit because it helps you to achieve a relaxed state. This therapy will relieve you from pain, relax you, improve breathing and circulation and enhance well-being. These days, this form of therapy can be anything that involves body healing, such as yoga and pilates, for example, or anything that helps you relax and relieve your body from stress and pain.
 
- Alternative Health: this generally involves a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine, although there are many other names and forms that you would come across, but these are some of the basic ones. Just like the body therapy, this form of alternative healing incorporates spiritual, mental and physical overall well being, and should aim to relieve you from pain, relax you, improve breathing and circulation and enhance well-being.
 
Alternative methods of healing may not have any scientific proof or data to back them up, but their proven effectiveness has stood the test of time and there is a reason behind the popularity and why it is making a comeback, so try them out for yourself and see if you feel that these methods might be right for you.

Tags: alternative health | alternative health | acupuncturists | body therapy | body therapy | acupressure | acupressure | Acupuncture | Acupuncture

Blood Pressure and Athletes

Do athletes suffer from blood pressure problems?

We tend to think of athletes as being some way above the normal health issues that most of us deal with on a day by day basis. But in fact, sportsmen and sportswomen suffer from the same kind of ailments that we do - and blood pressure is no exception.

Research studies show that older athletes sometimes have an increase in their blood pressure levels and this should be closely checked. It’s a good idea for anyone over the age of seventy who is still involved in sport to see their doctor once a year for a check up. In general, exercise is thought to be good for your blood pressure and should have the effect of making the heart stronger and of causing a reduction in blood pressure. But this is not always the case. Even very young and very fit athletes can be found to have high blood pressure. The main problem is that many of them are never checked or tested and the problem only comes to light when they collapse or become unwell during sport.

How blood pressure affects athletes
Having a high blood pressure reading without being aware of it will put you at risk of stroke or of heart beat irregularity. In some cases hypertension can even trigger a heart attack. Headaches after competing are a warning sign. Unexplained loss of energy or a feeling of “palpitations” should always be investigated. Chest pain or collapse during or after exercise needs urgent testing by a specialist.

High blood pressure is not the only issue in athletes – low blood pressure can also be a problem. Now, of course, many athletes will eventually develop a low blood pressure level as a result of their training and the fact that the heart becomes more efficient. But this is not always the case and some will develop low blood pressure because of over training, anemia, medication use, dehydration or other reasons. Faints or funny turns in athletes – whether due to low blood pressure or not – need to be taken very seriously and investigated by a sports medicine doctor.

 

Blood pressure monitoring in athletes
Athletes training at a very elite level will have support from a team of sports scientists – but this is not open to most of us who simply compete now and again and enjoy the company and fun that training brings. My rule of thumb is this: if you are regularly involved in sport then you should have your blood pressure checked and make a note of the readings. If you are over the age of 35 then you should have your blood pressure checked once a year. Those over fifty need blood pressure and preferably heart checks more often than that. If in doubt you can buy yourself a cheap blood pressure monitor to check your own levels at home. If the readings are high then go see your doctor for a full check up examination.

 

Special concerns about blood pressure medications
Competitive athletes are bound by tight rules and regulations about what medicine they can and can’t take. The rules apply whether they are about to compete or whether they are in a non competition phase - often referred to as the "off season." WADA - the world anti doping agency - issue detailed lists each year of the drugs that are banned or permitted for athletes. Some blood pressure medications do appear on the list of banned substances - although the rules vary a bit between different sports. Sports competitors are allowed to apply for what's known as a Therapeutic Use Exemption in respect of a drug that their doctor thinks they need for genuine medical reasons and many do so every year. But there's another problem.

Most drugs used to treat blood pressure problems have side effects associated with them. Common side effects of blood pressure medications include fatigue, joint and muscle aches and impaired exercise tolerance. These side effects may only be of minor nuisance value to you or I - but to a highly tuned athlete, they may be devastating.

The treatment of blood pressure in athletes is a specialist area and only a few doctors worldwide focus on these areas. Many involved in sport simply just choose to "muddle along" - often putting their health at risk by doing so. If you compete in sport and have high blood pressure then please seek some medical advice. Don't delay - you might be putting your health (or even your life) at risk!

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Blood Pressure Avalanche

Blood Pressure Epidemic Hits The World

High blood pressure can kill you - and it does it in the most silent and insidious way.

Blood pressure problems are fast becoming one of the major health issues of modern times. You owe it to yourself to get fully informed about the dangers of having untreated high blood pressure.

Only a third of those with high blood pressure actually know they have it. Of those who do know, only a third are on treatment and only a third of those are treated to an adequate level. The overall numbers involved are scary and with the increased risk of stroke and heart attack that blood pressure can cause - the consequences can be catastrophic. Do you know what your blood pressure reading is? Do you have high blood pressure? If you don't know then do something about it today ... please !

Part of this blood pressure issue relates to our diet and our lifestyles but there could be more to it than that. Scientists are rapidly beginning to discover the deeper links to the genetic factors behind high blood pressure and are slowly fitting the bits of the big jigsaw together.

Smoking is a factor but smoking rates are dropping in western countries. Diabetes is also closely linked and there has always been a close connection between alcohol and blood pressure.

The blood pressure epidemic that we see nowadays also closely mirrors our ever expanding girth. Obesity is now so commonplace that we raise an eyebrow more at a slim person than at someone grossly overweight. Does weight loss lower blood pressure - you bet it does and the evidence is now very clear cut.

Interestingly however, it's not only high blood pressure that has been grabbing the headlines in recent times. It's alter ego - low blood pressure or hypotension - has also become an important issue for many.

Low blood pressure problems

Low blood pressure - the opposite end of the spectrum - can also be a major problem for those who suffer from it. The symptoms of low blood pressure are often vague and hard to pin down. Quite often it might take some time before you or your doctor figure out exactly what the problem is.

It can be difficult to find good quality advice about low blood pressure and even harder to sort out a workable option for low blood pressure treatment. Medication is not really suitable and sufferers are turning towards alternative therapies or other non medical approaches as they attempt to find relief from their symptoms.

Do you have blood pressure or do members of your family struggle with it? Do you even know what your own blood pressure numbers are? Please act today - read more, think it through, go get a check up done. It might just save your life.
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