The Mind-Body-Soul connection
Seven major life saving discoveries about Lymphatic system
Ayurveda - Causes of sickness
What is Aromatherapy?
"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." Brillat-Savarin's quote
Detox made safe and simple
What is myofascial pain syndrome?
Ayurveda- Dosha types for beginners
More to come

The Mind-Body-Soul Connection

by Kulreet Chaudhary, MD (Source:

More and more people are becoming aware of the mind-body-soul connection, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Exactly what is it and where is it? How do you find it? Can you have it even if you are busy running around trying to keep up with your life? Do you have to believe in God? Do you have to become a hippie?

The nice thing is that the mind-body connection isn’t something you have to go out and buy. It already exists inside of you – you were born with it. Many of us aren’t always aware of it on a daily basis, but when you stop and look at examples of it in your life it becomes obvious that this connection is there. The problem is that if you are not conscious of it, you are not deliberately using this connection for your benefit. First, let’s look at what exactly this connection is and then look at a way to foster this connection with simple daily steps that won’t cost you a lot of time or money.

Most of us are aware of the body. You live in it and when it gets sick, you really become aware of it. Most of us also are aware of the mind – that “thing” in your brain that projects a constant stream of thoughts during your day. Even doctors are becoming more aware of the connection between the mind and the body. Studies show people who suffer from problems of the mind, such as depression, are at a higher risk from complication of other chronic diseases such as heart disease. You may have even noticed that when you are under more stress, you are more susceptible to catching a cold.

There is an invisible communication occurring between your mind and your body. The communication occurs in the form of nerve impulses in the brain and biochemical reactions in the body. The brain can translate your thoughts and feelings into chemical and electric impulses that get sent through the body and cause a biochemical reaction. This reaction is the way that your body responds to what is going on inside your head. This process happens almost instantaneously and your body’s response is often proportional to the strength of your thoughts or emotions.

You might remember experiencing this. Have you ever heard some very bad news and suddenly felt sick to your stomach? This is an example of the mind-body connection. If a doctor measured your blood pressure, heart rate and specific hormones before and after the bad news, they could actually measure the impact that negative thought had on your body. The same is true for good news, but in the opposite direction – happy thoughts can actually create “happy” biochemistry. This is part of the relaxation response that is being acknowledged in the medical field. The relaxation response shows beneficial changes in the biochemical state of the body during times of greater relaxation of the mind, such as during meditation.

Where does the soul come into this connection? In talking about the mind and body, we are talking about aspects of our lives that are tangible. The soul is the invisible, intangible part of our lives that connects us to something bigger than just what we see in the mirror. It is the part that joins our intellect to a greater collective intellect that connects everyone and everything. Others have described it as a web of energy or divine matrix.

When we disrupt that energy field through violence to ourselves, such as repetitive negative thoughts about ourselves, or violence to others through anger and jealousy, it is the equivalent of putting a drop of poison into that web. This web of energy is connected to our mind and body, and eventually the toxins can manifest as depression or as physical conditions. If we are all ultimately united through this web of energy, how can even one of us be well until our communities and countries are all well? The soul represents the unity of all human life.

Don’t feel daunted by the task of cultivating your mind-body-soul connection because it already exists and is in full force even before you ever read this. Now you can direct that connection deliberately to benefit you rather than just being at the mercy of random events. Unless you have absolutely no complaints in your life, you need to focus on your mind-body-soul connection to maximize the good in your life. You may think your problems are coming from your job, your spouse, your kids or your health. But these are all just projections on a movie screen that are showing you the current state of your mind-body-soul connection.

My favorite, cheap, calorie-free technique for boosting the mind-body-soul connection is to force myself to complain less. We all have things that happen to us that we want to change and feel justified in complaining about. But this particular habit really drains you of energy and weakens your ability to strengthen the mind-body-soul connection. Instead of ending a thought with a complaint, find just one thing to also be grateful about. For example, I don’t like driving in traffic. It feels like a waste of my time and my body feels heavy afterward. But I have to drive in traffic to get to work. So after driving to work in traffic, I remind myself how lucky I am to have a wonderful job to drive to. This little bit of gratitude changes the energy from something that is poisonous to nourishment for my mind, body and soul.

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Seven Major Life-Saving Discoveries about Lymphatic System

By Dr. C. Samuel West - DN ND Chemist & Lymphologist

Every healing art on earth involves getting oxygen to the cells!

1) Every cell in the body has a SODIUM-POTASSIUM PUMP in it that generates electricity which is POWER!

2) Everywhere we have a BLOOD VESSEL going through our body, we have a LYMPHATIC VESSEL going side by side with cells in between.

3) The purpose of the LYMPHATIC VESSELS is to pull out all the dead cells and poisons and excess water from the spaces around the cells which keeps the cells in the "DRY STATE" with no excess water around the cells.

4) The cells have to be kept in the "DRY STATE" in order to get OXYGEN from the blood vessels.

5) BLOOD PROTEIN and WATER leave the BLOOD STREAM to ALTER the "DRY STATE" which is the CAUSE OF LACK OF OXYGEN AT the cell level.

6) Breaking the MENTAL (anger, loss of temper, holding grudges etc.), NUTRITIONAL (Man-made Tea, coffee, liquor "beer", tobacco, drugs, too much salt, sugar, candy, cakes, ice cream, pop, and too much meat.), and PHYSICAL (being lazy and being a shallow breather), LAWS OF HEALTH is what brings the blood proteins and water out of the blood stream and produces lack of oxygen. Anything that will damage cells will cause the blood protein and water to leave the blood stream and alter the "Dry State" which is the actual cause of pain, loss of energy, and every disease on the face of this earth!

7) When we learn to obey the laws of health and ACTIVATE our LYMPHATIC VESSELS to CONTROL the BLOOD PROTEIN and WATER, there will be NO PAIN, NO LOSS OF ENERGY and NO DEATH by DISEASE.

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Ayurveda - Causes Of Sickness

According to Ayurveda, the imbalance of the three doshas of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha is the immediate cause of all sickness.  The three doshas are disturbed by inappropriate diet, behaviours and lifestyle.  Their imbalance initiates pathological changes such as the build up of toxins.  In Ayurveda, the study of causes of sickness is described in two broad categories:  General factors common to all diseases and specific factors behind particular diseases.  A third factor behind disease occurs from the natural effect of time and the aging process.

Wrong use of the senses
This is one of the most important factors that cause sickness.  How we use our senses determines the type of food that we eat, the water we drink and the particular lifestyle that we follow.  Sensory contacts are of four types: excess, deficient, inappropriate and optimal.  For example, we can take in too much light through the eyes, too little light, the wrong type of light or the appropriate type and amount.  Out of these four, only optimal contact promotes health, the other three cause sickness.

Wrong use of the will
This is called Prajnaparadha, which literally means “failure of intelligence”, referring to human weakness by which we continue to perform wrong actions even after we have experienced them to be harmful.  For example, a person who experienced a hangover and the side effects of drinking too much alcohol and perhaps swearing never to drink again, ignores this message of experience and starts drinking again.  By choosing to indulge one’s senses and pursue desire, it may lead to unnecessary problems like addictions and illness.

Misuse of the body
Misuse of the bodily functions occurs mainly through either suppression or through forced excitation of natural urges.  Suppressing natural urges will weaken the life-force (prana) and cause our natural impulses toward healthy function be impaired. 

Misuse of the mind
Wrong actions of the mind bring about wrong actions of the body and eventually result in sickness.  The mind gets disturbed owing to an increase in agitated (rajasic) and dull (tamasic) qualities of the mind, like wrong imagination or lack of attention.  This leads to negative emotions such as fear, grief, anger, greed, etc., that imbalance both the body and the mind.

Misuse of speech
This refers to using language that is insinuating, untrue, untimely, quarrelsome, unpleasant, incoherent, harsh or abrasive.  This not only harms others but also set up negative energy patterns that harm ourselves as well.

Effect of time
The effect of time is another cause of sickness that one cannot avoid.    No one can escape the effects of seasonal changes and variations governed by the time factor from birth to death.  Normal as well as abnormal seasonal changes affect the doshas, the mind and the strength of the body. Sickness naturally occurs through the process of growing old, particularly chronic diseases like arthritis.  Although the effects can be minimised with seasonal regimens and rejuvenation therapies, one cannot avoid this altogether nor should one try.

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What Is Aromatherapy?

by Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing. Although the word “aroma” makes it sound as if the oils are inhaled, they can also be massaged into the skin or -- rarely -- taken by mouth. You should never take essential oils by mouth without specific instruction from a trained and qualified specialist. Whether inhaled or applied on the skin, essential oils are gaining new attention as an alternative treatment for infections, stress, and other health problems. However, in most cases scientific evidence is still lacking.

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing -- for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections. Others are used for their emotional value -- they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant. Orange blossom oil, for example, contains a large amount of an active ingredient that is thought to be calming.

How does aromatherapy work?
Researchers are not entirely clear how aromatherapy may work. Some experts believe our sense of smell may play a role. The "smell" receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (the amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in essential oil molecules, some researchers believe they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. Other researchers think that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.

Aromatherapy massage is a popular way of using essential oils because it works in several ways at the same time. Your skin absorbs essential oils and you also breathe them in. Plus, you experience the physical therapy of the massage itself.

What is aromatherapy good for?
Aromatherapy is used in a wide range of settings -- from health spas to hospitals -- to treat a variety of conditions. In general, it seems to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact, several essential oils -- including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others -- have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.

Several clinical studies suggest that when essential oils (particularly rose, lavender, and frankincense) were used by qualified midwives, pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear, had a stronger sense of well being, and had less need for pain medications during delivery. Many women also report that peppermint oil relieves nausea and vomiting during labor.

Massage therapy with essential oils (combined with medications or therapy) may benefit people with depression. The scents are thought by some to stimulate positive emotions in the area of the brain responsible for memories and emotions, but the benefits seem to be related to relaxation caused by the scents and the massage. A person’s belief that the treatment will help also influences whether it works.

In one study, Neroli oil helped reduce blood pressure and preprocedure anxiety among people undergoing a colonoscopy.

In test tubes, chemical compounds from some essential oils have shown antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Some evidence also suggests that citrus oils may strengthen the immune system and that peppermint oil may help with digestion. Fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage have estrogen like compounds, which may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause. However, human studies are lacking.

Other conditions for which aromatherapy may be helpful include:
• Alopecia areata (hair loss)
• Agitation, possibly including agitation related to dementia
• Anxiety
• Constipation (with abdominal massage using aromatherapy)
• Insomnia
• Pain: Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (using topical chamomile), and headaches (using topical peppermint) require fewer pain medications when they use aromatherapy
• Itching, a common side effect for those receiving dialysis
• Psoriasis

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You Are What You Eat


Eat a Variety of Foods
Foods contain combinations of nutrients and other healthful substances. No single food can supply all nutrients in the amounts you need. For example, oranges provide vitamin C but no vitamin B12; cheese provides vitamin B12 but no vitamin C. To make sure you get all of the nutrients and other substances needed for health, choose the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five major food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans.

Vegetarian Diets and Nutritional Requirements
Some Americans eat vegetarian diets for reasons of culture, belief, or health. Most vegetarians eat milk products and eggs, and as a group, these lacto-ovo-vegetarians enjoy excellent health. You can get enough protein from a vegetarian diet as long as the variety and amounts of foods consumed are adequate. Meat, fish, and poultry are major contributors of iron, zinc, and B vitamins in most American diets, and vegetarians should pay special attention to getting these nutrients from vegetarian sources.

Vegans eat only food of plant origin. Because animal products are the only sources of vitamin B12, vegans must supplement their diets with a source of this vitamin. In addition, vegan diets, particularly those of children, require care to insure adequacy of vitamin D and calcium, which most Americans obtain from milk products.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
It is important for people of all ages to maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight increase their risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, and other illnesses. To maintain a healthy body weight, people must balance the amount of calories in the foods and drinks they consume with the amount of calories the body uses. Physical activity is an important way to use food energy. Extreme thinness is also unhealthy. People who eat very little or diet excessively may not get the calories and other nutrients they need for good health.

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, inline skating, and playing soccer, burns fat and calories. Try to do 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most—preferably all—days of the week.

To Decrease Calorie Intake
• Eat a variety of foods that are low in calories but high in nutrients—check the Nutrition Facts Label on the foods you eat.
• Eat less fat and fewer high-fat foods.
• Eat smaller portions and limit second helpings of foods high in fat and calories.
• Eat more vegetables and fruits without fats and sugars added in preparation or at the table.
• Eat pasta, rice, breads, and cereals without fats and sugars added in preparation or at the table.
• Eat less sugar and fewer sweets like candy, cookies, cakes, and soda.

Eat Plenty of Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits
Grain products, vegetables, and fruits are key parts of a varied diet. They are emphasized in this guideline because they provide vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates (starch and dietary fiber), and other substances that are important for good health. They are also generally low in fat, depending on how they are prepared and what is added to them at the table.

Fiber is found only in plant foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, beans and peas, and other vegetables and fruits. Because there are different types of fiber in foods, choose a variety of foods daily. Eating a variety of fiber-containing plant foods is important for bowel function, can reduce symptoms of chronic constipation, and hemorrhoids, and may lower the risk for heart disease and some cancers.

Choose a Diet Low in Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol
Some dietary fat is needed for good health. Fats supply energy and essential fatty acids and promote absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. More Americans are now eating less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol containing goods than in the recent past. Still, many people continue to eat high-fat diets. This guideline emphasizes the continued importance of choosing a diet with less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Avoid High-Fat Foods
Some foods and food groups are higher in fat than others. Fats and oils, and some types of desserts and snack foods that contain fat provide calories but few other nutrients. Many foods in the milk group and in the meat and beans group (which includes eggs and nuts, as well as meat, poultry, and fish) are also high in fat, as are some processed foods in the grain group.

Fat, whether from plant or animal sources, contains more than twice the number of calories of an equal amount of carbohydrate or protein. Choose a diet that provides no more than 30 percent of total calories from fat. The upper limit on the grams of fat in your diet will depend on the calories you need. Cutting back on fat can help you consume fewer calories. For example, at 2,000 calories per day, the suggested upper limit of calories from fat is about 600 calories (65 grams of fat x 9 calories per gram = about 600 calories).

Maximum Total Fat Intake at Different Calorie Levels:
Calories: 1600   Total fat: 53 grams
Calories: 2200   Total fat: 73 grams
Calories: 2800   Total fat: 93 grams

Saturated fat—Fats contain both saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than other forms of fat. Reducing saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories will help you lower your blood cholesterol level. The fats from meat, milk, and milk products are the main sources of saturated fats in most diets. Many bakery products are also sources of saturated fats. Vegetable oils supply smaller amounts of saturated fat.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat—Olive and canola oils are particularly high in monounsaturated fats; most other vegetable oils, nuts, and high-fat fish are good sources of polyunsaturated fats. Both kinds of unsaturated fats reduce blood cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. Remember that the total fat in the diet should be consumed at a moderate level—that is no more than 30 percent of calories. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat sources should replace saturated fats within this limit.

Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those used in many margarines and shortenings, contain a particular form of unsaturated fat known as trans-fatty acids that may raise blood cholesterol levels, although not as much as saturated fat.

Choose a Low Cholesterol Diet
The body makes the cholesterol it requires. In addition, cholesterol is obtained from food. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal sources such as egg yolks, meat (especially organ meats such as liver), poultry, fish, and higher-fat milk products. Many of these foods are also high in saturated fats. Choosing foods with less cholesterol and saturated fat will help lower your blood-pressure and blood-cholesterol levels.

Avoid Too Much Sugar
Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Dietary carbohydrates also include starch and fiber, which are complex carbohydrates. During digestion all carbohydrates except fiber break down into sugars. Sugars and starches occur naturally in many foods that supply other nutrients. Examples of these foods include milk, fruits, some vegetables, breads, cereals, beans, and grains. Some sugars are used as natural preservatives, thickeners, and baking aids in food. The body cannot tell the difference between naturally occurring and added sugars because they are identical chemically.

Because maintaining a nutritious diet and a healthy weight is very important, sugars should be used in moderation by most healthy people and sparingly by people with low-calorie needs.

Avoid Too Much Sodium
Sodium occurs naturally in foods, usually in small amounts. One form of sodium is sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt. In the body, sodium plays an essential role in regulation of fluids and blood pressure. Most evidence suggests that many people at risk for high blood pressure reduce their chances of developing this condition by consuming less salt or sodium. Some questions remain, partly because other factors may interact with sodium to affect blood pressure.

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Detox Made Safe And Simple

by Mark Hyman, MD (Source:

While healthy eating is our birthright, for many of us it seems like taking the plunge into eating a whole foods-based diet is the equivalent to traveling to some distant land. But it doesn’t have to be such a scary or foreign experience.

In my work as a Functional Medicine Doctor, my priority is to guide each patient through a safe, simple, realistic and pleasurable (yes!) transition into healthy eating. Because whole foods-based diets remove all the sugary, fatty, chemical-laden, artificial stuff from the diet, they sometimes get called a detox or a cleanse.

Why is detoxification important?
When our bodies become “toxic", it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet – funny, right!) have exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!

How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?
Usually a constellation of complaints helps you determine whether  or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse. Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:
• Constipation
• Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue
• Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, shark etc.
• Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams
• Food allergies
• Stubborn weight loss
• Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.
• Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
• Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema
• A lifetime of consuming the SAD Diet

How long should you stay on a cleanse?
Typical cleanses that harness our body’s natural processes for filtering and removing waste tend to be gentle and can therefore be tolerated for longer periods of time than more extreme protocols. A safe cleanse is one which doesn’t make you starve yourself or take fancy pills, potions or expensive drinks. 

Safety means allowing the body to do what it wants to do naturally, with a little assistance from some guided healthy eating, appropriate supplements and relevant lifestyle modifications. I usually have my patients do a cleanse for 7 days to 6 weeks, or even longer, depending on their particular needs. You should work with a trained medical provider to help you determine what length of time is right for you.

How can you prepare for a cleanse?
Like we would plan for any big trip to a new destination, we need to prepare,  plan and set out some main goals for our journey. And by the way, as in all travels, it’s always a good idea to leave some room for the serendipitous excursions to occur. When handled properly, they can be the best part of a trip! So how can we plan for a safe and simple detoxification protocol?

Take some basic measurements before you begin so that you can track your progress as you go through your program. For example, if weight loss is your goal, measure your waist, hips and weight. If, migraines are an issue, determine the duration, intensity and frequency they currently plague you. Keep a journal, which will help you in more ways than one.

• Make lists! Organize your pantry, toss out the junk, gather recipes, sketch out weekly menus, make shopping lists for healthy foods you will be eating and formulate a cooking schedule to ensure you allot time to prepare your food for the week.
• Use journaling as a way to “cleanse” your inner world and relieve yourself of mental and emotional stress.
• Gather any supplements you need that have been advised for you to take by your medical provider.
• Think about the kind of exercise that will best complement your end goal and plan for it in your schedule.
• Detoxification requires you to slow down. Make sure you fit time for deep relaxation into your plan.

Often, unsavory side effects appear in the initial phase of a cleanse. Two side effects to look for and keep track of in your journal are:
• Constipation: Move those bowels! Drink plenty of purified water. Try warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Often, taking 300 mg of magnesium citrate is helpful, too. Or, try an epsom salt bath.
• Food allergies or sensitivities: These can be obvious or obscure. But chances are, as your body lets go of toxic waste, it will be easier to recognize a hidden reaction to gluten, dairy, soy or any of the other common food allergies.

Common Symptoms of “Withdrawal” from a Toxic Lifestyle

The following symptoms are very common at the beginning of the program and should dissipate within the first few days of your program. Don’t worry, these symptoms are indicative that your body is eliminating toxins and are a good sign!

• Bad breath
• Constipation
• Achy, flu-like feeling
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Hunger
• Irritability
• Itchy skin
• Nausea
• Offensive body odor
• Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)

These symptoms can occur for a number of reasons. First, eliminating food allergies and un-junking the diet causes reactions similar to withdrawal from other addictive substances like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine or heroin. Note: We are often most addicted to the foods we are allergic to! Getting off those allergens can cause a brief, flu-like achy syndrome that may last 1-3 days. Second, toxins in our digestive tract may make us feel ill if we don’t eliminate them. The best way to get relief from these symptoms is to follow the recommendations below.

How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty initially. Symptoms usually disappear after 3-4 days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, and over-the-counter medications (except as directed by your physician) a week or two before you start your program.

• Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Stay away from plastic bottles, but glass bottles are okay.
• To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
• Fatigue is normal during a cleanse, so allow more time for rest and sleep. To boost energy, exercise for 30 minutes a day. Walking outside in the fresh air is best. Roll up those sleeves and let the sun hit you with some vitamin D too!
• Take 1000 mg of buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner. Take 300 mg of magnesium citrate at dinner.
• Don’t wait till you are starving to eat!  Balance your blood sugar by eating protein-based meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. Excellent sources of protein are baked or broiled fish, lean poultry and legumes, such as edamame or black beans.
• Heat is a great resource while cleansing as it helps draw out the toxins from within. Try a sauna or a warm bath with epsom salts for 20 minutes a few times per week.

While safe, these types of cleanses can still be stressful on the body and mind so remember to relax. Actively engaging your parasympathetic nervous system helps restore your energy, which your body needs to replenish itself. Meditation, deep breathing or any calming activity is good.

Eliminate all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet, the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your biology to eliminate all triggers.

Keep a journal and track your symptoms. You should feel better in 3-7 days. If you do not feel well at this point, please exercise caution and check in with your doctor.

Tune in to your body and listen to the cues it provides you. A cleanse is a great journey to learn more about understanding how to operate your very own owner's manual!

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What is myofascial pain syndrome?


What is myofascial pain syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by muscle pain, tenderness, and spasm. Myofascial pain syndrome usually involves muscle in body areas that are asymmetric and localised, whereas fibromyalgia is typically a diffuse and symmetric muscle pain syndrome that involves both sides of the body.

Myofascial pain syndrome facts 

• Muscle pain, tenderness, and spasm are characteristics of myofascial pain syndrome.
• Myofascial pain syndrome typically affects muscle in asymmetric areas of the body.
• The precise cause of myofascial pain syndrome is not known.
• Myofascial pain syndrome leads to localized pain in the muscle tissue.
• Poor sleep, fatigue, and stiffness are common in myofascial pain syndrome.
• Myofascial pain syndrome is simply diagnosed based on the areas of complaints of muscle pain and associated tenderness upon examination.
• Patients have the best prognosis when one physician oversees a multifaceted treatment approach and monitors the response to various therapies.

What are causes and risk factors for myofascial pain syndrome?
The cause of myofascial pain syndrome is unknown. Nevertheless, prior injury, poor sleep patterns, stressful life situations and depression are common underlying conditions that may play a role in inciting and exacerbating myofascial pain syndrome. It is currently felt that risk factors such as these may lead to a change in the ability of the brain to properly process pain perception (referred to as central pain processing).

What are myofascial pain syndrome symptoms and signs?
Myofascial pain syndrome causes localized muscle pain. Affected muscles cause neck pain, upper back pain, and lower back pain, generally affected one side of the body or one side of the body much more than the other. There is commonly tenderness and spasm in the painful areas and there may be tenderness in areas that are not feeling chronic pain.

It is also common for patients with myofascial pain syndrome to have poor sleep patterns with decreased recovery sleep (non-rapid eye movement sleep). This is associated with awakening feeling unrested and daytime fatigue. Stiffness after inactivity is common.

Can myofascial pain syndrome be prevented?
While myofascial pain syndrome cannot be prevented, it is certainly possible to avoid factors that make the condition worse. This includes avoiding reinjury, minimizing stress, maximizing optimal sleep, and treating any underlying depression.

What is the treatment for myofascial pain syndrome?
Optimal treatment of myofascial pain syndrome can be a multifaceted approach. This can include education of the patient, stress reduction, stretching and exercise programs as well as physical therapy, sleep improvement and medications.

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Ayurveda- Dosha types for beginners

by Nadya Andreeva (Source:

How does Ayurveda work?

The 3 Dosha types:
1. Vata Dosha -- Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat. In balance: There is creativity and vitality. Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.

2. Pitta Dosha -- Energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body's temperature. In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence. Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.

3. Kapha Dosha -- Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system. In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness. Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.

Each person has all three Doshas, but usually one or two dominate. Various Dosha proportions determine one's physiological and personality traits, as well as general likes and dislikes. For example Vata types will prefer hot weather to cold and Kapha types are more likely to crave spicy foods than other types. Generally these are considered to be characteristics of each mind/body type:

Characteristics for Vata predominant types:
Creative; Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget, Slender; Tall and a fast-walker; Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates; Excitable, lively, fun personality; Changeable moods; Irregular daily routine; High energy in short bursts; Tendency to tire easily and to overexert; Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance; Responds to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance; Tendency to act on impulse; Often have racing, disjointed thoughts; Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don't perspire much.

Characteristics for Pitta Predominant Types: Medium physique, strong, well-built; Sharp mind, good concentration powers; Orderly, focused; Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best; Aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance; Competitive, enjoy challenges; Passionate and romantic; Strong digestion, strong appetite, get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal; When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry; Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily; Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather, heat makes them very tired; Perspire a lot; Good public speakers; Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian; Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger; Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.

Characteristics for Kapha Predominant Types: Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced; Affectionate and loving; Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature; Stable and reliable; faithful; Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build; Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring; Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process; Slower to learn, but outstanding long-term memory; Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large "soft" eyes and a low, soft voice; Tend toward being overweight; may also suffer from sluggish digestion; Prone to depression; More self-sufficient; Gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life; Excellent health, good immune system; Very calm; strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings; Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others; Tend to be possessive and hold on to things. Don't like cold, damp weather; Physical problems include colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

How do I determine my type?
Most books and websites on Ayurveda will offer questionnaires that can be used to determine your mind/body constitution. My favorite one is offered by, which is very detailed and thorough. Most questionnaires are very similar and will provide similar results. Please keep in mind that shorter questionnaires will give a more generalized and approximate result. Also, your body changes with age, seasons, and life situations so the results will change as well. Taking a few different questionnaires will give you a more definite result for your Dosha type.

I know my Dosha type, now what?
Now you should try to follow the diet and lifestyle routine that fits your mind/body constitution. For example, if you are predominantly Vata, you should include more cooked, warm foods, stay away from icy drinks, and add more warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to your food. This will prevent any digestion issues that Vata types tend to get, as well, as anxiety, dry skin, or insomnia. Here are some general guidelines for each type:

General Health Tips for Vata Types: Maintain regular habits, try to eat and sleep at the same time every night. Get enough rest and choose foods that are warm, cooked, nourishing, and easy to digest. Sweet berries, fruits, small beans, rice, and all nuts and dairy products are good choices for Vata types. Exercise intensity should be moderate. A more meditative yoga, Tai chi, walking, and swimming are all good. Avoid strenuous and frantic activities.

General Health Tips for Pitta Types: It's important for Pittas to keep cool by avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight and fried and spicy foods. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, overworking, and overheating. When aggravated, susceptible to feeling negative emotions like hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits that are watery and sweet, especially cherries, mangoes, cucumbers, water melon, and avocado. Have lots of salads with dark greens such as arugula, dandelions, and kale. Avoid conflicts. Cultivate the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control.

General Health Tips for Kapha Types: It's important to be active on a daily basis as Kapha types are prone to sluggishness, depression, and being overweight. Getting out of the house and actively seeking new experiences is also recommended. Be receptive to useful change, be intentional in implementing life-enhancing actions. Choose foods that are light, warm, and spicy. Tea with dried ginger and lemon is a great pick-me-up for Kaphas. Avoid heavy oily and processed sugars, which are detrimental to Kaphas. Use lots of spices such as black pepper, ginger, cumin, chili and lots of bitter dark greens.

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