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Category Archives: naturopathy

Stay healthy Live Long!

Health is the biggest gift God has given US. We should always be grateful to HIM for this blessing!

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Menopause and Antidepressants

Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Antidepressants really aren’t very useful for combating menopausal complaints. But that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from trying them. But consider this: Even the Food and Drug Administration’s own panel of experts voted against the use of their newly approved antidepressant to treat hot flashes in menopausal women. The published data showed minimal benefits, and the risks of side effects and addiction are serious. In the 24-week study, it was reported that there were three cases of suicidal outlooks and one suicide attempt after only 12 weeks of treatment. But in an unusual override, the FDA approved the use of this drug, called Brisdelle, to treat moderate to severe hot…

Keep Your Muscles As You Age

Carl Lowe

Most people lose a great deal of muscle as they age. But you don’t have to if you follow some simple anti-aging measures. According to Swiss researchers, the most important factor for retain muscle is lifting weights. Resistance training keeps muscle tissue regenerating rather than deteriorating. The second measure you need to take is to eat plenty of protein. The scientists warn that protein intake plays an integral part in muscle preservation. The third consideration is vitamin D. The scientists note that vitamin D plays a crucial role in the development of muscle mass and function. They recommend getting plenty of sunshine to let the skin make vitamin D and/or supplementing…

Stumbling Senior: Are You One?

Bob Livingston

Many seniors are feeble, unstable, stumbling and dehydrated. We see this everywhere, beginning as young as age 60. No, you don’t need drugs. What you do need is to understand the cause and do something about it. You can. The many drugs that seniors are taking are accumulating in their bodies, as any toxic poison will do. Drugs deplete nutrition. This is one cause of weakening and unstable seniors. Let’s face it, most are addicted to drugs mostly because they are psychologically dependent on the doctors who prescribe them. They foolishly think that their medical doctors are helping them. Truthfully, seniors are cash cows for the medical cartel. Remember, the medical industry…

Telomeres: The New Key To Anti-Aging

Dr. Isaac Eliaz

DNA leads a precarious existence. Each cell contains several feet of genetic material that must be packed very tightly to fit the allotted space. When cells divide, the DNA strands have to split apart, with every piece creating a new strand for each of the two new cells. This process can be particularly treacherous and vulnerable to harmful mutations that distort the genetic material. Fortunately, the body has ways to protect the all-important DNA. One of the most important structures that safeguard DNA consists of what are called telomeres. Located at the tips of each of our 46 chromosomes, telomeres help protect DNA and are particularly important during cell division.

The Growing Pain Epidemic

Carl Lowe

Do you suffer chronic pain? You’re not alone. An expanding number of people are in almost continual pain. Why this problem is so prevalent seems to baffle medical researchers. The pain epidemic is increasing most significantly among children. Canadian research has found that the younger generation is growing up in a world of hurt. “We found that persistent and recurrent chronic pain is overwhelmingly prevalent in children and adolescents, with girls generally experiencing more pain than boys and prevalence rates increasing with age,” says lead investigator Sara King, Ph.D., with Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Turn Back The Aging Clock Without Moving A Muscle

Carl Lowe

As we age, our immune systems are more vulnerable to destructive inflammation. Inflammatory processes can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke and other life-altering complications. But a study at Ohio State shows that you can fight this damage with an activity that doesn’t even require moving a muscle. The researchers found that posing in yoga stances can stymie the creation of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a central player in the body’s inflammatory reactions. The study also found that practicing yoga reduces people’s responses to stress. “In addition to having lower levels of inflammation before they were stressed, we also saw lower inflammatory responses.

Effects Of Low Testosterone

Dr. Geo Espinosa

The amount of testosterone produced by adults can drop as they age. When ranges fall out of normal, the effects of low testosterone can affect body functions. Low testosterone (also known as Low T) is often undiagnosed because people fail to recognize the symptoms and blame them on other causes. However, Low T is a very common condition that can be responsible for a variety of conditions from low sex drive to lack of energy to perform routine tasks at work or at home. You should suspect low testosterone if you notice any of the following: Weakened sexual appetite, difficulty getting or keeping erections, fertility problems. Physical fitness challenges such as a lack of strength & energy.

The Anti-Aging Supplement

Dr. Isaac Eliaz

There are lots of discussions about antioxidants, but not a lot of clarity. We often hear that antioxidants are a key to good health. While this is true, it’s only part of the story. Not all antioxidants are created equal. However, by better understanding oxidation (the damaging force that antioxidants combat), we can make the best possible choices to limit oxidative harm. Types Of Destruction To oversimplify a bit, oxidation is a form of destruction. Rust is a type of oxidation. In some cases, destruction is a good thing. For example, some immune cells use oxidative destruction to kill dangerous pathogens. However, the oxidation with which we’re concerned goes beyond normal limits..

 

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Health Benefits of Turmeric

                                            History of Turmeric

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The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. In the Oprah Winfrey show it was called the magic drug.

 Why take turmeric?

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. It helps in fatty liver and pancreatitis ( inflammation of Pancreas). Cases of colon cancer are much rare in the Indian subcontinent due to the high usage of turmeric while cooking food.

Here are some health benefits of turmeric:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to die.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Studies have proved its positive effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. It also aids in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules. In powder form it should be taken as half a teaspoon dissolved in half cup of full fat milk or with olive oil as fat makes its digestion and absorption easier.

Precautions:

Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant. It is also a blood thinner so people using statin drugs should consult their doctor before starting turmeric therapy.

Stay Healthy & Happy Always!

 

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Toothpaste’s many uses

            Courtesy of a friend , who shared this useful information with me!

We love finding different uses for the most ordinary household items. This time it’s TOOTHPASTE! Yes! We are going to share some unusual tips and tricks for this ordinary household item that you can use to clean things around the house and make other things shine! So…now that we’ve gotten your curiosity up, let’s get started! NoW

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Remove dirt/scuff marks from your shoes

Can you believe that just a dab of toothpaste can remove scuff marks from your favorite pair of leather shoes? It’s simply amazing! Just dab a little on the scuff marks, rub the area with a soft cloth, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. You will make them look like new!

You can even Clean your tennis shoes rubber part 

Try a little of the non-gel variety on one of your old toothbrushes to clean and whiten the rubber sides of your tennis shoes! After scrubbing them, take a damp cloth to clean it off and they’ll look almost new!

Cleans Piano Keys       Image

Is your cat licking your piano keys that you touch while nibbling on cookies or chips? Are the keys on your old piano looking yellow and dingy? Make them look brighter by cleaning them up with some toothpaste on a soft toothbrush, then after a little scrubbing, wipe them down with a damp cloth. This only makes perfect sense, since the little ivories are essentially elephants teeth. This trick also works well on modern pianos even though their keys are covered with plastic rather than the real stuff!

Try getting the dirt Off your Iron                                                                                Image

Non-gel toothpastes contain a mild abrasive, which is just what you need to scrub the “gunk” off the plate of your iron. Apply it to your iron while its cool and scrub with a rag, then rinse well.

 Brighten up Your Diamonds!             Image

Next time your brushing your teeth, take your toothbrush and run it over your diamond ring to make it sparkle! Clean off any residue with a damp cloth.

Clean Your Watch Band  

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A little toothpaste on an old toothbrush will allow you to scrub all of the dirt away from your watch band. Rinse carefully so the watch don’t get water in it. Polish with a soft cloth.

 

Baby Bottle Deodorizer                                                           Image

Are your baby’s bottles starting to smell like sour milk? Toothpaste works well to remove this odor! Just put a little bit on the bottle brush and start scrubbing. Be sure to rinse the bottle out well.

Goggles and mirror Defogger  Image

Wearing fogged-up goggles is not only frustrating but can be dangerous as well. To prevent this, coat the goggles with toothpaste and wipe off.Ouch! No wonder you cut yourself shaving…a fogged-up bathroom mirror certainly prevents you from seeing your face clearly. Next time (before you shave and cut yourself) spread a little non-gel toothpaste onto the mirror and wipe it off before stepping into the shower. When you’re done with your shower and ready to shave, the mirror won’t be fogged up!

 Shines Chrome

You can find many commercial cleaners containing a very fine abrasive that are designed to make your chrome shine, but if you don’t happen to have one of these cleaners handy, try a little non-gel toothpaste instead (which also contains a mild abrasive) It will work just as good. Smear it on and polish the chrome piece with a soft, dry cloth.

 Cleans Your Bathroom Sink, Destroys Odors From Drain

Non-gel toothpastes work just as good as any other bathroom cleaner when it comes to cleaning out your sink. How handy can you get, it’s sitting right there at your fingertips so why not use it? OR…if your family is like mine, they drop gobs of it in the sink while brushing their teeth so just take a sponge or cloth and make good use of their waste! Rinse it out and see it shine! An additional bonus even! This will also destroy any odors coming from down inside the drain.

Cleans Crayon Marks Off Walls                                                                              Image

Did those crayon-toting angels of yours get creative and draw some fancy artwork on your wall? Don’t worry. Just grab a tube, a rag or scrub brush, and dab a little on the wall and start scrubbing. The fine abrasive in the toothpaste will take away the crayon marks every time. Rinse the wall with water.

 Hang Posters on the wall Just put a litttle dab in each corner of the poster and a few in between on the edges. Put your poster up and it will stick like magic. When you get ready to remove it will come off easy with no holes.

Fill in holes in the wall                       Image

Ugly nail holes showing? Just a little white toothpaste will fill in the hole instantly. Let it dry and you can paint over it.

Get All The Toothpaste That You Paid For Image

When the tube is almost empty place in warm water for a few minutes while you shower. Lay it on the couter or on the edge of the sink, using your toothbrush handle push the warm toothpaste to the top of the tube.

Air Freshener For Your Car

Squeeze a small amount of toohpaste onto a the center of a paper towel. Roll or fold the towel up. Place under the seat. When the car is left in the warm sunshine it will heat up and the toothpaste will release a nice soft mint smell into your car. Replace as needed.

Make your own toothpaste for making your teeth whiter               

This is so easy and will save you money. Mix Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide blend into a paste. Add a few drops of peppermint or spearmint extract to flavor to your desired taste. It will make your teeth sparkle and will help whiting them at the same time.

                           Three Cheers For Toothpaste :-)))  

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The magic of Cinnamon and Honey

 Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

 

It is found that a mix of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases.

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Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases.

Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus.Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack.

Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder….who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it’s delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘Ingredient’ which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections. WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible.   

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in healing, health, naturopathy

 

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System Cleansing in Winters

 

veggies

Traditional cleansing programs that call for freshly pressed juices, raw foods, and even room temperature water with lemon juice, maple syrup, and pepper may work for most people when the weather is warm.

But how do you experience an effective cleanse without feeling exceedingly cold and frail during late fall, winter, and early spring?

There’s a reason why our bodies crave hot soups and cooked foods during colder months. To ignore the need to support a minimum core body temperature is to allow significant enervation, which is never conducive to supporting optimal health.

Are Water-only fasts any good?

These short periods like 2 days to a week of deprivation do little but cause you to lose healthy muscle tissue . To give your organs a significant period of rest and to experience a solid, system-wide cleanse during colder months, I typically recommend using hot vegetable broth. If you make your own vegetable broth with generous amounts of nutrient-rich vegetables, you’ll have a mineral-rich liquid to fuel your everyday activities while you avoid slowing down your self-healing and self-cleansing mechanisms with large meals.

You can sip on hot vegetable broth throughout the day. And whenever you feel like something more substantial, you can have room temperature vegetables and fruits – lettuce, celery, carrots, avocados, apples, pears, and persimmons are good choices throughout fall and early winter.

So long as you heed the desire to have some healthy, whole foods whenever your body calls for them, you can do this vegetable broth plus whole vegetables and fruits cleanse for one to seven days during colder months whenever you feel the need to rest, get lighter, and be rejuvenated.

To make nutrient-rich vegetable broth for this cleanse, you’ll need: 2 small or medium yellow onions, halved One bunch of celery, roughly chopped 2 large carrots, roughly chopped One bunch of leeks, roughly chopped One large bunch of red Swiss chard, potatoes or beet root  roughly chopped.

Enjoy!vegies

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in healing, health, naturopathy

 

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Itching and scratching what a nuisance!

Scratching isn’t the only solution to an itch. The kitchen cupboards hold a few more.

                                         Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Baking soda. Baking soda battles itches of all kinds. For widespread or hard-to-reach itches, soak in a baking soda bath. Add 1 cup baking soda to a tub of warm water. Soak for 30 to 60 minutes and air dry. Localized itches can be treated with a baking soda paste. Mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Apply to the itch, but do not use if the skin is broken.

Oatmeal. Add 1 to 2 cups finely ground oatmeal to a warm bath (not hot or you might have breakfast for the next month in your tub) to ease your itches.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Lemon. Many American folk remedy recipes call for using a lemon to treat itchy skin — and rightly so. The aromatic substances in a lemon contain anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce itching. If nothing else, you’ll smell good. Squeeze undiluted lemon juice on itchy skin and allow to dry.

Home Remedies from the Spice Rack

Cloves and Juniper Berries. The American Indians of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Cherokee tribes knew how to stop an itch in its tracks. They used what nature provided, namely juniper berries. (No need to run out in the wilderness to gather berries. They are available in some grocery stores.) These berries contain anti-inflammatory, volatile substances. When combined with cloves, which contain eugenol to numb nerve endings, the result is no more itch. To make a salve of both spices, melt 3 ounces of unsalted butter in a saucepan. In a separate pan, melt a lump of beeswax — about the amount of 2 tablespoons. When the beeswax has melted, combine with butter and stir well. Add 5 tablespoons ground juniper berries and 3 teaspoons ground cloves to the mixture and stir. Allow to cool and apply to itchy skin. Note: It is best to grind the spices at home because the volatile substances are preserved better in whole berries and cloves.

 

Basil. Splash your skin with refreshing basil tea. Like cloves, basil contains high amounts of eugenol, a topical anesthetic. Place 1/2 ounce dried basil leaves in a 1-pint jar of boiling water. Keep it covered to prevent the escape of the aromatic eugenol from the tea. Allow to cool. Dip a clean cloth into the tea and apply to itchy skin as often as necessary.

Mint. If you’re saving that basil for spaghetti sauce, try a mint tea rinse instead. Chinese folk medicine values mint as a treatment for itchy skin and hives. Mint contains significant amounts of menthol, which has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically. In general, mint also contains high amounts of the anti-inflammatory rosmarinic acid, which is readily absorbed into the skin. To make a mint tea rinse, place 1 ounce dried mint leaves in 1 pint boiling water. Cover and allow to cool. Strain, dip a clean cloth in the tea, and apply to the itchy area when necessary.

Thyme. If you’re saving that mint for a glass of lemonade, there is one more spice on the rack that makes a good anti-itch rinse: thyme. This fragrant herb contains large amounts of the volatile constituent thymol, which has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. In other words, it numbs that darn itch while reducing inflammation caused by all your scratching. To make a thyme rinse, place 1/2 ounce dried thyme leaves in a 1-pint jar of boiling water. Cover and allow to cool. Strain and dip a clean cloth into the tea, then apply to affected areas. Note: In Chinese folk medicine, dandelion root, easily plucked from most yards, is added to this rinse. If in season, place 1 ounce dried dandelion root and 1/2 ounce dried thyme leaves into 1 quart boiling water and proceed as directed.

Home Remedies from the Windowsill

Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a must for burns, but how about itches? The same constituents that reduce blistering and inflammation in burns also work to reduce itching. Snap off a leaf, slice it down the middle, and rub the gel only on the itch.

More Do’s and Don’ts

  • Try not to scratch!
  • Wear gloves, if need be, to keep yourself from opening your skin by scratching with your nails!

 
 

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Healthy Lungs are vital!

                                  How To Save Your Lungs Before It’s Too Late

We don’t put enough emphasis on protecting our lungs against harmful macro and microscopic particles; this is a huge mistake, as reduced lung capacity is more damaging to quality of life than say, sub-optimal digestion, mild to moderate liver dysfunction, or even reduced cardiac output.

 

Why are healthy lungs so vital to the rest of your organs and body parts?,fres

It’s within the very thinnest branches of tissue that line the base of your lungs where your body accepts oxygen from your environment and expels carbon dioxide. Without this ongoing exchange of gases, you can’t adequately convert nutrients from food into usable energy.

 How to measure lung dysfunction?

 Inspection

Look for signs of strained breathing.

Other obvious signs of lung dysfunction are slightly purple/blue lips or fingernails, and audible distress with breathing.

Palpation

Place your hands symmetrically on both sides of the posterior aspect of a person’s ribcage; see if your hands move about the same amount during deep inhalation. Asymmetrical movement might indicate abnormal presence of fluid or air in the space between the lungs and the chest wall.

Also feel the transmission of the person’s voice as vibration (called tactile fremitus) against your palms as they’re pressed up against his/her chest wall

Percussion

To help confirm palpatory findings, percussion is used, where you use your hands to steadily percuss against the chest wall while listening to how hollow or full the chest cavity sounds along different points.

Auscultation

Auscultation is the process of listening to lung sounds with a stethoscope. During auscultation, try to hear what they call “vesicular breath sounds,” which is to describe a mild influx of air with inhalation, and little sound during exhalation.

Whistling-type noises, scratchy sounds, noise that resembles what you hear when breathing through a snorkel, gurgling, and an abnormally quiet lung field all indicate some form of distress.

Here’s the thing: you don’t want to wait for your doctor to stumble upon an abnormal finding before becoming mindful of what you’re breathing in during everyday activities. In most cases, by the time of a significant finding using the screening procedures described above, chances are that dysfunction and disease have been at play for a good while.

Living in a neighborhood with good air quality is a huge plus.

The most important priority in preventing lung disease is to minimize exposure to concentrated sources of lung irritants, and where such exposure is near impossible to avoid.

It’s vital to take proper precaution with optimal ventilation and protective gear.

When sanding down minor repair jobs, drilling into wood, or doing any other basic chores that require being close to even a small cloud of dust, it’s well worth the effort to wear a respirator with a decent filter.

Wear a mask when landscaping or where there is regular cutting of fresh stone, which kicks up all sorts of lung irritants like fiberglass and carborundum grit.

To those who cut stone or sand drywall joints for a living and feel fine after taking a good long shower after work (all without wearing a respirator), remind them that repeated exposure to irritants can lead to numbing of our natural feedback mechanisms, kind of like how a smoker eventually learns to inhale tobacco smoke without experiencing much of a negative physiological reaction.

 Please remember that it’s not just visible dust that you should strive to avoid and protect yourself against. If chemicals that you work with give off strong smells that make you feel nauseous, you need to figure out how to avoid these substances – nausea that’s triggered by stimulation of your olfactory system is a strong sign that you’re in the presence of lung irritants that, over time, can create irreversible damage.

Here’s a look at six substances that are highly capable of causing lung damage:

1. Crystalline silica

Crystalline silica is a component of soil, sand, and rocks (like granite and quartzite). Only quartz and cristobalite silica that can be inhaled as particles are designated known carcinogens.

Where is it found?

  • In the air during mining, cutting, and drilling.
  • Drywall mud, household cleaners, paints, glass, brick, ceramics, silicon metals in electronics, plastics, paints, and abrasives in soaps.

 

Occupations most at risk:

Quarry workers, plasterers, drywallers, construction workers, brick workers, miners, stonecutters (including jewellery), workers involved in drilling, polishing, and crushing, pottery makers, glassmakers, soap or detergent manufacturers, farmers, dentists, and auto workers.

 

2. Wood dust

Wood dust is made up of particles of wood that are created by cutting and sanding.

 

Where is it found?

  • Anywhere wood is chipped, turned, drilled, or sanded.

Occupations most at risk:

Those in the construction industry, and to some extent, those in the logging industry.

 

3. Asbestos

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that form heat-resistant fibers.

 

Where is it found?

  • Naturally in rock formations.
  • In some auto parts like brakes, gaskets, and friction products.
  • In some industrial textiles.
  • In some safety clothing.

 

Occupations most at risk:

Asbestos miners, brake repair mechanics, building demolition or maintenance workers, carpenters, cabinetmakers, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, plaster and drywall installers, auto mechanics.

 

4. Chromium (hexavalent)

Chromium is a naturally occurring mineral that becomes carcinogenic when it is transformed into its hexavalent form through industrial processes.

 

Where is it found?

  • In the manufacturing of stainless steel and other alloys.
  • In the industrial wood preservative, CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate).
  • Used in small amounts in printer ink toners, textile dyes, and during water treatment.

 

Occupations most at risk:

Welders while welding stainless steel, printing machine and press operators, machinists, and pipefitters.

 

5. Nickel and its compounds

Metallic nickel, a possible carcinogen, is a silver-like, hard metal or grey powder. Nickel compounds, known carcinogens, tend to be green to black, but yellow when heated.

 

Where is it found?

Used to make stainless steel, and also found in magnets, electrical contacts, batteries, spark plugs, and surgical/dental prostheses.

 

Occupations most at risk:

Welders, construction millwrights, industrial mechanics, metal spraying workers, machinists, machining/tooling inspectors, nickel refinery workers, iron/steel mill workers, metal ore miners, and manufacturers in structural metals, motor vehicle parts, boilers, and shipping containers.

 

6. Formaldehyde

Associated cancers:

Nasopharyngeal cancer, leukemia

What is it?

A colorless, combustible gas with a pungent odor.

 

Where is it found?

  • Used in the manufacture of textiles, resins, wood products, and plastics.
  • As a preservative, formaldehyde is found in embalming fluid.
  • As a preservative and disinfectant, it’s used in soaps, shampoos, deodorants, mouthwash, and cosmetics.

 

Occupations most at risk:

Embalmers, pathology lab operators, wood and paper product workers, and health care professionals (nurses, dentists) exposed during use of medicinal products that contain formaldehyde. Also at risk are painters, manual laborers, product assemblers, foundry workers, and those who teach in cadaver laboratories.

 

How Important Are Your Lungs?

Consider that of the total amount of waste materials that your body eliminates via urine, stools, mucous, breath, and sweat, approximately 75 percent by volume is handled by your lungs. Put another way, your lungs are at least as important to your body’s ability to experience ongoing cleansing and detoxification as your digestive tract and kidneys. And to maintain healthy lungs, you have to minimize your exposure to the pollutants described above.

Beyond avoiding concentrated pollutants, here are a few tips to help ensure healthy gas exchange within your lungs:

 

  1. First and most obviously, you need to be around fresh air. This means being outdoors often, and when you’re indoors for long stretches at a time, you should try to crack open a window or two whenever possible. Or at the very least, ensure that the ventilation system that controls the air quality in your work and living spaces is functioning properly – this includes making sure that furnace filters are replaced regularly.

It also means that while you sleep, when the weather permits, you should crack open a window so that your lungs are exposed to a steady stream of fresh oxygen, and that the air in your room doesn’t get dominated by carbon dioxide.

  1. Second, you need to be mindful of how well you’re breathing. Respiratory rate – the number of cycles of inhalation and exhalation you experience per minute, is affected by a few different factors.

Emotional stress tends to promote shallow breathing. So being mindful of your emotional state and making a habit of taking purposeful, deep breaths in and out as often as possible make for a concrete strategy to ensure optimal intake of oxygen and elimination of carbon dioxide.

  1. An often-overlooked determinant of respiratory rate is how healthy your spine and surrounding joints are. Together, your spine, ribcage, and sternum (breast bone) form a protective case that surrounds your heart and lungs. At every point of contact between your ribs and your spine and breast bone, there is some joint play – that is, built-in room to move, not a lot, but enough to allow for optimal expansion of your lungs as you inhale.

Also, from rib to rib, you have cartilage that helps keep your ribs in place, but that also provides just enough give to allow your ribs to slightly expand and contract as your breathe.

Over time, chronic stress, lack of exercise, and lack of mindful breathing can cause all of these moving parts to become somewhat brittle and unable to provide the flexibility that is essential to helping you breathe optimally.

This is one reason why regular stretching of your spine, ribcage, and surrounding tissues is important to your health. By keeping all of these joints moving properly, you ensure that you have the physical capacity to fill your lungs with ample amounts of oxygen throughout the day and night.

 

Beyond stretching these areas, please remember the importance of mindfully breathing in and out throughout the day – this seemingly trivial habit can be immensely helpful to your health.

And don’t forget to wear a protective mask or respirator the next time you have some sanding or drilling to do.

 

Please consider sharing this information with family and friends who may be incurring lung tissue damage without knowing it.

 

Thank you.

 
 

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