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Health Digest Summer Special

Feel Better
Naturally
Natural remedies for common ailments

Yoga Special
Yoga’s healing power & The new safer yoga

Food Allergy Myths


We de-bunk misconceptions people have about food allergies

Fish – It really is brain food


Mighty and Wonder – Our new
megasupplements for the masses
Chocolate lovers: 6 reasons to cheer

Free at all good chemists and health stores



In This Issue: Editorial – Summer
2. Editorial Ahh, summer. Love it or hate it, summer is a
It’s in the next column. season we all have to deal with at the end of
3. Our New Megasupplements for the masses each year and the beginning of the next
Mighty and Wonder (for men and women For most adults the last month of the year
is the most stressful. There’s all that work
respectively) are our new all-in-one supplements
to finish before the holidays (if you’re lucky
for people on the go. enough to get holidays). Then there’s the
4. It’s summer again, be sun smart lead-up to Christmas – buying presents and
stocking up on food and drinks – which can
Whether you work outdoors, enjoy weekend be very expensive and stressful. On top of all
sport, or simply love to frolic on the beach, sun that parents have kids to keep entertained
protection should be top of mind this summer. and out of trouble. Then there’s the holiday
traffic to negotiate. The change in seasons can
5. Sunlight, our best friend and worst enemy make some people more succeptable to colds
Sunshine may be carcinogenic, but we can’t and flus. Why do we even bother?
thrive without the vitamin D it provides. Because from Christmas day on it’s all down
hill! Celebrate with your family, eat a big
6. Are you getting enough fibre? (healthy!) Christmas dinner, maybe even
You might know that a high-fibre diet translates to indulge in a few drinks if that’s your drug
better health and a cleaner digestive system – but of choice.
it’s not always possible to eat right. Then It’s time to relax and unwind, take that
much needed holiday at the bach. Maybe do
7. Stop hay fever some tramping or fishing or whatever else
Allergies occur when an overprotective immune floats your boat.
system senses trouble. The problem is, trouble Remember it’s the festive season,
comes in the form of everyday substances such don’t stress!
as grasses and flowers, foods and pets – all things
that are difficult to avoid. Enzogenol ACE + Selenium Caps
Food allergy myths
We de-bunk the common misconceptions many
people have about food allergies.
. Chocolate lovers: 6 reasons to cheer
It may seem like pure indulgence, but chocolate
can do good things for your heart, skin, brain,
and more.
9. Feel better naturally
Natural remedies for common ailments are often
overlooked in favour of modern medicine.
10. The new safer yoga
Combine the wisdom of the ages with modern-day
science, and you get Evolved Yoga, a safer form of
yoga that won’t get you in a twist.
11. Yoga’s healing power
The ancient practice of yoga brings relief for
hard-to-treat conditions.
The antioxidant effects (alpha effects)
12. Fish really is brain food demonstrate themselves in the long-term.
Folk medicine has long held that fish is “brain However, the unique Enzogenol™ beta effects are
much more immediately observed. These include
food.” In recent years, findings from scientific
feelings of well-being and increased activity
studies have begun to corroborate this levels, as well as improved mood levels.
conventional wisdom.
 
Our New Megasupplements for the masses
Proper nutrition has a huge K – dissolve in fat but not in water. Herbs
impact on all aspects of our After being absorbed, they are stored Finding healing powers in plants is an
by the body, creating reserves that ancient idea. People on all continents
well-being. In this fast paced
can be called upon when needed. have long used hundreds, if not
age our bodies demand more However, because they are fat-soluble, thousands, of indigenous plants for
of us than ever before. Modern these vitamins also pose a relatively treatment of various ailments dating
food supplements make staying high risk of toxicity if taken in large back to prehistory. These plants are
healthy easier than ever. amounts. still widely used in ethno-medicine
One Mighty/Wonder pill contains around the world.
Maintaining a balanced diet to
meet these demands can be time the recommended daily dose of each The use of and search for drugs
consuming, expensive and just plain vitamin required for optimum health. and dietary supplements derived
unpleasant. Failing to achieve proper Because the pills have a time release from plants have accelerated in
nutrition is much worse and can lead mechanism there is no danger of recent years. Pharmacologists,
to physical and mental depression, losing the water based vitamins via microbiologists, botanists, and
sickness and even death. urination. natural products chemists are
combing the Earth for phytochemicals
Nutra-life’s new Mighty and Wonder Minerals and leads that could be developed
are high-strength supplements, Although vitamins generally receive for treatment of various diseases. In
formulated for the needs of active more attention than minerals, fact, many modern drugs have been
men and women as a general tonic the body actually needs larger derived from plants.
to provide all the vitamins, minerals
amounts of certain minerals, called The use of herbs to treat disease
and herbs required for a balanced
macrominerals, than the amounts of is almost universal among non-
diet. It aids in the maintenance and
vitamins it requires to stay healthy. industrialized societies. A number
improvement of general well-being.
The seven macrominerals, all of traditions came to dominate the
We have employed a team of the practice of herbal medicine in the
required in amounts of 100 mg or
world’s top 132 brainiest scientists to Western world at the end of the
more a day, are calcium, magnesium,
come up with the perfect combination twentieth century; the Western, based
phosphorus, sodium, potassium,
of vitamins, minerals and herbs
chloride, and sulfur. In addition, there on Greek and Roman sources, the
to achieve an optimum system of Ayurvedic from India, and Chinese
are 10 microminerals, also called
nutrition. It has been rigorously tested herbal medicine. All with a very high
“trace elements,” of which the body
on some of the worlds most physically degree of success.
and mentally active men including requires only very small amounts.
former world heavyweight boxing In spite of the small requirements Many of the pharmaceuticals
champion, Lennox Lewis. for these minerals – in some cases currently available to Western
considerably less than 1 mg – they physicians have a long history of use
Remember that Mighty is not a are all needed if good health is to be as herbal remedies, including opium,
food replacement. Vitamins must maintained. aspirin, digitalis, and quinine.
be consumed with food for proper
absorption and we still need food
for it’s energy content and fibre to
maintain a healthy digestive system.
Mighty will enable the body to more
efficiently utilise the food we do eat.

Vitamins
Because the human body does not
synthesize vitamins in the quantities
needed, they must be obtained either
through food or through nutritional
supplements.
They perform numerous functions,
including fighting infections,
maintaining mental alertness, helping
with blood clotting, forming red blood
cells, and promoting good vision.
There are 13 known vitamins, which
can be divided into two categories: Nutra-life’s new Mighty and Wonder make nutrition easier than ever.
fat-soluble and water-soluble. The Check out nutralife.co.nz for ingredients and more information.
fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and


It’s summer again, be sun smart!
Whether you work outdoors, enjoy weekend
sport, or simply love to frolic on the beach, sun Six golden rules of sun protection
protection should be top of mind this summer. If you’re in the sun this summer it is
possible to have fun without harming your
More than 50,000 cases of melanoma and non- skin, just so long as you follow a few golden
melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed in New Zealand rules:
each year, leading to 300 deaths annually. This is
not surprising. Due to our weakened ozone layer
* Wear a shirt, hat and sunglasses when
and relatively smog-free air, New Zealanders are
outdoors
particularly susceptible to the sun’s harmful UV rays. * Use sunscreen even in cloudy weather
Add to that our mild climate and close association with (as about 60% of the sun’s rays still get
the outdoors lifestyle, and it’s obvious we’re all at risk to through)
some extent. * Use sunscreen in the car (windows do not
completely block UVA or UVB rays)
Use an effective sunscreen
The good news is you can still enjoy the sun so long as * Seek shade where possible
you use an effective sunscreen and follow a few other * Use a sunscreen with the correct SPF
golden rules (see the box). (sun protection factor) to guard against
When it comes to sunscreens, the higher the sun ultraviolet rays. UVA rays are responsible
protection factor (SPF) the less the risk of burning. for premature aging and wrinkles!
But, generally, sunscreens will not continue to provide UVB rays are responsible for sunburn
adequate protection when washed off (either by and thought to be responsible for the
swimming or sweating) or when rubbed off during the development of skin cancer. Make sure
course of the day. your sunscreen protects against UVA
and UVB
Fortunately, there’s at least one sunscreen that does not
rub or wash off easily. It’s called Daylong Sunscreen. * The safest solution is to stay out of the
sun when the sun’s rays are strongest
When used as directed, Daylong Sunscreen offers up to – between 11am and 4pm.
8 hours SPF 30+ protection from just one application. It
extends an average person’s burn time by 30 times.

 
Sunlight, our best friend and worst enemy
One of the most unpleasant memories of my childhood is Rickets results from a deficiency in vitamin D, a fat-
of my mother holding a tablespoon of cod liver oil in front soluble vitamin that is formed in the skin under the
of my mouth and ordering me to open up. It was probably stimulus of ultraviolet light. Though some foods such as
the same folks who came up with eye of newt and toe fish oil are rich in vitamin D, we obtain about 90 percent
of frog who first had the idea of removing the liver of a of vitamin D from exposure to sunshine. Vitamin D
codfish, squeezing the yellow oil out of it and serving it upenables us to absorb calcium and phosphorus for bone
to children. I don’t know whether my mother was simply growth and muscle and nerve function. If we don’t absorb
indulging in a bit of harmless sadism or whether she enough, our bodies leach calcium from our bones to keep
really did believe she was protecting me from rickets and our muscles and nerves functioning. Bones then become
all manner of childhood illnesses. soft or deformed; in adults the condition is known as
Even as late as the 1950s, rickets was still a powerful folk osteomalacia. Vitamin D deficiency can also accelerate
memory. Though known from ancient times and common osteoporosis, and is believed to increase the risk of certain
in England in the 17th century, rickets became widespread cancers and diabetes.
in urban Britain and northern Europe in the 19th and The pollution that originally caused the epidemic of
early 20th centuries. The physical characteristics of rickets may have gone, but the disease is making a bit of
rickets were distinctive and not easily confused with other a comeback, ironically, partly because people have been
diseases: stunted bodies, with large heads, misshapen heeding health messages about slapping on sunblock
chests, twisted long bones, enlarged wrists and ankles and staying out of the sun. US vitamin D researcher
and bow legs or knock-knees. Dr. Michael Holick has estimated that “a minimum
Puzzled as to why it occurred in some parts of the country of 25 percent of adolescents and adults” in the US are
and not others, scientists of the day eventually worked vitamin D deficient. Dark-skinned people are particularly
out that it was caused by lack of sunlight and poor diet. susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.
It was rife in industrial areas where coal smoke from In Australia and New Zealand, rickets and osteomalacia
factories and domestic fires kept the sky overcast and mostly occur among ethnic groups such as Indians. Veiled
children were kept indoors away from the smut or played Muslim women are at risk, as are infants exclusively
in sunless alleyways. In the countryside, and in smaller breast fed beyond six months and who don’t have sunlight
towns, rickets was unknown. Rickets is said to be the first exposure. Older people, particularly those in rest homes,
childhood disease caused by environmental pollution. may also be vitamin D deficient. Supplements can correct
the deficiency, but require care because Vitamin D is one
of the most toxic of vitamins when taken in the wrong
Daylong Sunscreen dose. No amount of sunlight, though, will cause vitamin
D toxicity, because the body is able to regulate its own
production.
So just how much sunlight do you need to be exposed to?
It depends on where you live and how dark-skinned you
are. The New Zealand Cancer Society says that “for most
people, about 30 minutes’ exposure to sunlight each day
is enough to supply the vitamin D they need”. Others say
that 15 minutes’ exposure two or three times a week would
be sufficient. People with dark skin may need six times
that amount.
A recent article in New Scientist questioned whether the
campaign to encourage people to avoid the sun was costing
lives. It cites studies of UV exposure by US researcher
William Grant, who looked at cancer deaths across the US
and correlated that with UV exposure. He estimated that
With one of the highest rates of skin cancer in lack of sunshine led to 100,000 people developing cancer
the world, we need to look at new and better and 40,000 deaths – four times the mortality rate from
ways to protect our skin. skin cancer. Another UK study reported similar results. It
studied the lifetime sun exposure of 355 men, about half of
Daylong is the first sunscreen in New Zealand
whom had prostate cancer. “The quarter who got the least
to use the unique properties of liposomes.
sun were three times as likely to be in the cancer group as
Using a natural soya lecithin, the liposomes in
the quarter who got the most.”
Daylong surround the UVA and UVB filters and
helps them to bind with the skin. To sum up the confusion, you have to risk skin cancer to
avoid other cancers and, by being overly concerned about
That’s why Daylong gives up to 8 hours SPF
skin cancer, you may be putting yourself at risk of rickets
30+ protection from one application.
or osteomalacia. As my mother would have said, pass the
cod liver oil.

 
Are you getting
enough fibre?
You might know that a high-
fibre diet translates to better
health and a cleaner digestive
system – but it’s not always
possible to eat right.
Low fibre? Big problem…
On average, New Zealanders eat 20-25
grams of fibre a day – well short of the
recommended 30-35 grams needed
to keep our digestive system in peak
health. Experts say boosting our
fibre intake to recommended levels
could have substantial benefits on our Fresh vegetables – one of the best sources of dietary fibre.
general health.
But, sadly, too many Kiwis have 1. Start slowly, add a little each day But given our busy lifestyles, it can be
neither the time nor ability to and build up to the recommended difficult to get enough fibre through
squeeze more fruits, vegetables and level. Simultaneously, add more everyday wholesome foods.
wholegrains into their busy days. water to your diet. Too often we’re drawn to convenience
2. Eat vegetables and fruit raw foods, which are generally high in
Benefits of fibre
whenever possible. Boiling them fat, low in fibre, and in large part
Fibre plays a vital role in keeping our too long, for example, can cause up responsible for sluggish digestion and
‘insides’ clean. It cleans artery walls, to one-half of the fiber to be lost in ill health.
helps with cholesterol balance, and the water. Steam or stir-fry them if
aids digestion.3 In addition, high-fibre you have to cook.
foods slow down sugar absorption
3. Pureeing doesn’t destroy fiber, but
Crystal Clear Fibre
from intestines into the blood and, in
turn, help with blood sugar balance. juice does not have the fiber of the
whole fruit if the pulp has been
What’s more, by adding bulk to the strained away.
diet without adding calories, fibre
helps with appetite and weight 4. Always start your day with a bowl
management. of high-fiber cereal – one that has
five or more grams per serving.
How to increase fibre intake 5. Put fresh fruit on top of your high
Fibre is found in plant foods such as fiber cereal to add another 1 g or
fruits and vegetables, whole grains, 2 g of fiber.
nuts and legumes. Here’s 10 tips for
6. Buy and eat only whole grains.
increasing your fibre intake:
The operative word is “whole.”
Look for it on the ingredient panel.
Wheat bread doesn’t mean whole-
wheat bread. On average, a slice of
whole-wheat bread has 2 g to 3 g of
fiber. Choose whole- wheat pasta Nutra-Life Crystal Clear Fibre
instead of white, etc. is a clear, tasteless, soluble
7. Add beans to salads, soups dietary fibre formula that
and stews. provides 5g of dietary fibre per
serve. Current recommended
8. Add bran cereal to muffins, breads daily intake of dietary fibre
and casseroles. Substitute oat bran from all sources ranges
for one-third of the all-purpose between 30 and 50g, few
flour in baking. New Zealanders or Australians
9. When you eat out, ask for fresh achieve this level from their
fruit instead of dessert. normal diet.
10.Have fruit or fresh vegetables
for between-meal snacks. Bottle size: 300g Powder

 
Food allergy myths
We de-bunk the common misconceptions
many people have about food allergies.
Myth 1: Food allergy is very common.
Fact: Although 25 percent of people think they’re allergic to
certain foods, studies show that about only 8 percent of

Stop hayfever
children and 2 percent of adults have a food allergy.

Myth 2: Most people with food allergies are allergic

in its tracks
to strawberries and tomatoes.
Fact: Although people can be allergic to any kind of food,
most food allergies are caused by nuts, cow’s milk, eggs,
soy, fish, and shellfish.
Allergies occur when an overprotective immune
system senses trouble. The problem is, trouble Myth 3: Some people are allergic to sugar.
comes in the form of everyday substances such as Fact: A condition is called a food allergy when the immune
grasses and flowers, foods and pets – all things system fights against a certain protein in a food. This doesn’t
that are difficult to avoid. happen with sugar and fats.

Allergies, ranging from the life-altering to the life- Myth 4: Milk allergy is very common in adults.
threatening, affect up to 40% of the population. Not
Fact: Milk allergy is much more common in children than in
surprisingly, those affected spend much of their time
adults. Most children outgrow the allergy by the time they are six
trying to avoid allergic triggers, but this is difficult as
years old. Symptoms of milk allergy include hives, vomiting, and
allergens can be anywhere and everywhere.
breathing problems after eating or drinking a dairy product.
Some of the main allergy triggers, such as dust mites, pet
Some adults have trouble digesting the sugar in milk. This is called
hair, mould spores and pollens are all over our homes and
lactose intolerance. It isn’t a true allergy. Symptoms of lactose
in the air we breathe.
intolerance are bloating, cramping, nausea, gas, and diarrhea.
When it comes to food allergies, the main triggers such as
peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, wheat and Myth 5: Allergy to food dye is common.
soy are found in several everyday foods. Fact: Natural foods cause the most allergic reactions. Studies
Avoiding all these triggers is unrealistic, but helping your have found that some food additives, such as yellow dye no. 5
body cope with the consequences is possible. and aspartame (brand name: NutraSweet), cause problems
in some people.
What happens with allergy?
Hayfever and seasonal allergic rhinitis (year-round Myth 6: Food allergy is either lifelong or is always outgrown.
allergy to dusts and moulds) are characterised by a runny Fact: Children usually outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soybean
nose, itchy eyes and a tickly throat. products, and wheat. But people usually do not outgrow allergies
These symptoms come about when the body releases to nuts, fish, and shellfish.
histamine in response to an offending substance.
Myth 7: Food allergy is not dangerous.
This histamine is released in two stages. In stage 1, the
Fact: Food allergy can be fatal if it is severe enough to cause a
body produces histamine to fight off the allergen, causing
reaction called anaphylaxis (ann-ah-phil-AX-iss). This reaction
itching and sneezing.
makes it hard for a person to breathe. Fast treatment with a
In stage 2, the body prepares for another onslaught of medicine called epinephrine (ep-in-EFF-rin) can save your life. If
allergen and releases inflammatory cells that migrate you or your child has a severe allergy, your doctor might give you
to affected areas, such as the nose or throat, and cause a prescription for epinephrine self-injection pens. Your doctor can
further allergic inflammation and more histamine release. show you how to use them and tell you when to use them. If your
doctor thinks you might need to use this medicine, you’ll need to
Nutra-life Anti-Allergy carry one with you at all times.
and Hay fever Formula A person having an allergic reaction should be taken to the
A high potency broad-spectrum hospital, because the symptoms can start again hours after the
allergy protector for year epinephrine is taken.
round use containing the
herbal combination of Perilla Once a true food allergy is diagnosed, avoid the food that caused
and Coleus, with the added it. If you have an allergy, you must read the labels on all the foods
nutritional co-factors Vitamin you eat. Your doctor can help you learn how to keep from eating the
B6 and Magnesium. Supports wrong foods. If your child has food allergies, give the school and
healthy respiratory function. other caretakers instructions that list which foods to avoid
and what to do if the food is accidentally eaten.


Chocolate Lovers: 6 Reasons to Cheer
It may seem like pure indulgence, but
1. A happier heart
chocolate can do good things for your
Scientists at the Harvard University School of Public Health
heart, skin, brain, and more. recently examined 136 studies on cocoa – the foundation for
Listen to the way people malign chocolate: chocolate – and found it does seem to boost heart health,
Sinful! Decadent! To die for! There’s even according to an article in the European journal of Nutrition.
that popular restaurant dessert known as “Studies have shown heart benefits from increased blood
“Death by Chocolate.” But is this any way to flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting, and improved bad
talk about a loved one – especially during cholesterol,” says Mary B. Engler, PhD, a chocolate researcher
the season of comfort and joy? Not at Health. and director of the Cardiovascular and Genomics Graduate
With evidence mounting that some kinds of Program at the University of California, San Francisco, School
chocolate are actually good for you, we come of Nursing. These benefits are the result of cocoa’s antioxidant
bearing gifts: six delicious reasons why you chemicals known as flavonoids, which seem to prevent both cell
should nurture a chocolate habit (within damage and inflammation.
reason) and taste-tested advice on what to try.
Merry munching. 2. Better blood pressure
“Chocolate milk may help you If yours is high, chocolate may help. Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD,
director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts
recover after a hard workout. In a University, recently found that hypertensive people who ate 3.5
small study at Indiana University, ounces of dark chocolate per day for 2 weeks saw their blood
elite cyclists who drank chocolate pressure drop significantly, according to an article in the journal
milk between workouts scored Hypertension. Their bad cholesterol dropped, too. People who
ate the same amount of white chocolate? Nothing. (It doesn’t have
better on fatigue and endurance any cocoa—or flavonoids.) Word to the wise: 3.5 ounces is roughly
tests than those who had some equal to a big bar of baking chocolate, so the participants had to
sports drinks.” cut about 400 calories out of their daily diets to make room. But
you probably don’t have to go to those lengths. Just a bite may do
you good, Blumberg says.

3. Muscle magic
Chocolate milk may help you recover after a hard workout. In
a small study at Indiana University, elite cyclists who drank
chocolate milk between workouts scored better on fatigue and
endurance tests than those who had some sports drinks.

4. TLC for your skin


German researchers gave 24 women a half-cup of special extra-
flavonoid-enriched cocoa every day. After 3 months, the women’s
skin was moister, smoother, and less scaly and red when exposed
to ultraviolet light. The researchers think the flavonoids, which
absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin,
improving its appearance.

5. Brain gains
It sounds almost too good to be true, but preliminary research at
West Virginia’s Wheeling Jesuit University suggests chocolate
may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and
problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain.
Chocolate companies found comparable gains in similar research
on healthy young women and on elderly people.

6. Good loving (maybe)


Italian researchers wanted to know whether chocolate truly
is an aphrodisiac. In a survey of 143 women published in the
Journal of Sexual Medicine, those who ate chocolate every
day seemed to have more sex drive, better lubrication, and an
easier time reaching orgasm. Unfortunately the women who ate
chocolate were all younger than the ones who didn’t; it was age
Mmm, chocolate. Could it actually be and not chocolate that made the difference. Still, if a good dose of
good for you. We hope so! chocolate puts you in the mood, why let science get in the way?

 
Feel Better Naturally
Natural remedies for common ailments are often If you try it: For the best effect, use headphones (or
overlooked in favour of modern medicine. ear buds) to help block out noises, says the Ohio study
coauthor Sandra Siedlecki, PhD, RN, of the Cleveland
Thanks to a history of bad reactions, Louanne Weston was Clinic Foundation.
willing to do almost anything to avoid anesthesia. So when
her doctor advised surgery to remove uterine fibroids Hypnotherapy for … everything?
that were causing cramps and heavy bleeding during her Hypnosis is thought to induce deep relaxation, helping to
period, Weston went looking for an anesthesia alternative. distract you from pain signals or anything else.
She found hypnosis—and her doctor agreed to give it a try.
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New
“Under hypnosis, I visited the moon, a beach, and other York analyzed 18 studies of hypnosis for pain relief and
beautiful places far away from the operating room, and I found “moderate to large” benefits—the kind Louanne
felt no pain during the surgery,” says Weston, a sex and Weston experienced. Hypnosis also seems to boost
relationships therapist in Fair Oaks, California. Even immune function and help treat asthma, eczema, and
better, she avoided what she feared most: days of nasty irritable bowel syndrome.
side effects caused by anesthesia. If you try it: The National Board for Certified Clinical
After coming out of her hypnotic state, instead of the usual Hypnotherapists (natboard.com or 0800-449-8144) can
debilitating nausea, she felt hungry. “I got up, walked out, help you find a qualified professional. You can even
and went to the cafeteria.” hypnotize yourself: Contact the Academy for Guided
“Music has also been used successfully to Imagery (academyforguidedimagery.com or
0800-726-2070) to get a CD.
boost immune function, treat insomnia
and high blood pressure, and enhance Chaste tree berry for tender breasts
quality of life for people with cancer.” Monks ate chaste tree berries in the Middle Ages to
suppress sexual desire, but it’s since been proven to have
Going under the knife without drugs sounds far-fetched.
no effect on libido. The fruit of the chaste tree (also known
But experts say hypnotherapy is just one of a growing
as Vitex), however, does seem to ease PMS-related breast
number of alternative pain remedies worth trying; other
pain, a common complaint. Turkish researchers compared
options aim to ease everyday discomforts like heartburn
chaste tree berry with the commonly prescribed drug
or PMS. “Alternative therapies often help,” says Ronald V.
Prozac, and the natural remedy worked better for physical
Myers, MD, president of the American Pain Institute. “I
symptoms of PMS-related breast pain.
think it’s important for both physicians and the public to
keep an open mind. I support whatever works.” Here are If you try it: It’s available as a pill or as a liquid at drug and
five of the most promising alternatives. natural-product stores. Follow label instructions.

Gum for heartburn Good fats for cramps


Heartburn happens when stomach acids splash back Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil are believed
into the esophagus and burn it. Treatment often includes to ease inflammation. Researchers in Cincinnati gave
antacids that reduce the amount of acid. But British 42 young women with severe cramps fish-oil pills or a
researchers recently confirmed U.S. studies showing that placebo for 2 months. The fish oil markedly reduced their
chewing gum after a meal helps fight heartburn. Chewing cramps.
gum increases saliva, which helps wash the acid back If you try it: Use the dose tested in the study: 1,800
down to the stomach, the researchers say. The type of gum milligrams per day.
doesn’t matter, but the latest research used sugar-free—
and it’s easier on your teeth.
If you try it: Chew for at least 30 minutes after eating.

Music for body aches


Looking for an excuse to invest in an iPod? New research
shows that music can help ease neck and back pain. In a
study involving 40 Ohio pain-clinic patients, one group
listened to their favorite pop songs or nature sounds on
headsets for an hour a day, another group listened to jazz
or symphony music, and a third heard no music. The
music groups said their pain dropped between 12 and 21
percent (based on the pain scale the researchers used).
In related studies, music even helped reduce pain after
surgery, lessen labor pain, and aid in burn treatment.
Music has also been used successfully to boost immune
function, treat insomnia and high blood pressure, and
enhance quality of life for people with cancer. A Chaste Tree in full flower

 
The New, Modified Child’s Pose
What it does: Stretches the back
Safer Yoga and shoulders and helps improve
circulation.
Combine the wisdom of the ages How to do it: On your hands and
with modern-day science, and knees, extend your arms in front of
you get Evolved Yoga, a safer you as you lower your shoulders and
form of yoga that won’t get you drop your forehead to the ground.
Concentrate on stretching from the
in a twist.
elbows to the ribs. If your feel any
The main tenet of Evolved Yoga, a strain in your knees, raise your hips
user-friendly yoga style that combines higher; for comfort, kneel on a padded
the benefits of centuries old postures mat or folded towel.
with today’s advanced knowledge of How it’s different: In the typical
the human body, is to create a safe, child’s pose, you sit back on your
satisfying series of moves. To that ankles, which places your knees in
end, postures like the spine-straining a weight-bearing, possibly stressful
head and shoulder stands are out, as position. When your hips are raised,
is the crossed-legged lotus, because, the knees are more stable.
as yoga teacher (and developer of
Evolved Yoga) Dawn MacLear says, Lying Spinal Twist
“knees are hinge joints are meant only What it does: Loosens tight back and
to bend and straighten, not twist.” torso muscles.
She also avoids moves that bend the Attractive women demonstrates
body forward, since most people have the striking cobra position. How to do it: Lie on your back in a “T,”
considerable desk-jockey slouch. legs together and arms straight out at
Chest Expansion your shoulders. Cross your right knee
Instead, MacLear favors positions over the left side of your body, keeping
that gently open the chest, loosen the What it does: Stretches the shoulders
and upper arms. your hips on top of each other. If it’s
back, lengthen the spine, and improve comfortable, look over your right
balance. In MacLear’s method, as How to do it: Stand with your feet hip- shoulder. Switch sides and repeat.
with all types of yoga, breathing helps width apart and clasp your hands, (If you have a pre-existing back
you focus; as you move through the palms together, behind you. Open condition, don’t force the top knee to
following exercises, inhale through your chest by pressing your shoulder the floor).
the nose as you prepare for the blades together and down. If it’s
posture, then exhale through the How it’s different: This version
difficult to clasp your hands behind lengthens the spinal muscles by
nose as you move into it. Continue your back, open your arms to the side
to breathe deeply as you hold the twisting rather than rounding
and press your palms back. the back.
position; remain in each one for 45
seconds to three minutes. How it’s different: Most instructors Martica K. Heaner is a fitness
incorporate a forward bend into this instructor and a frequent contributor
“Knees are hinge joints are position; eliminating it reduces stress to Health.
meant only to bend and on the spine and lets you focus on the
straighten, not twist.” upper body.

Modified Tree Pose Modified Cobra


What it does: Strengthens lower legs; What it does: Stretches out the
improves balance and poise. lower spine.
How to do it: Standing tall, raise your How to do it: Lying on your stomach,
right leg, knee bent, and place your
legs together and the tops of your
foot on the left inner thigh or calf.
feet touching the ground, raise
Focusing on one spot in front of you
your shoulders up and rest on your
for balance, rotate the right knee,
forearms. Look forward or slightly up
opening at the hip, and press your
palms together in front of your chest. as you keep your shoulders relaxed
Switch sides and repeat. and rib cage lifted.

How it’s different: The traditional tree How it’s different: The typical cobra,
pose calls for the outside of the raised in which the body weight rests on
foot’s ankle to be placed in front of the the hands, forces the back into an
standing leg. The modified version extreme arch and can hurt the wrists.
puts significantly less stress on the By shifting the weight to the forearms,
bent knee joint, allowing you to focus this pose still extends the spine but
The Tree Pose
on balance and posture. doesn’t overdo it.

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Yoga’s Healing Power
The ancient practice of yoga brings relief for hard-to-treat conditions.
Researchers have learned recently that, besides relieving Association (JAMA). Researchers found that
problem backs, yoga can provide help for people suffering CTS sufferers who did Iyengar yoga (which stresses
from serious medical conditions – asthma and multiple proper alignment) twice a week for 8 weeks boasted a
sclerosis among them. If you have an acute injury such as fourfold improvement in grip strength and a twofold
a herniated disk, you still need to see a doctor, of course. decrease in pain.
But if you have a chronic condition, especially one that’s
not responding to conventional care, read on. Helping You Breathe Easier
Traditional yogic practices, such as slow, steady breathing
Soothing an Aching Back and relaxation, could prove a useful adjunct to standard
In research at the University of California, Los Angeles treatment for asthmatics, according to research published
(UCLA), School of Medicine, 21 people 60 or older started in the British medical journal Thorax. In that 2002
doing yoga twice weekly. The volunteers all had rounded study, some asthmatics took up meditation based on
upper backs, which can limit normal movement. A yoga the Sahaja style of yoga, while control-group members
regimen was sufficient to reduce their curvatures by were given relaxation and stress-management training.
6 percent, increase their walking speeds by 8 percent, Findings suggest that practicing Sahaja yoga can yield
and improve their reaches by 18 percent. And many small but discernible improvements in the “twitchiness”
reported that yoga helped their balance. The UCLA study, (hypersensitivity) of airways in asthmatics
published in the American Journal of Public Health, and may also reduce their anxiety.
suggests that yoga produced an increase in overall
Asthmatics should not use yoga as a
strength and flexibility.
substitute for conventional care, says
“Traditional yogic practices, such as Norman Edelman, MD, a spokesperson
slow, steady breathing and relaxation, for the American Lung Association, but
they can benefit from yoga’s relaxation
could prove a useful adjunct to standard techniques.
treatment for asthmatics...”
Fending Off MS Fatigue
The most useful poses for students with back trouble are
those that build strength and lengthen the back muscles A chronic, autoimmune disease,
as well as anchor the feet, such as standing mountain, multiple sclerosis (MS) ravages the
triangle, and warrior I. central nervous system. Yoga may be a
key to easing one of its most frustrating
Relieving Wrist Pain symptoms: fatigue. Last June, the
Approximately one in 10 New Zealanders suffers from journal Neurology reported a study in
carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a painful condition in which 6 months of weekly yoga classes
which swollen tendons pressure nerves in the wrist. significantly increased the stamina of
Conventional remedies include immobilizing joints people with MS.
with splints or even surgery. But according to a review
published last summer in the Annals of Family Medicine,
Reducing Stress on the Heart
yoga may be among the safest first-line treatments for Yoga may help reduce your odds of
people with mild symptoms. heart disease. In a study published
in the Journal of Alternative
The study that first got the attention of physicians, though, and Complementary Medicine,
appeared in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical researchers in Timarpur, India, had
15 Army soldiers adopt a twice-daily
yoga routine. The control group did
other exercises, including stretches
and slow running. After 3 months,
the yoga group showed a significant
drop in blood pressure; the control
group didn’t.
These findings add to the work
of pioneering researcher Dean
Ornish, MD, who has demonstrated
that yoga can help reduce stress-
induced fight-or-flight hormones that
contribute to high blood pressure
and other heart disease risks.
Catherine Guthrie is a writer and
The Warrior Pose, relieves back pain.
yoga instructor in Bloomington,

11
Fish really
is brain food
Folk medicine has long held that fish is
“brain food.” In recent years, findings
from scientific studies have begun to
corroborate this conventional wisdom.
New research from the venerable Framingham
Heart Study has shown that eating three or
more servings of fish per week may significantly
decrease risk of dementia in general and
Alzheimer’s disease in particular.
The likely protective ingredient in fish
is an essential fatty acid known as DHA
(docosahexaenoic acid). “DHA appears to be
important in affecting the risk of dementia,” said
Ernst J. Schaefer, MD, of the Lipid Metabolism
Laboratory, Jean Mayer US Department of
Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Centre on
Aging at Tufts University. Dr. Schaefer was lead
author on the new study. “We sought to determine
whether DHA status is associated with the risk of
developing dementia.”
For an average of 9 years, Dr. Schaefer and
colleagues studied 899 men and women (typically
about 76 years old at the start of the study) who
were free of dementia.
Ninety-nine people developed dementia during
the study period (including 71 cases of Alzheimer’s
disease). After adjusting for various risk factors
(such as age, homocysteine levels, and genetic
susceptibility), researchers found that those people
who ate the most fish (three or more servings per
week) were 47% less likely to develop dementia
Donald Rogers with a prize brown trout, Clutha River, Otago
that those who ate less fish. That group was also
39% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
The results also suggest that fish is an important Omega 3 Marine Fish Oil + E Caps
source of DHA. Participants with the highest
DHA levels in their blood were those who ate the A high-potency natural
greatest amount of fish. source of Omega 3 fatty
The major fatty acids in fish are DHA and EPA
acids, derived from several
species of pelagic cold
(eicosapentaenoic acid), but it is DHA that
water fish and providing
appears to improve brain function and protect
marine triglycerides and
against dementia. No such effect has even been
essential fatty acids,
demonstrated for EPA, although that fatty is well
to help provide the
known to protect against cardiovascular disease
substances needed for
and inflammation. Earlier studies have found
prostaglandin production
low DHA content in the brains of people with
and the maintenance
Alzheimer’s disease. of healthy circulation,
“Dementia is a major cause of disability among the skin, blood and cell
elderly,” said Dr. Schaefer. “These results show a health together with the
protective effect of eating fish on the development antioxidant properties of
of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of 200iu of Natural Vitamin E.
dementia. In the future, it will be important to
determine whether taking DHA supplements can Bottle size: 60 & 120 Caps
decrease further mental deterioration in people
with established dementia.”

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