|Posted on 25 January, 2019 at 6:00|
Back in February 2015 I posted a blog called "When is enough, enough?" about alcohol consumption and its effects on our bodies.
Given that Australia Day is fast approaching and a lot of alcohol will be consumed on this day and the rest of the long weekend, I would like to see Australians start to think about the immediate and long term effects of alcohol on not only them, but those immediately around them, and those in the wider community.
Every day on the news someone is raped, murdered, stabbed, assaulted, punched, driven over, kicked, drowned, etc etc. It's absolutely sickening at how blase and apathetic we are in regarding this level of violence in our society. This violence is largely driven by the huge consumption of cheap illicit drugs which are practically given out like lollies at dance festivals, night clubs, and available on almost any corner. The spread of this illicit drug consumption is so widespread that even small country towns that never previously had a drug problem are now suffering with overdoses and a rise in crime.
At what point in our society and education and general care did we stop regarding our own safety when it comes to something as insidious as drug taking? Drugs and alcohol have always been in society, but the level of drug taking by people considered to be "of reasonable mind" has increased by leaps and bounds. What makes people want to take drugs? Why do we need the feel to want to "feel" something else? Is society so horrific that we can no longer tolerate it when we are "straight" and not effected by drugs or alcohol?
If these are questions that have the answer of taking drugs or alcohol to excess, then society itself needs to take a long, hard look at itself and make some immediate changes.
|Posted on 4 January, 2017 at 6:50||comments (1)|
Yes we have started another new year and the resolutions are already on their way out.....................or are they?
Everybody wants to "feel better", need more energy, less tired, less moody, agitated, more relaxed, more control of their lives.
Too much emphasis is placed on "getting everything done", or, "if you're not doing something then you are lazy", etc. etc. Yet people ARE becoming more stressed, more anxious, depressed, agitated and feeling out of control because WE DON'T take a small amount of time out of our day to just STOP.
Ever notice how you always get sick when you take a holiday from your work? I know what that's like because I use to get sick every time I took a few weeks break. Generally I only got one actual week when I wasn't sick, and then the anxiety would start creeping back in because I knew I had to go back to work soon. What's the point of taking a break, then?
Taking a break, or stopping, is SO IMPORTANT to allow your body to rejuvenate itself, realign, and really check that it's working at its best. When we run on adrenalin for too long it makes all of our systems and body suffer and weakens our immune system, which is why you get sick when you do actually stop.
One of the easiest ways to maintain better general health is through massage therapy. Massage is NOT A LUXURY but a vital component of your regular health regime. Receiving a regular massage, even once a month, will keep your immune system, circulatory system, nervous system, etc working at a more even temper. It will reduce your chances of getting ill, allowing you a longer time on holidays and more time with your family and friends.
There are so many different types of massage available, but I believe that the best therapy for general health is Swedish Massage - which can be used to treat anybody from children to octogenarians. It is a light but firm pressure and helps relax the muscles and stimulate the nervous system at the same time.
So consider including a regular massage treatment into your monthly schedule plans.
|Posted on 8 June, 2015 at 3:55||comments (0)|
Sometimes it can be a bit daunting visiting a medical practitioner. Especially when visiting a specialist in their field of medicine.
One of the aspects of a doctor visit that can cause anxiety/stress is due to the medical terminology they use, which can be quite tricky to understand. Doctors forget that the person sitting in front of them is not trained in their field and is basically at their mercy for information and guidance. Always, always, always ask them to explain it thoroughly so that you are comfortable with the explanation. If you walk away still not quite sure of what they meant, or felt that their explanation was not 100% convincing, then you are well within your rights to seek a second opinion.
As a general rule of thumb, when you try and read a medical report, if you are even allowed to see it, what you have to remember is that most of the "terminology" relating to a person's condition is actually relating to the position or geographical location on your body. For example Distal (meaning further distance from the heart and centre/Sagital line) and Proximal (meaning closer to the heart and centre/Sagital Line).
Sagital Line = an invisible line/plane that runs from the top of your head straight down to your feet. Basically separates the left side from the right side. It is used as a form of identifying a position within the body.
Below is a link to a very fine document that can help take some of the fear-factor from reading a medical report that pertains to your own health condition:
Some examples below:
• An / A- = without / lack of
• Ad- = near / toward
• Dys- = bad/difficult
• Endo- = inside
• Epi- = upon
• Hyper- = Excessive/ above/ high
• Hypo- = Under/ below/low
• Intra- = within/inside
• Tachy- = fast
• Brady- = slow
• -aemia = condition of blood
• -ectomy = removal
• -itis = inflammation
• -ology = study of
• -phasia = speech
• -phagia = eating / swallowing
|Posted on 5 June, 2015 at 2:05|
We've heard it all before - "Stress: The Silent Killer". What exactly does that mean and why?
What does it mean - well, unless you've been sleeping under a hedge, then you should be aware that the media and the medical profession are always harping on about stress and how we should reduce it.
Stress |strɛs|noun [ mass noun ] - "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances: he's obviously under a lot of stress | [ in combination ] : stress-related illnesses."
Stress can come upon people in many different forms. Sometimes it sneaks up on you gradually and other times it can be dumped on you without warning, like when there is a sudden death in the family or a retrenchment after many years of service. For my part, stress crept up on me gradually until I didn't realise how stressed I was and then I had a nervous breakdown. Then a couple of years later I had another one, and then another one. Three to be exact and all whilst working for the same company (consequently I don't work there any more), and, YES, I take a long time before I learn my lesson.
Stress doesn't just effect the mind, but it also affects the body. The physical effects of stress usually last longer and take longer to reverse than the mental side-effects. For me I had sugar-cravings all-day-every-day; headaches and migraines; nausea (sometimes vomiting); muscle aches when there was no reason for the muscles to ache; diarhhea; dizziness; lethargy; hypertension (high blood pressure); suicidal depression (in a big way), etc. etc.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Now is your chance to do something about it.
Now given all the physical aspects of stress that I was enduring, the general medical profession treat the symptoms without actually looking at the underlying cause - STRESS.
- Sugar cravings - makes the body physically crave sugar and carbohydrates and the more you eat of these the more your body craves them. Sugar indulgence leads to weight gain, depression and mood swings, can lead to Diabetes Type 2 or Insulin Resistance (which means the body struggles to lose fat and that in itself can lead to high blood pressure).
- Headaches and Migraines - according to my Neurologist, the medical profession still cannot categorically state what causes either Headaches or Migraines, as each person reacts to different stimulants, siituations, foods, medicines, etc differently. Both headaches and migraines can be caused by High Blood Pressure; they can also be caused by a lack of water, especially since your brain is made up of about 70% water. Continuous headaches or migraines puts emotional pressure on the sufferer and can also cause problems in personal relationships if the other person has no empathy or understanding of what a migraine actually feels like.
- Nausea - stress can quite easily cause a person to feel nauseous. These sensations are generated in the part of the brain that also controls the vomiting response.
- Muscle Aches - long term muscle aches and pains could be misconstrued as Fibromyalgia.
- Diarrhea - As with nausea and vomiting, diarrhea can be a side-effect of stress. If this symptom continues over an elongated timeframe it can then lead to the person to developing Ulcerative Collitis.
- Dizziness - Unless there are other reasons for feeling dizzy on a regular basis, then stress can cause you to feel dizzy, and usually goes hand-in-hand with nausea. Sometimes this can be caused by lack of oxygen as stressed people often have shallow breathing.
- Lethargy - can be caused by low oxygen intake, the downfall from excess sugar consumption, diarrhea which drains the body of minerals and electrolytes.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) - as with all other symptoms the effects of long-term stress can be diabolical and cause more severe medical problems such as heart disease.
- Depression - what hasn't been said about depression. Excess sugar-consumption which leads to giant mood-swings from major highs to major lows, and this in itself causes "depressive" types of symptoms.
- Change what you can to lower your stress.
- Accept that there are some things you cannot control.
- Before you agree to do something, consider whether you can really do it. It's OK to say "no" to requests that will add more stress to your life.
- Stay connected with people you love.
- Make it a point to relax every day. You could read a book, listen to music, meditate, pray, do yoga or tai chi, journal, or reflect on what is good in your life.
- Be active! When you exercise, you'll burn off some of your stress and be better prepared to handle problems.
|Posted on 9 February, 2015 at 10:15||comments (17)|
When do you know when you've had enough to drink? Usually when you feel a little "out of control". You realise that your co-ordination is a little out of whack and your speech and conversation is a little "odd'.
In Australia one of our most favourite pasttimes is drinking alcohol. We are great producers of alcoholic beverages that win awards throughout the world. This is nothing to be ashamed of, the skills used to create these delicious beverages takes years of practice and should be applauded. I, myself, am not averse to a little tipple every now and then. Luckily for me, the activity of getting drunk for the purpose of getting drunk is not something that I have ever aspired to. Now don't get me wrong, each to their own, as I am not here to judge others behaviour, however we all need to be responsible for our own actions.
Alcohol is a major killer in Australian society, and has long-lasting impact on not only it's "victims" but the bystanders. For some it is the contributor to a motor vehicle accident, for others it increases the levels of domestic violence; in other cases it just destroys the foundations of the family unit.
Just recently I was a witness to the affects of alcoholic poisoning, the likes of which I had never seen. I sat up until 4am with the person making sure that they didn't fall asleep on the ground and choke on their own vomit. At no time was the person able to hold their own head up and could barely open their eyes. None of their speech was coherent and at regular intervals the individual would convulse with chills and shivers. I kept them warm with lots of towels and by hugging them and encouraging them to rinse their mouth with water and whenever possible take sips to try to rehydrate their system and flush their liver and kidneys. MAKE NO MISTAKE - ALCOHOLIC POISONING CAN BE LETHAL.
If you suspect that someone has had too much alcohol too quickly, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR THEM IS TO RING THE AMBULANCE "000". Once they are in hospital they will be kept warm and their system will be flushed, possibly their stomach pumped to remove any excess alcohol they haven't already purged and their bodies will be injected with minerals and hydralytes that they have lost through the ingestion of the alcohol.
Alcohol slows down your entire body - nervous system which in turn slows the digestive system, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, poisons the circulatory system and the endocrine system. That is why people suffering with alcoholic poisoning can get the shakes and chills which can lead to hypothermia which if left unattended can induce a heart attack. If the poisoning is too great then the liver shuts down and once that happens your entire body is totally toxic and then everything else shuts down too.
There are many different groups that can help people with long term alcohol problems such as Lifeline, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Salvos, Missions Australia, etc.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE ADDICTION OF ALCOHOL. Inside your body alcohol is like pure sugar. Sugar is addictive in any form.
|Posted on 3 September, 2014 at 22:25||comments (0)|
The Shadowy Waters - William Butler Yeats
If you will give me all your mind awhile
All, all, the very bottom of the bowl
I'll show you that I am made differently
That nothing can amend it but these waters
There are many things in life that are considered to be vital to our everyday existence and one of those is water.
“What does water really mean to us and why is it so important for our health?” I hear you ask.
Two very good questions - let’s start with the first question:
What does water really mean to us? Well if you think about it at a basic social level, water is essential to our survival. This we all know from lessons at school. We drink water, it’s contained in our fresh foods, we bathe in it, wash clothes, cars, water plants and crops with it, animals that we breed for consumption drink it too. We also play in it and take part in sports in and on the water such as swimming, kayaking, sailing, deep sea diving, fishing, etc. Our entire planet is covered with squillions of litres of water. Water is around us all the time, so what does it mean to us?
Water, and the access to water, means different things to different people. For farmers, it is essential that they have access to fresh water for either their livestock or their crops and this in turn is important to all of us as the end customer. For various industries it can be essential to their manufacturing processes. For restaurants and other eateries, it is used for cooking, cleaning and serving. For the medical profession it is used for cleaning and sterilising. I could go on - there is a multitude of areas of life that rely on water to be available for our own benefit.
As for the second question - Why is it so important for our health? This is very simply because without water our bodies would dehydrate and not work efficiently. I know you’ve heard it all before - “you must drink at least 8 glasses of water a day”. It sounds repetitive, but right. Other times I have heard that you should drink 30ml for each kilogram that you weigh. As another side to that, if you drink too much water you can then flush out too many salts and minerals that your body requires and that can make you feel lethargic and sluggish.
Drinking a good amount of water, daily, helps keep your brain functioning more efficiently because your blood is less thick, therefore flows more easily. This in turn stops your blood pressure from rising. Drinking water daily, helps to flush out the toxins that build up in your lymphatic system, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and just about everywhere through your systems. Drinking water daily, also helps people with Diabetes Mellitis, especially Type 2 from feeling hypoglyaecemic.
According to Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, agrees: "Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health.” (Kathleen M Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, “6 Reasons to Drink Water”, WebMD Feature)
1. Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
2. Water Helps Control Calories
3. Water Helps Energise Muscles
4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good
5. Water Helps Your Kidneys
6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function
Some people believe that drinking soft drink and juice (either fresh or reconstituted) and even sparkling mineral water is the same as drinking just plain water, and to a certain degree it is, but you also have to be aware of the additional sugar, sugar-substitute and sodium (salt) that is involved in both juice (natural sugar) and soft drinks and mineral water.
What would you rather drink sugar and chemicals or fresh-filtered water?
"Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day," says Joan Koelemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute, an industry group. (Kathleen M Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, “6 Reasons to Drink Water”, WebMD Feature)
So all-in-all make sure you drink at least 2 - 3 litres of fresh water daily.