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24Feb/10Off

10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 2)

(cont'd from Part 1)

6.  Drink more tea. Drink 3 cups of tea a day then blood pressure can go down 7%. This may be caused by the chemical reaction produced by the tea leaves extracts.

7.  Walk fast. Fast walking can help high blood pressure patients lower their pressure. The key is it has to be several times a week and last for more than 30 minutes. Once the patients adapt this cardio exercise they can increase the pace and distance a little bit.

8. Deep breaths. Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi relieve pressures through deep breaths and meditation, which lower the level of renin and hence lower the blood pressure. Take deep breaths for 5 minutes every morning and evening. The key is to take a deep breath and breathe out slowly along with the stresses.

9. Decrease the workload. Working over 41 hours a week can cause the probability of high blood pressure increase 15%. Relieve the workload for the health. Make a healthy dinner or go to gym after work. These are helpful options.

10. Listen to music for relaxation. There is a research indicating that listening to relaxing music for 30 minutes along with deep breathes, blood pressure can go down for 3.2% after a week, and 4.4% after a month.

22Feb/10Off

10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 1)

1.  Take more foods that contain potassium. Foods such as sweet potato, orange juice, potato, banana, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, dried plums and raisins can help lower high blood pressure. Specialists suggest adults should take 2-4 grams potassium.

2. Understand the salt amount in food. Senior people are more allergic to sodium and taking even a little excess amount can cause high blood pressure. Even if it's normal people, the amount of salt shouldn't exceed 6 grams a day.

3. Eat dark chocolate. (a good news) Dark chocolate contains flavanols. Taking a few pieces a day can improve the health of heart and blood pressure.

4. Vitamin supplement. I personally don't prefer taking any dietary supplement that's not natural. However, coenzyme Q10 can lower blood pressure. Consult your doctor before taking these vitamins.

5. Drink a little wine. A lot of researches already prove that drinking appropriate amount of wine can help lower blood pressure. Of course, drinking excessively is definitely not suggested. In average, a normal healthy person can drink a can of beer or 100ml of red wine per day.

(to be cont'd)

15Feb/10Off

25 foods to keep women young (part 2)

(cont'd from Part 1)

9. Milk

As a lot of people know, milk contains vitamin D and calcium that keep our bone and teeth strong. One rumor I also heard about milk is that it helps soften our skin too.

10. Spring Water

Spring water is supposed to soften our skin and even whiten our skin. It also helps digestion and detoxification, increase the secretion of bile.

11. Shellfish

Shellfish that contains vitamin B12 produces healthy skin, keeps the luster of our skin and its elasticity.

12. Tomato

Tomato helps avoid formation of cancer, improve appetite and stamina. It also help whiten and brighten the skin.

13. Spinach

Spinach helps prevent anemia, improve stamina and skin, helps digestion, protect eye sights, stabilize emotions. Spinach has folate that is important to pregnant women. With enough folate during pregnancy can reduce the opportunities of leukemia and congenital heart diseases of the baby.

14. Orange

As most people know orange provides a lot of vitamin C and helps avoid formation of cancer, increase the resistance against bacteria. Orange can also clear the elements that harm our body and restrain the growth of tumor cells.

15. Malt

Malt can reduce the opportunities of colon and rectum cancers. Malt itself doesn't taste much, so we can sprinkle malt on oatmeal or yogurt.

16. Tuna

Tuna contains fatty acid that can lower blood pressure, prevent stroke, control migraine, heal and prevent eczema and relieve dry skin.

17. Strawberry

Strawberry is not only juicy and delicious, it helps improve the quality of the skin, relieve diarrhea, heal disorders of liver and urethral diseases. Strawberry can even strengthen our gums, improve our oral health and moisturize our throat.

(to be cont'd)

11Dec/09Off

Wonderful water therapies – Swimming, Part 2

Alright, I just came back from a vacation and will go on to talk about different healing therapies along with my research. Sometimes,  it's not necessarily limited to Healthy Check therapies, just whatever alternative therapies I found interesting. I brought up some inspiring stories of swimming last post. Indeed, swimming has been long known for a great exercise. In the recent 20 years, it has become a physical therapy for many patients instructed by doctors. Over 60 millions of Americans take swimming as a long-term exercise for health "maintenance". In the old days of Chinese community, most people focused on working hard as their "exercise", partly because of the poverty keep them "work" hard in the farms, or as blue collar workers just to survive. Now since the society changed a lot already, people who are especially over 30-40 years old realize their health are getting worse. They need to find a better way for leisure and health purpose, which can keep them healthy even after retire.  Swimming is known as the best work out for the whole body.  So it's getting more popular in Chinese community than before.

A lot of consistent swimmers go for swimming because their health is declining, usually after 40 something, symptoms are like sore back, get tired easily, etc. Retired swimmers also go swim for social purpose as well. Repetitive movements, slow and steady breaths, the freedom and the floating force provided by water, help swimmers to feel relieved and change the mindset. Some people swim for fun immersing in the water, some swim for exercise, some people swim for stress relief. No matter what the reasons are, swimming has some advantage that no other exercise can replace. First of all, water somewhat defy gravity and let our body joints and muscle freely move, so patients with muscle or joints problems, or injured limbs take swimming as their best choice of exercise and even "movement". Furthermore, unlike walking or running, which use mostly a few parts of your body, swimming uses the whole body including arms, legs, back, stomach and all major group of muscles, so it's the most balanced exercises. Swimming doesn't give as much pressure as other exercises to circulation system and joints.

Doctors usually suggest people who has arthritis or body injury to swim, because this is the best method  increasing the amount of exercise with minimum strikes to the body. According to some sports specialist, swimming in correct poses is almost the only exercise that doesn't cause injury to our body, because water almost make our body weightless. There is only 10% of active force of the land, so the pressure to our joints is very small as well. Some handicapped people go swimming like a fish everyday and totally get rid of the limitation of their injured body.

Can swimming lose some weight? Consistent swimming can really tone up our muscle and get rid of fat, but weight is different. Muscle is heavier than fat so swimming may actually gain some weight. Since cold water makes our brain senses hunger after swimming to tell our body to eat a good meal. If we eat more than necessary after swimming, it could be worse. However, if we can control our calorie intake, swimming does burn more fat than running. A specialist indicated that water is 775 times heavier than air, swimmers has to burn 25% more calories than normal runners to resist the water pressure.

The most appealing says of swimming is that swimmers look younger than their real age. Also, the author of The Complete Book of Swimming, P. Whitten also indicates that swimming reduce fat and blood pressure, increase good cholesterol , hence reduce the  chances of heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers.

11Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure to prevent cerebral hemorrhage (stroke)

In the last three posts I talked about hand therapy for high blood pressure and low blood pressure. One top disease related to high blood pressure that kills a lot of people is cerebral hemorrhage. It was the top cause of death before, but now it's behind cancer and heart attack because of the change of healthier, less salt diet now. However, it's still one of the top killers. Cerebral hemorrhage is mostly caused by arteriosclerosis, or artery hardening, which can happen when getting old, psychological issues, or too much fat in the blood, or diabetes etc.. Certain shock is going to break the blood vessels in the brain and ruin brain cells. Even if it's a stroke that didn't kill the patient's life, the result of numbness, weakness and activities inconvenience are still terrible to anyone.

To people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or under a lot of stress for long term, Any preventive method of cerebral hemorrhage is always a good thing to practice. Stimulating certain acupoints on your hand can also help prevention.  A lot of potential cerebral hemorrhage patients have reddish or even blackish spots on their fingernails. These spots indicate the inefficient blood circulation in your body, which is a big warning sign for a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. When these spots appear, don't panic. we can stimulate three acupressure points: on the roots of index fingernail at the corner towards the thumb (Shang Yang); on the roots of ring fingernails at the corner towards the little finger (Guan Chong); on the roots of little fingernails at the corner towards the ring finger (Shao Chung). See diagram.

Rub and massage these acupoints often until the spots disappear, and then keep stimulating these acupoints to help the blood circulation to help prevent the cerebral hemorrhage.

cerebral_hemorrhagecerebral_hemorrhage1

7Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure/Reflexology for high blood pressure, part 2

Last post I talked about acupoints for treating high blood pressure. This second part, like usual, is about the reflexive area that you can massage to help control high blood pressure.

When you wake up in the morning and totally feel energetic about the busy work; in the next event you totally feel like a brand new person with a loud, confident voice and never feel tired; and then you think, "I feel really healthy and strong now." If you're really confident about it, you may really be the type that is young and healthy. However, another cause of this sudden "energetic" manner can be high blood pressure. Because a lot of high blood pressure patients or "potential" patients are quite energetic and even a little "hyper" with activities.

Many think that high blood pressure is a disease that mostly occurs in middle age group. Although it's partly true, but many young people may have that as well, especially the genetic  ones. Usually when we were young, the blood vessels are more soft and flexible that can take more impacts with change of blood pressure. But if we're over confident with our health, that may become a problem. Because working over time, alcohol, smoking, stay up too late, too much salt intake....for a period of time - will easily cause high blood pressure.

May be we can start massaging our hands everyday to start adjusting our body condition. High blood pressure is not a quick thing to cure no matter in eastern or western medicine. So, patience and continuation of hand reflexology is a helpful thing to do.

The reflexive areas treating high blood pressure are mostly on the thumbs. The palm side and  the back side of the thumbs belong to "head reflexive area", "neck reflexive area" and "bronchus reflexive area". (See diagram)

high_blood_pressure_reflexology

Clip on the thumbs from the side of them to stimulate the area, keep twisting and waving the wrists at the same time. That may help lower the blood pressure. Massage the thumb tips every day whenever possible such as on the way to work. If blood pressure is already quite high, taking breaths in mind with the same tempo of the massage will make it more effective.

If we meet a person who got sudden rise of blood pressure, ask him or her to sit down and rub the wrist tendon on the little finger side with the direction from arm to hand. This should help lower the blood pressure immediately. And since that may cause a little temporary low blood pressure, that's why the patient need to sit down first.

5Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure/Reflexology for high blood pressure, part 1

After a whole week of flu, I finally can come back to the monitor and write again. When I was coughing, I tried the hand acupressure I wrote about a while ago as well. And it did relieve my cough a bit, but the treatment took quite long to make it work.

Anyway, as I've been doing lately, I'm going to talk about hand acupoints for high blood pressure in first part, and reflexive area in the second part. High blood pressure means the blood flow in our body doesn't go well because of certain resistance, and cause the heart to pump harder and give higher pressure to keep the blood flowing. The causes of high blood pressure vary. Most of the time is caused by other health problems, but overweight and inappropriate diet can also be catalysts of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can cause some self aware symptoms like headache, shoulder stiffness, tinnitus, palpitation etc. But the most scary one would be arteriosclerosis caused by high blood pressure. It's because when blood pressure is high, the arteries of the whole body will have to share the extra pressure evenly, some blood vessels get weaker and may cause stroke or myocardial infarction (MI)

Treatment of high blood pressure is usually taking medicine to control the pressure. But we can't ignore the side effects of these medicines. So acupuncture and acupressure on acupoints would probably be a more natural treatment. There are 3 acupoints on the back and the side of the hands. The first one is called "Yang Xi", which locates on the inner side of the wrist under the root of thumb, where the concave area is.  The second one is called "He Gu" on the back of the hand in between the thumb and the index finger,  locates at about the length of the first segment of the thumb counting inward. The third one is called "Luo Ling Wu" on the back of the hand in between the knuckles of index finger and middle finger. Most high blood pressure patient can feel the little pulse at those acupoints, so it's not too difficult to find them. (See diagrams)

Here is the guide to stimulate those acupoints using finger massaging or rubbing, if problem is serious, use a bunch of 10 toothpicks or pointy device to stimulate:

1. Maximum blood pressure > 160mm reading on the meter: stimulate the first one "Yang Xi"

2. Maximum blood pressure > 180mm reading on the meter: stimulate the second one "He Gu"

3. Maximum blood pressure > 200mm reading on the meter: stimulate the third one "Luo Ling Wu"

high_blood_pressure_acupoints

high_blood_pressure_acupoints2

22Sep/09Off

Introduction to Ginseng, part 2, therapeutic properties and uses

Since long time ago, both Chinese and American ginsengs have been widely used as medicine. They have often served in the treatment of many of the same bodily disorders.  In China, the history of using ginseng has been recorded for more than 4000 years. The look of ginseng looks quite like human body, that's why all sorts of myths about ginsengs that are over thousand years old can become fairies. On the other hand, there are also many legends and stories saying that ginseng was a gift given to men by the fairies. That's why portrayals of fairies have been used traditionally as decorations on packages and advertisements of ginsengs, especially for Korean products.

The uses of ginseng are wide. Chinese doctors treat different health issues ranging from dysentery, malaria, cancer and diabetes, as well as to improve circulation of blood; to reduce high blood pressure, and to remedy almost all blood and skin diseases, from pimples and boils to anemia.  Ginseng is known as "Herb of Eternal Life" and the "Elixir of Life" among people, and it's taken as a general tonic to enhance health and longevity.

The fundamental value of ginseng is its great ability to detoxify and normalize the entire system, or we can say to increase vital energy. It re-establishes the organ's functions, corrects disordered nutrition and metabolism, and purifies the blood and lymphatic systems. The effect of ginseng works slowly and gently, without much side effects.

After some research by Japanese, Chinese and Russian scientists since mid-1900s, some spectacular chemical properties were found in Ginseng. Many of ginseng's essentials are chemically unique and were given names derived from the genus name. "Panacene" is tranquilizer and pain reliever; "Panaxin" stimulates the brain, improves muscle tone and tunes up the cardiovascular system; "Panquilon" stimulates the endocrine secretions, such as pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands) which in turn regulate different body processes from digestion to aging. Also, ginseng contains a range of B vitamins, significant amounts of minerals and enzymes. "Germanium" is also an essential element which has been shown clinically effective in treating anemia by stimulating the formation of red blood cells in bone marrow, and is being investigated as a cure for cancer.

In Hong Kong, Korean and American ginseng are used quite differently. American Ginseng is more for general purposes, for both acute and chronic diseases, because it nourishes in general as a whole and has fewer side effects. Korean ginseng is usually used in cases of "yang deficiency". So old man with "yang" diminishing along with age during winter (a "yin" season") specifically find it beneficial. If "yang" is too much, like if it's taken by young people or in summer, "hot" symptoms such as headache, mouth ulcers and insomnia can happen.

(sources: Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle)