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I read an article at the tea shop a few weekends ago: "Workers report increased stress". The story was in one of the major Australian newspapers on 5 March 2016, and went on to say that corporate psychologists have warned stress-related absence from work is on the rise.

The common saying, "work is not a party" comes to mind. It is no secret that many are exhausted or feel emotionally abused during their day at work. It may be helpful to undergo a sea-change and leave a job in some cases. But when the thought of doing that causes more stress than staying in your job, it may not be the right time for such drastic solutions. This article reminded me that it is important to re-energise and refresh at home, using any simple, effective and affordable methods available.

Aromatherapy for relaxation at home can cost pennies, and can be a simple, effective option. Essential oils embody the regenerating and protective properties of plants. The power of a few drops of the correct therapeutic essential oils in a warm bath can work wonders within minutes. The molecules in essential oils are small and fat-soluble; many of them easily penetrate the skin. These properties also allow them to get inside the cells of the body, even if cell walls have hardened because of disease. Essential oils have the potential to affect every cell of the body within twenty minutes, and then get treated like any other nutrients in the cells. A bath allows aromatherapy for relaxation to work on the body and mind by two different routes: the oils sit on the skin, and the aroma is also inhaled as you breathe in the steam from the bath.

Aromatherapy for relaxation can also work just by placing the correct therapeutic essential oils on a cotton ball and leaving it nearby during a nap or while reading a book. Inhalation of the aromas this way can be just as powerful, and is an even simpler option for home.

Essential oils are powerful anti-oxidants. Some can support the liver in detoxifying the blood. Some contain sesquiterpene molecules, which are known to be able to interact with brain cells (these essential oils pass through the blood-brain barrier). Even those essential oils that can't cross the blood-brain barrier can still affect the brain through the sense of smell. Odours and emotions are processed in similar pathways in the brain, in an area called the "limbic system". Favourite smells are worth a try. If aromatherapy for relaxation helps you to unlock and release emotional trauma after a day at work, these pennies will be well spent.

For more information on aromatherapy for relaxation, visit my free eBook site.

This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine: http://EzineArticles.com/9353817

 
 
Lack of sleep not only makes it hard to get through a day of work or socialising, but can have negative impacts on your health.

Some sleep expert advice can be found easily with Google searches. It generally teaches that sleep is not just about night time. How you spend your day is as important, such as limiting the caffeine you drink, drinking water, how much daylight you expose yourself to, how much stress you have through the day, exercise levels, and other factors. Basic advice also includes having a dark and quiet bedroom, and using background white-noise.

One important source of advice may be a GP. But it can be confusing to know what sleep expert advice to follow. For those who are quick to treat sleep issues with pharmaceutical solutions, a range of medicines can be prescribed. Unfortunately my personal experience was frustrating. Sleep tablets have no other use, so unused packs end up in the bin, money wasted. I tossed out several packs of partly used sleep medicines because they didn't work, made me feel too groggy in the morning to take care of my kid, or I got side effects.

GPs, pharmacists, natural practitioners and nutritionists can be a good source of sleep expert advice on how to use natural products. Otherwise basic literature research skills, the local health food store, the internet (but use basic literature research skills to double check information you find) and family and friends can all be helpful.

Pharmaceutical medicines and natural products typically all have benefits, and also adverse risks. So it is important to read the labelling on all products and to seek advice about how to use the different products safely. Especially if you plan to take both pharmaceutical medicines and natural products, it is important to ask both the GP and the pharmacists about how these mix together (there can be interactions). Pharmacists are the experts in interactions between medicines and natural remedies in my experience. It can also help to ask what to expect over time. Some sleep treatments lose some of their effect over time.

Getting advice from many sources can be helpful. Everyone is unique, and often it takes a few solutions to finally sleep better.

I would be interested to hear who gives you the best sleep expert advice in your life? Do you sleep really well, what sleep aids work for you?

For more sleep expert advice on natural sleep aids, visit my free eBook site
This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine:  http://EzineArticles.com/9339666Free Picture: ID 260693© Marilyn Barbone | Dreamstime Stock Photos
 
 
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Most people heal pretty quickly from cuts and bruises. And many have heard about the B-cells, T-cells and the lymphatic system cells that our own bodies produce to fight off illnesses. So the belief in our own innate healing potential is a hopeful and familiar place to revert to, when at times our health issues defy Western medicine.... 
Click here To read my full article published on Ezine.




Free Picture: Tomatoes On Cutting Board
© Michael Smith | Dreamstime Stock Photos

 
 
Preventing cancer is a topic of interest to many people. I am a big advocate of trial and error in healthcare, because what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person, and there are so many ideas, products and healthcare theories that it is impossible to test all of them rigorously. Affordable ideas that make sense are often worth trying.

When it comes to cancer, many people are looking for natural cancer prevention, because they don’t want to take medicines or chemicals that could have side effects. A health-conscious person may not want to risk side effects from a preventative treatment for a health problem that they don’t even have yet.   

The problem with trial and error of natural cancer prevention products is that there is no way to accurately measure if the product is working for you personally. If you are trying a natural product for sinusitis, you can feel if it is working within a short period of time (if not, stop using it). When trying lifestyle changes or natural supplements for cancer prevention, you may feel more energised or healthier, but that does not provide meaningful information about whether the risk of cancer is reduced. So reviewing the scientific evidence that exists from larger studies of healthy people over several years can provide some worthwhile insights especially in this area. Clinical science isn’t perfect, but it is a good starting point on this topic.

When I accessed The Cochrane Library (http://www.cochranelibrary.com/) on 1 February 2016, there were 653 systematic reviews under the topic “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”. Of these, 34 were for treatments related to cancer. Of these, 8 covered cancer-prevention products: 
  • vitamin D, 
  • selenium, 
  • supplements for preventing lung cancer in healthy people, 
  • lycopene for preventing prostate cancer, 
  • green tea, 
  • antioxidant supplements (beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium for preventing gastrointestinal cancers, 
  • dietary calcium supplementation to prevent colorectal cancer, and  
  • dietary fibre for the prevention of colorectal carcinomas.
Many randomised trials have been undertaken for some of the above products, which was an interesting realisation. There were also many nonrandomised and low quality studies. The reviews are worth reading for anyone interested in natural cancer prevention. Overall the most significant findings showed potentially a small to moderate protective effect of some of the natural cancer prevention products:
  • Selenium seemed to show significant beneficial effect on gastrointestinal cancer occurrence , but not for other cancers. There were some risks observed with long-term selenium supplementation such as non-melanoma skin cancer and type 2 diabetes. In observational studies, higher body levels of selenium were associated with lower risk of cancers, however these studies do not prove a causal effect. These studies however measured selenium levels from all sources, mainly foods. Selenium has possibly not been studied sufficiently to determine if increasing intake of Brazil nuts and other food sources may be protective.
  • Patients with previous colorectal adenomas may have a moderate protective effect of daily intake of 1,200 g of dietary calcium, from developing recurring adenomas. This finding was based on randomised controlled trials, the highest quality clinical study design. Whether this translates into a lower risk of colorectal cancer is not known as the trials would have to be much larger. In contrast, there is currently no evidence from randomised trials to suggest that increased dietary fibre intake will reduce the recurrence of colorectal adenomatous polyps I (studies were only out to 2 or 4 years). 
  • There was limited to moderate evidence that the consumption of green tea reduced the risk of lung cancer.
    In prostate cancer, observational studies with higher methodological quality and the only included RCT suggested a decreased risk in men consuming higher quantities green tea or green tea extracts.
  • Anti-oxidants did not show any noteworthy protective effect for cancer. There were some risks observed, ranging from yellowing of the skin and belching, to an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer and type 2 diabetes.
  • There was more scientific data than I had expected on natural cancer prevention. There is a general consensus that lifestyle and diet are environmental factors that influence the incidence of cancer. It is uncertain whether any one component plays a dominant role, however the scientific findings that are available in the literature now may help you decide what to spend your money on, if anything, for natural cancer prevention.



 
 
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Good day! Today is a very sunny day. I have done some online shopping today and am awaiting my package of essential oils, can't wait. As always, being scientifically-trained and working in a scientific environment, I have to express my excitement about this kind of thing at home or by blogging, as, well there just isn't much evidence for the efficacy of essential oils! Today I am excited though, because on Monday I will get a shipment including clove oil and Easy Air essential oils. What do I hope will happen?:

1. I hope that putting clove oil drops on the back of my tongue will help me eat less! There are sites that recommend what oils to try for specific health concerns, do an internet search and you will find many. I decided on clove, after checking out a few links (EE, PTSD, aromatic science, the Cochrane Collaboration, and protocolled). There is also a mobile app MDO pro that I bought for $13. All three sites listed clove as one option that may work. I was inspired that this might help me change my habit of reaching out for food so often for comfort or cravings (same behaviour that drives other bad habits like smoking).

Look, am not easily swayed my marketing and I watch my money. That is why my own research into weight loss led me to the simplest way to lose weight:  which is to calculate your daily energy requirement (can do here at this free Australian government website) in KJ or calories (divide KJ by 4.2 to convert to calories). From experience, I advise if you are overweight to put in your ideal weight, and also select sedentary lifestyle unless you are an athlete (don't know why, but any other category spits out too many calories, as I found through trial and error). If you eat that amount of food (look on labels to figure out how many calories you are eating, or look on free calorie count websites like calorieking.com.au - there are many), you should lose weight. Have a scale at home and at the office to remember to check your weight regularly. If you are not losing weight, then just reduce your intake by another 100 calories until you are losing the weight you want. However, this doesn't always work in practice so easily. Or it may work at certain times of your life, and not so well at other time when you are busy (like me currently) or your life has issues. I know how to lose weight easily, and as I write this I am reminded how easily I did it in the past, but this time, due to my circumstances, I am just looking for help because I can't seem to stop those extra snacks that are actually adding up to 900 calories per day more than I know I should be eating! I should be eating 1700 calories per day, and I am eating 2600. Horrendous. I truly hope the clove essential oil will have some effect.

2. Me, my hubby and my daughter have been coughing for over 2 weeks, a dry hacking post-viral cough after we caught colds. I hope the laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, revensara etc blend will finally get rid of the coughing.  We are using asthma puffers, gargling with salt and betadine, resting, drinking water, but this cold strain this year is tougher than usual, so I am trying something extra. Here's hoping.

I am a scientist, and I know the evidence-based literature -  I know there is not a lot of proven evidence for using essential oils. But, I was heartened today by one review in the Cochrane Library that contains some evidence, from a trial of 61 patients, that lavender oil: Aromatic lavender essential oil applied by acupressure may reduce subjective pain intensity and improve lateral spine flexion and walking time compared to untreated participants (low quality evidence). No significant adverse events were noted in the included trials. For the full review  Click Here.  And I know that a lot of people use essential oils for headaches, migraines, citing that these oils often help them stay well and deal with these health concerns quickly. This is a huge industry, as can be see in any report of the health and wellness industries. So despite the lack of evidence, why do people use essential oils, and those who use them, what makes you feel that oils are definitely worth the money. I would love to hear your comments and stories!

Have a good day. I believe in a world that is improving, and where people smile a lot and feel really well!

 

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