While we may not think to regularly check and examine our feet, their health and appearance can provide a glimpse into our body’s overall health. Potentially serious health conditions can be caught and treated early with a simple foot self-examination.
While you may contact your podiatrist if you experience chronic, intense foot pain, here are some physical signs to look for that may or may not warrant a call to your podiatrist or doctor:
1. Dry, Flaking Skin
Dry, flaky, or even cracked skin on the heel and ball of the foot are often disregarded and attributed to the weather. Sometimes that is all it is; dry skin. The flaky, dry skin can also be a symptom of a problem with your thyroid, the gland that regulates your metabolism, heart rate, tissue growth, blood pressure and functioning of your nervous system.
But if you notice that the skin on your feet is dry, and you also have symptoms like weight gain, numbness in your hands, or vision problems, set up an appointment with your doctor.
2. Hair Loss on Toes
Yes, there is hair on the tops of your toes. While women’s toe hair is finer and can be harder to see, the loss of some or all the toe hair can be a sign of poor blood flow to the feet. In many cases, the cause of this insufficient blood flow is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). If left untreated, PAD may lead to stroke, heart attack or foot amputation.
3. Black Spots on Feet or Toenails or Lines Under Your Toenails
It is natural for your toenail to become discolored when it experiences trauma, such as when a heavy object falls on it. However, black, lined toenails that don’t lose their discoloration can be a sign of a simple fungal infection or a serious melanoma prognosis.
Tiny black spots that look like moles on the surface of your feet can also be a sign of melanoma and requires prompt examination and treatment by a medical professional.
4. Red, White and Blue Toes
Toes that change color, mainly those that turn white, black, blue and purple may be disconcerting. However, this discoloration of the toes is the hallmark characteristic of Raynaud’s disease. This condition is not life-threatening, nor does it trigger additional health concerns. The discoloration of Raynaud’s disease is caused by the sudden, temporary narrowing of the arteries. This sudden narrowing of the arteries is often due to cold temperatures and stress.
5. Clubbed Toes
If you notice that your toenails are rounded and curve downward, they are clubbed. While clubbed toenails can be a hereditary deformity, it can also be a sign of more serious health conditions including heart disease, digestive disorders, liver dis orders and infections.
6. Swollen Feet
Typically, you may notice your feet gets swollen when it is injured, or when you’ve been standing or sitting too long. Swollen feet can also indicate poor circulation, a kidney disorder, a blood clot, an underactive thyroid or a problem with the lymphatic system.
7. Sores That Won’t Heal
Normally, if your body is healthy, it will heal itself from injury quickly. Foot injuries often heal themselves after a little time. Foot sores or injuries that don’t seem to heal can be a sign of diabetes. It can also be the result of poor circulation.
8. Claw Toes
Do your toes regularly curl downward and no matter what you do, you can’t get them to unbend? Claw toes is a foot deformity that has a variety of causes including small, tight shoes, nerve damage, alcoholism, diabetes and neurological issues.
9. Yellow Toenails
Thick, yellow toenails are common and are indicators of a fungal infection. Persistent fungal infection can be symptoms of psoriasis, lung problems, lymphedema, and rheumatoid arthritis.
10. Spoon-Shaped Toenails
Sometimes an injury to the nail or frequent exposure to petroleum-based solvents can create a concave, spoon-like shape. However, iron deficiency also can cause this unusual shape.
11. White Toenails
White toenails may be the result of an injury, a nail infection or psoriasis. In these cases, part or all a nail separates from the nail bed, giving it a white color. If your toenails are intact, however, it can be an indication of a more serious health concern, including kidney disease, liver disease and congestive heart failure.
12. Pitted Toenails
Punctured, pitted toenails are common amongst people with psoriasis. The rough, pitted appearance is the result of the improper growth of the nail at the nail plate.
The appearance of your feet is just as important as how your feet feel when it comes to your overall health. Quick, daily foot self-exams are easy ways to stem off potentially serious health issues.
If you notice anything unusual about the appearance of your feet, contact your podiatrist or doctor.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9890617
One of the most overlooked health care concerns relates to paying attention to taking care of the health of our visual system. A few health issues that are of vital concern include the maintenance of your heart health, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and keeping your weight at healthy levels. However, due to the fact that these health factors are given a greater level of priority we often become complacent about what we need to pay attention to in terms of taking care of the health of our visual system. You may be asking the question: What are the root causes of your vision problems. If this is a subject of vital concern to you here is some information that you will find useful in determining what are the factors that are responsible for your vision problems.
Poor Diet: the lack of attention to eating a healthy diet is one of the main factors that play a role in the worsening of your eyesight. The American diet is deficient in foods that consist of omega 3- Fatty acids. The typical American diet is rich in saturated fat and consists mainly of simple carbohydrates such as white bread, macaroni and fast foods that are high in saturated fats.
Lack of Attention To Practicing Eye Relaxation Techniques: One of the main causes of poor eyesight is associated with excessive close up work on the computer whereby the eyes are not receiving the care that they need that is essential in relieving stress and tension in the visual system. Often, this is associated with the excessive use of technological devices such as smart phones, computers, tablets, ereaders and laptops. This problem that is associated with eye strain is something that is a major contributing factor to the worsening of your eyesight and can be relieved by taking regular periodic breaks from your close up work.
The Negative Effects of Blue Light from Digital Devices: digital devices such as smartphones and tablets and laptops emit blue light that can have a negative effect on the macular of the eyes which is the part of your visual system that controls central vision and also enables you to read fine print and recognize details in faces.
Lack of eye exercises: when we think about exercise we only focus on a certain type of physical activity that is associated with weightlifting, aerobics, jogging and running. While such regular fitness routines develop and build muscle that improves physical performance there is another type of exercise that improves visual performance.
However, did you know that your eyes also need exercise in order to function efficiently so that you can see near and distant objects clearly? The accumulation of strain resulting from excessive close up work over a prolonged period of time in our colleges and universities weakens our eye muscles that are responsible for helping us to focus on both near and distant objects. These eye muscles can be restrengthen by pursuing an effective eye exercise program to improve your vision naturally.
Major health factors such as heart health, diabetes and weight control are the main priorities in terms of the maintenance of our health care. However, in the process of paying attention to these health problems we should not neglect the care of our visual system due to the fact that everything that we do in this life depends on having healthy eyesight. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the various factors that are associated with poor eyesight that require attention so that we can improve the quality of our lives. These factors include poor diet, lack of relaxation techniques to relieve stress and tension in the visual system, lack of eye exercises and the negative effects associated with blue light emitted from digital devices. A comprehensive and effective program of eye exercises can enable us to achieve the goal that we need to accomplish for better natural vision.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9891925
Natural Minerals are the “Spark Plugs of Life” states a 2 x winner of the Nobel Prize!!
Our body is a bit like a ‘car engine’ – the car of course requires oil in the engine to ensure it runs smoothly and petrol to drive it. Just like our body which requires “natural minerals” to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible over the years, and it is the food we eat which provides them for us.
Question – What would happen to your car’s engine IF you did not keep it topped up with oil?
Need I say more?
FACT- Our body’s immune system requires a minimum of 60 ‘natural minerals’ per day to enable it to carry out its function which is to protect us from all sorts of ailments and illnesses.
FACT – Imagine what is happening to your body IF you do not feed it sufficient ‘natural minerals for IT to do its job effectively.
FACT – These ‘natural minerals’ are transferred from the soil into the food that is grown there, but unfortunately they are ‘no longer’ available in the quantities we require due to over farming, chemicals and pesticides.
FACT – Over the past 50 years and more this natural 100% supply has diminished to an alarming extent – by as much as 75% in most Countries across the World. In fact there is one State in the USA where there has been a 100% depletion of them!
FACT – The above came from a World Wide survey carried out by the World Health Organisation some 50 and more years ago – and WE are only just being told about it.
Well there is ‘one’ way YOU can make sure both yourself and your family feeds your bodies with the necessary amount of ‘natural minerals’ on a daily basis – and that is with a daily “Natural Sizzling Minerals” drink – or some “Natural Mineral Powder” sprinkled over the veg or other food you and your family eat on a daily basis.
By the way, there is ONLY Company in the World providing this benefit – and they are NOT available in the shops either.
Finally – a little note – whilst I would personally agree that ‘organic’ fruit & veg are better for you than all the other stuff we tend to buy just remember that even ‘organic’ food is mostly grown in ‘depleted’ soil. Just a thought.
To avoid any confusion please let me make it quite clear that Natural Minerals are NOT a cure for anything – they are not a medicine but they ARE a necessity in our daily lives as you will have read above.
This is your opportunity to check out Natural Minerals XYZ Smart Collagen. Read My Story and see the benefits I have received along with links to a number of independent testimonials covering a range of ailments and illnesses that have been helped with these Natural Minerals. Being a ‘natural’ product, mined from well below the Earth’s surface they are deemed to be quite safe but if you are in any doubt please check them out with your medical professional before taking them.
It’s always important to take care of oneself using all the principles of good health. Regular check-ups, proper nutrition and healthful living all enable one to keep on top of their health in a careful yet reasonable way. Often one becomes overly concerned with health issues and caught up in a cycle of health worries. One health issue is reconciled when another immediately pops up to take its place. These worries become all encompassing and exhausting after a while.
Eventually, the individual realizes that this cycle of health anxieties has intruded upon the quality of their life. A dark cloud, always hovering over daily living, this intrusive form of anxiety has to be addressed. One begins by determining why this is occurring, what purpose does it serve and how to interrupt this behavior.
Reason for Health Anxiety
Health worries actually serve a purpose and this purpose is not difficult to detect if one looks deep enough into this pattern of behavior. Often this pattern involves the brain distracting from specific emotions which the individual finds difficult to address.
Many emotions are so overwhelming, such as anger, grief or fear, that the brain looks for ways to distract. Health worries fit the bill because when one worries intensely about their health, there is little room to address an upsetting emotion.
Health worries blanket every other thought and this WORKS. This is the perfect distraction from unsettling emotions. When one worry is reconciled, another takes it place to veil the unaddressed emotion. Each health worry has a strong purpose, as it masks the true upsetting emotion, which is much more difficult to face in the long run.
– Recognition and acknowledgment of the Health Anxiety habit, one worry quickly following another in a noticeable loop that never ends. Awareness of this cycle is always the first step to reconciliation of the issue.
– Determining if this health worry is a true physical problem by visiting one’s primary physician and ruling out a definite physical cause for the difficulty. Always rule out a physical cause before assuming it is merely health anxiety.
– Noticing that these health worries settle down when you become intensely interested in another topic or swept into a new relationship, job or cause.
– Identify your patterns. Do you experience twinges of symptoms that often jump from one area of the body to another? Do you find yourself overestimating physical intrusions and instantly jump to the conclusion that they signify danger or warrant the attention of an alert?
– Find interests that involve your entire being. Lose yourself in things that allow you little time for inward thinking. True illness does not surface through boredom as do these behaviors. True health problems do not generally follow the same time table as health anxieties do. Health worries are stronger during times of boredom and when one lacks interests. An intelligent mind requires challenges and goals.
– Activity is an important therapeutic tool against health worries. Exercise and movement invigorate and stimulate the mind and body in a positive way. Endorphins are released and Serotonin levels are boosted naturally when activity is a part of a daily routine. Moderate walking, jogging, tennis, swimming and dancing are all helpful activities that bring forth positive results.
– Nutrition is also essential to good health which in itself helps eliminate the strong habit of negative thinking, often concerning health worries. When eating properly, Serotonin levels are naturally boosted and blood sugar levels remain stable. This helps settle down an over-reactive mind, leading to a lessening in health anxieties.
– Talk back to the brain by firmly telling it to stop when health worries enter the mind. Shift into a more positive mode of thinking because you always have a choice in what you think about.
The mind will respond by quieting down as negative thoughts subside. The brain, caught red handed in this behavior is instantly embarrassed causing it to suspend this cycle of negative thought. This is comparative to a child being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Embarrassment at being caught, stops this intrusive behavior.
– Be aware of “what if” thinking. If the majority of sentences you think begin with “what if” then this is proof of a strong health anxiety habit. Change “what if” thinking to “so what” and watch the cycle break.
Most of all, understand that worry solves nothing. Health worries, in particular will only serve to exhaust and deplete both mind and body. Consciously make a concerted effort to change the way you think and you will succeed in changing your life. You will go from self victimization to freedom from the intrusive habit of fearful worry.
You always have a choice. Life can be wonderful and fulfilling when you learn to alter your perspective and chose a more positive point of view. You always have a choice. Never define yourself by your habit of worried thinking. Do not be victimized by health anxiety and fear. With a few simple corrections, especially in thinking, you will find your life changes from being difficult and upsetting to becoming easier and much more fulfilling on a daily basis.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9873556
There is no doubt that receiving a massage is good for your mind body and soul. If it’s such an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, why don’t we all do it more often?
Massage is one of the oldest natural therapies. It contributes to physical and emotional health and to practical exercises, can stimulate and relax muscles, improve circulation and promote the healing of a wide variety of suffering. Massage is easy to achieve.
Relaxation massage is all about relaxing. It focuses on giving the client time to recover from the stresses of daily life. When you experience relaxation massage, you can expect a treatment that involves:
Long smooth gliding strokes that are rhythmic and flowing
Pressure that is deeply relaxing, but not painful
A treatment that is designed to soothe and relax you, not to relieve chronic pain or other underlying ailments.
A therapist who also takes the massage environment into account – look for soothing music, warm luxurious towels, and occasionally the use of essential oils to enhance both the environment and the effects of the massage
As with any kind of massage, the benefits of a relaxation massage can last for several days after your treatment.
Relaxation massage – like other forms of massage – can offer the following benefits:
Lowering blood pressure – at least for a while
Improvements to peripheral circulation
Improvements to skin tone and appearance
Improvements to gastrointestinal motility (bowel movements will become more regular)
Some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches
Improvements to any stress-related symptoms. This can include providing a gentle boost to the immune system if you undergo regular treatments.
There are different types of body massage and you are wellcome to try them all, or the one that is the best for you:
Swedish Massage Therapy
Swedish massage is virtually synonymous with massage therapy. Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology, compared to the energy-centric style more common in Asian forms of massage. Using lotion or oil, massage therapists typically begin with broad general strokes and then transition to specific strokes to address problem areas. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension. Additional Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during your Swedish massage session, communication is encouraged with your professional massage therapist so that your massage is customized to your specific needs.
An aromatherapy massage is a Swedish massage with scented plant oils (known as essential oils) added to the massage oil. Extracted from flowers and other plant parts, essential oils offer a pleasing scent and are believed to have healing properties. Lavender and rose, for instance, are known to promote relaxation. Although oils may be selected to address specific needs, the therapist typically uses pre-blended oils to relax, energize, or uplift. Your massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin. During the massage, you’ll be given a full-body massage while inhaling essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Sometimes an aromatherapy massage will only focus on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothing other than underwear, which is optional.
Hot Stone Massage
As the name implies, hot stone massage uses warm stones. The therapist places heated, smooth stones on specific points on the body and also holds the warm stones while giving the massage. The stones are usually basalt (a volcanic rock that retains heat well). The warmth of the stones can be relaxing and can loosen tight muscles so that the therapist can reach areas of muscle tension quickly. Stones used for the heat massage are river-smoothed stones that are heavy enough to healing pressure but light enough to avoid discomfort. Some believe that the stones are symbolic of the forces of nature as they are smoothed and molded by the gentle but influential power of the river. The smoother the stone, the more energy it is believed to hold. The stone massage is performed by placing heated or cooled stones along the client’s back, specifically upon the meridians seen in acupressure techniques. The stones then help the body retain their healing heat which in turn enter the muscles and melt away stress. In addition to river stones, some massage therapists use a tool called a body rock. The body rock is carved from stone or found and smoothed for comfort. It helps to enhance the therapist’s strength during the massage and helps focus the pressure being applied to the body. Many therapists use this tool directly on the skin but it can also be paired with massage oil or even used over the client’s clothes.
Thai Massage is new to modern spas, but it is actually an ancient form of massage thought to have been developed by Buddhist monks in Thailand 2,500 years ago. It uses passive stretching and gentle pressure along the body’s energy lines to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint tension and balance the body’s energy systems. A unique blend of assisted yoga, passive stretching, and pressing massage movements, Thai massage is more energizing than other forms of massage. It’s a little bit like yoga without doing the work, as the therapist moves and stretches you in a sequence of postures, usually on a mat on the floor.This is why it is sometimes called “lazy man’s yoga”. Thai massage can be both relaxing and energizing, so it is a good choice if you want to be active after your massage.
The therapist uses a variety of different sequences of techniques on clients, who are either laying face up, laying face down, seated, or on their side.
Massage therapy is a treatment approach which is growing in demand and popularity. It was once considered an alternative or fringe approach, but it is now becoming much more mainstream. More importantly, now that massage therapy is considered a mainstream treatment option, many insurance companies provide coverage for treatment sessions. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout the entire body, as well as many other benefits.
The body’s soft tissue areas include the muscles, tendons, connective tissue, etc. If someone is tense and in need of a release, or they have been injured and have extensive muscle and/or nerve tissue damage that plagues their body, massage therapy might be worth exploring. Here are some benefits of massage therapy.
Benefifts of massage:
1. It Is Relaxing – When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body. This enables the body to enter a recovery mode. Moreover, this form of therapy also triggers lasting feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and reduced stress levels.
2. It Reduces Stress – Not only can massage therapy help with stress relief, but regular massage sessions over a prolonged period of time can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and stimulate individuals on physical as well as emotional levels.
3. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure – Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. Moreover, it can also reduce cortisol levels within the body. Furthermore, consistent massage sessions can also reduce trigger sources for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can also reduce
the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues.
4. It Promotes Muscle Relaxation – The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole. Massage also promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. In turn, this increased activity to the affected sites
reduces stiffness and edema (swelling) in the muscles and joints, as well as increases flexibility to help reduce pain. Moreover, this form of therapy also releases endorphins (pain-killing hormones), which boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones assist the body in many ways–physically as well as emotionally. Case in point, they promote healing, pain management, and feelings of euphoria, as well as help to calm the nerves.
5. It Can Help Improve Circulation – The long-term benefits of massage therapy are not to be underestimated. Improved circulation is part of a snowball effect that occurs in the body as a result of receiving regular therapy on a consistent basis. This is because proper circulation brings damaged, stiff, and tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing. Moreover, massage also promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure, which moves the blood through the damaged and congested areas of the body. In turn, the release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow into tissues. Furthermore, the squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique also removes lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles. In turn, this results in lower blood pressure levels and improved overall body function.
6. It Can Help Improve Posture – Many Americans experience back, neck, and muscle pain from a variety of sources. However, the primary cause of this pain results from poor posture. In fact, chronic back pain, massage is the number one reason for missed work days and second most common cause of disability, is often the result of incorrect or poor posture while standing and/or sitting. Moreover, being overweight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements can also contribute to the strain on the back and other
potential problem areas. As a result, the added strain often causes spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck, and legs. Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be one of the most beneficial and relaxing aspects of massage therapy. Massage allows the body to relax and loosen the muscles made tense and sore via bad posture. In turn, this allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a consistent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are loosened and relaxed. Moreover, the joints have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are relieved. As a result,
the body is able to position itself in an organic and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements developed over time as a reaction to pain.
7. It Can Help Strengthen the Body’s Immune System – Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. It is a well-known fact that individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disturbances and poor nutrition, the impact is directed at the body’s immune system. Its ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogens, and bacteria is greatly reduced. Some might wonder how massage therapy benefits the immune system. Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress, but can also boost the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and enhances the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program. Much like regular exercise can keep the body fine-tuned, regular massage therapy can help keep the immune system strong and resilient.
Once considered an alternative or fringe approach, massage therapy is now much more mainstream and growing in popularity. More importantly, now that massage therapy is considered a mainstream treatment option, many insurance companies provide coverage for treatment sessions. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques to increase
circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout the entire body, as well as many other benefits.