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The Health Benefits of Salty Sea Air

Posted by on 17 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: health

When I was a child and my parents took me to the beach, I always remember my dad standing there taking great deep breaths and telling me to breathe deep because the sea air was good for me. Back then, he probably had mo more idea than I did of just why that particular air was so good for me or even why we had to breathe it in so deeply. But it was just one of those things that people did and they all seemed to agree that it did you the power of good.

The medical science behind that layman’s belief is actually in complete agreement that breathing deeply of the salty sea air really is good for your health in ways you might not realize. Certainly if you suffer from a respiratory complaint such as asthma, c.o.p.d., bronchitis, emphysema for example, or if you have a smoker’s cough (which was more common than it should have been back then) or suffer from hay fever, the shortness of breath and wheezing seem to clear up after a few days of breathing in the salty air.


That’s because the minute particles of salt that are dissolved in the air can easily get into the bronchial airways and start to work their magic. Salt is a well known healing agent that clears up infections, kills harmful microbes and bacteria while it gently loosens any debris that may be blocking the airways such as phlegm or excess mucous along with other foreign particulates. It also soothes inflamed bronchial membranes that become more sensitive when an allergen or other irritant is present, reducing inflammation and widening the narrowed air passages.

For many years, a trip to the seaside was prescribed by doctors as a healthy, natural way to help treat a whole range of breathing problems. Similarly, in landlocked countries, a visit to salt mines was often taken as an alternative to breathe in the rich salty air in them.

This kind of salt air therapy has been given a name; speleotherapy. It comes from the Greek word speleo which basically translates into cave and is derived from the old salt mines that were once considered a place of punishment until it was realized that many of its inmates actually got healthier after spending a lot of time in them!

Modern Salt Therapy

Today, large respiratory clinics have been built around these saltmines, while in countries with easy access to the sea, such as in Britain, a seaside trip is still recommended by doctors to their patients. If it is not possible to travel to these places, there is an alternative that is gaining popularity known as the salt pipe or inhaler.

This is a small device which contains a quantity of rocksalt that the user simply inhales deeply via a mouthpiece and breathes out through their nose a number of times. This produces a similar effect as breathing sea air but in a more controlled manner.

The device delivers the healing air directly to the place it is needed and helps reduce the symptoms of a wide variety of respiratory conditions. This variation of salt therapy is a convenient and portable solution that many find highly beneficial to their respiratory health that works very well indeed.

In fact many asthma sufferers report that their reliance on their steroid inhaler is greatly reduced when using this device regularly. This can only be a good thing with regards to becoming less exposed to medications while still enjoying greater freedom from the debilitating symptoms of this condition.

More information on complimentary therapies for breathing complaints can be found here:
Here is a prominent newspaper report on salt caves: Daily Mail

The Health Benefits of Sunshine

Posted by on 19 Jan 2014 | Tagged as: health

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, we are all often bombarded with well meaning warnings about spending too much time in the sun, what with skin cancer and premature aging among the things that no one really wants to be getting. But that doesn’t mean you have to hide under a wide brimmed hat the whole time you are out of doors, nor does it mean that you have to stay indoors all the time there is daylight. Unless of course you are a vampire.

So what is the reality here? Is the sun really so bad for us, or are we turning our backs on a free source of health and vitality?

Get Exposed!

The truth of the matter is that we all need to get some exposure to the sun and preferably daily to enable our bodies to manufacture our daily needs of vitamin D. Without this vital vitamin we risk a whole range of health problems from brittle bones to kidney stones through the resultant lack of ability to absorb calcium properly.

More interestingly, recent studies have revealed that lack of this vitamin is linked with obesity. That means the less natural daylight you expose yourself to, the higher your chances of gaining weight, especially if you are eating a poor diet or one that is high in sugars. That means excess calories from lots of sweetened or junk food potentially compounding the problem.

So it makes pretty sound common sense to ensure you get your full daily quota of sunshine to produce all the vitamin D that you will need to help you stay slim.

Sure, you can top up your body’s supply of vitamin D through supplements, but why would you want to spend money on pills to pop when you can get it for free for the sake of 20 minutes exposure to the sun a day?

That’s right, in 20 minutes, you’ll get enough exposure for your body to produce its own vitamin D, which some say is highly superior to what you have to try to absorb from a pill. In 20 minutes, even in the hottest sunshine, you are unlikely to risk burning or damaging your skin through harmful UV exposure, because of the short time spent in the sun.

The best part is that you don’t even need to strip off to a bikini or pair of swim shorts as just getting the sun to your face and arms in that time is sufficient.

Lift Your Mood

Apart from the obvious vitamin boost to health from exposure to the sun, it also helps lift your mood by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain which gives you a feel good factor that you won’t get stuck indoors all day. Getting lots of natural daylight also helps to counter the health effects of tiredness, as it gives you a much needed boost of energy and vitality.

When you’re in a good mood, life always seems better, making you more positive.

And when you’re in a positive frame of mind, your health reflects your mood. So get out in the sunshine for a while each day (weather permitting) and do yourself a big favor!

Health and Working on Computers

Posted by on 20 Nov 2013 | Tagged as: health

Well, there doesn’t seem much in the way of arguments about the detrimental effects to a person’s health when they spend all day, every day stuck in front of a computer, whether it be their job, or a way of whiling away the hours playing computer games or idly surfing the Internet for whatever.

Sedentary Lifestyle

It all adds up to a sedentary lifestyle which is definitely bad for you if you do it for a prolonged period. When weeks turn into months, then you are going to need to think of ways to counteract the lack of exercise that sitting still for several hours (or more) every day entails.

This all adds up to lack of energy and a feeling of tiredness and lethargy creeping over you more often. Physically, you will experience muscle wastage and a reduced metabolism, which combine to create a situation where you have even less energy and less will to do any exercise to correct the problem.

It leads to weight gain because your body is storing much more fat, due to the lack of its ability to burn off the excess. There is also the tendency to have a working lunch that consists of fast food or to eat more high calorie snacks while working in an attempt to improve concentration and stave off tiredness, which leads to a vicious circle of even more weight gain and less energy!

Getting More Active

The obvious thing to do is to take regular breaks from the computer and go out for walks if the weather is fine, or go to the local pool for a swim to shake out the cobwebs and give your muscles a reason for existing, other than to move a mouse around on its mat!

Other things you can do without even leaving the house is to take a few runs up and down the stairs until you are out of breath. Then rest until you catch your breath and try it once or twice more. You could do the dreaded housework with some gusto, making a concerted effort to swish that broom with purpose and really force that vacuum cleaner head into the carpet!

It all burns calories and forces your muscles to work, which is what you need to do to avoid the debilitating consequences that doing nothing will inevitably bring about. It also helps with losing weight naturally which is important especially if you have been gaining weight through a long period of inactivity.

So be open and honest with yourself about your current work situation. Make a point of reminding yourself, next time you have a marathon go on the computer, that your body was designed to move around. Then get up and go and do something!

How Healthy is Your Diet? Part 2: Garlic Good!

Posted by on 12 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: health

garlic bulbTo follow on from my last article in this mini series on How Healthy is Your Diet? which looked at why soda is so bad for you, I decided to switch sides and look at something that is good for you. In our society that seems hell bent on poisoning itself with processed foods, additive and saturated fat laden junk and all manner of other unhealthy stuff that the media does a very good job of convincing us that it is all good, a natural progression toward more health giving foods would be a good choice of moves.

There are lots of healthy foods that we can choose to eat and many of us actually do include many of these in our diets. Just not enough or not in the right way. So this article will take a look at one of them, which is that great all rounder health giving bulb that we either love or hate. That’s that smelly little bulb adored by most people in the world apart from Brits, Americans and a even few Aussies — garlic.

Oh So Healthy Garlic

Garlic, which contains both allicin and diallyl sulphides is a member of the onion family and as such possesses similar blood cleansing properties. But it is much more than just a cholesterol busting flavorsome addition to food.

In its raw state, garlic is at its most potent and all of its health giving properties are at their best. It should be used as soon as possible after peeling the papery skin from the bulb. As soon as you cook it, you destroy most of its goodness, so the best way to enjoy this power-packed little bulb is raw, chopped finely and sprinkled over cooked food just before you eat it or into salads where it adds a lot of flavor and zing!

Medicinal Garlic

So to the health-giving properties of garlic. It is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal, making it a great all rounder for fighting most illnesses from the common cold (viral) and flu, to bacterial attacks inside (eg food poisoning) and outside the body (eg infected cuts) as well as fungal attacks (eg athlete’s foot).

Garlic also helps boost the immune system, further helping the body to naturally fight off disease and infection and is also an antioxidant, helping to mop up dangerous free radicals and prevent cancer cells from forming. For helping to maintain health, there are few foods to match this pungent little bulb!

As a food, it contains essential minerals and vitamins including all the B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus potassium and zinc. It really is a powerful nutrient-packed addition to any diet.

Antisocial Garlic

Many people avoid garlic as they are concerned about the bad breath it gives you. Well, you can cut this drastically by taking garlic capsules, but you have to consider your own health above all else. If you are more concerned with what other people think of you, then you are not concerned enough with your own well-being and that is a situation which cannot be.

Interestingly, many smokers are quick to wrinkle their noses up at garlic eaters without realizing just how disgusting their own stale tobacco breaths smell to non-smokers! Just putting things into perspective, here.

When you eat garlic yourself, you cannot smell it on another person’s breath. So if someone wrinkles up their nose at you next time you have eaten garlic, just remind yourself that you are healthier inside than they are and to hell with what they think!

On that note, I think it best to leave you there to ponder your own social dilemmas and will return soon with another healthy foods article!

Terry Didcott

Massage Chairs Could Help Heart Surgery Patients

Posted by on 20 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: health

Most of us have tried or at least seen one of those chairs that have built in massagers to take care of all the tension in your back and legs. They seem like a luxury item, and thanks to quite a hefty price tag most of us won’t be able to afford them in our homes, but we can use them in places like health spas for a small price.

Massage therapy can be used with heart surgery patientsIt seems though that these massage chairs are not only a luxury item for people who can’t think of anything else to do with their money, but they can also bring about quite a few benefits for people who have gone through heart surgery, or are otherwise heart patients.

Some doctors do not recommend, and in fact can ban you from having a massage after you have gone through a heart surgery, but according to Mayo Clinic, it could actually be a good thing. They recommend light massaging therapy for anyone who has gone through the surgery as it will speed up recovery and at the same time it will make the time more enjoyable. According to a study they did, getting regular massages actually significantly sped up the recovery from the surgery, and it reduced pain and anxiety that is often related to a post surgery state.

Now they didn’t really use these devices for the process, and we can be pretty sure that chair manufacturers will not market their products for this purpose because they want to ┬ábe careful, but when used on a light program, an electric massaging seat could bring similar benefits than a therapy given by a professional. Of course you can’t expect a machine to give similar therapy as a well trained professional, but this study points towards the fact that it could be safe to use massagers to reduce pain and help the patient relax.

After all, when you reduce your pain and are able to get rid of tension and anxiety, you will feel better about your recovery. And it has been shown frequently that a positive mind will not only speed up recovery but it will also make it a lot more pleasant.

Many of these devices are able to deliver a wide array of relaxing programs ranging from aggressive deep tissue message all the way to just a comfortable lymphatic variant. There are many settings from shiatsu to vibrating to Swedish massage, and should someone use a chair like this for the above mentioned purposes, they should always consult their doctor first.

At the same time you should keep the rub down at a comfortable level so that you will still enjoy it and be able to stimulate circulation and relax those achy and tense muscles. After all, getting comfortable is the whole purpose of these chairs.

If you can’t afford to purchase one for your home, you could find a health club where you can use one. It is much cheaper than booking an appointment with a professional rubbing down therapist, and usually you can find a free chair much easier than a massage therapist that has the time for you.

Healthy Despite It All

Posted by on 05 Jul 2011 | Tagged as: health

In this post, I’d like to talk about how we can stay healthy despite it all. By that I mean how we as a race manage to remain in a healthy state even though we are fed on a diet of food that is mass produced, full of potentially harmful artificial additives and deficient in many of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need. So let’s look at that in more detail and discover what we can do and are doing to improve the odds against suffering ill health.

The mineral and nutrient deficiency in the vast majority of food that we buy is a serious problem that the enlightened amongst us can do quite a lot about. First thing that needs to happen is for more people to stand up and tell the food industry that this is just not good enough.

Consumer Power

Consumers can wield a lot of power, they just aren’t organized enough or united in a definite goal to be effective. That is changing slowly as more people are becoming more aware of their ability to unite and conquer traditional strongholds in the industries that have had us held to ransom for way too long.

Unfortunately, right now the food industry as a whole is extremely powerful and has a veritable army of PR people who are very good at swaying public opinion away from the important issues. They have managed to force the US Congress to U turn on several additive bans and health issues over the decades, such is their reach and power of persuasion.

You have to see past this.

Gathering Strength

A minor revolution that is going to be good for the general health of people is already happening in the farming industry with smaller, breakaway farmers returning to traditional farming methods and turning their backs on the lethal cocktails of chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc that intensive farming methods employ. They are, instead, turning to organic farming methods that drastically cut the need for the vast majority of these chemicals. They are once again treating the soil with the respect it deserves and being repaid with healthier crops that are regaining their nutrient levels.

This is extremely good news for you and your family’s health.

It means that you can buy organically grown fruit and vegetables that are virtually free of chemicals (the UK Soil Association allows a maximum of 6 chemical pest control substances to be used on crops that can then be labeled “organic”). This will help us to stay healthy from the inside out.

By using natural organic matter to enrich the soil (instead of chemical fertilizer) the friendly bugs along with the worms return to play their part in the overall scheme of things. Together, this produces healthier crops that taste better, leading to healthy eating and a better chance of enjoying better overall health.

The downside is they cost more, but what price are you going to place on your children’s health? I reckon its a price well worth paying.

Terry Didcott

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