Natural healing, natural wellness

Archive for June, 2009

Is Work Killing You?

I’m not a morning person. For years, I struggled to get to work on time. What a chore it was to just peel myself off the bed, crawl into the shower, put on my make-up and fight the commuter traffic, only to get to a stressful job with long hours and demanding bosses.

My last job was with a huge multinational company, and 12-hour workdays were very common. Often, I had early morning as well as late-night teleconferences, so working as long as 18 hours in total before I could get any rest became a regular occurrence. Meals were hurried, and I ate at the computer more times than anyone should. Exhaustion, a compromised immune system and shared, stale air in the office meant that I was vulnerable to circulating flu bugs, germs and viruses. I was frequently sick.

Sounds familiar? Well, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at that last job. That was a real wake-up call. It started me on the road to better living. No more sacrificing rest and sleep, no more unhealthy meals, no more working crazy hours. People have been known to fall sick and even die from stress and overwork. So, several months after my cancer diagnosis, I left my well-paid corporate job to work from home.

It’s been great. I get all the rest I need, spend much more time with my loved ones, go for walks whenever I like, have time to make fresh juices as often as I wish, enjoy leisurely and much healthier meals, breathe fresh air everyday – you get the picture. Ah, the joys of working from home!

Is your job getting you down and hurting your health? Are you sick of the daily stress? If it is, explore other ways to earn an income which you will enjoy more, give you more freedom and allow you to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Employment is no longer secure -this latest recession shows this vividly. No wonder growing numbers or people are building a home business and working from home. Fortunately, technology and the internet makes this much easier today. It’s made it possible for me to run several web-based businesses, which I thoroughly enjoy.

If your job is affecting your health and happiness, why not work from home? It could make a huge improvement in your quality of life.

Ways To Relieve Joint Pain

Adult humans have 206 bones, while the skeleton of an infant contains 350 (the bones fuse together as you grow). More than half of your 206 bones are found in your hands and feet. No wonder joint care and pain relief is such big business. Imagine 206 bones moving together hour after hour, month after month and year after year. Cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and synovial membranes work together to protect and support the joints and allow you to execute various movements.

Without proper care, your joints can easily wear out and become inflamed and painful, a condition called arthritis. Should that happen, what can you do to relieve joint pain and improve your condition? Here are a few simple tips:

Massage
Use pure essential oils combined with mixing oil to massage the area which hurts. Lavender, for instance, has healing properties, while eucalyptus is soothing. Stroke in the direction of your heart.

Ice Therapy
As soon as you feel the pain beginning, you can apply ice packs hourly for 15 minutes each time. The following day, if the pain persists, you may continue with the ice packs for 15 minutes each time but reduce the hourly applications. Try doing this no more than half-a-dozen times that day.

Aromatic Warm Baths
Fill your bathtub with warm water and put in several drops of pure essential oils, like eucalyptus and lavender. Enjoy a nice, relaxing soak which will also help you to destress as well as relieve the pain.

Exercise
Low-impact activity such as walking, swimming and biking helps to build muscle around the joints to support them. Do this daily and you will probably lose weight too, which will reduce the burden and stress on your skeleton and joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the knees, feet, back and hips. My knees used to hurt terribly because of worn-out and inflamed joints. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t even get out of bed in the mornings. Going for regular walks helped me lose excess weight as well as build up the muscles around my joints. I’ve been pain-free for years now.

Nourish Your Joints and Connective Tissue
With age, glucosamine levels in the body declines. Glucosamine helps to keep cartilage and joints healthy. When the cartilage wears down, osteoarthritis results. Nutrients to support normal levels of synovial fluids, which help to lubricate the joints and tendons, are vital for joint health too. Feeding your body with antioxidants and nutrients which help to support your immune system also help to keep joint deterioration and pain at bay. Give your body the nutrients it needs for musculoskeletal health and healthy joints.

Walk Right
Are you wearing footwear which will support your joints and reduce impact when you walk? Is having the wrong gait causing your joints to wear out? The right footwear can help you correct your posture as well as the way you walk. Throw away shoes and sandals which don’t’ meet these criteria.

Watch Your Posture
Good posture helps to protect your back, legs and feet. Keep your spine straight and avoid lopsided positions.

Invest In Ergonomically-Designed Seating
Do you have at least one good ergonomically-designed chair at home or at work which supports your body correctly? Chairs which don’t support critical areas like your spine, legs, neck and arms can strain your joints and cause your body to ache. Low seats and chairs without armrests should also be avoided, as you may have to strain to get in and out of them.

Avoid Sudden Movements and Straining
Sudden twists and turns, stretching, lifting, jerking, pushing, pulling, bending, and reaching can hurt your joints and muscles. Keep your movements gentle, fluid and steady. Float like a butterfly.

Distribute The Pressure
Carrying a heavy plate? Use both your hands – palms and fingers- to distribute the weight. Avoid putting too much load on any single joint. Let the stronger joints and muscles of your body, like the shoulders and the arms, support a heavy load, rather than just trying to carry it with your hands. If you can sling it over your shoulders, please do so. In an episode of reality TV show, “The Amazing Race”. contestants (two per team) had to carry a full-grown pig on a pole for 200 yards. Those who tried to do so by using their hands only kept falling and dropping the carcass. On the other hand, one team – which included the oldest contestant – who put the pole across their shoulders managed to complete the task faster and with less effort.

Rest and Sleep
Healing is delayed when your body doesn’t get sufficient quality rest and sleep. Put your poor, aching feet up and give yourself a break!

Aches & Pains? Take The Right Step!

I was in the supermarket recently when I heard loud scratching and grating noises. Looking across the aisle, I saw a group of people dragging their feet lazily as they slowly moved along. There were two adults with three young children, so I assumed they were a family. All of them were walking in exactly the same way. Not a single person lifted their feet even once.

Most health problems can be traced to bad habits. As youths and young adults, we may get away with unhealthy diets, appalling hygiene, poor lifestyle habits and various vices, but the consequences eventually catch up with us. The adults in that family I observed in the supermarket had poor posture as well as terrible gait. They were probably bothered by aches and pains. Over the years, their bones may even have become malformed . Already, their children couldn’t seem to keep their spines straight. I could see joint problems, muscle aches and pains and possible bone deformity in their future.

If only all children were taught proper posture and how to walk correctly from the time they start taking their first steps. Choosing good footwear which will provide support and cultivate proper gait is another important lesson which many are clueless about. Arthritis, crooked feet and toes, twisted spines, out-of-joint or worn out hips, and other painful joint, bone and muscle ailments can be prevented. Perhaps a walking and posture program should be part of the school curriculum!

By establishing the right foundation during the formative years, much pain and suffering in the adult years can be avoided. Instead, growing numbers of people are seeking pain relief solutions like corrective surgery, implants, expensive orthopedic shoes, inserts and accessories, and so on.

If you’re suffering from aches and pains, take heart. There are ways to relieve joint and muscle pain, as well as improve your condition. You can still enjoy a good quality of life. Start by taking the right step today. And don’t forget to teach your kids and their children how to do the same.