5 easy and effective ways to boost your energy

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Have you ever feel like the Energizer Bunny with a weak battery? In the mid-afternoon you already feeling you are having such a long day.

Here are some tips from Harvard medical Publications, to battle against fatigue. Presuming you do not have medical conditions for persistent fatigue.

Pace yourself. Instead of burning though all your battery life in two hours, spread it out between morning tasks, afternoon tasks, and evening activities — with rest and meals in between. Consider these strategies to get the most mileage from your battery.

Take a walk or a nap. A short power nap can restore energy, but if you struggle to get enough sleep at night, napping can make insomnia worse. Rather than take a siesta, get moving. Get up and walk around the block, or just move around. If you are not an insomniac, though, enjoy that 20- to 30-minute power nap.

Skip most supplements. There is no evidence that energy-boosting or “anti-aging” supplements work. In particular:

  • DHEA. There is absolutely no evidence that that DHEA provides any benefit. And you especially shouldn’t be buying it from ads in the back of a magazine, because you don’t know what’s in it.
  • Iron. Iron is only beneficial if you are clearly deficient, which a doctor can check with a blood test. Unless you are low in iron, you don’t need to take it, and getting too much iron can be harmful.
  • B vitamins. It is true that B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12) help the body convert food into the form of energy that cells can burn, but it’s a myth that taking in more B vitamins supercharges your cells.

Eat long-lasting fuel. Your body burns through sugars and highly processed carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, or prepared bakery goods, more rapidly than protein and the carbohydrates in whole grains. Instead, try yogurt with a sprinkling of nuts, raisins, and honey. Your body will take in the carb-fiber-protein mix more gradually. To really sustain yourself over the course of the day, eat a breakfast and a lunch that include complex carbohydrates and protein.

Don’t skip meals. It’s better to evenly space your meals out so your body gets the nourishment it needs all through the day.

original article: Want more energy? Here’s what really helps

Ibuprofen inducing kidney damage

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A new study published in the July 2017 edition of Emergency Medicine Journal —— Ibuprofen versus placebo effect on acute kidney injury in ultramarathons: a randomised controlled trial

The findings are:

  • Kidney injury was quite common. About 44% of these ultramarathoners experienced significantly reduced kidney function by the end of the race.
  • Kidney injury was more common among those taking ibuprofen. Just over half of the NSAID-takers had reduced kidney function, while about one-third of those in the placebo group did. Despite these findings, the differences in rates of kidney injury were not statistically significant.
  • The severity of kidney injury was greater in the ibuprofen group.
  • A faster finish and greater weight loss during the race (likely due to greater dehydration) increased the likelihood of kidney injury.

Ibuprofen and related medications (called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are used for a number of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, and headache.

More than a dozen different NSAIDs are available, including naproxen (as in Naprosyn or Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren) and indomethacin (Indocin). Aspirin is also an NSAID, though it is usually taken in small doses for its blood thinning effects (to prevent heart attack or stroke) rather than for pain.

The safety profile of NSAIDs is generally quite good,  but still they can cause trouble.

  • Upset stomach
  • intestinal bleeding
  • cardiovascular problems
  • The risk of heart attack may be increased among users of NSAIDs, especially among those at increased risk (such as those who have had a previous heart attack).
  • Plus, kidney injury.

So what?

If you are taking an NSAID regularly, you should be having regular blood monitoring, including measures of kidney function. And if you have significant kidney disease, you should probably avoid non-aspirin NSAIDs altogether. Ask your doctor whether you are a good candidate for NSAID use. They can be quite helpful, and many of their side effects can be avoided with proper precautions.

from Harvard Health Publications —— Is it safe to take ibuprofen for the aches and pains of exercise?

Acupuncture Found Effective for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined as an illness characterized by severe disabling fatigue lasting for at least six months that is worsened by minimal physical or mental exertion. In the sphere of biomedicine, no definitive etiology has been identified. There are no key features or typical symptoms, but a sore throat, depression, and myalgia may all be present.

The biomedical etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) remains unclear. However, it has been suggested that psychological and social factors, viral loads, and immune system dysfunction may contribute to the condition. Previous studies find that CFS may be associated with a bias towards a Th2 type of response in Th1/Th2 immune balances. Acupuncture’s ability to balance Th1 and Th2 may be one mechanism responsible for its effective action in the treatment of CFS.

Major causes of suffering include pain, paralysis, mental illness, nausea, immune system imbalances, and fatigue. CFS and other clinical scenarios involving severe fatigue are a significant source of suffering and may be as severe as any other form of illness or complication. One concern is that since there is no clearly defined etiology within hospital medicine for CFS, patients may be marginalized or receive incomplete care.

There are instances in which patients are given psychiatric medications without addressing the biophysical sources of CFS. This focus on treating only the symptom and not the root cause of CFS potentially leads to prolonged suffering. Given the results of the research data, acupuncture with moxibustion is a reasonable treatment option, referable by primary healthcare physicians.

The study involved 133 voluntary patients from the Beijing Chaoyang Fatou Community Health Service Center. All were diagnosed with CFS. Inclusion criteria were established based on the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) criteria for CFS and included the following:

  • Experienced unexplained persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue for more than six months, which is not substantially alleviated by rest, and results in substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. [6]

In addition, the aforementioned is concurrent with four or more of the following symptoms:

  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours

The acupoints selected for the acupuncture and acupuncture plus moxibustion groups were the following:

  • GV20 (Baihui)
  • CV17 (Danzhong)
  • CV6 (Qihai)
  • CV4 (Guanyuan)
  • ST36 (Zusanli)
  • SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
  • LI4, LV3 (Siguan: Hegu plus Taichong)

The results indicate that warm needling acupuncture or standard acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture. The study by Lu et al., mentioned in this report, demonstrates that acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Important features of TCM protocols are that they produce a high total effective rate without any significant adverse effects.

original article —— Healthcare Medicine Institute

 

 

Acupuncture for indigestion

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Here is an excerpt of an article from Healthcare Medicine Institute showing evidence that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of functional dyspepsia (indigestion). 

Acupuncture Benefits Digestion, Stops Burning Pain

Results from an investigation conducted by researchers from Hunan University of Chinese Medicine demonstrate that acupuncture is effective for alleviating upper abdominal pain and burning, nausea, and belching. In a semi-protocolized clinical trial, two primary acupuncture points were proven effective for the treatment of functional dyspepsia (abdominal discomfort or pain with no known organic cause identifiable with endoscopy).

Patients were evaluated before and after treatment. First, improvements were recorded using a clinical scoring system. Next, a functional digestive disorders quality of life questionnaire (FDDQL) was recorded for each partient. Third, an electrogastrogram (EGG) was utilized to measure the electrical activity of the stomach (including EGG dominant frequency and slow wave frequency). The results indicate that acupuncture is both safe and effective for the treatment of functional dyspepsia and acupuncture is more effective than mosapride. 

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of obesity

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Here is an article from Healthcare Medicine Institute that provides good reference from journals.   

Acupuncture Found Effective for Obesity Reduction

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of obesity.

Acupuncture demonstrates clinical efficacy for the treatment of obesity in two controlled investigations. Based on the data, additional research is warranted. Larger sample sizes will help to confirm these preliminary findings.

Common to both studies reviewed in this article are acupoints SP6 (Sanyinjiao) and ST36 (Zusanli). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, both acupoints are indicated for the treatment of digestion related disorders and stimulate the body’s transforming and transporting functions of the digestive system. In this respect, these acupoints are choices consistent with the goals of the research.

Electric treatment for stress

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Here are some excerpts from a few interesting articles. 

Electrical brain stimulation can improve the mood of healthy people as well as those suffering from depression, says study published in Frontiers in Psychology. (Prefrontal Electrical Stimulation in Non-depressed Reduces Levels of Reported Negative Affects from Daily Stressors. Front. Psychol., 04 March 2016.) 

A team at Swansea University is developing an approach using electrical brain stimulation to alleviate stress and depression. Past studies have shown this method can relieve depression, but their most recent study presents the first evidence that it can also give healthy people a little boost when they’re feeling down. “We’ve shown that weak electric stimulation is effective to improve the mood of those who are not depressed, but are still affected by the consequences of a stressful, restless, and demanding lifestyle,” said Dr. Frederic Boy, Head of Translational and Consumer Neuroscience at Swansea.

Already used by the British Army and US military to treat post traumatic stress the gadget works by stimulating the brain with a mild shock. Now it is being used in primary and secondary schools to help teachers cope with what is recognised as a nationwide problem. After running a pilot scheme, the Leigh Academies Trust say the device has had a positive impact on levels of anxiety, depression and sleep disorder – all symptoms of stress among its staff.

Already in use by the British Army and US military for post-traumatic stress, the gadget works by stimulating the brain. The Alpha-Stim, which is the size of a mobile phone, sends micro-currents of electricity to increase a patient’s naturally occurring “alpha waves” that are said to create a more relaxed state of mind.

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, provides hope, as it found nerve-stimulating patches could help people with extreme PTSD recover while they sleep.

Electric-acupuncture on the scalp also helps to stabilise mood. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more about this treatment. 

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms in the hand and arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist.

Common symptoms include:

  • Tingling or numbness. Usually the thumb and index, middle or ring fingers are affected, but not your little finger. Sometimes there is a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers. The sensation may travel from your wrist up your arm.
  • Weakness.

Risk factors include:

  • Anatomic factors. A wrist fracture or dislocation, or arthritis that deforms the small bones in the wrist, can alter the space within the carpal tunnel and put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Sex. Carpal tunnel syndrome is generally more common in women.
  • Nerve-damaging conditions. Such as diabetes.
  • Inflammatory conditions. Such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity. Being obese is a significant risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Alterations in the balance of body fluids. Fluid retention may increase the pressure within your carpal tunnel, irritating the median nerve. This is common during pregnancy and menopause. Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy generally resolves on its own after pregnancy.
  • Other medical conditions. Certain conditions, such as menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure, may increase your chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Workplace factors. It’s possible that working with vibrating tools or on an assembly line that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing nerve damage.

Preventions:

  • Reduce your force and relax your grip. If your work involves a cash register or keyboard, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink.
  • Take frequent breaks. Gently stretch and bend hands and wrists periodically. Alternate tasks when possible. This is especially important if you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force.
  • Watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. Keep your keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower.
  • Improve your posture. Incorrect posture rolls shoulders forward, shortening your neck and shoulder muscles and compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.
  • Change your computer mouse. Make sure that your computer mouse is comfortable and doesn’t strain your wrist.
  • Keep your hands warm. You’re more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can’t control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.

Treatments:

Nonsurgical therapy

  • Wrist splinting.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Corticosteroids.

Surgery

  • Endoscopic surgery.
  • Open surgery.

carpal tunnel release - mayo—— from Mayo Clinic

Acupuncture and Carpal tunnel syndrome: