Category: General health
VOCALIZING IN PREGNANCYVocalizing – for example singing or chanting – exercises muscles throughout the body and is thus a very good way of building up strength and stamina. It also develops lung capacity. In fact, any form of vocalization, if performed with good use in mind, can help to improve your use and bring you back into a more balanced state. Making sounds can be used as a way to connect into your inner self, which should help you to tune into the natural rhythms of birth.For a great many women making sounds makes it much easier to cope with the intensity of contractions when they are in labour. It is a way of tuning in to the pain, and of expressing it, instead of the pain becoming internalized as tension in the body. Vocalizing involves focusing on the sound you make and using it as a way of keeping control. It is important that you do not let it turn into screaming, as screaming is extremely exhausting and can make you feel even more distressed. You are also likely to have a sore throat after the birth, as letting the breath out in an uncontrolled rush damages the vocal chords.It may sound artificial to suggest that you practise making sounds before the actual labour, but in fact it is important that you do. You need to learn to connect your voice into your body, and you need to train up the correct muscles for producing the voice. If you are using your voice well, the abdominal muscles and the action of your lower ribs will be providing the breath for the sound. If you are using your voice badly, you will be pushing the sound from your upper chest and throat.An ideal exercise for preparing the voice for labour is the whispered ah. Chanting and singing are also excellent. If you are practising the Alexander Technique with a group of pregnant women you will find that chanting together, or singing rounds, is an enlivening and uplifting experience. The antenatal classes run by the French obstetrician Michel Odent at the clinic in Pithiviers, France, used to be group singing sessions. It is thought that singing and chanting release endorphins , the body’s natural way of suppressing pain and anxiety.*55\346\2*
HYPERTENSION WEARS OUT THE HEARTAccording to the American Heart Association, hypertension is a contributing factor in the 1.1 million heart attacks and more than 300,000 heart attack deaths in the United States each year. Hypertension hurts the heart by pushing it to the limits. Years of overexertion cause the heart to become weak and damaged – the pump just wears out.Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI). A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is suddenly reduced or cut off, usually due to a blockage in one of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart. The portions of the heart muscle that cannot get adequate oxygen and nutrients die. The more extensive the damage, the more serious the heart attack.Hypertension is also the chief cause of left ventricular hypertrophy, one of the hallmarks of hypertension, especially untreated hypertension. Like any muscle, the heart bulks up with overuse. In particular, the muscular walls of the left ventricle – the discharge chamber that actually pumps blood into the arterial system – thicken and swell. As the walls thicken, the volume of the chamber shrinks, and the amount of blood it can hold and pump throughout the body is reduced. Because the heart is now pumping less blood with each beat, it works even harder to maintain circulation. This may lead to further weakening of the heart – it simply tires out and swells up like a weak balloon. This end-stage disease is called congestive heart failure (CHF). The pumping efficiency of the heart is now so poor that it cannot maintain adequate circulation of the blood. Blood pools in the vessels and the patient becomes weak and has difficulty breathing. The swollen, hypertrophied heart muscle becomes so overburdened that it eventually just stops working.*19/313/5*
THE IDENTIFIABLE CAUSES OF CANCER: INFECTIONSThe question the reader will ask at this point is ‘Given all this epidemiological study, do we know the causes of cancer?’ Broadly the answer is ‘yes’ in many circumstances and for many cancers, and the opportunities for prevention that this understanding generates are there to be taken. We do not always know how the factors that have been identified by the epidemiological studies discussed in this chapter link up to what is being learned in the laboratories of the molecular biologists. This connection is being made rapidly and will be increasingly clear by the end of the century. Epidemiology has been very successful in discovering or confirming which features of our lives in the Western world can be now identified as causes of cancer. Simple infections do not cause cancer. Pneumonias and urinary infections, for instance, are usually caused by bacteria and there is no evidence that such infections predispose to cancer in any way. Animal cancers can be caused by viruses but human cancers are not usually caused by viruses. There are, however, some notable exceptions to this general statement. The virus described by Epstein and Barr (Epstein-Barr virus, EBV) probably causes a rare cancer of the lymph glands, particularly in Africa, and may cause cancer of the nasal passages among the Chinese. Hepatitis B virus infection, when chronic, probably contributes to the high incidence of liver cancers in the Far East, the evidence for this being a most convincing cohort study in Taiwan. Rare types of leukaemia, particularly in Japan and the Caribbean, have been linked to infection with a particular kind of virus (human T lymphotrophic virus type 1), which seems to be spread early in life but which may alio, like AIDS, be spread by sexual activity and drug abuse. AIDS infection predisposes patients to a number of cancers of a rare kind which may be very difficult indeed to treat. As indicated above, viruses are being investigated as a possible explanation for a link between cancer of the neck of the womb and multiple sexual partners. It should be emphasized that human cancer is not in any simple way an infectious disease, that patients with cancer do not require isolation and that people need not be concerned about sharing homes or workplaces with cancer patients.*34\194\4*
Vomiting is the physical outcome of nausea. In cases of food poisoning or gastroenteritis caused by bacteria which inflame the lining of the stomach and intestines, vomiting is the body’s response to the condition by ridding itself of harmful substances. A similar response may follow heavy drinking or ingestion of other toxic substances. Other gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcers and appendicitis can cause vomiting.
Vomiting may also indicate serious disorders which are not associated with digestion. Following a blow to the head, vomiting may indicate swelling of the brain or bleeding within the skull. Heart attacks may present with chest pains and vomiting.
In children vomiting is also a symptom of fevers, middle ear infections, tonsillitis and meningitis. It is quite normal for young babies to vomit small quantities of milk after feeding and is of no concern unless the child appears ill or does not gain weight.
During early pregnancy vomiting is a common symptom of morning sickness. Both ginger and raspberry leaf are recommended by herbalists to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which the sufferer overeats, then induces vomiting to rid the body of the food which has been consumed. When bulimia is chronic this practice can result in ulceration of the oesophagus, damage to the teeth caused by stomach acids and dietary deficiencies.
Inducing vomiting is sometimes a first aid teatment for poisoning. Vomiting should not be induced in the case of corrosive, petroleum based or unknown substances which have been swallowed. When a medicinal or general substance such as detergent, mushrooms or medicine have been swallowed vomiting should be induced by giving Syrup of Ipecac to drink, following the instructions on the bottle. Salty or soapy water should not be given to induce vomiting.
Vomiting of blood requires immediate medical advice. Tiny flecks of blood in the vomitus following extensive vomiting may come from small tears in the lining of the digestive system and are not in themselves cause for alarm.
Prolonged vomiting may result in dehydration. This requires treatment by a practitioner.
Discussing benefits of pure vegetarian (vegan) cuisine as well as recipes is yet again a quite substantial topic and exceeds the scope of this book. For information about the vegetarian cuisine please read books by Ch. Lehman or M.Diamond listed in the References.
Using microwave radiation to cook or heat food changes the molecular structure of food. There is a consistent scientific evidence, that such food is harder to metabolise. We should avoid microwave cooking if possible.
How much to eat ?
This is also a very important question. The answer is quite simple . as little as possible to feel active and comfortable. Note, that eating too much is equivalent to overloading your body with additional duties, related to the processing and disposal of extra waste. Your mind is engaged too, reducing your intellectual and spiritual abilities.
During fasting, you will learn, that the feeling of hunger, as well as the tendency to overeat are typical reactions of a toxic body. If the body is pure and you try not to poison it excessively, your body will always tell you when you have had enough food. Just pay careful attention to what your body is telling you. That’s all.
It is easier to receive and understand such messages, when you eat slowly and chew your food well.
When should we eat ?
In the mountains of Georgia, where people live well beyond 100 years and even make babies at 100, they have a saying:
“Eat breakfast yourself share lunch with your friend, and give dinner to your enemy”.
I cannot help admiring the beauty and wisdom of this ancient proverb. What it says is that we should take food before the activities of the day, and to not take any food before going to bed for the whole night. Doing so, we feel energetic during the day, and we greatly assist our mind-body system in the night’s rest, freeing the resources necessary for everyday healing, repairs, maintenance, as well as for spiritual development.
Note, that most people do exactly the opposite: dinner is their main meal. They all wonder why their health is deteriorating quickly with age.