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August 2013

"Foot Pain Relief At Last!"

"Foot Pain Relief At Last!"

"Foot Pain Relief At Last!"
By Nathan Wei

"As an arthritis specialist, one area that I see people complain about more often than almost any other, is their feet." So says Dr. Nathan Wei, Clinical Director of The Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. "This is too bad because there are many treatments that can be helpful," Dr. Wei adds.

The foot is made up of 26 bones and 39 muscles...

The foot and ankle are designed to bear weight. The multiple joints in the feet are capable of adjusting to almost any terrain and the padding in the feet are designed to absorb shock.. The ankle joint allows the foot to move up and down, side to side, and inward and outward (inversion and eversion).

Not All Foot Pain Comes From The Foot!

Careful examination of the low back, hip, and knee should be performed because pain from these areas may affect the foot and ankle. In particular, pinched nerves in the low back can cause foot pain and weakness.

Ankle sprains are common- 25,000 people sprain an ankle every day!
The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and prevent instability.
Treatment of an acute sprain consists of rest, ice compression and elevation ("RICE"). Exercises to help stabilize and strengthen the ankle should be started.

Arthritis of the ankle may cause recurrent pain and swelling.
Pain from arthritis typically is made worse by weight-bearing particularly on uneven ground. What this means is you should try to avoid excessive walking or running on uneven ground. Anti-inflammatory medication and proper foot support can do wonders.

Pain in the ball of the foot has many causes...


  • Foot strain occurs when a person "overdoes it." And the treatment is pretty straightforward. Rest.
  • Morton's neuroma (a benign nerve tumor usually located between the 3rd and 4th toes)
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome (pinched nerve in the ankle)
  • Arthritis.


Other common causes of foot pain include:


  • Stress fractures may occur after excessive walking.
  • Achilles tendonitis causes pain in the back of the heel. Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medicines, rest, a heel lift, and gentle stretching.
  • Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. Treatment includes rest, anti-inflammatory medication, heel cup, orthotics, stretching, and local steroid injection.
  • Flat foot.


Muscle strengthening exercises and orthotics are helpful.
Two other common problems are:

  • Osteoarthritis, particularly common in the big toe. The big toe will point out to the side. When bursitis alongside the great toe joint develops, this condition is referred to as a bunion. Treatment involves proper padding and footwear. In extreme cases, surgery is required.
  • Neuropathy. This painful condition is particularly common in diabetics. This occurs when the small nerves in the feet are damaged. Symptoms include burning, tingling, and pain in the feet - worse at night.


Well fitted orthotics (arch supports) can alleviate not only foot and ankle pain but pain in the knees, hips, low back, and neck!!

We often take the ability to walk for granted. This ability involves the use of two engineering marvels- our feet and ankles. Because of the tremendous amount of force transmitted to the feet with walking, unique problems may develop. Attention to proper preventative care, i.e., comfortable shoes, sox, hygiene, support, along with proper prompt medical care can really put the brakes on foot pain.

Dr. Wei (pronounced �way�) is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of the nationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as a consultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more information on arthritis and related conditions, go to: Arthritis Treatment

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Are You Considering Hiring A Gym Instructor?

Are You Considering Hiring A Gym Instructor?

Are You Considering Hiring A Gym Instructor?
By Chris Chew

You have sincerely tried very hard to visit the gym regularly to get into the body shape that you desire. However, you find it rather difficult to keep to your schedule. You had been working out diligently in the gym for a couple of weeks and then compleletly lost all motivation when results were not forthcoming. By and by, your trips to the gym got fewer and fewer and then stopped completely.

Now, let's examine why you were unsuccessful in getting the results you want and subsequently giving up completely. First, just let me just ask you a few questions.

What are your goals? To lose weight? To gain muscles? To be fitter? Do you know the science and the workouts required to achieve your objectives? Do you know what to eat or what nutrition you need to reach your goals successfully? If the answer is a no or a maybe, that means that you have been working out blindly akin to driving in circles.

So once again, you have promised yourself to get into shape, but this time you know better and is considering hiring a professional gym instructor to get you there. You will be wondering is it worth your money? What are the benefits of having a gym instructor to guide you along your quest to a better body?

This article will highlight whether hiring a gym instructor is the right thing for you. Then you can make an informed decision.

Do effective workouts - Many people are just like you. They go to the gym and stumble through their exercises the best way they know how. They read up a few magazines for information or simply copy what others do.

The latter can be very dangerous because if others perform an exercise wrongly, and with you doing the same, you could end up with permanent exercise related injuries and you may not even know why you have chronic backaches or neck or joint pains.

Furthermore, your workouts will not get you the desired results because of wrong form execution. You may also probably do the exercises that will not help you to reach your goals, so you are wasting a lot of time doing the wrong exercises.

Having a good gym instructor to guide you through can change all that. He or she will understand your objectives and can design the best regimen to reach your goals faster and safely. You will learn how to do the exercises correctly the first time so that you will even look like a pro.

Save you time - Having a gym instructor to guide you means that you will workout smarter, not longer. For example, why do people do dumbbell curls to train their biceps is beyond me. You see, the usual thing people do with this exercise is to work on the right arm with the dumbbell, take a rest, and then work on the left arm.

This is a sheer waste of time. Why not do barbell curls where you can workout both arms simultaneously and cut the time you spend in the gym by half? Working on each body part individually is for people who want to sculpt their body or to improve on that specific part.

You will be more committed - You won't give up easily this time because you will certainly see results with professional coaching. Furthermore, you are paying good money for professional services and with that, you wouldn't want to miss out on any sessions because that will cost you money.

So with professional instructions and commitment, how can you not get to your desired body shape quickly? There are many more benefits why you should hire a professional gym instructor but I guess the above is enough to convince you that not only you can reach your goals quickly and safely, you will save a lot of time and effort as well.

Chris Chew is a sought after fitness consultant who counts models, actors and other celebrities as his clients. Read his free articles at Gym Trainers In Singapore and Professional personal trainers Singapore.

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The Power of Raw Food Enzymes

The Power of Raw Food Enzymes

The Power of Raw Food Enzymes
By Yuri Elkaim

Digestion is one of the most important functions our body is able to perform. Unfortunately, most people don't digest their food properly.

In my experience, having worked with thousands of personal clients, faulty digestion or an "underactive stomach" is the most common health concern I notice.

So why is digestion a health concern?

Well, consider that improper digestion can lead to nasty conditions like leaky gut syndrome, allergies, and auto-immune disorders - just to name a few.

Think Back to When... The last time you ate a heavy cooked meal.

Did feel really tired (and full) for several hours?

I know I did. And it's not fun.

Think about those big family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners where you'd stuff yourself with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, bread, wine, and on and on.... Thankfully, those kind of meals are rare.

Cooked Foods Are Dead

Remember that cooked foods are dead. They contain no functional enzymes since the heating any living thing above 118 degrees Fahrenheit denatures them.

This makes it inherently difficult to digest these foods. After all, there's a reason that all living foods contain enzymes that will naturally assist in their digestion. But as soon as their cooked... all bets are off!

What this means to you is that your body now has to secrete more of its own digestive enzymes from the pancreas to breakdown these "dead" foods. And by the way, these enzymes can run out. When they do, you run out of life!

Think of the Toughest Piece of Steak Ever

To help you understand just how hard it is for your body to digest dead foods - especially cooked proteins - let's consider a piece of steak for a moment.

To begin with, animal protein (even in its raw state) is very tough for our stomach's to digest. But what happens when we cook meat - or a steak in this example?

All of the steak's proteins become denatured (just like those enzymes we talked about). They get all bent out of shape, coil together, and make it even tougher for our stomach to breakdown.

Just think of how many times you need to chew each bite of that steak just so you can swallow it! Maybe 100 times? Just imagine how much strain is now put on your stomach to further digest it.

So Remember This... When you cook a protein, you make it tougher and, thus, harder for your body to breakdown.

Here's another example... Taking a raw egg, throwing it in a frying pan, and watching it " coagulate" into a fried egg. Which do you think is easier for your body to breakdown - the raw "liquidy" egg or the tough, protein-denatured fried version?

If you said the latter, then you're right.

That's why if you someone has digestive difficulties and they love their eggs, one of the best things they can do is eat a soft boiled egg instead of a hard boiled egg. Less cooking time makes it slightly easier to digest.

Bottom Line - Raw Foods Are Easier to Digest

Based on what we just discussed I'm sure you can appreciate just how much easier it is for us to digest raw foods. Raw foods are packed full of food enzymes, which assist in their own digestion. They don't contain cooked, undigestible proteins.

And they're actually good for you. They contain tons of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that you simply don't get in a cooked food.

Yuri Elkaim is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and author of the raw food diet book Eating for Energy. Visit to get started with his FREE "Energy Secrets" e-course and discover what your diet has been missing.

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How Do You Get Body Fat?

How Do You Get Body Fat?

How Do You Get Body Fat?
By David L Lloyd

Show a team of researches on obesity a fat lab rat and they will tell you accurately how it got that way, down to the last genetic mutation. Quick weight loss diets made an accurate assessment of overweight people and agree that it is not easy to lose weight at all. They've made the discovery of six distinctive genes why rats and mice get fat, and 55 potential.. markers, genetic areas and other regions that get affected are seen on the body fat chart. But only 'three' genes have been found linking to human obesity, and not as well planned as the animal links. However scientists are doing a top job in revealing the many efficient ways some people's bodies gather fat, even if the have not yet dominated the genes that are making the trouble. So, putting on weight still boils down to one thing and that's.. you, are eating more calories than your body can burn and you should be using a body fat chart. That's the trouble-free part. It gets convoluted when you try to figure out why some people can get away with eating much more food with less exercise, and always stay thin or skinny. That's where heredity, metabolism, and also possibly, the type of diet you have all come into play.

In a major swing in thinking, quick weight loss diets and health communities now consider chronic disease to be linked top obesity, just like cancer and heart disease. But, you might disagree, why do the experts say it is a disease when it can be cured with a healthy diet? Haven't you been listening to the news? A number of large-scale, scientifically solid studies have shown that with the right diet and training programs, just about half of those with high blood pressure can toss their medications away for ever and ditto for diabetes. Society sympathises with these diseases and they get the drug treatment nod. But obesity? Talk about critical... not only are overweight people expected to get the better of it on their own, but they are made to feel like a failure if they can't. It may seem like an honour to welcome obesity into the disease club, but it means that the situation will get more research attention and increase the likelihood of a cure. As scientists start figuring out the physiology of obesity, they are also creating drugs to attack this condition at its very genetic and hormonal roots.

The Calorie Curse and what the heck are calories anyway?

Yes folks, it all starts with Calories, calories aren't molecules or any-thing, but units of measure, like inches or degrees Fahrenheit. The energy your body wants is measured in calories and so is the energy in food. It's not always the 1,000 calories in a Big Mac that will make you feel more lively than the 260 calories in a plain burger (in fact, it's almost certainly the contrary). In this case.. energy, refers to the probable - fuel value - that food provides. The 1,000 calories are like half a tank of fuel.. the 260 calories is about an eighth of a tank. If you were lost in the jungle on a desert island, the Big Mac will tend you going longer than the plain burger. Some of that Big Mac might get stored as fat, to be used later, while you'd burn up the plain burger heaps quickly.

Unless you get trapped on a desert island somewhere, you've got to contend with a world brimming over with food, making it really easy to eat too much. Without a body fat chart, it is the usual story that your body uses more calories than it really needs, the rest gets stored as fat and that is why you may need a body fat chart.

Welcome, David Lloyd writes about personal development and weight loss related topics. Healthy Snack Recipes provide Top Diet programs to learn the easy ways to lose weight and keep the weight off. Click on the link Now to see the LATEST and the BEST in weight loss products. ==> Quick-Weight-Loss-Diets

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Stress Can Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack, Study

Sad Eyes
Sad Eyes
Anna Mutwil
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In a classic example of mind over matter, scientific evidence suggests that if you believe the stress in your life will get the better of you, there's a good chance that it might actually come true new research suggests. According to a report published in European Heart Journal, a person's perception of stress can have a tremendous impact on the health of the heart. This finding underscores the importance of remaining calm in crises and giving yourself a time to relax.

A team of researchers led by Hermann Nabi of the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health made the connection during an investigation of how people's perception of stress impacted their health. To this end they analyzed 7268 middle aged men and women who had participated in the British Whitehall II cohort study.

Nabi et al wanted to show that a person's perception of how stress affected their health really would have an impact on their well-being. And what better way to test their hypotheses than to look at people who participated in an 18 year health study?

The researchers looked at the responses that the men and women provided to the following question:"To what extent do you feel that the stress or pressure you have experienced in your life has affected your health?"

The participants were given the following response options:

  • "not at all"
  • "slightly"
  • "moderately"
  • "a lot"
  • "extremely"

Nabi and his colleagues assessed the participants' cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors using responses to another questionnaire regarding physical activity level, alcohol consumption, diet, etc. 


A Person's Perception Of Stress Can Impact Their Health

The researchers learned that people who perceived stress to have affected their health "a lot or extremely" were at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). In fact, people who believed that stress had such an impact on their health had a 2.12 times greater risk of suffering a heart atack or dying from one.

Talk about mind over matter - the results of Nabi's research essentially show that if a person thinks that stress impacts his/her health, those perceptions may just become a deadly reality.

The data presented in Nabi's report is hard to dismiss because it is based on what the researchers call " a large and well characterized cohort" with "endpoints that have been tracked over an extended period of time."

Indeed, over the 18 years of follow up, 352 people either suffered their very first non fatal heart attack, or died from a cardiac event.

The authors point out that while the Whitehall II study was primarily focused on work related stress, their investigation was into the perception of stress's impact on the participants' health. That distinction, Nabi et al assert, may account for the differences in individual responses to stress and their related outcomes.

 Granted, many of the people whom were quick to respond that perceived stress affected their health "a lot or extremely" tended to be diabetic, smokers, less likely to eat fruits and vegetables and more likely to self-rate their health as "poor", it is hard to argue against the finding that stress can be unhealthy.

While Nabi's is the first to examine the association between a person's perception of stress's impact on their health and incidents of heart disease, results from the Women's Health Study (WHS) points to stress's harmful effects on the heart.

In that study, researchers found that women in high stress jobs were much more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than women in less stressful jobs.

When I read Nabi's findings, one thing that particularly stood out to me was that people who experienced high psychological disterss and had poor social support at work tended to perceive that stress impacted their health "a lot or extremely".

What caught my attention about his study was that it reminded me of studies which found that loneliness, cognitive decline and depression were associated with poor cardiac health.

People who are lonely, or isolated may focus more on their worries than people who have happier, more cheerful things upon which to focus their thoughts.

If people worry and fret about such and such stressor believing that is going to make them sick, they may actually will this into becoming true.

So, when you stop to think about it, if a person doesn't allow himself/herself to become bogged down with worry it could be better for their heart in the long run.

According to Nabi and his colleagues: "From a clinical perspective these findings suggest that participant's perception of the impact of stress on their health may indeed be accurate." and go on to say that complaints about how stress adversely impacts health shouldn't be ignored "as they may indicate increased risk of developing CHD."

"In the future, randomized control trials are needed to determine whether disease risk can be reduced by increasing clinical attention to those who complain that stress greatly affects their health." the researchers added.


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Article Sources

Nabi H, Kivimäki M, Batty GD, Shipley MJ, Britton A, Brunner EJ, Vahtera J, Lemogne C, Elbaz A, & Singh-Manoux A (2013). Increased risk of coronary heart disease among individuals reporting adverse impact of stress on their health: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. European heart journal PMID: 23804585

Loneliness Is Linked To Cognitive Decline And Death 

Living Alone Is A Heartbreaker

High Stress Jobs Linked To Heart Problems In Women


"Stress Can Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack, Study" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



One-Leg Extension - A Perfect Resistance Training Exercise to Build Your Calf Muscles

One-Leg Extension - A Perfect Resistance Training Exercise to Build Your Calf Muscles

One-Leg Extension - A Perfect Resistance Training Exercise to Build Your Calf Muscles
By Guy Long

If your bony skeleton and imbalanced body posture make you look funny, then resistance training exercises make a perfect solution for you. Not only these exercises add muscle mass to your body, but they also strengthen and tone your muscles. Another benefit of incorporating resistance training routine in your daily schedule is that it boosts your immune system and provides protection against numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and cardiovascular problems.

When performed in the supervision of a qualified fitness trainer, resistance training exercises can get you your desired results extremely quickly. In fact, a resistance training routine is a combination of exercises that targets each and every muscle of your body. In order to train your large muscle groups, you need to choose a perfect combination of exercises that suits your body. A fitness trainer not only suggests you a right combination of single muscle as well as compound exercises, but also guide you on how to execute them safely.

It is important that you train your upper as well as lower body to get an ideal and impressive physique. Among lower-body exercises, One-Leg Extension makes a magnificent resistance training workout that builds and strengthens your calf muscles. All professional athletes especially sprinters and long-distance runners perform this exercise to strengthen their calves.

One-Leg Extension is different from Two-Legs Extension as the former exercise emphasizes on developing quad muscle as well. In order to perform the One-Leg Extension, you need to sit on a machine or bench with pulling the leg that you are not using for the exercise outside around the machine. However, you can keep your both legs inside the bench as well. Now, put your hands on your quad or use them to grip the corner of the bench to get a good balance during this exercise.

Next step is to lift the weight up with your one leg and flex it on top. Maintain this position for a few seconds and then slowly bring the weight down to complete one rep. Make sure that you perform 3-4 sets, 10-12 reps each. Now, switch to other leg and repeat the same procedure with the same numbers of sets as well as reps. When performing this exercise, make sure that you control the weight. Moreover, if you feel difficulty in performing this exercise, then you can put less weight on the machine in order to have a better control on it throughout the movement. Don't over train your calf muscles as doing this may lead to a severe lower-body injury.

Guy Long is a Personal Trainer in Balaclava and runs Boot Camps in St.Kilda where he specializes in resistance training, body transformation, weight control, and overall muscular strength for local residents.

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Bands and Bells

Bands and Bells

Bands and Bells
By Callie Durbrow

Exercise or Resistance bands serve two excellent purposes. On the one hand, they are great for general conditioning and strength training. They are also VERY useful in 'preventing' exercise or sports related injury, and in physical rehabilitation.

Using resistance bands requires good balance and coordination. You actually use more muscle groups to help stabilize your body while you workout. It is also easier to focus on specific groups of muscles than it is with just weight training. Resistance bands also allow you to vary your workouts as you can create resistance in any direction. This helps you work on groups of muscles that generally are not worked. You can also alter the difficulty or the tension level depending on your focus. Their versatility is their strength. A very small alteration in the angle of movement will target a another set of muscles. Working out with resistance bands engages your 'core' toning and strengthening your torso and tummy while you are actually doing other exercises.

If you are doing circuit training, working with resistance bands make an ideal addition to that format. It helps to strengthen specific muscle groups, and is great for the cardiovascular system. It also eliminates the "I wont be able to exercise for a few days, because I'm traveling" excuse, as the bands are very compact and lightweight, making them perfect for on-the-go fitness maintenance. A Cambridge personal trainer can tell you which size bands are right for you, and get you started on a good program keeping your objectives front and center.

Another excellent exercise tool is the Kettle bell, which is used to increase endurance and strength, while heightening your agility and balance. Using full body movement, it works the muscles and the cardiovascular system and is said to help athletes move forward and reach breakthroughs when they feel stuck in a rut with their routines.

The kettle bell is enjoying a measure of popularity for a number of reasons. It takes us back to the principle of whole body health and fitness. Using the kettle bell requires a focus on the entire body, as working with it forces especially the 'core' to act as a group. The kettle bell works multiple groups of muscles at the same time, making it a great tool for working your entire body.

These exercise tools can be used independently or as part of the stations in a full on fat loss circuit training routine. Happy Exercising!!!

Callie Durbrow is a strength coach and personal trainer in Boston, Massachusetts. She currently trains clients to lose body fat, gain strength, and challenge their bodies with each session. Her training style is a combination of conventional strength work, modified strongman training, and overall conditioning. Visit her at to find out more about personal training and small group training.

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The Enzymes You Eat

The Enzymes You Eat

The Enzymes You Eat
By Helena Ederveen

Enzymes are catalysts. That means that they increase the speed and effect of chemical reactions without being changed themselves. All life is a series of chemical reactions and these constant chemical reactions that allow us to live is known as the metabolic process. Our bodies need enzymes for the metabolism to function. Without sufficient enzymes, the functioning of the body will be adversely affected leading to all kinds of medical complications. There are millions of different enzymes and science has yet to identify them all.

The enzymes we need to continue living are provided to our bodies by the food we eat. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have had a negative impact on our diets and consequently on our intake of enzymes. We all know about the dangers of eating the wrong types of food, overcooked foods and processed foods and the dangers to our health. But what we often overlooked is the effect that these foods have on the enzyme levels in out bodies.

Nearly all forms of raw food are highly perishable. When these raw foods are exposed to high temperatures (in other words are cooked) they begin to break down very quickly and a large number of chemical changes take place. One of the most affected are the enzymes in the food. Enzymes are proteins and have a three dimensional structure. Heat causes the structure to change and this changes the catalytic capabilities of the enzymes and often completely destroys them. Either way, that's not what we need.

Enzymes which are exposed to heat are no longer in their natural state and this means that they are unable to function as they are supposed to - being the catalysts that supports the metabolic system of the body. So the more cooked food you eat, the less enzymes your body is ingesting. The body is also able to produce enzymes of its own, principally from the pancreas. But these are not in sufficient quantity to meet the metabolism's needs. So the pancreas pushes itself to produce more. While this is fine in the short term, over a period of years the pancreas and other organs become weak due to the excess strain placed on them. This weakness impairs their functioning and among other effects, reduced their ability to produce enzymes.

Additionally, enzymes are important to our digestive process since they help to break down the food we consume.Cooked food not only has less enzymes, it also requires more enzymes to enable it to be properly digested. Its really a vicious cycle.

As we grow older, our digestive system becomes naturally weaker and we have to be more careful with our diets. But the degree of care and the nature of the foods our bodies can accept is dependent, to a large extent, on the ability of the pancreas and the other organs to produce enzymes. The weaker and less efficient these organs are, the more problems we will have with our digestive system as we age.

While enzyme supplements are becoming more common - perhaps due to the kinds of food we are eating more and more of, the best way to provide your body with the enzymes it needs is through the natural process of eating. The more raw fruits and vegetables you eat, the better for the enzyme levels in your body.

There is no need to go to extremes and eat only raw and unprocessed foods. That is not practical. But understanding what your body needs, why these things are needed and eating with this in mind will go a long way towards keeping your body in good condition. There is an old saying - "We are what we eat." It would be more accurate to say - "We are what's in what we eat."

For more in dept information you can go to Holistic health practitioner

Helena Ederveen is an Associate Member Australasian College Nutritional & Environmental Medicine; Clinical Nutritionist; Certified Master Practitioner NLP & Advanced Practitioner Eriksonian Hypnosis; Counsellor. 25 Years Experience. Are You Serious About Discovering Your Own Individual Blueprint Of Health? Free "Health Blueprint" Assessment.

My own health is what has driven me to become supremely qualified as a holistic health practitioner.

By 2002 I was involved in looking at pathology profiles with completely different eyes. It deepened my understanding of certain scientific laboratory technologies that can define and suggest how to rectify health imbalances before they mature into full-fledged disease.

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Stress and the Toll It Takes on Your Skin

Stress and the Toll It Takes on Your Skin

Stress and the Toll It Takes on Your Skin
By Jay Brachfeld, M.D.

When you were a teenager do you remember getting a case of an angry red, acne breakout or hives the day before that big date or mid-term exam? I sure do and so do many of my patients. It's true, stress can wreak havoc on your skin and be the culprit in sudden outbreaks of acne, itchy rashes, hives, dryness, and even sagging. In fact, a whole new field of medicine, called psychodermatology, focuses on why the skin is so responsive to our emotional state of mind. Here's what I tell my patients about the emotions/skin connection and how you can control it.

Why Does Stress Affect Your Skin?

When a patient comes in with a particular skin upset, the first thing I ask them is how's their life going? Are they under a lot of stress or are things generally okay? Studies show that about 30% of dermatology patients have an unaddressed life stressor occurring at the same time as their skin condition. The answers from my patients to these questions point me in right direction in both treating their skin condition and preventing it from recurring.

Interestingly, the brain and skin are made up of the same cells and, as such, influence each other. As I explain to my patients, just as someone can get an upset stomach when they're nervous, or a bad headache when they're tense, or their blood pressure goes up when they get angry, your skin can similarly react to stress. Here are some of the typical stress/skin conditions that I see:

Sudden Acne Outbreak: You get nervous, or tense, in reaction to a certain event, and your body over produces cortisol, a stress hormone. The elevation of cortisol in turn creates a lot of sebum (a waxy oily substance) which, combined with skin bacteria, creates acne.

Hives: A stressful situation causes your body to flood with histamines, as if you're allergic to stress and your body is trying to reject it. Taking an antihistamine relieves the hives and the itching but finding a way to control how your body reacts to the stressor is also important.

Wrinkles, Dryness, Itchiness: These can all be a sign of internal inflammation, which can be a reaction to stress as well. Perhaps you need more Omega-3's in your diet, antioxidants, or water.

Sagging skin. Sagging skin can also be caused by stress through either a life event or just from dieting. You don't get enough sleep and/or are forgetting to drink enough water and/or have decreased food, vitamins and minerals intake. Your skin can become lax and lose its tone. Once you start sleeping more, eating better and getting more fluid intake, your skin usually recovers.

On the flip-side, skin outbreaks and conditions can themselves be the cause of stress through diminished self-esteem and/or depression about how you look. When it comes to your skin, it's important to consider the mind-body connection in helping a patient feel and look their best.

How You Can Minimize The Stress Effect On Your Skin

Short-lived skin outbreaks from nervousness like the big date example can be handled using the following methods:


  • Cleanliness. Keeping your skin as clean as possible can help prevent an outbreak from over-reacting sebum glands. Also, refrain from touching your face a lot or leaning on hands, to prevent bacteria from hands transferring to your face.
  • Hydrate, hydrate! Drinking enough water will help flush out impurities from your body and prevent constipation which can also contribute to skin flares.
  • Moisturize. Helps fight dryness and itchiness. Look for one that won't clog pores or use pure extra-virgin olive oil mixed with a little aloe vera.
  • Retinol-A. A form of Vitamin A that exfoliates dead skin cells and helps heal acne and diminish wrinkles and age spots as well as thicken skin.
  • Glycolic acid. This can help heal acne flare-ups quickly and help reduce redness.
  • Cosmetic covers. There are some excellent mineral powder based skin cover products on the market with concealers that reduce inflammation and cover the outbreak.
  • Benadryl. Keep a bottle of over-the-counter Benadryl on hand to treat an outbreak of hives. Be sure, however, that the outbreak actually is hives and not measles or chicken pox. Best to let your doctor determine.


More long-term stressors such as chronic illness, marital problems, death of a loved one, all can rob the healthy appearance of your skin. In addition to the above suggestions, also try:


  • Relaxation. Relax through aerobic exercise and/or massage therapy, reflexology.
  • Counseling. Addressing, and finding solutions to dealing with, ongoing stressors can help your skin be healthier. These might including cognitive and behavioral therapy strategies to help you learn how not to react to certain situations.
  • Natural relaxants/mood elevators. Try a few drops of tincture of Valerian in caffeine-free tea such as chamomile, or red Roiboos. Warm baths using herbs like lavender, rosemary, basil, sage are stress-busters that help you let go of built up tensions.
  • Vitamins and Minerals. Be sure you're getting enough B vitamins that stress can deplete and antioxidants like C, E, D, resveratrol, CoQ10, and minerals like magnesium. Super Primrose Oil is a rich source of linoleic acid that helps fight inflammation.
  • Sleep. Lack of sleep can create a whole domino-effect of bad health responses and shows up first on your skin. Get 6-8 hours a night.


In addition to feeling stressed out, none of us like to be embarrassed, or depressed, by unsightly acne outbreaks or feeling that we look older with dry, wrinkled, sagging skin! The good news is, though, if you can get your stress levels under control, and make good effort to pay attention to skin hygiene, nutritional intake, get fresh air and sunlight, exercise and rest, you can prevent, or greatly minimize, your skin reacting badly to whatever stressors come your way!

Stay Well,

Jay Brachfeld, M.D.

Article Source:,_M.D.

Do Your Own Thing As A Humble Servant Of God

Should You Make The Accomplishments Your Own?



Have you ever marveled at mankind's greatest accomplishments? Space flight, fast speed trains, nanotechnology and the like? Have you ever been fascinated by the physical prowess of the world's greatest athletes? Or the creations of musicians, poets and artists?

Have you ever thought about what you can do to add to humanity's greatest achievements? We, all of us, have something to contribute to the human race, but very few people believe this. All to often people sit on the sidelines either marveling at or resenting other's accomplishments.

When a loved one graduates from college, buys their first home, etc. we feel good about it. We may even tell anyone who will listen about it. But as wonderful as this feels, it is secondary to what we have accomplished.

Yet, the underlying reason for this is because we are putting ourselves before God.

Although it is true that we must set goals, large and small, we must also put this into perspective. Even though it may seem that we should aim high and then take the necessary steps to accomplish what we set out to attain, we must reflect on what it is that we are attempting to attain.

Weight lifting, for example, is an excellent outlet for establishing goals.

When you exercise for the first time, your body might not respond with ease and confidence. You might even feel sore and miserable after the workout.

But we must remember that we should do this for the glory of God. We are created in His image and thus we should seek to take care of our body. Thus when we exercise, we don't give up because we know that in weightlifting with a right frame of mind, we glorify Him. Over time, as your body adjusts to new movements, it will respond better, the workouts will become easier, because God created your body to adapt to the stresses associated with weight lifting.

From there, you can face new challenges knowing that it is not yourself who gives you the power, but God. God will give you as He sees fit, the strength to achieve new heights, to see and to do more. You can put your physical strength to good use in His service.

The same goes for learning to cook new foods, read new books, make new friends, etc. Always focus on God and ask Him to lead you in the right direction.

When we rely on Him, we won't have to be envious of others or to feel inadequate about our accomplishments. If you focus on God, you will do your own thing to glorify God. You will not feel the need to imitate others, but instead will have the excitement and desire to live your life in a way that glorifies God in all that you do.

Placing Go first will motivate you to get up in the morning and give hope for a new day. Each of us has something to contribute in life. When we accept that God loves us and wants us to do things that glorify Him and helps those in need, you will know because it will make you happy and strong.


Please remember those who suffer in Your name.

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