Posts tagged: baby boomer health

Baby Boomer Health: Summer Insect Bites and Stings

Mosquito Bite Relief

Mosquito Bite Relief

Having just been victimized by a horde of mosquitoes all in the space of about 10 minutes, I thought I would share some anti-itch remedies with you.  I don’t like putting chemicals on (or in for that matter) my body so anything I use has to be natural.  There are lots of ideas on what works out there but here are some of the more common ones.

Aloe Vera
My personal favorite!  The fresh gel relieves skin irritations and inflammation from insect bites and stings.  It does wonders for the itching.

Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as well as having a wonderfully calming scent.  Apply a few drops directly to the bite to reduce the itching.

Peppermint Essential Oil
The volatile oils – primarily menthol – have cooling, anti-inflammatory  properties which soothe the itchiness from bites and stings.

Tea Tree Oil
Tree tea lotion, cream or a compress can ease the itchiness of insect bites, poison ivy rash and numerous other skin irritations.

Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is rich in tannins and various terpenes, including citronellal, the pleasant-smelling oil that is a popular mosquito repellent.  When applied topically, it also relieves the itchiness of mosquito bites and other insect stings.

Witch Hazel
The astringent properties of witch hazel relieve the itching of insect bites.

Apply some to a cotton ball and dab it on the bite. 

Lemon or Lime
On occasion when I’ve been out at a restaurant and haven’t been able to access any of the above, I’ve asked for some slices of lemon or lime and then rubbed those on the bites.  It may not always relieve the itch but it will reduce your chances of getting an infection from scratching.

If you have a personal favorite, please feel free to share it by adding a comment.

Baby Boomer Health: Migraine Headaches – A Case History

“Mary” came to see me to discuss an ongoing health challenge. While discussing this issue, she also complained that she was in the process of getting another migraine headache and added that she would shortly have to take her drugs or she would become severely incapacitated. 

She agreed to try EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to alleviate her symptoms.  We spent some time tapping on a number of aspects including “this feeling in my head”, “this tightness in my shoulder”, “this coming migraine”, etc. After 10 minutes she no longer had any sense of an oncoming migraine headache.  She took no drugs and had not had a headache some two to three weeks later.

Having worked with thousands of people, Caroline Myss, Ph.D, a medical intuitive, gives an energy analysis of migraine headaches by describing them as developing in response to an attempt to control one’s emotional reactions of anger, frustration, rage or other emotions containing the same type of energy. The control refers to the individual trying to prevent an emotional explosion from occurring externally and so it occurs internally. 

The need to control is the major characteristic of people prone to migraines. Since women are more prone to internalize their reactions, it is not surprising that they are more affected by these headaches.  Additionally, most physicians recognize that migraine sufferers tend to be compulsively neat and tend towards perfectionism. These traits can also lead to other types of headaches.

If you are prone to migraines, ask yourself:

  • What am I trying to control?
  • What emotion do I want to keep inside?
  • What happened that made me think I’m not perfect?
  • What am I angry or frustrated at?
  • Do I have a pattern of this emotion and/or the migraines/headaches?
  • What is making me want to explode?
  • What tension am I allowing to building up inside me?

Not only may the answers prove to be insightful as to your “hot buttons”, but you may be able to avert a future migraine episode by using EFT.  If you would like to learn more about EFT, please contact me at

Drink to Your Health

Water is the Healthy Beverage

Water is the Healthy Beverage

Now that summer is on the way, I’d like to help you start the season off in a healthy way by encouraging you to add an important ingredient to your diet — water.  We need to be drinking enough water all year round but it is even more important in the summer when we lose more water due to heat and perspiration.

Your body weight is made up of 50 – 75% water depending on your size.  Many bodily systems only function at optimum levels when you are well hydrated.  For example, water transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body keeping your immune system strong.  It prevents illness by carrying toxins out of the body.  And studies have shown that water helps the body to metabolize stored fat.
There’s a good chance that your body may be dehydrated if you experience any one or more of the following problems:
– dry skin or eyes
– fogginess or fatigue
– constipation
– low mental performance
– dizziness
– low blood pressure
– sore joints
– swollen feet, legs or hands
We usually don’t think about drinking water until we feel thirsty.  But by then the body is already dehydrated.  Most of us know that we should drink more water yet we usually forget, so here are some ways you might remind yourself:

  1. Purchase a large water bottle and make it a point to finish at least 3 a day.
  2. Keep a bottle of water in your car, your office or briefcase. Make sure the bottle is made of a “safe” plastic (to avoid chemicals leaching into the water) or use glass or stainless steel.
  3. Drink a large glass of water before every meal.
  4. Write the word “water” on a card and place it where you will see it every day.
  5. Set an alarm to ring every hour and drink a glass of water when it goes off.

Under certain circumstances you will need to drink more than the recommended 8 glasses of water a day.  For example, if you exercise regularly you’ll need to drink more.  And, if you drink alcohol or caffeine, you’ll need an extra glass for every drink you have (both cause dehydration).
Stop and check in with your body right now.  Are you thirsty? Does your skin feel dry?  Is your thinking clear or foggy?  Make it your goal to increase your water consumption every day.  You’ll know you’ve created a new healthy habit when you find yourself automatically reaching for more water throughout the day.

Baby Boomer Health: Make Friends With Probiotics

If you view bacteria as only being associated with illness and disease, then you may want to take a closer look.  Our bodies actually require certain bacteria to stay healthy.  These “friendly” bacteria, called probiotics, can provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. 

Did you know that about 70% percent of your body’s immune system is located in the digestive tract?  Definitely a good reason to keep that part of the body healthy! Taking drugs such antibiotics, penicillin, steroids and birth control pills, and issues such as yeasts and fungus, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and some cancers can decrease intestinal flora. Research has shown that consuming certain specific probiotics on a regular basis can help strengthen the body’s natural defenses, or improve digestive health, particularly in folks over 60 who have far fewer friendly bacteria in the gut than others. 

I can be friendly

I can be friendly

Probiotics can be taken as supplements or as components of fermented milk, products such as kefir, yogurt and cheeses or fermented vegetable products like sauerkraut. Generally, supplements contain a greater number and variety of bacteria and are therefore more effective than yogurt which is required to only contain two starter cultures.  A recommended dosage for supplements is between one billion and ten billion bacteria per day. More is better!

The bacteria should be stored properly (refrigerated in dark glass) and taken between meals to avoid the acidity of the stomach which can dissolve them. Products should list the number of viable bacteria and carry an expiration date to ensure freshness.  Taking the bacteria as a powder is preferable since they can be damaged when formed into tablets and capsules.  For long-term benefits, bacteria should be taken on a regular basis to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that conditions commonly experienced by aging Baby Boomers —constipation, calcium deficiency and a weakening of the immune system — are all improved by probiotics. So maybe it’s time to start thinking of bacteria as friends rather than foes!

Baby Boomer Health Tip: Breathe for Stress Relief and Anti-Aging

Deep breathing provides the body with numerous benefits. It is a simple but very effective method of relaxation.  It is an easy stress reliever that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood (which ‘wakes up’ the brain), relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. It can help you reduce muscle tension and manage the effects of the fight-or-flight response on your body. This is particularly important if you need to think clearly and perform precisely when you are under pressure.

Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash.

As we go through life we pick up bad breathing habits. Being in a hurry most of the time, the increased stress of modern living and negative emotional states (anger, excitement, frustration) all impact the way we breathe, causing it to be shallow and fast. We become more fatigued since oxygen is important to energy production and our immune system is impaired so that we are more susceptible to disease.  Shallow breathing has also been linked to dizziness, fatigue, stomach problems, gas, sleep disorders, anxiety, muscle cramps, and chest pain

Degenerative diseases and premature aging start with low oxygen levels so start today with this simple exercise.
Place a hand on your abdomen, below your navel. Inhale slowly and deeply, feeling your abdomen rise beneath your hand as you fill with air. Exhale slowly, feeling your hand sink as you use your diaphragm to push the air out. Continue to breathe this way, focusing on using your diaphragm instead of your chest to move the air in and out of your body.  Remember to breathe through your nose, not your mouth.

Now take a number of deep breaths and relax your body further with each breath.  That’s all there is to it!

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