Monthly Archives: November 2006

Experience Is The Teacher

All the living creatures of the world learn everything from Experience.It is the Experience that teaches us “How to live the life”
Though we humans are self-aware, we nonetheless cannot distance ourselves from the world around us and have a natural tendency to ascribe meaning to all that we experience. The significance we perceive in our experiences is rooted in our observation of patterns as they relate to ourselves. One situation has the power to teach us about life because it exposes us to something unfamiliar. Another touches our emotions deeply by enabling us to see how fortunate we are. Yet our initial impressions of an experience may not wholly reveal the true significance of that occurrence because our full response to an experience is like an onion with many layers that all have disparate meanings. Consider that a sunrise may stun us visually while simultaneously evoking memories of childhood and reminding us that each new day is a rebirth.

If you take the time to examine your experiences closely, you will discover that your original impressions may only be a part of a larger story of significance. Peeling away the layers of an event or incident can be a fun and interesting process if you allow it. To begin, relive your experience in your mind’s eye and from multiple perspectives if possible. Your interpretation of any situation is based not only on facts but also on feelings, beliefs, and your values. As you ruminate upon your experience, spend a few moments contemplating how you felt when it began and how your feelings had changed by its end. Ask yourself what abstractions, if any, it awakened in your mind. If an experience stirs up questions within your soul, it may be that in striving to answer them a new layer of meaning may reveal itself to you.

The significance of an experience may remain hidden to you for some time. The meaning of an event can change when viewed from another context or may only become apparent after intense meditation. An incident that seemed superficial may unexpectedly touch us deeply later in our lives. If you take a truly open-minded approach to your examination of each new level and do not shy away from revelations that could prove painful, you will learn much about your relationship to the world around you. And the refined impression you glean from your experiences after contemplating their significance can add a new richness and texture to your life.

Help taken from:Daily Om

MEDICINES DON’T HELP BRONCHITIS

Antibiotics are often prescribed for treatment of bronchitis, but they are mostly useless, since nearly all cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, not bacteria. A new review published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that 70 to 80 percent of people with bronchitis are still prescribed antibiotics, which means they may get side effects like abdominal pain, diarrhea and rashes without getting any benefit from the medication. Furthermore, reviewers from Virginia Commonwealth University find that nearly 100 percent of bronchitis patients received a prescription for cough medication, despite the fact that cough medications are also ineffective for bronchitis. Most cases of bronchitis clear up easily in a few days, but people with high fevers, especially those that persist more than a day or two, should consult a doctor.

Source:ABC News

Best Flu Remedies

6 steps to take at the first sign of flu symptoms.

At the First Sign of the Flu
Unlike the common cold, which is annoying but ultimately harmless, the flu can be dangerous — even deadly. Your best bet? Focusing on the twin Super Threats of chronic stress and immune weakness. With a strong immune system, you’re much more likely to fight off this potential killer.
If you do get the flu, act fast. Prescription antiviral medications can help you get better faster, and numerous studies find that natural remedies can also significantly reduce the amount of time you suffer — but you need to take them at the very first sign of symptoms, or as a precaution during flu season.

Do This Now
Follow these six steps at the first sign of the flu.
1. Call your doctor and ask for an antiviral medication such as amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir, or oseltamivir.

2. At the same time, start taking 1 tablespoon of the liquid elderberry extract Sambucol four times a day for three to five days.

3. Also start taking the homeopathic remedy Anas Barbariae Hepatis et cordis extractum 200c, more commonly known as Oscillococcinum or Flu Remedy. Follow the dosage instructions on the package.

4. To relieve headache and achiness, take 500 to 1,000 milligrams of enteric-coated aspirin, 200 milligrams of ibuprofen, or 500 to 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen every four to six hours, or 275 milligrams of naproxen twice a day. Don’t take acetaminophen if you have liver disease. Don’t give aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen to children or adolescents (use acetaminophen instead).

5. Now that you’re medicated, work on bringing your fever down to make yourself more comfortable. Start with cool compresses on the pulse points at the neck, throat, and wrists.

6. If your fever is still high and you’re still achy, add a cup of Epsom or sea salt to a warm tub, soak for 20 minutes, then wrap up warmly and lie under blankets to induce a sweat. Adding 10 to 15 drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to the bath will help with congestion, cough, and muscle aches.

Why It Works, Plus More Approaches
Antiviral drugs can decrease the severity and length of your infection if you take them within the first day or two of symptoms. They’re particularly helpful if you got the flu even though you were vaccinated, because chances are you’re dealing with a different strain from the ones in the vaccine.

Sambucol also fights the flu directly. One well-designed study of 60 patients, all of whom had the flu, found that those who received the supplement were nearly recovered by the third or fourth day of treatment, whereas it took seven to eight days for the people in the placebo group to feel better. Researchers think that compounds called anthocyanins in elderberry may be responsible; they boost the immune system and also seem to prevent the flu virus from sticking to cells.

The other treatments are all about making you more comfortable and relieving aches and pains. The warm bath has an added effect: it causes a slight increase in body temperature, which makes bacteria-killing enzymes more effective, potentially helping to prevent a secondary bacterial infection when your defenses are down.

Other Medicines and Approaches
Fenugreek. If you’re coughing, take 2 capsules three or four times a day. This herb helps thin mucus and also soothes a dry cough. (Note that it makes your urine smell sweet.)

Cough suppressants. If you want to use a cough suppressant, choose one that contains dextromethorphan. At night, try Delsym, which lasts for 12 hours.

Sports creams. For body aches, massage a pain-relief rub or sports cream like Ben-Gay or Tiger Balm onto the achy areas.

Fluids. Drink lots and lots of fluids, both hot and cold. Avoid caffeinated and overly sweet drinks like sodas and undiluted fruit juices.

From:Best Remedies

15 Simple Ways To Cut 50 Calories

A little here, a little there. Cutting calories is easier than you think!

Think small! Trimming even just a small percentage of your body weight can do wonders for your health.

And eating just a bit less is the way to do it. Shaving calories here and there is easier than you think.

All it takes are a few no-sweat efforts like the ones that follow. Pick two a day and you’ll cut 100 calories. Burn 100 more calories a day (a 15- to 20-minute walk will do the trick) and you’ll lose almost half a pound a week. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to 20 pounds a year!

1. Leave the cheese off your sandwich.

2. Use 1 cup skim milk instead of 1 cup whole milk.

3. Use a nonstick spray instead of 2 teaspoons oil.

4. Drink seltzer or diet soda instead of regular soda.

5. Have an English muffin instead of a doughnut

6. Use 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise instead of 1 tablespoon regular mayo.

7. Eat 2 tablespoons less ice cream.

8. Drink 4 ounces less juice.

9. Use 1 tablespoon less cream cheese.

10. Order small fries instead of large fries.

11. Use 1 tablespoon less salad dressing.

12. Use one less pat of margarine

13. Substitute 4 ounces ground turkey for 4 ounces ground beef.

14. Have 1 ounce of pretzels instead of 1 ounce of potato chips.

15. Substitute 1 tablespoon jam for 1 tablespoon butter.

Source:Raeader’s Digest

Garlic: The Herbal “Wonder Drug”

Discover the benefits of this common kitchen plant.
Garlic has been used throughout history to ward off the Plague and to protect soldiers from gangrene. Today this herbal “wonder drug” is used for a myriad of health problems, including high cholesterol and coughs. More information about garlic’s benefits can be found at this likn.

Know Your Garlic

For those looking to reduce sodium intake, garlic is the answer! The hot, strong taste of fresh garlic gives food a zing no amount of salt can equal. Buy cloves in bulk and store in a cool, dark place. To get the most health benefits out of your garlic:

Always peel it first. Otherwise, some of the disease-preventing compounds might not form.

Give it a break after cutting or crushing it. Leave it there on the cutting board for about 10 minutes to allow the health-promoting compounds to form.

To get rid of garlic breath, chew on fresh parsley, mint, or lemon or orange peels, and use lemon juice to get the odor off your hands.

Healthy Investments

Garlic peelers and garlic crushers are two gadgets that make using fresh garlic not only easy, but fun. A garlic peeler — really, a small plastic tube — takes the work and mess out of peeling garlic. Just put a whole garlic clove inside the tube and roll it back and forth, pressing firmly. Voilà! A naked clove, ready for your garlic crusher.

Click to learn more about:-> Garlic

Source:Stealth Health

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Tips To Prevent Cold & Flu

Keeping the Germs Away:
Chances are, when you’re burrowed under the covers with a box of tissues by your bedside, you turn even greener with envy thinking of those people who seem to never get sick. Want to be one of them?

We can’t promise you’ll never get hit with another cold or suffer another bout of the flu, but you can increase your odds of staying well with these strategies. If you do get sick, we’ve also included some tips for getting better faster.

While colds won’t kill you, they can weaken your immune system to the point that other, more serious, germs can take hold in your body. Just think how many times your cold turned into bronchitis or a sinus infection. And given that the average American adult suffers two to three colds a year, that’s a lot of opportunities for serious illness — and just as many to prevent one! There’s even more incentive to prevent the flu: Every year in the United States about 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the flu or its complications.

1. Wash your hands and wash them often. The Naval Health Research Center conducted a study of 40,000 recruits who were ordered to wash their hands five times a day. The recruits cut their incidence of respiratory illnesses by 45 percent.

2. Wash your hands twice every time you wash them. When Columbia University researchers looked for germs on volunteers’ hands, they found one handwashing had little effect, even when using antibacterial soap. So wash twice if you’re serious about fending off colds.

3. Use this hand-drying strategy in public restrooms. Studies find a shockingly large percentage of people fail to wash their hands after using a public restroom. And every single one of them touches the door handle on the way out. So after washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Use another paper towel to dry your hands, then open the door with that paper towel as a barrier between you and the handle. It sounds nuts, but it’s an actual recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to protect you from infectious diseases like cold and flu.

4. Carry hand sanitizer with you. Colds are typically passed not from coughing or kissing (although those are two modes of transmission) but from hand-to-hand or hand-to-object contact, since most cold viruses can live for hours on objects. You then put your hand in or near your mouth or nose, and voilà! You’re sick. Carry hand sanitizer gel or sanitizing towelettes with you and you can clean your hands anytime, even if the closest water supply is 100 miles away. It works. One study of absenteeism due to infection in elementary schools found schools using the gel sanitizer had absentee rates from infection nearly 20 percent lower than those using other hand-cleaning methods.

5. Use your knuckle to rub your eyes. It’s less likely to be contaminated with viruses than your fingertip. This is particularly important given that the eye provides a perfect entry point for germs, and the average person rubs his eyes or nose or scratches his face 20-50 times a day, notes Jordan Rubin, Ph.D., author of the book The Maker’s Diet.

6. Run your toothbrush through the microwave on high for 10 seconds to kill germs that can cause colds and other illnesses. You think it gets your teeth clean — and it does. But once you’re done brushing, your toothbrush is a breeding ground for germs. Sterilize it in the microwave before you use it, or store it in hydrogen peroxide (rinse well before using), or simply replace it every month when you change the page on your calendar and after you’ve had a cold.

Prevention Is Key
7. Get a flu shot every fall. The Centers for Disease Control recommends flu shots for anyone 50 years old or older, residents of long-term care facilities, people of any age who have chronic medical problems (heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, etc.), pregnant women, and people whose immune systems have been weakened (by cancer, AIDS, or other causes). Also, people who work or live with a high-risk person should get a flu shot so they don’t spread the flu. Of course, anyone who just wants to avoid the flu should also get one. Hate shots? Ask for the nasal spray vaccine.

8. Stop blaming yourself when things go wrong at work. Believe it or not, blaming yourself makes you more likely to catch a cold! At least, that’s what researchers found when they studied more than 200 workers over three months. Even those who had control over their work were more likely to begin sneezing if they lacked confidence or tended to blame themselves when things went wrong. Researchers expect such attitudes make people more stressed on the job, and stress, as you know, can challenge your immune system.

9. Put a box of tissues wherever people sit. Come October, buy a 6- or 12-pack of tissue boxes and strategically place them around the house, your workplace, your car. Don’t let aesthetics thwart you. You need tissues widely available so that anyone who has to cough or sneeze or blow his nose will do so in the way least likely to spread germs.

10. Leave the windows in your house open a crack in winter. Not all of them, but one or two in the rooms in which you spend the most time. This is particularly important if you live in a newer home, where fresh circulating air has been the victim of energy efficiency. A bit of fresh air will do wonders for chasing out germs.

11. Lower the heat in your house 5 degrees. The dry air of an overheated home provides the perfect environment for cold viruses to thrive. And when your mucous membranes (i.e., nose, mouth, and tonsils) dry out, they can’t trap those germs very well. Lowering the temperature and using a room humidifier helps maintain a healthier level of humidity in the winter.

12. Speaking of which, buy a hygrometer. These little tools measure humidity. You want your home to measure around 50 percent. A consistent measure higher than 60 percent means mold and mildew may start to set in your walls, fabrics, and kitchen; lower than 40 percent and the dry air makes you more susceptible to germs.

13. Sit in a sauna once a week. Why? Because an Austrian study published in 1990 found that volunteers who frequently used a sauna had half the rate of colds during the six-month study period than those who didn’t use a sauna at all. It’s possible that the hot air you inhale kills cold viruses. Most gyms have saunas these days.

14. Inhale air from your blow-dryer. It sounds nuts, we know. But one study conducted at Harvard Hospital in England found that people who breathed heated air had half the cold symptoms of people who inhaled air at room temperature. Set the dryer on warm, not hot, and hold it at least 18 inches from your face. Breathe in the air through your nose for as long as you can — 20 minutes is best.

15. Take a garlic supplement every day. When 146 volunteers received either one garlic supplement a day or a placebo for 12 weeks between November and February, those taking the garlic were not only less likely to get a cold, but if they did catch one, their symptoms were less intense and they recovered faster.

Sneeze Brigade
16. Eat a container of yogurt every day. A study from the University of California-Davis found that people who ate one cup of yogurt — whether live culture or pasteurized — had 25 percent fewer colds than non-yogurt eaters. Start your yogurt eating in the summer to build up your immunity before cold and flu season starts.

17. Once a day, sit in a quiet, dim room, close your eyes, and focus on one word. You’re meditating, a proven way to reduce stress. And stress, studies find, increases your susceptibility to colds. In fact, stressed people have up to twice the number of colds as non-stressed people.

18. Scrub under your fingernails every night. They’re a great hiding place for germs.

19. Change or wash your hand towels every three or four days during cold and flu season. When you wash them, use hot water in order to kill the germs.

20. At the very first hint of a cold, launch the following preventive blitz. Here’s how:

Suck on a zinc lozenge until it melts away. Then suck another every two waking hours. Or use a zinc-based nasal spray such as Zicam.

Take one 250-milligram capsule of the herb astragalus twice a day until you are better.

Cook up a pot of chicken soup.

Roast garlic in the oven (drizzle whole clove with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil, roast for an hour at 400°F), then spread the soft garlic on toast and eat.

Studies find that all either reduce the length of time you suffer with a cold or help prevent a full-blown cold from occurring.

21. Wipe your nose — don’t blow. Your cold won’t hang around as long, according to a University of Virginia study. Turns out that the force of blowing not only sends the gunk out of your nose into a tissue, but propels some back into your sinuses. And, in case you’re curious, they discovered this using dye and X rays. If you need to blow, blow gently, and blow one nostril at a time.

22. Sneeze and cough into your arm or a tissue. Whoever taught us to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze got it wrong. That just puts the germs right on our hands, where you can spread them to objects — and other people. Instead, hold the crook of your elbow over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough if a tissue isn’t handy. It’s pretty rare that you shake someone’s elbow or scratch your eye with an elbow, after all.

23. Don’t pressure your doctor for antibiotics. Colds and flu (along with most common infections) are caused by viruses, so antibiotics — designed to kill bacteria — won’t do a thing. They can hurt, however, by killing off the friendly bacteria that are part of our immune defenses. If you’ve used antibiotics a lot lately, consider a course of probiotics — replacement troops for friendly bacteria.

From: Stealth Health

Chill spells high cardiac risk

Harsh winters are bad news for heart patients as cold weather triggers heart attacks, particularly in people suffering from high blood pressure.

Cardiologists say the increased rate of attacks seen during winter is because low temperature increases blood pressure and puts more strain on the heart.

A general rise in blood pressure can also prove lethal with colder weather causing the blood to become stickier and more likely to clot.

Cholesterol levels also tend to be higher during winter and an increase in respiratory infections may lead to inflammation that contributes to the rupture of artery-clogging plaques.

Speaking to TOI , chief cardiologist of Escorts Heart Research Centre Dr R R Kasliwal said: “The occurrence of heart attacks in people with hypertension and high blood pressure is twice as high during winter. Cold causes spasm of arteries causing angina or heart attacks. Also, cold winter mornings cause peripheral arteries to contract, increasing the blood pressure and putting extra load on the heart. This precipitates a stroke. Strokes during early morning in winter are very common.”

Cardiologists say patients who walk very early in the morning should avoid the cold. They can suffer accidental hypothermia which means the body temperature falls below normal.

It occurs when the body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia.

Dr S K Gupta, head of cardiology at Apollo Hospital, added: “High blood pressure is a well-known risk factor for heart disease and stroke but the risk goes up as the temperature goes down. High BP causes twice as many heart attacks during cold weather as they do on warmer days. The adrenaline level is highest early in the morning. Because the body has to stay warm, it pumps glucose and adrenaline more rapidly which increases the workload on the heart.”

A Cardiologist Society of India official said: “As people age, their ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature often decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer hypothermia without knowing they are in danger. People with coronary heart disease often suffer chest pain or discomfort called angina pectoris during cold weather.”

Scientists from the University of Burgundy in France recently presented studies which found a higher number of heart attacks among blood pressure patients — in those with pressure higher than 140/90 — when temperatures dropped by more than nine degrees on the day of their heart attack.

The connection stems from the fact that blood vessels constrict in cold weather, making it harder for blood to flow through the body.

Source:The Times Of India

31 Simple Ways To Prevent Cancer

Small changes to inoculate yourself against the Big C.

Reduce Your Risk:

Consider this number: 10 million. That’s how many cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year. Now consider this number: 15 million. That’s how many cases of cancer the World Health Organization estimates will be diagnosed in the year 2020 — a 50 percent increase — if we don’t get our act together.
Most cancers don’t develop overnight or out of nowhere. Cancer is largely predictable, the end result of a decades-long process, but just a few simple changes in your daily life can significantly reduce your risk. Here are 31 great tips.

1. Serve sauerkraut at your next picnic. A Finnish study found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several other cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned or jarred sauerkraut before eating.

2. Eat your fill of broccoli, but steam it rather than microwaving it. Broccoli is a cancer-preventing superfood, one you should eat frequently. But take note: A Spanish study found that microwaving broccoli destroys 97 percent of the vegetable’s cancer-protective flavonoids. So steam it, eat it raw as a snack, or add it to soups and salads.

3. Toast some Brazil nuts and sprinkle over your salad. They’re a rich form of selenium, a trace mineral that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily — the amount in two unshelled Brazil nuts — resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths.

4. Pop a calcium supplement with vitamin D. A study out of Dartmouth Medical School suggests that the supplements reduce colon polyps (a risk factor for colon cancer) in people susceptible to the growths.

6. Sauté two cloves of crushed garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then mix in a can of low-sodium, diced tomatoes. Stir gently until heated and serve over whole wheat pasta. We already mentioned the benefits of garlic. The lycopene in the tomatoes protects against colon, prostate, and bladder cancers; the olive oil helps your body absorb the lycopene; and the fiber-filled pasta reduces your risk of colon cancer. As for the benefits of all of these ingredients together: They taste great!

7. Every week, buy a cantaloupe at the grocery store and cut it up after you put away your groceries. Store it in a container and eat several pieces every morning. Cantaloupe is a great source of carotenoids, plant chemicals shown to significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer.

The following links will give you 24 more ways:

The Power Of Antioxidants

All Together Now

Unneeded Chemicals

Source :Reader’s Digest

Piecing Together the Infertility Puzzle

Couples With Infertility Problems Often Focus on a Woman’s Biological Clock and Forget About the Male Contribution.

It is well known that a woman’s ability to conceive takes a dramatic dive as she approaches 40, but, what about the male biological clock?

Men are often the forgotten piece of the infertility puzzle, but recent research suggests that infertility or early pregnancy loss isn’t always because of an aging egg.

A recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at past research to examine why aging men experience declining fertility.

It appears that men older than 35 are twice as likely to be infertile as men younger than 25.

As men age, both the number and quality of their sperm decline — so older men become less likely to father a child and more likely to father a child with schizophrenia, Down syndrome, or other problems.

A recent study suggests that autism, an increasing problem with no known cause, may also be linked to paternal age because men 40 years or older are almost six times more likely to have a child with an autism disorder than men younger than 30.

Miscarriages also are more common as dad gets older.

It’s not unusual for a woman to get her hormones, ovulatory function and fallopian tubes tested months before her husband has even had a basic semen analysis.

Given that 20 percent of couples are infertile because of abnormal or absent sperm and that 27 percent of infertile couples have a combination of male and female factors, it makes sense to evaluate a man’s equipment, so to speak, sooner rather than later.

Sperm Quality, Not Quantity, Sometimes a Problem

While it’s true that it only takes one sperm to impregnate an egg, sperm are not particularly skilled at the whole penetration thing.

While women only need to release one egg to successfully conceive, pregnancy is unlikely to occur unless there are millions of sperm swarming around it.

That’s why the first step in an evaluation of male fertility is a semen analysis, to see how many of the little guys there are.Counts greater than 20 million are considered to be normal.

Before a proud man with a count in the zillions alerts the media, he needs to keep in mind that even if the number is high, sperm quality is also a factor.

Every sample of semen has lots of sperm that are abnormal. If more than 85 percent of the sperm don’t have heads, tails, or look funny in some way, it doesn’t bode well fertility-wise.

In addition, if a sperm looks normal but is directionally challenged, the likelihood of finding its way down the fallopian-tube highway is limited.

Anything less than 25 percent to 40 percent forward motility reduces pregnancy rates. These are all factors doctors consider when running a semen analysis.

The Source of the Problem Sometimes Solvable, Sometimes Unexplained

There are four main causes of male infertility.
In roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of infertile men, an obstruction prevents sperm from traveling from the testis (where it is produced) to the urethra.

Roughly 30 percent to 40 percent of infertile men suffer low-sperm production as a result of testicular problems, resulting from infection, drugs, radiation or environmental toxins.

While hormone levels should be tested, they are rarely the problem.

Sometimes a low-sperm count is attributed to a varicocele — dilated veins in the scrotum. Varicocele repair was at one time a routine procedure thought to enhance male fertility, but is now highly controversial.

Studies show that the improvement in semen quality after varicocele repair doesn’t always translate to increased pregnancy rates and can use up precious time, especially when a woman’s biological clock is ticking.
The remainder of infertility is unexplained.

Men, unlike women, produce new sperm throughout their reproductive lives.
So while a 40-year-old woman is dealing with a 40-year-old egg, sperm is never older than 3 months old regardless of the age of the man.

However, that sperm becomes lower in quality as a man ages.
Aging men have declining levels of sex hormones, and it appears that these declining levels of testosterone have a significant impact on sperm production.

This well-publicized fact is certainly part of the reason that a number of men taking supplemental testosterone have increased 210 percent since 1999.

Supplemental testosterone is no magic pill, however. While higher testosterone levels potentially, but not definitively, result in improved sperm number and quality, supplemental testosterone may also be responsible for a number of health problems such as an increased risk of prostate hyperplasia, and possibly cancer.

Treatment: No Sperm Isn’t Always No Way

What is a man to do if doctors find his sperm isn’t up to donor quality?
Testosterone supplementation is rarely the cure. Urologists who specialize in male fertility can sometimes come up with specific causes and treatment recommendations for a less than terrific semen analysis after an evaluation of the man in question.

If there are quality sperm — but not a lot of them — assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm Injection (in which a sperm is actually injected into the egg) can solve the problems of many infertile couples in which a male factor is the dominant problem, but the techniques are complicated and expensive.

If sperm is being produced but is not transported properly, it can be retrieved from the testis prior to ejaculation.

Certain conditions result in an inability to make sperm and are not treatable. If that is the case, pregnancy can be achieved only with donor sperm.

What a Man Can Do Now?
Men can eat right, not smoke, and exercise regularly — the standard and very effective health advice that applies to so many situations — to help keep sperm as healthy as their biology allows.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to replace those tight jockey shorts with baggy boxers.
It really doesn’t make a difference and clearly does nothing to enhance a man’s desirability.

Source:ABC News

Learn the Art of Self-Massage

Reduce tension in seconds – anywhere.

Massage helps reduce muscle tension and stiffness in numerous ways, including increasing blood flow to your muscles. Some research shows that regular massage may also boost immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Massage helps you relax and improve your mental energy. It may also make you more productive at work.

One University of Miami study found that a brief self-massage at work reduced stress and boosted job performance. After a 15-minute massage, workers were more alert and could complete math problems faster and with more accuracy.

Fortunately, you have your very own massage therapist with you at all times — your hands! “Most people practice the art of self-massage without thinking about it, whether they are rubbing their forehead because of a headache, scrubbing themselves with a loofah sponge in the shower, or rubbing their feet after a long day,” says Anna Walsemann, a yoga and Oriental healing instructor at New Age Health Spa in Neversink, New York. “These are all simple and natural self-massage techniques.”

You don’t have to take a class to give yourself a proper rubdown. In this article, you’ll get the advice you need to reduce tension from head to foot — within seconds.
1. Every morning and evening, hammer out the kinks. Using your fists, gently thump the outside of your body, starting with your legs and arms, working from top to bottom. Then move inward to your torso and thump from bottom to top. “Pummeling your muscles and bones will help strengthen the body, stimulate blood circulation, and relax nerve endings,” says Walsemann. When done in the morning, this self-massage technique will waken and prepare your body — and mind — for the day ahead. When done before bed, it calms down the mind and beats out the stress and tension of the day. One warning: If you’re taking any kind of blood thinner, such as Coumadin (warfarin), avoid this one; you could wind up with bruising.

2. Rub your belly after every meal. Most of us do this instinctively, especially after overeating. Place one or both palms on your abdomen and rub it in clockwise circles. This is the same direction food naturally moves through your intestine, so your circular massage will help to stimulate digestion.

3. Rub yourself down before and after exercise. Massaging your body before your stretching, cardio, or strength training increases blood flow to the muscles. Massaging your muscles after exercise may help encourage waste removal and speed muscle recovery. Before exercise, use a pummeling motion with your fists to bring blood flow to your leg and arm muscles. After exercise, rub along your muscles with your palm or fist, moving in the direction of your heart.

4. Give your hands a massage every day — whenever you put on lotion. Start with the bottoms of your palms by clasping your fingers and rubbing the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. Then, with your hands still clasped, take one thumb and massage the area just below your other thumb in circular motions, moving outward to the center of the palm. Repeat with the other hand. Then release your fingers and use your thumbs and index fingers to knead your palms, wrists, and the webbing between your fingers. With one hand, gently pull each finger of the other hand. Finish by using your thumb and index finger to pinch the webbing between your other thumb and index finger.

5. Roll on a tennis ball whenever you feel tight. If your foot feels tense, stand with one hand on a wall for support and place the arch of one foot on top of the ball. Gradually add more body weight over the foot, allowing the ball to press into your arch. Begin to slowly move your foot, allowing the ball to massage your heel, forefoot, and toes. Note: If the tennis ball seems too big for your foot, try a golf ball instead.

You can also lie on the ball to get at that hard-to-reach spot between the shoulder blades or to soothe tension in your low back. For tight hips, sit on the ball, wiggling your booty around and holding it in any spot that feels particularly good.

Get on the Ball

6. Fill the bottom of a shoe box with golf balls and stick it under your desk at work. Whenever you need to take a trip to podiatric paradise, take off a shoe and rub your foot over the golf balls.

7. Whenever you take off a pair of high heels, sit on the floor and give your calves some attention. Elevating your heels all day long can eventually shorten your calf muscles. To release them, sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Grasp one ankle, placing your thumb just above your Achilles tendon. Press your thumb into the bottom of your calf muscle, hold for 5 seconds, and release. Move an inch up your calf and repeat the pressure. Continue pressing and releasing until you get to your knee, then switch legs.

8. Fill a tube-style athletic sock three-fourths full with uncooked rice, tie off the end tightly with a rubber band, and stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the sock and rub it up and down your legs and arms for a gentle, soothing hot massage. Leave the sock filled with the rice; you can use it over and over. You can add spices to the rice if you wish to have a pleasant scent while massaging.

9. Use your hands to heel your neck. Once an hour, take a break from staring at your computer and clasp your fingers behind your neck, pressing the heels of your palms into your neck on either side of your spinal column. Massage the heels of your hands up and down in slow, deliberate motions. Then place the fingers of your right hand on your trapezius muscle along the left side of your neck just below the base of your skull. Press into that muscle, tilt your head to the left, and rub downward until you reach your shoulder. Repeat three times, then switch sides.

Finish by stretching your head back so the top of your office chair presses into your neck just

10. Open your sinuses with some finger pressure. If you have clogged sinuses due to a cold or allergies, rub them with your index fingers. Start just above your brow line. Place your finger pads just above your nose, press down and rub outward, tracing your brow line as you go. Repeat two or three times. Then place the pads of your fingers below your eyes and to the sides of the bridge of your nose, rubbing outward and moving downward with each stroke. Now use your thumbs to massage your cheekbones, making small circles starting at the center of your face and moving out toward your ears. Finally, place your thumbs on your temples and massage them in small circles.

11. When your eyes feel tired from staring at your computer screen all day long, give them some heat. Rub your hands together vigorously until you feel the skin on your palms begin to warm up. Then cup one hand over each eye, feeling the heat from your hands relax your eyes.

The Rubdown

12. When your feet are sore after a long day of standing, take off your shoes and socks, wash your feet, and give them a rubdown. Sitting on a comfortable couch or chair, thread the fingers of one hand through the toes of one foot, spreading out your toes and placing the palm of your hand against the bottom of your foot. Use your palm to gently rotate the joints of your forefoot forward and back for one minute. Then remove your fingers from your toes, hold your ankle with one hand, and gently rotate the entire foot with the other hand, starting with small circles and progressing to larger circles as your ankle warms up. Switch directions, and then repeat with the other foot.

13. Give yourself a bear hug to relax away shoulder tension. Cross your arms over your chest and grab a shoulder with either hand. Squeeze each shoulder and release three times. Then move your hands down your arms, squeezing and releasing until you get to your wrists.

14. Rub lavender oil onto your feet before bed. Lavender-scented oils are available at most health food stores. The smell of lavender and the gentle massaging motions you make as you work the oil into your feet will help you to unwind. An added bonus: The nightly oil treatment softens and hydrates any rough, dry spots on your feet. Once you’re done with your massage, put on a pair of socks to prevent the oil from rubbing off onto your sheets.

15. After tennis, cycling, rock climbing, and other arm-tiring sports, give your arms a pinch. Place your right arm across your chest with your elbow bent. Reach across your chest with your left arm and pinch your right arm’s triceps, near the shoulder, with the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Hold for a few seconds, release, then pinch again an inch lower on the arm. Continue pinching and releasing until you’ve made your way to your elbow. Then pinch your right arm’s biceps near your armpit and work your way in the same way down to the elbow. Then switch arms. This will release the tension in your muscles and help improve blood circulation.

16. When you have a headache, stand up, bend forward from the hips, and place your forehead on a padded chair. The chair will gently place pressure on your head as you relax in the forward bend. Hold about 30 seconds. When you rise, sit down and spread your fingers through your hair, making a fist. Gently pull the hair away from your head. Hold 2-3 seconds, then release. This stretches the fascia along your scalp, releasing tension. Continue to grab different clumps of hair all over your head, working from the top front of your head, progressing to the sides, and then to the back of your head. Once you have grabbed and released your entire scalp, return to work, feeling refreshed.

17. Keep a tennis ball on your desk and squeeze it regularly. The squeezing motion helps rejuvenate tired fingers and hands, and strengthens your hands for other self-massage techniques.

From:Stealth Health