Categories
Diagnonistic Test

Laparoscopic Surgery

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Definition:
Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, keyhole surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5-1.5cm) as compared to larger incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures. Laparoscopic surgery includes operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas keyhole surgery performed on the thoracic or chest cavity is called thoracoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery belong to the broader field of endoscopy.

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The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope. There are two types: a telescopic rod lens system, that is usually connected to a video camera (single chip or three chip) or a digital laparoscope where the charge-coupled device is placed at the end of the laparoscope, eliminating the rod lens system.  Also attached is a fiber optic cable system connected to a ‘cold’ light source (halogen or xenon), to illuminate the operative field, inserted through a 5 mm or 10 mm cannula or trocar to view the operative field. The abdomen is usually insufflated with carbon dioxide gas to create a working and viewing space. The abdomen is essentially blown up like a balloon (insufflated), elevating the abdominal wall above the internal organs like a dome. The gas used is CO2, which is common to the human body and can be absorbed by tissue and removed by the respiratory system. It is also non-flammable, which is important because electrosurgical devices are commonly used in laparoscopic procedures.

Laparoscopy is a surgery that allows your doctor to see and operate on the organs inside your pelvis and abdomen through very small incisions in the abdominal wall. Many types of abdominal surgery can be done with laparoscopy, including diagnosis and treatment of infertility or pelvic pain, gallbladder or appendix removal, and tubal ligation for preventing pregnancies.

How do you prepare for the test?
Discuss the specific procedures planned during your laparoscopy ahead of time with your doctor. Laparoscopy is done by either a surgeon or a gynecologist-obstetrician. You will need to sign a consent form giving your doctor permission to perform this test.

If you take aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting, talk with your doctor. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test.

You will be told not to eat anything for at least eight hours before the surgery. An empty stomach will help prevent the nausea that can be a side effect of anesthesia medicines. You should arrange for a ride home from the hospital if your doctor plans on sending you home on the same day.

Before the surgery (sometimes on the same day), you will meet with an anesthesiologist to go over your medical history (including medicines and allergies) and to discuss the anesthesia.

History
It is difficult to credit one individual with the pioneering of laparoscopic approach. In 1902 Georg Kelling, of Dresden, Saxony, performed the first laparoscopic procedure in dogs and in 1910 Hans Christian Jacobaeus of Sweden reported the first laparoscopic operation in humans. In the ensuing several decades, numerous individuals refined and popularized the approach further for laparoscopy. The introduction of computer chip television camera was a seminal event in the field of laparoscopy. This innovation in technology provided the means to project a magnified view of the operative field onto a monitor, and at the same time freed both the operating surgeon’s hands, thereby facilitating performance of complex laparoscopic procedures. Prior to its conception, laparoscopy was a surgical approach with very limited application and used mainly for purposes of diagnosis and performance of simple procedures in gynecologic applications.

The introduction in 1990 of a laparoscopic clip applier with twenty automatically advancing clips (rather than a single load clip applier that would have to be taken out, reloaded and reintroduced for each clip application) made surgeons more comfortable with making the leap to laparoscopic cholecystectomies (gall bladder removal). On the other hand, some surgeons continue to use the single clip appliers as they save as much as $200 per case for the patient, detract nothing from the quality of the clip ligation, and add only seconds to case lengths.

Procedures

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common laparoscopic procedure performed. In this procedure, 5-10mm diameter instruments (graspers, scissors, clip applier) can be introduced by the surgeon into the abdomen through trocars (hollow tubes with a seal to keep the CO2 from leaking). Rather than a minimum 20cm incision as in traditional cholecystectomy, four incisions of 0.5-1.0cm will be sufficient to perform a laparoscopic removal of a gallbladder. Since the gall bladder is similar to a small balloon that stores and releases bile, it can usually be removed from the abdomen by suctioning out the bile and then removing the deflated gallbladder through the 1cm incision at the patient’s navel. The length of postoperative stay in the hospital is minimal, and same-day discharges are possible in cases of early morning procedures.

In certain advanced laparoscopic procedures where the size of the specimen being removed would be too large to pull out through a trocar site, as would be done with a gallbladder, an incision larger than 10mm must be made. The most common of these procedures are removal of all or part of the colon (colectomy), or removal of the kidney (nephrectomy). Some surgeons perform these procedures completely laparoscopically, making the larger incision toward the end of the procedure for specimen removal, or, in the case of a colectomy, to also prepare the remaining healthy bowel to be reconnected (create an anastomosis). Many other surgeons feel that since they will have to make a larger incision for specimen removal anyway, they might as well use this incision to have their hand in the operative field during the procedure to aid as a retractor, dissector, and to be able to feel differing tissue densities (palpate), as they would in open surgery. This technique is called hand-assist laparoscopy. Since they will still be working with scopes and other laparoscopic instruments, CO2 will have to be maintained in the patient’s abdomen, so a device known as a hand access port (a sleeve with a seal that allows passage of the hand) must be used. Surgeons that choose this hand-assist technique feel it reduces operative time significantly vs. the straight laparoscopic approach, as well as providing them more options in dealing with unexpected adverse events (i.e. uncontrolled bleeding) that may otherwise require creating a much larger incision and converting to a fully open surgical procedure.

Conceptually, the laparoscopic approach is intended to minimise post-operative pain and speed up recovery times, while maintaining an enhanced visual field for surgeons. Due to improved patient outcomes, in the last two decades, laparoscopic surgery has been adopted by various surgical sub-specialties including gastrointestinal surgery (including bariatric procedures for morbid obesity), gynecologic surgery and urology. Based on numerous prospective randomized controlled trials, the approach has proven to be beneficial in reducing post-operative morbidities such as wound infections and incisional hernias (especially in morbidly obese patients), and is now deemed safe when applied to surgery for cancers such as cancer of colon.

The restricted vision, the difficulty in handling of the instruments (new hand-eye coordination skills are needed), the lack of tactile perception and the limited working area are factors which add to the technical complexity of this surgical approach. For these reasons, minimally invasive surgery has emerged as a highly competitive new sub-specialty within various fields of surgery. Surgical residents who wish to focus on this area of surgery gain additional training during one or two years of fellowship after completing their basic surgical residency.

The first transatlantic surgery (Lindbergh Operation) ever performed was a laparoscopic gallbladder removal.

Laparoscopic techniques have also been developed in the field of veterinary medicine. Due to the relative high cost of the equiment required, however, it has not become commonplace in most traditional practices today but rather limited to specialty-type practices. Many of the same surgeries performed in humans can be applied to animal cases – everything from an egg-bound tortoise to a German Shepherd can benefit from MIS. A paper published in JAVMA (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association) in 2005 showed that dogs spayed laparoscopically experienced significantly less pain (65%)than those that were spayed with traditional ‘open’ methods. Arthroscopy, thoracoscopy, cystoscopy are all performed in veterinary medicine today. The University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine and Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine are two of the main centers where veterinary laparoscopy got started and have excellent training programs for veterinarians interested in getting started in MIS.

What happens when the test is performed?
Laparoscopy is done in an operating room. You wear a hospital gown. You have an IV (intravenous) line placed in your arm so that you can receive medicines through it.

You have general anesthesia for this test, which puts you to sleep so you are unconscious during the procedure. For general anesthesia, you breathe a mixture of gases through a mask. After the anesthetic takes effect, a tube may be put down your throat to help you breathe.

During laparoscopy, a tiny camera is inserted through a very small incision (less than an inch long), usually in or just below your navel. A gas such as carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide is pumped into your abdomen to help lift your abdominal wall off of your pelvic and abdominal organs so that the camera can view them clearly. If you are having any procedure more complicated than inspection of the pelvis or abdomen, your doctor makes one or more additional incisions to allow other instruments to reach into your abdomen. For pelvic surgeries, it is common for the additional incision to be just below the pubic hair line. You should ask your surgeon where you might expect to have incisions as part of your laparoscopy.

A wide variety of instruments are useful in laparoscopy. These include instruments that can cut and place clips onto internal structures, burn away scar tissue or painful areas in the pelvis, or remove small biopsy samples or even whole internal organs (often in pieces so that larger incisions are not necessary). Your doctor can see the work he or she is doing by watching a television screen.

At the end of the surgery, the instruments are withdrawn, the gas is removed, and the incisions are stitched closed. Your anesthesia is stopped so that you can wake up within a few minutes after your laparoscopy is finished.

Advantages:
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include:

*reduced haemorrhaging , which reduces the chance of needing a blood transfusion.
*smaller incision, which reduces pain and shortens recovery time.
*less pain, leading to less pain medication needed.

*Although procedure times are usually slightly longer, hospital stay is less, and often with a same day discharge which leads to a faster return to everyday living.
*reduced exposure of internal organs to possible external contaminants thereby reduced risk of acquiring infections.
*can be used in Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) surgery to put the eggs back into the fallopian tubes

Risk Factors:
Some of the risks are briefly described below:

*The most significant risks are from trocar injuries to either blood vessels or small or large bowel. The risk of such injuries is increased in patients who are obese or have a history of prior abdominal surgery. The initial trocar is typically inserted blindly. While these injuries are rare, significant complications can occur. Vascular injuries can result in hemorrhage that may be life threatening. Injuries to the bowel can cause a delayed peritonitis. It is very important that these injuries be recognized as early as possible.[2]

*Some patients have sustained electrical burns unseen by surgeons who are working with electrodes that leak current into surrounding tissue. The resulting injuries can result in perforated organs and can also lead to peritonitis.

*There may be an increased risk of hypothermia and peritoneal trauma due to increased exposure to cold, dry gases during insufflation. The use of heated and humidified CO2 may reduce this risk.

*Many patients with existing pulmonary disorders may not tolerate pneumoperitoneum (gas in the abdominal cavity), resulting in a need for conversion to open surgery after the initial attempt at laparoscopic approach.

*Not all of the CO2 introduced into the abdominal cavity is removed through the incisions during surgery. Gas tends to rise, and when a pocket of CO2 rises in the abdomen, it pushes against the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the abdominal from the thoracic cavities and facilitates breathing), and can exert pressure on the phrenic nerve. This produces a sensation of pain that may extend to the patient’s shoulders. For an appendectomy, the right shoulder can be particularly painful. In some cases this can also cause considerable pain when breathing. In all cases, however, the pain is transient, as the body tissues will absorb the CO2 and eliminate it through respiration. [4]

*Coagulation disorders and dense adhesions (scar tissue) from previous abdominal surgery may pose added risk for laparoscopic surgery and are considered relative contra-indications for this approach.

*Patients can often have trouble walking after surgery for a few days
It is easier for patients to recover from laparoscopy compared with regular abdominal surgery (often called “open” surgery) because the wounds from the incisions are so small. You will have a small straight scar (less than an inch long) wherever the instruments were inserted.

*Sometimes a small amount of the gas used to expand the abdomen will remain after the surgery for a day or two, before it dissolves away. This can cause some shoulder pain. Depending on the type of operation your laparoscopy involved, you might also have some cramping in the pelvis or abdomen. Some laparoscopy procedures in the pelvis normally cause a small amount of bleeding through the vagina. Some patients experience some nausea from the medicines used for anesthesia or anxiety.

*General anesthesia is safe for most patients, but it is estimated to result in major or minor complications in 3%-10% of people having surgery of all types. These complications are mostly heart and lung problems and infections. For laparoscopy, the risk of complications from anesthesia are smaller than average, because most surgeries done with laparoscopy are fairly simple and do not require you to have anesthesia for much longer than an hour.

You may click & see also
*Arthroscopy
*Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES)
*Single port access surgery, also known as single incision laparoscopic surgery

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You will be watched for a few hours after your surgery to make sure that you are recovering well. You may be asked to sit up and drink liquids. For many laparoscopic procedures, you can go home the same day. You should not drive or drink alcohol the day of your test.

You should contact your doctor if you develop a fever over 101° F, strong pain, or bleeding from the vagina that is heavier than expected.

You will have a follow-up visit with your doctor to remove stitches if needed and to make sure you are recovering well.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?

If your laparoscopy was done to look for a cause of pain or other diagnosis, your doctor can tell you right after the surgery what was seen during the test. If a biopsy sample is removed, you may have to wait several days for the report.
Robotics and technology
The process of minimally invasive surgery has been augmented by specialized tools for decades. However, in recent years, electronic tools have been developed to aid surgeons. Some of the features include:

*Visual magnification – use of a large viewing screen improves visibility
*Stabilization – Electromechanical damping of vibrations, due to machinery or shaky human hands
*Simulators – use of specialized virtual reality training tools to improve physicians’ proficiency in surgery
*Reduced number of incisions
Robotic surgery has been touted as a solution to underdeveloped nations, whereby a single central hospital can operate several remote machines at distant locations. The potential for robotic surgery has had strong military interest as well, with the intention of providing mobile medical care while keeping trained doctors safe from battle.
Click to enlarge->..

Non robotic hand guided assistance systems
There are also user-friendly non robotic assistance systems that are single hand guided devices with a high potential to save time and money. These assistance devices are not bound by the restrictions of common medical robotic systems. The systems enhance the manual possibilities of the surgeon and his team, regarding the need of replacing static holding force during the intervention.

Some of the features are:

*The Stabilisation of the camera picture because the whole static workload is conveyed by the assistance system.
*Some systems enable a fast repositioning and very short time for fixation of less than 0.02 seconds at the desired position. Some systems are lightweight constructions (18kg) and can withstand a force of 20 N in any position and direction.
*The benefit – a physically relaxed intervention team can work concentrated on the main goals during the intervention.
*The potentials of these systems enhance the possibilities of the mobile medical care with those lightweight assistance systems. These assistance systems meet the demands of true solo surgery assistance systems and are robust, versatile and easy to use.
Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/laparoscopy.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laparoscopic_surgery

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Categories
Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Towering disturbance:-…....CLICK & SEE

Q: I own a flat on the third (top) floor of a building. The residents’ association has leased out the terrace to a cell phone company which has erected a tower there. I have a pacemaker and am worried about the impact of the signals from the tower on my heart. What should I do?

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A: Signals from microwaves and cell phones do affect pacemakers. Irregularities in the heart rate have been noticed when a phone is held even 15cm away from the pacemaker. When you are living just under a phone tower, the signal is likely to be strong and powerful. The first symptoms of the pacemaker being affected are a feeling of faintness and irregularity in your pulse rate. You can be fitted with a 24-hour monitoring device by your cardiologist. This will document any irregularity, so you know it is real and not psychological.

If there are any changes, it may make sense to move. Your building association is unlikely to cancel a financially lucrative enterprise and get the tower relocated.

Circumcise to protect:-

Q: I read that circumcision offers protection against AIDS. I wonder if I should get my one-year-old son circumcised.

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A: Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves removal of the skin and mucosal tissue that covers the glans, the tip of the penis. Circumcision is unconditionally practised by Jews and Muslims. It is a part of their religious culture. In others it is usually performed if the foreskin gets stuck (phimosis) or infected. It does help in the prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. But it does not give 100 per cent protection.

All operations can have complications. Problems like infection or bleeding, though rare, can arise after the surgery. Unless your son’s paediatrician has advised circumcision for a particular reason, it does not make sense to put him through elective surgery. When he is older, teaching him about responsibility, sexual norms and safe sex may be a better option.

Yellow vs white:-

Q: There are natural and “artificial” eggs available in the market. The colour of the yolk in the two differs. Is there a difference in their nutritive values? Is eating eggs healthy?

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A: Eggs contain easily digestible proteins, fats, vitamins and antioxidants. They are a complete food in themselves. The recommended intake is one egg a day for those with a normal lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides). If the lipids are raised, cutting down on yolks to a maximum of two per week would be fine. Egg whites do not add to the cholesterol level, and you can eat as many of these as you like.

The colour of the yolk only depends on the type of feed the hen has received. It does not affect the egg’s nutritive value. By natural eggs, I think you mean those laid by hens that roam free, and by “artificial” the ones that are laid in hatcheries. Nutrition-wise, both are the same.

Music mania:-

Q: My daughter listens to music the whole day. I don’t like it, but do not want to put a stop to it unless it is harmful.

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A: If your daughter is listening to music instead of doing her homework or studying, perhaps you need to interfere. But do check her academic performance first. Listening to music does have many positive effects. It soothes, pacifies and relieves tension in children and in adults. Music during exercise provides a cognitive boost, in addition to the other benefits of regular activity. Loud music, on the other hand, can damage hearing, increase the heart rate and produce paradoxical excitement.

Unequal feet:

Q: My shoes never fit both the feet perfectly. One is always a little loose or tight.

A: A person’s feet may not be identical in shape and size. One is usually marginally larger than the other. If this difference is marked, footwear will never fit properly. It is better to buy a bigger size and wear two socks on the foot that is smaller. Otherwise, you have to buy two pairs of shoes.

Cauliflower ear:

Q: I pierced my ear in the upper part, in addition to the ear lobe. It has become red, swollen and painful. My ear now looks ugly and deformed. What should I do?

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A: The condition you are describing is called “cauliflower ear”. It occurs when a blood clot develops in the cartilage of the ear as a result of injury. The accumulated blood becomes infected and this destroys the cartilage, making it shrunken and shrivelled.

As soon as there is pain and swelling owing to an injury (even piercing), it should be treated with ice packs and antibiotics. Once it becomes misshapen, cosmetic reconstruction by a plastic surgeon is the only option.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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News on Health & Science

Brain’s Role in Autism Probed

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A psychology researcher has pinpointed regions of the brain that are linked to “ritualistic repetitive behavior” in autistic children — the insatiable desire to rock back and forth for hours or to tirelessly march in place.

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Keith Shafritz, an assistant professor of psychology at Hofstra University on Long Island, compared brain images of autistic children with those of neurologically normal youngsters. He and collaborators at Duke University and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill used a form of magnetic resonance imaging to explore sites in the brain.

They reported their findings in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Repetitive behavior is one of autism’s core traits. It has driven parents to extremes as they try to distract a child to engage in other activities.

Mapping the brain constitutes a journey into the inner labyrinths of a three-pound cosmos where countless frontiers have yet to be explored.

In children with autism, Shafritz found deficits in specific regions of the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of gray matter linked to all higher human functions, including repetitive behavior. He also mapped deficits in the basal ganglia, a region deep below the cerebral hemispheres.

“We like to think about the research process as discovering clues why people engage in certain behaviors,” Shafritz said. “We were able to identify a series of brain regions that showed diminished activity when people were asked to alter certain behaviors and were not able to do so.”

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is becoming a major public policy issue. Federal health officials estimate that it afflicts 1 in every 150 children, which affects not only families but communities.

School systems don’t have enough appropriately trained teachers. Social services departments are overwhelmed by parents who need support and respite care.

For clues to the disorder, some scientists are scanning the human genome for suspect DNA.

Others, like Shafritz, are exploring the geography of the brain.

Edward G. Carr, a psychology professor at Stony Brook University in New York, said Shafritz’s discovery was important because it helped demystify repetitive behavior.

“Repetitive behavior is sometimes called self-stimulatory behavior. A very common form of it is body-rocking. A child will do it for hours,” Carr said. “Another child may wave his or her hands back and forth in front of their eyes. This is very common, and it’s called hand-flapping. They extend their arms forward and wave their hands in front of them. It’s like a light show.”

Shafritz said the brain areas associated with repetitious behavior were not associated with another autism problem, self-injury. Some children repeatedly slam their heads against a wall, for instance.

Still, Shafritz found a relationship between the newly identified brain areas and overlapping regions linked to schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Dr. Anil K. Malhotra, director of psychiatric research at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said he was not surprised. He too is studying links between autism and schizophrenia, and autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Sources:Los Angles Times

Categories
Yoga

Vakrasana-1 (Yoga Exercise)

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This is the advanced stage of Vakrasana-1. Here the spine is twisted with the support of the knee alongwith the shoulder, and hence it involves more strain.
Pre position Sitting Position.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

How to practice the Asana(Exercise)
1. Bend the left leg in the knee and place it near the thigh of left leg.
2. Place the right hand beyond the folded knee of the left leg and in front of the left hand. Keep the palms of both the hands in opposite direction. There should be a distance of one foot between the two hands.
3. Press the standing left knee with the right hand and shoulders, and twist the neck to the left. Turn the sight also in the same direction and continue normal breathing.

Position:
1. In this Asana (Exercise)the spine is to be kept straight.
2. The lower end of the spine and both the hips be placed well on the floor and stabilize them.
3. Then with the support of the neck and shoulders twist the upper vertebrae to the left. Alongwith the neck, the sight should also be turned to the left side and stabilize it in that direction.
4. In Vakrasana (Type 1) the spine is twisted only with the help of the shoulders. Here the shoulders, the knee and the hand are placed in such a way that there is more pressure on the spine.

Releasing :
1. Turn the neck and the sight to the front.
2. Restore the right hand to its place and set right the palm of the left hand.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.

Note: Perform this Asana by taking up the right leg making relevant changes.
Duration It should be maintained for two minutes on each side to have the expected benefits. With practice, it can be maintained up to six minutes.

Benefits: The elasticity of the spine increases as it gets twisted in its erect position. Alongwith the spine the belly and other internal organs also get twisted and receive the desired strain. It also has very good effect on the spinal cord and its functioning is improved.
Precaution : One should avoid the temptation of attaining the ideal position if strain is unbearable.

Reference Book:– Yoga Pravesh

Categories
Herbal Beauty & Body Care

Foods for Healthy Skin And Flawless Complexion

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Revitalize Your Skin Without Chemicals or Plastic Surgery:

Aging is a fact of life. While many people try harsh chemical peels, exfoliants and costly plastic surgeries to reclaim their youth, walk no farther than your kitchen to achieve a radiant complexion naturally using ancient Chinese food therapy.

Let us face that Aging is a Fact of Life.

While you can always try harsh chemical peels and a host of costly and risky plastic surgeries to revitalize your skin, look no further than your local market to find effective, natural ways to achieve a flawless complexion.

Just as Chinese herbs promote health, beauty, healing and rejuvenation for our face and body, Chinese texts laud the healing and beautifying effects of many foods. Food therapy can be a powerful tool for smoothing wrinkles and diminishing those dark eye circles, bags and facial discolorations.

Many foods and vegetables provide far more than essential nutrients, though. In fact, most can be used directly as healing agents. The distinction between staple foods, vegetables, spices, herbs and drugs are often rather arbitrary.

Food therapy for facial complexion adheres to the basic tenet of Chinese medical philosophy, which holds that external beauty is a mirror reflecting internal health. These foods help address the internal imbalances that result in a spotted or discolored complexion. Of course, their beneficial effect is gradual but without any side effect, and for best results, any food therapy program should go hand in hand with other natural complexion treatments  such as herbs, acupuncture, and acupressure. and regular systematic YOGA Exercise .

Here are some of the best foods the Chinese associate with a spotless and radiant complexion:

COIX SEED.
Chinese Name: Yi Yi Ren

This wonderful barley-like grain, when eaten as food, can help the body clear up discoloration of the facial complexion. It is also a very effective strengthener of the digestive system.

To find and prepare coix seed: Cook it in soup as you would with other beans and barley, or boil it into tea (15 g) and drink it all day.

MULBERRY FRUIT
Chinese Name: Sang Shen Zi

These fruits of the mulberry tree contain beneficial antioxidants, help overcome weakness, and brighten a withered-looking complexion. They also are beneficial for clearing dark spots from the face.

To find and prepare mulberry fruit: Mulberry fruit is available in food markets and can be eaten as you would any berry. You also can buy fresh mulberry juice and drink it, or use it in your cooking.

WHITE TURNIP
Chinese Name: Bai Luo Be

This is a fairly common turnip, often called daikon, which offers plenty of medicinal benefits. It detoxifies the skin and has a beneficial effect on the complexion when eaten regularly.

To find and prepare white turnip: It can be found in most regular food markets. Clean and cut it into small pieces, and then cook it with your regular soup. You also can shred and prepare it as a salad. For facial discoloration, juice white turnip every morning and drink about half a cup.

LUFFA
Chinese Name: Si Gua

This common Chinese vegetable rejuvenates the skin and is used by the Chinese for facial discoloration and wrinkle conditions. It also is commonly processed for use as a bath sponge, to exfoliate and polish the skin.

To find and prepare luffa: You easily can grow these zucchini-like vegetables yourself if you have the space. You also should be able to find them at Chinese markets. Prepare them as you would any squash. It also makes an excellent topical mask for dealing with wrinkles, dark spots and uneven facial discoloration. The best way to collect the juice is to cut the vein and let the liquid drip into a jar, and then apply it topically to the face while fresh.

Food therapy, as effective as the other traditional Chinese medicine techniques in a facial rejuvenation program, is a powerful tool for smoothing wrinkles and diminishing those dark eye circles, bags and facial discolorations.

PERSIMMON
Chinese Name: Shi Zi

Persimmon has been known for centuries to cool the body, nourish the lungs and moisten the skin   all actions that improve facial complexion.

To find and prepare persimmon: You may find two different kinds of persimmons. The Chinese version is sometimes called kaki. Both the Chinese and the American persimmons are great for complexion. Eat them raw as fruit, but make sure they are very ripe. Dried persimmons are a special treat that can be found in Chinese markets. Another way to use persimmon to brighten the complexion is by applying the fresh peel to the face

GINKGO NUT
Chinese Name: Bai Gou

The health benefits of ginkgo leaf extract have been widely recognized in the West. Much modern research indicates that the antioxidant plant chemicals in ginkgo benefit blood flow and might even slow memory loss. Not many are aware that in Chinese medicine, the nut of the ginkgo tree is more often used medicinally. Ginkgo nut is used herbally, but the whole nuts themselves, often roasted, are a traditional Chinese food that nourishes lung energy and calms wheezing. The best way to use ginkgo to clear the complexion is topical application.

To find and prepare ginkgo nut: It is available in Chinese markets. Crush the fresh nuts into a paste and apply directly to the face.

WINTER MELON
Chinese Name: Dong Gua
This gourd vegetable and its seeds are very popular in China, especially as a soup. It benefits the heart, detoxifies the body and beautifies the skin. Whether eaten as a food or taken in herb form, winter melon can improve a variety of complexion problems.

To find and prepare winter melon: You can find it in Asian markets or even in Western-style organic food stores. It is also called wax gourd or white gourd. Eat it as you would any melon, peeling off the outer skin. Remove the seeds and pulp, cut it into small pieces, and put in soup or saute with garlic. For topical skin beauty use, take a small piece, including the juice, and apply the liquid directly to your face as a skin brightener.

Source :    www.toyourhealth.com

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