LifeBalance Blog

Receive updates to this Blog by Liking my LifeBalance Facebook page or following me on Twitter (links below).


Search the Blog

  • 08 Apr 2014 8:09 AM | John (Administrator)
    Our belief systems are far more powerful than we know!  Here is just one example of how what we believe impacts our body...


    It's not what you think it is. It's what you think. The placebo is for real. It can give you the relief from pain and sickness that you are looking for just as much as that prescription drug can, only, without the side effects. The question that is being asked now by researchers and scientists is not if they work, but how they work. What they are saying is that placebos do work, but something else is at work, too, which gives the "fake" pill an impetus to cure even what is considered an organic disease, the progress of which can be observed and measured.

    The placebo effect: What is it?

    Let us backtrack a little here and look into the psychology of illness and wellness. It is now commonly accepted that happy people are healthier than their unhappy counterparts. Or put another way, your happiness and your health are intrinsically linked to such an extent that healthy people are also happier because of good health. That is, a happy state of mind has a corresponding physiological state as well wherein hormones and neurotransmitters of the central nervous system get kicked into action, thus resulting in an influx of the same into your blood stream. According to scientific evidence, happy and positive states of mind induce major physiological changes that induce good health, because the neurotransmitters that mirror them in the body have a stimulating effect. The reverse has to be true then, where negative thoughts and emotions weaken the body's immune system and can in and of themselves lead to illness. In short, this is the placebo effect: What you think affects how you feel at every level of your being. A placebo is nothing but a sugar pill which is given to the patient, who in turn takes it for medicine and expects relief.

    A study conducted on ulcer patients revealed the following: The ones who were administered the placebo with the reassurance that it was a current and highly effective drug in the treatment of ulcers showed remarkable progress. Seventy percent of the group healed. Another group was given the placebo saying it was under trial and hence its efficacy could not be predicted. Only 25 percent of its members recovered.

    Psychological phenomenon of placebos

    Researchers have hard evidence to show that placebo treatments do work, that is, interventions with no active drug ingredients. This is because they can engender tangible physiological responses, from changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain, where depression, anxiety and fatigue are involved.

    Indeed, the placebo is a phenomenon, a process and not merely a pill. True healing that comes from the placebo then points to the fact that a certain belief or thought process can profoundly influence the outcome. This is because placebos release neurotransmitters. If you believe it will work, it will work regardless, and this positive thinking approach, not the placebo-pill itself, is the active agent in the release of neurotransmitters. A suggestion, a thought, a placebo, they have the potential to significantly impact a person's health, and while it may not be that simple altogether, there is a great chance that your thoughts can influence and alter the course of your life and well-being.

    Sources:

    Chopra, Deepak. Creating Health.
    http://emedicine.medscape.com
    https://primarycare.hms.harvard.edu

    About the author:
    Nanditha Prasad Ram is a consumer and health journalist and a practicing holistic therapist. Her blog is available at http://www.bindumandalayoga.blogspot.in

             


  • 07 Apr 2014 8:47 AM | John (Administrator)
    I have been reading the DailyOM for several years now...great messages.  This is a particularly good one as it speaks to the trapped emotion of anger - prevalent in so many of us today.  We have found that trapped emotions and/or traumas are at the root of many physical health issues.  It can be challenging to find and release them, but very rewarding!



    Anger, when channeled into the pursuit of change, can be a useful tool in our emotional palette. Anger is experienced by most people, some more than others. It is when anger has no outlet and morphs into resentment that it carries with it the potential to cause great turmoil. Allowing us to assign blame for the pain we are feeling, thereby easing it, resentment tends to smolder relentlessly just below the surface of our awareness, eroding our peace of mind. The target of our resentment grows ever more wicked in our minds and we rue the day we first encountered them. But resentment is merely another hue on the emotional palette and therefore within the realm of our conscious control. We can choose to let go of our resentment and to move on with our lives, no matter how painful the event that incited it.

    Hanging onto resentment in our hearts does not serve us in any way. Successfully divesting ourselves of resentful feelings can be difficult, however, because doing so forces us to mentally and emotionally confront the original source of anger. When we cease assigning blame, we realize that our need to hold someone or something responsible for our feelings has harmed us. We thought we were coping with our hurt when in fact we were holding onto that hurt with a vice grip. To release resentment, we must shift our attention from those we resent back toward ourselves by thinking of our own needs. Performing a short ceremony can help you quell resentful feelings by giving tangible form to your emotions. You may want to write down your feelings and then burn the paper and close your ceremony by wishing them well. When you can find compassion in your heart, you know you are on your way to healing.

    Free of resentment, we have much more energy and attention to devote to our personal development. We can fill the spaces it left behind with unconditional acceptance and joy. And, as a result of our subsequent freedom from resentment, blessings can once again enter our lives as the walls we built to contain our anger have been demolished.

             
  • 07 Apr 2014 8:37 AM | John (Administrator)
    Chia seeds are one of the best foods you can eat every day.  I put them in my daily supplement drink (large glass sports bottle with water and other nutrients) that I drink throughout most of the morning.  They absorb some water and give an "interesting" texture to the drink...along with some great nutritional benefits!



    A close relative of sage, chia (Salvia hispanica) has long been a major food crop of indigenous peoples from modern-day Mexico up through the modern U.S. Southwest. On long-distance runs, some native peoples would consume nothing more than chia seeds mixed with water. If anything deserves the title of "superfood," chia does.

    Chia seeds are one of the highest known sources for omega-3 fatty acids, containing 7.5 times more of these essential oils per ounce than salmon.

    They provide more protein than any other seed, and a complete protein to boot. They are exceptionally high in fiber, which benefits intestinal health. The seeds contain five times as much calcium as milk, along with boron for healthy bones and high levels of B vitamins.

    Studies suggest that a diet containing chia seeds also helps regulate blood sugar and prevent obesity. Because chia seeds can absorb 30 times their volume in liquid, eating them during vigorous exercise prolongs hydration and stems electrolyte loss.

    Sources:

    http://www.vegparadise.com

    http://www.naturalnews.com

    http://nutritiondata.self.com

             


  • 06 Apr 2014 8:45 AM | John (Administrator)
    Great tips to help you get a good night's sleep! 


    Good, uninterrupted sleep plays a great role in maintaining and improving human health, yet its importance is often underestimated and understated. During sleep, the body cleanses, heals and repairs. Not only does good sleep improve immunity and elevate mood, but studies have even linked lack of sleep or poor quality sleep to increased risk of cancer as well as poorer outcomes among cancer sufferers. Use these basic, commonsensical tips and suggestions to help you beat insomnia and get a good rest every night.

    1. Make your bedroom comfortable and conducive for rest
    A comfortable mattress which provides good support is a worthwhile investment. Bedding should be clean. The temperature and humidity of the room should be comfortable and air quality good -- ensure good ventilation and improve air quality using plants or an air purifier. Noisy contraptions should be kept away from the bedroom.

    2. Before hitting your sack, find ways to calm and relax your mind and body
    Listen to soft and soothing music, read a relaxing book or take a warm bath. Throw in some soothing essential oils for added effect -- lavender, chamomile, sandalwood and valerian are some good ones for promoting sleep.

    Other ways to use essential oils to improve sleep include rubbing them on your temples and wrists as well as heating them to emit delightful fragrances.

    Meditation and deep breathing can also help your mind and body wind down and prepare for sleep.

    3. Sleep in total darkness
    When your eyes detect darkness, the pineal gland in your brain begins to secrete melatonin, a vital hormone which promotes sleepiness and regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production helps you sleep better, and this chemical also has other important effects in the body, including helping to ward off cancer.

    Getting some natural sunlight outdoors each day also helps your body's regulation of its sleep-wake cycle.

    4. Move your body in the day
    Exercise not only makes your body stronger in many ways but also helps you have more restful sleep at night.

    Exercising outdoors would kill two birds with one stone.

    5. Have a regular sleeping routine
    Another way to help your body better regulate its sleep-wake cycle is to try to go to bed and arise at about the same time every day. Empty your bladder before going to bed.

    6. Drink a warm cup of herbal tea
    Certain herbal teas are known to have relaxation and sleep-promoting properties. These include valerian tea, chamomile tea and passionflower tea.

    7. Avoid eating or drinking too much before going to bed
    During sleep, your body should be rejuvenating, not attempting to digest a truckload of food. Heavy foods are even worse, while drinking too much before bed can result in toilet visits that disrupt your rest.

    8. Keep away from electrical devices as much as possible
    The electromagnetic fields of devices such as electric blankets, electric clocks, power lines and generators can interfere with your body's electromagnetic field -- this can affect sleep. Ideally, these items should be kept away from sleeping areas.

    9. Avoid physical stimulants too close to bedtime
    Physical stimulants like alcohol, nicotine in cigarettes and caffeine in tea, coffee or cocoa can all affect sleep, as can vigorous physical activities. Also avoid sugar -- you don't want an energy injection before bed.

    10. Avoid mental stimulation too
    Even mental stimulation, for example watching horror movies or disturbing media, or listening to loud music, can affect sleep. Excessive mental activities such as intensive problem solving or emotionally stimulating activities like a heated conversation can affect your ability to have a good sleep, too.

    Sources for this article include:

    Mercola, Joseph, Dr., and Pearsall, Kendra, Dr. Take Control of Your Health. Schaumburg, IL: Mercola.com, 2007. Print.

    Trivieri, Jr., Larry, and Anderson, John W. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. 2nd ed. New York, USA: Celestial Arts, 2002. Print.

    Broida, Marian. New Hope for People with Depression. Roseville, CA: Prima Pub., 2001. Print.

    About the author:
    Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth.
    Link to article


             
  • 06 Apr 2014 8:30 AM | John (Administrator)
    I remember the first time I read about this in one of my favorite books from my doctorate program - When Healing Becomes a Crime.  It describes the history of the medical industry and how we began down this path of Western Medicine.  I also remember thinking..."I didn't want to know that", as it conflicts with so many beliefs that I was taught as a boy.  Sigh...

    By Kimberly Carter Gamble with Erin Breech When your doctor tells you your prescription is approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), it’s intended to give you confidence. But what it really means is that the drug or procedure is endorsed and funded by the same corporations that endorse and fund Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other products that are harmful to your health. In fact, the AMA is in part financed by Pfizer, which owns Monsanto, the company that manufactured controversial and proven-to-be-dangerous products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone) and is now the largest manufacturer of genetically modified seeds and the herbicide glyphosate, which GMO’s require. This is only one of the insidious connections between the AMA and corporations that cause, and prosper from, your ill health.

    Here’s how it works:

    Founded in 1847, the American Medical Association is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States. Its stated mission includes “…lobbying for legislation favorable to physicians and patients, and to raise money for medical education.”

    The AMA spends big money on lobbying. One of the AMA’s top lobbying firms, the McManus Group, also lobbies for PhRMA, Eli Lilly & Co, Merck and Pfizer. According to OpenSecrets.org, the American Medical Association comes in second in overall money spent on lobbying in the last 10 years with over $264 million. The health industry as a whole trumps all other industries including energy and finance in lobbying expenditure.

    The AMA looks to legitimize its agenda through its Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, which is the most widely circulated medical journal in the world. JAMA receives major funding through its advertisers, many of which are pharmaceuticals. In addition, the American Medical Association has been accepting money from the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations from as early as 1910. In World Without Cancer, G. Edward Griffin makes the argument that the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations began to support the AMA in an effort to control the medical schooling establishment and to gain power over this “large and vital sphere of American life.”

    The editor of JAMA is very influential, and has historically played a significant role in suppressing alternative health treatments. Morris Fishbein, editor of JAMA from 1924–1950, was directly engaged in suppressing Royal Rife’s cancer cure. In 1849, homeopathy was nearly as popular as allopathic medical practices. The AMA was able to use its position to squash what it referred to as “quackery” undefined stating that the public did not know what was good for it and that the medical establishment must have total control. At that point it called for control over all medical regulations and licenses. These regulations eventually lead to closing down of schools and almost complete suppression of the practice. Even today in America homeopathic practices are mostly “underground.”

    This is essentially the same story as that which played out with chiropractors. 12,000 chiropractors were arrested in the first half of the twentieth century simply for helping patients with only their hands. A pivotal point in this war, an antitrust case, Wilk v. the AMA, occurred when court testimony revealed the AMA’s final solution for the “chiropractic menace” to be the “complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.” They called chiropractors “rabid dogs”, “killers”, an “unscientific cult”, and “a danger to public safety”. When taken to task in court, the AMA could not provide one witness to prove these accusations; it was purely propaganda. But the role of the AMA in determining what qualifies as sanctioned medical practice was established nonetheless. It is noteworthy, especially for those who discredit conspiracy theories, that the AMA was convicted of conspiracy for its attack on chiropractic.

    It was around the turn of the century that the AMA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation forged their partnership. They put their money into drug-based research and made that the main focus of “healthcare”undefineda move that turned “healthcare” into “sickness management.” The Rockefellers and other prominent banking elite have been able to control and profit enormously from the drug industry.

    Now, all medical doctors in the USA are trained in medical schools that are run and/or accredited/sanctioned by the AMA. Of 129 medical schools in America, only 22 require even what amounts to basic rudimentary courses in nutrition. Medical students are not trained to see the connections between many degenerative diseases and malnutrition. Instead they are taught only how to treat with surgical or pharmaceutical methods but do not cure or alleviate the root problem or ailment. In this way, they are assured of life-long customers. Surveys conclude that nearly half of all Americans regularly take prescription drugs. In 2013, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. #37 in healthcare despite spending $8,608 on each person annually.

    What Can We Do?

    We are whole and integrated beings and therefore require whole-system, integrated health care solutions.

    • Get educated and take responsibility for your own health.
    • Ask your own health care providers to disclose the source of their information regarding their prescription choices and knowledge updates, if they know who funds the research they are relying on, and ask if they have any interactions with drug companies whose products they prescribe.
    • Create small community-based health clinics, including home visits for individual patients as well as health education and promotion for whole communities.
    • Encourage more whole-system education throughout all schools.
    • Make Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) part of mainstream curriculum undefined not as something to be learned in addition to medical training, but rather as a valid body of knowledge to be integrated at all levels.
    • Create a campaign to make integrative medicine a mandatory part of curriculum in U.S. medical schools through the American Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME).
    • Join a campaign to protect alternative health practices.
    • Support naturopathic medical colleges in the U.S. with enrollment and funding.
    • Lobby to make alternative therapies accessible to everyone. Currently most alternative therapies in the U.S. are not covered by health insurance and alternative treatments are rarely accessed by low-income individuals. Fabulous work on this is being done by Dean Ornish. Follow and support his work.
    • Educate yourself and bring awareness of new energy technologies and health devices based on Rife and other current inventors work out into the open. If you have financial resources, help support their development and dissemination.

    As people are waking up, Monsanto has been removed and banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South Australia, Russia, France, and Switzerland. Monsanto is currently the target of effective resistance in the US as well. This same organizing can happen with pharmaceuticals, as we gain an understanding of the connection between them and the agribusiness companies and the medical establishment.

    Next time someone says “It’s approved by the AMA”, ask them if they understand what that really means, and share this information.

    Source

             

  • 05 Apr 2014 9:32 AM | John (Administrator)
    In my opinion, this is probably the most important key to happiness (followed closely by gratitude).  It seems so simple, but can be quite a challenge.  To accept what happens in life and KNOW that it's all OK is a wonderful feeling.  I'm still working on it! :)



    To surrender does not mean putting your hands in the air and flying a white flag, it is not defeat, giving up or failing. To surrender is to be wise. It is wise to accept the flow of life's energy rather than resist it. To surrender is to accept "What is now" unconditionally and to give up, without any reservations whatsoever, any inner resistance to "What is now".

    By making a conscious choice at this moment, and in every present moment of now, to fully accept that the present moment is as it should be, then by surrendering to this knowledge you are more powerful than you could possibly believe. By not judging the present moment of now but by accepting it and offering no resistance to what is now, you show tremendous faith in God and other Unseen Entities. This allows you to be in a state of grace, easy flow and enlightenment. Whether things are perceived "good" or "bad" is not material in this state of grace. Things are what they are and, eventually everything happens for the best. You can truly let go and let God - but make sure you row away from the rocks! By surrendering to "what is now", in this state of graceful surrender, you can see clearly what action needs to take place and by doing one thing at a time, step by step, inch by inch, moment by moment, as illustrated in the Law of Process, you accomplish what needs to be done, in your surrendered state.

    The energy released in a surrendered state is a powerful, healing energy. This energy propels your healing, growth and evolvement. Surrender to discover how powerful You Really Are.

    Laws From: Guide Speak (From Raising Vibrations Facebook page)

             
  • 01 Apr 2014 6:55 AM | John (Administrator)
    I definitely believe that there is a link between the condition of the liver and your eyesight.  It's interesting to hear people talking about improved eyesight after doing the 21 Day Purification Program - cleaning the liver is one of the best things you can do for your health!


    Top three factors for improving your eyesight naturally
    by Derek Henry

    When looking to improve your eyesight, it seems that eye exercises are the most commonly prescribed method to do so. Although it is an important component, there are may other factors you need to consider if you want to seriously improve your eyesight.

    Detoxify your liver

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is a strong relationship between your liver and eye health. Improving the health of your liver can often help prevent and improve eye conditions.

    The liver is your main detoxifier and filter of your bloodstream. Any toxins you ingest eventually end up in your liver to be broken down and excreted from your body. The better your liver is at detoxification, the fewer toxins you will have in your body.

    However, when the liver becomes compromised, the quantity of toxins increases, causing free radical damage and harm to your organs and tissues. The delicate retina and macula in your eyes are very vulnerable to free radical damage, and it can have a seriously negative impact on your vision. Free radicals can attack the retina and result in the breakdown of healthy tissue.

    Liver blood deficiency can cause blurry vision, short sightedness, dry eyes and floaters. If you have excessive liver heat, it can result in painful, burning and blood shot eyes.

    Based on these points alone, it becomes apparent that detoxifying your liver is an important component to improving your eyesight naturally.

    Nourish your eyes and brain

    As a general rule, eating plenty of raw vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and various carotenoids (typically yellow, orange and red pigments) will help protect and improve eyesight. This is mainly accomplished through lutein and zeaxanthin, two specific antioxidants found in large quantities around the lens and retina of the eyes, which have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

    Foods that are high in carotenoids:

    • Carrots
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Pumpkin
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Goji berries
    • Cantaloupe
    • Apricots

    Another important source is astaxanthin, known as the "King of Carotenoids."

    Also consider eyebright herb, cayenne pepper, red raspberry and bayberry bark for additional benefits, as well as foods high in zinc such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, beans, beef and chicken.

    Another important part of clear vision is brain function, so ensure that you eat plenty of healthy brain foods as well like wild-caught salmon, avocados, coconut oil, hemp, walnuts and brazil nuts.

    Eye exercises

    One of the best ways to do eye exercises is to use the sun as the focal point (do not look at it directly but, rather, around it) during less intense sunlight hours (typically before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.) in order to strengthen the "oculo-endocrine system."

    Quite simply, the key to this therapy is the invisible ultraviolet band, and the retina. While the visible bands of light stimulate the retina's cone and rods that produce vision, the invisible band stimulates the adjacent epithelial cells, which transmit the stimulus as a powerful nerve impulse through the optic nerve directly to the pituitary and pineal glands. This is a powerful healing and strengthening exercise for the eyes.

    To put this powerful force to use, try the "sun blinking exercise":

    • Look once to the north of the sun (about 15 degrees above it) while blinking the eyes for 3-5 seconds
    • Do the same after looking to the east (right), south (below) and west (left) of the sun

    Again, do not look directly at the sun, as the as the part of the retina we want to hit with the rays of the sun is on the sides and not the center.

    Enjoy your new and improved vision.


             
  • 31 Mar 2014 4:43 PM | John (Administrator)
    I love these messages from the author of The Secret.  Most of them focus on gratitude...and for good reason.  It invites so many wonderful things in our lives when we put this energy out there...


    From The Secret Daily Teachings

    Write down all the great things about everyone you know. Make a huge list of all the wonderful things about you. Compliment people wherever you go. Praise every single thing you see. Be a ray of sunshine to everyone you meet, and make their day better for having seen you. Say "Thank you" at every turn. Walk, talk, think, and breathe appreciation and gratitude.

    When you do this, your outer life will change to reflect your inner state of being.
             
  • 31 Mar 2014 6:58 AM | John (Administrator)
    We are one of the few animals that can't make Vitamin C - so like any other "essential" vitamin or mineral we must consume it!



    Vitamin C is a nutrient that has received a lot of attention over the years. It has been used by many households to combat colds, and is now getting acclaim for treating cancer. It's best to get vitamin C in whole food for its synergistic effect with other nutrients, and these are 5 great ways to do just that.

    Camu Camu

    This extraordinary fruit lives deep in the Amazon rainforests of South America and packs an amazing nutrient density, with its claim to fame being the densest source of vitamin C in the world.

    In a 100 gram serving, camu camu has shown to have up to 7.5 grams of vitamin c, which is an unprecedented 7.5% of its weight. To provide comparison, it provides 60 times more vitamin c than an orange on an ounce-by-ounce basis.

    Along with being the highest known source of vitamin c, it also has the following health benefits:

    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Helps prevent cancer
    • Promotes eye health
    • Improves mood
    • Boosts the immune system
    • Guards against infections

    Acerola Cherry

    Also known as the Barbados cherry, this fruit has its origin in the Yucatan but is also cultivated in the Caribbean and sub tropical regions, as well as Brazil.

    In a 100 grams serving, the acerola cherry has shown up to 4.5 grams of vitamin C, which is an amazing 4.5% of its weight. Once it is harvested it must be used or made into a supplemental form quickly due to rapid spoilage.

    Along with being the second highest known source of vitamin c, it also has the following health benefits:

    • Reduce intestinal inflammation
    • Treating the common cold
    • Minimizes depression
    • Relieves infections

    Guava

    Native to Mexico, Central America, and South America, guava is a somewhat round or pear shaped fruit and is light green, yellow, or maroon on the outside when it is ripe.

    In a 100 grams serving, the guava has about .22 grams of vitamin C, which is about .22% of its weight. This may not seem like a lot but it still provides you with approximately 250% of your RDA.

    Along with being the third highest known source of vitamin C, it also has the following health benefits:

    • Good for eyesight
    • Helps with cancer prevention
    • Helps relieve diarrhea
    • Helps relieve constipation
    • Helps treat the common cold

    Peppers

    Bell peppers and red chili peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America and are cultivated across the world. They range from green to purple in color, and contain many nutrients.

    In a 100 grams serving, peppers (bell and chili) have between .14 and .18 grams of vitamin C, which is about .14% to .18% of its weight. Peppers provide you up to 200% of your RDA.

    Along with being the fourth highest known source of vitamin c, it also has the following health benefits:

    • Improved circulation
    • Boosts metabolism
    • Improves digestion
    • Fights free radicals

    Kale

    Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that is cultivated in many areas of the world. It has become well known in the health world through salads, juicing and healthy snacks such as kale chips.

    In a 100 grams serving, kale has .12 grams of vitamin C, which is about .12% of its weight. Kale provides you with approximately 135% of your RDA.

    Along with being the fifth highest known source of vitamin C, it also has the following health benefits:

    • Prevents osteoarthritis and bone fractures
    • Powerful detoxifier
    • Great anti-inflammatory
    • Improves digestion
    • Protects eye and skin health

    Other foods that are also good sources of vitamin C include kiwi, oranges, melons, berries, pineapple, and citrus peels.

    If you want to make your own vitamin C, dehydrated citrus peels is another good source, which you could use in smoothies, teas, and cold drinks.


    Source


             
  • 29 Mar 2014 7:02 AM | John (Administrator)
    Who knew about these joys of ear wax??

    By Dr. Mercola

    Earwax, known technically as cerumen, is produced by glands in your ear canal. Made up mostly of dead skin cells, earwax also contains other substances, including lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme, fatty acids, alcohols, cholesterol, and squalene.1

    In fact, earwax isn't "wax" at all; it's a mixture of water-soluble secretions. And although you probably don't give your earwax much thought, it actually represents one of your body's most ingenious protective mechanisms. Earwax isn't simply a hygienic nuisance… far from it.

    Earwax Benefits: Why Your Ears Need Wax

    Your ears produce earwax constantly so that, ideally, you'll maintain just the right amount in your ear canals. Unless you have an earwax blockage, which I'll discuss below, it's actually best to leave your earwax alone – don't try to remove it with cotton swabs or other devices.

    In fact, if you have too little earwax in your ear canal, your ears may feel dry and itchy. This is because earwax is there for a reason – to protect your ears and provide lubrication. It does this by:

    • Preventing dust, bacteria, and other germs from entering and damaging your ear
    • Trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria
    • Protecting the skin of your ear canal from becoming irritated by water

    Your Ears Are Self-Cleaning: Keep the Cotton Swabs Out

    Your ear canals are self-cleaning, and earwax is the self-cleaning agent. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), under ideal circumstances your ear canals should never have to be cleaned.

    Excess earwax should move out of your ear canal automatically, as cells there actually migrate naturally. The removal of earwax is also helped along by movements of your jaw (talking, chewing, etc.), and once it reaches your outer ear it will simply fall out or be removed when you shower or bathe. AAO-HNSF states:2

    "Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that earwax should be routinely removed for personal hygiene. This is not so. In fact, attempting to remove Earwax with cotton-tipped swabs, bobby pins, or other probing devices can result in damage to the ear, including trauma, impaction of the Earwax, or even temporary deafness. These objects only push the wax in deeper, and can block the ear canal entirely."

    Your Genes Determine Whether Your Earwax Is Wet or Dry

    There are two types of earwax:

    • Wet, which is sticky and yellow or brown in color
    • Dry, which is crumbly and lighter colored, grey, or tan

    A single gene has been identified as the determining factor in which type of earwax you have, and your family background matters. Dry earwax is common in East Asian populations while wet earwax dominates in African and European populations. The same gene variant that leads to dry earwax is also responsible for reduced underarm body odor in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean individuals.3

    Interestingly, when measuring the concentration of 12 volatile organic compounds in earwax from East Asian and white men, Caucasian earwax had more odorous compounds, which one day might be used to help detect disease.4

    Earwax Might Reveal Exposure to Pollutants

    Like certain other bodily secretions, earwax may be an indicator of your exposure to environmental pollutants, although there's not much reason to measure earwax pollutants as opposed to, say, getting a blood test.

    To get an idea of how much you could, theoretically, learn from analyzing earwax, consider an analysis of earwax from a blue whale. As BBC News reported, blue whales actually retain their earwax for life "recording life events similar to the way tree rings reveal arid and wet seasons during its lifetime."5

    Whale earwax has been described as "a time capsule for stress and toxins,"6 with one analysis showing the whale had been exposed to several organic pollutants, including pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals, as well as mercury, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol released upon reaching the age of sexual maturity.7

    Earwax Blockages: When to Remove Earwax

    I have treated hundreds of people in my life who had cerumen impactions. Typically, this required flushing the ear with a syringe or using a dental irrigator to soften the cerumen so it could come out.

    The wax can effectively eliminate most of the sound coming to that ear making one nearly deaf on one side. It's estimated that more than 12 million people a year suffer from impacted earwax. This accumulation of earwax may cause your ear canal to become blocked, leading to the following symptoms:8

    • Earache, fullness in the ear, or a sensation the ear is plugged
    • Partial (reversible) hearing loss, which may be progressive
    • Tinnitus, ring, or noises in the ear
    • Itching, odor, or discharge
    • Coughing

    If you do experience a buildup of wax, you can easily remedy the situation at home by using either water, oil, or ear drops to soften the wax to help it migrate out on its own, or you can use ear irrigation to flush the wax out.Acceptable liquids that you can use for this purpose include:

    • Coconut oil
    • Hydrogen peroxide (3% available in most grocery stores)
    • Carbamide peroxide
    • Olive oil

    It's worth noting that using plain sterile water, or a sterile saline solution, to soften earwax works just as well as oil or over-the-counter ear drops. However, I normally find that high-pressure irrigation of the ear canal with a syringe is necessary to remove troublesome wax. This should only be done by a professional as if done improperly it can damage your ear drum.

    Additionally, you should NOT irrigate your ears if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, a tube in your eardrum, or if your immune system is weakened. If you suffer from a more serious impaction or you can't get results at home, you may need to get the earwax removed by a physician who can manually remove the wax using microsuction, an otoscope, and appropriate instruments.

    Ear Candling Is Not Recommended

    Ear candling involves putting a hollow cone-shaped device or "candle," typically made of linen or cotton soaked in wax or paraffin, in the ear canal, and lighting it on fire. The person undergoing the procedure lies on his or her side. A paper plate or other collection device is placed above the ear, and the candle is inserted through a hole in the plate into the ear canal. The candle is lit, and trimmed as it burns down.

    After the candle burns down and is removed from the ear, a cotton swab is used to clean visible wax from the ear, and oil is sometimes applied as a finishing touch. Proponents and practitioners of candling maintain the procedure removes wax and other impurities from the ear. The process by which this purportedly happens is as the smoke moves down the candle into your ear and back out again, a vacuum is created that pulls out wax and other debris from your ear into the hollow candle.

    However, research published in the journal Laryngoscope measured this pressure and concluded that no negative pressure was created.9 The same research also revealed that no earwax was removed during candling, and that candle wax was actually deposited in some test subjects' ears. Additionally, serious injuries may result from ear candling, including external burns, ear canal obstruction with candle wax, and even a perforated eardrum. Remember, earwax has been designed by nature as a cleaning mechanism for your ears. For most of us, the wax moves through the ear canal and eventually makes it to the outside, taking any dirt and other accumulated matter with it. Typically, only earwax that has reached the opening of your ear should be removed.

    You May Be Deficient in Omega-3 if You Have Frequent Earwax Buildup

    Prevention is the best way to treat this problem. Frequent excess buildup of earwax can oftentimes be traced back to an omega-3 deficiency, so the remedy is quite simple: take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 supplement. Once you've cleared out any excess buildup or impaction, making sure you're getting sufficient amounts of omega-3 will normally prevent a recurrence. If the earwax buildup does return, it's a clue that you may still have a serious omega-3 deficiency.

             


AyoLifeBalance LLC
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software