Category: Health

Coconut Oil Could Help To Get Rid Of Acne

coconutsAcne is an embarrassing condition that millions of people, especially teenagers, across the world suffer from every day. While there are some good remedies for the condition on the market, many of them can contain harmful chemicals that are not good for your body. Many people would like to be able to use a natural alternative for treating their acne as many anti-acne creams contain harmful chemicals, and some may even irritate the skin and cause more breakouts to appear later on. However, when it comes to natural alternatives, many of them often fail to measure up for people with severe cases of acne.

One such natural alternative for treating acne is coconut oil. Although some people suffering severely with acne may still also need to use a strong chemical-based solution as advised by their doctor/ Coconut oil may also provide additional benefits in fighting the condition and bring about a more healthy complexion.

The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For The Skin

Coconut oil is an excellent skincare remedy because of its natural hydrating and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. This essential oil can do wonders for your complexion and also doubles as a great hair care product as many people claim that coconut oil can also nourish and even thicken the hair, although this depends on what type of hair a person has. It is always worth finding out if coconut is beneficial for your hair type before using it for this reason. There are also studies that indicate that coconut oil may also help to nourish the brain and spinal cord when ingested. However, it is important for the individual to bear in mind that it needs to be a high quality extra virgin coconut oil with no added chemicals for this use, such as this one.

Understanding What Causes Acne

Acne can be resulting from a variety of different things. Breakouts are the results of sebaceous glands producing too much oil, which clogs your pores and causes acne. Sebaceous glands can become overstimulated because of hormonal imbalances, which is why many teenagers often suffer from the condition. However, dry skin can also play a role. Hydrating your skin on a daily basis with coconut oil will help restore a natural balance and should reduce the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands.

Getting Rid Of Bacteria

bacteria from acneSome breakouts are caused by a bacteria known as Propionibacterium. There are many different types of bacteria present on the human skin, and this is perfectly reasonable, but since propionibacterium gets nutrients from sebum, therefore, overactive sebaceous glands can throw off the natural balance of your skin fauna. You can restore this balance by using an antibacterial soap, but these products often cause your skin to become dry. The best way to get rid of the bacteria that can cause acne is to use coconut oil since this natural oil will eliminate bacteria while hydrating your skin.

Healing Acne Scars

When it comes to treating acne, many sufferers find that they become rather apprehensive over continuing to apply harsh chemicals to their skin in order to counter their embarrassing skin condition. Therefore, many acne sufferers are looking into treating acne with natural means. One such solution it to apply a layer of coconut oil to their skin, which has been found to be effective due to it’s anti-bacterial properties. Besides this, coconut oil also helps to cool and soothe inflamed skin. Sometimes it can take a while for acne scars to fade, so coconut oil may be applied to help with the healing process.

Applying a little of the coconut oil to the scars may help to soften and nourish the skin at the site of the scars and assist with faster healing. Further studies are needed in this area, but there are many testimonials from people stating that coconut oil has helped their scars to heal considerably.

Treating Cystic Acne

Cystic acne can be difficult to get rid of. This condition is caused by the bacteria mentioned above and by clogged pores. It’s hard to cure because the inflammation typically occurs within the deeper layers of the skin. Most anti-acne products will only make cystic acne worse since chemicals can contribute to inflammation. Some people claim that coconut oil is the best way to treat cystic acne because it has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can be gently massaged into the skin to reach the deeper inflamed layers.

Coconut oil should be your natural go-to anti-acne treatment. This is a very affordable home remedy that will not irritate your skin, and that can help to eliminate breakouts efficiently. You can add a few drops of coconut oil to a moisturising cream or apply coconut oil directly on your skin to get results.

Here is more information on healing acne from Dr Axe. Dr Axe is a renowned authority on natural health and provides a lot of good information on his website and YouTube channel.

Top Ways To Help With Back Pain

a man suffering with back painMany times, when it comes to back pain, there is not one cure that works every time for all kinds of pains related to the back. The back is quite a complex structure and pain can be due to several factors. However, the back does have several areas which are prone to injury.

Often, back pain treatment requires trial and error approach to find the best treatment solutions for each particular case. Traditionally medical approaches tend to focus on looking over anatomical issues in the back to determine if the injury is muscular or structural based.

That being said the pains would be best kept at bay with a more multifaceted approach to facilitate the support of the affected area and the overall recovery of the injury and the surrounding structures and tissues.

Here are a few management techniques for chronic back pain that are not very emphasised and even can be overlooked in the world of traditional medical treatments:

1. Sufficient Restorative Sleep

The leading cause of insomnia is pain. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Therefore, the majority of those people suffering from chronic back pain also deal with some form of sleep disorder. As a result of sleeping inadequately, back pain can worsen. This type of cycle can make it difficult to treat the back pain solely. If you are experiencing problems with sleep, those issues must be addressed as well to improve your overall well-being and enable to back the best chance of recovery.

2. Use Cold and Hot to Ease the Pain

Many times the simplicity of applying a hot and or cold pack to reduce that back pain and speed up recovery is overlooked. However, to do this effectively, one must know whether hot or cold is the appropriate compress for the particular type of back pain.

As a general rule, if the pain is due to inflammation then a cold compress can be useful as the cold can help to take down the inflammation.

If however, the pain is due to contract, stiff or locked muscles, then a hot compress is recommended. The heat can help to soothe the locked or contracted muscles and bring an increase in blood flow to the area.

Cold Therapy

There are two main benefits to cold therapy:
Inflammation is reduced, inflammation is usually to blame for a lot of back pain.
Cold therapy works as a local anaesthetic; it does this by slowing down the nerve impulses; this prevents your nerves from spasming which can cause pain.

Heat Therapy

There are two main benefits to heat therapy:
The blood flow is stimulated, this helps to provide the nutrients that are needed to heal the affected area of the back.
The pain messages which are being sent to the brain are inhibited.

3. Exercise the Core

The muscles that play a critical role in supporting the back are your ab muscles. These are not muscles that are exercised on their own as the day goes by, they must be targeted during exercise. There are a variety of exercises which can be performed throughout the day to help strengthen your core, take the time to find the ones that would work best for you or speak to a physiotherapist or pilates instructor to find the best exercises that will suit your injury.

a person stretching her legs4. Stretch Your Hamstrings Twice a Day

Tight hamstrings can contribute to a back pain; this is something that is very often overlooked. If the hamstrings, which are found on the back of the thighs are too tight the rest of the back, as a result, could also start to get tight over time. You should carefully stretch your hamstrings twice every day.

5. Keep the Brain Engaged

Pain is not absolute, it is more than just a sensation, this is something that pain specialists have understood for a long time. A paramount role in how the pain is perceived is played by the way that the brain interprets and of course, processes the pain signals. There are ways in which a person can learn to control the pain to a certain degree by correct use of the mind. The mind is a powerful instrument, and can play an important role over how much pain a person may need to experience overall.

Seeking Help

The first point of call for back pain for most people is the local GP. However, most GP’s are not trained extensively in this kind of pain management, so they will often refer you to a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath or even an acupuncturist.

Seeing a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy is a common form of treatment for back pain and is based locating the cause of the injury, applying various techniques to help to alleviate the pain and also incorporating exercises or the muscles to help to free tension, stretch tight muscles and enhance movement.

Seeing a Chiropractor

A chiropractor is a practitioner who specialises in problems arising from the spinal column itself. They work to correct issues of the spine that may be causing referred symptoms in other areas of the body.

Seeing an Acupuncturist

Acupuncture therapy is now also more commonly being referred to by Western doctors. Acupuncture has been found to be effective for certain types of back pain and can help to lessen the severity of the pain experienced, increase blood flow to the area and assist with other therapies.

Seeing an Osteopath

Osteopathy is also a physically manipulative therapy, like chiropractic. However, osteopathy works on a more generalised system of the whole body, rather than having its focus on the spine.

Natural Remedies to Help Migraine Pain

a man suffering from a migraine headacheUnless someone has experienced a migraine first-hand, it is very difficult to describe just how debilitating this condition can be. Often, simple pain meds such as paracetamol or ibuprofen don’t even come close to tackling a full-blown migraine leaving the victim to face the harshness of specially prescribed medication to help combat the condition.

However, many migraine sufferers report dissatisfaction with many drugs prescribed for the condition. Besides, many migraine meds also carry a risk of nasty side effects that include, weight gain, insomnia, nausea, depression and low blood pressure to name but a few.

So what are the alternatives? Can anything be done naturally to help with the symptoms of migraine intensity and frequency?

Here are five natural remedies that may be effective for a migraine.

1. During Plenty of Water

Although scientists do not yet fully understand the causes of a migraine attack, it has been established that dehydration can facilitate the onset of an episode. So stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks, which cause a person to become dehydrated more quickly.

2. Regular Exercise

During a migraine attack, the neck muscles can often tighten up and cause considerable tension and stress on the neck and scalp muscles. Therefore, it is advised that migraine sufferers should take regular exercise to help keep their neck and shoulder muscles supple, which may be able to lessen the frequency and intensity of an attack.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency has been directly linked to the occurrence of migraines in several clinical studies. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on the body and works to soothe muscles and nerves and also helps to prevent nerves from becoming over-stimulated.

Magnesium is effective for both a preventing migraine before they occur and also helping to minimise their severity once onset starts.

As our bodies do not produce magnesium naturally, we must ensure we are getting enough of this essential mineral from our food or through supplements.

However, magnesium is notoriously difficult to absorb. Therefore, it is recommended to be taken in a powder form mixed with calcium and dissolved in hot water before drinking. This way the calcium will help to facilitate the absorption process of the magnesium into the system.

4. Omega 3

Studies have shown that migraine sufferers are greatly benefited by the continual and frequent supplementation of omega three fatty acids.

Omega 3 is a substance derived from fish oil, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Therefore, it is suspected that these oils can also help to reduce the inflammation of the nerves and muscles that become inflamed during a migraine attack.

One Scandinavian study reported that as much as 87% of participants of one trial reported a notable improvement with their migraines since incorporating omega three into their diet on a daily basis.

5. Acupuncture

Many migraine sufferers seek out the help of an acupuncturist for their condition, with a large number of them reporting significant improvement in both the intensity and frequency of their attacks.

Some clinical trials have shown that the use of acupuncture treatment for a migraine can bring about the long-lasting effects of prescription drugs for the condition, but without the nasty side-effects that the drugs bring.

picture of an acupuncture needle in a persons scalp for headaches“Often, we find that migraine sufferers have considerable tension in the neck and shoulder area or are dehydrated without being aware of it. For others, the condition may be related to a hormonal imbalance, all of which seem to respond very well to acupuncture”, says Stephen West, an acupuncturist from the UK.

Stephen also explains that from a Chinese medicine perspective, congestion in the liver and gall bladder can cause irritability and muscle tension. Therefore, it is also advisable for those patients who are suffering in this way to take hot water with lemon on a daily basis to help move the congestion in the liver. A person may also use natural herbs such as calendula or milk thistle to achieve the same effect.

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There are several natural alternatives that one can consider when wanting to find natural ways to help with migraines. Over time, it may be possible for some sufferers of this debilitating condition, to start reducing the medication that they are taking to alleviate the condition.

However, when considering to reduce medications of any kind, it is highly advisable that you consult your doctor before doing so and follow their guidance on the best protocols for reducing your drugs.

Rhinitis And What To Do About It

allergic rhinitisRhinitis affects thousands of people in varying degrees. Symptoms can vary from constant sneezing, running or blocked nose to difficulty breathing, sinus headaches and chronic pain. It is due to irritation of the sensitive mucous membrane that becomes inflamed within the nasal cavity. The inflammation can cause the nasal passage to not only become sore but in some cases it can also swell and obstruct the airways, making breathing difficult. Due to the inevitable obstruction that often occurs, mucous can also build up in the nasal cavity making it more difficult to breathe.

Rhinitis is categorised in three ways:

  • Infective rhinitis
  • Non-allergic (vasomotor) rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis

Infective rhinitis

This is due to bacterial infections affecting the nasal passage. The infections can be of both an acute and chronic nature. There are various viruses that can cause this, including the common cold. With this type of rhinitis sneezing is often a typical symptom for the sufferer.

Non-allergic rhinitis

This type of rhinitis is typically characterised by a running nose but not due to a bacterial or viral infection of any kind. This type of rhinitis is often triggered in sensitive people by things such as a change in the air temperature or pressure, the presence of odours, a fluctuation in emotional state or various food factors that one may have an intolerance to.

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is also more commonly known as hay fever, irritating the sufferer seasonally (typically in spring or summer) with the presence of pollen. In some people, dust or animal fur such as cats, dogs and horses can also be a trigger. When these types of irritants enter the nasal passage they trigger the release of histamine by the body. The histamine is trying to get rid of the irritant however, it gets out of control and causes the sneezing, running nose and swelling of the nasal passage.

Treatment options

Medication: For the lucky ones, there is a range of medicines and pharmaceutical products that can help for rhinitis conditions and there are also several natural remedies that many people find effective too. These products can range from simple nasal sprays to decongestants that actually help to break down accumulated mucous in the nasal cavity and sinus area. Other medications work to destroy and eliminate bacterial and viral infections and some act to inhibit the action of histamine once it’s release is triggered by the body.

Surgery: For people with a more severe case of rhinitis or if they have any structural damage or miss-alignments then surgery may be necessary. This doesn’t have to be a scary prospect and you will probably find several qualified and highly experienced Rhinoplasty surgeons in your area who can perform the operation for you.

If you live in the San Francisco area then this may be a concern to you, due to the reasonably high pollen count that affects this area in the state of California. However, rhinoplasty surgery is not cheap and many people may be on a budget. So if you are looking for the cheapest San Francisco rhinoplasty surgery then you may want to spend some time looking into pricing options and various other factors that may make the procedure more affordable for you.

Acupuncture, a growing trend in the modern world

acupuncture-656578_640With the growing interest in ancient healing traditions, there seems to be a general trend with regards to the public shying away from alopathic medicine for minor ailments. So many times we hear people are now becoming more conscious about the pharmaceutical pills they are putting into their body.

One such practice to benefit from this collective, shifting mind-set is acupuncture.

Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing, dating back to around 5,000 years. It is one of the worlds oldest known medical systems and has been used for centuries to both prevent and heal illnesses of all kinds.

It’s exact origins are unknown however, it is strongly believed that this form of medicine hails from Asia and more specifically, China where it is common practice even in hospitals and doctors surgeries.

Extraordinary Results

It has been known for many years that the Chinese use to use acupuncture as a means of anesthetic and to control the flow of blood during operations and surgical procedures. The technique of inserting tiny needles into very specific locations on the body and then applying continuous stimulation to bring about a state of temporary paralysis and at the same time, minimise the flow of blood to the area in order for the physician to perform the surgical procedure.

Today in China acupuncture is often used in hospitals to assist surgical procedures in the same way. This astounding method has been built upon and developed and acupuncturists using this technique will also send an electric current down the needle to intensify the stimulation of the points.

This method is now offered to Chinese patients for procedures as serious as open heart surgery and even open brain surgery. During these procedures, patients who opt to have acupuncture as their method of pain control as opposed to general anesthetic enjoy a recovery rate from their operation at a rate of around six weeks faster compared to patients requesting general anesthetic.

Western Appeal

Although the western world may not be as open to the idea of having acupuncture as their means of pain control for major operations, the practice of this healing art has gained wide-spread popularity in many countries including the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, Israel and Greece to name but a few.

The use of acupuncture has also become rather trendy among several note-worthy celebrities.

A person may visit an acupuncturist for many reasons from simple back and knee pain to issues of the digestive tract, sleep disorders, stress, headaches and migraines and even infertility. Due to the stresses of modern day life, acupuncture treatment for migraines have become increasingly more popular as this if a condition often(but not always) associated with a stressful lifestyle.

With a seemingly growing number of people choosing acupuncture as a method of treatment, it’s no wonder there is also an increase in acupuncture colleges and institutions springing up in the west. Professional governing bodies have emerged to govern the industry and help to provide a high and consistent standard of training across the board. In the UK, there are now several noteworthy training facilities where one can study acupuncture; it is now no longer necessary to travel half way around the world to the Orient in order to get an education in this form of alternative medicine.

Students are all trained in house in the colleges own training clinic, where local members of the public come to have treatment from the students while under the supervision of their teachers.

While there have been several colleges in the UK that have come and gone over the years, ICOM is one acupuncture college that is going from strength to strength each year as it continues to attract students from all over the world.

Scientific Studies

Acupuncture has been under constant scrutiny since it’s introduction in the West around sixty years ago. Although studies are consistently being conducted in China, scientists in the West are also wanting to conduct their own experiments using different means. One of the most impressive studies of the use of acupuncture is with he use of thermography to recored the level of inflammation before, during and after an acupuncture treatment and subsequent sessions, as shown in this video below.


Acupuncture is certainly a fascinating subject and seems to have a large amount of credence behind it. With a large portion of the modern world adopting this method of healing as the norm, it seems like acupuncture is here to stay.

You may not be as trusting as the Chinese to opt to have the treatment as part of a surgical operation however, keeping an open mind and trying the treatment for a minor ailment such as back pain, headache or irritable bowel syndrome may very well stand you in good stead.

Managing a Healthy Lifestyle

two red applesWhen first starting out to embark on a healthy lifestyle, you will find many things that come along to try to pull you off your new track. Don’t worry, this is totally normal and mainly due to your mind and body not yet being use to the changes in your lifestyle and your routine. It will take a little time to adjust and can feel a little uncomfortable or strange at first. You may have times when you feel that it is too hard to maintain the changes. Don’t be hard on yourself, it is far more important to make these changes in a way that allows you to enjoy the process as well as to feel and see the benefits. For this reason, it is advisable to make the changes slowly over time, gradually eliminating the bad habits and incorporating the good.

A healthy lifestyle can be broken down into three main areas:

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Routine

To live a healthy and balanced lifestyle we must ensure that we are eating well, taking regular exercise and have a balanced routine. Point number three really refers to:

  1. Your eating routine
  2. Your exercise routine
  3. Your sleeping routine

Yes, your sleeping routine is also very important. Our body repairs and renews itself when it is at rest and if it is constantly deprived of good sleep then it will not be able to recover itself as efficiently. In time this will lead to depleted energy levels and a weakened immune system.

Here are some practical tips you can follow that will help you along the way and make your journey not only easier but also a far more enjoyable one.

Prioritise your health

stretchingYour health is one of, if not your most valued possession. Who wants to go through life not being able to do the things you really want to do because of a health condition? We all have to grow old but we don’t necessarily need to grow into a sick and worn down body. Taking action now and incorporating healthy lifestyle habits will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. Yes, some people will suffer various illnesses regardless of what they do and are due to our genetics. However, these people will not experience the illness as severely as they might given a healthy lifestyle. Prioritising good health in your life will also mean that you will usually be able to recover far more quickly from illnesses and injuries if they were to befall you.

Prioritising your health does not mean that you have to never again eat a cheeseburger or a doughnut. No, you can still have these things but do it sensibly. Why do we eat bad foods? Well, generally because we enjoy the taste, they can make us feel good temporarily and they are often convenient. To prioritise your health it is a good idea to strike a balance with your lifestyle that leans in the favour of healthier choices. For example, when it comes to your diet, aim to have around a 80:20 ratio. That is, to ensure that around 80% of the food that you are consuming are healthy foods that will actually benefit your health and the other 20% can be foods that may not be so good but they are things you like and food items that give you pleasure.

Sticking to this ratio will allow you the treats whereas most of your food consumption will be healthy and a benefit to your body.


Planning for better health

a bowl of cerialAs we mentioned earlier, routine is so important to good health and will also make it easier for you to form the good habits and make them stick. Plan when you go to bed and get up in the morning, when you take your exercise and when you eat. You don’t have to stick to it religiously and always go to bed at 9:30pm no matter what, no, that’s no fun! For example, set a bed time for between 10-11pm for example. This hour will give you the flexibility should you need it to complete final tasks for the day, catch up on that book you’re reading or if you need the time to just unwind and relax. Yes of course there will be nights when you go to bed far later for various reasons, but try to keep these to a minimum and stick to your decided bed time for the most part.

Scientists believe that every hour you sleep prior to mid-night actually counts for 2 hours after! So if you can, make use of these precious earlier hours where possible and be sure to get your beauty sleep.

Let people know about your new lifestyle choices

Telling people, your friends and loved ones what you are doing will not only help you stay focused but you will also find great support from those who love you. This support can be really encouraging and can often make the difference between sticking to your new, healthier lifestyle and slipping back into bad habits when it really matters. You may even find that one or two people want to join you along your healthy journey. If this happens then welcome it with open arms and count it as a blessing as your new allies will not only support and encourage you, they will also share with you valuable information that they may learn along their own journey that can also greatly benefit your life as well.

Having health buddies can make it far easier when you visit restaurants together too and some of them may even become an exercise buddy at your local gym! One of my health buddies loves to share delicious and healthy recipes with me when she finds them, while another loves to come to the gym with me to work out. We constantly find inspiration and motivation in each other and greatly value the information that we share.

How to start a healthy lifestyle

Here’s a helpful video on how to start a healthy lifestyle