Take care of your legs and your legs will take care of you.Let me tell you a personal story regarding my one knee for example. 2 years ago I went to my GP and complained of problems in one of my knees. He rotated it and heard it snap, crackle and pop. He said "Doesn't this hurt you when I do this?" I said "yes". He said "It will be only a matter of time before you need surgery on it" I said "O.K. see ya Doc"
I came home and said I am going to take matters into my own hands or at least try. Last summer I went for my annual check up and of course Doc had the notation in my file concerning my knee. He rotated it, he listened and found nothing, the knee was normal. He looked at me in a strange manner. I started to laugh and told him what I had been doing with my knee in the last year. He put his head down and just went on with the routine examination and said "How's your plumbing?"
This feature is closely to related to our recent experience with my wife's knee replacement as she wasn't as lucky as I was.... http://www.blueeyedcurse.com/Kneereplace.htm feature and you may want to check it out.
Lets get started with what you can do
to take care of your legs Cushion your feet before it is too
Prepare in advance by cushioning your feet on tile and
any hard surface is smartest thing you can do. We had a Romanian tile setter that told us after
he got done doing tile work for us. "Get a pair of comfortable easy to get
into shoes/slippers, because if you don't this tile will kill your legs and in
particular your knees" That was 20 years ago and my wife and I have
walking on our tile most of the time in our stocking feet. Don't let that
happen to you. Learn from our mistakes.
Cushion your feet before it is too late
Prepare in advance by cushioning your feet on tile and any hard surface is smartest thing you can do. We had a Romanian tile setter that told us after he got done doing tile work for us. "Get a pair of comfortable easy to get into shoes/slippers, because if you don't this tile will kill your legs and in particular your knees" That was 20 years ago and my wife and I have walking on our tile most of the time in our stocking feet. Don't let that happen to you. Learn from our mistakes.
I asked someone the other day what was the most important part or section of their body? Most people will respond with the heart. I follow up with a loaded question "If you are suffering from poor circulation in your lower extremities that are eating your bones and cartilage etc. up alive, creating huge amounts of wastes, how long will it take before your heart fails along with your entire cardiovascular system?"
Last loaded question is "If you neglect your lower extremities and have to have an operation on a knee or hip and experience a blood clot as many do that finds its way to the heart, lungs, brain etc. then how would you rank taking care of your lower extremities now? Would you put it on the top of your priority list?" If you are a little hesitant, let's throw in these deadly staph infections that are running rampart in the hospitals today after going under the knife. Read recently where there was a comment that if you had to go to hospital it was like getting "Death sentence". Are you leaning to taking care of your lower extremities now?
Let's clear up a misconception right from the start of this feature and one we strongly believe in. There is no question people with lower extremity problems, from the hips down to the toes can be a result of a multitude of causes. Injuries for one, old age reasons for another as in arthritis, cartilage erosion as described above and to the left. There are the bone spurs, meniscus issues, repetitive activity concentrating in one area, creating an imbalance, muscles in particular and of course dietary considerations including the right alkaline liquids to drink to flush out the wastes that accompany all of these problems. If you don't drink enough of the right liquids and we will cover this below, just get ready to eventually schedule a knee replacement leading to a hip job as well. It is inevitable and blood clots and staph infections could hop aboard for the ride.
Of course Alzheimer's can come along and clog up your brain with all of the debris wandering around and solving all of your concerns about the pitfalls. Alzheimer's "saves" a lot of people from the degeneration and di-habilitation of the lower extremities, because they don't last that long. The Alzheimer's devil saves the day and puts you out of your potential misery.
The first thing most of those that are afflicted try to seek help that can target the particular area that is involved, such as the knee/knees.
Our theory and it is backed up with professional information is that in most cases the underlying problems are caused by a general breakdown in the area and in some cases the entire area from the hip down and in a good percentage of cases it is muscle related. Again this doesn't mean that you do not have specific issues. Again it is the muscles that have created the problem in many cases, by simply weakening the area. No matter what your problems are, it will be smart to address the circulation of the entire area from the hips down, that includes the major muscle complexes. This does involve exercises and some weights to build up these areas, but best done under the direction of a therapist that knows what they are doing.
The question is how do you approach the situation? In some cases getting your legs back to a decent condition is all you need, perhaps not as you were as a kid, but enough to function with much less discomfort and enough to keep you out of the operating room. In fact increasing the condition of your legs could lead to self healing as I related at the start of this feature and you owe it to your legs to try.
We have recently discovered that the intense rehab that we have been involved in on the recent replacement for one knee has spun off on the other leg, as we were strongly advised to work this leg at the same time we were rehabbing the new replacement knee/leg. We believe that tending to the other leg diligently could have many long term benefits. The least would be preparing for a replacement. The better condition this ailing leg, the shorter and better recovery.
Lets face it most people would not do the necessary due diligence in their rehab if it wasn't for the knee replacement. My wife's general condition overall has improved greatly and keeping up the regimen to keep the knees limber and loose with great range of motion will pay dividends for the rest of her life from her head to her toes. You talk about a twist of fate. In fact hopefully I am not looking at knee replacements, but with what she went through I have increased my due diligence in the exercise department. I use the same devices she uses.
Back to the knees. A couple of examples would be muscle break down in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves that support the whole area. Those doogiggers illustrated on your right top and bottom attached and wrapped over your knees are not there for cosmetic purposes. The break down is usually the result of poor circulation and not enough of the right exercises and other therapies professional and home and we get deeply involved in all of them, so hang on and let this old fruit peddler try to keep you out of the operating room.
There is one more critical issue that we cover regarding the sheaths that are connected to the muscles and the sheaths are what are attached to the bones. It is not the bones that raise and lower your legs or allow you to run, it is the muscles and although bones can become inflamed it is the muscles that have to be addressed and to be very careful that you do not do anything aggressive next to the bone. An example of that would be my particular problem, shin splints. If you go down the leg on each side you will feel the muscle on the outside and if you gradually work closer to the bone you will see where it basically attaches to the bone. I had a bad habit of taking a vibrator that is demonstrated below in the feature and passing it rather aggressively next to and some times on top of the bone area, just where the muscle and the sheath join the bone. This was in areas where there was little if any in meat. If you are wondering what a sheath looks like, think of the bones you buy for the dog. That white membrane to the right is the sheath and it can be easily aggravated and in some cases damaged. Even massaging with your hands aggressively too close to the bones where the muscle connects to the sheath can be damaging. You want to work the muscles and improve circulation within the muscles. If you do this, benefits will soon arrive at the sheaths and bone.
Sure you may have knee problems, but not searching for the underlying cause is analogous to folks with cholesterol problems, that go to the Doctor and obtain dangerous medications and continue their lives as before, pigging out on foods cooked at high temperatures and washing them down with soda pop or booze, without taking new measures to address the underlying problems.
Poor circulation develops in the blood, lymph, synovial and electrical network, usually a combination of all 4. When this happens nutrients along with their healing powers cannot find their way to where they are needed and the critical wastes are not removed with poor circulation. In the case of electrical problems, nerve damage results and this is addressed below. Nerve damage can have a very serious consequence on parts of your body that may not be close to the area of question. The brain being the nerve center of the body for one. We believe and have written extensively on it that problems such as in the knees, can create foreign materials that can wind up in your brain, hence Alzheimer's. Could you think of a better reason to put your nose to the grindstone?
Self Help. What can we do to help the situation?
Deterioration in the knee area is a logical happening as we age. The feet, legs and knees in particular are a complex mechanism that of course moves and flexes and being in the lower extremities where a series of arteries, veins, nerves and lymph fluids and check valves moving up the legs to rid the wastes that accumulate, have quite a chore as we age. Therefore these areas easily become deficient in adequate circulation (again blood, lymph and electrical) to have nutrition and wastes handled efficiently in and out of the area. You have to be brain dead if you look at that diagram to the left and not believe that circulation is not going to play an important role in the health of your lower extremities.
There is another aspect that we feel is very critical and that is the recommendations that we put forth in this feature and how relative each one is to circulation. Example: The common over the counter cartilage building supplement Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM. We personally believe is a good supplement, but if one did not address their circulation that in some cases it would render this very good nutrient useless. I mean if you are downing good proven supplements to help your condition, but the area is choked off by poor circulation, what good are they? They are winding up at the sewer treatment plant.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM has been questioned regarding its efficacy recently in fact. The question is can the supplements do the job if they can't travel to the problem areas and was the study skewed by the individuals lack of absorption because of poor circulation?
A good therapist can outline a series of home exercises, but you may have to get a Doctors script to get you started with some professional care. As you are treated, observe what they do, ask questions about in home exercises. A good therapist will not deny this information if you schedule modest visits between home work so they can adjust their format with you and relieve you or Uncle Sam of a few bucks. Hey they have to make a living too.
We have recently dug up information regarding stretching areas counter to the repetitive actions of let's say running. Landing on the toes for long periods of time will create a stress not only in the toes but right up the leg through shins, through the knees and up to the hips. There are counter measures such as sitting in a lounge chair and bending the toes back and protruding them forward to the max. Try writing your name with your toes and writing from 1 to 10 with your toes. When you are walking around anywhere in your bare of stocking feet, walk pigeon toed on your toes and then spread out and counter it with you toes walking with they touching down to the left and right a little. Run on sand when ever you get a chance. You will feel the stress applied to your entire leg and this will tell you that counter measures are needed to kind of equalize things.
We personally depend on both home remedies along with professional visits. I told a Chiropractor that I bought an electrical battery operated neuropathy device, (for damaged nerve areas) similar to what he was using in his office on my wife. Did he bite our heads off, no, in fact he gave us specific instructions how to use it.
Last with all of the above theories I recently decided to go to a local chiropractor to treat a lower back problem and in the process discussed my leg issues. The numbing underneath the knees all around to the calves on both legs led to a questioning by the Doctor. He asked me two pertinent questions, the first was whether the problem was symmetrical on both sides of my lower extremities. The answer was yes and I could only answer that question after the symptoms of my fall in the kitchen and my right leg issues had subsided. This took over a year. The second question was when I encountered discomfort in my legs and back if it was relieved in just a matter of seconds after sitting down. The answer was yes. I was astonished that the Doctor with these two answers in hand came to an immediate conclusion that my problem or at least the cause of my symptoms were Spinal and in most cases was a slam dunk indication of spinal stenosis. In my case he believed it was a lumbar stenosis problem, the lower area of the spine.
Every recommendation below is based on improving circulation of blood, lymph, synovial and electrical, whether it is dietary or mechanical. Most everything you will read below we practice on a daily basis and our legs and all the parts are getting better and better every day.
So lets go down the list.
The following is a random run down of Diet and Supplements. Remember if you are not eating right, all the therapy that we recommend below in the diet section will be mostly in vain.
A bike at home is probably one of the best tools for your entire regimen. We purchased a bike for the knee replacement that we ultimately had to do and you will read at the end of this feature that we will be doing the other knee this coming fall 09.
Recumbent bikes equipped with a back rest versus the upright bikes that would be very difficult to mount are best. The recumbent bike is very easy to get into.
We purchased the Proform model 10.8. pictured above from Sears. We both expect to use it to limber up before exercise for years and years. It is a comfortable bike, the back rest is very supportive. There is an adjustment on the bottom rail to move it forward or back. There is a magnetic device that you can set to increase the tension as you progress. Nice little fan to cool you off coming at you from the console. It was on special for a little over 200 bucks. Sears did not have it displayed but they did have one in stock. The big problem with these purchases is they come in a box broken down and they are a bitch to put together, like most of these prefab deals. Quite honestly you may be able to pick one up on Craig's list or out of the newspaper. Now whether you can land a recumbent like the one above is questionable.
The bonus of all the above in the knee concerns is the added benefits you get from the use of a bike for general health benefits that includes cardiovascular. Resistance settings as in the bike described above is important in cardio workouts. I told my wife today that we know has had her first knee replaced that the need for the bike in her rehabilitation would turn out to be a Godsend for general health needs.
Again to repeat the advantage of doing a 75% alkaline, 25% acid food balance you are automatically reducing one of the biggest diet detriments and that is the reduction of meat, especially fatty meat cooked at high temperatures, as well as bakery products cooked with cheap fatty oils at high temps. When you do this you limit the amount of damage to your cholesterol and scavenge whatever there is with the anti-oxidant powers of fruits and veggies.
When you are going through a rehabilitation process you are generating wastes, and they need to be scavenged on a regular basis. It will take time, be patient. You can't abuse your legs for 50, 60, 70 years and expect them to clear up in a few months, more like years. Even if you could scavenge at a rapid pace you could put undue stress on your kidneys and urinary network. GO EASY.
Check out our feature on Alkalinity http://www.blueeyedcurse.com/alkalize.htm
Although I just got done with veggies, veggies, veggies there is one standout in this group. Parsley for a Healthy Heart and a healthy heart, and network must have good circulation to do its job. There are different foods and supplement sources to accomplish this and not necessarily in their order of importance, as really they are all important.
Take note of my little bed of Parsley on the left that is really not that little. There is also some basal planted there as well as Grandma uses it for cooking with pasta. We took that area around the tree, placed a border ring around it and filled it with a big bag of Miracle grow potting soil. You can use a good top soil and save some money, but I splurged on the potting soil. We baby this bed with 40 years of agricultural know how including occasional hand cultivation right up to the trunks of the plants as the Chinese do and I use parsley every day. It not only is one of the finest alkaline sources of food there is much more and detailed below.
The handful of parsley on the right is just about what I consume every day fresh out of this garden. Now when the little lady sends me out once a week for parsley for a batch of clam pasta she makes me bring it in and take the stems off of it. Why, I don't know, I guess it is because she is a fuddy dud, but when I devour a handful every day it is stems and all, down the hatch chewed well I might add.
Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells-the colon, and in women, the cervix.
Fish Oil/Omega 3 fatty acids/Vitamin D3
Fish and Fish oil/omega 3 fatty acids, along with freshly ground flax seed with their lignin's are known to be heart healthy and there is no question increased circulation comes into the picture. We are not getting off the track here. Remember increased circulation is the key to cleaning out crap in those joints, plain and simple. Of course it was intended to replenish your bones as well with a proper diet along with Vitamin sunshine and foods with Vitamin D3 in them such as in fish and fish oil supplements. There is also a calcium correlation with Vitamin D3 that we know has a bearing on your bone health. Vitamin D3 is very important in making calcium more absorbable in your bone mass. Adding calcium in a natural food form is our choice, Sardines and Salmon with their bones on board for one example. Nuts and seeds also harbor an array of natural minerals. Lets not leave out fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately because of the size and the process the bones are taken out of Tuna fish and for that reason we are sticking with Sockeye Salmon and Portuguese Sardines.
There are supplements that have calcium and other minerals in them. In fact we take a supplement that has, but we only do half of the recommended daily dosage as in most of our supplemental intake.
There is the common "cartilage" supplement Glucosamine/ Chondroitin/MSM that we take on a regular basis that may be of help. They claim that cartilage can be replenished and this particular supplement can be instrumental in this process. I know something increased my cartilage. Now whether it was Glucosamine etc. in combination with everything else I don't know and care. All I know for the rest of my life everything you read in this entire feature I will be doing and encouraging my wife to do it, and if one of my kids wants to put me in a funny farm because of it, I will find a way to do it in a funny farm.
We rely on our foods to do the job and our fish, cottage cheese, nuts, seed, fruits and vegetable etc. intake supplies the majority of our nutritional intake. Again calcium and minerals in conjunction with Vitamin D3 from the sun and aforementioned foods is the way to go.
Quote out of Life Extensions in their Sept 07 monthly publication states "Given the vast benefits of Vitamin D3 for cardiovascular and whole body health, insuring optimal vitamin D status is an essential part of every wellness program ". The best way to know your vitamin D status is to have your Doctor measure the blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D not to be confused with 1,25 dihydoxyvitamin D. Most experts believe a level of the 25 hydroxyvitamin should be at a minimum of 40 ng/ml."
Our http://www.blueeyedcurse.com/sun_and_you2.htm feature will go into the benefits of the sun and in my humble opinion controlling the suns rays, not necessarily avoiding it, is the most important health issue of our times.
There have been recent studies that Vitamin D3 cuts the risk of cancer considerably. So here you are getting three for the price of one, heart, bone health and cancer fighting, you can't beat that. Oh you don't like fish? How about a cane to get around with, do you like that better? They have some neat wheel chairs, short turning radius's, no on board potty though.
The Endothelium and Cacao
We don't generally recommend supplements in any of our features as it is a personal matter and should be discussed with your Doctor, as there are conflicts with supplements and medications and we don't want to interfere with this process. There is one supplement that you may want to consider and it is a continuance of the chocolate and cacao section above. Life Extension in Ft. Lauderdale has such a supplement and we have no financial affiliation with this company. We buy some of our supplements there and we believe it is a first class concern. There are a number of polyphenols product that they have. We have been using the Endothelial Defense supplement with Pomegranate and Coca Polyphenols. There is large amount of information supporting these theories and we are taking a moderate approach to all of them including the below recommendations.
The effect of chocolate on cardiovascular health is considered a controversial issue because dark chocolate ingredients, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, have protective and antioxidant effects, while other chocolate ingredients may adversely affect glucose, lipids, and body weight. Dark chocolate has a much higher polyphenol content per gram than other antioxidant-rich foods, such as wine, tea, or berries. Take note that ingredients that adversely affect glucose, lipids and body weight are primarily in the cheaper chocolates as these cheaper chocolates have increased amount of sugar and fats. The higher amount of Cacao the less amounts of the negative ingredients and the higher amounts of the beneficial polyphenols. We have tried different products and some of the intense dark chocolates are quite bitter and leave an after taste in your mouth. We personally like the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao. It is about the smoothest intense dark chocolate you can buy. Shop around, most of your supermarkets are carrying Ghirardelli now and have it on special at times. My wife and I "indulge" in one piece a day each that is.
supplements are from the stems of pineapples and more concentrated than the
fruit itself although I am sure the pineapple fruit alone with some Bromelain
has many fine health properties. Bromelain modifies
the production of compounds produced in the body that cause swelling and pain.
By reducing inflammation, blood more readily circulates in an injured area,
which reduces pain and accelerates healing. Bromelain also breaks down fibrin, a
protein involved in blood clotting.
Bromelain supplements are from the stems of pineapples and more concentrated than the fruit itself although I am sure the pineapple fruit alone with some Bromelain has many fine health properties.
Bromelain modifies the production of compounds produced in the body that cause swelling and pain. By reducing inflammation, blood more readily circulates in an injured area, which reduces pain and accelerates healing. Bromelain also breaks down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting.
asta-ZAN-thin) Now why they didn't put the Z in at the start instead of the X we will
never know, at least at my level of literacy.
have recently been introduced to this powerful anti-oxidant called the "King of
the carotenoids". In fact it is written that scientists have not found a
stronger anti-oxidant for free radical elimination or what they call singlet
oxygen quenching. Astaxanthin is derived from the sea either by a process
that extracts it from different seas substances, algae for one or from
eating Salmon that feeds on these substances. They find that the substance in
Salmon is the highest concentration and it is in the muscles of the fish.
They claim this explains the salmon's Herculean spawning efforts, against
unbelievable conditions, that a human being apples for apples would not be able
to physically achieve. We are going to rely on canned Sockeye red
salmon from the wilds of Alaska. They claim Sockeye Salmon has a great deal
more Astaxanthin then the other breeds and that includes farm salmon.
Incidentally there is a practice of feeding farm Salmon synthetic Astaxanthin
just for the purpose of coloring the flesh. Of course they will tell you
that it also mimics the benefits of natural Astaxanthin. We don't buy
synthetics mimicking anything. Sockeye salmon and/or Astaxanthin produced
naturally from sea algae is our choice.
BioAstin is a natural Astaxanthin and is an outstanding natural anti-inflammatory that works through
multiple pathways to combat inflammation throughout the entire body. BioAstin is also an exceptionally powerful antioxidant, with antioxidant
activity that has been shown to be 550 times stronger than Vitamin E and 14
times stronger than Pycnogenol. Bioastin is
much easier to tolerate than conventional anti-flammatory medications. Cyanotech the
manufacturer of Bioastin has conducted several double blind, placebo
controlled clinical trials which have shown benefits in many different
applications including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (also
known as Repetitive Stress Injury), in the reduction of joint and muscle
soreness after exercise and as an internal sun block to prevent skin damage
from ultraviolet rays.
Astaxanthin (Pronounced asta-ZAN-thin) Now why they didn't put the Z in at the start instead of the X we will never know, at least at my level of literacy.
We have recently been introduced to this powerful anti-oxidant called the "King of the carotenoids". In fact it is written that scientists have not found a stronger anti-oxidant for free radical elimination or what they call singlet oxygen quenching. Astaxanthin is derived from the sea either by a process that extracts it from different seas substances, algae for one or from eating Salmon that feeds on these substances. They find that the substance in Salmon is the highest concentration and it is in the muscles of the fish. They claim this explains the salmon's Herculean spawning efforts, against unbelievable conditions, that a human being apples for apples would not be able to physically achieve. We are going to rely on canned Sockeye red salmon from the wilds of Alaska. They claim Sockeye Salmon has a great deal more Astaxanthin then the other breeds and that includes farm salmon. Incidentally there is a practice of feeding farm Salmon synthetic Astaxanthin just for the purpose of coloring the flesh. Of course they will tell you that it also mimics the benefits of natural Astaxanthin. We don't buy synthetics mimicking anything. Sockeye salmon and/or Astaxanthin produced naturally from sea algae is our choice.
BioAstin is a natural Astaxanthin and is an outstanding natural anti-inflammatory that works through multiple pathways to combat inflammation throughout the entire body. BioAstin is also an exceptionally powerful antioxidant, with antioxidant activity that has been shown to be 550 times stronger than Vitamin E and 14 times stronger than Pycnogenol.
Bioastin is much easier to tolerate than conventional anti-flammatory medications.
manufacturer of Bioastin has conducted several double blind, placebo
controlled clinical trials which have shown benefits in many different
applications including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (also
known as Repetitive Stress Injury), in the reduction of joint and muscle
soreness after exercise and as an internal sun block to prevent skin damage
from ultraviolet rays.
GARLIC EXTRACT also has anti-blood clotting properties. By itself it is an excellent chelator of metals such as lead and mercury.
Malic acid is a natural substance found in fruit and vegetables - one of the richest sources being apples. It is also naturally present in your body's cells and large amounts of it are formed and then eventually broken down again on a daily basis.
It possesses many health-related benefits such as boosting immunity, maintaining oral health, reducing the risk of poisoning from a build-up of toxic metals and promoting smoother and firmer skin.
Malic acid powerfully enhances the energy systems throughout the whole body, including the heart and brain.
Again it is in these toxic buildups especially in areas of wear and tear where they settle. Circulation enhancements have to be diligently followed and Malic Acid is one of them.
Most people do not drink enough fluids, especially when they have joint and tissue problems, brought on by wastes, inflammation, immobility, physical and mental blocks.
If you are going to remove the wastes from your body, you need plenty of water and not just any water, especially chlorinated water that we believe can compound the problems in more ways than one.
Below is an excerpt from a another feature we have that goes into water and we believe the principles of drinking water that has had natural alkaline ingredients added to it, will accelerate the removal of the wastes that are causing your problems.
There are volumes and volumes of medical information regarding the bodies needs of adequate hydration and the elimination of wastes. Now there has been written pros and cons regarding distilled water. We personally have drank distilled water for over 40 years now, starting with my concern of the percolation of hard agricultural chemicals into our wells on our farm and around our home there. This was followed in Florida where our water source is treated and it needs to be treated as bacteria in water is common. Unfortunately chlorinated water taking care of the bacteria in it, takes care of all bacteria in the gut and this is not good, as we need certain bacteria's working in our gut. Most municipal water has a certain amount of beneficial minerals that comes from ground water. There has been some bad press regarding plastic containers and water. There is question regarding Coca Colas Da Sani brand. The last thing Coca Cola and their bottled water enterprise would need is bad press on their water, so my guess is they are very quality control oriented. Another avenue is spring water and the Giant Nestle company has their Zephyrhills brand. Again we would be astounded if Nestle would allow something to slip through the cracks. We would say the same applies for the other large bottled water suppliers. In fact if the only source of water rather than distilling your own was bottled water we would go along with a popular spring water.
We are very apprehensive about buying distilled water in dubious plastic containers, simply based on the integrity of the material in the container and distilled water being a solvent in itself with the chances of picking up the plastic residue perhaps left over from the manufacturing process. The containers you find in the super markets look flimsy, they look weak, cheap is a better word. Now someone could straighten me out about this perception. On the other hand the bottles in the better waters from the larger suppliers appear to me that they are very conscious of container residue and pay more for quality containers and pass this on to the consumer. These better containers look more impervious, what do you think?
Distilled water takes everything out of the water and this is not good especially if you subscribe to a diet alkalizing regimen as we do. The solution is simple. Spike the distilled water with natural sources of alkaline minerals. We use lemon juice a couple of squirts in a quart, a tablespoon of Braggs apple cider vinegar and we put in a shot of pure cranberry juice, the Lakeside brand, all in about a quart to a half of a gallon of distilled water to drink before during and after a workout. A little baking soda could be smart. Just a dash. A sprinkle of Paprika with its high concentration of Potassium is a nice addition. We use it in our water every day. A glass of distilled water at a meal or snack can have either Green tea mixed with it, or a squirt of lemon juice. We rarely drink distilled water straight. The kidneys and your joints need water for flushing, but it is the natural minerals in the water that does the trick. Natural minerals have an affinity for free radical/tissue and joint waste. We are talking an array of minerals that scavenge the impurities. This is the principle behind a high natural alkaline diet regimen because an acid regimen works in reverse, hence tissue acid waste. The Nepalese tribe in the Himalayas drink water coming down from the mountain side that is the color of milk it is so alkaline. Most of these dudes live into their hundreds. Spiking distilled water with natural bi-carbonates etc. is just a great means to increase your alkalinity intake and put you on the road to recovery. Water is the key to any rehab. Have you ever tried to clean your dirty hands without water? You have a great deal of "dirt" in those joints friends.
Incidentally if you are just a little curious what our diet regimen is we just happen to have a feature on it. Hold on to your hats.
Below is a bunch of issues relative to the problems and hopefully some methods that may or may not solve the problems. Again we do them all, every day.
The following information is a random list of issues and different treatments regarding the waste down concerns, the legs, the knees, the feet and eventually the hips.
Incidentally have you seen an obese Doctor lately? We were in a cardio vascular unit of a hospital awhile back and all the Doctors looked like they were warmed over death they were so thin. Do you think they know something? You are dammed right they do. In the cafeteria we watched a heart surgeon eat his lunch. It was two apples that he diced up with a sharp knife as if he was operating on some poor soul, most likely loaded with damaged cholesterol. Sweets make you fat and they clog up your arteries and especially the ones to your brain and your legs too. They will eventually put you in the hospital and if what they put you in there for doesn't take you something else very well may. As someone told me awhile back "If you are sick you don't want to go to a hospital"
Let's not forget that excess weight puts a burden on your hips and knees. This is reason enough to get the weight off in addition to reducing the acids that certain foods encourage, as in meats, refined grains and sugars.
Add to that foods as in meats that are cooked at high temps and refined grains that are cooked with cheap oils at high temps and you have accomplished oxidizing your cholesterol, damaged is the word. Every cell in your body needs clean, undamaged, unoxidized cholesterol and in particular the brain, the microprocessor for every nerve in your body, going down to your lower extremities I will add.
Lymphatic drainage with a wash cloth is one of the easiest means to fight circulation/bone problems. Lightly brushing the area in the directions to the right as illustrated (Always toward the heart) aids in the drainage of wastes from the effected areas. Go lightly though.
Lymphatic skin brushing has been performed for ages. Hippocrates called lymph fluids white blood. There is about 3 times more lymph fluids in the body than blood. Clearing lymphatic drainage from a troubled area can only help a situation if it is done properly, as troubled areas usually are generating excess wastes and the lymphatic network is working overtime. What do you think a Doctor is doing when he checks the lymph nodes under your chin? Do you think he is just admiring your double chin? The lymph nodes are the primary areas for processing, and then to send the processed lymph to the major elimination vehicles. We recommend brushing in many areas of the body, including the lymph node areas. This procedure must be performed very gently, always in the direction of the heart and again as stated above the nodes and surely the vessels can be quite close to the surface of your skin and damage can be done with over aggressive action. In fact limiting how much you do is important, as lymph nodes are processing areas and premature release of fluids that have not had a chance to be processed can be a problem. Kidney overload for one, leading to urinary infection and God forbid the need for anti-biotics. Avoid them like the plaque, unless the good Doctor says you must do them.
One of the reasons a lot of problems develop in the knees as mentioned above is in the lower extremities of the body and as we age the lymphatic net work loses its pop and if you study the lymphatic system you will discover that it works on a mechanical basis with check valves running up the legs, as this process does not have the luxury of a pumping heart. This elaborate check valve system is activated by muscles and joints moving. This is where the muscular connection comes into play. You need a healthy muscular system in the lower extremities to keep things working properly, especially the lymphatic network, because again as a reminder the lymph system does not have the luxury of a pumping heart and it is the only vehicle to remove wastes from the area, the blood net work does not. In fact if you study the location of the key lymph nodes in the body and in the legs in particular you will find them in the back of the knee for instance, allot of them in the groin area too. Keep in mind the lymph nodes are the garbage cans, the filters of the body and the garbage cans have to be taken out to the curb on a regular basis.
This of course supports the idea of physical therapy and different exercises to not only move fluids/wastes, but also in the process build up supporting muscle.
Below is the definition of Atrophy and it is important that you understand what atrophy can do to an area of the body and perhaps this feature can help you avoid atrophy because the quality of your life and even your life itself hinges on it.
1: decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also : arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant2: a wasting away or progressive.
I am not going to get into an anatomy lesson here, but looking at the illustration above regarding the Brachial network, there is a point to bring out regarding the importance of muscles as it relates to the health of an area and can easily be translated into the muscular areas of the knees and lower extremities.
When people age, even if they are physically active, they still do not indulge in the types of exercises that will delay or prevent atrophy in the muscles. As in the knees there are the key muscles surrounding them that decline and things start to go south. To make matters worse they become inactive and atrophy accelerates and the orthopedic surgeons starts to lick their chops. Incredibly when some injuries occur certain exercises around the area do not result in discomfort, but yet most people that have injuries just stop doing anything. Big mistake, critical mistake.
Check out our feature our feature on the Lymph system.
Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis
While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitamin C-rich foods, such as parsley, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.
The findings, presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases were drawn from a study of more than 20,000 subjects who kept diet diaries and were arthritis-free when the study began, and focused on subjects who developed inflammatory polyarthritis and similar subjects who remained arthritis-free during the follow-up period. Subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts. This may support the theory that certain vitamins that include Vitamin C out of a bottle versus from foods, can actually turn into a pro-oxidant versus the anti-oxidant properties of Vitamin C foods. They say this pro-oxidant transition can take place when they are taken in excess and my theory is to include natural foods with your supplements, to buffer the negative potential of pro-oxidants with the synergy of natural anti-oxidants. (Boy that was a mouthful) Do not take supplements without food, as in most medication
Keep in mind that repetitive actions with the body do build up certain muscle, but weaken others. This is why counter measures are important.
If you were wondering what the lunatic that is writing this material looks like, that's him above, 73 years and counting. All he is trying to do is beat ole man Alzheimer's, because there is nothing that beats facial exercises in moving vital wastes out of the upper extremities. Don't forget it is wastes that clog your brain, hence the devil waits to take you, and not to Disney land.
The heel to toe exercise with the elaborate diaphragm pumping mechanism of the foot, then directed to the meniscus compartment is designed to pump the lymph fluids toward the nodes and the thoracic/heart network. If you are on the road walking, don't worry about what anyone thinks, as you roll from heel to toe, they don't pay your bills and don't forget a little backward walking. We hope you have eyes in back of your head or at least stay on the sidewalk. If you are interested in preventing Alzheimer's check out our Alzheimer's feature. Alzheimer's and knees have one thing in common, acid wastes. Have you ever had someone that you knew for 50 years or more walk up to you with a cane supporting their knees and asking you who you were and where am I? Hello tissue acid waste!
"An idle mind is the devil's workshop" And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
As we have mentioned circulation is not just confined to the blood and lymph network. Your entire body works on electrical impulses and directed by the brain. The lower extremities again are subjected to nerve damage because they have been deprived of nutrition and suffered from the lack of acid waste removal. There are other causes of neuropathy, diabetes for one, but we are not going to even approach treatment for other causes. This we will leave for the professionals and hope that you can find one that is on the ball.
The general conditioning of the lowering extremities and improving all circulation is our goal and that includes the electrical network.
There are various methods to correct nerve problems. Acupuncture by again a professional could be effective. There are therapists that have different techniques including electrical devices that attempt to reconnect the injured nerve cells, so that you can deliver minerals and nutrients which revitalize those nerves. When this is accomplished, it promotes new nerve growth, restores blood circulation, returns feeling to the patientís extremities, and reduces pain. Chiropractors of course work with the nerve system and in fact they too employ electrical stimulating devices.
There are new devices on the market that allow the user to conduct electrical impulse therapy in the home and to do it more conveniently than running around town to different medical facilities. Of course the professionals will tell you that they know what they are doing, even though we know most medical treatments are trial and error. We have had professional people tell me that these home devices can help and the recommendation we had from one was to use the device at lengthy periods, even if you transport the battery operated portable device around with you, but at a very low rate of power. In fact a dosage of current that you could hardly feel. There may be a risk of too high a current.
We have recently purchased a Rebuilder device..... http://www.rebuildermedical.com/?gclid=CJLSuMv6hJECFSUwlgodhVzjHA
and the jury is still out, although after only about 6 treatments (They recommend two footbath treatments a day for 30 days) we have seen positive results. There are two hookups that you can be used together, the foot bath with the electrodes in two separate compartments and a set of dry electrodes that we use on our hands at the same sitting, as I experienced nerve damage in my right hand a year ago with an injury and there is still some degree of numbness. I have been plagued with numbness in my toes and pads of my feet for years and there is some improvement, but I believe I have a long way to go and this is why I am going to do the 30 day, twice a day practice, but right now my feet are not feeling all that bad. Keep posted on this feature as I will report my progress or lack of in about 30 days and I have absolutely no affiliation with this concern.
At this writing, I have completed the 2 a day application for 30 days. My feet are feeling better but not 100%, more like 50%, so I have decided to do a 1 a day bath treatment, not every night but 3 or 4 a week and it appears my legs are slowly getting better. Perhaps the combination of everything is the reason, but I have no reason to know, but I am going to keep at it. It is time consuming, but I believe it will pay off.
HOT and COLD WATER
Alternating hot and cold water (contrast bathing) improves circulation of not only blood, but also Lymph fluids. It could also enhance the electrical process and nerve healing as discussed above.
The first time that you apply this principle you will see the results. When you use primarily hot water in the hot phase you will see a slight red tone on the skin. Then you switch over to all cold and nothing changes much. Then when you switch back to the hot phase you will see a remarkable difference from the first hot phase. Your skin will noticeably turn blood red. We interpret this as increased circulation and this is what you want.
How do you like my fancy wall holder for the massager above? We can get away with this rough installation, a throw back from my farming days when anything that worked justified the means even if wasn't pretty. This installation bolted to the outside wall is acceptable to the little woman because it is in my back yard where I shower most of the time. I piped hot and cold water right out from the laundry room and it is the best thing I have ever done. I do a lot of gardening and get real crummy and it is nice not to have to walk through the air conditioned house all sweated up with mud on me on the way to the inside shower. I also keep a change of clothes in the laundry room. The Jews call that Yiddishercup.
Getting back to contrast bathing when you contrast the water temperature of an area there is a dilation and constriction phenomena that takes place and that facilitates movement. Again this is the diaphragm pumping principle in fact this is the way the heart works and you can't argue with that level of engineering.
Go to Wall-Marts and buy a power massager for your shower if you are going to do it in an inside bathroom or outside shower. A half a handy man can install it in minutes. Don't let Grampa chew up your plumbing, make sure he has at least a wet paper towel or a wash cloth around the chrome area he is going to put a wrench on.
To the left you will see 2 lever handles. These are the shutoffs for the hot and cold water feeds coming out of my laundry room to my outside shower. The feeds were easy to access from the washing machine piping etc. These types of lever valves make it real easy to do the contrast bathing we speak of. Just shutting off the hot and opening the cold in a jiffy with a swipe of the wrist instead of the common turn valves let alone the complexity of the Moen type valve is much more practical.
So after you take your regular shower, inside or out you then switch the power massager to the pulsation position from the gentle shower position. You don't need a hard stream to accomplish the objective. In fact as in Lymphatic brushing aggressively is counter productive. Going easy goes a long way. Just a gentle hot pulsating stream for a minute or so is enough. In fact if you really want to do it up right via contrast bathing work the valve from hot to cold, like 40 seconds of Hot and 20 seconds of cold. I do a hot a cold and finish with a hot. Again dilation, constriction, dilation.
Stimulation with a Vibrator.
In addition to the above stimulating abilities of Hot and Cold water there is also the mechanical means of stimulation and one in particular is a hand vibrator and is demonstrated to the left. In this image the vibrating is concentrated on the cartilage compartment of the knee and after that it is used above and behind the knee on the hamstrings as well as quadriceps Remember stay away from the bone.
The photo on the left clearly indicates the feet (For some reason I get a better action with my socks on) and although this may seem to be a departure from the knee area, the feet being the lowest extremity has the propensity to attract more than its share of wastes simply based on the forces of gravity. Now it is only logical that if you are building up garbage in your feet and the only way it can exit is by going by your knees, if things are not up to snuff your knees are going to be subjected to cumulative matter and once this matter collects, inflammation follows, (it always does) and breakdowns occur, like what do they call it, ARTHRITIS.
Now the knee. The illustration to the left indicates those two ball positions of the vibrator are placed in the "compartment", they call it the meniscus area, where cartilage separates bone from bone. This is a crucial area as it is the junction of the knee where everything happens. There are other areas where this applies as in both ends of the knees where the bones end. I personally move that vibrator horizontally from side to side in this critical compartment and hopefully I am stimulating blood and lymph fluid circulation. Circulation is the key. Let me caution you though regarding any type of stimulation. Lymphatic brushing must be done prudently. Same applies for vibrators. Go easy, do not press down, just a light stimulation is what you need. The lymph network in these areas are in the skin and just under as they feed and remove wastes from these areas. Pressing down or harsh rubbing can only damage the lymphatic vessels and nodes. If you need deeper treatments that is the time to seek a professional and hope you get a good one.
I don't have a complete set of photos here but I cover most areas from my feet to my hips everyday with this vibrator and try to do it twice a day. I usually do this first thing in the morning before the leg weight session.
Check out our feature http://blueeyedcurse.com/Lymphnew.htm
Massage using Aloe Vera, Aspercream & Aspirin
Below is information and illustrations using one of our favorite methods to relieve joint and muscle etc. discomfort, as well as aiding the healing process. Massage if used properly can be a valuable tool. One of the most important aspects of proper massage is lubrication, as aggressive massage can do damage especially to the lymphatic vessels and nodes, so to stress we must be careful with massage. Aloe Vera and Aspercream and some added Aspirin provides lubrication as well as Aloe's penetrating abilities and whatever temporary pain relief Aspercream provides.
Let's get started with our procedure.....
Cut off about a 2 inch slice of Aloe Vera from your garden. Aloe Vera leaves are available in super markets. If you do not want to go to the trouble of Aloe Vera the Aspercream should provide you with enough lubrication. There are other creams on the market as well. For our procedure we will include the use of Aloe Vera.
Prickers. Cut those prickers off of the sides of the leaf. They are lethal buggers.
Slice the skin off of the top (Round Part) of the leaf. Slice off enough to reveal just clear gel. We ingest a little clear gel Aloe Vera each day and this is the best time to do it. Aloe Vera is great for the digestive system. You can either rake off a little with your teeth being careful not to get too close to the skin of the leaf, as there are elements just under the skin that are very potent, and in fact act as a cathartic.
Apply Aloe to area.
Taking the balance of the gel from the leaf, apply a generous coating. In the illustration we are applying it to the knees and legs.
The picture on the left has some components to be able to add some regular aspirin to the mix. A hammer to crush the 325 mg aspirin that you will note are on a paper towel. By doubling the paper towel around the aspirin, you proceed to crush the aspirin with the hammer. You will note the plastic container with the letter A on it, the plastic bag and green tie to store the powder. Don't do too many ahead at one time. Aspirin goes down hill fast. This is one of the reasons in our other health features where we strongly recommend that you keep a SEALED bottle of 325 Mg aspirin handy with you at all times. In the medicine cabinet in the car, in your pocketbook. There is nothing more effective than a couple of aspirin for a heart attack, until some serious help arrives. We invite you to read our http://www.blueeyedcurse.com/sudden%20death%20denied.htm feature that included the aspirin recommendation.
After you sprinkle a little aspirin dust on the area over the aloe vera proceed with the Aspercream below. Note: Aspirin as we all know is a blood thinner. Applying Aspirin will enter the blood stream. If you are on Aspirin the 62 mg dosage for cardiovascular health check with your Doctor before you do add it to the mix.
Apply a small amount of Aspercream and start to gently mix and massage it in.
Take a look under the table you will see a bottle of 75% alcohol. We dip the knife in after use to sterilize it some.
You will notice in the illustration on the left that we are using a lounge chair and facing the front of the chair. In our case the lounge chair we use faces the east and we kill two birds with one stone and take in a nice dose of Vitamin sunshine early morning, 5 or 10 minutes worth on our back. We try to do this outside especially when we use Aloe Vera, because cutting Aloe leaves and applying it can be a messy affair, as the leaf bleeds as well as applying it and transferring it to the furnishings, which we do not want to do. Doing it outside give us an easy clean up on the furniture every so often with a hose etc.
We don't discard the Aloe leaves as we continue to apply Aloe on the area as Aloe gel continues to be a great lubricant.
Heating pads I used a heating pad on my knees regularly. Since my knee has improved I don't use it as much, but I have my wife with her arthritic knees doing it every night. 15 minutes on, alternated to the other knee to give the first heated knee a break. Do another 15 minutes each watching TV with your legs elevated. Everyone over 40 years old should have a recliner so they can put their legs up to take the pressure off of their heart, lymphatic system and meniscus compartment as standing up compresses it to some degree. If don't have a recliner get one, if you can't afford it, steal one.
We have had a Doctor recommend a moist heating pad recently. It is called a Thermophore. You can access vendors on the Internet. It has a means to extract moisture out of the air and apply it to the process. We like it. Remember the principles of heat versus cold (icing). If you are working diligently with your knees you could encounter inflammation and swelling. You don't put heat on swelling, you ice it and after it goes down after a day than you may want to moist heat the area.
Keep your Tootsies and legs warm
As in the earlier section of this feature we recommended contrast bathing in regarding to dilation and constriction and this principle has worked for ages. It is the diaphragm principle of contraction. It is the way the heart works, it is the way your vital lymph system works, it is the way water is pumped to your faucet. Now on the other hand prolonged periods of constriction brought on by cold conditions is totally against all principles of circulation and that could be dressing inadequately, it could be sitting in your living room chair on a cold night or even going to bed without adequate protection for your legs and feet. If you have the luxury of a couple of dogs, (The two dog night theory) you may be able to train them to lay next to your legs and feet. I just hope you have better luck than what we have with our brat because she lays wherever the hell she wants to. Now certain footwear such as long socks and a good pair of slippers makes a lot of sense and there is a demonstration of some old geyser modeling to your right. He just wears the black socks to bed and for dress he wears white.
Hormones and Osteoarthritis of the knees
As we have related my wife was diagnosed with arthritis in the outside areas of her knees. We have been researching the correlation between women's hormone deficiencies and arthritis and in some articles the relationship and tests prove to be a slam dunk. We have written an extensive feature on women's hormones. We believe in the past 10 years my wife's deficiency in hormones brought on by post menopause may have contributed to her knee problems. We have taken a modest step to correct this that involves simple saliva testing, some preliminary natural hormone applications (staying with in the safe limits and ratios.)
We have taken 3 saliva tests since last fall of 06 and intend to take the 4th at the first of Jan 08 We have made small dosage adjustments after these tests as the first test showed she was very low in Estradiol and Progesterone. We also coaxed our Dr. into having the estrogen levels checked with a blood test and that came back quite low. If you take a few tests and indulge in some bio-identical topical hormone make sure you achieve safe ranges as reported in the test results. the lab we use does not diagnose and I certainly don't so a good hormone specialist may be a smart path.
We strongly advise all women to read our Woman's hormone feature.
We have also written in our Sun and you feature the relationship of what I believe is the major process in our body going on 24/7 and that is the quality of the Vitamin D3 process that involves the sun, supplements and food and how they directly affect everything that is going on your body including your knees. I have copied a segment below regarding osteoporosis and osteoarthritis as they are in the same category.
It is estimated that over 25 million adults in the United States have, or are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by fragile bones. It results in increased risk of bone fractures. Unfortunately the operations such as hip replacements, and knees as well set up a perfect scenario for dangerous blood clots with the blood thinners and high powered drugs that are used following these procedures.
We believe that natural hormones as described in our women's hormones feature, sunshine to obtain sufficient UVB rays to aid the Vitamin D3 process, the right foods especially omega 3 fatty acid foods that again aid in the Vitamin D3 process, yogurt, some cheeses especially cottage, fatty fish like Sardines, Salmon and some Tuna provide all of the on board calcium etc. The compliments of good fat and minerals needed for the Vitamin D3 process is critical. We personally believe this regimen can halt the progression of arthritis and even reverse it.
My wife went through a series of gel shots directly into the knees. She heard positive results from different people she talked to. In some cases they experienced good temporary relief. The relief lasted anywhere from 6 month to 2 years before more shots. My wife did not feel the shots helped her, but that may be because of her particular situation. I had serious reservations about injecting a foreign substance into an already inflamed area, but she went ahead with it hoping it would buy her the time she needed to finish the tennis league season. It didn't work for her and this again is where I would recommend rehab first and foremost.
On the advice of our Doctor, we will be switching to another Doctor that does the Ultrasound, but is also is certified in Acupuncture. There is a synergy that takes place we are told with these two treatments in tandem and we are going to go with it, in addition to our very diligent regimen described in this feature. We believe that there is only one way to attack this problem and it is to increase circulation, again as in a broken record, blood, lymph and electrical, making sure none of these is done in excess.
We have recently purchased an ultrasound device. It is pictured on the right. We will report on it soon regarding how effective it is.
The Last Resort
With everything we have written about in this feature my wife had to take the last resort. Knee replacement on one and in about 9 months knee replacement on the other. We gave it a noble try with all the above, but the cartilage was completely depleted in each knee and we are expecting an excellent outcome. One of the overriding concerns we had/have when you try to avoid surgery, is to continue to use high powered pain killers and the consequences from them as in liver and kidney damage, in the hope that the alternatives will work in time. We went almost 3 years with the many different treatments. If was time to throw in the towel. Most knee replacement patients who do their rehab professional and homework, are delighted with the outcome.
For those who will consider knee replacement we strongly suggest that you read our new feature on knee replacement. There are many, many things you should know. The feature relates our personal experiences and in particular the problems you will face with knee replacement. Reading this feature for the most part will avoid the pitfalls.
http://www.blueeyedcurse.com/Kneereplace.htm Copy and paste this link exactly as it is in your browser line.
** Useful Forums/Resources:
http://www.orthosupersite.com/ (login using firstname:Stephen last name:Cosgrave email:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Experimental (Clinical Trials):
http://www.cellmedicine.com/ (based out of Fort Lauderdale)
Alternative Therapy (as with anything Experimental, beware of quackery & psuedoscience)
http://caringmedical.com (see also www.getprolo.com )
NPR Audio Broadcast featuring Kabat-Zinn & Pain Management:
I'm following this Knee Rehabilitation routine:
This information is intended to heighten awareness of potential health care alternatives and should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.