Aging Gracefully?

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left] Imagine how life would be if Ponce de Leon really discovered “The Fountain of Youth” or if there were some type of miracle cream that would completely eradicate all signs of aging. Wouldn’t life be sweet?

Unfortunately, age sneaks up on us unexpectedly, and there is no escaping the fact that we are all growing one year older every three hundred and sixty-five days. However, if we take preventive measures now, we can reduce the chances of unnecessary damage to our complexions in the future.

Our largest organ, the skin, goes through many different phases as we age. Women tend to age faster then men, due to the various hormonal changes they experience starting with puberty, then through pregnancy, and ending with menopause. Once menopause sets in, many women start to notice numerous changes with their complexions, such as, a decrease in sebum (oil) production, loss of elasticity, and a reduction in the rejuvenation process. How fast and to what extent the skin ages depend on three factors: your age, genetics, and lifestyle.

Forget about aging gracefully, in a sense that is giving in. Fight it all the way. You are never too young or too old to combat the signs of aging.

By living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout your years, you increase your chances of overall balance —- especially when it comes to your skin. All of us will have aging skin at some point in our lives, but with proper care, anyone can have a vibrant complexion and look beautiful at any age.

Healthy Eating 

What you consume on a daily basis has a major impact on how well your skin regenerates itself. Foods that are low in nutrients, such as, refined carbohydrates are empty calories, they will not provide your body with vitamins and minerals it needs to develop and maintain a healthy glow. Choose foods that are close as possible to their natural state — fresh and unprocessed.

Vitamins And Minerals To Help An Aging Skin

Beta Carotene – antioxidant, increases cellular regeneration, and prevents pre-mature aging of the skin
food source: carrots, apricots, & squash

Vitamin C – antioxidant, needed for production of elastin and collagen; promotes skin strength and elasticity inblood vessel walls and cell membranes
food source: oranges, kiwi, & peppers

Vitamin E – antioxidant, helps maintain all tissues, believed to slow the aging of cells; may help prevent scar formation
food source: cold-pressed vegetable oils, raw nuts & seeds

Selenium – antioxidant, protects against UV induced cell damage; helps preserve skin elasticity.
Food source: tuna, garlic, onions & broccoli

Zinc – antioxidant, essential for normal cell growth and repair
Food source: whole grains, most seafood, & onions

Essential Fatty Acids – to maintain proper function of all tissues and tissue repair, especially the skin
food source: primrose oil, flaxseed oil, & olive oil

Consume your food choices in moderation, your body can only process so many nutrients at once. When you eat your meals, try to incorporate foods that are going to offer you high nutritional value, and try to cut back on the ones that do not. Eating healthy can be a little time consuming at first, but stick with it, and you will see the positive results. Not only will you look and feel absolutely wonderful, but you will expose a brand new person on the inside out.

The Best Kept Beauty Secret 

The human body is made up of 50% to 70% water. Your body loses about three quarts of water each day through perspiration, urine, and respiration. Waiting until your thirsty isn’t always the best barometer. Thirst is a response to severe dehydration. It is recommended that the average person should drink at least two to three pints of clean, pure water each day. Water is involved with nearly every bodily process — especially flushing out waste materials. Water benefits our skin by acting as an internal moisturizer, keeping the skin moist, supple, and clear as well as preventing pre-mature aging.

Reduce Alcohol Intake 

Alcohol weakens the immune system, and creates unnecessary problems within the body, by depleting it of vitamins and minerals it desperately needs to function properly. In the realm of skincare, alcohol causes dehydration, which deprives our complexions of precious moisture that is necessary to keep it soft, smooth and youthful. Alcohol in excess is known to overtax the liver, which is a much-needed organ that helps to diffuse impurities from reaching and harming other organs and systems of the human body. Alcohol consumption can lead to broken or distended capillaries, especially over the nose and cheeks. To maintain a lovely complexion, alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation.

Quit Smoking 

Smoking has been documented in many studies to be quite detrimental to the skin. Smoking is a nasty habit that progressively creates a pre-mature breakdown of your overall state of health, internally and externally. Cigarettes contain ingredients such as, acetone, ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde, and nicotine, which are chemical compounds that are considered to be quite harmful to the human body — imagine their impact on the skin. Smokers tend to have a grayish tinge to their complexion, due to a poor oxygen supply. Since there is a lack of oxygen, dehydration occurs, which then increases the risk of pre-mature wrinkles. Smoking can also slow the healing and regeneration process of the body, which could be harmful if you ever needed surgery. Just know that there is nothing positive about smoking, it causes many negative side effects within our bodies, which in the long run we wonder to ourselves,” Why did I start in the first place? ”

Watch Those Rays 

There has been extensive research performed over the past thirty years on the sun, and it’s impact on the human body. Through these studies, we have found that a certain amount of sunlight is needed to manufacture Vitamin D within our bodies, which is a definite necessity. However, after a certain allotment of time, those powerful rays can be very harmful to our body’s largest organ – the skin. In fact, if it weren’t for sun exposure, say the experts, our skin would stay relatively smooth into our eighties. Dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles and even skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to UV rays, which penetrate our atmosphere everyday.

Great Sun Tips:

  • Avoid the sun between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, even if wearing a sun protector.
  • Watch the reflected light from sand, water, cement, and snow — it is still damaging to the skin.
  • The American Dermatology Association recommends that everyone wear a SPF of 15 or greater year round.
  • A SPF of 15 is a 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of protection. One application daily is not enough to protect your skin all day. You must remember to reapply your sunscreen throughout the course of the day, to shield your complexion from those harmful rays.
  • Remember to apply your sun protection to the areas that you tend to miss such as, your ears, neck, hands, and feet.
  • Make sure to wear clothing that protects you from the sun. Ex. a large brimmed hat.

Some Other Great Tips To Preserve The Youthfulness Of Your Skin

As you apply your facial moisturizer, take some time to work it gently into your complexion with light massage strokes. This technique performed on a daily basis, is quite beneficial in helping to create or maintain a healthy skin. (Avoid this technique on severe acne or individuals suffering from vascular disorders of the face).

— To support a maturing skin, you must give it moisture and oxygen. Facial masks maintained in a moist value or applying warm compresses laced with your favorite essential oil are suitable for this purpose.

— A regular facial will provide an intensive cleansing of your complexion. This treatment will loosen hardened places in the skin by stimulating lymph flow and circulation, so that waste products are removed more quickly, nutrients are transmitted to the cells, and the cells themselves are renewed.

— Incorporate essential oils, such as, lavender, rose, fennel, jasmine, and many others into your daily skin regimen. These natural essences contain plant hormones, which some contain substances similar to estrogen that affect the skin and influence the hormonal equilibrium of the body.

These plant hormones are absorbed by the skin and influence the hormonal equilibrium of the body. They have a tautening impact, along with assisting with cell regeneration, and regulating the sebaceous (oil) glands. Plant hormones do not have the same side effects of animal hormones, which could make the skin appear spongy and swollen when used over a long period time.

— Try to avoid using extremely hot water when bathing or showering, which can irritate your skin and rob it of its natural oils.

— Add moisture to your environment. Humidifiers can help replenish moisture in the air of your home and office, making it a friendlier atmosphere for your skin. If the air around you is dry, it will deplete the moisture from your skin through evaporation.

— Avoid pulling or tugging your skin when cleansing or moisturizing. Your skin should be handled very gently, to prevent unnecessary irritation or premature lines. The eyes are an extra sensitive area, so be careful when you put in your contacts, and always apply eye cream from the inner eye, to the outer eye —- in a C- formation.

— Herbal teas that contain antioxidants are a wonderful way of holding back the aging process. If you are a coffee drinker, you might consider replacing your coffee with an herbal tea. Lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, and decaffeinated green tea are some herbal teas that contain significant levels of antioxidants.

— Another reason to reduce intake of caffeine rich beverages is that they have a diuretic action and promote an internal dehydration, causing the body to lose water — leaving your skin flaky and dry on the surface.

— Get plenty of sleep. Research has shown that the skin regenerates itself between the hours of 1 AM and 3AM, and the lack of sleep during those hours can trigger the kind of stress that causes your skin to look dull, puffy, tired or sallow. So, counting sheep and catching some ZZZZs is definitely one of the best beauty remedies out there.

— It has been documented in many health publications that high levels of stress can increase free radical production within the human body. These molecules eventually attack the healthy cells of our bodies, and will create extreme damage to our systems, which then increases our risk of pre-mature aging, certain diseases, and possibly cancer. Incorporating activities that help reduce your levels of stress like, meditation, yoga or walking, is your best bet to avoid a wrinkle or two in the long run.

— Exercise on a regular basis. Aerobic activity, like walking, will keep you in tiptop shape — mentally and physically. Exercise is great for maintaining the health of the skin by increasing circulation, which delivers the vital nutrients necessary for a healthy, clear and youthful complexion.

Your skin is your largest organ of your body — which must last a lifetime. We tend to take the health of our complexion for granted, and we assume that it will always bounce back into balance. Prevention is the key. It is never too late to take better care of your skin, so start today, and reap the benefits tomorrow. Try to not go full force initially, take baby steps, and try to achieve success a little bit at a time. By following this approach, you will be much more compliant with any lifestyle change, and you will see it was well worth the time and effort.

http://www.pioneerthinking.com/lmc-aging.html

Author: Laura M. Cummins, Esthetician, has been actively involved within the beauty industry for the past eighteen years. Truly passionate for this grand industry, her experience includes; Spa Educator for two established International Skin Care companies, plus Spa Director for luxury day spas in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. Ms. Cummins is a television and radio spokesperson for the beauty industry, and enjoys speaking and writing on various skin care topics to help educate the general public on how to maintain their natural beauty.

Is Medical Hypnosis Effective?

Published April 11, 2012 / The Wall Street Journal

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left] On the mornings she undergoes chemotherapy, Jeanne Safer hypnotizes herself en route in the taxi.

She starts by closing her eyes, then rolling them up to the top of her head and down, all the while breathing deeply. “As I’m doing that, I’m saying to myself, ‘This is a procedure that will save my life. I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to make it as easy on my body as possible,’ ” she said.

Safer, a New York psychologist who has a rare but curable form of leukemia, started out as a skeptic, but found that hypnosis helped put her at ease before biopsies, MRIs and several surgeries. She now uses it with some of her patients as well. “It’s an excellent self-management technique,” she said. “It gives me a feeling of mastery, a sense that I am participating in my own care rather than just being passive.”

Hypnosis has been the subject of fascination, intrigue and ridicule for centuries. Now, researchers are getting closer to understanding why and how it can work. The mechanism may be similar to the placebo effect—in which patients’ expectations play a major role in how they feel. Hypnosis, in turn, can help patients adjust those expectations to minimize pain, fear and disability.

The image of a stage hypnotist swinging a stopwatch and commanding a volunteer to squawk like a chicken has led to misunderstandings, experts say. Real hypnosis for therapeutic purposes gives subjects more control over their minds and bodies, not less.

“We can teach people how to manage pain and anxiety, ” said Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University who has studied hypnosis for 40 years. “There’s been this mistake in medicine that if you have a certain amount of tissue damage, you should feel this amount of pain. But many things can alter how much pain you feel.”

Indeed, scientific evidence is mounting that hypnosis can be effective in a variety of medical situations, from easing migraine headaches to lowering blood pressure, controlling asthma attacks, minimizing hot flashes and diminishing side effects from chemotherapy.

Last week, two studies from Sweden found that one hour a week of hypnotherapy for 12 weeks eased symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome in 40 percent of patients (compared with 12 percent in a control group) and that the positive effects can last as long as seven years.

Such scientific findings still catch skeptics by surprise—in part because many claims haven’t been carefully studied. “Hypnosis is like a good kid with a bad reputation. Everybody is interested, but in the back of their minds, they’re thinking of Bela Lugosi,” said Dr. Guy Montgomery, director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who has led many of the studies. “It’s not mind control. We can’t make somebody rob a bank,” he says.

Hypnotherapy does typically begin with the therapist instructing patients to relax deeply—often with long, slow breaths—then focus their attention intently. Some versions have patients imagine being on a beach or in another pleasant setting and enjoying all the sights, sounds and sensations.

Once patients are relaxed and focused, practitioners give them soothing messages and suggestions, such as, “You have no urge to smoke” or “There is nothing to fear.” Theoretically, those thoughts remain even after the patient is focusing on the real world again.

However it works, a hypnotic suggestion in the mind can have measurable effects in the body.

One Stanford study asked subjects to imagine that they were eating, and their secretions of gastric acid increased by 70 percent. In a study from Harvard Medical School published in the Lancet in 2000, patients who had 15 minutes of hypnosis before surgery not only needed less pain medication afterward, but also took less time in surgery, saving an average of $331 each.

“There is a strong link to physiology—and it’s getting stronger, the more research is being done,” said Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. She said about half of the center’s patients are referred by other Cleveland Clinic physicians, particularly gastroenterologists, oncologists and primary-care physicians looking for ways to help reduce patients’ pain.

Brain-imaging studies have shown that while parts of the brain that register painful sensations are still active, the anterior cingulate cortex, which reflects attention, is less engaged. That observed brain effect is greater in the 10 percent to 15 percent people who are “highly suggestible” to hypnosis. About 30 percent of people are resistant—particularly those who are deeply skeptical.

Whether patients are actually in a “trance” is a matter of debate. Montgomery said the notion is upsetting to some people, and he finds that being relaxed and at ease is sufficient to benefit.

Spiegel counters that “you get more bang for your buck if you’re in a trance,” which he describes as being completely absorbed—like being engrossed in a great book or movie. But he notes that people can enter and exit that state at will.

Experts say there are few harmful side effects to hypnosis, although some hypnotists who claim to help clients “recover” lost memories have been charged with implanting false ones, which can be highly destructive to real relationships.

Finding a hypnotherapy practitioner can be confusing. There are no state regulations for lay practitioners, and the term “certified hypnotherapist” has little meaning, since some groups that issue certificates have very lax standards. (Psychologist Steve E. Eichel caused a stir in 2002 by obtaining hypnotherapist credentials for his cat, Dr. Zoe D. Katze, from several associations.)

Seeking help from a medical or mental-health professional who has a state license in that field and offers hypnosis along with other services is a safer choice, many experts say. Any medical or psychological issues should be fully evaluated before a patient tries hypnosis.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/11/is-medical-hypnosis-effective/#ixzz29C7Zknyr

Medical Hypnosis: You Are Getting Very Healthy

HEALTH JOURNAL / April 9, 2012, 6:15 p.m. ET

On the mornings she undergoes chemotherapy, Jeanne Safer hypnotizes herself en route in the taxi. She starts by closing her eyes, then rolling them up to the top of her head and down, all the while breathing deeply. “As I’m doing that, I’m saying to myself, ‘This is a procedure that will save my life. I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to make it as easy on my body as possible,’ ” she says.

Dr. Safer, a New York psychologist who has a rare but curable form of leukemia, started out as a skeptic, but found that hypnosis helped put her at ease before biopsies, MRIs and several surgeries. She now uses it with some of her patients as well. “It’s an excellent self-management technique,” she says. “It gives me a feeling of mastery, a sense that I am participating in my own care rather than just being passive.”

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenCHILDBIRTH. Hypnosis can relax and distract, but expectant moms should be wary of exaggerated claims by some ‘hypnobirthing’ centers that promise painless labor without drugs.

Hypnosis has been the subject of fascination, intrigue and ridicule for centuries. Now, researchers are getting closer to understanding why and how it can work. The mechanism may be similar to the placebo effect—in which patients’ expectations play a major role in how they feel. Hypnosis, in turn, can help patients adjust those expectations to minimize pain, fear and disability.

The image of a stage hypnotist swinging a stopwatch and commanding a volunteer to squawk like a chicken has led to misunderstandings, experts say. Real hypnosis for therapeutic purposes gives subjects more control over their minds and bodies, not less.

“We can teach people how to manage pain and anxiety, ” says David Spiegel, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University who has studied hypnosis for 40 years. “There’s been this mistake in medicine that if you have a certain amount of tissue damage, you should feel this amount of pain. But many things can alter how much pain you feel.”

Indeed, scientific evidence is mounting that hypnosis can be effective in a variety of medical situations, from easing migraine headaches to lowering blood pressure, controlling asthma attacks, minimizing hot flashes and diminishing side effects from chemotherapy.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenPHOBIAS. Some psychologists use hypnosis and other methods to lower the expectation of fears, such as the fear of insects, flying, needles and heights.

Last week, two studies from Sweden found that one hour a week of hypnotherapy for 12 weeks eased symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome in 40% of patients (compared with 12% in a control group) and that the positive effects can last as long as seven years.

Such scientific findings still catch skeptics by surprise—in part because many claims haven’t been carefully studied. “Hypnosis is like a good kid with a bad reputation. Everybody is interested, but in the back of their minds, they’re thinking of Bela Lugosi,” says Guy Montgomery, director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who has led many of the studies. “It’s not mind control. We can’t make somebody rob a bank,” he says.

Hypnotherapy does typically begin with the therapist instructing patients to relax deeply—often with long, slow breaths—then focus their attention intently. Some versions have patients imagine being on a beach or in another pleasant setting and enjoying all the sights, sounds and sensations. Once patients are relaxed and focused, practitioners give them soothing messages and suggestions, such as, “You have no urge to smoke” or “There is nothing to fear.” Theoretically, those thoughts remain even after the patient is focusing on the real world again.

However it works, a hypnotic suggestion in the mind can have measurable effects in the body. One Stanford study asked subjects to imagine that they were eating, and their secretions of gastric acid increased by 70%. In a study from Harvard Medical School published in the Lancet in 2000, patients who had 15 minutes of hypnosis before surgery not only needed less pain medication afterward, but also took less time in surgery, saving an average of $331 each.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenSMOKING CESSATION. Hypnosis is widely promoted as a quit-smoking aid, but review studies have found it has no greater effect after six months than other methods.

“There is a strong link to physiology—and it’s getting stronger, the more research is being done,” says Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. She says about half of the center’s patients are referred by other Cleveland Clinic physicians, particularly gastroenterologists, oncologists and primary-care physicians looking for ways to help reduce patients’ pain.

Brain-imaging studies have shown that while parts of the brain that register painful sensations are still active, the anterior cingulate cortex, which reflects attention, is less engaged. That observed brain effect is greater in the 10% to 15% people who are “highly suggestible” to hypnosis. About 30% of people are resistant—particularly those who are deeply skeptical.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenWEIGHT LOSS. Exaggerated claims abound here, and scientific studies are few. Most show only a slight benefit from hypnosis, if any.

Whether patients are actually in a “trance” is a matter of debate. Dr. Montgomery says the notion is upsetting to some people, and he finds that being relaxed and at ease is sufficient to benefit.

Dr. Spiegel counters that “you get more bang for your buck if you’re in a trance,” which he describes as being completely absorbed—like being engrossed in a great book or movie. But he notes that people can enter and exit that state at will.

Experts say there are few harmful side effects to hypnosis, although some hypnotists who claim to help clients “recover” lost memories have been charged with implanting false ones, which can be highly destructive to real relationships.

Finding a hypnotherapy practitioner can be confusing. There are no state regulations for lay practitioners, and the term “certified hypnotherapist” has little meaning, since some groups that issue certificates have very lax standards. (Psychologist Steve E. Eichel caused a stir in 2002 by obtaining hypnotherapist credentials for his cat, Dr. Zoe D. Katze, from several associations.)

Seeking help from a medical or mental-health professional who has a state license in that field and offers hypnosis along with other services is a safer choice, many experts say. Any medical or psychological issues should be fully evaluated before a patient tries hypnosis.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenDENTAL WORK. One 2007 study found that the more people feared seeing the dentist, the greater their ability to be hypnotized—possibly because both rely on imagination.

Experts also urge patients to be wary of exaggerated claims that hypnosis can “cure” alcoholism or depression or medical problems, “or that promise to uncover your long-repressed alien abduction,” says Dr. Montgomery. He also notes that some of the thousands of iPhone apps that offer self-hypnosis are downright goofy, with disclaimers such as “if you turn someone into a monkey and can’t turn them back, don’t blame us.’ At least they have a sense of humor about it,” he says.

—Email HealthJournal@wsj.com

Write to Melinda Beck atHealthJournal@wsj.com

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