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Showing posts from August, 2012

Natural Human Grown Hormone and Aging

I often wondered about the ads I’ve seen in magazines and billboards advertising the youthful benefits of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). I know that this particular hormone is produced by the pituitary gland to fuel childhood growth and help maintain tissues and organs throughout life. So, why is it so important that companies have unleashed a barrage of ads? Two words: Baby Boomers.

It seems that, around the age of forty, the pituitary gland begins a process of early retirement by slowly reducing the amount of growth hormone it produces. Although this is a perfectly natural transition, the volume of Baby Boomers that have reached this stage is a market to big for supplement and pharmaceutical companies to ignore. And this, has prompted an "on mass" interest in the use of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) to stave off the realities of old age.

But before you rush out to the 'flavor of the day' clinic or demand synthetic HGH from your personal physician, consider tha…

How Light Bulbs Make Us Fat…

It’s true. It’s Edison’s fault. While technology has advanced our species it has also impacted eons of evolutionary progress. Few people understand the connection or how the process of invention can have a negative effect on our health, but I can’t help but sense their related connection.

For example, “circadian rhythm” is a term used to describe the internal clock regulating the activities all living creatures perform throughout a 24-hour day. While this internal clock may differ, some animals are nocturnal while others are active during the daylight hours, the circadian rhythm reigns supreme over everything within the body like temperature, appetite and energy level. It’s the reason why some people can regularly wake up at a specific time without the use of an alarm clock.

Before Edison’s miraculous invention came about, our human circadian rhythms were closely matched with the 24 hour cycle found in nature. We got up with the Sun and slept when it went down. By nature, and extens…

Science Proves: Stress Ages You

As if you didn’t already know, right? Well, now it seems that science has discovered a cellular link to the process of aging. They have discovered that the tips of chromosomes have a cap-like structure that resembles the plastic caps of shoelaces. Called Telomeres, these structures respond to stress, and if you are chronically stressed, they can cut your life span short.

Here’s why; in young cells, these telomeres appear to be very long. In the cells of old people, however, they are nothing more than mere nubs. It seems telomeres do play a part in the aging process because further research indicates that every time cells divide, the duplicate cells have shorter telomeres. This process is repeated until the telomeres become less than nubs, and cell division stops.

What’s worse is that chronic stress can speed up this process by shriveling the tips of the telomere bundles of genes inside cells, thereby shortening their life span and accelerating bodily deterioration. There is hope, th…

Lowering Blood Pressure with Fish

Along with obesity, it seems that high blood pressure is epidemic. What’s amazing to me is that you don’t have to be overweight to have HBP. For that reason, many people assume they are safe from this disease and unknowingly increase their risk of stroke and death. For the most part, HBP doesn’t really carry any significant symptoms, which is why it has earned its moniker, “The silent killer.”

So, what to do? Well, check your blood pressure regularly, especially if you are over the age of forty. Then, set an appointment to see doctor if you see a trend where your BP numbers are higher than 120/80. Your physician can help sort through the many medications that can help in maintaining your blood pressure. However, my preferred treatment is prevention thorough exercise and diet.

It doesn’t have to be complicated either. A daily walk and some minor adjustments like adding cleaner foods to your diet may be all you need. Take cold-water fish for example. Cold water fish are rich in omega-…

How to Start

Starting a new exercise routine can be tough. I know. I’ve been there, too. The biggest obstacle I faced was fear. I was never athletic as a kid. Always told I was too skinny or weak, I found myself believing that. Maybe you have a similar story. What I can tell you is this: you are more than you think (in every way). I got over those fears with a friends encouragement and a plan.

First, and this is important, if you haven’t already been told to exercise by your physician, it would be wise to make an appointment to get approval before you begin. You never know what you may have done to yourself in the years of neglecting your body…

When I first began exercising, I wasn’t aware of pacing myself. I was so out of shape that I literally got nauseous after only a few minutes of exercise. So it is from experience that I encourage you to begin your exercise program slowly and with thought.

There is truth to the cliché “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” My body had years to learn it’s sedentary …

“Not at all: They’re Family.”

We were feeling good! In fact, we were somewhat giddy. We had just returned from picking up our daughter from her week-long visit with Granny & Pawpaw in Northeast Texas. And at the same time, we were expecting the homecoming of a very dear friend that had been working in New York for the past three months. Alex asked if it wasn’t kinda silly to be so excited to have them back home. I said, “Not at all. They’re family.”

That phrase stuck in my head and got me to thinking.
I know – dangerous, right?

Well, the funny thing is that when I look back on our life together, I would have never pictured Alex and me to be where we are now. Oh, we’ve had our shares of ups and downs. There have been times, scary times, when it felt like the only thing holding us together was a worn out piece of string. Yet here we are, together still, nineteen years and counting.

How did we do it? Well, I could say it was purely devotion, discipline or true love. I could even say stupidity and I wouldn’t be …

Don’t Reach for that Heating Pad!

If you’ve ever had a muscle strain or achy back, you probably did what most of us do; reach for a heating pad. It feels good. It feels comforting. But, did you know that it may be the wrong thing to do?

Whenever the body experiences trauma or some type of injury, a complex set of reactions occurs called the Metabolic Response. The metabolic response is a complex interaction between many body systems in an effort to restore physical health.

In many cases the affected area experiences inflammation, stiffness, and swelling. Because the use of heat therapy is comforting to most of us, we tend to reach for it first. However, while it may relax the muscles (thereby easing pain a bit), heat therapy does nothing to address the swelling associated with your body’s metabolic response to trauma. As a result, inflammation increases once the heat is removed and in many cases the pain returns even worse than before.

This is why my first choice for treating pain if cold therapy (Cryo-Therapy). It i…

Lighten Your Load: Your Brains (plural) Coping with Stress

We thrive under pressure. In fact, evolution dictates that the survival of our species relied on facing life challenges, adapting, and then overcoming those obstacles. Thereby arriving  to where we are today. But, today things are different. No longer something physical like a Saber-toothed Lion we can run from, stress is invisible, ever present and just as deadly as it ever was.

Let’s step back for a moment. Did you know that evolution has given you three brains: the lizard brain, the dog brain, and the human brain (Reptilian Complex, Limbic System, and Neocortex)? Each one marks a progression of sorts.

The lizard brain is of basic instinct and need: purely selfish. However, about 100-million years ago mammals came into existence and with them came the Limbic System. A second brain the covers the first. Suddenly, emotions were introduced. Mammals were able to experience loyalty, jealousy, compassion, etc.

More recently, say 100-thousand years ago, the precursor to humans; primates…

How to Relieve Pain & Restore Movement with Massage

Repetitive strain injuries are what I see most in my practice. Clients come to me experiencing pain and due to poor posture and frequently used movements, also known as repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s). RSI’s can affect anyone from athletes to desk jockeys and can present itself as tendinitis, frozen shoulder, tennis or golfer’s elbow, plantar fasciitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome and temporal mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Chances are, if you have chronic muscle spasms in the upper back and neck, stiff and painful shoulders, or tingling in your arms or hands, you may have an RSI. If you experience pain, tightness, or weakness in these areas, and “push through the pain” ignoring what your body is trying to tell you, your risk the chance of causing serious injury and increasing your recovery time to boot.

Even if you are just beginning to notice tingling, numbness or weakness in these areas, it is essential to get treatment early and maintain treatment through self-care therapy.


Your Sore Muscle Treatment Plan

It's normal to have sore muscles after you work out, play sports, or even do housework, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active. The medical name for this condition is delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it is thought to be due in large part to inflammation of the muscle as a result of micro-tears of the muscle fibers.

So, does anything work to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness? So far, nothing is proven 100 percent effective, and while some people have found some of the following tips helpful, it's best to try a few things to see what works for you.

Because it is the best effective means of treating inflammation, ice therapy can be used to treat the muscle micro-tears cause that create DOMS and should be considered especially if your muscle strain is severe. Don’t have an ice-pack? Grab a bag of frozen vegetables, wrap it in a cloth and apply it to the area for 15-20 minutes several times throughout the day.


The “In-box” Diet

I’m on a self imposed diet: a technology diet. I don’t know what we ever did before cell-phones, text messages, email and GPS or how we ever survived before we were able to instantly contact each other! However, I suspect we had an easier way of taking charge of our lives and resting our brains. We were able to “disconnect.”

Today we practically sleep with our technology. I know at least one person who never goes to bed without taking his iPhone with him. Perhaps you do the same? Is it no wonder why we can feel drained of energy and rapt with stress? It’s Pavlovian the way we MUST respond every time the phone dings, rings or vibrates!

I’ve decided: not me.

I’ve at least decided to turn off my phone before going to bed. What about emergencies you ask? Well, emergencies always happen and most of the time there is nothing you can do about it at the time – except worry. Besides, I am much better at handling a crisis when I’m well rested.

As for email, I’ve decided to stop letting it domi…

All About Sports Massage

So, what is “sports massage?” Many of my clients are athletes, or at the least weekend warriors and, as such have asked me about the subject. It seems the performance and wellness advantages afforded by sports massage are highly sought after by my more "competitive" clients? ; )

So anyway, there are basically three main goals of sports massage:
To assist you in performing at you peak levelTo help reduce or possibly prevent the risk of injuryTo help with recovery in the event of injury Since they typically want to depend on their body's ability to function at its best, injury recovery time is dramatically reduced for the clients that incorporate sports massage into their routine.

Although sports massage can occur in a variety of different settings and administered at different times with different goals, there are also generally four times to administer this type of massage:

Pre-event Massage - Pre-event massage typically occurs at the sports event, 20 to 30 minutes befor…

HIV Report: Massage Boosts Immune System

It's a shame that many people perceive massage therapy as a luxury or physical indulgence. Yes, it can be expensive - but not as expensive as illness or disease, and its benefits way outlast treating yourself to a fancy new outfit or expensive dinner.

True, while getting a good massage can make you feel like pampered royalty, it is actually the physiological benefit of receiving a massage that extends far beyond the actual treatment. According to the Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies "Nowhere is massage's impact on the body more profound than in those who have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For individuals who are HIV positive, the cellular battle within the immune system can get a significant wellness boost from regular massage therapy."

As I've always believed, Wellness is not a luxury; it's a necessity.

As Always - Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

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Best Save Your Back!

If you’ve ever been laid up with a back injury, you know how severe the pain can get. The unfortunate thing is that chances are the injury could have been avoided if only a few precautions were taken. After all, the muscles, ligaments and discs of your back do a big job, supporting your spine and moving the weight of your body. Good posture, exercise and correct body mechanics help keep it flexible and strong.

By the same token, massage can help with posture by stretching shortened muscles and fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and other tissues), freeing movement around the joints, and relieving muscle contractions that can pull you out of alignment.

However, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth more than a pound of cure. Keep in mind that you can protect your back by putting a bit of forethought to your movements. To help you preserve your healthy back, I’ve listed a few tips.

Whenever you are working on your feet be sure that your feet are shoulder-widt…