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Basic Skin Care Type That Everybody Should Know About

With the thousands of skin care products clogging the market, choosing one that is appropriate for you can be mighty frustrating. With different ingredients and formulas, one can never know for sure what kind of product your skin longs for.

Although one can never really know for sure unless you try the products yourself, one of the things that can narrow down the search for the perfect skin care product is the skin care type. The skin care type refers to the kind of skin that you are born with.

There are actually four main types, the oily skin, the dry skin, the normal skin and of course the combination type. This is basically determined by the degree of oiliness and dryness of your skin.

As you will notice, some people are more prone to oiliness than others. Pore sizes also come into the picture. In choosing products, you need to know your type is so that you can buy products that fit you.

To determine what type you are, wash your face first and then wait for about 30 minutes. This will give your skin enough time to become active. After the 30-minute period, get a tissue paper and dab you’re the following areas of your face, the forehead, the nose, the chin and the cheeks. Oily areas will of course leave an oily mark on the tissue paper.

In normal skin type, there is a balance between water and oil. This is the type that is not dry but also not too oily. Often, the pore is medium in size. Lines and wrinkles are not as visible compared to people with dry skin. This is because this type of skin is more elastic and flexible.

Dry skin, on the other hand, will be course and rough. There will be mo moisture on the skin. This is the type of skin that is often prone to wrinkles and lines.

Oily skin is perhaps the most easily identified as it tends to shine. This is often a result of overactive oil glands, which produces too much. The danger of oily skin is the fact that it is more prone to acne and pimple problems.

This is because the oil can clog the pores and trap dead skin cells with hair follicles. Pores of oily skin are larger.

Combination skin, as the name implies, can have oily skin in some areas and dry skin on the other parts. Often, it is the T-zone, which is often oily. The T-zone consists of the forehead and the nose.

What you Need to Know About Skin Care Product Labels

When you shop for an aromatherapy body lotion, or other skin care product, you might look at the label to see what it’s made of in the hope of determining how it will affect your skin. Yet, if you are like the rest of the population, you probably have little idea what those ingredients on the label actually do! Your next course of action may be to read the claims on the package. Unfortunately, as this article will teach you, you can’t always rely on these claims as there are few, if any, government standards and enforcement associated with them, which can create a problem for you, the consumer, particularly, as you will learn, if you are buying an aromatherapy skin care product.

Claim 1: Dermatologist Tested

This is a great claim that is made by beauty products to breed confidence in you, the user. For instance, it could say, “Tested by a dermatologist on dry skin.” Unfortunately, while this claim sounds good, it gives you really little useful information. To begin with, you wouldn’t have the faintest idea which dermatologist was responsible for the testing and analysis. Further, you most likely wouldn’t know the qualifications of said dermatologist. You could rightfully ask yourself, with no answer, “Did this dermatologist have experience with testing? Was she well educated? “ Also, you wouldn’t have the foggiest what said dermatologist actually tested for. Finally, without a huge amount of research, if it were even possible, you couldn’t tell who funded the tests. If the consumer product company that manufactured the skin care product you are looking to buy paid for the testing, it would be difficult for it to be an unbiased test.

Claim 2: Hypoallergenic Product

According to Dictionary.com, hypoallergenic is defined as, “designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances.” Unfortunately, there is no government enforced or encoded standard that a company has to meet to make this claim. This is made more troubling with any aromatherapy skin care product. That’s because any such product contains essential oils, which, when applied to the skin, can cause severe reactions in certain people, assuming they have an allergy to the particular essential oil in use.

Claim 3: Laboratory Tested

Like Dermatologist Tested, Laboratory Tested provides little value. You’d have neither knowledge of the lab’s qualifications, nor what it tested for. For example, the laboratory might not have tested for an allergy that you have, which is, again, particularly troublesome when buying an aromatherapy skin care product. Additionally, without knowledge of who funded the test, you couldn’t tell how impartial it was.

Unfortunately, given the complex ingredients found in skin care products, you often have to rely on the benefits and claims made by the manufacturer. But, as you learned, claims including Dermatologist Tested, Hypoallergenic, and Laboratory Tested offer little meaning for you. Consequently, it’s important that you not only research the product online, but also, if concerned, ask your doctor about it. Let’s face it, your skin is important, which is why you are willing to pay for expensive aromatherapy body lotion or other specialized skin care products. So, to keep your skin looking nice, research your products before you buy and apply.

Diabetes: Critical Information You Should Know

A patient recently came into my office for a consultation. She was in her early 50s, overweight, and was struggling with constant tiredness and a sense of being overwhelmed. She had tried multiple diets, with little to no success, and when she succeeded in dropping a couple of pounds, they came right back on. She was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She, like countless other baby boomers, is dealing with a physical condition that is nearly epidemic in proportion. If untreated, it has the potential to lead to full blown diabetes. This condition is called insulin resistance.
As I have treated numerous patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes, over and over again the thought occurs to me that the diagnosis of diabetes does not magically happen overnight. It is a process that the body goes through as it compensates for an unhealthy state.
Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
At the outset, we must differentiate between Diabetes Mellitus Type I and Type II. Diabetes Mellitus Type I occurs when the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (beta cells) so that an inadequate amount of insulin is secreted and blood sugar rises, with subsequent life-threatening ketoacidosis. Type II Diabetes, on the other hand, is a product of our Western society’s habit of overeating carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates (sugar). It is preceded by the condition I described earlier, called insulin resistance.
Before moving on to what procedures I use in my practice to treat diabetes and insulin resistance, let’s look at where this whole problem with diabetes began. This requires us to do some elementary biochemistry. All carbohydrates eventually break down in the body into glucose. As the blood glucose, or sugar, rises, insulin is released from the beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin takes the glucose to insulin receptors on each cell in the body, so that glucose can enter the cell. On the average, 50% of this glucose will be burned as energy, 10% will be stored as glycogen, and 40% is stored as triglycerides. [ii] Glycogen is the storage form of glucose which can be immediately released when the body needs more sugar. Most of the glucose stored as glycogen is in muscle, and the rest is stored in the liver. Triglycerides are a specific type of fat (lipid) molecule that can be burned as energy in the body; however, they are not as easily accessible as glycogen.
When refined carbohydrates (sugar) are ingested (cookies, candies, cakes, Twinkies, PopTarts), especially when taken without fiber, blood glucose levels rise rapidly. This rapid rise in blood sugar is followed by an overshooting of the amount of insulin released from the pancreas, causing the blood sugar to drop or fall below normal. The body does not like the sugar levels to be low, so it triggers a stress response in the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland will release adrenalin, which stimulates the breakdown of glycogen in the liver, slowly causing the glucose levels to rise in the blood.
Another way to relieve the symptoms of hypoglycemia triggered by this overshooting is by the ingestion of another refined carbohydrate. These two corrective mechanisms may cause the blood sugar to overcorrect (that is, the blood sugar’s too high again), with another overcorrection by insulin, and the cycle repeats itself over and over and over … .
Effects of Diabetes on the Body
After years of these glucose swings, the cell wall thickens (there are approximately 30 trillion cells in our body), insulin receptors become less efficient at glucose delivery into cells, and insulin resistance results. By definition, insulin resistance is seen as high fasting levels of glucose and insulin. Normal healthy fasting level of glucose is between 75-80, although any number in the 80s is acceptable. A healthy level of insulin in the fasting state is 0-5, while 5-10 is borderline. Anything above 10 is cause for concern. A diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus Type II is made when the fasting glucose level is greater than 126 or 140 on two separate occasions.
To understand the effects of high glucose levels to the body, we need to understand a principle called glycosylation [iii] . This is a fancy term for the binding of glucose to proteins. Glycosylated LDL (“bad” cholesterol) molecules do not bind to LDL receptors, nor shut off cholesterol synthesis. Glycosylated red blood cells do not carry as much oxygen, are more sticky, and clump together more. Glycosylation of the lens of the eye may lead to cararacts. Glycosylation of the myelin sheath around nerves leads to loss of nerve function, tingling, pain, and numbness called neuropathy. Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the blood vessels) is the single biggest complication of diabetes. It may be due to platelet stickiness, glycosylated LDL, glycosylated red blood cells, or glycosylation of proteins in the blood vessel wall.
Atherosclerosis causes a reduction in blood flow, with subsequent organ damage, hypertension, cyanotic feet (with possible gangrene and amputation), retinopathy, and even kidney dysfunction and failure. Poor healing of skin from infection or trauma leads to chronic ulcers or sepsis (bacteria spreading throughout the body through the blood stream). [iv]
High insulin levels affect the body differently. They increase fat formation and storage, while inhibiting fat breakdown to be used as energy. This makes it easy to gain weight, and VERY difficult to lose weight. High insulin also enhances sodium (salt) reabsorption from the kidney, thus promoting water retention and hypertension. High insulin levels also stimulate certain ovarian hormones that result in elevations in free testosterone, with subsequent androgen effects. [v]
Treatment for Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Diet is the reason we got into this mess and diet is the key to getting out of it! Since all carbohydrates break down into sugar, we must decrease the total amount of carbohydrates coming into the body. This translates into no more than 60-100 grams of carbohydrates per day — the less, the better. We need to look at those foods that are high and low in carbohydrates. As a start, all sugar must be eliminated. The next highest source of carbohydrates comes from potatoes (look out, Idaho!) and grains such as wheat (bread and pasta) and rice. Fruits are the next highest source of carbohydrates; their mostly fructose sugar is converted in the body into glucose. Certainly, whole fruit, with its fiber, and whole grains (rather than refined flour or wheat) for breads and pasta, and whole brown rice are much better tolerated than the refined, processed white foods and low fiber juices.
The legumes, which include beans, peas and soy, have about 1/3 carbohydrates, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 fats. (This is a highly simplified version of these ratios.) Generally nuts and seeds have that same ratio. Vegetables have the least amount of carbohydrates, although corn, tomatoes and carrots (the ones we tend to like the most) are the highest of the vegetables in the carbohydrate category. There are no carbohydrates in meats, cheese, or eggs.
So, the recommendation is: eat less of the breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, and fruit categories, and eat more of the legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, eggs, cheese and meat (sparingly) categories.
Nutritional Options
There are nutritional substances that reduce insulin resistance in the body. These include chromium [vi] , vanadium, biotin and alpha-lipoic acid. There is mixed success in reducing carbohydrate cravings with Gymnema or L-Glutamine, but these are certainly worth a try if sugar cravings persist. Vitamin E at 900 IU/day improves insulin action and may prevent many long-term complications. It also plays a significant role in the prevention of diabetes [vii] (the recent vitamin E scare is incorrect). For more information, you may want to visit my blog site, www.drstangardner.com).
Magnesium plays an important role in glucose management, through its effect on insulin. Magnesium levels are lowest in those patients with diabeti
c complications. Vitamin C is needed for collagen formation, which is at the core of all repair in the body. It also improves insulin sensitivity and is a potent antioxidant. It inhibits glycosylation of proteins. [viii] Vitamin B6 protects against diabetic neuropathy, probably because it also inhibits glycosylation. Some studies indicate it may even resolve gestational diabetes. [ix] Omega 6 fatty acids offer protection against diabetic neuropathy, and omega 3 fatty acids protect against atherosclerosis and augment insulin secretion. Niacinamide may prevent development of Type I Diabetes Mellitus. If taken early enough after onset, it may help restore beta cell function, or slow down their destruction in Type I Diabetes Mellitus. [x]
Exercise enhances insulin sensitivity, perhaps through increasing levels of chromium. Lowered triglycerides and improved weight loss are other beneficial effects of exercise. The benefits of exercise are addressed in another article.
1 Low carbohydrate diet (no more than 60-100 grams per day).
2. Chromium (200-400 micrograms/day)
3. Vanadium (100-125 milligrams/day long term or 5-10 grams/day, short term)
4. General supplements include:
a) Vitamin C (2000 mg/day)
b) Vitamin B6 (150-200 mg/day)
c) Vitamin E (900 IU/day)
d) Magnesium ( 600-1000 mg/day)
5. If insulin resistance is still present with the above recommendations, add Biotin (9-16 mg/day), Glucophage (500-1700 mg/day). Glucophage needs a prescription.
6. For Type I Diabetes Mellitus, Niacinamide (1000-2000 mg/day) and insulin
This approach puts a much heavier emphasis on treating insulin resistance, the underlying cause of diabetes, rather than treating the symptoms of high blood sugar with medications like sulfonylureas that push the beta cells toward increasing insulin release, irrespective of the glucose level in the blood. More insulin is not what is needed. Less insulin resistance is needed. With this approach, we get away from the problems associated with high insulin levels. We also avoid the potential exhaustion of beta cells because of their chronic high production to handle insulin.
Diabetes is the end result of problems in the body that can be addressed with nutrition. The positive results I have seen in my practice are incredibly successful! It is critical to begin addressing our health issues at the cause level, rather than the end organ damage level.

[i] Cecil Textbook of Medicine 19th Edition pp. 1296-1302.
[ii] Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Tortora, Grabowski. 10th Edition pp. 928-9
[iii] Textbook of Natural Medicine, Joseph E. Pizzoni Jr, Michael T Murray p. 1200.
[iv] Ibid pp. 1200-2.
[v] Lukaczer, Dan. “Nutritional Support for Insulin Resistance.” Applied Nutritional Science Reports, 2001.
[vi] Anderson R et al. “Beneficial effects of chromium for people with Type II Diabetes.” Diabetes 1996; 45: 124A/454.
[vii] Salonen JT, Jyyssonen K, Tuomainen TP. “Increased risk of non-insulin diabetes mellitus at low plasma Vitamin E concentrations. A four-year follow-up study in men.” Br Med J 1995; 311: 1124-27.
[viii] White JR, Campbell RK. “Magnesium and Diabetes. A Review.” Ann Pharmacother 1993; 27: 775-80.
[ix] Solomon LR, Cohen K. “Erythrocyte O2 transport and metabolism and effects of vitamin B6 therapy in Type II diabetes mellitus.” Diabetes 1989; 38: 881-886.
[x] Pocoit F, Reimers JI, Anderson HW. “Nicotinamide-biological actions and therapeutic potential in diabetes prevention.” Diabeto Logia 1993; 36: 574-76.

Something you probably didn't know about getting to a healthy weight?

Want to lose weight fast? Do people call you lazy? Well the truth is, excess fat is not your fault.

Imagine now your mind and body as an iceberg. See the excess fat as the very tip of a iceberg and picture now the 80% of the iceberg below the surface as your subconscious mind. We all develop habits below the surface in our subconscious mind without even being aware of it, which is where the real reasons behind the excess fat are.

Most weight loss products on the market only deal with the very tip of the iceberg that you can see. Temporary solutions at the surface level are a lousy way to go about losing weight.

Are you now wondering where these habits started? Well actually most habits are formed in reaction to fear. Fear drives so much of human behaviour.

Your subconscious mind thus wants to protect you from what you fear right? So habits are formed to keep you safe. They are designed by your subconscious mind to keep you within your comfort zone which is typically played out by overweight people staying within the confines of their home, hanging with the same group of people, staying in the same job and the like, unless there is a self sabotage habit and the patterns are completely different.

Common habits which lead to excess fat include one or more of a combination of the following procrastination, perfectionism, self sabotage, over compensation, addictions, a need to please everyone, denial and often avoidance. Do you recognise any of these habits? Do you recognise any of these habits in someone you know intimately?

If it is all happening at a subconscious level it is hardly your fault.

Want the good news? Changing habits on a subconscious level is where the key to fast and permanent change is. Achieving weight loss is 80% mindset and 20% strategy. Once you have broken down old habits and developed new ones weight loss comes easy.

Start now by recognising what your subconscious habits are. When do they turn up? How do they generally play out? How do they impact your life? Then consider are they habits that you want to keep?

Do you want to create change on a subconscious level so weight loss comes easy? Well your subconscious mind does more to avoid pain than it does to seek pleasure because it wants to keep you safe right? So get this principle working for you by stacking pain to that old habit and pleasure to creating a new one.

Master this principle and this time it is the tip of the iceberg, i.e. your excess fat, which sinks!

What Should a Hatha Yoga Teacher Know? Part 1

Most of the time, prospective Yoga teachers have a very strong foundation in Yoga; but sometimes, they originally come from a related-field, such as Martial Arts, Pilates, Dance, Gymnastics, or Fitness. This is fine, but be prepared for a “learning curve” and do not expect to learn all about Yoga in one Yoga teacher training intensive course. Even if you “lock yourself up” in an ashram for months, you should realize that learning Yoga is a life-long journey and not a race.

Now, if you come from a related field – you have a lot more mental work to do than a long-time student of Yoga. Hatha Yoga is a physical form of Yoga, but being athletic is not as important as the knowledge a Yoga teacher should possess. So, what should you know in order to become a Yoga teacher? Below is a list of what a Hatha Yoga teacher should know in order to successfully teach Yoga classes.

Anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology should always be covered during a Yoga teacher training session. Yoga student safety is especially an important issue for those who will be teaching Yoga. Students are always physically different, and Hatha Yoga practice can be made to adapt to anyone – regardless of age or physical ability. Anyone who desires to teach Yoga should have a complete understanding of how the physical body works.

Asanas are the postures held during Yoga practice. Hatha Yoga teachers do not have to know hundreds of Asanas to teach a Yoga class, but they should be very familiar with 26 to 100 different Yoga postures – depending upon the style of Yoga. Yoga teachers should be able to design a lesson plan using these postures, their variations, and the many other aspects of Hatha Yoga teaching.

Yoga teachers should know how to give Asana modifications to their students. Sometimes, this could be advising a Yoga student to use a block, strap, bolster, chair, ball, blanket, or any other prop for proper alignment and safety. Other times, this might be giving a Yoga student an alternative variation of an Asana.

Yoga teachers should be familiar with contraindications for Asanas; which are cautions that can be related to a specific Yoga posture. This is very important when working with Yoga students who are pregnant, have high blood pressure, or have a specific ailment.

Yoga teachers should take the time to be familiar with each student and his or her particular health condition. This means researching health conditions that Yoga students have and staying on top of your own continuing education. After becoming familiar with an ailment; learn how you can help, but never give medical advice.

No Yoga teacher should ever put a student at risk. The body of a Yoga student cannot be forced into a position that a Yoga teacher feels is correct. Instead, the body is gently guided to its natural limits, without pain and little discomfort.

Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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