RELAXATION TECHNIQUES, BIOFEEDBACK FOR STRESS BREAKDOWN TREATMENT: POSSIBILITY TO FURTHER STRESS BREAKDOWN

December 27th, 2010
Some of the relaxation exercise and biofeedback methods have as an underlying theory that feelings of tension under stress are a sign that the sufferer is physically unfit. The inference is that stress should not cause anxiety symptoms in a person whose body is physically fit from regular exercise, and who has his feelings under control.
I reject this concept. It must always be remembered that anxiety response to stress is a normal alarm mechanism. Abnormal physiological states can lead to anxiety symptoms when the person is trying to deal with what might be otherwise a normal stress load. I fear that some people giving advice about stress management seem to believe that anxiety under excess stress can be reduced by their methods.
The promise of some relaxation techniques and biofeedback methods, that they can dismantle the alarm reaction which warns us when we begin to overload the nervous system, seems at best ineffective, and at the worst, possibly harmful.
I believe that abuse and disrespect for ourselves is part of the human condition, and I tend to view the proposed use of techniques which would free us from the penalty of overloading our nervous systems, as just another example of the human behaviour which tends to make us vulnerable to stress breakdown in the first place. The promise that modern biofeedback methods are able to combat stress, in my view, just leads people to think they can cheat the system, and get more and more work out of their over-stressed nervous systems without paying any price. In fact, attitudes such as these are the classical preconditions for progressing from stage one stress breakdown to stage two and stage three. I tend to see therefore, some of these stress management programmes as potentially capable of producing serious stress breakdown, if they are used in ignorance of the real function of the anxiety response as a warning signal of overload.
*46/129/5*

RELAXATION TECHNIQUES, BIOFEEDBACK FOR STRESS BREAKDOWN TREATMENT: POSSIBILITY TO FURTHER STRESS BREAKDOWN
Some of the relaxation exercise and biofeedback methods have as an underlying theory that feelings of tension under stress are a sign that the sufferer is physically unfit. The inference is that stress should not cause anxiety symptoms in a person whose body is physically fit from regular exercise, and who has his feelings under control.I reject this concept. It must always be remembered that anxiety response to stress is a normal alarm mechanism. Abnormal physiological states can lead to anxiety symptoms when the person is trying to deal with what might be otherwise a normal stress load. I fear that some people giving advice about stress management seem to believe that anxiety under excess stress can be reduced by their methods.The promise of some relaxation techniques and biofeedback methods, that they can dismantle the alarm reaction which warns us when we begin to overload the nervous system, seems at best ineffective, and at the worst, possibly harmful.I believe that abuse and disrespect for ourselves is part of the human condition, and I tend to view the proposed use of techniques which would free us from the penalty of overloading our nervous systems, as just another example of the human behaviour which tends to make us vulnerable to stress breakdown in the first place. The promise that modern biofeedback methods are able to combat stress, in my view, just leads people to think they can cheat the system, and get more and more work out of their over-stressed nervous systems without paying any price. In fact, attitudes such as these are the classical preconditions for progressing from stage one stress breakdown to stage two and stage three. I tend to see therefore, some of these stress management programmes as potentially capable of producing serious stress breakdown, if they are used in ignorance of the real function of the anxiety response as a warning signal of overload.
*46/129/5*

ASTHMA AND PESTICIDES: ORGANOPHOSPHATES

December 20th, 2010
Organophosphates are dangerous because they tend to attack a vital enzyme called ‘acetylcholinesterase’. Interference with this enzyme causes muscle and central nervous system disorders. Diarrhoea, muscular weakness, dizziness, impaired vision and shortness of breath are the commoner symptoms. The danger of poisoning by pesticides increases proportionately to the amount of sulphur-containing proteins in one’s diet. Captan, for example, is a fungicide used in some cultivation and home gardening. It is almost harmless to a well-nourished person but can become deadly in a protein-deficient individual. The type of protein that protects against pesticide poisoning is crucial. Laboratory animals raised on soya protein, which has a low methionine content, experience stunted growth and liver damage if exposed to DDT. Methionine is a sulphur amino acid. Low sulphur diets cause a deficiency of vitamin A by affecting its liver reserves.
Another amino acid, cysteine, is said to afford some protection from pesticides, and so are most antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium).
*31\145\2*

ASTHMA AND PESTICIDES: ORGANOPHOSPHATESOrganophosphates are dangerous because they tend to attack a vital enzyme called ‘acetylcholinesterase’. Interference with this enzyme causes muscle and central nervous system disorders. Diarrhoea, muscular weakness, dizziness, impaired vision and shortness of breath are the commoner symptoms. The danger of poisoning by pesticides increases proportionately to the amount of sulphur-containing proteins in one’s diet. Captan, for example, is a fungicide used in some cultivation and home gardening. It is almost harmless to a well-nourished person but can become deadly in a protein-deficient individual. The type of protein that protects against pesticide poisoning is crucial. Laboratory animals raised on soya protein, which has a low methionine content, experience stunted growth and liver damage if exposed to DDT. Methionine is a sulphur amino acid. Low sulphur diets cause a deficiency of vitamin A by affecting its liver reserves.Another amino acid, cysteine, is said to afford some protection from pesticides, and so are most antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium).*31\145\2*

THE NEW GERM THEORY OF DISEASE: SCREENING FOR MOSQUITOES

December 13th, 2010

The general solution for acute infectious diseases is to invest in interventions that reduce transmission from the sickest people. This investment should make pathogens evolve toward benignity because the sickest people tend to house the nastiest pathogens. The particular solution depends on the particular category of disease.
For diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, mosquito-proof housing should push the host-parasite relationship toward benignity. When houses and hospitals do not restrict entry of mosquitoes, very sick individuals are particularly vulnerable to mosquito bites. When houses and hospitals are mosquito-proof, mosquitoes do not have access to a person sick in bed. The parasites in that person are therefore taken out of the competition. Transmission occurs instead from people who are sufficiently healthy to walk around outside. Because these people tend to be infected with more benign parasites than are severely ill people, mosquito-proof housing should tip the competitive balance in favor of the milder strains.
Mosquito-proof netting might seem like a reasonable and cheaper way to accomplish the same thing. But it is bound to be less effective because it demands more of the sick person and those who care for the sick. Can one count on a sick person to remember to tidy up the mosquito netting and to be motivated to do so? People generally use mosquito netting to avoid being infected rather than to avoid infecting others. Caregivers too tend to be focused on the patient rather than the long-term well-being of the society. They may be less inclined to be careful about mosquito netting if the person already has malaria.
Mosquito-proof housing obviates these problems because a sick person needs to do only what that person feels like doing: lying down and taking it easy. Similarly, the caregivers need focus only on their patients. Nor do the people involved have to put up with short-term inconveniences (shots or periodic spraying of houses) for a long-term gain. They simply have to be willing to accept something that they would like anyhow: higher quality housing.
Skeptics may argue that it cannot be done for a reasonable price. It already has. Just before the discovery of DDT and the synthetic quinine derivatives, the Tennessee Valley Authority was confronted with a malaria problem. The dams it had constructed during the 1920s along the border between Tennessee and Alabama had created mosquito-breeding areas; by the mid-1930s about half the Alabaman residents along the border had malaria infections. Faced with limited options, the TVA decided to embark on a major mosquito-proofing campaign. They divided the area into eleven zones and, between 1939 and 1944, mosquito-proofed every house at a cost of about one hundred dollars per house. Mosquito-proofing was maintained at a cost of about ten dollars per year per house (all 1940 dollars).
Skeptics may argue that screening of houses may do little to influence malaria transmission because much transmission may be occurring outside houses. The outcome of the TVA program provides some insight into this possibility. The mosquito-proofing was staggered so that some zones were completed sooner than others. By the time the mosquito-proofing was completed in a zone, the prevalence of infection had generally fallen to less than 10 percent. Within a couple of years after that, the prevalence was less than 1 percent in virtually every zone.
Skeptics may also argue that people will not tolerate the reduced airflow associated with screens. The TVA personnel were worried about this problem too in the stifling Alabama summers. They reported a few libertarians who threw furniture through the screens in protest, but overall they had virtually 100 percent compliance. In general the people were pleased to get the screens so that they could now escape the buzzing and biting of mosquitoes.
Skeptics may argue further that Alabama is not Nigeria. Differences between countries will undoubtedly influence the outcome of such interventions. In some countries the intervention will be more economically and politically feasible than in others, especially with regard to the initial intervention and long-term maintenance. The logical starting point would be to try the intervention in those countries that seem most appropriate and then to move on to assess the limits of the strategy.
Skeptics may still argue that we do not even know whether, after all the trouble, screening will have the desired evolutionary effect. Yes, we do need to try the intervention to see whether it will work. But this prospect is as close to a win-win situation as one could realistically ask for. If the evolutionary argument is wrong, and no evolution toward benignity occurs, then a large number of people will at least have obtained better housing and will have fewer mosquito bites and a lower rate of infection. If the malaria responds as the malaria in Alabama responded, it will be virtually eradicated. If the local malaria is not eradicated, the intervention will serve as a test of the evolutionary hypothesis.
If such tests prove the evolutionary argument correct, the death and suffering associated with malaria and other vector-borne diseases in the area may be dramatically reduced because each infection will be 1 less damaging—one cannot say by how much without running the intervention, but the geographic variation in the harmfulness of malaria provides some indication. In areas with very restricted seasonal abundance, such as along the northern edge of sub-Saharan endemism for falciparum malaria, and in northern latitudes for vivax malaria, infections are relatively benign. Even where malaria transmission is intense, such as in Gabon, mild strains of the falciparum organism coexist with harmful strains, indicating two things. First, the raw material for evolution to benignity is there. Second, the mild strains, being already able to persist, might need only a slightly increased competitive advantage to dominate or even displace the more harmful strains.
Obviously I have been talking with some skeptics over the years. Perhaps the most frustrating response, though, is dismissal on the grounds that the intervention is primitive. This kind of dismissal is sometimes made by those who are convinced that the answer must lie in some technological breakthrough, even though mosquito-proofing of houses is supported by solid evidence, and the high-tech applications provide no evidence of an imminent breakthrough. The mosquito-proofing approach will undoubtedly incorporate high-tech advances in materials science and molecular methods in many aspects of the intervention, surveillance, and testing. But even if it did not, why care? What matters is what works, not whether it involves mesh, boards, and nails.
Finally, it is worth noting that the same intervention should simultaneously cause evolutionary reductions in other vector-borne diseases in the region. The experience with dengue along the Mexican border suggests that a mosquito-proofing campaign would reduce the damage from this viral disease as well. The cost-benefit ratio could be tremendously favorable.
*58\225\2*

INFECTIOUS SUPPURATION OF THE EYES AND MOUTH 2

October 6th, 2010

As a rule, such infections are simple enough to deal with if the body is given the right kind of help, for nature cures if we support it in its performance. It is better to take no action than to give the wrong treatment. The usual attempts to suppress the symptoms in order to destroy the germs with drugs actually undermine the body’s natural powers of resistance. The same foolishness is shown by those who treat plant diseases and pests. They expect to get rid of them by spraying the plants with poisonous chemicals, but succeed only in weakening or killing the plants’ own natural defence mechanism. So they are forced to increase and intensify their spray programmes. Similarly, some doctors have to prescribe more and stronger drugs because the body’s natural healing powers have been weakened or even destroyed. But we must remember that man is not the healer – it is nature that really performs the cure. All we ourselves can do is support the wonderful, natural self-healing powers of the body. Let us hope that this basic truth becomes once again more widely recognised and appreciated.
*121/28/1*
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INFECTIOUS SUPPURATION OF THE EYES AND MOUTH

October 6th, 2010

Infectious eye and mouth suppuration (discharging of pus or fester­ing) can be cured in a short time if you follow the nature treatment described in the following letter I received from a mother.

‘Our little boy is much better now. The pus in his eyes and mouth stopped within about five days after we began to use your remedies. The child looked pitiful, but now he is romping around happily again. Our treatment was as follows: before meals we gave him Solidago (goldenrod) and a cod-liver oil preparation, as well as an easily assimilated calcium preparation {Urticalcin). After meals he took Hepar sulph. 4x and Lachesis 12x. The eyes were bathed twice daily with diluted Aesculaforce. Twice a day we put an onion poultice on his neck. Improvement of his condition was soon noticeable. We put St John’s wort oil on his sore lips and dusted them with Urticalcin powder. During the day we gave him fruit juice and horsetail tea to drink. Several times we prepared white clay packs made with horsetail tea, mixed with a few drops of St John’s wort oil, and applied these to his eyes. We are indeed thankful and happy that this dangerous infection has now gone, but we continue to give the child Solidago, cod-liver oil preparation and the easily assimilated calcium.’
*120/28/1*
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FERTILITY: ENCOURAGING NEWS FOR CHILDLESS COUPLES

June 16th, 2010
As the baby pushes its tiny, wet head out into the universe, the birth of a child makes us gasp at the wonder of the creation of life. But that wonder is denied to between 3 million and 4 million American couples who cannot achieve pregnancy. They are infertile.
I am amazed that our species has survived the delicate balance of fertility. Before conception takes place, a dozen different organs in the husband and wife must mesh their output.
Despite recent successes with surgery and drugs, one couple in five still fails to have children. Undaunted, scientists are developing newer, bolder techniques that have given babies to thousands of childless couples and offer hope to thousands more. In less than a decade, doctors have achieved breathtaking results with the following techniques:
•   Microsurgery that opens blocked or destroyed egg and sperm ducts
•   Radioactive tests of sex-hormone levels to treat the lack of eggs and sperm; new hormone preparations that induce the sluggish ovary to ovulate – that is, to produce and release eggs
•   The sonogram, a sound-wave picture that enables doctors to see eggs sprouting and to monitor drugs’ effects on the ovary
Many of these advances are part of a new era of infertility treatment, which burst on the world on July 25, 1978, with the birth in Oldham, England, of 5-pound, 12-ounce Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby. She was conceived in the laboratory, where her mother’s egg joined her father’s sperm in a glass petri dish. The fertilized egg was then implanted in Mrs. Brown’s uterus, where it grew normally for 9 months. Scientists call this method in vitro (meaning “in glass”) fertilization, or IVF.
*123/266/5*

SELECTING HEALTHY FOOD: FATS, SWEETS AND CONDIMENTS

June 16th, 2010
Fats
Butter and margarine are of equal nutritive value and are comparable in flavor. Regular margarines are much less costly than butter, but special margarines that are high in polyunsaturated fat are only slightly lower in cost than butter. Consumers today are using more oils – corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, and less hydrogenated shortenings or lard because of the differences in polyunsaturated fat content.
Sweets and condiments
Cane and beet sugars cost less than raw, brown, and confectioners’ sugars. Molasses is a good buy, because it contains iron as well as carbohydrates. It can be used for many dishes, such as baked beans, gingerbread, cookies, puddings, and sometimes in a glass of milk for children. Honey, maple sugar and syrup, and candies represent expensive ways to buy sweets.
Spices, flavoring extracts, and herbs are important additions, because they enhance the flavors of food so much. Flavors are rapidly lost to the air, and only small containers of infrequently used seasonings should be purchased. Coffee, tea, catsup, meat sauces, pickles, and relishes add interest to meals. Depending upon the choices made, these food adjuncts may increase the food expenditure appreciably.
*123/234/5*

CHILD’S HEALTH/BOWEL DISORDERS: CONSTIPATION TREATMENT

May 21st, 2009

Treatment

Treatment depends on the specific cause of the pain. Do not give any medications for pain until you have discussed this with your doctor. Painkillers may serve only to mask the real problem, and make diagnosis more difficult.

When to see your doctor

• if your child complains of severe pain in the abdomen;

• if your child has recurrent bouts of abdominal pain;

• if your child is unwell or has a fever in addition to the pain;

• if your child has diarrhoea or vomiting;

• if any blood is present in the stools;

• if you suspect that your child has swallowed something poisonous.

*342\90\8*

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH BREASTFEEDING: INADEQUATE MILK SUPPLY

May 19th, 2009

It is difficult to tell just how much milk your baby is actually getting when you breastfeed. An indication that the amount may not be sufficient is a baby’s poor weight gain during the first few weeks or crying immediately after feeds. Of course, there may be other reasons for a baby’s failure to gain weight or not settling after feeds, but if he is otherwise well it is worth checking with a doctor, who will assess feeding technique, as well as the mother’s and the baby’s general health. Inadequate rest, poor diet or insufficient fluid intake, as well as anxiety, can all contribute to a decrease in your milk supply. Expressing between feeds can help boost your milk supply. Try to avoid giving complementary feeds unless absolutely necessary, and then only give a maximum of 60 ml of formula after each feed. If your baby is unwell and feeding poorly, this may also compound the problem. Seeking the advice of a breastfeeding counsellor or your maternal and child health nurse can also be invaluable if you are concerned about your milk supply.

*95\90\8*

YOUR MARITAL HEALTH/SEX AND PROBLEMS OF DAILY LIVING: SEXUALITY’S DIRTY DOZEN

May 18th, 2009

1. Loss

2. Parenting

3. Parenting parents

4. Work or career problems

5. Financial problems

6. Balancing outside relationships with marriage

7. Problems fitting recreation into relationship

8. Relocating, moving to a new home

9. Problems with transitional life phases

10. Insufficient time or poor time management

11. Counterproductiveness and ineffectiveness of institutions

12. Difficulties in living and loving according to morals, values, attitudes, and beliefs

The husbands’ and wives’ quotes were reported in the same order as the problems list above. This list represents some of the major obstacles to super marital sex. Go through the list one more time and assign points for your marriage on each item on a 0-to-10 scale, with 0 representing no such problems now and 10 representing severe problems in that category. Talk it over with your spouses and decide on a number value for each item.

The average score for the thousand couples on this test was 68 points of a maximum 120 “sexual stress points.” The average for four thousand other couples who took this brief test during some of my lectures was 53. The couples found it helpful to convert this score to a percentage by dividing their score by the total possible 120 points, resulting in about 44 percent of possible sexual stress points for the lecture groups who were not coming for specific sexual help and 57 percent for the clinic group. At five-year follow-up, the clinic couples averaged a score of 24, or 20 percent. Their stress points were significantly reduced because of time, treatment, improved sexual life, or change in life circumstances. I have never seen a couple accomplish super marital sex without significantly reducing their percentage on this test. This chapter is about ways in which you may reduce this percentage together as another step to super marital sexuality.

I tell my patients to remember three “grabbing” techniques when facing life’s transitional problems. These techniques include sup-tins each other, holding on to your sense of humor, even at the worst of times, and clinging to your belief system and the faith that your super marriage will be able to cope.

*205\97\8*

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