Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

November 15, 2016

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is related to seasonal changes. This condition is also known as: winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, or seasonal depression. To be correctly diagnosed, the affected person should be known to have normal mental health throughout the rest of the year, with periods of depression occurring at the same time each year, usually winter. It is caused by the variation of light exposure in different seasons, most commonly, lack of light in winter. The lack of sunlight decreases the chemical serotonin (which regulates mood), and increases the production of the chemical melatonin (increases sleep and drowsiness). Cases of SAD are rare in Australia and are more likely to occur in places further from the equator where the days are shorter.

Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Oversleeping
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido
  • Body aches
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Sadness
  • Moodiness
  • Anger
  • Emptiness
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Cravings for carbohydrates
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Restlessness and irritability

  This condition is readily treated by Light Therapy

July 9, 2016

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that prevents the affected individual from being able to sleep, fall asleep, and/or, stay asleep. Over one-third of people experience insomnia, but often, less than 5% of these people actually require treatment. This condition can occur at any age, but it is most common among the elderly.   There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia, and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia occurs when the individual is having sleep difficulties that are not related to any medical conditions. This is often known as ‘acute insomnia’ and will often be caused by: significant stress (job loss, divorce etc), emotional or physical discomfort, environmental factors (such as light, noise, temperatures etc), some medications, and interferences in usual sleep patterns (such as jet lag, change in shifts from day to night etc).   Secondary insomnia relates to the lack of an individual’s ability to sleep due to other external factors such as medical problems, pain, medications, or substance abuse (for example, alcohol). This type of insomnia generally lasts longer and is often called ‘chronic insomnia’. This condition becomes

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July 5, 2016

    There are many health benefits of practicing yoga. Not only does it decrease stress, but increases fitness, flexibility, and strength, while reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure. It can also help to alleviate other conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.   The three main components of yoga are: Poses: a series of movements designed to increase your strength, concentration, and flexibility Breathing: which helps control your body and quieten your mind Meditation and relaxation: this component helps you learn to be more aware in the present moment   Yoga helps to relieve both physical and mental stresses. The stretching incorporated into yoga routines helps to relieve tension in the body, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back. Yoga also eases emotional stress due to the fact that the concentration required to maintain the poses, forces us to be in the present, while thinking about stressful situations is often set in the future or even the past.   Linked are some yoga poses that are particularly efficient in aiding with stress: http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/yoga-by-benefit/stress/   REFERENCES: , , , , , , , , , ,

March 15, 2016

 

Definition: Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

 

Stress occurs when the brain releases chemicals which cause an increase in energy and strength. This can be helpful in physical situations but when the stress is emotional, this release of chemicals is detrimental because there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength. These chemicals are: adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone), cortisole, and norepinephrine (similar to adrenaline, with the main intent to cause awareness).

  Stress can be a good motivator, but it can become harmful if it becomes excessive and begins to interfere with normal, everyday life.      

There are three main types of stress. These are: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.

  Acute stress: This stress is usually a brief event and is often due to an impending deadline, performance, or a traumatic event.  

Episodic acute stress: This occurs when people have to deal with acute stress repeatedly. This often occurs when a traumatic event happens and is followed by more stress inducing events. These people have the tendency to believe that, if something can go wrong, it w

March 13, 2016

LAVENDER Scientifically known as Lavandula, the name comes from the Latin root name lavare which means ‘to wash’. Lavender is native to the Old World (Africa, Europe, and Asia). Due to its Mediterranean origins, lavender plants prefer hot summers and dry winters. These plants do not do well with humidity. There are four main types of lavender. These are:

  • English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Known as true lavender, this is usually the variety used in making potpourri and oils
  • Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas): Identified by two brightly coloured ‘wings’ at the top of each flower
  • French lavender (Lavandula dentata): Identified by grey green serrated leaves and a flat, furry, spiked purple flower
  • Winged lavender (Lavandula Sidonie): Identified by ferny foliage and forked flowers

  Lavender has long been used for its aromatic and healing properties. In the medieval times it was thought to ward off evil spirits. Medicinally, lavender is used as a relaxant, an antibacterial agent, and as a sensory stimulant. It is also used to treat a range of ailments including: insomnia, anxiety, stress, indigestion, alopecia (hair loss), headaches, nervous disorders, exhaustion, infections, acne and eczema, and joint and muscle pain.   Forms of lavender av

January 30, 2016

ANISE Also called aniseed, this herb is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae (carrot, celery, or parsley family). This plant is native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, and Southwest Asia. It was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East and was brought across to Europe for its medicinal purposes. It is used nowadays: to flavour liquor, culinary uses (mainly teas and confectionary), and in herbal medicine.   HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Used to treat toothaches
  • Aids breathing, relieves pain, and eases thirst
  • It is an antispasmodic/Expectorant, meaning it treats involuntary muscle spasms and coughs (by helping bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea)
  • Decreases bloating and aids with digestion
  • Also used to treat gas, colic, and rheumatism
  • Is an antibacterial and antifungal
  • Invokes an estrogenic effect which promotes breast milk production in nursing mothers
  • Used as a diuretic to increase urine flow
  • Is an appetite stimulant
  • Is an aphrodisiac
  • Has been used to treat migraines
  • Alleviates lice, scabies and, psoriasis
  • This herb also treats anxiety and nervousness
  • Has also been used in the treatment of seizures, asthma, and insomnia
  • Anise is a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zi

January 9, 2016

Scientifically known as Cymbopogan citrates, lemongrass is a herb that is used for its culinary and medicinal uses.       USES:

  • Pesticide/insect repellent
  • Antifungal/antibacterial
  • The oil is used to treat ringworm
  • Used to treat fever by inducing sweating
  • Calm upset stomachs/diarrhoea
  • Alleviates headaches
  • Treats lice, athlete’s foot, and scabies
  • Alleviates cold symptoms
  • Perfumes and soaps
  • Aids with insomnia
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Aids with stress and anxiety
  • Relieves muscle pains
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese
  • Some studies say lemongrass has anti-cancer properties
  • Aids with arthritis and gout
  • Used to treat skin problems such as acne

   CAUTION: Undiluted lemongrass oil can cause skin irritation, rashes, and burning sensations. Not recommended for children, pregnant women, and nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should consult a doctor before using this herb.   REFERENCES: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lemongrass.html , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,