Several studies have been done the last few years focused on the proper time to stretch.
What they’ve found is pretty amazing and completely opposite of how most of us stretch today.
What should you do instead?
Spring has sprung and the gardens are calling!
But let's not forget about our pet friends and the dangers that can be lurking in your garden.
While most of these things are obvious (fertilizer, insecticides) others might surprise you (Easter lilies!)
Fertilizer, insecticides, weed spray
The most dangerous forms of pesticides include:
Found in most home garden centers, cocoa mulch is known for its sweet chocolate smell and fine texture. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine and caffeine, 2 key ingredients in chocolate.
From the ASPCA:
What happens if a 50 pound dog eats cocoa mulch?
A 50 pound dog who eats milk chocolate:
Top Poisonous Plants
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) is a type of temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear. You have one on each side acting like a sliding hinge. If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open and close your mouth, you should be able to feel the joint move. If you move your jaw side to side you can feel that the joint has a wide range of motion. Problems with the joint or muscles can cause jaw pain, neck pain, headaches, or ear pain.
The exact cause of TMJ pain can be difficult to determine and in many cases the causes are unclear. Dentist believe the problems originate from the muscles in the jaw or the joint itself.
Signs and Symptoms
What You Can Do To Relieve The Pain
Americans love technology! We love it so much that we have multiple names for the Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) that happens when we use our smartphones, tablets, or other devices too much. The average person spends around 23 hours a week texting, giving our hands, arms and elbows a workout without realizing it.
The muscles and tendons that allow and support the movement of the thumb are very strong but were not designed for the intense repetitive texting that has become a common day occurrence. The cramped position that is required to hold our smart phones causes muscle fatigue, strain and tension. This leads to aches and pain in our thumbs, hands, neck and shoulder muscles.
What It Feels Like:
What You Can Do To Relieve The Pain:
I do love spring time in the Rockies. Time to start prepping and planning for the garden!
Here are some tips to help avoid back pain while gardening.
1. While weeding, keep your back straight from the base of your neck all the way down to the end of your spine. If this is difficult, you can wear a back brace for extra help maintaining this posture.
2. Take breaks and do light stretches. Here’s a link to basic stretches from the Mayo Clinic or next time you’re in for a massage, ask for a free stretching sheet.
3. Don’t twist. Turn your entire body towards what you are working on. This includes when you are picking things up.
4. If you’ll be spending a lot of time working close to the ground, I suggest picking up a lightweight garden stool to protect your knees and joints. There are many designs out there, so you have plenty of options! Amazon Gardening Stools
5. I know you hear it all the time, but it’s important to BEND FROM YOUR KNEES. When picking anything up, bend at your knees and straighten your back before lifting.
6. Alternate using your right and lefts hands. This balances the workout and helps to prevent repetitive motion injuries. BONUS: Using your 'wrong' hand for simple tasks helps train your self-control.
8. Just as athletes need to cool down after a race, it’s important for you to cool down once you have finished gardening. Stretch and if you’re feeling sore, use heat or ice to relax the muscles.
7. Don’t forget sunscreen. In Colorado there's 25 percent less protection from the sun, sunscreen is a must.
Good luck and may your plants grow healthy and fast!
Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches. Although some people get tension headaches for no apparent reason, they are usually caused by muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Tension headaches are not hereditary.
Common causes for tension headaches:
Up to 80% of adults get tension headaches with women being two times more likely to get them as men. If you experience a tension headache daily, you have chronic tension headaches and should consult with your doctor.
The suboccipital muscles sit at the base of your skull. These four pairs of muscles are responsible for subtle movements between the skull and first and second vertebrae of the neck. Tension in this group of muscles is a common reason for tension headaches.
Tension headaches usually start with a dull pain or tightness in the base of your neck and shoulders. This can then wrap around the head and forehead. It has been described as feeling like a clamp is squeezing the skull.
It's best to treat tension headaches at the first sign when symptoms are still mild. The goal is to stop them from happening and to relieve any pain you're in.
Get Rid Of Tension Headaches Now
Long Term Prevention
If your headaches persist, are daily, or excessively painful, or came on suddenly, we strongly advise you to consult a doctor, without delay. There can be more serious conditions that are causing the headache that require medical attention.
The human body is so complex, with each year we have a better understanding of it's many mysteries. The 21st century has been no different and researchers have made amazing new discoveries about the body!
It has long been thought that the appendix was useless, having lost its functions millions of years ago, but according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center, the appendix is very useful for the bacteria in your digestive system. They found that the appendix acts as a “safe house” for good bacteria, allowing you to reboot your gut following a bout of gastrointestinal illness.
One of the most convincing pieces of evidence comes from a 2012 study, which found that patients without an appendix were four times more likely to have a recurrence of Clostridium difficile colitis (C.diff)
Researchers at Midwestern University gathered data on the presence or absence of the appendix on 533 mammal species over the past 11.244 million years. They found that once the organ appeared, it almost never disappears, leading researchers to reject the hypothesis that the appendix is a vestigial organ (an organ that has lost it’s function over time.)
The microbes in your gut will affect whether you develop gut diseases like infectious colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, but a growing body of research suggests that gut bacteria may influence much more than just digestion.
Studies have found that obese people have less diversity in their gut flora and increases or decreases in certain groups of bacteria have been linked to obesity. In 2013, a Washington University study of twins, where one was lean and the other obese, was conducted. When gut bacteria from the twins were introduced to mice, the ones with the obese bacteria put on weight, while the lean bacteria mice stayed lean.
One study found that approximately 90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Cultivated by certain bacteria in the gut, a lack of this peripheral serotonin could affect mental health.
Other studies suggest that the health of your gut bacteria may affect brain function, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
New Knee ligament
In 2013 two knee surgeons in Belgium announced they had found a new ligament in the knee. Positioned at the front portion on the outside of the knee, they named it the anterolateral ligament (ALL). While some surgeons had noted that a ligament seemed to exist there, no one named or systematically studied it. In 1879, French surgeon Paul Segoned first observed that in addition to the four structural knee ligaments, other ligaments must exist or the knee would not be stable. During dissection he noticed a “pearly, resistant fibrous band” originating on the outside, front part of the thighbone and continuing to the shinbone. He believed that this was the stabilizer ligament preventing the knee from collapsing inwards. However, he never named it and its existence was either ignored or forgotten.
The presence of this band could help better understand and treat the most common sports injury worldwide - the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
A New Layer in the Eye
Professor Harminder Dua discovered a new layer in the human eye. Named the “Dua’s Layer", it is located in the back of the cornea between the corneal stroma and the Descemet’s membrane. Measuring only 15 microns thick, it’s an extremely strong layer that is impervious to air. The discovery means that ophthalmology textbooks will have to be re-written.
Previously thought to consist of fragmented and disparate structures, in 2012 scientists found that it is one continuous organ.
Known as the mesentery, it spans the length of the upper small intestine to the end of the large bowel. The mesentery attaches your intestine to the wall of your abdomen, keeping everything in place. Leonardo da Vinci first depicted it as one continuous organ and it remained that way until 1885, when Sir Frederick Treves presented findings stating that the mesentery was fragmented among the small and large intestine. While its specific function is still unknown, recognizing it as it’s own organ could lead to new discoveries about its role in abdominal diseases.
There are three main types of TOS, named according to the cause of the symptoms; however because TOS is not well understood, there is still much controversy among physicians over these classifications.
Vascular - Rare and usually involves compression of the subclavian artery or vein.
Neurogenic - Involves compression of the brachial plexus. The majority of TOS cases are neurogenic.
Nonspecific-type - Involves unexplained pain in the cervical region, scapular region, and arm. Symptoms typically begin after a traumatic event.
What Causes TOS
Signs and Symptoms
Depending on which structures are compressed, symptoms can vary.
What You Can Do To Relieve The Pain
When To See A Doctor
See your doctor if you are consistently experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.
Experiencing jaw pain? Does your jaw click or pop when you are eating?
While tiny, your jaw joint the TMJ is a vital part of your health. Any type of jaw pain can prevent healthy eating and chronic pain of any kind can begin to affect your quality of life.
Common causes of jaw pain:
At-Home Tips You Can Use To Help Ease Tension and Pain
IMPORTANT : There can be many reasons for jaw pain symptoms labeled as TMJD and is often misdiagnosed. If your jaw pain does not improve with relaxation and TMJ massage, we strongly suggest that you get a second medical opinion. Jaw pain can be a sign of serious bacterial or fungal infection, or even Lyme disease. All can be very serious if left untreated.
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Our modern lifestyles are often blamed for many common health problems, but surprisingly our ancestors suffered many of the same diseases.
It was believed that ancient cultures were not stricken with the same heart diseases as modern men, mainly due to their diet which was free from high levels of sugar and fat.
However in March 2013, findings were published that found signs of heart disease in mummies from five different ancient cultures. Researchers who examined around 140 mummies found that not only the wealthy, who enjoyed a richer diet and a more sedentary lifestyle, but also the lower class people suffered from heart disease. Researchers believe that chronic inflammation from parasites, repeated infections and smoke from cooking fires could have been additional risk factors.
Recent debates have emerged discussing whether cancer is man-made or environmental. There are so few examples of mummies with cancer, that it seemed as if the ailment didn’t exist in ancient times. Recently evidence has been uncovered that our ancestors also had to battle with cancer.
In the region known as the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, scientist have discovered the earliest known case of cancer. An aggressive type of cancer called osteosarcoma was found in a foot belonging to a human ancestor that died 1.6-1.8 million years ago. In 2007 the oldest known case of prostate cancer was found in the remains of a 2,700 year old Russia Scythian king. Also in 2016, scientists identified a genetic mutation that increases cancer risk in an 18th century mummy.
Common to rural farming areas in the Mediterranean, brucellosis, a bacterial infection, was believed to have only been around since the early 20th century. The most common way to be infected is by eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products. In 2012 a researcher found 2 Albanian skeletons believed to belong to teenage males from the 10th to 13th century. Examinations on both showed bone damage consistent with brucellosis, suggesting that the disease has been present in Albania since the Middle Ages.
Schistosomiasis - Parasitic worms
Schistosomiasis is contracted through the skin when a person comes into contact with worm-infested waters. Prevalent in the delta region of Egypt, researchers have always assumed that it was a more recent pathogen, linked to urban life and stagnant water in irrigation ditches.
In 2011 Researchers took tissue from Nubian mummies that dated between 1,200 and 1,500 years ago. They found around 34% were infected with Schistosomiasis, showing that the disease dates back thousands of years.
Sugar was introduced to England in the 13th century and things went downhill quickly. Queen Elizabeth 1st was known for her love of sweets, which ended up causing black and decaying teeth. It was reported that foreign ambassadors found it difficult to understand her speech because she had lost so many teeth. At that time sugar was expensive, making it a luxury that only the rich could afford and black teeth became a sign of wealth. It soon became common among lower classes to darken their teeth as to appear more wealthy.
A 2,100 year old Egyptian mummy was found to have a mouthful of cavities and tooth ailments. The man, in his 20's or 30's, had sought out an ancient dentist to help relieve the pain. Researchers found one of his cavities packed with linen cloth, which was perhaps dipped in medicinal oil to help relieve his pain.
Japan’s custom of dyeing one’s teeth black, Ohaguro, had been around until the 18th century. It was commonly practiced by imperial and aristocratic families. We would usually assume that this became common because of rotting black teeth, but researchers have since proven that the lacquer used to blacken the teeth was a treatment to help stop tooth decay.
Stomach ulcers aren't just a problem of our stressful modern world. In 2008, researchers found the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori for the first time in a 700 year old Mexican mummy. Although previous research had suggested that H. pylori was present in these communities, this was the first evidence that it caused gastric infections that led to ulcer formation.
The modern diet has rendered famine rare in the developed world, but the body continues to respond to times of plenty as if starvation is still just around the corner. We know that this can result in diabetes and obesity. But we’ve found that our ancestors were not immune. Historically, obesity and diabetes were linked only to the wealthy who could afford to binge on food and wine.
Hesy-Ra, one the world’s first documented physicians, wrote about an illness resulting in frequent urination during the 3rd Egyptian Dynasty. The Greek physician Areataeus was the first to coin the term “diabetes”, derived from the Greek word siphon. Sources show that Indian, Persian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean doctors were aware of the condition, although not sure why it happened or how to treat it. The 6th century Indian surgeon Sushruta was one of the earliest to relate obesity to diabetes and heart disorders.
Henry VIII was renowned for his large appetite and waist size (oh and beheading his wives.) Many historians believe his massive increase in weight was the result of overindulgence and possibly diabetes. Henry enjoyed 13 dishes each day consisting of lots of meat and pastries. He also drink around 70 pints of ale a week! By the end of his reign, the 6ft 1 in king weighed approximately 300 to 320 pounds.
Using a 10th Century Potion to Kill MRSA
Scientists from the University of Nottingham’s Center for Biomolecular Sciences and Anglo-Saxon Expert Dr. Christina Lee worked together to create a remedy found in Bald’s Leechbook. Written in Old English, it is believed to be one of the earliest known books of medical advice. The medieval salve was used to treat eye infections and included: 2 species of Allium (garlic, onion or leek), wine and cow bile. The recipe gave very specific instructions of how to make the salve including using a brass vessel to brew in, straining for purity and leaving the mixture for nine days before use. To the surprise of researchers, the ingredients had little effect on their own but when combined killed 90% of MRSA cultures in a laboratory setting.
I've been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2006. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my husband and dog. I also have a passion for cooking, baking and gardening.