Category Archives: Alternative Health

Nicole’s Goals for 2014

Strength

I have been thinking about my goals and what I would like to do in 2014.  Honestly?  I’m not 100% percent as there is so much more that I desire to do and adding on moving overseas will make goal setting a little difficult. However, it is not impossible!

A few goals I’ve been thinking of dabbling in:

  • Continuing to write for my blog several times a week.
  • Make new friends by networking with others who have their own blogs and websites. 
  • Find free options to treat my chronic illnesses. 
  • Travel locally around my new hometown, take many pictures, and meet new people.
  • Continue with my exercise weight loss plan. I have lost over 30 pounds so far. 
  • Sign up with a rubber stamping/scrapbooking/craft direct selling company. I’ll be able to craft while I’m in my new home. Also look into other direct selling companies that would be of interest to me.
  • Expand my writing business to various levels and increase my income opportunities.
  • Work on finding my own inner peace and happiness.  This includes doing meditation on a regular basis and daily yoga techniques.
  • Find hobbies that will easily interest me and is inexpensive.
  • Look into trying new things such as zip lining. 

 

So here’s to a successful 2014!

What is a TENS Unit?

Picture taken by Nicole Leon

Picture taken by Nicole Leon

This is one of the top questions I’m asked on Instagram regarding the TENS unit I received from a Fibro Angel who made my Santa wish come true as I was unable to afford one. The TENS unit stands for Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation which is a type of electrical pump that helps to stimulate the nerves.  It sends out pulses of electricity through the adhesive electrodes that is applied to the skin.   The stimulation helps to block out the pain signals and controls pain.  The TENS unit helps both chronic and acute pain by reducing pain in the area.

I have fibromyalgia which is a long-term illness that causes a number of problems including:

  • All over body pain
  • Aches
  • Tenderness in the tissues, tendons, muscles and joints
  • Sensitivity to changes in weather, activity levels, stress, and depression
  • Lowered ability to work out or exercise
  • Migraine/Tension headaches
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Tingling and numbness in limbs
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

Physical therapists use TENS units as a therapy option to help with controlling their patient’s pain.  The TENS unit is a handheld device that is small and portable.

TENS units are now more affordable and can be purchased online and at the local drug store. I have found that the device is helpful when my fibromyalgia pain isn’t too high. However, when my pain is too high it takes a long time for the TENS unit to ease the pain and at times can make the pain worse.  The TENS unit is a tool that may or may not work for others.  It’s a treatment option to look into and try it out to see if it works for you.

 

Facts About Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omegapills2Eating omega-3 fatty acids help the body in various ways of reducing inflammation in the body to lowering the risks of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and are essential for cell function in the body.  Omega-3s are able to decrease blood pressure, triglyceride levels and keeps fatal heart arrhythmias from occurring.

Health conditions omega-3 foods help the body:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological pain
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Problems with concentration
  • Dry and itchy skin

The body is unable to produce omega-3s so eating the right foods is the best bet.  Omega-3s are in many food sources such as beans, oils, proteins, and vegetables. Oils that have omega-3s in it are flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil.   One primary food source has a heavy concentration of omega-3s such as seafood.  It is recommended to consume at least 8 ounces per week which is a combination of two main kinds of omega-3 acids – 250mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Seafood options:

  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Crab
  • Trout
  • Lobsters
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • Cod

Additional essential sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Winter squash

omega3My reasoning behind mentioning dietary supplements as I take fish oil gel supplements on a daily basis to assist with numerous health problems.  I eat seafood such as tilapia and salmon each week, and I eat raw baby spinach several times a week too which provides my body with iron too.  I believe taking dietary supplements are best if you’re not getting enough of that element especially if you have a higher risk of developing heart disease or already have heart disease.

 

 

 

 

The Health Benefits of Laughter Therapy

laughingI have been using laughter therapy as a way of coping with all of my chronic disorders and diseases. While it has not been able to keep my mind completely off of the intense chronic pain and health problems I’m battling,  it still has in many ways relaxed my body. To laugh during such a difficult time in my life has helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine.  It would be hard for me to list them all.   I would say that it has saved my life.  I have been chronically ill with fibromyalgia for almost 15 years, depression disorders, and various other illnesses that completely ravaged my body making it impossible for me to control how my body reacts and functions.

I discovered that laughter has really helped me to keep my emotions in check to a degree and I feel a little better about myself.  Laughing has helped to keep my mind off of my fibromyalgia pain and side effects of my prescribed medications. There are times, such as now where my pain is incredibly high and I’m unable to find suitable assistance, I have found laughter therapy to still be a beneficial tool and a coping mechanism through all of the difficult battles I have dealt with over the years.  There are various well-documented medical research done on the effect of using laughter as a therapy tool.  The power of laughter is that it’s an antidote to relieving stress, problems and yes even pain.  Humor has the ability to bring much needed balance in the person’s life and lightens up their load too.

Benefits of laughter:

  • Reduces stress hormones such as endorphins, adrenaline and cortisol
  • Fights against respiratory infections and boosts the body’s immune system
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Expands the person’s views on situations reducing overwhelmed feelings
  • Improves the person’s overall mood
  • Add joy and excitement
  • Strengthens relationships with others
  • Defuses difficult situations
  • Attracts others to us and encourages unity amongst one another
  • Improves memory, alertness, and creativity
  • Increases memory and learning capabilities
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Gives the diaphragm, and abdominal region a good workout including respiratory, facial, back, and leg muscles

Ideas of where to find something funny to laugh at?

  • YouTube videos are a wonderful option as many videos are a few minutes long and can provide a much needed release.  My favorite type of videos to watch are primarily animal-based videos such as cats, dogs and wildlife getting themselves into the most interesting case of circumstances.
  • Reading online comic strips and cartoons.  Both of these can easily be found anywhere online, especially on Facebook.  I follow many online comics strips Facebook pages providing me exactly what I need each day.
  • Funny TV shows and movies are still the best options of watching something that appeals to you and will get you in the right frame of mind.
  • Search for comedians and people in general who will make you laugh. Attending a comedy club is the perfect way to get yourself in the laughing mood.
  • Do something silly and what that entails for me is making funny faces in the mirror.  Eventually I will laugh.  Sometimes it takes time for me to laugh but I will chuckle a little in due time.

 

So please keep in mind that laughter is truly the best medicine.

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