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HOW PETS CAN MAKE YOU HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER

Pets are great for childrenProfessionally trained helper animals—such as guide dogs for the blind—offer obvious benefits to us human folk. However, the average domestic pet, such as a dog, cat, rabbit—even a goldfish—can also provide us with many therapeutic benefits. Pets can ease our loneliness, reduce our stress, promote social interaction, encourage exercise and playfulness, and provide us with unconditional love and affection.

Of course, pet ownership also comes with many responsibilities, and should not be undertaken lightly. To best enjoy a healthy, nurturing relationship with a pet—and experience the many therapeutic benefits a domestic animal can offer—it’s important to choose a pet that’s right for your lifestyle.

How pets can affect mood and health

While most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. Studies have found that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
  • Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
  • A pet doesn’t have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and pulse rate.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and some pets are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost mood.

 How pets can help to make healthy lifestyle changes

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes can play an important role in easing symptoms of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety, Caring for a pet can help with those healthy lifestyle changes by:

  • Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule.
  • Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
  • Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
  • Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
  • Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
  • Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

Health Benefits of owning petsPets and older adults

The key to aging well is to effectively handle life’s major changes, such as retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. Pets can play an important role in healthy aging by:

  • Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale and optimism. Taking care of an animal can also provide a sense of self-worth.
  • Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and moves can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs especially are a great way for seniors to spark up conversations and meet new people.
  • Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Pets encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Pets and adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

As part of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients may exhibit a wide variety of behavioral problems, many related to an inability to deal with stress.

  • Research at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a pet in the home.
  • Pets can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile animal can help soothe an Alzheimer’s patient and decrease aggressive behavior.
  • In many cases a patient’s problem behavior is a reaction to the stressed response of the primary caretaker. Pets can help ease the stress of caregivers. Cats or caged animals may be more suitable than dogs, which generally require more care and can add to the burden of someone who’s already looking after an Alzheimer’s patient.

Pets and children

Not only do children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma, many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having pets. Unlike parents, pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They are always loving and their mere presence at home can help provide a sense of security in children. Having an ever-present dog or cat, for example, can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around. Studies have also shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the pet and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other.

Children and adults alike can benefit from playing with pets, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a pet can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance. Caring for a furry friend can also offer another benefit to a child: immense joy.

Children with learning and other disorders

Some children with autism or other learning difficulties are better able to interact with pets than people. Autistic children often rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as pets do. And learning to first connect with a cat or dog, for example, may even help an autistic child in their interactions with people.

    • Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, making them better equipped to overcome the challenges of their disorder.
    • Playing and exercising with a pet can help a child with learning disorders stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by the learning disability.
    • Learning to ride a horse can help elevate the self-esteem of disabled children, putting them on a more equal level with kids without disabilities.

Finding a pet that meets your needs and lifestyle

While people who have pets tend to be happier, more independent, and feel more secure than those without pets, it’s important to select the type of pet that is best for you. You’ll benefit most from having a pet whose needs are compatible with your lifestyle and physical capabilities.

Lifestyle considerations that influence your choice in a pet

  • Little outdoor activity– If most of your time is spent at home, consider pets that would be happy to stay with you in that environment. You may enjoy playing with or cuddling a cat or a bunny; watching fish or reptiles; or talking or singing along with a bird.
  • High activity level– If you’re more active and enjoy daily activities outside of your home, especially walking or running, a dog might be right for you. Canine companions thrive on outdoor exercise, keeping you on the move.
  • Small children and the elderly – Families with small children or elderly living in their homes should consider the size and energy level of a pet. Puppies and kittens are usually very active, but delicate creatures that must be handled with care. Large or rambunctious dogs could accidentally harm or knock over a small child or adult who is unsteady on their feet.
  • Other animals in household– Consider the ongoing happiness and ability to adjust of the pets you already have. While your cat or a dog might love to have an animal friend to play with, a pet that has had exclusive access to your attentions may resent sharing you.
  • Home environment– If a neat, tidy home, free of animal hair, occasional muddy footprints and “accidents” is important, then a free-roaming dog or long-haired cat may not be the best choice. You may want to choose pets that are confined to their quarters, such as fish, birds, hamsters, or reptiles.
  • Landscaping concerns– With certain pets, your landscaping will suffer. Many dogs will be tempted to dig holes in your lawn, and dog urine can leave yellow patches—some say unaltered females cause the most damage.
  • Time commitment – Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that you’ll be making a commitment that will last the lifetime of the pet – perhaps 10, 15, or 20 years with a dog or cat; as many as 30 years or more with a bird.

Animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities

Animal-assisted therapy involves the use of volunteers’ animals such as horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and fish to interact with patients suffering from disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and a host of developmental disabilities. The animals have been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Pets can also be used for animal-assisted activities. A variety of different organizations offer specially trained animals to visit people in children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice programs, shelters, and schools. During these visits, people are invited to pet and stroke the animals. Some might groom a dog, hold a rabbit in their lap, or have a cat sit on their bed, for example. Some dogs perform tricks or obedience routines to entertain patients and help take their minds off their problems.

To arrange for pets to visit your facility or to volunteer your pet for animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted activities, see Finding Therapy Pets in Resources and References section below.

If you are in the Atlanta Georgia area and would like to adopt a cat please call or visit our sponsored Animal Resue Center FurKids

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How Chemotherapy Kills Both Cancer Cells and Cancer Patients

Chemo Kills instead of Healsby: Dani Veracity

Imagine that you own a house that is absolutely perfect and beautiful with all the necessities, except that it has some rodents inside. When you call the exterminators, they tell you that they won’t be able to target just the rodents, as these rodents are of an especially stealthy breed. They tell you they’re just going to set off a series of explosions in your house that may kill the rodents. They warn you, “Oh yeah, it may destroy some of your house in the process, but, hey, you want those rodents out of your house, right?” There’s probably no way you would allow that; instead, you would do some research and find other, more specific and less generally destructive ways of getting rid of the rodents.

The allegorical exterminators’ logic makes no sense; yet, it’s the same logic that doctors who prescribe chemotherapy follow. Like the exterminators’ explosions, chemotherapy doesn’t exclusively target cancer cells; it also harms your good cells, destroying some of your body– your “house” – in the process. As a result, many chemotherapy patients lose their hair, develop immune deficiencies, lose weight and vomit. Chemotherapy poisons your body as a whole in an attempt to kill the cancer cells before the “treatment” brings your body to an unrecoverable state.

As Gary Null and James Feast write, “(After chemotherapy,) the hope is the cancer is going to be totally dead and you are only half dead and recover.” Unfortunately, some people are more than “half dead” after chemotherapy and remain damaged for the rest of their lives, no matter how long or how short that life may be. They never realize that according to many alternative health practitioners, there are safer ways of combating many types of cancer.

Former chemotherapy patient Anne explains in Michio Kushi’s and Alex Jack’s book,The Cancer Prevention Diet: “My mind rebelled at the thought of another six months of that poison. On several occasions, the doctor couldn’t Shocking Before and After Pic of Chemo Patientsperform chemotherapy treatments on me because my white blood cell count was dangerously low. I promised my body I would not undergo any further chemotherapy treatments.”

Anne’s account reflects the feelings of all too many cancer patients who have suffered through months of often debilitating chemotherapy. The side effects that chemotherapy patients feel and others see – the extreme nausea and vomiting, the hair loss, the weight loss – are indicative of the intense havoc that chemotherapy is causing within the body. According to the Life Extension Foundation,chemotherapy drugs are “cytotoxic,” meaning that “they kill cells that are extremely active.” Cancer cells are, of course, extremely active. However, so are the cells of the hair and the immune system, for example, which accounts for chemotherapy’s destructive side effects.

As if these side effects are not enough,cancer therapy commonly includes surgery and radiation, both of which have their own dangers and side effects. As Professor Null writes in his Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, “The mainstream medical establishment often prescribes mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy to treat cancer, an approach that has been described as a slash-and-burn strategy.” The treatment for breast cancer is unfortunately often the general rule among cancer treatment– cut off the affected organ, poison the body with chemotherapy and then harm the body even more with radiation.

InGet Healthy Now, Professor Null describes one woman’s experience with mainstream medicine’s approach to breast cancer treatment: “Three days later, she had her breast lopped off. That was followed up with lots of chemotherapy. Her hair fell out and she vomited 24 hours a day. She couldn’t keep any food down. Then they did radiation and her skin burnt up and two of her ribs broke.” He concludes, “Most people don’t know how dangerous radiation is. I had seen enough. I wouldn’t touch any of that medicine with a 10-foot pole.” Surgical removal of the cancerous body part also has its own aftereffects, of course, requiring not only the normal recovery after any surgery, but also coping with the psychological effects of having a body part removed.

It may all be unnecessary in the first place

As cancer patients suffer from the side effects of chemotherapy and other methods of mainstream cancer treatment, the fact remains that according to many medical practitioners, these treatments are unnecessary and sometimes do more harm than good. In response to chemotherapy’s many side effects, Dr. Atkins says in Burton Goldberg’s Alternative Medicine, “Only in situations in which chemotherapy is proven to be effective and curative would I recommend it. In general, this might be testicular cancer.”

Many people also think that surgery can sometimes do more harm than good: Biopsy, for example, may in fact spread cancer cells, according to Professor Null. Furthermore, the most extreme example of unnecessary cancer therapy– treatment for false positive cancer diagnoses – is more common than we’d like to believe, according toCritical Conditionauthors Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele.

If, as many people believe, mainstream cancer treatment is sometimes ineffective and always harmful to the body as a whole, then what is the alternative? Goldberg writes that Ukrain, which is made from the alkaloids of the greater celandine plant and the pharmaceutical Thiotepa, “can do everything chemotherapy does but without the side effects, so it renders chemotherapy largely unnecessary.” The beauty of Ukrain is that it, unlike chemotherapy drugs, it only targets the cancer cells and not your healthy ones. Furthermore, good nutrition – vitamins, minerals, fiber, fresh fruit and vegetables, juices and medicinal herbs– can do wonders against cancer. Of course, you need to discuss a treatment plan that is right for your type of cancer and your body with a medical professional, preferably a naturopath. But before you say yes to chemotherapy, remember what it does to your body and consider all available treatments.

Read Dr Akilah’s story on how she conquer stage 4 cervical cancer and naturally cured herself without chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. http://www.celestialhealing.net/founderstory.htm

To learn how to eliminate cancer completely from your body along with seeking natural HIGHLY EFFECTIVE methods to prevent cancer please contact Dr Akilah 770-603-0141

E.coli in Hamburger Meat? Just Cook The Feces Out of It

DIANE CARMEN, DENVER POST

If 19 million pounds of meat distributed to half of this country had been
contaminated with a deadly strain of E. coli bacteria by terrorists, we’d go
nuts. But when it’s done by a Fortune 100 corporation, we continue to buy it
and feed it to our kids.

As children are weaned from dialysis, joining others recovering from eating
ground beef contaminated with feces, the rest of us are ready to return to
business as usual from the meat industry.

Be sure to cook those burgers well, we remind each other. Well-done burgers
won’t give you renal failure despite the traces of manure.

Consumers, like cattle being led to the slaughter, barely twitch when the
corporate machine that controls our food supply ships another load of
Tainted meat. We’ve come to expect it. We actually blame ourselves for not
sterilizing our meat thermometers every time we check to see if the fecal
contaminants are done.

Meanwhile, we pay no attention when the industry eliminates another
safeguard. Faster meat disassembly lines, fewer poorly paid workers, fewer
inspectors, more mechanized processing — they’re all designed with profits,
not consumers, in mind.

It’s no wonder that federal officials count 61 deaths and 73,000 cases of E.
coil 0157:H7 poisoning in the US every year. By comparison, it took only a
handful of cases of the human form of mad cow disease to shut down the beef
industry for three years in Great Britain, where consumers fought back.

Kathy Kelley, a cattle rancher near Meeker, is exasperated with “lazy”
American consumers who don’t have a clue about the source of their food,
Much less the shameless exploitation of humans, animals and the environment
involved in its production.

Kelley doesn’t think of the 19 million pounds of recalled beef as mere
hamburger but as tons of costly feed, acre-feet of scarce water, years of
work by ranchers and thousands of head of cattle slaughtered — and wasted
— all because of an inherently filthy system.

“There is no reason for people in this country to have E. coli poisoning,”
she said. “It’s entirely a byproduct of industrial meat processing.”

“They hire economic refugees, exploit unskilled workers, steal the meat from
the suppliers and endanger the lives of the consumers,” said another angry
cattleman, Mike Callicrate of St. Francis, Kansas. Ranchers are getting “the
lowest share of the consumer’s meat dollar in history,” while consumers are
“paying the highest prices in history for the dirtiest product since 1906
when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle. ” Callicrate said.

The free market system has collapsed. While drought-stressed ranchers sell
off herds for a fraction of their value, meat prices remain unmoved.
Deliberately inadequate labeling thwarts consumers from making informed
choices. Information about what country the animal is from or the packing
plant that processed it is withheld, and measures to require those details
repeatedly have been defeated in the legislature, at the urging of the meat
industry.

They don’t want us to know.

Then, to protect the corporation from litigation, we’re reminded once again
to be sure to cook the living, well, manure out of it. They freely admit
it’s the only way we can be sure the product they’re selling won’t kill us.

Diane Carman’s commentaries appear Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday in the
Denver Post.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

Hamburgers Linked To Asthma In Children

Children who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of developing asthma, but eating three or more burgers a week is linked to a higher risk, research suggests.

Researchers looked at 50,000 children from 20 countries.

Writing in the journal Thorax, they said eating fruit, vegetables and fish appeared to protect against asthma.

But they said eating burgers could be linked to other unhealthy habits, which may be the real trigger factor.

The study looked at the habits of children in both wealthy and poorer countries between 1995 and 2005. Parents were asked about their children’s diets, and whether they had ever been diagnosed with asthma or had suffered wheezing.

The effects of their diet seemed to vary depending on where they lived.

Fruit and vegetables appeared to be more protective in less affluent parts of the world, while eating lots of fish was more helpful in richer countries.

Eating at least three burgers a week was linked to a greater risk of asthma and wheezing, but only in wealthier countries.

Dr Gabriele Nagel, one of the authors, said this may be because asthma is a collection of symptoms rather than a single condition, and different things may trigger it in different parts of the world.

“This gives us more understanding of how asthma affects different people, and its effects in developing as well as developed countries,” she said.

The paper suggested that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may be helpful because of the protective effects of antioxidants and vitamin C.

High levels of unhealthy fats in burgers could increase the risk of asthma. However, the authors said children who ate several burgers a week were likely to have other unhealthy lifestyle habits as well.

The study did not adjust for levels of obesity.

Obesity link

Asthma UK said the paper helped add to the understanding of how asthma and diet are connected.

But it urged caution because children’s weight can have a significant influence on asthma symptoms.

Dr Elaine Vickers, research relations manager at Asthma UK, said: “Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help to reduce a child’s risk of developing asthma symptoms.

“Our advice to parents is therefore to ensure that children eat a healthy, balanced diet and also get plenty of exercise.”

Dr Keith Prowse from the British Lung Foundation said further investigation was needed for more conclusive evidence about the effects of diet and lifestyle.

“We would like to reinforce the need for children to have a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle,” he said.

 

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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How Parents Are Influencing Their Children’s Bad Eating Habits

Parents Teach Kids Bad Eating Habits

If children watch their parents eat huge quantities of chocolate, chips, cookies, and ice cream, there is a good chance they will start eating similar kinds of food, as this will be the kind of food that is available in the house. If junk food is within easy reach of children, then of course they are going to help themselves to it, and even if it not they will probably find a way of getting to it, as it is the ‘forbidden fruit’. Adults are getting fatter because they are struggling to control their eating habits, and it seems that parents are passing on their own bad eating habits to their children.

At meal times parents usually serve up the same food they are eating to their children and often in similar quantities. Consequently, if parents are choosing to eat fried, fatty foods every night their children will too and if their parents Kids learn how to eat badly from their parentsdon’t eat enough fruit and vegetables nor will they. Many people do not know what reasonable portion sizes are, and thus end up eating more food than they need, and so parents are not only eating too much; their children are, also. Although children are growing, when they are young they don’t require the same number of calories as teenagers or adults, and so the fact they are being given more than they need is leading an increasing number of children to develop a weight problem.

Obesity in children is something that could mostly be avoided if parents decided to feed their children less and concentrate on getting them to eat a balanced, calorie-controlled diet. Unfortunately, parents will often find themselves giving into their children’s demands for a McDonald’s meal or an extra slice of cake, and thus any attempt to control their children’s eating habits goes out of the window. Besides, many parents can’t face the prospect of hypocritically demanding their children eat up their vegetables when they never do.

It is clearly not only at meal times that children are eating too much, since many children have picked up the habit of snacking on junk food between meals from their parents. If their parents give them some sweet treats to try they will probably find they like them, and once they have a taste for them it can be hard for children to restrict the amount they eat, particularly if their parents do not enforce any boundaries. Even if parents do try to stop their children eating so much junk food they may find that their children try to sneak food out of the kitchen, making it difficult for them to deal with their children’s eating habits.

Children tend to learn from their parents, copying their behaviour and finding their actions either rewarded or punished, and so it is clear that if parents have developed bad eating habits, their children are likely to, as well.

Article by Michelle Wilkinson

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www.HealingPowerHour.com