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Women Who Hate Their Vaginas

by Sarah Treleaven

Apparently, a lot of women with perfectly good vaginas have a big problem with them.

According to a recent study, as reported by Zosia Bielski in the Globe & Mail — ‘Women pursue labioplasty even when they’re ‘normal’ down there: study’ — women are increasingly looking to corrective vaginal surgery even when there’s nothing to correct.

The study involved 33 women who requested labial reduction surgery, and the majority requested the surgery for cosmetic reasons. Writes Bielski: “Asked why they had become dissatisfied with their genitals, the women spoke of an ‘increasing self-awareness of the genital area,’ comments from a partner, TV shows that mentioned the surgery and physical discomfort. 15 per cent of the women first became unhappy with their labia while not yet 10 years old; 30 per cent reported discontent between 11 and 15.”

Continues Bielski: “Dr. Tiefer said the push for smaller labia –- a.k.a. ‘designer vaginas’ –- appeared in the late 1990s. Between the prevalence of waxing and Internet pornography, ‘There’s a whole cascade of events and trends that have made the vulva more visible.’ She believes the rise in labioplasty is the latest turn in a ‘cultural disease of self-consciousness… The normal range [of labias] is very broad –- that’s the key point in this situation. Nature loves diversity. The attempt to create some ideal and then pass it off as normal is anti-normal.'”

Some women are always looking for new parts of their body to loathe for no good reason, so I guess this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Plus, wherever a woman has anxiety, there’s someone there to make some money off of it. But it’s a shame that many women can’t make peace with a body part that’s healthy and functional, instead carving themselves up into grid of self-improvement projects.

So what do you think? Would you ever have cosmetic surgery on your vagina?

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Salt Could Make You Stupid, Says Research

A new study suggests that eating less salt and exercising more may keep our brains smarter longer–in case you needed further motivation to put down the Doritos and head to the gym. This isn’t the first time that physical activity has been linked to better brain function, but the bit about sodium is something that might surprise you. Researchers didn’t investigate the mechanism by which salt makes us stupid (if that’s really true); they found a strong correlation between sedentary lifestyle, high sodium consumption and declining cognitive function. So should you put down the salt shaker?

If you love salty foods but you don’t love to exercise, the short answer is: yeah. The link between salt and brain function is hazy; researchers simply analyzed data from the Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging, and found a strong correlation between sodium intake, low physical activity and a decline in brain function with age. And that’s even after controlling for other factors like education level and overall diet. The researchers don’t claim that salt itself is responsible for eroding grey matter; they mainly see it as a marker that heralds poor overall health: Sodium is linked to blood pressure, and many think it also impacts bone health and overall cardiac health. But “this is  has been proven to cause high blood pressure.

But there is some good news in all this, especially for anyone who’s highly active. According to the researchers, your workouts could earn you a free salt pass. Says lead study author Carol Greenwood, a nutrition scientist and interim director of the Baycrest Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied and Evaluative Research in Toronto:

People who were physically active were protected, regardless of their sodium intake. What’s important is maintaining the integrity of the cardiovascular system, and the benefits of exercise are going to outweigh any negative effects we see with salt.

And Dr. David Katz, director of Medical Studies in Public Health at Yale University, adds:

It stands to reason that people who are more active, and fitter, and thus healthier overall, would better ‘withstand’ the potential harms of excess sodium than those lacking this immunizing benefit.

But at the end of the day, Katz reminds us:

Whether or not dietary sodium directly affects cognitive function in older people, its intake should be restricted to recommended levels, best achieved by eating fewer processed foods, and more foods direct from nature.

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The Reason Why Gastric Bypass Surgery Doesn’t Work

Why gastric bypass surgery doesn't work

by Lisa Tisdall

Gastric bypass surgeries are temporary physical fixes to a long term mental/emotional problem! If you think the surgery is a cure-all, think again. The crazy thing is some people are gaining more weight on purpose so they can qualify to even be considered for the surgery. How sick is that?

My aunt had gastric bypass surgery last year. She was so excited about the new body she was going to have after the surgery. She just couldn’t wait for her new life to begin. This was an answer to her prayers. So she thought!

Up until then, my aunt had not exercised a day in her life. She never followed a sensible eating plan, nor did she want to. By the looks of them, none of my family had ever sacrificed anything in the way of food. The doctors had filled her head with “results” that were only possible, not even probable. Her children were totally delusional about their mom’s weight and had danced around the issue so much that my aunt was in total denial. And guess what? True to form, she gained the weight back in eight months. Why?

The answer: you can’t build a house on a foundation made of sand. If you don’t deal with what is underneath the surface of your emotional behavior toward eating and exercise, you will go right back to the beginning, no matter what you take out or do to your body. Surgery or no surgery, there is no cure-all for being overweight. However, there is a solution — do you want to hear it? Here it is:

  1. Decide how you are motivated.
  2. Determine your underlying reasons for your eating and exercise behaviors or lack thereof.
  3. Develop the best support system to promote your own personal success.
  4. Deal with the emotions behind your eating patterns.
  5. Dedicate yourself to an exercise program.

Maybe the surgery works in the short run. And maybe that will buy you some time and give you some inspiration to start exercising and eating better. However, surgery is not a means to an end! It doesn’t change your head; it only changes your stomach. If you do decide to have the surgery, please understand that without deep changes in your thought process and exercise habits, the gastric bypass surgery “results” will not stick.

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Need help creating a workout plan for your specific weight goals and health needs? Consult with DrAkilah El and get your new Calorie Burning Workout Regimen TODAY!!! http://www.celestialhealing.net/weightlossintro.htm

The Real Reason For Weight Gain

Over the past several decades Americans have steadily gotten fatter. Although our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are partly to blame, a big reason for our national weight gain is that we’re simply eating more.

In the mid-2000s, government surveys show, the average American adult ate about 2,375 calories per day, nearly one-third more than he (or she) did in the late 1970s. What accounts for all those added calories?

According to a new study, the biggest single contributor to the sharp rise in calorie intake has been the number of snacks and meals people eat per day. Over the past 30-odd years, the study found, Americans have gone from consuming 3.8 snacks and meals per day to 4.9, on average—a 29 percent increase.

The average portion size has increased, too, but only by about 12 percent. And, surprisingly, the average number of calories per 1-gram serving of food (known as “energy density”) actually declined slightly over that period, which suggests that calorie-rich food has played a relatively minor role in our expanding waistlines.

“The real reason we seem to be eating more [calories] is we’re eating often,” says the lead author of the study, Barry Popkin, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The frequency of eating is probably, for the average overweight adult, becoming a huge issue.”

Popkin blames food advertising and other marketing for the shift from three square meals a day to near-constant eating.

“It’s all about making people think they want to have something in their hands all the time,” he says. “Why are we snacking all the time and munching all the time? [Food] is there, it’s available all the time, it’s tasty. It’s not very healthy, but it’s tasty. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s fatty—it’s all the things we love.”

Lisa Young, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and the author of The Portion Teller, agrees that the ubiquity of snack foods has helped drive overeating.

“You never used to see food staring you in the face when you went to…a drugstore,” says Young, who was not involved in the new research. “It’s in your face and it’s cheap. You go get a magazine, you can get a candy bar.”

To tease apart how eating habits have shaped calorie intake, Popkin and a coauthor analyzed data from four nationally representative food surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1977 and 2006. Their analysis, which appears in the June issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

The findings weren’t entirely unexpected. In a previous study, Popkin and his coauthor found that the amount of time between snacks and meals has shrunk substantially since 1977, while the amount of calories consumed from snacks has risen dramatically.

Christopher Gardner, PhD, the director of nutrition studies at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center, in Palo Alto, Calif., says that although the new findings ring true, the survey-based approach Popkin and his colleague used has some inherent limitations.

Despite being nationally representative, the surveys didn’t follow the same individuals over time, and in some cases also used different questions and methods, Gardner points out. Moreover, they relied on the participants’ memory of what they’d eaten in the previous 24 hours, which can be unreliable.

“When people try to describe the portion sizes they are consuming, they are often inaccurate,” Gardner says, adding that similar inaccuracies may crop up when recalling and calculating the energy density of specific foods. In fact, he says, the number of meals and snacks may be easiest of all to remember and track, which may have somewhat exaggerated its importance to total calorie intake.

But Gardner, too, says that frequent—and often mindless—snacking has come to seem normal.

In our food-filled environment, Young says, “We need to be conscious of when we eat, how much we eat, and what we eat.”

Young recommends sticking with three meals a day and choosing healthy snacks (such as fruits and vegetables) rather than processed foods. “And keep your portions in check,” she says.

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Happiness and Optimistic Attitudes Important in Preventing Breast Cancer

Want to lower your risk of getting breast cancer? Recent research in Israel published in the British journal BMC Cancer has given us one more thing to take note of.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after non-melanoma skin cancer, cancer of the breast is the next one which most commonly afflicts American women. In 2004 alone, over 185,000 women and more than 1,800 men were diagnosed with the disease, while almost 41,000 women and 362 men actually died because of breast cancer.

Overall, in that year, breast cancer was the number five killer of American women, while being their number two cancer killer. For Hispanic women, breast cancer was also the type of cancer which caused the most deaths.

These numbers do not make for good reading at all. What actually causes breast cancer, and what can we do to stave it off?

Possible Causes of Breast Cancer

Those who are familiar with natural health and healing will know that breast cancer, like all other forms of cancer, can be prevented and even treated using powerful dietary and lifestyle choices, such as consuming enough fiber, exercising regularly, as well as getting enough sunshine and vitamin D.

What is also clear is that breast cancer, again like all forms of cancer, is a multi-factorial disease which needs to be tackled from various angles.

Recent research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has given us one more piece of the jigsaw – it seems that happiness and optimistic attitudes may reduce one’s risk of contracting the disease. On the flip side, adverse life events may increase one’s susceptibility to it.

Details of the Study

For the study, 622 women aged between 25 and 45 were asked about their life experiences, and researchers then assessed their levels of optimism, happiness, anxiety and depression before diagnosis. This information was then used to draw a link between life events, psychological distress and the occurrence of breast cancer. Of the participants, 255 were breast cancer patients, while the other 367 had never had cancer.

According to Professor Ronit Peled, the leader of the study, its findings “showed a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease”.

On the other hand, women who had been through two or more traumatic events in their lives had a 62 percent higher risk of contracting the disease.

The Emotion-Health Connection

Generally speaking, there have been other studies which have drawn a link between positive mental and emotional states and better health. For example, some studies have shown that positive emotions cause the body to produce more immune cells, while negative ones have the effect of suppressing one’s immune system.

But exactly and specifically how attitudes contribute to health, is something which we cannot say we know very well. One theory is that the body’s immune system is influenced by brain chemistry, which is in turn affected by one’s emotional experiences.

“The mechanism in which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behaviour and external events modulate these three systems is not fully understood,” said Peled. “The relationship between happiness and health should be examined in future studies and relevant preventative initiatives should be developed.”

One thing we do know, though, is that emotions such as happiness, stress, anger, anxiety and fear affect the human at a biochemical level. In other words, when our emotions change, our bodies also become chemically different.

What Next For Us

One thing that must be noted about the study is that the women were in fact interviewed after their cancer diagnosis, could very well affect their recollection of their emotional state in the past. When a person is going through a crisis, it would perhaps be a natural tendency to view events in the past more negatively.

Despite this, and although the “how” is still uncertain, Peled is convinced that the link between emotional events and health exists. He feels that “we can carefully say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event is a risk factor for breast cancer among young women. On the other hand, a general feeling of happiness and optimism can play a protective role”.

According to him, young women who have gone through a number of adverse life events should be identified as being ‘at-risk’ for breast cancer and then be treated as necessary.

Most of us wish to find a specific solution for every health problem. The truth is, many degenerative diseases, and most certainly cancer, have their roots in multiple causes. That being the case, many factors would contribute to one’s risk profile, and a multi-pronged approach in preventing and dealing with the disease is almost always necessary.

What we now know, being happy and optimistic forms are an important part of such an approach.

And if you have been through some tough events in life, you may want to seek some help to address unresolved issues, either through professional counseling or otherwise. Leaving these issues lingering would just be adding more ammunition to the potential cancer time bomb.

Article by: Reuben Chow

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For more tips on relieving emotional stress or depression please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/emotional_stress_therapy.htm