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12 Things You Need to Eliminate Immediately for Better Health

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It’s no secret that human beings have adopted a lifestyle that doesn’t really take health into consideration, especially when we are talking about the large number of products that we choose to surround ourselves with on a daily basis, many of which have serious health concerns associated with them. What’s even more troubling is the fact that these products are still approved as safe by government agencies despite all of the evidence clearly showing serious cause for concern.

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The list of concerning items can indeed be a long one, and again, when we are talking about disease, there is a general and growing consensus in the scientific community that many of these products are responsible for the exponential rise in various diseases that plague us today, including cancer.

Here is a list of 10 things you should eliminate from your  life for better health.

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, and two of the most common ones are aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These products have been linked to a number of diseases, such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease. They also promote obesity and disease by disrupting your intestinal microflora. (source)(source)(source)

One of the largest studies of its kind recently examined the link between diet drinks and cardiovascular issues, like heart attack and stroke, in healthy, postmenopausal women. The research took place at the University of Iowa, and the findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.

60,000 women participated in the study, and it found that women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day are 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event, and 50 percent more likely to die from a related disease. (source)

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A study out of Arizona State University, published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, determined that Aspartame causes brain damage by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood (source). Another study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine determined that long-term consumption of Aspartame leads to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain (source). Another study published by Washington University’s Medical School outlines a possible connection between aspartame and brain tumors. (source)

For more CE articles on Aspartame, please click here.

2. Electronic Devices

Electronic devices and the radiation emitted by them is everywhere. It’s not uncommon for people to engage in activities (like smoking) and then decades later, become aware of the consequences, and electronic devices like cell phones and WiFi signals are another great example.

This is what the world would look like if cell phone radiation was visible.

Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Colombia University, has joined a group of scientists from around the world who are making an international appeal to the United Nations regarding the dangers associated with the use of various electromagnetic emitting devices, like cell phones and WiFi.

Below is a video of him outlining the various dangers associated with these devices.

Multiple studies have revealed that cell phone radiation can cause cancer. Did you know that The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency fields (including those from cell phones) as a possible carcinogen in 2011 (source)?  The dangers of cell phone use gained a lot of mainstream credibility in 2011 when the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that cell phone radiation may cause cancer. The statement was based off of a cumulative decision made by a team of 31 scientists, from 14 different countries, after reviewing evidence that suggested this to be the case. You can read more about that here.

3. Pesticides 

We recently published an article titled A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic Vs. Eating Conventinal: It’s Time To Think About Your Baby.

In the article, we explain the difference between organic food and conventional food, as well as provide a number of sources and studies showing clear concern about the pesticides sprayed on our food and in the surrounding environment.

These chemicals have been linked to birth defects, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism and more. Using the Bradford Hill Criteria, the results of multiple studies indicate that we have nudged ourselves into quite the dilemma.

Again, you can find all of the health concerns that are associated with the chemicals sprayed on our food in the article linked above, and that doesn’t even include the environmental concerns.

This is precisely why multiple countries have completely banned these pesticides from being sprayed. In fact, 19 countries in Europe just banned Genetically Modified Crops from being grown in their country, and that includes the pesticides that go with them.

4. Personal Care Products

Unfortunately, many personal care products are a terrible idea, and putting these products on our skin makes absolutely no sense. For example, if we look at cancer, it’s caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, and all of which are in various personal care products, such as many deodorants.

We recently wrote an article on how to prevent breast cancer through an armpit detox. The article goes into detail about concerns with regard to aluminum, and how substances put on our skin do not take long to penetrate and find their way into the bloodstream.

When it comes to cosmetics, there are thousands upon thousands of chemicals that are “okayed” by corporate manufacturers, and considered safe. This is all that is needed; there is no approved regulatory process for these chemicals and the potential harm they may cause.

Again, chemicals are very effectively absorbed through your skin. For example, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. The results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. We are talking about multiple chemicals entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)

When it comes to women, they tend to use several different products on a daily basis that can contribute to an overload of toxic chemicals. Make-up is a huge source for heavy metals. In the report Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals In Face Make-up, Environmental Defense tested 49 different make-up items, including foundations, concealers, powders, blushes, mascaras, eye liners, eye shadows, lipsticks and lip glosses. Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of their products.

  • 96 percent contained lead
  • 90 percent contained beryllium
  • 61 percent contained thallium
  • 51 percent contained cadmium
  • 20 percent contained arsenic

The Environmental Working Group has a great database to help you find personal care products that are free of potentially dangerous chemicals. Better yet, simplify your routine and make your own products. A slew of lotions, potions, and hair treatments can be eliminated with a jar of coconut oil, for example, to which you can add a high quality essential oil to for scent.

5. Commercial Cleaning Products

Having commercial cleaning products in your home is not a smart idea. Combined with the rest of this list, it’s not hard to see how all of these products are associated with the dramatic rise in disease we’ve seen over the past few decades.

We’ve covered this topic before, and outlined why these products are dangerous and what alternatives you can use instead. Why We All Need To Stop Cleaning With Bleach is a great example, so check it out if you’re interested to see where we are coming from.

Alternatives include baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, liquid castile soap, organic essential oils, mixing bowls, spray bottles, microfiber clothes and more.

Why is it that these products could be manufactured to be much less hazardous, and in some cases cheaper, but aren’t? It’s not hard to see why so many people believe that these corporations have no problem in contributing to the decline of human health. A scary thought? Yes, but there are things to do and preventative measures/ lifestyle changes you can make.

We are always talking about raising money and finding a cure for cancer, without a word mentioned regarding cancer prevention.

6. Air Fresheners

When it comes to health, air fresheners are probably some of the worst products you can have in your home. These commonly contain 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP), a metabolite of 1.4 dichlorobenzene. This stuff is present in the blood of nearly all Americans, has been linked to lung damage, and has been known to cause organ system toxicity. (source)

“Air fresheners have become a staple in many American homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy, and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. But many of these products contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) – hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. NRDC’s independent testing of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, uncovered these chemicals in 86 percent (12 of 14) of the products tested, including those advertised as “all natural” or “unscented.” – National Resources Defense Council (source)

7. Plastic Food Containers & Bottles

Not long ago, German researchers discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different popular bottled water products. Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, they can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and as mentioned earlier,  other developmental disorders. (source)

There are other concerns, most notably bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates.

Here are some related CE articles on that topic with more information in them:

Study Shows Regularly Used BPA Alternative BPS Could Be Just As Dangerous

BPA Shown To Negatively Impact Brain Development

Your best bet here is to avoid plastic containers, and replace them with glass bottles and containers. It would be wise to choose glass baby bottles as well.

8. Avoid Processed Meats

Apart from the obvious heart-breaking treatment, abuse and murder of billions of animals raised for slaughter every year, The World Health Organization recently linked processed meats to cancer, and recommended reducing processed meat intake to reduce the chances of contracting cancer. (source)

“Eating processed meat such as sausage and bacon can cause cancer in humans, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency says. Monday’s official designation from the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, places processed meat in the Group 1 list as “carcinogenic to humans.” The agency said it based the classification on sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.” (source)

This came after years of multiple researchers making this link. Whether you believe it or not, or don’t see it as alarming, the fact remains: reducing your meat intake (specifically processed meat intake) is a great path towards a healthier life.

In fact, some experts are suggesting that going completely meat-free is a better option for those looking to optimize their health.

“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” – Harvard Medical School (source)

It’s important to note that a very high and alarming percentage of Americans eat hardly any vegetables whatsoever. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2011, approximately 80% of Americans who ate meat rarely consumed vegetables at all. (source)

The American Dietetic Association weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009) (source)

If you’re going to eat meat, it’s best to make sure it is from an organic, free range grass-fed source.

9. Sitting In Your Chair

There’s a growing amount of research revealing that sitting in your chair (something many of us do at work, school, etc.) could have some quite dramatic consequences on your health. Prolonged sitting has been tied to a pre-curser for chronic disease and early death, even if you exercise regularly and are in good shape.

A study published in the British Medical Journal found that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of lung cancer by 50 percent (source). It’s also been found to increase your risk of death in relation to several health problems. (source)

10. Stress & Negativity

Science is starting to catch on to the idea that how you feel can directly alter your genetic expression. It’s not just the environment that your genes respond to, it’s also your conscious thoughts, emotions, and unconscious beliefs. Emotions can regulate genetic expression, and a great book recommendation to find out more about that is called The Biology of Belief & Spontaneous Evolution, written by cellular biologist Bruce Lipton.

Researchers at the HeartMath Institute are showing the same findings. They show how emotional information is actually coded and modulated into the heart’s electromagnetic field. They show that by shifting our emotions, we can change the information that is coded into these magnetic fields. Their research also sheds light on the fact that different emotional states are responsbile for creating different brain states. You can read more about that in an article we recently published here.

Furthermore, findings in quantum physics are showing how factors associated with consciousness can and do indeed have some sort of affect on our physical material world. You can find out more about that here.

There is also the case of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that the brain is changeable, adaptable, and malleable. It shows how the brain can change its structure by how we perceive the world around us.

“Human thoughts and learning actually turn on certain genes in our nerve cells which allow those cells to make new connections between them.”   –Dr. Norman Doidge, MD, author of The Brain That Changes Itself (source)

There is also the idea of distant healing:

“Over the past thirty years, significant scientific research has been conducted on the potential effectiveness and value of distant healing practices. The practice of distant healing is drawing increased attention as an important component of integral medicine models that blend a range of approaches to health and healing. Many leading health professionals and spiritual leaders believe distant healing practices may significantly expand the capacity to facilitate healing.” (source) – Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, President of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS)

You can view some of this research here.

Emotions and the way you feel are a huge part with regard to your overall health

Dairy

Remember those milk commercials you used to see as a kid, claiming that milk “does the body good”? It turns out that might not be true at all. In fact, it could be the complete opposite. New evidence continues to emerge suggesting that drinking milk from a cow is not really natural, and not really good nor necessary for us at all. It’s not a coincidence that approximately 65 to 75 percent of the total human population on our planet have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. In some countries, more than 90 percent of the adult population is lactose intolerant.

For more information on this section and why we believe giving up dairy products is a good call, you can refer to to this article we recently published:

7 Ways Milk & Dairy Products Are Making Us Sick

Meat In General

There are several concerns that’ve been raised within the past few years regarding eating meat and human health. It’s well established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. The notion that meat is necessary for human health is a myth that continues to pervade popular culture, but public perception is slowly shifting, and new research is showing that those we closely genetically resemble from our past did not exclusively (or even predominantly) eat meat.

See article: New Information Has Some Experts Wondering If ‘Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians

That being said I do believe our genetic connection to those who roamed the Earth in the past is a topic  that’s still not well understood, and there is still a lot of information and factors to consider that aren’t really considered, but that’s another topic.

We’ve outlined multiple times why we have this stance on meat eating. Apart from our animal cruelty articles you can find on our site, we go into more detail in with this article:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

 

 

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Meditation Changes The “Structure & Function of the Brain” In A Positive Way

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent study has found found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Should meditation be included in the school curriculum, and used to treat certain mental ailments?

If you look at most ‘masters’ in the field of meditation, a common theme that currently exists is a big misconception about meditation, that it has to be done a certain way, that you have to sit a specific way or do something in particular in order to reap the benefits. These masters will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t have to be one specific way.

That being said, many spiritual groups, like certain monks for example, are taught different types of meditation in several different ways, so really, there’s no correct way to meditate, and the process of connecting with one’s higher self and quieting the mind can be done in multiple ways and practiced at various levels.

When meditating, one shouldn’t try to “empty” their mind, but instead, try to let ones thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions end up ‘popping’ in there, pop in there. There should be no resistance to thoughts, no judgement of them. Simply let them be, don’t attach to them and just be at peace with it. You’re not doing anything wrong, just focus on your breath.

Personally, I believe that meditation is a state of being more than anything else.  Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, you can meditate anywhere, it can be done before bed, in the shower, while you are going for a walk, or even while washing the dishes.

That being said, I do also believe, speaking from my experience, that sitting down and doing the proper breath work and being present is a slightly different method and can sometimes create a more powerful experience, but there seems to be different variations of the exact same thing.

What’s interesting about meditation is the fact that it’s been practiced for thousands of years, and several ancient cultures were well aware of not only the non-physical benefits but its physical benefits as well, something modern day science is just starting to discover.

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One of the most recent studies has found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

As Alice G. Walton, a writer for Forbes points out,

“Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behaviour and moment-to-moment experience.”

She is correct, probably even more so than she knows. The evidence showing just how strong the mind-body connection is can actually be overwhelming. In fact, studies in the field of parapsychology have just as much, if not more, statistical significance via peer-reviewed research than the science which has been published to approve several different drugs, like antiplatelets, or the science that shows a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent a heart attack. It was published in 1999, by a statistics professor at UC Irvine.

This new study, which was recently published by the Max Planck Institute found that three different types of meditation are associated to changes in corresponding brain regions.

Watson goes on to explain,

“Participants, who were between 20 and 55 years of age, engaged in three different types of training for three months each, totalling a nine-month study period. The first training was dubbed the “Presence” module, and was very similar to focused awareness meditation, an ancient practice that’s been studied a lot in recent years. In this study, participants learned to focus their attention, brining it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations.” 

The second phase of training was called “Affect,” and its purpose was to increase compassion and empathy for others. The participants learned about a specific meditation dealing with “loving-kindness,” and again, the sole intention here was to enhance one’s compassion and empathy.

The last one was called the “Perspective” module, where the focus was simply to observe one’s own thoughts without judgement, while enhancing their understanding towards the perspectives of other people.

The researchers hypothesized that these methods would lead to volume increases in corresponding parts of the brain.  Numerous studies have proven the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University of a study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)  who determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes in grey matter over time.

This recent study found the same thing, and they discovered that when they scanned the participants’ brains at the end of each module and then compared the groups against one another:

“Training in Presence was linked to enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. Affect training was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions like empathy: and Perspective training associated with changes in areas involved in understanding the mental states of others, and, interestingly, inhibiting the perspective of oneself.” 

These results further elaborate on a wealth of previous studies showing what meditation can do to the brain.

Walton goes on to emphasize,

“Lots of research has found that experienced meditators have significantly altered brain structure and function, but a growing number of studies has also found that relatively brief meditation training in novices (for instance, the well-known eight-week MBSR program) can also shift brain function, improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.” 

The authors of the study mention:

“With growing globalization, interconnectedness, and complexity of our societies, ‘soft skills’ have become increasingly important…Social competences, such as empathy, compassion, and taking the perspective of another person, allow for a better understanding of others’ feelings and different beliefs and are crucial for successful cooperation.” 

Why This Is Relevant & Important

Imagine if this type of practice became a requirement of multiple school boards, what do you think would happen? For most of us, since the day we are born we’re all encouraged to follow the same path, and one of those paths is spending a large portion of our lives, for many years, for the entire day, at school. Then, as we age into adults, we do the same thing with ‘work.’ This type of human experience is far from natural, which is why I believe it to be one of the reasons (out of many) that stress, diseases, and mental health issues, among other rates, continue to rise exponentially.

While going through this process, we’re never really taught how to question the experience, we simply comply and are never really taught any sort of emotional education, at all. We don’t learn to deal with our emotions, we don’t learn about empathy, compassion, and stepping into another persons shoes… We’re not really taught what we are naturally gifted with from birth. It’s our empathy and compassion, our concern for others that makes human beings so special, but growing up, we don’t really talk about these things.

The world is changing in many different ways, and awareness about this kind of practice is spreading around like it never has before. Multiple schools are incorporating mindfulness education into their programs, and many parents from my generation are also incorporating these important concepts into their child’s development.

This is great to see, and as time unfolds, the more we tap into non-physical science and its tremendous benefits, the more we will speed up the changes that are so desperately needed on our planet right now.


Related CE Articles:

Scientists Demonstrate What Meditation Does To Your Gut & Your Brain

Mind-Body Connection During Meditation Can Now Be Measured – Thanks To Science

Study Outlines What Prayer, Meditation & Yoga Can Do To The Human Body

Physicists Examine Consciousness & Conclude The Universe Is Spiritual, Immaterial & Mental

Physicists Say Consciousness Should Be Considered A State of Matter – The Non-Physical Is Real

This is How Powerful The Mind/Body Connection Really Is

Nepals Military Set To Use Transcendental Meditation To Relieve Global Collective Stress To Stop War

“I Was Sort of a Jackass Before Meditation” – This Is How We Can Change Police Brutality

Tibetan Buddhist Master Monk Explains How Meditation Is Not What Most People Think It Is

How To Meditate: 6 Method That Can Get Anyone Meditating

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Dr. Lawrence Palevsky Testimony: Unvaccinated Children Are “The Healthiest Children I’ve Ever Seen”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a NY licensed paediatrician, speaks at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is vaccine hesitancy on the rise?

It’s always worrisome publishing an article about vaccine safety and posting it on Facebook. But why is that? One would think that discussions and concerns about vaccine safety would be encouraged. However, the opposite is true–Facebook has been cracking down on any information that they deem as “anti-vaccine.”

Does this mean that reporting on a study addressing the concerns of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, for example, will be prevented from spreading and possibly even labelled as “fake news,” despite the fact that it’s been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal?

Does this mean that a paediatrician, like the one below, will also be censored for sharing his opinion based on his research and experience?

Dr. Heidi Larson’s Comments at WHO Summit

I’d like to point out that many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety Summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, emphasized that doctors and professionals should forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”.

She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest. She also brought up the issue of confidence in vaccines:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

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You can read more about the concerns brought up by scientists at that conference, in detail, here.

Dr. Lawrence Palevsky

One of those doctors who is losing confidence in vaccines is Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a practicing paediatrician trained at the NYU School of Medicine who did his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He spent the first nine years of his career working in emergency rooms running a neonatal intensive care unit. He recently spoke at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines. In the video below, he provides a great summary as to why so many parents and physicians continue to become concerned about vaccine safety.

The parents that I work with in New York, that I see around the country are very concerned that their rights are being taken away, that their knowledge about the science is being pushed away by an agenda that only says, unvaccinated children are a problem.

No study has every been done in this country, appropriately, to address the health outcomes of children who are vaccinated versus the children who are unvaccinated. I have been seeing families in my practice for over 20 years, that have opted out of vaccination, they are the healthiest children I’ve ever seen.

Vaccine hesitancy among among health professionals is no longer a secret. A study published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

The Takeaway

The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at the conference mentioned in this article, and the testimony shown above, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented in a proper manner.

It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people, parents, scientists and physicians are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred, because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.

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A Potential Solution To Reduce Snoring & Sleep Apnea

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I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.

Snoring and sleep apnea not only represent a holistic health risk to an individual, the irritating noise at night can often create conflict in a couple’s relationship. I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.

Major Cause of Snoring & Sleep Apnea

One major cause of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is mouth breathing during sleep, especially when you sleep in the supine position. When you sleep in the supine position with an open mouth, gravity pulls down your jaw and tongue, which then compresses your throat. As a result, your airway gets suppressed and narrowed, leaving less space for the air to pass through.

Mouth breathing also introduces stronger air flow as you inhale and exhale, which exacerbates the airway soft tissue vibration, causing the loud snoring noise. Strong air flow during mouth breathing also induces strong negative pressure that sucks in the soft tissues around the throat area, further narrowing your airway and eventually causing it to collapse, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.

The Quick Fix? Wear Tape To Keep Your Mouth Closed

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main causes of snoring and sleep apnea is mouth breathing. A quick fix to keep your mouth closed during the night is to apply a small piece of tape over it. When your mouth is closed and lips are together, it is harder for you jaw to fall back even when lying in a supine position. Keeping your mouth closed also forces you to breathe through your nose, which not only helps to regulate the airflow to reduce the negative pressure inside your airway, but also reduces soft tissue vibration

An otoralyngology study published this year in the American Academy of Otolaryngology Journal demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique, showing significant reduction in median AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) score and snoring index [1].

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In the past few years, ENT specialist Dr. Hung Cheng Tseng and I have recommended wearing tape for all of our clients as part of our AirwayFit training program, and the feedback has been great. For some CPAP users, wearing tape on their mouth can help to eliminate the air leakage issue. In addition, if you often find yourself waking up with a dried mouth and throat, this method will also help you keep your mouth and throat moisturized throughout the night.

How To Apply?

In practice, wearing tape to sleep is actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.

Visit any drug store near you and pick up a small roll of medical grade paper tape. It should cost you no more than $10. I recommend ones that are hypoallergenic, porous, and non-waterproof. When you wear the tape, you want to roll your lips slightly inward so you don’t apply it directly onto your lips. Otherwise, your lips can really hurt when you remove it in the morning. Some people apply some lip balm or vaseline onto their lips first as a layer of protection.

You don’t have to wear the tape over your entire mouth. You can start by wearing it vertically, in the center, right beneath your nose, and that should suffice; as long as the tape keeps your jaw up, you should be fine. I also recommend you to pre-fold one of the corners of the tape, just so that there’s a corner you can grab onto easily in the morning to tear it off.  If you have sensitive skin and you find removing the tape hurts, you can wet it with water before you remove it in the morning. You could also reduce the stickiness of the tape prior to use by sticking it onto your forearm a couple of times before applying to your lips.

If you really are panicked by this idea, then as I mentioned before, you can try wearing it only at the center portion of your mouth. This will leave gaps on the two sides of your mouth but still keep your jaw in the upright position during sleep. Also, if it’s your first night trying this method, wearing the tape 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you adjust to the feeling.

Most people who have tried the tape method to keep their mouth closed find it convenient and more comfortable and cheaper than the alternative methods. However, I would caution against wearing tape to keep your mouth closed if you experience the following: nausea or epilepsy, or if you have consumed alcohol or any pill or medicine prior to sleep. Otherwise, give it a try today and you will find yourself waking up feeling much more energized and hydrated the next morning!

To learn more about your sleep trouble, visit www.AirwayFit.com

Source:

[1]    Huang TW., Young TH., “Novel Porous Oral Patches for Patients with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing: A Pilot Study” American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 152.2 (2015): 369-373. Print.

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