Health & Fitness
One of the top headlines today is a story about a 24-year-old woman who got flesh-eating bacteria, or "necrotizing fasciitis," after a fall from a zip line. She's had one leg amputated and may lose some fingers and her other foot.
This is one of those scary stories that makes us wonder how vulnerable we might be to just the most minor of scrapes and cuts. Western medicine has some basic advice to give people to prevent such problems:
There is no known way to fully prevent the illness, but the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation suggests these common sense tips: frequent hand-washing, immediate medical treatment for wounds (thorough cleansing of the area and application of an antibacterial ointment), limited contact with anyone with a strep infection, and teaching children the need for cleanliness.
Deadly "brain-eating" amoebas have been in the news lately, as a number of people have died this year from being infected with them through contaminated water. From Yahoo News:
The third case, in Louisiana, was more unusual. It was a young man whose death in June was traced to the tap water he used in a device called a neti pot. It's a small teapot-shaped container used to rinse out the nose and sinuses with salt water to relieve allergies, colds and sinus trouble.
Health officials later found the amoeba in the home's water system. The problem was confined to the house; it wasn't found in city water samples, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana's state epidemiologist.
The young man, who was only identified as in his 20s and from southeast Louisiana, had not been swimming nor been in contact with surface water, Ratard added.
He said only sterile, distilled, or boiled water should be used in neti pots.
More and more women are choosing reusable cloth menstrual pads over disposable pads and tampons. Reusable cloth pads are better for the environment and surprisingly more comfortable than commercial menstrual pads. And, with concerns over dioxin in tampons, cloth pads are safer too.
Cloth pads require an upfront initial investment, however, and you could spend $100-200 getting your pads. There are some great, inexpensive cloth pad shops on eBay. The nice thing about the price of these pads is that you can test them out without a large upfront investment. Here are a few cloth pad shops on eBay I've tried:
Cindy's Cloth offers really high quality cotton-top pads. They are extremely well-made and comfortable. Many cloth-pads are topped with fuzzy flannel - but, especially in hot weather, cotton is more comfortable.
MonoMio's Cloth Pad Shop
As I type this, brave souls in Japan are feverishly working to cool down a nuclear plant that could be about ready to blow. I've been following the nuclear disaster in Japan for the past few days. What is amazing to me is the wide range of opinions on the subject. Some folks seem to think that there's nothing to worry about, while others think that what's really going on is a lot worse than what they are willing to tell us.
Folks who are in Japan (particularly Tokyo) are confused as to whether to stay or go, or to take seriously the nuclear threat. Folks on the West Coast of America are being told alternatively to not worry about any fallout blowing across the sea, or, to "be prepared" and get potassium iodide.
When I hear of OSHA, I normally think of a government agency (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Osha is also an herb, which is used to fight colds and viruses. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It is said to be especially good for upper respiratory infections, and it helps oxygenate the blood.
I had never heard of Osha until the other day, however. I had just moved across three states and was run down and experiencing some symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. It could have been a cold, or even allergies, but I was just bone tired and feeling like a truck hit me. Even though I do holistic healing, I forget sometimes to take care of myself using the tools available. I remembered there was a health food store across the street from my new apartment complex, and I went there to get some natural remedies.
As I've written before on this blog, I have opposed the health insurance mandate in the health care bill because I feel it removes our freedom of choice to spend our health care dollars on alternative medicine.
While I've had some say to me, "but you can get some health insurance plans that cover alternative health," these plans will never cover more esoteric things such as Reiki or other types of energy healing. (Never mind that I don't want the health insurance industry to start encroaching on my Reiki business.)
The health care bill as it stands will mean that in 2014, all Americans will have to buy health insurance, whether they want it or not. Tax credits aren't going to help you each month when you have a hefty bill to pay. From one analyst's calculations, the anticipated cost for an individual will be around $15,000/year, and you will not be able to get a catastrophic policy anymore:
I see a lot of well-meaning people saying "Health care is a right!!" as their rallying cry. Yet, I don't think they've stopped to really think about what they are saying. Health care can't actually be a right, because forcing someone else to give you a service against their will is called slavery, and you'd be taking someone else's rights away in the process.
Consider. I know how to do Reiki healing. It can help a lot of people. You could say "Reiki healing is a right!" and then try to force me to Reiki everyone I possibly could, non-stop, 24-hours per day. Perhaps I do help people in that fashion...but is that right, to lock up Reiki healers in a room and force them to heal until they are exhausted?
I hope Andy Swan doesn't mind that I am copying his entire blog post on the subject verbatim, because he explains it very logically:
Mike Adams over at Natural News just published an article claiming that swine flu (H1N1) was a hoax. He writes:
The great swine flu hoax of 2009 is now falling apart at the seams as one country after another unloads hundreds of millions of doses of unused swine flu vaccines. No informed person wants the injection anymore, and the entire fear-based campaign to promote the vaccines has now been exposed as outright quackery and propaganda.
You can read the rest of Mike's rant over at Natural News.
Now...I like Mike Adams and love his site (I even contribute to it occasionally). But sometimes Mike gets caught up in either/or thinking. In this case, it's either that swine flu is a real threat, or it must be a hyped, made-up threat to profit Big Pharma.
The United States Senate just pushed through a vote on the health care bill. I am frankly quite upset about it. I simply do not want to be forced to buy conventional medical insurance when a) I honestly can't afford it right now b) what disposable income I do spend on health care, I prefer to spend on alternative health care.
I am one of those people constantly mentioned in the health care debate - one of the uninsured. I did apply for coverage some years ago but was denied due to my pre-existing condition, chronic fatigue syndrome. However, I have come to prefer paying out of pocket for my health care. And most of my health care is alternative in nature.
When I first had chronic fatigue syndrome, I went from doctor to doctor. None could help me, and some doubted whether I was really sick because the illness wasn't very well-known at the time. (I got it over 20 years ago!)
If there's one takeaway I got from watching the Biggest Loser finale last night, it's that being the right weight makes you better looking.
Note that I wrote being the right weight. Not being thin per se.
One thing that happens sometimes on the Biggest Loser is that contestants go way overboard sometimes in an effort to win the big prize. Contestants may dehydrate or starve themselves to the point of looking emaciated, not healthy. We saw a little bit of this last year when Helen won, looking more scarecrow-like than healthy.
This latest season fortunately did not reward someone who looked skeletal - Danny, the winner, looked like the right weight for his height. And he looked fabulous! His face had changed so much he said people didn't recognize him. He looked 10-20 years younger.