Mighty Muscles and Bones: How Our Muscular And Skeletal Systems Help Us Move

Our Mighty Muscles and Bones: How Our Skeletal And Muscular Systems Help Us Move

In the past we have explored the nervous system, brain function, cranial nerves, digestive function, adrenal function, and the immune system. Now let's take a look at the most glamorized, yet under-appreciated, part of our body—our mighty muscles and bones. So, how do the muscular and skeletal systems help us move?

Muscular Attraction

The muscles get a lot of attention with regard to how they can make us look attractive and sexy to others. Our muscle tone communicates how healthy our body is. The strength of the muscles, the lack of water retention or fat in the muscles, and how flexible we are, all indicate that we may be a good reproductive partner and produce strong, healthy offspring. This is one of the functions we all can relate to, but it is certainly not the most important function of our muscles.

Try to imagine what your life would be like if your muscle tissue could not form the shape of your body. What if it didn't allow you to physically move around your environment? Without locomotion, thru muscle strength and movement, we would be a lump of humanity, never moving from the spot we found ourselves in.

Mighty Bones

Our bones are so amazing too. Apart from their distinctive and critical role as part of the immune system carrying precious bone marrow, they are the armature upon which our muscles are draped. Bones allow cooperation between the muscles, to physically move, play, exercise, work, eat, sleep and achieve all of the mobility we experience throughout our day.

When we look at people stooped over with distorted posture and their musculature not functioning properly, we immediately associate this with either being ill or not vital. Our posture is the number one thing people notice, followed by how we are dressed. Our body language is expressed thru our bone/muscle function. In essence, our personality and how we view the world are all communicated in how we move through the space we inhabit.

Working Together

Our muscles and bones not only share the work load in glucose and immune regulation, body heat production, fat metabolism, mineral storage, and the ability for “fight or flight”—self-preservation. They also communicate to the world what we think about ourselves, others, and the world through the expression of body movement and non-verbal communication. This can be one of the most attractive or frightening aspects about us – depending on how we express our movement and actions.

Keeping your muscles and bones strong thru exercise and a healthy diet is a wise move. Without them, we are literally “going nowhere.”

 

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Is Organic Produce Better?

Several years ago, scientists at Rutgers University set-out to disprove the claim that organic produce was more nutritious than non-organic produce. The study used produce from supermarkets and health food stores. The strategy was to analyze the mineral content of various vegetables and compare them for nutrition value, particularly mineral content.

What Is Organic?

The term used today to label non-organic produce is “commercial.” This produce is grown using a variety of chemicals to destroy plant pests or enhance growth. Many of these chemical are known carcinogens in addition to being toxic to the soil and environment. Produce grown without any of these chemicals is considered "organic."

There has actually been very little “hard data” to prove that organic produce is in any way superior to conventional produce. Most folks who purchase “organic” innately believe that naturally grown vegetables and fruits, without chemicals and pesticides, are intuitively better and healthier.

Which Is Scientifically Better?

The researchers were prepared to accept an outcome showing a very slightly higher content in the organic produce than the commercial, due to the chemicals used to grow the commercial plants. They were shocked by the actual results. When they saw that the amount of iron found in the organic spinach was 97% higher than in the commercial spinach and that manganese was 99% higher in the organic over the commercial, they were truly amazed. In the commercially grown vegetables, many trace elements were completely absent compared to the organic produce where they were abundant.

Below you will find some comparisons drawn by the study results.

Snap Beans
Phosphorus: Organic (10.45), Commercial (4.04)
Magnesium: Organic (.36 ), Commercial (.22)
Boron: Organic (227), Commercial (10)
Iron: Organic (69), Commercial (3) 

Cabbage
Phosphorus: Organic (10.38). Commercial (6.12)
Magnesium: Organic (.38), Commercial (.18)
Boron: Organic (94). Commercial (20)
Iron: Organic (48), Commercial (.04)

Lettuce:
Phosphorus: Organic (24.48), Commercial (7.01)
Magnesium: Organic (.43), Commercial (.22)
Boron: Organic (516), Commercial (9)
Iron: Organic (60), Commercial (3)

Tomatoes:
Phosphorus: Organic (14.2), Commercial (7.01)
Magnesium: Organic (.35), Commercial (.16)
Boron: Organic (1938), Commercial (1)
Iron: Organic (53), Commercial (0)

Spinach:
Phosphorus: Organic (28.56), Commercial (12.38)
Magnesium: Organic (.52_, Commercial (.27)
Boron:Organic (1584), Commercial (49)
Iron: Organic (32), Commercial (.3)

Here’s a disturbing outcome of this study. In all 5 of the tested vegetables (snap beans, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and spinach) the organic vegetables all contained healthy levels of cobalt, an essential trace mineral. This mineral was completely absent in the commercial vegetables.

The Results Are Clear

So, the next time someone tries to argue that there is no difference between organic and commercial vegetables, you can share this information with them and then happily continue to buy your organic produce! Remember, the food you eat can improve your health and speed healing.

 

FREE Whole Health Consultations available.
888-354-4325 Take charge of your health!

Take Two Tylenol, Call Me in the Morning

Here is a very interesting bit of research. Although I have shared this information on a national blog I write for, the information was so interesting that I wanted to share it again, here with you.

Last year there was a study conducted at the University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences, that was examining the connection and possible overlap between physical pain and emotional pain. This particular study had 62 participants who were filling out the “Hurt Feeling Scale”, a self-assessment tool which measures an individual’s reaction to distressing experiences. In addition, the study was using doses of the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, as art of its protocol.

The researchers separated the study volunteers into two groups. The first group, after filling out their self-assessment tools, were given 1,000 mg of the acetaminophen. This is a dose that is equal to one Extra Strength Tylenol. The control group however, received a placebo  instead of the acetaminophen.

The finding from this study showed that the control group without the acetaminphen, after three weeks, did not experience any change in the amount of intensity of "hurt" feeling during the three week period. However, the group that did receive the active ingredient reported a noticeable reduction of "hurt" feelings on a regular, day-today basis.

The outcomes were so interesting that the researchers started a second study cohort group of 25 different volunteers, but this time upped the amount of acetaminophen to 2,000 mg daily and added computer games that were designed to create social rejection and a feeling of isolation in the participants. Also new to the study was MRI scanning which were able to identify when the participants had feelings of social rejection occur.

Now here is the "gold" of this research – the outcomes demonstrated that the area of the brain where emotional discomfort is felt is the same location that the physical pain is experienced in. This would explain why the group that was taking the acetaminophen, while having not physical pain, reported less feelings of hurt and rejection than the group that was not taking the acetaminophen but rather a placebo substance.

Geoff MacDonald, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who is an expert in romantic relationships, co-authored this study. MacDonald states that our brain pain centers cannot tell the difference between physical pain and emotional pain.
So, while Tylenol is not recommended to be used routinely as it can lead to liver and digestive system disturbances, knowing that it can take away the pain of a broken heart, it may soon be that our therapists as well as our physicians will recommendation that we “take two Tylenol and call me in the morning” for heartache as well as for headache!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/227298.php http://web.psych.utoronto.ca/gmacdonald/Research%20Interests.html

With all good wishes,
Georgianna

Copyright 2012, G. Donadio All Rights Reserved

Tylenol for a Broken Heart?

Here is a very interesting bit of research. Although I have shared this information on a national blog I write for, the information was so interesting that I wanted to share it again, here with you.

Last year there was a study conducted at the University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences, that was examining the connection and possible overlap between physical pain and emotional pain. This particular study had 62 participants who were filling out the “Hurt Feeling Scale”, a self-assessment tool which measures an individual’s reaction to distressing experiences. In addition, the study was using doses of the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, as art of its protocol. 

The researchers separated the study volunteers into two groups. The first group, after filling out their self-assessment tools, were given 1,000 mg of the acetaminophen. This is a dose that is equal to one Extra Strength Tylenol. The control group however, received a placebo  instead of the acetaminophen.

The finding from this study showed that the control group without the acetaminphen, after three weeks, did not experience any change in the amount of intensity of "hurt" feeling during the three week period. However, the group that did receive the active ingredient reported a noticeable reduction of "hurt" feelings on a regular, day-today basis.

The outcomes were so interesting that the researchers started a second study cohort group of 25 different volunteers, but this time upped the amount of acetaminophen to 2,000 mg daily and added computer games that were designed to create social rejection and a feeling of isolation in the participants. Also new to the study was MRI scanning which were able to identify when the participants had feelings of social rejection occur.

Now here is the "gold" of this research – the outcomes demonstrated that the area of the brain where emotional discomfort is felt is the same location that the physical pain is experienced in. This would explain why the group that was taking the acetaminophen, while having not physical pain, reported less feelings of hurt and rejection than the group that was not taking the acetaminophen but rather a placebo substance.

Geoff MacDonald, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who is an expert in romantic relationships, co-authored this study. MacDonald states that our brain pain centers cannot tell the difference between physical pain and emotional pain.
So, while Tylenol is not recommended to be used routinely as it can lead to liver and digestive system disturbances, knowing that it can take away the pain of a broken heart, it may soon be that our therapists as well as our physicians will recommendation that we “take two Tylenol and call me in the morning” for heartache as well as for headache!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/227298.php http://web.psych.utoronto.ca/gmacdonald/Research%20Interests.html

With all good wishes,
Georgianna

Copyright 2011, G. Donadio All Rights Reserved

Infertility and Stress

When a couple desires to have a child together and they are unable to conceive, it can be a time of great stress and upset for both partners. The inability to conceive, and the resulting longing that accompanies it, can be one of the most painful and difficult things a couple can experience together.

A number of years ago, in the New England Journal of Medicine, an article appeared that caught my eye because at that time there were a significant number or couples in my practice who were experiencing infertility. The article stated that often, regardless of the advances in medical technology and the various in-vitro methods available, a woman will ony become pregnant when her body is ready to carry a conception to term.

This wisely suggests that there are a number of reasons a woman may not conceive when she wishes to; and that the body’s innate intelligence knows when the best time and condition for a successful conception and birth of her baby is. The article also went on to say that stress is the number one reason women do not conceive when they wish to.

This is well demonstrated with women who adopt a baby when they cannot conceive, settle into motherhood, only to find that they are pregnant – something they or their doctors did not think would happen. The discussion of why women, in other cultures, become pregnant more easily that women in the US always leads back to our lifestyle and the abundance of stressful living we have in the US.

How does stress actually cause infertility? Here are the facts –

1. When we become stressed for periods of time, our body must make more cortisol, an adrenal hormone that deals with stress adaptation.

2. To provide this additional cortisol, the body diverts the production of sex hormones into the production of cortisol. This reduces fertility. Under stress, sex and reproduction is the first thing the body ignores.

3. Excess levels of cortisol interfere with oxytocin, the hormone required for fertile egg implantation in a woman’s uterus lining.

4. Excess stress over time suppresses the immune function as well as interferes with healthy digestive function that can lead to malnutrition.

If you or someone you know wants to conceive and is having a difficult time, they may greatly benefit from becoming familiar with this information and finding ways to decrease their anxiety about becoming pregnant, or reduce their lifestyle that may be causing high levels of physical stress.

With all good wishes,
Georgianna

Copyright 2011 G. Donadio

How Your Relationships Impact Your Health

NIWH is about to publish its first book on transforming relationships using our Behavioral Engagement model of behavior change. The book discusses all the interwoven components of how and why people change their behaviors and the number one overriding factor in why we behave as we do.

At the top of the list is our needs as human beings, right next to food, water and shelter, is the need to be in relationship with others. The Belongingness Theory is held by many psychologists to be rooted in evolution and how humans have been able to survive and thrive in extremely difficult and often dangerous environments. According to the theory, our bodies release neurotransmitter chemicals when we socialize and these neurochemicals have a positive affect on our nevous systems and sense of security and being part of a larger and safer group of others.

We all form what is referred to as “para-relationships” as well. In these realtionships we assoiate ourselves with others like TV characters in sit-coms or with groups of people, like a football team. These attachments allows us to expand our sense of “tribe” and belongingness as well as provide a “reflective” sense of accomplishment or achievement when the groups we associate with win a championship or an Emmy award.

Our realtionships and a sense of belonging are a top priority to all of us. We often lose sight of this until a relationship has ended or someone has passed away. Freud accuratedly said “we are never so hopelessly unhappy as when we lose love.” When it comes to our health, we often do not connect how imperative the experience of loving, being loved and belonging are to our overall well being and immune function. It feels important that from time to time that we remind ourselves about what really matters in our lives as our health and our relationships are intimately intertwined.

Do something good for your self today, and for those you are in relationship with. Take a moment of gratitude for the gift of family, friends, spouse, partner, peers who enrich your life and keep you healthy.

Without the gift of sharing love, our lives and our health suffer.

With all good wishes,
G
© by NIWH 2011 all rights reserved

Delicious and Nutritious

Good news – it is berry picking and eating season.  Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries can once again be found in grocery store isles, “pick your own” farm stands and local organic coops.

Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are some of the more popular berries found in the grocery produce section. However, other berries, such as mulberries, boysenberries, huckleberries and cranberries are also popping up this season.

Not only are berries of all kinds delicious, but they have been shown, as all fruits and vegetables have, to contain phytosterols that provide many health benefits and work overtime to prevent disease. Research does show that berries are among the fruits highest in antioxidant content and that they are excellent sources of several phytochemicals that seem to help block cancer development.

Researchers at Clemson University looked into the cancer fighting potential of various types and berries. In the Journal of Medicinal Foodthe scientists note: “Plants are proven sources of useful anti-tumor and chemo-preventative compounds. Hence, identification of phytochemicals useful in dietary prevention and intervention of cancer is of paramount importance.”  

The research team went on to further conclude that “Juice from strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry fruit significantly inhibited mutagenesis.” Meaning – that berries have high levels of anti-cancer properties that make them an ideal part of any diet.

Some of the best ways to enjoy berries and get the best health benefits from them is to blend them together in fresh fruit salads. A bowl of fresh berries acts as a “health tonic” that is not only delicious, but easy and convenient to prepare as well as one of the most intense disease prevention treats you can find.

Another popular and easy way to enjoy berries is in smoothies, either plain with a dollop of ice cream or yogurt; or with crushed ice chips and a sliced banana to add thickness and more delicious nutrients.

Enjoy these wonderful fruits, become nourished and prevent disease all at the same time.

With all good wishes,
G

Copyright 2011 G. Donadio

 

Men, Women and Apologies

For most of us it does not come as a surprise that men and women really do think, behave and are in many fundamental ways different from one another. We also know that hormones play a large role in these differences.

Now science is beginning to unravel the specifics on how males and female brains function in large part because of male and female hormones which craft our brain development and orient our behaviors.

Two new studies look at the brain function of men and women and offer some interesting observations regarding the subject. One study is from the University of California in collaboration with the University of New Mexico, led by researcher Richard Haier, a psychology professor at the University of California.

The findings of their study shows that generally men have 6.5 times the amount of gray matter relating to general intelligence compared with women. Women on the other hand have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men.

“These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior,” said Haier. But apparently these types of intelligent behaviors manifest differently.

Women apologize more often than men do, according to a new study led by researcher Karina Schumann, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It’ appears it not that men are reluctant to admit wrongdoing, they simply have a different perception regarding what they feel rises to the level of requiring an apology.

The research team saw no difference in the number of times men and women acted in ways that elicited apologies, but there was a distinct difference in the male and female perception of what constituted a situation that requires an apology.

“Men aren’t actively resisting apologizing because they think it will make them appear weak or because they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions,” says Schumann. “It seems to be that when they think they’ve done something wrong they [men] do apologize just as frequently as when women think they’ve done something wrong. It’s just that they think they’ve done fewer things wrong.”

“Ladies” – did we really need research to confirm this?

With all good wishes,
G

Copyright 2011 G. Donadio

Just What ARE Emotions?

Most of us perceive our brain as being for “thinking” or intellectual functions.  We often think of ourselves, our personality as what is going on “from the neck up”.  In fact, there are several parts to our brain which contribute to who we are and how we form our personality – not just our cortex.

The cortex is what we refer to as our “smart brain”.  Most of us know individuals who are brilliant academically or intellectually, yet – they are emotionally dysfunctional almost in the extreme. We often presume erroneously that our thinking brain should be “smart” enough to exercise dominion over our emotions.

However, the missing piece of information here is that our emotions actually are a survival adaptation mechanism that each of us develops as we process our early environment and social conditioning.

Some of us learn to be assertive or aggressive in our environments to adapt and some of us may learn to become passive or try to become invisible to stay safe and secure. Nothing is more powerful in the human being than its drive to survive. Hence, our emotions win the day in the battle between thinking and feeling.

It is helpful of us to understand that our emotions represent how we learned to adapt in our surroundings and environment, especially during the first 0-5 years of our development. Our familial “input” taught us, as did Pavlov with his dogs, how to respond to the stimuli we received as infants and toddlers.

This embedded neurological conditioning is not overcome by the thought process, as the thought process for humans is the “newest” component to our primordial brain. It is in the survival adaptive portion of our brain where we form our “personality” and where we become conditioned to create and interact within relationships.

When we understand the possibility that interpersonal issues which frustrate us may come not from “being difficult” or “bad intent” but rather from our drive to survive and our interpretation of the stimulation and environment we were conditioned by, then we can begin to be “kinder and gentler” towards ourselves and others.

In summary, our emotions are the way we learn to live and survive in our world. We cannot “think them” into changing, but we can step back and appreciate the service and challenge they offer us in our daily lives. We can also explore techniques that allow us to have greater control over our emotions.

With all good wishes,
G

Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved G. Donadio

More than Skin Deep

Any teenager can attest to how distressing a face full of acne is.  Clear, unblemished skin is universally the number one and most important feature in attracting others. This basic law of attraction is because our skin is the largest component to our immune system – and healthy skin reflects a healthy body, which is required for reproducing.

In the US, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent yearly on acne and blemish remedies and cover-ups. Our skin’s appearance is tied to our sex appeal and for most people being attractive to others is important. 

In the 30 years I have been practicing Whole Health nutrition, working with young adolescents to clear up their skin problems and facilitate their sense of self-esteem and well-being, is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my practice. Educating teenagers about where and why acne develops provides them with the ability to make choices that can change the course of their outbreaks.

It all starts with androgens, which are reproductive hormones secreted into the blood stream by the productive organs and our stress adaptation system – our adrenal glands.  Androgens are potent “chemicals” that our liver must deal with by reducing their potency.

The liver detoxifies the blood and when dealing with androgens, the liver produces blood plasma proteins which bind up and inactivate the majority of androgens, so that only a small percent of androgens are free to enter our cells.

During adolescence, the body is going through a huge hormonal change and all parts of the body needs time to adjust to and regulate hormone secretions. Because of the complex functions of hormones,  a young body can become physically and even psychologically overwhelmed by the effect of androgens on the body functions and the brain.

How acne develops is when the androgens enter the cells, a specific enzyme converts the presenting androgens and makes them more active. The active androgens enter the nucleus of the cell and interacts with genetic material. This can lead to highly stimulated oil glands, and it is these highly stimulated oil glands that lead to the formation of acne.

Thee are several factors that determine the degree and amount of acne:

a) amount of androgens entering the cells 

b) how well the liver controls the active androgens

c) the person’s nutrition and liver function

d) the amount of waste and/or toxins being re-absorbed into the liver from the bowel environment and – THIS IS THE KEY –

e) the amount of exercise the adolescent is doing that will utilize the androgens to build and create muscle tissue (rather than acne), thus reducing the amount of androgen that might be absorbed into the cells.

Especially in young males, but this applies to females as well, the fastest and easiest way to clear up adolescent acne, is have the person EXERCISE vigorously. Through the use of androgens by the body to build muscle rather than be available to interact with genetic material in the cell, rather quickly the androgens are re-directed to enhance strength and development rather than creating skin problems. The young patients and their parents think its a miracle, but its actually simple biochemistry.

In addition, healthy eating of lots of vegetables and fruits to keep the bowel clean, drinking plenty of water, skin hygiene and proper amounts of sleep, all help the liver, bowel and adrenals to function properly, which supports an overall healthy body with resultant glowing, attractive skin. 

The expression “it’s more than skin deep” clearly applies to acne and skin blemishes. You may want to share this information with someone having acne issues because if they use it – they will see a difference. 

With all good wishes,
G

Copyright 2011 G. Donadio All Rights Reserved