Saturday, November 24, 2012

Drinking water at the correct time maximises its effectiveness on the human body

I agree to a large extent with the above post about drinking water at the correct (or appropriate) times that maximises its effectiveness on the human body.

I have learnt that drinking 1-2 glasses of water after waking up in the morning helps activate the internal organs. Usually by then, the body would have felt slightly hydrated after not having drunk water for the past 8-10 hours the previous night, so drinking water first thing in the morning would give the body a much needed hydration, and also give the internal organs a wake-up call to start the usual active functions such as digesting food during breakfast and so on, as I understand it.

I am also learning to drink some water before having a meal (lunch or dinner) to aid digestion of the meal. However, when it comes to night time before going to bed, I think there are mixed views from different sources on whether it is advisable. For me, I prefer to drink only a little amount of water (at the most I glass) by dinnertime around 8 pm, and then I try not to drink water after that, or else I might wake up a few times in the early morning hours to go to washroom.
"Drinking a glass of water or warm milk may help soothe you to sleep, according to Dr. Oz, though water is preferable. However, drinking water right before bed may cause you to wake up to urinate during the night, possibly more than once. This could prevent you from getting enough rest to function optimally the next day. If you find this to be a problem, drink enough water throughout the day up until two hours before bedtime so that you are already well hydrated when it is time to go to bed. Then, drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Combating fatigue with Chicken Essence

Brands Chicken Essence is a common health tonic in Singapore, and I learnt that it is also available in Canada in Chinatown and Chinese drug stores as well as major Chinese grocery stores.

BRAND'S® Essence of Chicken (EOC)
  2. BRAND'S® EOC with Cordyceps
  3. BRAND'S® EOC with Lingzhi
Where to find:
  • Major Chinese Groceries
  • Chinese Drug stores
  • Chinatown
You can take it straight from the bottle, warm or chill it. It's excellent for brain alertness, boost immunity as well as helps in metabolism. Once you have bought the chicken essence, you can place the unopened bottle in 1/2 cup of hot water for a while to warm it and then drink straight from the bottle, without adding water. This way, you will have full benefits of the undiluted essence. The Brand's chicken essence is scientifically proven for its efficacy.

When I used to study for exams or work late or sleep late at night, I would sometimes take Brand's chicken essence, and I would feel slightly more rested and invigorated the next day. It takes a combination of sufficient rest and drinking this health tonic (once a day on average), besides eating healthy high fibre natural diet and exercise, to overcome chronic fatigue in the long run, I believe.

Here's also sharing a post below that summarises some effective ways to feel less tired, which I find helpful.
"Do you get about seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night? Your body needs an uninterrupted seven to eight hours of sleep to feel rejuvenated and fresh. But good sleep is not the only factor. We feel tired when we are experiencing low energy levels mentally or physically. In order to perk up your physical energy, you need to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods like whole grains, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from refined, processed food such as canned food high in salt, fats and simple sugars. Take a fresh approach to your daily diet and try to eat at least every 2 ½ to 3 hours. You also need to schedule in some exercise, although it may sound contradictory, the body is more energized after a workout. Nothing too tough, a quick 30 min brisk walk or jog is a great energy booster. Mental fatigue can be dealt with by taking the right supplements such as essence of chicken and managing stress through exercise such as yoga. Getting enough rest and sleep at night is also crucial to alleviate fatigue. If required, take a 15-30min power nap in the afternoon. It can be a great pick-me-up, especially after a heavy lunch. However, you should not nap for more than 30minutes as it may affect the quality of sleep at night."
I can understand the fatigue, and it probably takes some time to fully recover from stress and lack of rest (or sleep/rest debt). It took me a few months to fully recover from fatigue and heart palpitations in 2009. So yes, making rest your priority is the way to go. 
Last night I drank a bottle of Chicken Essence, and this morning I woke up feeling a bit more refreshed as the health tonic helped me sleep a little better.

"Eu Yan Sang’s Essence of Chicken series is made from the 100% pure essence of premium-grade chicken, with no caramel colouring added. It does not contain any flavouring, preservatives and additional salt, and is cholesterol-free. It can be taken chilled or warmed, every day by everyone, and is particularly suitable for those recuperating from an illness, pregnant and post-pregnant women, students preparing for their examinations, and the aged who feel weak."
Here's a scientific report on how drinking chicken essence helps to overcome or relieve fatigue.
Folk wisdom suggests that chicken extract is useful for recovery from physical and mental fatigue. To explore this question, the physiological effect of Brand’s Essence of Chicken (BEC), a popular chicken extract used as a traditional remedy, was assessed during recovering from mental stress. We quantitated the blood levels of stress-related substances, and examined the task performance and subjects’ mood states during mental workloads. Subjects were 20, healthy male students who have never tasted BEC. They took two bottles of BEC or a placebo (70 ml/bottle) daily in the morning for 7 days. On the final experimental day, two mental workload tests were performed: (A) a mental arithmetic test (MAT; 1600 trials of two or three figure-addition or subtraction for 40 min). (B) a short-term memory test (SMT; 20 trials of memorizing 9 digit numbers). Blood was collected before and after each workload task. After the mental workload, the recovery of mean cortisol level of subjects who consumed BEC was significantly faster than that for those consuming the placebo. The task performance of subjects performing the MAT and SMT was also improved with BEC consumption compared with placebo. According to the profile of mood state questionnaire, subjects felt more active and less fatigued during the workload when they took BEC regularly. We conclude that the extract of chicken has the potential to metabolize stress-related substance in blood and to promote recovery from mental fatigue.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cancer is finally cured in Canada but Big Pharma has no interest

According to the following website:

"News covers Dr. Evangelos Michelakis at the University of Alberta and the drug called DCA which has been found to reduce the size of cancerous tumers. Dr. Dario Alterieri from the University of Massachusetts agreed that the drug should be tested for its side effects and safety issues. However, there is no patent on this drug.

Since there is no patent on DCA and no pharmaceutical company owns this drug, CTV reported that drug companies will not want to bring this drug out on the market or conduct studies on this drug due to the fact that they can't make a profit off a drug that can be inexpensively produced. CTV News also mentioned that it costs nearly $100 million dollars for testing to become completed on a new drug, so it looks like everything comes down to a matter of money."
This sounds familiar as I have also come across news that in a similar case, pharmaceutical companies did not want to publicity announce or acknowledge the anti-cancer effects of graviola in soursop fruits since they cannot patent this naturally occurring product for making profits. But thanks to the Internet, more people are being aware of the health benefits of soursops, including its anticancer effects. 

I learnt from this website that the researchers of DCA drug manages to get some funding from some government organisations and online donations so far. 

Also, an update shows that trials of the DCA on humans in curing cancer are going great, according to this website.
[link to]

"Latest update says trials are going great."
I hope DCA will get its recognition by more and more (non profit-minded) health practitioners 
soon to treat cancer patients. 

On a similar note, someone in the above website also commented that "DCA is chemically DCA is vinegar, 2 parts chlorine and water". That reminds me of apple cider vinegar - I learnt that ACV also have anti-cancer effects, as noted in this website. It has been recommended that people can drink a glass of water mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoon of ACV (honey can be added) daily to benefit from it.
"Studies have also shown it may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Nice!

Apple Cider Vinegar is also reported to assist in curing allergies, sinus infections, acne, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contactdermatitis, arthritis, and gout."
 Related links

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reducing computer fatigue and improving eyesight naturally

I have learnt to take breaks from the computer screen as often as I remember to because prolonged computer usage can cause eye fatigue and mental fatigue. The other day, I was reading this article that reminds people to minimise sitting for a prolonged period of time and take time to move around.
(NaturalNews) "In today's workplace, the majority of people sit for eight or more hours per day. Think your desk job isn't affecting your health? Think again. A sedentary lifestyle, at home or work negatively impacts your health in multiple ways. Smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise and junk food are all detrimental to our health... we need to add sitting to that list as well. "Sitting diseases" are quickly lowering our lifespans and increasing our healthcare costs."

Learn more:
Usually when we get up from your computer and move around, we would feel better. Hence, making it a regular habit to take breaks from the computer screen will help prevent fatigue. It will also prevent eye strain and shortsightedness. I learnt from this article about exercising our eyes, to look away faraway objects when resting our eyes from the computer screen.
"Another way to approach this is to simply exercise the range of motion of your ciliary muscles by alternating between focusing on close objects versus far away objects (such as the horizon). This is most accomplished from inside your home, near a window. Simply look at something on your desk, then look at something outside your window that's far, far away (ideally, at the horizon). Alternate this process several times, then rest your eyes, and then repeat. Do this daily for a few minutes each day."

Learn more:
Here's sharing this article that summarises three ways to minimise computer fatigue, using the 3 Rs:
  • Readjust the computer screen so that our eyes look down (slightly from the top of the screen)
  • Refocus our eyes on something far away once in a while (and also blink our eyes to keep our eyes moist)
  • Remove ourselves from the workstation every now and then
Sometimes in the office, I would forget the above tips and I would find myself using a computer for about two hours or more at one stretch, before I started to feel mentally tired. I then had to remind myself to take a break. One way to help myself remember to take regular breaks is to drink water, so that before long, I would feel the urge to go to washroom, which gives me a chance to take a breather from the computer. Walking up the stairs and going to the rooftop also helps me refocus and refresh my mind, even as I look at faraway trees in the horizon to refocus my eyes for a few minutes. In my bedroom, I would remind myself also to look at the trees outside my bedroom window. I suppose you could do the same, and when the weather is fine, taking a walk outside does wonders too.

On a similar note, here's sharing the website on how to prevent myopia, which my colleague emailed me and other colleagues yesterday.

It has a free online ebook on the myopia myth, which I find informative. I learnt that pinhole glasses can help correct short-sightedness, so I have gotten a pair of pinhole glasses from a pharmacy store recently.

According to the pinhole glasses manual, "The Bates method and vision therapy, like chiropractic and physiotherapy practices versus medical surgeries, as well as natural, organic health food and supplementation versus pharmaceutical drugs, are becoming a mainstream and effective alternative to the traditional views of health care today." I agree, as more and more people are coming to realise the importance and effectiveness of natural therapy, which is risk-free, drug-free and has no side effects.

The manual also gives the following advice, which we have discussed earlier about taking breaks regularly from the computer screen:
"You should take a vision break for 1-2 minutes every 30-40 minutes of near work, such as reading, computer work, playing computer games, including handheld games. A vision break is to look at far away objects, preferably at nature, and multi-coloured natural surroundings. You can put away your work, and take a walk, or close your eyes and relax for a moment. This activity helps to minimize vision-stress."
I can understand sometimes it can be easy to forget to take a vision break especially when we are engrossed in reading materials on the internet. So, reminders such as these are welcoming as they help ensure we avoid experiencing eye fatigue and mental fatigue. There were times when I felt a bit breathless walking up a few flights of stairs at my office, and I would heed these signs of fatigue and decided to take longer breaks in between my time on the computer so as to maintain sufficient energy and stamina in the long run.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finding peace and relaxation naturally

You could try deep breathing exercises to relieve any kind of anxiety or discomfort. You could also try lying down and rest your eyes from the computer screen for a while.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Step 1

Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Do not try this exercise while standing in case the deep breathing makes you dizzy.

Step 2

Put one hand on your abdomen, just below your rib cage, and the other on your chest. Your hands will act as guides so you know you are breathing correctly.

Step 3

Inhale as deeply as possible through your nose. You should feel your stomach expand first, then your chest. Hold this breath for 2 to 5 seconds.

Step 4

Exhale through your mouth. You should feel your chest deflate, then your stomach.

Step 5

Repeat the breath five times or until your heart rate drops and you feel calm. Check your heart rate with the heart rate monitor, by taking your pulse or by gauging your heartbeat.
Read more:
According to this article, visualisation is also a good form of relaxation, besides deep breathing.

2. Visualization Process
If you want to relax without using prescription drugs, try visualization. Visualization requires an individual to think of images such as a peaceful setting and mentally takes a journal to their favorite, calming place. This technique typically requires a person to sit in a quiet place and closing his or her eyes.
For example, if a person loves the beach, he may imagine himself taking a walk to the beach and feeling the warm sun on his skin. As he enjoys his day at the beach, he smells the salty water, listens to the waves crashing and feels the sand between his toes.
This video on binaural beats with the sound of ocean waves for deep relaxation is also quite soothing to listen to, and it shows a peaceful natural surroundings of a beach for visualisation.  
I learnt from this article that listening to the binaural beats together with music and natural sounds produces slower heart rate and decreased anxiety.
"Researchers found that those who listened to the binaural beats plus the music and natural noises had a slower heart rate and decreased anxiety, compared with those who didn't listen to anything. And both the binaural beats and music group and the music-only group experienced lower blood pressure than the no-noise group."

Friday, November 9, 2012

The link between weed and psychosis

While smoking might attribute to heightened cognition or even a cancer cure, it might also cause other issues like early Alzheimer's or depression....
This article "The Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia" shares about how studies show that cannabis smokers are more likely to develop schizophrenia than non-smokers. I suppose it depends on how it is used wisely, since shamans are known to use cannabis for spiritual and medicinal purposes due to its hallucinatory and medicinal effects respectively. 

According to this article, younger people are more susceptible to the psychotic effects of cannabis.

"Why should teenagers be particularly vulnerable to the use of cannabis? No one knows for certain, but it may be something to do with brain development. The brain is still developing in the teenage years – up to the age of around 20, in fact. A massive process of ‘neural pruning’ is going on. This is rather like streamlining a tangled jumble of circuits so they can work more effectively. Any experience, or substance, that affects this process has the potential to produce long-term psychological effects."
Cannabis then need to be reserved for medicinal use instead of recreational use, since cannabis is found to be effective cancer cure. Also, some studies suggest that whether people develop psychosis may depend on their genetic predisposition to develop mental illness.

"Both advocates and opponents of the drug are able to call upon numerous scientific studies supporting their respective positions. For instance, while cannabis has been implicated in the development of various mental disorders in some studies[which?], these studies differ widely as to whether cannabis use is the cause of the mental problems displayed in heavy users, whether the mental problems are exacerbated by cannabis use, or whether both the cannabis use and the mental problems are the effects of some other cause. Positive effects of long-term cannabis use have also been noted.[1]"
So, it boils down to knowing when and how to use cannabis appropriately. It may not work well for everyone, and is best used only for a temporal period of time, and for medicinal purposes where necessary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The mind needs to be exercised

"The mind needs to be exercised, just as the body does, and exercises are beneficial in reducing the experience of some of these brain-related problems. Solving puzzles, brainteasers, discussing opposing ideas, creative painting or sculpting are just a few ways to engage the mind and keep it youthful and healthy."
(From "Ways to Exercise Your Brain")

I agree that keeping our mind active not only keeps us young, delaying the ageing process, but also prevents brain-related problems such as Alzheimer's disease. As we continue to learn new things and keep ourselves abreast with current events, we will naturally find opportunities for solving puzzles and discussing opposing ideas, such as how to address health and food issues, how to overcome inequality in the world, why and how people need to be free from bondages imposed by religions, and so on. These mental challenges stimulate the mind and give us a sense of purpose as we endeavour to help share the knowledge and insights we have gained with others for their benefit, even as we continue to learn new things and broaden our thinking.

The article also suggests some foods that improve the mind's functionality, such as egg yolks, fish, berries and avocados. I think I have read or heard before that fish is a recommended food for the brain too, so eating fish is good for us, and it is rich in proteins too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Doctors

Video information
A short exceprt from his Keynote presentation at the Amazing Meeting 6 in Las Vegas, NV. Tyson talks about UFO's and Inept Aliens. For more information about The Amazing Meeting go to

I have listened to Neil deGrasse Tyson's anecdotes on doctors. I suppose there is a flaw in the system of medical school in which doctors are trained to mainly specialise in one area and focus on treating symptoms instead of the root cause. So when it comes to cancer, for example, their medical training taught them to see cancer as terminal disease and use conventional methods to treat cancer cells, such as chemotherapy, which are harmful to the body. Their diagnosis may not take into account the self-healing nature of the body, so they tend to misdiagnose a patient's chances of recovery, as Tyson pointed out, noting that the medical system hasn't really helped doctors make accurate diagnoses. Perhaps if doctors are taught to think holistically, they may stand a better chance in helping patients heal and recover faster, since the human body responds best to holistic healthcare, which includes diet, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Knee joint pains caused by GM foods containing gluten?

I have been googling about gluten and knee pain and I learnt from this website that knee joint pain could be linked to eating food that contains gluten, such as wheat and other grains.

Foods That Can Trigger Joint and Muscle Pain

In my clinical experience the following short list of foods commonly contribute to arthritis. The list is not comprehensive, but includes some of the more common food triggers of joint pain.
  • Grain (all grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, sorghum, etc)
  • Nightshades (potato, eggplant, tomato, peppers, tobacco)
  • Hydrogenated Fats (hardly a food, but added to a lot of processed food items)
  • Sugar (in all processed forms)
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
I have been eating wholemeal bread containing grains such as bran wheat the past few years as I learnt they are generally healthy and contain high fibre which is good for the digestive system. Then again, I have also been experiencing knee joint pain on and off around the same time too. About 10-20 years ago, I didn't experience knee pain often despite I the fact that I have been eating bread for breakfast every morning. So, my guess for now is that (most of) the bread that is sold in supermarkets today may contain genetically modified (GM) wheat (although it is not labelled as GMO). I will continue to do research to verify this information.

I just came across this website that says:
"A recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that 1 in 100 people has CD, making it four times more common today than it was in the 1950s. According to Dorfman, this may have to do with the fact that the gluten in today’s wheat has been genetically modified to contain more protein, causing it to become more reactive. If your child shows any of these symptoms, Dorfman suggests starting an elimination diet. Even if the CD screen comes back negative, you should start the elimination diet anyway because the child may still be sensitive to gluten. "
While I think I may not be gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant since I usually have no problems consuming rice, barley, oat and so on as my staple diet, the gluten in today's wheat that has been genetically modified to contain more protein may trigger symptoms related to celiac disease, as noted by the above article. So, in the meantime, I hope the health authorities will consider labelling GMOs for a start so that people can make informed decisions on whether to buy foods that contain GM wheat and so on.

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