Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Archive for July, 2011
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
The relaxation technique we developed while working with our patients is taken largely from a program devised by Dr. Edmond Jacobson, who calls his technique “progressive relaxation.” In practice, we combine this technique with the mental imagery process we describe later in this chapter. However, we have detailed the relaxation process separately here so that you will see its value for use anytime. We recommend to our patients that they complete the combined relaxation/mental imagery activity three times a day for ten to fifteen minutes each time. Most people feel relaxed the first time they use this technique. But since relaxation is something that can be learned and improved upon, you will find that you’ll enter into increasingly relaxed states as the process is repeated.
To make the relaxation/mental imagery process easier to learn, we provide our patients with a cassette tape of instructions. You may also find it helpful to have a friend read the following instructions to you or to make a tape recording of them. Allow plenty of time for completing each step in a comfortable, relaxed manner.
1. Go to a quiet room with soft lighting. Shut the door and sit in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor, eyes closed.
2. Become aware of your breathing.
3. Take in a few deep breaths, and as you let out each breath, mentally say the word, “relax.”
4. Concentrate on your face and feel any tension ifl your face and eyes. Make a mental picture of this tension—it might be a rope tied in a knot or a clenched fist—and then mentally picture it relaxing and becoming comfortable, like a limp rubber band.
5. Experience your face and eyes becoming relaxed. As they relax, feel a wave of relaxation spreading through your body.
6. Tense your eyes and face, squeezing tightly, then relax them and feel the relaxation spreading through’ out your body.
7. Apply the previous instructions to other parts of your body. Move slowly down your body—jaw, neck, shoulders, back, upper and lower arms, hands, chest, abdomen, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, toes— until every part of your body is relaxed. For each part of the body, mentally picture the tension, then picture the tension melting away; tense the area, then relax it.
8. When you have relaxed each part of the body, rest quietly in this comfortable state for two to five minutes.
9. Then let the muscles in your eyelids lighten up, become ready to open your eyes, and become aware of the room.
10. Now let your eyes open, and you are ready to go on with your usual activities.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to g through this process before reading on. You can find the relaxation it produces pleasurable and energizing.
People sometimes experience difficulty picturing the mental image or keeping their minds from wandering the first few times they try the process. There’s no need to feel discouraged. It’s very natural and criticizing yourself will only increase your tension. At the end of this chapter, when you are more familiar with relaxation and visualization techniques, we will deal with a few of the common problems patients have with these procedures and suggest how to overcome them.
The next section provides instructions for moving directly from the relaxation process into the mental imagery process. Although the relaxation technique is valuable by itself, as we said earlier, we use it primarily as a prelude to mental imagery, because the physical relaxation reduces tension that could distract from concentrating on the mental imagery. The relaxation technique is also a prelude to mental imagery in another sense: Learning to use mental guidance to produce physical relaxation should help strengthen your belief that you can use your mind in support of your body.
The ovum is released by the mature follicle of the ovary. Very soon it is caught up in the waving fimbriated ends of the outer part of the oviducts, or Fallopian tubes. The microscopic egg (invisible to the naked eye) is carried into the expanded outer end of the oviduct, to begin its journey towards the uterus.
Its trip is assisted by the tiny hair-like structures projecting from the cells lining the tube. These are the cilia, and they set up currents that tend to sweep the egg towards the uterus. Also, waves of muscle contraction, called peristalsis take place in the walls of the tubes. These also push the egg onwards.
Along the tubal journey, one of two events will occur. Either the egg will encounter a male cell of reproduction, called a spermaxazoon (or sperm, for short); or it will not. In short, conception (and pregnancy) will take place, or it will not. Here is where its momentous decision occurs: midway along the tube—the tunnel of love.
If sexual intercourse has occurred within the previous 24 hours, the chances arc high that millions of sperms will be found actively swimming along the tube. Sperms are like tadpoles in microscopic appearance: they have an expanded, rounded head, and a long tail. Madly waggling, the tail propels them along, at an amazingly fast rate.
Although there may be millions of sperms present—at each ejaculation (climax) by the male, anywhere from 200 million to 500 million sperms may foe released into the vaginal canal – in the final count only one will pierce the outer wall and combine with the ovum.
Friday, July 8th, 2011
The types and variety of foods you select make a difference to your heart and your overall health. You already know the importance of control ling fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories. Too much sugar and alcohol also are not healthful. The following section provides specific suggestions for replacing less-healthful foods with more-healthful, tasty food choices.
These recommendations for improving your diet for your heart’s sake are not a “prescription” diet. Eating healthfully is something your whole family can enjoy together. The principles of good nutrition are basically the same whether you are trying to maintain your health or whether you need to reduce your level-of blood cholesterol, lose weight, or control high blood pressure or diabetes. Your doctor or registered dietitian may suggest more specific changes in yotur diet to help you lose weight or customize the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol.
The following six basic guidelines will make your diet more healthful. They start by suggesting you eat more—not less—of certain types of foods.
1. Eat five or more servings of various fruits and vegetables every day.
2. Eat six or more daily servings of grain products, preferably whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, and pasta.
3. Include two to three servings of low-fat or skim milk dairy products in your daily diet.
4. Eat no more than 5 to 7 ounces of meat a day. Occasionally substitute other high-protein, low-fat foods, such as eggs and dried beans, for meat.
5. Use fats sparingly—no more than 6 to 8 teaspoons of spreadable or pourable fat in your daily diet.
6. Eat fewer sweets and desserts and drink less alcohol.
Use these basic principles when you eat, shop for groceries, and plan meals, as well as when you eat out. You will most likely decrease fat and calories in your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains, and the temptation to eat higher-calorie processed foods that may be higher in fat and sodium will diminish.
The following pages discuss each guideline in more detail and provide specific suggestions for grocery shopping, reading labels, and cooking. With a few simple substitutions, you will be eating more healthfully.