Continue Reading

How to loosen tight internal muscles of the face (nose/ cheeks, etc.)

Continuous computer work has led to static load on facial muscles which “crunch” when the neck is rotated. The crunching occurs in the face.

EXERCISES

From Livestrong

Facial Yoga

Facial yoga is a type of facial exercise that helps to promote blood circulation and relaxation within the muscles of the face. One of the basic facial yoga techniques is to first warm the palms of the hand by rubbing them together for several seconds and then to place each palm over the eyes. Next, you want to perform circular motions around the eyes with your palms, which will help to increase blood circulation in this region of the face. In addition to relieving muscle tension around the eye sockets, it’s also effective at reducing black circles around the eyes. A second type of facial yoga involves massaging the entire face in an effort to improve blood circulation to nearly every muscle of the face. To use this technique, first inhale/exhale rapidly for a 10 count to get the blood flowing. Next, start at the chin with both hands and gently massage up to the forehead using small circular motions with both sets of fingers.

Jaw Stretch

Loosen the muscles controlling the jaws by using the lower-jaw stretch. Open your mouth about an inch and move your lower jaw to the right as far as you can without experiencing any pain. Hold it there for about two seconds before relaxing. Do one side at a time and complete a total of 10 repetitions to each side. Make sure your mouth stays open approximately 1 inch during this exercise.

Smile

Simply smiling helps to loosen most of the facial muscles of your face, including those controlling your cheeks, lips and eyes. Smile as wide as you can, hold for a moment and then relax your face. Do at least 10 repetitions per set.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This technique is designed to promote full-body relaxation, but it can also be modified to relax any one part of the body, such as muscles of the face. Before starting, you should find a quiet spot where you can sit back and relax. Close your eyes the entire time and take a few deep breaths before beginning. Start by tensing the muscles of your face as much as you can using grimacing facial expressions; hold for 10 seconds and then release. Take several deep breathes, and you will feel your facial muscles begin to relax. Alternatively, you can focus on the top facial muscles first and work your way down to the jaw and neck muscles last. Try both ways and see which works best for you. The keys to loosening up your face muscles using this technique is to remain in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and to breathe deeply the entire time.

Air Kisses

Pucker your lips, but keep your brow smooth as you blow air kisses four times. Place two fingers to your lips and blow air kisses again for three or four repetitions. Hagen says this exercise works to keep the lips strong.

Puffy Cheeks

Puff out both of your cheeks and shift the air in your mouth from one cheek to the other. Continue the exercise until you feel you are out of breath. Repeat the exercise three times to help keep your cheeks firm.

Continue Reading

Why Kegel exercises are NOT the solution to recovery of continence after prostate surgery

The idea that Kegel exercises are “the” solution to the incontinence problem is fundamentally flawed. It assumes that the stronger you make your pelvic floor muscles the better your continence gets. But this is a trap. It then implies that one has to keep doing pelvic floor exercises for the whole of one’s life, otherwise incontinence will come back again.

This is an extremely inefficient “solution”.

Instead, we need to retrain the entire muskulo-skeletal and neurological system to take on new responsibilities. We need to challenge the entire abdomen and related area to learn new way of functioniong. When the entire abdominal area reprograms itself to take on new responsibilities, we will not need to undertake any more special exercises.

This is somewhat like the child who has to learn how to become continent. The child merely pays attention to the relevant muscles and over the course of a few months becomes continent. We do not tell the child to keep exercising specific muscles. Likewise, when we do this properly, there is no need to exercise or strengthen a specific muscle after that.

I gave up Kegel exercises for roughly after the first 4 months after I realised that this was not the kind of thing I wanted to achieve. I wanted to lead my normal life without thinking about my pelvic floor.

One of my physios, Terry, showed me why retraining is important. I extrapolated and almost completely dropped all kegel exercises as soon as possible after I started jogging downhill.

So far I find that this hypothesis is correct, because I have seen continuous improvement incontinence regardless of the fact that I am no longer doing any Kegel exercises.

Continue Reading

What is the current state of knowledge regarding cholesterol? Small LDL particles do matter, but these reduce when you eat saturated fat.

MAIN PRINCIPLE 1: Cholesterol level (in all its complexity) is just ONE of many predictors of heart disease. Further, in most cases its impact is NOT what has been commonly known to doctors. Things are far more complicated. One must not jump to any conclusions based on any cholesterol level figures. The data need to be considered VERY CAREFULLY, and together with a large number of other factors, such as C-reactive protein and homocysteine, apolipoprotein and many others.

MAIN PRINCIPLE 2: 80 to 90 per cent of the body’s cholesterol is genetically programmed and is produced by the body. “Cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol.” [Source] + “cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules in the body and prevents infection, cancer, muscle pain and other conditions in elderly people.” [Source – read the paper here]. Don’t bother about cholesterol in things you eat (e.g. eggs and prawns).

The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling its production of cholesterol. When your dietary intake of cholesterol goes down, your body makes more. When you eat larger amounts of cholesterol, your body makes less [Source]

For six years [Indian researcher, Malhotra] had registered how many people had died from a heart attack among more than one million employees of the Indian railways. According to Malhotra’s report; employees who lived in Madras had the highest mortality. It was six to seven times higher than in Punjab, the district with the lowest mortality, and the people from Madras also died at a much younger age. People in Punjab consumed almost seventeen times more fat than people from Madras and most of it was animal fat. In addition they also smoked much more than in Madras. [Source: Uffe Ravnskov, Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive]

And DO NOT CUT DOWN SATURATED FATS (but the middle path principle applies).

START BY READING THESE BOOKS

Uffe Ravnskov, Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive

and Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It

And watch this:

and

 

WHAT IS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN DIETARY FAT AND HEART DISEASE?

Very little. This chart gives it all away (the white line is the FRAUDULENT line presented by a “medical scientist” to fool the world. The other numbers are the real numbers. No correlation. Mexicans consumer a large proportion of their calories from fat but have very little cardiac disease. There is tons of other data that confirms that there is NO correlation between consumption of fat (as generally understood) and heart disease.

WHAT IS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN DIETARY FAT AND HEART DISEASE?

This, too, is very weak. “After an examination of almost one thousand patients during surgery, American and world-renowned heart surgeon Michael DeBakey came up with the same message: Atherosclerosis has nothing to do with the concentration of cholesterol in the blood.” ( Garrett HA and others. JAMA 1964;189:655-9.) – cited in Uffe Ravnskov, Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive

IGNORE TOTAL CHOLESTEROL

Total Cholesterol Level is NOT a Great Indicator of Your Heart Disease Risk [Source]

  • unless it is VERY high

But – HDL/TOTAL CHOLESTEROL RATIO >0.25 is good. [Source]

IS HIGH High-density lipoprotein (HDL) GOOD? NOT NECESSARILY

“according to several recent studies, good cholesterol alone has little ability to lower heart-disease risks, and more is not necessarily better.” HDL is not a very good therapeutic target,” says cardiologist Dennis Ko, a senior scientist at the Toronto-based Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. What’s more, Ko’s own research suggests that above a certain threshold, more HDL could increase health risks.[Source]

IS HIGH LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) BAD? NOT NECESSARILY.

Relying on LDL-C alone can be misleading. [Source]

In fact, “older people with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, lived longer and had less heart disease.” [Source]

LDL type AND number of particles matters

People who have mainly large LDL particles actually have a lower risk of heart disease [Source]

Only the so-called small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, because they can squeeze through the lining of the arteries and if they oxidize, otherwise known as turning rancid, they can cause damage and inflammation. [Source]

High numbers of small, dense LDL particles are associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease in prospective epidemiologic studies. Subjects with small, dense particles (phenotype B) are at higher risk than those with larger, more buoyant LDL particles (phenotype A). [Source]

Blood levels of LDL-P and apolipoprotein B are strongly correlated with the risk of coronary heart disease. Both these measurements reflect the actual number of LDL-particles. A high TG/HDL-C ratio likely reflects a large number of LDL-particles

HOW DO YOU REDUCE THE BAD (SMALL) LDL?

American researcher Ronald Krauss found that the most useful risk marker, the best predictor of myocardial infarction among the blood lipids, wasn’t the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, neither was it the ‘bad guy’, LDL cholesterol. It was a special type of LDL particles, the small and dense ones. The most surprising finding was that if somebody ate a large amount of saturated fat, then the number of these small, dense LDL particles decreased. [Source: Uffe Ravnskov, Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive]

Trygliceride/HDL ratio is very important

Many studies have found that the triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio (TG/HDL-C ratio) correlates strongly with the incidence and extent of coronary artery disease. This relationship is true both for men and women. One study found that a TG/HDL-C ratio above 1.74 was the most powerful independent predictor of developing coronary artery disease.  TG/HDL-C ratio less than 0.87 is ideal.  [Source]

OTHER THINGS TO DO TO MONITOR HEART RISK

CRP

if you have chronic inflammation is a C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. CRP level is used as a marker of inflammation in your arteries.

Generally speaking:

— A CRP level under 1 milligrams per liter of blood means you have a low risk for cardiovascular disease

— 1 to 3 milligrams means your risk is intermediate

— More than 3 milligrams is high risk [Source]

Also: homocysteine and apolipoprotein.

Coronary calcium scan 

The coronary calcium scan … looks at plaque in the arteries leading to the heart. Plaque in these arteries is a red flag for a potential heart attack. [Source]

Ultrasound of the carotid artery

This scan “looks at plaque in the main blood vessel leading to the brain. Plaque in the carotid artery is a sign of increased risk for a heart attack and stroke.” [Source]

Cut down infections

There is evidence that infections are associated with heart disease.

KEYWORDS

Does cholesterol matter? Cholesterol and fat myths.

Continue Reading

Root canal experience

After nearly six decades one of my teeth cracked. I grind a lot at night.

Root canal – stage 1 last week. X ray showed everything is OK. The first day or so the tooth felt wobbly, as if it is going to come out. That’s actually a normal thing, I gather. This feeling went away by the third day. Some pain while biting, but all sensitivity due to the crack has gone.

 

Continue Reading

Advanced/ dynamic/ integrated Kegel exercises to curb incontinence

These are my notes from my visits to physios and readings. Unfortunately, there is no book available that documents these exercises systematically. Time permitting, I might write a book on this (plus one on RSI and one on eystrain – on which I have had a similar experience that there is lack of systematic information and I’ve had to figure out everything on my own).

NOT use glutes/ abdominal muscles/ anal muscles

The key is to focus on the two urinary muscles and avoid unnecessarily activating the anal muscle.

DYNAMIC EXERCISES IN DIFFERENT POSTURES

Use paper towel in each case to ensure you are do these till the point that you do not leak.

While lying down, pull PFM and take knee to the side, and back.

While sitting, pull PFM and rise, then release

While standing, pull PFM and sit down, then release

While standing, pull PFM then lift legs as if walking

While standing, pull PFM, then bend forward and stop

While standing, pull PFM, then cough

To prevent leaking while exercising

Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch

Stand in a neutral position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands hanging naturally by your side. Lift your right foot off of the ground and take a long step forward coming into a lunge. Hold for one second before carefully coming back to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg forward and then continue alternating legs. Complete this movement for 30 seconds.

Dynamic Side Lunge Stretch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointed directly forward. Bring your hands together in front of your chest. Take a step to the side with your right foot. Once it’s planted, push your hips backward and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Your left knee should stay straight as you lower into the lunge. Come up out of the lunge and then bring your right foot back to the starting position. Go right into the next repetition, this time stepping to the side with your left foot. Complete this movement for 30 seconds.

Squat

With your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight, spine neutral, chest up, and your shoulders square. As you squat down, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Your knees should not move in close to one another nor should they fall out to the sides. Also, you want to make sure that your shins stay as vertical as possible as you lower yourself into the squat position. Try using a chair to help you as you learn the technique. As you get stronger, you can lose the chair and start to go deeper into the squat or start doing them quite a bit faster while maintaining that good posture. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Three-Way Lunge

With your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight, spine neutral, chest up, and your shoulders square. Step forward with your right foot and bend at your knees until they both make a 90 degree angle and then step back to your starting position. Next, step to the side with your right foot. Once it’s planted, push your hips backward and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Your left knee should stay straight as you lower into the lunge. Then return to the starting position. Finally, step backwards with your right leg so that your right knee is almost touching the floor and both knees are at a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position and then repeat on the opposite side. Add speed to the movements in all three directions to advance the exercise. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

Plank

Lie face down on the floor. Place your forearms on the floor, elbows under your shoulders. Place your legs together with balls of your feet on the floor. Lift your body off of the floor maintaining a straight line from your head through your torso to your feet. You don’t want your lower back to drop down or sag, nor do you want your butt to be high up in the air. Remember, a nice straight line. If you notice that your form starts to falter and you aren’t able to maintain the straight line, stop the exercise and rest. Perform 3 sets of holding for 15-20 seconds. Once you are able to hold for 20 seconds without losing form, try to gradually add more time to the exercise.

Keep in mind that proper posture is important with these exercises. Keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and engage your abdominal muscles throughout the exercises by drawing your belly button in toward the spine. Notable changes can be seen when you perform pelvic floor exercises every day. As your symptoms improve, you can begin a maintenance program of three times per week.

Strengthen the core to improve continence

Document – http://umuch.org/-/media/systemhospitals/uchs/pdfs/rehab/pelvicfloor.pdf?la=en&hash=F1AB321AADB45BC1EA13CA4F38E3A4AB6BB1BEC0

 

Continue Reading