All rights reserved

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 Tips to NEVER Get Sick Again. Vitamin D, Garlic and more...

stop getting sickUnderstand the REAL cause of sickness, and strengthen your immune system with these tips
by Mike Geary - Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author -
The Truth about Six Pack Abs

Note: The tips in this article can work anytime of the year to keep you healthy and prevent you from getting sick...not just in the winter!
First of all, let's clear up a BIG misconception about why more people get sick in the winters compared to warmer times of the year.  I always have to bit my tongue when I hear well intentioned mothers and grandmothers tell their kids to "bundle up" before going outside so that they don't "catch a cold".  So many people still have this huge misconception that cold temperatures can make you sick...
However... This is blatantly false!
In fact, did you know that there are multiple studies that actually show that cold exposure increases your immunity?  It's true!  One study I read recently even showed that cold therapy such as ice water baths or other cold water exposure stimulates an improvement in your immune system.
So are there really more germs and cold & flu viruses floating around in the winter?  No, of course not!  In fact, some studies I've read have indicated that there might actually be a slightly larger amount of cold and flu viruses all around us in the summer due to more favorable conditions for their survival on surfaces.
So then why do more people get sick in the winter?  Well, I'll give you a hint... it's not the temperature, but rather the strength of the suns rays... In winter in the northern hemisphere (Canada, US, Europe, etc) sicknesses spike, but at the same time, it's summer in the southern hemisphere (South America, Australia, New Zealand, etc), and while sicknesses are spiking in the northern hemisphere, sicknesses are at their lowest point in the southern hemisphere since it's their summer.
And then when we're in summer in the northern hemisphere and most sicknesses go away, it's winter in the southern hemisphere, so colds, flu, and other sicknesses spike in the southern hemisphere.
So is it the warm temperatures that decreases sickness?  Nope... It's actually all about the strength of the suns rays, and how much vitamin D your body produces due to the UV rays on your skin!
There are 2 theories that many people pass around as to why more colds, flu, and sickness occur in the winter depending on which part of the world you're in...
Theory 1.  It may have to do with people generally spending more time indoors in the winter and thereby being exposed to more germs in enclosed buildings.  It's a nice theory, but people are generally still in offices from 9-5 all week long whether it's summer or winter.  As you'll see, theory 2 is the REAL culprit!
Theory 2.   The reason people get sick more in the winter is mostly due to a drastic reduction in their body's production of Vitamin D, which is directly responsible for how strong their immune system is.
The suns rays are too weak in the winter generally, and therefore, Vitamin D levels in the body drop significantly, which reduces immunity. Most people don't realize how important sunlight and Vitamin D levels really are towards so many functions inside their body, including immune system and hormone production and balance.
Even for people that get outdoors in the winter often, if you live in the northern hemisphere to the North of an imaginary line from approximately Atlanta to Los Angeles, the suns rays are not strong enough in the winter months (approximately November through end of February) to stimulate any significant Vitamin D production inside your body.
This aspect of lack of Vitamin D production and lowered immune strength in the winter months is what is actually the REAL reason why more sickness goes around in the winter.  So you can silently chuckle to yourself the next time someone tells you to "bundle up" so you don't catch a cold.
So how can we bolster your immune system so that your body can fight off sickness before it gets a hold of you?
So here is my little ritual that I've been using for a few years now and really seems to keep me from getting any colds, flu, or any sickness at all.
As a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I was legitimately sick. I think it's been 6 or 7 years since I've actually been sick.
Every time I feel a cold or something starting to come on, I do this ritual, strengthen my immune system, and my body always fights it off before I actually get full-blown sick.

1. Focus on Vitamin D (but NOT in pill form or "fortified" foods)
You need to be careful about artificial forms of vitamin D in many vitamin pills, as artificial vitamin forms are almost always either ineffective or possibly even detrimental compared to natural forms.
For this reason, you need to get your vitamin D naturally. The sun is the best source, and leads to a powerful strengthening of your immune system when your body can naturally produce Vitamin D from moderate sun exposure. Here is a previous article I did on how to get sun exposure in a healthy way without damaging your skin
I know not everybody can take a tropical vacation every winter, but if you can, it's best to try to take it right smack dab in the middle of the winter (when your vitamin D levels have dropped to their lowest)... getting even a few days of good sun closer to the equator in the middle of winter can really help increase your vitamin D and strengthen your immune system.
Remember that this does NOT mean getting burned in the sun... it means getting a moderate amount of sun on large portions of your body (not just your face) for approx 15-40 minutes per day WITHOUT sunscreen on (since sunscreen blocks the UV rays that directly stimulate the vitamin D increase in your body).
Everybody is different based on their skin tone... very pale skin tones may only need 10 minutes or so in full sun in the middle of the day to get adequate vitamin D before any skin damage occurs, but darker skin tones may need a slightly longer time (sometimes 30-40 minutes) in the sun to produce adequate vitamin D.  To protect your skin, it's essential to get enough sun without sunscreen on, but NOT get burned.
But, I understand that a tropical vacation in the winter is not possible for everybody's schedule based on either work or finances, so...
Since you may not be going on a tropical vacation this winter, how can you still keep Vitamin D levels from falling dangerously low in your body?
Well, the best food sources of natural Vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, organ meats, and some mushrooms (some portobella mushrooms and maitake mushroom are fairly good sources of vitamin D).
But what I do to make sure I'm at least getting a decent amount of the best absorbed vitamin D is to take a SMALL dose of cod liver oil daily in the deepest months of winter to make sure my vitamin D levels don't fall too low.  Make sure to take only small doses of cod liver oil (enough for 50% to 100% DV of vitamin D), as large doses can give you an overdose of Vitamin A.   I take about half to 2/3rds of the recommended dose on the bottle.
I'm also a big fan of Prograde Nutrition's natural VGF-25 multi-vitamin, which derives it's vitamin D from natural fish liver oil instead of a synthetic form of vitamin D.  All of the other vitamins in VGF-25 (which stands for "25 veggies, greens, and fruits") are naturally derived too instead of most multi-vitamins that you find at your corner store that are synthetic.
FYI - The synthetic version of Vitamin D is ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), while the natural form is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). By the way, fortified milk has added D2, not D3... so that's NOT a good source.  In fact, I don't trust any "fortified" foods at all, including crappy breakfast cereals which claim to be good sources of vitamin D... not so!
2. Garlic to strengthen your immune system!
Garlic is one of the most potent of all superfoods!  Not only does high dose garlic go back thousands of years for treatment of sickness, but recent studies back up the legendary claims for boosting your immune system.
What's best though -- "aged" garlic pills, whole garlic in foods, capsules, etc?  I can't seem to find a consensus on this one, so what I simply try to do is use a variety of sources, including garlic powder on a lot of my foods, fresh chopped garlic in meals, and also a garlic capsule or two each day.
If I feel a possible cold or sickness coming on, I really start loading garlic into my foods heavily and I take a few extra garlic capsules that day too.

3. Kombucha tea strengthens immune system
Kombucha tea is a fermented tea (naturally effervescent) that contains billions of friendly gut organisms (probiotics) that help to strengthen your immune system by bolstering your levels of good organisms in your gut.
Remember that 70% of your immune system lies in your gut and the health of the friendly organisms in there to protect you against pathogens and sickness.
You can find bottles of Kombucha tea at health food stores such as Whole Foods.
When I feel any sickness coming on, I start loading up on Kombucha tea, drinking it throughout the day. It has a strong taste, so I mix it with my normal iced teas at 1/3 Kombucha and 2/3 regular iced tea.  I've started seeing other probiotic drinks on the market recently too, so just make sure to look for one that has very minimal sugar per serving (3-6 grams per 8 oz serving is acceptable, but much more than that is too sugary).

4. Green tea, Chamomile Tea, and other teas
There is evidence that green tea and chamomile tea can help aid in strengthening the immune system.
Even if the effect is small, you can't go wrong because both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea.
For that reason, I try to drink a couple cups of green tea with a small bit of raw honey early in the day, and then at night, I have a couple cups of chamomile tea.
This isn't a bad idea even for a regular habit, but it's even more important when you feel a sickness possibly coming on.  I also drink a lot of other teas too such as Rooibos tea, which is thought to be even higher in antioxidants than green tea.

5. Loading up on antioxidants
We already know how important antioxidants are to overall health as well as immune system support.
For this reason, I make sure to really load up on antioxidant-rich fruits, berries, unsweetened cocoa (in smoothies, etc), and veggies to help prevent sickness.
I also make sure to take my daily Longevity Antioxidant blend from my friends at Prograde, which is a powerful synergistic antioxidant mixture of green tea, wolfberry, acai berry, Biovin grape, coffeeberry, and pomegranate.
I get that here:  Prograde Longevity Synergistic Antioxidant blend

6. Light exercise (yes - light exercise, not hard)
When you feel a sickness coming on, a super-high intensity workout is not a good idea, as hard training forces the body to do a lot of recovery, this at a time when your body needs all of it's efforts on trying to fight off the oncoming sickness.
Although I usually recommend high intensity training, when sickness might be coming on, it's just a good idea to get some light exercise instead.
Personally, I like to get outside for some fresh air and go for a hike or go snowshoeing. These aren't very strenuous for me, so they won't cause my body to be forced to do a lot of recovery... but just getting out in the fresh air and getting the circulation going I feel is good to help the body fight off the sickness.

7. Avoid ALL processed foods and sweetened soft drinks
If you're serious about your health and getting lean for life, this should be an everyday rule for you anyway (except maybe for cheat meals)...
However, when you might have a sickness coming on, this is no time to bombard your body with processed foods, inflammatory omega-6 oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc), fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars, and chemical additives.
All of these force your body to do extra work to deal with all of this junk and the internal inflammation that they cause in your body.
Instead, this is a time that you need to give your body only wholesome unprocessed foods that are only 1 ingredient...fruits, berries, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, etc.
These 7 tips will go a LONG way to helping to ward off that sickness that is trying to get a hold of you... Here's to a healthy strong body!
Note: I'm not a doctor, and none of these tips are prescriptions for any individual person... they are simply the steps I've personally used over the years to successfully fight off sickness pretty much every single time.  Again, I haven't been legitimately sick in at LEAST 6 or 7 years now that I use these steps!
Please feel free to share this page with your friends and family to keep them healthy and strong...

  Also read:


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shiatsu pressure points

Regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives.
Shiatsu is a Japanese word. It means ‘finger pressure’. A Shiatsu treatment does however incorporate the use not only of finger pressure, but also thumbs, palms, knees, forearms, elbows and feet. Pressure is applied to the areas of energy lines (meridians) to promote good health by 'stimulating the body's energy flow (Ki)'.

Shiatsu can also assist an individual with their self development and self healing; balancing the underlying causes of a condition; taking into account the functioning of the physical and psychological; promoting health and strengthening the body’s own healing abilities.

1.Relieve insomnia by massaging the face. Press the thumb between the eyes at the arch of the nose. Hold the thumb steady for several seconds and release. Repeat several times. This will ease tension in the face and allow relaxation to come more freely. 

2. Escape from anxiety is something everyone desires but rarely achieves. To reduce anxiety, use the knuckles to mildly tap across the top of the head. Don't be forceful and be sure to keep a steady rhythm. This technique is also said to bring courage.

3. Regulating metabolism doesn't have to be left to diet and excercise alone. Try placing your index finger below the nose at a right angle. Rub side to side and repeat twelve times. Not only does this method stimulate metabolism, it is thought to increase confidence as well.

4. Pressure and stiffness in the back can be caused by sitting at a desk too long. Gain strength and energy by standing up and placing hands on the waist. With thumbs pointing upwards on the back, steadily apply pressure in an up and down motion on either side of the spine.


5. Get the energy flowing by separating the toes with one hand, then squeezing each toe between the thumb and index finger. This allows energy to flow from the feet all the way to the chest.

6. Give yourself a foot massage while stretching the quads and aligning the spine. Kneel all the way down resting on the feet. Press the thumbs into the soles of the feet to massage the arches and balls of the feet. This helps with relaxation and improves balance.

 More points:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Acupuncture (acupressure) points on dogs and cats.

When the points shown here in the chart, 
are stimulated via touch or pressure,
they bring harmony to the Stomach, Spleen, Liver and Gall Bladder and other parts of the body.

An unbalance in the organs of the digestive tract will manifest itself in frequent burping, gas, runny stools, poor assimilation of food and loss of appetite, this is just a partial list of problems.
You may also observe that your dog is lethargic and has no interest in play-time. They might also have a sad look and seem as though they can not get comfortable.

Every one of the points shown  corresponds to an organ that is important for a healthy digestive tract. The one exception is CV. This stands for "Conception Vessel" and it is not an organ, but rather a meridian that runs from under the tail towards the head and ends at the center of the lower lip. The companion meridian is the "Governing Vessel" which goes in the opposite direction, starting at the center of the upper lip then ending at the base of the tail.By working along the meridians and paying special attention to these points, balance and harmony can be returned.

In addition to using acupressure massage for regulating blood and qi, we will also be able to address any emotional issues the animal may be experiencing at the time since the stomach meridian is also associated with worry, fear and sadness.

GV26 nose point

Around the eye.

Meridians on the scull. 

The Ear. 

 Points in the neck

All Points.

 Points often used.

Cat's points are similar to the dog's.

..and Horses have theirs.

Paw points.

Dogs and humans appear to react to the needling of acu-points similar. Horses, cats, birds and other highly reactive animal species may respond even better to it.
This ancient, complementary treatment method is becoming more and more popular in veterinary practice.

It is used successfully to treat:
  • Chronic pain
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Digestive disorders
  • Skin problems
  • Wound healing
  • Neurological diseases
... just to mention a few.

Dogs that suffer from chronic pain can feel usually after a few sessions relief and fading of pain.
Acupuncture for canines can help to improve wound healing and pain control in the management of post-operative rehabilitation... ... so that way the dosage of pain killers and the duration of their intake can be reduced considerably.

"Doesn't it hurt being needled?" - This is an often asked question.

Most dogs don't seem to feel the needle insertion. Most humans neither...Usually they connect a treatment session with a positive, relaxing and calming experience.

They often become very sleepy during or after treatment. (There are even reports of dog owners who say that their pet had slept for a day or two after having had acupuncture...)
Some dogs might feel or appear in the first days after an initial session worse, than they had been before. This effect is also known in homeopathy and is called there an initial aggravation. I saw this effect happen in a few cases and after successive sessions patients have improved very much.
As a complementary treatment for a dog acupuncture offers an interesting and safe approach to the treatment of a various conditions.

Keep in mind, though, that it is not a cure-all and some dogs will respond only poorly or not at all to a treatment.

Pain relief for dogs and cats is one of the most challenging aspects of animal health care.
Knowing which solution best serves your pet will help to avoid potentially serious side-effects caused by administering a pain relief pill you bought over the counter and may not know enough about.
It is best to have some cat-specific emergency pain relief pill or oral solution at hand, so try to prepare before these events happen and have a small first-aid kit at home.
  • Always keep in mind that cats and small dogs are NO  children and therefore never use human  pain medicine for feline and  K9 pain relief as this can cause really bad side effects.
  • Aspirin is not suitable for pain relief for cats. Even the smallest piece of a normal human tablet, given once or twice, can cause fatalities.

Qi directs and coordinates the flow of energy that is present in all life forms.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You are what you have.

Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers are Arabic and your letters are Latin, 
and you complain your neighbour is an immigrant? 
Get yourself together ..............!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


 There are still so many people struggling with their identity.  They know they were adopted as a little child, some even carry memories of that early periode in their youth. But often a lot of information got lost, which made it hard to search and find for original roots in faraway countries with their foreign languages. Since the Internet opened their doors everthing goes faster and easier, we have access to almost everything we are interested in. It's an overwhelming source of info and every second more is added, faster than we can read it....

Many adoptive children  originate from warzones, often the parents and other family members were killed or were spread all over the country to flee the atrocities of war.  These children had to cope with another culture, another language, other parents, other food and habits. And how about their different looks..?? Almond eyes, dark skin and black hair, most of them halfbreeds . Enemy or liberator, they both spread their seed and created  unwanted children. These were the ones to go up for adoption first....!!!
Now, 50 - 60 years later all those people are given more access to info than ever before, but they have to hurry otherwise the family they are looking far might be 'extinct', I mean we're taking about 80+ oldies, howmany are still alive?

'Facebook', the largest social network in the world with 600 million accounts, not only connects friends but also reaches a possibility to find lost family members. Searching by Name, Hometown or Current City, School, Work and Interests opens many a new window. Since I'm on FB I was able to trace so many old colleagues and friends from the past, and still adding new...!Now this:
 Don Gordon Bell

A good personal friend of mine, Don Gordon Bell,  has to deal with this. He tells all about it on his blog: Korean War Baby. In his search for relatives he noticed he wasn't the only one, many others like him  Googled the Net for the same reasons. This week (feb 1, 2011) Don started a new profile on Facebook to set-up a new Adoptee Registry search page.

 I like to share this link with everybody who is looking for lost contacts in Korea.

Adult Adoptee Survey | Speaker's Bureau | Adoptee Resources February 2011

International Forum

Holt International and Adoptees For Children are hosting an International Forum in Washington D.C. April 13-16, 2011. In addition to adoption professionals and adult adoptees, there will be international guests from a variety of countries. For more information and Forum registration at http://www.holtinternational.org/conference/internationalForum/overview.shtml.

Please forward information about this event to your networks. We look forward to seeing you there!

Holt Adoptee Camp Counselor

We are looking for
enthusiastic adult adoptees to be camp staff with us this summer.  The staff is required to work with Holt for five weeks from July 12-August 13.  This time includes 1 week of staff training before camps begin.  Once the camp season is under way, we’ll travel together across the country to serve hundreds of transracial and international adoptees.  Through organized small group times and everyday interactions, you’ll have the opportunity to mentor the campers while helping them grow and be their best.
How to apply
If you’re interested in being a Holt camp staff person, register online at http://www.holtinternational.org/camp/staffAppl.shtmlFor more information about the program or counselor responsibilities, please contact Steve Kalb stevek@holtintl.org or Michael Tessier michaelt@holtintl.org for details.

Holt Homecoming Program
Mapo-gu Office and Holt Children's Services, Inc. have joined forces to develop and present their Homecoming Program that is designed exclusively for Korean Adoptees; the goal is to provide assistance for individuals who want to live and work in Korea. Our objective is to facilitate opportunities for adoptees to better understand their Motherland while building networks with other adoptees as-well-as native Koreans. Our hope is that the Homecoming Program will help participants understand their Korean identities while providing a home base for adoptees during their stay in Korea.

The program is a paid three-month position with Holt Children's Services, Inc. For more information and application contact Courtney Rader, Adult Adoptee Director at courtneyr@holtintl.org.

 IIIHR Adult Adoptee Program
The IIIHR program is a non-profit educational institution attached to Inje University, located in Gimhae, Gyeonngnam Providence, Korea. The program invites Koreans, who were adopted as children into overseas families, to live on campus for a semester, to study the Korean language, history, and culture, and to attend short trips to different cultural or historical sites around the country for a 16 week stay at Inje University.

The IIIHR program will be having its 10th anniversary in 2011. Since the program was established, we have had 170 students from 12 different countries. The program is based on respecting life, an educational principle at Inje University, and was created for Koreans who were adopted at an early age overseas.

Applications are being accepted for the 2011 Spring (2nd of March to 10th of June) and 2011 Fall (29th of August to 9th of December). Tuition is $600 USD and covers classes, housing, cafeteria meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and day trips to cultural and historical sites for the whole semester. Flight not included. Classes are approximately 10 students in size and taught in English. Students will live on campus with a Korean roommate, attend classes, and have access to Inje University's student organizations, weight training gyms, library, and computers. Applications are due February 11, 2011 for both Spring and Fall semesters.

For more information and application download "2011 Inje University IIIHR Program" or contact IIIHR@hotmail.com

National Institute for International Education (NIIED)
The Korean Government Scholarship Program is designated to provide higher education in Korea for international students, with the aim of promoting international exchange in educations, as well as mutual friendship amongst the participating countries. Adult adoptees are encouraged to apply.
Master and Doctoral scholarships require at least Level 3 of the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). Both programs offer 1 year language study prior to start Master's or Doctoral programs.
Scholarship includes:

-Airfare: Round-trip economy class ticket.=
-Monthly Allowance: 900,000 won (KRW) per month
-Research Allowance: 210,000 won for scholars in the humanities and social sciences and 240,000 won for scholars in natural and mechanic sciences per semester
-Relocation Allowance: 200,000 won upon arrival
-Language Training Fee: full coverage
-Tuitions: All admission fees are waived by the host institution, tuition is paid by NIIED
-Dissertation Printing Costs: 500,000 to 800,000 won depending on the actual costs
-Medical Insurance: 15,000 won per month will be provided (limited coverage)
-Special funding for scholars who are proficient in the Korean language (TOPIK Level 5 or 6) will receive 100,000 per month (commencing from the degree program)

For full description, requirements, and application visit NIEED's website at NIEED International Scholarship

Holt International Children's Services - PO Box 2880 - Eugene, OR 97402 
Phone: 1-888-355-4658 - Web:  http://www.holtinternational.org/