Author: admin

12 Jul

Synotrophin-HGH Review

Have you been an athlete all your life? Maybe you swam, ran track, or played soccer growing up. However, as you age, your skin has started to sag, pounds are slowly piling on and your sex drive has decreased by leaps and bounds within the last few years.

Instead of giving into your aging body and being frustrated by your inability to see results with your workouts and aggravated sex life, you may consider trying an all-natural HGH supplement that claims to be able to help reverse the effects of aging. Synotrophin-HGH claims to be one of these supplements. Let’s take a closer look and see if Synotrophin-HGH is able to live up to this powerful claim and help you achieve your weight loss and workout goals. My sources.

What is Synotrophin-HGH?

Synotrophin-HGH is an HGH booster that uses natural ingredients in order to provide you with the safest and most effective results. Synotrophin-HGH is made using GHRP. GHRP stands for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide and it has the ability to increase the body’s natural production of HGH. It works by targeting the pituitary gland, which is the body’s natural producer of HGH. The goal of targeting this gland is to up its production of HGH.

Additionally, GHRP claims to boost metabolism and enhances appetite. If you are looking to lose weight, this may obviously not be the product for your, however, if you are a bodybuilder, whose primary aim is to build muscle, you know that extra calories are necessary to get the results you’re looking for.

GHRP isn’t the only included ingredient. Also found in Synotrophin-HGH are:

  • Niacin
  • L-Arginine
  • GABA

L-Arginine is known for its ability to help increase blood circulation. GABA has been long used as a sleep aid and relaxation agent. According to manufacturers, studies have also shown that GABA can increase HGH.

Lastly, Niacin is an ingredient that is often used to decrease the occurrence of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body and may also have HGH boosting properties.

As you may have noticed, HGH production is secondary on the list of the things that these ingredients are able to do. This is not always a bad thing, however, in this case, it seems that this secondary function is not very effective and leaves us questioning whether or not any HGH increasing results will actually be seen because of the inclusion of any of these ingredients.

Additional Information about Synotrophin-HGH

It appears that there have been studies done that have tested the use of the primary active ingredient GHRP with the use of insulin which have proved to be highly effective in increasing HGH levels. However, we have been unable to find any conclusive evidence that this specific product is able to produce HGH boosting effects.

Additionally, the retail price of Synotrophin-HGH is $79.99 and does not come with any kind of satisfaction guarantee, leading us to believe that the manufacturers don’t have a lot of confidence in their product.

In Conclusion

We don’t believe that Synotrophin-HGH is worth your time and money. There are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to both safety and effectiveness of this product and for now we believe there are other products that can produce more proven results for a much more affordable price.

14 Jun

Kaivalyadhamas Yoga Therapy for Back Pain

During our stay at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital, the facility’s resident physican, Dr. Bhalekar, gave an hour lecture on Yoga and the treatment of back pain due to spondylosis.  He did a great job of explaining things and provided a basic program of therapy.  Here’s a recap.

Essentially, spondylosis is a general term for the degenerative changes of the spine that tend to come with aging.  The disks between the vertebrae, which usually act like spongy jelly-filled donuts to cushion the bones, get dehydrated, squished, and narrowed.  Sometimes they pop out in places along their circumference.  When they do, the disks can compress nerves and even the spinal column itself.  Bone spurs form.  The spurs can also narrow the spinal canal and compress nerve roots.  The facet joints, the spaces between the posterior connecting points of the vertebrae, narrow.  The bones may then rub against each other causing arthritic pain.

Dr. ­­­­Bhalekar recommends that anyone suffering from an acute episode of back pain lie down in makarasana for twenty minutes.  In this asana, you simply lie on your stomach with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and rest your head on your forearms for a pillow.

To do any more than that, he suggests waiting at least four weeks before starting a program of Yoga after any sudden injury or severe pain.

His program includes:

  1. Niralambasana – on your stomach on the floor with your chin cradled in your hands similar to sphinx pose
  2. Ardha Shalabhasana – the locust pose on your stomach with hands at your sides and then extend each leg upward for five seconds at a time
  3. Bhujangasana –  the cobra pose on your stomach with the torso raised upwards and resting on your hands with elbows slightly bent for 30 seconds repeated three times.
  4. Marjarasana – the cat pose – on your hands and knees intermittently arching and rounding your back, then a variation with the extension of each leg straight out behind for a few seconds each
  5. Supta tadasana – flat on your back, reaching and stretching above your head with your hands and pointing your toes for a full length stretch of the body
  6. Pavanamuktasana – the wind releasing pose – on your back on the floor with your knees bent and brought up together to the chest holding them with the hands or even grasping opposite elbows if possible
  7. Pavanamuktasana variation in which you keep the back flat on the floor but roll the hips and bent knees to each side for a few seconds
  8. Konasana – standing with one hand on the hip and the opposite one stretched over the head, bending laterally as far to the hand held hip side as possible.

The avoidance of the back bend, chakrasana, and rajakapotanasana is recommended for anyone with a history of back pain due to spondylosis or disk injury.  Sun salutations, more vigorous exercises done quickly, are also best avoided when there’s been a history of injury or trauma.

As with many different styles of Yoga, the asanas at Kaivalyadhama have their own names, and they cant always be matched to poses in other styles.  For Yoga therapy patients with a history of spondylosis, Dr. Bhalekar provides a summary paper of these asanas with photographs of their demonstration.  The papers may then be used as a reference for continued home practice.

For others, the publishing department may be contacted here to order asana charts and books with photographs.  They also have a specific title related to back pain, Notes on Back Care

11 Jun

Butt Pain and food

Dora is a 36-year-old woman who recently began jogging and practicing Yoga. Gradually pain has developed deep in her left buttock. She describes the pain as an ache, and its aggravated by climbing stairs and running. Sometimes she feels pain in the back of her thigh and lower leg or a weird feeling on the side of her left foot. She hasnt taken any over-the-counter pain medicine for it, explaining that she doesnt like to take medicine. She wants to know whats wrong with her and how to fix it naturally without pills or surgery.

On physical examination, there is tenderness elicited over the left sciatic notch when pressure is applied with the thumb. When lying on the right side, lifting the left leg up is painful.

Diagnosis

Piriformis Syndrome

Usually pain in the sciatic nerve distribution is attributed to compression of the nerve by a slipped disk in the spine. An MRI may be done, and it may even show just that.

Two out of three adults pulled off the street randomly and offered an MRI of their lower back will have that same abnormality. The vast majority of them dont have pain. Its hard to be sure if symptoms are caused by the ruptured disk or irritation elsewhere along the course of the sciatic nerve.

Thats precisely what happens in Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle that runs from the sacrum of the spine to the outer aspect of the thigh bone underneath the big butt muscle, the gluteus maximus. On its way it passes through the sciatic notch of the pelvic bone. The sciatic nerve also passes through the notch below the piriformis muscle.

In Piriformis Syndrome, the sciatic nerve gets compressed or irritated by movement of the piriformis muscle rubbing against it with resulting inflammation. It can cause a chronic pain syndrome that lasts for years without appropriate recognition and therapy. Sometimes there is a precipitating trauma or bruise to the hip or buttock. Sometimes there is a history of a recent increase in activity, particularly jogging. Occasionally frequent and repetitive forward bends with straight legs, such as with padhastasana or paschimottanasana, appear to trigger or unmask it. Prolonged sitting is also a risk factor due to direct compression.

What to do:

  1. First, what NOT to do. Forward bends with the legs straight, both standing and sitting poses, stretch the sciatic nerve and may increase pain and irritation. Avoid them for six to eight weeks.
  2. Dont sit for more than 20 minutes at once. Set a timer while on the computer or doing whatever at a desk. Get up and move around for a few minutes to relieve compression and improve blood flow to the area.
  3. If a repetitive motion, like initiation of a daily jogging routine, seems to have triggered the symptoms, stop doing it. Give the body a chance to heal itself of the inflammation without continuing aggravation.
  4. Concentrate on the following asanas during Yoga practice. If possible, do at least one of the three every two hours.
    1. Gomukhasana
    2. Raja Kapotasana
    3. Matsyendrasana with minimal torso twist
  5. Continue the program for six to eight weeks even if feeling better in order to ensure complete healing and avoid re-injury.

 

References:

Boden SD et al. Abnormal magnetic resonance scans of lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. J Bone Join Surg Am 72:403-408, 1990.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/87545-overview

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000401/2109.html

30 May

Yoga and Back Pain

Just about everybody experiences back pain at one time or another. It’s one of the most frequent reasons for visiting a primary care doctor’s office.

The most common diagnosis for low back pain is lumbar strain and spasm. Damage to back muscles and ligaments most frequently occurs by lifting and twisting at the same time, but the slightest sudden movement can result in crippling back pain.

Sometimes a disc between the back bones ‘slips’ and causes sciatica, a radiating pain into the leg. Arthritis can develop in the facet joints, tiny joints linking one back bone to the next. Postural problems, injuries and conditions like scoliosis can all contribute to poor alignment of the back bones with resulting pain.

Even though back pain is so common, modern medicine does a pretty poor job of healing it. Too many people end up having surgeries that don’t help and worsening chronic pain that won’t resolve even with strong narcotic pain medication. With back pain, self healing and prevention of future episodes are keys to a happy back.

The trick is to keep back muscles strengthened, stretched and relaxed through a program of Yoga therapy that also nourishes the discs between the vertebrae, or back bones, and strengthens abdominal and other core muscles.

 

 

Yoga and Back Pain

Yoga and back pain are a good fit. Research studies show that Yoga therapy reduces pain, improves ability to function in daily tasks, and improves the ability to control pain levels which decreases feelings of helplessness and depression. In one study 88 percent of a Yoga therapy group either reduced the amount of medication they were taking or eliminated it completely compared to only 35 percent of controls.(1,2)

How Yoga Can Help Your Back

  • Improves posture
  • Relaxes and stretches tense muscles
  • Addresses the manomaya kosha, the emotional and mental body, that contributes to and sometimes creates perceived pain
  • Strengthens core muscle groups
  • Nourishes discs by helping them to imbibe, or soak up, needed nutrients
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Brings awareness of alignment

What to Do If You Have Back Pain

  • You may need to see a physician to rule out infection, neurological problems, fractures and cancer. While they are rare causes of back pain, they shouldn’t be missed. Please realize though that a good work-up by a primary care physician does NOT mean that Xrays, MRIs and CTs are necessary and their inappropriate use can even be harmful. A good history and physical done by an appropriately trained physician is usually all that is needed.
  • Science suggests that the fastest recoveries are made by those who begin physical therapy the day of an injury or the day after. It follows that the same is true for Yoga therapy. Bed rest is no longer recommended. Be gentle at first, move slowly, and don’t push for extreme postures.
  • Find a Yoga therapist or qualified Yoga teacher nearby for individualized guidance, at least initially.
  • Maintain a daily (or at least thrice weekly) home program to prevent further injury and pain. Here is Kaivalyadhama’s Yoga therapy program for back pain. The institution of Kaivalyadhama is one of India’s oldest and most respected Yoga therapy hospitals. Or here is free podcast by my yogi friend, Satyam, at Renaissance Yoga.

References:

  1. Williams K et al. Therapeutic applications of Iyengar yoga for healing chronic low back pain. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2003; 13:55-67.
  2. Sherman KJ et al. Comparing Yoga, exercise, and a self care book for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Dec 20; 143:849-56.
19 May

Inversions During Menstruation?

Whipstitch Chronicles just published a nice blog reviewing information currently on the internet about the hazards of doing inverted postures while menstruating.

Overall, the blog was great, but I have an objection to one line.

The medical perspective has basically verified that there is no reason to fear that inverted poses during menses will increase a woman’s risk factor for developing endometriosis, a painful pelvic condition that can lead to infertility.

This is so not true.

I understand where she gets it. In the Yoga journals a medical doctor once quoted some (at the time – a decade or so ago) cutting edge research about the cause of endometriosis that pointed to factors other than retrograde flow as causative. The studies referred to determined that migrated stem cells within the pelvic cavity developed into endometrial tissue. Now we know those stem cells likely come from the endometrial layer of the uterus   from retrograde flow. Others docs have said that most women have some backwards flow but that not all women develop endometriosis. Thats true. There are other factors working in concert, but retrograde flow is a risk factor and the more backward flow, the more likely one is to develop disease.

Although we still don’t really know for sure what makes some women have the disease and not others, Samspons 1927 theory of retrograde menstruation remains the prevailing scientific hypothesis for what causes endometriosis. Its complicated, and other factors play a part- things like genetics, epigenetics, immune function, environmental toxins like dioxins, etc.

For sure, women who have more frequent periods, those who bleed heavier, and those with a blockage to normal flow through the vagina are the most likely to develop endometriosis. That indicates the amount of backward flow is important in development. Quantity matters. Baboon studies back this up the more endometrial tissue in the pelvic cavity, the more likely you are to develop disease.

“While there are no studies looking specifically at whether or not women who practice inversions during their periods are more likely to develop endometriosis (arguably a very difficult study to really do well), prudence is wise. Anyone with a personal or family history of endometriosis should never do inversions while on their period. Other women need to be careful too, especially during the days of heaviest flow. If they choose to invert during menses, then time in the posture should be limited to one minute.”

The longer time spent inverted and the heavier the flow, the more likely there is to be retrograde drainage of endometrium into the pelvic cavity. The presence of endometrial cells in the pelvic cavity in sufficient quantity increases the risk for endometriosis.

These consequences, of course, arent observable right away. You may feel fine right after spending 20 minutes in sirsasana during the time of heaviest menstrual flow, but youve possibly just begun a cascade of changes that ultimately lead to a debilitating and painful disease, one that often leads to infertility.

7 May

Top Yoga Food: Barley


When I think of barley, two things come to mind…

beer and MOMOS!

Almost all beer includes the malted form of this grain as its starch. And momos? They’re dumplings made from tsampa, a flour that is the main carbohydrate source for most Tibetans.

  1. and I ate plenty of momos when we were traveling in Tibet in 2006. We were far in the west, making a pilgrimage around Mount Kailash. It was high and cold, beyond the point of growth for most veggies and beyond much of civilization. Barley flour, cabbage, potatoes, and rice were our main foods – anything to avoid yak, yak grease, and heavy yak buttermilk.

Even though barley reminds me of my time in Tibet and south Asia, I was surprised to see it on the list of recommended food for yogis in the Gheranda Samhita. But, of course, there were great Tibetan Buddhist yogis like Milarepa and Padmasambhava. I bet they ate their fill of tsampa. Others, too.

And with good reason. Barley is a health food, particularly the hulled type, which is a whole grain, unlike the pearled variety. Epidemiological studies have shown that populations eating whole grains are less likely to develop type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

This month a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials of the effects of barley consumption on cholesterol levels was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors found a highly statistically significant lowering of LDL cholesterol levels in people who regularly eat barley, and they recommend adding barley to the diet to help to control cholesterol levels. I think that’s a great idea – anything to lower the amount of drugs taken or maybe to get off cholesterol-lowering medications entirely.

Consumption of barley may also help to stave off the development of type 2 diabetes, and it can help diabetics to control their blood sugar levels. Barley, and other whole grain cereal products rich in indigestible carbs, improves blood sugar levels by raising levels of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) like butyrate. The carbs that can’t be digested in the small intestine are fermented in the colon by bacteria, producing SCFA. SCFA act on cells in the pancreas to help control insulin release, and they work in the liver to control glycogen breakdown. SCFA can also stimulate the expression of genes that code for glucose transporters in the intestine, helping to decrease the amount of sugar absorbed.

Barley suppresses appetite, an effect of increasing health importance as the world population grows more and more obese. Obesity is a major preventable risk factor for serious health problems, second only to smoking cigarettes in the damage it concurs on our population. A study published last year concluded that consumption of whole grain high-fiber barley foods significantly decreased hunger whereas whole wheat and refined rice foods did not.

One cup of cooked barley added to your favorite vegetable soup adds 6 grams of fiber to the diet, providing one quarter of the body’s daily need. That fiber not only provides the health benefits outlined above, it also improves colon function and decreases constipation to keep you regular.

One cup of barley also has 4 grams of protein, 12 % of the body’s daily need for iron, and 20% of the body’s need for selenium. It’s packaged naturally with high levels of B vitamins.

Here’s a hearty, healthy winter soup to try:

  • ½ cup dry, hulled barley
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 chopped celery sticks
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp dry red pepper
  • 6 to 8 cups of water

Bring all ingredients except spinach to a boil and then simmer covered for about an hour. Add spinach and simmer until wilted. Adapted from NewCenturyNutrition.com.

References:

Gheranda Samhita. Kaivalyadhama Institute edition. Lonavla, India. 1978.

Abumweis SS, Jew S, Ames NP. ?-glucan from barley and its lipid-lowering capacity: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;64(12):1472-80. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Nilsson AC, Östman EM, Knudsen KE, Holst JJ, Björck IM. A cereal-based evening meal rich in indigestible carbohydrates increases plasma butyrate the next morning. J Nutr. 2010 Nov;140(11):1932-6. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Schroeder N, Gallaher DD, Arndt EA, Marquart L. Influence of whole grain barley, whole grain wheat, and refined rice-based foods on short-term satiety and energy intake. Appetite. 2009 Dec;53(3):363-9. Epub 2009 Jul 28.