Tag Archives: Happy

3 Tips for Prostate Health

As men get older, the possibility of having an enlarged prostate can become a reality. It’s estimated that about half of men who are just 50 years old have an enlarged prostate (also called BPH, for benign prostatic hyperplasia). BPH can lead to symptoms like difficulty starting or stopping urination, increased frequency or urgency of urination, bladder infections, formations of kidney stones, to name a few.

So, how can you decrease your symptoms of BPH or even lessen the likelihood of getting them? There are a number of things, but here are 3 quick tips!

1)    soyHave some soy – soy has lots of good nutrients, and one of them is beta-sitosterol. This has the same mechanism of action as a common medication prescribed for BPH, and has been shown in studies to decrease BPH symptoms. A 3.5 oz serving a day of soybeans or tofu can significantly lower symptoms.

2)    Get moving – physical activity has been well shown to decrease BPH tmillsymptoms. Even moderate physical activity such as household chores, yard work, has been associated with decrease symptoms. And it’s dose dependent too – the more active you are, the less likely you will get symptoms!

3)    Consider going herbal – Pygeum africanum is an extract from an African prune tree that has been shown to decrease symptoms of BPH in a number of studies. crush herbThere are other herbal extracts that have shown beneficial effects as well, and this is one of the best studied. Pygeum has a good safety profile, but as with any prescriptions, you want to check with a professional to make sure the form and dose are right for you and that there won’t be any interactions with any medications you are on.

There are lots of diet, lifestyle, herbal and nutraceuticals options to help keep the prostate happy. And isn’t that the saying – happy prostate, happy household?

blue ribbon

Happy Movember everyone!

Dr. Alan Vu, ND

References:
1) Ambrosini et al. 2008. Dietary patterns and surgically treated benign prostatic hyperplasia: a case control study in Western Australia. BJU Int. 2008 Apr;101(7):853-60.
2) Fowke et al. 2013. Association between physical activity, lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and prostate volume. BJU Int. 2013 Jan;111(1):122-8.
3) Wilt at al. 2002. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1)

Yup, we are talking about… Breast Massage!

Boob’s, Ta-Ta’s, The Girls, Jugs, (one I just learned) B1 and B2! Whatever you call them, if you are a woman; they are your life long companions and can be a source of great joy…and pain.

With this in mind, I want to mention two words that you don’t always hear together in a sentence, Breast and Massage. Yup, we are talking about… Breast Massage!

MassageOur breasts are constantly changing throughout our lifetime in size, shape, and function. If you’ve ever worn a bra, have a desk job, or been in a car accident…had any chest or breast surgeries including implants, reductions, mastectomy, cyst removals or biopsies…if you’re pregnant or breast feeding, even if you are bottle feeding and holding an infant in your arms for long periods of time…then you can benefit from Breast or Pectoral Massage!

A breast is primarily composed of adipose tissue (fatty tissue) and glandular tissue (assists in lactation.) There is an important network of lymph glands surrounding your breast that acts as a natural drainage system and aids in waste removal. The breast overlies many major muscles of the chest wall (covering 50% of the pectoral muscle) which play important roles in posture, arm movement and breathing.

For healthy, happy breasts we need good circulation of blood and lymph to remove toxins that accumulate within the tissue of the breast. These “Toxins” can be waste from the constantly changing cells within the breast due to hormonal surges each month or from environmental toxins which, unfortunately for us, end up being very compatible with fatty tissue (aka breast tissue). Congestion within the breast adds to this build up of toxins. Wearing under-wire or push up bras can be a contributing factor to breast congestion as can scar tissue, poor posture, large breasts or fibrocystic breasts.

Bloodstream
Breast Massage increases circulation of blood and lymph through the tissues, aiding in reducing swelling from surgeries, increasing pliability of scar tissue, decreasing soreness due to hormonal fluctuations as well as promoting better posture and range of motion in the upper body. Not only are we increasing the circulation of the breast tissue we are also affecting the important muscles of the chest as well!

Most clients complain of upper back and neck pain, so their massage therapist will usually concentrate on those areas. However, I think it is easy to forget about how much the pectoral muscles come into play with this type of pain. Some therapists, along with their clients, don’t have enough experience with this type of treatment so can feel uncomfortable treating the area. Although breast tissue is touched during the massage, most of the work is to the side and edges of the breast as that is where the lymph nodes are located. The nipple or nipple area is never massaged. Breast massage can be done with both breasts covered by the sheet, partial coverage or with one undraped and the other covered. It’s all about what the client and therapist are comfortable with.Breast Feed

Breast massage can be an emotional experience for some clients. In my practice, I’ve discovered that many people hold emotions in the chest and abdominal areas. Events and memories you didn’t realize were upsetting you can come up during a breast massage. Not just the obvious but any emotional trauma, health scares or missing loved ones. With this in mind, please be sure to find a therapist you feel safe and comfortable with.

Many women are surprised to find that a Breast Massage can be as comfortable and relaxing as a back massage, making you feeling happier and healthier than before you walked into the clinic and can leave you with the knowledge you’re doing something positive for your body.

Massage, it’s as important as going to the dentist but much more relaxing!