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How to reduce fluid retention


According to naturopath Rebekah Russell from Blackmores Australia, the following may help reduce fluid retention:

Dandelion leaf: This has been used traditionally for hundreds of years for its diuretic action. It can be enjoyed as a tea.

Vitamin B6: This may help relieve fluid retention and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including breast tenderness, mood changes, irritability and fatigue.

A broad-spectrum multivitamin: This ensures you meet the daily requirements of vitamins such as B1 (thiamine), B6, B5, D3, and the mineral calcium. These nutrients all aid body processes that are important for removing excess fluid.

Grape seed extract: Studies show this can help in the management of fluid retention associated with venous insufficiency, premenstrual syndrome, and the use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). It also helps relieve fluid retention, heaviness, pain and itching of the legs.

Ginkgo biloba: This is traditionally used to improve peripheral circulation (to the legs and other extremities), so it can be beneficial for people who experience fluid retention as a symptom of varicose veins.

NEXT: Fuel your body for exercise.


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Discovering complementary therapies



Osteopathy: Using observation and manipulation, the practitioner addresses any structural difficulties of movement which may affect the body and works towards realignment. May help with back or neck pain.

Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese therapy uses needles on specific meridian points, or ‘energy lines’, to address specific ailments and diseases. Based on the opposing forces of yin and yang. Can be used for a range of conditions including arthritis, allergies, asthma and insomnia.

Homoeopathy: Uses extremely diluted organic extracts. Based on the philosophy of ‘like cures like’ (not dissimilar to vaccines), homoeopathy is concerned with the underlying causes rather than the immediate symptoms. Has had good results in the treatment of colds, eczema, nausea and obesity.

Iridology: Analysing a person’s health by an examination of a person’s eye, specifically the iris. Often used by naturopaths and herbalists to identify the cause of a person’s illness.

Kinesiology: A system of muscle testing linked to the functions of organs and energy. Has been used in the treatment of allergies, depression, tiredness and back pain as well as identifying any vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Naturopathy: Looks at diet and lifestyle and may use numerous treatments including herbs, essential oil, extracts and natural supplements. The focus is on prevention and self-help.

Herbal Medicine: A sophisticated ‘complete’ medical approach that has many branches including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as traditional Western methods. Has been popularly used in Australia to treat skin conditions such as eczema as well as treating digestive problems and sexual difficulties.

Chiropractic: Similar to osteopathy but uses more direct thrusting movements to realign the body rather than gentle manipulation. May also employ X-rays for diagnosis. Most commonly used for back and neck pain and sports injuries.

Hypnosis: The patient is placed in a ‘trance-like’ state where the practitioner is able to address any hidden problems. Has been used as part of an effective treatment for phobias and addiction, particularly smoking.

Looking for more natural ways to combat certain health issues? Discover how to reduce bloating naturally.



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Tackling anxiety



The Problem: You often feel anxious, with negative thoughts and a racing heart. Frequently, your stomach feels queasy and occasionally you stop in the middle of the room and can’t remember what you’re doing. More and more, you find yourself in tears over the smallest things.

Mental Diagnosis: Anxiety. If the problem is ongoing, you could be diagnosed with GAD – generalised anxiety disorder. Your doctor will probably be keen to establish whether or not there has been any event in your life that may have triggered the psychological change, a death, break-up or another tragic event. If so, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder may be made.

Treatment for anxiety is wide ranging, from relaxation techniques and counselling to cognitive therapy and learning about what you are dealing with so you can problem-solve when anxiety arises. With anxiety, knowledge is definitely power.

Tranquilisers or antidepressants may be recommended by your GP, but usually only as a temporary measure while you’re getting your life back on track with other therapies.

Physical Diagnosis: Anxiety can have a dietary cause. Inadequate intake of B vitamins and calcium can promote anxiety and magnesium deficiency can certainly contribute towards anxiety, particularly noticeable when added to PMS. 

Anxiety can also potentially contribute towards bladder infections and, interestingly, a bladder infection can, in turn, trigger anxiety. The biochemical reaction can also work on the gut and bowel, leading to symptoms of IBS, bloating and diarrhoea.

Discover four breathing techniques that help reduce stress.



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5 ways to promote a healthy brain

Brain health - study desk - Women's Health and Fitness magazine




Meditation improves memory, increases brain size, improves cooperation between brain hemispheres and enhances emotional intelligence according to the Exploration of Consciousness Research Institute. A separate study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience concluded that participating in an eight-week meditation training program was evident in brain function outside of meditation sessions.

TRY IT: High Performance Coach Stephanie Kakris, who teaches meditation, recommends starting with a guided meditation using an app such as Relax and Rest, which gives five-, 13- or 20-minute options with music or nature sounds.

Whether cerebral exercises have any long-term effect on mental performance remains inconclusive, but play has been shown to hone brain processes neglected in routine-driven adult life. “The main problem is that although people can train themselves to do better on particular tasks, the performance improvement rarely generalises to other tasks and abilities,” says professor Nick Haslam, of the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

TRY IT: Neuroscientists have designed a series of games called Lumosity to help challenge certain parts of your brain. The online and smartphone resource let’s you exercise core cognitive abilities whenever and wherever you like.

There’s no greater smart sabotage than undersleeping. Conversely, fixing your sleep habits can give you an instant thinking edge. “Being well rested means you will use your cognitive skills more efficiently because tiredness, anxiety and stress interfere with mental clarity, focus and concentrated effort,” says Prof Haslam.

TRY IT: Sleeping for as little as an hour less than you need to each night incrementally nets a costly sleep debt according to studies at University of Pennsylvania and the Walter Reed Research Institute. Participants who slept for six hours a night for a fortnight exhibited cognitive parallels to being legally drunk. Aim for eight hours.

Vigorous physical exercise has been shown to have long- and short-term brain benefits. Findings published in Behavioural Brain Research suggest certain hormones, which are increased during exercise, may help improve memory and processing speed.

TRY IT: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity into most, if not all, days of the week. You can break it into short bouts such as three 10-minute sessions each day. 

If you’re the adventurous type, Anaconda is here to help you gear up with the latest sports, health and fitness gear. Give your brain a refreshing boost by getting fresh air and stimulate your brain’s function and boost development.

Networking serves as intensive training in social intelligence. “A big part of success in life is the ability to build strong interpersonal relationships – be they in a netball team, a family unit or at work,” says Kakris.

TRY IT Mixing with new people, ideas and environments exposes you to new ideas, ways of thinking and perspectives, which can expand the framework within which you think. Face-to-face is ideal, but social media can also serve as a sort of cognitive gym according to Florida behaviour therapist Andrea Kuszewski.

Here are 5 other tips to keep your brain healthy.



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