urveda translates from Sanskrit to English as The Science of Life.  It is the oldest healing tradition in the world, and was passed down orally from teacher to student for generations, before it was ever turned into text.  Ayurveda includes a wide range of disciplines, from diet to herbs to several different methods for diagnosis and more.  It is really quite fascinating!  What I wanted to show you today is an introduction to tongue diagnosis.

Tongue diagnosis stems from the idea that there are external parts of the body (like the tongue, eyes and fingernails) can give us a map as to what is going on inside the body both in a physical sense and in an emotional sense.  An advanced practitioner of tongue diagnosis can tell you pretty much everything that is going on with you just by looking at your tongue! Now I can’t give you that much information here, but I can give you a list of basic things to look for, in yourself and your friends!

Discover your Dosha

Ayurveda is based on the idea that each person is made up of the 5 elements.  From these five elements, we get the 3 constitutional types or “doshas” in Ayurvedic medicine.  Vata dosha is a mix of Air and Ether, Pita is a mix of Water and Fire, and Kapha is a mix of Water and Earth.  Each person has all three components, but generally one or two of them are more “dominant”  and this is that persons Prakriti or type.  Most people are a blend of two more dominant doshas.

You can tell your general type by looking at your tongue

Vata Types: Tend to have thin, long, pointed tongues.  They may have a slight quiver to them, and a vata person could have a hard time holding their tongue out for you.  When out of balance a vata tongue could be black or brown in colour

Pita:  A pita Tongue is generally quite wet and very red.  You may even notice raise red bumps on the tongue which indicate a pita aggravation.  When pita is out of balance, their tongue could be dark red or yellow-green.

Kapha:  A kappa tongue will be large, generally flat and possibly pale.  A kappa type person will have a steady tongue, and generally will not have a hard time holding their tongue out for you.  When kappa is out of balance their tongue could be pale in colour.

These are general markers, but they are also pretty accurate in getting a general idea of what the dominant dosha is in the person you’re looking at.

Tongue Analysis: Photo credit belongs to

Diagnosis – Here are a few simple things to look for

White foam over a concentrated area of the tongue, like the back of the tongue for example which would be over the area that represents the colon, indicates an issue in the organ that corresponds with that area of the tongue.  You can refer to the image to see where each organ is located on the tongue
Teeth marks in the sides of the tongue can indicate poor nutrient absorption
An indent in the tip of the tongue can indicate issues with the heart.  This can be physical issues with the heart or emotional issues ie. having a “broken heart” from a failed relationship.  Generally an indent indicates emotional issues, rather than physical.
Cracks all over the tongue can indicate chronic colon issues.
An overall white or yellow coating on the tongue indicates built up toxicity in the body
A deep line in the center of the tongue can indicate undealt with emotions, or spinal issues.
If your tongue is very clean and clear, this is a good indication that your food cravings will be clear and accurate, and according to what your body truly needs.  If you have a constant coating over your tongue, it is generally believed that you have built up toxicity, and therefore your food cravings may be less than clear, and less than optimal for your body.
This is certainly not medical advice, and should not be used as a method of diagnosis to commence a treatment plan.  If you wish to learn more, I would recommend that you find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.




Cholesterol Linked to Tendinopathy

High cholesterol levels are associated with tendon problems, according to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tendons are the tough fibres (sinews) that connect muscles to bones. Tendinopathy is a general term that is used to describe pain or abnormality in the tendons.

Nobody knows the exact cause of tendinopathy, but it is often associated with overuse.

However, about a third of cases of tendinopathy occur in people who are inactive. In fact, the condition is quite common in people who are obese. This has led some scientists to suggest that the mechanical pressure of the extra weight can damage the tendons and cause pain. But this is unlikely to be the whole story as obese people also frequently get tendon pain in parts of their body that do not bear much weight, such as their arms.

Another theory about the causes of tendinopathy is that blood fats (lipids), such as cholesterol and triglycerides, cause low level inflammation that interferes with the structure of tendons. The fact that people with familial hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol that runs in families) often have Achilles tendon problems lends some weight to this theory.


Acupuncture, Alexander Technique Effective in Neck Pain

The first randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of adding acupuncture or Alexander Technique exercises to usual care (medication and physical therapy) for chronic neck pain found promising improvements in pain reduction and self-efficacy, British researchers report in an article published in the November 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Acupuncture sessions and Alexander Technique lessons both led to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability compared with usual care at 12 months. Enhanced self-efficacy may partially explain why longer-term benefits were sustained," write Hugh MacPherson, PhD, from the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, United Kingdom.

The researchers recruited patients aged 18 years or older who had consulted their general practitioner in the last 2 years and who had neck pain lasting at least 3 months with a score of 28% or higher on the Northwick Park Questionnaire (NPQ).

They screened 1144 patients from 33 general practices and recruited a total of 517 patients. Most (69%) were female and white (90%), and median duration of prior neck pain was 72 months.

All patients received usual care and were randomly assigned to acupuncture (12 sessions, each 50 minutes long, for 600 minutes total), to Alexander Technique (up to 20 one-on-one sessions, for 600 minutes total), or to usual care only. Usual care included the neck pain–specific treatment routinely provided to primary care patients, such as medications and physical therapy.

The analysis included data for 150 acupuncture patients, 146 Alexander patients, and 146 usual care patients who completed 12 months of follow-up. On average, patients attended 10 of 12 sessions offered for acupuncture, and 14 of 20 offered Alexander lessons. However, 20% of the acupuncture group and 9% of the Alexander group paid privately for additional sessions.

The researchers found statistically and clinically significant 12-month reductions in baseline NPQ sores with acupuncture and with Alexander lessons compared with usual care. They note that the NPQ score reductions of 12.88 percentage points for acupuncture and 12.24 percentage points for Alexander lessons compare favorably with the 8 or 9 percentage point reductions seen with physical and exercise in other studies.

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  • Home Remedies for Hot Flashes

Hot flashes refer to sudden and intense hot sensations on your face and upper body. Often hot flashes are preceded or accompanied by other symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, weakness or a feeling of suffocation.

Hot flashes are most common in women going through menopause, the time when the menstrual periods stop and many hormonal changes are occurring in the body. The decrease in estrogen in the body that accompanies menopause is the main cause of hot flashes.

Factors like obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive stress, warm baths, saunas, eating spicy foods, and excessive drinking may worsen the symptoms.


How frequently hot flashes occur varies from woman to woman. Some may have hot flashes for a very short time during menopause, while others may have hot flashes for life. As time passes, hot flashes become less severe. However, not every woman going through menopause experiences hot flashes.

Hot flashes can be very uncomfortable as well as annoying as they can distract you from work, cause excessive sweating and make it harder to sleep properly at night, even leading to insomnia.

If you are having problems leading a normal life due to hot flashes, you can get treatment for them. You can opt for medications, therapies or try some simple home remedies.


Here are the top 10 home remedies for hot flashes in women.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is very helpful in treating hot flashes. Unfiltered and unprocessed apple cider vinegar helps regulate toxins that the body is trying to eliminate through perspiration. This in turn reduces the incidence and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats.

  1. Dilute one to two tablespoons of organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, vegetable juice or fruit juice.
  2. Drink it once or twice daily until the symptoms subside.

2. Soy

Soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity and hence can effectively treat hot flashes.

After analyzing 19 studies, researchers concluded that soy isoflavone supplements may also help, at least over time. This study was published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society in 2012.

Try to have two servings of soy foods per day. This can be two glasses of soy milk, seven ounces of tofu, or one-half cup of edamame.

3. Flaxseed

Being high in phytoestrogens, particularly lignans, flaxseed is another good home remedy for hot flashes. In a 2007 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, 29 women with hot flashes were asked to eat 1.5 ounces (40 grams) of crushed flaxseed daily for six weeks. At the end of the study, the average number of hot flashes dropped by half and their severity fell by 57 percent.

Plus, flaxseed helps improve mood, reduce joint and muscle pain, reduce chills and lessen sweating.

Try to eat 1.5 ounces of ground flaxseed daily. Simply add a few tablespoons to your oatmeal, yogurt, soup or smoothie every day.

4. Sage

An age-old remedy for hot flashes is sage. According to Ellen Phillips, author of “Everything You Need to Know About Menopause,” sage tea can help reduce the symptoms of hot flashes to a great extent. Sage contains flavonoids, volatile oils and tannins that also promote overall health.

  1. Add one tablespoon of fresh sage leaves (or one teaspoon of dried sage) to a cup of boiling water.
  2. Let it steep for five minutes, then strain.
  3. Add some lemon and honey for taste.
  4. Drink this tea two or three times daily.

5. Red Clover

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, red clover is an effective herbal remedy for hot flashes as well as night sweats associated with menopause. This herb contains plant isoflavones that have estrogen-like properties that help relieve hot flashes.

  1. Add one or two teaspoons of dried red clover to a cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover, steep for 30 minutes and then strain.
  3. Drink up to three cups of this herbal tea daily.

Note: As red clover can influence other medications, speak with your doctor before trying it.

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E has estrogen and can effectively eliminate or reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. It also replaces necessary electrolytes that the body loses through sweating.

In a study at Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran, 54 patients were given 400 IU vitamin E soft gel capsules daily for several weeks. At the end of the study, there was a reduction in the severity of hot flashes among patients.

  • A daily dose of 400 IUs of vitamin E capsule is recommended to reduce hot flashes. Take one 200 IU capsule twice a day with meals.
  • Also include leafy greens, tropical fruits and nuts in your diet as they are excellent sources of vitamin E.

Note: Vitamin E may take three to six weeks before you notice a difference.


7. B Vitamins

vitamin B

B vitamins, such as B5, B2, B12, B6 and B3, can help treat and reduce the severity of hot flashes. They help regulate hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Also, B vitamins keep the mucous membranes of the vagina healthy, reduce depression, relieve anxiety and correct loss of appetite.

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin B5 like fish, whole-grain breads, whole-grain cereals, legumes, avocados, nuts, eggs and bananas.
  • Eat vitamin B2 foods like milk and eggs.
  • Eat vitamin B12 foods like soy products, eggs, milk and fish.
  • Eat vitamin B6 foods like sunflower seeds, turkey, dried fruits and bananas.
  • Eat vitamin B3 foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and peas.

8. Yoga



Yoga exercises that involve physical postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and deep relaxation (savasana) can help reduce hot flashes in perimenopausal or newly postmenopausal women.

It can also help combat symptoms like mood swings, anxiety, depression and sleep disruption.

Take a weekly 90-minute restorative yoga class for at least eight weeks to reduce the number of hot flashes and their severity to a great extent. Try to perform the yoga poses and postures correctly. Also give importance to proper breathing techniques.


9. Acupuncture


The ancient healing art of acupuncture can also improve hot flashes. A study of 267 women published in the journal Menopause found that women who took 10 acupuncture treatments during 12 weeks had far fewer hot flashes. These women also slept better and had less pain. On the downside, the follow-up results at six and 12 months showed that the therapy may not have long-term effects.

When thin needles are pricked on specific nerve points on the body, it helps the release of hormones like cortisol, endorphins and serotonin. This in turn helps reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.


10. Exercise


Exercise may not help reduce hot flashes, but it will definitely help you feel better. Women who exercise on a regular basis feel better overall, both physically and mentally.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity (walking, dancing, swimming, biking) five days a week. Also do 15 to 20 minutes of strength training two to three times a week. Other recommended exercises are deep breathing, stretching and pelvic floor exercises.

Additional Tips and more info, here


Guidelines for Healthy Eating

1. Hydration: Aim to drink ___64______ ounces of filtered water per day. Your urine should be clear or slightly yellow if you are well hydrated.

2. Movement: Move your body everyday. Even if it’s a short walk, jumping jacks in your living room or crunches during TV commercial breaks. Every other day, increase the intensity of your exercise routine and get your heart rate up for 30 minutes. Here is a good place to start:

3. Nutrition: There is a lot of controversy about what makes up a “healthy diet.” A diet rich in organic vegetables and fruits is a good place to start. Aim to fill ½ your plate with vegetables, ¼ with healthy protein, such as fish, organic beef, chicken or lamb and no more than ¼ with starch. If you are going to eat bread, go for whole grains that contain at least 4 grams of fiber.


What to minimize:


What to avoid:


4. Nutrition & Exercise Diary: write down everything you eat (including snacks!) for the first 10 days. Bring your diary back to the clinic with you. Don’t think of this as a report card, but rather a means to assess for obstacles in weight loss.


5. Sleep: This is by far one of the most important aspects of losing weight and keeping it off. Aim for 8 hours per night and go to bed and wake up at the same time each night. Cover windows with dark shades and cover any lights in your bedroom (alarm clocks, cell phones, etc.). Turn off electronics 1 hour before bedtime.


6. Other practices:


You can do it!!




Bunions are salt deposits caused by influenza, tonsillitis, gout, poor metabolism, improper nutrition, rheumatic infections, and uncomfortable shoes.

They really affect one’s everyday life – many are not able to find a fitting footwear, it is quite frustrating, and not to mention the unattractive appearance.


  • Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and at the onset of hot flashes.
  • Keep your bedroom cool at night. Open the windows for fresh air, use fans or opt for air conditioning. You can try “chill pillows” to lay your head on at night.
  • Dress in layers so you can easily remove some of your clothes at the onset of hot flashes.
  • If you feel a hot flash coming on, sip a glass of cold water, lemon water or any kind of cold drink.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol as these can trigger hot flashes.
  • If you’re overweight or obese, lose weight to ease hot flashes.
  • Soak in early morning sunshine for at least 15 minutes to nourish your body with vitamin D.
    • Mon, Wed, Fri – 30 min walk followed by 20-30 crunches and/or 10 push ups

    • Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun – 30 min run/jog followed by strength training. You can use hand weights or weights at a gym. Give yourself a day of rest in between strength training routines.

    • Think – “Fat, Fiber & Protein” when planning out your meals.

    • Healthy fats come from avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts (almonds and walnuts are great choices) and fish such as salmon.

    • Fiber is found in vegetables, especially leafy greens, whole grain bread, raisins, seeds (chia and flax = superfoods!). Buy organic and leave the peel on carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes for extra fiber.

    • Protein – this one is easier to wrap your mind around. Think organic chicken, lamb, beef, eggs and fish.

    • Alcohol (no more than 1 drink daily)

    • Caffeine (limit to 1 cup coffee daily)

    • Carbohydrates (bread, rolls, pasta, cakes, pastries, etc.)

    • Dairy products

    • Hydrogenated oils

    • Processed sugar

    • Artificial sweeteners

    • Processed foods

    • Fast food

    • Meditation / Deep breathing: Aim for 50 conscious breaths each day. Think about the air entering your nostrils, circulating through your lungs and being gently expelled.

    • Avoid weighing yourself everyday. Assess your progress by how your clothes are fitting and your energy level.

    • If you have sweets or junk food in the house, put it way up high on a shelf that’s hard to get to. Don’t leave it out on the counter where it may be tempting you.

    • Having a craving? Think about other motivations that might be driving this urge – Are you tired? Are you anxious? Are you lonely?

    • Plan ahead! When you leave the house, bring a healthy snack with you. Eat something small every 2 hours to avoid “crashing” and getting food cravings. High protein snacks are best – nuts, hard boiled eggs, nut butter with fruit.


Acupuncture and pain relief

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. Acupuncture needles are very thin, and most people feel no pain or very little pain when they are inserted. They often say they feel energized or relaxed after the treatment. However, the needles can cause temporary soreness. You may try acupuncture for symptomatic relief of a variety of diseases and conditions, including: Fibromyalgia -Studies that test how well acupuncture works against the pain of fibromyalgia have had mixed results. 






9 reasons why you should have acupuncture treatments


Acupuncture needles are very thin, and most people feel no pain or very little pain when they are inserted. They often say they feel energized or relaxed after the treatment. However, the needles can cause temporary soreness.


You may try acupuncture for symptomatic relief of a variety of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Fibromyalgia -Studies that test how well acupuncture works against the pain of fibromyalgia have had mixed results. Some showed that it provided temporary pain relief, but others did not. A small study by the Mayo Clinic suggested that acupuncture may reduce two other problems of fibromyalgia: fatigue and anxiety. But overall, there’s not enough evidence yet to prove that acupuncture works for fibromyalgia.


  • Headaches -acupuncture may help relieve migraines or tension headaches. Two large studies found that people receiving acupuncture had fewer days with tension headaches than those receiving conventional care.


  • Low back pain -f standard treatments don’t relieve your chronic low-back pain, acupuncture may do the job, and two respected medical groups suggest that people in this situation give it a try. One large study found that both actual and “sham” acupuncture worked better than conventional treatments for back pain that had lasted more than three months. The jury’s still out on acupuncture for short-term (acute) pain in the low back.


  • Osteoarthritis -Acupuncture can be a helpful addition to conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, says the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. And some of the most promising, early research has shown acupuncture eased arthritis pain in the knee. However, more research is needed to prove without a doubt that it’s effective for osteoarthritis.


  • Dental pain – Acupuncture provides relief from the pain of tooth extraction or dental surgery, but so does sham acupuncture, some studies show. Still, dental pain is considered by many to be one of the conditions that responds to acupuncture.


  • Tennis elbow -Medicine and Rehabilitation in San Francisco1suggests that acupuncture not only relieves the symptoms of tennis elbow, it appears to resolve the condition completely.




  • Carpal Tunnel – acupuncture was tested and compared with steroid pills for the hand and arm pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers in Taiwan gave one group eight acupuncture treatments, over about a month, and those patients reported more relief, for a longer time, than the group taking medicine. While studies like this have been promising, more evidence is still needed to confirm that acupuncture is effective for carpal tunnel syndrome.


  • Soothes Indigestion – Brazilian researchers recently published research finding that acupuncture therapy alleviated heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women. One group of pregnant women was given a combination of acupuncture and medications, and another group was counseled on dietary changes and given medications if needed. Over the course of the study, 75% of the women in the acupuncture group saw heartburn intensity, and antacid use, decline, while only 44% of women in the standard-treatment group saw those same effects.


  • Counteracts Radiation Side Effects – Cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment are likely to suffer a variety of side effects, depending on the part of the body being treated. However, acupuncture therapy has been found to have some effect on the perception of how bad those effects can be, particularly for nausea and dry mouth, common in patients receiving radiation to the head and neck. A review of studies published  a journal of the American Cancer Society, found that people undergoing radiation treatment perceived fewer negative side effects of radiation even though the side effects may still be there. For instance, in one study, patients who wore acupressure bands during treatment said they felt less nausea, although they still had the same occurrence of vomiting as they did before wearing the band, and in another study, people said they had less of a problem with dry mouth, even though measures of their saliva showed that levels remained the same. The acupuncture didn’t actually alleviate the symptoms, but it did help improve patients’ quality of life after treatment.

Different kinds of facial scars and treatments

to get rid of them

  • Keloidal scars – Elevated, dark, benign tumors that appears on ears, back, shoulders and chest. This can be very difficult to remove since it goes overboard the boundary of the affected area.
  • Hypertrophic scars – Raised and dark scars. Disappears in a certain amount of time but causes intense itching while this is used.
  • Atrophic scars – Creates indentation or sunken marks. One example of this type of scarring is stretch marks.

The following are natural remedies for lessening and eliminating scars:


1. Lavendar oil. Apply and massage directly on scars to help fade. In time, it can completely eliminate them.


2. Flaxseed oil. You can buy this oil at almost any health food store. Rub the flaxseed oil on old and new scars a few times each day, including after you shower and again before going to bed.


3. Grapeseed extract, jojoba and almond oil are all effective scar treatments, especially when combined together.


4. Vitamin K. Apply as a cream topically to scars. Depending on the severity of your scars and skin type, you may see results in as little as a couple of weeks to a couple of months when used twice daily.


5. Olive oil. Apply 100% extra virgin) to scars at least twice a day. Within a week you should start to see scars and stretch marks starting to fade.


6. Organic raw honey (especially high UMF factor manuka honey). Rub onto scars twice daily. The antibacterial properties in honey can help heal wounds and promote skin cell growth. With constant use, scars should fade. Using honey is not recommended if you have oily skin.


7. Castor oil. Use with a plastic wrap and a heating pad. Note: Be sure to use only food grade plastic wrap that contains no bisphenol A, a dangerous substance found in many plastics. Rub plenty of castor oil on the scars and then wrap it with plastic wrap. Place a heating pad turned on as high a setting as you comfortably stand and leave on for 20 to 25 minutes. You may see noticeable results in as little as a week or so.


8. Vitamin E.  Use oil from punctured gel caps and rub it into scars.


Note: The key to natural lessening and elimination of scar tissue is persistence. Serious scars may take up to several months, but with persistent and consistent effort you should eventually see good results.