DoctorSolve February 2011 Healthletter Edition                                                 (If you cannot read this, click here)
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Hello ,

It's February and Valentine's Day is here. As a result, there will be lots of boxes of chocolate to be had. Did you know that there are lots of health benefits to chocolate? Read about that and more in this issue.

Please feel free to forward this healthletter to your friends and colleagues who might benefit from or be interested in some of the information provided. You can also submit any feedback you may have to [email protected].

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Simple Cures for Stomach Aches

Do you have a painful stomach ache that needs to be relieved quickly as possible? Try these quick cures to help relieve the pain.

1. Walk for 10-15 minutes: Even if it is the last thing on your mind, taking a quick walk will lessen the pain. Without exercise our intestines become sluggish leading to cramping and constipation.

2. Try Probiotics: Probiotics, such as Align Probiotic, will relieve symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

3. Acupressure: Stress is a common cause of stomachaches. Acupressure helps release endorphins and helps you relax. A great method to help you relax is by gently applying pressure in a circular motion with your fingers to the area four finger-widths above your belly button.

4. Tea Time: Studies suggest that oils from a peppermint plant may work as well as drug treatments, in helping stomach muscles relax.

5. Medication: Pepto- Bismol protects ulcers found in the stomach by forming a protective coat around them. This gives the ulcers enough time to heal. Gas-ex will also help by relieving the pressure due to gas build up. If you plan to take pain medication, be careful to avoid aspirin or ibuprofen due to the fact that they are also blood thinners.

6. Lemons: This quick cure will be useful since a squeezed lemon combined with hot water will help break down unprocessed food in the stomach and flush out the remains.

7. Ginger craze: Ginger is a very good for curing stomach aches. Ginger will aid in digestion and increase your appetite. By adding a few slices of ginger to warm water, it will lessen the pain or instantly cure it.

If the pain increases or does not decrease, with these quick remedies, it is best to consult a physician. Stomach aches could be a symptom of a disease or infection

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Health Benefits of Chocolate

There have been many speculations on the health benefits, or the negative effects of chocolate. After a while, it becomes hard to know what to believe. Is chocolate a healthy food? Chocolate contains more than 300 chemicals, and has been studied by a number of universities and organizations. The possible health benefits are as follows.

1. Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. These effects are counteracted by the very high sugar content of milk chocolate.

2. The smell of chocolate can increase theta brain waves and increase relaxation.

3. Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, which is a mild mood elevator.

4. Drinking a cup of hot chocolate will diminish an appetite. This could be useful to people trying to lose weight.

5. Reportedly, men who eat chocolate live about a year longer than men who don’t eat chocolate.

6. The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in increased happiness.

7. Some Mexican healers have been known to use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.

There are many myths about what chocolate may do to you. Here are the latest findings on a few of them.

1. Studies show that chocolate will not cause acne.

2. Chocolate only contains a very small amount of caffeine, so it does not have the same effect on you as coffee or soda.

3. Chocolate is not addictive.

4. Chocolate may trigger headaches in those who suffer migraines.

5. Dark chocolate has more cacao and less sugar. Dark chocolate is also allowed on some diets, while milk chocolate is not.

Developing a Positive Body Image

We are surrounded by messages each day that tell us we're too fat, too thin, too short, or too tall. Maybe our hair is too curly, or too straight, or there's not enough of it! Maybe our eyelashes aren’t long enough or our skin isn’t smooth enough. Society, friends and family, the media, and we ourselves, put pressure on us about the way we look. We think that if we could just lose a little of the extra bulge around our waist, or get rid of our freckles, then we would be beautiful.

Well friends, instead of focusing on all the negatives of our bodies, why don’t we try to develop a positive self image? An image of ourselves that is based in reality, that takes into account our whole person, and one that will develop our confidence and comfort in our own skin.

One step to developing a healthy body image is to realize that healthy bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. Not everyone will have the same proportions as everyone else. Some people will have bigger or more defined muscles than others. Some people will have narrow shoulders with wide hips, others the opposite. We can't all look the same, and the perfect body is an unattainable goal!

Another step to a healthy body image is to stop thinking negatively about yourself. Having a negative body image can lead to depression, anxiety, poor dieting habits, and even eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Instead of pointing out all your faults to yourself and others, try giving yourself three compliments each day. 

Developing a positive self image is also about taking care of your body through eating consciously, engaging in physical activity, and getting enough rest. Try finding forms of exercise that you really enjoy, and celebrate your body through them.

Embracing and accepting your body will be easier when you recognize how much you can do with your body: dance, run, jump, or swim. What about playing a musical instrument, baking, kissing someone, or writing a letter?

Remember that you are so much more than just the way you look! Appreciate and respect your intelligence, your creativity, and your personality. You can even try making a list of all the things you like about yourself. If you are really struggling with your self image then you may find it helpful to speak with someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Developing a positive self image may take time, but it will be worth it in the end.