Saunas Then And Now
by: Ron King
The origin of the sauna is lost in the mists of time, but its history goes back over 1,000 years. The nomadic peoples of Finland had a primitive type of sauna around the first millennium that was made by building a fire inside a tent-like structure. When the heat had built up and the fire was out, people would enter the sauna to bathe. This was very similar to the American Indian sweat lodge.
This type of sauna evolved into a smoke sauna -- a small building with a stone fireplace inside with a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape. The smoke sauna was commonly used until the 1920s, when it started to be replaced by the modern form of sauna. The smoke sauna, however, has enjoyed a recent revival in Finland. Many people consider it to be the finest type of sauna.
The modern introduced a new type of stove which allowed the rocks to be heated without being placed directly over the fire flames. This allowed the fire to burn while the sauna was being used. The earliest stoves of this type used wood as a fuel, but later models used electricity.
Types of Saunas
Saunas can be built in many shapes and styles. They can be separate buildings or they can be installed in a house or apartment. Traditional saunas use separate wooden structures.
The worldwide popularity of saunas has spurred innovative new designs. One of the most unusual is the portable sauna; a folding sauna that can be used almost anywhere. The folding sauna is just big enough for 1 person to sit in. There is a hole for your head and slits for your hands if you wish to read or talk on the phone while you are enjoying this sauna.
Another unusual design is the barrel sauna. This is a small cabin constructed using barrel-making techniques, which holds 6 to 8 people. Barrel saunas can be installed either inside or outside the home.
Infrared saunas have been used since the 1960s. The heating source here is an infrared heater. Unlike traditional heaters that heat the air in the sauna, infrared heaters heat objects and people, but not the air. Since infrared offers deeper tissue penetration, its proponents believe infrared saunas have superior health benefits.
Almost every type of sauna is made of wood. The walls, ceilings, floors and benches are all made from a wood such as cedar or hemlock. The only non-wood materials are the stove and the rocks that are heated on the stove.
The sauna creates a dry heat--usually between 150 degrees and 200 degrees F. From time to time, water can be thrown on the rocks. This creates a cloud of steam, which has the effect of immediately raising the temperature. The sauna can be heated with an electric or wood stove. Wood stoves are traditional in the countryside, but most urban saunas use an electric heater.
Whatever the type or construction, you owe it to yourself to treat yourself to a sauna. It may just become your favorite mode of relaxation.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saunas Then And Now
The Effect of Hysterectomy on Sexual Response and Sexual Identity
by: James Brann, MD
Women have mixed emotions regarding the effect of hysterectomy on sexual response and sexual identity. Most woman go on to have a normal sex life, some have a heightened response, while others are less able to have a sexual response following hysterectomy due to their perceived loss of femininity.
Some women may notice a change in their sexual response after the uterus has been removed. For example, uterine contractions a woman might have associated with orgasm may no longer be perceived. Other women may experience a heightened response. This may be due to the fact that they no longer have to worry about getting pregnant and no longer have tremendous pain or dysfunctional bleeding.
If the ovaries are not removed, the outer genitals and the vagina are not affected and remain lubricated when a woman is sexually aroused. If the ovaries are removed at the time of hysterectomy, vaginal dryness may be a problem during sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness can be helped with the use of estrogen cream.
During a hysterectomy your doctor removes vaginal tissue. This may make the vagina shorter. Deep thrusting during intercourse may be painful. Changing positions during intercourse may help, such as being on top or bringing your legs closer together.
Recently interest in supracervical hysterectomies (where the cervix is not removed at time of hysterectomy) has grown out of speculation that women might enjoy better sexual function after hysterectomy when the cervix is left in place. A new study has found there is no difference in sexual function or quality of life when a supracervical hysterectomy is performed instead of a total abdominal hysterectomy.
Post hysterectomy depression may interfere with sexual response. Depression may follow a hysterectomy from a concept that femininity and an intact functioning uterus are one. Some women link their self-image with reproductive ability. Menses reminds a woman of her uniqueness where hysterectomy takes away this cue. Many women have a brief emotional reaction to the loss of the uterus and ovaries that erodes their sense of well-being and femininity. If the problem persists please discuss your feelings with your doctor.
Be sure if you are considering a hysterectomy you discuss your personal health and medical history with your doctor. He or she will help you decide what procedures are best for you given your personal condition. Many women find this procedure helpful to their overall health and well-being, especially if they are at risk for certain cancers or other debilitating health conditions.
Green Tea and Cholesterol Facts
by: Lorraine Bevere
A green and lush oasis in the middle of a scorching dessert. A cool breeze on a hot summer night. A bright light in the end of a cold and dark tunnel. Green tea and cholesterol.
For the millions and millions of people suffering from high cholesterol green tea may be that light. You can browse and search the Internet for topics on green tea and cholesterol and would come up with hundred of hits.
Cholesterol, triglycerides, the protein apoB in LDLs, are words dreaded by humans of the modern age. This new century is expected to become the century of medical miracles, the green tea, lowly as it may sound looks very promising as several researches have shown. This could be the decade of green tea and cholesterol.
More good news is it's not just green tea and cholesterol; it's also green tea and cancer. Several studies have shown that the antioxidants are present in green tea. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. Another research done by the University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In another study by the University of Kansas determined that EGCG may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.
And more good news! It's not just green tea and cholesterol; it's also green tea and high blood pressure. Habitually drinking 5 to 10 cups a day of green tea lowers high blood pressure.
For more that 4,000 years the Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. So it's not just green tea and cholesterol; it's also green tea and depression!
Drinking green also is reported to be helpful with rheumatoid arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, infection, and impaired immune function.
Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a good anti-cancer element. Polyphenol limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet.
There's more! It's not just green tea and cholesterol; it's also green tea and weight loss. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report that found out that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine.
How about green tea and tooth decay anyone? Its bacteria-destroying abilities kill the bacteria that cause dental decay. So it's not just green tea and cholesterol, it's also green tea and bacteria.
Why is it that it's green tea and cholesterol not oolong tea or black tea? As we all know there are 3 types of tea, green, oolong and black. All of these come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. But why green? Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized while black and oolong tea leaves are made from dried or fermented leaves, which causes loss of EGCG.
We should have learned speaking mandarin or fukien a long time ago and got to know green tea and cholesterol lowering the Chinese way.
There is more to green tea and cholesterol, search the web and get to know more of the heath benefits you may get from green tea. Does anyone know how to say green tea in Chinese?
How Your Smoking Affects Your Loved Ones
by: Kelly Gillis
Your cigarette, cigar or pipe smoking doesn't only have an affect on your health. The U.S. Surgeon General's report "The Health Consequences of Smoking," released in 2004, states it has been proven that smoking (or living with a person who smokes) can cause disease in nearly every organ of the body, in men as well as women. This means that every time you "light up" you are potentially damaging the health of your children, your spouse and your loved ones.
It is a fact that second hand smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke or ETS) is a major cause of children's illness. As children have developing lungs and have higher breathing rates than adults they run the greatest risk of health effects. In children under the age of 18 second hand smoke has been linked with pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, upper respiratory tract irritation, increased severity of asthma and asthmatic symptoms. It has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear infections, upper respiratory tract infections (colds and sore throats) and cancers and leukemia. Japanese researchers just released a study that suggests that second hand smoke may affect childrens gums. 70% of the children of smokers had a brownish or black pigmentation of their gums.
Statistics show that approximately 3,000 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer each year as a result of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke has been linked to nasal sinus cancer, cancer of the cervix, breast and bladder. Second hand smoke also causes an increased risk of death from heart disease.
If you must smoke, it is essential that you protect your loved ones, especially children. Don't smoke in your home. If you must smoke, smoke outside. Do not smoke in your car when your children are with you. Make sure that childcare providers and others who work in your home or around your children do not smoke.
There are many publications available to you free online that provide information on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and it's affects on your family. Visit the US Environmental Protection Agency at http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/publications.html for a free booklet.
The fact is that it's not only your own health at risk when you smoke. You quitting will make your loved ones healthier, and happier too.
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