My friend, her daughter and her 6-month old son recently came for an afternoon visit and while the baby entertained us with his antics, his shirt opened to reveal that he was wearing a necklace made of small amber beads.
The baby’s mother, a university-educated and grounded young woman, told me that many young babies wear these necklaces because it is believed that amber has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Babies wear amber as a remedy for teething; Baltic amber, in particular, is thought to soothe and calm a fussy baby without resorting to drugs. Continue reading
Armand, the betta fish. Photo courtesy of Fran Halter.
My hubbie and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary, and our children searched for the perfect gift to give the couple that already has two of everything. They finally settled on a “little” something related to the traditional stone—coral—that marks 35 years of married life.
Coral is said to grant wisdom, promote a healthy emotional foundation, and protect passage through tempests. However, instead of giving us a piece of ornamental coral (where to display that?) or a decorative photo of colourful coral (no wall space available either), they decided to expand on the coral theme and integrate it into their gift.
Apparently a family vacay to see a coral reef was their first idea, but practicality and financial reality intervened. Instead, we were introduced to “Armand”, a bright blue betta fish whose new home features coloured coral-type rocks on the bottom of his fish bowl. These fish tend to be aggressive, so they are often sold individually as they can easily live up to their common name: Siamese Fighting Fish. Two male bettas in the same tank will fight each other to death to exert their dominance (I’m sure the kids did not know about this aspect when they decided on their gift ).
However, Armand seems friendly enough and he interacts with us: he follows your finger along the outside of his tank and every day at the feeding hour, he nearly jumps out of the water with excitement when his food arrives. Lately, he’s been making bubble nests, floating bundles of bubbles, which apparently indicates that he is healthy and comfortable in his environment on the island in our kitchen.
We were a little hesitant about owning a fish because our previous attempts to care for goldfish were most unsuccessful. But there’s no doubt that owning a pet has a positive psychological effect. Armand’s lazy swim around his bowl does impart a certain calmness with his hypnotic movements. It’s a fact that your body goes through a physical change when your mood is altered; the level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is actually lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased.
Coupled with the purported “magical” properties imparted by the coral stones on the bottom of his bowl, Armand has made a positive contribution to our state of health. Anyone who suffers from a chronic condition or disease, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), welcomes any small positive measure that brings even a modicum of comfort or relief. Seems like Armand has done just that. ~ Fran
Do you have a pet that has a magical effect on your health? Send us pictures!
For the first time ever, researchers have joined together to call for better screening of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) – a type of arthritis that affects millions of people worldwide.
In a recent Psoriatic Arthritis Forum, researchers, from expert rheumatologists to dermatologists to patient representatives in Europe and North America, have made some recommendations for the treatment and diagnosis of PsA. The recommendations were published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research. According to an article on www.Medicalexpress.com, the recommendations include:
Agatha sleeping in her favourite bed.
Fran’s dog, Agatha, also has arthritis. Just as she would for herself, Fran is always on the lookout for treatments for her pet companion. Recently, she found one that, so far, seems to be working: laser therapy.
I’ve written about my nearly 11-year old dog, Agatha, and her arthritic hips and spinal issues on several occasions. As owners, we do everything possible to support Agatha’s aching joints, including frequent long walks and monthly Cartrophen Vet injections (a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug – DMOAD) to keep her relatively pain-free. Plus, at every meal she is fed a “super cookie” loaded with glucosamine HCL, chondroitin, shark cartilage and yucca. All these supplements are reputed to have a beneficial effect on lubricating joints. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles with FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Last week, my computer mouse inadvertently hovered over some advertising scrolling along the screen and I was instantly transported to another website.
This is not the first time this has happened, but before I became involved in an investment pitch or a cure for belly fat (both of which I probably could use), I warned myself to be remain vigilant and then repeatedly hit the “back” button until I was safely back on the terra firma of my home page. Continue reading
Shopping list: milk, eggs, lettuce, and… medical advice? Recently, while in the produce department of her local grocery store, Fran went in expecting to buy lettuce, but left with far more.
Much to the dismay of my children, I talk to strangers and I admit that I listen in on conversations, especially when people publicly discuss health issues. I mean, if it is a private matter, then talk quietly so I can’t hear!
An exchange that I overheard in the produce section of the grocery store was particularly interesting and I thought I would share it. The produce clerk and a woman, whom I presume know each other (but maybe, like me, they also talk to strangers), were sharing information about their heel pain commonly known as plantar fasciitis. I have blogged on this “curse” – another obstacle, compliments of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) – so I was particularly drawn to the conversation. I have been outfitted with expensive custom orthotics to a) decrease my chances of a recurrence and b) correct a mechanical problem with my feet and c) help me as I routinely walk on uneven ground surfaces.
As a lingered for a few minutes examining multiple boxes of lettuce, here’s the gist of their convo: Continue reading