Posts Tagged ‘Migraines’

The Best Probiotic Products

September 6th, 2010 No comments

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that occur naturally in the human intestinal tract. Foods “cultured” with beneficial strains of probiotics such as yogurt and kefir have been used throughout history to improve overall health and vitality, and today, there are many studies reinforcing probiotics’ ability to balance and promote digestive health.

Probiotics also play an important role in modulating the immune system, 70% of which is located in the gut. The word “probiotic” means “for life”, “antibiotics” means “anti life”. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of healthy gut flora. The benefits of probiotics don’t end there, in fact many have reported the disappearance of acne, better skin texture, better hair, the halting of male pattern baldness, ending Candida, even Fibromyalgia, migraines were stopped, and allergies and inflammation reduced by having good gut flora.

“Why take probiotics daily?” you may be wondering. Well, our modern/civilized life has been detrimental to healthy gut flora. Refined sugars, adulterated grains and foods, chemicals, medication, fluoride and chlorine in drinking and cooking water, pasteurization of milk, amongst many other factors can kill off good gut flora and/or allow less-beneficial and sometimes harmful bacteria to take over. Further, many of us also do not eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, sourdough, kimchi, kefir, etc..
I will address this question in future posts more thoroughly.

Many probiotic products exist, unfortunately, not all probiotics are equal, here I will list the best probiotic products, based on my research/opinion.

A general rule, for the greatest percentage of active (live) cultures is to buy probiotics that require refrigeration. However, this is not always the case. Also, remember, more strains doesn’t mean “better”. Some of the best probiotics have 8, 9 or even 4 strains.

I’ve looked around for the best probiotic products that have the best strains, this is what I came up with:

Note: My top 4 are interchangeable. Try one for a month, if you do not see results try another from the top 4. One of these will likely work for you. If not, you can try the other good ones listed below or scroll all the way down to read about using single-strain probiotics (some people react differently to different strains).

Here are the best:

1- Dr.Ohhira’s Probiotics 12 Plus
Dr. Ohhira invested years of testing on subjects and came up with a non-refrigerated probiotic supplement line.

Renowned microbiologists, lichiroh Ohhira, Ph.D., and scientists from Okayama University combined ancient Japanese fermentation skills with modern technology to create this unique beneficial product.

This one has twelve (12) strains of lactic acid bacteria, including powerful proprietary TH10, are used in a complex 3-year fermentation process. The nutrient rich cultures medium (an optimum natural pre-biotic) composed of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and seaweeds is encapsulated along with the live lactic acid bacteria. The probiotic system also includes organic acids naturally produced by fermentation. These important substances create the proper GI environment in which all the body’s unique blend of hundreds of strains of friendly bacteria can flourish.

Read more…

What Do I Need?

November 17th, 2009 2 comments

Ask yourself what do you need right now:

Do you need to breath deeply?
Do you need close your eyes?
Do you need to drink water?
Do you need to eat?
Do you need stretch?
Do you need to use the bathroom?
Do you need to relax and take a break?
Do you need to plan something?
Do you need to stop?
Do you need look away into the distance from whatever you are doing?
Do you need to stop eating that snack?
Do you need to go on a walk?
Do you need fresh air?
Do you need a nap (to sleep)?
etc …

Now that you’ve asked, will you give yourself what it needs?

The lesson here is to check in with yourself from time to time, listen to the most important person (YOU).

This sounds simple, doesn’t it?

It is, but sometimes when we are at work, studying or working a project and too busy with life, paying attention to others, we forget to pay attention to ourselves.


from time to time,

Ask yourself


“What do I need now?”


you will be more present in the now and more alive

Ethan Z

Migraine Glossary

July 2nd, 2009 No comments

When you research migraines you will be exposed to new words. These terms are used to describe migraine, migraine management, migraine symptoms and suspected culprits behind migraines.

This article is here to serve as a glossary of migraine-related words as defined in the migraine arena. If you know of words that could be listed here please let me know.

Migraine Glossary of Terms:

an imaging technique that provides a picture, called an angiogram, of blood vessels.

a symptom of classic migraine headache in which the patient sees flashing lights or zigzag lines, or may temporarily lose vision.

basilar artery migraine
migraine, occurring primarily in young women and often associated with the menstrual cycle, that involves a disturbance of a major brain artery. Symptoms include vertigo, double vision, and poor muscular coordination.

benign exertional headache
headache brought on by running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending.

a technique in which patients are trained to gain some voluntary control over certain physiological conditions, such as blood pressure and muscle tension, to promote relaxation. Thermal biofeedback helps patients consciously raise hand temperature, which can sometimes reduce the number and intensity of migraines.

cluster headaches
intensely painful headaches — occurring suddenly and lasting between 30 and 45 minutes — named for their repeated occurrence in groups or clusters. They begin as minor pain around one eye and eventually spread to that side of the face.

computed tomography (CT)
an imaging technique that uses X-rays and computer analysis to provide a picture of body tissues and structures.

a drug that is given by injection to treat cluster headaches. It is a form of the antimigraine drug ergotamine tartrate

electroencephalogram (EEG)
a technique for recording electrical activity in the brain.

electromyography (EMG)
a special recording technique that detects electric activity in muscle. Patients are sometimes offered a type of biofeedback called EMG training, in which they learn to control muscle tension in the face, neck, and shoulders.

naturally occurring painkilling chemicals. Some scientists theorize that people who suffer from severe headache have lower levels of endorphins than people who are generally pain free.

ergotamine tartrate
a drug that is used to control the painful dilation stage of migraine.

hemiplegic migraine
a type of migraine causing temporary paralysis on one side of the body (hemiplegia).

Read more…

About My Migraines

June 23rd, 2009 No comments

I’ve talked about migraines here before. Here’s a little about my experience with them. I believe I started to have migraines back in 2006. At first I didn’t know they were migraines, I was confused why I kept getting ill and why I had headaches. Then came the auras which made things clear, yes I had migraines, and not so clear because these auras left me almost blind.

By 2007, I was getting one every week. Initially most occurred on the weekend or early in the week.

They were accompanied by the spots of light that usually grew larger, these are the auras, if you don’t know what they’re called. I simply referred to them as bright light spots, or a single bright light spot, that sometimes had other colors mixed in, sometimes had a blank/dark spot as well. The auras often reminded me of staring straight into a flash light.

They would grow and sometimes cover enough of an area in my field of vision that I had to find a place to sit and wait it out because my vision was impaired t a degree that I couldn’t see and operate (walk, meet people or drive) safely.

Naturally other symptoms showed up. Usually after I saw the auras, and even when the auras were long gone, I would deteriorate in terms of weakness and headache intensity until by night time I find myself throwing up and feeling like I am so sick and weak that I could die.

This all became too common, too frequent. I was ‘falling apart’.

As a result of my migraines, I grew to recognize them in their early stages and to catch these early symptoms and listen to my body and start to take action steps to stop the oncoming migraine in its tracks.

After other health issues ocurred, I made a commitment towards my health, and followed through. This lead to less migrains and to my ability to stop them before they get really bad. Sometimes I forget my commitment, and that’s when I get a migraine.

I guess, now, migraines are my body’s way of reminding me to take care of my mental, emotional and physical wellness and health.

The Elusive MSG – How To Identify MSG In Food

May 21st, 2009 2 comments

MSG is harmful to many; countless people get migraine headaches after consuming MSGs, including  myself. These people are more aware of the ingredients in their food. We read food ingredient labels carefully to make sure our food doesn’t contain MSGs. We also avoid Chinese food, fast food burgers, and Lipton soups, etc..

Did you know that “MSG” is only one term used to refer to Monosodium Glutamate and that other words and numbers are used?

When you read the ingredients, if you are looking for MSGs, you should know all the terms used to identify MSG.

MSG can be referred to as:

  • sodium glutamate (sodium salt of the non-essential amino glutamic acid)
  • HS code 29224220
  • E621
  • Ajinomoto
  • Vetsin,
  • Accent

Are there other words used to indicate the presense of MSG in food that I missed?

Tingling Goosebumps Equals Life Energy

September 22nd, 2008 105 comments

What is that tingling, electric, goosebumps-y sensation that some experience?

In this blog entry I talk about my experience with this sensation. This is not a new sensation but I recently experienced it in abundance.

Throughout my life I had felt tingling waves that went inside of my body and spread on the surface of my skin while meditating or praying, especially when in deep relaxation or concentration. When this sensation is on the surface it is accompanied by goose bumps that swarm the skin and traverse the body in waves. When inside the body, this sensation is like a cloud of charged tingling particles. I found it possible to direct this cloud of sensation with concentration. Does this sound familiar?

Read more…

Falling Apart

September 22nd, 2008 No comments

As I mentioned earlier, I visited the Dr’s office last week. This came after I was advised to do so, and after I was told that I was “falling apart”. I was falling apart physically, and it could not have been more obvious. I knew it but I was living in denial.

I’ve had constant migraine headaches for over a year, neck and upper back muscle spasms, frequent fatigue, and a downwards trend in my general health. Life has handed me quite a few stresses (for someone at my age) that I won’t delve into here. These stresses were compounded by my workaholic behavior and my personal negligence of my health. I blatantly pushed myself harder and harder, never running out of energy, never taking care of the vehicle I exist in, that is my body.

Every machine needs maintenance, from cars to computers. At the most basic level my body is an intricate machine, a machine that humanity doesn’t fully understand yet.

Luckily, I know that our bodies have the ability and flexibility to repair themselves, if we take the needed corrective actions.

The doctor ordered some blood tests, I then had an EKG done and my heart was given a clean bill of health. I was referred to a physical therapist. I had a very informative, eye opening, discussion with the physical therapist; I was pleased to find about the holistic approach that the physical therapy clinic adopted. I was unaccustomed to hearing about ‘mind and body’ and the ‘power of the mind over the body’ from a medical establishment. It turns out that western medicine is finally embracing the holistic medicine approach. This was a pleasant surprise.

An Old Flame of Intrigue:

This discussion did more than give me pointers and an outline of my future therapy sessions, it strengthened a flame of intrigue within me that had dimmed (but never extinguished) over the past ten years or so. Fast forward a few days to this moment, and now is a reality. In this blog, I plan on sharing with you what this flame brings to light (excuse the pun), and the progress of my physical therapy, all the corrective actions, and the outcome. This blog exists for me to share with you what I know about wholeness, and about physical, mental, cognitive, subconscious, and spiritual wellness.

Like I mentioned I’ve always had an interest in the above, ever since I was a child; this interest is that flame that is getting brighter now. This blog will help me find the discipline to pursue this interest and share it with you.

Migraines and Neck Pain:

The physical therapist explained that my neck and upper back muscle pains were in fact a side-effect (the result) of my migraines. Contrary to my -and common- belief, my headaches were not the result of my stiff neck, it was the other way around.

It follows that treating the muscles in my neck may provide temporary relief, but as long as I have these migraines I will continue to feel these nagging back muscle pains.

In future blog entires I will discuss what I’m learning from the physical therapy sessions along with my own experiences.

Read more…