I’ve recently started getting headaches whenever I get stressed out. Yoga takes care of them, but when I’m at work, I can’t really do that. The headaches aren’t too serious; I can still get through my day, but they sure do slow me down. Any advice would be appreciated!
RYAN HARRISON: First off, good work in pinpointing the cause of your headaches! Now that you know that’s how your body responds to stress, you can take steps to counter that response. Chances are the headaches in question are caused by tension in the neck and shoulders, which is one of the most common physical expressions of stress. Here are several things you can try:
1. Take a few minutes whenever you start to feel stressed to stand up or sit back from your work space. Swing your head gently from side to side a few times (think of a pendulum). Then slowly roll your shoulders in a backward circle five times, then forward five times. Carefully bend your head to the right as if trying to touch your shoulder with your ear – without raising your shoulder in response – and hold it to the count of 10. Repeat this stretch to the left. Shrug your shoulders, holding the shrug for a few seconds, and release. (Of course, you probably do know some yoga stretches you can do for your neck and shoulders that wouldn’t look too strange in the workplace. Who knows, you just might start a trend with your colleagues and improve everyone’s health!)
2. Keep a bottle of stress-relieving supplements with you, and take the recommended dosage at the first hint of tension from stress. Kava kava, skullcap, and lavender can all relieve tension without the negative health effects of OTC painkillers and anti-inflammatories. But be prudent and careful – many relaxant herbs (including those above) can also cause drowsiness. Experiment with them at home over the weekend if you suspect they might make you sleepy enough to impair your work and/or driving.
3. If you have isolated the stress to a particular situation, person, or other specific cause, you can greatly reduce your emotional response to the stressor by utilizing an energy psychology technique such as MTT or EFT (Meridian Tapping Techniques and Emotional Freedom Techniques, respectively). Disarming the energetic signature of the stressor may completely alleviate your physical response, ending your headaches.
My boyfriend recently found out he has an enlarged prostate. He thinks it’s from too much sex. He and I have sex at least once and up to three times a day, and he also tends to masturbate once a day as well. Is this much sex bad for his health? Is it bad for a woman’s health?
RYAN HARRISON: Most people hold it as a self-evident truth that one cannot have too much sex. And, as far as the relationship between sex and a man’s potential for prostate enlargement is concerned, the jury is still out. I’d wager, however, that just as the prostate is a part of a man’s reproductive system, there may be a connection between overworking the gland and related health complications. How much sex, or rather, how many ejaculate-producing orgasms (since these are not always synonymous!) is normal? Who’s to say? All the same, here is my two cents’ worth:
An enlarged prostate is also called “benign prostatic hyperplasia,” or BPH, for short. It’s a health complication that is very common in men as they age, and is directly connected to age-related hormonal changes and to the two growth periods that a man’s prostate goes through. During the second period – commencing around the age 25 – changes in the way the prostate tissue is growing can cause the telltale symptoms (which don’t typically emerge until the mid-40s): weak or interrupted stream while urinating, feeling an urgency to urinate that produces only a dribble, leakage, and more frequent urination (especially at night).
Assuming that your boyfriend is seeing a physician for this health complaint, I’d listen carefully to what the doctor has to say. BPH can signal some serious health concerns that you’d both certainly want to be aware of. Beyond this, there are some additional things worth trying.
First and foremost, try reducing the amount of ejaculate-producing orgasms that he has. You can do this incrementally in steps, if sexual activities have developed into
something akin to an addiction. Try going from sex and/or masturbation several times a day to once a day. Then go from once a day to once every other day. It might be one of the hardest suggestions to try (who really wants to experience fewer orgasms?), but give this a month or two and revisit the physician to see if the condition has changed at all.
Try a few supplements. Zinc is certainly the first on my list, because a good deal of zinc – which is an essential mineral for health (meaning you can actually die without it) – is excreted with each ejaculation. I have counseled other men in the past to take a zinc supplement if they are very sexually active – even if masturbation is the primary activity – and that certainly goes for your partner.
One study suggests that omega-3s fromevening primrose oil have resulted in significant improvement for many men with BPH. Get him to try 1-2 tsp. a day of evening primrose oil or other botanical omega-3 oil sources such as sunflower, linseed, or walnut oils.
And in Germany, the herbal extract saw palmetto is given out just as often as other medications for BPH. It has been shown to shrink enlarged prostates and clear up symptoms in at least a dozen studies. Find a good quality supplement and follow its dosage recommendations. Increase this herb’s efficacy by adding someorganic pumpkin seeds to your man’s diet, as well. Among other things, they’re an excellent source of zinc: 8 mg per half cup serving!
As for you and your health…is “too much sex” bad for you? That really depends on how your body handles the expenditure of energy, hormones, fluids, etc., and whether you are developing any symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms of ill health that you think may be related to the frequency of your sexual activity, try reducing the activity and see what happens.
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