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Feet May Hold the Key to Health

March 17th, 2009

Although the feet may seem like the stepchild of the human body, you may want to pay more attention to them. Authorities on foot health say that keeping an eye on your feet is just as important as keeping an eye on your overall health. Your feet can signal problems with undiagnosed diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and even cancer, they say. That means that watching your foot health can help you catch undiagnosed conditions before they do permanent damage. I teach my patients daily foot inspections, says Dr. Christopher Sloan, a podiatrist practicing at the Desloge Foot Care Center in Desloge, Mo. By doing that, you know what you have, and you know what it looks like. Sharon Plummer, a nurse practitioner with the Endocrinology Foot Clinic at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, explained that feet have the longest nerves and arteries in the body and that theyre at the lowest part of the body. That makes them the bodys early warning system. Gravity is the reason, says Dr. Johnny Benjamin, director of the Joint Implant Center and Medical Specialty Procedures Surgery Center in Vero Beach, Fla. Disease can be detected because as your blood circulates to the lowest part of your body, if your heart isnt strong enough to pump it back efficiently, problems arise. If you have diabetes, the extra sugar damages the nerves and other tissues. If your heart is weak or you have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems, your feet may swell. If vessels clog with impurities, tissues die and must be amputated.

When the heart cant pump the fluid correctly, gravity pulls that fluid down into your feet, Benjamin says. You end up thinking its a problem with your foot or your leg when its a problem with your heart. Kidney disease also can cause swelling. People need to watch for changes in color and feeling, Benjamin says. If theres a darkening or discoloration of their toes that happens fairly suddenly, that can be an indication theres a blood flow problem. Unexplained sores and lacerations signal loss of feeling in the feet, and that signals diabetes. In the case of swelling, If you press on the swelling and you leave a divot, that can mean that your heart is not functioning correctly, even congestive heart failure, Benjamin says. And, he says, a little blue or reddish, that could be vascular problems. Finding a problem can give doctors a head start on treating it, he says. When you find one of these symptoms, you work backward to find out whats causing the problem thats manifesting itself in your feet, Benjamin says. Swelling doesnt come from a problem with the feet. It comes from a problem with the heart. WHAT THE FEET REFLECT For people with or without health problems, look for signs that can signal impending problems. Experts say all of these problems can be magnified for smokers. Plummer says, When someone smokes and looks at their toes and theyre darker and blue-red, you wonder if smoking is giving you vascular disease, and the answer is yes. Smoking causes circulation problems in healthy people. So if you smoke, expect your toes and feet to darken. Experts say thats caused when poor circulation causes the veins to back up like a clogged drain. Otherwise, here are some problems that can be detected by just looking at your feet. DIABETES This is the disease that most shows itself in your feet. And undiagnosed or ignored diabetes can lead to foot amputation. I diagnose 30 to 40 cases of diabetes a year for people who didnt know they were diabetic, Sloan says. The American Diabetes Association reports that in 2002, more than 60 percent of lowerlimb amputations not because of an accident were for people with diabetes. That adds up to 82,000 people. A major symptom is numbing in the feet and toes. Formally known as neuropathy, numbing is the primary predecessor to amputations. It means tissues and nerves arent getting a good blood supply. When that happens, they die. The surplus blood sugar stream damages the walls of blood vessels and nerve endings. The result can be so severe that people find wounds on their feet and dont know what caused them. STROKE If youre older and you suddenly start tripping a lot, you could have had a mild stroke. Nerves automatically lift the feet when they walk, Plummer says. You dont have to think about it. A foot not lifting properly is called foot drop. Something is inhibiting the nerves. A mild stroke, a back injury or diabetes can cause foot drop. Smoking enhances these effects.

The wrong shoes Although poor-fitting shoes arent classified as a disease although podiatrists believe they should be corns, calluses, hammertoes and ingrown toenails are problems for millions of people. The key is to take care of problems as soon as you see them. Dont wait for pain to become unbearable. Then invest in a couple of pairs of shoes that fit right. CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Swelling often is a sign that your heart isnt pumping fluids through your body with enough force. Fluids settle in lower legs, ankles and feet. Press on a spot on a swollen foot and if it leaves an indentation and the color lightens drastically for a few seconds, you need to report that to your doctor quickly. The diseases could be hypertension, congestive heart failure, hardened arteries, kidney problems or other vascular problems. Smoking enhances this problem. OBESITY Doctors say the most common groups of people complaining about foot problems are obese and elderly people. Obesity can cause any of the above problems as well as arthritis. The feet can tell when youre carrying too much weight, and thats a common cause of pain, Plummer says. Your feet were designed to carry a certain amount of weight. So people who are obese will complain of pain. SKIN CANCER Your toes beneath the nails can indicate a very rare but dangerous form of skin cancer. Beneath the toe, a bruise will appear for no reason, then it wont grow or shrink, and it doesnt grow out with the nail as a bruise would. The vast majority of the time, toe discoloration is because of fungus or a bruise. THYROID GLAND PROBLEMS Brittle nails can mean problems with the thyroid gland. SEE YOUR DOCTOR All of the experts agree: Dont self-diagnose. But experts also agree that educating yourself on the possbilities is vital. Research your condition, says Plummer, and compare symptoms with your family history and other risk factors. Doctors love informed patients, Plummer says. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR FEET Mary Doerr, foot-care nurse with the Diabetes Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, teaches people how to keep an eye on their feet. Doerr and other foot-care experts offered these tips on keeping your feet problem-free. Keep them clean. Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water. Especially if youre older, test the water with your hand. This is important because if youre suffering from a loss of feeling you wont scald your feet. Dry your feet completely, making sure you get between your toes. Damp toes become bacteria motels. Drying powders help. During your inspection, look for changes: redness, cracks in skin, sores, color changes.

If you have a blister, cut or sore, watch how quickly it heals. If it takes more than a few days, see your doctor. Slow-healing sores are a sign of diabetes, and long-lasting sores have a better chance of becoming infected. Do not endure foot pain. Wear healthy socks. That means no cotton. Cotton traps moisture inside the shoe, and that creates a welcome home for germs. Wear shoes that fit. Shoe manufacturers have made orthopedic shoes almost unnecessary. Shoes come in every width, stiffness and size. Posted in Acupressure | No Comments

Methods of Obtaining Knowledge and The Spiritual Master

March 12th, 2009

There are three basic methods of obtaining knowledge, two of which are faulty, and one which is faultless when properly applied. The two faulty methods are: 1. Direct perception, and 2. Induction (making general conclusions from limited experience). The faultless method is the descending process by which one hears from the proper authority who is faultless (Krishna or His pure devotees). The two faulty methods are known as the ascending process. Ascending means to go up. So one who follows these processes is trying to understand God or Truth with his limited faulty faculties. We see the adherents of these methods changing their theories constantly. They are not sure of anything. In Krishna consciousness we hear Krishnas opinion which is perfect, because He is omniscient; that is, there is nothing unknown to Him. His words are always perfect and true. There is no need of a new opinion every 5 minutes. Krishnas devotees who are in the disciplic succession simply repeat His words and therefore what they speak is also perfect. Srila Prabhupada gave the example of a small boy who asks his father what is the name of the object into which his father is speaking. His father replies, microphone. The boy repeats. Even though the boy may not have complete understanding, because he is repeating what is true, his words are true. Revelation, not speculation, is the only way one can understand God. Krishna wants us to know Him, so He reveals Himself through the scriptures and His pure devotees. The Vedas tell us that if one wants to make advancement in spiritual life it is imperative to accept a spiritual master. In any discipline we need a teacher. Book learning is not sufficient. For example, a surgeon must study under an expert experienced surgeon. He cannot confine his learning to books. One who does not accept a bonafide. Spiritual master as his guide is sure to be bewildered in his attempts at self-realization. One must be extremely careful in choosing a spiritual master, as there are many pretenders who simply wish to cheat innocent persons. There are standards mentioned in the Vedic literature that one should use when picking ones eternal guide: 1. The spiritual master must come in an unbroken chain of disciplic succession from God Himself, 2. The spiritual master must be a perfect disciple of his spiritual master; a first class servant rendering humble service, 3. The spiritual master must be fixed in the regulative principles and practices of Krishna consciousness, never falling down, 4. The spiritual master must haveheard nicely from his spiritual master so that he is simply repeating in his own words the teachings given to him. The spiritual master teaches by example as well as precept. By observing his behavior, the prospective disciple can verify that the spiritual master is not deviating from the teachings that he received from his own spiritual master and is, in turn, passing along to his disciples. In this way,the disciple can understand how to apply the teachings to his own life.

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Acupressure Techniques for Use during Childbirth

March 7th, 2009

My initial intention in showing these points to couples was to provide them with a useful tool for labour. It wasnt until using them myself, with the birth of my second child, that I fully understood the feedback I had been receiving. They werent just useful, they were essential! When my partner was not using the points the contractions definitely intensified! During the birth of our first child, I was timing the contractions as lasting 15 seconds, while without acupressure, they were lasting a full minute. This effect continued until shortly before transition. As an acupuncturist, I was surprised to find such a powerful effect using acupressure. (There are studies demonstrating the effect of acupuncture during labour but none that I know of for acupressure). In traditional Chinese medicine terms, I see them as prompting the body to work more efficiently. From a medical model, they can be viewed as promoting the release of endorphins, blocking the pain receptors to the brain, dilating the cervix, and increasing the efficiency of the contractions. What is important is that they are easy to use, can be used at the beginning of labour by the support people, and that there are consistent effects. From my own clinical follow up, 83% of people using them found them useful. Of those people, 60% described them as excellent, brilliant and amazing. This booklet outlines eight points and details their use in a hands on approach. They are labeled as acupuncture points the letters indicate the name of the meridian, and the number corresponds to the position on that meridian. Extra points have been labeled according to the body part. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, meridians are a series of channels that carry chi (energy) through the body. These meridians are a separate system from nerves, blood

vessels and lymphatic ducts. They contain over 600 points. It is through restoring and balancing the bodys energy that changes can be made to the way the body functions. There are points labeled Forbidden to use during pregnancy. These are points that can be used to induce labour. Due to this effect they should not be used with any strong pressure during pregnancy. It is possible to practice locating these points prior to labour. How much practice is needed I leave up to the individuals to decide. I would suggest that the support people need to feel comfortable locating the points on the womans body, remembering that the points will often feel quiet different for the woman during labour. As these points are easy to use, empower women during labour, and encourage close partner involvement, it is my hope that they will be made available to all interested couples as part of their antenatal education. Using Acupressure These points are not to be used with gritted teeth! Prior to labour they may feel strange or uncomfortable while practicing the location, however they should feel useful to you when you are using them during labour. Setting up a pain relieving effect, a sense of wellbeing, or a feeling of control that wears off when your support people stop using points. When using them correctly, there should be a distinct feeling around or at the site of pressure. This may be felt as either a numbness, warmth, tingling, aching or buzzing sensation. If they feel uncomfortable or painful try repositioning or select another point. These points are a selection of acupuncture points, different points will suit different people, and there are different points for the changing stages of labour. Apart from the section labeled When labour does not go as planned there are no right times for using certain points. The right points to be using are those that you feel to be effective. It is important to try them all to find the points that best suit you. These points appear to be of greater benefit if commenced at the onset of labour, rather than waiting until there is strong pain. From the feedback I receive, it appears using them early is important. As women report not only a reduction in the level of their pain but also a sense of well being, (that they are coping well, feel calm and relaxed), that disappears when their support people discontinue the acupressure. You can use any of these points at any time during labour. They are a tool that can be used in conjunction with any other therapies you would like to try. When using a Tens machine, I recommend you try using the pressure points first. People have commented that they prefer them, and they have the advantage of being portable there is no reason why your support people cannot be in contorted positions while you enjoy the benefits of a bath or the water pool! My aim has been to provide an easy to understand layout for locating the points. For the majority of people, these points will be simple to locate, however due to the diversity of the human body, and the changes that occur during pregnancy, I strongly recommend that you check out location with your midwife, doctor, or acupuncturist who will be able to show you in more detail if necessary. As an acupuncturist, I cannot resist adding that there exists a wide range of treatments to aid and prepare a womans body through pregnancy, labour, and post-nataly. I would recommend that you locate an acupuncturist that has completed a course that involves a minimum of three years of training. I welcome any feedback you may have concerning the use of the points and the layout of

this booklet. GB 21 Point Location When you draw an imaginary curved line between the bony prominence of the neck (C7), and the top of the shoulder joint (the Acromion Process) the point lies midway along this curved line, at the highest point of the shoulder muscle. It will feel tender with a numbing, buzzing or warming sensation (this sensation varies with individuals). The sensation is stronger on this point than any other points along this line. You can find this point on yourself by bringing your hand diagonally across your chest and palpating with your index finger along this imaginary line. This point will always be on this line with C7. C7 is usually the first prominent bone you see on the back of the neck, when you tilt the face towards the ground. If there appear to be two prominent bones, place a finger on each bone and ask your partner to slowly turn their head from side to side. C7 will move slightly as the head is turned. This point has a descending action to aid the first and second stages of labour, and can stimulate uterine contractions. This is an excellent point to use when breastfeeding, it relaxes the shoulder and promotes milk supply. It is forbidden to use during pregnancy Acupressure Technique It is important not to just rub the skin over the area but to apply firm downwards pressure with your thumb, knuckle or elbow. When using your thumbs, the pressure needs to come from your arm rather than the thumb joint, otherwise the support person will end up with sore thumbs. I heard of one partner who actually resorted to using the ends of two wooden spoons! The points are usually used with the support person applying pressure on both shoulders together, but I know of women who have successfully used this on themselves using only one shoulder at a time. The pressure can be applied at the beginning of each contraction or continual gentle pressure can be applied that is intensified during contractions. Bl 32 Bl 32 Point location This point lies midway between the dimples above the buttocks and the spine. (Note - BL 32 is not the dimple!). If you cannot see the dimples clearly, it is approximately one of the womans index finger lengths above the top of the buttock crease, one thumb width either side of the spine. When you place your finger on BL 32 you can feel the small depression of the Sacral Foramen where the point lies. As labour begins you can start here and as the labour progresses move down the spine (approximately one thumb width at a time, moving slightly closer to the spine until as you arrive at the top of the buttock crease, your knuckles will be touching). The timing of this movement downwards will depend on the woman who will usually instinctually tell the support person to move lower as the baby moves during the labour. Acupressure Technique * The support person places their knuckles into the points and applies firm pressure. This can be increased by the woman rocking backwards into the support person at the

beginning of a contraction, obtaining maximum pressure. * From feedback, these appear to be the most frequently used points. Producing a pleasant anaesthetising effect on he strength of the contractions, noticeably wearing off when pressure is stopped and building up again when recommenced. * There is a distinct sensation produced when you are pressing into the Sacral Foramen. This may be felt as a numbness, warmth, tingling, aching or buzzing. If there is sharp pain, you are pressing on the surrounding bone. * It is important to note that for some women the Sacral Foramen are not exactly in a straight line. Be guided by your partners feedback! * This is most frequently used with the woman leaning or kneeling against a wall, table, bed etc. It can also be effectively used in water, it just requires a little flexibility on behalf of the support people! Buttock Point Point Location This point is in a direct horizontal line from the top of the buttock crease. If you press along this line there will be a tender point approximately two thirds of the distance between the buttock crease and the hip bone. Acupressure Technique * When you place your hands on the womans hips you can push your thumbs into this point, helping the woman to move in rotating movements during contractions. * This point can also be used during transition, especially when combined with massage strokes, beginning at BL 32 and radiating out to this point. Labour Preparation Two to three days prior to the due date, BL 32 and this buttock point can be used along with some sacral massage, utilizing strong downwards strokes to and around the buttocks. The aim of this is to help free up the pelvic energy to encourage an optimal labour. Hand Points Location These points lie along the creases of the hands where the fingers join the palm. These are said to help release endorphins (the bodys natural painkillers) into the body. Acupressure Technique * Hold a small comb so that the teeth are touching the points. You can then grip the comb during contractions, applying the pressure that you feel is useful. * Some women find these points very helpful, to others they are merely a distraction! K1 Point Location This point lies in the depression found on the top one third of the sole of the foot, when the foot is in planter flexion (pulling the toes towards the sole of the foot). Acupressure Technique Place strong pressure in this depression pushing inwards and upwards towards the big toe. This point has a useful relaxing effect and can be used at any time during labour. It has been noted as being especially effective during the second stage of labour. (It is easily accessed if the woman is positioned on her knees.) Also useful during labour where there are feelings of panic (for example, going into a labour with an unpleasant previous birth experience.) A useful point to use to help the perineum relax during second stage. There is a tendency for the support people to stand back during the second stage. Please

try these points, they can be very useful. Co 4 Point Location This point is found between the first and second metacarpal bones (thumb and first finger) at the distal end of the crease on both hands. Acupressure Technique * Simply apply pressure with the thumb as shown in the diagram. * This has the effect of intensifying contractions, useful if contractions are of irregular intensity * This point can be used during the second stage of labour. It aids the bodys efforts to move the baby down through the birth canal. It may be especially useful if the woman is tired and not pushing effectively. This point is forbidden to use during pregnancy When labour does not go as planned Un-established Labour or failure to progress. Sp 6 This is an important point to help the cervix dilate, and can be used when the cervix is not effectively dilating during labour. Point Location This point is located using four of the womans finger widths above the tip of the medial malleous, (the shin bone on the inside of the ankle). The point will be very tender and is found when you slide your finger off the edge of the tibia bone, towards the inside of the leg. It is useful on initially locating this point to press on the tibia; it produces a very different sensation from the point. Acupressure Technique * Direct pressure is applied with the index finger or thumb. * I recommend using this point on one leg at a time for approximately one minute (count slowly to 60 !) then using it on the opposite leg 20 - 30 minutes later. * This point will be very tender and after using it some women will feel their cervix stretching and contractions strengthening. * I would not recommend using this point once labour is established. From my own experience, labour is not about how many hours a birth takes, but how you feel during the birth. This point is forbidden to use during pregnancy. Cervical Lip This is when, although the woman wants to push, the cervix has not dilated enough. She will be told not to push by her Midwife or Doctor. If this becomes a problem during labour, apply strong pressure with your knuckles to Bl 32. Waters Breaking If your waters have broken and labour is not progressing, you can use Bl 32 and Sp 6 to help establish labour. Inducing Labour It is probably obvious that there are points included in this pamphlet that could be used to aid the induction of labour. I do not want to cover the specifics of these. If an induction is necessary I recommend an individual assessment by a qualified practitioner. If this is not possible I would be happy to discuss some points with your Midwife or Doctor.

Nausea and Vomiting ( P6 ) Point Location This point is three of the womans finger widths above the transverse crease of the inner wrist. It lies directly between the two tendons felt here. (The tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis.) Acupressure Technique This can be used for mild feelings of nausea through to vomiting. Place pressure on the point and hold until effective, usually within five minutes. You can use pressure on both wrists or only one, whatever is more practical at the time. It is possible to buy a wrist band to apply pressure to this point. They are available through chemists and are called Sea Bands. Alternately you can make your own. Form a wrist band with Elastic, and sew onto it a rounded button. Take care that when in place there is firm, but not uncomfortable pressure exerted on the point. It would be useful to have one of these bands with you during labour, just in case you need to wear it. When wearing it continue to apply pressure when it feels necessary. Debra Betts is a New Zealand Registered Nurse with several years of Neonatal and Peadiatric experience. She is a member of the British Acupuncture Association, having graduated from the British College of Acupuncture in 1989. Upon returning to New Zealand, she has become a member of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists. She has combined her nursing background and Chinese Medical skills to conduct an acupuncture practice specialising in Fu-Ke (Womens Health Problems). In 1995 she joined the teaching staff at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Where she teaches the foundation subjects of traditional Chinese medicine and directs the Student Clinic. Debra and her husband have three children. The youngest two were natural deliveries, using the techniques outlined in this booklet. Posted in A foot massager, Acupressure | No Comments

Acupressure for the active guy: this ancient healing art can boost your energy and relieve you pain without needles
March 2nd, 2009

Tom, a personal trainer in his early 30s, had an atypical technique: Instead of just showing his clients an exercise, he occasionally would do it along with them in order to reinforce proper exercise form. The side-by-side approach did wonders for client motivation, but sometimes left him with inflamed muscles, characterized by especially painful knots in his back. And while the Jacuzzi helped to relax his muscles, it wasnt enough to stem the pain. Then a doctor showed Tom a simple solution: Applying steady pressure right into the knots with his thumb, his knuckles or even a tennis ball would cause the pain to lessen and eventually disappear. Acupuncture, the ancient Asian technique of sticking needles into specific target points of the body, has gained credence with Western doctors for its ability to reduce pain and other symptoms of certain ailments. But if youre one of those guys who belong to the very large group of belonephobes (needle haters), you will be relieved to know that you can also stimulate these points merely by pressing into them with your fingers. For some conditions, acupressure can be just as effective as acupuncture, or even more effective, says James Dillard, M.D., a specialist in alternative health care and an assistant clinical professor in rehabilitation medicine at Columbia University in New York City. Its great for getting out the knots in your muscles that can occur when you work out, or tightness due to chronic stress. And it can be especially helpful for pains that flare up occasionally. You can do some of this yourself at home or on the field, without having to make office visits to a professional. As a result, acupressure can give athletesor anyonea competitive edge, says Michael Reed Gach, author of Acupressures Potent Points and founder of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, Calif. HOW IT WORKS All forms of traditional Asian medicine are said to involve a system of meridians in the

body that help control an energy force known as chi. Stimulating isolated points along the meridians makes the chi run more smoothly, helping to heal the area of impact as well as related organs. Those who view acupressure from a Western outlook, on the other hand, believe it has value largely because it can help relax muscles and stimulate blood flow. One of the Western explanations for acupressure is that youre causing a counterirritation that helps close the pain gates in the spinal cordjust as youd do naturally if you stubbed your toe and grabbed it, Dillard says. It also probably stimulates endorphins. But if we dont know exactly why it works, who cares? If it works, thats great. A few small studies have shown that acupressure can be effective in relieving pain and helping people sleep. And since its easy and has no side effects, theres almost no reason for you not to try it. Obviously, if you have any serious injuries, medical conditions, or chronic or severe pain, consult your doctor first. And if youre a pregnant woman, dont even try acupressure without a physicians guidancebut thanks for reading Mens Fitness. HOW TO DO IT How much force is enough? The amount of pressure should make the point `hurt good, somewhere between pain and pleasure, says Gach. If theres muscular pain, you need to push slowly into the muscle. If theres joint pain, press into the indentation between the bones. Once the joint releases, it increases circulation to heal the area. Be patient, Gach adds. You often need to apply pressure many times a day over the course of several days to feel results. The process can be gradualits not just like pushing a button. Heres how to treat yourself for problems the active guy is likely to face. For best results, relax and breathe deeply. PROBLEM KNEE PAIN SOLUTION Place a tennis ball on a pillow, then place your leg over it so the ball is pushing into the crease behind your knee. Find the sensitive spot just below your kneecap and just to the outside of the shinbone. Press into it lightly with your forefinger for about a minute. (If you may have a knee injury, see your doctor.) PROBLEM DELAYED-ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS SOLUTION Feel around through the muscle and find a spot that seems reactivewhen you press on it, pain will seem to radiate outward. (Dont press on a bruised or injured area.) Using moderate force, press the spot with your thumb for at least a minute. PROBLEM MUSCLE CRAMPS AND SPASMS DUE TO INTENSE TRAINING SOLUTION Use your heel to rub the junction between your big toe and second toe for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other foot. This spot purportedly benefits the gallbladder and liver meridians, which can be damaged by too much exertion. PROBLEM LOW ENERGY SOLUTION For a preworkout boost, find any tender spot or knot along the back of your shoulders and press into it with your fingers for one minute. (If you cant reach, ask a friend.) Posted in A foot massager | No Comments

Acupressure for Womens Health

February 25th, 2009

More and more women are seeking alternative treatment options for common symptoms of PMS, menstrual difficulties, menopause, and infertility. Acupressure has become a widely recognized safe and natural alternative offering much relief and for good reason. Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses key points along the energy meridians in the body allowing balance and wellness. For over 5000 yrs Asians have used acupressure to access the bodys natural self healing ability. Chinese medicine looks at re-balancing the root causes for disease and illness versus the western band aid take a pill approach. Why do traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners look to the liver when dealing with womens health issues? The liver is responsible for balancing hormones in the body, cleansing blood and making blood. A sluggish liver can cause many disharmonies and is most often times the root of womens health issues. Our western diets are full of fats and sugars that impede the liver from functioning properly. Habitual frustrations and recurrent feelings of anger also harm the liver. These next liver points are most often used in acupressure to treat womens health issues. Liver 14- is located below the breast where the bra wire sits. This tender point is located between the ribs in a little nook closer to the sternum or hard part of the breast plate. If this is a tender point for you then chances are your liver could use a little boost. Hold this point with firm pressure usually 1-5 minutes until the pain subsides. You will notice a softening and the point wont be as sensitive to the touch. Liver 14 regulates and rebalances the energy of the liver and if you are experiencing menstrual difficulties such as irregular menses, pms, cramps, heavy bleeding or menopausal disorders this is a great point to use frequently. Liver 3- is located on the foot between the first and 3rd toe up into the fleshy part of the foot about 2 inches up from the web. It is usually very sensitive. This is one of the most powerful points in the body as well as being the source point of the liver. It is not to be used by pregnant women as it brings energy down in the body and promotes labor. Liver 3- is used for all womens health issues stated in the previous paragraph. It is also

beneficial for headaches in front of the eyes as the liver control the eye orifices as well. Once again hold this point for an extended period until the pain subsides. Using these two acupressure points can help to relieve many womens health problems. Stimulating these points daily will bring quicker results. Consider a liver cleanse and moderating your diet to limit fatty foods, red meats, diary, and alcohol to regain a healthy liver function. Eating dark green bitter vegetables like asparagus, swiss chard and spinach also cleanses the liver. Most women crave chocolate during menstruation as the bitter flavor in the cacao stimulates the livers purifying action. Consider using alternative modalities such as mediation, various breathing exercises and yoga if emotions such as frustration and anger get the best of you. And remember that your body is not working on a microwave time-line. It takes quite a while for an imbalance to manifest and cause various health problems. So be patient with your body and give it time to heal, and do its job properly again. Posted in A foot massager | No Comments

Health Benefits of Acupressure

February 20th, 2009

Holistic healers have brought together the ancient wisdom of both Chinese and Indian medicine by using acupuncture in conjunction with balancing the chakras, which supports physical, emotional and spiritual health. A variation on this is to balance your chakras using acupressure and essential oils. Acupressure involves the use of finger pressure on specific points along the body. These acupressure points are also termed as potent points. These are places on the persons skin that are especially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body. These potent points are believed to be capable of conducting impulses readily. By tradition, the ancient Asian cultures have always conceived of the potent points as junctures of special pathways that are believed to carry the human energy.

The Practice of Acupressure An acupressure practitioner has to learn how to locate the acupoints accurately and to determine the correct ones to use for different ailments. Gentle pressure is applied using the tips of the index or middle fingers, or the thumb, or the edge of the nail. Pressure must be even and is generally applied in the direction of flow of the meridian. To perform acupressure, you use your thumb, finger or knuckle to apply pressure to a point. The pressure applied should be firm but not painful. The point should be massaged from five to fifteen minutes until the pain subsides. But be careful not to over-stimulate the point, as this will make the pain worse. The challenge in self-administered acupressure is the correct location of the points. There are many books that have charts of the meridians and points together with complete directions. There are also charts available at various sites on the net. The healing process through Acupressure is quite quick and you can feel the energy flow in a matter of few minutes. The pressure applied on a certain position helps in removing the toxins and makes the blood flow smoothly. Unlike acupuncture, there are no needles used in acupressure. A person himself can perform acupressure and no other equipments are required. Application of pressure on palms and feet has the effect of charging various body parts. When specific points are pressed the nerves leading to the related parts are actuated which in turn stimulates those parts. As a result flow of blood and other body fluids improve providing nourishment to those parts and cleaning away the waste material more efficiently. Any undesirable deposits start dissolving. Functions of the glands improve. There is overall rejuvenation in the body. Acupressure is another method shown to be very effective in bringing on labor. A simple and comfortable way to naturally encourage labor is acupressure. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture because the same points of the body are used, but without the needles. However, acupressure utilizes thumbs and fingertips rather than needles. In order to stimulate the acupressure points to start labor, the points are first located according to some simple measurements. Using just your fingertips or thumbs, pressure is given to points on the body. The pressure could be applied as a small rotating movement, static pressure, or in a pressure-release manner. Acupressure has no significant side effects. The points may feel a little sore after a session and some people may experience a temporary feeling of lightheadedness. Women who are pregnant should not use acupressure without the approval of their doctor. And even with a doctors approval, they should not self-administer but need to consult a trained acupuncturist. Some of the points are dangerous for pregnant women. Reflexology Millions of people worldwide act on the belief that the foot, face and ears contain links to the organs and glands of the body. They believe that massage of one produces an efficacious effect on the other. There is no scientific evidence that massage of reflex points on the foot produces an improvement of a particular organs condition. Posted in Acupressure | No Comments


February 15th, 2009

Massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies are often complex mixtures of holistic healing practices involving physical, emotional and spiritual components. The definitions that follow provide only brief explanations of many of the techniques currently in practice. These definitions have been compiled from a wide variety of sources. While some were supplied by the developer of the technique, others were supplied by associations and educational institutions involved with the individual technique. Still others are a blending of information gleaned from several sources. ABHYANGA:[2] Abhyanga, or oil massage, is an ayurvedic external treatment where one, two, or more therapists use massage and aromatic herbal oils to bring balance to the body. ACROSAGE:[3] This combination of massage, yoga, and acrobatics was developed by Benjamin Marantz. The client is placed in an inverted pose atop the acrosagers feet, with the head hanging freely. With no pressure on the neck or spine, the clients upper body can be easily massaged. ACU-YOGA:[4] Acu-Yoga is a system of exercises integrating the knowledge of two holistic methods of health maintenanceacupressure and yoga. Both relax muscular tension and balance the vital life forces of the body. Yoga does this through controlling the breath while holding the body in certain postures. Acupressure does this by directly manipulating body energy through a system of points and meridians. Each Acu-Yoga posture naturally presses and stretches certain nerves, muscles, and acupressure points, awakening the meridians and releasing the tension in the points so that energy (chi) can circulate freely. This energy is the source of all life, and its flow is the key to radiant health. The process balances the body and stimulates it to heal itself.

ACUPRESSURE:[5] Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the bodys natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the bodys life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle, but firm pressure of hands and feet. Acupressure, continues to be the most effective method for self-treatment of tension-related ailments by using the power and sensitivity of the human hand. Acupressure can be effective in helping relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, tension due to stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower backaches, constipation, and indigestion. Self-acupressure can also be used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. There are also great advantages to using acupressure as a way to balance the body and maintain good health. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. In acupressure, local symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. A tension headache, for instance, may be rooted in the shoulder and neck area. Thus, acupressure focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, as well as responding to tension, before it develops into a diseasebefore the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage. The origins of acupressure are as ancient as the instinctive impulse to hold your forehead or temples when you have a headache. Everyone at one time or another has used their hands spontaneously to hold tense or painful places on the body. More than five thousand years ago, the Chinese discovered that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body more remote from the pain and the pressure point. Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain, but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs. (Definition, in part, from the book Acupressures Potent Points, by Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupressure Institute, Bantam, 1990.) Click here[6] to find an Acupressure practitioner. ACUPUNCTURE:[7] Acupuncture is an ancient oriental healing technique based on the Taoist philosophy of balancing energy meridians within the body, thus allowing the body to heal itself. Fine needles are painlessly inserted at key points corresponding to body organs to relieve pain and cure disease and dysfunction. Related techniques include the use of low voltage, electric current (electro acupuncture) or massage at key points (acupressure). AI CHI (FLOWING AQUATIC ENERGY)[8]:Ai chi is a water exercise and relaxation program, created by Jun Konno, to help aquatic practitioners and students enjoy the water in a flowing, yet powerful progression. Ai chi, created by combining tai chi concepts with shiatsu and Watsu techniques, is performed standing in shoulder-depth water using a combination of deep breathing and slow, broad movements of the arms, legs, and torso. The ai chi progression moves from simple breathing to upper extremity movement, to movement of the trunk, and finally to lower extremity movement. Ai chi promotes relaxation, stability, and coordinated breathing. It improves flexibility, mobility, and strength, and it will animate the mind as well as the body.

AIKIDO:[9]This noncompetitive Japanese martial art aims to harmonize energy with that of a partner or opponent in order to achieve both physical and emotional mastery through peaceful resolution. Aikido literally means the path to the coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Aikido is a defensive system of continuous, circular motions, combining many of the fluid, dance-like movements of tai chi along with more subtle, stylized techniques. When practiced properly, successful defense is achieved through minimal action. Originally seen as a combination of religion and martial arts, aikido was created by Morehei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century. ALCHEMICAL SYNERGY:[10]Developed by Kamala Renner, Alchemical Synergy is a process of evolving universal energy patterns and is used as a holistic counseling system that focuses on achieving transformation by utilizing the universal four forces centripetal, centrifugal, gravitational, and electromagneticalthe consciousness portion of the Big Bang theory relative to the beginning of the universe. Centripetal force controls all inward movement, allowing us to go inside to observe and reconnect with our inner world, which contains knowledge of all that is natural for us as an individual. Centrifugal force controls all outward movement, allowing interaction of the consciousness with the surroundings and other people. Centripetal and centrifugal force are duality and control all activity that depends on yin/yang, negative/positive balance for its existence. Gravity regulates the action of centripetal and centrifugal forces to ensure universal balance and stimulates the ability to step out of duality to observe the effect of its interaction from a neutral space. Electromagnetics is the life force that is a catalyst for reproduction to occur, allowing the evolution of consciousness to continue. Synergy training defines every experience in categories relative to the force from which it originates. (Adapted from Holistic Health Directory[11].) ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE[12]: The Alexander Technique is movement education in which the student is taught to sit, stand, and move in ways that reduce physical stress on the body. Alexander Technique teachers use gentle manual guidance and verbal cues to improve students posture and movement patterns. A lesson or group class typically involves basic movements such as sitting, standing, walking, bending, reaching, carrying, and lying down. It may also involve more specialized activities such as playing a musical instrument, working at a computer, etc. The teachers manual guidance stresses the adjustment of the head, neck, and torso relationship. In beginning lessons, the teacher closely monitors the student. Later, the student learns to monitor herself, ultimately learning a unique self-management process, an understanding of balance and dynamic postural control. F. M. Alexander, an Australian actor, developed the technique in the late 1800s as a result of attempting to solve his own physical problem of losing his voice on stage. He discovered that misuse of the neuromuscular activity of the head, neck, and spine caused maladaptive functioning and that this movement could be corrected. As he began to teach his technique, he found that his students overall health improved and that the technique could be used to address a wide array of problems. Click here[13].)to find an Alexander Technique practitioner. Posted in Acupressure | No Comments

Massage Therapy Types - Points, Sports and Acupressure Massage

February 10th, 2009

There are dozens of massage therapy types and techniques. Knowing what they are and what they do is sometimes confusing. It is hard to ask for a particular type of massage if you do not know what it is called or even what it will do for you. Here we will try to break the mystery into an understandable list of some commonly practiced massage types and what they do. Points The belief behind Shiatsu and acupressure is that the body becomes out of balance due to blocked energy along special points called meridians, which are located along invisible channels of energy flow throughout the body. Shiatsu is a Japanese word: shi meaning finger, and atsu meaning pressure. Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage based on acupressure. Shiatsu uses rhythmic pressure from 3 to 10 seconds on specific points along the bodys meridians by using the fingers, hands, elbows, and knees to unblock and stimulate the flow of energy. Oriental-based systems of finger pressure massage, such as acupressure and Shiatsu that treat points along the acupressure meridians, aiming to release discomfort and rebalance energy. Sports Massage Sports massage is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. It is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events. Sports massage can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether a person is an athlete or a once a week jogger. It is designed to address those specific concerns and may differ according to the sport the

athlete plays. Sports massage can be aimed to help heal strained muscles and allow healthy ones to reach peak performance and maintain it while minimizing the risk of injury. Sports massage can also include pre-event, post-event and maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance, lessen chances of injury and reduce recovery time. In addition to feeling good, sports massage reduces the heart rate and blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, reduces muscle tension, improves flexibility and relieves pain. Acupressure Acupressure has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a form of bodywork based in traditional Chinese meridian theory in which acupuncture points are pressed to stimulate the flow of energy or chi. The technique is based on the same ideas as acupuncture. In acupressure, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow or with various devices. The therapist applies pressure to small contraction knots, relieving pressure. Acupressure stimulates these points to emove blockages, to increase the energy flow and to promote health and harmony in the body. Shiatsu is the most widely known form of acupressure and Zhi Ya is a form of Chinese massage based on acupressure. Reflexology Reflexology is an acupressure type technique performed on the hands and feet. It is a form of bodywork based on the theory of zone therapy, in which specific spots of the body are pressed to stimulate corresponding areas in other parts of the body. Reflexology is a scientific foot massage based on the principal that the feet are a mini-map of the body, and that every body part and organ corresponds to an area of the foot. Designed to help bring the body back into balance reflexology uses pinpoint pressure and gentle strokes to the feet. Reflexology eliminates tension, improves circulation and stimulates the bodys natural healing process. A reflexology session is meant to break-up stress patterns within the body and provide an overall relaxing experience. Posted in Acupressure | No Comments

Medi-Points Reflexology Acupressure Foot Massager

February 5th, 2009

Description: Enjoy a delightful professional acupressure stimulation in the comfort of your armchair. Say farewell to pains in your feet - back - legs - and neck with the MediPoints Foot massager. All major organs and nerves throughout the body end in the nerve endings underneath your feet. Now you can feel totally pampered in just 10 minutes. This device has acupressure pins moving up and down. It caresses your feet and improves your blood circulation after a long day. This product also includes infrared. Give the Medi-Points Foot Massager a try and always put your best feet forward. - - - -According to the principles of Foot Reflexology - massaging your feet stimulates all the nerve endings and pressure points in your feet - thus creating a soothing effect that actually relieves pain and discomfort in your other extremities and torso. No wonder people love foot massages. Now you can feel totally pampered in just 10 minutes with the MediPoints Foot Massager. It gently caresses your feet - drowning your cares in blissful relaxation. Improve your blood circulation and feel soothing relief after a long day. - - -5000 years of ancient Chinese medicine have found that both feet contain pressure points that link to each organ of your body. Chinese invented acupuncture to probe these pressure points and acupressure to finger press massage these pressure points. It has been proven very effective. - -In China - thousands of morning exercisers are taking off their shoes everyday to walk along the pebble stone paths in some newer public parks. This seems to be a little painful at first but it help to stimulate nerve twig - appease spirits improve blood circulation - rejuvenating the mind - and prevent/cure all kinds of diseases of the human body systems. That is why the acupressure slippers and reflexology are getting popular. Posted in Hand Foot Acupressure | No Comments

Foot Motion And Foot Acupressure

January 31st, 2009

This paper discusses the impact abnormal foot motion (arches that flatten and ankles that roll in) has on the cranial bones. Section I describes this foot-cranial linkage in laymens terminology. Section II describes this foot-cranial coupling in medical terminology. Section III describes an embryonic foot type that frequently responsible for distortions in the cranial bones (hereafter referred to as cranial lesions). And Section IV describes a novel foot insole (referred to as a proprioceptive activator) which effectively reverses (in children) or stabilizes (in adults) cranial lesions. The foot-cranial correlations presented in this paper are based on a recently concluded clinical study in Juetepec Mexico. (Rothbart BA. Vertical Facial Dimensions Linked to Abnormal Foot Motion. Journal American Podiatric Medical Association 98(3):1-8, May 2008) Introduction Holistically, we know that the bodys framework functions as a unit: instability in one area of the body can reverberate throughout the entire body. This understanding underpins the concept that abnormal motion within the cranial bones (hereafter referred to as cranial lesions) can be the result of abnormal motion within the feet. While many scientists accept the plausibility of this correlation; little or no clinical research has been published that supports this foot-cranial linkage.

Over the past several years, this author has collected clinical data that statistically suggests cranial lesions are linked to abnormal foot motion. These findings are presented below and hopefully will prove useful in treating malocclusions and TMJ dysfunction. Section I Two patterns of cranial lesions resulting from abnormal foot motion have been observed: LEFT FOOT MORE PRONATED The maxilla and mandible (upper and lower jaws) shift upwards and to the left resulting in a visual loss of vertical height between the left eye and lip . Frequently there is a Class II malocclusion (overbite) and narrowing of the dental arch. RIGHT FOOT MORE PRONATED. The maxilla and mandible (upper and lower jaws) shift upwards and to the right resulting in a visual loss of vertical height between the right eye and lip. Frequently there is a Class II malocclusion (overbite) and narrowing of the dental arch. In both cases, a torsional (twisting) strain develops in the facial bones (side to side and front to back) which can lead to a plethora of symptoms including TMJ dysfunction and/or headaches. Section II The study of how the foot moves during ambulation is referred to as foot biomechanics. Normal foot motion is defined in terms of hip rotation: Internal hip rotation directs the foot to pronate (See Fig 1C). Foot pronation occurring when the hip is externally rotating is, by definition, abnormal pronation. Abnormal pronation frequently is asymmetrical, e.g., one foot pronates more than the other foot. Asymmetrical abnormal foot pronation is linked to the development of cranial lesions. In a strong gravitational field (Earth), the entire posture (including the cranium and teeth) is impacted by asymmetrical abnormal foot pronation: (1) the innominates (hip bones) are pulled forward (anteriorly) and downward, (2) the temporal bones are forced into external rotation, which (3) flexes the sphenoid and cants the maxilla (this results in a visual loss of vertical height between the outer orbit of the eye relative to the outer margin of the lip). Dentally the arch narrows, and the teeth crowd. The exact pattern of distortion depends on which foot is more pronated. The patterns described below assume there is no concomitant distortional pattern coming from the teeth. Abnormal Foot Pronation, Left Foot >Right Foot Both innominates are pulled forward (anteriorly) and downward by abnormal foot pronation. The left innominate is more forward because the left foot is more pronated. This anterior rotation of the innominates externally rotates both temporal bones. The left temporal bone is more externally rotated (tip of left mastoid more cephalad, less prominent) because the left innominate is more forward. The sphenoid flexes and side bends right. The maxilla cants left which shortens

the relative vertical height on the left side of the face. The teeth are crowded. The curve of Spee deepens. Dental orthogonal radiographic (DOR) analysis supports the above proposed lesion in the cranial bones. This radiographic technique was first introduced by Gerald Smith, DDS, to visualize cranial lesions resulting from occlusal lesions. Later, DORA was adapted by this author to evaluate the lesions in the cranial bones resulting from abnormal foot motion. The following anatomical landmarks are drawn on the orthogonal radiographs: VRL (Vertical Reference Line): a vertical line drawn through the center of the nasion and the anterior nasal line. LWS (Lesser Wing of Sphenoid): a line connecting the height of the convexity of the right and left portions of the lesser wings of the sphenoids. AT (Apex of the Temporal Bones): a line connecting the tips of the right and left malar (zygomatic) bones. DORA patterns typically seen in patients with abnormal foot pronation pattern of Left>Right are as follows: LWS line canted cephalad right suggesting a right side bending of the sphenoid (a low LWS on the left side of the face). AT line canted cephalad right suggesting a more caudal rotation of the left petrous ridge (an anteriorly rotated left temporal bone). ML line canted cephalad left suggesting a left cephalad cant of the maxilla (a maxilla that is shifted upwards on the left side of the face). Abnormal Pronation, Right Foot >Left Foot Both innominates are pulled forward (anteriorly) and downward by abnormal foot pronation. The right innominate is more forward because the right foot is more pronated. This anterior rotation of the innominates externally rotates both temporal bones. The right temporal bone is more externally rotated (tip of right mastoid more cephalad, less prominent) because the right innominate is more forward. The sphenoid flexes and side bends left. The maxilla cants right which shortens the relative height on the right side of the face (See Fig. 1B). The teeth are crowded. The curve of Spee deepens. DORA patterns typically seen in patients with abnormal foot pronation pattern of Right Left are as follows: LWS line canted cephalad left suggesting a left side bending of the sphenoid (a low LWS on the right side of the face).

AT line canted cephalad left suggesting a more caudal rotation of the right petrous ridge (an anteriorly rotated right temporal bone). ML line canted cephalad right suggesting a right cephalad cant of the maxilla (a maxilla that is shifted upwards on the right side of the face). Section III Etiology of Abnormal Foot Pronation In 2002 a paper was published in the Journal Bodyworks and Movement Therapy [6(1):37-46] describing an embryological foot type in which the first metatarsal is elevated and inverted relative to the second metatarsal. In the medical literature, this foot type is referred to as the Primus Metatarus Supinatus (PMS) foot lesion. I suggest this foot lesion results from an incomplete unwinding of the talus (a tarsal bone sitting on top of the heel bone). Clinically, this places the first metatarsal and hallux (big toe) off the ground, when the foot is placed in its anatomical neutral position. In order for the 1st metatarsal and hallux to reach the ground, the foot must roll inward and downward, e.g., abnormally pronate. Standard supportive type orthoses do not stabilize this foot lesion. A novel type foot insole has been developed that is capable of stabilizing this foot lesion. Section IV Proprioceptive Activators - a Novel Insole Proprioceptive activators are nonsupportive type foot insoles which incorporate a form of acupressure therapy. These insoles apply a tactile stimulation to the bottom of the foot. In theory, this tactile stimulation transmits a signal to the brain (cerebellum). Acting on this signal, the cerebellum initiates a positional correction affecting the entire body posture, including the cranial bones. The torsional rotations within the temporal bones and sphenoid are reversed. Frequently this improvement in position reduces or eliminates many of the symptoms associated with TMJ and dental dysfunctions. Proprioceptive activators can prevent malocclusions from developing in young children. However, if a malocclusion has developed, orthodontic therapy should be considered (e.g., the Advanced Lightwire Functional appliance) to improve the functional alignment of the cranial bones and teeth. Using proprioceptive activators in combination with orthodontic therapy facilitates this realignment.

Diagram of Points on Left Hand



. Acidity Hyper Tension Allergy, Asthma, Bronchitis Anemia Appendicitis Asthma, Sneezing, Hay fever Arthritis, Rheumatism Paralysis Blood Pressure low Blood Pressure High Blocked Nose Boils Bronchitis, pneumonia Cough and cold Diabetes Dumbness Dysentery, Vomiting Ear Pain, Puss Eyes, Cataract Bronchitis Fever due to malaria Gas trouble, Stomach pain Heart Attack Hernia, Prostrate Jaundice, Liver Problem Kidney Problem

Treatment: 1 to 8, 22,23,28 1 to 8, 21,34,30 All tips of fingers & toes, 37 1 to 8, 21 1 to 8, 30 & 34

All points tips finger & toes finger & toes 4,22,23,25,28 3,4,8,11,15,25,&28 1 to 8, 30 & 34 16 & 26 1 to 8, 30 & 34 1 to 8, 30 & 34 1 to 8, 25 & 26 1 to 8, 31 19,20,23,25,27,38 1 to 8 ,16,31 1 to 8, 35 1 to 8, 30 & 34 1 to 8, 30,34,37 1 to 8, 19, 22, 23,27 All points thrice a day,36 11 to 15 1 to 8, 19,20,22,23,25,27,28,38 1 to 8, 26