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</P> Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin D controls the production of lymphocytes and a chemical they produce, cytokine.

Sunshine: an immune booster

Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D controls the production of lymphocytes and a chemical they produce, cytokine. Sunlight can prevent lymphocytes from producing too much cytokine, which if not kept, causes the immune system to stop producing insulin. Without insulin, we are at a higher risk of diseases such as lupus, prostate cancer, Crohn's disease, and rickets If you are pregnant and don't get enough Vitamin D, your baby may be at greater risk for juvenile diabetes.

This winter, even though the sun it not always direct, you can still get vitamin D from being outside. Make sure to get enough sun or take vitamin D supplements to decrease your risk of these and other related diseases.

Massage miracles

Aromatherapy massages can be relaxing and good for your well-being. Here are a few combinations of essential oils that can relieve stress, help you sleep, or calm your muscles.

Mix one ounce of a carrier oil (such as sweet almond) with 15-30 drops of essential oils.

• For stress relief use 15 drops clary sage, 10 drops lemon, and 5 drops lavender.
• To help you sleep use 15 drops sandalwood and 5 drops jasmine.
• To soothe sore muscles use 3 drops ginger, 2 drops black pepper, 5 drops peppermint, and 5 drops eucalyptus.

These oils may be available at your local health food store or through a professional aromatherapist. Once mixed, store in a dark, airtight container, and use one-half to one teaspoon for each massage.

Far-Infrared therapies resonate within you

When a cloud passes over the sun, part of the sun's energy is blocked and we feel cooler; this means we are getting less far-Infrared (FIR). However, our bodies also generate this energy. Ear thermometers, for instance, measure our body's FIR.

Far-Infrared is a natural, health supporting energy. Devices such as FIR saunas help to detoxify, strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. These effects are associated with warming our tissues. How does this happen?

Dr. Yamazaki Toshio, in her book The Scientific Basis and Therapeutic Benefits of Far-Infrared Ray Therapy (Health Food Association R.O.C, 2001) explains: "Molecules expand, contract, and rotate all the time. When rays with the same vibrating rhythm radiate the molecules, a phenomenon called 'resonant absorption' occurs. The molecules…become more vibrant. The energy from this activity is converted into heat. SO consider FIR saunas to resonate your energy.

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