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Since about undergrad, I’ve been using a buckwheat pillow. It’s a special pillow filled with hulls, which help support the head and neck while sleeping. It reduces aches and pains by conforming to the neck and head’s contours. It helps keep the spine aligned.

Tru-Makura Co. of Orange, California gets its buckwheat hulls from the Dakotas. The hulls are cleaned to remove flour residue, which may trigger some allergies. Buckwheat hulls don’t compress, so the pillow conforms to the contours of the head and neck. I highly recommend it for relief of neck pain, headaches, muscle tension, snoring, sleeplessness, and other conditions. It’s simple: if you support your cervical spine and neck, you’re going to sleep better. If you’re a back sleeper, put a dent in it and it supports your neck. If you’re a side sleeper, bunch up the buckwheat husks under your neck for support.

When neck muscles are tense or irritated, it may cause neck pain. Poor posture during the day or bad ergonomics at work are usually to blame. Therefore, a buckwheat pillow used properly to keep the neck in neutral position can cut the stress while sleeping, thereby allowing muscles a chance to recover. There are also Tight and irritated muscles in the back of the neck can also cause headaches.

It started in Asia, and now it’s catching on in United States. The pillows are about $15 to $75. Or you can make one yourself. Most buckwheat pillows have a zipper which can be used to adjust the number of hulls. Sometimes, after years of use, the pillow flattens and more hulls need to be added.

Dr J

One of the major manufacturers, Tru-Makura Co., Orange, Calif., uses buckwheat hulls grown in the Dakotas. The company, which makes the Makura Miracle Pillow, cleans the hulls to remove flour residue, which could trigger some allergies. Since the buckwheat hulls don’t compress, Tru-Makura says on its Web site, the pillow “conforms to the exact contours of the head and neck” and is recommended by health-care professionals for relief of neck pain, headaches, muscle, tension, snoring, sleeplessness and other conditions.

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It’s interesting that since April 2009, when Swine Flu was officially recognize, only 22 million people in USA have been affected (7% of USA). Of which, 4000 have died (barely a blip in statistics). Come on, why is this flu so blown out of proportion?! Annually, 56,000 people die from flu anyways.

Well, there’s a decline in deaths, I don’t think it’s because of the vaccine because the vaccine has barely become widely available. Did you get scared into getting the vaccine? Did you feel you were thoroughly informed, or did you just follow the hype?

Dr J

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Breastfeeding for several months can significantly lower a woman’s risk of metabolic syndrom years later.

Not only that, but breast feeding has shown to reduce the risk of asthma in infants. If you’re breast feeding, try to do it for at least 9 months. Literature suggests longer is better. But how long is too long? When it’s no longer socially acceptable. A grade-schooler needing breast milk will be hard to keep up with.

For mother and infant, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First of all, eat healthy! This isn’t hard, we all know how to eat healthy, and in moderation. Next, get regular exercise. Again, everybody knows what that is. Remember that intake of food must match output of energy expenditure.

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