Lomilomi

Lomilomi
Lomilomi

Lomilomi literally means “to break up into small pieces with the fingers.” It is a type of healing massage that is traditionally practiced in the Hawaiian islands.

This form of massage involves both physical and spiritual ritual components. Lomilomi originated in the South Pacific and is practiced mainly in the Hawaiian islands, although lomilomi practitioners can also be found in Australia, California, and a few other places in the United States.

When Captain Cook and other European explorers disembarked on the islands of Polynesia, the indigenous people healed their aches and pains with therapeutic massage.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

motor neurons and muscles affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease
motor neurons and muscles affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease

Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause that breaks down tissues in the nervous system and affects the nerves responsible for movement. Its common name comes from the professional baseball player whose career was ended because of it.

Description

Lou Gehrig’s disease is a disease of the motor neurons, those nerve cells reaching from the brain to the spinal cord (upper motor neurons) and the spinal cord to the peripheral nerves (lower motor neurons) that control muscle movement.

In Lou Gehrig’s disease, for unknown reasons, these neurons die, leading to a progressive loss of the ability to move virtually any of the muscles in the body. The disease affects “voluntary” muscles, those controlled by conscious thought, such as the arm, leg, and trunk muscles.

Low Back Pain

Low back pain
Low back pain

Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint—second only to cold and flu as a reason why patients seek care from their family doctor. It may be a limited musculoskeletal symptom or caused by a variety of diseases and disorders that affect or extend from the lumbar spine.

Low back pain is sometimes accompanied by sciatica, which is pain that involves the sciatic nerve and is felt in the lower back, the buttocks, the backs and sides of the thighs, and possibly the calves. More serious causes of LBP may be accompanied by fever, night pain that awakens a person from sleep, loss of bladder or bowel control, numbness, burning urination, swelling or sharp pain.

Low back pain is a symptom that affects 80% of the general United States population at some point in life with sufficient severity to cause absence from work. As mentioned, it is the second most common reason for visits to primary care doctors, and is estimated to cost the American economy $75 billion every year.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a disease in which the cells of the lung tissues grow uncontrollably and form tumors. It is the leading cause of death from cancer among both men and women in the United States.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that in 1998, at least 172,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed, and that lung cancer accounted for 28% of all cancer deaths, or approximately 160,000 people.

In 2002, the ACS reported that more than 150,000 Americans die from the disease every year. Only 15 percent of people with lung cancer will live five years.

Lutein

Lutein
Lutein

Found in certain fruits and vegetables as well as egg yolks, lutein is a nutrient with a number of potentially beneficial effects. It is a member of the carotenoid family, a group of chemicals related to vitamin A.

While betacarotene, the precursor of vitamin A, may be the most familiar carotenoid, there are almost 600 others whose effects have yet to be extensively studied. Aside from lutein, these include alpha-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

In the plant world, carotenoids like lutein help to give color to sweet potatoes, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables. In people, lutein and zeaxanthin make up most of the pigment in the center of the retina, where vision sensitivity is greatest.

Lycium Fruit

Lycium Fruit
Lycium Fruit

Lycium fruit is used extensively in Chinese herbalism. The fruit are the berries of Lycium chinense and more commonly Lycium barbarum. The roots also have healing properties.

Lycium is a shrub that grows to about 12 ft (4 m) in height. It grows wild on hillsides in the cooler regions of northern China and Tibet. However, it is also grown as a cultivated plant in almost all parts of China and in some other regions of Asia.

Lycium fruit is rich in carotene, vitamins B1 and B12, and vitamin C. The fruit also contains amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), iron, and trace elements essential to the body, including zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Lycopene

Lycopene
Lycopene

Lycopene is a red, fat-soluble pigment found in vegetables, and most commonly found in tomatoes. It is one of a family of pigments called carotenoids.

Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments responsible for the brightly colored fall leaves and the vivid colors of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In fruits and vegetables, these pigments range in hue from bright yellow in squash, to orange in carrots, to bright red in tomatoes and peppers.

Although the human body does not produce lycopene, it is readily available through the diet. Minor sources include guava, rosehip, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. However, about 85% of lycopene in the U.S. diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products such as juice, soup, sauce, paste, and ketchup. A diet rich in carotenoid-containing foods is associated with a variety of health benefits.