Headaches and migraines: what helped me – and what didn’t

My headache and I, it’s a long story, we will soon be celebrating our 20th anniversary. What to do about the headache That was an issue for me for many years. It is not always a migraine, often it is really “just” tension headache. But never those that go away after a walk in the fresh air or where you take an aspirin once a year. I had my first migraine the day before my first high school examination – a fact that I found extraordinary for years. The neurologist, whom I later told about it, just shrugged his shoulders and said: “Oh, the classic.” (By the way, a very capable man, more on that in a moment.)

I’ve wanted to blog about my painful companions for a long time – about tension headaches and migraines. But the fact is, I prefer to ignore them. I would love to pretend it doesn’t even exist. Those days when I can’t get up in the morning because I feel like my skull is exploding. The hours when they slowly wander up over the back of my head because I am sitting at my desk totally tense. The moments when I know: The day is over, now even medication doesn’t help anymore. Migraine.

The good news: after almost 20 years we have come to terms, the headache and me. Sometimes I’m even pain-free for two to three weeks straight – after 15 years in which not a week went by without tension headaches or migraines and tons of painkillers. I had headaches a lot. Therefore, today I want to write down for you what has helped me and is still helping – and especially what has not. Fortunately, after many ups and downs, the question “headache, what to do?” Has been answered for me. This list is very subjective – there are as many types of headaches as there are people. K a migraine attack are the same.Also, the causes of tension headaches and migraines were very different. What didn’t bring me anything works great for you? Wonderful – then tell us your story in the comments.

Which doesn’t improve my headache

Medicines, tons: they are even risky

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA aka aspirin), paracetamol, ibuprofen … I know them all. As a tablet, granules to dissolve, with caffeine, in the migraine edition – name it, I had it. When the first attacks became more frequent, one or the other even worked well, and the day went on. That was soon the case less and less. Rather, the pills just managed to contain the pain somehow, but it still wafted like a thick cloud behind my forehead. So I threw in the next one. And the pain got worse. That sometimes dragged on for days. This is called “drug-induced headache” when headache medication causes new headaches. If this sounds familiar, keep a journal and write down exactly how many days a month you take pain pills. Is there more than tenThere are alternatives that work better. And rules of conduct that reduce the number of attacks.


About ten years ago the large  GERAC study (German Acupuncture Trials) ranthat was used to find out whether acupuncture really works. I did not take part in the study directly, but in its orbit, the treatment at the orthopedic surgeon was affordable and the health insurance took over part of the costs. Every week the doctor stuck the needles in my hands and ears, and during an acute attack a needle like an antenna in the middle of my head. The study later came to the result that acupuncture works for tension headaches and migraines, regardless of whether the acupuncture actually “needles” the prescribed points or any place (“sham acupuncture”). What happened to me: Nothing. Or maybe it was because I was “only” with an orthopedic surgeon with additional training, and not with a fully trained acupuncturist? I dont know. Incidentally, the statutory health insurance companies do not cover the costs of acupuncture for headaches.

Kinesiology and other alternative methods

The visit to the kinesiologist was great, no question about it. I lay relaxed on the lounger, she knocked on me, held my arm up, parroted what I had previously formulated as a suspicion for the causes of my headache (The high school stress? The guilty conscience of having learned too little ? I’m not sure what I rhymed back then). I went home refreshed and in a good mood, convinced that I had done something important for my health. It changed: nothing. Of course, the same applies here: Should I have gone there more often, wasn’t the therapist the right one? I dont know.

The same goes for homeopathy and craniosacral therapy and other things that I’ve tried because I was desperate and grabbed every straw. Something will help.Although – the session with the Egyptian-Canadian craniosacral therapist was really interesting and even funny. He was a guest in my yoga studio at the time, took off 100 euros twice from me, held my head for a long time, pulled hard on my arms and legs and chatted at me in his funny English. The migraines did not improve. But it was very entertaining and definitely not as fun-free as with the kinesiologist. I think I remember that at some point he said “You will once write about health, oh yes, you will”, but I don’t know anymore if I’m imagining it. It was more than ten years ago.

Yoga and other relaxation techniques

That reads almost heretical now: “Relaxation exercises didn’t help me against my headaches.” They haven’t for a long time either. Because I was impatient, looking for quick effects. NOW I HAVE MEDITATED THREE TIMES AND STILL HAVE MIGRAINE, WHAT IS THAT ?!

I learned a lot from it. The most important thing: you need patience. Prepare for a couple of years. And when the headache is already there, no more yoga, no deep breathing into the stomach, no autogenic training, especially not with migraines.

What works against my headache

This purposely says “my headache” – because if there are at least as many types of headache as there are people, then there are probably as many remedies and behaviors that can help. This text is therefore not an instruction for you if you also suffer from headaches or migraines. At most, a handout, an idea.

And that has reduced the number of my headache attacks from “far too frequent” to “bearable” – until today:

A good doctor

I went to exactly two doctors with my migraines. At the very beginning, after one of the first attacks on my family doctor, who was pretty at a loss. And then again eight years later with a specialized neurologist. At that time I couldn’t imagine living longer than three days without a headache. I found the neurologist through the expert list of the German Migraine and Headache Society. He had seen more blatant cases than me and that was kind of comforting. For years I had narrowed myself down on my migraines, they were always there, slipped into my life, stopped everything, was to blame for everything. And now someone found me, very fatherly: Everything is normal. There are people like you who rack their brains. You are unlikely to get a stomach ulcer.

He wasn’t into psychologizing, but of course he said that stress can and often is a trigger. That people like me simply “make a head” about many things, often unnecessarily or exaggerated, but that’s the way it is. But that it is also normal when the pain comes when I’m actually not under stress, for example at the weekend when I sleep too long or too little. The causes and processes in the brain in migraines are still unclear. What is certain is that certain nerves are overexcited during an attack and neurotransmitters increase pain sensitivity. In the case of tension headache, the cause seems to be related to poor pain suppression. Nerve centers that normally block pain signals will not work properly.

I was given beta blockers as a preventative measure , which really helped reduce the number of attacks. Beta blockers are actually medicines for high blood pressure, but they have been found to be useful for migraine prophylaxis as well. I kept a headache diary for months that the doctor kept going through with me. I wrote down every migraine attack, every tension headache, every tablet. My savior was a triptan . Migraine pain occurs in the blood vessels of the brain and triptans block the neurotransmitters that trigger this pain. If you take them early, they will stop the headache before you feel it.

Medication, used carefully and in good time

For years I had dealt with headache like this: At first I ignored it, following the motto “This time it won’t be so bad”. When my skull finally exploded, I almost panicked and took paracetamol or ibuprofen. And finally I had the maximum daily dose and the headache only got worse. My neurologist has therefore impressed on me: Don’t wait, especially not with the triptan. Taken in time, it will stop the attack. Some triptans are also available over-the-counter in pharmacies. But those who suffer from frequent migraines should speak to a doctor before taking one. Because: Not every drug helps everyone equally well. Finding the right therapy is an act of strength for every headache patient, and you should definitely have a specialized doctor by your side.

I can now assess my headaches so well that I already know whether I should take an ibuprofen right away or put peppermint oil on my forehead and an hour of sleep to get myself fit again. I certainly don’t believe in taking a pill straight away for every twitch in my head. But I think even less of tormenting yourself unnecessarily and giving pain the chance to ruin your day.

Self care and proper behaviors

Headaches are actually a great signal.There is someone in your head and makes you very clearly and very loudly clear that this is not possible. That it was too much. That a break is now simply necessary. Sorry that you can hardly move and hang over the toilet every hour, but there was no other way to do it now. The more I take care of myself, the fewer my attacks. Sometimes I succeed more, sometimes less. I got to know each other pretty well through my headache. For example, I know that I will definitely get an attack when I have mastered a difficult task or situation. As soon as I lose tension – whack! My brain box bursts. I am now preparing for it, have an emergency ration of ibuprofen with me and go home immediately.

Pro tip from my neurologist: For a while I always had raging headaches on Saturdays after I slept in. No wonder, said the neurologist, your whole body is programmed to sleep from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Now suddenly you sleep 2 or 3 hours longer. For a migraine sufferer, this is too much out of line. Cheat the disposition. Also, get up at 7 on Saturdays, get the newspaper, read an article, and then go back to bed.

I thought he was kidding me. But it worked. Today I have children and therefore the problem of sleeping too much no longer , but then this tip was a real help.

Headache and contraception / pregnancy / breastfeeding

Headache and migraines are at the top of the list of side effects in the pill information leaflet. I suspect that the pill also triggered the attacks in me – of course, it cannot be verified whether this is really true. It was noticeable, however, that for the first time in years I was symptom-free for a full four weeks as soon as I stopped using hormonal contraception. A falling estrogen level (before the period) can also lead to migraines – but this is different for every woman. I now get along best with a hormonal but estrogen-free method of contraception, the so-called hormone IUD. (Headaches are one of the side effects under the link provided, but the IUD has had a positive effect on the attacks for me – definitely talk to your gynecologist if you are interested in this method of contraception.)

My neurologist was also an important advisor on headaches during pregnancy and breastfeeding. At the beginning of the first pregnancy we discussed in detail what I could do about the attacks and which drugs were not allowed, for example ibuprofen. I found that regrettable, as it is the active ingredient that can still do the most against my pain. I was allowed to take paracetamol during pregnancy, so I got along quite well, except for a three-day attack in the second trimester.

The migraines were particularly severe after giving birth, while breastfeeding. I hardly dared to take a pill, went up the walls in pain or hung over the toilet because of the severe nausea. As a headache / migraine patient, please find out exactly what you can take for the pain while breastfeeding. You should avoid triptans if possible, but paracetamol, diclofenac or ibuprofen are definitely allowed . The blatant attacks while breastfeeding were one of the reasons for me to continue using a hormonal but estrogen-free method of contraception. The hormone spiral is not without controversy, but it actually made my life easier. Whether contraception, pregnancy or breastfeeding: In any case, talk to your neurologist and / or gynecologist about what could be of use to you in order to be relieved of frequent and violent attacks of headache.

Yoga and jogging

The orthopedic surgeon who stuck the acupuncture needles in my palms indicated that he actually considered endurance sports to be the better approach. I then very reluctantly tackled the learning to jogging project and after a while – you have to do it regularly and over a longer period of time – I noticed that it helps. As the Monaco Franze says: Also for the soul. The thought carousel stops for half an hour in the fresh air at a moderate pace. Ditto yoga: If you have an acute headache, there is no point in lying on the mat. But for prophylaxis, yoga is perfect for me.  The most important thing is: I have to do both on a regular basis, it has to fit into my everyday life, such as brushing my teeth or shopping for groceries. That is not always easy. But mostly it works.

Patience and acceptance

It took me years to realize that yoga and jogging actually help against headaches. Patience has never been my forte, but it has really proven to be worthwhile to stick with it. At some point along the way, I also learned: There is no point in hoping for quick help, the immediate effect.

We then arranged ourselves, me and my headache. They are “mine”.

I no longer fight them with every fiber as I used to, when the mere thought of them made me incredibly angry. They should just go. And were always there again. Today I think to myself: You just belong to me. Headache what to do The question doesn’t bother me anymore. Nothing hits me in the stomach, I just rack my brains when I’m stressed. I accepted the headache and haven’t seen her as the big bad guy in my life since. More like relatives, whom you can’t choose and you don’t necessarily have to sit next to at a family celebration. As long as they no longer move in with me permanently – everything is ok.

Do you also have a headache story? What works best for you? Tell us in the comments!

Neck Pain What To Do These 4 exercises make you loose

Neck pain is a symptom of digitized times. If you are reading these lines, you are probably sitting at a table, on a train, in a shop or standing somewhere – waiting and surfing the net. Because meanwhile around 30.7 million people in Germany also use the Internet on the go . The average user stares at their smartphone 700 to 1400 hours a year. Your head will be tilted and this will put a strain on your back and shoulder and neck area. For example, I’ve been plagued by neck pain since my studies – a synonym for sitting with my head bowed forward.

Cause of neck pain: Lowered head

Why is it painful to watch mobile phones and work on the computer? When the head is straight, the cervical spine has to support a head weight of around five kilograms. Even at an incline of 45 degrees, it has to hold around 23 kilograms – almost five times as much. Head posture should therefore not be underestimated as a cause of neck pain. In the task of keeping your head down, the muscles in your neck are constantly tense. If the movement is not balanced, the blood circulation decreases, the muscles cramp over time and the connective tissue, the fascia, stick together . Doctors are talking more and more about the neck of a cell phone, since the New York spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj has shown the effects of increasing smartphone use in a study in 2014 .

Treating Neck Pain: Targeted Movements

In the worst phases I already felt a pull from my shoulder over my neck into my head in the morning. Damn neck pain, what to do I have often asked myself that. Because massages and physiotherapy helped against it – but only for a short time. Targeted training in the gym then worked a miracle: it prevented tension. The area around the neck and shoulders, which for a long time I had only known rock hard and sensitive to pressure, remained loose after a new massage cycle. It went smoothly for years: my back exercises, my gym and I, we were a successful team in the fight against neck pain.

But then I moved and couldn’t find a studio that was really accessible. My shoulder-arm-back training became more sporadic. It was still enough for a long time to save me from the worst hardening of the neck. But at some point the protective effect was used up. So I looked for an exercise program that met a few specific requirements for office workers who work on computers.

  • It has to be done quickly.
  • It has to be feasible everywhere: sitting at the chair, standing in the stairwell, etc.
  • It has to do without devices.

I tried around for a while because there are so many exercises for the neck. Amazing for me: The very typical ones weren’t the most helpful for me. In the course of time a set of 4 exercises developed for me, which I present to you in 3 super short videos plus a picture here. Because after years of experience with neck pain, my credo is:

Neck Pain What To Do This question can only be answered individually. The good news: There is a solution, you just have to patiently test various things. The only thing that really makes things worse is doing nothing.

Let’s go: Here you can see my favorite exercises for neck pain:

Video 1: Gentle stretching – exercise for neck pain

Keeps you supple, increases mobility, relaxes immediately Just do it a couple of times on each side. More slowly than fast. Important: keep your shoulders down, keep your head straight, your chin slightly lowered and your elbows back until they point to the side. You should feel upright while doing it! Keep breathing regularly.

Video 2: Release tension – exercise against neck pain

Desk work pulls the shoulders forward. That shortens the chest muscles. You have to work against this, because a basic principle for effective training is: always consider both sides. In the case of the neck, not only the back side, but also the muscles in front.

Here, too, the following applies: Simply take it slowly a few times, feeling the changed tension and posture. A feeling of space, of letting go is ideal. Important:  let your shoulders loosely down, do not pull them up and cramp. Keep your head and back straight. Raise arms to shoulder height, no further. Breathe regularly.

Video 3: Light stretching – exercise for neck pain

Movement – dynamic stretching in this case – helps blood flow through the muscles. This is essential so that you and the fascia remain loose. During this exercise, slowly turn left and right five times as far as possible until you feel a slight pull in your lower back. Important: keep your shoulders down, keep your head straight, your chin slightly lowered and your elbows back until they point to the side. Tense your abdominal muscles. Keep breathing regularly.

If you like, you can even increase this exercise:  For the last turn, bend slightly forward on each side so that the front elbow bends a little towards the floor. Keep short. Stand up again.

Finally: stretch and stretch

Make it really big: what a treat! To do this, stretch your arms over your head, become completely upright and then consciously make it a little longer. Feel how you practically grow. Stretch one side a little more, then the other, then both at the same time. The important thing is to pull your left shoulder up, sometimes your right, and then lower it again, this promotes blood circulation. Keep your head straight, do not tilt back. Breathe regularly. To compensate at the end: Let your upper body and arms hang forward. Loosely dangle and shake out.

Neck Pain What To Do  Our exercise Recken healthandthecity.deI hope that you can now see the question “Neck pain – what to do?” A little more clearly and, above all, that you have new courage and desire to do something about it. Maybe you know a brilliant exercise or have a question, then put it in our comments!

Eye training: 5 exercises to immediately look refreshed

Today I’ll tell you about my feel-good favorites for the coming spring: eye training. That refreshes me like hardly anything else over the course of a working day, spent many hours in front of computer screens, piles of paper or smartphone apps. I can really recommend it, even if you may not have to look up close as much as I do. I’ll get to the reasons in a moment and I’ll include the best eye exercises – as a video to follow through.

Eyes strained from computer work

But first of all, briefly about the history so that you understand why I find eye training useful: I am a blind fish. Severely short-sighted since school, with astigmatism, first signs of presbyopia and lots of floaters that disturb my field of vision. For someone who strains his eyes as much every day for work as I do, this is a medium-sized drama.

I know dry eyes, burning, watery, inflamed eyes. I curse when I constantly have the feeling that I have to wipe a grain of sand out of my eye, even though there is no foreign body there. The worst are the days when everything at some point blurs in front of the lens. That makes seeing exhausting. It takes significantly more mental strength than usual to grasp the content of what I’m staring at.

Eye drops do not solve the central problem

Funny is different. That is why I have approached various ophthalmologists over the years: “What can you do so that looking isn’t so difficult?” At least three advised me to change jobs. From a medical point of view, that may be correct. Looking out on a ship is much easier on the eyes than a job as a journalist. But retraining is out of the question for me.

So eye drops. If they are the right ones and if you use them regularly, they even help to some extent against them. What they cannot do, however, is reduce the mental stress caused by hours of close work. I realized that a few years ago on a sunny February day.

I left my office around noon and was blinded by the brightness. All winter long I hadn’t noticed how much daylight can be lacking. Bright ceiling lamps, eyes fixed on the dimly lit screen, dropping in eye drops every three hours. Blink? Look up? Relax and take a much-needed break ? Nothing.

Eye training creates relaxation in every way

I have loved my vision training since that February day. It gives me the interruptions that not only give my visual organs the necessary relaxation, but also refresh my mind. Also to neck pain or headache to avoid such small but regular time outs are worth gold.

Vision training against myopia? A myth

For everyone who was hoping I would tell you that my nearsightedness has improved since I started doing eye training: I have to disappoint you there. The idea that blurred vision can be remedied by training the eye muscles is unrealistic in view of the causes of myopia. The length of the eyeball and the curvature of the cornea and lens play a role in ametropia. The muscles have no influence on this.

Keep eye muscles flexible by looking far

Many ophthalmologists consider it likely that specific eye exercises can delay the problems with presbyopia a little. This is partly because the eye muscles need longer and longer to see from far to near and back again. Eye exercises, in which one consciously looks into the distance, may help to achieve this so-called accommodation for longer. When looking up close – this includes typical screen work at a distance of around 40 centimeters – the ciliary muscle is permanently tense. It surrounds the lens in a circle. If you look into the distance, he relaxes. The lens becomes flat. In order to challenge the muscle and keep it in shape, it makes sense to regularly look out into the distance – ideally simply out of the window into infinity.

I call this eye exercise “looking into infinity”. You shouldn’t fix anything, just look far away. Personally, I appreciate letting my eyes circle while doing this. Time clockwise, then the other way around. This is the moment when I consciously feel the change from watching the screen. I notice how my eyes relax and how good the visual change is for me. A pleasure that I treat myself to for a few seconds about every 10 minutes.

Lack of light spoils your eyes

The “view into the infinite” has a second, greater advantage: It guides you to brightness. From what researchers know so far, getting enough daylight seems key to maintaining your eyesight. They don’t believe that reading for hours or so will make you myopic, at least not alone. Rather, they suspect the cause is too long sitting around – which goes hand in hand with long reading and constant screen work – and the resulting lack of light. Daylight seems to be important, at least for children , so that they don’t spoil their eyes. Everyone should treat themselves to at least one and a half hours of daylight every day. My eye training reminds me of it again and again – and, in addition to eye training, I also do it at least once a daytake a real break and go outside for a long time.

Eye training: 3 easy and quick exercises to do with our video tutorial

The best immediate effect against tired and overstrained eyes is achieved with the following three exercises. Blog colleague Nadja Katzenberger shows you in the video. You can imitate them anytime, anywhere. You don’t need any equipment for this. The best thing to do is to indulge in these exercises several times a day.

First look straight ahead. Now turn both eyes to the right as far as possible without moving your head. Return your gaze to the center, then turn your eyes to the left. After as many repetitions as it is fun, close your eyes briefly and finally take a deep breath.

Eye exercise 2: switch off stimuli

Take off your glasses. Rub your palms together briefly until they are nice and warm. Close your eyes and place your cupped palms over your eyes without pressing the eyeballs. Enjoy the deep darkness and warmth as long as you can. Breathe deeply and regularly.

Eye exercise 3: Seeing near and far

Take your thumbs up and hold it so far in front of the tip of your nose that you can still see it clearly. Now alternately squint at the thumb several times and then look into the distance.

At this point it should be noted that people who have problems with their eyes should always have them checked out by an ophthalmologist before they start eye training . Eye problems are not only ametropia but also, for example, dry eyes or squinting. For example, some eye exercises are not suitable for a silver look. Exactly which one can only be determined by a doctor.

Bonus material: More tips for relaxed eyes

In addition to eye training, you can do a lot more to protect your organs of vision.

  • Ventilate more often to equalize the humidity in the room. Dry air is a strain on the eyes. But avoid drafts.
  • Blink consciously to renew the tear film on the lens. Otherwise, the blinking frequency will decrease when working on a computer screen. You stare and your eyes suffer.
  • Avoid rubbing your fingers in your eyes if they are causing you problems. In the worst case, the symptoms come from an infection and spread bad pathogens.
  • If possible, get a second screen that you place about 20 centimeters further away than the first. This way you can vary the viewing distance at work and your eye muscles don’t rust too much.
  • Avoids light reflections and incidence of light on the screen and does not place it directly in front of a window. Otherwise the eyes are easily irritated.
  • In conclusion, I would like to repeat myself: regularly look out the window into the distance and into the daylight and regularly go outside.

Quick help with the 7 most common foot problems

Most men pay too little attention to their feet. Change that! Because little things quickly turn into chronic foot problems. That helps immediately.

W ann have recently taken care of your most important means of transportation? No idea? Pity! Your feet deserve more attention. Because they literally play a major role in everyday life. “Don’t ignore any complaints: Small injuries often develop into chronic problems,” warns Professor Markus Walther, chief physician at the specialist center for foot and ankle surgery at the Schön Clinic in Munich. With specific exercises and appropriate care, one can do good to the tortured locomotion organs. Read on to find out how to identify problems immediately and deal with them correctly.

1. Foot problem from itchy toenail

Maybe it’s a yeast infection. A so-called athlete’s foot not only causes annoying itching. It is an infection that makes the skin flaky. The fungus can also attack the nail and cause yellowish discolored limescale areas. Both symptoms can get worse over time. The likelihood of getting sick increases with age.

Solution:Athlete’s foot loves a damp environment in shoes and is often tedious to treat. Go to the dermatologist immediately and have an appropriate ointment or something similar prescribed for you. Important: Follow the guidelines for use! Make sure to disinfect your footwear if sports shoes or hiking boots are contaminated. Prevent new infections later on by drying your sweaty shoes well and rubbing your feet thoroughly after swimming.

2. Foot pain due to enlarged pads (hallux valgus)

Bad footwear or a genetic predisposition can cause deformation of the ball of the big toe (hallux valgus). This then curves sideways and affects other toes. Do not confuse hallux valgus with hallux rigidus. Walther: “The latter is osteoarthritis, ie joint wear.”

Solution:Surgical intervention is time-consuming and therefore only the last resort. “If the foot hurts little, you can just say you live with it,” says the surgeon. In any case, choose shoes that are wider in front. “Insoles, hallux splints or toe separators can relieve pain, but they do not reverse the misalignment,” explains Walther. Try to counteract the deformation through weight training. There are exercises, for example, at www.my-medibook.de.

3. Foot pain from deformed toes

If the joints of the little toes stick out and they always assume a slightly bent position, it is a hammer toe, a misalignment of the little toe. It occurs when toes are crammed into a shoe that doesn’t fit properly. “A typical western phenomenon,” said the doctor. The hammer toe can also be caused by an imbalance in the muscles in the foot. It prevents your toes from stretching when you run.

Solution:Wear shoes with plenty of toe space. A shoemaker can stretch shoes that have already been bought in the front area. “The most important thing is that you use the toe muscles,” explains the expert. In this way you prevent permanent deformation and maintain flexibility. Spread and move your toes every time you take off your shoe. Also, try to grab a tennis ball with your toes and pick it up during your next workout.

4. Foot problems from a sore joint

Over time – and especially after injuries – articular cartilage breaks down. The bones rub painfully against one another and inflammation develops. “In men, ankle osteoarthritis is usually the result of chronic instability,” says Walther. Classic example: men who played a lot of soccer in their youth and who twisted their ankles more often.

Solution:It is not enough to simply smear an ointment on it. “A bandage and stabilization training are mandatory,” says the expert. “Allow time for the injury to properly heal.” There are orthopedic interventions that can help, but cartilage still cannot be remade. Even loads such as cycling, inline skating, swimming and walking are easy on the joints. Be sure to choose shoes that support your joints, both in your free time and when exercising.

5. Foot pain from stinging heel

If you feel an uncomfortable stinging sensation with every step, then plantar fasciitis could be the cause. “This is an inflammation of the transition between the plantar fascia and the ball of the heel,” said doctor Walther. The plantar fascia is a tight band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. Unfortunately, she is very irritable.

Solution:Use physiotherapy to counter the pain in a targeted manner and create a strong foundation. “The aim of the treatment plan is to improve the elasticity of the fibers again,” says doctor Walther. “You can do that with stretching exercises, for example.” The best way to relieve pain is to use a massage roller such as the Black Roll. Don’t have one at home? Then just freeze a water bottle and roll your feet over the bottle for 3 to 5 minutes 2 times a day.

6. Nervous cross problems caused by flat feet

Do you often suffer from hip or back pain? Maybe your feet are behind it too! “With a flat foot, the longitudinal arch of the foot is hardly or not at all,” explains Walther. Unstable or misaligned feet cause joints and muscles in the rest of the body to overcompensate. This can lead to pain in distant areas.

Solution: Ask your physiotherapist or trainer if they can do a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) test. “The test first helps to see what the problem is,” says the expert. Physiotherapy helps in mild cases. But if a tendon is overloaded, you will need insoles to relieve it. If the tendon is torn or even torn off, only surgery will help.

7. Foot pain from sensitive soles

Do you have rough skin on the soles of your feet? For now, don’t worry. But if the cornea has tiny black spots that hurt when you pinch on it, it may be a wart. This occurs after an infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and grows inside the foot.
Solution: Use a wart remover from the pharmacy with 40 percent salicylic acid. A lower concentration is not enough. If the wart persists, see a dermatologist or podiatrist. Nowadays, doctors can do a lot more than freeze the wart: they inject yeast into the lesions, stimulating the immune system to heal the skin from the inside. Wear flip-flops from now on, as swimming pools and changing rooms are real virus hotspots.

Wherever your shoes pinch: take foot problems seriously. The earlier you start with measures such as insoles, gymnastics or targeted care, the faster you will be back on the road without pain.


3 reasons why protection against periodontal disease is worthwhile

Do you still know the test for periodontal disease from the old TV commercial? To do this you bite heartily into a hard apple. If no blood adheres to the bite site, everything is fine: no bleeding gums, no inflammation of the gums, no receding gums. The periodontal disease prevention has worked. Fixed teeth into old age are guaranteed. At least that’s what the toothpaste advertisement suggested.

Of course, one can imagine that advertising simplifies things roughly. It starts with the terms: The apple testers in the toothpaste pot speak of periodontal disease, like most people – and by the way, I too often. But what is actually meant is periodontitis: an inflammation caused by certain bacteria and destruction of the periodontium.

It begins with an inflammation of the gums – called gingivitis by dentists. This is still quite harmless. If, however, nothing is done about it for a long time, the inflammation can spread to the bone wall of the teeth and their periodontal membrane and root cement. In the worst case, your teeth will eventually wobble and fall out.

The onset of gingivitis often goes unnoticed

This is how it can work, but it doesn’t have to. Some people suffer from severe periodontal disease without their gums bleeding – for example, diabetics or heavy smokers. The period of gingivitis is long behind you. Your walkers are in dire danger, but they don’t notice. The apple test is therefore a bad guide when it comes to assessing the risk of tooth loss.

It is extremely important for young adults to know the condition of their own gums. Because in the new, fifth German oral health study, there is a shocking number: In the age group of 35 to 44 year olds, one in two people already suffers from periodontitis. Around one in ten at this age is even suffering from a severe form. So it doesn’t just happen to people of retirement age that one’s teeth fall out. It starts early and increasingly.

When I read this, I knew I had to blog about it.

In addition to my own research, I took advice from a specialized dentist, Dr. Claudio Cacaci brought in. He is a specialist dentist for oral surgery and implantology. With his colleague Dr. Peter Randelzhofer, he runs the Implant Competence Center in Munich . Several times a day, he repairs in his practice – mostly with the help of implants – the devastation that periodontitis has caused in the mouth.

Dr. Cacaci (left) is a specialist in periodontal disease, implants and gingivitis healthandthecity.de


There are three very good reasons for taking targeted care of the prevention (prophylaxis) of periodontal disease early in life:

1) Periodontal disease (periodontal disease) is a danger for families who want to have children

If a pregnant woman suffers from a bacterial disease of the gums, the risk of premature birth or miscarriage increases significantly. This is repeatedly confirmed in studies . It is assumed that, in industrialized nations, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or periodontal disease is responsible for around every fifth case in which a child is born prematurely or with underweight.

The cause: The same bacteria are found in the amniotic fluid as in the mouth of an expectant mother. Harmful germs can occasionally penetrate the placenta to the fetus. There they trigger stress and defense reactions. Possible consequences are a stoppage of growth in the unborn child or premature labor in the mother.

“We advise pregnant women to have their gums checked every four weeks as a precaution,” says Dr. Claudio Cacaci. With inflammation you can help in time. Many dentists consider this close monitoring for periodontitis prophylaxis to be useful even for women who have not previously had any gum problems. Because the hormonal change during pregnancy promotes inflammation of the gums.

“Under no circumstances should pregnant women ignore inflammation of the gums and bleeding gums,” warns Cacaci. With this you should immediately go to a dentist who is familiar with infections of the tooth bed.

2) Periodontal disease is jointly responsible for serious diseases such as heart attacks, strokes or inflammatory joint rheumatism (arthritis)

Every diabetes patient knows it: Periodontitis worsens blood sugar levels. The body tries to fight harmful bacteria in the mouth and starts a complex defense reaction. Inflammatory substances and chemical messengers enter the blood, which reduce the body’s cells’ sensitivity to insulin.

However, periodontal disease threatens the health of every person: some of the messenger substances and antibodies that the body generates against periodontal disease – germs, damage the inner walls of the blood vessels – including those in the heart. Therefore, people in whom periodontitis bacteria colonize the gum pockets for years have higher cardiovascular risks: Strokes affect periodontitis patients three times as often as people with healthy gums. The risk of a heart attack increases by 25 percent.

There is also a connection between inflammatory joint rheumatism and periodontitis. Besides other factors, a special periodontal bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, plays an inglorious role. It changes blood proteins. Protein complexes arise and are deposited on joints such as the knees or hips. This can trigger or worsen rheumatic inflammation .

As if that weren’t enough, periodontal disease appears to be involved in many other diseases, including: smoker’s lung (COPD), pneumonia, osteoporosis (bone loss) or certain heart infections. “Preventing periodontitis from developing in the first place is an important preventive measure for health,” summarizes dentist and implant specialist Cacaci.

3) Treating periodontal disease properly costs a lot of money

Stopping severe periodontal disease is time-consuming. The dentist must completely remove the bacteria from the gingival pockets and the surrounding tissue. Sometimes the gums have to be cut open. Some patients need antibiotics. For others, existing implants must be removed or treated as well. In addition, there are preliminary examinations, germ determinations, multiple prophylaxis sessions, monitoring of success, etc .. The services of the statutory health insurances hardly cover this, as can be read, for example, between the lines of the information from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists in Berlin. In an emergency, a periodontitis patient can face a bill for EUR 6,000 or EUR 7,000.

And that’s just the money to treat the infection. Dentures are not included. After all, almost one in four people in Germany between the ages of 65 and 74 were toothless in 2016. Main cause: periodontal disease. These people need third teeth – above and below. Even on the simplest variant, the bit for the water glass, a person concerned has to add between 500 and 900 euros.

The trend is towards implants

But the trend is towards implants . In Germany around one million are placed every year. Anchored in the jawbone, they act as artificial tooth roots. Individual teeth can be attached to it (costs start at 4,000 euros) or entire dentures (from around 15,000 euros per jaw). The advantage: These teeth are comfortable, almost like the real ones. If properly implanted and properly treated by the wearer, they will last a long time. The disadvantage: the costs, to which the statutory health insurance fund adds around 1000 euros at best.

To avoid these costs, you have only two options: Either a suitable supplementary dental insurance, or you prevent periodontitis so well that your own teeth will last a lifetime. Finding additional dental insurance is not easy. You have to compare tariffs and services in detail. Finanztipp.de provides orientation, and Stiftung Warentest offers current information.

Implant: Necessary if you lose teeth due to inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease healthandthecity.de


Implant (right): Looks like a screw and serves as an artificial tooth root. The measuring rail (above) ensures that implants are placed in the right place in the jaw.

Convinced that you should take care of the health of your gums before they get infected?

Then the following question arises: How do you prevent periodontal disease?

In periodontitis prophylaxis there are 5 factors that everyone can influence:

  1. personal oral hygiene, especially in the interdental spaces
  2. regular professional teeth cleaning
  3. cigarette consumption
  4. the contagion of infants
  5. recognize the symptoms of periodontal disease early

Why oral hygiene is so important can be better understood if you understand the causes of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an infectious disease. Different bacteria live in each mouth. The mixture gives the oral flora. Usually it is dominated by harmless types of bacteria that even suppress pathogens. In a healthy oral flora, the types of bacteria are in harmony; they are indispensable for the entire digestive tract.

It gets bad when the germ spectrum in the oral cavity has changed permanently. Aggressive bacteria predominate in the mouths of patients with periodontal disease – especially gram-negative anaerobes. Because they do not require oxygen, they can lodge deep in the gingival pockets and even penetrate the surrounding soft tissue.

Graphic: How periodontal disease develops from untreated gingivitis; healthandthecity.de


A severe periodontal disease does not develop overnight. Before the destructive periodontal pathogens prevail, the oral flora goes through many changes. So-called bridge germs, which are themselves only moderately harmful, prepare the way for the infection. During this phase, patients often suffer from bleeding gums, swollen or dark red discolored gums.

This gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums, can still be easily combated. “The problem is that many patients react incorrectly to these warning signals,” explains dentist Dr. Claudio Cacaci, “or you don’t even notice.”

If periodontal pathogens have lodged themselves, they produce certain substances that cause the body to have a permanent inflammatory reaction. In addition, they produce real toxins that break down the tooth bed in batches – and can also trigger many other diseases. At this stage, well-meaning people could protect them from worse with an honest reference to existing bad breath: Bad breath is typical for periodontal disease and very unpleasant for the other person, reports Cacaci.

How do the harmful bacteria get into a healthy mouth in the first place?

Certainly not about food. Periodontal pathogens are contracted through contact with saliva in infected people. For example when kissing. In a healthy mouth and with a good immune system, however, the harmful germs have no chance of settling. They cannot find the right conditions to multiply strongly.

This is why 1) floss oral hygiene is so crucial.

A clean tooth doesn’t get sick. Clean means: free of plaque and tartar. “With the toothbrush you can only reach about 70 percent of the tooth surface,” reports Cacaci. To get to the rest – namely the interdental spaces – you have to use dental floss – or if there are larger spaces, interdental brushes. And that every day!

Because flossing actually seems to be an important factor in preventing gingivitis and plaque build-up .

The brushing technique, length and frequency of brushing, toothbrush and toothpaste naturally also play a role in the success of oral hygiene. But experts see the most pent-up demand in cleaning the spaces between the teeth. Because: Theoretically, every German citizen would have to use 180 meters of dental floss a year. The German Society for Dental Preservation, however, assumes only about 10 meters. So dental floss is used far too rarely.

2) Regular professional tooth cleaning (PZR) is important because even the best brushing is not enough in the long term to prevent periodontitis.

In the meantime, some statutory health insurance companies contribute to the costs of professional teeth cleaning. These are between 50 and 140 euros. The reason for this care: It is assumed that people who regularly use these prevention offers will develop periodontitis less often – or if so, then less severely.

It is often recommended to have the teeth cleaned by specially trained staff in the dental practice twice a year. Basically, that’s too general. “It is partly genetic how susceptible someone is to periodontal disease,” explains Cacaci. In people with a certain genetic makeup, the supporting structures of the teeth are naturally more at risk. You may need professional teeth cleaning more often than twice a year: “Patients who, for example, have already lost teeth due to periodontitis and have been provided with implants, are among the high-risk patients. We would like to see them up to 6 times a year, ”reports Dr. Cacaci. “Depending on how well you manage yourself with the necessary oral hygiene.”

On the other hand, for people with great gums and perfect oral hygiene, professional teeth cleaning once a year can be sufficient. However, this can only be found out if you go to the dentist regularly – and explicitly talk to them about periodontitis. Such a service is also offered by Dr. Cacaci in his specialized practice in Munich, because he not only cares about the treatment of diseases of the tooth supporting apparatus. Preventing them is just as important to him. It is crucial that it is a professional teeth cleaning and not just a cosmetic procedure.

3) During a conversation like this one learns, for example, that smoking is one of the greatest risk factors for periodontal disease.

“Smoking is particularly fatal for people with a genetic predisposition,” reports expert Cacaci. Patients who only have individual teeth in their mouth by the age of 30 are not uncommon in the specialist’s practice. It is not tooth-brushing refusers that such aggressive periodontitis affects, but people who were unlucky with their genetic makeup and were poorly informed. Because: A particularly aggressive form of periodontitis can occur in childhood after the eruption of the first permanent teeth and must be recognized early, reports Cacaci.

4) Anyone who deals with infants and young children can contribute to reducing periodontal disease as a contagious disease:

“Under no circumstances should you lick a pacifier or a bottle before putting it in the child’s mouth,” emphasizes Cacaci. Parents or grandparents who are infected with periodontal pathogens pass the disease on to babies via the saliva on the pacifier and thus lay the foundation for fatal dentition development – and a strong spread, at the latest when the infected offspring smooch with others.

5) Everyone should know the symptoms and warning signs of periodontal disease – and do the right thing.

The warning signals include bleeding gums – when brushing your teeth but also when eating – and bad breath. “In many cases I can tell the disease by its smell,” reports Dr. Cacaci. Bad breath is an alarm signal that should be taken seriously. Swollen, dark red discolored gums are also suspicious. At first it is usually just a harmless inflammation of the gums. The best way to get rid of this is to brush your teeth particularly carefully and clean the spaces between them well. “However, a lot of people react completely wrongly,” explains Cacaci. “You save the inflamed region when you brush or don’t brush at all.” Perhaps behind this is the concern of rubbing germs into sore gums. Or you want to avoid pain or keep bleeding. But that’s wrong. Brushing your teeth reduces germs!

Untreated gingivitis can pave the way for severe periodontal disease. Later the gums stop bleeding, but the destruction continues. Until you lose a tooth….

Perhaps you feel the same way as me: When it comes to dental health, I’ve mainly thought of tooth decay. I was always as proud as Bolle when the dentist found nothing to drill during the annual examination. In the meantime I know: Caries is already an important issue in milk teeth and the course for dental health is set early in every respect.

Live healthier thanks to these 10 simple everyday tips

Do you want to extend your life? Nothing easier than that! There is a key to long life. Doctors, sex therapists and nutrition experts reveal their best health tips here.

D ie foundations for a healthy lifestyle, you may be familiar with: a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and avoiding smoking again. These are the basics, but health is like muscle training: In addition to the basics, the fine-tuning must also be right, because that is just as important. Here are the 10 best health tips for everyday life:

Healthier Living Tip 1: Masturbate regularly

Take your health into your own hands: When you feel stressed, masturbating can help you come down, says American psychotherapist Paul Hokemeyer. Because during orgasm, many feel-good hormones such as oxytocin are released, which are particularly good at relaxing us. Nice side effect: Regular masturbation also lowers the risk of prostate cancer.

Healthier living tip 2: breathe more consciously

For your next cardio or strength training, try to breathe through your nose for the first 10 minutes, advises Nathan Helmig, head coach at  therunexperience.com . The reduced oxygen supply forces you to use your diaphragm to the full and to breathe deeper than usual. This technique also works great when you’re stressed: consciously slow your breathing and focus on how your body relaxes and you slowly come back down.

Healthier living tip 3: talk openly about illnesses

4 out of 5 men do not talk to others about their sexual health or any other health problem. As a result, many do not (want to) know which diseases they may have or which they are susceptible to for genetic reasons. But US urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt knows that it is important to have these discussions: Inquire about hereditary diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer in the family. Talk to your partner about sexually transmitted diseases they may both have or have had. You can only take effective preventive measures and react in good time if you have an overview of your health and the risks to be reckoned with.

Healthier living tip 4: Let your heart beat faster

Your heart needs regular care and training so that it can do its job for as long and as fit as possible. 30 to 40 minutes of exercise most days of the week is ideal, says US cardiologist Prediman K. Shah of the University of California at Los Angeles. You should also do strength training with weights twice a week. If you want to relieve your stress on top of that, try yoga. This not only trains the body, but has also been shown to reduce stress, which is still complicit in the six most common causes of death.

Healthier Living Tip 5: Eat More Fiber

On average, men consume less than half of the recommended fiber per day (30 to 38 grams), which can be a health problem because fiber helps keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels under control. They also protect us from heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The gastroenterologist Akash Goel of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York therefore advises urgently to bring more fiber to the table. His tip: In the supermarket, simply put more vegetables, whole grain products and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils in the trolley. Because once the food is at home, it is more likely that it will be eaten.

Healthier living tip 6: take a vacation

Performance is like a muscle: if you keep it tense for too long, it gets weaker and weaker. This is exactly why we need regular vacations: It improves sleep and creativity, reduces stress and inflammation in the body, supports the immune system and brings us back into contact with family or close friends. There is no better drug in the world that can change every fiber of our body so dramatically for the better than Urlaub, says psychologist and behavioral scientist Murali Doraiswamy of Duke University in Durham, USA.

Healthier living tip 7: have a lot of sex

Sex is good for us – for a variety of reasons, including health: For example, a study by the British Medical Journal found that men who orgasm twice a week live healthier and longer. Having sex at least three times a week cuts a man’s risk of heart attack in half. Also, having sex and having good orgasms improves the bond with the partner. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that couples have to have sex every day to be happy. Surprisingly, couples who do it several times a week are no happier than those who only copulate once a week.

Healthier living tip 8: take regular walks

Best every day after a meal for 30-60 minutes, because this keeps the blood sugar level in check and helps to keep the weight, says US doctor Spencer Nadolsky, who specializes in the fight against obesity. Studies also show that walking curbs appetite, improves sleep, and even helps relieve stress. Even if it’s not a big workout, walking naturally burns more calories than sitting on the couch. And who knows, maybe walking will eventually turn into jogging?

Healthier Living Tip 9: Eat a handful of walnuts

Small snacks throughout the day are perfect for maintaining strength, getting essential nutrients and avoiding food cravings, says US physiologist and fitness expert Jim White from Virginia Beach, USA. His advice: Take a snack of around 100 to 200 calories two to three times a day and make sure you have a good mix between protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Walnuts, for example, are ideal: 30 grams contain a whopping 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and the highest number of vegetable omega-3 fatty acids compared to other nuts.

Healthier Living Tip 10: Cultivate Relationships

Canadian relationship expert Sarah Hunter Murray knows that well-maintained friendships and relationships are the be-all and end-all of a happy life. Because when a relationship is going well, it works like a kind of buffer for our everyday stress. On the other hand, if it runs poorly, the opposite effect occurs. Murray therefore recommends talking openly and often about personal problems. Regardless of whether it is about family, friendships or partnership. However, you shouldn’t make an elephant out of a mosquito. Leave it to the big, really serious worries. Whoever speaks of burdens immediately, immediately feels lighter, less stressed and generally better.

Build these 10 simple tips into your everyday routine and you will feel better quickly and in the long term. But above all, it is good for your health. So no reason to wait any longer. It’s best to start right away!

5 tips how you can sleep more restfully from now on

You actually sleep quite well, but are you often tired during the day? With these 5 tips you will sleep more effectively and wake up more relaxed.

D u sleep quickly and lie at night not awake. You rarely have a nightmare and no pauses in breathing while snoring. In short: you sleep wonderfully.

And yet you don’t get out of bed in the morning, are rarely really awake during the day – regardless of how long you slept during the night? The case is clear: you sleep ineffectively! We explain how you can get more out of less sleep for your well-being.

In this article:

  • Can you sleep wrong?
  • Why is deep sleep so important?
  • How do you use sleep cycles for better sleep?
  • When does the deep sleep phase take place?
  • 5 tips to extend the deep sleep phase

Can you sleep “wrong”?

“Yes, you can actually sleep too long and at the wrong times,” says Professor Jürgen Zulley from the University of Regensburg, author and director of the “Sleep School”. Either way, you may have had enough sleep and still feel mushy.

Because it is not the number of hours spent in bed that ensures a really restful sleep. Rather, you have to follow your individual sleep rhythm. To find out, you have to know the architecture of sleep. It consists of different cycles that differ in the activity of the brain:

  1. During the sleep phase, the body relaxes, breathing becomes calmer, but sleep is still so light that you can easily be awakened from it.
  2. In the following light sleep phase, brain activity sinks to a low frequency, consciousness is switched off. When the body has reached the first deep sleep phase after around 20 to 30 minutes, and also the longest, which lasts around an hour , the body and mind are maximally relaxed.
  3. After a while you emerge from deep sleep and experience dreamy REM sleep (rapid eye movement). The brain activity accelerates considerably. Sleep researchers assume that information and emotional impressions from the waking time are processed during REM sleep.

Then it goes down again. During the night, deep sleep and REM phases alternate about 4 to 6 times, with the deep sleep phases becoming shorter and shorter and the REM phases longer. A sleep cycle is the cycle through all sleep stages, each of which lasts about 90 minutes. Our expert explains below how you can use these cycles optimally for your well-being.

Why is deep sleep so important?

The muscles are maximally relaxed in deep sleep. The EEG curve, which shows brain activity, is characterized by a calm wave pattern with deep valleys. The body also releases growth hormones, which stimulate the regeneration of all body cells and strengthen the immune system.

How can you use the sleep cycles for better sleep?

The most important requirement for getting up effortlessly: Let your alarm go off at the end of a cycle. Because if he brings you out of deeper sleep, the day becomes difficult. A cycle usually lasts about 90 minutes, but because the first is a little shorter, you will reach the most light sleep waking stages in five and a half, seven and eight and a half hours (plus approximate time to fall asleep) . If you’re still in the middle of vivid dreams when the alarm goes off, add a few more minutes to your sleep time the next day.

Tip: Do not use the snooze button on the alarm clock. You are just repeating the agony of being awakened and falling into a restless sleep that costs more energy than it brings.

When does the deep sleep phase take place?

Do you sleep in accordance with your cycles? Well! It’s even better if the rhythm is right. Your internal clock controls all biological rhythms. At night she pushes the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, at morning that of the wakefulness cortisol. In addition, it regulates the body temperature so that the lowest value is reached around three o’clock at night. “Biologically speaking, it’s the witching hour, that’s when you feel most uncomfortable when you’re awake,” says Zulley.

” The particularly restful deep sleep takes place in the first 5 hours and before 3 o’clock .” So if you stay up until well after midnight, you can forget the best quality sleep, even if you sleep until noon.

But don’t make the mistake of going to bed too early because you have to get out earlier or want to be particularly fit. This only works if you fall asleep straight away due to lack of sleep. More likely, you will lie awake, brooding, and sleep tense and restless. Because pre-sleeping doesn’t work anyway, you should go to bed at the usual time (note the cycle!) And make up for lost sleep by going to bed earlier the next night and taking a nap.

How do I extend my deep sleep?

What exactly can you do now to improve the quality of your sleep? With these 5 strategies you can get more rest with less sleep:

1. Make sure you sleep regularly : If you want to make the most of the hours in bed, you have to go to bed and – more importantly – get up at about the same time each day. Sounds stuffy, but unfortunately deep sleep in particular reacts sensitively to an unsteady life. The internal clock loves fixed habits because it is imprecise itself. This is not a design flaw, but necessary in order to adapt to changed conditions (longer summer days, new time zones).

Background: For most people, the internal day would be 25 hours long if sunlight did not keep the internal clock in rhythm. In the evening and morning types (technical jargon: owls and larks), the sleep-wake rhythm is up to 2 hours longer (owls) or shorter than 25 hours. In order to stay in time, your internal clock is even more dependent on external timers, especially bright light, contacts and regularity.

Even if you could manage your time freely, that can’t be brushed aside. Clocking sleeping and waking up to 24 hours is less of a social obligation than the strict 24-hour rhythm of body temperature.

If you see too little sun and live unsteadily, the two most important inner rhythms can diverge. The result: At some point you want to be active when it is witching hour for the body temperature. You freeze, feel energized and ill-tempered. Later on, you’ll be in bed when the temperature is on and you won’t get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, a little regularity looks like the lesser evil, doesn’t it?

2. Take a nap on the weekend: on weekdays you are consistent, but on the weekend you don’t get out of bed. The internal clock reacts quickly to such a shift backwards. The harder it is for you to get up, the earlier you have to get out and the longer you stay in bed on the weekend, the harder you will pay for it on Monday. Better: Get up at about the same time on the weekend, treat yourself to a little nap as a luxury or go to bed earlier if you lack sleep. This is how you can have a relaxing power nap.

3. Make sure there is enough sunlight: Some can afford a little more irregularity with impunity if they expose themselves to bright light at the right time. However, normal lighting with a maximum of 400 lux does not work. The sun creates 1,500 to 100,000 lux. “Anyone who spends an hour outdoors before work is livelier during the day,” says chronobiologist Zulley.

If that doesn’t work, you can have artificial sunlight at the breakfast table or in the office after getting up . “For a positive effect, 10,000 lux must work for half an hour or 2,500 lux for two hours,” says sleep doctor Hans-Günter Weeß . You can also use it to move your favorite bedtime in small steps. If you want to hold out longer in the evening, you have to expose yourself to the light in the evening.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to iron out all the abuse of the internal clock with the artificial sun. If the system is overused (shift and night work), the bright light helps, but sleep and liveliness will still suffer.

4. Give in to your genes : The fact that there are 3 optimal wake-up times, as mentioned, does not mean that you can choose one. Only real short sleepers get by with 5.5 hours, late risers need 8.5 hours. Most people get along well with 7. It’s genetically determined – you can’t screw it up without paying. “Hardly anyone knows what it is like to be wide awake,” complains Thomas Wehr of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda.

In many experiments, the subjects’ sleep did not level off until they had caught up to 25 hours of sleep. To optimize your sleep, go to bed 1.5 hours earlier every evening for a while – as long as you lack sleep, it will not be difficult for you to fall asleep. Afterwards, always allow yourself as much sleep as you need if possible. Whoever sleeps too little over the long term carries a higher risk of becoming fat, forgetful and sick. After just 14 days with a daily sleep deficit of 2 hours you are as off the track as after a completely awake night.

5. Don’t sleep too much: Those who exceed their personal optimum will only get shallow, restless sleep. “If you oversleep for a very long time, you even fall asleep again in the morning,” says Weeß. “That totally upsets the internal clock, you wake up exhausted.” If, on the other hand, you keep the time in bed short, you will be awake longer, and this will extend the restful deep sleep at the beginning of the night. Not only are you fitter, but you also have more time. What more do you want

Regular bedtime, matching your individual biological rhythm, is the key to relaxed sleep that optimally regenerates the body. Try to compensate for a lack of sleep not by sleeping longer in the morning but by napping at noon. It is not the number of hours that makes healthy sleep, but the optimal sleep rhythm.

Superfood instead of stress: chocolate and cherry crispy balls

Do you feel the same? I always find the last days before Christmas Eve to be the most stressful of the whole year. So many projects that have yet to be completed, Christmas parties, parents’ evenings, gifts that are still missing … I need energy! And now I always have them at hand in the form of these delicious balls. You don’t even have to light up the stove!

The delicious chocolate-cherry crispy balls are part 2 of our baking special with Eva Reinstadler – they are definitely vegan and sugar-free, if you like you can still opt for the gluten-free version. The crispy balls have saved me from some afternoon low in the last few days. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate and cherry crispy balls

Superfood snack for more energy 


30 g pumpkin seeds

40 g dark chocolate (at least 70%)

40 g sour cherries (I’ll take a little more next time, then the balls will be more juicy)

125 g almond butter

3 tbsp honey or agave syrup

125 g oat flakes (for the gluten-free variant, simply use gluten-free adhesive flakes)

4 tbsp raw cocoa nibs (these are broken cocoa beans, you can get them in organic markets – you can read more about cocoa nibs at Project Healthy Living )

60 g spelled bran (also available in well-stocked conventional supermarkets)

pinch of salt


Chop the pumpkin seeds, chocolate and sour cherries into small pieces with a knife. You can also quickly throw pumpkin seeds and chocolate into the electric chopper🙂

Mix the almond butter and honey together and mix with the remaining ingredients.

Knead everything well with your hands!

Shape the mixture into small balls with your hands – this works better if the dough is a little more moist, so I would use more cherries next time. Caution: the dough is difficult to roll, it worked best for me to press individual pieces together firmly.

Then put it in the fridge and enjoy it at short intervals. Six-year-olds also taste surprisingly good – or do I only have a six-year-old here with a special preference for superfood?

Get through the last days of Christmas well, don’t let yourself be stressed and remember not to raise your expectations for Christmas too high – that saves energy!

This helps against nasty blisters in the mouth

Aphthae are painful and annoying. We explain how they are created and how you can quickly get rid of those annoying bubbles in your mouth.

A phthae often come out of nowhere and usually disappear without a trace after a few days. Meanwhile, the nasty little spots in your mouth can make eating and everyday life a pain. This is usually not dangerous, but quite annoying. Our experts explain what you can do with an ulcer in the mouth and when you should see a doctor with it.

What is an aphtha?

An aphtha feels like a painful sore in the mouth. “Actually, it is not a blister, but rather a small, deepened crater in the oral mucosa,” explains dentist Dr. Alexander Engel . This damage to the mucous membrane or ulceration causes the nerve endings to be exposed underneath. That’s why the spot hurts so much when you hit it with your tongue. Because there are a lot of bacteria in the mouth, there can also be a so-called superinfection on the spot, in which bacteria attach themselves to the aphtha and inflame.

In addition to the normal aphthous ulcers, there is also the so-called oral rot , also called herpetic gingivostomatitis in technical terms. The herpes infection causes similar blisters in the mouth and is often associated with a fever. Almost everyone carries the virus, but the disease only breaks out in young children.

When do aphthae heal?

An aphtha hurts a lot, especially when eating. But it is not dangerous and usually goes away on its own. “It is said that aphthae usually come 3 days and go 3 days, after 2 weeks at the latest they have completely disappeared”, explains Engel. During this time you can sometimes see a white point on the spot, this is tissue that is healing again over the aphtha. So don’t worry if you suddenly discover a white, rough spot in your mouth, it’s neither bacteria nor a fungal disease, it’s a good sign.

What causes the damage to the oral mucosa?

It is not yet clear why some people get canker sores every now and then. “They are not contagious, and injuries to the oral mucous membrane area do not cause aphthae”, emphasizes the dermatologist Dr. Erik Senger . However, the dermatologist names some favorable circumstances, such as stress or a lack of B vitamins, folic acid, iron or zinc. If you have celiac disease, gluten can also cause the painful areas in your mouth. But just because you have an aphtha does not necessarily mean that you are missing something and vice versa not every deficiency leads to an ulceration in the mouth. 

There are also connections between aphthae and vascular diseases or autoimmune disorders. People with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, or HIV are often prone to painful blisters in their mouth. But don’t panic, having an aphtha every now and then is quite normal and is by no means a sign of a more serious illness.

Are aphthous ulcers contagious?

No, aphthae are not contagious. Unlike herpes, which is triggered by viruses and is therefore highly contagious, aphthae are damage to the oral mucosa and cannot be transmitted.

Are there also dangerous aphthae?

“If you get a canker sore in your mouth a couple of times a year but it goes away after 14 days, you don’t have to worry,” the dermatologist warned. In very rare cases, however, they can indicate another disease. Therefore, pay attention to the following warning signs in the case of aphthae and, if in doubt, have them examined by a dentist or dermatologist:

  • The aphthous ulcers are very large: Usually the area is only a few millimeters in size, but in some cases it can become significantly larger or they do not heal within 14 days. The pain often severely restricts everyday life, which is why many people go to the doctor with it.
  • You very often get aphthous ulcers: If you are constantly struggling with the painful areas in your mouth, you should have a blood count, because you may have a deficiency or another systemic disease.
  • You have ancestors from Asia: “People with roots from the area of ​​the historic Silk Road, that is, the Near and Middle East and East Asia, have a higher risk of what is known as Behçet’s disease,” explains Senger. This is an autoimmune disease of the blood vessels and manifests itself primarily in recurring aphthous ulcers, but can later affect other areas such as the gastric mucosa or the eyes and have dangerous consequences. Behçet’s disease should therefore definitely be treated.
  • The spots are on the gums: A normal aphtha is usually in the front of the mouth, i.e. on the lips, tongue, in the cheeks or sometimes on the roof of the mouth. “However, there are also mucosal necrosis on the gums or between the teeth, which can be a sign of HIV,” says dentist Dr. Angel. So these are not normal canker sores and you should get them tested by a doctor quickly.

What can you do about aphthae?

Since the cause is not really clear, it is difficult to treat, and the healing itself is difficult to accelerate. However, there are some remedies that can alleviate the annoying pain a little. To help alleviate the symptoms of aphthous ulcers, doctors recommend these things:

  1. Leave the area alone: yes, it is tempting to run your tongue over the area every few seconds to see if it really still hurts. However, if it is constantly irritated, the tissue cannot grow back together as quickly. So pull yourself together and leave the ulcer alone, and it will be gone in a few days. 
  2. Pain Relieving Home Remedies: There are some natural medicinal herbs that can relieve pain and soothe sore spots, such as sage, chamomile, and myrrh. There are special tinctures that you can smear on the affected area, or you can slowly drink a (cooled) tea made from these plants.
  3. Cool foods: Cold can numb the pain a bit, so eat a cool yogurt and drink a cold drink, for example. “You shouldn’t suck on ice cubes, they are so cold that afterwards the blood circulation and thus the pain only increase”, warns Engel.
  4. Medicines: In the pharmacy there are numbing pastes, for example with lidocaine, or the anti-inflammatory cortisone. But first talk to your doctor, who can prescribe this for you in an emergency.
  5. Avoid irritation: If you have a canker sore, you will quickly find that acidic, hot or hard food and also alcohol hurts quite a bit because it irritates the area. Therefore, it is better to switch to soft foods such as soup or rice. “Cigarettes are particularly irritating to the damaged mucous membrane and disrupt the body’s healing processes, so be sure to shift down a gear,” advises Engel.  


Physio exercises for sprained ankle

Twisted? Put your foot up, cool down and train! You read that correctly: from the 10th day you can actively help your foot on the jumps again. All you need for this is a long elastic band.

1. Band pull forward
S tarten about 10 days after spraining with these exercises (see above Section: “Walking the tightrope”): elastic band – 2 meters or longer – a little above the ankle attach to a rigid object like Radiators or railings. Place the other end around the sound ankle. For fastening, move your back so far forward that the band is slightly taut. Then move the injured foot forward 50 to 100 centimeters. Bend your knees a little, dig your toes into the ground, lift your heels. Now pull the healthy, tied foot forward until it is 5 to 10 centimeters in front of the free one. Slowly back to the starting position. 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

2. Pull the elastic backwards.
Stand with your face on the injured foot to secure it, your knees slightly bent, your toes pressed into the ground, your heel lifted a little. Place the tied, healthy foot 3 to 10 centimeters in front of the free one, then pull it back 50 to 100 centimeters. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat as in exercise 1.

3. Cross from both sides
with the uninjured side for attachment, feet a little more than shoulder width, hips and knees slightly bend. Leave the injured foot on the ground, cross in front of the body with a healthy foot tied. Toe level with the outside of the other foot touch the ground. Back to the beginning. Repeat like exercise 1 on the other side.