Yoga Bodi

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A Case on Emotional Eating

People normally eat more whenever celebrations arise, such as birthdays and the holidays. We tend to hear more whenever these kinds of events occur. In line with this, a new study found out that people who have the tendency to eat in response to external factors, such as holidays and celebrations, have lesser problems in dealing with their weight loss than those people who eat in response to their emotions (considering internal factors). The study also found out that emotional eating was associated with weight regain for people who lost weight.

Lead author Heather Niemeier of Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center states that they have findings that the more people report eating to respond to thoughts and feelings such as when one is lonely, the less weight they lose in a behavioral weight loss program. The findings also showed that among those who have successfully lost their weight, those who report emotional eating were more likely to regain it. The authors noted this as important since one of the greatest challenges in facing the field of overweight and obesity treatment remains the problem of weight regain following the weight loss. According to Niemeier, participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of ten percent of their body weight, and these losses are associated with significant health benefits. Unfortunately, the majority of participants return to their baseline weight within three to five years.

In this particular study, the researchers analyzed the individual’s responses to a questionnaire that is widely used in overweight and obesity research called the Eating Inventory. The Eating Inventory is a tool designed to evaluate three aspects of eating behaviors in an individual such as cognitive restraint, hunger, and disinhibition. For more specified research, Niemeier and her team only focused on the disinhibition aspect of the Eating Inventory. Although past studies have suggested that disinhibition as a whole is an accurate predictor of weight loss, the scale itself includes multiple factors that could separately forecast outcomes. Niemeier said that the disinhibition scale will evaluate the impulse eating in response to emotional, cognitive, or social cues. Their goal was to examine and isolate the factors that make up the disinhibition scale, and then determine if these factors have a specific relationship with weight loss and regain.

Those included in the study are divided into two groups. The first group was composed of 286 overweight men and women who are currently participating in a behavioral weight loss program. The second group on the other hand included 3,345 members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), an ongoing study of adults who have lost at least thirty pounds and kept it off for at least one year. According to the study, by examining these two different groups, they were able to evaluate the effect of disinhibition on individuals attempting to lose weight, as well as on those who are trying to maintain weight loss. Upon further examination, the researchers found that the components within the disinhibition scale were to be grouped in two distinct areas: external and internal disinhibition. External disinhibition describes experiences that are external to the individual, while internal refers to eating in response to thoughts and feelings, which includes emotional eating. Results showed that in both groups, internal disinhibition was a significant predictor of weight over time. For those people enrolled in weight loss programs, the higher level of internal disinhibition, the less weight is lost over time.

Their research has suggested that attention should be given to eating that is triggered by thoughts and feelings since they clearly play a significant role in weight loss. Internal disinhibition, however, predicted weight change over time above and beyond other psychological issues including depression, binge eating, and perceived stress. Further modification of treatments in order to address these triggers for unhealthy eating and at the same time help the patients learn alternative strategies could improve their ability to maintain weight loss behaviors, even in the face of affective and cognitive difficulties.

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Aerobic Benefits and History

Aerobic Benefit:

The word “aerobic” means “with oxygen”. Researchers consistently recommend that regular physical activity with healthy eating habits is the most efficient way to keep yourself fit and control your body weight. Aerobic activity helps you to control or reduce your weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. Everything you do uses the calories including sleeping, digesting food and breathing. Any physical activity to what you normally do will use extra calories. So doing regular aerobic exercise gives you a sense of positive attitude that helps to counteract stress. Aerobic activity increases the bodyís production of endorphins.

Benefits of aerobics:

* The heart works more efficiently and becomes stronger.

* It helps to control your weight.

* Reduces the risk in developing diabetes, obesity and any heart disease.

* There is an increase in good cholesterol and decrease in bad cholesterol.

* It increases endorphins.

* Increases the body’s ability to take in oxygen and makes you breathe faster.

* It helps to reduce and control body fat.

* Improves the body muscle strength and flexibility.

* Improves the quality of sleep that freshens you early the next morning.

* Helps to avoid chronic diseases like heart disease and hypertension.

* Aerobics increases resistance to fatigue and gives you more energy.

* Improves your mood and reduces depression, stress and anxiety.

* It avoids overheating.

* Aerobics pumps the blood faster and more forcefully.

* Helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

* Builds muscular strength and makes your body more flexible.

* Helps to reduce blood pressure.

* Prevents certain types of cancer also.

In short, aerobics burns your fat. Aerobics makes you live longer and live healthier and happier.

It builds up a positive attitude in you and changes your perception of looking towards life.

Regular aerobic exercises will force the heart to gradually enlarge and it is important to always target your heart rate.

Here safety is first:

A vigorous aerobic routine can cause sprains and injuries if you don’t warm your body up first. If you have any medical concerns consult your doctor.

Aerobic history: ‘Origin of the way ending in a fit and healthy world’

Aerobics is nothing but a system of exercises to help prevent coronary artery diseases which were first put forward by a physician called Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper in San Antonio air force hospital in Texas. Shortly after the publishing of Cooper’s book about the exercise system, Aerobics in 1968, a person known as Jackie Sorenson developed a series of dance routines known as the aerobic dance to considerably improve cardiovascular fitness. In this way, aerobic dance became widely adopted in the United States and many other counties, for around two decades. The number of aerobics participants in the US alone was estimated at 6 million in 1978 to 19 million in 1987.

Aerobics since the day of its introduction is a fit and healthy exercise for a lean, toned body structure and has expanded from in-class Aerobics classes to water Aerobics, Dance Aerobics; Zumba, Afro, Latin…

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Adrenal Fatigue And How To Beat It.

Your adrenal glands are two tiny pyramid-shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.

Adrenaline is manufactured in the interior of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal medulla. Cortisol, the other chemical from the adrenal gland, is made in the exterior portion of the gland, called the adrenal cortex. The cortex also secretes androgens, estrogens, and progestins. Cortisol, commonly called hydrocortisone, is the most abundant — and one of the most important — of many adrenal cortex hormones. Cortisol helps you handle longer-term stress situations.

In addition to helping you handle stress, these two primary adrenal hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol, along with others similarly produced, help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones. Constant stress and poor nutrition can weaken the adrenal glands. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why many people have thyroid glands that donít work well.

When stress continues over prolonged periods of time, the adrenal glands can deplete the body’s hormonal and energy reserves, and the glands may either shrink in size or hypertrophy (enlarge). The overproduction of adrenal hormones caused by prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and inhibit the production of white blood cells that protect the body against foreign invaders (in particular lymphocytes and lymph node function).

Adrenal dysfunction can disrupt the body’s blood sugar metabolism, causing weakness, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. It can also interfere with normal sleep rhythms and produce a wakeful, unrelaxing sleep state, making a person feel worn out even after a full night’s sleep.

Common Causes of Adrenal Stress

  • Anger
  • Fear / Worry /Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Overwork/ physical or mental strain
  • Excessive exercise
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Light-cycle disruption
  • Going to sleep late
  • Surgery
  • Trauma/injury
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic infection
  • Chronic pain
  • Temperature extremes
  • Toxic exposure
  • Malabsorption
  • Maldigestion
  • Chronic illness
  • Chronic-severe allergies
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Testing for Adrenal Health

In order to determine the health of your adrenal glands, you need to have simple blood, urine, or saliva test such as the Adrenal Stress Index performed by your practitioner. Cortisol levels can be checked by blood in the morning or throughout the day by a saliva test. DHEA, and Epinephrine, are some other indicators of adrenal function. The information provided by testing can help to determine the most appropriate type of treatment.

Associated Symptoms and Consequences of Impaired Adrenal Functioning

  • Low body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Irritability
  • Mental depression
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Apprehension
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Excessive hunger
  • Tendency towards inflammation
  • Moments of confusion
  • Indigestion
  • Poor memory
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Osteoporosis
  • auto-immune diseases/hepatitis
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations [heart fluttering]
  • Dizziness that occurs upon standing
  • Poor resistance to infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Food and/or inhalant allergies
  • PMS
  • Craving for sweets
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Headaches
  • Scanty perspiration
  • Alcohol intolerance

Treatment

Lifestyle changes such as:

Eating steadily, all day long. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your body. When you’re hungry, your blood sugar drops, stressing your adrenal glands and triggering your sympathetic nervous system. That causes light-headedness, cravings, anxiety, and fatigue. Another drawback to skipping meals: The resulting low blood sugar can affect your ability to think clearly and shorten your attention span.

Skipping breakfast is particularly bad, as it is a sure-fire way to gain, not lose, weight. If you start each morning with a good breakfast and “graze” healthfully every two to four hours, your blood sugar will remain steady throughout the day. You’ll feel more rested and energetic.

Eat protein with every meal. Eat Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice. Avoid sugar, junk food, white pasta, white rice, and white bread.

Absolutely NO Caffeine. Coffee/Sodas overstimulate your adrenals and they deplete important B vitamins.

Coffee does not give you energy; coffee gives you the illusion of energy. Coffee actually drains the body of energy and makes you more tired, because of vitamin and adrenal depletion.

Exercise to relax. Walking, Yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or stretching. No vigorous or aerobic exercise depletes the adrenals.

Avoid alcohol, processed foods, and tobacco. Nicotine in tobacco initially raises cortisol levels, but chronic use results in low DHEA, testosterone, and progesterone levels.

Reduce stress; learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation.

Helpful Supplements

The use of small amounts of natural adrenal hormone (hydrocortisone) to bring slightly low adrenal function up to its proper normal daily range is often helpful.

Take a daily multivitamin to provide nutritional support to the adrenal gland.

Vitamin C 1,000-3,000 mg a day

L-Theanine 100-400 mg a day

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 300 mg a day

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), no more than 1000 mg of glycyrrhizin

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10 Ways to Manage Work Stress for Women

Women are more prone to the workplace because of the many roles they play in life: as a career woman, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Women work way beyond the 9-5 shift, often having to rush home to cook dinner, help the kids with homework, and prepare the next day’s office attire for the hubby. The stress and anxiety caused by endless tasks and impossible deadlines in a high-speed, high-tech world have made women’s lives a living web of complexity.

The question is: How can women cope with stress and anxiety? The first step is to dissect the problem and understand how these psychological and emotional conditions make women’s lives more difficult.

Stress is a combination of fatigue, restlessness, depression, over-focusing, and over-all gloominess that is a consequence of overwork and other domestic or personal problems. The difficulty of trying to balance time between work and the home has caused many women to suffer from stress. Personal or relationship issues like divorce or separation have also been the cause of anxiety and panic attacks among women. Women who own and manage their own businesses are also prone to stress. Their high drive for business success cannot always protect them from times of depression and overwork. Career women, on the other hand, have to confront office politics, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the fear of being laid off.

But there’s still hope for over-worked, stressed women. Here are some practical ways for women to reduce and manage work-related stress:

1. Put up relaxing scenes- It could be a poster or a small painting with beautiful scenery. You can even download screen savers of beaches, waterfalls, clear lakes, and other scenes that help create a serene mood.

2. The To-Do-List- Use that Post-Its or other stick-on note pads. Color-code your notes and even put up an ‘alarm’ on your computer to remind you of priority tasks. The key is to know what to do first.

3. Time out – As they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Take some time out to take a breather. Do way from reading emails the mostly junk. Do stimulating activities like sudoku or brainteaser. Reading some inspirational books like Chicken Soup for the Soul.

4. Rearrange your workstation – Add some “homey” look to your workstation… put up photo frames of your family or favorite pet. Whenever you feel stressed out just glance at their happy faces or cuteness and you’ll find yourself smiling back!

5. When a plant isn’t just a plant – Having a plant around your workplace is good stress relief. Studies show that looking at something green like a plant helps soothe your eyes after facing the computer monitor all day or after reading for a long time. Focusing on a green plant will have a soothing effect.

6. Exercise – Walking, climbing the stairs, or going out to run helps fight stress. Physical activity helps gets rid of tension. During a workout, your body releases endorphins which help your body to relax. Endorphins also act as natural pain killers. There are a lot of exercise videos that you can use ranging from the standard aerobics to pilates, tae-bo, and a host of other fitness programs.

7. De-clutter- A cluttered workstation like pens, pencils, notepads, and tons of papers spread around every inch of your workplace adds to your stress. Make your work environment more appealing by organizing your things and throwing away things you no longer need.

8. Set Boundaries- Communicate and assert yourself, and make your co-workers aware that you are not interested in THE TEA because workplace gossip leads to a very slippery slope that could lead to you being the target of bad juju. So tread carefully.

9. Go less in your caffeine intake- caffeine even is popularly known as a stimulant, too much of it adds to the stress and even leads to depression.

10. Eat a good breakfast- Don’t skip meals even if you are indeed in a hurry. Studies show that if you make it a practice to eat breakfast every day, your body gets more of the needed proteins to give you an energy boost to face the working day.

Beat work-related stress without beating yourself up. Learn how to relax. Sure…we have duties and responsibilities but if you don’t learn to relax— burnout is what you get! Make an effort to relax. Listen to good music. Try not to smoke. Because if you don’t watch out, the results would be hypertension…depression… and a plethora of other ailments that can sidetrack your career and home life. It’s time to regain a sense of balance if you want to stay alive for a long, long, long time.

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Benefits of Guided Meditation

Guided meditation is used by many people not only to relax from a busy day but also to tune into their own bodies and minds. Since days have become more stressful, the world has become more crowded, and more worldly problems have risen, many people are finding comfort, safety, and bliss in a few minutes of guided meditation a day. With the help of a guiding voice, many people who are new to meditation have found it easy to achieve a much-needed quiet moment during the day.

Guided meditation can help the user to focus his or her thoughts and block out any distractions in order to experience the pleasure of silence for a moment during the day. The voice assists the user and keeps him or her on track. Guided meditation helps people to follow the stages of meditation, allowing a person to go as deep into the process as he or she decides they would like to go.

The benefits of properly guided meditation can span from relieving migraine headaches to relaxing cramped muscles to a simple moment of pleasure, satisfaction, and quiet. Over-stimulation and stress are both problems that many people deal with on a daily basis. These daily stressful situations and the exposure to too many over-stimulating activities can seem to be normal and accepted conditions that everyone takes for granted as standard. Although most people are dealing with these situations on a regular basis, it doesnít means that these situations do not still put stress and tension on the body and mind.

There are many people who may feel stressed and hopeless about their current home or work situation. Most people think that a vacation or a break from their daily lives is the way to relieve this stress. However, a retreat from basic stresses is only a temporary fix for the anxiety in many peopleís lives. In order to have the ability to deal with the tensions that life can put on their body and mind, many people are turning to guided meditation to teach them how to handle their daily lives with ease, patience and a clear mind.

By creating a moment in the day to connect the mind, body, and soul in a calm way, many people are finding their stressful days don’t seem as stressful anymore. Guided meditation can help a person to realize the many options he or she has when dealing with the daily tensions of the workplace or home environment. By possessing the foundations of guided meditation, the situations that can usually seem impossible to stay calm through can now seem easy to think through and figure out.

Guided meditation is a great way to help a person just beginning the process to concentrate better and easily achieve the full benefits of a meditative moment. Guided meditation can also help advanced meditation students to hold their concentration and learn new and more developed techniques to make their minds and bodies go deeper into the meditative state.

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Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Adrenal Fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands – 2 small glands that sit on top of your kidneys – become overworked and depleted. Your adrenal glands are responsible for handling the stresses of your daily life, whether that be physical stress, emotional stress, or psychological stress.

When your adrenal glands become overworked, they cannot keep up with the stresses of your everyday life. You then start to manifest the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

Note that just because you have one or two of the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency does not mean that you have adrenal fatigue. However, if you find you have the majority of these symptoms then you may want to investigate further.

You’ll want to learn some of the common causes of adrenal fatigue to see if you can identify with any of these causes in your own life. You’ll also want to see your doctor for a full medical workup and diagnosis of adrenal fatigue.

Here are the key symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

You’re Tired For No Explainable Reason

People with adrenal fatigue experience extreme physical exhaustion and they don’t have an explanation as to why (such as a strenuous workout). This isn’t just everyday tiredness it is extreme exhaustion.

You Gain Weight Easily – Especially Around the Middle

People with adrenal fatigue often notice they gain weight very easily. They especially notice the extra weight around the middle – and it’s very hard to lose it.

You Have Difficulty Rising In The Morning

Those with adrenal fatigue often find they feel tired when getting up in the morning – even with a full night’s sleep. They often need stimulants like caffeine and sugar to ‘get going’ both in the morning and throughout the day.

You’re More Susceptible To Flus and Colds

If you have adrenal fatigue, you may notice that you seem to be catching every flu and cold that comes within 10 feet of you. You’ll also notice that it seems harder for your body to bounce back from illness.

You Often Feel Overwhelmed and Run Down

People with adrenal insufficiency often feel run down and overwhelmed with the tasks they have to accomplish. They may feel as if they can’t keep up and do it all. (This can lead to other symptoms like depression and social withdrawal)

You May Crave Salty or Sweet Snacks

This may include high-protein snacks like meat or cheese. Some people with adrenal fatigue can have an increased craving for salt. You might also notice an intense craving for sweets and fast carbs like donuts, chocolate bars, pastries, ice cream, etc.

You Feel Better In A Less Stressful Environment

Many people with adrenal insufficiency feel better when on vacation. Their symptoms may even clear up entirely but then return when they go back to their normal lives.

You Are Troubled By ‘Brain Fog’ or Inability to Concentrate

This may include things like the inability to remember certain details, appointments, etc. This may also include a feeling of confusion or difficulty concentrating.

Increased PMS For Women

Women with adrenal disorder may find their periods become heavier and/or irregular. They may also notice increased PMS mood swings and/or food cravings.

Those are several key symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Other symptoms include:

Lightheadedness/Low Blood Pressure

Tendency to Tremble When Under Pressure

Reduced Sex Drive

Heart Palpitations

Nervousness/Raw Nerves

Poor Digestion

Feel Most Energetic in the Evening

Extremely Sensitive To Cold

If you can identify with the majority of these adrenal fatigue symptoms you may want to read about the causes of adrenal fatigue to see if you can identify with any of them in your own personal life. You’ll also want to see your doctor for more tests and a complete diagnosis.

Adrenal fatigue can be overcome and you can feel better. Listen to your body, cut back on stress and treat yourself well.

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An African Bush Doctor’s Prescription For Better Health

By Christopher Scipio

Homeopath/Herbalist & African Bush Doctor.

Bush Medicine is traditional herbal medicine- the oldest system of healing in the world. Bush medicine started in Africa more than 80,000 years ago and in the diaspora specifically in African-Caribbean culture, plants are referred to as ‘Bush’ such as ‘fever bush’ or ‘toothache bush’ and are revered for their healing and spiritual properties. Many indigenous cultures in the world practice and still practice bush medicine to treat the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual problems of the people, it’s a primary source of health care.

For the past 75 years, the campaign to discredit traditional herbal medicine has been relentless, all the while large corporations have been sending ethnobotanists all around the world to acquire the knowledge of indigenous bush doctors about their native plants in order to make new pharmaceutical drugs. Often once a drug company has appropriated local plant knowledge- usually, without compensating the locals in any way, they patent the plants and pressure the governments into banning the local population from having access to the plants they have depended on for millennia. Fortunately, there is now a worldwide effort underway to protect local plant knowledge from unethical exploitation. People are returning to their traditional herbalists because of the failure of pharmaceutical drugs to treat chronic health problems safely and effectively.

I am from a long line of African bush doctors. My family has practiced traditional herbal medicine for many generations. My grandmother was a prominent bush doctor in Trinidad, the country of my birth. The African-Caribbean culture is a largely intact culture where we have retained much of the knowledge of our bush doctors. Here are some simple tips for improving your health from me, Christopher Scipio- your friendly neighborhood bush doctor.

1. Eat less. Unless you are very physically active you are probably eating a third more calories than you need. Excessive caloric intake is one of the biggest factors in reducing life expectancy.

2. Don’t eat alone. People eat too quickly, chew their food less, and tend to consume less nutritional meals when they are eating alone. Having a company provides many health benefits and is much better for your mental and emotional well-being.

2A. Pay attention to your eating environment. Loud noises, lack of a comfortable sitting position, too many distractions and a less than peaceful environment can all contribute to digestive problems and may cascade into other health issues. Eating in a relaxed quiet environment with good company is a great habit to get into.

3. Along the theme of eating less- use smaller plates and cutlery and consider using chopsticks or your fingers to eat with. The oversized cutlery just promotes the wolfing down of food. I love using chopsticks for lots of different kinds of meals and there is much sensual pleasure in eating with your fingers the way we Africans do.

4. Reduce your carbs, especially bread and pasta. Obesity and many of the health problems that go with it like diabetes were virtually unknown until we started consuming such large quantities of bread, pasta, and baked goods. I recommend not eating bread or pasta more than 3-4 times per week and substituting beans and dishes like hummus as a replacement.

5. Get and use a juicer. The juice you buy in a store is dead. Many juice enzymes die within an hour of extraction. Most juices have been pasteurized to further deplete their nutritional value. Making your own juice is a joy. I like starting the day with a blend of carrot, apple, Hawaiian ginger, and beet juice, but there are so many juices to discover.

6, Cook your own food. It is more than worth the time. I know you are busy but you can work cooking into any schedule. Consider getting a slow cooker. Consider cooking large batches on your days off and keeping them ready in the freezer. Cooking your own food is the only way of knowing what actually is put into your food, plus it sends the right message to your body that you care.

6A. Don’t assume restaurant food is healthy. Many restaurants are fond of using iceberg lettuce which is very cheap and is usually grown in high-tech hydroponic factories but has virtually no nutritional value and doesn’t even ask about the chemicals used to keep lettuce looking ‘fresh’. Most restaurants don’t use organic ingredients and many restaurants use microwaves to heat their meals. Just take a tour of the kitchen of your favorite restaurants and you may be horrified.

7. Bless your food and remember where it comes from. This modern life is very disconnected from reality kind of life. Often there is little thought given to where food comes from, how it was harvested and processed, and by whom? Do you know where your food came from? If not you better bless it and bless it well before you take it and all the vibes that go along with it into your sensitive body.

8. Balance yourself daily with yoga, tai-chi, or Qi- gong. 20 minutes a day in your own home of one of these practices. I can personally testify your health will improve your state of mind. You can go to classes as well but what I recommend is that you empower yourself by learning how to do simple routines at home so you are not dependent on a class.

9 Get a massage at least once per month. Weekly is even better. Give and receive this vital practice as often as possible. Even a nonprofessional massage from a partner or friend is better than none at all so recruit someone if you cannot access a professional and don’t be reluctant to lay your hands on others as well.

10. Love More. Love is the ultimate healing. Love your partner, love children, love your neighbors, love your community, love nature, love the Creator, love your life, and love yourself.

11. Don’t forget to laugh. Laughter is great medicine. Give yourself permission to be silly, don’t be so serious and youíll have a long and happy life.

12. Just say no to drugs. I see drugs having devastating effects on many of our community’s health; the most obvious are recreational drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes – in that order.

13. Eat like an adult, not a child. Don’t be a slave to cravings and food addictions. Eat for nutritional value and not strictly for taste or as an emotional panacea. On my hot list of non-nutritional foods to be avoided are chocolate, ice cream, sodas, white bread, white rice, and white pasta. These are manufactured food that does not metabolize very well with people of African descent.

14. Eat soft foods. Eat wet foods. Softer foods are much easier for your body to digest and are much more likely to have high water content. Wet foods are also easier to digest and help provide the water you need. Your body is mostly water, the earth is mostly water, so try to limit dry, hard, dead foods like crackers, bread, and cereals and embrace soft wet foods like soups, purees (I love hummus and baba ganoush), fruit, steamed vegetables, smoothies, organic plain plant-based yogurt, etc.

The human body is a wondrous miracle of engineering and grace. Neglect or abuse your body at your own peril. Treat your body well and it will reward you with many years of health and happiness.

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Be Emotionally Healthy And Live A Colorful Life!

Life without emotions is like an empty canvass. Our life canvas should have color or else life would be completely dull and boring. Emotions are so important in daily life. For that reason, human emotions have been the object of research and study for thousands of years. What has changed over the years has been the general approach to this investigation. For many years, researchers in psychology focused on what seemed to be rational and what could be directly observed through physiology. Hence, emotion was neglected as it was seen as more part of the mind than the body.

All humans have basic emotional needs. These needs can be expressed as feelings, like the need to feel important, accepted, and respected. While all humans share these needs, each differs in the strength of the need, just as some of us need more water, more food, or more sleep. One person may need more freedom and independence, another may need more security and social connections. One may have a greater curiosity and greater need for understanding, while another is content to accept whatever he has been told.

Unlike physical health, many people including physicians have somehow neglected the importance of emotional stability. A person’s emotional stability is vital in achieving overall health. Emotional stability contributes to the individual’s sense of well-being. Without this, one can be prone to internal chaos, depression, despair, and isolation. In fact, emotional health influences other aspects of health such as physical, mental, and social health.

Stress leads to the release of certain chemicals to prepare us for action. When this is not required, these excessive chemical levels can cause damage to our bodies over time. Emotional issues may manifest themselves as illness. One very difficult form of stress to cope with and manage is emotional stress. It is often self-created, it can come out of nowhere and the stress caused by it only heightens the emotions felt. As the emotional stress increases, the emotions get worse, heightening the emotional stress. Thus, the problem recreates the cause and the problem only gets worse.

Emotional stress is often triggered by a dramatic event that puts a person’s nervous system under severe strain. This stress-inducing event could be losing a loved one, seeing someone die, ending a relationship, or being put into a life-threatening situation. These emotionally-charged occurrences put a severe strain on a person’s mind. The incredible strain can cause changes in the way that the brain works. In fact, a severe emotional strain could even cause someone to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Therefore, maintaining emotional health is necessary to achieve optimum health. It requires a multi-dimensional approach. The various aspects of this approach may include counseling, anger management, meditation, and physical exercise. People should not be haunted by emotional stress. Instead, they should look and try to understand where it is coming from. There are various support groups and solutions that are easily accessible to help someone cope with emotional stress and illnesses. One should not dwell on negative feelings and emotions, which can only hamper the beauty of life.

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Benefits Of Full Body Massage

Full body massage can produce multiple benefits for your health. These benefits go far beyond an hour spent relaxing quietly, escaping the day. An increasing amount of evidence indicates that stress and tension form the root causes of many diseases and illnesses. If you are able to find ways to alleviate or relieve your stress, you are preventing health problems from emerging or becoming worse.

Going for a full-body massage on a regular basis is one excellent way to help you fight off tensions. Full body massage stimulates the production of endorphins that promotes relaxation and drowsiness.

When you go for a full body massage, your head to your toes and feet are massaged both front and back. A variety of strokes that includes kneading, pulling, wringing, hacking, and gliding are used on various parts of the body.

If you are already ill or suffering from constant fatigue or pain, then full body massage can play a big part in your treatment; improving blood circulation and blood becomes more easily transportable to the vital organs in your body. This is vital for the smooth functioning of your internal body parts. In addition, when blood is supplied to areas that have been injured before, repair and renewal of cells and tissues take place more easily. Combined with conventional medicine and other therapies, repeat sessions of full body massage can do much to accelerate your recovery.

Here are a few disorders that benefit from regular full body massage:

* Depression

* Infertility

* Eating disorders

* Post-operative recovery

* Autism

* Immune-suppressed systems

* Diabetes

* High blood pressure

* Sleep disorders

* Cancer-related fatigue

* Low back pain

* Spinal cord injuries

Full massage therapy is relatively safe and can be a complementary treatment to other medical treatments. Other than improved blood circulation, here are other benefits that you can expect to experience from a full body massage.

* Stimulated lymph system

* Stimulated immune system

* Relaxed muscles

* Reduced cramps

* Increased flexibility

* Reduced recovery time

* Released endorphins

* Reduced post-operative scar tissue and edema

* Reduced migraine pain

* Improved range of motion

* Reduced depression

* Shortened labor and delivery in expectant mothers

As helpful as full body massage can be, those with certain illnesses should avoid the treatment. These include phlebitis, certain cancers, certain heart conditions, certain skin problems, and contagious diseases.

To be absolutely sure, check with your doctor first if you are chronically ill. Otherwise, enjoy a full-body massage on a regular basis for optimum health!

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CHAMOMILE: A Reliable Herbal Muscle Relaxant

Herbal medicine is a traditional practice of treating ailments with the use of plants and their extracts. We all know that long before the advent of medical science and technology, people in ancient times would rely on the efficacy of certain plants and their extracts in curing various ailments such as stomach pain, headache, and skin infections as well as in the treatment of wounds. The use of herbs as remedies to treat many types of diseases remains to be popular even in this new millennium where significant advances in medicine have been made alongside increased sophistication in medical technology and pharmacology.

Nowadays, herbal medicines are no longer limited to traditional fresh or dried plants. They come in the form of tablets, capsules, powders, or teas. The scent and flavors of these herbs have therapeutic benefits such as the chamomile plant which can be an effective natural muscle relaxant.

Medicinal Chamomile

Chamomile is very popular in Europe and has been widely used for thousands of years as a treatment for a number of ailments, such as sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, digestion problems, intestinal conditions, skin infections or inflammation (including eczema), wound healing, infantile colic, teething pains, and diaper rash.

There are several varieties of chamomile herbs. Chamomile varieties with medicinal properties include the German Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)). Both varieties are known to have the same medicinal properties but the German Chamomile has a less bitter taste quality while the Roman Chamomile is known for its sweet and unique scent especially when warmed up by the sun. A special blue oil component, called azulenes, is responsible for its sweet, distinctive aroma. Other active compositions include bisabolol, flavonoids, apigenin, luteolin, chamazulene, matricide, and flavonoids. But regardless of variety or type, the chamomile’s main characteristic is its sedative properties or effects.

Sedative Properties

Chamomile is popularly known as an ingredient in herbal tea preparations usually advertised for its mild sedating effects. The sedative properties of chamomile are used in sleep disorders and as a muscle relaxant in the treatment of such illnesses as menstrual pain, neuralgia, toothache, and tension headaches. Taking Chamomile Tea before going to bed has long been used to induce sleep in children as well as in adults and promotes very deep, relaxed, and restful sleep. Aside from aiding in the treatment of insomnia, the flower essence of Chamomile is known to relieve stress, tension, anxiety, and depression among others.

Aside from its sedative properties, chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in reducing the inflammation caused by gout and arthritis when taken internally. Moreover, it can also have an external application such as adding chamomile essence in your bath to relieve hemorrhoid problems; as chamomile wash for inflamed eyes; or as an anti-inflammatory agent for inflamed gums, inflamed skin conditions, and sore throat.

The third effect of chamomile is its carminative properties which bring about a calming action on the stomach and eases digestive problems, minimizing heartburn cases, reducing hyperacidity conditions and inhibiting the formation of ulcers.

Aside from being used as a healing remedy for hysteria and other nervous afflictions, Chamomile has been known for other benefits such as reviving a withered plant in a vase or when planted in a garden, it can heal the ailing plants and prevent disease in other plants that are why it is aptly called a ‘plant’s physician’.

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Colon Cleansing And You

Let’s get right to it! Your colon is a tube-like structure that runs down to your anus from the stomach. It consists of the large intestine and small intestine.

As you consume food and liquids, these items accumulate in the bowel as waste products. It is necessary that the bowel should be emptied of these waste products, otherwise they become toxins and the colon health begins to suffer.

Good colon health implies the proper and adequate functioning of the colon and a toxic-free state of the colon. Toxin buildup can cause allergy symptoms, bad breath, infection, and much worse. These symptoms can be avoided through regular colon cleansing.

What is colon cleansing?

Colon cleansing is an ancient practice for rejuvenating the stomach system. Man has been practicing colon cleansing since 1500 BC. First of all, it was used in the Egypt about 4,000 years ago. Colon cleansing involves the healing, rebuilding, and restoration of your large intestine to its natural shape, size, and functioning ability. Colon cleansing refers to the removal of toxins from the large intestine to allow the proper functioning of the colon.

Why do I require colon cleansing?

Colon cleansing is sometimes required because over a period of time, toxins become accumulated on the walls of your colon. This creates problems such as constipation and inflammation of the colon and can lead to several diseases, even colon cancer.

As toxins keep on accumulating, these toxins are carried into the body organs through your blood. Then toxins can also affect the organs. Hence it becomes essential for you to clean your colon. Colon cleansing helps you to eliminate any colon diseases. It re-balances the body chemistry and helps in restoring the correct functioning of the organs. Colon cleansing also improves the muscles of the colon and tones them up.

How can I get my colon cleaned?

As the awareness of colon cleansing is reaching more and more people, new methods of colon cleansing are also available. There are various methods available:

Colon Hydrotherapy: This process involves fusing warm and filtered water into the colon through a disposable plastic tube. This method involves delicacy and the practitioner should be fully qualified. There is no use of drugs or chemicals during the process. A small disposable speculum is gently inserted into the rectum from the hydrotherapy equipment. Then the warm water is passed into the colon. Colon Hydrotherapy involves light stomach massage and several fills and releases of water to remove the toxic waste accumulated on the colon walls. The fecal matter is then washed away via the system’s waste disposal hose.

Every session of colon hydrotherapy lasts for about 45 minutes. About 35 gallons of water are transported in and out of the colon during the therapy sessions.

Enema: Enema is generally employed to relieve a person of constipation. This procedure involves the insertion of a small amount of water into the bowel via the anus. The method is effective for dislodging fecal matter from the lower portion of the intestine.

Enemas can be effectively carried out at home and no training is required to undertake them.

Oxygen-Based Colon Cleansing: This process involves the consumption of a few capsules. These capsules are full of oxygen-based chemicals. When they are ingested, the oxygen is released into the body and removes the fecal matter. This method can be used for long-term colon cleansing. These capsules help in removing the toxins inside the intestines.

Laxatives: Laxatives are taken for the treatment of temporary constipation. It involves oral consumption of laxatives. These laxatives soften the stool and cause bowel movements by contracting the intestinal muscles. Laxatives are, however, not used for the removal of impacted fecal matter and they can also cause dehydration and a person can become reliant on laxatives, which is not ideal, so laxatives should be used with caution.

Before embarking on any colon cleaning regime you should consult a qualified practitioner.

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Beat Bad Eating Habits

The first step is to brace yourself for the challenge; it goes without saying that bad habits are hard to break. When you’re trying to eliminate something that has become a part of your life, you’re bound to encounter resistance and see your willpower seriously tested. You’re in for a marathon, one in which that old addiction will tempt you at every step, trying to lure you back into that old vicious circle.

First off, chill while you eat and just slow down. People who eat faster consume more calories because their brain doesn’t have the chance to recognize that their stomach is full. Instead of choosing finger foods that can be eaten quickly, always eat food from a plate with utensils. Salad is an excellent choice since the bulk of it fills you without ramping up the calories or clogging your arteries. Drink water before and 30 minutes after your meal.

Bad eating habits can ruin your life, they can turn you into an overeater, force you to lose control, and influence you to make poor and unhealthy food choices that will eventually make you overweight and obese.

Remove temptations. Keep food out of sight and store a minimum amount of food in kitchen cabinets and in the pantry. Never store your favorite foods. Keep on hand only those foods that require preparation before they can be eaten.

Do a little, not a lot. By cutting 500 calories per day for a week, you will have lost 3,500 calories, one pound a week a nice, natural weight loss that won’t freak out your metabolism. A good, brisk walk each day can cut out 250 calories, and skipping dessert (but not breakfast) can do the rest. Go slow and gentle: don’t try to lose a lot of weight at once. Experiment with what you’re willing to let go of: the Grande latte you usually enjoy at 10 AM; the buttery movie popcorn that’s become a nightly habit. Target foods you don’t especially love and stop eating them.

Rate your hunger. Ask yourself, “how hungry am I on a scale of 0 to 10?” 0 means you’re starving to anyone who gets between you and the fridge! 10 means you’re so stuffed you can’t eat another bite you might explode! Eat when your hunger falls somewhere between 4 and 8, but stop eating when you feel you’ve reached 7 or 8.

Planning your food a day in advance ensures that when that emotion or a challenging time of day hits, you are not tempted by incompatible foods as you try to combat old habits. Plan your meals and ensure you have your trigger times well covered and plenty of healthy food and/ or options all day long so that you no longer have to resist the temptations. When you do this, the old emotions and trigger times of day will still happen, the difference is you made the choice about your food intake yesterday when your emotions did not have a grip on you.

Keep going. You got this!

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

There can be a tendency for Yoga practitioners and students to feel discouraged when a naturally gifted dancer, gymnast, martial artist, or even long-time yogi, performs an advanced asana with little effort. Instead of feeling envious and inadequate, you should send praise. Every individual is different with a different path to yours, born with a different body to yours, different training, psychology, biochemistry etc. So what if someone is born with elongated joint capsules and their extraordinary range of motion is fire. You and I may have to work at it, but the goal of Yoga is not the asana as you should know, it’s the journey to and through the asana, and all things require practice.

Many students who have extraordinary flexibility admit they struggle with other aspects of Yoga, such as the student who just can’t focus and meditate, or whose strength needs work, or their balance, their phobias, or limited knowledge of the yoga flow that is most beneficial for the body or specific body part.

Yes, many Yoga practitioners have a competitive mindset, some beginners never start because they get intimidated in a yoga class. But this perspective is limited in and of itself. It’s fear-based and serves nobody. Competition is healthy if you are competing against yourself. The best 100-meter athletes in the world, try to beat their own record times.

Remember that Yoga means “union.” In simple terms, we can say union of mind, body, and spirit. Competition against others is informed by the ego, and the ego is just a part of your personality. The ego resists union for its own survival. The ego is our social mask and does not want to share anything, so be aware when your ego is calling the shots and determine whether it can sit one out, and let your higher mind kick in to coast you along, unaffected by your environment and simply stay focused on your goal.

man tattooed praying
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Dealing With Sadness – Natural Depression Management

Depression is a serious condition that can debilitate a person’s normal day-to-day function, making even the most mundane tasks such as getting up from bed or eating breakfast seemingly difficult. However, coping with depression is still possible with or without professional help, if one knows depression management. Here are a few things that can help people deal with depression, it is important to note, however, that professional therapy is still very invaluable. These steps are just suggestions for alleviating the condition.

Natural depression management is possible and entails taking charge of one’s self and incrementally making changes in your lifestyle. Sadness does not disappear overnight; it takes time to get back on one’s feet. Little by little, one can get out of depression and have a normal life once more but every person’s situation is very different and specific to the individual. There is no one size fits all and some people may require medical intervention, but the key is lifestyle changes which include nutrition and environment.

woman sitting in front of tree
Photo by Caique Silva

Food Nutrition. The most important aspect of self-care is to avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar and harmful fats, some carbohydrates, and factory-farmed meats, inclusive of fish. Anything that is not organic and is processed and farmed is going to be laden with unnatural chemicals and pesticides, harmful components that are of no benefit to a living organism such as a human or animal. Instead invest in a clean eating philosophy, a plant-based diet, a sugar-free lifestyle, and watch your mood and your body improve exponentially.

Staying active is one way to take your mind off your circumstance. Activities that you enjoy help distract you from feelings of sadness, melancholy, or traumas, it also helps channel and expresses the positive energy suppressed within in you. Keeping active releases the very important and natural to the body endorphins which are your internal mood boosters.

Rest. It is important to take a rest. Experiencing depression can be very exhausting, so it is essential to regain strength and energy daily. Make sure to activate Melatonin, another internal natural hormone released by the pineal gland at night with adequate nighttime rest. Relaxation techniques will help you be more attuned to the self and the now, and enable you to be more still present and at peace. When resting, stressors should be kept away from the bedroom so that ample rest can be obtained, this includes television, radio, harsh lighting, and the most common, cell phones.

Express yourself creatively through song, dance, theatre, poetry is another key way to transmute emotions in a way that is positive and poses no harm to yourself and anyone else because suppressed emotions can cause major dis-ease in the body and the mind. People who are grieving either a loss or another type of trauma can be prone to depression if they are programmed to keep their emotions bottled up and to themselves.

Release those tears. A lot of people avoid crying because they think it might be a sign of weakness. However, it is important to cry because it releases one’s emotions and on a physiological level this is important. When expressing feelings, it is important to avoid catharsis – venting up one’s anger by instead doing vigorous exercise, strength training, boxing, or going for a walk into nature and allowing the environment to stabilize your mood or hug your pet and let the tears flow.

Help people or animals in need. Seek out people who may need help, and where you have the capacity to help them. They may be at a different stage in their life where things are outside of their control; poverty, illness, loss, environmental disaster, cruelty… your ability to empathize and help someone or something else, will inspire you and help to heal the receiver and the giver with tools towards a love of life no matter the circumstance. Stay committed to your self-care and help others less equipped to help themselves in their journey towards self-care. Helping animals too is incredibly rewarding, due to their unconditional, loving, divine energy.

monochrome photo of girl crying
Photo by Mateus Souza

Lastly, it is important to believe you are overcoming depression to see it manifest for you. A lot of people get depressed because they or society place them in the mental health category, as though it’s a too hard basket that is lifelong. But it is important to know that on a Quantum level of understanding, you must believe and imagine your way to the outcome you desire, like a movie screen imagine yourself well, vibrant, and thriving. Depression can be a red flag being held up by our soul and our body, to bring attention to something we are ignoring or something that does not serve us which then leads to dis-ease. It can be a transitory station to pass through, after trauma and deep grief. Those experiences are all valid and help us to see what and who we are and what we are capable of. Be kind to yourself and know you are never alone. There is an expansive universe out there and a long line of ancestors ready to assist us if we reach out and believe.

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Reduce Your Stress

A little stress is actually good for you but like anything, too much of something has the reverse effect. Stress that is too much for a person or a community will take a mental, physical, and spiritual toll on your overall health. Stress should be managed in order for depression or anxiety to be prevented.

So how should you do it then? The following are tips and advice to help manage stress.

Write it out, schedule it out.

It is best to write down everything that seems to be overwhelming. You will find things-to-do-list much easier to manage than having errands all crumpled up in your head. Writing down the tasks, and putting a specific schedule and time to do them, helps anyone manage activities one chunk at a time. Crossing out an activity that has already been accomplished is very rewarding and could actually help you feel more relaxed when doing the other tasks at hand.

One at a time works.

Focus and put all your attention specifically on one task at one time. It does not help to feel panicked about the other undone or to-do tasks. Thinking about them only adds unnecessary stress and might even undermine the one task you are attempting to accomplish at present.

Relax and take it slow.

At least, try not to expend too much energy on activities that are not high priorities. This is in order for your energy to not be easily expended on the tasks that are not that important, at least for now.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

You don’t need to do everything all at once, and you don’t need to do everything on your own. Ask for help, get help, or pay for help. When there is a feeling of being overwhelmed that is cropping up, hire someone to mow the lawn or create your website. The feeling of being pressed to finish something on time will somehow be eliminated if tasks are delegated. It takes a load off unnecessary worry and anxiety. Moreover, it is easier checking up on how things are than worrying yourself sick doing everything on your own, all at once.

Give yourself a reward.

You deserve it. Acknowledging your accomplishments, no matter how big or small is an effort that is necessary before getting on to the next tasks and activities. It reduces stress and could even make you happier in doing the next task.

Give yourself a break.

You need it to be more productive. A ten to fifteen-minute break during your work is necessary. Go visit a café nearby, take a quick brisk walk, jump on a trampoline, sit outside in your garden, play with your pets…do anything to put your mind off work, at least for a while. This is necessary to refresh and recharge. You can also stay in your place of work and sit quietly with your eyes closed as you visualize a peaceful landscape or a relaxing scene. Your body doesn’t know the difference. This frees the stress from your muscles and your mind.

Relax and be cool. Doing so makes you healthier, happier, and a lot more productive.

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