|Posted on 28 May, 2017 at 21:00||comments (0)|
When we are stressed, we often take short shallow breaths where our shoulders rise and fall. Our chest may feel like a weight is bearing down on it making it difficult to breathe. When our body becomes restricted like this our thoughts and actions are affected too. Our concentration and focus become clouded and we are often quick to react, which then later results in regret or recourse. Taking time to slow our mind and body down can lead to better outcomes and productivity. Slow, deep, diaphragmatic breaths are important in regulating out body’s response to stress. It helps increase circulation, loosens muscles, and cleanses the body.
Diaphragmatic breathing uses the diaphragm muscle which is located under your ribs and above your stomach. You want to draw in as much air as possible forcing your diaphragm to expand. A good way to practice this technique is with your hands on your stomach so you can see your hands rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale breathes. At first it may be a bit uncomfortable because you are use to using your chest to take in the shallow breathes. You need to work on reconditioning your body to adapt to the deep breathing. Be patient and allow yourself to find a rhythm of breath that is comfortable for you as you practice this exercise.
Assume a comfortable, relaxed position with as much support as possible. Unfold your arms and legs. When you are ready, allow yourself to close your eyes and begin breathing in deeply through your nose. Then exhale through your mouth. When you inhale, allow your stomach to rise so the diaphragmatic area expands. As you exhale, allow your stomach to fall, pushing out all your tension. Continue breathing in deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth….Breath slowly, deeply, and evenly….Notice how you feel and enjoy the experience. Repeat.
Now, for the next several breaths focus only on the exhalation phase of your breathing cycle. Notice the warmth of the air as it leaves your mouth and r-e-l-a-x as you exhale. Come up with some positive mantra like, “my mind and body are calm and relaxed.” Repeat this to yourself as you exhale your breath. Again, this will facilitate the mind-body connection and also help you feel more in control of the rhythm of your breath versus your body dictating that. Repeat exercise several times.
Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth pushing out tension and tiredness.
Your breathing is a powerful tool, and very important in ANY relaxation technique you incorporate into your stress management regimen. Remember to take deep, slow breaths. Deep breathing is an excellent relaxation technique even when used on its own. It can be used as a short, quick technique as you are walking to class, or it can be used for an extended period of time.
|Posted on 14 May, 2017 at 0:10||comments (0)|
This exercise helps to stimulate the production of T-cells, which are primary immune factors, and nourishes the thymus.
If you practice this exercise daily, it will increase the size of thymus and improve its immune system. As you tap on your chest, you also massage and energies the other organs such as the lungs, heart, bronchial tubes and throat.
Technique of Thymus Tapping
(1) Be completely relaxed. Place your feet shoulder-width apart; parallel for men, splayed outward at 45 degree for women. Distribute your weight evenly between both feet and centred on the front pads rather than the heels.
(2) Make a fist loosely with either right or left hand. Start tapping the fist on the middle of your chest, somewhere between the nipples in the center. The first tap is heavy, and the next two taps are a little softer. There is a pause between the first and second tap. So, the pattern is: tap, pause, tap, tap.
The tapping should be heavy enough to make a drumming sound in the chest. The vibration of sternum caused by tapping helps to improve thymus gland. Breathe naturally as you do the exercise focusing on your breathing the entire time.
You can practice this in the morning as part of your warm up or at night just before going to sleep. Your thymus is most active 90 minutes after you fall asleep.
You should do this tapping pattern for a minimum of 20 sets of 3 to a maximum of 5 minutes. This should be done every day.
|Posted on 13 May, 2017 at 2:10||comments (0)|
Natural and Gentle ways to deal with Stress and Anxiety
Life is very fast paced these days, the majority of people you talk to make some statement about how busy they are, how they don’t have enough time to do the things they need and want to do. We have all become time poor. Many of my patients are reporting more often feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, unable to concentrate, highly anxious and having trouble sleeping through the night or getting to sleep. One of the common traits I see in people is their stress levels are high and poorly managed. We have forgotten how to let go and completely relax naturally, without the assistance of alcohol and drugs.
Learning how to manage our stress levels is vital to long term good health. Having high stress levels will eventually impact on your physical health. There is a very long list of health conditions directly related to stress (do some research). It takes regular practice to manage your stress levels, Stress is insidious, and can slowly sneak up on you often without you even being aware. It takes practice and constant self monitoring to keep yourself healthy and well balanced.
Here are a few tips to assist you to get those stress levels under control and start to regain you health and your life.
Diet: Eating a diet high in alkaline foods and low in Acid foods. Alkaline foods are fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy oils, unrefined, organic, high-water content foods. Acidic foods are refined foods, fast foods, trans-fats, meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, white bread, white pasta and rice, condiments, alcohol, chocolate, chips, ice cream and pizza.
Fluids: Keeping yourself hydrated is important. Being properly hydrated will make a huge difference to your health, energy, vitality, and immunity. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fresh filtered/spring water per day.
Lifestyle: Making time for you, time to have fun and laugh, time to wind down and relax, spending quality time with family and friends. Having good habits and practices in your life that contribute to good mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.
Herbs: skullcap commonly used as a sedative to reduce stress. Passion flower is one of the most valuable and effective herbal anxiety remedies in addition to its usefulness in improving sleep and treating insomnia. Chamomile is used to soothe and calm the nervous system. Lemon balm helps restore sleep by offsetting the effects of stress and anxiety. There are many more useful herbs that can be used to assist and counteract the effects of stress on the body.
Supplements: B vitamins, specifically a B vitamin complex is very effective in assisting the body to manage stress. Stress also depletes Omega 3’s in the body so it is important to replace these by taking fish oil, flaxseed supplements or eating a diet high in omega 3’s. Magnesium supplement, under conditions of mental or physical stress, magnesium is released from your blood cells and goes into the blood plasma, from where it is excreted into the urine. Chronic stress depletes your body of magnesium.
Breathing: A simple breathing exercise once or twice a day will give your body a huge helping hand in removing excess acids from your bloodstream. It will allow you to stop, focus your mind, visualise and relax.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and follow this simple breathing pattern:
Breathe in for the count of 4.
Hold for a count of 4.
Breathe out for a count of 8.
Repeat 4 times.
Gratitude: Being grateful for all the little things in life can have profound effects on your stress levels. There has been lots of research that has shown that people who feel gratitude are happier, report more life satisfaction, and report less stress. Gratitude pulls you out of your negative mindset. Much of your stressful thinking is automatic. By focusing solely on your negative experiences, you can spiral downward. By expressing gratitude, you give your thinking a more positive target. You feel better and you feel less stress.
Stretching: Stress restricts blood flow, causing tension in your muscles and lower back. Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones. The secret is to isolate the muscles that store tension by stretching the lower back, shoulders, and neck.
Patterns of thinking: Limited thinking is a precursor to the development of limiting beliefs and they cause you to filter life through a lens of misperception, which impacts the way you perceive yourself and others, and the way others perceive you. Being aware of your patterns of limited thinking, observing or catching them when they come up, and making a conscious choice to stop them in their tracks and replace them with more empowered and healthier thoughts can completely change your relationship with yourself and others and greatly improve your stress levels and your health & wellbeing.
Meditation/Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation for stress relief
Progressive muscle relaxation involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body; this can be done in a meditative state.
With regular practice, progressive muscle relaxation gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body. This awareness helps you spot and counteract the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress. And as your body relaxes, so will your mind. You can combine deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation for an additional level of stress relief. There are many forms of meditation that assist the mind and the body to completely switch off and calm down, try several styles until you find the one that suits you and practice it daily.
|Posted on 8 May, 2017 at 15:15|
By Kanta Jacob Katz Ph.D
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Our belief systems are thoughts that have become our habits that determine what we think, what we feel and how we react to life. They influence every fibre of our being.
In our everyday life when we talk about “beliefs” we usually refer to the values we adopt consciously in our life, to our social, political and religious ‘beliefs’ according to which we act and behave. However, here we are talking about something of a wider perspective: about convictions that we have embraced regarding the world and ourselves in general of which we are not always aware. In this sense, belief systems operate on an unconscious level so that we are not even aware of them and the power they hold.
What does all that mean to us? It means we have established thoughts and feelings about who we are, all kept intact by the ‘flowing constant energy’ called ‘belief’. This belief or a whole set of different beliefs constructed into a system dictate our deeds, our behaviours and choices. In other words, our beliefs are the invisible instigators of what we have created in our life. These beliefs define how we feel about ourselves. They are the core beliefs that mould our reality. These ideas are strengthening and reinforcing the foundation of who we are.
Where does it all come from? Belief systems are inherited and taught directly or indirectly from childhood. In those precious times, we were taught what to believe and who and what we are supposed to be. We were drilled either by talks or by experiences that impressed on the youthful soul to think a certain way, to act a certain way. After a while, we began to accept this new reality as truth giving up our free will choice to even question it. We might even doubt about what is truth for us and what is not. These beliefs have had and continue to have a tremendous effect on us.
Let’s look at these two words together and their meaning, to get a picture of how they interact in our life.
The definition of ‘belief’ is:
(1) A thought or feeling that something exists or is true, without proof.
(2) A vague or specific idea on which some confidence is placed.
(3) A religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true.
The definition of ‘system’ is:
(1) A combination of interrelated interacting elements designed to work as a coherent unit.
(2) A group of interrelated elements comprising a unified whole.
(3) A complex method of rules governing behaviour.
Who we have become can be based on old information coming from our religious background, social status, and family tradition, making us believe a lot of things about ourselves. Is it likely that you identify yourself with what you believe?
Could it be that your identity was built on a false foundation? What beliefs have you empowered that have shaped and moulded your life? Are you living up to the expectation and patterns that others have placed on you? Are you free?
What we think can be tools for creation, give us the ability to live in inner peace or they can keep us locked in a prison. Have your beliefs locked you up in an energy jail? A place you can’t see to escape from? These energy jails act like force fields that surround the body, mind and spirit. Once in place, these force fields lock us into painful patterns not allowing us to create a new way of life. However, we need to understand that we are responsible for creating everything. When we create an energy jail, we often do it because we think it protects us from getting hurt. These jails may stay dormant for a long time if that is what we have programmed them to do, only to become active when we call them forth for our ‘protection’, creating difficulties.
Discovering if we have created one of these energy jails is not always simple. Many times it’s possible to set internal alarms so we cannot even get close to understand and see what we have created because of the pain. If we do attempt to see it may feel as if we had a physical fight after an encounter with the jailer self. In our resistance, we may become ill, have muscle soreness in the body, become depressed or any number of diseases may manifest. Many of us have become experts in giving ourselves self-punishment. Many may be addicted to that painful emotional and physical cycle. We then run to the doctor or to the healer because of the problem.
Do you live in an energy jail? To see what you have created try this: Take some time to relax. Find a place and time you won’t be disturbed. Begin to breathe deeply, use equal breath. After a few minutes, when you feel your mind and body becoming relaxed, ask yourself: “What do I really believe about myself?” “What do I deserve?” You can search deeper by asking what changes could I make in my life and why?” Always remember change is a choice! You are your best healer.
|Posted on 20 May, 2015 at 17:45||comments (0)|
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils as an agent for pulling harmful bacteria, fungus and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and throat.
Many advocates of Oil Pulling suggest Safflower, Sunflower or Vegetable oil; but more and more studies are finding higher quality oils are more effective. The anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of whole, extra-virgin coconut oil make it the perfect choice for Oil Pulling.
Oil Pulling technique:
On an empty stomach (prior to breakfast) take one tablespoon of oil into the mouth, do not swallow it. Move the oil slowly in the mouth then begin rinsing, swishing, sipping, sucking and pulling through the teeth. Practice this for fifteen to twenty minutes.
This process thoroughly mixes the oils with saliva. Swishing activates the enzymes and the enzymes draw toxins out of the blood. The oil must not be swallowed, for it has become toxic. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and turns white. This has, in effect, pulled toxins and poisons out through the mucous membranes of the mouth.
The Oil Pulling/swishing procedure is best done prior to breakfast. However, to accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day; but it is always best to do before meals and on an empty stomach.
Once the process has finished spit the oil into the garbage bin or tissues and then place in the garbage bin, do not spit down the sink as it can solidify in the drain. Thoroughly rinse the oral cavity with water, when possible use salty water. Brush with fluoride-free toothpaste.
Some of the benefits you will receive from Oil Pulling
During the Oil Pulling process, one’s metabolism is intensified which leads to improved health. For many, the most striking results of this process is the fastening of loose teeth, the healing of sores, the elimination of bleeding gums and the visible whitening of the teeth.
Top 7 Benefits of Oil Pulling
1. WHITENS TEETH
There is no need for chemical teeth whitening strips when oil pulling works just as well! The oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brightens and cleans teeth, keeping them pearly white. Try it for two weeks and you’ll see the difference.
2. INCREASES ENERGY
When our immune system is put to work in clearing out toxic waste from our body, it drains our energy levels. Removing the noxious culprits in the first instance by oil pulling lowers the amount of work our body has to do to function, which leaves us feeling a whole lot better.
3. DETOXES THE BODY
Germs in the body are much like poison causing inflammation and leading to disease and illness in turn. The gateway to the body for such contamination is the mouth. Therefore, in removing the toxins at source before they get a chance to spread, the body undergoes a complete detox.
4. AIDS HORMONAL CHANGES
Without having to compete with foreign substances, hormones can behave as they should, functioning to their best ability without being thrown off balance.
5. REDUCES HEADACHES
When the body is under toxic stress, headaches and migraines occur. It is nature’s way of asking for some time out to recover. By eliminating bacteria from the body via oil pulling, headaches can be avoided.
6. KEEPS THE SKIN CLEAR
Removing toxins from the body that would otherwise make it into the bloodstream means the skin has a chance to shine. Rashes and skin issues often reduce dramatically, or even clear up completely, when oil pulling.
7. PROMOTES ORAL HYGIENE
Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing tooth cavities and at eradicating bad breath. Removing the Streptococcus mutants bacteria (an important player in tooth decay) as well as other microorganisms, oil pulling is great for oral health. It also helps with plaque-induced gingivitis.
When you start oil pulling, you might experience some of the positive effects immediately, or it may take a few days or even weeks. It will very much depend on the state of your health to begin with, and how compromised your immune system is.
START OIL PULLING TODAY, YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU FOR IT.
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Dry Skin Brushing: 7 Key Benefits
Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.
It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Your skin even contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain, making your skin a crucial part of your interactions with the world around you.
Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently.
This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes. Beyond this, dry skin brushing offers multiple benefits including:
1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to "breathe."
3. Increase Circulation
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
4. Reduce Cellulite
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become more plump and swollen after brushing).1 The Huffington Post reported:2
"When we'd heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs."
5. Stress Relief
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
6. Improve Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to one skin care and spa expert:3
"…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more."
7. It's Invigorating
Many people become "addicted" to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session.
Dry Brushing: How to Do It
First you'll need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.
Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results, or even twice a day if you like. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower and then again after work (avoid doing it too close to bedtime, as it may leave you feeling energized).
When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).
The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid "scrubbing"). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you'd like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.
By Dr. Mercola
|Posted on||comments (0)|
Water is vital for life.
Today most of us are desperately dehydrated, we are drinking all day and quenching our thirst, but what we are drinking is contributing to our dehydration. The average person has on a daily basis several cups of coffee or tea, perhaps a can or two of soft drink, a milk shake, a energy drink, and maybe, just maybe a glass or two of water. Other than the water all the other drinks listed above add to your body’s dehydration, not to mention all the other nasty ingredients contained in these drinks that rob you of your health. Your body is made up of at least 70% water and throughout the day you are continually losing water from your body which needs to be replaced. We lose water from our bodies in many ways from urine and faeces output, sweating and breathing as well as a multitude of metabolic processes. Water is so important for our body, not only does it give us healthy and glowing skin, it is vital for saliva and stomach secretions needed to digest your food, in blood it helps transport nutrients and oxygen to all your cells, in body fluids it helps to lubricate joints and cushions organs and tissues, it carries waste products out of the body in your urine. You also need water to burn calories/kilojoules; you need about 1 ml of water for every calorie you burn.
How to tell if you are not drinking enough water
• How often do you urinate throughout the day? You should be expelling a significant amount of urine at least 3 to 4 times per day.
• Colour of your urine, it should be a pale colour with only a mild odour, if your urine is dark yellow and has a strong odour, you are not drinking enough water. Remember vitamin B will make your urine dark in colour even if you are drinking enough water.
• If you push your finger down on your skin and it does not pop back up immediately and feels a bit mushy, then you are dehydrated.
• If you feel fatigued or your skin is flushed, your lips or mouth are dry, this is also a sign of dehydration.
The first sign of dehydration is thirst, however by the time we feel thirsty we are already moderately dehydrated and need to immediately replenish our body with water.
How to keep hydrated
• Drink up to 2 litres of water each day, that’s approximately 8 glasses, if this is a struggle for you replace some of your water drinks with herbal teas, fresh fruit or vegetable juices, or you can add some freshly squeezed lemon to your water.
• Eat foods with high water content this can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
• Limit drinks with caffeine and alcohol, these drinks are both diuretics and contribute to dehydration.