by Sharon Sherbina, NYR Organic
Poison Awareness Month Post #2
As a consultant working for a company that sells essential oils, I feel morally obligated to provide information to people that may not be provided to them by the general public or other EO companies. March is Poison Awareness Month and it's the perfect time to address essential oils as a potential hazard if not used with care and best practices.
Are you under a doctor's care? Do you have children? Do you have pets? These are all important questions that should be answered and researched before "diving in" to essential oils. Essential Oils can STILL be a wonderful part of your health journey, but unsafe practices, primarily the daily ingestion of oils, is not considered safe, and should only be done under the care of a highly qualified practitioner.
In 2010, over 10,000 cases of essential oils poisoning was reported to poison control centers. The majority of these were children UNDER AGE FIVE. This number has increased EVERY year. To look at the actual statistics, including deaths that occurred, access the data system with the American Association of Poison Control Centers' Annual Reports of National Poison Data Systems (NPDS). This issue is not one to be taken lightly.
One of my favorite oils right now is Niaouli, and when used appropriately, has many health benefits:
1. Clears congestion in respiratory system
2. Reduces body temperature during fever
3. Stimulates growth and strengthens immunity
4. Helps stimulate circulation of blood and lymph
5. Gives relief from rheumatism, arthritis, and gout
6. Diminishes scars and after marks left by acne and pimples
7. Protects wound against bacterial growth, sepsis and tetanus
Pregnant women should not use this one. It should also not be used near your mucous membranes, or ingested orally.
Essential oils are wonderful, but let's use them with best practices to ensure that we will be able to freely use them for a long time to come!
I’m opposed to author bios, for much the same reason that I’m opposed to framing artwork. Intellectually we know that art goes beyond the frame, and that the frame is an artificial construct. My husband says that I “sure am a piece of work”, but he has never, (nor has anyone else) ever referred to me as a piece of art…
So, right now I am bouncing back and forth between the beautiful and troubled island paradise of Oahu, and our home base in deep rural Missouri. Subjects of interest for contemplation and writing include nature, sustainability, primitive skills and traditions, kindness, unconditional positive regard, all the big whys and hows, movement disorders, the juxtaposition of science and religion, education, second language acquisition, holistic skin care, and cats. I fail to practice much of what I preach, and greet each day as a challenge, and consider each night before I go to bed an exercise in self-grace.
by Lyn Lomasi; Owner of Intent-sive Nature & the Brand Shamans network
Many kids have a fear of the dentist. All those tools that dentists use can be frightening for a kid at first glance. Understanding what those tools are and what they each do can help. Kids also need to know that the dentist is there to help. With a few fun activities and a dose of education on dentists, you may be able to ease dental fears in kids.
The first step in getting kids comfortable with dentists is discussing why they need to go. Explain that dentists need to make sure their teeth are healthy and clean. Let them play with a toy kit of dental instruments as you emphasize the "coolness" of the tools, rather than the scariness.
Role Play With a Dentist Kit
After the tooth talk, take turns playing dentist with a dentist kit. Kids and parents can take turns playing the role of dentist and patient. Playing out each role can help your children associate happy feelings with the dentist. Familiarization can help to alleviate your kid's fear of the dentist.
Online Interactive Dental Games
Some toothpaste companies provide online interactive sections for kids with games and activities that help teach them about the dentist and tooth care. Exploring these with your kids can further familiarize them with the dentist and help to alleviate their fears.
Dental Coloring Book
Kids love to color. Why not allow them to color a dental coloring book? The pictures will show them what may happen, and some dental coloring books even have a story to read. Many websites also have free dental coloring pages that are printable.
Remember, to a child, dentists may be perceived as strangers with scary tools. To alleviate your child's fear of the dentist, familiarize your child with common dental tools and what they are for.
If your child has a friend or sibling that has already been to the dentist, let that child explain to yours how fun the visit was. Sometimes hearing it from another kid can help alleviate your kid's fear of the dentist.
Talk to the dentist about your kid's fear. Sometimes they have helpful tips and may also have ways to calm the child during the visit. Many dentists will even give the kids a special signal they can use that means stop. When the kid uses this signal, the dentist will know that he or she is uncomfortable and will stop for a minute to allow the child to relax.
5 Benefits of Preworkout Supplements
Jim Curtis, Contributing Writer
Did you know that adding a supplement before each workout can be greatly beneficial? Start your workout right with pre-workout supplements. Here are 5 benefits to doing so before every single workout.
There are multiple ingredients in that help increase the body's overall energy. This can be anything from caffeine to guarana, ginseng, creatine, and more. Some of these are naturally made by the body in smaller amounts.
Increased Muscle Stamina and Building Power
In order to get in a good workout, your muscles need pre-workout supplements to be able to handle it. Some pre-workout supplements can increase muscle stamina, as well as help them build much faster.
Become more aware of your surroundings and how you are doing your workout. Increased mental alertness is good overall, but is especially good when trying to focus on a workout.
Improved Ability to Handle Strenuous Activity
Pre-workout supplements can often aid in the ability to handle stress, meaning you may last longer during strenuous workouts. This is especially good when you have a specific goal in mind.
Many pre-workout supplements are packed with various nutrients, electrolytes, and more. Some of these ingredients are healthy to consume, even for those not doing strenuous workouts.
6 Ways Mold Can Be Avoided
by Alicia Bodine, Contributing Writer
First, you must know where to look for the mold. Mold forms when there is air and moisture. That means you need to check places like your kitchen stove area, dryer area, around your heaters, and windows that may not be properly insulated.
Second, you may want to consider using air conditioners in the summer on those dreadfully humid days. Dehumidifiers work well and can be used all year long. You may also want to consider keeping some fans going, as this will circulate the air in your home.
Third, when the weather is permissible be sure to open windows and doors. Increasing the ventilation in your home can decrease the chance of moisture turning into mold.
Fourth, if leaks occur within the home, clean them up immediately. Water cleaned up with 24-48 hours usually does not turn into mold. If you have a plumbing leak, make an appointment to get it fixed right away. Do not procrastinate on this.
Fifth, always use a fan in the bathroom when taking a hot shower. This will reduce the moisture you are trapping in the bathroom. If you do not have an exhaust fan in your bathroom you really need to get one. The same idea applies when you are running a dishwasher or using your stove.
Sixth, make it a point to get your windows checked. Do everything you can to seal them up properly. If possible get double-paned windows.
Why is it so important to install proper windows? Condensation is a major mold producer. If the window glass is a lower temperature than the moisture that comes in contact with it, it will turn in to condensation (moisture droplets on your window). Having humidity inside your house with cooler air outside can do this. Properly insulated windows can keep this to a minimum.
It is impossible to get rid of all molds because there are always mold spores floating around your home. The problem comes when the mold spores land on a wet surface and begin to grow. If there is no moisture then the spores cannot grow. So if you find yourself with a mold problem you must get rid of the moisture in your home. Just cleaning up the mold will not stop it from growing again. I hope these tips will help you prevent a future mold problem in your home.
This article was previously published on the Yahoo Contributor Network.
By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Contributing Writer
Stress can have different affects on the human body, which is why there is not a one medication or approach to handling mental stresses in life. Some people try using stress management techniques, but they don’t always work. Whenever, you are in the stressful situation, sometimes these techniques you have learned will help. Other times, they don’t work and you may get angry at the situation you are in that is causing stress or depression.
Therefore, there are other tips and tricks that someone can try, in order to relieve their anxiety or stress. The stress management techniques focus on helping a person change themselves or their situation whenever they can. However, sometimes a person cannot change a major stressor in their life for some reason. These situations can cause too much stress and anxiety, which may lead to a depressive mood.
A person needs to change their way of thinking and behavior, when learning healthier ways to cope with the situation. They begin by changing their thoughts, their lifestyle, emotions, and the way the react to certain situations. However, some people need other ways to alleviate stress like: physical activity, keeping a journal, medication, and prayer or spiritual help. Keeping a stress journal can help the patient or the doctor to discover exactly what the stress triggers are and how they can avoid those stresses all together.
Some people will need medication to help their anxiety level, while others can do simple breathing exercises. Many people just need to take time out of their busy day and stop to relax while smelling the roses. The patient can get on the right treatment plan and start their journey towards feeling better. Additionally, the patient’s mental health and stress level can make them sick and cause other issues like: anxiety or depression.
A person should never be afraid to ask for help, because they just might find healthier ways to handle stressful situations. Learning new coping techniques can help lessen the stress level that a person is dealing with. An overwhelming stress can affect a person’s mental and physical health, but exercise and learning healthy coping skills can help alleviate stress. Therefore, it is important for people of all ages to see a doctor, whenever they are feeling overwhelmed by the stresses in their life.
Coping with Cancer's Touch
By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Contributing Writer
As a cancer patient or a caregiver, you will learn so much about a devastating disease that rarely leaves survivors. Everyone is hoping and praying for a cure to be found quickly, but more research is needed in order for this to happen. However, there are other ways, in which you can help yourself fight to live. This will be a spiritual, physical, and emotional journey for everyone around you.
Learning to laugh every day, no matter what you may be facing in the future is important for anyone touched by cancer. Start by finding a sense of hope, in the midst of an unsure future and pain beyond description. Cancer sucks, but we most make the most out of the time we have with our families. Don't fret over the small things, instead go out and have a day of fun that your loved one will never forget.
Focus on You
Next, look for a hobby or spend the night dancing with someone you love. Spend time doing the things you love, like taking a vacation to the mountains or visit an amusement park. Always find new ways, to help you beat the cancer blues and the fear involved in the cancers. Current research shows that loneliness and sadness lead to a quicker death. So, go have fun, instead of feeling helpless and frustrated with your current situation.
Then, be sure to write a book about your life, as a keepsake for your family and their children. In addition, you could make a scrapbook for each of your children, but first you will need to gather up your favorite pictures. Try to forget your troubles and focus on pleasing yourself instead, since most doctors agree the laughter is the best medicine. Be sure to get your daily dose and pass it on to your loved one and friends.
Research has show that changing old habits will help you live longer, so quit smoking and adopt a low fat diet. Remember to eat lots of veggie and fruits, in order to build up your body's immune system. Exercise regularly, in order to maintain your physical strength and health. Start slowly and work your way up to 30 minutes of Cardio exercise a day. Then, you will want to add strength training into your daily routine.
Enjoy the precious gift of life that you were given, no matter what you are facing tomorrow or in the future. Furthermore, lean on your faith for spiritual comfort, while traveling on this bumpy road. It is necessary to make yourself happy and change your unhealthy habits, so you will begin thriving. Therefore, focus on learning to live and laugh, because it is another important step toward becoming a healthy survivor!
By, Crystal S Kauffman, Contributing Writer
Do you have to take a lot of medication or vitamins every day or several times a day? Then, this article is speaking straight to you! Skip setting up your daily medicines in a box that holds a week’s or months worth of medications and vitamins. Instead, check out this new pharmacy, because it packages up your daily medicines. This is benefit to you, because it lessens the confusion over that has to be taken each day at different times.
This will benefit both patients and/or caregivers, who struggle with sorting daily medications or vitamins. Don’t stress about what medications that you must take each day, but at different times of the day. Let, the PillPack pharmacy help you out, by placing your medications in individual plastic packages that are sorted by the doctor’s specifications. This pharmacy is dedicated to the patient, because with them you are not just a number.
The medications and vitamins will be sent right to your front door, so you have your medications as soon as possible. A UPS driver will deliver your certified medications straight to your door, which is safe and convenient for both the patient and the caregiver. The PillPack pharmacy has an online database that will help manage your medication and send reminders of important events. This is a full service pharmacy, which can fill prescriptions that need to be individually packaged or not.
However, the pharmacy cannot fill any controlled substances, but it can fill other medications from your doctor that don’t need to be packaged separately. The patient and caregiver can also order vitamins and over-the-counter products. There are several convenient ways to always reach a pharmacist, no matter what time you need them. The pharmacists are available 24/7 using email, chat, phone, or through the online database.
Take a minute to check out their offer for you personally, because this new pharmacy may be the help you need to keep your medications organized. The PillPack pharmacy is not expensive, since the medicine should cost the same as any pharmacy you currently visit. Your insurance generally requires a co-pay, but there are no extra charges like shipping and handling. Get started right now, by visiting their website at PillPack.com/info or call the pharmacy at 1-855-745-5725.
However, remember that it will take about two weeks to get your first shipment, so sign up quickly or wait until you have enough medication. The pharmacy can handle any injectable medications as well, so it is perfect for people with diabetes who take insulin. The online database will allow you to monitor, manage, and review your medications or their refills. The pharmacy can overnight your medication to your door, whenever you need it right away.
Furthermore, the online pharmacy is in Manchester, New Hampshire and has been licensed to deliver medications to most United States cities. The pharmacy has earned an accreditation through the National Association of Board of Pharmacies (NABP) and has been Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). A pharmacist is waiting to help you get started, so take a moment to see if this pharmacy is what you need.
Three Benefits of Trail Walking
From physical to mental, to fun and exploration, try trail walking regularly for your health. You may find the results are surprisingly refreshing. It can also give you something new and fun to focus on. Whether you've been on the trails before or haven't given it a second thought, it may be beneficial to your physical and mental well-being to add regular trail walking to your schedule.
Help Keep Your Body Energized
Walking is a great way to increase energy. While it may seem that physical activity would take away energy, the opposite is true, in healthy doses. Physical exertion, such as walking, can increase endorphin presence. This causes a natural energy, sometimes referred to as “runner's high”. In addition to an increase in energy levels, walking can also help some people have a more positive outlook. This is also due to the increased endorphin release.
Free Your Mind With Nature
Viewing nature can help free your mind and give you something wondrous to think about and enjoy. It's good for mental health to enjoy mind-freeing activities wherever possible. Take a look around. Enjoy the trees, birds, and other wildlife while trail walking. Is there water? Relax and listen to the sounds it makes. Take time to really see and study what's around you.
Explore Your Area in a New Way
Sometimes, while going about daily life, it's easy to miss what's really around you. From the city sidewalks and streets, it may be readily evident what's available by simply taking the trails instead. Trail walking can help you explore your area in a whole new way. There may be much more to your city or town than you realize. Get to know it even more by regularly walking various trails available. Most cities have them near parks, canals, and elsewhere.
Alzheimer's and dementia prevention is a continuous learning process for medical researchers. While some prevention methods for these diseases show positive results, there still are many factors to consider. Below are some possible ways to help prevent Alzheimer's and related dementia. While Alzheimer's Disease and dementia are two different diseases, dementia can sometimes be a symptom of Alzheimer's. Improving memory and brain function can aid in prevention of both.
Exercise the Body
Studies have shown that physical movement, such as exercise can help with memory and cognition. Activities such as playing basketball, swimming, hiking, yoga, and bike riding all are forms of exercise class. Other options include taking fitness classes, going for walks, playing at the playground with children or grandchildren, or even just strolling around the wall.
Exercise the Mind
Exercising is not all about physical movement either. The main needs constant stimulation as wel. Reading, writing, math problems, board games, card games, and word puzzles are several ways to keep the brain working. Consider going to school or taking an educational class on any point of interests. This could mean either hobbies, possible career ventures, or even both.
Taking the classes mentioned above is one way to stay social. Also think of going to events, get-togethers with family and friends, group camping, and more. Any time spent interacting with others in a positive way may aid in the prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy balanced diet consistently has also shown to be a prevention method for both Alzheimer's and dementia. Talk to your doctor and nutritionist about the types of foods you should be eating and stick to the plan. Maintaining a regular and healthy diet is a great way to aid in preventing dementia and Alzheimer's. It's a also a great way to take care of your body and health in general. Omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, and fruits are all especially good for this purpose.
Take Vitamins Regularly
Taking the appropriate vitamins daily as directed can aid in disease prevention. Alzheimer's and dementia are no different in this regard. Folic acid, B6 and B12 are extremely helpful, as they help lower homocysteine levels. Lowering homocysteine levels may help slow down progression of Alzheimer's Disease.
* Note that the author is not a licensed medical professional. The above is intended for informational purposes only. Always speak to a licensed medical doctor about your health.
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Mayo Clinic DS01131
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Energy Drinks; Eyes Wide Shut
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
You see them in just about every store you go into, and they are becoming increasingly popular for people who's get up and go has got up and went and they begin to feel tired and drawn out. Now all they have to do is reach in a store's cooler and get an energy drink. After a can of this powerful elixir, the eyes widen and the heart begins to race, and the next thing you know, you can’t find enough things to keep you occupied.
But what’s in these cans of dynamite that recharges and gives the body an energy make-over? Well according to researchers, it’s a "high" dose of caffeine, and with such high doses, they are seeing an increasing number of emergency room visits from "caffeine junkies". The number of visits have doubled in the last 4 years, the same period of time in which these supercharged drinks have gained popularity in convenience stores, bars, and college campuses. From 2007 to 2012, the number of emergency room visits went from 10,000, to more than 20,000. That has forced the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to declare energy drinks a health problem. Depending on the amount consumed, high doses of caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, headaches, rapid heartbeats, and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.
Emergency room physicians have seen an increase in patients suffering from irregular heartbeats, anxiety, and heart attacks. If you drink 3 16oz cans of an energy drink, that’s equivalent to drinking 15 cups of coffee. Now the makers of these drinks call them completely safe, and drinking them in moderation will not cause any ill effects, but of course they are all profit motivated. And the most recent drink that’s becoming more and more popular is "5 Hour Energy." That little bottle of "go fast" promises 5 hours of pure energy with no ill effects once the "jet fuel" wears off. But the catch here is that not every body has the same metabolism, and what’s okay for one person could be a problem for some one else.
So now the choice is yours but I will say this, if you have medical problems, or if your heart is questionable, I would ask your doctor about drinking energy drinks to be safe.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
Well now let’s say that it’s been 30 glorious days of bliss, and he or she is all your dreams wrapped up in one beautiful package and you couldn’t be more happier. You decide to let the whole world know that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with so you do what millions of others have done in the glee of the moment…. you get a tattoo. And you just didn’t settle for a small discreet tattoo, you had to have one to let the public know that you are here-by dedicating your life to this person.
Now in a perfect world, the love will last forever until "death do you part" and in that case all is well, but what if by some chance it didn’t turn out like that fairy-tale you had envisioned? Getting over the heartbreak and misery is bad enough, but now you have to look at that permanent reminder etched on your skin when you shower, or go to the beach, and if you happen to pursue another relationship, the other party might not take to kindly to you advertising another "brand" so to speak. Getting the tattoo had it’s own risk such as getting hepatitis C from dirty needles being used by numerous unregulated tattoo parlors, and now you have changed your mind and tattoo removal, is a whole new nightmare.
Dr. Suzanne Kilmer, a clinical professor at the University of California-Davis, and the founder of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center, has seen more than her share of "tattoo regrets." She has removed more than 20,000 tattoos, and that’s no small accomplishment. Dr. Kilmer is no run of the mill dermatologist, she is a world-renowned, pre-eminent expert in the field of laser tattoo removal and laser skin care. And just knowing that about her qualifications should also tell you that tattoo removal is not going to be cheap. Dr. Kilmer’s work has opened up possibilities for better and faster ways to remove tattoos in a world filled with people obsessed with etching body art on their outermost organ.
Tattoo removal is difficult, lengthy, and painful. You can compare it to hot bacon grease spattered on your skin. Or someone smacking you with a stretched rubber band up close. One patient described it as hot oil running under the skin. Lasers deliver hot, powerful pulses through the upper skin to a deeper layer where a tattoo artist has embedded the pigment. And if you think that’s pain, how about the $150 to $1,000 each for the multiple appointments it’s going to take for you to finally get rid of your mistake. So the moral of the story is, find another way to confess your love besides getting a tattoo because if it falls short of forever, the pain of trying to forget the relationship could be two-fold.
Photo courtesy of wikimediacommons.com
Common Allergens in Humid Climates
by Lyn Lomasi; Co-Owner of Intent-sive Nature & the Brand Shamans network
Waking up to a headache and a bout of sneezing? I've been there numerous times, due to allergies. My allergies have always been somewhat troublesome. When we moved to a humid climate, I quickly found out it can be worse. So, what types of allergens are common in humid climates and what things can be done to avoid them? Read on to find out what I learned through research, as well as personal experience.
What are the Most Common Allergens in Humid Climates?
Dust mites are a big problem in humid climates. They thrive in this type of environment and are so microscopic that they can go unnoticed. This may be good for them, but is not so great for those with dust mite allergies. Another allergen very prevalent in humid climates includes mold, which also does well in hot, moist areas. Tree and grass pollen allergens can also be bothersome in humid climates, as the Spring blooming season can last longer than in dry areas.
What Allergies Can These Common Allergens Cause?
Dust mite allergens can trigger allergies or asthma attacks in those who are allergic. Mold spores can do the same. Allergies triggered by pollen from trees, grass, and weeds is often referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Symptoms can include a sinus headache, a stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose or throat, and hives. Severe allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, which is extremely rare with these types of allergies, but deadly. Those with severe allergies should stay aware of their triggers, as well as heed the advice of their doctor with medicines and an emergency plan.
Where are These Common Allergens Found?
Dust mites and mold spores can be found inside the home. They aren't always easy to spot. Mole can be hidden within walls, in attics, under sinks, and in other inconspicuous areas. It thrives in warm, humid climates. Dust mites can be found virtually anywhere. They generally like to hide in carpets, in furniture, on clothing, and on other fibrous surfaces. They also will cling to things such as furnace ducts. Tree and grass pollen, of course will be found outdoors.
Can I Avoid Allergens Common to Humid Climates?
Avoiding dust mite allergens can involve a regular routine of vacuuming carpets, cloth draperies, throw rugs, and furniture. Also helpful is to use a room dehumidifier in each affected area. This method also helps with mold. Mold inside of a home should be found and removed by mold removal experts. Some molds can be toxic. A good way to avoid some of the effects of pollen allergens is to stay inside during peak hours for the pollen, which are between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Another option for allergens is to have allergy shots or take prescription or over-the-counter allergy relief.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
A Good Nights' Sleep Is A Must
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
As far back as 350 B.C., Aristotle theorized that sleep provides physical renewal, yet in the age we live in with our fast paced environment, technology driven timelines, and our quest to be all we can be, a good nights rest has fallen by the wayside.
The body’s clock runs roughly on a 24 hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. It’s influenced by the amount of light that enters our eyes, which triggers our brain to produce more or less of the hormone “melatonin” which causes drowsiness. Sleep is a far more active process than once thought. While you’re sleeping, your brain and body are hard at work.
Let’s study this “body clock” more closely. We’ll start at noon. You are hard at work or doing daily task at home or just hanging out at the beach. Your fastest reaction time during the day is 3:30 pm. Next you’re at home having dinner, watching the television, or working outside. Your highest blood pressure occurs at 6:30 pm.
Having finished your day you turn in for the night at 11:30 pm after watching your local news program. While you may drift off to sleep at around midnight, your deepest sleep won’t happen until 2:00 am. From midnight to 2:00 am you are in what’s known as a “light sleep”.
In a light sleep, your eyes stop moving, your body temperature drops, and both heart rate and breathing are steady, and brain activity slows. Your brain is also at the point where it tunes out external noises. but it also shows burst of activity called “sleep spindles” which plays a role in learning and incorporating new memories. In your deepest sleep, your muscles relax, blood pressure drops, and breathing slows.
This is the condition that you would experience if you were to take a long space journey in suspended animation and waking during this phase often leads to grogginess. Deep sleep is the most physically restorative phase of the sleep cycle and is thought to be important for maintaining memories.
This part of sleep is also associated with Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, the part of sleep where dreams occur. To have a restful sleep you must be in the REM phase, and you must dream. You may not remember them, but if you woke up totally refreshed, then you did dream. Unless you didn't reach the deep sleep phase meaning you didn't dream and that's why you woke up still tired.
Now back to the body clock. At 4:30 am your body reaches its lowest temperature, and at 6:45 am your blood pressure jumps drastically. A great number of heart attack deaths have happened at this point of the day and that’s why taking caffeine at this point should be done so with extreme caution. Ease into that first cup. Recently it was concluded that one of the functions of sleep was to help cleanse cellular waste that naturally builds up in the brain during the day.
Oh, and by the way, after years of research, dreams are still a mystery. Any explanation is piecemeal and as Patrick McNamara, who is a dream specialist says, “We want one theory that could elegantly account for everything we see in our dreams and whether or not that’s ever going to be possible is up for grabs.” Something to sleep on, wouldn’t you say?
The Healthy Side Of Coffee
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
There are 165 million coffee drinkers in the United States alone, and sometimes we wonder how many cups a day can we drink without worry. The worry is a conditioned response because the caffeine in coffee has been blamed over the years for everything from heart disease to cancer.
I myself sometimes wonder about this because without my "cup of Joe" in the morning, I don’t feel motivated to get my day started. I’ve been a truck driver for the past 29 years, and I dread to think of how many cups I’ve had over that period of time. But after doing some research, I found out that coffee can actually be good for you,....imagine that.
There have been over 19,000 studies over the past decade that has looked into the dangers and benefits of coffee and research has shown that drinking moderate amounts can cut the risk of cancer and other diseases, and is a popular source of antioxidants. The next question you may ask is what is considered "moderate."
For most people, drinking 3 cups a day does more good than harm but remember however that our tolerance to caffeine varies from person to person, and for some, even a small amount can make them nervous and irritable. This is especially true if you are consuming additional caffeine, found in certain energy drinks, colas, tea, chocolate, and various cold and headache remedies. Research has found that most of coffee’s side effects occur when we consume "massive quantities".
In addition to antioxidants, coffee contains a host of antibacterial compounds that protect against infections and other ingredients that may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Just remember to check with your doctor and get his take on how much you can safely drink if you have any health problems.
The benefits of coffee has affects throughout the entire body from preventing gallstones, to reducing the symptoms of Parkinson‘s disease, and even preserving cognitive functions. Also doctors at John Hopkins Hospital even found that 5 cups a day will not raise the blood pressure in a healthy person. I must say that if your doctor tells you that you must switch to decaffeinated coffee, then in my opinion, you lose the main reason people love to drink it, the caffeine.
So here’s the bottom line for you coffee lovers, most side effects occur at high doses and people with heart disease, cardiac rhythm problems, high blood pressure, active gout, or stomach ulcers, should reduce or eliminate their intake based on the advice of their physician. As for the rest of us who look forward to our morning cup of coffee, we should have no qualms about drinking it. Moderation is the key and for some of us, moderation means to the point where we couldn't thread a needle if our life depended on it.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
Well, we all know the damage common cigarettes can do to the human body, but now comes the debate over e-cigarettes. E-Cigarettes are battery operated products that look like real cigarettes but turn liquid nicotine into a vapor inhaled by the user. They came onto the market a decade ago and are said to be a less harmful alternative to the real thing. Not only that, they come in flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, and cherry... yummy!
In a recent study, the e-cigarette was said to be just as effective as the nicotine patch in helping smokers "kick the habit." Among smokers who hadn’t managed to quit on their own, 60% of those using e-cigarettes had cut down on the number of real cigarettes smoked by at least half versus 41% of those using nicotine patches. While the e-cigarette is touted as a safer alternative, it still has one thing in common with real cigarette: giving the user breathing problems.
The European Union and Britain are planning to regulate e-cigarettes as medical devices, which has provoked criticism from some scientists that say that would limit their availability to help chronic smokers to quit. It is the tar and other toxins in real cigarettes which is deadly, not the nicotine. This is the main reason that everyone is jumping on the e-cigarette band wagon. For those who are hopelessly addicted to nicotine, everyone agrees that we’ve got to provide them with a safer alternative. They say this is it.
Here in the United States, there is another problem that concerns the masses: the number of teens using the e-cigarettes. The number of middle and high school students who are using e-cigarettes doubled in 2012 from the previous year. In total, 1.8 million middle and high school students say they smoked the e-cigarettes in 2012.
Twelve states have laws preventing the sale to minors, but that leaves a lot of states with the go ahead to sell them to students. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they were going to regulate e-cigarettes two years ago, but have yet to do it.
Another big concern among health officials is that the e-cigarette may become a path to smoking the real thing among the younger set, who may not have even thought about smoking at all if they didn't have the e-cigarette to experiment with. Among high school students, 7 percent who had tried e-cigarettes said they never smoked a traditional cigarette prior to that.
The hope is that once the FDA sees the increasing numbers of students using e-cigarettes, they will move quickly to regulate them. Let’s hope so, because something has to be done to protect the children and teens who are risking a lifetime addiction to "look cool" and it has yet to be determined if e-cigarettes are safe or not.
"Won't your baby develop abnormally without meat?" "How can a vegetarian diet keep a pregnant woman full?" "Wouldn't that be considered malnutrition?" Those are some of the questions people may be asking you. You may also be concerned about this yourself once pregnant or as you move along in your pregnancy.
Whether you’ve always been a vegetarian or are choosing to become a vegetarian while pregnant, the health of doing so is an important factor. During one of my pregnancies, most meats would upset my stomach, so I mainly ate vegetarian meals. I studied many references, as well as learned a great deal about being a pregnant vegetarian from my ob-gyn.
Is a Vegetarian Diet Safe During Pregnancy?
The short answer is yes. However, keep in mind that it has to be done right in order to be healthy. As long as the diet is balanced, as far as nutrition, and includes all the essential vitamins and nutrients required for pregnancy, it should be safe for a pregnant woman.
There have been concerns about consuming too much soy while pregnant. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, a birth defect in male offspring, known as hypospadia, may occur more frequently when the mother consumes a large amount of soy during pregnancy. Be sure to check with your doctor to determine the right amount for a pregnant woman, and more specifically, your body.
Many pre-packaged vegetarian foods, such as imitation meat products and tofu contain or are made entirely of soy. Because of this, when you are trying to limit soy while pregnant, it is best to prepare your own food from scratch, rather than buy pre-made vegetarian foods.
Proper Nutrition for Pregnant Vegetarians
Each person is different, so it is essential to check with your doctor about your personal nutritional needs while pregnant and how to properly maintain a vegetarian diet during your pregnancy. Your ob-gyn or other qualified pregnancy specialist may also recommend a medical nutritionist. Some vitamins that are important during pregnancy include Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A.
Vegetarian Weight Gain Concerns
It is often assumed that a pregnant woman cannot gain weight on a vegetarian diet That simply is not true, as long as the diet is a healthy and balanced one. If you are having trouble gaining weight while pregnant, it may or may not be related to your vegetarian diet. Always talk to your doctor throughout your pregnancy to ensure your diet is healthy for a pregnant woman, as well as to find the cause and solution for any weight issues you may have during the pregnancy.
Vegetarian Foods that are Filling
Some people have the false assumption that meat is the only food capable of creating a full stomach. That is not true. There are many foods that can be filling for a pregnant vegetarian. Foods do not have to contain meat to be filling. Here are just some of them.
Adapting Hospital Food to the Vegetarian Diet
Hospital meals are often centered around a diet that involves meat as the main course. If you are a pregnant vegetarian, you may want to check with the hospital before the delivery date. Even if the hospital does not have vegetarian options on their menu, they may still allow you to personalize your meal if you let them know your preferences in advance, while you are pregnant.
Some hospitals have pre-registration forms that you might fill out during the pregnancy. That is a good place to include personal preferences, such as diet and other health information. If you did not have time to check with the hospital while pregnant and you find yourself glancing at an all "meat-eaters" menu, talk to your nurse about your vegetarian diet. The nurse may be able to have the dietary staff prepare you a personalized meal, based on your vegetarian preference.
If not, the hospital cafeteria should have a few vegetarian options, such as salad, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, cheese pizza, etc. If not, you may need your partner, a family member, or a friend to bring you some food during your hospital stay.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Miscarriage can be a devastating event. A woman or her partner could be feeling pain from experiencing one. A woman's pain from a miscarriage can be emotional, physical, or both. Some couples might even be hesitant to try to get pregnant again after a miscarriage. Here's what you should know about dealing with miscarriages, common misconceptions, and why you may be able to try to get pregnant again after having one.
Coping With Miscarriages
While the emotional and physical pain of a miscarriage can be debilitating, you don't have to hold onto that pain forever. Stress relief techniques can be very beneficial in this situation.
Having a support network that may include friends and family, as well as doctors and therapists can really help you get through this rough time. Having a small funeral service or planting a garden in memory of the lost child can help as well, as can naming the lost child.
If you are experiencing emotional side effects due to miscarriage, do not be afraid to ask for help. If you have a friend that you trust, talking it out can be a great help.
You can also seek a therapist or psychiatrist. Doing so does not mean you are crazy. It simply means that you need help dealing with your emotions. The professional may suggest counseling, therapy, or prescription relief.
Be sure that you understand which treatment is best in your situation and what side effects, if any, might arise. If you take a medication and still plan on getting pregnant, be sure it has no effects on fertility or reproduction and will not interfere with your unborn child, should you get pregnant while on the medication.
In most cases, the fetus is miscarried by the body because the body recognizes that the fetus would not have developed normally. Certain operations and medically invasive procedures can also cause a miscarriage, as can stress or taking certain drugs and medications. Sometimes your doctor may be able to tell you the possible cause and other times, it isn't possible.
Some people believe it is their fault when they miscarry, which is generally not the case. As mentioned above, most miscarriages are caused by underdevelopment or non-development of the fetus. There is nothing a mother can do about this natural occurrence.
There is also the misconception that if a woman has one miscarriage, then she cannot get pregnant. This is untrue, unless the woman has certain health conditions. In most cases, women who miscarry go on to have another child or even more than one. Miscarrying is not a cause of infertility or inability to have a normal pregnancy.
When To Try Again
There is no specific time recommendation as to the right time to try for conception after a miscarriage. It will differ in each individual case, depending on physical and emotional stability. However, 6 weeks is usually ample time for the body to heal. If you are emotionally and physically ready after 6 weeks, go ahead and try again (as long as your doctor has okayed this). If not, wait until you are.
*Please note that the author is not a licensed medical professional. The information above is based on personal experience. Always speak with a qualified health professional for your medical and health needs.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Breast milk has long been the best way to nourish an infant. However, can it also play a role in providing nutrition and guarding against disease in adults as well? It would seem that if it prevents breastfed infants from contracting certain diseases and illness that it just may do the same for others as well. In fact, there are people who are using this controversial form of nourishment to help guard against certain illnesses and even to help fight certain diseases and conditions, like Cancer and Crohn's Disease. So, is there a real benefit?
While there is no documented evidence specifically on using breast milk in adults, there is however, a real possibility that breast milk compounds could cure cancer. In 1995, scientists at Lund University used a compound found in breast milk called human alpha-lactalbumin to kill brain tumor cells in a test tube. It seemed to have worked. The same research team, in 2004, used the breast milk compound to destroy many warts caused by HPV, creating the possibility that it could be used to treat cancer caused by HPV.
Howard Cohen, diagnosed with prostate cancer, drinks breastmilk in smoothies and believes that it has helped put his cancer into remission. A woman named Patty uses breast milk to help treat her 15 year old son for Crohn's disease. She claims that using the breastmilk has helped to control her son's dietary habits and other symptoms, so that he could again return to a normal weight. Many Crohn's patients suffer weight loss from frequent bowel movements and other dietary symptoms.
Many believe breast milk can heal or help conditions such as cancer, Crohn's disease, infections, rashes, and more. Breast milk is already used by many as a topical agent for many different skin ailments, however drinking it beyond the infant stage is not widely discussed.
The main risk that comes to mind for the use of breast milk by adults is that if the milk was used from an unknown source, there might be a risk of catching a disease if the woman who supplied the milk had a disease. There could be other risks, but since little to no scientific study has been done on adults using breast milk, it would be impossible to say for sure what other risks may be present.
Another problem lies in the fact that even if an adult has the need for breast milk and knows someone who is lactating, they may not be comfortable asking that person and if they do ask that person, she may not always be willing to donate her milk for that purpose. That's when the adult has to seek out alternatives like milk banks, which may or not provide breastmilk to an adult with or without a prescription. Also, if they do get the breast milk from a milk bank, they do not know the source or whether she had diseases or not. Milk banks will screen their donors. However, as with any test, there is risk of inaccuracies.
That said, the main possible risks regarding health is the fact that risks are unknown, coupled with the fact that some diseases might be undetected and be spread through the breast milk.
Why Not Try It?
Some people might be hesitant to do this for many reasons. Fear of ridicule could cause a hindrance for many people. Fear of the unknown could be another possible reason for people not wanting to try this. Still others might just be grossed out even by the thought of it. They may think it is either unsanitary or just eerie. There could be many reasons a person might not want to try this. Also, there is the lack of convenience, as there are very few breast milk banks willing to provide breast milk for adults with prescriptions. Most breast milk banks supply only to preemies or infants with otherwise weakened immune systems.
When deciding whether or not this is an option for you, all factors must be considered. Think about whether this will gross you out, whether what your family and friends think will matter to you, and weigh all the risks associated with doing this. Also, a medical professional should always be consulted in your decision. Not only will the medical professional tell you if it's needed and whether it's right for you or not, but in most instances, you cannot be supplied with the breastmilk without a prescription. Whatever decision you choose, be sure you are comfortable with it and any situation that may arise from the choice you have made.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Exercise Guide for High-Risk Pregnancies: Exercises, Options, Risks, and Warning Signs
Exercise during any pregnancy requires extra care. That is especially true in high-risk pregnancies. Having experienced this type of pregnancy condition more than once, I have learned quite a bit about what works, what is risky, and what the doctors may recommend. Along with the info I discovered and experienced, there are certain exercises that were approved by my doctor and worked well for my high-risk pregnancy.
Should Women With High-Risk Pregnancies Exercise?
It is important to remember that each woman's case is different. Your OB-Gyn (or other prenatal care specialist) will be your best source of information for what is right and what is not. There are some precautions all pregnant women should take, especially those who are considered high-risk, due to certain conditions or complications. If you exercised before pregnancy, doctors may recommend that you keep up the same routine, but tone it down to avoid rapid or jerky movements.
Some high-risk pregnancies may require bed rest, which means little to no exercise is allowed. An example of some who may not be allowed much exercise are those at risk of or diagnosed with preterm labor, cardiac disease, seizures, anemia, and other restricting conditions. However, according toNewswise, women with high-risk pregnancies due to pre-eclampsia may benefit greatly from stretching exercises. Always consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen during pregnancy. This is especially true for women at risk.
Exercises for High-Risk Pregnancies
Kegels - Most pregnant women know what kegels are. However, if you do not, kegels are tightening and releasing of the vaginal muscles for a set number of seconds, generally performed in sets. Since kegels do not require very much physical exertion, they are generally safe for high-risk pregnancies. Kegels can help to prepare the body for the birth, as well as prevent tearing during the labor.
Yoga Plank Pose - The Yoga Plank Pose is just like the pose you would get in to begin doing push-ups. This is generally a pretty safe pose, but with high-risk pregnancies, you'll want to be careful not to strain the abdominal muscles during this one. Also, be careful that you balance well. If your arm strength is not good, you may want to avoid this pose, so that you do not accidentally fall onto your stomach.
Yoga Sukhasana (Easy) Pose - The Sukhasana, or Easy Pose, is a seated yoga pose. To create this pose, sit in a cross-legged position, creating a triangle shape in between the thighs and ankles. The ankles should not be tucked close to the sitting bone in this position, as they sometimes are in other yoga positions like this. Place the hands atop the knees with the palms facing up and lengthen the tail bone to the floor, while sitting up tall. This position can be done for most any desired amount of time. In high-risk pregnancies, or any other pregnancy, caution against stretching the abdomen too much.
Yoga Padmasana (Lotus) Pose - The Lotus Pose, or Padmasana, is done quite similar to the Sukhasana Pose above. However, in the lotus pose, the feet should be pulled tighter to the body and placed across the opposite thigh with the soles facing up. As with in the Easy Pose exercise, be careful not to pull the abdominal muscles too tightly.
The Bridge Pose - For this exercise position, you will want to get on the floor (or a yoga mat) on all fours. Arch the back up toward the ceiling slowly. Then, lower it slowly. Repeat several times. Be careful of your abdominal muscles during this one. Normally, you will tighten them a great deal during this pose, but during pregnancy, you may want to do this more loosely.
Leg Stretches - If you are on bed rest during your pregnancy, your legs may not get the movement or exercise required for good circulation. Lie on your side with the legs extended. Slowly lift one leg up toward your head as far as it will go. Slowly release it back down. Repeat this several times. Then do the same with the other side. This exercise will help keep circulation going and help avoid bed sores and varicose veins.
Neck Rolls - Much like the legs, the neck may get sore and stiff and receive poor circulation if you are ordered on bed rest during pregnancy. Even if you are not on bed rest, neck soreness can still occur. You can do a few successions of neck rolls 2 or 3 times per day. This exercise should generally not be a threat to high-risk pregnancies.
Lengthening Stretch - This pose is done while lying flat in the bed. Place the arms over the head, reaching back as far as possible. Normally, you would want to stretch the entire body as hard and far as possible. However, during high-risk pregnancies, you will want to modify this slightly. Still stretch the entire body, but be careful not to pull too hard at the abdominal muscles.
Walking - Good old-fashioned walking is great for pregnancy, sometimes even high-risk pregnancies. Of course, as with all of the exercises, you will need to check with a medical professional familiar with your background, but many times, walking is the best exercise for pregnant women.
Pregnancy Squat - This exercise is good for labor preparation, even in some high risk pregnancies. Your prenatal specialist may suggest that this one is saved for the labor and delivery room. To do this exercise, first get in a standing position. If you cannot balance well, hold onto a chair or other piece of furniture. Turn the knees outward and bend them down until you can no longer go down any further. Stay in that position for several seconds. Then, come back up. Repeat a few more times. Precautions for this position may include induction of preterm labor or abdominal stretching.
Things to Watch for During Exercise in High-Risk Pregnancies
Exercise can go smoothly, but sometimes things can also go wrong. Here are just some of the warning signs to look for. Consult your regular prenatal medical professional for information specific to you.
***Note: The author is not a medical professional, but is simply sharing her personal experience and studies. Always consult with a medical professional before doing any exercises during a high-risk pregnancy and even in general. Each person's body and situation is different.
Life can get busy at times, leaving little to no time for exercise, or so you think. If you would love to utilize your TreadClimber more often, but simply don't have the time, you need these tips for your workout.
Use TV Time
One solution to using the TreadClimber is simple. If you really do not wish to sacrifice your TV show, consider working out during the show. The TreadClimber can be strategically placed within viewing distance of the television set, so that there is no excuse to miss out on needed exercise. Exercise can be done at any convenient time throughout the day.
A 25- or 30-minute window is one that could be used with the TreadClimber. Many people likely spend at least that just sitting in front of the television. Because the TreadClimber is a cross between an elliptical machine and a stair-climbing machine, both results can be had from just one workout, which is great for someone who has only the time to use the TreadClimber.
Multitask Your Workout
Whether someone is a busy business owner, a working mother or father, a pro-golfer or any other type of person, the fact remains that a good routine workout is needed. Finding time to use a TreadClimber can be as simple as multitasking. Use your workout machine in between household chores. Just a few minutes at a time throughout the day can be more beneficial than you think.
TreadClimber Workout Tip For Busy Parents
Getting in shape from working out at home with the TreadClimber can be done in virtually any room of the house. After having kids, getting back in shape can be difficult, not only due to pregnancy weight gain but due to limited free time. This is true for both moms and dads.
Since the TreadClimber has a compact-size option that can fit into any room, working out could be easier for busy moms and dads. Simply place the TreadClimber in the nursery or playroom and enjoy a workout while supervising the kids during a nap or independent play.
Living in Two Places?
Perhaps a person has a home in two different locales. Why not purchase a TreadClimber for each place of residence? This way, that much-needed workout is achieved no matter where a person may be. With the TreadClimber, the gym is at home and can be accessed at any time. This is a good option for those in a busy career. Home gyms, like the TreadClimber, are very convenient to use in such situations, as they are readily accessible whenever is convenient.
Between work, household errands and taking care of the family, there seems to hardly be time in a day to fit in exercise. However, for health purposes, exercise is necessary. There are ways to make time for a TreadClimber workout without sacrificing other important things in life.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Established in 1997, Anusara yoga now is one of the most popular forms of yoga being practiced today. It is also often referred to as heart-centered yoga. Its popularity may have something to do with the positivism it espouses.
By definition, Anusara specifically means to go with the flow of nature, the flow of grace, or to follow your heart - hence the alternate title of Heart-Centered Yoga. In Anusara yoga, the "asana" poses, when combined with the "universal principles of alignment," allow a connection with the divine goodness of nature. This connection is referred to as "supreme consciousness." To achieve that, Anusara yoga practitioners must exercise the principles and go with the flow.
For some, simply hearing the words "go with the flow" can be very relaxing. But Anusara yoga does not end there. It holds a much deeper meaning. The feeling obtained also is much more intense. It is an overwhelming feeling of joy, love, peace, enlightenment, happiness, oneness and connection with nature. In this type of yoga, your heart is centered and in tune with nature, as well as yourself.
Energy from the Heart
The energy that is tapped for Anusara yoga comes from within the body, rather than the outside. Specifically, the energy is deeply rooted in a natural state of inner feelings from the heart. To tap these feelings, Heart-Centered yoga participants use the universal principles of alignment.
In the words of Dr. Douglas Brooks, a leading scholar of Hindu Tantrism, "Flowing with Grace, anusarena, we experience our inner worth, we align our bodies, our minds and hearts in the current of the Divine flowing through us, we celebrate life itself as we touch the Divinity who pulsates within us as our every thought, feeling, and experience."
One With Nature and Heart-Centered
Anusara yoga celebrates the heart as well as nature. It is not a domination of nature, but rather a harmony and participation with the natural flow of things. "Inner body bright" is a secondary principle and is the term for the energy flow achieved through the first main principle of Anusara yoga. That first principle is called "opening to grace" and is an essential starting point for every pose. In opening to grace, the goal is to align with supreme consciousness.
In Anusara yoga, the main focus is a spiritual connection to innate goodness as well as the freedom of expression related to that goodness. While there are strict principles involved, creativity and self-expression are greatly encouraged.
Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga as a Way of Life
The philosophy behind Anusara yoga is not left behind on the mat for participants. It often is a big part of the way they live. Anusara yoga is not just practiced a few times a week like simple exercises. In fact, it is not actually considered an exercise at all, but rather a spiritual connection and a way of life.
With Anusara yoga comes the realization that life, as experienced through one's true nature, is perfect. It is not something that needs to be corrected, but rather should be embraced for what it is. There is beauty in everything and nature is as it was intended to be when created. That said, the spiritual awakening, or supreme consciousness, achieved through Anusara yoga is also intended to allow the discernment between things that are of nature and are good for us, and those that are material and may not be. While not all material is bad, some may be.
An Inviting Community
Anusara yoga is rapidly growing in popularity and has a large community base. Those involved in the Heart-Centered yoga community are said to be friendly, inviting and have open minds. All expressions stemming from Anusara yoga are positive in nature. They stem from the heart and are all about experiencing and expressing love, peace and happiness from the inside out. Because its roots involve love, participants from all backgrounds and religions are welcome to join the community. The philosophy can be learned and practiced by attending classes and seminars.
Anusara Yoga Techniques
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi; Owner of Intent-sive Nature & the Brand Shamans network
The definition of Anusara is to flow with grace, or "go with the flow." In Anusara yoga, often called heart-centered yoga, certain principles are followed. But participants are also encouraged to be creative and to go where their heart takes them.
Philosophy and Meaning of Anusara or Heart-Centered Yoga
Anusara yoga has a philosophy that is Tantric in nature, inspiring participants to go where their hearts lead them. It is not a form of exercise, but rather a series of yoga poses that are meant to lead to a deeper spiritual meaning and connection. It is a way of finding the good in everything, including yourself. Basically, you follow the principles to properly achieve the energy, enlightenment and state of awareness required. Then you let natural creativity take over and go with the natural flow of nature.
Universal Principles of Alignment
There are five main principles in Anusara yoga, which are called the universal principles of alignment. Anusara originator John Friend defines alignment as "mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected." There also are secondary principles involved.
For heart-centered yoga to be effective, each principle must be followed in succession with each pose, while still holding to the preceding principle. For instance, before starting any pose, "opening to grace" must be achieved. Then throughout the pose, each of the alignment principles must be adhered to without interrupting the others.
The Five Principles of Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga in Detail
Opening to Grace - Opening to grace is the act of going with the flow to align yourself with supreme consciousness. This is achieved by practicing the poses with an open heart and mind. During this first main principle, "inner body bright," a secondary principle, is achieved. Inner body bright is a feeling and energy that flows from within to the outer body. This energy should create a feeling of fullness and buoyancy in the outer body.
Muscular Energy - Muscular energy is that which is drawn into the focal point. This action causes the pose to be stronger, more stable and more effective. The focal point is a secondary principle in Anusara yoga involving the pelvis core, the heart and the palate. In Anusara yoga, the muscular energy is drawn through the focal point, while the organic energy is extended outward from it.
Inner Spiral - The inner spiral is the energy felt throughout the core, starting at the feet and running up into the waistline. It is the energy that enables inward rotations of the legs to allow for widening of the pelvis and thighs.
Outer Spiral - The outer spiral is basically the opposite of the inner spiral. The outer spiral allows outward rotations of the thighs. This spiral runs outward from the waistline and down and out through the feet. This is the spiral that draws the pelvis and thighs inward, rather than widening them.
Organic Energy - Organic energy is that which extends outward, starting at the focal point and extending throughout the core of the body. This allows for increased flexibility in poses during Anusara yoga.
Applying Principles of Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga to Life
Anusara yoga is more than an activity, it is a way of life. The Anusara yoga community consider themselves to be very organized. Yet at the same time, there is much room for individual creativity. Those who practice Anusara yoga often apply some of the things they learn to their lives, such as appreciation for the good in everything. Those interested in learning more about it can learn the principles and techniques from a certified Anusara teacher through seminars and classes offered at many yoga centers.
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Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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