Health & Wellness Blog

    

The Power of Juice Fasting

Today, Americans consume a much higher amount of food compared to several hundred years ago. In addition to the ease of access, much of the “food” consumed in Westernized cultures is artificial and extensively manufactured.

The result of this shift in diet (from whole, natural foods to more man-made, chemically induced foods) is source-disputed disease and widespread obesity. The prevalence of these major concerns alone is enough to promote and practice more nutritious dieting behaviors. 

Juice fasting is a healthy discipline that is often overlooked, and unbeknownst, in Western cultures. Unlike traditional water fasting, juice fasting allows the body to absorb a high amount of nutrients without the risks of malnutrition. This offers a safe and healthy method for short and longer-term fasting, which promotes optimal health in many ways.

Healing Benefits of Juice Fasting

So what does juice fasting do to our bodies that makes the practice so powerful?

In essence, any form of fasting “gives the stomach a rest” from having to break-down the foods we eat. With respect to our volume consumption society, that reason alone is enough to give juice fasting a 24-hour trial. However, there is more to juice fasting than a time-out for one of our most vital organs.

The stomach requires a fair amount of blood to break-down the solid foods we eat. Hence the explanation of why we get tired after we eat a large meal – blood flows away from our brains and into our stomachs. During a fast, the lack of blood needed for the stomach to its job is a significant reserve. The availability of more blood brings more life and healing power to other parts of the body. This leads to deeper restoration and healing to certain ailments.

Juice Fasting for Weight Loss

Juice fasting for weight loss is one of the healthiest forms of calorie restriction. In addition to consuming less and more nutritious calories, when the stomach is on reserve, food cravings and the temptation for sweets is much more controllable.

As the stomach expands and contracts meal after meal, our minds are triggered to know when it is time to eat and when we are full. During the contraction phase, or when or stomach begins to reduce in size hours after eating, we feel a growing sense of hunger. However during a juice fast, the stomach remains at a semi-consistent size. This makes the onset of hunger less extreme. In addition, this also helps to reduce the intense cravings we may experience several hours after not eating (which can often lead to over eating.)

So Why Not Juice Fast?

When you take a look back to our Paleolithic ancestors, they would go days, sometimes weeks without eating. Only for the past few hundred years have humans become accustomed to eating regular meals throughout the day. And even more so today, humans are eating foods that are unrecognizable to our “still Paleo bodies.”

Juice fasting is a healthy way to rejuvenate and restore ourselves. Not only as a common method for physical detoxification and healing, juice fasting can help us appreciate and respect what we put into our bodies.

A Few Juice Fasting Tips:

  • Start and end you juice fast with a raw food diet a few days prior and after the fast.
  • Don’t chew gum, for this sends signals to the stomach to start working – thus defeating the purpose of the fast.
  • Drink a variety of juices. If vegetable juices are undesirable, try overpowering the flavors with something sweeter (e.g. pineapple juice helps to override the flavor of broccoli juice.)
  • While juice fasting, go about your day in the same manner you normally would.
  • Take in the moment. Juice fasting is an uplifting experience that helps you get more in-touch with your body and mind.
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Take Deeper Breaths

It might sound simple, but on an unconscious level, it is not. Many of us have grown habitual to shallow breathing. That is, we take small breaths that use only a portion of our lung’s capacity. But with practice, as well as consciousness (awareness) we can train of bodies to breathe deeply without even thinking about it.

Benefits of Deeper Breathing

Breathing is the source of life. The moment we are pulled from the womb and released into the world we take our first full breath of oxygen. But as we grow older, our primal physical functioning tends to taper. Unfortunately for many, strong breathing using the full lung’s capacity is often hindered.

Training yourself to breathe from the bottom of your lungs has a number of benefits. Not only does better breathing help from a physical perspective, but it also contributes to greater stability of our emotions and enhanced sharpness of the mind. There are two great things that happen to the body when we breathe to our fullest.

The more obvious of the two is increased oxygen. More air flowing into our lungs promotes better delivery of oxygen throughout the body. This results in many benefits in its own such as improved healing capabilities and better brain functioning.

The second physical benefit of taking deeper breaths stems from the muscles that control the diaphragm. These muscles, such as the intercostals muscles, correlate to proper core functioning, and thus influence other important movements of the body, even walking and running. When these muscles remain idle due to chronic shallow breathing habits, inhibited core functioning is the result. This can lead to improper mobility which can later result in a confusing cause of injury.

Our minds and emotions are also greatly impacted by our breathing habits. Aside from the biological aspects of more oxygen going to the brain, many find greater breathing to contribute to a higher sense of awareness. When we feel ourselves taking in slow, deep breaths, we are more in-tune with ourselves. This can help us in many ways, both spiritually and for greater peace of mind.

Improving Your Breathing Subconsciously

In order to improve upon almost anything subconsciously (or without having to focus or be aware) one must practice at the conscious level. When it comes to deeper breathing, sometimes it takes more than just paying close attention.

You can significantly achieve better breathing habits by taking ten minutes out of day to simply breathe. Dedicate this time to consciously breathe while resting comfortably on the floor. Be mindful of every deep breath you take. You can even experiment with taking in a breath, holding it in, and pushing the air to different areas of your diaphragm. This can help you realize better control of your intercostals as well as other parts of your body.

The essence of deeper breathing is the foundation to many practices, such as Yoga and several forms of meditation. It is the center of life as well as the center of our bodies. To take deeper breaths habitually, one must become more aware, so start on your path to deeper breathing on a more subconscious level.

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Natural Remedies For Migraine Headaches

A migraine headache can be extremely painful. Migraines are caused by a number of reasons, and there never seems to be a single remedy that works for everyone. However, you may be able to find you ideal cure buy considering some of these natural remedies for migraines.

The Chiropractic Remedy

According to certain studies, upward of 80% of migraine sufferers find relief with a chiropractic adjustment. It is a natural method that should be done by an experienced chiropractor. It involves correcting spinal problems to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks.

The Biofeedback Remedy

Migraines often result of extremely tight and tensed muscles of the neck. Biofeedback provides the ability to relax these muscles and thereby reducing pain. Biofeedback is a program supervised by trained practitioners and enables migraine sufferers to control involuntary responses to stress.

Tension Relief Remedy

Tension relief can be achieved through natural methods like taking hot baths or showers, application of cold packs on the back of the neck, or simply getting a massage.

Most people instinctively retreat to a dark and quiet room when they feel a migraine attack coming on. This is because migraines make them very sensitive to light and noise. Lessen the tension and promote an environment that offers a calming peace of mind.

The Nutritional Remedy

Allergies and sensitivities to certain foods are major, yet unforeseen causes of migraines. Common culprits include certain forms of nuts, beans, caffeine, chocolates and alcohol. Monosodium glutamate which is often used in Chinese foods is a notorious migraine trigger, especially when taken in large amounts. Excessive consumption of salt can likewise cause migraines.

To pinpoint the exact foods that cause your migraine headaches, try starting a food diary in which you can take note of everything that you eat. After a few weeks, you'll be able to see a pattern that will give a good idea on what foods to avoid.

Millions suffer from migraine headaches, and if you're one of them, there are natural ways for relief without relying on medications. All of these natural remedies except biofeedback and tension relief methods address the root of the problem. It is possible that by applying some of these methods, you'll be able to eradicate migraine headaches out of your life.

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What is Telemedicine?

In Africa, small villages would utilized smoke signals to warn neighboring tribes to keep their distance when they were plagued with dangerous virus or disease. In some situations, instructions for treatment were sent to them through these signals. The concept of telemedicine was established in a similar manner.

Today, telemedicine is the treatment of diseases and ailments by use of interactive audio and visual sources. In other words, it is a practice of sending medical related processed data through the Internet or video message distribution technology.

Advantages of Telemedicine

Telemedicine is not a new concept, however it has developed remarkably due to the development of technology. It is one of the best solutions to receive treatment at relatively low cost, especially when doctors are not accessible. It helps sustain the greater health and wellness of individuals by using computers, mobile phones, televisions and monitors.

Telemedicine offers extraordinary convenience for individuals in need of remote medical attention. A patient may visit a healthcare website to make an appointment; here cameras are used to see the doctors virtually. In this manner, people are able to get the best solution of your medical problem by world renowned doctors at lesser expense. By not having to visit a doctor personally, plenty of time and money can be saved.

There are many forms of telemedicine that are practiced medical professionals. Learn more about each below.

Store and Forward 

In Store and Forward Telemedicine, medical information is collected about a patient, and then sent to certain doctors. Here both the doctors and the patient do not require meeting, but scanned copy of patient’s medical record is attached. This enables the doctor to review the case without having to be present with the patient.

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is the most practical type of telemedicine. In this method, a doctor has monitoring device, typically mobile, that is remotely connected to the patient’s computer. This type is most effective in treatment of chronic diseases and some particular heart related problems. It can provide many advantages over traditional treatment, such as lower cost and time savings. Here doctors can monitor and issue modifications as needed to ensure the patient is progressing.

Interactive Telemedicine

The third and more widely use of telemedicine is called interactive telemedicine. This type provides real time contact between doctor and patient. Latest technological innovations like mobile devices, Internet, and satellite video conferencing are utilized in this method.

Furthermore, this is enhanced by the latest innovations. Patients have the facility to ask different questions related to their problems for better treatment. This is also one of the reasons for its success as live interaction facility is available.

Telemedicine is also helpful for health education. For instance, in such areas where there are no facilities for diabetes is available, this method can provide a great guidance in this regard. Telemedicine is transforming how we hold and conduct doctor-patient relations, and will continue to progress with the advancements in technology.

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Somatics For Healing

If you suffer from chronic pain and are looking for relief, you may want to consider Somatics for healing. Somatics is a field of study that deals with the individual from the inside. For this, self awareness is a very important part of Somatics.

Somatics is a gentle, easy form of voluntary movements that can be done in 5 to 10 minutes each day. These are very simple movements that are similar to stretching, but are more breathing intensive and focus on the internal sensation one feels through different movements and postures.

A Bit About Somatics

Somatics for healing the body involves sensory motor training that relieves stress and reduces pain. It also encourages healing of many types of injuries. The sensory motor capacities of the body are at the core to Somatics. Our sensory motor functions can be controlled by learning a conscious voluntary way of movement, coupled with sensory awareness. Our reflexes are both sensory and motive but, in many cases, they have become involuntary. We automatically react to the stimulus, and that is an involuntary reaction. The goal of Somatics for healing is to teach us to be aware of and in control of our movement by voluntarily responding to our own sensory functions. As a result, we can achieve greater posture, health and well being.

Benefits of Somatics

A host of conditions are improved by Somatics. Engaging in Somatics for healing will give your body optimal flexibility and improved balance which, in of its self, is a major boost to your well being. In addition, Somatics can provide relief from pain caused by conditions such as stress, arthritis, brusitus, planter fasciitis, pulled tendons, sciatica, carpel tunnel syndrome and many other painful conditions.

Some of the other fantastic benefits of practicing Somatics for healing the body are the improvements found in breathing, better joint flexibility, and greater range of motion. Overall, this helps facilitate better posture which enables your body to function more efficiently. One may also find increased strength and coordination is also part of the great results of reconditioning your muscle control.

Discovering Somatics

The exercises of Somatics are based entirely on conventional neurophysiology. The movements are fun, smooth and easy to learn. There are classes available where you can learn and practice Somatics, or you can have individual lessons. If you would rather learn in the comfort of your own home, there are videos to be purchased that will take you through each movement step by step. Whichever way you choose to learn Somatics for healing, you will be retraining your muscles and mind to work together in a way that will provide optimal results.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, sciatica, tension and stress or any other similar conditions, it is worth your time to educate yourself about this unique practice that can and will provide so many benefits to your overall health and well being.

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Health Benefits of Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for centuries for its innumerable values. Meditation is the consider one of the easiest and safest methods to stabilize one's emotional, mental and physical state.

There are endless health benefits of meditation. Many doctors are recommending meditation to treat various stress-related sicknesses, such as trauma, insomnia, and anxiety.

One of the most significant health benefits of meditation is to release stress from the body. Regular meditation leads to an intense relaxation and deliberation.

If you want to experience life without constant worries, pressures and stress then start practicing meditation. This is going to offer you peaceful, happy, calm and relaxed way of life.

Meditate Toward Better Health

If you can spend as less as ten minutes in a day for meditation, it will help you in alleviating stress. Here are some more health benefits of meditation:

1. Meditation helps in lowering blood lactate levels, thus reduces the chances of anxiety attacks
2. Meditation can help in building self confidence.
3. Meditation can increase the level of serotonin which controls moods and behavior.
4. Meditation enhances your energy level, strength and vigor.
5. Meditation helps in controlling blood pressure.
6. Meditation is useful in managing stress and tensions.
7. Meditation gives the feeling of deep relaxation and well being.
8. Meditation helps in increasing concentration.
9. Meditation is a tool in strengthening the mind.
10. Meditation can lower the chances of heart diseases.

If you get into regular practice of meditation, you will soon start feeling much calmer and controlled. You will be able to concentrate greatly on many different things. When you do meditation instead of getting panic about any unexpected happenings, you will be able to handle the situation peacefully and wisely.

A consistent meditation practice can help you avoid being irritated by the small things in life. So with meditation you can enjoy every moment of your life with more happiness and better health and wellness.

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The Raw Food Diet: 4 Key Facts

The raw food diet has become an increasingly popular choice for many people seeking a more healthy and nutritious way to eat. Those that follow a raw food diet usually consume no less than 75% of their diet from uncooked and unprocessed plant-based foods, which typically consist of fresh fruits, whole grains, fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Theories of a Raw Food Diet

Raw food theorists believe that cooking food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit actually destroys key natural enzymes that our body needs. The enzymes found in food can aid with the digestion, absorption, and processing of essential nutrients. However, without proper absorption of nutrients, a person's health can degrade while toxins begin to build up.

Eating a diet consisting of raw foods can greatly increase the quantity of enzymes necessary for proper digestion, while enabling more vitamins and minerals to be available for absorption. The higher concentration of nutrients that come from natural raw foods is believed to prevent disease, increase energy, slow the process of aging, and promote optimal health.

Raw Food Diet Benefits

Following a raw food diet has distinctive benefits that can now be supported by scientific research. According to a study in The Journal of Nutrition, eating a raw food diet long-term can significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood cholesterol, and triglycerides. The study also revealed that people who follow a raw food diet usually have a low body mass index (BMI), low levels of C-reactive protein, and high Vitamin D levels.

C-reactive protein is known as an inflammatory molecule that has been linked with the high risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. This means having lower levels of this protein can significantly reduce these risks. Additionally, higher Vitamin D levels are important, because it assists in strengthening bones as well as influences our mood and emotions.

The Impact of Cooking Food

Cooking food at high Fahrenheit levels can be extremely carcinogenic. Overtime, eating highly cooked and processed foods can lead to deficiencies of key nutrients, which usually results in major health issues like heart disease, cancer, and degenerative diseases.

If you eat too much over-cooked, microwaved, and processed foods, the colon faces excess strain resulting in a great risk of colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many other degenerative diseases. Cooking food does alter the natural composition of substance (and thus making it more palatable in some cases,) but also destroys its essential nutritional value.

Side Effects of a Raw Food Diet

When starting a raw food diet you may experience a few side effects. For some people, these side effects can deter an individual from continuing the diet. However with patience, these side effects will definitely subside and the feeling of optimal health will soon set in. The most common side effects experienced from a raw food diet are:

Fatigue

You may feel extremely tired and worn out. As your body adapts to the diet this does go away.

Irritability

Many of the toxins that you ingest are very addictive. Flushing these toxins out can cause the body to go into a minor form of withdrawal, which often causes irritability.

Headaches

Headaches are most common to occur during the first week of a raw food diet. This is the brain’s way of coping with the detoxifying process.   

Runny Nose & Gas

When you are flushing toxins from your body, the toxins may release themselves in the way of a running nose or gas. These side effects do fade with time.

Detoxify By Going Raw

A raw food diet can be a very effective way to detoxify the body, by assisting it to get rid of harmful toxins that can accumulate from a diet high of processed foods. Eating food in a healthy and nutritious way with the aid of a raw food diet will certainly continue to attract health-conscious people throughout the world.

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10 Super Foods for Better Health & Wellness

There is a famous saying that "you are what you eat." This is particularly true with respect to diseases that are attributed to unhealthy eating habits.

So if you want to get on the health track to eating a better diet, here is the list of 10 super foods that are great for your health.

Garlic

Garlic contains sulphur compounds that are known to prevent heart diseases and certain types of cancers. It is also known to lower blood pressure.

Including garlic in your daily diet, whether by cooking or taking supplements, can maximize its overall health benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea has polyphenols that lowers your risk of developing heart diseases and certain cancers. Green tea, as well as other forms of tea, are known to fend-off hunger cravings and help in losing weight.

Green tea one of the top super foods that boost the immune system, making you more resistant to sicknesses and infections.

Fish

Fish, such as wild-caught Salmon, has natural omega 3 fatty acids, which are known as the "good cholesterol." These fatty acids aid the body in preventing strokes and other related heart diseases. Make sure that you eat only fresh fish, such as wild-caught fish, to ensure that it's not contaminated with mercury.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries alike all have high antioxidant properties which make berries a must-eat super food for better health. Cranberries are also known to help fight infections, especially in the urinary tract.

Olive Oil

Research shows that olive oils have high antioxidant levels, and also benefit in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil is one of the best choices for cooking, compared to butter and other common oils

Almonds & Nuts

Almonds are known to help prevent inflammation and heart disease. Eating nuts regularly will help you lower your cholesterol level as much as 4 percent. Because nuts are high in fat (good fat,) moderation is key while eating these types of super foods.

Whole Grain

Examples of whole grains are barley, whole wheat, and oats. Whole grain is a very good source of fiber that is essential in ridding the body of unwanted fats. Whole grains are also rich in vitamins and minerals, which is good for overall health and wellness of the body.

Grapes

Red grapes have high vitamin C, B6, and B1 content. They are proven to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases and certain types of cancer.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of the best tasting super foods there is. Not all chocolates are good for your health. The best chocolates to eat are dark chocolates which are high in cacao. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonols. And the best part about eating dark chocolates is that the feeling of happiness it induces, which can ward-off depression.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is activated when cooked. It is known to help in preventing certain cancers especially prostate cancer and is also known to help prevent heart diseases.

So there you have it: 10 super foods that are very good for your overall health and wellness. Thanks for visiting the Health n' Wellness Blog!

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Juicing Fasting: Tips & Benefits

Juicing fasting is one of the best things you can do for your body. Whether for weight loss, detoxification, healing, or spiritual reasons, the advantageous of juice fasting can help both physically and mentally.

Biological Benefits

The biological benefits behind juicing fasting are simple. When the stomach is not forced to breakdown solid foods, it doesn't have to work as hard. As a result, the large amount of blood the usually flows to our stomachs when we eat can remain in other vital parts of the body.

This reserve of blood can go deeper into areas of the body that need it most. This also explains why when people fast, they have a feeling of being "high" or a experience a tingling sensation. That is the feeling of blood making its way further into the body.

In addition, juicing is one the best ways to extract all the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. When foods are consumed in their purest form, such as juice, the body can absorb almost all of the nutrients available.

On the other hand, when fruits and vegetables are consumed in solid form, only about 70% of all nutrients can be absorbed, depending on how well the person chews and the efficacy of his or her digestive track.

Mental Benefits

Taking a look back to our Paleo ancestors, they went days, sometimes weeks without eating. Since that time, our bodies have not evolved all that much.

For many individuals and cultures, taking a break from solid foods is a perfectly natural practice. Modern society has shaped us to think that we need at least 3 meals a day to stay healthy and well. And yet modern society has never been more polluted.

Fasting from food can rejuvenate one's perspective on healthy eating and offer a new appreciation for food. Juice fasting is safe way to restore one's mindset and better control one's habits. It can extend beyond our diets and offer great sense of self-awareness that can extend into many aspects of our lives.

Tips For Juice Fasting

If you are thinking about a juice fast, there are few things you will want to keep in mind. Below we offer the basics to beginning your juice fast:

  • Juice fasting is more than just a temporary change in diet. Think of fasting as a journey to a better you for the long-term.
  • Before juice fasting, eat a primarily raw food diet 5-7 days before. Focus on high fiber foods that will help clean your digestive track.
  • While fasting, consume a wide variety of juices to maximize the nutritional value of your food. Try to include leafy greens, or other vegetables that you wouldn't normally think of.
  • Mask the earthy flavors of vegetable-based juices with sweet fruit juices for better taste (e.g. Cover up Kale with Pineapple, Broccoli with Lemon.)
  • Do not chew gum or suck on candy while fasting. Jaw movement alone can stimulate blood flow to the stomach, which is counterproductive.
  • Breaking your fast is probably the most important part of the process. Just like before fasting, eat raw foods in very small, snack-like doses. Chew your food well and only eat until you feel full, which shouldn't be much.
  • Transition into regular eating slowly. It is recommended to stay on the raw food diet for few days before jumping back into cooked foods.

We hope you appreciate this information and will explore the power of juice fasting for yourself. Thanks for visiting the Health n' Wellness Blog!

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Somatic Education and Sensory-Motor Amnesia

Somatic education is a means of learning how to properly function and coordinate one's body through sensory motor awareness.

While the term "Somatic" refers to an individual's ability to sense his or her inner processes, education in this practice reflects the learning and increased ability to sense oneself from within. The underlying connection to Somatic Education is mind-body integration, which in turn enhances natural control of the body's muscular system. This can provide more efficiency as well as flow of energy through improved physiological functioning.

The video above is from Somatics.com. It was created by Lawrence Gold, a Hanna Somatic practitioner.

In numerous cases the Somatic education approach has been useful in overcoming chronic pain, as well as improving physical performance. One of the chronic conditions alleviated through this approach is the Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA).

What is Sensory-Motor Amnesia?

Sensory-motor amnesia is a state under which we lose our sense of muscular activity and control due to habituated movements. The amnesia occurs as certain muscles take more control of others, causing the inactive muscle to be less effective, and often times tight and sometimes painful.

With Sensory-Motor Amnesia, one is left with a sensation of pain and stiffness in a part of the body without the sense of the action of the muscles causing it. The remedy to this condition is to learn how to sense the muscular actions causing the pain and consequently learning how to control those muscular actions.

Prevalence of Sensory-Motor Amnesia

It is not uncommon for an individual during his or her lifetime to lose a certain degree of awareness in certain muscles. This is often times because we subconsciously hold muscles tight, without being fully aware of it.

However what we are aware of is the pain or soreness, as well as skewed bodily movement. Somatics seeks to overcome that unawareness, and train our minds to recognize those muscles that are being held tight. 

Role of Somatic Education for SMA

Somatics is essentially a method of mind-body training that aids in overcoming common health difficulties that would otherwise be remedied through physical therapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, massage therapy among other treatments.

In the case of Sensory-Motor Amnesia, Somatic education supersedes the traditional physical therapy approaches of stretching and strengthening of muscles to alleviate muscular spasticity. Unlike the standard physical therapies that accentuate strength and flexibility, Somatic education puts an emphasis on control and release of muscular tension.

In addition, while most therapies will use stretching, Somatic education helps one learn to relax which translates to longer lasting and greater freedom of movement.

Practicing Somatics

There are many techniques that have been proven for Somatic education. Body-mind centering is a Somatic approach that relies on experiential anatomy, breathing, use of movement, and our perceptions. Many techniques of somatic education focus to train people on how to make habit changes while using your body with more ease and freedom.

A process of learn-by-doing making various techniques based on movement and sensation is employed during Somatic training. This enhances a sense of awareness to the body parts to feel more intensely thus encouraging a more clearly defined and voluntary control of the muscles. The results of Somatic training is actually self-perpetuating and improves with continuous practice.

Somatics greatly depends on an individual's self-awareness and thus ability to better control his or her muscular control. To learn more about Somatic education, visit Somatics.com.

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