Health & Wellness Blog

    

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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5 Mind-Friendly Spa Treatments

It is good for people to undertake different measures to develop improved mental habits that will strengthen their intellect. One of the most recent developments is the prediction by the Inter Continental Hotels Group that ‘brain spas’ or places where commuters desire to learn much will determine their destination choices. They asserted that the market for services and products following the latest demand mind friendly spa treatments will grow between one and five billion by 2015.

It is essential to keep the mind alert and healthy particularly in the current hyper-informational and over stimulated environment. With regard to this, here are the five brain friendly sap treatments to enhance your mental health.

• Meditation - This refers to focusing the mind in a certain way. The benefits of meditation are endless. Some of the benefits it brings include calming and quieting the mind, relaxing the body, honing the use of your mental skills in performing tasks like focusing your attention on one object for a longer duration. It also helps to create the state of pure awareness of sensations, emotions and thoughts without reacting. Research from the University of Pennsylvania shows that long-term meditators display exceptionally higher cerebral blood flow within their brain structures linked to emotion, attention and more.

• Ayurveda - This name means the science of life and its goal is to attain optimal health at all levels, including the physical, spiritual and mental levels, though use of techniques and theories that incorporate exercise, herbal medicine, diet, massage and meditation. Former pilot studies indicated that this science creates positive results for depression, alzheimer’s, anxiety and Parkinson, among others. Some spas like the Raj located in Iowa have programs that help to avert the onset of age-associated cognitive ailments such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s.

It is an extensive program in conjunction with the Brain Research Institute director – Alarik Arenander, Ph.D. It entails the evaluation by a health consultant through the use of pulse diagnosis, health education classes, Maharishi rejuvenation treatments, fitness activities, informative lectures and cooking classes.

• Vibration/Music/Light/Sound and Color Therapy - In stimulating the mind, the forces of light, color, sound and music can create a huge impact on energy levels, mood change and relaxation. The scientific explanation on how vibrations and frequencies affect people both emotionally and physically is immense. There are various treatments like the Tibetan sound massage, singing bowls and the Kohler’s Vibra Acoustic baths, where sound waves move through the water and become choreographed to chromotherapy and music.

The other treatment is Taiz Sensorium that integrates vibrational medicine, gentle human touch, music therapy and aromatic oils. The last one is Shuniya sound therapy that entails a healing ceremony, which infuses vibration and sound though the Tibetan bowls, gong baths, Kundalini Yoga and turning forks coupled with Thai massage, shiatsu and Chi nei tsang.

• Exercise - Studies show that less than a third of the Americans meet the least recommendations for physical exercises. This research is worrying since engaging in any exercise like hiking, tai chai, walking and yoga can greatly help to strengthen your mind.

• Sleep Therapy - This one helps to rest your mind. Although this is not a common spa treatment surrounding us make it hard for most people to give good rest to their minds. In fact, the average adult sleeps for less than 7 hours per night yet research suggests 7 to 8 of sleep time. Insufficient sleep is associated with heart disorders, hypertension and cancer apart from memory problems.

This article was written by the advocates of Five Senses Spa & Salon, one of nation's leading hair salons and spas in Peoria, IL. The spa and salon specialists of Five Senses Spa & Salon pioneers spa experiences by incorporating an inspiring combinations of treatments.

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Tips to Meditate With Greater Purpose and Efficacy

MeditationMeditation is an ideal asset that one can introduce to their daily reoutine in an effort to attain relaxation, peace of mind, and greater contentness. The real depth of the meditation can only be felt if done properly with adequate time and preparation.

Given below are few tips that will guide you in estbalishing a purposeful and effective meditation practice.

Create an Agenda

Figure out what time of the day you find yourself free and fix that period for meditating. By default, dawn or dusk is considered to be ideal, but you should always look for your ease and convenience. It's important to keep in mind the benefits you can attain such that the practice becomes a priority.

Set Realistic Goals

It's better to set small goals and achieve them, rather than aiming high and failing miserably. At the end of the day, what matters is the momentum that you obtain from a single session of meditation. So it's better to meditate for at least 30 minutes for the first few months and then gradually increase with the level of concentration.

Hit the Silent Spot

Choosing a silent location is imperative, if by any chance you expect meditation to be effective. Fix a spot somewhere in your house or in the garden or on the roof wherever you feel you won't get disturbed. It's all about making a habit and the habitant conducive in order to enjoy a relaxing experience.

Get Feedback from Others

The best way to track your progress is to compare it with others and that's the reason why any form of activity done with a group of people is always more effectual. Not only does it enriches the experience but also gives a feeling of social presence, since you get to know different people more deeply owing to their dedication and concentration.

Posture is the Backbone

If you are not straight, you are not doing it right. Meditation is just not about closing your eyes and sitting in a cross leg position. Remember, it's a form of still exercise which requires your spine to be dead stiff and rest of the body to be relaxed.

Prime Yourself for Your Practice

It's advisable that one should meditate with a fairly empty stomach or else it may doze up the food. The body needs a warm up in order to stabilize the blood circulation and put an end to restlessness. In addition to that, take a deep breath in and out before sitting for meditation since that will lead to you to a serene state.

Hire a Mentor

For a thing as simple as meditation, one may not fancy spending money on a personal mentor but you never know how motivating that could be. Not only does proper guidance keep you alert and focused but also track your improvement in day to day life. It's recommended that you choose someone, or meditation program, that has a good track record.

All in all, it's good to know that meditation is not a quick fire solution; you need to give time and dedicate yourself truly to the act and the results will take care of itself.

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Best Practices to Maintain Optimal Spinal Health

Spinal HealthLike your chiropractor always says, take care of your spine and live with mindful, good posture. Did you listen to your chiropractor? Learn more about the spine and taking care of your spinal health.

Your spinal column is composed of nerves, muscles, and ligaments. These serve as the primary connection areas that function your body.

Therefore, it is important to keep your spine in optimal condition if you want to maintain good overall health. There are several simple things you could try to keep your spine as healthy as possible.

Likewise, this would prevent any complications from your back and/or future painful episodes. Here are some of the best practices that you could do to maintain optimal spinal health.

1) Strengthen your abs and back

For those who aren't aware, one of the most essential components of a healthy spine is exercise. Performing back and abdominal exercises (these parts don't get enough exercise from daily activities) would be efficient to keep your spine healthy.

These exercises are quite simple and you could easily perform them in just 20-30 minutes, as a part of your regular routine. However, if your back and abdominal muscles aren't in good shape, the additional pressure could be placed on the spine. Your chiropractor in Berkeley, or wherever you're located can help show you this exercises.

This part is already under constant stress as it tries to support your entire body. Nonetheless, when these muscles are well-maintained, they could support the spine and alleviate the chances of injuries.

2. Meditate and perform yoga

As advocated by a number of different chiropractors, Yoga offers incredible benefits on the spine. One of the many benefits of regular yoga is that it could improve the functional range of motion across the whole body. Wherein, greater flexibility combined with agility could prevent or lessen the likelihood of chronic pain and spine injuries. Through yoga, the spinal column's range of motion expands and chronic tension patterns could be released.

3. Sleep right and sleep long

Sleeping enables your spine to relax and be rejuvenated. Using the right pillow and mattress would support the spine that the ligaments and muscles could be stress-free and become refreshed. When it comes to choosing the type of pillow and mattress to use, this would greatly depend on your personal preference. Just keep in mind that the basis of these choices should ensure that the correct support and sleeping position would be achieved.

4. Core Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic usually involves the treatment of the lower back, such as spinal manipulation and mobilization. In chiropractic care, spinal manipulation, refers to a lever-arm thrust in high-velocity that's applied to abnormal vertebra. The goal of this is to increase functionality, restore flexibility, and lessen nerve irritability. On the other hand, mobilization is the low-velocity manipulation, stretching, and movement of the joints and muscles with an aim of improving the overall flexibility in these areas. Overall, chiropractic services can help sustain proper spinal alignment and overall functioning.

5. Stretch out

Regular stretching could help the back and neck. Likewise, keeping it flexible helps in maintaining the normal joint function and a good range of motion, reducing the risks of injury. Most back pain problems are caused by tight hamstrings-- the muscles located at the back of your legs.

If the hamstrings are tense, they would pull on the bottom of the pelvis. This would encourage it to rotate backward and cause postural changes whilst adding tension on the entire spine. That's why it is important to start your day with a few stretches. Aside from being invigorating, this could promote your spinal health. In addition to stretching, massage (whether getting a professional massage or doing soft tissue work by yourself) can help keep the muscles around the spine loose. Even if you opt for only a 15 minute massage, if it's a professional massage that targets a specific area of the body or spine, the results can be profound.

Overall, the tips mentioned above are just some of the simple, yet effective ways to keep your spine and back healthy. Also, even if you're in a very bad pain, or perhaps, undergoing extensive medical treatments, it's still recommended to remember these simple things you can do to help your back heal and get healthier over time.

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5 Effective Recovery Tips to Become a Better Triathlete

When it comes to becoming a better triathlete, it's often the things that we do outside of training that can have a significant impact. Recovery, rest, and rehabilitation should be at the core of any athlete's training regime.

Better Triathlete Recovery

Beyond just stretching and eating right, below we share five highly-effective recovery tips to help you become a better triathlete.

1. Practice self myofascial release

In order to understand what self-myofascial release (or "SMR")is all about, it is paramount that we understand two aspects that are integral to SMR effectiveness. The first term is fascia; which is a specialized connective tissue that surrounds the whole body, that is, the bones, joints and muscles, as well as providing protection and support.

When there is damage to the fascia, this gives rise to trigger points. Trigger points are the second aspect to consider and are defined as areas of muscle that are susceptible to pain when undergoing palpation, they also exhibit tout bands around these areas.

Self myofascial release is a very simple technique that athletes employ in order to alleviate these trigger points. The exercise involves a foam roll, on which the athletes roll parts of their body until they reach the trigger point. The athletes then hold this position until the pain subsides.

2. Hydrate and replenish mindfully

It is common knowledge in the athletic world, that what you consume after a work out or race greatly determines how your body is going to react in the subsequent day or days. It is therefore imperative that we carefully consider what we drink or eat after such tiresome sessions.

Triathletes should know when to drink water and when to drink electrolyte rich energy drinks. These decisions are predominantly determined, by the rate of absorption of these fluids by the body. In order to make the right decision, one should consult a nutrition expert before consuming anything.

3. Experiment with different types of stretching

Stretching is a very integral part in the training regimen of any professional triathlete. Triathletes who have more elasticity and flexibility in their muscles perform better. There are two types of stretching recommended by the professionals.

The first one is, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) which is a set of stretching techniques which are used to improve both the passive and active range of motions in our bodies. This done to ensure that that our body produces optimum performance as well as rehabilitate the body when injured. The second technique is of static stretching which generally means stretching while the body is in a stationery position.

4. Embrace cold exposure

After that vigorous work out, a lot of triathletes prefer to immerse themselves in an ice water bath. This ice water bath has temperatures between twelve to fifteen degrees Celsius. This plunge into the ice bath is believed to have a therapeutic effect on the muscles as it reduces the soreness and pain in the muscles.

Doing this after training can help the muscles recover quickly from the strains of the exercises and as such are quickly ready for the next session. This cold exposure also provides a resurgence of energy.

5. Practice meditation and mindfulness

Meditation can be a very useful tool for an athlete who is training for a tournament or who is recovering from an injury or strenuous exercises. Meditation causes the body to relax and such reduce the release of the hormone cortisol, which is a very bad hormone for and budding athlete. Athletes who meditate have been known to perform better, as they generally have all their faculties in control.

Last word on becoming a better triathlete

Lastly, spend some time working on your form and biomechanics in all three disciplines of triathlon. There are many sports scientists out and triathlon coaches out there who can help you refine your form and help you become more efficient and injury free.

Explore the idea of investing in quality triahlon coaching so you can become better organized with your training, and your self as a whole through the sport.

 
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How Meditation Influences The Brain And How We Feel

Meditation BrainContrary to popular belief, mindful meditation is significantly more popular than many people may currently assume. Statistics that were gathered by the National Institute of Health, demonstrates that roughly 8% of people who live within the US or 18 million people have meditated at some point or another.

When you look at the fact that studies suggest that meditation can provide a wide range of benefits such as, enhanced memory retention rate and stress reduction, it comes as no surprise. Let's take a looked at some promising science supported data that highlights the ways in which meditation changes the brain.

 

While it may be true that an insurmountable amount of academic research have proven that mindful mediation has a profound effect on our emotional well-being, scientists have not been able to figure out precisely, what actually goes on, whenever people meditate and the effects it has on the brain. However, a Harvard neuroscientist by the name of Sara Lazar, has been categorized as being one of the leading researchers within this field. She is also the first individual to demonstrate that mediation leads to a variety of structural changes within the brain.

Cortical Thickening In The Brain

In 2005, her team was the first to demonstrate that long term meditation, facilitates cortical thicken within the areas of the brain that are associated with: interoception "awareness of the body's physiological state, sensory processing and attention as well."

Increased Gray Matter Concentration

In 2011, during a study that her team conducted which consisted of a variety of individuals who had no prior experience with mindful mediation, her team found that, after an 8 week period of practicing meditation, there was an increase in gray matter concentration within the portions of the brain, that were associated with: emotion regulation, perspective talking, self-referential processing and memory and learning processes as well.

Conclusion on Study

What her research suggests is that, the reason why meditation practitioners feel a higher sense of euphoria and tranquility, isn't based on the fact that they are taking the time to relax, during their mediation routine, the reason for their higher state of tranquility is due to the fact that a variety of changes in their brain structure occur, that facilitate the improvements of their lives that many meditation practitioners have always proclaimed.

Lazar proclaims that it's these changes in brain structure, that leads to changes in mental activity. To put things in retrospect, let's take a look at two prime examples of how changes in brain structure can lead to big changes in mental activity.

Emotional Strength

As mentioned before, in 2011 her team found that mediation lead to increased gray matter concentration in the areas of the brain that's responsible for emotion regulation. Said in simple terms, this change in brain structure will leave the individual more capable of regulating their emotions. Therefore, whenever a negative emotion manifest itself, the individual will be more capable of accepting and allowing that emotion to fade away as opposed to acting upon said emotion via impulsive behavior, self medication or stressful thoughts for example.

Self Awareness

As mentioned before, her team demonstrated back in 2005 that, long term mediation facilities cortical thickening in brain areas, that are associated with interception or awareness of the body's physiological state. This in essence means that mediation helps you to become more aware of the subtle emotions you may be experiencing as well as the subtle emotions of others.

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