Friday, 10 June 2011

Blast off fat (way) faster

Tired of plugging away at the gym without seeing the pounds disappear? We found simple tricks that will transform your usual regimen into the ultimate fat-blasting routine. Whether you use just two of these strategies or all seven, our insider tips will help you get the calorie-burn you deserve.

1. Know this: “You’ll be able to comfortably work out longer and harder if you’re cool,” says Len Kravitz, PhD, coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. “Being too hot stresses your body out, so you don’t perform as well.” Translation: You burn less fat.
Do this: When exercising at home, put a fan in front of your workout area. Hitting the gym? Wait to use the treadmill that has a fan built into the console. Fastest fat burners ever

2. Know this: “Wearing a heart-rate monitor makes it easier to burn more body fat by showing just how hard you’re really working,” Kravitz says. “Keeping your heart rate in the right zone prevents you from slacking off, so you make the most of every minute.”
Do this: Invest in a heart-rate monitor and wear it every time you exercise. We love Life Fitness’s new Dual Watch and Heart Rate Monitor ($60; at CVS stores nationwide). It’s simple to program and use. It doesn’t require an uncomfortable chest strap—just touch the face with your fingertips. And it comes in a variety of sizes too.

3. Know this: “Warming up for five minutes before each workout helps you lose more weight,” says Heather Dillinger, an IDEA Health and Fitness Association elite-level personal-fitness trainer. “It not only makes your muscles more pliable but also increases their range of motion, so you end up using more muscle fibers as you exercise.”
Do this: Choose a warm-up routine that hits all of your muscles, not just your legs. The easiest option: Do three to five minutes of low-intensity walking while pumping your arms back and forth. 10 ways to walk off fat faster

4. Know this: “Saving your energy for the end of your cardio workout may prevent you from losing as much weight as you can,” says metabolism expert Dixie Stanforth, of the department of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin.
Do this: Instead of starting out slow and then finishing up strong, do your high-intensity cardio early in your workout. After doing your warm-up, try exercising at a high intensity for 15 minutes before slowing down to a more moderate pace for the last 15 minutes. 50 fattiest foods in the states

5. Know this: “Two smaller workouts can be more effective than one,” Stanforth reveals. That’s because every time you do high-intensity exercise, your metabolism stays revved for an hour or more afterward. Splitting up your workout boosts your metabolism twice, giving you additional calorie-burning time from the exact same routine.
Do this: Divide your workout into two smaller, high-intensity sessions—preferably, doing one in the morning and one at night. The 7 best fat-blasters

6. Know this: If you’re convinced that you’re melting fat while exercising, you’ll make a mind-body connection that will actually help you lose fat faster, Dillinger explains. In a 2007 Harvard study, participants who believed they were getting a good workout showed greater reductions in body fat than subjects who performed the same activities but didn’t feel like they were really exercising.
Do this: The next time you do anything active, remind yourself every few minutes that you’re giving it your all. This little mental move may motivate you to push yourself harder, leading to even greater fat loss. 5 foods that are more fattening than you think

7. Know this: “The less time you rest between sets when strength training, the more calories you’re likely to burn,” Dillinger notes. “Keeping rest periods short keeps your heart rate at a higher rate, which naturally increases the number of calories you’re using.”
Do this: The best rule of thumb is to take only a 30-second break between sets (meaning you’ll need a watch with a second hand).

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Allergy/Cold/Flu Bath

Allergy/Cold/Flu Bath  Use

This stuff will make you feel and breathe better when your not feeling your best due to colds, allergies, and/or bath.

Ingredients for Allergy/Cold/Flu Bath:

  • 5 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 5 drops peppermint oil
  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 7 drops of thyme oil, see note (optional)

Preparation of Allergy/Cold/Flu Bath:

  1. Add together all ingredients.
  2. Note: If chest is congested add 7 drops of Thyme.
  3. Use in bath, diffuser or humidifier.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Reinvent your breakfast

Having the same boring cornflakes everyday can tire you out. But with a bit of creativity you can give an interesting spin to your same old breakfast, while retaining its health content. 

Here we share some valuable tips with you.

- Add a small scoop of jam or maple syrup to your bowl of porridge to make it delicious. Even flavoured yogurt makes for a great accompaniment to porridge.

- Go for bagels, muffins, cake or croissant. Bagels particularly taste good with breakfast cereals. Spread some cream cheese or jelly on it and it'll taste even better.

- If you wish to make your breakfast a lavish fare, try out a combination of cereals with crispy pancakes. Pancakes are easy to make. Simply mix wheat flour, honey, one egg, baking powder, milk, salt and oil, and serve it with roasted tomatoes.

- Another way to make your dull breakfast interesting is by making it protein rich. Try out mushroom French egg toast or mushroom egg scramble with your cornflakes. Add to it cherry tomatoes and baked beans and have it with cheese or spinach dip.

- To make your breakfast fibre-rich, put together a sandwich with whole grain cereals and nuts. You can opt for whole wheat or multi-grained bread as it is rich in dietary fibre, and stuff it with spinach, corn, mushroom and mashed potato.

- Such fruits as strawberry, banana, cherry and mango, and nuts go very well with any kind of breakfast. A fistful of nuts and dry fruits taken everyday boosts your energy levels. Take fresh fruit juice with your breakfast cereal, but avoid the canned and bottled ones. 

Flat stomach food guide

Tired of not knowing what kinds of foods to eat? Not sure how much fat, calories and sodium you should be consuming everyday? All the tips you need are here.... 

In addition to regular exercise, you'll also want to add some fat burning foods to your diet to help trim your waistline.

Foods that are high in protein and fibre are the best kinds of food to eat if you want to burn fat around your middle.

Did you know that it takes more energy to digest protein than it does to digest fat? So the more protein you eat, the more calories your body burns.

Eggs are super high in protein and can help you burn that unwanted belly fat. They contain the vitamin B12 – a great supplement for breaking down fat cells.

You may have heard all the warnings about eggs and your health. That's because a couple of eggs will put you over the recommended daily amount of cholesterol.

Well, more recent studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has a minimal impact on blood cholesterol. Dietary fat is the real culprit. It's what raises your bad cholesterol levels.

However, if you're still worried about your overall cholesterol intake from eating too many eggs, you can remove the yolk and still benefit from the high protein contained in eggs.

Low fat dairy products 
According to an article in Obesity Research, women who ate low-fat dairy products, such as nonfat yogurt and low-fat milk, three to four times a day, lost 70 per cent more fat than low-dairy dieters.

In another study done at Purdue University those who consumed 3 cups of fat-free milk gained less weight over the course of 2 years than those on low calcium diets.

So, not only do dairy products help you strengthen your bones, they can also play an essential role in burning that unwanted body fat.

If you are a regular consumer of milk and other dairy products, that's great, just watch your proportions and perhaps switch over to the low or no fat varieties.

While beans are often associated with the gastrointestinal disturbances they may cause, they are also very good sources of protein, fibre and iron.

Some of the best kinds of beans to eat are:
- Navy beans
- White beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans

And as always, limit baked and refried beans in your diet as refried beans contain tons of saturated fat, while baked beans are usually loaded in sugar. Sure, you'll be getting your protein but you'll also be consuming a lot of fat and sugar that you don't need.

Here's something else to remember. Be sure to cook your beans thoroughly because our digestive tracks are not adapted to breaking down some proteins that are contained in certain beans.

Tip: A vegetable called Edamame (pronounced ed-uh-ma-may) – an organic soybean in a pod often served at Japanese restaurants.

All you do is boil them for three minutes, add a pinch of salt and eat the soybeans out of the pods. They are surprisingly tasty and very good for you. One serving contains 10 grams of soy protein. The best place to find them is at a store that sells organic foods.

While it may not be the tastiest thing you can eat, oatmeal definitely has some great nutritional qualities.

You may have noticed that many of the oatmeal brands are now boasting that eating more oatmeal will help lower your cholesterol level. That's because oatmeal is loaded with soluble fibre which helps reduce blood cholesterol by flushing those bad digestive acids out of your system.

The best kind of oatmeal to eat is unsweetened and unflavoured. While it's tempting to select the apples and cinnamon flavour and load it with butter and sugar – you really lose out on all the health benefits. If you must sweeten your bowl of oatmeal, do so by adding fruit.

Or add a spoonful of honey (much better for you than sugar) and a handful of raisins or dried cranberries.

Oatmeal is also beneficial in fighting colon cancer and heart disease.

Olive oil 
Certain fats are good for you and your body needs them. Olive oil is one of those 'good fats'. In fact, it's so good that it helps you burn fat and keeps your cholesterol down.

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that researchers are finding provide outstanding health benefits. One ounce of extra virgin olive oil contains about 85 per cent of the daily value for monounsaturated fat.

So instead of taking a swig of orange juice in the morning, many dieters are picking up a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Whole grains 
These days everyone seems to be screaming "No carbs!" It's as if the world has gone no-carb crazy and everyone is running from sliced breads and pastas.

Well the truth is, your body needs carbohydrates. If you go without them completely your body will start to crave them. So it's not a good idea to exclude all carbs because the right kinds are actually good for you.

It's the processed carbohydrates that are bad for you – the white breads, bagels, pastas, and white rice to name a few.

The above foods have all been processed, thus stripping out all the nutrients leaving you with loads of starch.

The key is to eat 'whole grain' foods because they haven't been processed and contain the fiber and minerals your body needs.

So don't be fooled by a loaf of bread labeled 'wheat'. Regular wheat bread is still lacking in vitamins and minerals. Manufacturers add molasses to it so it turns brown.

Don't let them trick you. The only kind of bread that's good for you is the kind that's labeled 'whole grain'.

Meat and fish 
Turkey and beef are great for building muscle and boosting the immune system, but as always you have to be careful as:

Basted turkeys are usually injected with fatty substances while beef contains saturated fat. If you are going to eat beef, be sure to consume the leanest cuts you can find by looking for 'loin' or 'round' on the labels.

Salmon and tuna are also good sources of protein. They both contain omega-3 fatty acids which may sound bad, but are actually healthy fats. These two foods are also good for giving your immune system a nice boost and should be consumed at least thrice a week. 

A do or diet situation?

By this time of the year, most New Year's resolutions to lose weight have long since bitten the dust. But if it was that fancy diet that did you in, fret not, as a recent study has proved that the prospects for successful dieting are never good. Out of every 100 people who diet, only four are able to both lose weight and maintain their post-diet weight. 

Dietician Gunasekaran says, "Women have a wrong conception about dieting. Dieting is not starvation — it is the increase in the intake of vitamin-rich food and reduction in the intake of carbohydrate-rich food."

Dieting is so popular that in the past 10 years, it's estimated that around 70 per cent of the adult female population and 30 per cent of all adult males have been on one. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's the Atkins diet or liquid diets; people will try almost anything in their frantic desire to shed a few pounds.

Here are some hard facts about dieting: 

Dieting makes you feel hungry and deprived 
Research shows that no matter what your size, dieting makes you hungry and creates powerful cravings for the very foods you are trying to avoid. Dieters also have to manage the feelings of deprivation. This kind of thinking is likely to lead to rebellious overeating.

Dieters lapse and collapse 
A diet only works for as long as you are on it. Most people get bored with rigid eating plans and go off the rails from time to time.The trouble is that, for many people, a lapse is a sign of failure. They tell themselves they've 'blown it' and experience feelings of inadequacy.

The lapse becomes a slippery slope and they end up eating anything that's not nailed to the floorboards because 'it's fine, I'll start again tomorrow'. Such people go from diet to diet, hoping to find the one that will stop them from failing. But such a diet doesn't exist!

Diets fail to address the emotional aspect of overeating 
People often overeat to deal with emotional problems, rather than because they're very hungry. This is normal, but some people gain weight because they turn to food for emotional comfort or to cope with negative feelings like anger or loss — for example, after a bad day at work, after a row with a loved one or as an end to a long week. "Each time I quarrel with my boyfriend, I end up hogging double the regular portion," says Krithika, a college student.

So it is the lifestyle and not the diet. In a world full of temptations, it's laudable to want to be a healthy weight and to manage your eating. However, dieting as we know it, is not the way to do it. "You can initially lose five to ten per cent of your weight on any number of diets, but then, the weight comes back," says Traci Mann, an associate professor of psychology.

People determine that someday they'll do the right thing, but for now, they're quite comfortable with where they are at. If you don't make the necessary changes now, it can show up later as a health problem. Changing the way you eat, the amount you exercise, or the way in which you live can make all the difference. 

Causes of bad breath

What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odour. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled.

Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odour temporarily. Odours continue until the body eliminates the food. People on a diet may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.

If you do not brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odour.

Dentures that are not cleaned properly can also harbour odour causing bacteria and food particles.

One of the warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease is persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky, colourless film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. The bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gums. In the advanced stage of the disease, the gums, bone and other structures that support the teeth become damaged.

Bad breath is also caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases.

Tobacco products cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduces one's ability to taste foods and irritate gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease and are at greater risk for developing oral cancer.

Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract (nose, throat, windpipe, lungs), chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.

Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products causes bad breath and can also stain teeth, irritate gum tissue, and exacerbate tooth decay.

Overnight, bacteria accumulate in the mouth, causing bad breath that is commonly referred to as 'morning breath.' Some people breathe through their mouth at night, which can cause dry mouth and worsen morning breath.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

8 all-natural ways to get to sleep

You’re exhausted and staring at the clock. Trying to head to bed early, you crawl in at around 9:30pm. And so it goes, as the time clicks past 10pm… Then 11pm… Then 1am… And so on.
For some (or most) having a great night’s sleep isn’t really a priority. We fall into bed because we need to, but our mind is occupied with everything we need to do the next day.
The thing is, having a good night’s sleep is exactly what our body needs. It is the foundation of our health and overall well-being. Not only do we feel better after a good sleep, but we function better, too. Our physical, emotional, and mental health depends on it.
Eight hours asleep isn’t necessarily what everyone needs. Some people can nod off around 2am and be bright and ready for the early morning. Others need to head to bed around 9pm to feel refreshed. Although experts consider seven hours to be the number we need, some of us can get by with a little less.
Tossing and turning isn’t the only thing that keeps us from having a good sleep. Some of us just don’t sleep well, anyway. These are often the lighter sleepers, who never fall into that deep sleep to bring us to pure dozed off bliss.
Not sleeping well? Here are eight all-natural remedies for you to get to bed, and feel refreshed in the morning.

Cut the Caffeine

Perhaps an obvious solution, coffee, tea and other items like chocolate stimulate our bodies and create extra energy. Some folks can’t have coffee in the evening, others need to avoid it all day. If you like your cuppa joe, figure out what time works best, and then try not to drink it any time after.

Shove off the Sugar

Like coffee and caffeine, sugar spikes your blood sugar, creating a boost of energy and then a crash. Sugar should be avoided before bed… But in moderation throughout the day.

Find Some Stress Relief

If you’re super stressed, chances are a good night’s sleep isn’t going to happen. Try to find a way to relieve your mind before bed. For example, writing a list of the next day’s To Do’s often relaxes your mind, or calling a friend or family member and telling them what’s on your mind will help out, too.

Move Your Body… But not too late

If you exercise before bed, your body creates endorphins, making it difficult to sleep right after you finish. However, if you exercise in the morning or late afternoon, it helps bring you back down before bedtime. Take the time to treat yourself to a long walk, some strength training, or a cardio session throughout the day, for a better sleep in the night.

Take a Bath

How can a bath NOT make you feel better? You don’t have to fill it with bubbles, but sitting in the warm water — or even having a warm shower — will bring your body’s temperature to a comfortable state, getting your mind and soul ready to tuck into the covers.

Have Some Tea

Certain teas, such as chamomile, have calming effects on the body, making them a perfect pre-bed beverage. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.

Don’t Eat Too Much

Stuffing yourself before bed results in poor digestion, making it hard to get into that deep sleep. A snack is fine– just don’t go to bed overwhelmed and full.

Stay on Schedule

On days you don’t have to get up early, get up early anyway. If you get up at 6am most mornings, aim for no later than 7am for the weekends. Sure, you’d love to sleep in, but staying on routine will help you have better sleeps in the future.


Aromatherapy: proven solution or mind over matter? It can be classified as both an art and a science, using naturally extracted essences from plants to promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Aromatherapy  seeks to explore an individual’s response to their extracts, from three points of view: the physiological, psychological and spiritual. From a holistic point of view, it is both a preventative and active method to assist with helping disease.

What is aromatherapy, exactly?

Aromatherapy is an all-natural, non-invasive therapy designed to help the patient as a whole–not just cure or help the symptoms and disease.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are super-concentrated aromatic extracts distilled from aromatic plant material. These include leaves, flowers, grasses, twigs, fruit peels, woods, and roots. The distillation occurs with either water, steam, mechanical processing or by dry distillation of natural materials. Then,  the essential oil is physically removed. For an essential oil to be a true essential oil, it must be only isolated by physical means . They are not an CO2 extract, a halohydrocarbon extract or an empyreumatic distillate.

How are they used?

These oils can be used on their own, or in combinations to create blends and fragrances. They are diluted when used for massage oils, bath products, body care, or fragrances.
Inhalation of the oils has psychological effects which can stimulate the body and organs. This is beneficial for respiratory symptoms. Direct application on the skin (often in the form of massage) is effective also, providing relaxation.

Ways to dilute essential oils

Water: 5-10 drops of oil to 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle
Alcohol: Use rubbing alcohol or vodka. 5 drops of oil to 5mL alcohol.
Salts: Use equal parts Epsom salts and natural sea salt, dissolve in a bath with 5 drops.

Making your own products

Massage oil: 15 drops oil to cream, oil, or lotion.
Bath: 5 drops to warm bath water.
Inhalation: drop on pulse points, hands, cotton ball, or in an electric diffuser.
Environmental spray: add it to water in a fine mist container

The top picks

Sure, there are loads to choose from, but when you start exploring all of the different options, there are top choices that tend to help the masses.
Peppermint: useful for treating headaches, muscle pains, digestive and stomach disorders
Eucalyptus: useful for helping respiratory troubles, such as colds, coughs, and asthma, along with boosting the immune system.
Ylang Ylang: helps with relaxation, and reduces muscle tension.
Geranium: helps balance hormones and can be uplifting
Lavender: helps with relaxation, and useful for wounds, burns, and minor skin care.

You-ga: personalizing your yoga practice

Like stainless steel waterbottles and motorized scooters, yoga is making its way into the lives of many individuals. Regardless of age, profession, or ailment, more people are breathing, stretching, and flowing into various levels or yogis and yoginis.

Numerous studies are continuously published, revealing the many benefits of yoga, both physically and mentally. Flexibility and strength are obvious highlighted features, but the embedded body-mind awareness that soon follows allows for a balance that is difficult to achieve elsewhere.

As we progress, communities are becoming more aware of the benefits of yoga, and classes and studios are popping up in the smallest of towns. Most studios offer various versions of hatha yoga, a combination of postures (asanas) and breathwork.
Choosing the type of yoga that fits your needs is important – not all practices are the same. Here are the basic bunch offered at most studios to get you started.
HathaMore than likely, you’ve seen the term “Hatha yoga” before. It is primarily a generic term to describe a class where postures (asanas) are held for a specific length of time, combined with a slower-moving class. Most often good for beginners, Hatha promotes flexibility and tones the body as it improves strength and concentration.
VinyasaVinyasa yoga combines flowing postures with rhythmic breathing. It is a little more involved – better for people who are comfortable with the practice already.
AshtangaAshtanga yoga is a fast-paced variation of vinyasa, based on a six-series of postures (asanas) that increase in difficulty. Created by Pattabhi Jois, this yoga flows through series of poses that  remains the same until the student has perfected each movement and can move onto another series.
Power YogaPower yoga was developed by Bender Birch, and is a combination of Western practices with Ashtanga yoga. It, like Ashtanga, is a series of postures developed to instigate energy flow. Good for those who are already interested in everything fitness, power yoga is rigorous and flowing, focusing on strength combined with the flexibility of yoga.
IyengarHailing from Pune, India, 80 year old yogi B.K.S. Iyengar practices his version of yoga combining intense focus with posture. Each pose is held much longer than in other yoga practices, and Iyengar (or other teachers) analyze muscular and skeletal alignments in the students. For more information, visit
Integrative Yoga TherapyDesigned specifcally for medical wellness centres, Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) was founded in 1993 by Joseph Le Page and has grown since. The program corresponds with the healing process by addressing physical, emotional and spiritual levels of the patient/student. For more information,
ViniyogaA gentle practice created by T.K.V. Desikachar, which focuses on breath synchronized with poses. This integrated practice is customized – and always changing – to each person.  For more information,
BikramBikram yoga is sometimes referred to as “hot yoga”, with temperatures oven exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweating in these classes releases toxins from the body, cleansing it, and in turn, the immune system. For more information, visit
Sivananda yoga is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India, who taught disciples to “serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize.” Later, one disciple, Vishnu-devananda, founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, developing Sivananda’s system into five principles:  exercise (asanas);  breathing (pranayama);  relaxation (Savasana);  diet (vegetarian); and positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (dhyana).For more information, visit
KripaluThe Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western Massachusetts, focuses on a system of yoga developed over a 20-year period by yogi Amrit Desai and the Kripalu staff. This system is based on a series of movements situated into three stages, including willful practice (focusing on alignment, breath, and the presence of consciousness); willful surrender (holding postures to levels of tolerance and beyond, with deep concentration on internal feelings); and meditation in motion (release of internal tension with complete trust in the body’s wisdom). For more information, visit
There are many other forms of yoga – both variations of these and new practices forming all the time. For more information, contact your local studios, visit or explore Yoga Journal magazine.
What’s your favourite type of yoga? More of a relaxing hatha, or steady vinyasa flow? Perhaps some sort of obscure hybrid? We want to know about it!

The 7 Chakras

the seven Chakras are the energy centres in our body, where energy comes together and flows.
Often, these energy centres become blocked. And blocked energy in our Chakras can lead to illness.
If we know what each Chakra represents, we can be more mindful to keeping them open, and, therefore, helping the energy flow freely.

The Root Chakra

The Root Chakra represents our foundation and the sensation of being grounded. It is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area. The Root Chakra is connected to personal survival matters, such as finances, food, shelter.
To heal the Root Chakra, use yoga postures, such as Bridge Pose and Wheel, to open the lower spine. Take a moment in mountain or tree to become grounded. Munch on red coloured foods, such as beets, hot spices, and vegetables from the ground (like potatoes).

The Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra represents our ability to connect with others and accept new experiences.It is located at the lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel. The Sacral Chakra is connected to pleasure, sexuality, and well being.
To heal the Sacral Chakra, use yoga postures such as pelvic tilting and cobra. Snack on orange coloured foods, such as oranges, along with nuts.

The Solar Plexus Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra represents our ability to be confident and in control of our lives and our selves. It is located in the upper abdomen, around the stomach. It is connected to self-confidence and self-esteem.
To heal the Solar Plexus Chakra, try the yoga posture Boat pose, along with yellow foods such as corn, plenty of grains, and good tea.

The Heart Chakra

The Heart Chakra represents our ability to love. It is located in the centre of the chest, just above the heart. It is connected to love, joy, and inner piece.
To heal the Heart Chakra, try Bikram yoga and emoting love to others. Try green foods, such as leafy greens, broccoli and green beans, as well as green tea.

The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra represents our ability to communicate with ourselves and others. It is located in the throat. It is connected to self-expression and the truth.
To heal the Throat Chakra, sing, chant and vocalize. Inverted postures also help. All kinds of fruit also benefit this chakra.

The Third Eye Chakra

The Third Eye Chakra represents our ability to focus on the big picture. It is located on the forehead between the eyes. It is connected to our imagination, wisdom, and ability to think and make decisions.
To heal the Third Eye Chakra, opt for foward bends, as well as child’s pose. Enjoy purple fruits and vegetables, such as eggplant and grapes, along with lavender scents and flavours.

The Crown Chakra

The Crown Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. It is located at the very top of the head. It is connected to inner beauty, outer beauty, and our connection to pure happiness and bliss.
To heal the Crown Chakra, try meditation and clearing your head through cardiovascular exercise. Clean air, sunshine, and a sense of calmness help.

Clearing your nose with a neti pot

Clearing your nose with a neti potneti-pot-blue

Origins of the Neti Pot
The word “neti” is Sanskrit for “nasal cleansing,” used in Ayurvedic traditions, which harness a more natural approach to healing and wellness. Also known as a “nose bidet” (although I prefer neti pot, thanks), it essentially provides a way to pour warm water into your nose, which stimulates your sinuses and clears out mucus.
Do we really need it?
Generally, your sinuses are built to be able to clean themselves, and if not, we give it a little help by blowing our nose. But if you experience blockage or sinusitis, the neti pot is an option.

How to use it:

  • Fill the neti pot with warm water and add in a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt. Stir until dissolved.
  • Stand over a sink, and tilt your head to one side.
  • Place the end of the spout of the neti pot into your top nostril.
  • Be sure to breathe through your mouth.
  • Tip it (like pouring tea) until the water flows slowly into your nostril and out the other.
  • Let flow for about 20 seconds.
  • Switch sides.
  • Breathe.
Do note, if you have certain nasal or sinus issues, first check with your physician, specialist and naturopath to see if the neti pot is right for you. For more information on the neti pot, explore Jala Neti, a website dedicated to the details.

Diet for a year old child

Diet for a year old child
At one year your baby should have a good variety in the diet. There should be variety in taste, texture and flavour.

The diet should include at least one fruit every day. You can give him mashed banana, apples, grapes etc.

Three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and at least 2 of them should contain a cereal.

Yogurt and Cottage Cheese can be given and dal(lentils) vegetables and any non-vegetarian foods may be included, if they form part of the family diet.

Children under the age of 2 years should not be given low-fat milk (2%, 1%, or skim) as they need the additional calories from fat to ensure proper growth and development.

Two feeds of milk are enough for a one year old baby.

Milk should be given from a glass or a sipper instead of a bottle.

The 1-year-old child should be getting much of their nutrition from meats, fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, and the dairy group, especially whole milk.

Providing a variety of foods will help to ensure enough vitamins and minerals. Toddlers do not grow as rapidly as babies do, so their nutritional needs relative to their size decrease during the second year of life. Although they continue to gain weight, they no longer double their weight as infants do.

Keep in mind, however, that toddlers are becoming more and more active as they learn to crawl and walk. Toddlers and small children will usually eat only small amounts at one time, but will eat frequently (4 - 6 times) throughout the day, so snacking is strongly encouraged.

Thyroid drugs raise fracture risk

Many seniors are at high risk for fractures because they take ‘excessive’ doses of drugs used to treat thyroid problems.

Many patients with hypothyroidism are diagnosed in early or middle adulthood. Even though their treatment requirements change as they age, many patients remain on the same drug dose. This can lead to excess levels of thyroid hormone, which raises the risk of fractures, especially in older women.

Researchers examined the link between fractures and levothyroxine, a synthetic form of thyroid hormone, which is widely used to treat an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). They analysed data from over 213,511 Canadians, aged 70 years or older, in Canada who filled at least one prescription for levothyroxine between April 2002 and March 2007. During the study period, more than 22,236 (approximately 10 percent) of the patients suffered at least one fracture.

Current and recent past users (who had discontinued the drug 15 to 180 days before the start of the study) had a significantly higher fracture risk than ‘remote’ users (who had discontinued use of the drug more than 180 days before the start of the study). Among current users, those who took high or medium doses of the drug were much more likely to suffer a fracture than those who took a low dose.

These findings provide evidence that levothyroxine treatment may increase the risk of fragility fractures in older people even at conventional dosages, suggesting that closer monitoring and modification of treatment targets may be warranted in this vulnerable population. Also, treatment targets should be modified in elderly patients with thyroid problems and that regular dose monitoring of thyroid drugs is essential in older age.

Health benefits of fruits

Excretes toxins from body
Excretes toxins from body
Fruits contain 90-95% water, which have a diuretic (increases urination) effect on the body and help eliminate the toxins and nitrogenous wastes from the body.

Help control blood pressure
Most of the fruits are low in sodium and high in potassium, which is an important mineral and helps to maintain normal blood pressure and also improve heart function.

Fruits like grapes and cherries, blueberries, kiwi, plums and blackberries helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases. Guava, oranges, papaya and Indian gooseberry are very good sources for vitamin C an antioxidant. Mangoes and papaya are excellent source for beta carotene.

Lower bad cholesterol
Beta carotene and lycopene present in apricots take care of the heart by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Health benefits of apricots include building up of energy and iron resources in the body.

Provide important minerals & vitamins to the body
Bananas are a very good source of potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. They are one of the highest sources of potassium, and regular intake may even help to keep blood pressure low
Support bone health
Support bone health
Recent studies have shown that cherries help relieve the symptoms and pain caused in gout, arthritis and joint inflammation.

Provide fibre to the body
The fibre present in fruits like apples has a laxative effect on the body i.e. it helps relieve constipation. The fibre also gives a feeling of satiety by adding bulk to the diet which is beneficial in conditions like diabetes mellitus, heart diseases and obesity.

Rich in anti-oxidants
Fruits like Kiwi are a very good source of vitamin E that is an important fat-soluble antioxidant which when combined with water-soluble antioxidants provides free radical protection on all fronts.

Beneficial for heart health

Papayas is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin D. These antioxidants helps prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which if not taken care of can stick to and build up in blood vessel walls forming dangerous plaques leading to atherosclerosis, heart attacks or strokes.

Helps reduce inflammation
Pineapple is loaded with vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties, which serves as a natural home remedy for those suffering from arthritis.

Monday, 6 June 2011


What is spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a disorder that is caused by the degeneration of the discs which are soft cushions, present between the vertebrae. This results in the vertebrae rubbing together and exerting pressure on the nerves. As the condition progresses, the bones may move out of their natural positions, causing pain and disability.
How is it caused?

  • Wear and tear of the joints that accompanies aging, a condition called osteoarthritis.

  • Inflammation of the joint.

  • Injuries such as automobile accidents, athletic injuries, sudden jerks on the arms, falls.

  • What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Neck pain.

  • Loss of sensation of the shoulder or arms.

  • Weakness of the arms.

  • Difficulty in moving the head, and neck stiffness that may deteriorate gradually.

  • Headaches.

  • Loss of control of the bladder or the bowel.

  • Loss of balance.

  • Ear noise or buzzing.

  • Muscle weakness in the shoulders, arms or hands.

  • How is the condition diagnosed?
    X-rays of the neck or MRI scans may be obtained to show abnormalities that indicate cervical spondylosis. A CT scan or spine MRI confirms the diagnosis. A myelogram (X-ray or CT scan after injection of a dye into the spinal column) may be recommended to clearly identify the compression of the nerves.
    What is the treatment?
    The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and prevent permanent spinal cord injury. Specific head movements may cause some pain and discomfort, for which painkillers may be given. Exercises to strengthen the neck muscles may be suggested. A cervical collar may be used to restrict neck movements and reduce pain. In some cases, neck traction may also be suggested in addition to the cervical collar.

    Surgical decompression of the spinal cord in the neck may be required in severe cases if there is loss of movement, sensation or function


    What is rheumatoid arthritis?
    What is rheumatoid arthritis?Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis that causes persistent pain, swelling, stiffness and also loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers, however involvement of joints of spinal column except uppermost cervical joint is rare. More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts between ages 25 and 55 years.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis (OA), the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA is a inflammatory condition by but OA is degenerative condition, most often occurring due to excessive wear and tear. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth, heart, nerves and lungs.
    What is the cause?
    What is the cause?The cause of RA is unknown. It is considered an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system normally fights off foreign substances, like viruses, bacterias. But in an autoimmune disease, the immune system confuses healthy tissue for foreign substances and starts forming protein particles to attack the body itself. RA can occur at any age. Women are affected more often than men.

    RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected. The course and the severity of the illness can vary considerably. Infection, genes, and hormones may trigger the onset of the disease.
    What are the symptoms?
    What are the symptoms?The disease usually begins gradually with:
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Morning stiffness (lasting more than 1 hour)
    • Widespread muscle aches
    • Weakness
    Eventually, joint pain and swelling appears. When the joints are not in use for a while, especially in the morning after overnight sleep, they can become warm, more tender and stiff. When the lining of the joints called synovium becomes inflamed, it gives off more fluid and the joint becomes swollen. Joint pain is often felt on both sides of the body, and may affect the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, toes, and neck.

    Additional symptoms include:
    • Anaemia due to failure of the bone marrow to produce enough new red blood cells, it occurs due to persistent chronic inflammation.
    • Eye burning, itching due to lesser secretion of tears and then called dry eyes. Due to similar reason mouth also become dry. In that case this is called Sjogren’s syndrome, and it is secondary to RA.
    • Hand and feet deformities
    • Limited range of motion
    • Low-grade fever may be there due to inflammation.
    • Lung nodules and inflammation of lining of the lung (pleurisy)
    • Nodules under the skin (usually a sign of more severe disease), called Rheumatoid nodules
    • Numbness or tingling due to the involvement of nerves
    • Paleness due to less haemoglobin
    • Skin redness or ulcers due to inflammation of vessels carrying the blood (It will require urgent care by Rheumatologist.
    • Swollen parotid glands, this is also feature of Sjogren’s syndrome
    As per latest research, Joint destruction starts after initial 12 weeks of persistent inflammation of the joints.
    How is it diagnosed?
    How is it diagnosed?RA is diagnosed primarily on the basis of clinical features with which a patient presents to doctor, which includes history, physical examination of joints and other parts of the body. Then help of some specific blood tests like AntiCCP antibody and Rheumatoid factor are taken to finally diagnose RA. Other tests that are done include the test to differentiate the inflammatory nature of the RA from the various arthritides of noninflammatory nature and also for the purpose of monitoring to see whether any drug prescribed to control the inflammation is not having any toxic effect on the body. These are:
    • Complete blood count
    • C-reactive protein
    • ESR
    • Joint ultrasound or MRI
    • Joint x-rays
    • Synovial fluid analysis
    Here it is emphasised that because disease will require lifelong treatment and monitoring, a correct diagnosis is of para amount importance. It will be in public interest that diagnosis of RA is to be finally done by a Rheumatologist who is a specifically trained joint physician to diagnose and treat more than 100 types of arthritides.
    What is the treatment?
    What is the treatment?RA usually requires lifelong treatment, including medications, physical therapy, exercise, education, and possibly surgery. The goal of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint destruction and deformity. Early medical intervention has been shown to be important in improving outcomes. Aggressive management can improve function, stop damage to joints as monitored on X-rays, and prevent work disability. Optimal treatment for the disease involves a combination of medications including Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs and biologicals, rest, joint-strengthening exercises, joint protection, and patient (and family) education. Treatment is customized according to many factors such as disease activity, types of joints involved, general health, age, and patient occupation. Treatment is most successful when there is close cooperation between the doctor, patient, and family members.

    Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs): These drugs are the current standard of care for RA, in addition to rest, strengthening exercises, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Methotrexate is the most commonly used DMARD for rheumatoid arthritis. They work best for RA. These medicines don't just relieve pain, they slow or stop damage in your joints. DMARDs come in two groups. Some are pills. The others are given by shot or IV. Both suppress the immune system. That means they slow down the body's attack on itself.

    Anti-inflammatory medications: These include aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Although NSAIDs work well, long-term use can cause stomach problems, such as ulcers and bleeding, and possible heart problems. NSAID packaging now carries a warning label to alert users of an increased risk for cardiovascular events (such as heart attack or stroke) and gastrointestinal bleeding.

    Corticosteroids: These medications work well to reduce joint swelling and inflammation. Because of potential long-term side effects, however, corticosteroids should be given only for a short time and in low doses whenever possible.

    Occasionally, surgery is needed to correct severely affected joints and to relieve pains. Surgeries can relieve joint pain, correct deformities, and modestly improve joint function. The most successful surgeries are those performed on the knees and hips. Surgical treatment called synovectomy, which is the removal of the joint lining (synovium) is sometimes done when synovial swelling causing the joint swelling and pain can not be reduced by medical means. However, in such cases radio-synovectomy is performed with good outcomes. When joints are damaged so much that causing severe pain and walking and performing the routine work is not possible is total joint replacement with a joint prosthesis is the answer. Surgical part of management is done by orthopaedic surgeons who are masters in surgery.

    Physical therapy
    Range-of-motion exercises and individualised exercise programmes prescribed by a physical therapist can delay the loss of joint function. Joint protection techniques, heat and cold treatments, and splints or orthotic devices to support and align joints may be very helpful.

    Occupational therapists can construct splints for the hand and wrist, and teach how to best protect and use joints when they are affected by arthritis. They also show people how to better cope with day-to-day tasks at work and at home, despite limitations caused by RA.
    What are the complications?
    What are the complications?Rheumatoid arthritis is not solely a disease of joint destruction. It can involve almost all organs. A life-threatening joint complication can occur when the cervical spine (neck bones) becomes unstable as a result of RA called Atlanto-occipital dislocation. Rheumatoid vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) is a serious, potentially life-threatening complication of RA. It can lead to skin ulcerations and infections, bleeding stomach ulcers, and nerve problems that cause pain, numbness, or tingling. Vasculitis may also affect the brain, nerves, and heart, which can cause stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.

    RA may cause the the outer lining of the heart to swell (pericarditis) and cause heart complications. Inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis, can also develop. Both of these conditions can lead to congestive heart failure. The treatments for RA can also cause serious side effects, hence proper periodic monitoring is done by doctor trained in this field called Rheumatologist.
    How can it be prevented?
    How can it be prevented?Rheumatoid arthritis has no known prevention. However, it is often possible to prevent further damage of the joints with proper early treatment. Stop smoking. Research shows that the risk of developing RA is nearly double for current smokers compared with non-smokers. Smoking also causes the treatment to have lesser effect. Overweight individuals must normalize their weight to have all round benefits. Recent life styles perpetuates causes and perpetuates the vitamin D deficiency which has been suggested to be a regulator of immune cell functioning. Hence it is advised to have good sun exposure of about 1-2 hours for at least 4 times in a week; otherwise Vitamin D supplements have been seen to reduce the severity of joint symptoms. Finally reporting within 12 weeks for early diagnosis and management by Rheumatologist has been associated with best disease outcomes.