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Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant's scent and flavor, or "essence." Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that's ready for use. The way the oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic essential oils derived from plants for the purpose of enhancing the well-being of one's physical or psychological health. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine that safely and effectively treats numerous ailments.
Essential oils used in aromatherapy trigger responses in the brain that send healing to the body. These oils can balance out hormone levels, heal digestive disorders, and dramatically reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Scientific studies have shown that aromatherapy is a completely legitimate form of medicine. By inhaling essential oils, nerves in the nose trigger powerful brain responses. Similarly, topical application allows these essential oils to quickly enter the bloodstream by being absorbed through skin tissue.
When selecting essential oils, it is important to look for pure and natural products. Oils that contain synthetic chemicals and dyes will not be nearly as effective.
Aromatherapy can be applied in many different ways depending on the condition that you want to address.
Topical use of essential oils is very effective in treating skin ailments and mood disorders. Some essential oils are highly beneficial when ingested. For instance, by swallowing peppermint essential oil, you can relieve gas and stomach cramps. Some essential oils can even be used as flavoring agents that offer nutritional value, such as lemon essential oil, which adds flavor to water while providing the body with vitamin C.
If you are using aromatherapy to address a psychological imbalance such as stress, depression, or anxiety you may wonder, how an oil can effect your brain?
Essential oils for anxiety and other brain imbalances are delivered through diffuser or a hot bath. By simply breathing the oil in, you will receive the benefits that this oil can offer on a psychological level.
These scents work in two methods. First, smell is a powerful sense. Pleasant smells can remind us of good times and relieve nerves, stress and anxiety. Second the chemicals inhaled actually enter the bloodstream and can help balance hormone levels. The best and most popular method for using these oils is the diffuser.
A carrier oil is an oil in which the essential oil can be diluted. By diluting your essential oil in a carrier oil, it may then easily be applied to the skin. Carrier oils will reduce skin sensitivity and also increase absorption through skin tissue. There are several different carrier oils from which you may choose, including:
It's important to experiment, as different carrier oils may affect your skin differently. For instance, if you are using an essential oil to treat acne, test out a few different oils on a small section of your face to see how your skin reacts.
1) LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
One of the most recognized oils and versatile! Very easily found most anywhere and cost effective. Possible benefits include- Bug repellent- Bugs hate citrus specifically the harsher and less sweet citrus. This can be used in combination with eucalyptus and peppermint to create a natural bug repellent.
Degreaser/ goo-gone- Lemon is great to cut through grease and also great to get the stickers off windows and mirrors (for those of us that have children LOL) Organic only is suggested for internal use with that in mind you can add a couple of drops to water (purified NO TAP) and this will help to increase your immune system by giving your body a steady supply of vitamin C and D-Limonene (amino acid) Disinfectant- Lemon has been used for centuries as an earthy Lysol. (Probably why it burns so bad when applied to a cut on your finger).
2) LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
Lavender has long been used to treat minor burns and insect bites. In Italy is is commonly used by doctors for this purpose. Lavender has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Apply a couple of drops to your pillow to ease the insomnia. Diffuse this oil to ease nausea, anxiety, and headaches. Add 2-5 drops of Lavender to a bath for relaxation and healing your skin.
3) TEA TREE OIL
Another versatile oil! Tea Tree Oil has been shown to have the following properties:
Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Anti-inflammatory. This amazing oil has been used in it’s native continent of Australia for almost 100 years. Put a couple of drops in your shampoo to help with dandruff and to help keep lice out of your children’s hair. Swelling induced by a histamine reaction can be helped by applying a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil. For athlete’s foot you can soak your feet in a mixture of Purified Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, and 5-7 drops of Tea Tree Oil. You can also mix 10-12 drops of Tea Tree Oil with Purified Water in a 2 oz glass bottle and spray the inside of your shoes. Allow shoes to air dry particularly in sun light.
4) FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL
Word of caution with using this one: Frankincense is in a class of blood thinning herbs and oils and therefore should not be used by pregnant women, those who have bleeding disorders, and those who are on blood thinners. Frankincense has long been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Often mentioned in the Bible. It has astringent, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-fungal, anti-anxiety, anesthetic, and sedative properties. This is one of the very few essential oils that is able to cross the blood brain barrier. When applied to the back of the neck, temples, and third-eye it can help to release trapped emotions and improve memory. Apply topically (sparingly) to improve healing on a cut, reduce wrinkles, and skin discoloration. Diffuse for reducing anxiety, reducing air-borne germs, bacteria, and fungus. Also when diffused can help with resperatory issues.
5) CITRONELLA ESSENTIAL OIL
Mostly known to repel flying insects but there is so much more to this oil! This oil has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties as well. When applied topically to a wound it will inhibit the growth of fungus or bacteria on an open wound. Put a couple of drops in your shampoo to help with dandruff. A couple of drops in your bath or shower gel may help with unwanted body odor (because it inhibits the growth of bad bacteria), healing of wounds, eczema, and dermatitis. When diffused it not only helps with repelling those pesky mosquitoes but it may also help with anxiety, depression, and get rid of air -borne virus, bacteria, and fungus, reduce respiratory and nervous spasms, reduce the duration of flu and cold symptoms.
6) MYRRH ESSENTIAL OIL
A word of caution with this one as well. This is related to the Frankincense Tree and therefore has the same blood thinning properties. Myrrh Oil is not really oil but a resin. It is very thick and therefore makes it the perfect thing to put over an open wound. It may ease the inflammation of the tissue around a wound as well as putting an antibacterial thick covering on a wound. When diffused it may help with eliminating air-borne bacteria, fungus, and virus. It may also help with the feelings of anxiety, confusion, and depression. Many of the same qualities of Frankincense.
7) BASIL SWEET ESSENTIAL OIL
This commonly used herb in the kitchen has lots of amazing benefits. When used in a diffuser it may help with bug repelling, eliminate odor causing bacteria, soothe headaches, and relieve digestive discomfort. When used on the skin it may help to exfoliate, soothe and nourish your skin. Put a couple of drops in your shampoo to strengthen and hydrate your hair. When applied topically it may help with joint pain, muscle strains, gout, and exhaustion. It may also help with irregular menstruations.
8) OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL
Ancient Greek Physicians prescribed this herbal oil for digestive and immune boosting. This oil is natures antibiotic and does not hurt your probiotic system. It is a very powerful antifungal as well. When diffused it may help relieve cold and cough symptoms. When applied on surfaces in your home it may help to disinfect therefore becoming an all natural Lysol. Applied topically it may help with itchiness and soothe inflammation.
9) GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL
This oil not only helps with nausea as is the commonality known use. When diffused it may also help with dizziness, inflammation, and feelings of anxiety and depression. When taken internally it helps to facilitate your body’s elimination of toxins and therefore keeps your immune system boosted. It has high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Used topically it may help reduce skin irritation and redness.
10) VETIVER ESSENTIAL OIL
This one is not widely known yet can be found in lots of natural bath and home products. This oil has an anti-septic qualities as well as anti-inflammatory. When diffused it may help with fatigue, depression, concentration, and memory. When used in massage oil it may help with joint stiffness, muscle aches, and enhance circulation. This oil may also help with high body temperatures when applied topically (hot-flashes). Also used topically it helps to tone and tighten the skin.
As with all things choosing the cheapest brand will result in a cheap results. Please research the brand you are choosing to ensure top quality. Always perform a skin test: Apply a drop to the inside of your wrist and wait 15-20 minutes. If you experience any type of discomfort do not use this oil by itself on your skin or don’t use the oil topically. Please always research these oils yourself before you take anything internally.
What are chakras?
Chakras are, in very basic terms, 7 energetic centers which our energy flows through. Often when our emotions are out of balance, these centers become blocked which can manifest as illness, aches or pains in the body, so it’s important to know which centers are which and how we can balance them.
Where are they located and what do they represent?
The diagram to the right shows you whereabouts the chakras are located in your body. Each color represents a chakra and has certain emotional feelings or attributes attached to it:
The 7 Major Chakras are:
Found at the base of your spine and controls your feeling of being grounded. The associating color for the root chakra is red. This is also said to control your survival instinct. When this out of balance you experience anxiety and a sense of fight or flight when there is no present or apparent danger. Luckily, re-aligning the root chakra is relatively easy; re-connect with nature. Walking barefoot outside, meditating outside, watching nature, and even playing with your pets are all easy ways to help "ground" your root chakra.
Found right below your belly button and is the center of your energy that controls your ability to enjoy the fruit of your labors and your life here on Earth. This chakra is very sexually charged (ergo, why it is located where it is in your body). The associating color for the Sacral Chakra is orange. This chakra is easily over-activated as it has to do with pleasure. Addiction is the number one way that you can tell your Sacral Chakra is over active as this chakra is responsible for the feelings of pleasure. Balancing this chakra is a bit harder as it takes self-discipline to ask yourself if you are over-indulging in what you find to be pleasurable activities.
The MANIPURA (Solar Plexus)
This chakra is located at your breast bone or where the two sets of your ribs meet. The Manipura Chakra is the seat of your identity, self-confidence, and wisdom. There is a possibility that the "gut feeling" we have all had is actually this chakra at work. The associating color for this chakra is yellow. It is said that this chakra, when in balance, one will feel like a wise warrior going into battle. When this chakra is overactive you may feel greediness, or a want to control everything and when it is under-active you may feel timid and needy. Meditation on seeing yourself as a beacon of love and sending love to others and also opening your heart will help to balance this chakra.
The ANAHATA (Heart)
This chakra is located exactly where the name implies; your heart. The Anahata Chakra is where your love, kindness, and compassion energies come from. It is also where your health and healing comes from. The associating color for the Anahata Chakra is green. When this chakra is overactive you will find yourself making unhealthy decisions and call it love or do it in the name of love. The tale tell signs of this are fast heart rate, palpitations, heart burn, and interpersonal relationship issues. When this chakra is under-active you find it hard to build relationships, let anyone get close to you, and generally do not feel a true love of self. Physical issues that may arise from this would be circulation problems and a sense of being out of touch with your body. Fortunately, balancing your Anahata Chakra is not difficult. Taking a long soak in your bath with some relaxing oils, meditating on compassion and love of yourself, and getting a massage are just some of the ways to help put this chakra in balance.
The VISHUDDHA (Throat)
This chakra is located at your throat. This literally translates to very pure. The Vishuddha Chakra is where your personal truths and also where your love for yourself and others comes from. The associating color for this chakra is blue. When the Vishuddha Chakra is balanced you are able to speak truths clearly, freely, and with love. When it is under-active you may feel timid, shy, or even restricted from being able to speak. When it is over-active you may be told that you love to hear yourself talk or worse, you interrupt people because you feel that you HAVE to get your point across. Some of the physical symptoms you may notice are mouth sores, tooth decay, and even digestive issues. You can balance this chakra by either speaking your truths out loud (even if you do it to yourself) or by focusing on thinking before speaking: Is what I am fixing to say beneficial to this person or is it for personal gain?
THE AJNA (The Third Eye)
This chakra is located between your eyebrows and is linked directly to your pineal gland. (This gland is pine-cone shaped and is located in your brain.) The Ajna Chakra is where psychic abilities, intuition, and extra-ordinary sensory energies flows from. This is one of the most known of chakras, however, it is the least tapped into. The associating color for this chakra is indigo. When it is in balance you will feel the intuitive psychic energy just as much as the tangible world without feeling overwhelmed or burdened with such a natural ability. When the Ajna is over-active you may spend an enormous amount of time with the spiritual realm; so much so that you ignore all other life experiences. If your Ajna is under-active, you feel closed off from the spiritual realm, you also will ignore your psychic intuition, and may even experience headaches and sinus problems. You can balance this chakra by connecting back to the Earth, i.e. digging in your garden, walking barefoot on the Earth, meditating under a tree or at the beach. You can energize this chakra by quiet solitude and lots of meditation.
THE SAHASWARA (The Crown)
This chakra is located at the top of your head and is the energy center that connects you to the rest of the universal energy. This is one of the most difficult chakras to explain and really should be referred to as the conduit of your consciousness to the universal consciousness. The Sahaswara translates to a thousand petals. The associating color for this chakra varies from violet to white. Over-activity of this chakra is impossible. As this chakra is in charge of your connection to the universal energy; being under-active is quite normal and when you do achieve balance (very hard to do), you will have achieved what a few Buddhist monks have, nirvana. When this chakra is balanced it means that all other chakras in your body are perfectly balanced. When trying to activate the Sahaswara you should concentrate on the other 6 Chakras and completely balancing them.
The Pineal is usually very self-sufficient and doesn’t need much extra care from you to keep it in good condition. Although, there is a certain condition that can happen to your Pineal Gland, known as Pineal Gland Calcification.
Generally, calcification refers to the hardening of a tissue or another bodily material. When a gland has become calcified, it doesn’t function as well as it should.
This can cause many problems for your entire body, making it all the more important for you to understand how you can heal Pineal Gland Calcification. But, before you can begin to understand how to reverse the damage that calcification of the pineal gland causes, you first need to understand what the pineal gland’s function in the body is. The pineal gland’s job is fairly straightforward, compared to many other glands in the area.
The pineal gland is a small, pine-shaped endocrine gland that can be found near the center of the vertebrate brain, tucked in a groove between the two hemispheres. During the day it produces serotonin. When it is dark (night time) the pineal gland stops producing serotonin and produces melatonin, which is what helps us sleep. It also affects seasonal functions such as reproduction.
It has also been theorized that the pineal gland actually produces Dimethyltryptamine (or DMT), a natural hallucinogen responsible for visions and mystical states of consciousness. This would certainly explain why, throughout human history, the pineal gland has often been viewed as “the third eye” or the human being’s seat of spirituality.
But whether or not you partake in this mystical view, the calcification of the pineal gland remains a scientifically grounded concern. When the function of this important endocrine gland is impaired, symptoms such as reduced IQ, insomnia, fatigue, depression or other psychological disorders can be observed, which means that de-calcifying the pineal gland is not only spiritually desirable, but also physiologically beneficial.
The pineal gland’s effects on aging have been thoroughly studied. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps protect your brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease.
A calcified pineal gland cannot secrete and regulate melatonin levels efficiently. This contributes to poor quality of sleep and lack of mental clarity. Researchers have found calcified pineal glands result in low melatonin levels, which is a biomarker of aging.
In order to effectively de-calcify your pineal gland, you must first understand what participates to its calcification. These substances include:
Needless to say, before you can begin the process of detoxifying the pineal gland, you must attempt to remove these substances from your everyday life in order to avoid further calcification.
1. Filter your water
Take a moment to consider the journey of tap water to your home. In most cases, it travels through extremely old pipes which are not only built with potentially harmful materials such as lead, but are also very poorly sterilized. The cleansing process commonly involves the use of chlorine, arsenic, pesticides, herbicides, certain hormones and fluoride. The tap water you drink picks something up from all of these substances.
The pineal gland is primarily affected by the fluoride in tap water, but even if this were not the case, investing in a good quality filter would still make sense.
2. Change your diet
Vegan and vegetarian diets are gradually becoming recognized for their potential health benefits, as well as for the positive impact. Not everyone can give up meat or animal products, and this is not absolutely necessary for the de-calcification of the pineal gland. What is essential is that you up your intake of vegetables, legumes and fruits, all of which are packed with powerful antioxidant substances, while at the same time decreasing your intake of processed foods and mass-produced meat as green vegetables are high in magnesium. When you do eat animal products, do your best to choose organic grass fed and hormone-free.
3. Introduce superfoods
Over the past decade, superfoods have really made a name for themselves. Items such as spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass are easy to consume and are incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. More importantly, they contain large amounts of chlorophyll, a substance that has been shown to remove toxic metal from organs and help the body eliminate metal build-ups.
Other superfoods like kale, broccoli and raw cocoa have similar properties and also boost the immune system which aids in the reversal of pineal gland calcification. They might not seem yummy on their own, but once you begin to mix these foods into your smoothies, you’ll immediately note their effect on your well-being.
4. Experiment with bentonite clay
Bentonite is a type of clay that usually forms from the weathering of volcanic ash, often in the presence of water. Throughout history, it has been used as a means to detoxify and alkalize the body, to heal certain skin conditions and to relieve digestive problems.
Because it is a type of magnetically-charged clay, bentonite tends to bind with toxins, including heavy metals and chemicals, so when it is ingested, it helps to eliminate them through natural digestion. Among other things, this facilitates the de-calcification of the pineal gland.
5. Mind your dental products
Most dental care products contain harmful substances including fluoride, PEG-60 and propyl/methylparaben. To avoid further calcification of the pineal gland, review your toothpaste and your mouthwash for any of these ingredients, especially for the widely common fluoride. As an alternative, you could try using herbal toothpastes and coconut oil instead of mouthwash.
6. Alternate with powerful natural detoxifiers
An impaired pineal gland is usually the result of a build-up of calcium and toxins. Some natural detoxifiers that have been demonstrated to facilitate the removal of these harmful accumulations include:
Iodine is an important nutrient we all need. It’s essential for healthy thyroid function, hormone balance, and metabolism. Detoxadine is an organic, deep-earth sourced nascent iodine supplement. It’s as pure as it gets and just a few drops can completely satisfy your daily iodine requirement.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.
People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
Here are 12 health benefits of meditation.
1. Reduces Stress
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation. Normally, mental and physical stress causes increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
In an eight-week study, a meditation style called "mindfulness meditation" reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Another study in nearly 1,300 adults demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress.
Research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
2. Controls Anxiety
Less stress translates to less anxiety. For example, an eight-week study of mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce their anxiety. It also reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks. Another study followed up with 18 volunteers three years after they had completed an eight-week meditation program. Most volunteers had continued practicing regular meditation and maintained lower anxiety levels over the long term. A larger study in 2,466 participants also showed that a variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety levels.
For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. This is likely due to benefits from both meditative practice and physical activity. Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments.
3. Promotes Emotional Health
Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults. One study followed 18 volunteers as they practiced meditation over three years. The study found that participants experienced long-term decreases in depression.
Inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress, can affect mood, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests meditation may reduce depression by decreasing these inflammatory chemicals. Another controlled study compared electrical activity between the brains of people who practiced mindfulness meditation and the brains of others who did not. Those who meditated showed measurable changes in activity in areas related to positive thinking and optimism.
4. Enhances Self-Awareness
Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you. Other forms teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. The idea is that as you gain greater awareness of your thought habits, you can steer them toward more constructive patterns.
A study of 21 women fighting breast cancer found that when they took part in a tai chi program, their self-esteem improved more than it did than in those who received social support sessions. In another study, 40 senior men and women who took a mindfulness meditation program experienced reduced feelings of loneliness, compared to a control group that had been placed on a wait list for the program.
Also, experience in meditation may cultivate more creative problem solving.
5. Lengthens Attention Span
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
For example, a study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants' ability to reorient and maintain their attention. A similar study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer. These workers also remembered details of their tasks better than their peers who did not practice meditation.
Moreover, one review concluded that meditation may even reverse patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying and poor attention. Even meditating for a short period may benefit you. One study found that four days of practicing meditation may be enough to increase attention span.
6. May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a mantra or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus thoughts. It improved participants' ability to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of age-related memory loss.
Furthermore, a review of 12 studies found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers.
In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.
7. Can Generate Kindness
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
Metta, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself. Through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances and ultimately enemies.
Twenty-two studies of this form of meditation have demonstrated its ability to increase peoples' compassion toward themselves and others. One study of 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included loving-kindness meditation found that these benefits were dose-dependent. In other words, the more effort people put into Metta meditation, the more positive feelings they experienced. Another group of studies showed the positive feelings people develop through Metta meditation can improve social anxiety, reduce marriage conflict and help anger management.
These benefits also appear to accumulate over time with the practice of loving-kindness meditation.
8. May Help Fight Addictions
The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors.
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviors.
One study that taught 19 recovering alcoholics how to meditate found that participants who received the training got better at controlling their cravings and craving-related stress.
Meditation may also help you control food cravings. A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce emotional and binge eating.
9. Improves Sleep
Nearly half the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.
One study compared two mindfulness-based meditation programs by randomly assigning participants to one of two groups. One group practiced meditation, while the other didn't. Participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn't meditate.
Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or runaway thoughts that often lead to insomnia. Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you're more likely to fall asleep.
10. Helps Control Pain
Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions.
For example, one study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some participants had gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others had not. The meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain.
One larger study looked at the effects of habitual meditation in 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain.
An additional study of meditation in patients with terminal diseases found meditation may help mitigate chronic pain at the end of life.
In each of these scenarios, meditators and non-meditators experienced the same causes of pain, but meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain.
11. Can Decrease Blood Pressure
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
A study of 996 volunteers found that when they meditated by concentrating on a silent mantra — a repeated, non-vocalized word — reduced blood pressure by about five points, on average. This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study. A review concluded that several types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure.
In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the "fight-or-flight" response that increases alertness in stressful situations.
12. You Can Meditate Anywhere
People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don't require specialized equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily. If you want to start meditating, try choosing a form of meditation based on what you want to get out of it. There are two major styles of meditation:
To find out which styles you like best, check out the variety of free, guided meditation exercises offered by UCLA and Head in the Clouds. They're an excellent way to try different styles and find one that suits you.
If your regular work and home environments do not allow for consistent, quiet alone time, consider participating in a class. This can also improve your chances of success by providing a supportive community.
Alternatively, consider setting your alarm a few minutes early to take advantage of quiet time in the morning. This may help you develop a consistent habit and allow you to start the day positively.
Fasting refers to refraining from either food, drink, or both at your own will for a definite time. It could be done partially for some particular food or as total abstention, in which no food or liquid is consumed for one or more days. Along with religious significance for some people, fasting is good for you because it offers a lot of health benefits if undertaken correctly and healthily.
When no food is consumed by the body, the body turns to the fat deposits for energy, which releases chemicals from the fatty reserves and results in the eradication of these chemicals through the organs. It has been well-favored by Ayurvedic therapy for cleansing and correcting the imbalances in the body.
After fasting, the blood is filled with better levels of endorphins, which makes you more alert and provides you with a feeling of good mental health. Studies have also provided evidence of healthy aging of the brain, which is attributed to calorie restriction and intermittent fasting. The effects of fasting are considered similar to that of exercise.
Studies have demonstrated that a change in the levels of glucose due to fasting proves beneficial for the effectiveness of chemotherapy performed against tumors. Fasting for a defined period may stimulate changes related to the protection of body cells and may be favorable for the patients suffering or undergoing tumor therapy.
Fasting has been in use to combat obesity for a long time. A study has demonstrated positive results with respect to average weekly weight loss that occurred in the patients after fasting. It triggers the liver enzymes and breaks fat and cholesterol into essential bile acids, which stimulate the metabolism and convert the surplus fat into heat. It also helps you avoid overeating as it regulates the hunger hormone levels – ghrelin. Regular fasting has also shown to improve eating patterns over time.
Fasting helps reverse the age-related decline in intestinal stem cell functioning. Studies say that during fasting, the cells break down fatty acids instead of glucose and this helps the cells become more regenerative.
Helps to Treat Epilepsy
Epilepsy refers to a brain disorder in which a person suffers from recurrent convulsions that can lead to a transformation in behavior. Fasting has been proven beneficial for patients suffering from epilepsy. Studies on this topic have shown positive results in terms of the frequency of seizures in such patients.
Alleviates Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic medical condition that causes inflammation of flexible joints, surrounding tissues, and organs. Under medical supervision, controlled fasting has shown significant results in the studies conducted. However, it has been recommended by medical professionals to proceed with a vegetarian diet thereafter.
The pancreas plays an important role in producing digestive juices and releasing the hormones in the body, including insulin. When the pancreas becomes inflamed over a short period, it is known as pancreatitis. Along with intravenous feeding and fluid therapy, fasting has also been accepted as a treatment strategy for acute pancreatitis. Insulin regulation also prevents type-2 diabetes as the glucose levels are normalized.
Speeds Up Healing
Fasting also promotes the healing process in the body. When food is no longer present in the stomach, the body focuses on other vital functions like metabolic activity and the immune system, rather than digestion which is not necessary until the next meal. Research has shown significant development in the immune system of the intestines and overall health of the subject patients under medical supervision. Athletes are also encouraged to fast during training days, to shed excess fat and optimize muscle growth.
The mechanism of autophagy involves the synthesis and recycling of cellular components by the degradation of unnecessary cells. It gets promoted during fasting. This leads to the production of healthier cells and tissues throughout the body, leading to healthier skin. It also aids in collagen production and acne treatment.
Releases Growth Hormones
Growth hormones stimulate the growth and production of cells in the body. The production of such hormones also increases during fasting, resulting in the release of better growth and anti-aging hormones.
Protects Heart Health
Fasting influences the regulation of glucose and cardiovascular health. This has been demonstrated by various studies conducted in this regard, along with other health benefits including lowering blood pressure, body mass, triglycerides, and increasing insulin sensitivity and levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Pre or Post-operative Fasting
Doctors recommend short fasting, which is normally 2-8 hours, as groundwork for certain diagnostic investigations to obtain more accurate results. In case, the surgery involves the organs of the digestive system, fasting may be recommended before and after the surgery to ensure empty bowels. This helps to protect the lungs from getting any content from the stomach during anesthesia. Based on the studies that have been conducted in this regard, medical professionals recommend that consumption is limited to fluids such as water, clear fluids, and fruit juices before surgery.
The benefits of yoga provide both instant gratification and lasting transformation. In the fitness world, both are extremely important. Too much time with too few results can be incredibly discouraging, and monotonous routines week after week can lead to stagnation. Yoga can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health.
YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE
Most yoga studios and local gyms offer yoga classes that are open to all generations and fitness levels. It’s exciting to enter a room full of young teens, athletes, middle-aged moms, older gentlemen, and even fitness buffs and body builders. Everyone can feel accepted and included and, unlike other sports or classes that focus on niche clients, yoga tends to offer open arms. Whether you like to say "Om" or you can’t stand the word “yogi”; whether you are 92, 53, or even 12, yoga can help you.
YOGA ENCOURAGES OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Yoga is not just about working out, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. The practice of yoga allows students to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. Peace and tranquility achieved through focused training appeals to everyone.
Yoga’s deep breathing and meditation practices help foster an inner shift from to-do lists, kids and spouse’s needs, financial concerns, and relationship struggles to something a little bit bigger than the issues you face. Yoga helps relieve stress and declutters the mind, helping you to become more focused.
YOGA HAS MANY FACES
One of the benefits of yoga is that you can choose a yoga style that's tailored to your lifestyle, such as hot yoga, power yoga, relaxation yoga, prenatal yoga, etc. Whether you prefer to practice at home, in a private session, while watching a DVD or at a studio or gym, there are a huge variety of options available to suit your goals and needs.
If you're a yoga beginner, hatha yoga, which focuses on basic postures at a comfortable pace, would be great for you. If you want to increase strength through using more of your own body’s resistance, power yoga may be right for you. If you're ready for a deeper practice, Bikram, also called “hot yoga,” may be just what you're looking for. In Bikram yoga, the room temperature is set to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in greater elimination of toxins from the body through the increased production of sweat. No matter your fitness level, fat percentage, or health history, yoga has a style for you.
STRENGTH TRAINING AND FLEXIBILITY
Yoga’s focus on strength training and flexibility is an incredible benefit to your body. The postures are meant to strengthen your body from the inside out, so you don’t just look good, you feel good, too. Each of the yoga poses is built to reinforce the muscles around the spine, the very center of your body, which is the core from which everything else operates. When the core is working properly, posture is improved, thus alleviating back, shoulder, and neck pain.
The digestive system gets back on track when the stretching in yoga is coupled with a healthy, organic diet, which can relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and acid reflux. Another one of the benefits of yoga is that stretching and holding postures also causes muscles to lengthen, which gives the body a longer, leaner look.
HOW DOES POWER YOGA BUILD MUSCLE?
Adapted from the basic Ashtanga yoga, power yoga requires increased energy, focus, and strength. Although power yoga evolved from the basics, it certainly is not a basic course.
How does it help build muscle? Most poses are held for five full breaths versus the usual one to three breaths. Muscles are challenged as the mind and body have to work together simultaneously to hold a position without giving up. Breathing, posing, moving, and increasing flexibility happen together at one time, which unearths a new level of discipline in your mind and body.
POWER YOGA AND THE CORE
Isometric exercises are one of the best ways to build core strength. Isometric, stemming from the words “same” and “length,” simply translates to holding one position without moving. Power yoga uses isometric exercises along with other postures that are designed to make the core and back stronger. Flexibility and balance stem from your core, so it's important to train this area of the body. In turn, you can increase the strength and health of your entire body. Generally a high-temperature room is used in this practice to help keep the muscles warm and release additional toxins from the body.
POWER YOGA’S EFFECT ON THE BODY
Here's a list of some of the most beneficial aspects of power yoga:
No matter what ails your aching body, or if you just want to take your fitness to a higher level, power yoga's ability to build muscle has an undeniable effect on the total body.
The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies are sound frequencies found in Gregorian Chants, that although were used to reinforce the relationship man had with Source, they were deemed to be ‘Lost’ and sent into obscurity because they enervated the influence the Vatican assumed it had over mankind. So powerful were the six Solfeggio frequencies that their individual tones reversed the conditioning that caused severance from the Creator. They returned the balance belonging to the physical, mental and spiritual essence man was initially born with but had been stripped of.
An inspirational book, Healing codes for the Biological Apocalypse, written in the mid 1970’s by Dr. Leonard Horowitz and Dr. Joseph Puleo also surfaced from the depths of oblivion. What was unsurfaced was not a secret, nevertheless, it gave rise to the opportunity for Dr. Joseph Puleo to research these frequencies. He began to notice in a sequence he had derived from the Bible, a series of numbers, 3, 6 and 9 that appeared in a pattern of codes; these codes were repeated around these three numbers. When Puleo used the same method of mathematical derivation as Pythagoras, he deciphered the code by reducing the numbers to a single digit. Exactly as the system used in numerology which incidentally was the simple method used by Pythagoras, and in this example, 3+6+9 = 18, to arrive at a single digit, keep adding. In this case, the single digit is 9.
Now, when Puleo reduced all the verse numbers from 12 to 83 throughout Chapter 7 in the Book of Numbers, he arrived at a series of six electromagnetic sound frequencies. He found these six frequencies corresponded with the six missing tones of the ancient Solfeggio scale which contain six pure tones. These tones were made up of the ancient scale until they were conveniently altered by the Catholic Church’s Gregory the Great who served the Church until 604 AD. Not only had he discovered the message through the Verses, but he also arrived at a reference in Verse 78 that refers to the Twelfth day. What Joseph Puleo had uncovered was the key to or the Energy of the Universe. The vibrations of the three numbers, 3, 6 and 9 are the vibrational roots of the ancient Solfeggio frequencies.
Now moving forward to the modern day when we step in Albert Einstein’s laboratory, it was he who educated the world with his findings that matter was energy; pure unadulterated energy. And energy and vibration have a specific “melody”.
The Church claimed that 152 of the ancient Gregorian chants had gone missing, almost ensuring that resurface was near impossible. But, from the bowels of the Vatican archives, where 151 Gregorian Chants were carefully locked away, one of those sacred chants, The Hymn to St. John the Baptist, resurfaced and has duly become the most provocative hymn ever written. It is resonant of all six Solfeggio notes.
The Solfeggio frequencies are those of the Gregorian Monks who chanted six notes that penetrated deeply into the subconscious.
UT – 396 Hz – Liberation from grief, guilt and shame
With a liberation from guilt, grief and shame, the conscious, the subconscious and the underlying cells of the body are cleansed. During a frequency of 396 Hz, beneficial energy is disbursed throughout the mind and body releasing obstacles whilst recognizing the joys of achievement as subconscious negative beliefs are dissolved.
RE – 417 Hz – Reversal of unpleasant situations expediting change
The tone with 417 Hz encompasses the body infusing energy to bring about change. Displacement of debilitating past events are cleansed and dissolved while “RE” optimises the cells returning them to their original healthy functions. This frequency encourages a frequent flow of cleansing energy that prepares you to allow for due changes into your life.
MI – 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles – DNA Reparation
“MI” with a frequency of 528 Hz is in tune with human DNA returning it to its original, untarnished essence thus delivering miracles and bringing back transformation into your life. Whilst the DNA is cleaned by this high frequency energy, expressions are clarified, awareness is piqued, core values are founded and inner peace takes its rightful place at center stage. Your mind is clear, unmitigated and awakened with new energy and creativity. Entering on the pinnacle of joy and well being, your mind is prepared for the visualization of your intended purpose. It is here you are able to delineate a life of design rather than one of default. As the process of DNA reparation is conducted by the tone “MI” your intention is sharpened. Your gut feeling or intuition gains an authoritative voice that is easier to hear and follow. 528 Hz is also called the “Love frequency”.
FA – 639 Hz – Reconnection with Spiritual Family – Relationships
“FA” reaches the inner sanctums of sacred relationships where harmony and love reside below the surface. This magnificent frequency from the sacred Solfeggio scale encourages community accord, empathy and compassion as you enter interpersonal relationships. Tone “FA” is the ingredient for diffusing problems in relationships, particularly negativity between family members. “FA” with a 639 Hz frequency encourages the body and soul to communicate with their environment, expressing unambiguous understanding, tolerance, gratitude and love.
SOL – 741 Hz – Expression – Clearing and solving
“SOL” with a frequency of 741 Hz dissolves toxins from the cells in the body, thus its label Solve polluti. It leads to a healthier life and to a change in diet including proper organic foods. “SOL” cleanses the contaminants from the body, leaving it free of electromagnetic radiations from microwave energy, infrared light and ultraviolet rays.
LA – 852 Hz – Spiritual enlightenment
“LA” is truth. It is awareness. It is a level of enlightenment that on its border is the embodiment of spiritual order. The frequency of 852 Hz helps one return to the place where pure love and joy resides. It is the all connector of your soul with Source Energy whilst getting in touch with your higher self.
Now the ancient Solfeggio frequencies have 6 tones that we know, and whilst establishing a pattern, all of them can be reduced to the three magnificent numbers, 3, 6 and 9. However, this should not impede your use of them. For healing, creativity, health and happiness, use all the tones together and allow them to work in their own way for you to retain a new lease of life. Your own perfect spiritual being is being restored to its ever correct balance that will have chakras aligned once more.
Other beneficial frequencies:
174 Hz - is a natural anesthetic. It reduces pain physically and energetically.
285 Hz - influences energy fields, helping tissue to return to its original form. It also leaves your body rejuvenated and energized.
963 Hz - awakens any system to its original perfect state. This frequency enables you to experience Oneness – our true nature; also known as the God frequency.
How does an Ionic Foot Bath work?
Have you heard of the ionic foot detox? It is a treatment offered through spas or health centers worldwide as way to gently detoxify the body. During a session, the client submerses his or her feet in a specific concentration of salt water. A metal coil is placed in the water and is attached to a machine which emits a pulse of electricity. A conductive strap is attached to the client’s wrist, and the same electric current is pulsed through the client’s body during the session. This is a weak electric current and is not painful.
When the electric current is pulsed through the salt water, the water splits into positive and negative ions. These ions in the salt water are attracted to the ionic compounds in your body which are not of benefit to you — such as pesticides, preservatives, and heavy metals. Some of these toxins are pulled out from your body through the pores of your feet. Your feet have over 4,000 pores and they are the largest in the body. This makes makes the foot an ideal modality for detoxifying the body.
Other ions are transported throughout the body via the circulatory and lymphatic system. The ions from the foot bath system neutralize oppositely charged toxins in the cells that are normally slow to exit the body. Through this process, all the body’s organs become energized and stimulated to function optimally. The body then rids itself of these toxins through normal urination, elimination, and sweating.
Salt baths as a means of detoxification and healing have been used for millennia by different cultures around the world, such as the Ayurvedic tradition of India and the ancient Roman bath houses. The idea is that the salt draws out toxins via osmosis and diffusion. Swimming in the ocean is a natural form of ionic detox — the pulsed electric current from the coil amplifies the effect to an even greater degree. Using an electric charge to split water into ions as a healing modality is a relatively new concept. It first emerged as a way to treat cancer by submersing the client’s whole body in a detox bathtub. The modern technological approach to this method of detoxification can be traced to the work of Dr. Royal Rife.
In addition to detoxifying the body, the ionic foot detox also alkalizes the body. A large majority people living in the developed world have a high level of acidity built up in the body, which is associated with a range of health ailments. After just a 30 minute session, the ionic foot detox helps the body return to it’s neutral and comfortable pH of 7.4. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine analyzed water samples before and after participants used the foot detox. They found that after the session, the water had lower concentrations of calcium and magnesium, implying that these minerals had been taken up into the body. Calcium and magnesium are two of the four alkalizing minerals, so it is thought that this is the process by which alkalization occurs during the ionic foot bath.
Critics of this healing modality point out that the water changes color even in the absence of feet. This is true. However, there exists a wide spectrum of color shades. While the water does turn a brownish shade when the coil is pulsed in the absence of feet, it does also change to specific shades of color depending on the health condition of each individual using the ionic foot detox.
The validity of any healing modality can be measured by the experience of the participants. After a 30 minute session, users of the ionic foot detox consistently report clearer thinking, greater physical and mental energy, improved elasticity in the joints, and an overall feeling of focus and wellness.
Reflexology uses pressure instead of needles to activate specific points using hands, thumbs, or finger techniques. It is a 4,000-year-old healing art that promotes better circulation, relieves existing pain and helps the bodily systems to work accordingly. Furthermore, it can help soothe the pains during pregnancy and ease the treatment of various cancers.
Also known as acupressure and zone therapy, reflexology enhances the healing mechanisms of the body by applying pressure to certain points on the feet, hands, and ears. It is an alternative treatment for numerous health conditions like sleep disorders, depression, pain and more. So if you are experiencing any pain due to stress or standing on your feet for extended hours, try to have your feet massaged before bed.
Many of us spend long hours on our feet every day. Whether you work in a factory, an office, a field, a hospital or anything in between, you put a lot of weight and pressure on your feet daily. Getting a foot massage from your partner, family member or a professional is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body. Let us take a look at numerous benefits of reflexology.
1. Relieves Pains and Aches
One of the benefits of reflexology is its ability to treat different types of aches and pains, such as neck pain, migraines, headaches, and upper and lower backaches. It relieves tension in the muscles that may often lead to these conditions. Headaches occurring due to stress can also be alleviated with foot massages.
According to a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health Medicine in 1999, 220 patients were treated by reflexologists. 81% of the patients have reported that their treatments helped or completely cured their headache issues after just three months. The massage treatment improved patients' general well-being, ability to understand the causes of headache, ability to interpret body signals, and increased energy levels.
2. Nerve Function
Reflexology has been known to stimulate more than 7,000 different nervous endings. As our bodies age, these nerve endings become less sensitive. Having a foot reflexology can improve the function and reactivity of nervous endings, especially in our lower extremities.
Reflexology also opens and cleans out neural pathways of various areas around the body. It is important to activate neural pathways to improve the manner of conveying information from the nervous system to the brain.
3. Fights Anxiety and Depression
Serotonin, a hormone released by neurons in the brain, promotes happiness. Low levels of this hormone may result in bad mood and depression. Massaging the top of your toes can enhance the production of serotonin. The adrenal, hypothalamic, pineal and pituitary glands also play a role in emotions, including depression. Stimulating these reflex points by massaging the feet for a few minutes three times a day may help in relieving the condition. It is also effective in alleviating anxiety and stress.
4. Improves Circulation
One of the benefits of reflexology is an improvement in blood flow throughout the body. This means that blood and oxygen are transported through all areas more efficiently. Gently stroking the finger, hands, and feet will significantly enhance circulation to vital organs. The bodily systems function even better as more oxygen is cycled. This also increases metabolism and results in faster regrowth and healing of damaged cells. A foot reflexology massage before going to bed can enhance blood flow in lower extremities.
5. Makes Feet Healthier
You can keep your feet healthier with reflexology. It stimulates the muscles, reduces pain in the ankles and heels, and alleviates stiffness. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your feet free from all types of foot problems, such as Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, as well as toenail fungus.
A 5-minute foot massage every day can keep your ankles flexible and strong. This, in turn, will prevent unpleasant injuries. Massaging your feet with warm coconut or olive oil provides relief from inflammation and pain resulting from foot tendonitis. It is also an effective natural treatment for heel spurs.
6. Relaxation and Better Sleep
After a long working day, particularly after a day of standing, walking and running around, the best way to relax is to have a foot massage. As mentioned before, reflexology can open neural pathways and results in a more relaxed condition in the body. This reduces stress levels, triggering a state of calm throughout your mind and body.
Foot massage before going to bed also induces sleep. Reflexology is commonly applied to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia. Fortunately, applying pressure on certain points help the body and nerves relax while improving blood circulation.
7. Reduces PMS and Menopause Symptoms
Most women suffer from irritability, dysmenorrhea, bloating, headaches, fatigue, insomnia and mood swings during PMS or premenstrual syndrome. These symptoms can be alleviated with daily massage. Reflexology is also useful for reducing menopause symptoms like depression and hot flashes.
To treat the symptoms of PMS and menopause, the target point, known as Grandfather Grandson point, is located on the inner foot, where your big toe meets your foot. Apply gentle and firm pressure with warm oil for a few minutes to manage the symptoms.
8. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension affects millions of people around the world and causes kidney disease, strokes and cardiovascular diseases. Reflexology has been found to lower systolic blood pressure and triglyceride effectively.
If you or someone you know has high blood pressure, massage the solar plexus reflex point. This point can be easily located by squeezing each side of the foot. The visible hallow that forms is where the reflex point is. Press this for a few seconds with your thumb. Follow this treatment twice a week to lower blood pressure, prevent anxiety and enhance mood.
9. Cancer Relief
While reflexology does not directly cure cancer, it can provide relief from the side effects of various cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Daily massage can also help patients to sleep better, lower the chances of vomiting and other digestive problem and reduce anxiety. Reflexology is also known to increase blood flow and clear neural pathways, which may help to stimulate antioxidant activity and slow the spread of cancer.
Excessive processed foods, additives and pollution increases the levels of toxins in our bodies and impedes the proper functions of vital organs resulting in aches, fever, pains, and fatigue. One of the best ways to eliminate toxins from the body is reflexology.
It has been shown that reflexology can improve the function of the bladder, making it more efficient in eliminating toxins and other unwanted substances. This lowers the risk of urinary tract infections and other health diseases.
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