Pranic Healing – Energizing and Maintaining Optimum Health

sunset-473754_960_720What is Pranic Healing?
Pranic Healing is a revolutionary and comprehensive system of natural healing techniques that utilizes prana to treat various illnesses. Prana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “life-force”, the invisible bio-energy or vital energy that keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. Continue reading

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30 Tips for Reducing Stress Naturally

Are you feeling worried or stressed? Wondering how to avoid family conflicts? Feeling hopeless about managing your finances? Feeling overwhelmed, tired or fatigued?  Looking for a way out?  It’s the time of year when most of us are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety and worry. Here are 30 safe and quick tips that have shown to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety any time of the year. Continue reading

Relax – It’s a Healthy Choice!

Are we relaxing enough? Do we have the skills we need to know how to relax?  Do you take time each day to relax and refresh?

Relax - It's a Healthy Choice!

Are we relaxing enough? Do we have the skills we need to know how to relax? Click, copy, download, save and share.


The Medical Significance of Relaxation
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

“Relaxation is more than a state of mind; it physically changes the way your body functions.”

“When your body is relaxed breathing slows, blood pressure and oxygen consumption decrease, and some people report an increased sense of well-being. This is called the relaxation response. Being able to produce the relaxation response using relaxation techniques may counteract the effects of long-term stress, which may contribute to or worsen a range of health problems including depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia.”

Man Meditating Nature

Meditation is an effective relaxation technique.


What Are Different Types of Relaxation Techniques?
According to Paul Lehrer, Paul M.; David H. (FRW) Barlow, Robert L. Woolfolk, and Wesley E. Sime (2007), in the book, Principles and Practice of Stress Management, there are a wide variety of techniques for relaxation.

Certain relaxation techniques known as “formal and passive relaxation exercises” are generally performed while sitting or lying quietly, with minimal movement and involve “a degree of withdrawal.”
These include:

  1. Autogenic training  – a relaxation technique developed Johannes Heinrich Schultz, published in 1932, using daily practice of sessions that last around 15 minutes, usually in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening.
  2. Biofeedback – the use of electronic monitoring of a bodily function in order to train someone to control that function.  For example, measuring increased heart rate (a stress factor) and physically monitoring that to lower heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
  3. Deep breathing – breathing with focused, long breaths, as exercise or a method of relaxation.
  4. Meditationto engage in a spiritual or mental exercise or contemplation  for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness or a state of deep relaxation.  For example, concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra.
  5. Mind-Body relaxation – Mind-body meditation goes by many different names, including mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindful meditation. It can involve multiple relaxation techniques including yoga, other meditation types, and including progressive relaxation
  6. Zen Yoga – a form of Eastern yoga, based on the teachings of Aaron Hoopes,  with the basic principle that basic breathing, movement and stretching exercises are achievable by anyone regardless of age, fitness, or health
    Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation  a technique that involves tensing specific muscle groups and then relaxing them to create awareness of tension and relaxation, proceeding through all major muscle groups, relaxing them one at a time, and eventually leading to total muscle relaxation, made popular by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, in the 1920’s.
  8. Pranayama – (in Hindu yoga) the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises in order to achieve a heightened state of conscious awareness or deep state of relaxation
  9. Visualization or Guided Imagery –  visualizing a peaceful situation or setting or engaging in positive changes or actions, in order to induce relaxation and decrease stress and anxiety,  improve self-confidence, or more effectively cope
  10. Yoga Nidra – a sleep-like lucid state which yogis report to experience during their meditations which is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness.
  11. Self-hypnosis – the state or act of hypnotizing oneself for the purpose of reaching a heightened state of awareness, eliminating negative habits, emotional burdens, anxieties, addictive behaviors, past trauma, negative habits, or to achieve a deep state of relaxation, contentment and peace.


Research on the Effects of Relaxation on Health
In the past 30 years, there has been considerable interest in studying the effects of stress and anxiety and on relaxation and health. Anxiety can be the root of a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms.

Anxiety Symptoms

Research shows that anxiety can cause a wide variety of symptoms which may be effectively treated and eliminated through relaxation therapy.

There is no evidence that relaxation techniques are harmful or can worsen illness symptoms.  There is evidence that relaxation techniques may be an effective part of an overall treatment plan for some health conditions. These health conditions include:

  1. anxiety
  2. depression
  3. headache
  4. pain
  5. temporomandibular disorder
  6. ringing in the ears
  7. smoking cessation
  8. overactive bladder
  9. nightmares
  10. hot flashes.

Daily disciplined practices of relaxation techniques are key to successfully achieving reduced stress and anxiety and optimum health and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

 

Resources

The American Institute of Stress

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Paul Lehrer, Paul M.; David H. (FRW) Barlow, Robert L. Woolfolk, and Wesley E. Sime, Principles and Practice of Stress Management, Guilford Press,  Aug 16, 2007

R.H. Schneider, C.N. Alexander, F. Staggers, M. Rainforth, J.W. Salerno, A. Hartz, S. Arndt, V.A. Barnes, and S.I. Nidich. “Long-term effects of stress reduction on mortality in persons 55 years of age with systemic hypertension.” Am J Cardiol 2005. May 1;95(9):1060–64.

J. Kabat-Zinn, A.O. Massion, J. Kristeller, L.G. Peterson, K.E. Fletcher, L. Pbert, W.R. Lenderking, and S.F. Santorelli. Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am J Psychiatry 1992 Jul;149(7):936–43

R.J. Davidson, J. Kabat-Zinn, J. Schumacher, M. Rosenkranz, D. Muller, S.F. Santorelli, F. Urbanowski, A. Harrington, K. Bonus, and J.F. Sheridan. Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosom Med 2003 Jul–Aug; 65(4):564–70.

K.H. Kaplan, D.L. Goldenberg, and M. Galvin-Nadeau. The impact of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 1993 Sep; 15(5):284–89.

P. Gelderloos, K.G. Walton, D.W. Orme-Johnson, and C.N. Alexander. Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in preventing and treating substance misuse: a review. Int J Addict 1991 Mar; 26(3):293-325.

_______________________________


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
  Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

30 Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

Greetings friends!

30 Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

30 Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. Click, copy, download, save and share with family members and friends.

WHAT IS QIGONG and WHAT IS TAI CHI?

The word Qigong (Chi Kung) consists of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean “the life force”or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.  The second word, Gong, pronounced “gung,” means accomplishment, or skill that is achieved through disciplined effort or continued practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system for healing and increasing energy or vitality.

“Stillness and action are relative, not absolute, principles.  It is important to find a balance of yin and yang, not just in qigong, but in everyday life.  In movement, seek stillness and rest.  In rest, be mindful and attentive.

Ken Cohen, The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, pages 4-5

Tai Chi (Taiji Quan) is a style of qigong.   It is slow and fluid-like.  Other types of qigong exercise are for developing specific systems or parts of the body– nervous system, endocrine system, etc.,  but Taiji Quan is an exercise for the whole body, mind, and spirit with the goal of restoration and wholeness.


HOW DOES QIGONG HELP IMPROVE HEALTH?

The breathing, gentle movement, and meditation techniques  of qigong help to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy (qi). Qigong practice leads to better health and vitality and a tranquil state of mind. In the past, qigong has also been called nei gong (inner work) and dao yin (guiding energy).   Research studies show that qigong may be effective in the treatment of many illnesses including cancer and heart disease.  Recent studies show that qigong delays the effects of aging and is useful with elderly and those experiencing symptoms of dementia.

Here is a listing of thirty benefits and positive effects of qigong and/or tai chi, as noted in a variety of reports, reviews, and research studies.

  1.  Loosens Muscles
  2. Builds Power
  3. Strengthens Organs
  4. Slows Respiration
  5.  Strengthens Nerves
  6. Builds Bone Density
  7. Prevents Joint Injury
  8. Strengthens Ligaments
  9. Destroys Free Radicals
  10. Increases Injury Recovery
  11. Decreases Stress
  12. Balances Emotions
  13. Improves Circulation
  14. Prevents Muscular Spasms
  15. Reduces Pain
  16. Lowers Heart Rate
  17. Normalizes EKG
  18. Lowers Blood Pressure
  19. Improves Asthma
  20. Relieves Bronchitis
  21. Builds Immune System
  22. Relieves Migraines
  23. Decreases Stroke Risk
  24. Improves Skin Elasticity
  25. Improves Posture
  26. Improves Flexibility
  27. Increases Balance
  28. Improves Memory
  29. Aides in Digestion
  30. Improves Kidney Function

Research suggests that qigong and/or tai chi can be very helpful and effective in bringing balance, harmony, and healing to the body, mind, and spirit for people of all ages and cultures. More research is needed in controlled settings, over a longer periods of time, to better determine the effect that qigong has on health and wellness. Changes in diet and other alternative and orthodox medical treatments are also influential and work with qigong to bring about wellness.   Always confide in your trusted health professional for advice.

Best wishes to you from your health and wellness friends at MBHA.

The Qigong Research Society
The Qigong Institude – Scientific Papers and Reviews