Sugar – What are the Negative Side Effects?

Sugar SucroseWhat is sugar?
Sugar is a kind of carbohydrate. There are two main types of simple sugars: glucose and fructose. The two main types of sugar are white and brown sugar. White sugar is commonly known as “table sugar,” which is used in most households to make food.Brown sugar has some surface molasses syrup.

Sugar

Types of sugar:   raw sugar, brown sugar, refined sugar (castor sugar), white sugar,  liquid sugar, glucose syrup, treacle (unprocessed sugar), sugar crystals and powdered sugar

Brown sugar is used for foods that are thicker and denser such as cookies, cakes and pies.

Sugar in all foods

Sugar is often added to sauces, casseroles, salad dressings, gravies, fruit glazes, and in  many baked foods

Sugar is also used to enhance the taste of food and is found as an ingredient in an abundance of foods. These foods include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Breakfast  – waffles, pancakes, cereal, pastries, scones, granola
  • Lunch – soups, juices, sodas, bread, and yogurt
  • Dinnerdinner rolls,  mashed potatoes, stews, pastas, casseroles

 

What is glucose and why do we need it?

Blood glucose levelsThe human body breaks down the carbohydrates we eat to create glucose. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Sugar can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.

Glucose processThe quick absorption of sugar creates energy boosts. Glucose is turned into glycogen and stored in the liver. The liver has the capacity to store only 100 grams of glucose in the form of glycogen. Excess glycogen will be stored as fat in the adipose tissues of the body.


How much sugar do we need?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently drafted new guidelines on sugar intake. The World Health Organization states that “sugars should be less than 10% of the total energy intake per day….Five percent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).” These new guidelines were based on results from numerous scientific studies on sugar.


Sugar in DrinksHow much sugar do we consume?
Sugar and foods with sugar are made readily available for purchase in grocery stores, local businesses and schools. Fast food restaurants sell many food items that contain white and brown sugar. Public schools have vending machines that dispense snacks and carbonated beverages. The Western diet is composed of countless low-cost, high processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. Many of these carbonated beverages contain more than 40 grams of sugar in one serving, which is more than the recommended daily intake of sugar.

Child eating Frosted FlakesOne serving of frosted flakes cereal has roughly 38.7 grams of sugar, and one box of 8 chocolate chip cookies has over 39 grams of sugar. An article written by Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis from the University of California, San Francisco titled The Toxic Truth about Sugar states that “Currently, each US citizen consumes an average of 216 liters of soda per year, of which 58% contains sugar…” Excessive amounts of sugar will lead to weight gain, and an increase in the likelihood of acquiring diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.


Sugar AddictionWhat are the negative side effects of sugar?
Consuming white sugar has its benefits such as giving your body the energy it needs and maintaining a healthy look for the skin. However, consuming sugar has its negative side effects. Sugar, not derived from natural sources, has no nutritional value or healthy fats. The consequences of eating too much white sugar are provided, but are not limited, in the following:

  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Hepatic Dysfunction
  • Type 2 Diabetes

What are Diabetes Symptoms?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetis a metabolic illness. With Type 2 Diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t being used properly in the body. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library writes that over 23 million people in the United States have Type 2 Diabetes. The illness can cause nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage, eye damage and many other life threatening complications.

 

What can you do to reduce your sugar intake?
Sugar has many dangerous consequences. It’s important to understand the risks associated with the consumption of sugar and make positive lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of acquiring a metabolic illness. The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute provides tips for reducing excess sugar intake in the following:-Read food labels and choose less sweet alternatives.

  • Reduce the amount of sugar added to drinks, porridges, cakes, puddings, desserts, etc…
  • Spice up dishes with ginger, pimento, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and other spices.
  • Use more fruits and less sugar in cakes. Dried fruits such as raisins and prunes give a sweet “bite”.
  • Use dried or fresh fruits in cereals and porridges e.g, raisins or ripe banana
  • Don’t over-do your intake of sweet fruit juices. Use smaller amounts and dilute the water or vegetable juice.

 

Sources:
World Health Organization
University of California, San Francisco
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute 

 

 

 

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Hang Pham, MBHA Health EducatorThis article is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. 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 atwww.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.

 

 

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Top 30 Yoga Benefits

What are the benefits of yoga? How does the daily discipline of yoga affect the body, mind and spirit?

Yoga Benefits

30 Yoga Benefits

What is the History of Yoga?
Yoga is a holistic health and wellness activity that both relaxes and energizes the body. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union with God.” The common belief that Yoga derives from Hinduism is a misconception. Yoga actually predates Hinduism by many centuries. Ancient archeological finds discovered the Indus Valley provided unquestionable evidence that Yoga was practiced earlier than 3,000 B.C.E. and the classical techniques of Yoga may date back  to more than 5,000 years. The word Yoga means “to join or yoke together,” and it brings the body and mind together in harmony with one another. The whole system of Yoga is built on three main structures: exercise, breathing, and meditation. One of the earliest texts on Yoga  is believed to have been compiled by a scholar named Patanjali. This book contains Yoga theories and practices and is entitled Yoga Sutras (“Yoga Aphorisms”) and is thought to have been written as early as the 1st or 2nd century B.C. or as late as the 5th century A.D. This system is known as “Ashtanga Yoga.”  This is the eight limbs of Yoga, and referred to today as Classical Yoga. Most all forms of yoga include a variation of Patanjali’s original ancient yoga system.

 

What are the Different Types of Yoga?
There are over a hundred different schools of Yoga. There are many Yoga poses or postures within each of the different schools of Yoga.

Yoga PosesSome of the most well known schools of Yoga are as follows:

  1. Hatha Yoga  Hatha Yoga  is the most widely practiced form of yoga in the United States. It is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being using exercises and breathing control.  “Ha” can be translated to mean “sun” and “tha” to mean “moon” meaning to balance the opposite forces.
  2. Raja Yoga – Raja Yoga means the “King” of Yoga, or the royal path. It is a form of Hindu yoga intended to achieve control over the mind and emotions.
  3. Jnana Yoga – Jñāna yoga or “path of knowledge” is one of the types of yoga mentioned in Hindu philosophies. Jñāna is a Sanskrit word translated to mean “knowledge”.
  4. Bhakti Yoga  – Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path described in Hindu philosophy as focused on love of, faith in, and surrender to God. It is a means to awaken to God consciousness. It is a selfless devotion of reaching Brahman (God) in loving service.
  5. Karma Yoga – Karma Yoga is selfless action to reach perfection. “Karma” is a Sanskrit term meaning “action” or deed, either physical or mental. What makes a Karma Yogi is first the experience of union with God, and then selfless action.
  6. Tantra Yoga – Tantra yoga is a type of yoga designed to awaken the kundalini energy in the body and addressing relationships and sexuality. In Hinduism, the word Tantra means: 1) weaving and 2) the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, presented as a dialogue between Shiva and Shakti
  7. Kashmir Shaivism Yoga – Kashmir Shaivism is a transformative non-dual, yogic philosophy that originated in Kashmir in the ninth century. The goal of Kashmir Shaivism is to merge in Shiva or Universal Consciousness, or realize one’s already existing identity with Shiva, by means of wisdom, yoga and grace.

yoga older manWhat Does Research Tell Us About the Effectiveness of Yoga?
Sudarshan Kriya Yoga was concluded to be a potentially effective treatment in reducing or eliminating depression in a study by Janakiramaiah N and others (2000) and a review of clinical studies of the effectiveness of Hatha Yoga on depression by Uebelacker et al  (2010).

The prac­tice of yoga has been shown to be therapeutically useful in bron­chial asthmaNagarathna R, Nagendra HR (1985) concluded that “There was a significantly greater improvement in the group who practised yoga in the weekly number of attacks of asthma, scores for drug treatment, and peak flow rate.”  However, a 2011 systematic review of clinical studies suggests that there is no sound evidence that yoga improves asthma.

back pain personMultiple studies  have found yoga to be a helpful treatment in low back pain such as Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, et al (2011) and Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. (2011).   Other studies have shown yoga to be potentially helpful treatment for cardiovascular disease, such as Raub (2002), type II diabetes mellitus (Innes and Vincent, 2007),  stress and hypertension (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, and others, 2010) as well as other conditions. The practice of yoga can also play a role in the rehabilitation of those who have physical and mental challenges (Uma, et al, 2008).  Many other benefits are inherit in the practice of yoga as described below.

What Are the 30 Benefits of Yoga?

  1. Relieves Stress
  2. Improves Breathing
  3. Eases Pain
  4. Improves Circulation
  5. Increases Strength
  6. Increases Endurance
  7. Lowers Heart Rate
  8. Develops Inner Peace
  9. Lengthens Muscles
  10. Increases Flexibilityyoga mats
  11. Reduces Cortisol Level
  12. Improves Concentration
  13. Increases Range of Motion
  14. Dissolves Ego
  15. Develops Compassion
  16. Enhances Energy
  17. Heals Ailments
  18. Fosters Joy
  19. Lowers Weight
  20. Lubricates Joints
  21. Detoxes the Body
    yoga man
  22. Strengthens Abdomen
  23. Improves Memory
  24. Delays Wrinkles and Aging
  25. Burns Fat
  26. Improves Posture
  27. Improves Metabolism
  28. Builds Immune System
  29. Improves Balance
  30. Brings Harmony

Have you tried yoga? If so, how has it helped YOU?  Best wishes for a yoga-riffic day!!

 _______________________________

References
Bower JE, Woolery A, Sternlieb B, et al. Yoga for cancer patients and survivors. Cancer Control. 2005;12(3):165–171.

Innes, KE, Vincent HK, The Influence of Yoga-Based Programs on Risk Profiles in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., Dec 2007; 4(4): 469–486.
Jain SC, Talukdar B. Bronchial asthma and Yoga. Singapore Med J 1993;34:306-308

Janakiramaiah N. , Gangadhar B.N. , Naga Venkatesha Murthy P.J. , Harish M.G., Subbakrishna, D.K., Vedamurthachar A.  Antidepressant efficacy of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in melancholia: a randomized comparison with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and imipramine Volume 57, Issue 1 , Pages 255-259, January 2000

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Christian L, Preston H, et al. Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2010;72(2):113–121.

Monro R, Power J, Coumar A, Nagarathna R, Dandona P. Original research yoga therapy for NIDDM; A controlled trial. Complem Med J 1992;6:66-68.

Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Yoga for bronchial asthma; A controlled study. Br Med J 1985;291:1077-1079.

Ramesh L. Bijlani, Rama P. Vempati, Raj K. Yadav, Rooma Basu Ray, Vani Gupta, Ratna Sharma, Nalin Mehta, and Sushil C. Mahapatra.  A Brief but Comprehensive Lifestyle Education Program Based on Yoga Reduces Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mellitus The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. April 2005, 11(2): 267-274. doi:10.1089/acm.2005.11.267.

Raub, JA. Psychophysiologic effects of hatha yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002;8(6):797–812.

Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, et al. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171(22):2019–2026.

Telles S, Naveen K V. Yoga for rehabilitation : An overview, Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, No. 19, K.G. Nagar, Bangalore-560 019., India,  Indian J Med Sci 1997;51:123-7Monro R, Power J, Coumar A, Nagarathna R, Dandona P. Original research yoga therapy for NIDDM; A controlled trial. Complem Med J 1992;6:66-68.

Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. Yoga for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155(9):569–578.

Uebelacker LA, Epstein-Lubow G, Gaudiano BA, et al. Hatha yoga for depression: a critical review of the evidence for efficacy, plausible mechanisms of action, and directions for future research. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2010; 16(1):22–33.

Uma K, Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R., Vaidehi S, and Seethalakshmi R., The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Vol 33, Issue 5, 28 JUN 2008, DOI: 10.1111/ j.1365-2788.1989.tb01496


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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.

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories!

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories

WHY do some people have more energy than others?  WHY do we need to “boost” our metabolism?  How do we know if our metabolism is “good” or “bad?

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is a chemical reaction in the body that helps us to sustain life.

WHAT IS METABOLISM? Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within an organism that helps it to maintain and sustain life. The word metabolism comes from the Greek: μεταβολή metabolē,  which means”change” or Greek: μεταβολισμός metabolismos, “out-throw.”   Metabolism is usually divided into two categories:

  1. Catabolism breaks down organic matter and collects energy using cellular respiration
  2. Anabolism utilizes energy to create components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is changed through a process of steps.  This process is completed through the action of another chemical, by a sequence of enzymes.

WHY DOES METABOLIC RATE VARY? Every time we eat or drink, our metabolism converts all the calories from the food into energy. Our size, gender, and age play a large factor into determining our metabolic rate. For most people, metabolism seems to slow down after age 40. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate than women. In addition to these factors, there are some things that we can do to independently control our rate of metabolism.

WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPERTHYROIDISM?
The faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off.   People with hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is slower.  People who have hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is faster.   Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are not common.  Only 3% of the population have hypothyroidism and about .3% of the population have hyperthyroidism.

FIFTEEN WAYS TO HELP US BURN OFF CALORIES AND INCREASE METABOLISM

  1. Drink plenty of water – In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a full glass of water  before every meal and snack.
  2. Get plenty of sleep – Researchers have found a connection between lack of sleep and a lower metabolic rate. Those who get more sleep have a higher metabolic rate.
  3. Drink green tea – Green tea contains caffeine and catechin  polyphenols, which increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process your body uses to burn energy. Green tea is high in antioxidants, calorie-free, and a compound in green tea (ECGC) has been shown to elevate metabolism.  The metabolism increase lasts for about two hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may allow the body to burn 17% more calories.  Green tea is safe for most  people, but some may not be able to add caffeine to their diet due to its effect on the heart. Caffeine can also cause insomnia. It is recommended that people consult a trusted health care professional, regarding the use of green tea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    Calorie Burning With Drinks

    The more calories the more energy or metabolism is needed to burn off the calories and keep weight down.

  4. Eat small  healthy snacks frequently – Studies show that people who eat small, healthy snacks (such as fruit, nuts, etc.) every 3 or 4 hours, tend to burn more calories than those who eat three large meals a day.
  5.  Add spices to your diet –  Spices such as red peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers and Cayenne pepper contain capsaicin, and studies show it increases metabolism. In a small study on Japanese women published in the British Journal of Nutritionresearchers found red pepper caused the body to heat up and increase the metabolism after a meal.  Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reported that male athletes who added red pepper to high-carbohydrate meals raised both their resting and active metabolic rates 30 minutes after the meal.  However, there are no “fat-burning” foods, and  there is no conclusive evidence regarding an increased metabolic rate significant enough to result in weight loss.
  6.  Replace carbohydrates with proteins – The body burns more calories with protein than carbohydrates. Replace carbohydrates with healthy protein such as tuna, salmon, nuts, tofu, beans, and eggs. EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may boost your metabolism — by about 400 calories per day, researchers from the University of Western Ontario report.
  7. Engage in muscle-building exercises – Every pound of muscle uses 6 calories per day. The more muscle, the higher the metabolic rate. Lift weights. Pump iron.  Muscle burns 73 more calories per kilogram per day than fat. Every muscle cell that you gain constantly burns calories for you, even while you are resting or sleeping.

    Calorie Burning Exercises

    One package of french fries is 610 calories. Substantial physical activity is needed to burn off these calories.

  8. Use short high-intensity intervals in workouts – Maximize the calories you burn  by adding high-intensity intervals into your workout. If you work out for 20 minutes, try exercising moderately for about three minutes (running or riding a bike, for example) and then alternate three minutes with 30 seconds of an all-out effort.  If you are walking steadily, add short bursts of jogging, for example.

    High Fiber Foods

    A high fiber diet helps boost metabolism and burn unwanted calories.

  9. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods – Increasing intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, FACSM, assistant professor and director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. Vegetables are low in calories, yet high in nutrients.
  10. Keep moving – If you work at a desk, schedule breaks to allow yourself to walk, stand and move frequently.  Most people over the age of 40 spend too much time sitting.

    Energy to Walk Run Jog

    Energy needed to walk, run, or jog

  11. Change the temperature.  Studies show that people eat less when they are too cold or too hot.  The body also stops generating heat and burning energy when it is comfortable or neutral. Allow your body to create its own heat and burn calories by keeping that heater turned down and not making things so cozy.  Drinking ice water might burn more calories than room temperature water, because the body must work to heat up the water, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.
  12. Engage in cardiovascular and/or aerobic exercise – Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes.  Try running, biking or swimming. One study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours.
  13. Keep laughing! – Scientists have found that laughing for as much as 10 minutes per day, can burn energy and improve health.  Laughter increases the metabolic rate. Maciej Buchowksi, lead professor of a research team at Vanderbilt University, and her team set out to determine the effects of laughing on caloric burn. This heat output could then be translated as an increase in metabolism. After the research study was completed, the team discovered that metabolic rates could be increased by 10 to 40 calories by laughing.

    Warm Up Stretches

    Stretching helps to burn calories.

  14. Increase your iron intake – Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If you test anemic or your muscles don’t get enough O2, your energy is low and and your metabolism is slow. Eat iron-fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
  15. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine – Is stretching important? When subjects did different dynamic stretching exercises before running, they increased their caloric burn significantly compared with those that did nothing before the exercising.  Those who did the stretching routines increased their average oxygen consumption and flexibility, according to an article published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

RESOURCES
Bahar Gholipour and Live Science, “Cold air may help you lose weight by making your body burn calories to keep warm,” January 27, The Washington Post.

Juliette Kellow, BSc, RD, “Laugh Yourself Slim,” WeightlossResources.co.uk

Shellie Nelson, “Research suggests exposure to cold helps burn calories,” WQAD Channel 8, January 22, 2014.

R. Morgan Griffin,  Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, “Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter,” WebMD Feature, Health & Balance Center

Nesheim, Malden. “Is a Calorie a Calorie?”. NOVA. PBS. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.h., Dariush; Tao Hao, M.P.H., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D. (20 June 2011). “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men”. The New England Jouranl of Medicine 364 (25): 2392–404.
Ebbeling, PhD, Cara; anis F. Swain, MS, RD; Henry A. Feldman, PhD; William W. Wong, PhD; David L. Hachey, PhD; Erica Garcia-Lago, BA; David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD (21 June 2012). “Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance”. The Jouranl of the American Medical Association 307 (23): 2627–2634.

Gann, Carrie. “For Calories, It’s All About Quality Over Quantity, Harvard Study Says”. ABC News. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

_________________________________

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.

What is Reiki?

WHAT IS REIKI? Reiki (霊気) is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, which since has been adapted by various teachers of diverse traditions. Reiki is also considered a spiritual or meditative type of healing or a form of prayer.   It uses what has been commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of complementary, alternative, or holistic healing. therapy.

What is Reiki?Reiki is also sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical groups. Reiki practitioners or Reiki Masters use the hands to move energy through the body.  Reiki can also be described as “laying on of hands.” The practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of qi (Japanese: ki) or Chi, through the palms, which brings self-healing and balance. Today there are many branches or styles of Reiki but there are two major traditions, Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western ReikiTraditional Japanese Reiki is normally used to describe a system based on Usui’s original teachings. Western Reiki (西洋レイキ, Seiyō reiki) is a Reiki system that can be accredited to Hawayo Takata.   The teaching of Reiki outside of Japan is commonly divided into three levels:  First Degree – Shoden “初伝”, Second Degree – Okuden “奥伝”, and Third Degree – Shinpiden “神秘伝” or Master level.  In Western Reiki, it is taught that Reiki  the meridian energy lines and seven major chakras on the body are used with the hand positions.

  1. The Crown Chakra
  2. The Third Eye Chakra
  3. The Throat Chakra
  4. The Heart Chakra
  5. The Solar Plexus Chakra
  6. The Sacral Chakra
  7. The Base Root Chakra

WHAT HAPPENS IN A REIKI HEALING SESSION? Generally in a western Reiki healing session the hands are placed just off the body or lightly touching.   Typically, the client is lying down, as in a massage therapy position.   Some Reiki Masters also practice “long-distance” Reiki sessions.  In a Reiki session, the practitioner is said to bring Universal Life Energy to the client.  During the healing session, a client will go into a state of deep relaxation.  During this relaxed state he or she might experience a reduction of pain and sense of peace and well-being.   Those trained in Reiki are referred to as Reiki Masters or Reiki practitioners depending on their level of training.

IS REIKI EFFECTIVE? Current research studies are inconclusive in providing clinical evidence as to the effectiveness of Reiki. It is thought that more research is needed.  However, individual clients and Reiki Masters and practitionerss claim that Reiki can be very effective in healing or providing relief for the following health concerns:

  • asthma
  • paralysis
  • tendonitis
  • inflammation
  • dental pain
  • lupus
  • allergies
  • broken bones
  • stress
  • headaches
  • colds
  • depression
  • flu
  • sunburn
  • insomnia
  • ulcers
  • multiple sclerosis
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • paranoia
  • cuts
  • bruises,  and much more

For more information about Reiki and a wide variety of natural medicine and health and wellness topics, check out our video library at http://www.youtube.com/MBHolistic Best wishes and loving energy from your MBHA health and wellness friends