Reimaging – Awakening You to Your Highest Potential

Would you like to start attracting more prosperity and abundance into your life? Are you having relationship challenges or, do you want love? Do have chronic health issues, stress, tension, chronic pain, or are overweight? Do fears, worries, the blues, or anger ruin the precious moments of your life? Do you feel blocked from success or feel stuck in some areas of your life? Would you like to clear old negative reactions, so that you respond differently to others? If you have answered yes to any of the above questions you may be subconsciously and firmly standing in your own way.

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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

The Essentials of Essential Oils

Lavender Essential OilIf you’ve chosen to live a more holistically healthy life, chances are high that you’ve encountered essential oils in some way. Today, they are available in many stores and mass marketed through many companies. Perhaps you’ve wondered about the sudden popularity of essential oils. Is this a passing craze or has an ancient holistic healing wonder been introduced to modern individuals in a new and effective way? Can essential oils help others live a more happy, healthy, productive life or is this just wishful thinking? Continue reading

Balancing the Chakras – A Healing of Your Energy Centers

chakras Chakras are Subtle Energy Centers. 

The word chakra is a Sanskrit word, and it means “wheel”. Today we will explore the 7 major chakras, which are connected to the body through the Nervous System. Because the chakras contain organs, emotions, thoughts, and consciousness, if they are out of  balance, it effects our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Each chakra is a generator and reservoir of energy.  When our chakras are balanced and working, playing together, our energy can flow freely, and we enjoy life more.

First Chakra: Earth element, dark red. Also called the Root Chakra, it is located at the base of your spine, buttocks and tailbone. It’s qualities are security, support, grounding, foundation, survival, stability, final manifestation, field of completion. The emotions connected to the First Chakra are fear, courage, trust.

 Chakra purposesSecond Chakra: Water element, deep dark orange. It is located at your belly, hips, pelvis, and low back. It’s qualities are intuition, creativity, receptivity, nurturing, sexuality, sensuality, family, generation-seed, unconscious emotions. Emotions: Attachment, lust, ‘holding on’, letting go, flowing, moderation, joy.

Third Chakra: Fire element, golden yellow. It is located at your stomach, solar plexus, and mid-back areas. Qualities: Will-power, name, fame, authority, motivation, vitality, inspiration, self-esteem, drive, control, impulse behind movement, action. Emotions: Anger, resentment, forgiveness, letting go.

Fourth Chakra: Air Element, emerald green, pink. Also called the Heart Chakra, it is located at your chest and upper back. The physical heart is to the left, the emotional heart is in the middle of your chest, inbetween your breasts, and the spiritual heart is a bit higher, between your breasts and your throat, where the Thymus Gland is. Qualities: Unconditional love, trust, devotion, conscious emotions, compassion, heart-felt feelings, breath. Emotions: Desire, greed, aversion, desirelessness, sadness, grief, charity, compassion.

Fifth Chakra: Ether element, light blue, turqoise. Also called the Throat Chakra, it is located at your throat and neck. Qualities: Creativity, intuition, spaciousness, will, communication, speaking your truth, self-expression, faith. Emotions: Pride, humility.

Sixth Chakra: Ether element (Light), dark blue, dark purple. Also called the Third Eye, it is located in the middle of your forehead, goes all the way through your brain to the back of your head, where your neck and skull meet. Qualities: Intuition, perception, insight, realization, intelligence, spirituality, vision. Emotions: Dreaming, clarity.

Seventh Chakra: Ether element (Consciousness), brilliant white and gold.  Also called the Crown Chakra, it is located at the top of your head, and goes a bit out of your head like a cone. Qualities: Union, connection to the divine, understanding, compassion. Emotions: Bliss.

SILENCE IN NATURE STEP 7Manifesting Journey: Take a few deep breaths. Imagine something you would like to have new year. Feel your vision in your Crown Chakra, surrounded by brilliant white and gold, connected to all of you. Your vision is coming down to your Third Eye, becoming a true desire. You can see your desire having come true. How is your life different now? Dark purple and blue have joined the white and gold, carrying your desire down to your Throat Chakra. Say to yourself outloud: “I am creating space in my life for….” Allow light blue and turqoise to join the other colors, carrying your desire to your Heart Chakra. Feel your self-love joining your heart’s desire. “I love myself enough to know that I deserve to have my desire become reality.” Emerald green and pink have joined the other colors, taking your desire down to the Third Chakra, into your stomach. Your will-power has now joined your desire, “This is my life. I have a right to have my desire be manifested.” What is the next action you can take in this process? See yourself taking it. Imagine that golden yellow has now joined the other colors, carrying your desire to the Second Chakra in your pelvis and low back. Feel that your desire is flowing into your life in a way that nurtures you. “I am allowing myself to receive this desire in an easy and joyful way.” Dark orange has now joined the other colors, creating a rainbow while taking your desire down to the  dark red Root Chakra – final manifestation.

See, feel, sense your desire as a full reality in your life, letting yourself relax deeply into it. YES!

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Rabia ErdumanThis article was written by Rabia Erduman, Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  Rabia was born in Istanbul, Turkey and later spent ten years in Germany before arriving in the United States in 1983.  Rabia utilizes Psychology, Transpersonal Hypnotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Reiki,  and Trauma Release to assist clients in their process of self-discovery. Rabia also teaches tantric and spiritually-oriented workshops.  Rabia is the author of Veils of Separation – Finding the Face of Oneness, and has four Guided Imagery CDs: Relaxation, Meditation, Chakra Meditation, and Inner Guides. 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.

How to Overcome Barriers to Forgiveness

What Barriers Stand in the Way to Forgiveness?

Holding HandsIt’s hard to let go of the suffering caused by someone else’s wrongdoing. What barriers stand in the way of forgiveness, and how can we overcome them? We all know how painful it feels to suffer hurts, betrayals, or abuse-and to have this pain harden into lasting grudges or resentments.


Forgiveness is essential, even when there is good reason to resist.

Indeed, study after study has suggested that being unable to forgive past wrongs can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. Forgiveness is the practice of letting go of the suffering caused by someone else’s wrongdoing (or even our own). It does not mean excusing, overlooking, forgetting, condoning, or trivializing the harm or jumping to a premature or superficial reconciliation; it doesn’t necessarily require reconciliation at all. Instead, it involves changing our relationship to an offense through understanding, compassion, and release.

Two decades of social psychology research have repeatedly demonstrated the psychological, physical, and social benefits of forgiveness. True forgiveness repairs relationships and restores inner well-being.  Yet we often find it hard to let go, forgive, and move on. According to research, even when we can feel compassion and empathy for the person who harmed us, we can remain stuck in fear or hostility for days, months, even years.


Why is something so good for us so hard to do?

Friends huggingThat’s the questions Williamson at New Mexico Highlands University and Marti Gonzales at the University of Minnesota have explored through research on the psychological impediments to forgiveness. In a recent study published in the journal, Motivation and Emotion, Williamson, Gonzales, and colleagues identify three broad categories of “forgiveness aversion.” Traditionally, ideas for helping one person to forgive another have implied either expanding one’s empathy or compassion for the offender or “distancing,” not taking things so personally. But their research on forgiveness aversion suggests another approach: Forgiveness comes not necessarily by appealing to kindness or compassion but by addressing the victim’s fears and concerns. Williamson and Gonzales’ research suggests how to work with perceived risks to forgiveness and to move toward forgiveness in a safe and genuine way. Below is a brief tour of the three barriers to forgiveness, along with ways to overcome them, drawing on clinical research and clinical experience with hundreds of couples and individuals.

Understanding these barriers to forgiveness can be very useful to anyone who has ever struggled to forgive-in other words, most of us.

 

Barrier #1: Unreadiness

woman and man fightingThe first block is “unreadiness,” which Williamson and Gonzales define as an inner state of unresolved emotional turmoil that can delay or derail forgiveness. People can feel stuck in a victim loop, ruminating on the wrongs done to them by another person or by life, and be unable to shift their perspective to a larger view, to find the meaning, purpose, lessons, and possibilities for change from the events.

  • Who is most likely to experience unreadiness?

Williamson and Gonzales found that people’s tendencies to be anxious and ruminate on the severity of the offending behavior reliably predicted an unreadiness to forgive. People showed more reluctance to move toward forgiveness especially when they held a fear that the offense would be repeated,

  • How can we overcome the barrier of unreadiness?

Williamson and Gonzales’ research validates the folk wisdom that “time heals all wounds” and establishes the importance of not rushing the process, not coming to forgiveness too quickly. Certainly the passage of time is an important factor in helping people get some distance from the initial pain, confusion, and anger; it helps the offender establish a track record of new trustworthy behavior and helps the victim reframe the severity of the injury in the larger context of the entire relationship.

  • Tips to Overcome Unreadiness

1. Recall the moment of wrongdoing you are struggling to forgive. “Light up the networks” of this memory by evoking a visual image, noticing emotions that arise as your recall this memory, notice where you feel those emotions in your body as contraction, heaviness, churning. Notice your thoughts about yourself and the other person now as you evoke this memory. Let this moment settle in your awareness.

2. Begin to reflect on what the lessons of this moment might be: what could you have done differently? What could the other person have done differently? What would you differently from now on? When we can turn a regrettable moment into a teachable moment, when we can even find the gift in the mistake, we can open our perspectives again to the possibilities of change, and forgiveness.


Barrier #2: Self-Protection

Sibling RivalryThe second block to forgiveness is “self-protection”-a fear, very often legitimate, that forgiveness will backfire and leave the person offering forgiveness vulnerable to further harm, aggression, violation of boundaries, exploitation, or abuse.

  • Who is most likely to experience self-protection?

People who have experienced repeatedly harmful behavior, and lack of remorse or apology for that behavior, are most likely to resist forgiving the offending party, according to the research by Williamson and Gonzales. In fact, they found that even the strongest motivation to forgive-to maintain a close relationship-can be mitigated by the perceived severity of the offense and/or by a perceived lack of sincere apology or remorse. Refusing to forgive is an attempt to re-calibrate the power or control in the relationship.

According to their study, one of the hardest decisions people ever face about forgiveness is: Can I get my core needs met in this relationship? Or do I need to give up this relationship to meet my core needs, including needs for safety and trust? The ongoing behavior of the offender is key here. If the hurtful behavior continues, if any sense of wrongdoing is denied, if the impact of the behavior is minimized, if the recipient’s sense of self continues to be diminished by another, or trust continues to be broken, or the victim continues to be blamed for the offender’s behavior-if someone experiences any or all of these factors, then forgiveness can start to feel like an impossible, if not a stupid, thing to do.

  • How can we overcome the barrier of self-protection?

“Victims may be legitimately concerned that forgiveness opens them up to further victimization,” write the researchers. “Intriguingly, when people perceive themselves to be more powerful in their relationship, they are more likely to forgive, perhaps because they have fewer self-protection concerns in their relationships with their offenders.”  

In other words, people sometimes have understandable fears that offering forgiveness will be (mis)interpreted by the offender as evidence that they can get away with the same behavior again. People very often need to learn they have the right to set and enforce legitimate boundaries in a relationship. Forgiveness can also involve not being in a relationship with the offender any longer or changing the rules and power dynamics for continuing the relationship.

 

  • How to Set Limits

Older man and woman hugging1. Identify one boundary you’ve been reluctant to set with the person you are struggling to forgive.

2. Clarify in your own mind how setting this limit reflects and serves your own values, needs, and desires. Reflect on your understanding of the values and desires of the other person. Notice any common ground between the two of you; notice the differences.

3. Initiate the conversation about limits with the other person. Begin by expressing your appreciation for him or her listening to you. State the topic; state your understanding of your own needs and of theirs.

4. State the terms of your limit, simply, clearly, unequivocally. You’ve already stated the values, needs and desires behind the limit; you do not have to justify, explain or defend your position. State the consequences for the relationship if this limit is not respected.

5. Negotiate with the other person what behaviors they can do, by when, to demonstrate that they understand your limit, the need for it, the benefit of it.

6. At the end of the specified “test” period, discuss with your person the changes in the relationship if the limit was respected, or the next step in consequences if the limit is not respected in the next test period. You may have to repeat this exercise many times to shift the dynamics in your relationship.

 

Barrier #3: “Face” Concerns

Forgiveness - Daughter and motherThe third block is “face” concerns  – what we might call the need to save face in front of other people and protect one’s own public reputation, as well as avoid threats to one’s own self-concept-i.e, feeling that “I’m a pushover” or “I’m a doormat.”

As social beings, we’re primed to not want to appear weak or vulnerable or pathetic in front of other people. We will protect ourselves from feeling inner shame in many ways, which may include a reluctance to forgive. Researchers have also found that hanging on to a grudge can give people a sense of control in their relationships; they may fear that forgiveness will cause them to lose this “social power.” If our concerns about saving face foster a desire to retaliate or seek vengeance rather than forgive, we may need to re-strengthen our inner sense of self-worth and self-respect before forgiveness can be an option.

  • Who is most likely to experience face concerns?

People who feel their self-worth has been diminished by the offense, or who experience a threat to their sense of control, belonging, or social reputation, or even feel a need for revenge, are more likely to experience the face concerns that could block forgiveness. “To the extent that victims fear that they may appear weak by forgiving, and are concerned with projecting an image of power and interpersonal control, they should feel more averse to the prospect of forgiving,” write the researchers.

  • How can we overcome the barrier of face concerns?

Very often people who have been hurt by another need to recover their own sense of self-respect and self-worth to create the mental space where forgiveness looks like a real option. We need to develop and maintain an inner subjective reality-a sense of self-that is independent of other people’s negative opinions and expectations of us. Good friends, trusted family members, therapists, or clergy can be very helpful in functioning as a True Other to someone’s True Self-they’re figures who can help generate a more positive sense of self.

Forgiveness is not easy. It takes sincere intention and diligent practice over time. But overcoming reluctance, even refusal, to forgive can be facilitated by understanding these specific aversions to forgiveness, and by implementing strategies to address these barriers skillfully.

  • How to See Yourself

How to See Yourself1. Sit comfortably, allowing your eyes to gently close. Focus your attention on your breathing.

2. When you’re ready, bring to mind someone in your life in whose presence you feel safe. This person could be a dear friend, a therapist, a teacher, a spiritual figure, your own wiser self.

3. Imagine yourself sitting with this person face-to-face. Visualize the person looking at you with acceptance and tenderness, appreciation and delight. Feel yourself taking in his or her love and acceptance of you.

4. Now imagine yourself being the other person, looking at yourself through his or her eyes. Feel that person’s love and openness being directed toward you. See in yourself the goodness the other person sees in you. Savor this awareness of your own goodness.

Happy elderly couple kissing5. Now come back to being yourself. You are in your own body again, experiencing the other person looking at you again, with so much love and acceptance. Notice how and where you feel that love and acceptance in your body – as a smile, as a warmth in your heart – and savor it.

6. Take a moment to reflect on your experience. You are recovering a positive view of your own self again. Set the intention to remember this feeling when you need to.

 

 

Reference
Williamson I, Gonzales M, Fernandez S, Williams A, Forgiveness aversion; developing a motivational state measure of perceived forgiveness risks,Motivation and Emotion, June 2014, Volume 38, Issue 3, p 378-400, SpringerLink, Retrieved: 6/29/2014

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Linda GrahamLinda Graham  has submitted this article as a Health and Wellness Educator volunteer writer for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. This article first appeared on the Greater Good Science Center website on May 13, 2014.   Linda is a psychotherapist in full-time private practice in Corte Madera, CA and a long-time practitioner of vipassana meditation. She integrates modern neuroscience, mindfulness practices, and relational psychology in her nationwide trainings and in her local Deepening Joy groups. She is the author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, which won the 2013 Better Books for a Better Life award and the 2014 Better Books for a Better Worlds award. Linda publishes a monthly e-newsletter, Healing and Awakening into Aliveness and Wholeness, and weekly Resources for Recovering Resilience, archived at www.lindagraham-mft.net.   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.

 

 

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!!

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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.

What is Naturopathy?

What is Naturopathy?

What is Naturopathy? Click, download, save and share with friends and family.

What is Naturopathy?
In the dictionary, Naturopathic Medicine is defined as, “the integration of alternative practices such as Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Oriental Medicine with modern scientific diagnostic methods and standard of care.” In a few words, Naturopathy is the usage of natural methods and non-toxic remedies to improve or restore health.

Naturopathy has been around for centuries. The Chinese are known for their usage of acupuncture. The Greeks and especially Hippocrates described in their literature many Naturopathic principles like the usage and benefits of water, diet, massage, herbs and physical therapies. During the 19th century, Naturopathy was extensively developed with more than 20 Naturopathic schools in the United States (today there are only four). The practice of Naturopathic medicines declined as the use of pharmaceutical drugs increased. However, in the past several decades there has been a resurgence of interest in Naturopathy. Today there are more people consulting a natural health practitioner in the United States than their primary care practitioner.

What are the main principles of Naturopathy?
The body’s inherent ability to heal itself: The body, with the appropriate use of non-toxic remedies, has the ability to recover its initial functions. For that to be accomplished, the Naturopath needs to investigate and find all the different causes of the symptoms expressed by the patient by conducting a very detailed questionnaire. Then, if it is possible, the naturopath will help the patient to remove, one by one, the obstacles (physical and emotional) that blocked the body to use its own self-healing process.

The notion of intoxination:
Naturopaths consider that one of the reasons why people get sick is because their body is intoxicated by the consumption of too many chemicals and prescription drugs, as well as inappropriate diet. Thus, the Naturopath’s first goal is to help the patient to clear this state of intoxination.


Natural RemediesPrevent and educate: 
Information and education are very important keys given to the patients to improve their quality of life. The Naturopath carefully and thoroughly explains to his patients how to eat better, how to exercise, and how to prevent most of the current diseases. This helps the patients to become more autonomous by a better understanding of how their bodies work. Thus, a typical Naturopathic consultation includes not only the recommendation of certain remedies, but also the explanation of the reasons the body may malfunctions. As a consequence, the patient becomes more and more knowledgeable and responsible for his own health.

The idea of the Whole Person:
To really understand and find the primary causes of a person’s disease, Naturopaths always consider all the factors integrated in the patient’s lives. This includes their physical health, but also their psychological and emotional state, their environment, their genetic inheritance, and their professional and social life.


Vegetables and FruitNutrition: Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Naturopaths take a considerable time to explain to their patient how their diet is important to improve their health conditions. A personalized nutrition program is built with the patient to meet his personal needs depending of his health problems. Generally, improvements appear very quickly if the patient follows the diet recommendations faithfully.


Every person is unique:

Naturopathy is very aware of the individuality of a person. As everyone is a very unique human being with his own past, his own story and his own sufferings, every treatment is personally adapted to fulfill each patient. Because everyone has a different health history, there is not a standard treatment and not a standard dosage of the remedies. Instead, Naturopaths recommend a specific and unique treatment to each individual.


What are the different techniques utilized in Naturopathy?

They are many different techniques used in the domain of Naturopathy, and each Naturopath chooses his/her own specialties during his/her studies. Those techniques are for example: Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, different types of Massages Therapies, Iridology, Herbal medicine, Nutritional Therapy, Counseling, Mind-body therapy, Applied Kinesiology, or Cranio-sacral Therapy. We will detail some of them:


Nutritional Therapy:

Only whole food based supplements are used to improve or restore one’s health. An unhealthy body has a lot of needs for supplements but only if when they are of the best quality can they be assimilated properly. Chemically made or extracted types of vitamins are at the most not efficient, at worst harmful.

Healing HerbsHerbal Medicine:
Plants are used in different forms such as the entire plant in a tea (fresh or dried), a mother tincture (plant in alcohol), or as dried plants put in capsules. Throughout the ages people have turned to herbal medicine for healing. Many drugs used today originated in the herbal traditions of various cultures such as the medication commonly used for heart failure, digitalis, which is derived from Foxglove. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people or 80% of the world’s population use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary care.

Homeopathy
Homeopathy:

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old practice developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is based of two main principles. The first one states that a substance that can cause certain symptoms when given to a healthy person can cure the same symptoms in someone who is sick. The second states that the more substance is diluted, the more potent it becomes. Homeopathy is a very useful technique that has its best results on chronic symptoms because it really works on the origins of the disease.


What can Naturopathy address?

Naturopathy can improve and/or resolve almost all types of health problems from acute to chronic symptoms. Indeed, there are limitations for Naturopathic medicine, as for any type of technique or method. Naturopathy doesn’t perform miracles. Today there is more scientific research conducted on natural remedies to understand how they work. More and more physicians are accepting the concept of Naturopathy. Naturopathy can help in certain areas where conventional medicine cannot. But, Naturopathy also needs the competence of conventional medicine. Naturopathy is in fact a complementary medicine. When naturopathic and conventional medicine work together, all the benefits accrue for the patients, and that is certainly the most important.

Who should consult a Naturopath?
Anyone who is concerned about his own health and wants to eliminate or reduce the use of chemicals medications. Anyone who wants a better understanding on how to prevent illness and cure it with natural remedies. Anyone who is ready to make changes in his/her way of living and thinking. Naturopathy is wonderful for babies, children, adults and the elderly. It is a family orientated medicine that can improve everyone’s health. “The body is the temple of the soul”, and we need to take care of our body very carefully if we want to live a happy and healthy life.

Beatrice LevinsonBeatrice Levinson is a Naturopath and submitted this article to MBHA as a member and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  For more information about membership, 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.

Using Sugar to Heal Wounds

Can sugar help in healing? Recent studies say “yes.” We’ve been taught that sugar is BAD for us, but it might be true that sugar can be an effective healing agent when applied to ulcers, bed sores and other wounds.

Sugar and healing

Can sugar help to heal wounds? Recent studies say, “yes!” Click, download, save, copy and share.

WHAT DOES RESEARCH TELL US?
Moses Murandu, a senior lecturer at the University of WolverHampton’s School of Health, grew up in Zimbabwe, and was shown by his father that sugar could be used to heal wounds and decrease pain in hospital patients.

When he moved to the UK, he began conducting research trials testing the effectiveness of 100% pure cane granulated sugar on  injuries, leg ulcers, amputations, and bed sores.

Mr Murandu said pure cane sugar was used, which had to go through infection control procedures.

He said,

“In Africa we would get the sugar from the supermarket; here it has to go through our aseptic services department.

“The only problem we have is asking people to be prepared not to get the treatment – they have already been on standard treatment of antibiotics and modern dressings which hasn’t worked.”

Murandu's Sugar Wound Research

In Murandu’s research study, 100% pure granulated cane sugar was applied directly to the wound, amputated body part, bed sores, burns, etc.

The research trials are small studies in three UK hospitals.  More research is needed, however, several patients are finding relief. To date, 35 patients have received the effective treatment with no adverse effects.

An amputee, Alan Bayliss at Moseley Hall Hospital began receiving the sugar treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in January 2013, after an amputation on his right leg above the knee.  It was applied to an ulcer.  A vein was removed from his left leg as a part of this surgery.  His left leg wounds would not heal.  Bayliss was moved from Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Moseley Hall Hospital for rehabilitation and therapy.  The sugar treatment was applied and after only two weeks following treatment, Mr. Bayliss’ wound significantly decreased in size and healed considerably.


Mr. Bayliss, 62-years of age, said,

“It has been revolutionary. The actual wound was very deep – it was almost as big as my finger. When Moses first did the dressing he almost used the whole pot of sugar, but two weeks later he only needed to use 4 or 5 teaspoons. I am very pleased indeed. I feel that it has speeded up my recovery a lot, and it has been a positive step forward. I was a little skeptical at first but once I saw the sugar in operation and how much it was drawing the wound out, I was impressed.

WHY IS SUGAR EFFECTIVE?
The sugar treatment is believed to be successful because bacteria need water to grow.  When sugar is applied to a wound, the water is drawn from the wound, therefore the bacteria cannot grow, and the wound heals.

_______________________________


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.

 

20 Natural Remedies for Chapped Lips

Are there natural alternatives for chapped lips? Why do lips become dry, cracked, and chapped and what can we do to prevent it?

20 Remedies Chapped Lips

What natural products are effective in soothing dry, sore, chapped lips? Try these alternative treatments that are healthy and easy for everyone.

 


WHAT ARE CHAPPED LIPS?
Chapped lips can be bleeding, cracked, sore, peeling, dry, flaky, split, or infected and oozing with visible sores.  Chapped lips can be uncomfortable,  painful, and  embarrassing because it can interfere with one’s ability to eat, to talk, and to kiss.  If your chapped lips are bleeding and look infected, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a doctor or trusted health professional.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Lips
Healthy lips have a protective lip barrier that keeps out irritants and bacteria. The living cell layer of healthy lips maintains intercellular hydration necessary to support lip tissue. Unhealthy lips have an unstable protective lip barrier leaving the lips vulnerable to inflammation and infection. Chapped lips caused by dehydration, trauma (chewing the lips) or sun or wind damage, can lead to more serious infections if not hydrated and allowed to heal.

 

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CHAPPED LIPS? – Chapped lips can be the result of a number of different factors, including dry weather, sunburn, overexposure to extreme temperatures, dentures that do not fit properly, dehydration, tooth or gum infections, lip biting,  a vitamin deficiency riboflavin (vitamin B2), allergies, bacterial infection, virus, drug reactions, influenza, and other medical problems.  Most often people experience minor chapped lips from external conditions that can easily be modified or controlled. If you are experiencing chronic chapped or peeling lips, it’s best to take a look at your personal situation to determine the best course of action and treatment to help your lips heal.

 

stressed woman

It is very common for people to lick or chew on on the lips when stressed. Licking causes chapping and peeling. Are you stressed?

STRESS AND NERVOUSNESS Are you stressed?  Many people experience chapped lips because of nervous habits of biting the lips, peeling or picking at the lips or continuously licking the lips.  Observe yourself and your habits and if you are expressing your stress or anxiety with your lips, try another way to relieve stress such as engaging in sports activities, crafts, hobbies, chewing gum, playing a musical instrument, practicing meditation, receiving a relaxing massage, sharing your frustrations with a trusted friend, counselor or psychiatrist.  Take time out to listen discover if you have a nervous habit that is damaging to your lips.  If so, check out our “20 Alternative Approaches to Stress” for suggestions, or seek professional help to handle stress from a counselor or your trusted health practitioner.

 

 

lip balm

Homemade lip balms or natural products consisting of bees wax, olive oil, or Vitamin E oil are much less likely to cause allergic reactions.

ALLERGIES AND SENSITIVITIES It is a common belief that Chap Stick or Vaseline or other commercial lip balms, lip gloss, or lipstick products are the best course of action for chapped lips.  However, many people experience chronic chapped lips as an allergic reaction to fragrances or other chemical products and food coloring or chemical dies found in Chap sticks, lipsticks or lip balms. Vaseline is petroleum jelly.  Many people have adverse reactions to petroleum products and find that this product only covers up and prolongs the chapped, dry lips and does not cure it.  When the product is removed and alternative, natural products are substituted, the chapped, peeling lips often heal very quickly. Another problem with commercial products is the packaging. If a lip balm, lipstick, gloss or similar product is applied to infected lips and repeatedly applied from the same container, the lips are infected again and cannot heal. There is less chance of contamination if fresh, natural products are applied and then discarded.  Be sure to thoroughly wash hands before touching the lips and applying products and to throw out used applicators and containers.

 

sunburn man

Dehydration and sunburn are common causes of chapped lips. Be careful when out in the sun and remember to keep hydrated and protect your lips from sun and wind burn.

DEHYDRATION, WIND AND SUN – Probably the two most common causes of chapped lips is dehydration and sunburn. We often have busy lives and forget to hydrate ourselves. Lack of water causes the lips to dry up quickly.  You may feel that you have had plenty of water to drink, but try measuring the amount of water you drink daily.  As we age we lose the ability to feel thirsty and often forget to hydrate ourselves.  Also take care to avoid wind and sun exposure. Lips can be burned just as easily as our skin and we often forget to protect the lips when we are outside in the sun and wind.


ANGULAR  CHEILITIS  – 
If your chapped lips are infected or inflamed at the corners, you may have angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis is a chronic inflammation of the mouth. It is characterized by the presence of cracked corners of lips and sores on the mouth area. Angular cheilitisPeople of all ages  can have angular cheilitis, even toddlers and youth of all ages. Angular cheilitis should not be mistaken for herpes. Angular cheilitis can be painful and if treatment is not given right away, the person suffering from it would experience bleeding and oozing of pus coming from the lips.

Symptoms of angular cheilitis are cracks, splits and fissures on the corners of the mouth, pain, swelling, itchiness and bleeding in the affected areas and blisters, erosions and crusting. Angular cheilitis  can be associated with an intraoral candidal infection, or oral candidiasis.  Other organisms causing the infection can be staphylococci and streptococci.

To diagnose angular cheilitis, a doctor will perform a laboratory culture from a swab of the inflamed areas. This will determine if there is an existence of microorganisms like Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus.   Some believe that cheilitis can result from too little vitamin B12 or iron in the diet. Picking or scratching at these sores can  trigger a bacterial infection that can spread. Angular cheilitis can disappear on its own without treatment, however, it is important to have a laboratory test taken to rule out underlying bacterial or viral infections and to keep the area clean, use clean hands when applying balms or moisturizers, and clean products as described in our tips above. Other treatment methods that you can discuss with your doctor include:

  • Moisturizing lip balms (see our list of natural remedies below)
  • Antibacterial medications
  • Anti-fungal topical ointments
  • Nutritional supplements

Cold SoreCOLD SORES – Cold sores are caused by a common herpes virus, and they can cause pus in the lips in some cases. This type of blister can be uncomfortable and usually appears on the upper or lip. People with cold sores might be tempted to pop or lance a cold sore, however, doing might cause harmful bacteria to infect the sore and make the cold sore more inflamed and enlarged.  If a cold sore has dry or oozing pus, this is an indication that a more serious bacterial infection might be present and if not treated carefully it might leave a scar.  As with cheilitis, medical professionals advise that a cold sore is kept clean and left alone as much as possible to facilitate the healing process.

 

Healthy LipsTWENTY NATURAL APPROACHES TO HEALING CHAPPED LIPS  – Whether or not you have an infection such as a cold sore or angular cheilitis, or you just have common chapped lips caused from windburn or dehydration, cleanliness and natural products are key to healing.  Here is a handy list of 20 natural remedies for healthy lips.  Observe your lifestyle and see which solutions seem to fit your situation.

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Take fish oil supplements
  3. Avoid licking lips
  4. Avoid petroleum products
  5. Avoid fragrance or dyes
  6. Throw out all lip products
  7. Eat a healthy diet
  8. Apply olive oil
  9. Apply 100% pure lanolin
  10. Apply cucumber slices
  11. Apply aloe vera gel
  12. Apply cocoa butter
  13. Apply shea butter
  14. Apply organic beeswax
  15. Apply kawa gel
  16. Apply vitamin E oil
  17. Take vitamins B2, C, E
  18. Use a humidifier
  19. Avoid sun
  20. Avoid wind
Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E Oil is an effective, natural moisturizer for chapped lips. It is commonly found in pharmacies or drug stores.

These tips are great suggestions for minor chapped lip problems, and you should see a remarkable improvement. These remedies will not be effective you are continuing to infect yourself with contaminated products or if you have underlying infections, allergies or anxieties which must be addressed.  Always consult with your trusted health professional if you suspect a bacterial or viral infection.  You will need prompt medical care and treatment for more serious conditions.

 

Resources
Devani A, and Barankin B,   Answer: Can you identify this condition?- Angular Cheilitis,  Can Fam Physician. Jun 2007; 53(6): 1022–1023.

Kahana M, Yahalom R, Schewach-Millet M. Recurrent angular cheilitis caused by dental flossing. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986;15(1):113–4.

Yesudian PD, Memon A. Nickel-induced angular cheilitis due to orthodontic braces. Contact Dermatitis. 2003;48(5):287–8

A Akpan, R Morgan, Oral candidiasis,  Postgrad Med J 2002;78:455–459

 

_______________________________

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.

20 Tips on How to Find Love

How do we find love? Millions of people around the world are seeking love. If you do a search online right now for answers, you will quickly discover hundreds, if not thousands, of online dating services. Yet, is this really the answer to what we are seeking?  The answer is hidden deep within our hearts. YOU are love. It is you.

You are love

You are love. It is you.

HOW DO WE FIND LOVE?
Many of us spend lifetimes searching for love outside of ourselves when true wisdom shows us that love can only be found within us.

But sometimes it is difficult to believe that love can be easily found within.  We feel bitter, resentful, frightened, worried, depressed, angry, lost, empty, hopeless, and lonely.  Where did the love go?  The truth is that love didn’t go anywhere.  It didn’t leave us.  It is there, but we must find it.  How do find something that is not missing?  We must open our spiritual eyes and ears and look and listen beyond what we see. We must learn to take action to love ourselves before we can love others.  The truth is that love is always with us.  Love can be found anywhere.

20 TIPS ON HOW TO FIND LOVE

  1. Find love by doing things you love – Do something that you remember enjoying and loving as a child (cooking, swimming, drawing, basketball, listening to music, petting a dog, walking in a forest, etc.).  If you can’t remember, ask someone who can (your mother or father, sisters or brothers, close friends).  Take time to do things you love every day.

    young man basketball

    Engaging in activities we enjoy helps us find love.

  2. Find love by giving to your friends or loved ones – Write down the names of several friends who you love. Write down why you love them and what their redeeming qualities are.  Next call these friends or get together with them and tell them how much they mean to you and what you love about them. Don’t expect them to say the same about you.  Practice giving love without receiving it.  You might have the opportunity to receive love from your friends, but practice not expecting it, and loving just for the sake of loving.
  3. Find love in the world around you. Make an alphabet list (three for each letter of the alphabet) that puts a smile on your face (eg., aprons, apples, astrology).  Keep this list handy.  Look at the list often and think of the things that you love. Open your heart to receiving from the world around you.
  4. Find love through volunteering.  Volunteer at a homeless shelter, goodwill store or soup kitchen.  Helping others brings love into the heart.  When you return home, make a gratitude list.  Think of the things that you have in your life that these people do not have. Write a thank you note expressing  your gratitude for these gifts in your life.
  5. writing in journal

    Writing in a journal can help us find love.

    Find love by listening to yourself. Write down your thoughts during the day. If you have negative thoughts, write them down and then burn them, cut or tear them into little pieces, or flush them down the toilet.  As you destroy the negative thoughts, replace the thoughts with gratitude for the good things in your life.  If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, make a list. Start with the basics:  I’m alive. I’m breathing. I have hope. I have this article right now. I have a place to sleep. I have food., etc.

  6. Find love by listening to others. Listen to a “talk radio” program where people call in with their problems, or listen to a friend who is sharing with you about his or her problems with giving and receiving love.  Listening to how others solve their problems, brings healing in ourselves. Take notes. Write in your journal about it. Then contemplate on the ways in which others have learned about how to give and receive love, and think of how this relates to your own life.
  7. Find love by joining a support group or weekend workshop or seminar to help you unleash your fears, heal your heart and take the next step. If you don’t feel like talking at first, that’s O.K., join a weekly one-hour group rather than a big commitment like a seminar.  Just go for an hour and tell others you want to listen. Use good discrimination.  If the group is just a lot of people complaining and gossiping, this does not add to your health and well-being.  Seek out positive, loving groups that focus on forgiveness, love and hope.  After attending, always take time to reflect and summarize what you have learned for yourself.

    college student classroom

    Find love by taking a class in a subject you enjoy.

  8. Find love by taking a class and developing your skills.  Do this just for fun and just for you.  Learn a new skill (eg., sewing, car repair, home decorating, French lessons, computer programming etc.).  Investing in ourselves builds self esteem, happiness and brings self love.
  9. Find love by participating in an online chat group. Love can be found anywhere because it is inside of you. To find love in an online chat group, you can be anonymous, or not. Don’t join the group expecting to find a whirlwind romance.  Don’t join the group if people are complaining, gossiping about others, trashing their lives, complaining about the world, and bringing you down.  This is not love.  Find a group that makes you laugh and brings joy into your heart. Participate. Give support to others. Learn to read carefully what others say. Respond with supportive statements. Be a good friend.  Be a friend who is lighthearted, joyful and confident in yourself.  Learn how to experience love by giving love.
  10. Find love by reminding yourself of your good traits. Write down 20 positive and lovable traits about yourself and tape it to the refrigerator (eg., stylish, spontaneous, daring, open-minded, good at poker, etc.) .  Read it often.

    Couple reading in bed

    Reading uplifting books opens us to love.

  11. Find love by reading uplifting positive books every night before going to sleep. Throw out or give away books that are dramatic, depressing, and maintain a victim consciousness.  Be selective. Negative books might give you a thrill or sensation of dominance or power, but these feelings don’t last and you are left with a feeling of emptiness and lack of love.  Now is the time to make good choices about what is loving and what is not loving. Remember that you are responsible for creating your world.
  12. Find love through loving, joyful music. Throw out all music that is angry or depressing. Choose to saturate yourself with music that is happy, loving, inspirational, joyous, and peaceful.
  13. Find love by giving yourself permission to be unloving: sad, frustrated, angry, or depressed, etc.   Take some quiet time to get in touch with those feelings.  Love the bad feelings, and forgive yourself. If you harbor bad feels toward another person, ask yourself, “What was the lesson in this relationship?  How did I benefit from this? What did I learn?”  When you identify the lesson and blessing, then let it go, be grateful, and forgive.
  14. Find love by putting love into your outer shell – clothing, and home.  Get a “makeover” (a new haircut, new clothes, clean and redecorate your house, etc.). Have fun, think loving, nurturing thoughts while making improvements, and invest in yourself.
  15. Find love by giving love to your physical body. Exercise, do deep breathing, or go for a walk. Get a massage.
  16. Find love by eating good food. Poor diet can bring on depression and make it difficult, if not impossible, to feel happy and loved.  Make a list of healthy foods, buy them, and tape the list to your refrigerator.
  17. Find love by getting plenty of sleep. Nothing blocks a happy heart more than lack of sleep and rest.  Allow yourself time to rest, relax and recharge.woman praying
  18. Find love through meditation or prayer. If you’ve identified a problem that you cannot solve, surrender it over to a higher power. Speak with spiritual people whom you trust (priest, minister, friend, family member).  Spiritual exercises, prayer, contemplation, guided imagery or meditation can be instrumental in opening the heart to experiencing divine  or higher love and wisdom.  Imagine love filling your body with a beautiful golden, shimmering light. Feel love in your heart and keep this feeling throughout the day. If it goes away, take time out to repeat the exercise.
  19. Find love through listening to “self-help” motivational recordings. There are many audio and video recordings available free or for purchase that help awaken others to a more loving consciousness. Visit our YouTube site for our playlist.
  20. Find love by reminding yourself, “You are Love. It is You.”   Download, or copy and print out this free poster here, and put it up somewhere where you see it every day. Write “I am love.” 15 times before going to sleep at night.

Remember that the truth is that you don’t have to go looking for love. These tips help you discover the truth. Love is right here with you always. All ways. You are love. It is you.  Best wishes and lots of love to you from your health and wellness friends here at MBHA.

_______________________________

This article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is Jean E. Darta 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.