An Attitude of Gratitude – A Powerful Healing Force

jump sunrise
Maintaining Gratitude

What is gratitude? How can you be grateful during times of physical pain, financial suffering or emotional stress? Can gratitude help us be physically fit, emotionally strong and successful in our daily lives? What is the secret to having a happy, rich and fulfilling life?  New research shows that gratitude is scientifically proven to benefit not only our emotions, but our bodies, mind and spirit and significantly effect our overall health and wellness.
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Acidic or Alkaline – What Is pH Maintenance and Why Should It Matter?

 What is Potential Hydrogen or pH?

There is a lot of information regarding bodily health in terms of how acidic or how alkaline our bodies are. Firstly, pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and it gets its name from the way solutions on the pH scale are tested. Eating appleThe pH scale tests show a degree of concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance or solution and this degree results in a rating between 0-14 with 0 being the most acidic substances (battery acid, sulphuric acid) and 14 being the most alkaline substances (calcium, bleach). One thing to note is that the scale is logarithmic; meaning each distance between numbers is to the power of 10. So why is it important to understand the pH scale and how acidic or alkaline our bodies are? What does this mean to achieving optimum health and wellness? Continue reading

The Wellness Universe is Officially Changing the World Today!

Changing the WorldBIG NEWS! The first of it’s kind, worldwide launch of and epic directory of top wellness resources begins today, January 23, 2015 at 11:11 Eastern time or 8:11 a.m. here in California. If you visit the Wellness Universe you will find comprehensive listings of wellness organizations, individuals and resources such as the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  Together we are “Officially Changing the World.”

WHAT IS IN THE DIRECTORY?
Are you looking for something specific such as anger management, success coaching, Shaman, crystal healing, animals rights activists,   or perhaps a Physical Therapist, or a Chiropractor, or more? This is an extremely comprehensive list of health and wellness members who are “officially changing the world!!”Anything relating to but not limited to body, mind and spirit wellness can be in this easy to navigate online directory with simple to understand search key words.WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE?
The intention of the Wellness Universe is to introduce people, products and services to the masses and provide worldwide opportunities for everyone to discover resources to which they had never before had been able to access.

This is a unique organization where hundreds of quality Facebook pages have joined with one another in a common goal: to create the Wellness Universe!   These amazing people have become a family, working together in harmony and love to continue create a better world, to give hope and inspiration, to give healing and love…all together in one place, with just the stroke of the keyboard you can have thousands of pages and businesses to choose from.

The Wellness Universe Launch

The Wellness Universe directory will launch worldwide at 11:11 EST or 8:11 PST. JOIN us!!


HOW DOES ONE GET LISTED?

Our Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Facebook page was selected as a Top Resource in this “Online Directory for the Best Wellness Pages,” a Directory of Resources to Expand Your Well-Being.   We are proud, excited and honored to be listed among the “best of the best.” and to be included in this family, as a member of The Wellness Universe. Listing in the online directory is a privilege based on application review and only after having met specific ethical and professional guidelines.  Are you a health organization or health professional and do you want to be included?  Go to www.thewellnessuniverse.net and fill out the application to join this amazing family.

HOW DID THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE GET STARTED?
The Wellness Universe and WellnessUniverse.net were both created by three successful entrepeneurs, Sheila Burke (Zen-sational Living), Anna Perierra (Circles of Inspiration), and Shari Alyse.(Sharing Sunshine and Love with Shari). Their vision stirred passion and excitement in other wellness professionals, and their heart-felt, sincere, enthusiasm and spread to create a network of like-minded souls, on Facebook. The result is an online directory of hundreds of  people working together to provide valuable wellness services and products for those individuals searching for modern-day inspiration, motivation, networking and problem-solving resources. Those who are members are like-minded souls, passionate about wellness of body, mind and spirit, and strive to uphold the highest values.

The Wellness Universe online directory GOES LIVE at 11:11 Eastern Standard Time TODAY,  1/23/2015, this is 8:11 a.m., PST, California time.  Join the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance and all of the other like-minded souls around the world to experience this event!!

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Jean Dart, Heath EducatorJean Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University, 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. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, 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.

 

Delicious and Nutritious Sweet Potato

What are Sweet Potatoes?

For some sweet potatoes and yams are used interchangebly but they are both quite different.  The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. The roots of the sweet potato are large, starchy, sweet-tasting, and tuberous.  The sweet potato leaves and shoots can be eaten as greens.

 yam and sweet potato

Yams are dark thicker skin, almost like bark, with a white flesh.  Sweet potatoes are  a light, more thin skin that is gold, purplish red, or copper colored with orange flesh

 

Nutritional content of sweet potatoes

It’s most common to see sweet potatoes being praised for their vitamin A content, but carbohydrate-related molecules called glycosides are also rich in sweet potatoes. Molecularly similar to starch, yet relatively unstudied, these compounds may possess antibacterial and antifungal properties, among other health benefits.

sweet potatoesAnthocyanin is a phytochemical that is responsible for the purple pigment in a variety of purple-hued plant foods including purple sweet potatoes. Anthocyanin and similar pigments may be partly responsible for reducing inflammation in the brain and nervous tissue in animal studies. They may impact fibrinogen, a protein in the body which plays a role in blood clotting and inflammatory response. Anthocyanin and its counterparts reaffirm the importance of enjoying a colorful balance of fruits and vegetables everyday.

We would also be remiss to overlook the favorable glycemic index (GI) rating, the abundance of fiber, and the supreme digestibility of the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes improve blood sugar regulation. This is in part due to the nearly 7 grams of fiber per potato helping to slow digestion and therefore steady the pace of digestion. However research also shows sweet potato extracts to increase adiponectin, a hormone produced by fat cells to modify insulin metabolism. People with poor blood sugar regulation and insulin metabolism have low levels of adiponectin and vice versa. In short, there are various compounds in sweet potatoes that lend themselves to healthier blood sugar regulation. Efficient regulation subsequently leads to healthy weight management.

 

How to Prepare and Cook Sweet Potatoes
My favorite and most simple way to prepare sweet potatoes is four simple steps:

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly).
  2. Peel  (or not, if you prefer to eat the skins, the peeling will fall right off after baking or steaming)
  3. Bake them at 400 degrees for one hour mashed sweet potatoes
  4. Mash the sweet potatoes
  5. Next I add butter and or coconut oil, but olive oil works great too. I just prefer my potatoes to stay sweet, and butter and coconut oil both do the trick. Adding an fat source is a good idea because the body’s uptake of the fat soluble vitamins in sweet potatoes is greatly increased.
  6. Finally I add a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon and top with vanilla greek yogurt. The pie route is a good way to go too, and all sorts of recipes are available online and in cook books.
pie

The unparalleled convenience of grabbing a slice of sweet potato pie on the way out the door.

While this looks like a slice of pumpkin pie, it’s actually made entirely from sweet potatoes.


Organic vs. Non-organic Produce

Whether or not to buy organic produce is always debatable. It’s often helpful to consider how the produce is grown when considering if it’s worth it to spend the extra money. Common sense might suggest that potatoes grow in the ground and are therefore very susceptible to absorbing chemical residues. However, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says differently. It is a nonprofit organization which advocates for policies to protect global and individual health and releases a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

The guide is current to the year (2014) and is based on research from Federal agencies’ research from the past nine years. It identifies the “Clean 15” foods that have the lowest pesticide load and are therefore the safest conventional produce to consume in terms of pesticide contamination – buying them organic is less relevant from a human health standpoint. Sweet potatoes are on this list. The reasons include the fact that they are almost always peeled, and also because the pesticides required to protect the aerial parts of the plant are less. The tuber remains largely safe in the ground and requires less chemical intervention. Many other health and nutrition specialists echo this sentiment. Of course nothing is wrong with purchasing organic and it may likely be preferable for a number of reasons. Organically grown produce impacts the environment less, which in turn promotes human health.

 

Amid an amalgam of generous daily values of minerals and micronutrients, sweet potatoes offer some exciting compounds of which science is just beginning to discover. They lend plenty of fiber and an excellent carbohydrate source to the diet. Moreover, they’re inexpensive, healthy and delicious. Let thy food be thy medicine.  Sweet potatoes are a wonderful staple for any meal. Luckily for the health-conscious among us, they are as nutritious as they are comforting.

 

References

Ludvik B, Hanefeld M, and Pacini G. Improved metabolic control by Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) is associated with increased adiponectin and decreased fibrinogen levels in type 2 diabetic subjects. PubMed.gov

Mills JP, Tumuhimbise GA, Jamil KM et al. Sweet potato beta-carotene bioefficacy is enhanced by dietary fat and not reduced by soluble fiber intake in Mongolian gerbils. whfoods.org

Noda N and Horiuchi Y. The resin glycosides from the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. LAM.). PubMed.gov

Yin YQ, Huang XF, Kong LY et al. Three new pentasaccharide resin glycosides from the roots of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo)HF- Sweet Potatoes

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Kevin McMahan3This article is written by Kevin McMahan, a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. Kevin has had a lifelong interest in health and wellness. After graduating from Carmel High School he went on to get an associates degree in social sciences from Monterey Peninsula College, and a bachelors in kinesiology from California State University Monterey Bay. He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. “Your health is your wealth”, is something that he always likes to say. 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 Generalized Anxiety Disorder? – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Sleepy ManGeneralized Anxiety Disorder
People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD experience an excessive amount of worry about everyday subjects such as work, family, friends, and health. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (2013) states that “Anxiety disorders affects about 40 million Americans age 18 years and older (about 18 percent) in a given year”. The feeling of anxiety is persistent and lasts for more than 6 months.

People with GAD tend to exaggerate the feeling of uneasiness and tension when there is no reason to worry. The disorder may keep people from doing things they enjoy because they are fearful of the consequences.

The disorder can develop at any age of a person’s lifetime whether it is during childhood or adulthood. The symptoms of the disorder can mimic other mood disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be a life-long condition. Women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than men (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2014).

Young child frightened parentsCauses of GAD
The cause(s) of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are unknown. There is evidence that the condition may be inherited however the findings are inconclusive. Environmental factors may play a role in the progression of the illness. Living in a stressful household or working in an uneasy workplace may exacerbate GAD (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2014).


AnxietySymptoms of GAD
The National Institute of Mental Health (2014) states that the physical symptoms of anxiety are “fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.”  Mayo Clinic (2014) provides a list of the general symptoms people may exhibit from the condition. The symptoms include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

 Worried elderly woman

“People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.”   -National Institute of Mental Health (2014)


Worried depressed older manDiagnosis of GAD
When a person has persistent and excessive feelings of uneasiness, anxiety and worry for longer than 6 months, it is recommended to seek a medical professional to receive a diagnosis. Since the cause(s) of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are unknown, it can be difficult to properly diagnose the disorder without ruling out other illnesses that manifest similar symptoms. The doctor will perform a thorough mental health examination. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed, the doctor will discuss proper forms of treatment.

Treatments for GAD
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is commonly treated with three types of treatments: psychotherapy, medication, or lifestyle changes. In psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy is beneficial for people suffering from GAD.
Teenager stressed in libraryThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (2012) states that “Cognitive behavior therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors”.  People learn to think and react differently to certain stressful situations to prevent self-destructive behaviors and negative thoughts that could cause anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines are used to treat GAD.

Antidepressant medications such as Prozac are also helpful in treating mood disorders; however people can have suicidal thoughts while on antidepressants.

Natural Holistic Lifestyle Changes
Mayo Clinic lists the following natural lifestyle changes that are helpful in preventing and treating GAD:

Young adults yoga

  • Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.

Alcohol and depression

    • Avoid alcohol and other sedatives. These substances can worsen anxiety.
    • Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking coffee. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
  • Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.
    Woman eating healthy salad
  • Eat healthy. Healthy eating-such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish- may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.


Alternative Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In addition to the natural holistic lifestyle changes listed above, there are other effective natural and alternative methods for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Some of the most popular methods are:  acupuncture,yoga, and meditation.

 

Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture needles in woman’s spine

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that focuses on the human body’s flow of energy. With acupuncture, needles are inserted into certain areas of the body. Acupuncture is becoming more widely used as a treatment for a wide variety of mood disorders.


Yoga
is a Hindu philosophy. yoga matsThe goal of practicing yoga is to gain control over the mind and body through physical postures and breathing exercises. Research studies show that yoga can significantly reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.

 

Meditation is a type of relaxation technique Meditation older peoplepeople use to calm the mind and to eliminate negative thoughts (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013). Many research studies have been conducted on the effects of meditation in reducing anxiety and stress. Recently the United States government has been  conducting research using meditation with men and women in the military.  See our article, “Marines are Meditating! Mindfulness- Based Fitness.”

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a serious condition which can begin at any age in a person’s lifetime.  If you believe you have GAD and your symptoms have lasted for more than six months, consult with your trusted family physician or health practitioner.  There are many treatment options available to help you.

 

References
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2014). Treating Anxiety Disorders. Complementary & Alternative Treatment. Retrieved November 18, 2014, from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

Duckworth, K., & Freedman, J. (2012, July). Treatment and Services. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/
About_Mental_Illness/About_Treatments_and_Supports/Cognitive
_Behavioral_Therapy1.htm

Mayo Clinic. (2014). Definition. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/basics/definition/con-20024562

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2013). Anxiety. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from, http://nccam.nih.gov/health/anxiety

National Institute of Mental Health. (2014). What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Retrieved November 21, 2014 from, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad/index.shtml

 

 

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This articleHang Pham, MBHA Health Educator 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 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.

Healing With Crystals – Real, Magic or Mystery?

Quartz

Quartz

Crystals have been used for centuries in many capacities. They are used today in quartz watches and computers. They were also used in radios. Battered crystals have been found at sites where Native Americans lived. Why were they battered? Because crystals have piezoelectric qualities, and when you hit two crystals together both will light up!

Are crystals magical? You could say that. Do crystals have practical uses? You could say that too. Crystals like everything else on the planet carry a unique vibration, and each type of crystal, just like each unique individual carries its own energy. Quartz crystals have an affinity with humans in that they vibrate at a similar rate when at their optimum.

There is a law in Physics that says when two things vibrating at a different rate are in proximity eventually they will meet. The higher will lower, they will meet somewhere in the middle, or the lower will raise. This is one of the reasons people wear crystals; it can raise their resonance. There are certain crystals that carry such a high vibration that they will not lower. This means that when you wear these crystals, you will definitely come up. Two of these crystals are Citrine Quartz and Kyanite.

Citrine

Citrine

Citrine is a beautiful quartz that ranges from pale lemon to golden smoky in color. It will not hold negativity, but transmutes that energy into positive. It is highly recommended to wear some form of Citrine everyday. It helps keep people out of depression and works on all levels of being, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.The other stone that is able to do this is Kyanite.

Kyanite

Kyanite

Kyanite is found in different colors, the most common being a deep blue. Both of these stones are wonderful to wear or use for healing purposes. They help bring the wearer to a state that is conducive to meditation, and they help keep us centered. Crystals have also been used for healing purposes for centuries. They have also been used for spiritual purposes. They are mentioned in the Bible as special stones used in a breastplate. While some people think of stones for adornment purposes, the original meaning for wearing them was for much more than showing off.

I have witnessed many wonderful things that have happened when I have worked with people using crystals. One woman had a lump on her breast, and when she taped a Watermelon Tourmaline over the lump, it began to decrease in size and eventually disappeared. She cancelled her scheduled surgery. Crystals can be fun as well. I used what is known as a “communicator crystal” to get in touch with someone I had not seen in years. I sat with the crystal and programmed that I wanted the person to call me. Within days, the person showed up where I work. The amazing part is that they did not know I worked there!

Crystals and stones are beautiful, and beneath that beauty lies more than meets the eye; mysteries and wonders that are fascinating to explore.

Valerie White

Valerie White

Valerie White, a Psychic Counselor and Life Coach, has helped hundreds of people Work Magic in their lives by finding clarity and answers that may have eluded them. She submitted this article as an MBHA member and Health Educator to the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. If you would like to join our Alliance, find out more about our benefits, and/or submit a wellness article on our blog site, please contact us.  For more information about the Alliance, go to our website at www.montereybayholistic.com

MORE information:
Amazon Books on Crystal Healing
Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance YouTube Crystal Healing Video Playlist

Top 20 Tips for Healthy Skin

Is there anything that can help diminish wrinkles and aging? What can be done to keep the skin youthful-looking and healthy? Here are the top twenty holistic health natural tips for radiant, glowing skin.

20 tips for Healthier Younger Looking Skin

Looking for younger-looking skin? Try these 20 top tips!

  1. Don’t smoke
    The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you’re likely to have.  This is because the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin and impairs blood flow. The result is that the skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. 
  2. Don’t drink alcohol
    Alcohol can make you age faster and cause more wrinkles. Drinking alcohol can cause premature wrinkles, dehydration, loss of elasticity, loss of collagen, redness, and puffiness of the skin.
  3. Get plenty of sleep
    When a person doesn’t get enough sleep this causes the skin to sag, bags under the eyes, and a lack of luster and radiance.  Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, creating the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  A person who gets plenty of sleep is less stressed.  Getting plenty of sleep at night helps to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
  4. Avoid sun during the peak times
    As the sun moves higher in the sky, the sun’s rays become more intense.  This means more potential damage to the skin and eyes. The ultraviolet (UV) light travels a shorter, more direct distance to reach the earth during the peak sun intensity hours when UV light is the strongest,.  This is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. standard time or 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daylight savings time.
  5. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.
    Ultraviolet rays are grouped into three different categories: UVA, UVB and UVC.  The SPF, “sun protection factor”, is only a measure of protection against UVB rays which burn the skin, but SPF is not a measure of UVA rays which penetrate deep into the skin, suppress the immune system and may cause cancer.  This is why it is important to look on your sunscreen for “broad spectrum” protection of both UVA and UVB protection
  6. Wear protective clothing
    The primary cause of aging and skin damage is damage from the sun. If you are planning on being outside for many hours, wear long sleeved shirts, hats, long pants and sun glasses, to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.
  7. Get eyes checked regularly to eliminate wrinkles from squinting
    Many people avoid a trip to the optometrist when having trouble seeing.  Long term effects of squinting the eyes in order to better focus or  squinting the eyes because of the brightness of the sun, can cause wrinkled skin on the face and “crows feet” around the eyes.  Always wear sunglasses and keep your prescriptions up to date.
  8. Clean skin thoroughly daily
    Boil water in a pot or tea kettle, pour the water into a bowl, then put a towel over your head and hold the bowl near your face for about 5-10 minutes. Then wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
  9. Use moisturizer if skin is dry
    Not everyone needs to use moisturizer.  When purchasing moisturizers, check to make sure that it is appropriate for your skin type (oily, dry, normal).  Always make sure your hands are clean before applying creams, lotions, shaving cream, makeup, etc., to prevent bacterial infections.
  10. Always remove makeup before sleeping
    Many people state that they are too tired to properly remove makeup, lotions or shaving lotions before going to sleep.  Leaving makeup or other skin lotions and applications on overnight, can cause the skin to produce acne from build up of dirt and oil in the pores of the skin.  Use warm water to clean the skin with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type.
  11. Always rinse well to remove dead skin and soap
    After thoroughly cleaning the skin, it is important to rinse several times to be sure to remove soap. Do a final rinse with cool (not cold) water to close pores.
  12. Use water-based products
    Water-based water-based moisturizers have a light, nongreasy feeling. They are appropriate for most everyone, including people with allergies, sensitive skin, oily skin, and normal skin.  For very dry, cracked skin, it might be more appropriate to choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil to help keep the skin hydrated. or to consult with a doctor or skin specialist for the appropriate moisturizing products.
  13. Eat organic, non-GMO foods
    Eating healthy, natural  foods that do not contain toxic chemicals such as pesticides and added chemicals help to bring a healthy, natural glow to the skin and help the body release toxins through the skin.
  14. Eliminate trans fats and added sugars
    Trans fats and high fructose corn syrup—are in 40 percent of the foods Americans eat every day.  Multiple studies have shown that these foods contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, bringing stress and ill-health to the body. Keeping the body healthy and in tip top shape adds to the health of the skin, because the skin is a major toxin removing system and when it is overworked, it cannot be in the best condition.  Taking care of the skin begins with what you eat.
  15. Exercise regularly
    Studies show that regular exercise helps the body have healthier, younger-looking skin. Consult with your fitness coach, health practitioner, or physical therapist to design a physical fitness program that is safe and appropriate for you. Set aside time each day to devote to your exercise routine.
  16. Shave with a sharp, clean razor
    Nearly 5 million bacteria have been found on a single disposable wet razor handle in new laboratory research by antibacterial technology specialist Microban Europe.  Clean the razor blade with alcohol daily before using, and thoroughly clean the skin after shaving.
  17. Dispose of old makeup and applicators every 6-12 months.
    Cosmetic manufacturers are not required by law to put expiration dates on their products. This leaves the responsibility of caring for the skin up to the consumer.  Check makeup and lotions regularly for consistency (has it become thicker?), color (has the color become darker?), and smell (does it have a strange odor?).  Makeup that is used around the eyes is more prone to bacteria and should probably be replaced every 3-6 months. Other products could be replaced every 6 months to one year.Do facial exercises regularly
  18. Do facial exercises regularly
    You might be disciplined about working out on the treadmill but are you doing your face and eye exercises? If you spend long days in front of computer with a furrowed brow, it’s important to take breaks every few hours to stretch the muscles in the face and neck. This helps to maintain elasticity and prevent sagging skin, toning the face and eliminating wrinkles.
  19. Drink plenty of water
    The most effective treatment for healthy skin is hydration. Drink plenty of water to help the body remove toxins.
  20. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques
    Eliminating stress improves the condition of the skin.  This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.  Take a warm relaxing bath, do something you love, read a book, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, listen to music, watch a funny movie, or talk to a friend or counselor.

Exercise Boosts Immunity and Fights Cancer

Can exercise help prevent cancer and boost the immune system? Researchers say, “Yes!”

Exercise Prevents Cancer

BEAT CANCER – Studies show that exercise boosts immune systems in cancer survivors and prevents cancer.

Those cancer survivors who engage in a regular physical exercise program or routine are more likely to improve rapidly and to avoid future cancers.

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?
Researchers from the University of Nebraska announced at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting, October 10-13, 2012 in Westminster, Colorado, that exercise may boost the immune system and help to prevent cancer from reoccurring.

Laura Bilek, research team leader, and other researchers stated that if cancer survivors exercised for several weeks after finishing chemotherapy,

“…their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, potentially fending off future incidences of cancer.”  

Cancer Exercise TreadmillT cells in the blood of 16 cancer survivors were analyzed by the researchers before and after a 12-week exercise program. Researchers discovered that the immune cells of the subjects converted from a form that is less effective at fighting disease to one that is more effective in overcoming cancer and infections. Past research studies have shown that the majority of T cells become less effective at fighting off disease after chemotherapy.

Bilek said, “What we’re suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren’t helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful.”

Cancer Exercise WomanWHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE IS BENEFICIAL?
It depends on the person’s physical condition. If a person is weak and out of condition, they should start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration of physical exercise.  For the general population, the American Cancer Society recommends “at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days a week.”  Cancer survivors should not expect to start at this high level of activity, however.  Research shows that women who exercise at moderate-to-vigorous levels for more than three hours per week have a 30% to 40% lower risk of breast cancer. This result held true for all women, regardless of their family history or cancer risk level. Some research has found a 38% to 46% reduced risk of uterine cancer in active women.
Cancer Exercise Man
Kerry Courneya, PhD, professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, says that many studies have been conducted that confirm that physical exercise helps to increase chances of recovering of cancer survivors and to prevent future cancers from developing. Courneya suggests aerobic exercises and weight training.

Cancer exercise


“Ideally, cancer survivors should do aerobic exercises and weight training,” says Courneya. “Both types of exercise are critical to the overall health and well-being of cancer survivors.”

Cancer woman runningAerobic exercises include things such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming.  Aerobic exercise burns calories and helps increase metabolism and lose weight more rapidly.  It  lowers the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Weight training builds muscle.  Cancer survivors sometimes lose muscle weight and gain fat, through cancer treatment. For those with a high fat-to-lean mass ratio, weight training can help improve physical fitness and is especially helpful to cancer survivors.

ACS Fitness Guidelines

Cancer survivors should remember that they didn’t make it through chemotherapy just to sit around all day and watch TV for the rest of their lives. The American Cancer Society recommends to start slowly, work with a coach, physical therapist, and/or with their primary doctor or healthcare professional. Survivors should set goals, have a complete physical exam and get approval from their oncologists before starting a moderate-to-vigorous exercise program.

REFERENCES
Courneya KS, “Exercise in cancer survivors: an overview of research.” University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [2003, 35(11):1846-1852] Europe PubMed Central

Courneya KS, Mackey JR, Jones LW, “Coping with cancer: can exercise help?” Faculty of Physical Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, CAN. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca. The Physician and Sportsmedicine [2000, 28(5):49-73] Europe PubMed Central

Mock V, Dow KH, Meares CJ, Grimm PM, Dienemann JA, Haisfield-Wolfe ME, Quitasol W, Mitchell S, Chakravarthy A, Gage I, “Effects of exercise on fatigue, physical functioning, and emotional distress during radiation therapy for breast cancer.” Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. Europe PubMed Central,  Oncology Nursing Forum [1997, 24(6):991-1000]

“Physical Activity and Cancer Risk,” Cancer.Net

“Active women can reduce risk of breast cancer by 12%, say researchers,” Press Association, The Guardian, Thursday 20 March 2014 14.04 EDT,

Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter, “Daily Exercise Lowers Breast Cancer Risk: Study”  HealthDay, March 20, 2014,

Jenny Hope, Medical Correspondent,“Exercising for an hour a day reduces the risk of breast cancer – regardless of a woman’s weight or age” , Mail Online, 12:39 EST, 20 March 2014

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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.