More Than Just Healthy Skin – Amazing Beneficial Effects of a Facial

facialWhat are the benefits of a facial? Is it more than just a “get away” from the stress, worry, and drudgery of work or family? Are you looking for a life changer? Read this article to discover real benefits of the facial that go beyond healthy skin. Continue reading

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30 Tips for Reducing Stress Naturally

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

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.

Relax – It’s a Healthy Choice!

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

Relax - It's a Healthy Choice!

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


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

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

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

Man Meditating Nature

Meditation is an effective relaxation technique.


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

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

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


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

Anxiety Symptoms

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

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

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

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

 

Resources

The American Institute of Stress

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________


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

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

20 Alternative Approaches to Stress

Causes of StressWhat causes stress and how can we prevent it? Are there effective alternative, holistic, and complementary practices to treating stress besides prescription drugs?


What Does Current Research Say About Treatment for Stress?
Current studies show that Americans are not satisfied with healthcare programs addressing stress.

Stress statisticsA recent study entitled, “Stress in America™: Missing the Health Care Connection,”  was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association, among 2,020 U.S. adults in August of 2012.   The results of the study suggest that people are not receiving what they need from their health care providers to effectively manage stress and help them with necessary lifestyle and behavior changes needed to improve their health.

Stress in America

Stress in America – 42% reported that the leading stress symptom they experienced was anger or irritability.

A little more than half (53%) of Americans said they receive little or no support for stress management from their providers.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) said that they have little or no behavior management support.  Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans said that their stress increased this past year.

Stress effects on body

The effects of stress on the body

What are Stress Symptoms?
Stress symptoms can be emotional, physical, behavioral and mental or psychological.  A person under stress might have the following symptoms:

  • easily irritated
  • frustrated
  • mood swings
  • hopeless
  • not able to relax
  • low self-esteem
  • paranoia
  • trouble focusing
  • lonely
  • avoiding people and projects
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • muscle pain
  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • chills

    Stress Symptom Nail Biting

  • biting nails
  • grinding teeth
  • frightened
  • panic attack
  • trouble swallowing
  • cold or flu symptoms
  • shaking or shivering
  • pacing
  • drug use
  • negativity (criticism or gossip)


How is Stress Diagnosed and Treated?
There is no specific medical test for stress but your trusted healthcare provider or family physician should do a thorough medical and psychological exam and evaluation.  He or she will ask you about your family history, your work, your daily routine, and personal life to help determine “stress triggers”  and discuss a plan of treatment. It might be helpful for you to keep a stress diary for a few weeks to determine causes of stress.

EEG TestThe doctor might also order blood and urine lab tests, EEG, EMG, MRI, or other tests to rule out other illnesses that might be triggering stress symptoms. Basic tests will include measuring your blood pressure and completing a questionnaire to test for depression. After making diagnostic or psychological tests have been completed, your trusted healthcare practitioner may recommend treatment.

Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as changes in diet, physical activity or exercise, meditation, or prescription medications. If you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor’s evaluation or plan of treatment, it is important that you trust yourself and your own body wisdom when making a decision.  Make sure that you are working with a doctor as a member on your team, and that your healthcare professionals are working closely with you.

Which Types of Alternative Approaches Have Been Effective?

Alternative Stress Treatment

What holistic, alternative approaches are effective in treating stress?

There are many types of alternative approaches that have been shown to be effective in relieving stress, however, most approaches take time and training for the person to be skilled enough to use it successfully, or for the hands-on practitioner to be successful in working cooperatively with the client to achieve success.

Research studies show that alternative approaches can ]reduce or eliminate stress symptoms. Exercise has been well-documented as a stress-reducer, as has prayer, deep breathing, and meditation. Hypnosis and massage are also highly effective alternative treatments to prescription drugs.

Massage

Therapeutic massage is a well-documented  alternative treatment for alleviating stress.

Some of the natural approaches to relieving stress are:

  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Qigong
  • Deep Breathing
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Flower Essences
  • Essential Oils
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Light therapy
  • Crystals or gemstones
  • Guided imagery or visualization

    Acupuncture

    Acupuncture can be a successful alternative treatment to reducing stress related symptoms

  • Acupuncture
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Psychic healing
  • Energetic healing/Reiki
  • Counseling or Psychiatric
  • Physical therapy
  • Physical Exercise
  • Sex
  • Chiropractic

For more information about which alternative or complimentary therapies or approaches are best for your needs in treating anxiety or stress, consult with your trusted health-care practitioner, or check out the resources below.

Resources
The American Institute on Stress
The Stress Resource Center – Harvard
Healthfinder.gov – Stress Management
Holistic Stress Management for Nurses
American Psychological Association
Huffington Post -Reduce Stress Now
Mayo Clinic – Stress Management

Research
Keil, R.M.K. (2004) Coping and stress: a conceptual analysis Journal of Advanced Nursing, 45(6), 659–665


Viner, R. (1999) Putting Stress in Life: Hans Selye and the Making of Stress Theory. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 29, No. 3 (June 1999), pp. 391–410

O’Connor, T. M.; O’Halloran, D. J.; Shanahan, F. (2000). “The stress response and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: From molecule to melancholia”. QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 93 (6): 323–333.

LE Walker Post-traumatic stress disorder in women: Diagnosis and treatment of battered woman syndrome.
– Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 1991

Hayes, Steven C.; Wilson, Kelly G.; Gifford, Elizabeth V.; Follette, Victoria M.; Strosahl, Kirk. Experiential avoidance and behavioral disorders: A functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 64(6), Dec 1996, 1152-1168. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.64.6.1152, Special Section: Development of Theoretically Coherent Alternatives to the DSM-IV.

_______________________________________


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.

Marines are Meditating! Mindfulness-Based Fitness

Meditating MarinesGuess who is singing “Om?” Those valiant men in the Marines are now practicing yoga exercises which include meditation techniques.

EVERYBODY’S DOING IT
If you are one of many individuals who practices a daily discipline of meditation, you are not alone.  Now some of the toughest men in the world have added this discipline to their rigorous training routine.

WHY ARE THE MARINES PRACTICING MEDITATION?
It is termed “Mindfulness-Based Fitness Training” and hoped that this Buddhist-inspired training will help those in the Marine Corps increase their ability control the mind, focus the attention on the moment and their mind in the present.  Right now suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder rates are high.  These techniques are meant to help Marines better handle stress.

Veterans PTSD Statistics

The incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is high among veterans


WHAT RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED?
A research study was conducted in 2011 involving two groups of 160 Marines.  One group used silent concentration and breathing techniques, under stress-induced situations, including screaming actors, controlled blasts and a setting created to look like an Afghanistan village.

Veteran TM-PTSD-study

The Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Veterans

 The second group did not use these breathing and mindfulness techniques and were also exposed to the same combat stress-induced situation. Naval Medical Research Center scientist Douglas C. Johnson collected data and physical evidence of stress, blood and saliva samples, images of their brains and the results of problem-solving tests.   The results of this research is expected to be published later this spring.

Cadets Meditating

Cadets meditating

Another study by the same research scientist involves three separate control groups, each consisting of 80 Marines.  One group will receive mindfulness-based training, one will practice sports psychology training techniques, and the third will be a control group. Those results will be published later this year.

RESOURCES


REFERENCES

King, Lynda A.; King, Daniel W.; Fairbank, John A.; Keane, Terence M.; Adams, Gary A., Resilience–recovery factors in post-traumatic stress disorder among female and male Vietnam veterans: Hardiness, postwar social support, and additional stressful life events, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(2), Feb 1998, 420-434.

EB Blanchard, LC Kolb, TP Pallmeyer, RJ Gerardi, A psychophysiological study of post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans  – Psychiatric Quarterly, 1982 – Springer


Marines expanding use of meditation training,
Washington Times


U.S. Marine Corps members learn mindfulness meditation and yoga in pilot program to help reduce stress,
Associated Press, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 11:09 AM

Julie Watson, The Associated Press,Meditating Marines: Military tries mindfulness to lower stress, NBC News, Sunday Jan 20, 2013 11:00 AM



_________________________________

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

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

30 Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

Greetings friends!

30 Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

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

WHAT IS QIGONG and WHAT IS TAI CHI?

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

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

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

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


HOW DOES QIGONG HELP IMPROVE HEALTH?

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

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

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

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

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

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