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

Osteoporosis: The Other Silent Killer – A Prescription for Proactivity

The Other Silent Killer
What is Osteoporosis and who is at risk? Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of the bone tissue.
Spinal osteoporosis While the symptoms of the disease seldom become debilitating until the latter stages of life, its propagation may begin much earlier.

Epidemic Proportions

According to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 52 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis. 50% of women and 25% of men will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis.  Bone Mass and AgeBy 2020, half of Americans over 50 are expected to have low bone density or osteoporosis. A woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer combined.

Proactive Prevention of Osteoporosis
Bone density peaks around age 30 and subsequently declines. Adolescents and young adults should regularly participate in weight bearing activities in order to build up a “bone density reserve.”
weight lifting
The American College of Sports Medicine,  ACSM, recommends physical activities that generate relatively high-intensity loading forces to augment bone mineral accrual in children and adolescents.  Evidence suggests exercise-induced gains in bone mass in children are maintained into adulthood, suggesting that physical activity habits during childhood may have long-lasting benefits on bone health.

Treatment is Paramount
While Osteoporosis is preventable, it is not curable.  The only option is treatment. Treatment of established osteoporosis is cost-effective irrespective of age (Kanis, et al, 2005). Studies have shown that bone mineral density in postmenopausal women can be maintained or increased with therapeutic exercise.

Basic Bone Anatomy
Bones are made from collagen, calcium-phosphate complexes, and bone cells. Bone tissue is living, and is constantly being remodeled. The underlying cause of osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation.osteoporosis bone Excessive bone resorption, inadequate formation of new bone during remodeling, and inadequate peak bone mass are all mechanisms by which osteoporosis develops. Aging results in bone being lost more rapidly than it is formed. 

Weight-bearing and Loading Exercise for Bone Health
Weight bearing activities like walking, jogging, dancing, stair climbing and hiking allow the force of gravity to act through the skeleton. Through this application of force, mechanisms that stimulate bone density are activated in response to the mechanical loading. The training principle of progressive overload is fundamental to the effective treatment of osteoporosis.

Exercise bone growthExercise stimulates effective bone modeling/remodeling.

 
Strength Training for Bone Health
Impact loading exercises are superior to traditional weight-bearing activities for maintaining bone health. Impact loading exercise simply means any exercise that requires you to support your own body weight, including walking, aerobics or weightlifting. Osteoporosis exercises Resistance training can be defined as the act of repeated voluntary muscle contractions against a resistance greater than what is normally experienced in daily life. Training of this kind is known to increase strength through changes in both the muscular and nervous systems. In one study, resistance training had more of an effect on bone strength in the hip and lower spine than walking alone (Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 2013).  Nine months to a year of regular exercise should be afforded before appreciable increases in bone mass are detected.  Proper form and technique are important. Volume, frequency, duration and other training variables should be specific to the condition of the individual. For individuals with diagnosed osteoporosis, the ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (Pescatello, et al, 2014) suggests the following guidelines for physical activity and resistance training aimed to prevent falls:

  • One to three sets with five to eight repetitions of four to six weight-bearing, lower-body strength exercises using body weight as resistance
  • Activities performed two to three days/week
  • Additional resistance may be applied gradually and conservatively
    (up to 10 lbs.) with weighted vest
  • Therapy bands & rubber tubing may be used to facilitate
    range-of-motion exercises
  • Avoid impact exercise, spinal flexion against resistance, spinal
    extension, high compressive forces on the spine, quick trunk rotation

Aerobic Training
swim therapy osteoporosisAerobic training is also important to the overall efficiency of the system, and in maintaining bone mass. Aerobic exercises are a system of physical conditioning, such as running, walking, swimming, or calisthenics strenuously performed so as to cause a significant temporary increase in respiration and heart rate. Activities that engage larger muscles like walking, cycling, swimming, and water walking are recommended for overall health, however claims that aerobic exercise can build bone density are false. According to ACSM, “Although aerobic exercises are beneficial and important for overall fitness, they don’t specifically help build bone density”.

Non-Impact Exercises
While non-impact exercises may not directly support bone mass, they still offer immense indirect benefits in the treatment of osteoporosis. Balance exercises (e.g. Tai Chi, aquatic exercises) heighten proprioception and reduce the risk of falling, which is the leading cause of lost independence among the elderly.Tai Chi osteoporosis Postural exercises improve posture and help support the spine. Functional exercises improve the ability to perform activities of daily living, increasing quality of life and maintaining independence. Individuals who practice Tai Chi have 47% less falls and only 25% of the hip fractures of those who do not (Province, et al, 1995).  Tai Chi can be beneficial for stunting bone loss in weight-bearing bones in early postmenopausal women (Chan, et al, 2004).

Dietary Approaches to Fighting Osteoporosis 
Calcium and Vitamin D – Two of the most important nutrients in fighting osteoporosis are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium FoodsCalcium is an important component of the bone matrix, while vitamin D assists in its absorption. Supplementation with vitamin D has improved lower extremity muscle performance and reduced risk of falling in several high-quality double blind randomized control trials (Bischoff-Ferrari, et al, 2009). The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the
National Academies, National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements recommends the following intake levels for post-menopausal women:

  • Calcium: 1200 milligrams/day
  • Vitamin D: 10 micrograms/day (400 International Units/day) from ages 51 to 70 (Increase to 15 micrograms/day [600 International Units/day] after age 70)

Protein – Aging may compromise the body’s ability to process protein efficiency. Older adults should be vigilant in their consumption of protein in order to avoid protein malnutrition. In one study with elderly men and women, higher dietary protein intake was associated with a lower rate of age-related bone loss (Hannan, et. al, 2000).

______________________________

References
American College of Sports Medicine

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Staehelin HB, et al. (2009) Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br Med J 339:b3692.

Center for Disease Control. – Calicium

Chan, K; Qin, L; Lau, M; Woo, J; Au, S; Choy, W; Lee, K; Lee, S. A randomized, prospective study of the effects of Tai Chi Chun exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:717–22.

Daltroy, L. H., Larson MG, Eaton HM, et al. Discrepancies between self-reported and observed physical function in the elderly: the influence of response shift and other factors. Soc Sci Med. 1999;48(11):1549–61. Medline:10400256.

Hannan MT, Tucker KL, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. (2000) Effect of dietary protein on bone loss in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. J Bone Miner Res 15:2504.

Hartard M, Haber P, Ilieva D, et al. (1996) Systematic strength training as a model of therapeutic intervention. A controlled trial in postmenopausal women with osteopenia. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 75:21.

Kanis JA, Borgstrom F, Zethraeus N, et al. (2005) Intervention thresholds for osteoporosis in the UK. Bone 36:22

Kemmler W, Lauber D, Weineck J, et al. (2004) Benefits of 2 years of intense exercise on bone density, physical fitness, and blood lipids in early postmenopausal osteopenic women: results of the Erlangen Fitness Osteoporosis Prevention Study  (EFOPS). Arch Intern Med 164:1084.

Kerr, D., Ackland, T., Maslen, B., Morton, A. and Prince, R. (2001), Resistance Training over 2 Years  Increases Bone Mass in Calcium-Replete Postmenopausal Women. J Bone Miner Res, 16: 175–181. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2001.16.1.175

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Palombaro, K. M., Black, J. D., Buchbinder, R., & Jette, D. U. (2013). Effectiveness of Exercise for Managing Osteoporosis in Women Postmenopause. Physical Therapy, 93(8), 1021-1025. doi:10.2522/ptj.20110476

Pescatello L, Arena R, Riebe D, Thompson PD, ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, American College of Sports Medicine, 9th ed., 2014, Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health

Preisinger E, Alacamlioglu Y, Pils K, et al. (1995) Therapeutic exercise in the prevention of bone loss. A controlled trial with women after menopause. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 74:120.

Province MA, Hadley EC, Hornbrook MC, et al. (1995) The effects of exercise on falls in elderly patients. A preplanned meta-analysis of the FICSIT Trials. Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques. JAMA 273:1341.

Raisz, L. (2005). “Pathogenesis of osteoporosis: concepts, conflicts, and prospects”. J Clin Invest 115(12): 3318–25

Strength Training is Better for Bones. (2013). Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 2013 Jul;17(12):8.

_______________________________

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.

Tai Chi Helps Reduce Falls in Stroke Survivors

Is Tai Chi effective with stroke survivors? Does Tai Chi help with balance and stability?

Tai Chi helps prevent falls

Tai Chi can help to prevent falls. Tai Chi is effective in developing both static and dynamic balance. Click, copy, download, save and share.


WHY IS TAI CHI IMPORTANT TO STROKE SURVIVORS?

Stroke survivors are very much prone to falls after stroke. Some statistics say that stroke survivors are likely to experience seven times as many falls each year than healthy adults.  Falls can result in social isolation, depression dependence, and cause fractures, limited mobility and increase a fear of falling. Tai Chi can help bring increased mobility, balance and control. This is essential to stroke survivors.

WHAT IS TAI CHI?
Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise, about 2,000 years old.  At one time more than 100 separate movements or postures were recorded.  It is a physical discipline that involves a continuous series of controlled, most often slow movements.  These movements are designed to improve physical and mental well-being.  Tai Chi is also called t’ai chi ch’uan, or  tai chi chuan.

It is estimated that more than 10 million people practice some type of t’ai chi every day in China.  Currently in modern-day Tai Chi practice, there are two popular versions, of 18 movements and 37 movements respectively. Tai Chi is the one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world.   Tai Chi students (or “players,” as they are called in China) often wear loose, comfortable clothing and either go barefoot or wear only socks or soft shoes on the feet. People in China usually practice Tai Chi outdoors in the morning, whereas people in the United States attend Tai Chi classes indoors.

Tai Chi Positions ChartTai Chi classes typically start with a few minutes of standing meditation.  This calms the mind, and helps participants to gather Chi or energy. Students then begin with warm-up exercises, and practice particular postures or forms.  Yang-style Tai Chi, as practiced in the study, is the most popular of five styles used in the United States.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US?
According to the latest research presented at the American Stroke Association‘s International Stroke Conference 2013, Tai Chi may help to reduce falls in stroke survivors.

In the report from the American Stroke Association, out of the three control groups, those stroke survivors practicing Tai Chi had fewer falls than the other two groups of stroke survivors: those receiving usual care or those participating in a national fitness program for Medicare-eligible adults called SilverSneakers.®

Tai Chi GroupResearchers recruited 89 stroke survivors – most of whom had ischemic strokes.   The study was a randomized prospective study conducted outside of a hospital setting. The average age of participants was 70 years old.  Forty-six (46) percent were women.  Most of the participants were college educated, Caucasian, and living in or around Tucson, Arizona.  The majority of the participants had had a stroke within three years prior to the research study.

The research study group was divided into three control groups:  1) 30 practiced Tai Chi, 2) 28 people took part in usual care and 3) 31 people participated in SilverSneakers®.   The Tai Chi and SilverSneakers® groups included specific exercise classes lasting one hour, three times every week for twelve weeks. The usual care group received a weekly phone call and given written information about how they could participate in a community physical exercise activity.

During the twelve-week period, there were 34 reported falls in participants’ homes mainly from slipping or tripping: five falls in the Tai Chi group; 15 falls in the usual care group; and 14 falls in the Silver Sneakers group. Four people asked for medical treatment.

According to the principal researcher, Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Ph.D., R.N., and assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, Arizona,

“Tai Chi is effective in improving both static and dynamic balance, which is important to prevent falls. Tai Chi is readily available in most U.S. cities and is relatively inexpensive.”

The results of this study were significant.  More research is needed to study the benefits of Tai Chi which can include: better balance, improved strength and balance, flexibility,  endurance, increased energy, a sense of well-being, reduced anxiety.

_______________________________


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.

Qigong Can Help with Cocaine Addiction Recovery

Are there alternative approaches besides drugs for cocaine addicts? Can Qigong help with cocaine addiction? Why is Qigong effective?

Qigong and Cocaine

Research shows that qigong is effective in reducing cocaine cravings and depression symptoms. Click, copy, download, save and share.

WHY COCAINE ADDICTION IS HARD TO BEAT
According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 8.4 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying cocaine at least once in their lifetimes.  This represents about 3.4% of the U.S. 12-and-older population.

About 1.1 million Americans surveyed reported using cocaine within the past year and roughly 359,000 reported cocaine use in the last month.

Addiction to crack cocaine is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. When it is inhaled the user’s body instantly begins the addiction process.  After continued use, crack addicts begin to believe they cannot live without it.

Man DepressionVery few effective treatments are available to help control cravings and withdrawal symptoms among individuals undergoing therapy to overcome cocaine abuse. When a cocaine addict tries to quit, they’re often fighting serious withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Angry outbursts
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Muscle pain
  • Intense cravings
  • Anxiety

WHAT RESEARCH STUDIES TELL US
Rescent results from a study of qigong therapyand cocaine addiction are published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.  This study is a promising peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

QigongThe research study involved two groups.  All individuals were participating in a residential substance abuse treatment program. One group received qigong therapy, and the other group received a sham treatment of  similar duration.  Those in the qigong group reported significantly reduced cravings for cocaine when they were shown items related to cocaine use, and encouraged to view and handle these items. The qigong treatment group also reported significantly symptoms of depression than the sham treatment group. The assessment measures included the Cocaine Craving Questionnaire Brief (CCQ); Voris Cocaine Craving Scale (VCCS); Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory–State only; Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); Credibility/Expectancy Questionnaire; and Addiction Severity Index (ASI).

The research article is, “A Pilot Study of Qigong for Reducing Cocaine Craving Early in Recovery,”  by David Smelson, Kevin W. Chen, Douglas Ziedonis, Ken Andes, Amanda Lennox, Lanora Callahan, Stephanie Rodrigues, and David Eisenberg, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 97-101.   The researchers concluded:

“EQT (external qigong therapy)-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.”

“This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD (cocaine-dependent) individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.”

_______________________________


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.

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