Practical Tips for Alternative Medicine: Tai Chi

Tai chi is an exercise based in mindfulness with roots in martial arts that originated in China around the 12th century. This practice illuminates the need for a natural balance between the two opposites, yin and yang. In tai chi, movements are oftentimes slow and there is a heavy focus on breathing: the sometimes laborious, but more often expansive, maintenance of that natural balance. 

It is best to learn tai chi from an instructor, as tai chi is an exacting practice with distinct postures and movements. There are five styles of tai chi, each with their own pacing and distinctive rhythms.

  • Wu style tai chi is very slow and utilizes small, micro-movements to engage the muscles.
  • Chen style tai chi combines fast and slow movements. The complexity of this style might be difficult for people just beginning tai chi. 
  • Sun style tai chi has many overlaps with chen style tai chi. Sun style tai chi might be easier on the body as it is a less rigorous practice.
  • Yang style tai chi emphasizes slow movements and relaxation. This style of tai chi is great for beginners.
  • Hao style tai chi does not usually garner mainstream attention. The focus of this style is positioning and internal strength. 

People with chronic illness and pain conditions can benefit greatly from tai chi, but this practice can improve mobility and strength in people without illness as well. Tai chi strengthens aging muscles to prevent falls, helps people who are generally less active transition into more physical activity, and improves range of mobility. 

The benefits of tai chi are numerous and help to solidify its legitimacy as an alternative medicine. Tai chi can assist with anxiety relief, improved sleep, and weight loss. Many people seek out tai chi as a mood booster to alleviate stress. A regular tai chi practice can help patients manage symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Tai chi is a wonderful source of exercise for people with coronary heart disease that does not overexert the heart. This practice can also reduce the number of falls for patients with Parkinson’s by improving leg strength and balance, and provide pain relief for different types of arthritis. 

Tai chi is not a cure for chronic illness, but a regular tai chi practice can improve symptoms and quality of life. Beginners might experience normal aches and pains following their first tai chi sessions. Improper tai chi practice can result in injury. It is best to practice tai chi under the tutelage of an instructor. 

Practical Tips for Alternative Medicine: Reiki

Reiki is a type of energy therapy. The most widely practiced form of reiki is Usui reiki, founded by Dr. Mikao Usui in 1922. “Rei” means universal, and “ki” means life energy. Reiki’s energy relief is similar to that of acupuncture, but practitioners use their hands to transfer energy instead of needles. 

Reiki is not a cure for any disease, illness, or condition. Instead, the practice assists in relaxation and pain relief. This energy transfer promotes well being by managing symptoms, easing natural bodily processes, and alleviating emotional stress. Some patients seek out reiki for mood boosting. Practitioners can help soothe the various sources of pain a patient might carry into the session.  

Each reiki session is unique to the patient. A reiki session usually lasts for 20 to 90 minutes. Traditional reiki does not involve crystals or other items. The exception to this rule is distance healing, in which a practitioner uses crystals to help heal a faraway patient. Patients can prepare for a reiki session by wearing comfortable clothing and hydrating.   

After a short introductory conversation, the patient lies down on a mat or table. A practitioner will use their hands to tend to the patient’s energy fields. The practitioner’s hands are placed either on or just above the patient’s body throughout the session. That introductory conversation allows patients to pinpoint areas that need extra attention. The practitioner will likely pay longer attention to a wound, holding their hands in a specific position until the energy has finished transferring and stopped flowing. Reiki is the management of this qi, or universal energy that runs throughout the body. Practitioners can infuse, beam, clear, or center a patient’s energy, as well as rake the aura or remove harmful energy. Patients might experience tingling, heat, or visualizations during the energy transfers. These sensations can contribute to feelings of relaxation and relief.    

Anecdotal evidence from reiki patients point to the practice’s benefits. More research is needed to solidify whether or not reiki can actually heal patients of existing conditions. The physical and mental relief that patients experience is real, but studies show that reiki cannot be used as a cure. 

However, there are no risks or side effects of a reiki session. Patients can experience an improved quality of life from reiki even if an underlying condition is not fully healed. Ultimately, patients should seek out reiki for pain relief and symptom management, not as a cure. 

Mineral Guide

Minerals Why it’s Needed Where it’s Found More Effective With 
Calcium Builds strong bones and teeth. It helps to calm nerves and aids in insomnia. Helps in normalizing blood clotting and helps regulate the heartbeat. Milk, and milk products, cheese, sardines, salmon, soybeans, peanuts, green vegetables. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus. 
Chromium Helps in carbohydrate utilization, involved in metabolism of glucose (for energy) and the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Unsaturated fats (such as corn oil), meats, clams, brewer’s yeast, liver and whole grain cereal.  
Copper Assists in the formation of hemoglobin, builds up blood quality, and increases resistance to stress and disease. Liver, whole grain products, almonds, green, leafy vegetables and most seafood’s. Iron, Zinc 
Iron Necessary for production of hemoglobin, builds up blood quality, and increases resistance to stress and disease. Liver, lean meats, eggs, whole grain breads, and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and brewer’s yeast. B-12, Folic Acid 
Magnesium Key substance in proper functioning of nerves and muscles and healthy maintenance of bones. Anti-Stress mineral. Nuts, whole grain foods, dry beans and peas, dark green vegetables, and soy products. Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus. 
Manganese Needed for protein, carbohydrate, fat production. Necessary for normal skeletal development. Helps maintain sex hormone production and nourishes the nerves and brain. Egg yolks, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, dried peas and beans, brewer’s yeast, and bone meal with Vitamin D. Vitamin b, Vitamin E, Calcium 
Phosphorus Essential for utilization of carbohydrate, fats and proteins for growth, maintenance, repair of cells, and energy production. Necessary for proper skeletal growth, tooth development, kidney functioning and transference of nerve impulses. Meat, fish,, poultry, eggs, whole grains, and nuts. Vitamin D, Calcium, Vitamin A, Iron, Manganese. 
Potassium Essential for muscles, nerves and heart. Aids in proper maintenance of mineral balance of blood. Works with sodium to regulate body’s water balance. Vegetables (especially green leafy), oranges, whole grains, sunflower seeds, potatoes (especially peels), and bananas. Vitamin B-6 
Selenium Along with Vitamin E, it works in some of its metabolic processes and aid in normal body growth and fertility. Bran, wheat germ, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, and tuna. Vitamin E. 
Zinc Necessary for healing and developing of new cells. Aids enzymes in digestion and metabolism. Important to general growth, reproductive organs and normal functioning of prostate gland. Brewer’s yeast, bone meal, wheat germ, beans, nuts, seeds, meat. Vitamin A, Calcium, Copper, Phosphorus. 

The Truth Behind Vision Impairments

There are many common misconceptions about eyesight. The generally accepted thinking is that eyesight deterioration is inevitable as we age. Nothing could be further from the truth! With aging, it is natural for the circulation in your eyes to get sluggish. The lenses of your eyes start to lose their elasticity and adjusting to glare, and darkness is more difficult. Many people find that it is harder to read small print or see clearly when driving under very bright, sunny conditions or at night when it is very dark. 

There is evidence that these problems happen not because of aging, but because of damage from pollution, UV from the sun, (ultraviolet rays) or from Oxygen damage. (Free radicals.) Here is how it happens: 

Your eyes have nerve tissue, blood vessels, and highly specialized retinal cells which are constantly being bombarded by ultraviolet radiation. This leads to radiation and free radical damage and is responsible for most deteriorating vision problems. To make it worse, light entering your eyes which stimulates your retina cells accelerates this free-radical damage and vision loss. Overexposure to pollutants, light, and oxygen will cause more damage to your eyes than to any other organ in your body. 

Research has shown that you can effectively fight off free-radicals and radiation by taking nutritional supplements. One study showed that patients with a clouding lens were given a combination of bilberry extract and vitamin E which stopped the progress of this eye problem in 97% of the participants! Additionally, a special group of chemicals found in dark, leafy vegetables (carotenoids) such as spinach also have very powerful antioxidant properties. These are fat-soluble phytochemicals. Studies show they can give you a 43% greater protection against retinal damage! 

Ginkgo Biloba has also been in the news a lot recently, and with good reason! This flavonoid-rich herb has been shown to increase the blood flow to the tissues and tiny capillaries in your eyes. It also helps maintain the flexibility and elasticity of those capillaries. Amino acids also play an important role in your eyesight, particularly L-Taurine. By helping to filter out damaging ultraviolet radiation L-Taurine acts like a pair of sunglasses. 

How to Stop Snoring: The Secret of Weight Control

Do you snore? Do you sleep in the same room as someone who does? Can’t remember the last time you had a peaceful sleep, uninterrupted the long and loud drones of the snorer next to you? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you have a problem on your hands that needs fast corrective action before it disrupts your entire life. But don’t worry, for there may be a solution to that noisy problem that has another beneficial side effect as well. 
Get this! Losing weight could be the answer to your snoring problem! By “your” snoring problem, its meant that either you snore or your partner snores, either of which ends up being your problem. When a person is overweight they will often also snore. The reason for this is because some people hold excess weight around their chests and neck areas. The added pressure weighs the muscles down and hence they snore. As they gain weight the snoring problem may worsen to the point that their spouse has to leave the room to sleep elsewhere. This can and often does ultimately affect the way you see your partner, both physically and emotionally. 
Eating a healthy diet is always a good idea. When we consume healthy foods in moderation our bodies will react by slimming down. Realizing that by accomplishing a weight loss goal you may also be ending the problem of snoring, can bump up your willpower a great deal. So what you need to do is to get a weight check done to ensure that for your age and height, you are in the right BMI bracket. BMI stands for body mass index and is a measure of your height to weight ratio. 
Changing eating habits and getting out and exercising are natural and healthy ways to combat the snoring. By looking at the weight problem as a solution to the snoring problem it can be a strong factor in convincing a person that they truly are killing two birds with one diet, so to speak. And remember, losing weight does not have to be about drastically restricting calories and exercising for hours each day. In the end you’ll find yourself with not only a great looking outside but with a quieter inside. Snoring is a problem that can be stopped and wanting to do that for not only yourself but those who have to be subjected to the noise night-after-night is a great way to give the gift of silence. 

A Genuine Effort to Kill Obesity with Diet Pills

Many diet pills have been approved by the FDA in order to treat the rising Obesity epidemic. They are appetite suppressants which are helpful in limiting hunger or some diet pills work directly in the body and blocks fat from getting deposited. Today, along with extensive dietary therapy and exercise workshops diet pills are working well. 
Are you on a Diet Pill? 
If you are: 
• Strictly follow instructions which your health practitioner has given to achieve guaranteed results 
• Diet pills should be taken on time after familiarizing with the pill instructions 
• Like its benefits diet pills carry side effects as well. Learn about it and prepare yourself to overcome it 
• Determination speaks volumes. Don’t let yourself fail by stopping the pill program in the middle 
• Don’t starve but have good food in moderation. Helpful tips will be to chew the food properly and to eat slowly 
While you are on treatment, meet the health practitioner regularly to update yourself on weight loss ratio. The doctor will be able to change medications or doses or even make adjustments in your food patterns if he sees that you are not responding well to treatment. 
Post medication treatment for weight management 
• Don’t be under the impression that an 8 week or 12 week course of diet pills are enough to see you through the tough times of Obesity. Getting your weight checked and following a disciplined diet is equally essential 
• A new lifestyle, new food habits and moderate workout schedules await you after a confidence boosting diet pill therapy 
• If you are still irresponsible and careless about eating habits, remember you can put on double the weight you had lost recently 
• Read, learn and talk more about positive living which involves a healthy life that’s trouble free 
In simple terms, it is possible to kill obesity if we follow the exact treatment procedure and make sure that you are determined enough to shoot it down.

Beating Anxiety: How to be 100% Okay With `Who’ You Are in Social Situations

If you could be totally 100% okay with who you are, would you have anything to feel anxious about? If you were 100% confident about who you are, would you be worried about what other people think? As it turns out, anxiety disorders can make otherwise confident people feel uncomfortable and paralyzed. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by 6 months or more of chronic, exaggerated worry and tension that is unfounded or much more severe than the normal anxiety most people experience. People with this disorder usually expect the worst of every situation. While exercise can combat anxiety symptoms, you’ll likely need to come up with a way to personally cope. Here is some additional information about anxiety.  
Anxiety Attacks 
What Is an Anxiety Attack? Also known as a panic attack, an anxiety attack is characterized by intense episodes in which the sufferer experiences such symptoms similar to a heart attack such as heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, and psychosomatic paralysis.  
Managing Social Anxiety in Children With Autism 
As a parent with an autistic child, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. We don’t want to place our children in circumstances that scare them, however, setting your child up in a program or providing them with social activities can significantly improve their anxiety. 
How to Cope With Stress and Anxiety 
Among the hardest parts of living in the modern world is stress and anxiety. With worries about work, the environment, the economy, natural disasters, terrorism, and the general state of the world, it seems that there is nothing going right. You’ll need to come up with your own coping mechanisms, whether that means a regimented self-care routine or consistent exercise. 

Diet – Anxiety & Panic 
There’s an old saying that says you are what you eat. It’s true. When you eat junk, you feel bad. When you eat good foods, you feel better. Eating healthily can improve many symptoms of anxiety. 

 Piano Playing and Performance Anxiety 
Repetitive and involved hobbies, like playing the piano, can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety. That said, it can open up a new door to anxiety: performance anxiety. However, if you incorporate piano playing into your anxiety treatment, you don’t have to perform for anyone! 

Completely In Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

Completely in the canal hearing aids (also known as CIC hearing aids) are, as the name suggests, hearing aids which fit entirely within the wearers ear canal. These revolutionary devices are the smallest hearing aids on the market and are invisible to the average observer who doesn’t know they are there. Most major hearing aid brands and manufacturers now offer this inconspicuous alternative to traditional behind the ear, or BTE, hearing aids. 
CIC hearing aids are custom made to fit deep inside the individual wearers ear canal and are said to mimic the natural auditory process more closely than any other style of hearing aid. They are best suited to people with a mild to moderate hearing loss. There are several advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when deciding between CIC hearing aids and the BTE models. 
For audiologists, otologists, speech therapists and other hearing professionals, the primary appeal of CIC hearing aids are their acoustic advantages. They can closely simulate environmental, and more importantly, speech sounds, patterns, nuances etc. This is imperative to a hearing-impaired individual’s competency with the spoken word. Additionally, since CIC hearing aids are worn closer to the eardrum then their BTE counterparts, their microphones are better able to amplify and therefore give a boost to any residual hearing the wearer may have. The advantage that is most often touted by the wearers of CIC devices, however, is their cosmetic appeal and inconspicuousness. 
Conversely, it is important to keep in mind that CIC hearing aids also have some drawbacks. If financial constraints are a part of the picture, it should be noted that completely in the canal hearing aids are somewhat more expensive to purchase then behind the ear hearing aids are. Another issue that may make them cost prohibitive to those on a tight budget is that increased susceptibility to ear wax build up puts CIC hearing aids at higher risk for damage, therefore necessitating pricey repair bills or replacement hearing aids. 
Whereas BTE hearing instruments are appropriate for almost all hearing impaired individuals regardless of the type or degree of hearing loss, CIC hearing aids are not recommended for individuals with certain kinds of hearing loss. They are also unlikely to be prescribed or advised for children. First of all children tend to be less able to tolerate the discomfort and irritations that sometimes come along with the use of CIC models, especially in the beginning. 
Plus children’s ear canals aren’t done growing, so they will need to be refitted and replaced much more often for them then for adults. The size of CIC hearing aids and their even tinier batteries make them difficult to manipulate for the elderly, arthritis sufferers and others with conditions and diseases which effect fine motor control. Feedback and no volume control are two more drawbacks often mentioned by CIC hearing aid users. 
Audiologists are the best resource hearing impaired individuals have to help them objectively decide whether CIC or BTE hearing aids are better for them. They can also point wearers in the direction of the best CIC hearing aids provider. Research on the pros and cons can also be done at the library or on the internet. 

Allergy Tests for Any Age

Allergy in Children

Allergic diseases in children traditionally affect the lung (asthma), the skin (atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema), and the nasal passages (allergic rhinitis). The following are some interesting tidbits about these illnesses.

* Estimates from a skin test survey suggest that allergies affect 40 to 50 million people in the U.S.A.

* Six million children in the United States have seasonal allergic rhinitis.

* Two million children have atopic dermatitis. This is the most common skin condition in children under eleven years of age.

* Allergies have a strong genetic predilection. The likelihood of a child developing allergic disease is 1 in 4 if one parent has allergies and 2 in 3 if both parents have allergies.

Allergies may be seasonal or chronic depending upon the exposure to the allergen. An allergy may be influenced by factors such as emotional stress, fatigue, infection, air pollution, and weather changes that can cause day to day variation in the severity of symptoms. These triggering factors add to what doctors call the “allergic load,” the amount of allergens the body can tolerate at any given time without the occurrence of symptoms.

Allergy Tests

Allergy tests may be of two general types. In vivo tests that measure the immune response to an agent called an allergen that induces an allergic (atopic) reaction, and in vitro tests that measure the antibodies that mediate an allergic response. Such antibodies are those of the immunoglobulin E class (IgE) which have epsilon heavy chains which attach to mast cells.

Allergy tests are performed to determine the cause of a person’s allergic reaction. An allergic reaction is caused by the production of specific IgE antibodies against one or more antigens. Those antigens that elicit IgE production are termed allergens and are usually harmless substances.

Hair Loss: Causes and Treatments

For most people, hair plays an important part of their overall appearance.

All over the world, beautiful hair is admired and emulated. But for an increasing number of people, unexpected hair loss can be devastating and hard to treat if it is not properly diagnosed.

For people experiencing noticeable hair loss, the number one priority is usually getting the problem solved. Many ignore the actual causes of their hair loss, even though understanding them can be an important first step in treatment.

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to increased hair shedding by weakening hair shafts that cause breakage to the hair and slow regrowth. Hair problems that are caused by nutritional deficiencies can be corrected by a proper diet. Principal nutrients that are involved include vitamin A, certain B vitamins, the vitamin biotin, vitamin C, copper, iron, zinc, protein, and water.

Hair Loss In Women

Hair loss in women is often connected to pregnancy. Three to six months after delivering a child, many women notice a degree of hair loss as the hair goes into a resting phase because of the physiological impact of the pregnancy on the body.

A woman’s body can also be greatly affected by intensive diets and losing a lot of weight in a short period of time.

Severe illnesses and infections can put great stress on the body thus triggering the hair into a resting phase which result hair shedding. Often the body recovers naturally within 3 to 9 months and the hair begins to regrow until it almost resembles its original condition.