Top 3 Surprises About Acupuncture

Posted by Sara Calabro in the Huffington Post

Posted by Sara Calabro in the Huffington Post

Acupuncture is not just for Pain

Ask most people why other people get acupuncture and the majority will say pain. It's true that acupuncture can work wonders on pain conditions -- for everything from low back pain and shoulder pain to migraines and TMJ, acupuncture is on it.

However, acupuncture can alleviate a wide variety of ailments that have nothing to do with physical pain. Whether you have digestive issues, gynecological conditions, emotional concerns such as anxiety and depression, asthma, seasonal allergies, you name it, acupuncture can help address your symptoms.

Check out these 14 things you probably didn't realize acupuncture can help with.

Acupuncturists go to school for a long time

People tend to be unaware of the extent to which acupuncturists train to become licensed in their profession. Many assume becoming an acupuncturist is similar to becoming a massage therapist or Reiki practitioner or yoga instructor. Not so much.

At minimum, a licensed acupuncturist in the United States has been to three years of graduate school. Four years is more common. They hold master's degrees. Some acupuncturists with doctorates have studied at the graduate level for five-plus years. Upon graduating from an accredited school, all acupuncturists must pass multiple board exams to become licensed in their state.

In addition to the academic and state requirements for practicing acupuncture, many acupuncturists seek hands-on training and mentorship in the form of apprenticeships and continuing education seminars.

Acupuncture is Relaxing

"So you lie still while someone sticks multiple needles into your body?"
"Yes."
"And this not only doesn't hurt but also relaxes you?"
"Yep!"

Weird, I know. But true.

Acupuncture needles are surprisingly thin. They do not bear any resemblance to needles that are used for injections or to draw blood. (See one up close here.) In most cases, the insertion of acupuncture needles does not hurt. It can produce a variety of sensation but frequent acupuncture goers will tell you it doesn't hurt.

Once the needles are in, they start working their magic, which is where the relaxation part comes in. Acupuncture helps shift your body out of sympathetic mode (fight or flight) and into parasympathetic mode (rest and digest). It mellows out the nervous system, decreases muscular tension, and helps quiet internal chatter.

People who get acupuncture on a regular basis are familiar with the term "acu-land," a magical place where many find themselves during and after acupuncture treatments. It's a state of blissful relaxation in which you feel lighter, calmer, and better equipped to manage stress. You ought to check it out some time.

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-calabro/acupuncture_b_5084146.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Using chia seeds to make an easy, healthy form of pudding which requires no cooking? Genius!

Using chia seeds to make an easy, healthy form of pudding which requires no cooking? Genius!

Chia pudding has a sort of tapioca texture, you simply combine all the ingredients and refrigerate overnight. The little tiny chia seeds when soaked in liquid expand to more than 4 times their size. Chia is an excellent source of omega fatty acids and full of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Aside from making pudding, you can add them to smoothies, muffins, and my favorite, I throw them in my bowl of cereal.

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh ripe champagne mango, diced
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
  • 4-6 drops Nu-Naturals liquid stevia (or sugar/honey to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large container. 
Mix
 well and close container.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 5-6 hours.
Divide into 2 bowls or glass dishes and serve.

Source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/06/mango-coconut-chia-pudding.html?m=1

7 Health Benefits of Meditation

www.rawforbeauty.com

www.rawforbeauty.com

It's a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. Watch the tension melt from your muscles and all your niggling worries vanish. Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us.

Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ''disease-fighting genes'' were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation.

In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ''the relaxation effect'', a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. ''We found a range of disease-fighting genes were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group,'' Dr Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the research, says. The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn't stop there.

1. INCREASED IMMUNITY

Relaxation appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumours and to viruses.

2. EMOTIONAL BALANCE

Emotional balance, means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego. This is very hard to achieve fully, but meditation certainly is the way to cure such neurosis and unhealthy emotional states. As one’s consciousness is cleansed of emotionally soaked memories, not only does great freedom abound, but also great balance. As one’s responses then are not colored by the burdens one carries, but are instead true, direct and appropriate.

3. INCREASED FERTILITY

A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.

4. RELIEVES IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practising a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improved significantly. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.

5. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.

6. ANTI-INFLAMATORY

Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. Relaxation can help prevent and treat such symptoms by switching off the stress response. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.

7. CALMNESS

The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. So in both minds, an upsetting thought can occur, but for those who meditate it is just another thought, which is seen as such and is allowed to blossom and die, while in the ordinary mind the thought instigates a storm which rages on and on.

Source:  http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/relax--its-good-for-you-20090819-eqlo.html#ixzz1kQtHr9Pm