Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

Category Archives: Natural Cures

Ways to Improve Your Vision

If you are a person that wears glasses or contact lenses, you are not alone. According to the vision Council of America, about 75% of the adult population wears some kind of vision correction device; either glasses or contact lenses. That’s a lot of people and it seems to be a trend that seems to be going up not down.

 

While there are methods out there that propose to help you get rid of those glasses, in this article I want to focus more on eyestrain. You will find though that if you use some of the information herein and perform some of the exercises that are mentioned, you might find that your vision gets much stronger over time and while I do not make any promises about you being able to ditch your glasses doing them, you might indeed be quite surprised at how much better your vision gets overtime.

 

Most people tend to work out. You see joggers, walkers, people that do aerobics or Pilates, and it seems that yoga is everywhere. Unfortunately people seldom consider their eyes when they think of working out and this is a pity because just like any other muscle in the body, these optic muscles need to be exercised as well. It is quite possible to transform weak body muscles into strong ones and in this way you can improve your vision and reduce eyestrain.

 

Our vision tends to weaken with age but there are things that you can do to slow down or completely stop any degenerative condition that might happen through age. Even the nerve connections between your eyes and your brain can be exercised and better developed. You can also do simple exercises that will allow you to increase the blood flow to your eyes which has a healing benefit.

 

Here is an exercise routine that you can do anywhere whenever you have time. These exercises were developed to exercise the muscles that hold your eyeballs, the ones that are responsible for moving your eyes up and down, side to side, and in circular motions:

 

1.      In a quiet place and at a time when you can close your eyes for a while, take a comfortable sitting position and try and relax your body completely. Now with your eyes closed try to look up as far as you can, try to give yourself a good stretch but don’t go beyond a point where it seems uncomfortable or painful. As you look up try to take a deep breath in and hold that breath as you hold that ocular pose. Now breathe out and as you do so try to look down as far as you can in comfort. Try to hold that ocular pose again for a count of three and then relax your eyes. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times

2.      Next with your eyes closed again try to look to the left as far as you can, without moving your neck. Breathe in as you doing so and hold for a count of five just as I had mentioned above. Now as you breathe out try to look to the right as far as it is comfortable for you and hold it there for a count of five as you exhale. Try to do this exercise 3 to 5 times.

3.      With your eyes open look at some long straight line in the room that you might find yourself in. Usually the best way to do this is to look at the ceiling and pick one corner of the ceiling; now try to look from that one corner of the ceiling to the  other. You’ll find that as you do so your eyes will tend to want to wander off the line that is created where the ceiling and the wall meet, or they will have a hard time staying within that straight line. Without moving your neck, gaze from one corner of the ceiling to the other, trying to keep your eyes focused on that straight line. When you reach the corner at the other end of the wall, follow that line back so you’re looking back and forth as if you were watching a tennis match. Do 3 to 5 complete cycles as slowly as it is possible for you.

4.  Now find the top or the bottom corner of the wall and follow the straight vertical line that is usually created there where two adjacent walls meet. While keeping your eyes open and not moving your neck, try to look from one corner all the way to the bottom corner in the straight line. When you get there try to follow that straight line back up until you find the top corner. Do 3 to 5 complete cycles as slowly as you can.

5.      While you’re sitting at your desk or when you have been reading for a while make sure that you take a break and practice refocusing your eyes. Take your eyes away from your monitor or whatever you are doing and try to focus on something that is far away from you. If you want to do a regular exercise what you can do this outstretch your hand and focus your eyes on your hand then try to focus on something that’s farther away, perhaps at the other end of the room that you might be in. Try to do this 3 to 5 times again and make sure to take a break. The key to exercising your eyes is not to stress them but just to allow them to do what they do naturally on a more regular basis.

You can do these exercises as often as you want during the day just remember to not strain yourself.

 

When you are finished, rub your palms together until you warm them up and then placed your warm palms over your eyes. Do not press down on your eyes but lightly cup your warm palms over your eyes and allow yourself to relax completely. Take a deep breath and hold it for a count of five and then breathe out slowly, and as you do so try to relax. Feel the warmth from your hands and allow your eyes to relax as much as possible.

 

Much of eyestrain comes from our inability to learn to allow our ocular muscles to relax. We are not used to thinking of them as something that we should control or exercise and therefore have no idea how to take care of them. Make sure that after you do the exercises mentioned above, that you take the time to relax your eyes as much as possible because this is possibly one of the best ways that you can reduce eye strain and allow your eyes to heal from whatever stresses they might have experienced during the day.

 

If you can, make sure that you bat your eyelashes anytime that you’re feeling a bit of eyestrain. Since most of us spend so much time staring at a computer screen, we tend to focus so intently that we forget to blink. This can dry out your eyes and cause them to get sore and itchy. If this is the case make sure that you take a break and just open and close your eyes, bat your eyelashes for a good 10 seconds if you can do it.

 

You should also try to reduce the amount of stress that you are inflicting on your eyes. One great way to do this, if you spend a lot of time in front of your computer, is to make sure that  you reduce the distance between the things that you are looking at. What this will do is that it will allow your eyes to take in data without having to refocus constantly; while it is a good idea to train your eyes to refocus so that you train your muscles and keep them well-adjusted, it is not a good idea to do it over and over and over again for many hours because this can stress your eyes and can cause damage if it is something that you’re doing on a regular basis.

 

 

Also remember to take supplements for your eyes:

 

– Like your mom used to tell you, always make sure that you eat your carrots. If you don’t like carrots then make sure that you take vitamin A as a supplement. Vitamin E is also a good supplement for the eyes.

 

Make sure that you eat bilberries. Bilberries are a European variety of blueberries, and they have been proven to sharpen vision and help increase night vision. During World War II the British pilots were all given bilberry jam on a regular basis in order to make sure that their eyes were in top shape. Try to look for this supplements because this is a wonderful, natural supplement for your eyes.

 

Try to get yourself some Astaxanthin. You can now get this wonderful antioxidant in pill form and by taking 200 mg a day, you can definitely help your eyes increase in potency and effectiveness. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that you can find, it protects cell membranes and it is said to be 550 times more potent than vitamin E in this role. Studies have also shown that it is effective for maintenance of ocular health.

 

Remember that your eyes are muscles. Exercise these muscles and stretch them out, but not to the point of straining them. Just like you might go for a long walk, make sure that you also take time to exercise your eyes. If you do so you will greatly increase the power of your eyes so that they can handle the strains that they must face every day.

 

 

Cures for Constipation

Constipation can be a very difficult thing to deal with. This type of irregularity can make you feel very uncomfortable which can affect all aspects of your life.

Constipation is basically infrequent bowel movements. Your stool is usually hard and it’s difficult to pass through your system. Never judge your bowel movements against someone else though because what is infrequent for one person might not be frequent for someone else. I think a good rule is that if you have less than two bowel movements a week, you have a constipation problem. Here are some of the symptoms that you might want to look for:

 

  • less than two bowel movements per week
  • hard and dry stool that is difficult to pass through your system
  • having to strain every time you go to the bathroom
  • bloating of your stomach and a general discomfort there

There are many things that can cause constipation. I know with me personally stress can be a big factor. For example if I’m working on a 9 to 5 schedule, I tends to have less frequent bowel movements because of the fact that I am constantly worried about staying within schedule. Most people have a natural bowel movements in the morning which can be in total conflict with the average working schedule.

Unfortunately the only way to deal with this problem is to either;

a) get up early enough that you are able to have a nice comfortable morning before you go to work and in that way give yourself more time to have your natural morning movement.

b) try to get over any stigma that you might have of going to a public washroom. It can be very difficult for many people to go into a public washroom, when you are at work, and as a result they tend to avoid having a bowel movement during work which can really affect your natural bowel movements the day. If you are having problems in this area, try to find a public washroom in your workplace that you might be comfortable with and perhaps find a time during the morning where most people might not be there so that you feel more comfortable. If you’re still having trouble going to a public washroom at work, remember that a good bowel movement is one of the most important things that you can do for your overall health and that it is far more important than any fear or apprehension that you might feel.

Cures for constipation:

One of the best ways to deal with constipation is to eat more roughage; this basically means adding more fiber to your diet; eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This adds bulk to your stool and helps it move quickly through your digestive tract.

Move your body; by exercising, you are actually helping your body process the food that is in your digestive tract. Things as simple as a quick walk around the block can help your digestive tract move things in your system more smoothly.

Wash it down; this is something that works very well for me; that is to just drink lots of water during the day. Drinking lots of liquid keeps your stool soft which again helps it move easily through to your digestive tract. The amount of water that you drink should be up to you because anybody that’s telling you that you should drink a certain amount of water is forgetting to consider the fact that everyone is different and everyone lives in different environments where there is a variation in the moisture level in the air around you. The dryer the place that you live in, like a desert, the more water that you should drink every day. As long as I am drinking lots of water a day, I tend not to have any kind of problem with constipation.
A good thing to keep in mind is that coffee and tea are diuretics, which means that the actually cause your body to lose water, so if you drink these make sure that you also drink a lot of water to supplement as well.

To be regular, try to stay regular; if you set a time for bowel movements then it will be far easier to stay regular. Try to listen to your body and find out when it is that you seem to have a natural desire to use the washroom and try to use this time on a regular basis.

If you are still having problems with constipation, you will need to take some Laxatives. These come in two forms:

1. The first type of laxatives are what is called “bulk producers”; what they basically do is bulk up and soften the stool. These types of laxative are considered to be safer because they do not or should not damage your bowels.

— Make sure that before you take any laxative that you talk to you and your doctor, especially if you’re a diabetic, pregnant, or taking any kind of medication. I also recommend that you take lots of liquids when you’re using these:



Flax: these usually come in capsules or oil and can be pretty easy to take. Follow the directions on the packaging but it is usually recommended that you take a certain amount up to three times a day.

Glucomanan: these usually come in pill form and again I just recommend that you take whatever the directions on the package are.

Psyllium: these usually, seeds or as powdered husks. Usually take two heaping tablespoons which are usually mixed in a glass with water and drank.

2. The second type of laxative is referred to as a “stimulant”; they tend to have more powerful effect because they work on the smooth muscles of your intestines. Some can provide relief as quickly as two hours after you take them.

— This type of laxative is unsafe if you take it for more than 10 days in a row because they can damage your bowels and make you dependent on this laxative which is never a good idea. If you take them too much or if your system is not used to them they can also cause cramps, diarrhea and dehydration.

Castor oil; usually comes in a capsule or in a liquidy oil. Usually three or 4 tablespoons taken during the day is enough, just make sure you don’t take it before bedtime.

Senna; this usually comes in powder or in a capsule. It’s usually good to take 1 tablespoon with a glass of water and again try to avoid before bedtime.

Cascara sagrada; this usually comes in powder like tablets or capsules and can sometimes even come in liquid form. Having two teaspoons of powder with water will usually do the trick, but make sure that you follow whatever is recommended on the package when you buy this product.

 

 

 

There are many reasons why you can get constipated. It can often be caused by stress or travel when your routines are completely altered. Never get too worried about the fact that you are constipated, just make sure that you drink lots of liquids and your system will eventually correct itself.
Here’s one final remedy just in case you need just one little bit of extra help:

mix 2 tablespoons of honey into a tall glass of warm water and drink it. It tastes pretty good and there’s no way that you get stuck needing to use this laxative all the time because of course it is not something that you or your body can get addicted to, you can also have it as often as you like.
Even drinking warm water by itself can be incredibly good for any kind constipation problems but adding the honey helps with micro-biotic enzymes that you might need and makes the water taste great.

Ways to Combat Anxiety

Anxiety is the one key symptom of stress. Whenever you dread some event and you feel your heart pounding, your hands sweating and your head throbbing, you are experiencing anxiety. It is normal to feel stress but if you are constantly nervous, worried, uneasy, or fearful, you may have some form of anxiety disorder.

Some of the symptoms of anxiety are:

  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • irregular heartbeat
  • breathing difficulties
  • muscle tension or trembling
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • dizziness

The modern urban dweller experiences some form of stress every day. It is therefore no surprise that many people suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder. It is possible to both reduce some of the stress and anxiety that you are feeling:

Make sure that you always have a good breakfast; by having a good nutritional breakfast, you are able to give your body the nutrients that it needs in order to be ready for the day. You have been essentially starving yourself for 6 to 8 hours while you sleep and are therefore starving whether you have the conscious sense of it or not. Digesting a good breakfast also slows down the body’s nervous system and this is a wonderful way to relieve any kind of anxiety.

Try to get a good amount of sleep every night; it is sometimes difficult to get to sleep when you are worrying about the problems of the upcoming day, but it is essential that you try to get as much sleep as possible. Lack of sleep can cause dizziness and disorientation, it can also make you far less stable emotionally. A good night’s sleep refreshes the body and strengthens your conscious control over yourself.

Try to take a vacation on a regular basis; we often believe that the world will grind to a stop if we are not able to work hard every day. You must realize though that in order to work better you need to take good breaks. Make sure that you take some kind of vacation on as regular basis and that you take as many breaks as you can whenever you are working. A week vacation or even a simple 15 min. break during a work day, allows your body to relax which is the most effective way to combat any kind of anxiety.

Do some gardening; a wonderful way to be able to relax and to focus your mind on things that are less stressful, is to just get out in the garden and do a little easy work. Getting close to the Earth and being close to plants, allows your body to take on a different rhythm. Through gardening you are able to experience the natural rhythm of the Earth which is far slower and much more natural to all of us.

Try to laugh more often; laughing is one of the greatest therapies that you can ever give yourself. Get a book on jokes and make sure that you go around telling some of these to your friends and coworkers. Try to watch funny movies and TV shows. Laughter instantly relieves tension and allows the release of pent-up nervous energy.

Get a massage; as I have mentioned above, relaxation is one of the most powerful ways to combat any kind of anxiety. A massage forces the body to relax even when it is tense and overworked. If you don’t have someone that can give you a massage, you can give yourself one with great efficiency. Practice massaging your body at least twice a week for half an hour per session. You will be surprised at the power of a self-massage to relax you.

relax to music; music has a magical way of being able to quite quickly change our mood and our focus. Get yourself a pair of good headphones and make sure that you turn on the tunes whenever you feel a bit stressed out. Experiment with different musical styles and see what works best to soothe your nerves. There are some wonderful nature sounds and special music compilations designed specifically to get you to feel like butter.

Try to get some sun; whenever you see a sunny day, make sure that you get out there and you experience some of that wonderful energy on your body. A sunny day has a way of brightening our mood instantly and the rays from the sun have a natural healing quality that our bodies need. Play hooky if you have to, but make sure that you get out on the sunny days and you get some fresh air as well.

There are also some supplements that are very good at relaxing you:

Kava; this is usually a pill that you can get in most health food stores it is made from the roots of the a plant and it has been used by Polynesian people for hundreds of years. It has an incredibly calming affect but it can make you drowsy if you take too much. Usually when you buy these pills they are called ‘kava kava’, one or two 250 mg capsules should do the trick.

Valerian; you can usually get this herb as a tea but it is also possible to get capsules. This is a super sleep aid and there are no side effects that I am aware of. A couple of 475 mg capsules should be good enough to give you a good night’s sleep.

Vitamin B; the last supplement I would like to mention is actually a vitamin. Try to get a B complex, something that has vitamins B12 and B5. Vitamin B has an amazing way of reducing stress and creates a calming effect on the mind.

If these things are not working or you find yourself in a situation where you’re just starting to stress out, try some breathing exercises. You can find some good breathing exercises in this article that will be of great help in reducing any kind of tension that you might be feeling at the moment.

Natural Cures for Spring Time Allergies

It is a wonderful thing to see the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The budding trees and the blooming flowers can be wonderful for the emotions after a long gray winter. Unfortunately many have mixed feelings about the coming of spring because its arrival means that allergy season is now in full swing.

Many people suffer from an allergic reaction of some kind or another when spring hits. Allergic reactions happen because your immune system over responds to all of the new material in the air. As the pollen and mold spores begin to fly, people’s noses get stuffed up and throats get sore. There are even those that break out in skin rashes that can make the entire spring season quite unbearable.

The symptoms of springtime allergies can be:

-Skin rash or hives
-stuffy nose, sneezing
-coughing, difficulty breathing
-red, watery eyes

There are some things that you can do to lessen your springtime allergies. A good first line of defense is to try and stay inside for a while until your body begins to build up its defenses:

  • try to work out inside; if you are a jogger, and you suffer from springtime allergies, it is always a good idea to do some indoor jogging until your body has had time to adjust to the springtime conditions. Breathing hard while you’re outdoors will make it much easier for pollens, dry grass, mold spores, etc. to enter your nasal passage.
  • Avoid any kind of yard work; just like above you don’t want to be outside until your body has time to adjust and it is therefore imperative that you don’t go outside with a rake and start disturbing the ground and creating more debris that will cause you great pain eventually.
  • Keep your windows closed; this might seem like the wrong thing to do at the beginning of spring when you want to start letting fresh air back into your house but it is always a good idea to keep your windows closed for the first few weeks of spring so that again you have time to adjust.
  • Use a dryer; in the spring people start to hang their clothing out to dry again but this is something that you should avoid if you have allergies. Your clothing can pick up the pollen and other debris while it is hanging outside and will further exacerbate your allergies when you put this clothing on.
  • When you do go outside, make sure that you take a warm shower soon after you have come indoors. A nice warm shower will wash away any spores or pollen that you might have picked up on yourself, especially in your hair, while you were outside. Blow your nose and wash it out really well with the water and this will help to relieve any sneezing or sniffling. When you come inside, also make sure that you change the clothing that you were wearing outside, that way you are safe from anything that your clothes might have picked up out there.

* If you do get some kind of rash on your skin from poison ivy or poison oak for example, you might want to:
try making a thick paste of baking soda and water. Use this paste to cover any of your itchy areas and it should help greatly in soothing any itch that you might have. This is a wonderful cooling paste that reduces itch that makes the springtime rashes at least bearable.
* If you are suffering from sneezing, watery eyes and a stuffed up or drippy nose, try this old remedy:
mix a tablespoon of horseradish with a little bit of honey, take this a couple of times a day. Both of these ingredients will help to kill any bacteria and the horseradish will break up the mucus and will open up your sinuses.

By implementing some of the ideas above and by trying the natural cures mentioned, you can greatly reduce the discomfort that you might feel during the spring allergy season.

 

 

 

 

How to Cure Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

I live in the great White North. It’s a great place to be for the most part because it is fresh and clean, a place where the power of nature still reigns, and her splendor is still in great evidence. Unfortunately living in the great White North means that I don’t get very much sunlight throughout the year. I have a naturally dark complexion, and as a result I suffer yearly from ‘seasonal affective disorder’. Because this is the case I have learnt some techniques and created others to deal with this pressing disorder that affects many people throughout the world.

It is possible that you might be suffering from seasonal affective disorder and you don’t even realize it. If you don’t know what SAD is then you might even believe that you’re going through some kind of depression which might have you swallowing some chemical drug that you don’t even need. Here are some of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder:

•    Sleepy, lacking in energy, and unable to get going on anything
•    You can’t sleep at night but you seem to be sleepy all day
•    Loss of sex drive, and not interested in any kind of socializing
•    Anxiety, feeling stressed out like you can’t cope
•    Angry and irritated at the world
•    Depression, feeling gloomy for no apparent reason
•    Increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates and treats

# You can overcome these symptoms and you don’t need to take any chemical drugs to do it. One of the best ways to deal with ‘seasonal affective disorder’ is to get yourself what I refer to as SAD light. You can either get yourself a light unit or you can get yourself just one light-bulb and change it with a bulb from a light in your house. In order for this like to be able to help relieve your seasonal affective disorder, you have to make sure that you get a full-spectrum light. What this means is that it is light that covers as much of the electromagnetic spectrum as possible. Most light has very little power and does not give you the full spectrum coverage that you need to stay healthy. Full-spectrum light on the other hand is far more powerful and can go far enough into the Ultraviolet and Infrared spectrum to give you the energy that you need to stay happy and healthy.

If you are having some money trouble, I suggest that you try and just get a bulb so that you can get all the coverage that you need while you are at home doing whatever you want. I have tried this method myself and the only problem that I had with it was the fact that I was getting light overload because this was a light that I kept on constantly. Another cheap method of getting the light that you need, is to go to a home and garden store that sells indoor lights for plants. These lights will have the full-spectrum coverage that you need and will usually cost far less than lights created for human seasonal affective disorder. The only thing about using plant lights is that they tend to be not as sturdy as official seasonal affective disorder lights, and it is also the case that you can only use these lights for a maximum of 15 to 30 minutes. You can only use these lights for that period of time because they tend to be far more powerful, with little or no filtration, and can damage your eyes and skin if you are overexposed to them.

# While I do have a special seasonal affective disorder light, I seldom use it anymore. I have developed my own ways to deal with the low light levels of where I live. One of the best methods that I have to deal with SAD, is to try and exercise on a regular basis. This is probably the best way that you can deal with SAD because it is so good for you in so many ways. Exercise is able to help you with seasonal affective disorder because it relieves stress and anxiety which can be a symptom of this disorder. Exercise can also help you deal with this disorder because the act of exercising allows your body to release endorphins, these are natural feel-good chemicals that your brain releases whenever you do a workout. The best exercise that I can think of for seasonal affective disorder, is to put on some good music and start dancing to it for a good 15 to 30 minutes, at least three times a week. The music will make you happy and the exercise will help you by reducing stress and creating feel-good chemicals in your brain.

# I also try to make sure that I take vitamin D on a regular basis. Vitamin D is an incredibly important supplement to anyone who lives in an area where sunlight is somewhat scarce. The darker your complexion, the more vitamin D that you should be taking. I personally try to take 1000 UI every day during the winter.

# Another thing that I do in order to overcome seasonal affective disorder is to put up Christmas lights inside the house in late fall or winter. One of the things that I really miss when light levels become very low, is the ability to see brightly colored objects. By putting up Christmas lights inside my house that have a lot of reds, purples and bright yellows, I am able to satisfy my need to see these colors. If you put up led Christmas lights, they will not be as powerful and the light from them will seem a bit cold but they are definitely far more energy efficient. You can put up as many lights as you want just make sure that you unplug them whenever you go out of the house.

# One of the best techniques that I use to get over seasonal affective disease, is to wear a pair of yellow tinted glasses. I essentially went to a hardware store here and bought myself a pair of construction glasses that had yellow colored lenses. They are definitely not the most stylish pair of sunglasses you have ever seen, but they work amazingly well to make me feel better during those gloomy days. I put them on whenever I go outside and they make everything seem much better. They amplify whatever light is around and they make everything seem more colorful and beautiful. The only downside to them is having to take them off which can re-accentuate the grayness of the day. But this is a minor side effect compared to the benefits of wearing them on an overcast day.

If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, then I recommend that you try the techniques above. They have all helped me to greatly decrease any moody blues that I experienced during the winter months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Heal a Sprained Joint

A sprain can be a very painful thing. The sprain of any joint can tear up the tissues around the joint causing a lot of swelling and redness. Depending on what joint you sprain, you can be out of circulation for a while and it can be costly depending on what you are doing in your life at the moment.

I remember as a child I would be spraining my ankles almost every month. There were times when I had to be taken to special bone setters because I would actually dislocated bone on some occasions. When I wasn’t spraining an ankle, which as I have said was almost a monthly affair, I would be spraining a finger because I had the most natural ability of catching any ball with the tips of my fingers. You can say that I spent most of my time as a child with one kind of sprain or another.

My grandmother, who was a certified nurse and who also practiced many forms of natural healing, recommended an interesting cure for all the sprains that I used to get. This cure greatly increased my recovery time and usually had me up in about in a few days. I can honestly say that without this bit of home remedy, I would have spent most of my childhood sitting down.

My grandma called this cure ‘salmuera’. It basically consisted of taking a large pot of very hot water and adding at least a half cup of salt to that water. The hotter the water the better, and the saltier that the water was the better as well. I remember I used to cry sometimes more at having to put my foot inside this pale of incredibly hot water than when I would actually strained the ankle in the first place. It was always worth it though because I was able to get moving again in a short period of time.

I highly recommend this little home cure to you if ever you strain something yourself. If you strain an ankle like I did; you can fill a bucket with water, as hot as you can stand, and add at least a half a cup of salt to this water, the more salt the better. Stick your foot up to the strained area and try to keep your foot in there as long as you can. It could be that you will not be able to keep it in there for a very long time because the water will be so darn hot but try to keep your foot in there as long as you can. If you have to, you can put the foot in there as long as you can take it, stick your foot out and let it cool off for a bit, and then stick your foot back into the bucket.  Do this until the water  is  Luke warm.

You must be careful of course, you don’t want to make the water so hot that you burn yourself. Use your own judgment on this, if you turn on the tap and run it on hot water until you see water steam come from it, then you have water at about the right temperature. Add salt to the water and use a spoon to stir the water around until all the salt dissolves. Test the water and let it settle until you are able to actually put your foot or whatever you have strained into the water. Do this twice a day every day until your strain feels better.
How this home remedy works is that the saltwater sucks out some of the fluid from the cells around the strained joint. By doing this the salt water helps to reduce the swelling and it helps to tighten tissue that has been torn and twisted. The saltwater is actually compressing tissue back into place so that healing can begin much faster.

You will be surprised at how effective just one salt bath like this can be. As I said, I was usually up and around in a day or two and I was seldom benched for longer than that. Thank goodness because I needed to get myself in trouble in short order so that I might strain some other part of my anatomy.

 

 

 

 

If You Are Having Trouble With Your Diet, Remember that You Are What You Eat

It is a natural desire to be healthy and strong. It has become a trend to become healthy and that’s a good thing. More and more people are engaging in regular exercise and more and more people are watching their diet in order to better their health and increase the quality of their life. If you are finding it difficult to maintain a proper diet, it might be helpful to you to realize that you are your food.

Some might think that this is a bold statement, a bit of a lark; that you are your food. But this is not the case, the reality of the situation is that you are what you ingest. Too many is taken for granted that your body is an object that does not change, aside from perhaps getting bigger, that it is kind of like a tube that goes through food, that it ingests nutrition and foodstuff, but that it is not fundamentally changed by the food that it processes.

This is not the case of course, your body is not an object like a house for example. Your body is constantly growing and developing and the body that you have now is completely different from the body that you had 7 or 10 years ago. The reason for this is that, unlike a house, your body is constantly replacing its structure. It is a well-known fact that every single cell in your body is replaced every 7 to 10 years. What this means is that the body that you have now is completely different from the body that you had possibly less than a decade ago. Imagine that; your entire structure, every single last cell, has been replaced and you are as new, physically speaking, as you have ever been.

Now where do you think that material comes from that makes up this body of yours? Well it comes from what you ingest of course. Think about that; your bones, your organs, your brains, and even your eyeballs have been re-created by the things that you eat or drink. When you consider this, it does put a whole new spin on your diet doesn’t?

Next time that you are about to eat something, think about the above fact. If you are essentially what you eat, then is in its the case that you should eat the best things that you can find. Now I’m not saying that you should follow any particular diet, this is up to you, and it is your choice. What I am saying though is that you should be careful about what you eat, especially in this modern age where good natural foods are something that must be pursued.

Eat whatever you like whenever you like, and as you see fit. But make sure that what you eat is something wholesome and natural, that it is not full of chemicals that you can’t even pronounce. If you are a meat eater, try to eat meat from animals that have been treated fairly and that have been fed properly themselves. Some like to see life as some kind of terrible physical contest where you are allowed to take as much as you want because you are more dominant and more powerful. Knowing that you are truly what you eat, you realize that there is an interconnection that you cannot escape though. If you treat what you will eat like a worthless object then you are treating yourself in that same way because that worthless object will eventually be you. If you pollute the ground where your food will grow or where the food that you will eat will grow then you are polluting yourself because you are that food.

You are what you eat. You are connected to the entire world because the world is you. You are made of all the things around you, your body is renewed every 7 to 10 years through the things that you ingest. If you treat the world around you like a dump then realize that you are turning yourself into that dump. If you feed your food garbage or if you feed yourself garbage then realize that you are turning yourself into garbage. If you learn to love yourself, you will learn to love the world around you. If you learn to love the world around you, you will learn to love yourself. If you love the world around you and yourself then you will treat the world around you well and you will be treating yourself well as a result. Never forget that you are the world; because you are what you eat.

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Breakfast

I wanted to write down my typical breakfast, or lack thereof really. I hope that it will help you to figure out a way to best start your day. I put it together to get a real good jump start in the morning. I have a pretty tricky stomach and I have to always make sure that I consider the many things that tend to upset it.

I don’t actually eat anything in the morning, I usually have a hot stimulating drink and some supplementary pills . I find that I am usually not very hungry first thing. I also find that eating so early tends to just slow down my metabolism and makes it that much harder to wake up and start using all of my energy. If you are tired or groggy in the morning then I suggest that you try my breakfast, many would tell you that a full breakfast with waffles, eggs and toast are the best thing ever but this kind of breakfast will just slow you down.

My typical breakfast starts with a cup of Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate is a traditional drink in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. It is an amazing alternative to coffee; unlike coffee it won’t make you jittery, it won’t mess with your heart, and you could pretty much drink it all day without all the side effects common to coffee (that includes the bad breath). Some scientists think that Mate has a different form of caffeine called mateine which has all of the benefits of regular caffeine but none of the bad side effects.

In order to make a nice cup of Mate, I recommend that you get yourself a bigger one cup tea infuser. You can pick one up at a tea or coffee shop for pretty cheap.  To the infuser, add 4 to 5 heaping tea spoons of yerba mate. Add hot (not boiling, mate works better with hot water just below the boiling point) water to the infuser and let the Mate sit for a half minute. Remove the infuser, add sugar or stevia, and you are good to go. You can use the Yerba Mate in the infuser to make 2 to 3 cups before you need to add more Yerba.

To find the best Yerba Mate, try shopping at a Latin or Italian store, it will be much cheaper than trying to buy some at a specialty tea store. My favorite brand is ‘Cruz de Malta’ and I try to buy a kilo bag at a time (this will usually last me a month or two).

With my Mate I will take supplement pills:

1000 mg of Blue green algae; You can buy these at many stores, they will either be sold as blue green algae, as Spirulina, or as Chlorella, they are all the same thing. This is amazing stuff, and is referred to as a super food. It is high in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It delivers a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from weight loss, memory booster, immune system enhancer, and much more. It has amazing detoxifying properties; that why IronMan was ingesting huge sums or chlorophyll in the ‘IronMan 2’ movie. This stuff is super chlorophyll and it is supposed to even help with radiation poisoning.

1000 mg of Vitamin D. If you live in the North, you need to supplement this vitamin. Researchers are finding that this vitamin is responsible for an incredible amount of stuff; including mood enhancement and immunity booster.

210 mg of Coral Calcium every second day.
This is another amazing supplement. Some researchers have suggested that the long life span in Japan and especially Okinawa are a direct result of the amount of Coral Calcium that the locals ingest.

1 heaping tea spoon of powdered L-glutamine. The brain has 2 types of fuel; sugars (glucose) and L-glutamine. This amino acid will help repair the body, boost immune system, and help in coping with stress. The powdered stuff is pretty much tasteless and dissolves incredibly fast in your mouth with a little Mate.

And that’s it! I might supplement with a multivitamin instead of the Coral Calcium sometimes but that is my breakfast pretty much every day. The Yerba Mate wakes me up and the supplements give me the power I need to get through until lunch.

If you find that you need to eat something before lunch, then try and eat something light. The best thing that you could do is to have as much fresh fruit and veggies as you can to get your through any cravings. Try getting yourself a juicer. The less that you eat before noon, the better and more energetic that you will feel!

Learn From the Joker and Cure Yourself with Laughter

I would imagine that many of you have seen the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight”? In it Heath Ledger gives the most outstanding interpretation of one of Batman’s most sinister villains; The Joker.

The Joker is an incredibly evil creature that is the embodiment of contrast. He is at once seemingly insane, yet at the same time he is seemingly a man of great vision and dark wisdom.

Heath Ledger did a perfect job in capturing the essence of that malicious trickster spirit. He was able to bring forth the madness and the wisdom that is the essence of the Joker, the clown, or the fool.

If you look back at old European history, you will realize that the creature now know as ‘the clown’ was really a malicious being, bringing madness and fear to all that he came in contact with him; Definitely an odd beginning to the modern version of the clown.  It might just explain, I suppose, the reason why most kids start crying their eyes out and run away in fear when they see their first clown at some birthday party. If you can’t quite grasp the evil of the clown, I recommend reading ‘It’ by Stephen King.

But the source of the clown’s madness and the source of the Joker’s power, lies in the fact that he knows something that we don’t know, or are afraid to know. The Joker has looked into the face of the abyss and he has gone mad from this vision.

The being that is now the Joker was once sane and he was endowed with a gigantic intellect. But this great intelligence was his downfall. His questioning and searching finally led him to the edge of the abyss, an abyss that he could not cross; An abyss that drove him mad and nearly killed him.

When the Joker/clown emerged from the mouth of the great ‘Lurker of the deep’, his mind was shattered. His face contorted into a grimace of pure madness, his hair frayed and discolored, his body bent and deformed from the great strain on his nerves.

But the Joker, though mad to most, survived and flourished. He survived by doing that which seems to be beyond reason. He survived by mimicking what he saw in the great void…Chaos.

And his great medicine was laughter, and he laughed because laughter is beyond reason, beyond thought. Laughter is chaos; in the brain. Laughter relaxes all the tensions of your body. Laughter expels all the pain and the fear. It is a convulsive explosion that allows us to experience, ever so briefly perhaps, the freedom of totally letting go. If you wish to exorcise a demon, laugh at it.

And that is the trickster’s joy, his greatest gift to us; he makes us laugh for the sheer love of Chaos. He acts and says crazy things, forcing our brains to make great leaps in perception. Our synapses twitch one way, then the other and AHA!

“ A clown falls down, oh what a mess…haha.” “ What do Walruses and Tupperware have in common? They both like a tight seal of course! Hahaha!”

So let us take some advice from that evil clown, The Joker:

Find a time or a place when you can be alone and undisturbed, the lonelier the better since you don’t want to end up in a padded cell wearing a really uncomfortable jacket;   and laugh.

Force yourself to laugh for five minutes straight. Feel like a joker yourself if you like, but in a light hearted mood, force yourself to laugh for 5 minutes without stopping.

It will be a bit hard to get going at first but you will notice that if you keep at it, soon this effort will turn into uncontrollable laughter. Just keep laughing harder and harder until deep belly laughs begin to flow out of you naturally.

At the end of the 5 minutes, you will feel a little tired but cleansed. This exercise will relieve your stress and cure you of any oppressive feeling that you might have.  Believe me, if you can laugh at chaos, it will take a step back.

Just in case you might think me insane 😛
Here is a little extra sample of the power of laughter:

http://www.cancercenter.com/complementary-alternative-medicine/laughter-therapy.cfm

Increase Your Energy Part 2

As I had discussed in part one of this article, modern man suffers from a serious lack of energy. I had mentioned our incredibly hectic modern pace, our lack of proper sleep, and our bad diet. Certainly these are clear reasons for our energetic lack but aside from maybe learning to develop a better diet, there is very little that most people can do to help their current lot.

If you can, do slow down. But as I say this, I know that most people will not heed my advice. There are also a majority out there that could not take my advice if they wanted to.

Increased credit debt, mortgage trouble, kids soccer leagues and an infinitude of other reasons, have the modern individual over a barrel. You can’t slow down because if you do, it is quite possible that the very world around you might come to an end. Perhaps.

Since you will not listen or quite possible you can’t do as I ask and; slow down. I can perhaps help you find energy in other ways so that you might be able to cope a little better with our modern situation.

As I also mention in my prior article, drugs are not the answer. Coffee; you can be sure is a drug. But it is also a good and natural food of the earth so taken in moderation, it can be a nice treat and good pick me up. But if abused, even this most savory little helper can cause you many health problems.

I strive in this article therefore to give you another method to re-charge your batteries. Just like in a my other article, this method seems a little exotic at first glance but if you give it a chance, you will find that it has a number of very beneficial aspects that can help you tremendously.
If you have high blood pressure, or at risk of heart or aneurism problems, please talk to your doctor before you try the following technique.

Before you begin this exercise, I would highly recommend that you read the article entitled, How to Breathe Properly. The reason for this is that it will give you a good back ground on the power of your breath and it will show you how to inhale so that you can take energy in from the air and you can also master the ability to fill your lungs properly and completely.

To begin this exercise; I want you to take a number of long deep breaths. While you are inhaling, I want you to make sure that you fill your lungs completely. Fill your lung from top to bottom and expand your entire chest cavity. Take three good long breaths like this.

On the fourth breath, I want you to hold your breath, do not exhale. Hold that fourth breath in your body. When you are holding your breath, I want you to practice holding your breath with your diaphragm instead of your throat. You will know the difference because when you are holding your breath with your throat muscles, you can feel a large pressure in your neck and head while if your are using your diagram to hold your breath, all tension and effort will be focused  on your lower chest.

As you hold your breath, I want you to imagine that there is a heat that is starting to be generated in your lower back. Imagine that the base of your spine is heating up almost like a a motor being turned on. You will of course start to run out of air and as you do, the tension and the desire to open your mouth and breathe will become quite uncomfortable.

Do not give in to this feeling though but continue to hold your breath and as you do, and as your discomfort builds, I want you to focus on the heat that is growing more and more intense in your lower back.  Imagine that this heat grows in intensity in direct proportion to the discomfort that you feel as you hold your breath. Continue like this until you can’t take it any more and you must open you mouth and suck in a large gulp of air.
But as you inhale again, do not breathe out but once again hold your breath. Once again focus on the growing heat in your lower back except that this time the heat is so intense that there is a ball of light is being created there. Your lower back begins to glow with heat and power and this glow and power increase in direct relation to the discomfort that you feel as you hold your breath. Continue to focus on this glowing energy at the base of your spine until you can’t take it anymore and you once again open your mouth and you exhale the old air and you take a third deep and refreshing breath.

Again hold this breath and as you do, remember to focus of the glowing ball of energy that has developed in your lower back. But with this final breath, imagine that this glow, heat and energy from your lower back begins to move up your spine and as it does this, it pushes into every cell in your body, from your pinkie, to your toes, to the top of your head. This power from your lower back forces itself out with great vigor and is in direct relation to the discomfort that you feel from holding your breath.

Do this until you can’t hold your breath any longer and you must finally open your mouth and suck in that wonderful and cooling fresh air. Relax your body and catch your breath.

This is an incredibly powerful exercise that will increase your energy far better than any drug. Learn to focus your imagination so that you can very clearly see and feel the heat and light at the base of your spine. Focus all of your concentration as you do this exercise so that you can use the tension from your breath to drive yourself to great realism in all the things that you are imagining.
In very short order, you should be able to perform this entire exercise in only one breath so that you can go from heat to light to shooting energy. Once you can do this, you will be able to increase your energy anywhere, anytime and in very little time.

How to Sit Properly

Personal posture is such an important thing to the health and well being of the body that it seems almost criminal that it is not given more attention. You are essentially a physical structure like a house or a bridge and just like these structures, your alignment must be perfect or else you will begin to feel stress that will eventually lead to a structural collapse.

Certainly you are a moving object unlike a static building, you also have amazing powers of self healing but if you continue to defy the laws of nature, as they apply to all the physical things on this planet, then you will eventually come to a point where you will not be able to heal yourself any longer. You see this in those chronic back problems that are so prevalent right now.

Certainly you are moving, but for large portions of your day, you will find yourself in static positions where you might move very little for hours. A great example of this is the office worker that sits in front of a monitor for hours with very little movement at all. The average office worker will actually sit in one position for six to eight hours a day!

”62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress.”
Integra Survey, 2000. As published on the Tim Ferris blog.

62 % is a big number and one that can be alleviated to some degree. I hope to give you some options in this article that will help with this.

I personally like to separate sitting postures by regions, The two that we are going to go into detail here are; Chinese sitting style, the Japanese sitting style. These two styles of sitting are my favorites and are the ones that I would recommend to anyone because they are versatile and helpful.  Both of these styles have their strengths and weaknesses but with them you can get a solid understanding of your body’s dynamics and how to use either or a variance of both to get just what you need.

The first style that I will discuss is what I like to call the Chinese sitting style. This style of sitting is very practical and once you experience it and understand it, you tend to ask yourself why you had not thought of that sooner. This sitting posture is used a lot in Taoist sitting meditation and is a natural extension of the posture that one ideally assumes when one practices Tai Chi.

So that you get a basic idea on how to do this, take a cross legged seat on the ground. If this is difficult for you, find a nice chair and just take a seat on that.  I don’t want you to lean your back on the back rest of the chair but instead I want you to sit yourself with your back straight and relaxed but not supported.

To do this, you have to think of your back as being made up of a number of individual blocks that are stacked one on top of the other. Your vertebra are literally blocks that are stacked this way, think of yourself as building a block column of 33 blocks, you are stacking these blocks one on top of the other  until you have all 33 stacked all the way up.

As you can imagine, this can be a tricky endeavor and if you don’t make sure to stack the blocks perfectly, they will topple over on you. Unfortunately, you have built this 33 block column on a rickety table that keeps tipping one way and then other.  If your blocks lean too far one way, they will fall but if the table  goes too far the other way they will also fall. The only way to make sure that your blocks stay up is to hold on to the side of the table and make sure that it is perfectly balanced so that your blocks aren’t tipping forward or backward.  In all this craziness, there will be a point where the blocks are perfectly balanced; they won’t be falling forward or backward and they will be stacked in a perfectly straight line. This is called perfect alignment and is the perfect sitting posture of old.

Now, either sitting on the floor cross legged or on a chair, align your 33 blocks so that one is supporting the other…good. Now you have essentially a column that you have to balance, make sure that it is neither falling forward or backwards.  There is the one sweet spot where your column is not falling one way or the other. Here you are in perfect balance. Aligned with the earth.

This is the litmus test; relax your entire body.
Do you fall? If you relax every muscle, every tissue; does your body stay seated?  On your first attempt, most like not.

If your neck falls forward into your chest or if your body collapses into your stomach, then you have not stacked your 33 blocks properly.  In order to fix this, I recommend a couple of simple and fun little exercise:

1)    Find a nice straight wall and put your back against it. You will find of course that you back is not perfectly straight but curvy. Slowly push back on the wall so that your spine begins to align with the wall. Try to get your back as straight as possible without pain.  Let your neck stay curvy, it’s not meant to be perfectly straight.

2)    Get one of those big core exercise balls or a nice big beach ball and try to hug it. If you don’t have a ball, pretend that you are hugging a big beach ball like that. Sit and hug the ball. This exercise is great because it allows you to take a seat and feel your way to a perfectly aligned back.
If you can stack your 33 blocks perfectly and balance them so that you don’t have to use one bit of muscle to hold yourself up, then you have success. If you feel any tension whatsoever then realign yourself so that the tension goes away and you are totally relaxed and loose.

What does this have to say about personal psychology? Can this posture be both a practical sitting posture and a metaphor for how you should conduct yourself? Let me know.

The Chinese sitting posture is wonderful for sitting without moving for hours. It’s wonderful for long meeting or for when you have to type for long periods of time. The disadvantages are that if you have to do a lot of moving on your chair, you will have to do a lot of re adjusting which can be difficult. Moving the mouse on a computer for example can be difficult while trying to maintain this posture.

For a more energetic sitting posture, I recommend the Japanese sitting method. This posture is more dynamic and is used in archery, tea ceremony and Zen meditation.

The best way to learn this sitting technique is to kneel on the ground placing your bum and the weight of your body on the bottoms of your feet. This is a very popular Japanese sitting posture and you will see it most clearly in Martial Arts academies, specifically in Aikido.

If you sit in this way, your back will naturally arch so that your back takes on some of the properties of an archer’s bow. The human back is actually very similar in curvature to an unstrung Japanese bow and when taught how to begin to master this sitting technique, many masters use this comparison.

The spine therefore has to naturally want to arch backwards a bit; as they say when training in Zen meditation, “ your back must be kept straight, and the anus must want to look up at the sky”. What you are doing by sitting this way is creating a natural tension so that you back arches backwards a little, your anus as they say tries to look up and your stomach pops out slightly from the dynamic of this tension. You are essentially drawing a bow, and you will find that your spine will take on this very feeling.

Never overdo it though! The idea is that with the slightest of effort on your part, you draw the bow and the pull from gravity on your body does most of the work.  The little tension should feel good. It is the slightest of tension coupled with the pull of gravity, which creates this nice taunt feeling. It’s pretty easy to master and a joy to implement.

Once this drawing of the bow is mastered, you once again want to balance your spine so that it is not falling forward or backwards but it is perfectly balanced.

The Japanese sitting posture is better when you have to lean forwards and backwards constantly in your day. As long as you keep that bow taunt, you will be able to reach for mouse, stapler or whatever you need. When you are done, just go back to a nice well balance sitting angle where there is no tension on your muscle or tendons and the bow is supporting all of your weight, without effort, and relaxed.

The disadvantages of the Japanese sitting method are that at first you can feel a bit of strain on your lower back as you get used to this method but if you continue, this should go away and you should be able to sit like this for hours. Also if you have a history or lower back problem, this might be too much for you and you might want to avoid this sitting method.

Remember if there is strain, you are arching too much. It should be a comfortable, relaxing tautness.

My final recommendation to you is that you get a seat cushion. The kind of cushion that I recommend are the donut cushions. These things are great and I don’t know how I survived without one.
You can either get the foam donut or the inflatable ones. I have the foam one and I like very much but you can give the blow up one a go and experiment with air pressure to see how if this is better for you. This cushion is ideal for either sitting style described above and will help you to achieve a more balanced sitting posture.  You can get these cushions at a geriatrics or rehabilitation stores. You will begin to alleviate most of your current pain when you begin to sit properly.

Increase Your Energy

In our modern and frantic world, lack of sleep and 12 hour work days are becoming the norm. In order to survive the incredibly taxing modern schedule, the average person has resorted to coffee, cigarettes and drugs of all kinds. We have so much to do but we lack the energy needed to get it all done. Four cups of coffee a day does not make for a healthy lifestyle. And the excessive toll that the nervous system endures can be fatal in the long run.

Is there a way to increase your energy? Is there a way to help yourself out of the zombie like existence that comes from overwork and rest deprivation? Well the short answer is yes and I hope to help you with this task. This article will be the first of two articles that I wish to write on the matter and I hope that with the help of both, you will be able to find answers and techniques to help you regain your vigor and health.

In many ways we are sort of like an electrical machine that runs on an electrical charge. Our nervous system sends information in the form of minute electrical impulses and each organ in the body produces a small electric charge as it performs its functions throughout the day.  Doctors for example measure these electrical charges through special equipment like the EKG to measure the heart and the EEG to measure the brains activity. Therefore if you find yourself running like the energizer bunny all day, there will come a point where you will literally run out of batteries. In order to gain back our strength, we can eat something. When you eat something, you take energy from your environment in the form of calories, and convert it into body energy and work in the form of joules. You can see therefore that one of the most important ways to increase your energy is to have a healthy diet.

Diet, dieting and healthy eating are very popular right now, so I won’t try and beat a dead horse with this article. It is enough to say here that food must be considered fuel because this is exactly what it is. You don’t want to put garbage in your car so in the same vein, do consider the type of fuel that you are putting into your body.

Breathing is also a form of eating, so breathing is also fuel. Breathing properly is a must therefore if you wish to gain more energy and you should devote some time to learning this discipline.

I will assume also that you are like most people and haven’t actually had a good night’s sleep in a long time. The reason that I mention sleep is that this is of course a great way to increase your energy, but lack of sleep is endemic in modern Western culture. Certainly sleep loss goes side by side with the strenuous and hectic lifestyle that many of us find the norm right now.

This is unfortunate because a good night’s sleep will charge your batteries better than anything else. Try to get as much sleep as possible, whenever possible.  Learn to relax and if you are having troubles falling asleep then look for ways to beat insomnia.

The present article will focus on what we can do to conserve the energy that we have by showing you how you squander your emotional energy every day. This is in my opinion the biggest reason why modern man is constantly tired and unhealthy. The squandering of nervous energy represents the biggest loss of vigor and power by the average individual.

The satisfaction of one’s emotional impulses is always accompanied by huge expenditures of emotional energy. This means that every time that you expend a huge amount of energy having a fit of one kind or another, you are actually draining some of that nervous energy (electrical energy) that allows you to perform and function throughout the day. Therefore the first and foremost method of increasing energy is to learn to control your emotional outbursts and your reflexive actions.

The principal methods in doing this are:

A. Control your need to be expansive; This is the need to be extroverted, gushing, and unreserved.  There should be a great effort made on the reader’s part to exercise a more silent demeanor. For example;  you come across some type of news and you feel the urgent need to share this news or event with a friend, you must realize that this act of indulging, will only squander a large amount of your energy. Conserve your energy; say nothing.

Do not manifest so many reflexive expressions while listening to another person’s conversation.  An animated overexcited demeanor can rob you of that much needed nervous energy that you require to get through your day. Every exclamation, every word, every gesture that you withhold, will increase the amount of emotional energy at your disposal. Do not waste your energy on mere trifles, on commentary,  in words of admiration for those that surround you, or on the occasions or events that you happen to witness. All this does not mean becoming antisocial but it does mean the ability to withhold those actions that have no purpose for you or for the people that you are socializing with.

When you do have the need to speak, don’t do it in an automatic or mechanical way but measure the expressions that you are going to make so that you are expressing yourself in a measured conscious way instead of a reflexive or impulsive way.  Do not speak in an excessively animated way, because this only wastes valuable energy that can be better spent on other pursuits. Above all, do not debate.

B.
Control your need to be accepted and valued; People have a natural need to be valued as worthy by others, and they will pursue this need any chance that they get.  We all have the need to have others think that we are cool or great in some way or another.  We want others to think that our opinions are very important and that our opinions are the ones that really matter.  Next time you are out in public and speaking to others, pay close attention and you will notice that we are all expending huge amounts of emotional energy on just getting noticed.

The need to feel and to express our self importance is the biggest drain that we have. If you want to limit your emotional outbursts and conserve your nervous energy, I suggest that you do everything in your power to limit these tendencies to feel important.

You do not need to show others who you are or what you are all about.  You need to do, and in order to do things better, you need to have more energy.  It is the ultimate waste of time and energy to be constantly placating the ego.

C.
Control your rage (or as I like to say, control your sudden fits of enthusiasm); if a person can begin by controlling any and all acts of impatience, he/she will be able to, in a very short time, develop a serenity and cool that will be able to overcome any obstacle.  The facial gestures, body movements and exclamations that are brought about by fits of irritation and rage, can cause serious loss of nervous energy and should therefore be controlled as much as possible.  You should strive for a detached cool at all times so that you are not forced into reflexive and impulsive fits by the world around you.

I know that it can be daunting to pursue some of the suggestions given above.  I do not want you to become a robot; what I want you to do is to start to consider all of the wasteful actions that you perform throughout your day.

I actually want you to start to be less of a robot and to consider your actions before you undertake them. The robot acts in a mechanical way so that when it receives stimulus 1, it performs action 2.

I want you to strive to be more than a reflexive creature. I want you to be more conscious of your every day actions, and through this basic exercise, gain back the energy that you have been throwing away like there is no tomorrow.

Stop a Headache with Visualization

I inherited the headache gene from my mother. I’ll get headaches when I’m not eating right, not drinking enough, sleeping enough or if I’m stressed. Sometimes they are mild, the kind you can ignore. Other times they make it hard to concentrate on anything, and all I want to do is lie down and try to sleep so the pain will go away. In cases like these even pills can’t take the edge off. But I found something that does help and in many cases cure my headaches.

The great thing about this technique is that you don’t need to have years of experience with visualization or mediation. If you can day dream, then you can complete this exercise!

Find somewhere you can be undisturbed for about five minutes. Ideally you would be able to lie down in a dark and quiet room, but if you’re at work this is probably not possible. The key is to find a place where you can be alone and relax (a deserted lunchroom or quiet park bench for example). If you will be sitting, then gently align your spine so you have a fairly straight back. If it feels better, lean against the back of the chair for support. If you have a bed, lie on your back with your arms by your side.

Begin by breathing deeply and slowly, concentrating on relaxing. When you are ready, concentrate on your head, and forget the outside world.

Imagine that your skull is made of energy. Give it a color! I usually choose silver, but you might prefer a soothing blue or radiant yellow.

Once you have this image in your mind locate the center of the headache. You want to feel the pain, and confront it with your full focus. Start contracting the energy towards it. Make the skull-shaped energy field get smaller and more spherical. Make it contract around the pain in your head, until the pain is completely surrounded by the ball of energy.

When this image is strong in your mind, see the sphere (with the pain inside) slowly taking the shortest route out of your head. As the sphere leaves your body the headache may move with it, or might just start to fade (as it does with me).

Don’t stop your concentration once the sphere is outside. You still have to dispose of it properly. Imagine the sphere moving away from you, and out of the building. Control it downwards until you see it sink into the earth, and out of sight.

Bring your attention back to your body. Keep your eyes closed and your breathing slow and steady. Feel for pain in your head. In some cases the pain may have completely vanished. You might feel a few last throbs of pain before it goes for good. If your headache remains, it should have at least lessened somewhat. Try the visualization again to see if you can sweep up more of the pain.

The key to this exercise is calm resolve. The usual reaction to a headache is to try and ignore the building pain, while it grows and takes the enjoyment of the day away from you. Instead meet the pain head-on, treat it like an invader that you are going to eliminate. Put that strength and resolve into the energy that you use to capture it. If your first attempt doesn’t work, don’t give up. If you doubt the effectiveness of this exercise, then it probably won’t do a thing. Put scepticism aside and be confident. Do you feel even a little better? If yes, then it worked! Keep at it and the results will only improve.

To close, I want to put a quick word in about headache prevention. Some people are just prone to headaches, and will get them no matter what they do. However, the following tips can help ward them off.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid products that contain white or refined sugar as much as possible. Stay hydrated throughout the day. If you’re like me and you just forget to drink water then make a point of going to the water cooler every two hours, filling your cup and drinking it right there before you let yourself sit down again.

Get enough sleep. Listen to your body and go to bed when you’re tired. Television has been proven to make deep, restful sleep difficult. Turn the television off at least thirty minutes before you get in bed and instead incorporate a relaxing bedtime routine like sipping tea and reading.

Sleep on your side or back. Sleeping on your stomach causes a lot of pressure to build in your neck and cause a tension headache, because your head is twisted sideways all night. If you find anything other than your stomach uncomfortable then consider investing in a slip on pillow-top cover for your mattress. The extra padding will support your body better than a conventional flat mattress, especially if you’re a woman. Many people find that placing a pillow between their knees helps them sleep on their sides. If you wake up in the middle of the night, take five seconds to correct your sleep posture if needed.

Take breaks. Don’t do any one thing for too long, especially if you’re reading or working at a computer. Even two minutes of standing, stretching and looking around will rejuvenate you and help prevent eye strain and stress headaches.

How to Beat Insomnia

It is essential that you have a good nights sleep, so that the body and mind can recuperate completely from the stresses of the day. When you have had a good nights sleep, it is much easier to wake up in the morning and you find that you begin your day with a feeling of well being. The person that has a good sleep, thinks and acts with the full measure of his or her faculties.

A person’s exterior aspect, also reflect the benefits of a good sleep. The person that is able to sleep normally and well appears fresh and vibrant, he is clear of vision and the muscles around his face are relaxed and calm. The voice seems to have a deeper tone and has clarity.

Sleeping well conserves the individual; every hour that you sleep is truly an interruption of life, that is every hour that you sleep is an hour that you do not age.

Lack of sleep on the other hand, takes its toll on the body. Sleepless nights can bring about major nervous disorders, and these disorders create all the other nervousness problems that plague most people today. Lack of sleeps and rest puts the body in a state where it becomes difficult to fight off microbial infections. A person who lacks sleeps, finds it difficult to deal with any bleakness or emotional distress. In a word, a person that lacks proper sleep , lacks the energy to deal with the onslaught that it must face on any given day.

The need to beat insomnia therefore is of great importance. The exercise below was developed so that you can exercise your will and efficiently begin your nightly sleep.

Finish your day’s routines and get dressed , or undressed, for bed. Begin by lying down comfortably. Your limbs should be completely extended. Find the most comfortable position that you can, where your entire body feels relaxed and calm. Once you have found a very relaxed resting posture, you need to immobilize your body completely. This is an exercise of will, where you will train yourself to maintain one position in bed for an extended period of time. Make sure therefore that your lying posture is very comfortable. Your neck and head should be positioned properly and your joints should not be bent in an unusual position.

The second thing that you need to do is to make sure that all the muscles in your body are truly fully relaxed and calm. Begin with your feet and work your way up the body, using your consciousness to see and mentally command your muscles and tissues to relax. As you command each and every part of your body to relax, exhale. This exhale should be like a sigh of relief. I recommend that you read my article on breathing, specifically the section on baby breathing.

Once you have spent a bit of time in this resting posture, you will develop a very strong desire to move. Usually we allow our bodies to move as they will while we are lying in bed, without much conscious thought about it at all. This exercise requires you to do the exact opposite. You must stay very vigilant and make sure that you do not allow your body to move all. You might find this harder to do than you imagine because of the fact that you have probably been very lax with your bodies movement in the past.

When this need to change position arises, fight it at all costs. Stay immobile. You need to exercise your will power at this point. Don’t give in; contain your body’s desires.

After about fifteen minutes of this state of utter immobility, you will feel the growth of a very lovely feeling that lets you know that slowly but surely, sleeps is beginning to catch up with you. If you are persistent and maintain this sate of immobility, you will see that you will slowly beat your insomnia. Stay immobile for as long as you need to. Eventually you will be overcome by a deep and restful sleep.

Increase Metabolism and Lose Fat Fast

There are a lot of people who would love increase their metabolism. Having a high level of metabolism enables you to burn fat and lose weight fast with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the chemical process that occurs in living organisms, resulting in growth, production of energy, and elimination of waste.

The most important factors in the rate and strength of your metabolism are muscle tissue and activity. The more muscle that you have, the more energy that you burn. The more activity that you do, the more energy/calories that you burn. How much you eat, what you eat and genetics also play a very large role in your metabolic rate. Metabolism starts to slow down when a person begins to slow down with age or as a result of a very sedentary routine.

To increase your metabolism you should:

 

  1. Build muscle and lose fat at all cost! As we get older our metabolism slows down and we get flabbier, but new studies show that we can reverse this effect and that the biggest reason why we get slower and flabbier is laziness. The more muscle that you have, the more calories you burn and therefore the less fat that you have. Use weights when you exercise. There is nothing like resistance training to increase you metabolic rate and increase your overall strength. You don’t have to start with very heavy weights. If you can feel a resistance from the weight, then you are benefiting from resistance training. If you are not interested in building muscle bulk then use lighter weights with lots of repetition. This will give you a very beautiful sculpted look.
  2. Do cardiovascular training on a regular basis.   The ideal is to do something that will have you taking deep breaths but not wheezing.
    – Begin slow and build up by increasing the length of the workout and the speed.
    – Try doing your cardio with some weights.
  3. Eat breakfast. They don’t say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for nothing. After having been asleep for hours, the body is literally starved for sustenance. If you starve the body, the metabolism slows down. In other words, thinner people eat breakfast.
  4. Stay away from sugar. When the body consumes sugar, all of its caloric needs are met very quickly because the body can very quickly break down sugars and make body fuel. Unfortunately the body will the store the pasta that you has just consumed before, the only way that it knows how, which is to turn it into fat.
  5. Eat hot, spicy foods. Hot foods with lots of hot peppers will actually increase your metabolism!
  6. Make sure to get your daily dose of sleep. Some research has shown that people that don’t get enough sleep will increase in body weight. If you are lethargic all day due to a lack of sleep, then your metabolism has slowed down and that is not what you want when you are planning to lose weight. Another important issue is that if you are now regularly working out, you will want to give your body more sleep so that it can heal and recuperate.
  7. Drink more water. Water is the single most important ingredient in flushing out waste from the body. Have you noticed that you start to feel lethargic when you don’t drink enough liquids? This is because the body needs water for all major functions and if you don’t have enough of this precious liquid then your body will try to compensate by slowing itself down.
  8. Eat smaller meals but with greater frequency. The ideal would be to eat four to six small meals a day with not more than 3 hours in between. This is a very BIG secret to metabolic increase!
  9. Never skip meals. The most common idea when dieting is that you have to skip meals. This is the biggest mistake that you can make! Not eating on a regular basis slows down your metabolism.
  10. Plan when you are going to eat, and how much. Start a journal that will allow you to plan in a very specific way what and when you will be eating. The more chaotic that your meals schedule is, the more chance there is of losing the momentum that you want to maintain.
  11. Drink lots of green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has actually more caffeine than coffee and will stimulate your system. Unlike coffee, there are no real bad side effects from drinking too much tea. And of all the teas, green tea has been shown to flush away fats from the system.
  12. Eat plenty of high energy foods.  Fruits are a great source of energy and you should teach yourself to use them as replacements for junk food. Royal bee jelly, bee pollen and blue green algae are fantastic sources of energy since they are basically concentrated super foods. Buy these in pill form and you can pop them throughout the day whenever you are feeling a little tired.

 

Achieving the desired body weight is never impossible if you stay focused and determined so that you can learn to consciously control your metabolism levels. Staying in shape is more than just a whim; it has to be a positive change that you make in your daily routines and a change that has to be there for the rest of your life.