Monday, August 31, 2009

Benefits Of Flax Seeds Oils For Skin And Other Health Problems

Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds Oils

Flax seed oil is known to be a rich natural source of several vital minerals like copper, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, of omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids, as well as of proteins and B vitamins. Consumption of flax seed oil is believed to boost the immune system, as well as improve the functioning of the heart, nerves and reproductive organs. Flax seeds oil can prevent colon and breast cancer, as well as treat serious ailments like asthma and diabetes. It also helps keep blood pressure within safe limits and lower the level of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Local application of flax seed oil is also known to be of use in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Consuming a small portion of this oil daily also helps keep body weight in control. You may also use flax seeds oil to treat skin disorders like acne, allergies and eczema, as well as to treat dry scalp and dandruff. Topical application of this oil also helps heal wounds and bruises faster. Flax seeds are known to be an effective natural remedy for chronic constipation. The best way of using this remedy is to grind a few flax seeds using a mixer and adding the oily pulp to a glass of water. Drink this infusion every morning to cleanse bowels and get rid of constipation. The fiber present in flax seeds cleanses deposits of dried mucus, digestive wastes and other toxic substances from the system. This oil also reduces the intensity of premenstrual symptoms such as stomach cramps and nausea. Consuming a teaspoon of this oil every day for a month helps lessen the discomfort women commonly experience just before and during their period. Consumption of flax seeds oil also helps menopausal women adjust more easily to the hormonal changes taking place in their body. It is also often recommended that lactating women consume flax seed oil, as this not only helps their own body to recover from the strain of pregnancy and childbirth, but also strengthens the infant’s natural immune system through the mother’s milk. This oil is also known to keep the kidneys in good shape, and thereby prevent urinary complications. Children also benefit from consuming this oil, as it boosts the functioning of brain cells. Flax seed oil also contains a very high level of ligans – natural chemical agents that have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-estrogenic properties – that minimize the risk of autoimmune body reactions and the chances of tumor formation in the body.

Vrischikasana or Scorpion Yoga Pose

Vrischikasana (you can pronounce this as ‘vrik-shah-sa-na’) or the Scorpion posture is a posture in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and it isn’t something that beginners should attempt. We strongly recommend that you learn Vrschikasana from an experienced yoga teacher. If you know the scorpion yoga pose and have done it a few times earlier, you still attempt it only in the presence of a yoga teacher or a spotter to oversee the pose.

But before you practice this arm balance yoga, we suggest that you get comfortable with the Headstand as well as the other balance poses. Another posture that is good for stretching is the Wheel Pose. We also suggest that if you have some serious eye problem, vertigo, heart palpitations, or high blood pressure, then do not do this yoga posture.

How to do Scorpion Pose
: By reading the set of instructions, you will be able to get an idea about how this pose is done. Once you know how the pose is performed, practice the pose with the help of a yoga instructor.

  • You have to kneel first and move your body forward so that your forearms rest flat on the floor and your pals should be facing down. Remember that the forearms have to be shoulder-distance apart. Stretch your neck and move your head forward. Try to be as high as you can.

  • Then slowly lift your hips up and your weight should be on the ball of your feet. Inhale deeply as you move your legs above your head. Your legs will be straight up and you have to balance in this position. Your toes should be together, but your knees would be separate.

  • Then exhale and bend you knees so that your legs are lowered and extend out over your head. Carefully maintain your balance.

  • Then reverse the steps to get back into a kneeling position.

  • When you start practicing the position, hold the posture for about 30 seconds or more. You can hold the posture for more time when you become comfortable with the pose. You can feel the stretch on your chest, back and neck.

Benefits: This posture is a good stretching pose.

  • The Scorpion pose can stretch the spine, neck and chest.

  • It is a good posture for strengthening the abdominal muscles.

  • It makes your body more flexible and provides overall radiance.

Caution: If you have neck or shoulder problems, then do not do this pose.

Hamstring stretches with Lizard Pose or Utthan Pristhasana

The Lizard Posture or the Utthan Pristhasana is a standing pose, which is good for stretching the thighs and hamstrings. This is a relatively simple yoga posture that also doubles up as a hamstring stretching exercise. But when you do this posture, we suggest you learn it from a yoga teacher and do it under his or her guidance. When you practice at home, you must do so with the utmost care and practice the pose at your own convenience. Do not push your body while doing the lizard pose yoga or any other pose.

You can begin the Lizard Pose or the Utthan Pristhasana from a high lunge or you can do so from the Downward-facing Dog pose. If you are relatively new to yoga, then you might like to do the lizard pose from the Downward-facing Dog pose. This pose doles out some good stretches for hamstrings.

Step by step guide: This set of instructions will help you get an idea about the way to do this posture.

  • First assume the Downward-facing Dog pose. Then put your right foot forward and place it along the outer side of the right hand. Make sure that the toes are slightly turned out.

  • Your left knee should be lowered onto the yoga mat. When you do so, keep the tailbone tucked forward.

  • Then as you breathe, your elbows should be lowered towards the mat and your right shoulder should touch the right knee. You can use a block as a prop below your forearms, if the whole workout seems too difficult.

  • Feel the front part of your left knee or the quadriceps, and the left part of your belly stretch. To increase the degree of difficulty, you can take your left knee higher, off the ground.

  • Be in the Lizard position for about five to six breaths, then just raise chest up and go back on your hands.

  • Straighten out the back leg and bring it forward. Keep your body loose for sometime before getting into the Mountain Pose or Tadasana.

  • You can do the same exercise on the other side.

Hip-opening exercise: The Lizard Pose is a hip-opener. We suggest you start by practicing it a few times, and then slowly increase the number of times you want to practice this pose. You do not need to be too enthusiastic on the first day of practice as all postures in yoga need practice and patience.

Compass Pose or Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

The Compass pose or the Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana is a shoulder opener and can stretch the hamstrings. This posture is a seated hamstring stretch.

Step-by-step guide of compass pose yoga: This posture should be learnt from a yoga teacher, and later when you practice it, you should try to do so under the guidance of the teacher. Like most poses in yoga, the way you do a posture improves with guidance and practice. While several people pop-in a DVD or refer to written instructions, the real essence of yoga and every posture can be learnt hands-on from a yoga teacher. The yoga teacher should be qualified and an expert in the field.

The compass pose is a set of seated stretches. Here is how you can do this posture :

  • First, spread out your yoga mat and sit on it comfortably, in a cross-legged position.

  • Then fold the right knee and bring it close to your chest. Try hugging the knee to the chest.

  • Then do the same with the right knee – fold it and bring it as close to your chest.

  • Then you can either stretch out your left leg or keep it folded.

  • Bring up your right leg with the help of the left hand. While doing this, thread your right hand below the knee and then place the fingertips of the right hand on the floor.

  • Lift up your right knee and bring it high up onto your shoulder. If you can go higher, the pose will be simpler.

  • Bring your left hand towards the outside part of the right foot.

  • Then straighten out your right leg when you place your left arm behind the head.

  • Look at your left arm.

  • Repeat the same set of actions onto the other side.


  • Remember that the Compass Pose or the Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana is an advanced posture and that you need to do it with utmost care. You should not slump while practicing this pose.

  • If done correctly, this particular pose can open your shoulders and stretch the hamstrings.

  • This is an invigorating pose with several physical benefits. However, we advise you to first work on other simpler postures, and understand all about the practice of yoga before attempting the pose.

  • While doing this posture, you need to sit in the right posture on the sitting bones.

  • Keep a control on your breathing – exhaling and inhaling evenly and deeply. This applies to all yoga postures.

Chaturanga Dandasana or Four Limbed Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana or the Four Limbed Staff Pose is an arm balance yoga exercise that is good for strengthening the abdomen, wrists, and arms. It also prepares the practitioner for other challenging arm balances. This arm strengthening exercise is a push-up sort of an exercise that can tone your arms. It also forms a part of the Sun Salutation exercise.

Step by step guide
: You must learn every yoga pose from an experienced yoga teacher, but for a general idea about how you the posture is performed, please take a look at our step by step instructions.

  • First you have to be in the Plank posture or the Adho Mukha Svansana. Then you can fold your arms straight back while hugging the upper part of the arms to your sides.

  • Move lower towards the floor, and stop when the upper arms and the forearms form a right angle.

  • Your body needs to be level while you are attempting this posture.

  • You have push your heels back.

  • Then as you roll over your toes, you can get into the Upward Facing dog position.

Tips for beginners: If you are new to yoga and are trying out this pose for the first time, you can drop the knees while doing the pose. Do this till you have gained enough strength and experience to support your body with your arms.

Advanced practitioners: If you are a yoga expert and have been doing this pose for a while, then you might like to hold the pose for a while before you move into the Up Dog position. You can even do the Chaturanga Dandasana by lifting your leg and keeping it that way for a short while.

Anatomical focus: This particular yoga pose focuses on the wrists.

Health benefits:
This yoga pose has the following benefits –

  • It is good for strengthening the wrists and the arms.

  • It is good for strengthening and toning the abdomen.


  • If you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then we suggest that you avoid this pose.

  • Pregnant women should also avoid doing this posture.

Partnering: You can even do this posture with a partner. With the help of a partner, you can anchor your pelvis as well as lengthen the spine. You can even use a blanket under your thighs to do the Chaturanga Dandasana.

Tip: We suggest that you do this pose with care and take your time to get used to it. Do not strain your body unnecessarily.

Hidradenitis Treatment: Skin Symptoms And Natural Remedies For Preventions

Skin Symptoms

Hidradenitis is a serious skin disease in which the hair follicles get infected and inflamed and certain sweat glands are blocked, which causes painful, pus-filled lesions to appear on the surface of the skin, leading to permanent scarring. This often affects the skin in the inner sides of the arms as well as the anal and genital area. The most common symptoms are the appearance of red, tender spots in the armpits and the groin, which may subsequently turn into abscesses and boils that are itchy and painful, and continue to recur periodically even if they disappear temporarily. This disease mostly affects women since it is caused by endocrinal disorders caused by androgens. Usually, more than one female member of the family suffers from this ailment. Some of the common factors that trigger this condition are smoking, the intake of contraceptive pills and a high level of lithium in the body. In severe cases, this disease may hamper normal movement and social interaction for the patient, and might have to be treated surgically.

Natural Remedies For Prevention

One of the most important ways of preventing this condition is to keep your skin clean and oil-free all the time. Use an antibacterial soap to wash your body, especially those that are prone to excessive sweating, in order to prevent the pores of the skin getting blocked. Applying an antibacterial talcum powder in these parts also helps absorb excess sweat and prevents dampness, thereby minimizing the chance of local infections. It also helps to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and manufactured food items that contain artificial additives, as these might irritate sweat glands and cause inflammation. Washing the affected area with apple cider vinegar is also known to be useful in treating this condition, since it acts as a natural disinfectant. You may also add two tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of lukewarm bathwater and soak your entire body in this for at least 15 minutes every day. This helps soothe inflamed skin and washes away germs and dead skin cells from the lesions on the surface of the skin. Alternatively, you may also add some Epsom salts and a few drops of tea tree oil into your bathwater to get relief from the itching and pain on the skin. Consuming small portions of raw garlic and ginger before or during meals or using generous amounts of these as condiments in cooked food also helps treat hidradenitis, as these have natural antibiotic properties that defend the body against infections.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pruritus Treatment: How To Manage Skin Allergies And Itching

What Is Pruritus

Pruritus, more commonly known as itching, is defined as an urge to scratch a certain parts of the skin that feels irritated. Repeated scratching may bruise the skin and cause inflammation. Itching is mostly the result of skin allergies to certain food items, chemicals and pollutants present in the immediate surroundings, animal hair and occasionally to certain forms of medicine. Exposure to extremes of temperature, excessive dryness of the skin, insect bites and sudden hormonal changes in the body may also induce itching.

Home Remedies For Pruritus

There are quite a few simple home remedies that you may follow to prevent and treat itching. Make sure that you wear natural fabrics as far as possible, as this minimizes the chances of friction between your skin and the clothes you wear, as well as soaks up excess perspiration, thereby preventing skin itchy skin eruptions. Also, apply a sunscreen lotion or cream that suits your skin type every time you step out of doors. This protects the skin from the harmful radiation of the sun and prevents skin allergies. Massage your body with vitamin E oil every day after taking a shower, as this helps keep the skin well moisturized and prevents itchy rashes and eruptions. You may apply the juice of aloe vera leaves or some eucalyptus oil on the affected parts of the skin to get instant relief from the itching sensation. Local application of cod liver oil or wheat germ oil also produces similar soothing effects on the skin. Adding half a cup of cornstarch or oatmeal powder to your bathwater also helps relieve itching. The use of cold compresses on the affected areas is also known to be of help in treating pruritus. If you suffer from this condition frequently, dry some orange peel in direct sunlight, grind it a fine powder and add a little water or cold milk to it. Apply this paste gently on the affected areas every day to cure itching. For another remedy, crush a small piece of ginger and add its juice to a cup of buttermilk, and massage the affected areas with this solution. Another popular remedy for treating itches is to remove the seeds from handful of soap nuts and boil their peel in a liter of water for 10 minutes or so. Strain out the clear liquid extract and let it cool down. Apply this decoction topically to get quick relief from itching and irritation.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yoga Sutras - The Eight Limbs of Yoga Lifestyle

Yoga Sutra – Yoga is not just a fitness tradition, it is a lifestyle. And the guidelines to this yogic lifestyle are prescribed in the Yoga Sutra, penned by Sage Patanjali, the father of modern yoga.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali highlight eight aspects that encompass a yoga lifestyle. These are known as the eight limbs of yoga. These paths address and develop an individual’s moral, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, allowing for a more complete life experience and the ultimate quest towards enlightenment.

The eight limbs of yoga

The following eight folds form Patanjali’s yoga sutras:

Universal Morality and Ethics or Yama – The first limb is Yama. It guides ethical behavior and instills a sense of integrity and moral social conduct in the follower. It preaches compassion towards others and inculcates a message of peace and honesty. To do so, one needs to follow the five directives of yama. These are non-violence, honesty, celibacy, non-stealing, and avoiding materialism.

Personal Observance or Niyama – The second limb is Niyama. The word ‘Niyama’ translates as ‘Rules.’ It refers to the rules that guide personal observance. Observing this limb allows and helps us to build self discipline, which in turn allows for greater personal growth. To achieve this, one must follow the directives of niyama. These are purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to God.

Postures or Asanas – The third limb is known as Asanas. This is one of the most well known limbs of the yoga sutras. It refers to the physical aspect of yoga – the holding and practicing of yoga postures. Yoga postures are designed to address the body’s problem, treating them at the root and allowing for a healthier lifestyle, and maintaining the body’s health. In addition to physical fitness, practicing asanas regularly inculcates self discipline as well as focus and concentration.

Breathing Techniques or Pranayama – The fourth limb is Pranayama. Like asanas, pranayama too is a well known yogic concept. It refers to the control of breath. Breathing fully, monitoring breath and controlling it, allows an individual to develop and maintain good health, physical, mental and emotional. It is a source of internal purification, energy and calm.

Control of Senses or Pratyahara – The fifth limb is Pratyahara. It refers to a withdrawal of sense. Pratyahara teaches you how to withdraw from external disturbances and instead tune all that attention and energy inwards. It allows you to commit fully to your practice without being distracted by environmental elements.

Concentration or Dharana – The sixth limb is Dharana. It refers to training the mind to concentrate, to focus on a single point without constant interruption and wavering in the face of distraction. This is a difficult concept to ingrain. It requires patience and the strength to still and clear the mind. It also helps to develop mediation skills, serving as a stepping stone.

Meditation or Dhyana – The seventh limb is Dhyana. It brings the practice of meditation to the fore. Meditation is a process of clearing one’s mind of clutter and chaos and channeling energy and concentration onto a single point of focus. Meditation teaches the mind to regain control. It also helps the mind on to a spiritual path in the search of a higher truth.

Enlightenment or Samadhi – The eighth, and the last, limb is Samadhi. This is the ultimate path in the practice to yoga, a state of complete and absolute bliss. It involves the ability to transcend the material and earthly ways through meditation and touch upon a higher plane. It allows the individual to connect with the universe.

Yoga Techniques - A Spiritual Healing

Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition. It has been practiced for over 5000 years now. Though the practice is considered to be more of a fitness oriented tradition, the truth is that yoga aims for a balance between the body, the mind, and spirit. It addresses not only the physical aspects of fitness, but also meditative and spiritual balance aspects of an individual’s personality.

The soothing and therapeutic techniques of yoga have been used by yogis for hundreds of years. Its spiritual healing techniques help an individual on the path of self actualization and awareness. It is the stepping stone to accessing and achieving a higher state of consciousness.

Yoga comprises gentle exercise, performed through a series of yoga postures, deep breathing techniques, and meditative practices. It also includes following a yogic lifestyle which advocates moderation, meditation, and devotion.

If you are seeking spiritual balance, spiritual healing meditation plays a key role. Spiritual meditation is the yogic practice of teaching your mind to focus on a single point of attention, in an effort to still the mind and rise above the noise and the chaos. This ability to control the mind, the noise and its reaction, helps an individual onto the path of higher consciousness.

The path to spiritual healing involves personal growth. One needs to face and address ones own traits and behavior. The first step in this process is to be honest with yourself and to face your own weakness. Listing you own shortcomings is the first step to fixing your weakness. Once you know what the problem is, it is time to address them.

Through regular practice of spiritual healing meditation, one can develop the strength to accept reality. This includes ones own shortcoming, and then proceed to finding the inner strength to fix these very short comings. It also allows you to make drastic changes in your life. Sometimes you need to let go of long held beliefs and thoughts. It can take a toll on you emotionally; this is where regular meditation comes into play.

Meditation also helps teach an individual how to control the mind. The human mind is full of noise and clutter. This leads to chaos, poor focus and concentration. It is easily distracted and always drifting from one topic to another. This hampers an individual’s ability to reach his full potential. Meditation teaches you how to control your mind from wandering. It teaches how to hold a still mind, which in turn instills a state of calm.

Regular practice of spiritual yoga meditation helps you perfect the art, and sets you on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Yoga for Inner Peace - Control Stress and Negativity

In today’s fast passed time, stress is the silent killer. It affects millions of people every year, wrecking lives and relationships. Stress limits an individual’s judgment and ability to undertake even routine tasks effectively. Stress and anxiety also affect the individual’s health, resulting in life threatening illnesses including heart failure. Finding inner peace and restoring emotional balance is the only way to address stress and stress triggers.

How to find inner peace?

There is a great shortage of inner peace in the world today. Unfortunately, it isn’t something that can be fixed with a few pills. This is a state of mind; one that you have to accept, master and adopt. And this journey is one that every individual has to undertake alone. But how does one find inner peace? The answer is as simple as it is effective: in yoga.

Yoga is an ancient fitness tradition. Originating in India over 5000 years ago, yoga helps an individual achieve a balance between the body, mind and spirit through a series of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Although yoga is considered by many as an alternative fitness routine, it is in fact a lifestyle. Yoga includes physical fitness, it ensures emotional stability, instills inner peace and aids spiritual awakening.

Among the many styles of yoga, some are especially designed to cater to the needs of a troubled mind. Yoga styles like Ananda yoga help the mind cope, heal and strengthen. These practices incorporate gentle postures, breathing techniques and lay an emphasis on meditation.

Inner peace yoga works to get the body and mind fit and strong. The simple postures push the muscles into activity. It shakes off the lethargy set in by the stress. You repossess the energy to follow your interests and to follow other positive pursuits.

Yoga’s deep breathing techniques infuse the body with fresh oxygen. This gives the body a spurt of much needed energy. It also brings with it a sense of positivity. It helps the body exhale all the negativity caused by a buildup of waste and toxins.

Inner peace for meditation, the third plank of yoga helps to control stress and negativity. It teaches the mind to stay still, rise above the clutter and chaos and focus on a single point. Meditation teaches you how to control your mind, and as a result, on your own reactions when confronted with an agitating situation.

Using inner peace yoga you can learn how to stay at peace with yourself and the world no matter how stressful the situation. It helps you maintain balance, find yourself and be happy with your own reality.

If you choose to pursue yoga for inner peace, it best to join a class taught by a certified and licensed professional. This way a trained teacher can monitor and guide you through this journey.

Yoga for endurance - an endurance exercise

When you think about Yoga, you automatically associate the practice with flexibility, stretching, meditation and developing inner strength. But you’ll be surprised to know that yoga makes for an effective endurance building routine. Yoga provides multiple benefits to the body, and developing physical strength is just one more aspect among the many that yoga helps you harness.

There is a reason why so many professional athletes adopt yoga as part of their training program. Yoga is a complete fitness routine; it creates a balance between the body, mind and spirit. It helps strengthen the mind and mental focus, increases self awareness and confidence, it also improves overall health, allowing you do better.

Exercise for endurance

Conventional endurance exercises are quick in impact compared to yoga. They also make a major physical impact, making the body appear buff. Yoga strength and endurance exercises don’t have the same visual result, but make the body lean, well toned and strong. Pursuing an intense yoga style, like ashtanga yoga or bikram yoga, can help build endurance just as effectively.

Yoga postures and breathing techniques help develop muscle strength, body posture and alignment and improve overall body strength. The frequency of practice, the degree of difficulty, and how long you hold the posture in combination with breathing techniques, will establish endurance and strength.

Exercises to improve endurance include standing poses like mountain pose, and warrior pose, among others. At the same time endurance yoga doesn’t bring with it uncomfortable side-effects that are common with other exercises for endurance.

Conventional endurance definition workouts like lifting weights can cause muscle rigidity. The repetitive motions of these workouts cause muscle fibers to harden. If this is not addresses, muscles tend to get tighter, shorter and rigid. This increases chances of muscle injury. Muscles also lose their flexibility and as a result range of motion is compromised. The rigidity and soreness you feel is caused by the buildup of waste material such as lactic acid that collects in the muscles. By practicing yoga, or complementing your endurance exercises with a session of yoga, you can avoid this muscle tightening. Yoga for endurance stretches and pulls all the muscles in the body. This maintains flexibility and range of motion and at the same time tones the body and builds strength.

Yoga practice incorporates good breathing practices. This aspect of yoga helps enhance endurance training. The body needs oxygen to support exercises to improve endurance; fresh oxygen is a source of energy. Most people use only a fraction of lung capacity. The result is not enough oxygen supply for the working muscles. Yoga breathing techniques ensure the body has adequate amounts of oxygen to the muscles, strengthening them and improving the efficiency of the workout.

Yoga and Healthy Detoxification

What is Detoxification?

As part of the body’s regular internal functioning, a number of toxins and other waste matter accumulate in the body. These toxins are caused by internal and external factors alike and are flushed out through a means of healthy detoxification. Toxins like carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and lymphatic fluid, among others, are a by-product of the body’s filtering process and are expelled into the blood stream during normal organ function. The body is equipped to handle these toxins and flush them out. To be specific, the body’s circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems are responsible for filtering out the waste materials on a daily basis. However, at times the body isn’t able to execute this function effectively. External factors like poor diets, unhealthy lifestyles, stress and a harsh environment add to the toxin build up and hamper the systems from performing an adequate clean up. If these toxins aren’t kept in check, they can lead to several life threatening conditions and complications.

For this reason, the body requires frequent detoxification remedies. Incorporating positive lifestyle changes that allow for enhanced body functions helps restore the body’s balance. Detoxification therapy is essential for healthy functioning.

A natural and effective detoxification method is the ancient practice of yoga. Yoga comprises of postures, breathing exercises and meditation. Together these aspects of yoga address the body’ condition, and cleanse it.

Yoga postures involve stretching, compressing, twisting and bending of the body. These movements stimulate the digestive, lymphatic and circulatory systems, each responsible for flushing out toxic waste and keeping the body healthy. Therefore, pursuing a vigorous form of yoga like bikram hot yoga or ashtanga yoga is ideal for the detoxification process. An intense yoga workout also ensures that you sweat profusely. Sweating is essential as it helps the body flush out toxins like urea, excess salts, ammonia, etc., through the body’s pores.

Yoga’s breathing techniques also come to fore and play a role in detoxification. Yoga helps us breathe to complete lung capacity. Most people utilize only a part of breathing ability. As a result, the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, nor does it expel adequate amounts of carbon dioxide. Yogic breathing put more fresh oxygen in the body. This enhances the circulatory system’s purification systems, enabling it to flushes out cellular waste effectively. Proper breathing also helps the body expel proper amounts of carbon dioxide.

Yoga’s breathing and meditative practices help negate toxicity caused by stress, anxiety and depression. Emotional trauma and mental distress lead to an increase in internal toxicity. Through the routine practice of detoxification yoga, you can maintain emotional and mental balance, which in enhances the body’s natural detoxification process.

Yoga isn’t just about fitness, it also addresses balance. Yoga advocated following yogic lifestyle, and encourages you to make positive lifestyle choices. Support your yoga for detoxification practice with a detoxification diet. Exclude unhealthy foods and include fruits and vegetables in your meals. A balanced diet in combination with yoga exercises, breathing and meditation, all help your body purge toxins.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Staph Infection Symptoms: Home Treatment To Prevent Infections

Staph Infection And Treatment

One of the most common forms of skin disorder is the staph infection, which leads to the formation of boils. The infection derives its name from the bacterium that causes it – staphylococcus. This bacterium usually invades the skin through a minor cut or wound on the surface of the skin, and subsequently attacks the oil glands and the hair follicles that lie beneath the epidermis. In order to combat this bacterium, the bloodstream supplies white blood cells to the area; this causes pus formation and leads to the appearance of boils. You may experience tenderness, swelling, redness and pain around the infected area.

There are a few effective home remedies to prevent and treat staph infection. Always ensure that your skin is clean by washing it frequently with water and moisturizing it regularly. It is also important to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the body so that dirt and germs do not accumulate and cause infections. Also, apply an antiseptic lotion or cream on cracked skin and on cuts, burns and wounds as this prevents bacteria from attacking the skin through fine fissures on its surface. You should mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of lukewarm water and drink this solution twice a day. The natural antibiotic properties of turmeric help defend your system against bacterial infections and prevent the appearance of boils. However, you should drink at least a couple of glasses of plain water after drinking the turmeric solution in order to counterbalance the diuretic property of turmeric. Another effective remedy is to eat a few cloves of raw garlic before every meal. This enhances the body’s natural strength to fight against germs and kills any infection causing bacteria that might already be present in the body. Alternatively, you may also rub the skin around the boil very gently with a few crushed cloves of garlic. The strong chemicals present in garlic juice helps soak up the pus and get rid of the boils in a few days. A mixture of essential oils like lavender and rosemary may also be applied locally on the skin in order to get relief from pain, itching and swelling, and is an effective natural means of getting rid of staph boils. Besides these specific remedies, you should also include natural sources of vitamins and minerals in your diet in order to boost your immunity. Raw vegetables, whole grains and cereals and fresh fruits should be eaten every day for this purpose.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicken Pox Home Remedies - Signs And Symptoms Of Chicken Pox

Chicken Pox Symptoms And Remedies

Chicken pox is a viral infection that mostly affects children less than 10 years of age. As a rule, the attack gets more severe as one gets older. It is a condition in which red, itchy rashes appear on the skin and persist till roughly three weeks. The rashes gradually dry up and often leave behind marks on the skin. The initial symptoms include mild fever, runny nose, headache, nausea, lack of appetite and exhaustion. The three weeks following the first appearance of the rashes are called the incubation period. It is advisable not to come in close contact with an infected person during this period as chicken pox is highly contagious in nature and spreads very easily through droplets of mucus present in a patient’s breath and saliva. Generally, this disease affects a large number of children in the winter and spring seasons.

Though vaccination is the only way of preventing chicken pox, there are a few simple home remedies that may help relieve the symptoms if you have already contracted the infection. Add half a cup of brown vinegar in a tub of warm bathwater and soak your entire body in this for 15 minutes every day. This relieves the itching sensation. Adding some powdered oatmeal to your bathwater may also produce a similar soothing effect on the skin. You may also boil a cup of chickpeas in two liters of water and let the solution cool down to room temperature. Now use this solution to wash the affected areas in order to make your skin feel less itchy and scaly. For another remedy, add a tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water and soak a ball of cotton wool in this solution. Now dab the affected areas with the cotton wool for 5-10 minutes. This helps cleanse the dead skin cells and germs present on the surface of the skin and makes your skin feel softer and less itchy. It is also beneficial to massage your entire body with vitamin E oil twice a day, once immediately after bathing and the second time before going to bed. This nourishes the skin and aids the natural healing process. You may also find it useful to externally apply honey on the affected parts of the skin. Honey moisturizes the skin naturally without making it too oily. For another remedy, boil 5 parts of carrots, cut into small pieces, and 3 parts of chopped coriander leaves together in a kettle of water for around 10 minutes. Throw away the solid residue and collect the clear liquid extract in a jar. Drink this soup once every day.

Pilonidal Disease Symptoms : Basic Rules To Avoid Pilonidal Infection

Causes Of Pilonidal Diseases

Pilonidal disease is an infection that occurs mostly in the follicles of the hair present in the cleft between the buttocks. This mostly affects teenagers in whom the sex hormones affect the pilosebaceous gland and affect the normal growth of body hair. Some people naturally have large skin pores at the base of the spine, which become even more enlarged due to friction and movement, leading neighboring hairs to grow into the follicles present in the abscess and cause local infection. Bacteria and fungi may also attack these infected follicles, causing pain and discomfort in the area. As a result of this condition, a cyst may form beneath the pit on the surface of the skin, which might have to be surgically treated. Lack of proper personal hygiene, frequent stress or injury to the skin surrounding the anal opening and heredity are some of the primary causes that predispose a person to pilonidal disease. The most common symptoms of this disease are local swelling and redness accompanied with pain, discharge of fluid, pus or blood, tenderness and heat in the area, mild fever, nausea and general exhaustion.

There are a few basic rules you must follow to avoid pilonidal infection and cyst formation. When the follicular infection starts to heal, either without treatment or after the administration of medicines, you must always keep the anal region dry and clean. Always wear comfortable cotton underwear that soaks up excessive perspiration and prevents the region from becoming damp. This helps prevent local microbial growth and thereby minimizes the risk of the formation of a cyst. It is also advisable to get rid of body hair from the region by using mechanical means like shaving or electrolysis. It is also suggested that you do not sit on hard surfaces for too long at a stretch, as this causes undue stress on the already delicate tissues of the area and may lead to the recurrence of the infection. Avoid stretching exercises that involve your hips and legs, as this might cause natural wear and tear to the skin cells in the affected area and worsen the condition. Soaking yourself in tub of lukewarm bathwater is also known to help ease pain and swelling. You should also regularly wipe the cleft between the buttocks with a piece of gauze soaked in some glycerin. This not only soothes the inflamed skin cells and brings relief but also aids the natural healing process.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Treatment For Shingles Pain: Home Remedies For Shingles Rashes And Blisters

Home Treatment For Shingles

Shingles, technically known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection of the nerves that causes very painful rashes and blisters to appear on the skin. The varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox is responsible for causing shingles too. Once a person has had chicken pox, the virus may survive in the body in a dormant state and attack the system years later, when the natural defenses of the body are weak. The rashes generally appear on the back and on one side of the chest, on the part of the skin that covers the affected nerve. The rashes can also appear on the neck and face and are very itchy, burning and painful. Even months after the rashes have disappeared completely the skin may be tender and sore. Vaccination is the only foolproof defense against shingles. In case shingles affects your forehead and the region around your eyes, you must consult your doctor for appropriate treatment in order to prevent serious damage to the eyes.

A few home remedies may, however, help ease the painful symptoms of this condition and help the body recover faster from the infection. A popular remedy is to crush two aspirin tablets into a fine powder and dissolve this in some acetone-containing nail polish remover or some chloroform. Topical application of this mixture proves useful in lessening the itching, burning and pain in the affected area, as this cleanses away the oil and dead skin cells trapped in the blisters, and desensitizes the nerve endings for several hours. However, if you are allergic to aspirin you should refrain from trying this remedy. Applying a cold compresses on the affected area also helps relieve the symptoms of shingles and soothe the nerves. A piece of soft cotton cloth soaked in chilled water or a few ice cubes wrapped in a soft towel might serve the purpose. Regular application of calamine solution on the skin also helps greatly in soothing lesions and lessening the itchy sensation. Another useful remedy to treat shingles blisters on the chest and the back is to add half a cup of cornstarch or oatmeal powder into a tub of lukewarm bathwater and soak your body in this for 10-15 minutes. This brings relief from the itching and burning sensation. Also, before going to bed every night, dab the affected area with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide. This is an effective way of preventing the infection from spreading. A paste made by mixing two tablespoons of zinc oxide with some yogurt is also useful in treating shingles.

Health Benefits Of Garlic : Discover The Unlimited Uses Of Garlic For Your Health

Benefits Of Garlic

Garlic has been known to have medicinal values for ages and across various cultures. Though garlic has a very strong odor and a sharp, stinging taste, it is highly beneficial in treating several common ailments. The pungent juices of garlic help cure a sore throat and reduce the symptoms of asthma. You should crush a few cloves of garlic and inhale the fumes by holding them close to your nose. This significantly reduces the chances of an asthma attack. To treat a sore throat, you should add a teaspoon of garlic juice extracted by crushing a few pods of raw garlic into a glass of lukewarm water; add a little honey to the mixture to make it taste better, and drink this solution twice every day. Chewing a few cloves of raw garlic during every meal is also known to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. Since garlic is an antioxidant, it also helps regulate the blood cholesterol and sugar levels and thereby minimizes the risk of heart failure and stroke. However, patients of high blood sugar, who are on insulin medication, must not consume raw garlic without first consulting their physician. Regular consumption of garlic also helps lower blood pressure.

Garlic is also a natural antibiotic, so it helps strengthen the body’s natural immune system and thereby keeps common ailments like cough and cold, and bacterial and viral infections at bay. Local application of raw garlic juice on the skin is also useful in treating disorders like eczema and ringworms. Fungal infections on the scalp may also be treated similarly by rubbing the scalp with a few crushed cloves of garlic. Garlic has also been recommended as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction, as it induces greater production of testosterone in the body. Garlic is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent, so it helps treat herpes and warts. Another effective home remedy that involves the use of garlic is for treating rheumatism. Simply crushing a few cloves of garlic with some honey and consuming a small amount of this mixture every day reduces joint pains and body aches. Using garlic as a condiment in cooked food is also useful in ensuring proper digestion and easy bowel movement. The strong juices of garlic are also known to destroy germs and intestinal worms. However, excessive use of garlic in cooking may cause acidity and heartburn. Recent research has revealed that garlic is also useful in lowering the risk of tumors and cancers.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Dhyana yoga

Dhyana Meditation

Dhyana yoga is meditation according to the Patanjali Yoga Sutra or the Ashtanga Yoga. The wise sage Patanjali had recommended eight limbs of yoga, which are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyan Samadhi. When a person follows the first four stages, it helps him prepare his body and mind for further meditation. ‘Dhyan yoga’ means a state of mind when it can completely concentrate.

The philosophy behind meditation is that our minds are actually fickle and keeps wavering like a butterfly. We cannot keep our minds still, and our thoughts keep coming at the speed of light. Our minds revert back to past experiences and have a tendency to keep thinking about those. We also worry a lot about the future, and about the present. Our minds seldom can be in a calm and constant state. ‘Dhyan’ or meditation can help you attain a feeling of calm, contentment, tranquility, and concentration. Through meditation one can control the mind.

How to meditate

When you are beginning your meditation practice, you have to choose a target, and focus all you sensory organs on that target. While looking at the target you can recite a mantra or can even listen to chanting.

A target is important as it will prevent the mind from wavering off. It can make the mind more peaceful and serene. For a target you can choose a point on the wall, a picture of a deity, or a particular place in your house. As you keep looking at the target, chant a prayer or dhayana mantra. Give your total concentration to this for 10-15 minutes. When your mind begins to waver, it’s time to end your meditation practice. You will need a lot of practice to meditate seriously.

Some meditation experts believe that the Omkar can be a good target. You can look at the symbol of the Omkar while meditating and chant the sonorous Om or listen to the Omkar. As you keep practicing, meditation will happen more naturally. Later on, you may not even need a target or a picture to focus on while meditating.

The challenge

Initially, meditation is a challenging task as the mind does not have any physical existence. But then the mind is present in our spiritual self and in our bodies, and it is important to acknowledge its presence. Those who deny the presence of the mind can face a lot of problems that are psychological, mental and physical in nature. Through meditation once can control the mind and acknowledge its presence too.

Dahn Hak Yoga

Dahn hak yoga has its roots in India. It is a combination of Dahn hak, which is a Korean method of healing, and yoga. Together, you get the word dahn hak yoga. The word ‘dahn’ means energy, and ‘hak’ means study, and ‘dahnhak’ means energy study.


According to reports and studies, this is an ancient method of physical and mental healing that has been practiced by the Koreans for thousands of years. Like some ancient arts and techniques, dahn hak had died a natural death in Korea, until a practitioner resurrected this form of healing somewhere in the 1980s. He established a studio and wrote a book about the practice to help people understand it. Over the years, dahn hak yoga has become very popular with people, and several studios have come up across the world.

Dahn hak yoga

This yoga is a combination of –

  • Calisthenics and stretching exercises

  • Qigong or martial arts

  • Relaxation exercises and deep breathing

  • Energy-focused and spiritually focused meditation

A session of dahn hak yoga can last for about an hour, and after that the teacher and students drink tea together. People who practice this form of yoga feel an increase in their energy levels.

This holistic practice helps practitioners to manage their bodies and then use the knowledge to become more relaxed, peaceful, happy and healthy. This is a way to study your personal energy, and then use the realization for improving mind-body communication. Dahn yoga meditation and dahn yoga healing is about training the body and the mind through meditation, breathing techniques, stretching exercises, and activities that improve energy awareness. It helps individuals draw out their own energy from within themselves.

Through this intense training, individuals learn how to use their energy to communicate with their bodies. This practice helps to circulate the energy through the body and improve energy levels. And this aids in healing using a person’s individual natural power. Regular practice helps a person attain the maximum levels of happiness and health.

Benefits Dahn hak yoga

Dahn hak yoga helps people attain control over their own bodies, using energy as the medium. Apart from the health aspects, this yoga can help attain balance and harmony. Regular practitioners feel that through dahn hak they have been able to become more confident, improve their family life, and can now release pent up emotions. Thus, this is good for overall health. It also promotes a more peaceful way of life.

Nada Yoga or Sound Yoga

Nada Yoga

Nada Yoga is the yoga of sound. In simpler terms it is a way of meditating with music or you can call it musical meditation. Technically Nada yoga or sound yoga means ‘union through sound.’ This is a spiritual art that has been practiced since the ancient times. It is a way of transforming your mental state and inner self through tone and sound. You can meditate for Self Realization by listening to music. It can be done by people of any age, sex or religion. Yoga in general means union, integration, and harmonization. While there are several types of yoga, there are seven main categories –

  • Jnana yoga – this is the yoga of self-inquiry and knowledge

  • Bhakti yoga – this is the yoga of devotion

  • Karma yoga – this is the yoga of service

  • Kriya yoga – this is the yoga of technique

  • Raja yoga – this is a combination of all the other yoga forms

  • Hatha yoga – this is a combination of movements and postures

Under the category of Kriya yoga, there are various forms and techniques of yoga. You can attain spirituality and Self Realization through various principles. The three principles include Surat Shabda yoga, Laya yoga and Nada yoga.

Meditation and sound

Nada yoga is based on the philosophy that our minds can absorb sound and can become immersed in it. Most of us enjoy and respond to music because of this. In facts, not only human beings, but animals and plants respond to music. Music promotes a feeling of inner bliss.

According to Nada yoga, sound can come from outside as well as inside; sound can be subtle or loud. Sound can be like waves rippling through the body. If you practice focusing on outward sounds, you will be able to calm your mind. And then slowly, you will become aware of all the inner sounds. Internal sounds are nothing but the rhythm of your own body.  According to the traditions, internal sounds actually emanate from the heart chakra.

How to practice Nada yoga

The way to practice Nada yoga is first to choose soothing music that you like. The music must set the mood. Thus, it should essentially be quiet, calm, and reflective. You can try the Indian sitar, the flute, pan pipes or the Japanese shakuhachi. Avoid music that is too loud or dynamic as it won’t help you meditate, and also stay away from music with lyrics and words for Nada yoga, as these can be distracting. Listen to the music while sitting quietly for a short while. As you continue your practice regularly, you will become more aware of your internal rhythm.

Butterfly pose or Titali asana

The Titali Asana or the butterfly position is good for stretching. If you want to try it out to lose weight, then this is not the ideal position. Remember that in yoga, you have to do a complete sequence of poses, and do them regularly for weight loss and to improve your flexibility. Butterfly yoga can be one of the exercises in your practice to help you become more supple and strong.

Butterfly pose

“Titali” in Sanskrit means “butterfly.” When you do this pose the position of your limbs is similar to the wings of a butterfly. While we advise you to work with a yoga teacher to learn the pose, you can get an idea about the yoga butterfly pose from our step by step guide.

  • First of all, sit comfortably to do this pose.

  • Then bend both your knees, and move your legs so that your feet, the soles and heels touch. When you bend them, place them as near the perineum region as possible.

  • Then reach out and hold you toes. Move your knees like the wings of a butterfly, which means that they should be moved up and down.

  • While you are doing this, make sure you keep your back straight. Do not waver your gaze and keep facing forward. Then exhale deeply and lean forward, so that you touch your big toes with your forehead.

  • After performing the butterfly pose, unfold your legs and straighten them. Shake them slightly and then relax.

Benefits of the butterfly asana

You must not do this pose if you have some knee problem. But otherwise, this posture has several health benefits.

  • The butterfly posture can increase the flexibility of the hip joints.

  • This posture increases the blood circulation in the legs.

  • It is known to bring relief from numbness of legs, cramps, and sciatica pain.

  • This posture is known to be a mood enhancer and can be good for relieving stress.

  • The butterfly pose is supposed to be a healing yoga pose.

  • The posture is good for the uro-genital system.

  • It prepares your legs for doing meditative asanas and the Padmasana or the Lotus pose.

  • It is known to relieve the tension in the inner thigh muscles.

  • If you are exhausted after walking or standing for long hours, then try this posture.

  • This pose is also an extended opening pose and is great for new mothers with children over six months of age.

Benefits of Dream Yoga

There are two basic types of dream yoga. One was developed over a period of time by Dr. Joseph Dillard, who was a licensed clinical social worker. His technique was developed by him during the years of his private practice. He used this technique on many of his clients and gradually improved upon it to give us a technique that many use today. The other type of dream yoga is Tibetan dream yoga, which is another dream meditation technique that emphasizes on mastering one’s dreams.

In both these approaches, there is one thing that is common. Both of these call for using lucid dreams to promote healing of the self and embark on a self-enlightening experience. In the process of transforming oneself through dreams, one often comes across hidden aspects of the self that momentarily reveals itself to the person. These dreams can not only heal but also help transform the life of the people involved. It is therefore important to align the personal goals with this innate form of the self that is revealed in these lucid dreams. It has been seen that people who have taken sessions on dreams yoga, have made better personal choices because they are connected to themselves on a higher level of consciousness.

Some of the known benefits of dream yoga are as follows. According to the karmic theory, our actions decide our destiny. For each action that is of benefit to others, there is a suitable reward sometime in this life or the next. With dream yoga, a person is able to view this karmic cycle clearly and can get an opportunity to see the consequences of karma before the action is even performed. This can help the person in deciding the best course of action in any situation and sometimes change the way a person lives their life.

Dream yoga helps a person to stop indulging in the past or the future and instead concentrate their energies on the present. A dream is never about the past. It is always a depiction of the present. In this moment of the limitless present, the body and mind are both liberated. The approaches to solve problems are many. However, we are seldom able to reach a solution in which the best of all solutions were taken together to form an approach that completely eradicates the problem. Dream yoga helps to reach that solution that gives you a trans-rational perspective.

Yoga Benefits for Women

For centuries, yoga has changed the lives of many people, enabling them to become healthier and happier. While everybody benefits from yoga, there are some poses that serve as excellent exercise for women in particular.

Today, women perform multiple roles, and in most cases, they do not get enough time for themselves. Yoga helps them reconnect with their inner being, making them feel more aware of themselves and their needs. The role of yoga therefore, has indeed been indispensable. The body of the woman has to go through a lot during her lifetime. Apart from the daily wear and tear, the body also has to be prepared for reproduction. This means that a woman has to take care of her body a lot more than men. While there are thousands of exercise tips for women, none come even close to having a revitalizing yoga session.

Some of the most successful and revered women of our time are avid practitioners of yoga. Yoga not only gives women a healthier and more fulfilling life, it also gives them a break from the many demands of their daily schedule. Yoga exercises for women are not as strenuous or energy draining as some of the other exercises that are often performed by women. These are low in their impact, and a woman doesn’t even have to be worried about being too tired to do other work.

The different yoga poses for women help in firming and toning the body, and at the same time, they help you relax. Yoga sessions leave a woman feeling more relaxed and emanating a sense of overall well being. There are also many psychological effects of yoga that can be especially enriching.

For every stage of a woman’s life, there are yoga poses that are appropriate for her condition, and there are many yoga benefits for women. A regular yoga routine can help reduce stress and increase flexibility. With that, it improves blood circulation and nervous healing, benefiting all important organs and systems of the body. There are also various yoga exercises for women who experience pain in their back. These exercises for women can be performed even when they are having their monthly periods. In fact, some of these exercises can help reduce the pain of the cramps and uplift the mood.

Even during pregnancy, there are yoga exercises for women that help them keep themselves fit. These exercises do not cause a lot of strain on the growing fetus. Instead, it makes the organs stronger and improves circulation for the fetus to develop better. Blood pressure can also be maintained by practicing yoga regularly. It can also help decrease the anxiety of the expectant mother.

Yoga for Infertility - an infertility solution

Infertility problems

Yoga is a tried and tested method of healing many maladies. This centuries-old Indian tradition helps to maintain the health of each individual organ of the body. Today, people from all over the world resort to yoga for treating disorders both big and small. Those who suffer from various infertility problems also find solutions in this ancient art of healing oneself. Infertility is a physical problem that has many psychological and social implications. Coping with infertility can often be very challenging for young couples. Yoga helps them relieve infertility stress from the couples’ mind and strengthens the various organs resulting in overall development of the body and an increase in fertility.

Yoga and Infertility

Infertility yoga is a specialized type of yoga that caters specifically to couples who are trying to have a baby but are not able to do so. These poses aim to open up the pelvic region of the body and improve blood circulation to the groin. Yoga also helps to regulate the hormones. The poses in the infertility yoga are divided into cycles. Each pose is mapped on to the fertility cycles of the man and the woman. When they enter the period when their fertility is peaking, different infertility solutions in the form of restorative processes are practiced.

There are various poses in yoga that help stimulate the gonads. These poses help to remove any pent up stress in the reproductive system, including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs, thereby increasing chances of pregnancy.

Yoga for infertility consists of the following poses: Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana), Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), Suppported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana), and Reclined Hero’s Pose (Supta Virasana).

All of the above poses help to soften the abdominal area, open up the pelvis, and increase blood flow so that the reproductive organs are rejuvenated.

There are some forms of yoga that help channel a healing energy inside of the body. These also help in improving the mind and relaxing the body so that fertility is improved. Some of these gentler yoga forms are Hatha yoga and Kripalu yoga. While Hatha yoga consists of various poses and postures that help improve the form of the body, Kripalu yoga is one in which there are a series of postures that work towards increasing spiritual awareness. There is also Couples’ Yoga, a newer form, in which the poses are practiced by couples, improving their acceptance of each other and connecting them at deeper and more meaningful levels.

Yoga Poses: A Workout Routine for Men

For a long time, yoga was considered to be a women’s thing. While women signed up for yoga classes all over the world, men still pumped iron and lifted weights to grow more muscular. While all gyms offer some workout routine for men, it is yoga that not only helps in toning body and making you flexible but also helps in building endurance and maintaining good health. Men, especially those who indulge in competitive sports, can benefit greatly from yoga. The particular areas of their bodies where men are especially stiff, when injured, causes a lot of discomfort. The stiffness greatly reduces the chances of healing of the injured areas of the body.

Yoga poses for men have the potential to give a full body workout. These make the stiff portions of the body, like the shoulders and the hips, a little more flexible. These exercises also work upon the often neglected parts of the body like the knees and the lower back. There are not only many yoga exercises for men but also many yoga benefits for men. Here are some poses that can be included in a yoga workout for men.

Forward Fold
This is a bending exercise that helps tone up the calves and the hips, while stretching the hamstrings. Simply part both your feet and stand straight. Now bend your torso over, towards the floor. If you can feel a pressure building up on your hamstrings and knees, gently bend the knees to release it. Now with your hands, grasp the elbows of the opposite arms. Hold this for a minute or two before getting back to the standing pose.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose
This pose helps to stretch the hamstrings, feet, calves, and shoulders. It also works out the arms and legs. Position yourself on all fours for this pose. Your knees and feet should be apart, parallel to each other. Your hands too should be placed on the ground, parallel to each other. Now, putting the weight on your hands, lift your knees and stretch your legs backwards. Lengthen the pose as much as you can by moving your hands and feet. Press your heels on the floor and start to relax your head and neck. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes.

Bridge Pose
This pose helps stretch the neck, chest, and hips, and it strengthens the spine. Lie down on the floor and bend your knees to place your feet on the floor. Place both your palms on the floor with your arms resting along your torso. Now take a deep breath and lift your hips. Stretch your body as much as you can in this position. Hold this pose for a few seconds, and then exhale while coming back to the resting position.

Yoga Safety Tips to Avoid Yoga Injuries

Yoga has fast become popular among those who are looking to boost endurance, tone their bodies, and simply maintain good health. The various techniques of yoga can help improve balance, concentration, mental acuity, and flexibility of the body. With all these benefits, it is hard to believe that you can also harm yourself in any manner. Although yoga doesn’t really harm you at all, not taking proper precautions while exercising can cause yoga injuries. As more and more people have begun to turn to yoga for healing their bodies, taking proper yoga precautions and following yoga safety tips has become a must. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Below are some exercise safety tips for yoga.

Yoga safety tips

1. Get yourself an instructor who is qualified. Not all instructors are qualified enough to guide you. Unfortunately, there are no centralized institutions or agencies from where yoga teachers get their certifications. Therefore, it is best to do your research before you join a yoga class.

2. Know how much your body can take. It is not wise to push yourself to a point where you feel a lot of pain. Most of the yoga injuries occur due to lack of taking exercise safety precautions. There are safety standards which you should familiarize yourself with. Along with that, it’s always better to exercise some self regulation.

3. Once you find yourself a qualified instructor, make slow progress. No one can master all the basics of yoga in a single go. To progress, it is important to start slowly and give your body some time to adapt to the pace that you have set for yourself.

4. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Therefore, do not compete with anyone while you are performing it. Yoga is meant to relax you and release tension from the muscles. Regarding it as competition can defeat its purpose. Poses need to have form. It is always better to have an incomplete pose with the correct form instead of having a complete pose that makes you uncomfortable.

5. If you experience pain while doing a pose, it is best to stop. When you’re feeling pain, it means that your body is trying to tell you something. If you feel that you are not sure of yourself in a position, you should stop and ask your instructor the correct way to practice the pose. If you have any injuries, discuss them with your instructor.

Lower Back Pain Relief – Tips To Prevent Back Pain And Treatment

Lower Back Pain Remedies

Lower back pain mostly results from the regular wear and tear of the muscle and bone tissues at the end of the spinal cord over time or due to exertion of excessive pressure on the back on a regular basis. In some cases, lower back pain may also be caused by a condition called osteoarthritis in which there is a defect in the structure of the spine. Lower back pain commonly manifests itself as a throbbing sensation that begins after some physical labor or on moving from a static position after a long time.

Your chiropractor or family doctor would be in the best position to evaluate and diagnose the exact nature of your back pain. In most cases, it is seen that back pain is brought on by a muscle strain and/or a series of muscle spasms

You should make it a habit to sit upright in order to minimize gradual damage to the tissues in your lower back. Keeping your body weight in check is also essential to ensure that the lower back is not put under too much pressure. It is also advisable that you avoid carrying heavy weights on your back on a regular basis, as in the long run this might cause serious damage to your spine and cause persistent lower back pain. Wearing footwear that evenly spreads out the body weight across the feet is also recommended. It is also important that you give your back enough rest after a period of active physical labor, as this naturally gives the muscles, ligaments and bones of your lower back the time to recover from the strain they have been put through. Avoid excessively soft and spongy cushions and mattresses as a rule, as these may add to the problem. Besides these general rules, you may also follow a few simple home remedies to relieve lower back pain. Applying hot packs is known to be of great help in relaxing tense muscles and lessening pain. If the pain gets intense, you should also alternate the hot packs with cold compresses at regular intervals throughout the day. This reduces local swelling and helps ease the nerve endings in the lower back, thereby providing relief from pain. You may also drink warm soups flavored with ginger, turmeric, chilies and black pepper, as these condiments have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce back pain. For another remedy, chew a few cloves of raw garlic during every meal. Alternatively, you could fry a few cloves of garlic in 50ml of mustard oil for a few minutes and then collect the clear extract. Consume this extract every morning to relieve back pain. You may also mash a raw potato to pulp, tie it up in a piece of cotton cloth and use this as a poultice to rub your lower back before going to bed every night. This is an effective way of reducing lower back pain.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lavender Essential Oil Properties For Your Skin And Hair Care

Lavender Essential Oil Benefits

Lavender essential oil is one of the major oils used in aromatherapy. It can be used for full-body massages. Lavender oil can naturally relax muscles and moisturize the skin, thereby making your skin feel soft and supple. Simply adding a few drops of lavender oil into your bathwater everyday also makes your skin feel fresh throughout the day. You may also massage your skin with almond oil after bathing and patting yourself dry. Essential lavender oil penetrates the surface of the skin very easily and is quickly circulated all over the skin. This improves blood circulation and thereby ensures the adequate supply of essential nutrients to each and every corner of your skin through the bloodstream. This has the effect of making your skin look healthy and glowing, and also prevents the chances of irregular pigmentation and the consequent appearance of dark spots and discolored patches on the skin.

Lavender oil also has natural antiseptic properties that are useful in killing germs that might be present in the pores on the surface of the skin and thereby prevent local infections. It may also be used to treat minor cuts, wounds and burns. Applying a few drops of lavender oil on a fresh cut or burn wound helps relieve the pain and burning, and speeds up the natural process of healing without leaving behind ugly scars on the skin. You may also dab a scab with a ball of cotton wool soaked in this oil in order to reduce the itching and stretching sensation on the skin. You may also use lavender oil regularly to massage your scalp and hair. This nourishes the hair follicles, improves blood circulation in the scalp and consequently makes your hair grow stronger and faster. Thus, lavender oil massage is often recommended as an effective natural remedy for hair loss. Regular application of lavender oil also adds a natural shine to your hair without making it look limp and sticky. This oil has the natural property of relieving physical and emotional stress, which are major causes for several common skin and hair problems. Thus, using lavender oil to de-stress your mind and body has the long-term impact of making your skin and hair healthy. For this purpose, you may just add a few drops of lavender oil in a bowl of water and place it in your room, at work as well as home. This has the effect of relaxing the nerves and minimizing stress and anxiety.

Foods That Lower Blood Sugar Level – Basic Rules For Diabetes

Meals To Low Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is caused when the bloodstream is unable to absorb the entire amount of glucose that is produced as a result of the digestion of food. The normal blood sugar level measured on an empty stomach is 80-120mg per 100ml of blood, and up to 60mg a couple of hours after a meal. Anything above these levels is considered indicate of high blood sugar. Commonly referred to as diabetes, this is a serious disorder that may lead to complications like heart disease and blindness. The chief cause behind this condition is that the body is not able to produce or use sufficient insulin to assimilate glucose into the bloodstream naturally. Obesity, nutritional imbalances, lack of adequate physical exercise, stress and anxiety, and heredity are the common factors responsible for high blood sugar.

There are a few basic rules that you must follow to keep a check on your blood sugar level. Reduce the consumption of simple carbohydrates such as rice, white bread, sugar and potato, as they raise the level of glucose in the blood very rapidly. Instead, eat foods rich in more complex carbohydrates such as raw vegetables and whole grains that supply energy to the body without raising the blood sugar level. You should also restrict the intake of proteins and fats as they hinder the quick absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. It is also necessary that you keep a tab on your body weight, as overweight people are at the greatest risk of having high blood sugar. Regular physical exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy body weight but also helps increase the rate at which glucose is assimilated into the bloodstream, thereby regulating the blood sugar level. You may also drink herbal teas in order to keep your blood sugar level within safe limits. Steeping a couple of cinnamon sticks or adding a tablespoon of cinnamon powder into a kettle of boiling water is another option. You should drink a cup if this infusion twice a day to lower your blood sugar level. For another remedy, soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in a large cup of water overnight, and mash the seeds the next morning; then extract the clear liquid using a sieve and drink it. Following this remedy for a couple of months is an effective natural way of lowering blood sugar levels. You should also drink a glass of grape juice at breakfast every morning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweet Almond Oil - Benefits Of Almond Oil For Skin And Hair Care

Benefits Of Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular components of skin and hair care products. This oil is extracted from almond seeds and is commonly used as the base oil in aromatherapy and body massages. Sweet almond oil is an excellent emollient that gets absorbed by the skin very easily without making you feel greasy or sticky. Thus, it is very useful for light body massages for all skin types. This oil also has the benefit of having a very mild fragrance and a very light color, so if you wish to get a body massage without smelling too strongly of oil, almond oil is the perfect choice for you. It effectively moisturizes dry skin, making it look soft and glowing. You may massage your entire body after bathing and patting your skin dry with a soft towel. The natural lubricating property of this oil also helps repair cracked and flaky skin, especially during dry, cold winters and in harsh arid climates. Almond oil can also be used to soften tough skin on the palms and the heels. Sweet almond oil also acts as soothing agent that is highly beneficial for treating skin allergies and inflammation. You should gently apply a little almond oil on the skin if you are suffering from local eruptions that cause itchiness and burning. Local application of this oil is also helpful in relieving skin irritation caused by insect bites, minor burns, wounds and scabs.

Almond oil also has natural antimicrobial properties which help prevent local bacterial infections in healing wounds, thereby minimizing the chances of scarring and ugly marks. This oil also has the natural property of tightening sagging skin. Thus, daily application of sweet almond oil can prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, thereby giving your skin a smoother, firmer and younger look. Simply applying some almond oil on your face and neck every alternate night before going to bed is an effective natural means of keeping your skin well toned and wrinkle-free. This remedy also has the added advantage of smoothening out pores and scars on the skin over time. Almond oil may also be applied on those parts of the skin that have suffered from sunburn or are looking discolored owing to uneven pigmentation. This will help restore your skin to its natural complexion. Besides being of great use in skin care routines, sweet almond oil can also improve the quality of your hair. You should gently warm some almond oil and massage your entire scalp and hair with it, wrap up your hair for half an hour with a soft towel and then wash your hair in order to get soft, silky and shining hair.

Tennis Elbow Home Treatment- Causes And Natural Therapy For Painful Elbow

Natural Treatment For Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, technically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes swollen, tender and painful. This happens when the tendons attached to the elbow joint become inflamed, either due to gradual and prolonged wear and tear of body tissue or due to accidental injuries caused by lifting or gripping heavy loads, sudden jerks during exercising or playing, or hitting against a hard surface. The symptoms of this condition are - difficulty in grasping and lifting objects, pain in moving the wrist or stretching out the fingers, and a tight, painful feeling while moving or bending the forearm.

There are a few useful home remedies that can treat tennis elbow. You should apply ice packs on the swollen elbow every couple of hours for 10-15 minutes. This will help reduce the swelling and the pain. You may also alternate the ice packs with hot compresses for faster relief. Another useful remedy is to bake a couple of potatoes, mash them, tie them up with gauze and apply this as a poultice on the elbow while the potatoes are still warm. This helps greatly in lessening the pain. It is also advisable that you use a tight elastic band around the swollen elbow whenever you are not using your hand, especially before going to bed at night. This helps compress the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the region and reduces pain and inflammation. Also, you should gently lift up your arm straight so that it is at the level of your heart, and keep it in this position for a couple of minutes at regular intervals of time. This helps minimize swelling. Before going to bed every night, warm a cup of mustard oil with a handful of mustard seeds in a pan and massage the affected elbow with the oil, while still hot. This is a very popular and effective natural remedy for reducing local swelling and pain. For another remedy, crush a few fresh celery leave and add their juice to a glass of lukewarm water. Drink this mixture before every meal. This helps in speeding up the body’s natural healing process and reduces pain and swelling. You should also consume fish on a regular basis, as this is a natural source of omega 3 acids, which relax strained muscles and thereby help treat tennis elbow. Moreover, rest your elbow as much as possible by avoiding any form of exertion that might cause further damage.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tea Tree Oil For Acne – How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne And Marks

Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Acne

Tea tree oil is one of the several popular essential oils that are used widely in skin and hair care treatments. It is obtained through steam distillation of the leaves of an herb called Melaleuca Alternifolia. Tea tree oil also has the natural capacity to open up clogged pores on the surface of the skin, and thereby cleanse the dirt particles, oil and dead skin cells accumulated in them. This significantly reduces the chances of the appearance of acne in the first place. Tea tree oil has natural antimicrobial properties that help kill the bacteria “propionibacterium acnes” that dwells in the skin and causes acne. Simply dabbing the pimple on its first appearance with a drop of tea tree oil is an effective way of preventing further swelling, inflammation and spread of the eruption. If the pimple has already become pus-filled, the oil should be applied twice or thrice a day in order to kill the germs that might be breeding in the site. Research has shown that in comparison to benzoyl peroxide, the chemical substance most commonly used in commercial acne treatment products, tea tree oil has fewer repercussions, though the latter takes more time to bear results. While benzoyl peroxide often causes irritation, itching, burning and stinging on the site of application, tea tree oil has a gentle soothing effect on the skin. It works slowly but effectively on the skin to destroy all germs and make acne disappear without a scar or mark. Even in cases where the pimple has turned into a minor lesion, regular application of tea tree oil has proven useful in rejuvenating the skin cells and making the acne disappear without any kind of disfigurement.

However, since the skin cells are already damaged and in a delicate state in such cases, it is recommended that a very dilute tea tree oil gel be used on the skin to treat such acne. A mild concentration of 5%, made simply by mixing five parts of the oil in 95 parts of water, is suitable for application on painful and infected pimples. This gets rid of the acne without causing redness, excessive drying or blistering. Applying tea tree oil regularly on acne scars is also known to tone up the skin and make it look smoother. You should, of course, take care to ensure that the concentration of the oil is never too high, as this may lead to adverse effects on the skin instead of soothing and tightening it.

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Yoga for nervous system problems

What is the Function of the Nervous System?

The nervous system is the network of nerves that control all the organs and illicit responses from the body. It is the nerves that allow the senses to work and the brain to coordinate the mechanisms of the entire body.

With so many functions, it is easy for the nerves to get fatigued or diseased and if there is an injury or trauma to the nerves, it can really damage the functioning of the body in many ways. The slightest of nervous system problems may cease the functioning of vital organs. For example, trauma to the spinal chord can cause a person to be paralyzed, or lose the ability to walk.

Disorders of the Nervous System

Today, owing to our lifestyle, our nerves have to undergo a lot of pressures and stress just to keep the body functional. There are times though; when the amount of stress becomes so much that the nerves begin to malfunction. It is therefore necessary to maintain the health of the nerves and to ensure that we distress regularly so that the body machinery keeps functioning without a glitch.

The severity of the disorders of the nervous system varies. Some of these disorders are:
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Brain Cancers
  • Brain Tumors
  • Epilepsy
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Headache
  • Meningitis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke
Treatment for Nervous System

The nervous system is a delicate network of neurons and therefore it is important to keep it protected from jerks or traumas. When we work in the same pose for a long time, the nervous system can get stressed. The treatment of the nervous system basically focuses on the slowing of the degeneration of the nerves. The nerves, if once damaged, cannot be regenerated. It is only with great difficulty that dead nerves of a person can be revitalized. The treatment requires taking painful injections or very strong steroid based medicines that have various side effects.

Yoga for the Nervous System

Owing to these circumstances, many have recommended yoga poses for nervous system treatment. Yoga has proved to be effective in mitigating the harmful effects of stress. Not only does yoga help in relieving stress, it also helps in keeping the mind calm and sharp, delaying the onset of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer. In fact, yoga is one of the few forms of exercise that has a direct beneficial effect on the autonomic nervous system.

Yoga incorporates many different breathing exercises and mediation techniques. The deep breathing practiced during these exercises helps to calm the nerves. The process of meditation helps to drown out all extraneous worries and allows a person to calm and center his (or her) thoughts. This goes a long way in providing relief from nervous disorders. Even the yogic postures (Asanas) incorporate steady and deep breathing and help to reduce anxiety and calm the nerves.

Some of the popular yoga postures and techniques that can be used to treat nervous disorders are:
  • Shava Asana or the Corpse Pose
  • Padma Asana or the Lotus Pose
  • Sukha Asana or the Easy Pose
  • Anuloma Viloma or Alternate Nostril Breathing
  • Kapalbhati or Skull Cooling Breath

Massage For Back Pain – Causes Of Back Pain And Back Massage

Massage For Back Pain

Back pain is becoming an increasingly common problem with people belonging to all age groups, especially students and working persons who have a hectic lifestyle. Carrying heavy loads, using chairs that do not have a proper backrest, and sitting or standing in the same position for too long, are some of the common causes of back pain. Back pain may also result from external injury caused during exercising or lifting a load. Sometimes, an inactive, sedentary lifestyle may also lead to back pain. An easy way of preventing back pain is to ensure that your back is never under excessive pressure for a prolonged period of time. Regularly shifting your position while working, or shifting the load from the back to your arms while carrying heavy goods, are a few precautionary measures that you may find useful in avoiding back pain. You should also do a few basic stretching exercises under the supervision of your trainer to tone up the muscles of your back without straining them excessively.

Besides, there are various kinds of massages that help relieve back pain, each involving distinct techniques. You should adopt a particular kind of massage only after consulting your physician and your trainer. One of the most popular back massages is the Swedish massage, in which the therapist kneads the uppermost layer of your back muscles in gentle, circular motions, alternating them with long vertical strokes. Generally, a body lotion or oil is used during this kind of massage, so that it seeps into the skin and gradually relaxes the tense muscles. A similar procedure is used in aromatherapy, where the masseur uses aromatic and essential oils like rosemary and lavender during the massage. This kind of massage is beneficial in cases where the back pain is the result of both physical and emotional stress. The fragrant oils not only relieve the physical stress from the muscles of the back, but also have a de-stressing influence on the emotional state of the patient. In case your whole back hurts, the therapist should employ the entire surface of his arms to stroke your muscles in rhythmic, upward movements that should start from the lower back and move up to the neck and then circle around the region of the shoulders. If the pain is more localized, the palms and the thumb may be used in firm, circular motions; three times first in a circular and then in an anti-circular way. This helps improve blood circulation, rejuvenate nerve endings and ease out the pressure on the muscles of the back.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Benefits Of Coconut Oil – Organic Benefits For Your Overall Health And Diet

Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Coconut is a rich natural source of fibers, fat, essential vitamins and minerals. Coconut has traditionally served as an integral part of cuisines in across several cultures. In many parts of India, for instance, coconut oil is used as a cooking medium. Grated coconut or coconut milk is also used frequently as a flavoring agent in cooked food. Coconut oil contains vital fatty acids that are easily burnt and assimilated by the body rather than stored as fat. For this reason, using coconut oil to cook food is a healthy natural means of supplying the necessary amount of fat to the body without risking weight gain or an increase in the blood cholesterol level. Coconut oil also helps keep the kidneys in good working condition. It also helps minimize the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Compared to other varieties of oil, coconut oil is easy to digest and is often recommended for those who have a delicate stomach or are suffering from digestive disorders. Also, it increases the metabolic rate and is therefore a quick source of energy for those who are regularly involved in vigorous physical labor, such as athletes and sportspersons.

The several benefits of coconut oil for skin care are also widely known. Coconut is an effective moisturizing agent that works especially well on dry, flaky skin, and in harsh cold climates. Applying coconut oil on cracked skin is an excellent way of trapping the oil and moisture that the skin cells naturally lose due to exposure to the external environment. A little coconut oil smeared daily on chapped lips regularly can make them soft and pink in just a few days. A mixture of coconut oil and wax heated and then cooled together is a popular home remedy for cracked heels. Coconut oil gets easily absorbed by the skin, and may thus also be used as protection against the harsh rays of the sun. Coconut oil has a cool, soothing effect on inflamed skin, and is therefore particularly useful in relieving burning and itching of skin in cases of allergic reactions. Regular application of coconut oil is also known to tighten the skin naturally and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coconut oil is also a very popular component of most hair care treatments. Applying some warmed coconut oil on the roots of the hair before going to bed and washing it off the next morning is a simple way of nourishing the hair follicles and keeping the scalp well moisturized. This makes hair grow stronger and shinier. The protein content of coconut also prevents hair breakage.

Goiter Treatment – Causes Of Thyroid Goiter And Home Remedies

Goiter Causes And Treatment

Goiter is nothing but a thyroid gland that has grown abnormally large. This gland is located at the base of our necks. When a person is affected with goiter, this gland tends to get enlarged. Although there may be no pain associated with this condition it can often pose a difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Goiter does not necessarily indicate that one’s thyroid glad has malfunctioned. In other words, a goiter can form in a gland that produces too little, too much or even the right amount of hormones. The presence of a goiter means there is some condition present in the body, which results in the abnormal growth of the thyroid. One of the most common causes of goiter is a deficiency of iodine. However it is not limited to this alone, there could be several other causes as well. Some of the symptoms associated with goiter are, a swelling on the base of the neck, a difficulty in breathing or swallowing, depression and irritability, and emotional problems, among others.

There are a few remedies that can help fight this condition. Take a few dandelion leaves and smear clarified butter on them. Warm the leaves a little and then apply them on to the swelling. Doing this for 5-6 days is known to reduce any discomfort. Flax seeds are also very useful. Take a few seeds and grind them in water. Boil the mixture, and once it has cooled, apply it on the affected area. Next take the leaves of the plant and use them to bandage the area. This should be done 2-3 times in a week. Barley water is also very beneficial in curing goiter. Having a glass daily will go a long way. Foods such as whole rice, lettuce, sea food, onions, citrus fruits, and oats are known to reduce the swelling. Try and incorporate them in your daily diet. Watercress is also helpful when it comes to fighting goiter. Take a few watercress leaves and mash them to make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the swelling and let it stay for about 10-15 minutes after which rinse it off. You could also apply the paste made from equal quantities of olive oil and sorrel leaves.

However, all said and done, the ideal treatment for goiter will mainly depend on its cause. Hence it is always recommended that one get a medical opinion, to help combat it in an adequate manner.