Does your neck ache? Is it worse when you drive or are on the computer for long periods of time? You are probably sticking your neck out and straining the delicate neck muscles. It’s easy to do but can become a bad habit. If you counter that with a healthy habit, you can retrain yourself.
Sit up straight and line up your ears with your shoulders. Move your head backward which forces you to tuck in your chin. You’ll feel a stretch from your neck to the base of the skull. Hold for 5 seconds, and then release. If it feels forced, take two slow, deep breaths while you’re holding your head back and tucking in your chin.
Do this stretch whenever your neck is bothering you. If you want to create a healthy habit, also do this stretch at regular intervals, like stopping at a red light, or whenever you minimize a window on your computer.
I’m so delighted to offer you a new way to feel better! I’ve recently been certified to practice massage cupping, a modern version of an ancient Chinese healing technique. Massage cupping uses suction to soften tight muscles, loosen restrictions, lessen excessive fluids that create bloating and edema, and remove toxins from your body. It increases circulation of blood and lymphatic flow which restores your own body’s natural healing powers. It also stimulates healthy elimination of accumulated debris throughout your body.
The result is better range of motion in your joints, reduced pain and inflammation, and a smoother appearance and healthy glow to your skin. Most importantly, you gain all this while feeling peaceful yet invigorated. Several dozen clients have already given positive feedback after experiencing massage cupping. Try it out at your next appointment.
It’s easy to start exercising, but hard to stick to it. What makes the difference is whether you enjoy what you’re doing. The trick to keeping to a regular exercise routine is to find a calorie-burner that you like.
In the last decade, interest in dancing for fitness has gained ground. Part of this increase is due to classes like zumba, a Latin dance workout. Dance provides all the typical benefits of other exercises including changes in your body’s levels of brain chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The effect is a happier mood and greater confidence as well as as hangning in there long enough to lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, and maybe even shed a few pounds.
Arthritis can be difficult to live with and also difficult to treat. The most effective methods found so far include a variety of little changes that can add up to greater comfort. The following diet and lifestyle changes may help soothe arthritis symptoms.
A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that a plant-based diet of fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale, along with alliums, such as garlic, onions and leeks, showed some improvement with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Ginger has been a topical remedy for alleviating arthritis symptoms for thousands of years in China. Adding ginger to your diet can help manage osteoarthritis symptoms. Use caution though, the high doses necessary to soothe painful, swollen joints may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and interfere with medications such as blood thinners.
A 2010 review in Arthritis Research and Therapy showed that compounds in green tea protects cartilage from breaking down and maintains the integrity of collagen in the presence of joint disorders. Although more research is needed, green tea shows enough promise that it may be worth drinking at least three to four cups a day. I usually drink at least two cups during the day and find that it also helps me avoid that afternoon slump of low energy without getting any ill-effects from caffeine.
Fish oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on joints, according to dozens of clinical trials. A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found positive effects using krill, a zooplankton crustacean rich in omega-3s, on an animal model of arthritis. Krill oil’s omega-3 fats may be more easily absorbed by the body than fish oil, plus it has the added bonus of astaxanthin, a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that very high levels of 600 to 1,000 mg of fish oil per day are needed to feel a reduction in joint stiffness, tenderness, pain or swelling.
Physical activity is one of the cornerstones for keeping joints healthy and happy, as well as keeping your weight down. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, such as walking, running, biking, dancing, yoga or strength training.
Wouldn’t you like to relieve stress, reduce pain, and be left with more happiness? How about if you could do that at no cost or additional training? It is possible and very, very simple. Just give a hug and give them often.
Research has now shown that a hug lasting at least 20 seconds releases the right chemicals in your body to achieve stress reduction, pain relief, and promotes a feeling of closeness. The beautiful part of this is that not only do you get the benefits, but you are also giving those benefits to the one you hug. Sometimes it really is that easy.
If you feel worn out at work, it’s important to address it now. Noticing the signs of burnout is crucial to stopping the progression of symptoms that can lead to serious problems such as long-term depression. Some common symptoms are:
Fatigue when accompanied by an apathetic outlook and decreased motivation
Changes in sleep patterns
Increased sensitivity to pain
Reduced ability to concentrate or remember things
While it’s increasingly important to work harder, it’s just as important to take time for yourself. Avoid burnout by scheduling time for yourself to do those things that renew your spirit. What do you love to do that makes you happy and relaxed and enthusiastic? Schedule one hour this week to make time for you!
Chronic pain affects 116 million Americans, one out of every three people. Most people have low back and knee pain. The next most common problems are headaches and neck pain. Prescription pain medication is usually given for relief, but there are other options. Robert Twillman, a veteran pain psychologist, reminds patients that living with chronic pain can take an emotional toll but it’s an area in which you have the power to create change.
Pain management centers are now focusing on improving your body’s function rather than just eliminating pain. Positive rewards are increased mobility, better mental outlook, and on occasion improved overall health. Massage can be a useful tool towards putting your attention on your body’s abilities versus its limits. It also helps retrain your nerve endings to signal more pleasant sensations rather than sending pain messages.
I remember the phrase on my elementary school cafeteria walls “You are what you eat.” It turns out, what you eat also affects how you feel. “Eating regularly is a key factor in boosting mood,” says Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD, of Roseville, Calif., a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Anyone who skips a meal realizes that after a while they start to get edgy. It’s most likely because their blood sugar is dipping.”
Much of what you eat is converted to blood sugar, says Gazzaniga-Moloo, Your cells use blood sugar for energy. “To keep a stable mood, you want to maintain your blood sugar levels. Eating foods that are slow to digest will help you do that,” says Gazzaniga-Moloo. “Foods that are high in fiber such as beans, oats, brown rice, apples, and other fruits and vegetables are good examples.”
Like fiber, protein can help you to avoid blood sugar crashes. Some good sources of protein are chicken, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and milk, tofu, and peanut butter. Ideally, you should combine protein and carbohydrates at meals, Gazzaniga-Moloo says. “Often, it’s how we put foods together that makes a difference. Combining protein and carbohydrates can help slow digestion and help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.”
When your stress levels rise, so does your risk of heart disease. Though the relationship isn’t yet clear, studies are showing a definite connection between heart disease risk and stress. To keep your heart strong, you need to find ways to alleviate your stress on a regular basis. Try daily exercise, good nutrition, and practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Simple, everyday things reduce stress too. Having a good laugh, talking to a close friend, or writing down what worries you can be surprisingly effective at relieving tension.
Chronic pain affects 116 million Americans, one out of every three people. Low back and knee pain account for almost half of the suffering with headaches and neck pain taking up almost a third. Typically prescription pain medication is given most often for relief. Robert Twillman, a veteran pain psychologist, reminds patients that living with chronic pain can take an emotional toll but it is an area in which you have the power to create change. Pain management centers are now focusing on improving function in the body rather than eliminating pain. Positive rewards can be increased mobility, better mental outlook, and on occasion improved health.
Massage can be a useful tool towards putting the attention on your body’s abilities versus its limits. It also helps retrain nerve endings to promote pleasant sensations rather than pain.