Browsing Category Health

Pilates: How It Started & Why You Need It

Pilates reformer

Pilates is an exercise that was developed in the 20th century. Originally called Contrology, Pilates focuses on increasing bodily strength, flexibility, and mental awareness.  The exercise is often praised for injury prevention and healing.

The name comes from its inventor, Joseph Pilates.

Joseph, born in Germany but an immigrant to Britain and then the US, was ill as a child. He searched for a method to build strength, and ended up body-building through his childhood and teenage years. He studied exercise methods from both the East and West, and practiced gymnastics, Tai Chi and yoga. While practicing each exercise, Joseph observed the effects on his body, and tied the effects to his study of anatomy and motion.

During World War I, the British interned Joseph as a German enemy alien, where he worked as a nurse. 

Through his experience, he experimented with his patients, by attaching springs and building contraptions, to help them tone their muscles on their hospital beds, while they recovered. It was this time in his life that provided him with the inspiration to create what we now know as the Reformer, a machine designed for isolated muscle toning.

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Not All Personal Trainers Are Qualified

qualified personal trainers

In this health and fitness-crazed era that we live in, we often hear about people seeking out personal trainers. While television and the media have painted a certain picture, every personal trainer is unique and comes equipped with their own approach and personality. They can be either male or female, and not all of them will push you to the point of exhaustion. While some may have this approach, not everyone does. Personal trainers have many skills, and the successful ones seek out education and certification.

Personal trainers are people who are passionate about fitness and have a desire to help others reach their health and fitness goals.

Some of the common traits personal trainers share are:

  • Knowledge of human anatomy and exercise
  • Ability to design individual and group exercise programs
  • Conduct fitness programs in a safe and effective way
  • Motivate others to improve their health and fitness holistically

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Why You Should Hire a Nutritionist

nutritionist oranges

If you’ve been thinking of hiring a nutritionist, here is a dire reality: One in three adults in the United States is obese. One third of Americans are overweight. High blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and a plethora of other diseases are on a devastating rise due to this epidemic. My father, a primary care physician, suffered a stroke this past year at the young age of 49 due to high blood pressure. What makes you think you won’t too? Maybe it is a product of lifestyle, genetics, processed foods, or all of the above; regardless, there is an eating problem in this country.

An important step you could take, to avoid falling into the shockingly large statistic, is by taking the help of a nutritionist or dietitian.

Even if you are not overweight, seeking out a nutritionist can help you reach your goals of being and staying healthy.

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How Massage Therapy Helps Cure Ailments

young woman enjoying back massage in beauty spa salon

Massage therapy has an extensive history among cultures around the world, with its first references appearing in writings from ancient civilizations like China, India and Egypt. In Greece, Hippocrates once even defined medicine as “the art of rubbing.” And considering your skin is the largest organ on your body, it’s no wonder why it’s so beneficial.

It wasn’t until the mid-19th century when two American physicians introduced massage to the United States after studying it in Sweden. Although scientific and technological medical advances during the 1930s and 1940s took center stage, massage became popular again in the 1970s and continues to be of use today for a number of health-related purposes, including the treatment of pain, stress and depression.

Massage Therapist vs. Physical Therapist: The Differences

Although massage and physical therapists use the same techniques, each is categorized as its own separate profession. In fact, besides the use of massage and educating their patients about exercise, the two occupations hardly have anything in common. That said, here are the key differences between a massage and a physical therapist.

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Yoga History: A Story of Flexibility of Both Mind and Body

yoga, wheel pose

Although it’s become as trendy to take part in a spinning or Pilates class, the practice of yoga dates back thousands of years. To understand its history and appreciate what it can do for both your mind and body, it’s important to learn about its origins, key principles and how they can benefit you today. Let’s take a closer look at its history and how this ancient practice can help you overcome stress and build a happier mind, body and soul.

The Origin of Yoga: A Spiritual and Meditative Journey

Although historians still debate its origins, the term has been discovered in ancient India’s earliest known scripts the Vedas, which date back to 1500 BCE. These ancient scripts are considered the oldest writings of Hinduism and Sanskrit literature. During the Vedic period, ascetic Vedic priests performed sacrifices in poses that some historians also believe were precursors to the yoga poses people perform today.

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Acupuncture: From Daoism to Modern Tradition

What was once a philosophy rooted in Daoist tradition over 8000 years ago, is now a buzzword. Most of us have heard of acupuncture and know it involves sticking needles into people in weird places, but do not know much more than that.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves using thin, sterile needles to stimulate points on the body. This practice is based on the concept of “qi”, or energy, and is often sought for pain management. Acupuncture may also involve the use of electrical stimulation, or the application of heat or pressure. Acupuncturists are trained to listen, observe, and diagnose patients and choose the course of treatment that will target their malalignments.

Although a medical degree is not required, not just anyone can open up an office and practice acupuncture.

In order to become an acupuncturist, you first have to study acupuncture at any school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Applicants to accredited acupuncture schools must first complete at least two years of study at the baccalaureate level, and many schools require a bachelor’s degree. Students in acupuncture programs take courses in Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and treatment techniques, Oriental herbal studies, integrated acupuncture and herbal clinical training and biomedical clinical sciences. Students that graduate the program, usually graduate with a master’s degree which in most states, is the minimal educational requirement to even be able to practice.

So how will your appointment go?

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Even universities can’t get mental health right

It is no secret that mental illness has a hit an all-time high amongst youth and young adults alike, particularly in the light of students attending university.

Regardless of rhyme or reason, this is happening. And what better way to tackle a demographically specific epidemic than to implement psychological support systems on campuses across the nation? (I know, it’s so smart it’s practically college-level thinking.)

In a perfect world, this resolve would be dealt with grace and professionalism, taking on the expected responsibilities as part of already existing university health clinics. However, the issue at hand with mental health support on college campuses is the blatant lack of sources and pragmatic treatment for the students. Too often, struggling young adults are underestimated, or even reprimanded, for expressing a need for help.

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How to find empowerment by saying “no”

As humans, we are capable of forming countless relationships.

Whether that relationship be friendship, familial or romantic, it is constantly up to us as individuals to make sure that we are being treated the way we desire to be. If seeing too much of your friend made you sick to your stomach, but you couldn’t control how often you saw them, how would you handle that situation? If you felt guilty not seeing your partner every single time you thought of them,  but seeing them induced just as much guilt, what would you do? In these unhealthy personal relationships, you might just leave your friend or your partner in search of more suitable companions.

Now, what if you were literally unable to live without these people, if not being with them for prolonged periods of time induced light-headedness, fatigue, and the shrinking of your vital organs?

Welcome to an unhealthy relationship with food.

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Mushrooms can do more than just please your palette

“Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals secrets of the universe, and could help save the planet…today. Now imagine that it’s in the ground beneath your feet.”

Human use of fungi usually goes as far as selecting edibles (like the Oyster mushrooms pictured above). And if we can’t eat ’em, they’re as useful as the dead wood they grow from, right?

But the disappearance of fungi would end life as we know it.

Did you know that all plants are part fungi? Plants cannot even exist without fungi. So you have fungi to thank for that apple you just ate. While fungi are most commonly known for fighting infections (penicillin) and making bread & beer possible (yeast), new discoveries are being made that show fungi are the networks by which plants communicate.

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Ibogaine: The incredible substance that can cure heroin addiction

We have all experienced a time where we may have really craved something. While the craving may have felt intense at the time, it was either satiated through consumption, or self-control was put to the test and eventually the craving was satisfied. Heroin addicts, however, ill continue to crave heroin more after each use, and attempts to quit result in intense withdrawal or a relapse into the addiction, making daily life activities relentlessly challenging.

What if there was some substance that could curb the immediate withdrawal symptoms that heroin addicts, alcoholics or other drug addicts experience? In 1962, Howard Lotsof, a nineteen-year-old college student at the time, found that there was. It was called ibogaine.

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