Toxins & Vitality

Vitality

The state of being when you are full of life and energy. It is exuberant physical, mental and emotional vigor. It is also the capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence. Having vitality means you are energetic, lively or forceful. Being vital is essential to well-being. 

Physical vitality is having energy to do things. You have strength and stamina. This is not only important in athletic activities, but it is also valuable in work and day-to-day tasks. It is being able to do things with vigor. This vitality first requires that you are in good health and relatively free from disease or injury. Physical vitality means that your body parts are effectively supplied with nutrients and oxygen, and you have developed the strength and endurance to allow you to perform physical tasks easily.

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Mental vitality is having a mental energy to think clearly. It means that you are in good mental shape with sufficient mental powers and thinking stamina to handle problems. It is a state of mental alertness and effectiveness. Mental vitality first requires physical vitality, since effective flow of oxygen-laden blood and nutrients are important to the functioning of the brain and mental processes. It also requires that you are in good mental health such that your brain is functioning properly and your perceptions are clear.

Emotional vitality is having an up-beat attitude, such that you are happy, at peace, enthusiastic and joyful. You are then able to deal with various problems and stress that may hamper an average person. You can strengthen your emotions to cope with problems. You can increase your emotional endurance and stamina to be able to maintain a positive outlook over a long period. Emotional vitality first required that you are in good mental and emotional health, such that you are relatively free of mental toxins that can affect the way your think.

Toxicity

Mental toxins are opinions and criticisms that can affect your confidence, motivation, esteem and courage. They can make your angry, fearful or sad or to have other negative emotions. You gain emotional vitality from feeding your emotions positive thoughts. You also need a strong reinforcement system and a conditioned ego. Your ego is effectively supplied with positive comments, and you have developed the emotional strength and endurance to allow you to readily perform emotionally.

Toxicity is the degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. Acute toxicity involves harmful effects in an organism through a single or short-term exposure. Subchronic toxicity is the ability of a toxic substance to cause effects for more than one year but less than the lifetime of the exposed organism. Chronic toxicity is the ability of a substance or mixture of substances to cause harmful effects over an extended period, usually upon repeated or continuous exposure, sometimes lasting for the entire life of the exposed organism.

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Symptoms of Toxicity

Toxicology textbooks list the first symptoms of chronic poisoning as low energy, fatigue, muscle weakness, inability to concentrate and intestinal complaints.  These symptoms are virtually identical to those experienced by the chronically ill.

  • Bad breath and coated tongue – foul smelling breath caused by unhealthy/bad digestion from a backed-up colon or periodontal disease.
  • Hemorrhoids – varicose veins of the anus with pain, swelling and itching, often caused by constipation and lack of dietary fiber.  75 million Americans are suspected to suffer from hemorrhoids.
  • Constipation/Digestive complaints – irregular or insufficient bowel movements due to lack of dietary fiber, fast-paced lifestyle where our body’s urges are ignored, use of pharmaceutical drugs, and other causes.  This could indicate the need for cleansing and diet change.
  • Weight Gain – caused from sedentary lifestyle, inactivity, poor food choices, food additives, and disease.  This places strain on the heart, digestive and all systems of the body.
  • Acne – skin break-outs is often a sign of toxicity in the blood or the liver.
  • Excessive Body Odor, belching and bad gas – sometimes caused by poor hygiene, zinc deficiency, diabetes or liver disease or chronic constipation.
  • Lack of Energy – could be environmental toxicity, allergies, sluggish liver.
  • Inflammation and Pain/fibromyalgia – joint pain, may be an over-acid body, indicating the need for cleansing and diet change.
  • Mental Fog, poor concentration and/or lack of sexual desire – brain feels foggy and not as clear as usual, sometimes due to allergies, toxic body products, lack of exercise, and the need for improved circulation.
  • Depression – see mental fog, often helped with cleansing, exercise, and diet change.
  • Headaches – includes sinus congestion, some causes are lack of water, exercise, toxic environment, lack of circulation, or allergies.
  • General nausea or lack of wanting to eat – other than pregnancy, look at the possibility of environmental toxicity, look at a liver cleanse, blood cleansing, extra fluids, diet change to include digestive enzymes in your food.
  • Allergies and Food sensitivities

Causes of Toxicity: Three Main Sources

Indoor air pollution can affect you at home, work, or even places you visit. It is a common source of respiratory diseases, including asthma, allergies, and lung cancer. It can be worse in winter, when windows are shut tight and less fresh air can circulate.

Toxins from Food: Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic-lined cans — it’s tough to find a food that isn’t packaged in plastic. Yet, what leaches out of the packaging and into our food is often an overlooked component of food safety.

Toxic Thoughts & Actions: 75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.

If You Must Diet, Try These

Finding it hard to change the foods that you eat? Here are some ideas that can help you improve your diet. We’ll cover the basics like Atkins, Keto, Paleo, DASH, and Mediterranean diets. These ‘diets’ have demonstrated their effectiveness at improving physical health outcomes in clinical settings. They should be considered more as lifestyle modifications than diets simply because of long term health outcomes. Although, there are risks to long term application of the Atkins and Keto diets.

When compared to the ‘shake’, ‘pill’ or ‘juice’ diet these options provide more nutrition and less expense. These options can also teach you how to prepare healthier food for yourself and your family by helping you create nutrient dense meals everyone can eat. Much more fun than blending a shake for one.

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The Atkins & Keto Diets

Atkins and keto are two of the best-known low-carb diets. Both stipulate a drastic reduction in high-carb foods, including sweets, sugary drinks, breads, grains, fruits, legumes, and potatoes. Yet they have differences as well.

Atkins Diet

Though Atkins has evolved to offer a variety of plans, the original version (now called Atkins 20) is still the most popular. It’s broken down into four phases, which are based on your daily net carb (total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols) allowance:

  • Phase 1 (Induction). This phase allows for 20–25 grams of net carbs per day until you are 15 pounds (7 kg) from your goal weight.
  • Phase 2. During this phase, you consume 25–50 grams of net carbs per day until you are 10 pounds (5 kg) from your goal weight.
  • Phase 3. Your net carb allowance is raised to 50–80 grams per day until you have met your goal weight and maintained it for 1 month.
  • Phase 4. During the final phase, you consume 80–100 grams of net carbs per day for ongoing weight maintenance.

Most Americans get about 50% of their daily calories from carbs, which equates to about 250 grams of carbs if you eat 2,000 calories per day.

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Keto Diet

The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very-low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet plan. Originally used to treat children who experienced seizures, but researchers discovered that it may benefit other people as well. The goal of the keto diet is to get your body into the metabolic state of ketosis, during which it uses fat rather than sugar from carbs as its main energy source.

In ketosis, your body runs on ketones, which are compounds that are formed upon the breakdown of the fat in your food or the fat stored in your body. To achieve and maintain ketosis, most people need to limit their total carb intake to 20–50 grams per day. Macronutrient ranges for the keto diet are typically under 5% of calories from carbs, 10-30% from protein, and 65-90% from fat.

Side Effects of Ketosis

Any diet that involves ketosis can cause adverse effects, such as keto breath, keto skin rashes, and keto flu. Staying in a state of ketosis for long periods can be harmful.

Following either diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies due to food restrictions. For many, carbohydrate sources are also key sources of fiber. When reducing carbohydrates, people should be sure to get enough daily fiber from other sources, such as vegetables.

These diets may increase the risk of deficiencies in electrolytes and many water-soluble nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables.

Ketosis may help burn fat, but it may also burn muscle to use for energy. Following a very low carb diet can result in a loss of muscle mass.

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should avoid keto, as weakened kidneys may be unable to remove the acid buildup in your blood that results from these animal foods. This can lead to a state of acidosis, which can worsen the progression of CKD.  Lower protein diets are often recommended for individuals with CKD, while the keto diet is moderate to high in protein.

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Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet, also known as caveman diet, is a diet based on the food humans’ ancient ancestors might likely have eaten, such as lean meat, nuts, herbs and berries. The diet is based on several premises. Proponents of the diet posit that during the Paleolithic era — a period lasting around 2.5 million years that ended about 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and domestication of animals — humans evolved nutritional needs specific to the foods available at that time, and that the nutritional needs of modern humans remain best adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors.

Modern humans are said to be maladapted to eating foods such as grain, legumes, and dairy, and in particular the high-calorie processed foods that are a staple part of most modern diets. Modern humans’ inability to properly metabolize these comparatively new types of food led to modern-day problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • More protein and meat: Meat, seafood, and other animal products represent the staple foods of modern-day Paleo diets, since advocates claim protein comprises 19-35% of the calories in hunter-gatherer diets.
  • Fewer carbohydrates: Non-starchy vegetables. The diet recommends the consumption of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables to provide 35-45 % daily calories and be the main source of carbohydrates. 
  • High fiber: High fiber intake not via grains, but via non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

The problem with the Paleo Diet is that it is misleading. The majority of plants and animals alive during the Paleolithic Era are now extinct. The herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruits we have today are nothing like those people were eating 10,000 years ago. Simply because the environment has changed and people have interfered with plant evolution through cultivation.

DASH Diet

The DASH diet is especially recommended for people with hypertension (high blood pressure) or prehypertension. In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, this diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure. It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fiber, low to moderate fat diet, rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

The DASH eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days, even without lowering sodium intake. Best response came in people whose blood pressure was only moderately high, including those with prehypertension. For people with more severe hypertension, who may not be able to eliminate medication, it can help improve response to medication, and help lower blood pressure.

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It can help lower cholesterol, and with weight loss and exercise, can reduce insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. It is a healthy plan, designed for the whole family. You fill up on delicious fruits and vegetables, paired up with protein-rich foods to quench your hunger.

Dash Diet Tips

  • Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use, check for added sugar.
  • Use only half your typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing; one to two tablespoons at most.
  • Don’t trust low-fat or fat-free condiments because they have added artificial sweeteners and salt.
  • Drink low-fat or skim dairy products any time you would normally use full-fat or cream.
  • Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Make some meals vegetarian by getting protein from nuts, seeds, and legumes.
  • Add dry beans and lentils to your diet; high in fiber
  • Instead of snacking on chips or sweets, eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
  • Read food labels to choose products that are lower in sodium.

The Mediterranean Diet

A way of eating based on the traditional foods (and drinks) of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet, as in “go on a diet,” even though it is a great way to lose weight or improve your health. Rather, it is a lifestyle – including foods, activities, meals with friends and family, and wine in moderation with meals. It has been studied and noted by scores of leading scientists as one of the healthiest in the world. Just as important, the Mediterranean Diet is full of wonderfully delicious, flavor-filled dishes and meals.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the Mediterranean diet as an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease. And the Mediterranean diet is one your whole family can follow for good health.

Key components of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.

Eating Right, Not Dieting

Consider the prospect of never having to diet again. Simply by eating nutritious foods and avoiding counting calories. Consider some nutrition facts below.

Nutrition

The process of breaking down food and substances taken in by the mouth to use for energy in the body. Now more focused on the steps of biochemical sequences through which substances inside us and other living organisms are transformed from one form to another – metabolism and metabolic pathways.  Nutrition also focuses on how diseases, conditions and problems can be prevented or lessened with a healthy diet. In addition, nutrition involves identifying how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by dietary factors, such as poor diet (malnutrition), food allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.  The human body consists of elements and compounds (nutrients) ingested, digested, absorbed, and circulated through the bloodstream to feed the cells of the body.

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Nutrients

There are six major classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water. These nutrient classes can be categorized as either macro-nutrients (needed in relatively large amounts) or micronutrients (needed in smaller quantities).

  1. The macronutrients include carbohydrates (including fiber), fats, protein, and water. The micronutrients are minerals and vitamins. The macronutrients (excluding fiber and water) provide structural material (amino acids from which proteins are built, and lipids from which cell membranes and some signaling molecules are built) and energy. Some of the structural material can be used to generate energy internally, and in either case it is measured in Joules or kilocalories.
  2. Other micronutrients include antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are said to influence (or protect) some body systems.

Nutrient Dense Foods

These are fresh, unprocessed foods that were grown or raised in the best, most natural conditions.  They possess and provide the most nutrients per ounce of food; the nutrients are combined within in a way to promote proper utilization within the human body.  In other words, they contain a variety of nutrients in specific combinations necessary for proper digestion, absorption, and use within the body.  When foods are processed, their molecular structure is broken down and certain components are lost, especially delicate vitamins and minerals, thus making processed foods empty calories that have little nutritional value. 

Diet and Physical Health

A nutritious diet is essential to promote and maintain overall physical health for any age.  The body needs nutrients in their naturally occurring forms to function and heal appropriately.  A diet full of nutrient dense foods provides the most effective nutrient combinations for promoting optimal physical health and helping the body to maintain its strength and integrity, defeat infection, and deter cancer development.  The best diet for health is one composed of wholesome and fresh foods that are prepared by hand and not processed for ease of consumption.  Avoiding white flour and high fructose corn syrup as much as possible can help to greatly decrease inflammation and promote joint health. 

Guidelines for Healthy Eating:

  • Aiming for regular, balanced meals and snacks, every day.
  • Hitting most of the major food groups each day to meet your needs for growth and health. 
  • Balancing nutrition-rich foods with small to moderate amounts of other foods like sweets or fast foods. 
  • Eating when hungry and stopping when full.
  • Learning about nutrition, but keeping your food as just one important part of your life, not obsessing over what you eat. 

Healthy eating habits are essential to maintaining a healthy weight and a person’s weight is the result of several factors:

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  • How much and what kinds of foods you eat.
  • Your physiologic and genetic make-up.
  • Your age and health status.
  • Whether your lifestyle includes regular physical activity.
  • Whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life.

Reading Labels

A big part of healthy eating is understanding what is in the packaged foods you’re buying.  Understanding labels and product contents is very useful for planning a healthy menu.  Reading product labels is a simple habit to establish that can ensure you are purchasing the least processed foods containing the least amount of chemical additives possible.  If you cannot pronounce what is on the label then you should not be eating it. 

Rose Water

Rose Water

Rose water, derived from its petals, is good for rejuvenating skin and fighting skin problems like allergies and acne.

Therapeutic Compounds Found in Rose Water

  • Geraniol, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-cancer effects
  • Citronellyl acetate, which gives rose its pleasant flavor and aroma
  • Citronellol (also found in citronella)
  • Eugenol, a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress
  • Methyl eugenol, a natural antiseptic and anesthetic
  • Nerol, a natural antibiotic compound
  • Citral, which has antimicrobial properties
  • Carvone, which acts as a digestive aid
composition of cosmetic bottle with pink rose petals and wooden plate
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Benefits of Using Rose Water

Acne: rose water is anti-inflammatory and astringent. A few drops on a cotton ball and clean your face with it.

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Dandruff: using rose water on hair makes it stronger, shiner and less prone to dandruff. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can also help defend against dermatitis on the scalp and ingrown hairs.

Eye Strain: rose water is healing and cooling. Dip a cotton ball in rose water and place over closed eye for 15 minutes.

Skin Allergies: the anti-inflammatory and healing properties of rose water calm and sooth irritated skin.

Sore Throat: using water as a gargle can relieve inflammation and heal irritated tissues.

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Stress: the fragrance of rose is a mood enhancer it helps to calm the nerves and bring relaxation for better sleep.

References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/rose-water

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_water

Dealing with Stress

Stress: Your response to an event or situation that calls for a change, threatens the order or safety of your life, or otherwise places an unusual demand on your physical, mental and emotional resources.

What does stress feel like in the moment?

  • Adrenaline starts pumping
  • Breathing quickens
  • Heart starts pounding
  • Blood pressure increases
  • Blood vessels constrict
  • Blood rushes to the muscles

Physical Symptoms of Stress

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headache
  • Grinding teeth
  • Muscle tics
  • Stomach aches
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Back aches
  • Neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin problems such as hives
  • High blood pressure
  • Reduced sexual pleasure

Emotional & Behavioral Symptoms of Stress

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Over eating
  • Not eating
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Difficulty concentrating Impaired short-term memory
  • Decrease in productivity
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Short temper or anger
  • Sadness, anxiety, or depression
  • Isolation from positive relationships
  • Unproductive worry

Type of Stressors

  1. Physical: increase your body’s need for energy; insufficient energy leads to sore muscles, fatigue, and worsening of disease/illness
  2. Mental & Emotional: include both good and bad events; includes emotional events like joy, surprise, worry, and frustration.
  3. Environmental: includes both good and bad exposure; sunshine is a stressor to the skin causing it to react, second hand smoke is a stressor causing damage you did not choose, and loud noises cause stress reactions whether they are kids playing or fire engines roaring.

Stress and Wellness

To protect your health, stress should be kept to a minimum and other precautions should also be taken. Mind and body affect and feed on one another, and stress strongly affects your overall physical wellness. Long-term stress can bring about significant changes in your body, and even extreme, short-term stress can temporarily decrease overall health. To increase your odds of wellness here are some important steps you can take:

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  1. Practice Stress Management Techniques. Certain techniques, like journaling, yoga and even laughter have all been found to increase immunity. Practicing stress-reducing activities, can keep your body from going into chronic stress mode, maintaining increased health and wellness.
  2. Take Care of Your Body. Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to keep your body running smoothly. Taking better care of your body will keep it functioning properly and increase your ability to fight off the latest bug that’s being passed around.
  3. Maintain a Supportive Network. Social support boosts immunity and helps you manage stress in your life, both of which will keep you healthier. By keeping several healthy relationships in your life, you’ll have friends to help you through the difficult times and increase your enjoyment of the good times, helping everyone stay healthy and enjoy life more.
  4. Stay Organized and Maintain Balance in Your Life. Keep your home uncluttered. Become proficient at saying no to requests that aren’t in line with your priorities. Staying organized and balanced will help you keep from overtaxing yourself, and can help reduce the level of stress you experience in your life, helping you stay healthier in the long run.

Reducing and Relieving Stress

Each of us can live healthier- if we make a concentrated effort to invest in our health by learning to identify bad stress and choosing healthy strategies to overcome a lot of the negative side effects. Stress management can really promote better health.

What are some of the benefits of stress reduction?

  • Better immune function
  • Less illnesses and physical complaints
  • More energy
  • More focused, more positive
  • Sleeping better
  • Better digestion
  • Calmer mood
  • Feeling more relaxed

Stress Reduction Techniques

Identify Your Stressors: make a list of all the things that cause even some stress in your life. Identifying them helps you to recognize them to effectively deal with them. Don’t forget to analyze food and habit stressors like eating junk food, drinking, and smoking.

Sort Your Stressors: categorize them by importance to determine if they are worthy of your concern or ‘stress’ and what actions you may need to take to reduce the stress being caused.

  1. Important and changeable: these are managed by taking action to change the situation and reduce the stress associated with it.
  2. Important and unchangeable: these can feel hopeless when they are cannot be changed yet are a part of everyday life. Best dealt with by changing the way you think about it. Reassess and reclassify the stressor to make it easier to deal with.
  3. Unimportant and changeable: if it’s really not important, not a part of your daily life, then let it go. If it is important and can be controlled the do it. Solving these smaller problems helps you build confidence and skills for larger problems.
  4. Unimportant and unchangeable: these are not worth your stress, so the best suggestion is to ignore them. Do not give them your attention or energy and they will not cause you stress.

Use Problem Solving: determine what the stressor is and figure out ways to alleviate the causes by determining solutions to the problems and changing the situation. Evaluate the results of your actions for future use with other stressors.

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Be Present: Stop and slow down. Take 5 minutes to focus intently on your activity, observing the behavior with awareness. Notice how the air feels on your face as your walking, enjoy the taste of the food you are eating, or marvel at the beauty of the sunrise. Spending time in the moment focused on your senses allows time for stress to leave your body.

Reach Out: Having a good support system of friends and family provides outlets for pent up stress.  Talking to others is a great way to manage whatever is causing you stress.

Tune In to Your Body: Pay attention to how it feels, not analyzing or trying to change anything, but simply taking stock of how the body is functioning.  The more you pay attention to your body the fewer surprises you will have when you visit the doctor.  You will also begin to learn the best ways to treat yourself with minor ailments, you will feel more in control of your health, and you will recover faster.

Eat Real Food: nutrient rich foods like whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and fresh meats provide the nutrients needed by the body to fight damage caused by stress hormones and reduce toxin build-up and cellular oxidation that occurs with stress.

Decompress: Sitting up straight, wrap a warm heat wrap, blanket, or neck pillow around your shoulders or neck. The close your eyes and allow your face, neck, shoulders, and back relax and go slack, your mouth may even hang open.  Breathing softly and calmly, feeling the tension melt away as your muscles relax.

Laugh Out Loud:  A good belly laugh not only lightens the mental load it also lowers cortisol levels and increases endorphin levels.  Cortisol is the stress hormone that when in excess causes weight gain and inflammation throughout the body.  Endorphins are the feel-good hormones that uplift your mood and calm the nervous system.

Be Grateful: Keep a grateful journal by your bed, at work, or in your purse to help you remember all the things that are good in your life.  Writing in it everything or some things that you consider being good experiences or celebrated accomplishments.  That way when things look bleak you can go back through it and remember the good things.  Being grateful for your blessings works to cancel out negative thoughts and worries.

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Scheduling Your Day: The best way to ensure that everything that is supposed to get done each day, gets done each day, is to create a schedule of daily activities and follow it every day.  Planned activities and doctor’s appointments should be worked into your schedule instead of working your schedule around them. This ensures you know what to expect each day and that you can feel confident in being able to get it all done.

Eat Something: When you get an anxiety attack, it may mean your blood sugar is dropping. The best thing to do is to have a quick sustaining snack, like a handful of walnuts, or a piece of dark chocolate, along with a glass of water or a nice cup of hot tea. People eat things like eggs, which are a satiating and filling protein, and are nature’s top source of choline. Low levels of choline are associated with increased anxiety.

Meditation: A few minutes of practice each day can help ease anxiety and make you more resilient to stress. It’s not difficult but it takes practice.  You must train yourself to clear your mind and keep it clear for a period of time in order to focus on one thing, giving the mind a break from everyday thoughts, hopes, worries, and dreams.

Deep Breathing: 5-minute break from a stressful activity or occurrence. Stop what you are doing and sit up straight with chin parallel to the floor.  Breathing slowly and deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Stop Catastrophizing. When you’re attacked by anxiety, it’s easy to get into a mindset known as “catastrophic thinking” or “catastrophizing.” Instead, take a few deep breaths, walk around the block, and consider the real probability that this problem will really spin out into catastrophe.

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Sauna or Steam Bath: Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after a spell in the sauna or a steam room? Sensations of warmth may alter neural circuits that control mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Warming up may be one of the ways that exercise—not to mention curling up by a fire with a cozy cup of tea—boosts mood. 

Forest Bath. You and I know it as a walk in the woods. The forest bathers had lower stress hormone levels after their walk than they did after a comparable walk in an urban area.

Crank Up the Tunes: Listening to soothing music, such as nature sounds or classical tunes, allow the mind to focus on individual instruments or sounds and causes a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety.  Another good way to blow off some steam is to play rocking or upbeat tunes and sing along with them at the top of your lungs.

Get Moving: All forms of exercise, from yoga to walking, can ease depression and anxiety, by increasing the amount of endorphins released by the brain.  Exercise does not have to be strenuous to beneficial, 21 minutes is all it takes.

Reach for Soothing Scents: To calm nerves in an instant, try inhaling aromas of bergamot, lavender, or peppermint essential oils. Place a drop on your wrist or handkerchief to smell as you work, have an air diffuser available to permeate the room with aroma, or drop one drop onto an unscented candle to disperse the aroma throughout the room.

Take a Warm Bath: Relaxing in a warm bath with or without scented bath salts or oils.  Light a couple candles or use a night light to create a dim and relaxed atmosphere then lay in the tub and relax, allowing the water to wash away your tension.  As you drain the tub imagine all of your stress going down the drain with the dirty water.

Visualize Peacefulness: Take a few minutes to imagine your dream vacation or your perfect escape: Imagine being there, feeling the breeze on your face or the sand under your feet.  Imagine you are there in your perfect place enjoying the beauty of it.  Sit in your peaceful place for time forgetting your worries.

Utilize Crystal Energy: Turquoise colored crystals have a wide variety of uses. They temper excesses, restore calm after a storm, relieve stress, neutralize extremes, and provide a counter to tendencies to fly off in a single direction. They help you overcome conflict, and deal with rage. They moderate aggressiveness and help you deal with cruelty. The turquoise colored crystals help you relax, rewind, and build tolerance. When you seek to reestablish your equilibrium, and get your emotions under control, use a turquoise crystal.

Dealing with Kidney Infections Naturally

I was born with a birth defect that caused permanent kidney damage. Doctors surgically re-implanted my ureters into my bladder, causing scar tissue to form. The scar tissue traps irritants and bacteria from the urine causing inflammation and infection. For twenty years I had 4 to 6 kidney infections every year. Antibiotics and sulfa drugs were the prescriptions of choice. No one ever discussed diet choices or natural therapies for support during that entire time.

Then one day it all came crashing down. I was extremely stressed out. I had taken on too much by working, going to school, taking care of a family and starting a business. I had a massive infection; the pain was excruciating. The doctors prescribed the strongest antibiotic I have ever had. By the time I was done with it I knew something was very wrong. The infection was not gone after 14 days of treatment and my skin had turned grey. I was extremely fatigued, my muscles were sore, my joints were stiff, I was deeply depressed and an emotional wreck.

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The antibiotics had killed all the bacteria, even the good ones. This allowed candida to overgrow everywhere, literally everywhere. That is when I learned what candidiasis is. That is a whole different story though. After a three day fast on vegetable juice I was able to start over.

As I was resting and healing, I learned as much as I could about the causes of kidney infections. I found that acids and caffeine in the diet were the two main culprits of kidney inflammation. Excess sugar (glucose) in the blood also causes kidney irritation, which is common in diabetics. Any irritation can lead to infection, especially with the damage I already had.

So, I began using the herbal remedies I learned about from books and in college. I also, almost completely, worked sugar, coffee, tea, soda and caffeine out of my diet. I made many changes that would help to prevent this from happening again. Instead of coffee, tea, and soda I drink a chicory root based chai tea that is caffeine free. I began using honey instead of sugar in my herbal teas. Eliminating most of the processed foods from my diet went a long way in reducing the inflammation.

To help prevent an infection I found a variety of herbal remedies that are great for keeping the inflammation down and reducing the chance for infection. Of course, there is chamomile, the best herbal anti-inflammatory, unless you are allergic to it. Adding lavender can be calming and pain relieving. Dandelion assists in liver and kidney function and works as a gentle diuretic. Nettles reduces mucolytic inflammation and helps balance hormones.

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To help stop an infection once it has started, I found herbal remedies that work much like antibiotics in the body. Except they do not kill all bacteria, instead they provide nutrients that support and improve immune function. This way the body can fight the infection in a natural process, instead of being forced to kill everything. Usnea is an amazing antibiotic that grows on trees in any moist area throughout North America, even in Colorado. Uva Ursi is a Native American remedy for blood in the urine. Thyme (Red or Spanish) as an oil or herb is a strong antibiotic that will kill just about anything that does not belong.

Every day I drink at least 120 ounces of water and 72 ounces of herbal tea with honey and milk. My herbal tea includes cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, chicory, uva ursi, dandelion, passionflower, rose, jasmine and blessed thistle. I drink 8 ounces cranberry juice once a week. Just to keep my kidneys flowing and my bladder clear.

Every day I eat at least one raw salad of leaf lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots, avocado and nuts or seeds with homemade or bottled dressing. Some days I eat sardines, tuna or salmon with one meal. I avoid packaged foods as much as possible, but I do eat fast food or restaurant food for two or three meals a week. Breakfast usually includes either bacon and eggs with whole grain organic toast or yogurt and walnuts, depending on how active I need to be for the day.

Every day I use my homemade body oil to moisturize and nourish my skin. This is simply a sunflower oil base with essential oils for healing inside and out. The essential oils I use include (in order of concentration) sweet orange, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, myrtle, thyme, sage, nutmeg, rose and jasmine. This blends assists in balancing hormones, boosting immunity and preventing infection. I can make a blends just for you as I do for myself and my family. Contact me here.

Or shop for handmade products below.

Every day I use CBD to also assist in relieving inflammation and pain. Cannabidiol has shown, through scientific research, its ability to nourish tissues, alleviate inflammation and reduce pain. CBD drops nourish from the inside and CBD vape is perfect for immediate pain relief. CBD lotions and skin care add additional nutrients not found in every day natural products. Get your American made CBD here.

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I also use activity to help control my inflammation and reduce the pain. Yoga is huge for relieving pain by moving the fluids from the joints and tissues. Sweat producing weightlifting and aerobics are great for assisting the body in removing fluids and toxins. I use Tai Chi to help balance my emotions through self-control. Deep breathing and meditation practices help ease my mind and reduce mental inflammation.

Now whenever I have an infection, which are much fewer and farther apart thankfully, I take many different steps. First, I begin taking a two week regimen of Usnea and Uva Ursi capsules that I make at home and avoid any sugar. Then, I use specific yoga poses to tone the kidneys and assist in their function. I take warm mineral baths to assist in removing fluids and soothing pain. Much different than almost dying while taking antibiotics. I feel so much better, I have no words to describe how much better!

The cost difference is immense as well. I avoid costly doctors visits and expensive antibiotics, their side effects as well. Especially without health insurance. While maintaining improved health and wellness.

Ask me how I can help you here.

Reversing Diabetes

As a teenager I ate, drank and smoked whatever I wanted. My parents would caution me about using six packets of sugar in one cup of coffee. I had a sweet tooth to say the least. On top of that I loved junk food, especially ‘Mountain Dew’ and ‘Funions’. I was smoking cigarettes at age 12, I could steal them anytime from my grandmothers, father and stepmothers.

All of this time I never considered my kidney damage from birth defects or the chronic kidney infections I developed because of my diet and lifestyle choices. I simply continued to take the antibiotics with each infection. The damage was insidious and even though I felt great for years it did eventually catch up with me.

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By the time I was pregnant with my third child I was already diabetic. The doctors informed me of that later. I had no clue yet I was feeling very bad and I had gained a lot of weight. I had no health insurance so I was on my own in dealing with the symptoms. Of course I ignored them as much as I could like any person would who was raising a family while working and going to college.

Throughout the rest of the pregnancy they had me testing my blood and injecting insulin six times a day. My blood sugar would rise very high even when eating a carrot. The Gestational Diabetes was well established by the second trimester.

So I went to a Diabetic Nutritionist on a weekly basis. She helped me track what I was eating and begin to understand the fluctuations in blood sugar due to certain foods. I began to understand what I needed to do to help control my blood sugar. I was able to maintain my weight and keep my blood sugar balanced through the end. Even while working, going to college and taking care of my family.

Once the pregnancy was over they said I would have to continue to test my blood and inject insulin. Honestly I am terrified of shots and was not willing to continue injecting myself. Plus I still had no health insurance and Diabetic testing supplies and insulin are an enormous expense. There was no way we could afford it.

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So I did what I could and watched my diet somewhat. Eventually it all backfired and after splurging on a dinner of a fast food hamburger, french fries and soda I found myself on the floor. I had almost blacked out and slid to the floor. The room was spinning as if I was drunk. My family was watching, helpless.

I did some research after I regained my feet and found that I was on the verge of a diabetic coma. This is when the blood sugar is so high it affects the brain and nervous system causing damage and eventually shut down. This is the main cause of Diabetic Neuropathy. This scared me so much I immediately began looking in to what more I could do to stop this from happening again.

The first thing I found was Chromium Picolinate. Chromium is the main nutrient utilized by the pancreas to create insulin. With Type II Diabetes the pancreas becomes overloaded and slows production of insulin and other related hormones. I began taking it once a day while I worked to change my diet and develop a fitness routine.

I was not physically fit because of desk jobs and sitting for school. So I began with Yoga. Back then Oprah had the Fit Channel that had multiple exercise shows. I started watching Hatha Yoga. Through the videos I learned how to do the poses and proper breathing. This caused me to decide to change my major in college to Integrative Therapies.

From 2007 to 2012 I learned everything I could about holistic wellness and healthy living. Courses included Anatomy and Physiology, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Pathology of Disease, etc. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Therapies with a minor in Health Care.

During this time I also gained control of my blood sugar and lost eighty pounds. Using what I learned I was able to quit smoking and finally end that awful habit as well. All while continuing to work and take care of my family. I was fit and healthy again, like in my twenties.

Now I am in my forties and a grandmother. I do still have to work to maintain my weight and blood sugar. There are times I slip and I really regret it. Then it takes a little time to get back on track. I am grateful to have the tools and experience to know when I am slipping and how to take action to bring balance again.

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Now if you have been trying to find a way to improve your health and reduce your reliance on expensive medications I am here to help. I can help you make change using my process or I can help you to develop your own. I also offer a wide assortment of natural products to help reduce the chemicals in your environment.

Learn more about how Mother Jai can help you here.

Calcifications

Calcifications in the Body

Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue, causing it to harden. Calcifications may be classified on whether there is mineral balance or not, and the location of the calcification.

Smoking is associated with increased calcifications in the heart and major arteries. As smoking is known to be a major risk factor for developing heart disease, these calcifications may also play a role. Overall, quitting smoking has both short- and long-term benefits, especially for your heart, blood vessels, and brain.

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There is no proven way to prevent calcifications, as they’re a result of a variety of biological processes. Quitting smoking and changing diet may impact formation of calcifications, depending on the location of the buildup. Kidney stones may form less often with certain dietary changes. Talk to your doctor about ways to incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle.

Calcific tendonitis symptoms and treatments: Calcific tendonitis is the unwanted buildup of calcium deposits in your muscles or tendons. Although this can happen anywhere in the body, it’s most common in the rotator cuff of your shoulder. This condition may also be described as calcium deposits in the shoulder.

Calcific tendonitis symptoms: The main symptom is severe, sometimes disabling, pain. It can occur without any apparent cause, especially in the morning. It may be accompanied by stiffness and a frozen shoulder. Among the possible causes of this condition are genetic predisposition, abnormal thyroid activity, and diabetes.

Calcinosis cutis symptoms and treatments: Calcinosis cutis is the deposit of calcium under the skin. This can happen anywhere on the body. One rare form of it can occur on the face or upper body after a case of acne. The deposits usually show up as whitish bumps on the skin’s surface. They may have no other symptoms, or they may become tender and discharge a chalk-colored creamy material that’s mainly calcium.

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Calcinosis under a microscope. – By Sergio Bertazzo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27113136

Causes of Calcinosis Cutis

The causes of calcinosis cutis are broken down into four major types:

  • Dystrophic calcinosis cutis refers to calcium deposits that result from trauma, acne, varicose veins, infections, and connective tissue disease.
  • Metastatic calcinosis cutis can be caused by hyperactive thyroid, an internal cancer, destructive bone disease, excessive vitamin D intake, sarcoidosis, and chronic renal failure.
  • Iatrogenic calcinosis is the name for calcium deposits that result from a medical procedure such as calcium injections or repeated heel sticks (pricking the heel to draw blood) with newborns.
  • Idiopathic calcinosis is the name given when there’s no known cause for the condition. It’s usually localized in one area.

Dystrophic calcinosis: Dystrophic calcinosis can occur in tissue that is damaged or inflamed or has become malignant or died. Conditions that can lead to dystrophic calcinosis cutis are:

  • skin injury
  • skin infections
  • connective tissue diseases
  • panniculitis
  • acne
  • tumors

Iatrogenic calcinosis: Iatrogenic calcinosis are typically attributed to certain medications and medical procedures such as repeated drawing of blood from an infant’s heel.

Metastatic calcinosis: Metastatic calcinosis can result from any medical condition associated with excess phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia) and calcium (hypercalcemia), including:

  • kidney failure
  • sarcoidosis
  • paraneoplastic hypercalcemia
  • hyperparathyroidism
  • milk-alkali syndrome
  • calciphylaxis
  • excess vitamin D

Idiopathic calcinosis: Idiopathic calcinosis cutis is calcinosis that can’t be attributed to a specific cause. The typical reasons have been ruled out: Phosphate and calcium levels in your body are normal. There is no evidence of previous tissue damage. You’re not taking medications that could trigger calcinosis. You haven’t had medical procedures recently that could trigger calcinosis.

Alternative Treatments

There are a few natural remedies you can try to treat calcium deposits on the skin:

Massage. Although not necessarily recommended by medical professionals, many people claim that massaging the affected area with aloe vera gel or olive oil eliminates the calcium deposits over time.

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Diet. Many advocates of natural healing suggest lowering your calcium intake and avoiding foods such as dairy products can help.

Apple cider vinegar. Some believe that drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in 8 ounces of water every day will help break down calcium deposits.

Chanca piedra. Others suggest the herb chanca piedra can break down the buildup of calcium in the body.

Increase the amount of Vitamin K and magnesium in your diet. These nutrients may cause calcium deposits to occur in the body if you have a deficiency. Some dietary sources of Vitamin K and magnesium include collard greens, kale, green peas, seeds, spinach, beans, fish, carrots and lettuce.

Take warm soaks in the bathtub. Warm soaks can help treat and prevent calcium deposits from worsening. Fill up a tub with warm water and soak for a period of 20 to 30 minutes daily. If you have pain and inflammation as a result of calcium deposits, icing the area can help.

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Consumption connection? Except in certain rare metabolic disturbances that raise blood calcium, calcification of joints and tendons is a local process that’s not influenced by calcium intake.

How To Make Homemade Magnesium Oil

Ingredients

  • ½ cup magnesium chloride flakes
  • ½ cup distilled water (to extend the shelf life)
  • Glass spray bottles

Directions

  • Bring ½ cup of distilled water to a boil.
  • Add ½ cup magnesium flakes to a glass measuring cup or bowl.
  • Once water has boiled, pour it into the bowl of magnesium flakes and stir until the flakes completely dissolve.
  • Let this mixture cool and transfer to labeled spray bottles for daily use.
  • Store your homemade magnesium oil at room temperature for up to 6 months.

To Use:

Start by using just a few sprays on your skin; initially no more than five. Over the next few days, gradually work up to 10-20 sprays a day. I like to apply my homemade magnesium oil in the crook of my arms, back of my knees, and stomach for best absorption.

It is also wise to do a patch test on your skin (particularly if you have sensitive skin) before applying the spray all over your body. A lot of people may initially experience tingling or a slight itching sensation where the oil is applied. This can be relieved by applying aloe vera on the site or coconut oil about 20 minutes after applying the oil (to give it a chance to absorb properly).

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/calcium-beyond-the-bones

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579607/

https://medium.com/@nat.stringer92/magnesium-flakes-vs-epsom-salt-whats-the-difference-and-which-is-right-for-you-92d1ac5f0234

https://www.healthline.com/health/magnesium-oil-benefits

https://wellnessmama.com/5804/magnesium-oil/

https://www.scoi.com/patient-resources/education/calcium-deposits-shoulder

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/calcium-deposits-on-tendons

https://www.healthline.com/health/calcific-tendonitis

https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/aging-independence/calcium-deposits/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/70073-dissolve-calcium-deposits-body/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-calcium-deposits

https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/special/calcium-deposits-and-tendinitis-calcific-tendinitis/tw9144.html

Stress Relief & Self Care for Business Owners

Stress Relief and Self-Care Tips for Business Owners

Becoming an entrepreneur is liberating in many ways, but it can also create stress. There are a number of tasks and responsibilities when you run your own business, which can become overwhelming after a while. Use this guide for tips on self-care, including exercise, relaxation, and time-saving ideas. For natural stress remedies, try aromatherapy products from Mother Jai.

Exercise for stress relief

One of the best ways to relieve stress is by getting exercise each day. Beyond the physical benefits such as improving circulation and muscle health, exercise can reduce stress and anxiety considerably. There are plenty of ways to get beneficial exercise, whether it’s going for a run in your neighborhood, hiking in the hills, or doing an online yoga class at home.

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If you’re not comfortable at the gym, consider what types of workouts you can do at home. For example, yoga and Pilates are both great ways to get your body moving and both require very little equipment. A yoga mat and a few props are typically enough to get started: Check out some online classes and see if you can fit it in on your lunch break or after work.

While running isn’t for everyone, it’s a fantastic way to improve heart health. You don’t have to run too many miles for the benefits; just 30 minutes of jogging will make a big difference to your cardiovascular health. And as an added bonus, your cardio efforts will help your body produce mood-enhancing oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin.

Relaxation techniques at home

Along with exercise, consider incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Some of the most beneficial relaxation tactics include meditation and warm baths.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to calm your mind and invite clarity into your day. If you’ve never practiced meditation, there are a few helpful mobile applications to help you get started. Apps such as Ten Percent Happier, Headspace, and Insight Timer all offer guided meditations to help new meditators. And according to Forbes, meditation has been shown to rival antidepressants in its ability to relieve stress and anxiety.

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If you find yourself in a moment of high stress, consider trying the square breathing technique to calm your nerves. Square breathing involves inhaling for four seconds, pausing at the top of your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and pausing at the bottom of your exhalation for another four seconds. Continue this pattern four times, and observe the changes in your body.

Stress can often cause your body to tighten and develop sore muscles, which is why a warm bath can be great for relaxation. Be sure to use Epsom salts to help soothe your muscles and consider adding some aromatherapy products such as lavender essential oils to help encourage total relaxation.

Business tips

Sometimes one of the best ways to reduce stress is by offloading some of your tasks. Consider time-saving options such as hiring specialists to help with certain aspects of your business. For example, hiring an accountant will take financial planning off your plate, and will help you balance your budget on a regular basis with more ease.

If you’re struggling to decide on a business structure, consider setting up a limited liability company or LLC to make your life easier. LLCs are great because they offer protection for your personal assets and offer tax advantages. You can even take advantage of a formation service if you don’t want to spend the time doing it yourself. Just be sure to check regulations around LLC filing in your state before getting too far into the process.

Getting a handle on your stress is a vital component of being a business owner, so use these tips to help you take care of yourself. Exercise and relaxation techniques are important, as is finding ways to offload responsibilities such as accounting. Not only will you feel better on a daily basis, but your business will also improve as you lower your stress.

Are you searching for the right aromatherapy products? Shop Mother Jai for natural products that promote wellness!

Better Balance

Balance is defined as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Sway is the horizontal movement of the center of gravity even when a person is standing still.

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Maintaining balance requires coordination of input from multiple sensory systems including:

  • Vestibular system: sense organs in the ears that regulate equilibrium; directional information as it relates to head position
  • Somatosensory system: information from skin and joints (pressure and vibratory senses); spatial position and movement relative to the support surface; movement and position of different body parts relative to each other
  • Visual system: Reference to verticality of body and head motion; spatial location relative to objects

Aging and Balance Impairment

  • Decline in flexibility and fluid viscosity within the vestibular system reduces its ability to regulate equilibrium.
  • Decline in flexibility and nerve conduction in joints leads to reduction in mechanical stability.
  • Decline in muscle and connective tissue or ligament strength can lead to functional instability
  • Decline in balance is the strongest predictor of falls and one in three people 65 and over will fall each year.

Balance Test

This test is designed to determine the basic balance of an individual.

  • Begin by standing straight behind a chair with eyes open and weight even between feet.
  • Resting your hands on the back of the chair, continuing to stand up straight, close your eyes.
  • If you sway with your eyes closed it likely means that you are off balance.

Ways to Support Balance

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that you get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update your eyeglasses to maximize your vision.  Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make your homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.
  • Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
  • Do weight bearing exercise. Mild weight-bearing exercise, like walking or climbing stairs, helps slow bone loss from osteoporosis and increase muscle strength.

Beyond Better Balance

The other benefits of multi-component exercise programs include:

  • Faster reaction time. This can help you keep yourself upright if you start to fall by putting out an arm quickly to grab something stable.
  • Improved coordination. This can directly help prevent falls but can also help you roll rather than crash as you go down.
  • More muscle. Stronger and larger muscles can buffer the impact of a fall, providing some protection to bones and joints.
  • Stronger bones. Resistance exercises strengthen bones, and stronger bones are more resistant to fractures.
  • Better brain function. Regular exercise helps maintain brain function with age. Clearer thinking may help you avoid situations that increase fall risk.

Seated Balance Techniques

Building balance while remaining safely seated. These practices are accomplished while sitting with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and chin parallel to the floor. These exercises help to improve stomach and back strength, reducing back pain and improving balance.

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Seated Abdominal Strengthening

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly raise arms up to shoulder height, palms facing down, keeping back straight.
  • Hold arms at shoulder level while holding breath for count of two.
  • Breathing out slowly through the mouth; slowly lower arms back down, palms on knees while keeping your back straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2 and repeat the process at least 5 times.

Seated Side Strengthening

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly raise left arm up over the head and arch to the right.
  • Hold arm above head while holding breath for count of two.
  • Breathing out slowly through the mouth; slowly lower arm back down, palm to knee while returning your to back straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2 and repeat the process with the right arm and repeat both sides at least 5 times.

Seated Twist

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly turn to the left with both hands resting on the left arm of the chair, sitting up straight while twisting, head turned and eyes looking left.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2.
  • Repeat the process with the right arm with head turned right and repeat both sides at least 5 times.

Seated Reach

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly reach across your chest with your left arm, keeping your right arm down with palm resting on knee, sitting up straight while twisting, resting left elbow on right armrest while facing forward, eyes looking straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2.
  • Repeat the process with the right arm on left armrest with eyes looking straight ahead and repeat both sides at least 5 times, breathing and twisting.