Tai Chi Studies May Just Prove That the Ancient Art Could Solve Many of the Health Problems We Face

In today’s’ ever changing fast paced world, stress has become a deeply imbedded part of our daily existence. Stress is an ever increasingly common ailment among people afflicting most everyone at some time, to one degree or another. Most everyone struggles with what sometimes seems like a constant bombardment of stressful situations stemming from increased … Continue reading “Tai Chi Studies May Just Prove That the Ancient Art Could Solve Many of the Health Problems We Face”

In today’s’ ever changing fast paced world, stress has become a deeply imbedded part of our daily existence. Stress is an ever increasingly common ailment among people afflicting most everyone at some time, to one degree or another. Most everyone struggles with what sometimes seems like a constant bombardment of stressful situations stemming from increased work demands, financial worries, and family difficulties. So what is the answer to having a healthier, more peaceful and enjoyable life?

Many would say there really is only one answer; and it all comes down to learning; it comes down to the basic and essential element of learning how to be better prepared for dealing with life’s many pressures and its stressful situations.

Those who practice eastern philosophies such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Qingdao believe that learning, re-learning and the re-evaluation of one’s basic perceptions and perspectives is the fundamental core for creating a balanced and happy human existence; ultimately with less stress. These ancient wisdoms, if properly taught, learned and practiced; offer an inner balancing of sorts. This balancing diminishes the overall negativities when it comes to dealing with life’s unfortunate; but so often inevitable stressing situations.

The practice of Tai Chi for example, is gaining recognition because it teaches a prepared attitude and calm acceptance promoting natural healing methods, practices and techniques; which ultimately have been proven to calm internal stress, ease chronic aching and promotes a healthy body-mind harmonious lifestyle. So, it is no wonder why Tai Chi is gaining such popularity in today’s society within every sector of the population.

Tai Chi, originating in China, started as a martial arts discipline. Over the years it became a regular practice outside the martial arts community for maintaining not only health and physical fitness; but as an integrated discipline of attitude and perspective as well as a method of stress reduction. This method teaches an inner balance and harmony with life itself.

Tai Chi teaches internal philosophy or attitude methods of naturally shaping and blending your internal life force with the life energies around you; to achieve long-term perspectives for internal happiness. This also incorporates healthy physical fitness through focused flows of movement; improving flexibility, muscle strength and overall improved balance.

For those who are interested in learning more about the Tai method and looking to incorporate its many benefits into your daily lives; the most important thing is to find a teacher that is not only knowledgeable in the art, but is a Master of the science itself.

There are many books and products available on the market today in which you could use to help you study and learn the practice of the art and stress reduction. Thanks to the progressively advanced technologies of the 21st century there are now even more helpful products such as DVD’s; which offer visual step by step instructions by Tai Chi Masters.

Champion and Master David-Dorian Ross created an excellent instructional DVD to help beginners learn the ancient art. In the video he lays out an easy to understand step-by-step program that teaches the complete Tai Chi foundation. Though even some intermediate followers would benefit from his teachings; the DVD is great for beginners because it allows for them to easily incorporate the Tai Chi mind and body art into their daily lives. Viewers of the DVD can learn through the various slow motion exercises and movements for a full comprehension of the Tai Chi art.

The National Center for Health Statistics and The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) conducted a survey of U.S. residents in 2007. Their survey results showed that 1 percent of 23,300 users of CAM had practiced Tai Chi within the prior 12 month period. Upon adjusting to represent numbers for a national statistic, that would seemingly represent 2.3 million adults throughout the country learning and implementing the practices of Tai Chi.

Today Tai Chi is being accredited by many; for astounding results in people who suffer from many different ailments, chronic conditions and high stress levels. The George Institute for Internal  Health’s   study  in 2009; found that Tai Chi had positive effects on improving disabilities and pain among people who suffer with arthritis.

Researchers at the University of Virginia report their research suggests that mind-body practices reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease in older populations; which include benefits to reducing insulin resistance, improved mood, well-being, sleeping and enhance cardiovagal function. They are continuing their research to better determine the long-term results.

Studies of the benefits of Tai Chi are also ongoing within the many science communities. In 2007 NCCAM funded a study that found Tia Chi had positive results to the immune system and to over all well-being. In 2008 another study funded by NCCAM showed that the practice of Tai Chi reduced blood pressure for 22 out of the 25 participants.

Science communities also agree that more studies are needed to better determine the long term benefits associated with the practice of Tai Chi.

With all the benefits that Tai Chi has to offer it is easy to see why more people are turning to its practice. Whether you are looking to develop a better quality of life, decrease stress in your living style, or improve ailing health conditions; Tai Chi offers a natural positive alternative; teaching an inner balance and harmony which has some seemingly amazing healing benefits for enhancing both physical health, mental well-being, and providing the foundation for an improved quality of life. Master David-Dorian Ross’s DVD, which covers all the basics of the art, is a great beginning course for those who are interested in becoming more involved with this ever growing ancient art of uniting the mind, the body and in essence ones very spirit for the overall enhancement of their well being.

Useless Medical Study

Sometimes I honestly think the only reason some medical studies are done is to try and justify the medical communities inability to accept that the very nature of human function and biology is ALL BASED ON FOOD. This allows pharmaceutical chemists to justify altering that biology with man-made drugs. Then they want to convince you that this is somehow superior to what God designed. It makes no sense otherwise because it seems that every time a study is published testing a “natural” substance such as a vitamin, mineral, herb or Omega 3 fats and it doesn’t “perform a miracle”, it is of no value. All these studies when examined are designed to prove the substance being studied won’t prove to be beneficial.

Case in point. Recent news article, this also made national TV and I heard it on NPR radio: “Fish oil pills may not help memory. Omega 3 doesn’t slow Alzheimers.” In the case of this study, $10 million was wasted on a study designed to not show a benefit from Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids. Fact: The brain by weight is 60% fat. That’s what the brain is made of. Fact: 30% of the fat in a healthy brain is supposed to be DHA, which is ONE of the essential fatty acids found naturally in fish oil (a good source of Omega 3 EFAs). The other essential component of fish oil Omega 3 is EPA. This study was based on a chemically altered, refined oil which eliminated EPA and only used DHA. Stay with me on this point. Taking naturally occurring fish oil which ALWAYS has EPA and DHA and chemically altering the oil to isolate the DHA is the same as stacking up wood without nailing it together and expecting to build a house. Some places in the body DHA is the wood as in the brain and EPA is as essential as a nail. In other body tissues and functions, it is the opposite. So since DHA and EPA never exist in real biology isolated from one another and DHA and EPA always work together in biology, isolating one part is stupid. It is just plain stupid. It was designed to fail. In my opinion, on purpose. Second problem with the study – they used this totally fake oil on people already suffering from Alzheimers. So it’s like throwing a bucket of water on a forest fire. $10 million and the headline says, “Omega 3 oils don’t slow Alzheimers”. It wasn’t a “real” Omega 3.

So armed with this information, drug reps will visit doctors telling them that fish oil won’t help Alzheimers patients but Aricept will. This is the most commonly prescribed drug presently used with this condition. This drug is marginally effective if at all. It can have serious side affects. But the important part is that it is a patented drug so big money is involved. Also the studies to test Aricept were designed to “prove” its’ safety and effectiveness. Follow the money. You can’t patent Omega 3 EFA. That is the only reason I can find for spending $10 million on this study to “prove” fish oil, which is really not fish oil, doesn’t perform a miracle for people already diagnosed with Alzheimers. If DHA isolate showed any promise the drug companies would have tried to mess with the molecular structure of DHA so they could patent a drug and try and make billions of dollars on it. Either way it is a win. If they were able to develop a “drug”, they win with billions in profits. Now they can try and convince the public that fish oil can’t help brain function (a flat-out lie) so more people won’t take fish oil, more people will develop brain disease and more doctor visits and drug sales will happen.

Once again, you can not take a single, isolated, chemically-altered substance found in nature and expect it to work. So any study of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, calcium, iron, whatever, given alone is bound to have little or no benefit. Sometimes these studies find that the person is sicker. Real food or supplements developed from whole, complete, real foods is the ONLY thing that can support brain function and all of your biology.

This is my last point because it is important on this topic and I will be writing an article on this in detail soon – DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO THE “NEW” NUTRACEUTICAL stuff. Nutraceuticals is a fancy word for trying to push large doses of isolated, chemically derived vitamins or formulations to affect health. Once again, that is in stark contrast to how human biology works and therefore, like chemical drugs, can seemingly have health restoring benefits; but in the course of time, will fail just like drugs.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a food which contain several health benefits to our body. The nutritional value of a mushroom includes being low in calories and high in vegetable proteins, iron, fiber, zinc, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Since the olden history, the Chinese has been using a mushroom due to their rich health content. To the Chinese, the nutrition health benefits of mushrooms includes promoting vitality and good health.

Recent scientific   studies  have confirmed the  health  benefits of mushrooms. These studies have show that mushroom strengthen our body and improve our immune system by maintaining physiological homeostasis.

Nutritional value of mushrooms differs from the type of mushrooms, however almost all mushroom brings great health benefits to the human body and here are some mushroom to discuss.

Shiitake Mushrooms Nutrition

Shiitake has been known as the “Elixir of Life”. Shiitake mushroom has been declared as a anti-cancer food by the FDA of Japan. Shiitake mushrooms nutrition includes containing Lentinan. Lentinan is known to have some effect on bowel, stomach, liver and lung cancer. It boosts the production of T lymphocytes and other natural killer cells and reduce the negative health effects of AIDS.

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in several other anti-oxidants such as uric acid, selenium and vitamin A, C, D and E. Shiitake mushrooms has been found to lower blood pressure for people with hypertension. In additional to the above nutritional benefits, the rich nutrition value of Shiitake mushroom is known to lower serum cholesterol levels and increase libido. It stimulates the production of Interferon which has anti viral effects. In some studies, it has proven to be effective against Hepatitis.

Agaricus Mushroom Health Benefits

Agaricus mushroom is consumed mushroom in many countries. It is usually regarded as a health food for its medicinal properties. Agaricus is also known as “God’s Mushroom” due to its curative health benefits to a wide range of health disorders.

People have consume it to cure numerous diseases and body disorders relating to the immune system, the heart and digestion system. Other agaricus mushroom health benefits include weight management, controlling diabetes, chronic and acute allergies. Other curative effects includes cataracts, stress and chronic fatigue.  

Health Benefits of Maitake Mushroom

Maitake has other names such as “Dancing Mushroom”. It is known for its taste and health benefits after consuming it. In Japan, Maitake Mushroom is also called the “King of Mushroom”.

In Japan and China, Maitake Mushrooms have been eaten for the past 3000 years. Back in history, the Maitake is traded as an alternate currency in Japan and it’s is said to worth as much as it’s weight in silver! Maitake is used as a tonic and food to help to promote wellness and vitality for the Japanese.

Since history, the consumption of Maitake mushroom was believed to lower high blood pressure and prevent cancer. In the past years, scientists have been experimenting with Maitake mushroom to confirm it’s health benefits.

Laboratory scientific studies have indicated that extracts of the Maitake Mushroom can control the growth of cancerous tumors and boost the immune system of almost all the cancerous mice used in the experiment.

Nutrition Value of Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps mushroom strengthens the immune system’s abilities to fight against viral and bacteria infection. Scientific studies have shown that Cordyceps is effective for treatment of high cholesterol, impotence, lung cancer, and kidney failure.

Consumption of cordyceps mushroom causes the human muscle to relax. This is a great health benefit which is helpful for treating coughs, asthma, and other bronchial conditions as it smoothen the muscles.

Reishi Mushroom’s Nutritional Value Information

In the past, Reishi mushroom is a royalty food which only the imperial family consume. Reishi mushroom is fondly known as “Ling Zhi” by the Chinese.

 Studies  in the past 30 years have shown that by consuming reishi mushrooms,  health  benefits such as treatment of common ailments and conditions are reaped.

Recent  studies  have shown that Reishi has a lot of  health  benefits and nutritional effects: Antioxidant, Lowers blood pressure, provides protection to the liver and detoxify it.

What reishi mushroom does is to bring the body’s elements back to natural state, thus enabling all the body organs to regain back their functionality. 

Does Counting Calories Help You Lose Weight?

Counting calories is a popular tool people will eventually try in
their quest to lose weight. But does this actually help with portion
control or maintaining any sort of strict diet? The goal of calorie
counting is to know almost exactly how many calories you are consuming
per day and per meal. In theory once you know how many calories you are
putting in your body, you can then decide how many less you would like
to consume in order to lose weight. This is where the calorie counting
strategy falls apart. Lets look at a fictional example to explain why
this is not an effective tool.
Lose Weight

A pound of fat has approximately
3500 calories of stored energy in it. Lets say your goal is to lose 1
pound of fat per week (and this is a rather lofty goal considering that
would be 52 pounds lost by the end of a year!). This would equate to
reducing your calories by 500 calories per day. Lets also assume you eat
3 meals per day (even if its one big meal and a couple snacks). This
would equate to reducing approximately 166 calories per meal, which
isn’t very much. It could be difference of a few more bites of your
favorite pasta dish, a couple chicken wings, or the difference between
some cheese on a burger or sandwich and a bit of mayonnaise. These
changes are almost unnoticeable from meal to meal, but they are the
difference in gaining or losing weight over the long haul. Being this
specific at each meal is what is required to make calorie counting work.

It
is very difficult if not impossible to keep track of changes this small
this often. Considering these changes are so small from meal to meal,
it is also just as easy to over do a meal or two by the same few
calories, which just puts you right back where you started. You could be
reducing your calories from meal to meal perfectly for 3 or 4 days, and
one or two slip ups on day 5 and 6 will put you right back where you
started. For this strategy to work, you can’t miss hitting your target
for even one meal. If you do, it will negate the effect of the previous
meal. For example, if you successfully reduce your calories by 166 at
breakfast, but overdo lunch by 100, you’re now only down 66 calories for
the day. The only way to hit your target now is to reduce your calories
even further at dinner. On top of all of this, recent research shows
that people who are asked to count their calories for scientific studies
will routinely underestimate the amount of food they are eating by up
to 30%. This just shows how hard it is to accurately keep track of
calories at all. This system of calorie counting is a recipe for failure
and makes each meal a stressful event, and makes eating just down right
not fun.

For the most part calorie counting will just show you
how little the changes are that need to be made in order to lose weight.
It will also show you how hard it is to make these changes by counting
calories at every meal. A simpler solution is to look at your lifestyle
and eating habits. Try to take account of the times, places and
situations where you end up in a ‘big eat’ mode like (holidays, work
events, dinners out, at the movies etc…) and the times when you can be
totally satisfied with a sensible meal with moderate calories. Striving
to have more of latter favorable eating situations and less of the ‘big
eat’ situations is a better more effective way to reduce calories
without ever getting the calculator out again.

Alpha Lipoic Acid – Fountain of Youth, Fountain of Health

Alpha Lipoic Acid has been available commercially for about 10 years and is slowly creeping into the consciousness of the general public. Based on scientific studies published over the past year, this little-known antioxidant may well turn out to be society’s answer to the woes of aging and poor health. These studies have revealed a host of dramatic health benefits and have demonstrated that ALA has the potential to improve physical health, mental health and, perhaps most exciting, literally slow down the process of aging.

In terms of mental health, a 2007 study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (with researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, University of Toronto, University of California-Berkeley, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Juvenon) concluded that ALA, taken as a nutritional supplement, improved the memory, the ability to learn, and the cognitive function of geriatric dogs.

The key to the improvement seen in these areas is ALA’s effect on mitochondria. Known as the “cell’s power plant,” mitochondria supply most of a cell’s energy, however growing research suggests it may be among the first cellular components to be damaged by oxidation and free radicals. Alpha Lipoic Acid, in combination with Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC), has the unique ability to step in and actually slow down mitochondrial decay.

Evidence of the positive effects of ALA was seen after 15 weeks of training older dogs, supplemented by the two antioxidants, to find a food treat by visually identifying a particular marker. 80 percent of dogs taking the supplement were able to find the hidden food whereas only 50 percent of dogs not taking the supplement were successful. In this case, ALA improved object/spatial discernment in dogs, the decline of which in humans is a sign of dementia.

In terms of physical health, two studies have suggested major areas where Alpha Lipoic Acid, in combination with ALC, has the potential to prevent and reverse damage from chronic disease. A study conducted at the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia showed how ALA might mitigate the effects of Diabetes, and another study, conducted by scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University and the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, showed improvement in the treatment of Atherosclerosis and obesity.

These studies showed that ALA, when taken regularly, helps normalize insulin signaling and glucose metabolism, in addition to resetting and normalizing the entire metabolic process, hence the potential for stabilizing and minimizing the effects of diabetes. The studies also showed that a steady diet of ALA can inhibit the formation of arterial lesions, lower triglycerides, and reduce blood vessel inflammation, all of which are vital to preventing cardiovascular disease.

Alpha Lipoic Acid has also been shown to inhibit weight gain through several actions. It suppresses the appetite while it stimulates both the metabolic rate and higher levels of physical activity. The proof lies in the mice given ALA supplements; they chose to eat less and run around more. Consequently they gained less weight than the control group given the same amount of food.

And finally, moving one step closer to that ever-elusive fountain of youth, a study conducted by scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid can literally slow down the process of aging. The study clarified that ALA restores levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound, to that of a young animal. A lower level of glutathione makes cells far more susceptible to free radicals and environmental toxins, and while scientists don’t believe that ALA directly improves cellular function, they believe instead it simply “kick starts” declining function in cells. In a nutshell, Alpha Lipoic Acid is considered a “low-level stressor” that activates the body’s basic cellular defenses that naturally decline with age.

Those who decide to take an Alpha Lipoic Acid supplement, or are already taking ALA, should be aware that it is a highly insoluble compound and hence poorly absorbed by the body in the powder form. More recently however, there are forms of ALA on the market that are already “solubilized,” and therefore more efficiently and consistently absorbed, leading to higher ALA plasma levels. These findings are confirmed by studies conducted by KemTek Pharmaceuticals in rabbits and humans which showed that ALA plasma levels were two to three times higher with solubilized formulations versus several commercially available powder formulations. (ethicalalternativeproducts.com)

ALA is perhaps the magic bullet to not only a long lifespan, but more importantly, a great “healthspan,” that is, the number of years of good health and freedom from degenerative disease one can expect. Alpha Lipoic Acid has myriad positive effects on the cellular level and it just may be the key to feeling great for years to come.