SUPERFOODS, MINERALS & SUPPLEMENTS
There are so many foods around that can keeps us healthy, yet most of us through either habit, lack of knowledge or negligence do not partake and realize, sometimes late, that we have been depriving our bodies of the good stuff and good maintenance, which spells good health. A lot of us take good health for granted, probably because we have good lifestyle habits and don’t realize it. Good health is a combination of several things, happily some of which we have control over and these are good nutrition, exercise and sleep. To those who are interested, you will find in this website some of the approaches we should take and the foods we should eat to keep us healthy, provided we exercise sensibly and ensure we get enough sleep.
The approach that I adopt and recommend is to be on the proactive end and take personal responsibility for our own health. The answer lies with us.
John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation said, “The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.”
Gandhi said, “You must be the change, you want to see in the world.”
Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
We must take care of our bodies through whole foods, clean air and water, exercise, detoxification, uplifting thoughts, positive emotions, meditation and prayer, and continually taking steps to improve our health in each and every moment. Life is a gift, health isn’t. In a world of ever-increasing toxicity and stress, health can only be achieved through constant practice and pursuit. It’s time to invest in our health, our future
|The premise of taking actions to maintain youthful health and vigor is based on findings from peer-reviewed scientific studies that identify specific factors that cause us to develop degenerative disease. These studies suggest that the consumption of certain foods, food extracts, hormones, or drugs will help to prevent common diseases that are associated with normal aging.Therefore, the concept of disease prevention can be defined as the incorporation of findings from published scientific studies into a logical daily regimen that enables an individual to attain optimal health and longevity.For the greater part of the 20th century, mainstream medicine was openly hostile to the idea of healthy people taking vitamin supplements. This antivitamin position began to change in the 1990s as irrefutable evidence emerged that supplements could reduce the risk of age-related disease without inducing toxicity.In the April 9, 1998, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, an editorial was entitled “Eat Right and Take a Multi-Vitamin.” This article was based on studies indicating that certain supplements could reduce homocysteine serum levels and therefore lower heart attack and stroke risk. This was the first time this prestigious medical journal recommended vitamin supplements (Oakley 1998).An even stronger endorsement for the use of vitamin supplements was in the June 19, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to the Harvard University doctors who wrote the JAMAguidelines, it now appears that people who get enough vitamins may be able to prevent such common illnesses as cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The Harvard researchers concluded that suboptimal levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are a risk factor for heart disease and colon and breast cancers; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis; and inadequate levels of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, and C may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease (Fairfield et al. 2002).A study in the journal Atherosclerosis(Koscielny et al. 1999) showed that people who took a 900 mg garlic supplement every day for 4 years had 5-18% less plaque buildup in their carotid arteries compared to the placebo group. The women in the study group actually showed a 4.6% decrease in carotid plaque volume over a 4-year period, whereas the placebo group showed a 5.3% increase in artery-clogging plaque.Most of the better known foods and supplements are listed herein as a guide to achieving optimal health by contributing to the prevention of diseases and ill health.
About the Author
Anthony Webster’s first profession was accountancy but he always had a keen interest in holistic health and healing, which he believes he inherited from his grandmother. This passion has evolved into a focus on making a difference to people’s lives, leveraging proven science based, as well as Alternative (complementary) medicine, solutions. Thus, with the emphasis on providing a holistic view of health and healing, this website is committed to helping lives in these small ways and hopes this makes a positive contribution to happy, healthy and wholesome living. Remember, keep an open mind to new ideas, but ALWAYS do your own homework… and combine that with common sense to figure out what’s best for YOU.
The 7 Core Nutrients for Healthy Living
People sometimes ask what are the supplements which would make a difference to their health, especially as they get older.
And coming up with a “one-size-fits-all” supplement regime is tough. After all, a postmenopausal woman, a 40-something man and someone else with a chronic condition like diabetes may have very different nutritional needs.
But, in spite of the differences, there are some nutrients that can benefit everyone. The following 7 supplements cover all the basics regardless of your gender, age or current health status. And taking them can be the first step in your journey toward optimal health.
While these 7 supplements can contribute to good health, let’s be very clear: Foundational health is about a lot more than supplements. It’s about what you eat, how active you are, what (and who) you surround yourself with, your attitudes, and even how much time you spend outdoors in the sun.
Assuming you’re doing the things you need to promote good health, this basic supplement program will be a terrific asset to your overall health program.
Building a Foundation for Better Health and Longevity
By Tony Isaacs on 10/02/2011
About the author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.
Anti aging formula. A compound formulated from red grapes (Is this the elusive fountain of youth?)
Resveratrol increases the activity
of an enzyme called SIRT1.
This enzyme has a unique molecular link between aging and human neurodegenerative disorders and provides a promising avenue for therapeutic intervention.
According to scientists, “Resveratrol’s supplementation with food extends vertebrate lifespan and delays motor and cognitive age-related decline and could be of high relevance for the prevention of aging-related diseases in the human population.”
YOUR LIFESPAN COULD BE INCREASED!
A scientist named Sinclar found that resveratrol significantly increases the lifespan of yeast and mice. There is hope that it could do the same for humans. (3)
And Sinclair isn’t the only one who’s research shows how resveratrol might increase your lifespan. Researchers reported online in Nature that several naturally occurring small molecules extend the life of yeast cells by approximately 70% and offer some protection to cultured human cells exposed to radiation.
But, that’s not even close to the full story. This amazing gift from mother nature appears to have very promising potential for protecting you against cancer.
NATURE’S CANCER TERMINATOR!
Listen to this conclusion from a recent scientific study:
“Resveratrol interferes with all three stages of carcinogenesis – initiation, promotion and progression. (5).”
In some lineages of cancer cell culture, resveratrol has been shown to induce apoptosis, which means it kills cells and may kill cancer cells(6)(7)
LET’S TALK ABOUT HEART BENEFITS…
Research at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Ohio Sate University indicates that resveratrol has direct inhibitory action on cardiac fibroblasts and may inhibit the progression of cardiac fibrosis. (8)
Are you getting the picture? Let’s review what this amazing nutrient can help with…
• Heart Health
• Preventing Cancer
• Living Longer
• Being stronger
In my practice, it was surprising that many of my patients struggled to manage their blood pressure. Some wrestled with it. Some ignored it. Many agonized over it…and most preferred a natural way to control it.My answer to them was simple: You can support normal blood pressure naturally with the right combination of supplements, diet, and other easy lifestyle changes. But before you can understand how to manage any health concern, it’s my belief you need to understand the physiology of the condition.Healthy Blood Pressure 101
Think of your heart as a pump and your arteries and blood vessels as a network of pipes that carry blood from your heart throughout your body. A blood pressure reading gives two numbers. The top number (called the systolic pressure) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the arterial pressure when the heart relaxes between beats. Research shows that you want your systolic pressure to be in the 120s and your diastolic pressure to be in the high 70s or low 80s.In order to help maintain these optimal numbers, there are 3 key steps to follow:First, you must keep your heart muscles strong and protected.
It’s absolutely essential that your blood vessels are flexible so they easily contract and dilate to move the blood.
You want your arteries to be as smooth as possible.The good news is there are natural ways to obtain these results. In fact, I wrote a book about this very subject a number of years ago called Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks. And the advice I gave then still applies today—change your lifestyle. You can do exactly that with my 3-step program: supplement with beneficial nutrients, eat healthy, and exercise.Managing your blood pressure
with the right supplements
In fact, there are 6 targeted, tried-and-true nutrients that help keep your blood pressure in check. I had been recommending them individually for years, until I finally combined them into one powerful formula called Daily BP Support.This powerful formula helps you:Promote blood vessel elasticity and proper water balance with magnesium
Achieve proper relaxation and dilation of artery walls with hawthorn
Maintain healthy circulation and blood flow with garlic
Prevent free radical damage with grape seed extract
Ensure strong and easy heart contractions with coleus
Maintain normal blood glucose levels with chromiumDo Not Wait to do something about your blood pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is a very serious issue. If you’ve been even a little bit concerned about your blood pressure, I recommend you take control now. Many of my patients have made simple lifestyle changes and have seen positive results in as little as eight weeks. But the key is sticking with it.I’ve created Daily BP Support to make it easy for you to get the most critical nutrients you need to take care of your blood pressure, and keep your heart healthy. It’s the foundation of maintaining healthy blood pressure naturally. I encourage you to take it along with a healthy diet and exercise program. It doesn’t take rocket science to lower your blood pressure, but it takes special dedication to get those numbers down—and keep them there. Learn more…Sincerely,Stephen Sinatra, M.D.P.S. Your blood pressure and cardiovascular system respond remarkably well to natural approaches including a healthy diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements. If you need the highest level of complete blood pressure support, I encourage you to give Daily BP Support a try. Order today! www.drsinatra.com
Next time some holier-than-thou vegan starts blabbering about how man wasn’t designed to eat meat, ask him if he knows what powers the human brain.The answer ain’t tofu.Your brain was specifically designed to function on a diet of the fats and nutrients you can only get from meat and fish.Studies have consistently found that low levels of B12 lead to the highest brain problems — and that boosting your levels can prevent or even reverse that damage.The latest research adds even more proof.One study found that seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 had the highest risk of cognitive shortcomings, including low scores on thought, reason, and memory tests. And it’s no wonder! Low levels of B12 can literally cause your brain to shrink.Sound like fun? Of course not — but that’s exactly what you’re in for if you stick to a plant-based diet, because you won’t find B12 in leaves, roots, and fungi. You’ll find it in meats — especially organ meats — as well as fish and dairy.But if low levels of B12 will turn a mind to mush, high levels can actually save it. Megadoses of B vitamins can slow or even stop brain shrinkage and reverse the cognitive slide linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.British researchers put 271 seniors suffering from mild cognitive impairment onto either a daily placebo or a supplement regimen of 0.5mg of B12, 0.8mg of folic acid, and 20mg of B6.After two years, the seniors who got their B vitamins did 70 percent better on memory tests than those who got the placebos — with some of them actually showing improvements over their initial scores.They got older… and their minds got BETTER with age. Imagine that!But wait, there’s more: The patients on the B vitamins had slower rates of brain shrinkage — in one case by 500 percent.Now, any reason to eat a steak is a good one to me, but these kinds of results won’t come from diet alone. For the best brain boost, invest in a good, quality supplement.If you’re getting up there in years, no excuses — you need a B complex, and you need one now.That, and steak.
They’re the imperatives for well-being that have been drilled into us forever–”Drink eight glasses of water a day!” “Eat nine servings of fruits and veggies!” “Stay away from red meat!” But it turns out that taking care of yourself isn’t quite so black-and-white, says Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar, PhD, coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health. “Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn’t have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought,” Domar says. Happily, the new rules are more user-friendly than the old ones. Here, four tips to live by.
Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
Old Rule: Avoid red meat.
“But not all red meats are created equal,” says Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine. She recommends choosing very lean cuts and avoiding anything labeled “prime,” as it will have more fat marbling. And try not to eat more than three 4- to 5-ounce servings (about the size of an iPhone) per week.
Old Rule: Keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
Next time you’re headed to the office vending machine, skip the chips and instead grab yourself a bag of almonds. Your heart will sing.
A newly released study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that getting a moderate amount of certain substances in plants can make you less likely to die of heart disease or stroke.
This large study that was composed over nearly 100,000 old American adults found that those getting the most flavonoids in their diets were less likely to die of heart disease or stroke over the next seven years than those who ate the least flavonoids.
For this study, the researchers divided the subjects into 5 subgroups based on the quantity of flavenoids that were in their diets. The one-fifth with the highest flavonoid intake were 18 percent less likely to die of heart problems or stroke than the fifth with the lowest intake.
Considering that heart failure and stroke are both leading causes of death in this country, the researchers were very enthusiastic about discovering that simple differences in diet can create such an impressive reduction of risk.
Flavenoids are found in various fruits and vegetables. Below are some of the foods with high flavenoids content.
Fruits: berries, citrus and apples
Vegetables: kale, spinach and broccoli
They are also found in nuts, soy, dark chocolate, tea and wine.
Research shows that flavonoids have a number of benefits, including fighting inflammation and acting as antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect body cells from damage that may lead to chronic diseases and cancer.
With the health benefits indicated in previous studies and this new research, you might want to make eating foods with a high flavenoid content one of your priorities.
Deep Breathing is known by a few names: abdominal breathing, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and some others. The basic concept is breathing fully, using the full capacity of the lungs and getting the maximum amount of oxygen available into the lungs at all times. What a wonderful concept! I doubt that anyone could intelligently argue against this good practice, but there may be more benefits from deep breathing than we realize.
One of the uses of the practice of deep breathing is to help solve stuttering and stammering. If you have ever been afflicted by this problem or if you know someone who has been, you can imagine the relief that would come from solving it. It stands to reason that if controlled and purposeful breathing can solve such a disability as this, it would be beneficial in any speaking scenario such as public speaking, important meetings, or even just conversations with friends.
Another use is to relieve tension. Remember how your grandmother used to tell you to take a deep breath when you were upset or angry? Well, now Grandma’s advice is fully backed by scientific evidence that this works to calm things down. I realize that you didn’t need scientific proof to know that Grandma gave good advice, but it’s still fun to hear that. When we are tense, our whole bodies tighten up and constrict in a way that does not promote health. Blood and oxygen do not flow as easily as they should, so the cells are not nourished properly. Relieving tension lets the systems of the body flow and operate as they should.
Breathing well, breathing deeply, relaxes the mind and body and is known to bring some relief to emotional problems. We all know that the stresses of life can show up in our health and in how our bodies operate. If you’ve looked at someone who is stressed or worried, you’ll be able to see it in their face, in their posture, and in their overall body language. All of that is what shows on the outside. The furrowed brow, the slumped shoulders, the drawn face are the outside manifestations of stress and upset. Reactions happen on the inside too, but they are hidden from our direct view. Anything that can relieve upset and stress will benefit health and all of life.
While it is certainly not a substitute for exercise, deep breathing helps to build muscle. The actions of tissue repair and muscle building require nutrients and one of those nutrients is oxygen. Breathing deeply supplies more oxygen to more cells so that tissues can heal and muscle can build. The action of breathing deeply exercises the lungs and gently massages the abdominal organs around the lungs and the diaphragm. This gentle and constant motion helps keep all these organs more alive and awake. The heart is also greatly benefited from each deep breath because its job of delivering oxygen to all parts of the body is made easier by the abundance of available oxygen.
The act of breathing deeply will help to improve digestion and nutrient assimilation. Every cell needs oxygen to operate well and the cells of the digestive system are no exception. Digestion is a big job with many different processes happening simultaneously. Eating well is only part of winning the game of health. Making sure the food is digested properly and helping the body get all the nutrients from food is just as important to good health.
The nervous system is also improved by deep breathing. The brain, the spinal cord and all the nerves need their proper amount of oxygen, too. Proper breathing makes oxygen more available to this vital communication system of the body and allows it to function as it should.
There are so many benefits from the simple act breathing deeply, it seems funny that more attention isn’t placed on this simple action. It helps improve the immune system, relieves pain, and elevates our mood. It improves the quality of our blood, increases stamina and boosts energy. On top of all that, deep breathing is one of the best ways to detoxify the whole body. It is said that a body releases 60 to 80 percent of its toxins through breathing alone. That in itself is a great reason to learn this simple procedure, practice it well and adopt it as a most healthful habit. Your life will be better for it.
PARIS – A new study conducted by the Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health says that cognitive decline can begin as early as age 45.
The study included 5,200 men and 2,200 women and followed them from 45-70. During the years of the study the participants’ cognitive function was tested three times. Among men aged 45 to 49, reasoning skills declined by nearly 4 percent, and for those aged 65 to 70 those skills dropped by about nearly 10 percent.
The researchers point out that by people being aware of the risk they may be facing they can take actions to improve their odds of protecting their faculties.
“Greater awareness of the fact that our cognitive status is not intact until deep old age might lead individuals to make changes in their lifestyle and improve [their] cardiovascular health, to reduce risk of adverse cognitive outcomes in old age,” said study author Singh-Manoux. “Research shows that what is good for the heart is good for the head,” which makes living a healthy lifestyle a part of slowing cognitive decline.”
In addition, knowing when cognitive decline is likely to start can help in treatment, because the earlier treatment starts the more likely it is to be effective, the researchers noted.
According to JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH
“Interventions that may lower the risk for stroke and vascular disease may also have substantial benefits in lowering the risk for cognitive decline. Along those lines, there is evidence that regular physical activity, including brisk walking, cycling, and moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity, will go a long way in preventing coronary disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.
Also, participating in cognitively stimulating activities such as reading, playing crossword puzzles, and playing cards games such as bridge can be very important in preventing cognitive decline.”
With this latest study showing that cognitive decline can start long before symptoms are visible, you might want the above suggestions to minimize your risk.
They’re the imperatives for well-being that have been drilled into us forever–”Drink eight glasses of water a day!” “Eat nine servings of fruits and veggies!” “Stay away from red meat!” But it turns out that taking care of yourself isn’t quite so black-and-white, says Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar, PhD, coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health. “Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn’t have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought,” Domar says. Happily, the new rules are more user-friendly than the old ones. Here, four tips to live by.Old Rule: Drink eight glasses of water a day.
New Rule: Eat your water.The recommendation to chug all that H2O was likely based on guidelines published in 1945. However, says Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret, much of your daily requirement is contained in foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, and cooked whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa (which soak up moisture in the pot) all deliver servings of water. And, as Murad points out, they offer the added bonus of nutrients: “Watermelon and cucumber are more than 90 percent water, but they also contain antioxidants. With a glass of water, all you get is water.” You’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine is colorless or pale yellow and you’re rarely thirsty.Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
New Rule: Fill half your plate with produce.A serving of broccoli is about five florets. A serving of raw spinach, one cup. A serving of mango, roughly the size of a fist. “It’s not surprising that people get confused over what, exactly, a serving is,” says Washington, D.C., dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. Her advice: Stop counting and instead make half of every meal produce. “You don’t need a big mound on your plate. Six asparagus spears at dinner, a spinach salad at lunch, and a sliced banana and some berries at breakfast should do it.” And quality counts: Even two or three daily servings of deeply hued fruits and veggies (like blueberries, bok choy, or red peppers) may help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, Scritchfield says. “It’s like darts. The goal is to hit the bull’s-eye. But hitting nearby is good, too.”Old Rule: Avoid red meat.
New Rule: Beef in moderation can be healthy.Red meat was long considered a heart attack on a plate because it’s high in saturated fat. But a 2010 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the cardiovascular risk comes from processed varieties, such as sausage, hot dogs, and cold cuts–not from steak, hamburgers, and other nonprocessed cuts. (The real culprits may be salt and preservatives). Red meat is a good source of iron and immunity-boosting zinc-two nutrients some women don’t get enough of. Beef (especially grass-fed) also contains high concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that may decrease cancer risk and help reduce body fat.“But not all red meats are created equal,” says Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine. She recommends choosing very lean cuts and avoiding anything labeled “prime,” as it will have more fat marbling. And try not to eat more than three 4- to 5-ounce servings (about the size of an iPhone) per week.
Old Rule: Keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
Physicians use BMI (body mass index)–a ratio of your weight to your height–as a tool to diagnose obesity. But critics say BMI ignores muscle mass, and a 2011 Obesity study notes that it also ignores a person’s hip circumference. “People come in different sizes and shapes,” says Joanne Ikeda, nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. “The idea that everyone should fall under 25 is ludicrous.” A person can have a high BMI and still be healthy, Ikeda argues. Research supports the theory: A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that fit women–even if they were overweight according to their BMI–were less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who were out of shape. Ikeda advises her patients to stop obsessing over their BMI, eat a nutritious diet, and log 150 minutes of exercise per week. “A healthy lifestyle results in a healthy weight.”
It’s time to change the way you think about fat. For 30 years well-meaning diet gurus have preached that eating fat makes you fat. I’m here to tell you that fat, in and of itself, is not what is making you fat. Instead, it’s eating too much of the wrong kinds of fat. After all, all fats are not created equal. But, if you are like 90 percent of Americans, you are eating the wrong kind of fat most of the time. Time for an oil change!
Diet can reverse organ failure
Meditation is like a wonder drug without undesirable side effects. Research shows it can reverse DNA damage, improve brain structure, drop heart disease risk, boost immunity, increase energy and reduce inflammation. A meditative mind may instill immensely improved health.
Over the years, published research has demonstrated that the practice of regular meditation can increase brain density, boost connections between neurons, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, provide clarity of thought and increase positive mood endorphins. Other published studies have shown meditation can improve physical functioning, decrease chronic disease risks and enhance overall quality of life. These studies demonstrate that regular meditation effectively supports mental, emotional and physical health in numerous tangible ways. In building upon this strong body of evidence, researchers are continuing to deepen our understanding of the profound and inspirational benefits offered by regular meditation practice in everyday life.
UCLA Researchers Uncover Brain Benefits Of Meditation
Most recently, neuroscientists at UCLA have shown another fascinating neural effect of regular meditation: the ability to increase “cortical gyrification” of the brain. Cortical gyrification refers to the folding of the cerebral cortex, a function that allows the brain to process information faster. The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue in the brain and serves an important role in controlling memory, consciousness, thought processing, decision making, attention and awareness. During cortical gyrification, the tissues of the cerebral cortex fold, creating indented fissures and creases called sulci and gyri, which increase neural processing and neurotransmitter communication. Increased gyrification enhances the brain’s capacity for computing information, maintaining focus and attention, creating and retrieving memory, processing logic, forming decisions, and performing other mental tasks.
The neuroscientists at UCLA compared meditators who possessed various levels of experience and frequency of practice to people who never meditated. Among the meditators, they found significant increases in cortical folding across a wide area of the brain responsible for numerous functions beyond rapid information processing and retrieval. Additional areas of the brain that are shown to be markedly affected by meditation involve emotional and mental health capacities, ability to control emotions, heightened awareness, introspection, and more. This finding supports some of the more noticeable results of regular meditation: increased compassion for self and others, enhanced self-awareness and introspection, and greater emotional stability.
Researchers also found significant increases in cortical gyrification among more experienced practitioners. In other words, the longer a person had been practicing regular meditation, the greater the beneficial changes in his brain.
As a holistic physician and meditation practitioner with more than 25 years of experience, I have always believed strongly in the mental and emotional benefits of regular mindful meditation practice. And the physical payoffs are equally impressive. We all know that reducing stress can dramatically improve health on a number of levels. Regular mindful meditation has been shown to protect against and reverse DNA (telomere) damage, boost immune function, reduce cardiovascular disease risks, decrease inflammation, improve outcomes in cancer, reduce side effects of conventional treatment, increase vital energy and expand physical capacity.
As regular meditation practice becomes better understood and more widely practiced, more and more doctors and health practitioners are recommending these ancient disciplines to their patients. If you’re a health provider, meditation can help you become a better healer and clinician, increasing your diagnostic and therapeutic skills significantly and allowing you to connect in more meaningful ways with your patients and community. And if you are looking for some extra healing energy to improve your own health, regular meditation can provide a powerful solution.
As evidenced by this UCLA study, meditation is most effective when practiced regularly. Even just 10 minutes a day can offer significant and noticeable benefits over a short period of time.
While there are countless styles of meditation practice, one of the most profound is the ancient Tibetan practice of Shamatha meditation. Shamatha is Sanskrit for “calm abiding.” This form of meditation is intended to help people access a natural state of tranquility and clarity. The technique involves focusing the breath on a specific object and letting go of all other thoughts, as attention is consistently trained on the process of breathing.
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, and pick a small object such as a rock to place on the ground in front of you. Focus your eyes and your breathing on the rock. As thoughts inevitably arise, simply acknowledge and then release them, letting them slip away with each out-breath. When your mind wanders off, gently bring your attention back to your breathing and the rock, visualizing each inhalation and exhalation going to and from the rock.
Meditation And Healing Retreat
As you become more practiced at meditation, you will likely notice significant improvements in your energy, health and mental/emotional balance. You may find that as distractions and obscurities are peeled away during mindful meditation practice, the space between thoughts becomes greater and more profound. As we slowly turn down the constant chatter of our minds, we can begin to access deeper aspects of consciousness for growth and healing. This peeling process can make room for your true inner nature of love, compassion, peace and tranquility to arise and expand naturally, benefiting yourself and those around you exponentially.
To me, one of the most beautiful and profound aspects of meditation is that this process of growth and unfolding (as well as cortical folding) can continue throughout our lives. After all, we can never have too much love, compassion and clarity.
LONDON – New research conducted at the University College London and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that there are four keys to maintaining successful aging.
The researchers defined successful aging as having the following at 60 years of age or older:
· Good mobility
· Normal lung function
· Cognitive skills
· No chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes or disability
The researchers had 5100 subjects in their study between the ages of 42-63 years old that were followed for sixteen years.
The four habits that the researchers were able to correlate to a higher likelihood of successful aging were:
· No smoking
· Moderate drinking of alcohol
· Regular exercise
· Diet that included regular consumption of fruits and vegetables
According to lead researcher, Dr. Severine Sabia:
“Our study shows the cumulative impact of healthy behaviors on successful aging — the greater the number of healthy behaviors, the greater the benefit.”
If you’re interested in having the best health as you age, you might want to consider adopting the four above suggested behaviors.
Take a walk, do yoga poses, listen to music, spend time quietly meditating…whatever works for you. Find some way to relieve your stress on a regular basis or your health may one day suffer.