As a species we diet for many reasons; for improved athletic performance, for spiritual insight, for medical reasons. Perhaps the two most popular reason are for general health and to look better. Unfortunately for so many of us this is a one step forward and two steps back journey that leaves us feeling discouraged and negative about the whole issue of trying to control our diet.
There is a secret however, that will make any diet successful and without which no diet will ever succeed. The secret is very simple and this is to bring mindfulness to every meal. Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept meaning awareness, consciousness or bringing your whole self to any experience. It is the same as the state of mind achieved in true yoga.
With the right attitude of watchfulness your diet will automatically become more healthy and you will begin to eat more in harmony with your bodies true needs. You will begin to enjoy food more and have a healthier more joyful relationship to nourishing food rather than cycles of abandoned guilty pleasure followed just guilt with no pleasure at all!
No diet however good on paper will work without this healthy attitude and unhealthy diets cannot exist in the presence of this kind of mindfulness and yogic thought.
Christmas is the perfect time to begin this kind of diet. All the temptations are there so it is impossible to begin any other kind of diet this time of year. Try the yogic, mindful diet and you will see that not only can you begin your healthy diet right away, but you will begin to gain even more pleasure from your Holiday festive foods!
Best Wishes from Liam B.
I heard the most interesting report today on Newstalk regarding new evidence suggesting that Aspirin can be effective in preventing cancer related to inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn's disease. Professor Dermot Kelleher of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Trinity College Dublin was interviewed and apparently the research is of the highest quality with every indication that this simple, every day medicine may well be prescribed to patients suffering from these conditions.
As an acupuncturist my first thought is that there may be a role to play for therapies such as acupuncture and electro-acupuncture in this kind of preventative medicine. There is no research as yet that I am aware of that has been carried out on this and the research on Aspirin is itself very recent, however, bearing in mind the well known anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture would it be impossible that regular acupuncture treatments could also have a preventative effect on this kind of cancer?
If this were the case then of course it would bring with it the inherent advantages of acupuncture therapy including the absence of side-effects that may be a risk even with something as benign and every day as aspirin. In addition to this acupuncture treatments, whatever the main aim of treatment, will tend to give an overall health and well-being effect including boosting the immune system thus preventing colds, flus etc. With holistic therapy one tends to get general health benefits regardless of the targeted condition.
It is common knowledge that despite centuries of investigation that there is
no known cure for the common cold. Warm drinks, chicken soup and stay in be
d, wait it out etc are all common pieces of advice. What research has shown
however is that the common cold is a virus. You may not necessarily be
'catching' a cold from someone else, so much as being weakened enough or run down
enough for an existing virus to temporarily gain the upper hand.
Acupuncture is the treatment par excellence for this kind of condition. Care
ful selection of points by a qualified practitioner will allow your immune
system to regain the upper hand and to shake off the annoying symptoms of the
common cold. Usually only a few points are needed and the effect can be quite
dramatic. A point or two on the Large Intestine, Lung and Stomach channel
s are usually enough and already your symptoms of stuffy nose, chills, fever,
etc will begin to abate.
For more info don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care, stay warm and enjoy the thaw (if it is thawing wherever you are!)
In recent years, particularly since the MBT revolution and the popularity of power walking, many companies have begun to claim that the design of their trainer will actually tone up your legs, buns/glutes just be wearing them while walking. The claim by Reeboks Easytone trainer has been refuted by the ASA but this doesn't take away from the fact that so many people are still looking for a way to get that extra burn in those particular areas. I love my MBTs, although I haven't really used them in a while and I can't say anything one way or the other about the Reebok Easytone, however, what I do know is that certain yoga and Pilates exercises are super effective for targeting these areas. Particularly in these snowbound days when a power walk really isn't an option.
So which poses are best to tone up the glutes in particular? Well, most variations of the Locust pose will do this. Lying face down, lift and stretch your legs away behind you and hold for 3 to 10 breaths. You can do one leg at a time if you want. Chair pose or Awkward Pose are two more which strengthen legs and tone glutes. Pilates Leg Pull Prone with leg lifts is also a powerful strengthener for the glutes.
Of course the best way to learn these exercises is from a trained and qualified instructor and every new exercise regime should be discussed with your health practitioner.
Enjoy the snow and don't forget to tone up and burn those glutes the holistic way!
Liam Byrne, Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist,