The Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is comprised of over 500 controlled exercises that are a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training intended to improve posture, create long, lean muscles, and reduce stress. Pilates exercises have evolved over the past 75 years.

Through smooth, continuous motion, Pilates works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Its focus is particularly on strengthening and stabilizing the abdominal region. Because Pilates focuses on quality of movement, one feels invigorated after a session instead of feeling exhausted.

Your first Pilates session should be a private lesson in which the instructor will introduce you to the equipment, give you an idea of where your body’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and enable you to make informed decisions.

The Pilates exercises can be performed either on machines or on a mat. A variety of equipment is used to perform some of the over 500 exercises. On the mat you perform with a group, performing the same exercises, at the same pace.

Different instructors, training institutions and equipment manufacturers have developed several props to help you carry out exercises on your own. Small props such as Pilates balls, Pilates circles and Pilates resistance bands can be incorporated into any personal training program.

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Stress Management Tip: Progressive Relaxation

Negative thoughts and feelings can significantly contribute to the tension we experience in our bodies. Most of the time we are unaware of the tension in our bodies until it manifests as a physical condition such as muscle tightness in the body, headaches and even stomach ulcers. Progressive relaxation serves as a great way relax the body at the first sign of tension.

Progressive relaxation involves systematically tensing and relaxing various groups of muscles in an orderly sequence. By regularly practicing this technique, you can train yourself to recognize the feelings associated with tensed and relaxed muscles. Recognizing the tension or stress in your body at an early stage gives you the opportunity to stop it before it becomes a major physical problem.

When performing the progressive relaxation technique it important to follow the following guide lines

* Do this technique in a quiet room where no one can interrupt you
* Sit on a comfortable chair, couch, recliner or lie on a bed
* Allocate around 10-15 minutes every day as your scheduled time for this technique
* Note the sensations you experience tensing and relaxing the various muscle groups

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Dealing With ADHD

What is ADHD?

Imagine living in a fast-moving kaleidoscope, where sounds, images, and thoughts are constantly shifting. Feeling easily bored, yet helpless to keep your mind on tasks you need to complete.

Distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind drives you from one thought or activity to the next. Perhaps you are so wrapped up in a collage of thoughts and images that you don’t notice when someone speaks to you.

For many people, this is what it’s like to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. They may be unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what’s going on around them.

To their family, classmates or coworkers, they seem to exist in a whirlwind of disorganized or frenzied activity. Unexpectedly–on some days and in some situations–they seem fine, often leading others to think the person with ADHD can actually control these behaviors.

As a result, the disorder can affect the person’s relationships with others in addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem.

ADHD, once called hyper kinesis or minimal brain dysfunction, is one of the most common mental disorders among children. It affects 3 to 5 percent of all children, perhaps as many as 2 million American children.

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Aromatherapy diffusers - The natural alternative to synthetic air fresheners

There are several types of aromatherapy diffusers, all of which are designed to disperse fragrant and therapeutic essential oils into the air. An aromatherapy diffuser can be used as a natural air freshener in a room or even in a car.

Natural plant oils offer an alternative to synthetic fragrances that can cause allergic reactions in some people. As well as having a nice fragrance, pure essential oils can be used to promote physical and psychological well being. As the aroma molecules are diffused into the atmosphere, they’re inhaled into the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream, where their benefits can take effect on the body and mind.

Aromatherapy essential oils can be used to produce a calming, refreshing or uplifting mood. Different oils have different aromas and uses. For instance, lavender oil is well known for its relaxing properties, whereas tea tree oil is used by many people to ward off symptoms of colds. Diffusion can be done in a number of ways.

Essential oil burners are widely used. These involve a few drops of pure essential oil being diluted in a small bowl of water, which is then heated above a tea light. Some people prefer to simply add the oil to a bowl of boiling water, to avoid the risks of a burning flame. The heat helps to disperse the aroma into a room.

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Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight

We all know that yoga is good for your health and well-being, but does how does it tie into weight loss? After all, it isn�t aerobic exercise so can it really help to shed pounds?

A recent study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA investigated the effects of yoga on weight, which is the first study to investigate the role between the two. More than 15,000 participants were asked to recall their physical activity patterns and weight history between the ages of 45 and 55. The study found that during this period, most people gain about 1 pound each year. The people who practiced yoga at least 30 minutes once a week for four or more years gained 3 pounds less weight than the non-yoga participants.

This is not necessarily staggering results but it gets better! Both men and women who were overweight at the beginning of the period and who started to practice yoga lost about five pounds, while those who were yoga free gained an average of 14 pounds within the next ten years. Now that is news! Imagine what the results would be for people practicing yoga 2-3 times a week.

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Herbal Medicine For Children

Herbalists use the leaves, flowers, stems, berries, and roots of plants to prevent, relieve, and treat illness. From a “scientific” perspective, many herbal treatments are considered experimental. The reality is, however, that herbal medicine has a long and respected history.

Many familiar medications of the twentieth century were developed from ancient healing traditions that treated health problems with specific plants. Today, science has isolated the medicinal properties of a large number of botanicals, and their healing components have been extracted and analyzed.

Many plant components are now synthesized in large laboratories for use in pharmaceutical preparations. For example, vincristine (an antitumor drug), digitalis (a heart regulator), and ephedrine (a bronchodilator used to decrease respiratory congestion) were all originally discovered through research on plants.

The History of Herbal Medicine

The history of herbology is inextricably intertwined with that of modern medicine. Many drugs listed as conventional medications were originally derived from plants. Salicylic acid, a precursor of aspirin, was originally derived from white willow bark and the meadowsweet plant. Cinchona bark is the source of malaria-fighting quinine.

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Herbs For Allergy Sufferers

What causes airborne allergies, hayfever and allergic rhinitis?

With every breath we take, we breathe in millions of microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, plant spores, viruses, bacteria and even pollutants in the form of chemicals in the air.

Many of these particles are filtered and removed by the nose and respiratory system, while others enter the body. If the immune system is strong and healthy, it can ward off infection against pollutants, viruses and other harmful airborne substances that may enter the body.

Normally the immune system will ignore harmless airborne particles entering the body such as pollen, house dust, animal dander, etc. In some people, however, the immune system misinterprets these harmless particles and identifies them as being dangerous to the system.

This triggers a release of a substance called histamine, as well as other inflammatory compounds in the body, which cause a condition called ‘allergic rhinitis‘ and hayfever.

People who develop allergic rhinitis in warm weather, wind or at spring time are generally allergic to grass, tree and flower pollens. Those who have this reaction all year round are probably also allergic to house dust, mold or animal dander.

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About the Dead Sea

The beneficial effects of the Dead Sea�s raw materials on the skin and their unique therapeutic and beautifying powers have been recognized since ancient times. The �Sea of Salt�, as it is often referred to, lies at the lowest point on earth and has greater solid content than any other body of water. The atmospheric pressure at the Dead Sea is the highest on the planet. This combination of the atmosphere and the mineral rich water makes the Dead Sea unusually therapeutic.

The Dead Sea Research Center�s website offers detailed information about the Dead Sea, its composition and its health benefits. Check it out at

Scientific studies have proven that bathing in Dead Sea salts not only improves such skin ailments as psoriasis and eczema, but also stimulates circulation and encourages the skin to renew itself. In addition, subcutaneous penetration helps relieve aches and pains in joints and muscles, providing much relief for those who experience rheumatism and arthritis. Enjoy a hot, relaxing soak in the tub, or use the salt soap to treat your skin when you take a shower.

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Essential Oils For Beauty

When using essential oils to moisturize the skin, simply add to a carrier oil such as Jojoba. Another good tip is to purchase fragrance and lanolin free creams or lotions, from which you can create your own skin care products by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

The key to developing your own products is to determine what you want them to do. Are you trying to fight cellulite? Then add some Lemon oil to your cream. Are you trying to minimize the appearance of scar tissue? Patchouli is your answer here. See our for the body listings to find out more about the properties and effects of each essential oil.

Essential oils and how they affect your skin


Sage : relaxes, improves blood circulation
Peppermint: refreshes, cools
Valerian : calms
Clove : disinfects
Camphor : Disinfects, sedating
Cypress : Refreshing, relaxing


Cajeput : Improves perspiration
Rosemary : Improves blood circulation
Valerian : Calming
Camphor : Disinfects, sedates


Oregano : Widens the blood vessels
Melissa : Refreshes, tonic
Geranium : Refreshing
Linden blossom : Soothing


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Naturally Delicious Lip Gloss Recipes

Recommended Essential Oils:

Palma Rosa
Orange, Mandarin, other citrus oil
Peppermint, spearmint
German Chamomile

Healing Lip Gloss Base:

1 oz Beeswax
2 Tbsp Sweet almond oil
10 drops Jojoba Oil
5 drops Carrot Oil (optional)
1 Capsule Vitamin E

Melt the beeswax in a double-boiler and then add the almond oil, stirring constantly. Add jojoba, carrot oil and vitamin e and stir again. To finish, mix 10 drops of your chosen essential oils from list above or follow the recommendations below, replacing the 10 drops of essential oils.

Chocolate-Peppermint Lip Gloss

1/4 teaspoon grated milk chocolate or 3 semi-sweet morsels
5 drops peppermint oil

Aloe Vera Lip Gloss

1/4 tsp. aloe vera gel


1/2 teaspoon lipstick (you can use lipstick that is almost gone or is too dark for you)


10 drops vanilla extract

Recipe derived from The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

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