Break the Stress Habit: 30 Day Contest

Get back your Ease - stay disease free!

Stress is a habit! 

We've all had people tell us to "just relax." But it's much easier said than done.  Modern day life is filled with things that cause us stress, emotionally and physically. We are so used to a chronic level of stress that living without it  seems odd. Unfortunately, this stress is habit forming. It builds in our body until we hit a breaking point...and we all know what that feels like. We have no choice but to slow down.
Connections between stress, lower immunity and manifestation of the disease is known to us..  Accumulation of stress over time and elevated levels of cortisol signals to the body to stay on constant alarm state wares down the body and besides creating disease make us look old and feel gray.

5 ways to create more Ease in your life:

1) SLEEP BETTER : Relax before sleeping - Short meditation or a massage will relax your body and mind which will help you achieve deeper levels of sleep. Deeper sleep helps us to repair body and feel and look vibrant and energetic. Getting your body to relax naturally is the key.  Stay away from anything stimulating before you go to bed. Calm your body by avoiding foods with caffeine or sugar. Calm your mind, avoid stimulation such as TV or emailing.

2) Take time off at least 45 minutes each day to do nothing planned and just play and have fun!

3) Get a massage. Human touch and positive physical pressure releases tension in your body. There are even great tools for self-massage, such as acupressure mats (which combine both acupressure and massage), miracle balls, and many others.

4) Move! One of my favorite ways to relieve stress is to literally shake it out off my body. Get up and dance, go out for a run, or take a mindful nature walk for a half hour. While we are physically active, our mind tends to stay in the present moment, which is a therapeutic method for stress control.  

5) Meditate -another way to stay in present moment is through regular meditation practices. Meditation is like a gym for your mind that helps you to be fully present and in the moment which in turn to makes us more resourceful and relaxed. Regular mediation will help you relax your mind and at the same time be in control in order to avoid a build up of stress. It can range from guided imagery to simple breathing exercises and walking meditations. Find one that works for you.

Remedies to Improve Circulation & Health

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “ Where there is circulation, there is no pain. Where there is pain, there is no circulation.” The more blood flow we have, the more oxygen and nutrients we are giving our body. It’s that simple. And when there is limited blood flow to parts of our body, the blood vessels become blocked and plaque builds up and hardens to constrict the walls of arteries and veins. That’s when problems start to arise such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, kidney damage, and more related illnesses. It affects our brain function as well as every organ and limb in our body.

In today’s society, we are forced to sit for long periods of time - at our desk,  driving, and even when we relax watching TV. We live in a society where we are sitting all the time and that keeps our blood flow and energy stagnant. Our sitting epidemic literally kills. Recently, there was the teenager who played video games for over 24 hours and died from a blood clot!

Rest assured, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your circulation. Even if you think you are genetically predisposed to having poor circulation like me (have cold hands and feet all the time).

Here are some easy tips and that will also make you feel great. Excerpts From

1) Foods: A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help your heart pumping  as well as giving you the nutrients to fuel your body. Here are some specific tips:

    •    Nuts are good because they rich in vitamin B3, which helps boost the blood. Garlic also helps promote circulation.
    •    Avoid saturated and trans fats, as well as sugary sodas or fruit drinks. This will help thin the blood so that it passes more easily through the small blood vessels.
    •    Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit in your diet provide high levels of bioflavonoids to promote blood flow while also strengthening capillaries. Watermelon is great because it has a natural source of lycopene, which has been known to help prevent plaque buildup in veins.
    •    Avoid saturated and trans fats, as well as sugary sodas or fruit drinks. This helps keep the blood thin so that it passes more easily through small blood vessels.
    •    Reduce your alcohol, sugar, sodium and caffeine intake and drink plenty of water.

2) Exercise: Take a quick break and go for a walk outside. You’ll get some vitamin D to improve your mood as well as get your blood pumping. Avoid staying inactive for long periods of time. Move your body every hour or so. Whether you're sitting or standing for long periods, you need to move around every 45 minutes or so in order to improve circulation and blood flow.

3) Decrease the stress in your life. Remember to take the time to breathe, get a message and do other relaxation techniques.    

    •    A breathing meditation can also relieve stress and bring more life/oxygen to every cell in you body.
    •    A massage on a regular basis helps improve blood flow to various body organs. You can do a self massage, find a friend, go to a spa, or use a therapeutic massage mat. (Embed link)

4) Heat Therapy: Take a hot bath to increase blood flow. This is my personal favorite especially with some aromatherapy in my bath. Heat therapy increases blood circulation by relaxing the blood vessels. You can use hot packs, hot water bottles or heating pads targeting at specific areas. Keep your hands and feet warm by covering them with compression socks and gloves.

5) Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the major causes of poor blood circulation as it increases cholesterol and causes the hardening of arteries thereby restricting the blood flow.


Acupressure: Simple Self Care Secret

Have you noticed how we constantly feel the need to massage the same areas of our body? Why do we feel so good after a massage? It somehow magically lifts spirits and gives the body a sense of freedom like a tremendous weight has been lifted off our shoulders.

Why? It's because tension tends to concentrate around acupressure points and massage helps because of the pressure of our fingers breaking up the tension allowing muscle fibers relaxation

You see, when a muscle is chronically tense, the muscle fibers contract from the lactic acid caused by fatigue, trauma, strenuous exercise, chemical imbalances, and poor circulation.

How Acupressure Works

Physical Benefits
As a point is pressed, blood flows freely and the toxins that have built up from stress and tension are released. As blood flows more freely, we increase circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body! The benefits are numerous - from improving our immune system to feeling more energized and pain free.

Emotional Benefits
Stimulating these pressure points also triggers a release of endorphins, which are our "happy" hormones that relieve pain and give us a natural high. In addition, these points are also where vital energy gets blocked. An increased blood flow in these areas removes these energy blocks that can be traced to most health problems. What is emotionally happening in your body will eventually show up in some kind of physical way.

Acupressure’s Healing Touch
Acupressure works directly with the body to relieve both physical and emotional ailments.

The best part is that it is simple and safe to do by yourself. Self-care applications have helped conditions such as chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic muscular pain, mental stress, addiction recovery, learning disorders, trauma, emotional imbalances and more. Instead of the harmful side-effects of drugs or stimulants, acupressure helps the body heal and regulate itself from the inside out.

There are also plenty of  other therapeutic tools such trigger point massagers or even better, with acupressure mats, you simply need to lie on the mat and let it do it’s magic!

How Busy Parents Get Better Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is a problem for most people, and for new parents it’s almost impossible. But as new parents, more than anyone, you need to feel rested and alert. After all, you’ve got your normal responsibilities to return to, plus a new and very precious presence in your lives.

Lack of sleep can cause confusion, poor memory, incoordination, mood swings, extreme irritability, and weight gain. According to Joyce Walsleben, M.D., author of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep:  Guaranteed Solutions for a Good Night’s Rest, new parents lose up to 700 hours of sleep during their baby’s first year.

So if a full night’s sleep is just not possible, what are the best ways to recharge your energy?

Claudio Stampi, author of Why We Nap, pointed out that we may be genetically predisposed to polyphasic sleeping—the practice of taking fewer, shorter sleeps in a 24 hour period. Stampi feels it possible to stay healthy and functional based on a series of naps instead of the traditional eight hours of night time sleep.

The key to getting quality sleep, whether it’s a bedtime snooze or a power nap, lies in preparing your body and mind to take the journey together.

Here are 4 tips to help you get a restful sleep:
1. Minimize background distractions. Turn off the television and dim the lights. If you like to listen to music, switch to soothing tracks.
2. Let your brain coast to a stop.  Don’t try to multi-task, answer emails, return phone calls, or finish paperwork. Firing up your brain pre-sleep will just keep you stressed and mentally awake, even if your eyelids are drooping.
3. Have a soothing snack. Try to time naps after a small, healthy meal.  The same foods that help your baby sleep may help you by taking the edge off low-level hunger or nervous tension. Bananas, milk or pasta are popular sleep-inducing foods. Avoid sugary or high-fructose nibbles and reach for complex carbohydrates or foods high in calcium and potassium.
4. Engage in soothing rituals.  Whether it’s a hot bath before your regular bedtime, or a full body stretch before a nap, a soothing ritual helps calm the brain and relax your muscles, which is conducive to falling asleep quickly.

If you plan to sleep for only 20-30 minutes, try using a high quality acupressure mat like the Spoonk Acupressure Mat. Use Spoonk to ease quickly into a state of deep and rejuvenating relaxation. The Spoonk works by stimulating energy meridians and circulation from the scalp to the base of the spine, and across the back.  The increased circulation releases endorphins and the hormone oxytocin, the same hormone released during breast-feeding.  Oxytocin promotes feelings of peaceful relaxation, confidence and self-esteem. Together, the endorphins and increased oxytocin levels quickly chase away stress and induce a state of deep and blissful relaxation.

Rub Your Way to Better Health

There is more and more evidence being documented that supports the benefits of simple pressure, rubbing, and tapping.Recommended by top medical experts such as Dr. Weil, acupressure is rebirthing as an ancient wisdom in western society.

How to Give Yourself a Massage

You can easily save from expensive massage sessions from giving how to apply pressure to the areas that you hold tension. Shiatsu Massage, applies firm pressure to each point for three to five seconds. 

Firm pressure uses thumbs, fingers, palms, the side of the hand, or knuckles to apply steady, stationary pressure. To relax an area or relieve pain, apply pressure gradually and hold without any movement for several minutes at a time. One minute of steady pressure (when applied gradually) calms and relaxes the nervous system, promoting greater healing. To stimulate the area, apply pressure for only four or five seconds.
Slow motion kneading uses the thumbs and fingers along with the heels of the hands to squeeze large muscle groups firmly The motion is similar to that of kneading a large mass of dough. Simply lean the weight of your upper body into the muscle as you press to make it soft and pliable. This relieves general stiffness, shoulder and neck tension, constipation, and spasms in the calf muscles.

Brisk rubbing uses friction to stimulate the blood and lymph. Rub the skin lightly to relieve chilling, swelling, and numbness by increasing circulation, as well as to benefit the nerves and tone of the skin.
Quick tapping with fingertips stimulates muscles on unprotected, tender areas of the body such as the face. For larger areas of the body, such as the back or buttocks, use a loose fist. This can improve the functioning of nerves and sluggish muscles in the area.
If this sounds like too much work for you, you can use tools such as an acupressure mat or therapeutic tools that massage a specific point to get to those hard to reach places.
For more information on how to apply pressure points (embed link) and where they are located, see the blog and website from the leading authority in acupressure, Dr. Micheal Reed Gach, Phd.
How Acupressure Works, the Eastern and Western Philosophy

The ancient Chinese believed that life energy chi (pronounced chee) flows through these meridians. In a healthy person the energy flow trough meridians is unobstructed. The blockade of chi flow results in an illness. The Chinese believed that active points stimulation clears the meridians and improves the flow of energy.
The western medical science have acknowledged the mechanisms responsible for positive effects of active points stimulation. Stimulation of active points is thought to lead to increased release of endorphins, a natural body painkiller. Thus endorphin released by acupressure stimulation may lead to relaxation and normalization of body functions.