September 19, 2011
Well brace yourselves for a real shocker… according to a recent study, eating dark chocolate improves athletic performance just as much as exercise. Skeptical?? I sure am, but here’s the claim…
Dark chocolate contains the plant compound epicatechin, which appears to stimulate muscle growth in a similar way to vigorous activity such as jogging. And when small doses were eaten in combination with regular exercise, performance was boosted by 50 per cent.
Dr Moh Malek, from Wayne State University in Detroit, said: ‘Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, is known to increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells. Our study has found that epicatechin seems to bring about the same response – particularly in the heart and skeletal muscles.’
Come Out and Support The Arthritis Foundation and The 6th Annual Shindig TONIGHT @ Rockit Bar & Grill!
September 9, 2011
Please come and join me tonight in support of a wonderful cause… The fight against juvenile arthritis
6-9pm @ Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W Hubbard, Chicago, IL)
Did you know that approximately 294,000 children under the age of 18 are affected by pediatric arthritis and rheumatologic conditions.
Number of Americans with arthritis or chronic joint symptoms: www.arthritis.org
1985 – 35 million
1990 – 37.9 million
1998 – nearly 43 million (1 in 6 people)
2006 – 46 million (nearly 1 in 5 adults)
Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15.
Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability.
Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing for more than 7 million Americans.
Arthritis results in 39 million physician visits and more than a half million hospitalizations.
Costs to the U.S. economy totals $128 billion annually.
Arthritis affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children.
Baby boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.
Half of those Americans with arthritis don’t think anything can be done to help them.
Arthritis refers to more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around joints.
Arthritis strikes women more often than men.
Women – 24.3 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis
Men – 17.1 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis
In Honor of September Being Arthritis Awareness Month AND National Yoga Month Check Out These Postures for Pain Relief
September 8, 2011
For the Full Article from Rediff.com Click HERE
Shameem Akthar, yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, gives you five simple practices for pain relief.
Yoga offers pain relief in a subtle but sure way. It encourages controlled movement around body areas in trouble. This in turn takes the necessary repairing agents, through a focused blood supply, towards healing that part. For specific types of pain there are different postures that help heal and rejuvenate the troubled area.
Mudras also help by using safe, easy to-do-yourself hand gestures that may be used even in chronic pain for both sustained and immediate pain relief, in some cases being almost as effective as pain killers.
Progressive hospitals and doctors encourage yogic meditation, somewhat similar to modern-day hypnosis, for pain relief. Meditation, it has been found, kickstarts the repairing mechanism of the body, called the parasympathetic nervous system.
Tests done on patients, including those with terminal illnesses, has found that yogic meditation does indeed help with pain control. Though the exact route of this mechanism is not yet clear, researchers believe it could be manipulated by focusing the mind on simple activity — like watching one’s own breath or listening to yogic meditation tapes.
This lowers blood pressure, improves breathing, promotes blood circulation, relieves the digestive system of the effects of stress, releases contraction in tense muscles, promotes lymphatic drainage, promotes the movement of repairing agents, boosts nutrient absorption and works on master glands. The last, it seems, holds the key. When the master glands are touched upon, as happens in yoga, they give out the all-clear signal which ripples throughout the body, promoting relief.
Supta baddhakonasana (Lying leg locked pose)
Lie on your back. Bring soles of feet close together, as shown. Draw them closer to the hips. Place back of hands on the ground. Or you may place them on the thighs. If the knees are very stiff or feel too high off the ground, keep cushions under either knee to keep them comfortable.
Lie back for as long as is comfortable, eyes shut. You will find the body releases tensions subtly from several tense or pain spots. It can be deeply relaxing. Watch your breath meditatively. Or, if you practice other forms of yogic meditation attempt it while relaxing in this pose. This pose is best felt when held for long. Ideally anything over three minutes.
Benefits: It is deeply relaxing. Releases tensions. Promotes hormones from the uro-genital system dealing with our emotions.
Vata naashak mudra (Hand gesture to control the air element in the body)
Hold the index and middle finger down with the thumb. Do for each hand. You may use this mudra while meditating, or while doing pranayama, or independently even while engaged in day to day activity like commuting, or resting on bed, or watching television, though its effects are best when in a meditative mood.
Do for three to five minutes several times a day for pain relief.
Benefits: In yoga each finger is said to represent each element. The index finger represents the air element while the middle finger represents the ether element. By pressing down into these two elements that deeply affect the nervous system, an overall sense of calmness is achieved which is believed to provide pain relief.
Vayu naashak mudra (Hand gesture to control air element)
Press down index finger with thumb. Do for each hand. Other instructions as for vata naashak mudra.
Benefits: As above, it helps control the air element that deals with the nervous system, relieving anxiety, hyper vigilance of the mind, and helps to relax it towards pain relief.
Yoga nidra (Sleep of yoga)
Lie on your back, legs apart, hands away from the body. Shut eyes. Take the mind over each part of the body, deliberating imagining that you are relaxing it. Do so till your cover the whole body, including parts of the face.
The entire process should take you 10 to 15 minutes at least. Try not to fall off to sleep. Keep the mind engaged with the activity, though for those unused to mediation or yogic focus this may be difficult.
Use a tape if it is difficult to do on your own. Also, do not move any body part while doing this practice, avoiding unnecessary fidgeting. Ensure that there will be no disturbance like phone or door bell ringing, etc for maximum benefit.
Benefit: This is one of the most healing of yogic meditation techniques. It shuts down the chatter of the brain by keeping it focused. This in turn affects the entire nervous system positively and encourages healing by the induced relaxation where the repairing parasympathetic nervous system kicks in.
Marjariasana (Cat stretch)
Sit on your fours as shown, palms under shoulders, legs bent at knees. Inhale, arching the spine up, curving it, chin tilted up. Exhaling, lower the chin between collar bones locking it there, drop the spine, roll the stomach in, stiffen both arms and legs consciously.
Hold for a few seconds, breathing normally. This is one round. Release with an exhalation, repeating five to ten times.
Benefits: This is a gentle workout for the entire body, promoting blood circulation that in turn promotes healing. The tense-release movement of the pose rejuvenates blood supply, taking it all corners of the body, including the face, promoting the transport of repairing chemicals and agents. Since it is deeply relaxing, it helps with pain relief.
For more of Shameem’s yoga writings visit http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com. Shameem’s second book Yoga in the workplace, with photographs by ace photographer Fawzan Husain, is now available at online shops and bookshops across the country. It is also available as e-book, with Kindle, Amazon.
September 6, 2011
Ever wonder how often the Doctor or Nurse you see at a Hospital or even a doctor’s office change their scrubs/gowns? I honestly had never really thought much of it until I came across this article on OrthoSuperSite this morning…
Warning… germaphobes beware!!!
Needless to say, I am now thoroughly grossed out and yes, now I understand why I go straight to the shower after coming home from a day of surgeries, even after changing out of my scrubs.
According to the article, a recent study found dangerous bacteria on more than half of physicians’, nurses’ uniforms.
More than 60% of hospital nurses’ and physicians’ uniforms tested positive for potentially dangerousbacteria, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.
A team of researchers in Israel led by Yonit Wiener-Well, MD, collected 238 swab samples from the abdominal zone, sleeve ends and pockets of 75 registered nurses’ and 60 physicians’ uniforms, then asked each participant to complete a questionnaire.
Although 79 (58%) of the participants claimed they changed their uniform daily and 104 (77%) described their attire’s hygiene level as “fair to excellent,” the study authors were able to isolate potentially pathogenic bacteria from at least one site on 85 participants’ uniforms (63%) — 119 samples (50%) in all.
The authors also noted they found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 21 samples removed from nurses’ gowns and 6 samples removed from physicians’ gowns — including 8 cultures that grew methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus.
“Up to 60% of hospital staff’s uniform are colonized with potentially pathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant organisms,” the authors wrote. “It remains to be determined whether these bacteria can be transferred to patients and cause clinically relevant infection.”
While the study does state that they aren’t sure if the bacteria can be transferred to patients… it has to make you wonder because, when you think about it, they are traveling from room to room, one patient to another while making their rounds all the while in the same uniform. Just something to think about… and potentially gross you out.
Wiener-Well Y, Galuty M, Rudensky B, et al. Nursing and physician attire as possible source of nosocomial infections. Am J Infect Control. 2011. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2010.12.016.