Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Reiki is an energy healing technique that has caught on in mainstream medicine.
There are many varieties of energy healing therapy, from distance to contact healing. One that's gained a lot of popularity in recent years is Reiki. The Japanese technique is aimed at reducing stress and promoting relaxation to help the body heal from physical, mental or emotional trauma. Now, the method is being used in clinical settings as a form of treatment.
Reiki involves a practice known as hands-on or palm healing, which involves a person laying his or her hands on another in order to transfer life force energy to the recipient. By increasing the amount of this universal energy within the body, the person can more efficiently heal from illness, injury or other conditions. The idea is that a low level of such energy causes us to become stressed, anxious and unhappy, which can lead to illness.
Raven Keyes, author of "The Healing Power of Reiki," first introduced the medical world to the energy healing powers of Reiki more than a decade ago, when she used it to help the survivors and rescuers of September 11 recover from surgical procedures and even cancer. Since then, it has continued to become a part of mainstream health care, and it's been used for recovery from surgery, athletic injury, cancer and other ailments.
Friday, 6 September 2013
Tai chi for beginners may help alleviate soreness in the muscles.
It may seem nonsensical to engage in a physical activity like tai chi when you've got sore muscles. However, this ancient martial art can actually provide you with relief from pain.
By combining fluid, steady movements with rhythmic breathing exercises, it promotes circulation throughout your body. As more oxygenated blood reaches your muscles, they're better able to recover from strain. The meditation involved in the practice can also be beneficial – research suggests that mindfulness can provide relief from aches by impeding the parts of the brain that process pain.
Though this practice challenges you physically, as well as mentally, it's low-impact, putting little stress on the muscles and joints. So, compared to other, more strenuous activities, it's less likely to cause strain or injury. Tai chi is safe for people of all levels of fitness and of all ages, and can be particularly beneficial to senior citizens who might not otherwise engage in exercise.
Of course, overdoing any activity, even the graceful movements of tai chi, can lead to pains in the body. That's why it's important to start out slowly. Take a class in tai chi for beginners and let your body become accustomed to the healing movements.
Thursday, 29 August 2013
Tai chi movements have been used for self-defense since ancient times.
When people think of tai chi, they tend to recall the gentle, steady movements of this practice. Many people turn to it to find relief from stress, improve balance and increased flexibility. But tai chi is, at heart, a martial art, and some people use it as a form of self-defense.
Tai chi was originally developed as a martial art for defense purposes, as well as a means of physical health and a strong mind-body connection. It was used as a technique for protecting Chinese royalty from assassination attempts, and, even today, villages across China hire tai chi practitioners to train their youth in the art.
Along with meditation and exercise, this ancient practice relies heavily on the ability to respond quickly to external forces. In fact, the ability to use tai chi movements in defending yourself is considered a test of your understanding of the martial art. The key is to yield to the oncoming attack – redirecting the force rather than stopping it – then to stick to the opponent and use the attacker's momentum against him or her.
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Research suggests that tai chi movements can increase balance and steadiness in Parkinson's patients.
Tai chi is widely known to improve balance and physical strength, but new research suggests this ancient Chinese tradition is an efficient therapy treatment for patients with Parkinson's disease. According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, up to one million people in the United States suffer from this debilitating and incurable disease.
As a progressive disorder of the nervous system caused by the depletion of dopamine in the brain, this illness affects movement and leads to tremors, stiffness and loss of control in the body. Recently, the importance of exercise therapy in maintaining function among these patients has become increasingly obvious. The benefits of tai chi movements, in particular, have been clinically proven.
In a randomized trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers assigned 195 Parkinson's patients to 24-week therapy programs in tai chi, resistance training or stretching. The tai chi group had notably superior results than the other two groups, showing better functional reach and stride length as well as decreased risk of falls. For this reason, the researchers recommend tai chi, along with medications, as a means of therapy for mitigating the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Monday, 19 August 2013
Many physicians are embracing bio-energy healing therapy for patient rehabilitation.
There are plenty of energy healing techniques out there, but one new trend in this form of alternative medicine is getting special attention as of late: bio-energy healing. This fairly new method has ancient roots in Qigong, a Chinese practice that involves smooth movements, breathing exercises and meditation for increased energy flow and healing purposes.
There are a wide variety of types of bio-energy healing. Reiki, for instance, is from Japan and is a hands-on technique – using the palms, the practitioner transfers universal energy into the body, which can spur self-healing. Therapeutic touch and distance healing are also common forms of bio-energy healing therapy, and many physicians are implementing them into patients' rehabilitation plans.
According to the Vancouver Sun, arthritis patient Peggy Bochun has spent more than a decade fighting her chronic and debilitating inflammatory disease, but she found little relief with diet, exercise and prescription drugs. It wasn't until she tried a form of bio-energy healing that she finally began seeing results.
"Then I went for my second session, and it was amazing. There was an emotional release. And the pain that had been so persistent in my knee became more intermittent. There were twinges, then it was better, then there were twinges. By the third session it was getting a whole lot better. And I'm happy to say that after the fourth session it was gone. I couldn't believe it," Bochun said.
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Tai chi exercises have been clinically proven to improve mental and physical health in college students.
It can be hard to find time for much of anything as a busy college student, but incorporating tai chi into your schedule can be a benefit to your health and school work.
This mind-body practice has many positive effects, such as teaching self-discipline, instilling confidence and improving balance. It's also helpful in relieving anxiety, which is particularly important for people dealing with the stress of balancing classes, homework, family and social life. This stress-relief can be attributed to the soothing meditation and gentle, flowing movements of the practice.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Georgia State University researchers conducted a study to test the effects of tai chi on college students. For three months, 30 students took part in tai chi exercises for one hour twice per week. These exercises involved breathing and stretching as well as the 24 unique movements of tai chi quan.
Researchers found that the students experienced significantly less bodily pain, better overall health and improvements in vitality, emotional function and mental health. The benefits are so obvious that the researchers suggest that educational facilities incorporate tai chi exercises into their curricula.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
Research has revealed that tai chi exercises can reduce the risk of falls among the elderly.
For many older people, falling is a serious risk that can lead to debilitating injury. That's where tai chi comes in. This ancient practice uses graceful, steady motions to strengthen the core and train the body to react more quickly.
As people get older, their chances of falling increase greatly. According to the National Institutes of Health, these falls are not due solely to age – they're often caused by muscle weakness, decreases in balance, sudden drops in blood pressure and weakened reflexes. Tai chi exercises can help offset some of these age-related issues. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control recommends yoga to enhance stability, coordination, muscle strength, gait and posture, all of which can significantly reduce the likelihood of suffering from a spill.
The benefits of tai chi has been proven by science, particularly for people who suffer from illnesses that significantly decrease balance and increase the likelihood of a fall, like Parkinson's disease and stroke. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that Parkinson's disease patients who completed a six-month tai chi program regained significantly more stability than those who took resistance training and stretching programs.
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
New research suggests that people who practice tai chi exercises lead longer lives.
Tai chi is an ancient martial art that involves gentle movements, meditation and balance, and it's been long known to improve the health and fitness of those who practice it. In fact, many studies in the past have proven that it can relieve symptoms of chronic illnesses, like improving steadiness in people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Now, new research proves that there is a correlation between tai chi and longer life spans.
According to a study conducted by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, men who practice tai chi tend to live longer lives than those who do not. The study tracked the life and health of more than 61,000 middle-aged men in Shanghai for more than five years. About 22,000 participants practiced tai chi at least once each week, while the rest did not. Researchers concluded that those who practiced the martial art were 20 percent less likely to die within that time span.
While researchers could not confirm that tai chi exercises were the direct cause of longer life spans, they are convinced that the general health benefits that come from the practice are the root.
"It combines slow motion exercise and mind concentration to focus on movement." assistant professor of medicine Dr. Xianglan Zhang said. "That itself can reduce your stress and, of course, it will increase your flexibility and endurance."
Monday, 29 July 2013
Research has shown that dahn yoga and tai chi can help promote balance in the elderly.
Along with helping you strengthen the mind-body connection and promoting harmony, dahn yoga and tai chi can help you obtain better physical balance. The movements involved in yoga, like the downward-facing dog, scorpion and triangle pose, can help people strengthen their equilibrium, particularly in the elderly, who suffer from falls more than any other injury.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, research conducted at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine reveals that yoga may prevent spills among people who are 65 and older. In the study, elderly women enrolled in Iyengar yoga for nine weeks showed significant improvement.
"The participants appeared to distribute their weight more evenly throughout the foot by the end of the program, which can improve stability and might decrease the likelihood of falling," lead researcher Jinsup Song said.
Yoga poses increase flexibility and range of motion as well as confidence in the ability to walk because it promotes awareness and grounding through the entire body. But some experts say that tai chi is even better for improving coordination and motor control while walking – when older people most commonly fall – by increasing the body's ability to make quick adjustments in the gait.
Friday, 19 July 2013
Studies have shown that energy healing therapy, like Qi, can help fight fatigue.
The hot summer sun has a way of draining stamina and putting people in a weary summer haze. If you're looking to energize the lazy days of summer, consider energy healing. Incorporate a practice like Qi therapy into your daily routine. In fact, the word "Qi" denotes vital strength.
According to the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, studies suggest that Qi therapy increased mental and emotional relaxation as well as the ability to overcome fatigue. In the study, 47 elderly patients were administered 10-minute Qi therapy sessions, while 47 were administered mimic therapy sessions. Those who underwent Qi therapy showed a greater reduction of stress, depression, pain and fatigue, as well as lower blood pressure compared to the control group. The results of this study have encouraged researchers to further explore energy healing therapy as a complement to modern medicine in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.
It may seem counterintuitive to practice energy healing techniques when you're feeling exhausted and unable to concentrate, but this alternative medicine, along with restful sleep and and exercise, can help boost energy levels and stave off tiredness. Soon, you'll find yourself taking on the day with eagerness and gusto.