Week 4

Loving It All: Flourishing & Thriving - Being Well Being

Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, Environmentally & Socially. 

Healthy brains & bodies. Healthy relationships. Healthy homes & communities.

The Power of Laughter

It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Top 7 Benefits of Laughter

Laughter relaxes the whole body.

Laughter boosts the immune system

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins

A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter protects the heart.

Laughter burns calories.

Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

One study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load.

Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer.

A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga is a joyful way to connect with others and laugh your blues away. Laughter Yoga is a fun, effective stress relief program for all ages and abilities. It can be performed gently (in a chair if needed) or moving throughout the room with full energy and enthusiasm! 

"Laughter yoga combines laughter with yoga breathing exercises . . . It approaches laughter as a body exercise so it is easy to laugh even if you're depressed or in a bad mood. I've tried it, and it works."
 

- Oprah Winfrey 

Dr. Madan Kataria

Laughter Yoga was Founded in 1995 by a Medical Doctor from Mumbai, India named Dr. Madan Kataria. Motivated by his research on the psychological and physiological benefits of laughter he started a Laughter club in a local park. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 7000 Laughter Yoga Clubs in over 100 countries.

Most of the Laughter in a Laughter Yoga session is initiated in the group with full body laughter exercises, clapping, eye contact and youthful playfulness. The "simulated" laughter soon turns into real, spontaneous and contagious laughter that brings much more oxygen to our body and brain, lifting our spirits and carrying over into our work, school and social lives.
 

Practise LaughterYoga with Dr Madan Kataria from his TEDMED Presentation in India

While researching the benefits of laughter, Dr. Madan Kataria was amazed by the number of studies showing profound physiological and psychological benefits of laughter. He decided to find a way to deliver these benefits to his patients and other people. The result is Laughter Yoga, a unique exercise routine that combines group laughter exercises with yoga breathing which allows anyone to laugh without using jokes, humor or comedies.

TEDMED Live Talk by Dr. Madan Kataria at the other song

Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical doctor from Mumbai, India popularly known as the 'Guru of Giggling' (London Times), is the founder of Laughter Yoga Clubs movement started in 1995. While researching the benefits of laughter, he was amazed by the number of studies showing profound physiological and psychological benefits of laughter. He decided to find a way to deliver these benefits to his patients and other people. The result is Laughter Yoga, a unique exercise routine that combines group laughter exercises with yoga breathing which allows anyone to laugh without using jokes, humor or comedies. Started with just with just five people in a public park in Mumbai in 1995, it has grown into a worldwide movement of more than 6000 Laughter Yoga clubs in over 60 countries.

What is  Reflexology?

Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists.

Reflexologists believe that applying pressure to these parts offers a range of health benefits.

The study found that reflexology helped to reduce some of their symptoms, including shortness of breath. The participants also reported an improved quality of life. But it didn’t have any effect on pain.

In a 2014 study that was slightly larger, researchers gave people undergoing heart surgery a 20-minute foot reflexology treatment once a day for four days. They found that those who received the reflexology treatment reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who didn’t. Touch by another human being is a relaxing, caring, anxiety-reducing action for most people.

Reflexology may not be a scientifically proven medical treatment for disease, but studies suggest it’s a helpful complementary treatment, especially for stress and anxiety.

What are the potential benefits of reflexology?

Reflexology is linked to many potential benefits, but only a few of them have been evaluated in scientific studies.
 

So far, there’s limited evidence that reflexology may help to:

reduce stress and anxiety

reduce pain

lift mood

improve general well-being

 

In addition, people have reported that reflexology helped them:

boost their immune system

fight cancer

get over colds and bacterial infections

clear up sinus issues

recover from back problems

correct hormonal imbalances

boost fertility

improve digestion

ease arthritis pain

treat nerve problems and numbness from cancer drugs (peripheral neuropathy)

Is reflexology safe to try?

Generally, reflexology is very safe, even for people living with serious health conditions. It’s noninvasive and comfortable to receive, so it may be worth trying if it’s something you’re interested in.

However, you should talk to your doctor first if you have any of the following health issues:

circulatory problems in the feet

blood clots or inflammation of your leg veins

gout

foot ulcers

fungal infections, like athlete’s foot

open wounds on your hands or feet

thyroid problems

epilepsy

a low platelet count or other blood problems, which can make you bruise and bleed more easily

If you’re pregnant, make sure to tell your reflexologist before your session, as some pressure points in the hands and feet may induce contractions. If you’re trying to use reflexology to induce labor, only do so with your doctor’s approval. There is a risk of premature delivery, and babies are healthiest if born at 40 weeks of gestation.

Warning:

lightheadedness

tender feet

emotional sensitivity

But these are short-term side effects that tend to go away shortly after treatment.

Reflexology Chart

Must Watch Videos

Massage Tutorial: Reflexology basics, techniques, & routine

Want to incorporate some basic reflexology techniques into your massage routine? It doesn't require any special knowledge of meridians, organs, etc. It's just a unique way of working with the foot for extended periods, providing a very different (and wonderful) foot massage experience.

5 Reflexology Secrets Hidden in the Palm of Your Hand

Reflexology is based on the idea that a map of the body is reflected on the hands and feet, and by applying alternating pressure to specific points on the hands and feet you can affect various organs and parts of the body.

What is  Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person's skin at specific points on the body, to various depths.

Conditions it is used for include different kinds of pain, such as headaches, blood pressure problems, and whooping cough, among others.

Research suggests that it can help relieve pain, and it is used for a wide range of other complaints.

How does it work?

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of "yin" and "yang" of the life force known as "qi," pronounced "chi." Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces.

Qi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridiens and energy flows are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body.

Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is said to bring the energy flow back into proper balance.



 


Research carried out in Germany has shown that acupuncture may help relieve tension headaches and migraines.

low back pain

neck pain

osteoarthritis

knee pain

headache and migraine

 

They list additional disorders that may benefit from acupuncture, but which require further scientific confirmation.

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has been proven effective. These include:

 

high and low blood pressure

chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer

painful periods
dysentery

allergic rhinitis

facial pain
morning sickness

rheumatoid arthritis

sprains
sciatica
dental pain
reducing the risk of stroke

inducing labor

Uses of Accupuncture

Some people also report having mild side effects after reflexology treatment, including:

Risks

All therapies have risks as well as benefits.

The possible risks of acupuncture are:

It is dangerous if a patient has a bleeding disorder or takes blood thinners.

Bleeding, bruising, and soreness may occur at the insertion sites.

Unsterilized needles may infect the patient.

In rare cases, a needle may break and damage an internal organ.

When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back, there is a risk of collapsed lung, but this is very rare.

What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine

 

Most chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.

Chiropractic is generally categorized as alternative medicine or complementary medicine.

Chiropractors: Fundamental Beliefs and Goals

Chiropractors focus on the intimate relationship between the nervous system and spine, and hold true the following beliefs:
 

  • Biomechanical and structural derangement of the spine can affect the nervous system

  • For many conditions, chiropractic treatment can restore the structural integrity of the spine, reduce pressure on the sensitive neurological tissue, and consequently improve the health of the individual.
     

The treatment concept of chiropractic is to re-establish normal spinal mobility, which in turn alleviates the irritation to the spinal nerve and/or re-establishes altered reflexes.
 

Conditions Treated

Chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical treatments to treat patients with certain types of:

Lower back pain and/or leg pain (sciatica)
Neck pain
Repetitive strains
Headaches

Sports injuries
Car accident injuries
Arthritic pain

While primarily focusing on treating neuromusculoskeletal disorders, chiropractors are not exclusively limited to problems with the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.

When appropriate, chiropractors refer patients to medical doctors or other health practitioners for treatment of lower back pain. Many chiropractors have a local referral network or work together with other spine specialists in a multi-disciplinary or multi-specialty spine clinic.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy uses music to address a number of emotional, cognitive, and social issues in people of all ages. It is often used with people who have disabilities or illness, but the healing benefits of music can be enjoyed by anyone and at any age. The process of making and listening to music can provide a channel for communication and expression that may go beyond what is easily expressed in words.

The therapist may also ask the client to listen to relaxing music to soothe stress and anxiety. Through their client’s musical responses, music therapists measure the emotional wellbeing, physical and mental health and communication abilities of the client to better understand the issues at hand and to formulate future treatment plans.

Because it is used on a wide-ranging number of people and issues, there is no one way to practice Music Therapy. Rather, the therapist decides what techniques are best suited to the individual client.

Therapeutic Effects of Music

Brain Waves

Research has shown that music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to resonate in sync with the beat, with faster beats bringing sharper concentration and more alert thinking, and a slower tempo promoting a calm, meditative state.

Breathing and Heart Rate

With alterations in brainwaves comes changes in other bodily functions. Those governed by the autonomic nervous system, such as breathing and heart rate can also be altered by the changes music can bring. This can mean slower breathing, slower heart rate, and an activation of the relaxation response, among other things.

State of Mind

Music can also be used to bring a more positive state of mind, helping to keep depression and anxiety at bay. The uplifting sound of music and the positive or cathartic messages that can be conveyed in the lyrics can all be routes to a new mental state as well.

This can help prevent the stress response from wreaking havoc on the body and can help keep creativity and optimism levels higher, bringing many other benefits.

Dementia affects more than 400,000 people in Australia. Inspired by the powerful effects of music in nursing homes, Lorna Prendergast undertook a Master of Ageing degree at the University of Melbourne. She graduated in July at the age of 90.

Prendergast enrolled in the degree after watching an ABC science program about music and dementia. She completed the course online from the Victorian town of Bairnsdale, overcoming technological hurdles that would challenge many others.

Music has also been found to bring many other benefits, such as lowering blood pressure (which can also reduce the risk of stroke and other health problems over time), boost immunity, ease muscle tension, and more.

With so many benefits and such profound physical effects, it’s no surprise that so many are seeing music as an important tool to help the body in staying (or becoming) healthy.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

You don’t need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits, and there are professionals that can work with you to dive into the underlying messages communicated through your art, which will aid in the healing process.

Art therapy can achieve different things for different people. It can be used for counseling by therapists, healing, treatment, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and in the broad sense of the term, it can be used to massage one’s inner-self in a way that may provide the individual with a deeper understanding of him or herself.

Why Would I Use Art Therapy?

As with most any therapy, art as therapy is generally used as a treatment for something – usually as a way to improve one’s emotional state or mental well-being. Expressive arts therapy doesn’t have to be used only as a treatment though. It can be used to relieve stress or tension, or it can be used as a mode of self-discovery. Many people can stand to use some sort of creative outlet.

Why Would I Use Art TDo You Need to be Talented?

Absolutely not. And you need not be “afraid” of expressing yourself through art. Though it may seem different and unnatural at first, it is typically because the individual is not used to communicating via the arts. The creative process can be one of the most rewarding aspects. Coupled with an art therapist, you should gradually, if not immediately, feel comfortable with this newfound form of expression. After all, the goal is not necessarily to create an art masterpiece.

Grounding: Exploring Earthing Science and the Benefits Behind It

Grounding, also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth.

This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body. This type of grounding therapy isn’t entirely the same as the technique that is used in mental health treatment.

Grounding can be performed inside or outside, with or without grounding equipment. No matter how you choose to perform grounding, make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings outside and use earthing equipment safely to reduce risks.

Why use grounding

There’s not much research on the benefits of grounding. However, people have reported improvement for conditions such as:

Chronic fatigue. In the study on massage therapists, many reported a decrease in their fatigue levels after four weeks of treatment with grounding mats.

Chronic pain. The study on grounding for exercise recovery found that those who used grounding patches reported lower pain levels.

 

Anxiety and depression. In one small study, it was shown that even 1 hour of grounding therapy can significantly improve mood.

Sleep disorders. The massage therapists also experienced an improvement in sleep length and reduce sleep disturbances with grounding therapy.

Cardiovascular disease. Results of one treatment study found that long-term self-administered grounding therapy helped to reduce blood pressure levels in participants with hypertension.

Some health professionals believe that the benefits of grounding therapy may come simply from feeling like you’re reconnected to nature. Regardless, there is little harm.

Types of grounding or earthing

There are many types of grounding. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with the earth.

1. Walking barefoot

Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot.

Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.

2. Lying on the ground

You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach.

You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach.

3. Submersing in water

According to advocates for grounding, water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding.

They suggest simply wading in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean as a way to ground yourself. As always, be sure to stay safe when swimming, especially in murky or deep waters.

4. Using grounding equipment

When going outside to ground yourself isn’t an option, there are alternatives. One method of earthing involves connecting a metal rod to the ground outside and then connecting the rod to your body through a wire.

If you’re not comfortable using a metal rod to ground yourself, there’s other grounding equipment available. This equipment is an effective way to incorporate earthing therapy into your daily life and includes:

grounding mats
grounding sheets or blankets
grounding socks
grounding bands and patches

You can find grounding mats, sheets, blankets, socks, and bands online.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine.

How long has aromatherapy been around?

Humans have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China, India, Egypt, and elsewhere incorporated aromatic plant components in resins, balms, and oils. These natural substances were used for medical and religious purposes. They were known to have both physical and psychological benefits.

The term “aromatherapy” was coined by a French perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé in a book he wrote on the topic that was published in 1937. He had previously discovered the healing potential of lavender in treating burns. The book discusses the use of essential oils in treating medical conditions.

How does aromatherapy treatment work?

Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products such as these:

diffusers
aromatic spritzers
inhalers
bathing salts
body oils, creams, or lotions for massage or topical application
facial steamers
hot and cold compresses
clay masks

You can use these alone or in any combination.

There are nearly one hundred types of essential oils available. Generally, people use the most popular oils.

Essential oils are available online, in health food stores, and in some regular supermarkets.

Each essential oil has an array of unique healing properties, uses, and effects. Combining essential oils to create a synergistic blend creates even more benefits.

Aromatherapy benefits

Aromatherapy has an array of benefits. It’s said to:
 

manage pain
improve sleep quality
reduce stress, agitation, and anxiety
soothe sore joints
treat headaches and migraines
alleviate side effects of chemotherapy
ease discomforts of labor
fight bacteria, virus, or fungus
improve digestion
improve hospice and palliative care
boost immunity

Top 8 Most Popular Essential Oils For Beginners

Lavender Essential Oil

This must-have essential oil for beginners is effective for so many different uses. The floral scent makes it one of the best smelling essential oils that is beloved by many. Although this oil is known for being mild and calming, a few people are allergic so it’s important to take care.

While most essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil, Lavender is safe to apply directly to the skin. For promoting healthy sleep, add a few drops to a diffuser and place in the bedroom before sleep. You can also diffuse it into a room for a calming scent that reaches the whole family.

Peppermint Essential Oil

One of the best smelling essential oils that almost everyone loves, Peppermint offers a myriad of health benefits as well as a boost of energy. Its minty scent is reminiscent of candy canes and fresh summer days.

Use in a cool mist humidifier during winter months for fighting colds and cleaning the air. Add a drop to a glass of water and use as a mouthwash. Place a few drops with a carrier oil and massage into sore or tired muscles.

Lemon Essential Oil

Who doesn’t associate the smell of lemons with something fresh and clean?! It takes about 50 lemons to make a small 15ml bottle of essential oil—and you can tell just by opening it.

Add a few drops of Lemon to water and white vinegar in a glass bottle to use as a disinfecting cleaning spray for kitchen counters and bathroom sinks. Apply directly to the skin for healing purposes (avoid exposure to the sun after use). Add a drop to a glass of water and drink it to give a boost to the immune system (of course you should only ingest oils that you know are 100% pure).

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The bright and somewhat medicinal scent of eucalyptus is minty with a hint of pine and sweetness. Some people describe the scent as sharp and clean, with a hint of camphor.

At the first sign of a cold or flu, place a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in a diffuser and breathe it in to ward off winter infections and fight sinus congestion. Or add to a pot of hot water, place a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage into tired and sore muscles.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Known from ancient times as a precious commodity, Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the resin of a hardy tree. This oil is more expensive than many, and works well when blended with other oils to make it effective for a variety of reasons. The scent is woody and clean with a warm and spicy tone.

Diffuse into the air in winter months to kill germs and boost your immune system. Apply directly to the skin on the face before going to bed to keep the skin healthy, prevent wrinkles and fade dark spots. Or apply to warts, moles, and other skin problems. Take a deep sniff of this oil after eating a heavy meal to aid with digestion, or prior to going to sleep to help calm and relax.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Another essential oil with a strong odor, tea tree oil is also commonly called ‘Melaleuca’. This scent is very medicinal and acrid with a camphorous odor.

Apply directly to cuts, scrapes, and acne in order to kill germs and promote healthy healing. Add a drop to a glass of water and gargle to kill germs in the mouth. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply topically to skin affected by athlete’s foot, nail fungus, or other infections.

 Chamomile Essential Oil

This oil has a sweet, flowery scent that some people compare to apple blossoms. It’s an earthy, straw-like smell that many people find to be mild and enjoyable.

Add a few drops to a cool mist humidifier and place in the bedroom to help calm and relax. Or add a few drops to a water bottle to create a pillow spray or room spray. Add a drop to your favorite herbal tea or apply directly to the abdomen to soothe digestive problems. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Rosemary Essential Oil

This essential oil has a strongly herbal scent that has a mellow undertone reminiscent of camphor. If you don’t like the scent, blend it with Peppermint or a citrus oil to cut the smell.

Add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet or abdomen to aid with digestion. Or apply to sore, achy muscles to help with pain. Place in a diffuser to bring a sense of peace and clarity to the room, reducing tension and fatigue. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.

90-year-old completes Master's degree on music and dementia

What is Nutrigenomics?

In the simplest of terms, nutrigenomics is the study and branch of genetic research of how foods affect our genes and how, in return, genetic variations affect the way we react to nutrients in foods.

Nutrigenomics can reveal a number of health-related issues that can help you better understand what fuels your body and what doesn’t. For example, nutrigenomics can help you understand if you’re lactose or gluten intolerant, what kind of diet can help you manage your weight and how your body processes nutrients.

By determining a diet that aligns with your genetic variants and body’s needs, you may find it easier to manage your weight and feel better from what you eat. For example, if you didn’t know you were gluten intolerant, you may not realize that those lethargic feelings and bloating were a result of the bread you were eating at lunch.

Or, nutrigenomics may help you determine that you need to eat more healthy fats in your diet, reduce your carbohydrate intake or eat more foods rich in a particular vitamin. With a comprehensive view of your body’s needs, you can ensure you choose the right foods that help you feel energized, healthy and full.

Why is Nutrigenomics Important?
Most professionals will tell you that staying fit and at a healthy weight is only 20% exercise and 80% diet. Regardless of how much you exercise, your diet plays a key role in your weight and your health, including your risk for type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, heart disease and cancer.

How Can I Use Nutrigenomics to My Advantage?

Today, the power of nutrigenomics can be used by just about anyone with DNA tests, like the Pathway FiT iQ and PathwayFit tests, which includes diet guidelines. This test looks at several factors, including:

  • Your eating behaviors. You’ll find out if your genetics make you more inclined to have a sweet tooth, crave snacks, have trouble feeling full and more.

  • Your food reactions. Learn how your body reacts to common foods to understand if you may be lactose intolerant, experience alcohol flush and more.

  • Your matching diet. Learn your genetic diet type, including your response to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 and omega-6 levels.

  • Your nutritional needs. Learn which vitamins you need to optimize.

  • Your metabolic health factors. Discover how your diet affects your cholesterol, including if you’re at risk for decreased HDL cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, elevated LDL cholesterol or elevated triglycerides.

Wim Hof method: Benefits of Cold Showers

Known Benefits of Cold Shower

Thousands of people from all over the world already incorporate cold showers into their daily routines. The main benefits reported by people who take cold showers regularly are listed below:

 

Reduced stress levels. Regularly taking cold showers imposes a small amount of stress on your body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. The hardening process helps you to keep a cool head, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation.

Higher level of alertness. Cold showers wake your body up, inducing a higher state of alertness. The cold also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, helping you concentrate. Cold showers thus keep you ready and focused throughout the day.

More robust immune response. Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the amount of white blood cells in your body. These blood cells protect your body against diseases. Researchers believe that this process is related to an increased metabolic rate, which stimulates the immune response.

Increased willpower. It takes a strong mind to endure the cold for extended periods of time. By incorporating cold showers into your daily routine, you are strengthening your willpower, which benefits many aspects of (your) daily life.

Weight loss. Research has shown that cold showers (and exposure to cold in general), in addition to increasing metabolic rate directly, stimulate the generation of brown fat. Brown fat is a specific type of fat tissue that in turn generates energy by burning calories. Cold showers, then, are an effective tool for people who are looking to lose a few pounds.

Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC

 

Joel Runyon is a javelin-throwing, world, traveling, triathlete set on doing impossible things in order to tell a great story with his life. A few years ago, Joel was an unemployed college grad who decided he no longer wanted to live a boring life. He made a list of all the things he used to think were impossible and then set out to do them. Joel created the Blog of Impossible Things and works to live a life of adventure and meaning. 
 

TEDxAmsterdam - Wim Hof - 11/30/10
 

TEDxAmsterdam - Wim Hof is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme coldness. He holds nine world records including a world record for longest ice bath. Wim broke his previous world record by staying for 1 hour 13 minutes and 48 seconds immersed in ice at Guinness World Records 2008. Hof describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to turn his own thermostat up by using his brain.
 

Cold showers are an important part of the Wim Hof Method. Although it may seem counterintuitive, these showers are actually beneficial for both your mind and your body. For the best benefits, incorporate cold showers into your daily routine. As this takes strength and dedication, Wim advises to gradually build up the duration and intensity. If you have no prior experience with cold showers, start with a regular shower and finish the last 30 seconds cold. You quickly notice that you are able to tolerate the cold more and more, and eventually cold showers and even ice baths become things you look forward to (trust us).

Sauna Improves Heart Health And Longevity

Saunas have been used for thousands of years and are still popular today. A sauna can help people to unwind and relax, and it may have other health benefits.

When a person sits in a sauna, their heart rate increases and blood vessels widen. This increases circulation, in a similar way to low to moderate exercise depending on the duration of sauna use.

Heart rate may increase to 100-150 beats a minute while using a sauna. This may bring some health benefits.

Possible health benefits

Easing pain
Increased circulation may help reduce muscle soreness, improve joint movement, and ease arthritis pain.
 

Reducing stress levels

As the heat in a sauna improves circulation, it may also promote relaxation. This can improve feelings of well-being.

Improving cardiovascular health

Sauna use may also be associated with lower blood pressure and enhanced heart function.

While studies may be promising, sauna use should not replace an exercise program to keep the heart healthy. There is more evidence to support the benefits of regular exercise.

 

Asthma

People with asthma may find relief from some symptoms as a result of using a sauna. A sauna may help open airways, loosen phlegm, and reduce stress.
 

Skin problems

A dry sauna dries the skin during use. Some people with psoriasis may findTrusted Source that their symptoms reduce while using a sauna, but those with atopic dermatitis may find that it worsens.

Lower risk of Alzheimer's?

In 2016, researchers from Finland published findings of a 20-year study that linked sauna use with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The study involved 2,315 healthy men aged from 42 to 60 years.

Those who used a sauna 2 to 3 times per week were 22 percent less likely to get dementia and 20 percent less likely to get Alzheimer's than than those who did not use a sauna. Those who used a sauna four to seven times a week were 66 percent less likely to get dementia and 65 percent less likely to get Alzheimer's than those who used a sauna once a week.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

THE EARLY DAYS OF MBSR
 

Elana's description of the beginning of the mindfulness movement, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn, and who can benefit.

MINDFULNESS & CANCER
 

Elana shares how mindfulness helped her through her cancer diagnosis and beyond.

Pioneering instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, along with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, Elana has been integrating mindfulness into daily life as a psychotherapist, certified MBSR teacher and leader in the mindfulness field since 1984.  Her authority and wisdom, forged through her surviving cancer and a stem cell transplant, and her many years teaching and helping others be well, brings an authenticity and depth to her work.

Elana is sought after internationally as a mindfulness coach and consultant, speaker, and workshop and retreat leader. An expert in adapting the MBSR program to a variety of diverse environments and populations, Elana creates inspirational lectures that she enjoys sharing all over the world.  She’d love to explore with you how mindfulness can be tailored for your group, organization or institution. 

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