Migraine Headache Causes and Cures

More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches which can be classified as severe and often disabling headaches. A typical migraine headache will give a warning sign before its onset, such as tingling in your limbs, seeing blind spots or flashing lights. You will know when you are experiencing a migraine headache because they are accompanied by most, if not all of the following symptoms. Severe pain either on one side or both sides of the head, pulsing head pain, worsening head pain with any activity, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and not being able to function regularly. While seeing flashing lights or blind spots are a common warning sign of a migraine, some sufferers experience these symptoms throughout the entire duration of their headache. This is classified as a classic migraine and, along with the above conditions, the person will also experience weakness and speech problems along with zigzagging lines in their eyes. If a migraine is left untreated, the pain can last from four to 72 hours, which can cause huge disturbances in a persons normal life.

Although doctors are not 100 percent sure what causes migraines to occur, there are something’s that are known to trigger these headaches. These include, fluctuations in hormones; many women claim that their migraines worsen just before a period or during menopause and pregnancy. Certain foods can also trigger migraines, such as alcohol, cheese, chocolate, aspartame and caffeine which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and most soft drinks. To avoid migraines as best you can, try keeping a diary of the foods you eat and record how they made you feel afterwards. After a couple of weeks doing this you should be able to see what foods that are triggers for you, therefore telling you which foods to avoid. Other triggers can include stress, changes in the environment and certain medications.

To prevent migraines try avoiding trigger foods, as well as exercise regularly, cutting down on estrogen producing drugs if you are a woman, and quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. All of these things can help you avoid migraines, but if you do happen to get one, try over the counter pain medications or talk to you doctor about prescription drugs that are right for you. Good over the counter medications include Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin and similar drugs. If you have been drinking alcohol in the past 48 hours, you should not take Tylenol as it can cause serious liver damage. Also remember that you should never give Aspirin to a child because it can cause Reyes Syndrome (a potentially fatal illness in children).

Awakening Your Chakras Tips

Chakra awakening is highly a debatable topic, with two distinctly different schools of thought. The answer could be, “Yes” or “No”, depending upon which school of thought you are trained in.

Firstly, let’s cover the side that would say, “Yes” to helping you share the experience of Chakra awakening. There is no shortage of detailed information, made available by enlightened Yoga enthusiasts like Anodea Judith.

Anodea Judith has made a Chakra balancing kit available, which gives a tour of the seven main Chakra system, detailed exercises, meditations, a workbook, and the path to Chakra awakening. She also has more books available, confers with other enlightened Yoga enthusiasts, and teaches workshops on this very subject.

There are many other books and audio/video on this subject by a variety of knowledgeable authors and enlightened Yoga practitioners. All of this information is easy for the public to “get their hands on.” So, here is a school of thought that believes this information should be shared and has gone out of its way to mass produce this information.

On the other hand, some Yoga teachers do not want the negative and positive qualities, within each Chakra, to be casually explored by students, without a competent Yoga teacher present. This is with the student’s safety in mind.

Furthermore, the amount of previous Yoga experience a student has is a factor in being able to control emotions, such as fear, lust, anger, and depression that can come boiling to the surface as a result of a Chakra awakening.

When, or if, a student is ready for Chakra awakening, should be determined by the teacher; this is not for every student. Some students put pressure on themselves, which may lead to anxiety, causing negative qualities of the Chakras to surface, during an awakening.

In summary: One of the results of steady Yoga training is that we can get a better handle on our emotions than most. We also realize that we are not enlightened or perfect all the time. If you want to experience Chakra awakening with an enlightened Yoga enthusiast, you should seek out a competent Yoga teacher, who is willing to help you.

You could also get similar guidance from a Reiki teacher or Reiki master. Reiki teachers are very familiar with the Chakra system and very helpful. If it is not possible to work with a Reiki master, and you have been regularly practicing Yoga for at least two years, the Chakra balancing kit, I mentioned above, gives you step-by-step guidance toward awakening the Chakras.

Lastly, this is not a race, and please don’t put pressure on yourself toward self-perfection.

 

The Health Benefits of Qigong

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The word ‘Qigong’ is made up of the two words ‘Qi’ (breath or gas in Mandarin) and ‘Gong’ (technique or work). Thus Qigong basically means ‘breath work’. Qigong, therefore, is a technique of traditional Chinese medicine involving the regulation and coordination of breathing patterns to ensure good health.

Qigong is believed to be the result of decades of struggle by the Chinese people for survival.

It was noticed that certain breathing techniques used in conjunction with mental concentration greatly improved bodily functions. Qigong has also borrowed heavily from Taoism and Buddhism. Thus religion and spirituality plays a very important role in Qigong techniques. Some forms of Qigong even believe that an individual can attain higher levels of accomplishment only if he is very virtuous.

Traditional Chinese medicine operates on a simple but effective premise – that of ‘Chi’. Chi is the energy or life force that travels through the human body and suffuses all our organs with health and well being. When this flow is blocked or disturbed, there is a disturbance within the system that manifests itself as a disease. According to tradition, all that a doctor has to do to restore good health is to analyze the reasons for the block and to take measures to facilitate the free flow of energy once again.

Qigong teaches an individual to live in such a way that the free flow of energy happens always, so that he is free from diseases. As the two words indicate, Qigong deals with the manipulation of breath to achieve and maintain robust health. This art has found a strong role in the martial arts of ancient China where people had to mobilize energy and stamina in coordination with the physical act of breathing.

This Chinese healing art is an effective form of alternative medicine that uses a series of gentle focused exercises to coordinate the mind and the body. It is believed that most people use only a small portion of the energy within them. Most people get sick because they do not breathe properly. These two facts have been juxtaposed in Qigong, where proper breathing helps bring good health. As such, Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes. But rarely the doctor also uses Qigong for therapeutic purposes.

In the modern world, millions of people all around the world practice Qigong for maintaining their good health. Qigong and other related arts are still associated with meditation and martial arts. But as opposed to the past, these people are no longer the sole custodians of the intricate techniques involved in Qigong. These techniques have become so popular now that medical Qigong has been officially recognized as a medical technique in China.

The practice of Qigong began nearly 5,000 years ago. Today there are almost 3,000 forms of Qigong. Tai Chi is just one of the more popular forms.
Western medicine accepts that Qigong can improve the overall health and vitality of a person. But the religious connotations that are lying just below the surface have often proved to be a matter of controversy. But there are no two opinions regarding the level of effectiveness of this practice.

Best Natural Depression Techniques

Depression  affects the mind, often leaving the person suffering from it feeling hopeless, ambitionless and unable to focus. Left untreated, this condition can adversely affect academic achievement, family life, friendships and careers. People tend to seek help from a mental health professional who often just prescribe mood balancing drugs. Most, however; use an alternative form of medicine for a more natural treatment in tandem with drug therapy. Milder cases of depression can be treated solely with natural remedies without the need for prescription drugs.

Therapy is a great way to restore balance in your life. Seeking help from others who have similar issues will provide a support system to discuss issues, understand symptoms, and develop techniques to feel better. Often talking is very cathartic and can help alleviate stress and loneliness, which may cause feelings of depression.

Therapy that involves personal expression has been found to provide an outlet for pent-up feelings and can be a positive way to articulate deep feelings and emotion. This can take many forms. Dance is a great outlet for this as well as other movement therapies such as martial arts. Martial arts teach focus, self awareness, and control which can greatly benefit someone suffering from depression. Using art as a form of therapy is another expressive form of therapy. Whether it is sculpting or painting or any other variation of art, it’s a way to expose feelings in a tangible way.

Relaxation techniques help a person focus and gain a sense of serenity. Yoga is an ideal form of exercise that melds the body, mind, and spirit. It promotes good health, a positive self image and teaches relaxation. Meditation is also a good way to relax and unwind. It reduces the heart rate and clears the mind, allowing more focused thought. Acupuncture has grown in popularity as a means to treat depression. By using various pressure points, it is believed to enable a calming effect and promote a healthier emotional balance. Hypnosis is also popular as a means of getting to the core issues of why someone is depressed and leaving them with a sense of well being.

Certain dietary changes and supplements have been reported to be helpful in the treatment of depression. Adding fish oil, Zinc and B vitamins are found to help the body regulate chemicals that may trigger depression. Exercise is also very important. Keeping active will rejuvenate the body and keep it fit, promoting a healthier lifestyle and better self image. Working out several times per week can calm the senses and invigorate the body.

Depression does not need to be debilitating. Making a few changes to your daily routine will help promote a sense of well-being and help alleviate symptoms of depression. If you continue to have feelings of depression or have severe symptoms like suicidal thoughts, consult a health care professional immediately.

 

 

 

10 Quick and Effective Relaxation Techniques

A few good relaxation techniques can save your life, because stress is more than just unpleasant. It’s also dangerous to your health. Disciplined practices such as meditation can help relieve that stress, but what if you don’t have the time or motivation? Maybe you need to try a few of these simple ways to relax.

1. Hug it out. Giving a hug means getting one. As long as it’s from somebody you don’t mind hugging you, this really can be relaxing.

2.Change your routines. Go talk to that guy sleeping on the bench, or eat lunch on the roof. Just doing anything that breaks you out of your habitual patterns can relieve stress.

3.Take a nice, hot shower. It relaxes your muscles, and any break from more stressful activities can help too. Some find that an alternating hot and cold shower is even more relaxing.

4. Try watching your mind. Spot the stressors lurking just below the surface (hunger, worry, a phone call you need to make), and you can resolve them and feel more relaxed. If you practice this mindfulness exercise, it may become one of your favorite relaxation techniques.

5. Laughter. Your own experience shows that this helps you relax, right? Go find a guy that knows all the best jokes, or find something funny in front of you.

6. Relaxing Music. Keep your favorite relaxation CD at the office, in the car, or wherever you’ll need it most.

7. Leave the room for a while. This can really help if the things in the room or related to it are triggering your stressful thoughts. Why not get out for a little while?

8. Deep Breating. Try five deep breaths through your nose. Close your eyes and pay attention only to your breathing while doing this. It’s like a mini-meditation, and perhaps the most effective of the quick relaxation techniques.

9. Drink some herbal tea. Chamomile tea seems to have a calming effect on the nerves. Any hot tea without caffeine may be relaxing.

10. Walk a while. If you have at least ten minutes to spare, walking is one of the best relaxation techniques. While you’re at it, find a pretty place to walk.

Naturally, it is ideal if you can change yourself, so you’re naturally more relaxed all of the time. Perhaps the thought of the work involved in this just stresses you more. In that case you might have to take it slow, so why not start with one or two of the simple relaxation techniques above?

Quick Tips To Combat Procrastination

I’ve been meaning to write an article on procrastination for a little while now, but I just haven’t found the time to get around to it. What an opening, right?

Do you frequently find yourself putting essential tasks off until tomorrow, later, or never instead of doing them today? If procrastination has worked its way into your life, it may be time to change the way you think about your tasks and goals and begin to utilize better ways of tackling those things you’ve been procrastinating on.

As you can imagine and probably know from personal experience, when you procrastinate it not only affects the task but it can also affect you emotionally and bring on feelings such as guilt, inadequacy and stress.

There are many reasons that you may procrastinate. Poor time management, anxiety about a certain task and being bored by a certain task are just a few of the reasons that people procrastinate. In the end, procrastination usually leads to more stress.

Here are some tips for overcoming procrastination and building momentum:

Can you approach the task differently? Always be mindful of how you approach tasks. Ask yourself: Do I need to use a different technique? Will a new way of approaching this task make me feel better? How can I get some JOY out of starting this project? We all work in different ways and are inspired by different things. Find what works well for you and go with it.

Be sure you have what you need: Make certain that you have the right information, equipment and energy level to enable you to complete the task.

Plan, plan, plan: Did I say Plan? The time we spend in preparation and planning to see a task to completion is imperative. Set a time limit for yourself. Put a deadline on your tasks and work to reach that deadline.

Break it down: Big projects can feel overwhelming. Break them down into the smaller subparts. You’ll get more done if you can do it piece by piece. Even the most dreadful tasks can be done in small increments.

Boost yourself up: Give your own motivation a good boost. Trust in your strengths. Take a moment to reflect upon other tasks that you have accomplished and feel good about! Keep reminding yourself that you can be successful!

Reward yourself: Celebrate and let yourself enjoy the completion of your tasks (large or small). It is important to never minimize your accomplishments.

Overcoming procrastination can be done and it usually involves both better organizational and time-management. You can start overcoming procrastination now and in the process, feel much better about yourself. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be surprised at how much joy, exhilaration and sense of accomplishment is on the other side of procrastination.

The Beginner Cheat Sheet On Guided Meditation

The Beginner Cheat Sheet On Guided Meditation

You should be using guided meditation because many people not only use it to relax after a busy day, but also to tune into their bodies and minds. Since days have become more stressful, the benefits of meditation are more important and useful than ever. Anyone can fin comfort, safety and bliss in a few minutes of guided meditation a day. With the help of a guiding voice, many people who are new to meditation have found it easy to achieve a much needed quiet moment throughout the day. Guided meditation helps you focus your thoughts and block out any distractions in order to experience the pleasure of silence and focus. The voice assists you and keeps you on track. Guided meditation helps to follow the stages of meditation, allowing a person to go as deep into the process as he or she decides they would like to go.

The benefits of properly guided meditation span all the way from relieving headaches to relaxing stiff/cramped muscles to a simple moment of pleasure, satisfaction and silence. Over-stimulation and stress are two of biggest problems people deal with on a daily basis. These daily stressful situations and the exposure to too many thoughts and activities can seem to be normal and accepted conditions that everyone takes for granted as routine. Although most people are dealing with these situations on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean that these situations do not still put stress and tension on the body and mind. There are many people who may feel stressed and hopeless about their current home or work situation. Most people think that a vacation or a break from their daily lives is the way to relive this stress. However, this only offers a temporary fix from the anxiety of many people’s lives. In order to have the ability to deal with the stresses that life can put on our bodies  and minds, we can turn to guided meditation to assist in handling our daily lives with ease, patience and a clear mind.

By creating a moment(s) in the day to connect our mind, body and soul in a calm and hushed manner, many people can cut down significantly on stress. Guided meditation can help a person to realize the many options he or she has when dealing with the daily tensions of the workplace or home environment. By possessing the foundations of guided meditation, the situations that can usually seem impossible to stay calm through can now seem easy to think through and figure out.

Guided meditation is a great way to help a person just beginning the process to concentrate better and easily achieve the full benefits of a meditative moment. Guided meditation can also help advanced meditation students to hold their concentration and learn new and more developed techniques to make their minds and bodies go deeper into the meditative state.

There are many websites and mobile apps that provide quick and effective guided meditation for beginners or anyone who would like to try it on their own. A couple of my favorites are:

Calm and Stop, Breathe, & Think