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Friday, March 26, 2010

Foods help us in stress management

Today's fast going life gives us stress and depression, which we are used to face for hours, days, months and years. But prolonged and unnecessary stress can harm us badly. For stress relief we are usually suggested to keep our life simple, adopt technique to stay tension free and take medicines in some severe cases.

Eating can be a form of stress relieves and at the same time it aids in boosting our immune system. Stress relieving food is a way we can use to promote healthy emotional functioning of our immune system. Certain foods eaten can increase our stress levels whereas some foods can aid in relieving stress.
Food can help us stay stress free and healthy. We know that low-fat, high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables are good for our health as they soothe us without sapping our energy and give us the nutrients we need to boost our immune system.

Foods to Include in your diet:
High-fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods: Scientists believe carbohydrates cause the brain to produce more serotonin, a hormone that relaxes us. And lots of fiber is helpful in preventing late-night binging. Some examples of healthy comfort food include baked sweet potatoes, minestrone soup, or sautéed vegetables over rice.

Fruits and vegetables: The vitamins and minerals of fruits and vegetables can calm the nervous system, control blood sugar levels and help the body cope with stress.
Chronic stress can weaken our ability to fight disease. By upping our intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, we can boost our immune system. Acorn squash and carrots, for example, are great sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene. And citrus fruits provide plenty of vitamin C, another stress-busting antioxidant.
You may add these foods in daily diet plan for stress relief: 
banana, nuts, Quinoa (Keen Wah)-A super food from South America, Brown rice and pasta, ginger tea, porridge, hot water(this might seem like a strange stress relieving tool but it works), vegetables, and salad (Salad can be a great way of giving the stomach a rest from rich food)
Foods to Avoid for stress management

High-fat foods: Fatty foods such as meat or cheese dishes and many baked goods thicken our blood which in turn makes us feel tired, even lethargic. This is clearly not a good way to reduce stress! Even just one high-fat meal can increase our risk of a heart attack.

Caffeine: Many of us deal with a stress-induced lack of sleep by turning to coffee, tea, and colas. Unfortunately, caffeine stays in our systems longer than many realize. Cutting back on caffeine can help with both sleeping problems and jitters.

Sugar: As a carbohydrate, sugar tends to calm us. The problem with sugar is that it's a simple carbohydrate so it enters and leaves the bloodstream rapidly, causing us to, in effect, "crash." On the other hand, complex carbohydrates?such as pasta, beans, and lentils, the starchy parts of foods?soothe without bringing us down.

Useful sites and links:
'Stress reducing receipes'

* 'Nutrition MD'

* How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress

* Stress Management for Effective Ways to Manage Stress

* 7 foods to relieve stress

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hand massage techniques for better result

Either you adopt the acupressure therapy for diagnosis purpose or self healing you need to know correct massage techniques for better and quick results. These techniques are equally beneficial for beginners or regular practictioner of acupressure therapy.

Hand Massage Techniques

You may use all these techniques in one session, or just one technique, e.g. Pressing, or two techniques, e.g. Rubbing and Pressing.

1. Rubbing: Begin by briskly rubbing your hands (palms) together to warm them up and generate energy (qi) in them. Also rub the back of each hand (including fingers) with the palm of the other hand.

2. Squeezing: Use your thumbpad and outside edge of your index finger to squeeze each finger and thumb on the other hand, one by one, from base to tip. Use firm but not painful pressure. Do this 2-3 times per finger/thumb.

3. Pulling: Use your thumbpad and the outside edge of your index finger to grasp the base of each finger and thumb on the other hand, one by one, then quickly pull down towards the tip while maintaining firm but not painful pressure. Do this 2-3 times per finger/thumb.

4. Pressing: Use the tip of your thumbnail to press and stimulate points on the opposite hand. Use this printable hand reflexology chart to locate common hand pressure points. Apply vertical pressure to each point with your thumbnail (or sometimes your fingernail). Press until you feel no more than a comfortable pain. Hold the pressure and knead the point with very small circular movements. Do this for 1-2 minutes per point. Repeat 1-2 times a day.

Choosing Points for Pressing

If you haven't already, download a copy of the printable hand reflexology chart (see above link) first. All hand pressure points are bilateral, i.e. they're located on both hands. Generally, you would massage 3 or 4 points (on both hands), 1-2 times a day. Hand pressure points do adapt to stimulation though, so after 7 days stop for 3 or 4 days. If your condition and symptoms persist, continue for another week (or more), OR choose new points to press and rub.

Hand Reflexology Contraindications

The main hand reflexology contraindications are as follows:

* Pregnancy, especially in the later stages. Pressing some hand points can cause uterine contractions. Unless you are experienced with hand massage it's best to avoid it during pregnancy, or to consult a qualified massage therapist or acupuncturist
* Use carefully or not at all in potential surgical conditions such as acute appendicitis
* Don't do it on broken skin or if there are infected sores or lesions on the hands


Download link: printable-hand-reflexology-chart.pdf

More useful links:

* How to Do Self-Massage

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to get self healing from acupressure

I have completed a short acupressure course from a local expert of this therapy and after some practice I can diagnose myself or use the self healing process for the purpose. Acupressure points of your palm become tender or painful relating to the part of body which is an indication that there is some pain or abnormality at that body system or part.

After diagnose, self healing is a very easy process. You just need to put pressure with the help of your finger tips, thumb or with wooden tool(specially made to apply pressure).

How to Start?

Look for sore areas. If a point is sore, it needs work. You should feel sour or numb, but not knife-cut like pain when pressing. The acupoints are usually between or beside the bones and tendons orligaments, on in a depression, never on the bones or blood vessels. If a point is not sore, leave it alone. Fingerpressure will work but most people get a better Healing Response using acupressure tools. They allow morepressure to be applied with less work, stress and potential damage to the massager.

If a point is very sore,press only as hard as you can tolerate do not overdo it this is not a contest. You must be the judge on this.Light pressure for a longer period will give you the same results. Some people who are larger or less sensitivethan others, may need more pressure to activate the healing response.Treatments have a cumulative effect. Sometimes lasting results are immediate, but most often it takes a while.

Each time you activate the healing response it brings the system closer to normal. If you do not get aresponse quickly you can increase the frequency of treatment. Increasing frequency is more effective thenincreasing the duration of treatment. Three or four times a day or even once an hour is OK. It does not mean that the treatments are not working if the pain comes back. This is normal. Eventually you will reach a point where the pain does not retur

* How to apply acupressure

How long you should apply pressure on effected points?

Firm pressure is the most fundamental technique. Use thumbs, fingers, palms, the side of the hand, orknuckles to apply stead; stationary pressure. To relax an area or relieve pain, apply pressure gradually andhold without any movement for several minutes at a time.

One minute of steady pressure (when appliedgradually) calms and relaxes the nervous system, promoting greater healing. To stimulate the area, applypressure for only four or five seconds. Slow motion kneading uses the thumbs and fingers along with theheels 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 bodyinto the muscle as you press to make it soft and pliable. This relieves general stiffness, shoulder and necktension, constipation, and spasms in the calf muscles.

Brisk rubbing uses friction to stimulate the blood andlymph. Rub the skin lightly to relieve chilling, swelling, and numbness by increasing circulation, as well as tobenefit 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 aloose fist. This can improve the functioning of nerves and sluggish muscles in the area. Obviously this type ofmassage would be difficult to apply to yourself. But with the proper tools you can treat most of your body'slocations effectively.

* Use acupressure charts

- Pressing too hard and too quickly can damage tissues and create more problems.
- Pressing too soft will do little to relieve the problem.
- Use gentle steady pressure and gradually increase it until the body responds back with a significant pain response.
- The point with pain is telling you something is wrong but not to the point where your body tenses more from the pain.

More at: The right amount of pressure

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