Gokhale Method: Banish Pain by Relearning Proper Posture

Gokhale MethodStory at-a-glance

Proper posture and properly using your body to work against gravity is the foundation upon which everything else related to your health is built

The Gokhale Method addresses the root cause of physical pain, which is typically caused by improper posture. The method teaches you to reclaim your primal posture, which is the way your body was designed to stand, sit, and move

Conventional advice tells you Continue reading

Exercise Helps Your Immune System Protect Against Future Cancers

If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise probably isn’t at the top of your list. However, there is compelling evidence that exercise can not only help slash your risk of cancer, but can also help cancer patients get well sooner, and help prevent cancer recurrence.

Research has also shown it may help minimize the side effects of conventional cancer treatment. Continue reading

Top Healing Foods that Stop Ovarian Cancer in its Tracks

Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly diseases out there. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women — an astounding 14,000 out of 23,000 diagnosed each year, die. Ovarian cancer tends to be aggressive and generally has very few symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. Fortunately, several natural remedies have proven to be exceptionally useful in both preventing and curing this silent killer. Ginger, ginkgo biloba, green tea and flaxseed are all remarkably effective Continue reading

Ghee – This is Butter that Is Good for You

To some it’s known as clarified butter, to others it’s the golden elixir of healing – ghee is a staple ingredient in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic healing known for its versatility, great taste, and many health benefits. It’s derived from butter through a process of cooking off its milk solids until it becomes an easily digestible, healthier alternative to butter and oil, and it can be used for cooking or as an ingredient to add flavor and richness to foods such as kitchari.

Cooking benefits

Excellent cooking oil – Since ghee doesn’t start smoking until it’s heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, it will neither burn nor splatter easily. Its chemical structure also remains more stable than other oils when heated.

Stores well – Thanks to its low moisture content, ghee can go weeks without refrigeration. It can last up to six months in the fridge or one year in the freezer, according to the Ayurvedic Institute. Continue reading

How Yoga Can Improve Your Sleep

Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years, originating in India. As a spiritual system, it focuses on obtaining a higher state of consciousness while releasing your spirit from suffering. As is the case in most religious practices, there are differences in the belief systems, but mainly yoga is an ascetic philosophy in which people achieve purity by withdrawing from the world.

There are different components in a complete yoga system governing individual wisdom, spiritual belief and ethical behavior. Out of all of them, it is the physical practices of “hatha” yoga that have caught on most successfully in the West. Almost all of the types of yoga we recognize are geared toward improving the body. Relaxation and reducing stress are involved in the practice as well, but many people are focused on fitness and flexibility.

There are many styles of hatha yoga: slow and gentle, exercises using props, power yoga, and a new trend in the yoga world where participants do yoga in a room as hot as 105 degrees F. (The latter is known as “bikram” yoga and it would probably be best to wait until Continue reading

Heart Risk possibilities for those with Touching Toes

In addition to measuring flexibility, touching your toes may indicate your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Performance on sit-and-reach tests can be a sign of the risk of an early death heart attack or stroke among people 40 years old and older, according to a study in the American Journal of Physiology.

Since arterial stiffness often heralds cardiovascular disease, a test of how far you can reach beyond your toes from a sitting position could be a quick, easy, inexpensive indicator of how stiff your arteries are.

“Our findings have potentially important clinical implications because trunk flexibility can be easily evaluated,” said one of the authors, Kenta Yamamoto. “This simple test might help to prevent age-related arterial stiffening.”

Although it isn’t known why flexibility of the body in middle age and older would be related to arterial flexibility, the authors speculate that stretching exercises may trigger physiological reactions that slow the stiffening of arteries connected with aging.

Healthy blood vessels are elastic, and elasticity helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Arteries stiffen with age, and stiff arteries are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death. Previous studies have shown that physical fitness can delay arterial stiffness and the authors of this study theorize that a flexible body could be a quick way to determine arterial flexibility.

The researchers divided 526 healthy, non-smoking adults ages 20 to 83 into three age groups: young (20-39), middle aged (40-59), and older (60-83), to perform a sit-and-reach test. They sat on the floor with their backs against the wall and their legs straight. They slowly bent forward and reached out with their arms. They were classified as either poor or high flexibility, depending on how far they could reach.

The study found that trunk flexibility was a good predictor of artery stiffness among middle age and older volunteers but not among the younger group. They also found that systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure that occurs when the heart contracts) was higher in poor flexibility than in high flexibility groups.

“These findings suggest a possibility that improving flexibility induced by the stretching exercise may be capable of modifying age-related arterial stiffening in middle-aged and older adults,” Yamamoto said. “We believe that flexibility exercises, such as stretching, yoga and Pilates, should be integrated as a new recommendation into the known cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise.”

However, there are other possibilities as to why bodily flexibility should be an indicator of arterial stiffness, including the possibility that the amount of collagen and elastin, which makes muscles flexible, also makes arteries flexible.

Active Elders Live Longer: Study

JERUSALEM – Older adults who exercise seem to live longer and have a lower risk of disability, says a new study.

Jochanan Stessman and colleagues at Hebrew University Medical Centre and its Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, studied 1,861 individuals born in 1920 and 1921.

Participants underwent assessments in their homes at ages 70, 78 and 85 years during which they were asked about their physical activity levels.

Those who performed less than four hours per week of physical activity were considered sedentary.

Those who exercised about four hours weekly, performed vigorous activities such as jogging or swimming at least twice weekly or who engaged in regular physical activity (walking at least an hour daily) were considered physically active.

The proportion of participants who were physically active was 53.4 percent at age 70, 76.9 percent at age 77 and 64 percent at age 85.

Compared to sedentary individuals, those who were physically active were 12 percent less likely to die between ages 70 and 78, 15 percent less likely to die between ages 78 and 85.

Seventeen percent were less likely to die between ages 85 and 88. They were more likely to remain independent and experienced fewer declines in their ability to perform daily tasks.

The benefits associated with physical activity were observed not only in those who maintained an existing level of physical activity, but also in those who began exercising between ages of 70 and 85.

“Although the mechanism of the survival benefit is most likely multifactorial, one important finding was the sustained protective effect of physical activity against functional decline,” the study authors write.

Physical activity arrested the decline by improving cardiovascular fitness, slowing loss of muscle mass, reducing fat, improving immunity and suppressing inflammation, says a Hebrew University release.

These findings appeared in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Touching Toes May Indicate Heart Risk

Touching Toes May Indicate Heart Risk

In addition to measuring flexibility, touching your toes may indicate your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Performance on sit-and-reach tests can be a sign of the risk of an early death heart attack or stroke among people 40 years old and older, according to a study in the American Journal of Physiology.

Since arterial stiffness often heralds cardiovascular disease, a test of how far you can reach beyond your toes from a sitting position could be a quick, easy, inexpensive indicator of how stiff your arteries are.

“Our findings have potentially important clinical implications because trunk flexibility can be easily evaluated,” said one of the authors, Kenta Yamamoto. “This simple test might help to prevent age-related arterial stiffening.”

Although it isn’t known why flexibility of the body in middle age and older would be related to arterial flexibility, the authors speculate that stretching exercises may trigger physiological reactions that slow the stiffening of arteries connected with aging.

Healthy blood vessels are elastic, and elasticity helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Arteries stiffen with age, and stiff arteries are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death. Previous studies have shown that physical fitness can delay arterial stiffness and the authors of this study theorize that a flexible body could be a quick way to determine arterial flexibility.

The researchers divided 526 healthy, non-smoking adults ages 20 to 83 into three age groups: young (20-39), middle aged (40-59), and older (60-83), to perform a sit-and-reach test. They sat on the floor with their backs against the wall and their legs straight. They slowly bent forward and reached out with their arms. They were classified as either poor or high flexibility, depending on how far they could reach.

The study found that trunk flexibility was a good predictor of artery stiffness among middle age and older volunteers but not among the younger group. They also found that systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure that occurs when the heart contracts) was higher in poor flexibility than in high flexibility groups.

“These findings suggest a possibility that improving flexibility induced by the stretching exercise may be capable of modifying age-related arterial stiffening in middle-aged and older adults,” Yamamoto said. “We believe that flexibility exercises, such as stretching, yoga and Pilates, should be integrated as a new recommendation into the known cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise.”

However, there are other possibilities as to why bodily flexibility should be an indicator of arterial stiffness, including the possibility that the amount of collagen and elastin, which makes muscles flexible, also makes arteries flexible.