With thousands of people gearing up to run the iconic Auckland Marathon this Sunday, there’ll be a lot of pasta-eating and nervous scrambling happening in Kiwi homes on Saturday night. You’ve done your training, now it’s time to relax. Trust the hard work you’ve put into this over the last few months. Here are five last minute tips before you toe the start line on Sunday morning…….
Often when I complain to my therapist about how stressed out I am by a problem I’m having, she says a variation on the same thing: “Well, like all Ashkenazi, you have a lot of inter generational trauma. You know, because of everything that’s … happened.”The effects on longevity showed up for the sons of men who were imprisoned in 1863 and 1864, when conditions in POW camps were especially bad. Crowding was extreme—each man was said to have had a grave’s worth of square footage to himself—and deaths from diarrhea and scurvy were common…….
We seek affection, try to establish a connection, or attempt to communicate a need. Various cultures use touch in various ways to display tenderness or respect, and other non-human primates use it to create a connection and establish social hierarchies. Recently, however, some experts have expressed concern that Western societies are experiencing a moment of crisis,as physical touch becomes more strictly regulated and we are less and less likely to engage in social acts such as hugging…….
For the past year and a half, Keith Taylor and his wife have adopted a lifestyle that includes fasting on a regular basis. “For six days per week we don’t eat until around 5 pm, but eat as much as we want and whatever we want from 5 pm until we go to bed. It is not a diet in the classic sense — we do not restrict WHAT we eat or HOW MUCH we eat, but rather just WHEN we eat,” Taylor said in an email. Since the Taylors have been intermittently fasting, often called just IF, they’ve maintained a healthy body weight, been more alert and energetic, experienced less stress, and are less prone to getting sick.While Taylor admits that whether or not he will live longer as a result of his eating pattern is a “good question,” but he feels optimistic…….
If motivation is your hang-up, change your exercise routine every 14 days. A University of Florida study discovered that people who modified their workouts twice a month were more likely than to stick to their plans compared to those who changed their regimens whenever they wanted to. Boredom didn’t appear to be a factor; it seems people simply enjoyed the variety more……..
Garlic is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a number of ways to treat various health issues and enhance the condition of the entire body. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a very common ingredient in many remedies for fighting diseases and recovering.
A rather interesting fact is that Chinese people in the old days used to suck on for garlic as a candy for 3 minutes every morning.Namely, this procedure is extremely beneficial. Garlic contains a great number of healthy compounds, which, due to this method, enter your organism through saliva and clean the blood vessels.
After keeping it 3 minutes in the mouth, you should throw the garlic candy. Then, in order to lessen the strong smell, wash your teeth or chew on some coffee bean or parsley.
The shocking ways that tight hips are holding you back…that you won’t believe
Here’s the truth: Most people don’t realize the cause of their problems is tight hip flexors.
The impact the hips had on the whole body never occurred to me until I saw the effect of tight hip flexors had on the health and well-being of my wife after she gave birth.
It was only then that I truly understood the magnitude of the problem.
We’re not just talking about a bit of soreness; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems such as:
Nagging joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
Walking with discomfort
Hips locking up
Sluggishness in day to day life
Compromised Immune System
Loss of sexual performance
Lack of Explosiveness in the gym or sports
If any of these sound familiar to you, don’t worry because you’re not alone.
Tight hip flexors affect nearly everybody, but few realize the impact on your whole body.
Again, everything flows through the hips.
Think of the hips as a barometer. The health and flexibility of your hip muscles are an indicator of the strength and health of our whole body.
And at the very heart of this is the “hidden” most powerful survival Muscle. When this muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
Introducing The Body’s Most Powerful, Primal Muscle… … That You’ve Never Heard Of
Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.
Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas.
It’s often called the “mighty” psoas (pronounced so-az) for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body.
The psoas is the only muscle in the human body connecting the upper body to the lower body.
The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.
A functioning psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.
When it functions well, it has the power to…
… help you achieve peak performance day after day after day.
… rapidly drop ugly body fat that stubbornly clings to your body.
… train harder, heavier and gain strength faster than you thought possible.
… hit your peak of sexual health.
… flood your mind and body with renewed energy and vigor.
Put simply, this muscle is the core of activity in your body. So, when it’s out of balance or if the psoas tightens, there are serious consequences which flow throughout the body.
And there’s one activity, in particular, that’s the sworn enemy of your psoas muscle…
Loosening Your Hip Flexors Can Actually Be Easy With the SEQUENTIAL FLOW Method
Like unfolding a sheet or unpacking a parcel, opening up the muscles in your hips requires it to be done in the right order.
Try to release one muscle before another and you’ll add to your tightness. Getting it wrong really can make it worse.
It’s why so many people give up trying to fix the problem themselves and believe incorrectly that they have to live with the problem. But hoping the problem will go away by not exercising is just as damaging.
To explain in more detail about this flow, let me introduce you to leading Kinesiologist and Injury Specialist Rick Kaselj, MS.
Rick is “THE” guy fitness professionals go to when they want to learn about the latest techniques to help their own clients. He’s given over 352 live presentations to more than 8,152 health professionals in the US and Canada.
I first met Rick when he helped me fix a shoulder problem. He was one of the few injury specialists I met who helped athletes by focusing on getting them back to training, rather than avoiding workouts.
Rick showed me what so many other injury specialists hadn’t – how to work through the right sequence of techniques to unlock the tension and tightness in my muscles to properly solve the problem.
He’s the guy I turned to when my wife, Courtney, was struggling with pain and discomfort in her hips after the birth of our son Lincoln.
In the days and months following the birth, she experienced pain in her legs and discomfort when walking and sitting. She was struggling to sleep.
In just 15 minutes working with Rick, he’d successfully unlocked her hip flexors so she no longer felt any pain or discomfort that day. She was able to walk without experiencing the nagging pain in her pelvic area. She could sleep better and could start enjoying those precious days with a little one at home.
But Rick’s “flow” technique doesn’t only help those in pain.
At Critical Bench, our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson felt his hip flexors were a little tight (from sitting and answering training questions on facebook too much) and tried the same routine Rick had used with my wife. Within days, Chris successfully increased his deadlift by 35 pounds to finally hit that 500 pound pull he had been training for. All because he got to experience the sequential flow of movements that Rick developed to release his hip flexors.
It’s not about the exercises.
The power of Rick’s technique lies not only in what techniques are performed and how well, but in doing these in the proper sequence.
Done effectively, the sequential flow works with your body to
activate its natural healing process, improve flexibility
while adding strength and vitality.
While many of the techniques were ones I already knew, doing the movements in the right order unravels all the tissues including muscle, fascia, connective tissue, and the joint capsule while breaking up scar tissue.
Using the right sequence kick starts an increase in blood flow to the area to clean out metabolites and lactic acid and reduces inflammation while nourishing and rejuvenating the area.
I’ve seen, with my own eyes, the power of Rick’s techniques on my wife and our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson.
That’s why I asked Rick to share with you the very same program so you too can help to unlock your hip flexors and gain all the benefits.
We’ve shot these 10 exercises with explanations from Rick on perfect form and exactly how to target that hard-to-reach psoas muscle. The video content is split in two:
The first is a Coaching Instructional Video where Rick takes you in detail through each exercise, so you fully understand why you’re doing that exercise, the best form to take and how it should feel. The second video is a Follow Along format designed so you can perform the flow alongside the video without breaking for explanation.
You’ll receive a highly targeted manual with greater depth about the psoas muscle and the effects of its shortening on your health and well-being. It also includes detailed descriptions of the exact exercise movements with pictures.
You will experience immediate results the very first time you go through the program.
Only through learning how to do this properly will it enable you to start undoing some of the damage done to your psoas and start helping the body to naturally heal itself.
But first a warning…this isn’t for everyone.
As you can imagine, this is a hugely technical field. The last thing we wanted was to overload you with too much, so we’ve done our best to distill the program to the most essential elements so you can experience rapid results.
I guarantee you’ll not find an easier program to pick up and start using as part of your everyday routine or workout.
When you’re in the middle of a grueling long-distance run and the pain and fatigue is becoming overwhelming, an obvious strategy is to try to force the subjective experience out of your mind, for example by thinking nice thoughts or focusing on the environment around you. The trouble is, as the physical struggle intensifies, the distraction strategy becomes harder and harder to pull off.
According to a new paper in Motivation and Emotion, an alternative approach that holds promise is to practice “cognitive reappraisal” – don’t ignore the sensations as such, but try to view them in a dispassionate way, as if you are a scientist studying running or a journalist reporting on the experience.
The researchers, including Grace Giles and other members of the Cognitive Science Team at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, recruited 24 healthy runners (aged 18 to 33, and including 15 women) whose lifestyle included completing at least one run of over nine miles per week.
The runners visited the research lab on three occasions, each time completing a 90-minute treadmill run, keeping their heart rate in the range of 75 to 85 per cent of their maximum – a level classified as “vigorous exercise”.
The first visit, the runners were given no specific instructions to follow in terms of how to cope with the challenge. On the second and third visits they were told to either use “cognitive reappraisal” (to adopt a neutral, detached attitude toward the subjective experience, like a scientist or journalist studying it) or “distraction” (thinking about things besides the run). They also received reminders through the run to use whichever strategy was allocated for that session.
Based on psychological measures they completed before each run, every 30-minutes during, and again afterwards, the participants felt they were exerting themselves less when they followed the “cognitive reappraisal” strategy and they experienced lower levels of emotional arousal, as compared with the run in which they were given no coping instructions.
This was despite maintaining the same pace and heart-rate. In contrast, the distraction instructions appeared to make no difference to feelings of exertion or emotional arousal compared with the control run.
Giles and her team said their results are “relatively novel” and support previous findings that suggested distraction is an unreliable technique. “Instead cognitive reappraisal may benefit exercise experience relative to not using a cognitive strategy,” they concluded.
The findings come with some hefty caveats. Based on the researchers’ own manipulation check that involved asking participants to say which of several statements best described their thought processes during the runs, the participants did not actually engage in cognitive reappraisal during the cognitive reappraisal run.
That said, the researchers reconsidered the statements they’d previously identified as reflecting cognitive reappraisal and decided they weren’t really appropriate – at least not to in relation to how they’d framed cognitive reappraisal in their instructions. On further reflection, they felt the runners’ choice of descriptive statements did suggest they had practiced the strategy adequately after all. They may be right, but these post-hoc gymnastics make the study findings feel less convincing.
Another issue to bear in mind is that these were fit, experienced runners – their average rating for their exertion during the runs was “somewhat hard” and they generally found the experience enjoyable. The findings might not generalize to less fit runners or more arduous challenges.
On a positive note, however, especially if you are new to running or finding it tough, the researchers reckon that both the emotion regulation strategies they tested might have a greater benefit for runners who usually find the experience less enjoyable.
We rely on energy to get through the day, the week, the year. We know that losing out on sleep can leave us feeling drained, but sleep deprivation is only one of a long list of possible reasons behind feeling exhausted.
The following are some of the typical pitfalls which will cause chronic fatigue:
You don’t drink water. Even slight dehydration will cause a drop in energy level. This may be surprising, but dehydration actually makes your blood thicker, meaning your heart has to work harder to pump oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs, ultimately slowing you down.
You don’t eat breakfast. It’s not called the most important meal of the day for nothing! Skipping breakfast can often leave you feeling lifeless the rest of the day. We rely on breakfast to kickstart our metabolism after a goodnight’s sleep. The body continues to burn through food and nutrients even as we sleep, leaving our stores depleted by morning. A meal shortly after waking up is important to replenish these depleted energy stores and re-energize the body.
You have a drink to unwind. Many adults enjoy an alcoholic beverage after a long day of work, to help them unwind before bed. However alcohol can actually interrupt your sleep at night. Initially, the alcohol will depress the nervous system and produce a tranquilizing effect helping you to fall asleep. But as it breaks down while you sleep, it gives your body a surge of energy, likely to wake you up at night.
You stay up late on weekends. Altering your sleep cycle on the weekends can leave you feeling tired by the time Monday rolls around. It is unrealistic to expect people to stay in on the weekends to avoid a case of the “Mondays,” but trying to stay close to your regular bed time, or at least wake time, is essential for your body. Keeping your sleep patterns regular will keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.
You check your phone in bed. The light given off by your most prized electronics – phones, TVs and tablets – can actually throw off your sleep cycles. Your body typically follows the rule of if it’s bright it’s time to get up, if it’s dark it’s time for sleep. The glow from the modern tech devices that surround us can keep us awake for longer, and make it difficult for our bodies to wind down.
So you know what you are doing wrong, but what can you do to boost your energy levels throughout the day? The best way to keep energy up is to eat well. The general rule of thumb for high-energy foods is to eat those high in fiber, but low in glycemic index.
Glycemic index (GI) measures the variation in blood sugar levels according to foods consumed. Foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to have a low GI. Consuming foods with high GI will cause a spike in blood sugar and energy, translating to a jolt of energy followed by a crash. This constant up and down will leave you exhausted. For this reason we look to foods with low GI to create a sustained level of energy.
Here are some foods that will give you that much-needed boost:
It is important to remember that energy not only refers to physical strength and alertness, but mental health as well. Whether the issue is committing yourself to too many social obligations, or always saying yes to a new project at work (even during your time off), it is important to take time for yourself. It is easy to overlook stress and anxiety as a cause of prolonged fatigue, but this can be both physically and emotionally taxing.
Getting outdoors, meditating, and regular exercise boosts strength, endurance, and energy. This movement not only delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, but provides an influx of endorphins, boosting both your energy and mood!
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Five scientific studies on the phenomenon of how empathy works.
As a psychiatrist and an empath, I am fascinated by the science of empathy and how the phenomenon of empathy works. I feel passionately that empathy is the medicine the world needs right now.
What is empathy? Empathy is when we reach our hearts out to others and put ourselves in their shoes. However, being an empath goes even further. Like many of my patients and myself, empaths are people who’re high on the empathic spectrum and actually feel what is happening to others in their own bodies.
As a result, empaths can have incredible compassion for people, but they often get exhausted from feeling “too much” unless they develop strategies to safeguard their sensitivities and develop healthy boundaries.In my book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, I discuss the science of empathy. These will help us more deeply understand the power of empathy so we can utilize and honor it in our lives.
1. The Mirror Neuron System
Researchers have discovered a specialized group of brain cells that are responsible for compassion. These cells enable everyone to mirror emotions, to share another person’s pain, fear, or joy. Because empaths are thought to have hyper-responsive mirror neurons, we deeply resonate with other people’s feelings.
How does this occur? Mirror neurons are triggered by outside events. For example, our spouse gets hurt, we feel hurt too. Our child is crying; we feel sad too. Our friend is happy; we feel happy too.
In contrast, psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists are thought to have what science calls “empathy deficient disorders.” This means they lack the ability to feel empathy like other people do, which may be caused by an under-active mirror neuron system. We must beware of these people because they are incapable of unconditional love.
2. Electromagnetic fields
The second finding is based on the fact that both the brain and the heart generate electromagnetic fields. According to the HeartMath Institute, these fields transmit information about people’s thoughts and emotions. Empaths may be particularly sensitive to this input and tend to become overwhelmed by it.
Similarly, we often have stronger physical and emotional responses to changes in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and sun. Empaths know well that what happens to the earth and sun affects our state of mind and energy.
Similarly, we often have stronger physical and emotional responses to changes in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and sun. Empaths know well that what happens to the earth and sun affects our state of mind and energy.
For instance, one crying infant will set off a wave of crying in a hospital ward. Or one person loudly expressing anxiety in the workplace can spread it to other workers. People commonly catch other people’s feelings in groups. A New York Times article stated that this ability to synchronize moods with others is crucial for good relationships.
What is the lesson for empaths? To choose positive people in our lives so we’re not brought down by negativity. Or, if, say a friend is going through a hard time, take special precautions to ground and center yourself. These are important strategies you’ll learn in this book.
That could explain why they are more content with alone time, reading, and meditation and need less external stimulation from parties and other large social gatherings. In contrast, extroverts crave the dopamine rush from lively events. In fact, they can’t get enough of it.
The fifth finding, which I find particularly compelling, is the extraordinary state called “mirror-touch synesthesia.” Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two different senses are paired in the brain.
For instance, you see colors when you hear a piece of music or you taste words. Famous synesthetics include Isaac Newton, Billy Joel, and violinist Itzhak Perlman. However, with mirror-touch synesthesia, people can actually feel the emotions and sensations of others in their own bodies as if these were their own. This is a wonderful neurological explanation of an empath’s experience.
The Dali Lama says, “Empathy is the most precious human quality.” During these stressful times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even so, empathy is the quality that will get us through. It will enable us to respect one another, even if we disagree.
Empathy doesn’t make you a sentimental softy without discernment. It allows you to keep your heart open to foster tolerance and understanding. It might not always be effective in getting through to people and creating peace but I think it’s the best chance we have.
(Adapted from The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD, which is a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.)