Archive | August, 2017

Ringworm? It Makes Me Itch!

Contrary to the beliefs of other people, ringworm is not caused by worms. It is an infection caused by different types of fungi, depending on the infected body part. Generally, fungi that cause the ringworm itch tend to be found on moist areas of the skin. This is because fungi live in warm and moist environments.

The classic signs of ringworm are rashes or lesions accompanied by scaling. The infected area is also itchy. The rashes have red edges, which are usually elevated. Sometimes, the edges form a crusty surface. The center of the rash looks like a normal skin which can be sometimes scaly or shiny. With these characteristics, the rashes look like a ring on your skin. Thus, forms the name ringworm.

The ringworm infection can spread all over your body.

It can make your head itch. Ringworm of the scalp or tinea capitis infects the head area. It can spread out up to the back of your neck that causes swelling of your surrounding lymph nodes. Tinea capitis can be seen as patches on the head. This is really itchy, and it causes hair loss of the affected area. If left untreated, permanent scarring of the scalp can happen -permanent hair loss on the area too. This is commonly seen in children. In addition, ringworm can also infect your face (tinea faciei) and beard (tinea barbae).

It can make your body itch. Ringworm of the body or tinea corporis is characterized by the classic signs of ringworm. It is usually seen on the areas of abdomen, chest, shoulder, and back. This type of ringworm can rapidly increase in size if left untreated. In addition, your jock itch is also a type of ringworm. Its medical name is tinea cruris. It grows on the area of the groin which can spread up to the thighs. The color of the rashes in this area is reddish-brownish. It is scaly and shiny. You can have intense itch because the groin area is warm and moist.

It can make your hands and feet itch. Ringworm of hands (tinea manuum) and feet (tinea pedis) manifests the same characteristics. The infection is located on the areas between fingers and toes. These are scaly and itchy rashes. Sometimes, the infection can spread on the soles and make them thicker. Ringworm of feet is commonly known as Athlete’s foot. Additionally, your nails can be infected too. It presents a different set of symptoms that include yellowing and thickening of the nails. The infection can be itchy too. It is called tinea unguium.

The treatment for milder form of ringworm is usually anti-fungal cream. Some common medications that are used topically for ringworm are ketoconazole, miconazole, and cotrimazole. For more severe ringworm infection, oral antibiotics and antifungal medications are required. Selenium sulfide is also used for tinea capitis. Another medication used to relieve ringworm itch is tolnaftate. This cools down the ringworm and also prevents it from spreading.

These hassles can be avoided if you take measures to prevent contacting ringworm. As much as possible, avoid places that are hot. This may cause you to sweat more which make your body the perfect habitat of fungi. You also have to temporarily stay away from people infected with ringworm. But the most important prevention you can do is to have a good personal hygiene. Taking a bath everyday can wash off all the fungi and bacteria on your skin. Handwashing will also prevent you from getting ringworm. These measures, even though they are simple, will surely take you away from ringworm.

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Overcome Your Anxiety With Phosphatidylserine

Almost all of us deal with stress on a daily basis. Its clammy, familiar grip wrecks havoc on our insides: our hands get sweaty, our heart races, our stomach gets tied up in knots. None are immune. At home, at work, at school, worry can overwhelm us because stress-induced biochemical reactions are often beyond our control. They are an automatic response to some internal or external stimuli that puts our bodies on high alert. And in our hectic world, worry is all around us.

A modern malady

Like most bodily functions, stress has a positive, or at least protective, role to play in our lives. When we are in harm’s way, powerful stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin are released from the adrenal glands to give us the strength and energy we need to survival an ordeal. Called the fight-or-flight response, it has served humankind well – until now, that is. Why the sudden change?

Some experts believe that the frantic pace of modern life and all the stressors we are subjected have put us in an endless emergency state; one where stress hormones are coursing through our bodies when we don’t need them. This prolonged period of chronic stress can have both short and long-term effects on our health. One of them is the increased risk that we will develop an anxiety disorder.

The most common mental illness in America, more than 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. Most receive treatment in the form of powerful prescription medications designed to treat depression and related disorders. Although popular, these mood-altering drugs have a laundry list of serious side effects, including toxicity. In fact, nearly 30 percent of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. involve prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications! With numbers like those, it’s no wonder a growing group of anxiety suffers are embracing natural supplements.

What is phosphatidylserine?

Clearly, we need to find a way to manage our stress that does not involve addictive, potentially-deadly prescription medications. Both exercise and meditation have proven effective at inducing the release of hormones that reduce stress. However, they cannot combat the stress hormones that are already in our systems. To control cortisol and adrenalin from within, we need to fight it from without, through nutrition. One popular and effective treatment option is a nutritional supplement called phosphatidylserine. How does it work?

A vital chemical that is in every cell of the human body, phosphatidylserine plays a key role in maintaining cellular structure, especially in the brain. By keeping the billions of nerve cells in our heads healthy and secure, the nutrient helps them complete their signal-transmission functions. One of the many benefits of this action is enhanced memory, which can be compromised with age, injury, or disease. Because the body does not make enough of the chemical on its own, we must get phosphatidylserine from other sources, such as food and dietary supplements.

Well-tested for stress reduction

In addition to memory enhancement, clinical trials also found that phosphatidylserine helped alleviate mental and emotional stress. This unexpected discovery suggested that the supplement might be helpful in treating anxiety disorders. Of course, more testing was needed. At last count, there have been at least 3,000 research papers and 60 clinical trials on the benefits and function of phosphatidylserine, making it one of the most studied supplements around.

After cognitive benefits, the most common finding was a positive effect on mood when test subjects were put in stressful situations. These reports and observations were confirmed by significant reductions in stress hormones by subjects who were taking 400 mgs a day of phosphatidylserine. In particular, one study found that the nutrient helped reduce stress in young adults because it helped them better regulate fluctuations in cortisol levels. (The link between elevated cortisol levels and a reduction of stress-relieving hormones and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, has been firmly established.)This observation was corroborated by another study that found that phosphatidylserine kept cortisol levels induced by exercise and muscle stress comparatively low.

Effects

Because elevated cortisol levels over protracted periods can result in numerous health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, it behooves us to regulate them when under stress. Although its mechanism of action is poorly understood, testing has confirmed that phosphatidylserine can help lower cortisol levels, which may help alleviate anxiety by inducing the release of stress-relieving chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.

Dosages and side effects

As we mentioned, the nutrient is found in every cell of our bodies, making it completely safe for regular consumption. The only reported side effects are mild stomach issues from users who took more than the recommended dosage, which is 400-600 mgs daily, according to most sources. It should also be noted that there are natural food sources for phosphatidylserine, including herring, tuna, soft-shelled clams, and white beans. However, the average American gets far less than the recommended dosage just 75 to 184 milligrams a day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, supplementation is an attractive option for most folks.

Conclusion

A safe, natural, and ostensibly effective treatment for anxiety, phosphatidylserine is an increasingly popular alternative to powerful prescription medications. By regulating cortisol to healthy levels, the nutrient can help prevent a whole host of health issues, from heart disease to diabetes and high blood pressure. Not to mention the fact that phosphatidylserine acts as a neuroprotective in the brain, enhancing memory and recall in patients with cognitive impairment. All of this makes phosphatidylserine supplementation a no-brainer… Pun intended!

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Bodyweight Training – The Feared 8 Count Bodybuilders

Why do so many people fear the dreaded 8 count body builder? Because they are a brutal bodyweight exercise that have been used in the military by the Elite Navy Seals.

I have read and bought many books on military training on every part of the military. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and they all show the exercise the 8 count body builder as one of the exercises that help get them in great shape.

But one book a Navy Seal training manual talks about how every Friday they would have to do 1×100 of this brutal exercise. And how the Seals hated it, I read this many years ago when I was just making a transition from weight training to bodyweight training.

I thought how hard could it be? First time I did it I managed 60 of these bodybuilders and thought about never doing them again. But, there was no way that was going to happen I was on my own mission to do 100 in 10 minutes and accomplished it.

What made me want to know more about these and the fact that the author of the book left out the feared 8 counts out of the workout section because how brutal they are. I liked that. If he left it out because he hated them I wanted to do them.

It’s been many years and I still do them and it is still a feat to accomplish 100 in under 10 minutes. My best was 600 in 1 hour and 100 in under 15 minutes wearing a 40 lb weight vest.

These are tough workouts and the exercise will work your body pretty complete. I have combined 8 counts with bodyweight squats and also used a combo using bodybuilders and a jump rope, both are amazing fat burning and strength building workouts.

If you just managed 50 of these beast the average man would not be average anyone who is a little skeptical drop down for some right now and see how many you can get in 1 minute or 2 minutes I think you will be surprised.

The only down fall is that most people will never do them as a regular part of their workout, and the reason is they are very demanding. You can be like everyone else and do everyone else s workouts; you know the workouts designed by the average man for the average man.

You want to be elite? You train and do the exercises that the elite train with!

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The Truth About Hair

Getting your hair done is “energy” work, just like massage or touch therapy (such as Reiki or Raindrop). Think about how good you feel when you wash your hair. Do you feel a difference when you bathe and wash your hair, or just hop in the shower and don’t? The act of washing your hair makes you feel more balanced because you are working on your crown center (or crown chakra).

Your hair carries energy or vibrations in every strand–not just nutritional information or the drug residue we often hear about. Hair encompasses cell memory. Think about the length of your hair and contemplate a moment about what you are holding onto within your life. Do you have your hair cut regularly, or just trim the ends? Do you shave your head? I spoke with a beautiful woman about losing her hair due to cancer treatment. Rather than viewing it as a loss, I suggested she look at it as a “reset button” since her body is bringing in new vibrations and shifting the cancer consciousness. It is an excellent opportunity for her to bring in new energy and to “program” that energy (hair) with positive thoughts and affirmations.

I recently watched an old movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman.” I suddenly realized the military shaves all the old energy from the recruits! There are other circumstances where the head is shaved; perhaps a threat of lice infestation in prisons. But the other impact involves replacing one’s identity and cell memory with a new consciousness. As the affirmations “indoctrination” process takes place, the hair grows back with that shift in consciousness.

Back in the early sixties, Catholic women were required to cover their crown chakra with a hat or a veil. Monks would have the crown center shaved to open their crown to the God energy. Remember the stories of Samson and Delilah, or Repunzel. They symbolized strength and the power of hair.

Start paying attention to individuals who have changed their styles or kept their hair cut short. Consider those who shave their heads and those that never cut their hair. Are they part of a religious sect, or is it because of personal preference?

Why do I drive 35 miles from home to a particular salon to have Bryan apply my color and Tomi cut my hair? There is an amazing combination of expertise and personal energy on the premises. The energy they emit and the consciousness they hold influences my energy field while they work on my crown center. The crown center is the most open and powerful energy center on the body. Additionally, there is an exchange of energy within our conversation.

The energy of your hairdresser should resonate with your own personal energy. While you are sitting, the heart center and throat center of the hairdresser are in direct contact with your crown chakra and your third-eye center. This position creates the perfect environment to attract and absorb different energies from others. Pay attention to how you feel after you have had your hair styled. Does your hairdresser uplift your mood, or feed your fears? What is happening in that exchange?

Corporations, such as salons, strive to achieve a form of consciousness. They perpetuate energy into their products, their image, and their brands. Ultimately, their employees and customers reflect that same energy. Their products and designers reflect and use the products to provide a positive environment, making you aware of whom you allow into your energy field. Do you feel good and uplifted after getting your hair done? Or do you feel drained and tired; exhausted; or poor? Pay attention to the correlation, and make a shift to another salon, if needed!

Patronizing an upscale salon allows you to feel special as well as increasing your abundance/wealth consciousness. Are you spending adequate time and money on yourself? When you look and feel wealthy, you open yourself up to accept even more abundance, wealth, and opportunities into your life. Remember to take extra care of yourself–because you are worth it!

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Your Weight Loss Cheat Sheet

On your journey to the perfect body, your diet will make up most of your efforts. In fact, your diet will be about 75% of all effort that you put in! That is why it is so important to make the correct decisions on your diet.

Feel welcome to use this list as a cheat sheet for making healthier decisions. All food plays a part in your weight loss but those listed at the top will be of least importance and those listed at the bottom will be the most important.

Sweets

This group includes anything that has sugar such as candies, cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts and other desserts. You don’t have to cut this food group out altogether on your weight loss journey, as long as you keep the portions small. Foods in this group are often high in calories and low in nutrients so limit your intake to about 80 calories a day or about 560 calories a week.

Fats

The truth is that some fats are good for you, while others are really bad for you! Try avoiding fats such as saturated fats and trans-fats as these have often been linked to heart disease amongst other diseases! Instead, focus rather on the good fats that are found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and nut butter.

Protein

The best low-fat proteins you can find are low-fat and fat-free and include fish, skinless white-meat poultry, dairy foods, egg whites and legumes. Also, as an added benefit, proteins can also be a great source of fibre to help with the weight loss process.

Carbohydrates

This food group is primarily grains or food made up of grains. Whole grains will naturally be the better choice as they include more fibre. Examples of carbohydrates are whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal and brown rice. Just be on the lookout for the term ‘whole’ and you will be on the right track!

Vegetables

Vegetables are high in nutrients and fibre which and low in calories which is why they are a big part of any weight loss diet. Try sticking to fresh fruit, but failing that canned fruit will work just as well!

Fruit

Include as much fresh fruit in your diet as possible as this is the most important food group out there. Just like vegetables, try to stick to fresh fruit and avoid fruit canned in sugary syrup. If you can, stay away from fruit juice and dried fruit as these tend to have more calories and fewer nutrients.

No one type of food group can ever be discounted in the weight loss process as they all play their role in burning fat. Just remember that exercise can never be overlooked in any weight loss program And you should be aiming to get at least 30 minutes of exercise about 3 – 5 times a week.

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Foundation Wall Cracks, Cause, Effect and Solution

There are no perfect houses and that would include its foundation. Whether you have a new home or one that’s a hundred years old, house foundations crack. Houses shift and settle after construction. Houses will have cracks in either the cosmetic finishes or structural components. Most of these cracks have no structural significance. The common types of cracks in foundation walls will include;

Vertical (or near vertical) cracks; Just because a wall has cracked doesn’t mean that it has failed or that corrective action is required. If the crack is narrow (1/8 inch or less), is nearly vertical, has no lateral separation between the adjacent portions of the wall, and no water is leaking through the crack, no action generally is required. This is a shrinkage crack and occurs as moisture in the wall evaporates causing the wall to shrink into the voids created by the escaping water. This type of crack is controlled, or minimized but not eliminated by, using horizontal reinforcement steel, which helps distribute the stresses in the wall. If horizontal steel is present, you are more likely to get several very small cracks instead of one or two much wider cracks. Another method of limiting shrinkage cracks is to control the amount of water used in the concrete mix.

Reentrant Cracks; Whenever a concrete element has a sharp angle, there is a concentration of stress. This almost always results in a crack called a reentrant crack that emanates from the inside corner. It may be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal as it exits the corner. This phenomenon exists in nearly all materials. Round openings can dissipate the stress but this is not practical in concrete wall construction. The typical remedy to reduce this type of crack is the placement of steel reinforcement in the corners. It will not eliminate these crack but keep they tight and controlled.

Horizontal cracks; Horizontal cracks require greater scrutiny. Most residential foundation walls are designed to span from the footing or floor slab to the connection of the floor structure above. An 8-inch concrete wall in normal soil conditions usually is strong enough to withstand the forces exerted on the wall with no vertical reinforcement. Exceptions include areas with high ground water conditions or in expansive soil conditions. If there is vertical reinforcement in the wall, a horizontal crack is probably not a concern. An expert should be consulted when a horizontal crack appears to evaluate whether there is a structural risk.

These cracks typically result from one or more of the following;

1. Soil settlement beneath the footing resulting in downward movement of the footing, and shifting is common to most newly constructed homes.

2. Alteration of the local water table whenever a new home is built. Specifically, the soil beneath the home dries; the resultant soil shrinkage causes minor settlement of the footing which can result in hairline cracking in the foundation walls.

3. A new home, without of furniture and effects, does not impose a significant load on the foundation. Once all of your furniture and appliances are moved in, the weight borne by the foundation, and the structure in general, increases and causes some flexing (or movement) of structural members throughout the building. This increased load can cause hairline cracks in the foundation.

4. Drying shrinkage. While poured concrete is dries and hardens, it will shrink. The major factor influencing drying shrinkage is the total water content of the concrete. As the water content in poured concrete increases, the amount of shrinkage increases. Significant increases in the sand content and significant reductions in the size of the coarse aggregate used in poured concrete increase shrinkage because total water content is increased and smaller size coarse aggregate provide less internal resistance to shrinkage.

5. Thermal expansion and contraction of concrete. Concrete poured during high daytime temperatures will contract as it cools during the night, this can be sufficient enough to cause cracking if the concrete is restrained.

6. Restraint; The restriction of free movement of fresh or hardened concrete subsequent to the completion of placing (pouring of concrete) in formwork or within an otherwise confined space; restraint can be internal or external and may act in one or more directions.

7. Subgrade settlement or movement. The dropping of soil or the footing due to their mass, the loads imposed on them, or shrinkage or displacement of the underlying support.

Most foundation cracks are minor and insignificant; they are common to both poured concrete and block foundations. Structural cracks (horizontal) in residential foundations are usually the result of settlement and/or horizontal loading. They can be the result of hydrostatic pressure or the use of heavy equipment next to the foundation. The possible implication of cracks in your foundation is moisture penetration, moisture that can ruin finished wall coverings, floor coverings and furniture.

Water will leak through a foundation crack if there is enough hydrostatic pressure to force water through the crack. If a waterproofing system was installed during construction, the basement may not leak even if there is a large crack. Keep in mind that waterproofing is not the same as damp-proofing. Installing an exterior waterproofing system after the wall has been backfilled can be cost prohibitive. The best solution is the use of an epoxy injection system. It will adhere to the side of the cracks and actually may strengthen the wall. These systems can be DIY but is it highly recommended that they be applied by a professional.

If you take anything away from this article…take this. All foundations crack, your foundation, my foundation and most of these cracks are insignificant and have no structural implications. If you do have a concern about the size and type of crack call a professional to evaluate.

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Facial Exercises for Your Forehead, Eyes, and Lips

My previous article discussed the importance and effectiveness of facial exercises. Today, I will be showing you three facial exercises that will help you slow down the effects of aging. Keep in mind that facial exercises are done part by part in order to achieve the best results. In order to make this article brief and concise, I will be showing three facial exercises.

1.) Forehead – firm forehead will definitely enhance the way we look, and by doing facial workout focused on your forehead, you can keep it looking firm. You can do this exercise by placing both your index fingers above your eyes. While you are raising your eyebrow, keep pulling your eyes down. You can do this exercise everyday and repetitions can be done as much as you want.

2.) Eyes and Eyebrows – close your eyes and relax, and slowly move your eyes up and down. You can repeat this exercise for fifteen times or as much as you want. Now for your eyebrow exercise, sit straight, close your eyes and relax. Slowly lift your eyebrows while stretching your eyelids in order to keep your eyes closed.

3.) Lips – before doing this exercise, make sure that you have clean hands and that your fingers are clean. As soon as you finished cleaning your fingers, suck them as hard as possible, and remove them slowly from your lips while sucking. Repeat this exercise for at least 15 times in order to make your lips more firm, sexy, and attractive.

There are other facial exercises that should be done in order to slow down the effects of aging. You can look for my other articles regarding face exercises for more stretching and exercises. Always remember that these exercises cannot guarantee any improvements easily, but since they are free, easy to do, and nothing to lose, why not try it and see what these exercises can do for you.

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How to Remove Raised Moles at Home

Learning how to remove raised moles at home is possible. It is not necessary for you to go to your family doctor and to have them frozen off using liquid nitrogen. This type of procedure usually is very expensive because it’s not covered by a lot of insurance companies since it’s classified as being cosmetic surgery. I will outline a simple technique that you can try at home for getting rid of your moles that are not flat.

This special mole removal technique requires that you tie a piece of string around the part of the mole that is above the normal surface of your skin. I just wanted to warn you beforehand that there could be a little bit of pain involved with this method since the nerves in the mole are quite close to the surface of the mole.

You may have read already that some people have tried just tying a piece of hair around the base of their mole in hopes of cutting off the blood supply to the mole which will kill it off. I personally prefer to use a piece of dental floss to do so since it is much stronger in its more likely to be more sterilized than a dirty piece of hair from someone’s head.

Make sure that you clean the surface of your mole thoroughly before you try this method out. I will outline the story of how someone was able to tie off and to kill their mole.

This woman had a mole that was lumpy and itchy that was underneath her arm and she absolutely hated it. She was afraid to go to her doctor to have it chopped off so she decided to try out a home remedy on her own which consisted of tying a piece of dental floss around the surface of her mole. Some people state that this type of method could cause scarring but the scar is usually very tiny if you perform this procedure properly. If you have a mole that is underneath your arm and it is bothering you because it rubs against your clothing, you are a good candidate for this method.

Of course you should have your mole examined by a family doctor to ensure that it is not cancerous before you start to play around with it.

Now what this woman does did was to tie off her mole using the slip knot and then putting another knot on top of it using a piece of dental floss. The dental floss was actually cutting into her skin that was underneath the mole. She did feel a little bit of pain but it was bearable. It started to fill up with blood and it was necessary to place a bandage on top of the mole to protect it from getting infected. After a few days or so, the mole fell off and all was well.

As it mentioned above, it’s always advisable to get a troublesome mole checked by medical expert before you attempt any home remedy. Good luck with your goal to remove your moles and remember that if you are patient with home remedies, they may work well for you.

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5 Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips

As far as weight loss goes, you may have heard/read a lot of myths. People are suggested to do different type of activities and most of the activities are not based on evidence. However, over the years, experts found tons of strategies that can help you lose weight effectively. Given below are 5 of them.

1. Drink Water Before Meals

You may have heard that drinking water is good for people who want to lose weight. And this is true. Actually, water boosts your metabolism and helps you burn a lot of calories. According to a study, if you drink half a liter of water before your meals, you will lose a lot more weight.

2. Eat Eggs For Breakfast

You can enjoy a lot of benefits if you eat whole eggs. And one of these benefits is that eggs help you shed a lot of weight. According to studies, if you replace your grain-oriented breakfast with one or two eggs, you will have fewer calories for the following day. As a result, you will shed more weight and body fat.

For some reason, if you can’t go for eggs in your breakfast, you can go for another alternative. You can opt for protein as well.

3. Drink Coffee

Most people suggest that you should not drink coffee if you want to lose weight fast. But it’s not true. As a matter of fact, quality coffee contains antioxidants that offer a lot of benefits.

According to a lot of studies, coffee contains caffeine that triggers your metabolism. As a result, you end up burning more calories. All you have to do is make sure you don’t add a lot sugar or high-calorie ingredients as it will cancel the benefits of the coffee.

4. Drink Green Tea

Keep in mind that green tea also offers a lot of benefits. As mentioned earlier, it also helps with weight loss. Actually, green tea is heavy with a little bit of caffeine and catechins, which is an antioxidant.

Many experts believe that green tea can help you shed the extra pounds. So, it’s a good idea to drink green tea on a regular basis so you can achieve your weight loss goals.

5. Use Coconut Oil For cooking

Coconut oil is good for you. As a matter of fact, it has a lot of special fats known as medium chain triglycerides. They are metabolized in a different manner. Actually, these fats boost your metabolism and help you lose 120 calories in 24 hours. Apart from this, coconut oil helps you control your appetite. As a result, you can cut down on your calorie consumption.

Here it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to add this oil to what you already eat. What you need to do is replace your cooking fats with quality coconut oil.

Long story short, if you have been looking for some evidence-based weight loss tips, you may want to check out the 5 tips given in this article.

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There Is No Wrong Way To Meditate: Breathing Meditation

I never knew if I was meditating correctly. It’s hard to jump into something you’ve never done before, and when asking for guidance only finding ‘enlightened’ answers. I would ask if I’m doing it right, and all I would get is that there is no wrong way of doing it. You see, I needed confirmation along the way, that I was on the right path. What’s the point of picking up a habit, to realize when it’s set, that it’s the wrong one?

Well with meditation it’s somewhat true. There really is no “right” way of meditating, but there are certain techniques that can be followed. You will find that you enjoy one particular meditation style over another, and after you try a couple you will realize that there really is an underlying pattern; you really do end up clearing your mind.

So how does it work?

Well even though there are many ways to meditate, I will share with you my favorite one! I have first hand knowledge, and though I practice different forms of meditation at different times, I prefer this method. Now it would help if you were to think of mediation like you would of a workout. Is there only one way of doing cardio? Of course not! But there are proper ways to run, or to swim or to do jumping jacks, to ensure maximum efficiency. Is there only one way of losing weight or gaining muscle? Of course not, but there are rules to diets, and there are proper ways of breathing as you lift weights. With that let’s move on to:

Breathing Meditation

I place this one first because it is perhaps my favorite. I was fortunate to try Vipassana Meditation where I learned to sit still and, you guessed it, breathe! Begin by sitting in a dark room, preferably early in the morning, or late at night, when few outside noises would disturb you. Your objective is to pay attention to the sensations at the tip of your nose as you breathe in, and breathe out. You need to stay away from distractions, because, especially when you’re starting out, your mind will look for every opportunity to skip to something else. We live in a society where we expect our senses to be bombarded with stimulants, and your mind is ready to move quickly from one thought, or idea to another. Meditation fights that. You probably don’t pay attention to your thoughts as you go about your daily routines, but when you close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position and focus on the sensation of your breath at the tip of your nose, that’s when you notice how hectic your thoughts really are.

Now don’t worry if you have a lot of questions about the technique. It’s very simple, just pay attention to your breath. Even if you are doing it wrong (which you can’t) you will still be meditating. Meditation is focusing on something simple. That in turn places you in the now, and calms your mind, but it’s possible that until you experience it, you will be unable to relate. Still, I will share with you my experience, and you can give it a try.

My first time

Well let’s begin with me sitting in a room full of people that have been meditating in this way for years. I however listened to the instructions, closed my eyes, and started breathing in this meditative way for the very first time in my life. Since the technique seemed so simple, I felt that I needed to know if I was doing it right. I was able to follow along with the sensations as I breathed in and out, and then in again, and all of a sudden my mind was questioning the technique. I would again breath in and out twice or at most three times, and then I would imagine telling my friends about the mediation.

In fact, I probably spend more time thinking about anything other than my breathing, during my first meditative session. It’s natural though. That’s just the working of a busy mind. I learned to catch myself each time my mind would trail off, and bring it back to observe the sensations at the tip of my nose. I would go for longer stretches at a time, now maintaining my focus as I inhaled 6 times, then longer, and longer still. This process was long. I tried not to move and was uncomfortable. I couldn’t keep my mind focused so I grew frustrated with my seeming onset of ADD, but eventually I improved.

For me meditation is just a repetitive task, and a successful technique is one whose effects I feel upon completion. My mind did feel clearer and I was more relaxed, every time I finished meditating.

Good luck and I hope you really enjoy your meditative experience.

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