Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

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No Health. No Wealth. Getting Our Priorities Straight October 21, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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A sharp mind and a healthy body are fundamental to success in life and career. If your are in a business that demands critical decision making, stamina and a positive attitude, being healthy is particularly important.

How many of us these days suffer the stresses of long hours, multitasking and back to back deadlines. In addition to business and career pressures, we have family and community responsibilities pulling from every direction.

The stress that such a lifestyle can produce is enough to challenge the strength of your body and mind.

When you are unable to attend a critical business meeting due to a health issue, your colleagues will surely understand, but make no doubt about it, there will also be a certain level of disappointment and dissatisfaction in the atmosphere. If this becomes a pattern for you, their tolerance will swiftly fade.

A common cold, headache or twisted ankle can reduce you performance and jeopardize an important project. Imagine what a major illness could have on your plans.

So in addition to the hard and soft skills needed for success in your career, your health should be considered as a major asset to success in whatever field or venture you pursue.

Start viewing your health as part of your resume or as a key resource in you business plan.

Take proactive steps to make sure you prepare yourself physically, psycho-emotionally and socially to handle the challenges of your busy life.

Preventive health practices that foster and support vitality, clear thinking, restful sleep and and good digestion, should be included in your arsenal of strategies for business success.

Here are some key practices to help you obtain and maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

  • Be sure to get enough sleep each night. Condition your sleep cycle by getting in bed at the same time every night.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Don’t treat your diet as casually as you do a trip to the toilet. Eat fresh, whole foods that sustain, energize and heal you naturally. Be sure to supplement your diet with super food snacks & herbs that fill in the nutritional gaps in your main meals.
  • Make exercise a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a 60 minute sweat fest. I0-20 min. of vigorous exercise, 3-5 days a week, will keep you in shape once you’ve attained a healthy level of fitness for your age.
  • Your body is your personal temple. Keep it as clean as a house of worship erected as a dwelling space for divine. Inside and Out.  Add a seasonal detox and a regular trip to the sauna to your health maintenance schedule.
  • Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. Address any situation that has become a distraction directly. Then let it go and move on. Present your case in a calm but direct face to face or written messages that expresses your concerns.
  • Make time to share, consult, support and be nurtured by your social network. Whether family or friends. Make sure you are not isolated and have a circle of people to connect with who are not involved in your career.

The old attitude of putting your health on the back burner because your business comes first, is passe.

The compartmentalized model of life is slowly fading into the sunset as the integrated model that connects all aspects of our lives into one whole re-emerges on the opposite horizon.

Allow it to become your path to wealth, wisdom and good health.

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7 Seasonal Adjustments to Balance Your Health-Fitness Routine October 8, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 9:43 pm
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I was sitting on my back porch today. Soaking up the last rays of warmth before the sun dips further south. Most of the trees here are still pretty green. There are some scattered red and orange beauties, making their transition. And the few golden-yellow giants in the distance confirm that the first chill is not far away.

Autumn, more commonly known as fall is a season in which “things fall apart.” The leaves fall from the trees and fruit from the vine. Signaling the time for harvest, in-gathering and grounding.

The wise woman & man recognize the change of season as a shift in the energy governing the earth’s life, health and strength. To take advantage of the spirit of the season, it’s necessary to adjust our schedules, activities and diets to our environment.


Here are 7 suggestions to help get the most out of the cool-drying nature of Autumn.

1.Earlier to bed, later to rise.

Like the Sun, we can benefit by shortening our day. Add an extra ½ hour to your down time. You can add thirty minutes at each end of your rise and retire cycle or use the time for internal work like reading scripture/spiritual literature, contemplating nature or the stars, writing in your day/dream journal.


2.Nutrients in, garbage out.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and colon energy correspond to the fall season. Extra attention should be given to balancing any deficiencies in their function. Clean your nostrils each morning with the aid of a Netty pot, using slight sea salted water. Reduce your intake of mucus forming foods. Use expectorant herbs as a cordial tea to keep the lungs clear. The skin is a direct extension of the colon. Brushing the skin with a loofah or other wet brush will exfoliate the dead skin and stimulate circulation. Eat locally grown, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetables to help clean the colon. In some instances, a colonic may be in order.


3.Fall back.

Reduce the intensity, length or frequency of your fitness regime. Harvest and begin storing life force in your energy channels to sustain you in the cold season when the sun will be scarce. Try one of these suggestions- if your working out 6 days a week, give yourself an extra day of rest. Train for 40 min. instead of an hour. Don’t increase your max weight or cardio/duration until the spring.


4.Work your inside game.

Increase you meditative and energy exercise time. Move from the outside in. The internal martial arts are excellent for balancing and fortifying your inner bodies. Practice standing and moving meditation forms to ground your mind-body. Release excess toxins into the earth, so that they can be transformed into life-sustaining energy. Yoga and Chi Kung are among the most popular forms practiced in the U.S. today. Find a teacher now and use the fall/winter seasons to build the foundation of your practice.


5.Enjoy the harvest.

Eat foods that are locally in season. Apple picking opportunities are available on farms throughout the east coast of the U.S. right about now. Take the family, get all the apples you can eat and have a blast doing it. Eat as much fall harvest food as you can: artichoke, arugula, broccoli, endive, beets, broccoli raabe, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicories, cranberries,eggplant, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, scallion, green onion, leeks, okra, pears, peppers, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkin, radish, spinach, sweet potato, turnips, squash and zucchini.


6.Baton down the hatches.

Start fortifying your residence against the coming wind and cold. Seal the windows and doors. Stock up wood for the fireplace. Stock up on rock salt for melting ice. Have your furnace serviced. Flush the radiators. Flush all gas powered garden equipment. Prepare to bring in the potted plants. Put away your garden hoses. Cover the swimming pool. Rearrange furniture to take advantage of the warmth of light from southern windows. Change your wardrobe. Put away the spring/summer clothing in exchange for the cold weather gear. Winterize your car.


7.Give thanks.

When we harvest the benefits of our hard work, we have to keep in mind that very little is accomplished alone. There are forces helping us both seen and unseen. Be grateful for all of the people who support, encourage, guide and challenge us. Give thanks to whatever force you hold to be “greater than yourself”, for allowing you an opportunity to live another day and make your unique contribution to the world. There is someone in the world right now, that would give anything to be in your shoes . . . . . . literally.


Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Above quote by permission of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.


 

Removing the Obstacles to Health and Fitness Success June 5, 2010

Filed under: Health,Personal Development,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:20 pm
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As a health & wellness professional, I am privileged to serve in the capacity of a catalyst for change.  Most clients are interested in things like weight loss, chronic disease prevention, post rehab. training, stress management, pain management and some want to totally transform their lifestyle to attain and maintain better health.

Far too often, I encounter people who are prevented from pursuing their health goals with passion due to both real and imaginary obstacles. Obstacles that make their goals seem impossible.  One real obstacle to pursuing a healthy lifestyle is finances.

There are still many Americans living on subsistence wages who find it very difficult to shop for the best food or find housing in an environment that is healthy for their families.  Spending money on organic food, spa treatments and fitness training, even in a group setting is out of the question. The working poor are still a reality in this country.

Another major obstacle that can thwart a healthy lifestyle transformation is a defeated mindset. In many cases the people with financial instability also suffer from poor mental models that inhibit the manifestation of their desire to change both their financial situation and their poor health.

Health in it’s totality is a reflection of an organism which embraces and exudes love, peace and happiness. These are experiences that are not limited to our physical being. They require an integration of our personal, social, environmental and universal beings.

I am convinced that this integral approach is needed in order for people to achieve the healthy life they truly desire.  So I have decided to expand the scope of my service to embrace a personal development model that educates and coaches individuals and groups in the mindset, skills and strategies that lead to a lifestyle that fosters and enhances not only health, but wealth and wisdom also.  Thus, Healthy Wealth-Wise.

I know that the experts would advise against such a move. Expert wisdom is to specialize and reduce your scope of practice. Fortunately, I am not an expert.  I know that I am tackling an enormous problem and that is exactly why it will be an extraordinary accomplishment for me.

My success in this venture will allow me to impact the lives of a greater number of people and exercise presently underutilized talents as an educator and coach.  Leading to a greater sense of accomplishment and wholeness for both myself and those I serve.

To accomplish this refocusing and retooling of my business model, I have enlisted the services of Goals and Accountability Coach Vernon Muhammad and his Six Weeks to Sunrise Teleseminar, to guide and support me through the process of producing Extraordinary Results.

So stay tuned for new themes and topics in future post. But don’t despair if you have come to look forward to the health related post I’ve been writing.  Without Health, how could we enjoy or wealth or share our wisdom.

muchpeace,
Kazi

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com

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Sitting Bull April 20, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 9:22 pm
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A healthy lifestyle addresses all of the aspects of our lives that contribute to our ability to thrive physically,socially and psychologically. No stone should be left unturned. These three components of our lives are integrated.  They support each other, inform each other and work together as a unified whole that is the cornerstone of true health.

As you already know.  I am a stickler for efficiency when it comes to health and healing power tools (strategies, techniques). I am a believer in the acronym KISS: keep it small and simple.  So anytime I find a tool that is not only safe, effective and efficient, but addresses more than one of these crucial areas of our being at once. I incorporate it into my way of life. One essential power tool that I discovered over 30 years ago and have been committed to for over 20 years is the practice of meditation.

Meditation practice addresses the physical body through relieving stress and resetting the sub-conscious, life maintenance faculties of our being, in the way that you re-start your computer after a minor crash.

Meditation teaches us patience and to pause the constant ego chatter that prevents us from truly hearing and connecting beyond our own self interest, without becoming a slave to tribal, common senser standards of right and wrong.


Meditation also acquaints you with that part of your self that is quiet, non-judgmental and most important enduring.  The part that is always and forever in the here and now, which is all there is. Making this acquaintance is the key to mind health and to tapping the wealth of the psyche.

Here is another simple meditation practice you can begin today.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet space.
  2. Sit erect, but not tense on the edge of your seat.
  3. Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly (your chest and shoulders should not rise and fall).
  4. Mentally scan your body from head to toe for areas of tension and release them.
  5. Now, begin counting backwards from 100. Counting one number for each inhalation and each exhalation.
  6. If at any point you lose count, return to 100. Do not become frustrated. Losing count is normal in the beginning. It too shall pass.
  7. When you arrive at 0, just sit quietly and listen. Just listen.
  8. After 5-10 minutes, very slowwwly open your eyes.
  9. When your focus fully returns to the outer world, slowly stand and end your practice.

Run this experiment for 28 days (four weeks) and keep a journal of your experience during the practice and of new things you notice in your physical, social and psychological life since beginning the practice.  Come back and share with us your findings.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
bro. jamal

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Thursday. 5 sessions remaining.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
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kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

The Exerpill. Side effects may cause……, ……,……,……,……. April 19, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 11:31 pm
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Here we go again!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (ok the gym, park, garden, basement; wherever you get your workout on), here is another pharmaceutical mirage, aimed at getting your attention and keeping you fixated to your couch.

LA Times August 1, 2008 reported: AICAR: Scientists say they’ve put exercise in a pill.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies Ronald Evans holds a vial of a drug that boosts the effects of exercise in mice. Evans works at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Ca. Researchers experiment with a chemical compound that they say can produce the benefits of aerobic activity without the work.

Physicians, public health officials, employers, researchers and average folk all agree: America needs to get off its ass and get moving. We’ve got the largest obesity epidemic in history, right here in our laps and the latest hype is about how science is going to save the day by allowing us to have our cake and eat it too. All 2,000 calories of it. But professor Krump (sorry Eddie) is going to protect us with another miracle pill.

AICAR has been tested in humans for a variety of conditions since the 1980s as a means of preserving blood flow to the heart during surgery. But the interest in AICAR as an exercise substitute is the result of the research of Ronald Evans, a molecular physiologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Evens made headlines in 2004 for engineering “marathon mice. He accomplished this by means of injecting a single gene into a fertilized egg.

Evans then turned his research to the possibility of getting the same results with a drug. Enter AICAR, a drug that closely resembles a nucleotide that prompts the production of an enzyme that activates the high-endurance genes. To everyone’s surprise, the experiment worked. The result is a chemical compound that drastically elevates the fat burning chemistry in mice, in the absence of exercise. Evans predicted that in the wake of his study, published in the journal Cell, the drug would “fly off the shelves.” You don’t say!

Let’s just say this pill actually works with humans. What do you get for the ability to remain on the couch? The fat burning equivalent of aerobic exercise. Ok,

  • but how do you prevent the muscle wasting (loss) that occurs in the absence of strength training.
  • the actual act of exercise can help improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce mental stress, reduce depression and strengthen bones. Are you going to wait on the couch until a pill is developed to achieve this too?
  • does this give folks a green light to eat any and every brightly wrapped, highly processed, toxic excuse for real food on the shelves of you local super duper mart?
  • will the user of this drug get the same self-esteem boost that comes from adopting a healthy lifestyle and witnessing the positive physical, psychological, social and economic effects it produces?
  • Is this the kind of therapy universal health care will fund?

The compound, which is naturally produced in tiny amounts in human muscle cells and has been studied for decades, is readily available through scientific supply companies. One company was offering AICAR for $120 a gram. At that price, giving a person the drug in the same concentration the mice got would cost thousands of dollars a day.

For the record, let me say: if AICAR turns out to be an effective, safe means of preserving blood flow to the heart during surgery and in preventing weight gain in the bed ridden; it should be employed in these circumstances. But to depend on another drug to lose and maintain a healthy weight is yet another step, in a long walk in the wrong direction. Break you dependence on the pharmaceutical industry to fix you once your broken. Use the strength and sense you were born with to “Make Your Lifestyle your Medicine and Your Medicine Your Lifestyle.

Nuff said.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

Knead To Know April 18, 2010

Filed under: Bodywork,Fitness,Health — Kazi @ 2:07 pm
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I guess it was somewhere in my thirties that I began to become intimately cognizant of my mortality. My bodies ability to mask and repair damage quickly and in the background, began to falter. I started noticing little kinks and aches that lasted beyond the initial incident and linger with me like that kid in grade school who just didn’t get the hint- “I don’t really want to be your friend dude.” Don’t judge me, it was grade school.

Since then, the incidents of aches, pain and accidents incurred while executing movements that I previously pulled of with my eyes closed, have increased exponentially. Truth be told, this is one of the reasons I became a fitness trainer.  I’ve always been an information junkie. I needed to know what the heck was going on and what could I do to prevent it.

My research revealed that I needed to change the way I was treating my body. I needed develop a program to strengthen my areas of skeleto-muscular weakness and relax their corresponding excesses.  Through self experimentation I discovered that many of my aches were do to hypertonicity.

Hypertonicity is an increased tension of the muscles, meaning the muscle tone is abnormally rigid, hampering proper movement. This condition is the opposite of hypotonicity. Hypotonicity is a decreased tension in muscle tone. A lack of muscle tone inhibits proper movement as the muscle is not developed or is too soft to support the body.

So, information junkie that I am, the next stop for me was massage school.  There I learned simple time tested techniques for relieving hypertonic muscles.  But there was still a problem.  Occasionally I would have pain on my own body that I either could not reach or could not apply the proper pressure in order to relieve the pain.  Back to the drawing board.

The solutions I found were in the use of a few simple inexpensive tools that everyone (at least everyone over the age of 35) should have in there homes.  First up, the Thera Cane. This is a deep pressure massage device that can be used to gently (or not so gently) massage muscles on any part of the body.  What I like most about the Thera Cane, is that it greatly reduces the amount of strength you need to get deep into the muscle. I use it mainly for trigger point work. Relieving a trigger point requires that you apply continuous pressure to a pin point area for up to a minute. Sounds simple until those minutes start adding up.  You can get a Thera Cane online for about $30.

The Dolphin Massager gets the most use in my arsenal. Slaving over a hot computer to bring you folk these illuminating and popular post (i have total of 10 followers as of today, woohooooo!) can lead to aching upper back, shoulder and neck muscles.  The dolphin relieves that pain for me in a matter of minutes. It’s also good for relieving lower back ache.  A client was purchasing these to give as Christmas gifts a few years back.  Sharper image was going out of business and selling them for about $20 bucks each.  I asked her to get me one also. (are yo u starting to see a pattern here. some say i’m cheap, i prefer frugal.) The Budgetnista would be proud of me). This is a purchase that has paid for itself a thousandfold.

Research over the last ten years has directed the attention of bodyworkers and fitness professionals to put more time into releasing myofacial tissue.  Muscles are covered with a sheath of connective tissue (fascia) that helps them glide over surrounding tissues.  This tissue can loose its pliability and stick to adjacent muscles, bones or ligaments. I use foam rolls and my own body weight, to reduce pain and tension resulting from restricted fascia. Foam rollers run anywhere from $15 to $40 depending upon the length, type of foam and manufacturer.

Ball of varying sizes can also be used for myofacial release work. There are balls made specifically for this technique, but tennis balls, soft medicine balls and other firm balls of various sizes have worked just fine for me.

So if you suffer from acute aches and pains and looking for some tools and techniques to help you spell relief. Give these a try. If you need some extra direction, hit me up.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybdoytemple.net