The Benefits of Relaxing Meditation Classes

meditationLife can really be complicated and difficult. With the pressures of career and city living, you just get to a point when everything feels like it’s too much. Even when I strove for balance by going out with friends and having some alone time, I felt like it was not enough. 

A friend invited me to join her for a relaxing meditation class in Melbourne western suburbs. Curious, I decided to come and see how it can help me with my stress levels. I wanted a solution that not just dealt with the physical manifestations of the pressures of life, but at the same time, give me peace of mind. 

My purpose was not just to really quiet me from inside, and hopefully, that will help me better cope with what life throws our way. After all, there is really no way to completely run away from reality and hide from anything that can cause stress.

It has now been many weeks since my first meditation class, and I have really found the solution I had been desperate for. Taking the time to be quiet and still, clearing my mind of all thoughts, has really helped me find a balance. In three simple stages, I get to really detach from the stress of life and find a peaceful place. 

The first important stage of meditation is proper breathing. The key is to do it slowly and as quietly as possible. Once you have mastered this, it can help develop the power of concentration.

Concentration is the second stage. Especially in this day and age, it is difficult to really detach yourself from pressures of work, negative thoughts and emotions. But when you learn to concentrate, you are able to ignore these. You can focus your attention on one thing without being distracted.

The last stage is meditation, where you are completely at peace, silent and able to really pull yourself away from external things. This is the end goal of meditating for relaxation.

Although it might seem vague now, imagine being able to really separate yourself from stress. After all, most of the day you are bombarded by e-mails, deadlines, bosses, clients, sad news and all other things that actually weigh you down and affect your emotions. After mastering meditation, you will realize how much stiller and more tranquil you feel deep down inside.

If you are looking to try it, here are some tips for beginners:

  1. Participate in Group Meditation First

In the beginning, you will need the support of a guide. Joining a group can also help you get inspired and connect with other individuals on the same journey. It can eventually support your individual meditation when you eventually try it out yourself. In my experience, it helped me understand the main principles of meditation when I connected with other people. 

  1. Use Some Incense

The smell of incense will purify the air that you will be breathing in. At the same time, it creates an inspiring atmosphere that allows the body and mind to stay calm and still.

  1. Keep Your Spine Straight

When meditating, keep your spine straight and your body relaxed. Most importantly, try to be comfortable. However, do not lie down because you might fall asleep.

  1. Do Some Exercise Beforehand

If you feel a little restless before meditation, you can do some yoga exercises to help you relax and calm down. Or, you can also perform some breathing and stretching exercises.

  1. Try to Keep Your Eyes Open

If you are having trouble in the beginning, do not meditate with your eyes closed. You can choose an inanimate object to concentrate on the entire time. This way, you can improve your focus as well.

  1. Meditate Early in the Morning

This is the best time to do it, to be able to start your day right. For a beginner, try meditating for 15 to 20 minutes. Later on, you can do it for as long as you can concentrate.

  1. Choose the Right Music

The right kind will elevate your consciousness and create a positive environment for meditation. This can also help you tune out external noises that might distract you.

  1. Eat Afterwards

Meditating is easiest when you do it on an empty stomach, or at least two hours after your last meal. 

Meditation for relaxation has been key for me to survive the pressures of life, especially if you are in a demanding job. Being able to find balance has helped me become happier and even healthier. I could sleep better and felt less tension, this is why I decided to incorporate it into my weekly routine. So if you are feeling overwhelmed with life like I was, then go and sign up for a class right now!

What to Look Out For in a Rental Place

ApartmentLooking for a new apartment can be tricky because you essentially come to see the place for a limited amount of time only. The challenge is to accurately assess the condition of the property enough to know whether to rent it or not. After all, this was my experience in my previous place. I didn’t realize that there were problems with humidity and mold until I had already moved in. Living in a healthier apartment was then my main goal in my search.

This time, I wanted to make sure that I check thoroughly and make the best choice. I thought that hiring the services of a professional might make it easier. For sure, they are experts in looking at any piece of property and seeing its potential issues. After asking for some recommendations, I finally contacted Chilli Realty – off the plan apartments specialist in Melbourne

They gave me some good tips on what to inspect when visiting apartments. It all boils down to these 10 things: 

Floors

Examine very clearly into the status of the flooring. One, because you might be blamed for any existing damage when you move out later. Two, if you have carpeting that smells bad or has stains, it might be a sign of mold or some other damage that can get worse if you don’t notice it. Don’t forget to also look at the kitchen and bathroom tiles to be certain that nothing is missing.

Walls

As with the floors, it is important to check for any stains that might signal some damage or worse, mold. Do not forget to make sure that the paint is not poisonous, as this might also be hazardous to your health. Should the walls be made of wood, look if there are any loose or worse, rotten boards.

Windows

Windows are a vital part of your home. They keep the cold air out in wintertime and at the same time, protect you from bugs during summer. At the same time, windows that do not open properly are a huge safety hazard. You should try to check if you can open them without any problems, and that there is no broken glass. 

Electricity

Flick all the light switches to be sure they are functioning, and try to find if there are any loose wires hanging out. These can be a fire hazard if left unrepaired. Try to switch on the lights and keep an eye out for any flicker or sparks. Lastly, it might also be good to randomly test the plugs to see if they work. 

Heating and air conditioning unit (HVAC)

Since you will be living there for the whole year and would need a functioning HVAC unit to survive extreme temperatures. Make sure you look at the thermostat if it is accurate. The unit should not be leaking water as well.

Smoke Detectors

Choose an apartment that would have some alarms or smoke detectors in the hallway, at least. They should, of course, be functioning as well. At the same time, ask the landlord if there is a working fire extinguisher in the apartment.

Bathroom

See if hot and cold water is running, very handy if you want to have those hot baths during winter. You have to also consider the ventilation, either if there is a window or a fan available. If not, the humidity might be letting some mold grow in the bathroom. Look for some signs of mold, especially in the corners or hidden areas. 

The toilets should be tested for cleanliness and if they are working well and do not leak. The faucets should also drain properly. Lastly, there should be no water escaping from any of the pipes, anywhere.

Door Locks

Doorknobs and locks should be thoroughly examined to see if they lock properly. Again, this is a matter of personal security that they are not broken. 

Kitchen

Another vital part of the apartment, take the time to look around. The stoves should have working switches and that no wiring is exposed or damaged. If there is a gas stove, try to sniff out for natural gas. It might be useful to ask the owner if there is a carbon monoxide detector, to be safe. 

Pests

A serious health hazard, pests should not be present in anyone’s home. See if there are any insect or worse, rodent droppings. Use a flashlight to see if there are gaps or cracks in the walls or cabinets that might also signal their presence. 

It might seem like a lot, but these should definitely be inspected carefully when you are looking for a new place to live. First, finding a place and moving takes a lot of time and energy. Second, who wants to live in an apartment that might be unhealthy for you or have lots of damage? And last, it is only by looking carefully that you can really find those hidden problems before moving in.

Living with Diabetes and Keeping Oneself Healthy

Exercise for DiabetesDiabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by the body’s failure to effectively utilize glucose for a variety of physiologic processes. For some individuals, they may have an inherently defective insulin mechanism where the body is simply not producing enough insulin to move glucose molecules from the blood and into the cells. In many other individuals, especially those towards their middle ages, diabetes is more a condition whereby the body’s insulin may be affected by other factors that severely undermines its ability to move glucose. For example, if the body produces sufficient amounts of insulin but has lost its ability to use insulin effectively, then the body is said to be in a state of insulin resistance. And this is what causes glucose to build up in the blood leading to a pre-diabetic state.

The relationship between diabetes and exercise is based on the physiology of glucose utilization. Cells need glucose primarily for energy. Studies show that sedentary lifestyle and faulty eating habits lead to obesity which is a major determinant in the development of insulin resistance. It is for this reason that, while hypoglycaemic medications can help reduce blood glucose, getting regular exercise and eating sensibly remain the cornerstone of diabetic management.

Physical exercise help burn fat to reduce the impact of insulin resistance. The more body fat that is lost, the better it is for insulin to perform its function. Furthermore, exercise can help reduce the stress which many diabetics have because of their condition. Cortisol, a major stress hormone, effectively blocks the production of insulin in an attempt to force the body to use glucose as fuel necessary for the fight or flight response during stress. Cortisol also has a constricting effect on blood vessels restricting the more efficient flow of blood. Diabetics who are in extreme stress are therefore, more vulnerable to the damaging effects of chronic hyperglycaemia. It is for this reason that exercise is needed to help bring about a more balanced sense of wellbeing and to mitigate the effects of stress.

One does not need to hit the gym in order to perform exercises. Any activity that can make you feel good about yourself and help you burn calories and lose weight are considered good for a diabetic. This means that you don’t have to really restrict your physical activity to those exercises in the gym. Here are some physical activities and exercises that are considered safe and effective even for diabetics who are already in their 40s and beyond.

  • Walking or jogging – Definitely one of the most practical ways to stay fit, keep your heart rate slightly elevated, and burn calories. Just make sure that you wear the correct shoes to mitigate the impact to your feet. One of the major issues of diabetics is the occurrence of problems in the feet. You need to make sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your feet.
  • Swimming – For diabetic individuals who may have serious weight issues, swimming is an excellent choice. The buoyant force of the water effectively minimizes the effect of gravity on body weight. Since the body is suspended in water, moving the different limbs can eliminate the impact on joints as well as the feet.
  • Water aerobics – For a more vigorous swimming activity, water aerobics will be a great way to stay really focused in burning those calories in a very efficient way. Aerobics in the water provides additional resistance training as the body attempts to move against the volume of water. This is something that is missing in an aerobic exercise in the gym.
  • Cycling – Whether it is a bicycle or a stationary or exercise bike, cycling is a fun way to help manage your diabetes. While the focus is on the leg muscles, it nevertheless helps in speeding the heart rate to develop cardiovascular endurance as well as improved muscle tone. Improving muscle tone can help in the more efficient burning of calories to help you regain control of your insulin functioning.
  • Tai Chi – While this may not really be considered a physical exercise in the strictest form, it does provide you an opportunity to be mindful of body movements. The goal is for you to manage your stresses, feel more relaxed and calm, and be able to mitigate the negative effects of cortisol on insulin functioning.
  • Dancing – You don’t have to dance the Zumba to gain control over your diabetes. Any moderate to high intensity dance can help you burn those calories while at the same time having fun. You are addressing both the stress component of your diabetes and the insulin resistance of your body.

There are other exercises that you can do if you are diabetic. The important thing to remember is to combine physical activity and good diet and you should do well in your diabetes management.

Helping a Loved One Succeed Pregnancy through Acupuncture

pregnanyThe family was very ecstatic upon hearing the news of my sister’s pregnancy. Other than deciding the name of the baby and preparing a nursery room, going to scheduled visits to the gynecologist stressed out the couple, most especially my sister. But lately, we have taken consideration to visit the top Melbourne pregnancy acupuncture clinic

What is acupuncture and pregnancy acupuncture?

Nowadays, word is spreading regarding pregnancy acupuncture that can relieve many mothers-to-be of the pain and stress during the labouring months. It is always our goal to help my sister achieve healthy pregnancy, and therefore, we support any method or regimen that is good for her. In this case, we opened our minds to the idea of acupuncture. Initially, my sister and I had no idea of what this new method is, specifically acupuncture. The first impression we had was about the physical agony one has to undergo through knowing that it mainly involved the usage of needles being poked on the face and all over the body. Little did we know, that this was just the tip of the iceberg. 

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing practice that basically requires the insertion of sterile needles into the skin in certain acupuncture points. Common conditions that can benefit from this treatment are musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain and neck pains, and the typical headache, migraine, and fertility. For this reason, we ventured on visiting the best pregnancy acupuncture clinic. Choosing the right acupuncturist for my sister took us a few days of visiting and inquiring in many hospitals and Chinese health centers. We both wanted to make sure that the doctor will be someone she can trust, someone who has enough knowledge of Chinese curatives, and someone who is well-versed in this practice. After hand-selecting the right acupuncturist for my sister, she immediately started taking the sessions.

The usual charge per consultation and therapy is more or less $100. The initial treatment is normally more costly than the subsequent ones. Of course, we wanted to confirm that this additional ministration was worth the expense, so we did our own research and talked to some of the patients who was engaged in this maternity preparation. Through inquiry, we were able to avail of package of consisting of 12 sessions for a cheaper rate. Plus, we also had a discount for the first session and a free trial to see and experience how the process is.

After weeks of treatment, we were constantly reminded by my sister’s gynecologist and acupuncturist that this method is not an alternative prenatal medical care. This was merely a supplementary routine that can offer health benefits to the pregnant individual, which can encourage sterility and overall wellness.

My sister and I were very pleased upon hearing the numerous benefits of opting pregnancy acupuncture. Being pregnant is overwhelming, and this nervousness and restlessness is one of the targets of acupuncture. One of its goal is to relieve the person expecting of anxiety during the first trimester of pregnancy. More women are prone to miscarriages because of this, which is why this Chinese tradition might be a blessing to avoid that happen. Moreover, it stimulate the release of important hormones such as endorphins and act as their equalizer in the body. After attending few consultations, my sister also felt relieved from the typical pregnancy symptoms. Since then, she no longer dealt with morning sickness daily. She was spared more from the vomiting and nausea of being pregnant. Plus, she is now also able to accomplish the required eight hours of sleep. Before the acupuncture set-up, my sister had out it difficult in having some shut-eye.

Now, she is able to sleep early and soundly, most especially during her check-up days. Having a baby in the womb also made it difficult for her to stand and walk because of the frequent lower back and pelvic pains. Her doctor assured her that this was normal among pregnant women given that there’s now an added weight and pressure coming from the developing infant. Internally, the uterus can easily achieve states of relaxation, without suffering from occurring contractions. Given time, the uterus’ lining will also thicken, but quicker than the usual period. Overall, she had a significant reduction in pain, anxiety, and nervous sickness after acupuncture treatment

However, one should also be aware of the many risks posed by the acupressure. Fortunately, my sister was thoroughly interviewed by the acupuncturist to avoid many complications. Many expecting women who hasten the consultations and skip the discussion of health history are more likely prone to soreness, bleeding, infection, and injury if placed too deeply and inserted wrongly. The success of these treatments and the refrained unfortunate incidents may also depend the professionalism and experience of the doctors and staff. 

Other than Acupuncture, what should a pregnant mum do?

Pregnancy acupuncture doesn’t necessarily solve all the problems of pregnancy. For a healthy baby and a successful labour, my sister was advised to eat the proper and balanced diet and to keep an eye on the ideal weight. Since she was also a career woman, the doctors and acupuncturist recommended to reduce stress levels. Getting enough sleep is also a must.

As a sister, I wanted to give her the best emotional and physical support within my reach. Accompanying her to Chinese acupuncture clinics improved her condition plus, it also further strengthened our relationship.

Foods that Defy Diabetes

diabeticsDiabetes is among the deadliest diseases in the world and more people are developing this condition yearly. The increasing number of cases is only a part of the disturbing facts about diabetes. A lot of the youth are having diabetes and this is very alarming. This shows that the disease does not choose what age, race, and gender of a person is before it attacks.

Food and Diabetes

It is a fact that the basic cause of diabetes is choosing the wrong kinds of foods in the diet. The simplest way, therefore, in combating diabetes is by making changes in what you feed your body.

The American Diabetes Association identified several food groups that give the most health benefits and this includes prevention of diabetes.

  1. Fiber- Rich Foods. A high fiber diet means inclusion of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. Not only do they make you feel full faster, they will also take those nasty oils and fats that accumulate in the bloodstream and eliminate them from the body. Fibrous foods can improve blood sugar control, lower the chances of having all sorts of heart diseases, plus make you lose weight by helping you not to overeat.
  1. Leafy Greens. Vegetables that come in a bright green hues means only one thing. They are laden with so many nutrients that are important in lowering the risk of getting diabetes. Experts have reported on the significance of green vegetables in the diet as they are associated with lowering HbA1c levels, one of the parameters used in determining diabetes.
  1. Non- Green Vegetables. Aside from the leafy greens, there are also vegetables that are full of nutrients despite being multi- colored. These are those non- starchy vegetables that are also proven good for diabetes prevention. Mushroom, eggplant, garlic, peppers, and onions are just some examples.
  1. Fresh Fruits. A good dose of fiber and nutrients won’t hurt, especially with those who want to avoid diabetes. Fruits are better alternative to sweet desserts so the risk is reduced further. There are even fruits like orange, melon, kiwi, and berries that have less sugar than others so glycemic effects will be minimized.
  1. Sprinkling some spice on your favorite food could help deter diabetes. Spices and herbs are rich with anti- oxidants that prevent some conditions that are associated with diabetes. Cloves and cinnamon will add more flavors, but will not increase blood sugar.
  1. Beans as Carbohydrates. Foods that are rich with carbohydrates are equal to consuming large amounts of sugar. With beans, carbohydrate is balanced with moderate protein and a lot of fiber. This means that the calorie content is reduced and less sugar is added on the blood. Diabetes can be avoided, but beans also serve as a great protection against colon cancer.
  1. Seeds and Nuts. For people who struggle with losing weight, a healthy serving of nuts and seeds may help. Seeds from pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower, plus macadamias, hazelnuts, pecans, and almonds are better choices than chips and other unhealthy snacks. They will also lower the chance of having insulin resistance which is a predisposing factor of diabetes.
  1. Healthy Protein. Most protein- rich meat in the market is laden with bad fat. There are healthy kinds of protein like salmon, sardines, and other kinds of fish that are rich with Omega- 3. Prawns and scallops too have this kind of healthy oil. For poultry, those that are organic or were fed with grass instead of feeds are the best.
  1. Green tea. Diabetics can drink coffee (no sugar). Although green tea has some amounts of caffeine, it can be tolerated and it has both detoxifying and antioxidant properties which are good for cleansing the body of everything bad including excess sugar.
  1. Some people love to munch on dried seaweed snacks. This is pretty good considering that seaweeds like nori, kombu, and wakami all contain minerals, protein, as well as healing compounds.

Once you are inflicted with diabetes, you suffer for the rest of your life. A lot of those who have it often regret their food choices prior to the condition. They relied on meat and unhealthy carbohydrate as their main source of energy. They got weak in the process and got diabetes in return. Worst is that diabetes is only the start. Pretty soon complications like heart ailments and kidney disease follow and managing the aftermath is made even harder.

This is why it is important to have some precautions that will lessen your chance of having it. Controlling what you eat can do wonders to your body, especially with maintaining a normal blood sugar. Giving your body superior nutrition is better than taking diabetes medication. Life expectancy will be improved, and a high quality of health is assured when you choose the right foods that defy diabetes.

Get the Best Hair Colouring Treatment at a Hair Salon

hair colourThe good thing about hair colouring is that you can choose from a wide range of hues in one colour. Whether you want light tones as opposed to dark or vice-versa, the options are endless. Your skin colour greatly determines how your hair colour will turn out. Our genetics are different to a certain degree, and consequently, the colours of our hair are influenced. Based on genetics along with the mix of generations in a family line, the hair colour of an individual will take form accordingly.

When it comes to hair treatments, people usually like to try new things out. Many will experiment with several hair colouring techniques. For example, combining highlights with lowlights, going brunette and then using some highlights, and so on. Deciding on a hair colour that is best for your skin tone or eye colour will help you in finding the right one, ultimately avoiding any hair disaster.

To pick a hair colour that best suits you, then you should make use of your skin tone as your deciding factor. There are some skin colours that do not look good with certain hair colours as they appear to be unflattering. Light has an important role in influencing the shades of colour, in which the skin provides the background to accentuate it. Before you select what really works for you, visit rakis.com.au for a hair colouring appointment and get a professional advice on which hair colours are most suitable.

Hair Colouring Basics

Hair colour generally comes in three types, which are the temporary, semi-permanent and permanent. The temporary hair colour usually lasts only for a couple of days. Semi-permanent colour is mainly used for highlighting hair, while permanent hair colour changes the hair pigment and thus can last longer. In case you are selecting the ideal hair colour to change your gray hair into a natural shade, then opt for a permanent colour as it stays for a longer period. Certain colours are especially made to cover and colour gray hair.

Tips in Choosing the Best Hair Colour Treatment

One of the simplest advices is to follow is that the colour of the hair has to be a shade darker than the colour of the skin. The following are some hair colouring ideas, according to your skin tone:

  • Fair Coloured Skin – Almost all colours work well with this type of complexion. Try to avoid choosing red hair colour if you have a pinkish skin tone. Also, those with yellow skin colour should not opt for golden or orange hair tone. Golden, caramel hues will look perfect.
  • Medium Coloured Skin – Mahogany, ash brown, golden brown, honey or chestnut coloured hair will suit best those medium coloured skins such as brown.
  • Dark Coloured Skin – For someone with a dark complexion, you can go for burgundy, dark brown or black hair colour. These hair tones will also go well with an olive complexion.

If you are interested in colouring your hair for fun, then go ahead. The options are plenty, and you can play with as many as possible with all the selection of shades available. A good hair colour treatment can help add character, shine and style to your hairstyle. However, if you are not that experimental and are searching for the perfect colour for your hair, you will want to inform yourself about the hair colouring basics. This would only avoid some frustrations and hassles.

More Tips

  • A vital thing to keep in mind is to not use a hair colour by merely referring to a photograph. It is best to talk to the hair stylist at the salon to check whether the colour will actually complement with your skin colour.
  • Do not apply extremely dark or light colour than your natural skin complexion, as it can give you quite an unpleasant look. For this reason, the blond hair colour is not suitable for most people.
  • Make sure to use only high quality hair colouring treatment products. Do not opt for cheaper versions as they could be harmful to your hair. This is also applicable to hair colour maintenance products and solutions.
  • It is always much better to choose your own natural hair colour for your skin colour. By doing so, you will not wind up spending a great deal of money for colour maintenance.
  • It is not a good idea to change from two different hair tones as it can drastically damage your hair. You must also not colour your hair quite often.

Basically, it is really easy with regards to choosing the ideal hair colour. The best hair colour treatment can make you look radiant and boost your spirits too. However, if you are a beginner at hair colouring, it is recommended that you get the job done from a well-known hairstylist. Even though it may prove to be a bit expensive, you can certainly avoid disasters that may happen if you attempt it in your own home.