Posts tagged health tips

Happiness & 25 Ways To Find It

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Good Day to all here, Very Happy

Sometimes, we feel depressed or angry with things in life and wonder how are we ever going to get out of our doldrums. Then we look for something to grasp onto to give us that little bit of strength to move forward a bit at a time in life. I came across this wonderful article a while back and posted it here last year and I am reposting it again now to give us a little cheer in case we need it some time later.

This was excerpted from Reader’s Digest, September 2002 :-

25 ways to be happy

“Life is full of ups and downs. In order to experience happiness you must experience other emotions, including sadness and anger, to some degree nearly every day. The ideal you should work towards is to be accepting of what you have and who you are, to enjoy life whenever possible and to feel happy most of the time.

I say most of the time because nobody is going to be happy every moment. Life is just not like that. Happiness needs to be earned, worked at and appreciated.

For those of you with no real reason to be unhappy – those whose life is basically trouble-free – here are some thoughts to help you remember that life is good.

1
Change your thinking.
Live everyday as if it is your last. People who have survived a terminal illness or accident, witnessed a tragedy or lost a loved one are said to have a different perspective on life. Many will say that they no longer leave anything until later. They travel, learn a new skill, contact a friend now. They know – and we should all remember – that there might not be a later.

2
Keep a journal.
Write an ongoing list of the good things that happen to you every day. What was that lovely thing your daughter said to you the other day? You will not remember unless you write it down. Problems can be solved and bad things cleared from your thoughts by writing them down, too. Try it – it works!

3
Get some perspective on things.
Think about how you would like to be remembered and what you might tell your grandchildren about your life. Is it really that important that the linen is changed weekly and the floors are kept spotlessly clean? That work meeting last year that meant you missed your child’s school concert – does it matter now?

4
Don’t let the small stuff bug you.
Wasting your energy by getting upset about life’s many minor irritations is not worth it. Smile and wave to the driver who won’t let you merge into his lane. He’s rude and aggressive, and it’s his problem. You’ve missed the train? Fretting is pointless – the train is gone. Enjoy the coffee while you wait for the next one.

5
Do any unpleasant or difficult chores that need doing.
Do them now. Procrastination drains your energy and burdens your mind. If you are thinking and worrying about something that needs to be done, you might as well be doing it.

6
Change your routine
. Life can begin to stem like a bit of a chore if we do the same thing day after day, week after week. We need to create interest in our lives, and to do new things. If you normally sleep in on a Sunday, the “sleep in” is no longer a treat. Why not get up early and have breakfast in the park? You’ll beat the crowds and be heading home as they arrive. The day will seem much longer. (Or, for those who never sleep in, arrange it somehow – what a luxury it is!)

7
Don’t try to keep up with others.
So, your neighbors have a larger home, the latest stereo system, a new car – who cares? Look again. He works on the weekends, and they never seem to see friends. Who’s better off, really?

8
Have a big clean out and divest yourself of useless “stuff.”
Clothes unworn for a year, the dinner service that you’ve always hated, kitchen utensils that are always in the way but never used, unused linen (you still have cot linen on the shelf and the “baby” is six!), toys, books, furniture – give it all to a charity and you will have helped the poor. The bonus is that your shelves and cupboards are clutter-free now. Housework is easier, your vision is clearer and the feng shui of your home is improved.

9
Learn to say no.
You don’t have to do it. Your life is already too busy and you are running from one thing to another. Give yourself some space to think and time to do something for yourself.

10
Remember to love your partner for who he or she is.
Have they really changed so much? Or (think about it!) might he/she actually be the same person that you fell in love with? The relationship might need some work – everything needs some repair work or maintenance after a few years of running – but the parts should still be in working order.

11
Don’t let familiarity breed contempt.
Your partner and family deserve at least the same consideration you give your friends. And you deserve the same from them.

12
Tell your partner, family and friends that you love them.
Tell them what you love about them. Tell them when they do things well. A little praise never hurts and before you know it you might be told that you’ve done things well too. You never know . . .

13
Are you always a shoulder to lean on for troubled friends?
It may be hard, but if their problems are beginning to affect you, then you need to try not to be quite so available all the time. They need to address their problems and get on with their lives.

14
Phone, e-mail, even write to some old friends.
You’ve lost touch, but it needn’t be for ever. And how long is it since you spoke to Great Auntie Jean? She’d love to hear from you.

15
Enhance your mood with greenery
. Cut some fresh flowers from your garden – or get up early, head to the markets and fill your home with loads of cheap flowers, fruit and vegetables. Everyone had pot plants in the 1970s -bring them back -These fill the house with life and vitality.

16
Go to the beach
. The long views, the wind, the waves, bare feet in the sand, sun on the back -there is nothing so good for the soul. (My friend Kendra is renewed and invigorated in the same way by a walk on a hill. To each his own.)

17
Create something.
Paint, sculpt, sew, bake, garden – anything!


18
Breathe fresh air.
Go outside or open the windows. Breathe deeply to the bottom of your lungs and feel the stale air leave you.

19
Go for a walk.
This gentle exercise will renew and invigorate you physically and mentally on your first outing. Take it up regularly and you’ll feel better every day.

20
Rent a funny video and have a good laugh.
Old television comedies always do it for me. When we laugh, feel good endorphins are released. That’s why they say laughter is the best medicine.

21
Move your furniture and ornament around, change rooms, paint walls.
It’s true, a change is as good as a holiday.

22
Give yourself something to look forward to
. Book a holiday, a night out, a massage.

23
Invite friends over for dinner
. Get everyone to dress up, and decorate the room and the table. Greet everyone with cocktails or Champagne, and have music playing. Spend time thinking about and planning the menu, enjoy the shopping and cooking. People can’t help but respond positively when you’ve gone to a lot of effort for them. The night will be good fun. And don’t get stressed over cleaning the house beforehand – no one will even notice.

24
Smile.
Smiling is contagious – try it and see.

25
Make someone else’s day happier
. It may sound a bit corny, but why not? Start by suppressing the urge to blast your horn at the slow driver ahead. Or you could make a positive move by volunteering your time for a charity.”

May you be well, happy and peaceful always! :D

Many blessings, Love and Light to all,

choesf :D

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Some Simple Cooling Foods & Drinks

Good evening, dear friends :D

Wow, the weather has been really hot and terribly humid for a week now and the heat is making most people sweat buckets even when they are not doing anything active. Just the other day, I was telling my kids that I can even feel a film of perpiration on my eye bags!! :roll: :lol: Two weeks ago, whenever we met up with friends or some acquaintances at the market, our greeting usually went like this – “Wow, the prices of foodstuff keep going up and up!” :shock: ……..but these days, we merely greet each other with a tired, “Wah, it is really hot these days  lah ….” :cry: :lol:

This type of weather can easily cause our body to build up heatiness and depending on the level of heatiness, we would experience symptoms ranging from tension headaches, sore gums, even toothaches, dry lips (despite drinking litres of water daily), restless sleep, irritability, low grade fever, etc. They are even different classifications of heatiness in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ….. like “moist heatiness” (eating curries often lead to this), “dry heatiness” (can lead to dry coughs, sore throats) , “bone heatiness” (causes us to get sprains and backaches easily), and “heatiness that reach the heart” (this is the one that causes us to have vivid dreams or nightmares when we sleep, our sleep is often restless, and we wake up the next day even more tired).

The simple cooling remedy for the “heatiness that reach the heart” is the Tai Bok Choy Soup. Because my family were finding that the heat got to us and we didn’t really sleep well, I had made this soup for dinner tonight. And guess what? My husband is already very sound asleep in bed at 9pm, when his usual bedtime is hardly before midnight! :lol:

I am going to list below some simple cooling remedies that we can follow to prevent a buildup of heatiness in our body -

1) Cucumbers – I always serve slices of raw cucumber whenever I have deep fried or baked foods because cucumbers are cooling in properties, and the process of baking and frying in oil are considered heaty. Cucumbers are also known to counter carcinogens in meats, especially in barbequed meats…..ever wondered why Satay is served with chunks of cucumbers? I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have much money to buy all those type of herbs to make cooling drinks and my mom would just ask me to dip some cucumber slices in some sea salt and take that as a cooling remedy.

2) A cold beer with salt – Have a mug of really cold beer with a good pinch of salt in it. Beer is generally regarded as cooling (whisky is heaty, but good for improving blood circulation. My healer lady friend has recommened a little whisky each night before bedtime is good for health!), and if you add some salt into it, it is even better!

3) Coca Cola with a good pinch of salt - This is especially good if you have a scratchy and dry throat with the occasionally dry cough……down a really cold can of salted Coca Cola and feel the relief in your body! Sometimes when we are too heaty, we even get grumpy and we just feel under the weather. This is surely one remedy that you will enjoy (well….other than the beer above! :roll: )

4) Mangosteens - I mentioned mangosteens because I had just finished eating some really juicy, and sweet mangosteens! :lol: Mangosteens are also known as the “Queen of Fruits”, just as the Durian is known as the “King of Fruits”. Just as durians are considered very, very heaty…..mangosteens are considered very cooling.

5) Watermelons – Another juicy, sweet fruit that I love – best eaten on a really hot day! Not only does it taste great but it packs a lot of antioxidants as well. Watermelons also quench the inflammation that leads to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, colon cancer and arthritis. Also a good source of Vitamins A and C.

6) Bittergourd – Generally in TCM, bitterness is a sign of cooling properties and the rule of thumb is, the more bitter the taste, the more cooling it is! I love eating bittergourd and whenever I cook them, I don’t rub salt into them to remove the bitter taste, so that I can retain most of its cooling nature. Earlier, I have posted a really simple Japanese recipe for bittergourd, called “Okinawa Bittergourd Stirfry.” You can substitute with other meats like bacon, ham or even chicken slices.

7) Ginseng Root Drink – Known as “Pow Sum” or “Yeong Sum”, the ginseng root is generally boiled in water for a few minutes to allow the flavours to come out, then add in some salt and let the drink cool completely before consuming. It is of utmost importance to drink this cool or else the heat in your body will all rush up, thus causing the heaty symptoms (e.g. sore gums, headaches) to be even worse and you start wondering how come the ginseng drink didn’t work for you. Some old ladies even recommended putting the pot of ginseng root drink on the floor to cool down, and it is believed that the “earth energy” works together with the ginseng root to calm down our heatiness. Note – Korean ginseng is considered as very heaty!

8 ) Mung Beans or Green Beans – This is usually boiled with some sugar, pandan leaves (for good aroma), and water for about an hour and is served as a sweet soup or sweet dessert known as “Tong Sui.” Not only is this very cooling but it is also a very good detoxifying food. My healer lady recommends that we have this once a week and she told me acne-prone second daughter to take this regularly to help with her acne problem.

9) Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers – This is made into a flower tea where you can add sugar or honey for flavour, or just drink it plain. This drink is very good for dispelling heat and wind symptoms, refreshes the liver and clears the eyes (sometimes, we get “gunky” eyes due to heatiness as well.)

10) Chinese Cabbage or Napa or Savoy Cabbage – This vegetable is very cooling, and especially when it is pickled or fermented, the cooling properties are enhanced (best not to consume too much then). I like to make either rice vermicelli soup with this or just a simple Chinese stirfry as a vegetable accompaniment to a meal.

Okay, I will stop here with this list for now and if I can remember more, I will post a Part 2 later. As in anything, moderation is the key and do not go overboard in consuming lots of the above at a go…otherwise, you may end up with a too “cooling” body and end up with coughs and colds. In TCM, balancing of the Yin and Yang in our body is very important but it is a very fragile balance which will take an expert Chinese physician to diagnose.

Good night from KL! :D

P.S. I apologise for the lack of pictures in this post as the “Image Loading” feature in WordPress seems to have gone crazy on me again. :roll:

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A Simple Herbal Tea For Heatines, Sore Gums, Headaches

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Good afternoon, dear friends :D

After a couple of weeks of daily rain, the weather in KL is now back to its typical season of being very hot and dry. We call this the “durian season”, too, as it is marked by the mushrooming of many  stalls and trucks selling durians all over the place…as durians would ripen whenever the weather is so hot like this.

During times like this, it is common to see many people down with sore throats and dry coughs, not to mention some headaches as well as sore gums or toothaches which are caused by the growing heatiness in our body. A combination of hot weather, durian consumption (durians are very, very heaty in nature), bingeing of leftover Chinese New Year cookies, and too much fried or roasted foodstuff will easily cause us to be heaty.

Whenever I experience symptoms of heatiness like this, I would always reach for a bag of herbal tea called Ho Yan Hor (picture above), a popular and effective tea that has been around for many decades.  When I was a kid, there was this van that would come to our neighbourhood once a month at night to promote and sell Ho Yan Hor tea packets, and it would have its loudspeakers blaring blaring away right in front of my house until almost midnight! :roll:

My healer lady has taught me that for us who are in our 40′s (and older), our body cannot withstand the effects of herbal teas or remedies (“leong char” in Cantonese) that are too cooling, but we can take Ho Yan Ho as it is mild, safe and effective to bring down our body’s overly heatiness (often called “fire” or ‘for” in Cantonese). Please note that I am not being paid to talk about this wonderful herbal tea, but I am just sharing my experience with you here.

Yesterday, my husband and I were both having some mild tension headaches and throbbing gums and I brewed a pot of 3 Ho Yan Hor teabags. After an hour of drinking this tea, our headaches and sore gums were gone and there was much relief in our body. Usually, when we have symptoms like this, we would avoid fried, baked, barbequed or grilled foods, even cookies as they are considered to be heaty to our body….and we have food that are stewed, steamed,  or boiled.

Hence, for tonight’s dinner, I am cooking a simple meal of  Bak Kut Teh with Pork Belly (braised for half an hour in a delicious herbal soup), and a simple cabbage stirfry…both served with hot, steamed rice. 

So, for those of you that are experiencing heatiness or the weather is too uncomfortably hot for you, do try a cup of Ho Yan Hor tea and see for yourself its effectiveness in soothing you. Even coughs arising from heatiness can be relieved with this tea.  I always have a box of Ho Yan Hor at home and my healer lady says it is okay for us ladies to drink this on a weekly basis to balance the heatiness in our body. :wink:

Here is some history and product information obtained from its company -

Applications: *
Helps to relieve heat, nausea, indigestion, and waning appetite. Use for the Common Cold, fever and flu. Also known to relieve headaches, hangovers, stomach flus and overall stress and burnout.

Trusted Tea for Generations…

The streets were no longer deserted when evenings came. People no longer had to be terrified of men in army suits. World War II had come to an end.

In the midst of the unsettled post-war period, while people were busy restoring buildings and businesses, houses and homes, this man in his 30`s, preferred to enjoy the tranquility which was taken away from his homeland when he came back to Malaya in 1941.

Having graduated from China`s Canton Wah Lam National Physicians School in 1941, he was then once of the very few young chaps who received tertiary education. Still young and not having the faintest idea about his next step in life after the war, he obliged to the request of a friend to bring into creation a blend of herbal tea for folks in town who were deprived of the wonders of Western medicines as a remedy for common ailments.

With his passion for herbs and the knowledge acquired, he embarked on a journey of discovery leading to a concoction of 24 kinds of herbs. Till today, Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea has remained a masterpiece of extraction. The meticulous extraction process of the 24 selected kinds of herbs bares every leaf of its nutritional and therapeutic assets! A class of its own, this novel process is repeated several times to ensure thorough extraction. The extract is then absorbed onto tea leaves, dried and packed into sachet tea bags for consumers` convenience. When taken, this all-natural extract enables immediate absorption of its goodness into the body. Today, the 60-year-old Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea remains a favourite among many and it is much sought after to relieve body heatiness, nausea, indigestion, and waning appetite.

Over a lapse of more than half a century, Dr. Ho Kai-Cheong`s humble herbal tea stall has grown to a modern manufacturing plant with WHO GMP status. Modernization has not deterred the house of Ho Yan Hor from bringing its ancient goodness to consumers of the 21st century. From formulation to processing, these have been carefully preserved over the decades. The modern manufacturing plant has not short-changed consumers of its invaluable goodness, but only adding to it hygiene and health.

More than a health heritage, Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea is truly an illustration of `when east meets west`. This aged-old concoction has managed to strike equilibrium between alternative medicines and mainstream medical approaches. With every cup of tea, come not only nutritional and therapeutic values, but heritage and history! :D

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Easy Burdock Root Soup For Detoxification

Dear friends, :D

Further to my posting earlier on the health benefits of the Burdock Root ===> CLICK HERE , I thought I would show some pictures of my Burdock Root soup as well as give you a simple recipe for it.

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Ingredients

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A Large Bowl Of Hearty, Nutritious, Detoxifying Burdock Root Soup :D

Ingredients in picture above (clockwise) – serves 6 persons

500 gm pork ribs (or chicken) – marinated in a tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp salt

sliced burdock root (about 3 ft long when uncut, if the taste is too strong, reduce this the next time)

1 /2 cups of dried Chinese red dates

1/2 cup of wolfberries

1 carrot, sliced

2 dried honey dates

4 litres of water

Salt and white pepper to taste

 

Method –

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Put in all ingredients and bring to a boil again. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Lower to small heat and simmer for 4 hours. If using a slow cooker, you need to simmer for 6-8 hours and use lesser water.

 

This soup is very sweet with a very slight tinge of bitterness from the burdock root. I served the soup with rice and other dishes during dinner, or you may just like to have this soup on its own on a cold, wintry day. Be prepared to visit the bathroom frequently after drinking this soup as it is diuretic in nature but this actually helps to remove toxins from your body. Just remember to drink more water to replenish your body fluids. :wink:

Later, I will post a recipe called Chicken Stew with Burdock Root and I will give you both the Chinese and Japanese versions of it (I cooked the Chinese one for my family last week and it was delicious!) :D

Have a wonderful weekend!

With peace and joy,

choesf :D

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Kitchen Feng Shui For Good Wealth & Health

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Dear friends, :D

In Chinese Feng Shui (FS) – pronounced “Fung Shway” – the kitchen is very importantly associated with our prosperity (wealth) and health. Because the kitchen is also considered as the “heart of the home”, any problems in this area will result in a significant impact on our family – health wise or money wise.

Of course, first and foremost, good housekeeping is good feng shui. When our kitchen is clean, shiny and free from clutter, then it allows the best of positive energy to come into it. Conversely, if we have too much clutter and dirty things or we hardly declutter our kitchens, then this leads to a buildup of stagnant, stale and negative chi in our kitchen.

Now, we don’t want this to happen because negative energies will impact negatively also on aspects of our life, like our money, career, prosperity. Logically, this does make some sense because when our kitchen is cluttered and not clean, then it hampers our efforts to cook a really good and nourishing meal for our loved ones. In fact, I don’t think we would like to do anything or stay any longer in the kitchen if it is unclean and messy! :roll:

But when we can’t cook nourishing meals at home and we eat out most of the time, then our body is likely to be under nourished, thus leading to a less than optimal health and hence, lesser efficient ability to work well in our job.

We are taught the 10 Don’ts in Kitchen Feng Shui by Retired Feng Shui Master, Master atan at his Dhealing Forum as follows -

1. Do not place your kitchen under or next to a bathroom. A bathroom is deemed as a place where we wash away our dirt and where the toilet is located, and therefore, having a kitchen under this is deemed very inauspicious.

2. Do not place your stove under a big beam. A beam is considered a heavy support and if your stove is under it, it is like the energies of your stove are being oppressed by this beam. Not good to cook in such a situation. Why? Because the stove is symbolic of wealth and in such a negative placement of stove, it means your wealth is being suppressed. You can’t prosper.

3. Do not face your stove to water basin or refrigerator, this can lead to arguments and conflict within the family. Fire and water are opposites of and fight each other, and so the placements of the sink and stove are important. If they are directly opposite each other, then this may lead to arguments, conflicts and figthing among family members. Conflicts and tension at home means negative energies. A stove and sink side by side also means a weakening of the energy of the kitchen.

4. Do not clutter your kitchen – stagnant and dirty chi is no good for food. Clean out your food cupboards, pantry and refrigerator regularly.

5. Do not place stove near windows and skylights – the chi can flow out of the house through them.

6. Do not design the kitchen door be in a direct line with the back door or front door of the house. That placement allows the chi to flow from the kitchen all the way outside. If your doors are placed in line, keep the kitchen door closed, or use plants to block the flow.

7. Do not delay in maintaining the stove. A stove that is not in good working order implies a problem with financial resources. If any part of the stove (burners, oven light, fan, etc.) does not work, get it fixed as soon as possible.

8. Do not leave you stove unused – an unused stove implies untapped resources or ignored opportunities. Even if all you do is boil water for tea, rotate which burner you set the kettle on so that all of them get regular use! And use the oven, too, from time to time, instead of always relying on the microwave.

9. Do not place your kitchen in the North West sector of your house, because it will bring negative elements to your family. The NW sector of your house represents where Heaven’s energy flows into your house, and by having a kitchen there, it means that fire will destroy this good energy. A term for this kitchen location is “Fire At Heaven’s Gate.” The family breadwinner could lose his job, lose his wealth, or worse, lose his health. If your kitchen is already in this sector, try to move the cooking elements like the stove or oven away from this sector.

10. Do not use any odd shaped objects in the pots or frying pan at any time. They may seem like piercing weapons of some sort. I will discuss some of the remedies that can be carried out if the above Kitchen Feng Shui rules are broken later…..

Meanwhile, for those of you looking for a new home to buy or rent and you believe a little in FS :lol: , I hope these Kitchen FS tips will help you to avoid getting an “inauspicious” kitchen. There are also many other “Do’s & Don’ts” for other aspects of a home but we start with this post for now. :wink:

May your life be blessed with good wealth, good health and many successes!

choesf :D


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Yummy Juicy Natural Health Drink

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Dear friends, :D

Here is a really simple, natural and delicious health drink taught to me by Healer and Feng Shui  Master Atan :-

Natural Health Drink Recipe

Ingredients

1 orange

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp pure honey (or more if you like it sweeter :wink:)

Method -

1) Combine the juices from the lemon and orange.

2) Stir in the honey.

3) Enjoy health drink immediately. Yummy! :D

This easy-to-make delicious health drink portion is meant for 1 person, and it is recommended that we drink this twice a week to build up our body immunity, maintain good health, and it is especially good to have during the flu and sore throat seasons because it packs a lot of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. :wink: Coughs and colds are reputed to be helped as a result.

Below is some good information on honey obtained from an e-zine article :-

Nature’s Energy Booster

The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural fruit sugars, fructose and glucose plays an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream digested by the body. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar. So, to experience these health benefits of honey, here are a few tips for you:

1. Next time before you go for a workout, take a spoon of honey to enable you to go for the extra mile.

2. If you are feeling low and lethargic in the morning, try honey. Spread it on hot toast or replace the sugar in your tea with it for a refreshing surge of energy.

3. If your kids are finding hard to cope with the physical strain from the buzzing activities at school, prepare them some sandwiches with honey, butter and ham to make sure they have enough energy to sustain through the day. They will appreciate the great health benefits of honey by experiencing them.

Immunity System Builder

Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most impressive to me – it can be a powerful immune system booster. Honey’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease. Start every brand new day with this cleansing tonic if you want to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and juice from half a lemon into a cup of hot water and drink it.

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Yoga Technique To Prevent Lower Back Injury

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Hi there, dear friends, :D

Since I picked up Yoga 3 weeks ago, I have learned a few techniques that have helped me tremendously (aside from the slimming or toning aspects) in my life – specifically on injuries related to my strenuous house chores, like mopping the floors, picking up heavy things, bending a lot, and so on. I have had a lower back slipped disc injury many years ago and whenever I bend often in my work, I usually end up with lower back pains for days.

But since I have been applying this Yoga method whenever I have to exert myself or bend over too much, I am very happy to say that now I no longer have lower backaches! :D

This Yoga technique is called a Mula Bandha or a Root Lock, one of the three Bandhas (Locks) that were taught by my Yoga instructor. (I will describe the other equally good Bandhas later on.) Basically, we apply this interior lock whenever we have to bend over to lift something heavy, do strenuous activities, or like in my case, having to put my whole weight on my mop to wring it dry. In addition to protecting our spine, this Mula Bandha also have other good health benefits.

Benefits

1) Increases flexibility of our spine and stimulates heat (good for those of you who feel cold during winter?)

2) Helps to prevent back injury by guiding us to move from our centre of body – when we have this lock in our lower spine, our back is stronger.

3) Ovaries in the female and the prostate gland in the male receive an increased flow of blood circulation. For ladies, this will benefit those with irregular mentrual periods.

4) Helps to prevent haemorrhoids.

5) Beneficial for toning up the kidneys and bladders.

6) Good for those with incontinence problems that most ladies would often get when they reach middle age.

Method

Mula Bandha focuses on those muscles that form a sling in our pelvis, from the pubis in front to the coccyx at the back. These muscles support the upper part of our vagina, the uterus, the rectum, the bladder and the prostate. We ladies usually know this technique as Kegels’ Exercises, which is often prescribed by gynaecologists after childbirth. For men, the area of these muscles can be identified by imagining that you are urinating and that you must stop the flow of urine by using (or contracting) these muscles.

When the Mula Bandha is engaged, we prevent prana (chi or lifeforce) from escaping from our lower body and prana flow is directed in the body. That is why heat is generated internally when prana or chi is flowing well in us. This lock is also used during Yoga asanas (postures) to prevent injury.

1) Sit comfortably on the floor or on a chair, or stand up in a relaxed manner.

2) Take a few breaths slowly, counting 1 to 4 for each inhalation and exhalation.

3) After you have exhaled completely, hold your breath and start contracting your pelvis muscles, as if you are stopping the flow of urine during a pee. For beginners, this will take a short time for you to get used to this step. Contract the muscles as much as you can …..and then, LOCK them in place.

4) With the Mula Bandha or LOCK engaged, continue to breathe in slowly and do normal breathing a few times.

5) Release the Mula Bandha or Root Lock, and repeat steps 3 and 4 again. Do this about 5 times or more if you wish or are able to.

This really beneficial Yoga technique can be done a few times a day…for me, I often have to engage the Mula Bandha when I am mopping the floor, when I reach down to pick up things, and even when I am sitting in front of the PC. It helps my spine to be firm and strong.

Note – DO NOT do the Mula Bandha if you are pregnant, having your menses, or right after a meal (best is 2 to 3 hours after a meal).

For those of you that often get lower back pains like me, I hope you will try to do this Yoga Technique and later say “Bye Bye” to your backaches! :wink:

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Simple Herbal Drink For Blood Cleansing & Detoxification – Hung Teen Wu Plants

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“Hung Teen Wu” plants & Dried Honey Dates (Mutt Joe)

 

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Dear friends,

The above herbal drink was taught to me by my healer lady last year and I make this drink very frequently for my family to detoxify as well as to cleanse our blood circulation. I have no idea what is the name of this plant in English or its scientific name but its Malay name is “Daun Kurma Merah” and it is known as “Hung Teen Wu” in Cantonese.

Added on 30 August, 2010 -

Blog visitor “Fern/Sau Chun” from Singapore was very helpful in letting me know the scientific name of this herbal plant (see comments below) ===> Sessile Joyweed

This herbal drink became very popular last year and the plants are sold in bunches costing US 60 cents or so each (RM2 in wet markets/pasar, RM6 per kg in Tesco), and is easy available here in KL.

For my large family of 6, I would need 3 bunches of “Hung Teen Wu”, weighing about 700gms and I boil these with 12 large honey dates (mutt joe) in a large pot containing 15 litres of water. This drink is to be simmered for at least 4 hours over a small fire, and then poured into bottles or jugs to be drank in place of water during the whole day (that’s why no sugar is added but the honey dates do provide some natural sweetness there.) Keep in the fridge when cooled. :wink:

There are many benefits of this herbal drink and I myself have heard first hand accounts from people who had this drink. There is this butcher in his 50′s who went for a medical checkup and was told by his doctor that he has three main arteries blocked, and he was scheduled to go for a bypass surgery in a few weeks’ time. He told me he got frantic and went looking for alternative medicine to help him. He was recommended this Hung Teen Wu plant which he boiled with honey dates, and drank this in place of water everyday for 2 weeks.

When he went back to his doctor, amazingly, his angiogram results showed that his arteries were no longer blocked and he need not have to go for the bypass surgery anymore. Wow! :shock: These days, he drinks this for health maintenance.

For my healer lady, she said this drink is very good for removing blood impurities, “heatiness” in our body and body cleansing in general. This is a very gentle herbal remedy and is not known to have any side effects as it was actually an old Chinese herbal recipe. It is so safe that we can even make this drink twice a week, which was what I did last year when I started my family on this. For 2 months, we would drink this twice weekly and because my husband is a heavy smoker and is often stressed from work, he drinks about 3 litres of this a day, to detoxify. My children would drink 500 ml. only. Sometimes I have jugs of this herbal drink in the fridge and it can be drank for the next day (I usually give my husband a litre of it to bring with him to work, too). These days, I will make this herbal drink like once every one or two weeks, just for blood cleansing maintenance. :wink:

For those of you in this part of the world, I hope you can find this type of plants/herbs in your markets and do try this herbal remedy for blood detoxification. After all, it is a cheap and natural remedy. In the Klang Valley here in KL, this drink is now a household favourite….as evidenced by the sale of Hung Teen Wu plants even in the Tesco hypermarkets! :lol:

Have a blessed and relaxing weekend! :D

Note – I am not suggesting that those with blocked arteries drink this in place of their recommended surgery….but to use this simple, herbal remedy for maintenance of good health.

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Nutritious Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

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Fresh Burdock Root (Chinese: 牛蒡子 / in pinyin: niúpángzi)

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Dried Chinese Wolfberries

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Dried Red Dates

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A bowl of nourishing and detoxifying Burdock Root Soup simmered for 3 hours with Carrots, Red Dates and Pork Ribs.

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Good Day, dear friends :D

I was first introduced to Burdock Root a few years ago, when it was served as a light Japanese salad. It was julienned and cooked lightly with some light soy sauce, sweet rice wine, chopped green onions, and sesame seeds. When I asked the Japanese restaurant’s lady owner what that delicious “vegetable” was, she told me that it is called “Gobo” in Japanese and “Ngau Pong” in Cantonese, and that it is very good for removing toxins from our body. Since then, I had used the Burdock Root and cooked it as a nutritious herbal soup for detoxification, and we have this soup once every 2 months. :wink:

A few days back, I saw this root being used as one of the ingredients in cooking show called “Nutritional and Delicious Chinese Dishes”, which was hosted by a lady chef and a Chinese Physician. I was curious as to exactly what detoxification properties that this Burdock Root have and after doing some research, I am really amazed at the extremely beneficial properties of this simple root. :shock:

Below is some information obtained from “The Natural Herbs Guide” on the Burdock Root that I would like to share with you -

Burdock is a root that is found in Europe and Asia. It has many medicinal qualities and has been used in many herbal remedies. The root is sweet to the taste and has a gummy consistency. Traditionally, burdock has been used as a remedy for measles, arthritis, tonsillitis, viruses like colds, throat pain, and as a diuretic. In modern times, burdock is also used in oncology and to treat many other serious health problems.

Burdock root has often been used to purify the blood by removing toxins that can build up in blood. It can be taken orally or used topically as a remedy for skin disorders. Also, burdock root can be a diuretic or soothe aching joints. Traditional Chinese healers used burdock root in combination with other plants to make cures for colds, measles, throat pain, and tonsillitis. Burdock root was also popular in Japan as a source of vitamins and other nutrients. In modern times, burdock root has been employed in the treatment of certain cancers. However, this use of burdock root still needs to be systematically tested.

Burdock’s active ingredients are arcigen, calcium, chlorogenic acid, essential oil, flavonoids, iron, inulin, lactone, mucilage, polyacetylenes, potassium, resin, tannin, and taraxosterol. The seeds of the plant contain beneficial fatty acids. The oil from the seeds can be used as a diaphoretic, which leads to increased perspiration, which is essential in cleansing the body of toxins or harmful elements. According to traditional healers, diaphoretics are integral to treating influenza, gallbladder or liver disorders, and to aid the kidneys which purify the blood.


Burdock root is eaten as a vegetable in many places. It has many nutrients like iron, inulin (a carbohydrate), and beneficial oils. Also, burdock can be used as a gentle laxative and help eradicate uric acid. Some of the active ingredients of burdock are polyacetylenes, which are known to be effective antibacterials and antifungals. Burdock enhances the performance of many of the organs which purify the body and eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver, colon, etc). This enhances overall health and helps correct disorders.

Burdock is easily obtainable as an ingredient in teas, ointments, or pills. It is a powerful diuretic, and is safe to be taken internally, externally, or as food. However, it is important to make sure that the herb is pure. Some reports have indicated that burdock could have toxic properties, since cases of illness were reported that involved burdock tea. However, further analysis showed that the negative effects were the result of impure burdock root. Some belladonna, which contains atropine, had contaminated the burdock root. It is important to look at the source and purity of burdock root before obtaining it.

Here is my recipe for Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

Ingredients -

* 2 whole fresh Burdock Roots (each about 2 ft long as the ones found here are quite thin) – peeled, washed and cut into slices or chunks

* 1 cup dried Red Dates

* 1/2 cup dried Wolfberries

* 500 gm pork ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths

* 2 litres water

Method -

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove any scum that floats to the surface. Lower heat and simmer for 4 hours (6-8 hours if using a slow cooker). Season to taste with some salt and white pepper.

I had bought the fresh Burdock Roots from the wet markets and hypermarkets here…in case some of you wonder where I got my Burdock Roots from. They are usually imported from China. :wink:

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Introduction To Yoga Breathing Techniques – Pranayama

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Good morning, dear friends :D

Yesterday, I went for my weekly Yoga class and learned a few techniques of breathing, called “Pranayama” or the science of breath control. My Yoga class was held at night and by the time I finished some chores and got into bed, it was quite late. But despite having just a few hours of sleep as I got up at 6am, I woke up with such a fresh in invigorating mind and body this morning, which I concluded must be a result of yesterday’s effective Pranayama exercise….because yesterday morning, I was fuzzy headed after I woke up and I have to wait for my tea to “kick start” my system! :roll:

In the Sanskrit language, “Prana” means lifeforce or universal energy and “Ayama” means to lengthen or extend, and in Pranayama, it is the controlling or regulation of our breaths. Actual, advanced Pranayama should be practised with a Yoga teacher  but I am just going to describe some very basic but extremely health beneficial Pranayama methods that were taught by my Yoga instructor in my next few posts here.

Several researchers have reported that Pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress related disorders, improving autonomic functions, relieving symptoms of asthma, and reducing signs of oxidative stress.

Scientists have discovered that the chemical basis of energy production in the body is a chemical called “Adenosine Triphosphate” (ATP).  When something goes wrong with the production of ATP,  the result is lowered vitality, disease and premature aging.

Scientists have also reported that oxygen is critical to the production of ATP in our body. In fact, it is the most vital component. Yoga allows us to tap into this vital nutrient.

In our normal breathing, our breathing is often too shallow or too quick. We are not taking in sufficient oxygen and we are not eliminating enough carbon dioxide, and as a result,  our body cells actually get insuffient oxygen, and the carbon dioxide toxicity slowly builds up in our body.  Shallow breathing also does not exercise our lungs enough and our lungs lose some of their funtion, thus causing a loss in vitality.  So, we need to breathe more deeply and slowly.

Why do we breathe fast and shallow, and that has become the norm for us? Well, there are a few reasons for this -

1) Our lifestyle these days are such that we are in a hurry most of the time, e.g. I rush in my house chores trying to get them done quickly, in between I drive my kids to and from their schools, plus I have to get our meals ready in time, etc. These days, I am trying to slow down and take more time-outs just for a breather. Our movements and breathing will follow this “hurried” pattern. 

2) Stress makes us breathe less deeply and more quickly.

3) We get too emotional easily – we are stressed, we have anxiety, we are under pressure from heavy workload, we are sad in our relationships, etc … these negative states of emotions affect the rate of breathing, causing it to be fast and shallow. Our heart beats faster….

4) Modern and sedentary lifestyles reduces our need for active, physical activities. When I was attending school, I would take the bus and walk long distances in between to go where I wanted. But these days, I am driving myself….and not walking enough! :roll:  So, there is less need to breathe deeply and therefore, we develop a shallow breathing habit.

As we go through life, these bad breathing habits that we have picked up become part of our life….but we can do something about it ===> by recognising and changing our behavioural patterns, and engage in more beneficial deep breathing.

You may be surprised but actually, a good laugh is a fantastic way of replenishing our oxygen level at cellular level. Laughter also results in our brain producing endorphins, a feel good hormone. Hehe, earlier I read briefly that there is something called “Laughing Yoga” but I will leave that for another day.

Meanwhile, I think this form of Yoga will be especially good for smokers who definitely inhale much less oxygen and take in more toxins into their bodies than us non-smokers (my husband is a heavy smoker and I am trying very hard to get him to go for Yoga class with me next week!)  :lol:

In my next few posts after this, I will provide instructions on how to do Pranayama for great health! :wink:

Have a wonderful day today! :D

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