Saturday, February 28, 2015

Medicine Ball for Lower Back

Grab a medicine ball that will give you a workout (not too easy or hard) With your legs shoulder width apart and knees a little bent, hold the ball tightly over your head. Bring it down in from of you and let it "bounce" about an inch over the floor. [If you let it hit the floor hard while holding onto it, I believe the friction forces will travel up your arm to your spine, skull and brain, and you don't need that.) Bring the ball back up over your head in a moderate speed and about two to four inches behind your head (with arms straight up). Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions if you can.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Art, Thoughts and Health

I just finished reading How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life by psychotherapist Nicholas Kardaras. One topic he wrote about is how keeping your thoughts high on nature, art, beauty and mathematics can affect you and your health at a cellular level. Everything has a vibration, and keeping in sync with these can boost your mind and health.

Serendipitously, I saw an article about something similar in the Health & Fitness section of the Epoch Times of Sunday February 15, 2015. The article is How Awe and Beauty Can Boost Your Health by Yasmin Amwar. Certainly, you need awe and wonder to learn about your body and take on working out each time. She writes that bad emotions boost the production of cytokines which are associated with inflammation and Type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that depressed patients had high levels of cytokine INF-alpha. The researchers found that the people with these emotions had lower levels of cytokines. Cytokines may boost neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

Psychologists at UC Berkeley conducted two experiments of 200 young people, who recorded how many times a day they felt good emotions like awe, amusement, compassion, joy, love, contentment and pride. Gum and cheek samples showed that those who experienced more of these emotions, especially awe, amazement and wonder. 

Psychologist Dacher Stellar, co-author of the study, said that the relationship between the cytokines and emotions may be bidirectional; researchers are not sure which comes first. But who cares. If you feel lousy, take a walk, preferably by the beach, listen to relaxing music, look at your favorite art, paint, dance, or read an inspiring book.