10 Nutritional Side Recipes Under 250 Calories

The holidays are just around the corner and if you’re like us your meal-prep wheels are spinning! This year we’ve put together a list of delish side dishes featuring trendy vegetables (here’s looking at you, kale) and old time favorites.  Our list of sides is guaranteed to be proper holiday sidekicks for these tasty main entrees that we shared yesterday. To help you realize a weight neutral holiday we’ve picked sides hovering around 200 calories or less. Give ‘em a spin and tell us what your tongue thinks!

VEGETABLES

Apple & Quinoa Kale Salad | The Wheatless Kitchen 
Crisp, refreshing apple meshes with quinoa and kale in this equal parts sweet and earthy salad. Add some crunch with chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds and you’ve got a texture savvy side dish. The recipe makes 6 side salads but can double as an entree for vegetarians or vegans if you up the serving size.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 191; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 141mg; Total Carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 4g

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar | White on Rice
Reach for this recipe if you’re looking for simple and speedy: just toss, roast and serve. Roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar is made with just five ingredients (that’s if you count salt and pepper!) and makes a great tangy side. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 110; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 404mg; Total Carbohydrate: 11g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 4g

Fresh Green Bean Casserole | Elle Penner, MyFitnessPal Registered Dietitian
For many green bean casserole is a holiday staple but traditional recipes sometimes call for sodium-socked canned green beans and condensed soup. That’s why you need to try fresh green bean casserole re-made by Elle, our registered dietitian. It features homemade cream of mushroom soup and snappy, fresh green beans! The recipe makes 8 servings of about 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 139; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 244mg; Total Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars:3 g; Protein: 7g

Maple Glazed Carrots | Clean Eating
Looking for an inexpensive side that high in fiber and flavor? Check out maple-glazed carrots featuring sweet, tender carrots lightly kissed by maple syrup and butter. This recipe serves 10 at 1/2 cup serving each, and pairs well with turkey or brisket.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 166mg; Total Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 1g

Oven-Fried Okra | Love & Zest
Ready for a crispy fix? You had me at oven-fried okra. This recipe turns a traditionally deep-fried treat into a healthy side you can gladly indulge on. Thick cut okra is baked in a crispy coating of egg and whole wheat breadcrumbs for added protein and fiber. Makes 4 servings of 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g ; Cholesterol: 46mg; Sodium: 72mg; Total Carbohydrates: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 5g

 

POTATOES & STARCHES

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Dill | Clean Eating
Enhance your mashed potato experience this year with some healthy additions. Cauliflower, dill and whole milk plain yogurt combines for a creamy mashed potato without using any butter. Each recipe makes 10 servings at 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 88; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 120mg; Total Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 3g; Protein 3g

Herb & Cheese Drop Biscuits | Oh She Glows
This herb & cheese drop biscuit recipe is vegan friendly (yes, it’s possible)! Each morsel is flavored by thyme and parsley, and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. If you prefer non-vegan you can add butter instead of coconut oil and cheddar cheese instead of vegan cheese. Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 169; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 337mg; Total Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 1g; Protein 3g

Wild Rice with Roasted Chestnuts & Cranberries | Cooking Light
Wild rice is fancifully studded with roasted chestnuts and cranberries. This side has a nutty, almost smoky flavor, and the color of the wild rice pairs beautifully with game birds and other poultry (hint, hint: your turkey). Makes 12 servings at 3/4 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 218; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 168mg; Total Carbohydrate: 45g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 11g; Protein 6g

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese | According to Elle
Mac & cheese, a wildly popular for little picky eaters, is also a great place to hide some veggies! Butternut squash mac & cheese delivers cheesy goodness with a helping of butternut squash that’s filled with fiber and important vitamin A. Makes 16 servings at 3/4 cup each. This can double as an entree for vegetarians if you increase the serving size, and stud it with more veggies (we suggest adding broccoli)!

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 214 ; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 22mg; Sodium: 394mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein 10g

Slow Cooked Garlic Sweet Potato Mash | Skinnytaste
That moment when you’re frantically cooking the holiday meal and you run out of pots! Thank goodness for this slow cooked sweet potato side which allows you to spend your time and energy on an elaborate main entree. Don’t take it for granted though; this sweet potato recipe is light and garlicky good! Makes 5 servings at 3/4 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 145; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 103mg; Total Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 7g; Protein 3g

10 Nutritional Main Course Recipes under 400 Calories

If you’re cooking, plan out your big feast.  To help, Ive compiled a diverse list of delicious mains you can look to for inspiration. These 10 selections are all under 400 calories per serving!

 

TRADITIONAL TURKEY, POULTRY & HAM

 

Ultimate Roasted Turkey| Cooking Light
Gobble up this delicious ultimate roast turkey! It’s made with simple seasonings but don’t let that fool you. The bird serves up in succulent slices accompanied by classic gravy made from turkey drippings. Recipe makes 12 servings at 6 ounces turkey + 3 tablespoons gravy.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 396; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: g3; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 183mg; Sodium: 483mg; Total Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 10g; Protein: 62g

 

Rosemary-Roasted Turkey with Porcini Pan Sauce| Clean Eating
No holiday menu would be complete without the main event. This season try out a rosemary-roasted turkey that is perfectly seasoned with classic flavors like garlic, onions, rosemary. The turkey is complemented with porcini pan sauce made from the drippings! Recipe makes 10 servings at 4 ounces turkey + 1/4 cup of sauce each.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 196; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 77mg; Sodium: 82mg; Total Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 24g

 

Honey Baked Spiral Ham| Skinnytaste
Spiral ham is perfect for quick holiday meals because it’s precooked and sliced making it easier to serve when it comes out of the oven. To make your ham more succulent try out this recipe for a sweet glaze made from pineapple juice, orange juice, dijon mustard, honey and brown sugar. Recipe makes 12 servings.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 171; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 68mg; Sodium: 644mg; Total Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 13g; Protein: 16g

 

Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken| Food & Wine
A legendary bird from a legendary cook! This roast chicken is a favorite of Julia Child’s because it’s seasoned inside and out by packing sauteed vegetables, lemon slices and fresh herbs into the cavity, then rubbing the skin with butter. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1/4 of a chicken each.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 272; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 286mg; Total Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 24g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 45g

 

 

 

BEEF, PORK & LAMB

 

Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb| Skinnytaste
Leg of lamb makes a beautiful lean protein centerpiece for your holiday meal! Lamb is treated to a bath of crushed garlic, lemon juice and fresh rosemary before being baked in the oven. Recipe makes about 8 servings.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 213; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 177mg; Total Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 29g

 

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples| Cooking Light
Here’s a twist on pork chops and apple sauce: spiced pork tenderloin served with sauteed apples. The lean pork medallions are rubbed in a sweet spice coating while the apples are sauteed in shallots and thyme for a savory treatment. Recipe makes 4 servings of 3 pork medallions + 1/2 cup apples each.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 244; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 89mg; Sodium: 354mg; Total Carbohydrates: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 9g; Protein: 24g

 

Spiced Brisket with Shallots and Tangerines| Clean Eating
Bold brisket is balanced with sweet tangerines and Chinese five-spice then slow baked for a rich flavor and tender meat. This recipe can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve! Recipe makes 10 servings of 2 1/2 ounces of spiced brisket + 1/4 cup sauce.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 256; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 56mg; Sodium: 307mg; Total Carbohydrate: 19g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 33g

 

 

 

VEGETARIAN & PESCATARIAN

 

Glazed Lentil Walnut Loaf| Oh She Glows
This super satisfying lentil loaf incorporates walnuts, apples, sweet onions, carrots, celery and oat flour for plenty of flavor and fiber. Best of all,  the loaf is brushed in a sweet and tangy glaze and is suitable for vegans. Recipe makes 8 servings.

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 331; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 282mg; Total Carbohydrate: 45g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 16g; Protein: 13g

 

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Cherry Tomatoes & Couscous| Bon Appetit
If you’re eager to feature fish for your holiday celebration try out this scrumptious salmon recipe. Salmon is roasted to perfection then served with a flavorful yogurt sauce on a bed of tomato and couscous. Recipe makes 7 servings of salmon and couscous (nutrition info below is for the salmon and yogurt sauce only).

 

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 364; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 104mg; Sodium: 592mg; Total Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 43g

 

Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Penne Bake| Pinch of Yum
This lightened up mushroom Alfredo penne bake uses a creamy, garlicky cauliflower sauce atop whole wheat pasta and buttered mushrooms. It’s seasoned with sage and is a wise choice for a holiday gathering of your closest vegetarian friends. Recipe makes 10 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 342; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 28mg; Sodium: 509mg; Total Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 14g

Can relaxing treatments and thoughts change your DNA to look younger?

Did you know that the expression of your genes is modifiable?

The old notion that genes control your life has been replaced by new epigenetic discoveries. For example, when you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. However, if you change the conditions in the petri dish, the same cells can become bone cells, fat cells, and even brain cells! When you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. I personally find this fascinating. While every one of your cells is genetically identical, their fate is controlled by the conditions around them.

Beyond the petri dish

Today scientists are taking this even further and way beyond the petri dish. They’re exploring the impact of what you eat, drink, breathe and do on your genetic activity. I think the most unexpected discovery is connected to yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful breathing. Over one hundred studies found that these activities can also influence your genes and the rate at which you get older. Perhaps the most notorious study is the one conducted by Harvard a few years ago. When the researchers took blood samples before and after these activities, they noticed that 2,209 genes responsible for the ageing process were turned on or off. Genes that protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals were turned on. Genes that promote oxidative stress (which accelerates ageing) were turned off. Curiously, the test subjects practised these relaxing activities for just 20 minutes a day. Some did yoga, others listened to a simple meditation audio. The activity didn’t matter. It’s the underlying mechanism triggered by these activities. Scientists call it the “relaxation response”, which causes decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It sounds very simple to me, yet it can be extremely powerful.

Changing Your Genetic Expression

For years I have been skeptic about the benefits of yoga. But today I know better. Those friends who have meditated or practised yoga for years enjoyed better health not because they’ve been born with “lucky genes” but because they’ve been positively influencing them! Now that we have solid scientific proof of that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process, I’m all up for it. Even elite athletes use it all the time, especially during their recovery phase. There is Scientific proof that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process.

Younger, Healthier and Stronger

If you want to learn more, here’s my summary of the Harvard Study. The test subjects were divided into 3 groups: 19 adults were long-term daily practitioners of various Relaxation Response (RR) techniques 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mindfulness and meditation CDs) for 8 weeks during the study 19 people served as controls (in other words, did nothing and continued living their normal lives). By analysis of blood samples, the study found that 2,209 genes were differently expressed (switched on or off) between the long-term meditators and control group. 1,275 genes were up-regulated (their activity was increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity was reduced) in the long-term meditators group. It also found that 1,561 genes were expressed differently between the group who did the 8 weeks meditation training (the novice meditators) and the control group. Particularly, 874 were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated in the 8-week group. In other words, the Relaxation Response – short or long term – causes hundreds of genes to turn on or off. Many of the “enriched” genes were involved in the body’s response to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, promotes a pro-inflammatory response and is known to increase vulnerability to viruses and degenerative diseases like cancer. It also accelerates aging at the cellular level. It shortens telomeres, lowers telomerase activity and decreases anti-oxidant capacity. This is important because, telomerase is an enzyme that can repair the telomeres – the little caps at the end of our chromosomes that protects our DNA. The length of your telomeres indicate how fast you are ageing. Ideally, you want a good response system to oxidative stress so that you can slow the aging process and prevent other negative effects.

Take action now

You don’t need to become a Buddhist or a Priest either! As you’ve seen from the study, 20 minutes a day would do :-) Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process - try my Thai Yoga Massage, or any one of my relaxing Massages, Reflexology, Reiki, Shirodhara, Meditations, Tapping, Acupressure..Nutritional Therapy, Stretching, Aromatherapy, Music therapy, Chakra Balancing...they all provide the same positive effects on the body.

Here’s the link to the full Harvard study — you can download the PDF for free.http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002576

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Steve

www.alcovo.co.uk

Can you change your DNA to look younger?Did you know that the expression of your genes is modifiable? The old notion that genes control your life has been replaced by new epigenetic discoveries. For example, when you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. However, if you change the conditions in the petri dish, the same cells can become bone cells, fat cells, and even brain cells! When you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. I personally find this fascinating. While every one of your cells is genetically identical, their fate is controlled by the conditions around them. Beyond the petri dish Today scientists are taking this even further and way beyond the petri dish. They’re exploring the impact of what you eat, drink, breathe and do on your genetic activity. I think the most unexpected discovery is connected to yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful breathing. Over one hundred studies found that these activities can also influence your genes and the rate at which you get older. Perhaps the most notorious study is the one conducted by Harvard a few years ago. When the researchers took blood samples before and after these activities, they noticed that 2,209 genes responsible for the ageing process were turned on or off. Genes that protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals were turned on. Genes that promote oxidative stress (which accelerates ageing) were turned off. Curiously, the test subjects practised these relaxing activities for just 20 minutes a day. Some did yoga, others listened to a simple meditation audio. The activity didn’t matter. It’s the underlying mechanism triggered by these activities. Scientists call it the “relaxation response”, which causes decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It sounds very simple to me, yet it can be extremely powerful. Changing Your Genetic Expression For years I have been skeptic about the benefits of yoga. But today I know better. Those friends who have meditated or practised yoga for years enjoyed better health not because they’ve been born with “lucky genes” but because they’ve been positively influencing them! Now that we have solid scientific proof of that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process, I’m all up for it. Even elite athletes use it all the time, especially during their recovery phase. There is Scientific proof that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Younger, Healthier and Stronger If you want to learn more, here’s my summary of the Harvard Study. The test subjects were divided into 3 groups: 19 adults were long-term daily practitioners of various Relaxation Response (RR) techniques 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mindfulness and meditation CDs) for 8 weeks during the study 19 people served as controls (in other words, did nothing and continued living their normal lives). By analysis of blood samples, the study found that 2,209 genes were differently expressed (switched on or off) between the long-term meditators and control group. 1,275 genes were up-regulated (their activity was increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity was reduced) in the long-term meditators group. It also found that 1,561 genes were expressed differently between the group who did the 8 weeks meditation training (the novice meditators) and the control group. Particularly, 874 were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated in the 8-week group. In other words, the Relaxation Response – short or long term – causes hundreds of genes to turn on or off. Many of the “enriched” genes were involved in the body’s response to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, promotes a pro-inflammatory response and is known to increase vulnerability to viruses and degenerative diseases like cancer. It also accelerates aging at the cellular level. It shortens telomeres, lowers telomerase activity and decreases anti-oxidant capacity. This is important because, telomerase is an enzyme that can repair the telomeres – the little caps at the end of our chromosomes that protects our DNA. The length of your telomeres indicate how fast you are ageing. Ideally, you want a good response system to oxidative stress so that you can slow the aging process and prevent other negative effects. Take action now You don’t need to become a Buddhist or a Priest either! As you’ve seen from the study, 20 minutes a day would do :-) Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Here’s the link to the full Harvard study — you can download the PDF for free. I’d love to hear from you: Have you practised yoga? If so, have you noticed any positive changes?For chance to win a scholarship join our FREE Nutrition Course HERE! Contact Us +44 (0) 843 289 5240 Terms Read student reviews ! » Login « (paid members only) The Health Sciences Academy All Courses Workshop Dates Reviews Ask a Graduate About Accreditations BLOG Personal Trainer L3 Weight Loss Sports Nutrition Specialist Nutrition FREE COURSE Can you change your DNA to look younger? Alejandra "Alex" Ruani11 Comments May 20 2014 Health Tips: Can you change your DNA to look younger by Alejandra "Alex" Ruani — Get free updates of new posts here. Can you change your DNA to look younger? Did you know that the expression of your genes is modifiable? The old notion that genes control your life has been replaced by new epigenetic discoveries. For example, when you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. However, if you change the conditions in the petri dish, the same cells can become bone cells, fat cells, and even brain cells! When you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. I personally find this fascinating. While every one of your cells is genetically identical, their fate is controlled by the conditions around them. Beyond the petri dish Today scientists are taking this even further and way beyond the petri dish. They’re exploring the impact of what you eat, drink, breathe and do on your genetic activity. I think the most unexpected discovery is connected to yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful breathing. Over one hundred studies found that these activities can also influence your genes and the rate at which you get older. Perhaps the most notorious study is the one conducted by Harvard a few years ago. When the researchers took blood samples before and after these activities, they noticed that 2,209 genes responsible for the ageing process were turned on or off. Genes that protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals were turned on. Genes that promote oxidative stress (which accelerates ageing) were turned off. Curiously, the test subjects practised these relaxing activities for just 20 minutes a day. Some did yoga, others listened to a simple meditation audio. The activity didn’t matter. It’s the underlying mechanism triggered by these activities. Scientists call it the “relaxation response”, which causes decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It sounds very simple to me, yet it can be extremely powerful. Changing Your Genetic Expression For years I have been skeptic about the benefits of yoga. But today I know better. Those friends who have meditated or practised yoga for years enjoyed better health not because they’ve been born with “lucky genes” but because they’ve been positively influencing them! Now that we have solid scientific proof of that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process, I’m all up for it. Even elite athletes use it all the time, especially during their recovery phase. There is Scientific proof that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Younger, Healthier and Stronger If you want to learn more, here’s my summary of the Harvard Study. The test subjects were divided into 3 groups: 19 adults were long-term daily practitioners of various Relaxation Response (RR) techniques 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mindfulness and meditation CDs) for 8 weeks during the study 19 people served as controls (in other words, did nothing and continued living their normal lives). By analysis of blood samples, the study found that 2,209 genes were differently expressed (switched on or off) between the long-term meditators and control group. 1,275 genes were up-regulated (their activity was increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity was reduced) in the long-term meditators group. It also found that 1,561 genes were expressed differently between the group who did the 8 weeks meditation training (the novice meditators) and the control group. Particularly, 874 were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated in the 8-week group. In other words, the Relaxation Response – short or long term – causes hundreds of genes to turn on or off. Many of the “enriched” genes were involved in the body’s response to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, promotes a pro-inflammatory response and is known to increase vulnerability to viruses and degenerative diseases like cancer. It also accelerates aging at the cellular level. It shortens telomeres, lowers telomerase activity and decreases anti-oxidant capacity. This is important because, telomerase is an enzyme that can repair the telomeres – the little caps at the end of our chromosomes that protects our DNA. The length of your telomeres indicate how fast you are ageing. Ideally, you want a good response system to oxidative stress so that you can slow the aging process and prevent other negative effects. Take action now You don’t need to become a Buddhist or a Priest either! As you’ve seen from the study, 20 minutes a day would do :-) Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Here’s the link to the full Harvard study — you can download the PDF for free. I’d love to hear from you: Have you practised yoga? If so, have you noticed any positive changes?


Source: © The Health Sciences Academy. All Rights Reserved.

Read more: thehealthsciencesacademy.org/healthy-living/can-you-change-your-dna-to-look-younger/
For chance to win a scholarship join our FREE Nutrition Course HERE! Contact Us +44 (0) 843 289 5240 Terms Read student reviews ! » Login « (paid members only) The Health Sciences Academy All Courses Workshop Dates Reviews Ask a Graduate About Accreditations BLOG Personal Trainer L3 Weight Loss Sports Nutrition Specialist Nutrition FREE COURSE Can you change your DNA to look younger? Alejandra "Alex" Ruani11 Comments May 20 2014 Health Tips: Can you change your DNA to look younger by Alejandra "Alex" Ruani — Get free updates of new posts here. Can you change your DNA to look younger? Did you know that the expression of your genes is modifiable? The old notion that genes control your life has been replaced by new epigenetic discoveries. For example, when you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. However, if you change the conditions in the petri dish, the same cells can become bone cells, fat cells, and even brain cells! When you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. I personally find this fascinating. While every one of your cells is genetically identical, their fate is controlled by the conditions around them. Beyond the petri dish Today scientists are taking this even further and way beyond the petri dish. They’re exploring the impact of what you eat, drink, breathe and do on your genetic activity. I think the most unexpected discovery is connected to yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful breathing. Over one hundred studies found that these activities can also influence your genes and the rate at which you get older. Perhaps the most notorious study is the one conducted by Harvard a few years ago. When the researchers took blood samples before and after these activities, they noticed that 2,209 genes responsible for the ageing process were turned on or off. Genes that protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals were turned on. Genes that promote oxidative stress (which accelerates ageing) were turned off. Curiously, the test subjects practised these relaxing activities for just 20 minutes a day. Some did yoga, others listened to a simple meditation audio. The activity didn’t matter. It’s the underlying mechanism triggered by these activities. Scientists call it the “relaxation response”, which causes decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It sounds very simple to me, yet it can be extremely powerful. Changing Your Genetic Expression For years I have been skeptic about the benefits of yoga. But today I know better. Those friends who have meditated or practised yoga for years enjoyed better health not because they’ve been born with “lucky genes” but because they’ve been positively influencing them! Now that we have solid scientific proof of that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process, I’m all up for it. Even elite athletes use it all the time, especially during their recovery phase. There is Scientific proof that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Younger, Healthier and Stronger If you want to learn more, here’s my summary of the Harvard Study. The test subjects were divided into 3 groups: 19 adults were long-term daily practitioners of various Relaxation Response (RR) techniques 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mindfulness and meditation CDs) for 8 weeks during the study 19 people served as controls (in other words, did nothing and continued living their normal lives). By analysis of blood samples, the study found that 2,209 genes were differently expressed (switched on or off) between the long-term meditators and control group. 1,275 genes were up-regulated (their activity was increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity was reduced) in the long-term meditators group. It also found that 1,561 genes were expressed differently between the group who did the 8 weeks meditation training (the novice meditators) and the control group. Particularly, 874 were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated in the 8-week group. In other words, the Relaxation Response – short or long term – causes hundreds of genes to turn on or off. Many of the “enriched” genes were involved in the body’s response to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, promotes a pro-inflammatory response and is known to increase vulnerability to viruses and degenerative diseases like cancer. It also accelerates aging at the cellular level. It shortens telomeres, lowers telomerase activity and decreases anti-oxidant capacity. This is important because, telomerase is an enzyme that can repair the telomeres – the little caps at the end of our chromosomes that protects our DNA. The length of your telomeres indicate how fast you are ageing. Ideally, you want a good response system to oxidative stress so that you can slow the aging process and prevent other negative effects. Take action now You don’t need to become a Buddhist or a Priest either! As you’ve seen from the study, 20 minutes a day would do :-) Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Here’s the link to the full Harvard study — you can download the PDF for free. I’d love to hear from you: Have you practised yoga? If so, have you noticed any positive changes?


Source: © The Health Sciences Academy. All Rights Reserved.

Read more: thehealthsciencesacademy.org/healthy-living/can-you-change-your-dna-to-look-younger/
For chance to win a scholarship join our FREE Nutrition Course HERE! Contact Us +44 (0) 843 289 5240 Terms Read student reviews ! » Login « (paid members only) The Health Sciences Academy All Courses Workshop Dates Reviews Ask a Graduate About Accreditations BLOG Personal Trainer L3 Weight Loss Sports Nutrition Specialist Nutrition FREE COURSE Can you change your DNA to look younger? Alejandra "Alex" Ruani11 Comments May 20 2014 Health Tips: Can you change your DNA to look younger by Alejandra "Alex" Ruani — Get free updates of new posts here. Can you change your DNA to look younger? Did you know that the expression of your genes is modifiable? The old notion that genes control your life has been replaced by new epigenetic discoveries. For example, when you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. However, if you change the conditions in the petri dish, the same cells can become bone cells, fat cells, and even brain cells! When you put stem cells in a petri dish with the conditions that support muscle growth, the cells evolve into strong contractile muscles. I personally find this fascinating. While every one of your cells is genetically identical, their fate is controlled by the conditions around them. Beyond the petri dish Today scientists are taking this even further and way beyond the petri dish. They’re exploring the impact of what you eat, drink, breathe and do on your genetic activity. I think the most unexpected discovery is connected to yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful breathing. Over one hundred studies found that these activities can also influence your genes and the rate at which you get older. Perhaps the most notorious study is the one conducted by Harvard a few years ago. When the researchers took blood samples before and after these activities, they noticed that 2,209 genes responsible for the ageing process were turned on or off. Genes that protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals were turned on. Genes that promote oxidative stress (which accelerates ageing) were turned off. Curiously, the test subjects practised these relaxing activities for just 20 minutes a day. Some did yoga, others listened to a simple meditation audio. The activity didn’t matter. It’s the underlying mechanism triggered by these activities. Scientists call it the “relaxation response”, which causes decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It sounds very simple to me, yet it can be extremely powerful. Changing Your Genetic Expression For years I have been skeptic about the benefits of yoga. But today I know better. Those friends who have meditated or practised yoga for years enjoyed better health not because they’ve been born with “lucky genes” but because they’ve been positively influencing them! Now that we have solid scientific proof of that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process, I’m all up for it. Even elite athletes use it all the time, especially during their recovery phase. There is Scientific proof that yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Younger, Healthier and Stronger If you want to learn more, here’s my summary of the Harvard Study. The test subjects were divided into 3 groups: 19 adults were long-term daily practitioners of various Relaxation Response (RR) techniques 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mindfulness and meditation CDs) for 8 weeks during the study 19 people served as controls (in other words, did nothing and continued living their normal lives). By analysis of blood samples, the study found that 2,209 genes were differently expressed (switched on or off) between the long-term meditators and control group. 1,275 genes were up-regulated (their activity was increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity was reduced) in the long-term meditators group. It also found that 1,561 genes were expressed differently between the group who did the 8 weeks meditation training (the novice meditators) and the control group. Particularly, 874 were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated in the 8-week group. In other words, the Relaxation Response – short or long term – causes hundreds of genes to turn on or off. Many of the “enriched” genes were involved in the body’s response to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, promotes a pro-inflammatory response and is known to increase vulnerability to viruses and degenerative diseases like cancer. It also accelerates aging at the cellular level. It shortens telomeres, lowers telomerase activity and decreases anti-oxidant capacity. This is important because, telomerase is an enzyme that can repair the telomeres – the little caps at the end of our chromosomes that protects our DNA. The length of your telomeres indicate how fast you are ageing. Ideally, you want a good response system to oxidative stress so that you can slow the aging process and prevent other negative effects. Take action now You don’t need to become a Buddhist or a Priest either! As you’ve seen from the study, 20 minutes a day would do :-) Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing can slow down the ageing process. Here’s the link to the full Harvard study — you can download the PDF for free. I’d love to hear from you: Have you practised yoga? If so, have you noticed any positive changes?


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Reflexology and Massage - what's the difference?

Reflexology uses body maps that are on the feet, hands and ears. Massage does not. Massage is all about working the muscles, tendons and fascia. In reflexology, the sensitive areas on the feet and hands indicate there is either something out of balance in the body map area of the body or something in the foot itself or something along the meridian. The sensitive areas are areas that the practitioner will work more or longer on, say up to five minutes on a sensitive place. This is to have a better response for the client. This may be similar to massage, but the massage therapist will keep in mind the tendons and massaging to the desired end result of releasing the muscles and easing the pain. Where as the reflexologist will be focusing on the reflex points or maps and how the body works and how specific conditions or illnesses work.

The benefits of reflexology are improved circulation, relaxation or stress reduction and it helps to balance or improve function of the internal organs and glands naturally. Some studies have shown it to reduce pain such as back pain, PMS symptoms, diabetes and more. Many people find it even more relaxing than a full body massage, perhaps because they don’t have to take off their clothes, and because the work is being done far away from the head or because there are more nerve endings in the feet and hands and face than other parts of the body. There is something about the finger and thumb walking technique that is deeply relaxing in a way massage is not. It is hard to describe. The thumb or finger inches along the zones or reflex points, working at a pressure level that the client finds good…like it is “doing something” but not painful. The pressure should be somewhere “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” So, if you are feeling like your reflexology practitioner is not going deep enough or is going too deep, please speak up so you will have the best results. Sometimes the results are immediate and dramatic, and sometimes the results take 3 or more sessions. Take into account the condition you have. For instance, it will take much longer to bring the body into balance if you have a chronic, long term, condition like arthritis. No reflexologist can make claims, but we can tell clients what research there is and how to access it themselves.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever gotten something different than you were looking for? Sometimes new reflexology clients come in to my office and tell a story of going to a spa and asking for reflexology and getting a foot massage instead. This is unfortunate for them, because they were looking for something different. I am sure the foot massage was lovely, but it just doesn’t have the same response as reflexology. Massage reduces muscle tension, is relaxing, and improves circulation. Reflexology is more internally based. Many clients say it feels like I am working on them from inside them. It is also really relaxing, improves circulation and helps you normalize the body.

How to tell if the spa or massage therapist is a certified reflexologist: Ask questions. Ask if they are certified in reflexology and how many hours of training they had for their basic training. In the USA, they should have had at least 200-250 hours of training or be certified by the American Reflexology certification Board. Training is different in other parts of the world. There are many different types of reflexology as well. Some are a more gentle approach such as Gentle Touch Reflexology, some are more intense such as the Father Josef method. Some are more relaxation based and energy based, and some are more clinically based.

I never refer to reflexology as foot massage because massage is geared toward soft tissue and relaxation of the muscles and reflexology is based on working the reflex maps on the feet, hands, ears and face and with the nervous system. In my humble opinion, it becomes confusing for my clients if I refer to reflexology as foot massage. Reflexology may help with some foot conditions, but the reflexology goal is to relax the body, improve circulation, and help the body normalize itself naturally, allowing the body to heal itself internally. It is working to balance all body systems, improving circulation through stimulation of the nervous system. So, if a client wanted to work internally on a health condition that reflexology research has shown improvement with, or I know of clients who are helped by reflexology for this condition, I would suggest reflexology, as opposed to massage, with the disclaimer that the reflexology treatment is not to replace medical treatment and that everyone responds differently and we would just have to see how their body responded to reflexology. We are not doctors and don’t diagnose. I hope this article helped you understand the difference between reflexology and massage and will help you make decisions on what modality would be best for you at this time.

 

Steve

www.alcovo.co.uk

Sugaring for Hair Removal - The Benefits

 

Can sugaring hair removal be considered as a serious alternative to waxing? Waxing is the most popular of all salon treatments according to the Beauty Industry Survey report from 2013. In an industry so flooded with brands it can be difficult to know how to make your Salon stand out.

 

With 83 different brands of wax identified and with the number one reason why a brand is used being that it covers all areas of the body, we think sugaring is an easy choice to make.  You know that interest in Body Sugaring is growing again.  You wish to deliver outstanding hair removal results. Clients that still shave, use chemical creams or wax at home just want great skin, right?

 

Body Sugaring is more than just hair removal it’s a fundamental skin conditioning treatment.Sugar paste removes hair from all parts of the body.  In fact one ball of sugar is used on all areas so product usage is minimal.  With no sticks or strips it’s easy to see why Salons are returning to this ancient art of hair removal. So, what are the benefits of sugaring to the client and the therapist?

 

1.  Kennedy Theory of Sugaring

 

Lina Kennedy, President of Alexandria Professional, developed the theory that hair removed in the natural direction of growth.  This theory is taught all over the world.

 

 

2.  Sugaring Eliminates Breakage

 

Our advanced technique is the most gentle and effective method of hair removal for all skin types and hair textures. By removing the hair in the direction that it grows, you end hair breakage.

 

3.  You Lubricate Hair Follicles

 

Our molding technique allows the sugar paste to penetrate into the follicle whilst wrapping itself around the hair shaft.  Full lubrication of the hair and follicle by the sugar paste results in a more gentle extraction.  You are no longer traumatizing or re-directing the natural direction of the follicle.

 

4. Hair Removal Intervals Extended

 

Regular extraction, in the active growth phase (anagen) results in the continual deterioration of the follicle and helps to collapse the follicle wall.  This leads to both refinement and permanent hair removal.

 

5.  Short Hairs Removed

 

Two days after shaving and sugar paste can still grip around the hair and remove it.  Sugar seeps into the hair follicle and lubricates the hair, enabling you to “slide” the hair out and remove it.

 

6.  Pliable Hair Leads to Little Discomfort

 

Your molding technique makes the hair more pliable with the hair follicles less traumatized, reducing discomfort. 

 

7.  Hair Breakage Causes Ingrown Hair Problem

 

You need a  good technique with all methods of hair removal.  Sugaring is no exception.  Our 6 Steps have made it easy for you  to correct any bad habits.  Your clients will not suffer breakages once your technique is perfect.  Only practice makes perfect.

 

With all types of hair removal good homecare is essential. Educate your clients and yourself to understand why homecare is important.

 

8.  100% Eco Friendly

 

Sugaring has been around for 1,000s of years and it is still made with sugar, lemon juice and water.  Still 100% natural and you can still eat it (but you will get fat).

 

9.  100% Bacteria Free

 

Sugar is well known for its preservative properties.  Bacteria is unable to grow in sugar as it binds up the water and bacteria is unable to grow.  Your pots of sugar remain bacteria free which means good news for all concerned.

 

10.  100% Free from Cross Contamination

 

As we do not use sticks with the risk of double dipping, sugaring is 100% free from cross contamination.  Habia recommends you always perform  hair removal whilst  wearing  gloves and sugaring is no exception.

 

11.  Sugar Paste is 100% Water Soluble

 

No mess, no damaged towels or uniforms, no sticky residual left on floors or table tops.  Everything is washable.  Cleanliness takes time and effort – sugaring reduces the time and effort required to be on top of the cleaning routine.

 

12.  100% Fragrant Free

 

Dermatologists say fragrance is the most common cause of allergy in cosmetics.  There are more than 5,000 synthetic fragrance compounds used by the beauty industry.  Sugaring products are Fragrant Free.

 

13.  Natural Ingredients

 

You love natural ingredients and all our products are developed with this in mind.  No nasty chemicals hiding in our ingredient lists. This means you will appeal to those clients who like natural products and still want professional hair removal.

 

14.  Sugaring is Not Hot

 

Sugar paste applied at body temperature can not burn.  Our heaters take all the guess work out of the job, leaving you to concentrate on your client.

 

15. Dead Skin Cells Removed

 

As sugar is water soluble it will not stick to live skin cells and you get great exfoliation with no skin cell damage.

 

16.  Safe on Varicose and Spider Veins

 

Sugaring is safe to use on varicose and spider veins as it is gentle.  Used with a good technique there is no damage caused to the underlying areas.  This is great news to many women who have been unable to get waxed, you can use this as a great unique selling point.

 

17.  Safe on Dry, Itchy, Psoriasis or Eczema Skin

 

As we exfoliate the deal skin cells you can see that dry, itchy eczema and psoriasis responds well to sugaring.  Used alongside our full range of skin repair creams you can deliver fantastic results on your clients skin.

 

18.  Penetrates to Lift Debris/Dead Cells and Unclog Pores

 

Sugaring helps give beautiful smooth hair free skin by seeping into the hair follicle and lifting out debris and dead cells.  Leaving the skin looking bright and clear.

 

19.  Leaves No Sticky Residue

 

Sugaring is a clean and easy way to remove hair – it leaves no sticky residue so your clients won't get home with the fluff of their trousers stuck to their legs.

 

20. Sugaring is Economical

 

One ball of sugar can remove hair from full legs, underarms, basic bikini.  From one pot of sugar you should expect to be treating 20 full legs and all the other body parts mentioned.  That’s a good product usage return.

 

 

I hope this list helps you to try sugaring if you don't like waxing either as a client or as a therapist.

 

Steve

www.alcovo.co.uk

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is an ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press key healing points, which stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. Acupressure was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, Acupressure Therapy is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health care for boosting the immune system. Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation, reduces pain, and develops spirituality and vibrant health. For a pressure point reference and a self-care guide for common complaints from A to Z, see Acupressure's Potent Points by Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., with 400 illustrations and over a hundred self-acupressure healing applications.

Acupuncture & Acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians, but Acupuncture employs needles, while Acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure. When these acupressure points are stimulated, they release muscular tension, promote circulation of blood, and enhance the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupressure therapy can be used to relieve pain, fortify the sexual reproductive system, detoxify the body for greater health and beauty, and tone facial and back muscles. Ways to Use Acupressure Applications of using Acupressure include relieving pain, balancing body energy, and maintaining good health. Acupressure's healing touch reduces muscular tension, increases circulation, and enables deep relaxation. By relieving stress, Acupressure Therapy strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. You can learn self-care applications and pressure point formulas for specific conditions, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic muscular pain, mental stress, addiction recovery, learning disorders, trauma, emotional imbalances and more. Here are some areas for applying Acupressure effectively.

Beauty Treatment: The Chinese used acupressure points as a beauty treatment for thousands of years. An acupressure beauty treatment enhances muscle tone and increases circulation. The Heavenly Appearance and Facial Beauty acupressure points improve skin condition and the tone of facial muscles and connective tissue. This can lessen the appearance of wrinkles without drugs or surgery. After years of pulling and stretching the skin, the connective tissue is weakened, loosening the skin. Simple finger pressure on the Heavenly Appearance points, along with therapeutic facial exercises, relieves congested areas and relaxes the muscles. Thus toxins are released and eliminated, which of course benefits your outward appearance. Acupressure points release the flow of life energy, which improves both how you feel as well as how you look.

Better Sex: Ancient Chinese Sexology practices use the acupressure points to cultivate sexual energy in lovemaking. Acupressure for lovers also fortifies fertility, arousal, and sexual endurance, enhancing sexual pleasure. Lovers have the advantage of stimulating the acupressure points with full body embraces, kisses, and the secrets of touch. Learn special points for heightening spiritual awareness and the chemistry of your love relationship. The book, Acupressure for Lovers, also provides answers for sexual problems such as inhibited sexual desire, premature ejaculation, impotency, infertility, and sexual frustration through an understanding of where sexual energy gets blocked and what points to use to release it. Achieve deeper sexual communication, spirituality, and learn acupressure techniques to unleash the dynamic force of love. Back Care Acupressure Therapy is highly effective for relieving muscular tension in all areas of the back. Important points are located along either side of the spine and on the upper back. For self back care, lie down on a couple of tennis balls tied in a sock. Many people especially appreciate the release of tightness associated with lower back pain and sciatica. Acupressure, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, and self-acupressure for relieving back pain can also be an effective adjunct to chiropractic treatment. By relaxing and toning the back muscles, Acupressure makes the spinal adjustments easier and more effective, and the chiropractic results last longer. In fact, Acupressure and chiropractic treatments were originally practiced together in ancient China.

Healing Trauma & Emotional Pain: Long known for its ability to alleviate physical pain, the ancient healing art of Acupressure can also relieve emotional pain. From day-to-day pressures to life's most significant trials, emotional stress causes the body to shut down, which keeps negative feelings stuck, resulting in physical ailments and emotional imbalances. Acupressure techniques release this muscular tension and restore the flow of vital energy, making resolution possible. For an in-depth focus on this topic, see Acupressure for Emotional Healing: A Self-Care Guide for Trauma, Stress & Common Emotional Imbalances by Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., with 500 illustrations of emotional healing applications. Acupressure relaxes the tight muscles that result from emotional stress and trauma, which cause the body to contract its muscles and harden, like protective armor, to shield your inner self. For instance, when something frightens you, or someone uptight treats you abrasively, your neck and shoulders may tighten immediately in response. This tension prevents energy from circulating freely in your body, which can lead to various physical and emotional imbalances. If you do not deal with these tensions and resulting afflictions, emotional problems may stay buried, and then resurface at a later time, when they're triggered by some new stress. Most therapies address the cognitive and emotional aspects of trauma, but do not get to the physiological source. Acupressure has an advantage in that it works directly with the body to relieve physical ailments, muscular tension, and the emotional imbalances associated with them.

Emotional imbalances and the physical symptoms that accompany them are often the body's response to unresolved issues and events. Someone who witnessed a fatal automobile accident, or an abusive incident, may live with the memory in the form of recurring nightmares and insomnia or other psychosomatic ailments. If left untreated, they can continue for years. Using acupressure points for today's tension headache, caused by a conflict at work or an argument over homework with one's teenager, may bring old conflicts or memories to the surface during an acupressure session or afterward. To follow up, use acupressure self-care methods, or explore the issues in therapy. Becoming conscious of old memories and bringing them out in the open can lessen their impact. Divorce is another example of a life-changing transition that can cause emotional problems such as anxiety, worry, and depression, and also cause physical symptoms, such as stomach aches, ulcers, irritable bowel problems, and more. Acupressure can help balance these symptoms.

Addictions: Compulsive behaviors occur in cycles and are cumulative; one stress leads to another. Poor choices and emotionally unhealthy situations contribute to muscular tensions, pressures and pain. People commonly use drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or overeating to avoid the stress and tension in their lives and to escape from feeling pain in the body. Acupressure can break the negative cycle of addiction, since it releases pain, stress, and tension, and heightens body awareness. Instead of the numbing affects of drugs, acupressure increases the circulation, helping to lift the fog of addiction and bringing a person back to the present moment. There are acupressure points for regaining stability, reducing cravings, for heightening morale, self-esteem, and self-confidence, and for boosting will power - all of which are vital for combating addictions.

All Acupressure Massage techniques, methods and styles use the same ancient acupressure trigger points. They vary in using different rhythms and pressures for stimulating the acupressure points, using not only the fingers, but also the hands, arms, legs and even feet. Some styles also incorporate other healing techniques. Shiatsu Therapy, the traditional Japanese form of acupressure, can be quite vigorous, with deep pressure applied to each point for three to five seconds. In Jin Shin Acupressure, at least two points are gently held for a minute or more. This style also uses the Extra Meridians or Extraordinary Vessels, which balance the meridians. Tuina Chinese Massage and Thai Massage stimulate the Qi ("key") healing energy using acupressure hand movements, full body stretches, and Chinese massage techniques. Healing Energy Work Acupressure Points have a high electrical conductivity at the surface of the skin, and thus conduct and channel healing energy most effectively. This is why the most potent healing energy work uses acupressure points. The Chinese call healing energy Qi or Chi. In Japan, the life force is termed Ki, and channeling healing energy is called Reiki. Yoga practices refer to the body's life force as prana or pranic energy. These terms all relate to the same universal healing energy, which exists in our environment, and links us to all forms of life. The 12 Meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine are the body's healing energy pathways. Meridian massage therapy moves this life energy through the meridians to improve flow and balance. Acupressure charts and Acupuncture charts show where the meridian lines are on the body. The points are where vital energy gets blocked on the meridians, and where you can most effectively release the resulting tension, numbness, or pain. As healing energy flows through the meridians, it governs blood circulation and harmonizes all functions of the body. Studying the meridian pathways and Acupressure points for transmitting Qi healing energy is key to transformational energy work, including therapeutic touch and massage therapy. Energy blockages whether from stress, trauma, or an injury, can be traced to the root of all health problems. Your energy flow affects how you feel, how you think, and how you breathe. Just as negative thoughts can block your energy flow, positive thoughts can increase your healing energy. When the body's life-force energy becomes blocked, various emotional imbalances and physical symptoms also result. These energy blockages occur at the acupressure points. Through a variety of acupressure methods ranging from light touch, tapping, to simply holding the points, the body's life energy is able to flow and rebalance.

A skilled Acupressurist can integrate many complementary health care methods and therapies into a complete treatment. Examples include therapeutic touch, somatic work, healing imagery, acupressure meridian therapy, five element assessments, pulse reading, Asian bodywork therapy, energy psychology (which involves tapping acupressure points), and acupressure massage therapy techniques. Martial Arts & Healing Arts share a common focus on the flow of energy within the body. Both Martial Arts and the Healing Arts transmit powerful energy in their practices. For instance, the point underneath the base of the skull (called the Gates of Consciousness) can be used in Martial Arts to paralyze the body, and block energy to the brain. However, the same Acupressure point can be used to open more healing energy into the brain, and relieve migraine headaches. An Acupressurist can use this point easily to balance the hemispheres and functions of the brain, leaving a person with mental alertness and clarity. The healing arts use the life force for internal healing. In contrast, martial artists cultivate their energy internally, but use the life force externally for self-defense and physical power. Both practices cultivate healing energy through exercise, diet, and visualizations. A well-developed martial artist master knows how to use the life force for self-defense, and also knows how to use this vital energy to heal an opponent. Use Qi Gong with Acupressure to cultivate internal healing. The ancient Chinese masters of healing and martial arts developed hundreds of internal healing art practices to strengthen the flow of the life force. These highly valued self-healing practices within the Chinese culture are known as Qi Gong (or Chi Gong). A skilled Acupressurist channels Chi or Qi energy throughout the body. By strengthening your life force through Qi Gong and martial art exercises, you can heighten your own ability to use Acupressure Therapy to heal yourself and others. Use Reiki on the Points to enhance healing.

Traditional Reiki practitioners use the whole hand with light contact to channel energy and relieve pain. Learn how to heal the body by sending life energy (also known as Reiki) through the acupressure points. Channeling Reiki energy through the acupressure points can enable you to tap into Traditional Chinese Medicine's point-specific ancient healing knowledge. Energy Flow Governs Well-Being in people and animals alike. Within all living animals are meridian pathways. These life-force channels govern the functions of all body systems, such as the nervous, digestive, endocrine, vascular, lymphatic, and reproductive systems. The way energy flows through the meridians presides over wellness or dis-ease. Meridian blockages can cause all kinds of human suffering. However, when the life force flows through the meridians in a balanced way, health, harmony, and happiness results.

 

Activating Your Chakras Using Visualisation/Meditation

Your chakras are amazingly powerful energy centers because they interact with the creative energy around you. When these chakras are working properly, your creative manifesting energy can flow better, leading to more success, happiness and fulfillment.

Here is a simple and effective meditation technique you can use today, to open and activate your chakras for the better:


Part I: Tuning In

1. Find a comfortable place to sit.

Find a place where you will be able to focus without distraction. You can sit on a cushion with your legs crossed on if this is comfortable for you. If you prefer, the meditation can be done while seated in a chair. Make sure that your feet are placed firmly on the ground.

2. Align your posture.

When taking your seat in meditation, bring your attention into your body. Straighten the spine, the main energy highway of the body. Lift your head so that the crown is pointed towards the sky. Tuck your chin. Roll your shoulders back. This ensures that the spine is in a neutral position. Neutral alignment of the spine allows your energy to flow freely through the body.

3. Close your eyes.

Every action, even the most subtle, influences our energy field. When you close your eyes, your attention draws inward. Energy flows where attention goes. To enhance the effectiveness of the meditation, roll your eyes slightly upwards while they are closed. This activates the higher brain and gets you more in tune with your energy field.

A more advanced technique is to place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth. This simple gesture creates a connection between two major energy meridians in the energy field. Strange as it may sound, holding your tongue right can increase the flow of energy and make concentration easier.

4. Focus on your breathing.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathe into your belly and keep your shoulders relaxed. Our breath is our main source of vital energy. When we connect consciously with our breathing and slow it down, our flow of energy becomes more steady and coherent. Our aura literally comes into focus.

5. Let the breath lead the energy.

When inhaling, pull the breath all the way down to the tailbone, all the way to the tips of the toes. When exhaling, feel your breath pulsing back out of the body, leaving a sense of peace and relaxation. Take a few breaths while feeling this pulse, tuning in to the flow of energy.

Part II: Activating

1. Root Chakra

The root chakra is our connection to earth and to the body. Picture the energy of your root chakra as a ball of ruby light centered on the base of your spine. With each breath, see this ball becoming larger. Watch the color become richer and more vital. Allow this red light to fill your entire body, deepening with each breath and saturating your aura. Feel the solidity of the earth filling you, bringing steadiness and stability.

2. Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is our connection to water and creativity. See the energy of your sacral chakra as a ball of rich orange light, centered along the spine even with the hips. With each inhalation, see this ball expand, allowing the rich orange color of the sacral chakra to fill your aura. Allow it to become richer and fuller with each breath. Feel the orange light of the sacral chakra invigorating you, awakening power, sexuality, and creativity.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra

The solar plexus chakra is associated with self-esteem and with a sense of personal power. Visualize the golden light of your solar plexus chakra as an orb poised along the spine and level with your solar plexus. With each inhalation, see this orb expanding, filling your aura with golden-yellow energy. With each exhalation, release all tension and fear that has been blocking your self-expression. Feel a sense of lightness and freedom fill you as the golden light of this chakra saturates your aura.

4. Heart Chakra

The heart chakra is the center of healing and emotion. This is the point in our energy that connects us to each living creature and being in the universe. See the heart chakra as a ball of soft green light in the center of your chest. Feel the warmth of this light as it expands to fill your entire body, your entire aura. This energy brings the feeling of compassion and love. As your aura becomes saturated with the green light of the heart chakra, feel any blockages to self-love loosening and becoming washed away. You are beautiful and perfect right now, exactly as you are. When we accept and love ourselves unconditionally, we invite healing energy into our lives. We establish a foundation that meaningful relationships can be built upon.

5. Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is the center of our voice and our will. Picture a light-blue ball of light centered on your throat. With each inhalation, see this ball of light expand, filling your aura with the color of the sky. Feel the openness that enters your field along with the light-blue energy. The throat chakra is the energy of self-expression and manifestation. When you open this chakra, it becomes easier to speak your truth and to bring your desires into being.

6. Third Eye

The third eye is the center of sight and understanding. Visualize a dark-blue ball of light, the color of the night sky, directly between your eyes. See this light expanding with each breath, washing away blockages. Allow your entire aura to become saturated with dark-blue light. Feel any confusion and uncertainty slipping away, replaced by energy of clarity and perception.

7. Crown Chakra


The crown chakra is the center of our connection with the spiritual, with guidance, serenity, and faith. See your crown chakra as a sphere of violet light, centered at the crow of your head. Breathe in violet light, seeing this chakra expand. Visualize violet light filling and saturating your aura, extending outwards from you to connect with every aspect of your existence. You are one with all that is. Feel the energy of faith and connection putting all feelings of fear and aloneness to rest. You are part of the living universe, intimately connected with all that is on the deepest level.


Part III: Coming Back

Sit with this for as long as you like, feeling your chakras open and your aura full of vital energy. Pay attention to the sensations within your body, in your hands and feet. Take note of any emotions or thoughts that come about during this time. When our energy is flowing without obstruction, we have access to levels of intuition and connection beyond those of everyday experience.

When it is time to end the meditation, give a brief thanks to your energy and spirit. Then see the energy of each chakra becoming more concentrated, focused in a smaller area. See the energy of your aura weaving together, becoming healthy and tightly formed. This helps you to encounter the chaotic energies of life without becoming unbalanced.

This meditation can be done as often as you like. Your concentration and visualization will improve with each meditation. As you develop skill with this practice, you will sense the energy of each chakra more clearly and powerfully.   Next article will focus on grounding your energy field.

Acupressure Points for Colds and Flu

Colds are caused by viruses that thrive in your nose and throat when the temperature, acidity, and moisture suit them. When you are run down and your resistance is low, your ability to adapt to environmental changes weakens, making it easier to catch a cold, and the mucous membranes become a perfect breeding ground for viruses. Cold symptoms are the body's attempt to protect itself from these intruders. When a virus enters your nose, for instance, the body secretes more mucus to flush it away.
Because acupressure stimulates your body to expel the virus more quickly, it may seem at first that your cold is worsening. But your body is simply progressing through the symptoms faster than usual. Although acupressure cannot cure a cold, working on certain points can help you get better quicker and increase your resistance to future colds.
   
Acupressure Points for Seasonal Changes
Potent point B 36, called Bearing Support, is especially good for stimulating the body's natural resistance to colds and flus. It's located near the spine, off the tips of the shoulder blades. According to traditional Chinese medicine, wind and cold enter the pores of the skin at this point.1 The muscles in this upper back area tend to get tense just before a cold or flu takes hold.2
Recently, one of my best friends was suffering from a bad cold with a stuffy nose, a hacking cough, puffiness around his eyes, and a pallid complexion. He hadn't slept well the previous two nights because of these discomforts and was very tired. After I briefly massaged his upper back, shoulders, neck, and chest, I showed him how to press the decongestion points underneath the base of his skull and on his face. I also told him to drink ginger tea at least twice a day. When I saw John the next day, he told me he had slept soundly and felt much more refreshed. His eyes looked much clearer, and already he was no longer coughing and blowing his nose.

Potent Points for Relieving Colds and Flu
Drilling Bamboo (B 2)
Location: In the indentations of the eye sockets, on either side of where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows.
Benefits: Relieves colds, sinus congestion, frontal headaches, and tired eyes.
Facial Beauty (St 3)
Location: At the bottom of the cheekbone, directly below the pupil.
Benefits: Relieves stuffy nose, head congestion, burning eyes, eye fatigue, and eye pressure.
Welcoming Perfume (LI 20)
Location: On either cheek, just outside each nostril.
Benefits: Relieves nasal congestion, sinus pain, facial paralysis, and facial swelling.
Crooked Pond (LI 11)
Location: At the outer end of the elbow crease.
Benefits: Relieves cold symptoms, fever, constipation, and elbow pain; strengthens the immune system.
Joining the Valley (Hoku) (LI 4)
Caution: This point is forbidden for pregnant women because its stimulation can cause premature contractions in the uterus.
Location: At the highest spot of the muscle on the back of the hand that protrudes when the thumb and index finger are close together.
Benefits: Relieves colds, flu, head congestion, constipation, and headaches.
Gates of Consciousness (GB 20)
Location: Below the base of the skull, in the hollows on both sides, two to three inches apart depending on the size of the head.
Benefits: Relieves headaches, head congestion, arthritis, neck pain, and irritability.
Wind Mansion (GV 16)
Location: In the center of the back of the head, in the large hollow under the base of the skull.
Benefits: Relieves head congestion, red eyes, mental stress, headaches, and stiff neck.
Third Eye Point (GV 24.5)
Location: Directly between the eyebrows, in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the center of your forehead.
Benefits: Relieves head congestion, stuffy nose, and headaches.
Elegant Mansion (K 27)
Location: In the hollow below the collarbone next to the breastbone.
Benefits: Relieves chest congestion, breathing difficulties, coughing, and sore throats.

Potent Point Exercises
You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective.
Lie down on your back or sit comfortably.
Step 1
Press into B 2: Use your thumbs on the upper ridge of your eye socket to press into the slight hollow near the bridge of your nose for one minute. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, letting the weight of your head relax forward onto your thumbs.
Step 2
Press St 3 and LI 20: Place both of your middle fingers beside your nostrils and your index fingers next to them; gradually press up and underneath the cheekbones for one minute. You can easily teach this step to your child to help relieve nasal congestion.
Step 3
Press both LI 11: Bend your arm and place your thumb at the- end of the elbow crease on the outside of your forearm. Curve your fingers to press firmly into the elbow joint for one minute. Repeat on your opposite arm.
Step 4
Press LI 4 firmly: Spread your left thumb and index finger apart. Place your right thumb in the webbing on the back of your left hand and your fingertips on the palm directly behind your thumb. Firmly squeeze your thumb and index finger of your right hand together to press into the webbing. Angle the pressure toward the bone that connects with your left index finger, and hold for one minute. Then switch hands.
Step 5
Firmly press GB 20: Now close your eyes and place your thumbs underneath the base of your skull, two to three inches apart. Slowly tilt your head back and apply pressure gradually, holding the position for one minute to fully release these important cold-relief points.

Step 6
Firmly press GV 16: Place the tips of your middle fingers into the hollow in the center of the base of your skull. Keeping your fingers on the point, inhale as you tilt your head back and exhale as you relax your head forward. Continue to slowly rock your head back and forward, and breathe deeply while you hold this important point for relieving head congestion.
Step 7
Touch the GV 24.5: Bring your palms together and use your middle and index fingers to lightly touch the Third Eye Point located between your eyebrows. Breathe deeply as you hold this point for balancing your endocrine system.
Step 8
Firmly press K 27: Place your fingertips on the protrusions of your collarbone, then slide your fingers down and outward into the first indentation in between the bones. Press into this hollow as you breathe deeply and visualize the congestion clearing.

Potent Points for Relieving Coughing
A severe, repeated, or uncontrolled cough can be harmful and you should always consult a physician. Many illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis can become serious if the condition continues unattended.
Sometimes, your physician will find it advisable to attempt to suppress a cough to prevent further irritation of the bronchial tubes. Cough medications may be used, but acupressure can be an effective adjunct therapy. During a coughing fit, many of the large muscle groups in the upper back area can go into a spasm. Specific points on the chest, throat, neck, and upper back benefit the respiratory system, relax your body, and relieve coughs.

Vital Diaphragm (B 38)
Location: Between the shoulder blade and the spine at the level of the heart.
Benefits: Relieves coughing, breathing difficulties, and respiratory problems. This calming point also helps balance the emotions.
Ding Chuan (Extra Point 17)
Location: To the side and a little above the vertebra that protrudes at the top of the spine when the head is tilted downward.
Benefits: Relieves throat problems, coughing, shoulder and neck pain, and thyroid imbalances.
Heavenly Pillar (13 10)
Location: One-half inch below the base of the skull on the ropy muscles one-half inch out from either side of the spine.
Benefits: Relieves sore throat, stress, burnout, overexertion, and heaviness in the head.
Heaven Rushing Out (CV 22)
Location: At the base of the throat in the large hollow directly below the Adam's apple.
Benefits: Relieves dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat, chest congestion, and heartburn.
Elegant Mansion (K 27)
Location: In the hollow below the collarbone next to the breastbone.
Benefits: Relieves chest congestion, breathing difficulties, asthma, coughing, and anxiety.
(You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a cough can be effective.)

 Potent Point Exercises
Although many of the following points can be held while you are sitting, it is preferable to lie down comfortably on your back.

Step 1
Hold both K 27 points: Place your fingertips on your chest and firmly press into the indentations directly below the protrusions of the collarbone. This is another point that you can easily teach a child.
Step 2
Use tennis balls on B 38: Place two small rubber balls or tennis balls together on a clean carpet. Lie down, placing the balls between your shoulder blades at the level of your heart. Close your eyes and take three long, deep breaths as you continue to press the K 27 points on your upper chest.
Step 3
Firmly press extra point 17: Slowly roll the tennis balls a few inches higher toward the base of your neck. If the tennis balls tend to slip, or you aren't using them, Simply use both middle fingers to press this important acupressure point at the base of the neck.
Step 4
Hold both B 10 points and CV 22: Press B 10 on the upper neck with one hand, using the fingertips. Use your other hand to lightly hold CV 22, an inch below the base of the Adam's apple, pressing lightly at a downward angle. Close your eyes and breathe deeply as you visualize healing energy soothing your throat.

For Sore Throats and Coughing
A small piece of fresh ginger can be one of the most natural and effective ways for soothing a sore throat. Simply place a very thin slice of fresh ginger on the back of your tongue. If your throat is sensitive and the ginger feels hot, use a smaller, thinner piece and place it farther back toward your throat. Keep the ginger in the back of your throat for ten minutes. Repeat with a fresh piece several times a day as needed. A quarter cup of chopped ginger can also be simmered in a few cups of water and used as a tea for soothing coughs and sore throats.

Emotional Healing using Acupressure

Traumatic events and painful experiences cause the body to shut down and entrap negative feelings, resulting in physical ailments and emotional imbalances. Acupressure releases this muscular tension and restores the flow of vital energy, making resolution possible. Here are acupressure points for 4 different types of emotional healing.

 

Tuning Out:

GV 26, located between the upper lip and nose is a famous first-aid revival point.  Apply pressure firmly into the upper gum to counteract emotional numbness and dissociation.

 

Calming Anxiety:

Sea of Tranquility (CV 17, located on the center of the breastbone) is the best point to hold during an emotional release for calming anxiety, panic attacks, and nervousness. Hold this point when you feel frustrated, irritated, or tense. It releases uptightness in the chest and makes deep-breathing easier.

 

Use your fingertips to hold CV 17 for three minutes, as you breathe slowly and deeply for an instant calming effect whenever you feel agitated or under stress. You can repeat this many times thoughout the day when you want to calm yourelf. Try it the next time you feel frustrated, irritated, nervous, or anxious. The more you practice this technique, the more the point will open for achieving inner peace and improving the quality of your life.

 

Depression & Grief:

Place your hands on opposite Lu 1 points in the upper, outer chest region. Holding Lu 1 aids in letting go of depression, grief, and expectations. Breathe deeply into these points, breathing out any worrisome thoughts, for two minutes. Make the sound of ahhhh on the exhalation to further release your stress.

 

Overwhelm & Worry:

Briskly rub both St 36 (four finger widths below the kneecap and outside of the shinbone) with your fist for one minute. Repeat this several times a day for a few months. St 36 is effective for preventing dissociation and helps the client to ground and stabilize after an emotional release. Stimulating this point several times daily is good for relieving sugar cravings, worrisome thoughts, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia.

Acupressure Points for headaches and migraines.

Most headaches are caused primarily by tension, which constricts the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain. A headache is the body’s warning signal that the brain may not be getting enough oxygen. Too often, we choose to repress the warning signals of a headache by taking aspirin, instead of dealing with the stress and the real cause. If you have a bad headache that persists for more than several days, call your doctor.

The following self-care routine can be done either lying down or sitting comfortably.

 

1. Palm Press the Temples. Position the heel of your hand on your temples, in the indentations outside of your eyebrows. Apply firm pressure inward and rotate your hands while breathing deeply for one minute.

 

2. Hold Base of Skull wth Bridge of Nose. Place a hand under the base of your skull (GB 20), thumb on one side, fingertips on the other, three inches apart. Use your other hand to press the upper ridge of the eye socket near the bridge of the nose (B 2) with your thumb and with your thumb and middle finger. use your index finger to gently touch between the eyebrows (GV 24.5). Press underneath the skull firmly as you tilt your head back and breathe deeply for one minute.

 

3. Press St 3. Use your middle and index fingers on both hands to gradually press up under the cheekbones, directly below the center of your eyes, for one minute. Straighten your spine and breathe deeply through your nose as you hold these points gently.

 

4. Press the Headache Point. Place your right thumb into the webbing between the thumb and index finger (LI 4). Direct pressure underneath the bone that attaches to your index finger for a minute. Then switch hands and work on your right hand.

 

About the author

Steve from AlcovoBorn in Worcestershire, and educated to second (Masters) degree in Geography, I worked in a corporate company before being inspired more fully into well-being from travels to the Eastern and Tropical countries of the Philippines, India, Kenya, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mozambique.

I gained an understanding of spas, treatments and clients along my way, and have developed this into my own practice, al Covo, to which I welcome you warmly. I pride myself on al Covo's warmth, peaceful aura, hygiene and thoroughness.

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