Natural Remedies for Colds, Flu, & Congestion

SneezingCold and flu season is upon us. I believe in being proactive and not reactive, and their are herbs that you can take daily to boost your immune system. I’m only going to list the remedies that I’ve personally taken that worked for me. I am always willing to try a natural method for healing ailments.

The Dynamic Duo
I can personally attest to the power of the dynamic duo, Echinacea & Goldenseal. I take the extract, and when I feel  congestion, sore throat, or any symptoms of illness or allergy, I take the combined Echinacea and Goldenseal, and I usually feel relief from ailments within 24 hours. I continue to take it for another week. For preventive maintenance, I take a couple of doses for two weeks in each month.

Echinacea and Goldenseal combined have powerful immune enhancing, congestion reducing, and anti-inflammatory action. They are both great to take for colds, flu, fever, infections, congestion, and respiratory problems.

Echniacea’s anti-inflammatory elements help to boost your immune system, increasing your bodies defenses against bad agents that cause illness by increasing the amount of white blood cells in your body. The white blood cells (phagocytes) protect us from disease and illness by devouring harmful bacteria. Echinacea comes in liquid extract, pill or capsule, and from the ground root. A dose is 30 to 50 drops of the liquid extract, two capsules, or four to eight ounces of strong tea.  

Goldenseal is very effective for infections. It soothes your mucous membranes in the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract. So Goldenseal helps congestion, and it also has antibiotic and immune stimulating activities.

To be proactive, and keep illnesses away, take the Dynamic Duo two to three times daily for one to two weeks each month, especially during cold, flu, and allergy months. When you feel illness rooting, take Echinacea every two hours until you feel relief from some of your symptoms. Then reduce the dose to three times daily for a week to ensure that you fully recover. Take Goldenseal every two hours, and then after 72 hours, take it three times daily for two weeks.

The Holy Basil
Tulsi, also called Holy Basil is a sacred healing tea from India lauded for it’s three-fold ability to heal. It is both stimulating and restorative. It bolsters immunity, stamina, and metabolism while relieving stress. It helps to dispel toxins, improve digestion, and regulate blood pressure and blood suger. It reduces stress with an adaptogen, which is an agent that aids the body in adapting to stress. Tulsi has an immuno-modulator that balances and enhances your body’s immune response to antigen. It also has antioxidants that stall the process of excess oxidation.

I drink Tulsi tea every morning. The benefits are subtle, but they are there. I’m not as tired as I used to be and my digestion has improved fantasticly.

I am not suggesting that you abandon your prescription medications. I’m just sharing with you some natural remedies that help me. The Dynamic Duo and the Holy Basil work!

*Disclamer: Consult your doctor or physician before taking unprescribed substances. Conduct your own research. The Leisure Living Blog is not responsible for adverse reactions to the natural remedies listed in this article.

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What’s On Your Mind

bloomingideascartoonEverything, good or bad, begins as a thought. A tiny seed in your mind that gets fertilized and grows as a result of what you continually think about, look at, consume, and hear. Monitor what you allow to infiltrate your senses. Feed the beauty. Intentionally think good thoughts. Be specific in what you think. Your thoughts dictate your words, and your words dictate your actions. Train your thoughts to feed the beauty of you, your life, your surroundings, and the world, and your words and actions will follow suit. Pump positivity, power, life, light, and beauty into your mind, your eyes, and your ears.

You have the Mind of Christ! You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. And because you were made in the likeness of God, you are a creator. Create beauty! Banish the beast.

Many Blessings,
Trina

Reduce Tension, Strain, & Pain from Computer Use

computertensionMost of us spend more than 45% of our time at a computer on a daily basis, these reminders can help reduce tension, strain, and pain.

Don’t Lean Forward

You probably don’t realize it because you are deeply into what you are writing, but you are probably leaning your neck, head, and upper torso forward towards your monitor or hanging over your laptop. Leaning your neck and your head forward past your shoulders can cause neck strain and tense shoulders. Make a conscious effort to keep your neck in line with your shoulders. 

Keep Your Shoulders Away from Your Ears

Keep your shoulders down and back. Most of us carry stress in our shoulders and between our shoulder blades. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that our shoulders are hunched over in tension. Pay attention to yourself while you are driving too. We often tense up and pull our shoulders towards our ears while driving.

Move Around

Get up and move around at least once per hour. Get the blood flowing through your body. Wake your body up. Sitting for long stretches of time makes us stiff, and at some point, parts of our bodies will begin to protest either in pain or numbness. So pacify the body each hour. Don’t wait until the end of the day or writing session to give your body a break.

Yoga Break for Writers: 6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Overworked Arms

Writers produce by sitting at a desk all day, writing, reading, squinting, and leaning our neck towards the screen. Sitting all day like this can give us tight hips, tense shoulders, and neck irritation. Here are some Yoga poses that I do at my desk to loosen and stretch myself. If you do these poses about once an hour or once every two-to-three hours, you’ll find that your body is not so tense and stiff, which enables you to sit longer and write more.

Anyone who sits at a desk all day performing repetitive motions with their arms can do these easy exercises.

 Relieve Overworked Arms

Position #1: Sit at the edge of your chair, lift your arms over your head, effectively stretching the inside100_2792 of the shoulder. Clasp your fingers together, lift your arms straight up. Keep your shoulders down and back. Lift up out of your waist. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Extend through the palms, and deepen your breath. Remain in this pose breathing deeply for at least five slow, deep breaths. Slowly release and put hands back on knees.

Position #2: Sit at the edge of your chair, stretch your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor. They should be at shoulder100_2794 level. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Using your left hand, press the right elbow. This  movement stretches the top of the shoulders. Don’t push the arm into your face. Keep arms level with shoulder. Keep back straight and sit erect, but not stiff. Release slowly.

Position #3: Push back from the desk, but remain seated near the edge of your chair. Open legs wide with your feet planted on the100_2795 floor. Take a deep breath and exhale, hinge at the hips, placing your palms or fingertips on the floor. Keep your head a long extension of your spine. Breathe deeply.

Sit straight up, shoulders down and back, chest out & open, with hands on each knee, and breathe deeply.

Position #4:  Turn towards your desk. Straighten your arms and lay your palms on the top of the desk.100_2798 Push your chair out, but stay seated in it. Legs are wide apart, feet on the floor. Your head will be slightly lower than your shoulders. Shoulders are extended. Back is not arched or curved, keep it straight, long, and lean. This movement stretches out your stiff spine. You are also opening the hips and shoulders.

Position #5: Move your chair out of the way. Put your hands on top of the desk. Stand back and do the same movement as100_2799 Position 4, but this time you are standing. Hinge at the hips, stick your tailbone out, and your stance is the width of your hips. Spread your fingers out wide. Deepen your breathing. You’ll feel a stretch in your armpits and shoulders, similar to when you are in downward facing dog.

Position #6: Sitting in your chair, bend your arms so that your hands are in front of you. Close your arms with the elbows and100_2800 palms toward each other. Cross your right arm over your left arm, and put your left hand in your right hand. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax into the pose. Don’t force it. You should feel a good stretch in your shoulders. Take deep, slow breaths. You will feel a good stretch between the shoulder blades. Breathe. Pull the elbows down. Now start over, but this time cross your left arm over your right arm. This move is called seated Eagle.

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

© 2009 KaTrina Love
www.leisurelivingblog.com

Say What You Mean

ChristianCartoon04

Our thoughts and words help to pioneer the direction of our life. God created the Earth and everything in it with words. All He said was…”Let there be…” and there was light. We are made in the image of God. Our words are powerful too. So we must think and speak words that bring life and not words and thoughts that kill. When our will is aligned with God’s will, then our desires are His. We can then speak with confidence and power, and wait expectantly and patiently. You are what you think you are and what you say you are. If your life, situation isn’t how you want, you have the power to change it.

“…it is paramount that you become the master of your thoughts. Shift your thought life. Filter out anything that you do not want to show up in your future, and focus on what you truly desire. God wired your thoughts to have power so you would be equipped to overcome every obstacle. He fashioned you to create, innovate, strategize, and succeed–and just to be sure, He put His own divine thoughts and nature within you.” ~Cindy Trimm

References:

Charles Caps’ The Tongue: A Creative Force
Pastor Creflo Dollars’ What You Say Is What You Get
Pastor Creflo Dollars’ The Power of Speaking God’s Word
Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind
Joyce Meyer’s Me and My Big Mouth!
Cindy Trimm’s Commanding Your Morning

Many blessings,

Trina

Yoga Pose Series: Triangle Pose

100_2755by Trina Love Abram

My favorite Yoga pose is Triangle or Trikonasana. The root word trikona, means “three angle or triangle” and asana means posture in Sanskrit.

Benefits of Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose simultaneously energizes and relaxes you, alleviating stress. It is an elegantly powerful pose that works the abdominal external oblique muscles, effectively lengthening and shaving them. Triangle also strengthens your back, opens your chest and your hip joints, strengthens and lengthens your inner thigh muscles, strengthens your calves, helps to reduce love handles, and engages the abdominal muscles to aid in digestion. The twisting and extending that is involved also massages the spinal nerves. In Triangle, you feel balanced, energized, and focused. You are stable, secure, and powerful.

Prevent Injuries

For Triangle Pose to be effective, you MUST do the pose correctly. You must concern yourself with proper alignment and placement of your limbs. The line of the torso from the side of your waist to the armpit must be flat, and not rounded, toward the ceiling. It is the contraction of the abdominal external oblique muscles that work to strengthen and tone your sides.

Do not stand with your legs too close or too far apart:

The foundation of this pose is your stance. Your legs are the base and must be properly positioned and far enough apart to support you. Stand in the middle of your mat, and extend your arms to the side. Step your legs apart so that your stance is as wide as or wider than the length of your arms from your shoulders to the tips of your fingers. If one or both of your knees want to bend, then your stance is too wide.

Do not lean forward:

Do not lean forward. The objective of the pose is not that you reach the mat with your hand or fingers. Open your chest towards the ceiling. The arm that is extended towards the ceiling should be in line with your ear. Stick your pelvis and hips forward. I repeat, do not lean forward in this pose.

Getting Into Triangle

*I advise you to first practice Triangle up against the wall. Leave your top hand on your hip, your lower hand on your shin. Bend at the hips instead of at the waist. This gives you the proper alignment of your hips pressed forward, your shoulder rotated up, and your chest open and lifted to the ceiling along with your head and your gaze. The wall acts as a buffer.

  1. Lift your arms to shoulder height into a T position.100_2757
  2. Lift your chest and torso up, keeping your shoulders down and back.
  3. Step your feet straight out to each side so that your toes are parallel with the tips of your fingers. It is essential that your stance is far enough apart to support you. This is your base.
  4. Turn both of your feet forward, so that they are parallel to one another and pointed directly to the front, as your torso should be.
  5. Lift and spread your toes wide, and then place them back on the mat.
  6. Leaving the left foot pointed straight ahead, turn your your right foot out to the right 90 degrees.
  7. Extend your torso to the right, and then continue to bend to the right from your hip until your right arm is comfortable100_2758 either above your knee, on your shin, on your ankle, or on the mat. Simultaneously, lift your left arm straight to the ceiling. Imagine that your arms are making a vertical T (in line with the tops of your shoulders). Listen to your body. If as far as your body says it can do down is you placing your hand on your thigh, then don’t go further than that. As you practice the pose, your hamstrings will loosen up, and you will be able to go down farther.
  8. Press your hips forward, tuck your tailbone under, and rotate your left shoulder towards the ceiling. Do not stick your butt or tailbone out to achieve the position. You are defeating the purpose.
  9. Turn your chest up towards the ceiling, effectively opening the chest and providing more flexibility in the oblique muscles.
  10. Keep your gaze straight ahead or gaze softly towards your left thumb.
  11. Inhale and exhale, and feel your rib cage expand and contract. As the weight of the rib cage shifts during breathing, you are100_2756 challenged to maintain the pose in its proper form. Triangle also benefits your posture because the dynamics of the position challenge your balance and your coordination.
  12. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up, strongly pressing the back (left) heel into the floor and pulling the right arm downward. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time on the left side.

Counter Poses

wide legged forward bendI emphasize balance in your Yoga practice, which means that when you bend in one direction, you mustwlfb02 follow with a pose that bends in the opposite direction. If you work your right side, you must balance by also working your left side. In Triangle pose, you are bending from side to side. I suggest Wide Leg Forward Bend followed by a Wide Legged Backbend.

 

What You Will Feel

 You will feel:

  • Your oblique (side) muscles lengthen as you extend
  • Your thighs and calf muscles working to keep you steady
  • Your hamstring muscles stretch, if your stance is wide enough
  • The shoulder of your arm that is extended rotate in the socket allowing you to open your chest towards the ceiling
  • Your glute muscles working as you press your hips forward

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. Make sure that you have adequate instructions about how to accurately perform these poses before you try them. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

Namaste,
Trina

 www.leisurelivingblog.com

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

© 2009 KaTrina Love Abram

Yoga Basics Part 4: Alignment

AlignmentisKeyThere are Yoga poses that seduce, challenge, and humiliate you. Some poses will make you smile with satisfaction, while others illicit a grunt of frustration. What ever the pose, and regardless of how it makes you feel, the most important aspect of a Yoga pose is alignment.

Alignment is the combination of technical intricacies of the pose that enable you to properly position yourself into the pose without causing injury. While it might take some time for your pose to echo your teacher’s example, a picture you see a lot, or the fitness lady on the DVD, if your alignment is correct, then with practice, your body will eventually ease into the pose. Of course unless you have injuries that prevent it.

You want to make sure that every part of your body is correctly positioned. Let’s talk about some actual poses as examples.

When you get into position, mentally start at your toes and move up to the top of your head to ensure that you are properly aligned.

Alignment Checklist for Downward Facing Dog

When you get into the Downward Facing Dog position, mentally check that you are:

  • Pressing the heels of your feet towards the ground. It is the act of pressing that is important, and not that your heels actually make it to the mat.
  • Pressing your tailbone up towards the ceiling
  • Pressing your chest towards your thighs.

Also ensure that your:

  • Arms are straight
  • Head is hanging down
  • Neck is loose and not lifted
  • Gazing between your knees
  • Palms are pressed into the mat with your weight on your palm, thumb and first finger to prevent injury to your wrist
  • Fingers are spread wide

These are the technical intricacies of Downward Facing Dog that put you into proper alignment. These alignment principles prevent you from straining your neck, arching your back, and injuring your wrist. They help to lengthen and stretch your hamstring and calf muscles, strengthen your arm muscles, and loosen and strengthen your shoulder muscles.

Take your mind through that mental checklist every time you do Downward Facing Dog. Your pose might not look the way you want it to just yet, but 95% of the battle is getting the alignment correct; the rest is just practice.

Alignment Checklist for Camel Pose

When you get into Camel position, mentally check tha you are:

  • On your knees
  • Pressing your hips forward
  • Pressing your shoulders down and back
  • Lifting your face towards the ceiling
  • Not recklessly hanging your head back
  • Contracting your buttock muscles
  • Opening your chest
  • Putting your hands either on the heels of your feet or in the small of your back

When most people see Camel , they immediately try to reach their arms to their heels, even if it means that they are not up on their knees as they should be. Touching your feet is not the most important thing of the pose. The most important thing about Camel pose is that you are pressing your hips forward while you are on your knees. This stretches and opens your hips, rib cage, ab muscles, shoulders, and chest.

Yoga is a life long investment into your physical, mental, and emotional prosperity and wellness. Take your time to learn the basics, so that you maximize the results. Don’t rush through the Yoga moves. Take your time to breath, listen to your body, and focus on how you feel in each pose. Pay careful attention to the technical instructions of the pose, and do a mental check as you ease into the pose. Alignment is more important than the aesthetics of the position.

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

© 2009 KaTrina Love Abram