December 16, 2015

5 Ways to Burn Calories When You Are Not Exercising

Do you know someone who stays toned and trim even though they don't seem to exercise much? They must know the secret to burning calories even when they are not exercising! There are small things that you can do to achieve this too.

Here are 5 ways you can shed extra calories even when you are not exercising:

1. Posture: Good posture strengthens your core muscles and maintaining the correct posture when sitting or standing takes energy and burns calories. Practice perfect posture by sucking your abdomen in, pushing your shoulders back, keeping your spine in proper alignment (the spine is naturally S-shaped and that is how it needs to be maintained), and looking straight ahead. 

If you feel a tightness behind your shoulders, it means that your muscles are used to slouching. The more you practice good posture, the easier it gets!

2. Breathe: When you take a breath, most of the time you don't use the full capacity of your lungs. Deep abdominal breathing takes conscious effort, and extra calories. Inhaling and exhaling deeply tightens the muscles of our chest and abdomen and forces us to use our diaphragm. 

Breathing exercises done for 2-5 minutes a day can give you that extra energy in the middle of an afternoon slump by increasing the uptake of oxygen and revving up your metabolism.

3. Drink more water: Up to 70% of your body is made up of water. Your cells need water to produce energy. Dehydration slows down your metabolism. 

Lethargy or tiredness, headaches, dry eyes, sleepiness, low urine output, dizziness are often the first signs of dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty and reach for a cup of water, you are already dehydrated. Everyone has different requirements on how much water they need; but if you drink coffee, tea, or sodas (caffeinated), then you need more water than usual because caffeine is a diuretic. 

Sometimes you think you are hungry but your body actually needs water. So instead of grabbing a snack, try drinking some water. You will not only save yourself from consuming extra calories, but also lose calories just by drinking water!

4. Sleep: Getting fewer hours of sleep over a longer period of time also slows down your metabolism. Lack of sleep also turns into cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, which pack on the pounds. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. 

5. Laugh: We all have heard that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make us eat extra. Laughing for 10-15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories.

The routinely suggested healthy balanced diet of whole foods, regular exercise, and avoiding habit-forming stimulants play the most important part in maintaining our health. When you also follow these 5 ways described above, no one can stop you from being on the road to optimum health!

March 9, 2015

How Homeopathic Individualization Works

As a regular reader of this blog, or a regular user of Homeopathic remedies, you must be familiar by now with the word 'individualization' when used in the homeopathic context.

Briefly, 'individualization' in homeopathy means that there is no one-for-all remedy. As an example, two people with a headache may not need the same remedy to relieve them. One might need Belladonna and another might need Natrum muriaticum. This is because of each person's individual traits and how they present with the symptoms of their headache.

Homeopathy considers the uniqueness of each person, and treats them based on their individuality as opposed to an assembly-line style of treatment where everyone gets the same drug.

I recently had the opportunity to help a 4-year-old child with symptoms of flu. His mother called me saying he had had a mild fever and cough with a little expectoration since 3 days. She had been using OTC ibuprofen and an allopathic cough syrup which relieved for 2 hours and then the symptoms would be back again. He refused to eat anything and slept fitfully. He had become weak and dull.

When I asked her to tell me how he was feeling, she said that he usually likes to be cuddled and hugged but with this fever he did not like anyone touching him even to check the fever. She also added that he kept saying that he was fine even though his skin was hot with a fever of 102. I suggested that she give him Arnica 200. 

That evening, she called me back saying that her son's fever broke within 20 minutes of giving the first dose of Arnica 200. He started to sweat, then sat up and asked for something to eat. He was able to keep the food down and fell into a deep sleep after the meal. She repeated the dose after he awoke, and he continued to improve and recovered well within the next 2 days without the need for further dosage, and was able to go back to school on the 3rd day.

The uniqueness in this case is the use of Arnica 200. Usually, Belladonna or Aconite are the first remedies everyone reaches for in the case of fever. But Arnica was chosen because of the way the boy responded to being touched. Belladonna or Aconite or any other remedy may not have helped the boy to recover completely within 2 days as he did with Arnica 200.

A professional homeopath is trained to observe these subtleties and suggest the correct remedy in the correct potency and dosage for that individual person. It can get overwhelming for someone who does not have enough training to try to find the correct remedy from a book or by other means. So do not hesitate to call your homeopath the next time you need their help.

I have already written about how homeopathy faces the myth that remedies act slowly and that they don't act well for acute conditions. You can read more by clicking the highlighted text. 

This case once again proves that homeopathy does wonders for acute conditions, while enhancing the individual's own immunity at the same time.

January 28, 2015

Capsicum annuum - Homeopathy in Your Garden!

Picture source
This is a fruit that is used the world over to add flavor to different cuisines. It is Capsicum annuum, commonly known as cayenne pepper

In homeopathy, it is used for people who are lethargic, averse to exercise, alcoholics. They have a tendency to reminisce about the past and are known to be couch potatoes. People who need homeopathic Capsicum have burning pains with a feeling of coldness, constrictive sensation in the chest with difficulty in breathing. They have frequent urinary infections, digestive troubles, and muscle aches and pains. They are worse from the cold and always better from heat. 

Many symptoms of homeopathic Capsicum are similar to those of a heart attack, making it one of the top remedies to be used in heart disease. Homeopathic dilutions of Capsicum may be used as a cardiotonic, or heart stimulant, when the symptoms match.

When it is eaten as part of your diet, capsicum decreases free radical damage which slows the degenerative ageing process and supports healthy functioning of the arteries and the whole cardiovascular system. Some research says that cayenne peppers regulate blood sugar levels, and increase the body's capacity to burn calories, thereby helping in weight loss. The capsaicin component of Capsicum is also a well-known pain-reliever. 

Many cultures around the world use cayenne peppers in their cuisines, and chilli sauce or chutney or pickle is a prized recipe in many cultures.

How do you like your chillies?