Archive for September, 2010

The Vitamins That Aid Weight Loss

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Weight Loss

When we’re talking about losing weight, people would immediately think of going to the gym or running.

Weight loss isn’t all about doing all of this. It’s not certainly about even going out of your house.

Weight loss is about what you eat. The physical exercise only makes up 1/4 of it. What we eat is certainly the question of gaining or losing weight.

Losing weight depends on what we eat and the nutritional of the food that we eat. Looking inside our kitchen is really an easier job than to go to the gym and spend hours inside it.

Thankfully when eating, what we should look for is not the calorie content, but the vitamins and minerals it has in it. No you don’t need any pills to get vitamins. You just need good food.

We don’t consider as one vitamin being the best for our weight loss. But we should give a special mention to some of them since they help a lot in it.

Vitamin B2– This vitamin is crucial for our thyroid and ouir metabolism. You can find it from food like green veggies, hard cheese, milk, kidney, liver, eggs, almonds, marmite and wheat germ.

Vitamin B3 – B3 also aids in thyroid hormone. It releases a glucose tolerance factor that neutralized our blood sugar when it rises. B3 is located in food like wheat bran, tuna liver, mackerel, meat, salmon, eggs, turkey, chicken, brown rice, cheese, barley, oats and dried fruits.

Vitamin B5 – It is essential in the fat burning process because it has a key role in our energy production and adrenaline glands. Food that have B5 content are wheat flakes, molasses, barley, green veggies, liver and kidney, wheat bran, wholegrain breads, eggs and meats.

Vitamin B6 – This vitamin helps our metabolism to function properly. Vitamin B6 can be found in brown rice, eggs, dried fruits, cabbages, molasses, beef, bananas, poultry, avocado, wheat germs, sardines, mackerel wheat bran, brewer’s yeast and oats.

Choline – It’s a member of the B vitamin that is manufactured inside our body. It aids in our fat metabolism but is not a real vitamin because it comes from the liver. Choline can be found in food like lethin, wheat germ, peanuts, cucumber, egg yolks, cauliflower, beef heart and beef liver.

Inositol – Inositol is another member of the B vitamin that’s manufactured inside our body to assist fat metabolism. You can find it in lecithin, wheat germ, beef liver and heart, eggs, soy whole grains, nuts and citrus fruits

Changing Your Diet To Reduce Acne

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Acne

By now you know very well that acne is a very difficult thing to get rid of. You may have already tried everything you can find in stores such as creams, astringents, exfoliates, and more. I’m going to tell you the biggest secret to getting your skin clear and how to make it stay that way. Simply put, it is your diet! What you put into your body on a daily basis greatly affects how your skin will react and change.

Here are 5 diet tips that are sure to improve your skin and reduce acne:

Drink More Water: One of the most important things to remember is to drink more water! Your body should have at least 2 litres of water put into it every day. Hydration helps the skin shed old skin cells and not having enough will lead to clogged pours causing further acne.
Eat Fresh Nutrient Rich Foods: Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and whole grain foods. You want to be eating things that are high in fibre and that will provide nutrients for the whole body. Easy ways to add more of these type of foods to your diet are by snacking on nuts or dried fruit and by having at least one salad a day.
Supplements and Vitamins: It is sometimes difficult to get a complete balance of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins from the food we are eating. To aid in our diet we can take a few helpful supplements to get everything we need. Important vitamins needed for your body’s well being are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc. A good multivitamin can go a long way in treating and protecting your skin.
Cut Back on Refined Sugars and Carbohydrates: Research has confirmed that refined carbohydrates and sugars lead to boosts in insulin levels in the body which in turn causes the body to produce more sebum. Sebum – the greasy oils found on acne prone skin – promote bacteria growth and worsen acne.
Reduce Caffeine Intake: I know we all love our morning coffee, but the caffeine is not helping with the acne. Caffeine raises the stress levels in your body and can aggravate your acne. Try to avoid coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, tea, and other stimulants as much as possible.

Getting rid of acne may seem like a daunting task but really if you follow some simple guidelines you can not only make your acne go away but make it stay away!

Why Can’t I Get Back Pain Relief?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Back pain

Back pain can affect people of all ages and there are many causes. One of the most common causes of back problems is aging. As the body ages, it starts to break down and get weaker. A poor diet or lack of exercise can also affect the back since both of these things can lead to an increase in weight. Extra weight puts more stress on the back and may cause pain. Sitting at a desk all day without proper posture can cause back pain. Unfortunately, heredity and race can also contribute to back pain.

Aging can put a great street on the body. Various types of arthritis are common for the elderly; arthritis is the result of a lifetime of wear on a body. The wear causes the cartilage to break down, which allows the bones to rub together; this can cause pain. Treatments for arthritis are typically very effective and people with arthritis can live a normal and relatively pain free life. Hot and cold packs will help sooth the pain.

Medication can help manage your painful back problems, while physical therapy and gentle exercise will help muscles become stronger to support the body. It will also assist in weight-loss, which will take some of the stress off the body. Rest is one of the most important treatments. People with arthritis should try not to overwork the body. If you begin to feel pain, it is important to rest and let your back get time to heal.

A poor diet and lack of exercise can result in weight gain that will put extra stress on the body. Without a healthy diet, the body is not able to obtain all the nutrients it needs to repair and progress. A lack of exercise prevents weight loss. In contrast, however, too much exercise can also affect the body negatively. Too much use of the joints can cause the cartilage to break down, leaving the bones to rub together, potentially leading to a painful back condition, or worse, arthritis.

Heredity and race place a small roll in an individuals back pain. Back pain itself is not hereditary, but rather a number of conditions that can cause back problems. As noted above, arthritis is one of the most common forms of back pain; it can also be passed down through genes to the next generation. Younger generations are at a small advantage however, because they are aware of what symptoms to look for in regards to any diseases. Early detection can lead to earlier treatment and hopefully fewer problems as time goes on.

Back problems can affect anyone. The causes are usually a result of everyday life and can often be treated with physical therapy, exercise, or medication. The elderly should pay special attention to back pain, as the causes and consequences can be more severe and harder to treat. Preventative care is essential to avoid future back pain. If back pain is severe, consistent, or concerning in any way, see a doctor just to be on the safe side.

Natural Stop Smoking Help Ideas

Monday, September 27th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Quit Smoking

People who stay with cigarette smoking behavior basically tend to invite some critical disease. We know that cigarettes consist of many dangerous substances. Considered one of them is nicotine. That may be why we’ve got to stop smoking cigarettes to live healthier. Stop smoking is tricky and lengthy course of action. It demands willpower and formidable intention. Lessening the amount of cigarettes we smoke each day is an excellent way to quit smoking. You can find quite a few procedures readily available to take, contains normal stop smoking.

On the net we are able to uncover several posts discuss about the natural quit smoking. Using this method is deemed safer and less difficult. Prior to discussing it in addition, it may perhaps be good to see the experiences of some smokers that have stopped smoking cigarettes. They stated that they’ve been dropped in to the bad practice for many times. It isn’t only the negative habit that they should battle, but in addition the dependancy to nicotine plus the cravings. These are the most tough details to defeat. So, they should have other constructive activities to overlook them.

Here are various normal quit smoking aids:

Chilly Turkey

This could be the most popular normal stop smoking method. Chilly turkey is incredibly basic to do. We just quit smoking on our personal without having another help. It may possibly be helpful absolutely despite the fact that we might have some troubles. We can do it step by step rather of quitting altogether at once. With formidable intention and willpower, we could slowly wean ourselves off cigarettes.

Ingesting the shadowy chocolate

Eating the dark chocolate could be an excellent all-natural give up smoking. As we all know, nicotine is an addictive substance that could adjust the selected mind chemical compounds to build a sensation of pleasure. When the desire to smoke comes, we could consume a small number of dark chocolate slowly. It can give two added benefits, a pleasurable cigarette smoking choice and the elevating of serotonin levels to improve mood and lessen the anxiety which may be the factors for smoking.

Acupuncture and hypnotherapy

It has been acknowledged for thousands of many years that acupuncture can be used to deal with quite a few diseases by inserting some needles about the specific points of our entire body. Recently, acupuncture may become a approach of organic quit smoking. One more normal stop smoking strategy is hypnotherapy. With this way, a therapist will use our unconscious to acquire deep into our thoughts and enable to combat nicotine addiction where it starts.

Treat Your Acne With Over the Counter Products

Friday, September 24th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Acne

Acne is something that many people live with, but they do have several options to attempt to treat it. While many feel that they cannot get rid of their acne unless they endure costly fees and trips to the dermatologist’s office, they can still receive many at home acne treatments that are inexpensive and easy to use.

Many years ago there were not very many products out there to help you cure your acne. You would have your choice of two or three product lines to choose from and many other products geared for women that were not suitable for men to use. Thankfully, over the past few years there are many more choices for over the counter acne treatment options. The first options are the products you can find in any local grocery store, which are cleansing pads and strips, toners, liquid cleansers and on the spot treatments. You should begin with a cleanser first and start using it in the morning and also at night, and continue using the cleansing product for a few weeks. Next, you can try any of the toning products to wipe over the skin after you have cleaned it with the cleansing wash in which you can apply a small amount of it with a cotton ball. Overnight the skin will use that toning solution to even your skin tone and eliminate any greasy spots. If you find you are experiencing blemishes and any black or whiteheads you can purchase a topical ointment to place on the trouble spots on the skin. There are many products that are specifically designed to treat blemishes and also ones for those whiteheads that are made with ingredients that are tough on those particular forms of acne.

If the over the counter products have only decreased a small amount of your acne and you are still suffering from it on your skin, you can turn to some stronger treatments you can purchase through the internet. Many dermatologists are creating their own skin care lines to help the millions of people suffering from acne prone skin to get the help they need right at home. One popular treatment is the Proactive line of skin care. It has received millions of customers and repeat clients that are pleased with their results. The line is more affordable than what you would have to pay if you received your treatment through a dermatologist, but it is more expensive than the over the counter products you can buy in the stores. Proactive is well-known for clearing up tough cases of acne and the line of products is fairly simple to use. They provide all of the instructions for you and ship it right to your home, you simply use the cleansing products and the spot treatments and masks as directed. Over the course of a few days you should see an improvement in your acne. There are also a few other lines on the web developed by major skin care companies you can try such as the lines by clean and clear, Clearasil and Neutrogena.

Bad Breath Remedy

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 No Commented
Under: Dental care

Are you looking for a bad breath remedy? It can get pretty annoying using all the gum and breath mints that really don’t give long-lasting results. The television advertisements are mostly hype. What you really need to do is discover what really causes bad breath and get to the root of the problem.

There can be many reasons for bad breath, with 80% originating in the mouth. Bacteria is the major culprit in many cases of bad breath. Bacteria can build up between teeth, in dental appliances, and on the tongue. Plaque can form a film in the mouth, harboring millions of foul-smelling bacteria. Cavities, when left untreated, can cause horrible smelling breath. The surface of the tooth is actually decaying, sending off a stench.

There are a few easy steps you can take if your foul breath is originating in your mouth. Consistent trips to the dentist will help to keep your mouth clean. Your dentist will scrape off plaque build-up and check for anything that would be a harbor for bacteria. If you have any fillings or crowns that are cracked, this can cause food particles to get trapped and decay.

Brush your teeth thoroughly twice each day, and floss to make sure you remove any trapped food. Brush your tongue or better yet, get a tongue scraper. There are different variations of this, but a common one is a thin, flexible strip of plastic that has loops on both ends. You bend it into a u-shape and position it as far back on your tongue as you can and scrape forward. You will be amazed at what you can scrape off your tongue.

A great, inexpensive tool you can acquire to remedy your bad breath is a Waterpik. This tool will not only help to clean between your teeth, but there is a tool that helps to strengthen the gums, making sure you don’t get gingivitis, which also creates nasty breath.

Another bad breath remedy is to keep your mouth moist during the day. Drinking water will help keep bacteria flushed away. Tea also has some properties that help to eliminate bacteria.

If you have taken care of your oral hygiene and still have people turning away from your breath, then there may be a bigger issue. Eating onions, garlic and alcohol can cause bad breath. These foods have odors that are digested and expelled through the lungs with the breath. While not an ongoing problem, be aware of these offensive foods, especially if you are going on a date or a job interview.

Some causes of nasty breath may be due to underlying health conditions. Some of the problems that may be contributing to your issues are acid reflux, diabetes, sinus infection, lung infections and pneumonia. If you have tried everything else, it may be helpful to see your doctor to try to figure out the cause.

If you don’t have a health condition, and are doing your best to keep your mouth clean, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. However, there is more you can do. There are some other simple bad breath remedies that can mixed to give you a permanent solution to your bad breath issues.

Asthma – Figures and Statistics

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 No Commented
Under: Asthma

People would not know how big of a problem asthma is if they do not see a clear picture of what it is all about. In this article, we will give you the facts and the figures that will make you understand the problem with asthma better. We will help you see asthma in a better light so as to see clearly how it affects some of us.

Asthma Population

Asthma is a worldwide concern. That’s because it does not choose sex, race, religion, age, and nationality. Every citizen in the world has certain dangers of getting asthma. Yes, it is sometimes hereditary but discounting the fact that neither of your parents have the disease, you still have a 6% chance of suffering from it.

Asthma that is passed on from the parents to their children is also quite alarming. If one of your parents has the condition, you get 30% chances; if both your parents have asthma, you get 70% chances of having asthma yourself.

In the United States of America, asthma affects 7% of the population. In the United Kingdom, asthma affects 6.5% of the population. Gathering the numbers from every country, there are 300 million people worldwide affected with the condition. Such a number is alarming, especially since the numbers rise by 50% every ten years.

Asthma may occur at any age but it is found more common in children. In some parts of the world including Australia, asthma is the number one reason of hospitalization among the young population, especially young boys. Since it is chronic and can be life-long, asthmatics do not decrease in number.

Asthma-related Deaths

If you think asthma is but a simple medical condition, think again. All over the world, asthma is considered the fourth greatest cause of death. It has been associated to over 4,000 deaths every year in the United States alone. This condition can easily be life-threatening if your signs of asthma gets from bad to worse and from worse to worst. Severe asthma attacks could lead to oxygen shortage in your organs, which could result to death.

It is important for a patient with the condition to get asthma help immediately once the symptoms start occurring. Along with it, children with asthma should also get long-time therapies that could help them manage the symptoms so as to live as normal as possible. There should be an asthma management plan for every patient, young or old. This could help a lot in minimizing the symptoms and the frequency of their occurrence.

Although a serious problem, a lot of people take the condition lightly, thinking that it is all in the mind and that they would be able to outgrow its effects after a while. Well, both impressions are untrue. Asthma is not a psychological condition. It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways fueled by certain allergens. Children with asthma could grow with their disease. In half of the population of asthma children, signs of asthma have been found to become inactive for a while, during puberty, then resumes occurrence in adulthood. The recurrence may be mild or severe, depending solely on the patient’s case.

How Your Body Reacts to Stress

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 No Commented
Under: Depression

Stress is a normal reaction by the body to things that happen in life and the environment, resulting in destabilization of what you consider the norm. The things and events that cause stress are called stress agents. When a body is functioning properly, it has its own in-built stress response which helps you in dealing with a stressful situation. How a body reacts to stress varies. In cases where it is unable to cope, it can result in life threatening conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Prolonged stress can also result in a person experimenting with drugs, having disrupted sleep patterns, problems with the immune system and it can also speed up the aging process.

However, not all stress is bad for the body, it is only the intensity and your body reaction to stress that causes one to cross the line of tolerance. Interestingly enough, some people find it easier to function properly when there is an element of stress involved, for example, when they have strict deadlines to meet at work. Stress sometimes allows you an edge when performing chores and duties as it keeps your concentration from slipping, and keeps you motivated.

Signs of your body reaction to stress can be physical, behavioral or even emotional. For example, one begins to suffer from unexplainable aches and pains, dizziness, panic attacks, moodiness, and anger outbursts. Isolating themselves from others, insomnia, or even suffering from eating disorders. Stress can be experienced by anyone including the old, teenagers and even children. However stress sometimes does not happen only from things that are happening in the present; sometimes it happens from things which have been on-going in our lives for an extended period of time, for example years of domestic violence and abuse, going through a divorce or even separation.

When one begins to notice that they are unable to cope and that their body reaction to stress is delayed, then it is time to seek help. Help can be sought from trained professionals or using support mechanisms in your life such as family, friends and colleagues and maintaining an active social lifestyle is very important. Also key in helping reduce stress is ones general outlook of life and the ability to find humor in life situations, changing your schedule to allow for more time for relaxation, reducing work load and maintaining an all round healthy lifestyle.

Cure For Upper Back Pain Fibromyalgia

Monday, September 20th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Pain Management

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain that can be experienced around the back area. Sometimes the pain is situated right around the upper back region and this upper region is known to be among the most painful and disruptive parts to feel such pain. Yet there is a very simple way of curing or lessening the pain.

So why is back pain so severe? It’s because there is a plethora of muscles that can be found at the back area especially on the upper part. These muscles are there to support you in doing different activities such as bending, lifting things up, or even staying up right while standing.

However, these muscles are also interspersed with other muscles and thousands of nerves that relay their own messages to the brain. Although much of the scientific reasons why fibromyalgia happens is still unclear, there seems to be a lot of support in the theory that when the nerves experience additional strain from the back, the pain signals to the brain are more severe, causing more pain than necessary. This is also true with regards to the lower back.

These days, fortunately, there seems to be a lot of ways in which upper back pain can be relieved. Of course there are the normal medications that are prescribed by doctors and specialists. But you cannot rely on these for the rest of your life. You need to “wean” yourself of medication and use natural therapy whenever possible.

A very easy and effective method is to use heat application. You can simply do this at home by immersing yourself in a hot bath, just to help relax those tensed up muscles. Using Epsom salts in the bath is also very conducive to melting away the pain.

If you don’t have time to have a long bath, take a heating pad and wrap it around your upper back while you are sitting watching TV or working. This is a very effective way of increasing the blood flow to the painful area and melting the pain away. If you do this regularly, you will find your pain will gradually subside.

You should also do some daily back exercises. This would help make you fit and your muscles stronger. Just search on the internet for back strengthening exercises or get a book on back pain form your local library.

Why Do I Keep Getting Depressed?

Friday, September 17th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Depression

I was amused to find that the word ‘worry’ comes from the Old English meaning ‘to strangle!’ To a large extent, that’s what depression does to us. It strangles us to the point where we’re unable to continue to lead a normal life. Why do I keep getting depressed, you may well ask.

Have you ever had the experience where, after meeting and talking to someone for just a short time, they leave you with an unaccountable feeling of depression?

I knew a chap like this once. It wasn’t that he was depressing in his attitude. In fact, if anything, he was quite upbeat. The trouble was that he used to talk in a monotone voice, no inflections, no depth to his speaking. He used to leave me feeling very depressed. If you know of such a person, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to have avoided one, do try to keep out of their way as much as possible.

You sometimes run into them if you mix with very serious, scholastic types. Let me hasten to add that by no means all scholars are depressing to talk to. On the contrary, some a quite hilarious, but if you do have a circle of friends who’s general demeanor makes you depressed, I would really suggest you try to ease yourself from their company and find others who enjoy life rather more.

Some people, I know, are just downright depressing from the word ‘go.’ If you’ve just come out of hospital after an operation, they had the same operation a few years ago, but of course theirs was much worse. If you’ve just started a business, they may reply that they hope you don’t fail like old so-and-so. They say it seems to them you were mistaken in going into business during these bad economic times. And so on.

They’re out there. Watch for them.

Too little sleep and relaxation is another thing that can cause the basis for depression. We hope you’re not indulging in any ‘stinking thinking,’ brooding about matters long past, but make sure you have sufficient sleep and that it’s the right kind of sleep.

If you find yourself dreaming excessively, have a look at your life and see whether something’s worrying you enough to cause these dreams. You won’t be enjoying the restful sleep that’s so necessary to us all.

Eating foods with excessive carbohydrates and consuming too much sugar, can also send your moods on a roller coaster ride. So make sure you relax properly, and go to bed at a sensible hour.

If you’re under a doctor’s care, and you’re taking antidepressants, go back to the doctor if your depression seems to be worsening, and ask him or her about the side effects of the medicine. The dosage may be too high, or they simply may not suit you. In which case, change them.

Here, we find another roller coaster. Withdrawals from certain antidepressants can plunge you ever deeper into depression, and then you’re given more pills to counter the withdrawals you had from your first set of medications.

The 1st Step to Overcoming Social Anxiety

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Anxiety

Everyone experiences some form of discomfort around certain people at certain times, this is natural and is often just a sign that your brain is adjusting to an unfamiliar environment. Where it becomes a problem is when it happens too often and the person buys into the illusion that they don’t have the means or resources to return back to their normal comfortable state other than when they are on their own. This then, in turn can cause them to loop round in a self-destructive cycle that can play havoc with their happiness, social relationships and life chances…

There are a wide variety of thoughts and theories as to where this phenomenon originates. Genetics, child development, chemical imbalance and nutrition have all been cited at some stage as playing their part in the make-up of what can often, on the surface, appear a complex problem…

With my own background being in NLP (Neuro linguistic programming), change psychology and hypnosis I am hugely biased towards the belief that feeling unnecessarily anxious or phobic around people is a neurological pattern that is learned and re-enforced through time and, as such, can also be un-learned through time. I’m not making the bold claim that everyone who experiences it can be cured almost instantly with a few techniques. While most have their similarities each case is obviously unique and it can often take a bit of exploration to find what works with each particular person.

I have, however, seen far too many examples of people who have made incredible improvements in a short space of time to believe anything other than change happens fast. It may sometimes take a bit of time to dig and figure out what will make the greatest difference but once you do, change certainly doesn’t hang about. It’s kind of like the game domino rally. Once you’ve set the game up and knocked over the first domino, the rest follow suit in dynamic and inevitable fashion.

This belief that social anxiety is simply a pattern that is learned, repeated and re-enforced over time is, for me, the crucial distinction that someone who is trained (and experienced) in NLP makes in comparison to someone who is not. From the initial diagnosis by a GP to the numerous sessions with a psychiatrist the language that is almost always used creates and re-enforces the in accurate and dangerous assumption in the patients mind that ‘they have got something’, like a cold or some sort of illness or virus.

Not only does this operate from the belief that you are in some way broken it also implies that social anxiety is ‘a thing’ and not a process. This, in my opinion, is one of the most in-accurate and dangerous belief systems that you can buy into and unfortunately the one that most health care services in the western world create and re-enforce.

Let me be blunt about this…Social anxiety is not a thing! You cannot go down to the shops and buy a lump of social anxiety…It may feel like a thing but it’s not so stop talking about it like it is a thing as this seriously hinders your ability to relax and be comfortable around people.

When you really get down to it, it is a group of limiting beliefs/mis-informed opinions that you have created (usually with good intentions and out with conscious awareness) about your relationship with people that have left you with a hugely un-helpful pattern or patterns that you play through way too often.

These patterns, in the form of internal pictures, movies, sounds, internal critical voices and feelings can often cause havoc to the quality of your life but at the end of the day it’s not a thing but rather just your own going experience heading in an un-useful direction.

You are not broken…your brain is like a well oiled machine, a finely tuned instrument…It may be playing the wrong tune but it’s playing it incredibly well…

Just knowing these two distinctions is such a powerful first step for those who feel unnecessarily anxious around people. The distinctions that:

1. Social Anxiety is not a thing it is a collection of limiting beliefs/mis-informed opinions that were created with good intentions but now have left you with some destructive neurological patterns that you keep playing through.

2. You are not broken you work perfectly…You may be working perfectly in the wrong direction but your brain is doing what it feels it should be based on the inaccurate limiting beliefs you bought into at some stage in your life.

So here’s my invitation to you…if you have been viewing social anxiety as ‘a thing that you suffer from’ or some form of ‘illness’, suspend those old beliefs for a moment and become open to these two new important distinctions…because it’s from this position that you can start to make some serious progress.

Can Pilates Help Back Pain?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Back pain

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems reported around the world. It is estimated that 85% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Those most at risk of developing lower back injuries and pain are people who are overweight or inactive; who spend a lot of time sitting at work; or whose jobs require them to lift, twist and bend. Once you experience back pain once, you are likely to experience it again in your life. The most common cause is poor posture and body mechanics in the workplace.

Pilates is an innovative system of mind-body exercise evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. The Pilates method of exercise is based on six fundamental principles; Concentration, Centring, Control, Precision, Breathing and flow.

People with low back pain tend to have weaker lower back stability muscles. The deep abdominal muscles (particularly Transverse Abdominis) are responsible for providing stability to the lower back and therefore preventing pain and injury. Retraining and strengthening this muscle when you do have pain has been proven to decrease pain and improve function. The Pilates method of exercise is based around developing awareness and activation of the deeper core muscles, therefore helping in reducing and preventing pain.

Research supports the effectiveness of Pilates exercise for low-back pain. According to a small, randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2006; 36 [7], 472-84), participants who practiced Pilates over a 4-week period experienced more relief from their symptoms than those who went through typical treatment programs.

It is always a good idea to check with your doctor or physiotherapist before starting any exercise program if you have any back problems. Some exercises, if performed incorrectly, may aggravate your pain. If you do suffer from back pain, it is essential to receive individual and specific instruction by a Physiotherapist or Qualified Pilates instructor. Large classes are not advised if you have back pain, Clinical Pilates or studio Pilates with smaller classes will ensure you get the individual attention you need.

Certain exercises will not be appropriate for all people with back pain. Most people will have certain positions and movements that will ease the pain and others that will make the pain worse. It is therefore essential to have a detailed assessment by a physiotherapist or qualified instructor to find which exercises are going to be the most effective in reducing your pain. For example back pain from a budging disc may be made worse with bending, so bending exercises and movements such as sit-ups should be avoided.

Correct sitting, standing and lifting posture can greatly reduce the stresses going through the discs, muscles and ligaments of your lower back and can therefore help prevent injury and pain. The Pilates method of exercises helps strengthen the muscles needed to maintain good posture.

Prolonged sitting is often a cause of back pain. When sitting in a relaxed position, either driving long distances or at your desk at work, most people tend to slump or slouch in their chairs. The Pilates method teaches concepts such as neutral spine and will increase body awareness, allowing you to maintain correct sitting posture.

Pilates is a form of exercise based on strengthening the deeper abdominal muscles, therefore increasing lower back stability. When practiced under close guided supervision by a trained professional, Pilates can help reduce back pain.

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