Herbs and plants are known to enhance mood, improve health, and provide a valuable connection with nature. Here are some of my favorite herbs or plants to grow; they are either valuable for their health benefits, easy to grow, or both, and can be used in teas and added to your favorite recipes. Hopefully you'll see a familiar friend on this list, or be intrigued by a new potential favorite.
Here’s a chance to use the body-mind connection to your advantage when trying to shed a few pounds in time for summer. Using insight gained from recent research, these small shifts in behavior can help you cut calories without even knowing it!
Stay Straight, Get Narrow
According to researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, people drinking from a curved glass consumed 60 percent more beer and soda than if they drank from a straight glass.
Getting a professional therapeutic massage is supposed to be a relaxing, healing experience. But for some men, fear of having an erection during the session prevents them from pursuing bodywork.
We realize the topic is taboo and uncomfortable to discuss, but understanding the body’s physiological response to massage can help assuage those fears for men, and remind them that the benefits they receive from massage far outweigh the slight chance that an erection may happen during a session.
When you walk out of your massage therapist’s office, what do you take with you besides postmassage bliss? You may not think of it, but you also walk out with a luxurious coating of lotions and oils that will condition and moisturize your skin long after you’ve left your session.
While your instinct might be to rush home and wash away all the products your therapist just spent an hour applying to your body, most therapists will tell you to avoid the shower until morning, and instead let your skin indulge in these topical treats—consider it a free postmassage treatment.
It’s one of those mornings. Your alarm didn’t go off and you have a massage appointment in an hour. You quickly shower, get dressed, grab a protein bar, and dash to your car, only to realize your gas tank is nearly empty. Even so, you think you can make it to your appointment. On the way, you hit every red light and someone cuts you off just as you’re trying to change lanes. Finally, you pull into a parking spot, tense and frustrated—clearly not in the right mind-set for your bodywork session.
Whether it is an aching back, recovery from an injury, a case of carpal tunnel syndrome, or a host of other debilitating physiological conditions, there’s no doubt massage and bodywork works to relieve pain. But once your therapist has helped you tackle your pain, do you quit calling? When the pain is gone, are you gone, too?
Do you have tension headaches or chronic tension in your upper body? How about neck and shoulder stiffness? Maybe you experience strain in the temples, forehead, neck, shoulders, or back, especially after a long period of working at a computer or reading a book? If so, your tension could be related to how you look at the world.
Do you ever find yourself unconsciously holding your breath when you’re tense? This can cause tension to build in your body and may let the chest collapse, leading to misalignment.
Proper breathing provides oxygen to the muscles and body, helps you stay relaxed and centered, and even helps you maintain correct body alignment throughout your day.
You can also use breathwork as part of a stress-reduction program by following this progressive relaxation exercise.
Meditation feels like a warm, gentle current spreading from the middle of my chest up into my smile and flowing down my hips and the backs of my legs. When I give myself the time and space to be completely still, turn off my thoughts, and focus on nothing but my breath, my day always improves.
We constantly receive a bombardment of information in day-to-day life. When we sit, close our eyes, and disengage from activity in the world, we are afforded a chance to catch up on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual processes.