Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Going For A Regular Manicure and Pedicure Is Good For You

There are enough people around who are paranoid about nail salons and scare you from getting a manicure and pedicure. Well, I have been doing it for years and have only the best things to say about it. Of course, it helps that my nails salon in Doncaster offers its customers a great experience during their visit.

I believe that manicures and pedicures are perfect for pampering myself, but it goes beyond that. Doing it regularly is also good for the health and well-being, and keeps the hands and feet looking young.

Benefits Of Regular Manicures And Pedicures

  1. Increased Blood Circulation

My favorite part of the manicure and pedicure is when they massage my hands and feet. This helps me de-stress from a long week at work, but it is also great for increasing blood circulation. In fact, during colder days, this is perfect for keeping your extremities warmer, and at the same time, joint mobility is improved. There have been enough studies that prove the benefits of massage, and this is certainly one of the perks of getting a professional manicure and pedicure.

  1. Improved Nail Health

While many people will not think twice about any infections in the hands or feet, you should never downplay an infection, whether fungal or not, at these parts of your body. They may be at the very least uncomfortable or worse, they can become much worse. Professionals working in top nail salons know an infection when they see one, and they can inform you before it gets worse.

My personal reason for regular manicures and pedicures, though, is that this is a great way of making sure your skin and nails are healthy at all times. Imagine all the bacteria and the harsh elements that your hands are exposed to every day. My manicurist always does a good clearing of dead skin cells on the hands and this makes the nails healthier and stronger.

  1. Beautiful Nails and Feet

When I wear my strappy sandals during summer, I need to make sure that my toenails are healthy and presentable. I make sure of the same thing with my hands because dry and neglected hands look unsightly and may actually make me look older. If you are in a profession where you meet a lot of people daily and have to shake their hands, wouldn’t you want smooth and beautifully manicured hands to present to them? What other people see as vanity, I consider a natural desire to present yourself well to other people.

  1. Protection Against Harsh Winters

The climate can be harsh on your skin, especially on your exposed hands. Manicures and pedicures during the colder months will keep your skin and nails soft and smooth. Otherwise, you will notice dry skin that looks cracked and might lead to long-lasting scars and sores.

  1. Skin Care

Even if your feet are hidden inside shoes most of the time, you should still do your part in loving them. Before I started making manicures and pedicures a regular ritual, I noticed hard calluses and other signs of unhealthy skin. Thanks to regular visits to the nail salon, this is no longer the case. The routine always involves cleaning and application of lotions to exfoliate the skin and make it smooth and callus-free. Since then, I have always loved looking at my happy-looking feet and when weather permits, showing them off with some pretty sandals.

What To Watch Out For

I certainly look forward to my regular appointments at the nail salon and this is also in part because I have found a great one that truly takes care of its customers. Despite what horror stories other people have said about professional manicures and pedicures, the risk of any infections is actually quite low. There are also ways for you to monitor the salon and keep yourself safe.

First of all, pamper yourself by going to a reputable place because they most likely following strict sanitation procedures. You will pay more but then you get your own nail file, for example. Some tools can and are reused but top salons will take the necessary precautions to disinfect them properly, using an autoclave or a disinfectant. UV sterilizers are not as effective, so avoid a place that uses them. 

Because I am a regular customer, I simply have taken the step of having my own set of tools that I bring with every visit. This way, I know that they only touch my skin and I do not put myself at risk of any infection.  

A regular visit to the nail salon has so many benefits. Do not allow yourself to be scared off by other people. There are certainly ways to indulge yourself without the worry, so go and enjoy being pampered now.

How Yoga Helps Reduce Stress in Your Life

No matter what everyone says, living a stressful life is not necessary. Your friends may say that this is normal, that they are all having the same struggles with the demands of life. However, continually being in a tense state can take its toll on your body particularly health and is also not good for your state of mind.

This is not the kind of life I choose to live. Much like my friends, I thought stress was just a part of life. However, when I started to feel tense all the time and worried about every tiny thing, I wondered if that was still normal. I would toss and turn in bed every night, unable to fall asleep and wake up just as exhausted. I was also grumpy and every little thing would get me upset. I wanted to get away from it all because even a few days off were just not enough to recover.

I finally decided that I needed to do something more proactive about achieving the quality of life I wanted. The day-to-day struggles are normal, but I couldn’t anymore leave them behind. I decided to try out yoga to fight stress. I was convinced that this practice will help me tune out and relax better. I quickly searched around for a place that offers yoga classes and enrolled myself immediately.

To prepare myself for my first class, I did a bit of research to know what to expect. I knew so far that we would be doing poses, breathing and relaxation exercises that would help me reduce my stress levels, lower my heart rate and blood pressure. The fact that anyone could do it was also very encouraging. I was not a very athletic person, but as there are poses perfect for beginners like me, I did not feel pressured to do more than I am physically able to. 

There are many different styles of yoga, and for people who look to manage stress, Hatha yoga is the perfect choice. It is quite common and is a bit slow-paced and easier, perfect for beginners like me. Not only will you feel less tense, but you will find a more positive approach to life and be able to handle situations better.

In order to enjoy the benefits of yoga, it requires the combination of the following:

  1. Postures 

Also called asanas, these poses release tension and negativity from your body. There are specific postures that are great for this purpose, the Bow Pose, Fish Pose, and One-legged Forward Bend being among them. It is, however, important to lie down in Yoga Nidra position to relax your mind and body for a few minutes and allow toxins to be flushed out of your system.

  1. Breathing Techniques 

Also called pranayamas, there are also various practices that you can try like Alternate Nostril Breathing (where you exhale longer than inhale) that are perfect for relieving yourself of tension. Moreover, focusing on each breath frees your mind of unnecessary thoughts that make you worry.

  1. Meditation

In order to relax your mind, try to meditate. Not only does it make you feel calmer and at peace, you can understand and later on control how your mind works and reacts in certain situations. You can later on “train” your brain not to get anxious and stressed so quickly.

  1. Yoga Philosophy

Applying the principles of yoga can help achieve a happier, balanced and healthier life. For example, the Santosha principle will teach you to become more content. The Aprigraha principle, on the other hand, will help you overcome the desire to have it all. This can, in turn, lessen the stress of working hard to earn enough and even comparing yourself to others.

It is the whole combination of these four factors that makes yoga popular to people who are sick and tired of being in a rat race. Life is short, after all, to always be pressured and worse, unhappy. I am glad to have finally taken control and made the decision to do something about it. Yoga was the way for me to do a complete change in my life, from being a victim of stress to being happier and healthier. 

Treating Body Pain through Dry Needling

Severe or chronic muscle pain leads us to take in heaps of painkillers which may hurt our kidneys and cause other side effects in the long run. Not many people know that there is now a safer natural method to relieve pain, and that is Dry Needling (also known as Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling). 

Dry needling is different from acupuncture, although the two share similar principles. The latter is an ancient Chinese practice and effective for treating maladies like hormonal imbalance, fertility, and immune system problems. The former is a Western adaptation that targets the muscles. 

As soon as I discovered the benefits of dry needling, I searched for a reliable physio in Werribee. Playing sports is a big thing here in Australia. To add, Australian women live active lifestyles. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of torn or overstretched muscles because of work or leisure activities. While pain medicines work, I rather want a natural method. Seeking the help of a good physiotherapist was the best decision I made so far. Dry needling, along with other therapy treatments, works out perfectly fine with me. If you want to learn more about this treatment, read on.

You may be scared with the thought of having needles inserted into various parts of your body. That’s fine since I was afraid at first, too. Perhaps, you are thinking of the kind of needles we commonly use in sewing fabrics. The needles used in the dry needling method, though, are filiform or thread-like. It’s also possible that your physiotherapist uses hollow-core hypodermic needles when treating muscle pain Physiotherapists identify the trigger points that cause pain to a group of muscles. Specifically, trigger points are a few tight bands of skeletal muscles found within a bigger muscle group. These are sensitive, tender, and cannot be manually touched by the therapists (hence the use of needles). A slight touch to trigger points can already cause or alleviate muscle pain to other areas. It is called a “trigger” point because of its cascading effect. 

Physiotherapists are professionals and highly trained. You have nothing to worry about mishaps unless you landed a hoaxer or unlicensed therapist. But under normal circumstances, physiotherapists studied the human anatomy as intensively as possible. Otherwise, they would not be certified and licensed. 

Firstly, your therapist will conduct an interview and assessment during the consultation. The disclosure of facts and insights is important in identifying the problem area. Following the assessment is the drafting of the treatment plan. Physiotherapists always tailor the program to the specific needs of the patient since different people have different thresholds, concerns, and preferences. Then, the actual procedure, the pricking of “dry needles” in the specific trigger points follows. 

As part of the safety protocol, therapists normally wear the appropriate personal protective equipment like gloves. The needles, of course, are sterilized and properly disposed of. 

Dry needling actually stimulates the underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues. 

You may ask, what are the benefits of dry needling?

Physiotherapists can actually trigger release or inactivation of trigger points in order to help alleviate the pain or improve mobility. Research has shown that dry needling is effective in managing pain, reducing muscle tension, and stabilizing motor dysfunctions. The treatment also expedites a patient’s recovery to active rehabilitation. If you have sons and daughters suffering muscle pain due to sports injury, you may let them try dry needling.

Specifically, dry needling is effective in treating myofascial pain syndrome, which includes pain that results from muscular irritation. Your upper back muscles are prone to the myofascial pain that stemmed from sensitive trigger points. Suffice it to say, controlling these trigger points is the aim of your physiotherapist. The weakness of muscles and repetitive motions are some of the root causes of these kinds of pain.

If you still have further queries and concerns, it’s always best to talk to a professional physiotherapist. You may ask a few friends who had prior experience in the treatment to give you recommendations. Just remember that dry needling is only part and parcel of a bigger treatment plan. You may avail other treatments or routines as well. I preferred to have the massages and yoga as additional routines. The decision is yours to make, though. I am just glad that I did not have to drink several medicines for pain management. At my clinic also, I was taught how to live a healthier lifestyle to aid in pain management. Sometimes, muscle pains are brought about by improper execution or poor posture, or by too much consumption of trans fats, processed foods, eggs, and alcohol. 

Seek the nearest physio clinic near you. In Werribee, there are several of them. Find one that suits your style, and enjoy a pain-free life.

There are many more interesting and helpful articles to read when you click here. Learning new things related to good health is always an advantage. So, read more and be inspired.

Getting Pregnant with Fertility Acupuncture

People think that getting pregnant is very easy. Unfortunately, there are couples who are simply not having any luck conceiving children. Many have tried so-called fertility pills as well as a variety of herbal preparations with varying success. Some have also gone through the expensive process of in-vitro fertilization; again, with varying success. In-vitro fertilization, despite the cutting edge technology involved, can only muster a measly 60 percent success rate with the median somewhere in the region of 35 to 45 percent. And while it takes two to make a baby, there must be alternative ways to get pregnant without necessarily creating a large gaping hole in your pocket and bringing a host of other health problems to you and your partner.

One of the fertility methods that is fast gaining recognition and popularity even those in Western cultures is fertility acupunctureI am not actually a fan of acupuncture, but after having experienced it myself, I guess you can say that I am now a firm believer. Yes, my husband and I were also having problems conceiving a child. Like other couples, we already went to a lot of obstetricians and even had my husband undergo several tests. I was given fertility medications, was told to manage my stress, and to watch my diet. Still, no sign of getting pregnant. We were contemplating on getting an IVF but after looking at the costs, decided to look for alternative ways.

That’s when someone introduced us to the idea of acupuncture in fertility problems.

Getting pregnant starts with healthy egg and sperm cells. The egg cell must be full mature and have all the correct characteristics needed of a healthy mature egg cell. The sperm cells must also be very healthy. They need to be very hardy as they will have to travel up the uterus and the fallopian tubes where they will meet the egg cell. This means that sperm cells must also be very strong and very mobile so they can reach the fallopian tube just in time for the release of the egg cell from the ovaries. Upon meeting, only one sperm cell will be able to penetrate the egg cell and thus, create a new human being.

Simple enough right? Unfortunately, the road to getting healthy egg cells and sperm cells are dictated by a host of factors primarily hormones released from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. Without this, the ovaries will not be stimulated to develop egg cells to maturity. This is the function of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Once the egg cell is fully ripe, it is released by the ovaries and swept into the fallopian tubes where it waits for the sperm cells. It can only stay in this region for about 12 to 24 hours so, if it won’t meet a sperm cell during this time, it dies and is shed from the body. That is why timing is very important in getting pregnant.

Once the egg cell has been released from the ovary, the pituitary gland again releases another hormone – the Luteinizing Hormone – to help prepare the uterus for possible implantation of the fertilised egg cell. If fertilisation occurs – where the egg cell and the sperm cell unite to form a new cell – it travels down towards the uterus where it will implant itself. As such, the uterus must thicken its walls and increase the number of blood vessels to make sure that once the fertilised egg is implanted, it will be able to get the oxygen and nourishment from the extensive network of blood vessels. If there is no implantation, then all of these blood vessels and uterine tissues are shed. This is what constitutes our monthly menstruation.

So where does acupuncture fit in all of these? Since acupuncture believes that infertility is caused by an imbalance in the flow of chi in the body, it is crucial to restore this balance by removing any obstructions to the inefficient flow of energy. I have been trying to make sense of this and the closest, most plausible explanation I can get is that needlepoint stimulation sends signals to the brain to make it more efficient in regulating the different hormones of pregnancy – FSH and LH – which, in turn, regulates oestrogen and progesterone. Simply put, fertility acupuncture is all about improving the efficiency of the different processes of gamete development and maturation, ovulation, fertilisation, and implantation. This helps ensure greater chances of getting pregnant. Acupuncture also helps improve the flow of blood to all the reproductive organs to make them healthier through adequate oxygenation and nutrition and the elimination of metabolic by-products.

Acupuncture also provides excellent stress management thereby controlling the effects of cortisol on foetal development. Studies are unanimous in saying that unusually elevated levels of cortisol during pregnancy have long-term effects on the well-being of babies. Aside from this, stress also increases blood pressure which can affect the amount of oxygen delivered to the foetus. If this oxygen delivery is compromised, you may lose your baby.

There are many other benefits of acupuncture especially on reproductive health. I can say this now with confidence because we are now expecting our second baby, thanks again to fertility acupuncture. If you are looking for alternative and safe ways to get pregnant, visit a licensed fertility acupuncturist today.