“Man’s Search for Meaning”
by Viktor Frankl
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”
If the above quote does not make you want to read this mesmerizing book then read on because it gets better. Viktor Frankl’s bestselling legendary book just keeps on giving. The book is divided into two parts. The first is titled, “Experiences in a Concentration Camp” and though he does give graphic description of the “hell” he lived through while incarcerated, Frankl focuses more on how he, as a psychotherapist, observed and interpreted how the human psyche coped and survived. It is a tough first 93 pages to read but does effectively set up the second part titled, “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”. Logotherapy, (Logo is Greek for “Meaning”), is the psychotherapy that he developed. Over the last 53 pages of the book he explains his theory, and on almost every page there is a nugget of wisdom to be absorbed.
With this review it is my hope that I do this very powerful book the justice it deserves. It has the power to help enhance your personal life and the interaction you have with others, but it also has the potential to have a significant effect on a greater scale, for as he says in the last two sentences :
“Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of.
And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by German-born Joseph Pilates who described his method as the art of controlled movements. If practiced with consistency, Pilates will improve flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, and motor control in the whole human body. It puts emphasis on developing a strong core, body alignment, coordination and balance. Pilates’ system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty and intensity from beginning to advanced as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. At first, to the beginner, Pilates may seem easy, that it does not produce a good work out. However, as your proficiency in performing the exercises improves Pilates gets harder and harder. As your body changes and your skills increase, your ability to work with precision and at a higher intensity will change the nature of each exercise. It is said that there are no plateaus in Pilates. Pilates can be safely and successfully used for post-injury rehabilitation, post pregnancy conditioning, to serve as a safe environment to begin an exercise program for the older adult, and to enhance athletic abilities, especially in sports that require higher levels of muscle control, balance and coordination such as dance, gymnastics and figure skating. Read more…
Yin and Yang
Yin Yoga is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, opposite and complementary principles in nature. Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of an object, while Yang is its changing, moving, revealing aspect. These two objects always coexist, and everything in nature can be described in terms of its yin and yang.
All forms of yoga can be described as Yin or Yang based on which tissues of the body are being targeted. A practise that focuses on gentle traction and the stretching of ligaments, tendons and fascia (connective tissue) is Yin yoga and a practise that focuses on exercising and stressing the muscles is Yang yoga.
Sleep, you can’t live a productive life without it but we find it increasingly difficult to find the time to do it and to do it effectively. How many times have you heard that to be healthy we need 8 hours of sleep a night? How many times have you woken up in the morning after trying to get those 8 hours of sleep and still felt tired? Does everyone need the same amount of sleep? Why do some people seem to function on only 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night while other need 9 or 10? What constitutes a good night’s sleep? Is it the quality of sleep or the quantity of sleep that is most important? What actually happens mentally and physically when we sleep? Does exercise or nutrition affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep? What is Insomnia and sleep apnea, their causes and how can they be treated?
The science of sleep, and sleep conditions that affect the quality of our sleep are not well understood by the general public. This article will try to bring clarity to this issue with the hope that a better understanding of sleep and issues that affect it will lead you to a better night sleep. Read more…
1. What is It
Fascia or myofascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. This outer fascial covering is very strong and very flexible. In fact, it has a tensile strength of over 2000 pounds.
Under a microscope, myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state.
Myofascia can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous, has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And, like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of fascia can affect other distant areas in your body even years later. Read more…
Since 2007 The Canadian Food Guide (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php) has recommended that adults have between 6 and 8 servings per day of grain products and that at least half of your grain products be whole grain. But, when we go grocery shopping what does this mean. When the packaging says multi-grain or whole-wheat, does that mean the same thing as whole-grain? Whole-grains are an important source of fibre, are low in fat and contain vitamins and minerals. They have been linked to lowering the risk of certain types of cancer (bowel) and other health disease such as cardiovascular disease. So when we go to the grocery store it is important to know that what we are buying is delivering the nutrition and health protective properties that we are expecting. Read more…
Good posture is important for your physical and emotional health. Good posture is defined as your head, neck, shoulders, hips and feet all in proper alignment relative to each other. When a person is viewed from the side, this means that the person stands tall with the head facing forward, with the neck over the shoulders and not protruding forward. The shoulders are back, not rounded and the hips are placed over the feet. There is no excessive roundness of the upper back (khyphosis) or excessive inward curvature of the lower back (lordosis). Viewed from the front, the persons head is straight and not tilted to the right or left, the shoulders are level as are the hips. The feet point straight ahead and are not rotated out or in.
Good posture illustrated
Millions of older adults suffer from chronic muscle pain and stiffness on a daily basis. The causes of this functional limiting disability are many and range from previous trauma or injury from work or a sporting event, a lack of exercise due to work requiring a lot of sitting or stationary standing or just being a coach potato, repetitive strain from too much exercise or an exercise load that was too much/ too soon, poor nutrition, being overweight or a person’s inability to deal effectively with emotional stress.
Low back pain and stiffness is the most common area of complaint, affecting over 30 million North Americans yearly, but neck, shoulder, upper back, hips, upper and lower legs and feet are also frequent areas of chronic muscular disability. When a person starts to feel chronic muscle pain and stiffness often their first reaction is to become inactive. Their rationale is if it is uncomfortable and takes great effort to move then don’t move and they won’t suffer as much. The second most common response is to reach into the medicine cabinet for some Aspirin®, Tylenol® or Advil®. Unfortunately, both of these actions only treat the symptoms and not the cause.
By becoming more inactive, the soft tissues of the body, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, lose their flexibility and increased tissue tension results. Medication can only chemically mask the pain and stiffness and has no restorative properties. Both inactivity and pain medication are appropriate responses to acute injury when rest and decreasing the inflammatory response is a priority but are contra-indicated when someone is suffering from a myofascial chronic pain syndrome. In these cases mobility exercises and myofascial release techniques are the treatments of choice in dealing with the anatomical and physiological problems rather than just the symptomology. Read more…
By: Cassandra Pickard, Licensed Holistic Practitioner, Certified Thai Massage Practitioner, Registered Thai Therapist – Owner of Embrace Metta Thai Massage, Toronto, ON
As we get older, most of us start to feel the effects of the general wear and tear on our bodies. We start to experience that ‘old’ feeling, generally regarded as the stiffening of our joints, and this results in having more difficulty doing things that seemed so effortless before. Getting out of bed in the morning, gardening, playing with grandkids or pets does not seem as easy as it once was.
Thai Massage is particularly supportive of an aging body and helps to maintain and restore joint mobility. With increased joint mobility, aches and pains are not as noticeable or are relieved altogether helping you to feel younger and more active. Thai Massage has very few contraindications, so anyone in relatively good health can enjoy the benefits of this type of bodywork. The massage is adapted to suit your needs, so it doesn’t matter what your age, size or flexibility level is. Many first time recipients are actually surprised at what their body can do and the degree of stretching that they can obtain. Read more…
By: Dr. Dana Colson, D.D.S
Reviewed by: Michael Bedard, Personal Trainer, MBA
Some books you read because you need to and other books you read because you want to. Your Mouth: The Gateway to a Healthier You is one of those books that you need to and should want to read. Dr. Dana Colson, D.D.S. has done a marvellous job of taking the subject of oral health and making it hip, interesting and relevant to our overall health and well-being.
The book is hip because what is more hip today than to shop at Lulu Lemon and go to yoga class? Dr. Colson successfully marries the holistic concepts of yoga to oral health. An excerpt from the chapter titled Yoga for the Mouth is a perfect example of this; “Yoga is also about the importance of small, conscious movements to strengthen our emotional and physical well-being. A minimally invasive approach to dentistry is the same. Using new technology, gentle orthodontic forces allow the bone to remodel itself slowly over time and regain better balance for teeth, muscle and soft tissue. Through these small movements and slow shifts, we are able to remodel our mouths at any age.” Read more…