Recent Posts

5 Types of Massage - What Type is Right for You?

By Collins Nwokolo → Friday, 23 February 2018

Massage therapy has been in existence since times immemorial. This therapy has a wide range of benefits and nowadays many are opting for the massages as a better treatment option for specific ailments. This is considered a safe way to get relief from different aches and pains. You need to only ensure you choose the massage therapist carefully based on the qualification, certification, and experience. In fact, these three important factors taken into consideration can help you make a right choice of a massage therapist. If used in an appropriate and ‘right’ manner this therapy has no side-effects. This is anytime a preferred choice as compared to popping the different types of prescribed drugs.

To get the maximum benefit of a massage, it is necessary to get basic information on the different types massages that one can benefit from:

ALSO READ: How To Solve Different Health Problems with Physiotherapy

1. Hot Stone Massage:
Hot-stone-massage

In this kind of massage, the therapist uses hot stones on the different parts of the body and also holds these whiles giving a massage. Basalt is used here as it is known for its ability to retain heat. The warmth provided by these stones not only relaxes but loosens muscles which are tight. In case an individual is suffering from ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins or heart disease, he/she needs to consult their doctor before opting for this massage.

2. Aromatherapy Massage:
The therapist giving this aroma therapy massage makes use of scented oils along with specific massage oil. These oils are extractions from parts of plants or flowers and are said to have properties for healing. For example, rose and lavender tends to promote relaxation. This soothing effect of aroma therapy massage can help in different conditions like digestive disorders, headaches, insomnia, premenstrual symptoms, and backache. All you need to do is ensure that you are not allergic in any way to the different plants.


3. Swedish Massage Therapy:
Swedish-massage-therapy
Most of the spas, gyms, clinics and wellness centers offer this Swedish massage therapy. This massage is typically based on the physiology and anatomy of the Western concepts. The massage therapists use oil or lotion and start the massage with general strokes. They then transit to strokes specifically on problematic areas.
The five basic strokes used in this therapy are petrissage (Rolling, kneading, and lifting), effleurage (long strokes which are smooth), friction (circular movements which are small or wringing), tapotement (percussion) and vibration (shaking ad rocking movements). The key highlight of this massage is it helps in providing the relaxation to the full body and is helpful when recovering from any sort of injury. This type of massage is very good and can even help improve your spine health.


4. Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep tissue massage Types of Massage

This type of massage tends to focus on the knots of the muscles and can be very effective in treating other problem areas located in the deep layers of the muscles and tissue. The therapists use deliberate and slow strokes across the muscle grain and address tight and chronic painful muscles, injuries, postural problems or repetitive strain.  The pressure of this massage is considered to be intense, but this should not be painful. In case of any pain experienced, the therapist needs to be informed. Deep tissue massage is most effective for dealing with lingering injuries and chronic pain that cause a problem with the mobility.


5. Pregnancy Massage:
Types of Massage
The prenatal massage or this pregnancy massage aims to relax the mother. Prenatal massage tends to look into pregnancy problems like lower back pain and swollen ankles. This needs to be handled only by reputed and certified therapists. These qualified therapists have the knowledge of the exact positions and balancing the expectant mothers that there is no harm to both, the mother and child.
Besides these, you have the Thai massage, Reflexology, and Shaitsu massage. All these provide different benefits. Opting for any of the above-mentioned massages, you need to ensure to contact only the qualified and certified professionals.

Thanks for reading, please share and comment below.

Double Vision: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

By Collins Nwokolo → Thursday, 22 February 2018
Double vision or diplopia is an eyesight problem where a person sees two images of an object. These images may be horizontaly,  vertically or diagonally aligned. This condition is monocular if it affects one eye. If both eyes are involved, the condition is termed as binocular double vision. Those experiencing double vision have trouble viewing objects clearly and suffer from a loss of balance.  It can have terrible effects on a person's ability to function properly. Apart from double image viewing,  double vision often carries other symptoms.  These are:
Double Vision: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • Droopy eyes
  • Misaligned eyes
  • Crossed eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain around the eyes
  • Weak eye muscles


CAUSES OF DOUBLE VISION 

Double vision can arise from a number of different factors including excessive alcohol consumption and fatigue. This kind of double vision is short termed and does not require serious medical attention. In some cases it can be an outcome of other diseases such as neurological disorders and problems in the interior structure of the eyes. This kind of double vision is long term and needs proper medical attention. Here are some possible causes of double vision.



1. Trauma
Double vision may crop up as an after effect of trauma meted out on face, eyes or head. This leads to damage to the nerves and muscles located around the eyes thereby causing double vision.


2. Corneal Abnormalities
Irregular shaped cornea interferes with vision. Keratoconus,  is a condition in which the cornea becomes thin and cone shaped and causes double vision.


3. Vision Problems
Eye conditions like astigmatism, cataracts and macular degeneration also cause double vision. These problems prevent the light from reaching the eye properly resulting in double vision.


READ NOW: Mesothelioma: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

4. Dry Eyes
The tear film on our eyes plays a role in promoting clear vision. If the production of tears and other fluids is halted, it can result in dry eyes.  Dry eyes can cause many vision problems including double vision.


5. Nerve Damage
Double vision also arises from conditions that affect the functioning of nerves that connect the eyes to the brain.  These include multiple sclerosis,  multiple myeloma,  Guillain Barre's syndrome, Cranial Nerve Palsy, stroke,  aneurysm and brain tumour.


6. Weak Eye Muscles
Weakness in eye muscles that control our vision can result in double vision. There are many conditions that affect the health of these muscles like Myasthenia Gravis and Grave's syndrome. Myasthenia Gravis is an auto immune disorder that hampers normal functioning of ocular muscles while Grave's syndrome causes abnormalities in ocular muscles and other connective tissues surrounding the eyes and leads to double vision.


7. Diabetes
If you suffer from diabetes,  your chances of having double vision are starkly increased.  Uncontrolled diabetes leads to deterioration of nerves and muscles around the eyes and causes a number of visual abnormalities including double vision.


8. Strabismus
Also known as squint or crossed eyes,  strabismus that affects people during adulthood may cause double vision.  This condition is brought on by paralysed ocular muscles or insufficiencies in nerves that regulate the movement of ocular muscles.




TREATMENTS OF DOUBLE VISION 

Treatment of double vision is based entirely on the type, symptoms and cause of the disorder. Taking into account all these factors your doctor may prescribe some tests including vision exams,  blood tests or MRI scan to get a clear idea of the actual cause of diplopia. Double vision caused by underlying diseases such as hyperthyroidism,  diabetes or neurological disorders is managed after receiving adequate treatment for the disease. Treatment of double vision caused by other conditions is done by adopting following methods.


Eye Exercises
Eye exercises are an important tool to overcome a wide range of vision problems.  Eye exercises help in strengthening ocular muscles and improve the ability to focus. Double vision caused by weak eye muscles can be fixed by eye exercises.


Special Glasses
Diplopia caused by visual disorders like astigmatism,  myopia and strabismus (crossed eyes) are corrected by wearing special glasses or lenses meant for these conditions. Eye glasses with prism are ideal for people suffering from strabismus.  They help in unifying the two images into one to enable the sufferers see clearly.


Eye Patch
Eye patches are prescribed to manage double vision in some patients.  These patches are made to cover one eye to prevent the second image from showing up in the visual field. These are best suited for binocular double vision.


Surgery
Surgery is another option to treat double vision arising from corneal abnormalities,  cataracts, strabismus and neurological disorders.



About the Author
Harvey Lee is a health and beauty blogger and works with various industry leading health and beauty product brands e.g. EyeSoothe. Harvey strongly recommends seeking physician opinion before replacing medication with natural or other non-clinical remedies.

Health Insurance Rebates: What They Are and Why They're Important

By Collins Nwokolo → Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Investing in your health insurance will be one of the wisest decisions you will have ever made. Why so? Life is full of uncertainties and while there is a possibility of certain scenarios where you have invested a bit too late on your health insurance to be able to reap its full benefits, there surely is no such thing as being "too early" to do so.

Whether you're still on the first step of establishing your own career or you're planning to start your own family soon, dropping a partial amount of your money on health insurance will act as a safety net, should anything happen to you in the future. However, there are still millions of Australians who think that acquiring health insurance is expensive and unnecessary. That's why, since the Howard government during the late 1990s, the private health insurance rebate was passed as one of the three policy incentives. So what is a health insurance rebate?



What Are Health Insurance Rebates
Health-insurance-rebate

It is no secret that a lot of Australians are intimidated by the thought of investing in health insurance, and that's what the government has been trying to cure. A health insurance rebate is basically an act in which the government covers some of the cost of the public's premiums. The fact that it is income-tested means they cover what is only necessary based on your annual income in order to encourage you to invest in your own health care.

This policy applies to the hospital cover (accommodation, surgeries, pharmaceuticals, and laboratory testings), general cover (physiotherapy, speech therapy, hearing aids), and ambulance covers only, excluding the overseas visitors cover.

YOU SHOULD READ: A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Health Insurance

Why are health insurance rebates so important?


For you, we have narrowed down the top three reasons which have made health insurance rebates so important:


1. It encourages the public to invest in their health insurance
Health-insurance-rebate

Some people only have health insurance because it has become a requirement for their job and their companies are paying for it. But when left to their own devices, most wouldn't even think about signing up for it. With the government shouldering partial of the cost of your health insurance, you are less likely to be intimidated by the monthly payments and focus instead on your future, since the government has your back.


2. Investing in your private health insurance gives you more freedom with its benefits

Health insurance rebate important

With private health care insurance that is partly taken care of by the government through rebates, you will have a peace of mind knowing that you have more freedom when it comes to accessing its benefits when they’re finally needed. Here are some advantages and what you wouldn’t have without health insurance:

  • Freedom to be see the doctor of your choice
  • It covers dental care, optical care, speech therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, endodontic, non-PBS pharmaceuticals, and other general treatments not generally covered by other types of health insurances
  • Freedom to choose the hospital you want to be admitted to
  • Shorter waiting list for surgeries



3. It allows you to save more 
Health-insurance-rebate

The worst case scenario is when you find yourself involved in a sudden accident, or you find out you're in dire need of treatment and surgery due to a pre-existing illness or ailment. Without a health care insurance, this will be a whole ordeal for you—a financial burden. With the existence of the health insurance rebates, not only will the medical costs be a lot cheaper, but you will be able to save the money; what would have been necessary for medical bills can be used for other purposes instead. Whether it's a thousand dollars more for your children's college tuition, for your mortgage, or for other financial investments—it will surely be worth it.


Medical costs are expensive and they are bound to increase in price for the coming years. With the government's 30% rebate on your private health insurance, you will get back 30 cents for every dollar that you contribute to your premium, further allowing you to save a lot of money.

With all of this laid on the table, there's no reason why you shouldn't consider investing in a private health insurance which only seeks out the best for you and your family's future. For financial and health security, choose to invest in private health insurance. This site can help you with any inquiries regarding the kind of insurance you should choose depending on your needs.


Jessica Wilson 

Jessica is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Membersown and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she's not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.



7 Daily Habits That Can Harm Your Heart

By Collins Nwokolo → Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Everyone wants to have a good health and a healthy heart is an integral part of a healthy body. Nevertheless, cardiovascular disease affects every 1 in 3 adults in the United States. There are certain unhealthy daily habits that can harm the health of the cardiovascular system, thus it’s worth knowing them and giving them up.




1. Constant lack of sleep
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Our body requires at least 8 hours of a healthy night’s sleep to get prepared for a new working day. Hormonal problems associated with the lack of sleep can affect the functioning of the cardiovascular system and contribute to the development of heart disease. Researchers believe that if an individual doesn’t get enough sleep regularly, his or her heart doesn’t receive enough rest which results in high levels of resting cortisol and adrenaline similar to those detected in stressful situations. Fortunately, you can learn some tips on how to get better sleep.

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2. Too much salt in your everyday meals
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Increased salt consumption causes fluid retention in the body tissues, interferes with the work of the heart and causes high blood pressure which is among the principal risk factors of kidney failure, heart attack, etc. It’s not recommended to have more than 1,500mg of salt per day. However, people tend to forget that salt can be found not only in cooked food but also in its ingredients: cheese, butter and other products. Therefore, taste your food before reaching for a salt shaker, perhaps there is no need in additional salt. Also, pay attention to the labels on the products you buy – canned foods, chips, processed foods, lunch meats, etc. contain huge amounts of hidden salt.



3. Smoking and second-hand smoking
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide that, once entering the bloodstream, reacts with the main carrier of oxygen – hemoglobin. Hemoglobin picks up carbon monoxide instead of oxygen by mistake and thus less oxygen is transported all over the body. Decreased oxygen content makes the heart to work harder to supply oxygen to all organs and tissues and that can provoke cardiovascular problems such as chest pain or heart failure and lead to a myocardial infarction or stroke. Nicotine causes the narrowing of blood vessels, disturbs blood circulation and thus damages cardiovascular health. So, if you haven’t considered it yet, quit smoking and make your heart healthier!

READ NOW: How Does Smoking Affect Your Central Nervous System


4. Stressing too much and way too often
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Stress stimulates the body and makes it produce stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – that seriously affect the functioning of the whole body. Researchers have long known that there is a connection between stress and heart disease. Stress makes blood pressure go up and increases heart rate; therefore, chronic stress leads to the damage of the cardiac arteries and elevates the risk for myocardial infarction. To minimize the damaging results of stress try the following:
Get regular physical activity to relieve emotional tension;
Plan your day and prioritize your tasks to prevent excessive stress;
Find a friend or family member to share your emotions with.

SEE ALSO: 10 Effective Tips To Manage Stress




5. Watching too much television
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Researchers say that sitting and watching television for many hours without breaks significantly increases the risks for heart attacks and strokes even if you exercise on a regular basis. It’s believed that the lack of movement that lasts for many hours affects metabolism and increases the levels of glucose and fats in the bloodstream. Moreover, sedentary lifestyle promotes the progression of obesity and hypertension, causes high cholesterol levels and thus provokes cardiovascular problems. Some studies show that those who sat in front of television for more than 4 hours per day were 80% more likely to die for reasons associated with cardiovascular problems and coronary artery disease. Therefore, take any chance you have and make short breaks, walk, or, if you’re in the office, stand when talking on the phone. Regular outdoor activities, walking or jogging help to strengthen the heart muscle and make the heart healthier.

YOU SHOULD READ: 4 Popular Type of Movies You Watch And How they Affect Your Health.



6. Forgetting to floss
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

If you don’t floss regularly, a sticky bacterial dental plaque can get accumulated between the teeth and promote the progression of periodontitis, a serious inflammatory gum disease. According to one of the theories these bacteria cause inflammation in the body and that provokes the development of atherosclerosis. Quite often infections penetrate the body through the mucous membranes. Adequate and timely treatment of periodontitis helps to improve the condition of the blood vessels and even prevent heart problems.




7. Ignoring snoring
Daily-Habits-that-damage-heart

Snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea which is characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep and can result in skyrocketed blood pressure. Sleep apnea is thought to elevate the risk of heart disorders since it prevents restful sleep and is associated with heart failure, arrhythmia, hypertension and stroke.
The good news is that you can give up bad habits that harm your heart and thus improve the overall state of your health. So start taking care of yourself and you’ll have a healthy heart.




Author's BIO:

Richard Johnson is a professional writer who specializes in heart health issues and writes articles for www.CardioGod.com  Richard is also an ongoing contributing writer to other health-related websites.

What Are The 3 Main Differences Between Fitness And Yoga?

By Collins Nwokolo → Saturday, 17 February 2018


Power yoga, Dog Yoga, Beer Yoga. Many yoga classes you find in the West have not much resemblance with the ancient yoga tradition, passed down to us by yogis living in the Himalaya, in harmony with nature.
While these named yoga classes are promoted as such, they - also depending on the teacher - do indeed often have a lot in common with a fitness session: Only focusing on the physical aspect, which actually is one of the less important aspects of yoga. Ok, let’s be fair, Beer Yoga also entails drinking.

There is nothing wrong with adding a few modern twists to this ancient tradition to open the practice up to a larger audience, but it’s good to know that a traditional yoga class is composed by the following three elements:
  • Breathing exercise in form of mindful breathing during the physical practice, or in a separate Pranayama session.
  • Asanas, the physical postures. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is an integral part of every asana practice. This flow is designed to train the entire body.
  • Relaxation or meditation. This can be observing one’s breath, a guided meditation or visualisation.


The three most striking differences between yoga and fitness can be summed up like this:


1. Yoga Philosophy
Main Differences Between Fitness And Yoga


Yoga is an ancient tradition and goes back thousands of years.
Patanjali is one of the most well known source of yoga philosophy today. He wrote the Yoga Sutras, the ‘Eightfold Path’, also called ‘ashtanga’ (which is Sanskrit for ‘8 limbs’). It is the moral compass for yogis, entailing following eight steps on how to live a meaningful life
  • Yama - Rules on ethical standard and behaviour towards ourselves and others
  • Niyama - Rules around self-discipline and spiritual observance (Dos)
  • Asana - Physical postures
  • Pranayama - Practice of yogic breathing techniques
  • Pratyahara - Drawing one’s senses inwards
  • Dharana - Concentration
  • Dhyana  - Meditation or contemplation
  • Samadhi - Enlightenment 

So as you can see yoga is a whole philosophy and lifestyle, which happens on the mat, but more importantly - off the time, which marks a big difference to a regular fitness class. 


2. Breathing

Main Differences Between Fitness And Yoga


If you’re not breathing properly, it’s not yoga what you’re doing. A common saying by yogis. During the practice of asanas keep concentrating on your breath. It’s the tool that keeps you focused and your senses drawn inwards. Traditional yoga styles like Hatha Yoga or Sivananda Yoga include a separate, more extensive Pranayama part in the class, in which 2-3 different breathing techniques are performed in a seated position. Two of the most common techniques are Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati) or Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhan). The former of which is energising and stimulating for body and mind, while the latter is a mind balancing and soothing form of pranayama.
All Pranayama exercises have a whole list of different benefits for body and mind and can be done according to one’s needs. As with everything else - the greatest benefits can be seen after a more regular practice.

ALSO READ: Did You Know That Yoga Can Help Your Spine Health?  Find out how!

3. Mindfulness
Main Differences Between Fitness And Yoga

You can do a posture perfectly, but if you use the practice to get some work done and mentally draft an email to your client, then it’s not yoga. Don’t get me wrong, our minds wander a lot during the yoga practice and that’s completely natural and ok. It takes a lifetime of practice to keep your monkey mind under control. However, we should make an effort to bring our mind back to our breath, listen to our body whenever we catch ourselves contemplating anything outside of our practice. It is hard, especially in the beginning, but the beauty is, that it gets easier over time to live in and enjoy the current moment.

Every yoga class ends with Shavasana, Corpse Pose. We lay flat on our backs, breath slowly, relax all our muscles and focus on our breath and calm our minds. This is when we harness the benefits of our practice.

Main Differences Between Fitness And Yoga

The named three aspects can usually not be found in a fitness or aerobic class. But why not  integrate some more mindfulness into your next fitness class to draw some extra benefits?


SEE ALSO: 5 WAYS Yoga Helps You Lose Weight


AUTHOR'S BIO :
Vikas Kostas

Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method - a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: http://www.vikasayoga.com