February 2016 archive

Reason #3 to Come to My Yoga Class

Reason #3: It costs $6!!

How much would you pay to:

  1. Feel relaxed, happy, and content  frappuccino
  2. Increase your lean muscle mass and flexibility
  3. Lower your blood pressure and improve your sleep
  4. Decrease your pain
  5. Improve your posture
  6. Keep your immune system strong and your allergies at bay
  7. Look and feel vibrant

In America, we spend billions of dollars every year to look and feel great.  We spend large amounts of money on plastic surgery, weight loss programs and prescription medications to look and feel our best. Well, I have a secret that you can add to your arsenal and it costs about the same as a Starbucks Frappuccino. To experience the health benefits listed above, come to a Community Yoga Class at Charm City Yoga Works.  Practice yoga.

Reason #2 to Come to My Yoga Class

Reason #2:  Your brain feels a little lopsided

Did you know that you have a certain amount of control over the shape of your brain? It’s braintrue!  Let’s say, for example, you are a professional tennis player who practices your sport for several hours a day. The part of your brain that has to do with eye/hand coordination will grow larger and become more efficient.

The same is true if you think stressful thoughts all day or if you expose yourself to hours of stressful news stories on television or your computer for many hours a day.  The parts of your brain that respond to stress and negative thoughts will grow larger as the parts that are under utilized (those that deal with calming thoughts and relaxation) will deteriorate from under use.

A vicious cycle is created.  The parts of the brain we need to relieve stress have deteriorated and are too weak to be effective.  The parts that respond to stress grow stronger and stronger over stimulating our fight or flight response. Click here to read what Dr. Marchant has discovered about how we can re-balance our brains in a culture that constantly stimulates our stress response.  I’ll give you a hint: (spoiler alert!!!) Long, deep, measured, mindful breaths. Practice yoga.

Five Reasons to Come to My Yoga Class

Are you on the fence when it comes to trying yoga?  Or maybe you have practiced yoga in the past, but have not been on your mat lately.  Check out the following five reasons to come 20151218_140724[1]to my yoga class which happens every Friday from 2-3pm at the Towson Yoga Works studio.

Reason #1: You want to get high- yoga high, that is!

I am constantly amazed and in awe of the human body. This passion to learn as much as I could about the human body early in my life led me to a background in biology and neuroscience. With that background as my springboard, later in my life I leapt into less understood and accepted (at least in this country) models of the human body through the study of Chinese medicine and yoga. I’m pretty sure you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with getting high, Heather? Get to the good stuff already.” Okay, so here’s the good stuff.

Inside each of us, there are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. The 10th cranial nerve is named the vagus nerve. Science tells us that when this nerve is activated several things happen:

  1. Anxiety and depression are alleviated
  2. Mood is lifted
  3. Our levels of endorphins, which are responsible for bringing about positive feelings in the body and reducing the sensation of pain, are increased.

Essentially, turning our vagus nerve “on” makes us feel happy, free of anxiety and worry and reduces pain. You may be thinking “Great! Now tell me which pill will activate my vagus nerve”. No pill necessary. The best way to access all of the benefits the vagus nerve has to offer is to take long, deep, conscious breaths. Really, that’s it. You don’t need a prescription or to worry about potential side effects. You don’t have to wonder if your insurance will cover it.

So, there you have it. Do you want to feel relaxed and free of worry and anxiety without a single negative side effect? Take long, deep, conscious breaths. Practice yoga.

Reason #3 It is too expensive

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are still in the process of being incorporated into health care system in this country. The latest studies indicate that 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population and approximately 38 percent of all Americans use complementary medicine. In too expensiveresponse to their client’s use of complementary medicine and the realization that those who do use such therapies tend to cost the insurance companies less overall, many insurance companies do cover all or a portion of the cost of acupuncture.

Even if your insurance does not cover acupuncture, there are affordable places to find treatment. Community acupuncture clinics are becoming increasingly popular and easy to find. These clinics charge anywhere between $15 and $50 per treatment, some based on a sliding scale or donation.

The next time you find yourself frustrated by conventional treatment methods, consider acupuncture as a possible alternative. In just a few sessions, you could experience relief from any one of dozens of stubborn, hard-to-treat health conditions while stimulating the body’s own healing resources – something no prescription drug can ever do for you.

Prepare for the Lunar New Year: The Year of the Red Fire Monkey

The Year of the Monkey begins on February 8, 2016. 
Rather than being a Monkey on your back, the Red Fire Monkey of 2016 is just what you need to take a leap in your life.  According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the red fire monkeyenthusiastic energy of the Monkey combined with the Fire element provide the fuel to make changes you may have been considering for some time.  Take some time during this New Year celebration to let the fire monkey on your shoulder lead you to making some positive changes in your life.
Below are some simple things you can do to usher in the Year of the Monkey:
  1. Clean your house from top to bottom to rid it of any bad luck from last year. Sweep it out towards the door.
  2. Clean your internal house as well, paying off debts and resolving any quarrels with friends.
  3. Get some new clothes and a haircut before the big day (scissors are to be avoided so you don’t snip off any good luck).
  4. Prepare food ahead of time for family and to give away. Knives also must be put away so you don’t accidentally cut off any incoming good luck.
  5. Decorate the house with red and gold banners. Red signifies happiness and gold represents prosperity.

Reason #2 Does it Really Work?

During my 15 years working in the field of acupuncture, I have repeatedly seen acupuncture work and I can answer with a most definite “Yes!!” But don’t take my word for it. Continue reading to find out the opinions of some of our leading medical organizations.

 In 2003, The World Health Organization released an 87-page document titled Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. This review specifically listed 28 diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven through controlled trials to be an effective treatment. Nearly 100 more conditions were reported by controlled trials to have some therapeutic benefits. Additionally, The American Medical Association Journal of Internal Medicine (JAMA) concluded that acupuncture is effective for reducing chronic pain with few side effects.

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

1.   Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy 15.  Low back pain
2.     Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever) 16.  Malposition of fetus, correction of
3.     Biliary colic 17.  Morning sickness
4.     Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke) 18.  Nausea and vomiting
5.     Dysentery, acute bacillary 19.  Neck pain
6.     Dysmenorrhoea, (painful menstruation) 20.  Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
7.     Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm) 21.  Periarthritis of shoulder
8.     Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders) 22.  Postoperative pain
9.     Headache 23.  Renal colic
10.  Hypertension, essential 24.  Rheumatoid arthritis
11.  Hypotension, primary 25.  Sciatica
12.  Induction of labour 26.  Sprain
13.  Knee pain 27.  Stroke
14.  Leukopenia

28.  Tennis elbow