Thursday, January 31, 2013

Radical Forgiveness

forgivenessBy Jack Adam Weber -

I can hardly think of a more mysterious, complex, and too often elusive concept than forgiveness. Most of us have little trouble forgiving minor violations, a la don’t sweat the small stuff. Like being late for an appointment, or forgetting to take out the trash, or not calling someone back. I even wonder if we forgive these daily foibles as much as we just ignore them because on their own, they just don’t run deep or cause significant harm. But what about betrayal, conscious malevolence, or carelessness that costs us major heartache, upheaval, or financial loss? How do we wave the magic wand of forgiveness across a heart that has been hurt in deep, difficult, complex ways?

Forgiveness is a loaded concept, with bigger-than-life promise. It’s also advertised to be relatively easy. We are supposed to forgive, not only to release others from our upset and vengeance, but to free ourselves from suffering the pangs of resentment. There are visualizations to imagine the perpetrator in white light, breathing exercises to release injustices on the exhale, ritual gestures to give away our pain, all of which might help, or hinder our true passage to the elusive land of forgiveness. What is it to genuinely forgive, so that we end up feeling almost as though the incident never occurred? Is it to gradually forget, or merely grow away from what has been done to us, or others? Is it to empathize with and understand why someone else acted as they did? Does this heal the hurt in our hearts? Or is forgiveness—to the tune of a decision—of serious injustice, real betrayal, just a fantasy and not truly erased by wand-waving or easy exercises? 

Most of us have been deeply hurt, where forgiveness of others and ourselves takes center stage. Setting an intention to forgive by saying, “I forgive you,” can be helpful if we do to set a goal—as long as we recognize that there is a lot of hard work to reach that goal, and that the process is not linear but deeply circuitous. We discover forgiveness as transformation by negation, by embodying what forgiveness seems not to be.

When we are able to be deeply present with our pain, as gut-wrenching as it may be, we are able to enter the place of transformation, that of metaphorically dying to be reborn. This is to live with emotional honesty, to feel our feelings. It means that when we hurt, when we lose something significant, when we are betrayed, when we are disappointed or devastated, and forgiveness as resolution is in order, we take these feelings at face value. We feel that hurt and let it be until it is no longer, or until we can go no further or don’t want to go farther with it. The pain dissolves to whatever degree, as we are transformed. Indeed we could say that the energy of the pain is precisely that which changes and renews us, allowing us to forgive. And the corollary is true too: no pain, no gain. Forgiveness in this sense is not a process separate from the tough work of allowing ourselves to be transformed by the hurt we want to forgive. Forgiveness is the door that opens as a result of sitting with the injury of the hurt.

When we feel this hurt, we begin a process I call “dying to our pain.” This means that we surrender to heartache, rather than try to “perspective” or “talk ourselves out of it.” It is valuable to understand the whys of being hurt—why someone cheated on or  stole from us, broke a promise, acted with neglect or malice. We allow injustice and disappointment to change us, carry us down, teach us lessons about how to live and to care better, show us the places in ourselves where we have acted without integrity, how to better care for our hearts and the welfare of others. Feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, sadness, anger, rage, fear, and regret are common when we betray or are betrayed. These are difficult feelings to be with, so it’s no wonder we turn to easy forgiveness, instead of feeling these places that are the precursors for a full-bodied renewal. These trenches of hurt are the school of robust loving and the birthing grounds of genuine forgiveness—the unbidden light emerging from lots of hard inner work.

To forgive another, however, does not mean that we have to, or want to, continue to be in touch with them (him or her). If they have not changed, why put ourselves in harm’s way again? Sometimes the cost to leave a relationship with someone we have to forgive is greater than the cost of enduring the pain caused, such as with betrayal. It’s hard to know what the right decision is. We can begin the journey: embark on the process of accepting and healing our troubles, see where it takes us, how and if our mind changes, and assess as we go. It’s not easy and the journey requires us to get to know ourselves in a much more intimate way.

The degree to which we cannot feel “clear” of an injustice is the degree to which its still affects us. It is also possible that some pains never completely leave us. And this may not necessarily be a bad thing. If we feel strongly about a cause, this pain can fuel our activism for greater good. I am thinking about a Holocaust documentary I watched called “Elusive Justice,” about Jews who have made it their life’s work to track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals that never faced prosecution.

I am particularly disturbed by the Holocaust, and this movie deeply moved me. It shined a new light on the notion of justice, revenge, and forgiveness—the former are not always bad and the latter not always entirely possible or entirely desirable. The pain of the atrocity allows these Jews to work for a greater good, the spiritual cause of rectifying history and the future, setting an example for appropriate punishment and morality. Whatever our stance with retribution and justice, at the very least, with profound injustice, forgiveness is complex.


In the face of betrayal, linear forgiveness might say, “I forgive you for knowingly investing the money I loaned to you in a stock you had no good sense would succeed.” Transformational forgiveness might say, “I am furious, I am sad, devastated actually, that you lost my money, and I am not sure how to proceed; I need to sit with it.” Or, “I am pissed and compromised because you acted selfishly, lied to me, and did not communicate your truth so to allow me the opportunity to make a decision to take care of my needs. I need to go day by day towards resolution.”

Linear forgiveness might say to your partner who cheats on you, “I love you; I forgive you. I will let this go.” Or, “We can go on as if this didn’t really happen. I bless you; may God make this right.” Maybe some people can really live this way and have it work for them. But it does not come close to the congruency and honesty I need to feel at home in my own skin. Transformational forgiveness, on the other hand, might say, “I love myself and I love you, so I will tell you how this feels in accord with how I understand the facts of the situation, and ask that you please help me get them right. This hurts, this really hurts. I am so sad. I am also pissed, I feel destroyed, and I don’t know how to look at you anymore. I will abide in my authentic feelings as a radical form of love, so to deepen my own heart and maybe be able to accept you into my life in a deeper way. But we’ll have to see how the dust settles, how I and you feel about it, and where those feelings and my intelligence take me.”

By feeling our real feelings, we are eventually able to let go of our hurt, rather than gloss over it with methods that merely help us avoid our heartache. When we have processed and been processed by our hurt, forgiveness comes naturally, though not usually easily, as a by-product of being genuine, emotionally and intellectually honest, each step of the way. This way, forgiveness “finds us,” so to speak, instead of our merely expressing what we think forgiveness is, as a predetermined idea.

Transformational forgiveness like this is also paradoxical, in that it does not bypass your emotions to arrive at a “spiritual” outcome, but instead embraces the hurt you want to forgive. It seeks to release the hurt by accepting it, rather than dismissing or skirting it. We can also discover paradoxical compassion, truth, faith, sacredness, strength, humility, and magic by embracing their apparent opposites. But not as an idea—as a fierce and radical process! This is the rich, powerful, courageous, surprising, comprehensively loving, deeply meaningful way home.

We each have our own threshold for breaking open. Some of us will allow ourselves to grieve completely until grief is done with us, until it cleans us out and delivers us to large-heartedness and deeply sourced, unbidden joy. Others allow a little sadness, then shut down, move on—to a new lover, a new job, a new city, a new anything. I am reminded of the line from Mary Oliver’s stunning poem “No Voyage:” 
“Men never go somewhere, they only leave wherever they are, when the dying begins.”

The degree to which we are willing to be with our own heartache, and be changed by it, is the degree to which we can engage in transformational forgiveness. Here forgiveness is not the idealized, contrived goal, but the inadvertent outcome of being authentic and true to the present reality of our hearts and minds. When we deny difficulty, we begin to “die,” even though we might try to compensate with a happy persona. On the other hand, ask us to spend a couple hours alone with our eyes closed feeling into our bodies to ascertain what is honestly there, without manipulating it with our interpretive fear or appall, and we might not be able to bear it. This is a very different brand of meditation, one that values our conditional nature, which then rewards us with a deeper embodiment and experience of the unconditional.

The gift of transformational forgiveness is that we are transformed in the process. Linear forgiveness, from what I can tell and have experienced, is fear and denial disguised as wannabe nobility and pretty-posturing spirituality. The latter might be a genuine gesture and attempt at peace, but it just doesn’t foster deep honesty, which is integration by way of transformation. It can actually become a covert self-harm because it denies significant hurt in our hearts. When we deny our heart’s pain, we consolidate and empower our wounds, no matter how “light,” impressive, or compassionate we might try to appear. A more radical compassion is to feel our immediate feelings and notice our immediate thoughts, sit with them, and make sure they are based on reality (if not, then we can look into what and why we have projected), and express them appropriately. This prevents backlogged pain from settling in us and being acted out on others. It also helps to root out our dysfunctional habits, communicate our truth, and also gives others the permission to be emotionally honest. This is how paradoxical compassion delivers us into transformational forgiveness.

Linear forgiveness is, in fact, the new-age antidote for avoiding difficulty, for avoiding the pain necessary to be transformed and birthed into radical forgiveness, as a by-product of lots of hard inner work that looks anything like our pretty ideas of forgiveness. It involves rage, disillusionment, depression, sadness, grief, helplessness, confusion, tremendous humility, and just about every other shitty feeling and state of mind you can imagine. The pain we try to forgive not only wakes us up, but contains the soul-octane necessary to transform and thereby powerfully change our lives.

Linear, superficial forgiveness is the feel-good holdout for avoiding pain when everyday love goes wrong. Many consider “love” to be a mysterious cosmic force, the amorphous answer to all our problems, an immutable power we can channel and share at will. We instead can think of love as the way we behave, enhanced by inner resources such as courage, creativity, generosity, patience, resilience, and self-knowledge. Certainly, what we commonly call unconditional love, as our presence and awareness, can feel like a power “greater than me.” Yet, unconditional love (also a behavior, by the way) does not automatically change our conditional circumstances; it is merely the first step towards working them out, which delivers us into our full potential. We miss out on opportunities for unconditional love and the real miracle of what we are able to authentically overcome when we sidestep what frankly is. We try to see and avoid tough forgiveness a thousand different ways—which if we are honest, is too often the fear of experiencing our difficult feelings.


If pop spirituality is geared to avoid pain, as most of its practices and ideologies are, then what juiciness can it really offer in the face of everyday human heartache? The New Age antidote to heartache is linear, mostly feel-good forgiveness, without acknowledging the pain of the wound. It is flimsy and ungrounded, as opposed to the sort of change that happens over many more months or years by way of transformational forgiveness. The former sets in motion the cycle of denial, repression, stagnation, and a covert harm that explodes and destroys when triggered. It avoids being transformed and deepened as evidenced in a radically different person.

When we can tolerate feeling difficulty and understand its ability transform and renew us, we don’t need to rely on forgiveness the hollow gesture that leaves us with a dearth of depth and richness for giving. Transformational forgiveness comes organically, as a result of clearing out our heart-minds of the hurt caused by injustice through emotional honesty. We naturally let go and forgive as we process our hurts, turning misfortune into fortunes we could not have claimed otherwise.

Injustice is not predictable, so a lot of pain is unavoidable. Shit happens to innocent people all the time, and rationales of karma and “meant-to-be” and it “happened for a reason” are more ways that we try to avoid feeling life’s stings and our fear of death, for which life’s pains are a taste. If we find benefit from misfortune, it does not mean that misfortune did us no harm. To live life with the radical courage to feel everything honestly is not only a way to deepen our love and passion but also to truly forgive and forge a deeper, enduring, and more inclusive love.

True forgiveness, then, might not be what we’d like to believe it is. If we want to live deep, rich, full, authentic, courageous, evolutionary lives, we might be better served to leave behind the contrived spiritual postures we adorn as good ideas and for public approval. We could also do away with the emphatic need to be “right,” which shadows other, more subtle and life-changing truths we realize during moments of tremendous humility—when we are honest about our own intentions. We would do better to surrender to how we honestly feel and think from one now to the deeper next, and to wake up in the midst of forgiveness as frankly and as innocently as we accepted its apparent opposites: betrayal, heartache, injustice, and misfortune. We thereby discover the ever-evolving meaning of forgiveness—its holistic, full-bodied, wholehearted, humbly-derived meaning—as a complex of understandings, emotional processes, and organic resolutions, rather than as a goal from what we think forgiveness is. Forgiveness is, in the end, a process, not a linear decision, though it requires the facts and our true, deep honesty. And we get to feel profund, genuine forgiveness when we embrace what looks like anything but “forgiveness.”

In the end, transformational forgiveness is a life-path of radical surrender, paradoxical compassion, and spiritual integration. Linear forgiveness, as in “I forgive you for so and so,” is best left for small infractions that don’t really hit us that deeply, though we should still be willing to feel and express our hurt over them. For more serious injustices, linear forgiveness is too often a coping mechanism to avoid pain and an attempt stay happy at the expense of our full, honest humanity. There is little more beautiful for giving than our honesty, care, empathy, and authenticity. The depth from which embody and convey these is up to us.


About the Author

Jack Adam Weber is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, organic farmer, celebrated poet, and activist for Earth-centered spirituality. He integrates poetry, ancient wisdom, holistic medicine, and depth psychology into passionate presentations for personal fulfillment as a path to planetary transformation. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website Jack can be reached at or on Facebook


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

America’s Weight Gain Has Supersized Some Surprising Things

bigambulanceBy Reader s Digest Magazine

Here's weighty news: Americans' expanding waistlines have caused some alarming beefing-up in places you wouldn't expect.

Ambulances: American Medical Response, the largest ambulance company in the United States, introduced bariatric ambulances in 2001. Their cots can accommodate up to 1,600 pounds, compared with older models that hold only up to 800 pounds.
Caskets: A standard-size casket for adults used to be 24 inches wide, but 28-inch-wide models are becoming more common, according to the Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America (CFSA), a trade association for the funeral-supply industry, based in Lake Bluff, Illinois. One company, Goliath Casket, began making 29-inch caskets in the 1980s (the new models hold up to 1,000 pounds) but sold only about one per year. Now they ship half a dozen oversize models every month.

Fuel Usage:
 Extra pounds cause cars, trucks, and planes to use more gasoline and jet fuel. Americans consume at least one billion more gallons of fuel today than they would if they weighed what they did on average in 1960.

CT Scanners: Imaging companies such as Siemens and General Electric are building new equipment to accommodate Americans' growing girths. Siemens's CT scanner went from a 60-centimeter (23.6-inch) diameter in 1997 to an 80-centimeter (31.5-inch) diameter in 2011, a 25 percent increase.

Santa Costumes: In 1996,'s largest offering was size 2X, and oversize suits accounted for just 12 percent of sales. Today, estimates that size 3X suits account for up to 20 percent of sales.

What Hasn't Changed but Needs to: Airline Seats Based on testing standards designed almost 50 years ago, airline seats are meant to restrain a 170-pound passenger, but today the average American man weighs 195 pounds, and the average woman, 165. These seats may not be as safe for heavy passengers during a crash.



Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The World's Most Natural First Aid Kit

bodyPressurePointsAcupressure, an alternative therapy based on Chinese acupuncture, is gaining cred: It's now practiced at hospitals around the United States. Use this pressure points chart to guide you through your pain, naturally.

"To target pain, press a specific point on your body with your fingers for a minute," says Janet Shaffer, a licensed acupuncturist at Duke Integrative Medicine, in Durham, NC. "You're in the right spot if the tissue feels a bit tougher or sore." (But get your doc's okay if you're pregnant--some points can bring on contractions.) 

For nausea: Press on the middle of your forearm, about three finger widths from your wrist crease. (This is the point motion-sickness bracelets press as well.) 

For headache: Pinch the web of flesh between your thumb and forefinger. 

For heartburn/indigestion: Press down in the middle of your torso, about six finger widths above your belly button and two below the bottom of your rib cage. 

For menstrual cramps and period bloat: Press on the inside of your leg, just below and slightly behind the knee joint. 

For neck pain: With your thumbs, press the hollows at the back base of your skull. 

For gas or constipation: Rub your abdomen clockwise, 150 to 300 times. 

For insomnia: Press down on the crease between the palm and wrist, in line with the pinky finger--daily, for best results. 

For all-over water retention: Press on the inside of your leg, about a hand's width up from the ankle bone, just behind the tibia. 


Here is a list of our links.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Why A.M. Exercise is Awesome

nightSTANDclockAlice OglethorpeSELF magazine

According to researchers at the University College London, it only takes 18 days to make a habit stick. Get up and out for an A.M. sweat session with these five tips.

1. It's the Fit Girl's #1 Secret: The enviably in-shape women we polled--athletes, trainers, everyday superwomen with flat abs--break a sweat first thing. No wonder: In the morning, you have max willpower, but as the day wears on, making healthy decisions becomes tougher, says Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., social psychology professor at Florida State University and coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Resisting online shopping splurges, ignoring an ex's text--these feats sap resolve, and you may not have much left to drag yourself to the gym at night.

2.Treats Won't Be As Tempting: A workout can make you less I-need-that at the sight of food (like those office cupcakes that show up at your weakest moments), say Brigham Young University researchers. And that crap about exercise making you famished? Nothing to it; you won't eat more after you sweat, their research indicates.

3. You Could be Little Miss Sunshine All Day: The mood high from exercise lasts up to 12 hours, a study from The University of Vermont found. That's a lot of smiling.

4. BTW, You Might Nab a Promotion: After a sweatfeast, people are better at managing their time at work (aka you're more likely to switch your Gchat notification to Busy), a study from the University of Bristol in England reports.

5. No More Tossing and Turning: Morning exercisers have less trouble falling asleep than do evening gymgoers, a study published in Sleep shows, and the more A.M. minutes you log, the easier it is to nod off. Better still: Your night's wide open!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Use Visualization to Achieve Weight Loss Success - It Works!

successWEIGHTlossby Remez Sasson

Creative visualization is a great tool for losing weight. By visualizing your body as you want it to be, you induce your subconscious mind to shape your body to look as close to your mental image as possible.

This does not mean that creative visualization will completely change the shape of your body. It means that if you visualize in accordance with the laws of visualization, you will improve the way it looks and reduce its weight.

It is a known fact that thoughts and emotions affect the body for better or worse, depending on your predominant thoughts and emotions. Negative thinking, stress, fear, excitement, worry and anger hurt the body. Under these conditions the body releases toxins into the blood, which affect it adversely.

Positive thinking, happiness, love and confidence heal, strengthen and energize the body.

You can use the connection between the mind and the body to your advantage. The subconscious mind accepts and treats both real conditions and mentally imagined conditions as real. This means that if you visualize yourself as being slim, your subconscious mind will accept what you visualize as true, and will act to make your body conform to your mental image.

Losing weight with the help of creative visualization can be termed as a "mental diet". Of course, the chances of success will be greater, if in addition to visualization you reduce the amount of food you eat, follow a diet and exercise your body.

Tips for losing weight through visualization:

- Two or three times a day, sit down for several minutes in a quiet place, and visualize your body as you wish it to be. Leave your worries, doubts and other thoughts behind, and concentrate on what you are doing. Use Dr Akilah's FREE success scale by clicking here. You can print it out or download it to your computer. 

- See yourself slim and beautiful, with your ideal weight. Forget how you look now. You are creating a new reality. See yourself at the beach or pool wearing a swimming suit. See how gorgeous you look. Imagine yourself wearing all those tight clothing that you have always wanted to wear.

- Visualize your family and friends complimenting you about how gorgeous your body looks and how slim you look now. Look at the whole scene as real, and as happening right now at the present moment, not in the future.

- You can construct in your mind any other scene you wish. You can see yourself exercising, dancing, with friends, with your husband or wife, at work, etc. See yourself moving and in action. Hear people complimenting you about your slim body, and see their admiring glances. In short, make the mental image as real as possible.

- Construct in your mind images that ignite your emotions. Make them alive and colorful. Make the scenes in your mind interesting and real, and see yourself in each scene as slim, the way you will look after you lose weight.

- Never visualize that you are disgusted with food or with eating, and do not develop a loathing for any kind of food. By visualizing your body as you wish it to look, your subconscious mind will direct you to eat the appropriate food in the right quantities.

- While visualizing, and after finishing your visualization session, don't tell yourself: "well, it is all nonsense, I cannot lose weight". If you say these words you destroy all the work you have done. When thoughts of disbelief crawl into your mind do not listen to them. Let only thoughts of your ideal body shape enter and pass through your mind.

As in everything else in life, persistence is required.

Tips and Warnings

  • Think positive Create positive habits to replace the negative ones Tell friends and family about what you are doing Keep a journal of how you feel and results you see According to the author of the book “Creative Visualization,” "create an ideal scene in your mind and keep it in a notebook where you can read it often.” Your brain listens to what you are saying and thinking, therefore negative thoughts produce negative outcomes. Take charge of your mind and think yourself to a new slimmer you. Count your blessings each day and think of everything that you have to be grateful for. Think of good memories and the feelings surrounding these thoughts. This will keep you on track to main a positive outlook each day while working on your visualization techniques.

Click Here to use this free visual aid tool to program your subconscious mind to help your body lose lots of weight fast. This simple mind trick can help melt pounds of excess fat off your body.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How Heels Can Affect Your Health

PainfulHigh_HeelsBy: Danny Elle

Wearing high heels is your choice, but you should at least be aware of the problems related to high heals. Women have four times as many foot problems as men. Wearing high heels is a major reason for this. Physical problems associated with high heels include foot pain, foot deformities, a change in back posture, knee osteoarthritis and balance impairment.  Orthopedists think that high heels can contribute to the development of a variety of conditions like arthritis, chronic knee pain, sprained ankles and back problems. High heels can also result in a variety of foot problems. High heels could be the cause of knee osteoarthritis, a painful, degenerative joint disease. The knee osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage surrounding the knee.

You could have ankle sprains and breaks from rolling over on high-heeled shoes. If you wear high heels you probably had this kind of problem. You should also know that high heels are pumps with heels of more than two inches.

High heels and Osteoarthritis

Wide heels increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee as much as, or more than, spindly-heeled stilettos. High heels increase knee joint pressure, this is repetitive stress to the knee elevates the risk for osteoarthritis. Low-heeled shoes or no heels are prevention for osteoarthritis.

Both types of shoes increased knee joint pressure 26 percent more for wide-heeled shoes and 22 percent for narrow-heeled shoes. This kind of repetitive stress to the knee elevates the risk for osteoarthritis. When you wear shoes with high heel it is long term effect to your knee, ankles and feet. The exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include injuries, age, congenital predisposition and obesity. Walking on high heels puts abnormal stress on both the front and the back of the knee.
The health of the cartilage that in the knee is dependent on the fluid in the knee. It absorbs the nutrients it needs from this liquid to repair itself. If you wear high heels stress on the knee restricts the absorption of the fluid, and the cartilage begins to dry out and shred.

High heels and foot problems

Feet are designed to provide you with balance and strength as you walk or run over many different types of terrain. High-heels could change the shape of your feet and may eventually prevent them from functioning properly. Foot problem related to high heels is metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of the foot. If the joints of your feet don’t work properly because of the strain of wearing high heels, other areas of your body are forced to compensate and suffer extra wear and tear. The Morton's neuroma, which is 10 times more common in women than men, is caused by a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes. The Morton's neuroma, could develop as response to irritation and excessive pressure such as the weight burden high heels place on the ball of the foot. Treatments of the Morton's neuroma include orthotics, cortisone injections and in some cases, surgery. If you wear very high heels, you should know that can cause the calf muscles and Achilles tendons to become permanently shortened. You should know that other tendons and connective tissues can also become permanently disfigured. If you only wear high heels whole area could be reshaped for high heel wear only, even to the exact measurement of one pair of heels. If the skin on the bottom of your feet gets hard, you should treat it. It can become very painful.

You should know that shin splints can happen when very high heels are worn. When the anterior tibial muscletears away from the bone can cause pain when the muscle is used. If your shin splints you should have gentle stretching exercises, such as swimming. Sometimes wearing shoe inserts to support the foot could help.  You should consult your doctor about shoe inserts.

High heels and falls

High heels impaired balance in both the younger and older women when the brain received dissimilar information from the eyes and the senses in the legs. When older women wear high heels might be at greater risk for falls. Being overweight means extra stress for your feet, not to mention the joints of your legs and spine. If you overweight and you are wearing high heels that are extra stress for your feet, joints and ankles. Toppling over on very high heels can cause a broken ankle, wrist fractures and worse condition.

High heel and headaches

Wearing high heels on a regular basis can cause toe pain, mid foot pain, heel pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain, mid back pain, upper back pain, and headaches. When you wearing high heels that cause unnecessary stress on your ankles, knees, pelvis, and potentially throughout your entire spine. The compensatory changes that result from wearing heels can cause the muscles behind your neck to be stiff, putting pressure on nerves that can result in chronic headaches.

High heels and deep vein thrombosis

Standing for long periods of time in high heels can cause deep vein thrombosis. You should know that  standing even in low heels carries this risk. Deep vein thrombosis is condition in which blood clots form in deep veins, mainly in the legs.

Some good tips for you

You should never wear high heels all day long. When you are shopping shoes do it in the afternoon or evening. Feet because of accumulation are little bigger in the afternoon. Your shoes need to be comfortably for you. You should try shoes on both of your feet, because sometimes one foot may be larger than the other. Measure shoes while you are standing. Making sure the shoe fits properly is essential.  Flat shoes are not the ideal for foot and leg health. Low heels are best for you. The healthiest shoes for women are those with fairly wide heels that are no more than a half or three-quarters of an inch in height. You should know that pain and other foot problems are less likely to occur if high heels are worn as infrequently as possible and are replaced by sneakers or flats as much as possible. Wearing extremely high heels can damage the feet, especially if the toes are pointed, or the shoes are too tight. Damage can sometimes be so extreme that the sufferer can never wear any high heel ever again. Starting with lower heels and practicing for short lengths of time, gradually building up the height and time will help to prevent shin splints. You should warm up the muscles before each wearing of high heels. The calf muscles should be stretched and exercised on a regular basis. Before putting heels you should run on the spot for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. After wearing your high heels for an extended period you should stand with your legs apart barefoot on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and try to touch your toes. You should have warm-up and cool-down exercises every time you wear high heels. If you feel any pain in your ankles or feet while wearing your high heels, take them off immediately. Sometimes is best to not wear high heels at all.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Ingredient in Your Drink that Could Be Making You Overeat

yuckySODAby Lexi Petronis,

We know that sugary beverages pack a lot of calories into their sweet little containers (they've taken a lot of heat in the obesity debate). But now the results of a new study are showing that they may also trick our brains into thinking that we're hungry!

Actually, it's the fructose in sugar-sweetened drinks that researchers say affect the brain region that regulates appetite. The researchers--who point out that the study does not show that fructose causes obesity--say that participants who drank a cherry-flavored drink with fructose in it experienced a spike in their hypothalamus. The participants who drank the same beverage made with glucose didn't have the spike.

The conclusion: high-fructose corn syrup and other forms of fructose might actually help lead us to overeat more than glucose does. (Plain table sugar contains both glucose and fructose.) Which means, say the experts, that it's generally a good idea to cook your own food at home and limit processed foods and drinks that have fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. It doesn't mean you can't ever have them--just keep how often (and how much) you have them in check!

Do you try to avoid fructose? What about sugary drinks in general?

Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's Your Fitness Motivation?

motivation4ExerciseBy Mindy Walker 

Find out how to tap into your inner workout drive (yes, you do have one!) with our customized get-up-and-go plan.

1. You've been exercising... 
A. Only since your sister-in-law was diagnosed with heart disease -- at 40. That's way too close to your age! 
B. Regularly, since you tried your gym's popular boot camp class. 
C. Like crazy before swimsuit season, intermittently the rest of the year. 
D. Forever. Exercise has always been a part of your life. 

2. Which situation most closely describes your ideal workout? 
A. A session on the elliptical or treadmill, during which you monitor your heart rate, miles covered, and calories burned. 
B. Playing soccer on a Saturday morning or walking with a friend. 
C. Alone in your living room, doing a body-sculpting DVD. 
D. Kickboxing class, to release stress and tension. 

3. Warming up for your routine, you... 
A. Sneak a peek at the Pilates class at the gym. You've heard that core-strengthening can help your back. 
B. Chat with your running buddy. 
C. Picture yourself with toned arms. You resolve to do free weights later. 
D. Take deep breaths. You like to turn off the noise in your head before exercising. 

4. You would describe your workout clothes as... 
A. Fairly new. You've just made the commitment to exercise regularly. 
B. A wide collection of tees from the charity 5Ks and 10Ks you've done. 
C. Mostly comfy stuff for solo workouts, with a few flattering pieces. 
D. A full wardrobe -- running gear, yoga pants, capris, technical tanks, you name it. 

5. What do you love most about exercise? 
A. Getting it done, because your doctor advised a daily regimen to improve your health. 
B. The good-natured banter with others sweating it out in a gym class. 
C. The way your skinny jeans fit. Look, no muffin top! 
D. The intense rush you get from huffing and puffing. 



Mostly A's

Motivation button: Your health 
This is one of the most powerful reasons for starting an exercise program, according to a study of pregnant women by Western University in Ontario. But here's the catch: You have to want to work out, and not just do it because your doctor tells you to. "If exercise isn't something you're choosing freely, your motivation may not last," says Marcus Kilpatrick, PhD, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of South Florida. 

Your stick-to-it plan

Improve your aim. Chances are, you need to lose weight to boost your health. But instead of setting a goal of "I will drop 20 pounds," make it "I will exercise four times a week," which will put you on the path to wellness by lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure and making you stronger and more relaxed, says Kendrin Sonneville, RD, a nutritionist in Boston. 

Schedule it.
 You plan to take a bike ride after work three times this week. Great, but you need to be even more concrete about it, says Anca Gaston, PhD, an exercise psychologist at Western University. Write out a weekly schedule listing what each exercise session will consist of, when and where it will happen, for how long and with whom. "Lack of time is a big exercise barrier," Gaston says. "It takes practice to find periods during your week when you can exercise; writing it down can make it more automatic for you." 

Get pumped. If you want to enjoy working out more, be your own coach, says JoAnn Dahlkoetter, PhD, a sports psychologist and the author of Your Performing Edge. A good coach wouldn't let you trash talk yourself, so trade negative thinking such as I'm so slow, what's the use? for Every step is making my heart more powerful, my lungs clearer, and my bones stronger. 

Mostly B's
Motivation button: Making friends

You get an energy boost from the connection you have with other people in your Zumba class. "In our studies, when sedentary people participate in a group-based exercise program, they typically stick with it longer than they do with exercising alone," says Timothy Church, MD, PhD, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The downside is, if your exercise buddies drop out, you may lose interest too. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Get sporty.
 Join a team. People who take part in sports have more fun and may be more likely to keep it up than those who do solo workouts, according to research in the Journal of American College Health

Join the club. To get the camara­derie you crave, check out local running, hiking, and biking clubs. Besides the socializing, you'll probably bump up your performance a notch as you start comparing your speed and distance with other those of other members. 

Use your social network. Friends are the best cheerleaders, so tweet, text, or e-mail your latest mileage achievements to your pals. When they zap back their congrats, you'll get a blast of inspiration and be psyched to keep going. 

Mostly C's
Motivation button: Your swimsuit

Call it superficial, but the pursuit of a sleek physique will get you to the gym. After health, appearance is the most common reason women say they exercise, according to a University of Kentucky survey. Just be aware that your focus on the endgame, rather than on enjoying the process, can cost you. When beach season is over, you may lose interest in putting in the work it takes to stay slim. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Ease up a little.
 "People who want to look their best for a specific event, like a reunion, may be willing to exercise harder and diet because they think it will help them more quickly achieve their goals," Kilpatrick says. "But we've found that for many people, continuous high-intensity exercise can actually discourage them from continuing to do it." It's more effective to go for a jog several times a week if sprinting like crazy for 15 minutes today is going to make you bail on your workout tomorrow. 

 For the best results, add a body-sculpting class, Pilates, or any type of resistance work to your regimen. "When you overdo cardio, your body starts to burn muscle instead of fat," says Greg Joujon-Roche, a personal trainer and the founder of Holistic Fitness in Los Angeles. Strength training tones muscle and trims flab. 

Picture perfect.
 Successful athletes envision themselves acing that serve, crossing the finish line, or scoring a goal. "When you visualize an achievement, you're doing a mental workout that is creating neuromuscular connections between your brain and muscles," Dahlkoetter says. This technique helps you appreciate how amazing your body is. Yes, it's cool to be a healthy size 6, but it's even cooler that the muscles that make you a 6 can move so beautifully. 

Mostly D's
Motivation button: The mental rush you get

You use exercise to beat stress, alleviate frustration, and boost feel-good endorphins. You're one of the lucky ones: Intrinsic motivation -- drive that comes from within -- is more likely to lead to long-term behavioral change, Gaston says. The only trouble is, you may be so in love with how exercise makes you feel mentally that you ignore what it's doing to you physically, putting you at risk for injury. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Take a time-out.
 Be sure to schedule at least one day off a week to let your body rest. And make sure you alternate activities -- running one day, Pilates the next -- so you stay strong from head to toe. 

Try new things. Even the most ardent exercisers can get bored by the monotony of Mondays, bike; Wednesdays, run; Fridays, yoga. So branch out. Take lessons to learn a new sport, like tennis. Or try adventurous activities like rock climbing or kayaking. 

Recover from a bump. Whether it's a killer work deadline or your honeymoon, getting back on the exercise wagon after a hiatus can be tricky. Pick it up again without obsessing about your performance. Instead of overthinking how your backstroke is going to look, just do it and focus on how good it feels.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dangerous Effects of Perms (Hair Relaxers)

painful_perms4blacksBy Pam Jefferson

Perming hair has been around since 1905. That means women, though able to beautify themselves, have also subjected themselves to the harm that comes with perming. They’ve been doing it for over a century. Hair perming involves the use of chemicals or heat applied to hair. Basically, perm works when the hair is rolled and then heat or chemicals are applied. Yes, it may be a good way of getting fuller or lush curls, but perming can also severely damage hair. The use of hydrogen peroxide can also result to serious burns.

Moreover, badly done perms can have hair lose its normal elasticity, making it brittle, fragile, and prone to breakage.  Other side effects of perm include scalp damage, which can include redness, itching, burning, and peeling. Perm can also stop hair from regrowing, which means some chemicals inhibit new hair growth. Perm can also alter hair’s texture, making it frizzy. Baldness can also result as hair is pulled and wrapped onto curlers, which can tear the hair from its roots.

Other bad effects of perm include:

Scalp Damage

  • Although the permanent solution is applied to the hair, some may inadvertently be applied to your scalp through sloppy application or by accident. This solution is made up of a highly potent ammonium thioglycolate chemical solution, which can be irritating to some users, and cause itching, redness, burning and peeling.

Hair Damage

  • Because of the strength of the ammonium thioglycolate solution, many find their hair texture changed after using it. Ammonium thioglycolate can dry out the hair, leaving it brittle and more susceptible to breakage. The only way to fix this problem is to grow the hair out and cut off the damaged portion.

Lack of Hair Regrowth

  • Some perm users realize that their hair is cracked and damaged, and then wait patiently for new hair regrowth to replace the damaged hair. However, some may find that the chemicals have actually inhibited new hair growth.

Texture Change

  • While a perm seeks to change the texture of your hair by causing it to go from straight to curly, you may find that this texture change is permanent, rather than lasting a few months, as most perms are supposed to. Some users find that they went from straight hair, to permed hair, to permanently frizzy hair after the perm. If you don't mind your hair's texture as it is, choose another, less severe way to curl your hair, such as a curling iron or three barrel waver.


  • Some perm users may find that heading to the salon to receive a perm can be a painful procedure. Not only can the ammonium thioglycolate solution burn the scalp during application, but the hair has to be tightly wound in curlers when it's been applied. This can be a painful process, as the curlers must be placed tightly to the scalp, and can cause pulling or tearing of the hair which makes the pain even worst.

Here’s a video from Dr Akilah explaining why she stopped applying chemicals to her hair after visiting a morgue while working as a police officer.