CategoryHealth and Fitness

Seven Days of Solitude, Silence and Water Fast

I recently came back from my own private silent retreat. Over the couple of silent retreats that I have done in the past few years, I have experienced the powerful value of this kind of work. Besides the obvious like switching off from the daily routine, the duties of work and the constant demand of raising children, there is a whole other dimension to it.

I stayed in our off-road, super cool camper on a farm in Robertson, a remote place in the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa. I was nestled in a gorgeous valley with a pristine lake, where I swam daily.

My intention was to experience seven days of solitude and silence, and to water fast, while I was writing my upcoming book “Unapologetically Me”. This is my own private inspirational story of how I dropped guilt, shame, judgment, and blame and became a self-realised, switched on and vibrant woman.

I aimed to close all the exits to the external world so that my energy kept circulating within me, without distractions.

I wanted to sit with my self and watch my inner sky, with the space to notice the patterns of my thoughts and the growing emptiness arising in between them. I wanted to clear and crystallise my mind and my body so that I could become an open channel for the words to flow through me.

The silence part of it, I deeply cherished and I enjoyed the privilege of rooting deeper into my being – listening to the sounds of nature.

As a storyteller, I love talking to people and a retreat is a great occasion for revitalisation. The water fasting was the most challenging part. I had to take each day as it came, being totally present in the current moment and surrendering to the discomfort.

There is a powerful quality of higher spiritual connection when fasting and that was a great motivator to keep me going.

I feel that it is important at times to explore life out of our comfort zone and I chose to select my ways.

I have noticed that people who are too attached to their comfort zone often get shaken out by spirit in a form of an illness, an accident, loss of job, etc.

It is in this uncharted territory of the unfamiliar that our soul gets to expand and explore new qualities of the self.

I am grateful for the opportunity to witness my courage, resilience and utter trust in the guidance that I receive.


A Healthy Lifestyle Is Not a New Year Resolution, It’s a Discipline

A healthy lifestyle from the start will decide how you will be in your midlife and beyond. However it won’t happen unless you make the right choices. Work out, eat healthy, sleep well and you will set yourself on the path to success. After about 40, most people have achieved biological adulthood, which is a nicer way to saying you have boarded the slow train to your inevitable mortality. You will start to realize the slow and gradual decline in your response to bodily activities and the resulting resistance in your bodily functions.

Eating unhealthy processed food, irregular sleep pattern and inactivity create low level inflammatory response in your body. This inflammation gradually increases overtime, contributing directly to the germination of every major disease plaguing mankind – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, just to name a few.

The first and foremost thing to focus on is Nutrition – what you eat. Add lots of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, organic poultry, dairy and fruits in your daily diet. Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and raw fruit juice as fluids help keeping body temperature low and removes toxins through perspiration (sweat) and excretion (urine). Keep a balanced share of carbohydrate, protein, good fats and minerals. These small changes in your diet will contribute to your overall wellbeing. Cut back unhealthy fats from your diet slowly and target on stopping to consume them completely. Unhealthy fats include: dark chicken meat, poultry skin, fatty pork cuts, beef and lamb and high-fat dairies include whole milk, butter and cheese. Common ways to cut back on unhealthy fats are listed below:

  • Instead of frying meat, Bake / Grill / Broil it. Don’t forget to take the skin off before cooking chicken or turkey
  • Instead of butter and cheese on bread, use low fat spreads or slices of tomatoes on it to enhance the flavour
  • Instead of scrambled eggs, eat boiled / soft-boiled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste best
  • Instead of using sugar in patisseries and desserts, use organic honey to satisfy your sweet bud and stay healthy

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the importance of sleep is worth discussing. Get yourself adequate sleep, because internal healing and tissue repair happen only when you sleep. Sleep deficiency contributes to an increased risk of cardio-vascular disease, kidney disease, brain damage etc. Sleep deprivation lowers the metabolic rate of your body, which is linked to weight gain. Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have higher levels of Ghrelin, the hormone which stimulates appetite and lower levels of Leptin, the hormone which suppresses appetite. Hence, good sleepers tend to intake fewer calories.

The last, but definitely not the least is the importance of regular exercise when it comes to a healthy and active lifestyle. No matter which age group you belong to, it is advisable and wise to include a minimum 30 minutes of workout / physical activity of moderate intensity such as running, brisk walking on most, if not all days of the week. As humans, we spend far too much time in our synthetic environment, disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses a serious threat to our health and general wellness. Think of your body as a complex machine, which houses equally complex parts (bones) and sub systems (organs) inside. If you let it sit idle, the parts and the sub systems will lose movement capability and eventually get rusted. A few tips to incorporate exercise in your daily routine:

  • Prioritize physical activity
  • Make it fun
  • Get a partner
  • Keep a track of results
  • Set milestones

All these factors put together, will bring noticeable change in your lifestyle and wellbeing. Some changes will happen quickly, some will be gradual. But overall, you will feel the positive change in your health – mind, body and soul.


20 Foods That Are Good for Healthy Bones

Our body is composed structurally of bones as the primary support. Bone health is considered essential for everyone since weak bones make our life miserable. Essential nutrients for healthy bones can be obtained through various natural foods. The following food types promote healthy bones.

1. Milk

Milk has a high calcium content value. Calcium is very necessary for healthy bones since it forms the structural part of the bones. The bones are composed of interlocking calcium crystals performing the role of mechanical support. A glass of fat milk daily can give approximately 300mg of calcium. Females should drink at least two glasses of milk every day for healthy bones. Drinking milk in adulthood often saves one from several bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt has numerous medical advantages. No other food product is better than dairy products in ensuring healthy bones. If you are not comfortable with the taste of milk, then you should try eating yogurt as it contains the same amount of calcium as milk. Therefore, eating yogurt is a good alternative and an ideal approach to meeting the bodies daily need for calcium. 8 ounces of plain yogurt contains roughly up to 450 milligrams of calcium. Additionally, yogurt contains numerous different supplements, for example, vitamin D, B, potassium, magnesium, and proteins. Vitamin D is a key segment and the most beneficial of these supplements for making the bones stronger.

3. Cheese

Cheese is the most well-known in dairy products. It appears worldwide in various food items as well as in bakeries. Cheese has its own unique heavenly taste. Those individuals who don’t consume milk or yogurt can increase the numerous medical advantages they receive by eating cheese. Cheese is loaded with numerous supplements, for example, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B and D. One ounce of Swiss cheese gives 200mg of calcium. Adding a little cheese to your food assists in strengthening your bones.

4. Sardines

Sardines are rich in calcium, and vitamin D. Calcium gives basic help to bones while vitamin D increases the power of your body to ingest calcium. 3 ounces of sardines results in the calcium equivalent of a glass of milk. Sardines are rich in vitamin B 12, which ensures low levels of homocysteine in the body. Raised levels of homocysteine, generally, can quicken osteoporosis as well as bone degeneration.

5. Sesame Seeds

Eating sesame seeds is a brilliant decision for stronger bones. They contain calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, dietary filaments, copper, selenium, and zinc. Calcium and phosphorus help in strengthening the bones. Copper is an antioxidant and plays a protective role by the alignment of collagen fibers within the bones. Zinc helps in keeping osteoporosis at bay.

6. Salmon

Anyone wanting to have stronger bones is advised to take food rich in vitamin D as well as Omega 3 fatty acids. These are abundant in salmon. Calcium deposition and absorption into the bones is done by vitamin D while the omega three fatty acids perform protection of the bones against inflammation and damage.

7. Collard greens

Collard greens also contain calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D and A. All these components help in strengthening bones.

8. Spinach

Spinach is undoubtedly a fantastic source of vitamin K, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A as well as folate. A cup of spinach is estimated to provide 25% of the total amount of calcium required by the body. All the above nutrients are beneficial for bone strength.

9. Fortified Cereals

A good source of vitamin D and calcium. Calcium for strong bones and joints. Vitamin D plays a significant role in bone health.

10. Tofu

Many people describe tofu as tasty. However, they are not fully aware of the nutritious content. Tofu has a high calcium content, making it a perfect alternative food for bone health. Tofu is recommended for consumption due to the high content of calcium in it. This is estimated to be 77%, hence, it is highly recommended for the body.

11. Soybeans

According to research, soybeans promote the health of an individual through fighting osteoporosis which is a disease related to bone thinning. They contain the natural flavones which are antioxidants necessary for bone protection. However, they provide minimal amounts of calcium so they are mostly valuable as an antioxidant to fight osteoporosis.

12. Beans

Beans serve many purposes in the body, including maintaining healthy bones. They are a rich source of protein, as well as calcium, as well as other trace elements. However, they are most preferred because they have a low-calorie value so they can be consumed in high amounts without causing weight gain.

13. Orange Juice

According to studies, bones are composed of collagen proteins at the central core, and this cross-link gives structural support to the bones. This is also aided by the interlocking crystals of phosphates as well as calcium. All these nutrients are found in vitamin C, and orange juice is one of the best sources for them.

14. Nuts

Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, contain omega three fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated and powerful antioxidants, which provide protection to bones from many diseases. The antioxidants decrease bone reabsorption through osteoclast inhibition, which is a cell that is responsible for bone matrix breakdown. They also help calcium absorption and prevention of inflammation.

15. Leafy Vegetables

Vegetables are known to possess other nutrients needed by the body, especially the green ones. Dark leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin K, magnesium, folic acid, calcium and potassium hence, they can act as a substitute for dairy products because they provide the same nutrients.

16. Eggs

Eggs are also a necessity for the maintenance and growth of bones. Their contribution is due to the possession of vitamin B complex as well as vitamin D.

17. Tuna

Apart from the sun, one may opt to use other sources of food that are sources for vitamin D. A good example is tuna fish, which has a good amount of vitamin D, necessary for making the bones to be strong.

18. Kiwi

Kiwifruit is a magical food because it is a natural source of vitamin C, which promotes the synthesis of collagen fibers in bones. Similar to oranges, they are also delicious. Sweet prunes also aid the bones in being fracture-free. They are regarded as a super healthy food with research proving that they can efficiently lower the chances of being affected with the osteoporosis infection, as well as fractures, which is good news for women who are in the post-menopausal stage, who usually have a high possibility of suffering from joint and bone problems. The nutrients contained in the prunes include vitamin C, K as well as antioxidants that are essential for maintaining the health of the bones.

19. Meat Proteins

Calcium, collagen proteins, and vitamins are the components of our bones. Hence, proteins are a necessity required for not only proper growth, but also the flexibility of the bones. It is, therefore, a requirement that one’s diet consists of high protein food as well as meat. However, caution should be taken since too much consumption of meat is harmful to overall health.

20. Apples

Apples contain Quercetin, which helps in building collagen, a major component of the cartilage. Apples keep the skin, cartilage and bones healthy and strong.


Fail-Safe Tips For Deep Sleep – One Is Bound To Work For You

When drifting off is a struggle, it may seem like one of life’s greatest frustrations. It needn’t. In most cases, choices made during the day can have a big impact on whether going to sleep is a pleasure or a nightmare.

At least one in five people have difficulty in getting to sleep at night. A small number of them visit their family doctors for help. Many thousands more suffer in silence.

Sleeplessness is not only one of the commonest – and most worrying – of all medical problems, it is also one of the problems about which there are the greatest number of myths.

For example, many people seem convinced that they must get at least eight hours sleep every night.

That’s simply not true. There is no firm rule about how much sleep we all need. Some people only feel comfortable when they have had 10 hours sleep. Others, like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, manage perfectly well on four hours’ sleep a night.

It’s also important to remember that we all need less sleep as we get older.

A second myth is that if you have a sleepless night, then you’ll have to sleep twice as along the following night to make up for it – and avoid damaging your health.

The fact is that if you get just two hours sleep before going off to work then the worst that will happen is that you’ll feel tired! And you should be able to recover completely by having an extra couple of hours’ sleep the following night.

Many of the unfortunate millions who suffer from insomnia could solve their problem completely if only they knew a little more about the common causes of sleeplessness – so, here are some of the reasons why people can’t sleep, together with the solutions.

STRESS

If you go to bed thinking about the day’s problems and worrying about the things you have to sort out tomorrow then you’re bound to have difficulty in sleeping.

Writing down your problems will help take them off your mind. So, make a full list of your worries. Then put the list on one side and spend an hour relaxing in front of the TV before you go to bed.

MEDICINES

Prescribed pills often keep people awake. Drugs used for heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma commonly cause sleeplessness. Ask your doctor if he can change your prescription. Remember, too, that 50 per cent of people who can’t sleep are kept awake because they drink tea or coffee last thing at night. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. Tobacco is another possible cause of sleeplessness and, although a single nightcap might help you sleep, too much alcohol will definitely cause insomnia.

PAIN

If you are kept awake by pain, then ask your doctor for help. If he can’t help you then ask for a second option.

CRAMP

Cramps keep many people awake. You can keep cramp at bay by using this simple exercise. Stand barefoot one yard away from a wall. Lean forward until your hands touch the wall, but keep your heels on the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat it once. Do the exercise three times a day for a week and then every night before you go to bed.

DEPRESSION

When depression and sleeplessness go together, it is the depression that needs a doctor’s treatment.

HUNGER

If you are kept awake by hunger, then have a bite. Don’t have anything too hot, rich or spicy. A hot milk drink will probably be best. Remember, too, that if you are slimming you may have difficulty in sleeping. A low blood sugar will keep you awake. A very low-calorie late-night snack might help.

NOISE

If you are kept awake by noise, try soundproofing your bedroom with bookshelves and double glazing. Or try wearing ear plugs. They take a little getting used to, but work very well and are recommended for shift workers who have to try and sleep during the day.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that you won’t be able to get to sleep if you’re not tired.

If you’ve dealt with all these problems and you still have difficulty in getting to sleep at night, then follow this special bedtime regime:

  1. Relax your body thoroughly before getting into bed. Take a good brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes. Think through your day’s problems and write down all your worries in a notebook. Keep it by your side and every time a new problem pops into your head, write it down.
  2. Have a soothing, warm bath for 15 minutes.
  3. Go to bed with a relaxing book or magazine. Try to keep something relaxing for bedtime reading. And have a spare book ready.
  4. When you turn off the light, close your eyes and try to transport yourself to somewhere beautiful, relaxing and warm. Imagine, for example, that you’re lying alone on a peaceful, sunny beach. Try to hear the waves on the shore and the sound of seagulls high overhead.
  5. This simple regime will probably send you to sleep within minutes. But if you can’t get to sleep, don’t lie there fretting. Get up, sit in a comfortable chair and read your book again. Make yourself a hot, milky drink. Then go back to bed when you start yawning.

There are millions hits on the internet search drive for Wellness – from mental to physical health, cardiac fitness, cancer, yoga, how to overcome certain ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stoke, and tips on weight loss and how to grow taller, with many other ideas getting honorable mention. It takes quite a bit of research to find any one site that has so much to offer on all these fronts, let alone one that can combine all the needs for your innermost wellness – joy, bliss and beyond. For wellness’ sake you can stop looking out there, and take some time for yourself, a sort of one-stop-shop


This Is The First Thing You Should Do If You Have A Blood Clot In Your Leg

So, you’ve got a blood clot in your leg. It’s a heavy sentence that causes a lot of worry about one’s health. Blood clots are nothing to take lightly, but it is important to know that if your doctor indicates that you’re dealing with a blood clot in your leg, you need to be focused on hearing what the next steps are in addressing the issue.

Maintaining your focus when you know you’re dealing with a blood clot in your leg is easier said than done. Your first inclination will be to get online and look-up something on the more popular medicine sites & see what you’ve got to look forward to. Unfortunately, you’re getting a very incomplete picture. What’s more, the levels of misinformation that exist out there can lead you to make poor decisions about your health, and that’s never good. Contrary to what you may have heard, a blood clot is not an immediate death sentence.

If you suspect that you have a blood clot in your leg, here’s the first thing you should do – go to the emergency room immediately. The emergency department of your local hospital is trained in getting right to work, which means you won’t be wasting time in your treatment.

It’s important to know that blood clots don’t just happen such as what one might experience in a thrombotic storm, a condition in which more than one blood clot occurs in a short period of time. These clots occur in different and sometimes unusual locations. It’s aggressive, difficult to treat, and there’s not much information out there to go on.

When you head to the emergency room, be sure to have a record of the medicine you take and the reasons why you take it. Physicians will want to know the ins and outs of what you’re working with in terms of medication, which can inform them as to the best course of action for your treatment. Also, have a working knowledge of your family medical history. It may seem like overkill, but every bit of information is helpful.

You’re going to be dealing with a number of medical professionals in the emergency room. Doctors, nurses, CNAs, and more will be coming in and out of your space. You’ll also have a lot of information zipping past you. Do not hesitate in asking as many questions as you want. You have the right to be informed about what is happening and why.

The time will come when it must be determined if you’ll be admitted to the hospital for further treatment or sent home. The truth is that every patient is different, which means that there’s no real definitive answer. That said, doctors will usually err on the side of caution so that you can receive the “all clear” before heading home. The last thing you’d want is for something potentially dangerous to be missed.

Being told that you have a blood clot in your leg is not something anyone wants to hear, but the best thing you can do is not panic. If you suspect you have a blood clot in your leg, get to the emergency room. Once there, it can be a little scary, but focus & be an active participant in your treatment.


5 Signs Of A Slow Metabolism And Hacks To Fix It

Wondering why the pounds keep piling up? You could be experiencing a slow metabolism.

Metabolism is the process of how your body burns stored fuel (including fats) to be used up as energy. When your body burns more fuel, you trim down. So if you’ve been busy at the gym, eating right but you can’t seem to see results, you may want to check if you have a slow metabolism.

A thyroid problem. Hypo and hyper thyroidism can make you lose or gain weight even if you do not try to do so. People who suffer from thyroid problems can also experience and dry skin.

Unexplained weight gain and problems losing it. The most common sign of a slow metabolism. Even if you eat healthy and regularly exercise or train, you still pack the pounds. And the most annoying part is you are having trouble keeping it off. While age may play a factor in retaining the pound and having trouble trimming down, this does not happen in an instant.

You always feel tired. A slow energy burn means your body functions slow down as well, keeping you feeling tired and sluggish.

Sadness and depression. Mood changes as your bodily functions slow down. Sadness, and depression can sink in.

You feel cold all the time. Blood circulation can also slow down, together with the decreased energy burn and supply, this makes you feel colder than usual.

However, don’t lose hope. While metabolism does decline as we get older, there are ways to jumpstart it again.

  1. Visit your doctor. If you suspect thyroidism, an early diagnosis can help counteract the effects and lessen the damage. Also, a check-up will show possible lingering illnesses, either than thyroidism, which you need to correct.
  2. Diversify your workout. Routine can make you stale, the same goes for your workout. You may not be experiencing results because your body needs a better challenge. Change your workout sets and routine after every four weeks. It can be a different exercise or workout but targets the same muscle groups. If you some extra time to spare, you can cross train. This provides your body with a different kind of challenge while still giving it ample time to recover.
  3. Stay healthy but try other foods. If you eat healthy, then keep it that way. But do try some other healthy foods to help diversify your diet. Add spice, literally, to your foods. Spicy foods help perk your metabolism.
  4. Get enough sleep. Not only your reflexes and your brain slows down when it does not get enough rest, so does your digestive system. Hence, your metabolic rate decreases and instead of burning fat, your body cannot cope at it stores it. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night regularly. If you get a chance, don’t skimp on naps as well. However, don’t over sleep. Some people who sleep 10 or more hours have a tendency to get sluggish.


Hip Replacement Surgery – Risks And Recovery

Hip Replacement Surgery is a surgical procedure, which is performed on the hip joints to substitute painful joints with the artificial joints. The procedure is compulsory for the patients, who are not getting any relief from the oral medication and are in need of the surgery to get rid of the pain. It can be performed either hemi-replacement or total replacement form that totally depends on the condition of the patient. The treatment is much complicated and requires proper medication and strict bed rest to give your joints the relief they want.

A number of risks including blood clotting, infections, fracture, change in leg length, etc. are associated with it, but they get cured with the time. To get relief from the surgery or to recover faster, you need to take some precautions even after getting discharged from the hospital and they are:

Say No To Stair Climbing: One of the main things that help you in the fast recovery of the hip replacement surgery is not climbing the stairs till you recover properly. Make sure where you stay at your home has all the arrangements on the same floor, so, you don’t need to do up and down over and over again. It’ll help you recover faster than before.

Cut The Clutter Out Of Your Room To Avoid Falls: Another precaution that patients must take after the hip replacement surgery is not falling over and over again, as it may put the unnecessary constraint on your muscles and affect the stitches as well. Thus, you should try to keep your room as clean as possible.

Use An Elevated Washroom: Until you get recover properly, you should not perform any exercise that includes bending, as it put pressure on the joints and damage them drastically. Even while going the washroom, try to use the elevated washroom, so, you don’t need to bend too far.

These are a few quick recovery tips that the patient should follow even after getting the discharge. Apart from the above tips, try to sit on a firm chair that keeps your back straight. It’ll help you avoid bending and take care of your joints. The use of recliner is a big no for the patients who just went for the hip replacement surgery until they get recover properly and get permission from the doctor. If you have any doubt regarding the risks associated with the conditions or want more recovery tips, you can freely ask them all to your surgeons.


Baking Soda to the Rescue With These 6 Problems

Baking soda is not just an ingredient you use in your cooking efforts to make the best chocolate chip cookies. Believe it or not, this item has a ton of uses in home cleaning, which you will do well to consider the next time you are engaged in any such activity. It is an excellent abrasive, which is quite effective and also gentle enough. It possesses superb deodorising properties and can easily be your go-to solution for some cleaning emergencies. Here are some of the uses you should know about:

  • Remove bad odours from a fridge – if you are worried that last night’s yummy but smelly fish dish will leave a lasting scent in your fridge, you should know that baking soda is the solution to this problem. It can absorb any negative smells in the refrigerator so that they don’t linger inside and transfer to other foods in the area.
  • Clean stains from plastic food containers – food leftovers usually leave a mark on food containers. To clean them, you must wipe with a sponge and the soda. Alternatively, you can remove stains by soaking them in a solution of 4 tbsp. baking soda with a quart of warm water. That is a quick and scrub-free method of cleaning plastic containers.
  • Scrub kitchen surfaces – keeping kitchen surfaces clean is a must since that is where you prepare your food. You will be happy to learn that pretty much every area in there can be cleaned with the aid of baking soda. When you combine it with water, you can pretty much deal with the gunk on stainless steel sinks, cooking utensils, range hood, microwave and other small appliances as well as countertops. Baking soda sure is quite universal.
  • Deal with greasy pans and dishes – when your cooking efforts result in a mess; you can quickly deal with the aftermath. Baked-on food can be addressed with a pinch of it and dish soap. Pretty much all you need to dissolve the greasy stains is a hot water soak of dirty items, a scrub sponge and some baking soda. Well, some elbow grease as well.
  • Remove musty smell from upholstery – if your soft furnishings have developed an unpleasant musty smell, it is time to banish it with it. Sprinkle a generous amount of soda on the surfaces and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, vacuum up the area. It works like a charm on your mattress too! You can also use it to remove strong odours from pet beds, as a safe alternative to any other cleaning solution out there.
  • Freshen smelly shoes – your gym class shoes may not be the most pleasant thing in the world, but you can still freshen them by sprinkling some soda inside. Tap out any amount of soda before wearing them again, or use the vacuum cleaner.

As you can see, baking soda is quite versatile in cleaning multiple areas of your home. It is up to you to include this fantastic solution in your cleaning rounds – it is cheap and eco-friendly!


7 Factors to Poor Posture and 2 Steps You Can Take Right Now To Better Your Own

Have you ever noticed a famous actor, known for their good looks, maybe Brad Pitt, standing stooped over? Of course not! Part of the appeal is their tall, proud posture, whether you consciously notice or not. Perhaps that’s why no childhood is complete without an occasional reminder to “Sit up straight!” Your mom was training you to become a Hollywood star.

While the desire for your own good posture could be due to the effect that poor posture has on your visual appearance, it may surprise you that posture has much more to do with whether you look proper or sloppy. Let’s look at another type of celebrity – a singer such as Adele, and try a little experiment on yourself. Sing your favourite song, or the national anthem with your shoulders rounded forward and head stooped down. Your whole chest caves in and prohibits your lungs from expanding and your voice from belting out those big musical notes. It’s much harder to sing properly without good posture. Remember Usain Bolt, the fastest human? Do you think he’d run as fast and place as well if he kept his head down?

If you’re concerned with your health you should know that the way you carry your body physically can have a major impact on your physical performance and mental sense of well-being. Studies are now showing the connection between poor posture and health problems ranging from weight gain, insomnia, and even depression and mental decline. Chiropractors are well aware of the significance of this connection between posture and health, which makes them a reliable authority on this and how it relies on good spinal health.

There are many causes of poor posture. In some people, unfortunately postural issues are due to other conditions or diseases that involve bone deformity or bone loss, however, in the vast majority of cases, posture is directly related to a person’s habits and daily activities. Here are some of the most common causes of poor posture:

  • Looking down a lot during activities such as using a cellphone or playing video games
  • Working at a desk or computer for long periods of time (even at a desk with good ergonomics)
  • Poor ergonomics at work (chairs, desks, keyboards)
  • Improper sleep support (mattress, pillows)
  • Obesity
  • Muscles weakness
  • Poor self-esteem (people with low self-esteem tend to have a flexed/inward posture as a way to avoid being noticed)

As noted, there can be other health conditions and diseases that can contribute to poor posture, but as you can see, most contributors to poor posture are also things that are within your control.

Chiropractors and other health experts have found that people who have a tendency to slouch while standing, sitting, and even walking also tend to experience many kinds of health conditions, which can be mild or even severe. Many health problems such as headaches, muscle stiffness, shortness of breath, susceptibility to infectious illnesses, may actually be indirectly impacted by your posture and the positioning of your spinal column.

Your spine is important because it keeps your entire body in alignment and balance. It also houses and is meant to protect your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Your nervous system is responsible for the communication between your body and brain. The better your spinal alignment, the easier it is for your brain and body to share information and maintain good posture. Slouching, and being in poor posture makes it harder for this to happen – signals don’t transmit as well and muscles have to work harder to try to keep you upright. This extra, more difficult work can degrade the health of the spine and nervous system over time. When your brain and body need to work harder on your posture, they work less on keeping your other systems and functions working optimally. As this happens to the nervous system, other functions of the body may begin to have trouble working correctly, leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and more.

How To Keep Good Posture All Day Every Day

If you want to avoid these health problems, you’ll want to focus on maintaining proper posture as often as you can. It may be as simple as reminding yourself throughout the day to keep your shoulders pulled back, your head held high atop your neck and torso, and your spine in a neutral position as much it can.

If you find it difficult to maintain these positions of proper posture, it is a sign you need the professional help of a chiropractor. Your poor posture can be due to a combination of factors that include poor spinal alignment, poor nervous system signal flow, and muscle weakness. In most cases, these problems can all be corrected with a properly designed and executed plan that addresses all three of these issues as needed.

Do You Have Poor Posture?

Here is a simple test than can be an indicator of poor posture:

  1. Have someone take a picture of you standing without shoes on a flat surface, looking ahead of you. Think of a side profile of a police mug shot, for your whole body, top to bottom. The person will likely have to stand 10-15 feet away.
  2. Draw a straight vertical line from the inside of your ear down to the floor. If the line doesn’t pass through the middle of your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle, it’s likely you have poor posture.

If you’re unsure that you’re assessing your posture picture correctly, enlist a friend or family member to do this with you.


Knee Replacement Cost Guide

Knee replacement surgery has become quite common and more affordable in the last few years. It is now considered as a safe option for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is especially a boon for patients who have end-stage arthritis of the knee.

The constant increase in the number of patients undergoing knee surgery surgery can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the following:

Increased affordability: Now a greater number of patients prefer to opt for knee replacement surgery because the cost of implants has decreased significantly in the recent past.

Range of implants available: Thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are a number of knee implants available today to fulfill the individual needs of the patients. From implants with 180 and 360 degrees motion to 3D-printed knee implants, there is nothing that isn’t available to benefit patients with different severity of osteoarthritis.

Improved surgical outcomes: Open knee replacement is a thing of the past. Now, several new technologies are available that offer greater benefits and ensures positive outcomes. Thanks to minimally invasive technology, surgery is not that painful anymore. Nor does it take weeks of hospitalization for the patient to recover.

But still, the cost of knee surgery in the Western countries continues to remain on the higher side. For patients in such countries who wish to undergo affordable knee surgery, flying to the top medical tourism destination is an option. Some of these medical tourism hotspots for knee replacement include India, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Average Cost of Knee Replacement: Top Countries

The average cost of knee surgery in the Western countries may start from $30000. Further, it is seen that the cost of knee replacement surgery varies not only from country to country but within a country or a city as well. This is especially true about the US.

For example, the knee surgery cost in Dallas, US, may vary between $16,772 and $61,585, depending on the hospital. Paying a higher price for a procedure does not necessarily mean that the quality that the hospital offers to the patient is any better than the hospital that is less expensive.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the disparity between the pricing of the same procedure within the same city. Competition, state taxes, location, and the level of free care provided by the hospital are some of them.

The cost of knee replacement in India, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan, on the other hand, is much more reasonable than in the Western countries. The cost drops by as much as 50 to 80 percent in these countries. This explains the patient mindset when they decide to travel to the overseas to get knee implants.

Type, Material, and Manufacturer of Implant

There are different types and material of knee implants available today to choose from. Each implant has a specific purpose and is most suitable for a specific patient group. For example, older adults can manage everyday activities with an implant that allows flexion of 110 degrees. However, younger adults may need a high-flex knee implant because of an excessive activity level.

Cobalt chromium alloy, titanium alloy, oxidized zirconium, and polyethylene implants are commonly available nowadays. Each implant material has specific pros and cons associated with them. They vary in terms of pricing, use, availability, and longevity.

Type of Surgery

An individual is either recommended to undergo (TKR) or partial knee replacement. The difference lies in the portion of the knee joint replaced during the procedure. The duration of hospitalization and the recovery period in the case of TKR is greater than that of partial replacement. Therefore, there is a direct impact on the total cost that the patient has to shell out of his pocket for the procedure.

Type of Hospital

Hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies tend to charge higher than other hospitals. This is despite the fact that the experience and the qualifications of the surgeon handling the case could be the same. The cost also depends on the location of the hospital. Centrally-located and easily accessible hospitals are expensive than remotely located ones.

Experience of the Surgeon

The cost of knee surgery also depends on how experienced the surgeon is. Surgeons with vast experience are the most sought after. In fact, it has been scientifically proved that surgeons who perform more than 50 TKR a year have less than one-third complications rate as compared to those who perform less than 50 TKR per year.

Most patients prefer to be treated by a surgeon who is experienced. But there is an extra price that they must pay for it.

Rehabilitation Cost

Rehabilitation after surgery includes physiotherapy, which is conducted at an extra cost. The doctors usually advise the candidate to undergo physiotherapy for at least 6 to 12 weeks for better outcomes and pain relief. Each session of physical therapy may cost anywhere between $20 and $350, depending on the country where you are getting treated. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery after knee replacement. Therefore, patients must take into consideration these expenses while planning for the surgery.

Incidental Costs

The patient may have to incur incidental costs in case of any complication. Additionally, the costs may increase when the duration of stay inside the ICU post surgery is extended. Like any other surgery, there are certain complications associated as well. Post-surgical infection delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism are some of the examples. The management of such conditions has an impact on the overall cost.

Other Costs

  • Unanticipated care and management of a pre-existing condition may add to the total bill amount.
  • The greater the number of days you spend at the hospital, the bigger is the billing amount.
  • Cost of private or single accommodation is greater than shared or multi-bedded accommodation.
  • Follow-up visits after discharge from the hospital cost extra.
  • Loss of earning resulting out of hospital stay and impact of surgery may add to the financial burden.

Tips To Choose A Hospital Overseas For Knee Surgery

Choose the country wisely. Countries that offer cheaper treatment do not necessarily compromise with the quality of medical services.

Choose the surgeon wisely. Do not choose someone who is experienced but charges a whopping amount.

  • Choose a surgeon whose clinic is less crowded. Surgeons who are hugely popular tend to remain busy and spend less time per patient. This may hinder personalized care that you may desire to have.
  • Seek help from a hospital or a medical tourism facilitator to arrange for additional needs. This may include accommodation, local travel, translator services, and hospital transfer.
  • Check the credibility of the hospital online before selecting one. Look for patient testimonials and Google reviews.
  • Check the accreditation of the hospital. Prefer to choose a hospital that is certified by Joint Commission International (JCI).
  • Ask for all the information beforehand about the type of implants that will be used. Also, ask for a detailed profile of the surgeon who will conduct the surgery.
  • Seek an estimate for potential costs associated with airline tickets, hotel, food, and other expenses.