The lockdown has been a real challenge for everyone, but it seems especially difficult for foodies like me. Before we had all been told to stay at home, I was used to eating in restaurants two or three times a day. Fast food or fine-dining—that did not matter as long I had good food on my table. However, no thanks to the pandemic, my favorite restaurants had to close, and I was forced to start getting groceries and preparing meals for myself.
At first, I must admit that it was bearable. I cooked pasta and chicken dishes on week #1, and they all turned out decent. The problems only rolled in the second week when my raw ingredients showed signs of going bad. The apples had brown spots, the potatoes grew molds, and the beef was already smelling awful in the refrigerator. When I relayed my dilemma to Mom, she suggested drying food.
Dried food is the end product of a food preservation process in which the fruits, meat, and vegetables get dehydrated to increase their shelf life. Many individuals believe that the drying method has originated from the Asian countries where the bacteria can develop on foods due to the hotter temperature and make it inedible after several days. Thousands of years have gone by since then, and the world has witnessed how this procedure has slowly modernized.
People have once needed air or sunlight to make dried food, but now all you need are electricity and a freeze dryer or a dehydrator.
The food dehydrator follows the same principle of the ancient drying process. It uses heat and warm air to evaporate the high amount of water stored in the food. To properly dry fruits and meat, the appliance has to be at a temperature a bit higher than 130 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the freeze-drying method, the foods are supposed to become icy in the beginning so that its water content will freeze. Once that happens, they will undergo the sublimation process wherein the frozen water turns to gas. It is said to be abetter dehydration technique because it can preserve the texture and taste of the food more.
The drying procedure prevents other food from getting spoiled early. You can store dried food in a completely airtight place for years, and it will still be good to eat.
You can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and meat in large batches to avoid needing to purchase groceries for a while. It can save you from spending on transportation and continuously buying foodstuff that will not last for even a month. Aside from that, you will have the chance to consume certain items that may not be in season.
Since most foods are mainly made up of water, dehydrating them will leave you with tiny pieces of vegetables and fruits that are easy to pack in a small space. That is advantageous for those who live in small apartments and have little room to spare for food stocks.
It can take hours to rehydrate dried food once you are ready to eat it. Regardless if you open the container and allow air to come in, it will not be enough because the ingredient lost most–if not all–of its water content.
The natural drying process involves the abundant use of preservatives such as salt and sugar as well. Thus, it can be dangerous for people who suffer from diabetes or heart diseases.
The cost of fresh goods often fluctuates due to the oil price market changes. However, if you have enough dried food at home, you will not have to bother going to groceries, especially during the lockdown. You may also survive without opening canned goods or ordering ready-made food again.
Overall, dehydration is a tedious yet rewarding method of preserving foods that you should try while staying at home. Good luck! …
Thai massage can bring numerous benefits. No wonder people get hooked on it. This type of massage is focused on providing physical relaxation, apart from many health benefits like improving blood circulation, increases body energy, decreases muscle tension, and more. It is also a great way to ignite your love life if you and your loved one are willing to do it together.
Jeffrey Barnett, PsyD, says, “Massage therapy is a manual procedure that involves manipulating the body’s soft tissue as a way to relieve tension and pain as well as anxiety and depression. Massage therapists use their hands, fingers and sometimes their forearms or feet as a way to “relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness.”
“For many couples, sex is a way to reconnect, have some fun together, and recharge from their daily demands. Sex can take many forms, but the important thing is that it is a shared and mutually enjoyable erotic experience.” – Ari Tuckman, PsyD.
Sex is part of being human. It is meant to be shared and enjoyed by two people who are in love. However, from the woman’s view, there will come a time wherein the urge and interest would drain.
How Tibetan Medicine Works
“How do you stay positive and focused on manifesting your desires into reality? Can you find humor in situations and enjoy a good laugh? Do you have hobbies that bring you pleasure? If not, what might they be? To find your life’s purpose do what brings you joy.” – Teena Evert, LMFT
Sowa Riga is an old and traditional healing method that originated from Tibet. The said healing system was traced way back in 100 AD. It was believed that this kind of healing started during the time of Buddha. The core foundation of Tibetan medicine has to do with the emotional state of a person. This Asian health system believes in the power of happiness and how it influences your thoughts, emotions, perspective and even your outlook in life (in modern times, therapy online can also assist in this aspect).…
A gentle touch by a family member could sometimes be the single, most critical thing that could help you get through tough times. True enough, there are proven psychological benefits of a healing touch across various individuals. One kind of touch therapy is Reiki, which has been defined by the International Association of Reiki Professionals as a subtle way of energy healing through spiritually-led life force.
“The belief that one can focus their energy (or the energy of God, universe, etc.) to help you and your energy is the root of these practices. They have a variety of names; Reiki, Quantum Touch, Healing Touch, Laying of Hands, Intercessory Prayer are but a few. This exchange of energy occurs through physically touching, or being in physical proximity to the person, or by directing your intention to positively affect someone over long distances – depending on the method used.” – Duane Bowers, LPC
Essential Things You Need To Know About Reiki
One good way to start a Reiki discussion is to clarify first what it is not. In the first place, it has to be clear from the get-go that practitioners of Reiki in any way do not have affiliations with a particular religious organization. Instead, it is an ancient form of healing that traces its roots from Japan through a healing system created by Usui Mikao back in the 1900s.
But now if you think that this could be just high-sounding and impractical, you have got to understand that Reiki is also not superstitious. Hospitals increasingly offer it, which means that it is scientific and backed up by actual research.
Reiki works by stimulating the body’s energy to get it to move more freely. Practitioners channel to their patients what they call the “universal life energy” which is believed to provide strength, balance, and peace to both the body and mind. After experiencing Reiki treatments, patients are reported to feel lighter, with better mental clarity and decisiveness, improved well-being, and more profound spirituality. Reiki is a process of cleansing. Through the transfer of energies, the new and positive ones rejuvenate and replace the old and stagnant energy in your body. In the process, it also connects patients with nature and the discovery of the self.
Types Of Health Concerns Addressed By Reiki
- Depression and Anxiety – In one study among nurses on duty who come down with burnout syndrome because of fatigue from long working hours, Reiki treatment resulted in significant relaxation effects. In another study, heart surgery patients who received Reiki during their surgeries showed the complete elimination of the typical postoperative depression that hits patients. Still, in one study, Reiki treatments brought about reductions in anxiety and depression, pain relief, better sleep quality, lower stress levels, and general improvements in their well-being.
“There’s a lot of anxiety in our fast-paced world,” says Kathy Morelli, LPC, “and people are looking for something besides Xanax to help them.” She continues, “This is especially true for those who are already dealing with an addiction since some of the most common anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) are habit-forming.”
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – As Reiki works to regenerate your body and soul, it also brings back your lost confidence and eases your obsession to make all things in your life right immediately. It calms you down, teaches you to take your time and to slow down, and allows you to rebuild your missing pieces one step at a time.
- Nervous System Disorders – Deep down in your nerves, Reiki also functions to improve the coordination between your brain’s neurons and the receptors of external stimulus in your body. Because of this, your nervous functioning achieves a state of balance; this produces an overall positive effect not only on your psychological but also physical health. Your heart rate normalizes, blood pressure stabilizes, and respiration improves.
- Bipolar Disorder and Mood Swings – Because Reiki focuses on calming and relaxation, it also results in the reduction of mood swings and the regulation of the intensity of these moods. Previously hard-to-control shifts in emotions take hold more naturally after Reiki sessions because energy variations become evened out. There is more positive energy flowing in now, and this would translate into increased strength of the physical and psychological aspects of the patient.
- Suicidal Tendencies – There have also been reported incidents of patients on the verge of self-harm and suicide who give in to the urge of trying out Reiki treatments. After their sessions, they showed signs of a positive disposition, lighter thinking, happier aura, and improved enthusiasm. The relaxation produced by Reiki allowed people to take a pause and see things from a brighter perspective, thereby assisting them in satisfactorily processing their emotions and pains.
Perhaps one of the fascinating and beautiful facts about Reiki is that at the end of the day, it is not the Reiki practitioners—though they are the ones who channel the energy—who cure patients. Instead, it works with the patients healing themselves. Patients receiving Reiki energies can control the powers that they receive, and they get to decide how to use it in their lives. This self-empowering characteristic of Reiki is fundamental especially for patients who struggle with psychological issues of loss of control on their circumstances.
With all of these fantastic benefits that Reiki has to offer, it is beneficial that the medical community has started to embrace it and integrate it into the therapy programs that they provide. Hopefully, in the future, more and more people, societies, and countries would get to appreciate Reiki’s amazing psychological benefits because it might just be the key to improving and even saving more lives.
“If you have life challenges, Reiki is such a necessity! Reiki has helped me through some very major life challenges without the need for antidepressant medication and with the ability to continue my work. In fact, my Reiki practice grew immensely through a period of ten difficult years. Reiki also helped those ten years to be some of the best years of my life.” – Karen Harrison, LPC, LMFT
Imagine this scenario; you are living your days as if it’s your last. You genuinely enjoy waking up, because you have something to look forward to. You feel relaxed, optimistic, and happy. You sincerely believe that life couldn’t get any better.
Unfortunately, your life is quite the opposite. Your days seem to be dreary. You don’t have anything exciting to look forward to. Bills are piling up, and you don’t know when things will get better. Now, you desperately search for solutions to help yourself out of your situation.
In the hustle and bustle of life in the city, you find out that traditional Asian methods can help you get better. One of these Asian healing methods is Qi Gong, an ancient practice that helped people from all over the world revive their mental and spiritual well-being.
Find out more about Qi Gong and how it can help you by reading this article.
What Is Qi Gong?
“Qi Gong aids in balancing your internal life with your external life. Moving slowly, in a controlled way activates the Qi through the body to promote healing. Because the movements are done slowly, without tension in the body, the circulation improves which aids in the healing process. It takes energy to go slowly in a controlled way and Qi Gong is considered to be a moving meditation.” – Ray Blume, LMFT
If you’re wondering what is qigong all about, focus on the two words that comprise it. “Qi” or for some, “chi” means life’s energy. All that exist have their own qi. Qi is also loosely used to indicate the power that is moving in your body – your body heat or your aura.
On the other hand, “gong” means constant practice to attain a specific skill. You will have to commit to practicing Qi Gong for years to be able to reap the benefits of this traditional method.
To put it simply, Qi Gong is a mindful practice of balancing your qi through meditation, body posture, and deep breathing.
“In essence,” says Andrea Colombu, LMFT, “meditation refers to a wide spectrum of practices designed to promote a greater sense of self-knowledge, connection to life, to reality, to the divine, and our true nature.” She continues, “Over many centuries, and within different spiritual traditions, many different forms of meditation have been developed to address different aspects of the human condition. Historically, meditation has been a practice devoted to the path of awakening, self- realization, liberation, and enlightenment – the attainment of a state of consciousness that alleviates and eventually removes the fundamental challenges to a happier, freer and more dignifying human existence.”
Effects Of Qi Gong To Your Mental Well-Being
Qi Gong has a variety of methods that can be combined to help you get you through your slump. These various methods are all generally accepted by its practitioners.
One of the primary effects of qi gong is better self-awareness. If you have been feeling lost for quite some time now, the practical application of qi gong can help you find your center again. You will get in touch with yourself and find peace within yourself.
Another effect of Qi Gong is more stamina and cardiovascular fitness for its practitioners. Regular physical activity because of Qi Gong’s various exercise routines and breathing exercises. You will have more endorphins within your system at the end of each Qi Gong session, leading you to feel happier.
Definitely, Qi Gong’s movements and rhythmic exercises can help you calm your inner storms. As compared to people who did not practice Qi Gong, Qi Gong practitioners experience a significantly higher quality of life.
Overall, Qi gong can help you address feelings of stress and anxiety. You will notice significant improvements in overall psychological well-being.
Where To Start?
If you’re thinking of starting your journey with Qi Gong, here are some tips.
First, try seeking a reputable Qi Gong master who will help you with your journey through self-discovery and self-fulfillment.
Also, getting into Qi Gong means serious commitment. Most practitioners have been doing their exercises for about five years before they have reaped most benefits from their practice.
In summary, Traditional Asian practices have been gaining ground nowadays because of their holistic approach to a person’s well-being. Long-time practitioners have experienced a significant difference in their physical and psychological well-being. They are less susceptible to anxiety attacks, depressive disorders, and stress. Dr. Frances Gaik, PsyD, says, “The Qi Gong exercise is believed to enhance the human energy system of the individual over time, building upon health and a sense of well being. According to Qi Gong principles, the individual subjects learned to cultivate, store and manipulate “energy” or qi which activated symptom relief. The subjects could indeed have learned to mobilize innate healing potential and reverse the negative effects of depression, as well as taking personal responsibility for their health.”
Moreover, practitioners have more physical activity because of Qi Gong. They have lower susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases, and they enjoy a better quality of life overall. Definitely, Qi Gong is a must-try to improve one’s mental health.
What is Tai Chi?
“Meditation is a beautiful and powerful way to return to ourselves. When we return to the breath, we can focus our energy and realign with our truth.” Susan Bennett, LMHC
The world has known about martial arts through the movies of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris decades ago. People became interested in learning karate and other forms of martial arts for self-defense, and they even enrolled their children in karate classes. That was how the Westerners influenced everyone in terms of how we should practice martial arts.
In the Eastern world, on the other hand, Asians have utilized martial arts in many different forms, such as in the practice called “Tai Chi”.
Tai chi is among the oldest methods in Chinese alternative medicine that has been utilized by almost everyone in China to achieve mental, physical and emotional wellness. It involves performing slow and gentle movements combined with proper breathing techniques to achieve peace of mind, heart, and soul. Its purpose is also for self-defense, but not through violence and haste. It practices total focus and concentration.
How does Tai chi Achieve Wellness?
Seasoned Tai chi masters are known to utilize a small amount of energy to push a much heavier force through full concentration and a steady flow of ‘qi’ or life energy. A smooth flow of life energy is the optimal priority of practicing Tai Chi. It is this energy that’s responsible for creating harmony within our bodies, thereby helping us achieve wellness. With regular practice, it can be an essential exercise for the body, mind, and heart.
According to Ray Blume, LMFT, “Tai Chi is a martial art form done the same way as Qi Gong and is not just exercise. It develops self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self –assertion through the flow of continuous movement. Both Tai Chi and Qi Gong improves coordination, harmony, and understanding and allows you to enjoy the freedom of experiencing the merging of the mind and body through the “felt sense.”
What are the Types of Tai Chi?
There are actually several ways of doing Tai Chi, but there are three major styles that are more commonly used, their names derived from their founding masters.
- The Chen style is done by doing slow, but explosive moves. It requires coordination of almost all body parts and is therefore not recommended for beginners because of reported injuries to the back and knees.
- The Yang style is the most popular one, although not the oldest. People you see in parks and other recreational places that are doing Tai chi in groups are usually doing the Yang style. The steps are gentle, consistent and easy enough for children, adults, and seniors to follow.
- The Wu style is a more recent style derived from Yang and is composed of about 100 movements, but can be done in 36 steps using its shorter version. Some people find Wu rather boring with much slower movements.
What are the Benefits of Tai Chi?
Here are some of the all-time benefits of Tai Chi for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
- Improves flexibility and muscular strength
- Relieves pain
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Promotes normal blood circulation and speeds up the healing
- Strengthens joints and ligaments essential for optimal physical function
- Helps improve mental and emotional well being
- Tremendously decreases stress and tension levels
- Regulates blood pressure and helps maintain a healthy heart
Tai Chi goes far beyond physical and mental health. It is a fulfilling spiritual experience as well. The feeling of being free from stress, negativity, and physical ailments is more than enough to be grateful for this wonderful Asian healing method known as Tai Chi.
“Alternative healing modalities take into consideration a person’s body mind and spirit; modern medicine focuses on the body. Alternative healing modalities focus on the activity of healing, wellness and well being.” – Duane Bowers, LPC
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