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Meditation and Health

Posted by mandy on July 22nd, 2013

meditateIn the 1960s meditation was seen as a hippy practice, something that flower children did that was closely related to the use of psychedelic drugs and resulted in “tuning in” and “dropping out.”  Not the best PR to appeal to the mainstream American.

Over the past few decades, meditation has become a bit more socially acceptable.  This is a result of a combination of factors.  The growth of eastern spiritual practices has contributed to this trend as has the rapid advance of technology and pace of life that drives people to seek moments of calm and peacefulness.  Yet another factor is the growing body of research that proves a multitude of health benefits can be gained by regular practice of meditation.

Mind- Body Connection

At the core of the health benefits of meditation is evidence that good mental health leads to improved physical health while problems such as stress, anxiety and depression can have negative health effects, such as stress leading to high blood pressure and heart disease.  Any practice that can reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and boost overall mental health is going to be good for physical health. And meditation fits that bill.

Dozens of studies over the years have concluded that meditation provides stress-reducing effects, “enhances overall psychological health,” improves self esteem, self control, and empathy. It has been found to improve relaxation, reduce pain, and even improve cognition, memory, attention and concentration.  In addition to increased empathy, those who meditate regular are less judgmental, more observant, more forgiving, and display greater perceptual sensitivity.

Physical Benefits

In addition to improving mental health and processes, some studies have demonstrated more direct connections between meditation and physical health. Some of these benefits include the following:

  • headache relief
  • lower blood pressure
  • decreased pain
  • improved respiration and heart rate

It has also helped in the treatment of arthritis, asthma and chronic inflammation.

While more rigorous study is planned, it is obvious that there is a correlation between health and meditation, which is why the practice continues to increase, from 15 million people meditating in 2002 to over 20 million in 2007 — and no doubt the number has increased further since that last known study.

Many celebrities, artists and sports stars such as Richard Gere use meditation as an important part of their professional life.

Jerry Flowers is a sports and health blogger.  He has written guest posts on everything from biofeedback to auto racing and follows famous racers.

Money Mutual Short Term Loans for Medical Emergencies

Posted by mandy on October 28th, 2012

Health care costs continue to rise in spite of the down economy and fewer people are able to afford the quality care they need.  As insurance premiums also climb, more people are doing without insurance.  However, when an injury occurs or illness strikes, it can strip them of any savings they may have.

In the last ten years, health insurance costs have doubled while wages have only increased by 34%.  This deficit only makes health insurance less affordable.  What’s worse is that health care costs are expected to rise another 7.5% in 2013.

Almost 50 million Americans were uninsured in 2010.  While that number has increased, it has only improved by a small number.  Included in that number are almost 10% of children who are without insurance.

So what do you do if you get injured or ill?  Many people use their savings, leaving them exposed for other issues in the future.  For all of those people who don’t have a savings plan, they either do without medical care or they postpone a bill to pay for medical costs.

Another option that many people do not think of is to apply for a short-term loan, like those offered by  This type of loan can provide the cash needed to pay a medical bill or for medication to help them get well.  It can also help those who have high deductibles or co-pays so that they can afford to go to the doctor.  Then there is the issue for people who do not get paid time off.  If they are sick, they are either forced to go in to work anyway or take time off without pay.  A short-term loan can help pay the bills until they are back on their feet.

A short-term loan often has lower fees than paying a late charge on a bill that is put off to have cash for medical expenses.  You can pay the loan back over a period of time to make it affordable and fit in your budget.

Another way short-term loans can help is when you have a child that needs medical care from an injury.  You do not want to worry about paying medical bills when you are caring for an injured child.  With a short-term loan, you can concentrate on helping your child get well instead of worrying about finances.

These loans are often convenient to apply for to allow you to get money in a hurry to cover expenses before they cause other problems.  You don’t have to wait for days to get approved and then wait even longer to get your money.  In many cases, you can have the proceeds of your loan within just a few days.  If you had an unplanned medical expense, time can be an important consideration.

If you are faced with unplanned medical costs, you might want to consider a short-term loan to help you get through the difficult time until you get back on your feet.  Don’t let the rising costs of health care keep you from getting the care you need.

Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

Posted by mandy on May 10th, 2012

Obesity is one of the most prevalent health conditions in America today. It affects individuals of all ages, genders and walks of life. It is also a condition that causes a variety of health problems; such as diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure , just to name a few. Despite all of this many insurance companies don’t cover obesity and use it as grounds for rejecting coverage.

Many in the healthcare field believe that the system is seriously flawed, and it’s not hard to see their point. While many conditions that are caused by obesity are covered, the root of the problem is not. Even for those who are looking to prevent obesity or seek early treatment are hitting the wall. Only in recent years have insurers began to cover gastric by-pass. The full article can be found here .

There is no doubt that the system needs reform, the problem, however, is coming to an agreement on what that looks like. Regardless, there has never been a better time to begin taking a more active role in improving your health .

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Top Tennis Training Programs

Posted by mandy on June 11th, 2010

There are quality tennis programs across the country and choosing the school that is right for you can be a difficult process. Of course it can also be a matter of financial concerns and if you’re eligible for scholarship packages than you are likely going to be drawn to the one that includes the best financial structure. Meanwhile, if all things are considered equal and a student has the unrestrained choice of programs, the question naturally arises as to which is or are considered to be the best. Some of the schools who have been designated in the top five include Pepperdine , the University of Georgia, Duke and Clemson universities as well as the University of Texas at Austin.

In addition to the quality college programs there are private tennis training schools and great camps that are known for helping to develop some of the top professional skills. One of the interesting aspects of tennis training, that is common to other sports, is that it is less important where you studied when you’re on the Wimbledon schedule than how well you play. But then of course, how well you play is frequently dependent on the quality of training you receive and your history of experience with the sport. Ah, the tennis training catch 22.

Meanwhile the top tennis programs in schools go a long way to rounding out solid players and creating professionals in the field. The program at Pepperdine, which has long been recognized as a top university program continues to create top players and senior Bassam Beides recently clinched an All-American status for the third straight year. This occurred during the second round upset at the NCCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championships. The defeat was won against Florida player Alex Lacroix who was ranked seventh. Not only the college programs but the players themselves continue to gain greater respect and recognition. And while you will definitely want to choose a program that is right for you, you must also remember that what you do while you are there will be the most important aspect of your education and training. So if you hope to get on the Wimbledon highlights list, you should put everything you have into your development.

Awareness is Key to Enjoying Hot Tubs and Spas

Posted by mandy on December 2nd, 2009

Awareness of certain dangers concerning hot tubs, spas or pools is key to creating a safe and fun atmosphere for all those in need of relaxation. The main hazard is drowning, treat your hot tub and spa like any body of water. Before you step in to your spa, check the depth and never jump in, spa’s are made to sit in and relax, not to horse around in like a pool. It is highly recommended to not be alone in a hot tub, bring a friend along or invite a family member to join you, plus, it makes the time you spend in the hot tub a pleasant experience.

When the hot tub or spa is not in use, replace the cover and lock it for safety. If the spa is inside, make sure you can lock the door to the spa room. Always make it a ritual to put the cover over the tub or lock the door when you are finished for the time being. This way, you will never have to worry that and unintentional accident will occur.

Another danger is hair and body part entrapment. Drains that are uncovered can suck in hair or body parts, trapping a person under the water. Before entering any hot tubs, spas or any other body of water where electrical components are being used, always check that the drains have adequate covers and that the covers themselves are in good condition. If a child is to use the hot tub, make sure that their toes or fingers can not slip through the drain covers, if they can, this can lead to the child being stuck underwater. So, it is recommended that you replace the drain covers with the required safety drain covers. Another safety measure is to have each pump on separate outlets, this will reduce suction and reduce the potential of entrapment.

Never have the water temperature of a hot tub or spa over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter will cause health issues and cause drowsiness that could lead to drowning. You do not want to nod off in the hot tub. Also, if the temperature is higher that 104 degrees, your raise the risk of heat stroke.

The All-Natural Sleep Aid: The Hot Tub Nightly Soak

Posted by mandy on September 28th, 2009

Studies conducted throughout the country reveal that many people, over one million of those living in the United States alone, experience some form of sleep disorder.   This can change over one’s life time depending on current situations one may be going through at any given time, the amount of work and/or stress one is dealing with at a particular moment in their life.  These studies have also shown that when one takes the time to organize their schedule, to create a nightly routine one will find it easier to fall asleep.

One addition to the nightly rituals that would prove helpful is to incorporate a brief soak each night in a warm bath,spa or hot tub into that routine.  At, one will find that there are so many different kinds of hot tubs to choose from, and there will be one that is perfect for each individuals needs.  One of the theories behind this is that while the heat of the water will cause the body temperature to rise while in the tub, when one gets out of the hot water the body temperature will then begin to fall.

This is an indication to the body that sleep is near.  Another aspect, and one that is great for sore and achy muscles, is the buoyancy that is experienced while floating amongst the bubbles relaxes the body enough to bring the relaxation necessary for sleep to be easily attained.  Combine those two factors that the hot tubs simply relax one and relieve stress, and sleep will be found quicker than one may realize.

The natural aspect of this kind of sleep therapy, is what draws many people to giving the hot tub a try.  Sleep medications may have ill effects on some people.  Another “sleep aid” some may use is a couple of drinks before bed.  Not only does alcohol serve to interrupt good sleep during the night, one should never combine alcohol and hot tubs.  Many people claim that in soaking before bed, they slept soundly throughout the night, for the first time in months, and for some people the first time in years.  It’s the natural remedy that is well worth a try.

Hot Tub Selection

Posted by mandy on September 25th, 2009

Wow, I can not believe all the different hot tubs styles and sizes available in the market place today! Stationary lap / hot tub pools, one, two , three, four and more person hot tubs. All the different jet types available and on and on it goes.

I am looking into a hot tub because of the benefits of hydrotherapy. The deeply relaxing experience of soaking in hot swirling water. The release of muscle tensions from the massaging action of the water jets on the body. The improved blood circulation due to the dilating effects of the hot water on the vascular system. The improved nights sleep from relaxing in the hot tub before retiring to bed. All this and more are the reasons I am looking into getting a hot tub installed at home. I am hoping the hot tub can provide relief from the occasional head aches I have been having later and release the muscle tension as well as sooth my over worked muscles when I hit it too hard at the gym. In researching the benefits of hydrotherapy all this and more should be the net benefit to having regular use of the hot tub.

Placement and landscaping will be key to this project as well. I don’t want it to look like the tub was just set there, I need it to be placed in an appropriate location and then landscaped with plants and flowers giving it the look of having been there for sometime, not just dropped there yesterday. With careful planning this will not be very difficult. A low platform build around the side of it with pots of plants will help to get the hot tub blending into the existing landscape. Then planting low growing shrubs on the far side will provide the necessary screening and privacy we will want.

Hot Tubs for Athletes

Posted by mandy on September 21st, 2009

Hot tubs are extremely popular additions to any backyard and offer years of relaxation and fun. They also have the potential to increase the value of a home and property and offer multiple health benefits. With these elements considered, purchasing a home spa is not only an exciting adventure, but also seems like a wise investment. can assist individuals in deciding on the perfect hot tub for their home and work within the demands of most budget considerations.

One of the things to keep in mind when planning for your hot tub purchase is idea that most people incorporate their spa into a greater backyard design theme. It is possible to create a diverse backyard setting that functions equally for entertainment, health and beauty, while many people chose to focus on one specific element for the overall design and incorporate others as ongoing projects or additional features.

For the highly sports focused family, there is even a hot tub model to accommodate more of an athlete’s needs. There is now available a hot tub that also has some of the features of a swimming pool. The pool spa has an area that is structured to swim laps, though it requires a small amount of space. It works similarly to a treadmill in that the swimmer remains in a localized area, while the water flows around them. Various strength water flow resistance settings allow the athlete to swim against an ongoing wave of water. This is excellence for toning muscles, building strength and endurance as well as providing a great aerobic workout for your cardiovascular system. After the swim session, athletes are then able to sit comfortably in the hot tub and relax their tired muscles. This design for the hot tub is an exceptional benefit to athletes who are in training and also great for individuals who prefer swimming as their standard means of exercise.

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