Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5 Tibetan Energy Rejuvenation Rites

The five Tibetans are a unique sequence of yoga poses reputed to be the key to longevity. According to legend, the sequence was created by Tibetan monks in a Himalayan monastery and then brought into the world by British Army Colonel Bradford. The colonel was amazed by the monks' vitality and superior health. They credited their religious observances, simple diet and the five Tibetans.

1. Whirling Dervish

The first of the five Tibetans is a standing exercise. To perform this exercise, stand up straight with your arms held out to your sides at shoulder height. Spin to the right and keep looking forward. Let your vision blur as you spin. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. Slowly work up to 21 spins.

2. Tibetan leg lifts

The second of the five Tibetans is similar to an abdominal exercise called leg lifts. To begin, lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your sides. Touch your legs together. Inhale as you lift your legs until they are perpendicular with the floor. Raise your head off the floor at the same time, bringing your chin toward your chest. Exhale as you lower your head and legs back to the floor. Work up to 21 leg raises.

3. Moving through camel pose

The third of the five Tibetans promotes flexibility of the spine and gently stretches the back, chest, abdomen and neck. The exercise is similar to camel pose used in other styles of yoga but is a less extreme back bend.

To perform the exercise, kneel on the floor and relax your arms against your sides. Your back is straight with your hips, shoulders and knees in line. First, exhale and bend your chin toward your chest. Then, inhale as you bend your head back to look up and you gently arch your lower back. Slide your hands up to your lower back as you bend backwards. Repeat up to 21 times.

4. Staff to upward plank pose

The fourth exercise combines two popular yoga postures, the staff pose and a variation of upward plank pose. The exercise strengthens the wrists, arms, core and legs.

To begin, sit with your legs together and straight in front of you. Place your hands on the floor next to your buttocks with your fingers pointing forward and flex your feet toward your shins. This is staff pose. Inhale as you bend your knees and raise your hips off the floor. Lift up until your spine is parallel to the floor and your knees are in line with your ankles. Look at the ceiling. Exhale as you lower back into staff pose. Perform up to 21 repetitions.

5. Down dog to cobra pose

The fifth exercise moves from downward-facing dog pose to cobra. The Tibetan exercise strengthens the arms, shoulders and chest while also stretching the abdomen, shoulders and legs.

To begin, assume push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Inhale and press your hips up toward the ceiling. Your arms and legs are straight. Push your heels down and align your neck with your spine. This is down dog. Exhale as you lower your hips and arch your back. Lift your chest to face forward as you tilt your head to look up. Your hips are inches from the floor and your arms are straight. Perform up to 21 reps.

Starting off the day with the five Tibetans provides energy and increases alertness. The sequence can also provide a burst of energy in the afternoon or evening, when many people's energy levels drop.

A powerful reason to eat like the Greeks

Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer. That's according to a new study led by Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.

The diet involves eating items off a menu that is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish. It keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum. And you can have a glass of red wine with dinner without cheating.

The diet has been consistently linked with health benefits that includes helping you manage your weight, and it can lower your risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease.

This new research looks at data from 4,676 healthy middle-aged women involved in the Nurses' Health Study, an ongoing study tracking the health of more than 120,000 U.S. nurses since 1976.

It found women who ate a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres.

Telomeres are part of your chromosomes, the thread-like structures that house your DNA. At the end of these chromosomes are telomeres, a kind of protective "cap" that keeps the structure from unraveling. It thereby protects your genetic information.

Even in healthy people, telomeres shorten with age. Shorter telomeres are associated with aging, lower life expectancy and age-related diseases such as artherosclerosis, certain cancers and liver disease.

Scientists have noticed some lifestyle choices such as smoking, being overweight or obese and drinking a lot of sugar sweetened drinks can prematurely shorten a person's telomeres.

Scientists believe oxidative stress and inflammation can also shorten them.

Fruits, vegetables, olive oils and nuts -- the key components of a Mediterranean diet -- have well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The team of U.S. researchers led by De Vivo therefore wanted to see whether the women who stuck with this diet had longer telomeres.

"This is the largest population-based study addressing the association between Mediterranean diet adherence and telomere length in healthy, middle aged women," they write. The study included completed detailed food questionnaires and blood tests to measure telomere length.

Each participant had a calculated diet score ranging from 0 to 9 points; a higher score signifies a closer resemblance to the Mediterranean diet. Each one point change in diet score corresponded an average of 1.5 years of telomere aging.

Telomere shortening is irreversible but healthy "lifestyle choices can help prevent accelerated shortening," says De Vivo.

These findings further support "the health benefits of greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet for reduction of overall mortality, increased longevity and reduced incidence of chronic diseases, especially major cardiovascular diseases."

None of the individual dietary components was associated with telomere length. Researchers suggest that means the whole diet is an important element, rather than one item being a kind of superfood.

Dr. Peter Nilsson, a professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Research at Lund University in Sweden, who wrote an accompanying editorial, suggests that the variation in telomere length and dietary patterns may also be because of genetic background factors.

With these results, De Vivo and her research team hope in the future to figure out which components of the Mediterranean diet may be having a bigger impact on telomere length.

Next they also hope to study the same thing in men.

How can you make these guidelines part of your daily diet? 

  • Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. 
  • Eat fish at least three times a week. 
  • Eat legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, at least three times a week. 
  • Choose white meat over red meat. 
  • Use extra virgin olive oil or a handful of mixed nuts every day. 
  • If you enjoy alcohol, stick to one glass of wine a day. 
  • Limit commercially made cakes, pastries and biscuits. 
  • Limit sweetened cold drinks to less than 1 a day. 
  • Limit consumption of red and processed meats.

Vegetarians live four years longer, experts reveal

Eradicating meat from your diet could add nearly fours years to your life, experts have suggested.

Going vegetarian for at least 17 years, extends a person's life expectancy by 3.6 years, a study has shown.

Eating red and particularly processed meats on a daily basis was linked to rising mortality rates.

Investigations of more than 1.5 million people found death from all causes was higher for those who regularly eat meat.

Physicians from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona analysed six studies that showed the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality.

Primary care physicians were then given evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat.

Their recommendation was that physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

Professor Brookshield Laurent, from the department of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, said: 'This data reinforces what we have known for so long - your diet has great potential to harm or heal.

'This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.'

Also, while findings for US and European populations differed to an extent, the data found steep rises in mortality - even during the smallest increases in red meat consumption.

As part of the same 2014 study, more than one million people were followed over a number of different yearly time spans - ranging from five and a half years to 28 years.

Researchers considered the link between eating processed meat like bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs and ham on their diet as well as unprocessed red meat like pork, lamb and unsalted beef.

It was discovered that processed meat significantly increased the risk of all cause mortality - with possible links to cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease.

A further review of more than 500,000 participants also found that those with a very low meat intake had a decreased risk of 25 per cent to nearly 50 per cent of all-cause mortality compared with those with a high meat intake.

Professor Laurent added: 'This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counselling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.'

The study is published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Could rosemary be the secret to living to 100?

Rosemary could be the secret to living to 100 according to researchers investigating 300 centenarians in a remote Italian village.

For the herb appears to be commonly used by a group of pensioners who have a most remarkable record of not just living longer but free of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Teams of medical experts have been given permission for the first time ever to examine the residents of a coastal hamlet called Acciaroli, near the resort of Salerno.

Nestled between the sea and the mountains the area has a population of a couple of thousand or so yet among them are at least 300 men and women who are already 100 years old or more.

This is a phenomenal ratio compared to, for instance, America where just 0..02 per cent of the population will live that long.

It is believed that factors for their long life and low rates of both mental and physical illness include the famously healthy Mediterranean diet that is popular throughout the region.

But rosemary is particularly prevalent in their cooking, said researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of Rome, who are carrying out the study.

Other influences include, perhaps obviously, the fresh air and walking - the residents regularly walk or hike through mountains to go to the shops or to work for instance as part of their daily routines.

San Diego doctor Professor Alan Maisel said: ‘We are the first group of researchers to be given permission to study this population in Acciaroli, Italy.’

The teams will look at diet, lifestyle and take blood samples and distribute questionnaires to the 300 centenarians of Acciaroli.

Professor Maisel added: ‘The goal of this long-term study is to find out why this group of 300 is living so long by conducting a full genetic analysis and examining lifestyle behaviours, like diet and exercise.

‘The results from studying the longevity of this group could be applied to our practice at UC San Diego and to patients all over the world.’


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