Can a Pilates Reformer Machine Help You Lose Weight?

I have this friend of mine who is always on the lookout for the latest in weight loss regimens. From diet fads to so-called ‘miracle’ weight loss pills, nothing seemed to work. There are even manufacturers of Pilates reformer machines who will sell you the idea that several sessions on their equipment can already spell a more pleasing, sexier body. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. And while you can go shopping for the best pilates machine to help losing weight, you really need to understand that this machine is not your only ticket to having more favourable numbers on your bathroom scale. Rather, it is part of a more comprehensive weight loss strategy.

The thing about losing weight is that you have to tip the balance between energy consumption and energy expenditure more towards the latter.

Think about it. If you eat more than what you spend in the form of energy or calories, then you will still have a net gain of such calories. These calories can be stored in the body and lead to an increase in body weight. This is quite an oversimplification of the process, I have to admit. But, I hope I am able to drive home the point that, while Pilates moves on a mat or on a reformer machine can help you lose weight, if you don’t change your attitude towards food, then you really cannot expect to see any desirable change in your bathroom weighing scale’s numbers.

Pilates reformer machines can help us tone and strengthen our muscles which is essential in weight loss efforts. Muscles are more prolific at the use of calories or energy such that they will still be using these calories several hours after finishing our exercise regimen. Unfortunately, if we take in more calories than what is absolutely necessary, then we run the risk of converting these calories into fats.

A study in 2005 suggested that folks practising Pilates on an ordinary Pilates mat usually burn about 4 calories on average every minute. This is for those who are just beginning in their Pilates. If you were to practise Pilates for a full hour on a Pilates mat, you’re burning 240 calories.

Pilates practitioners in the intermediate to advanced classes can burn up to twice the number of calories utilised by newbies on a per-minute basis. As such, advanced Pilates practitioners can expect to burn about 480 calories per hour. This is almost the same as jogging for about 45 minutes at a speed of 8 KPH or about 7.5 minutes per kilometre.

Using a Pilates reformer machine will perhaps net you a slightly higher calorie expenditure, but there are currently no verifiable data that can give us the exact figures. Let us just say it’s 10 calories per minute for advanced Pilates practitioners. That means, we’re burning 600 calories per hour on a Pilates reformer machine.

Given that we need to spend 3,500 calories to lose a pound or roughly 0.45 kilogrammes, we have to perform daily Pilates reformer exercises at a minimum of 1 hour each day for 6 days just to shave a pound off our weight.

Acupuncture for Insomnia: A Much Safer and More Effective Way to a Peaceful Sleep

insomniaInsomnia is not only a condition of the elderly. At some point in our young lives, we may experience sleepless nights or even difficulty falling asleep. There may also be times when we wake up in the middle of the night only to find ourselves unable to get right back to slumberland. There may also have been instances when we woke up very early in the morning. While some of us would instantly pop a sleeping pill to help with our insomniac tendencies, this is not really a safe way to go. A much safer and more effective way to a peaceful sleep is by getting acupuncture for insomnia.

Don’t believe us? How many of you have already tried getting a really deep, soothing, and relaxing massage at your favourite health and wellness spa clinic? Or how many of you have tried getting a loved one massage your head or even stroke your hair? During these instances, we are pretty sure you felt somehow relaxed and could almost certainly swear that you’re already falling asleep. Now, try getting an acupuncture session from any of the highly trained and duly certified practitioners from Freedom Chinese Medicine and you’ll instantly be in la-la land in no time at all.

What Causes Insomnia?

Before we go into understanding how acupuncture can help you with your insomnia, let us first understand what causes it in the first place. There are many reasons why we have difficulty sleeping. It can be because of too much stress that keeps our minds too preoccupied even when it’s already time to call it a day. We’re not saying that everyone who is under stress will experience insomnia, but, the fact of the matter is that, stress has always been implicated in a variety of health conditions that it’s virtually impossible not to consider it as a cause of insomnia. Nevertheless, the following are some of the more common causes of our difficulty sleeping.

  • Stress
  • Irregular schedules at work
  • Certain medications
  • Life changes
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic pain
  • The use of stimulants such as caffeine and certain over the counter drugs
  • Mental health conditions such generalized anxiety disorders or even depression
  • Certain health problems like asthma, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease

If we are going to look closely at these causes, the major problem is in the disruption of the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. It’s like our body’s natural alarm clock that tells the different organs when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to rest. If the process of telling our body the time for physiologic processes to either commence or rest is flawed, interrupted, or changed, then we’re faced with the inability to get sufficient sleep. It is also possible that the timing mechanism in our brain has been rewired that it is now malfunctioning such as what happens when we use stimulants or even illicit substances. The point is that our brain is no longer able to process all the different information that it requires to tell the rest of the body that it’s time to sleep.

How Can Acupuncture Help?

Since the major issue is in our circadian rhythm, a variety of approaches can actually be used to attempt to reset our biological clock. These can include naturopathic supplementation, light therapy, dietary modification, breathing exercises, and acupuncture. Now, you may be wondering how acupuncture can possibly help us.

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that insomnia is caused by the disruption in the flow of chi or qi, the life force of our body. All over the body are meridians that correspond to different organ systems which are also connected to our emotions. For instance, the meridian of the heart is known to equate to anxiety while the meridian that covers the liver is typically associated with stress and anger. The energy of the emotional aspect of our being is known as shen. When this energy is blocked, because of stress and anxiety or any other emotional problem, balance is not achieved resulting in insomnia.

When we are under stress, as what can happen if we have a lot of unfulfilled commitments at work or even unexpected changes in our lives, our emotional balance goes awry and our emotional energy, shen, becomes hyperactive. This makes us unable to sleep whenever we want to. It also keeps us from attaining REM sleep further aggravating the stress that we feel because our body was not able to get rid of this excess psychic energy. We are also easily aroused or waken up because of the hypersensitivity of our shen.

This is where acupuncture can help. By removing the blockage to the flow of our shen, we are able to fall asleep a lot easier and faster. We can also achieve REM sleep a lot more efficiently. We will also not wake up that early or too easily.

We know you’re a bit sceptical about the use of acupuncture for insomnia. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences showed that anxious patients were able to sleep better when treated with insomnia. In 2001, the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care published a study about the improvements in the quality of sleep of HIV/AIDS patients after undergoing 5 weeks of highly individualised acupuncture. There are many more studies that show just how effective acupuncture is in improving the sleep patterns of patients. Now, if these sick individuals were able to derive such benefits, what more for healthier individuals like us?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to sleep better and sounder. Visit your nearest licensed acupuncturist now or try Freedom Chinese Medicine’s renowned acupuncture treatments and experience more restful sleeps.

Hip and Posh Dental Braces for the Trendy Teens of Today

dental bracesThe young generation of today is very trendy and fashionable that they want to simply stand out in the crowd. From jewelry to fashion accessories to the hip clothes that they wear, teenagers are desperately looking for that unique identity that they can shout to the whole world that this is who they are. Keeping up with this trend means appearing pleasant physically and this therefore includes as gorgeous smile. A little misalignment of the teeth or any obvious imperfection in the oral cavity leads to the idea of fixing, enhancement or restoration. With that, dental intervention is big consideration.

This is perhaps why many of today’s teens are also flocking to the nearest dental clinic to have the best-looking, hippest, and most stylish dental braces they could find to have it fitted into their teeth. Not only are these orthodontic devices fully functional, they also offer a certain degree of style that bespeaks of teenagers’ need for independence.

What is a Dental Brace?

Dental braces are orthodontic devices that are placed on the teeth to realign it. It is attached and must be worn for up to several months to a few years, depending on the severity of the misalignment or the extensiveness of the procedure that was performed on the jaw. The main thing to understand about braces is that it is a supportive mechanism to make sure the teeth are moved into their correct places. The end result is a perfectly looking set of pearly whites.

Why do Teenagers Love It?

Aside from the obvious reason that dental braces is a corrective method of aligning teeth, the main reason why increasing number of teenagers are having them is to fill a need for self-confidence.

A set of teeth that is not only pearly white and clean but also perfectly aligned can boost anyone’s self-confidence and sense of self-esteem. Teenagers will be able to smile more often, interact or socialize more with their peers, and eventually find acceptance from them. This is none truer, and sadly equally painful, for teenagers who are desperately trying to figure out who they are. Teenagers are commonly described as no longer children but definitely not yet an adult. They are considered to be in between and like many in the middle confusion can set in.

Another reason why teenagers love having dental braces is that everybody else in her peer group has it. If she wants to feel she belongs to that group, she needs to have one too. This need to fit in is one of the more common reasons why teenagers do things that most adults consider very immature. The need to blend in, the need to be accepted, is what adolescent life really is.

How Does it Boost Teenager Confidence?

Dental braces of today come in different fashionable styles including a wide variety of colors as well as ornaments in the different components of the brace. By carefully choosing the hippest and the coolest dental braces available, the teenager is making a statement that she is trendy and stylish. This is the persona that they would like other people to see. They would love to hear from other people how good their teeth look and what wonderful and stylish braces they have whenever they open their mouths to talk. These simple remarks from others are a source of gratification for the ego of these teenagers. In the end, they feel much more confident and generally feel a lot better about themselves.

Having a high self-esteem is very important for teenagers because they need the motivation to plan the remainder of their lives this early. Adolescence is that time of life when you are already mapping out what you are going to be like when you reach adulthood. This is why having a positive self-concept, a high level of self-esteem and self-confidence, is necessary. For the majority of teenagers today, high-esteem matters a lot. Hence, having braces is one easy way to achieve this aspect.

A stylish and trendy dental brace may not be the be-all, end-all of this quest for self-esteem but it is a good start for any teenager. A sweet fabulous smile can bring out that self-confidence any young lady or man deserves.

Dark Miracle Food: Isn’t Chocolate Bad for the Health?

chocolateLife is a box full of chocolates, so goes the popular movie line. It is rare to meet someone who is averse to eating chocolates. At the very least, every single person must have had the experience of tasting this delectable sweet; otherwise, he surely missed a lot in his life.

However, chocolates have been getting the bad rap for many years because of its association to weight gain and obesity. In some cases, chocolates are being blamed for the alarmingly increasing number of diabetics. The rich fat content of chocolates, gram per gram, is almost synonymous to the average weight gain of diabetic and obese individuals. So-called fitness gurus likewise, labeled the chocolate as an absolute no-no for serious weight loss regimens.

However, scientific experts also recognize that certain chocolates are actually beneficial because they contain certain substances that offer a variety of protective functions on the body’s vital organs such as the heart. This leads to the debate – is chocolate good or bad for you?

What is in Chocolates?

Chocolates are derived from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao, better known as the cacao tree or cocoa tree. The main ingredient is the cocoa that is packed with flavonols – a special type of flavonoid – that have been established to have a protective function on the cardiovascular system by decreasing the coagulability of blood to prevent unnecessary clot formation. Flavonols are also known to be effective in lowering systemic blood pressure as well as improving the flow of blood to the heart muscle and the brain.

It is these flavonols found in cocoa beans that make chocolates a healthy alternative to cardiovascular medications. Upon learning that chocolates are good for your health, it is time to find a quality store that offers quality chocolate products which are made for wellness. These are what you can find when you visit our site at

What makes Chocolates Bad?

Since cocoa beans need to be processed into the different varieties of chocolates, the number of processes the beans has to undergo critically decreases the amount of flavonols. Add to this the other ingredients used to sweeten and tame the bitter taste of the cocoa beans and the result is lesser amounts of flavonols and more of the calorie-rich sugars, milk, and other fats.

One thing to remember, the more highly-processed a chocolate is, the greater is the variance of the flavonols from the original, the less likely is it to have any health benefits. Also, the darker and more bitter the chocolate bar, the greater is the chance that it is less processed; hence, it contains sufficiently greater amounts of flavonols. To keep it simple, dark and bitter chocolate is better for your health than brown, cream, or white-colored sweet chocolates.  

What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

The main health benefit of the flavonols in dark chocolates is in cardio-protection. It is generally regarded as useful in lowering the risk of developing atherosclerosis or the narrowing of a major blood vessel because of the deposition of fatty plaques on the inner surface of the blood vessel wall. This helps improve blood flow to all vital organs of the body, including the muscles of the heart itself. Flavonols are known to reinforce the structural strength of blood vessels as well as maintain a more stable hemodynamic flow. It prevents the unnecessary aggregation of platelets to prevent blood clots and ensure a steadier flow of blood.

  • Dark chocolate has antioxidants that can mitigate the damaging effects of free radicals that accumulate inside the human body. Used with other anti-oxidants, flavonols can provide ample protection at the cellular level to delay the effects of aging.
  • Dark chocolates have also been shown to influence inflammation by blocking the production and action of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. These two enzymes are important in the promotion of inflammation. Flavonols thus have an anti-inflammatory benefit.
  • Dark chocolates have also been shown to protect the different brain tissues from cerebral hypoxia as well as assist in the regeneration of peripheral nerve cells (these are nervous tissue outside the brain and spinal cord). It is also useful in promoting optimum blood flow to the different regions of the brain, significantly improving cognitive functioning.

Get Your Dose of Healthy Chocolates

Choosing the right chocolate is an important step in leading a healthier chocolate-themed lifestyle. You will be glad to know that there are now health stores dedicated solely to providing you with only the best and healthiest chocolates to cater to both your cravings and your desire for a healthier you.

Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Drums

drumPlaying drums is sure to be great fun. But little did we know that it brings a lot of positive effects to a person’s health and well-being as well especially when practiced regularly. With or without any skills in drumming, this hobby can be enhanced further through music education. There are actually plenty of schools to choose from one of which is getting great drum lessons studio in Melbourne. It is truly surprising that drumming is not only a form of entertainment but also a way to boost good health. Below are just some of the lesser known benefits that would make anyone decide to take drumming lessons as soon as possible:

Drumming Reduces Stress

The mere act of trying to hit something is an effective stress reducer in itself plus the fact that good drumming skills can produce a certain musical sound which is believed to reduce blood pressure and stress hormone production. Studies suggested that those people who are musically inclined tend to suffer from lesser stress and mood swings. With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, stress can no longer be avoided. It can only be reduced in different ways such of that of playing drums. Hence, taking lessons with a drum teacher is a great way to start reducing stress.

Drumming Promotes Relaxation

Drumming is a highly engaging physical activity that can take your mind away from a negative thought to help you improve your mood. Moreover, drum beats and the act of hitting at something helps in releasing a person’s inhibitions which may also be beneficial to boost his self-esteem and improve his sense of self-worth. Despite the loud noise that drums are known to produce, it has been proven to be helpful in meditation and enhance the overall mental health of a person as it encourages one to focus more on the sound rather than the distractions around him.

Drumming is Linked to Lesser Chronic Pains

Playing drums helps the body release Endorphins – a chemical similar to morphin that elevates the pain tolerance of a person. Drumming can also serve as a natural mind blocker to mild bodily pains which can help to avoid taking in pain relievers that may have ill effects in the long run. This natural body pain killers are also believed to have longer lasting effects compared the ones bought in pharmacies. Some people play drums to alter their attention from pain. As a result, individual tends to forget that body pain and focus on entertaining oneself with pleasant music.

Drumming Boosts the Immune System

Stress is the leading cause of some of the most fatal illnesses such as pneumonia and cancer. Given the fact that drumming reduces stress by promoting relaxation and over all well-being, the immune system is said to function properly as a person’s stress level is dramatically reduced with each session. The proper functioning of the immune system brings the body to wellness allowing the individual to perform his or her daily tasks normally. As we all know, illness and sickness bring paralysis to our day-to-day routine making us unproductive.

Drumming is a Great Form of Exercise

Playing the drums involves a lot of constant hitting and an ample force to achieve a certain musical sound. Hence, it could be considered an excellent way to keep your limbs, arms, shoulders, and fingers working harmoniously. Playing the drums for long periods of time is said to improve overall upper body strength and increase muscle mass. Continued drumming may also help a person reduce excess weight in the most non-boring way possible. No wonder most of the famous drummers looks leaner and much fitter than the other musicians. Indeed, drumming is a good regimen for overweight individuals.

Drumming Improves Neurological Conditions

Someone who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder may benefit from taking drum lessons as it has been touted to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. According to neurologists, the music that the drums can produce is believed to help patients alleviate some of the symptoms of their underlying neurological conditions and it has greatly helped them in maintaining normalcy in their daily lives.

The health of benefits of drumming can bring a big change in life. Whether young or old, drum lessons are for everyone.

Exercise everyday people!

People ask me, should we exercise everyday? As a health conscious person, my answer is YES. What the hell are you talking about? That’s not even a question. It’s a mandatory. I’ve talked about beauty in previous posts so we will talk about exercise now. I found pretty good article about simple exercise here. Also you can check out the video below for simple training exercise. Summer is coming, depending on where you are at the moment so it’s a good time to get fit.

Korean Hair Salon in Melbourne is on the up!

hair salonIt has been fascinating to see how people are going crazy over the Korean hairstyle in the whole of Australia. It might be the fashionable Korean population that is setting the trend in the country. Korean Hair styles have a lot to do with the nature and type of hair. There is some silkiness and shine about Korean hair that makes it all the more great.

Like the Afro hair cut had hit the trends some years back, it is the Korean hair cut that is creating headlines now. There are some things, however, that one must know before going for a Korean haircut. The first thing that one must know is how to choose a great Korean Hair Salon Melbourne. There might be many Korean Hair Salons in Melbourne and all of them would be boasting about giving you the best Korean hair styles, but you need to act wisely. First of all, if you are a non-Korean and still want to go for a Korean haircut then it is better to understand if you would be able to carry that hair cut or not. One thing is for sure that your hair dresser would never want you to know that you might not look great with a Korean haircut.

In order to choose the best Korean Hair Salon, you must research a bit on internet and visit websites of all the quality Korean hairdresser Melbourne. Those Korean hair salons who have employed Koreans hairdressers might give you the best hair cut for the simple reason that the Koreans know more about the Korean haircut than anyone else. On their websites, you can visit their feedback pages too; where different customers of these Korean Hair hairdressers have shared their views about them. These views and opinions can help you choose better.

Each person has different type and quality of hair. A hair cut can actually ruin your hair if not done in the right manner. Sometimes, straightening the hair proves to be a futile decision as it leads to hair fall and other such hair problems. You have to make sure that Korean Hair cut is suitable for your hair. This is where good Korean Hair Salon comes to your rescue as they tell you about the quality of your hair and also if the Korean hair cut is going to look good on you or not. Go to a salon that values your hair, not your haircut.