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The History of Massage

With a little rubbing, the ouch soon goes away

1883 Portrait courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Massage is an instinctive human response that when we bump ourselves, we rub the sore spot and the ‘ouch’ soon goes away. This basic instinct has been slowly developed over the countless generations into a sophisticated healing art and science in some form in over most of the World.

Egypt had a well developed social structure 5,500 years ago and people may have used massage then. Imhotep, the physician and architect recorded his knowledge of aromatic oils or unguents made by mixing aromatic plants, resins and gums with oils or fats.

The use of massage in India goes back a

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Living with Chronic Disease

What doctors don’t tell you

When you are diagnosed with a Chronic Illness, doctors should tell you the symptoms, the side effects, how it can progressively get worse, what treatment is available and maybe they’ll even suggest what to eat, but what they don’t tell you while you’re sitting across from them is how hard the rest of your life suddenly becomes.

They don’t tell you all your favourite hobbies that required a lot of energy might as well be tossed to the side. They don’t tell you all your life goals and dreams get jumbled up and switched around and some even need to be put on the back burners until you’ve found a way to manage your symptoms.

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Menstruation and culture

Menstruation from Cultural Perspectives

The menstrual cycle is a bane in many women’s lives and those few days of bleeding are understood and managed in varied and interesting ways by cultures around the world.

But for those less educated or impoverished, it’s their most dreaded time of the month. Without access to sanitary products, many girls are hidden in shame, forced to miss school and some become susceptible to infections. In places where women’s bodies are viewed with suspicion, damaging social stigmas and myths cast them away from the community, limiting their job options and social interactions, which inevitably takes an incalculable socioeconomic, physical and mental toll on their lives.

Examples of attitudes and practices:

Nepal A recent news story

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Understanding Karma

Towards an Ethical Way of Life

Spash Art via Tumblr

Most of us have heard the term karma, a Sanskrit word (कर्म) implying the interlinking of cause and effect. Karma signifies a moral caution and a stimulus to become responsible in life because when we cause harm to others by accident or even design, consequences will come back to us at some point.

The Dhammapada is one of the most sacred and best-loved of Buddhist texts. It points out the method of self-realization, by the way of moral conduct:

Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers, Fashion from your life as many good deeds.

The text further enlightens on the nature of the karmic fruit:

For while the

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Our Sweet Downfall

Loss of health, delusion and addiction

Spare your body – sweet pleasure undermines health and the ability to enjoy life

Our love affair with sweets began when our parents used them as panaceas and bribes. When combined with untruths the result is often behavioural deviance.

One cannot categorically state that sugar is the root cause of all deviant behaviour, however it is a significant factor. The consumption of sugar as sweets gives a boost of sensory delight and energy that is addictive.

Food manufacturers know this and add sugar to most processed foods to keep people consuming their products.

Many of us as children were introduced to sweets and many of us continually pushed the margins for sweet rewards.

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Bending Backwards

Yoga Asana Series

Opening the spine in yoga

Some yoga asana practitioners consider back bends to be as challenging or even more challenging than inversions, especially as they highlight any structural weakness or existing trauma within the spine and cause pain.

The term ‘back bend’ is erroneous and highly misleading. What we are talking about is an extension and flexion because if you think about the shape of the spine, when it bends there is a compression on one side and an expansion on the other.

Within yoga asana, especially when doing back bends, the idea is to lengthen the spine is much as possible creating space between the vertebrae and expanding the inter-vertebral discs. Then throughout the

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Okinawan Diet

A diet for health and longevity

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Residents on the small Japanese island of Okinawa in the Ryukyu archipelago south of mainland Japan live longer on average than many other cultural groups and some say they are the longest lived people with lifespans of 100 – 115 years of age common and many well documented studies have been made to support this claim.

In addition to a longer life, there are fewer incidences of the diseases that plague the Western world such as heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Scientists are so impressed that they generally agree that by adopting an Okinawan style diet, it is possible to retard or

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Massage Styles

Massage methods from around the world

Starting a massage

Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body and a broader definition may include the manipulation of a person’s energy. However the manipulation of the joints is confined to osteopathy and chiropractic.

Massage is a universal treatment yet around the world people have different approaches because they have different understandings of the human body and how it works.

Massage is also instinctive because when we hurt, we rub the hurt area and we feel better. So every country has it’s own massage style and popular styles have spread around the world to be offered by gifted friends and amateurs, or by trained professionals.

Acupressure massage Acupressure (a

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Baby Massage

A formula for happy babies

Baby massage has long been a part of the Ayurvedic tradition of India and today its usefulness is catching on in the west. Mothers are discovering that by rubbing their children from birth keeps them more contented, better socialised and less inclined to act up.

When babies are unusually or unreasonably temperamental, when they cry for no apparent reason or they wake up crying, it’s hard to know exactly what’s wrong with them. It could be colic, it could be wind or a whole host of other things.

But the improved mother baby bonding that is achieved through regular massage can give mothers a deeper perception into their child’s condition and the massage also

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Diet & Lifestyle

Planning for a healthy future

We start our lives in ignorance, and lets face it, many parents are ignorant of what constitutes a good lifestyle, diet and nutrition. That means that as we grow up with a less than ideal diet and lifestyle, we are laying foundations for ill-health and a short life.

As we live our lives in ignorance, it takes some time before some sickness intrudes and reminds us of our mortality. Then we look for a fix, but by then most fixes are best temporary and the only way to make a change permanent is to wake up and make those essential diet and lifestyle changes.

While there are countless diet and weight loss programs,

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