Weight Loss vs. Happiness

We work with reputable affiliates to give you tools to achieve your goals. This post includes such links. Full disclosure here

So you are struggling to lose weight because you know once you achieve your goal you will be happy right? Well, let me be the bearer of bad news; that’s not going to happen!

Woman gagged by a measuring tape

Happiness is not determined by a measuring tape or a weight scale.
Photo by Jeanne Claire Maarbes

Continue reading

workout and hair

Workout Hair Hacks [Infographic]

Was your 2018 new years resolution focused around fitness? Did you succeed? Less than 50% of people maintain their resolutions just after 2 months. Being too tired, sore, busy or just unmotivated are the main reasons of why these goals commonly fail. Another big reason is because we always seem to have plans or errands to run after our workout and we don’t have time or energy to shower and re-do our hair and look. Stylists say you’re only supposed to wash your hair 2-3 times a week so this doesn’t help with fitting in a workout either. According to the infographic below, preparing your hair pre-workout using the right products and hairstyles can help save time post-workout when transforming your hair back to normal. Read along to find the best style and solutions to slay your workout without ruining your look.

exerciseand hair

 

Thanks to these tips from eSalon, an at home hair color company that formulates colors specifically for you, there are no more excuses (at least style excuses) to skip your workout.

 

Do you have any other tips or use other products for your pre and post-workout hair? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

acupuncture myth and truth

9 Questions about Acupuncture that you keep asking yourself

Acupuncture is a complete system of complementary medicine dating back thousands of years to ancient China.  It is used to alleviate pain and provide relief from a wide range of physical and emotional health issues. Acupuncture involves inserting a fine needle into the skin at specific parts of the body.   Acupuncture is now widely practiced throughout the world, and is seen as a safe and gentle therapy that can be used on its own or as an effective adjunct therapy alongside mainstream medicine.

Barbara Poczyniak - Darou Wellness

I’m Barbara Poczyniak R.Ac, a Registered Acupuncturist practicing in Toronto Canada. I practice Traditional Acupuncture, based on Chinese Medicine.  I work alongside other health practitioners at Darou Wellness Integrative Health, and also at my private practice Vital Bloom Wellness. I love answering questions about Acupuncture, and hope this will be useful for those seeking more information.

 1 Acupuncture: Why would anyone want to have hundreds of needles piercing their body?

Unlike what you may have seen in the movies – an acupuncture treatment rarely, if ever, uses hundreds of needles.  The most commonly used treatment styles will utilize anywhere from a couple of needles up to 25 – 30 or so. There are well over 400 standard acupuncture points, but well trained acupuncturists know which ones to use effectively for each individual treatment.  Acupuncture needles may be placed at different points on the body, including: feet, hands, limbs, torso, back, ears, scalp and face. Acupuncture points are chosen based on an acupuncture prescription determined by the goal of each treatment.

2 Why not just use regular medicine; what does acupuncture offer that mainstream medicine doesn’t?

Acupuncture offers effective benefits alongside mainstream medicine. Did you know that many doctors are now recommending acupuncture to their patients as a safe, drug-free method of pain and stress relief?  Studies have shown that acupuncture can help increase blood circulation by enhancing micro-circulation. It can help to relieve muscle tension, as well as help the body reduce inflammation.  Research indicates that acupuncture can help calm and balance the nervous system; as well as help increase the body’s release of endorphins. It can also help reduce the body’s over-production of stress hormones such as cortisol.  Acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with mainstream medicine, for instance as an aid to faster recovery after surgery or to help deal with unwanted side effects of chemotherapy.

3 I hope I don’t catch anything with those needles. You know we live in the age of Hepatitis and HIV?

Needles are sterile, single use needles that are disposed of as medical waste.  They are not re-usable on other patients, or even for continuing treatments on the same patient.  Registered Acupuncturists are knowledgeable in Clean Needle Technique as part of their extensive training. As licensed professionals they must also follow the safety and sanitation guidelines required by their licensing boards.

4 Why do I need to see a registered acupuncturist when I can go to a Chinese place where they do the same?

Registered Acupuncturist are licensed professionals that are board-certified and have undergone rigorous licensing examinations.  Most Acupuncture education in North America is at least 3 years or longer of full time studies.  Comprehensive education programs include anatomy, physiology and pathology of mainstream medicine as well as the philosophy of Chinese medicine and the acupuncture system.  Due to these strict guidelines in many areas of the USA and Canada, practicing Acupuncture without a license is often no longer permitted.  In fact, it may be that the Chinese place probably has their very own Registered Acupuncturists on staff.

5 Does insurance cover acupuncture expenses (USA and Canada)?

Insurance coverage for Acupuncture can vary widely throughout the USA and Canada.  In general it is not part of government covered health benefits.  In Canada, it is not yet covered under any of the provincial government health plans.  Many third party insurance plans do include Acupuncture treatments by a Registered Acupuncturist.  If in doubt, please check with your insurance company.  If it is not yet included and you would like it to be, contact your insurer to tell them so.  In many cases, private insurance coverage is based on demand and as more clients ask for acupuncture coverage this may change what is included.

6 How long does an acupuncture treatment last and how painful is it?

An acupuncture treatment typically includes a brief consultation as well as the treatment.  If it is a first visit, the consultation will likely be a bit longer in order to cover in-depth health history and treatment goals. Subsequent visits usually include a brief follow-up on how you are feeling since last treatment. Your practitioner will then insert the needles and give you between 20-50 minutes to relax.  On average the time the needles are retained is about 30 minutes.

Acupuncture needles are very thin, about the width of a cat’s whisker.  There may be a slight feeling on the skin during the initial insertion, but it is usually not sharp or very painful.  Once the needles are inserted, the practitioner may briefly manipulate them in order to stimulate the acupuncture point.  It is not uncommon to feel certain sensations such as a slight tingle, heaviness, warmth or even a gentle throbbing at the acupuncture point, or in areas near it. This may be momentary. If acupuncture is done properly by an experienced practitioner it should not be painful and the feeling of discomfort should be at a minimum.

7 What are the side effects?

Negative side effects of acupuncture can sometimes be slight bruising at the site of needling.  This often fades in a few days.  Acupuncturists are very careful not to cause a bruise.  If you are prone to bruising easily, please inform your acupuncturist prior to treatment.  Patients must also inform their practitioner if they are pregnant or actively trying to become pregnant, as there are certain acupuncture points that are not used during pregnancy.

Regardless of the reason for seeking out treatment, one of the best positive side effects of acupuncture is a relaxed, settled feeling – usually after even one treatment.  With ongoing treatments patients usually also report the ‘happy side effects’ of better sleep, improved digestion and a better handle on stress management.

8 What would you say the top 3 illnesses are that acupuncture cures?

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for many physical and emotional conditions, but it cannot claim to cure any particular disease.  Acupuncture can work to relieve the symptoms of a condition but also (and perhaps more importantly) it addresses the root of the imbalance that is causing the condition to happen in the first place. Essentially it looks to treat “the root” of what is causing an illness.  For this reason it can often work very well for conditions that mainstream medicine does not have an easy way to treat effectively.  Unlike many medications, it does not come with any major side effects.  It also views and treats the body as a whole system, rather than just as a set of parts and symptoms.

 9 Please debunk 3 myths about acupuncture.

Myth: Acupuncture is a placebo.

Myth Debunked: Acupuncture has not yet been explained completely – therefore many skeptics claim it can only be a placebo.  Its important to know that animals have long been successfully treated with acupuncture. Unlike humans, they are not aware of placebos.  It is common for prize winning racehorses to get acupuncture from their veterinarians.  Pets and zoo animals can also get acupuncture from vets, often when other treatment options are not working. If acupuncture can work for animals, that can hardly be considered placebo?

Myth: You have to keep coming in “forever”. 

Myth Debunked:  Acupuncture does not claim to be an ‘instant fix’.  If an illness or injury is acute it may be resolved in only a few visits. But if a condition is chronic and has been going on for years, it may take months of ongoing acupuncture treatments to see major changes.  Like with anything else it takes some commitment for it to work.  However, once a patient’s condition is stable they do not have to keep coming for treatment.  Usually an occasional ‘maintenance’ visit may be enough, if at all.

Myth: Acupuncture is not real medicine, it is just made up and you can put the needles anywhere.

Myth Debunked:  Acupuncture is based on a very detailed view of how the body, mind and spirit work.

The intricate philosophy of body systems, acupuncture point locations and functions have been studied, tested and discussed over several thousand years.  There is a huge body of literature put together by experts, both ancient and living masters that have documented many thousands of case studies. There are currently numerous ongoing studies on acupuncture and new discoveries are constantly being made to help validate this ancient art and science.

Planning to workout before work? [Infographic]

We all know that one of the most popular resolutions every year is related to fitness. While many people start off strong maintaining their fitness resolutions, one of the hardest things is to keep finding the motivation, especially when working a full-time job. That’s why T.M.Lewin put together a helpful piece of content with advice and information that makes maintaining a fit lifestyle possible even when working a typical 9-5. If you’re unfamiliar with T.M.Lewin, they’re a menswear company that designs suits, pants and shirts that are perfect for the office making style achievable even when constantly on the go.

 

Here are tips to make it possible to achieve your fitness resolutions even while working a full-time job:

 

  1. Have achievable goals: First and foremost, make sure the goals you set are realistically attainable.

  2. Make a schedule: Scheduling workouts into your calendar is a way to remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish if you’re feeling uninspired to exercise.

  3. Set a deadline for your goal: Having an end date for when you’d like to accomplish your goal can be a great motivator to sticking to your schedule.

  4. Switch up your form of exercise: You don’t have to be committed only to the gym in order to accomplish your fitness goals. Doing activities like biking or walking are excellent ways to give yourself a break from the gym while also fitting exercise into your day.

Shocking Revelation on Why You Quit Exercise!

why you quit exercise

You could be exercising and eating right and still not getting the results you should. You know why? The surprising answer could be that you are suffering from the “nocebo” effect. It’s the evil twin brother of the “placebo” effect. Continue reading

The 1 Piece of Advice You Need to Succeed in 2018 and Beyond

Raring to go

It’s a new year, a new beginning and you are raring to go. Will you still be as enthusiastic in a few months? Do you know what it takes to get to the finish line? Image by stockimages

It is 2018 Now What?

You have been warming up and getting ready to get on the stage to perform. In your mind you have imagined over and over about how you are going to perform on stage. How you will entertain the audience and how you will make them laugh and intrigue them.

Imagine that all the preparation is over and now you are on stage. Now is the time that you need to perform. Now is the time that you need to stick to your guns and remove any self-doubt. Whatever you planned to do on stage do it without hesitation and don’t back down.

I am sure many of us have already read a few articles recently on how to make resolutions for the new year and how to keep them. We read these articles almost every year around December all the way through February.

This is not one of those articles! I am here to give you a step-by-step guide that will make everything you touch turn into gold. I am here to tell you about the one thing that will make you a winner regardless of your situation.

Continue reading

Women vs. Men: 9 Exercise Facts You Probably Don’t Know but Should

Men and women have different fitness needs.

Men and women have different fitness needs.
by photostock

  1. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only 6% more men engage in regular exercise than women. It’s high time gyms became more “female-friendly”.
  2. Women are not “female-men” and men are not “male-women”(I bet you didn’t know that) so they need a completely different training regime, nutrition plan, and amount of hydration during exercise.
  3. I had to talk specifically about squats because women love their squats.  Women should use a wider stance when doing squats as their pelvises tilt more. The feet should also face more outwards and the practitioner should avoid going too low. Failing to do so could cause serious injury.
  4. Men may have better upper body strength but women have better lower body strength.
  5. Women exhibit a higher lactate threshold during long distance running thanks to their slow twitch fibre percentage. The longer the distance the more advantageous it becomes.
  6. The heart responds differently to exercise when it comes to men and women. The American College of Cardiology recently declared the “220 minus age” to be flawed. The formula was developed 40 years ago based on a group that was predominantly male.
  7. Women tend to burn more fat than men during workout and men burn more fat than women post workout.
  8. One of the best ways for men to subjectively track fat loss is to measure their waist. Women can use both the waist and the bust to distinguish fat loss from weight loss.
  9. Men who lift weights grow primarily type II muscle which make them bulk up. Women grow primarily type I muscle fibers that are not able to grow as big.

Continue reading