MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Of course, many of us having been doing this for years, but did you know it had a name? First developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (video) in 1979, MBSR is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

Duke University has been leading the field in MBSR since 1998. On their website,www.dukeintegrativemedicine.comthey write: “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs similar to ours have been offered in the United States and around the world for over 20 years, and thousands of people have participated. This approach can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations. However, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a complement, not a substitute, for whatever medical treatments a person may be receiving and should not be used in place of medical care.”

Patients report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to cope better with chronic pain. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

MBSR has been used to treat the following conditions:

ADD/ADHD Anger/stress management Anxiety, panic, or depression Chronic Pain Daily life stress Fatigue Headaches High blood pressure Job or family stress Personal growth and development Serious illness Sleep disturbances Type A behavior


Happy New Year from the Unlikely Vegan

| by Phil Shainmark

While texting back and forth with one of my friends in Texas, we got on the discussion of sandwiches. I was lamenting that one of the only foods I genuinely miss is an Italian combo. Not that stuff you get out west where it’s a little ham and salami and some oil and vinegar (they put mayo on them out here!! MAYO!!) I mean a legit east coast, 10 types of meats with banana peppers and provolone, ITALIAN COMBO (which, if you ever find yourself in Hawthorne/Valhalla, NY, check out Pops Deli. Get menu option C4 – best Italian combo ever). So I was on a quest to get as close as I could to those flavors, and I feel that I’ve come pretty close….

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Integrative Vision Care & Nutrition by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

Mind/Body medicine is based on the fact that our health and well-being depend on all the individual parts to work together effectively. So it should come as no surprise that healthy eyesight is also dependent upon our total well-being, which is affected by our genetic makeup, the food we eat, our work environment and exposure to airborne toxins, as well as our general belief systems about ourselves and the world we live in.

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The Unlikely Vegan Explores Making Moral Choices by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

Is your pleasure more important than your morals? It’s an interesting question, and one that I’ve never been able to answer, or even fully articulate, till now. The 16-25 year old me says “absolutely.” I drank, did drugs, committed crimes. Hurt whoever, whenever, and treated people that loved me like crap. I did horrible things to people I should have cared about just so I could chase that NEW thing. Pleasure, not in a sexual sense, but the pleasure of just doing whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted, was the GOAL. Now I thank the gods every day that I still have friends from back then that put up with me.

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13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs by Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

In Ayurvedic herbal treatment, anti aging means principally keeping up a healthy body into herbal treatment and bringing down the operation of aging, degeneration and depreciation. The objective of herbal anti-aging treatment is to aim for a healthy aging mode, and to maintain both mind and body working at optimum level, so the treasures of old age can be relished with peace of mind and vitality.

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Kriya: An Ancient Technique for Restoring the Soul by Stephen Thomson

| by Stephen Thomson

Kriya Yoga is a powerful and life-changing spiritual practice that combines the spiritual techniques of yoga and meditation into a system that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. The result of regular practice is the rapid acceleration of spiritual development. Indeed, one minute of practice is said to equate to one year of natural unfoldment. In Autobiography of a Yogi, the life story of Paramahansa Yogananda, Kriya Yoga is described as “a simple, psycho-physiological method by which human blood is decarbonized and recharged with oxygen. The atoms of this extra oxygen are transmuted into life current to rejuvenate the brain and spinal centers.” Accordingly, to portray the technique of Kriya as a mere mental technique that transports the life force up and down the spinal column is a woeful oversimplification.

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Increased Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

As the American population ages and the peak of the baby boomer generation move into their 70s, there has been a huge increase in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research into cause, early diagnosis and treatment, that shows great promise.

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The Unlikely Vegan Visits New York by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

So I went to NY to visit family, and while there I had some GREAT food. Got in on a 7 something flight that evening, and my Dad took me to an excellent Indian restaurant, with a buffet. They had a whole set up for Vegan/Vegetarian food. Not a surprise. But it was nice to walk into a place that wasn’t specifically a VEGAN restaurant, and not only have a ton of choices, but also have meat food for those who want. Yes, yes, I know, I’m supposed to be fighting the industry and trying to convince people that they shouldn’t be eating meat… But, I don’t want to. It’s a stupid move. And no one wants to listen to you tell them all the bad stuff about the food they’re about to eat. (More about this later.)

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10 Powerful Essential Oils for Healing

Essential oils have long been used for Ayurvedic treatments and aromatherapy, but they are now increasingly popular in Western medicine. Long associated with their calming or soothing qualities, doctors are now treating everything from burns to cancer and diabetes to heart disease with plant based medicine and natural oils. In fact, a recent article in The Atlantic highlights the growing search in the medical community for essential oils to treat staph and other bacteria that have grown antibiotic resistant over the years. Many oils are famous for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, but new research indicates that many may have anticancer components as well.

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The Amazing Aloe Vera Plant: Not Just for Sunburn

For thousands of years Chinese, Indian, and Egyptian healers revered the healing properties of aloe vera, using it to treat a wide variety of ailments. Here in the West, most people have only ever used it to soothe a sunburn. That may be changing now as the pharmaceutical and food industries catch up on the latest research. Most people use aloe gel as a remedy for skin conditions, including burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores, but there are a host of other aloe vera benefits.

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