Wellness Today: Shelves and health

2011-08-14 / Wellness / 0 Comments

San Jose Medical Marijuana Collective Elemental Wellness Hosts Free Weekly Grow Workshops

For those who have tried to grow their own medical marijuana only to end up blowing tons of money on grow equipment and guidebooks that don’t deliver on their promise-Elemental Wellness Center, a San Jose cannabis dispensary, has the answer. The San Jose cannabis club hosts a series of ongoing workshops called Crop Circle Grow Club every Sunday at 3pm.

Although many people grow marijuana, an extraordinary amount of knowledge and experience is required to produce high quality medicine.

Grow room guru, Josh Jones, owner of See Your Green, provides in depth instruction on everything from seed to harvest, and weekly help troubleshooting problems. “Club members are able to bring their questions to group and get immediate answers,” said Jones, who discloses his proven techniques to help turn brown thumbs to green ones-and budding botanists to master growers.

“We like to describe our intimate group as a grow club think tank,” said Jones. “It’s an opportunity for growers to share their own experiences and wisdom.”

Member-growers are essential to the San Jose medical marijuana collective, which operates in a “closed loop” system. In the organization members are encouraged to cultivate medicine, and provide it back to the collective, so it is available to other patients who cannot grow. This model helps ensure everyone has access to the medicine they need.

“We carry over 15 varieties of clones,” said Jones. “Many patients want to take a plant home, but don’t know how to start a garden. From expensive lights to complicated irrigation systems and CO2 dispensers to fertilizers, they are concerned about getting all of the right gear. In my workshop, Crop Shop, I discuss the variety of products on the market and guide patients through the design process of building their grow rooms,” said Jones.

For the more seasoned grower, Crop Circle is a forum for the exchange of grow tips and genetics. “Diversity is good when it comes to cannabis,” said Robert Nia, Inventory Manager at Elemental Wellness. Strain swaps help keep the gene pool flush with boutique and rare strains. “Every strain contains different proportions of THC, CBD and CBN-and that delicate balance is responsible for how the plant affects you,” explained Nia.

Josh provides a formal agenda and uses handouts, show-and-tell, and live demonstrations to springboard discussions. Students are invited to bring in photos of their gardens at different stages, and all club members engage in lively debates about the best way to solve various grow problems. Since the club was formed ten months ago, attendance itself has grown from 3 to 35 regular participants.

“Josh brings years of experience to the table. He has been featured in High Times and Mother Jones magazines,” said Nia. “It’s rewarding to have patients leaving testimony on our Facebook page about how much they like the club and Josh.”

Each month’s workshop series is dedicated to a new subject with coverage of usually three weekly subtopics followed by a review at the end of the month. Crop Circle workshops have included: “Grow Room Design on a Dime,” “Crop Shop” (how to choose the right equipment), “This Old Greenhouse,” and “The War on Bugs” (how to fight pests and bacteria, disease, molds and mildews safely).

August Topic: “Seeds & Planting”

Aug 7 – Phenotypes & Genetics
Aug 14 – Germination (methods & timing)
Aug 21 – Transplanting (when & how)
Aug 28 – Review: Seeds & Planting

September Topic: “The Growing Plant”

Sep 4 – Light cycle & ventilation
Sep 11 – Nutrients & N:P:K Ratio
Sep 18 – Watering & feeding schedule (nutrient calendar)
Sep 25 – Review: The Growing Plant

“I love teaching Crop Circles,” said Jones. “It gives me a chance to help each grower change their focus from quantity to quality.”

Shelves and health

Take a yoga class, learn how to caramelize onions, or set off for a group hike.

The offerings, which sound like they should be on a spa schedule, will be featured at the Whole Foods supermarket in Dedham starting on Monday.

Whole Foods Market Inc., based in Austin, Texas, has chosen its largest New England store to debut the grocery store chain’s first Wellness Club – a concept that combines health with commerce.

“This isn’t about weights and scales and measures,’’ said Whole Foods’ Heather Hardy, who is overseeing what Whole Foods bills as a lifestyle club. “It’s about empowering people to make healthier choices.’’

Access to that empowerment comes at a price: It costs $199 to become a member of the Wellness Club, and monthly dues are $45.

As at a gym, club members check in at a front desk, but in this case it’s steps from the salad bar, near the fish. Inside the glassed-in, 950-square-foot space – with sage-colored walls and fresh-cut flowers – they can access a reference library, undergo a lifestyle evaluation, or take a cooking class.

Part of the concept is to learn how to prepare a dish – such as mango quinoa porridge – from a chef in a sleek kitchen, and then head out into the store to find, and buy, the ingredients.

“The key is what you are eating,’’ said Alona Pulde, a Los Angeles doctor who helped shape the concept for Whole Foods. “It’s the how and why,’’ behind a healthy lifestyle, Pulde said.

Help from visiting nutritionists, lectures on how to handle late-night cravings, and even day trips to leaf peep are part of the club’s offerings. A personal coach can create an eating plan and club members can sign up for one-on-one cooking session with chef Ryan Parker at an additional cost.

“Since it’s located in an actual grocery store people can take the practical knowledge learned and put it into practice when they shop,’’ said Whole Foods founder John Mackey in an e-mail.

A thousand products that meet the club’s code of health – whole foods, plants, nutrient-dense foods, and healthy fats -have been tagged with the Wellness Club seal of approval.

Club members receive a 10 percent discount on those items, from produce to the bulk aisle. It helps shoppers “cut though all the marketing hype,’’ said Jeff Novick, a Florida dietitian overseeing the launch. “People are saying ‘I just want someone to help me,’ ’’ Novick said.

Heidi Feinstein, a Boston nutritionist and holistic therapist, called the concept “brilliant’’ and said it is “exactly what consumers want and need.’’

Mayo Clinic opening high-tech outpost at Mall of America

Mayo Clinic is making its debut in the Twin Cities health marketplace Thursday with a high-tech health-and-wellness display at the Mall of America.

The internationally known medical center based in Rochester gave reporters a peek at its “Create Your Mayo Clinic Health Experience” the day before its opening. The facility sports three-dimensional computer monitors, kiosks for the casual shopper and “navigator” specialists to help people assess their health and map out a wellness program.

“We consider this a lab as we try to decide what we want to offer in a permanent facility, if we do that,” said Dr. David Hayes, medical director for the mall project.

The idea is to gather customer and patient opinion to guide development of a facility Mayo would like to build in the Phase II expansion of Mall of America, officials said.

Mayo has been creeping closer to the Twin Cities market in recent weeks. Last month, Mayo Clinic Health System, which has 70 medical facilities in the Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, acquired the former Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague. That Scott County hospital has three branch clinics in Belle Plaine, Le Sueur and Montgomery.

Also in July, Mayo opened a $10 million oncology treatment center in Northfield, near the campus of Northfield Hospital.

The Twin Cities market already has big health care providers, including Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Fairview Health Services, which includes University of Minnesota Medical Center, and Park Nicollet Health Services.

But Mayo says its strategy is different.

“We are not competing,” said John La Forgia, Mayo’s chief marketing officer and a project strategist. “We have something unique. This is about health and wellness, not the kind of service provided by a hospital. … We are not developing a major new hospital.”

But anyone stopping at the mall can easily connect with Mayo doctors and resources in Rochester, Hayes said. Mayo has a two-year lease on its first-floor space and on a more traditional office nearby.

Standing by a computer monitor in one of the three traditional exam rooms, Hayes explained the Rochester connection. By using video technology, doctors in Rochester can get the pulse or blood pressure of a patient in the mall medical office. The doctors can see video of a skin lesion or other symptoms and diagnose conditions with some assistance from a medical worker at the mall office, he said.

La Forgia declined to put a price tag on the mall project cost or what kinds of revenue its expects to generate there. Patients would typically pay for mall services out of pocket, he said.

Mayo has a letter of intent with the Mall of America giving the clinic first choice of a space in the upcoming mall expansion, he added.

“We would like to do it, but there is no commitment that we will definitely do it,” he said.

Mayo has retained the Campbell Mithun advertising agency to publicize its new venture, La Forgia said. Mayo is also the only provider allowed to offer health fairs or any other health-related activity at the mall for two years, Hayes said.

The “Health Experience” space is based on extensive market research over nearly two years. Mayo interviewed mall shoppers and held focus groups from a wide age range of people in Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and London. The goal is to find out what kind of health care and delivery vehicle people want going into the 21st century.

“This is a global destination,” La Forgia said of the mall. “We think of ourselves globally.”

He noted that London was chosen because England sends more people to the Mall of America than most other nations.

Mayo’s Health Experience is sandwiched between a teddy bear store and the American Girl doll shop.

The kiosks and wellness experts offer shoppers a convenient way to move health care delivery away from hospitals and doctor’s offices. The space offers quick access to as much or little medical information and service as consumers desire.

“We talk to people at the mall and at other malls and ask, ‘What would you want?’” Hayes said. “This is a lab to find out what will work in this space [and] to keep Mayo relevant and give people more information about their health and wellness using high quality materials.”

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Wellness Today

2011-03-10 / Wellness / 0 Comments

Nashville should strive to be a national leader in wellness

Health care is the business of Nashville. Our city is home to more than 250 health-care companies that represent diverse segments of the industry and operate on a multi-state, national and international scale.

Although Nashville has an impressive record of health-care enterprises and economic development, it doesn’t have nearly the same standing when it comes to its own health.

One Nashville-based company — Healthways — has decided that wellness also is a business. In 2008, it began a national health and well-being index. It now measures each state and 185 U.S. cities.

In the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Tennessee ranks 42nd of 50 states, and Nashville ranks 63rd of the 185 metropolitan areas.

In March Madness terms, we’re not even on the bubble.

Historically, Healthways has worked to manage chronic disease and improve the health status of corporate populations and covered lives.

However, Healthways is extending its efforts to cover entire communities, and even states.

In January, Healthways announced it had taken over disease and care management, as well as health promotion and prevention for Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest insurer.

The programs, known as HealthPass and CareConnection, provide wellness support for about 700,000 lives, which is nearly
60 percent of Hawaiians.

Additionally, Healthways has been working with the tri-cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Calif., to develop a systemic program to improve health and well-being for the entire community.

Finally, Healthways has entered into an agreement with the state of Iowa under which it will develop a 10-year program with the goal of giving Iowa the No. 1 well-being ranking of all states. The program will begin in the next 12 months and will have as its initial focus the six largest metropolitan areas in that state.

In the coming months here, Mayor Karl Dean will be standing for re-election. Likewise, Nashville has a new resident in Gov. Bill Haslam, who is known for his attention to personal health and fitness.

Perhaps it’s time for our public and private leaders to ask this inevitable question: If Nashville is our nation’s health-care capital, shouldn’t it also be one of the nation’s healthiest cities? Given the city’s health standing, the challenge is not insignificant.

The health-care knowledge, resources and requisite energy are present. Let’s begin a community dialogue on how our business leaders, as well as our nonprofit and government institutions, can make Nashville a national leader in well-being and health status.

Good Samaritan Mission debuts wellness program for preschoolers

One door may have closed at Good Samaritan Mission, but it led to the recent opening of another.

The mission, 14920 Balm-Wimauma Road, shuttered its day care program in August for financial reasons. The program had served the community for more than 15 years.

However, William Cruz, executive director of the mission, said the organization went back to the drawing board and restructured the day care program.

The result was the Feb. 21 opening of Good Samaritan Mission Wellness Preschool, which serves ages 3 to 5.

“In August 2012 we’re going to open it up to kindergarten students, and the goal is to add one grade level every year all the way up to fifth grade,” said Sarah Ashe, principal of the preschool.

Right now the wellness preschool employs three and has nine children enrolled, with a capacity to accommodate 37. That maximum capacity will grow to 90 students when the program begins expanding next year.

The school is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $120 weekly for 3-year-olds, but free for those 4 and 5. The curriculum includes Doors to Discovery – an early childhood program that focuses on the development of vocabulary and language – and My Father’s World, a Christian-based curriculum.

Additionally, children enrolled in the wellness preschool will receive one dental examination and two wellness checkups per year.

Cruz said these services will be free for the children and their families.

“The goal is to not only provide a high-quality education but to try and serve all the needs of the kids in the community,” Ashe said.

Rise and shine to wellness as a way of life – Day-long Calcutta Yoga Festival at ITC Sonar to draw from various schools of practice

Want to experience Madonna’s secret to that fab frame at 50? Or Jennifer Aniston’s mind-bo methods? Then rise and shine to the “yoga way of life” with Calcutta Yoga Festival 2011.

Part of the KKN presents The Telegraph Good Life Festival 2011, in association with Amity Kolkata bouquet, it is being held on Sunday the 13th from 7am to 6pm at the Pala banquets of ITC Sonar Calcutta.

The idea is to bring together some of the best yoga schools of the country, propagating different approaches to healthy living and positive thinking, all under one roof.

“Yoga is for overall well-being. What is important is how through the practice of yoga, wellness can be achieved by man. That is the aim of yoga,” said Birjoo Mehta of Pune’s Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, who will be opening the festival at 7.30am.

“This is a good concept to introduce yoga and reach out to a wider audience. It will give people an idea about what yoga is all about. The schools may be slightly different here and there, but the approach to yoga is the same,” he added.

About “60 practices” will be demonstrated in the two-hour sessions — 7.30am to 8.30am and 9.30am to 10.30am — by the institute from Pune.

Vijaya Magar and team from The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, “the oldest organised centre of yoga in the world”, will take the stage from 11am. The school’s closing session will be conducted by its director, Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra.

Premsundar Das of Yoga Research & Rehabilitation Centre, Calcutta, will demonstrate a combination of “meditative postures”, “power yoga” and “therapeutic postures” with his team from 4pm.

“Promoting health… to feel good and look good is vital. Shobai ke niye bhalo thakbo. Healthy society and healthy nation. Wellness for the body and the mind for all is what I will emphasise,” said Das.

The Calcutta Yoga Festival will close with a session by Rishi Putra from the Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, who will be demonstrating “15 practices” including asanas and pranayams. “The practice of yoga teaches one to be healthy. Yoga is the science of health. It serves mankind,” rounded off Rishi Putra.

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Natural Remedies Today

2011-02-03 / Wellness / 0 Comments

Home remedies that work

In this complicated world we live in, here are a few amazingly simple home remedies that really work. A friend sent them to me and vouched they’re for real, so I’m sharing them this week with all our readers. Enjoy.

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.

For high blood pressure sufferers, simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure on your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mousetrap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you’ll be afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life – WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape.

If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.

Donating organs

I recently renewed my driver’s license and discovered now you can do everything by mail including even donating your organs by simply checking a donor’s box.

Did you know…

19 people die everyday waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S

Millions of people in the U.S. need an organ transplant, but only 100,000 are registered on the government’s current deceased organ donor list because there are too few deceased donor organs.

MatchingDonors.com has become the world’s largest and most successful nonprofit organization promoting and registering living organ donation.

Currently, patients waiting for an organ donation are placed on a national waiting list through the United Network for Organ Sharing.

A computer system matches patients to donor organs according to objective criteria such as blood and tissue type, immune status, medical urgency and time spent on the waiting list – the average time to receive a deceased organ is seven to nine years on this list.

This ranking system determines which patients are offered available organs. This process is extremely important in anyone’s organ search, but now MatchingDonors.com offers a way to enhance the search with a more active approach – the average time a person receives an organ from MatchingDonors.com is less than six months.

In collaboration with a number of health officials, MatchingDonors.com (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) has launched a public education campaign throughout the United States to help people recognize that they can be a living organ donor and to encourage them to register as a living organ donor.

Kitchen Cures:Taking advantage of natural remedies

Piercing wind chills and teeth-chattering temperatures aside, the unavoidable spread of disease is the bane of every student’s existence during these long winter months.

Only when an illness strikes hard enough to challenge our pain/discomfort tolerances do we consider medical attention, but antibiotics, experts say, are not the answer for all problems.

The Mayo Clinic advises a doctor’s visit for bacterial infections such as strep throat and UTIs, but explains that viral infections, such as the common cold, influenza and some ear infections just take rest and time for the body to heal.

Home remedies may be the best solution for those who don’t want to risk antibiotic resistance or who are without health insurance, and they are easy and cheap enough for anyone to try.

Below are a collection of popular suggestions for natural medicines meant to relieve aches and pains during the recovery process.
Ear infection

It’s best to visit a doctor for an earache in order to find out if it’s a bacterial/fungal infection such as swimmer’s ear or a viral infection, which are often a result of a cold.

• Steam: Microwave a wet cloth in a mug until it steams, then place over ear for a few minutes and afterwards, let the ear drain.

• Onions: Bake an onion in oven at 350 for an hour or microwave until it can be pricked easily with a fork. Then place onion in a mug and slice it open so it steams. Place your ear over the mug until no more steam is being produced. This should relieve pain immediately and prevent further infection.

• Lemons: Squeeze some lemon juice in your ear, then let it drain after a few seconds. The lemon’s acidity neutralizes the base properties of the bacteria, making it a very harsh environment for their survival.
Coughs/sore throat

• Ginger: It’s easy to prepare this as a tea. To do this, cut pieces of raw ginger into small pieces and dump into boiling water before adding tea leaves.

• Okra: Boil down sliced up pieces of okra, also known as lady’s fingers, into a pot and inhale the steam once or twice a day to help with throat irritation. Okra can be found at most Columbus grocery stores for $2.99 per pound.
Allergies or sinus infections

• Neti Pot: To relieve nasal congestion, a neti pot, which resembles an Aladdinesque teapot-lamp, is used to pour a saline solution up the nose. Just mix one cup warm water for every ¼ teaspoon non-iodized salt. This stream of water then flows out the other nostril, resulting in a clean, pain-free nasal passage.

• To illustrate how effectively this technique works, take into account the thousands of years Indian yogis have been using this practice to cleanse their naval cavities. Neti pots can be found locally at Walgreens for $7 and CVS for $13 but a wider selection and price range is available online as well.

• Fennel or caraway seeds: The best way these seeds work is to put about a teaspoon of them in a cup and pour in boiling water. Cover the cup, wait 10 minutes, then thoroughly strain out the seeds before drinking this concoction. Drink about three cups a day on an empty stomach for best results.

• Cinnamon: Stir in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder into a cup of hot cocoa or hot water for tea. The properties of this Southeast Asian spice help your digestive tract function smoothly. The water will also help with this. In fact, 6 to 8 glasses daily is the recommended amount to maintain healthy intestines.

• Herbal tea: Even something as simple as drinking ginger, thyme or mint tea on an empty stomach can help calm the stomach.

• Baking soda: This recipe can be used for all flu-like symptoms. To make your own Alka-Seltzer, mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a ½ cup of water. For a citrus flavor, just add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. This advice is not recommended for people watching sodium intake or those with high blood pressure.

• Duct tape: Place a small rectangle of duct tape over the wart and change every three hours. To avoid curious inquiries, you can keep a band aid over the area. One study found this treatment more effective than the liquid-nitrogen freezing process most doctors use (http://archpedi.ama-assn.org).

• Pineapple: Apply fresh pineapple to the wart for several times a day. This should remove the wart in about two to three days.

• Camphor oil: Coat the area with camphor oil every few days and the wart should disappear within a week.

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Wellness Today

2010-11-30 / Wellness / 0 Comments

BioVeda Health and Wellness Center of Cerritos Introduces Smoking Cessation Program

BioVeda Health and Wellness Centers, LLC is pleased to announce the introduction of a new smoking cessation program now available at BioVeda Health and Wellness Center of Cerritos. The center, headed by Dr. James Augustine, is successfully managing patient health through a holistic program which combines acupuncture, applied kinesiology and homeopathy to boost the immune system, promote natural detoxification and increase core level energy, often resulting in the alleviation of symptoms associated with such conditions as allergies, IBS, chronic fatigue, migraines, skin conditions, and general pain and inflammation.

This clinic utilizes meridian and energy stress assessment to measure the patient’s neurological reactions to specific environmental substances and to determine which substances are negatively impacting the patient. The substances that trigger a physiological stress spike, which is measured by the body’s impedance to each substance, are recorded and then presented back to the patient during low level light therapy. Light therapy conditions the autonomic nervous system to react normally to the otherwise harmless substances.

The system is designed to reduce physiological stress, not to be confused with anxiety, which not only weakens the immune system, but is also the trigger for food allergies, seasonal allergies, pet allergies, asthma, eczema, migraines, shingles, celiac and numerous other auto-immune related conditions. How these specific substances affect the stress levels placed on our immune system has a direct impact on the quality of our daily lives.

The smoking cessation program uses light therapy and homeopathic remedies to help a person quit, while reducing cravings, side effects, stress and irritability. It helps to remove harmful toxins known to build in the blood, tissue and cells through habitual use of tobacco products. It is faster than traditional methodologies, requiring 3 visits over a one week period, along with the use of a herbal remedy and homeopathic supplement.

“I have a holistic healthcare practice and believe in the future of energy medicine. It fits into my practice to help me discover the causes of healthcare problems. Since the core of healing in the body is the central nervous system, interference to it causes ill health. This therapy assists in removing interferences to allow the body to heal. I’m especially excited to now have a smoking cessation program for those struggling with this addiction,” states Dr. Augustine.
BioVeda Health and Wellness Centers are being established across the country through BioVeda Health and Wellness Centers, LLC., based in Boca Raton, FL. Each clinic is independently owned and operated by a licensed physician. BioVeda, which means “knowledge and wisdom of the body,” reflects the vision and commitment of the BioVeda Health and Wellness Center of Cerritos to alternative health care methods that can help thousands of patients reduce their level of suffering from common and debilitating symptoms and increase their overall health and wellness. Patients receive a customized treatment plan which best fit their individual symptoms and conditions; however, many patients notice significant results after just a single therapeutic session. The cost for therapy is very affordable and results are long-lasting.

CDC Wants You for Wellness Study

The thirst for wellness information and advice never seems to be quenched. There is a new national opportunity to help provide data and learn more.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States. To avoid the high costs of treating these conditions, employers must consider providing worksite prevention services and interventions to promote employee health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with Emory University, state health departments and worksite experts have developed the CDC Worksite HealthScoreCard (HSC) to support efforts in these areas. The HSC examines worksite health promotion interventions (programs, policies and environmental supports) that employers can put in place to promote a healthy workforce, reduce health care costs and increase productivity.

In the first phase of this project, the CDC/Emory study team held meetings and focus groups with subject matter experts and potential end-users to develop the survey tool, establish a weighting and scoring methodology and improve the tool’s scientific evidence base, usability and relevance. The second phase of this project will focus on field-testing the tool in order to evaluate its reliability and validity in preparation for public dissemination. They have invited Indiana businesses to participate in this study.

Health on Monday: The push-up – A symbol of health and wellness

They can be done anywhere as they do not require any equipment of any kind and the many variations of the push-up allow you to target different muscle groups of your body. If you are a beginner, performing traditional push-ups can be a challenging endeavour since they require considerable upper body strength to perform correctly. Luckily there are many levels of progression that make this exercise effective for both beginners as well as advanced athletes.

Movement analysis and muscle involvement

The push-up brings about two primary movements in the body:

1 Horizontal adduction of the shoulder: This movement is brought about through contraction of the pectoralis major (chest muscle) and the anterior deltoid (frontal head of the shoulder muscle). The degree to which either of these 2 muscles are loaded depends on the angle of the arms to the torso and the width of the hand placement

2 Elbow extension: Elbow extension refers to the straightening of the elbow joint during exertion and happens during the lifting phase of the body. The primary muscle responsible for this muscle is the tricep, located in the posterior side of the upper arm.

Besides these primary muscles, a whole lot of other muscles are involved in the push-up movement. The shoulder girdle is locked in position through contraction of the serratus anterior, located on the upper part of your rib cage, just under your arm pits. Your body is kept in a straight position through contraction of the rectus abdominus, the “six-pack” muscle on the anterior part of your torso and the contraction of the hip flexors which prevent your hips from crashing to the ground during the movement. Your quadriceps or anterior thigh muscles contract in order to keep your knees from bending during the movement.


In a typical push-up position, body weight is distributed between hands and feet. By tilting the body’s position the loading between hands and feet can be altered, which affects the amount of weight the arms have to lift during the exercise. During the typical push-up about 60% of the body’s weight is transferred to the arms, with the remaining 40% being borne by the feet. Once the body is inclined, the load applied to the arms is reduced, therefore facilitating execution of the movement. On the contrary, the loading of the arms can be increased by tilting the body in a way to elevate the foot position in comparison to the hand position.

Beginner’s variation on your feet

Stand against a table or other similar elevated object. Place your hands on the table and tilt your body forward on the balls of your feet so that you form a right angle between your torso and your arms. Keep your body in a perfectly straight line, taking care not to stick out your bum. Now bend your elbows, lowering your chest towards your hands and keep your abdominals braced. Once your elbows are bent around 90 degrees, push back up into the original position.

Beginner’s variation on your knees

Kneel on the floor and position a box or other sturdy, elevated object, about 30-40cm in height in from of you. You can also use your stairs for this exercise by kneeling in front of them and placing your hands on the first step, shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the step, whilst slightly sticking out your butt. You can pivot the movement from your hips, which further reduces the load on your arms.

Advanced variation: Spiderman push-up

This variation is great for challenging the core muscles besides working all the other muscles used in the conventional push-up. Assume a push-up position on the floor supporting yourself on your hands and toes. Whilst lowering your body towards the floor, lift off one foot and bring your knee forward towards the elbow of the arm on the same side. Your whole body should tilt slightly forward on your hands to maximize engagement of the core muscles. Return your foot to the floor and repeat with the other side.

Various other modifications to the push up exist. These can include props like stability balls, TRX suspension trainers, dumbbells, kettlebells and more. They can add variety and fun to your workout and help to challenge your body from various angles to keep improvements coming long term.

The push-up not only replaces but surpasses most fitness equipment in terms of effectiveness, functional application and workout options and should be a staple exercise of any fitness programme. It is equally relevant for both men and women and effective for building whole body strength and burning calories.

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Wellness Today

2010-10-01 / Wellness / 0 Comments

Fair To Promote Mental Wellness

The Mental Health Association of Santa Barbara will host the 17th annual Mental Health Arts Festival this weekend to encourage discourse about mental illness in the community and provide those affected with a platform for expression.

The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at De la Guerra Plaza downtown. The event will feature artwork, crafts, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and music created by local people affected by mental illnesses.
According to Annmarie Cameron, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County, the festival is intended to eradicate social stigmas surrounding mental illness.

“Stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help with their mental illness when they need it, and that is why education is so important,” Cameron said. “The Mental Health Arts Festival not only helps raise awareness, but it also gives our participants a time to creatively express themselves in unique and beautiful ways and to share that directly with our community.”

The Mental Health Association is a nonprofit, private organization that provides housing and support for persons with severe mental illnesses. The group receives approximately 1,000 calls every year from individuals seeking mental health resources.

The festival attracts hundreds of people each year and advertises the Mental Health Association’s resources, such as the Family Advocate Program, Recovery Learning Center and housing opportunities.

The Recovery Learning Center at the Fellowship Club is the only rehabilitation and social center for people with mental illnesses in Santa Barbara, providing a space for peer-to-peer support, resources and craft spaces. Many of the people that frequent the club will have their art featured at this weekend’s festival.

“We are proud to host an event filled with self-expression and creation that provides people in our community living with mental illness with a feeling of accomplishment and a means for healing,” Cameron said.

N.C. Health Plan Selects ActiveHealth for Wellness Initiative

North Carolina’s State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, headquartered in Durham, N.C., has selected New York-based ActiveHealth Management to provide disease management, case management and wellness services for its members beginning January 1.

ActiveHealth’s CareEngine system will power the disease management and wellness programs for the plan’s NC HealthSmart initiative. ActiveHealth will work with provider groups and networks across the state to integrate a patient-centered medical home model of care for members. Providers and groups that engage in the PCMH model will have access to a set of online tools through Active CareTeam — they will be able to access patient information, including data from electronic medical records, lab tests, clinical alerts and pharmacy data, and communicate with other clinicians on a member’s care team.

“Improving the quality of health for our members requires change on an individual level and throughout the health care delivery system,” Jack W. Walker, PhD, executive administrator for the plan, says in a statement. “ActiveHealth will help drive our transformation, supporting and empowering physicians who are offering or are interested in implementing a community-based PCMH model. This includes the delivery of case management and disease management services through the practices.”

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