We’ve all heard the long laundry list of physical and fitness benefits that come with practicing ancient arts like Hatha-Raja yoga and other forms of yoga. We’ve come to know that the practice is a great way to build muscle strength, boost flexibility and a whole host of other physical and fitness benefits. But what else is there to yoga? Does it begin and end with the physical?
What is there in yoga beyond the fitness dimension?
1. Healthier Self-Awareness and Body Image
At the core of the philosophy of yoga is a sense of self-awareness and in particular awareness of the unity between mind, body, and spirit. Yoga practitioners are, by and large, and as a result of their practice, much more self-aware of the state of their physical body, its abilities, and its weaknesses. Understanding their own bodies better also helps yogis to be less critical of their own bodies in that very harmful way in which many other people have become regarding their body image.
Where most people’s body image is informed by comparison to supermodels and celebrities, yoga practitioners tend to focus more on just themselves and the way they feel. If things feel good, then that’s all they need.
2. Better Mindfulness
Along with self-awareness, yoga also teaches its students to be mindful of everything around them and what they are experiencing in the present moment. You might think this starts and stops in the yoga studio, but in fact it frequently spills out into a yogi’s real everyday life. They start to become more mindful of other areas of life that turn out to be very beneficial.
One interesting area of everyday life where this manifests itself very clearly is in diet. Those who practice yoga are acutely aware of their bodies and their feelings towards various stimuli around them. It allows them to better savour their food, appreciating and understanding the smells, tastes and textures of every bite. It also makes them very well tuned to when it’s time (and not time) to eat. In other words, yogis are less likely to eat just for something to do or because they feel bored, as many others might, nor will they continue to eat when they feel full.
3. Benefits to Cardiovascular Health
Besides giving those special muscle groups and your core a great workout, yoga is also said to be beneficial to one’s cardiovascular health. It reportedly helps to reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension by restoring what is known as “baroreceptor sensitivity,” which is the body’s own sense of imbalances in blood pressure. Yoga can apparently help the body restore equilibrium more easily on its own.
Another key benefit that has been proposed is that of improved lipid profiles in patients with coronary artery disease, as well as lowering excess sugar levels in people with diabetes. For this reason, yoga has been incorporated into various rehabilitation programs designed to help people recovering from cardiac irregularities and disorders.
4. A Great Stress Reducer
It seems that there is also some consensus on the value of yoga as a stress reducer, and therefore a key component of improved mental health. It might even go as far as to help people with symptoms of depression and anxiety when facing stressful and difficult situations as many have done during the times of the global pandemic, lockdowns, working from home, and potentially losing income.
Both 2020 and 2021 have been stressful years, and yoga is something that most people can practice in the comfort of their home or yard. It’s therefore a great tool for people to start healing.
How to Choose the Right Psychologist
It’s hard for anyone to admit even to themselves when they need some help with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or dealing with past trauma. Even when we can admit that we need the help, to find the right clinical psychologist in Melbourne can also be challenging when there are apparently so many setting up shop offering their services.
How can we distinguish between the many providers to find the right one for us? Below are some useful tips and advice:
1. Credentials and Personality Fit
Some might consider these as two separate factors, but we’ve put them together because you absolutely need to assure both simultaneously. Your psychologist first needs to have the right education and training background for you to know that they are in a position to help you at all. That’s a fundamental and essential requirement. Therapy isn’t just talking to people, it’s a serious discipline and training.
Secondly, psychologists are people, too. They do have different styles and personalities and it’s important you find someone with whom you won’t clash on a personal level. Finding someone you can connect with on the personality level helps to build trust and foster better and more authentic communication between you. This can’t be overlooked.
2. Specific Experience and Expertise
On top of training, it’s important to know what kind of psychological therapy they specialise in. Are they a generalist helping all kinds of people? Or do they focus on one area like marriage counseling, behaviour disorders, trauma counseling, etc. You are most likely seeking the help of a psychologist for a specific thing, and so the professional having some experience and background in that area is a great help, and an added comfort and reassurance, too.
3. Treatment Methods
Next we come to the preferred treatment methods of the psychologist in question. Not every psychologist or therapist uses the same methods, and so it’s important to find one with whom you can work positively and without resistance. Some might prefer CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns. Alternatively, others may use DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) which aims to manage emotions and distress and build problem-solving skills.
There are many more methods used, including exposure and response therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, person-centred therapy and others. You should take time to learn about different therapies, which ones a psychologist favours, and then find one that aligns with what you think might work best for you as a treatment. If you’re going to be resistant or hesitant on treatments, then the process of therapy won’t be as effective for you.
It’s unfortunate to have to bring up the issue of cost, but it’s an undeniably important factor. Hiring a psychologist invariably means spending money, so you have to be well informed on costs. There’s no point going with someone who appears perfect but is miles out of your price range, because seeing that practitioner will just put you in financial trouble, or leave you with just a small handful of sessions that you can afford before being forced to stop.
The final factor to consider is the availability of a psychologist. This is another balancing act. On the one hand, you might not want someone who is wide open all the time because it suggests they have no one else in their books, which in turn raises questions on their quality of service. On the other hand, finding the busiest psychologist is counterproductive because he or she might not be available when you need them most. Strike a balance by finding the right qualified person with a good track record who can guarantee that your session will be at the right time for you.
Signs of a Great Dentist
Does anyone really like going to the dentist? Regardless of what we think, we do need to go, and we need to go regularly to be sure of healthy teeth and gums. Let’s say we’re looking for a new dentist in Frankston, and we want of course to choose the best dentist in Frankston, but how can we be sure of achieving that?
Here are some things you need to be looking for as signs of a truly great dentist.
1. Clean, Tidy and Organized Office
First impressions are important and a good dentist knows that. This is why a truly great dentist puts a lot of attention and effort into making their reception and waiting area somewhere that’s pleasant and somewhere people don’t mind waiting. They make good provision for their customers, perhaps a water dispenser and a great selection of up-to-date magazines and publications. Is there anything more depressing than finding a 10-year-old fashion mag and a completed crossword puzzle book strewn about with a few newspapers?
On top of that, the environment will be well cared for, and will include flowers, air fresheners, pleasant but not overbearing lighting, and so on. The more a dentist has done to make their front-end as attractive as possible, the more they clearly care about their client experience.
2. They Listen and Connect with You
One thing people worry about at the dentist is being told they need unnecessary work done to their teeth, which then inevitably costs a fortune. They are convinced that some dentists are just trying to make as much money as possible, even if it harms you. A good way to avoid this is to find dentists who focus more on listening to you rather than trying to get you to listen to them.
Yes, a dentist needs to give you feedback on your oral health, and they need to advise you on a good course of action, but they should be listening more and laser-focused on your questions and concerns first and foremost. A dentist who listens and connects with you on that level is likely a great one.
3. They Offer Practical Advice
When you meet with different dentists, you’ll notice a difference in styles of communication. One type of dentist is more critical and tells you everything that’s wrong with your teeth and gums. Another kind of dentist may first inform you of problems but then is more focused on providing you with helpful solutions and advice on how to remedy the situation. They are not surprised, nor do they offer judgement on the situation, but just focus on getting you a solution that will help.
4. They’re Good with Kids
Most of us are a bit scared of the dentist, but it’s even more pronounced with kids. A great dentist makes special provision for kids in their charge, and has a manner with kids that helps put them at ease. A lot of adults hate the dentist because of a bad experience they had when they were kids, among other things. Dentists who work hard at getting kids to understand why the dentist matters, and why they don’t need to be afraid are the ones who are committed to providing a better service for all their clients.
5. They Want to Build Long-Term Connections
Customers don’t want to be just another file in the folder. Dentists that can take the time to really connect with and get to know their patients are much better. They don’t just pressure you to get work done and make more appointments, but follow up with reminders of when it’s the right time to come see them, inquire about your well-being and show an interest, and most importantly give signs of recognition to established patients.
What Vitamin A Does for Your Skin
Vitamin A is a key ingredient in many beauty products. Its other name is Retinol and it’s something of a super-ingredient with many skin-boosting properties. Some people might just take vitamin A directly as part of their daily regimen, or they might use something specially prepared like Nip Fab retinol day cream as an option instead.
The benefits can be brought in many ways, but what are they exactly?
Vitamin A Helps to Normalise Skin Cell Function
When you get enough vitamin A, your body is able to produce new and fresh skin cells more rapidly, preventing it from becoming overly dry and flaky. Their function is also improved so that they behave more like younger skin cells, which helps your skin to look more vibrant and youthful.
Let’s be clear, vitamin A is a helpful ingredient in rejuvenating your skin but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Combining it with plenty of water consumption, enough sleep and a diet rich in both forms of vitamin A (retinoids and carotenoids) will ensure that you get a sufficient amount. Deficiencies can cause your skin cell production to be weakened, which causes some of the problems we mentioned above.
Vitamin A Can Help Improve Acne
Acne is a skin condition mostly associated with the teenage years, but many people suffer skin breakouts and issues with acne in their adult lives, too. Vitamin A is a useful tool in the fight against acne as it helps to normalise oil production in the skin, which brings back a healthier balance and makes it easier to keep skin clean and clear.
Breakouts of acne can occur quite suddenly and be a great source of distress for people, especially since serious acne can leave pockmarks and scarring if not dealt with properly. The best method is prevention, of course, and that’s where vitamin A can help.
Vitamin A Helps in Collagen Production
Those who are concerned about unwanted lines appearing on their face will be glad to know that a good dose of vitamin A can be an effective weapon against them. How’s that? Vitamin A helps to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin by stimulating the fibroblast cells that produce both of these things. More collagen and elastin means firmer-looking and more radiant skin.
Wrinkles are inevitable, of course, but vitamin A — especially retinoids — are a great way to help slow or reduce them. That’s a welcome comfort if you feel wrinkles are visiting you somewhat early in life.
Vitamin A Can Boost the Skin’s Immune Response
Most of us have a healthy fear of disease and illness, but skin diseases and disorders in particular frighten us because of how visible they are and how hard they can be to conceal depending on where they appear. That visibility can bring a lot of disruption to people’s lives and can trigger stigmas from others that we all hope we never have to face. The good news is that vitamin A has been shown to help in preventing these problems.
Carotenoids in particular found in carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables are understood to prevent cell damage, as well as diseases such as hyperkeratosis which can cause unsightly papules to appear on the skin.
It’s Easy to Boost Vitamin A
The best news of all is that it’s relatively easy to increase your intake of vitamin A each day. Consumption of fish, beef liver, eggs and dairy for retinoids, and the vegetables we mention above for carotenoids is just the start. You can also supplement vitamin A, as well as use topical solutions applied directly to the skin. It’s no miracle cure, but it’s a great start.
Yoga: Benefits Beyond Fitness
How to Choose the Right Psychologist
Signs of a Great Dentist
What Vitamin A Does for Your Skin
Ways to Enjoy Dried Fruit as a Snack
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