10 ways to better at-home healing

In Philippine Star Column on March 23, 2012 at 12:50 am

Your home can either be a haven for good health or a place to actually hide from being healthy. Since daily life is already challenging enough as temptation lies around every street corner, here are some fail-safe changes you can make to make your living space your healing place as well.

1. Stock up on green tea. Get the real leaves if you can, instead of tea bags, from a herbal store and take the time to seep it properly in a pot for at least five minutes. Aside from being a great anti-oxidant it also acts as a natural appetite suppressant so you can keep cravings (especially for that bag of chips in your pantry) at bay while hanging out at home.

2. Do Viparitti Karani better known as “Waterfall pose” as often as you can. This yoga asana works on flushing out toxins, improving circulation and refreshing the blood. All you need is a wall and a small pillow. Lie down on the floor (with a mat so you don’t gather dust) and place the back of your legs as flat as possible on the wall, like your body is forming the letter L. Then, position the pillow right underneath your tailbone raising it up so now you’re forming the letter J. Place your left hand above your heart and your right on your belly. Inhale and exhale deeply and close your eyes if you wish for about 10-15 minutes. This simple, relaxing pose soothes tired legs and feet, heals internal organs (even the digestive system) and boosts circulation all over. It’s a great anti-aging move especially since its gravity defying position sends blood to the face and head.

3. Practice 20-20-20 to save your eyesight. Admit it, you’re practically chained to your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Staring at that screen for long periods of time can lead to eyestrain and worse, vision deterioration. Remember that after 20 minutes of surfing or texting, look away from the screen and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This quick exercise strengthens eye muscles and also reduces your exposure to radiation being emitted from your screen.

4. DIY reflexology. It’s common knowledge that applying pressure on certain points of the hand, head and feet can help heal certain ailments, aches and pains. You can actually do this yourself just by purchasing a reflexology hand or foot chart from your local book store. Check out the chart and zero in on the point that needs to be pressed for example the area that represents the stomach. Then, apply pressure with your thumb on that point for five seconds then release for three seconds. Repeat this for two to three minutes and you should start feeling relief. If the ailment is chronic then it would be good to continue this for several days.

Harvest your health: Enhance what you eat with regular intake of this superseed.

5. Power-pack your meals with a spoonful of chia seeds. This ancient grown crop  has regained popularity as it considered one of the highest plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, fiber and anti-oxidants. Just a spoonful can give you an energy boost in the morning or anytime during the day. Stir some into a glass of water or juice or add it to your cereal, salad, soup or main course. An added bonus is that it has fewer carbohydrates than most other grains, is low in sodium and is gluten free. A bag (P995/680grams) can last several months and doesn’t get rancid, so keeping one at your breakfast nook is a good reminder to make it a daily part of your diet. To order Azchia Chia seeds call  0917-5937272 or 0917-5101200 or e-mail:

It's all in the wrist. Wearable weights to give you more caloric burn time.

6. Get more caloric burn with wrist weights. Available at any local sports store, wrist weights (get the thumb- lock version) are a great way to add a little more work to your workout.. Take them out for a brisk walk, even just for twenty minutes, or use them while doing simple chores around the house. If you’ve got an exercise DVD video or download you follow, putting on these weights will raise your heart rate because of the extra effort needed. Think toned arms and shoulders while you move and you may never want to take them off! (Wrist weights can cost P350-500 depending on the weight)

7. Burn fat while breathing Ujjayyi-style. This breathing technique, also called “the ocean breath” (because of the sound produced during inhalation and exhalation), is commonly practiced by those who do yoga or tai chi. It is a deep diaphragmatic breath that starts by filling up the lower belly with air and coursing it powerfully through the upper chest, entering and exiting through the nostrils. Ujjayi is believed to increase the internal heat in one’s body whilst clearing out toxins. So yes, doing this often, can actually aid the body in burning fat and remove bloating and “phlegm” created by eating rich foods such as cheese and other dairy products.

8. Put your emotions into art. Remember how you would (if you would) journal out or nowadays blog about your feelings? Why not channel your emotions into something less public? Grab a bunch of crayons, or water color, oils, and a sketchpad and just “draw” what you feel. You may be pleasantly surprised at what is released and revealed as you use figures, strokes and colors to express yourself. Want a bigger release? Try sculpting, just buy your run-off-the-mill clay in different hues and create something by squeezing and molding. This powerful healing technique can actually be felt on a physical level akin to taking out your rage on let’s say, a punching bag.

9. Hydrate more. Being at home sometimes make you forget to take-in fluids throughout the day. Even if you’re just lazing around watching re-runs on TV doesn’t mean you don’t need to hydrate. Drinking water (and lots of it) regulates bodily functions thereby reducing bloating and keeps skin, hair and nails healthy and strong. Water is probably the most underrated beverage and should not be ignored. In this heat and humidity don’t stop at eight glasses a day, increase it to 10 or even 12, by replacing caffeinated and sweetened beverages with a big glass of H20.

(Don't) Say cheese! Choose less-fatty foods with this visual aid

10. Learn about food substitutes. It’s easy to pig-out when at home, especially if your pantry is stocked with junk and your ref filled with fast food. Reading Dr. Howard M. Shapiro’s book Picture Perfect Weight Loss (P699, Fully Booked) can give you a visual wake-up call as to how many calories you actually consume when the nibbles take over. Find out what you can replace to still get the taste without the unwanted and unnecessary fat. It’s a good reminder to have whenever you’re planning to eat out as well.  For example remember that one medium serving of French fries amounts to 360 calories, the same as four whole ears of corn.

If you plan to have a healthier household, raise your awareness of what you can change now,  and just do it. It doesn’t’ take too much effort or cost much either. Always remember everything starts at home.

SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated March 23, 2012 12:00 AM

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