Archive for April, 2014

Herbs for Organs

Brain: Gingo Bilobs , Ginseng, Cayanne Pepper, and Kelp

Heart: Cacao, Garlic, Motherwart, and Turmeric

Lungs: Mullein, Yarrow, Yebra Santa, and Peppermint

Liver: Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Artichoke, and Burdock Root

Stomach: Chamomile, Licorice, Goldenseal, and Fennel

Kidney: Ginger, Bilberry, Cranberry, and Astragalus 

How Your Office Is Harming Your Health

How Your Office Is Harming Your Health

Many of us spend a large chunk of our waking lives at work, but rarely do we give much thought to how our on-the-clock environment might be affecting how we feelaround the clock.

If the recent literature has anything to say about it, working in offices could bemaking us feel pretty crappy. Open office plans (and cubicles, to a certain extent) may be the worst offenders when it comes to harming employee wellness and productivity, and some studies on the fallbacks of the popular design have called the entire structure of American work life into question.

“The thinking goes that employees will be happier and more productive if they work together instead of being separated by thick office walls. Except they aren’t,” Fast Company wrote of the open office trend. “Far more workers stuck in cubicles and open office spaces are dissatisfied with their work environments than people in enclosed private offices.”

As a result, flexible work schedules and alternative office designs that incorporate greater privacy and calming elements are becoming more desirable and commonplace alternatives to spending 40+ hours a week in a cubicle or on an open office floor. And with entrepreneurial and freelance career paths becoming viable options for more American workers and some millennials ditching the 9-to-5, a redefining of the American workplace may indeed be slowly underway.

The negative impacts of various office environments on health and productivity alone provide a compelling argument for the need to change the way we spend our work days. Here are five ways working in an office could be harming your health and happiness.

Open offices could be making you unproductive and unhappy.

A 2011 review of studies examining the effects of various types of office environments found that open offices — though they do tend to foster a spirit of innovation and a collective mission — can have a negative impact on workers when it comes to focus, productivity, creativity and job satisfaction, the New Yorker reported. Employees in open offices may also experience higher stress levels and less concentration and motivation than those working in standard offices. This may be in part due to the fact that interruptions are more frequently experienced by employees in open offices, which can be a major hindrance to productivity.

2013 study of 42,000 U.S. workers also found that employees with private offices were more satisfied at work than those who worked in open spaces.

Your work environment could be upping your stress levels.

More than eight in 10 U.S. workers report being stressed about their jobs, and a recentMonster.com poll found that 42 percent of U.S. workers have left a job due to an excessively stressful environment. The same poll also found that 61 percent of American workers believe that work stress has been a cause of illness for them.

The physical office environment could play a significant roll in spiking stress levels for some workers.

Cornell studycited by the New Yorker, also found that workers who were exposed to the noise level of an open office for three hours had higher levels of the hormone known as adrenaline, which is associated with the body’s stress response.

You may be more susceptible to getting sick.

One in four U.S. employees goes to work sick, according to a recent survey by NSF International, and particularly in an open office environment, it’s easy to see how colds can get passed around.

2011 Danish study suggested that number of sick days taken is positively correlated with the number of inhabitants in a space. Occupants of open offices had 62 percent more sick days than those who worked in cellular offices, the researchers found.

Poor air quality can also contribute to illness. The air inside a commercial building can sometimes be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

A noisy workspace could be killing your concentration.

With phones ringing and colleagues chatting, typing and moving around, open offices are notoriously noisy and distracting — and the sound levels can have a significant impact on worker well-being. A 2006 UCSF study found that workers in open offices were more likely to perceive noise than those in cellular offices, in addition to temperature-related discomfort and poor air quality.

Noise-related distractions in open offices are the “enemy of focus,” Diane Hoskins, co-chief executive of the Gensler architecture firm, told the New York Times, adding, “It’s meaningful time that’s being lost.”

A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of disease.

We’ve all heard that “sitting is the new smoking,” and it might actually be true: Your desk job could literally be killing you.

In many offices, sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen is the only acceptable way to go about your everyday work. Research has linked a sedentary lifestyle — the kind many desk jockeys lead — with a higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular events. Sitting at a desk all day can also contribute to aches and pains, while staring at a computer screen for hours on end can trigger vision problems and headaches.

 

 

Adyashanti Shares A Simple Yet Powerful Exercise To Release Negative Energy (VIDEO)

Adyashanti Shares A Simple Yet Powerful Exercise To Release Negative Energy (VIDEO)

Spiritual teacher Adyashanti, author of Falling Into Grace and Resurrecting Jesussays the thoughts in our heads must not be mistaken as our true identity. If negative energy is wearing you down, he has a five-minute exercise to help you let it go.

“Anybody can do this,” Adyashanti says in the above video from his upcoming episode of “Super Soul Sunday,”. “It’s very powerful and it’s very quick.”

He says you should pull out two chairs, and sit down in one. Think of the emotion that is upsetting you. “It could be, let’s say, anger,” Adyashanti says. “And you just feel the anger and you think, ‘Who’s the first person that this reminds me of from my childhood?’ And I’ve never had somebody not get a face immediately.”

Adyashanti says to sit with the person’s image in your mind — just for one or two minutes. “Knowing that that’s the face,” he says. “Have their face on it. You’re not blaming it on the face, right? You’re just associating.”

“And then have your intention that you just let that face and that energy stay on that seat, and get up and sit down in the other chair,” he instructs. “And when you get up and sit down in that chair with the intention that you just leave that old energy behind, you’ll sit down and you’ll feel a completely different energy.”

It’s a five-minute exercise that Adyashanti says will leave you feeling more like yourself. “What you’ll start to feel is the presence that is yours rather than the energy that you’ve inherited from parents, from friends, from different places,” he says.

Or another way to put it: You’ll feel lighter. “Those of you who are watching around the world, you’ve had this moment where you feel that shift and it literally feels like a weight has been lifted,” Oprah says.

 

 

Sterilization Abuse in State Prisons: Time to Break With California’s Long Eugenic Patterns

Sterilization Abuse in State Prisons: Time to Break With California’s Long Eugenic Patterns

By: Alex Stern This post was co-authored with Tony Platt

The recent revelation that 148 female prisoners in two California institutions were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 is another example of the state’s long history of reproductive injustice and the ongoing legacy of eugenics. The abuse took place in violation of state and federal laws, and with startling disregard for patient autonomy and established protocols of informed consent.

In the past, sterilization of vulnerable populations in the name of “human betterment” was carried out with legal authority and the backing of political elites. What current and past practices share is the assumption that some women by virtue of their class position, sexual behavior, or ethnic identity are socially unfit to reproduce and parent.

The unauthorized sterilization of women in prison was facilitated, as the federal courts have recognized, by a combination of inhumane practices, overcrowding, bureaucratic inconsistencies, and medical neglect. From the torturous conditions in the state’s Security Housing Units, to the exposure of prisoners to life-threatening illnesses, and the trampling of women prisoners’ reproductive rights, California rivals many Southern states in penal cruelty.

It’s a heartening sign that many groups, including the state’s legislative women’s caucus, are expressing outrage and asking how these violations of rights could take place in the twenty-first century. Vital answers can be found in the twentieth century. 

In 1909, California passed the country’s third sterilization law, authorizing reproductive surgeries of patients committed to state institutions for the “feebleminded” and “insane” that were deemed suffering from a “mental disease which may have been inherited and is likely to be transmitted to descendants.” Based on this eugenic logic, 20,000 patients in more than ten institutions were sterilized in California from 1909 to 1979. Worried about charges of “cruel and unusual punishment,” legislators attached significant provisos to sterilization in state prisons. Despite these restrictions, about 600 men received vasectomies at San Quentin in the 1930s when the superintendent flaunted the law.

Those sterilized included people with conditions we would classify today as psychiatric disorders or intellectual disabilities, as well as individuals with limited educational and economic resources, including thousands of “antisocial” minors. Initially, men in psychiatric homes were targeted for sterilization; however, eugenicists mostly targeted “feeble-minded” and “promiscuous” women, including those who had one or more children “out of wedlock” or were seen as sexually deviant.

Moreover, there was a discernible racial bias in the state’s sterilization and eugenics programs. Preliminary research on a subset of 15,000 sterilization orders in institutions (conducted by Stern and Natalie Lira) suggests that Spanish-surnamed patients, predominantly of Mexican origin, were sterilized at rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent from 1922 to 1952, far surpassing their proportion of the general population. In her recent book, Miroslava Chávez-García shows, through exhaustively researched stories of youth of color who were institutionalized in state reformatories, and sometimes subsequently sterilized, how eugenic racism harmed California’s youngest generation in patterns all too reminiscent of detention and incarceration today.

California was the most zealous sterilizer, carrying out one-third of the approximately 60,000 operations performed in the 32 states that passed eugenic sterilization laws from 1907 to 1937. Furthermore, unlike many other states, where sterilization laws were challenged in the courts, in California the sterilization law remained on the books for seventy years.

Although it was scaled back in the early 1950s, the law was not repealed until 1979, in the context of another chapter of sterilization abuse. This time, about 140 women, mainly of Mexican origin, were sterilized without consent at USC/Los Angeles County hospital. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, the leading obstetrician at this hospital maintained strong convictions about the need for population control, which he applied to women during and immediately after labor by coercing them into tubal ligations. Sometimes women signed a consent form under duress, other times they were not offered any consent form, or falsely told that their husbands had already signed the form. 

Working with the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, in 1978 ten women filed a lawsuit against USC/LA County hospital and the implicated obstetrician. Although they lost, this case and parallel lawsuits filed by women of color around the country, resulted in new federal guidelines for sterilization, including a 72-hour waiting period and informed consent requirements. 

Many of the stereotypes that fueled 20th century sterilization abuse remain in vogue today. Dr. James Heinrich, who performed tubal ligations of women in prisons, stated that this practice saved the state money because his involuntary clients were likely to have “unwanted children as they procreated more.” Such a callous attitude could have been uttered by superintendents in the 1930s, who worried about the economic burden of “defectives,” or by the obstetrician at USC/LA County who purportedly spoke to his staff about “how low we can cut the birth rate of the Negro and Mexican populations in Los Angeles County.” 

It is time to break the cycle of reproductive injustice in California, and to challenge the continuing potency of eugenic rationales of cost-saving and societal betterment that have undergirded compulsory or unauthorized sterilizations. The 21st century calls for a new era of human rights, institutional oversight, and the protection of vulnerable populations.

 

Ashwagandha an Ancient Medicinal Plant

Parts of Ashwagandha Herb

The root of Ashwagandha is regarded as tonic, aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, thermogenic and stimulant. Ashwagandha root is commonly found as a fine sieved powder which can be mixed with water.

The leaves are bitter and are recommended in fever and painful swellings.

The flowers are astringent, depurative, diuretic and aphrodisiac.

The seeds are anthelmintic and combined with astringent and rock salt supposedly remove white spots from the cornea.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Body Weight – Weight-gain or the inability to lose weight is often

accompanied by high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) within the body. Ashwagandha can help reduce cortisol levels, therefore encouraging weight-loss. It has also been effective in lowering fasting blood sugar levels and improving lipid profiles.

Mood– Investigations support the use of Ashwagandha as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of anxiety and depression. Its effects are comparable to those of powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

Stress Induced Diseases – Lowers stress markers, therefore lowering likelihood of arteriosclerosis, premature aging, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and malignancy.

Exercise – It significantly reduces the cortisol content of adrenals during exercise, therefore increasing endurance and time to fatigue.

Mind and Memory – Ashwagandha belongs to a sub-group of Rasayanas known as MedhyaRasayanas.MedhyaRasayanas promote intellect and memory.It has a Cognition Promoting Effect and is useful in children with memory deficit and in old age loss of memory(Singh, 1993).

Neurodegenerative Diseases– There are dozens of studies that show that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss. Therefore it has become a common treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (Kuboyama, 2005).

Nerve Damage – MimickingGABA,Ashwagandha promotes formation of dendrites (the “fingers” at the end of nerves that communicate with other nerves).Its constituents and the metabolites of its constituents promote the growth of nerves after taking it for 7 days.

Energy– Known as “Indian Ginseng,”used as a general tonic, it promotes energy and improves health and longevity. It has anxiolytic effect and improves energy levels and mitochondrial health.

Reproductive Health – It improves the function of the reproductive system promoting a healthy sexual and reproductive balance. It also acts as a stimulant and increases the sperm count.

Immunity – Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. It is also regarded as a promising anti-bacterial agent.

Anti-Aging – Possessing potent antioxidant properties it helps protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Anti-Inflammatory – Can be taken orally to fight internal inflammation or made into apaste of crushed roots mixed with water and applied to effectivelyreduce joint inflammation or other swelling.

Anti-Arthritic – Ashwagandha is used as ananalgesic that soothes nervous system from pain response giving it powerful anti-arthritic properties. It has been found useful in clinical cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis.

Your Emotions are Harming You

Anger: Weakens the Liver

 

Grief: Weakens the Lung

 

Worry: Weakens the Stomach

 

Stress: Weakens the Heart and Brain

 

Fear: Weakens the Kidney

Eat Colors for Your Health

WHITE: to strengthen the immune system

 

GREEN: to purify with detoxification

 

RED: to improve heart and blood health

 

YELLOW: to fortify skin elasticity

 

ORANGE: to prevent cancers

 

PURPLE: to increase longevity