Naturopathic Medicine

naturopathicLiving things have an innate ability to heal themselves. Our vital force promotes self-repair, self-cleansing, and self-healing. This process can be achieved by focusing on the hormonal, immune, nervous, and elimination or detoxification systems of the body. Restored health is a probability once these systems are in balance.

Naturopathic medicine is a complete alternative care system that uses a wide range of approaches such as nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, herbs, manipulation of the body and stress reduction. (more…)

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

alternativeAlternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. These systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of alternative medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. These systems have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Mind-body medicine uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. (more…)

Why the small things matter, or how a pair of shoe insoles made my life more pleasant

insolesI have no hard statistics to prove this, but I bet if you asked 100 people at least 80 of them would tell you that they had a “nagging itch” in their lives, something that is not causing them incredible pain on a daily basis but is still niggling away at them on daily basis.

Examples of this “itch” might be something like a wedding ring being too tight, or a seat being not quite at right height, what’s often surprising is that people won’t take the necessary simple steps to remove the problem from their lives. What seems to happen is that people almost get used to the niggle and then the thought of fixing the problem just seems to disappear from their minds.

The irony of all this is people could probably make a great deal of difference to their lives if they just spent a little bit of time fixing the little problems that niggle them on a day to day basis. One of the things that Dave Brailsford supremo of the incredibly successful British cycling team did after taking over the running of the team was to implement a series of “1% improvements”. The thinking behind these small changes was that added up they could start to make quite a significant change to an athlete’s performance, after all if you’re able to make 10 changes that each give you 1% performance increase you’re performing 10% better than you were previously – and that’s quite a significant improvement.

I think a lot of us could do to take this 1% improvement philosophy into our personal lives, I see so many people searching for happiness but never really quantifying what they are looking for. Mirroring the example above, if you could make ten small changes to your life each one making you 1% happier how much happier could you be? The benefit to this approach is you don’t need to make any huge lifestyle changes either you’re just making slight changes here and there and then benefiting when all the changes you’ve made come together.

The small change I made to dramatically increase my happiness

As the title of this article suggests, my happiness has increased significantly recently due to some shoe insoles. To cut a long story short my feet have been hurting for ages and they were often so sore when I returned home on night that I’d taken to soaking them in bowl of hot water. The funny about all this though was I’d almost got used to the pain, so I’d almost stopped thinking about doing anything about it.

Then one day I saw a TV commercial about the walfit platinum foot insoles, I was initially sceptical (do TV infomercial products ever actually work?) but then I Googled them and read a review on the happier + healthier website and decided to take the plunge. A few months later and the insoles have made a huge difference to my life, I just wish I’d made the change sooner?

Could you make a change?

So there we have it, a small change, but a significant decrease in everyday pain and therefore an increase in my personal happiness. What could you do today to make yourself a little bit happier?

The problems my son faced on starting on the road to becoming an electrician

electricianOver the last few weeks my son has come to a fairly momentous decision, he’s not going to go to college. I guess in the grand scheme of things the decision isn’t exactly earth shattering, but I’ve really felt for my son as he’s been pushed from pillar to post making his decision. The whole experience has made me wonder if we put too much pressure on teenagers and don’t give them enopugh space to make their own decisions.

When my son first came to us with his decision not go to college, it would be fair to say that my partner and I were shocked, my son has always been reasonably academically gifted but he’s never really enjoyed school. I’d always presumed that as he got older things would get better for him and he’d end up really enjoying college (as I did). Then one day, he just told us that he had enough and he wanted to stop studying and learn a trade, specifically he was planning to be an electrician.

This is going to sound really terrible, but the first thing I thought when my son told me of his decision was how is this going to reflect on me? I’d been looking forward to having a son at college, and talking about him to friends and neighbours and attending his graduation ceremony. I guess in all my forward planning I’d totally forgotten to think what my son might want.

Career Advice Not the Best

Whilst my partner and I eventually came to terms with my sons decision, he also faced a lack of support from his school, who seemed to put almost all of their efforts into persuading him to go to college rather than giving him some much need guidance on his new career choice.

I think that this lack of guidance really hindered my son, I suspect he was desperate to talk to somebody about becoming an electrician and just be able to ask simple questions like ‘how to get an electrician certification online?‘. Eventually, he was forced to do a lot of the research himself. fortunately he found this website that I think provided a lot of the information that he needed to know.

In retrospect it seems really bad that somebody who has made the bold step to take their young life on a different path can get no help, because the people who are supposed to be helping him are too busy trying to push him down a path they think will be best for him.

Maybe college isn’t always the best option

I think the lesson that I’ve taken from all of this is that people are complicated, and what might work well for the vast majority people won’t be best for everyone. It’s really important that as parents and teachers we get to know our charges and make sure they’re doing the right thing for them and not for some sort of identikit teenager that exists in our heads.

What is heartening though is how happy my son has been since he made his choice. I think taking control of his own life has really increased his self confidence and given him real hope for the future. So I think there will be definitely be silver lining to this particular cloud!

Grow Healthy Produce with a Raised Bed Garden

Fresh produce is a staple of your family’s overall health and wellness. But the local grocery store and farmer’s market are not the only source of the veggies that your family needs. You can take advantage of the sunlight and soil that you have in your own backyard to grow delicious produce during the summer months! And it probably won’t take as much space as you think.


Raised bed gardens are a great way to maximize the area available for gardening. By placing plants closer together and eliminating walking space between rows you can fit a lot of plants into a small area, creating a very efficient garden that maximizes usage of soil, water, and sunlight.

Furthermore, plants grow much better in the soil of a raised garden bed because the soil does not become compacted from foot traffic as it would in a traditional garden. The quality of the soil in a raised garden bed is also easy to control. Is your soil rocky or made up of heavy clay? These types of soil typically do not grow plants well, but that’s okay. Build your raised beds and haul in high quality top soil.

Another benefit of raised bed gardens is that they can even be placed in yards that are steeply sloped. Even if your yard is on a hill, you can create a “terraced” garden with raised garden beds.

Finally, raised bed gardens can extend your growing season. Because the soil of the bed is raised above grade, it tends to warm up more quickly than the rest of the ground, leading to earlier planting.


While raised garden beds can be made from a variety of materials, such as landscaping blocks and composites, most people choose to make their garden beds from wood. The safest woods to use are those that are naturally decay resistant, such as cedar or redwood. Avoid using pressure treated lumber. To provide resistance to rot, this lumber is soaked in chemicals which may leach into the soil and be taken up by the plant roots.

General Tips

There are a few things to keep in mind as you build your raised bed:

Make each individual bed less than four feet wide. This will allow you to reach to the middle from both sides of the bed without standing or kneeling inside the bed and compacting the soil.

Make your beds approximately 8-12″ deep. This will allow ample room for root development. This is less critical if the underlying soil is of decent quality, but is very important if the raised bed will be placed on very poor soil or even a hard surface.

Create a seating space on the edge of the bed by laying a deck board or 2×6 flat and attaching to the top edge of the bed. In addition to providing a place to sit, this also provides a nice finishing touch to the beds.


Garden beds can be built with relatively few tools. To cut the boards, you will need a circular saw or table saw (if you need to purchase either, you can find good reviews for circular saws here and table saws here). You will also need a drill/driver, level, and a shovel.

Determine the overall size of each raised bed and cut your boards. Assemble them with proper length corrosion resistant screws. Insert a 2×4 or 4×4 vertically at each corner for added strength. Next, position the assembled bed where you would like it and check for level. If one end is slightly higher, dig out some soil on that end until it is level. Cut and attach the top boards to create a seating space.

Your raised beds are now complete. Just fill them with good quality dirt, and start planting!

Traveling Creates A More Open Mind, Body

Traveling the world should not be thought of as a luxury item. I believe that travel should be mandatory for us as humans. If we really want to live our best lives, we need to open our minds to the world around us. Studies show that the more cultured and knowledgeable about the world around you you are, the better off you are in terms of mental health, well-being, and overall happiness. Too often we get caught up in our day to day lives, forgetting that there’s a whole world out there, millions and millions of people leading very different lives in very different areas.

Planning For Travel

If you’re interested in traveling more, there are some great books and websites that you can start out with that will help you learn how to travel more efficiently and for less money, as well as better equipped to encounter the culture around you. is a great website all about backpacking. Even if you don’t want to backpack, you can glean tips from salted travelers and learn how the pros do it.

Saving Money

The best way to save money is to plan your own trip and learn how to use money saving websites such as and other price watching sites. These sites will enable you to ensure that you’re getting the best deals on tickets and other things. Another thing would be to make use of public transportation as much as possible. When I went to Japan we used public transport rather than renting a car. It was much more fun as we felt like we were actually experiencing Tokyo. This will also save you money on the actual car rental as well as parking prices and gas. Also, while you’re on public transport you can observe people and observe the countryside as you ride along.

If you’re using the internet to browse for deals and buy tickets, ensure that your computer is clean of any viruses or malware programs by protecting it with antivirus software and antimalware tools. The best are from Norton and Enigma software.

Seeing Local Spots

One of my favorite ways to travel is to avoid the beaten down same-old tourist traps and check out the local dives. When I was in Tokyo I simply wandered the streets and alleys, exploring anything I came across that seemed interesting. It was much more fun than checking out the typical tourist venues such as the Tokyo Tower. I felt like I was seeing the real Tokyo, and seeing what the locals did. This is the best way to feel “flow” in travel, as you’re not forcing yourself upon a place, but rather allowing yourself to become a part of the place you’re in.

Overall, travel can be an extremely rewarding and therapeutic experience. If you plan well enough and have the right mindset, you could be one step closer towards overall happiness. The experiences you have will make you grow as a person.

7 Unhealthy Facts about Tattoos

tattooIn the past, getting tattoos were thought to be taboo. Only those who are rebelling against the society had them. Most of the time, people with tattoos are automatically assumed to be bad or are not up to doing anything good or worthwhile. Over the past years though, tattoo has been considered to be a form of art. The different designs that people can put in depending on a person’s personality has changed the way that people look at tattoos.

Admittedly, more and more people are getting inked right now and you might be considering having your own tattoo as well. Before you make a decision though, do you already know the risks that you would have to take when you get a tattoo? Here are some facts that you can consider:

• Tattoos will not always come out as great as you would probably expect. There are times when people assume that their tattoo ideas will look great simply because they have gone to a licensed tattoo artist. You would have to remember that tattoo artists are still people. Some may work better than others. It is said that investing on a good tattoo would mean spending more by going to a reputable tattoo artist. A bad looking tattoo will only look dirty.
• The FDA does not check the equipments as well as the working conditions of tattoo shops. This may seem scary because you will not know for sure if the equipments used are safe. Remember that every time tattoo equipment is used, you can guarantee that blood will come out of it. What if the tattoo shop does not clean the equipment thoroughly each time? You may contact a disease this way.
• Bacterial infection might occur if the ink plus the equipment used are not sterilized enough. Going to a reputable tattoo shop may help solve this problem but it will not always be a guarantee.
• It will hurt a lot. When you see people getting inked on TV, you will see different reactions from people. There will be some who seem extremely cool while others would be howling their hearts out. The pain that you will feel is extraordinary so if you have a low tolerance for pain, it is likely that it will be very unhealthy for you.
• You may be allergic to tattoo ink. A lot of people do not know this but some people are allergic to tattoo ink. Since different compounds are used to get the desired color, there may be some that are okay when placed on a person’s skin. Those who get allergic reactions to tattoo ink may have to be brought to a hospital.
• You may bleed a lot when you are being tattooed on. This may be due to the fact that you have just drunk alcohol. It is advisable that you steer clear from any alcoholic beverages before you get a tattoo. Remember that alcohol will not numb the process of getting a tattoo. It might even hurt more.
• Tattoo can fade away over time. This means that if your butterfly tattoos start to become not visible on your skin, you would have to go back to the tattoo shop and endure everything all over again.

Would you still like to get a tattoo?

Keeping Families Healthy – The Advantage of Food From Home

home cookedThere is nothing more convenient than for families to be out of the house, hungry, and grab a burger or a bucket of chicken from the nearest fast food restaurant. While take-out food is what everyone is doing, the fact is that it can be the worst kind of food for families to eat. Healthy eating is going to keep families healthier too, which is why going home and cooking is actually the better option even if it is not the most convenient one.

Home Cooked Meals – The Better Food Alternative

Everyone is eating healthier these days, and while families may groan at the idea of dragging out pots and pans, looking up recipes, and going shopping for food, the fact is that eating at home really is the much healthier option for the following reasons:

  • An excuse to upgrade kitchen equipment: What a perfect excuse for parents to hit the cookware review websites to see what is hot in the world of cooking utensils and what is not. Parents can be pretty busy trying to earn money for their families well-being, and paying bills, but nothing can inspire parents to get cooking more than having all new equipment in which to do it with!
  • Fast food does not take food allergies into account: Some people are very allergic to certain foods, and if they accidentally eat something they are allergic to, the consequences can be life threatening. When people go out to eat, even with a very detailed menu, there may be ingredients in the food that could trigger allergic reactions.
  • Better quality food: The food that fast food restaurants offer is not as good a quality as what is sold in grocery stores. Things like the breakfast sandwiches and hamburgers have a higher fat and cholesterol content than homemade food, and people need to realize that fast food should just be called fat food instead because that is exactly what they are getting.
  • Food is prepared in much more sanitary conditions: When people are looking at cookware reviews to find the best possible kitchen appliances, they may also be looking for equipment that makes meals easy and cleaning up after meals quick and easy. Restaurants are inspected often to make sure they are keeping their meal preparation areas clean, but sometimes they do not and get cited for it. While buying a fast food hamburger should just satisfy hunger, but often, it can make you extremely ill.

Healthy Eating Means Cooking From Home

Sometimes people are tired from a long day and end up just stopping by a fast food restaurant to grab a bag of burgers for the family. However, eating fast food all the time is not the healthiest food to eat, and families who are health conscious might want to consider passing by that chicken place and opt to just go home and cook instead because it is better for them and takes into consideration what people may be allergic to.

5 Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Healthy

In the world of fast food and convenience it’s not always easy to get your child to eat the most healthy foods available.  As a mom, I know that I always want what’s best for my kids nutritionally. It’s hard saying no to some of those treats and sweets that my kids ask for.  So how do you get your kids to eat healthy without hearing the whining and crying that usually follows?

Here are five tips and tricks we can use as parents to get that nutrition into those little bodies!

advocare 24 day challenge recipes

1.  Eat Healthy Ourselves!

I know this sounds like common sense, but our kids do what we do as much as we like to think differently!   If we are chugging down the sodas and shoveling in the pizza, how can we expect them to do any different?  Monkey see monkey do…

Take a good hard look at what you are eating throughout the day and ask yourself, “what kind of nutritional value does this give me?”  If the answer is not much, than reevaluate your own eating habits and start making changes.

A good way to do this is to get a jump start your nutrition.  There are a number of wellness programs out there.  The Advocare 24 Day Challenge is a great way to get your system running efficiently and help yourself lose those sugar cravings!  They do this by flushing out those toxins of the bad food your used to, and replenishing your body with the nutrition it needs.

2.  Try New Foods

We all get stuck in a rut.  I know I sometimes I feel like I’m making the same 5 meals every week.  You find a food that your kids like and you go with it.  I get this.  It’s not always easy making changes but sometimes you have to move outside of the box.

Try new recipes.  Take some of the items that are healthy that you know your kids like and switch it up.  My kids like tex-mex food but I wanted to do a different, healthier version of some of our usual enchiladas and tacos.  I ended up doing a chicken enchilada casserole from and made a few changes.  Instead of the flour tortillas I did whole wheat tortillas. I also used a low fat sour cream and low fat part skim cheese.  Kids loved it.

Here are some more healthy food ideas on Pinterest including  24 Day Challenge recipes.

3.  Let Them Help!

Advocare 24 day challenge recipes

When your kids help make dinner or lunch they often feel a part of the process and therefore are more excited about eating what they have made.  Get them involved with the cooking and the grocery shopping.  Have them help with picking things off the shelf and preparing things in the kitchen.

It’s hard for kids to complain about something they made themselves so get them invested in the preparing meals. It’s also a great family activity that keeps them busy and learning at the same time.

4.  Make the Food Look Fun to Eat!

I’ve seen a lot of cute lunch ideas for younger kids that make kids lunches look like a piece of art.  By turning sandwiches into zoo animals and healthy fruit into flowers, kids love eating these healthy creations.  I realize this can add some time to the lunch making but if it helps that extra picky eater eat those veggies it’s worth it!

Parenting magazine has some cute ideas for lunch boxes and how to make different animals and other cute fun to eat things kids love.  You can also use easy to buy cookie cutters to make fun shapes our of cheese, sandwiches and more.

5.  Dip It!  

If it feels like your pulling your hair out to get your kids to eat vegetables, try serving them with a yummy but healthy dip.  Kids like to dip things, so to them this may be fun and exciting to try new flavors of things.  It also adds some pizzazz to just a plain old carrot stick.  Some different dip ideas would be ranch dressing, hummus, yogurt, or salsa.  Try all kinds of sliced vegetables and see which one’s your kids will go for.  Here are some more 24 Day Challenge snack ideas to try.

to your health,

Joanna Bostwick

How a Family Man Can Stay Healthy With Under 30 Minutes of Free Time a Day

Stay Fit, but don’t give up your family time

Everyone seems to have health concerns these days. Men in particular are becoming more and more conscious of their health. However, if you have a family and a busy job, fitness is often dropped. But you really don’t need to embrace the flab quite yet – there are routines that will help you stay healthy and give you time with your kids. And this can be done even with as little as 30 minutes of free time daily.

Here’s some advice on the best 30-minute blast-exercises that we’ve come across. Keep them up, and they’ll help you stay healthy and in great shape – just the way we all want our bodies to be.

Here’s the routine. Each exercise is performed in sets of 10. The whole thing (5 exercises) forms one superset. Repeat the superset 3 times. Target time – 30 mins.


A lower-body exercise that targets the quadriceps, a squat is a good example of 30-minute workout blast exercise that you can perform anywhere. Try using an exercise ball, and gradually work up by adding weights– kettlebells are great for this.

Stand against the wall with the ball on your lower back, while your feet are hip-width out and apart in front of you. Lower your body little by little by bending your knees and folding at your hips, dropping glutes to the floor. Repeat in 10 sets of 10.

If you don’t have a ball but have weights, try an overhead press as you perform a squat. Keep in mind that when performing two things simultaneously it’s even more essential to concentrate on good technique and form.


Dead-lift is a lower-body exercise that targets the hamstrings. While holding free weights or a body bar and standing having feet separated hip-width, fold on your hips with backward motion of the hips, while you move your upper body lower even to the floor. Keep your legs straight without any locking motion on your knees, and maintain a neutral level of your spine and back.

Variations including using dumbells or barbells, and increasing weight. This is a great exercise for overload.


This is a routine that involves upper-body horizontal pushing movement. Push-ups may come with different variations varying on your individual strength. You may perform a push-up with the use of an exercise ball below the feet, knees or hips, as lowering and lifting your body.

Variations include dropping down to the knees to make it easier, or bringing in your hands to touch at fingertips to make it much, much harder, like this.

Shoulder Or Overhead Press

To perform a shoulder or overhead press using free weights, start by having your elbows bent and weights at the shoulders. Reach to the ceiling little by little, keeping your elbows below the hands, while your shoulders are away from your ears.

Variations for this are simple – go up or down the weights. Make sure you don’t rock in place though – it may make you look like you’re working out more, but in fact it’s just easier. If you’re still working to muscle failure and rocking, then you’re weight is too heavy.

A great way of making sure your form stays rock solid is to use a Smith Machine for this exercise. A Smith Machine is like free-weights on rails, which let you move up and down, but not back and forward. If you want to check out how effective this can be there are plenty of websites out there to take you through it, like this one, or check out this video trainer.

Abdominal or Core Exercise

The selections here are practically endless. You can perform a slowed down bicycle crunch. As you lie on the floor, you may fold your knees in to the chest and have your upper body curled off the floor. Putting the hands behind your head, gradually turn your upper body to your right, as you draw your right knee in, reaching your left leg at the angle. After which, turn left and draw in your left knee. Concentrate on bringing your shoulder to the hip, instead of the elbow toward the knee. You may also try keeping your opposite shoulder off the floor.

With the help of these home fitness routines, you will surely get the chance to stay fit even with a busy daily schedule.

Ways To Help Your Children To Become Physically Active

As parents we are becoming more and more concerned these days with our kids fitness. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us because the amount of children being classed as obese. In fact obesity and diabetes in children has drastically increased over the last few years.

If that wasn’t enough many parents now feel that schools seem to be paying less attention to physical education. As a result of this the amount of physical activities children now participate in at school seems to have reduced. All of this has come at a time where there are plenty of other distractions like video games and the TV, which are keeping our children away from participating in any kind of physical activity.

However in order to combat this there are plenty of activities and routines parents like us can encourage our children to participate in. These are the kinds that will help to boost their activity levels and help to get them fit. It isn’t only about getting fit, through such activities they can learn skills that they will find extremely beneficial to them later on in life. They will learn how to deal with problems because they will be taught that if they work hard they can succeed.

When it comes to developing any kind of routine to help keep your children in shape make sure that they will enjoy it. If you think making them feel guilty or ashamed because they are overweight is going to get them moving then think again. You will probably find that they will refuse even more vehemently against doing any kind of physical activity, plus they will find that they become even less confident.

What you need to be doing is devising a fitness routine where your children won’t even realize that they are doing some kind of exercise. Look for the kinds of activities that you can slip into their lives that they won’t even notice. One activity you may want to consider is actually bouncy castle hire, which will keep kids active for a few hours and it’s fun too.

Along with the above suggestion other ways to help your children become more active includes getting them to walk to school, if you leave near by. If they don’t fancy walking then why not let them cycle instead, if the school allows for the bikes to remain there whilst they are in their lessons. This is a really quick and easy way for them to enjoy a little exercise without them realizing.

Along with walking or cycling to school try and plan things that you can all do together at the weekend. Why not take them swimming, ice or roller-skating. As well as being great fun these are the kinds of activities that allow you to bribe your children into doing some form of physical activity. If you really want to get your children having fun and on board with activity then why not see if they would like to bring a friend or two along as well. As well as being encouraged to give something a go they may also be happy to keep it up for longer.

Tips To Help Your Child Become More Active

Child obesity levels have substantially increased in recent years. But just because your child isn’t into sports, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be active. As well as helping to keep your child’s weight in check physical activity also helps to build strong bones and muscles.

In this article I am to provide you with a few tips to help your child become more active.

Tip 1 – Think Outside The Soccer Pitch

Not all children are drawn to getting involved in organized sports like soccer, basketball or baseball. If you want your child to become more active then look for other activities they can enjoy, such as swimming, martial arts or even cycling. You may take them along to a number of different activities before you find one that your child will really enjoy doing.

It is important that you try out various different activities if your child has been sedentary for a while that will motivate them in to doing some physical activity now and in the future.

Tip 2 – Join In The Activity With Them

Generally younger children love it when their parents participate in some activity with them. One way you can encourage your child to get more active is to go for a hike, walk, and bike ride, hire a bouncing castle for a day or play some game like hopscotch with them. What is important to remember in order to get your child interested in physical activity doesn’t require you spending vast sums of money on fancy equipment.

Tip 3 – Limit Their Time In Front Of The TV Or Computer

Ideally your child should no more than 2 hour each day watching TV, playing video games or going online. It is important that you start to encourage your child to spend time away doing something more active.

Also if you can keep temptation at bay, if they have a TV or computer in their bedroom take it out. Place it in a location in the house where you are in a better position to supervise them.

Tip 4 – Lead By Example

If you are someone who likes to spend a few hours each night sat in front of the TV then of course you aren’t setting a good example to your child. Look and see what you are doing and then make changes to ensure that you are doing some form of physical activity every day. Also don’t forget to regularly participate in any activity your child is enjoying.

Tip 5 – Go To A Fun Park

Along with having an amazing time on all the rides at parks like those found at Disney Land your child will have to spend lots of time walking around the park as well.

Tip 6 – Go To The Park

Your local park will offer the perfect solution for where your child will be able to run around enjoying themselves with you or some of their friends. Allowing them to run and jump will help to keep their bones and muscles strong along with helping to improve their co-ordination and motor control skills. If you notice that there is a bouncy castle set up for kids to play on, then let them spend time on it. They will have a lot of fun and won’t even realize that they are doing some exercise.

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