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5 Tips On Shaolin Kung Fu Exercises

5 Tips On Shaolin Kung Fu Exercises

DSCN1239
Source: Flickr

It was Michael Tyson’s second day at our Kung-Fu school and I took a hard look at him. He was built like King Kong, was as hairy as King Kong, sported Mr. T’s hairstyle, but he had Oprah Winfrey’s puckered lips and Michael Jackson’s kohl-lined eyes. This made me a wee bit suspicious of his intentions, but I was in full concentration mode as I began teaching him some basic Shaolin Kung Fu tips.

“Tyson, in Shaolin Kung Fu, the Chi (breath) must unite with the Li (force). Do not lose focus, because the brain must coordinate with the heart, the heart must coordinate with the mind and the mind must dictate the way you breathe. Persevere and you will be rewarded.” I began educating Tyson.

“Man, you just sound like my Grandma when she’s chanting hymns at the church! Ha, ha!” Tyson guffawed, his lips vibrating, his eyes filled with merriment. Hmm, Tyson was a casual customer.

I smiled back, “Thanks for that, Tyson. In Shaolin Kung Fu, it is necessary for the body to be agile, swift and packed with energy. The movement of all parts of the body must be coordinated and you must focus on your body movements. If you move forward one step, your hand should move, too, in rhythm. Even when you strike, do not focus on your fist or the force you put behind it – just concentrate on your body rhythm. Understood?”

“Dude, is this a ballet school or what? Ha, ha!” Tyson laughed, his lips puckering even more. A little bird flew inside my brain and told me Tyson was an irreverent type.

“Thanks again, Tyson. Now, pay attention: In Shaolin King Fu, the five elements of nature – wood, fire, earth, metal and water form a unique fusion during a fight. You must observe them and the arrangement of the universe around us. When you practice Shaolin Kung Fu, you will one day understand that your Chi (breath) can influence these five elements. When you reach that level of realization, you will be able to move very heavy objects with one movement of your hand or foot. Shaolin Kung Fu is that powerful, Tyson.

“Hey, buddy, I came here to be a fighter – I don’t wanna be no weight-lugging porter, my friend!” Tyson continued his rocking and rolling.

Well, it was my Shaolin Kung Fu training that helped me maintain my cool. Otherwise, Michael Tyson would have been toast by now with a lot of jam on him, “Tyson, please pay attention – So far, you have learned that in Shaolin Kung Fu, you have to focus on your breath and your body movements while observing and connecting with the five elements of nature. Now here’s the fourth tip: Shaolin Kung Fu requires you to be an expert in fist work. You must move your arms in such a way that the enemy cannot get sight of your fist. Your arms and fists must move at the speed of light and for that to happen, you will have to train your sinews in such a way that when you punch, your arm must glide like a bird landing on a lake.”

“Sure, leg movements are important too: In fact, there are seven kinds of leg movements in Shaolin Kung Fu, but we’ll come to them later on.” I continued.

“Got any cool underarm movements, eh, Balboa boy?” Tyson sniggered, looking at me with come-hither eyes. I wished he’d get pregnant and go away.

“Okay, Tyson, this is your last tip for the day: In Shaolin Kung Fu, your eyes, ears and heart must be in perfect rhythm. Your eyes must follow the enemy’s movements and your ears should be sharp enough to detect the slightest of sounds – this, while your heart is steady, cool and calm. If you are able to achieve this state, you will not make mistakes. That’s enough for today Tyson, class over. Now join me for a round of Shaolin Kung Fu sparring.”

“Hey Balboa, whatever you say! Hee, hee” Tyson said grinning ear to ear, not knowing what was coming at him.

That was the last time Tyson ever fooled around in Kung Fu class. And in case you are wondering, no, I didn’t kill him – but that’s another story.

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Swimmer’s Ear in Children

Swimmer’s Ear in Children

Happy Elephant
Source: Flickr

Swimmer’s ear is bacterial growth infection inside the canal of the ear. It is also known as Otitis Externa. It differs a lot from ear infections which are dealt with on a regular basis, which is contracted at times when the child catches a cold. The common ear infection is known as Otitis Media, in which the middle of the ear is infected. Incase of swimmer’s ear, the ear canal which leads towards the ear drum is infected by bacteria. The first symptom is that when the finger is stuck inside the ear canal, it will hurt a lot. In normal cases, it won’t hurt at all.

The skin within that are is very delicate and hence, is protected by nature by a thin earwax coating. Usually, water can easily glide inside and then outside the ear without any problem. But when the water cleans some or all of the earwax and if some of the water is retained inside, the bacteria will take advantage of this situation. Chemicals in the water aggravate the situation by increasing the irritation. It starts growing within the soft and warm ear canal and can cause swelling and redness. A slight itchiness also accompanies it. But the child must be instructed to not to scratch, otherwise there is a greater chance of the situation becoming worse. If there is no itchiness, obviously there will be pain, which is the initial symptom. The ear should not be bumped or touched even from the exterior, as that will cause intense pain. Hearing can become difficult due to the bacterial infection as that will swell the ear canal and block the passage.

The pain and itchiness can only be gotten rid off by fighting the infection and killing the grown bacteria. In usual cases, ear drops are prescribed by the doctor. These ear drops have antibiotics which are meant to kill the bacteria. The dosage and number of days to use the ear drops as told by the doctor should be strictly followed. If the doses are missed there is a possibility of bacterial re-growth. A wick is also introduced inside the ear, sometimes. This wick actually is small piece of sponge with absorbed lotion. The wick is left inside then. This procedure is used when the doctor thinks it is important to apply medicine directly to the part of the ear canal which is infected. If the pain is unbearable by the child, parents can give pain killers, but only after taking suggestion from the doctor. Once the antibiotics begin working, pain killers can be stopped.

Swimmer’s ear cannot be just attained cause of water entering the ear at the time of taking baths or showers. Children, who have joined the summer swimming camp, can complain of this problem. After the swimmer’s ear is treated, the child shouldn’t swim immediately. Doctor, usually, advices them to stay away from water for a week or two. The time period may sound very long, but it keeps the pain away for a long time. Special ear drops are available over the counter which can be put inside the child’s ear after swimming is over. This will dry up any water inside the ear, if any. Swimmer’s ear can also be caused when inquisitive kids try to stuff things inside the ear and thus damaging it. Bacteria get a chance of developing on the scratched area. In this case, only parent’s supervision will do the trick.

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Deer in the Headlights

Deer in the Headlights

Safety N̶e̶t̶ Ear
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People who make their living researching what frightens people the most have made a pretty amazing discovery. Consistently when people list the top five things they are afraid of in life, they have are some pretty intimidating terrors. But you would think that death would rank number one on that list. But death doesn’t take number one, it has to settle for number two. Amazingly, the number one thing that terrifies most people is not death, it is public speaking. A popular comedian once said that this means that people would rather be the guy in the casket at a funeral than the guy giving the eulogy.

If you have ever been in a meeting listening to a speaker, you can usually tell if they are terrified. They will get up there and you will see that “deer in the headlights” look. You know that look. It is one of extreme fear, panic, and terror so profound that the person is frozen in place unable to speak of move. And if you have ever been that guy or gal in front of a group giving the “deer in the headlights” look, you know the feeling of terror that happens in front of a group of people can be pretty awful.

So if you know that public speaking is going to be part of your job or something you have to regularly, you have to find a way to neutralize that fear and be able to relax in front of a crowd when you speak. How often have you sat and listened to a speaker who was relaxed, funny, bright and even able to field questions with no difficulty at all? It’s easy to admire that kind of public speaker and think that he or she has some magical powers that you will never get. But they don’t have magic. That speaker has just learned some techniques for neutralizing those fears so he or she can appear relaxed and as though he or she is having fun up there. It’s not an inborn talent. It’s a skill which can be learned.

Of course a lot of the ability to look out at a sea of faces who want to hear what you want to say and not feel sick comes from experience. But experience teaches you things that you can at least understand before you become an old pro at public speaking. One of those things is that the crowd out there doesn’t know what to expect. If you broke down why you feel terrified in front of people, it’s that you think that they think they know what they want and that you are being judged.

But to understand what people really expect when they are looking at you at the podium on stage, just remember the last time you heard someone speak. You had no predefined idea what was about to be said and you probably had no outline or any frame of reference what that speaker was going to say. That means that even if you don’t deliver your speech perfectly, they will never know that! As long as you don’t let on that you are nervous or not sure about your material, they won’t know if you got it wrong. If you forget an entire segment of your speech, as long as what you do say flows nicely and they never know you forgot it, the people listening will think your speech was just fine and will probably applaud.

Also remember that you are not really speaking to a group. The group has no ears. You are speaking to several individuals. When you are listening to a speaker, you are one person listening to one person. That is how each person in that audience is receiving you, as individuals. So if you speak to them as though they are one person, not a crowd, your presentation will be warm and personal and very successful. And the crowd will like you to which helps a lot.

Just remember that their expectations of you are fairly low and for the most part, people hearing you speak want you to succeed. So smile at them, use a bit of humor and use that little insider tip to relax up there. And when you can relax, you can actually have fun at public speaking rather than wishing you were the guy in the casket instead.

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Tracing The Many Causes Of Headache

Tracing The Many Causes Of Headache

An Evening with the Ears
Source: Flickr


In order to treat any type of headache, experts advise that you must know the possible causes first.
Studies show that all types of headaches are usually chemical, emotional, or structural related problems.

1. Dental problems. One of the most common reasons of headaches is dental problem. Findings prove that if the teeth of a person’s upper and lower jaw fail to meet properly, this can result to muscle tension that leads to headache.

Another dental-related cause of headache is the grinding or clenching of the teeth at night or “bruxism.” Because of the strain caused by heavy chewing or grinding, certain bones and muscles in the jaw are greatly stimulated that triggers headache.

What you can do is to increase your calcium and magnesium intake or use a plastic mouthpiece to reduce clenching and grinding. Aside from bruxism, another headache-related dental problem is known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD)—a cycle of pain, muscle spasms, and joint imbalance that involves the jaw and the skull and results to interruption of bones, cartilage and muscle activity. You can ask your dentist to evaluate this situation and recommend treatment options to solve the problem.

2. Chemical sensitivities. Chemicals found in different gadgets such as computers are one of the major triggers of headaches such as migraine.

Caffeine that is usually found in sodas, coffee, tea, chocolate, and some over the counter painkillers can also cause headaches. Try to eliminate all the sources of caffeine from your diet.

3. Magnesium deficiency. If a person suffers from magnesium deficiency, he/she may likely suffer from headaches compared to those who are not.

In order to maintain enough magnesium supply, avoid too much mental stress, drinking lots of coffee, eating sugary foods, a high sodium, carbohydrate and calcium diet, alcohol intake, drinking sodas, cigarette smoking, diuretics, and taking in drugs of all types.

4. Infections and bacterial disease. Infections in the different areas of the body such as the nose, throat, and ear can cause major headache.

Characterized by fever, nausea, muscle aches, chills, and diarrhea, Bacterial disease such as ehrlichiosis can be a major cause of headache. Make sure that you visit your physician to get proper treatment.

5. Muscle tension caused by stress and anxiety. Tensioned muscles usually cause headaches. What you can do is to veer away from things that can cause you stress and anxiety in order to avoid recurrent muscle tension.

6. Musculoskeletal system problems. Misalignments of a person’s spine and neck can greatly affect his/her poor posture and muscle tension that lead to headache. Try chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy treatments to solve this problem.

7. Eye problems. Various eye problems greatly contribute to headache. Visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist is your eyes need glasses or contact lenses already.

8. Lack of sleep and bad sleeping habits. Without enough sleep, your body is always tired. Muscle tension can build up which leads to headaches. Try to get enough hours of sleep and make sure that you eliminate bad sleeping habits such as using too many pillow or pulling a blanket over your to avoid having a headache.

9. Menstruation. Fluctuations of female’s hormone levels can also cause a great deal of headache. You can ask your doctor for helpful vitamins and supplements to solve this cause.

10. Neurological problems. Although it is a rare cause of headache, ask neurologists to examine you for possible brain tumors.

By conducting a series of tests such as CT or MRI, you can trace the possible cause of your recurrent headache.
Other causes include migraine, sinusitis, fevers, glaucoma, and neuralgia. Other serious causes of headache may include meningitis, sub-arachnoid haemorrhage, stroke, blood pressure, brain tumor, and temporal arteritis.

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Acu Puncture For Relaxation-Reduce Pain And Relax

Acu Puncture For Relaxation-Reduce Pain And Relax

Penang Event Photographer
Source: Flickr

Acupuncture has been used for centuries by the Chinese to help the flow of Chi through the body. Acupuncture can help reduce pain, and muscle spasms, not to mention there is acu puncture for relaxation.

I have had acupuncture for all these things and it does work very well. There are quite a few spots on your body that will help you relax but the main on that I like the best is right at the top of your head. When the acu puncture for relaxation is done and they pull the needle out. You almost feel like you have had alcohol to drink. You can even get a little staggery and feel unbalanced you are so relaxed.

Stress creates blockages in your body and the Chi does not flow smoothly. Acupuncture helps remove those blockages so your Chi returns to normal and flows smoothly throughout your body. It may take several treatments to accomplish this though so be patient and just enjoy the sensations you feel after your treatment.

Contrary to some beliefs, acupuncture does not hurt. The needles are so small and the acupuncturist is so skilled that you rarely ever feel a needle going in. If you do feel the needle then it is usually because that area is in spasm or is bearing the brunt of your stress not because of anything the acupuncturist is doing. If this happens just concentrate on relaxing that area and soon the pain of the needle will go away.

The acupuncturist can even attach very small electrodes to the needles to increase the effect of the acupuncture. The electrodes are placed so they fire in a sequence that assists the Chi and gets it flowing in the right direction.

When you go for treatment be sure to tell the acupuncturist exactly what has been troubling you so they can pinpoint (no pun intended) the exact places to put the needles. Let them know if you are having headaches, other pain, if you are feeling depressed or anxious and even skin irritations. Stress causes any number of ailments and is usually treated by inserting the needles around the ear. This works quite well for reducing the amount of stress you feel.

Your upper back and shoulders is where you hold all the tension so some needle placement may be necessary in these areas also. I am not a skilled acupuncturist so do not take me at my word, I just know where I have had needles placed and the effects I felt when they were removed.

You are under enough stress do not stress about the acupuncture treatment. You will feel next to nothing when the needles are inserted and will feel wonderful when they are taken out. Wear comfortable clothes to your appointment. Depending on where the needles need to go you may have to change into a gown or some shorts so the acupuncturist can have unlimited access to your skin. And really do not worry, you will feel so much better even after one treatment. I know from personal experience that acu puncture for relaxation works.