Health and Fitness

Bruce Lee was an amazing martial artist, since his short career. And if you do some of the same things that made him great, you'll be able to vastly improve your own martial arts abilities. Although you may not get as good as Bruce, if you work on these ideas you'll definitely improve.

Develop Great Cardio

Bruce Lee went running every day. Sometimes it was jogging, sometimes sprinting. And he also practiced a ton of martial arts, and did shadow boxing regularly!

So, Bruce was in phenomenal shape. He made sure that he was not just more skilled and more muscular than his competitors, but that he was also in way better shape than them.

Bruce became obsessed with conditioning after a challenge he received where his opponent ran away, and Bruce had to chase the guy down. After several minutes Bruce chashed him down and beat him, but Bruce was ashamed of how out of shape he was, and how much effort it took to win against his unskilled opponent.

To develop the same kind of ability, I'll add running to your regular workout. Better yet, do some cardio exercise that is closely related to your maritime art. If you box, do shadow boxing; If you practice swordsmanship, go through forms quickly or practice specific attacks and parries many times. These exercises will build the condition you need to get better at the skills you do.

Lift Weights

If you've ever seen a photo of Bruce Lee, you'll know what I'm talking about. The man was ripped!

Weight training will give you much stronger muscles. Aside from just looking good, stronger muscles will help you pull off your techniques, and also help you fatigue at a slower pace – since each movement is easier.

Now, building muscle by lifting weights does not happen overnight. It takes dedication, but it does work. Start with a well thought out, general program to strengthen your whole body before you start specializing in specific muscles for your art or activity.


Part of Bruce Lee's amazing fighting abilities came from the fact that he was flexible. You can see this if you ever watch the clip of him warm up before his fight with Chuck Norris; He's amazing, and can touch his head to his knees!

Being flexible allows you to take the fight wherever you want. Whether your opponent is shorter than you, taller than you, or you need to get just the right angle – you can compensate, move in, and win. You can also get way more power out of your hips if they are limber than if you're all tight and can barely move.

Like weight training, stretching really takes time. You will not be able to do the splits after just a few days of stretching – it'll probably take you about 2 months if you're young, and longer if you're over 30.

So, work on it a little bit at a time. And if you take this path, you'll slowly, slowly get more flexible. And strong!

Make It Part Of Your Life

One of the cornerstones of a Bruce Lee fitness regime is to make it a part of you life. Working out and getting more flexible is not a sometimes thing, it's an all the time thing!

Do stretching when you watch TV. Be committed to your workouts, both weight training and cardio. Work hard to create a body that will support your activities, rather than a body that drags you down and inhibits you.

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The attitude and overall health of the millennial generation is being closely looked at as they are growing into young adults entering adulthood and the impact they will have on the world. The generation born between 1980 and 2000, known as Millennials, have been described as being open to change, confident, and optimistic despite the widespread fears about financial security as a result of the economic recession that began in 2008. Aside from being referred to as The multi-tasking generation, due to iPhones being seen as an extra appendage, young adults are embracing self-expression through social media as a way to connect to others in their age group.

In 2006, a book published by psychologist Jean Twenge, titled Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before , is looking at how depression and anxiety are becoming rites of passage in adolescence and young Adulthood that was previously issues reserved for middle aged adults. Critics of the millennial generation believe that there is a sense of self-entitlement among many young adults, which has also earned the least flattering title of "Generation Me". There is the belief that young adults today are ill-equipped and are not really prepared to deal with challenges in life such as an uncertain employment future in a recovering economy and student loans. If that is true, than the direst of challenges is the issue of mental health. Millennials are currently facing high rates of suicide and substance use. Mental health has never been more important that it is today in a world where personal connection offline is becoming less conventional. Is it possible that young adults of the millennial generation are experiencing depression and anxiety more than past generations of young people, and if so, what can be done?

From the year 1999 through 2004, it was estimated that nearly nine percent of 20 to 29 year-olds reported experiencing major depression, generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder in the previous year. Young Millennial women are twice as likely to report symptoms of mental health issues as are young men. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15-24. Image is often thought of as a time for personal growth by being exposed to new ideas and assuming a greater amount of independence and responsibility as young people assume their role as adults. Research is showing that the emotional health of first year college students has declined to the lowest level in recent years. College faculty are reporting that there is a fear of failure among college students along with the fear of taking risks. For many millennials, failure is seen as both catastrophic and unacceptable. One study found that among children and teens with diagnosed mental health problems such as major depression and generalized anxiety, only about 10 percent were reported as having received any form of therapy or treatment. Given that most diagnosable mental health disorders begin by the age of 14, treatment of emotional issues is critical and yet many are not seeking treatment, and instead may be sharing their anxieties on social media. For some it may seem easier to share something about themselves online than it is in person with someone they know or a professional. While there are no statistics or data to show how many millennials are seeking help online instead of working through their issues with a therapist, it is helpful that they are getting more comfortable talking about it and reducing the stigma about being depressed or anxious.

Young adults of the millennial generation have contributed to the development of social media and amazing innovative tools at the ready of their fingertips and finger swipes. Despite the advances being made and more to come, the emotional health of many young adults finding their place in the world remains something that an app on an iPhone can not quickly fix. It is important for the current generation to be supported by their elders in learning that issues such as depression and anxiety are something that can not be ignored or set aside, but instead are something that needs to be tended to and addressed with the support of family, Friends, and by talking with a therapist to learn what is the root cause of the issues.

"People evolve and it's important to not stop evolving just because you've reached 'adulthood.'" ~ JK Simmons

What is health?

Is health the absence of disease? Is health a birth right or simply luck? According to Ayuveda, India's ancient art of healing, the meaning of health is a single word: Swastha. Swa = self + Stha = established. Thus a person is healthy when '' established in the self. ' Immunity is much more than T-cells, B-cells and antibodies. Health depends upon a well-integrated core of identity. Thus, health is a birth right.

The Self as defined by Ayuveda is not identical to the western concept of ego. It is the power of individual identity that fosters one to have an existence apparently separate from all other beings. In Sanskrit this is called Ahamkara – literally, the "I-former." You are you and not he, she, or or they because of Ahamkara. It is the creative power that gives you your sense of "I am." Ahamkara consistently identifies with an individual body, mind, and spirit enabling them to exist together as a living being. It is the center of your awareness and from it come feelings of my: my body, my emotions, my thoughts, my personality, etc. Where there is my, there is I.

Each of the millions and millions of cells that make up you has a center of awareness. Ahamkara is that center. How well your self identifies with these cells determines your resistance to disease. Just as a strong central government protects its citizens, so too a strong central identity protects the body. Because the body and mind are intimately connected, (contrast to western thought) your self-esteem is your cells' self-esteem. Without sufficient self-esteem and self-love the cells become more vulnerable to the harmful effects of stress.


Stress is an insidious precursor to disease. In simple terms, stress occurs every time you adapt to a new situation. Consequently, every time your environment changes you must create a new equilibrium with it to stay healthy. 'Environment' includes not only your physical space, but also your mental, emotional, social, and spiritual surroundings. Only by being centered and stable in your self can you have the adaptability to roll with life's punches and face the innumerable challenges to your well-being.

It can be said, you have a body self, mind self, and spirit self. Health requires establishment in each of these selves. You need to have a sound mind, in a sound body and a healthy relationship with Universal Spirit. Vertically body, mind and spirit needs to flow in dynamic interplay. Horizontally you need to have a harmonious relationship with your family and society and your self needs to remember its debt to the one who created it.

Our Being

Health as defined by Ayurveda is not the mere absence of disease. Swastha is a positive state of multi-layered well-being. Each level of our affects and reflects the others. A happy, contented mind projects health into the body. Love, trust, and compassion needs to be developed if you are to be healthy. Modern neuropsychiatry has detected specific neuropeptides associated with joy and happiness that communicate with the body's trillions of cells. Likewise, the health of mind and emotions depend upon bodily health. Physical toxins and poor digestion impair mental digestion creating mental toxins like fear, anger, greed, attachment, envy, and judgment. The old saying 'the body is a temple of the spirit' is a factual reality. A firm (as in healthy) body 'firms-up' ahamkara and she reclassified by projecting health into it.

Establishing one self into one's self is not an egotistical attempt to become bigger, better, or more important. Over investment in self is as dangerous as its opponent. Selfishness can only lead us further away from each other and our source in Spirit. Without empathy and compassion for all other living beings, we become destructive to them and ourselves. Invest in your self so that your health and harmony act as a harmonizing influence on those around you and contributions to the health of your environment. This is Swastha.

As a dog owner you are responsible to keep your dog healthy with routine health care. This involves so much more that just regular feeding and exercise. Much of a dog’s care can depend on its age and general health. It can also be driven by your work or social schedule. Regardless, you should keep the following in mind to help

ensure that your dog lives a happy, healthy and long life. So, in no particular order:

  • Be watchful– Dog are actually great communicators, if you pay attention. This is true from “puppyhood” through to their elder years.
    You will come to know their demeanor at various times of the day. Changes in this can be signaling a change in health. Watch for reduced energy, a lackluster coat, excessive weight gain or loss, unusual growths, restlessness/anxiety or even the loss of the usual spark in the eye. If you are a dog owner already, you will know what I mean. In all cases, seek the advice of your dog’s healthcare professional.
  • Establish a daily routine– Dog’s love routine. It is through this routine that they come to understand their role in you family (read Pack). Create
    a morning, daytime and evening series of events that your dog will respect and look forward to such as:

    • Morning walks and light playtime.
    • Feeding – Depending on your pet’s age and health, daily feeding times and amounts do vary. In all cases, ensure that the feedings are earned with a simple wait command for a brief moment prior to allowing the feeding to begin. Some animal behaviorists argue that your pet should never be feed before you and your family, re-enforcing the Pack process in the wild.
    • Potty times. Again this will depend on the age and health of your pet. Generally, our experience is that a puppy will need a break one hour for its monthly age. For example, a two month old puppy will need a break approximately every two hours; a three month old will require a break every three hours, and so on. Adult dogs will usually need approximately 2-3 breaks per day depending on time of year, food and water intake, etc.
    • Evening Playtime – Your dog will want to play with you especially if you have been absent through the day. Establish a playtime/routine that will convey to your dog that this is a time to be happily anticipated. Also, to help with the understanding that there is also a downtime required so that you may get on with your other obligations or interests at home.
    • Bedtime On Time – Just like humans, bedtime at a regular time in the evening is preferred. Have your pet either kenneled or directed to its “lay down” space at approximately the same time each night. Ensure that they have done their business and have not been overly excited prior to this time.
  • Kenneling– This is becoming the much preferred way for your pet to be trained and be housed in doors. It has been our experience that a dog will, if introduced to a kennel properly, heartedly accept it as a secure, comfortable place to occupy. Allow your pet to run the house especially as a pup or younger dog will make house training more difficult. The kennel represents a positive place for your to put your dog between feeding/potty trip early on and also a place for an older dog to rest, sleep or just plain chill. The size of the kennel is very important and dependent on your pet’s size. Seek the advice of your sales clerk prior to purchase.
  • Choose healthy, age appropriate dog food– This is so important for your dog. The adage that we are what we eat applies to your pet as well. Take some time to read the label of various dog food bags at your place of purchase. You will be shocked at the ingredients found in the offerings. Price is not an indicator of healthy food either. Obviously, natural ingredients are the best. The better the food intake, the better your dog will look, feel and act. This is very important folks!
  • Exercise your dog – Exercise yourself– Your pet is going to need exercise. Some breeds admittedly require less exercise but generally all dogs need some level of exercise. Beyond the physical benefits of the routine, don’t underestimate the psychological benefits as well. A dog without exercise is going to become frustrated, anxious or even aggressive at times. Also, each time you walk or play with your pet you are increasing the bond between you. This is emotionally beneficial to both of you. Lastly, each step you take during this routine is a step closer to good health for you. Vary the routine if you can. It will be more enjoyable and interesting for your dog.
  • Toys should be age appropriate– Toys that are not age appropriate can actually be dangerous for your dog. Certain types of rawhide bones could, after being chewed by a puppy, lodge in its throat and be quite a threat. Dogs at each age plateau have unique needs and abilities with respect to toys. They can help to stimulate, educate, develop structurally and amuse your pet. The use of toys are also important. It has been suggested, for example, that playing tug of war with your pup and letting them tug the toy from you may be sending it the wrong message. It may learn that it can beat your or dominate that particular exercise. Check with your Vet for advice in this area.
  • Prevention save money and extends life– Regular checkups with your Vet are absolutely essential to the quality of life for your dog. Beyond the physical assessment that will be taken, this is a good opportunity for the following:
    • Update vaccinations and apply boosters if necessary
    • Treatments for tick, heartworm and fleas may be applied
    • Tests for bloodworm and fecal evaluation may be done

If there is a problem, chances are it will be diagnosed, treated and resolved quick saving you pet unnecessary discomfort, trauma, or a more serious outcome down the road.

  • Grooming is more that just looking good– Regular grooming is important on a number of levels. You want your dog to look good and this will do the trick. If you decide to do this yourself, it is yet another chance to increase the bond that you have with it. In addition, the groomer may be able to spot any unusual skin ailments that can be brought to your attention and assessed by your Vet. Grooming for your pet can be as anticipated as a long awaited massage for you. Most dogs will love the attention. This is also a time to trim nails. This is important to your dog’s health. Not trimming them properly or very infrequently can hurt your pet or actually affect its ability to run, walk or remain stable on certain types of flooring. Regular trimming alleviates this.

Just a few ideas that will help you to keep your dog healthy with routine health care. It takes some work and attention but the benefits to your dog are immense. This is your companion after all. Do all you can to provide it with a long, healthy and happy life.

My friend Steve went for his annual physical recently. His commute from home to the doctor’s office was a mere 9,150 miles.


Steve’s employer posted him to Bangkok in the early 2000s. He lived and worked there for a decade. Steve received medical care from Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital. Like most people, Steve became accustomed to his health care team at Bumrungrad, and vice versa. They knew him and his history, and had access to all his records. They were meticulous, professional and always put Steve as patient before Steve as source of revenue. It didn’t hurt that Thai people are among the most courteous and empathetic anywhere.

Oh, and the average cost of procedures at Bumrungrad is 60% to 80% less than in the U.S. Even with his round trip airfare, he paid less for his physical than if he’d gone to a U.S. doctor… even when taking his U.S. insurance into account.

A World Leader in Inefficient Health Care

The U.S. is a world leader in some aspects of health care. U.S. medical research regularly produces breakthroughs – and when it comes to cancer, the U.S. is the place for advanced treatment.

Despite our success in medical techniques, however, the U.S. has a disastrous health care system. It’s monopolized, uncompetitive and riddled with inappropriate incentives. It’s administratively top-heavy and oriented toward maximum profit rather than good health. Our pharmaceutical costs are sky-high because of special favors for U.S. drug companies by Congress. Doctors worry more about malpractice suits than affordable care. Hospital groups are run by MBAs with backgrounds in finance – not doctors.

Because of these incentives, when faced with more than one option for care, the U.S. health care system typically opts for the most expensive. Doctors routinely order tests and procedures based on profit, not health effectiveness. Prices are arbitrary, set by fiat rather than the market, and often impossible to determine beforehand.

This is not a free market in health care at all. It’s a mess. Here are the results:

  • The U.S. spends more than twice as much on health care per capita than any other country.
  • The U.S. is ranked last amongst developed countries for mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality and healthy life expectancy at age 60.
  • Unlike the rest of the world, where bankruptcies related to medical expenses are negligible, three out of every five U.S. bankruptcies are due to medical costs.

The Hidden Dangers of Obamacare Repeal

Most of us think of Obamacare as a system that forces people to get private health insurance, subsidizes them if they can’t afford it and taxes others to pay for it. It is, and it’s a terrible scheme.

But it also does some useful things that apply to everyone – even those of us who get health insurance through an employer or privately. For example:

  • You can’t be denied coverage or forced to wait for coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
  • If your coverage is interrupted for reasons beyond your control, you can always get new coverage.
  • There are no lifetime or annual coverage caps, and there are limits on annual out-of-pocket costs.
  • You are guaranteed preventive services, which reduces costs over time by identifying health issues early.
  • You are legally guaranteed a review of any decisions by your health insurer.
  • Your kids can be covered on your plan until they’re 26.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Senate voted to abolish every one of these rules. We’re going back to where we were before Obamacare… without having fixed any of the market structure issues I mentioned above.

The Offshore Option

Like Steve’s annual physical, treatment of almost anything – including chronic ailments like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and asthma – is cheaper and often better abroad than in the U.S. Frankly, that’s because their values are different: Foreign health care systems are still oriented toward patients and their health rather than the bottom line.

But many foreign medical professionals are educated at the same institutions as their U.S. counterparts, read the same medical journals and go to the same conferences. With some exceptions, they usually have access to the same resources as any U.S. doctor or hospital. The difference is that they’re still allowed and encouraged to think and act like doctors first and foremost.

Now, it’s true that in many countries there’s a gap between the public health care system’s promise and actual delivery. But that doesn’t affect the quality of those countries’ private health care facilities, where the quality of care is the same or better, whilst costs are far lower.

Coming Soon to a Hospital Far Away: You

Tens of thousands of Americans go abroad for medical care every year. They go for everything from tummy tucks and teeth whitening to open-heart surgery. They go because the care is good, and it’s cheap.

I predict that more and more of us will be joining them. We just won’t be able to afford – or be willing to pay – the ridiculous prices U.S. hospitals charge, and many of us won’t be able to get insurance anyway.

What is Osteopathic Health Care?

The health profession of Osteopathy (founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in the USA) is an established internationally recognized manual medicine system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopathic health practitioners use a variety of hands-on physical treatments. These include soft tissue techniques, joint mobilization & manipulation, muscle energy treatment and functional (strain and counter strain) techniques. These techniques are normally employed together with exercise, dietary, and occupational advice in an attempt to help patients recover from pain, disease and injury.

There are two types of osteopaths. European style Osteopaths (also known as osteopathic manual practitioners, manual osteopaths, traditional osteopaths & classical osteopaths) do not prescribe medications or perform surgery, while American style osteopaths (also known as osteopathic physicians) perform surgery and prescribe medications as well as using osteopathic techniques in managing a patient’s condition.

Osteopathy as a Career Choice

Osteopathic health care is one of the most complete health care systems in the world. It is a distinctive form of medical practice. The practice of manual osteopathy utilizes all available modern manual medicine techniques to assess injury and diseases of muscles, bones, joints and nerves. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). Osteopathic manual practitioners understand how all the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others. They focus special attention on the musculoskeletal system, which reflects and influences the condition of all other body systems.

Osteopathy is the fastest growing health care profession in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Japan, China, India, Iran & Europe. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in a report released in December 2012 and published by the Toronto Star; titled “the Top 25 Occupations in Demand” included manual osteopathy in #13 of the occupations in demand in Canada.

The average salary for a new manual osteopathy graduate who works as an employee in a health or rehab clinic is generally between $30 to $40 per hour in Europe, Australia, Caribbean and North America and $10 to $20 in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Manual osteopaths in private osteopathic practice generally charge between $90 to $140 per hour of treatment in Europe, North America, Australia & Caribbean and $20 to $60 per hour in Asia, Latin America & Africa.

For patients injured in a motor vehicle related accident in Ontario (Canada) all auto insurers cover osteopathic treatments at the rate of $53.66 per hour as per fee guideline set by Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).

The average income of manual osteopaths in Canada and USA is $90,000 per year. In Australia it is $78,000 and in United Kingdom (UK) it is 58,000 Euro. The average income of American style osteopathic physicians varies greatly as it depends on the speciality they practice. It is $161,000 to $576,000 per year.

There is virtually no unemployment in this health care profession. Almost all European style osteopaths find employment within a few months upon graduation.

European style osteopaths are found worldwide. There are approximately 4500 osteopaths in United Kingdom (UK), 1500 manual osteopaths in Canada, 1000 manual osteopaths in Brazil and 67,000 doctors of osteopathic medicine in the USA, and a few thousands more spread around the world in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Panama, Colombia, China, Iran, India, South Korea, Japan, Greece, South Africa, Singapore, Vietnam, Venezuela, Latvia, St Martin, Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Pakistan, Israel, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Italy, and Netherlands amongst others. Nearly half of them are women.

The number of osteopaths worldwide has increased exponentially in the past few years largely due to National Academy of Osteopathy making the diploma program in osteopathy available to students worldwide through an online method of education.

Where do Osteopaths work?

European style Osteopaths have the option of opening their own manual osteopathy clinics; or to rent rooms in established medical, health or rehab clinics and benefit from cross referrals; or to work as employees in other osteopathic, medical, chiropractic, physiotherapy, athletic therapy, massage or rehab clinics.

Most osteopathic manual practitioners work in private osteopathy clinics, often as sole proprietor, associate or employee. However, the increase in multidisciplinary health care facilities and physical rehabilitation clinics in Canada, USA, Australia & United Kingdom has opened new opportunities for osteopathic manual practitioners to collaborate with other health care professionals (such as family physicians, chiropractors, registered massage therapists, naturopaths, athletic therapists, kinesiologists, podiatrists, chiropodists, occupational therapists, ergonomists, and physiotherapists) and benefit patients with interprofessional care. A small numbers of osteopaths also work in hospitals, nursing homes, health spas, sports teams, insurance companies claims services department, fitness clubs, osteopathic colleges, motor vehicle accident (MVA) assessment centres and other institutions.

Most new graduates start their professional work as employees. Later they establish their own private clinics.

Becoming an Osteopath

To become an osteopath one must graduates from an accredited osteopathic school, college or university. The programs vary in length and diplomas and degrees offered. The diploma programs are generally between 1000 to 2000 hours and the degree programs between 3000 to 4500 hours. The time it takes to graduate depends on the osteopathy program and ranges from 4 months to 4 years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 4200 hours (4 years) of osteopathic education for students without previous health education and 1000 hours (1 year) for students with previous health education. However WHO guideline is voluntary and not mandatory. It is not a requirement to follow the WHO guideline. Some osteopathic schools follow the WHO guideline voluntarily.

The diplomas and degrees offered by osteopathic schools, colleges & universities include:

– MPH (O) – Master of Public Health (Osteopathy)

– DO – Doctor of Osteopathy BSc (O) – Bachelor of Science in Osteopathy

– DOMP – Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice

– MO – Master of Osteopathy

– MSc (O) – Master of Science in Osteopathy

– FOCORS – Fellow of Ontario College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences

– FACORS – Fellow of Alberta College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences

– FBCCORS – Fellow of British Columbia College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences

– DCMOEB – Diplomate of the Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board

– DIOEB – Diplomate of the International Osteopathy Examining Board

The Council on Manual Osteopathy Education (CMOE) of the International Osteopathic Association has accredited the following osteopathic schools, colleges & universities which provide diploma and degree programs in osteopathy:

Online Osteopathic Education Worldwide:

• National University of Medical Sciences

• National Academy of Osteopathy

Campus Based Osteopathic Education:

• Buenos Aires School of Osteopathy (Argentina)

• Instituto Argentina de Osteopatía (Argentina)

• Osterreiches Osteopathie Kolleg (Austria)

• RMIT University (Australia)

• University of Western Sydney (Australia)

• Victoria University (Australia)

• Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia (Australia)

• Escola Brasileira De Osteopatia (Brazil)

• National Academy of Osteopathy (Canada, Program offered online worldwide & campus based)

• Collège d’Études Ostéopathiques (Canada)

• Centre Ostéopathique du Québec (Canada)

• Canadian College of Osteopathy (Canada)

• Canadian Academy of Osteopathy and Holistic Health Sciences (Canada)

• Southern Ontario College of Osteopathy (Canada)

• The Osteopathic College of Ontario (Canada)

• British College of Osteopathic Medicine (England)

• British School of Osteopathy (England)

• College of Osteopaths (England)

• European School of Osteopathy (England)

• London School of Osteopathy (England)

• National Academy of Osteopathy (England)

• London College of Osteopathic Medicine (England)

• Oxford Brookes University (England)

• Centre Europeen d’Enseignement Superieur de l’Osteopathie (France)

• Institut de Formation en Ostéopathie du Grand-Avignon (France)

• Osterreiches Osteopathie Kolleg (Germany)

• Deutsches Osteopathie Kolleg (Germany)

• Istituto Superiore di Osteopatia – Milano (Italy)

• Unitec (New Zealand)

• Russian School of Osteopathic Medicine (Russia)

• National Academy of Osteopathy (South Korea)

• Swiss International College of Osteopathy (Switzerland)

• Madrid School of Osteopathy (Spain)

• National University of Medical Sciences (Spain, program offered online worldwide & campus based)

• Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain)

Osteopathic Care & Treatments

A number of researches have shown patients who have low back pain of mechanical origin are most satisfied with osteopathic treatments.

Dr. Lee Choi, MD, an osteopathy student of National Academy of Osteopathy has completed a research project as his thesis towards the investigative project requirement of course TH 980 of the diploma in manual osteopathy program.

Dr. Choi’s research analysed 100 patients’ response to low back pain treatments performed by manual osteopaths, registered massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and physicians.

Patients who received European style osteopathic treatment had the highest rate of satisfaction with their treatments, followed by chiropractic, massage therapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and medicine.

Over 95% of the patients surveyed who received osteopathic treatments indicated great satisfaction with their treatments, followed by 91% who received chiropractic treatments, 86% by those who received massage therapy, 75% by those who received physiotherapy, 60% by those who received acupuncture and 30% by those who received medical care for their low back pain.

This research confirms result of previous research indicating that patients favor manual osteopathy treatment above all other available treatments for low back pain of mechanical origin and that osteopathy is the number one health care system of choice for them whenever they suffer from low back pain.

World Osteopathy Day

As a result of tireless work of the world famous osteopath, Dr Shahin Pourgol, president of the National University of Medical Sciences & the National Academy of Osteopathy for suggesting a World Osteopathy Day and collaboration between National Academy of Osteopathy, International Osteopathic Association, Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board, and a number of other organizations, manual osteopaths, and osteopathy students, June 22nd has been chosen and named “World Osteopathy Day”.

For over 130 years the health profession of osteopathy has done so much to help human beings have a better quality of life and it deserve a day of its own as recognition of its contribution to human society worldwide.

At 10AM on June 22, 1874 in Baldwin, Kansas (USA), the 46 years old physician, Dr Andrew Taylor Still founded osteopathy. Dr Shahin Pourgol recommended this day in oppose to Dr Still’s date of birth (August 06, 1828) as the World Osteopathy Day and his suggestion was accepted by the majority.

Dr Pourgol is bringing a private member bill to the Canadian parliament to request the government of Canada officially recognize June 22nd as the World Osteopathy Day.

International Osteopathic Association has committed to do the same with parliaments of a number of other countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

You know that quilting makes you feel good, but now there’s scientific evidence to back up what you’ve always suspected-not only does quilting make you happy, it’s actually good for your health. Researchers at the University of Glasgow published their findings in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health after conducting qualitative research using a local quilting group as their source. The end result? “Quilting seemed to possess some distinct properties for enhancing well-being that would not be replicable through outdoor/physical activity.” In other words, that’s dry research speak for saying quilting gives you a workout you’re not going to find in your local step class.

The biggest perk? When you’re happy and doing something you love, your brain gets saturated with dopamine and serotonin, otherwise known as happy chemicals-especially when you’re doing “meaningful work” using your hands. According to Kelly Lambert, PhD and a member of the neuroscience department at Randolph-Macon College, quilting complements these conditions perfectly.

Get Healthy and a Stunning Quilt

Next on the health benefits list is a decrease in stress levels. Dr. Lambert says quilters “feel a sense of accomplishment that increases your ‘reward chemicals’ and decreases the chemicals related to stress or anxiety.” Of course, lower stress levels are linked to a variety of good things from a lower risk of heart attack and stroke to lower body fat. In a time when stress levels are breaking through the roof for most people, who wouldn’t benefit from a little cultivation of mindfulness?

If you’re more into quantitative proof, a clinical psychologist published research in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing evidence that quilting leads to decreased blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Finally, according to Harvard neurologist Marie Pasinski, MD, quilting is a soother for the brain. The Glasgow research echoes these sentiments, with the participants saying that quilting was a (relatively) easy way to embrace creativity, and the use of different colors and textures gave them a “sense of wellbeing.”

Straight from the Source

The Glasgow participants specifically cited, time and again, bright colors and how they elevated their moods-particularly during those dreary British winters. Most of the group also said there was something captivating about quilting and that they got into a flow, much like a runner’s high. It’s relaxing and at least for a little while, their anxieties were put on the back burner. However, quilting also requires problem solving skills, like when new patterns and shapes are required. From newbies to quilt masters, everyone said that at some point they always find a new challenge.

Finally, getting that tangible end result is a built-in reward that offers plenty of satisfaction and the feeling of achievement. During the social aspect of quilting as a group, the women said they felt inspired and all those compliments don’t hurt when it comes to getting a self-esteem boost. Quilting is “uniquely good for you” concluded researchers-a sentiment that’s obvious for quilters, but it’s quite the rush to get a nod from the world of academe (kind of like nailing that tumbling blocks pattern on your first try).

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can not digest or absorb in the blood stream. It is a polysaccharide which can be derived from all plant products like fruits, vegetables, cereals, and pulses. Fiber is not considered a nutrient because unlike other carbohydrates it does not add calories to a person's diet, nor does it give energy required by the body.

Fiber can be divided into three groups. Soluble Fiber forms a gel when mixed with a liquid. Like any other fiber it does not get digested but gets affected by intestinal bacteria during digestion. Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve in liquids. It passes through the intestine completely unaffected.

Resistant Fiber has been recently recognized and categorized as a third type of fiber. It provides the benefits of both types of fiber. It passes through the small intestine largely unaffected and is fermented in the large intestine.

Fiber does not provide calories to the body and hence can be helpful in controlling weight and preventing obesity. Fiber reduces fat absorption. It helps you to decrease your appetite by adding bulk to your diet and keeping you full for a longer period. It promotes rapid passage of food through the intestine. It also adds bulk and softness to stools preventing constipation, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome.

It is found to reduce the total and LDL cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks. It reduces insulin requirement, resulting in controlled blood sugar levels. Studies have found a strong link between reduced risk of cancer and high fiber intake.

Fiber stimulates the production of short chain fatty acids in the intestines by balancing the pH, thus reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, foods rich in fiber are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, all off which help in fighting various diseases.

The dietary requirements of fiber in men are 38 gm and 30 gm for those below 50 years of age and 51 or above, respectively. While women under 50 years require 25 gm of fiber, those that are 51 or above need 21 gm. Sources of soluble fiber are peas, soybeans, legumes, oats, rye, barley, fruits, vegetables, and psyllium. Sources of insoluble fiber are whole grain foods, wheat and corn, bran, nuts and seeds, potato skins, and flax seeds.

Animal sources of food including milk and milk products, meat, egg, fish have no fiber. The Dietary Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid recommend eating 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 6 to 11 servings of whole grains and cereals each day to increase your fiber intake. Fiber should be gradually increased in one's diet. A sudden increase of fiber in diet can cause gas, diarrhea and bloating.

It is very important to drink plenty of water as fiber traps water in the intestines. Adding fiber to a child's diet or to an elderly patient's diet should be done with extreme care. Adding excess fiber to a child's diet may fill up the child too quickly and elderly patients may feel the added effect of fiber.

The purpose of fitness testing is to determine the function

and health of an individual and an appropriate measure of

exercise demands at which an individual can begin.

Although this test usually is implemented prior to beginning

an exercise program, it can be used as an intermittent

measurement tool, to determine progress. Fitness testing

comprises the following:


This phase addresses an individual’s health status/history.

The questionnaire is an important aspect of the test since

health problems must be addressed and brought to the

forefront. Moreover, it is important to have the waiver signed

to protect an instructor legally in the event of an unforeseen

and imperceptible mishap.

The remainder of the test, described below, holds little

validity as to a person’s overall function and health and the

results should be taken with some reservation. Before I

explain each aspect, consider that if a room in a house were

to be measured, to put in a new carpet or hardwood flooring,

the entire area would be measured with a tool designed for

the task, such as a measuring tape. One part of the floor

would not be measured and the remaining dimensions

guessed. Nor would a person measure with his or her foot

length then tell a flooring retailer that the living room is

twenty paces by thirty paces. This would be pointless since

any individual’s foot length is not accepted universally or an

accurate method of measurement – unlike the yard, meter,

or actual foot (twelve inches). With that in mind, we then can

consider the following steps in conducting a fitness test.


The percentage of body fat is measured, usually with fat

calipers, since they are inexpensive compared to other body

composition tools. The more deconditioned (fat) a person,

or the better conditioned (muscle and leanness) a person,

the less accurate body fat percentage readings become if

calipers are used as the tool of measurement. Other

methods also lose their accuracy with very muscular and

obese individuals: the extent being relative to the device in


Calipers are acceptable for determining millimeter (mm) fat

thickness, in order to establish data for comparison

purposes, but the readings, together with the mathematical

formulae provided to suggest “x” percentage of fat and

muscle, should be avoided in regard to body composition

constitution. (About eight years ago, I had a very experienced

caliper tester, who taught and certified instructors in fitness

testing, tell me that my body fat was close to 20%

[overweight] although my abdominals were quite visible and

the remainder of my body fairly lean and muscular.)

Moreover, mm thickness can vary significantly, and this

depends on the skill of the person who performs the test

and how and where the tissue to be measured is pinched.

Even experienced caliper users must be quick in application

and take a single reading since continual prodding and

pulling of the skin alters the architecture and pliability of the

tissues, thereby encouraging different results.

Nor will caliper body fat measurement account for areas not

measured. Some individuals, for example, have large

buttocks and carry an excessive amount of fat in that area. I

tend to carry it in the lower back and buttocks more than in

other areas, a distribution that is not a typical male

characteristic. Many men have leaner buttocks and carry

more fat in the front of the abdominals. Yet, the buttocks are

not measured with a caliper reading. Hence, how can a

mathematical equation be created so that allowances are

made for fat buttocks that may or may not exist and in any



With this test, trainees do not prove their ability on the leg

press or bench press, although doing so would not

disclose much information. Rather, strength is determined

with a hand-held dynamometer. In other words, the strength

of a person’s grip supposedly indicates how strong a

person is overall. Therefore, if a person has a relatively

weak grip, compared to the average population, and

regardless of the strength in the remaining muscle groups,

that person will score below average. The extent of an

individual’s grip is irrelevant to what can be achieved or

what has been achieved as governed by the function(s) of

the remainder of the body and its health status.

Although I regularly perform grip exercises, my grip is barely

above average for my sex and age group, even after more

than two decades of regular exercise and grasping heavy

barbells. At the time of my fitness test (mid 1990s), I was

one standard deviation below normal in grip strength,

although I could leg press several hundred pounds and

easily chin my body weight for at least fifteen repetitions. My

father, who was a practicing plumber at the time, used his

grip daily and scored almost three standard deviations

above normal, yet I could out-lift him in the gym and was

more fit overall. This example demonstrates that grip

strength is not an indication of strength or function in


The muscular endurance test I experienced was measured

through a maximum count (uncontrolled,

crank-them-out-as-fast-as-you-can) push-ups and sit-ups

or stomach crunches. After twenty push-ups, my upper body

was heavily blood engorged and I could not continue. After

eighteen stomach crunches, my abdominals also were

fatigued significantly. Again, I scored below normal since I

was used to a short tension time while under intense strain

when I exercised, including abdominal exercises. I did not

practice high repetition push-ups or stomach crunches, and

this reflected the SAID Principle in my results. Although I

had good pectoral and abdominal development, and I could

lift heavy weights relative to most other people, apparently I

was not in very good condition as far as muscular

endurance was concerned.

Does it matter if a person has poor endurance in the

push-up and sit-up, since rate of fatigue may have some

issues with the contention? What if the goal is to increase

lean muscle and strength, in that the environment needs to

be anaerobic, and such an environment does not require

the performance of dozens of consecutive repetitions with a

focus on endurance?


I have very good flexibility in some muscle groups,

particularly around my shoulder joints and ankles, and to a

lesser degree my hips. Yet, and because of laziness on my

part, I never sustained good flexibility in my hamstrings,

although it was attained once. I easily can perform very

deep squats, but stiff-legged toe-touches are

uncomfortable. Unfortunately, for me, flexibility of the

hamstring muscles was tested. The stretch was tested

with me sitting on the floor and reaching forward with locked

knees. I was about 2-3 inches from reaching my toes and

scored below normal in flexibility.

I never understood the need or desire to touch one’s toes

while keeping the knees locked since I do not recall having

to perform such a feat in my activities of daily living.

Moreover, with locked knees, excessive forward bending

increases the compression and strain on the lumbar discs,

an unhealthy practice for some people if performed


Further, what bearing would tight hamstrings have on

exercises other than the stiff-legged deadlift and, to a lesser

degree, a few other lower body movements such as deep

squats? There is little purpose behind this testing except

that the authorities who created the test felt that flexibility had

to be tested in some manner. Therefore, rather than test the

range-of-motion of all joints, it is easier to focus on a limited

area of the body that typically is tight and inflexible.


The person being tested moves three steps up, then two

steps back on a tiered platform to a beat played on a

cassette music machine. If this is accomplished for a

specific period, without having the heart rate rise above the

maximum rate allowed for the person’s age group, the next

level of step-up intensity, at a faster beat, is attempted. This

process continues until the person’s heart rate exceeds the

maximum established for that age group.

What I noticed is that heart rate had much to do with the

person’s being used to an activity. I was not used to

stepping up and down on steps to a predetermined beat,

and so a considerable percentage of effort was utilized in

that skill. Had I practiced only a few times prior to being

tested, I could have increased my proficiency.

Nonetheless, I did score two standard deviations above

normal for cardiorespiratory fitness. Ironically, I never

performed any cardio-type exercise at the time, only weight

training, yet my wife regularly used the Stairmaster for cardio

exercise and scored lower. It must be considered that her

leg length was much shorter and she had to exert greater

effort to climb the same stair height. Consequently, this test

did not take into account the size of the person relative to the

steps, and this is similar to the mechanical and leverage

differences between a short person and a tall person who

lift the same weight off the floor.

As with any other physiological factors, the ability to improve

cardiovascular fitness is limited – more so than muscular

strength or muscle mass. That is not to suggest that cardio

efficiency cannot be improved upon, but only to a marginal

degree, although this would depend on how ‘deconditioned’

a person is. The fact remains, that either a person was

born with the ability to run a marathon or not. Furthermore,

the goal of the individual may not be to enhance cardio

fitness to an optimal extent, and this test would not hold

much relevance as a result.


It has been argued that a fitness test, at least, provides a

benchmark for future comparisons, to see if an individual

has made improvement. However, that is the purpose of

exercise progression and accurate record keeping of


Moreover, after my twenty years experience in this field, this

particular standardized industry test has never helped me

make a decision in exercise prescription. I could never

reason how it could. If someone is obese, it is obvious that

he or she requires additional cardio work and greater

volume and frequency to help reduce fat stores; and more

attention needs to be directed toward safety during exercise

in regard to the effects on the heart and joints. It is

unnecessary to have an obese person fail at one or two

pushups and sit-ups to help decide exercise prescription.

Other functional idiosyncrasies will present themselves

during the initial workouts, such as joint ROM and flexibility

throughout the entire body, ability to sustain constant activity

(muscular endurance and cardio endurance), and a

trainee’s strength level throughout all muscles. These are

far more accurate and usable data than those provided by a

very restricted and limited fitness test that examines specific

abilities that may not reflect other abilities. In accordance

with the SAID Principle, the results of any test reflect only the

ability that is tested.

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Our eyes are one of the organs in the body that respond very positively to the right nutrition. Therefore, in order to promote healthier eyesight it is necessary to eat the right foods that are good for the eyes. This enables us to increase our eyesight and fight or reduce the incidence of eye diseases which are a major concern in the United States. A good example of a food that is often overlooked in terms of its role in improving eye health is the Pear. Pears consist of Vitamin C, Potassium and small sources of other nutrients such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 and Folate to name a few. More importantly, in terms of vision nutrients, this fruit also includes carotenoids, flavonols and anthocyanins. This eye food is also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C making it one of the healthiest foods in the world. Some of the general health benefits of pears include better heart health, diabetes prevention and cancer prevention to name a few. Therefore, here are some good reasons to make pears an integral part of your healthy diet:

Vision health benefits of Pears: The thin skin in pears consists of phenolic phytonutrients (these are defined as antioxidants that provide protection against the damaging effects of free radicals on healthy eye cells. This nutritional property increases eyesight and also cleanses the kidneys. When we think about pears we think about a delicious fruit that we can savor particularly on a very hot summer day. However, few of us are aware of the fact that pears also consist of eye friendly nutrients called carotenoids. These are described as the pigmentation in plants that give fruits and vegetables their green, red, orange, yellow or purple colors. The pear is an example of a good food to improve your vision due to the fact that it is classified as a Carotenoid. These types of eye foods play an essential role in increasing the health of the macula in the eyes, (the part of the eyes located in the center of the retina that helps us read fine print and also sharpens our eyesight).

Better Heart health: Pears consist of fiber which is linked with improving heart health by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Research studies suggest that regular consumption of pears in your diet can help to reduce your risks for heart disease by 50%. The potassium content in this eye food to improve eyesight also helps to reduce blood pressure levels.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: This particular food is a good example of a low glycemic index food due to the fact that it is considered to be a fruit that prevents a spike in blood sugar levels when eaten. Therefore, if you have concerns related to diabetes, or desire to get your blood sugar levels under control, this is an ideal food to include in your diet. Furthermore, the fiber contained in this food slows the absorption of carbohydrates which also prevents a spike in blood sugar levels.

Digestive Health Benefits: Its fiber content aids in good digestion. This is due to the fact that its rich fiber content adds bulk to food content in the digestive tract and therefore provides good elimination. It adds bulk to food in the intestines due to its non-soluble fiber content meaning that it reduces digestive problems.

Anti-cancer properties: The health properties of pears are such that they provide an ample amount of antioxidants that have cancer fighting benefits. They protect our health by destroying rogue cells in the body known as free radicals that tend to break down the body’s immune system and attack healthy cells. From this point of view, foods like pears have been associated with a reduced risk for a variety of different types of cancers such breast, prostate and colon cancers.

If you need to snack on a delicious fruit in the summer, then, pears are an ideal food choice. But pears offer so much more than a tasty choice in foods ideal for summer snacking but provide numerous health benefits that relate to many areas of your general health and eye health as well. Ultimately, you can improve your vision health and do the things you need to do to achieve maximum health by including pears in your diet.