Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

You have high blood pressure and your doctor wants to put you on medication to bring it down. You hesitate because you know that you will end up taking this medication for the rest of your life. What are your other options?

If you suffer from high blood pressure, also sometimes referred to as hypertension, then finding ways to reduce it naturally can do your body a world of good. It helps to know that high blood pressure (HBP) is a medical condition that can be prevented if you take the proper steps to control it. Finding natural ways to lower your blood pressure is important because when it remains elevated for long periods at a time it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, aneurysms and a decline in cognitive function.

Shed Pounds:

The first thing you must do to lower your high blood pressure naturally is to lose weight if you’re obese or carrying in excess of 50 pounds. Weighing too much is not good for your blood pressure in any way! Eat less, eat healthier and start a regular exercise program.

Patients who suffer from hypertension who start walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably at least five times a week (and more if possible) help their heart to work more effectively. This is because the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body and it uses its oxygen supply more efficiently. Challenge your heart a bit every day and this will help to strengthen it. Of course before starting any exercise program talk to your primary care physician. For a gentle program consider Dr Al Sears PACE Exercise Program – more here.

Natural Health Practices:

Practice deep breathing, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These natural health practices are remedies for high blood pressure because they reduce the level of stress hormones in the body which in turn makes it easier for you to relax. It also helps to learn to breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Inhale as deeply as you can to allow your belly to expand a ball and then let it out. Just feel the tension leave your body. Your blood pressure will thank you for it!

Healthy Diet:

A lower blood pressure diet should include foods that contain plenty of the mineral potassium. As a natural way to lower blood pressure potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, orange juice, cantaloupe, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons win top marks.

Potassium can also be found in dried fruits. Examples of these include prunes and raisins. To naturally lower blood pressure you should try to keep your potassium levels around the 2,000 to 4,000 mg mark.

Here is an enjoyable way in which to improve your blood pressure; health- indulge in delectable dark chocolate. Chocolate of the dark variety (not milk chocolate) is composed of a healthy substance called flavanols that keeps the blood vessels strong and elastic. Eat no more than ½ ounce at a time as chocolate is high in saturated fat. Choose a variety that contains approximately 70 percent cocoa or more. This will help lower your blood pressure naturally.


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Back a few months ago I wrote about gastric band weight loss surgery and procedures offering an alternative to the surgery using hypnosis. One of these is the Virtual Gastric Band procedure from Sheila Granger.

Recently a study on Virtual Gastric Band was concluded in Milford Massachusetts. The study was organized by Virtual Gastric Band of New England. The Milford study results along with some participant feedback can be found at the VGB New England web site here.

The study consisted of 10 participants and was led by Erika Slater, CH. The study obtained similar results to those performed elsewhere in U.S. and in Europe.

However, what is interesting about this study is it was conducted over the holiday season normally a difficult time for people to lose weight. Slater said the participants were all committed to the program and comfortable with the process.

While the hypnosis sessions are complete as part of the study the participants will be followed during the next twelve months with regularly progress check-ins.

Slater say’s “the Virtual Gastric Band method is not another diet plan but instead teaches you to be satisfied with smaller portions of food at meal times.”  “Unlike weight loss surgery,” Slater added “the Virtual Gastric Band Procedure is available to anyone who wishes to achieve lasting significant weight loss regardless of whether or not they’re candidates for weight-loss surgery.

Weight loss is a huge issue and topic in this country and this is one story I’ll be following over the next year, and I’ll be interested to see if the initial results of the study group continues the progress over the next year.

Erika Slater is offering private and group sessions in the procedure and you can find out more information about her Virtual Gastric Band Boston Massachusetts service here.


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The hypno-bandTM is a form of gastric band hypnosis created and developed by John Maclean of New Wave Hypnotherapy which is found in Mallorca, Spain and Exeter, United Kingdom.  This is the third in my posts about hypnosis surgery.

After seeing many clients with a high body mass index (BMI) John Maclean came to realize that while weight loss hypnotherapy was beneficial for these clients, it was not enough.

While gastric band hypnosis was something he was aware of he felt what it required to be effective was a system that was highly integrated. It needed to analyze and cope with the emotional and psychological reasons that overeating took place.  It is the knowledge of this that prompted many months of research and development that led to the creation of the hypno-band. Today it is used by over 200 licensed practitioners in 11 countries around the world.

What is the Hypno-Band?

The hypno-bandTM is a system that combines techniques used in hypnotherapy with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Together these methods make it possible for a patient of the therapy to explore and analyze their eating habits. Once that is done then they’re able to modify their eating habits to improve their weight, and from there the quality of their life. The mind/body connection is then used to “install” a virtual gastric band into the stomach of the patient.  The individual will then consume less food and eat less often than before.

There is no surgery that takes place in this case. The hypno-bandTM system is non-invasive in nature. It involves no drugs and is not painful or uncomfortable in the least.  On the contrary it is very relaxing and peaceful. It is also safe and cost effective for the majority of patients.

How Does the Hypno-Band System Work?

The hypno-bandTM system is made up of a series of one hour sessions. It comes with MP3 or CD recordings that can be used for the reinforcement you require. When you have your first session a complete medical history will be taken. This will also include a discussion of your diet and lifestyle habits. An initial assessment will also be taken at this time. At this time you will also be introduced to hypnosis and you will experience all of the positive and relaxing feelings that accompany the hypnosis experience. This is also when your journey to drop pounds begins.

During your second session the virtual gastric band will be fitted around the stomach and the hypnotherapy will take place. In the sessions to follow it will be adjusted accordingly. In sessions beyond that everything that has been learned to date will be reinforced and the patient will begin to be taught a different approach to looking at food and eating food. Once the hypno-band sessions have concluded the patient should use the CD or MP3 recordings to continue to reinforce everything that has been learned.

Like all hypnosis the success of the hypno-band depends upon you. You must be completely committed to it in order it to work for you. Find out more information at http://www.hypnoband.com


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Last week I looked at the pioneering work of the Shirran’s and their Gastric Mind BandTM program. Today I’ll cover the work of Sheila Granger and her Virtual Gastric Band Program.

Just as  a recap for you, these therapies make use of hypnosis and powerful imagery, along with behavioral modifications, to convince your unconscious mind you’ve had Gastric Band surgery with the intent of losing weight by taking in lesser amounts of food at each meal.

A U.K. clinical hypnotherapist named Sheila Granger has developed her own Virtual Gastric Band technique. Granger has quoted a 95 percent rate of success with those who have already attempted her weight loss hypnosis procedure.

While little details are generally available about the actual technique, it uses the power of clinical hypnosis to convince the human mind that a gastric band has been fitted into the stomach. This leads to is a feeling of fullness that will happen much faster than in the past while you’re consuming food. This is exactly what happens when gastric band surgery is done for real.

Advantages to the virtual gastric band hypnosis are that it’s less expensive than the real surgery, and because it doesn’t involve an invasive surgical procedure, there are no risks  connected to having a general anesthetic as none is administered. As described earlier the “surgery” is performed only in the subconscious where your desire to eat (and over consume) lives. This technique, as previously mentioned, is non-surgical in nature and uses the power inherent in hypnosis to train both the mind as well as the body to take in a lesser amount of food at each sitting. It works by conveying a message to the brain that the stomach is satiated and does not require any more food.

If “adjustments” need to be made to the virtual gastric band then they can be done relatively easily. Best of all, there is no pain and no recovery time required. There is also no ongoing medical treatment required and the therapy can be done privately, comfortably and best of all – rapidly!

According to Granger, the majority of her clients have benefited from the virtual gastric band treatment. She pioneered this therapy in the United Kingdom as a component of her weight loss hypnotherapy program. Granger is scheduled to visit NYC in mid-October to discuss her techniques with other hypnotherapists keen to understand her techniques and the reasons for her claimed success rates.


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Riding a bike can be an enjoyable and beneficial way to lose weight. Many men prefer it to running as it’s easier on the knees and causes fewer injuries.

Cycling is excellent for the health of your heart and can provide a way to get around your neighborhood that’s cheaper than taking your car everywhere you need to go! Cycling can be fun too. If you can find a form of physical activity that provides a pleasurable form of recreation then staying motivated is much easier to accomplish.

Start your cycling routine with some simple breathing exercises that will prepare your lungs for the workout to come. Then cycle for an average of 20 minutes at a time and intersperse the time with interval training on the bike. This steps things up a notch and challenges your body to work harder to burn calories, and avoids the trap of trying to burn fat during your exercise.

Causes of Weight Gain:

Weight gain can be blamed on three factors. The first cause or factor is a reduced level of energy that comes about due to decreased activity. The second cause is when a lack of physical activity is coupled with not changing the amount of food you eat on a daily basis. The third cause is simply eating the wrong foods on a consistent basis.  Do you see yourself in any of these causes?

In order to lose weight a man must expend approximately 3293 calories week (which is equal to an estimated one hour of moderate exercise daily) while taking in no more than 1500 calories per day. By adding cycling into your daily routine you can lose the weight you want to.

Physical activity when combined with a healthy diet can work wonders for your weight. Making cycling a part of your life can increase both the calories you expend as well as your energy input. It can also suppress your appetite and help to maintain lean body mass. The fat you have can turn to muscle and it may not take very long at all if you are a dedicated and consistent cyclist! Physical activity can also increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE).

Cycle at a Moderate Rate:

The key is to cycle at a moderate speed, as previously mentioned. Your current body weight and the intensity of the riding that you do will determine how many calories you lose. In general a 30-minute bike ride will have you burning anywhere from 200 to 250 calories at a time. While it may not sound like a huge amount at a time consistency is key for exercise.

If you’ve been sedentary for some time now then don’t get too enthusiastic and run out and buy a bicycle today and start riding it like crazy. For the sake of your health schedule a physical and tell your doctor of your intended plans to lose weight by cycling. Once you are given the okay to do so then you can proceed with your cycling plans but take it slow. Here is where the word moderation comes into play once again.

You cannot make up for months (or years!) of being a couch potato in a matter of days or weeks by biking to get yourself back into shape. The body needs time to become use to the changes you are imposing upon it.

Take your time. Start out with a five minute bike ride around your neighborhood and then work up to 10 minutes. Give yourself as much time as you need to do this. You are not in a race by any means. But don’t pound out mile after mile for more than 30 minutes if losing weight is your goal.

Adapt the PACE exercise program for weight loss program for cycling by biking for two minutes relaxed and then speed up for a minute and then slacken off for another two minutes before increasing speed for another minute. Continue to do this for 30 minutes and at the end you should be tired and know you’ve exercised.

Cycling is a wonderful activity and if you can get a few male buddies hooked on it then it can be a great way to spend time with friends, and interval training adds a little competitive edge to it for us guys. Some of my buddies are runners and if cycling isn’t your sport then here’s information about Running and Weight Loss for Men.

Jed Richards

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