Meditation Is Even More Powerful Than We Originally Thought Friday, Dec 12 2014 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/11/meditation-reduces-stress-harvard-study_n_6109404.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

With our stress levels creeping higher than ever before, we could all stand to reap the benefits of this mindful practice.

A recent study from Harvard University and the University of Sienna found that the powers of meditation move beyond the cultivation of self-awareness, improvement of concentration and protection of the heart and immune system — it can actually alter the physiology of the human brain. Consistent practice can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression in people who often need it most.

In the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the scientists selected 24 subjects who had never meditated before and guided them through an 8-week meditation course. Each participant completed a two-and-a-half hour session each week, where they learned about various components and styles of a meditation practice. Outside of the weekly session, they each meditated for 45 minutes daily.

Data gathered from the MRIs conducted before and after the meditation program, along with psychological evaluations, revealed that the subjects experienced a thickening in the part of the brain responsible for emotions and perception. Such changes strengthen the body’s physiological resilience against worry, anxiety and depression.

For the increasing number of us struggling with the overwhelming demands of our lives, reserving a little time each day to tune into ourselves might not be such a bad idea. It takes a little prioritizing in an already-busy schedule, but the proven benefits can be well worth the effort.

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You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga Thursday, Jul 24 2014 

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http://www.yogarosa.com

Most people think of a yogi (someone who practices yoga) As being very fit and flexible. This can happen over time, and with perseverance. My yoga career began at a gym by accident in 1995. Literally, I was there for my usual aerobics class, and the instructor didn’t show because she was in a car accident. So the next class was a yoga class, and I reluctantly went. I was a very fit 30 year old, but this was a form of exercise like no other. The instructor was having us put our body in shapes my body had never experienced, and I became aware of my hamstrings. Especially because I realized how tight they were. With time, practice and perseverance, my hamstrings have become much more humbly stretchy, which led to the end of my back pain. This was so significant to my life, that I decided to open a yoga studio, and offer Iyengar Yoga, which is a form of Hatha Yoga which teaches us to become aware of our bodies in space. I realized I didn’t have to be flexible to practice yoga, and I not only gained mobility in my muscles and joints, but it gained strength, and endurance.
i share my journey with others, and have helped numerous people realize why they have pain, and how to release it from their bodies. The purpose of yoga is not to be stretchy, it is to train the mind into silence. When one is in pain, the mind chatter can be deafening. Removing the noise of pain from the body, can free us to live a serene life.

Assistive Devices that can help to make living with MS easier Thursday, Jul 24 2014 

Friday, July 18, 2014

http://wwwmsviewsandrelatednews.blogspot.com/2014/07/assistive-devices-that-can-help-to-make.html

These products can help make everyday activities easier, from cooking and dressing yourself to just getting around.

The information shown below is from WebMD

There is a variety of assistive devices that can help you manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). An assistive device is a tool or product that makes a certain function easier to perform. An occupational or physical therapist can prescribe these devices.

Below find a list of assistive devices and equipment that are available.

Mobility Aids for Multiple Sclerosis

Orthotics: Orthotics are lightweight inserts worn inside the shoes that can be used to increase stability and decrease fatigue. Orthotics can help with spasticity in the foot and can help brace the foot.

Leg braces: Weakness of the leg muscles may make it more difficult to maneuver on stairs, rise from a chair, or walk. An ankle-foot brace can stabilize the ankle when there is weakness in the foot muscles. This brace fits into an ordinary shoe and prevents the toes from dragging. If muscle weakness occurs in the neck, a neck brace may be recommended to make you more comfortable.

Canes: A cane may be the most useful tool when one leg is weaker than the other, or when you have mild problems with balance. Here are some guidelines for cane use:

  • The cane should be held on the stronger side of the body while the weight is shifted away from the weaker side.
  • A quad cane (or four-legged cane) provides more stability than a standard cane.

It is a good idea to have a session with a physical therapist to learn how to properly use your cane.

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Walkers: Walkers may be more appropriate when there is significant leg weakness. They can also provide support for maintaining balance. Wheels or platforms may be added to the walker if necessary.

Wheelchairs or scooters: Wheelchairs or power scooters may provide more independence. These are usually recommended when a person experiences excessive fatigue, unsteadiness, or occasional falls. A scooter can add a great deal of independence for a person with limited mobility.

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Aids for Activities of Daily Living

Bathing

  • Tub bench
  • Hand-held shower head
  • Grab bars installed in shower/tub

Toileting

  • Bedside commode
  • Grab bars near toilet
  • Toilet seat with armrests (a raised seat with armrests can be placed over a regular toilet)

Dressing

  • Velcro, buttons, zippers, and hooks on clothing
  • Sock pull
  • Long-handled shoehorn
  • Buttonhook
  • A stool for sitting while dressing

Cooking

  • Microwave oven
  • Wheeled utility cart
  • Electric can opener
  • Pot stabilizer

Eating

  • Specialized utensils, such as large-handled spoons and forks, or ”sporks,” and rocker knives
  • Plate guard
  • Wrist supports

Writing

  • Special grips for pens and pencils
  • Wrist supports

Sleeping

  • Electric beds or mattresses

Miscellaneous

  • Reacher devices
  • Grab bars

Resources for Assistive Devices and Equipment

ABLEDATA

8630 Fenton Street, Suite 930
Silver Spring, MD 20910
1-800-227-0216 (Voice) or (301) 608-8912 (TTY)
E-mail: abledata@orcmacro.com
A federally funded service to inform consumers about available products.

 

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9 Simple Tips for Making Your Website Disability-Friendly Tuesday, Apr 22 2014 

9 Simple Tips for Making Your Website Disability-Friendly

The Internet isn’t always “one size fits all.” Every day, inaccessible web design prevents billions of people in the disabled community from an easy online experience.

For those with visual impairments, learning difficulties, hearing loss and more, there are dozens of unique challenges waiting behind every URL. But building a disability-friendly site is a lot simpler than you might think.

Laurence Berry, a designer for UK-based design and tech organization FutureGov who has also written extensively about accessible web design, says the easiest way to build user-friendly sites is to figure out their key obstacles.

“This sounds pretty obvious, but understanding the problems people with disabilities face on the web is the key to building an accessible product,” he says in an email interview withMashable.

Knowing is half the battle, but implementing the necessary changes for a more inclusive web experience can seem daunting. However, you’re hurting yourself if your website isn’t accessible to those with disabilities.

“If you just want to look at it from a strictly commercial perspective, if sites don’t consider disabled users, they’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market,” says Sandi Wassmer, a technologist and design expert who registered blind in 2008.

Approximately one billion people in the world live with disabilities

Approximately one billion people in the world live with disabilities, according to the UN. That’s a sizable chunk indeed.

In addition to those born with disabilities, Wassmer points out another user group to be aware of — the aging population.

“Some of the natural signs of aging, such as loss of sensory acuity, ability to process cognitive load and fine motor skills, all impact how older people interact with technology,” she says.

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