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How Playing An Instrument is Good For One’s Health

One of the most unique abilities of humans is making music. It plays a huge role in culture and self-expression, but it can also transcend other divisions like race, age, and gender. Plus, it is simply fun, uplifting, and entertaining. 

Music, or specifically playing an instrument, can have more benefits. It is also believed to be good for everybody’s health, be it physical, psychological, mental, or emotional. These advantages will be explored in full below.

Physical Benefits Of Playing an Instrument


You cannot create music without using your muscles (even singing requires you to use your vocal cords), thus playing an instrument is a form of exercise.

If you sign up for classes at a Melbourne drum lessons studio, for example, you can expect quite a bit of an arm and leg workout and cardio exercise as well.

You can expect your heart rate to go up and your blood flow increasing while playing an instrument.

Lung Exercise

Playing wind instruments and singing are great for strengthening the lungs because one has to practice deep breathing. Over time, this strengthens the respiratory system. 

Improved Hearing

As one learns how to play an instrument, the ear gets trained to pick out sounds and distinguish if they are in tune or not.

Better Motor Skills

Some instruments, like the guitar or piano, will require complex finger movements. In time, dexterity and flexibility, both important when it comes to motor skills, are developed.

Learning how to play a simple musical instrument can even be a form of physical therapy after a stroke or an accident.

Mental Benefits Of Playing an Instrument

Music has been shown to be good for the brain. Playing an instrument can also bring about similar advantages and even more.

Better Timing and Reaction Time

Following the right timing and tempo when playing an instrument can eventually improve one’s reaction times. 

Improved Memory

Over time, pieces can be learned by heart, which has an extended effect on one’s memory.

Increased Coordination

The drums require coordinating the hands and feet. This takes a lot of practice but eventually, it will help improve coordination even while doing other tasks.

Better Concentration

Playing an instrument can be a good way of relieving stress and an effective way of blocking out external stimuli. Focusing on the piece and moving the hands and/or feet to play require a lot of focus. In fact, people with concentration issues like ADHD may benefit from music classes.

Fights Cognitive Decline

Music has been found to activate parts of the brain that are not as affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s. Thus, playing an instrument can keep their mind sharp. 

Emotional Benefits Of Playing an Instrument

Composers and musicians write music to express their emotions and experiences, and this can help listeners relate or identify with them. It can even be an emotional outlet of sorts, although it can also bring joy.

Allows For Self-Expression

Emotions can be complex and some people find it hard to comprehend and express what they feel. In this case, playing a piece that relates to them can help release certain emotions and unburden them. 

Sense of Achievement

Learning an instrument can be a challenge, and it can take a lot of time and effort before one really masters it. But once they can play one piece without mistakes, there is a sense of achievement and pride at what they accomplished. Even performing in front of others is a reason for pride. 

Social Interaction

Whether in classes or as part of a band, playing an instrument allows one to interact with other musically-inclined individuals. 

Better Mood Regulation

Playing music can be an outlet or a way to relax or even cheer oneself up. 


The numerous benefits of music and playing an instrument are plentiful, which is why it is even used as part of therapy by medical professionals. But even without needing therapy, anyone can enjoy these benefits and learn something new. 

Why is Cleaning Important at Work from My Point of View

A better public image

In my opinion, business places which is constantly in a hygienic state, always looks good, and well organised is exactly the kind of environment which is certain to attract clients and customers. Unfortunately, owners and managers which are under the pressure of operating a business which is optimally profitable often overlook the importance of good hygiene and cleanliness.

Some business owners are not aware of the fact that cleanliness is one of the most important aspects when it comes to ensuring the success of a business or Corporation. We all know about the saying, that first impressions are vital and this is especially true when it comes to a business or Corporation which wants to keep its work force happy and which also desires to attract more clients and customers.

In your average business, there are many people that will move around on the premises such as the suppliers, the general public, investors and also customers and clients. It has been established as a fact that a well-organised and tidy workplace breeds trust and confidence not only with employees but also with customers and clients and with other interested parties.

An excellent long-term investment

Tidiness and good maintenance actually helps to ensure that the assets of your business or Corporation are better preserved. The relatively minimal investment which will be required to keep your office space tidy and organised will convert into a sizable saving because equipment, implements and other accessories will last longer. This includes things such as windows, toilets, carpets, fixtures and the physical property where in the business resides.

There is an abundance of statistics to substantiate the fact that the use of commercial cleaning equipment and products will allow a business or Corporation to better preserve all of the assets of that business. For example, my recent visit attending a commercial cleaning in Campbellfield factory showed me that. The irony of the matter is that many owners and managers do not consider some of the assets of that business to be important as far as profitability of the business is concerned.

Expensive things such as carpets is often overlooked and they are seldom and then only superficially cleaned and therefore they do not last long before they have to be replaced and this can result in an expenditure running into thousands of dollars.

A clean office equals clean air

There are many employees who are suffering from a whole range of respiratory conditions and these people simply cannot work in an environment where the air quality is substandard. When this happens these people have to use large quantities of chronic medication just in order to cope with that unhygienic environment. The presence of excess dust and other airborne particles can result in skin irritations which can make it very difficult for people to work at such a business or Corporation.

Just because something is invisible does not mean that it cannot have a negative impact on people’s lives. This is why indoor air pollution is extremely hazardous and when not dealt with this can lead to a very unsafe workplace environment. These conditions can have a detrimental impact on productivity and employee morale.

Dealing With Medical Problems Through Chinese Acupuncture

People always give me a puzzled look every time I tell them to try a Melbourne based Chinese acupuncturist to help them solve some of their health problems. The reactions are not at all surprising.

After all, we now live in a world where almost every other health concern has a pill, an injection, or a surgical procedure as an answer. Many of the people who do not believe in acupuncture do so because of the nature of this treatment. Does it really work?

First off, I would like to say that I am not an acupuncturist nor am I a member of the allied health professions. Let us say that I am another ordinary human being who has grown weary of contemporary treatments. I believe in the effectiveness of today’s medicines. Unfortunately, there are way too many side effects that may require another different kind of drug.

Acupuncture does not have any side effects other than the sensation you get as the acupuncturist starts inserting the needles. Fertility acupuncture is also very safe. At the very least, you won’t have to worry about any of the side effects that are quite common in many fertility drugs.

Traditional acupuncture adheres to the principles of Qi. Traditional acupuncturists believe that health conditions – such as infertility and pain – is due to a disruption in the flow of Qi in our body. The only way one can address the disease is by removing the obstruction to Qi flow.

Unfortunately, this is what most people have trouble understanding. It is quite difficult to grasp what Qi or life energy is. As such, we shall try to look at through a more modern perspective.

I have met a few doctors who already incorporate acupuncture in their practice. They may not utilise the same principles as traditional acupuncturists. However, they do say that it is similar to stimulating the dermatomes or meridians of the body.

Everything is tied to the human nervous and endocrine systems. Nerves coming from the spinal cord connect to the different organs in the body. They carry messages from the end organs to the spinal cord and into the brain.

The brain will process the different pieces of information and send them to specific regions of the brain. These regions will then send out a ‘response’ to the different organs via the spinal cord and the associated nerves.

One of the most important effects of stimulating these nerves is the production and release of neural hormones. A good example of this is beta-endorphins.

These substances can help mediate many of the experiences that we have. It can make us feel happy and improve our mood. They can also increase our threshold for pain. That is why acupuncture is a good treatment for managing certain types of pain.

In addition to its effects on the production of neural hormones, acupuncture can also stimulate the pituitary gland. This small gland produces other hormones that can help improve different body processes.

Two of the most important hormones here are the Luteinising Hormone and the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. The Luteinising Hormone is important in triggering ovulation in females.

It also helps maintain the health of the corpus luteum. The Follicle Stimulating Hormone, on the other hand, helps in the ripening of the follicles in the uterus. Together, they can contribute to improved fertility in women who are having problems conceiving.

Acupuncture does not only work on the different structures of the brain; it can also work against pro-inflammatory parkers. This is one of the reasons why many people who have arthritis find acupuncture to be liberating.

Acupuncture can reduce the levels of Interleukin-1β and Tumour Necrosis Factor pro-inflammatory substances in the body. This can reduce swelling and pain.

It is not clear when the medical community will begin accepting acupuncture as a good adjunct to conventional treatments. What I know is that it works to improve the release of neural hormones, while also affecting the action of certain pro-inflammatory substances.

Buying A Treadmill For Beginners

Everyone knows that a treadmill is a go-to gym equipment. It’s one of the first things people commonly use whenever you start your workout.

I, myself, am a big fan of treadmills for the same reasons people love them. The benefits of using a treadmill are simply endless. This is why I decided to get one for myself.

Why Get a Treadmill?

One of the major reasons why I decided to get a treadmill at home is because there are days that I prefer to work out at home than go to the gym.

Let’s admit it, it’s a lot less stressful when you don’t have a bunch of strangers exercising right beside you. Not only do they distract me, but there are days that I feel insecure about my body.

Another reason why I considered getting one is that I don’t have to halt my workout routine whenever there’s rain or traffic outside.

Simply having one at home is so convenient that I don’t have to worry about how I’ll get to the gym when it’s raining hard.

Lastly, I realize that having equipment at home can save me a lot of money in the future provided that I use them all the time.

If I have the equipment I need, then I don’t have to pay for a gym membership or parking whenever I hit the gym. Plus, I can easily save time by not braving the traffic of the city.

How to Look for the Best Treadmill in Melbourne

If my reasons for getting a treadmill have convinced you to get one yourself, then you probably want to do a little research before you swipe your credit card and make a big purchase.

Buying a treadmill in Melbourne can be intimidating since there are a lot of models to consider. I recommend thinking about these things before you buy:

1. Budget

First, of course, is the budget. Let’s be realistic here, if you don’t have the budget, then it’s best not to buy a treadmill at all. And even if you do have the money for it, it’s still wise to buy something that is worth its price.

If you want to buy affordable treadmills, I suggest you buy online. Treadmills often go with discounts, warranties, or free shipping at the least so you can make sure you pay less than you would when you buy at a physical store.

2. Space

The next factor is space. Because I live in Melbourne, my apartment is not as spacious as those who live in suburban areas. Buying a treadmill can take up a lot of space at home, so you have to make sure that it isn’t too bulky.

Where you put it also matters. Ideally, you place it on the side so you don’t have to walk around it. It won’t also pose as an obstruction to your living space. You can also place it beside the sofa by the wall so it can easily face your TV if you have one.

3. Functionality

It follows that when the treadmill has a lot of functions, it will also be more expensive. As for me, I only need a treadmill that calculates my heart rate and the calories I burned.

So I just bought the basic model since I don’t need all the extras. In the end, I was able to maximize the use of my treadmill and feel good that I didn’t spend so much on it.

There are many treadmills out there, but the best way to find one is to know what you are looking for in this type of equipment. It would also help to know how many times you will use it in a week.

Indoor Cricket As A Great Winter Sport

For active athletes like me, winter time does not mean an end to playing sports. As a cricket player, I find that the indoor version of the game is even more exciting than the outdoor sport. A round of indoor cricket allows me to sweat it out while the temperatures are low, which is why I regularly spend time at the nearest indoor cricket stadium.

These stadiums have a rectangular court with an artificial grass surface, enclosed by netting 4 meters high. The stumps and the pitch are also the same dimensions. It was developed in the end of 1970s, when changes to the outdoor version of the sport made it a success. Compared to outdoor cricket, it is much more inclusive and can be played by professional cricketers and beginners alike. Even my children join a game or two and can really play with adults. My favorite part is that it can be played all year round, whether the sun is shining or it is raining.

Highlights Of Indoor Cricket

Active participation is a huge part of indoor cricket. The outdoor version is normally dominated by top players, with others just standing idle on the boundary line. On the other hand, this version allows everyone to bowl and bat, which is why every single player gets to run around and sweat. The ball is not as hard as the regular cricket ball and it does not require as much skill or fitness (meaning no one has to run a hundred yards to get the ball nor do they have to throw it over the same distance). Because of the softer ball, I do not need as much protective gear.

The game can be scored in a few ways and each game has 2 innings. Each inning will last 16 overs, meaning each of the 6 players of the 2 sides will be able to bowl 2 overs. Each batsman will face 4 overs. Some indoor stadiums may have 8 players on each side, so the conditions and rules will differ a little. Moreover, because of the smaller court size, the players are never too far away to be involved in the game nor am I too exhausted from having to run too much.

Despite the differences between indoor and outdoor cricket, even professional cricketers can enjoy the games in the stadium when the summer season (and cricket season) is over. This way, they can stay active and fit even during winter time, even be able to hone their skills in preparation for the next season.

Scoring An Indoor Cricket Game

There are 2 areas of scoring an indoor cricket, physical and bonus runs. The first runs are scored by the 2 batsmen who complete a run from one crease all the way to the other. On the other hand, bonus runs get scored when a ball hits the net. Specifically, bonus scores are differentiated by the zones.

Hitting Zone A or the front net behind the keeper nets 0 runs, but 1 run is awarded at Zone B or the side net between the striker’s end and half of the way down the pitch. Zone C, or the side nets between the halfway point and the bowler’s end, gives 2 runs. Hitting Zone D, or the back net behind the bowler nets 4 runs if the ball hits on the bounce and 6 runs on the full. From Zone B or C to Zone D gives 3 runs. However, a physical run has to be scored for a bonus run to be scored.

The winner is the team that has a higher score at the end of each inning, and the second inning will continue for the full 16 overs even when the batting side surpasses the total of the first innings.

As an active sportsman, indoor cricket is my favorite game to play during winter. This active and exciting game will ensure every player gets a chance to play, so I am truly able to reap all the benefits of exercise during the game. 

A Relaxing Short Cruise Around Melbourne

As you may know, Melbourne is one of the most popular cities to visit in Australia. It is also one of the most populated. This is probably because Melbourne is home to several businesses and is considered a central business district (CBD) where tall buildings surround you. In addition, it has a good share of tourist attractions that people go to each year. The movement of the city simply doesn’t have a pause button. And that is exactly why I was looking for places to relax in that was just in Melbourne. 

I’m not a big fan of going out on weekend getaways just for two days’ worth of relaxation. To me, it causes more stress and anxiety than actually calming my senses after a full week of work. I also didn’t want to feel that I was running out of time in a place and dread having to go to work on Monday. Somehow, I found that weekend getaways do that to you. You get all excited for this trip that you can’t wait for Friday and during the actual trip, you’d immerse yourself fully while at the back of your mind wishing the vacation never ended. 

I wanted to avoid finding myself in that situation so I decided on looking for day trips in Melbourne that would allow me to relax. At first, I was looking at spas, but then again, I can always go to a spa even during weeknights. I was looking for an activity that I couldn’t do during the weekdays because of work. That’s when I came across my physiotherapist’s post. 

My physio posted a blog entry just a few weeks ago talking about a short cruise she had in Melbourne. It turns out that it was a day trip that she took on a Saturday and it made her appreciate her surroundings even more. After looking at my physio’s blog post about a cruise in Footscray, I was inspired to do the same thing.

I never actually experienced going on a cruise, much less going on a day cruise going around the city I was very accustomed to. It never entered my mind that it would bring out something extraordinary because, to me, I experience and see it every day. But as you will read later on, I was very wrong to assume this. 

Since I was inspired to take a short cruise around Melbourne, I went through some cruise companies that toured the river Yarra. The Yarra River is found in Victoria, Australia, but its lower parts extend to Melbourne. I was eyeing that cruise so I looked up several trips online. 

In one of the river cruises I came across, they were offering two options – Cruise A or Cruise B. Both were just an hour each and they were pretty affordable considering that I would go to more than four places in an hour. And because I wanted to explore Melbourne more, I bought both cruise options. 

Cruise A was more of a downstream trip. It was headed towards the port of Melbourne which is actually very important to Australia’s economy. It has one of the busiest ports in the country. While approaching the port, we passed by Southgate and Crown Casino. Crown Casino is the largest hotel and casino and Australia. We also passed by the World Trade Center, Polly Woodside, and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. These structures were all big and impressive, but nothing impressed me more than the Bolte and Westgate Bridges. It was just a sight to see passing underneath and not just looking at it from a distance. 

Next up was Cruise B. While Cruise A was downstream Cruise B went in the opposite direction. If you’re looking for a scenic trip with nature, then Cruise B is for you because you’d be passing the Yarra River that’s lined with trees and bushes. You would also get a glimpse of the Royal Botanic Gardens where beautiful landscapes and a wide variety of plants and flowers are planted. We also passed several sports centres like the Melbourne Sports & Entertainment Centre, Olympic Park, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

In both cruises, I thought that it was merely for sightseeing. I was wrong again because we had a tour guide that explained to us the history and background of some of Melbourne’s tourist destinations. Coming from someone who lived in Footscray, I didn’t think there was a lot I didn’t know. 

Overall, my short cruise trips were very relaxing. They made me feel like a tourist in my own home and that I could still find relaxation even in a busy city such as Melbourne. The tour guide was funny (laughs make you relax too), the trip was nicely paced, and the company was great. It’s something I would definitely recommend to people who just want to take things a little slower during the weekends. I certainly will be back for this cruise in the future when I have guests visiting from overseas.

Proper Cycling with the Aid of a Physiotherapist

As a very active person, I tend to put my body under a lot of strain while exercising or doing sport. Beyond that, I am always at a risk of injuries especially when I go out biking, my favourite activity. Living in a country where there are many beautiful destinations to see by bicycle, I take every chance I get to go riding. However, my weekly cycling trips have eventually led to some pain in my knees and my back.

The best way to deal with the pain and figure out its root cause is to consult with a physiotherapist in Werribee. It got to a point where my mobility was affected, so it was necessary to go for therapy to strengthen my body again. Doing so will also allow me to take part in my favourite activities again but hopefully, avoiding the errors that have led to my injuries. 

When looking for an expert to handle your therapy, it is always an advantage to work with someone who has extensive knowledge and experience in sports injuries. Russell Thompson, an experienced physio in Werribee area, has handled similar cases in his many years of practice. More than that, he himself is an avid cyclist who has also travelled around Europe on his bicycle. During our first meeting, we spent some time talking about our passion and I knew immediately that he was the perfect person to get me back to cycling.

In our first consultation, I described the pain I was feeling and what activities I have been taking part in. A full assessment was conducted, checking parts of my body that were too strained because of biking. Beyond that, I also demonstrated my techniques so that he could diagnose my mistakes. After all, I have not been professionally trained nor do I work with a coach that can direct me in my cycling technique so I knew the chances were high that I was not doing it properly.

I also came to understand the normal injuries that cyclists endure and how physiotherapists like Russell Thompson help treat them. As he explained them to me, I realized that I may have had more signs of bad cycling practices, ones I have completely been ignoring.

1. Leg Cramps

Almost everyone who spends a few hours on the bicycle will come to expect this injury afterward. Because of the work the leg muscles have to do, they contract and become stiff. This can really lead to some serious pain later on. While it may be normal, experiencing it regularly and too intense aching that keeps you from biking is not a good sign.

Your physiotherapist can greatly provide relief to your aching legs through deep tissue massage therapy and passive stretching. He may also be able to give advice on how to prevent cramps in the future.

2. Knee Pain

When biking steep elevations, cyclists who use the wrong gears or even have the inappropriate bicycles can certainly feel some pain in their knees. If not careful and when done repeatedly, there is a real risk of causing long-term damage to their knees.

This is why consulting with an expert in cycling is very helpful. First of all, he can help choose the right kind of bicycle, depending on the activity you engage in. He will then be able to look at how the bicycle is set up, how high the seat is and if the handles are at the right level. Even the position of the pedals and the pedalling technique matters, so a full assessment should be done to correct these mistakes and lessen the strain on the knees. Your physiotherapist may also introduce the right warm-up and stretching exercises to prime you for a gruelling ride.

Despite this, cyclists can still expect a bit of knee pain especially when they are frequently climbing steep hills. Visiting your physio clinic can help address these symptoms and help you strengthen this part of your body to prevent recurring injuries.

3. Back Injuries

Hunching over for hours while biking can certainly take its toll. Worse, when the road is not as smooth, any bump will affect your back. Even if you have the best posture, you will still benefit from visiting your physiotherapist to deal with your back pain, especially since this is an issue you can expect to have regularly as a cyclist.

Working with your physio clinic can help reduce the pain through soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and passive muscle stretching. Improper posture can also be corrected, and core strengthening programs can be done to avoid future injuries.

Your qualified and experienced physiotherapist can be your partner in making sure that you are biking properly and safely. After all, there is a huge difference between cycling in the city for 10 minutes to go to work and doing it for hours, climbing steep hills. It can be very strenuous and dangerous to your body if not done with the guidance of an expert. Lastly, they may also help you with pain and strain that it causes, helping you get stronger and fitter to continue doing your favourite activity.

Up to the Minute 2017 Haircut in Melbourne

A haircut is definitely a big deal for working women like me especially because it is a statement by itself. For example, short hair may imply a more active and adventurous personality whereas a long and well maintained hair suggests a more demure aura fit for a lady. I personally differentiate haircut from hair trim. The former is a rather radical change in the styling of the hair whether from a straight cut into layers while the latter is more maintaining the current look and concerns the removal of split ends of the hair. I do not usually get a haircut but the haircut trend 2017 has convinced me just recently. The trends include but not limited to the following styles: short or medium beach waves, shoulder-length layers, medium length highlights and wavy bob. As my aesthetics change as the trends do, I wanted to have my haircut. Besides, I have noticed numerous split ends on the tips on my hair.

Before I decided to search for the best hairdressers in Melbourne CBD area, I took time to search for images of hairstyles through the internet. It was a rather hard task to find a haircut than to decide whether to have my hair cut or not. I have attempted several times before I finally chose one. Because my workload does not permit a more flexible schedule, I chose a salon near where I lived. It was a good thing there were a lot of experienced stylists in that area. You can even check out their Instagram page for more details about their great hairstyle creations. 

Though I prioritized the stylists, I also looked into the salon package offers to be able to choose the most promising yet affordable services. I decided to go the salon with the package which included the haircut, keratin treatment and basic hair colouring. As mentioned, I’ve looked for a specific cut I wanted to have. And this is what I showed the stylist. The stylist then recommended modifications of the hairstyle I showed to better fit the size of my face. She also suggested that I have my hair coloured with hazelnut brown base and a lighter shade for some highlights.

The anxiousness brought about by having my hair styled did not disappear although my stylist has assured me that she will be delivering only the best haircut based on the photo I showed her. The fear of having a bad haircut disturbs me more than not meeting a deadline in the office.

Well, this is because a bad haircut needs 5 months or so to look better. I felt relaxed when the assistant called me up to shampoo my hair before my cut. But, after the washing I saw trimmings of hair on the floor and once again thought of having a bad haircut. This led me to be more nervous when my stylist began chopping my hair into medium length. I can’t stop looking down to check the pieces of cut hair on the floor.

I immediately felt regret. Those lengthy hair on the floor costs around a year or so in growth and in a span of a few minutes they’re gone. I wanted to back off yet that is not such a good thing to do you know. I had half my hair already cut so might as well have it all styled. Thus, I took a deep breath and read a magazine offered to me by the assistant as I wait for the cutting and colouring to finish.

To avoid disappointment, my stylists constantly asks me to check on the length that will be cut. It only took revisions before she delivered the style I wanted to see after the session. The cutting lasted for roughly thirty to forty-five minutes. After this, my stylist immediately used a mirror to show me the back portion of my hair. I was delighted to see the sharp layers she has done. The highlights indeed complemented the cut and the style. I cannot help touching my newly styled hair. It looked way better that I expected it to be when I booked and entered the salon. It was a total reinvention of my hair from the cut and style to the colour.

The day after i had my hair chopped was a working day. As I predicted, my co-workers approached me to ask when I got it styled, where I got my haircut and why I cut it. Of these surrounding questions, the compliments were the ones I remembered. Most of my co-workers commented that I looked awesome with my new hair. The most flattering statement I could recall would probably be: “You look younger and more chic than ever!” It was a good thing this change a ventured into was a positive one.

Though having a haircut is a constant risk to be faced, I am usually motivated by the fact that it will grow back. It may take months to grow it but a highly possible haircut is just minutes away. I recommend others do the same as I did. Think before you cut your hair. Search the internet for trends and then ask experts for opinions to better achieve suitable for your lifestyle and personality. In this way, there are the least chances of regrets.

Caring for Your Crowning Glory

We are all familiar with the phrase, “a woman’s hair is her crowning glory”. This is nothing new to us and although I did not get its significance before, I do now. 

When I was a kid and a teenager, I never bothered fixing my hair. It was naturally unruly because I was born with curls similar to Goldilocks’. While growing up and having several haircuts, my hair changed from being curly to wavy. I still do not have any explanation to this, and although my hair is wavy, it is still easy to curl with the use of my hands. As time passed and I outgrew my teenage years, I started recognizing the hair styles of the women around me. Some are naturally straight, some are colored perfectly, and some are plain disasters. I also started liking the hairstyles of other celebrities, especially the straight and blonde hair of Amanda Seyfried, the lob of Anne Hathaway, and the red mane of Julia Roberts. 

When we went to visit Melbourne, I told myself I would try something new. I wanted a new haircut or a hairstyle – anything really that was different and would give me a fresh look. As I was looking for hair salons to go to, I came across a site that recommended salons. I saw Rakis on Collins as one of the most famous salons in the area. They had great reviews from people and they also mentioned that the hair styles they got definitely gave them more confidence since experts were the ones who styled it. The hairdressers at Rakis on Collins Melbourne were famous both for their dexterity and reception. 

I did some research on the place and it seemed to me that their selling point was their customer service. “We’ve never taken our clients for granted,” says the owner, Stavros Tavrou. I have been to several salons already and I have never come across a selling point like this. Although it is a given that hair salons are there to bring out the best in your hair, they do not usually market this in that way. Most bank on their expertise and the number of services they can offer to consumers. 

Since Rakis on Collins caught my attention, I called up the salon and set an appointment. I went there around 2:00 PM on a Tuesday (they are closed on Sundays and Mondays) and met with a senior stylist. The senior stylist was kind enough to listen to my vague description of hairstyle I preferred. After saying my piece, he went to talk about my face shape, hair density, and lifestyle. It felt like a consultation more than anything else actually. I was not aware that this was a part of the service they give. Each client goes through a four-point consultation where the stylist explains the person’s face shape and the kinds of hairstyles that emphasize or hide it. He also asked me about my hair routine. I mentioned that I just had a basic hair care routine (shampoo and conditioner every day). After that, the senior stylist told me about the density of my hair and the type of hair I have. My hair turns out to be frizzy because of the damaged curls I had. I have a number of dead hair too! This amazed me because it sounded worse than it looks. I definitely did not realize that about my hair. 

In the end, the consultation ended with a recommendation to avail of a pure keratin relaxing treatment. At first, I was iffy because all I wanted was a visible change in my hair, hence, a drastic change in hair style. But then I was convinced that the first step before styling hair is to ensure that my hair was healthy. I then went on with their keratin treatment. 

The treatment was meant to bring out the nutrients to my hair. The end result would be a more youthful looking mane. What happened after amazed me. I mentioned earlier that I had unruly hair. The keratin treatment straightened my hair and made it look shiny. After that, I was more confident of how my hair looked. And since it was healthy enough to get styled, I still continued on having it styled. 

Overall, my experience at Rakis on Collins was the best salon experience I have had. I definitely felt that I was the center of attention (at least for my stylist) and my concerns regarding my hair were valued. Their expertise was no doubt a great plus too. Because of that salon appointment, I’ve known more about my hair than if I went to another salon. It gave me the confidence to wear my crowning glory out proudly.

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Why Tennis is One of the Best Ways to Stay Physically Fit

A lot of individuals have this thinking that physical fitness can only be achieved if one spends lots of time in the gym, pumping iron and running the treadmill as well as performing a lot of those other exercises. But I tell you now, you don’t need to go to the gym to stay in excellent shape. You only need to ask yourself what physical activity you enjoy doing. And if you happen to love a particular sport but haven’t really given much thought about it, maybe it’s about time you did? One of the best and most effective ways to stay physically fit is to play tennis. Sure, you can also go for basketball, soccer, or even rugby. And since we’re Aussies, we can always go for water-related activities like swimming and surfing. The point is that any sport can be a really good way to keep ourselves physically fit and healthy.

However, let me just share with you my thoughts on why I consider tennis to be a particularly good exercise. Let me just reiterate that this has nothing to do with the on-going Australian Open, although I would like to believe that it is a very timely event to share with you what I have learned the past several months playing tennis with a friend.

Here are some of the more important reasons why tennis is one excellent way to stay physically fit.

  • Superb cardiovascular training 

Bjorn Borg once said that playing tennis on a competitive level is like performing a thousand and one little sprints. It’s like having high intensity interval training for a couple of hours running towards the net like crazy before backpedalling towards the baseline to hit a slammer. Running from one corner to another and towards and from the net will require tremendous amounts of energy. This increases both your aerobic and anaerobic metabolic demands which can easily translate to more efficient fat burning process as well as improved energy utilisation. 

  • Helps in muscle development 

Have you seen how tennis players can shift their weight in a split second to make sure that they hit the tennis ball for that fantastic return? They won’t be able to do this if their muscles are not properly toned and conditioned. I must admit, I can feel the muscles in my arms, upper body, and legs already starting to take shape while also becoming a lot firmer after only a few months of playing tennis. It’s the shifting movements that help train and condition the muscles to be as explosive as they can be when needed. 

  • Improves visual motor coordination 

As a beginner, I have to say I really couldn’t hit the ball. Most of the time, I guess, I was thinking that there’s a large invisible hole in my racquet that the ball passes through every time I take a swing at the ball. The point is, my brain must be able to make accurate estimations as to where the ball will pass so that I can direct my arms holding the racquet to hit the ball. From my visual senses, electrical signals go to my brain, get processed there, and then electrical signals again are sent to my arms to initiate the action of swinging the racquet. It is this visual and motor coordination that is superbly enhanced by tennis. Why is this important, you ask? Other physical activities require good coordination between what we see and what we do. With tennis, we are actually sharpening this particular skill so we become better at other endeavours. 

  • Enhances flexibility, agility, and dynamic balance 

Just changing direction many times in a particular game can greatly enhance your flexibility, agility, and dynamic balance. The whole point is to return the ball at all cost as long as it’s within the boundaries of the court. Hitting the ball while running also requires superb balance as the forward momentum can definitely throw you off your feet.

These are just some of the reasons why I believe tennis is one of the best ways to be physically fit. I am absolutely certain that there are hundreds of other reasons why you’d benefit the most when you play tennis. Now, don’t you think it’s about time taking a swing with your racquet? All you need to do is to invest on a reliable sports equipment and then enrol for tennis club membership in our area. If you are just a beginner, then tennis classes can be of great help. So you are not just enjoying an exciting sport activity, you too are keeping yourself physically fit.

How Chinese Acupuncture in Melbourne Changed My Life

acupunctureAcupuncture is a very popular Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment where thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body. From this thousand-year tradition, it is now a common treatment found in most big cities. However, most people remain doubtful as to how a Chinese acupuncture session can really benefit them.

I am a big fan of acupuncture, being someone who has benefitted a lot with the treatment. I had suffered a lot because of migraine. These were not the same as normal headaches because it would hurt even in my neck and I would also have problems with my eyesight. Sometimes, I would literally be unable to do anything and would have to stay in a dark room for hours. The problem is, there is no clear reason why I was having the migraine episodes and going to the doctor was useless because he couldn’t do much about it.

A colleague who had heard of my problems suggested going to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic. She informed me that relieving migraines was one of the benefits of Chinese acupuncture. At first, I was not convinced but after a while of trying other ways without any success, I was getting desperate. I just wanted to finally find a way to reduce these episodes. Although drinking pain medication helped a bit, it was not necessarily the solution I was looking for long-term.

Much like other people, I was worried about whether acupuncture will hurt, because of the use of needles. The acupuncturist, however, tried to reassure me by showing me how the needles look like and explaining how he will be doing the treatment. Contrary to what I thought in the beginning, they were not scary and big so I was less worried. Because I also went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic, which practices acupuncture based on the centuries-old beliefs, they could also explain the basis of the treatment. The acupuncturist was also, of course, well-trained and experienced, so I knew I was in good hands. I find it very important to always turn to qualified experts whenever I go through procedures.

My decision to go through acupuncture was to reduce my migraines. However, there are also a number of reasons why other patients go for a session:

  1. Headaches and Migraines

Acupuncture has been proven by research to be helpful in treating those who suffer from tension-type headaches. This is great news in providing patients an option other than taking pain medication. Even as the study followed up on the participants, those who received acupuncture treatment during the study reported a continued decrease in frequency and intensity of headaches. On the other hand, the control group who did not receive any treatment at all has not had any change in their symptoms at all.

  1. Chronic Pain 

Pain can occur in various parts of the body, from the neck, back, or knee. Moreover, some conditions, like arthritis, can also make life very uncomfortable and painful for patients. Treatment of chronic pain is one of the traditional benefits of acupuncture, offering people a medication-free option to deal with aches and throbbing that they suffer from.

In fact, there have been numerous studies that have tried to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic pain. When it comes to back pain, researchers in the University Medical Center of Berlin have shown that going for sessions significantly reduced symptoms compared to those who have not had any treatment done.

Moreover, a more recent study by the Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics covering more than 17,000 patients has shown that the procedure has successfully managed not just back pain, but also neck pain, arthritis, shoulder pain, and chronic headaches.

  1. Insomnia

If you are suffering from sleepless nights, you might also find acupuncture beneficial. Going for sessions has been shown by researchers are more successful in dealing with sleep problems than taking medication or other herbal treatments. Moreover, there are no side effects compared to taking sleeping pills.

  1. Chemotherapy and Cancer

Those who are suffering from cancer suffer from a lot of side effects of chemotherapy, and adding acupuncture sessions can help reduce these. Additionally, research has shown promise in acupuncture boosting immunity, helping patients recover faster after treatment.

  1. Cognitive Decline

A study done by the Department of Neurology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine has reported improvements in symptoms of cognitive decline after 16 sessions of acupuncture. That means, 85% of patients were able to walk, write and process information better. Other symptoms of cognitive conditions like tremor, confusion and anxiety were also reduced.

  1. Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum

More women are turning to acupuncture during and after pregnancy. Because acupuncture is believed good for stress relief and hormone balance, it might help women reduce strain and anxiety during this time. It is also used to prepare the body for labor. However, as there are some points that should be avoided when the patient is pregnant, make sure that you have a session with someone who is specifically knowledgeable in this area.

In fact, acupuncture is one of the most studied treatments out there, with many scientists trying to check whether acupuncture is somehow a placebo. As more studies are done and published, it becomes even clearer that these benefits are real, and that going for regular sessions can truly bring a lot of benefits and even support other treatments like chemotherapy.

Benefits and Advantages of Morning Meditation

meditation-in-the-morningIf you are not a morning person like me, the early hours of the day can be rough. In fact, even with a cup of coffee, I find myself hazy and simply low on energy for most of the first half of the day. However, I also realized that I am wasting so much valuable time, time that I can use more wisely. There are many things I wanted to achieve, and the only way to squeeze everything is to maximize the morning. Therefore, I decided to try to improve my morning ritual.

I wanted to find a way to focus my mind on what I want to achieve for the day. Upon reading about it, I learned and decided that incorporating meditation in the morning ritual is the way to go. 

Research has shown that starting the day by meditating will help you become more productive. For example, workers who were taught mindfulness were able to focus on single tasks longer and had better memory while performing these tasks. Even marines showed better working memory capacity (WMC), which helps us think clearly and regulate emotions in moments of stress. 

Beyond helping me concentrate better for the day, there were other reasons why morning meditation makes sense. First of all, our minds are quiet when we wake up. It is then easier to meditate when we don’t have a million thoughts going through our heads. 

Second, meditation is the equivalent of exercise for our bodies. It literally gives us a good start, preparing us for what lies ahead the rest of the day.

Third, meditating before the world around us becomes chaotic also allows us to gain energy and be nourished. This way, no matter what life throws us on this day, we feel a bit more protected, allowing us to react better and keep good spirits. 

In order to begin incorporating meditation into your morning ritual, here are some tips:

  1. Choose a convenient time

This is a time to relax, so make sure you do it at your convenience. If you are also not a morning person like me, it does not make sense to force yourself to wake up much earlier for this. It just has to be a quiet time when you are able to relax alone. 

  1. Choose a quiet place

If you are living alone, then maybe this is not a big issue. However, if you are married and have kids, you will definitely have to find a spot where you will not be disturbed. Moreover, being somewhere quiet and peaceful will help you relax and meditate better.

  1. Sit comfortably

Your posture is very important when meditating. Doing it lying down is not a good idea, you might fall asleep instead. Sitting up is better, but do not be too stiff. Keep your spine straight, relax your neck and shoulders and close your eyes to block out the outside world. 

  1. Do it on an empty stomach

It is always ideal to meditate before breakfast, because when you are full, you are more at risk of falling asleep during meditation. However, if you are very hungry, it is also not a good idea. Otherwise, you will have hunger cramps and will find it hard to concentrate. You might end up thinking about food the entire time. You can choose then to either drink some coffee to stop you from falling asleep or eat something small, or meditate 2 hours after a big breakfast.

  1. Do some warm-ups

Doing some warm-up exercise or yoga before meditating will help you improve blood circulation and reduce restlessness. Your body will then feel lighter and ready to sit peacefully for a longer time. 

  1. Breathe deeply

This is a great way to get yourself in the mood. Start by breathing deeply in and out, focusing on each breath. You will find yourself clearing your mind in the process, and you start to feel relaxed for the session.

  1. Open your eyes slowly

After you finish meditating, go back to the real world slowly, by opening your eyes gently. Take your time to be aware of yourself and the surroundings. 

You may choose from different kinds of meditation techniques, and they may have their own practices. The important point is to find what feels natural for you, based on the time you have, based on where you meditate and based on how you want to meditate. Do not also feel that you can only do it at home. You may do it in your car if this is the place where you can be alone, or in your own office. 

By doing so, you can start to enjoy the benefits I myself have experienced. Nowadays, I find myself starting my day with more purpose and focus, and do not wonder where the hours went. Morning meditation is definitely a great addition to your morning ritual, much better than your morning cup of coffee!