Extinguish Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare Ups Naturally

Extinguish Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups Naturally

If you have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or live with symptoms of RA, there are many natural remedies you can take to decrease the extensive pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease in which the lining of the joints becomes inflamed to such an extent that pain and inability to function are the results. Because the cells of the immune system play an important role in this chronic inflammatory process, Rheumatoid Arthritis is typically classified as an autoimmune disease.

Below are several natural tips to keep those debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms at bay:

✒ Rest and Relaxation

Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. However, keep in mind that many people with RA need more than that. Try taking a two-hour nap during the afternoon if you don't get enough sleep at night. If you're feeling overly stressed, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation exercises can help you relax. Hypnosis, meditation, and massage may also help ease tension. Also, soak in an Epson salt bath at night to draw out excess inflammation.

✒  Exercise

Regular exercise is a great way to fight fatigue, strengthen muscles, and increase the range of motion. Gentle stretching, walking, swimming, and water aerobics are usually good choices and you can even try working with a physical therapist to learn the proper way to exercise on your own.

✒ Apply heat and cold to arthritis pain

Applying heat to a painful joint can provide significant relief. For heat sources, you can use electric blankets and mitts, heating pads, or hot packs. Simply taking a hot bath or shower can also be soothing. Cold treatments may work equally well when joints are inflamed. Wrap an ice cube in a towel or washcloth, and press it to the sore joint.

✒ Try Eating these food items:

Celery: Recommend eating cooked or raw celery daily for one to two months. Celery is a diuretic, and the loss of excess fluid can reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.
Cherries: To alleviate pain from arthritis, eat six to eight cherries a day (canned, frozen, or fresh). Cherries are good sources of minerals like magnesium (a natural painkiller) and potassium, which acts as a diuretic, reducing inflammation by ridding tissue of excess fluid.
Garlic: It has the ability to reduce inflammation, garlic helps ward off the pain and discomfort felt by those with arthritis.
Ginger: Eating ginger helps to alleviate arthritis pain. Because of its ability to increase blood circulation, ginger carries away inflammatory substances from the affected joint.

✒ Try Soothing and Natural Essential Oils:

Birch: Use in massage
Cypress: Soothing and Relaxing
Juniper Berry: Cleansing and Detoxifying
Grapefruit:  Cleansing, Motivating, Uplifting
Frankincense: Mood Balancing, Oil Powerhouse
Peppermint: Refreshing, Energy Boosting

What is EMERGE and What Are Comfort Foods That Are Healthy For You?

Recently I was part of an immune conditioning program called EMERGE, that focused on improving our immune vitality through four key areas: Activity, Mindfulness, Recovery, and Nutrition.

The Activity portions of this program featured on-demand workouts from some of the leading boutique fitness companies like AKTCycleBarRow House, and treadmill workouts from STRIDE.


Mindfulness activities centered around breathing and meditation exercises, with some restorative yoga sessions and mat Pilates routines from YogaSix and Club Pilates.

YogaSix - Photos | Facebook

Recovery was all about pre and post workout exercises that keep our bodies limber and strong.  Barre exercises from Pure Barre and guided stretches from StretchLab really guide the recovery program.

Nutrition was where I stepped in!  Each week I provided helpful and actionable nutrition videos all geared toward building holistic immune health. One of my videos was all about comfort foods, and how we can maintain healthy options when the stress of life makes us want to dive into the carbs and ice cream!

EMERGE | Now Streaming on GO

If you'd like to check out one of my nutrition videos included in the EMERGE program that shines light on comfort foods that are actually good for you, then click on the link below......and if you love the information you see here, subscribe to Dr. Nancy Lin's YouTube Channel!

10 Best Yoga Poses for Headaches and Migraines

10 Best Yoga Poses for Headaches and Migraines 

Got a tension headache or pressure in the upper region of your torso that stems from the base of the skull all the way up to the temples and into the middle of your eyeballs?

Headaches and migraines can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable.

If you are not the over the counter pill popper every time a symptom comes up in your body, then know that there are great holistic approaches to feeling better (and they can be low cost or free)! 

The following are simple yoga poses to help get rid of unwanted pressure and aches in the head: 

♢ Before doing any pose, close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out of your nose. Sit in a comfortably seated position turn inward.
♢ Shut off any outside noises generated from electronics and listen to your breath rising and falling, in and out of your diaphragm. Just relax.
♢  Dab a few drops of peppermint on the temples and behind the neck.
♢ Deep breathe.
♢ Add a few drops of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Lemongrass, and Blue Tansy Essential Oils.
♢ This can be done before, during or after your gentle yoga and meditation practice.   

1. Child's Pose

Toes touch and knees are open wide as you melt your torso onto the floor in front of you. Arms and reaching straight in front of you. Forehead rests gently on the ground in front. 

2. Seated (modified) Eagle Pose

Sitting in a crisscross applesauce/ Indian style with legs crossed, bring left arm under the right arm and wrap left arm around right so the left fingers grasp inner bottom palm of right hand.

Deep inhale and raise bound arms up toward the ceiling. Repeat with the opposite arm on top. 

 3. Cat and Cow

In a tabletop position with both hands and knees on the ground, take a series of inhale and exhale movements with your spine moving to your breath.

♢ Cat

When the spine is arched and the belly is hallowed and breath leaves the body in a slow exhalation and chin tucks into the chest.

♢ Cow

When the belly drops down toward the ground, inhalation, the gaze is soft and is up toward the ceiling. 

 4. Seated Forward Bend

Sitting on the ground with both legs extended in front of you, inhale both arms up into the air and exhale your chest melts down toward the thigh and knees.

Arms reach for the shins, ankles. toes or the feet. Relax and find length with each inhalation. Find more depth with each exhalation.

 5. Legs Up the Wall

Lay on your back with your legs extended, soles of the foot facing the ceiling, toes pointing toward your face.

For additional support, rest your extended legs up the wall as your sit bones meet the bottom of the baseboard and ground. Inhale and exhale slowly.

6. Happy Baby Pose or Knees to Chest

Laying on your back, bring both knees into the chest and hug your knees.

Another option is to grab the outside of the feet and gently rock side to side and give your spine (central nervous system house) a nice massage.

7. Supine Twist with bent knees to right and left

After taking your knees to your chest and laying on your back on the ground, gently allow your legs to drop to the right side.

Extend your arms out to a "T" and gaze over your left shoulder. Gently inhale and exhale. Repeat on the opposite side.

 8. Seated Meditation

Sit comfortably on your sit bones—with or without the assistance of a block under your sit bones.

Close your eyes and keep your spine straight and tall. Your head is neutral. Close your eyes and breath in and out gently and controlled.

 9. Bridge Pose

Laying on your back, bend your knees and bring the heels of your feet close to your sit bones.

Inhale, press into the soles of the feet and lift the hips up toward the ceiling. Press your heart and sternum up and closer toward the front of the room.

Inhale and find more extension in the spine and lift from the pelvis. Relax the head and neck. Exhale after a couple rounds of breath and lower your pelvis to the floor.

 10. Resting Pose

Lay on your back with your feet extended straight in front of you and allow both feet to fall naturally out a foot apart.

Your hands are palms facing up and about a foot apart from your body on each side. Surrender as your body melts into the earth.

Close your eyes and breathe.

Ouch! Exercising with Knee Pain

Ouch! Exercising with Knee Pain

What activities tend to be hardest on the knees?

Exercises or movements that involve excessive flexing, especially with weights, such as a full squat or leg press or lots of pounding tend to be worst. Any type of exercise that involves great agility--sudden stops, starts, and pivots, or potentially awkward jumps and landings - such as basketball, tennis, soccer, racquetball, football, rugby or volleyball. Jumping exercises called plyometrics, which focus on increasing muscle power, jumping rope, trampoline, can also be tough on the knee joint. Jumping places a force of two to three times your body weight across your knees, which naturally increases the potential for injury, and people with knee problems would do best to avoid jumps that require a very deep knee bend or could torque the knee on the landing.

What causes knee pain?

Severe knee pain is generally not from overuse, but from a sudden injury - often sustained during quick weight shifts and direction changes, or upon landing from a jump. A frequent victim in these cases is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the fibrous bands that connect the thighbone to the shinbone. ACL tears are serious and may require surgical repair.

Injuries definitely develop over time, as well, such as from repetitive stress that damages cartilage and other soft tissue in the knee joint. The most common injury is patellofemoral stress syndrome (runner's knee), in which the cartilage of the patella (kneecap) becomes irritated, resulting in pain and inflammation. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is another source of pain for athletes. The IT band is a stretch of fibrous tissue that runs down the outer thigh and knee; running and other activities cause the band to repeatedly rub against the outside of the knee joint, which may lead to inflammation and pain at the outside of the knee. ITBS is usually seen in long-distance runners and cyclists but can occur in soccer players, skiers and weightlifters. Reducing activities can help ease the pain of any overuse injury, while some may require physical therapy or other medical treatment.

What are exercises for people with knee pain?

Resistance bands

Extremely versatile, inexpensive and can be done anywhere, are these fun rubbery bands.  You can tie a big knot in it and wedge it under the door, or you can tie it around a pole.  Once you do one of these, you can then tie the other end around your foot and start doing different leg exercises like bringing your knee to your chest, leg extensions, leg curls, leg kickbacks, leg holds with the tube tight, raising your leg out to the side or bringing it across your body.


Swimming - Sport

Swimming is a great choice for those with bad knees because of the low impact environment it provides. The water acts as a brace for your body helping to lift and support you as you exercise. Swimming is a great exercise that works all of the muscles in your body, giving you a complete workout while not causing you any discomfort. Swimming also can hold water aerobics activities, which will increase the flexibility of your knees, as well as giving you much needed exercise. If you're interested in water aerobics, many classes are offered at gyms.


Walking is the most natural exercise for the human body and one of my favorite body movement suggestions to people It is a great exercise for people with bad knees because of how accessible and painless it's for people with bad knees. You can buy a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you're taking to create a better workout (or download an app on your mobile phone). Pedometers allow you to find your limit and stay away from any discomfort. Walking is not as high impact as running because the weight you put on your body is less while doing the actually walking and you don't have to come to a sudden jerky stop while walking. For a challenge, walk in soft sand.


Yoga is seen as an ideal exercise for people with bad knees because it has almost no impact and actually increases the flexibility and strength of your knees. Yoga is very accessible in just about any gym or school and can be done at home after you've learned some positions.

These are just three exercises that will help you with your bad knees, research for more low-impact exercises and there will surely be one that's right for you. Bad knees may be annoying, but they don't have to keep you from exercising, keep searching and you will find the exercise that's right for you.

Reclined Floor Exercises

Side-lying Leg Lifts: Wearing ankle weights above the knee, lie on your left side, legs straight and together, with your left arm supporting your head. Keeping your right foot flexed and your body straight, slowly lift your right leg to about shoulder height, then slowly lower. Repeat with your left leg.

Ab Crunches, Reverse Ab Crunches

Side Plank or Traditional Plank

crossfit side plank


Pilates focuses on building strength. Originally developed by Joseph Pilates in a World War II concentration camp, the program uses a series of movements that employ the body's weight as its resistance to train and strengthen muscles. Few movements require strain on the knees and the leg exercises can increase the strength of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles to better support the knee joints. The first movements of Pilates zero in on the "powerhouse" or core area to build muscle support for the spine. By having a strong midsection that can keep the upper body erect, you lessen the strain placed on the knees by poor posture. Pilates can correct and relieve many areas of stress for people with bad knees.


relax bicycle-bicyclist-bike-128202

Bicycling can be done outdoors or inside on a stationary bike. This low-impact exercise is fine for people with bad knees, because it uses the leg muscles without straining the joints and it increases cardiovascular health. 20 minutes per day is a good way to start with this type of exercise.

Upper-Body Ergometer or “Kranking”

This is that piece of equipment in the cardio area at your gym that looks like a bike for hands. Treat it like any other piece of cardio equipment—go for a long forty-five-minute stint or pound out a shorter and harder interval session. Special Note* though this may look easy, the Ergometer is actually very challenging. Adjust the resistance slowly and become familiar to the upper’s body use for cardio before going faster or adding resistance.

Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical trainers found in many gyms are the equivalent of riding a bike and walking or running without any pressure on the knee joints. These machines use the lower legs for primary motion. Some elliptical machines have handles that work the upper body for a total upper and lower body workout. These machines offer a low-impact workout that burns calories and leads to weight loss over time.

Rowing Machine

Most gyms have rowing machines and they’re often some of the most underutilized pieces of cardio equipment. Rowing is mostly upper-body work (great for toning up your arms and shoulders), but your legs provide low-impact support by pushing against the machine with each stroke. Always keep the movement fluid and controlled rather than jerking through each motion and push with your legs and avoid hunching forward to protect your back. To minimize pain in knees, keep a slight bend in the elbows and knees rather than locking the joints at full extension.

Upper Body Weight and Circuit Training

Upper body weight training is another exercise for people with bad knees. For weight loss, the best approach is to use less weight with more repetitions (circuit training) and to focus on the middle of the body by doing abdominal crunches. Weight training helps to improve the cardiovascular system, makes you stronger, increases flexibility. and. once you lose some weight. it helps you maintain acceptable body fat limits.

Take Away:

Body movement and a consistent exercise routine is imperative to optimal health and wellness. For people with aches and pains, exercising is very possible, but you may have to substitute certain favorite exercises for another. Put your ego aside and modify when possible. Listen to your body, but don’t fall into the habit of being lazy or not pushing yourself too hard. Maximize your effort with upper body exercises.  Plan out daily workouts ahead of time by writing them down and sticking to a weekly routine.  Challenge yourself and keep the intensity level up throughout your workouts (a heart rate monitor can assist you with that, for the ones on the cardio machines are inaccurate).  Also keep your calories and food consumption charted and eat healthy, whole and organic (when possible) foods (not too much). Livestrong has a great free calorie charter available through their website and a mobile app for those with smart phones. Ice your knees if the pain is too great after your exercises, but do not rely on over the counter pain relievers because it is temporary relief, only masks the symptoms of the real problem and harms the liver.

Resources: EverydayHealth.com, SparkPeople.com, LiveStrong.com, WebMD.com, WellSphere.com, OneResult.Com

8 Ways to Burn More Calories

Burn More Calories and Reach Your Goal Faster With These Workouts!

Hot fitness programs have hit the mainstream, and they promise to deliver fast and impeccable results!

Although each training methodology has specific components unique to their own, many of them resemble boot camps and social settings, which are pretty intense, even for seasoned athletes.

Check out the most popular types of workouts and get your year started off healthy and fit!

Top Proven Ways to Burn More Calories

1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is an exercise methodology that involves short but intense workouts using periods of intense effort followed by short rest periods.

Exercises may include lifting monster tires, pulling a sack of heavy rocks, or jumping across a gymnasium floor or parking lot.

Typical work to rest ratio is 2:1.  If you run for 30 seconds, for example, then you jog for 15 seconds.

Although most people will mistake this for an actual fitness routine, however, this is just a strategy that can be applied to almost any cardio and other fitness routines.

people doing marathon

2. Tabata

Tabata Training is basically HIIT but has more defined work to rest ratio and amount of sets to be performed, as based on an original study Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. by Tabata I, et al.

Another thing that I noticed is that when someone is doing a Tabata Training they usually use some form of resistance or weights. Whereas HIIT usually involves strictly cardio exercises such as running, biking, skipping, etc.

But the principle is the same in both methods, work hard for X minutes then rest for X/2 minutes or variations of it.

In a study [1], led by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Tabata concluded that High-Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) a.k.a.

High-Intensity Interval Training was a far more effective and efficient method of training when compared to traditional cardiovascular training (steady state cardio).

The study showed that Tabata training was not only more effective at improving anaerobic endurance but cardiovascular endurance as well.

Tabata intervals are most often done with body weight or light resistance exercises. The focus is usually on explosiveness and speed so you want to choose exercises that you can do a high volume of within the 20-second time frame.

When doing Tabata intervals in your workouts, you can also keep score. Your score is the lowest number of reps in any of the 8 rounds.

For example, if you were doing Tabata squats (bodyweight squats) for 8 rounds and the first round you got 17 reps but in the second round you only managed to get 14, then your score becomes 14. Then you want to try to hold on to that number for as long as you can.

You also want to make sure you don’t come out of the gate too hard and score really high in the first few intervals but fade away to nothing by the end. It’s better to find a tempo and rep range that you can hold on to the entire time!

The Tabata workout consists of 5 different exercises done back to back with a minute rest in between each exercise.

❧  Air Squats - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (total 4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Pull-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Push-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Sit-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest  (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Calorie Row (rowing for calories on the concept rower) - 8 sets, 20 seconds works, 10 off (4-minute)

3. CrossFit

CrossFit is a fitness training methodology that incorporates cardio, weights, gymnastics, and other full body movements into its routines.  If you’ve ever been to a bootcamp, you’ve probably done CrossFit.

This training methodology was also made popular by the film ‘300‘.

The film’s cast utilized this training method to forge elite gladiator physiques.  Unlike a routine at a gym, where you move from station to station working one body part at a time, CrossFit routines are aimed at developing strength and cardiovascular capacity.

Many CrossFit workouts are done with a team approach, so it is more fun, social and challenging. At one station you might be doing push-ups off the medicine ball, the next one flipping tires, then hanging crunches, then skipping rope and so on.

It’s a full body workout. There’s virtually no limit on what types of exercise combination you can put together.

4. Insanity or Other Online/ On Demand Fitness Programs

Programs like the Insanity fitness program, are total body transformation workout routines designed to bring the convenience of fitness into the comfort of your own home.....on your own time!

These at-home DVD-based or online/app programs includes comprehensive selections of workouts and all of the necessary information you will need to dramatically improve people’s overall health and fitness.

The Insanity fitness program is designed as an intense exercise routine intended to provide a complete body transformation. More specifically, the Insanity fitness program focuses on extreme cardiovascular development and endurance, strength and lean muscle tissue development, and rapid weight loss.

The Insanity fitness program incorporates several exercise types into the overall fitness routine.

For instance, included within the fitness program are cardiovascular exercises, interval training, and plyometric training. When combined into an overall exercise routine, the results are dramatic and rapid.

Overall, the Insanity fitness program is a solid exercise routine that is affordably priced and delivers solid results.

Other online programs like Xponential's "Go" platform cover spin, Pilates, row, yoga, dance, running, stretch and barre. These on demand classes are complementary to memberships of their existing brick and mortar fitness studios located all around the world.

5. P90X

The P90X workout is an extreme 90-day fitness program developed by Tony Horton and Beachbody.

This is an intense home exercise program which combines cardio workouts, weight and resistance training, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching routines to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength.

This program also incorporates an effective nutrition plan and encourages protein drinks, meal replacements, energy enhancers and bars for snacks.

The P90X Nutrition Plan is a 3-phase eating program (Fat Shredder, Energy Booster, and Endurance Maximizer) that was specifically designed to work in tandem with the exercise routines.

It provides the optimum combination of health food needed to satisfy the body’s increased energy requirements each step along the way.

P90X uses muscle confusion to gain maximum results. By mixing in an extensive variety of different workouts and routines into the program, P90X continually challenges the body’s muscles and literally forces them to grow.

As a result, the body and mind will not hit the “workout plateau” and people will see better and faster results. P90X also specifically uses of the body’s own weight along with the P90X Chin-Up Bar, dumbbells, and resistance bands to deliver extremely challenging and ultra-effective workouts from home. (photo credit: p90x.com)

Another popular fitness program involves combining what might seem like opposing exercises, like mind-body movements plus aerobics, such as the following two:

6. Spin and Yoga

A one-hour or 90-minute workout combining yoga, and speed cycling on a stationary bike. Also known as Cy-Yo, these workouts are offered in a number of health facilities across the nation.

7. Yoga Fit & Yoga Sculpt

These workouts merge traditional yoga with a variety of other activities, including strength training, core muscle building, and butt firming.

8. Yogalates

Yoga and Pilates is the art of breathing and of core strengthening exercises.

Sometimes it’s called Yogalates or Yogilates, when adding a touch of calisthenics to the poses. Both practice mindfulness, deep breathing, balance and strong core building.

How Yogalates works:

As you follow each posture, you will feel your breathing and at the same time the supporting muscles deep within your core, strengthening your entire body.

Yogilates, Urla offers about 40 poses — including back lifts, sternum lifts, leg lifts, leg circles, as well as yoga poses such as Downward-Facing Dog, Sun Salutation, The Warrior, or Meditation Pose.

[1] - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392