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Tai chi lifts spirits of people with heart disease

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Photo by Lesly Juarez from Unsplash.com

Heart patients who feel gloomy should try tai chi, according to research published today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 The mind-body exercise was linked with a boost in both mood and quality of life.

“If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, or are affected by another heart condition, I would strongly recommend adding tai chi to your recovery and rehabilitation,” said study author Dr. Ruth Taylor-Piliae of the University of Arizona. “There are physical benefits like improved balance and it’s good for mental health too.”

Cardiovascular diseases are lifelong chronic illnesses. After a heart attack, for example, people live with coronary heart disease or heart failure for the rest of their lives. Many patients experience unpleasant feelings or emotions that affect their ability to live life to the full – the medical term is “psychological distress” and includes depression, anxiety, and stress.

Depressive symptoms, for instance, affect approximately 20% of patients with coronary heart disease, 20% of patients with heart failure, 27% of those with high blood pressure, and more than one-third (35%) of stroke survivors.

Tai chi combines a series of set movements, such as “wave hands like clouds”, with relaxation and breathing. It’s a mind-body exercise because it requires concentration on posture, relaxation and breathing.

Studies of this activity in patients with cardiovascular disease have generally been small. This is the first combined analysis of clinical trials from the past decade examining the effect of tai chi on psychological wellbeing in adults with coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke. A total of 1,853 patients from 15 clinical trials were included in the analysis. The average age of participants was 66 and 44% were women.

Tai chi was linked with less psychological distress as a whole. It was also associated with a reduction in depression. The connection with anxiety was not statistically significant, possibly due to insufficient numbers of patients (depression was more frequently studied).

Patients with cardiovascular disease often have poor quality of life due to unpleasant symptoms (for example shortness of breath) or disability. The study found that tai chi was also associated with better quality of life. This included mental health quality of life (how they felt, ability to go out and socialise, etc.) and physical health quality of life (walking, ability to do daily activities, etc.).

There were differences according to the type of diagnosis – notably, tai chi did not have a significant impact on wellbeing in stroke survivors. Dr. Taylor-Piliae said: “This is because there were very few studies on psychological wellbeing or quality of life variables in this group. There is a lot of research on tai chi in stroke survivors but nearly all of them looked at physical function such as balance and gait.”

More research is needed on how this mind-body activity exerts its mental health benefits. But Dr. Taylor-Piliae said: “I think it’s the synergy between postures and breathing. During tai chi you have good body posture, and research has shown that this enhances mood. We also know that holding your breath can cause stress and anxiety.”

She cautioned against learning the movements from scratch online, since incorrect foot placements could cause knee pain. “During the COVID lockdown, you could search for where there are some group-based tai chi classes so you’re ready to enrol when they restart,” she said.

Dr. Taylor-Piliae concluded: “Tai chi is well suited for people of any age or exercise ability and can be safely adapted for anybody. People with low tolerance to exercise or breathing problems can do it in a chair. Group classes for others with cardiovascular disease are a positive place for social support and camaraderie – there is no judgement; you just do what you can.”

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Bookshelf PH announces book collections from diverse genres

Publishing house Bookshelf PH, with its collection of books from diverse genres, has heart-swooning reads that touch all five love languages.

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Love is given, felt, and explored in ways we never expect.

We’re no strangers to the concept of feeling kilig, an emotion that makes hearts swoon and flutter whenever we give or receive love. Speaking of giving and receiving love, we might prefer one over the other but overall, these five love languages create a holistic relationship with our loved ones whether that’s through physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gift-giving, or acts of service.

Publishing house Bookshelf PH, with its collection of books from diverse genres, has heart-swooning reads that touch all five love languages. From affirming poems to small acts of service, here are five books that explore love’s different manifestations, each with stories to tell of how we can give and receive love in ways we prefer the most.

1. Jasmines in Her Hair – Words of Affirmation

Love is expressed through the gentle whisper of words. ”Jasmines in Her Hair” by Kalpesh Desai is a poetry collection that features the themes and facets of love. From tender beginnings of infatuation to depths of enduring connection, each poem will captivate readers to immerse themselves in passionate sensibilities found in delight, sorrow, grief, acceptance, and resilience, capturing the essence of the heart’s universal experiences. 

Poetic words are as powerful as daily communication and this book might be the perfect bond for lovers. If you love compliments, notes, or sweet whispers, then words of affirmation may be your cup of love language. It’s not too old-school to write personal notes inspired by these poems to show appreciation to your Lovey-dovey.

2. Laws of Motions and Attraction – Physical Touch

“Alex never believed in love at first sight. But right then she realized, maybe she had loved him all along. It had been a long time coming, but it turned out ‘maybe someday’ was worth the wait, after all..”

Missing those back hugs and forehead kisses? How about those tender traces of his fingertips to your cheeks? Just when you know that physical touch becomes a language of its own, it speaks volume where words fall short. This is your sign to reminisce about the past and reflect if he is worth the second chance.

Gravitate your senses with Kaye Allen’s contemporary romance novel, “Laws of Motions and Attraction” as it brings you the story of Alex, a driven student who finds herself captivated by the most ideal suitor on campus only to discover that destiny has other plans. In this enthralling examination of love, accompany Alex on a journey fraught with twists and turns, and let her story touch your heart brimming every moment with sweet affection.

3. Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights – Gift-Giving

Who says love month is over? February may have passed but it’s never late to surprise someone with a thoughtful present. Let your cozy affection be felt by giving Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights to express the language of gift-giving!

Share the warmth with your loved one as you immerse in Janella Ventura’s short story collection, “Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights,” featuring 23 heartwarming love stories to uplift your spirits and 18 tear-jerking tales that will leave you deeply moved. From handmade treasures to heartfelt gestures,  Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights reminds readers that the true value of a gift lies not in its material worth, but in the love and care with which it is given.

4. Words, Fate, and Accidents – Quality Time

“…We may not know each other well but sometimes people could find comfort in the most unlikely places. Be it in a good book, a playlist with all favorite songs, or even in a foreign country, standing beside a stranger you met by accident.”

Another heart-touching craft from Kaye Allen is her “Words, Fate, and Accidents”, which is a story of connection and companionship. In a world where time is fleeting and fate is unpredictable, two strangers found solace in each other’s company, forging bonds that withstand the test of time. If you value quality time for your loved ones, then this book might remind you that time isn’t measured in minutes or hours, but in the profound moments shared between kindred spirits.

5. Lost You, Found Me – Acts of Service

“Lost is a state we will perpetually be in and the life is best approached by embracing it as it is.”

Picture this: late-night study sessions, surprise coffee deliveries, and shoulder-to-cry-on moments. Everyone has been through the rough stage between college and adulting where those small acts of service matter most in times when we feel most alone. You’re not lost sweetie, because a story that resonates has found its way to you!

Testament to the power of selfless devotion, Zara Carbonell’s “Lost You, Found Me” takes  readers into the tumultuous journey of love, loss, and self-discovery—a celebration of love through acts of sacrifice. Set against the backdrop of the exhilarating transition from college into the unknowns of adulthood, Lost You, Found Me offers a unique perspective on the exploration of life’s nitty-gritty.

Each of these books provides a fresh view on the languages of love and illustrates the diverse ways we communicate and receive affection. Whether through verbal affection, intimate gestures, shared warmth of hugs, or acts of selflessness, these authors capture the universality of love–transcending barriers and resonating deeply within our beings.

Thrilled to grab a copy of one of these books that pulsates your love language?

Visit Bookshelf PH  and discover the perfect read for you.

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Filipinos can now gain easier access to insurance with SeaInsure and Igloo

Filipinos can now easily access various personal and family insurance plans from SeaInsure Philippines through Igloo Philippines’ AI-powered app, Ignite by Igloo.

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Filipinos can now easily access various personal and family insurance plans from SeaInsure Philippines through Igloo Philippines’ AI-powered app, Ignite by Igloo.

The partnership between the two companies brings greater convenience and empowerment to insurance providers and seekers, giving Filipinos wider accessibility to essential insurance plans and supporting financial resilience.The initial products available on the app provide up to  ₱300,000 worth of coverage.

These include the SeaInsure Junior Accident Shield (0 to 17 years old), which covers medical expenses resulting from accidents; the SeaInsure Ladies Accident Shield (18 to 45 years old), which provides general accident coverage, including beauty procedures and pregnancy complications; SeaInsure Personal Accident Shield (18 to 60 years old) that takes care of medical expenses from unfortunate accidents; and SeaInsure Senior Accident Shield (61 to 70 years old) that protects from accidents like slips and bone fractures.

For more information, visit https://seainsure.com.ph/products/personal/protection.

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PRUBabies receives back-to-back international awards

ru Life UK offered 175,000 free vouchers of PRUMedCare – Select Infectious Diseases coverage for newborns from 7 days to 11 months old, helping parents protect their newborns against the cost of getting sick from any of the covered four infectious diseases – Dengue, Typhoid, Measles and Malaria.

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PRUBabies, Pru Life UK’s free insurance coverage against select infectious diseases for newborns, bagged Silver and Bronze Stevie®Awardsfor Community Relations/Public Service Communications and Innovative Achievement in Diversity & Inclusion, respectively.

As a testament to the company’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in the country, Pru Life UK offered 175,000 free vouchers of PRUMedCare – Select Infectious Diseases coverage for newborns from 7 days to 11 months old, helping parents protect their newborns against the cost of getting sick from any of the covered four infectious diseases – Dengue, Typhoid, Measles and Malaria. 

“Daghang salamat Pru Life UK. Dahil sa inyo, nabigyan ng libreng proteksyon ang aking baby,” shares Jeresa Caranoo, mother from Bantayan Island, Cebu who received free insurance for her child. 

Through PRUBabies, parents can receive cash assistance for the diagnosis and death of newborns due to any of the four covered diseases. The Department of Health has warned the public to watch out for the four covered diseases, particularly during summer. 

The life insurer distributed free vouchers across the country through Pru Life UK’s 42,000-strong agency force and the support of local government units, non-government organizations (NGOs) and hospitals – NGO Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) for Bantayan Island, Cebu and Parañaque City; The CSR arm of FirstGen Corp. for its host communities in Batangas City; St. Scholastica’s Formation House in Tagaytay City; Philippine Medical Association-Calamba for Dr. Jose P. Rizal District Hospital in Calamba, Laguna; Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Biyaya for the Grace to Be Born Shelter in Pasig City; Microfinance NGO Tulay sa Pag-unlad Inc. (TSPI) in Makati; Office of Palawan Board Member Anton Alvarez and the Mayor’s Office of Taytay for Taytay, Palawan, Rotary Club of Mandaluyong and Mandaluyong City government for the Mandaluyong City Medical Center, Manila City government for Tondo, Manila, and Barangay Council of Tandang Sora for Barangay Tandang Sora in Quezon City.

A combined financial literacy and climate & health session was also conducted for the families in Palawan, the only province in the Philippines with known malaria cases. 

PRUBabies is one of the many ways we make life insurance more accessible to more Filipino families, including babies who deserve to be protected from birthWe are grateful to our like-minded partners for their support in reaching out to unserved and underserved communities in far-flung areas. With PRUBabies, we live up to our mission to be the most trusted partners for every life and protectors for every future of Filipino families,” shares Allan Tumbaga, Pru Life UK’s Chief Customer and Marketing Officer. The free coverage vouchers have been distributed in 2023. Filipinos who want to be continuously financially protected with PRUMedCare – Select Infectious Diseases can get it via Pulse app.

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