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Natural Awakenings

Meditation Minimizes Migraines
March 2015

Mindfulness Reduces Episodes

meditationResearchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that mindfulness meditation significantly reduced the number and duration of migraines among 19 episodic migraine patients. Ten were given eight weeks of mindfulness classes with instructions for adding personal meditation in-between sessions. The other nine received typical migraine care.

Those in the meditation group experienced an average of 1.4 fewer migraines per month, which averaged nearly three hours less than the ones experienced by those in the control group. Pain levels of the headaches reported by those in the meditation group averaged 1.3 points lower on a scale of one to 10.

 
Stop Drops
March 2015

How to Find and Fix Leaking Pipes

water-leakWhile municipal water main breaks make news, it’s just as important to be watchful at home. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a typical home annually loses more than 2,000 gallons of water due to leakage. SNL Financial, an industry analysis firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently reported that water leaks cause $9.1 billion in annual homeowner policy property losses. Sensing a less-than-stellar water flow or seeing a leak from a faucet or mold or damp spots on walls and ceilings can indicate possible water pipe problems.

Copper water lines can develop tiny leaks over time when the water supply is too acidic. Also, clogs can develop, regardless what lines are made of, from lime and rust accumulations, stressing sections and especially fittings. Particularly vulnerable are 45-to-65-year-old homes, the length of time corrosion-resistant coatings on interior and exterior pipes generally last (OldHouseWeb.com). Fortunately, if repairs are needed, most builders group water lines in predictable places; bathrooms are often stacked one atop another in multi-floor houses for easier placement of supply and drain lines, so work can be localized and focused.

Instead of costly copper, many plumbers have switched to PEX—a tough and flexible polyethylene—that doesn’t require fittings or react to acid, like copper does. Repairs typically consist of replacing specific pipe sections as needed. Ask a visiting plumber to inspect all exposed plumbing lines to maximize the value of

Here’s a simple way to check for leaks: Turn off all water by closing internal and external water valves and don’t use the toilet. Record the current reading of the water meter, and then wait 20 minutes. Record the reading again and wait another 15 minutes. If the meter indicates an increase during this period, it’s probably from a leak. Another option is to install an automatic water leak detection and shutoff system.

According to AllianceForWaterEfficiency.org, 20 to 35 percent of all residential toilets leak at some time, often silently, sending wasted water onto both household water and sewer bills. Flapper valves improperly covering the exit from the tank are the most common problem, and they can easily be replaced.

 
Salty Harvest
March 2015

Seaweed May Be the New Lettuce

seaweed-saladFood items such as kelp, dulse, alaria and laver may be unfamiliar now, but likely not for long, as these and other varieties of edible seaweed and sea vegetables appear on more shopping lists and restaurant menus. These ingredients are already favored by cooks for the jolt of salty goodness they bring to soups and salads and by health food advocates that appreciate their high levels of essential minerals. Goodies in the pipeline include seaweed-filled bagels, ice cream and chips.

The trend toward farming seaweed instead of harvesting in the wild is making news. Working waterfronts often go dormant in the winter as lobstermen that work during warmer months move inland out of season for part-time jobs. Seaweed is a winter crop that can keep boats out on the water, providing year-round aquaculture employment.

Entrepreneur Matthew Moretti, who operates Bangs Island Mussels, a shellfish and kelp farm in Casco Bay, near Portland, Maine, explains, “Mussels are monoculture,” so he has been growing sugar kelp between mussel rafts to create a more ecological model.


Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future

 
Fitness Finds
February 2015

Locate the Best Workout Space for You

best-workout-spacesSix years ago, Sherry Salmons, of Oak Ridge, Illinois, was perplexed by her “glowing, smiling, energetic” neighbor that worked full time while raising three young children, yet never seemed drained. Finally, she asked: “What’s your secret?” The answer was a life-changing visit by Salmons to a nearby holistic fitness studio.

Lucking into good recommendations can whittle down the multitude of choices available at 32,000 U.S. health clubs and studios, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. With the dual trends of niche studios and low-cost fitness centers fueling a diverse burst in workout options, club-seekers should apply their sleuthing skills before deciding on something that can prove so pivotal to their health.

 
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