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About The Brand: Sinclair Institute

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 3:09 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
No matter who you are, good sexual health pays off in a big way, and Sinclair’s business is empowering their customers to discover life-changing intimacy and pleasure. So much more than product and price, Sinclair Institute is the world’s trusted destination for amazing products, reliable information & tips, and service & satisfaction that no one else can deliver.

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The Benefits of Yoga & Tips for the Beginner

If you’ve never tried yoga before then now’s the time to try. Research has shown numerous benefits that yoga can have on the body and mind:

Better Sleep – Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that insomniacs had an easier time winding down at night, falling asleep faster and sleeping longer after practicing yoga for one hour three times per week. Also, a slower extended breathing practice before bed can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and promote relaxation.

Improved Mood – Yoga may lower cortisol levels. A study from Boston University School of Medicine reports one hour of yoga practice raised levels of the brain chemical GABA (low levels are linked with depression) by 27 percent compared with a group who read quietly.

Joint HealthHyaluronic Acid (HA) is the space-filler in our cells and the natural lubricant in our joints.  As we age, the body slows the production of HA, resulting in achy and stiff joints.  Meridian theories in Traditional Chinese Medicine suggest that practicing Yin Yoga on a daily basis can help stimulate the production of HA.

Improved Sex Life – The Journal of Sexual Medicine has found that yoga promotes the release of hormones that speed up sexual arousal.

Now that you’re ready for your first class, here are few tips to keep in mind…

  1. Wear Comfortable Clothes. Yoga classes consist of a lot of forward bending. You should wear non-constricting clothes that your body can move freely in.
  2. Inform the Teacher of any Pre-existing Conditions. There are many variations of yoga poses. If there is a pose you physically are incapable of doing, the teacher will be able to show you an adaptation that’s right for you.
  3. Yoga is NOT a Competition. For most sports and athletics, it’s intuitive to be competitive. However, when in the studio, try not to judge yourself too harshly against the class’s star pupil(s). Even if everyone in the class can pull a headstand, do not succumb to negative thinking. The moment you let those unhealthy thoughts into your mind just smile and think, “If I continue my practice then someday, I too, will get there.”
  4. Keep Breathing. Yoga is the union of body and mind. The ability to control one’s breath, known as pranayama, is crucial to building and maintaining that relationship.
  5. Return to Child’s Pose. If at any time you feel you cannot proceed with the class flow, simply return to child’s pose or lay on your yoga mat in corpse pose. It is very important to listen to your body.



Magic Yohimbe Bark

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Herbs,Sexual Health at 8:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
YohimbeIf you could find an herbal supplement that can help with weight-loss, increase athletic performance, work as an appetite suppressant, and it is also known to be a natural aphrodisiac, you wouldn’t be wrong if you call it the “magic pill”, right?

Yohimbe bark supplements are one of the most interesting herbal supplements available. Known for its aphrodisiac properties, yohimbe contain a compound called yohimbine which acts on fats cells in the body by increasing adrenaline levels and inhibiting a regulatory process found on fat cells that normally suppresses the fat burning process, leading to an increase in fat burning. Yohimbine is found naturally occurring primarily as an alkaloid in the pausinystalia yohimbe tree, sometimes referred to as corynanthe yohimbe, and can be found in the plant known as Rauwolfia Serpentina, as well as the Rauwolfia family of plants in general. Considered by some herbalists to be as effective as ephedrine, an average dosage of 0.2mg/kg bodyweight has been used with success to increase fat burning without overly significant implications on heart rate or blood pressure.

However, yohimbe works better on an empty stomach as its effects seem to be partially negated with food intake. A great supplement to take during short term fasts or for prolonged periods between meals, yohimbe is also known to aid to erectile dysfunction, as well as a general stimulant. Caution should be taken at higher body weights since the cardiovascular system may not be as prepared to handle a stimulatory agent such as yohimbine.

When supplementing yohimbine for the first time, always start with a half-dose and assess tolerance before proceeding. As always, consult with your health care professional before starting yohimbe supplements.


Avena Sativa: Natural Sex Enhancer

Filed Under: Herbs,Sexual Health at 12:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Avena Sativa

Some people would like to try sexual enhancement products but the ingredients used in the majority of the most popular products can be a good reason to avoid them. Trying a natural sex enhancer can be a safe alternative choice. Avena sativa is a botanical extract that has traditionally been used to increase strength, mind, spirit and body. Avena sativa supplements have been known to provide sexual stimulating effect in men and women.

Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality have shown that avena sativa aids sexual arousal. The research subject was sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction, ranging from impotence to a female lack of desire and inability to respond sexually. Participants took a 300mg capsule of Avena sativa, also known as oat straw, three days a week for six weeks, and men experienced increased sex drive, enhanced erections and more pleasure during sex when taking Avena sativa. Another study showed that men experienced a 22% increase in sexual response and women a 15% increase. Men experienced a 36% increase in frequency of orgasm and women a 29% increase. No adverse effects have been reported when avena sativa supplements are used.


Natural Aphrodisiacs

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 10:44 am | By: Kim McCorkell, Senior Editor
Sweet Valentine SavingsIt’s February. This could mean one of two things. One, you’re crushed or indifferent. Watching Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Hunter with a side of organic popcorn sounds like a far better way to celebrate the month than with Cupid and his broken bow. Or two, forget Abe and all the Presidents – you’ll plan the perfect Valentine’s Day instead.

For those of you looking forward to celebrating the month of Love, we’re here to guide you through a list of natural aphrodisiacs that could easily be integrated into your day. Perhaps even for use on a regular basis!  But before that, let’s quickly take a look at what is an aphrodisiac and how an aphrodisiac works.

An aphrodisiac is considered a food, drink or drug that stimulates sexual desire. It’s named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality or love. Many have been used for ages by trained herbalists. Their use can be found throughout the ancient history of traditional medicine. As of today, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that no products may be sold over-the-counter for use as a natural aphrodisiac. Perhaps to keep consumers from overdosing on too many herbs! Despite the FDA’s warning, certain foods have earned a reputation as a natural aphrodisiac for specific, scientific reasons.

The reasons aphrodisiacs work is because they contain properties that can improve libido. These properties may help reduce stress, raise body temperature, increase circulation, sustain energy, or flood your body with happy hormones. Below is a list of several known natural aphrodisiacs, and what they’re good for.

Honey: Sustains energy, supports testosterone and is used in estrogen production
Coconut water: High in electrolytes which can increase energy. Also boosts blood flow and contains vitamin C
Cacao (raw chocolate): A feel good food! Contains phenylethylamine (PEA), and stimulates dopamine production
Nutmeg: Contains warming properties, can fight stress and fatigue, and even sweeten breath
Ginger: Fantastic for increasing circulation in the body, and also a well-known healing food
Maca: Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Used by Peruvians for generations to boost vitality, energy and mental clarity, which can all help treat low libido
Vanilla: Its natural smell and flavor is recognized by the hypothalamus, which can stimulate feelings of security, nurturing and relaxation
Saw palmetto: Traditionally, some herbalists believe the berry can be used to increase sperm production and sex drive in men
Cinnamon: Boosts body heat and can even plump lips!
Horny goat weed: One of the most exotic and valued herbs in Chinese medicine, and used for centuries to intensify desire and support healthy sexual desire.
Cayenne Pepper: Used in herbal medicine as a circulatory tonic. Also great for the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach aches, cramping and gas.

Other foods, like oysters, celery, almonds and avocado are well-known aphrodisiacs. The most common nutrients found in foods that aid in boosting libido include (but are not limited to) zinc, vitamin C, iodine, omega 3 and magnesium.

Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!


Oh, Sorry! I Dozed Off

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 8:06 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Dozing OffNodding off during the day, when it’s planned, is one of the best ways to restart your afternoon. You awake, uncurl and stretch contentedly with new energy, alertness and drive. But when you doze off accidentally, the end result is not quite the same. You are groggy, unsure of how much time has elapsed and disoriented, perhaps momentarily unaware of your location. The television program you’d been watching has been replaced by another, the book you’d been reading is lying haphazardly on the floor, or the cars behind you are impatiently sounding their horns. You shake your head trying to clear the fog, but it is slow in dissipating. And for that reason, you hate the unplanned naps – as well you should but not just because of that.

Unintentional daytime dozing increases the risk of stroke. A study of more than 2,000 New Yorkers found that those who occasionally nodded off throughout the day had a 2.6 times greater chance of having a stroke. Those who did so regularly were at a 4.5 times greater risk. The reasons for these increases were unclear, but researchers believe that either sleep apnea, which often results in extreme daytime drowsiness, or sleep deprivation is to blame. Whatever the cause, the one certainty is that unplanned naps are a sign of danger.

If you can’t seem to stay awake during your daily dose of Jeopardy or an extended red light almost always sends you straight to dreamland, you may want to consult your doctor to find out why. If it’s because you aren’t sleeping or because you have sleep apnea, steps can be taken to rectify both. Then, once your nights are filled with healthy Zs, your days won’t be filled with unhealthy ones, and your risk of stroke will have been, at least somewhat, lessened.


A Flood of Embarrassment

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 2:53 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Bathroom SignA former coworker once informed me (for no apparent reason) that she had a box of Depends in her car, just in case. I stared at her attempting to come up with a tactful reply as my mental self ran screaming from the room, traumatized by FAR too much information. My reaction was not unusual although the woman’s declaration may have been. Incontinence, the inability to control urination or bowel movements, is considered a “don’t go there” subject.  No one wants to hear about; no one wants to talk about it. And that is precisely the problem.

An estimated 20 million women and six million men have suffered from urinary incontinence. Five percent of the population has experienced fecal incontinence, and one in four American adults will face one or the other at some point in their lives. However, most will go untreated. The embarrassment keeps mouths shut even as the flood gates continue to open. As a result, women suffer silently through stress incontinence and urge incontinence, and men do the same, adding overflow incontinence to the mix, while effective treatments, ranging from medications to exercises to surgery, remain unused.

If you have or believe you may have urinary or fecal incontinence speak with your doctor. Don’t be afraid of the stigma, as it shouldn’t exist. You shouldn’t have to worry that every time you jog, laugh or cough, urine will spittle out, or that you’ll constantly be unable to make it to the bathroom in time. You should be able to go out in public without anxiety (or a box of Depends). If you’re interested in prevention, exercise more and shed any extra pounds. If you’re a woman, try kegel exercises.  They’ll strengthen your pelvic muscles with a few simple squeezes three times a day.


The Lesser of Two Evils: How Do You Know?

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 1:06 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Store AisleWhen you want something, you want it. An apple is not going to squelch the need for warm, crumbly baked goods, ever. Only a cookie will do that and a big one at that. You’re well aware of this, so when you get to the store, you don’t kid yourself with produce; you head straight for the snack aisle. But once there, your diet-conscience starts to override your longing. Oh, you’re still going to give in to temptation, but you are going to pick the healthier option. The only problem is which is it? Chips Ahoy  or Oreo? The first has more fat, the second more sugars and carbs. Which evil are you trying to avoid today? You haven’t a clue, so you grab the first one your hand touches.

It’s a common dilemma found in every aisle of the grocery store, including the health-food section. The nutrition labels regularly offer nothing more than confusion. As soon as you find an item with minimal fat, you realize that it has enough calories to fill two meals, but the low-cal option has more sodium than a salt lick. And the labels that have been so helpfully supplied by manufacturers are so . . . unhelpful. Yes, it’s wonderful to know that this cereal is full of whole grains. However, so is the one next to it and the one next to that. How are you supposed to differentiate between good, better and best, or bad, worse and heart-stopping? There’s no logical system . . . yet.

In 2008, select grocery stores and manufacturers will begin employing the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI).  Created by health experts, the index rates items based on the good (fiber, nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and protein) and the bad (saturated fat, sugar and cholesterol). When you walk down an aisle, you’ll see a number, either on the box or on the shelf, which will tell you how well a particular item ranks in comparison to like products. You’ll have an easy, quick method of discerning health. But what should you do until then?

Cope with the confusion. Have enough knowledge to know that calories are what add pounds. Saturated fats and trans fats are the kinds you want to avoid, and sodium is never something you want in mass quantities. And if it’s really coming down to Chips Ahoy or Oreo, ask yourself which is more important: chunks of chocolate or creamy filling?


Unlucky Number Seven

Filed Under: Sexual Health,Water Purification and Storage at 4:28 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
SevenYou feel so eco and trendy with your plastic water bottle. Walking around with it, you scoff at the wasters carelessly throwing disposable containers in the garbage. They can’t even recycle. The fools. You are clearly environmentally superior. You save the world one refilled bottle at a time while they deplete it. You look down on them, and eco-wise, you can. You are working in the Earth’s favor; they are working against it. However, health-wise, it may be a different story. Take a closer look at your bottle. Is there a number seven in the center of the recycling symbol? If so, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not a sign of luck. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.

The number seven, when stamped on products, is a sign that polycarbonate plastic was used to manufacture the item. This material is found in water bottles (disposable and refillable), baby bottles, food cans, and some dental amalgams and sealants. Found in it is a chemical known as BPA.  BPA doesn’t last in our bodies any longer than 24 hours but, thanks to our love affair with all things plastic, we are chronically exposed to it. It, through animal testing, has been linked to genital tract changes, prostate enlargement, low levels of testosterone, pre-cancerous breast cells, prostate cancer, early puberty and hyperactivity. It is thought to disrupt development and, as such, to be particularly dangerous to children, pre- and post-birth. No conclusive and statistically significant human risks have been found, but that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Continue Reading >>


Knocked Down by Knees

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 2:04 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Skeleton on KneesThe knee – figuratively speaking, we associate it with what can be considered the most important or, at least, consuming aspects of our lives: hard work, prayer, atonement and marriage. Each one, thanks to tradition, history, adages, imagery and stories, begins, in someway, on our knees. The knee’s emblematic dominance seems fitting, since in reality, we rely heavily on it. It enables us to move, take steps, bend and climb. It lifts us and lowers us. It is our support system, but sometimes, that support system buckles, literally.

Knee buckling is the sudden loss of bearing across the knee during an activity such as stair-climbing. Often, it results in a fall that could easily send the sufferer tumbling down a flight of steps. It has traditionally been associated with knee arthritis – those who have the latter experience the former – but a recent study found that more than half the people who experience knee buckling have no signs of arthritis. They do, however, tend to have knee pain, and they tend to buckle more than once. This can be extremely detrimental, not only because of the increased likelihood of a fall (and subsequent fracture) but because once a person is aware of knee-vulnerability, they limit their activity. They stop doing what they used to for fear of a buckle, becoming more and more sedentary. This is not the answer.

The best way to prevent a knee buckle is to strengthen your knee. Exercising your quadriceps is a great way to start. However, don’t rule out other methods. Research has found that heart-healthy workouts, such as walking, will protect your knee as well. And since you’re already in your gym clothes, do a few balance exercises. That way, if you start to fall, you’ll be more likely to catch yourself and remain steady.

The knee is one of the most important parts of your body. It supports you; you should support it.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:08 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Thanksgiving DinnerWe are hours away from a day of family, friends and food – lots and lots of food. If you’re on a diet or watching your waistline, you may be anticipating the festivities with a mixture of glee and trepidation.  On the one hand, you are being handed a reason to indulge, to abandon the monotony of health food for the joys of fat. On the other, you are plunging your low-cal regime into the depths of ruination simply by looking at that pie. Your waistline may never recover. What are you to do? Which emotion should you embrace?

Both. Thanksgiving is a holiday. Allow yourself a little bit of fun. Go ahead and eye that pie. In fact, have a slice. However, do keep in mind that Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season not the end. Days of feasting and indulging will fill the next month and a half of your life. You want to preface the future gorging by minimizing the health blunders on Thanksgiving. Here’s how:

• Eat breakfast – you may theorize that skipping your morning sustenance will allow you to eat more, maximizing your dinnertime delight without completely ignoring your calorie limit. However, that plan is likely to backfire. By the time the bird is served, you’ll be starving and more likely to overeat than you would be if you had had a nice, small breakfast.
• Get off of the couch – part of the beauty of Thanksgiving is the license to lounge around all day, watching the game or the parade, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Get up; go outside. Play football or take a walk before supper. You’ll burn off some of the calories you’re bound to ingest.
• Tweak the recipes – the tried-and-true recipes are reliable, traditional and delicious. But they also have a lot of fat, sugar and sodium. You can combat this by making little substitutions that will alter the health-horrors without altering the taste. Use reduced-fat and low-sodium whenever possible.
• Fill your plate with forethought – think about what you want to eat before reaching for the serving spoon. Enjoy the dishes that you only have once a year, rather than stockpiling calories with everyday foods. And know that some items are better than others. Turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce have benefits beyond taste.
• Focus on family – don’t spend your day obsessed with how many calories are in the roll you just ate or the casserole you’re about to sample. It’s going to ruin your holiday. Think, instead, about the people filling your home, offering you warmth, love and the true meaning of Thanksgiving.


Litebook Lights up Your Life

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:25 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
LitebookHow much time do you spend indoors? Probably, a good portion of your day, and as the days get shorter, that amount will get longer and longer. You’ll barely see the sun. You’ll drive to and from work in the dark. You’ll see light only through the windows of your office building. You’ll fill Saturdays and Sundays with indoor activities and only venture outdoors for short periods of time. The good news is you’re not alone. Almost everyone ups their inside time come late fall and winter, both out of choice and necessity. However in doing so, we are all depriving ourselves of something we need to remain healthy: sunlight.

Exposure to light is an important aspect of our health. An extreme lack of it can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression occurring between September and April (most commonly between December and February). It affects half a million people every winter leaving them lethargic, irritable, miserable and incapable of completing their daily routines. In severe occurrences, individuals may experience feelings of hopelessness or apathy as well as extreme moods. In short, SAD can debilitate a person. Antidepressants and counseling are both viable means of treating SAD, as is light therapy.

Light therapy involves exposure to a bright light for a set period of time each day. It leaves you feeling energized, alert and in a better mood. For individuals suffering from SAD, light therapy can make a world of difference. Researchers recently tested the effects of light therapy on 23 SAD patients, using the Litebook. Those exposed to the Litebook for 30 minutes each morning had a higher rate of remission than those who were not, proving the Litebook’s effectiveness.  So if you feel your mood graying with the sky, first talk to a doctor. Figure out if it is depression or just the end-of-summer blues. Either way, if you decide that light therapy may help, opt for the Litebook. After all, it is scientifically backed.


Pass on Passing Kidney Stones

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 1:38 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Kidney StoneEven the smallest pebble in your shoe can disrupt your day. It presses into the bottom of your foot, forcing you to stop walking and shake the stone loose. It’s annoying and mildly painful. Now, what if that same pebble were in your urinary tract? And what if it was the size of a golf ball? Imagine shaking that loose. Sound fun? I don’t think so. But, it happens, often.

Kidney stones form in your kidneys, typically a result of excess calcium, oxalate, uric acid or cystine. As the concentration of these minerals in your urine builds, crystals form, eventually creating stones. The stones may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as the aforementioned golf ball. Either way, they’re there, but you may not know it at first. In fact, you may never know. Most kidney stones don’t result in symptoms. It’s not until they pass from your kidney to your bladder that these internal pebbles start causing pain. But when it starts, it starts. The pain, usually sudden and severe, will begin in your side or back, following the stone’s path into your abdomen, groin and possibly your genitals. Hopefully, increasing your water intake will flush it out quickly. If not, your doctor will take the steps necessary to dislodge the stone. Whatever happens, you’ll have had an experience you’re not soon to forget, one you’ll wish you had never had in the first place. Continue Reading >>