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The benefits of Yoga


What does Yoga mean?

Yoga means “union” and it refers to a mental and physical discipline originating from Indian traditions. There are probably as many explanations about its benefits as there are different types of Yoga. Its main characteristic is that it is beneficial for your health as it develops both a physical and mental well-being. When practising Yoga, there is a balance of body and mind.

In order to stay fit, we should do exercises for both strength and resistance. Yoga incorporates these and what’s more, it improves our cardiovascular system and breathing with dynamic exercises such as the well-known “sun salutation”, gently exercising our muscular system at the same time.

Another benefit is the effect Yoga has on our coordination; when practised regularly, we strengthen the control we have over our body and heighten our mental awareness. As such, we benefit not only our physical coordination, but also our mental coordination, helping us to put our thoughts into alignment.

We live in a very stressful world and lead stressful lives where speed is key and there is no time to stop. The question is how we can best manage our levels of stress and control them. There are many ways to reduce our stress levels and Yoga is one of them. With regular practice, we can learn how to relax deeply and as a result, manage stressful situations better.

To sum up, we should give relaxation more of a priority and find harmony between mind and body in order to live a full and happy life.

Text: Esther Luhmann

English translate: Nicola McGrath

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Health Apps: benefits and risks


Anyone who doesn’t have applications on their phones these days would be considered somewhat strange: Whatsapp, Facebook, apps for banks etc. More specifically, an estimated 3% of the population currently have apps related to health in order to track their level of activity and their well-being.

In the future, it is likely that this tendency will continue as a trusted app can help people to manage their health without relying on health centres, doctors, nurses or pharmacies for routine matters. In fact, some doctors are already prescribing the use of apps to complement medication. Regarding health, the future has arrived and is here to stay.

It is important, however, to be careful when selecting which app to use for various reasons. According to official information, of the 3,013 apps in Europe related to health, none of them have been guaranteed by any medical centres or universities. This means that they have not been checked and may cause problems when used as they are mainly designed by computer scientists and not medical experts. To give an example, due to their experience, a medical expert might include certain variables that a computer scientist would not. A computer scientist would rely on information they find in a selection of books. In fact, an estimated 45.8% of apps currently available have been developed purely to trick people into giving their personal information (the new gold of the 21st century, hence the importance of only giving your personal information to trustworthy sites), 16.9% are trustworthy but they are only for professionals and 37.3% are trustworthy but merely informative, without the option of putting in a lot of personal information.

For some real life examples, take a look at the links below to three recent articles about the possible risks of using health related apps: the case of the “NaturalCycles” app that caused 51 unwanted pregnancies in Sweden; the sports app “Strava” that unveiled the location of American secret bases; and that 80% of apps related to health are at risk of divulging personal health information.

We have started to inform clients about reliable apps approved by official bodies or laboratories in Spain so that technology can act as an ally to your health rather than the enemy of your privacy. We would like to remind you that our app, tufarmaciacerca, complies with all data protection laws and also provides you with interesting articles about health.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translate: Nicola Mc Grath.

Related links:

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Alternative therapy: Separating the wheat from the chaff


Recently the Minister of Health for Valencia, Carmen Montón, caused a stir by calling certain therapies “medical pseudo sciences”, including phytotherapy (plant based medicine) which is actually the foundation for today’s medicine.

Our understanding is that so-called alternative therapy can be divided into 3 categories:

1. Those that include the use of products that have a physiological effect and have been scientifically proven (phytotherapy, micotherapy and scientific aromatherapy). Obviously, we are not talking about products that you can find in the supermarket or in a health food shop but rather those that have the TPM approval (traditional plant based medication) that are only sold in pharmacies.

2. Secondly, there are techniques that do not have any direct physiological effect, only indirect. These are techniques that aim to reduce stress, improve your body posture and your approach to life, they also help to establish a better quality of life in order to reduce the chances of developing certain illnesses. These types of therapy are effective on a physiological level in the mid-term, not immediately and should never substitute scientifically proven treatment. These are therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi etc.

3. Thirdly, there are therapies that are a health risk which are offered by supposed professionals capable of playing with something as precious as someone’s health when they are seriously ill. These people have no training of any kind or none that is officially recognised and will go so far as to promise that leukaemia can be cured by taking vitamins for 3 months.

Unfortunately, health care workers have detected a growing number of people that will believe anything they hear when their health is suffering.

If we normallybelieve what qualified health workers tell us, we should also think about the occasional lack of empathy they can show towards patients and how quick they are to reject trusted methods and therapies. At the same time, the patient should also be aware of two things: that illness and death are part of life and when we are feeling vulnerable we should be aware that the person telling us what we want to hear is not necessarily the person that is going to help us get better.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola Mcgrath

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“VICTORIA GONZALEZ DE BUITRAGO MARTINEZ ha sido beneficiario del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional cuyo objetivo es mejorar el uso y la calidad de las tecnologías de la información y de las comunicaciones y el acceso a las mismas y gracias al que ha desarrollado un proyecto de Presencia web a través de página propia y de Servicio de promoción online mediante sistema de pago (SEM), para la mejora de competitividad y productividad de la empresa. 08/01/2019. Para ello ha contado con el apoyo del programa TIC Cámaras de la Cámara de Comercio de Valencia.” - Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional - Una manera de hacer Europa.

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