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These days everyone is looking for the latest exercise trend that will miraculously whittle down their waist, tone and strengthen their muscles, and give them those dancer’s legs they have always dreamed of.
With the plethora of options out there it is hard to tell what is effective and what is gimmick. One effective option that seems to be on the lips of every actress/model/celebrity (including the well-defined Madonna) is yoga. They are crediting their new and improved svelte bodies to yoga and now almost every gym offers classes of some form. It’s one of the most recent popular exercise trends to impress fitness fans around the world and it is also one of the oldest.

Reputedly, yoga originated in India over 5000 years ago, though modern yoga did not reach Western civilization until the late 1800s or early 1900s. There are numerous types practiced today, but most involve poses that are held for an extended period of time, focusing on breathing and proper form. Yoga also revolves around the theory of chakras -- a Sanskrit word meaning wheel -- which are energy centers. It is believed (though there is no scientific evidence) there are seven chakras in the body and that they regulate energy in the body, helping to keep the body balanced. Which may explain why devotees of yoga say that it not only makes their bodies look and feel better, it also gives them a sense of peace and relaxation.

Let’s take that one step further. What if through practicing a type of yoga you could heal illnesses like cancer and diabetes or even AIDS? Possible? Maybe. There is a world-wide organization known as Mankind Enlightenment Love (MEL) also known as Spiritual Healing Yoga (SHY) that has had success helping people overcome these types of illnesses or at the very least made it more bearable.

This method or teaching was developed by the Vietnamese Master Professor Luong Minh Dang and has spread to over 60 countries since 1989. It uses the theory of Human and Universal Energy therapy, in which the chakras must be fully opened in order to assimilate the energy and heal the body. This method does not utilize drugs or medications of any sort and is a complement to any medical treatment. It is not intended to replace medication.

The organization offers courses through which you can learn how to successfully use Universal Energy. Aside from the cost of courses, there are no additional expenses. There are no financial obligations and it has no religious affiliations. Additionally, profits are used for charity and helping students in poor countries. MEL welcomes all races, religions, ages (over 14) and they believe in the equality of all. The organization also believes that once a person is taught by a spiritual master how to channel Universal Energy it is up to that person to not only heal him/herself but also others -- without any type of personal gain. They believe that energy to heal is and should be available to all.

It is proposed that since energy exists everywhere -- and according to the first law of thermodynamics energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change form -- the many types of energy can be channeled and enter the body through the chakras. The energy is then converted to human bio-energy, which is purported to help heal the body. Though healing is never a guarantee it is always a possibility.

According to data, both official and unofficial, collected over the past ten years, it claims that the Universal Energy healing method was successful in curing illnesses or addictions such as drug addiction, cigarette addiction, cancer, AIDS, insomnia, multiple personality disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Though MEL would never state it can help everyone, so far the treatment has shown some encouraging results.

Plus, the health industry has vastly changed over the last ten years and alternative medicine or practices are not nearly frowned upon as much as they used to be. In fact, many doctors and health practitioners are advocating preventative medicine, which often involves taking herbal supplements that have proven to produce many positive results.

People are also checking out alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic treatment to help ailments typically treated with Western medicine. Universal Energy may be one to try. But with all the different alternative treatments out there - just like exercise fads - it is difficult to tell which will work. Or one treatment may help someone with an illness yet another with the same problem may not be helped in the least.

The thing to remember with all alternative medicine or treatment is that it is supposed to be a complement not a replacement to Western medicine and that all people are different and hence not all things will work the same on all people. It also becomes especially hard to tell whether something will work if there is no hard scientific proof of it, but that does not mean it won’t work.

So is Universal Energy a gimmick or is it real? Only you can decide.

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