My Health articles (Blogs)
My Health articles (Blogs)
An ongoing series of informational entries
The Blue Zones
The Blue Zones
A study and a book written by Dan Buettner, he discovered common denominators of various groups of people that not only lived well over 100 but did so with vibrant health and few incidences of disease.
Here is my summary of those 9 common denominators:
1. Move naturally. It's not about marathons or pumping iron but rather it's about working around the house, gardening, walking, cycling, and walking when talking on the phone.
2. Know your purpose. Have a reason for waking up in the morning.
3. Kick back. Find ways to shed stress, whether it's praying, napping, time with friends and family that are supportive, uplifting and fun or going to happy hour.
4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80% full.
5. Eat less meat. Beans and a 90% vegan diet are a cornerstone of most of these particular groups of people.
6. Drink only in moderation. Only the Seventh-day Adventists in California didn't have one to two glasses a wine a day (however, often they drank particular wine highest in antioxidants).
7. Have faith. Denomination doesn't seem to matter, but attending faith-based services (several times a month) does.
8. Power of love. Put families first, including committing to a partner and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
9. Stay social. Build a social network that supports healthy behaviors.
Tips to help sleep
Tips to help sleep
First, you have to prioritize sleep! Unfortunately, our lives are infiltrated with stimuli - and we keep stimulated until the moment we get into bed. This is not the way to get restful sleep. Frankly, it's no wonder we can't sleep well when we eat late dinners, answer emails, surf the Internet, or do work, and then get right into bed and watch the evening news about all the disaster, pain, and suffering in the world.
Instead we must take a little "holiday" in the two hours before bed. Creating a sleep ritual - a special set of little things you do before bed to help ready your system physically and psychologically for sleep - can guide your body into a deep, healing sleep.
Here's how restore your natural sleep rhythm:
Practice the regular rhythms of sleep - go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Use your bed for sleep, romance and light reading only - not tv.
Create an aesthetic environment that encourages sleep - use serene and restful colors and eliminate clutter and distraction.
Create total darkness and quiet - consider using eyeshades and earplugs.
Avoid caffeine - it may seem to help you stay awake but actually makes your sleep worse at night especially when consumed in the afternoon.
Avoid alcohol - it helps you get to sleep but causes interruptions in sleep and poor-quality sleep.
Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily - the light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and aging.
Eat no later than three hours before bed - eating a heavy meal prior to bed will lead to a bad night's sleep. Also, make your last meal carb free (this also helps with weight loss).
Don't exercise vigorously after dinner - it excites the body and makes it more difficult to get to sleep.
Write your worries down - one hour before bed, write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you might have to do the next day to reduce your worry. It will free up your mind and energy to move into deep and restful sleep.
Take a hot salt/soda aromatherapy bath - raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep. A hot bath also relaxes your muscles and reduces tension physically and psychically. By adding one-and-a-half to one cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and one-and-a-half to one cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to your bath, you will gain the benefits of magnesium absorbed through your skin and the alkaline-balancing effects of the baking soda, both of which help with sleep.
Get a massage or stretch before bed - this helps relax the body making it easier to fall asleep
Warm your middle - this raises your core temperature and helps trigger the proper chemistry for sleep. Either a hot water bottle, heating pad, or warm body can do the trick.
Avoid medications that interfere with sleep - these include sedatives (these are used to treat insomnia, but ultimately lead to dependence and disruption of normal sleep rhythms and architecture), antihistamines, stimulants, cold medication, steroids, and headache medication that contains caffeine (such as Fioricet)
Use herbal therapies - try passionflower, or 320 mg to 480 mg of valerian (valeriana officinalis) root extract standardized to 0.2 percent valerenic acid one hour before bed
Take 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed - this relaxes the nervous system and muscles.
Other supplements and herbs can be helpful - try calcium, theanine (an amino acid from green tea), GABA, 5-HTP, melatonin, and magnolia.
Try one to three mg of melatonin at night - melatonin helps stabilize your sleep rhythms.
Get a relaxation, meditation or guided imagery CD - any of these may help you get to sleep.
If you are still having trouble sleeping, you should be evaluated by your doctor for other problems that can interfere with sleep, including food sensitivities, , menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, and, of course, stress and depression. Also, consider getting tested for a sleep disorder.
Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress
Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress
STRESS CAN ROB US OF OUR ENERGY AND VITALITY! THERE ARE ALARMING STATISTICS OF HOW IT AFFECTS OUR BODIES AND BRAINS CONTRIBUTING TO NUMEROUS HEALTH PROBLEMS! Medications can help an acute situation such as an emergency but are not effective for chronic/long term use. There ARE BETTER WAYS and HOPE! (In reading these tips, keep in mind that regularity is key. You can't exercise, eat right or sleep once in a while to truly reap the benefits).
Here's just a few:
Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, go for a walk in nature or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals and make them healthy. Blood sugar imbalances can contribute to mood disorders. Additionally unhealthy meals (like too much sugar, carbs, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine) can cause poor concentration and fluctuating energy and poor quality sleep causing hormonal imbalances which in turn also contributes to stress, anxiety and depression. Keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
Be mindful. Think about what you think about! Are you being your own worse enemy? Be honest with yourself but don't beat yourself up if you find you are. Rather, use it as an opportunity for change, grow and have a new perspective.
Get regular massage. Like exercise, regular massage has been proven effective for stress, anxiety and depression. Click here to schedule.
Positive influence. Unfortunately, we cannot always be around positive influences so make good choices when you can. If you have a friend or friends who are always complaining and having "pity parties" playing the victim, this will not help you. Even movies, tv, mediia, work, and work colleagues can have a positive or negative effect on us so be aware so you can make adjustments where helpful.
Limit alcohol and caffeine. These aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Things like certain teas, playing and laughing more, having a positive social network, specific supplements, better eating and lifestyle habits (exercise, etc) can help us get rid of habits that work against us.
Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. If you have trouble sleeping, read my blog "Tips to improve sleep".
Exercise daily. A renowned expert in dealing with anxiety reported exercise as being the #1 most important component to helping with anxiety as well stress and depression.
Prayer and meditation. Remember prayer is communicating and connecting with your creator. The bible says we "are made in the image of God. God's spirit is love, forgiveness, peace, strength, grace, mercy, and so many other wonderful qualities that has healing power and when you pray that is what you are connecting with. Meditation, like prayer, helps to disconnect our minds from being bombarded with all the stuff of life. It's a needed mini-vacation that can recharge, give answers and calm our minds, bodies and spirit.
Set goals. Goals keep us on track and moving forward. They can give us motivation and direction. I find putting them into categories like finances/career, health/physical, family, spiritual, etc with a timeline helps me best. BUT, don't aim for perfection and appreciate the journey. If you don't meet a goal, DON'T beat yourself up. Rather re-evaluate it and see if it's a reasonable goal and time frame.
Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Intimacy and sex. We all need this. In the book, "His Needs, Her Needs", the author and counselor found that these our some of our greatest needs for both sexes.
Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress, as well as keeping things in perspective (ever served the homeless?).
Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
Consider supplements and teas rather then medication. The best supplements for anxiety, stress and depression are: 5-HTP, Fish oil (Essetial Fatty Acids), B-omplex, Theanine,
Magnesium, GABA, and *Herbs like
Rhodiola roea, Camu Camu, St.John's wart, and Ashwagandha.
* Consult with your doctor if you are taking a anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication.
In addition, instead of coffee that can excerbate anxiety and stress out the adeneal glands, try teas (many come in relaxing ore calming formulas like: Passion Flower, Kava,
Skullcap, and Valerian Root.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Tips to help with allergies
Tips to help with allergies
Here's some of the best survival strategies to add to your allergy-fighting arsenal:
1. Limit Pollen Exposure
To minimize your allergy symptoms, reduce your exposure to pollen by:
Avoiding clothing made of synthetic fabrics, as they can produce an electric charge when rubbed that attracts and makes pollen stick to you. Better options include natural fibers like cotton.
Exercising outdoors before dawn, in the late afternoon, and/or early evening, as pollen counts are at the lowest at these times. Intense exercise may be best done indoors, as your increased breathing rate could make you inhale more pollen.
Wearing gloves and a mask when gardening. To filter pollen, wear a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-rated 95 filter mask. Also avoid touching your eyes and when done be sure to take a shower and wash your clothes.
Reducing your exposure to indoor allergens may also help reduce allergy symptoms. To improve your indoor air quality, regularly vacuum your home, including furniture, using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, leave shoes by the door to avoid trekking dirt through the house, and use a dehumidifier and/or a HEPA filter air purifier.
2. Try Natural Remedies
Hot chili peppers, horseradish, and hot mustards work as natural decongestants. In fact, a nasal spray containing capsaicin (derived from hot peppers) significantly reduces nasal allergy symptoms.
Quercetin is an antioxidant that belongs to a class of plant substances called flavonoids. Quercetin-rich foods (such as apples, berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea) prevent histamine release — so they are "natural antihistamines." Quercetin is also available in supplement form — a typical dose is between 200 and 400 milligrams (mg) per day.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis):
Goldenseal may be helpful for seasonal allergies. Berberine, the active ingredient in goldenseal, has antibacterial and immune-enhancing properties.
This pure essential oil can be healing to mucus membranes. You can apply a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times a day, add a few drops to water (or to a nebulizer, if you own one) for a steam treatment, or use a few drops in your bath water.
Vitamin C is another natural antihistamine. Take 500 to 1,000 mg., three times a day to reduce symptoms. Get a natural source of Vitamin C rather then ascorbic acid, the cheaper synthetic version.
If you have cedar pollen allergies, you should know about a type of slightly fermented, organic Japanese green tea called “Benifuuki.” The tea has been shown to strongly inhibit mast cell activation and histamine release, as well as relieve symptoms of runny nose and eye itching in people with cedar pollen allergy.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Using a neti pot (a small, teapot-like pot) is a simple technique to safely cleanse your sinuses of irritants, including allergens. It involves pouring water into one nostril and allowing it to flow out the other. IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to avoid using tap water, as it could potentially be contaminated with brain-eating amoeba or other contaminants. Only use water that is distilled, sterilized, previously boiled or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller.
4. Diet, Exercise and Stress Relief
Many people aren’t aware that lifestyle habits may influence your allergy symptoms. "Healing and sealing" your gut has been shown to help alleviate allergy symptoms, and the key to this is eliminating inflammatory foods like grains and processed foods and introducing healthier foods, including fermented foods, that will support a proper balance of bacteria in your gut.
Eating a wholesome diet based on unprocessed, ideally organic and/or locally grown foods, including fermented foods, along with optimizing your vitamin D levels and correcting your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, will form the foundation upon which your immune system can function in an optimal manner (for allergies and a whole host of other symptoms and health issues).
When you’re healthy, your body will be able to tolerate more of the trigger before a reaction occurs. Even stress relief is important, as chronic stress weakens your immune system. Research shows that people with persistent emotional stress have more frequent allergy flare-ups, so be sure you’re tending to your emotional health as well.
The link between nutrition and depression
The link between nutrition and depression
Read what a prominent doctor and researcher has to say about the link between taking care of your gut and depression.
Research shows that the food you eat can have a profound effect on your mental health. So, regardless of your mental health problem, the importance of addressing your diet simply cannot be overstated.
In a very real sense, you have two brains — one in your head, and one in your gut. Both are created from the same tissue during fetal development, and they’re connected via your vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem to your abdomen.
It is now well established that the vagus nerve is the primary route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain, which helps explain why mental health appears to so intricately connected to your gut microbiome1 — the bacteria and other microbes living in your gut.
For example, researchers recently found that fermented foods helped curb social anxiety disorder in young adults.2,3 Another study4 found that mice engaged in obsessive-compulsive repetitive behaviors were pacified when given a strain of the bacterium Bacteroides fragilis.
Gut bacteria also produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin is found in your intestines, not your brain.
At the end of the day, if you’re trying to address your mental state, optimizing your gut health should be toward the very top of your list.
The Strong Link Between Sugar and Depression
A number of food ingredients can cause or aggravate depression, but the number one culprit is refined sugar and processed fructose, which feed pathogens in your gut, allowing them to overtake more beneficial bacteria.
Sugar also suppresses the activity of a key growth hormone in your brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia.
Diets high in sugar also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation, which over the long term disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain.
Last but not least, refined sugar and processed fructose and grains are key contributors to insulin and leptin resistance, which also plays a significant role in your mental health.
One recent study5,6 found that high-glycemic foods (including those high in refined grains and added sugar) were associated with higher odds of depression.
Added sugar in particular was strongly associated with depression, reconfirming what William Dufty said in his classic best-selling book, Sugar Blues, first published in 1975. Sometimes it takes a while for science to catch up — in this case 40 years!
Other Processed Food Ingredients That Promote Depression
Other processed food ingredients that can contribute to depression and/or other mental health problems include:
- Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients can significantly alter your gut flora, thereby promoting pathogens while decimating the beneficial microbes necessary for optimal mental and physical health.
- Glyphosate— the most widely used herbicide on food crops in the world with nearly 1 BILLION pounds applied every year — has been shown to cause nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals, which are critical for brain function and mood control. It also causes systemic toxicity, and was recently declared a Class 2A probable human carcinogen. Roundup, in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, has also been shown to increase the antibiotic-resistance of E. coli and Salmonella.
- Artificial food additives, especially the artificial sweetener aspartame, can wreak havoc with your brain function. Both depression and panic attacks are known potential side effects of aspartame consumption. Other additives, such as artificial colorings, are also known to impact mood.
- Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, may negatively impact mood and brain health. In fact, a number of studies indicate that wheat can have a detrimental effect on mood, promoting depression and even more serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia.
- Most non-organic wheat is also treated with glyphosate in a pre-harvest processed called desiccation, which adds to its problematic effects (see glyphosate above).
To Heal Depression, Heal Your Gut
As noted by The Epoch Times:7 “In the last 20 years or so, scientists have developed a new respect for bacteria, and the paradigm is turning from a strategy of war, to one of co-existence. Science now considers a robust, diverse bacterial colony to be essential to good health.”
Indeed, the bacteria residing on and in your body outnumber your cells 10 to 1, and viruses in turn outnumber bacteria 10 to 1. In many respects, you are your microbiome.
As Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told The New York Times:8
“We are, at least from the standpoint of DNA, more microbial than human. That’s a phenomenal insight and one that we have to take seriously when we think about human development.’’
Rapidly mounting research reveals that many of these little microbes have very specific functions, and as a whole play a profound role in your biological processes and overall health — including your brain health.
“According to Dr. Raphael Kellman, a New York City-based physician who specializes in treating the microbiome...the microbiome not only influences our mood, but it also has a lot to do with how the brain functions and develops over time,” The Epoch Times9 notes.
‘By improving the microbiome we can actually see positive changes in mood, cognitive function, and executive function,’ Kellman said...
‘The microbiome communicates with the brain through a number of mechanisms... These pathways include direct neurotransmitters that the microbiome produces.
It communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve, and also via the endocrine system in the stress pathway — the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal axis.’
Current treatment for neurological disorders focus on direct changes to brain chemistry, tweaking levels of neurotransmitter chemicals in hopes of tuning in the right balance. But the future of mental health treatment may focus much more on the gut than the brain, and more on food than drugs.”
The fact that improving your microbiome can affect your cognitive function means it’s also important to nourish your gut to stand a better chance against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, researchers have also found that recurring depression is associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, the area of your brain associated with memory formation,10 and depression itself appears to be a risk factor for dementia.
Here, it’s important to take your vitamin D levels into account, as both depression and Alzheimer’s disease are associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Empower yourself with goals
Empower yourself with goals
I believe that empowerment is about having goals and our actions being in align with our dreams, aspirations and those goals; being the best version of yourself you can be. Whether you are a parent, own a business, trying to run a marathon, or figuring out where you want to go in your life, goals can help give us direction, motivation and purpose. The best starting point then is sitting down with paper or computer in hand to get in touch where we want our lives to go.
Without at least some defined goals and an action plan we can be a tumble weed where we are easily distracted or choosing things that take us on a different course never realizing and connecting with our true purpose. So we need to be mindful and have awareness asking ourselves if what we are doing (or not doing) serves or keeps us from our best selves.
I’ll give you a couple examples:
One is in regard to my physical goals which was to eat better and exercise consistently. I didn’t really take baby steps that I would generally recommend because I had gotten to a point where I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. That propelled me to just “jump in the pool” instead of slowly getting used to it, but it worked for me. I finally started to feel and look so much better but I still had some fatigue, anxiety and mild depression issues.
I analyzed my diet/lifestyle and saw how I started my day with an upper - lots of coffee with sugar and ended my day with a downer (depressant) – wine. I was causing adrenal problems.
All I did was make some minor adjustments but those minor things made a huge difference. I started to drink my coffee with stevia or raw local honey (to help with allergies as well) and some unsweetened coconut milk. I drank wine on occasion and/or weekends only. I took a food based vitamin C (we loose a lot of Vitamin C when under duress), HTP-5/B-complex (helps regulate and balance cortisol – stress hormone levels as well as increases serotonin (the feel good hormone) levels as well as higher doses of fish oils (EFA’s). What a positive difference it made for me in only a couple weeks and no drugs/medications to just mask it. (Part of my Health Coaching is seeing/accessing what is working and what isn't. Making necessary adjustments - sometimes just minor ones - can make all the difference).
Writing goals keeps you on task and proactive instead of reactive. As another example, one of my past relationships wasn’t serving me well to reach my relationship goals. The relationship was not complimenting my values, passions and direction I wanted for myself and someone special in my life.
The woman I was dating for almost 2 years was bipolar and complicated the issue with drugs and alcohol. It was a roller coaster of up’s and down’s. It stopped both of us from progressing as individuals as well as in our relationship. I spent so much time trying to help her and in the end the drugs/alcohol won and we ended the relationship. I was so caught up in it with her that it was like I had blinders on and a new world opened up when we parted ways. My focus returned where it should be. It wasn't about being selfish but being proactive from a place of being self aware.
Being empowered means taking a stand for our lives. To guard our minds, hearts and goals from negative and sometimes even positive distractions. To live in the moment not wasting our thoughts on a past that we cannot do anything about. To develop a destination and a road map to get there.
Goal setting is one important part of My Transformation Program because it keeps your eye on the prizes of life and you are a PRIZE!
Looking through the right lens
Looking through the right lens
I heard this story on His Radio where a couple had pulled up to a full service gas station and asked the attendant to clean the front windshield… but kept asking to clean it since it still seemed dirty. Finally the attendant reached in the car and took off the mans glasses, cleaned them and put them back on him. Low and behold…clean! :)
The way we choose to view life makes all the difference especially during the most difficult of times. If we see the world through eyes of distrust, negativity, a distorted view we get from others, viewing it from the past and magnifying it through our past mistakes, etc then even the best of times won't hold the meaning that they could and can hold us hostage from having the life we deserve.
I often check in on how I'm thinking. As a Christian I want to make sure that my thoughts are inline with God's. Whether you are a Christian or not though, being mindful - thinking about what you think about holds great significance.
At any time, if we discover that we are being our own worst enemy, we have the opportunity to change direction and learn to love ourselves so that we begin to see the world in a new way.
I'll end this with an article written by Joyce Meyers called "Worthless or Worthy? How Do You See Yourself? " It reads: " We all know how agonizing it is to work day after day with someone we don't get along with, but at least that person doesn't come home with us at night. We can't get away from ourselves, not even for one second, so it's of the utmost importance that we have peace with ourselves.
Many of us fall prey to self-rejection because we feel that nobody really loves us or accepts us. We figure that if nobody else loves us, then why should we love ourselves? Because we think others don't love us, we feel that we must not be worth loving. But that's a LIE we've believed for way too long!
We should love ourselves—not in a selfish, self-centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way that affirms God's creation as essentially good and right. We may be flawed by unfortunate experiences we've gone through, but that doesn't mean we're worthless and good-for-nothing.
We must have the kind of love for ourselves that says, "I know God loves me, so I can love what God chooses to love. I don't love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me." We must develop the kind of mature love that says, "I know I need to change, and I want to change. In fact, I believe God is changing me daily, but during this process, I will not reject what God accepts. I'll accept myself as I am right now, knowing that I will not always remain this way."
Many times people who reject themselves do so because they can't see themselves as good, proper, or right. They fail to see themselves the way God sees them—as precious children He dearly loves.
As you begin to see yourself through God's eyes—someone who's loved and cherished—your view of yourself will begin to change. You'll begin to see yourself not as rejected, but as loved and accepted…unique and beautiful in His sight.
What's in our hearts and minds comes out in our words and actions so clean those glasses and appreciate your new eyesight!
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Combining Chiropractic care with massage for quicker recovery and healing
Combining Chiropractic care with massage for quicker recovery and healing
I also own Tailored Massage and Coaching so I know the many benefits of massage but did you know that combining massage with chiropractic care can speed up your recovery time!
Combining both chiropractic and massage can speed up recovery time. Using both therapies have shown to provide relief from issues such as insomnia, back pain, arthritis, and other issues.
While chiropractic focuses on the hard tissue of the body (vertebrae and joints of the spine), massage focuses on the soft tissues (muscles) of the body. By targeting both the hard and soft tissues, a faster and more overall complete recovery is achieved.
Massages work well with chiropractic because of the relaxation factor. After a massage, a chiropractic patient is more relaxed and less anxious. This allows the chiropractor to better adjust the joints and spine. Relaxed muscles also won't pull the joints back out of alignment due to the release of muscle tension.
Dr Kenneth Ring, of Coastal Carolina Chiropractic where I work, shows how he really cares about his patients through the healing he provides, the relationships and trust he builds and testimonials he receives.
He works with anyone, including prenatal patients to help with many common issues a woman has during that time and children to help with their development and common childhood difficulties.
Read more about him and his practice here.
Help for Migraines and headaches
Help for Migraines and headaches
Even though this was written more for migraines, both headaches and migraines have common triggers and treatments. The most recent research is showing migraines and headaches to a lessor extent, may be caused by one of the following:
Blood flow. A sharp decrease, but usually a sharp increase in blood flow. Changes in the brain chemical serotonin. When levels drop, blood vessels including those in your brain become swollen and inflamed, which can lead to migraine pain. A disruption of the subtle energies circulating throughout your body, along with unresolved emotional issues that manifest in your body as headaches.
Vitamin B deficiency. In one study, vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid supplements were found to produce a two-fold reduction in migraines over a six-month period. Previous studies, such as a 2004 study in the European Journal of Neurology, have also reported that high doses of B2 (riboflavin) can help prevent migraine attacks. You want to purchase food-based B (and others) vitamins.
Hormonal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance can not only trigger headaches and migraines but can be responsible for many various symptoms and health issues. Getting your hormones checked and corrected through NHRT (Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy) may help directly or indirectly with headaches, migraines and many other health issues.
Know your triggers so you can avoid them or make necessary adjustments:
Food and Drink: Many people experience headaches/migraines when they eat certain foods, especially: wheat, dairy, sugar, artificial preservatives or chemical additives, cured or processed meats, alcohol (especially red wine and beer), aspartame, caffeine, and MSG. Caffeine can also trigger an attack - and sometimes excess nuts.
Changes in sleeping cycle: Both missing sleep and oversleeping can trigger a migraine. If you have trouble sleeping, read my article on "Tips for Better Sleep" (an earlier blog post) .
Hormones: Some women experience migraines before or during their periods, during pregnancy or during menopause. Others may get migraines from hormonal medications like birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
*Allergies: Including food allergies and food sensitivities, and chemical sensitivities. Common food allergies are cow's milk (including yogurt and ice cream), corn, *aspartame, *MSG, Citrus and eggs.
Stress/Post-stress: Any kind of emotional trauma can trigger a migraine, even after the stress has passed.
External stimuli: Bright lights, fluorescent lights, loud noises and strong smells (even pleasant ones) can trigger a migraine.
Dehydration and/or hunger: Skipping meals or fasting are also common triggers.
Physical exertion: Extremely intense exercise or even sex has been known to bring on migraines.
Weather changes, and/or changes in altitude.
*To determine if you have a food allergy:
- Do you experience bloating after meals, gas, frequent belching, or any kind of digestive problems?
- Do you have chronic constipation or diarrhea?
- Do you have a stuffy nose after meals?
- Do you have low energy or feel drowsy after eating?
- *Be especially careful of aspartame & MSG (take note that these are chemicals/preservatives never meant for consumption. Trust me, many major food manufactures that add these kinds of things are not looking out for your health. They are looking out for their pocket book and know that certain additives can be very addictive...that's a whole other article!). They are notorious for causing headaches and migraines as well as ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances and neuritis.
Ok, now the good stuff - here's some things you can do to relieve them:
- Eliminate all gluten products
- Organically grown produce, and grass-fed or pastured animal products that are free from additives and genetically engineered ingredients
- Eliminate all artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame.
- Carbohydrates primarily come from vegetables (except corn and potatoes, which should typically be avoided for weight losss and better gut health as well). Dramatically lowering your intake of non-vegetable carbs could improve leptin and insulin signaling which could also improve migraines
- Focus on unprocessed, whole foods, eaten raw or only lightly cooked (ideally, try to eat at least one-third of your food raw).
- Food from high-quality, local sources
- Stimulate your body's natural painkilling ability by putting pressure on a nerve just under your eyebrow, you can cause your pituitary gland to release painkilling endorphins immediately
- Deal with stress and anxiety in healthy ways. For tips, click here to read an article from my website.
- Take anywhere from 1/2 to 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in an 8 oz glass of water (hot or cold). Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining. Another alternative is to swallow a dollop of wasabi paste
- Green apple scent. One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist may be beneficial
- Hot/Cold compress: Alternate hot and cold compresses on your forehead and/or behind your neck
- Regular massage ( I know a guy...visit my website tailoredmassageandcoaching.com :) to help relieve stress, tension and pain. At the time of a headache and or migraine, you can also massage your ears, ear lobes, and the "crown" of your head -- the ring of muscles that circle your head where a crown would sit
- Like it or not, drink lots of purified water daily
- Supplements that have been shown effective and may be beneficial (please note that a good and healthy nutrition and exercise plan should always be your foundation) :
B-Vitamins (particularly B2, B6 and B12 and food based)
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Listen to your body so small symptoms don't become big problems
Our bodies give us warning signs long before it becomes a bigger problem and even a more severe illness. Our bodies speak softly and if we don’t listen, our bodies can start to yell. The surprising thing is most of these can be halted or even reversed with proper adjustments in nutrition, specific supplementation and particular lifestyle changes.
Here are a few signs to look out for:
Painful, swelling or stiff joints. This could be a sign that there is too much inflammation in your body.
Poor sleep. This can be a sign of too much cortisol, a diet that is causing blood sugar issues, imbalance of hormones or adrenal fatigue. As an example, the stress hormone cortisol is supposed to drop at night, allowing your body to rest and recharge. When you suffer from insomnia, it’s often because your cortisol levels are revved up at night as a result of too many “fight-or-flight” stress responses in your body.
Read my "Tips for Better Sleep" blog for some help.
Excess weight. Excess weight especially around the middle could be a sign of a number of things from being insulin sensitive, addiction to carbohydrates, food allergies, a thyroid issue, poor digestion, etc. Either one, it can be or lead to serious health issues if not properly dealt with.
Fatigue. Fatigue and especially if your tired all the time, might be the result of burning the candle at both ends like working long hours, not getting enough sleep and family demands. However, you could be tired because your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, your adrenal glands are fatigued, or your body is exhausted from trying to protect you from the toxic overload from processed foods, cigarettes, alcohol, or environmental exposures.
Even more commonly, you could be wiped out because your stress responses are flipped on all the time — and your self-repair mechanisms are in overdrive, trying to protect you from infection, cancer, and a whole host of other serious illnesses — that whisper may escalate to your body’s rebel yell. So don’t dismiss exhaustion. Paying attention to your fatigue just might help or even save your life.
Yellow pee. Hydration is essential to maintaining a healthy body, and when you’re well hydrated, your urine should be almost completely clear. If you see a lot of yellow, you’re probably not drinking enough fluids. Keep in mind that caffeinated or alcoholic beverages are dehydrating, not hydrating, and sodas are full of sugar chemicals, so stick to water, herbal or green tea, coconut water, or green juices (you make yourself or purchase).
Snoring. Snoring may be the only early sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by obstruction in the airways that can increase your risk of pulmonary hypertension and potentially lead to heart failure.
Always anxious. Anxiety can start as a feeling in your mind that translates into the physiology of your body and predisposes you to diseases like heart disease. But as I discovered in my research, sometimes anxiety can go the other way - anxious feelings can result from sex hormone imbalances, hyperthyroidism, adrenal tumors, and more.
Read my blog "Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress"
Not Pooping enough. Yup, you read it right. This is when the poop can really hit the fan. Healthy bowels move to eliminate toxins and if you're not you wind up… well…full of you-know-what. When you’re constipated, toxins in the body can seep through the lining of the bowel, enter the bloodstream, and cause inflammation, which can put you at risk of a whole host of health conditions.
70% of your immune system is in your gut so proper gut health is imperative to the rest of the body. Therefore, I will soon be introducing a program designed to improve the health of your digestive system. In the meantime, my Detox or Weight Loss or Transformation Programs can help.
Start with a free consultation here (under "Coaching Services") to see which one would be best for you.
Get sick a lot. We’re all exposed to viruses and bacteria every day, but a healthy individual should be able to fight off these pathogens the majority of the time. If you’re that person who catches every cold , your immune system may not be functioning optimally, which can put you at risk not only of infectious diseases, but of life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Lips crack a lot. An interesting thing I learned is that cracked lips, especially in corners of the mouth, can be a sign of a deficiency in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which can put you at risk of illnesses like anemia. Whenever you get a vitamin, make sure that it is food based like New Chapter, Mega Food, Standard Process (you can get or order through Coastal Carolina Chiropractic where I work) etc. Your body will better utilize them and synthetic vitamins can actually cause more harm then good.
Skin problems. If you have frequent outbreaks of acne, psoriasis, eczema, or other rashes, your health may be on the fritz. Your skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination, and if it’s acting up, your body may be trying to tell you something. Your skin may signal food or other allergies, but your skin is also very often a sign that your nervous system is in stress response. The best prescription for healing is what you put inside your body. A proper detox can be a great start in the right direction.
Relief from back issues
Relief from back issues
Here are some common causes of back, especially low back, pain:
weak psoas muscle
overweight/obesity, especially around the middle
too much physical work
living a sedentary lifestyle
Muscle strains or tight hamstrings
Sleeping on a poorly made mattress
Here are some better and safer alternatives to medications:
1. Chiropractic Treatments. Regular have proved to be very effective at helping provide back pain relief, especially when combined with other treatments like physical therapy (if needed), exercise, or soft tissue therapies. Read what patients are saying here.
2. Exercising regularly. Including doing both cardio/aerobic exercises, strength training and yoga, can help reduce back pain by increasing flexibility, helping you maintain a healthy weight, reducing inflammation, improving posture and reducing muscular compensations/weakness. The top five exercises to strengthen your core to both prevent lower back pain and provide lower back pain relief are planks, cat and the cow, V-ups, swimmers, and rows.
3.Regular massage. Can help treat and prevent short- and long-term back problems. Massage can help treat the underlying causes of back pain, such as poor posture, muscular compensations, and weakness through manipulative hands on adjustments. Massage and the other treatments can help “turn on” muscles that have been “turned off” due to past injuries and therefore eliminate added stress on painful parts of the back or legs. See how affordable it is here.
4. Prolotherapy (for Chronic Injuries/Tissue Damage). Prolotherapy has been used to treat back pain for more than 50 years. Prolotherapy, including the specific type called PRP or dextrose/glucose prolotherapy treatments, use platelet-rich plasma and sometimes stem cells taken from your own body that contain growth factors that help heal damaged tissues.
Prolotherapy treatments work by naturally promoting a minor inflammatory response near damaged connective tissue, promoting regeneration and the growth of new, healthier tissue in the process. These treatments have been used to effectively reduce or heal chronic musculoskeletal conditions of the back, such as herniated/bulging discs, arthritis, osteoarthritis or other chronic joint pains, and tendonitis that affects the lower body and causes compensations in the spine. For the most benefits, it seems that prolotherapy works best when combined with other back pain treatments, such as spinal manipulation, exercise and in some cases medications when needed.
5. An Anti-Inflammatory Diet High in Collagen. If you want to improve overall joint and muscular health, maintain a healthy body weight, lower inflammation, and prevent back pains from returning in the future, consuming a healthy, healing diet is essential! Start adjusting your diet by eating more of the following unprocessed, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory foods to help with lower back pain relief:
- A high-fiber diet may be able to help you lose weight and overcome problems like high blood pressure, plus it’s beneficial for gut health and digestion. Constipation can make back pain worse, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are naturally high in fiber and other nutrients.
- Water — Stay hydrated to prevent muscle spasms, manage blood pressure and improve digestion. Drink eight glasses of water daily as dehydration can increase back pain.
- Potassium-rich foods — Potassium reduces swelling and is an important electrolyte for muscular and nerve functions. Include potassium-rich foods in as many of your meals as possible, such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, coconut water and cultured dairy.
- Omega-3 fats — Wild-caught fish and flaxseed are high in omega-3 fattyacids, which can help reduce inflammation and manage pain.
- Clean, lean protein foods — Choose pasture-raised chicken and turkey or grass-fed lean meats to provide your body with adequate protein needed to maintain muscle and bone health. Other good protein sources include cage-free eggs, fish, bone broth or other unprocessed protein powders, beans, and legumes.
To avoid making matters worse by gaining unhealthy weight and increasing inflammation (which contributes to and worsens pain) and creating nutrient deficiencies, make sure to reduce or eliminate the following foods: added sugar, sweetened beverages or snacks, refined vegetable oils, refined grain products, too much alcohol and tobacco products (smoking impairs blood flow and adds to nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues).
6. Supplements to Reduce Inflammation and Pain. Fish oil (2,000 milligrams daily): People with back pain need higher doses of omega-3 fats to help reduce inflammation. Supplementation is often required since most of our diets don’t contain nearly what we need.
- Turmeric (1,000 milligrams daily): Turmeric contains curcumin, which is the active ingredient that has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities, anti-aging effects and reduces pain.
- Proteolytic enzymes/bromelain and papain (500 milligrams three times daily): Found in pineapple, these enzymes are natural anti-inflammatories that also help reduce swelling.
- MSM (2,000–8,000 milligrams daily): MSM is an anti-inflammatory supplement that’s high in sulfur to help rebuild cartilage. It can help alleviate muscle spasms.
- Magnesium (400–500 milligrams daily but avoid magnesium "oxide" which is a cheaper less effective form of it): This mineral is sometimes called the “relaxation mineral” because it helps relax muscles and reduce stress. Decrease the dosage of magnesium if it causes diarrhea.
- Essential oils: Peppermint and wintergreen oil are effective analgesics that cool inflamed joints and reduce back pain. You can mix these oils with coconut oil and rub onto joints or make a homemade muscle rub. Frankincense and cypress oil reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which improves back pain.
- Capsaicin cream: Capsaicin cream (derived from hot chili peppers/cayenne) can be applied to the skin to temporarily reduce chemicals that contribute to inflammation and pain.
Get your GPS on
Get your GPS on
I love that movie Patch Adams. There's a part in the movie where a guy keeps asking Patch "how many fingers am I holding up?" The point was that he got him to see beyond the problem and see the answers: to bring hope, inspiration and possibility.
If you had set your sights to get to a particular destination but found out you were driving in the wrong direction, what would you do?
Or what if you found 2 roads to take: one was really rough terrain and the other one was smooth sailing. Which would you take?
The answers seem obvious but with our health we often stay on the wrong course and end up wondering what happened.
Quite often we get caught up in our own heads and feel as if we're a victim to our circumstances. As a Health Coach, my job, in part, is to help you see beyond what is right in front of you; to see things in a new and different way. To understand that this is about getting the most out of life as possible. To show that food can be delicious and promote health at the same time. That exercise can be liberating. That perspective and the right attitude can change the course of the daily steps you take and ignite or reignite a passion to help us get more out of life or enjoy what we already have, that much more!
Have you ever known someone who worked for years and never paid themselves first. Never invested in their future. For all the work, they had stuff but in the process lost some of what really mattered most, like their health. They ended up spending that hard earned money to try and regain what you lost.
It's time for the blinders to come off! It's time to get back in the drivers seat and gain control!
For most of us, getting the most out of life is important. Being healthy means different things to different people, but on some level all of us want to be physically able to carry out our daily activities without too much difficulty as well as preventing getting injured or sick. In addition to carrying out our daily activities including work, family responsibilities, and social obligations, most of us want to live long and productive lives. In order to accomplish this and be driven and passionate (not just go through the motions), we need to strive towards a healthy combination of physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.
Being healthy is not just empowering, but it lifts the fog and brings the sunshine in. It brings more clarity, joy and appreciation for each moment of our life.
As a former Fitness Trainer and now Health Coach, I have seen how people lives have been turned completely around through a change in health and fitness, mine included (have you ever read my story?).
Being in good health is essential to reducing or eliminating common symptom of fatigue, digestive and sleeping issues, aches and pains and so many others that can rob us of our precious time, energy and money. Additionally, good health decreases one’s risk of developing many serious chronic diseases including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and even some cancers. More importantly, if we do develop any of these conditions, generally, the healthier and fitter we are, the better we will be able to deal with and manage our illness.
In order for us to get going and make things happen, we sometimes need help and direction. We also may need accountability, inspiration, an understanding of where to even start or how to get over the hurdles as they come along. In my Health Coaching business, I design programs for my clients based on what their health and/or fitness goals are (or help them to define what those goals are) to provide a personalized road map so they can move towards feeling and looking their best.
Get in the drivers seat and I will be your GPS!
Call me at 843-514-6731 to set up a free consultation.