5 steps, 5 simple steps can help us reduce dis-ease and induce ease.
1) Â EAT WHAT GROWS OUT OF THE GROUND. Â A pretty simple concept, yet the best way to have a healthy diet high in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, good fats and good carbs. Â Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables combined can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, Â high blood pressure and even osteoporosis. Â Ideally eat 9 or more servings per day for optimal health. Â Add whole grains, legumes, Â nuts, seeds, herbs and spices and you are on your way to a truly health promoting diet. Â Of course it is important to minimize exposure to pesticides and toxins that can end up in our produce and we’ll cover that in a future post.
2) Â HYDRATE. Â Drinking adequate amounts of fluids is extremely important to our metabolism. Â Our bodies are at least 60% water and even mild dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue and impaired athletic performance. Â Preferably our fluid intake will mostly come from purified water (I recommend Reverse Osmosis for several reasons we will cover in a future post). Â You can use RO water to make tea, coffee, lemonade and fruit seltzers. Â Most of us need at least 1 ounce per kilogram of body weight to start. Â We need to take in additional fluid in case of hot weather, losses during exertion, fever and other specific conditions.
3) Â BE ACTIVE. Â We all know that a sedentary lifestyle can increase our risk of heart disease and even cancer! Â Moderate activity that lasts at least 60 minutes should be done daily , or at least 5 days per week. Â To improve our fitness level, aerobic activity can be added a minimum of 3 times per week along with some weight training to build and maintain lean body mass.
4) Â RELAX. Â Stress can be as detrimental as a poor diet. Â The “fight or flight” response is great if you have to wrestle a foe or escape from one. Â A chronic “fight or flight” response is not great as the hormones coursing through our bloodstream can actually wreak havoc on our systems over time. Â A constant barrage of cortisol can even negatively affect parts of the brain. Â Deep breathing can reverse the stress response and begin to restore balance and harmony. Â Plan play time and get adequate sleep in order to keep that balance.
5) Â SMILE! Â Just the thought of a smile can make us feel really good. Â Imagine what the real thing can do!
We are in the middle of the holiday season, and for most of us it is also a wonderful and stressful season at the same time. We travel, host friends and relatives, throw big parties, attend big parties, eat delicious meals, indulge in entertainment venues, and so on. Sometimes our plans donâ€™t work out quite as we expect and we get stressed and anxious.
As you already know, stress impacts metabolic functions in your body. It happens for a good reason of survival, as our nature to survive activates bodyâ€™s basic ability to run for your life when stressful events happen. You will digest food and absorb your nutrients later when you are safe and out of danger. This is the basic survival mechanism. It is often not how much and what you eat and drink during these few holiday weeks, but how you eat, in what mood, and for what reason. Of course, if you already have issues with your metabolism, you should watch your diet however stress amplifies the damage while it doesnâ€™t have to.
Holidays is a good time to apply any stress reduction techniques you already know â€“ meditation, self-hypnosis, Epsom salt baths, aromatherapy, massage, and anything else you know. I would like to share with you two stress reduction techniques you can apply instantaneously so you will be able to dissipate the upcoming negative emotion.
1. www.emofree.com – Emotional Freedom Technique â€“ EFT. Easy to practice it helps you to relax within seconds and neutralizes emotion, pain, or negative thought. Being so easy to learn and practice, it became one of the most widespread practices. You can do it anywhere â€“ in the airplane, in your car, at your house, at the restaurant bathroom, etc. EFT process can be briefly described as tapping on specific face and body points while speaking out loud the affirmation of your choice. At first it looks unusual, but soon you will get used to it and enjoy the results it brings.
It is absolutely FREE to learn, and you can get materials and watch videos online. We can thank Gary Craig, EFT founder and wonderful person, for creating the system and making it so available.
2. Practice dissociating yourself from negative memories. For example, you are expecting visitors you associate some negative memories with. Even thought of seeing them makes your heart beat faster, and you get irritated. You can do the following to free yourself of this feeling. While sitting comfortably, close your eyes and vividly remember last time you had a confrontation with them. Do you see yourself in that memory as it is a movie, or you see everything around you from your own eyes? If you see everything around you in that memory, the chances are you are fully associated with it and reliving these emotions all over again. It is possible to change your emotional charge by simply changing the perception of this memory. Close your eyes again and watch this event as a movie with you playing one of the roles. See yourself in this movie. Now move it farther away from you on a TV distance and make it black and white â€“ just like an old movie. Play with the distance, color, and/or quality, and move it farther or closer. Notice how your emotions are changing. Now, in your imagination, install a glass door between you and that movie. Notice how your emotions dissipate. This way you can override negative emotions associated with old memories. You can repeat this exercise a few more times with other memories associated with your upcoming visitors. After a while, you will be surprised to find yourself much calmer when your visitors arrive.
â€œThe place of absolute tranquilityâ€¦ the gentle water bubbles are surfacing to the blue serenity of the mountain lakeâ€¦ Ahâ€¦ what a joyâ€¦â€
â€œMOM!!!! WHERE IS MY DINNER??? â€œ â€œDAD!!! I AM TAKING YOUR CAR!!!â€ No kidding, the blue lake just popped in front of your so-called third eye and vanished into who knows what. As a mother of active nine year old boy I personally would laugh out loud at anybody who preaches the wonders of a stress-free life â€“ it just seems impossible in many life situations. Is it really impossible or there are ways to not only cope with stress but to glide through it and come out at the other end unscathed?
It is known that stress, especially the chronic stress can create huge havoc on the physical, mental, and emotional levels. However it is very important to distinguish between the â€œstress triggersâ€ and the â€œstress response mechanismâ€ activated by your body. While encountering a stressful situation your body automatically shifts to the â€œfight or flightâ€ mode. This response is very beneficial if you are about to run away from the grizzly bear chasing you in the woods. Your body is capable of immediately shutting down hundreds of ongoing processes such as digestion, reproduction, hormone regulation in order to activate other processes important for your immediate survival.
Now, the body reacts the same exact way either if you are stressed about running away from the grizzly bear or if you are sitting on your couch watching TV about 700 billion dollars bailout. With one simple difference â€“ there is absolutely no physical need for your body to shut down your digestion and hormone regulation while watching news on TV. But it is happening anyway. Now, think about how many times you encounter stressful situations during your typical day.
It is not the fact of stressful events occurring in our life that wear us out â€“ itâ€™s the way we react to them. It means we can control some of the impact affecting our life by changing our lifestyle and our way of thinking. And it can be fun to do!
These are the three basic components in stress management:
1. Learn how to shift your attention quickly and how to use your primary senses to lessen the impact of the stressful event.
2. Nourish your body with a balanced diet supporting your well-being and avoid foods that aggravate stress.
3. Adopt a regular and fulfilling spiritual practice.
We will talk about all these topics, and in my next article I will share with you the ways of re-patterning your mind in order to handle stressful situations effectively.
Is your pain in the head a pain in the neck? Stress, certain foods, food additives, and hormones can initiate headaches.
Researchers have classified many different types of headaches that include sinus headaches, exertion headaches, fever headaches, menstrual headaches, and bilious headaches. To simplify letâ€™s examine the three major categories of headaches.
- Tension or muscle contraction headaches are often caused by anxiety and stress. These headaches are characterized by dull pain that begins in the neck or back of the head and squeezes the forehead area. They are characteristically described as having a â€œrubber bandâ€ tightened around your head.
- Migraine or vascular headaches affect approximately 28 million people, and 4 times more women than men. Migraines can begin suddenly, or present with warning signs, such as aura. They are characterized with one-sided sharp throbbing pain that may induce vomiting, dizziness and hypersensitivity to sounds and light.
- Cluster headaches, which are also vascular, affect approximately 1 million people per year in the United States. Cluster headaches usually cause pain on one side of the head, occur in groups or â€œclustersâ€, that can last for days at a time.
Anxiety and stress are the most common triggers of headaches. Avoiding all controllable situations that commonly cause stress and tension, such as avoiding over-scheduling appointments, and dodging upsetting confrontations and situations, may help you avoid some of your headaches. To address the stressors in your life that you canâ€™t directly control, there are some steps you can take to help you handle that stress, and help you avoid tension headaches. Stress reduction exercises, such as biofeedback, meditation, and yoga, can help you to become a stress survivor. Letâ€™s not forget about moving the muscles below your head. Exercise is a great stress reducer.
Dietary allergies play a major role in the onset of headaches. Identification of allergens in your diet can result in elimination of that cantankerous throbbing in your head. However, in clinical practice, I eliminate specific known headache triggers commonly found in oneâ€™s diet prior to receiving the results of allergy testing. Letâ€™s explore some the common dietary headache inducers.
A group of phosphoproteins in milk are commonly referred to as â€œcaseinâ€. Casein, which comprises 78.7% of all the protein in milk, is a major trigger of migraines and other types of headaches. Many practitioners eliminate all sources of casein in the headache sufferers diet. To eliminate all casein one must avoid all dairy, and the many foods in which it is found. It is commonly listed as sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, or milk protein on many food labels. These three main ingredients are found in sports bars, sports drinks, packaged goods and commercial tuna fish in a can (how do you think they pack tuna into a perfect hockey puck shape). An excellent book on the affects of casein and headache is â€œHow To Rid Your Body of Painâ€, by Dr. Daniel Twogood.
Another common dietary headache trigger is tyramine. Tyramine is a phenolic amine found in various foods and beverages. The following list depicts tyramine sources that should be avoided.
Cheeses: All aged and mature cheeses, since it is impossible to know the exact tyramine content, all cheeses should be avoided. Including but not limited to cheddar, swiss, blue cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, cheese spreads, cheese casseroles or any foods made with cheese.
Yeast, Brewers and Extracts: This group includes brewers yeast, extracts such as marmite, and fresh homemade yeast leavened breads; yeast found in prepared foods, soups, can foods, frozen foods, should be checked for the addition of yeast abstracts and should be avoided.
Meats/Fish: Pork, and all smoked, aged, picked, fermented, or marinated meats must be avoided. Including but not limited to picked fish, picked herring, meat extracts, livers, dry sausages or prepared meats, such as salami, bologna, pepperoni, frankfurters, bacon, bologna, liverwurst and ham.
Also avoid: chocolate, overripe bananas, citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruit), sauerkraut, broad fava beans, Italian beans, tofu, soy sauce, and miso soup.
Beverages: No coffee, tea, cocoa, beer, Ales, domestic and imported, Wines, especially Chianti vermouth, Whiskey and liqueurs, such as Drambuie and Chartreuse. Nonalcoholic varieties of beers and wines should also be avoided.
Supplements to avoid: yeast vitamin supplements, L-tyrosine, NADH
The ubiquitous flavor enhancer MSG must be avoided. Monosodium Glutamate is directly associated with the onset of headaches in many people. According to George Schwartz, M.D., MSG is found in many common grocery items, and is usually hidden in the ingredient label. The following listing should help you avoid MSG and illustrate the fact that this substance is not only found in Chinese food.
Definite Sources of MSG: hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate or calcium caseinate, autolyzed yeast or yeast extract, gelatin.
Possible sources of MSG: textured protein, carrageenan, vegetable gum seasonings, spices, flavorings, natural flavorings, flavorings of chicken, beef or pork, smoke flavorings, bouillon, broth or stock, barley malt, malt extract, malt flavoring, whey protein, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate or concentrate, soy sauce or extract.
For more information on MSG, click this link http//www.nomsg.com, or refer to the book “In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex”, by George R. Schwartz, M.D.
Caffeine can cause headaches. If you are a coffee drinker that decided to quit and had that classic â€œcaffeine withdrawal headacheâ€, you know the pain inducing power of this substance. Even the caffeine content in standard OTC pain relievers can cause a rebound headache. When trying to kick the coffee habit, wait until the weekend, or when time off from work is available. Next, try a coffee substitute product, such as the latest from the company Allergy Research called Best CafÃ©.
Avoiding tannins may be helpful for some sufferers of headaches.
Tannins are found in black tea, many herb teas, apple juice (though not apples), dates, kiwi, peach, berries, coffee, chocolate, carob, alfalfa, red wine, many alcoholic drinks, walnuts, and pecans.
Other substances to avoid include hydrogenated oils, sugar, food additives (especially sulfites), alcohol, and smoking.
Environmental allergies can play a role in the onset of headaches. Working with a progressive medical center to identify such allergies, can result in treatment called neutralization and desensitization, which can help alleviate headaches if it is part of the cause.
Hormones may be the cause of your headaches. 60% of womenâ€™s migraines are linked to their menstrual cycle. Migraine-type pain shortly before, during, or after menstruation, or at mid-cycle, may indicate a variation in estrogen levels. Further, hormone neutralization/desensitization may be beneficial therapy when treating headaches. A knowledgeable holistic physician can identify such problems.
Controlling blood sugar is an often overlooked, yet important part of any headache treatment protocol. Never consuming carbohydrate alone, eating small frequent protein rich meals, and avoiding all refined sugars and flours from oneâ€™s diet are just some of the steps to stabilizing blood sugar to head off a headache.
Certain supplements can help ease that pain in your head. Doses of the following supplements should be tailored to each individual by a certified nutritionist.
||Lactobacillus GG, 1 capsule per day
||1,000 mg in divided doses
||100 mg per day
||2-3 capsules per day of extract
Other causes of headaches that need to be examined include TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome, brain tumor, spinal misalignment, over doses of vitamin A, and hypertension. It is imperative to see a doctor if you are suffering from headaches.
According to the National Headache Foundation, your genes may play a role in you becoming a migraine victim. If both your parents had migraines, you have a 75% chance of inheriting that pain. If only one parent is a migraine sufferer, your risk drops to 50%. If a distant relative has migraines, your risk sinks to 20%.
Migraines may damage part of the brain that responds to pain and activates the fight or flight response. According to a recent study, scientists imaging the brain have found that blood flow to certain parts of the brain increases dramatically during the course of a migraine. Researchers at the Kansas University Medical Center found that migraine and chronic headache sufferers had more iron in a part of the brain called the periaqueductal gray region than those without headaches. The researchers mapped the brains of 51 subjects divided into three groups: 17 without migraines, 17 with migraines, and 17 with episodic migraines that progressed into a condition called chronic daily headache. They used magnetic resonance imaging in combination with a technique to map changes in the concentration of iron. According to researchers, the concentration of iron corresponds to the amount of damage â€“ more iron indicates the potential for free radical damage. The results of the study were presented at the International Headache Conference on July 1, in Manhattan.
The periaqueductal gray region sits in the brain stem, which extends up from the spinal cord and controls many involuntary processes. One of its main functions is to diminish pain. Researchers postulate that chronic migraines can lead to increased sensitivity to pain, even when they donâ€™t have a headache. K. Michael Welch, the vice chancellor of research at Kansas University Medical Center, believes that though future studies are needed, we should be very aggressive about preventing migraines.