Donna Eden’s 10-Day Joy Challenge

Just a quick post to let you know about Donna Eden’s 10-Day Joy Challenge, which starts tomorrow, June 1st. I’m not familiar with this specific energy routine of Donna’s, but I have done her 5-minute energy process off and on for a number of years, and recently featured it on Self-help Health when she offered a free 10-day challenge that focused on it. The 10 days was enough to get me back to doing the routine on a regular basis, because I could tell my physical, mental and emotional bodies felt better and more balanced by the end of it.

Anyway, I did a YouTube search to see if I could find an example of what the Joy Routine is going to be like and came up with this video from a previous challenge Donna hosted. Some of the moves are similar to the 5-minute energy process and it looks like the routine, once you know the various parts, will take only a few minutes to do, so I signed up for the 10 day challenge.

I have to say that I really respect what Donna has done for the world of energy medicine and all the years she’s been helping our bodies be healthier and more in balance. However, I’m not really a fan of her or her daughters’ delivery styles, which seem a little over the top and hyper to me, but maybe that’s just because I’m sort of laid-back and low key by nature and they’re always revved up from doing so many different energy routines . HA! So I don’t let the messenger(s) keep me from receiving the message. 🙂

If you’re interested in joining the challenge, and I think you’ll be glad you did, see Eden Method’s invite below and sign up asap, since it starts June 1st….

Do you sometimes find it hard to muster enthusiasm, hope, or joy?

You might be feeling just a little exhausted. Perhaps overwhelmed. Or even depressed.

That’s natural when your body and mind are under on-going stress.

Stress robs you of your joy.

And that’s NOT all in your head.

It happens energetically.

The good news is that joy can be generated even when things around you aren’t so great.

Like everything else in your body, joy (and wonder and awe) are energetic. They are carried in an energy system called your Radiant Circuits.

And when you’re stressed, it’s hard for the Radiant Circuits to source enough energy to light you up – making it difficult to access that inner spark of joy.

That’s why Donna created a Joy Routine.

It’s a simple routine that builds an energetic habit of joy when done repeatedly.

Donna is challenging all of us to do her joy routine for 10 days in a row so that we can collectively move out our stress and let in our joy.

Click HERE and we will automatically add you to the daily challenge list >>

P.S. The Joy Challenge is completely free. From June 1st thru 10th we’ll send out the same routine taught by a different teacher, every day, so you can follow along. The goal is to master a simple routine that will begin to lower your stress and turn on your joy. Since we know it’s not easy to make space in your day for self-care, we are “challenging” everyone to do it for just 10 days and you can access the replays anytime. You can unsubscribe from the challenge at any time.

Related Self-help Health posts:

Donna Eden’s 5-Minute Energy Routine

Four Ways to Be Happier & Healthier

Here’s to a healthier you in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better healtand well-being.

Kindness = Better Health + A Better World

“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

“Random Acts of Kindness” Day may be on a Friday this year, but the organization behind it hopes to remind you that being nice is an everyday endeavor.

Of course, being kind to people regularly is simply a great thing to do. However, research shows that those who help others reap a lot of benefits for themselves, too!

A “helper’s high”

According to research, placing the well-being of others ahead of our own without expecting anything in return, or being altruistic, stimulates the reward regions of the brain. Those feel-good molecules flood our bodies, causing a “helper’s high.” Volunteering, for example, has been proven to reduce stress and boost mood.

Not only that, but the same activity can lower the chance of cognitive deterioration and potentially help us live longer lives.

According to researchers, one reason for this is that compassion helps our sense of community and belonging. Studies show that this is a vital factor in living a healthier, longer life.

Lower blood pressure

Donating to others, often known as “prosocial spending,” has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. In one study, hypertensive persons were instructed to spend $40 on themselves, while another group of people with high blood pressure were instructed to spend the money on others.

At the end of the six-week research, individuals who spent money on others had lower blood pressure. In fact, the advantages were comparable to those of a good diet and exercise.

Pain reduction

According to a recent study, giving appears to have the power to lessen our experience of pain. The study discovered that those who offered to donate money to help orphans were less vulnerable to an electric shock than those who opted not to. Furthermore, the less pain people felt, the more useful they believed their donation would be.

Why does this happen? The study discovered that parts of the brain that respond to painful stimuli appear to be quickly deactivated by the experience of giving.


Researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that being kind can enhance happiness in as little as three days. The participants were divided into three groups: the first was required to perform an act of kindness every day, the second attempted a new activity, and the third did nothing. Happiness increased significantly in the groups that were kind and did novel things.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that you’ll feel much more joy if you’re inventive with your acts of kindness. Happiness researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kennon Sheldon found that those who committed a range of acts of kindness throughout the week saw bigger improvements in happiness than those who repeated the same activity.

More good news? It appears that acts of kindness can be anonymous or apparent, spontaneous or planned, and as easy as complimenting someone or opening a door for them.


Related Self-help Health post:

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better healtand well-being.

The Benefits of Extra Hydrogen: Part II

If you haven’t read the previous post about the health benefits of extra hydrogen, be sure you do that first, since it contains important information about hydrogen and how drinking hydrogen-enriched water can positively affect your body in numerous ways, including increasing your energy and improving the health of your gums. It also mentions how inhaling hydrogen can have significant protective effects on ischemic organs and possibly help people who have suffered from stroke, cardiac arrest, or heart attacks.

Today’s Part II focuses on several more ways adding extra hydrogen (H2) to your daily routine could benefit your health


Check out this video where Dr. Gellibolian, PhD in biochemistry discusses the difference and how molecular hydrogen, not alkalinity, is what gives us the health benefit:


Watch this 6-minute video to find out more about how using hydrogen water and gas can offer benefits to the skin:

FYI, you can also put hydrogen-rich water into a spray bottle and use it on your skin, cuts, scrapes, etc. Just be sure the bottle is glass and not plastic, which could leach into the water.


Great news has come from a double-blind randomized controlled trial at six hospitals between June 2019 and March 2022 examining the effectiveness of H2 in treating hearing loss in sixty-five patients with ISSNHL (sudden hearing loss) showing the changes in hearing threshold were significantly better in the H2 group than in the control group.



Some food for thought from Dr Paul Barattiero about the benefits of hydrogen water:

“You need your immune function. You need your body performing at it’s peak and hydrogen is gonna do that within an hour…….And if your elimination pathways are not open, get the hydrogen water because it’s gonna open them and not have inflammation in the liver, the kidneys, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the whole pancreatic system……And ATP is critical and you want to have ATP. And the hydrogen water will get that mitochondrial function to peak really quickly, so you have energy. And also it reduces fatigue….There was actually a study on coffee versus hydrogen water, and the hydrogen water beat out coffee by 10% in it’s energy production ability in the body, but with no down cycle.

Oxidative stress and inflammation is the cause of cancer. And so, when you’re removing that, you’re removing all pathology and having the body be less susceptible. So, in many of these studies, 114 of them, it says hydrogen is anti-cancer. And so many of the studies, like in the colon cancer, it says hydrogen water can inhibit colon cancer. That’s a very strong language.”

And this is a great one to end on. It’s a story about a remarkable recovery due to inhaled hydrogen…

The case is of an 11-year-old boy with PVS caused by severe intracerebral bleeding in the left hemisphere following anticoagulation treatment. The patient’s PVS severity showed no notable improvement after 2-mo neuroprotective treatments and rehabilitation, including nerve growth factor and baclofen, hyperbaric oxygen, and comprehensive bedside rehabilitation therapies.

Then the doctors discussed and decide to provide the boy with daily inhalation treatment (4-6 h) where a high-concentration hydrogen (H2) gas (66.6% H2 + 33.3% O2) was provided. Surprisingly, the 11-year-old’s orientation, consciousness, ability to speak, facial expressions, and locomotor function were significantly restored, along with improvements in essential general health status, after H2 gas inhalation treatment, which was consistent with stabilized neuropathology in the left hemisphere and increased Hounsfield unit values of computed tomography in the right hemisphere. The patient finally recovered to a near-normal conscious state with a Coma Recovery Scale-Revised Score of 22 from his previous score of 3.

Research source:

As you can see from Part I and II, inhaling, drinking and soaking in hydrogen-rich water can have a positive effect on our health in a variety of ways, and there are a number of companies offering various types of hydrogen generators these days.

As I mentioned in Part I, I bought a device a number of years ago that made hydrogen-rich drinking water, but recently switched to the ION Bottle Pro 3000, because it offered several features my old one didn’t, including a nasal cannula inhaler attachment. It also has a self-cleaning option, features a carry handle, is lighter in weight (making it more portable), and not only has a 3 min. cycle, but also a 10 min. one that results in H2 up to 3000 ppb (therapeutic levels are 1.0 ppm/1000 ppb or greater), so you get a much higher concentration of hydrogen.

The Ion Bottles’ devices are designed to produce pure molecular hydrogen and they help your water maintain premium neutral pH levels, which they do with the help of electrolysis and the Proton Exchange Membrane inside. The Pro model also has a built-in down vent that expels the oxygen and ozone, and if chlorine or other oxides are present, it will filter those, too, leaving your water with 99.9% hydrogen up to 3.0 PPM, along with the H2O present.

FYI, hydrogen is the lightest molecule on earth, so it evaporates quickly, often within 10-15 minutes once exposed to air. But because the Pro 3000 has a more advanced membrane then Ion’s pitcher and original bottle devices, it will last upwards of 30 minutes in an open container. The beautiful part of a hydrogen generator is that, if the container has been open too long, you can always run another cycle to reinfuse more hydrogen, which isn’t the case with single use pouch and canned hydrogen water.

If you would like to order one of the ION Bottles devices, use this link and the code BETTERHEALTH4U for 10% off. Adding hydrogen water to your daily routine would be an easy way to “up” health quotient, AND would make a great health-promoting gift for friends and family!

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better healtand well-being.

3 Seconds A Day To a Stronger Body??

I found this article interesting and informative, and the results of the study to be surprising and helpful. It’s great to know that even with limited time to spare, we can have a positive effect on our health and body strength!

Don’t have time to exercise? Apparently, 3 seconds is all you need!

Do you often find yourself thinking that you would work out more often if you simply had the time? Well, according to scientists at Australia’s Edith Cowan University and Japan’s Niigata University of Health and Welfare, all you really need to see significant strength improvements is three seconds a day.

Yes, that’s right, their new study suggests that lifting a dumbbell just once or twice a day can be enough to improve your strength, especially when it comes to combating the effects of aging. For the study, the team examined the effects of different kinds of bicep curls and identified one form of bicep curl that was remarkably effective.

The study involved 52 healthy university students, 39 of whom were made to perform a bicep curl at maximum effort for three seconds a day, five days a week, over a period of four weeks. The other 13 students performed no exercise over the same period.

Those who were made to exercise also had to complete one of three types of bicep curls, either a typical concentric curl where the dumbbell is raised toward the shoulders (this shortens the muscle), an eccentric curl where it is slowly lowered back below the hips (lengthening the muscle), or an isometric curl where the arm holds it at a 90-degree angle (this keeps the muscle stationary).

During the experiment, the researchers measured the maximum voluntary contraction strength of the subjects’ muscles before and after the four-week period—and the results were surprising.

Which bicep curl is the most efficient?

Those who were assigned the eccentric bicep had the best results by far, demonstrating significant improvements in their concentric strength (12.8 percent increase), isometric strength (10.2 percent), and eccentric strength (12.2 percent). Plus, they enjoyed an 11.5 percent boost in overall muscle strength.

That said, all exercising participants showed some improvement, with the concentric group improving their isometric strength by 6.3 percent, and the isometric group increasing their eccentric strength by 7.2 percent. However, there were no other improvements in other parts of the body, which suggests that eccentric contractions are probably the best way to gain strength if you have limited time.

“Although the mechanisms underpinning eccentric contraction’s potent effects are not clear yet, the fact only a three-second maximal eccentric contraction a day improves muscle strength in a relatively short period is important for health and fitness,” said Professor Ken Nosaka from Edith Cowan University.

“We haven’t investigated other muscles yet, but if we find the three-second rule also applies to other muscles then you might be able to do a whole-body exercise in less than 30 seconds,” Nosaka added. “Also, performing only one maximal contraction per day means you don’t get sore afterward.”

These findings could be extremely important in terms of preventing the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with aging.

Source study: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports – Effects of daily 3-s maximum voluntary isometric, concentric or eccentric contraction on elbow flexor strength


(Article originally published on February 10, 2022)

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

The Benefits of Extra Hydrogen: Part I

Over the last couple of years devices that generate hydrogen water have given people an easy way to up their daily quotient of extra H2 (hydrogen), which seems to promote better health in a variety of ways.

Read about hydrogen and some of its many benefits below and you may just want to add it to your daily routine as well!

“Over 500 peer-reviewed articles demonstrate hydrogen to have therapeutic potential in essentially every organ of the human body and in 150 different human diseases.” – Molecular Hydrogen Foundation

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a tasteless and odorless gas and has demonstrated various biological and therapeutic effects on many diseases, from acute illnesses, including ischemia–reperfusion injury, to chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegenerative, and metabolic diseases.

H2 is non-toxic even when used at high concentrations and rapidly crosses different tissue barriers, including blood–brain barriers, and penetrates various organelles4,5,6. H2 interferes with reactive oxygen species (ROS) in living systems, a characteristic that supports its well-established antioxidant functions that lead to its frequent use to treat diseases associated with oxidative stress3,7,8.

Molecular hydrogen is applied in therapeutics through various delivery routes, including hydrogen inhalation (HI), oral administration of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) or hydrogen tablets, and hydrogen-saturated saline injections. The concentration of H2 in tissues after exogenous supply depends on the type of organ4 and the H2 delivery route9. The liver is the organ that accumulates more exogenous H24,9, which appears to significantly affect its homeostasis10. H2 protected the liver against various acute and chronic injuries in animal models by suppressing excessive oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death11,12. In addition to the liver, preventive and therapeutic effects were obtained for H2 in various animal experiments of disease models2,3 and clinical trials in humans13,14,15. The preventive aspect of H2 in disease models, its antioxidant effects7,8, its function in aging13,16, among many others17,18,19, are paving the way for the use of H2 in healthy people to improve body performance or as a preventive therapeutic strategy.

In a recent clinical trial that was evaluated in a cohort of young and healthy people, the effects of inhaling 4% H2 20 min per day for 7 days on exercise performance revealed ergogenic properties such as improved running performance and torso strength20. Although Sim M. and colleagues had reported the beneficial effect of H2 inhalation on the increase of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response in healthy adults21, other groups found that H2 only reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness after running downhill22 or improved muscle function during exercise without any effect on blood oxidative markers23. These data suggest that still little is known about H2 performance under healthy conditions and therefore requires further research. As part of an effort to provide more data to help better understand the therapeutic functions attributed to the biological activities of H2 in health conditions, our laboratory has initiated a study that evaluated the effect of long-term (6 months) hydrogen intervention on the physiological function of healthy rats24. The study found that H2 induces a time-dependent alteration of different biochemical parameters, among which liver injury markers such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total bile acid (TBA) were significantly reduced in the serum of H2-treated rats24, suggesting that liver physiology and functions could be positively affected by prolonged exposure to H2. In the present study, we used transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches coupled with biochemistry and micro-CT techniques to access the global effects of long-term H2 treatment on the liver and its relationship with body conditions.


MORE interesting and exciting information about the benefits of extra hydrogen….

By 2019 more than 1000 studies had been carried out on humans and animals in regard to the effects of hydrogen, and by 2021 over successful clinical tests on 170 diseases had been conducted. AND supposedly 40% of Japan’s population uses it on a daily basis!


Inhaled hydrogen gas (H2) has been shown to have significant protective effects on ischemic organs. Clinical trials abroad have shown promise that treatment of patients suffering from stroke, cardiac arrest, or heart attacks may benefit from inhaling hydrogen gas during the early recovery period.


PERSONAL NOTE: I read somewhere where doing 30 minutes of inhaled hydrogen is as good as drinking 15L of hydrogen water. If so, then it would be great to do even 10 minutes and feel like you’ve gotten what you normally get by making a number of batches of H2 water to drink!


In one pilot study, 20 patients with rheumatoid arthritis drank 0.5 L/day of hydrogen water for 4 weeks. By the end of the study, all patients with early rheumatoid arthritis achieved remission and 20% became symptom-free.

National Library of Medicine – Published Study


Drinking hydrogen water 4-5 times daily improved gum health in 13 patients with inflamed gums after 8 weeks. It also seemed to increase blood antioxidants and the effects of non-surgical treatment. No conflicts of interest were declared. However, this study was small and its findings have not been replicated yet.

But it seems like extremely positive news for hydrogen water benefits!



Supplementation of hydrogen-rich water improves lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. For more information, check out the following link:


A more comprehensive list of possible H2 benefits includes:

*Improve athletic performance

*Reduce disease risk

*Promote cardiovascular health

*Improve cognitive function

*Anti-inflammatory properties

*Reduce side effects from radiation therapy

*Reduce stress and anxiety

*Slow down visible signs of aging

*Boost natural ATP energy levels

*Improve post-workout muscle recovery

*Reduce muscle fatigue

And here’s some info about the H2 device I recently started using….

As you can see from this post and the upcoming Part II, there are a number of ways to take in extra hydrogen and numerous positive effects on our health! And there are a number of companies offering various types of hydrogen generators these days, but that wasn’t the case several years ago when I bought my first device.

Recently I switched to the Ion Bottle Pro 3000 because it offered several features my old device didn’t have, including a nasal cannula inhaler attachment, a self-cleaning option, carry handle and lighter weight (for easier portability), and not only a 3 min. cycle, but also a 10 min. one for making super concentrated hydrogen water.

The Ion Bottles’ hydrogen generator ionizers are designed to produce pure molecular hydrogen, as well as help your water maintain premium neutral pH levels. They do this with the help of electrolysis and the Proton Exchange Membrane inside. There are two plates separated by this membrane; the bottom plate does not come into contact with the water, and pressure inside the membrane pushes oxygen O2 downward while allowing the light H2 gas to flow upwards. The bottles produce a negative ORP level down to negative -500 mV. Actually I’m not sure what that last part means, but I think it’s supposed to be a good thing. HA!

Ion offers several different devices, including the original 1600 model, which can produce up to 1600/1.6 ppb, while the Pro 3000 can produce up to 3000 ppb with its 10 minute cycle. Also, the Pro 3000 uses a new advanced membrane, it has a longer 1800 mAh battery, as well as the cannula attachment in the lid for inhalation therapy. The Pro model has a great built-in down vent that expels the oxygen and ozone, and if chlorine or other oxides are present in your water, it is designed to filter those, too, leaving your water with 99.9% hydrogen up to 3.0 PPM, along with the H2O present.

FYI, since hydrogen is the lightest molecule on earth, it will evaporate quickly. There’s many factors that influence evaporation rate, including water temperature, ambient air temperature, and if you are using ice or not. Ion’s tests show hydrogen in the original and pitcher models lasts anywhere between 10-15 minutes when opened. In the Pro 3000, since it has a more advanced membrane than the pitcher and original bottle, it will last upwards of 30 minutes in the water once the lid is opened. The beautiful part of a hydrogen generator is that you can always reinfuse more hydrogen if it’s been exposed to air too long, compared to single use pouch and canned hydrogen water competitors

FYI, there are also strict water ionizing machines on the market; these are larger units that require connection to your water outlet. While strict ionizer machines will slightly increase the molecular hydrogen, the goal of those machines is to increase or decrease the pH levels creating acidic or alkaline water, so it’s a whole different “ball game.” 🙂

If you would like to order one of the ION Bottles devices, use this link and the code BETTERHEALTH4U for 10% off. Adding hydrogen water to your daily routine could be an easy way to “up” your health quotient, AND could make a great health-promoting gift for friends and family!

p. s. Part II of the benefits of extra hydrogen is now available at this link, so be sure you read about how H2 can improve skin, antioxidant activity, immune function and more.

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

5-Minute Energy Routine Challenge To Start Off 2023

Here’s a quick post to let you know about another great way to start off the new year! Donna Eden, who has been a pioneer in the field of energy medicine for decades, is hosting a week-long “challenge” to get people in the habit of doing her famous 5-minute energy routine on a regular basis. I used to do this series of exercises almost daily, but hate to say I haven’t done it for awhile, even though I always felt better when I did. There’s also a longer version, which is what I used to do, that includes some massage of the lymph, which I think is a great add-on.

Anyway, the challenge starts TODAY and Eden Energy Medicine didn’t get an announcement ahead of time, so sign up asap, if you’re interested. I will include a link at the bottom of this post to today’s first video that will allow you to jump right in. I just finished doing the routine myself and my body feels really happy I did! 🙂

Join us for the 7-Day Daily Energy Routine Challenge!
Let’s all start off January 2023 with the best ENERGY possible.

Healthy underlying energy supports:

A pain-free body that is more resilient to disease and can participate fully in all life has to offer!

A clear and calm mind that can handle life’s challenges with more creativity and ease.

An inner state of joy that comes from within and can sustain itself no matter what is going on around you.

One of the best tools that we have to help with all of the above (and more) is Donna’s Daily Energy Routine! When done repeatedly, your body begins to establish healthy energy habits that, over time, will activate your body’s innate self-healing abilities. It’s a simple, yet powerful routine and we’d love for you to do it with us, every day – starting today!

The 7-Day Daily Energy Routine Challenge
Jan 9th-15th, 2023
Follow Along with a Free Video Every Day
Sign Up for Daily Email Reminders HERE

p. s. Here’s the link to the Day 1 session on YouTube:

1/12/23 UPDATE: So far I can tell a difference from doing the challenge the last few days, and I was happy to see that in Day 4 Donna added in how to do the lymph massage that I used to do back when I first started practicing the routine years ago. It’s a really good add-on to know about! You can access it here.

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Another Free Qigong Class!

Steven Washington is offering another one of his free Qigong classes and I love that he always provides a replay for those who can’t catch it live. PLUS, he breaks it out into sections where you can pick which part(s) you want to focus on….pilates, calming Qigong, Mindful Meditation, or “all of the above”…..

Join Steven for this upcoming FREE Class!

January 24th, 2023

at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm UK

Extraordinary change can start with one small step… and this fun, free class with Movement Master Steven Washington is an easy way to get started/stepping toward a happier and healthier 2023!

Here’s what’s included:

  • 30 minutes of Pilates strengthening and stretching exercises
  • 30 minutes of energy-igniting and calming Qigong movements
  • A peaceful Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus short and Qigong-only versions.

Also, Steven recently shared a new short 5 minute video to start off the new year. In it he briefly and humbly talks about a part of his past when his life was run by addiction, and how he found recovery and was able to become grounded, peaceful and courageous. At the 2:05 minute mark he teaches an easy to do flowing Qigong exercise to circulate the energy within your body and bring about emotional balance,….. something we can all use more of these days!

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Laughter Really IS The Best Medicine :-)

I think most of us have come to believe that laughter truly is good medicine, but I found this article especially interesting and enlightening as far as the different statistics between men and women, plus how it helps improve memory. Can’t think of a better way to improve my health, longevity and memory recall, as well as have a more fun-filled holiday season! 🙂

Laugh a Lot, Live Longer

Legendary comedian Bob Hope lived until 100, while comedienne Phyllis Diller enjoyed life until the ripe old age of 95.

Sitcom favorite Dick Van Dyke is still active at 94, as is movie comedy-maker Mel Brooks. And beloved actress Carol Burnett is following close behind, still cracking jokes at 87.

These are just a few of our comedy legends who lived well beyond the average life expectancy. It makes you wonder, what’s their secret?

Good genes, education and financial wealth may help these funny folks tip the longevity scales, but the latest research reveals another important factor that’s attainable by anyone: a sense of humor.

A large study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reveals that women with a good sense of humor live longer, despite illness such as cardiovascular disease and infection. Their male counterparts also seem to be protected against infection.1

Your Body and Mind Love a Good Joke, Research Proves

Norwegian researchers conducted a 15-year study exploring the connection between sense of humor and mortality among 53,556 women and men in their country.

The team analyzed the cognitive, social and affective factors of humor that were addressed on the participants’ questionnaires.

Next, the researchers assessed death from specific conditions including heart disease, infection, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In a nutshell, the study shows that the greater the role humor plays in the participants’ lives, the better their chances of surviving until at least 70 years.

They found that women with high “humor scores” in the way they view everyday life– called the cognitive component in the study– experienced:

  • A 48 percent lower risk of death from all causes;
  • A 73 percent lower risk of death from heart disease;
  • And a notable 83 percent lower risk of death from infection.

These are substantial reductions in chronic disease and death!

But what might be most interesting is that these results did not completely translate to men.

In this study, men with a high humor score did have a 74 percent reduction in death from infection (compared with women’s 83 percent reduction.) But they did not have a lower risk of premature death from all causes.

What’s going on with these results?

The authors were equally baffled, but they suggested that any gender differences in the results may be because as men age, their humor scores dip slightly. (Don’t tell Mel Brooks that, though!)

Good Humor Positively Affects How You View Life

According to the authors, the cognitive component influences the way people view everyday experiences. It stands to reason that humor can serve as a buffer against the stressful situations of daily life and protects one’s health.

Additional research confirms the study findings that laughter is the best medicine.

  • A laugh does your heart good. A 2009 study at the University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that laughter and an “active sense of humor” can protect against a heart attack and prevent heart disease. The cardiologists discovered that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to exhibit good humor in a variety of daily life scenarios when compared to their peers without heart disease.2The researchers believe that laughter decreases blood pressure and improves blood circulation and oxygen intake.
  • Humor helps manage pain. Remember the movie Patch Adams, featuring Robin Williams? Based on a true story of a doctor who used humor to help his patients heal, it underscores how humor can be a great pain reliever even in a hospital setting. Studies suggest that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being, and even a reprieve from pain.3 What’s more, laughter also decreases the stress hormone cortisol so inflammation is minimized throughout the body.
  • Laugh more, remember more. That’s right, research shows that the more you laugh, the better your memory. Loma Linda University researchers dug into this premise in a 2014 study.4They examined the stress levels and short-term memory of 20 healthy adults in their 60s and 70s. One group was asked to sit in silence with no communication. The other group got to watch funny videos. According to the researchers, the “humor group had much higher improvement” in the ability to remember things. They experienced 43 percent better memory function following the funny videos compared to only 20 percent in the group that had to sit in silence before their cognitive testing.

I think the ability to laugh at ourselves as we age is so important, not only for our physical health but our mental health, too. Over the years I’ve talked to numerous alternative doctors, including many that treat cancer. They almost always tell me that attitude is vital to any recovery from diseases like cancer.

In fact, I recall one story where a cancer patient claims to have healed his cancer by watching old television comedies all day long for weeks on end! So, it stands to reason that good humor and laughter would also improve our lifespan.

These findings echo other research that we’ve explored on this site. Basically, those people who are positive, laugh easily and don’t take themselves too seriously seem to fare well in the longevity department.

If you aren’t feeling all that funny, try watching your favorite comedy on TV, or call a friend who never fails to make you chuckle. Laughing just feels good and best of all, one laugh seems to lead to another.



Here’s to a healthier you in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Free Pilates/Qigong Class + Being A Regenerative Force for the Planet!

You can be a regenerative force on this planet!

For millions of years, humans were nourished by and lived in deep symbiosis with a beautifully biodiverse ecosystem. But we have lost our way.

We have systematically sterilized our environment and isolated ourselves from nature.

Now we are on the brink of a total collapse in our global food system. We are engineering the sixth great extinction on this planet — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

At this pivotal moment, can we find ourselves back into nature?
Can we change our mindset from consumers to producers and co-creators?
Can we establish cycles that are regenerative versus destructive?

You can be part of a future that is more diverse and more intelligent than the planet has ever expressed before. The paths are many, but they all revolve around reconnection — with each other, with farmers, with wisdom that is old and true, and with natural patterns.

To that end, this program gathers together thought leaders and changemakers, including special guest Charles Eisenstein, focused on regenerative agriculture, because healthy soil, communities, economies, and people all form one essential ecosystem.

This course runs from Nov 17th – 20th and is for…

  • Anyone who eats food!
  • People who care about being a life-giving force on the planet
  • People curious about the regenerative movement and how they can be a part of it
  • People looking to unite family and friends around a hopeful, healthful vision for humanity

Join this course to…

  • Learn how human & soil health are intimately related
  • Discover why past movements – such as “organic” – failed to change the paradigm
  • Listen to the challenges farmers and agricultural businesses face
  • Understand what it takes to heal an entire ecosystem
  • Reconnect with where your food comes from
  • Explore what regeneration looks like in your life

“As you listen to the many voices in this program, I hope regenerative agriculture will move from an abstract concept to an engaged experience. You will not only better understand the realities of our current farming landscape, but also better understand your role as a stakeholder in this food system. Because at the root of what it means to be regenerative is also what it means to be human.”Zach Bush, MD

We can completely overcome the common paradigm – not through an “anti” mission – but through an alternative mission. Not through an effort to be more “pro” this or that, and thus heighten the polarization of our culture, but to literally rise above the old arguments.

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

About Your Host

Zach Bush, MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. Dr. Zach founded Seraphic Group and the nonprofit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health.

About Farmer’s Footprint

Farmer’s Footprint is a non-profit supporting farmers across the nation who are bravely stepping forward and transforming chemically farmed acreage to regenerative agriculture. Their vision is to unite, inspire and accelerate the movement towards regenerative food systems as a means to restore human and planetary health.

You can sign up for the free course at:

And Steven Washington is offering another free Pilates/Qigong Fusion class just in time to get you in shape for Thanksgiving! Here are the details and sign-up link…

Join the party with a FREE class!

Tuesday, November 22nd

11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 7pm UK 

It’s been 2 years since Steven’s first Pilates/Qigong Fusion class and he’d love you to join him in celebrating!

Your FREE, 65-minute class will include:

  • 30 minutes of classic Pilates exercises to strengthen and stretch
  • 30 minutes of energizing and calming Qigong movements  
  • A peaceful and relaxing guided Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus condensed and Qigong-only versions.

Learn more and sign-up here:

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health.

Which is best….Daylight Saving or Standard Time?!

I’ve felt for a long time that there was no longer any real benefit from the annual “spring forward, fall back” routine. The switching twice a year seemed hard on our bodies and overall health, plus an unnecessary expense to the nation and the world (ever considered how costly it is to change the settings on Big Ben each time?!)

Both time systems seemed to have pluses and minuses; I just wanted to switch to one or the other permanently. So I was glad when I heard the US was finally set to end the practice next year and stay on daylight saving time. BUT then I read this article and felt like the lawmakers should have done a better job of researching all the data before making their decision.

I’ve done several posts in the past on the time change and its effects, and will post those links below. I know it’s always great to get that “extra” hour on Sunday in the fall, and the seeming “extra” sunshine in the spring (even though the actual amount stays the same :-)), but overall and long-term, this article makes me wish we could somehow be staying on standard time, not daylight saving, beginning next year.

Read this article from The Washington Post and see what you think….

Palace of Westminster with Big Ben

Why daylight saving time is worse for your body than standard time

An animated story of what science says about changing our clocks in the fall and spring

By Aaron Steckelberg and Lindsey Bever

Within days, 48 states and the District of Columbia will reset their clocks and fall back into standard time. From a health standpoint, most sleep and circadian experts say we should stay there.

Experts say early-morning sunlight is key to maintaining our circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles and overall health. Phyllis Zee, a neurologist and chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said without that sunlight, we can slip into circadian misalignment — “when your internal body clocks fall out of sync with that of the sun clock and your social clocks.”

The concern with adopting a permanent change to daylight saving time, which the Senate has voted to do, is that it may chronically throw our bodies out of sync with the sun and lead to a variety of health problems, sleep experts say.

“We would be misaligned all year long,” said Beth Malow, professor of neurology and pediatrics and the director of Vanderbilt University’s sleep division.

How is it that one hour can have such a significant impact?

Your brain has an internal clock.

It helps keep time each day, making sure the right things are happening at the right moments inside our bodies, such as cardiac functions, metabolic processes, hormone fluctuations and sleep.

But for most of us, that internal clock runs slightly longer than 24 hours.

Luckily, the sun steps in to help us by sending signals to specialized receptors in our eyes.

Each morning, sunlight resets our internal clock by “pulling” us back into sync with a 24-hour day.

Then, after the sun sets, the lack of sunlight allows our bodies to produce hormones such as melatonin, which promotes sleep.

Similar to how sunlight in the morning can pull our internal clock earlier, light from any source too late into the evening can do the opposite and “push” our internal clock later.

This can interfere with our ability to sleep.

With the time change each spring to daylight saving time, we abruptly disrupt this important relationship between our brains and the sun. Here’s why.

Our internal clock evolved to align with the sunrise, sunset and a 24-hour day.

Likewise, the clocks we developed to schedule our days were conceived to align with the 24-hour solar day.

When we are observing standard time, noon is when the sun is generally at its highest point. Let’s call it solar noon.

For most of us, our watches and phone clocks dictate how we live large parts of our lives — when to wake up, be at work and go to bed.

Each March, when we switch to daylight saving time, our daily schedules shift by an hour.

Notice how now we wake up in the dark and leave work with more hours of sunlight left in the day.

But the sun doesn’t move. Solar noon, which is synced with your internal clock, is still at the same time as the previous day. Now your daily schedule and solar noon are misaligned.

Unfortunately, the internal clock in your brain can’t adjust as fast as your watch. It takes your internal clock at least one day to adjust to one hour in time change. And for some people, it can take longer than that.

One of the major problems with changing to daylight saving time is that it disrupts sleep. Your body isn’t yet ready to fall asleep at your usual bedtime, which is now an hour earlier.

And in the morning, your body wants its old wake time, too. But your alarm clock wakes you an hour earlier, so you can get to work on time. Now you’re cutting into your sleep at both ends.

This sudden one-hour shift each spring has been associated with more heart attacks and strokes. Automobile and other types of accidents also increase.

There is also a cumulative toll of circadian misalignment. Here’s what would happen if we stayed in daylight saving time all year long.

The summer solstice, around June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, is the longest day of the year. In some locations, such as D.C., there may be nearly 15 hours of daylight.

Those extra hours of sunlight after work may feel nice, but having a later sunset close to bedtime can delay the onset of those sleep hormones, pushing your internal clock later.

Even though you may end up losing some sleep, during the summer you would still have early-morning sun to “pull” you back a little bit.

But let’s imagine if daylight saving time becomes permanent, as has been proposed. Six months later, during the shortest day of the year, on Dec. 21, you would have a different problem.

There would be a bit over nine hours of sunlight in D.C. during the day.

You would wake up in darkness, and the sun wouldn’t rise until you were well awake and already at work.

Because you already would have been awake for hours before the sun rose, it would be less capable of “pulling” your clock back into alignment.

If your internal clock doesn’t get “pulled” enough, it can’t reset itself.

So, your internal clock may remain slightly longer than 24 hours, causing you to drift out of sync with the solar day.

With each passing day, those extra minutes can accumulate. Over time, your internal clock and your real-world clocks move further apart.

This results in circadian misalignment, a mismatch between our schedules that tell us when to wake, “and what our outside environment wants us to do, which is to stay in bed and sleep because it’s dark outside,” Malow said.

As a result, staying in daylight saving time year round could put people at greater risk for seasonal depression in the winter months, experts say. Experts also say circadian misalignment can affect the production of important hormones such as melatonin.

Living chronically out of sync with our internal clock puts us at an increased risk for sleep loss, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders and even certain types of cancer.

Melatonin has oncostatic properties, meaning it can slow the spread of cancer, said Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

But what would happen if we adopted standard time year round? Experts say we would eliminate the short-term health problems (and frustration) created by adjusting our clocks twice per year.

More importantly, our internal clock would stay in sync with the solar day.

With better circadian alignment, we may reduce the risk for many long-term health issues.

Circadian and sleep experts say there is a powerful biological case for staying in standard time year round. Changing the clocks doesn’t change the overall duration of sunlight in a day. With permanent standard time, at least you would be getting that light at the right time of day for optimal health.

Go here to read the article with animated graphics that help explain the whole thing further.


Related Self-help Health posts:


p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.