Roll Your Eyes, Change Your Life?!

 

I have heard of Feldenkrais and even had someone trained in the modality do a bodywork session on me once, but am not really familiar with any of its principles or protocols. I found this article that discusses Feldenkrais eye movement processes interesting, intriguing and informative…..

 

Feldenkrais eye lessons improved my vision and expanded my sense of self

(by Ilona Fried) How you use your eyes can change what you see!

Plenty of workshops and retreats promise to change your life, even over a weekend! That might work for some people. But one of the simplest ways that anyone can improve their well-being is by learning to use their eyes differently.Most of us ignore our eyes until they fail or are injured. Several years ago, on an annual visit to Montreal, I noticed I could no longer read the street index on my trusty map. An optometrist prescribed progressive lenses. At 46, I purchased my first pair of glasses. Less than 12 months later, I discovered I no longer needed to wear my spectacles as much, if at all. Not only that, I learned that how I used my eyes affected my entire being and experience of life.

How was that possible?

I’d enrolled in a training for the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, developed by the Israeli engineer, judo black belt and visionary Moshe Feldenkrais, to heal a leg injury. We explored many verbally guided lessons, called Awareness Through Movement. Among these, we learned to work with our eyes in unfamiliar ways. Starting from different positions in lying and sitting, we gently and slowly rolled the eyes and sensed their weight in the sockets. In various experiments, we tried moving them independently of each other, or in a direction opposite to that of the head. By doing so carefully, and paying attention to when our eyes jumped rather than shifting smoothly, we began to create new neural pathways and possibilities.

Moving my eyes non-habitually felt like unplugging a wire that had rusted into a switchboard. Unaccustomed to the effort, my eye muscles began to tire. At the end of one lesson, however, I experienced my eyes as almost double their usual size, as if I’d become a reptile. Without having to turn or lift my head, I was able to take in 30 percent more of my environment than before. Moving my eyes also rearranged parts of myself I believed to be immutable. I’d spent much of the preceding decade making fine visual distinctions. As a designer and artist I’d worked with often tiny beads to make jewelry, and selected subtle colors, textures and shapes to create mosaics. I also spent hours doing graphic design, editing photos or proofreading. Yet, for a day and a half following a series of eye lessons, I had no desire to train my focus on a narrow area.

The absence of an urge to hone in on details or detect nuances, flaws or inconsistencies made it seem as if I had been handed a different personality if not a new self. The expansion and softening of my vision lifted my spirits and even straightened my spine. For the next 36 hours, this introvert experienced what I imagine it’s like to be an outgoing person, someone whose attention is more naturally drawn to the bigger picture rather than gravitating towards details.

The striking change helped me realize that I had become so identified with having a “good eye” that I unwittingly brought that trait everywhere, even to situations where it was irrelevant or counterproductive. My ability to observe what others overlooked had been more of a compulsion than a conscious choice to direct my attention for a certain purpose. I now had my own example of what Moshe Feldenkrais referenced in The Elusive Obvious: “We often make mistakes. We carry over from one activity to another attitudes of mind that do not make life what it could be…Somehow we behave as if good habits are always good.”

Another elusive truth is that our eyes direct the movement of the rest of the body. When humans hunted and gathered, our eyes oriented us to the surroundings. They helped us spot dinner (or threats) and identify and forage non-poisonous foods. Today, many of us hunt and gather online. We collect and analyze information for work or we’re in pursuit of a job, a good price, a new relationship, or an engaging Facebook discussion. The rest of our body still wants to participate in the action, so we might find ourselves slightly crouched, hunched, or tense, as if ready to pounce or pluck a delectable item. Maybe something we see or read makes us feel threatened so we recoil. While stepping away from the computer or redirecting the gaze to the horizon can help, I’ve found that nothing resets me more than following a recorded Feldenkrais eye movement lesson. They relax ocular muscles I’ve strained and engage those which I don’t normally use. It’s like sending my peepers to a playground where movement is divorced from utility, goals or achievement. My refreshed eyes help me experience deeper relaxation.

That my vision improved and my sense of self expanded through Feldenkrais is not unique, nor is my experience as miraculous as that of David Webber. After five operations to address complications from uveitis (an immune disorder causing inflammation within the eyes), he was declared legally blind in 2002. Desperate to regain his sight, he experimented with alternative remedies and found that Awareness Through Movement lessons helped him move safely and pleasurably. Immersion in a Feldenkrais training allowed him to discover that he could heal and rewire his visual system and restore his sight.

I’ve learned that life is more enjoyable and fulfilling when I’m aware of what my eyes are doing and I choose how to use them. Mr. Webber learned to see again. Who knows what you might discover if you take the time to roll your eyes, slowly and with awareness?

Source: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/13032-roll-your-eyes-improve-your-life

Have any of you had first hand experience with using the type of eye techniques/movements mentioned in this article? If so, would you please leave a comment with your feedback? Thanks!


 

And here’s an invitation from Dr. Mark Hyman about a free event that starts tomorrow that some of you may want to sign up for or tell others about……

 

Broken Brain

I am very excited to bring to light a silent epidemic that is crippling our nation and is the # 1 cause of disability worldwide.

Did you know…

  • Psychiatric disorders affect over 26% of our adult population and over 20% of our adolescent population.
  • Over 40 million people suffer from anxiety and more than 20 million people have depression.
  • 1-10 Americans takes an antidepressant, which has tripled in the past decade.
  • Alzheimer’s will affect 30%, and some experts are saying up to 50% of people over the age of 85.
  • 9% of our 8-15 year olds have been given the label, ADHD.
  • In the last decade, autism has increased from 3 in 10,000 to 1 in 166.

These statistics are grim.

This topic is a very personal to me because I once suffered from a few brain disorders. Almost 20 years ago, when I was just at the start of my medical career, I went from being a healthy, thriving physician to becoming a disoriented and terrified version of myself that I did not recognize anymore. I had ADHD, depression, anxiety, and brain fog all at once. I truly descended into a spiral of helplessness and hopelessness.

This led me on a life-long quest to heal my broken brain and to find the root causes of these conditions through the approaches of Functional Medicine.

I spent this past year traveling the country interviewing the top brain health experts to bring you the most cutting edge research and information on topics such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, MS, Parkinson’s, brain fog and more…

Episodes:

  1. The Broken Brain Epidemic / My Story (October 18)
  2. Gut Brain Connection: Getting to The Root of a Broken Brain (October 19)
  3. Losing Our Minds (Alzheimer’s, Dementia & MS) (October 20)
  4. ADHD & Autism (October 21)
  5. Depression & Anxiety (October 22)
  6. Traumatic Brain Injury (Accidents, Sports & More) (October 23)
  7. 7 Steps to An UltraMind (Part 1) (October 24)
  8. 7 Steps to An UltraMind (Part 2) (October 25)

    Starting in early October, look for emails from me with sneak peeks of the docuseries including my top highlights from each episode and much more.

    What if I told you that the cure for most brain disorders and a better brain is OUTSIDE the brain? You won’t want to miss this important docuseries. It’s time we address the epidemic of broken brains.

    Please join us in our mission to make this world a healthier, happier place and share this documentary with all your loved ones and friends. Together, we can spread the word and take back our health.

    See you on October 18th!

    Wishing you health and happiness,
    Mark Hyman, MD

     

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on any future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog 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.

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The Almond, Uric Acid, Gout And Stroke Connection + Free Event

 

I’ve always known almonds were good for us; that’s one reason why I featured a recipe a few days ago that had them as one of the main ingredients . But I had no idea of their connection with reducing uric acid and preventing gout. Now I will enjoy eating those almond-fueled sweet potato brownies more than ever! AND this article on uric acid, gout and stroke gives me even more ways to add almonds to my diet with some tasty sounding recipes at the end. Yea!

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Gout

The painful sign your stroke risk is growing

However, even where there is no history of any heart troubles, there is another factor that can greatly increase your risk…

Hyperuricemia.

That’s a condition related to high levels of uric acid in the body resulting from the natural breakdown of cells and as a byproduct of the foods you eat.

Hyperuricemia may be a condition that you’ve never come across before. But I bet you may know this one sign that you could be suffering from it…

And that’s gout — a type of recurrent arthritis commonly associated with high levels of uric acid.

In addition to causing a painful gouty joint (most often in your foot), uric acid is also an important biomarker of your vascular function.

On a more sinister level, high levels of uric acid can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). And in fact, studies show that each 1 mg/dL increase in blood uric acid levels increases the risk of heart-associated death by 12 percent!

In recent years, the Western diet — full of sugar and refined carbohydrates — has been responsible for increasing levels of uric acid in many people.

But as luck would have it, there is a very simple way to reduce uric acid in your body…

Eat almonds every day

When researchers gave 150 CAD patients 10 grams of almonds each morning on an empty stomach for 12 weeks, they discovered their uric acid levels were 14 to 18 percent lower than those consuming no nuts.

So what is it about almonds that douse uric acid and protect you heart attack, stroke and gout?

Almonds provide a wide range of highly bioavailable nutrients that not only have a positive impact on uric acid levels but provide plenty of other health benefits, too.

A small handful of almonds provides:

  • Magnesium (96 mg) – for optimal heart and muscle function
  • Calcium (96 mg) – for maintaining strong bones
  • Potassium (262 mg) – for regulating blood pressure
  • Phosphorus (172 mg) – for energy production and bone mineralization
  • Vitamin E (9 mg) – a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation
  • Soluble fiber (4.5 g) – for optimal digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation
  • Protein (6 g) – to support effective cell building and to stabilize blood sugar
  • Monounsaturated fat (7 g) – to correct cholesterol irregularities with proven ability to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
  • L-arginine (1 g) – a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that promotes healthy circulation and blood pressure

Snacking on almonds directly is obviously one way to consume them. And all it takes to reduce uric acid levels is a measly 7 to 8 nuts per day.

But if you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 28 percent, munch on a small handful each day, the equivalent of one ounce or around 23 nuts.

Of course, you don’t have to eat almonds plain because there are other interesting ways to include them in your menu:

  • Opt for almond flour when baking
  • Make your own trail mix using almonds
  • Use almond meal as a stuffing base instead of breadcrumbs
  • Add crushed almonds to your cereal or smoothie
  • Spread almond butter on toast, apple slices or celery
  • Add slivered almonds to salads
  • Make a jar of spiced toasted almonds

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/painful-sign-stroke-risk-growing/

Related Self-Help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/a-great-way-to-eat-more-sweet-potatoes/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/jp-sears-takes-on-the-american-heart-association-plus-the-health-benefits-of-almonds/


 

And here’s a way to help de-stress your life (amen to that!) and nourish you on a more spiritual level. It’s a free event  on Sept 20th featuring Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, two of my favorite representatives of wisdom and conscious living……

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, ocean and text

  • Strengthen Your Inner State of Peace and Security
  • Regain a Sense of Oneness and Connection with Yourself and Your Community
  • Feel more Calm, Present, and Joyful Every Day

You can sign up here: https://www.chopra.com/webinars/awakening-from-the-illusion-of-separateness-b#sm.000018z5yprdidtqu031b976bybqk

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

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

Nitric Oxide Dump = New Exercise Routine

 

This sounds interesting. I think I will give it a try. Want to join me?….

 

 By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly five decades, there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. Health and fitness is an ongoing, lifelong journey, though. It’s important to take stock of where you are and to keep pushing yourself to new heights. At the same time, you need to listen to your body and be willing to fine-tune or completely alter your workout routine as your circumstances change.

As an example, for nearly 40 years my primary exercise was long-distance running, but as I got older, I realized there were healthier and far more effective forms of exercise. Once I switched from running to peak fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, my fitness soared and my physique changed rather dramatically for the better.

A significant piece of the puzzle relates to how HIIT improves your mitochondria, and generates more of them. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found in nearly all of your cells, responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancerheart disease and Alzheimer’s

Two Key Strategies to Help Your Fitness Soar in 2017

I still believe HIIT is the most effective and efficient way to reach your fitness goals, but I’ve further fine-tuned my approach and now use an even shorter routine that I believe is just as effective while being far safer, especially if you’re older or just starting out. Below, I’ll discuss this new technique, which I refer to as “the nitric oxide dump.”

The scientific literature also clearly shows that sitting for extended periods is a major, independent risk factor for chronic disease, even if you exercise regularly, so daily non-exercise movement is likely one of the most important fitness strategies for many — especially if you’re currently not exercising on a regular basis.

The reason for this is because sitting blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular pathways that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Standing up — bearing your own body weight on your legs — activates all of these systems at the molecular level. I’ll review this below as well.

Super-Simple Way to Boost Your Health in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day

As mentioned, while I still endorse HIIT, I believe I’ve learned an even easier way to reap most if not all of the same benefits of a more elaborate HIIT protocol with just four simple movements — no weights or equipment required. Best of all, it only requires three minutes of your time, twice or three times a day, with at least two hours between sessions.

This is the nitric oxide (NO) dump exercise developed by Dr. Zach Bush. NO is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health. Most notably, NO:

  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain
  • Kills bacteria and defends against tumor cells
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in your body

For a demonstration, see the video above. If you have previously watched this video, please review it again as I recently updated it to correct a couple of errors and omissions that sneaked into my previous video. A key component I forgot in my earlier video is to make sure you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. Your nose actually regulates more than 30 physical processes, including the release of NO, and of course serves to filter the air you breathe.

Compared to a regular HIIT protocol, the NO dump exercise is a far gentler strategy that can be done by just about anyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or age. You’d be hard-pressed to injure yourself doing this. Since you’re just using your body to perform simple knee bends and arm lifts, the exercise is more or less automatically customized to your current level of ability.

Yet, despite its simplicity, I’m convinced you’ll still obtain most of the benefits you get from HIIT. While I demonstrate 20 reps in the above video, it is best to start at 10 reps and gradually work your way up to 20. Remember, don’t do this more than every two hours, as it takes that long for the NO to be generated from eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase).

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/08/11/fitness-plan-2017-updates.aspx?


 

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And for those of you wanting to have healthier teeth and gums AND save money on dental visits, check out my What’s New page for details about the Alternatives to Dentists program that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, plus several bonuses, including a free dental care kit. You’ll also find information about free health e-books and other resources. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

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

Using Solfeggio Frequency 528 Hz For Repairing Your DNA, Opening Your Heart, And More

 

Several years ago I did a post featuring information on the background and history of solfeggio tones/frequencies and how they can be used to positively affect our health in multiple ways. Today’s post is an article from Underground Health Reporter about one of the most popular tones, the 528 Hz “love frequency”, and how it can actually help repair DNA. What could be better (or easier) than chilling out listening to some soothing music and repairing your DNA at the same time?! More self-help tools like this, please and thank you! 🙂

 

WIKI Solfeggio 9frecuencias 300x300 Solfeggio Frequencies Set Body Into Full Harmony

Specific Music for Health Shown to Repair Your DNA

 Did you know that simply listening to a single musical note that vibrates at 528 Hz has been shown to repair your DNA?

All music that we’re familiar with consists of notes from the 12-Tone Equal Temperament Scale. Each individual note has vibrational limits.music for health

However, there is an ancient 6-tone scale of electro-magnetic frequencies called the original Solfeggio Scale. This scale, which was lost for centuries and was just recently rediscovered accidentally by Dr. Joseph Puleo, is said to hold unlimited potential in healing and personal transformation.

One of the notes on the Solfeggio Scale, particularly the one that vibrates at 528 Hz, has been used by biochemists to repair human DNA. The frequency of 528 Hz appears to influence the water molecules that surround the DNA helix, thereby bringing about healing effects on DNA.

DNA Healing Effects of Frequency 528 Hz

Perhaps the leading proponent of the miraculous healing power of the 528 Hz Solfeggio note is Dr. Leonard Horowitz, world famous author of 15 health science books, and Harvard graduated public health expert. According to Dr. Horowitz, all healing occurs from sonic waves or vibrations, specific frequencies of sound, resonating throughout the universe.

He claims that human cells use DNA, like radios use antennae, to receive the note vibrations and attune the body’s rhythm to that of the cosmos. He refers to the 528 Hz Solfeggio note as “the frequency of love” which, in addition to providing health benefits, opens the portals to spiritual transformation.

This is echoed by Dr. Candice Pert, PhD, who states that energy and vibration go all the way to the molecular level. She further states that we have 70 different receptors on the molecules — and when vibration and frequency reaches that far, they begin to vibrate.

This vibration, which happens at the cellular level, opens the chromosomes and exposes the DNA to the frequencies.

Experiments involving in vitro DNA exposed to different recordings of musical styles have been performed by Glen Rein of the Quantum Biology Research Lab in New York.

Four styles of music for health, including Gregorian chants that use the Solfeggio scale, were converted to scalar audio waves and played via a CD player to test tubes containing in vitro DNA.

The effects of the music were determined by measuring the DNA test tube samples’ absorption of UV light after an hour of exposure to the music. The absorption of UV light is regarded as a significant effect on DNA because when the DNA helix unwinds, it allows such absorption.

The results of Glen Rein’s experiments showed that the Gregorian chants caused a significant increase in the absorption of UV light versus rock music, which had little or no effect.

It was concluded that the audible sound waves of the Solfeggio scale can cause resonance in DNA and can, indeed, have profound healing effects.

To experience the effect of the 528 Hz note of the Solfeggio scale, just type “528 Hz” in YouTube and you’ll find several *videos that feature this healing frequency.

Source: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/music-for-health-dna-repair/

Related Self-help Health post: Sound Healing: Harmonize Your Life & Body With Solfeggio Tones

*FYI, one of my favorite tracks using the 528 Hz frequency is this great The Miracle Tone and Love Frequency “background music” from ZenLifeRelax; it’s said to heal DNA and activate, open, balance and heal your heart chakra. The recording is 8 HOURS long, so you could easily set this to play while you sleep or do your daily routine. When I first came across it on YouTube a number of months ago I let it run all day and loved having it going. I especially notice how nice my personal environment feels when I have something like this playing and go out for a while and then come back in. Almost feels like entering a sacred place/space.

If you want more of my picks for solfeggio tones and other health-enhancing music, visit the What’s New page of my website where you can download a pdf I’ve put together listing a variety of recordings to check out. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

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

Mustard Foot Mask = Multiple Benefits

 

HA! The picture looks pretty gross, but here’s a quick little self-help health tool to try with multiple benefits……

 

Image may contain: one or more people and food

 

Mustard Foot Mask

This feels SERIOUSLY good! Just grind up 3-4 teaspoons of black mustard seeds and add enough water to make a paste. A 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder gives it a little extra bite, but it’s quite warming even without it. Apply for 20 minutes or until your feet feel warm and ready to carry you through another week.

I was just recommending it for tired, sore feet, but it’s traditional use is actually much deeper. When mustard seeds are ground, a chemical and an enzyme come together to form Allyl isothiocyanate, which is irritating to the skin. This is cancelled out if you use boiling water. This chemical pumps the blood to the feet, pulling it through the legs. This stimulating of the circulation creates a ‘second heart’ in the feet. The effects of this in the traditional literature are diverse, but include relief of headache, fever, sore throat, general cold and flu (treatment and prevention), lethargy, cold extremities, toxic overload, and much more. If left in place too long it will badly blister you however, so take it off if it feels like it’s burning too much. I find 20-30 minutes good myself.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/fakeJamestrash/posts/1376284702450913

Personal Note: One person left a comment on this post that her grandmother always used this on her when she was sick as a child and it never failed to right the situation. And it seems like I remember my “Nana” using mustard poultices for chest colds, etc. I’m definitely going to give this a try, since I tend to have cold feet, especially in the winter, and I think this will feel good, plus possibly have some great side benefits!

Related Self-help Health post:

Onions: In Your Food, On Your Feet, By Your Nightstand 

Detoxing Clay Baths, Masks And More

 

Salud!

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

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

Mycobacterium vaccae: Bacteria That’s GOOD For Your Brain!!

 

Reading this article will give you yet one more reason for spending plenty of time outdoors, whether walking through the woods, working in the garden, or making mud pies with the neighborhood kids. 🙂

 

Get Outdoors and Try to Get “Infected”
With These Brain-Healthy Bacteria

We know that eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables promotes good health…

We also know spending time in nature, whether it’s walking through green spaces or spending time in the garden, can increase feelings of well-being and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.

Now researchers have discovered another reason why spending time outside makes us feel so much better: Soil contains a beneficial strain of bacteria that can improve cognition and lower some risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Read on to learn more about this friendly microbe and how it can keep your brain strong…

The helpful bacterium is known as Mycobacterium vaccae (or M. vaccae). It’s abundant in soil. When we’re outdoors we breathe it in the open air…

As you may know, science is homing in on the connection between our microbiome – the beneficial microbes in our gut — and brain function. Some researchers even go so far as to call the gut the second brain. (For more information on gut and brain health, see Issue #205.)

A 2013 study published in the journal Behavioral Processes provided more evidence for this theory when researchers Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks fed a group of mice live M. vaccae bacteria and then had them run a maze. A control group ran the maze without the benefit of the microbe.

The results were stunning. Mice that ate the bacteria before and during the trials “completed the maze twice as fast as controls and with reduced anxiety-related behaviors.”

M. vaccae acts like an “old friend”

The “old friends” or “hygiene” hypothesis of stress-related diseases states that, because we spend less time in nature and overuse antibacterial soaps and other germ-killing aids, our bodies no longer reap the benefits of microbes like M. vaccae, which have helped humans survive and thrive for thousands of years.

The hypothesis gets its name from the strategy of ‘reintroducing’ humans to their old friends [beneficial bacteria] to promote optimal health and wellness.

Without them our bodies fall prey to the negative effects of stress and chronic inflammation, and this adversely affects our bodies’ own ability to prevent diseases.

Chronic inflammation also contributes to depression, which is not only a danger in its own right, but is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (see Issue #117).

In a 2016 study published in the journal Trends in Immunology, researchers “immunized” mice with M. vaccae and found that their exposure to the microbe (or infection, if you will) prevented stress-induced colitis and reduced fear, anxiety, symptoms of inflammation and poor stress management.

The Connection Between M. Vaccae,
Serotonin and Alzheimer’s Disease

The reason for the animals’ decreased anxiety in the above studies is that ingestion of M. vaccae stimulates the release of serotonin in the brain. Higher levels of this neurotransmitter elevate mood and decrease anxiety.

Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter that’s also essential to synaptic functioning. Your neurons need serotonin to communicate with each other. This molecule also plays a crucial role in memory and learning.

Serotonin production naturally slows as we age. Research suggests that this decrease could be linked to depression, decreased cognition, memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Studies of autopsied brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have shown serious serotonin deficiencies. Being low on serotonin doesn’t necessarily cause cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is an indicator that overall brain health and functioning has been compromised.

Big Pharma has been trying to create drugs that boost serotonin, but so far they haven’t been effective. So your best bet to prevent low levels of serotonin is to actively stimulate its production with M. vaccae – and by other means.

How to Increase Your Intake of M. vaccae

Spending time in green places, city parks and uninhabited woods alike, increases your exposure to M. vaccae. Get outside and breathe the fresh air as often as you can.

Eating fruits and vegetables directly from the tree, shrub or vine also helps you to ingest beneficial quantities of this microbe. As long as they’re grown without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll be pretty safe to eat them without washing. (I’d be wary of vegetables grown in or near the ground, especially in manure-rich soil. Those I’d wash.)

Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that gardening or otherwise closely interacting with the earth gives you even more M. vaccae.

Long-time gardeners swear that spending time among their plants is therapeutic. Now we have a new reason to think so.

Spend some time playing in the dirt with your kids or grandkids. Try planting a small flower garden that you all can tend together. Grow one or two vegetable plants and eat the produce right off the plant. Or visit a local farm and sample their wares.

As long as you’re outside, eating organic fruits and veggies and getting dirty once in a while, you’ll be doing your brain a favor.

 Source: Brain Health Breakthroughs Newsletter by Lee Euler

Related Self-help Health posts:

Walking: Just Do It (In Nature!)

Natural Ways To Treat Alzheimer’s

Trees: They’re Not Just For Hugging

FYI, there’s a free on-line series starting on the 12th that ties in nicely with the idea of spending more time digging in the dirt. It’s the 3rd Annual Home Grown Summit. which will feature 38+ presenters sharing their best “secrets” about growing food, living sustainably, creating community, and more….

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You can go to my “What’s New” page to find out more about the summit, plus see the list of e-books and reports the Grow Network offers for free.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

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

 

Onions: In Your Food, On Your Feet, By Your Nightstand…..What?!

 

A couple of years ago I read somewhere about onions being such strong anti-bacterial agents that if you cut one in half and put it in a dish on your nightstand, in the morning it would be all black from attracting all the germs and “greasy grime” in the environment. I was thinking about that a few months ago and wishing I’d saved the article because I wanted to refresh my memory on the facts, plus include the info in a post about onions because they keep coming up, along with garlic, as such good anti-cold and flu agents.

Anyway, I had been wanting to research the topic, but hadn’t found the time to get around to it. Then boom and viola! An e-mail showed up right after that that actually contained info about that very thing. Talk about synchronicity and serendipity!

 

 

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Onions: Don’t Leave Home Without Them! 🙂

Onions have countless uses in the kitchen and are a chief ingredient in many sauces, salads and entrees, but to think of them only as a cooking ingredient overlooks the fact that they are also nutritional and healing powerhouses. Eating an onion a day (ideally raw) could be one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to safeguard your health, especially during wintertime.

Rich in disease-fighting quercetin

Onions, particularly red and yellow onions, are fantastic natural sources of the well-studied flavonoid quercetin. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and can guard against heart disease and cancer. These claims are now being proven by research. For example, one study published in Gastroenterology in January 1996 found that eating half of an onion a day could cut the risk of developing stomach cancer by 50 percent. Wow! And a later study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that quercetin could significantly reduce the concentrations of LDL cholesterol in overweight subjects, thereby decreasing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

High in allicin

The pungent taste and aroma of onions, as well as their famous release of eye-watering gases when chopped, is due to their allicin content. Allicin is also found in garlic, another common kitchen ingredient and nutritional powerhouse. Allicin is an organic sulfur compound which, like quercetin, possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent cancer. Moreover, research featured in Microbes and Infection in 1999 showed that allicin is a potent anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and can kill common (and increasingly antibiotic-resistant) microbial cultures in the body such as Candida albicans and E. coli. Since viruses thrive in cold weather, eating more onions in winter really is a good idea!

Lower blood sugar

Although the allicin in onions is best-known for treating disease, it has also been linked to reduced blood sugar. A research paper published back in 1975 in Experientia proved that diabetic rabbits that were treated with allicin extracts experienced “significantly reduced” blood sugar levels and glucose-nitrogen ratios. We now know that this is because allicin competes with insulin in the liver, which encourages the body to manufacture more of it. This helps transport glucose through the body, thus reducing blood sugar levels. Additionally, onions are also a top source of chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the actions of insulin. Therefore, diabetic or pre-diabetic individuals can help stabilize their blood sugar levels by adding more allicin-rich foods like onions to their diets.

Surprisingly dense in nutrients

One medium-sized onion also contains a surprising number of additional nutrients. This includes approximately 20 percent of our recommended daily intake of the essential antioxidant vitamin C, as well as varying amounts of protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron and most of the B vitamins. Obtaining these nutrients from whole foods like onions is the best way to optimize biosorption rates.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045470_onions_natural_treatment_allicin.html#ixzz3QvE6uFew


 

And from The Alternative Daily, here are 11 of the amazing ways you can use onions more often…..

Stop a bloody nose

If you get a nosebleed, as soon as possible after it starts, slice an onion and hold it just underneath your nose. The fumes from the onion act as a natural coagulant to stop the bleeding.

Cure insomnia

While it definitely sounds a bit bizarre, onions are even said to cure insomnia. Just cut into a raw onion and take five to ten deep breaths of its aroma. For the best results, place it into a glass jar and put it beside your bed – take a whiff just before laying down.

Eliminate dark spots on the skin

To remove dark spots on your skin, slice a red onion and rub it directly onto dark areas of the skin after cleansing. Used on a daily basis it can help lighten hyper-pigmentation.

Soothe menstrual cramps

Onions are known as one of the best soothing agents for menstrual cramps. Consuming raw onions regularly during four to five days before your period can help ease the pain.

Improve sexual drive

The agent that gives onions their strong smell, allicin, is also responsible for increasing blood flow to the sexual organs, resulting in increased sexual drive.

Strengthen the immune system

As onions contain a significant amount of phyto-chemicals in addition to high levels of vitamin C, they can help strengthen your immune system, providing a strong defense against the common cold or flu.

Detoxification

Onions’ sulfur-containing amino acids offer a detoxifying effect which helps the liver process things like caffeine and acetaminophen as well as converting pesticides, lead and dry-cleaning solvents into forms that are less toxic and easier for the body to eliminate.

Support good oral health

Forgetting about the issue with foul breath for a moment – chewing raw onions for several minutes can help prevent tooth decay and oral infections by killing harmful germs present in the mouth. Just brush your teeth and use a mouthwash afterward to get rid of the smell. Chewing a fresh sprig of parsley can also help.

Stabilizing blood sugar levels

Studies have shown that consuming onions regularly can also help balance blood sugar levels. Onions are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and many other micro-nutrients, compounds which further help to support normal blood sugar levels.

Fresh bulbs of onion*Preventing cancer

Research has found that organosulfur compounds, found in both onions and garlic, prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens and stopping cancer cell growth. High onion intake has been associated with a 56 percent lower risk of colon cancer and a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to no onion intake.

*More on this in a follow-up post on onions

Eliminate pimples

Rubbing half an onion on your face daily can help to eliminate blemishes without leaving acne scars or the long list of side effects which can come from acne medications.

Onions are truly an amazing food – use them frequently in your meals. They’re one of the most versatile vegetables and can be consumed raw or cooked, imparting a unique flavor to almost any recipe.

Onions for fever
I heard one of my teenage daughters talking to someone the other day about treating a fever, and she said, “Put some onions on your feet.” I couldn’t believe how bizarre that sounded. However, that is how I raised my kids. From as young as they can remember, I would initially treat a low-grade fever with white onions, putting a few slices on each foot and pulling on their socks.

Using onions for healing is nothing new. In Europe, onions were used to fight off sickness in the early 1900s, and Ayurvedic medicine has been using a poultice for the chest or feet to treat coughs, flu and fevers for centuries. The Hutterites, a North American pacifist community similar to the Amish, place cut onions throughout their home during cold and flu season because they believe the onions keep the germs away.

Onions are rich in sulphur-containing compounds that are naturally detoxifying. In addition, onions are the richest dietary source of quercetin, a highly potent antioxidant that has been shown to thin the blood, combat asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, infections, and has been linked to inhibiting certain cancers. Onions also have strong anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties. So, don’t forget to add plenty of onions to your diet to help protect you from even the nastiest of bugs.

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/11-amazing-uses-onions-clearer-skin-better-sleep/


 

For a really great, in-depth article on onions and which ones are highest in certain nutrients, and how to store and use in cooking, and extensive list of what health issues they help address, check out this post by Dr. Mercola. It also mentions how, when peeling an onion, you should only remove the outer most papery layer because a lot of the nutrients are in the next few layers……

Ideally, peel off only the outermost paper-like layer. Peeling too many layers can reduce the onion’s quercetin and anthocyanin content by as much as 20 percent and 75 percent respectively.20 One piece of good news is that quercetin does not degrade when cooked over low heat, so when you’re making soup, for example, it simply transfers into the broth.


 

And now for the fun and exciting part about onions that came in the e-mail I was talking about. It was from Dr. Jane Goldberg, health enthusiast and owner of La Casa Day Spa in NY. She’s always got some interesting information to pass along and this time it was exactly what I’d been waiting for. Here’s what she said….

And now for a novel but smelly idea:
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The following information comes from La Casa friend, Rev. Zoe Chang. As Zoe tells the story:
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In 1919, when the flu killed 40 million people, so it is said, there was one doc who visited his neighbor farmers to see if he could help them combat the illness. As he was to discover, many of them, as well as their families, had contracted the flu, and had died.
However, the doctor came upon one farmer, and saw that everyone in his family was still healthy. The wife explained that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in each of the rooms of the home. The doctor was puzzled, and asked if he could have one of the onions to examine it under the microscope. He found the flu pathogen in the onion. The onion had seemingly absorbed the flu pathogen, thereby, happily storing it away from the family, and keeping them healthy.
 –

The story gets better: A few years ago, a hairdresser was having trouble because so many of her employees and customers were coming down with the flu. When flu season came the next year, she decided to try the onion remedy, and placed several bowls with onions around her shop. She was happy to report that for that year none of her staff got sick.And, yet more, from a woman in Oregon:

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“Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story, but, I do know that I contracted pneumonia and needless to say, I was very ill. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs. Sure enough, it happened just like that. The onion was a mess and I began to feel better.”
 –
Onions have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.  The fact that they have the capability of absorbing bacteria and viruses is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu. But this is, also, the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open. Leftover onions are toxic.
 –
One of the people providing information for this piece took a tour at Mullins Food Products, an Illinois company that makes mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up during the tour, and the guide’s answer was surprising. He maintained that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.
 –
“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
The guide said that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate onions. He was clear that the culprit is not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors–but rather, it’s much more likely to be the onions.

He explained that onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. He suggested to be careful with onions on hot dogs at the baseball park, and never keep a portion of a sliced onion. He said it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator. It becomes highly toxic when left open for even a single night, and creates bacteria which can cause adverse stomach infections, or food poisoning.

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And, finally, dogs should never be given onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize them.
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I’m definitely going to try the onion on the nightstand (and soles of my feet) routine and see what happens. Fascinating stuff! Also, since reading the part about not using leftover cut onions, I have been more cautious about keeping them more than a day or two in the fridge. So far I haven’t had a problem, but then I use a BerryBreeze™ unit, which neutralizes pesticides and toxins, so that might be the reason.
Related Self-help Health posts: Let’s Hear It For Red Onions!
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Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name 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.