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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Natural Ways To Prevent And Treat Gout

 

A few days ago I featured an article about how almonds can help with controlling uric acid and gout. At the time I knew there had to be other all-natural things that would help and made a mental note to do some research on the topic. Then voilà,  there was an article by Danette May in my inbox about which foods to eat and which to avoid when it comes to gout.

Years ago my father was put on a prescription drug for gout, without the doctor first verifying that he actually had gout. He also didn’t tell my father beforehand that once you get on the drug you need to stay on it for the rest of your life. What? No bueno, medical professional! Unfortunately this was back in the time when people didn’t think of questioning a doctor’s diagnosis or plan of treatment, so my father just went along with everything.

The particular drug he was put on comes with a number of potentially serious side effects, all of which he has ended up experiencing, so I’m hoping that by featuring information on natural ways of preventing and alleviating gout, others won’t end up in the same situation my father did.

 

Healthy Hack Lowers Your Risk of Gout by 40%

Most people have heard of gout, but few know what it is.

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid building up in the body.

Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines found in some foods.

Most of the time, uric acid goes through the kidneys and is passed in our urine. When we have too much for the kidneys to handle, it can build up and travel to our joints.

This causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

There are many factors that can put you at risk for gout, including being overweight or taking diuretics.

Gout also runs in families.

Gout flare-ups are treated with medicine and rest, but there are many ways that you can reduce the chances of having an attack in the first place.

Many of the best gout preventions have to do with food.  If you have gout, there are foods you should stay away from and foods you should eat.

9 Food Fixes for Gout

1. Eat plenty of complex carbs.

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and help you keep your weight down. Here’s a good list of carbs you should be eating.

2. Drink lots of of water.

Studies show that when people with gout drink 8 to 16 glasses of water a day, they have fewer attacks.

3. Eat lean proteins or plant based proteins.

Look to foods like Greek yogurt (I like Fage 0%) or almond milk.  These increase the excretion or uric acid.

Protein can also come from lean meat, fish and poultry, but no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day. Stay away from high-fat red meats, fatty poultry and organ meats like liver.

4. Understand Purines. 

Some foods that contain purines are safe, especially beans or lentils which have lots of protein. High-purine vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower are good for you too.

HOME REMEDY FOR GOUT

drink-acv-600

Mix 1 Teaspoon of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s Brand is best) in 1 cup of water.

Drink 3 times daily.

5. Avoid seafood  that has high levels of purines.

These include sardines, scallops, tuna, anchovies and herring.

6. Avoid beer and liquors like rum, whiskey and vodka.

These increase uric acid production. Wine does not.

Alcohol also can also lead to dehydration, so it is probably best to cut back or cut it out completely.

7. Get more Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has been shown to lower uric acid levels, so add foods like grapefruit, red peppers and oranges to your daily diet.

8. Snack on cherries.

Some studies have shown that eating cherries or cherry juice concentrate twice a day can cut the risk of having a flare-up of gout by 50%.

Scientists think that the cherries reduce uric acid levels

9. Pour Another Cup of Java.

Drinking 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated coffee has been shown to lower the risk of gout attacks by 40%. And drinking 6 or more cups lowered the risk by 59%.

I don’t recommend drinking that much coffee as it can disrupt your adrenals. I personally drink one cup of coffee per day. Also, make sure you only drink organic.

One of the biggest risk factors for gout is obesity. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and lowers uric acid levels in the blood.

Eating a *healthy diet and adding moderate exercise can go a long way towards improving your health and lowering your risk of gout attacks.

*Personal Note: Don’t forget almonds!

Source: http://danettemay.com/top-10-foods-to-relieve-gout/

Want to know more about gout and uric acid? Go here for an in-depth article by Dr. Mercola, where he questions drinking wine and mentions how staying away from sodas, fruit juice and things with high fructose corn syrup is so important. He also goes into more detail about using cherries and cherry juice…..

Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.43 Cherries, along with strawberries and other berries, are also a rich source of antioxidants. This means they help prevent or repair damage done to your body’s cells by free radicals. The antioxidants replace the free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage. Dr. Wei, a nationally known, board-certified rheumatologist, recalled this story about the powerful effect of cherries on gout:

“Dr. Ludwig W. Blau, relating how eating a bowl of cherries one day led to complete relief from pain, sparked off the interest in cherries in the treatment of gout. Dr. Blau’s gout had been so severe that he had been confined to a wheelchair. One day, quite by accident, he polished off a large bowl of cherries, and the following day the pain in his foot was gone. “(Dr. Blau) continued eating a minimum of six cherries every day, and he was free from pain and able to get out of his wheelchair. Dr. Blau’s research led to many other people suffering from gout who reported being helped by cherries.”

Dr. Wei said that good results have also been reported with strawberries, which may be due to the fact that this food helps your body eliminate uric acid.44 There are a number of ways you can enjoy your berries while they go to work benefiting your gout. If fresh cherries are out of season, or if you just want more variety, try concentrated cherry juice.45

Cherry juice concentrate can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries in every ounce. That’s a single recommended serving, so in other words, you’d have to eat 55 to 60 cherries to get the same health benefit (and I don’t recommend eating 55 to 60 cherries, as that is too much sugar… but with a concentrate, you can get the health benefit of the cherries without all the sugar).

And besides cherries, this post by Dr. Axe mentions using celery seed extract, nettles, fish oil, magnesium and proteolytic enzymes as natural remedies for gout. The Natural Society also mentions using bromelain, beet juice, and baking soda. There’s also a foot soak recipe using epsom salt that’s supposed to ease gout mentioned in this Self-help Health post.

FYI, you can find many of the items mentioned in this post, including raw apple cider vinegar, high quality Vitamin C, organic tart cherry juice at any health food store and even some regular supermarkets. However, I always buy mine on-line because it’s much less expensive that way. One of my favorite discount places to shop is iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus no sales tax, and free shipping, and there’s always extra savings by taking advantage of iHerb’s Trial Offers and Specials sections. 

Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and each week adds more new items to their inventory. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase through the link on my webpage, you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward (I got a $10 gift card) when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!

 

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

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!

EnglishFrenchSpanish

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.

Use Orange Essential Oil To Alleviate Stress And Anxiety

 

Boy, with the way things are going in the world these days, it was very timely to come across this article about using orange essential oil for anxiety and stress relief . I have some therapeutic grade Wild Orange essential oil that I love the smell of and often use as an air “freshener” and mood lifter, and after reading this it’s no wonder why.  I immediately got up and put several drops on a cotton ball to infuse the room with its smell, plus dabbed some on my wrists and a little under my nose. Wonderful!!

 

 

If you’re like most people, your body is in a state of stress far too often…

Whether you’re fretting over a work deadline, worried about your relationship or feeling frazzled by the state of your finances, it’s easy to let daily life send you into a stress spiral.

But feeling afraid and stressed all the time is no way to live. Even worse, it could eventually take a toll on your physical health… which, in the end, will only create more stress.

But there is a way to stop the cycle of stress and fear… one that could help people with the even most serious fear-based conditions.

Because, truth be told, a lot of people deal with chronic, low-grade stress. But plenty more deal with high levels of chronic stress in the form of diagnosable anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition where you’re in an ongoing state of fear and stress due to some sort of traumatic experience in your life. It’s one of the most serious anxiety disorders, and it’s pretty hard to overcome. But researchers uncovered what could be a simple and side-effect free solution to PTSD-related stress…

The citrusy solution to stress

Researchers from George Washington University recently determined that orange essential oil can work wonders for mice with a fear disorder similar to PTSD…

These mice were conditioned to experience an intense feeling of fear when they heard a specific tone. Some mice also inhaled orange essential oil before and after being conditioned to fear this tone. And guess what happened to these little guys…

These mice displayed a lot less fear than other mice. For mice, freezing (like a deer in headlights) is a good behavioral sign of fear. But these mice froze less often, and when they did freeze, they did so for a much shorter period of time.

“The orange essential plant oil showed a significant effect on the behavioral response in our study mice. This is promising, because it shows that passively inhaling this essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans,” said Cassandra Moshfegh, research assistant in Paul Marvar’s laboratory at the George Washington University.

You’ve probably also heard that fear negatively impacts your immune system. Well, researchers found that orange essential oil altered this response in mice too. Mice who inhaled orange essential oil had less immune cells activated in their body after the stressful event. And that’s a good thing…

Chronic stress can cause your immune system to go haywire, which is probably why it’s been linked to autoimmune disorders, among other health problems.

Orange oil for everyday stress

If you don’t have PTSD, but you do feel stressed out and fearful quite often, you may be wondering….

Can orange essential oil help me too?

My thought is, if orange essential oil can help with the serious stress and fear that accompanies a condition like PTSD, it’ll probably do the trick for less serious forms of stress and fear too. And there’s been some research to support this notion…

One study conducted by researchers in Brazil found that people who sniffed sweet orange essential oil before taking a stressful test were less anxious during and after the test than those who sniffed tea tree oil or water.

So there seems to be solid evidence behind the stress-busting powers of orange essential oil. That means, there’s no better time to pick up a bottle and add a few drops to your essential oil diffuser, your bath, your wrist (combined with a carrier oil, of course)… or just inhale it straight from the bottle. Whatever you need to do to alleviate the incessant fear and stress that’s taken over your life and find some peace in your day-to-day.

by  Jenny Smiechowski

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/best-essential-oil-relieve-stress/

Related Self-help Health post: Feeling Stressed? Rub Your Ears!

BTW, orange essential oil has LOTS of uses and benefits, including help with acne and dermatitis, relaxing muscle spasms, and improving cognitive function. Here’s just one article that will make you want to go out and buy some, if you don’t already have it on your shelf. Just be sure you get a high quality, therapeutic grade brand, and know that it can cause photo-sensitivity/toxicity, and only use internally under the supervision of your healthcare practitioner….

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/orange-essential-oil.html

 

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.

Four Ways To Be Happier (and Healthier!)

 

A fascinating read. I already knew gratitude and hugs were good for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but this article has some great information about the neuroscience behind why certain things have the effect on us that they do. Even worry can have a (temporary) positive effect, but unlike gratitude and hugs, it comes with a price….  

 

New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.

Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life. Here’s what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1) The Most Important Question To Ask When You Feel Down

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they’re activating the brain’s reward center.

And you worry a lot too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you’re feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame and worry are horrible long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

What am I grateful for?

Yeah, gratitude is awesome… but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

(For more on how gratitude can make you happier and more successful, click here.)

But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? When you’re really in the dumps and don’t even know how to deal with it? There’s an easy answer…

2) Label Negative Feelings

You feel awful. Okay, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?

Boom. It’s that simple. Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.

Via The Upward Spiral:

…in one fMRI study, appropriately titled “Putting Feelings into Words” participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant’s amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

Suppressing emotions doesn’t work and can backfire on you.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

Gross found that people who tried to suppress a negative emotional experience failed to do so. While they thought they looked fine outwardly, inwardly their limbic system was just as aroused as without suppression, and in some cases, even more aroused. Kevin Ochsner, at Columbia, repeated these findings using an fMRI. Trying not to feel something doesn’t work, and in some cases even backfires.

But labeling, on the other hand, makes a big difference.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here’s the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.

Ancient methods were way ahead of us on this one. Meditation has employed this for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.

(To learn more of the secrets of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.)

Okay, hopefully you’re not reading this and labeling your current emotional state as “Bored.” Maybe you’re not feeling awful but you probably have things going on in your life that are causing you some stress. Here’s a simple way to beat them…

For the other 2 “rituals,” check out the link below. Well worth the read, in my opinion.

Soruce: https://www.theladders.com/p/21219/neuroscience-4-rituals-happy

Related Self-help Health posts: Smiles = Good Medicine, Get Healthier With Gratitude, Gratitude & The DNA Connection, and Acts Of Kindness = Win-win-win Health Benefits

 

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.

 

JP Sears Takes On The American Heart Association, Plus The Health Benefits Of Almonds

 

Okay, today we’ll interject some humor into the mix with one of the latest videos in JP Sears’ Ultra Spiritual series. This time he uses his tongue-in-cheek delivery style to focus on coconut oil, heart health and the terrible job the American Heart Association is doing in providing us with unbiased, accurate information. He always manages to stimulate, inform and get his point across, while making me laugh at the same time.

Hey, they say laughter is the best medicine, so you might end up a little healthier just from watching this. 🙂

 

Related Self-help Health post:  Coconut Oil:Yummiest Health Aid Ever

And speaking of foods that help prevent or off-set heart disease, look no further than tasty, versatile almonds. I remember years ago reading where Edgar Cayce, aka “The Sleeping Prophet,” recommended eating 2 to 3 almonds a day as a cancer preventative, but this article from the Food Revolution Network focuses on the heart and cardiovascular benefits of eating a handful daily. Eating almonds on a regular basis could also help with type 2 diabetes, eye issues, weight loss and more…….

Health benefits of almonds

By GreenMedInfo Research Group • Originally published on GreenMedInfo.com

Almonds are familiar to many people as a healthy food, but how exactly do they affect our health? Rich in many compounds that can be lacking in a Standard American Diet (appropriately abbreviated S.A.D.), almonds can be a tasty solution to many of the chronic health conditions and diseases seen today.

Almonds are one of those nutrient-dense foods that can be hard to stop munching on once you’re crunching on the first one or two. Whether you’re sipping on a glass of creamy homemade almond milk, taking your first bite of strawberry-topped almond meal pancakes, or enjoying stir fry sprinkled with slivered almonds, you’re not just satisfying your appetite, you’re deliciously optimizing your health.

Seeds carry all of the nutrients and genetic information required to grow and develop, so too does the almond bring vital health knowledge in the form of antioxidants, heart healthy fats, protein, and inorganic compounds like minerals, which are crucial to life as we know it.

How can something so small have effects so large when it comes to addressing serious health concerns? While we may never know the full biochemical explanations behind each way the almond fulfills its triumphant quest for homeostatic health, we can continue to sing its praises and enjoy a handful a day without remorse.

According to the CDC, over 600,000 people succumb to heart disease every year, which accounts for roughly 25% of the total annual deaths. So why don’t doctors prescribe a daily handful of almonds instead of a pharmaceutical for cholesterol issues?

High cholesterol has been seen as a primary cause of heart disease and is often treated with a class of drugs called statins. While statins shut down the enzyme pathway that synthesizes cholesterol, they also wipe out the highway to producing CoQ10 (an essential enzyme for producing energy in the body), and sometimes that damage is irreversible.

But naturally, there is a much safer solution that can be grown at home, purchased at the local grocery store, or health food store. One of the clinical studies on almonds and improvements in HDL cholesterol used only 10g of almonds per day, which is roughly 12-15 almonds, and this study was in patients who had pre-existing coronary artery disease.

Not only did HDL cholesterol improve, but there were reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol including LDL cholesterol and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein), and the atherogenic index, which is strongly correlated with chronic inflammation and the development of vascular diseases [Jamshed, 2015].

Another health crisis emerging onto the global stage is type 2 diabetes, which is justly titled a pandemic [Hu, 2015]. The number of people worldwide projected to have type 2 diabetes by 2035 is almost 600 million, what a staggering statistic, and that’s not even considering the health care costs associated with diabetes.

While an imbalanced diet can be a causative factor in type 2 diabetes, nutritional improvements can reverse some of the harmful changes. Diabetes is a disease of improper glucose (sugar) metabolism, and is generally preceded by a cluster of conditions called metabolic syndrome. While the pharmaceutical model may target a disease from one pathway or direction, the almond has innumerable approaches to countering imbalance and restoring homeostasis.

Consuming just 60g (about 2 ounces) of almonds daily for four-weeks showed reductions in insulin resistance, fasting insulin and glucose. Other health outcomes that demonstrated improvements were cholesterol ratios, body fat percentage, and nutritional status (magnesium, fiber, fatty acid profile, etc.) [Sing-Chung, 2011].

The doctrine of signatures, dating back to the first century AD, is upheld in the carrot and almond’s uncanny resemblance to the human eye. While carrots may be the best-known food that benefits the eyes, almond’s have their own pedestal to stand on. Not just an adjective for eye color, almonds are incredibly important for proper functioning of our eyes. Our eyes are exposed to numerous chemicals and toxins that evade our five sense detection. The vasculature of our eyes contains some of the smallest blood vessels in our body, and when damage occurs, repair can be difficult, if not impossible.

Rich in vitamin E, almonds can help prevent abnormal changes to the lens, which can accelerate the development of cataracts. A study conducted in Finland concluded that, “a low plasma vitamin E level (lower quartile) was associated with a 3.7-fold excess risk (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.8) of the progression of early cortical lens opacities compared with the highest quartile (p = 0.028)” [Rouhiainen P, 1996].

We know the old adage, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” but imagine what an apple covered in almond butter would do to the pharmaceutical industry.

In a 2015 study, eating  cup of almonds (43g) with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a standalone snack reduced blood sugar, and the snacking group of participants actually showed the largest decrease.

“DISCUSSION: Snacking reportedly increases the risk for weight gain, but such a broad generalization may mask differential responses to selected foods. This study compared the acute post-ingestive and the short-term effects of incorporating almonds in a meal or consuming them alone as snacks. It also allowed the assessment of possible physiological adaptations to almond consumption that could accentuate or diminish behavioral responses after 4 weeks of daily ingestion [Chen, 2015].”

It’s best to find imported Italian or Spanish almonds and sprout them for several hours or overnight (read more here). Depending on which health outcome you’re searching for, a mere 10-60g of almonds (the range used in the aforementioned studies) incorporated into your diet can ameliorate type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eye issues, and many other health conditions.

Food should taste good, but more importantly, it should relay valuable biologic information that with each bite can positively affect our state of being. So keep almonds in your desk, purse, backpack, cupboard, and close to your heart, because they’ll be protecting yours.


From the editor: An important note about raw almonds:

In the last decade, it has become difficult to find healthy, raw, organic almonds. Almonds grown in the U.S. make up 80% of the world’s almond supply. But in 2007, the USDA made it a requirement that all almonds commercially sold in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must be pasteurized. If they’re not steamed, they must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide or PPO.

Pasteurized almonds and almond butter may still confer significant health benefits – but if you prefer truly raw almonds, what’s the best option?

You may find almonds that claim to be “raw,” but companies can make this claim, even if it isn’t true, because no labeling requirement exists. In reality, “raw” may simply mean pasteurized with steam, as opposed to the “roasted” flavor in roasted almond butter. If the almonds you find are grown in the U.S., most likely they are pasteurized. If you want truly raw almonds, you may have to choose almonds that are imported from Spain or Italy because they are not subject to these same requirements.

As pointed out in a GreenMedInfo article, there is one “secret” exception to the U.S. mandate about almond pasteurization. The only way to purchase raw, unpasteurized almonds grown in the U.S. is to buy directly from the farmer who grows them. The author mentions Bremner Farms as an option for raw, organic, unpasteurized almonds and other nuts. You can find other options online as well – including potentially through a farmer’s market.

Source: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/almond-health-benefits/

AND another way to promote cardiovascular health is by taking a certain type of probiotic called Lactobacillus plantarum. You can read more about the research behind it here:

http://doctormurray.com/probiotics-can-affect-more-than-just-digestion/

 

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.

Celery: Chomped or Juiced = Multiple Health Benefits

 

I’ve always thought celery was fairly tasteless and only good when a stalk is filled with something like peanut butter, herbed cream cheese or the like. But that’s really short-selling a first-rate vegetable that offers loads of health benefits all on its own. And it can be used in so many different types of recipes, whether part of a soup base, Waldorf salad, crudité platter, veggie juice, etc……

 

There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium.  It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Antiseptic: Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

celeryHealthy joints: Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout.  It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.

Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.  These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.

Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.

Relief from migraines: The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.

Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.

Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.

Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.

Celery: How to select and store?

Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Some added info about celery from ph360…..

  • It contains certain plant sterols that can pass the blood-brain barrier, providing some benefits to brain cells.
  • It can help calm the body and reduce internal pressure, because increased blood pressure and anxiety can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • It can help maintain the structure and elasticity of blood vessels, joints and tissues thanks to its copper content. Copper plays an important role in the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase needed for collagen and elastin.
  • Its manganese content is great for the brain and nervous system’s health and function.
  • It’s a natural source of phosphorus, which is good for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, and hormonal balance.
  • It is one of the best sources of natural nitrate, a natural vasodilator. To get the best nitrate benefit the best ways to have celery are: raw, cooked with mild heat (50 °C, 10–30 min), or include it in a juice you drink right away.
  • The quercetin content of celery (which provides the body protection from oxidative stress) is maintained when simmered or made in a soup because this flavonoid gets transferred into the water or broth.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its potent phenolic antioxidants which protect from oxidative damage to blood vessel walls.

More on the many benefits of celery, especially in connection to high blood pressure:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/just-four-stalks-celery-day-can-reduce-high-blood-pressure

And even though my post on celery juice included a video about some of its benefits, I found the video below even more enlightening as to how and why celery juice is so good for our bodies…

Related Self-help Health post:

The Benefits of Celery Juice

Salud!

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 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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