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.

 

Meridian Tapping For Depression, Anxiety And More

 

For those of you who are not familiar with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other forms of meridian tapping, this is a good introduction to an easy to learn type of self-help tool that can be used for any number of issues, including depression and anxiety, which is what this article by Katherine Marko focuses on…….

 

Tapping can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

How To Use Tapping For Depression And Anxiety

 (By Tapping, also known as TFT (thought field therapy) or EFT (emotional freedom technique), is a method that combines ancient Chinese acupressure with modern day psychology. It’s called tapping because you literally tap on points of the body while making certain statements. Advocates of this method further claim that tapping can successfully treat any disorder — even banish depression and anxiety.

What does tapping do? 

Tapping is thought to be extremely powerful and may be used to treat a wide variety of physical and psychological conditions, including pain relief, weight loss, addiction, self-sabotage or financial stress. By tapping end points on meridians — a network of channels that transport energy — energy flow is unblocked and releases the phobia.i

By further focusing on the stressful issue or challenge, you send a calming signal to the amygdala in the brain. This is the part of the brain that sends out the “fight or flight” response. Tapping desensitizes that stress signal. So, in a sense, it alters your brain, energy system and body, and how you react to stress.

How can tapping help with depression and anxiety?

Depression is a common mental disorder that, according to the World Health Organization, affects as many as 350 million people of all ages around the world. It’s characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. It can last a long time or it can be sporadic, substantially impairing your ability to function at work, school or even in your daily life. When it’s at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

So how can tapping help? For starters, tapping is like acupuncture, except it uses no needles. Both tapping and acupuncture heal through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. So, when we consider the benefits of tapping for depression we can also look at the benefits acupuncture has on depression. According to HealthCMI, research from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It also enhanced the effects Paxil, a commonly prescribed anxiety med.

Tapping can reduce symptoms of depression

Similar studies involving tapping and depression also show promising results. A study published in the journal Integrative Medicine, set out to evaluate the effectiveness of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and EFT in the treatment of depression and anxiety. CBT treats depression with a hands-on approach and a goal to change patterns of thinking or behavior.

The study, which took place in Queensland, Australia recruited 10 local participants. Researchers found that both treatment approaches produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms. The CBT group reported significantly less depression after the treatment, but was not maintained with time. The EFT group reported a significant reduction in symptoms with a delayed effect after three and six-month follow-ups.

So, overall, the study provided evidence to suggest that EFT might be an effective treatment strategy worthy of further investigation. In another study research involving post-traumatic stress disorder and veterans, researchers found that anxiety and depression were both reduced significantly, as was psychological symptoms and pain after EFT.

Here’s how to tap away depression or anxiety

Remember tapping can be used for everything, but for the purpose of this article we’ll focus on depression and anxiety. Here are the tapping guidelines according to The Tapping Solution. Before you begin, identify the problem you want to focus on, and create a statement. EFT Universe suggests that the following phrase works well to clear depression, in particular. “Even though I am depressed, I am a happy person because I deeply and completely accept myself.”

1. Karate chop point

With four fingers on one hand, tap the “karate chop point” on your other hand. The karate chop point is on the outer edge of the hand. Now repeat your statement three times out loud, while continuing to tap the karate chop point five to seven times. Say out loud, “Even though I am depressed, I am a happy person because I deeply and completely accept myself.”

2. Eyebrows

With firm but gentle pressure, as if you were drumming on the side of your desk, tap with two fingers on the inside of the inner edges of the eyebrows (closest to the bridge of the nose) five to seven times. Repeat the statement, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

3. Sides of the eyes

Then, with both hands tap on the side of both eyes with two fingers, five to seven times while repeating the same statement: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

4. Cheekbones

Then, with two fingers on each hand, tap on top of the cheekbones, under the eyes. Tap five to seven times while repeating again, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

5. Above the lips

Then, with one hand, tap under the nose in the crease above the lip with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

6. Under the mouth

Tap under the mouth, below your lower lip with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

7. Collar bone

Tap with both hands on either side of the collar bone (under the hard ridge) with four fingers, five to seven times, repeating, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

8. Beneath the armpit

iNow tap under the armpit (bra level for women) with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

9. Top of the head

Finally, tap on top of the head (center of the crown) with four fingers, five to seven times, repeating: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.” Take a deep breath and relax.

The tapping order begins at the top, works its way down, and ends by returning to the top of the head to complete the loop. Once you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your depression again. How intense is it on a scale of one to 10? If your depression is higher than “two,” you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping until your symptoms have subsided.

Depression is treatable

When you’re depressed, for example, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under that dark cloud. But, it’s important to understand that even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if depression is keeping you from living the life you want, then don’t hesitate to seek help.

Learning about your treatment options will help you decide what approach is best for you. No two people are affected in the exact same way by depression. So, treatments may vary from therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes. According to HelpGuide.org you shouldn’t rely on medications alone. While medication can relieve the symptoms of depression, it is not usually suitable for long-term use.

Consider natural remedies instead of antidepressants

Research published in the BMJ asked the question: “Does long-term use of psychiatric drugs cause more harm than good?” Researcher Peter C. Gotzsche from Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark believes that taking antidepressants could increase your risk of dying prematurely. Furthermore, he suggests drugs do little for patients over a placebo and that the medicines should be scrapped altogether.

Prescribed meds are generally a Band-Aid solution for an underlying problem. In fact, according to Gotzsche, psychiatric drugs are responsible for the deaths of more than half a million people — aged 65 and older — each year in the Western world. Yet, the debate rages on; many doctors agree that for those who suffer from severe depression drugs could make a critical difference. But there is no “one size fits all” approach to treating depression, which is why meds won’t work for everyone.

Tapping is an alternative therapy treatment that may help you avoid taking potentially dangerous drugs. Even if you are on prescribed meds, you can certainly try tapping as a means for speeding up recovery.

— Katherine Marko

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-use-tapping-for-depression-anxiety/

Related Self-help Health posts:

Feeling Stressed? Rub Your Ears

Use Acupressure Points To Alleviate Stress

Spirit Gate: Heart 7 For Anxiety, Insomnia 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

How Being ICH Can Improve Your Brain, Memory And More

 

Okay, first, you’re probably wondering “What the heck is ICH?” right? Well, it stands for inconsistent handedness and it turns out using your non-dominant hand a certain percentage of time actually comes with some nice benefits. I am left-handed myself, but grew up knitting and batting a softball right-handed, because that was how I was taught. This article by Lee Euler makes me think it would be worth my while to start using my right hand a lot more often. Maybe it’s not too late after all for me to grow my brain?! :-)…..

 

On the One Hand This Trait Will
Give You a Superior Memory,
But on the Other Hand….

Nearly all Americans (87%) are right-handed, while only 13% are left-handed.

Researchers have been studying this difference and conducting studies to see what it may mean for some time, but results have been conflicting.

It now seems that whether a person is right- or left-handed is not important when it comes to memory.

What is important is the degree to which a person is right or left handed. If you use your non-dominant hand at least some of the time, you may find your memory will benefit as a result.

This is what researchers have discovered.

The Edinburgh Handedness inventory

Some people use their dominant hand almost exclusively for everyday tasks while others use their less dominant hand part of the time. 55% of Americans are considered to be strongly right-handed. They almost never use their left hand. From one to three percent are strongly left handed.

A score has been devised according to the degree to which a person uses one hand or the other. It’s called the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory.

Pure left- or right-handedness scores 100. On average, people score 80. A score below 80 is called inconsistent handedness (ICH). It means that at least one in ten activities is performed with the non-dominant hand. A score above 80 is termed consistent handedness (CH).

CH has been found to be more prevalent among right-handers and women. Left-handers are largely ICH.

Now where all this becomes interesting is the effect handedness has on the brain.

Inconsistent Handers have Bigger Brains

The corpus callosum connects both sides of the brain and facilitates communication between them. People who are ICH have a larger corpus callosum and increased activation of the right hemisphere. This in turn leads to a better episodic memory.

This is the kind of memory involved with learning, storing, and retrieving information — the ability to describe the details of a recent vacation, for instance.

A number of studies show people with ICH have better recall of words and paragraphs, events from their own life, early childhood memories, everyday memories, dream recall and memory for faces.

This has also been shown to extend beyond the lab into real life, where ICH people report fewer memory problems, particularly those involving conversations and conducting everyday tasks. This is true whether they are left- or right-handed. The relevant trait is whether they make extensive use of both hands.

Connectivity between both hemispheres of the brain is also concerned with the capacity to update beliefs. This is considered to be a broad example of our ability to be flexible in our thinking.

Studies have shown that ICH people are more likely to be open to persuasion and are better at taking other people’s perspectives. People who are CH (consistent handed) are more resistant to updating beliefs and are less likely to alter their existing viewpoint.

Perhaps also relevant, people who switch back and forth between both hands are less likely to suffer from rumination or other eating disorders, and less likely to suffer from dysmorphia — a distorted view about the way they look.

Form New Neural Pathways with Neurobics

If you are strongly left- or right-handed, there’s a very simple way to improve your episodic memory and increase cognitive flexibility.

And that is to practice neurobics. These are brain exercises that involve unexpected stimuli.

One of the simplest exercises to strengthen connectivity between both hemispheres of the brain is to use your non-dominant hand more often by incorporating it into everyday life.

This might include eating, stirring drinks, writing, texting, drawing, dialing phone numbers, brushing teeth, opening doors and hoovering. Virtually anything that’s safe to do will help. Do this consistently over time and you should notice a difference.

Dr. P. Murali Doraiswarmy, head of biological psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, says of these activities: “It’s like having more cell towers in your brain to send messages along. The more cell towers you have, the fewer missed calls.”

Personal Note: Did you know that alternate nostril breathing and meditating are other ways to strengthen and grow your corpus callosum? Yep, studies have actually shown this to be true. Also, binaural beat technology increases activity across the corpus callosum.

 

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 practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Free Cleanse And Detox Workshop, Plus Video Series On Heart Health And Acupressure

 

Have been so active with other projects I haven’t had much time for posting lately, but did want to let everyone know of these free resources. First is an invite to an upcoming on-line workshop on cleansing and detoxification from the people at Food Matters…..

 

Wellness Summit 2016

Do you ever have those mornings where you feel a bit low on energy and would just rather lay in bed for a few more hours instead of getting up to face the day?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Those days happen for all of us. But your body is actually trying to communicate something more… it may be time to eliminate toxins from your body and get a total body reset.

This month we’re hosting a FREE Online Cleanse & Detox Workshop and we want to give you a complimentary pass to join us!

There’s no better way to reset your body than through the ancient practice of cleansing and detoxifying your entire body.

During this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • Feel energized and alive
  • Lose weight and keep it off
  • Remove toxins from your body safely
  • Boost your immune system
  • Heal your body from the inside out
  • Reset your metabolism and kick the cravings
  • Sharpen your mind and remove the fog

When you sign up for the free workshop, you’ll have access to 5 expert interviews, 5 health and wellness documentaries, a private Q&A webinar with us, and a downloadable cleanse and detox workbook.

The workshop begins on March 20th but you will need to save your free spot now.

Important Note: This workshop is not an actual cleanse – although no doubt you’ll be wanting to do one after! This workshop is going to enlighten you with all the latest information you need before choosing to do a detox or cleanse.

If you’re ready to discover the powers of cleansing and detoxing, you can secure your FREE pass here.

Here’s to feeling refreshed and energized!

Signature
Filmmaker ‘Food Matters’ & ‘Hungry For Change’


 

And a notice from Dr. Steven Masley about his free video series…..

image

Don’t forget; I’m giving away free, access to my three-part video series: “30 Days to a Younger Heart”.

Sign up here to access your videos, available for a limited-time only.

The information featured is so easy to incorporate into your daily life—and so well worth the effort.

And with all of the amazing benefits at stake—such as heart disease prevention, weight loss, increased energy, better mental clarity and improved sexual functioning—you’ll want to start immediately.

It’s invaluable information that can quite possibly save your life. So don’t miss out. Click here to access the series right now.


 

And finally, details about a free video training series from Michael Reed Gach at Acupressue.com that will be released on Tuesday, March 7th….

Gach is going to reopen and share with you a video series that is packed with a ton of free practical acupressure info. Each of the videos covers the foundations of acupressure and specific points that you can use right away.

  • Learn points to relieve pain and stress
  • Discover connections between Acupressure, Acupuncture, Trigger Points, and Tapping
  • Learn his personal Daily Healing Routine

BONUS HEADACHE WEBINAR: 9 Acupressure Points to Relieve Headaches

You can get on the early-bird list for the series by signing up here:

Early-Bird: Acupressure Video Series Signup

 

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.

 

Hugs = Good Medicine, Plus A Sweet Idea In Honor of Valentine’s Day

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would pass along some results from a study on hugs, plus information on the “hug acupressure point” from Michael Reed Gach of Acupressure.com. What could be easier to do and more fun to give or receive than a hug?! Please use this self-help health tool often and with abandon.

And check out Cooking Without Limit’s sweet breakfast idea for your honey at the end of the post. If you don’t have a honey at the moment, I say fix these heart-shaped waffles for yourself! 🙂

 

 

Hug Your Way to Health

Did you know that the more hugs you get, the better your immune system?

In a new study more than 400 healthy adults were exposed to a cold virus and quarantined. The findings? Those who reported getting the fewest hugs in their daily lives were more likely to suffer from severe cold symptoms.

While greater conflict was also linked to a greater likelihood of infection for those getting few hugs, those who were hugged the most were protected from infection even when they had conflicts. So theory suggests that hugs boost immunity by buffering stress.

Source: Sheldon Cohen, PhD, director, Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

And here’s a fascinating story and a testament to the power of the human touch and cuddling:

http://www.pakalertpress.com/2013/05/20/mother-brings-baby-back-to-life-with-two-hours-of-loving-cuddles-after-doctors-pronounce-him-dead/


 

Acupressure is an effective way for me to give and serve others. If I am not giving, I begin to feel depressed and experience a lack of purpose in life.  However, when I give Acupressure to myself or others – I feel released and fulfilled.

Love, Serve & Heal. This month is a great time to focus on giving because Valentine’s Day is approaching soon.  I much rather give a person Acupressure than send a Valentine’s card. Better yet, when it’s appropriate I love to give hugs.

Hugs stimulate all kinds of Acupressure points like CV17, the Sea of Tranquility located in the center of the breastbone. CV17 is an emotional healing point which opens the chest and relieves, difficulty breathing, chest tightness and anxiety.

Full embraces are so healing. Hugs press points that open your heart, expand your breath and transmit healing energy.

Source: Michael Reed Gach, Acupressure.com


And to end on,  a sweet idea from Cooking Without Limits…..

 

gab_5483_res_mix

This post is for men or women that don’t cook a lot or at all, but they want to do something special for their loved ones. For some, Valentine’s Day is a challenge. Buying something nice, flowers, presents, something to prove their love, but when you don’t have a lot of money, it is difficult. My advice is go simple. You never cook or maybe just usually do something simple like coffee, tea or toast. Don’t despair.

Try something easy. Start the morning with a beautiful surprise. Make her/him waffles the way you like it: gluten-free, sugar-free, eggs-free or full sugar, gluten and eggs. If you don’t know how to make it, just buy them. Use a cookie cutter in the shape of a heart and make small hearts.

Use blueberries or other fruits. Add a cup of coffee or tea and a flower. Yes, one flower. Bring the breakfast to them in bed and you have won her/his heart early in the morning.

So easy! So simple! But, so beautiful!

Repeat this every day! 😉

Source: https://cooking-without-limits.com/2017/02/02/february-love-is-in-the-air/

 

Salud and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 These Acupressure Points To Alleviate Holiday Stress And More!

 

This time of year can be exciting and fun, but also stress-inducing. I, myself, am in the middle of recuperating from a bout with something that I’m sure was triggered in part by trying to do too much and not listening to my body when it needed rest. Here are some simple acupressure points from Michael Reed Gach of acupressure.com for relieving stress, tension and  headaches/migraines, as well as for balancing the thyroid. I actually followed the exercises as he was going over them in the video and was amazed at how tight and painful certain points were, and how helpful it was to spend a little time working on them. Give it a try!

 

Acupressure to relieve shoulder tension, stiff neck, headaches, and more

 

I have used acupressure for over 40 years and helped thousands relieve muscular tension and stress related disorders. Acupressure points are especially effective for managing stress and dealing with common health problems that get worse under stress.

In this article, you’ll learn three potent acupressure points used in the Stress Relief self-care program for releasing shoulder tension and neck pain – now available in a downloadable version – to counteract your stress wherever you live. It’s my voice guiding you how to relieve stress using acupressure, stretching, and breathing. Here’s more info with illustrations of these three stress relief points.

Acupressure Points for shoulder and neck problems

Chronic Shoulder & Neck Tensions from common stress conditions cause circulation and neuro-muscular problems. I’ve found the following acupressure points extremely effective for relieving stress and urge you to use Stress Relief, which guides in detail to release these three points:

GB 21 is on the top of the shoulders, two finger widths out from the outside base of your neck.

This stress relief acupressure point is where you have the most tension in your trapezius muscles. I find it easiest to use my opposite hand to press this point. First feel for the tension on the top of your shoulders by firmly rubbing to feel for the tightest spot. Then curve your fingers to hook the weight of your arm into this stress relief point.

Special Neck Pain Points: B 10, Gv 16, GB 20

B 10 is on the back of your neck, just one thumb width down from you skull, and one thumb width out from the center of your spine on your upper neck. This acupressure point is good for hormonal balance, since it benefits the thyroid gland. Use firm, prolonged pressure on B 10. Stress Relief provides step-by-step guidance.

GB 20 is located in the hollows underneath the base of your skull, about 3 to 4 inches apart, depending on the size of your body. This great acupressure point further releases shoulder pain, neck stiffness, and tension headaches.

These acupressure points should be held for 2 to 3 minutes with firm finger pressure several times throughout the day and night. This can release your chronic and acute tensions in the shoulder and neck region of your body..

Source: http://www.acupressure.com/blog/index.php/stress-relief-acupressure-points-for-shoulder-neck-tension/

Also check out:

Stressed? Rub Your Ears!

Acupressure Points For Sinus Congestion, TMJ And More

Spirit Gate 7: Relief For Anxiety And More

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my 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.

Make Every Day Thanksgiving Day!

 

There are numerous studies that show that gratitude and thanks giving are good for the mind, body and spirit. So if you want to be healthier and happier, make EVERY day Thanksgiving!

 

By Dr. Mercola

Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans gather together with friends and family for a Thanksgiving feast — a ritual that many psychologists believe actually fosters greater happiness and health.

And, while the ritual of giving thanks once a year is beneficial, doing it more often could be life changing. At least that’s what science suggests.

The Benefits of Ritual Get-Togethers at Mealtime

As noted by Barbara Fiese, a psychologist and author of “Family Routines and Rituals”:

“Through direct observation of family mealtimes at home, we’ve found that how families communicate with one another during meals is related to the children’s health.

For example, when families show genuine concern about their child’s daily activities … teachers report these children are less likely to show acting-out behaviors in school.

What’s more, these interactions make children with chronic health conditions such as asthma feel more secure, and they’re more likely to report that they feel better throughout the day.”

Bill Doherty, a family therapist and researcher added:

The classic outcomes of regular rituals for families are coherence (a sense of identity) and connection (a sense of closeness) …

[But] barriers to good interaction — such as cellphone use, people getting up from the table and arguments — were even more strongly related (in a negative direction) to children’s psychological well-being and academic performance.

The implication is that we have to pay attention to doing some things well during meals — such as staying at the table and laughing together — but also avoid negative interactions.”

Gratitude Increases Happiness — and Health

As suggested in the video above, research shows that gratitude is a cornerstone of happiness. Moreover, actually expressing your gratitude publicly or openly yields greater results than keeping it to yourself.

If you typically cringe when it’s time to go around the table and share what you’re grateful for, remembering the benefits you reap may ease your discomfort. As noted in a previous CNN report on gratitude and Thanksgiving:2

“… there are some very practical reasons to get into the spirit of things, by taking a minute to remember the reasons you’re blessed. These are lessons that can be applied year-round.”

According to studies, the benefits of gratitude rituals — be it giving thanks at mealtime, keeping a gratitude journal, or sending thank-you notes — include:3,4,5

  • Improved sleep, especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime
  • Higher levels of happiness and a more optimistic outlook on life
  • Greater likelihood to engage in healthy activities such as exercise
  • Higher relationship satisfaction
  • Higher work performance (in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance)

Studies have also shown that gratitude can produce a number of measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, all of which can translate into improved health. Biological systems beneficially affected by gratitude include:6

Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine) Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines)
Reproductive hormones (testosterone) Stress hormones (cortisol)
Social bonding hormones (oxytocin) Blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms
Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine) Blood sugar

Read the rest of the article: here.

Other recommended reading:

Gratitude And The DNA Connection

Get Healthier With Gratitude

Thanksgiving 2015

Salud and Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my 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.