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3 Calming Practices That Are Better Than Taking A Pill

Guest post from Kelly Brogan, M.D.

One of my long term goals is to set up holistic rehab facilities for patients withdrawing from psychiatric medications. What I have witnessed in my practice around bezodiazepine ("anti-anxiety") medication dependence has been sobering. Finally, there is an emerging acknowledgement that antidepressants are habit forming, but medications like Xanax and Valium have been known to be addictive for many decades.

Nonetheless, unsuspecting patients are written prescriptions for months to years on end. There are entire websites devoted to supporting patients in their journey off these medications which can incur both short and long-term side effects.

One of the most powerful solutions to anxiety, particularly when it is bodily in nature (racing heart, sweating, muscle tension, stomach discomfort, headaches) is blood sugar stabilization. Reactive hypoglycemia masquerades as anxiety and panic attacks, particularly in women.

In the absence of a physiologic driver, anxiety can be important. It is a signal of imbalance. A signal of a need for inner focus. A signal of a need for growth and for change. When we can react less and meet that anxiety with a watching eye, shifts can happen.

Here are three relatively quick fixes that serve to promote that subtle resilience (to take the edge off) so that this symptom can be better examined.

1. Left nostril breathing. The Kundalini yoga method of left nostril breathing activates the nerve ending in the left nostril, which relates to calmness and relaxation. Left nostril breathing is associated with the moon energy, which is changeable, the feminine, yin energy, and coolness. Breathing through the left nostril for five minutes can help calm you and lower your blood pressure.

To practice this form of pranayama (the art and science of yogic breathing techniques), sit comfortably in a cross-legged position. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, with your other fingers outstretched. Your left hand is in Gyan Mudra (tip of thumb and index finger touching) on your left knee. Close your eyes and send your attention inward, to your third eye. Begin to breathe long and deep, only through your left nostril for 3-5 minutes.

2. Drink grass-fed gelatin. Because our diets are typically heavy in methionine-rich muscle meats, we miss out on the abundant glycine in bones and connective tissues. Studied in randomized trials for sleep, and active at the NMDA receptor, glycine is an amino acid with calming properties.

Use grass-fed gelatin in warm liquids or hydrolyzed collagen in cold or add to a green smoothie. Start with one tablespoon, up to two. It's flavorless!

3. Soak in Epsom salts. Who has time for a bath? Half of my Manhattan patients don't even have a bath tub or they use it as a guest bed. Structuring a bath into the end of a stressful day is an act of self-care, and can also double as a mineral cure for anxiety. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is readily absorbed through the skin, getting to work on optimizing detoxification and cellular function. Often called the "relaxation mineral," magnesium is calming to the sympathetic nervous system.

Add two cups of Epsom Salts to filtered bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes.

Supporting your body and mind through dis-ease offers you the opportunity to take a mindful look at symptoms and states, so that necessary changes can be made and that which is not serving us can be willfully released. Don't fight yourself, because the body and mind fight back. There's a gentler way.

This article was written by Kelly Brogan M.D. and shared with her permission. Doctor Brogan is boarded in Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine. She practices Functional Medicine, which is a root-cause approach to illness as a manifestation of multiple-interrelated systems. After studying Cognitive Neuroscience at M.I.T., and receiving her MD from Cornell University, she completed her residency and fellowship at Bellevue/NYU. She is one of the only MDs with perinatal psychiatric training who takes a holistic evidence-based approach in the care of patients with a focus on environmental medicine and nutrition. She practices in NYC and is on faculty at NYU/Bellevue. Visit Dr. Brogan’s website.

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Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

This article is copyright material and may not be reproduced or copied without permission. Reproduction of this article may be shared and is permissible only when the instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

 

“I AM” A-Z Exercise — The Power of Words

The words we speak and the sounds that fill our external environment affect our internal environment — our very cells. The words we speak about ourselves and others have a huge impact on our health and well-being, and also the people in our lives. 

I love what Tony Robbins says about the power of words: “Words have a biochemical effect on the body. If you want to change your life, if you want to shape your decisions and your actions, shifting your emotional patterns are the key. One fundamental tool that can change it faster than anything else is consciously selecting the words you use to describe how you feel. This is how you create a level of choice instead of a habitual reaction. Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary (the words you consistently use to describe emotions), you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.” – Tony Robbins

Dr. Masaru Emoto, world renowned researcher and New York Times bestselling author provided powerful evidence of the magic of positive thinking. He became famous when his water molecule experiments featured in Dr. Joe Dispenza’s award-winning film, “What The Bleep Do We Know!?” demonstrated that human thoughts, words and intentions can alter physical reality. The results of his experiments match what psychologists, neuroscientists, biologists and researchers including Candace Pert, PhD, Bruce Lipton, PhD, Deepak Chopra, MD and Louise Hay have shown — that the words we speak and the thoughts we think impact our well-being on all levels.

Words have energy. “I AM” are two very powerful words. What you include after “I AM” defines what you believe to be true about yourself, and has a profound impact on your health, your physiology, and your entire body on a cellular level. The cells in your body react to everything your mind says. Negativity brings down your immune system, while positivity enhances health.

You may complain and say negative things without even realizing it. When you do, you begin a chain reaction of negative forces in your life. Having toxic language in your life is poisonous, and has a direct effect your physical, mental and emotional health. The thoughts you think and the words you speak aloud — whether they are about yourself, about the events in your life or about others — have energy and impact those who hear them, not just yourself but also your children, your partner, family members, friends and co-workers.

The “I AM A-Z Exercise” is a simple and powerful exercise I created for my clients. Starting with the letter “A” and ending with “Z” state one word after “I AM.” The only rule is that the word must be empowering, uplifting and positive. Do this exercise when you walk, drive, before you go to bed, in the shower or anytime throughout the day and watch your mood lift and energy shift.

Anytime you start a sentence with “I AM” you’re creating who and what you are, your life, and what you want to be. Instead of saying negative, energy-zapping, low vibration things such as "I am tired, I am fat, I am broke, I am old, or I am worried", immediately catch yourself and shift to positive affirmations such as “I am healthy, I am energized, I am grateful, I am amazing, I am successful, I am lovable, I am intelligent, I am prosperous,” and notice how different you feel.

Start now! Do the "I AM A-Z Exercise" every day! As soon as you begin, you’ll realize how often you’ve been feeding yourself negativity, and how simple it is to change that destructive habit.

I am..........How would you fill in the blank? Here are a few ideas….

I AM _________________

[A]  authentic, accomplished, amazing, awesome

[B]  brilliant, beautiful, blessed, brave

[C]  confident, classy, calm, creative, courageous

[D]  determined, driven, dedicated, dignified

[E]  exceptional, elegant, energetic, evolving, encouraged

[F]   fabulous, fortunate, faithful, fearless, fantastic, fit

[G]  grateful, gracious, gorgeous, gifted, generous

[H]  healthy, honest, happy, hopeful

[ I ]  intelligent, inspiring, interesting, incredible

[J]   joyful, judicious, jovial

[K]  kind, knowledgeable, keen

[L]  lovable, lean, lovely, lively, loving

[M]  mindful, magnificent, marvelous, motivated, magical

[N]  nice, nurturing, noble, notable

[O]  optimistic, organized, outstanding, one-of-a-kind

[P]  passionate, prosperous, positive, professional, persevering, powerful

[Q]  qualified, quick-witted, quiet

[R]  resilient, responsible, radiant, respectful, remarkable, relaxed

[S]  successful, strong, secure, spiritual, smart, sensational, spectacular

[T]  terrific, thriving, truthful, trustworthy, tenacious, thoughtful

[U]  unique, unstoppable, unlimited, understanding, unbreakable

[V]  valuable, vivacious, vibrant

[W]  wise, whole, wealthy, wonderful, warrior

[X]  xtraordinary

[Y]  youthful

[Z]  zealous

Words have energy and influence the quality of our lives, our health and our relationships. Train yourself to speak positively and use your words to improve the quality of your life. Begin today! Set a new and higher standard by changing the words that come out of your mouth. Be mindful and pay attention to how you think and speak about yourself. Reflect on the impact of your words. Make a conscious effort to think and speak only positive, loving, kind thoughts and empowering words about yourself...and others.

“When we understand the power of our words and realize that we can choose what we think and speak, our lives can be transformed.”

I AM are two very powerful words!

Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

This article is copyright material and may not be reproduced or copied without permission. Reproduction of this article may be shared and is permissible only when the instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

 

Order Lab Tests Online: Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis

Did you know that you can order your own lab tests online? Your doctor’s orders are not necessary to do so. It’s convenient, saves you time and money, and you’ll get a thorough and complete lab panel for hundreds of dollars less!!!

Serious medical conditions can go undetected for up to two years without noticeable symptoms. A thorough and complete blood chemistry wellness test provides the best warning indicator. The earlier a problem is detected, the easier and more likely it is to be treatable. You now have direct access to major clinical laboratory testing across the U.S. for those important blood chemistry and wellness tests.

Many consumers are under-insured, have high deductibles or health plans without a wellness benefit. Others get incomplete and insufficient lab testing from their primary doctor that is not comprehensive and missing many basic and important lab values.

DirectLabs® is the leader in direct access laboratory testing. They offer a wide variety of important health and wellness blood chemistry tests directly to you online at extremely discounted prices. Their tests often cost less than through your provider, even with insurance. They offer lab testing for peak health and wellness, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid, hormones, heavy metal toxicity, gastrointestinal disorders, silent infections (bacterial, fungal, viral, SIBO, parasites, Candida), brain health and more.

Below you’ll find the top recommended tests to order and the steps to order your own lab tests from Direct Labs.

  • Start by creating an account at Direct Labs.
  • After creating your account, type the two following test names into the search area and order the two following tests:

    1. 10 Most Important Tests You can view a sample report on their website
    2. Thyroid Antibodies Panel (type this in their search area) The thyroid antibody test you want to order is $88
  • After placing your order, a lab requisition will be emailed to you, which you will print out. On the Direct Labs’ website you will find a list of lab locations in your zip code area. Just plug your zip code into the search area on their site and you’ll find a list of labs in your area in which you will take your lab requisition in for your fasted blood draw.
  • Walk-in or schedule an appointment at the local testing center of your choice. Take your printed lab order with you the day of your blood draw. Blood is drawn and then, the results are emailed and uploaded to your account, which you can forward to my office for the Blood Chemistry Analysis.
  • You will pay upfront out-of-pocket when ordering these tests from Direct Labs, however you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement afterwards.
  • Be sure to fast for 10-12 hours prior to the blood draw. Drink plenty of water the day before and morning of the blood draw.
  • Submit a copy of your lab results to my office for the Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis.

The Comprehensive Digestive Stool test is one test I highly recommended for all individuals, especially for those experiencing digestive problems, bloating, gas, body odor, constipation, diarrhea, depression (95 percent of serotonin is produced in the gut – not the brain), leaky gut, gallbladder issues, immune dysfunction (70-80 percent of the immune system is in the gut), autoimmune disorders, Parkinson’s disease and more. “Who Might Benefit from a Stool Analysis”

All disease starts in the gut.” – Hippocrates

“The primary seat of insanity is the region of the stomach and intestines.”  French psychiatrist Phillipe Pinel (1745-1826), known as the father of modern psychiatry.

A comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA) provides an extensive look at the health and function of your gut health. The CDSA evaluates microbiota, levels of healthy gut flora (bacteria balance and imbalances), detects underlying pathogens, dysbiotic bacteria, parasites, Candida, yeast, fungal and bacterial infections, maldigestion and malabsorption, inflammation, immune function (sIgA), short chain fatty acid status & other biomarkers of GI health.

  • Order the Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis w/Parasitology x3-DD KIT from Direct Labs. This specific test is the GOLD standard in stool and digestive testing.
  • Stop all vitamins and supplements for a full three days prior to collecting your sample. You may resume vitamins after submitting your stool samples.
  • Submit at copy of your CDSA results to my office for the analysis.


Based on each individual and their unique biochemistry, health history and symptoms, other tests may be suggested such as MTHFR, virus testing, IgG food sensitivity, toxic metal testing and others. Download the list of labs here.

Normal is not always optimal or healthy! Have you been told “your blood test results are completely normal and everything looks great,” yet you know that something is off and you’re still not feeling your best?

“Normal” lab reference ranges of standard labs are designed to identify diseased states only, whereas “optimal” lab reference ranges are used to assess potential risk for disease before the disease develops, underlying imbalances, nutrient deficiencies or excesses, hormone imbalances, plus so much more.

Some healthcare providers define “health” as the absence of disease, and therefore if you're not diseased then you must be “healthy.”

As a holistic nutritionist & functional health practitioner, I identify the root cause of any underlying health problem, complaints or imbalances, and define “health” as being free of pain & disease, having energy, healthy digestion, balanced hormones, sleeping well, and thinking, feeling & looking your best! A functional blood chemistry analysis is one of the best methods of self-care.

Even if you eat right, exercise and eliminate bad habits, you may have an underlying medical condition, nutritional deficiencies or hormone imbalances that only a functional blood test can detect.

Smile  Be Empowered! Take charge of your health and wellness today. Smile

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. As a holistic nutritionist and functional health practitioner, my philosophy is to identify the root cause of any underlying health issues, and design a healing protocol and comprehensive LIFESTYLE plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, experience vibrant health, and look, think and feel better than ever for a lifetime.

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Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

This article is copyright material and may not be reproduced or copied without permission. Reproduction of this article may be shared and is permissible only when the instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you. 

 

Health Benefits of Butter

My clients love when I suggest they include butter in their diets. The only requirement is that it must be grass-fed butter or better yet, grass-fed organic butter.

Butter is rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced in the colon. SCFAs are important biomarkers and protectors of colon health.

Contrary to popular belief, fat from butter, grass-fed organic meats and coconut oil isn’t what’s harming our health or causing the diabetes and obesity epidemic. The real villains: excessive amounts of sugar and starchy carbohydrates, super-sized sodas, fructose, factory-farmed hormone- and antibiotic-injected frankenmeats, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, trans fats and fast, fake, processed and packaged foods.

A diet deficient in fat, and eating low-fat and nonfat items (that are loaded with chemicals and sugar) increases risk of depression, mood disorders, dementia, intensify cravings and is linked to hormone imbalances, weight gain, dry skin and hair, infertility and reproductive problems.

As many of you know, my philosophy regarding food is to eat a variety of nutrient-dense, real foods, and that includes a variety of healthy, healing fats such as butter, clarified butter (ghee), avocados, full fat organic grass-fed yogurt, grass-fed meats, pastured (not pasteurized) eggs and poultry, fatty fish (wild salmon, sardines), coconut oil, coconut butter, olives and extra-virgin olive oil.

Fat is a necessary nutrient for healthy brain function, fat loss, hormone balance, energy, satiation, nixing cravings, beautiful skin and hair, healthy cholesterol and heart health, a healthy nervous system, immune system, gut health and cell membranes. Saturated fats found in coconut oil, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs and grass-fed butter are actually healthy for you.

"Reasons to Eat More Butter & the Health Benefits of Butyric Acid"

  • maintains the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut
  • promotes colon health (increased butyric acid levels are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer)
  • feeds the good microbes; encourages growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium
  • increases insulin sensitivity
  • lowers triglycerides
  • helps probiotics adhere to bowel wall and proliferate
  • boosts immunity
  • aids digestion
  • an energy source for cells
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • beneficial for gut disorders (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, colon polyps, leaky gut, IBD)
  • anti-microbial properties; enhances anti-Candida activity
  • modulates serotonin release
  • helps loose bowel function; regulates abnormal bowel movements
  • useful for ADHD (decreased butyric acid levels are linked with ADHD)
  • blocks the growth of bad bacteria in the gut
  • loaded with healthy fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
  • butter is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, metabolic and immunity booster. Grass-fed butter contains 5 times more CLA than butter from grain-fed cows.
  • it’s delicious. Everything tastes better with a little butter.

Take home message: Go ahead and indulge in healthy doses of grass-fed butter.

Quality matters! Toss the inflammatory-promoting margarine, rancid, genetically-modified vegetable oils, canola, corn, cottonseed & soybean oils, fake butter sprays and frankenfats. Stick with the real thing: butter from grass-fed cows such as Kerrygold butter is a much healthier and more nutritious choice. Even better is organic grass-fed butter.

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will identify the root cause of any underlying health issue and design a healing plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, experience vibrant health, and look, think and feel better than ever.

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Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

This article is copyright material and may not be reproduced or copied without permission. Reproduction of this article may be shared and is permissible only when the instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

Vitamin L ♥ ♥ ♥ the Love Vitamin

Vitamin L ♥ LOVEVitamin L is commonly known as the “universal” or the “love” vitamin, as coined by humanologist, Bethany Argisle. One of the most important nutrients for optimum health is a daily dose or more of vitamin L. This vital human emotion, expression and experience is necessary for the optimal functioning of people and all of their cells, tissues and organs. It is found in most of nature — in foods, domestic animals, friends, and family — and is used to heal a wide variety of diseases. There are no toxic effects, but deficiency can cause a wide range of ailments.

Sources: As stated, vitamin L is found in a great variety of sources but must be developed and nurtured to be available. Fear, anger, worry, seIf-concern, and many other human emotions can destroy vitamin L. It is found readily in most mums and dads, and is very highly concentrated in grandmothers and grandpas. Vitamin L is also found in cats, dogs, and horses, in flowers and birds; and in trees and plants. In food, it is especially found in home-cooked or other meals where vitamin L is used consciously as an ingredient. It is digested and absorbed easily and used by the body in its pure state, being eliminated almost unchanged; in this, it is unique among the vitamins.

Functions: This vitamin acts as the “universal” vitalizing energy. Vitamin L helps to catalyze all human functions and is particularly important to heart function and the circulation of warmth and joy. Digestion is very dependent on appropriate doses of vitamin L, as is the function of the nervous system. Adrenaline, the brain endorphins, natural tranquillizers and other hormones are enhanced by vitamin L as well.

Uses: The list of uses is even longer than that of the functions. Vitamin L is an important nutrient in all human relations, domestic to international. We should definitely put it in the drinking supply! It is a vital ingredient in all health practitioners, doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Besides being referred to as the “universal” vitamin, Love is also known as the “vitamin of healing.”

Deficiency and Toxicity: There are rarely any serious problems from excess intake of vitamin L. Side effects, however, may include swooning, a strange feeling in the chest, goose pimples, and staring blankly into space. Usually, though, amounts many times the minimum requirements offer no difficulty and are often helpful. Abrupt withdrawal from regular vitamin L use could be hazardous, as the love vitamin is somewhat addicting. Most people more easily tolerate increased amounts of vitamin L though huge increases should be taken slowly to prevent the side effects mentioned previously.

Requirements: The requirements may vary from person to person according to a wide range of factors. There are no specific RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) for vitamin L, although infants and small children usually require fairly large doses. The suggested minimum from the Chinese culture is four hugs per day to maintain health. Recently though, the International Hug Association (IHA) has changed its guidelines and suggests that a minimum of four hugs daily is needed to prevent vitamin L deficiency, six hugs a day for maintenance and ten hugs per day for growth.

The best medicine ---- a daily dose of vitamin L.

Red heart        Red heart       Red heart

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” - 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

The above is an excerpt from Staying Healthy with Nutrition, written by Dr. Haas.
Staying Healthy With Nutrition – The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicineby Elson M. Haas, M.D.

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