Although the title of today’s blog includes the word “survival”, I prefer to think of it as a short-list of resources that can help you thrive this holiday season and beyond. It may be a seemingly minor distinction, however I think it speaks to the underlying narrative that many people clutch on to around this time of year. “I can’t stand all the consumerism. That’s not the ‘reason for the season’!”. “I’m so tired of having to go to parties I don’t want to go to. Shopping, wrapping and sending cards…!”. The list of complaints and grievances go on and on. I believe much of the irritation and negativity is strongly influenced by actual and perceived stress and a general sense of overwhelm. It’s understandable. But, more importantly, it’s modifiable.
Tags: Aromatherapy, Breathing, Lavender, Stress
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 3 Comments & Updates
As a consumer, it’s not always clear how to best utilize a supplement for a specific objective. The challenges are many. For starters, you have to determine whether there’s reliable research available to guide you. If that exists, you’ll next need to determine whether the published evidence applies to your circumstance. Is it applicable to your age, gender, health-related status and weight? Then, there’s the question of determining the appropriate dosage. In many instances, even the manufacturers don’t know whether a higher or lower dose is more or less effective and safe than the doses used in the clinical studies. This leaves both the consumer and health care providers in a difficult spot that often requires educated guessing. However, in some instances there’s enough data in the scientific literature to provide a more accurate picture.
Tags: Curcumin, Dementia, Inflammation
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments & Updates
The most common symptoms of a heart attack are experienced by both men and women, namely chest discomfort, pain, pressure and/or tightness. Having said that, certain less common symptoms primarily affect women. Examples include difficulty breathing, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and pain in various sites including the abdomen, arms, back, jaw and neck. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic notes that when women have a heart attack, the symptoms can be more subtle and often take place during rest or stressful events.
Tags: Fenugreek, Honey, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Women's Health | 4 Comments & Updates
Arguably, the kidneys are the least appreciated and discussed organs in the human body. They play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis by filtering blood while contributing to a number of important biological functions, including regulating blood pressure, bone mineral density and the production of red blood cells. But, unless something goes wrong with these two bean-shaped organs, most people hardly give them a second thought. If you’re one of those people, this is your chance to learn a few simple steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy so that you won’t need to think about them much in the future.
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Tags: Fiber, Kidney Health, Prebiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Food and Drink | 7 Comments & Updates
“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.” So goes the famous, opening line of the holiday classic, “Let It Snow”. If you’re reading this somewhere in the northern hemisphere, you may well relate to the ‘frightful’ part of the tune. But, it is the ‘fire’ lyric I’d like to focus on today.
Tags: Appetite, Body Fat, Insulin
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss | 3 Comments & Updates
The allopathic treatment of poor circulation typically focuses on two areas: anticoagulant medications (aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix) and/or surgical interventions such as angioplasty and stents. Anticoagulants interfere with excessive clotting allowing blood to flow freely in a liquid state. Angioplasties and stents address circulation that is impeded by blockages or narrowing in arteries. Sometimes, these invasive and pharmaceutical measures are necessary due to advanced cardiovascular disease. However, in many cases, circulation can be effectively and safely improved by addressing an often neglected part of vascular system: the endothelium.
Tags: Curcumin, Lemon, Magnesium
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutrition | 13 Comments & Updates
If you’re a coffee lover, like me, here’s a simple, tasty hack that can help you start 2017 off right. I discovered this technique very much by accident. One afternoon, I was debating whether to have a cup of coffee or tea. I looked through my tea collection and considered the usual suspects: matcha, oolong and white tea. All three provide a bump in energy, albeit a milder bump, than coffee. Additionally, they’re abundant reservoirs of health promoting phytochemicals (catechins, flavonoids, theaflavins) not present in coffee. Decisions, decisions!
Tags: Coffee, Rooibos, Tea
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 13 Comments & Updates
Dietary supplements fall into a somewhat murky part of the current healthcare pond. They’re not really food, but they generally contain elements found in food. They’re not really medications, but they often have medicinal effects. Because nutritional supplements straddle the world between traditional and modern medicine, they are frequently not used in an optimal manner.
Tags: Minerals, Probiotics, Vitamins
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments & Updates
According the American Thyroid Association, over 20 million men, women and children have one form or another of thyroid disease. Over the course of the average lifetime, it is estimated that about 12% of the populace will fall into this category. Perhaps the most disconcerting part of this trend is that over 60% of those living with thyroid dysfunction are unaware of it. The consequences can be quite significant, putting unwitting individuals at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, depression, infertility, osteoporosis, pre-term pregnancies and beyond.
Tags: Gluten, Soy, Thyroid
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments & Updates
Earlier this year there was a major review in the journal Digestive Diseases focusing on the role of gut bacteria in relation to healthy aging. The authors of the paper describe various “pathophysiological” mechanisms such as impaired immune function and systemic inflammation, which appear to be linked to undesirable changes in the microbiota of seniors. However, this observation has not yet been matched with a widely accepted medical solution. In part, the reason has to do with uncertainty about exactly how to re-establish a healthier bacterial environment.
Tags: Immune, Inflammation, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink | 11 Comments & Updates
In modern times, culinary herbs and spices have primarily been relegated to the role of flavor enhancers. Want to liven up chicken or pork? Add some fresh garlic and rosemary sprigs. Tired of the same old oatmeal in the morning? Try a pinch of freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix. And, the skillful use of dill, sage or thyme can make all the difference when preparing seafood or vegetable dishes. But, what’s often missed is that common herbs and spices can be as healthy as they are tasty.
Tags: Diabetes, Heart Health, Inflammation
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink | 16 Comments & Updates
The idea of wearing tinted glasses at night may seem counterintuitive. In previous generations, there would be very few reasons to do so. But, in many ways, we live in a very different world today. The natural rhythm of the sleep-wake cycle was set up for mankind to slumber as day turns to night and awaken as night returns to day. However, this all changed with the advent of computers, digital displays, mobile phones, street lights and numerous other sources of nighttime illumination. And, I think it’s fair to say that the light genie is well out of the bottle and is unlikely to go back in any time soon.
Tags: Eye Health, Melatonin, Sleep
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Product Reviews | 6 Comments & Updates
In recent years, western medicine has begun to embrace a wide array of traditional healing practices from other cultures. Acupuncture, curcumin supplementation, tai chi and yoga are but a few of many “alternative and complementary” therapies now being studied and utilized worldwide. The success of this burgeoning integration is also opening the door to historically revered treatments from other parts of the globe.
Tags: Dance, Kava, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 4 Comments & Updates