self careSelf-care is a growing in popularity across the globe. Health and self-care are becoming a priority in many lives. In China[1], lifestyle value is now no. 1. In France, 71% of the population says taking care of yourself is the key to happiness.

In the early 1900’s before canned goods, fast foods, and GMO’s getting enough fresh air, clean water, and medicine were important; but this isn’t a history lesson even so it’s fun to watch PBS shows like Downton Abbey to get a glance at the past. Today we must consciously focus on our health.

What Does Taking Care Of Yourself Mean To You?

Are you taking care of yourself? I only ask the question because I believe it can mean different things to different people. What does it mean to you? One client says that it means not eating fast food or drinking pop. Another client researched eating vegan and slowly moved in that direction. Today she has reached her goal in weight loss. Taking better care of oneself is individual to you. Taking care of yourself mentally also is important.

Our health is personal. We think about it more when we feel sick or have pain. Looking in the mirror unhappy at your image wishing you weigh twenty pounds less are both emotional and physical. Being an acupuncturist and certified health coach part of my job is talking about self care ideas with you if you want.

Einstein believed our health affected everything and that our mind or emotions controlled our health. Health coaches believe this too. You might be struggling to sleep knowing how to stop the endless runaway thoughts might help. If it’s hot flashes, back pain, or one of the other millions of things that interfere with weight, sleep, or happiness you’ll benefit from these home ideas. Taking Care Of Yourself

Acupuncture Fits Into Wellness

  1. Whether it’s problems sleeping or weight, food really is medicine or poison. The question is which is it in your life? Knowing what kind of eating habits work for you and which foods enhance your wellness is the first place to begin feeling better.

One way to do this is to keep a food journal for 3 to 5 days. Eat normally. Watch which days after each meal you feel your best or worse. This includes pain. Here is how it works. Some foods increase inflammation and fluid retention. These symptoms in turn create pain. Others foods create gas, bloating, even sleepless nights. I am not talking only about caffeine. Many people have difficult nights if they eat too late.

  1. Are you exercising? Maybe it’s too late at night or too much or heavy. Perhaps you’re doing everything right; how do you know. Feeling overwhelmed yet?

Don’t be – walking daily or most days can help the pain, reduce weight, and help you sleep. It’s hard to get walking wrong. Start easy. Working out heavy within 2-3 hours of bedtime can keep you awake; even cause pain that wakes you in the middle of the night. It’s about muscle contraction if you don’t cool down and stretch correctly restless leg is a real possibility.

By the way, too little exercise does mean problems. The solution take a walk daily or as often as you can.

  1. Acupuncture helps, it does. For centuries people considered acupuncture a solo therapy along with herbal medicine along with diet and fitness. They improved quickly without physical therapy. We overdo it sometimes with modern medicine.

Not all acupuncture though is equal. Using emotional style acupuncture helps with insomnia, stress, and anxiety. We couple that with muscle meridian acupuncture for pain, tight muscles, and other physical problems. Being skilled in multiple styles means better care for you period.

As an acupuncturist, one of the most exciting and challenging therapies is using acupuncture for weight loss or fertility. It is also very rewarding. When you help someone fit into a smaller size outfit and feel more confidence, and happier it’s a great day. When a patient calls you sharing that they’re pregnant, it’s a day to celebrate.

When Acupuncture Doesn’t Fit Into Self Care

acupunctureI don’t believe acupuncture fits every health problem. Some people can’t get to an acupuncturist so we make do with what we have locally.

I had a patient in North Carolina who the nearest acupuncturist was 3 hours away. We used the first two steps. Most important for Jerry was his mindset and determination to succeed. His problems centered on a recent divorce. Weighing nearly 25 pounds more than healthy, having pain, not able to sleep he added in virtual health coaching instead of acupuncture.

Taking care of yourself takes is personal. Start with small steps. Seek help when you can and know every change toward a healthier you is a step in the right direction.

 

[1]Nielsen study, 2014

Images purchased: DreamsTime

Creating a Healthy Mindset

MindsetTo live totally in the present is a moment-by-moment thing. Because there is no such thing as time living in the past is similar to being in a dream or fog. There simply is the moment or now. Each cell in our bodies’ continually renews this is health. Every thought moves forward if we allow it.

Our thoughts move into a new dimension. The question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘does thought exist in the past?

My answer, “only when it’s a cancer of sorts.’ When a cell in our bodies’ stagnates and doesn’t renew this becomes cancer. Why is living in our past story much different?

It took me a full year to change a mindset I held, looking back personally I do feel that my brain was feeding a situation in my life. Once I formed a new mindset I was able to move forward having success in that area of my life within days. Today I can change unhappy moments within hours because of the new brain I possess – a healthy thinking brain.

Health coaching clients often tell me they experience the same thing using the tools from my health coaching. So what is Cancer of the mind?

Cancer Of the Mind – The Importance of Living Totally In the Present

Experiencing pain in our lives is inevitable. Often though we choose to suffer along with this experience. We continue the story in our lives and in our mind. It literally imprints on our human cells. This is the scientific fact [1] our brains can remember events that are emotionally easier than a daily activity that is rote.

Do you remember what you wore the second Tuesday of last month or last Tuesday for that matter? Unless something eventful happened, you might not. If you met a new love interest, I bet you do. When I pose this question to acupuncture clients they always remember when they met their significant other.

According to Robert Sanders, at UC Berkeley News Center [http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/06/14/new-neurons-help-to-remember-fear/] Berkeley neuroscientists recent research studies show that fear burns memories into our brain.

These memories often are unpleasant and tend to become life-stories of hard times. We wear a badge of honor into the ‘me too’ club of pain and suffering. health coaching

We all have these times you don’t have to join this metaphoric club. Health coaching focuses on helping you escape this group and move into a happier life.

Living totally in the present reduces physical pain too and end suffering. This allows us to focus on what we want in our life. This cancer of the mind affects our body too by sending pain signals setting up patterns that are hard to break without tools like acupuncture.

Living Totally In The Present – Leaving The Past Where It Belongs

They also believe other highly emotional experiences lead to incredibly strong memories too. This can be the birth of your child or the day your spouse proposes.

This is one reason we love rituals around important events in our lives. It helps us to remember vividly a feeling of happiness that counter-balances the times we felt fear.

Nature knows most women fear the birth process so it sends chemicals soaring through our bodies as our newborn enters the world changing our mindset.

Science knows that neurons form based on our thoughts. If we continue to think in a negative pattern, our brainpower will give us resolutions that always have a negative effect on our thinking.

Robert Sapolsky’s lab at Stanford University is conducting studies on Gage’s theory that new neurons are especially sensitive to input two weeks after they form.

Their data shows that new neurons forming in the brain can develop ‘active’ connections, leading to happy thoughts, peace of mind, and the ability to bounce back from emotions of fear or stress.

While they are doing this chemically [through the use of drugs], other natural methods abound! Brain Gym is proof of mental retraining.

Laying New Pathways For Living Totally In The Present

allows living totally in the present Neuropathways connect inside our brain in patterns. These neurons store information or stimuli. If tall, dark men remind you of your loving father, you’ll feel a sense of peace. On the other hand, if your father was abusive, you’ll have a sense of fear even though you may not be conscious of this effect.

Muscle tense and irritability may increase all because of an unconscious response.

This held true with a distant family member for me. They always found ways to make me feel unwanted and small. Changing my own feelings about this person helped me recover.

When we are faced with a negative emotion, to reprogram the brain – literally, we must lay down new pathways so we can live totally in the present. Acupuncture can help stimulate the process while you use gratitude and forgiveness at home.

It sounds silly, but I and many clients have proven this theory many times. In my case, I started seeing the degrading behavior as a way to grow and be better. It taught me kindness, love, and finding joy in the faces of my small children at the time.

I also had to move past the anger and forgive this person. The surprise came when I forgave myself. I’ve found that we all feel we allowed these things to happen to us or we deserved the treatment in some way. I call these esteem-breakers. Also, we aren’t ourselves during these times and lash out at innocent people who don’t deserve our anger.

Using Affirmations And Meditation Reallyallows living totally in the present

If you’ve followed my articles long, you know I believe in using daily meditation and affirmations. In my own life, the initial change began right away but took months to feel it. Reprogramming your thinking is taught at Harvard, Stanford, and many other prestigious universities known for their research in medicine.

Health coaching methods help us use these tools to move you out of living in the past and totally in the present. It starts the first time you do it though you might not notice a change in yourself yet. Remember from a scientific point of view, you’re laying down new pathways.

It doesn’t matter if you do this once daily or multiple times. It’s consistency that matters. Set the same time daily aside. I do this first thing in the morning. You can start with one, two, five minutes. Today I enjoy being in a state of bliss and peace for 30 minutes each morning. You do not need to do this. It is part of my career it may not be your calling so don’t worry about how long you spend, just do it daily

Set a mantra for yourself. Are you working on being happy and feeling joy? Then use that as your affirmation. ‘I am happy and full of joy.”  With health coaching we may work with other affirmations around weight loss, or insomnia, even careers.

I felt so silly saying this in my own mind at first. Silently I added ‘thank goodness no one can hear me.’ Don’t worry only you and whatever you believe in can hear you. Often we don’t feel we deserve to feel joy and be happy. This is where forgiving ourselves comes into the mantra.

Let Yourself Off The Hook

For any of this to work, you have to do it. Once I began forgiving myself and others, things moved fast. Clients share it’s like lightning going off in their lives. They aren’t angry, they laugh more, and love more fully.Mindset

When we start living in the now, we begin to see a future creating a mental equivalent of what we desire to create in our lives. Seeing a better future is only possible when we have a mindset that supports us.

Shawn Achor is an expert in positive psychology with a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures in Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar’s class “Positive Psychology,” the most popular class at Harvard, confirms that growing new neuro-pathways in our brains is possible by using repetition.

The principle is simple. Right now, you repeat your story daily to someone or in your mind. Just change your story by using this tool. Do the meditation; repeat your mantra with breathing once daily then say it to yourself as often as you can. If you do this, every time your negative story pops in your mind you’ll replace it with new neuron connections in your body, especially your brain.

While it doesn’t change the past, it allows living totally in the present to be your way of life. Enjoying the things that now are free to come your way will appear when you’re open to receiving.

 

 

All photos Dreamstime Copyright.

Science articles into cell reprogramming is not new you can read more about it here, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150836/.

 

[1] http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/HeartMath%20article.pdf

 

Wintergreen Essential OilI love the smell of Wintergreen. It’s so fresh and invigorating. Like most plants, it has a medicinal use and a fragrant influence. It’s a mainstay in my Denver Acupuncture practice because so many patients like the aroma and the pain relief. It’s something I recommend to my coaching clients for problems like arthritis, muscle and nerve pain, even hypertension.

Aromatherapy And Wintergreen Essential Oil

In aromatherapy it helps people sleep, lose weight, relax, even lessen pain; it’s no wonder that Wintergreen essential oil is popular. When I would eat mints, wintergreen was my favorite flavor. I miss not chewing gum or eating mints but my stomach and weight love me for giving both up.

I like it because it stimulates and increases awareness. Maybe that’s why I feel clearer when using it on patients with arthritis. Those same clients tell me they like the effects of this oil because it feels cool on the skin along with relieving pain.

Jacob, who had shoulder pain from swinging his daughter in the air, felt it helped with his hypertension[1] too so he took some home to ‘test’ it. Not sure if it was the acupuncture or the oil. He used Wintergreen daily. Guess what his blood pressure decreased slightly maybe Jacob was on to something. On the days, he had acupuncture for his shoulder pain his pressure went down further. For my personal care, I think this oil helps my elbow pain and if the side-benefit is it helps blood pressure I like it.

Aromatherapy Wintergreen Essential Oil by **Young Living
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There’s a lot of research that acupuncture lowers hypertension and along with herbs some people can avoid western drugs. Jacob was so impressed with Wintergreen essential oil he keeps it at home.

What is Wintergreen essential oil good for and what is the research?

AromatherapyIt’s great for arthritis or rheumatism. There’s no question it’s marvelous for muscle aches and nerve pain. It’s my favorite for pinched nerves. There is research suggesting it’s potent for lowering blood pressure as mentioned above.

Surprisingly it has merit for arteriosclerosis and helpful with hepatitis or fatty liver.

It’s so useful that its main ingredient, Methyl Salicylate is synthetically made and put in numerous rub-on western drugs. In my opinion though synthetically made anything isn’t as good as the real stuff. I don’t like all the hidden stuff found in these over-the-counter products.

The Many Uses Of Wintergreen Essential Oil

One other thing I love about Wintergreen essential oil is that you can use it many ways including making your own mouthwash or purchasing a safe, natural one that doesn’t contain cancer-causing ingredients. For best use Dilute 1 part, essential oil with two parts of another oil and apply to your skin. I use Grapeseed oil in the office. Use it in a diffuser, inhale it or take a drop if you aren’t finding my full strength oil too potent and use as a dietary supplement. I apply it to the Chakras for increasing my awareness and help with overall health.

1  Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Volume II. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.

2  Wintergreen. Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products website. December 6, 1997. Available at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/WINTERGREEN.html. Accessed October 6, 2004.

3  Guenther E. The Essential Oils. Volume VI. Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company, 1952.

4  DerMarderosian A, Beutler JA (editors). The Review of Natural Products: The Most Complete Source of Natural Product Information. 3rd edition. St. Louis, Mo: Facts and Comparisons, 2002.

5  Plants for a Future: Database Search Results: Gaultheria procumbens. ibiblio website. Available at http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Gaultheria+procumbens. Accessed October 6, 2004.

6  Williamson EM. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. Saffron Walden, UK: C.W. Daniel Company, 2003.

7  Lobo SL, Mehta N, Forgione AG, et al. Use of Theraflex-TMJ topical cream for the treatment of temporomandibular joint and muscle pain. Cranio. April 2004;22(2):137-144.

8  Charles CH, Vincent JW, Borycheski L, et al. Effect of an essential oil-containing dentifrice on dental plaque microbial composition. Am J Dent. September 2000;13:26C-30C.

9  Wolowich WR, Hadley CM, Kelley MT, Walson PD, and Casavant MJ. Plasma salicylate from methyl salicylate cream compared to oil of wintergreen. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(4):355-358.

10  Arctander S. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Carol Stream , IL: Allured Publishing Corporation, 1994.

11  Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1995.

 [1] MILLICHAP, J. GORDON. “Benign intracranial hypertension and otitic hydrocephalus.” Pediatrics 23.2 (1959): 257-259.

How To Protect Your Skin

protect your skinIt was beautiful today outside hitting almost 80 degrees and it’s still winter here in Denver. It’s a perfect day for a run or other outdoor fun. The problem is how to protect your skin. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. My husband has developed abnormal skin cells six times in recent years. We learned what to avoid years ago it’s doing it that matters. Once the damage is done, you have no choice but to have skin checkups every three months. Until it happens to someone you love or yourself, many people just say ‘not me’. It’s not just the sun you should worry about there’s a lot of research warning you off the many popular brands that contain toxic chemicals.

Three Ways To Protect Your Skin

Protect Yourself From The Sun

We all need natural sunlight. It helps us heal and without it, we don’t make vitamin D. When the rays of the sun touch our skin something wonderful happens we begin to make vitamin D3 also known as calciferol. Supplements take months to be absorbed to the levels you need. Sunlight is natural and fast.

Part of a good fitness program includes spending time outside. In my six-month health coaching program, we look at ways even busy professionals can enjoy the sunshine daily. It’s a powerful healer of the mind when you’re depressed or not feeling your best. Besides communing with nature, taking time to walk for instance feels good and  vitamin D is essential to mood[1], and there is a link between long-term deficiency, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s.[2]

Research shows that using an SPF 30 sunscreen that is water-resistant on both sunny and cloudy days, is your best protection on bare skin. The problem is most brands that we see displayed in stores contain chemicals that interfere with hormone production and the study by Science News suggests an increase basal cell cancer.skin cnacer

This chemical is octyl methoxycinnamate[3]. OMC for short. OMC is found in 90% of all sunscreen brands.

One of my favorite product lines is Alba to protect your skin. It offers everything from lip protection to sunscreen. You can find this skin care at most holistic grocery stores like Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage. At both stores, you’ll find a selection of brands beyond Alba; find the one that works best for you. Tao Skincare has a facial sunscreen that is organic and vegan. I haven’t found anything in the health food stores that come close. You simply add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer and lotion and abracadabra your desired Sun Shield.

Tao Sun Shield Tao Skin Sun Shield 30 ml
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  1. Clothes Matter To Protect Your Skin

The best bet to avoid skin cancer is what you wear. Below is a short list of ideas that I recommend.

Always wear sunglasses made for sunlight protection.

  1. Use hats to shade delicate facial skin and your neck. If you want to stay looking younger, these are key as sun creates wrinkle fast. Many vendors make lightweight clothes for wearing in the sun. These are best in darker colors.
  2. Stay out of the sun, between 10 am and 2 pm when the rays are strongest even on cloud-covered days to protect your skin. Keep in mind, the hottest time of the day though is 4 pm, when the heat of the day builds to the highest temperature.
  3. Stay out of tanning beds. Many emit up to 12 times more UVA light than the sun according to the Skin Cancer Foundation[4]. They go on to explain in literature that UVA rays damage skin cells. This adds years to the beauty of your skin by damaging the It also raises your risk of skin cancer.  Research shows that tanning indoors increases your risk by 75%.

Skin Cancer3. Scan For Abnormal Moles – They Can Be Skin Cancer

Anyone can develop skin problems, even dark complexion people. Look at your body monthly for moles that have changed in shape or size. Take note of new skin changes, skin cancer comes in many ways. Watch your back, arms, legs, neck, and face closely using mirrors when needed. If you live with someone, ask him or her to do a buddy check with you.

If you find anything unusual, talk with a dermatologist and get a full-body skin checkup once a year. Remember melanoma when found in early stages is usually curable. If skin cancer spreads to the lymph nodes or other organs, the five-year survival rate drops, to as little as 16%.

Many female health coaching clients have made this part of the body health monthly exams when they check for breast cancer. Remember our mentoring program is about living long and healthy. I can’t help you if you’re not committed to enhancing your lifestyle and investing in you.

Protect your skin even in colder climates or winter months. Use something safe.

 

 

[1] http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/08/06/6-conditions-that-feel-like-clinical-depression-but-arent/

[2] http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2014/08/06/WNL.0000000000000755

[3] http://www.novamagazine.com.au/article_archive/2008/08_12_toxicsunscreen.htm

[4] http://www.skincancer.org/

Vitamin crazeI saw an ad today from a local health food store, it could be any grocery store insert in the daily newspapers. I thought to myself, why do you we need all this stuff? No wonder clients walk into their doctors’ office in a daze of confusion. There seems to be a vitamin craze don’t you think?

Vitamins are big business and marketing has gone bananas. At Denver Acupuncture Health, I do recommend vitamins but only for the right reasons. Much of the advertising targets our fears around heart attacks and diabetes. There are other reasons to supplement your food sources.

Are we really that sick though as a nation of people I hope not. If we look at Americans and their health, before the 1980’s there is little doubt that we have become a country of health issues. Obesity continues grow as a major problem, and heart attacks along with a rise in diabetes overcome many Americans. Don’t get me going on Alzheimer’s – they are now calling it – Diabetes Type 3.

The Vitamin Craze – Understanding What You Need

The vitamin craze isn’t new my aunt and mom were into it in the 1960’s it’s just reinvented for a new modern market. I think we know more today too. That can be good or bad because it sounds like we need to take handfuls of supplements.

Denver Acupuncture Health

We may need this extra boost because we eat poorly or our bodies’ don’t absorb what we consume. I believe the only way to know is proper blood testing and your own symptoms. Blood work doesn’t show everything.

What are some of some nutrients the insert said you must take and a little about how they may help you live healthy to a ripe old age.

Rising Stars In Supplements

These are the rising stars in supplements:

  • Ubiquinol – a form of bioavailabile CoQ10 plays a role in energy production in the heart muscles. Many people are on statins with horrid side-effects; short-term memory loss, joint pain, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and in recent studies are suggesting they may not help to lower cholesterol. [1]I’ve recommended Ubiquinol for years to people who don’t like drugs and are interested in improving their health through better eating.
Rising Stars In Supplements
  • Pycnogenol – Contains proanthocyanidins that protect the body’s cell’s and tissues from oxidative damage a major contributor to aging. [2] Pycnogenol naturally occurs in peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark. It helps circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, and diabetes, for instance.I don’t know for sure, but I think this helped the ringing in my ears. I’m confident my restless leg improved once I started taking Pycnogenol.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules is a tonic that promotes normal detoxification and digestion. It might help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by changing how foods get absorbed from the gut. [3]I have many clients who rave about these capsules especially those with high blood sugar or insulin resistance. If you’re like me though you have to be careful if your digestion is sensitive. Reducing the dose worked for me.
  • Nattokinase – supports cardiovascular health by promoting healthy circulation. It’s an enzyme (a protein that speeds up biochemical reactions) that is extracted from a popular Japanese food called natto. Natto is boiled soybeans that have been fermented.[4]This was a surprise find for me. All my years in Chinese medicine and I never tried Nattokinase until recently. It’s amazing and while I’m reluctant to call anything a wonder food, this stuff though really helped my blood pressure.
  • Yerba Prima – gentle and non-habit forming, Psyllium husks promote regularity and colon health. There is little research on Yerba Prima though it is a gluten free fiber source that aids many who have food sensitivities.For people who need more fiber this is better than the brand names that contain ‘other things’.The Vitamin Craze
  • Ashwagandha helps the body adapt and cope with stress. This is my favorite It’s an Ayurveda herb. It’s medicinal abilities include stress, strain, fatigue, pain, skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy they say. [5]We use it as a general tonic and to increase energy. I’m not sure though we think it improves our health. Ancient folklore says it increases longevity.

Denver Acupuncture Health

As I expressed in the beginning, this was in the local newspaper insert.

My thought here at Denver Acupuncture Health is taking what works for you. Use food as your medicine first and get into the vitamin craze only with the rising stars in supplement that you need.

 

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10/background/hrb-20059019

[2] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1019.html

[3] Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, written by D.C. Jarvis, M.D

[4] University of Chicago researcher, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi. It is believed that he was who discovered Nattokinase. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nattokinase-uses-and-risks

[5] http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/ashwagandha

A few years ago, I started reading a lot of stuff about parabens and other chemicals in cosmetics. I love makeup and looking ‘finished’. Like many girls, I freaked out! Why would companies put cancer-causing chemicals in my foundation? Worse, it was in everything, including body lotion. These scary ingredients lurked in my lip balm, they were in my mascara! Really my mascara how could they.

MascaraNolic

Chemicals In Cosmetics – Finding Affordable Safe Skin Care

Did I need to pay big bucks to get clean cosmetics [wait a minute I’m paying big bucks] or suffer from chemicals in cosmetics I wondered? It sent me on a mission to find something that made my skin care healthy and pretty at the same time.

First, I ran into a local pharmacist who created a great line of skin care after his wife developed breast cancer from the parabens and other chemicals in cosmetics. Yes, breast cancer; this is one of the high-risk areas for these cosmetic chemicals along with Leukemia.

I still often recommend these products, but I found something less expensive and vegan no less. Now I am certainly not a vegan, heck I couldn’t pass for a vegetarian but many of my clients follow these dietary styles. Finding solutions to problems is something everyone knows about me, I love to help.

So what are some of these other chemicals you may be asking, I know I was and surprised by the answers.

It’s Not Just Parabens In Skin Care

Skin CareMost people have heard of formaldehyde. It’s commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen and in 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogen.[1]

You can find formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in everyday house cleaning products and cosmetics. In beauty products, it falls under these names.

  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • Bronopol (2bromo2nitropropane1,3-diol )
  • 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane
  • Hydroxymethylglycinate

There’s a rule of thumb I use when buying packaged foods that apply here too. If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be healthy for you. I can’t pronounce any of these can you. If you can, they’re still bad for you.

Green Tea Cleanser Organic Green Tea Cleanser 120 ml
Price: $12.75
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Finding Safer Skin Care

Chemicals in cosmeticsI felt it important to find a skin care line that met three desirables as I call them.

  1. No parabens or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals and low or no perfume.
  2. Plant based, containing things like pineapple enzymes or blue corn both often found in natural skin care products.
  3. Cost-effective cosmetics already cost a lot and I didn’t want to burden my clients or my wallet.

While I found many products online, I wanted something I could make available and use myself that’s when another local skin care line found it’s way into my home and office. It’s called Tao Skin Care.

It meets all three of my goals, chemical free, plant or food sourced, and vegan. That was quite a shock. Oh, did I mention they’re super affordable.Stop Putting Chemicals In My Cosmetics

It’s been almost a year now that I have used this skin care and feel it meets my ‘skin’ test where I can recommend it to others.

On my two visits to the company, I each product is made fresh when you place your order. How cool is that! With natural products, you wonder how long they ‘stay good’ she guarantees them for a full year. I found most things last about 6 or months but not 12 months so I haven’t worried about this.

Ordering is a breeze. You can select your products right from our website. We can only ship within the USA. We add shipping and handling when we confirm your order if it applies.

Facts about these things you should read

[1] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk-factors/cancer-causing-substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet

photos are Free Reuse Google – RF-LL Dreamstime – and DebraArko

 

Are you like me? Acupuncture for Migraines – A Patient Story

Acupuncture for Migraines

Some years ago a client told me her story when she came for acupuncture for migraines. She gave me permission to post her notes to me.

Migraines have plagued me since I was young. The medical doctors haven’t really understood the pain I’m in. It’s a rare day I don’t have a migraine. Until recently I always thought they were all the same migraine but Debra helped me understand I actually get three different kinds of headaches. This is my story how acupuncture for migraines worked for me.

Every night like clockwork I awoke somewhere between 1 am and 4 am with a splitting headache. You too? I know me too. So you try a different pillow, in fact, you go on a pillow search for the best night’s sleep only to continue to have migraines or whatever these head pains are. It wasn’t my pillow.

Hormonal Headaches

Then there’s the big one; the mother of all migraines. It comes on one to three times a month and it’s called hormonal headaches. Some doctors told me it was my period, but then why do you have it when you’re not on your period?

health coaching

Of course, I did the allergy test thing. They put me on a few drugs and the headaches kept coming. Sound familiar? It got to be for me that my week was made up of watching for my head to hurt. Then I tried acupuncture for my migraines.

When I began acupuncture, it took a while for the pain to go away. At first I just had a night here and there without a migraine.

Acupuncture For Migraines Is Natural Cure

While the Chinese names didn’t mean a thing to me, I understood that my body had gotten so toxic with all the drugs I was on that we needed to also do a homeopathic detoxification and cleanse. It made a big difference. Not only did the middle of the night headaches disappear with acupuncture I noticed that my sinuses began to clear up as I detoxified by body.

It had taken about two months before I realized that I wasn’t planning my week around my migraines anymore. Dr. Deb explained that I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck; these middle of the night headaches were becoming migraines during the day. This made sense for me because after a treatment when I had a raging migraine at the back of my head I got off the table and the pain was gone! Acupuncture keeps me relaxed and the tension in my neck and back gone without these triggers I don’t have daily migraines like before.

Woman Undergoing Acupuncture

My hormones played a part too. When they switch on and off as she put it, like when I start or stop my period, and when I ovulate effects progesterone and estrogen levels and that is leading to the big migraines that lay me out for days. The combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture has my hormonal headaches gone now for over ten years. The side benefits of no PMS symptoms are cool too.

Sinus Problems And Migraines

The sinus congestion trigger proved to be the toughest. Do you feel like a weather barometer? I know the feeling, watching the sun disappear behind a cloud overhead and pow! A migraine. Have you ever noticed you can be standing on the sunny side of the street but if you walk over to the area where the rain clouds are forming you start to get a headache! This was me, every time.

Now it’s better, of course I know I have weather induced migraines but over the last twelve months of doing acupuncture these are fewer than last year.

While I still have an occasional headache every few months, I don’t get them daily and my life is my own now. Even my husband noticed that I am ready to go do outdoor activities or make plans without worrying about getting a headache.

It’s exciting to me to travel without being concerned about getting sick headaches and missing out on the fun or being on business travel with pain. Acupuncture for migraines helped me and that is why I shared my experience.

Sincerely,

N. B.

 

Aging Concept‘What is it you want to die from?” Some clients stop and think before answering this question when asked, others reply right away. Do you know your answer?

I know my answer – ‘old age’ what’s yours?

Do You Want To Die From Negativity?

 

The other day I was speaking with my mother-in-law about some of our friends who haven’t yet retired. My husband and I still work and love our careers. She blurted out, “ they probably can’t afford to retire!”

 

I gently replied. “We don’t talk like that it’s so negative and just not a good way to think.” They haven’t retired because they love their work. Those that have retired have gone full time into service or charity. One couple a past teacher and nurse, volunteer full time now, while a couple10 years older still works because they love their careers.” I’m talking about people in their 70’s. happiness

Are you wondering how these 2 things are related? How death and retirement relate. Our thinking determines our health. Healthy people have a wellness view of their life or a positive outlook. Usually, they’re quick to answer what they want to die from.

I Want To Die From Happiness

 

This is the second thing, they know they want to die happy. In their sleep, on a beach, with their lover, but they don’t wish to die of cancer, have a heart attack or worse be murdered.

 

So what’s your answer? When I asked the question what is it you want to die from did you stop to think of a laundry list of things you don’t want to die from?

What You Don’t Want To Die From

 

Many people begin a commentary on not wanting to die from Cancer, or Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and so on…others stop and think they ponder. I don’t wish to die from anything.

 

Can we change the landscape of dying? We know we leave this earth, but we also understand what we don’t want to die from – disease or in pain. soulquote

This is a good place to start. Realize what you don’t want to die from and plan to live. Some say death is permanent. Who’s to know when it comes to the soul? This isn’t a religious article though we do know the physical body dies.

We know most people are afraid of death yet we plan so poorly for an event we know will happen – period.

Changing The Landscape Of Dying

I want to die from old age. It’s not planned where just how, from old age. I have some ability to predict my way to go by investing living healthy. Changing the landscape of dying is important. Nursing homes and pharmacies are full of people dying of disease. Many are in pain and unhappy.

I will be happy because I live a life full of love with great friendships, an excellent spouse, and fantastic children. I would pass on happy even without a family because I have a strong group of friends and a great support system.

I will die of old age because I invest in health – my health. My method of health coaching or functional medicine centers around 12 core beliefs. We just talked about the first. Joy or happiness. It’s our viewpoint of life. I use it here to talk about what I want to die from. That sounds like a joyful way to pass on don’t you think?

Living a life full of happiness is up to you. Do you think of things from the perspective of negativity? I wrote an article on when to listen to negative comments this is not the same thing.

When we worry or focus on negativity, we produce more of it in our lives. Call it what you want – the law of attraction, you get what you think about most. Maybe you feel more comfortable viewing this subject scientifically. If we look at this from a scientific viewpoint, the endorphins and pheromones you’re sending out through the pores of your body, bring you what you want or what you don’t desire!

Let’s look at three things you can do to be more in control of what you die from.

you want to die from

Invest In Health – Die Of Old Age

1. The first thing we’ve talked about here is the most important thing you can do to invest in a healthy you.

Focus on a new way to look at life. If it’s snowing and you have to drive home in rush hour, don’t think about how much you have to do when you get there, focus on something positive.

Maybe it’s a great time to listen to that book on tape you rented about Highly Effective Relationships or sing along to the new CD of your favorite singer.

Invest in your health. Stop talking about losing weight, or trying diet after diet spend time learning about your bio-individuality and embrace the beautiful person that is you. Sometimes working with a health coach for 6 months is the best way to discover the healthy way to live your life.

This isn’t just weight loss, it’s back pain, arthritis, even getting the upper hand on something like diabetes or IBS. Heck you don’t have to have a health problem to know what it is you want to die from.

2. Smile 5 times more often than you do now each day. Feel and live in a place of joy as often as you can even if no one else around you is happy.

If you aren’t often smiling now, try smiling 5 times today. If you’re a person, who walks around with a smile on their face all day long. You have this covered. Research shows that people who smile live

By now, as a reader of this post you know what you want to die from, so turn those lips upward you’re on your way. Changing the landscape of dying is an individual decision. I feel it’s also a social goal since it makes great economic sense.

 

 

All images are copywritten and used with permission from Bigstock, Pixabay, or available through Google Free for commercial purposes.

IMG_0905Colder month have almost past where a warm Sweet Potato Casserole recipe  hits the spot on a snowy day late in February like today. Easy dinners though are always important no matter the season.

A quick night before recipe,  that takes 20-30 minutes to prepare and anyone over the age of 12 can stick into the oven matters to empty-nesters, and busy families.

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole

You can make this meat pie with either sweet potatoes or yams. We have even done it with different types of squash, especially Acorn, my husband’s favorite.

Below is our audio of cooking instructions. Simply carry your smart device or laptop into the kitchen and listen. Pause as needed. The full recipe for Yam Casserole follows, remember this is a meat pie with tons of vegetables from your refrigerator. We cook this toward the end of our week when we don’t have enough of any one vegetable for everyone.

It’s great to prepare ahead while making your dinner for the night before. When we gave up white potatoes a decade ago we still wanted a warm comfort food on cold stormy nights. It’s easy to do the prep work, as you’ll hear in the recording while you cut up vegetables the night before.

Audio recipe >>> click here! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/acudocdeb/SweetPotatoeCasserole2-12-15.mp3″]

Choose health for your Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

casserole recipe

Many new clients think buying foods organic or free-range meat is expensive. Look for sales, Whole Foods is not offering many great buys. Natural Grocers a local chain has low prices and quality too. Along with Whole Foods, Costco is the only other market that 3rd party certifies organics and labeling.
I have a simple saying, “Buying healthy food now is cheaper than buying expensive health care later.”
Our dish is filled with great organic produce and free-range meats to make it tasty. It a quick night before fixings making it simple to place in the oven when you get home from work before you go change your clothes.
Many recipes I share allow you to experiment and using the last of vegetables in the refrigerator. To make it more interesting you choose your favorite spices of cinnamon, cloves, a pinch of all-spice along with sea salt, pepper, and thyme.
Sweet potato casserole recipe is great whether it’s early October or late winter in February after our friend the ground-hog tells us to expect 6 more weeks of cold.

Dr. Deb’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Serving 2 people. Double for 4.
Prep time: 20 minutes [night before]
Warming Time: 20-25 minutes [dinner night]
INGREDIENTS
• 1-2 large Sweet Potatoes Or Yams. You can use canned or deli prepared.

• Approx. ¼ to ½ cup of each left over vegetable you have in your refrigerator.
Carrots, Yellow Pepper, Zucchini Squash, Onions, Mushrooms, Cooked Green Beans, and Celery.

• ¼ to ¾ pound of free-range ground meat like beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. We combine 1/3 lb. beef and pork each. Do not blend poultry meats.

• Fresh spices and herbs like garlic, onions, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, all-spice, or other meat spices.

• Chicken stock or broth to saute cook instead of oil or along with oil

• High-heat oil like avocado, or coconut

• Low-heat oil like olive oil.

sweet potatoe casserole

HOME-COOKING – PREPARE FOOD WITH LOVE
Meals taste best when a little love it added. While kids seldom remember all the details getting them involved gives them life skills once they go off on their own. It also frees you up as they get older.
The complaints about helping you are less when they feel a contributor to the meal and they are more likely to try a new dish they helped to make.
If you live alone or with other adults, make mealtime special by doing something together or invite a friend to dine with you.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
While making your dinner for tonight – you can start this dish at the same time so tomorrow night is a ‘free’ night from cooking.
PREP FOOD FIRST – Do this while you prepare tonight’s meal or if you prep vegetable a few times for use.
1. Dice vegetables.
2. Peel and cube sweet potato or yams. [I make slices for quick cooking]
3. Unwrap meat
4. Spray a small to medium size casserole dish or pie plate.
5. Spray a large skillet or deep cooking pot
DIRECTIONS
Start: Add 1-4 tbp. of high-heat oil to a ceramic skillet – on medium heat.
• Cook onions first until slightly clear.
• Add other vegetables in this order usually, peppers, carrots, green beans, celery, and last the mushrooms. If you are running out of oil moisture, you can add a little chicken broth a tablespoon at a time and turn the heat to low and cover. This is broth sauté.
• You want the vegetable to be slightly soft and translucent.
• While the vegetables cook: Start the yams or sweet potatoes. Cook on top of stove in enough water to cover on medium heat until tender.
• Drain water and let cool a bit, add butter or mild tasting oil and mash. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder and a dash of cinnamon.
• If using canned you can add these seasoning; deli prepared has spices.
Next: it’s time to cook the meat. We move the vegetables to a small plate and use the same skillet to brown the meat with a little coconut or avocado oil on low to medium. Make sure to break up large chunks with a pan-spatula.
While the meat is cooking, line the sides of a casserole dish or pie pan with the mashed potatoes. Place this in the refrigerator.
• Cook meat until no pink remains. Remove the skillet from the stove to a safe countertop and gently add back in the vegetables mixing well.
• Take the casserole dish out and carefully spoon the meat vegetable mix into the center. If the mix doesn’t fill the dish, you can use a fork to loosen the yams sides onto the top.IMG_0905
Cover and place back into the refrigerator until tomorrow evening.
To cook: remove from refrigerator and place in cold oven. Turn on heat to 350 degrees and warm for 20-30 minutes. Test center for warmth. If still cool place back in oven covered.
This Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is easy to make while cooking other food because you’re simply browning, boiling or sautéing foods on low heat.

psychological traps

The front door to your home shuts with a dull thud behind you. “Home at last you,” says the voice inside your head. Leaning against the wood, you feel drained. Your thoughts turn to events of the day nothing went right – again. Careers are tricky things, we chose our destiny when we were too young to know what inspires us. We later feel unhappy and hate our ‘jobs’. Many people fall into these 3 psychological traps adding to their inner turmoil around their career or life choices.

These are despair, obsessing, and fear. Many clients’ find relationships even their jobs affect their health as much as food. As a health coach, I agree.

Learning how to avoid these traps or face them differently can help you love your work. You don’t have to stay in this job for the rest of your life. You can find value in what you’re doing now. If you ignore the problem, you’ll live in the pursuit of happiness.

A career it similar to a relationship. Many times, we wish we could rewrite it or have a do-over. We’re certain this time we will get it right if we had another chance.

 

Are these 3 Psychological Traps Affecting you?

 Don’t Give In To Despair

It’s not the end of the world even if the job market sucks. Psychological traps like feeling overwhelmed or despair can lead to depression. Not giving in to these can improve your happiness.

psychological traps- despair

‘Amanda’ went through four career moves before she found the right place to develop her professional interests. She found it wasn’t about the job so much as it was about the environment. Taking a pay cut meant reevaluating her living standards but it paid off in other ways.

She moved in with a roommate, with similar interests and hobbies. It meant she could split cooking and house cleaning. They set up realistic goals for sharing common areas and having guests over. In the end, they parted ways when Amanda, met her fiance’. In two years, Amanda had received two promotions.

Finding Happiness

Key steps to end despair:

Paper and pen is your best friend. Don’t do these steps in your head. Start a journal; these insights can help you later too.

  • Make a list of the things you like most about your current career.
  • Write next to these if you can expand on these where you work now.
  • If not, write down typical places that will give you the opportunity to develop these job skills.

The Bottom Line: Love your job; love the person you’re with -they both are a relationship. happiness

Don’t Obsess

Playing the same story repeatedly in your head is obsessing. Forget the girl next to you at work doesn’t do her job do yours. Unless it’s unethical or criminal, don’t worry about it.

Are you going to stay with this company or not? If you are, these essential steps will help you find happiness with this employer.

Keys to Stop Obsessing

  • In five years, will this issue matter to you, your career or your relationships?
  • If you say something will it improve the situation or not?
  • If you stop worrying about this issue, putting the same amount of time and energy into something else what would that be?
  • Would that be something that would make you happy, improve your career or relationships?

If you still feel blocked or at an impasse with the situation ask yourself one more question.

  • “Is there potential here? Do you need to move to a different department or location within the company to realize your career dreams? In relationships, ask yourself if this is a deal-breaker.

Make a decision about the future; if you don’t like how this situation makes your feel now you’ll feel worse in later. Psychological traps  like worry cause insomnia. Make a choice but don’t obsess.

Sometimes the phone doesn’t ring after a date, or you don’t get the promotion. Worrying about it will not change it.

relationships

Jonathan passed over for a promotion obsessed that his boss didn’t like him. Doing the exercise, he realized he enjoyed the graphic design aspects of his job. His move to the design team led to an advancement to team leader later that year.

Carlie fought with Michael every time they went on a date still she cried beside the phone when he didn’t call for days.

Bottom line: If the relationship or job is making you obsess about it or worry, it’s not making you happy. Find what will make you happy.

The Worst Psychological Traps Come In 3’s

Don’t Become Fearful

When we allow fear to come into our lives, it paralyzes us or stops us from our higher good.

Catherine, an entrepreneur, was successful in business but had an unfortunate history with relationships. Now she was fearful to try dating once again. Sad that she would spend the rest of her life alone she came to me to lose weight thinking that might be the problem.

She held on to fear as tightly as she did extra pounds. We worked with both her fears and eating style. Slowing down as she ate helped her to feel full with less food. She began to lose weight boosting her self-image. When she accepted a date, not rushing also made sense.

Fearless

Dating was uncomfortable as she put it. Men always thought she was aggressive. Using these steps helped Catherine overcome her fears and they can help you too.

Essential Elements To Dissolving Fear

  • Learn More
  • Take Action
  • Let Go

We fear what we don’t understand or fear what we think is true about ourselves. Fear interferes with our happiness. Catherine was aggressive because she fear rejection especially by people of the opposite sex.

Learning more is tricky. You can ask your direct supervisor in your job. Jonathan talked to his boss who knew he shouldn’t be in computer coding and was thrilled to help him get to the right department where he excelled.

Catherine wanted to start a family. She learned to slow down and met the right man, not on the first date, six months later at her cousin’s summer party. She let go and took deliberate action to develop a relationship.

We fear things we don’t know or because we had a bad experience. When we take the steps to overcome fear, freedom comes into our life.

Self-talk can generate fear too. Often we rationalize things. Instead, invest time and effort to know what it is you want and then take action to achieve it.

3 Psychological Traps

The Bottom Line: Fear will stop you from ever having the career or relationships you want. Surrender, let go, and allow your passion and gut to guide you.

Despair, obsessing, and fear hold many individuals back from success in their lives. Celebrate the small stuff in life it’s make you happy to value the little things. When you remove these 3 psychological traps, you realize that you make your own happiness.

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