Feb 142018
 

 

willpower brain                       WILLPOWER

willpower dog ,, be still and know i am

Go WILLPOW

willpower strong

Synonyms :     determination, drive, resolve, continence, restraint, self-command, self-containment, self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-mastery, self-possession,  will, energetic determination, meditation, contemplation, concentration, attention

 

Give us all you have and we will give you all we possess!willpower muscle

“The fear of the unknown is the beginning of wisdom”

Love is not only the beginning of wisdom; it is wisdom of the highest order.

Concentrated Attention is the key that unlocks all stores of wisdom, of truth and of spirituality. Self-discipline, researchers found, was more important than IQ in predicting academic success. They found self-control scores correlated with higher grade-point averages, higher self-esteem, less binge eating and alcohol abuse, and better relationship skills. individuals with high self-control in childhood (as reported by teachers, parents and the children themselves) grew into adults with greater physical and mental health, fewer substance-abuse problems and criminal convictions, and better savings behavior and financial security.

According to most psychological scientists, willpower can be defined as:

  • The ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
  • The capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse.
  • The ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system.
  • Conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self.
  • A limited resource capable of being depleted.

 Will Power

Think of Will Power like religion, any religion, this is the inner experience of the individual.

To get to that experience, you must leave the outer world, in thought at least, and go within yourself.  Willpower is another word for meditation.

How does one go inside?

By detaching from the outer or sense world and withdrawing your attention upon something inside your mind.

This appears simple enough, and is the method of acquiring all willpower training and religious experiences—leaving the outer world and entering the inner world of consciousness.

Concentrating the attention upon something inside of one self is the way to all willpower development and spiritual experiences.

Methods differ—so will the experiences differ.  I learned not to get caught by the duality of opposites being so happy or sad. Stay in the Middle Way and

Be Here Now not tomorrow or yesterday. Being Still and Know That I Am God works to be in the Present. Once there Thank you for giving me this chance to say Thank you. Walk On.

 

 DEVELOPING WILLPOWER

willpower dog

Good Job Willpow

The mind is a slave of the senses and sensual pleasures.  Concentrate your attention, to keep the mind steady in between your eyes and brain and not let it come down.

The purpose is attaching yourself to your inner sound (a gift of your mind).

This sound keeps your mind detached from your senses and where willpower develops.

Now the mind is dominating the soul, and the mind itself is dominated by the senses (sight, feeling, touch, taste, hearing and sensual pleasures).

With the practice of concentrative attention we have to reverse the whole process, so that the soul dominates the mind, and the mind dominates the senses.

Check out this post for more methods ……   http://wellnesswillpower.com/yoga/

Walk On.

ThankYouForGivingMeThisChanceToSayThankYou…………

willpower muscle

Jan 272018
 

A Different Grief – A Man’s Grief

      Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Everyone goes through a natural grieving process when a death occurs. We each behave and express feelings according to the way we’ve been taught and as modeled by our society, our culture, our family, our peers and other influences. A belief system is created that affects the way that we perceive life, death and grief.

Although men and women both feel pain and grieve when they suffer a loss, the way they deal with grief is where the differences in their grieving become apparent. The differences we see in “his” and “her” grief responses are due to our different styles of coping with pain and loss.

There are many factors that cause these differences in coping… and most often we were carefully “taught.”

depressed man

From childhood, we are taught different gender roles. Little girls are taught and encouraged to share feelings, express needs and receive support from others. This support system is acquired over a lifetime.

Boys are treated quite differently and are often told, “Big boys don’t cry,” and “You have to be strong.” Men often have minimal social support systems outside of the immediate family and will often say that their wife is their best friend. She is the one with whom he shares his thoughts and feelings.

In our society, men are disproportionately unprepared to express distressed feelings and loneliness because of the way they are expected to behave and cope. Men are “expected” to be strong, to deal with problems, to be assertive (and sometimes aggressive), to take charge, to accomplish tasks, to achieve goals, to bear pain, be able to fix things (not just mechanical!), to be sexually potent, to endure stress without giving up or giving in and to care for, protect and support his family. Whew! It is no wonder that men are reluctant, and often cautious, to express the painful emotions of grief after the death of a loved one and choose instead to “go it alone” or reconnect quickly with a new partner.

Men are often isolated during grief and loss, with no one to talk to about their feelings. When societal messages about men being strong come into play, a grieving male may repress emotions so as not to appear weak or vulnerable. They are “expected” to be self-sufficient and independent, able to rely on their own strength. They are expected to accept difficulties with a certain non-emotional response. They are expected to “take things like a man,” which means “don’t show us your tears or your weaknesses.” When men lose a loved one, they often isolate to protect themselves and to avoid feeling embarrassed by overwhelming emotions.

In times of loss and grief, a man may be unable to express feelings because of a fear that he may “break down” and be viewed as weak and impotent. At the same time men may need support the most but they were trained not to reach out for it. They see their loss as something they must endure alone because they have been taught to be self-sufficient. Often men feel the need to “disconnect” even more in order to handle the intensity of the emotions they feel alone, where no one will see them or judge them. It is difficult (and often perceived as unacceptable) for a man to feel helpless and out of control.

Because men are expected to be the “strong ones” they are less likely to talk about, cry about, share thoughts about the loss or seek outside support. Men may use aggression, anger or violence, a new love relationship and substance abuse as grief substitutes (just to name a few). They may find ways to handle upsetting feelings without disclosing them to others, such as: going to the cemetery alone (to engage in solitary mourning); taking physical or legal action; or becoming immersed in activity, a new relationship or possibly even exhibiting addictive behavior(s).

While these demanding and unrealistic expectations may make daily survival possible for men, they make the successful resolution of a loss very difficult and, in many cases, impossible.

There are helpful and concrete ways to show support to a man in grief:

  • Acknowledge the death: It’s important for expressions of sympathy to be honest and heartfelt. Acknowledge his pain without expecting a response about feelings
  • Express genuine interest in feelings, concerns and conditions of loss: Accept the survivor’s expressions which are reflections of conflict and mixed emotions.
  • Be a safe place: Hold the griever’s sharing in confidentiality; otherwise, it’s not safe to share. Be willing to say, “I can assure you that this will remain between the two of us.”
  • Accept and encourage tears: When a man is struggling to hold back tears, he may be relieved to hear a quiet, “You don’t have to keep it in. It’s okay to feel.”
  • Share silence: Sometimes much is said in silence, nonverbally. Silence builds trust. Sometimes a simple nod, a touch, a pat or certain look conveys everything the other person needs to know.
  • Perform incidental acts of compassion: Be willing to help. Don’t ask what he needs. Ask if you can help with a particular task. Taking over a task quietly and efficiently can be effective.

Keep in mind that male gender conditioning acts strongly and in direct opposition to the requirements necessary to grieve a loss successfully. The majority of men react to the death of a loved one by keeping their thoughts and emotional pain to themselves; not saying anything helps protect against vulnerability, and silence is socially encouraged in American culture.

Due to the lack of support and outlets for expression of their grief, men are more at risk for illness and death than women after a significant loss of a loved one.  When we offer support to the bereaved man, try to keep in mind that just because he doesn’t react the way you think he should doesn’t mean that he isn’t grieving or hurting; it just means that he has his own way of doing it. You can be most helpful by being sensitive to this difference when you show up to walk beside him during a most painful journey and transition.

Men feel the need to be strong.

Even in the face of tragic loss, many men in our society still feel the need to be self-contained, stoic and to express little or no outward emotion. It is very much in vogue today to encourage men to openly express their feelings, but in practice few men do so. The outward expression of grief is called mourning. All men grieve when someone they love dies, but if they are to heal, they must also mourn.

You can help by offering a “safe place” for your friend to mourn. Tell him you’d like to help. Offer to listen whenever he wants to talk. Don’t worry so much about what you will say. Just concentrate on the words that are being shared with you. Let him know that in your presence at least, it’s OK for him to express whatever feelings he might have-sadness, anger, guilt, fear. Around you, he doesn’t have to be strong because you will offer support without judgment.

Men feel the need to be active.

The grief experience naturally creates a turning inward and slowing down on the part of the mourner, a temporary self-focus that is vital to the ultimate healing process. Yet for many men this is threatening. Masculinity is equated with striving, moving and activity. Many grieving men throw themselves into their work in an attempt to distract themselves from their painful feelings.

Maybe you can offer your friend both activity and time for reflection. Ask him to shoot hoops or play golf. Go for a hike or fishing with your friend. Let him know that you really want to hear how he’s doing, how he’s feeling. In the context of these activities he just might share some of his innermost thoughts.

Active problem-solving is another common male response to grief. If a father’s child dies of SIDS, for example, the father may become actively involved in fundraising for SIDS research. A husband whose wife is killed may focus on the legal circumstances surrounding the death. Such activities can be healing for grieving men and should be encouraged.

Men feel the need to be protectors.

Men are generally thought of as the “protectors” of the family. They typically work to provide their spouses and children with a warm, safe home, safe transportation and good medical care. So when a member of his family dies, the “man of the house” may feel guilty. No matter how out of his control the death was, the man may feel deep down that he has failed at protecting the people in his care.

If your friend expresses such thoughts, you will probably feel the need to reassure him that the death was not his fault. Actually, you may help your friend more by just listening and trying to understand. By allowing him to talk about his feelings of failure, you are helping him to work through these feelings in his own way and his own time.

It’s OK for men to grieve differently.

We’ve said that men feel the need to be strong and active in the face of grief. Such responses are OK as long as your friend isn’t avoiding his feelings altogether. It’s also OK for men to feel and express rage, to be more cognitive or analytical about the death, to not cry. All of these typically masculine responses to grief may help your friend heal; there is no one “right” way to mourn a death.

Avoid clichés.

Sometimes words, particularly clichés, can be extremely painful for mourners. Clichés are trite comments often intended to provide simple solutions to difficult realities. Men are often told “You’ll get over this” or “Don’t worry, you and Susie (can) have another child” or “Think about the good times.” Comments like these are not constructive. Instead, they hurt because they diminish a very real and very painful loss.

Make contact.

Your presence at the funeral is important. As a ritual, the funeral provides an opportunity for you to express your love and concern at this time of need. As you pay tribute to a life that is now passed, you have a chance to support your grieving friend. At the funeral, a touch of your hand, a look in your eye or even a hug communicates more than words could ever say.

But don’t just attend the funeral then disappear. Remain available afterwards as well. Grief is a process, and it may take your friend years to reconcile himself to his new life. Remember that your grieving friend may need you more in the weeks and months after the funeral than at the time of the death.

Be aware of holidays and other significant days.

Your friend may have a difficult time during special occasions like holidays and other significant days, such as the birthday of the person who died and the anniversary of the death. These events emphasize the person’s absence. Respect this pain as a natural extension of the grief process.

These are appropriate times to visit your friend or write a note or simply give him a quick phone call. Your ongoing support will be appreciated and healing.

Watch for warning signs.

Men who deny and repress their real feelings of grief may suffer serious long-term problems. Among these are:

  • chronic depression, withdrawal and low self-esteem
  • deterioration in relationships with friends and family
  • physical complaints such as headaches, fatigue and backaches
  • chronic anxiety, agitation and restlessness
  • chemical abuse or dependence
  • indifference toward others, insensitivity and workaholism

If you see any of these symptoms in your friend, talk to him about your concern. Find helping resources for him in his community, such as support groups and grief counselors. You can’t force your friend to seek help but you can make it easier for him to seek help.

Understand the importance of the loss.

Always remember that the death of someone loved is a shattering experience. As a result of this death, your friend’s life is under reconstruction. Consider the significance of the loss and be compassionate and available in the weeks and months to come.

“Helping a friend in grief is a difficult task. Helping a man in grief can be especially difficult, so few friends follow through in their desire to help. I encourage you to stand by your friend during this painful time. Your ongoing presence, patience and support will help him more than you will ever know.”

Back to top

Nov 272017
 

The Nose that can Smell Cancer

Israeli professor’s revolutionary disease-detection device is on the road to changing how early, and how easily, cancer is diagnosed.

The Nanoscale Artifical Nose (NA-NOSE), as the device is called, consists of five gold nanoparticle sensors linked to software capable of detecting patterns of molecules inherent in people with cancer. Prof. Haick and his team hope that such a test could one day be used by general practitioners to provide instant cancer diagnoses.

 

Addition by WellnessWillpower

Hossam Haick with the components of his Na-Nose

Hossam Haick with the components of his Na-Nose

An Israeli invention that can detect cancer from exhaled breath will be commercialized in a joint venture between the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Alpha Szenszor, a Boston-based manufacturer of carbon nanotube sensing equipment.

 

Technion Prof. Hossam Haick has been working on what he calls “Na-Nose” (the “na” is for “nanotechnology”) since 2007, and the device has been proven in numerous international clinical trials to differentiate between different types and classifications of cancer with up to 95 percent accuracy.

 

Patients breathe into a tube; the Na-Nose analyzes the more than 1,000 different gases that are contained in the breath to identify those that may indicate that something’s wrong. A new study shows that the breathalyzer is 86 percent accurate when identifying 17 different disease conditions. The small device uses nanotechnology that can detect each disease’s unique breathprint. Thus, the apparatus distinguishes each illness and gives a preliminary diagnose based on breath. It works by binding gases to specific nano-materials, a technique formally known as volatile organic compound (VOC) detection. (volatile organic compounds -found in exhaled breath).

There are thousands of VOCs, but the Na-Nose only uses 13 to identify more than 15 diseases. Each VOC is linked to several conditions. For example, the VOC isoprene is related to chronic liver disease, kidney disease, and diabetes while the VOC nonanal is associated with breast and ovarian cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

What lets the Na-Nose differentiate each disease is a particular combination of VOCs that is typical of one disease, making the apparatus 86 percent efficient.

The Na-Nose has two nanolayers to analyze exhaled breath. One layer has carbon, and the other one does not. The carbon layer is the sensitive one that holds the exhaled VOCs, which interact with the organic sensing layer. The carbon layer then changes the electrical resistance of the carbon-free layer. The second layer contains modified gold nanoparticles and a system of nanotubes which provides electrical conductivity to the device to make it possible to study VOCs.

Na-Nose imitates a human’s or dog’s sense of smell to analyze a patient’s breath.

The Na-Nose not only detects certain conditions but also warns of certain diseases the person might develop in the future.

The breakthrough is significant because there is currently no commercially available way of screening for cancer. Expensive and cumbersome imaging technologies (such as CT scans) are ordered only when a patient complains of symptoms, when it’s usually too late, or for a smaller group of high-risk individuals, mostly long-term smokers. And biopsies of tumors, when required, are inherently invasive.

Na-Nose could potentially change the current reality, where receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer is all too often a death sentence. Eighty-five percent of those with this particularly pernicious form of cancer don’t survive more than five years.

A few years down the road

Up until now, Haick’s innovation could only be used in a laboratory setting, says Steve Lerner, CEO of Alpha Szenszor. The new partnership will aggressively push to produce a manufacturable commercial “appliance” within two to three years. FDA testing could take up to another five years.

But before the decade is over, Haick and Lerner are confident that your local family physician should have a pocketsize “Na-Nose,” costing as little as $10, in his or her office. The initial device will be a lot more expensive, perhaps as high as $10,000 per unit, which will limit it to larger clinics and hospitals. But that’s still much less expensive than a CT imaging machine, and smaller.

The vision is even bigger. Lerner anticipates a day when the nanotechnology underlying the Na-Nose will be built into smartphones and tablets – allowing you to connect a tube to your iPad and screen yourself for cancer at home. Haick envisions an even lower-cost model of Na-Nose put to work in the developing world.

While the initial focus for the joint venture is on lung cancer, the possible benefits go much further. Haick says that, in the five years since he’s been working on the technology, his team has expanded the range of diseases it can detect. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other types of cancer — including breast, prostate and gastric — are all being found with similar levels of accuracy.

Alpha Szenszor is probably the ideal partner to bring the Na-Nose to market. Lerner has spent his career building and managing scalable manufacturing operations, from consumer electronics to semiconductors. Meanwhile, Alpha Szenszor had been perfecting its carbon nanotube sensor equipment but hadn’t yet found the right commercial application. Haick needs those nanotubes to move to the next level.

 

Duplicating a dog’s sniffer

If Lerner represents the manufacturing brawn, Haick is clearly the scientific brains. A faculty member in the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Unit and a professor in the Technion’s Department of Chemical Engineering, he was inspired to apply his chemistry background to disease detection after he read that dogs could sniff out certain types of cancer.

“But they had no way to communicate that efficiently,” he said, “and it’s not possible to bring dogs into a hospital setting due to issues with hygiene.” The Na-Nose explicitly seeks to duplicate the dog experience with technology.

Na-Nose’s detection device can be used at three different stages. The first, and most critical, is advanced screening. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the survival rate. The second stage is detailed diagnosis and monitoring during the cancer treatment: a simple breath analysis could mean less radiation or fewer biopsies. And finally, the Na-Nose can be used following successful treatment, to stay on top of any signs that the cancer may be recurring. Na-Nose could be integrated into daily life, including smartphones which could analyze people’s breath while they are talking on the phone. Heick explains that even when we feel healthy, the Na-Nose will be able to detect a silent disease.

Haick, 37, is something of an Israeli scientific superstar. Born and raised in the Christian Arab city of Nazareth, he appeared on Yedioth Ahronoth’s list of 50 leading Israelis in 2007; on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review list of 35 leading young scientists for 2008; and in 2010, he was named one of the 10 Most Promising Young Israeli Scientists by Calcalist, and one of the Jerusalem Post’s Young Israelis of the Year.

The market for cancer diagnostic devices is estimated at $7.9 billion; the total global market for medical diagnostic devices is over $40 billion. Some 1.6 million people worldwide are diagnosed with lung cancer every year.

With time the Na-Nose will get smarter and new medical treatments will follow. For example, Haick is working on the ability to connect lung cancer detection with genetic mutations. “This is quite important,” he said, “as many people with similar lung cancers, in the same environment, who get the same treatment don’t respond equally. We attribute this to genetic mutations.”

The promising future of personally tailored treatment cocktails requires this level of differentiation.

There’s still much to be done to make the new joint venture a reality. But given the potential, Haick and Lerner may just hit this one on the nose.

Read more on:   , , , , , ,
Nov 232017
 

How to Increase Your Sense of Gratitude

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Grateful Today

Thanksgiving — celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November — is perhaps one of the most cherished of American holidays; it’s a time when family and friends gather over ample amounts of food and give thanks for the blessings in life, including each other. As explained by University of California psychology professor Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude and author of several books on the topic, gratitude involves two key components:

  1. It’s “an affirmation of goodness;” when you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world
  2. It’s a recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself; that other people (or higher powers, if you prefer) have provided you with “gifts” that improve your life in some way

An Attitude of Gratitude Fosters Health and Happiness

The practice of openly sharing what we’re grateful for is by many accounts one of the healthiest aspects of our annual Thanksgiving festivity. According to psychologists, it’s a ritual that fosters both happiness and health. It’s unfortunate that most people reserve this gratitude ritual for Thanksgiving Day only. While giving thanks once a year is beneficial, doing it more often could be life changing. At least that’s what science suggests.

Studies have actually shown that the psychological state of gratitude has beneficial implications for every major organ system in your body. So, if you’re serious about your well-being you’d be wise to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude. Adopting the ritual of saying grace at every meal, for example, is a great way to flex your gratitude muscle on a daily basis, and will also foster a deeper connection to your food.

When you reflect on all the things that went into its creation, from the sowing of the seed, to the harvest and the cooking, you’ll realize just how much work — by both nature and man — went into creating the meal before you that will now provide you with nourishment. Considering a breakdown anywhere along that chain would result in scarcity and hunger, there’s a lot to be thankful for in each plate of food.

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is celebrated in remembrance of the first recorded feast between the British pilgrims and Native Americans in Plymouth. The year was 1621, and the pilgrims had just reaped their first successful harvest in the New World. While the history of this first Thanksgiving celebration is sketchy, eyewitness accounts claim:

  • The feast was attended by at least 50 English pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians, the latter of which walked for two days to attend. In addition to food, marksmanship games and running races were also enjoyed.
  • The celebration lasted three days.
  • Venison was the highlight of the meal, brought by the Wampanoag tribesmen. Other meal selections included fish and fowls (wild turkeys, ducks and geese).

At the time, the get-together was not called Thanksgiving,” and it did not become an annual, national holiday until 1863, nearly a century and a half later. In fact, the feast in 1621 appears to have been a singular event. Unfortunately, the peace between pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe was short-lived, and Thanksgiving is for many Native Americans a controversial holiday tainted by ancestral pain. According to Time:

“Early European colonizers and Native Americans lived in peace through a symbiotic relationship for about 10 years until thousands of additional settlers arrived … Up to 25,000 Englishmen landed in the New World between 1630 and 1642, after a plague drastically cut the native population by what’s believed to be more than half … The arrival of new settlers prompted a fight for land and rising animosity. War exploded in 1675 …

Many Native Americans have long marked Thanksgiving as a day of somber remembrance. Jacqueline Keeler, a member of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux … observes Thanksgiving with her family but doesn’t think of it as a national holiday … ‘Thanksgiving tells a story that is convenient for Americans. [But] it’s a celebration of our survival. I recognize it as a chance for my family to come together as survivors, pretty much in defiance.'”

Be Sure to Keep the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving

Depending on the kind of year you’ve had, you may or may not feel like you have a whole lot to feel thankful for. Whether or not you should express thanks if you feel you have nothing to be thankful for is addressed in a previous New York Times article. In it, Arthur C. Brooks writes:

“It’s best to be emotionally authentic, right? Wrong. Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. In a nutshell, acting grateful can actually make you grateful …

Evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude — and that doing so raises our happiness … If you want a truly happy holiday, choose to keep the “thanks” in Thanksgiving, whether you feel like it or not.”

One way to flex your gratitude muscle when life events leave you uninspired is to identify and express gratitude for seemingly “useless” or insignificant things. It could be a certain smell in the air, the color of a flower, your child’s freckles or the curvature of a stone. Over time, you’ll find that doing this will really hone your ability to identify “good” things in your life. In fact, you may eventually find that “bliss” is closer than you imagined.

Health Benefits of Gratitude

Aside from making you feel better about your life, feeling and expressing gratitude has been found to have a wide range of beneficial health effects, including:

Stimulating your hypothalamus (an area of your brain involved in the regulation of stress) and your ventral tegmental area (part of your brain’s “reward circuitry,” an area that produces pleasurable feelings)
Improving your sleep (especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime)
Raising the likelihood you’ll engage in healthy activities such as exercise
Raising your relationship satisfaction
Raising your work performance (in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance)
Reducing your stress
Enhancing your sense of general well-being
Improving your heart health, reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease
Producing measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine (involved in mood regulation), inflammatory cytokines, reproductive hormones, the stress hormone cortisol, the social bonding hormone oxytoxin, blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms, and blood sugar levels

10 Practical Strategies to Build and Strengthen Gratitude

Like a muscle, your sense of gratitude can be built and strengthened with practice.

Here are 10 gratitude practices you can experiment with:

Keep a daily gratitude journal

This can be done in a paper journal, you can download a Gratitude Journal app from iTunes.

In one study, people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, and had fewer

visits to the doctor compared to those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Write thank you notes or a thank you letter

Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being

in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank you

letters or notes can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.

Nonverbal actions

This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from

encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.

Be sincere, and choose your words wisely

While it’s easy to say words like “please” and “thank you” in passing, these courtesies can

become potent acknowledgments of gratitude when combined with eye contact and sincerity.

In other words, say it like you mean it.

Research also shows that using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than

“self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying,

“thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is better than a compliment framed in terms

of how you benefited, such as “it makes me happy when you do that.”

The former resulted in the partner feeling happier

and more loving toward the person giving the praise.

Focus on the benevolence of other people instead of being so self-centered

Doing so will increase your sense of being supported by life and decrease  anxieties.

Cherishing the kindness of others also means you’re less likely to take them for granted.

Avoid comparing yourself to people you perceive to have more advantages

Doing so will only erode your sense of security. As Emmons notes in his book,

“The Little Book of Gratitude,”

“Wanting more is related to increased anxiety and unhappiness.

A healthier comparison is to contemplate

what life would be like without a pleasure that you now enjoy … Gratitude buffers

you from emotions that drive anxiety. You cannot be grateful and envious,

or grateful while harboring regrets.”

Prayer and/or mindfulness meditation

Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude.

Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment

you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus,

but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for,

such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory.

Create a nightly gratitude ritual

This suggestion was given by Dr. Alison Chen in a Huffington Post article.

“My colleague has a bedtime routine with her [3-year-old] and it includes recognizing

what you are grateful for. When this part of the night comes, you can’t shut him up,

” Chen writes.”There are so many things that we take for granted and when you listen

to the long list that a child can come up with you realize the possibilities for

gratefulness are limitless! Take a couple of minutes each day to stop and reflect;

taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings

of gratefulness in your life.” One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,

into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis.

Any jar or container will do.

Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar.

Some make an annual (or bi-annual or even monthly)

event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud.

Spend money on activities instead of things

According to recent research, spending money on experiences not only generates more

feelings of gratitude than material consumption, it also motivates greater generosity.

As noted by co-author Amit Kumar, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago,

“People feel fortunate, and because it’s a diffuse, UN-targeted type of gratitude,

they’re motivated to give back to people in general.”Interestingly, generosity

has also been linked to happiness, which may seem counter-intuitive since giving to others

means sacrificing some of your own physical or emotional resources.

This experience has now been validated by science showing that generosity and happiness

are actually wired together in your brain.

Tap forth gratitude

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a helpful tool.

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians

used in acupuncture that can quickly restore inner balance and healing,

and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions.

In the video below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude.

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude Year-Round

Your future health and happiness depends largely on the thoughts you think today. It’s worth remembering that each moment of every day is an opportunity to feel and express gratitude. Doing so will, over time, help you feel happier, strengthen your relationships and support your health. By focusing on what’s good right now, in the present moment, you become more open to receive greater abundance in the future.

So, remember to say “thank you” — to yourself, the universe, and others.

Thank you for giving me this chance to say Thank you

Back to top

WellnessWillpower thanks Dr. Joseph Mercola and the class of 72

 

Oct 302017
 

 

Introduction

Nearly twenty-five million Americans are currently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder, but children can also be affected.

One-third of people who experience severe, prolonged trauma, such as military combat, severe neglect, or prolonged sexual assault, will develop the disorder. An estimated two-thirds of people who are exposed to mass violence will develop the disorder. PTSD can also surface after acutely distressing or frightening experiences, such as violent assaults, serious auto accidents, natural disasters, or the death or illness of a close friend or family member. Previous exposure to trauma increases an individual’s risk of developing PTSD. PTSD is not typically associated with divorce or job loss.

It is estimated that 8% of Americans will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

The symptoms of PTSD

PTSD is expressed by a variety of symptoms, all of which can make it difficult to live life and participate in typical daily activities. Sufferers of PTSD exhibit symptoms that fall into three categories: re-experience symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and arousal symptoms.

Re-experience symptoms occur when sufferers of PTSD have flashbacks, and relive the trauma they experienced over and over again, even when they are attempting to focus on other things. This can include symptoms like:

  • Irregular but repeated flashbacks, accompanied by feelings of fear, horror, and stress that accompanied the initial traumatic event.
  • Feeling as though the event is happening all over again.
  • Hearing, seeing, or smelling things that remind the survivor of the event and causing them to remember the traumatic event. These particular symptoms are called triggers, and can include things like the smell of a barbeque, a dark hallway, or a certain touch.

Avoidance symptoms occur when PTSD sufferers feel numbness and detachment, and isolate themselves from people and places that might trigger old memories or reminders, often to the detriment of their physical and emotional health. This can include behaviors like:

  • Avoiding crowds because they seem threatening or dangerous.
  • Avoiding driving because the trauma was experienced in a car, or military convoy.
  • Avoiding certain movies, television shows, or news coverage that takes place or talks about the area the trauma was experienced.
  • Avoiding help by keeping busy in order to dissociate from the event in an attempt to forget it.

Arousal symptoms are categorized by feelings of irritability, edginess, as well as nightmares and difficulty sleeping. This can include symptoms like:

  • Feeling jittery and paranoid, constantly on the lookout for potential signs of danger.
  • Having difficulty relaxing or falling asleep.
  • Having difficulty concentrating and feeling easily startled by quick movements or loud noises.
  • Wanting to remain in the corners of rooms or restaurants in order to be on the lookout for potential threats; always remaining near the exits in a building or shopping mall.

Additionally, people suffering from PTSD might experience changes in long held feelings and beliefs, and changes in the way they think about themselves, or others in their life. They may have difficulty developing or maintaining positive feelings towards other people in their life, and their relationships will suffer as a result. Some people suffering from PTSD attempt to block out the traumatic event entirely, and are unable to talk or communicate about their experience at all. This is particularly dangerous, as these memories need to be addressed and de-traumatized before healing can occur.

How is PTSD diagnosed?

PTSD symptoms can begin immediately following a traumatic event. Most people who survive a significant trauma will recover, given time; however, stress-induced reactions to trauma that persist over time, or get worse as time goes by, may ultimately be diagnosed as PTSD.

There are three categories of PTSD:

  • Acute PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms last between one and three months following the trauma.
  • Chronic PTSD occurs when symptoms persist for three months or longer.
  • Individuals suffering from delayed PTSD do not exhibit symptoms for at least 6 months following trauma. This form of PTSD is often found in adults who have experienced childhood trauma.

PTSD is not officially diagnosed until a person’s symptoms persist for at least one month and continue to cause extreme distress, including severe interference with work and home life.

Before diagnosing PTSD, a doctor will perform a physical exam in order to confirm there are no other medical problems that are contributing to a patient’s symptoms. A psychological exam will follow, in which a patient’s symptoms are discussed along with the event or events that preceded them. The American Psychiatric Association uses criteria defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to confirm a patient’s diagnosis.  This manual requires an individual to have been exposed to a traumatic  event that involved the actual or possible threat of death, violence, or serious bodily harm. Exposure can occur in a number of ways, including direct exposure, witnessing an experience that happens to someone else, learning a close friend or family member has experienced a dramatic event, or by repeated exposure to multiple traumatic events.

The science behind PTSD

The brain is, arguably, the most important organ in the human body. When impacted by illness or injury, it can have life-altering effects. In very rare cases, brain injuries can unlock new skills, turning an ordinary person into a savant, but more frequently the effects are devastating.

In order to treat brain injuries, it is absolutely critical to understand the underlying problem and contributing factors. With PTSD, which can manifest itself in a variety of ways and over long periods of time, this is particularly true.

Three areas of the brain are particularly important when considering PTSD: the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.

The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for responding, automatically, to stress and fear. It works continuously the evaluate the environment and respond accordingly. The amygdala also plays a key role in memory consolidation, and the more emotionally significant a memory is, the more active the amygdala is in coding its memory storage. In this way, the amygdala categorizes certain memories as points of reference for future reactions. Ultimately, when the amygdala recognizes danger signals, it triggers the fight-or-flight response.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for storing and retrieving memories. It works much like the hard drive of a computer. Sights, sounds, and smells associated with dangerous or frightening memories are stored here, along with more mundane information such as your home address and the color of your first car. The memory storage of the hippocampus is independent of the amygdala, but the two systems interact when emotion and memory meet.

 

The prefrontal cortex is the large section of your brain that sits right behind your forehead. This region of the brain is responsible for personality, cognition, rational thought, and decision making.cognition,rational thought, and decision making.http://image.slidesharecdn.com/generalanatomy19b-140506222241-phpapp01/95/general-anatomy-19-b-25-638.jpg?cb=1399431739
A-portion-of-the-limbic-system-2

In the instance of a trauma, the hippocampus works quickly to calm the amygdala alarm bells. When activated, this alarm circuit triggers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, named for the three glands that control many processes within the body, including the digestion, energy storage, immune system response, and more. When the hippocampus can’t calm the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex takes over. Under conditions of chronic stress, the prefrontal cortex can experience dendrite atrophy and fatigue, which can lead to increased anxiety and PTSD-like behaviors.

When a person is suffering from PTSD, the circuits connecting the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are not working as they should. When the override system experiences chronic stress it comes depleted and is more likely to experience malfunctions. Malfunctions can result in the hippocampus being unable to store memories correctly, and can leave the amygdala in a state of constant fear and stress.

Because symptoms of PTSD must occur for a month or longer before someone is diagnosed, a person who has very recently experienced a traumatic event may re-experience their trauma a number of times before getting help. These recurrences can occur through racing thoughts and flashbacks, but also through nightmares. This occurs because the amygdala is essentially always signaling imminent danger. Recent trauma survivors might also exhibit arousal symptoms such as irritability, hypervigilance, and jumpiness for the same reason.

While a diagnosis of PTSD indicates that an individual has experienced a severe and devastating trauma, it is possible for the brain to heal. Working with a trained medical professional to address the traumatic memories in a safe environment will begin to heal the circuits and pathways connecting the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. It is incredibly difficult to recover from PTSD alone. Support from the community, family, and friends will go a long way towards helping an individual suffering from PTSD to recover.

Why do people with PTSD have sleep problems?

While many people have occasional trouble sleeping, those suffering from PTSD can experience increased anxiety and nightmares that making sleeping extremely difficult.

When a person is constantly on alert, it is difficult to have a restful night of sleep. When a person is easily startled by noise or movement, it can be nearly impossible to fall asleep in the first place. Combining these symptoms with worries over getting enough can produce a devastating cycle that leaves PTSD sufferers awake for hours on end. In addition to trouble falling asleep, nightmares are a very common symptom of PTSD. Nightmares can become so bad that they cause a PTSD sufferer to wake-up during the night, or make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place from fear of having a nightmare.

Individuals suffering from PTSD are also more likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol. They may use these substances as coping mechanisms to deal with their symptoms, but drugs and alcohol can have detrimental effects on the sleep of a healthy person, let alone someone suffering from PTSD. Alcohol, in particular, modulates sleep cycles and increases the likelihood that an individual will wake up during the night, ultimately resulting in lower quality sleep.

Lastly, PTSD sufferers are frequently dealing with other medical problems in conjunction with their PTSD, including chronic pain or digestion issues. Physical ailments like these can also make sleep difficult.

Common sleep disorders for people suffering from PTSD

Sleep disorders, when compounded by PTSD, present differently when compared to the same sleep disorders experienced by the general population. For example, while people suffering from primary insomnia have difficulties falling asleep, they still are able to achieve sufficient sleep compared to those suffering from insomnia and PTSD related sleep loss. Generally, people suffering from PTSD have more inconsistent and erratic sleep patterns compared to a general population of individuals suffering from sleep disorders.

New research also correlates severe PTSD resulting from military service overseas to an increased risk of sleep apnea. The same research showed the risk of sleep apnea was significantly lower in service members who did not deploy. While the link between PTSD and sleep apnea remains unclear from this research, both of these disorders are responsible for a decreased quality of life.

Sleep help for people suffering from PTSD

By making minor changes to their bedroom or sleeping area, a person suffering from PTSD can increase the likelihood that they will sleep well. Attempting to sleep in an environment with a lot of noise, light, or activity will be detrimental to anyone’s ability to get restful sleep, this is particularly compounded from someone suffering from PTSD.

Some simple changes that can make a bedroom amenable to sleep include:

  • Removing the TV, radio, and phone charging station out of the bedroom. It is especially critical to remove artificial blue light (tablets, laptops, cell phones).
  • Using the bedroom only for sleep and sex.
  • Using curtains to block out the light, and keep the room otherwise cool and quiet.
  • For some people, a white noise machine can help induce sleep.

To establish a regular sleeping pattern, critical to good and restful sleep, the following healthy sleep habits should be observed:

  • Establish a sleep schedule by setting a routine bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Create a set of customary practices around bedtime to help with relaxation. Some examples include taking a warm bath, drinking a cup of caffeine-free tea, reading a book, or listening to some soft music.
  • If night and noise are a problem, consider using a sleep mask or earplugs to block out light and sound.
  • Rise at the established wake-up time everyday, even if feelings of tiredness remain. Over time, this routine will help a person fall asleep quicker and wake up without an alarm.
  • On the weekends, sleep no longer than one hour past the standard wake-up time.

Certain daytime activities can help or hinder a nightly sleep cycle.  For example, drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages during the course of the day can keep a person up at night. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can also inhibit good sleep, causing the sleeper to wake up more frequently during the night. Here are some other tips for how to spend the waking hours:

  • Exercise during the day, but not within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Spend time outside in the sun. Sunlight helps regulate the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles.
  • Avoid napping, especially in the evening.
  • Avoid taking medicines that have an excitatory effect in the evening and instead take them earlier in the day (when possible according to the doctor who prescribed them).

Medication

People suffering from PTSD and having trouble sleeping because of anxiety, or frequently nightmares, might also talk to their doctor about prescribing a medication that might help reduce nightmares and other sleep problems by blocking the adrenaline hormone.

There are also many homeopathic remedies that might help some people suffering from PTSD, but in general, more evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of these remedies. For example, the herb stramonium, which is thought to help individuals suffering from nightmares, has never been tested in a clinical trial setting.

Additional Online PTSD Resources

Screening

Are you concerned you may be suffering from PTSD? Take this quiz to learn if you may benefit from seeking professional help for PTSD.

Research Studies

The National Center for PTSD, located in Washington D.C. and funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, funds research directed at helping individuals suffering from PTSD. These research projects often seek out sufferers of PTSD and provide financial incentive to participants. In some cases, projects seek volunteers without PTSD to serve as controls.

Some current research opportunities funded by the National Center for PTSD include the following:

  1. A study of tobacco treatment as augmentation to Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, located in Boston, MA. This study seeks to understand how tobacco use affects PTSD recovery, and is ongoing until March 2019.
  1. A study of Neurobiological and Psychological Benefits of Exercise in Chronic Pain and PTSD, located in Boston, Ma. This study seeks to understand the benefits of exercise to individuals suffering from chronic pain and PTSD, and is ongoing until October 2017.
  1. A study of Structural and Spectroscopy Pharmaco-Imaging Paradigm to Investigate the Effect of Riluzole in Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), located in West Haven, CT. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a pharmacologic, Riluzole, in improving PTSD symptoms, and is ongoing until 2018.

To learn more about these and other trials, check your eligibility, or join a trial, follow the link here.

Online Forums

There are many forums and support groups online that engage individuals and families who are recovering from trauma or suffering from PTSD. Here are a few that might be useful:

Blogs

While PTSD is often associated with military service, it can surface following any number of traumatic events. In conjunction with a solid support system and good medical care, the following blogs may provide additional perspective and coping mechanisms for dealing with and healing from PTSD:

For Veterans

  1. Healing Combat Trauma is designed for veterans but will be useful for anyone suffering from PTSD.
  2. The Wounded Times is dedicated to combat veterans suffering from PTSD, and publishes contributions from around the globe.
  3. The Family of a Vet addresses the confluence of PTSD and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), and is written by veterans in conjunction with their family and close friends.

For Veterans and Non-Veterans

  1. PTSD Survival is written by a PTSD survivor who advocates for self-care and offers strategies for reclaiming your life after trauma.
  2. Heal My PTSD offers advice and strategies for dealing with the symptoms associated with PTSD and includes many personal stories from PTSD survivors.
  3. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine publishes contributions from dozens of experts in several fields including medicine, nutrition, and self-care, and offers a holistic approach to treating PTSD.
  4. https://www.medicaljane.com/   medical cannabis education and resources to suffering patients who deserve a better quality of life.

Twitter Accounts

Twitter can be an excellent resource for connecting with people around the world. Here are a few twitter accounts that address PTSD from perspectives of healing and education:

Books

For many individuals suffering from PTSD, working through their trauma is first step towards healing. The PTSD Workbook was written by specialists in complex trauma and is critically acclaimed. The Complex PTSD Workbook is another option for those suffering from Complex PTSD. Lastly, The Body Keeps Score has over one thousand five star reviews on Amazon and is the #1 seller in several categories of mental health scholarship, including PTSD, Psychopathology, and Psychiatry.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.35.21 AM Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.51.15 AM

Back to top

Oct 212017
 

 Willpower your Immune System for Wellness

 

    A strong immune system tends to decrease the duration and severity of infectious diseases. The immune system is responsible for fighting disease-causing micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses, molds and fungi.

 People can boost their immune systems by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating healthy, managing stress, laughing and establishing better social networks.

http://www.livetradingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/immunedefense-701x526.jpg

 Everyday Health explains that sunlight is important because it leads to production of vitamin D. In summertime, 10 to 15 minutes of daily sunlight–with sunscreen–is sufficient. Other times of the year, sunlight may be too weak, and vitamin D supplements can help.

It is recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night to keep stress hormones in balance. People should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day because it helps stave off colds and releases hormones that induce positive emotions. Exercise often also leads to better sleep.

Consuming too many carbohydrates can lead to a decrease in immune system cells that destroy bacteria. A healthy diet that helps the immune system should focus on foods high in vitamins C and E, zinc and beta carotene. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as citrus, apple, kale, grapes and carrots are good. Stress hurts the immune system, so dealing with stress by slowing down, meditating and making friends also helps.

http://anatomicalfx.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Great-Good-and-Bad-Carbs.jpg

7 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Immunity

Vitamin C foods

Vitamin C acts as a natural immune booster. Thus, regularly eat lemons, oranges, pineapples, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pomegranates, bell peppers, broccoli, and so on.

These foods are rich in antioxidants that protect your cells from damage by free radicals. Furthermore, foods rich in vitamin C help fight obesity.

Vitamin C usually works in conjunction with other micronutrients. So, you need to lay emphasis on other vitamins and minerals, too, such as vitamin A, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, and so on.

Probiotics

Probiotics like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are excellent for immunity. Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ that boost the digestive health.

After all, the digestive system contains almost 70% of the body’s immune cells. You can include probiotics in your diet by having yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso soup, pickles, etc.

Proper sleep

It is essential to get a restful sleep for maintaining optimum heath as sleep deprivation depresses the immune function.

In fact, recent studies indicate that lack of sleep is likely to make you more susceptible to cold and flu. Thus, a good sleeping pattern providing adequate sleep is useful for regulating and balancing the immune system.

It is during sleep that the immune system releases protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies. Adults generally need about 6-8 hours of sleep.

Sunshine

The sunshine vitamin, that is, vitamin D, tends to improve immunity, increase the number of white blood cells, and decrease the risk of infections.

Plus, it stimulates circulation, soothes your nerves, and increases the production of serotonin and endorphins that make you feel better.

Thus, it is suggested to go outside and soak in the sun for about 20 minutes, daily. In addition, when out in the sun, you get to breathe fresh, clean air free of germs and irritants.

Exercise

Incorporate activities like jogging, bicycling, yoga, swimming, etc. in your routine, at least 30 minutes, a few times in a week in order to strengthen your immune system.

Regular exercising also prevents issues like osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and so on.

Apart from exercise, follow some relaxation techniques and mental exercises to relieve stress. Positive visualization, for instance, can improve immunity and brain function.

Physical as well as mental stress is detrimental for health as it impairs immune function. Needless to say, drink sufficient water, too, because it helps eliminate toxins.

Herbal tea Medicinal Herbs are key to Enhanced Immune Protection

Consume herbal teas rich in antioxidants and immune-enhancing nutrients. Some of the most common herbs used for this purpose are Echinacea, goldenseal, licorice root, ginger, calendula, and so on.

Chaparral(Creosote) and Black Cumin(Black Seed) are one of the strongest medicinal herbs to enhance the immune system.

They are anti bacterial, anti viral, anti microbial, anti fungal.

Silymarin from Milk-thistle enhances the immunity of the Liver and maintains a healthy general organ. 

Astragalus is another immunostimulant herb that strengthens resistance and inhibits cancer.

Eat medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake (sometimes sold as “hen of the woods”). A recent study showed that a concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function in women with breast cancer.  Agaricus blazei, Agaricus brasiliensis or Agaricus rufotegulis) is a species of mushroom, commonly known as almond mushroom, mushroom of the sun, God’s mushroom, mushroom of life.

Other immune-supportive herbs-  If you get recurrent infections, consider taking immune-supportive herbs such as eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticocus), Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Astaxanthin is a purple micro algae that is a superior enhancer  for the Immune System.

 

Before incorporating these herbs in your diet, though, it is recommended to consult with your doctor as they have some side effects. Plus, they may interfere with certain medications.

In addition, raw and roasted cloves of garlic contain compounds that stimulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

It is believed that garlic can help destroy tumor cells, too.  In case you are bothered about the garlic smell then use mint, parsley, fennel seeds, etc. to mask the smell.

Lean protein

Lean proteins contain a non-essential amino acid called glutamine, which promotes healthy immune function. In addition, it is good for digestive health and helps repair tissues.

Thus, you can have dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc. Seafood and skinless poultry are also good sources of lean proteins and glutamine.

Besides, vegetarians and vegans can opt for cabbage, beans, spinach, beets, kale, celery, soy products, and so on.

Nuts, too, are good sources of proteins. Plus, make sure you take nutrient-rich foods rather than fast foods with empty calories.

Negatives for the Immune System

http://healthytipsbypriteeka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/immune-system.png

Sugar: There is strong evidence that sugar has a negative effect on the function of the immune system. When white blood cells are exposed to high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, they have a decreased ability to engulf bacteria and have weakened systemic resistance to all infections. What is a high level of sugar? The normal sugar level in the bloodstream is approximately one teaspoon. A single can of soda or a bowl of ice cream has 12 teaspoons of sugar. The digestive system is overtaxed trying to prevent all that sugar from entering the bloodstream all at once, and the pancreas is also working hard to produce enough insulin to process the sugar. This is a lot of stress on your body. Refined carbohydrates, such as most breads and baked goods act pretty much like sugar in the body. These refined foods also lack the beneficial nutrients and fiber that are present in whole grains, and actually cause a depletion of minerals in your body. Try finding foods that are more gently sweetened with fruit juice, rice syrup or barley malt.

Coffee: Caffeine is a diuretic that contributes to the body’s loss of important nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Caffeine places stress on the adrenal glands (already stressed out from our hectic lifestyles) and adversely affects the nervous system, resulting in anxiety, hyperactivity, and insomnia.

Healing occurs when the body is relaxed and its energy can be channeled inward. Regular consumption of caffeine deprives the body of this relaxed state. The acid in coffee eats away the villi of the small intestine, reducing their effectiveness in supporting nutrient assimilation. Thus the acids in coffee may cause as much problem as the caffeine. Try milder forms of caffeine such as green tea, or try the various caffeine-free coffee substitutes. Mix them with your coffee to gradually reduce your caffeine dependence.

Alcohol: When consumed in excess, alcohol is a poison to every system of your body. It depresses the nervous system, inhibits the bone marrow’s ability to regenerate blood cells, is toxic to the liver, depletes B-vitamins, and is dehydrating. If you are taking protease inhibitors, which place significant stress on the liver, alcohol intake must be very moderate. Anyone with chronic hepatitis B or C should pay particular attention to this added stress to the liver, and try to avoid alcohol as much as possible.

Raw foods: Foods such as clams, oysters, sushi, very rare meats, and undercooked eggs contain infectious bacteria and intestinal parasites. Infections that would not bother most people can be life-threatening for those with compromised immune systems. Even alfalfa and bean sprouts, which are usually associated with “health food,” contain a natural toxin that can harm the immune system. They really should be cooked before eating. Raw fruits and vegetables should be well washed before eating.

Rancid fats and oils: These create free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can initiate chain reactions of chemical disruption, injuring cell membranes, enzymes, and DNA. They have a negative impact on a wide range of conditions such as aging, cancer, inflammation, degenerative disease, viral infections, and AIDS. Common sources of rancid fats and oils are nuts, chips, baked goods, and fried foods.

At higher temperatures and exposure to light, oils and fats turn rancid more quickly. When foods are deep-fried, the fats used reach very high temperatures, and if the oil is re-used, as is invariably the case, the oxidative effect is magnified. Most polyunsaturated vegetable oils, unless cold-pressed, are heated to high temperatures during processing. Hydrogenated vegetable oils, including shortenings and margarine, are also heat processed. These are all sources of free radicals. In addition, nitrates have been shown to cause cancer and should be avoided; they are found in hot dogs, sausages, salami and smoked meats.

Food allergies: Many people are sensitive to certain foods, which can result in symptoms including intestinal distress, fatigue, and even weight gain. Common foods that create such problems are dairy, eggs, gluten (the protein in wheat), soy, corn, and food additives. Individuals that experience any of the above symptoms should experiment with eliminating these foods from their diets for a few weeks to see what changes occur. Then, reintroducing one at a time will give a good indication of which foods may be causing the problems.

Eating for a strong immune system starts with focusing on whole rather than refined foods. Eating organic foods as much as possible will make a big difference. You really don’t want to be adding the burden of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and feed, antibiotics and growth hormones to your system.

http://slideplayer.com/slide/6558893/23/images/6/How+can+using+tobacco+effect+your+immune+system.jpg

The Good Guys for your Immune System

Whole grains: Brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat (kasha), oats, barley, and other whole grains are a valuable source of the vitamins, minerals and fiber that are an essential part of keeping the immune system healthy. Fiber helps cleanse the colon of toxins and helps prevent intestinal infections. Intact whole grains, not the flour products made from them are what really strengthen the digestive system. Cooked grains make a great breakfast or a substitute for pasta, white rice or white potatoes.

Vegetables: Eat as many vegetables as you can. These are really the immune-boosting heavyweights. They are the best source of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are known to protect the body against many diseases, including cancer. Especially try to have dark leafy greens, such as kale and collard greens. And include as many of the yellow and orange vegetables as possible for beta carotene, an important anti-oxidant. Carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes are also great for satisfying the sweet tooth in a healthy way. If you are prone to diarrhea, which is common among those with HIV, avoid raw vegetables (and fruit). Lightly steam or saute them instead.

Fresh fruit: Providing the same benefits as vegetables, fruits can be eaten as snacks, separate from protein for better digestion and best on an empty stomach. Berries are particularly noted for their cancer preventative abilities. Fruit though is very high in sugar, so large quantities should be avoided, especially tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, etc. If you are prone to yeast infections (thrush, candida), avoid fruit juices, since the high concentration of sugar promotes the growth of yeast in the digestive system.

Fermented Foods: As the beneficial microflora grow in fermented foods, they produce enzymes that are extremely helpful for increasing “digestive fire” and improving nutrient absorption of the foods we eat.  These enzymes additionally help to digest other foods that are eaten with them.  For those of you who tend to eat a lot of cooked or packaged foods void of enzymes, adding them to your diet can greatly enhance nutritional uptake and support the Immune System. Neither vitamins, minerals, or hormones can do any work – without enzymes.

Most all disease originates in the gastrointestinal tract, specifically the colon.  When there is an excess accumulation of waste material and toxins in this region, negative implications can impact the rest of the digestive system and eventually will effect vital organ, like the kidneys and liver.  This may produce various symptoms like headaches, inflammation in the joints, chronic muscle pain, skin issues and other more serious health conditions.

Protein: Generous amounts of high quality protein are important for maintaining rapid production of cells to support the immune system, preventing loss of lean muscle mass and boosting energy. As much as possible, look for organic meat and poultry, have plenty of fish, especially those high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for building the body’s immune response. These include salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout and tuna; flax seeds are another good source of this important nutrient. Dairy products may not be the best protein source since they create digestive problems for many people, such as excess gas, loose stools, mucous and congestion. Yeast infections and thrush also thrive on dairy. Vegetarian sources of protein include soy products such as tofu and tempeh, and beans and legumes, having the added benefit of fiber, which animal foods do not provide.

Other helpful foods include onions, garlic (unless you are having liver problems), ginger, and turmeric (a spice that is a good anti-inflammatory). Mushrooms such as shitake, oyster, and other Asian varieties, are noted for their immune-enhancing abilities. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals such as immune-boosting zinc, as well as calcium. Small quantities of fresh almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are also good sources for zinc and healthy fats.

Water: This is the essential “ground zero” for regulating all of the body’s systems. It eases the job of the kidneys and liver to process and eliminate toxins from the blood. It helps keep mucous membranes moist enough to combat the viruses they encounter. And it is a little known tool for reducing sugar cravings. Sugar cravings are often a sign of dehydration. Try a big glass of water the next time you are craving sugar, then wait a few minutes and see if the need for the sugar is really still there. Water, as well as other beverages, really should not be ice cold. Your body will have to use a lot of energy to warm it up to that 98.6 degrees it tries so hard to maintain. Try to have 6 to 8 glasses of pure water every day.

Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and herbs are an important part of making sure your nutritional needs are met. But taking a lot of supplements while maintaining a poor diet will not have the desired effects. If you want to plant a garden, you could just dig a few holes, plant the seeds, and wait for something to happen. Maybe a few things would grow, but the crop would probably not be very bountiful. But add compost and nutrients to the soil, water it properly, and you would reap the rewards. Think of a good diet as your way to amend your soil, then if you add a few supplements, there’s a good environment for growth.

Wash your hands and face often to maintain a healthy immune response. Avoid the anti bacterial soaps.

 

http://www.experthow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Boost-Immune-System-1.jpgImmune Organs

 

Find Ways to Relax. Listen to music or take a hot bath to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Scientists hypothesize that your immune system may become weakened after frequent activation of the autonomic nervous system in the case of chronic stresses.
Back to top

Sep 182017
 

For thousands of years the practice of Yoga has enhanced lives.

Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal toward which that school directs its practices. In Jainism yoga is the sum total of all activities—mental, verbal and physical.

Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

Hatha Yoga

Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysterious about it because anything in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over the flow of these life-currents.
Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. It is thought that by perfecting the body, creating a healthy physical condition, and raising Kundalini (dormant energy) upwards along the spine, the body becomes better prepared for yogic awakening. The first effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing. The ability of some Yogis to even stop the breathing and heart beat completely for a period of time has been demonstrated under laboratory settings.

Traditional Hatha Yoga consists of:
1. Asanas (postures);
2. Shat Karmas (six cleansing techniques, also known as Shat Kriyas);
3. Pranayama (control of breathing with retention);
4. Bandhas (locks) and Mudras (seals) for the regulation of Prana (life-force) and Kundalini; and
5. Samadhi (Union with God, realization of the Self, ecstasy, nirvana).

There are many good books available on this subject and one is wise to have a copy handy that also includes pictures of the various asanas and mudras.

Further Reading: Health Benefits of a regular Hatha Yoga practice


 

Raja Yoga / Radja Yoga

Raja Yoga means royal and is sometimes called the crown of Hatha Yoga. Raja adds concentration after body and mind are cleaned and trained to stay calm and attentive. The improvement in our power of concentration, as a result of Raja Yoga, moves all of our attention towards the source of our Being in order to become that Being. Raja Yoga is a complete system, also refered to as Ashtanga Yoga because of the eight (ashta) limbs (anga) the system rests on.

The Eight Limbs (Ashta-anga) are:
1. Restraints (yamas: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of senses)
2. Disciplines (niyamas: cleanliness, purification of body, mind and nervous system, study of metaphysical principles, contemplation on God)
3. Postures (asanas)
4. Control of breathing and life-currents (pranayama)
5. Turning the attention within (pratyahara)
6. Concentration (dharana)
7. Meditation (dhyana: prolonged periods of perfect concentration and contemplation)
8. Holy Trance (Samadhi)


Bhakti Yoga (Union through Devotion and Love)

Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of selfless love, compassion, humility, purity and the desire and serious intention to merge with God. It is nothing else than to follow the ‘First Commandment’: “to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

The following persons are known as outstanding examples of Bhakti Yogis:
·  Daya Mata (1914-2010)
·  Shree Maa
·  Anandamayi Ma (1896 – 1982)
·  Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)
·  Ma Yoga Shakti
·  Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi)

Bhakti Yoga Meditation – a complete guide for understanding the philosophy and practice of bhakti for practitioners at any level. Following the teachings of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, we offer online meditation instructions, mp3 downloads of meditation kirtan, lectures and other helpful accessories, tips and suggestions for you to progress in your bhakti meditation.


Jnana Yoga (The Yoga of Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics. It is both theory and practice. Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is behind and beyond our mind. It is a Quest for the Self by direct inquiry into “who we are.” It is, however, a mistake to think that the Source could be found with the intellect alone.

For the purpose of Self-discovery, Jnana Yoga probes the nature of the Self through the question: Who am I? Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our Being, we regain our real Self. We remember who we are. The inquiry, as the result of practising Jnana Yoga, leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from that which we are not. Along with Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana is listed among the best approaches for becoming aware of the eternal Self (God).

Shankara and Ramana Maharshi are the classic authorities concerning Jnana Yoga. Like Hatha and Raja Yogis, Jnana Yogis also acknowledge the relationship between breathing and thinking. They found that breathing slows automatically through concentration on the “I-AM.”

For more in-depth information, please see extended article: Jnana Yoga


Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to rid the body and mind of obstructions. Kriya Yoga is a complete system including mantras, meditation, and other techniques towards controlling the life-force and bringing calmness and control over body and mind. The goal is to unite with pure Awareness (God). Since pure Awareness is our original condition, it is also referred to as Self-awareness.

The following organizations are known to be genuine sources for the original techniques:
·  Ananda Church of Self-Realization
·  Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA)
·  Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
·  Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas
·  Temple of Kriya Yoga

For more in-depth information, please see our extended article: Kriya Yoga


Karma Yoga (Self-less work for our fellow neighbour)

Karma is the total sum of all our actions (mental and physical), in this life and before. Karma Yoga is the yoga of Service or self-transcending Action, whereby the yogi directs all actions towards God. By serving God and humanity (without selfishness, egoism, and attachment) the heart becomes pure, the ego fades and, over time, or even over many lifetimes, one becomes increasingly in tune and unified with God. Enlightenment (Samadhi, nirvana, union with God) is naturally realized through Karma yoga.


Surat Shabd  Yoga:

The practice of joining the Soul (surat) with the Word (shabd) and merging (yoga) with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd(inner sound- the Audible Life Stream), it is carried by the Shabd to its source, the Lord.

This form of yoga connects the soul to the universal consciousness through the use of meditation and inner sound (Shabd Dhun) ‘The music of the word’; the Shabd, the Audible Life Stream, The ‘Word’; Spiritual Sound; Sound Current. The creative power, the source of all creation, which manifests as sound and light in the spiritual regions. As the soul manifests in the body as consciousnesses, The Word of God manifests itself as inner spiritual Sound. It is the Word or Logos of the Bible; Kalma, Isme-i-Azam, Bang-i-Asmani, or Kalma-i-Ilahi of the Quran. It is the Nad of the Vedas; Nam, Ram Nam, Gurbani, Bani, and Dhun of the Adi Granth. It is called the Tao by the Chinese; Vadan and Saut-i-Surmad by the Sufis. The Zoroastrians call it Sharaosha, and it is known by many other names. In the beginning the Word was with God and the Word is God.

The secret of hearing the Shabd within oneself can be imparted only by a (Sat Guru) True Master. Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

True Master (Sat Guru) (light giver) is the chief instrument of the Supreme Ruler to contact this world of humanity… The ‘Word’ made flesh.

There are many Masters (Man/Woman) in each life time.   (Living Master)     (The Word made Flesh)

 

A Book that changed my life by answering all my spiritual questions…. THE PATH OF THE MASTERS by Julian Johnson

Die to Live….. A book of questions and answered by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

 

Truest Religion…. How you focus on your 24 hour day.

Truest Prayer….. Asking for strength to go through your daily destiny.

The True Master….. informing you to love the lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.

True Teachings of the Saints (Sant Mat)   ( Sat Guru- Sat Sang- Sat Nam ) True Teacher-True Communication-True Union

WellnessWillpower  Mantra …..    ThankyouforgivingmethischancetosayThankyou.  Repeat this throughout the day.

Like a muscle, your sense of gratitude can be built and strengthened with practice.

Please see the list of Yoga Organizations for excellent sources of various Yoga disciplines.

A full 42 minute yoga class with Sarah Holmes:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcC8hZPwj6w

And a little comic relief:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EGTETc5oFU&feature=related

 

 

 

Back to top

Sep 142017
 

Enzymes In Food: High-Enzyme Foods

 

Enzymes in food add to the enzymes made by our bodies. This is a nutritional benefit in addition to the vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients in the food. Some foods—all raw or cultured—have a high level of enzymes and are listed here. For the benefits of these foods, see the discussion below the list.

Here’s how food combining works:

Each macro nutrient (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) digests at a different speed and each requires different digestive enzymes to be broken down. If you eat foods at the same meal that have opposing digestive requirements, they’re considered bad food combinations. Bad food combinations can result in an intestinal backup, which can cause symptoms such as gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps.

 

General Food Combining Guidelines

 

1. Eat Fruit Alone

Fruit is a simple sugar that digests very rapidly (under 30 minutes), so combining fruit with other foods can slow down the process and cause digestive distress. You should eat fruit 30 minutes before a meal and 1 hour after. It’s still important to eat fruit even though it doesn’t combine well with other foods. It’s an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that we need for healthy cells, energy, and digestive function.

 

Let’s take eggs with fruit for example: Eggs are a protein, which can take between 3 to 4 hours to digest. Since the fruit only takes 20 to 30 minutes to digest, combining it with a protein will create digestive backup.  Eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach so that it doesn’t have the chance to ferment.  Fermentation in your GI tract not only leaves you feeling gassy and bloated, but can also create a feast for bad bacteria.

 

One exception to the rule would be smoothies: Fruit in smoothies already “chewed up”, so fruit can be combined with other nutrients in smoothies, such as chia seeds, avocado, olive oil, dark leafy greens, and plant protein. Because smoothies are already liquid they don’t stress the digestive system. Keep this in mind with other meals – chewing your food until it’s liquid will help support digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and overall health.

 

2. Pair Protein with Non-Starchy Vegetables

In order for protein to be digested, it needs an acidic environment and plenty of digestive enzymes. Protein can be paired with leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables, such as asparagus, peppers, celery or broccoli. Since vegetables have their own enzymes, they don’t require an alkaline environment for digestion and therefore don’t interfere with the acidic environment required by protein.

 


List of High-Enzyme Foods

This list is compiled from Edward Howell’s Enzyme Nutrition, Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, Anthony Cichoke’s The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy, and Steve Meyerowitz’s Wheatgrass, Nature’s Finest Medicine. 

All foods are raw or (in the case of some fermented foods) never heated after fermentation.


Fruit

PapayaPapaya      List of High-Enzyme FoodsPineapple

 Enzymes are crucial to your health as they enable your body to break down food components into usable nutrients. Your intestines and pancreas produce a wide variety of enzymes, and certain foods contain these beneficial constituents or contain bacteria that produce them.

Certain foods are high in enzymes, too, though they’re broken down during digestion. While certain cultures eat high-enzyme foods for the perceived benefit of boosting digestion, there’s not much evidence to show that enzymes help. Several high-enzyme foods offer other benefits, though, so they’re still worthwhile additions to your diet.

Incorporate Kimchi

Fermented chilli peppers, cabbage, radishes and seasonings give kimchi its spicy and sour flavor, and researchers say the traditional Korean side dish has numerous health properties. Bacteria in kimchi produce beneficial enzymes, according to a review published in the May 2014 issue of the journal Biotechnology International. For example, the dextransucrase enzyme kimchi bacteria produce helps break down starches and the sugar sucrose. In addition, kimchi contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and chlorophyll.

Pick Apricots

Apricots are rich in a mixture of enzymes, including invertase, according to Anthony J. Cichoke, author of “Enzymes: The Sparks of Life.” The invertase enzyme breaks sucrose down into fructose and glucose units so your body can use these rapidly absorbing carbohydrates for quick energy. Invertase is also an antioxidant enzyme with free radical-scavenging activities. Antioxidants in your diet play a crucial role in preventing free radicals — unstable molecules — from causing cellular damage.

Enjoy Avocados

Avocados are a good source of various enzymes, including lipase, according to Cichoke. The lipase enzyme is needed to break down dietary fat. Your pancreas produces lipase, so it’s typically not vital to get it from your diet. Lipase supplements might help relieve indigestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, but it’s not clear whether dietary lipase offers the same benefit. Enjoy avocados on salads, and make guacamole by blending avocado with chopped tomato, onion and cilantro.

Go Bananas

In addition to their rich potassium content, bananas are a good source of the enzymes amylase and maltase. Amylase is one of the primary enzymes that breaks down carbohydrates found in foods like bread, potatoes and cereals. Like lipase, your pancreas produces amylase to facilitate digestion. Maltase breaks down maltose, also called malt sugar. Maltose is a less common sugar composed of two glucose units and found in corn syrup and beer.

Pick Pineapples

Pineapples contain bromelain, which consists of various enzymes that digest proteins. According to a review published in the journal Cancer Letters, research indicates bromelain may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. When a bromelain supplement was tested on human platelets in the lab, it prevented them from sticking together, so it may be helpful for preventing blood clots, although more research in humans is needed.

Avocado
Banana
Bilberries
Cantaloupe
Dates
Figs
Grapes
Guava
Kiwi
Mango
Melons
Papaya
Pineapple
Saw palmetto berries


Vegetables, Grains, and Herbs

Ginger RootGinger Root

Aloe vera
Barley grass
Cucumbers
Garlic (raw)
Ginger root
Olive oil
Olives
Onions (raw)
Pau d’arco
Sprouted grains
Sprouts (According to Howell, sprouts contain the most enzymes when they are 1/2″ long.)
Wheat germ (raw)
Wheatgrass juice


Nuts and Seeds

Coconut (but not coconut oil)
Flaxseed
Germinated tree nuts
Unrefined oils


Sea Vegetables and Algae

Chlorella
Kelp (raw)
Spirulina


Mushrooms

Shiitake MushroomsShiitake Mushrooms

Maitake
Reishi
Shiitake


Animal Products

MilkMilk

Bee pollen
Honey (raw)
Royal jelly
Butter (raw and unpasteurized)
Milk (raw and unpasteurized)


Cultured Foods

Cheese
Kefir
Yogurt
Other cultured dairy products
Sauerkraut (raw)
Kimchee (raw)
Pickled vegetables (raw)
Natto
Miso
Soy sauce (traditionally made)
Tempeh

 


Benefits of high-enzyme foods

Enzymes are special proteins that act as the life force in living beings. In both plants and animals, enzymes carry out all the activities of metabolism. Some enzymes from the plant or animal’s life are retained in uncooked food. When you eat this food, the enzymes can continue their activity.

One activity is to help digest the food itself!

  • The raw avocado contains the enzyme lipase that breaks down the fat (lipids) in the avocado.
  • Unpasteurized milk contains lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the milk protein lactose. People with lactose intolerance actually lack the ability to produce enough lactase in their digestive system. They often can’t comfortably drink pasteurized milk, but can drink unpasteurized milk that includes its own lactase.
  • Raw beef contains the enzyme cathepsin. Beef that is aged is tenderized by the action of this enzyme.

Other foods contain enzymes that affect other foods.

  • Raw pineapple and raw papaya contain protease enzymes that digest protein. They are often used as tenderizers and marinades.

As we age, or under toxic conditions, our body’s ability to produce enzymes is compromised. Enzymes in food, or enzyme supplements, help take the pressure off our need to produce digestive enzymes. In particular, an overworked pancreas can be relieved.

Consumed enzymes do indeed help our bodies in ways not thoroughly understood, but the case for their promoting health and alleviating disease has been well made.


Unheated Food

High-enzyme foods are high-calorie, special superfoods such as those listed above that are also raw or never re-heated.

The heating of food destroys its enzymes. Cooking, canning, pasteurization – all permanently deactivate any enzymes in food.

All foods that have ANY enzymes are raw. They are:

  1. Raw: never been heated
  2. Raw cultured (fermented) foods
  3. Foods cultured after cooking and never re-heated. These contain enzymes from the fermentation process, not from the original food.

 

Specific enzymes work on specific foods. You need the right type of enzyme for the foods you want it to break down. Think of the foods you have problems with and then choose a product that contains at least those types of enzymes. Here is a list of the common enzyme types and foods they act on.

Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down food into usable material. The major different types of digestive enzymes are:

amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugars which are prevalent in potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and many snack foods

• lactase – breaks down lactose (milk sugars)
• diastase – digests vegetable starch
• sucrase – digests complex sugars and starches
• maltase – digests disaccharides to monosaccharides (malt sugars)
• invertase – breaks down sucrose (table sugar)
• glucoamylase – breaks down starch to glucose
• alpha-glactosidase – facilitates digestion of beans, legumes, seeds,
roots, soy products, and underground stems

protease – breaks down proteins found in meats, nuts, eggs, and cheese

• pepsin – breaks down proteins into peptides
• peptidase – breaks down small peptide proteins to amino acids
• trypsin – derived from animal pancreas, breaks down proteins
• alpha – chymotrypsin, an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down proteins
• bromelain – derived from pineapple, breaks down a broad spectrum of proteins, has anti-inflammatory properties, effective over very wide pH range
• papain – derived from raw papaya, broad range of substrates and pH, works well breaking down small and large proteins

lipase – breaks down fats found in most dairy products, nuts, oils, and meat

cellulase – breaks down cellulose, plant fiber; not found in humans

other stuff

• betaine HCL – increases the hydrochloric acid content of the upper digestive system; activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the stomach (does not influence plant- or fungal-derived enzymes)
• CereCalase™ – a unique cellulase complex from National Enzyme Company that maximizes fiber and cereal digestion and absorption of essential minerals; an exclusive blend of synergistic phytase, hemicellulase, and beta-glucanase
• endoprotease – cleaves peptide bonds from the interior of peptide chains
• exoprotease – cleaves off amino acids from the ends of peptide chains
• extract of ox bile – an animal-derived enzyme, stimulates the intestine to move
• fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – helps support the growth of friendly intestinal microbes, also inhibits the growth of harmful species
• L-glutamic acid – activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the stomach
• lysozyme – an animal-derived enzyme, and a component of every lung cell; lysozyme is very important in the control of infections, attacks invading bacterial and viruses
• papayotin – from papaya
• pancreatin – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein and fats
• pancrelipase – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein, fats, and carbohydrates
• pectinase – breaks down the pectin in fruit
• phytase – digests phytic acid, allows minerals such as calcium, zinc,
copper, manganese, etc. to be more available by the body, but does not break down any food proteins
• xylanase – breaks down xylan sugars, works well with grains such as corn

Other general terms for enzymes referring to their general action instead of specific action

  • Endopeptidase: Enzymes that cleave proteins only on the inside
  • Exopeptidase: Enzymes that cleave proteins only on the outside (terminal) part
    • Aminopeptidase: Exopeptidase that cleaves at the amino terminating end
    • Carboxypeptidase: Exopeptidase that cleaves at the carboxy terminating end
    • Back to top

Back to top

Sep 022017
 

      

  Himalayan Pink Rock Salt

To keep your sodium consumption in check, measure out the amount of salt you use. A one-quarter teaspoon of salt has 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. The daily recommended upper limit for sodium is 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults, and 1,500 milligrams for those who have a history of heart disease, are over 51 or who are African American.

Common salt, the crystals of common table salts are unnatural. Kosher salt is the same as table salt only larger coarse grains.  They are totally isolated and dead. To be able to be consumed by the body, the cells need to exert a big amount of energy. This results into great damage to the body but only receiving  2 minerals with zero gain. Table Salt should be for use outside the body! Table salt contributes to Heart disease which is the leading cause of death! Sea salt has the same amount of sodium as table salt!

Comparing it with sea salt, the sea salt has irregular crystalline structure. The minerals are way isolated with the other natural elements of the salt. It is for this reason that the body needs a lot of energy to metabolize but with lesser gain in absorbing the minerals.  Also you should consider the contaminants attached to sea salt.

Himalayan pink salt is sold as a gourmet salt for use in cooking and adding at the dinner table. Because of its minerals content, Himalayan salt is considered healthier than regular table salt, which often has additives, such as the anti-caking agent sodium ferrocyanide. The need in human nutrition for many of the minerals found in Himalayan salt remains unknown, and many of the minerals are found only in minute quantities. Himalayan salt contains some minerals that are toxic in large quantities, including lead and plutonium, but which are safe in trace amounts.

List of Elements

What Are the 84 Minerals in Himalayan Salt?
The elements found in Himalayan salt cover a wide range on the periodic table. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

The Meadow lists elements found in Himalayan salt in addition to sodium and chloride. In alphabetical order, they are: actinium, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.

The Himalayan pink salt has balanced crystalline. The crystals are not isolated from the 84 natural minerals. They are connected in such a very harmonious condition. This structure makes the energy balance; thus, absorption by the body is quite easy. The crystals provide primal energy to the body. The result is purely gain for the body with no energy loss.

Is pure, hand-mined salt found naturally; deep within the pristine Himalayan Mountains. Himalayan salt is a marketing term for Halite (commonly known as rock salt) from Pakistan, which began being sold by various companies in Europe, North America, and Australia in the early 21st century. It is mined in the Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world, located in Khewra, Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan, about 300 km from the Himalayas, about 160 kilometers from Islamabad, and 260 kilometers from Lahore, and in the foothills of the Salt Range where Yaks are loaded with Salt and brought off the mountains. Crystallized more than 200 million years ago, ancient sea beds were covered by volcanic lava, protecting the salt from modern-day pollution, and lending to the belief that Himalayan Pink salt is the purest salt to be found on earth.

Searching for a pure, gourmet salt that also delivers amazing health benefits? Himalayan Pink Salt is one of the purest salts found on earth. When it comes to purity and mineral content, no other salt compares. Praised by health and culinary experts for centuries, Himalayan Pink Salt delivers many healing benefits to the body, including lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and detoxification from heavy metals.

Himalayan Pink Salt offers an intriguing glimpse at mineral packed crystals, which formed naturally within the earth. The many hues of pink, red and white are an indication of this salt’s rich and varying mineral and iron content. Incorporate Himalayan Pink Salt into your culinary presentation; use it in a clear salt grinder so your guests can experience all the sensory delights of this amazingly pure flavor enhancer. Use it liberally in pickling brines, or try your hand at salt-roasting fish or chicken for a moist and flavorful result.

The same replenishing nutrients that make Himalayan Pink salt prized in the gourmet world makes it an absolute treasure as a bath salt. Naturally rich in 84 nourishing and skin-replenishing minerals, bathing with Himalayan Pink bath salt is truly a renewing and therapeutic experience for mind & body. This 250 million year old, Jurassic era sea salt is known for its healing properties and is used by health professionals, spas and individuals who are interested in utilizing natural products to heal the body and relax the mind.

Himalayan Pink salt’s vivid pink color is a result of the trace elements in the salt, including energy-rich iron. These naturally present minerals (84) are essential for human health, which can be consumed and can be readily absorbed through bathing therapies. Himalayan salt has long been praised for its healing benefits; and is known for stimulating circulation, soothing sore muscles, helping to reduce acid reflux, lowering blood pressure, and removing toxins.

Himalayan Pink Crystal Salts are the very same therapeutic salts as the Himalayan Pink salts, but come in chunks from 10 to 60mm in size. These crystals are often used for Himalayan Sole (so-lay), a mixture (approx. 16 oz. to 1 tsp.) of water and Himalayan crystals. The 84 bio-available trace minerals in the Sole are believed to help balance the body’s alkaline/acidity, normalize blood pressure & dissolve and eliminate sediment, which in turn detoxifies the body. Best taken when you have your first drink of the day. Believed also to relieve muscle spasms and cramps. Himalayan salt crystals are also used as potpourri for decoration, essential oil diffusion and air purification by producing negative ions when heated (Salt Lamp).

More recently, large crystal rocks are also used as Salt lamps. A salt lamp is a lamp carved from a larger salt crystal, often colored, with an incandescent bulb or a candle inside. The lamps give an attractive glow and are suitable for use as nightlights or for ambient mood lighting.

Cleaning the Surrounding Environment

 Large Himalayan salt crystal lamps are particularly effective in eliminating the smell of chemicals, smoke, mold, mildew and allergens like dust, pollen and airborne bacteria. They are used often in school dorm rooms, art studios, hair styling work stations, home offices and work offices, at computer workstations where someone smokes and in doctor or dental examination rooms. People with allergies also benefit from being near these lamps.

Himalayan salt is called white gold because it contains ions of stored sunlight. Since it came from the undeveloped regions of the Himalayas, you can be sure that it contains the natural elements( 84 minerals) that can be found in the original, primal ocean. It has the essential minerals that are found in the body. Together with water, the stored primal energy in the salt can bring pure crystal of energy to the body.

This pure crystal has been exposed to earth pressure for millions and millions of years ago. And this pressure has perfected the geometric crystalline structure of Himalayan pink salt. The more perfect the geometric shape of the crystal, the more its energy content. And with this shape, the body can easily absorb this salt.

 

The Himalayan pink salt has balanced crystalline. The crystals are not isolated from the 84 natural minerals. They are connected in such a very harmonious condition. This structure makes the energy balance; thus, absorption by the body is quite easy. The crystals provide primal energy to the body. The result is purely gain for the body with no energy loss.  Keep your sodium consumption in check, measure out the amount of salt you use. A one-quarter teaspoon of salt has 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. The daily recommended upper limit for sodium is 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults, and 1,500 milligrams for those who have a history of heart disease, are over 51 or who are African American.

                                                                                                               

  • Natural unprocessed salt, such as  Himalayan pink salt, contains about 84 percent sodium chloride (just under 37 percent of which is pure sodium). The remaining 16 percent are naturally-occurring trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorus, and vanadium
  • Processed (table) salt contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride (just over 39 percent of which is sodium). The rest is man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents and flow agents, such as ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.

 

Besides the basic differences in nutritional content, the processing—which involves drying the salt above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—also radically and detrimentally alters the chemical structure of the salt.

For a frame of reference, one teaspoon of regular table salt contains about 2.3 grams of sodium. According to some estimates, Americans get roughly four grams of sodium per day, which has long been thought to be too much for heart health.

Pink Salt -Using in Brine Therapy

Because of its mineral content, Himalayan salt can also be used in brine therapy, where it can help regulate your blood circulation and pressure, as well as treat skin diseases and help restore your acid-base balance. To take part in brine therapy, soak in a bath of dissolved Himalayan sea salt, which helps promote self-healing and detoxification through osmosis. Most commonly done in the form of a bath. As the sodium binds the water to the outer layer of your skin, moisture is preserved. Toxins are released from your body, while your skin absorbs the healthy minerals from the sodium into your body. It is recommended that the brine bath be as close as possible to normal body temperature before sweating, this enables absorption, around 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and that you use 2.2 lbs. of Himalayan salt for approximately every 26 to 32 gallons of water. Note that the science behind this is not complete, and it should be taken with a grain of salt.

To your Wellness. Back to top

Jun 142017
 

Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture.

Unlock the True Potential of Vegetables

  • By Kaare Melby
    Organic Consumers Association
    Want to boost your immune system, increase the nutrient content in your food, improve your mental health and detox your body? Fermented vegetables are for you!Fermentation is the process that occurs when the natural bacteria in a vegetable break down the food’s complex elements into more digestible forms. When fermentation occurs, vegetables become easier to digest, allowing your body to work less, while reaping more benefits. And those benefits include higher levels of available nutrients, and live cultures of pro-biotic bacteria (kind of like the good stuff in yogurt). These pro-biotic bacteria can improve  your digestion, boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and detox your body.
  • Worried that fermenting is risky? No need! Fermented veggies are actually safer than raw vegetables, because the fermentation process actually kills off any unwanted or dangerous bacteria that may exist on the food prior to fermentation. According to the USDA, there has “never been a single case of food poisoning reported from fermented vegetables.”Fermented foods have been around for eons. Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture. It’s often considered to be the practice that first ushered our ancient relatives from the natural world, into a culturally driven world. In fact, the word ‘culture’ is another word for fermentation. Sandor Katz, who has written several books on the subject, calls it “a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism, and a spiritual path, all rolled into one.”

    And the good news is that it’s a simple process that even the most novice cook can accomplish.

    To get started, you’ll want to choose vegetables that are fresh, local, and organic, as your ferment will be only as good as the ingredients you start with. You can ferment any vegetable, but some work better than others. It’s best if you experiment and find a mix of vegetables that you enjoy. Here at the OCA office, we like to mix as many fresh organic veggies together as possible. Not only does this create a variety of textures and flavors, but it also creates a wider variety of beneficial bacteria in the end product.

    If you are looking for a good place to start, cabbage is easy to process, and makes a great ferment. Raddishes, carrots, turnips, apples and beets also make good ferments. The fermentation process creates a wonderful flavor that is often refered to as “sour.” But you can add more or different flavors in any way you want. Onions and garlic are great additions, and you can use fresh or dry herbs, and spices, too. The best approach is to experiment until you discover what combination of flavors you like most.

    Here’s how to get started.

    What you need
    • Fresh vegetables
    • A knife or grater
    • A glass or ceramic jar for fermentation (quart sized, wide-mouth canning jars work well)
    • A smaller jar that fits inside the fermentation jar (small jelly jars work great)
    • Salt
    • Clean water
    • A clean towel
    • Rubber band to fit over the mouth of the fermentation jar
    • Herbs and spices (optional)

    What to do

    • Chop/shred/grate vegetables, salting lightly as you go. You want to get all of the vegetables as uniform in size as possible. This way, they ferment at the same rate. Vegetables like carrots and radishes do well grated, while it’s best to slice up that cabbage or onion. As you chop or grate the vegetables, add small pinches of salt. But not too much—fermentation only needs a little. Try tasting as you go. The vegetables should taste only slightly salty.

    • Mix the veggies well. You want to make sure that the salt is spread out evenly throughout all the vegetables. Taste the veggies, and add more salt to taste if needed. If you are going to add any herbs or spices, add them now.

    • Let the vegetables sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As they sit the salt will start to draw the liquid out of the vegetables.

    • Squeeze the vegetables to release their juices. Take handfuls of vegetables and squeeze as hard as you can, keeping the juice that comes out. You want to get as much juice out of them as possible.

    • Tightly pack the vegetables into the fermenting jar and cover with collected juice. As you fill the jar with the vegetables, be sure to pack them down tightly to the bottom of the jar. This will help release more juice, and remove any air bubbles that get stuck in the vegetables. Add any remaining juice once the jar is filled. Be sure there is enough liquid to completely cover the vegetables. If you need to, use a mixture of salt and water to bring the juice level up over the vegetables. You don’t need too much salt for the water, just enough to make it taste like seawater.

    • Fill the smaller jar with salt water, then place it on top of the vegetables in the fermenting jar. The purpose of the second jar is to hold the vegetables under the liquid in the jar. This will help the fermentation process by preventing “scum” from forming on the top of the ferment.

    • Cover the fermenting jar with a clean towel, and secure it with the rubber band. Using a towel to cover the jar ensures that gases can escape, without letting any dirt or bugs get in.

    • Let it ferment! Put the jar in an easily accessible area, and keep an eye on it. In about 24 hours you will begin to see air bubbles in the vegetables. This is how you know it’s working. After a few days, the ferment will start to smell sour. Taste it at every stage. This will help you determine how fermented you like your vegetables. Some people like “young” ferments that have only fermented a few days, while others like “mature” ferments that have been fermenting for months. If there is a white layer of “scum” that forms just scrape it off. It’s ok if you don’t get it all. When you like the flavor, remove the towel and smaller jar, put a lid on the fermentation jar and put it in your refrigerator. When the ferment cools down, the fermentation process rapidly slows, and you will be able to enjoy your fermented foods for several weeks or longer.

    That’s it! Now you know the secret to unlocking the true potential of your vegetables. To learn more, check out Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation,” available through Chelsea Green Publishing. Good luck and happy fermenting.

  • Kaare Melby is social media coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association.