Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

ShamanicViewMentalIllnessFeature-720x377

 

Looking Through a Different Lens

I am reprinting this from an email I received from Malidoma Some, a West African Shaman whom I’ve had the privilege to meet, drive around Boulder with, and work for. Since I am going through what I believe to be a spiritual emergence, I am reading a lot on the topic. I want to continue to educate others. That what we sometimes call depression, bi-polar, psychosis, schizophrenia, might actually be a significant transformation in consciousness and a necessary stage on the path of human development. While this is a long article it’s well worth the read for those interested in the subject. Particularly if you have suffered from a mental illness or treat those with a mental illness. You might also like to read this short post Beyond Medication, Holistic Psychiatry.

 

What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

 

What those in the west view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. Dr. Somé comments:

“Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field”

Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field.

These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

 

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study, was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to ‘nervous depression,’ Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village. “

What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself:

“So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the west are not trained in how to deal with, or even taught to acknowledge, the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for, and assistance, in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

 

In the mental ward, Dr. Somé saw a lot of ‘beings’ hanging around the patients, ‘entities’ that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

 

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–“the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with the information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains.

 

“More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

Drugs.jpg

Medication only compounds the problem and prevents the integration of the spirit.

 

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé.

“Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.”

The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as over sensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive . In the west, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé.

 

“When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy”

 

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a ‘sweep’) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world, and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes.

 

“When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.”

 

Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, ‘fuses’ aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies.

 

Alex: Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in Indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. He says:

“I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world”

 

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal,” Dr. Somé reports. “He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients… He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people. “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the west as in his community in Africa.

 

“Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.”

 

Dr. Malidoma Patrice Somé.

Dr. Malidoma Patrice Somé.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental”  disorders in the west is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.”  What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because:

“Most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it”

 

The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the ‘mountain energy’ are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual  and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé.

 

“They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

 

When it is the ‘river energy,’ those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

HoldingRock

Simply connecting with a mountain or river spirit through an artifact helps us align.

 

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community.

“To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the west, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In Indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the west is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals… It might be the issues of anger  and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains.

“If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process ‘trigger enlightenment’ in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” Dr. Somé says.

 

“The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy  will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.”

 

The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness, rather than regarding the person as a pathological case, gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states Dr. Somé.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Toxic Weed Killer Found in Most Foods Sold in the US

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

menmeeting

Toxic Weed Killer Found in Most Foods Sold in the US

 

Earlier this year, researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported there’s been a dramatic increase in glyphosate exposure in recent decades and, subsequently, the level found in people’s bodies.1 As one would expect, the introduction of so-called “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered (GE) crops led to a massive increase in the use of Roundup, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate.

 

Glyphosate has also become a popular tool for desiccating non-GE grains, legumes and beans, which has further spurred the use of the chemical. Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use in the U.S. increased more than 250fold.2,3 Globally, glyphosate use has risen nearly fifteenfold since 1996, two years after the first GE crops hit the market.

 

Farmers now apply nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate to farm crops each year, worldwide.4 Approximately 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland. According to the researchers, few people had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine in 1993 when the study began.5 By 2016, 70 percent had detectable levels.6 Overall, between 1993 and 2016, the glyphosate levels in people’s bodies increased by 1,208 percent.

 

Food Testing Reveals Widespread Glyphosate Contamination

While Monsanto still argues that Roundup (and glyphosate in general) is perfectly safe, mounting research tells a very different story, which is why it’s becoming increasingly crucial to assess just how much glyphosate is in our food. Unfortunately, while both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) measure pesticide residues in foods, neither of them includes glyphosate in their official testing.

 

The USDA promised to begin glyphosate testing in 2017, yet mere days before the testing was scheduled to begin, the plan was called off. The reason has never been disclosed. The only time the USDA tested for glyphosate was in 2011, when 300 soybean samples were tested and all were found to be contaminated.

 

Meanwhile, the FDA began a limited testing program for glyphosate in 2016, in which high levels of glyphosate was found in oatmeal products and honey, but the agency did not release the results publicly. Now, internal FDA emails obtained by investigative journalist Carey Gillam7 through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including granola and crackers. Gillam writes:

 

“[T]he internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide. ‘I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,’ FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate … broccoli was the only food he had ‘on hand’ that he found to be glyphosate-free …

 

Separately, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found ‘over-the-tolerance’ levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million [ppm], an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an ‘official sample.’”

 

Independent Testing Also Highlights Massive Glyphosate Problem

The Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs) is an independent laboratory that tests both micronutrients and toxins found in food, and is often hired to test foods claiming to be non-GMO, “all natural” and/or organic. One of the toxins HRI Labs is currently focusing on is glyphosate, and the public testing being offered (see below) allows them to compile data on the pervasiveness of this chemical in the food supply.

 

HRI was recently tasked with testing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which was also found to contain glyphosate. The samples were provided by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Regeneration Vermont, which are concerned about the environmental impact Ben & Jerry’s dairy producers are having in Vermont. Using sensitive state-of-the-art testing equipment to look at the quality of the ingredients, 10 of the 11 ice cream samples were found to contain substantial levels of glyphosate.

 

HRI Labs has investigated a number of other foods as well, including grains, legumes and beans. Most if not all of these types of crops need to dry in the field before being harvested, and to speed that process, the fields are doused with glyphosate a couple of weeks before harvest. As a result of this practice, called desiccation, grain-based products, legumes and beans contain rather substantial amounts of glyphosate. Quaker Oats, for example, was found to contain very high levels.

 

Orange juice also contains surprising amounts of glyphosate. As it turns out, weeds in orange groves are managed by spraying glyphosate, which ends up in the oranges as the roots of the orange trees pick it up through the soil. A similar situation is occurring in vineyards, which is why many wines are contaminated.

 

HRI Labs has also analyzed more than 1,200 urine samples from U.S. residents. This testing is being done as part of a research project that will provide valuable information about the presence of glyphosate in the diet and how lifestyle and location affects people’s exposure to agrochemicals. Here are some of their findings to date:

 

76 percent of people tested have some level of glyphosate in their system

Men typically have higher levels than women

People who eat oats on a regular basis have twice as much glyphosate in their system as people who don’t (likely because oats are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest)

People who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic. This indicates organic products are a safer choice

People who eat five or more servings of vegetables per day have glyphosate levels that are 50 percent lower than those who eat fewer vegetables

How Is Glyphosate Affecting Human Health?

Glyphosate mimics glycine (hence the “gly” in glyphosate), a very common amino acid your body uses to make proteins. As a result, your body can substitute glyphosate for glycine, which results in damaged proteins being produced. According to research published in the journal Entropy in 2013, the main toxic effects of glyphosate are related to the fact that it:8,9

 

Inhibits the shikimate pathway, found in gut bacteria in both humans and animals

Interferes with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes, required for activation of vitamin D in the liver, and the creation of both nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate, the latter of which is needed for red blood cell integrity

Chelates important minerals, including iron, cobalt and manganese. Manganese deficiency, in turn, impairs mitochondrial function and can lead to glutamate toxicity in the brain

Interferes with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, which results in shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate

Disrupts sulfate synthesis and sulfate transport

Glyphosate also disrupts, destroys, impairs or inhibits:10

 

The microbiome, thanks to its antibiotic activity

Sulfur metabolism

Methylation pathways

Pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism

The chemical has also been linked to certain cancers. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, reclassified glyphosate as a Class 2A probable carcinogen11 based on “limited evidence” showing the weed killer can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” linking it to cancer in animals.

 

Since then, more than 3,500 individuals have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, claiming the weed killer caused their Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many of the cases in this multidistrict litigation are being handled in federal court in San Francisco under one judge. Internal documents obtained during discovery have been released by plaintiff attorneys, and have become known as “The Monsanto Papers.”

 

Disturbingly, some of this evidence reveals the EPA has protected the company’s interests by manipulating and preventing key investigations into glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential.

 

According to toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Services, even minor exposure could have a detrimental effect on human health. “Even with low levels of pesticides, we’re exposed to so many, and we don’t count the fact that we have cumulative exposures,” she told Gillam.

 

Monsanto Sued for Misleading Consumers

In addition to the lawsuits against Monsanto over Roundup’s cancer-causing effects, the company is also being sued for false and misleading labeling.12 The lawsuit, which accuses Monsanto of falsely claiming glyphosate “targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets” on the Roundup label was filed in April 2017 by the OCA and Beyond Pesticides.

 

As noted above, glyphosate affects the shikimate pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. While the shikimate pathway is absent in human and animal cells, this pathway is present in the gut bacteria of mammals, including humans.

 

So, by way of your gut bacteria, it still wields a significant influence on human health. Aside from a probable cancer link, Roundup’s effect on gut bacteria also suggests the chemical may play a significant role in digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases and many other chronic health problems.

 

Monsanto filed a motion to have the case dismissed, saying the label is accurate because “the enzyme targeted is not produced by the human body or found in human cells,” but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected the motion.

 

In his May 1 ruling, Kelly stated “The court concludes that Plaintiffs have adequately pleaded a claim that the statement at issue was false or misleading,” and that “defendants cannot dispute that the label’s statement that the enzyme at issue is ‘found in plants, but not in people’ is, at least on one reading, literally false.”

 

How Much Glyphosate Do You Have in Your Body?

According to Gillam, the FDA should publish its glyphosate test results sometime toward the end of this year, or early 2019. Time will tell whether this actually happens or not. The good news is you no longer need to rely on the government when it comes to glyphosate testing. You can test your own levels, thereby assessing your own individual exposure. As mentioned earlier, HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine.

 

If your levels are high, you would be wise to address your diet and consider buying more organic foods. You may also want to consider some form of detoxification protocol, and take steps to repair the damage to your gut caused by glyphosate and other agrochemicals. Chances are, if your glyphosate levels are high, you probably have a number of other pesticides in your system as well.

 

Fermented foods, particularly kimchi, are potent chelators of these kinds of chemicals. Taking activated charcoal after a questionable meal can help bind and excrete chemicals as well. Remember to stay well-hydrated to facilitate the removal of toxins through your liver, kidneys and skin.

 

Using a sauna on a regular basis is also recommended to help eliminate both pesticides and heavy metals you may have accumulated.

 

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Do Not Take a One-A-Day-Vitamin

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Why One-A-Day Vitamins are Not The Healthy Way To go

pills (1) 

If you’re currently taking or considering taking a multivitamin with a recommended serving size of only one pill a day, you’re pretty much wasting your time.

 

Why?

 

It’s very doubtful can pack enough vitamins and minerals to truly make any real difference in complementing your healthy diet.

 

Producers of multivitamins have come up with some pretty amazing ways to compress ingredients, but not to this extreme… not down to where a single tablet provides you the vitamin and mineral levels you need on a daily basis.

 

And speaking of minerals, many producers of one-per-day vitamins don’t even bother including essential minerals like potassium or magnesium in adequate enough amounts to really make a difference.

 

What about other nutrients from sources like vegetables, fruits and herbs? Shouldn’t they be blended into your multi as well? I certainly think so.

 

But it’s also vitally important to know when to take your multivitamin. To maximize your multivitamin’s benefits, you should take a few tablets first thing in the morning and with lunch, or with an early dinner to help optimize your nutrient absorption.

 

Before we jump further into all the nutrients I believe should go into a multi, let’s first take a closer look at why all multivitamins are not created equal.

 

Some may in fact have little impact on your health. So remember, you must be very cautious when choosing a product to ensure that your multivitamin really benefits you.

Why You Should Avoid Synthetic Forms of Certain Vitamins Like the Plague…

 

In my opinion, if you shop for your supplements at discount stores, you may be seriously shortchanging yourself because many of those products typically use cheap synthetic isolate forms for certain important vitamins.

 

Instead of seeking a good multivitamin, millions of people take certain forms of vitamins, which may do less to support their optimal health.

 

You see, certain synthetic forms of vitamins are partial vitamins, combined with other chemicals. They’re completely different than vitamins from whole, real food.

 

When you remove a part from the whole, you get “synthetic,” “isolated” or “fractionated” pieces of the whole, but it’s simply not the same.

 

Here are four major problems with these kinds of vitamins…

 

Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.

Your body only absorbs a percentage of some forms of vitamins and minerals – and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in combination whole food form.

Certain synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others.

You may experience side effects of certain synthetic vitamins because the form of the vitamin is not the natural form.

You’ve heard me say it before… Fast food and a sedentary lifestyle can be a disaster for your health. Don’t let your multivitamin add to the collateral damage.

 

In fact, you want to be sure your multivitamin benefits you and offers a real and significant contribution to your health, especially if you’ve already adopted healthy lifestyle practices.

Many people who suffer from allergies can not take some vitamins and minerals, and then they can not take some brands.  Especially children!

 

Who Doesn’t Want to Feel Great All the Time?

 

One thing you can do to optimize your health and feel great is to maximize your immune system’s capabilities.

 

Because face it – everybody wants to feel good all the time, don’t they?

 

Now is the time to start moving toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. Start today, by adding just one raw vegetable per day to your diet… a small, doable step toward your better health.

 

Why make these changes today?

 

Because, ideally, it is best to receive all your nutrition from high-quality unprocessed foods. In fact, before focusing on finding a good multivitamin, I highly recommend first evaluating your diet and your lifestyle.

 

If you are eating a wholesome diet composed of raw fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and raw dairy from reliable sources, then you may have less need for a multivitamin.

 

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you may find it impractical or impossible to eat right all the time.

 

Therefore, even when you take the steps of adding raw veggies to your diet, getting some exercise and obtaining vitamin D from sunshine, you still might want to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin every day – just to be sure you’re getting well-balanced and optimal nutrition.

 

Plus, even if you do well with your diet choices, there is another important factor that involves the actual food supply itself…

 

Up to 50% of the Nutrient Value of Your Food May Be Lost From the Start

 

A number of carefully controlled studies have provided startling evidence that by the time food reaches your table, serious nutrient content could already be lost.

 

Some estimates report the nutrient value lost at over 50%!

 

This is largely the result of conventional farming methods that rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which deplete the soil of nutrients… nutrients that must be absorbed by plants in order to be passed on to you.

 

And it does not necessarily end there.

 

In many cases, it’s likely you unknowingly further deplete the nutrients in your food – just by the way you prepare it. For many foods, cooking will seriously impair the nutritional value.

 

So, realizing that you cannot always obtain the whole unprocessed foods you need – and knowing how easy it is for valuable nutrients to be destroyed – you now know why I believe adding a good multivitamin to complement your diet is a sound move.

 

What Can a High-Quality Multivitamin Do for You?

 

While I cannot endorse taking a supplement in place of living a healthy lifestyle, it is true that a good multivitamin benefits your optimal health.

 

A high-quality multivitamin helps promote your strong immune system, building up your body’s defenses.*

 

If you need help if adding the correct vitamins and minerals to your personal healthcare plan, contact us and we will be happy to go over this with you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Gemma Carney FACP

312-972-WELL

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

 

New research links lack of sleep with heightened risk for type 2 diabetes in youth

 lackofsleep

A new review of scientific literature on the importance of sleep in youth suggests that a lack of sleep can lead to decreased appetite control and body weight regulation, all of which can raise risks for the development of type 2 diabetes.

 

The largest decline in sleep duration and poor sleep quality over the past decades has been seen in children and adolescents, a trend that earlier studies say may contribute to weight gain, increased risks for cardiovascular disease and poor mental health.

 

This new review of evidence, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has looked at 23 studies on the topic of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and sleep variables to try and elucidate the mechanisms that may explain the association between the two.

 

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in Canada, reviewed studies that not only assessed risks from inadequate sleep, described as sleeping less than six hours per night – a two-hour or so sleep deficit compared to standard advice for children – but also sleep architecture.

 

A healthy sleep architecture refers to having the right number of restorative sleep cycles and rapid eye movement phases to feel sufficiently well-rested. An out of whack sleep architecture has been associated in past studies with insulin resistance.

 

In terms of sleep duration, researchers have found that the lowest risk for type 2 diabetes is observed, similar to the figure given for adults, at a minimum sleep duration of seven to eight hours per day.

 

Drawing from the findings of the different studies evaluated, they have identified a number of mechanisms by which the lack of sleep can elevate risks for type 2 diabetes among children.

 

One of them, perhaps the most prominent one, is the increased exposure to the stress hormone cortisol due to short sleep duration. This may contribute to the accumulation of visceral fat and subsequent increased insulin resistance.

 

The reason for this is that the authors also noted that the association between sleep quality and insulin resistance was not independent of the level of adiposity – the increase in the number of fat cells.

 

There may also be another phenomenon implicated that has to do with the nervous system which, in response to the stress of not sleeping, negatively influences the hormone leptin.

 

While we sleep, leptin usually rise to control appetite. However, when sleep is restricted, leptin gets inhibited. The inhibition of leptin leads to an increase in hunger and a decrease in satiety. These effects can translate into progressive weight gain.

 

Sleep is a modifiable lifestyle habit associated with the prevention of type 2 diabetes. One randomised trial that was part of the review conducted among children aged 8 to 11 years showed that increasing sleep duration by just 1.5 hour per night over a week resulted in lower food intake and lower body weight.

 

Although more studies are needed to shed light on the mechanisms linking insufficient sleep with type 2 diabetes risk, there’s no possible risk in children and teens improving their sleep and getting enough of it on a regular schedule each night.

 

If you need help, have concerns or just want a healthcare plan for YOU, then contact us and we will help you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. Mark Williams DPsych

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessASsociates@gmail.com

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