Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Health and Wellness Associates

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

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Tips to make your holidays brighter when you feel alone

Christmas evokes images of green and red for many. But for those suffering from loneliness, the holiday blues are also a very real thing.

Loneliness is common during the holidays. When we feel there is an expectation is to experience extreme joy or happiness, feelings of sadness and loneliness can strike even harder.

Whether you’re feeling alone or you want to be there for those around you, understanding what causes loneliness, as well as how to minimize it, can make your holidays much more joyful.

Understanding loneliness

Feeling lonely doesn’t mean you don’t have friends, family or loved ones who care. In fact, it’s very possible to feel lonely while having a loving support system in tow.

Some studies have called loneliness a disease, and others have called it a “hidden killer” of the elderly. While there are many studies on loneliness, there is no exact definition.

Loneliness is a subjective feeling. It can refer to a state of solitude, as well as the perception of feeling alone. While loneliness is a universal human emotion, it amplifies is different ways. Lonely people often dread the holidays, because of the perception that everyone around them is experiencing human connection in a way that they are not.

Examples of groups that tend to experience this more than others include those who are recently single, divorced or widowed, those who live far from family, and those who stay emotionally distant from others. Studies have shown that adults under age 30 tend to experience significantly higher levels of loneliness than other age groups, though those ages 80 and older can experience high levels as well.

How to beat loneliness during the holidays

One thing that is agreed upon is that there are ways to overcome loneliness. However, because these ways tend to involve emotional risk, many are slow to adopt them. Whether you’re feeling alone or you are in solitude, here are some tips to use this holiday season:

Tips to overcome loneliness when you feel alone

  • Practice self-care. While you may be thinking about giving gifts to others this season, don’t hesitate to give yourself the gift of a spa treatment, invest in a hobby, or other activities that will get you to socialize and enjoy the season. Taking your focus off feeling alone can help curb the feeling.
  • Choose the right people to surround yourself with. When you’re lonely, it may be tempting to call up your friend who loves to co-commiserate. But because loneliness is contagious, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Choose to surround yourself with positive people.
  • Pursue gratitude. Whether you prefer journaling, meditation or prayer, taking the time to write or say what you’re thankful for can shift your attention away from what you don’t have, and spotlight what you do have. Always remember that thankfulness is a choice.

Tips to overcome loneliness when you are alone

  • Be vulnerable. If you’re waiting for your neighbor to be the first to say hello, take the risk and say hi first. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, or learn more about that person you always take a fitness class next to. Remembering that we’re all seeking human connection can take the pressure off the situation.
  • Give back. Helping others who have less than we do often reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. Bonus: you may meet some volunteers who have similar interests to you, and are open to helping others.
  • Release your expectations. In the age of social media, it’s easy to think the holidays are supposed to look as perfect as a Christmas card. Rethinking your expectations can stop you from playing the comparison game, at which point you may realize you have plenty to be thankful for.

 

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never convenient or easy, but it may be just the thing you need this holiday season.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Mark Williams

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Senator Dies From Sepsis After Flu Shot

Senator Dies From Sepsis, a Common Complication of Infection, Including Influenza

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There are big gaps in vaccine science research and a troubling lack of information about the overall benefit of annual influenza vaccinations. Mounting evidence suggests the administration of annual flu shots, especially to all infants and children starting in the first year of life, may be causing immune system dysfunction, which could become a significant problem for children as they grow up.

New York State Senator José Peralta — an outspoken proponent of annual flu vaccinations — died November 22, 2018, at the age of 47 from sudden septic shock.   Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning).

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly, as evidenced in Peralta’s case. He had reportedly complained of “pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more,” but had largely dismissed his condition thinking it was just side effects from a recent flu shot.

His condition took a sudden turn for the worse on November 20, when he developed a fever. The following day, he had trouble breathing and became disoriented, at which point he was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York.

Peralta died that evening, apparently from severe sepsis, a serious complication of infection for individuals whose immune systems are not functioning well, although the nature of Peralta’s infection and the precise cause of his death from sepsis apparently remains unclear.

While Peralta had recently received an influenza vaccination, research shows the flu vaccine often fails to work, and may actually weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to secondary infections and/or more severe disease. In one study, influenza vaccination more than quadrupled children’s risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2017-2018 seasonal influenza vaccine’s effectiveness against “influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness” was just 36 percent, meaning there was a 64 percent chance of contracting influenza even if you got the flu shot.

Sepsis is actually one of the leading causes of influenza-related deaths. When your immune system is weak, influenza can weaken it further, allowing a secondary infection to take hold. Sepsis is typically caused by this secondary infection, not the influenza infection itself.

According to researchers, “Severe sepsis is traditionally associated with bacterial diseases … However, viruses are becoming a growing cause of severe sepsis worldwide.” As noted in the video above, some sepsis symptoms also resemble influenza, which can lead to tragedy. The video offers guidelines on how to tell the difference between the two.

Sepsis, without doubt, requires immediate medical attention, whereas most people will successfully recover from influenza within a few days to a week with bedrest and fluids. Just how influenza can lead to sepsis is a somewhat complex affair, described as follows:

“Regardless of the etiologic agent, the inflammatory response is highly interconnected with infection. In the initial response to an infection, severe sepsis is characterized by a proinflammatory state, while a progression to an anti-inflammatory state develops and favors secondary infections …

In the predominant proinflammatory state, Th1 cells activated by microorganisms increase transcription of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2).

[C]ytokines … released from endothelial cells and subsequently from macrophages can induce lymphocyte activation and infiltration at the sites of infection and will exert direct antiviral effects. Subsequently, with the shift toward an anti-inflammatory state, activated Th2 cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10).

In certain situations, T cells can become anergic, failing to proliferate and produce cytokines. Type I IFN has a potent anti-influenza virus activity; it induces transcription of several interferon stimulated genes, which in turn restrict viral replication. However, influenza virus developed several mechanisms to evade IFN response …

Viral infections such as the influenza virus can also trigger deregulation of the innate immune system with excessive cytokines release and potential harmful consequences. An abnormal immune response to influenza can lead to endothelial damage … deregulation of coagulation, and the consequent alteration of microvascular permeability, tissue edema and shock.”

Unfortunately, even when properly diagnosed, conventional treatments for sepsis often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine, which have been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.

Being aware of this treatment (see below), and insisting on it should you or someone you love be at risk, could be a real lifesaver. Knowing what sepsis looks like is also crucial, as early diagnosis and treatment is crucial.

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Common signs and symptoms of sepsis after a flu shot to watch out for include:

  • A high fever
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • Lethargy and/or confusion
  • Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. As noted in the video above, hydration is of utmost importance, as damage caused by sepsis begins with fluid loss.

Familiarize Yourself With This Life-Saving Sepsis Protocol

If you or a loved one develops sepsis, whether caused by influenza or some other infection, please remember that a protocol of IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1) can be lifesaving.  Tell your doctor and suggest it be part of the treatment — chances are, he or she might not even be aware of it.

This lifesaving sepsis treatment protocol was developed Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, and clinical use has proven it to be remarkably effective for the treatment of sepsis, reducing mortality nearly fivefold.

Marik’s retrospective before-after clinical study showed that giving patients IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and vitamin B1 for two days reduced mortality from 40 percent down to 8.5 percent.

Importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer. There is nothing to lose by trying it unless the person with sepsis has a specific genetic disorder: Use of the sepsis treatment protocol is contraindicated if a person is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient (a genetic disorder).  G6PD is an enzyme your red blood cells need to maintain membrane integrity.

High-dose IV vitamin C is a strong pro-oxidant, and giving a pro-oxidant to a G6PD-deficient individual can cause their red blood cells to rupture, which could have disastrous, even fatal, consequences.

Fortunately, G6PC deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African decent are at greater risk of being G6PC deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males have it.

How Does the Treatment Work?

Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Previous research has shown it effectively lowers proinflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein.  Influenza, encephalitis and measles have all been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

To investigate the mechanism of action for sepsis, Marik reached out to John Catravas, Ph.D., a pharmacology researcher at Old Dominion University. At Marik’s request, Catravas performed an independent lab study, which confirmed the effectiveness of the treatment. Catravas cultured endothelial cells from lung tissue and then exposed them to endotoxins found in patients with sepsis.

Interestingly, vitamin C acts like the steroid hydrocortisone, yet when either vitamin C or the steroid were administered in isolation, nothing happened. When administered together, however, the infection was successfully eradicated and the cells were restored to normal.

The addition of thiamine is also important. Not only is thiamine required for metabolism of some of the metabolites of vitamin C, research has also shown many patients with sepsis are vitamin deficient, and when thiamine is given, it reduces the risk of renal failure and mortality.

Studies have also shown thiamine can be helpful for a long list of diseases and disorders, including mitochondrial disorders, heart failure, delirium, thyroid fatigue and Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disorder). These and other health effects may help explain why thiamine works so well in conjunction with vitamin C and hydrocortisone for sepsis. In short, the key Marik intuitively stumbled upon was the right combination of ingredients.

Dr. Craig Coopersmith, a leading sepsis researcher at Emory University School of Medicine, is currently conducting a multicenter trial to put Marik’s vitamin C protocol to the test. The projected completion date for this study is May 30, 2019.

Strong Immune Function Minimizes Your Risk of All Sorts of Infections

It’s important to remember that your immune system is your first-line defense against all types of infections, be they bacterial or viral, so the most effective way to make it through flu season unscathed and avoid other infections that may turn deadly is to bolster your immune function.

While conventional health authorities claim getting an annual flu shot is the best way to ward off influenza, the medical literature suggests vitamin D optimization is a very effective strategy in helping to prevent respiratory infections of all kinds during the flu season. A number of studies have confirmed that people with higher vitamin D levels report fewer bouts of cold or flu.

A scientific review published 2017 concluded that people with significant vitamin D deficiency (blood levels below 10 ng/mL) can cut their risk of respiratory infection by 50 percent simply by taking a vitamin D supplement. People with higher vitamin D levels also benefited but to a lesser degree. Overall, they reduced their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.

Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may also go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. (Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful, as zinc boosts immune function and plays a vital role in activating your body’s T cells (white blood cells tasked with destroying infected cells).

 

** Dont get a flu shot if you have a youngster or infant in the house who has just received their vaccines.

**  Stock up on fresh oranges, not orange juice.

** Please do not start taking B1 or any D vitamin until you talk to a healthcare worker or one of our staff.  These can be very dangerous if taken alone, or incorrectly,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Richard Jaranson

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

AHA: New Report Emphasizes Safety of Statins

AHA: New Report

Emphasizes Safety of Statins

(American Heart Association) — The benefits of the cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins far outweigh any risk of side effects, according to a new analysis of decades of scientific research.

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In fact, side effects of statins are rare, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published Dec. 10 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Lynne Braun, a heart disease and stroke prevention expert who co-authored the statement, said she hopes the results put to rest any misconceptions patients or health care providers have about what she calls a lifesaving medication.

“This is a category of medications where it is clear, very clear, what the benefits are,” said Braun, a nurse practitioner and a professor of nursing and medicine at Rush University in Chicago.

Statins are used primarily to reduce low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance that builds up in arteries. Research shows statins may lower heart attack risk by at least 25 percent and may also help patients with heart disease avoid cardiac procedures such as coronary stents.

The statement comes 16 years after a clinical advisory issued by the AHA, the American College of Cardiology and the U.S. National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute reported similar findings. The authors of the new report reviewed dozens of studies dating back at least 20 years. Most were clinical trials, which are considered the most scientifically sound type of study.

The scientific statement addresses muscle pain, muscle weakness and type 2 diabetes, the most commonly reported side effects of statins, among others.

Muscle pain and weakness were rare complaints in statin clinical trials. When muscle symptoms do occur, they often are linked to the drug’s dosage, the study authors said.

Statins may slightly increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, a condition that can lead to heart disease or stroke. But most people on the drugs already had a high risk for diabetes. Overall, people with diabetes who are on statins see an insignificant increase in blood sugar levels, the study authors said.

The authors suggested health care providers keep a close eye on certain patients who need or take statins, especially older adults who take multiple medications for chronic illnesses.

For example, some studies suggest that people who’ve had a brain hemorrhage and are on a statin are at risk of a second brain attack or hemorrhage. People living with HIV may suffer muscle weakness and muscle pain, in part because of statins’ chemical interplay with HIV drugs. Studies show people of East Asian heritage may be more susceptible to statin-related side effects, especially muscle pain and muscle weakness.

Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Baltimore, said the AHA’s report is a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of taking statins.

“The main takeaway is that statin therapy is much safer — even more effective — than most of the general public has been led to believe,” said Blumenthal, who was not involved in writing the report.

Braun encourages patients who are concerned about taking statins to talk to their health care providers about finding the best medication for them. Patients shouldn’t stop taking statins without consulting their doctor because that could be dangerous, she said.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

Dr P Carrothers

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

 

Today we cover four healthy beverages – experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine:

  1. 65432d60943de24ecb6b18739c550a23Green tea. Dr. Weil’s beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins – healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Look for an organic and fair trade version. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up, and drink unsweetened iced green tea throughout the day.

***  If you have are taking any medications for cardiac problems, high or low blood pressure, migraines, bladder control problems, thyroid or kidney problems, do not take green tea.

 

***  Never drink more than one cup of green tea per day, and preferably in the morning.

 

  1. f04874c897e0304ef26b676dcfa947b0.jpgCranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of cranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted 100 percent blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well as long as you keep your total juice intake low.
  2. Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other

 

 

 

  1. 5026e06335766db4865064e4e3379cb5Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health
  2. benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

 

  1. 0e71da83e429020698203f8bf7c250ecPure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration. If trying to kick a soda habit, try sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of citrus.

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

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Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

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Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Uncategorized

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

teriyaki-chicken-and-vegetables-HERO

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables is an easy and healthy meal that’s perfect for a busy weeknight! Homemade teriyaki sauce makes this dish, and you can use your favorite veggies!

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the stir fry:

  • 1 1/4 lbs chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions

For the sauce:

  1. Place the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, honey, brown sugar and sesame oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Set sauce aside.

For the stir fry:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and red peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to brown and soften. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, until water has evaporated. When your vegetables are crisp & tender, remove them from the pan and set aside; cover to keep warm.
  2. Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan over high heat.
  3. Place half of the chicken in the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set the first batch of chicken aside and repeat the process with the rest of the chicken.
  4. Add all of the chicken and vegetables back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the top and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until warmed through.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 Proven Ways to Overcome Jealousy

Health and Wellness Associates

 

10 Proven Ways to Overcome Jealousy.

 

Jealousy has struck all of us at some point in our lives. In fact, we might have been under the spell of jealousy even before our very first memories. Jealous behaviors can be observed in human beings as early as infancy, but it’s one of those things that we likely won’t outgrow. Jealousy can intensify with age because the only thing worse than jealousy is romantic jealousy.

Think you’re too old or too “experienced” in relationships to be swept away by romantic jealousy? That’s unlikely. It can happen to anyone at any age. Jealousy usually has an interesting way of afflicting even the most (self-proclaimed) super-confident, “non-jealous” types.

The funny thing about romantic jealousy is that a) It’s never funny to the afflicted person, and b) People act like admitting to being jealous is like confessing to a crime. This could occur for various reasons, but it’s likely that the jealous person is already humiliated enough to discover that they can’t hide their jealousy (resulting in someone noticing it and pointing it out), therefore admitting to being jealous is only intensifying those uneasy feelings.

Like most things in life, romantic jealousy is okay in moderation. But what if you’re romantic jealousy goes overboard or even becomes obsessive in nature? This can not only affect your relationship, but also rob you of your happiness (and your sanity).

Below are 10 ways that are more than just band-aid solutions for overcoming romantic jealousy. Jealous feelings flare up for a reason and it’s important to look at yourself a little deeper and think about why you’re having these feelings. Romantic jealousy might begin a process of self-discovery and allow you to make some positive changes to not only better your relationship, but increase your overall happiness and wellbeing.

1. Don’t compare yourself

This tip is number one for a reason because if there is one thing that jealous people have in common it’s comparing themselves to others. The point of comparison is typically the individual that we believe our romantic partner is interested in or “likes” better than us.[1] The danger with engaging in this downward-spiral habit: It feeds into negative things like low self-esteem, bitterness, cynicism, envy…you name it.

What to do: We all give in and compare ourselves to others once in a while, but it’s important to combat this by acknowledging our positive traits and qualities. If you find yourself looking to another person and comparing your life to theirs, this could mean that you need to take some time to celebrate your own accomplishments and recognize your own uniqueness.

2. Focus on your relationship

jealousyRomantic jealousy not only takes up a lot of your mental space, but also physical space between you and your partner. When your conversations with your partner are characterized by arguments related to jealousy, you’re taking up time and energy that you can be spending and enjoying together.

 

What to do: One of the mysteries behind romantic jealousy is that the core fear of the jealous person is losing their partner, but the very acts that accompany jealousy can make that possibility come true. In other words, your biggest fear is losing your partner, but by letting jealousy interfere with your relationship, you might be pushing your partner away from you. Give your relationship priority over your jealousy.

 

3. How do you see yourself?

Self-esteem issues are an important root cause of romantic jealousy. Working on increasing self-esteem can be a lifelong process for some, but you can start by thinking about how your jealousy is influenced by your beliefs about yourself. If you feel you are not “enough” for your partner (i.e., smart enough, good looking enough, funny enough, rich enough, etc.) then you are prone to suffering from romantic jealousy.

What to do: One of the most effective ways to work on increasing your self-esteem is by participating in one (or more) activities or hobbies that you enjoy that provides you with a sense of meaning and accomplishment. This is not as complicated as it sounds. This hobby or activity can be anything you enjoy (e.g., cooking, singing, drawing, swimming, dancing). The point is that you’re doing something that makes you feel good about yourself, something that reminds you that there is more to you than the list of “enough’s”. You have many positive qualities and abilities that make you a special person. Practice acknowledging and celebrating this fact.

 

4. Forgive and forget

Romantic jealousy is often ridden with not just jealousy about things going on in the present, but things in your partners past as well. These “things” can be anything from baggage from a past relationship to an ex that is still somehow in your partner’s life. Forgetting the past is not an easy task, but it is critical if you want to enjoy a positive and lasting relationship with your partner.

What to do: There is a prerequisite, though, in your quest to forget your partners past: You must accept your partner for who they are. Neither you nor your partner can change what happened in the past. If you are accepting to be in a relationship with your partner, you should also agree to accept and respect the “life baggage” that they carry.

 

5. It might be you, not them

Oftentimes, people who are jealous fail to accept their own role in the problem and feel that it’s their partner who is triggering the jealous feelings and actions. In your pursuit to overcome romantic jealousy, consider that these feelings might actually have nothing to do with your partner.[5]

What to do: In many cases, jealousy is a personal, internal state of insecurity and self-doubt. You could be trying to ease the burden on yourself by blaming your partner for “making” you jealous. Taking responsibility is key in order to begin addressing the problem.

 

6. Talk to your partner

Discussions between couples about romantic jealousy often appear more like an interrogation than an actual dialogue. Your partner will likely become defensive, tune you out, label you “jealous,” and dismiss anything you have to say.

What to do: If after you have thoroughly thought about your role and responsibility for your jealous behaviors you continue to feel like your partner is partly to blame, then it’s time to talk about it. This conversation should occur at a “neutral” time (i.e., not during or shortly after an argument or disagreement) and should consist of the following:

  • Express your feelings to your partner. This is not the time to pretend that you’re not jealous. Your partner already knows you are, so leave the pride aside.
  • Be specific about what bothers you. Don’t make general or arbitrary statements that leave your partner guessing or confused.
  • Try to arrive at a solution together. Talking about a problem without participating in offering a solution comes off like you’re just complaining. Tell your partner how you would like to resolve your concerns and let your partner come up with solutions too.

7. Who you surround yourself with

A couple went for marriage counseling for issues unrelated to jealousy. After a few months of counseling, the wife suddenly began to bring up issues related to romantic jealousy. It was later revealed that the couple had recently rekindled an old friendship with another couple. The wife in the other relationship was extremely jealous towards her husband and would vent all of her jealous suspicions to her friend.

What to do: We all know the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people, but we really understand this when we notice someone else’s issues or negative qualities rubbing off on us. If you are struggling with romantic jealousy, having a group of friends who either egg you on or speak negatively about relationships in general will only bring you down. Strive to surround yourself with other people that you would like to emulate.

8. Stop stalking…

People struggling with romantic jealousy often spend hours trying to dig up information on their partner. They search emails, social media sites, personal belongings, cell phones, or even try to secretly follow their partner. Finding no evidence to substantiate their jealousy theories does not discourage them. It only seems to make them search longer and harder. Stalking feeds into the obsession aspect of romantic jealousy. It is time consuming and distressing for the jealous partner. When the other partner finds out about the stalking behaviors, they might feel angered at the mistrust and the violation of privacy.

What to do: Think about how you are investing your time, the way it makes you feel when you are stalking your partner, and what else you can be doing with your time instead. This can help put things in perspective. If you ask someone who has overcome romantic jealousy, they will likely tell you that they took a “let the chips fall where they may” approach to their relationship: If their partner is doing something wrong, sooner or later the truth will be revealed. They refuse, though, to let negative behaviors rob their happiness and well being.

9. …so you can stop and smell the roses

stalkingImagine yourself enjoying your relationship without putting in all the energy that jealousy takes from you. Once you free yourself from some of the negative thoughts and behaviors that accompany romantic jealousy, you will be amazed to rediscover all of things you’ve been missing. You will also find that you are enjoying your partner and your relationship so much more.

 

What to do: Visualize what your ideal relationship with your partner would look like. Write your ideas down if needed. Once you set the intention to work on yourself you will be more likely to actively put effort towards your goals.

 

10. Confidence is key

When we want to make personal changes, sometimes there is an inevitable focus on the negative: Your issues, your problems, and your negative traits. Change can also successfully take place by focusing on and building upon something positive that will counter or outweigh the negative behavior that you want to change. Confidence is the direct opposite of jealousy. When you build self-confidence, feelings like jealousy, doubt, and insecurity don’t have room to grow. Those feelings will always be present to a certain extent because we’re human, but your confidence and belief in yourself will prevail.

What to do: Developing and increasing your self-confidence works in much the same way as the other tips on this article. You must acknowledge and accept your own uniqueness and dedicate your time to activities that make you feel good about yourself and give you a sense of purpose. If your self-confidence is based on what others think or say about you or what you think your partner expects from you, then your beliefs about yourself will likely be unstable and ever changing. When your self-confidence is based on what you feel and know about yourself, then you alone are in charge of your own happiness.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

 

organic

 

If you’ve ever doubted whether organic food is worth the higher price tag, a study that was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine should put your concerns to rest. In the study, French researchers showed that people who consume organic food have a 25% lower risk of cancer.

The study, which was carried out under the guidance of epidemiologist Julia Baudry, looked at the diets of nearly 70,000 French adults with an average age in their mid-40s. The volunteers were divided into four categories according to how often they ate 16 organic products that included vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, prepared meals, condiments, dietary supplements, vegetable oils and other products.

After an average follow-up time of 4 ½ years, the researchers looked at how many of the participants had developed some type of cancer. After comparing the volunteers’ organic food scores with the cancer cases, they were able to determine that those who ate the most organic food were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who did not eat organic food. When it came to specific types of cancer, the group who ate organic was 73 percent less likely to go on to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 21 percent less likely to go on to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

It might be tempting to assume that the group who ate organic food would be more health-conscious overall and likely had a healthier diet in general, and that may be responsible for the lower cancer risk. However, the researchers say that simply is not true; even those who ate a low- to medium-quality diet yet opted for organic enjoyed the reduced cancer risk.

The authors concluded that should the findings be confirmed, promoting the consumption of organic food to the public could serve as a good strategy against cancer.

Pesticides have long been linked to cancer

The co-author of the commentary that was published alongside the study, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Associate Professor Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro, called the findings “incredibly important” and pointed out that they are consistent with the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s finding that pesticides cause cancer in humans.

The study’s findings are also supported but other studies have shown a negative relationship between the consumption of organic food and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in particular.

Agricultural chemical firms like Monsanto have long insisted their products do not cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, in August, Monsanto was ordered to pay a school groundskeeper who was terminally ill with the disease $289 million in damages, and they are facing class-action lawsuits on behalf of countless other cancer patients who have developed the disease from exposure to glyphosate.

Yes, organic is worth it

Although the study does leave some questions unanswered, the authors believe that the negative relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk comes from the “significant” decrease in contamination exposure that takes place when people replace conventional food with organic varieties.

Defenders of conventional agriculture and those who profit from pesticides may argue that the study was flawed, but it’s hard for many people to justify continuing to take such a gamble with their health. In the past decade, the organic food industry has more than doubled. Last year, the Organic Trade Association reports that organic food made up 5.5 percent of all the food sold in the U.S. Although more people are making this healthy choice, it’s clear that more progress needs to be made in spreading the word about the benefits of choosing organic.

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

 hbp

In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 3 has high blood pressure (hypertension); another 1 in 3 has prehypertension.1 A blood pressure reading of 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) is considered healthy.

High blood pressure is typically considered anything over 140/90 mmHg, although updated guidelines2 from the American Heart Association now have 130/80 mmHg as the cutoff for a diagnosis of hypertension. Elevated systolic pressure (the top or high number) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia.3

While drugs are typically the first-line treatment for hypertension, they’re associated with a number of problematic side effects. For example, research4 published in 2017 found hydrochlorothiazide — one of the most popular drugs used worldwide to treat high blood pressure — raises the risk of skin cancer sevenfold.

Diuretics, also commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, have the side effect of leaching both sodium and potassium out of your body, and maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio is really important for the normalization of your blood pressure.5

Potassium is also needed for proper muscle movement, including the contractions of your heart, and if your level gets depleted it can trigger muscle cramps and heart problems. So, what can you do beside popping a daily pill? The good news is exercise can go a long way toward normalizing your blood pressure.6,7,8

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity Is the First Line of Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Over 80 percent of the U.S. population are insulin resistant and this metabolic dysfunction causes a boatload of problems, such as an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. There are many well-reported links between obesity and high blood pressure.9 Most, but certainly not all, those with hypertension are overweight, and in those circumstances losing weight is associated with lowering of their blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure your first strategy is to regain your metabolic flexibility and be able to burn fat as a primary fuel once again. This will not only decrease your insulin resistance and help optimize your weight, but also radically decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.10

Exercise Is Another Potent Therapy for High Blood Pressure

Inactivity and blood pressure are also closely related — so closely that exercise is actually considered a first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, just to name a few.11

Research shows inactive individuals have a 30 to 50 percent greater risk for high blood pressure than their active counterparts.12 As noted in a literature review13 on exercise and hypertension, published in Australian Family Physician:

“An evidence based literature analysis by the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that an isolated exercise session (acute effect) lowers BP [blood pressure] an average of 5 to 7 mmHg … [T]he average BP reduction with regular endurance exercise for hypertensives not normalized by drug therapy in the literature review is 7.4/5.8mmHg …

Depending upon the degree the patient’s BP has been normalized by drug therapy, regular aerobic exercise significantly reduces BP the equivalent of 1 class of antihypertensive medication (chronic effect) … Overall, resistance training has a favorable chronic effect on resting BP, but the magnitude of the BP reductions are less than those reported for an aerobic based exercise program …

For most hypertensive patients, exercise is quite safe. Caution is required for those over 50 years of age, and those with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) (or at high CVD risk) and in these patients, the advice of a clinical exercise physiologist is recommended.”

Try These Exercises to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The key to affect your blood pressure is to do physical activity that raises your heart rate, making your heart beat faster and increase blood flow. This is also known as cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.

As you might guess, just about any physical movement can achieve this, depending on your current state of fitness. Even yard work can be a cardiovascular exercise. Raking and mulching, for example, takes some effort and will get your heart pumping. Other aerobic exercises include:

Brisk walking and/or running — Research14 published in 2013 found moderate-intensity brisk walking produced similar reductions in blood pressure as vigorous-intensity running.
Swimming and/or water aerobics — In one study,15 adults aged 50 and over who swam three to four times a week for 12 weeks improved their vascular function and reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of nine points.
Bicycling — A 2016 study16 showed that people in their 40s through 60s who bicycled to and from work were less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or prediabetes. After 10 years of follow-up, bicycle commuters had an 11 percent lower risk for hypertension than nonbikers.
Weightlifting and/or body weight exercises — A small 2012 study,17 which included middle-aged men diagnosed with high blood pressure who had previously exercised less than two hours a week and were not using antihypertensive medication, showed that after weight training for 45 to 60 minutes (three sets of 12 repetitions for each of seven exercises), systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 22 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 8 mmHg.
Skiing
Skating
Rowing
Dancing
Sports such as tennis, soccer and ultimate Frisbee

Isometric Handgrip Training Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Isometric handgrip exercises have also been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure in older adults.

Interestingly, a 2013 systematic review18 concluded improving your handgrip strength was even more effective for lowering systolic blood pressure than conventional endurance and strength training programs.

Other studies19,20 have also confirmed the benefit of both handgrip and leg extension exercises on blood pressure. As noted in one of them:21

“Isometric resistance training lowers [systolic blood pressure], [diastolic blood pressure], and mean arterial pressure. The magnitude of effect is larger than that previously reported in dynamic aerobic or resistance training. Our data suggest that this form of training has the potential to produce significant and clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions and could serve as an adjunctive exercise modality.”

Boosting Your Nitric Oxide Level Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Another excellent exercise is the Nitric Oxide Dump. This and other high-intensity exercises help normalize your blood pressure by triggering production of nitric oxide in your body. It involves just four movements — squats, alternating arm raises, nonjumping jacks and shoulder presses — which are done in repetitions of 10, with four sets each. In total, it takes just three to four minutes. Ideally, you’d do these exercises three times a day, a few hours apart.

Nitric oxide is a soluble gas stored in your endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) and acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body. Along with promoting healthy endothelial function, nitric oxide also supports heart health by helping your veins and arteries dilate, which promotes healthy blood flow.

Nitric oxide also plays a protective role in your mitochondrial health, the energy storehouse of your cells, responsible for the utilization of energy for all metabolic functions. Even your skeletal muscle, which is made up of only about 1 percent to 2 percent mitochondria, depend on these energy powerhouses to fuel your daily movements.

When you exercise and your muscles ache, it’s because you’ve run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing nitric oxide. But here’s the secret that’s not widely known: When you exercise, it takes only about 90 seconds for your blood vessels to run out of stored nitric oxide and begin the process of making more.

This is why working major muscle groups for as little as 90 seconds can be so effective.22 You can also take advantage of the nitric oxide-boosting power of vegetable nitrates, which serve as precursors for nitric oxide. Arugula is the highest source but fermented beet powder can have up to 500 percent greater concentration of nitrates.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Help Normalize Your Blood Pressure?

As a general recommendation, aim for moderate-intensity activity 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.23 The higher the intensity of your exercise, the lower the frequency needs to be, so if you’re doing more vigorous aerobic activity, you can get away with doing just three days a week. In addition to that, it’s recommended to perform some sort of muscle strengthening exercise two days a week.

If you have high blood pressure, chances are you’re not exercising enough at present. If that’s the case, start slow and build your way up. For example, start taking a walk a few times a week, and increase the frequency as you start feeling more able. Over time, also step up the intensity, and be sure to add some form of strength training — especially if you’re insulin resistant — as well as isometric handgrip exercises, which can easily be done while watching TV or otherwise relaxing.

I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness.

Source: American Heart Association

Other Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

Aside from exercise, here are several additional suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.

Optimize your vitamin D level — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension.24 For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter year-round.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio — According to Dr. Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.

He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel,25 “Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can’t reduce or won’t reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better.”

Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you’ll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.

Intermittent and partial fasting — Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of hypertension. My new book, Keto Fasting which goes into great detail about partial fasting comes out next spring.
Walk barefoot — Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure. So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.

Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you’re improving your entire body and all of its functions.

Address your stress — The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart dis­ease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.

Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.

The good news is strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions. EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.

Essential oils — A number of essential oils can also be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage. In one study,26scientists found exposure to essential oil for one hour effectively reduced stress as measured by a reduction in the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure.

The effect was only temporary, however. In another, similar study,27 inhalation of a blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, neroli and marjoram essential oils was associated with a reduction in blood pressure and cortisol secretion, which is often elevated during stress.