Special traitsHighly sensitive people emote on a very different level. They have some special traits which are very different from the average person. It could also be considered as a positive thing but it has its drawbacks.
Highly sensitiveThis is actually a trait which brings both strengths and challenges. Sometimes one is just easily offended by people who mean no harm or they could even be trying to be nice to you. Sometimes the reaction to everyday stressors is also extreme. You may be more affected by negative stressors than most people are.
Wild imaginationYou like to believe that you are being bullied by people who mean no harm and then tend to become over emotionally aggressive. You are more deeply affected by others. Try to manage your reactions, make it your strength rather than a challenge.
Tapping Therapy intensely powerful tool that can help you quickly get over your biggest fears and help achieve all of your goals.
Thirty-four years ago, clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan—the originator of tapping therapy—discovered that you could stimulate the instant release of stored emotions.
The instant release occurs by ty tapping along these meridians in acupressure-like fashion while focusing your mind on the past hurt or current stress (phobia, fear, or anxiety).
He called his method Thought Field Therapy or TFT, and today Dr. Callahan’s institute trains practicing therapists, healthcare professionals, and everyday people in how to use tapping therapy both in clinical settings and at home. Others have brought TFT to the masses as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) and Meridian Tapping Therapy.
Life has its ups and downs, and stress is a natural part of human existence. These days, though, American stress levels are at a record high, according to the American Psychological Association. We discussed the stress-microbiome connection with Robert Keith Wallace, Ph.D., who—along with his wife and co-author Samantha Wallace—wrote Gut Crisis: How Diet, Probiotics, and Friendly Bacteria Help You Lose Weight and Heal Your Body and Mind.
Dr. Wallace is a pioneering researcher on the physiology of consciousness and the mind/body connection as applied to behavioral medicine. His seminal research on higher states of consciousness has been published in Science, The American Journal of Physiology, and Scientific American. He’s currently Chair of the Department of Physiology and Health at Maharishi University of Management, of which he was a founding President.
Anyone who has taken a cooking class with me, knows I'm in love with green foods. They are my warrior ingredients whether I'm teaching about detoxification, weight loss, cancer, brain health, or gut health. Recently, I discovered a whole new reason I steer toward eating so many greens. The color green reflects the qualities of LOVE: openness, expansiveness, nurturing, compassion, abundance. The impact of color in our diet and the way it influences our health comes from the work of one of my nutritional sheroes, Dr. Deanna Minich. I'm knee, or I should say heart, deep into her new course Rainbow Food and Supplements. After 15 years studying nutrition she is rocking the way I look at color in our diet. In light of spring, let's look at the color green or what she refers to as our "LOVE system".
Take a minute to reflect on how GREEN foods make you feel.
Think about how you feel when you work in your garden or take a walk in nature. Taking in the color green through your senses fills your heart with peace, and gives you a sense of being alive and in harmony with life. Similarly, eating green foods can have a strong sensation in the heart center. Some people claim that green foods makes them feel more vital. Others, have a hard time consuming green vegetables. There is no right or wrong feeling here. It is simply good information for your relationship with the LOVE system.
This week we are in the first week of the first Mercury retrograde cycle of 2018 which is a perfect time to retrace your steps and have a look at some of the ways in which you need to reaffirm your self-care. It’s also a great time to focus on ways to manage your experience especially if you identify as a highly sensitive person or empath. This particular retrograde in Aries is highly charged and can be quite combustible and combative. That said it’s also perfect for rigorous self-honesty, and really determining what you are enthusiastic about!
So, if you’re sensing the edge in the air and it starts to feel overwhelming you need to find a way to manage your experience. You don’t want to end up feeling like the energy of the world is assaulting you (and it really can feel like that sometimes.)
I’m going to include a video from Nick Ortner at the end of the blog to support you too since he has a great way to dial down anxiety. Bottom line is that intuitive people can suffer if they don’t have tools to manage their boundaries and feelings. (and they can also find it hard to release excess body weight, manage fatigue too etc. but that’s a whole other story)
Pets bring unconditional love and immense joy to many families. They also consume nearly 1/3 of the animal products in the United States — creating what is, for many people, an ethical and environmental dilemma. What’s the answer? Can dogs be vegan or vegetarian? Can cats be plant-based? Or must they eat meat to survive?
I grew up with cats. The sound and warm vibration of my beloved Popo purring in my lap is one of the happiest memories of my childhood.
Companion animals teach us about unconditional love and devotion, and they often bring out the very best in us humans.
Now, studies are showing that having a companion animal can be good for us, too.
It’s no secret that children often love pets. But recent research has taken it a step further.
Children raised with pets are less likely to become asthmatic, more likely to be kind to other children, and more likely to have healthy self-esteem once they reach their teens.
Researchers are also finding that having pets positively influences children’s physical and emotional development and even their scholastic achievement.
But it’s not only children who can benefit from a loving relationship with a furry friend. One of the most celebrated “pet studies” was undertaken by Erika Friedmann and her co-workers at the University of Pennsylvania.
They found an unmistakable association between pet ownership and extended survival in patients hospitalized with coronary heart disease.
Those patients who had pets at home were far more likely to survive — even after accounting for differences in the extent of heart damage and other medical problems.
In 1991, the medical value of pets became unexpectedly apparent to researchers who were conducting the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial. They were studying the effects of two pharmaceutical drugs (encainide and flecainide) on men who had had heart attacks and were now experiencing irregular heartbeats.
Paradoxically, the drugs were found to cause an increase in cardiac deaths. At the same time, however, it was noted that those patients who had dogs were only one-sixth as likely to die during the year of the study as those who did not have dogs.
Can you imagine what would have happened if the drugs rather than the dogs had been shown to cause a six-fold decrease in deaths?
The drugs might be prescribed for every heart attack patient in the world with an irregular heartbeat. And drug companies would be spending hundreds of millions of dollars telling physicians and the public how great the drugs were.
But because the loyalty and loving friendship of a dog cannot be bottled and sold, there has been no such publicity campaign. And most people to this day do not realize how much healing can be found in loving relationships — including ones with companion animals.
No offense to Fido or Buddy, nor to Leo or Cleopatra, but there are also shadows to pet ownership. It’s worth taking a fair look at them to round out the picture.
I get this question a lot! Mostly, when discussing cooking oils. So here are my thoughts on coconut oil. Yes, it is a saturated fat, it is actually one of the few found in the plant-kingdom, and a significant percentage of that saturated fat is composed of Lauric acid, which is (comparatively speaking) quickly and easily metabolised as a very good energy source.
This means you are likely to burn the kind of saturated fat found in coconut oil for fuel rather than pack it away as fat, provided you are sufficiently active and it isn’t digested along with something high in sugar to supersede & hijack your metabolism first. An example of this would be vegan treats such as cheesecake where coconut oil is mixed with lots of maple or date syrup and nuts to create the dairy-free cheesecake filling.
Coconut oil is the optimal oil to cook with — if you are going to cook with oil — due to the fact that it holds up (meaning it does not oxidize) better than other oils at high temperatures (translation – less free radicals). It is immune boosting, has anti-infection properties and some studies suggest it aids with the absorption of certain vitamins and other nutrients like beta-carotene and some amino acids.
That said I use coconut oil very rarely in my cooking. In fact, I rub more on my skin than I consume in my diet!
You may have noticed since your yoga practice has become more regular that you naturally find yourself gravitating toward a type of diet that gives you nourishment, energy, lightness, and flexibility. A yogi diet is a balanced way of eating that ancient yogis believed had a huge influence not only over your physical wellbeing, but also over your thoughts, and ultimately your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. With continued awareness about the body through yoga you may find that vegetarian foods become a natural choice. This way of eating helps you maintain that same energized, light feeling you achieve through yoga.
Like all living organisms in the universe the foods we eat possess qualities and energies that affect our mind, body and soul. Yogic food is known as ‘sattvic’, which simply means ‘pure essence’. These foods are considered abundant in ‘prana’, the universal life force that gives energy to all beings in both the plant and animal kingdoms. When you eat a pure diet the food and life-force found in these foods bring you physical strength, a good mind, health, and longevity. They calm, purify and lead to a peaceful mind in control of a fit body, with a balanced flow of energy between them leading to a peaceful state where higher consciousness becomes accessible. Enabling you to keep an open mind to possibilities, think more positively and be far more kind to others and ourselves.
Eating a sattvic diet means you get to enjoy the plant kingdom in its total abundance. Whole, real foods, found in their natural state dance together on your plate, offering their vibrancy to you. Foods, which are pure, light, soothing and easily digested, become your staples. There are whole grains beautifully arranged around lots of olive oil and vegetables. There are fresh fruits and natural sugars scattered through meals offering us the taste of sweet in perfect proportions, handfuls of nuts and seeds to bring texture and healthful benefits, nothing is too stimulating nor is it boring, this way of eating is vegetarian food alchemy in its most beautiful form.
We all feel bad, or off, or out of alignment at times. Most times we ignore it and keep doing what we have to. But there is a process you can go through that is immensely helpful in resolving the energy – not just ignoring it.
Stop: Give yourself a minute to become aware, to live consciously in that moment – Stop and create the time and space to experience. If you ignore the feeling or distract yourself from it, that energy will remain stuck within you.
Look: Have the courage to look at what you are feeling. It’s telling you something. Bring real insight to the situation: What’s the real cause? Non-alignment with your Divinity, resistance to what is, egoic personalization in a circumstance? What’s the false and true story?
The once-humble avocado has infiltrated almost every meal of the day: we’re spreading it on toast, using it to make chocolate mousse, and chucking it into our smoothies to make it extra thick and creamy. If you’re like most people, you’re probably eating more avocado than ever before. But as your scooping out (or ordering) that buttery, green goodness you may have stopped to ask yourself, how much avocado is too much?
You might think all that healthy fat means it’s always a healthy choice. But is it? Therein lies the conundrum. We're told that avocados are super good for us, with a balanced amount of monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats that help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin K, A, D, and E) from your food and leave you feeling full and satiated. They contain B vitamins (super important for methylation) and vitamin E, which helps with collagen production and retaining moisture in your skin. They help keep your brain healthy and your immune system strong. Gosh, hand me guac!
Because I have been in such an intense phase of creative energy flow, (thank you, vata dosha!), and it was recently National Women's Day, I thought I'd share some information about the two chakras responsible for our creativity.
The second (Svadisthana/Sacral/Sexual) chakra is considered the seat of divine feminine energy and creativity, called shakti in the Hindu tradition. It is the womb, where all things are birthed.
Men and women alike need this feminine creative energy to lead inspiring and fulfilling lives. Creativity does not belong exclusively to artists, musicians, and writers.
The creative force born in the second chakra is available for everyone. It gives meaning to our lives and can be the difference between a life lived in a state of stagnation vs. one filled with joyful inspiration and action.
Located below the navel in the area of the sexual organs, the color associated with the second chakra is orange.
Swadhisthana means "one's own abode" or "dwelling place of the self". It is the pleasure chakra - the chakra of sensuality, sexuality, desire, and our emotions.
Here lie our emotional connections with others.
It is the seat of our creativity.
"All disease begins in the gut" ~ Hippocrates
The discovery of the microbiome and the functions of all the microbes within our body has been equally as important as the discovery of the human genome. The microbiome protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins. When it comes to supporting gut health, much of the emphasis has been placed on probiotics, the good bacteria known to have specific benefits on the digestive tract.
An imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the digestive system can show up in a wide array of systemic conditions, including hormonal issues, metabolic dysfunction, depression, cognition, even some cancers. It is recommended we take probiotic supplements, eat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and sourdough bread to flood the GI tract with good microbes. However, for these bugs to function optimally in our favor, they need to feed on substrates called prebiotics.
Think of prebiotics as fertilizer for our microbiome. They are what probiotics feed on; in fact, we cannot fully digest these dietary fibers without good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics live in symbiosis. We need good bacteria to utilize the fiber we get from food and we equally need prebiotics to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the GI tract. Research has shown that in healthy individuals, the more prebiotic foods we eat, the more good bacteria can proliferate, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. reuteri, bifidobacteria, and certain strains of L. casei or the L. acidophilus-group.1
Most commonly we think of prebiotic foods to include onions, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, asparagus and plantains. But there are many more prebiotic foods to include and enjoy on a daily basis. Think polyphenols, the magical bioactive compounds found in a colorful, plant-rich diet. Polyphenols are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and olive oil. Prebiotics also include herbs, cacao, sea vegetables, green tea, raw honey, and colostrum.
The greatest health benefit from including more prebiotic foods is better digestion*. As the gut bacteria metabolizes these undigested fibers, they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which play a critical role in colon health. One of the SCFA's, butyric acid, protects the health of the intestinal lining. Others regulate electrolytes which are important for proper digestions, produce bowel movement, and prevent diarrhea.
Physical relaxationMusic actually promotes relaxation of tense muscles enabling you to release tension from a stressful day or week. Relaxing your body while listening to music helps release tension in a fun way and puts one in a stress-free zone.
Music & meditationFor those who feel meditation is tough to get into, listening to music is an excellent way to relax and slowly get lured into the meditative state.
Music promotes positivityUpbeat lives are happy lives. Even if you are not in a good mood you feel obliged to switch mental channels and feel better.
A crucial fact about American medicine goes largely ignored, even by doctors. Dollar for dollar, more people will gain years of healthy lifespan from prevention than from drugs or surgery. We don’t tend to think that prevention costs money. Once you learn that cigarettes cause lung cancer, you can decide not to smoke. The choice is free if you were a non-smoker to begin with. If you get up off the couch and start a brisk walking program to help prevent heart disease, that choice also doesn’t cost a penny.
What isn’t free, however, is getting information out there. Poor and less educated Americans are known to have a higher prevalence of major lifestyle disorders like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. The reverse is also true: better lifestyle choices are made by the affluent and well educated.
You can’t prevent what you don’t know about. That makes it essential that we keep funding the most dollar-wise education for physicians so that young residents can go on to spearhead prevention programs. America cannot continue to rely on a reactionary stance of simply treating health issues. It must refocus its efforts and investments in prevention. The surgery to treat a lung cancer patient is highly unlikely to succeed and will be very expensive. Informing a middle-school classroom about the risks of smoking potentially saves lives at a fraction of the cost.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
I’m a morning person, always have been. I wake up around 5 am and bounce out of bed joy-filled, enthusiastic and ready to consume the day. My energy is at its peak and I feel as though nothing can stop me. However, up until five years ago, I didn’t realize how my morning routine was undermining my ability to be the very best I could be. In truth, it was creating blocks to my most authentic life.
You see, I’ve learned that what you do when you first wake up in the morning is a solid gage of not only the quality of your day but by extension the quality of your life.
The cure for this is to create a realistic morning routine - a set of rituals that works for you and you alone. There are myriad ways to accomplish this, but I’m going to share the eight that have made the biggest difference for me. I’m not just talking about starting the day off on the right foot – but truly changing your life in just about every way imaginable.
#1 - Hydrate First
As soon as you get out of bed down a full 8-to-16-ounces of clear water. Before your morning coffee or tea, before you take a shower, before you do anything else, drink your water.
Your body has been in a state of fasting all night, and this liquid miracle will rehydrate you, make your brain feel more alert, and jumpstart your metabolism. It may also help to fill up your tummy so you don’t overeat at breakfast.
#2 - Stretch
Roll right onto the floor (or if it’s too hard for you, lay back down on your bed) taking five minutes to stretch your body. Lay on your back, clasping your knees to chest. Roll from side to side. Remember to breathe deeply throughout your stretching. You’ll most likely hear your spine and joints gently popping as you elongate. Stand and stretch your arms overhead as you gently stretch from side to side. Kneel on the floor and then place your forehead on the ground. Stretch your arms over your head and gently elongate your spine. Be gentle. Think and move like a cat.
Stretching in the morning improves circulation and helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles. More blood in your muscles translates into more energy in the morning. It also increases blood flow to your brain and sharpens your concentration.
#3 - Tea Meditation
I gave up morning coffee consumption five years ago when out of habit I would lurch from my bed to the kitchen to kidnap an entire pot of bullet-strong Joe and plop down at my desk for the next five hours slamming cup after cup as I bulldozed through work. Hours later when Panache would make it to my desk I was a barking, short-tempered, over-caffeinated hot mess. My gut was ruined and I suffered terrible diarrhea most days. I don’t need to tell you that I was so toxic by noon that nobody wanted to be around me.
Now, my morning tea prep is a grace bestowing meditation ritual. I walk slowly, barefoot to the kitchen feeling my feet from heel to toe on the ground. Each step bringing me fully into the present moment. I take down my favorite over-sized Asian blue ceramic cup and put the water on to boil. I turn on music that speaks to my soul as I await the whistling of the tea kettle (absolutely no electric tea kettles for me. I love the old-fashioned sound of a kettle’s whistle.) And then I pour the water over the tea and watch it steep.
Although most people still view being sick in terms of germs, catching a cold, and getting a flu shot, the question of who gets sick and who stays well is far more complex. Everyone is exposed to thousands of microbes a day, and some of these are disease-causing pathogens. But we have immunity to a wide range of pathogens, and although sickness is fended off by the cells of the immune system, staying well involves the whole person.
There is a medical concept known as “control by the host,” which focuses on how much of staying well is an internal process that calls upon both mind and body. The invisible roots of lifelong wellness turn out to be surprising. For example, researchers at the University of Texas Medical School looked at mortality rates among a group of men and women who had received open heart surgery, including heart bypass and replacement of the aortic valve. If you take the routine medical approach, the reason someone dies six months after open heart surgery while someone else doesn’t must come down to a physical difference. But the team headed by Dr. Thomas Oxman took an unorthodox approach. They asked these patients two questions about their social situation: Do you participate regularly in organized social groups? Do you draw strength and comfort from your religion or spiritual faith?
These are simple yes or no questions, and when assessing the answers, the researchers excluded the typical risk factors for dying after heart surgery, including age, severity of the disease, and severity of a previous heart attack. With these factors zeroed out, the findings were startling:
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or are just starting with your practice, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed some of the health and wellness benefits of yoga.
Perhaps you’re sleeping better or feeling stronger or are just more relaxed and at ease in your daily life. Whatever the case may be, you know that something good is happening to your body–even though you may not be linking it to your practice quite yet.
To help you better understand the benefits of yoga, we have looked at the many ways your practice can heal the mind, body, and spirit. We included also links to scientific studies backing these claims.
Curious? Read on to find out the benefits of yoga on the mind, body, and spirit.
In 1952 a young British physician made a mistake. It was a mistake that was to bring short-lived scientific glory to Dr. Albert Mason. Mason tried to treat a fifteen-year-old boy’s warts using hypnosis. Mason and other doctors had successfully used hypnosis to get rid of warts, but this was an especially tough case. The boy’s leathery skin looked more like an elephant’s hide than a human’s, except for his chest, which had normal skin.
Mason’s first hypnosis session focused on one arm. When the boy was in a hypnotic trance, Mason told him that the skin on that arm would heal and turn into healthy, pink skin. When the boy came back a week later, Mason was gratified to see that the arm looked healthy. But when Mason brought the boy to the referring surgeon, who had unsuccessfully tried to help the boy with skin grafts, he learned that he had made a medical error. The surgeon’s eyes were wide with astonishment when he saw the boy’s arm. It was then that he told Mason that the boy was suffering, not from warts, but from a lethal genetic disease called congenital ichthyosis. By reversing the symptoms using “only” the power of the mind, Mason and the boy had accomplished what had until that time been considered impossible. Mason continued the hypnosis sessions, with the stunning result that most of the boy’s skin came to look like the healthy, pink arm after the first hypnosis session. The boy, who had been mercilessly teased in school because of his grotesque-looking skin, went on to lead a normal life.
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