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The miracle of exercise…

We know that regular physical activity lifts the spirits, helps with inflammation and lowers cardiovascular risks, but according to the latest research exercise reduces the risk of seven different types of cancer.

In the latest study, the Journal of Clinical Oncology sought to look at how exercise affects the immune system, specifically as related to different types of cancer.

They found after a 10-year look at those who regularly engage in physical leisure activity that meeting or exceeding the recommended regimen for exercise (a minimum of 2.5 hrs. weekly) was connected to a reduced risk of seven types of cancers.

Among both men and women, the risk of kidney cancer was reduced by up to 17 percent, liver cancer by up to 27 percent and myeloma by up to 19 percent.

“Among men, increased exercise was linked to up to a 14 percent reduced risk for colon cancer. Among women, more physical activity was associated with up to a 10 percent lower risk for breast cancer and up to an 18 percent lower risk of both endometrial cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

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The calming power of CBD for dogs!

CBD, cannabidiol, is a substance found in cannabis and hemp. It’s sort of all the rage now for a variety of health problems in humans, but according to Dr. Jerry Klein, the American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, it is growing in popularity when it comes to naturally treating various ailments in dogs. 

First and very importantly, CBD, or cannabidiol, does not generally contain THC,, the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. Most CBD products for dogs on the market are 100 percent derived from hemp oil and not marijuana. 

Dr. Klein reports on the AKC website that “CBD…is used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.”

Research shows that the cannabinoids in hemp oil interact with the natural endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous systems of mammals. In dogs specifically, hemp oil derived CBD products calm anxious dogs. 

We have the perfect healthy treat for the beloved dog in your family that is both well researched and LOVED by canines!  Treatibles calming treats are delicious (that’s what dogs report!) and they offer the anxiety taming effects of CBD oil! Stop in at Awakenings and pick up a bag because keeping the four-leggeds happy is a sacred duty!

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Strength training and acupuncture–an ideal combo!

If you’re reading this blog, we know you have health goals! It’s widely know that an abundance of research over the. last couple of decades proves that one of the best ways to enhance your health is to add strength training to your workout regimen.

Research posted on Harvard Health celebrates the power of weight training to build bone mass, lower body fat, increases balance, prevents fractures and even alleviate depression.

And did you know you can increase the effective of both your workouts and your recovery from working the weights by adding acupuncture?

According to research out of Goethe University Frankfurt lifting weights is more beneficial with acupuncture! Not only does acupuncture assist with post-workout recovery, but it can enhance your performance! 

Make an appointment with one of our trio of acupuncturists to increase the effectiveness of your workouts and to help your body recovery from your exercise program!

Strength training builds more than muscles – Harvard Health

Most of us know that strength training (with free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands) can help build and maintain muscle mass and strength. What many of us don’t know is that strong muscles lead to strong bones. And strong bones can help m…

Intensive weight training helps fight depression

Intensive weight training helps fight depression People suffering from depression feel better if they do weight training, researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered in the 1990s. The heavier the weights they used, the greater the effect the strength training had on the level of depression.

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The power of chocolate to you!

So, the power of laughter to heal is well known…But a simple and sweet smile has some astonishing superpowers, too. Researchers in Britain used MRIs to examine the power of smiling–and they found that when we lift those corners of our mouth, that our brains have the same chemical high that we’d get from 2000 bars of chocolate! Or, amazingly, from receiving $25,000! 

And a study out of Munich found that the act of smiling can make you feel good when you’re feeling poorly. Regardless of our circumstances, the brain’s “happiness circuitry” gets an astonishing activation when we smile! 
If you want to experience greater joy in your life, and more reasons to smile, you might greatly benefit from some life coaching. Visit Awakeningshealth.com to find out more.

Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201605/the-9-superpowers-your-smile

Neuroscience Says Doing This 1 Thing Makes You Just as Happy as Eating 2,000 Chocolate Bars

Doing it also gives you the same neurological boost as receiving $25,000. Wanting to be happier is a universal trait. It’s rare to find a person whose reply to, “How would you like to feel today?” is, “Morose, please.” The scientific study of happiness (aka positive psychology) has mushroomed over the last two decades.

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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Laugh (snort, chuckle, guffaw, chortle, giggle) for your health!

“Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!” Dr. Patch Adams

 

Laughter is one of the very best parts of life! Not only does laughter make our days brighter, but it is a terrific boon for our health.

Did you know that…

-Laughter raises our endorphins–this feel-good-chemical boost can last for hours and even help our bodies deal with pain and inflammation! Laughter also increases empathy and bonding with the release of oxytocin.

-Laughing is excellent for blood sugar levels. A study out of Japan had diabetic and non-diabetic participants eat a meal and watch a completely humorless lecture and then have their blood sugar tested. The next day they had them eat the same meal and then enjoy a comedy show followed by more glucose testing. After the show that had the participants laughing, their blood sugar readings were much lower. The researchers believe that laughter both positively affects the neuroendocrine system and causes more glucose to go into the muscles.

-Laughter makes the immune system stronger and more vibrant. A study out of Indiana State University’s Nursing Center shows that the killer cell activity that prevails against dangerous viruses and bacteria is much more active when we laugh!

-Laughter helps lower the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In cases of severe PTSD, the right-brain can be overwhelmed with hyper-vigilance and distress. According to clinical social worker, Joanne Strawder, laughing enables the right hemisphere of the brain to calm and cool; in addition it helps the left-brain to have higher functioning.

 

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Family health General

Drinking Tea Is Good For Your Brain

Tea has been shown to positively impact our health, but a new study has come out that links drinking tea with better brain health.

“Upon analysing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way…

We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”

And with so many delicious tea options, what an easy, low-cost, and pleasant way to do something good for both your body and brain. So the next time you come in for an appointment, sample one of our complimentary teas.

Drinking tea improves brain health, study suggests

A recent study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions — and this is associated with healthy cognitive function — compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining neuroimaging data of 36 older adults.

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Family health General

So What Does CBD Oil Treat?

Now that you’ve learned a little about the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and the isolate forms of CBD oil, let’s talk about what CBD oil is commonly used for.

Keep in mind that researchers are still in the early stages of determining the various ways CBD oil interacts with the human body. Much more work needs to be done to get a complete picture of what conditions respond well to CBD oil, as well as figuring out the mechanisms behind its healing properties. But the body of evidence is growing. Here’s a breakdown of what we know so far.

Heart Health

As you no doubt already know, high blood pressure is linked to a number of health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Recent research has shown that CBD may have several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. Researchers have speculated that CBD’s stress- and anxiety-reducing qualities are responsible for this. Its powerful antioxidant properties may also help reduce inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease, though this has only been demonstrated in animal studies thus far.

Pain Relief

As we discussed last week, our bodies contain a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate things like sleep, pain, appetite, and the immune system. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our nervous systems.

Studies have demonstrated that CBD may impact the endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters, thus reducing chronic pain. In fact, several studies have shown that a combination of CBD and THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) is effective in treating pain due to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. In fact, an oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is already approved in several countries to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis.

Cancer-related Symptoms

Cancer treatments often come with a host of side effects like nausea, vomiting, and pain. Several studies have shown a combination of CBD and THC to be effective in mitigating these side effects.

Promisingly, some test-tube and animal studies have also indicated that CBD may even have anticancer properties. Several studies (again, only in test-tubes and mice) have shown that CBD induced cell death of human breast cells and inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are leading contributors to disability and can have a devastating impact on health. Both conditions are generally treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which often have a number of side effects like agitation, insomnia, drowsiness, headache, and sexual dysfunction.

CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. Accordingly, CBD oil has shown promise in several studies as a treatment for depression and anxiety, leading many people with these disorders to become interested in this more natural approach. Studies have even it shown it to be effective in treating insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Neuroprotective Properties

For those with neurological disorders, CBD may prove beneficial because of its ability to act on the ECS and other brain signaling symptoms.

As mentioned above, CBD and THC have been proven to help people with multiple sclerosis. In addition, a number of studies have demonstrated its efficacy in treating epilepsy. People with these diseases experienced significantly fewer seizures and convulsions than those taking a placebo.

In addition, studies have demonstrated that CBD improved quality of life for people suffering from other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, though more research needs to be done as most of the research has been in test-tube and animal studies.

Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that is thought to be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria, genetics, overproduction of sebum (an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands in the skin), and inflammation. Because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to reduce sebum production, and its ability to prevent the activation of inflammatory cytokines, it may actually help treat acne.

Psychological Conditions

CBD has shown promise in modifying circuits in the brain related to drug addiction in rats, reducing morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior. Other studies have also suggested that CBD could help reduce psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

While all of this is very promising, there is so much more research that needs to be done on the efficacy for varying conditions within humans. And there may be some side effects that you should be aware of.

While it’s generally well-tolerated and considered safe, some studies have noted diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue as possible side effects. CBD oil may also interact with some medications, so we recommend discussing it with your doctor, particularly if you are taking medications or supplements that come with the “grapefruit warning.” CBD and grapefruit interfere with a group of enzymes called CYPs that are important to drug metabolism. Again, if you’re not sure, ask your doctor.

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Family health General

CBD Isolate vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. Full-Spectrum

We have recently started carrying CBD products, and we know you’ll have questions, so here’s a primer.

CBD refers to cannabinoids, which are the natural phytochemical found in the cannabis plant. There are over 113 different cannabinoids (CBD and THC have been researched the most), and they interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a variety of ways. The ECS is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters located in the brain, peripheral nervous system, immune system, and central nervous system. It controls many biological functions like memory, pain perception, stress management, cognition, immune response, and mood regulation.

Each cannabinoid has a unique relationship with the ECS. For instance, THC can induce psychoactive effects (i.e., getting high), and is a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Cannabidiol (CBD) won’t make you high, and can provide stress/anxiety relief and alter our perception of pain. CBD can be mildly stimulating at lower doses, and have a sedative effect at higher doses. Other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) can affect glaucoma and IBS symptoms, and cannabinol (CBN) may have sedative, antibacterial, neuroprotectant, appetite stimulation, and anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of all of the various types of cannabinoids creates the “cannabinoid spectrum.”

CBD products are all extracted from the cannabis plant using solvents. CBD oil derived from the hemp plant contains little to no THC (generally below 0.3%), and was approved on the federal level with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, making it legal.

What happens after the initial extraction of the cannabinoids determines whether the extract will be a CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. Each terms refers to the degree to which the product was processed.

CBD Isolates

A CBD isolate is the purest form and is made by removing all other ingredients after it has been extracted from its natural environment. Because isolates are generally 99% pure (i.e., 1 gram of isolate powder carries about 990mg of CBD), they have the highest concentration of CBD per serving. However, because all of the other ingredients have been removed, there will be no “entourage effect” (which we’ll discuss in a bit). But you can benefit solely from the effects of pure cannabidiol, and these products tend to be a lower price.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol as well as all of the plant’s other compounds except for THC. Removing the THC after the initial extraction means that not only won’t you get high, it won’t show up in a drug test. But it will still produce the entourage effect.

Full-spectrum CBD

Extracts that are full-spectrum contain all the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant. These include CBD, terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils – as well as a negligible (less than 0.3%) THC content. Because it does contain trace amounts of THC, it could produce a false positive on a drug test (particularly if you’re taking a high daily dose), so individuals who are likely to be drug tested should avoid taking this form. That being said, it’s non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Full-spectrum compounds will produce the entourage effect.

So let’s talk about the entourage effect. Simply put, each compound can amplify the therapeutic properties of the others while lessening their potential side effects. The components work together to enhance the plant’s benefits. When you take a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extract, in addition to the Cannabidiol (CBD), you’ll also be getting compounds like Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabidiol acid (CBDA), Cannabidivarin (CBDV) and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the unique aroma profits of various plants. The more than 200 terpenes found in cannabis bind to receptors in the body, providing an array of potential health benefits

Scientists have determined that full-spectrum CBD tends to be more effective than CBD isolate, and that it provides better effects at higher doses, while the effects of CBD isolates stays consistent even at increased intake levels.

So what is the best type for you? It takes some trial and error to figure out which type and brand is best for you. Each person has a unique body chemistry, weight, and lifestyle, and each of these factors can influence the way you react to different cannabinoid profiles. A product that may work well for someone you know may not work well for you. But generally speaking, most people will benefit from full-spectrum extracts the most, but if drug-testing is a concern, go with a broad-spectrum one. For users who were recommended to take very high doses of CBD, who may be sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids, or who prefer a flavorless and odorless product, a CBD isolate would be best.

CBD oil is available in tinctures, teas, honeys, caramels, capsules or gummies, or infused into skin care products, such as bath bombs, lotions, and salves. CBD oil skincare products can be absorbed into the skin and don’t need to be washed off.

Always start “low and slow” when trying a new product. Start with small doses spread several hours apart, and increase the dose and frequency until you achieve your desired results. How much you’ll need will vary depending on your body weight, metabolism, and body chemistry. Doses should be taken at least four to six hours apart, and you can take CBD oil at any time of day, but if you’re using it to improve sleep, take it before bed. The immediate effects of CBD usually take effect within 30 to 90 minutes, but long-term results may take several weeks to achieve. 

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Emotional health-Finding peace General

Optimism Is Good For Your Health

Research studies so often focus on the risk factors for various diseases and shortened life spans, but they rarely focus on what makes us more likely to be health and live a long life.

“After decades of research, a new study links optimism and prolonged life. Researchers have found that individuals with greater optimism are more likely to live longer and to achieve ‘exceptional longevity,’ that is, living to age 85 or older.

Optimism refers to a general expectation that good things will happen, or believing that the future will be favorable because we can control important outcomes. Whereas research has identified many risk factors that increase the likelihood of diseases and premature death, much less is known about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging…

It is unclear how exactly optimism helps people attain longer life. “Other research suggests that more optimistic people may be able to regulate emotions and behavior as well as bounce back from stressors and difficulties more effectively,” said senior author Laura Kubzansky, PhD, MPH, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-director, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers also consider that more optimistic people tend to have healthier habits, such as being more likely to engage in more exercise and less likely to smoke, which could extend lifespan.”

One way to change your state of mind is to keep a gratitude journal. Start and end your day by writing down something for which you’re grateful. It’s a good way of resetting your brain, and you’ll find that you start looking for things throughout the day to be thankful for. And if you have a hard time sticking to it, try pairing up with a friend to exchange emails with your “gratitudes.” They’ll help you see the world differently when you read the things they’re grateful for, and they’ll hold you accountable and make sure you’re doing it, too. Plus, it’s a great way to keep in touch with someone you love who you might not see regularly.

Still struggling to change your mindset? Consider seeing a life coach/personal development coach/therapist. They can help give you the tools to change how you look at the world and process the harder things you’ve been through so that they don’t continue to hurt you.

New evidence that optimists live longer: After decades of research, a new study links optimism and prolonged life

After decades of research, a new study links optimism and prolonged life. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have found that individuals with greater optimism are more likely to live longer and to achieve “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to age 85 or older.

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Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Is Grounding/Earthing Beneficial To Your Health?

A study from the National Institutes of Health showed that “grounding” or “earthing” might actually have a beneficial impact on health. The study states: “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”

And here’s where the news gets even better. Treatment is free. Literally all you need to do is sit or stand barefoot on the ground outdoors. Hug a tree. Do some snow angels in the grass. Really, anything that puts your body into physical contact with planet earth and nature can be good for your health.

So now that the weather is starting to cool, it’s the perfect time to head to the great outdoors (or even just your yard) for a little relaxation and grounding.

Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons

Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact.