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.

Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Angina and Acupuncture

A recent study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (July 29, 2019) reported that adjunctive acupuncture reduced angina frequency and pain intensity in those suffering from chronic stable angina (CSA). It was found to be more effective than antianginal therapy alone. Acupuncture treatment also resulted in better regulation of anxiety and depression within the treatment period. 
The findings of the current study reported that the benefit is the result of acupuncture causing “autonomic remodeling by improving the balance between the vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous system during treatment.”
All participants in the study received 12 sessions of acupuncture treatment (3 times a week for 4 weeks). The acupoints needled were PC6 and HT5.

Yours in wellness,

Mary Clark

Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

A Simple Life

“The world can be such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between? Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?”

I believe that there is a welcoming peace in what the author refers to as “mediocre”, but l like to refer to as simple, extraordinary, slow, graceful and the fabulously freeing good enough. 

Undoubtedly there is also an excitement in the race to achievement, in being driven, being the best you can be and wanting more. 

Both options can bring you joy at different times of your life. In my opinion it is all about maintaining a balance. 

What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?

What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between? Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that? Photo courtesy of Erin Loechner The world is such a noisy place.

This is another useful read. 

Simple Living Tips for the Stressed Out or Recovering Perfectionist

Simple living tips for the stressed out or recovering perfectionist. Fewer “shoulds” and more freedom; less hustle, more curiosity; less jumping through hoops and more putting my feet up to read; less stress, more purposeful action; doing the work I love imperfectly and joyfully.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Chronic Pain and Self-Esteem

“Grieving your old self when chronic illness turns you into someone you don’t like. This loss is so profound – how do you grieve for someone who is here but not here? I no longer recognize myself. I don’t know who I am anymore.”

This is such a powerful statement. 

Chronic illness is not only debilitating, but it can also be incredibly isolating. Many will not only feel a disconnect from others and their community, but also feel a disconnect from themselves. 

Having family, friends, a community, therapists and a support group can help. Having a safe space to explore your feelings and be vulnerable is incredibly valuable for not only the individual suffering from chronic illness but also for their carers. 

Megan Klenke, one of the authors in the referenced articles, states:

“One of the most difficult parts of being chronically ill has been the effect it’s had on my self-esteem. 

That probably sounds very strange, given that chronic illness comes with a whole slew of physical, mental and emotional challenges that might seem to take precedence over something that seems less immediately problematic like how I value myself. 

Don’t get me wrong, the physical symptoms are awful and have caused me too many breakdowns to count at this point. I also have many worries about what my future may be like, how quickly my diseases may progress, how my family and I will handle all my medical expenses and so on. 

But outside of these more obvious worries, I’ve realized that many of my other mental or emotional struggles since becoming sick, seem to be related to my lowered self-esteem.”

How Chronic Illness Can Drastically Affect Your Self-Esteem

I think one of the most difficult parts of being chronically ill has been the effect it’s had on my self-esteem. That probably sounds very strange, given that chronic illness comes with a whole slew of physical, mental and emotional challenges that might seem to take precedence over something that seems less immediately problematic like how I value myself.

Grieving Your Old Self When Chronic Illness Turns You Into Someone You Don’t Like

I’ve been crying a lot. I cried this afternoon in frustration. Another doctor appointment, another diagnosis, another problem to fix. One that may not even be fixable. I cried early this morning, 3 a.m. to be exact. I was woken from a deep sleep, nauseous and in unbelievable pain.

7 Ways I Cope With My Loss of Identity After a Chronic Illness Diagnosis

When I became ill in early 2015, it felt like my world was coming to an end. I had my dream job, I was volunteering and I had just finished my counseling diploma. I was looking forward to spending more time with my family and for life to become a little slower paced.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark…/hchronic-illness-can-affect-your-s…/…/grieving-my-old-self-chronic-illne…/…/chronic-illness-coping-with-a-loss…/
Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

The Link Between Diet and Depression/Anxiety

There continues to be a growing body of evidence that adopting healthy dietary interventions can help lower anxiety and depressive symptoms.

“Researchers at the University of Manchester conducted a meta-analysis of 16 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with 45,826 participants, that assessed the effects of dietary interventions on the symptoms of depression and anxiety

The findings, published in The Journal Psychosomatic Medicine (05 Feb 2019) showed that all types of improvements in diet seemed to have comparable effects on mental health. 

Weight-loss diets, fat-reduction diets and nutrient-improving diets were equally beneficial for lowering depressive symptoms. What was consistent across all interventions is the increase in fruit and vegetable intake, and overall dietary nutrient profile.

Women appeared to derive more benefits from dietary interventions for symptoms of depression as well as anxiety. 

Dietary interventions in combination with exercise boosted the improvement in depressive symptoms.”

For more about how botanicals help with emotional health, specifically the power of turmeric read more here:

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Family health General


Fibromyalgia is a highly debilitating condition with variable combinations of persistent, widespread musculoskeletal pain, debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction and psychological distress. 

The prevalence of these conditions is increasing, and it can be challenging for patients to get a clear diagnosis and effective treatment.

The management of this complex condition has perplexed the medical community for many years, and several national and international guidelines have aimed to address this complexity. 

What has become clear from the research is that an individualized approach to patient care is imperative, and that pharmacological therapy should be considered as an adjunct to non-pharmacological intervention such as meditation, gentle physical exercise, water aerobics, tai chi, qi gong and yoga.”

Update on Treatment Guideline in Fibromyalgia Syndrome with Focus on Pharmacology

Kim Lawson, Academic Editor Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition with unknown aetiology. The pathophysiology of the disease is incompletely understood; despite advances in our knowledge with regards to abnormal central and peripheral pain processing, and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal dysfunction, there is no clear specific pathophysiological therapeutic target.

Fibromyalgia: Complementary and alternative treatments

Research has suggested that traditional Eastern practices such as tai chi, qigong and yoga can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. There is no proof that other complementary or alternative treatments help. People who have fibromyalgia often try out a lot of different things to relieve their pain and cope better in everyday life.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Family health General

Canada’s Revised Food Guide

Canada’s long-anticipated revised food guide was released on Tuesday morning. It has sparked much controversy by removing food industry influence and particular food groups, mainly those pertaining to the dairy, cattle and sugar industries. 

The new food guide suggests:

~ Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits
~ Choosing whole grains
~ Eating “protein foods” where plant-based proteins, like legumes, beans, and tofu are recommended over animal sources, such as dairy, eggs, meat and fish
~ Making water your beverage of choice
~ Avoiding processed foods and beverages that are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat
~ Cooking more often and eating meals with others
~ Being mindful of eating habits while still enjoying your food. It focuses less on serving sizes and more on how to eat.

Some of the new considerations also include: 

~ Environmental sustainability
~ Cultural diversity
~ Food skills and knowledge

In a world where what to eat and how to eat continues to be incredibly confusing, many of the above changes do make sense. l will always encourage a vegetable laden diet plus whatever works for you (whether that includes plant based protein, red meat, fish, poultry or dairy) and what makes you, as an individual, thrive and feel nourished.

It will be interesting to see if we see any changes in food recommendations in United States, particularly given that the current food pyramid was published over 14 years ago.

Canada’s new food guide emphasizes eating plants, drinking water and cooking at home

Canada’s long-anticipated revised food guide was released Tuesday morning, and it has some big changes from previous guidance on healthy eating. As hinted at in public consultations and draft documents, the new guide does away with the four food groups and advice on the number of servings to eat each day – something even Health Canada says people found confusing in the last food guide.

New Canada food guide calls for plant-based diet, pushes salt and saturated fat to the side

A group of doctors across the country has been crusading against some of the expected guidelines since 2016, saying Canadians should be eating fewer carbohydrates while continuing to eat fat from…

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Family health General

Genetic Predisposition vs. Lifestyle

Is your current health status due to a genetic predisposition, your lifestyle choices and mindset or a combination of both? 

“A new study finds that if you tell people that they have a genetic predisposition to certain health characteristics, such as a low capacity for exercise or a tendency to overeat, their bodies start to respond accordingly. Even if their DNA does not actually contain the gene variants in question. The study raises provocative questions about the extent to which our genes affect our physical well-being.”

Mr. Turnwald, from the Department of Psychology at Stanford University stated that “our mind-sets, or mental expectations about ourselves, seem to play an equal or even greater role than does our DNA in shaping some of our bodies’ reactions to diet and exercise. But far more research is needed, he continues, to understand the interplay of genes, beliefs and health, and eventually help people better interpret any results they receive from genetic health tests.”

In clinic l will often hear something akin to “my mother had diabetes or my father had heart disease etc, so l am bound to get it.” 

Recognizing genetic predisposition is important, however, as individuals, there is a lot that we can do to address lifestyle factors. Prevention can be powerful.…/mind-may-trump-dna-in-exercise-an…

Learning one’s genetic risk changes physiology independent of actual genetic risk

Millions of people now access personal genetic risk estimates for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and obesity1. While this information can be informative2-4, research on placebo and nocebo effects5-8 suggests that learning of one’s genetic risk may evoke physiological changes consistent with the expected risk profile.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark