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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

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. 

Categories
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.

Categories
Family health General Orthopedic rehabilitation

Static Posture Linked To Pain

“Trapezius muscle activity variation during computer work performed by individuals with and without neck-shoulder pain.”
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Research published on July 25, 2019 found that individuals with neck and shoulder pain exhibited longer uninterrupted periods of muscle activation compared to their non-symptomatic counterparts. This suggests that static posture and not poor posture may be the greater concern and contributor to pain. The research reiterates the importance of taking regular breaks when sitting in front of a computer screen. 

Massage and acupuncture can help keep you functional, but studies like this show just how important it is for you to avoid being sedentary for too long.

Trapezius muscle activity variation during computer work performed by individuals with and without neck-shoulder pain

Aimed to compare muscle activation during computer use in those with and without pain. * Exposure variation analysis (EVA) applied to upper trapezius muscle activation. * EVA group differences and day-to-day reliability among controls determined. * Most EVA measures exhibited moderate-high reliability. * Pain group had more longer continuous durations of muscle activity than controls.

https://sciencedirect.com

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
General

How Does Stress Affect the Gut?

Feeling stressed, anxious, angry or sad while eating will have a short and long-term effect on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. 

Research continues to report that exposure to stress results in alterations of the bidirectional microbiota-gut-brain axis interactions (“brain-gut axis”). 
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“The major effects of stress on gut physiology include: 

1) alterations in gastrointestinal motility; 2) increase in visceral perception; 
3) changes in gastrointestinal secretion; 4) increase in intestinal permeability; 
5) negative effects on regenerative capacity of gastrointestinal mucosa and mucosal blood flow; and 
6) negative effects on intestinal microbiota.”
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Although functional GI disorders (FGIDs) are not considered to be psychological diseases, the research continues to support to notion that the brain plays an important role.  
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Dr. Emeran Mayer, MD recommends that: “we can each take care with what, when, and how we eat to promote healthy diversity in our gut microbiome. We can seek to maintain a positive emotional state as much as possible by relaxing and enjoy mealtimes. There are many simple forms of stress reduction that can be employed such as regular exercise, abdominal breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.”
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In clinical practice, I not only focus on what an individual is eating but will delve into when and how they eat. There is a significant difference between eating mindfully and slowly, and what l refer to as “inhaling” food. I encourage all of my patients to step away from their televisions, multiple screens and distractions, and eat in silence. Even if it begins with 5-10 minutes at a time, it is progress. 

https://iffgd.org/?fbclid=IwAR1cWYXEM6EdpbZ1Y5D0K8obYJyr7pVIS2WNl3-graOVEgumlPVDkQYUMHQ

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/cns.12490?fbclid=IwAR1zZTUrXcYuftgh3yHPhIYBgWmHLmqnfpKeAHl9nL8bVibfH2HMGVIxS3o&

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Family health General

Fibromyalgia and the Microbiome

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent syndrome, characterised by chronic widespread pain, fatigue and impaired sleep. Those that suffer from FM also have to contend with the fact that it is an “invisible disease” and not immediately apparent to others. FM can be debilitating and will often have a significant impact to the quality of life. It also continues to be challenging to diagnose and difficult to treat. 
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A study recently published in Pain (June 18, 2019) reported an altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia. There were differences in the serum levels of butyrate and propionate in patients with FM compared to those without FM.
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The promising news is that the study was the “first demonstration of gut microbiome alteration in non-visceral pain”, which is an observation that is likely to pave the way for further studies. The hope is that future studies will foster the exploration of new treatment modalities and offer some hope to FM patients.

https://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/publishahead/Altered_microbiome_composition_in_individuals_with.98647.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2Ro7xDzy-YXwl-Tqp1I7MTS01j9bXVRAa4zDc6iVRh5aqsWjJZWdVr0Go#pdf-link

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Family health General

Does It Matter What Time You Eat?

The old adage ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’ could be the best way to lose weight and stay healthy.
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A new study in the journal of Sleep (April 12 2019) demonstrated that a daytime eating schedule promoted weight loss and a positive profile for fuel oxidation, energy metabolism, and hormonal markers, compared with a nighttime eating schedule, independent of caloric intake.
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The research found that individuals who followed a daytime eating schedule (food consumed between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m) had a better metabolic profile than those who followed a delayed eating schedule (food consumed between 12:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m). 

The other key focus was sleep. The participants in the study were asked to maintain a sleep-wake cycle between 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

So if you’re struggling with weight gain, examining your eating schedule could be a good next step. For more nutritional and mind/body help, book an appointment with us at https://awakeningshealth.com.

https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article-abstract/42/Supplement_1/A15/5451138?redirectedFrom=fulltext&fbclid=IwAR3tBR58kBq3aLHT7Dpm4rQpGLn4NC4HLYLaS4vkzoCl4AnxRcF4RxwT3Qg

Daytime eating schedule found to help with weight management

daytime eating schedule promoted weight loss and a positive profile for fuel oxidation, energy metabolism, and hormonal markers, compared with a nighttime eatin

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

Burnout

Burnout is now classified as a disease. 
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“The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency which guides many health providers and organizations, now includes “burnout” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Handbook, where it is described as “an occupational-related condition resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.
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According to the WHO, doctors can issue a diagnosis of burnout if a patient exhibits three symptoms: feeling depleted of energy or exhausted; feeling mentally distanced from or cynical about one’s job; and problems getting one’s job done successfully. The WHO notes that burnout is to be used specifically “in the occupational context” and that it “should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” 
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I don’t agree with the limited context as l feel that if you have reached a point of burnout at work, you have also reached that point in other areas of your life. Feeling stressed, depleted, exhausted and mentally distanced cannot be confined and isolated to the workplace.
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If you are feeling this way, please reach out for help. There are many caring and experienced practitioners out there who can support and help you navigate your way back to health. 
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https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2158244017697154

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
Family health General

Aspirin: Should You Take a Daily Dose?

It used to be that doctors recommended a daily dose of aspirin, but recent studies have shown that that may not actually be effective for otherwise healthy people. According to a new article that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine:

”Taking a low-dose aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke is no longer recommended for most older adults, according to new guidelines.

After doctors said for decades that a daily 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin could prevent cardiovascular problems, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) reversed that idea. 

A large clinical trial involving 19,114 participants in Australia and the USA found a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people. It also showed a higher rate of suffering from a major hemorrhage.

Researchers said the results don’t apply to people prescribed low-dose aspirin after suffering a stroke, heart attack or other form of cardiovascular disease.

The ACC and AHA suggested that regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar and trans fats were among the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease.”

You can read more here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1800722?fbclid=IwAR2EXFejvCM9pu30zNeT58MAzfSLftYzoToXiMaP0q2LZHM8osYUQn8fCO4

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Categories
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