Welcome to Twelve Months to Wellness!
Hello, and welcome to Twelve Months to Wellness, our (early) New Year's gift to you! We've found that wellness grows with each small, healthful step taken. And we know that change is often best supported by community. So we're very excited you've chosen to join this special group to support your healthy changes in 2018! Each month you'll receive an email with information tailored to support our focus for that month, as well as the ability to connect with other clients participating in the program via a special Facebook Group. How fun!! We begin December with suggestions for having a relaxing holiday season, then move to January with a focus on proper hydration. We'll continue into 2018 with topics such as a pH balancing diet, dynamic movement, gratitude and laughter, and more. Our hope is that you are able to implement some of what you learn with us in your daily life, feeling and functioning better as a result. Congratulate yourself for making the commitment to upbuild your life, one month at a time!
To launch Twelve Months to Wellness, we focus is serenity it all its forms. The holiday season, while joyful and full of the love of family and friends, can also stress out the most calm among us. So when you find yourself wondering, "where did my sanity go?", take a deep breath, open this webpage, and use some of the information it offers. Whether its a warm bath with calming essential oils, a homeopathic remedy to sooth the nerves and uplift the spirit, a healthful meal, or a gentle massage, December is a time to look after yourself and do good things for your body, mind, and spirit. Enjoy!
There are two homeopathic remedies we rely upon most when the days get shorter and the weather gets colder: Kerns 15 and DPR. Both are made by German company Meripharm and deliver wonderful benefits by way of homeopathic action. Like some other makers of homeopathic products, these remedies fuse western homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Knowledge of the homeopathic substance and its actions is applied to knowledge of acupuncture meridians and their role in creating balance within the human organism. Connecting these two philosophies allows them work in tandem, augmenting the actions of both.
Homeopathic remedies are made from infinitesimal amounts of substances from the
plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms and there are over 3,000 known remedies available. Homeopathic remedies have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1939 and are manufactured in strict accordance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States and Drug Manufacturing Practices. While there are many, many remedies to choose from (single and combination remedies), we find that Kerns 15 and DPR gently assist our bodies with issues related to the wintertime blues. Whether its mild fatigue and lack of pep due to less sunlight, or more related to Seasonal Affective Disorder, these two star remedies are our "go-tos" for relief from the winter doldrums.
Meripharm notes that this remedy (contains Gelsemium Dil. D8, Calcium jodatum Dil.D8, and Lac caninum Dil. D10) acts upon the kidneys, suprarenals, and the endocrine gland chain. From a Western perspective, this remedy can be effective in cases of depression and melancholia, especially during the darker winter months.* Many find Kerns 15 helpful when there is a lack of energy or drive. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, Kerns 15 regenerates all twelve meridians. Now that's something! It also has a special relation to ligaments and tendons, regulates the yang energy of the heart, aids in eliminating abdominal congestions, controls the central energy production, has an accelerating effect on the menstruation cycle, and controls the complete endocrine gland chain. We find Kerns 15 helps us feel peppier and sunnier during the short and darker days of November through February.
According to Meripharm, DPR acts directly upon the liver and gallbladder, relieving feelings of depression, which is more common during wintertime.* In addition to aiding the delivery of energy-producing materials into the mitochondria of each cell, DPR acts as a calming agent in cases of cerebral irritation with depression.* DPR is composed of HypericumDil. D8/D30, Lycopodium Dil. D30/D200, Natrium sulfuricum Dil. D8, and Gelsemium Dil. D8/D30.
Which ever one you choose, note that the effects of homeopathics can be quite subtle. And while there are no silver bullets when it comes to treating the winter blues or depression, many find remedies such as these helpful for restoring the pep in their step when less-than-optimal sunlight is available.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Smells have a way of bringing about strong feelings, and this month calls for feelings of calm, ease, and relaxation to balance the hustle and bustle of the season. We're diffusing a few of our winter favorites and thought we'd share them with you, as well as some of their special properties.
doTERRA On Guard
doTERRA is a leader in the essential oils market and we use them (along with Young Living Essential Oils) regularly. Their blends are especially wonderful and a great "go-to" when you want a desired effect from your oils, but aren't quite sure which ones to use. On Guard is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower. These warm, spicy oils get us in the holiday spirit and keep us smiling.
According to doTERRA, "On Guard is well-known for its ability to protect against environmental and seasonal threats...is an effective non-toxic cleaning agent that can be used to clean skin and household surfaces....[and] can also be diffused to help cleanse and purify the air."* We use On Guard soap in our office and enjoy its festive fragrance, knowing that we're also supporting our immune systems. As doTERRA suggests, "when environmental or seasonal threats arise, take doTERRA On Guard oil daily to help safeguard your body and support your immune system."*
Keeping our immune systems in top working order as the holidays roll around is always a priority. We want to enjoy the season, and ourselves! And Frankincense is one essential oil that we use in our winter toolkit. Its immune-boosting properties have been utilized for centuries and it is a handy disinfectant for those times when runny noses abound.* Simply diffuse frankincense oil in your home or office to clean the air, or mix with water in a spray bottle to disinfect countertops, desks, and more! Frankincense is often used for oral hygiene, as it kills bacteria that cause decay.* For those of you who are adventurous, you can make your own toothpaste by mixing frankincense oil with baking soda. Yum!
The tingly, refreshing scent of essential oil of peppermint is unmistakable. Whether in piece of hard candy, your favorite toothpaste, or an eye-opening body soap, peppermint boosts the mood and awakens the senses like no other! Like many of the oils we use regularly during winter, peppermint boasts immune-boosting properties and aids digestion. According to Dr. Josh Axe, "Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and
water mint (Mentha aquatica). The essential oils are gathered by steam distillation of the fresh aerial parts of the flowering plant. The most active ingredients include menthol (35–45%) and menthone (10–30%). The health benefits of peppermint oil as well as peppermint oil uses have been documented back to 1,000 BC and have been found in several Egyptian pyramids. Peppermint essential oil has a calming effect on the body, which can relieve sore muscles when used topically. It also has antimicrobial properties so it can help freshen bad breath and soothe digestive issues." And peppermint can help clear clogged nasal passages due to congestion from colds and flu. Enjoy peppermint in your bath, in a diffuser, or topically (always dilute with a carrier oil) for physical and mental relaxation.
This is one of our favorite restful blends, as it combines Lavender Flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean Absolute, and Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood for a calming, warm, floral aroma. These essential oils are excellent for reducing feelings of tension and support restful sleep beautifully. Whether you diffuse Serenity in your bedroom for a quality night's sleep, add it to your favorite carrier oil for a soothing body oil, or add a few drops to your evening bath, this blend may become one of your favorite tools for unplugging from your cares and nurturing your body, mind, and spirit.
The soft smell of lavender can melt away tension and stress, and it is certainly one of the most popular essential oils out there. Lavender's anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory powers are well-known, bit did you know that it can also help keep your skin moist and
supple throughout the colder, dryer winter months? We always dilute our oils with a suitable carrier oil (try jojoba, coconut, avocado, sesame, or olive oils) when applying them topically, as they are very potent and can irritate skin when used alone, sometimes causing allergic reaction. Adding a few drops of essential oil of lavender to a hot bath can help aching muscles and promote bodily relaxation. Many will add 4-5 drops of oil while running the water, as well as Epsom salts, for a deeply soothing soak.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The Trager Approach helps release deep-seated physical and mental patterns and facilitates deep relaxation, increased mobility and mental clarity. Many people seek Trager sessions for personal growth or for increased feelings of joy and wellness. Others look to experience physical changes in the lymphatic system, posture, and greater ease in movement and flexibility. Since each of us is different, the benefits that come from a Trager session are unique and sometimes surprising! At Texas Biological Medicine, Inc., we are proud to partner with resident Trager practitioner, Tricia Wade, LMT. Sessions are available at our office Sunday-Wednesday. Call our office at 972.233.8339 to book a complimentary 10-minute Trager experience.
And now is the perfect time to schedule a full-session for your body and spirit, allowing you to enter your holidays feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy them! To learn more about Tricia and the Trager approach, visit our website at https://www.texasbiologicalmedicine.com/about-texas-biological-medicine.
Drain Away Stress with Free Motion
by Angela Williams Duea
[First}, train the mind to focus on all the sensory signals, rather than just the pain signals. Next, the sufferer should move the painful area gently and lightly, within the range of no resistance. If one experiences pain or muscle fatigue, he or she should reduce movement by half, while imagining feeling light as a feather or filled with helium. Maintain awareness of every sensation related to the movement. Enjoy the lightness and freedom in the small, gentle actions. Many people find it helpful to work with a professional familiar with these concepts to help pinpoint resistance and blockages, and to keep them aware of their body’s signals.
The practitioner may swing arms gently like a pendulum, stand with feet apart and rock slowly, or twist the torso from side to side. In all these movements, it is key to perceive all of the body’s signals – the sensations of gravity, the weight of one’s hands, and the centripetal swoop of the pendulum. Remaining mindful of these sensations, and repeating the movements over time, will release the mind’s hold on the body. In this way, any holding patterns in muscles can be loosened, freeing one’s body from pain and tension.
Stress is a fact of life, but stress-related pain and tension doesn’t have to be. Anyone can retrain the mind and body to release stiffness and reset muscles to a neutral, relaxed state. By teaching the mind a new approach to stress, and learning new ways of movement, one can help the body find wholeness, and experience a new level of serenity. “I was willing to accept an increasing amount of pain as part of aging, stress, and nature,” says Diana Ellis, a Trager client. “Now I see each day as an opportunity to feel better and grow stronger.”
When stress takes over the body, muscles tighten, teeth clench, and the heart pounds. Adrenalin floods through tissues, sending the body the fight-or- flight signal. Long-term exposure to stressors causes a constant state of body tension and emotional exhaustion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Without a release, our bodies can react with headaches, chronic fatigue, ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia, and a host of other health problems. Stress is a fact of life, and is all-pervasive in our society. Surveys by Northwestern National Life found that one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Everyday events such as a misbehaving child or rush hour traffic add to chronic stressors such as job troubles, economic worries, family problems, or health issues.
Learning how to deal with stress in ways that leaves one pain-free and relaxed will increase satisfaction with life and comfort in the way the body feels. By practicing freedom of movement, one can relieve the symptoms of stress as well as training the body and mind to work in new, freer patterns. Many methods of releasing tension, such as massage, Yoga, and aerobics, involve challenging one’s muscles. Other approaches, such as the Trager® Approach, meditation, and Mentastics® melt away stress through easy, freer range of motion and mindfulness of the body’s signals.
To retrain the body in new patterns of movement and freedom, the first step is to learn to become fully aware of the body’s sensations. Though someone with a painful shoulder can pinpoint where the pain is and describe the pain itself, they may not be aware of the more subtle sensations such as the pull of gravity on the arm and the momentum of movement in a muscle.
As we shop, gather, and make merry, our bodies and minds require time to rest and rejuvenate. We know what it feels like to burn the candle at both ends, frantically trying to attend every holiday gathering, buy every gift, and make healthful meals. At some point, the body, mind, and spirit require quiet and deep relaxation. We get to refill our tank; but how? Even if you don't have the time for a quiet weekend of healing, most all of us can set aside 20-30 minutes of the day for rest and relaxation. And this is where a tool like BrainTap comes in to save the day (and the brain!).
Created by Patrick Porter (Ph.D.), BrainTap offers a wide variety of opportunities for positive change. This guided visualization program uses four brainwave frequencies (Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta) to reach the user’s reactionary, intuitive, inventive, and unconscious mind, allowing for deep relaxation and transformation. Light, sound, and the spoken word are combined to help the user relax, refresh, and strengthen the excessively busy brain. The relaxation response created by such an experience allows the body to shift back to balance, easing the effects of stress on the body. Many who use this system report feeling calm and refreshed after a session. Some drift off to sleep mid-way (that's a good thing!) and some simply enjoy the respite from their daily to-do list. However you use BrainTap, know that your brain is so grateful that you do! We offer individual BrainTap sessions in our office, Monday-Thursday from 10 am - 6 pm. You can visit https://www.texasbiologicalmedicine.com/services for more information.
With so many wonderful authors out there, it can be a challenge to know where to begin! Lucky for you, we're always reading about holistic approaches to health and wellbeing, old and new. And we have a few favorites we think you might enjoy.
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?" In her 10 guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough," and to go to bed at night thinking, "Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging." Teresa Dale, PhD, ND, Revitalize Your Hormones Dr. Dale clearly explains the ins and outs of both the male and female endocrine systems. With sage advice on the inherent dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and bio-identical HRT. Dr. Dale gives detailed steps to revitalize the hormones, bringing them to the level they need to be for each individual. Her homeopathic hormone remedies are also explained in depth. A must-read for anyone interested in knowing more about their endocrine system.
Nathan S. Bryan, PhD and Janet Zand, OMD, The Nitric Oxide (NO) Solution In this groundbreaking book, nitric oxide expert Nathan Bryan, PhD, and natural healer Janet Zand, OMD, tell you all about nitric oxide, the “miracle molecule” that can dramatically improve your health. What the molecule is. How it keeps your arteries young and flexible, regulating blood pressure, and stopping the buildup of artery-clogging plaque. Why most people over 40-years-old have severely diminished levels of NO, and what to do about it. They also show how the molecule works to prevent and treat other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, osteoporosis, and erectile dysfunction. And how it strengthens the immune system and energizes the brain.
The book includes dozens of easy-to-follow tips for increasing NO levels, using NO-boosting foods, supplements, easy exercise, and other natural methods like deep breathing, naps, hot baths, acupuncture―even watching movies that make you laugh!
Courtney Carver, Soulful Simplicity (coming December 2017!) Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives. And who doesn't want that?
As the weather gets colder, it's the perfect time to shift your diet toward more warming foods, soups being some of our favorites. We are enjoying this simple vegetable soup all December-long, as it offers the body an alkaline boost - perfect for this time of year when many overindulge in heavy, sugar-rich foods.
DR. RAU’S ALKALINE SOUP
Makes about 7 cups broth; 3 ½ cups vegetables
1 ½ cups finely diced (3/8 inch) zucchini
1 cup thinly cut green beans (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cups finely diced (1/4 to 1/8 inch) celery root or 2 celery ribs, finely diced
3/4 cups finely diced (1/4 to 1/8 inch) peeled carrots
Sea salt (optional; not Himalayan or "pink")
Put all the vegetables in a large saucepan with 2 quarts of filtered water. Bring to a boil; skim off any scum that rises to the top.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook the vegetables for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are soft.
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Note: You can add any vegetables you wish (cabbage, kale, and fennel are delicious). If you want a heartier soup, consider adding potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash. If you wish to double, or even triple, the recipe so you have a good stock of alkalizing broth on hand, you may do so, keeping only enough for two days in the refrigerator and freezing the rest in containers. Don't freeze the vegetables; be sure to eat them in two days' time.
From “The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health,” by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkley Books 2009.
As we look forward to the New Year, many of us want to boost our diets to support our bodies. Beginning in January, join Lona in our Body Balance program and learn more about eating to support a balanced pH!This program is free, educational, and there will be a FaceBook group for participants to share their experiences with one another. While pH balancing is the goal of this three-week program, weight loss is often an added bonus!