An ongoing series of informational entries
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A Holistic Nurse's Guide to Sleep
Oct. 16, 2016
Are you aware that most people are not getting even the minimum amount of sleep for their body to function? The required amount for most adults is 6-8 hours. Sleep deprivation is extremely common today and can weaken your immune system, accelerate tumor growth, accelerate diabetes, and impair all aspects of your cognition. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin and has a decreased ability to fight cancer and other diseases . Melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly or do not sleep enough hours.
Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders including:
•Mood disorders including depression
Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep. Growth hormone also helps you look and feel younger.One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause.
Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health.
Below are some natural solutions to this problem that affects so many.
•Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.
•Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F.
Many people keep their homes and particularly their bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. This will also help decrease your risk of cancer.
•Reserve your bed for sleeping.
If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep. Avoid doing these activities in bed.
•Get to bed as early as possible.
Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver which may lead to a disruption in your health.
•Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars.
These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.
•Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed.
When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.
•Listen to relaxation CDs.
Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep.
•Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible.
Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep.
Use essential Oils that promote Relaxation and Sleep.
Essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood and bergamot can help you fall asleep and also stay asleep. Just make sure you are using a therapeutic grade essential oil. You may decide to use a diffuser or massage a blend of these oils mixed with a carrier on the bottom of your feet before bed.
A Holistic Nurse's Guide to Decrease Stress
Oct. 22, 2016
Approximately ¼ of Americans state that they are under extreme stress. They rate their stress levels at an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10 point scale. Most people also state that their stress levels are increasing instead of decreasing.
Are you aware that chronic stress that continues to eat away at you over time is linked to serious illness? When constantly under extreme stress like loss of a job, relationship troubles or financial worries chronic diseases can develop such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and even cancer. The fact is the body is not able to differentiate your physical health from emotions caused by unpleasant life circumstances.
Statistics show 94% of adults believe stress can contribute to the development of a serious illness. Unfortunately only 29% say they are doing an excellent or even good job at preventing themselves from succumbing to it. Stress reduction has to be an ongoing commitment.Managing your stress level is crucial to optimal health. Below are some strategies to send your stress packing!
1.Rest- Take a break or meditate. Even 10 minutes to sit quietly can trigger the relaxation response. Quiet your mind and meditate which can decrease feelings of anxiety.
2.Breathe– Focus on your breathing.Your mind can only do one thing at a time.
3. Breathe out completely. Breathe in for a count of four then hold your breath for a count of four. Breathe out for a count of four, then hold your breath out for a count of four. Repeat for a minute or longer if you choose. If for any reason you feel light headed go, back to your normal breathing pattern. This four count breathing can be practiced anywhere and anytime.
4.Practice Appreciation- When a person focuses on worry or what is missing in their life there is usually a feeling of discontent.What can you appreciate in this moment. Focus on that instead of what you feel is missing.
5.Spend Time with Positive People – Loneliness can be a major source of stress. Connect with people around you, even if it is only for a brief period. Join a club or community that will put you in contact with people that share your interests.
6.Diffuse Essential Oils- Essential oils have healing properties. A cool mist diffuser with bergamot, lavender and ylang-ylang can decrease anxiety, depression and enhance well-being.
7.Feed Your Body– Schedule time for meals when you don’t have to rush. Also gut health is of utmost importance. A leaky gut can wreak havoc on the rest of your body. Eat plenty of fermented foods. Learn how to make your own kefir and kombucha tea.
A Holistic Nurse's Guide to Weight Loss
Aug 15, 2016
Are you aware that 33% of adult americans are obese and 70% of adult americans are overweight? You may be thinking so what, I am a couple of pounds overweight, how will this affect me? It will in so many different way. Excess weight can greatly contribute to chronic disease. We eat as we celebrate holidays, birthdays, when we are depressed, stressed out, for fun, instant gratification, to reward ourselves. Can you see that all those reasons are not aligned with what nature intended for us to grow and evolve? Below see all that can develop rapidly in your system when overweight.
* Gallbladder Disease
* Chronic Renal Failure
* Congestive Heart Failure
* Fatty liver disease
* Gastro Esophageal Reflux
* Enlarged heart
and I could list more but I think you get the message!
Are you willing to risk your life and keep eating the way you have been eating? If you are not concerned about your weight you would have stopped reading by now. I am an RN with a holistic certification and I am here to help you with your weight problem. Below see a few tips that can give you far reaching results towards well being and health.
Fast One Day a Week – If you look back in history our ancestors did not eat as much as our society is conditioned to eating now. Give your digestive tract a rest. Drink water infused with lemon, a dash of cayenne pepper and teaspoon of organic maple syrup all day. If you are so hungry and you must eat then have an apple.
Our Bodies are Designed to Move – Get off the couch! Go for a walk , play tag with your kids, dig in the garden. You do not need to spend hours on the treadmill or at the gym. Use your own body weight and spend 5 minutes twice a day. Do 10 jumping jacks or run in place with your knees up. Get a chair and on the edge do 10-15 tricep dips. Do 10-15 push ups, put your knees down if needed. Next perform 20 squats, if you can’t go low it’s ok. Next perform 25 crunches. Repeat again later during the day. You will be amazed at how your body will become more toned.
Eat as Close to Nature as Possible- Eat fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market,organic if available. The body does not know how to process all the chemical preservatives and pesticides. Make it a habit to read labels before you purchase a food item. If it comes in a box it is probably loaded with preservatives. Also, be careful, all natural does not always mean healthy! Yes it will take a little extra time to make a meal from scratch. The benefits are it will taste so much better and your body will be getting the nutrients it needs.
Limit Your Carb & Sugar Intake- What?!! Ok I do not expect you to be perfect but the sugary snacks and sodas could be what is keeping you fat and unhealthy. These include white bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, white rice, potatoes etc.. Even some fruits are high in sugar! There are delicious healthy substitutes that taste like the real thing but are not loaded with processed food and unhealthy sugar. In the coming weeks I will be posting some of these substitutes for you to try on your own so stay tuned!!
Eat Fat- Contrary to what you have been told, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. The difference is choose healthy fats which include, olive oil, ghee( see recipe below), avocados and nuts.
Portion Control- It is true if you do eat less you will lose weight. Decrease your portion size by 20% and you will automatically cut calories. Make vegetables, including salad the largest portion of your meal.
Hydrate- Our bodies are 70% water. Oftentimes a feeling of hunger may just be mild dehydration. We require 8-10 8oz glasses of pure, filtered water a day.
Ghee Recipe- 2 lbs grass fed, organic butter
Place butter in medium saucepan at medium heat. A foam will rise to the top and the mixture will start to bubble. Turn heat to low. Scoop up some of the foam with a strainer spoon. You can also scrape any solids that accumulate on the sides of the pan and discard. When the bubbling slows watch closely so you do not burn the ghee. The mixture should now be a golden yellow and is done. Cool for 20 minutes then run through a cheesecloth into your storage container. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Does not need to be refrigerated.
My Journey with an Autoimmune Condition
I am a holistic RN and alternative practitioner. My passion is teaching all that I have learned and researched regarding healing wellness and preventative medicine. I never imagined I would be I believe I am here to help others but never dreamed I would be one of my clients!
It all began in 2018 when my right foot and ankle was very swollen. I had not injured myself and could not figure out what was going on. Neither could any doctor that I visited. As weeks passed my foot was not getting any better. I was also having other symptoms. My left elbow became swollen and my right knee was very painful. I also had pain in my right elbow and some of my finger joints. I could not sleep well because every time I tried to turn over my back would spasm.
In the morning it took me a while to get going. I was exhausted. To top it all off I was losing weight no matter what I ate. To me this was scary because before I always had trouble even dropping a few pounds. The only thing the doctors could come up with is a had a fibromyalgia/autoimmune type disease. For me this was not going to fly and pain relievers and steroids were not going to be the answer because I knew that would only mask my symptoms.
So why am I telling you all of this? So you can feel sorry for me? Nope, I am here to share that I healed myself from this debilitating condition which means it is possible for you too!
Was it easy? You want me to say yes right? No it was not easy but it was soooooo worth it. I am pain free and my joints and foot are not swollen anymore. No more muscle spasms or exhaustion either.
I took a synergistic approach to health and wellness. I updated my belief system and rid myself of some old outdated beliefs. I ate healthier and added more fruit and veggies into my diet. I meditate and practice yoga almost daily. I also incorporated some healing herbs and supplementation.
This does not mean that you have to do all that I did or do but small consistent changes/additions are key.
I am here to help so please reach out on my website. You've got this. If I did it so can you!