Featured

Why Holistic Medicine?

The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine defines holistic medicine as “the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.” 
 
Our health and well-being is the result of the interaction between:
1. physical,
2. environmental,
3. emotional, and
4. psychological
 
Focusing healing on mind, body and spirit is what makes holistic medicine effective. It is an integrative approach to health that uses alternative as well as conventional medicine and studies all aspects of a person’s life.
 
The goal is to achieve, an “unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy through body, mind, and spirit.”
 
body-clouds-early-morning-823694-1
 
There are four main components of holistic health.  
 
1. The patient’s innate healing powers.
 
Holistic medicine teaches that the body has an innate capacity to heal itself. For this reason, it wants to promote and encourage this naturally occurring healing by using different treatments and methods.
 
In addition, it believes that the best way to maintaining good health is by preventing illnesses in the first place. This is not just better for the body, but it is also cost-effective. Adopting good habits to improve wellness and prevent diseases is less taxing on the body than overcoming an illness.
 
To nurture the body’s capacity to heal itself, holistic medicine seeks to promote overall health instead of just treating a set of symptoms. In this case, good health goes beyond the absence of illness. It aims at achieving the best possible quality of life in the physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects.
 
2. There is more to the patient than a disease.
 
For holistic medicine, illness is the result of an imbalance or dysfunction of the individual. In addition, one way to treat this imbalance is to change the effects of negative emotions, experiences, habits, and memories. In other words, a holistic physician encourages patients to explore the effects of emotions and experiences on their health and to unburden themselves of harmful emotions and thoughts.
 
Consequently, positive emotions and feelings like love, enthusiasm, and hope may help to restore the balance and bring the patient closer to well-being.
Therefore, in this case, a disease is an opportunity for patients to learn more and improve themselves. Moreover, for physicians, each patient is a new opportunity to practice unconditional love and guide a person in their unique path towards wellness.
 
3. Healing takes a team approach.
 
An important part of the physician’s job is to educate and empower each patient so that they can make informed decisions about their health and treatments.
Education is an important task for the physician. To promote wellness, the patient needs to incorporate healthful habits under the guidance and encouragement from the doctor.
 
For example, the physician may guide the patient towards adopting a healthier diet, incorporating exercise, or seeking counseling.
 
Patient and physician work as a team to restore well-being. So evidently, the relationship between patient and doctor is supportive and collaborative. In this ideal relationship, the physician listens and respects the patients’ needs, opinions, and insights. And the patient is not a passive agent in her own health. Instead, she is encouraged to make her own decisions.
 
Another important aspect of a positive doctor-patient relationship in holistic medicine is the use of different treatments.
 
For some people, holistic medicine is not different from homeopathy or naturopathy. However, there is a difference.
 
Holistic medicine may use natural treatments if the patient may benefit from them, but it also uses conventional medicine and treatments. The inclusion of a broader range of evidence-based therapies that offer different benefits helps the patient get more comprehensive care.
 
4. Fixing the causes of disease and not just the symptoms.
 
The integral approach of holistic medicine to well-being allows it to go deeper into the health problems of the patient, well beyond the physical symptoms of one illness.
Getting to the root of the issue also ensures the patient may find long-term health and prevents more episodes of the illness in the future.
 
If you are interested in learning more about holistic health and your innate healing powers, contact us for a consultation.

The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Journaling is an amazingly effective way to heal and release difficult ideas and emotions.  Without this release, many times this negative energy can be built up over time causing depression, anxiety or body aches and pains.  Here are some ways that using a journal can be a helpful tool in maintaining your mental health.
book-2562345_1280
Stress Relief
Releasing your thoughts, feelings and emotions into words on paper doesn’t seem like much, but it is a safe space for you to express yourself without any judgement from others.  I also use my journal as my to-do list.  It is a great way to stay organized.  There are many different approaches to using a journal and there is really no right nor wrong way.  You just have to find what is effective for you.
I enjoy keeping everything in one journal.  This gives me the ability to look back and reflect on different points in my life and I can get the whole picture.  I can see what projects I was working on and where my mindset was at the time.  Reflecting back on your journals can be a great way for you to realize the progress you have made and help you stay on track to achieve your goals both personally and professionally.
IMG-1520
Help With Anxiety
If you struggle with any form of anxiety, whether it is constant worry, generalized anxiety disorder, or severe panic attacks, you know that it can come on suddenly and without warning.
However, it is possible that there are certain events or situations that are leading to the anxiety and that it isn’t always quite as random as you thought. By having the journal and recording your moods and daily lifestyle, you can actually pinpoint what tends to cause the panic attacks.
It might be when you have work stress or when you are around a particular person who seems to draw out the anxiety in you. It can also be due to certain foods or drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeine.
Finding Your Depression Triggers
Depression is also something that may happen at any time, but can also be triggered by someone or something. Some people have situational depression, where there is something that usually occurs to cause all of those depressive moods and feelings.
This is another thing you can determine by recording as much of your life as possible in a bullet journal. This journal is yours and should be private, because that allows you to feel free to record any emotions or feelings that you find necessary. Look back on it often to see if there are any patterns.
Journalling is such a great way to stay on track.  It encourages you to look inside for happiness.  It allows you to look back and see how far you have come.  It gives you the ability to organize your present thoughts and clearly plan the future.  If you are not using a journal, try using one for one month and evaluate the difference not only in  your day to day, but your overall well being too.
28C76913-E77F-405F-8838-5D5280B9545B

How Yoga Alleviates Stress Related Conditions And Body Aches

Any situation the body perceives as dangerous or threatening triggers the stress or “fight or flight” response in the body. This threat may be overt physical danger or more subtle, dealing with interpersonal conflict such as a disagreement with a coworker or situational pressures, like coping with financial problems.
The body’s efforts to deal with a threatening situation cause a series of reactions. The heart accelerates to provide maximum oxygen levels to organs and cells. The muscles tighten and shorten to prepare for action, to maneuver through the situation, to fight or to flee from the danger. Adrenaline courses through the body heightening awareness and providing a quick burst of energy.
brunette-emotions-face-2128817
The automatic stress response serves a purpose. It protects the body. However, chronic stress, remaining in a stress response state for a prolonged period of time, takes a negative toll on the body. It causes physical and psychological distress, which affects a person’s overall health and well-being.
Effects Of Stress
  • 43% of all adults suffer from health problems because of stress.
  • 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress is a key contributor to heart disease, headaches, body aches, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, anxiety, and depression.
  • The 50% prevalence of any emotional disorder is typically due to untreated stress.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that stress is a significant hazard in the workplace and results in costs of over $300 billion annually.
Symptoms of chronic stress related to the continuous release of stress hormones and an elevated metabolism:
  • The digestive system may experience stress as stomach aches, nausea, and intestinal irritability.
  • Mentally, a person under chronic stress may experience racing thoughts, unreasonable worrying, lack of focus and disorganization and pessimism.
  • Loss of quality sleep.
  • A person under chronic stress also displays emotional and behavioral markers of the condition. They may become irritable, experience feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
  • Stress associated behaviors, overeating or undereating, avoidance and displaying nervous behaviors like nail biting and pacing emerge under chronic stress.
  • Stress related aches and pains could occur in different parts of the body. When the muscles shorten or tighten to prepare for action within the stress response then remain that way, it causes aches and pains in different parts of the body.
  • Where muscular tension presents itself while under stress varies from one person to another. Some people may clench or tighten their jaw causing pain and discomfort in this area and possibly across the forehead and scalp. Other people hold tension in the shoulders and neck. Some people may find themselves experiencing chronic backaches.
How Yoga Can Help With Stress Related Aches And Conditions
Essentially, yoga acts as a therapeutic antidote to stress; it provides physical, mental, and emotional relief to people experiencing chronic stress. Relief occurs during the actual yoga practice and the benefits continue to present beyond sessions when a person practices yoga consistently.
Yoga poses ease stress related aches and pains due to muscular tension. The yoga poses stretch, lengthen, strengthen, and relax tense muscles. The meditation and breathing exercises calm the mind and the nervous system. They also allow a person to reestablish mental focus and clarity during and following practice.
adult-aerobics-backlit-248139 (1)
The breath work and poses practiced during yoga elicit the relaxation response in the body, which helps to decrease and regulate stress hormones.
It is also important to note that yoga has a profound effect on various aspects of one’s health, including the ability to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, help regulate blood sugars in diabetes, and decrease anxiety, all of which are commonly seen with chronic stress.
How To Utilize Yoga To Manage Stress
If one intends to develop a yoga practice as part of a stress management plan, consistency is key to success. Yoga provides progressive therapy.
The poses reshape and improve the health and functionality of the muscles, the joints and organs over time; it is a form of training and as with any training, regular practice sets the stage for progress.
This also applies to the meditative and relaxation exercises associated with the practice. According to Dr. Debra Fulghum Bruce, PhD, recent studies show as little as three months of weekly yoga practice, relieves stress related headaches, backaches, reduces stress, and lowers cortisol (stress hormone) secretions. It also lowers blood pressure and improves participant’s mood.
Practicing yoga has been shown to relieve the immediate symptoms of stress related aches, pains, mental distress, and negative emotional states. It also appears to effectively counter the fight or flight stress response by lowering cortisol levels and teaching the mind to observe (through meditation) rather than react to situations. People experiencing chronic stress can benefit greatly from incorporating a yoga practice in their health regimen.
You can begin with yoga by joining a class that is led by a qualified instructor or by checking out videos online.
balance-body-daylight-2035108

Do You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but “stuff” just got in your way? There are several ways to tell if you have this entrepreneurial mindset. Moreover, there are just as many ways to clear the road to becoming an entrepreneur.
Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Mindset?
Consider these personality traits:
* Leadership qualities
* Creative thinking
* A desire for doing more than just a “job”
* Innovative ideas
If you show any or all of these qualities, you could very well be on your way to owning your own business because you do have that entrepreneurial spirit.
daydreaming-desk-hair-6384
How to Clear the Road toward Entrepreneurial Success
Going from the 9:00 to 5:00 grind to the entrepreneurial spirit may not be the easiest path, but it is something you can achieve. However, there are several steps you need to take before forging head first into business ownership.
* Get clear – Getting clear on what it is you want to achieve is an integral first step. It is not as simple as coming up with an idea and writing it down. You have to write down your goals, but even more importantly, you have to break them down. Being specific is not an option; it is mandatory. You need to have clear, specific goals when it comes to starting a new business.
* Create a plan – Once you are clear on what your goal for your new business is, you have to create a plan for success. Write down what your goal is, how you will achieve that goal in smaller steps and then break that list down even further.
* Take action – Next, it is time to take action steps. Action steps need more than just thinking about taking them. Declare aloud and to everyone you can what your action steps are; in this way, you are accountable to your word.
* Delegate – If you are starting a new business of your own, do not be afraid to delegate tasks, even if you do not have a business partner or associates yet. One day delegating will be a task you will have to learn anyhow.
Allow family members and friends to help take the load off somewhere else while you learn all you need to know about your new business endeavor.  Ask for help and learn when to say ‘no’ so you can better manage your time to create your new empire.
* Letting go – Sometimes in order to create something new, we need to let go of something old. In order to clear the path to creating a new business, something else will have to fall by the wayside. Your home may need to be a little cluttered or less clean. You may have to let go of a favorite sport or activity for a while, but it is well worth it in the end.
accomplished-adults-business-deal-1124065
Keeping your day job is important until you are secure financially in your new business endeavor. It may be a difficult road to travel, but having an entrepreneurial mindset is a gift. Once you open it, you will be happy that you did.

A Guide For Women: Finding “Me” Time

They say a woman’s work is never done. A hectic work schedule, combined with trying to balance other areas of your life, may lead to you feeling like you are spinning too many plates in the air at once.
With kids, family, work, chores, and the many responsibilities that we have to fulfill, there never seems to be enough time to let alone think about, never mind fulfill our own needs or desires.
This can lead to women experiencing depression, anxiety, or just a general feeling that you are worn out. Besides how it affects us personally, being worn out also means that your performance and attentiveness to all you have to do will suffer. Irritation becomes common, as we feel overwhelmed and unable to deal with the stressors of the day.
adult-black-and-white-dark-551588
Everyone is different, and each individual has different ideas about how to find time to for ‘me’. This is a guide to how make some ‘me’ time. The solutions below are not the only ones but may give you some ideas of how to find space and time in your life.
Utilize The Time You Have
If you have errands to run or appointments to keep but find yourself early or waiting around in your car, make use of the time. For example, read a book or practice meditation. These two activities require a certain amount of tranquility and peace, so why not use your window of opportunity to do this. Of course, you could just listen to some music and relax.
Alternatively, if you were in a more productive mood you could just catch up on paperwork that you have to do. This is your time; you can do with it what you wish. By carrying out this task now, you are freeing up time at a later date.
Make A Date With Yourself (And Keep It!)
Once a week, take time to do the things you like to do alone. To do this you need to learn to say no to the people in your life, or learn to delegate your duties to someone else (mainly talking childcare here people!). This will enable you to have some time to relax.
clear-sky-clouds-country-691919
Go and grab a drink somewhere, get some exercise, or even just disappear to another part of the house. Anything you can think of to do that would enable you to free up space in that busy head of yours.
Treat Yourself
This can simply be an extension of the previous where you make a date with yourself. Once a month, go treat yourself, this can be anything you wish, such as shopping, a spa day, a movie, or even just spending time with your friends.  Check for local meetups to find classes and workshops going over some things you may be interested in.
You would think that these tips on finding ‘me’ time would be obvious. However, this time can often be difficult to find. A 2014 UK study looking at working mothers found 51% of them went weeks without relaxing on their own.
beauty-cucumber-facial-3192
When further questioned, nearly 75% of the 2000 women felt they lived their whole lives for other people. Some women are lucky enough to have partners and family to rely on to take the strain; others are not so fortunate. However, there are still things you can do to make time in your life.
Learn to Say No
No, means setting boundaries and limiting what you will or are willing to do in a single day or week. This may mean having to say no to some things, but considering how much your wellness matters, it may be well worth it.
The best tip you all need to know is…
calendar-close-up-daily-planner-1898291
Be Organized
By planning your day and week you can identify opportunities for ‘me’ time. Making lists and looking at your week would help you to see those times where gaps appear in your schedule. Organization can be the key to doing this.  If you are looking for some creative ways to get organized, check out our article on bullet journaling.
The more you practice doing this the more you will learn where you can fit things in. It could be as simple as going for a walk for 20 minutes.
On that walk, take a look at the world around you. We live in beautiful world, whether it is a flower or a smile on a person’s face. It is all there for us, you just need to be able to see it.
When you create space in your life, you can find yourself again.  As mother’s, wives and career women, we have so much pressure on ourselves.  The least we can do if find some time for ourselves to ensure we are in top notch shape to kick ass and take names on the daily.  If you are interested in local events, The Matriarch Collaborative is currently offering events in the US for women looking for a break.  To learn more about our events, become a member at this link.
Now go get yourself some ‘me’ time.

4 Key Steps To Developing A More Positive Mindset

Negativity can discourage us, add to our stress, put a strain on our relationships, make us less productive, and reduce our overall happiness. Positivity, on the other hand, has many benefits across our lives in terms of our health, relationships, and careers.
But, how do you become more positive? Is it really that simple?
Here are four key steps to help you to develop a more positive mindset:
1.  Keep a journal
If you have a negative internal dialogue constantly keeping you down, you need to take action to banish these thoughts. If you have difficulty identifying this negativity within your own mind, a simple first action can be keeping a thought journal. Write down a random sample of thoughts you say in your own mind about yourself, events, people around you and other things that happen throughout your day.
Then analyze these thoughts by reading the journal every night and establishing your thought patterns.
Do certain events trigger your negative thoughts? Take note of these and the next time you are faced with a similar triggering situation, think more carefully about how you are approaching it.
One of my favorite ways to stay mindful and positive is with by Bullet Journal.  To learn more about bullet journaling and how you can utilize the practice to reduce stress, check out my article Intro to Bullet Journaling.
IMG-1520
2. Banish negative self-talk
After keeping track of your thoughts for a week or two, you will soon notice how consuming your negative thoughts potentially are. The next step is to banish these all together. Next time you go to write down a negative thought in your thought journal, try to rephrase it to that it becomes a neutral statement.
For example, “John forgot to take out the trash again so I had to do it and it ruined my evening” could become “John forgot to take out the trash. I did it.” This is a small but effective way to train yourself.
Don’t just do this exercise on paper in your journal; begin to rephrase your negative thoughts into neutral ones in your mind.
3.  See the positive side
It can be incredibly challenging for many people to jump straight from negative thoughts into positive ones, which is why that neutral-thought stage is so crucial. By banishing negative self-talk, you are now in a great position to genuinely see the positives, in different situations.
Refer back to your thought journal and particularly examine the negative thoughts you have had. Putting aside all of the things you so obviously dislike about that thing, try to think of at least one positive.
For example, if you dislike your boss because they speak badly to you, think about the way that you are actually developing more resilience and ‘thicker skin’ by being in that situation, which is a positive result from a bad situation.
It can be hard to find benefits within challenging circumstances, but there is always a way to see something good.
As the Dalai Lama once famously said, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” Sometimes a lot of effort might be required, but it’s worth it!
brush-happiness-joy-22221
4.  Keep a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is an incredible way to take stock of all of the wonderful things around you. Every evening write down all of the things in your day, and life more generally, that you are grateful for.
Perhaps you are grateful to your friends for their support, for the warm bed you are able to sleep in, or for the great weather you had that day. Write it all down.
If someone gives you a compliment that you appreciated on any particular day or said something very thoughtful, write it down in your gratitude journal too. Then when you find yourself being negative or critical, open up the journal and read over all of the positive things in your life that make you feel grateful.
This is a sure-fire way to re-ground you, make you gain perspective and make you realize how insignificant that particular trigger may be in the larger scheme of things. Context is important, so keep shifting your mind towards the positive.
Stay grateful.
Final Conclusion
Practicing these four simple thoughts can help you to transform the way that you perceive the world around you. Positive perception has the power to change your life, improving your attitudes and the ways that you respond to stress triggers.
Be patient and keep working at positivity, as it has so many benefits for your life, so make the most of it!
4k-wallpaper-beautiful-bloom-1263986

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is everybody’s business. You could think you have it under control, but the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions. We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime. However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.
The body’s stress reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened, not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work. Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it. Do not rely on prescription meds, or consider them, as even though they may offer short-term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.
Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:
1. Exercise
Exercise has numerous benefits for physical health, but can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle. Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins, which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress. In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels, which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down). For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly, making sure to include weight-bearing exercises.
beach-exercise-female-1199607

 

2.  Eat Dark Chocolate

Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right? However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else, but rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more, but also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress. Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of stress since what affects one person may not affect another. Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.

berries-chocolates-delicious-918327.jpg
3. Try A Massage
Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed? Simple, because it works! Stress is much more than “psychological”, as its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.
A massage can help address some of the manifestations of stress, such as pain and tension. Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure, which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more. Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy, with blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain. Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking, as it has been documented to have a profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

 

beauty-body-face-56884

4. Meditate

Meditation should be taught in schools. There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation, yet most people do not practice any sort of.
Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science, but at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present. Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden, and meditation perfectly helps to eliminate worry of the future or past.
To learn more about meditation, check out my article The Health Advantages Of And Medical Conditions Helped By Meditation.
blonde-clouds-fashion-694133

 

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time

The number one enemy of stress is fun. Laughter is the best medicine after all, as it can do miracles, ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses, and helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun, which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral. Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.
6.  Supplements
My favorite supplements from Heart & Body Naturals to support a chill stress free mind are absolutely their Superfoods.  You add a scoop of their all natural mix to your morning smoothie, water, juice, almond or coconut milk and follow up with 8-12 ounces of water.  It may give you an immediate energy boost that will help your get shit done attitude, and then will promote a sense of calm, improved sleep and increased health and wellbeing which all support a ‘no worries’ mind set.  #reduceyourstress
superfoods

5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach. People of all ages across the globe suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is a condition that interrupts your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you are suffering from this sleep disturbance, you may be hesitant to turn to harsh medications to help you fall asleep. Here are 5 ways that you can help improve your sleep naturally.
Eliminate Caffeine
The morning cup of coffee seems to be a staple beverage for many people. However, caffeine is not just in coffee. Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, the tea, and even some of the foods you eat. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only. Prevention Magazine tells us that ingesting caffeine, even 6 hours before bedtime, can disrupt sleep.
blurred-background-breakfast-caffeine-704813
Exercise
Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night.
While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime. This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and improved sleep is one of them.
adult-athletic-beautiful-1112633
Meditate
Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.
Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate in helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.
You can learn more about meditation and its benefits by checking out my article The Health Advantages Of And Medical Conditions Helped By Meditation.
backlit-beach-dawn-588561
Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a practice to help you sleep better at night. It has to do with environmental cues. Alaska sleep notes that these environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping.
  • Use the bedroom for sex and sleep only
  • No electronics
  • Keep the room dark and quiet
  • Keep your room cool
  • Have a good mattress
  • Set your alarm clock away from your bed

adventure-backlit-beautiful-733168.jpg

Get Up Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Verywell, we need this to sleep well at night. There are two really important elements to this step.
  1. Stop hitting the snooze and train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until a7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
  2. NO NAPS. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

Supplements

Heart & Body Naturals is my go to for supplements.  They offer such amazing products like CBD and Hemp Oil that has been shown in studies to help support sleep.  Superfood supplements can also be really  helpful as they bring all of the goods from natural foods that you aren’t actually eating each day.

I don’t know about you, but  my diet rarely meets the requirements of the food pyramid.  By using superfood supplements, you can make sure you and your kids get all of the natural nutrients the body needs which helps promote health sleep.  Learn more about it by clicking here.

Bio Minerals are also a great way to supplement your body with the nutrients it needs to promote a more natural sleep cycle.  Heart & Body Naturals has an AMAZING lotion that you apply to your thighs, neck, shoulders and chest about 20 minutes before you are ready for bed.  It is jam packed with 300mg of Magnesium per teaspoon and will have you snoozing as well as your husband 😉  Check out more information about the Sleep Magnesium Lotion by clicking here.  

Now you have an arsenal of information that should help you fall asleep faster at night. Remember, finding what works well for you may take some playing around. So, if you don’t get it right the first night or two don’t give up.
These sleep strategies are proven to work. They just take time. Give them a few weeks and you should be sleeping soundly.
animal-cat-face-close-up-416160.jpg

Natural Remedies For Headaches

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, this article is for you. Before you decide to reach for the medicine cabinet, try these all-natural remedies the next time you have a headache. Here are the best non-drug remedies for the three most common types of headaches.
Tension Headaches
Of the three main types of headaches, tension headaches are the most common. With this type of a headache, the muscles contract and it feels like something is literally squeezing your head. The pain can run from one ear to the other and back around. Tension headaches are usually caused by a lack of sleep and/or stress.
depressed-disappointed-elderly-23180
Natural Remedies For Tension Headaches:
Ginger Tea
Fresh ginger can easily be found at your local grocery store. Crush up no more than an inch of ginger and put it in a pot of boiling water. This homemade remedy will help reduce inflammation and ease your headache. It works just as good, if not better than an aspirin and is a completely natural plant-based remedy.
blur-brew-close-up-428615.jpg
Peppermint has a plethora of all-natural solutions for the body, home, and mind.  To use peppermint oil for headaches, take the oil and apply it to your hairline. The cooling sensation created by the oil will help relax the muscles in your head and neck.
close-up-freshness-green-531260
Cluster Headaches
Those who suffer from cluster headaches often describe it as an ice pack in their head. This is because the pain is very concentrated and it feels like someone is stabbing them in the head. Cluster headaches usually occur in a cluster of days, hence the name cluster headaches. They are most common in the winter.
Natural Remedies For Cluster Headaches:
Capsaicin Cream
Cayenne pepper is the main ingredient in Capsaicin cream. Put a dab on your finger and apply it to the inside of your nostril. Be sure to place it on the side where you are experiencing the pain. Once applied the cream will go to work. It works by blocking pain signals.
Chlorophyll Supplements
Chlorophyll is used by plants for photosynthesis in the process of turning carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. Chlorophyll supplements promote the flow of oxygen to cells, while also protecting the cells from oxidation damage and can naturally help with cluster headaches. Placing ten drops of liquid chlorophyll concentrate on the tongue several times throughout the day and then drinking some water will help with these types of headaches and can also provide natural energy to get you through the day.
Migraine Headaches
Last but not least, we will cover migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are very debilitating and can have you in bed, unable to move for extended periods of time. Migraines cause a throbbing pain to occur on one side of your head. As a result of this pain, individuals are usually sensitive to light and sound. It some cases it can even cause nausea.
Migraines can be genetic as they are found to run in certain families. The bad news, however, is women are three times more likely to have them than their male counterparts. Many experts believe migraines are a result of nerve signals being misinterpreted by the brain. Instead of interpreting them for what they really are, they interpret them as pain.
Natural Remedies For Migraine Headaches:
Acupressure Massage
Acupressure massage has been around for hundreds of years. It is an ancient Chinese healing method that centers around applying pressure to certain points on the body. The pressure is applied to help relieve pain. Doing this type of massage on yourself is very easy.
First, take your finger and place it in the groove between your first and second toe. Press firmly and apply pressure for at least three minutes. If you can, hold it for a total of 5 minutes before letting go. If you would prefer not to do this yourself, you can always go see a massage therapist.
aromatherapy-bamboo-basket-259810
Feverfew
Feverfew is an herbal supplement that comes from the sunflower family. It has been tested in clinical trials with great results. During these trials, Feverfew was shown to be a very effective treatment for migraines. It works by decreasing the amount of inflammation in the area where there is pain. When inflammation is reduced, it eliminates pressure on the nerves. As a result, the migraine starts to subside.
bloom-blossom-daisies-67857
Changing Your Diet
As you can see, there are many different natural remedies for the various types of headaches. However, one remedy can be applied to all headaches no matter what type. That remedy is to simply change your diet because certain foods can trigger a headache.
Start paying close attention to the foods you consume on a daily basis. Keeping a journal and jotting down everything you eat for at least 7 days is helpful so you can track any specific foods that cause you to have an adverse reaction. Once you identify a pattern, you will know which foods should be removed from your diet.
I know how hard it can be to change your diet.  It is something I have personally struggled with my whole life.  I love food.  And all kinds of food, including the unhealthy kind.  One way to get started is to utilize supplements or superfood products.  Heart & Body Naturals offers amazing products that are all organic, and undergo a rigorous quality assurance process.
Some foods that have been known to trigger headaches include:
  • Wine
  • Caffeine or the lack of it once one drinks it regularly.
  • Cheese
  • Cold Cuts
Headaches can also be a result of skipping meals. Anytime you skip meals your blood sugar levels drop. The best way to prevent this is to make it a point to always eat your meals on time and never let hunger lead to a headache.
Lifestyle Changes:
There are so many things you can do in your everyday life that reduce harsh impacts to your body, reduce stress and create a state of homeostasis in the body that helps reduce inflammation that could be leading to your headaches.
Reduce Exposure to Harsh Chemicals
You would be shocked at how harmful the products you use every day are to you and your family.  Check out my article, ‘Keep Your Family Healthy and Reduce the Risk of Illness‘ to learn more about how these chemicals harm your body and how they may be causing headaches and pain.
Take a daily CBD Supplement
CBD is a nutrient of sorts, that is derived from hemp.  It has no side effects and helps promote homeostasis in the body.  It has been proven to reduce or eliminate symptoms of pain and can reduce inflammation in the body that could be contributing to your headaches.  To learn more about CBD, click here for my online web store.
adult-beautiful-face-774866.jpg

The Health Advantages of Meditation

When meditation was first suggested to me to help tame my anxiety, the practice seemed near impossible.  I started with guided meditations to try and get the hang of it, and opened up a whole new world of self-healing.
adventure-cliff-environment-906097
How Meditation Works
Practice makes perfect with meditation.  At first, it might just seem like you are sitting alone, trying to not think about your meeting later this afternoon or what you need to pick up from the grocery store tomorrow.  In the beginning, it’s more about building the habit and creating a ritual.  Your skill will grow in time and practice, but the first step is to actually establish the practice.
People often use certain postures, breathing techniques, and even chants to help facilitate the process, but these are not required, and they are not the act of meditation itself, just support tools.  If you use the Mindspace app, they talk about counting your breath.  By counting, you are not completely clearing your mind, but you are focusing intently on something that you can come back to when last night’s episode of The Bachelorette pops into your thoughts.
It is not as easy as you may think. Achieving a profound, deep sense of self, a “thoughtless alertness,” requires guidance at first.  I suggest starting with guided meditations so you can build a habit and get used to breathing and focusing.
Specific Ways That Meditation Improves Health
Meditation one of the very best ways to reduce stress.  Stress is linked to a whole host of health issues and according to the Benson Henry Institute, 60-90% of doctor visits are for conditions that are caused by stress.  Harvard University researchers conducted a study that connects deep relaxation to genetic changes in the body.
They found that “disease-fighting genes” are more active in people who regularly practice meditation, compared with people in the control group.
These genes protect the body against a number of health issues, including:
  • Heart Disease
  • Asthma
  • Infertility
  • Arthritis
  • Various skin conditions
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Meditation even helps to boost immunity, and studies show that cancer patients have recovered more effectively due to meditation and are less at risk for developing another tumor.
  • The benefits of stress reduction cannot be overstated.
Meditation makes the body less responsive to stress hormones, which lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation, improves digestion and immunity, and establishes an emotional and neurological “balance.”
beautiful-hands-heart-5390
How does this work exactly?
It largely comes down to hormones. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline increase blood pressure and heart rate, while “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin, which are released in a state of relaxation, work to repair cells.
More Health Boosting Benefits Of Meditation
  • According to the Benson-Henry Institute, Chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36% when they practice regular meditation.
  • The Journal of Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association, reported in their 2012 issue that a 5-year study on patients who had coronary heart disease found a 48% reduction in deaths, heart attacks, and strokes in those subjects who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation versus those who did not.
  • An analysis of a controlled trial, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on October 2013 reported a significantly greater effect of Transcendental Meditation in reducing anxiety over conventional medical treatments and other forms of meditation and relaxation practices.
  • According to Behavioral Medicine, Volume 16, a 50% reduction in visits to HMO doctors was found when a relaxation-response based practice, like meditation, is used.

abstract-art-color-887349

How To Incorporate Meditation Into Your Life
Here are ideas for incorporating meditation into your own life. Beginners should focus on numbers 1 and 2, and over time experiment with the other ideas.
  1. Participate In A Group Class. You may be able to find a class in your community specifically dedicated to meditation, but due to popular culture, it may be easier to find a yoga class that heavily focuses on meditation, such as Kundalini Yoga or Ananda Yoga. Many people prefer taking these classes long-term as opposed to meditating by themselves because the group setting helps them to better focus or because they enjoy the sense of community.
  2. Use A Video To Guide Your Meditation. Some meditation videos can be found for free online, such as through YouTube, or you can order a professional DVD or online subscription. If you prefer a mix of yoga and meditation, the best types of yoga to focus on include Kundalini, Ananda, Jivamukti, and Integral.
  3. Devote 20+ Minutes In The Morning Or Evening. Research shows that just 20 minutes of consistent meditation sessions can have tremendous health benefits. Make time before your day starts or before you go to bed to meditate. Some people find that their minds are clearer at these times.
  4. Use Free Time To Meditate In Nature. Many people find that sitting in nature – under a tree, on top of a mountain, or in a quiet place in the sunshine – helps them to facilitate the meditation process. It’s also a great way to get outside for Vitamin D.
  5. Meditate While At Work. This is certainly the most difficult way to meditate because distractions at work can interrupt the process, but many people have been able to achieve a state of meditation while performing job duties. Talk about being dedicated to the cause!
Everyone is different. Experiment with different ways of meditating to see what you like and what comes easiest for you. Also, try experimenting at different times of the day and for different periods of time, but aim for at least 20 minutes to reap the most benefit. The health effects on your body are well worth the effort!
If you are interested in learning more about meditation, self-healing, holistic modalities, metaphysics and women’s wellness become a member of The Matriarch Collaborative for events, workshops and content to help you  heal.
Ivory Couple Cross Lines Wedding Pinterest Graphic