January 26, 2015

PTSD is Plaguing Our Soldiers

We are still facing major problems in the mental health of our soldiers. We cannot ignore that there are numerous reasons behind the fact that 22 American veterans take their life every day. It is appalling and the powers that be don’t seem to be moving quickly enough to curb this horrible statistic. One of the biggest problems is that there is a huge backlog at the VA. Another major problem, one that is not spoken about, is that the atrocities our soldiers are sometimes ordered to commit are unconscionable. This latter reason is what Daniel Somers blamed on the reason for taking his own life. If you read his suicide note, you will understand some of the problems that you will likely never hear others talk about.

The answer to all of these suicides is going to be different for diffcombat bootserent people. Some people want to talk about the things they have seen or been involved in while others simply won’t. Medications can be helpful for the short term, while acupuncture and massage can both help ease PTSD symptoms and initiate or enhance healing. Hypnosis and EMDR have also helped many people. These, along with Brainwave Optimization and NeurOptimal are true and real solutions and need to be explored and promoted, yet let us never abandon the topic of prevention.

One of the worst things we can do is get people to push away their instincts and their morals while in battle, and then shove pills down their mouths indefinitely in order to suppress the symptoms that those actions cause. Symptoms are signals, that’s all. If we fly down the highway ignoring the traffic signs, it won’t be long at all until we are in a wreck. We have been conditioned to ignore the symptoms, that is part of our MO…and yet another part of the big picture of this problem.

The fact is, we are constantly putting our soldiers into situations they should not be put into, causing real and lasting trauma. We justify it by saying it is the cost of war but maybe we should rethink the justifications. Much of the time we are separating the emotions involved in the harsh realities of war by making them very “game-like”. Many drone operators have quit when they are faced with some of the reality behind their actions. In ancient times

it was more honorable to tap your enemy on the soldier than to kill them.

So, fundamental flaws exist in the system, and the system probably won’t be changing anytime soon.

The advances in neurofeedback are remarkable and revolutionary and something that we need to really look at when it comes to helping people overcome PTSD and similar debilitating or disruptive “mental disorders”. With NeurOptimal, you do not have to talk about your problems if you choose not to. The technology guides you into producing a more balanced brain and Central Nervous System, creating new neural networks to harness these new patterns, and literally over-riding the old neural networks created by the trauma (trauma prints). Please tell a suffering vet that there is a non-traditional way to heal themselves. Most providers give discounts to vets. We offer 15% off on all packages. So please, spread the word.

The Journey Through Addictions

addictionBalancing your brainwaves enhances the way your brain communicates with your body, which quiets the messages demanding more nicotine, alcohol, etc. When the neural networks fire with more efficiency, the addiction process is thereby disrupted. Brain training with Brainwave Optimization can eliminate most cravings, but not the habit. You always have a choice whether to smoke, drink, etc. or not. Our modality allows you to see and feel the reality of your choice much more easily, and brings a sense of balance when the thought crosses your mind, and that balance gives you a much greater opportunity to choose not to indulge.

Here are some important tools to incorporate in any addiction program:

Forgiveness

Do not forget that you are human and that you should forgive yourself. Most people live day to day mentally beating themselves up and saying things to themselves that they would never utter towards another person. Stop that insanity, forgive yourself and then proceed!

Support Person

The decision to quit can allow uncomfortable emotions to arise. These are part of you, so embrace them. Ask someone who is available to you in the next few weeks to act as your sounding board while also providing encouragement when you need it, and always be honest with your support person.

Afformations

Afformations are solution-oriented questions that you ask yourself. Ask questions such as “Why is it that my thoughts are consumed less and less everyday by smoking/drinking/etc.?”, “Why do I feel more centered in body, mind and soul since quitting?”, or “Why am I thinking more clearly than ever before?”. Afformations focus on positives and are designed to stimulate the mind to look for answers, therefore solidifying the newly imprinted patterns and neural networks in the brain, which change subconscious thoughts and behaviors.

Setting Boundaries

Set up contracts with other smokers/drinkers/etc. to refrain from indulging around you and to support you in your goals. When you make positive changes in your life, it will often leave others on the defensive about their own decisions. Don’t let this weigh you down and encourage them not to be weighed down; guilt is toxic in itself. When possible, stay away from those that do indulge (at least at first) until you feel more confident with your new health status.

Drink Water

Research has shown that being dehydrated causes cravings. Sip water or herbal tea frequently throughout the day. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces every day. Example: If you weigh 160 lb. you should drink at least 80 oz. of H2O daily.

Refrain from Drinking Coffee (I know, I know)

Research also shows that coffee causes cravings and dehydrates the body. Try Yerba Mate if you need that boost in the mornings.

Food Choices

Eat a lot of carrots, celery and other vegetables throughout the next few days, as these will help restore the bodies nutrients. Avoiding candy is wise; sugar upsets blood sugar levels, which can aggravate smoking-withdrawal symptoms. Sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet are sweeter than sugar, are often known carcinogens and cause further sweet cravings/addictions. Carbohydrates should also be minimalized as they too create blood sugar imbalances (that last longer than those caused by candy). Drinking fresh squeezed vegetable and berry juices is super cleansing and very hydrating.

Managing cravings

Cravings feel like they will last forever but actually fade in two minutes. Plan what you will do during a craving. Examples: Take your herbs; use your afformation exercises; breathe deeply; walk to another place; sing a song; dance; jog; call your support person.

Recidivism

There may be a lot of triggers for you to desire another smoke/drink/etc. Indulging can act very strongly as a shield to insulate uncomfortable feelings and situations. For example, a new nonsmoker can feel vulnerable and confused when trying to handle a stressful situation. Other modalities can help too, such as acupuncture, Qi Gong or Tai Chi movements to help smooth out irritability and other stressful emotions.

Integrity & Determinism

We CAN stop! And we CAN start manifesting our own creations by being Certain of our strengths and Centered in our approach, which leads us with Integrity to Peace of Mind.

Are You Sad?

There are so many people that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Simply, SAD. There are many reasons that this occurs, but some of the main reasons this symptom raises its head this time of year is because of these foundational aspects:

profile of a man with close up of magnifying glass on SADNESS

1. The sun that we are so used to seeing here in Central Texas is hiding more than it ever does during the year. The sun sends us an abundance of full-spectrum energy that we need for life and health. Of course it also helps us to produce vitamin D within our bodies. Vitamin D is well known now to be an essential ingredient in so many processes of our body. In fact it is actually a “pro-hormone”, much more potent than just a vitamin. Beyond vitamin D, there are also many known and unknown aspects of the sun’s energy that keep us strong and healthy.

2. Our diets tend to go south during this time of year with all of the parties and festive events. This all tends to start at Halloween when we gorge on candy and it continues through Valentines day in mid-February. Since there are so many opportunities to indulge, many people will just decide not to worry too much about their diet during this period of time (which consists of about three and a half months)! I can list 147 reasons why you don’t want sugar to be a part of your diet, and many of those reasons have to do with the fact that it screws up your hormonal balance and creates tendencies that you don’t want.

3. Family. Need I say more? Ha, just kidding….kind of. I’ve seen some of my most healthy and well-rounded patients get completely stressed out during the holidays. It happens to the best of us, and in fact, Ram Dass said, “If you think you are so enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.” Our family thinks they know who we are, but usually they know who we were much better.

                                                                “Usually people are completely unaware of the roles they play.

                                                                                         They are those roles.”~ Eckhart Tolle

So, there are a few reasons you may be feeling blue this time of year. Blue is just a state of mind. It too will pass. If you need to, spend a couple of days in a “pitty party” for yourself. But don’t let it take over your life…these types of party’s can become a slippery slope.

 

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation

but your thoughts about the situation.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Here are a few things that you can do to break out of the blues, or keep it away.

1. Observe the 80/20 rule by indulging only 80% of the time. For instance, two out of every eight meals, allow yourself a desert or a bite of a desert. When you master this, move onto the 90/10 rule (same principals).

2. Eat protein or something healthy before every “bad” piece of candy or desert. Filling your belly with quality will cut down on overall quantity. You can only put so much into your body any given day. So fill up with the good stuff first. Also, make a new recipe for dinner or make a new tea for sipping.

3. When the sun comes out, be sure to get in it! Even stand by the window if you can’t go outside. 15 minutes per day is often adequate.

4. Ground yourself! We live in an electrically charged world. There are so many positive ions floating around and bouncing off of you that it will create imbalances. Electricity is absolutely everywhere so take the time to walk barefoot on the earth. Seriously, this is not a meaningless or woowoo thing. When you are barefoot on the earth, you are grounded and these electric currents aren’t trapped in you. Again, 15 minutes a day will usually suffice for getting the effects.

5. When you do go home to family, make sure that you don’t add to a negative situation. Really, it’s not worth it. Let the ego relax and imagine a brilliant inner light that comes from within you and attracts only positive experiences. When something is said or done that normally gets you upset, know that this is the ego that is getting upset and that you can operate from your higher self, your brilliant angelic higher-self if you so choose. It is all about choice. You may be surprised how the situation will change.

“What does not move through you defines you” –Unkown Author

If the depression or SAD has grabbed a hold of you this winter and just won’t let go, look into some things that are proven to work for emotional issues such as Body-Mind Nutrition Oriental medicine, or Brianwave Optimization. Call us to see which one is right for you.

Enjoy the holiday season, and if you aren’t looking forward to it at all…remember it to will pass.

Smoothie Recipe – A Wave of Almond Joy!

One baoding ball

Ingredients

1 heaping Tbs. of almond butter

2 Tbs. raw cacao nibs

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2- 1 tsp. cinnamon

8-10 oz. almond or coconut milk (no sugar added)

1/2 – 1 tsp. honey or 1/2 banana

4 ice cubes

Right before blending is complete, add 1 Tbs. coconut oil

Directions (warning! very complicated!…ha just kidding)

Place liquid in the blender first, add everything else except coconut oil. Blend and then add the coconut oil at end to avoid clumping (ice+coconut oil = weird clumping textural experience)

Enjoy!!! YUMMM

January 26, 2015

Purification Time!

Abstract nature blurred background - orange flowers on meadow

Detoxification is an important natural part of life. Our bodies have innate intelligence and know how to heal. The only two pieces of the detox equation that we have to be a part of is:

A). Getting out of the way (ie. letting it happen), and

B). Giving the body the right foods while avoiding the “wrong” ones.

Detoxing is a natural process that all forms of life go through. Many animals will go without eating one or two times each year in order to let their body enter into a period of increased cleansing, which then helps rid the body of accumulated substances therefore increasing vitality.

Cleansing is not fasting. Cleansing and fasting are two completely different things.

Cleansing is giving your body an abundance of what it needs to unlock toxins that have been stored away. Fasting is allowing your body to prioritize cleansing over metabolizing. Needless to say, cleansing is much easier on the body and much easier on you.

Toxins and Fat

Did you know that most of your toxins are stored in your fat cells? One reason that many people are overweight is because of the toxic load they are carrying. Fat cells act to neutralize toxins (as best as they can) by coating them in fat so that the organs and tissues of your body are protected from the damage that their free radicals create.

Because fat cells store toxins, cleansing the toxins out are one of the reasons our 21 day purification program helps people to lose weight.

We are our Environment

Even if you eat really well, you should consider a regular cleansing program once or twice per year. We are sponges in our environment and we are exposed to chemicals and metals on a daily basis. There are now 80,000 man made chemicals in the environment that did not exist over 100 years ago. Wow! Many of these are considered safe by the FDA and some aren’t even labeled.

Foods as Toxins

Even the foods that you consume on a regular basis can cause you problems that you wouldn’t expect. For instance, many people consume wheat three times (or more) per day every day of their life. This is not natural and will eventually lead to problems. I can explain the different reasons why you don’t want to consume this much of any food, but I’ll leave that to another post. Clearing these common (and often processed/denatured) foods from your diet for the magical three weeks will do you a world of good.

So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t cleansed in the last year, you definitely want to do your body (and mind) this favor. Our Purification program is designed to make it as simple as possible for you. We give you all the real food supplements that you need so that you have the abundance of nutrition to unlock some of those stubborn toxins. We also give you 50 great recipes, a guidebook, daily emails to motivate and encourage you, and free support by phone if needed.

AND, we are giving you 25% off this week only! So, give us a call to start yours.

January 26, 2015

If You Know Your History…

…“Then you would know where you’re coming from. Then you wouldn’t have to ask me who the heck do I think I am.” Ah…the words of Bob Marley! In another song…”Remember that I and I are the roots, Some are wolf Inna sheep’s clothing.”

…Wise words indeed!

We have to know our roots in this world. We have to reconnect with them if we don’t know them…if we have lost them, if we are confused. We have to know who we are in order to grow into who we can and will become.

Searching your genealogy, the meaning of your name, your birth signs, etc. can help tremendously. But getting to the roots of your food is what I want to talk about here. There is so much value in knowing where your food comes from, and being connected to that major source of nourishment. When we are connected to our food we are automatically more healthy, vibrant, and limitless. There are so many different dimensions to every action that we do that most of us are completely unaware of. When we go into the grocery store and load up on cheerios, toaster strudels, sodas, bagels, etc. we are consuming a lot of calories at the same time that we are starving our body of what it really needs – Nutrition! And when we feed these things to our children, we are robbing them of their ability to access a greater potential in life.

When we let go of these convenience foods and actuahuman bodylly spend a little time on the preparation, consumption and digestion of our food we give ourselves a great gift. Greater than I think many of us realize. As we all know, we are creatures of habit. But most habits need to be broken. The term habit infers a subconscious action, but when we know what we are doing and the consequences it is called other things such as addiction and laziness. Of course a lot of the times we buy these “foods” because we are stuck in a poverty mentality too.

This is a huge condition in our country and our times. The poverty mentality invades most people’s minds, giving the assumption that organic food is too expensive. I also see a lot of this in my practice when I am told that alternative medicine is too expensive because insurance doesn’t usually cover it. My reply to this is simple. I believe and have seen proof of this many times, that when we spend time and money (two of the most valuable things really) on our food, our mental health and our physical well being, we don’t get sick, don’t stay sick or don’t need to seek drugs and surgery. As someone who has not had health insurance in eleven years, I can say proudly that I haven’t needed it. Yes, of course there is always the argument that insurance is important to pay for accidents, etc. but hey, that is what savings, Aflac and car insurance are for.

There is a huge movement going on right now. People are buying local, organic, and sustainable more than ever, well since the agricultural revolution anyway. This is so exciting. Maybe because food is becoming more expensive we will actually start eating more nutritious foods by necessity. And maybe when we start eating these foods we will see our bloated medical industry shrink to a more appropriate size due to lack of its importance in daily life. Maybe we will fall a few points closer to the healthier countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Columbia, etc. Yes, you heard that right, our health as a nation is poorer than a total of 11 NON-industrialized countries. How does that make you feel? I’ll talk more about this in another post.

So grow a vegetable or two this year, and add one each season. Go to the farmers market, it is an amazing place to celebrate local culture and local food. There is such a feel-good aspect to a farmers market. There is a vibrancy there that even just going and being there brightens your spirits. We have to get back to our roots, meaning we have to get back to REAL FOOD if we want to make it!

50% of men get cancer and 33% of women. This is ridiculous and there are many things that we can do to PREVENT IT. So many organizations are working to cure cancer and so few in comparison are helping to prevent it. We’ve got to take back our health and our power. So get to the farmers market this weekend, call up your local CSA if you’ve been debating it, “splurge” on your produce at Central Market, or trade your basil for your neighbors tomatoes! Pick a peach off of a neighbors tree and give them some okra. It’s now fall in Austin and an amazing place to grow and forage food. So get to it!

Time Saving Kitchen Tips

Happy Valentines Day!

Well, there are no desert recipes today, look at to our recipe box for those, but here is some practical information you can use in the kitchen.

We have all heard that we should consume less fast food and more real food. Of course the fast food industry is staying the course, and always will try to coax us in the door. But, as a whole, our subconscious drive is becoming less and less susceptible to the appeal of the golden arches or the charm of the Colonel’s smile. We know that eating fast food appeals to our emotions and contributes to our sense of comfort, and there are many reasons for this including the amounts of fats, sugars and carbs typically found in the “foods”. We could speculate and even verify that there are many other reasons we crave the quick fix of fast food, such as chemicals that affect neurotransmitters and hormone levels. Remember how in the movie “Super Size Me”, Morgan Spurlock was completely addicted to Micky-D’s even thought he felt horrible after eating it?

Well, there are many reasons that we want those fooVintage heart.ds, the top 7 reasons are as follows..

They’re quick.
They’re easy to get to.
People like the taste.
They’re inexpensive (not counting the cumulative toll on your health).
People claim to be too busy to cook.
It’s a “treat”.
People don’t like to prepare food.
I’ll stop here. But basically, people stray towards these foods (and really I do hesitate to call the foods since a true food nourishes the body) mainly because they are quick, easy and monetarily inexpensive. The whole thing about it tasting good doesn’t make sense to me since all real food should taste good if it is prepared well. So if these top reasons are our “need” for fast food, how can we transform the circumstances that lead us to the front doors of these establishments (since transformation is the only way something can sustainably change)? And unless you have been living under a rock, you know that eating nutrient dense foods is one of the top ways of staying healthy. So, how can we make it easier?

A dear friend recently gave me a Mother Earth News magazine, and there was a great article in it that I thought had great information on how to save time in the kitchen. So if you want to change the circumstances that lead you astray, try the following tips:

Batch-Process Produce. Take a few minutes when you get home from the market to rinse, chop and properly store fruits and veggies so they’re ready to use.

Soak beans overnight and keep them in the fridge for the week or freeze some to thaw when you need them.

Make double batches and freeze. Especially useful for baked dishes.

Use a slow cooker. Start it up in the morning for dinner!

Pre-measure the required spices and dry ingredients of your favorite dishes and store them in a container for speed seasoning when you’re ready.

Put roasts in the oven before bed at 200 degrees (helps keep your house warm during winter nights and cool during summer days), pop it out when you wake and an hour before dinner put it back in at 350.

Chop extra for today’s meal and package them for another.

Cleaning as you go makes the whole after dinner experience better and cooking becomes an overall less dreadful project.

Juice your meal or eat them raw. Most raw foods have so many more enzymes and vitamins than their counterparts.

Structure determines behavior. So change the structure of your environment so that it is easier and quicker than jumping into the car and driving to eat that chemical burger at the fast food shop.

Simple Dessert

wooden spoons with spices and herbs Ingredients and Directions:

Slice mangos and strawberries, place in bowl

Pour organic coconut cream all around

Toast coconut shavings until just slightly browned and sprinkle on top

And there you have it…there is a delicious vegan dessert!

Use this recipe or change out the fruits with berries to help yourself transition off of sugar and floury deserts.

Enjoy!

January 26, 2015

Will Our Soldiers Heal?

Now that an incredible number of Iraqi war veterans are back home, how are we going to help them integrate back into society? I recently posted a link to a video on facebook stating the cold hard fact that there are more suicides in our veteran population than there were total combat deaths. Wow! You may want to read that again because it is really important…there were more suicides among recent war vets than all combat deaths. Obviously this is a problem of enormous scale! I won’t get too political here, but will stick to the facts and what I see as the solutions.

Okay, so the situation is as follows…

All of our soldiers that resided in Iraq are home, or are coming home by the last day of this year, 2011. They are coming home to a very high unemployment rate and an almost unbelievable unemployment rate among other veterans. If you haven’t heard, here are the statistics according to Dan Beucke at www.businessweek.com:

Veterans 18-24 years old had a 30.4% jFallen Soldier Battle Crossesobless rate in October and black veterans of the same age had a rate of 48%. This is unbelievable isn’t it? This problem of course just compounds the other problems so many vets have coming back into civilian life with all they have seen and experienced. If you have been paying attention at all, you know that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is also at record highs among our soldiers. Even among those that did not see or directly experience a dangerous or near death situation, PTSD like symptoms and a battlefield mentality still dominate in the safe circumstances of everyday life of many soldiers. For instance, one of my acupuncture patients is a veteran and her husband just came back from Iraq last week. As he sat in the waiting room of my office I talked with him for a few minutes about the politics of war (his choice of conversation not mine). On the following visit, my patient told me that he did not like coming to my office because it has two doors and he had to sit with his back to one of them. This gave me insight into something that I hadn’t really ever thought about, which was that even if you have not experienced first hand violence in a wartime situation, you are still ready to experience it. Your nervous system has been changed so that you are primed and ready for any situation that may occur, because it very well may. It is a survival mechanism that the brain understands very well and restructures to meet the needs that it sees.

A relative of mine also came back from both Iraq and Afghanistan with back pain that had emotional ties to it. In a story that she shared she mentioned how the sounds of bombs all around were terrifying to the point of causing involuntary body movements and then inability to actually fall asleep and rest. She did not experience any direct combat either, but surely experienced the effects of all that was going on around her.

Having this conversation with my patient about her husband (who by the way didn’t seem uncomfortable at all in my waiting room) and with my relative, I realized that ALL veterans of the recent wars are very likely to have complicated or subtle trauma prints when coming back stateside. Trauma prints are the rewiring of neuro networks in the brain in order to “save one’s life” regardless if that trauma or threat is real or perceived. And once these neuro-pathways are “set” (think concrete) by these life changing experiences, they are likely permanent structural changes. The problem arises when these networks are inhibiting a persons happiness (PTSD for example).

I feel that our job is to give them as much love and understanding as humanly possible, and more when called for. We need to be better at welcoming them home and showing them that we are here if they need us. Don’t be fooled, the simple act of compassionate listening can do a lot, yet for many soldiers the wounds are just too deep. Regardless of whether or not you were for or against the war, our veterans need to be cared for, and quite frankly it just isn’t happening.

“Without a favorable internal climate, a person’s thinking is likely to drive them crazy… The right starting point for creative thinking and acting is who we divinely are, and a refusal to be anything other than that. I won’t be untrue to myself.” -David Karchere