Bridge to Health is pleased to offer FIR - Far Infrared heat as an addition to manual therapies. This blog explains the benefits and history of the valuable therapeutic tool.
What is Far-Infrared Therapy (FIR) and What Does it Do?
Far-Infrared Rays are waves of energy, totally invisible to the naked eye, are able to penetrate the surface of the skin and reach deeply into the body gently elevating the body’s surface temperature to 107.6F/42C and above. This action stimulates the movement of blood and lymph through the affected body system improving immunity and relieving inflammation.
“Give me the power to produce fever and I’ll cure all disease.”– Parmenides, 500 BC.
History of Far-Infrared Heat Therapy
The body radiates far-infrared energy through your skin at 3 to 50 microns, with most output at 9.4 microns. The palms emit even more energy, between 8 and 14 microns. ‘Palm Healing’, an ancient tradition in China, has used the healing properties of far-infrared rays for 3,000 years. Natural healers emit energy and heat radiating from their hands to heal. Current research has measured significant far-infrared energy emitted from the hands of Chi Kung / Qigong and Chi Nei Tsang practitioners.
Thermal therapies have been in existence for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Finns, the Romans, the ancient Chinese, the American Indians, and the Egyptians 5,000 years ago. Since ancient times, people have known that exposure to sunshine can maintain and enhance health. Sun therapy is a form of natural FIR thermal therapy. Far-Infrared Rays are the invisible rays of natural sunlight that have the longest wavelength. However, sunbathing should only be enjoyed in moderation since sunlight contains ultra-violet ray which can burn the skin. There is also no temperature control, and sunshine is only available seasonally. FIR gives the benefits of sunshine in a focused and safe way.
Evolution of Far-Infrared Technology
For many decades, scientific evidence has found that heat can maintain and enhance the wellness of the human body. Scientists have researched different ways on how to develop more effective forms of thermal heat therapy that target specific areas and enable deep heat penetration.
Traditional forms of heat therapy can be hazardous for those with certain health conditions. The extreme heat can be uncomfortable for many individuals and may cause heat stress which can have detrimental effects on health, especially for people with heart challenges or needing to sustain blood pressure. Thermal compression and wraps are uncomfortable, heat is easily lost, temperature does not remain constant and maintaining a thermal compression or wrap can be problematic and inconvenient.
Research and development in the sixties – notably in Japan and Germany lead to the introduction of the Far-Infrared Ray (FIR) thermal technology. This revolutionized thermal technology as an effective, safe, natural, hygienic, and efficient approach to thermal treatment. Multiple health and medical professionals internationally who rehabilitate numerous physical challenges using heat therapy. Relief for sports injuries via thermal therapy is one example, whilst detoxification and reduction of inflammation areaslo benefits.
Dr. Tadashi Ishikawa, a member of the Research and Development Department of Fuji Medical, received a patent in 1965 for a zirconia ceramic infrared heater used in the first healing infrared thermal systems. Medical practitioners in Japan were the only ones using infrared thermal systems for 14 years. In 1979, they were finally released for public use. The technique has been further refined into far-infrared thermal systems that have been sold in the USA since the 1980’s. One use of Far-Infrared heat in the USA has been in the form of panels used in hospital nurseries to warm newborns.
There have been well over 700,000 far-infrared thermal systems sold in Asia for whole body treatments. An additional 30 million plus people have received localized far-infrared treatment in Asia, Europe, and Australia with FIR lamps, which emit the same 2-25 micron wave bands as employed in a whole body system. In Germany, physicians in an independently developed form have used the whole body Far-Infrared Therapy for over 80 years.
Far Infrared heat therapy can be added to any manual therapy offered by Bridge to Health, Colonics, Chi Nei Tsang Sessions, Lymphatic and Therapeutic Massage modalities.
Book your session online today and select the Infrared add-on to enjoy this therapeutic experience.
If you have questions or seek more information you may schedule a
Free Fifteen Minute Wellness Phone Consult with Vanessa Goldeen, CWC, CNT, CCT
or...for Lymphatics and Therapeutic Massage
Brittany Craven, LMT aslo offers a Free Fifteen Minute Phone Consult as well!
If your are interested in purchasing a FIR lamp for home use there are several
great model options we have researched available on Amazon!
The liver is truly the KING of your internal organs.
A healthy well functioning liver is crucial to detoxification and the body's ability to maintain a strong immune system.
This blog will help you understand more about the importance of your liver, what helps it, what harms it and the many health issues that can arise from a congested liver.
Within our culture in the US the rise in liver dysfunction is increasing at an alarming rate in ages as early as the 30's.
Liver congestion is responsible for a wide range of immunity issues, from allergies to arthritis, cancer, sleep disturbances, anxiety, digestive issues, constipation, high blood pressure, brain fog and memory problems.
A healthy liver is the guardian of the body. In spite of the many toxins we encounter from environmental pollution and chemical...a healthy liver will keep you glowing.
How do you know if your liver needs help?
Here's the BAD NEWS...If you answer yes to three or more of these questions it is a strong indication that your liver is not happy!
Here's the GOOD NEWS....the liver is extremely responsive to proper care and when you get things moving in the right direction it's often amazing how quickly health issue will turn around!
Understanding your liver.
It's many functions and the role it plays in detoxification:
Liver disease and failure are progressive over time and are commonly associated with lifestyle and dietary choices. Treatment for liver dysfunction primarily focus on making changes to lifestyle and eating habits. Modalities such as lymphatic massage, acupuncture, Chi Nei Tsang, targeted whole food nutritional supplements, colon hydrotherapy, poultices, fasting and cleansing/detox protocols.
Stages of Liver Dysfunction
That's a lot of heavy information, but it's crucial to understand that the average age of liver disorders onset in the US population is... age 40 - 50 years. However the dietary issues, constipation and lifestyle choices , use of drugs, alcohol made in your 20's and 30's are the "set-up" for the decline in function and the development of liver disease. additional complications arise from the use of prescription medications and over the counter drugs that tax the liver.
Bridge to Health is rolling out a Liver Reboot/Restore Protocol that offers an affordable way to heal and restore the liver with the assistance of Certified Wellness Consultant, Vanessa Goldeen. With over 45 years experience studying and guiding others through the changes needed to reverse liver disorders and achieve a new vibrant level of health.
Connect with Ms. Goldeen for a Free 15 Minute Wellness Consult, to get answers to questions you may have about your current state of health.
There are so many different therapeutic massage modalities to choose from. Many of them offer sustainable relief from pain and circulatory issues. But often it's challenging to understand what the options are and how to choose what's best for you.
The questions are:
This blog article will provide information to support your choice to add Therapeutic Massage to your self care menu! Therapeutic massage incorporates a variety of advanced modalities that enhance the body's natural restorative functioning. Light to firm touch is used to release tension, relax muscles, increase blood and lymph circulation, and increase production of serotonin...a neurotransmitter and your body's antidote to too much adrenaline!
Below are the massage modalities offered through Bridge to Health by Brittany Craven LMT. She has 7 years of active experience and has put together this information to educate clients and readers about therapeutic massage modalities, which therapies are best for your needs and how to know whether the therapist you are choosing is qualified. Regulations for training in massage therapy have expanded in the past twenty years, most states and some cities require licensing and certain levels of certification. Organizations such as ABMP & NCBTMB help ensure standards of practice throughout the profession.
Having a short conversation with the therapist before making your initial appointment is crucial. It's your opportunity to ask about their credentials, training and years of experience. Additionally it is recommended that you check out their website and reviews. Bridge to Health offers a Free Fifteen Minute Consult for all clients. This allows you to get to know the therapist and allows them to make recommendations based on your symptoms or needs.
The massage session will/should focus on your major areas of concern. A well trained therapist will also allow time to round out your session with other complementary modalities.
Conditions which will benefit from therapeutic massage modalities are:
Therapeutic massage differs from "spa like" massages in that they are specifically targeted to relieve pain and bring improvement to the acute or chronic issues that arise in the body of almost everyone at some time.
Spa massages generally are high in the "feel so good" response. They are relaxing and indulgent, but are not the best choice for those with chronic or acute pain, or other health issues. Practitioners of quality pamper who offer spa like sessions are providing a level of relaxation on the level of a mini-vacation. Sessions with an excellent relaxation massage therapist are a delight to the senses and will leave you smiling!
However, a massage therapist whose practice focus is to lead you into sustainable relief from pain, stress or other concerns, will provide the "feel good" response and sustainable relief leading to facilitation of healing potential. The modalities listed below can be integrated into therapeutic massage sessions.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage:
The lymphatic system cycles fluids with toxins from our tissues and intestines, it is a key component of the immune system
Similar to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels that transport lymph fluid and pathogen fighting cells to the tissues of the body. However, it does not have a heart to pump it so it requires movement in order to flow properly.
Lymph vessels are very thin so it is easy for them to become partially clogged by dead cells and proteins or constricted by surrounding connective tissue tensions. For lymphatic drainage, gentle techniques are applied to release tissue tension to encourage lymph fluids to release clearing the internal clogs.
The intestinal lymphatic system serves vital functions in the regulation of tissue fluid homeostasis, immune surveillance, and the transport of nutrients, and conversely this system is affected by, and directly contributes to disease processes within the intestine. Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Visceral Manipulation work well together to improve overall immunity and fluid clearing.
Most people are unaware of the invaluable healing support massage modalities can offer, Visceral Manipulation is a key therapy to alleviate and in many cases promote a cure for many symptoms of the gut as well as improving function of the internal organs of the abdomen.
Visceral manipulation focuses on the internal organs in the abdomen and their interdependent relationship. Physical and emotional traumas such as car accidents, injuries, grief, PTSD and even everyday stressors can cause the tissues in the gut to constrict and twist in a pattern referred to as chronic holding. These restrictions will interfere with the movement of the stomach and bowels leading to conditions like heartburn, bloating, GERD, constipation, intestinal torsion (volvulus), and symptoms of IBS. For more information on the benefits of visceral manipulation visit this article, "Trust your Gut" from the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
Level of pressure is guided by the client with the intention of gradually being able to move deeper into the abdomen to maximize benefits. Feedback from the client is crucial in all modalities, especially visceral manipulation.
Myo...latin derivation for muscle, fascial...the fascia tissue of the body.
Fascia is an network of tissue that runs throughout the entire body. it is interconnected through every cell, organ, and body cavities. You could remove all the bones, organs and muscles leaving only the fascia and your body would still be the shape it is now. The fascia is the amazing organ that literally holds you together!
Fascia can become injured, dehydrated or restricted. Causes of fascial restriction are numerous, but can be boiled down to injuries, repetitive movements (tennis elbow, etc..), poor workplace ergonomics, surgeries, scar tissue and emotional trauma which can also develop into chronic holding.
An example of chronic holding is finding yourself clenching your jaw...holding your breath, shoulders are up to your ears...everyday stresses of life tend to produce chronic holding as does lifetime traumas or abuse. This holding causes the restriction in the fascia, reduces the flow of blood and lymph leading to chronic pain anywhere in the body.
MFR is the "king" of pain relief modalities and is recognized by many professionals and researchers as highly effective. In addition to being effective for a wide variety of issues, a good therapist will also give you "homework" in the form of self treatment options to further promote healing. This modality is most effective when sessions are frequent and close together.
Pioneered by Osteopathic Physician, John E. Upledger, during his tenure years at Michigan State University where he served as professor of bio-mechanics. He developed the foundational techniques of Cranio-Sacral Therapy used today.
During CST treatment the therapist evaluates and enhances the functioning of what is called the cranio-sacral system. This system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using these techniques practitioners release tension and restrictions in the cranio-sacral system allowing the body to relax and self correct, freeing the central nervous system to perform at it’s best. A truly unique experience this modality produces sustainable relief and a high level of something more than relaxation....it is somewhat indescribable when done with a well experienced therapist.
Reflexology and Trigger Point Therapy
Reflexology and trigger point therapies are similar and yet different. Reflexology focuses on the areas of the body that are junction points for the energetic meridians of the body. This therapy is applied primarily to the feet and hands, but is also used on other parts of the body especially along the neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Similar to acupressure the goal is to relieve congested energy improving the flow of chi or energy in the body system.
Trigger point therapy consists of the practitioner focusing on "hot spots" in the body, commonly referred to as trigger points. Pressure is applied to these painful, sensitive areas in order to alleviate the pain. Active trigger points can cause what is called "referred pain", meaning the constriction at the trigger point may be responsible for pain in other parts of the body. This brings us back to the fascia....restrictions in one part of the body can cause pain in another part of the body!
The therapist finds and applies pressure at painful trigger points which will relax the muscle and affected tissues.
When pressure is applied on the trigger point, it may cause discomfort, though it does sometimes produce the odd effect "it hurts so good"!
This modality is especially helpful for clients who suffer with "range of motion" issues due to injuries, lack of exercise, too much intense exercise or age related to limited movement capability.
During a session of therapeutic stretching the practitioner will initially assess the clients needs and work progressively on the areas of greatest concern.
As with MFR this modality becomes more effective when sessions are regular and clients continue to support the session work by doing recommended practices at home between sessions.
The relief that comes from having someone else stretch you out is amazing! The therapist is able to help you make gains in flexibility and improved range of motion that might not otherwise be possible for you to do on your own. The goal with therapeutic stretching is restoration of movement and improved overall flexibility.
Chronic constipation is nearly the norm in modern societies.
But, what exactly is constipation...how do we define it?
con·sti·pa·tion| ˌkänstəˈpāSH(ə)n | noun
* A condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened feces.
* A high level of constraint or restriction; a pronounced lack of ease.
Constipation is defined by transit time. Essentially from the time you ingest food until it comes out as stoll should ideally be within 24- 48 hours. Anything longer than that and you are constipated. See the PDF below for a test to determine your transit time.
Chronic constipation effects more than 20% of the US populations and is as common in children, teens adults and the elderly. For those who care for the elderly it is critical to pay daily attention to their bowel functions and seek professional help from someone who can bring a healthy solution to the problem.
In my practice I have seen that MD's and Emergency Rooms are not equipped with a proper understanding to solve impaction or chronic constipation. They often recommend products that will cause the colon to balloon above the impaction with disastrous results! Bridge to Health offers Emergency Colonic Sessions for situations in which a client is impacted.
Why is constipation a problem.....
Those who suffer from chronic constipation experience these common symptoms...
What are the causes of chronic constipation?
Is it possible to reverse chronic constipation?
Yes, but with all things related to the manifestation of symptoms, we must first be willing to understand that the symptom is the body talking to you....what is your body saying it needs? Just what does it need? The answers can be very individual, but there are tendencies and patterns that I often see in my Wellness and Colon Hydrotherapy practices.
What will help alleviate Chronic Constipation?
Bridge to Health offers the Online Chronic Constipation Relief Protocol as a support for anyone determined to overcome chronic constipation. If you are uncertain whether or not your constipation issue is chronic, schedule a Free Fifteen Minute Wellness Consult with Vanessa Goldeen Certified Wellness Consultant and I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist.
This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition
My interest in educating you about artificial sweeteners is a subject of a recent recovery success story in my practice and..... a painful story with a sad ending from my younger days.
My closest and dearest friend was an artificial sweetener junkie. Back then it was saccharin which was a trade name for a chemical, benzoic sulfimide. (if you follow this link you'll see who supports it's continued use...these same organization encourage the use of other non-foods as healthy for humans). Sodium saccharin is an artificial sweetener with effectively no food energy. It is 300–400 times as sweet as sucrose with bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. Saccharin was used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, cookies, and medicines. One of the principle reason soft drinks use artificial sweeteners...is that they have a low volume. Meaning they can add more water and make more money, sugar takes up too much room!
Now that was back in the early 70's...a clue to my age and experience. I started studying Chinese Medicine in my 20's as a hobby and had always been a closeted science geek. I knew that saccharin was not a good idea. There had been a number studies demonstrating that it clearly caused bladder cancer in animals who were feed drinks containing this potent artificial sweetener.
Over the years I encouraged my friend to STOP using that S#%T. She would wave her hand and tell me in her kindest words that I was a somewhat neurotic health nut!
Because of my interest in natural lifestyle and healthier diet! I was a weirdo to most of my friends, bless them!!
She continued to use saccharine until it was discontinued. Switching to Equal, Sweet & Low, Not that the new alternatives were any better. She found herself gaining more and more weight...which was a result of the way the body processes artificial sweeteners. By the time we were in our late 30's I received sad news from her that she had been diagnosed with cancer. It had gone undiagnosed for some time so she was at stage 3. The cancer had started in her BLADDER.....remember those rats! It spread and she died within a year. Her passing shook all of us, friends and family.
It pains me when I think of how many people, wave their hands and dismiss what is only common sense.
ANYTHING TOO FAR FROM NATURE TO WORK WITH THE BODY'S NATURAL PROCESSING MECHANISMS AND WILL CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE LIVER KIDNEYS AND GUT FUNCTIONS. IT'S A RULE!!
Now, to the present. A client recently came to see me because in spite of the fact that she is only in her early 30's she had presented with elevated liver enzymes and evidence of a fatty liver. She came to me as recommended by a close friend who thought I might be able to help her. Remember, I said I am a science geek, so the first thing I do is a little detective work. I immediately researched issues relating to fatty liver in individuals who do not fit the usual profile. She didn't drink other than occasionally, her diet was fairly healthy and she was not a big junk food eater and fairly active...the most common factor in fatty liver disease in alcohol and poor diet.
Upon reviewing her intake info I discovered that she had been eating a protein drink product "Gold Standard Whey" chocolate flavor for at least the past 3, maybe up to 5 years. This product contains acesulfame whose sweetening effect is even higher than saccharine. Acesulfame is currently being studied as it is implicated that is may be causing liver damage! Additionally she was taking inorganic vitamin supplements, an iron supplement and had occasional IV nutrient infusions to boost her energy and detox her body. All of which also may cause liver damage. IV nutrition has been widely used in hospitals, but recent studies indicate long term use of IV infusions are leading to liver damage. IV infusions are a popular fad these days...we'll be reporting more on this in future blogs.
I set her up with a liver restoring protocols, she began a series of colonics to push the detox, and is also having regular Chi Nei Tsang sessions to help improve her biological functions, increasing serotonin and reducing adrenaline...the true secret to real health! After only 2 months she present her last liver enzyme test to me and her test ratios where nearly normal. Her doctor was AMAZED, stating that she "had rarely ever seen anyone reverse in this way and certainly not this quickly". My client has been diligent and dedicated as her serious health risk threatened everything that means the most to her...her family!
A little note about liver enzymes....
The liver is a powerful organ, able to be restored to healthy function and is highly resilient when you provide it what it needs!
The Bridge to Health Winter Detox focuses on liver health. Look for our upcoming Liver Restoration Protocol which will guide you through all facets of improving liver function. All the BTH Protocols give you access to questions and answer via our members only Protocol Forum...is like having a Certified Wellness Consultant in your pocket...ie, your phone!
The label above doesn't say artificial sweetener. Many of the foods you may be eating daily could contain artificial sweeteners. Unless you know that acesulfame is what it is, you wouldn't recognize it.
They are added to foods such as...
Here's a few more facts about artificial sweeteners....
The following links support evidence that artificial sweeteners.
* Acesulfame potassium affects the gut microbiome and body weight gain.
*Aspartame intake causes changes in the trans-sulphuration pathway, glutathione depletion & liver damage
LEARN MORE ABOUT STAYING HEALTHY SUBSCRIBE TO THE BTH WELLNESS & RECIPE BLOG
Having had a recent exposure to Covid at the Bridge to Health office we have decided to post this blog to help clients understand more about when and when not to come in for appointments.
The client thought their symptoms of LOSS OF TASTE AND SMELL were associated with allergies...
In truth this client was four days into a case of COVID and tested positive the next day!
Every person with active symptoms can expose many others who will then pass it on to their families, friend and co-workers. Many of those can be elderly, immune compromised or young children.
Refer to the chart above for a better understanding of symptoms associated with Covid.
FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES AND PASS THEM, NOT THE COVID, ONTO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO AN ACTIVE CASE.....
So I hope you are all getting the import here....get tested regularly, use your commonsense and focus on building your immunity and your consciousness in order to help yourself and others! Below is a chart showing the most common symptoms of Covid.
As a I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist I often recommend clients undertake a series of sessions close together.
This is not a "sales pitch" but a recommendation that enables the colon to be cleansed of accumulated biofilms, bacteria and older hardened stools. Additionally colonics help relieve constipation, strengthen the colon and improve peristaltic motion. The detoxification from one colonic equals three days of fasting. As a Certified Wellness Consultant, cleansing the colon is the first recommendation I make for those interested in restoring or improving their health. Our motto..."A Commonsense Approach to Wellness"!
Let's break this down......
Biofilm, what is it? and why should I be concerned about it?
How do we get biofilms in the first place?
The long and the short of it is biofilms harbor bacteria of all sorts, lyme, E-coli.....on and on, as well as parasites. These bacteria disrupt the immune system and rob your body of nutrients to support their growth.
A series of colonics is like soaking a crusty casserole dish in hot soapy water.....the more often the sessions, the closer together in combination with dietary recommendation and certain super foods that help break down these films, you will begin to see a wide variety of mucoid biofilm plaques loosen from the colon tract and flow out of the body!
After completing 6-12 sessions over 1-2 months a maintenance program of 1 colonic per month will ensure along with dietary changes, that your colon will be free of the mucoid biofilms. Learn more go to the Colonics link
Improving constipation and colon motility
How does a colonic detoxify the body...
To summarize....Your colon is the most amazing organ in your body!
Learn more about your colon:
Wikipedia, ER Services, The Second Brain, Michael D. Gershon MD
Transformation of Eli - LOVE in Action, Vanessa Goldeen 2015
Upon reflection of the why I am setting about to do the work I am doing in this field of health and healing where there appears to be so many voices one could listen to....what do I have to say that's different, new or supremely useful?
Meditating on these questions has given me the opportunity to clarify my purpose. Which I can sum up in one word.....
It is my belief that I have arrived at a certain wisdom founded in love that is useful to others. It is my heart felt intention to share this wisdom whether esoteric or practical in application to help meet the needs who are trying to find their way through the maze of chronic illness.
I myself have experienced being down the rabbit hole of chronic illness in my life. Through the circumstances of my life I have been led, in part by necessity to choose to find my own way out of that hole. I was young, on my own and did not insurance for health care, which meant seeing doctors was out. Additionally I had had so many negative experiences with MD's who simply were not listening to me or could not admit they had no answers, so I just stop going in that direction.
Being a little Hippy Girl, I was already turned onto whole foods and detoxing. This gave me a foundation to expand my knowledge beyond support through food, to herbs and other healing modalities. I avidly studied Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Louise Hay, the famous 12 Steps and more. I explored health and wellness through every avenue I could find!
I began early on to understand that folks who become ill usually have a crisis of sorts proceeding their decline. It may have been dramatic or subtle. A broken heart, a stressful work of home situation. Happiness falling into your lap as it did in my case.
I suffered a major set back within weeks of marrying my husband and love of my life, David. With all the layers of heartache and trauma I had experienced in my life previous to this, my body literally could not contain the joy! Mold found me and took me down. For the second time in my life I was back in the rabbit hole after having gotten myself out once before. Initially it took awhile to narrow down what was happening, but through prayer and perseverance it became clear I was reacting to high levels of mold on the Central Coast of CA. I'll post that story later in an upcoming Mold Recovery Post!
Over the past 20 years I have been able to pull together all my research, wisdom and experience into what I believe are key foundational requirements for anyone with chronic illness to move toward recovery. These components take into account the "whole person" and reach into every corner of your heart to help you find the courage to ask for and find the help you need.
It is my sincerest desire to share this wisdom with others, because I have learned that LOVE never fails! When you are willing to make changes, stick to protocols, learn the think in a new way in your heart and have faith to believe that what has gone awry can be reversed and that health and happiness can be restored, that's LOVE and Faith in action!
The concept of adaptogens was originally created in 1947 to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress. Adaptogenesis was later applied in the former Soviet Union to describe remedies thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stress. Another definition for an herb to be considered an adaptogen requires that it must be nontoxic, nonspecific, and thought to affect physiology of the organism. Wikipedia - Support Wikipedia
There has been debate among the scientific and medical community for many years over the proof that these herbs and super foods have any true benefit. The problem of proof arises when we fail to understand that the forms of medicine from which the knowledge to these herbs are based on observational study over 1,000's of years! In Asia, the Middle East, South America and Europe plant based medicine has been refined and adapted for generations and generations.
We forget that previous to the "scientific age" all knowledge was past down orally or in written form from one healer to another. It is through this long chain of experience that we have come to know about the power of these plants. So, I am not going to offer proof per se, however at the bottom of this post you will find some research links because we are now entering a new age of reason and commonsense. Researches are, more than ever interested in unlocking the ancient knowledge and wisdom of letting food, ie plants, be thy medicine!
Below you will find the tried and true adaptogens for immunity and stress. For questions about how you can personally integrate these plant based therapies into your regime you may want to seek advice and guidance form a Wellness Consultant, ND, Herbalist or Chinese Medical Doctor or Acupuncturist.
Adaptogens take time to create change, they are meant to be used as a tonic on a daily basis over a period of time. It is also advisable to take breaks, allowing the body to integrate. This break taking will be a new post in the near future. Many people who have been chronically ill are feed up with protocols for good reason. Taking breaks is VERY IMPORTANT!
Immunity Boosting Adaptogens
Cordyceps - Cordyceps sinensis
This is the funniest looking fungi. Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects. When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long, slender stems that grow outside the host’s body.
Cordyceps increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), essential for delivering energy to the muscles improving the way your body uses oxygen,
Cordyceps and the following fungi, Reishi are often paired together in capsule form.
See below for sources for these adaptogens.
Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum
One of the most important effects of the reishi mushroom is that it boosts immunity
This fungus has potential cancer-fighting properties. Helps with fatigue and depression by improving overall cellular function at the mitochondrial level, the power plant of your cells.
It's also good for the brain and is currently being researched as a possible aid for those suffering from neurological disorders.
In addition to all that goodness, it support regeneration of the liver improving the ability to capture and release toxic byproducts from the blood.
Eleuthero - Eleutherococcus senticosus
The main active agents in Panax ginseng are ginsenosides, which are triterpene saponins. Beneficial effects include anti-inflammation, antioxidant. As well as inhibiting cancer growth. Clinical studies indicate that ginseng improves psychologic function, improving depression symptoms and elevating mood. Additionally ginseng helps regulate blood sugar, beneficial to those who may be borderline diabetic.
It is generally well tolerated, but there can be contraindication to take in consideration. In particular it may interact with warfarin, oral hypoglycemic meds, insulin and phenelzine.
It is advisable to consult with you health care practitioner and your medical doctor before adding this to you protocol. Maximum time to use 3 -4 month, then take a break and return to it if needed.
Adaptogens for Stress & Mood
Holy Basil - Ocimum tenuiflorum
Is an aromatic perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics.
Holy Basil maintains equilibrium among biochemicals associated with the stress system in the body. Ursolic, Rosmarinic acids and Eugenol have all shown antioxidant activity and support normal levels of inflammation.
Highly revered in Ayurvedic Medicine, Holy Basil is the calm the F%@& - down herb! Taken as a tonic herb it supports the nervous system by reducing ennevation.. overstressed nerves! Jangled and overwhelmed feelings indicate the use of Holy Basil.
Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera
Studies have shown that ashwagandha helps modulate the stress response of cortisol secretion. Cortisol is a "stress hormone" secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. With prolonged stress cortisol levels become chronically elevated, leading to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.
Studies of chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared to a control group. Those taking the highest dose had a 30% reduction, on average.
Ashwagandha is best taken as a tonic over a longer period of time to produce the most benefit.
Rhodiola - Rhodiola rosea
90 Rhodiola species exist world wide (55 of which are found in China, and 30 of which can be found in Tibet) all of which resemble sedum (Sedum sp.), the popular garden ornamental, and are members of the Crassulaceae family. Both of these genera are often referred to as 'stonecrops' due to their ability to survive in dry rocky areas.
In Chinese medicine plants medicinal qualities are often linked to their survival habits. This wonderful herb can survive almost anywhere. It is tenacious and can out last any stress. What it is able to do in nature, it will do for you.
Together these three herbs have been the best source of support for me in times of unrelenting stress!
Daily Stress Balance - Herb Pharm. Supplies all three stress adaptogens in one formula, along with ginseng. Dosages are moderate making it useable for a good long time to get the benefits. Use as directed
Andrena Soothe - Herb Pharm is another good option, combining reishi and ashwagandha. Use as directed
CordyChi - Host Defense. A simply blend of just these two potent healers cordyceps and reishi. Start with one cap two to three times per day.
NCBI & National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health
FDA Warning: This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition
You may be asking yourself what is this all about?
The pineal gland is a central player in the endocrine system. When the endocrine system is humming along and all playing well with each other, we experience optimum health. We have vitality and energy, we are able to sleep soundly and get good sleep consistently.
This pea sized gland is responsible for the production of serotonin a neurotransmitter essential to maintain a sense of wellbeing and joyfulness. It is an antagonist to adrenaline. In our modern life we have become overstimulated and produce high amounts of adrenaline which is at the root of many of our health problems. Insomnia, stress related conditions such as heart palpitations, panic disorders, rashes, learning disorders, depression and much more.
The effects of too much adrenaline.
It is the syndrome effect of too much adrenaline that sets folks on a downhill slide into deeper health issues. Lack of sleep alone is enough to breakdown one's health and wellbeing. It is during the sleep cycles that our bodies repair and restore. We also work out our emotional and psychological struggles during the deeper dream states of sleep.
The pineal gland's important serotonin production during waking hours converts to melatonin as night falls. Melatonin is the lullaby that winds us down for sleeping. Without adequate serotonin, sleep will be disturbed and irregular. Over time we become walking zombies! Lacking the uplift of serotonin we do not have the energy or inclination to exercise, get out into nature, take in the sun or prepare ourselves healthy nourishing meals.
So, we see the pineal gland is key to health.
The pineal gland is naturally stimulated with light. It is also stimulated when we find the meditative state. This does not necessarily mean meditation in sitting for hours trying to be still and allowing our thoughts to subside, although this is an excellent practice. There are many forms of meditation to be found within our daily activities, painting, even a fence, drawing, riding a bike, going for a walk or run, just sitting and enjoying the day go by in the fresh air and sunshine is meditative. This recent scientific abstract from MDPI and independant peer reviewed journal of chemistry offers insight into the effects of pineal calcification and the reversal of this process.
"Pineal Calcification, Melatonin Production, Aging, Associated Health Consequences & Rejuvenation of the Pineal Gland"
Chi Nei Tsang a healing modality of applied Chi Kung, focuses on improving endocrine function. As a regular part of my practice as a Chi Nei Tsang therapist my #1 homework assignment for clients is to begin a regular practice of sun gazing which stimulates the pineal gland to increase serotonin. When we look up to the sun with eyes closed, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominate as the pupils contract. The optic nerve carries the light stimulation directly to the pineal gland and stimulates the production of the much needed serotonin.
However, not all clients are compliant! This has lead me to look for ways to jump start the activation of the pineal gland. In the process I have learned that when this small gland is not properly stimulated calcification can result. This calcification rendures the pineal gland ineffective and leads to chronic states of ill health. Recent research indicates the pineal gland can be restored through the use of light therapies and brain entrainment modalities.
This abstract, "Illumination Rationale and Uses for Light Therapy", from Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine offers further insights.
The truth is therapeutic devices have their limitations, ultimately health is restored and maintained through consistent daily habits that promote vitality and the joy of living!
It is important to understand that nothing beats the real thing SUN GAZING, which improves health in so many ways. It is the most powerful way to improve sleep, mood and restore health. Sun gazing, with eyes closed causes the pupils to contract to their smallest aperture. This contraction signals the nervous system to drop out of sympathetic response into the parasympathetic state...this is the calm and relaxed state. Additionally the light that enters through the eye lids travels through the optic nerve and gently stimulates the pineal gland indusing it to begin producing serotonin. At night when the evening begins to fall, your body then turns the serotonin magically into melatonin... the "make you sleepy" neurotransmitter.
Additionally moderate daily exposure to the sun for as little as 20 minutes will stimulate the skin to produce Vitamin D, which most people shower off daily...that's a whole other blog. The bottom line, get out in the fresh air, develop a practice of regular sun gazing ...you'll be amazed at the transformation...common sense health care!
Within our practice Bridge to Health, a Commonsense approach to Wellness, we offer,
Detox, Purify, Support, Heart & Unwind these modalities have proven to work synchronistically to support clients who are truly seeking a restoration or improvement of their health!
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