FIGHTING AGE RELATED IMMUNE DECLINE: Implementing strategies to keep you protected.

Immune decline

It has long been accepted that as people age, their immune systems decline. Your thymus gland, the small organ behind your breast bone, plays an important role in the immune and endocrine system. According to medical science the thymus gland starts to atrophy during puberty, and also sometimes due to extreme stress. In spite of the atrophy, it generally continues to play an immune roll in a healthy individual; still training T lymphocytes to fight infection and cancer for your lifetime. As you age you have fewer immune cells, and the ones you do have, don’t communicate with each other as well as they did when you were younger. That means they take longer to react to harmful germs, viruses and to heal from injury. Research reports that this deficiency also impacts whether or not a vaccine will be effective; “B lymphocyte deficiencies have been found which contribute to lower vaccine response in the elderly as well as in some younger individuals”.

Watching the daily news reports highlight the vulnerability of seniors and the immune compromised to viruses, in particular to the current ‘pandemic’. Despite being a healthy senior, I like many older people, feel vulnerable. If I contracted the virus and suffered respiratory complications; my life, as I had it planned out, might take an unscheduled turn. I will continue to heed research based information on protecting and maintaining a healthy immune system as I continue to age, as well as, follow government recommendations for health protection.

Our Canadian government and healthcare system are doing an excellent job at protecting the senior and immune compromised population with the recent measures implemented; and with everyone’s cooperation, these measures should be enough to keep everyone safe. Please follow the World Health Organization recommendations for coronavirus protection at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019, your important first step to immune protection.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIGHT AGE RELATED IMMUNE DECLINE?

Modifications and supports:

According to research, you can reverse thymic atrophy, rejuvenating immune system responses. A Springer Link research article titled Reversing the immune ageing clock: lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions, indicates that  you can fight your ‘forcasted’ immune decline. Below are a few summarized points from the research. Visit the link to read the research – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10522-018-9771-7

• high levels of physical activity in adulthood have a beneficial effect on thymic output
• optimal nutrition is an important determinant of healthy ageing and plays a significant role in maintaining healthy immune function
• zinc found in shellfish, meat, nuts, seeds, beans, nutritional yeast and wheat germ is a trace element required for multiple immune cell tasks
• reservatol found in red grapes, peanuts and berries, has immune modulating (enhancing) effects
• a wide range of pharmacological agents with anti-immunesenescence (anti-immune decline) properties have been identified

“Growing evidence” reported in the Frontiers of Immunology, Nutritional Immunology article “It is increasingly recognized that nutrient intake, above what is currently recommended, may beneficially affect immune function, modulate chronic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, and decrease infection risk. This includes both macronutrients (lipids such as n-3 PUFA) and micronutrients (zinc, vitamin D and vitamin E), in addition to phytochemicals and functional foods (probiotics and green tea). Many of these nutritive and non-nutritive food components are related in their functions to maintain or improve immune function including inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators, promotion of anti-inflammatory functions, modulation of cell-mediated immunity, alteration of APC function, and communication between the innate and adaptive immune systems.”

Nutrition/Diet:

The immune system has many protective and signalling functions which require an adequate availability of micronutrients to maintain a healthy immune response.  Diet deficiencies of many of these necessary micronutrients are often found in the elderly and immune compromised. The Nutri-Facts article titled Micronutrients and the immune system states “The nutrients collaborate and complement each other in the diverse processes of the immune system”. Homemade soups with a large variety of quality ingredients are an excellent way to get a diverse array of immune supporting micronutrients.

According to the Frontiers in Immunology article Immunosenescence (immune decline) and Its Hallmarks: How to Oppose Aging Strategically, “The close connection between nutrition, intake of bioactive nutrients and supplements, immune function, and inflammation demonstrate the key role of dietary strategies as regulators of immune response and inflammatory status, hence as possible modulators of the rate of immunosenescence. The link between aging and disease is in part a reflection of the functional changes in the immune system of older people”. You can read more at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02247/full

The Blue Zones research article, Boost Your Energy and Immunity with These 13 Super “Blue” Foods,  reports that you can improve your immunity by making changes in your diet. A diet focused on beans, greens, sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, oats, barley, fruits, green or herb teas, turmeric, garlic, shitake mushrooms and goats milk; can boost your immunity. The Blue Zones Solution lays out a proven plan to maximize your health based on the practices of the world’s healthiest people. Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as blue zones—those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people. Visit the Blue Zones website to read more at https://www.bluezones.com/2020/03/boost-your-energy-and-immunity-with-these-13-super-blue-foods/.

Are you negatively affected by certain foods or  other triggers?  Determining the root cause of these can provide you with useful information, allowing you to avoid them and preventing risky immune system distractions.  THE WEAK LIST:  A Necessary Well-being & Protection Tool

Immunotoxicity:

Immunotoxicity is an ongoing challenge for all ages. Immunotoxicity is defined as adverse effects on the functioning of both local and systemic immune systems that result from exposure to toxic substances including chemical warfare agents. The personal care, home and garden products that we use daily come with potential immunotoxic challenges, disrupting the body’s natural and necessary immunosurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponses. Check out your personal health care products for their potential immunotoxicity ratings at the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database – https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/#.

Fragrance in personal care, laundry and household products also contain immunotoxic risks. Check out the Less Toxic Guide for recommendations for less toxic options for other products you regularly use – http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca/.

Workplace exposure to toxins can result in immunotoxicity. Environmental immunology has provided highly tangible benefits in the study of the immune system. The Research Gate article Occupational Immunotoxicology, states that “Occupational immune diseases are some of the most common illnesses that affect workers including inflammation, allergy, respiratory disease, autoimmunity, or other immune modulation resulting in suppression following exposure in the work environment”. Workplace protection for employees from toxins is an employer responsibility.

Stress, Stress Idling and Stress Sensitivity:

According to the Health Psychology Open article titled Psychological intervention based on psychoneuroimmunology; “Beliefs, attitudes, spirituality, and psychological perspectives can dramatically affect our health, disease course, and overall well-being. Psychological and social disorders are also capable of altering the immune system, which may influence vulnerability to the disease and its evolution.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444782/

Do you feel like you are stress idling? Are you sensitive to stress?  According to research reported by the American Psychological Association article Stress Weakens the Immune System, “Managing stress, especially chronic or long-term stress (even if it’s not intense), may help people to fight germs”.  Germs include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. The best action you can take to keep your immune system strong and able to handle ‘germs’, providing virus protection, is to manage your stress.

According to research “individuals who are sensitized to stress become so over time through repeated exposure to external, as well as endogenous, stressors.  As such, increasingly minor stressors maintain the disorder than were required to trigger its initial onset”. Being chronically stressed out and stress idling indicate that the body’s stress response is flawed. This can interfere with normal body functions including the necessary communication for accurate immunosurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponse.

Managing stress is a necessary ‘must do’ to ensure a healthy immune response.  Ensuring a healthy life balance through a more ‘health promoting’ priority list with stress management strategies is an important immune support for all ages, especially those who are elderly, immune compromised, stress idling or stress sensitive. From the American Institute of Stress article by Jim Porter, Are You Stress Sensitive, “My recommendation for stress sensitive people is to take up meditation. Meditation may actually help you rewire your nervous system. One study of mindfulness meditators (at the University of Wisconsin) showed that people who meditated for 30 minutes every day for 8 weeks were actually able to increase the size of their left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for happiness and contentment.” Learn more at STRESS:  A Modern Day Challenge -. http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1115.

Mindfulness and meditation:

Mindfulness and meditation have been researched for their immune system supporting benefits. According to a Research Gate article titled Meditation and Immune Function: “Practicing meditation has several benefits, including reducing the severity of psychological disorders and stress-related ailments, increasing immune function, and delaying the progression of various diseases. Researchers have found that Mindfulness Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and Qigong interventions have positive effects on individuals’ NK (natural killer) cell activity and proportions, B-lymphocyte numbers, and telomerase activity, while also keeping CD8+ T-cell numbers stable during times of high stress. In addition, meditation has also been shown to increase antibody response in people injected with the influenza vaccine. Similarly, HIV positive individuals practicing meditation showed increased T-cell and NK cell counts and NK cell activity, slowing the progression of the virus.” https://www.researchgate.net/…/329479535_Meditation_and_Imm… I listen to the Ultimate Zen Meditation playlist on Spotify for my meditation ‘time outs’ as well as silent meditation on, breathing, ‘peace’ and family.  The research based ‘ways to’ and ‘how to’ meditate suggestions on this Science of People post are helpful to get started.

Tai Chi:

According to a Harvard Health Publishing article titled Tai chi gives immune system a boost, “Tai chi might have a strong effect on the immune system because it manages to bring exercise, relaxation, and meditation together in “one behavioral intervention,” the researchers said. They theorized that tai chi enhances T cell activity by quieting the nervous system’s ‘fight or flight’ response, which can, in certain circumstances, interfere with the immune system.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/In_Brief_Tai_chi_gives_immune_system_a_boost

Yoga:

New research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine shows that yoga can boost your immune system, helping you fight off viruses and protect you from the damaging health consequences of chronic inflammation. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/urban-survival/201802/new-research-how-yoga-boosts-your-immune-system

Herbs:

Herbs have long been used to support immune system health. Immune stimulating herbs are recommended to be used short term to help you to resist infection and provide support when exposed to contagious illnesses. Immunomodulating herbs are slower acting, with a more prolonged, deep immune balancing, toning effect.

o Allium sativum – Garlic bulb
o Baptisia tinctoria – Wild Indigo, root
o Commiphora mol-mol – Myrrh, resin
o Echinacea spp. – Purple coneflower, root and seed
o Eupatorium perfoliatum – Boneset, leaves and flowers
o Sambucus canadensis and S. nigra – Elderberry, flowers and fruit
o Spilanthes acmella – Toothache plant, leaves and flowers
o Usnea spp. – Usnea lichen or old man’s beard, whole lichen body
o Zanthoxylum clava-herculis and Z. americanum – Toothache tree, bark
o Panax ginseng – root
o Siberian ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus – root
o Astragalus membranaceus – root
o Licorice root, Glycyrrhiza glabra L. – root
o Cat’s claw, Uncaria guianesis and U. tomentosa – root and stalk bark
o Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera – root

https://www.chestnutherbs.com, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1534735403256419, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/astragalus-membranaceus, https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/70/3/491s/4714940, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

Essential Oils:

Many essential oils support the immune system by either fortifying the immune response or eradicating bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. Essential oils have specific immune-strengthening properties: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. https://fullscript.com/blog/essential-oils-for-immune-health

• Eucalyptus – Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359267
• Frankincense – Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20696559
• Oregano – Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779581
• Thyme – Antibacterial and immunity enhancement properties of anaesthetic doses of thyme. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1018364713000918

The preceding information is just a small collection of strategies to get you started on fighting your ‘forcasted’ age related immune decline and immune vulnerability. Check with your regular healthcare provider before implementing changes in your healthcare supports, there may be contraindications due to age, medications or other factors. Do not stop taking your prescribed medication without consultation with your doctor.

For more health promoting strategies:

Follow my road map: http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=2774

My Green Medicine Cabinet: http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?page_id=2914

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.C., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

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SURVIVAL MANTRA: Words to get you through the hard times

flores-no-ceu-azulpdthriving

As the year wraps up and a new one approaches, taking stock can sometimes overwhelm us. In spite of what life has presented you this year, there are many strategies that can help you through the difficult moments and days. Creating a ‘survival’ mantra, words of encouragement can help you whenever you feel down or bad or hopeless. Referring to that mantra in times of need can be one of your ‘go to’ survival life lines. I have a book with a label on the front that I have written ‘Inspiration’. It is my ‘go to’ for pick me up words of encouragement when I need them. In my book I have a collection of words from the many inspirational books that I have read.

Inspiration

In Hinduism a mantra is a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer. Mantras can be simple or melodic phrases with spiritual interpretations such as a human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge, and action.[3][11] Some mantras without literal meaning are musically uplifting and spiritually meaningful.[6]  

If you find yourself in need of a ‘life line’ on your challenging days, I recommend that you start collecting inspirational phrases from books, social media and magazines and create your own personal ‘pick you up’ self-help mantra. The mantra below is the one that I created as this challenging year comes to an end. I choose to thrive in spite of everything!

Thriving In Spite of Everything

I am human,

Imperfect as all humans are,

Not created to be a robot,

That functions perfectly.

I come with many flaws,

Prompting daily maintenance,

To restore God’s original defaults,

In keeping with His human creation plan.

I am human,

I reluctantly embrace my inborn potential

For imperfection,

While honouring my

God given innate goodness.

Seeing with gratitude daily,

A human more full

Than empty of good.

I am human,

A work in progress,

Making time ongoing,

To create a better, healthier version of me,

Utilizing my ‘creator installed’ amazing abilities

And quality self-care,

To honour my maker with my efforts

As an ‘unfinished work’.

I am human,

I will not be defeated by what knocks me down.

I will get back up,

Staying on my path to thrive in my beautiful life.

                                                           Elisabeth Hines

EMERGENCY & TRAVEL PREPAREDNESS: Naturally Ready for the Unexpected

Emergency Preparedness Hawaii

T’is the season for mingling and the many unwelcome tag along guests that come along for the ride.  Being prepared for health emergencies is always important.  We are all ‘a work in progress’ on our own unique well-being path. A strong immune system and ‘stress free’ state of readiness would be ideal, but is not always possible in our busy lives.  Good nutrition, adequate rest, life balance and quality self care are essential for health emergency preparedness and maintaining good health on a daily basis.  Whenever I am travelling I initiate virus preparedness protocols to be ready for any viruses I encounter at airports and on flights. Scroll down the page to learn how I prepare.

To stay up to date on virus concerns for travelers visit your local public health department and the World Health Organization websites.

Long wait times for appointments and treatments, and drug shortages and unavailability may require some self-help strategies for pain and inflammation management, virus and bacteria solutions, stress management and yet undiagnosed symptoms and conditions.

Besides the usual recommended emergency preparedness items you can add:

  • Self-help strategies and tools found in The Whole Person Well-being Equation
      • Clear and concise information on how to investigate and promote the elimination of your symptoms

      • Detailed strategies for eliminating body pollution, body detoxification aids for specific types of environmental toxins, detoxifying foods and recipes, herbal detoxification bath recipe for full body detoxification using the body’s largest organ – the skin

      • Self-help therapies and tools to improve your health

      • How to use your brain’s operating system for improved health

      • How to redefine your definition of ‘possible’ for improved well-being

      • How to identify and eliminate limiting thinking and beliefs for improved well-being

      • How the mind/body connection and research prove the power of visualization

      • How to use visualization to improve your health

      • 40 general body scan visualizations that can improve your health

      • 18 customized body scan visualizations to fight diseases and cancer

      • How to customize visualizations to fight disease and cancer using a diagnosis, prognosis and information from questions you ask your doctor

      • How to customize visualization equations to eliminate unwanted habits and associations

      • How to customize affirmations for improved well-being

      • How to use specific foods to repair DNA damage

      • How to rejuvenate your body using foods

      • How to rejuvenate your body and stack your well-being odds regardless of your environments

      • How to tap into your body’s natural ‘fountain of youth’

      • Renewed hope that you can become symptom free and regain your health

      • Muscle response testing for health protection instructions – learn the basics to protect you from offending foods and harmful substances (a variety of discreet methods you can use while shopping before you buy). If you are inhaling, absorbing or consuming multiple substances daily that weaken you or cause irritation, inflammation or interference; your immune and other systems can be compromised, interfering with your body’s ability to fight illness and disease.

      • How to focus your body’s natural identification, awareness, understanding, knowledge, belief, responding, healing and protection mechanisms using self-help therapies. These abilities can be compromised in persons with conditions (e.g. MCS), diseases and cancers.

      • Get your copy of The Whole Person Well-being Equation today, a packed DIY self-help guide to wellness and health protection.

Ebook Cover New_1-1

  • Green healthcare supports to help you naturally manage unwelcome and unexpected viruses and bacteria and ride life, holiday and travel roller coaster challenges.

greenhealthcare

balance test

Have you noticed that there are times when you feel sudden weakness or nausea, your balance is altered or one side of your body is weaker than the other side?  Are there times when all of a sudden you feel faint or your brain chemistry has been ‘knocked off’ of its normal balance? Muscle response testing is a form of neuromuscularbiofeedback, an applied kinesiology biofeedback testing method.  It uses feedback from the body and brain (your virtual black box) as information.  Other forms of biofeedback include taking a pulse, taking a blood pressure and listening to the heart with a stethoscope.” In the 1950s, Dr. Arthur Coca identified that his wife’s heart rate would increase if she ate a food that provoked an inappropriate or allergic response. This was, as Dr. Coca put it, ‘accidentally acquired knowledge’ which he then applied to patients as well as his wife. The results were very effective and consistent.”  Similarly muscle response testing provides information about foods and substances ingested, inhaled and applied to the body as well as environmental factors including stressors. Anything can cause disruption to the natural communication and function within your body.  Learning how to read your body’s responses after exposure to suspected causes can provide you with health protection. A daily dose of accumulated ‘balance disruptors’ can seriously interfere with the body’s normal healthy required communication and function, compromising physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  Learn how to protect your health by paying attention to your body’s responses.

MY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PACKING: 

My travel ready backpack will include a variety of easy to pack essential oils for emergency readiness, a diffuser, personal inhalers, carrier oil and empty capsules.  I have a ready to spray, non toxic hand sanitizer with a mix of protective oils with me wherever I go:

  • pain and inflammation – frankincense, turmeric, marjoram, lavender (I put a combination of frankincense, turmeric and marjoram in a capsule to manage inflammation and pain. I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC neurologic and inflammatory protocols when needed)
  • virus and bacteria readiness – oregano, thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove, rosemary, tea tree ( I put a combination of protective oils in a capsule before social gatherings and boarding a plane.  I add several drops to the wick in a personal inhaler and a hand sanitizer spray bottle for easy use while travelling.  I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC infectious protocol when needed.) Face masks can provide a layer of protection from all viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend that people in the U.S. wear face masks in public to prevent infection. Proper and regular hand washing and covered coughing are important protection strategies. The CDC has issued guidelines on two different kinds of face masks — surgical masks and N95 respirators — which are commonly worn by health care professionals and those who are already sick.
  • stress management – lavender, marjoram, Siberian fir, wild orange (I use these oils in my diffuser and the lavender and marjoram on my reflexology points, pulse points on the neck, wherever I feel tension and on my inner wrists and ankles. I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC emotional protocol when needed)
  • digestive upsets – digestive blend of Anise Seed, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Rhizome/Root, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon Plant, and Fennel Seed essential oils. ( I use this blend with a carrier oil and massage in clockwise circles on my abdomen for digestive system upsets.  The SOC digestive protocol, applied to the spine provides further relief when needed)

Get started on packing these emergency preparedness essential oils!

A ‘ready for the unexpected’ backpack with a copy of The Whole Person Well-being Equation book and a selection of the oils listed would make a great ‘green gift’ for a loved one!

Adding in more mind body and natural strategies to your emergency and holiday preparedness can help fight climate change, by reducing your environmental footprint!

If you would like help getting started on your natural emergency preparedness contact me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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GREEN HEALTHCARE: Healthy for You and Healthy for the Planet

greenhealthcare

With the overwhelming focus on fighting climate change it can be a challenge to feel empowered.  There are many decisions we can make and actions we take on a daily basis that can protect the environment, fight climate change and create a green legacy.

greenfirstaid

There are many ‘green’ healthcare options that can help you to protect the planet, fight climate change and alleviate your symptoms without unwanted side effects.  Below is a short list:

  • meditation
  • visualization (find out how to customize body scan visualizations using your diagnosis and test results)
  • breathing techniques
  • tapping techniques
  • affirmations
  • mantras
  • prayer
  • mindfulness
  • yoga
  • tai chi
  • walking
  • exercise
  • nature
  • super foods
  • herbs (fresh or dried) – no processing, added ingredients or excess packaging required
  • essential oils – unadulterated, therapeutic grade
  • . . . many more!

Get started on incorporating green healthcare strategies into your daily life; healthy for you and healthy for the planet. Visit My Green Medicine Cabinet to learn more.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

#greenhealthcare #gogreen #healthbydesign #protecttheenvironment #fightclimatechange

‘THRIVE’ in Spite of Your Backstory: Don’t just survive!

thrive

Life comes with so many challenges, an expected reality. For many people, like my parents who endured the ravages of WW11 in Holland and Germany, basic survival was a daily goal; surviving starvation, oppression, confinement and the threat of death.

Fast forward to the present, many people are still facing some or all of these and other daily challenges. The opportunity to ‘thrive’ instead of just surviving your backstory is a luxury and a choice. If you have that choice, make the decision that you can do more than just survive your backstory, regardless of whether it’s a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual script. Yes, it will be a bumpy ride, but well worth it. I honour all those that have not only survived their backstory but went on to thrive in their lives, like my parents did!

When I started researching for my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation, I went back to the basics, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, to get a visual confirmation of the possibility of ‘thriving in spite of just surviving’ my backstory of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges.

maslow

The steps that I took to ‘thrive my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual’ backstory are the bones of my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation and are the holistic protocol (how to guide) that I use to help my clients thrive, not just survive their backstories. You can find additional resources to accompany the book throughout my blog posts.

Wishing you ‘thriving over just surviving your backstory’!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE: Reclaim Your Health!

beautiful life

“Today is the first day of the rest of your beautiful life”! Today is an opportunity to restart or start over in your quest for ‘a healthier you’. You may already tried many conventional and non conventional strategies in your quest for health recovery. Regardless of how many times you have started again, today can be a new opportunity for greater health allowing you to get on with living your beautiful life and the pursuit of meaningful goals.

But where do you start? A holistic approach to well-being requires you to implement a ‘stop, start and change’ agenda. Adding in another strategy may not result in the desired outcome. Whatever strategies you add will take time to see results.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

― Albert Einstein

How do you know what you need to stop, start or change? The butterfly effect is the belief that small changes over time can create huge life changes.

Butterfly effect

You may be required to change what you believe is possible to reach your well-being goals:

According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies away anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is possible” 1

You can find the ‘stop, start and change’ strategies that helped me in my recovery from toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), chronic fatigue, depression, multiple food allergies and more in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. I have shared my holistic strategies with clients with various health challenges over the years and they have also been able to recover. You can read their comments here.

You can find additional ‘must do’ stop, start and change strategies at:

YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF: Follow My Road Map to Get There

My Green Medicine and Makeup Cabinet.

Plant Slant Fare:  For ‘a healthier you’!

My Books

Regardless of how many times you have started over, do not lose hope. Today is a new opportunity for greater health and a healthy life. Review what you are and are not doing that may require change using the information in the previous links. Make a list of things that you can stop, start or change today that have helped others recover and may help you as well.  Let your intuition (your little voice) guide you.

hopebutterfly

Wishing you health and happiness!  It is within your reach!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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REBOOTING YOUR HEALTH : Revive Your Body’s Amazing Abilities

reboot

Holistic health strategies, like lifestyle medicine address the root causes of disease and symptoms. The human body came equipped with efficient innate abilities that when working properly, will not only protect you from pathogens and environmental threats, but also fight disease.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, Greek Physician (460BC-377BC)

Like a computer, for optimum operation, the body and brain require ongoing undisrupted surveillance and communication to effectively detect and respond to threats. When your computer stops functioning optimally you can do a ‘reboot’ or ‘system restore’. Holistic health strategies help your body to naturally reboot and system restore; allowing your body to return to functioning as intended in God’s pre-programmed factory default settings.

reboot definition:

  • to start up again after closing or shutting down to boot up again waiting for a computer/program to reboot
  • to start (something) anew to refresh (something) by making a new start or creating a new version 
  • to start anew to make a fresh start 
Daily exposure to toxins in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat and the products we absorb through our skin, hair and nails results in an ongoing circulation of these disrupting forces as our body attempts to detoxify them. Even if your body has efficient detoxification pathways, this ongoing flood of toxins can disrupt normal communication, surveillance and responses while your body is working hard to detox them. This is an even more of a health challenge for little ones and pregnant moms. The human body was not designed to function with an ongoing level of toxic, disrupting body pollution. Think about how a virus affects the normal operation of your computer.  You need to eliminate the virus for the disruptions to stop and normal computer function to resume.  A steady wash of toxins in your body also causes ongoing disruptions and compromised functioning. Ongoing effective detoxification like that provided with the two step detoxification strategy below allows all of the body’s normal productions (internal pharmacy), functions (immunoresponse) and other amazing abilities to work as originally designed.

 

I recommend a two step detoxification process to limit the ongoing internal disruption caused by toxins, a crucial step to ‘reboot’ your body’s natural, amazing abilities:

 

Step #1 – Stop adding to the body’s detoxification load and body pollution. This can be accomplished by ‘greening’ your environments, diet, personal care products, symptom relief options and cleaning products.

Step #2 – Eliminate your present body/mind pollution by promoting the body’s natural detoxification pathways effectiveness using a variety of body detoxification strategies and aids.

Regardless of what your health challenges are, this two step process if the place to start for health recovery and reboot.  Get started today using holistic health strategies which will naturally reboot your body’s naturally functioning and amazing abilities.  You can find more holistic health strategies and expanded detoxification aids and recipes, including botanical spa therapy in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. 

Ebook Cover New_1-1

Wishing you restored health and healthy longevity so that you can fully focus on living your life and the pursuit of meaningful goals!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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Art ‘as therapy’: Healing through creative expression

mywisdomfromatree

Exercising our creativity enhances the quality of our lives and nurtures overall well-being.  Creativity is an innate gift that every person has, which for some, may require some mentoring to activate. Creativity takes many forms.  Arts and crafts have long been the go to for art therapy. Any hobby or activity that allows for the creative process can be considered art therapy. Whether you like to paint, draw, craft, sew, woodwork, knit, scrapbook, play music, write, compose, cook or garden; your brain and overall health will reap the rewards of the creative process involved in them.

Studies have shown that art can reduce depression and anxiety, and improve cognitive functions by producing both new neural pathways and thicker, stronger dendrites. Exercising our creativity can ensure that we are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and memory problems as we age. Immersing ourselves in the creative process of art gives us a temporary time out from the body and mind’s focus on life’s stressors, ‘the unexpected’, past trauma and grief. Engaging in some form of ‘art as therapy’ regularly allows us to escape from our feelings of stress and pain; providing our body and minds the time and space we need to promote healing.

For me, other than creating decorative comforts for my own home, art had always been about producing a product to generate income. My family heritage of producing handwork for money has been a strong and compulsive influence throughout my life. In the past I spent many hours producing hand painted folk art pieces and marketing them at shows. These are a few of my handcrafted works. I recently crossed paths with the jug in the first image at an antiques shop.  When I first saw it, it looked familiar, and I wondered where I had seen it before.  Then I realized that it was one of my artistic reproductions which I had painted decades earlier.

birds jug farm animal lampRooster jug

I left the above type of income producing ‘handwork’ behind decades ago when it was no longer a good fit in my life, and went on to study nutrition and natural health to improve my health. My career focus then changed to helping people to improve their health like I had through changes in diet, lifestyle and adding natural strategies.

Recently, after experiencing the loss of a friend to suicide and being thrown back into the grief process while still grieving the passing of my mother, I felt a strong need to return to the creative process to distract my mind’s focus. Accessing the ‘creative side of my brain’ had always helped me in times of stress in the past, and we all know that life’s stressors can add up at times and feel overwhelming. Over the years I had read a lot about how art was therapeutic so I made the decision that I would start painting ‘for therapy’. What I didn’t expect was the huge block I had getting started. In the past the motivation for painting, other than my home décor items, had always been to produce a product to generate income. My mindset had difficulty with the concept of painting for therapy, although I understood the health benefits. My psyche and perfectionist tendencies, influenced by my family heritage, was stuck in my old pattern of ‘produce for income’.  It took me quite some time spent meditating and praying to start letting go of my old mind set, and allow myself to spend time painting without focusing and seeing the end product as a marketable commodity. This was not an easy transition for me. I am still meditating and praying regularly to help reprogram my brain’s previous default setting about producing art solely as an income source.

In the interim, I have put my paint brushes to canvas.  Many years ago I had purchased a poster plaque at a thrift store (image below) with an inspirational message I liked and planned to someday reproduce.  I loved the ‘Advice from a Tree’ message but did not like the artistic presentation.  From an internet search I found that there were many longer versions of the poem, originally written by Ilan Shamir, which I felt tied into my ‘balanced lifestyle’ quest; and would more easily prompt me to make the ‘art as therapy’ transition that my brain needed. When I purchased the thrift store plaque below, the border, now dark brown, was a bright emerald green.

advice from a tree 2

My artistic interpretation of the ‘Advice from a Tree’ poster would be a better fit for my décor and draw more of the ‘wisdoms’ from the alternate versions of the poem I found on the internet. It would also reflect the beautiful tree view that I see daily through my living room window.

mytreeview

The real relevance of my art work version is the creative ‘therapeutic’ process and finished product ‘therapeutic’ messages. The creative process would provide me with the therapy that I needed while making the piece and the end product would provide me with ongoing visual prompts to help me in my quest to maintain a balanced lifestyle, be grateful and mindful.

The image below is my finished version which I decided to title as ‘Wisdom from a Tree’. It is a better decorative compliment to my family room and the messages and reminders of the creative process provide me with comfort, calm, motivation and inspiration. I am grateful for the healing it has brought me.

mywisdomfromatree

A ‘Wisdom from a Tree’ art therapy mindfulness workshop can help you in your quest to manage life’s stressors, process painful emotions like grief and feel more mindful, grateful and grounded. Join me for a therapeutic two day workshop to create your personal ‘Wisdom from a Tree’ unique artwork. I can lead you through the steps that I used to create my version and you can customize your creations by selecting your favourite ‘Advice from a Tree’ poem messages and other creative embellishments. This two day art therapy mindfulness workshop is suitable for beginners as well as providing advanced artists opportunity to further their creative expression. For more information visit my workshops and retreats page and scroll down to Holistic Menu item #12.

Art therapy journaling is a form of therapy that involves a conversation with yourself. It is not about creating an art product, which may present you with a challenging learning curve from your past artistic production endeavors.  I have been using art therapy, along with many other provided and self care strategies, to process grief while unpacking the emotional backpack of my mother’s passing, and to help manage multiple life stressors, including the suicide of a friend. The picture below is the cover of my art therapy journal. It is pretty simple so do not be intimidated if you think you are not artistic. For some of the pages I transfer outlines from images with transfer paper to get me started, then start colouring inside and outside of the lines. Think of it as an adult colouring book meets self-help/self-talk journal, a winning combination. You can also take clippings from magazines and paste them in to get you inspired and started.

artjournalcover

Whatever you are going through in your life, or feeling, consider some form of art ‘as therapy’ or art journaling therapy to help your body and mind to cope and heal. Take time to retreat from your busy life priorities, connections and obligations and give yourself the quality self care you need. I know my mother looking down from her bird’s eye view above, knows how hard I work and how many health gains I have made using a combination of provided supports and self care strategies to process grief, manage life’s stressors and take care of me. She would say in her loving, gentle way; ‘keep doing what you are doing, I have faith in you!’.

For more supports during your grief journey read my post.

Get started in your quest for greater resilience like that of a well rooted tree by reading Rick and Forrest Hanson’s book Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness.

The Create Your Life Book below is a great guide to get started on art therapy journaling for grief, stress management and healing.

                                                       

I love these Tombow Dual Brush Pens which allow me to sit and colour while relaxing without the mess of water and paint brushes.  It is a great transportable product to accompany your art therapy journal on your travels.

Tombow

Below is the mix media water colour sketchbook that I started with. I added a copy of my dutch birth certificate over the cover before adding my art work.

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Enjoy your healing art therapy experience!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

More help to get started:

The Huffington Post – 10 Art Therapy Techniques https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/art-therapy-techniques_n_6103092?ri18n=true

 

YOUR BODY’S INTERNAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Improving crucial messaging for better health.

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The nervous system is the body’s main communication system and it’s ongoing, undisrupted flow of information is the most important requirement for optimum health.  It gathers, analyses and uses information from the body and the environment to keep you healthy.  If, when and how the body and mind respond depends on healthy messaging.

So what happens when something interferes with the information transmission that your body and brain need for proper functioning and responding? Well think about your computer and what would happen if it had a virus or your power supply was disrupted or damaged.

powersupplyfailure

Immunosurveillance is a term used to describe the processes by which cells of the immune system look for and recognise foreign pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, or pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the body. Healthy immunosurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponse requires ongoing, undisrupted accurate messaging throughout the body and brain.

We all know that many things can interfere with our computer’s communication and performance.  There are also many factors can interfere with the body and brain’s communication and performance.

What can you do?

To keep your body’s internal communication from disruptions and interference, providing for healthy responding and optimum function you will need to be vigilant, proactive and protective.

  • Wash your hands often with non-toxic soaps.
  • Use all natural personal care, laundry, household and lawn care products.
  • Avoid medications and drugs where possible and use natural symptom relief strategies.
  • Eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, unprocessed and free of additives and preservatives.
  • Avoid air pollution by implementing protection measures – air purifiers, etc.
  • Use all natural personal hygiene products.
  • Avoid all sources of radiation.
  • Body pollution is the result of your body’s inability to get rid of toxins and other foreign substances. Detoxification is a two step process that helps your body to get rid of body pollution: Stop adding to your body pollution and remove your body’s existing body pollution.
    • Drink clean water and eat plenty of vegetables and fruit to promote natural detoxification.
    • Add strategies to improve detoxification..

How can you learn more about how to protect and improve your health naturally?

YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF: Follow My Road Map to Get There

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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‘ITCHING’ TO RUN or FIGHT: Managing a ‘Ready to Take Off’ Stress, Fight or Flight Response

Itching

Remaining cool, calm and collected has been my ongoing goal to ensure that I stay grounded during times of stress, emotional upset and tragedy. My baseline calm default was altered in the past due to stress trauma and at times had me ‘idling’ on the edge. When stress and grief became a factor in my life, my ‘itchy’, ready to respond sympathetic nervous system ‘gas pedal’ would activate. This disrupted my overall balance, exaggerating my ‘not yet’ overcome vulnerabilities.

Some people have an over active, under active or faulty blood sugar, hormone, immune, heart or blood pressure response. Medically and generally accepted as ‘out of a person’s control’. An over active or run away stress, fight or flight response is seldom given the same understanding or acceptance. Extreme cases may be diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

So what do you do if you find yourself somewhere between an ‘itchy’ stress, fight or flight response and PTSD? I am not going to mislead you by telling you there is a quick fix.  I have been working on restoring my baseline calm default for years using a variety of natural strategies and have made gains and experienced set backs.  The good news is the gains have been greater than the set backs. I am a ‘work in progress’, daily keeping my focus on my ultimate goal of ‘think, feel and respond like a Buddha’. You can find many of the holistic strategies that I have used in the past that have helped me to make huge gains in my health in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. Below you will find some additional and expanded strategies that I use and you can use to help you.

  1. Maintain life balance. This can be a challenge when you are going through major stress provoking times of your life.  Sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride when these major life stressors come my way. I have worked really hard to maintain life balance over the years and help clients and workshop participants to assess, restore and maintain life balance so that they are better prepared when the major life stressors come their way. You can learn about my life balance tools and workshops by clicking on the image below.  Board with
  2. Create a mantra.  This can help reprogram how your body and mind respond, gradually resetting your base ‘calm’ default. One of my mantras is ‘I chose to remain cool, calm and collected in the midst of stress, drama and the unexpected’.
  3. Use breathing. I recently started this practice again after a major life stressor. Inhaling to a count of ‘1,2,3’ while exhaling to a count of ‘1,2,3,4,5,6’ prompts the parasympathetic nervous system to slow your heart, putting on the brakes to prevent an out of control stress, fight or flight response. When at home I set my cell phone timer to remind me every hour to repeat the breathing sequence several times. When away I can ignore it when it goes off or take a few moments in my busy day to repeat the breathing sequence.
  4. Use imagery and visualization. Combined with the breathing sequences, imagery and visualization help engage my parasympathetic nervous system’s braking action, decreasing my stress hormones and ‘itchy’ sympathetic nervous system’s gas pedal response. Lily of the valley has been a favourite image for me since I was a child visiting my grandmother’s farm garden, and I use it as my ‘go to’ visual and sensory reset. The perfect little bell shaped flowers and calming aroma bring me back to my grandmother’s garden. I have a picture of the lily of the valley on my cell phone wallpaper. I use a variety of sensory essential oils to provide a calm reset.
  5. Incorporate Symphony of the Cells. Symphony of the Cells is an orchestrated application of therapeutic grade essential oils developed by Boyd Truman after 20 years of experience working on thousands of people with chronic and acute emotional and physical conditions. The professionally designed protocols combine the layering of specially selected essential oils with therapeutic properties which are applied in layers to the spine and feet and inhaled aromatically. The spine is an excellent application site since the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system travel along the spine and the spinal cord fluid can carry the therapeutic benefits up to the brain and central nervous system. Each protocol application provides an immediate relaxing and sometimes releasing impact with continued therapeutic benefits as the oils therapeutic properties reach the cellular level. I alternate the neurological, sensory and forgiveness protocols regularly since they can be helpful for managing stress, PTSD, emotional trauma, fear, anger, tension, hyperesthesia, anxiousness, OCD, mental fatigue, loneliness, self-doubt and grief. I highly recommend adding the Symphony of the Cells to your wellness plan. Come and see me for a one on one complimentary introduction and application to get started.  Attend or host a Symphony of the Cells workshop. Contact me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com  or my daughter Amanda Dumouchel @mamasandoils for more information.
  6. Prayer, gratitude, nature and quiet.  My daily companions to promote calm and keep me balanced.

Wishing you ‘cool, calm and collected’ living!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca,

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