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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BACK TO ‘BALANCE’: Body, Mind & Spirit Life Balancing Self-Care Strategies

bodymindspiritwpwbStaying balanced despite what our genetics, the environment and our body is challenged by on a daily basis can be daunting.  When we are ‘hyper’ focused on our symptoms or present life stressor or challenge, it can be difficult to zoom out and recognize and address the ‘bigger picture’ contributing factors. Could your hormone imbalance issues, including insulin, be the result of environmental endocrine disruptors absorbed through your skin from your personal care products? Learn how to recognize and address your body, mind and spirit challenges and implement self-help therapies to restore and maintain balance in your body and mind.

Blank Chalkboard

“Everybody’s a work in progress, I’m a work in progress.

We are all on a well-being journey”.

That’s the message I tell my clients. If I had waited until I was 100% ‘fixed’ before sharing my holistic protocol, there would be a lot of people who would have missed out on the well-being gains they have experienced to date. Thanks to my son Andrew for believing in me and encouraging me to share my holistic protocol with a larger audience by publishing it – ultimately helping more people to improve their health. You can read some of my clients’ testimonies on my website at http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/what_people_are_saying.htm.

My journey through multiple health and life challenges has taught me that ‘change in believing, thinking and doing’ (paradigm shifts) are necessary components to surviving and conquering what life brings you. While a vision board may provide you with an opportunity to create your life ‘wish list’, a ‘body, mind and spirit’ balance board prompts you to make changes, a requirement for improved health.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

George Bernard Shaw

“Without change there would be no butterflies”

In my practice as a holistic wellness practitioner I share the strategies that I have found to be most effective on my well-being journey and through counselling my clients; refined through many years of trial and error. After years of working with clients with multiple and varied health challenges, there is a common thread that cannot be ignored.

Life imbalance has a ripple effect on health!

questforbalance

The impact is dependent on degree, intensity, length of time and re-balancing strategy attempts. When clients come to me with their unresolved symptoms and conditions they are often surprised and some irritated that I expect them to look at their ‘life imbalance’ issues as an underlying cause that needs to be addressed in order for their health to improve. Read my post  Life Balance:  The Well-being Root to help you assess your life balance.

Life imbalance is one of the underlying factors that I list on my ‘base of the iceberg analogy’ – see Digging Deeper: For a Healthier You! If you want to permanently relieve your symptoms and conditions you need to dig deeper, while also applying symptom relief solutions.

My well-being journey continues! Requiring daily reviewing of what to hold onto and what to let go of.

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go!” – Rumi

umbrellagirl

BNSBletgo

Busy lives come with many life challenges, potentially ‘rocking your boat’ and leaving you feeling unbalanced. Einstein’s definition for insanity was: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Long understood by Olympic athletes; the first step toward achieving greater levels of success is understanding that you need to change your behavior and approaches to attain more. If you are not moving forwards in terms of your well-being, then it’s time to reassess your ‘game plan’.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

George Bernard Shaw

Just as a car runs more smoothly when the wheels are perfectly inflated and aligned, you perform and feel better when your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self are in balance. When one tire goes flat in a vehicle the vibration throughout is profound and can result in further structural distress. Imbalances in your body (blood sugar, ph, brain chemistry, hormones) and life (stressors) have the potential to impact your whole body and person via a ripple effect.

The Whole Person Well-being ‘body, mind and spirit’ balance workshop discussions, work sheets and self-care balance work board prompt you to take ‘a helicopter view’ of your life to review what areas need your attention, to bring you back into balance. The information provided directs you to select supportive strategies to reach your goals. Regular use of the lessons learned, work sheets and work board (chalkboard so you can change up your strategies) will help you to restore and maintain balance in your body, mind and life. Whole person well-being (optimum health on all levels) is a reflection of your inner and outer balance. My ‘body, mind, spirit’ balance work board is and extension and companion to of my Whole Person Well-being Equation workbook.

“I like the concept of a workbook because I know from my experience to make changes you have to show up for practice.  If you can learn to care for and about yourself the tools available here will enhance your life and body’s potential for healing”

Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of A Book of Miracles and Faith, Hope & Healing’s comment about my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION.

While a vision board provides you with an opportunity to visualize what you want in life, a ‘body, mind and spirit’ life balance vision board workshop will help you to identify your personal body, mind, spirit and life balance disruptors. The ‘body, mind and spirit’ life balance board (and accompanying instruction booklet) is an assessment tool and working planning chart prompting you to make required changes to achieve and maintain body, mind, spirit and life balance. This body, mind, spirit mindfullness workshop is available in full weekend or mini format as an add on. Please ask for details.

A ‘body, mind, spirit life balance vision board in combination with THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION workbook is an effective tool that can ‘enhance your life and body’s potential for healing’ and promote healthy longevity. My holistic ‘stop, start and change’ protocol is your instruction guide for ‘a healthier you’.

Through the life balance mindfullness vision board material discussed and provided, the ‘body, mind, spirit life balance vision board workshop experience equips participants with knowledge about practical techniques and strategies to help assess their balance disruptors and restore and maintain balance in their bodies and lives: balance between work, family, and everything in between – inner and outer balance – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Ultimately translating into greater resilience and ability to rock and roll with life’s challenges. Make the choice today to direct your ‘life balance ripple’ to good health!

Participants can start the workshop with a partially completed vision board (everything you see in the first picture in this blog post is done for you in permanent chalk marker – additional fee applies) or start from scratch using the class instructions. You will customize your board (see my second board image below) with self-help strategies you select from the provided material, images and clip art that you bring to the workshop. I added my sample strategies to my board with regular chalk and with images and clipart.  You will be able to use an erasable fine point chalk marker (or regular chalk) on the board giving you lots of room to add and change strategies. There is additional space on the board to add your motivational words or quotes or doodles and designs. Keep your completed board beside your favourite relaxation spot at home or your office wall to help remind you often that you may need to regularly re-evaluate and implement alternate strategies to achieve your goals and maintain balance. Edit your board as needed to keep you on track.

The boards below are two of my personal ‘body, mind, spirit’ life balance vision boards. If you are motivated to make changes in your life for ‘a healthier you’,  can print, write, cut and paste pictures; this workshop if for you.

Board with visionchalkboardBMS

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holisticwelnnessbbretreats

Experience a life balance vision board workshop experience at a holistic wellness retreat with your women friends. Make it a one day or weekend event by combining it with other workshop options. I will help you design your workshop format.  Accommodation is available at my location for 8 participants. Upcoming workshop on Saturday, March 14, 2020 (This workshop has been postponed due to coronavirus travel concerns. Check back for a new workshop date in the future)

Interested in creating your personal DIY MDF or vinyl (peel and stick) chalkboard at home? The complete ‘body, mind, spirit’ chalkboard creation e-book includes a full size printable transferable pattern, materials list and instructions for how to complete your personal board.

BMSBprinterpattern

The e-book also includes the workshop material and resources to help you identify your ‘body, mind and spirit’ challenging factors and ‘body, mind and spirit’ supporting strategies to help you restore and maintain healthy ongoing balance. The ‘body, mind, spirit’ balance chalkboard is a companion to my Whole Person Well-being Equation workbook.  The e-book and paper copy are for personal use only. The material is copyright protected. If you would like to use the material for a group, please contact me for a group rate.

To purchase the ebook with full size printable pattern click on the Buy Now button below the image.  All sales are final on all ebooks.  By proceeding with this purchase you are agreeing to these terms. There will be no refunds.Email me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com if you have any problems with the transaction.  Do not contact Paypal. If you would prefer a Printed Copy mailed via Canada Post.  Cost is $39.98  which includes shipping.  Click on the second button below for a printed copy and make sure to include your shipping address when checking out.

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$29.98 CAN e-book (with full size printable pattern)

             $29.98


$39.98 CAN paper copy (with full size printed pattern – sent via Canada Post, shipping included)

              $39.98


Get started using essential oil therapy to help you manage stress and anxiety; allowing for a more ‘balanced’ life.

Now available:  Ready to create adhesive vinyl body, mind, spirit balance chalkboard.  Permanent design as seen on the ebook cover, ready for your creative inspiration.  You can also order it with just the balance wheel design so that you can customize the finished product.  Add this partially completed adhesive vinyl chalkboard to your ebook purchase for an extra $45 plus shipping.  Just need a blank adhesive vinyl to complete your DIY vision chalkboard? Get it for an additional $25 plus shipping. Contact me elisabethlhines@gmail.com to determine shipping to your location.

vinylchalkboard

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

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STRESS IDLING & SENSITIVITY: A Modern Day Health Challenge

Post updated March 23, 2020

stress meter 2

Do you feel stressed most of the time? Do you feel like you are stress idling? Are you more sensitive to stress than the people in your life?  Do you have to work harder than others to stay grounded? 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”.

Where does your stress meter hover? Stress is not necessarily a bad thing, it motivates – allowing you to achieve your goals. Ideally your HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) axis will correctly mount and return your body to its normal healthy shutdown point – allowing relaxation and healing on a regular basis. Being chronically stressed out and stress idling indicate that the body’s the stress response is flawed. This can interfere with normal body functions including the necessary communication for accurate immunosurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponse. Read more in my blog post YOUR BODY’S INTERNAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Improving crucial messaging for better health. Stressors come in many forms and the combined physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress load can take its toll.

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. FIGHTING AGE RELATED IMMUNE DECLINE: Implementing Strategies to Keep You Protected provides you with additional information. 

A number or of factors, including interference, can modify normal stress responses. You may be suffering from a case of life imbalance which can really play havoc with your stress response. For more on assessing and restoring  your life balance read LIFE BALANCE: The Well-being Root – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=140. So what does a normal healthy stress response look like?

First, your body (brain/hypothalamus) makes a judgement whether a situation is stressful based on sensory input and processing (what your body sees, hears, senses) and stored memories (past stressful events and how your body responded).

Secondly, your body (HPA – hypothalamus to pituitary and adrenal medulla) mounts a stress response, ideally equivalent to the threat.

flightcartoon

Thirdly, the  HPA stress response ideally returns to its normal healthy shut down status, allowing ongoing relaxation and healing.  

Recent research carried out by Rachel Yehuda into the intergenerational effects of trauma reveals that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust have different stress hormone profiles than their peers; perhaps predisposing them to anxiety disorders and inability to cope with life’s stressors. If your family’s generational history reflects major past trauma you may have an altered stress hormone profile – possibly inadequate levels of cortisol, the hormone that allows the body to return to normal after trauma, and inadequate levels of the enzyme that breaks down cortisol. You may need more stress management strategies to maintain calm and balance and an ability to cope with life’s stressors. You can read more about the study in the March/April 2015 Scientific American Mind Magazine article Epigenetics: Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Have Altered Stress Hormones – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/descendants-of-holocaust-survivors-have-altered-stress-hormones/.

For information on how harmful chemicals, stress and other influences can permanently alter which genes are turned on without changing any of the genes’ code read:

The Case for Inheritance of Epigenetic Changes in Chromosomes by Michael K. Skinner – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-case-for-inheritance-of-epigenetic-changes-in-chromosomes/

Is your chronic inflammation caused by stress? How stress influences disease?

Study reveals inflammation as the culprit – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm

Is your body chronically reacting to foods and substances in the environment (physical stressors)?  This constant reacting can weaken and interfere with your immune system response. Learn how to determine what makes you weak, potentially weakening your immune system by learning to read your body’s responses to triggers in my blog post HEALTH PROTECTION: Using Your Body Responses to Identify Health Challenges.

The following is an excerpt from my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION on the health impact of chronic stress and stress idling.

“Although a normal part of every person’s life, chronic or unmanaged stress in your personal life, caregiver stress or stress resulting from your work  can be detrimental to overall health. Understanding, monitoring and dealing with your body’s stress response is crucial to whole person well-being. The human stress response was designed to provide protection through the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism in situations of grave danger. An appropriate amount of stress is a healthy and necessary part of life. In modern day, the stress response is kicking in on an ongoing basis due to accumulating psychological stressors. Although your car needs to idle at a certain rate to avoid stalling out; you can be hurt by a chronically idling stress response, which keeps you ‘ready to go, ready to run.’ In today’s culture of ‘I need it now,’ fast food, commuting, problem solving on the fly, climbing the work ladder, running the kids to and fro, technical devices, social platforms and juggling finances; it can be a challenge for your body to restore the stress response to its default stand-down position. During times of stress, energy is diverted from the parasympathetic to the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the ‘flight’ reaction.  The parasympathetic nervous system strives to maintain homeostasis after periods of pain or stress by getting the body to relax. An idling stress response can take the leap into a full-blown fight or flight response during a crisis, with dire consequences. Even if a full ‘fight or flight’ response does not kick in, the chronic stress idling with its ongoing, harmful dose of hormones can have detrimental effects on health including stress sensitization. In his Psychology Today article, Stress – It Is Worse Than You Think, John Carpi highlights the harmful effects of chronic stress as well as how we can become sensitized to stress like a lobster coming to boil in a pot. Stress sensitization can cloud perception, logical thinking and judgement, without your awareness.”

 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO COPE WITH STRESS:

STRESS IS COMPLEX: Major life stressors are inescapable. I had to learn new strategies to manage them. This is an excellent video: How does stress affect your heart? Watch this 7 minute excerpt from the brilliant documentary “Statin Nation” as Dr. Paul Rosch explains. Follow this link: http://ow.ly/hY3AW,

“Any therapies or activities that promote calm and relaxation like deep breathing, meditation, visualization, yoga, tai chi and nature walks assist in shutting down the stress response and restoring homeostasis. Chronic stress can damage the parasympathetic nervous system so that deep breathing does not reset the stress response. Eliminating caffeine, which amplifies the stress response, is a must for those that run on adrenaline and other stress hormones. Various herbs and essential oils contain nervines[1] which enhance relaxation and restore the stress response back to its default stand-down position. See Rejuvenate, Self–Help Therapies & Tools, Stress Management on page 136 for stress-buster tools.” Excerpt from my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION.”

Meditation and relaxation strategies are a must.  You can find them in my book.

From the American Institute of Stress article by Jim Porter “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.”

I listen to ultimate zen meditation music when feeling stressed, overwhelmed and while sleeping when needed.

Essential oil therapy via a diffuser and reflexology points can greatly relief stress symptoms.

ESSENTIAL OIL THERAPY FOR SYMPTOM RELIEF: Skip Harmful Drug Side Effects For Healthy Longevity – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1380 and SYMPTOM RELIEF: How To Get To 100% Symptom Free Naturally – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1155. Contact me to get you started.

Chronic stress idling with it’s dose of stress hormones disrupts  your body’s overall hormone profiles. Unmanaged life, work, classroom and homework stress can cause chronic stress idling.

HPA disregulation is associated with depression.

HPA Axis Dysregulation

Body scan visualization #4 in THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION can help your body to restore your normal, healthy and accurate HPA stress response and shut down. 

Implementing strategies to restore and maintain life balance will help store a normal, healthy and accurate HPA stress response. Find out more by reading my blog post LIFE BALANCE: The Well-being Root

Affirmations can help to offset the negative effects of stress. The following affirmation is just one that I use with my clients that helps them to diffuse stress and anxiety about traumatic situations.  It acknowledges the situation, but diffuses or neutralizes any negative impact. Some clients were quite skeptical when I suggested they use it – thinking I was crazy that this could possibly help – but it did. Use this affirmation whenever you start to feel anxious or stressed or overwhelmed. 

Neutralizing/positive Affirmation:

Although ‘A’ (situation, circumstances that are out of your control, and how you think or feel about them), I am okay, I will continue to be okay; and I will not allow ‘A’ (situation, circumstances) and my thoughts and feelings about ‘A’, to have a negative affect on me. 

My favourites:

I choose to remain cool, calm, collected and grounded in the midst (in spite of) of ____________________!

I choose to thrive in spite of _________________  (or everything)!.

Try this for a couple of weeks.  It really works. 
P.S. . Venting, rehashing and reliving the past, and negative thinking will interfere with the power of affirmations and restoring and maintaining a normal, healthy stress response and a healthy immune response. . 
Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P.

Holistic Wellness Practioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca elisabethlhines@gmail.com

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#stress #stressmanagement #chronicstress #stressidling #HPAstressresponse #affirmations #anxiety #HPA #burnout #stressedout #stressidlying #fightorflight #lifeimbalance #lifebalance #hypothalamusandstress #adrenalburnout

Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be copied and distributed in any manner without the written permission of the author or publisher and associates.

 


[1] Christopher Hobbs, Lac, AHG, Herbal Nervines, healthy.net, www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=950, accessed April 29, 2012.

[1] Igor Grant, M.D., Caregiving may be hazardous to your health, ©1999, American Psychosomatic Society, http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/61/4/420.pdf , visited March 2007.

[3] Christopher Hobbs, Lac, AHG, Herbal Nervines, healthy.net, www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=950, accessed April 29, 2012.

[4] John Carpi, Psychology Today, Stress – It Is Worse Than You Think, published on January 01, 1996, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199601/stress-its-worse-you-think, visited March 2007.

Images – Google images

THE WEAK LIST: A Necessary Well-being & Protection Tool

Updated March 22, 2020

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? 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 balance, 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.

When my immune and nervous systems crashed many years ago, I suffered from multiple unexplained symptoms and was extremely weak. There were times that all I could do was crawl. Although I had my symptoms investigated by my doctor and other doctors; there was no cause determined.  I was prescribed medication which did nothing to relieve my symptoms.

I did a lot of research in my quest for answers and recovery. Everything I ate caused me extreme gastrointestinal distress. I lost a great deal of weight in a short period of time.  I would doubled over in pain after eating everything. I realized that some foods caused me more distress than others so I decided to have a blood test done to determine if food allergies could be the cause. The blood test revealed that I was reacting (I call it a skewed response) to 80+ foods. That list of offending foods became my first ‘weak list’, WEAK LIST #1. It was a Godsend! I immediately stopped eating everything on the list. Within 3 days my gastrointestinal symptoms started to subside and some of my energy started to come back.

As time went on I learned a lot about allergies; what causes them and how to deal with them. I was concerned that if I ate out (including family events) I would not be able to determine if the foods I was eating were safe; so I learned muscle response testing to discreetly test the foods before I ate them. Learning how to use this tool has basically saved my life. It allowed my body to focus it’s energies on healing and repair instead of vigilance and reacting. When my body was full of antibodies, antihistamines, cortisol and other blood responders I felt ill all of the time.  Muscle response testing for heatlh protection protects me so that I felt better.

Once I mastered the muscle response testing I used it to test the products I was using; the water I drank and bathed in and the air I breathed in my different environments. The results of testing these using muscle response testing provided me with my second weak list, WEAK LIST #2.

Making changes in my diet, home, environments and life so that I could avoid WEAK LIST #1 AND #2; were major assets in my recovery.  By only using items on my SAFE LIST my body stopped the vigilance and reacting and concentrated its energies on healing, repair and energy production. Dealing with my body pollution and challenged liver was a major part of my recover.

What items are found on a weak list?

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 balance, communication and function within your body.  Some people react to stressors like others do to ragweed, both dangerous responses to your body if they persist chronically. Learning how to read your body’s responses after exposure to suspected causes can provide you with health protection. Interestingly, the water samples that clients bring for testing are often a ‘weak list’ item.  Considering that our bodies are mostly water, this can cause significant health challenges.

fainting

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/diy-food-intolerance-allergy-test.html#ixzz3yRwRNKr1

Some questions to ask yourself:

Will a blood allergy test identify food additives that may be harmful to you?

Muscle response testing for health protection can identify any foods that contain added substances that may be harmful to you. When purchasing and eating the same food samples you may still have a reaction based on how the food item was grown and processed (eg. GMO, additives, organic, pesticide, herbicide, irradiation, contamination, preservatives)

Will a skin allergy test identify all substances from all sources (not just the sample) that may harm you?

Muscle response testing for health protection can identify the specific substances in your specific food/product list that may be harmful to you. When purchasing and eating the same food samples you may still have a reaction based on how the food item was grown and processed (eg. GMO, additives, organic, pesticide, herbicide, irradiation, contamination, preservatives)

Will food allergy blood tests and skin allergy tests identify substances that cause a reaction/response when combined? Or after the fact?

Muscle response testing for health protection can identify combinations which may cause you harm; think about the drug warning – ‘some drug interactions direct you to avoid grapefruit’. Thinking back to a meal that you ate three or more days ago while simultaneously testing your balance thinking of the individual food items/ingredients, can help you identify what the disrupting  food item was.

I have a client who regularly eats organic raspberries with no reaction.  When she eats them at breakfast when she takes her medication, her ‘sway’ muscle response testing method (found in my book below) causes her to completely lose her balance with risk of falling. She now knows that she needs to separate the timing of eating her organic raspberries and taking her medication.

I have a client that is reactive and weak to certain items only when there is a full moon.  This may sound silly, but think about how the moon affects cycles. Some people are affected.

Some of my clients are reactive to specific foods only during specific times of their menstrual cycle (hormone changes).  Muscle response testing for health protection provides a ‘heads up’ alert to avoid the foods during that period of time.

Some of my clients are reactive to specific foods, products and environmental factors when they are under stress. Muscle response testing provides a ‘heads up’ alert to avoid the foods during those periods of time.

How do you  determine what factors are distracting my healthy immune system responses, an important consideration for those who are immune compromised and the aged, as their immune systems generally decline? Multiple factors have the potential to disrupt normal, healthy and necessary immunesurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponse. Determing your weak list can help you to keep your immune system healthy and focused.

As a holistic wellness practitioner I provide my clients with their WEAK LISTS using neuromuscular biofeedback – a ‘health forensics’ investigation. The list provides a combination of ‘stop, start and change’ recommendations based on the biofeedback information. Once they avoid or change the items on their weak lists; their symptoms usually start to subside, allowing their health to return. Their remaining SAFE LIST of acceptable foods and products gives them confidence and with some tweaking can provide ongoing symptom free living. . I counsel them on detoxifying their body pollution and supporting healthy liver function – a must for healthy longevity and achieving symptom free status, including reacting to foods and products. My original ’cause’ for my symptoms was due to toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT) cause by my body’s inability to deal with the off gassing of a new home. 

Sounds simple, I know; but it works. It is not immediate, it does take time. Weak list items can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual factors, or combinations of these. Sometimes these items are factors that interfere with normal healthy body communication and function

For anyone suffering from chronic or life threatening conditions and disease (especially cancer); determining a WEAK LIST and remaining SAFE LIST is mandatory to recovery. Determining and addressing your ‘weak list’ can allow you to maintain a strong immune system and body, and become and stay ‘symptom free’. Avoiding the items on the weak lists, by substituting ‘non weak’ items, can allow energy and health to return. Many items found on a weak list interfere with immunosurveillance (critical for those fighting diseases, including cancer) and normal healthy communication and response, including immune system response.  Curious about what items are on your ‘weak list’ and causing your symptoms/condition or affecting your well-being?

What does a weak list mean?

Sometimes it means you are allergic to the items. The resulting biofeedback ‘weak response’ can be indicative of an association your body has made about a product, substance or situation in the past at a time of extreme trauma or duress. A ‘weak response’ can also mean that something is going on in the body at this time, which added to the use of the product or substance or recall of a past similar association (from your body’s ‘black box’); is a temporary bad combination (e.g. during detoxification, rapid growth, healing, recovery, hormone change, distress, treatment, medications, your body’s present chemical equation). Generally speaking it means that the item or factor is causing confusion, interference (body communication), imbalance, disruption (of brain and body chemistry), malfunction or damage. Sometimes it is to the immune system, sometimes to the nervous, endocrine or other systems, and sometimes to the liver or heart; all necessary to stay strong and healthy. If this happens on a daily/weakly basis the results can be catastrophic. Daily consumption, inhalation or absorption of neurotoxins can cause daily weakness to the body and dire consequences.  Studies have shown that neurotoxins can shorten the life span of nerve cells. These toxins have been linked to brain disorders and neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Chorea and Parkinson’s. For information on some neurotoxins responsible for causing weakness, interference and malfunction in your body, resulting in unwanted symptoms, visit http://energyfanatics.com/2010/05/02/ten-neurotoxins-you-should-avoid/.

If for some reason your body has collected information from your past and has saved it in ‘history’ (your body’s virtual black box) and has given it ‘added value’ (e.g. bee sting, peanut, scent) – your body may present with a weak response in present time when your brain/body makes an association based on the history and stored information.

How do you get your weak list? The best way to get an unbiased weak list is to have a qualified practitioner provide you with the information. The ideal person is someone who has nothing to gain or lose by the results (e.g. sale of products). All you are looking for is a list of items or factors that cause weakness. You will use that information to avoid; so your body can rebound. The next step is to learn muscle response testing so that you have the tools to assess potential ‘weakening’ items or factors ongoing, on a daily basis. Muscle response testing is a valuable tool that can contribute to  Healthy longevity.

There are unusual ways that you may find out what you are weak to.  I was shopping in a grocery store with my son one day and as I came around a different aisle from the one he was in he said ‘mom, catch’.  He tossed a package of something into the air and I automatically reached out to catch it.  As I caught it I had an immediate wave of nausea and extreme weakness.  The label read – monosodium glutamate!  Obviously something my body would rather not every meet.

Where do you start?

  1. Book a BodyFeedback™ Interview & Therapy session or other neuromuscular biofeedback assessment today. You take your vehicle in for regular inspection and maintenance, doesn’t your body deserve the same attention and care?
  2. Learn how to determine your ‘weak list’ by doing muscle response testing. You can start with the Muscle Response Testing for Health Protection e-book or book a private or group workshop by contacting me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com or join us at a workshop or event. In Muscle Response Testing for health protection you will learn various methods of testing including the ‘sway’ and ‘friction’ biofeedback methods.
  MRTforhealthprotectionlg

Using Your Weak List to Restore Your Health:

People who are diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities are told to ‘avoid‘ the suspect foods and items for a period of time, and then gradually add an item back in to determine if the body has stopped reacting, a ‘desensitization‘, avoid and challenge process. While you are in the ‘avoid’ period, your body will focus its attention on healing and repair with the support of self-care and possibly added therapies, instead of vigilance and protection. If you go through periods of great stress in your life you may find that your allergies, sensitivities and reactions return; requiring you to restart the ‘avoidance’ and ‘desensitization’ process. This same process can be used for all of the items on your weak list, including environmental factors and stressors, dealing with one at a time, allowing your body the time and supports it needs to return to a ‘non-reactive’ state. 

I am now able to eat all foods in any restaurant or be in any environment (including perfume counters) without fear of reactions. I avoid toxic environments and known triggers because I know the health risks based on my unique responding history, not because of fear.  Let me help you transition to 100% symptom free and healthy longevity. 

Find out how to transition from FOOD ALLERGIES to 100% FOOD ALLERGY FREE:

Food Allergies Gone Cover 3

PEANUT AND NUT ALLERGIES: Becoming 100% Allergy Free http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=588

Learn how to become multiple chemical sensitivity free in my book MCS: Gone and feel safe in all environments!

MCS

Consult your regular healthcare provider before using of the information therapeutically. There many be contraindications due to health status, medications or other factors. Do not stop taken prescribed medication.

ENJOY better health today

Let me show you how to improve your health in:

Ebook Cover New_1-1

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

P.S. If a weakening item turns out to be something you absolutely can not avoid (e.g. medications with harmful side effects for diseases, HIV or Aids), there is a way.  I have developed a protection technique that I teach clients so that the offending item or factor does not cause weakness (an override). Understandably you would not be able to do this for every item on your list. The protection/override sequence details can be found in my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION.

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 Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines

All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be copied and distributed in any manner without the written permission of the author or publisher and associates.