The following is a note from Consumersadvocate.org about the information in their report:
"DISCLAIMER: We decided to research the topic of essential oils out of our curiosity about this growing industry and concerns about the use of these oils in children and expectant mothers. We have NOT received any form of compensation to review any of the companies on our list. Our list of essential oil companies was originally organized at random, with no correlation between the position of a company on our list and the laboratory results for their essential oil samples. We have since organized the companies alphabetically, to counter any assumptions about positioning being related to a ranking order. For those interested, here are the GC-MS test results from our collaboration with the Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC).
"With so many essential oil brands out there, it can be hard to find the right one for you. Instead of a top ten list of the best essential oil companies, we took an in-depth look into the industry by reviewing 11 well-known brands.
"Our team spent over 600 hours of research; ordered, tested, and analyzed 33 essential oils; and collaborated with a group of experts who have dedicated their careers to researching and writing about essential oils.
"After taking a deep dive into the industry, we understand that it can be nearly impossible to find the right brand of essential oil, especially with all the misconceptions and misinformation out there. That’s why our mission with this section is to arm you with the knowledge and know-how to navigate the industry and help you make the right decisions."
Posted By Patty Bell,
Friday, January 17, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020
Anyone who has enjoyed the aroma of lavender, eucalyptus, or frankincense during a massage already knows firsthand the relaxing properties of essential oils. Wafting into the senses, these aromatic essences immediately improve the state of mind, inducing a state of soothing calm.
It may come as a surprise to learn that aromatherapy is also very useful as a supportive measure in addiction recovery. As a complementary treatment element in detox, treatment, and recovery, aromatherapy has a multitude of wellness benefits. The mind-body connection is one that must be considered in recovery, as the mind is a powerful engine that can influence recovery outcomes. Aromatherapy is useful in helping individuals in recovery restore that mind-body connection.
The mental health component to addiction recovery cannot be overstated. Our mental wellness can literally make or break any attempts to live a sober, healthy life. Increasingly, addiction treatment programs are embracing holistic measures, including the use of essential oils, as complementary therapies to the conventional evidence-based protocols.
Learning about the role of aromatherapy in recovery offers the newly sober an additional tool to help achieve a more serene and balanced state of mind. Coupled with therapy and recovery support groups, aromatherapy offers just one more tool to aid the process of restoring health and reshaping one’s lifestyle.
What is Aromatherapy?
The use of essential oils is ancient. Originating in Eastern medicine thousands of years ago, aromatherapy has a proven history of efficacy in providing medicinal effects, both physical and psychological. Essential oils are created from the most potent parts of various plants and flowers. The distillation process, using water or steam, yields medicinal grade oil, with each variety having its own healing properties. Today, essential oils are an increasingly popular drug-free alternative to achieve a state of relaxation or to improve mood.
Essential oils are utilized to benefit a multitude of health and wellness conditions. Aromatherapy, using the scent and medicinal properties of the essential oils, is beneficial in the healing of mind and body. There are a multitude of essential oils that can produce healing effects, such as by reducing inflammation and improving the immune system. In summary, aromatherapy can help relieve symptoms of various ailments, reduce stress, and to bolster the immune system.
There are two basic methods of using aromatherapy:
Topical. Essential oils can be absorbed through the skin. When applying the essential oils to the skin it is important to first dilute the oil with carrier oil, such as coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba, or olive oil before massaging it into the skin. Essential oils are best applied to the soles of the feet, the palm of the hand, and the temples and the scalp.
Inhalation. The vapor from a diffuser that is produced by drops of the essential oil added to water stimulates the olfactory system, entering through the nasal passage, into the lungs, and reaching the brain. A differ is not necessary, as just placing two drops of the essential oil on the palms, rubbing them together, then cupping them to the nose while inhaling deeply can also provide immediate effects.
Other uses of essential oils might include placing a few drops in the bath, or on a pillowcase. It can also be added to a candle allowing the heat of the candle to release the scent into the room or mixed with water in a spray bottle and spritzed into the air. Aromatherapy can be used in massage therapy, during meditation or prayer, while bathing, or during any relaxing activity.
The Science of Smell
Most people have experienced how a scent or odor can immediately elicit a memory. Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our mood by activating the limbic system or the mood center of the brain. The aromatherapy affects the mood center of the brain by helping to regulate emotions, stress, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. This can help promote relaxation in the face of a stressful situation or event.
The pleasant effects enjoyed with aromatherapy can help the brain develop new scent-mind connections, creating a positive stimulus-response when the oils are introduced. Essentially, the aromatherapy induces feelings of pleasure and calm. This is because the reward path of the brain is part of the limbic system. Aromatherapy can be used to activate the reward path using a natural substance such as essential oils.
Basically, in addiction recovery, the brain is in recovery. Addiction takes a steep toll on brain structures, brain chemistry, cognitive functioning, and overall brain health. Aromatherapy can be an additional salve as brain health is restored to optimum functioning by creating a healing environment through the olfactory system.
How Essential Oils Assist the Detox Process
The detox process is the dreaded, but necessary, first step on the recovery journey. Detox and withdrawal involve the cessation of the substance of abuse, allowing the body to begin purging any chemicals or toxins associated with the substance. During alcohol or drug detox the body is destabilized. As the brain struggles to achieve equilibrium the person going through detox experiences assorted unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
While each specific substance of abuse has its own list of withdrawal symptoms, there are some that are common across the board. These symptoms include both physical and psychological symptoms such as headache, nausea, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and agitation. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms rests on a variety of factors that influence whether symptoms will be mild, moderate, or severe, and how long the detox process will take to complete.
During detox, trained professionals will utilize medications to minimize withdrawal discomforts. As a complementary holistic measure, aromatherapy can augment traditional medical interventions and ease the unpleasant effects of withdrawal. Adding essential oil therapy helps the individual processing through detox and withdrawal in several ways, including relief of some of the physical discomforts, boosting mood, reducing cravings, and aiding sleep. These benefits can assist the individual to safely and successfully complete the detox process before transitioning to addiction treatment.
Some essential oils for addiction can alleviate the general discomforts of withdrawal symptoms during the detox process, while others are uniquely suited to a particular drug or alcohol detox. For general withdrawal symptoms, clary sage, lemon, and bergamot essential oils can be helpful during detox and withdrawal. In addition:
For alcohol detox adding black pepper oil and Roman chamomile oil can help reduce withdrawal discomforts and help restore liver health.
For opiate detox adding lavender oil, ylang ylang oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil can help with lethargy, reduce anxiety, and improve mental clarity.
For stimulant detox adding orange oil, jasmine oil, and peppermint can help boost mood, energy, and help soothe anxiety.
Detox and withdrawal are an uncomfortable but necessary first step in addiction recovery. Using the healing power of essential oils along with conventional medical interventions can provide relief from withdrawal symptoms and help the individual to persevere through the possible post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) as well. PAWS may linger for weeks, even months, so individuals experiencing these lasting withdrawal symptoms will benefit from the effects of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy as a Complementary Treatment Element
As a complementary treatment element, aromatherapy can offer safe, natural effects that help boost mood, improve sleep quality, enhance mental clarity, and promote relaxation. All of these are essential in reinforcing recovery. Low mood can reduce motivation to stay the course and remain sober. Sleep deprivation has a significant negative effect on overall wellbeing and can leave someone feeling fatigued and depressed. Stress is one of the most common triggers that can result in relapse. Why not use aromatherapy as a routine component of healthy living in recovery?
In many cases, the individual with a substance use disorder also suffers from a co-occurring mental health disorder. This goes beyond just feeling down or a little tense or irritable. Clinical depression or an anxiety disorder complicates the treatment picture, as they must be treated alongside the addiction. While essential oils will not replace antidepressants or other psychotropic medications, aromatherapy is excellent complementary therapy.
To improve mood, sleep quality, and reduce stress some of the most effective essential oils that benefit recovery include:
Basil sweet oil
Reduces stress, promotes deeper sleep, aids mental clarity, and improves memory
Helps relieve tension, regulate appetite, and has antidepressant properties
This oil may reduce cravings and has a stimulant effect that helps reduce fatigue
Helps promote relaxation and calm anxiety
Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
Relieves negative emotions and tension, lifts mood
Enhances mental clarity and decision-making abilities, reduces brain fog
Combats fatigue and renews energy, reduces cravings, boosts mood
Has antidepressant properties, boosts mood
It’s calming effects can also help with insomnia and anxiety, reduces mood swings, and promotes liver energy flow (qi)
Increases energy, boosts mood
Helps lift mood while calming anxiety
Aids in mental clarity, revitalizes the spirit, energizes, reduces cravings, and lifts mood
Improves energy and boosts mood
Pink grapefruit oil
This oil can help depression symptoms, reduce cravings, promote relaxation, and induce a positive state of mind.
This oil stimulates mental clarity, improves mood
Helps achieve mental clarity and focus
Integrating aromatherapy into a traditional evidence-based treatment program can help ease some of the stress of being in a treatment environment, as well as help induce better sleep while in rehab. The core treatment elements in addiction treatment include:
Detox and withdrawal
Narcotics Anonymous 12-step program or similar programming
Holistic Addiction Recovery Practices
The holistic benefits of aromatherapy positively impact the psychological, physical, and spiritual aspects of wellness. When using aromatherapy in conjunction with other holistic activities and regular exercise, the individual in recovery can significantly improve their state of mind without the need for drugs or alcohol. So often those substances are used to self-medicate, to quiet an anxious mind or cover up feelings of depression. In recovery, holistic practices can offer a healthy alternative to substances of abuse while achieving the desired sense of calm.
Some holistic recovery practices include:
Early recovery is a challenging phase as individuals adjust to a completely new lifestyle. By combining aromatherapy with other holistic activities, it can significantly improve the mind-body connection and enhance recovery efforts, especially because of the stress-reducing properties of these activities.
Holistic activities help the individual gain a clearer sense of self and a fresh perspective through practicing them. These new insights, combined with the relaxation-promoting aspects of these activities, can help calm the mind and reduce the risk of relapse. Recovery is further reinforced by using these holistic methods in conjunction with ongoing outpatient therapy and participation in a recovery community.
Some Considerations About Aromatherapy
While aromatherapy is generally considered to be safe, some caution should be exercised when beginning aromatherapy. First, it should be emphasized that aromatherapy alone is not the answer to defeating an addiction. Engaging in active treatment while in rehab and continuing with ongoing outpatient rehab following rehab is the bedrock of addiction recovery. Aromatherapy compliments traditional therapy.
Also, the essential oils should not be ingested unless the individual is under the guidance of a naturopath who can provide the specific type of oils that are designed for this purpose. Essential oils can cause skin irritation, so in most cases should not be applied directly to the skin.
Other considerations include:
Essential oils can cause serious eye injury
Pregnant women should not use aromatherapy
Essential oils may be harmful to individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions
Hyssop oil can trigger seizures in people with a history of convulsions
Rosemary oil can cause an increase in blood pressure so should be avoided by individuals with hypertension.
Patty Bell has been working in the alcohol and drug addiction industry for over 20 years. She is currently the Family Relations Manager/Interventionist at Solutions 4 Recovery a residential rehabilitation facility providing substance abuse treatment services to men and women suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and dual diagnosis. Patty has been sober since May 1996 and looks to help those struggling rise from their past to a new and brighter future.
Posted By Katey Collins, LCSW,
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020
On December 31st last year did you make a “New Year’s Resolution?” Did you have exciting ideas and ambitious dreams about making drastic changes in your life? If so, you are not alone. This time of year lures people into making such “resolutions.” Unfortunately, little success is found when tackled from this standpoint. The “New Year’s Resolution” approach often lacks a process of extensive research, planning, insight, reflection, implementation, and review.
Think about the people you admire and aspire to be like. From first glance, it may appear as though their life is easy, that they had no obstacles to achieving what they desire. The actual time-intensive, logical, extensive steps taken to get to their happy place may not be so obvious. Consider someone at work who just went back to school and is excited to be completing an internship doing the work they are drawn to. Perhaps you know a Dad who beams with excitement and happiness when he is spending time with his children. Or that friend who just completed another marathon and posted her euphoric finish photo. When you see people this happy and content, are you jealous, envious, happy for them? Do you consider or ask them what steps they took to achieve their goals?
Effective planning and goal setting methods involve ongoing, consistent, extensive processes and habits. It is no mistake that the athlete who qualified for the Olympic Trials ended up there. Some will say this dream began for them as a young child watching their sport in the Olympics on television. A key factor in an athlete's success is their ability to take consistent steps toward their goal over an extended time period. Also, an important step is measuring progress, evaluating what is and is not working, reflecting on thoughts, feelings, experiences, and trusting one’s own insight.
I have been fortunate to learn from many inspiring people who have accomplished tremendous things such as run ultra-marathons (100-200 miles), Ironman triathlons (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run), completed a Master’s or Doctorate Degree, lovingly raised children alone, created a successful business with no college degree and barely enough money to provide for their family, heal and recover from abuse and trauma, and become a caregiver for a family member.
I would like to share with you some observations I have made below. I have always been fascinated with ways people improve their outcomes, better their circumstances and create such a positive impact on others.
THINGS PEOPLE DO TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS
Embrace ways to challenge themselves and grow. The idea of pushing themselves outside their comfort zone is one they have come to understand will enrich their lives
Understand mindset will hurt or help you. A flexible, adjustable mindset is key
Have a detailed plan and schedule and follow through with it
Support and encourage others
Review, evaluate and adjust goals regularly
Daily self-care habits and routines: such as meditation, reading, exercise, visualization, mantras, prayer, journaling
Keep goals in a place where they are visual and frequent reminders, such as an alarm on your phone, posted on the bathroom mirror, on sticky notes on bedroom walls, etc.
Collaborate with others who hold them accountable
Understand that achieving something great is not done alone, and are willing to accept support from others
View other’s success as inspiring and encouraging rather than threatening
Expect that failure is a part of the process
There is some level of comfort in a predictable life, even if it is a miserable life. Research shows how the brain tricks us into wanting things to be the same. You see, our brains are hardwired for survival and protection (Lewis, 2016.) In order to challenge ourselves to grow, we need to do some careful examination of where our fears stem from.
After plenty of my own failings, questioning and learning from others, below are some notable pitfalls to avoid.
REASONS PEOPLE DO NOT ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS
They do not have a detailed plan in which they researched how to actually accomplish the desired outcome
Beliefs they have adapted from other's feedback, such as, "I do not deserve to be happy, I am not good enough," are engrained and accepted in their mind.
Fear of the unknown prevents them from taking a risk
They look to the norm and society to see if what they are after is commonplace or considered socially acceptable
They ignore their passion and intuition
They believe that reaching out for support is a sign of weakness, which prevents them from utilizing resources that would benefit them
Accountability is not structured into their plan
They start with a plan, get sidetracked and started over again and again with different ideas, strategies and methods.
Perhaps these Dos and Do Nots will help you navigate your journey forward. It is not an exhaustive list, yet hopefully enough to get you started. As a coach and therapist, I am trusted amidst people’s most vulnerable stages of life, which is something I take seriously. When supporting clients, and in my own life, I incorporate these guidelines above to foster growth and progress. The path to healing, recovery and one of creating new opportunities is an intensive process, that is well worth the contribution.
The confidence that people gain after achieving such goals leads to a domino effect of positivity in life. After each small win, confidence grows and builds, setting up for the next goal to work toward. My favorite part of coaching and being a therapist is witnessing firsthand the aha moment of achieving a goal and seeing the genuine happiness that accompanies it!
Katey Collins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her career roles are/have been Therapist, Life Coach, Executive Director, Associate Director and Founder of non-profit organizations, Swim Coach. She owns two businesses, Tri Life Coach and
Bee Happy Therapy in Lake Geneva.
Katey competed through college in swimming and now enjoys endurance racing: Ironman Triathlon, Running (5k – 50K) and open water swimming, most recently a 10k in Barbados.
Posted By Chuck Gillespie,
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
1. Understand the contextual aspect of a person’s need for help with their financial matters.
Assess interests and needs (readiness for change)
Identify the barriers or resistance to change
Seek out tools to help them navigate their own strategy based on fit, geography and cultural need.
2. Apply a systematic approach to financial wellness by focusing more on the interrelationship between elements within the system at the organization, community or global level.
Help individuals identify specific dynamics in their daily lives that trigger poor financial decisions.
Recognize how a person’s financial matters are affected by social wellness dynamics (friends, family, organization, community, lifestyle, etc…)
Help people recognize their limitations and provide additional guidance to support them when they are ready to make the change.
Know where people get their financial advice from. The top places are as follow: 30% Google/my own research, 22% from financial planners, 16% from parents, 10% from friends.
3. Take a more methodological approach to your financial wellness strategy.
If someone is not ready to change their relationship with their money, then do your best to keep them informed until they are ready.
Get your internal champions trained to be able to provide the right types of information to help others better understand their relationship with money and readiness for change.
It is a waste of time to teach retirement planning to people who struggle to pay their monthly bills.
4. Take a project management approach championing financial wellness.
Help people prepare their specific journey toward financial fitness and remember that each journey will be different. You need to be there for support and accountability.
A multitude of tools and resources need to be available. Some will need more help than others.
Develop at least one simple “starter” program for individuals who think they just want to follow a plan. Do not make this complex. Focus on the basics of financial lifestyles like eating out versus cooking at home or developing a monthly budget. This is a starting point, not the ultimate solution.
5. Be professional while helping people.
Practice what you preach.
Maintain a positive atmosphere when offering help – do not judge people.
People will fail. Be there to coach them back on track.
Remember that this is a marathon for most people. If we do not have a good relationship with financial matters, more money will not solve the problem – just enhance it.
Prepare your organization by having champions of financial wellness ready to help guide your employees toward a better relationship with their money.
Register to get the training and materials needed to facilitate the one-hour “Living Financially Well” program for your workforce.
Posted By NWI,
Friday, December 20, 2019
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019
5 Ways To Incorporate Gratitude and Giving Into Your Everyday Life
At Givhero, they are in the business of celebrating giving and gratitude through everyday actions, and they inspire people to do the same! Here are some ways to incorporate gratitude into your day-to-day life. Read more on Givehero.com
2020 Wellness Budget
If you ask for information about what a wellness budget should consider in 2020, this is what you will find based on a few key professional groups:
Another new year is almost here, and as it is every year, so many people—likely a good portion of your employees included—are high on hope, optimistic that this is finally the year when they’ll eat healthier, start exercising, quit smoking, etc. Of course, last year was the year too, but for so many people, it didn’t stick. Read more at selfhelpworks.com
This is part 1 of The BRATLAB ‘Behavioral Prescription’ Series
High blood pressure, or "hypertension" has no immediately noticeable symptoms. It is therefore difficult to spot and often referred to as the "silent killer." It is one of the most frequently diagnosed health conditions amongst US adults and was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 410,000 Americans in 2014. That's over 1,000 deaths each day and represents an 18% increase since 2009.
Hypertension is defined as blood pressure in excess of 140mmHg Systolic or 90mmHg Diastolic (“140 over 90”) and these levels are experienced by over 30% of the US population. The percentage of the population with hypertension increases significantly with age and is one of the leading indicators for chronic heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, aneurysms and aortic disease. The relationship between high blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease events is continuous, consistent, and independent of other risk factors — the higher the blood pressure, the greater is the chance of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
If you have a population impacted by hypertension, what behavior change would have the greatest impact on an individual’s risk profile? With a limited budget, where should you focus your resources?
The most effective wellness interventions for High Blood Pressure
The Behavioural Research and Applied Technology Laboratory research suggests that behavior change can reduce hypertension significantly, and fast. Compared to other lifestyle habits, exercise has the largest impact. Research suggests that a reduction of around 55% in the prevalence of hypertension can be achieved through a ‘habit prescription’ or ‘dose’ of cardiovascular exercise at moderate (brisk walk) to intense (running) intensity levels for 30 minutes, five days per week. Although physicians recommend that exercise should still be combined with drug therapy, clinical trials confirm that exercise is at least as effective at controlling blood pressure as medicines — and with none of the unpleasant side effects.
In addition to exercise, getting adequate sleep (>7 hours per night) and meditation (transcendental, practiced twice a day for 20 minutes) significantly reduce hypertension prevalence by up to 40%. Other wellness interventions also show benefits, but not as large as these.
Making the Change: Adopting Healthy Behaviors that Reduce Hypertension
Organizations looking to change the health risk profile of their employee populations would do well to address hypertension, at least through exercise. Setting up a change-ready environment that allows employees to adopt healthier behaviors regarding exercise, meditation and sleep hygiene will result in significant improvements in an organization’s health risk profile.
Alongside the 30% of the population with hypertension, it’s estimated that around 60% of the US population does not exercise adequately. In the worst case this means that 18% of a typical US population will both hypertensive and not exercising adequately. However, given these findings, it’s likely that more than 60% of the hypertensive population are not exercising, meaning that 18% is an underestimate. Combining this finding with the 55% reduction available through exercise, suggests that a reduction of at least 10% in hypertension prevalence is achievable in a typical US population.
Within a few years, that will translate to significant reductions in cardiovascular and heart disease, more than reversing the increasing trend and reducing health plan costs. The cost and productivity benefits will manifest over time and can be accurately predicted. Any organization looking to evaluate the impact of investing in these changes or wanting to understand more about how to create healthy and change-ready cultures should contact Change Craft on email@example.com.
Colin Bullen is the Founder and Director of Change Craft, a global business established to help organisations execute effective and successful wellbeing change. In business, he’s the technician, evaluator, and strategist. A true road-less-travelled devotee, he qualified as an actuary in 1992 in the UK before spending 13 years in South Africa where he met Chicago-based business partner Hanlie van Wyk. During this time, he has steadily broadened his métier into health, well-being, leadership, strategy, assessment, and data.
Colin has a deep passion for helping companies find their human touch, whilst accelerating their performance and focusing their vision. Colin is also one of the creators of the behavioural research database that is BRATLAB and has been a driving force behind early successes in Change Craft.
Posted By Michelle J. Howe,
Friday, December 13, 2019
Updated: Friday, December 13, 2019
The human cycle is one of birth and death.
Birth expands the heart. It’s a time to rejoice as we welcome a new soul into our lives.
Death constricts the heart. It’s a time to face the loss of someone from our lives.
There is a day to be born and there is a day to die.
Facing mortality is never easy.
There are those passing on with some level of awareness or notice. They have a unique opportunity to share their final thoughts with those most meaningful in their life. The biggest challenge for oneself and those we love comes as the process unfolds. It’s about coming to terms with what’s happening.
There are those who pass on without notice. Their death is sudden and to the point. The biggest challenge for these facing this type of situation comes from the sudden change, unresolved feelings or regrets. Neither party left got the opportunity to say goodbye.
Mortality is bittersweet.
Bittersweet is a noun describing something that is sweet with a bitter aftertaste.
The sweet part of mortality or losing a loved one comes from our focus and attention to our connection to them. It comes from feeling the depth of connection and honoring them with presence, pause and love.
The sweet part also involves revisiting storylines and past memories. The revisit allows us to cherish and value their role in our life. The revisit brings the past to present. The revisit brings tears that soften as we move into grief. Surrender, allowance and acceptance are the next important steps. In the end, we release heavy emotions and move forward with our life.
The bitter aftertaste is saying goodbye.
Each soul leaving their body has its own unique experience. There may be fear. There may be regrets. There may be anger. There may be restlessness and angst. There may be a determination to stay here. There may be grace and acceptance. There may be no emotion at all. There is no right approach to mortality. Each and every individual on his or her own path.
To be that individual saying goodbye to someone or losing a loved one is another experience. This loss initiates a range of emotions that begin with heartbreak followed by some measure of grief, sadness, or sorrow. The best approach is to feel whatever emotions arise knowing the importance of moving through each step your process.
A few things to consider when you are facing a bittersweet loss in your life:
Focus on the soft, loving sides of them.
Engage them to learn more about their life.
Speak with kind words and open your heart.
Listen without trying to correct or fix their mind.
Take notice of the imprints you have inherited from them.
Recognize the soul beyond the mentality of the personality.
Beliefs about life and death are personal and vary from person to person.
Below are a few introspective questions to ask yourself:
What do I believe happens after the death of a loved one?
Do I still feel connected to those who are no longer physically here?
Have I moved through all stages of grief or stuffed those heavy emotions?
Regardless of your position, thoughts or beliefs about death, there will always be mystery surrounding the topic. To prove or not to prove is always a debate that part and parcel for those unwilling to believe or trust beyond our logical minds.
“Faith is that the magic ingredient that allows us to accept life and death without fear. Faith allows us to move forward with peace in our hearts and an awareness of infinite connection to one another.”
Loss shocks our sense of stability, challenges our mind, and fills us with heavy emotions. The more we love, the stronger we are impacted by grief. Grief is the process of letting go, saying goodbye and, stepping forward with a new maturity.
When dealing with grief, it’s important to express emotions in the form of tears, writing or words. It’s important to be compassionate and patient with oneself. It’s important to nurture oneself by spending time alone or hanging with good friends. When dealing with grief, it may help to find a quality healer or empathic counselor as listed on online directories like DaoCloud or Wellness Universe. In time, the heart will heal.
Michelle J. Howe is an Evolutionary Guide, an Awakening Speaker, and a Master Healer. She is the founder of Empath Evolution and the curator of The Empath Evolution Community for individuals who are Highly Sensitive Feelers, Healers and Empaths. Michelle is a powerful channel of high vibrational healing energies who is on a mission to awaken your sense of inner connection and to deepen the trust you have in your own natural gifts and intuition. She's passionate about helping you navigate beyond the negativity, trauma, mood swings and anxiety that often accompany the Empath’s journey.
Posted By Dr. Anthony Odney, D.C.,
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash
A baseball team keeps nine players on the field when it is that team’s turn to pitch. If something happens to one of those players, an alternate player is sent to take that person’s place on the field. As a unit, the team works to accomplish the task of getting all of the batters out in one way or another.
The body’s immune system works in much the same manner as a team of baseball players. How is this so?
During a game, the initial goal of the pitching team is to keep as many batters from gaining access to the field as possible. However, it is expected that batters will eventually make it on base. Once a batter does make it on base, that does not mean that a complete run has been gained for the running team. The defensive team can still get the running batter out before he or she crosses the home plate.
The human body is equipped with multiple methods for keeping out infection, disease, and illness. As the outermost layer of the body, the skin is often considered the body’s first line of defense against disease and infection. Mucous membranes, airways, and the digestive tract are a few of the body’s other natural defense barriers. Life naturally brings us to easily ingest or acquire harmful bits of the world in which we live.
A pitcher and his teammates can do everything right, and a batter will still get a hit. When a ball is put into play by the batter, the nine players must work together to retrieve the ball and use it to get the player out. How the baseball team plays will depend on the skill and determination of the players, time spent in practice, and the ability of the team to communicate effectively.
The immune system also has more than one chance for recovery. The body’s power to protect itself is incredible, but not quite impenetrable. We do get injured and sick, requiring the body to invoke its natural ability to begin healing — often before we are even fully aware there may be an illness underway.
When this happens, our bodies must begin to fight each individual matter from the inside. How well this happens will depend very much on our immune system’s health and ability to send information efficiently through the body.
How Does Chiropractic Boost Your Immune System?
A team may have amazing players, but if they have not learned how to understand one another’s hand signals and verbal cues, enjoying and winning the game will be far more difficult. Players must be able to communicate if they wish to achieve the secondary goal of getting the batter out.
In much the same manner, it is imperative for even the tiniest portions of the body to communicate via their highly intricate methods. Slight misalignments in the body can cause an interruption to the natural communication signals in the body. Chiropractic care empowers the human immune system with one of the most powerful defense mechanisms available: the ability to send messages.
When the ability to send messages through synapses to the brain is hindered or lost, the effectiveness for which wellness in the body can be retained is altered. Chiropractic care techniques work to restore this natural power from within the body.
Chiropractic care fosters a cooperative defensive team within the body’s natural mechanisms for health. Preventative and recovery care overlap in their techniques. Yet, the results are similar in that once communications are retained, wellness is better retained within the tiniest hidden portions of the body.
A seasoned baseball player may seek to inform another player through hand signals that get jumbled or missed. Perhaps a player’s vision becomes blurred, causing him to misinterpret signals. This will affect the outcome of the next play in the game. Something must be done to improve communications in order for the team to improve their game.
Like improving the vision of a player, chiropractic improves the nervous system’s ability to "see" and interpret signals that are sent through the body. Care of the spine and nervous system helps to improve the effectiveness of the information superhighways that run through the spinal column. In turn, the body receives a higher level of properly functioning tiny parts that may assist in keeping it well.
Chiropractic and White Blood Cell Counts
Chiropractic adjustments serve as a series of gentle communication reminders for the body. These reminders help to reintroduce a sense of focus for nerves as they work to provide healing and wellness in the body. Manual adjustments to the spine and joints help to hone the focus of the joints as they work to help the brain and body communication efficiently.
Chiropractic adjustment(s) work to bring the vertebrae back into proper positioning, relieving pressure on the spine and restoring signals that are needed through the central nervous system. When this happens, white blood cells set about thwarting illness, ailments, and physical conditions that may cause pain and discomfort. In somewhat of a snowball effect, wellness can help us breed wellness within our bodies. When we are healthy enough to enjoy some exercise, we increase our ability to be well.
According to Kate Gilbert in Psychology Today, studies show the relationship that white blood cells have with chiropractic adjustments is positive. A study by the National College of Chiropractic in Illinois found that white blood cell counts are elevated following a spinal adjustment. Intentional care for the spine brings the immune system’s fighting power to an improved level of function benefiting the body throughout.
The relationship between the human immune system and chiropractic is clear. The immune system, as well as the rest of the body, loves the attention and care that chiropractic offers.
Dr. Jonathan Verderame of the Digital Journal echoes this, noting the nervous system’s ability to control the immune system as shown by Musculoskeletal Science and Practice.
It is clear that the effects of chiropractic on the immune system are quite desirable. A team that operates with all of its powers and capabilities may bring a winning season, in part, due to good communication!
Doctors of chiropractic may be viewed as a collection of coaches silently bringing beneficial communications back into the immune system for the benefit of the patient.
Dr. Anthony Odney, D.C. is a graduate of Southern California University of Health Science where he earned his doctorate of chiropractic. In addition, he has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and kinesiology. Originally from Norway, Dr. Odney became a chiropractor because of his belief that the human body is a marvelous machine that can be “fixed” by chiropractic care. At Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab, he continues to use a scientific-based chiropractic approach to help patients resolve their medical conditions.
This is the sixth and final post in a six-part series focusing on the Six Dimensions of Wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Each post has featured a different dimension of wellness. This post will discuss spiritual wellness and the importance of pondering life and your place in it, being mindful, and finding peace within.
Crowds of onlookers with mouths agape stared toward the early morning sky. This was no ordinary morning in New York City because 24-year-old Philippe Petit had chosen this day—August 7, 1974—to walk a wire he had secretly strung between the Twin Towers. More than 1,300 feet above the ground, Petit took one step, and then another. He felt the building sway in the breeze as he stood on the 131-foot cable.
“After a few steps, I knew I was in my element and I knew the wire was not well rigged… but it was safe enough for me to carry on,” Petit said in an interview with Ric Burns, producer of the PBS history series American Experience. “And then, very slowly as I walked, I was overwhelmed by a sense of easiness, a sense of simplicity.”
Petit felt alive! He danced and ran on the 5/8-inch thick wire. He sat down and took in the muffled cheers from the ant-sized crowd below. He fully and intentionally experienced each moment. He heard police officers yelling commands, and yet he chose to focus on the wind, the wire, and the joy of remaining balanced.
Spiritual Wellness, Like Balance, Takes Practice
Pictures show Petit smiling broadly, but looking back to that moment he recalls feeling disbelief that it was so easy “after all those years and months of ups and downs and detours, victories, and disasters.” The journey toward spiritual wellness is a lot like that high-wire walk. There may be moments of anxiety, distress, doubt, despair, and disruption, but there are also times of pure joy, happiness, and discovery of who you are, what you value, and how you fit into your world view. To find balance, a spiritually well person embarks on the same process as a tightrope walker: “He discards the movements space will not support,” Petit writes, “and gathers up the others into a group that he will polish, refine, lighten, and bring closer and closer to himself.”
Finding balance—or as the National Wellness Institute says, harmony—between your inner “feelings and emotions and rugged stretches of your path” demands as much poise as walking near clouds. When asked how he copes with the 1992 death of his nine-year-old daughter, Petit replied, “Oh, I cope with joy….One has to find balance between joy and sorrow. I have immense sorrow over the loss of that child, but I also have immense joy when I think of her.” When faced with despair, a spiritually well person moves forward, step by step, exhibiting consistency and focus.
What would happen if your population engaged in a similar kind of balance and practiced focus?
Workforce Benefits of Mindfulness
Spiritual wellness follows these tenets:
It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.
The most common definition of mindfulness is “the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present.” Being mindful requires a person to devote extra-focused attention on their thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment. This hyper-attention to the “now” forces you to block out worry and stress. And that simple act has tremendous benefits:
Mindfulness is increasingly being promoted as a way to improve well-being, boost performance, and enhance working relationships.
But Is Mindfulness Hard?
Practicing mindfulness can be challenging at first—just like high-wire walking. But with enough practice, it is also “the simplest, the most beautiful, and the easiest” thing to do. “I shouldn’t say that, but why not?” says Petit. “It’s very easy to walk on a wire if you spend a whole lifetime practicing it.” For Petit, a lifetime of practice has made performing on a tightrope both the most difficult and the easiest art form on the earth.
Mindfulness—the focused path to spiritual wellness—gets easier over time. And the benefits make it worth the effort.
A basic quiz for participants to see how much they know about mindfulness
An inspiring story of how mindfulness changed one man’s life
The benefits of mindfulness to both mind and body
Trips for practicing mindfulness
A calendar to track your progress as you practice mindfulness each day
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Bartlett, Larissa, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of workplace mindfulness training randomized controlled trials. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 2019:24(1):108-126. doi:10.1037/ocp0000146
Brown, Kirk, and Ryan, Richard M. The Benefits of Being Present: Mindfulness and Its Role in Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003;84(4): 882-848. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.112
Burns, Ric. Interview with Philippe Petit. “Philippe Petit, High Wire Artist.” American Experience. WGBH Educational Foundation. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Sept. 2003. Feature clip from the documentary film The Center of the World. From https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/newyork/
Hülsheger, Ute R., et al. Benefits of Mindfulness at Work: The role of Mindfulness in Emotion Regulation, Emotional Exhaustion, and Job Satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2013;98(2):310-325. doi:10.1037/a0031313
Johnson, Jill R., et al. Resilience Training: A Pilot Study of a Mindfulness-Based Program with Depressed Healthcare Professionals. Explore, 2015;11(6):433-444. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2015.08.002
Khoury, Bassam, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2015;78(6): 519-528. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.03.009
Luken, Michelle, and Sammons, Amanda. Systematic Review of Mindfulness Practice for Reducing Job Burnout. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2016;70(2): 7002250020p1–7002250020p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.016956
Márquez, P.H. Ponte, et al. Benefits of mindfulness meditation in reducing blood pressure and stress in patients with arterial hypertension. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2018; 33(3): 237-247. doi:10.1038/s41371-018-0130-6