By Lis Frey, Bio-Energetic Practitioner 

 

When it comes to your health, do you treat, prevent, or support your body to adapt?

In a world obsessed with avoiding pain and illness, our approach to health varies from the norm.  Here at Longevity, we believe in creating an environment and lifestyle that supports the nervous and immune systems and develops a healthy personal ecosystem.  Rather than turning to antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle, we recommend immune supporting herbs and therapies, dietary changes, and rest.  We firmly believe that your body is well designed to handle a certain amount of stress, if you provide it with the right tools to optimize your response to that stressor. 

But there is actually even more to that idea. It is well proven that your body actually benefits from a certain amount of stress.  If we completely isolate ourselves and live in a sterile bubble, our immune systems will undoubtedly suffer. 

This process of stress and toxins benefiting your health on a cellular level is called Hormesis.  Wikipedia defines Hormesis as “any process in a cell or organism that exhibits a biphasic response to exposure to increasing amounts of a substance or condition. Within the hormetic zone, there is generally a favorable biological response to low exposures to toxins and other stressors.”

As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent of a species that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” 

We have seen Hormesis clearly play out in the arena of childbirth across history.  Before awareness of germs, mortality rates of both infants and mothers were significantly higher. But after the discovery of germs and implementing sterilization procedures, mortality rates began to decline.  However, it was taken too far.  The childbirth process became overly-sterilized by routinely replacing vaginal births for c-sections, breastfeeding for formula feeding, vigorous baths for skin-to-skin time, and regularly administering antibiotics. Thank God for these medical advancements in times of emergency!  But they are not ideal methods for most healthy mothers and babies. 

Even though the U.S. has one of the most advanced medical systems in the world, the mortality rates in childbirth have steadily risen alongside the level of intervention.  We have since learned all about the immune boosting benefits of exposing an infant to the bacteria in the birth canal, of not bathing a newborn too soon, of skin-to-skin exposure, and of breastfeeding, and yet a lot of these over-zealous interventions that detract from these natural immune-boosting processes remain standard practice.   Even though we have learned so much in the field of immunology and the role of healthy bacteria on our systems, we continue to fear commonplace germs that are helpful. 

Another example of Hormesis is the body’s ability to produce an appropriate fever response.  When exposed to bacterial and viral infections, the body may produce a fever as an immune response.  When the fever stays within a certain range, and as long as the frequency is limited to a few times a year, it is one of the most cleansing and immune-informing things one can experience. Your body has found a way to not only fight the acute infection, but purged other toxins that were burdening it. It has used the stress of an infection to get stronger than it was before.  In addition, your immune system has gained information about how to fight future bacteria and viruses.  Some of favorite detox therapies at Longevity are based on this concept of hyperthermia, or raising of body temperature.

While we strongly encourage our patients to limit their exposure to toxic stressors, especially those of a synthetic nature such as chemicals from cleaning agents, xenoestrogens from personal care products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides from inorganic foods, we also strongly encourage them to fight against the temptation of perfectionism.  Aside from being a complete exercise in futility (perfect health simply does not exist), it will actually work against you in a number of ways.  Not only will it directly weaken you physiologically if you attempt to avoid all physical stressors, but the psychological effect will end up working against you as well.  In order for anabolic processes such as tissue repair, optimal digestion, and nutritional metabolization to take place, your nervous system must be in a parasympathetic state.  

When one puts impossible standards on their body and its systems, it can actually cause a fight or flight response, a state in which the body prioritizes survival over healing. We must strive to avoid this way of thinking. We understand that this can be an easy thing to say, but much more difficult thing to do, especially during a season of a worldwide pandemic.  

Many of you have become our patients because you have had a health trauma. You felt like your bodies were betraying you, you couldn’t find the answers you needed, and you wondered if you would ever be able to regain health and function like you used to.  This sort of trauma can make it tempting to try to avoid every stressful thing for your body, resulting in health perfectionism, and ultimately, defeat.  Although we love when our patients are committed to their health and making good choices for themselves, we want it to be done from a place of loving self-acceptance and respect, and not fear.   As Brené Brown writes In her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”

This is why, although we love clearing out past toxins bogging down the body, we also do a lot to support the body’s ability to adapt to stress, support the liver’s ability to handle environmental toxins, and increase antioxidants to minimize the negative impacts of environmental toxins and metabolic waste on the cells.  Aside from our wonderful herbal, nutritional, and therapeutic support, there is a lot that you can do on your own to increase your ability to adapt and to make that shift away from fear to love and respect, to make the shift from the sympathetic state to parasympathetic state.  

We want our patients (and all people!) to live happy lives, to become the fullest versions of themselves. We desperately want to avoid the pitfall of perfectionism and the fear of contamination and instead cultivate physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality. To quote Brené again, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  

And this is what we, as individuals, need too.  We are looking not to just ward off death (we all die), but to build life, so we can live it to the very fullest.  Nourishing our souls with the things that bring us life is exactly how we will have the reserves we need when hard times come our way.  

 If you are struggling with fear regarding your health, we encourage you to start thinking about the positive, joy-giving things you can incorporate into your life.  What’s one small step you could take to bring more satisfaction and positivity to your day? It could be something simple like doing yoga, listening to worship music, or taking an epsom salt bath. Or it could be a bigger step, such as distancing yourself from a toxic relationship or finding a career path that makes you come alive. 

No matter where you are on your health journey, it would be our great privilege to come alongside you as you pursue wholeness in mind, body, and spirit! 

By Alice Honican, L.Ac., Bio-Energetic Practitioner 

 

For years, I’ve seen Acupuncture effectively treat patients with stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. This ancient therapy stimulates the release of specific neurotransmitters. The brain needs neurotransmitters to regulate mood, sleep cycles, breathing, heart rate and concentration. 

Chronic stress is detrimental to the mind and body. When a person is constantly in fight or flight mode, cortisol levels are elevated, and optimal rest and digestion are compromised.  When your system thinks it’s running from a bear, it prioritizes survival above all else. It can’t take on other simple functions like digesting food, restorative sleep, or fighting off illness. 

Acupuncture is a wonderful therapy that promotes mental and emotional health. The treatments are pain free and very relaxing, and a great way to give yourself some much-needed self-care. Each session helps the body relax, lowering cortisol and getting into a zen-like meditative state.  

Better emotional and mental health leads to enhanced physical health! Stress affects meridians and organ systems in different ways, affecting the flow of energy, or qi.  If there is a blockage of energy in the meridians, there will be a lack of nourishment to cells, tissues, muscles, organs, and glands. Chronic blockages can lead to pain, disease, stress, and diminishing health and quality of life. Acupuncture corrects these blockages and can alleviate many acute and chronic symptoms. 

This ancient therapy sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. For a chronic health issue, I would recommend a series of 10 Acupuncture sessions, or 1-2 treatments per week. Then, I’d suggest a treatment about once a quarter for maintenance.  

Acupuncture is safe for all ages. The therapy uses sterile, fine needles that do not hurt!  It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy.  As long as a child is able to remain still, they are old enough for Acupuncture!

To learn more about Acupuncture and if it’s right for you, visit http://longevityhealth.com/acupuncture/ or call us at 770-642-4646. 

Homeoprophylaxis is the use of potentized substances in a systematic manner to prevent the development of the characteristic symptoms of infectious diseases.

 

Homeoprophylaxis Is Non-Injected, 100% Safe & Non-Toxic.

Homeoprophylaxis offers a safe, effective, and reliable solution to increase natural immunity from diseases that occur in outdoor and more remote environments. Longevity offers customized homeoprophylaxis protocols for those who spend significant time outdoors.

 

Safety Of Homeoprophylaxis Programs for Summer Campers, Backpackers and Trekkers

  • Homeoprophylaxis has been proven safe and clinically effective for over 200 years and on millions of people worldwide!
  • These programs can be customized to the needs of the summer camper or adventurer, depending on their destination.
  • These programs are customized to the client’s needs and designed for protection of infectious diseases common in the areas where the person will be camping, backpacking or trekking.
  • Customized protocols are available for adults and children participating in Boy/Girl Scouts, adventure camps, mission trips, and vacations. 

 

About Short-Term and Long-Term Travel Protocols

  • Homeoprophylaxis protection is available for short-term (less than 3 months) and/or extended long-term travel (3 to 24 months), depending on the client’s needs.
  • It is the client’s responsibility to research the diseases of concern that are appropriate for their outdoor travel locations.

 

Begin Homeoprophylaxis BEFORE Outdoor Camps or Adventure Activities

  • It is best to contact us at least two months prior to outdoor adventure camping or backpacking to discuss your customized protocol needs.
  • Customized programs for short-term summer camps, backpacking trips, and more can be tailored to the client’s travel destination and needs.
  • We recommend starting a Homeoprophylaxis program for outdoor adventures at least 1 month prior to travel/camp, for maximum protection against up to 2 to 3 diseases.
  • Protection against more than 3 diseases will require more time in advance.
  • We offer Homeoprophylaxis protection for various diseases, so that toxic vaccinations can be avoided.
  • Ongoing dosing of the required Homeoprophylaxis remedies is typically repeated while the person is living or working outdoors short term and/or where a given disease is more prevalent (for example Lyme Disease in areas of high exposure).
  • Long-term dosing for outdoor types of disease prevention for activities that are longer than 3 months are dosed differently and dosing instructions are provided by the supervising Practitioner. 
  • Long-term outdoor camping, backpacking, or trekking is considered to be from 3 to 24 months and it requires different dosing of the Homeoprophylaxis remedies than the short term dosing. Long-term Homeoprophylaxis also requires a periodic repetition of doses.
  • Long-term Homeoprophylaxis is administered on a customized schedule, as discussed with the supervising Certified Homeoprophylaxis Practitioner.

 

Disease Protection

  • We offer effective protection for all types of diseases, so that  toxic vaccinations can be avoided. 
  • It is the client’s responsibility to research and request the protection that is appropriate to their summer camping, backpacking or trekking location and concerns.

 

To learn more, call us at 770-642-4646.

Acupuncture For Kids

By Andrea Lewinter, Licensed Acupuncturist

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of Acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children, because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many people, especially kids, whose brains and bodies aren’t yet fully developed.

 

Acupuncture is gaining popularity among pediatrics. There are Licensed Acupuncturists who specialize in treating children and they are in high demand. These Pediatric Acupuncturists are helping children where others can’t and for many, it is lifesaving.

Pediatric Acupuncture is commonly known as shonishin and it rarely uses needles. Instead, this form of acupuncture utilizes the practitioners’ hands and rounded tools to stimulate the acupoints of the child. The practitioner will gently and rhythmically rub, tap and press the skin to produce gentle stimulation sensations. Because children process things more quickly and with fewer blockages, the sessions can be shorter and may be needed less frequently.

 

Parents are turning to Acupuncture because it provides a safe resolution of illness, while also preventing future illnesses. Acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the body’s ability to restore and heal itself. Our bodies are fully capable of fighting off disease and healing injuries when the right tools are provided. Acupuncture is that right tool that not only stimulates the immune system, but also relaxes the nervous system and regulates the digestive and hormonal systems. All of these things need to be in balance for the body to heal.

 

Many times parents are told by doctors that what their child is experiencing is just “a phase” and he or she “will grow out of it.” In many ways, this is a way of ignoring the real issues at hand. Conventional medicine doesn’t work holistically, addressing the whole body, and parents are usually sent to a dozen different specialists who never really coordinate to find the best treatment for the child. This becomes frustrating and financially taxing for the parent, not to mention how the child feels. This is where Acupuncture excels. A single Acupuncture treatment can address pain, anxiety, insomnia and digestive issues all at the same time.

 

Not only is Acupuncture more cost effective when it comes to treating children, but it also is a more logical approach. Why add in the stress of seeing multiple doctors when you can have everything addressed by just one? If your child is suffering from pain, asthma, ADHD or any other type of ailment, Acupuncture might hold the answer. 

 

Call our office to learn more about Acupuncture, our Licensed Practitioners, Andrea Lewinter and Alice Honican, and the new patient session and packages we offer. 

 

5 Steps to Detoxify Your System This Season 

 

By Alice Honican, ND L.Ac. Bio-Energetic Practitioner

I have now been practicing Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine at Longevity for 14 years! Every case I see is different, and I have the job of being an investigator, attempting to get to the root cause of patients’ symptoms. Why does she have migraines? Why does he feel so rundown? Why won’t the chronic hives go away? Why does this food suddenly make her feel sick? 

 

Through urinalysis, Thermography, and Bio-energetic testing, I am able to determine which organs are overburdened, which foods are causing sensitivities, what nutrients are deficient, and what toxins are stressing the system. Then, I recommend a tailored detoxification and nutrition protocol. 

 

These regiments require commitment, resources, and a lot of patience! Believe me, I wish all my patients could be in perfect health after one visit. However, the human body is complicated, and lasting health is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

It takes more than one yoga class to become flexible and meditate without distraction. It takes more than one day of dieting to be at your goal weight. When you leave the dentist, and your teeth are sparkling from all the plaque removal, you have to go back in six months to do it all again. 

 

In the same way, detoxification is not a one and done. Toxins are always bombarding us, and it is important to cleanse the body regularly for a vibrant quality of life. An investment in your health and vitality is always worth it! 

 

As a holistic practitioner, I truly believe in the importance of regular detoxification. This time of year, with all its fresh beauty, new life, and warmer temperatures, is a great reminder to do some “spring cleaning” for our bodies. Here are four suggestions to inspire you in your cleansing efforts this season.  

 

  • Get moving! Working out and getting a good sweat going is a great way to detox the lymphatic system, promoting the removal of toxins from the body. Warmer weather is a great excuse to opt outside for a run, walk, or hike. Bring your pet so your furry friend can detox and shake off the winter blues with you! 
  • Hydrate. After you’ve done all that sweating, be sure to replenish electrolytes with minerals and plenty of pure water. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day to promote healthy waste removal, clear skin, optimal digestion, and good joint function. 
  • Try HOCATT. This personal steam sauna system can address and improve your physical health and well-being. It fights viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, and burns up to 600 calories per session. Call or stop by our office to learn more about this amazing supporting therapy and all its benefits. 
  • Adapt an anti-inflammatory diet. Eliminate pro-inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar from your diet wherever you can. I recommend doing a program like Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox twice a year to reset the immune system and metabolism. Spring is the perfect time to add in more greens, smoothies, salads, and other fruits and veggies high in immune-boosting nutrition. 
  • Renew your mind. As long as you’re focusing on removing toxins from your system, why not eliminate those thoughts as well? Incorporate a daily yoga, mediation, or prayer practice to identify and eliminate thoughts and beliefs that are not serving you physically, emotionally, or spiritually, replacing them with life-giving, soul-restoring truths. Even 5 minutes of intentional time each day setting intentions and practicing gratitude can make a major difference in your mind, body, and spirit! 

 

For a comprehensive check-up and thorough detox protocol tailored specifically to you, come see me or one of our other qualified and experienced practitioners for an office visit. 

Happy Spring! 

By Cristina McMullen, ND, Certified Wellness Coach 

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? A whole month dedicated to nutrition! How cool is that? This awareness is so needed in our country, especially since about half of all American adults (117 million individuals) have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating and physical inactivity. Yes, you read that right! Half of the adults in this country could have prevented a chronic illness if they ate better and moved around more! With that staggering statistic, we should dedicate a whole year to nutrition! 

This year the slogan for National Nutrition Month is “eat right, bite by bite.” Sounds simple right? Well, not so much. This is where things actually can get pretty tricky. You see, the field of nutrition is forever evolving and changing. Because of this, there is now quite a bit of contradicting dietary advice out there that can make figuring out what is healthy seem impossible. Fat is bad for you; fat is amazing for you. Eat meat; don’t eat meat. Drink your milk; stay away from all dairy. Eat your vegetables, just not the nightshades and ones that contain lectins or oxalates. Oh wait, now all vegetables are bad and you should only eat meat. It’s honestly enough to make even the wisest of nutritionists feel like they are going crazy and leaves us even more confused about what it means to truly eat right.

I personally got really interested in the world of nutrition as a young teenager. Back then, it was the 90’s and it seemed like new dietary recommendations were coming out every single day. It was when the American Heart Association told us that dietary fat was a main contributor to heart disease and that we all needed to adhere to a low fat diet. Then the “got milk” campaign rolled in and showed celebrities smiling with milk mustaches in order to promote strong bones. Soy was even touted as the next miracle food for cancer prevention. I remember reading the South Beach Diet and comparing it to the Atkins Diet, which completely went against everything they said about heart health. 

Fast forward 20 years and things are quite different in the nutrition world. Diets like keto, Whole 30, and paleo are all the rage and go very much against so much of the older dietary advice. Keto tells us the more fat the better, while Whole 30 and paleo restrict any and all soy and dairy. The GAPS diet encourages you to eat yogurt, while the autoimmune paleo and low FODMAP require a Ph.D in order to figure out what you can and cannot eat!

In all of my years studying nutrition I have come to the conclusion that there honestly is not one solo diet out there that will be perfect for everyone! Our bodies are more complex than that, and a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work! We each have different ancestral backgrounds, activity levels, and health concerns that should guide us in fine tuning our body’s nutritional needs. Our nutritional needs also change depending on which phase of life we are in. 

There are, however, a few commonalities among many of the diets out there. Whether you are trying to eat keto, paleo, Whole 30, or any of the very popular diets out there right now, you are ultimately doing one thing. You are adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet.

What’s Inflammation Got to Do With It?

Think about all the names given to illnesses, both acute and chronic. There is sinusitis, bronchitis, arthritis, colitis, conjunctivitis, hepatitis, and myelitis to name a few. Notice how they all end in -itis? This means that they are all inflammatory diseases. Inflammation of the sinuses, inflammation of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, inflammation of the joints- you get the picture. 

Inflammation in the body is a MAJOR contributor to just about every health ailment these days. More and more research suggests that anti-inflammatory diets are associated with lower risk of death at an early age. The Journal of Internal Medicine published results from a study in 2018 that showed individuals who stuck to a mostly anti-inflammatory diet for a period of 16 years had an 18% lower risk of all-cause mortality, 13% lower risk of dying from cancer, and 20% lower risk of dying from heart disease. So, while the internet can make figuring out what is truly healthy to eat seem very confusing, it really boils down to something very simple. Eating healthy bite by bite is simply eating the foods that do not promote inflammation in the body.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

So what exactly are the key components of anti-inflammatory diets? What are the foods that need to be consumed and avoided? Here are a few components to a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet:

Eliminate Processed Foods

At the core of every single healthy diet is REAL food. Processed foods are just that – processed. Not only do they lack a lot of the nutritional value that we are supposed to be getting from the food we eat, but they contain a lot of fake, chemically made ingredients that are foreign to our bodies. And when our immune systems see something foreign, they trigger an inflammatory response. If you want to focus on real food, you want to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles as much as possible. The aisles are stocked full of packages, boxes, and cans that have large lists of ingredients, many of which even I cannot pronounce while items in the outskirts of the store rarely even have an ingredient list. The less ingredients, the less processed the food items in your shopping cart will be. 

Avoid Refined Sugars and High Fructose Corn Syrup

If you are staying away from processed foods, then you pretty much are already staying away from refined sugars and HFCS, but I want to drive home the dangers of sugar with some science. Sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose while high fructose corn syrup is 45% glucose and 55% fructose. There have been plenty of studies that show the inflammatory effects of both glucose and fructose. In one study, mice fed high sucrose diets developed breast cancer that spread to their lungs, partially because of the inflammatory response of sugar. In a randomized clinical trial where people drank regular soda, diet soda, milk, or water only those who consumed the regular soda has increased levels of uric acid, which drives inflammation and insulin resistance. Researchers have also noted that fructose causes inflammation within the endothelial cells that line your blood vessels, which is a risk factor for heart disease. It’s now wonder that the low fat diet isn’t helping to decrease our rates of heart disease in this country!

Stay Away From Trans Fats and Vegetable Oils

Artificial trans fats, also called hydrogenated fats, are hands down the worst type of fat for you. They are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats, which are liquid, in order to make them solid at room temperature. Margarine and Crisco are two classic trans fats. Foods high in trans fat include french fries and other fast food, some microwave popcorn, packaged cakes and cookies, and some pastries. Consuming artificial trans fats is linked to high levels of inflammatory markers such as c-reactive protein (CRP). And like sugar, trans fats impair the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries, making them another cause of heart disease.

Vegetable oils can be dangerous because they are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Now, we do need some omega 6 in our diets. The problem is that we are consuming way too much. During the 20% century, the consumption of vegetable oils has gone up 130%, mainly because we were told to switch from animal fat to vegetable fat for heart health. This throws off the balance among omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids that we need and promotes inflammation. In one study, rats fed a diet with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 20:1 has much higher levels of inflammatory markers than those fed diets with ratios of 1:1 or 5:1.

Increase Your Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Not only would increasing your consumption of omega-3’s help to balance out the abundance of omega-6’s in our diet, but omega-3 fatty acids in and of themselves are extremely anti-inflammatory. This is because they can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines. Wild caught fish is definitely highest in omega-3’s, but you can also get them by eating nuts and seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Another, lesser known source of omega-3 fatty acids is grass-fed, grass-finished red meat. Though originally touted as a food that causes heart disease, more in-depth research has shown that not all meat is created equal. Meat from cows fed a grain diet is much higher in omega-6 fatty acids while meat from cows fed on purely grass have much higher leves of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Be Selective of Your Grains

Carbohydrates have developed quite a bad rap and seem to be the chosen enemy these days. But not all carbohydrates are created equal. Ultimately, it is the refined carbohydrates that pose a problem for us. These types of carbs are found in candy, bread, pasta, pastries, cereals, cookies, cakes, and sugary sodas. Research suggests that refined carbs may encourage the growth of inflammatory bacteria in our gut. This is because its lack of fiber starves the beneficial bacteria we need in our microbiome. On the flip side, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are full of fiber and feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. The fiber also keeps us fuller longer and helps to prevent us from overeating.

Eat the Rainbow

No, I’m not talking about a bag of skittles! When I say eat the rainbow, I mean eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants that act as scavengers and help to clear out things called free radicals. Free radicals are in essence toxins that can lead to cell damage, which increases the risk of inflammation and ultimately lead to disease. The more colorful your plate, the wider variety of phytonutrients and larger capacity to neutralize free radicals.

So there you have it. My KISS method to diet and nutrition (Keep It Simple Sweetheart!). Follow all of these suggestions, and you are sure to be eating right bite by bite.

By Dr. Seneca Anderson, DOM, ND, L.Ac.

Baby, it’s cold outside! As we head into the winter months, it’s a great time to check in with your mental and emotional well-being and take steps to prepare your mind, body, and heart for the chilly months ahead.

According to Psychology Today, “Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of recurrent major depressive disorder in which episodes of depression occur during the same season each year. This condition is sometimes called the “winter blues,” because the most common seasonal pattern is for depressive episodes to appear in the fall or winter and remit in the spring.”

Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, and it’s four times more common in women than in men.

Here are a few tips to help you bust those winter blues this year. 

  • Opt outside: Sure, it might sound overly simplistic, but research proves that connecting with creation reduces stress and helps regulate emotions. Take a brisk walk or run, or just spend a few minutes outside noticing and feeling grateful for the beauty of nature. It will do wonders for your heart, soul, and health! 
  • Get moving: Exercising 30 minutes a day can help you produce endorphins that fight and eliminate stress. Whether it’s hiking, fitness classes, weight lifting, or a team sport, find an activity you love and make it a daily priority. In addition to your mind, your heart, lungs, and muscles will thank you! 
  • Catch some zzzzz’s: Studies show that most Americans simply don’t get enough hours of sleep, which leads to mood swings, cognitive difficulties, and poor academic and professional performance, further exacerbating stress and anxiety. Shoot for a minimum of 8-9 hours of shut-eye per night! 
  • Get quiet: Carving out ten minutes to sit in prayerful silence before God and let go of our ceaseless striving, habitual thoughts, and nagging doubts retrains the heart and mind to know and accept that we are loved unconditionally by our Creator. Try meditation first thing in the morning by creating a sacred space in your home that is quiet and free of distractions.
  • Read: Pick up a good book and get lost in it! Stories aren’t just a means of escaping the real world, they help us identify with and connect to something bigger than ourselves. A great novel can build empathy and combat isolation. 
  • Take a social media fast: Studies link social media use with anxiety, so it’s no surprise that resisting the temptation to tweet, share, like, or post has a direct impact on better mood, less worry, and higher self-esteem in adults and children. Pick at least one day per week to fast from social media and then monitor how it impacts your sense of well-being. This is a great habit to model to your teens! 
  • Serve others: There’s nothing quite like helping someone in need to elevate mood and remind yourself of your blessings. Help a neighbor, get behind a cause, or volunteer at a homeless shelter or food kitchen. The service opportunities are endless when you’re paying attention! 
  • IRL connection: We all need somebody to lean on! Nothing is more transformative than human connection and intimate relationships. We all want to be known, loved, and to belong.  Reach out to others for connection, support, and a listening ear. 
  • Get professional counseling: Thankfully, the stigma surrounding mental health issues is slowly subsiding in America. If you are concerned about your mental well-being, or just need an unbiased sounding board, see an expert. 
  • Load up on Vitamin D3: Now is the time to start taking high amounts of “the sunshine vitamin.” Among its many benefits, D3 elevates mood and activates the immune system to defend against invading microorganisms. We get this fat-soluble nutrient through sun exposure, but during the dreary winter months, it’s often necessary to get it through supplementation (Most Americans are deficient!).  As a general rule, an adult of average weight should ingest at least 5,000 international units of supplemental D3 a day, and children should take a daily dose of 1,000 international units per every 25 pounds of body weight.
  • Take a natural supplement: Our Nutrition Shop is filled with natural remedies to boost mood and guard against insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Our favorites include Adaptogenic Herbs, homeopathic neurotransmitters, vitamin D3 and B vitamins, 5-HTP, and more. Call or stop by our Shop to talk to a knowledgeable staff member for recommendations for you and your whole family. 
  • Get a restorative therapy: Longevity offers a variety of relaxing and healing therapies in a warm and caring environment. Our top picks for busting the winter blues are Massage Therapy and Acupuncture. HOCATT Therapy also boosts mood and energy by increasing serotonin, improving circulation, enhancing brain function, and burning up to 600 calories. Our team of experienced therapists are simply the best!

To learn more about the products and services we offer for protecting your mental and emotional well-being this season, call us at 770-642-4646. 

 

by Rosie Steele, Patient Coordinator 

I recently saw a television commercial advertising free flu shots at a national pharmacy retail chain.  The commercial was so well done!  As upbeat music played in the background, images of beautiful, vibrant people were displayed… young and old dancing together under starry skies; a pair of BFFs piggy back riding in the family room; a husband and wife keeping romance alive; a mother and young child cuddling up together on the couch, her pregnant belly exposed….all of these actors proudly displaying their “flu fighter” band aid at the top of their arm, a demonstration of their choice to “protect” themselves and those they love by taking the flu vaccine each and every year.  When I saw this ad, I immediately felt sorry for the millions of people that would watch it and heed its advice by going out and getting their annual flu shot right away, without taking the time to understand the risks associated with the vaccine and the alternatives to it.

The CDC recommends that all people, ages 6 months and older, take an annual flu vaccine.  The CDC also conducts studies to measure the benefits of seasonal flu vaccination each flu season to help determine how well the flu vaccines are working.  In 2018-2019, its effectiveness was determined to be 29%.  That means that more than 70% of those that received the flu shot were later diagnosed with the flu at some point in the season!  Well, 29% of the people who got the flu shot may not have gotten the flu last year, but 100% of them did get the following ingredients injected into their bodies: Influenza Viruses, Formaldehyde, Aluminum Salts, Thimerosal (Mercury), Chicken Egg Proteins, Gelatin (usually pork-based) and Antibiotics.

So, if the flu shot isn’t all that effective anyways, and it’s obviously quite toxic, what can we do instead?  How can we protect ourselves?  At Longevity Health Center, we believe that proactively strengthening your immune system is the best way to avoid the flu!  How do we do this?  It’s all about lifestyle!

Eating Right
Cut out the junk food!  Have you ever noticed that flu season always starts right after Halloween?  We put kids out in the cold to walk around from house to house, load them up with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and food coloring, and them put them to bed too late.  Its no wonder they get sick the next day!  This year, consider getting proactive about your family’s health but taking a no-candy pledge in the month of October!  Commit to making whole food nutrition-packed meal choices each day, cutting out the sweets and limiting dairy.

Get Plenty of Rest
Did you know that the average elementary school child needs 10-11 hours of sleep each night to stay healthy and thrive?  An adult should be getting 7-9 hours.  Study after study confirms that Americans are not getting enough sleep at night.  At Longevity, we teach our patients about healthy sleep hygiene.  Shut off the television, turn off those devices, and get to bed this winter!

Supplementation
There are also some supplements that you can take proactively, to strengthen your immune system, so that if/when you do encounter the flu, your own body is better equipped to fight it!  I chose to give my family Vitamin D3, Elderberry Syrup and Probiotic each and every day to keep our systems strong and ready to fight!

What if I do come down with the flu?
Despite our best efforts to protect ourselves and our loved ones, unfortunately, we are just going to get sick every once in a while.  At Longevity, we love teaching our patients about ways that they can be prepared, with an arsenal of natural remedies at the ready!  I love to use a combination of Homeopathic remedies (such as Oscillococcinum), herbal combinations (such as Pelargonium), nutritional support (such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A), and even essential oils (such as cinnamon, clove and lemon).  Don’t wait until you are symptomatic to invest in these kinds of products.  Come by our shop today to get a customized protocol of high quality remedies stocked up for the upcoming season now!

2020 Update: 
I wrote this article in the fall of 2019, as we were gearing up for the upcoming cold and flu season.  Little did I know that we were about to face the global pandemic that is COVID-19.  Through the lock down, the first and second “waves” and even to this day, as we approach another cold and flu season, my position has not changed.  I still believe that God has gifted us with the most amazing thing – an immune system.  Taking care of that is the most important thing.  Since the pharmaceutical companies do not yet have a Coronavirus vaccine to sell, they are pushing the flu shot hard right now.  Although the CDC recognizes that the flu shot will not protect you against COVID-19, they claim that you should make sure that you get it anyway, so that you don’t get sick with the flu and end up in the hospital, taking away resources from potential COVID victims.  Again they use the argument that we have to make personal health sacrifices for the good of others.  And though I believe that there is no greater love than laying one’s life down for friends and neighbors, in this case, I just don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze.  And, spoiler alert, I’m pretty sure I will feel the same way about the COVID vaccine once it is released.  Please don’t let the highly politicized and fear-based messages that are being constantly hurled in your direction sink in.  Do your own research, and trust in the Lord, not in the media (owned by the pharmaceutical companies) or the politicians.  Believe it or not, there is nothing “novel” under the sun, and He’s got this under control!

 

An Alternative Approach to Breast Health

You’ve undoubtedly noticed the hugely successful marketing campaign of Breast Cancer Awareness each October in recent years.  You can’t drive down the street, walk into a grocery store, turn on the television, or even attend a tiny tikes football game without being bombarded with images of bright pink ribbons all around!  And it isn’t just in the media.  It seems that every day we hear another story.  Nearly all of us have been touched by a personal family member or friend who has undergone breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. It is truly heart-breaking to witness those closest to us experience the emotional and physical trauma of one appointment after another of painful tests, procedures and treatments.  Mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation, medications…we wouldn’t wish these invasive measures on our worst enemies, and we fear what decisions we would have to make if it were our own mother, daughter, sister, aunt, or even ourselves.  We are told that “early detection” is the key to saving our lives.  And yet, by the time cancer is detected, we often feel that we have little say in how treatment will play out.

At Longevity Health Center, we want to take a different approach to breast health.  We believe that by empowering our patients with the knowledge and tools necessary to detoxify and heal the body, we can hope to prevent this horrible disease from robbing us of the joy and vitality that comes with wellness.  It is in this spirit that we offer many of our services and protocols.

Thermography
Thermography is an FDA approved non-invasive method of evaluating your body’s organ systems. Testing is performed by measuring body temperature at many different points on the skin which correspond to specific internal organs and tissues. By measuring the temperature of many different points on the skin before and after a cold stimulus, we can monitor changes in circulation. The actual temperature, as well as how it changes in response to the cold stimulus, provides information about how well the organs and tissues are functioning and how they deal with physiological stress. Thermography can display the beginnings of disease in focal areas that other diagnostic methods may miss.

Breast Ultrasound (HERScan)

Longevity has partnered with this fabulous service to conveniently offer breast ultrasound at our clinic!  Ultrasound has many advantages over mammograms including a significant increase in early detection, while also being painless, using no compression or radiation. For more information, visit www.herscan.com

Lymphatic Drainage
This therapy utilizes a device known as the Photon Genie to generate frequencies that, when combined with the manual application from a technician, stimulate lymphatic drainage.  This has many health benefits, including, but not limited to:

  • Stimulating and strengthening the immune system. 
  • Reducing and eliminating pain.  
  • Ozonating and Oxygenating the body.   
  • Moving and balancing fluid systems of the body through all the channels (blood vessels, lymph, capillaries) for the transport of nutrition and vital energy and the proper management of toxins by the body.  
  • Devitalizing pathogens, clearing infections, slowing and reversing disease processes.  

The image below depicts a thermographic image of the same woman before and after a series of 10 Lymphatic Drainage treatments done over a four-month period at our office.  As you can see, this therapy, when combined with healthy nutrition and detoxifying protocols, is highly effective in reducing lymphatic rigidity and inflammation!

HOCATT

The acronym HOCATT stands for “hyper-thermic oxygen and carbonic acid transdermal therapy.” The HOCATT acts as a personal steam sauna, in which a person sits with just his/her head exposed to room air, while the body receives the benefits of infusion through the skin of tri-oxygen, carbonic acid, steam, infra-red light, photon light therapy, oxygen and aroma therapy. There are also TENS unit like programs that can treat painful areas. This sauna treatment is now in use in over 20 countries. It is safe, pleasant and effective for all people seeking vibrant health or pain control.  The HOCATT is an amazing therapy to assist in detoxification.

Dry Skin Brushing and Rebounding:

These are two easy at-home remedies to help mechanically support lymphatic drainage.

Dry Skin Brushing exfoliates the skin, but also assists detoxification by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymphatic flow and drainage.  Using a light stroke, you use a dry bristle brush to stimulate lymphatic flow (always going in the direction of the heart!).  There is plenty more information available online regarding dry brushing, or we are happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Rebounding is a simple exercise performed on a small trampoline (or a large one works, too, if you want to get outside and play with the kids!).  The contraction of the muscles and the gravitational impact will stimulate the lymphatic fluid to flow.  Since, unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to move it through, it is pertinent that we utilize physical movement or manual stimulation to move the lymphatic fluid.  It is the difference between flowing water and a stagnant pond– pathogens cannot thrive in a moving stream, but are able to proliferate in stagnant waters.  Just 5-10 minutes a day on a rebounder can make a huge difference for the lymphatic system, and consequently your breast health!

Breast Massage Using “Breast Oil”
This blend of essential oils was specially formulated right here at Longevity.  It includes Lavender to balance hormones and Frankincense for cellular health, in a base of St. John’s Wort Oil for its anti-inflammatory and mood lifting effects.  We recommend this product to be applied nightly directly to the breast tissue and massaged in for 5 or more minutes. 

Nutritional Supplements and Herbal Remedies

There are a few different ways to benefit from Nutritional Supplements and herbs for breast health.  First, herbs can directly influence hormone balance.  Secondly, herbs can stimulate lymphatic drainage and since the breast tissue is largely lymphatic tissue, this can be tremendously helpful.  Lastly, herbs will help cleanse and support the liver.  This may, at first glance, seem unrelated to breast health. But since the liver is responsible for so much of the chemical processing that occurs in the body, keeping the liver in tip-top shape will give us a major leg up when it comes to hormone balance and tissue integrity.   

Some of our favorite nutritional products and herbal blends for women’s health are:

  • DIM-Evail (Designs for Health)Indole-3-Carbinol is a bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables.  When ingested, stomach acid converts Indole-3-Carbinol into DIM (Diindolylmethane). Much research has shown that high doses of DIM inhibits the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and converts bad estrogens (those linked to breast cancer) to good estrogens (good estrogen keeps cholesterol levels in healthy range, protects bone health and affects the brain, heart, skin and other tissues).   Supplementing with a DIM product is also a great option for women considered at risk for estrogen driven breast cancer or those who have tested high in estrogen.
  • Balance (OrthoMolecular) – This formula contains Licorice, Peony, and Chaste Berry (Vitex), all renowned herbs for their hormone balancing properties.  This formula helps maintain a healthy menstrual cycle, progesterone/estrogen ratios, and optimal prolactin levels.  The ingredients in this product have been widely studied for their effectiveness, tolerability, and safety.  It has been shown to be helpful for women who suffer hormonal symptoms such as irritability, mood alteration, anger, headaches, bloating and breast fullness.
  • Woman’s Balance (Health Concern) This formula is based on an ancient Chinese formula that has been employed for centuries to address hormone imbalances that cause symptoms such as PMS, abdominal bloating, breast tenderness and swelling, menstrual irregularity, menopausal distress. It invigorates a congested liver, nourishes the blood, strengthens digestion, and can even relieve mild depression.
  • Three Immortals (Health Concern) – This herbal blend is formulated specifically for menopausal symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, headaches, irritability, palpitations, vertigo, depression, insomnia, low back pain, hot palms and soles and lowered sex drives. 
  • Core Scrofulara (Energetix)  – This is a powerful spagyric botanical remedy formulated to provide effective drainage of the lymph, blood and spleen. It is an invaluable remedy when there are signs of lymphatic congestion affecting breast health.

This October, Longevity Health Center wants to be part of the conversation when it comes to Women’s Breast Cancer awareness, and prevention!  Call our office today to schedule your annual thermography and bio-energetic evaluation so that we can get you started on a great plan for not only breast health, but whole-body health.  And remember, early detection is key, but prevention is even better!

Oil pulling is thought to help remove bacteria and improve oral hygiene by breaking through plaque barrier and drawing toxins out of your body. The concept is simple: you swish a couple teaspoons of oil (common choices are coconut, sesame or olive oils) around the mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. This is done primarily to support dental health, which in turn supports overall health. Reported benefits include: Better breath, stronger teeth and gums, whiter teeth, cavity and gingivitis prevention.

Oil Pulling Instructions

  1. Put 1-4 teaspoons of oil into the mouth. The oil traditionally used in oil pulling is organic sesame oil, and this is also the oil that has been the most studied for use in oil pulling. It is also possible to do oil pulling with organic coconut oil or organic olive oil. Whichever oil you choose, place up to 1 tablespoon in the mouth.
  2. Swish for 5 to 20 minutes.  Timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as a full 20 minutes is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not so long that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva and it should be creamy-white when spit out. It will also double in volume during this time due to saliva. At first, it can be difficult to make it the full 20 minutes; starting off with 5-10 minutes is fine!
  3. Spit oil into the trash can. Don’t spit into the sink! The oil may thicken and clog pipes. Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria, toxins and pus that are now not in the mouth!
  4. Rinse well. Swish a few times with warm water to get any remaining oil out of the mouth. Some sources recommend swishing with warm salt water.
  5. Brush well.  Revitin toothpaste is the recommended toothpaste for supporting the healthy microbial balance in the mouth.