Most of us know the importance of good hydration, especially in the scorching summer months in the South. But sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t keep up our daily drinking ritual. So here at Longevity, we want to focus on staying hydrated all summer long, and encourage our patients to do the same.

 

Have you drunk enough water today? 

Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies relies on water to function correctly. Adequate fluid intake keeps our bodies’ systems running smoothly, supporting overall wellness and longevity. By drinking water regularly, we provide our systems with the essential fluid they need to maintain vitality and balance. 

 

The Endless Benefits of Good Hydration

It’s no secret that drinking sufficient water is one of our most basic and essential tools for looking and feeling our best. Benefits include: 

  • Improves skin tone⁠ and prevents acne
  • Prevents premature aging⁠
  • Promotes burn/wound healing⁠
  • Moisturizes skin⁠, tightening and preventing sagging
  • Maintains systemic pH balance ⁠
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Moves toxins and waste out of the body
  • Improves energy
  • Enhances cognitive clarity
  • Supports muscle function and athletic performance 
  • Reduces bloating and puffiness
  • Supports mood and emotional well-being
  • Supports optimal digestion 
  • Moves oxygen throughout the body
  • Supports lymph, liver, and kidney detox function
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Supports vitamin and mineral absorption 

 

Let’s Take This Challenge Together! 

The summer is the most important time to focus on replenishing our electrolytes with minerals and plenty of pure water. So this month, let’s set a goal of sipping half our body weight in ounces every day. For example, a 150-lb individual should sip 75 ounces of water a day. 

 

A Few Hydration Tips

  • Dress up your water. 

If regularly sipping water feels like a task, or it’s just not a part of your current routine, try adding a little pizzazz! Throwing in some fresh fruit like citrus or berries, vegetables like cucumbers, and herbs like mint are just a few examples of the ways you can make your water more flavorful and appealing. Simply adding some fresh lemon and a pinch of himalayan sea salt boosts the electrolyte properties of your water!

  • Make sipping consistent and convenient. 

Keeping a bottle of water with you at all times will make you more likely to drink it. Even if it means keeping multiple water bottles, strategically place them where you’ll easily see and access them throughout the day, such as your car, desk, and beside table. Another strategy to keep you consistent in your water drinking is to set alarms to go off throughout the day to prompt you to sip another glass. Before long, you won’t need to rely on a timer, as you form a regular drinking habit. 

  • Be mindful of caffeine. 

Sorry, but your morning coffee or 3 p.m. sweet tea doesn’t go toward your water goal! Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it increases urine production, leading to the loss of fluids. Try to reduce your intake of these caffeinated beverages. Soda and energy drinks are not only high in caffeine, but also full of sugar and other ingredients that stall hydration and detoxification. 

 

Challenge Accepted: Are You In? 

We invite you to join our staff and patients as we take on this #LongevityWaterChallenge in the month of June. All month, we’ll be sharing fun facts,  tips, and reminders to keep your goal top of mind, so you can keep the habit going in the months and years ahead. We’ll also be doing a weekly giveaway for our participants via our social media accounts, so be sure to follow along and be part of the conversation on Instagram and Facebook. 

 

Sip Sip Hooray! 

This summer, we’re going to sip our way to a healthier and happier mind, body, and spirit. 

 

Download Our Water Tracker Journal to keep track of your progress this month! 

 

By Cristina McMullen, ND, Certified Wellness Coach,

Bio-Energetic Practitioner

 

It’s hard to believe that spring is upon us. It’s that time of year when the days are becoming noticeably longer, the weather is getting warmer, and the sound of baby birds chirping reminds us of the new life all around us. 

While a new year reminds us to set resolutions to eat better and exercise more, spring gives so many of us that “itch” to do a thorough, deep clean of our homes. There is just something about that clean house smell that correlates beautifully with the renewal of springtime.

One of the major downfalls to that deep clean of your house is the fact that so many cleaning supplies out there are full of chemicals that are toxic and very dangerous to our health. Anyone who has spent even 5 minutes in an enclosed space, say a shower, cleaning with a conventional bathroom cleaner will tell you that their skin, eyes, and sometimes even lungs burn while cleaning. What about noticing a headache after an afternoon of cleaning? These are signs that toxins are lurking in the products we are using. And just like we should try to eliminate our exposure to toxins in our food and personal body care products, we should do the same with our household cleaning products. 

 

So what exactly is in those cleaning products that is so harmful to our health? Let’s identify some of these ingredients and find out why they are so bad for us.

 

Chlorine: Most of us are familiar with chlorine for its disinfecting and whitening properties. It is commonly found in scouring powders, laundry whiteners, toilet bowl cleaner, and mildew removers. We want to avoid chlorine because prolonged exposure can disrupt thyroid function, irritate the skin, and cause chronic skin dryness.

Ammonia: You can find ammonia in many polishing and glass cleaning products, especially those that promote that oh-so desired streak-free shine. Thankfully, you will see quite a few products promoting the fact that they are “ammonia free.” This is because we know it can produce highly irritating fumes that can be especially dangerous for those with asthma and other lung problems, as well as heart conditions.

* It is important to note here that you NEVER want to use chlorine and ammonia products together or at the same time. The combination of these two chemicals produces a dangerous gas that can cause major damage to the respiratory system.

Formaldehyde: This is another one most people have heard of before. As a cleaning agent, you will find it mostly in heavy duty cleaners. We most definitely want to avoid exposure to formaldehyde because it has been connected with the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS. Along with causing damage to the nervous system, formaldehyde can shift the balance of chemicals in the brain, which may lead to depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and attention deficit disorders.

Perchloroethylene (PEC or PERC): This is a common chemical in fabric cleaners, such as upholstery cleaners, spot removers, and dry cleaning solutions. It is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen, so much so that the EPA has even banned PERC dry cleaning machines from being in residential buildings. The state of California has also demanded that all PERC machines be taken out of service by 2023.

2-Butoxyethanol: This chemical is very common in “multi-purpose” cleaners as well as window sprays and other kitchen cleaners. It is actually what gives certain cleaners their sweet smell. According to the EPA website, it is known to cause sore throats if inhaled directly. More seriously, when it is at a high level, it can cause pulmonary edema, narcosis, and severe kidney and liver damage. Even with all of these negative side effects, companies are not forced to list this as an ingredient in their products! This is so upsetting, especially when you find out that you can usually inhale more than is legally allowed in most workplaces!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Found in soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent, and body washes, this is used as an emulsifier and foaming agent. Even though this is derived from coconuts, it becomes contaminated with a toxic byproduct in the process of making it. As a result, it becomes a carcinogenic endocrine disruptor and is toxic to our organs, neural tissues, and skin.

Phthalate: This chemical is usually used in air fresheners, soap labels, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners as a “fragrance.” Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that men with higher phthalate compound in their blood have decreased sperm counts.

Paraben: Another synthetic chemical used as a “fragrance” even though it is a known endocrine disruptor. As a xenoestrogen, it mimics estrogen in our bodies and can interfere with the release of this hormone, leading to a multitude of reproductive issues in women.

Triclosan: Usually found in combination with triclocarban, this chemical is usually found in dishwashing detergents, hand soap, face wash, and toothpaste. It is used as an antimicrobial agent. Unfortunately, its use as an antimicrobial has helped to make certain bacteria resistant to antibiotics! It has also been linked to harmful effects on our liver, thyroid gland, and respiratory system.

Quaternary Ammonia Compounds (QAC): This is another antibacterial agent that is commonly used in our household cleaning products that aids in the production of antibiotic resistant microbes. It is also suspected to cause respiratory disorders like asthma and skin irritation.

 

Sadly, we could go on and on with even more chemicals currently allowed in our cleaning products that have harmful effects on our bodies. What then are we to do? How are we going to keep our homes free from dirt, dust, microbes, mold, and air pollutants?

Fortunately, there are a few things that we can all do to help keep our homes cleaner that don’t require the use of any cleaners whatsoever. By using door mats and taking our shoes off before entering into our homes, we can stop dirt and microbes from being tracked in to begin with. Vacuuming carpets and hardwoods along with damp dusting of furniture on a regular basis is an easy way to reduce the amount of not only dust, pet dander and airborne allergens, but can also lower our exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides that are also lurking in those dust bunnies. 

Running the exhaust fan in our bathrooms while showering is a great way to keep the moisture down and thus prevent the growth of mold. In the kitchen, we can have separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination. We can also replace kitchen sponges on a regular basis and make sure we wring them out thoroughly in order to keep them dry. If you want to disinfect these sponges, you can boil them in water for 3 minutes or microwave them for 1 minute (This is probably the only time I will recommend using a microwave!).

When it does come time to use cleaning solutions, we can choose to either find less toxic alternatives, or make our own. Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of harmful chemicals in our environment, and manufacturers are starting to listen. 

But how do you know which products are safe and which aren’t? This is where I LOVE to use the Environmental Working Group as a resource. Their website (www.ewg.org) has a Guide to Healthy Cleaning where you can either look up individual products to see how toxic they are or try to find the least toxic options on the market. Their list of “Top Green Cleaning Products” is an amazing resource for anyone looking to decrease the amount of toxins in their cleaning supplies.

Making your own cleaners will obviously be the least toxic option and really doesn’t have to be that intimidating. The internet is full of DIY recipes, but here are a few super simple ones that are made from things you most likely already have lying around in your home.

All Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. You can add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil (I prefer lemon of lavender) for a nice, natural fragrance.

Bathroom Cleaner: For surfaces that need a bit more scouring, rub baking soda into the desired surface with a wet sponge. You can add a few drops of liquid soap (Dr. Bronner’s will be the least toxic, but even Dawn dish soap will do) for a little more cleaning power.

Window Cleaner: Mix ½ cup of vinegar with 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Again, you can add a couple drops of liquid soap for a bit more cleaning power.

Drain Cleaner: It is very easy to clear up minor clogs with just some baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. Start by pouring about ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by about ½ cup of vinegar. After letting it bubble for a few minutes, you can pour boiling hot water down the drain. This may need to be repeated a few times for more stubborn clogs, or helped a bit with a mechanical snake.

Toilet Cleaner: Baking soda with some liquid soap and a scouring pad is usually all you need. Another option could be a non-chlorinated scouring powder from the store.

Oven: Even the tough, cooked on mess in the oven can be tackled with baking soda, a razor blade, and a copper scouring pad. Simply make a paste of baking soda with water and let it sit on the stuck on grime before using the razor and scouring pad to lift them up and remove them.

Garbage Disposal: Dumping just a bit of baking soda down the drain will do wonders for the garbage disposal. Since baking soda is a base, it will counteract the smelly acids from all the food we put down it.

Laundry Detergent: Probably one of my favorite homemade laundry detergents is made into a powder. Grate a 5oz bar of soap (I usually use Dr. Bronner’s) and mix it well with ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of super washing soda, ½ cup of citric acid, and ¼ cup of coarse sea salt. You can then store in an airtight container and add 1-2 Tbsp of detergent to each load. It’s fun to use a scented soap to add some natural fragrances to your detergent too.

Laundry Stain Remover: The honest truth is that there really is nothing better than a concentrated solution of dish soap as our first line of defense against stains from things like fatty foods and chocolate. Thankfully, dish washing liquids, even Dawn dish soap, are probably the least toxic of cleaning products out there, that is as long as they are not antimicrobial. Simply apply straight to the stain, rub in a but, and let it sit for a little while before washing it like you usually do.

Laundry Whitener: This is a bit of a tough one that does require some level of toxicity. However, using an oxygen bleach from the store or borax is going to be less toxic that chlorine.

Dryer Sheets: You can avoid the need for dryer sheets all together by getting some dryer balls. I personally love mine and add a few drops of essential oils (again, more lavender and citrus for me) to the balls before tossing them in the dryer.

 

But what about disinfecting?

This past year, we have all been told over and over again to disinfect surfaces in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Soaps and cleaners like Lysol have been sold out of stores for months on end. But remember what I said about antimicrobial ingredients like triclosan and QAC? The use of these actually enables the production of antibacterial resistant superbugs! Another little fact that these products do not tell you is that they need to remain on surfaces for at least 10 minutes to truly kill bacteria anyways.

The real truth is, outside of healthcare settings, there really is no benefit to antimicrobial agents as opposed to plain ol’ soap and water. Germs don’t necessarily need to be killed, but rather just need to be washed away. So, regular cleaning of countertops and surfaces with soap and water along with good rinsing afterwards is enough to lift dirt and microbes away. And, if the need for disinfecting occurs, using a little bit of bleach with a face covering will go a long way. 

 

Feel free to ask me or another Longevity team member about our favorite cleaning products or DIY recipes. And, in the meantime, Happy Spring Cleaning!

By Carrie Rutledge, Longevity Patient Coordinator 

 

 

I try to pack a healthy school lunchbox for my daughter every day to help fuel her for a full day of learning. The options at the grocery store can be overwhelming, but my main focus is on avoiding toxic ingredients, especially hydrogenated oils. These include seed and vegetable oils like Canola, Soybean, and Sunflower Oil, and they contribute to high systemic inflammation. Studies continue to come out linking these highly-processed oils to autoimmune disorders, obesity, heart disease, and even cancer! 

 

I look for snacks that contain more stable and nutritious oils, like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee, and even lard, tallow, and duck fat! Here are just a few simple swaps you can make to your child’s lunchbox to make sure it’s nutrient-dense and free from harmful oils that impair their immune system, mood, and cognitive function. 

 

Sandwiches

Options like Uncrustables and most store-bought breads, peanut butter, and jelly are high in soybean and other vegetable oils. 

 

Swaps: Instead of Jif Peanut Butter, opt for organic almond butter, or the less expensive option of all-natural peanut butter (made from just dry roasted peanuts and salt). 

Instead of regular bread, opt for Ezekiel bread, which is organic and glyphosate-free. You can also get organic sourdough from your local bakery or farmer’s market, or even make your own!  

 

Bread, almost all made from vegetable oil – Swap for Ezekiel bread – organic and glyphosate free – only store bought option I can find

Sourdough from a local bakery or farmer’s market – or make your own sourdough

 

Chips 

Studies show that when most store-bought chips are fried in either corn or sunflower oil, the snack contains up to 200 times more of the toxic chemical aldehyde-which has been linked with most major diseases-than what is considered safe. Olive oil, butter, and coconut oil on the other hand, yielded far lower levels of aldehyde.

 

Swaps: Popcorn (made with coconut oil), Seaweed Snacks (made with olive oil), or Olives (to satisfy that salt craving!) 

 

Granola and Cereal Bars 

Grains, fruit and nuts are good for us! But don’t be fooled by even the healthiest looking bars lining the grocery store shelves. Many of these bars contain partially hydrogenated oil, as well as high levels of added sugars and artificial ingredients. 

 

Swap: Lara Bars are made with just a couple ingredients, like dates and cashews!  

 

Fruit Snack and Roll-Ups 

Many of these fruity options are made with partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, not to mention dyes, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. 

 

Swap: Look for minimally processed items. The sugar in fruit makes them sweet enough, and when dried, the sweetness is even more concentrated. At my house we love Mango Bites and Jerky!  For another sweet treat, we love Unreal Chocolate because it has minimal ingredients and healthy fats! 

 

Beware of Tricky Packaging and Marketing Jargon 

Food companies go to great lengths to target both children and their parents! Labels will use phrases like “gluten-free,” “made with whole grains,” and “natural.” These claims are riddled with loopholes! Don’t be swayed by the green writing, ambiguous wording, or pictures of plants or other healthy-looking images. Read labels and understand what the terms mean, who backs it, and its validity!

 

By Dr. Alice Honican, Licensed Acupuncturist and Bioenergetic Practitioner 

There’s no question that our nation is in the midst of a mental health crisis, and emotional imbalance is on the rise. Here in the U.S., we place a great deal of value on success, and with that comes the pressure to stay busy, perform, and keep up with the Joneses. 

The recent pandemic and all the fear and uncertainty that came along with it only added to our stress and emotional struggle. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 40% of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2020, compared to just 11% in 2019.

Fortunately, there are so many holistic steps we can take to balance the many emotions that come along with being human. Here at Longevity Health Center, we offer several detoxifying and supporting therapies to help our patients feel whole and vibrant in mind, body, and spirit. We have found time and again that addressing the emotional state of the patient is an essential component of their healing strategy and of the patient’s general well-being. In many cases, emotional symptoms left unchecked often manifest into physical symptoms.

Our Nutrition Shop is also stocked with natural supplements like fish oil, minerals, neurotransmitters, and homeopathic medicines to support mental and emotional well-being.  One of our favorite natural alternatives for balancing emotions are Bach Flower remedies. These medicines are derived from flowers and plants to help us rediscover our inner sense of peace and restore emotional well-being in our everyday lives. 

Contact Our Nutrition Shop

 

The following is a comprehensive list of the 38 Bach Flower Remedies and their specific uses for emotional balance and well-being: 


Agrimony: For those not wishing to burden others with their troubles and who cover up their suffering behind a cheerful facade. They are distressed by argument or quarrel and may seek escape from pain and worry through the use of alcohol or drugs.

Aspen: For those who experience vague fears and anxieties of unknown origin. They’re often apprehensive and full of foreboding.

Beech: For those who, while desiring perfection, easily find fault with people and things. Critical and at times intolerant, they may overreact to small annoyances or idiosyncrasies of others.

Centaury: For those who are over-anxious to please, often weak willed, and easily exploited or dominated by others.

Cerato: For those who lack confidence in their own judgment and decisions. They constantly seek the advice of others and may often be misguided.

Cherry Plum: For fear of losing mental and physical control, of doing something desperate. May have impulses to do things thought or known to be wrong.

Chestnut Bud: For those who fail to learn from experience, repeating the same patterns of mistakes again and again.

Chicory: For those who are overfull of care for others and need to direct and control those close to them. They are generally possessive, always finding something to correct or put right.

Clematis: For those who tend to live in the future, lack concentration, are daydreamers, drowsy or spacey, and have a half-hearted interest in their present circumstances.

Crab Apple: For those who may feel something is not quite clean about themselves or have a fear of being contaminated. For feelings of shame or poor self-image. For example, thinking oneself is not attractive for one reason or another. When necessary, may be taken to assist in detoxification, as during cold or while fasting.

Elm: For those who at times may experience momentary feelings of inadequacy, being overwhelmed by their responsibilities. 

Gentian: For those who become easily discouraged by small delays or hinderances. This may cause self-doubt.

Gorse: For feelings of hopelessness and futility even when there is hope of relief.

 Heather: For those who seek the companionship of anyone who will listen to their troubles. They are generally not good listeners and have difficulty being alone for any length of time.

Holly: To be used when troubled by negative feelings such as envy, jealousy, hate, suspicion, revenge.  Vexations of the heart, states indicating a need for more love.

 Honeysuckle: For those dwelling in the past, nostalgia, homesickness, always talking about the good old days, when things were better.

Hornbeam: For the Monday morning feeling of not being able to face the day. For those feeling that some part of the body or mind needs strengthening. Constant fatigue and tiredness.

Impatiens: For those quick in thought and action, who require all things to be done without delay.  They are impatient with people who are slow and often prefer to work alone. 

Larch: For those who suffer from despondency and despair, also treats low self-esteem and lack of energy.

Mimulus: For fear of known things, such as heights, water, the dark, other people, or being alone, etc. often shy and timid.

Mustard: For deep gloom that comes on for apparently no known reason, sudden melancholia, or heavy sadness. Will lift just as suddenly.

Oak: For those who struggle on despite despondency from hardships, even when ill and overworked, they never give up.

Olive: Treats states of exhaustion in mind/emotions, body and spirit. Weariness and exhaustion may permeate all physical structures and call for rest and recuperation.

Pine: For those who feel they should do or should have done better, who are self-reproachful or blame themselves for the mistakes of others. Hardworking people who suffer much from faults they attach to themselves.  They are never satisfied with their success.

Red Chestnut: For those who find it difficult not to be overly concerned or anxious for others, always fearing something wrong may happen to those they care for.

Rock Rose: This remedy treats symptoms that relate to fear and panic.  For a chronically weakened nervous system, acute anxiety, as well as internal and external trembling.

Rock Water: For those who are very strict with themselves in their daily living. They are hard masters to themselves, struggling toward some ideal or to set an example for others. This would include strict, often rigid adherence to a living style or to a religious, personal or social discipline.

Scleranthus: For those unable to decide between two things, the first one seems right then the other. Often presenting extreme variations in energy or mood swings.

 Star of Bethlehem: For grief, trauma, loss.  For the mental and emotional effect during and after trauma.

 Sweet Chestnut: For those who feel they have reached the limits of their endurance. For those moments of deep despair when the anguish seems to be unbearable.

Vervain: For those who have strong opinions and who usually need to have the last word, never able to keep their mouths shut, always teaching or philosophizing, they are easily incensed by injustice. When taken to extremes, they can be argumentative, wanting to enthuse others with their ideas, and in their excessive eagerness use too much pressure.

Vine: For those who are strong-willed leaders.  They are unquestionably in charge, deliberately using pressure to achieve his own goals.

Walnut: Assists in stabilizing emotional upsets during transitional periods, such as puberty, adolescence, and menopause. Also helps one to break past links and emotionally adjust to new beginnings, such as moving, changing, or taking a new job, beginning, or ending a relationship.

Water Violet: For those who are gentle, independent, aloof, and self-reliant, who do not interfere in the affairs of others, and when ill or in trouble prefer to bear their difficulties alone.

White Chestnut: For constant and persistent unwanted thoughts, such as mental arguments, worries or repetitive thoughts that prevent peace-of-mind, and disrupt concentration. 

Wild Oat: For the dissatisfaction with not having succeeded in one’s career or life goal. When there is unfulfilled ambition, career uncertainty or boredom with one’s present position.

Wild Rose: For those who for no apparent reason have resigned themselves to their circumstances. Having become indifferent, little effort is made to improve things or find joy.

Willow: For those who have suffered some circumstance or misfortune, that they feel was unfair or unjust. As a result, they become resentful and bitter toward life or toward those who they feel were at fault.

Rescue Calm: a homeopathic combination formula containing five flower essences traditionally used for emergency situations and everyday stress.  For recent symptoms such as fear, extreme agitation, shock, anxiety, grief, hopelessness, and denial.

Fields of Flowers: A unique combination of the 38 traditional flower essences with each one long associated with a key element of emotional concern. For symptoms such as fear, despair, anxiety, depression, compulsiveness, worry, despondency, intolerance, withdrawal, irritability, aggressiveness, impatience, obsessiveness, and apathy.

At your next Longevity office visit, ask your practitioner to help you determine the best Bach Flower remedy to support you and the specific emotional load you are carrying. Or, if one of these remedy descriptions particularly resonates with you and what you’re going through during this season, you can stop by our Nutrition Shop and we will make a special Bach Flower remedy or combo just for you! 

Contact Our Nutrition Shop

 

 

The Benefits of Brain Mapping & NeuroFeedback Therapy For Your Child’s Physical, Mental, & Emotional Health

 

An Interview with Anna Powers, ND, Bioenergetic Practitioner

 

Summer is now in full swing in Georgia, and your child is probably enjoying a much-needed break from academic life and the homework, projects, and dreaded standardized tests that come along with it!  

 

But before we know it, August will roll back around and another school year will be upon us! That’s why NOW is the perfect time to assess your child’s brain and see how it could be improved during their weeks at home. 

 

Longevity offers Brain Mapping, also known as Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG). This tool measures electrical activity in the form of brainwave patterns, showing us how brain cells are communicating and helping us create NeuroFeedback protocol specific to the brain’s needs. 

 

We sat down for an interview with our knowledgeable and experienced Naturopath,  Anna Powers, to help parents understand the many benefits of our Brain Mapping and NeuroFeedback service offerings for children’s minds, bodies, and spirits. 

 

Can you explain how you administer Brain Mapping? 

We use  a cap with sensitive electrodes along with special equipment  that can detect the electrical activity of the brain.  The recipient sits quietly and still for approximately 12 minutes with eyes closed and then again with eyes open.  

 

How does it help analyze brain function in order to create a customized NeuroFeedback protocol?   

We can see which brain waves are at normal levels and which ones are too low or too high. Brain waves can reveal important information about overall brain function, including stress levels, thought patterns, and emotions. 

 

How have you seen these therapies boost kids’ brain development and cognitive function? How can it support kids with ADHD, PANS/PANDAS, and other neurological disorders or learning disabilities? 

Absolutely.  There are thousands of studies on neurofeedback.  Dr. Joel Lubar at the University of Tennessee has conducted a lot of research on brain wave underactivity in children with ADD/ADHD. In published research using qEEG, Dr. Lubar demonstrated that children with ADD/ADHD had excessive slow brain wave activity in the front part of their brain, which worsened when they tried to concentrate.

 

Are there other physical benefits of these therapies for children?   

Yes, children and adults report enhanced sleep, improved athletic performance, better concentration, improved energy and better balance.  It can also help with headaches and healing from traumatic brain injuries/concussions. 

 

So many kids are struggling with mental health challenges right now. How can NeuroFeedback Therapy help with emotions and mood regulation?  

In published research using qEEG, Dr. Lubar demonstrated that many children developed improved focus and behavior through neurofeedback. This therapy has been found to enhance memory, focus, and mental clarity; decrease impulsivity and anxiety; improve moods; boost academic performance, and lead to more restful sleep.

 

As we prepare for another school year, what are some other things parents can do to improve their kids’ cognitive function and prime their brains for learning? 

I think one of the biggest things we can do is to eat whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish, poultry pastured meats.  In addition, encouraging outside play and creative activities using their imaginations can generate new neuronal connections and create an overall sense of wellbeing. 

 

Call our office at 770-642-4646 to schedule your child’s initial Brain Mapping session. Learn more at https://longevityhealth.com/qeeg/ 

 

Yoga as Part of a Holistic Health Plan

By Lis Whitton-Frey, ND, Bio-Energetic Practitioner, Certified Yoga Instructor 

 

What is yoga and how can we use it as an important part of a holistic health plan?

 

Yoga is an ancient holistic practice that includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. It is widely practiced for health and relaxation. However, in our current culture, Yoga too often gets reduced to two extremes.

 

The first school of thought overemphasizes the physical, treating it as a trendy and effective form of exercise, while the second overspiritualizes the practice, making it for the spiritual elite.  But in fact, Yoga is a holistic practice that addresses the multi-faceted nature of human beings, increasing our awareness of the present moment and releasing past emotions that can keep us stuck, and increasing our holistic health.  

 

The five foundations of yoga, which are a very comprehensive approach to holistic health, are:

  • Asana- Proper Exercise
  • Pranayama- Proper Breathing
  • Savasana- Proper Relaxation
  • Proper diet and Nutrition
  • Positive thinking and meditation

 

At Longevity, the majority of our focus is on detoxification and proper diet and nutrition. But the other aspects of holistic health listed above must be added by the patient to their daily life for optimal results. It is important that we do not neglect any of the other aspects of healthy living.  For we cannot neglect any of the above for too long and thrive.  And although we can encourage you, at the end of the day, no one else can breathe for you! No one else can connect to God for you.  

But in our modern lifestyles, we are constantly exposing ourselves to stressors that can cause us to want to hold our breath (just try driving around 285 in rush hour traffic, not just once, but EVERY WORKDAY like some of you do!).

 

Additionally, we live in an environment that promotes hustle.  There are societal expectations to continually achieve: be smarter, in better shape, healthier, prettier, thinner, richer.  And while we want all good things for our patients and ourselves, we all need reminding that we deserve rest, that we deserve to just be, to recharge, to enjoy the present moment.   In fact, the second regret of those interviewed on their deathbeds is that they worked too hard. Yoga is such a wonderful antidote to the stressors of modern life!

 

And what’s the number one regret? That they did not live a life true to themselves, but did what was expected of them by other people.  Yoga can help us break this habit, too, by taking time to consistently check in with ourselves, instead of being caught up in the busyness of life, and overwhelmed by the buildup of emotions that are too many to sort.  Yoga as a discipline creates a deeper connection to self, providing better health in a way that restores our nervous systems and adrenals. It allows you to release emotions stored in our bodies.  

 

How do emotions get stored in the body?

 

Emotions directly impact our Autonomic Nervous System, which directly impact our bodily functions.  The brain is a network of systems that registers and stores our emotions.  This network includes the amygdala, hippocampus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex.  These parts of the brain are closely linked to the hypothalamus which is the center of the Autonomic Nervous System.  The Autonomic Nervous System controls many things that we are not consciously aware of, such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature regulation, and breathing.  

 

When under stress, the emotion-based network sends signals to activate the Autonomic Nervous System and produce adrenaline and cortisol in order to turn on the survival response known as “fight or flight” (though more recently it has been recognized that “freeze” and “fawn” are also common survival responses to danger and stress).  This survival response directs blood flow to muscles to get our body ready to run or do battle, and it causes our bodies to react instantly before we are aware of what is going on. This protects our bodies and increases our chances of survival.   

 

Through the efforts of neurobiology, we now understand that when emotions rise quickly, the blood flow in the brain shifts away from the frontal lobe, the conscious thinking part of the brain, to the limbic system, which is the emotional reacting and subconscious part of the brain. The Autonomic Nervous System controls the nerve fibers that affect every area of our bodies.  Studies have shown that emotions like anxiety or anger can increase tension in the back muscles of people with chronic back pain.

 

Although this muscle tension caused by emotional stress often takes place outside of our awareness, it can cause serious physical pain of which we are very aware.  We are often not even aware of the underlying emotions causing this physical response, much less their connection to our pain!

 

How exactly does Yoga help?

 

Yoga invites us to stretch and feel into these accumulated muscle tensions.  It invites us back to our bodies, back to the present moment, to release all the built up stress. The practice invites us back into ourselves. The conscious breathing techniques combined with movement, gets us out of our most primitive survival instincts, out of fight or flight, downregulating the sympathetic state and up regulating the parasympathetic state.  

 

Stress can produce a great variety of symptoms through activation of the Autonomic Nervous System.  Overactivation of the Sympathetic state can produce symptoms such as tingling, numbness, burning sensations, dizziness, tinnitus and anxiety.  Activation of the digestive system can cause abdominal pain or bloating, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.  When the digestive system is activated, one can experience pain, itching, burning and urinary frequency.  Cardiovascular responses can include palpitations and a rapid heart rate.  Changes in blood flow can produce migraine headaches.  Freeze and Fawn responses will typically cause fatigue and/or depression.

 

While the sympathetic state is associated with fight or flight, also known as survival mode, the parasympathetic state is associated with “rest and digest,” or healing mode.  We need our bodies to be able to return to this state regularly to achieve optimal health.  Yoga is one of the most effective and easily accessed ways of doing this.  As leading trauma expert, Bessel van der Kolk says:

 

“When people think about trauma, they generally think of it as a historical event that happened some time ago. Trauma is actually the residue from the past as it settles into your body. It’s located inside your own skin. When people are traumatized, they become afraid of their physical sensations; their breathing becomes shallow, and they become uptight and frightened about what they’re feeling inside. When you slow down your breathing with yoga, you can increase your heart rate variability, and that decreases stress. Yoga opens you up to feeling every aspect of your body’s sensations. It’s a gentle, safe way for people to befriend their bodies, where the trauma of the past is stored.”

 

So let’s increase our enjoyment of life as well as our healing capacity by wringing out those old stored traumas, as well as the micro-traumas from everyday life!  This year, let’s get on the mat and breathe and stretch it out!

 

Emotional Health Tips for Navigating the Challenging Holiday Season 

An Interview with Harmony Ilenda, Licensed Professional Counselor, Roswell, GA 

 

The holidays are a complicated and chaotic time, and for many people, this time of year can be bittersweet, or just downright hard. With the added stress and anxiety that comes with this season, it’s so important that we take care of our mental and emotional health. 

 

We sat down with Licensed Professional Counselor Harmony Ilenda to discuss some emotional health tips for navigating the season when it doesn’t feel so merry and bright. Harmony takes a faith-based approach to counseling, and she sees individuals, couples, teens, and families from our Roswell office. 

 

In your experience, how do the holidays impact our mental and emotional wellness?

 

The holidays impact our mental and emotional wellness in many ways, both positive and negative.  On the positive side, the fun and familiar rituals of the season have a beneficial impact on our wellness. Spending time with people we love is so important. Also, giving gifts and donating time and money to charities is life-giving to our souls.  

 

Unfortunately, there can also be challenging aspects of this season. For anyone who’s experienced a loss, such as a death or divorce, the holidays can feel taxing as memories of their loved one, or memories of how the festivities used to look, fill their minds.

 

The holidays are always a busy and stressful time, but why does it seem like this season, as we near the 2-year mark of the pandemic, it feels even more taxing on our mental and emotional health?  

 

I believe we have a memory or experience of what the holidays used to be with a great deal of nostalgia, and most of us missed out on the holidays last year, so it feels like a loss.  For some people, they may be disappointed by what the holidays look like compared to how they “should” be.  

 

In either case, when the holidays don’t look or feel like our expectations, it can feel taxing on our mental health.  Covid changed the rules for what it means to spend time with others down to even how we greet one another.  With the loss of handshakes and hugs, and social distancing, people are uncertain how to physically be in each other’s space.  Even as things get “back to normal,” our nervous systems retain that anxiety over being close to others not in our immediate families. 

 

In addition, there is always an underlying concern of contracting covid when we are spending time with others.  As we all know, there is disagreement among communities over whether or not to vaccinate.  If you are spending time with family or friends this holiday season that feel differently than you on this matter, it can feel confusing and conflicting, which again takes a toll on one’s emotional health.  

 

Strained family dynamics can add to the stress of the holiday season. How can we set healthy boundaries with loved ones in order to protect our mind, body, and spirit this year? 

 

I believe there are three main factors to keep in mind when it comes to setting healthy boundaries.   These points can always apply, but can be particularly beneficial during the holidays.  

 

First, identify and define the boundary.  Do you know what you want your time to look like?  How does this year need to look and feel different? Try to define your boundary less by what you don’t want, and more by what you do want.

 

Second, communicate your boundary to the person.  Do this in a non-defensive and matter-of-fact way.  

 

Finally (and this is the hardest part), hold the boundary.  You will probably have to repeat it to them when they ignore, disregard, or try to push past your boundary.  This is where it’s helpful to calmly but firmly remind them of the boundary you set, and that you are not compromising it. 

 

Try to keep in mind that boundary setting protects your mind, body, and spirit. It’s actually very kind to set boundaries, as they protect you and others.  

 

What are some other proactive steps we can take to guard our mental and emotional health as we head into the holiday season and our second winter of the pandemic? 

 

It’s pretty common knowledge these days that we are interconnected beings, meaning our hearts, soul, and mind are interconnected.  Of course, trouble in one area can mean trouble elsewhere, too.  Everyone knows how important it is to take care of our physical health.  But, what are we doing to feed our spiritual souls, our minds, and our hearts?  

 

I believe that having daily rituals are vital to our self-care and guarding our emotional health.  Examples include reading the Bible and/or a devotional book, meditative breathing, keeping a gratitude journal, and praying.  Reaching out to others with a kind word and acts of service are also key.  There are apps you can download, such as Headspace, that even remind you to take a pause and breath for a few minutes to settle and invigorate your nervous system each day. However you choose to proactively guard your mental health, do it daily as a practice of prevention.  

 

What are some signs we can look for to alert us that we are struggling mentally and emotionally? 

 

Everyone has feelings and emotions, and they’re not always pretty.  But, there’s a big difference between someone having negative thoughts and feelings that come and go, and someone who has persistent and ongoing negative thoughts and feelings.  I believe talking to a friend or loved one, or even a therapist can be really helpful.  While we will likely continue to have negative thoughts and feelings sometimes, we can get to a point where we can accept them and even work through them to experience more joy and wholeness.  

 

What role can therapy play in helping people remain mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy? What are the biggest hurdles keeping people from seeking counseling? 

 

Unfortunately, therapy still holds a stigma for many in our society. I believe therapy can be so helpful. It is so helpful to talk out your feelings and emotions.  Oftentimes, people express ideas they didn’t even know they were thinking.  A seasoned therapist can help you sort through confusing feelings and emotions, strategize about problem areas in your life, and even set and achieve goals.  Therapy can help people recover from past trauma that is prohibiting them from meaningfully moving forward in life.  Some people find therapy helpful on an ongoing basis.  Others go for a season, usually 6 or so sessions, and then can “check in“ periodically as needed.  

Learn more about Harmony’s counseling practice at HarmonysCounseling.com

5 Tips for Staying Healthy at This Season’s Social Gatherings

 

By Maddy Eiss, Longevity Health Center 

 

As we near the end of the year and begin attending seemingly endless amounts of tailgates, holiday parties, cookie swaps, and the like, our health goals tend to be put on the back burner. Because you can always start again on January 1st, right? 

 

While it can certainly be challenging to continue along your health journey during this time of the year, it is possible! 

 

I have compiled my top 5 tips to help you enjoy yourself at this holiday season’s gatherings without negating all the efforts you’ve put into your wellness routine throughout this year. 

 

  1. Preparation is Key

 

You might think of preparing for an event in terms of making sure you have the best tacky Christmas sweater at the ready, or that you have baked the most delectable cookies for your work party, but the preparation I am talking about is not at the surface level. Taking charge of staying healthy at a social gathering can begin with taking digestive enzymes, being well hydrated, and eating something small before you arrive at your neighbors’ decked out entryway. 

 

There are many digestive enzymes on the market that can help your system better tolerate all the party foods. Longevity Health Center’s Nutrition Shop carries many options that will fit in with any dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.) so you can stock up for the entire season. Hydrating well before a big event will help you feel more full, aid in proper digestion, flush your system of excess sodium, reduce bloat, and the list goes on. 

 

As far as eating before you attend a party, this might seem contradictory, right? Well, it will actually help you better follow your hunger cues and keep you more clear-headed. It is the same principle as not going to the grocery store hungry – you will end up picking up everything in sight! Choose something healthy like soup, a piece of fruit, or a salad as your pre-event snack.

 

  1. Drink Mindfully

 

Try to limit your intake of sugary, high-calorie drinks and alcoholic beverages. This does not mean you can not consume alcohol and stay on track for your wellness goals. Simply opt to bring a few drinks of your own that are lower in calories and consist of cleaner ingredients. 

 

Another alternative is to bring non-alcoholic beverages like flavored sparkling water or probiotic and enzyme-rich kombucha. These options can keep your taste buds enticed, but will not stimulate your appetite the way that alcohol does. 

 

  1. Pick your Location Wisely

 

If you choose to plant yourself in close proximity to the food station, chances are you will be more likely to mindlessly graze. Instead, visit with your friends and family away from the food and beverage spread, keeping your temptations at a distance. Out of sight, out of mind!  Shift your priority to socializing and spending quality time with loved ones, and not eating.

 

  1. Be Strategic with your Food Selections

 

Carefully select larger amounts of vegetables and lean protein sources to make up the majority of your plate. With minimal room remaining on your dish, you can select and savor more indulgent foods. While you do want to limit the intake of less nutritious foods, you also want to be cautious in not being overly restrictive, so as to not end up eating excessive amounts of the foods you have been craving all night. Enjoying a small sampling of these special holiday treats can actually help you stay on track for achieving your health objectives. Moderation is key.

 

  1. Bring a Healthy Dish to Share 

 

Bring a dish that fits within your dietary needs and preferences. Your party host or hostess as well as the other guests will most likely appreciate this gesture, as it will help them stay on track with their own healthy eating endeavors. It will also give you peace of mind knowing there will be at least one dish you can consume guilt free, and it will ensure you continue to look and feel your best all night long! 

 

I hope these tips inspire you as you head into this season and beyond. At the New Year, when everyone else is looking for ways to overhaul their habits and undo the damage done during the holidays, you’ll be ready to simply continue the progress you’ve been making. After all, leading a vibrant life is a marathon, not a sprint. 

 

Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season! 

 

Rhythms of Renewal: Creating Life Balance for Whole Health

 

When you think of living “health,” what picture evolves in your mind? What does it look like to live an extraordinary life of abundant health? Is eating more nutrient-dense foods a solution for you? Maybe exercising or becoming more active is a part of your wellness vision? If you could just experience a little more energy or sleep better at night, would that define “health” more clearly for you? 

 

Realistically, our total wellness cannot be fully grasped unless we have healthy habits in three key areas, which I like to define as our physical, emotional and spiritual life rhythms. A rhythm is “a strong, regular repeated pattern of movement”, and in the context of our lives, we all establish regular patterns of movement that can either strengthen our overall health or diminish it. This pursuit takes intentionality and focus, which is sometimes difficult to sustain in today’s fast-paced existence. 

 

For example, if one is eating nutritious foods and maintaining regular exercise, yet still having trouble sleeping and managing stress, the patterns that are not balanced contribute negatively to our overall immune function. An athlete who stays physically fit and sleeps soundly every night may still have hidden chronic inflammation due to a high-stress career or unhealthy relationship. Maybe you have stress managed in your life and your diet is healthy, yet you lack community connections, enriching friendships or foundational faith. Your optimum health is compromised greatly by lacking these emotional and spiritual connections, because these rhythms are vital to how your body functions and heals physically. 

 

When our life rhythms, the repeated, regular patterns of our days, are out of balance in one of these key areas, our overall wellness is impacted in negative ways. When we step back and take into consideration all of the facets of our health, we experience growth and abundant health in more ways than we can imagine.

 

As a life, health and nutrition coach for over ten years, I support individuals as they take an inventory of their life rhythms. One can start by looking past the “symptoms” of their physical health. Together we take a deeper dive at root causes that might have their origin in areas such as chronic stress, lack of intimacy in important relationships, life transitions that take their toll unknowingly, and even a lack of spiritual focus and discipline. 

 

A health coach can offer support to individuals who suffer from a chronic condition, want to better manage a condition through lifestyle and diet change, desire support in carrying out a practitioner’s recommendations, or hope to optimize health and focus on prevention. The clients I work with establish “rhythms of renewal” that not only create sustainable lifestyle change in their physical habits, but their emotional and spiritual patterns, as well. 

 

Picture a wheel with multiple spokes: your “life wheel”. When one of the spokes is broken or damaged, the wheel will not be able to balance the weight it carries or function properly. So it is with our own life! When the areas remain in balance, the wheel operates flawlessly and can carry us to our destination with ease and endurance. 

 

What does your life wheel look like? Visit my website at www.beautyforbroken.com to take your free Life Wheel assessment and receive your complimentary consultation for health coaching today!

 

The Many Benefits of Acupuncture for Mind, Body, and Spirit

An Interview with Dr. Kiwon Han, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

Are you curious about Acupuncture and whether it could be beneficial for you? If so, here’s a little Acupuncture primer! 

  • Meridians are energy channels which course throughout the body. Chi circulates via the meridians to all parts of the body. The unimpeded flow of chi is imperative for good health, and any misdirection, blockage or other interruption of the flow of chi may result in pain, dysfunction and poor health. 
  • Using fine needles, an Acupuncturist stimulates certain points along the course of the 14 meridians. This act restores the balance and flow of chi so that the body and its systems can function normally. 

 

In short, Acupuncture sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health.

When you think of Acupuncture, pain relief is most likely the first thing that pops into your head. Perhaps you’ve tried dry needling or cupping in the past for issues like headaches, neck pain, or a sports injury. 

 

It’s proven that the placement of Acupuncture needles or cups at specific pain points releases endorphins and opioids, the body’s natural painkillers, as well as neurotransmitters to the brain. There is also evidence that stimulating acupuncture points draws out inflammation and increases circulation, speeding up the healing and detoxification processes. When pain is relieved, patients feel a greater overall sense of physical well-being, and all their systems are able to function optimally. 

 

In addition to pain management, Acupuncture has numerous lesser-known benefits. For example, it can aid in the treatment of digestive issues, insomnia, sleep disorders, and even help people stop smoking. 

 

We sat down with Longevity Acupuncturist Dr. Kiwon Han to learn more about this ancient Eastern therapy and some of the ways it can help the body heal and balance itself.  Enjoy this interview with Dr. Han, and learn more at LongevityHealth.com/acupuncture/

 

Can Acupuncture help people with ongoing sinus problems or seasonal allergies? 

Yes, Acupuncture can not only improve the function of the immune system but also restore the flow of qi throughout the body. It can help clear blockages from the sinus passages, relieving a range of sinus issues, including headaches, pressure, pain, and nasal congestion.

 

What’s the connection between Acupuncture and endocrine health? Can this therapy aid with issues like PCOS, infertility, and menopause symptoms? 

We can help the endocrine system by stimulating several key Acupuncture points. For menopause symptoms, Acupuncture can help our bodies better adjust to the hormone changes that occur during this transition. 

Acupuncture can also help with many of the medical conditions that impact fertility. These include PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, and issues with ovarian reserve and sperm quality. It can also help relieve some of the side effects associated with fertility drugs, such as bloating and nausea.

 

We know Acupuncture has numerous physical benefits, but can it also support people in their mental and emotional health? How does it enhance mood, sleep, and overall energy and well-being? 

In Oriental Medicine, our body and spirit are never separated, and I’ve seen Acupuncture serve as a game-changer for patients’ mental and emotional health.

This therapy stimulates the release of specific neurotransmitters, which regulate mood, sleep cycles, breathing, heart rate and concentration. Regular sessions can do wonders for those struggling with high stress, anxiety, and insomnia issues. 

Because Acupuncture treatments are pain free and very relaxing, they are 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.  

 

You have years of experience using Acupuncture for weight loss and cosmetic purposes. How does this therapy help patients not only feel, but also look better? 

For optimal weight loss, our minds and bodies need to be in their best condition. When our systems are more balanced, we can better control cravings and have more energy to move and care for our bodies. Acupuncture patients experience increased metabolism, reduced appetite, and lower stress levels, giving them a sense of motivation and well-being. 

 

 

Women around the world have been using Acupuncture facial treatments for rejuvenation and beauty maintenance for generations. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture will brighten lusterless skin, reduce redness, tighten sagging areas, drain congested lymph, soften wrinkles and discourage formation of new ones.

 

The treatment exercises the cutaneous layer of the skin and fights aging by attacking flaccidity, expression lines, dehydration, and poor circulation. The dermis of the face is strengthened by correcting circulation deficiencies and stimulating fibroblasts to increase collagen production, thereby improving elasticity. Facial rejuvenation is a safe alternative to cosmetic surgery with no traumatic side effects.

 

Clients will notice that their skin feels warmer, tighter, brighter, lightened, and more awake after just one session. The treatment also works at the cellular level to stimulate cellular activity through the production of ATP, the major carrier of energy to the cells, helping all cells to readily accept nutrients and eliminate waste.

 

 

Dr. Han earned her Bachelor’s of Oriental Medicine at Wonkwang University of South Korea in 2002. After practicing as an Oriental Medical Doctor for 18 years in Korea, she moved to the U.S. to continue her work as a Georgia Licensed and board certified Acupuncturist. She is also a member of the Korean Medicine of Obesity and Bokchi Korean Medicine Societies. With more than 20 years of experience with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, Dr. Han is skilled in pain management, fertility issues, obesity treatment, and cosmetic Acupuncture. She lives in Suwanee with her husband Junyong, her two kids, Yujin and Yun, and her poodle, Kkamja.