Yep! Its still winter. Though we haven’t had much snow here in the Northeast, it’s been pretty cold which keeps us indoors. Today, Vitamin D research still gets a lot of attention especially for folks prone to SAD or seasonal affective disorder. Grey skies, lack of sunshine can cause some of us to feel blue.
Many health magazines report on the important role this vitamin plays not only for bone formation, and support for the immune system but also for cancer prevention. Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine” vitamin, needs the sun to activate a form of vitamin D3 under our skin when exposed that sets up a positive biochemical cascade that has many healthful benefits.
If you have the beginning stages of breast, prostate cancer or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) for example, I would highly recommend you get your levels tested. However, I encourage everyone to have their Vitamin D levels tested and if needed to use quality supplementation, especially through the winter months. Besides getting outside and exercising whether walking, skiing, hiking where possible, the outdoors helps us get through the change of season. Too much Vitamin D can be harmful so please start the new year right: know your Vit D level.
According to Dr. Mercola, the best blood test to check your Vitamin D levels is: “25(OH)D is the better marker of overall D status. It is this marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.
Seafood such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring contain higher amounts of D3. For vegan’s and vegetarians, soy milk, almond milk are often fortified with vitamin D. That also includes cereals, orange juice. Check your labels and if you are a vegan get a baseline Vitamin D test done to ensure optimal health.
So get out in the sunshine when possible even if its cold. Nature, fresh air and sunlight have a marvelous way of chasing away the winter blues.
Enjoy your day. Judith
Description: Enjoy Deb Sodergren’s return to Holistic Nature of Us as we prepare for the holidays. Author and speaker, Deb shares her wisdom and experience offering tips and suggestions for de-stressing during this busy time of year. Mindfulness, including nature walks, getting out into the fresh air and being grateful keep us centered and grounded as we enjoy family and friends. Join us for a delightful discussion with many practical tips that encourage us to embrace the holidays, family and friends, with love and joy.
About My guest: Deb Sodergren is an Energy Body Vibration Expert/International Speaker/Author and owner of Up Vibrations, LLC. She graduated from the New England School of Metaphysics in 1998, and nationally certified as a Reiki Master Teacher and certified to teach Metaphysics and Meditation. She is also an Infinite Possibilities Certified Trainer.
“My philosophy of healing is based on taking care of my clients with alternative healing modalities and sometimes with traditional allopathic medicine to ensure that the individual’s whole self is being maintained and balanced. I bring to my practice a deep understanding of the human energy field and the body, mind, and spirit connection as well as extensive training in the areas of Reiki, meditation, chakra balancing, vibrational medicine, channeling, death & dying, infinite possibilities mindset and others.”
Transcript: #41 Deb Sodergren
My journey into alternative medicine began because of my son’s health. As an infant and toddler, he had ear infections, was a restless sleeper. Troublesome, worrisome and perplexing, I felt forced to look at health in general and his in particular from a different angle. How could I create foundational health for him when traditional medicine seemed to be a band-aid? It helped with the crisis but didn’t seem able to get to the root of the problem?
He was born in New Jersey where naturopathic medicine was /is not licensed. When he was three years old we moved back to CT, my home state, where I found out naturopaths are licensed to practice medicine. Remember I was trained as a nurse in western, allopathic medicine so this was a stretch for me. But I was tired, tired of long restless nights with him, cranky daytimes and his ill health. I had to step off the medical model I was trained in, face my fears, ( I was told in nursing school that chiropractors, naturopaths etc were “quacks”) and investigate alternative medicine for myself. I learned a whole lot, became angry that good research was not mainstream though potentially helpful.
Through a series of synchronistic encounters, I met a couple fo N.D.’s, Naturopathic physicians, who were licensed to practice medicine in the state of CT. Through specific testing, we found out my son was very sensitive to certain foods. When I removed them from his diet, the results were miraculous. After three days of removing these suspected culprits from his diet, he slept peacefully. Gradually his ears improved and so did his overall health.
Naturopathy refers to a system of medical practice that combines a mainstream understanding of human physiology and disease with alternative remedies. Naturopathy grew out of taking the
cure from natural mineral springs and spas prevalent in Europe in the 1800’s. This model flourished in the 1800’s and early 1900’s here in the USA. However, hospitals and schools were shut down by the 1920’s by the rise of biomedicines and the Flexner Report. As complementary and alternative medicine experienced a resurgence in the 1970’s, we began to see N.D.’s in our cities here in CT.
This practice chooses natural remedies aimed at stimulating the body’s own healing ability rather than surgery and drugs. These Doc’s have the same medical school training as our allopathic, (western medicine) Doc’s do with a few differences.
First, they cannot perform surgery and cannot prescribe certain classes of drugs. However they are trained in homeopathy, supplements, nutrition, and some are well versed in acupuncture, body therapies, traditional Chinese herbs, Ayurveda herbs, and western herbology.
My podcast guest this week, Dr. Ashley Burkman, highlighted her approach, involving a comprehensive review of a person’s lifestyle, environment, work and study habits, routines, in order to address whatever her patients present. On my first visit to an N.D. with my young son, I was surprised at the extensive interview and the quality time spent with me and my son. And it paid off. Little by little, we made dietary changes along with the addition of herbs and supplements. He improved. I finally felt he was regaining foundational health and vitality. And for the parents out there with small children, you can imagine my relief.
For the holidays: keep in mind bedtimes both your child’s and yours. We all function better with a good night’s sleep. Try different recipes that contain less refined sugars, refined flours and opt for more organic ingredients where you can. Put on relaxing music while doing kitchen chores. Laugh, smile and giggle. This is a wonderful time of year where true heartfelt giving, family, and friends surround us.
From my heart to yours, have wonderful holidays. Judith
Description: Janet Verney shares her journey of seeking a diagnosis from a serious but unsolved lung ailment, undergoing multiple and complicated testing to letting go. It’s not an easy task to find health solutions but Janet’s journey inspires us as she learned about gut health, the detrimental effects of NSAIDS, (non- steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, usually over the counter) and more. She offers practical health tips as she recounts her journey.
About My Guest: Janet Verney is certified in Integrative Health and specializes in Women’s Wellness. As The Wellness Designer, she creates fun and educational programs for women around the world. Janet is passionate about living a rich and full life through delicious food and an abundant lifestyle!
Transcript: #25 Janet Varney
Do you have a favorite tree? A favorite memory of playing in trees, romping in the nearby woods, catching frogs or playing hide and seek? What tree plays a role in those memories?
My native elders felt trees had traits, some like humans. For example, maples are considered social, living nearby homes. The white pine often referred to as the Tree of Peace, held a position of respect and figures in stories of salvation from our own human follies. Seek peace not war becomes the white pine’s message, symbol.
Tree hugging is not uncommon. Many of us who enjoy the outdoors might take a moment or two, savor the forest’s smells and silence while hugging a tree.
Gardening, walking in the forest seems to calm us, eases our breath from everyday concerns. Do we need scientific studies to prove this? I don’t think so. We seem to thrive in some ways when we venture into nature.
In Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv, laments that our children are removed from nature, by at least two generations.
“The young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experience.” He further explains: ” at the very moment that the bond is breaking between the young and the natural world, a growing body of research links our mental, physical and spiritual health directly to our association with nature – in positive ways.”
A paradox for our day and age. We stay inside with our gizmos, lead busy lives. Complementary and alternative medicine, CAM, seeks to explore and encourage simple practices that enhance well being including “getting out in nature.”
The world of alternative medicine is often confused with complementary medicine. Yet in some ways, they complement each other. How? Many of us, when faced with a serious illness, seek some other way to cope with this illness, a disease. We get on the medical program advised for us but want something more; we want to add something to hopefully speed up our recovery if possible. We may choose modalities such as massage, maybe investigate nutrition and make dietary changes. We may add aromatherapy and meditation to our routines. In this sense, we are adding modalities to complement our medical program.
In other instances, folks choose other modalities first. They put aside medical protocols and delve into alternative practices that could make a difference. They put body and soul into a program that hopefully brings changes.
My podcast guest this week, Lynne Hartwell, Alternative Medicine Practitioner, stressed simple ways to bring in balance on a body, mind, soul level. Focus on breathing. Exercise. Lynne recommends “getting out in nature” too. Remember childhood wonder and the ability to be completely in the moment playing in the woods? How we couldn’t wait to get outside? There was no time.
Lynne and other alternative and complementary practitioners often recommend “getting out in nature”. Reconnect. Feel the breeze. Smell the woods. Relax and breathe.
“Connect with nature.” I couldn’t agree more.
Summer gardening chores are in full swing. We have rain barrels around our garden. While that helps us harvest rain water, it does mean a bit more work watering. Weeding puts us on our knees or bending our backs. Produce is producing strong right now and that means gathering and putting them “up”. Whether canning or freezing, garden chores are in the intense mode during this part of summer.
Got a few aches? Maybe a sore muscle or two? Here’s a great muscle rub recipe that uses quality essential oils.
Recipe: Essential oil: Soothing Muscle Rub
In aromatherapy, pine is used in saunas, steam baths and massage blends for sore muscles. The natural evergreen aroma of pine essential oil is a sweet alternative to harshly medicinal pharmaceutical preparations. Here’s a recipe that combines the oils of several plants used to add, therapeutic fragrance to steams and saunas or to apply to sore muscles at the end of a gardening day.
30 drops pine essential oil
30 drops juniper berry essential oil
30 drops peppermint essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
To make a penetrating massage oil for overworked muscles, dilute 12 drops of this concentrated blend in 3 ounces of vegetable oil, such as sweet almond. This fragrant muscle rub is especially nice after a strenuous workout when muscles may be tight and sore.
Never apply concentrated essential oil blends directly to skin without diluting them first as irritation may develop.