essential oils

Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics

Photo by  Christin Hume  on  Unsplash

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on a recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Candace Liccione

In my local book club, we recently read a book about the discovery of penicillin during WWII and the information was fascinating. The subject came up again at a recent book club meeting and I realized that people don’t know much about antibiotics but do know they aren’t as effective as they were. I thought it would be great to discuss this issue so everyone knows how all this works. There is a great book by Stephen Harrod Buhner titled Herbal Antibiotics that was recently featured in The Herb Companion Magazine that I found to be a great reference for information.

Antibiotics came into great use in the 1950’s and 1960’s and the medical establishment felt that these new antibiotics would virtually eliminate infectious disease in our lives. In spite of the optimism of the time, by 1976 infectious disease was already on the rise. By 1997 it had become so bad that 3 million people a year in the US were being admitted to hospitals with difficult-to-treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Many people came to the hospitals for other reasons but ended up catching an infection in the hospital. The number of people who die from hospital acquired infections is more than 100,000 a year. That makes it the fourth leading cause of death in the US. The period once called the “Age of Miracle Drugs” is dead.

New antibiotics have been discovered daily for years and it seemed that these drugs were the answer to the problem. As early as 1929 Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned that numerous bacteria were already resistant. In 1945 we were warned that improper use of penicillin would lead to the development of resistant bacteria. Then, just 14% of staph bacteria were resistant to penicillin. By 1953, 64% to 80% of the bacteria had become resistant. Resistance to tetracycline and erythromycin was also being reported. In 1995 an incredible 95% of staph was resistant to penicillin. The first severe outbreak of MRSA occurred in 1968 and eventually the MRSA strains became resistant to all clinically available antibiotics. Now resistant strains are common throughout the world’s population.

What people don’t realize is that all life on Earth is highly intelligent and adaptable. Bacteria are the oldest forms of life on earth and they have learned well how to respond to threats to their well being. The world is filled with antibacterial substances, most produced by other bacteria, as well as fungi and plants. To survive, bacteria learned how to respond to those substances.

The bacteria in our bodies are friendly, mutualistic bacteria. They take up all the space on and in our bodies on which bacteria can grow. By doing so they leave no room for other less benign bacteria to live. All of our co-evolutionary bacteria generate antibiotic substances that kill off other, less friendly bacteria. As we grow, regular exposure to pathogenic bacteria teaches our bodies and the symbiotic bacteria how to respond to disease organisms.

It is clear now that antibiotics aren’t going to be used any less and in fact they are being used more. Humans as a species has never really been known for doing the sensible thing before it is too late. So, we will stop using antibiotics only when they truly fail to work.

Did you know that there are herbal antibiotics to treat antibiotic resistant organisms? There are three categories:

  • Systemic antibacterial

  • Localized antibacterial

  • Synergistic herbs

    Systemic antibacterial are spread by the blood stream throughout the body affecting every cell and organ. These herbs are reportedly good for treating infections such as MRSA that have spread throughout the body and are not responding to multiple antibiotic protocols.  The following herbs (except artemisia) are herbs that we are not familiar with in the US:

  • Cryptolepis (cryptolepis sanguinolenta) used to treat malaria in Africa - is antibacterial and antiprotozoal

  • Sida (sida acuta) aka broom weed from Australia, Central American and Mexico

  • Alchornea (alchornea cordifolia) is a tropical tree from Africa

  • Bidens (bidens pilosa) considered a nasty weed that could save your life - aka shepherds needles and is grown in Africa, US and Asia

  • Artemisia (artemisia annua) aka sweet wormwood

Non-systemic herbs are those that do not spread easily through the body and are limited in movement. Because they do not easily cross membranes, they are good for GI tract and urinary tracts and for external infections. These kinds of herbs are useful for infection such as E. coli, salmonella or cholera or for infected skin wounds that refuse to heal.

  • American goldenseal

  • Juniper

  • Usnea (oosnea)  

  • Honey

Facilitative or synergistic herbs are plants that facilitate the action of other plants. They either enhance the action of the antibacterial being used or affect the bacteria so the antibacterial is more effective. Most plants contain both antibiotic substance and a potent synergist.

  • Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra and g. Uralensis)

  • Ginger (zingiber officinale)

  • Black pepper (piper nigrum and P. longum)

There are many, many herbs that have antibacterial actions. This is just a list that this author suggests.

Essential Oils for Alternatives to Antibiotics

It's quite likely that whether you visit your doctor for back pain, anxiety or an ingrown toenail, you won't leave without a prescription of some kind. Cold and flu symptoms are among the most common reasons why people visit their doctors and, often, antibiotics are the go-to remedy. Repeatedly taking antibiotics causes major problems, and as overuse of this type of medication, both in the health care setting and in industrial agriculture, has resulted in increased resistance.

As Cari Romm recently reported in The Atlantic, livestock consume up to 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S., and the amount actually jumped by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to a recent FDA report. This rampant use of the drugs has led to “superbugs” that are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics that are used to treat not just farm animals, but humans as well.

Researchers have also directly compared the effects of commonly used antibiotics with those of various essential oils. One such study, from the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Animal Science, found that rosemary and oregano oils resulted in the same amount of growth in chickens as the antibiotic avilamycin, and that the oils killed bacteria, too. Additional findings have shown that essential oils help reduce salmonella in chickens, and another study found that a blend of several oils can limit the spread of salmonella among animals. One of the co-authors of that study, Dr. Charles Hofacre, a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says it’s such a new area of research that they don’t yet know exactly how the essential oils work, but “there is some strong evidence that they are functioning by both an antibacterial action in the intestine and also some have an effect to stimulate the intestinal cells ability to recover from disease more quickly–either by local immunity or helping keep the intestinal cells themselves healthier.”

DrAxe.Com has a list of 4 antibacterial essential oils that he recommends. Head on over to his blog post to read all the details on these oils:

1. Cinnamon Oil

2. Thyme Oil

3. Oregano Oil

4. Tea Tree Oil

Dr. Axe recommends mixing one of these oils, or a combination, with one teaspoon of Manuka honey and/or coconut oil and applying topically to the affected area. You can even combine one drop each of oregano oil, cinnamon and thyme with Manuka honey and take it as a tonic, though we always suggest you ensure that you’re fully educated about all oils before ingesting them, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Ultimately, what’s great about these oils is that they’re more gentle on the gut lining and can be used for short periods internally, and longer externally, as long as your doctor approves and you don’t have any negative reaction to them.

Many of Dr. Axe’s patients have great results against bacterial infections when working with a protocol that includes antibacterial essential oils, bone broth and probiotics. In his post, he has a recipe for Antibacterial Super Tonic which includes essential oils of oregano, ginger, peppermint, grapefruit, cinnamon and thyme. You can the full recipe link in his blog post.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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Dryer Sheets: Toss the Chemicals and Go Natural!

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Tiffany Windsor

My sister Candace and I recently talked about toxic air fresheners on our BlogTalk Radio show and when we researched, we quickly found that dryer sheets and fabric softeners fall into the same category.

The average American household is loaded with toxic chemicals. These chemicals are often found in household cleaning and cosmetic products. But, of all the toxic products in the average household…the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets are among the most potentially harmful.

It is reported that the chemicals used to make these products are extremely dangerous to our neurological system. Our nervous system (including the brain) operate via chemical messengers (neuro-transmitters). These chemical messengers are damaged and disrupted by the ingredients in these products. Given the nature of these products, they are extremely dangerous due to the fact these toxic ingredients are transferred to our clothing, bed sheets, towels, pillows and, well, everything we wash! Basically, we are in contact with these toxic ingredients constantly. Also, when heated these toxic substances are often released into the air and are inhaled.

The following are substances used as ingredients in dryer sheets and fabric softeners that are most concerning (they are often used in untested combinations): Alpha Terpineol, Pentane and Linalool (one of the potentially airborne substances that is very dangerous when inhaled. It has been linked to nervous system damage and respiratory issues.)

Benzyl acetate: Has been identified as a potential cause of pancreas cancer

Benzyl alcohol: Can irritate the upper respiratory system.  Has been linked to central nervous system disorders, vomiting, nausea, headaches, syncope and dizziness.

Chloroform: This is a well-known carcinogen that is also neurotoxic.  It can also be released into the air when heated and can cause loss of consciousness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Ethanol: This ingredient is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.  Has been linked to Central Nervous System disorders.

Ethyl Acetate: Also on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List.  Can cause headaches.

Fragrances: These fragrances are composed of several of hundreds of synthetic chemicals that are almost always toxic,

The best way to reduce your exposure to these toxic ingredients is to avoid commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets all together. Want an easy natural replacement? Try making your own using essential oils

How to make your own dryer sheets using essential oils

  1. Fill a clean container with organic white vinegar and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love doTerra lavender).

  2. Cut an old sheet or t-shirt in squares then add them into the container with the vinegar. Shake well so the fabric squares are completely saturated.

  3. When using, simply grab a square and place it in the dryer with your laundry.

  4. When done, return the squares to the container of vinegar. Add more vinegar and essential oils as needed to keep the squares saturated and fresh.

Sources:

https://anyavien.com/the-scary-truth-about-your-dryer-sheets/?fbclid=IwAR36X21y-kEzMEm9UZ__AiEF8d3dnw94dz5Z2_5qai-xhD3fe90zGkNTnDI

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greener-laundry/

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Air Fresheners: Replace Chemical Toxins with Natural Fresheners

Photo by  Jules D.  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

Do you know that commercial air fresheners are hazardous to your health? We have been telling people for many years that air fresheners are not good, but no one was listening. Did you know it is reported that using air fresheners is like smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Let us repeat this – air fresheners contain the same dangerous ingredients that are in cigarettes.

There are 11 common ingredients in air fresheners and cigarettes – 7 chemicals that are toxic to the respiratory system, 2 are toxic to your reproductive system and 2 are toxic for your cardiovascular system. Did you know that it is reported that air fresheners cause lung cancer. Wow!

Look at these stats: there are 600 ingredients in cigarettes and 3,000 chemicals used to make air fresheners. If you see the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list, it is a mixture of several dozens to several hundreds of chemicals. Please consider getting rid of air fresheners in your home and letting people know in public spaces such as office buildings and doctor offices just how bad these air fresheners are so maybe, just maybe, they will stop using them.

During the 1990s, the air freshener market experienced a massive resurgence thanks to the introduction of convenient “plug-in” air fresheners. These air fresheners rely on heat induction technology and special heat-activated scented gels to continually release a scent.

Many air fresheners contain nerve-deadening chemicals that coat your nasal passages and temporarily block your sense of smell. Some of the most offensive ingredients—volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene and formaldehyde—can cause headaches and nausea and aggravate asthma, and have been linked to neurological damage and cancer.
— National Geographic's The Green Guide

At the time of their introduction, plug-in air fresheners were heralded as being an excellent development in home scenting technology. Not only were they easy to use and affordable, they also didn’t rely on aerosol sprays. Aerosol sprays had come under fire during the 1980s for their harmful effect on the ozone layer. Today, however, consumers are being warned that they should rethink modern air fresheners. As researchers have taken a closer look at these seemingly hassle-free devices, they have discovered an astonishing number of toxic compounds are present in many scented gels.

Did you know that 95% of chemical fragrances are derived from petroleum and it is reported that 34% of people suffer at least one negative side-effect after being exposed to fragranced products. Respiratory and mucosal issues, migraines, skin problems, asthma, neurological and focus problems are side effects of synthetic fragrances.

VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) are one issue.. and in air freshener products tested there were 17 different VOC’s. The test products contained 1 to 8 toxic or hazardous chemicals. Some of the chemicals are ethanol and acetone; Limonene (a popular synthetic citrus smell that  interacts with ozone in the air to create secondary pollutants like formaldehyde), benzene (aka toxic tail pipe exhaust) is a pollutant which can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, unconsciousness, and confusion and phthalates which can cause low testosterone, asthma, wheezing, reproductive abnormalities, and altered DNA in sperm.

Here's how it works: When you use air fresheners, phthalates are released into the air where you might inhale them or absorb them through your skin. Once phthalates get into your bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause health problems.

The air fresheners from the study that had phthalates in them are:

  • Air Wick Scented Oil

  • Citrus Magic

  • Febreze NOTICEables Scented Oil

  • Glade Air Infusions

  • Glade PlugIn Scented Oil

  • Lysol Brand II Disinfectant

  • Oust Air Sanitizer Spray

  • Oust Fan Liquid Refills

  • Ozium Glycol-ized Air Sanitizer

  • Walgreens Air Freshener Spray (had the highest levels of phthalates by far)

  • Walgreens Scented Bouquet Air Freshener

The scariest part? You can't find "phthalates" on any of these air fresheners ingredients. Thus why the word "hidden" was added to this particular study's title

We can’t say this enough! Get these artificial air fresheners out of your homes! It’s easy to replace them with essential oil diffusers. Besides some of the popular traditional scents like lavender essential oil or wild orange essential oil, there are beautiful blends that are quite uplifting or calming depending on the mood you want to set!

Another all-natural way to get rid of nasty smells is by wrapping cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and boiling them in water. Yet another consists of leaving herbal bouquets standing in open dishes where the fragrance can dissipate throughout a room. And don't underestimate the air-cleansing power of houseplants, which can improve indoor air quality by filtering toxins out of the air. Mother Nature Network reports that aloe vera plants can filter benzene and formaldehyde out of the air, that spider plants are known for their ability to take xylene and carbon monoxide out of the indoor environment, and that gerber daisies excel at removing the trichloroethylene that may come home with your dry cleaning.

Sources:

https://www.indoordoctor.com/health-hazards-plug-air-fresheners/

https://drwillcole.com/12-ways-detox-life-optimal-health/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nontoxic-air-fresheners/

https://www.pippinbrothers.com/blog/article/do-you-know-which-air-fresheners-are-toxic

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10 Ideas for Changing Your Life



by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

Candace and I have been supporting women’s wellness for the past 30+ years and so we decided to share the top 10 issues that we are repeatedly asked about. They aren’t in any particular order and aren’t really steps but we hope they bring you awareness of some of the issues that may be holding you back in truly enjoying your life everyday.

Emotional Issues

This is the key to healing mind and body and spirit so you can identify your core issue(s) and start to work on healing. There are many paths to healing. At the core of health issues is an emotional issue or issues. We all have a core emotional issue in our life. Usually your emotional issue stems from your childhood. The problem is that people don’t know that their emotional issues, thoughts, and feelings are the beginnings of their health problems. Western medicine addresses only the symptoms and ignores the body, mind and spirit connection. We medicate our symptoms but never delve deeper into what’s causing them.

The best way to start looking at your emotional issues is to check out either Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” or Inna Segals book “The Secret Language of your Body”. These books list the emotional issues behind different symptoms and disease. We create the situations in our lives, and we need to heal them. Your body is a mirror of your inner thoughts and beliefs. You need to look at when your symptoms started. What was going on in your life when the symptom started because the symptoms are the outer effect of what was happening. Was there a death in the family, family or job issues, relationship issues, illness in the family, or money problems? How do you heal yourself? You start over and reassess everything in your life. How do you talk to yourself - is it positive or negative? Your body is your state of mind. Every time you open your mouth you talk about your health. Start hearing what you are saying. Things like “he is such a pain in my neck” or “that person makes my head ache”. Your body hears every word you say and then acts upon your thoughts and words. Your body doesn’t know if you are kidding or not serious. It just follows what you tell it.

One way to find out your core issue is to fill out a Bach Flower Essence questionnaire. Candace works with Bach Flower Essences and makes custom remedies for people from the answers on their questionnaire. The answers you give on this questionnaire help you to discover your core issue. Once you know your issue you can start to work on healing yourself. What YOU think is your issue is probably not your key issue.

Eliminate Stress

Yeah, like that’s easy! Of course, you have to slow down, unwind and allow space for healing. But what does this mean? We found some great information online at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. For instance, how stress affects the body. You know when you are feeling stress, but how does it actually affect you? The sudden flood of adrenaline and other hormones causes changes in the body that include: increase in the heart rate and blood pressure, dilation of the pupils to take in as much light as possible, constriction of the veins to send more blood to major muscle groups, tensing of the muscles involved in running or fighting - that is that fight or flight instinct, increase in blood glucose to provide more energy, relaxation of the smooth muscles to allow more oxygen to the lungs, shutting down of the non-essential systems (like digestion and immune system) to allow more energy to the emergency functions. These are really interesting insights to how your body is affected by stress.

Our lifestyle definitely plays an enormous role. Dietary stress is common with our modern eating habits of eating fast foods, skipping meals, drinking excessive caffeine or alcohol, and eating refined sugars and flour. Environmental stressors? Well, we also don’t know how toxic our air and water may be for us. We have little to no idea how we are affected by electromagnetic pollution from our modern technology, such as TVs, computers, electric wires, cell phones, iPads, and the Smart Meters on our homes. How many of us make it a priority to spend time in nature to offset these lifestyle or environmental stressors?  Lifestyle - we have control of what we eat and how much we exercise, dance, listen to music, spend time with loved ones, and spend time in nature.  Nutrition - we can change our diet from the standard American processed diet to one that is more natural and nutritious. The healthiest diet is one of whole, fresh (unprocessed) foods, preferably organic. When we eat, we need to be relaxed. We certainly don’t need to be eating fast food on the run.

Stress is the sugar of the soul. It wrecks your health from the inside out.
— Dr. Will Cole

Instead of grabbing for prescriptions to manage your stress, have you thought about natural strategies and techniques for stress management? When you are stressed, what remedies do you reach for? Is it prescriptions which can have many side effects? Why not try some natural remedies including homeopathy? We talked about about homeopathy in a recent podcast but here are some of the specific remedies for stress. Ignatia is used for anxiety, Natrem Muriaticum for grief, or maybe Chamomilla for anxiety, especially with stomach symptoms and irritability.

You can also try herbs for preventing and treating stress. Dr. Bonnie McLean, who wrote the article for Conscious Lifestyle Magazine has some great information on herbs. Tonic herbs are considered super-nutrients. They improve physiological functioning and a sense of well-being and boost energy. Here are some herbs Dr. McLean uses for natural stress relief; these are usually found in capsule, tablet, powder, tea, and tincture form and they include ashwagandha, maca, chamomille, passiflor (passion flower), hops, and valerian. By the way, Candace has these herbs available at her store and she also does mail order.

A great go-to for stress relief and Tiffany’s first choice is aromatherapy and essential oils. Aromas stimulate our sense of smell. They are perceived through the olfactory nerve, located very near the limbic center of the brain, which is the hub for the body’s stress alarm system. We can use scents, such as essential oils for stress management. Some essential oils that are considered to be adaptogens (help the body/mind stay in balance and thus provide ways to reduce stress) are: Lavender—soothes and balances the body, Cedarwood—stimulates the limbic region of the brain, especially the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, Roman Chamomile—calms the central nervous system, Neroli—considered to strengthen and stabilize the emotions and encourage confidence and a sense of peace, Valerian—commonly used in sleep remedies. (The aroma is unpleasant, usually described as smelling like dirty feet.), Sandalwood—balances and stabilizes the mind and helps to release negative emotions, Orange—has an antidepressant effect, Jasmine—considered to have a relaxing as well as an antidepressant effect, Frankincense—considered a “spiritual oil” that has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect by stimulating parts of the limbic system, including the hypothalmus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland, Ylang ylang—considered a “spiritual” oil, believed to filter out negative energy and help with focus and confidence. Tiffany is a doTerra wellness advocate and she is happy to help you select the right essential oils.

Flower Essences - These remedies are natural and gentle. Prepared from the flowers of wild plants, bushes, or trees, they are prescribed according to one’s mood and state of mind. They are based on the theory that a mind in disharmony is the primary cause of disease and that it will hinder recovery from an illness. Emotions such as fear or worry can deplete an individual’s vitality, causing the body to lose its natural resistance to infection and disease. The original flower essences were created by Dr. Edward Bach, if you live outside the US, you may pronounce his name as Dr. “Batch”. Some great choices for stress management are:  Rescue Remedy—stress, trauma, shock, Star of Bethlehem—shock, Aspen—anxiety and fear, Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, and Red Chestnut—fear, Sweet chestnut—mental anguish, Mustard, Gentian, Gorse, and Wild Rose—depression. To summarize, dig deep to find the emotional cause of your stress and support yourself with natural remedies. Candace can really help you as she provides flower essence consultations that are life changing!

Let go of the drama

Let go of drama and people who are not healthy for you. There is so much drama in our world today. Drama in your family life, work life and then there is the constant drama that comes from all of our electronic media – TV, cell phone, reality shows and social media. You are surrounded by drama all the time and we have gotten used to it and many people are addicted to it. Candace hears people in her shop talk about the reality shows they watch, and they discuss with one another the drama that goes on in those shows. They don’t understand that the producers of those shows make sure there is lots of drama by having the situations partially or fully scripted. They don’t see that it isn’t real. Those shows would be very boring if they were depicting real life.

We need to release all drama in our lives whether real or fake. Drama isn’t healthy for you. It raises your anxiety and adrenaline levels. Add rest, relaxation, sometimes just sitting quietly, being okay not doing stuff every minute.  Stop – go out in nature, listen to music, talk to your family and friends, nuture your inner spiritual, add joy to life and have fun and laugh.

Drama is another aspect of your health issues. Contemplate living with less drama, less stuff, and less turmoil. It is time to release all the unnecessary stuff in your life, unhealthy attachments, negative emotions and negative people and toxic entertainment.

In the past, our family got caught up in a lot of drama and for us, reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz helped to eliminate the drama from our lives. Once we realized that we would not, should not, take anything personally, it was really easy to shift out of engaging in and perpetuating the drama.

Eat Well

We’ve talked about this for weeks on end. It’s really important to let go of food that is not healthy. If you are not nourishing yourself, you can feel the effects of fatigue, depression, digestion issues, fluctuation in blood sugar levels, brain function, stress on your heart, kidneys and liver, bloating and puffiness, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Don’t know where to start? Get Anthony William’s Liver Rescue book. So many health issues relate to the liver and it’s easy to start making changes to your food to help bring you back into balance. So EAT WELL!

Exercise that beautiful body and mind

You will feel better on all levels. Most people know that they should be exercising in some way, but they just don’t want to or don’t realize how important exercising is for their health. We are too sedentary. You need to move your body, your muscles, your arms, yours legs and feet. If you move your body, it works better on all levels. It really helps your digestion and elimination systems, your heart, your lungs and the entire body. We all know this, but most people aren’t doing it. No one is asking you to go run a marathon or something on that level (but if that’s your vision - we say GO FOR IT!). Just start by getting off the couch, put your phone down and start walking, join a yoga or aerobics class, dance or find a way that gets your body moving. And make sure that you exercise your mind by reading uplifting books.

I watched my mother and my mother-in-law stop moving as they aged. Neither of them had health issues but they allowed their body and especially their legs no exercise. They both ended up living a long time and had trouble walking and had to use a walker because they didn’t exercise. Their lives could have been so much richer and fuller if they could have gotten around better. I joined a gym 20 years ago and it was hard at first to make myself go and work out. Now it’s just part of my life and I feel so much better for it. I see people in the gym who are in their 80’s and 90’s still working out and enjoying more.
— Candace Liccione

Find an exercise that works for you. Yoga is Candace’s exercise of choice. She has been doing it for 20 years. It is so good on so many levels -- it lubricates your joints, it’s really great for balance as you strengthen all your muscles and you aren’t afraid of falling as you age, as it supports great flexibility. There are all kinds of yoga so you can find a kind that works with your body.

Walking is another great exercise. You can walk anywhere – on your street, at the mall or just around your yard. Walking is good for your body as well as your mind. Water aerobics is also wonderful exercise especially if you have body issues that don’t let you jump around. If you have bad knees, or hips or foot or ankle problems then water aerobics would be wonderful for those issues.

Be natural in your healing

We talked about this in step #2 for stress. For other disease - or as we call dis-ease or ill at ease, why not try natural remedies first before going to invasive measures. People have successfully been treating minor ailments like cuts, sniffles, dry skin, head aches, stuffiness, bloating, heartburn since the beginning of time, right? Grit.com has a great list of natural remedies.

Use eucalyptus to clear a stuffy nose - a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or diffuser will help clear a stuffy nose. The minty essential oil helps loosen up mucus and reduce swelling.  Honey for a sore throat - a spoonful of raw honey will instantly help ease a sore throat. As an added bonus, it will also help quell coughing fits. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a squeeze of lemon in a warm cup of water for a soothing drink. Honey for minor scratches - honey is a natural antibiotic. Applying it to minor wounds can help prevent infection and help a wound heal faster. Basil for bug bites - did you know that  a bit of crushed basil on a mosquito bite will help relieve the itchiness. Plus, it smells much better than anything from a bottle. Apple cider vinegar for bloating, diabetes, and heartburn - organic apple cider vinegar has a host of benefits, from relieving bloating to preventing diabetes to helping those with heartburn.  Calm nausea with ginger - an upset stomach can be helped with ginger. Ginger can also help with sea-sickness. You can buy an all-natural tea with ginger, or keep a piece of fresh ginger in your fridge (or freezer to make it last longer), and then just shave off a few pieces to add to hot water. Steep for 5 to 15 minutes before drinking. Lessen heartburn with baking soda - a touch of baking soda in a glass of water will clear late-night heartburn up in no time. Just be sure not to use too much, or you’ll be burping instead!  Keep bugs away with peppermint - you don’t have to pile on a chemical bug spray to keep annoying pests away. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into witch hazel or water and spray when needed. Just make sure to avoid your eyes! Peppermint for headaches - in either tea or as an essential oil, peppermint is a great way to relieve a tension headache. The cooling effect can be very effective at giving you a bit of stress relief, too.  

Chamomile for Sleeplessness - chamomile is great for promoting relaxation and preparing you for sleep. A cup of chamomile tea is a great way to get ready for bed.  Baking soda for bee stings - Make a paste with baking soda and water, and rub it on the sting. The pain will stop instantly! Lavender for restless leg syndrome - do your legs and feet start to bug you at night? Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the areas of your legs that hurt (such as the ankle). Lavender is also known to help relieve anxiety, so it’s a great way to get your mind ready for a calm, restful sleep. Marshmallow root for irritation and sore throats - it has been been used for moer than 2,000 years to calm irritation and help with sore throats. It helps moisten and reduce swelling in mucus membranes throughout the body, and reduces irritation as a result. Green tea for the jitters - green tea is known to help relieve anxiety and lower blood sugar, especially when you drink it regularly. However, it does have caffeine in it, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, try drinking it before noon. Reduce a fever with linden flower tea - a cup of tea can help calm a low-grade fever and give everyone the rest they need. Remember, a fever is your body doing its work to fight off some type of infection. [Because we’re not in the medical field, we’re required to remind you to go to your doctor if the fever gets too high!] Tea Tree Oil for minor infections - for minor skin infections, try combining one drop tea tree essential oil (also known as Melaleuca) into five drops of coconut oil. Rub together and apply to infected spot twice a day. Here’s something new we learned from Grit.com - Thyme for snoring - while thyme has many antibacterial health benefits, a drop mixed with a few drops of coconut oil can be a quick remedy for someone who snores. Lightly rub some of the mixed oil to the bottom of your big toe before you go to bed. Or you can diffuse thyme in your bedroom a half-hour before you go to sleep. Turmeric, Willow Bark, or Cat’s Claw for arthritis - all are known for helping calm inflammation. Instead of taking aspirin, use one of these natural remedies to help arthritis. From this list, Tiffany’s daily wellness cabinet includes: honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil and turmeric.

No. 7: Know that you are here for a purpose.

Know that you are here for a purpose and discover your purpose and pursue it. We are all here for a reason. We have a purpose. Many people probably don’t even think they have a purpose. You need to be doing something for your spirit in your life. It can be joining a church, a group of people who like what you like to do, a group that helps others – children and animals. You need to feed your spirit.

REDUCE electronic dependence

This is so challenging but it’s important to start spending less time on the computer, phone and computer games. As Tiffany mentioned a few weeks ago, she made the commitment to herself to leave her phone outside the bedroom every night. Cell phones expose us to a form of electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency (RF) energy. Scientists have suspected that this radiation might increase the risk of brain cell damage leading to tumors, and in 1995 they found this to be the case in rats. Most studies since then have failed to show a similar correlation in humans and last December the Danish Cancer Society released results from a 29-year study that found no solid association between increasing cell phone use and brain tumors.

Personally, I just don’t believe that there is not an association to RF energy being harmful to our body. About 35 years ago, I was subjected to RF poisoning when it was finally discovered that my office was right above the electrical room for the 6 story building I was managing. I know what it feels like to be sensitive to RF energy. Granted, I assume that our cellphones emit just a fraction of what I experienced but how long each day, that multiplies into each year, that multiplies into each decade are you spending on your electronics?
— Tiffany Windsor

We get it... our work requires us to be at the computer, use wifi, use cellphones but try to be aware of the choices to make to minimize exposure.  Use a headset or speakerphone - there is no reliable data that exists on the upper limit of safe talk time, but corded headsets can reduce potential risk. These emit much less RF energy, and allow you to move the phone away from your body. One study shows that using a headset lowers radiation exposure eightfold. Keep your phone out of your pocket - a study published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery linked cell phone radiation to decreased bone density in the pelvis, and a 2008 study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that it lowers fertility in men. Limit children's use - kids have a thinner skull, and their brains are still developing—which may make them more vulnerable to any potential harmful effects of RF radiation. Stop talking while driving - In addition to creating a potentially deadly distraction, using your phone in the car forces your cell signal to jump between wireless towers. Since RF is highest when a connection with a tower is first established, talking while traveling can increase exposure. We did not know that.  Don't chat with a poor signal. The harder your phone has to work to get reception, the more radiation it emits. We didn’t know that either. This is also the reason apparently you should avoid using so-called radiation shields (the shiny stickers that claim to block radiation); allegedly they actually force the phone to transmit at a higher power. Don't wear wireless headsets as if they were jewelry - earpieces don't emit as much radiation as a phone, but they release some—even after your call ends. Remove the device from your ear between conversations.

Gather with people of like mind

Gather with people of like mind. Express your creativity. Creativity is therapeutic. Join into something that is in-person. Too many people have social media as their main way of interacting with others. You need to gather in person with people who enjoy what you like. When you join in person you get a much deeper connection as you can read their body language, hear the emotion in their words, connect with them face-to-face. Creativity is really important for all of us. We all have a need to be creative in some way in our lives. Creativity is so therapeutic. Candace has creativity and wellness classes at her Wye River Designs shop and people come to spend many hours creating with her. She gets to know people in depth, and in conversation, they naturally share their issues and concerns. You would be amazed at the informal group therapy that goes on as people open up and discuss all kinds of issues. At her shop, they all help each other discussing whatever the group wants to talk about. The groups spend a lot of time educating each other on wellness as people are always discussing health issues and Candace and everyone in the discussion assists them in thinking about making better choices by sharing their own journeys to wellness.

Allow yourself to have fun and live with joy!

Joy is the answer for living a healthy, happy life. Jude Bijou at mindbodygreen.com describes joy as an emotion and emotions are wordless. They're pure physical sensations in our bodies. We express the emotion of joy in many physical ways. As Judy explains, for example, we jump for joy when we win a hard-fought competition, or we double over in uncontrollable laughter when someone relates a hilarious story. We squeal with delight after getting a surprise gift, and whoop and holler exuberantly when we hear fantastic news. We feel buoyant and jubilant on beautiful day. When we feel joy, we feel great about ourselves. We feel confident, powerful, capable, lovable and fulfilled. These are all good reasons to experience more joy

Undertake a challenging activity with a commitment to mastering it. Think of a project you've wanted to accomplish, whether it's creating a small flower garden in your yard, learning how to give your car a tuneup, or mastering the tango. The process of setting a goal, learning the necessary steps to achieve it, and giving it your best until you've mastered it will generate high self-esteem and pride. Those are feelings associated with joy. Actively seek joy through inspiration. Engage in an activity that's pleasurable and feels like play.

Jude also suggests that you deal with the sadness that blocks joy. When we feel sad, it isn't possible to also feel bubbly and exhilarated. In a place that feels safe and private, constructively express your sadness by allowing yourself to cry. While crying, acknowledge your hurts and losses. Don't indulge any negative thoughts about yourself. Just keep telling yourself, "I'm fine. It's okay to cry. I just feel sad." You'll immediately feel washed clean — even joyful. Honor yourself consciously and frequently. Give yourself a break from the day-to-day world. Nurture yourself. Set up a time, just for you, when you can disconnect from daily responsibilities and get away from the noise, stimulation, and demands of your world.

Joy comes easily when we focus on our own needs in a caring and loving way. Get a massage. Close the door, put your feet up, and watch the world outside your window. Take a nap. These kinds of activities replenish us and give our body and soul a chance to feel pure joy. Remind yourself: My job is to take care of myself.  Say the word often and contemplate its meaning. Notice how your body feels when you say the word JOY! Think about what joy means to you. Be as specific as possible, imagining the feeling of joy, the images it conjures up, perhaps even the people and situations who trigger joy. Sign off your emails with the word joy. Paint the word on a smooth rock and keep it on your desk. More joy will rise up if you simply invite it to do so.

Also at the mindbodygreen.com article, there is a quick self-quiz that we found really interesting! You’ll find that link on our blog post.

Here’s to your wellness!


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Newsworthy: Week of 3/10/19