All That Screen Time is Affecting Your (And Your Children’s) Health!

It’s no secret that screen time affects our brains, but the blue light emitted from all types of screens particularly affects children & teens.  Blue light prevents the pineal gland, a pea-sized organ in the brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone responsible for reducing alertness and makes sleep more inviting.  Blue light also suppresses delta wavelength production in the brain, which induces sleep; As well as boosts alpha waves, which cause alertness.

You don’t have to stare directly at a screen for its rays to affect you: If enough blue light hits the eye, the gland can stop releasing melatonin. So, if your bedtime routine includes watching TV or taking your tablet or laptop to bed with you, this physically makes it harder to sleep, especially for sleep-deprived teenagers who are more vulnerable to the effects of light than adults.

“Teenagers have all the same risk of light exposure, but they are systematically sleep-deprived because of how society works against their natural clocks,” says sleep researcher Steven Lockley of Harvard Medical School. “Asking a teenager to get up at 7 a.m. is like asking me to get up at 4 a.m.”

A 2014 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of 15-to-17-year-olds routinely get seven hours of sleep per night or less.  The recommended amount for teens is 8 ½ to 10 hours.  68% of these teens were also said to keep an electronic device on all night-a television, computer, video game or something similar.  It was also reported that sleep quality was better among children 6 to 17 who always turned their devices off: 45% of them were described as having excellent sleep quality vs. 25% of those who sometimes left devices on.

A study investigated by Figueiro found that when comparing melatonin levels of adults and teenagers looking at computer screens, she was astonished by the younger group’s light sensitivity.  Even when exposed to just one-tenth as much light as adults were, the teens actually suppressed more melatonin than older people.

Another study showed that teens who either excessively played video games or had intensive phone use were associated with poor perceived health, particularly when it negatively affected sleeping habits, which in turn was associated with increased waking-time tiredness.  Girls with intensive phone use were also found to have more musculoskeletal symptoms both directly and through deteriorated sleep.  A lack of sleep has been associated with ongoing depression, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal problems due to tech use are also becoming more of a problem amongst children and teens.  “Text Neck” is a new term for chronic flexion and anterior head malposition.  When the head sits correctly above the body-with the ears over the shoulders with the shoulder blades pulled back-the head weighs approximately 10-12 lbs.  For every inch forward the head moves, the heavier it is and more stress it puts on the neck musculature and spinal cord.  

A study by the Surgical Technology International quantified this problem: As the head tilts forward 15 degrees from neutral, the forces on the cervical spine and supporting musculature increases to 27 lbs.  As the tilt increases, the forces increase to 40 lbs at 30 degrees, 49 lbs at 45 degrees and 60 lbs at 60 degrees.  This malposition also loads the discs in the spine-eccentrically loading the spine causes cracks in the discs, slipped or herniated discs.  This leads to stenosis or blockage of the spine, says Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine.  It can also cause pinched nerves, arthritis, bone spurs and muscular deformations.

To prevent developing tech-induced sleep deprivation and text-neck-shut the phones, TVs, computers, tablets, etc. off at least a half hour before bedtime.  Hold hand-held devices at eye level.  There are also apps available to warn you when your posture is not correct while on your device-The Text Neck Institute has developed the Text Neck Indicator, an interactive app that alerts users when their smartphones are held at an angle that puts them at risk for text neck.

Dr. Jessica Eckman, DC
July 4, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-light-from-electronics-disturbs-sleep-especially-for-teenagers/2014/08/29/3edd2726-27a7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014019710600073X
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-text-neck-20150404-story.html

Treats To Satisfy the Sweet Tooth of Every Paleo Diabetic

COconut-ICe-Cream  Chocolate banana bitesNo-Bake-Key-Lime-Pie-RE--1--

7 Sweet Treats That Won’t Leave You Feeling Deprived.

The summer is time for ice cream, popsicle, pudding, and pies but eating these things while following a paleo diet is difficult and possibly deadly to a diabetic!    It is possible though to satisfy these summer cravings while following your dietary restrictions.  I have first-hand experience.

I have eaten according to the paleo principle for almost two years.  My boyfriend is gluten-free and I have several family members who are diabetics.   Because I am usually the host of many summer cookouts, I have spent a significant amount of time finding recipes that I am proud to serve and that meet all the dietary requirements of my guests as well as myself.

As a refresher, people who “eat paleo,” avoid grains and dairy.  A full description of the paleo lifestyle is beyond the scope of this article but to find out more, check out Robb Wolf’s website by clicking here.   Persons who are diabetic should limit sugar as well as limit their carbohydrate intake that turns into sugar.[i]

1.  Frozen banana slices dipped in organic chocolateWhile bananas are somewhat high on the glycemic index, by cutting them into slices, you can divide one banana into 3 servings (about 4 grams of sugar).  By dipping just half of each slice in chocolate, you only add 1 gram of sugar to the mix.  Here are lots of great recipes and techniques courtesy of Pinterest (of course).  You will find if you click on the link that many of the frozen banana recipes are not diabetic-friendly but there some great technical tips for how to produce a really beautiful frozen banana.   https://www.pinterest.com/explore/frozen-banana-bites

2.  Strawberries “sundaes.”  This is my niece and nephews’ favorite treat in the summer because they taste great and they just love the mess (whipped cream mustaches) that they make when they eat them.  Hint:  have your kids eat them outside!  Wash and de-stem fresh organic strawberries.  Fill them with a squirt of non-dairy whipped cream and drizzle with just a little bit of organic chocolate sauce.  [Click to Tweet]

3.  Warm Apple Strudel.   If you are dying for that piece of apple pie, this might do the trick.  Peel, core and slice a small apple into chunks.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of unsweetened granola on top.  There are many unsweetened, paleo-friendly granolas on the market!  Sprinkle Stevia on top (to taste) and ¼ tsp of cinnamon.   Remember that Stevia is more than twice as sweet as sugar so go light on it! Cover with foil and put in the oven at 325 and bake for about 30 minutes.  You can also microwave it for 1 to 1.5 minutes but I am not a fan of the microwave. It actually changes the molecular structure of food!

 4.  Sugar-Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream.   This is a great ice cream treat.   Although made from coconut milk, it does not have a strong coconut flavor.  I found this recipe last summer on Insonnetskitchen.com.  Here is a link.  Good stuff!  http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/sugar-free-coconut-vanilla-ice-cream

5.  Peanut Butter Pudding.  Who doesn’t love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate!  This recipe was actually for a pie and the “pudding” was the filling.  Mix 1.5 cups of almond or coconut milk with 1 small box of sugar-free dairy-free instant vanilla pudding mix and mix with a wire whisk.  Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter, ½ tsp of gluten-free vanilla extract and 1 cup of frozen, fat-free, dairy-free whipped topping.  Pour into bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.  Makes 10 servings.  Sugar: 5 grams and delicious!

6.  No Bake Key Lime Pie.  I love key lime pie.  Yes, I know that “real” key lime pie is not green but I had to make some changes to make this perfect summer treat fit my requirements.

Ingredients: 1 small box of sugar-free lime Jell-O, ½ cup of boiling water, 1 8-oz package of low-fat or fat-free, dairy-free cream cheese (Trader Joe’s makes a good one!), 1 Tb of fresh lime juice, 1 tsp grated lime peel, 2 cups frozen light dairy-free whipped topping, thawed.

Directions: Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.  Beat cream cheese in large bowl and slowly add Jell-O until well combined.  Stir in lime juice and lime peel.  Fold in whipped topping until well blended.  Pour all into a pie pan lightly sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray.  Chill for about 3 hours.  Yum!

7.  Yogurt Popsicles: Last but not least, you must have a popsicle in the summer!  Sure, you can buy sugar-free popsicle in any grocery store but I guarantee that they won’t taste as good as these!  Why?  They are made with paleo-friendly and diabetic friendly coconut milk yogurt!  Combine 3 cups of plain, non-fat coconut milk yogurt (or strawberry flavored) with 2/3 of a cup of no-sugar-added strawberry syrup (slightly less if you use strawberry yogurt).  Mash ½ cup of sliced strawberries with a potato masher.  Put cupcake papers in a muffin tin and divide the yogurt mixture evenly between them.  Divide the mashed strawberries equally and put on top of the yogurt mixture.  Freeze for about 30 minutes until slushy.  Put popsicle sticks into the center of each cup and put back in the freezer until firm. Peel off paper before eating. Makes 6 popsicles.

So that’s it!  Hopefully, one of these options will bring back memories from the summers of your childhood.  If only we had summers without work again too!

Do you have a dessert recipe that you would like to share that both diabetic and paleo friendly?

Caroline Boardman

Republished on June 20, 2018 from June 3, 2015

Email: info@feohio.com

www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

Click here to make an appointment with one of our doctors.

[i] Note: if you are a diabetic or have any other doctor-ordered dietary restrictions, please check with your doctor about what you should and should not be eating.  This article is not intended as medical advice.

Does Happiness Improve Your Health? 13 Tips To Make Sure It Does!

Being a happy, healthy person is much easier said than done.

Everyone wants heath and happiness.

Here’s a great article and shows some of the science that connect health and happiness. https://www.globalwellnesssummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/7_happiness_2018TrendsWellness.pdf

Loved this paragraph.

Mounting Evidence: Happiness Improves Physical Health Anyone that cares about human health needs to care about happiness because studies increasingly show that happiness has an independent and powerful impact on physical health. It’s been studied in-depth. For instance, a 2017 meta-review2 of 150+ studies on the connection confirm with “almost no doubt” that happiness really can influence health. Another Harvard meta-review3 of 200+ studies found a connection between happiness and optimism and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and abnormal body weight. A 2018 study4 led by Cornell University found that people who experience a range of positive daily emotions – from enthusiasm to calm – have lower levels of inflammation, which is linked to a lower risk of premature death and chronic disease. Other studies show happiness’ positive impact on everything from speeding wound healing to longer telomeres. And, while these studies show a strong association more than cause and effect, the evidence keeps growing that happiness affects health and aging deep down to the cellular level.

We’ll see more “eating for happiness” with diets and menus packed with more foods like tuna, salmon, nuts, seeds, bananas, green tea, dark chocolate, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries because they boost serotonin and other happiness hormones. Research mounts that food has a powerful impact on the brain and mood: For instance, a 2017 study from Deakin University (AU) showed that an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean-style diet high in vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts reduced symptoms of depression in 32% of its sample. J. Walter Thompson (JWT) also named “Mood Food” as one its top trends for 2018, and we see companies like Monarch Airlines creating mood-enhancing food menus for passengers (like green tea and lavender cakes to calm anxiety) or even Pizza Hut introducing a mood-enhancing pizza. The really eye-opening research is around how our microbiome – that ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeasts that live in our intestinal tract – plays a powerful role in regulating our emotions and determining our very happiness. All those bugs in our gut generate many of the transmitters and hormones that play out within the brain, like serotonin that regulates mood, appetite, sleep and social behavior. Studies even indicate that the lion’s share of our serotonin is produced in our gut, and disruptions in the microbiome are being connected to anxiety, depression, autism, and dementia. The research about the tight connections between the gut and mental health is so compelling that the Denver VA hospital is running a trial using probiotics to treat veterans with PTSD, and their findings17 of the impact that this simple food supplement has on how our brains and bodies respond to trauma are fascinating. It’s no newsflash that more people are eating for a healthier microbiome, meaning more soluble fiber (like brown bread, nuts, and seeds) and probiotic/ fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. What we will see more of is research specifically on the gut-brain-happiness axis, an exciting field called psychobiotics.

Here’s another article: http://time.com/4866693/happiness-improves-health/

The review does point out that in many of these studies, it’s possible that better health could lead to improved emotional states, rather than the other way around. Since most studies on this topic are observational, it’s possible that other variables (that were not or could not be controlled for) are to blame for changes in both happiness and health.

But overall, the authors wrote, the evidence is strong enough to say that subjective well-being can influence health and longevity, “at least in some instances.” The question now, they say, is why happiness is linked to health for some people, but not for others.

Here are some tips that will overall help your happiness and your health.

Stop negative thinking

A negative mind will never give you a positive life. Stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating like “I can’t do that “or “I’m not good enough “. Don’t believe everything you think. Negative and pessimistic thinking is unhelpful and will hold you back from achieving your goals and greater self-confidence. Replace negative thoughts with words that are positive and motivating. At the beginning, it is difficult, but the more you repeatedly send positive messages to yourself, the better you will feel.

Stop comparing yourself to other people

It is an extremely unhealthy habit, but even the most confident people do it: Comparing. We all do it. It’s human, but constant comparison with others make you feel bad about yourself and lowers your self-esteem. You begin to question your own worth. And this can lead to frustration, depression, eating disorders, over-spending, and simply to the feeling of not being good enough. Life is not a competition. If you make it one, nobody will win. It’s always a losing battle because the only person you’re really hurting, in the end, is yourself. Stop comparing and start living!

Don’t be a victim

You create your life. You have to take responsibility! Even if situations become unbearable, there is always a way out. You will always have the choice to make a change.

Don’t be a people-pleaser

Respect yourself and others will respect you, as easy as that. Don’t spend your whole life on trying to make everyone happy. Practice building self-awareness, discover what you are willing to do and what you don’t want to do. Start putting this into practice by saying no when something doesn’t resonate or align with who you really are. People might get mad at first, but eventually, most will come to respect you.

Start loving yourself

Self-esteem is all about how much you feel you are worth — and how much you feel other people value you. Your level of self-esteem affects your happiness and everything you do.

Be yourself! 

Don’t be somebody else. Take control of your life and live it by your own rules. Find a personal style that feels great to you and be proud of it. There is no one like you and that is your power!

Care for yourself

Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water and sleep at least 7 to 8 hours per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, everything else will suffer. Sleep deprivation (which most of us suffer from) puts you in a pre-diabetic state, messes with your metabolism, makes you more likely to be overweight, increases your appetite, decreases your productivity, hampers your immune system, and makes you tired, moody, anxious and likely to be depressed.

Don’t strive for perfection

Nobody is perfect. You will always find someone who is more beautiful, smarter, richer, better or worse. But you won´t find someone who is perfect.

Concentrate on your strengths not your weaknesses 

Focus on what you have already achieved and reached, not what you lack and miss. Be proud of yourself and know your strengths. Avoid negative people, places, and things you don’t like or that make you feel bad about yourself.

Being around toxic people can drain your energy, make you unhappy and insecure. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, give you energy and make you feel good about yourself.

Stay focused on the present moment

It is the only reality. When the past and the future feel painful, focus on the task at hand and do it with your full engagement. Enjoy your life, make the best out of it!

Be childish and play more

When it comes to certain things, children do them way better than we do. Who said you have to get serious while growing up? Never lose the child in you, the childlike faith, childlike hope, childlike play and creativity.

Forgive yourself

Feeling bad about things you’ve done in the past can create a pretty painful present. Remember that you can begin new any day. Your past does not predict your future.

Be grateful 

Gratitude is an attitude and a way of living that has many benefits in terms of health and happiness. Feeling and expressing gratitude, instead of wanting more and more, turns our mental focus to the good things in life, which will create more things for which to be grateful. As you awake each morning, give thanks for your breath and being healthy. Life is a gift, never forget that.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Author unknown

Here’s a great Podcast on Health and Happiness:  Happy Healthy and Fit Life By Hosts Janell Yule and Jennifer Grant

Here’s a great book to read.  Happiness & Health: 9 Choices That Unlock the Powerful Connection …

Have a Happy Healthy Day!

Nancy Boardman
June 14, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

7 Natural Allergy Remedies

7 Natural Allergy Remedies

Spring & summertime bring warm weather, sunshine & blue skies, but they also bring pollen, dust, mold, & ragweed/hay fever-all of which are responsible for allergies!  Whether you suffer from sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes, allergies can lead to uncomfortable sinus congestion & if left long enough-the dreaded sinus infection.  If you act soon enough, you can nip it in the bud!  The good news is you don’t have to take over the counter or prescription drugs to get relief. Here are some natural remedies to ease those sinus blues:

  1. Natural Antihistamines:
  • VITAMIN C – In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. Although many foods are rich in vitamin C, some foods (like citrus) are histamine triggers. Instead, supplement with a dose of 2,000 mg daily is often suggested

 

  • FLAVONOIDS – Flavonoids are plant chemicals that help create the bright colors in veggies, fruits, and flowers. Quercetin (found in cruciferous foods like broccoli or cauliflower) is one such flavonoid that fights allergy symptoms. It’s available in supplements and found in many foods.

    • OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – In addition to other well-known benefits, omega-3 fatty acids reduce allergic reactions. Good sources include salmon, walnuts, grass-fed meat and flaxseed oil.
    • STINGING NETTLE – It’s hard to imagine how someone long ago figured out stinging nettle was actually a very useful plant. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to handle stinging nettle to reap its benefits. A University of Maryland study reported:
  • 57% of participants found nettle capsules relieved sneezing and other allergy symptoms
  • 48% found nettle was even more effective than allergy medications

The researchers used a 300 mg daily dose of freeze-dried nettle. Other studies have

corroborated benefits of using nettle as a highly effective natural antihistamine.

    • BROMELAINBromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It’s commonly used for swelling reduction in the nose and sinuses. For treating allergies, one study suggests taking   400-500 mg three times a day.
    • SALTWATER – A saline nasal rinse using a spray or neti pot helps lower symptoms by clearing allergens from nasal membranes. A saltwater gargle 1-2 times a day can also help soothe a scratchy throat.
    • GINKGO – Most known for its energy-boosting abilities, ginkgo is a powerful antihistamine as well. It’s great for things like seasonal allergies, bronchitis, asthma and more.
  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory, alkaline diet – this will help reduce your risk of allergies & other health problems.
  2. Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen) – The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies. They discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.” And they used 50 percent fewer antihistamines compared to the control group that took conventional meds.  I recommend taking one tablespoon of RAW local honey daily, such as by stirring some into tea, adding some to oatmeal along with cinnamon, or putting some in your smoothies.

What makes raw honey so powerful at reducing allergies? One reason is that it has bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, allergies & boost immunity. The bees living in your area go from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense then that eating local raw honey will help build up your immunity to local pollen. Honey also has many enzymes that support overall immune function.

 

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – At the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of ACV in your neti pot solution for a natural “sinus flush.”
  2. Neti pots – neti pots are a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions because they help to clear the sinuses and remove congestion. Use of neti pots helps improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses and cause little to no side effects.  Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition hundreds of years ago. People living in India have received astounding results from using neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
  3. Essential Oils – One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked among some of the most potent. Essential oils for allergies work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack. You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in many ways: inhale using a diffuser, put into your neti pot, or add to coconut oil & use as a chest rub.

Another powerful essential oil for managing allergies is frankincense oil. The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in the scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.  Frankincense is used just as described above for eucalyptus oil.

  1. Probiotics – 80% of our immune system comes from our gut. One way to keep it healthy is to take a probiotic daily. Probiotics are beneficial “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and help defend you against infections, viruses, allergies and more. They are so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies.

Next time your allergies flare up, try these natural allergy remedies for effective relief without the side effects associated with over-the-counter meds.

Reproduced from https://www.khromaherbs.com/blogs/news/top-natural-antihistamines-to-treat-allergies-at-home &  https://draxe.com/8-natural-allergy-relief-remedies/

Dr. Jessica Eckman
June 6, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

7 Reasons Summer Makes People Feel Good!

If you catch yourself smiling more and feeling increasingly carefree during the longer days of the season, consider it a side effect of this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere: Summertime really does set you up to feel more joyful. Check out the seven sneaky ways sunlight and warm weather conspire to make you happier, calmer and more connected.

1. Sunshine Chemically Lifts Your Spirits

Thanks to summer’s stronger sunlight and the extra hours in the day to soak it up, you’re more likely to float through the day feeling energized and optimistic. It has to do with serotonin, a hormone that’s been dubbed the “happiness hormone” by scientists. When your body absorbs UV light, it produces more serotonin, and that pumps your mood, explains Ellen Marmur, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and director of Marmur Medical in New York City. Exposure to sunlight also shuts down production of melatonin, a hormone that leaves you feeling sleepy and sluggish.

It only takes a few minutes in the sun to rack up these benefits, says Dr. Marmur. But if you plan on being outdoors for more than 10 minutes at a stretch, be sure to slather sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on any exposed skin, so you don’t ruin your happiness haze with a painful burn.

2. The “School’s-Out” Mindset of Childhood Still Lingers

People are conditioned since kindergarten to think of summer as a break from routine and responsibility. And this “schools out” mindset carries over into adulthood, where many offices offer employees shorter hours and casual Friday dress codes. “Even though the work world operates year-round and responsibilities don’t suddenly stop, we reflexively feel more carefree during the summer months, like we did when we were kids,” explains Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based therapist specializing in the psychology of happiness.

 

 

3. Being in Nature Reduces Stress

We all feel calmer and more relaxed when we’re surrounded by nature — a finding reported by researchers all over the world. Studies from University College London and Deakin University in Australia show that going on a bike ride through a park, strolling along the beach or just inhaling the aroma of flowers in bloom makes us feel less stressed and more serene. Need more proof? A French study published last year linked being in a natural environment with higher levels of personal happiness. And a 2013 study in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that spending time near a body of water in an urban area had a therapeutic effect — so city dwellers can reap the blissful benefits of nature as well.

 

 

 

4. Organized Holidays Offer Freedom

In many countries, summer provides official holidays and extended vacations to enjoy. It’s also graduation and wedding season — two milestones typically honored with ceremonies and parties. “All that good cheer makes us feel optimism and joy for the future,” says Dr. Thomas.

 

5. Breaking a Sweat Boosts Bliss-Producing Endorphins

Another result of good weather: You’re less likely to blow off a jog, bike ride or other activity. And research shows that increasing your heart rate revs the production of mood-boosting endorphins (it’s the mechanism behind the “runner’s high”). Even if you don’t take part in a specific activity, summer sets up the perfect conditions to move around in less constructed but equally bliss-inducing ways — say by spending the afternoon gardening or playing tug-of-war at a family picnic.

6. Social Interactions Are Easier

Backyard barbecues, pool parties, company picnics, al fresco dinner parties … summer offers plenty of opportunities for socializing. “Humans are social creatures and mixing with friends, family and even strangers make us feel part of something larger than ourselves, which is fulfilling,” says Dr. Thomas. “The pleasant weather and relaxed vibe help bring people out of isolation and gives us the chance to interact and connect.”

 

 

 

7. Small Indulgences Are Everywhere

Trashy beach books. Trips to the ice-cream shop. Afternoons spent lazing on a blanket or hammock. “Summertime is about taking time to smell the roses, so to speak, and giving yourself license to indulge a little without guilt,” says Dr. Thomas. We can’t think of a better reason to take a vacation day from work to lie in a chaise lounge or meet up with friends and chill out with a round of ice-cold drinks.

Barbara Schrader
May 30, 2018

Reposted from:  Esther Crain, Written for Coco-Cola Company Stories

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.

3 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Your Doctor

doctor-visit

How to Talk to Your Doc

Sometimes, going to the doctor is a stressful experience.  What will he/she find?  What will he/she tell me to do?  Will I need to take medication or have a procedure?  What if he/she cannot find anything wrong?  Will the doctor listen to me and really try to figure out what is wrong?

Doctors are busy.  The traditional medical office might allow for 5 minutes with the doctor. Even if you are fortunate enough to see a doctor who spends at least 20 minutes with you on each visit like we do in our office, here are some tips to make your visit is as productive as possible.

1. Be Prepared (but not over-prepared).

If this is the first time you are seeing the doctor, you filled out paperwork either immediately before or in the weeks before your visit.  Depending on the doctor, he or she may not have reviewed that paperwork before coming into the examining room. So, be prepared to answer the question, “So, what brings you here today?” in a few short sentences.  [Click to Tweet] Prior to your visit, jot down the most important things you want the doctor to know, not every symptom you’ve ever had, or your entire health history.  If you need to, you can bring your little checklist with you.  This will serve 2 purposes:  (1) give the doctor the critical information needed to diagnose and treat you; and (2) force you to really narrow down and focus on what is really bothering you.

If you see this doctor regularly, you should also prepare for your visit by jotting down specific questions, improvements, and issues that have arisen since your last visit.  You can assume that the doctor is familiar with your history at this point so there is no need to go back over any of those items unless it specifically relates to a question or issue that has come up since your last visit.

Whether this is the first visit with the doctor or one of many visits, there is such a thing as being “over-prepared.”  Information is at our fingertips thanks to the internet.  We Google everything.  35% of people say that they have gone on-line to figure out what medical condition they (or someone else) may have.[1]  But, only 41% of people say that a medical professional has confirmed that diagnosis. [1]. [Click to Tweet] So, what this means is that you may work yourself up for absolutely no reason when you try to self-diagnose on the internet.  According to  Dr. Aditi Nerurkar, many of her patients “come in after sleepless nights spent worrying about dangerous diseases they’ve learned about through web searches. ‘While I love their sense of curiosity and ownership of their health,’ she says, ‘their online searches can (and often do) go awry.'”[2]  Go ahead and do some internet research but remember when doing it to consider the source and understand that you are not a medical professional. By all means, mention your research to your doctor (briefly) but then allow the doctor to do his or her work.

2.  Bring a Current List of Medications and Vitamins

If it has been awhile since you have seen your doctor, you must give the office a current list of all medications, vitamins and over-the-counter medication you are taking.  If you have not put together a list before you go to your appointment, you cannot accurately communicate this information to your doctor either on a form or during your office visit.  This will make it hard for your doctor to discuss a treatment plan with you during your visit.  This means you cannot ask questions about that treatment plan with the doctor sitting right in front of you.  For example, if you are visiting an oral surgeon to discuss possible dental surgery in 2 weeks, your doctor will need to know what supplements/medications you are taking right now so he or she can tell you what changes you need to make before surgery. You may have questions about those changes.

3.  Be Courteous But Firm.

We have all been to a doctor at some point who breezed in and out so fast that there was absolutely no time to ask any questions even if properly ready.  There are times when this is necessary due to a medical emergency with another patient.  Otherwise, you should ask when scheduling your appointment how long you will have with the doctor that day and politely insist that you get that time.  Plan your questions (see #1 above) so that they fit within that time-frame.  You can start your appointment by telling the doctor that his or staff told you that you had 10 minutes with the doctor and that you are considerate of his or her time and schedule and that you prepared for your visit to make sure everything is addressed within that time-frame.  Remember, too, that the doctor will have certain things that he or she has to do that will take time so it might be wise to time your questions for about 1/2 of the allotted appointment time.

You should also remember that the doctor does have other patients on his schedule.  Once you have reached the end of your allotted time, you should respect the doctor and his other patients and be ready to end the appointment quickly.  If you have other questions that have not been answered, ask the doctor if you can discuss those with his staff or give them a written list of questions that the doctor or staff can answer by phone at a later time.  If you have followed the steps outlined above though, your visit should have been productive and efficient for both you and your doctor.

We would love to hear about one of your doctor visits that were either productive or that left you feeling uncertain or confused.  Maybe we can figure out a solution.

Caroline Boardman
May 23, 2018, republished from February 11, 2016

www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/PIP_HealthOnline.pdf
[2] http://mashable.com/2012/06/15/online-medical-searches/#2XjEdh8ikZqH

 

5 Ways to Maintain Your Brain

Maintain Your Brain

You know exercise is important, right? I work in the Neurological Therapy Department at Functional Endocrinology of Ohio and it’s important to know that, just like your body, you have to exercise your brain. After all; if you don’t use it, you lose it. Here are a few simple exercises that will keep your brain stimulated.

Gaze Stabilization: Hold your thumb in front of you at eye level, while focusing on your thumb. Turn your head slowly from side to side 15 times each direction. This exercise is the most basic form of an eye movement and will work on your eye’s ability to lock on to a stationary target.

Cross Body Complex Movements: Using your right arm and your left leg, (sit if needed), draw an infinity sign in front of you. Try to move as many joints and be as meticulous as possible for the most cerebellum stimulation. To make it a little more difficult, try going in opposite directions. Then do the other side.

Point Localization: Find any stationary point, whether it be a mole on your arm or a dot on the wall.  A refrigerator magnet with a dot on it works well because it can be moved.  Focus on the point. Close your eyes and touch the point with the tip of your index finger. Repeat 3-5 times with each finger on each hand changing your point after every few touches. This will stimulate your parietal lobe.

Math: Pretty simple, do some math. Make sure you actually have to put a little thought into it. If you’re more of a puzzle person, mazes are also a good way to fire off your frontal lobe.

Your brain is very complex. It’s a network of pathways leading from lobe to lobe, sending signals to get your eyes, hands, legs, and the rest of your body to do what you want them to do. It would need a neurological evaluation, (which we do at the office), to decide exactly what therapies you would need based on your specific neurological deficiencies. With that being said, this is a general maintenance guide that, if done regularly, will help to keep your brain in shape.

Dallas Cain
May 9, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Spring Cleaning: The Natural Way

So, spring is here, at least for a day or two, and it’s time to do our spring cleaning.  We just detoxed our bodies and are eating clean, so why do we want to use all those chemical cleansers to clean our homes?  Let me give you a few recipes to make your own natural cleansers to get your house sparkling clean.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANSERS

  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap
  • Essential oils of choice – I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender, and 10 drops orange
  • Glass spray bottle for storage

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place borax, washing soda, and soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
  2. Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any boiled water will work.
  3. Add essential oils of choice. This is optional.
  4. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys.

FAQ:  Washing soda is not the same as baking soda!  They are similar but with some important differences. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and washing soda is just sodium carbonate. Washing soda is stronger and more effective in this recipe (but still non-toxic).

GLASS CLEANER

  • 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn’t leave residue)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil of your choice. I use lemon (optional, but it helps cut the vinegar smell)

DIRECTIONS

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use as needed to clean window. I like to use a microfiber cloth to wipe windows clean with this recipe.

Note:  If you have always used commercial window cleaner in the past, mix a couple drops of liquid castile soap or liquid dish soap in some of this mixture the first time you clean the windows to remove detergent residue.

TILE GROUT CLEANER

Mix 1 part water with 3 parts baking soda mixed into a paste.  Apply to grout and let sit. Scrub with a toothbrush, wipe with a sponge.

MOLY GROUT CLEANER

Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water in a spray bottle.  Spray grout until saturated.  Let sit 45 minutes and wipe down with a sponge. Rinse well.

TOILET CLEANER

Use undiluted white vinegar and pour it inside the bowl.  Scrub till clean.

WOOD DUSTING SPRAY

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar (orange-infused for extra cleaning power and scent!)
  • 2 TBSP oil (sunflower, grapeseed, fractionated coconut, or olive are my top choices)
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil

Instructions

  1. Pour water and vinegar into a spray bottle.
  2. Add oil and essential oils.
  3. Cover bottle and shake well.
  4. Simply lightly mist the furniture or a soft cloth and wipe down the entire piece. The dust and grime will disappear and a beautiful shine will be left behind. For even more shine, try following up with a cleaner with a bit of straight coconut oil.

Notes: Because this recipe has oil, I don’t use this spray on stainless steel, granite, glass, or walls. I keep it by the dining room table and the kids know to use it on the wood furniture for dusting chores.  Essential oils are potent. An amber glass bottle is recommended to keep the essential oils from damaging the bottle. Shake before each use! Not recommended for unfinished wood or fine antiques.

Barbara Schrader
May 2, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Recipes from WellnessMama.com

The Interaction of Dopamine levels and Proper Breathing – Breath Your Way to Good Health!

Sometimes there is an easy common sense way to explain what looks like a complex scientific process. For instance, I recently came across a research article explaining that in rat studies dopamine was synthesized better at a lower pH. In fact, the ideal pH was 6.1 (slightly acidic) and dopamine formation actually decreased in comparison by 25% when the pH was 7.4 (slightly alkaline). Dopamine is a chemical molecule used in the brain to signal and basically functions to activate a sense of arousal and motivation in our brains, dopamine is not only tied to our motivation and reward systems it also fires through and kick-starts the motor and autonomic systems. Whenever you hear activation of the brain you also have to understand that activation and motivation in the brain mean movement. To say that differently, we are activated and motivated to do something; that requires us to move and it makes perfect sense that if we are motivated to do something then we move. This is the hard wiring of the brain and you can’t separate thinking, emotion and movement, they are wired together. Think about it what happens to our muscles and breathing when we move or exercise? We start to produce CO2 in our muscles, we breathe deeper, the ratio of inhalation to exhalation changes and during this process our blood becomes more acidic due to the gaseous exchange of CO2 and oxygen, as well as the build-up of lactic acid in our muscles. This process has a huge effect on our health! So let’s looking at three common disorders where breathing and exercise can have a simple and profound impact.

Parkinson’s Disease

In Parkinson’s disease, the part of the brain that produces dopamine (the substantia nigra) has degenerated and there is a lack of dopamine produced. To make this worse breathing becomes difficult because the posturing of the person becomes worse as the disease develops, forcing the person to become hunched over causing rigidity in the spine and ribs. If you would like to experience what it’s like roll your shoulders in and slouch foreward, now try to take in a deep breath; compare that to standing up nice and tall with shoulders back while you take in a nice deep breath. Then imagine every breath you take throughout your day is a struggle like the first one. Good news is even with Parkinson’s Disease you can exercise your breathing, therefore change your body’s pH and hopefully improve the likelihood of producing dopamine more efficiently.

ADHD

Dopamine fires up to the brain’s frontal lobes (our thinking centers) and allows us to be focused and alert. Studies have shown that these regions are smaller in an ADHD student’s brain. Studies have also shown that exercise can improve the symptoms of ADHD. Based on this and what we have explained about breathing we suggest that frequent burst of exercise that changes a person’s breathing will have a positive effect on focus, alertness, and thinking.

Anxiety

Have a look at people who are anxious and see what their breathing is like, or next time you feel anxious pay attention to how you are breathing. You will see that the breaths are short and shallow. They usually are coming from the upper ribs and neck muscles. This causes a person’s CO2 to be breathed off, therefore causing a decrease in pH and therefore decrease the chances of producing dopamine efficiently. Not good if you would like to think clearly. Bag breathing can be used in these situations and hey exercise that changes our breathing will have an even greater effect.

There are many breathing techniques out there; a simple one we recommend is to breath with a ratio of twice as long on the exhale. Start by placing your hand on your belly and push out against your hand as you breath in through your nose, feel the breath come up your lower ribs and move up through the chest stopping at full inhalation at the top of the shoulders, then slowly breath out through the mouth relaxing your neck and shoulders first, feel the breath slowly come down, relaxing the ribs and finishing by pulling the stomach in. The pace should be comfortable; the hardest part for several people is timing the exhalation to be slow and twice as long as the inhalation. So choose a ratio that is doable (ex. 4 seconds in/8 seconds out) then increase as you get better (ex. 10 seconds in/20 seconds out). Enjoy the rich free oxygen and improve your brain’s ability to produce dopamine.

Dr. David Hardy, D.C.
April 25, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Sources:

The effects of pH on dopamine and serotonin synthesis by rat brain striatal synaptosomes: Manoucher, Messripour, Year: 1992 | Volume: 24 | Issue Number: 1 | Page: 32-35

Brain development and ADHD: Amy L.Kraina F. Xavier Castellanosa  Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 26, Issue 4, August 2006, Pages 433-444.

Physical Exercise Alleviates ADHD Symptoms: Regional Deficits and Development Trajectory: Trevor Archer, Richard M. Kostrzewa Neurotoxicity Research
February 2012, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 195–209.

 

21 Beneficial Ways to Put A Little Spring In Your Step!

Walk Your Way to Better Health

Begin each day with a little courage, a little curiosity, and a little spring in your step. – Doe Zantamata 

Spring has sprung and it is the perfect time to go outdoors and get active.   Just 15 minutes of walking a day will bring about many health benefits and will change your life!  Walking is as natural as breathing.  In fact, we use more than half of our muscles to walk.  Walking is also one of the safest exercises.  It takes no expensive or specialized equipment and requires no special training.  Just a good pair of shoes and a little motivation.

10 Benefits of Walking:

  1. Boosts brain chemistry and will improve your mood
  2. Good for the heart. Lowers blood pressure and risk of a heart attack
  3. Relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
  4. Strengthens and tones arms, shoulders, abdominals, and legs.
  5. Promotes restful sleep
  6. Will give your skin a healthy glow.
  7. Improves balance
  8. Burns fat.
  9. Helps you to concentrate and clear your mind.
  10. Keeps the weight off in the right places such as the belly, hips, legs, and arms.

11 ways to help you receive the full benefits of walking:

  1. Make the commitment: commit to 15 minutes a day and gradually increase your minutes as your motivation picks up.
  2. Drink plenty of water: add a lemon or lime for the extra zest.
  3. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes.
  4. Begin and end with a good stretch.
  5. Ask a friend. What a great way to catch up and bond.
  6. Invest in a fit band to keep track and motivate you along the way
  7. Set aside a motivation jar: Place a dollar in the jar each time you reach your goal and then treat yourself at the end of the month for keeping your commitment.
  8. Put a bounce in your step with some good tunes: make a playlist with all of your favorite, motivational tunes.
  9. Maintain a healthy diet.
  10. Be aware of your posture: Head up, back straight, swing arms, abdomen flat and toes forward. Eyes focused 10 feet ahead.
  11. Change your scenery.
  12. Walk on your lunch break, walk instead of driving short distances.  Park at the furthest parking spot from your destination. Walking is easy to fit into a busy schedule!  Be sure to start at a pace that you are comfortable with. Gradually increase your walks to promote long-term health and weight loss goals.  You don’t have to go fast…..Just go!

Joy Vale
Patient Care Coordinator
April 18, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.