Ease Anxiety, Depression and Addiction Holistically Through Restorative Yoga Poses

Just a few moments spent in stillness and silence will promote calmness and clarity!

Restorative yoga provides healing for the mind and body. A restorative practice offers the opportunity, with its long-held poses, to sit with our negative experiences and breathe through the emotionally turbulent times and negative thought patterns.   Restorative yoga promotes a physical and mental balance to prevent stress and anxiety or simply calm your mind to help regain a healthy focus. It also allows you to explore what happens when you release the tension your body habitually holds.  These yoga sequences typically involve 5 or 6 poses, held for lengths of time that allow you to completely relax and rest.  Held for at least 5 minutes or more, the physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation can positively improve your quality of life.

The top 10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga:

  1. Stress relief
  2. Lowers anxiety
  3. Releases tension
  4. Increases Brain Function
  5. Stimulates Self-Healing
  6. Lowers Heart Rate
  7. Alleviates Depression
  8. Improves sleep
  9. Increases Energy
  10. Awakens Peace

Below are 6 of my favorite restorative poses:

Easy Pose: This pose is a great way to start.  Position yourself on your mat.  Cross your shins and widen your knees.  Sit up tall lengthening your spine.  Close your eyes and gently rest your hands on your knees.  Take 3 deep breathes in and out to the count of 3. The key is to focus on your breath to help your mind begin to relax. Continue to breathe deep cleansing breaths. Breathe deeply in through the nose as if you are smelling a beautiful rose.  Hold at the top for 4-8 seconds and release by breathing out through the nose as if you’re fogging up a mirror. The easy pose promotes an inner calm and also allows you to focus on your breath and the present moment.

Childs Pose: Begin by folding your legs under you, touching your big toes together and sit on back your heels, reach your hands forward as you lay your chest on or between your thighs.  Separate your knees as wide as your hips.  Continue reaching forward to feel the added stretch of your spine.  Take 5 deep, calming breaths.  Childs pose allows you to relax your neck, shoulders, and spine all at once.
Legs up the wall: Set yourself up with a comfortable space. Place the end of your mat directly in touch with the wall. Begin by shimming your hips a few inches from the wall then start walking your feet up the wall until your body is in a slight  L-shaped position.  Make any adjustments needed to make yourself comfortable and relaxed.  Maybe place a pillow under your head or let your arms rest out to the sides or on your belly.  At this point, you will begin to focus on your breathing.  Take a deep, slow inhale through your nose, hold at the top, and then a deep, slow exhale out the nose.  Relax for at least 5-15 minutes. This pose allows the mind and body to relax, relieving stress and tension. The semi-supine aspect of the pose combined with invigorating breaths leads to a slowing down within your body and elicits a relaxation response by lowering your heart rate.

Bridge Pose: While lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.  Slide your arms alongside the body with palms facing down.  Your fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.  Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up rolling the spine off of the floor.  Gently, squeeze the knees together keeping them hip-width apart.  Press down into the arms and shoulders to lift up the chest. Maybe draw your hands together interlocking the fingers.  Engage the legs and buttocks to lift the hips higher.  Take a deep, invigorating breath, in through the nose as if you are smelling a beautiful flower, hold at the top and then breathe out through the nose as if to fog up a mirror as you gently release and slowly roll the spine back to the floor.  This pose lengthens and strengthens the spine stimulating the endocrine and nervous system.

Cat/Cow Pose: Start on your mat in a tabletop position, neutral spine, with shoulders over the wrists and hips over the knees.  Fingers will point forward and the tops of the feet resting on the floor shoelace side down.  Take a big deep inhale.  On the exhale, round up your spine towards the ceiling pulling the belly button to the spine.  Tuck the chin towards your chest releasing the neck.  This is the cat-like shape.  On your exhale, arch your back and let the belly relax.  Lift your head and tailbone towards the sky. Be careful not to put too much tension on the neck. This is the cow part of the pose.  Begin to flow with the breath between these two poses, inhaling for cow pose and exhaling for cat pose. Repeat for at least 10 rounds.  This pose will relieve back and neck tension.
Savasana: Although it may seem the easiest pose it often is the most difficult.  The art of relaxation is harder than it looks!  Savasana is the practice of gradually relaxing one body part at a time, on muscle at a time, and one thought at a time.  Rest your entire body on your mat.  Extend your arms and legs outward from the torso evenly and symmetrically.  Take a mental scan of your body from head to toe releasing any tension in each body part from your eyes to your jaw to your shoulders, knees, and toes.  Let your body grow heavier with each exhalation.  The goal is to relax with attention, to stay conscious and alert while being at ease.  Just breathe.  This pose, practiced regularly, conditions the body to release stress and improve your sense of physical and emotional well-being.
Yoga has become increasingly popular in today’s busy society providing a retreat from the chaos and busyness and everyday stressors.   It is important to find healthy coping skills that will work for you. Yoga offers peace and tranquility and can ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression and addictive behaviors. Devoting time to your mat allows you the time to relax and calm your thoughts, focus on living in the moment, and take care of you in a healthy, holistic way.  Yoga works with the nature of the mind, the nature of being a human, how emotions live in our bodies, how they affect our behavior and our minds.  I urge you to try a new approach. Relax and Rejuvenate.  Find what works for you!
Namaste.  The light in me honors the light in you,

Joy Vale
Patient Care Coordinator
November 22, 2017

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. David Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

What Are the Health Benefits of Restorative Yoga?” Power Yoga, 31 May 2017, poweryoga.com/blog/health-benefits-restorative-yoga/.
“10 Best Yoga Poses to Grow Taller.” BeautyGlimpse, 10 May 2014, http://www.beautyglimpse.com/10-best-yoga-poses-grow-taller/.
Orenstein, Beth W. “8 Yoga Poses for Beginners.” EverydayHealth.com, 26 Mar. 2013, www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/yoga-poses-for-beginners.aspx.
“Legs-up-the-Wall Pose.” Inspiredhealthcoach.wordpress.com, 3 Mar. 2011, inspiredhealthcoach.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/trouble-sleeping/legs-up-the-wall-pose/.
Paul, Jasmina. “The Yoga Bridge Pose: 5 Seldom-Known Benefits.” Ayurveda Natural Anti-Aging, Mind, Body Health, 14 June 2015, www.bodhyhealth.com/blog/2015/04/yoga-bridge-pose-benefits/.
Sulpizio, Lorri. “Benefits of the Cat-Cow Pose.” Team Better, blog.teambetter.com/benefits-of-the-cat-cow-pose/.

What is Really Causing Your Balance Problems

Do you ever have difficulty walking or maintaining your balance? Are you afraid of falling if you don’t have something to hold onto? Have you noticed that your stance is wider than it was? If you close your eyes, are you unable to stand without swaying or falling?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you have a balance issue which is a warning sign of compromised brain health.  Three main systems govern your balance: feedback from the muscles and joints of your extremities, your vestibular system (inner ear), and your cerebellar cortex. In this post, I will direct our focus to the cerebellum.

  Located at the base of the brain, this area is primarily responsible for precision, coordination and timing aspects of motor movements and cognitive processes. The health of the cerebellum is extremely important as it provides a constant flow of information to other areas of the brain, which is vital for proper brain function.

When cerebellar function begins to decline we see problems in our balance, changes in cognitive and motor performance, and disturbances in other body functions. This also disrupts the constant flow of information from this area to other brain regions. This can, in turn, cause problems in other areas of the brain leading to seemingly unrelated symptoms, including anxiety, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, movement disorders, depression, and many other conditions.

Therefore, changes in balance and coordination of movement are carefully evaluated by a healthcare professional. Recognizing these potential signs of poor brain function may help find and stop long-term neurodegenerative conditions down the road.

Dr. Joseph M. Little
August 30, 2017

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. Andrew Kender, Dr. David Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Neurofeedback is Proven Effective: The Research

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Can You Really Retrain Your Brain?

If you follow the Realwellnessdoc, then you know that we offer neurofeedback in our office.  We’ve posted several blogs describing neurofeedback and explaining how it works.  Despite this, you may wonder about the research behind it and whether it would work for you.  So for you research-geeks, here are some links to some great articles from reliable sources discussing neurofeedback and its efficacy for depression, anxiety, ADD, seizures, PTSD, sleep problems, migraines, and other brain-related conditions.

From the Mental Health Daily: the efficacy of neurofeedback and anxiety disorders.

From the Journal of Pediatrics: Neurofeedback provides a long-term solution to ADD that continues post-treatment.  

A NASA researcher discusses using neurofeedback to help kids with ADD. 

Neurofeedback: A Brain Flex to Help Olympic Athletes Train for a Better Performance

From the American Board of Sports Psychology: Neurofeedback for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance and Improved Balance

The role of neurofeedback on epileptic seizures

From the Clinical EEG and Neuroscience Magazine: The role of neurofeedback and migraines.

The role of neurofeedback on Traumatic Brain Injury/Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in OEF/OIF Veterans

Neurofeedback’s role in reducing depression, fatigue, and other problematic symptoms in patients with traumatic brain injury.  

Neurofeedback and depression and sleep problems.

Neurofeedback and sleep problems

If you would like to find out more, come to one of our free lectures on the topic in our Independence office on April 4th at 6:00, April 13th at 9:15 and April 27th at 11:45. The address is below.

Click here to register. We will be conducting a tour of our neurofeedback department on the April 4th and April 27th dates.

I hope to see you there!

Caroline Boardman
March 30, 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. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

New Study Shows Link Between Over-The-Counter Medications, Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Sleep Picture Your Over-The-Counter Sleep Medications Might Be Putting You at Risk!

Are the medications you are taking to help you sleep causing more harm than good?
I wrote an article a few months ago about how to improve one’s sleep at night.  You can read that article by clicking here.  In that article, I gave you some tips about how to get a better night’s sleep naturally.  In this article I want to bring to your attention the link between many of the commonly used medications for insomnia, allergies, and depression and Alzheimer’s disease.  “There is a strong and possibly irreversible link between Alzheimer’s disease and many commonly used medications for insomnia, allergies, and depression, according to a large recent JAMA Internal Medicine Study.”[1]

What the study shows is that if you’ve spent the past three years  taking  Tylenol PM, Motrin PM, or Benadryl,  then you have a 10% increase in suffering from Alzheimer’s, or dementia as you age. [Click To Tweet]  “This risk association is significant, Malaz Boustani, M.D., M.P.H, told Drug Discovery and Development.”[2] I’m sure everyone has seen the pattern for Alzheimer’s and dementia rising over the past 10 years, whether it’s been a friend or a loved one. When I was a kid you didn’t hear about these types of problems. All you have to do is look at admissions to nursing homes to see that there has been an increase in the number of Alzheimer’s patients and that these patients are younger and younger – some late 40’s, into 50’s and early 60’s.  It might be partly due to genetics, but medication or outside chemicals also play a large role as the recent study demonstrated.

Everyone thinks if they sleep better they will be better. Under normal conditions, this is correct, but if you are taking one of these sleeping pills, you could be making your mind worse.

This is an interesting finding… “The study group showed for the first time a dose response; that is, That Alzheimer’s risk may grow with higher use. For instance, it found people taking a minimum of 25 mg of an anticholinergic called diphenhydramine (or one Advil PM, Tylenol PM, Motrin PM, or Benadryl pill) a day for three to 12 months increased their relative risk for dementia by 19 percent; one to three years, 23 percent; three to seven years, 54 percent compared to no use (if the statistically significant increase occurred among the latter group).”[3] “Furthermore, this was the first study to find that dementias associated with anticholinergics may not be reversible, even years after drug use stops.”[4]

So what is an anticholinergic drug.  “An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and peripheral nervous system.  Anticholinergics inhibit parasympathetic nerve impulses by selectively blocking the binding of the neurotransmitter acetycholine to its receptor in nerve cells.”[5] What does this mean to you? Your thought processes are not as sharp and can diminish over time.

So what can a person do? First, read my earlier article.  Second, better sleep comes naturally when your body’s chemistry is in balance and working as intended. Adrenal gland function is often overlooked.  Your adrenal glands are responsible for your circadian rhythm, or your “sleep wake cycle”.  [Click to Tweet This is our stress gland and can easily burn out. Why does it burn out?  Stress in everyday lives is at a higher level today than the “good old days.”   When testing the adrenal gland, it is important to do it in the correct way.  In our office, we use a saliva test and collect specimens at very specific times to check the cortisol levels throughout the day (just testing it once during the day is insufficient).  Healthy cortisol levels are high in the morning and low at night when you’re ready to go to bed. Many people have abnormal cortisol cycles that can be balanced naturally.  Click here for a great article on adrenal health and the circadian rhythm.  

You can sleep better, but don’t rely on a drug, even if it is over-the-counter.  There are natural solutions to your sleep problem that will not expose you to substances that can cause more serious problems.

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Dr. David Starkey D.C.

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, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.dddmag.com/print/articles/2015/04/stong-link-found-between-dementia-com
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticholinergic

Quick Guide to Neurofeedback

NF Quick GuideQuick Guide to Neurofeedback

Hello everyone, I am one of FEO’s Neurofeedback Technicians. I love this job because I get to help clients achieve their goals and diminish symptoms with which they have suffered for years. Some of these symptoms may include sleep issues, social hinders, migraines, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and memory loss. I feel so lucky because I get to see people come in longing for help and watch them leave a happier, more collected person!

Neurofeedback is pretty high-tech stuff, but I will try to give as simple of an explanation as I can. Neurofeedback is the study of analyzing the speed of neural cells and how fast they are firing from one cell to the next.  Basically, we are looking at the electrical activity of the brain. We can identify neuronal abnormalities such as anxiety, depression, ADD, and ADHD, and then correct them with neurofeedback. How do we do this, you may ask? We record a brain map called an E.E.G. and then create a customized training protocol to help that specific client.

Brain Maps

A brain map is a report that is generated from collecting data from the brain.  We collect the data by putting an electro-cap (looks and feels like a swimmers cap) on the clients head.  19 small round sensors cover the cap. Each of these sensors reads the brain activity of a particular part of the brain and our computers record this information.   From there, the lab prepares a report based on the data collected and generates a report for our doctors.   The report includes colorful pictures of the brain that correlate to what is going on in the brain.  It shows what areas are firing too quickly or too slow, or areas where the brain waves are too high or too low. After analyzing the report, our doctors meet with each client individually to discuss the findings and create a protocol for them.

Brain Training Sessions

After the doctor creates a protocol, I take over and set the client up for their brain training session. A session comes in many different forms. The main purpose of the neurofeedback session is to exercise the brain and make it more flexible. We can achieve this goal through a variety of different means:

  • watching a movie
  • relaxing with your eye closed
  • listening to music
  • playing virtual arcade games.

During these trainings, the client receives sound or visual rewards. The rewards encourage the brain to maintain the desired level.  (The level correlates to the brain map findings.) After being rewarded, your brain will learn how to gain more rewards and eventually your brain will embrace and want the new levels. That’s why neurofeedback is successful over 90% of the time!

Neurofeedback can help with many conditions, including:

  • sleep disorders
  • chronic fatigue
  • memory loss
  • ADD/ADHD
  • migraines
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • fibromyalgia
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • traumatic brain injuries
  • concussions

To learn more, visit our main website at www.balancingyourchemistry.com or our neurofeedback-specific website at www.brainbalancingandneurofeedbackcenter.com.

I will be back next month to go more in depth about neurofeedback, stay tuned!

Author: Klinger, Missty. February 19, 2015

Just the DNA PleaseFunctional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road,Suite 100, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330)644-5488
Independence: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd.,Suite 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216)236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians