Healthy Ideas

  • By Janet Appel
  • 13 Nov, 2015

New Ways to bring "Healthy" into your Life!

It’s not what you Eat, it’s what you Eliminate that Makes a Difference…one step and change at a time can Change your lifestyle forever!  Enjoy a Pumpkin Smoothie for the holidays……@ 200 Calories as a Meal Replacement

Or,

Enjoy a healthy Spinach, Goat Cheese, Cranberry Salad.

Janet M. Appel, Personal Wellness Consultant
The Healing Professionals
Recipes are in my “New Carolina Healthy Alternative Cookbook”
10% off with this Coupon – Retail: $9.95
 
By Christy R. Hall 05 Feb, 2017
When you’re in a relationship, communication becomes more critical than you might imagine. Most disagreements and hard feelings come from miscommunications rather than real problems. And when true difficulties do arise, communication can help you to work through them.

By Deborah Dixon 29 Jan, 2017
Jasmine “King of Flowers”
By Christy R. Hall 15 Jan, 2017

With New Year’s behind us, some of us have also left our resolutions behind with those cardboard hats and blow horns.

We may decide to start on a healthy lifestyle including exercise and weight loss or learning to manage our stress. And in the beginning, our motivation is sky high,  its only when stresses get the best of us, or the effort involved proves to be more than we expected that we fall face first into a chocolate cake. The same applies those wanting to stop smoking, quit drinking and so on.

Unfortunately, only a handful of us will truly experience the success we so long for.

But it's not too late to reinforce your intentions towards all the changes and plans you intended.

The reason it can be difficult for some is that we are all creatures of habit and in times of stress and struggle, we revert to our old coping mechanisms. Of course, we tell ourselves that one cigarette or one cookie isn’t going to make much difference, is it? We sabotage ourselves, and this leads to failure.

We may be eating all the right things and exercising more but the weight isn't falling off, and because the results weren't immediate, we stop ‘punishing’ ourselves with denial and go back to the old ways of being.

It doesn’t have to be like that though. People can and do lose weight, stop drinking, smoking, being lazy and accomplish so many other great things.

They may do this the hard way, using willpower.

-OR-

Choose to change their mind-set with the help of hypnosis.

Hypnosis can help you stick with your resolutions by focusing on the tasks you wantto achieve or problems you want to overcome.

The most popular New Year Resolutions tend to be along the lines of:

  • Get fit and/or lose weight
  • Be more organized
  • Save money, spend less
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Enjoy life and welcome new experiences
  • Manage stress better
  • Find love/a relationship
  • Travel more

I think we all would agree, these tend to be dominant themes for everyone.

The overall motif, though,  is to better yourself in some way.

Or maybe you didn't even make resolutions this year because you always fail. If this sounds like you, then hypnosis can help put you in the right frame of mind, give you the right mindset, and motivate you to achieve your goals and resolutions with confidence.

The Daily Mail shared an article  about a mom who turned to hypnotherapy after her 7 year old son said she was a picky eater. She would only eat a few simple foods, and absolutely no vegetables or other healthy foods. She had such a phobia of different foods she went as far as to prepare her son’s meals with rubber gloves on! After her session with a food phobia expert, the paper reports that she is now willing to try more foods, even if she then decides she doesn't like them.

The key to success is to make attainable resolutions and set yourself a realistic deadline to complete them. This way you can celebrate your successes as you reach each milestone, or re-evaluate your plan of action if things aren't going as planned.

Contact Christy today to see how hypnosis with tapping can help you achieve your goals this year.

By April Smith 08 Jan, 2017

A lot of people experience problems with sleeping. Some have insomnia, some can get to sleep but then wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, or some take a long time to fall asleep and then sleep through the night. Others wake up in the middle of the night at exactly the same time every night once or multiple times per night. Some individuals have disturbing dreams or reoccurring nightmares. Do you lie in bed and think about all the things you must get done the next day or think about your stresses? Does your mind feel like it’s going a million miles a minute as soon as you hit the pillow?

Healthy sleep is defined by going to sleep quickly at night (this means after turning off your light and closing your eyes you fall asleep within 20 minutes), sleeping through the night without waking up (or waking up once to go to the bathroom) and waking up feeling rested. Healthy sleep also means that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night if you are an adult. I’ve heard from plenty of clients that they “only need five or six hours a night”. What that really means is that someone can function with five or six hours a night, but it is not ideal. Just because you can function at work or run your household on six hours of sleep a night does not mean that six hours is enough sleep. It’s not optimal. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but for 90% of adult Americans (men and women), you need at least 8 hours. Children and teenagers are another story and are a separate blog post.

Acupuncture and herbal supplements can help promote healthy sleep. Acupuncture works with the body’s energy (aka “Qi”) to harmonize and balance your internal clock and quiet the mind so that when you lie down at night to go to sleep, you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. There are acupuncture points that have a primary function of inducing restful sleep. These particular acupuncture points do this by affecting the energetics of particular organs, like the heart for example.  Heart Qi (aka heart energy) is important for sleep in Oriental Medicine. Your “Heart Qi” must be in balance in order for you to go to sleep. If it’s not, you will experience a lot of mental chatter when it’s time to rest. A perfect example of imbalanced Heart Qi is to look at people who are overly anxious, or suffer from anxiety.   Overly stressed out people, or people who experience anxiety usually have sleep problems. Their “Heart Qi” is not balanced and could be stagnated, or deficient, or in excess causing mental chaos.  

Acupuncture in itself has a calming, sedative effect on the recipient. Just the act of coming into the office and lying down in a soothing environment without interruptions starts the process of relaxation. The actual needling of acupuncture points that calm and relax you and promote sleep is what tells your brain (and therefore your body) to reset and slow down. Your heart rate slows down; your mind starts to quite the mental chatter because I encourage people to do abdominal breathing during the treatment. Your body, even if it’s temporary, enters a relaxed state. It’s in this relaxed state where the real healing begins. It’s in this state where your body energy can flow effortlessly and all the organs, not just the heart.  Your body will try to heal itself by moving the energy (aka "Qi") throughout the energy channels and can eliminate any blockages, or boost deficiencies, or disperse energetic accumulations. As a result, often people fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment.

There are natural and safe herbal supplements out there that can promote sleep. Everyone has heard of melatonin which is sold over the counter at many pharmacies and health food stores. Valerian Root tea can also be consumed an hour before bed time to promote sleep and is easily found in grocery stores. For more severe cases of insomnia or sleep disturbances, I would highly recommend a consultation with April. A more complex and intricate herbal formula may be required if your sleep problems are severe. It’s also important to identify the cause of the insomnia. Taking herbal supplements might help you get a good night’s rest, but if there is an underlying emotional issue or illness then that needs to be addressed in order to completely “fix” the sleep problem. Sometimes counseling with a psychologist or other mental health care provider is necessary.

Sleep is very important to be happy and healthy. Please do not dismiss this fact. Contact our office if you have any additional questions at (919) 518-5981 or email April at April@thehealingprofessionals.com .

 

By Deborah Dixon 02 Jan, 2017

Using breath and internal focus to calm the mind are the first steps to developing a meditation practice. Here are two exercises that can be done anywhere, anytime, and if done regularly will yield amazing results. The mind will eventually find its still center, not consumed with mental chatter, but little by little coming closer to that sweet spot of simple awareness and peace.

Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Alternate nostril breathing balances mental activity and the nervous system.  It can be done anytime to calm nervousness and promote bodily health. Yogis say nadi shodhana accomplishes this by balancing catabolic activity in the body, which releases energy,  with anabolic activity, which stores energy.

Sit up straight, breath easily through the nose. Extend the breath into the lower abdomen, releasing the belly, allowing it to soften on the inhale and naturally contract on the exhale.

Any two fingers can be used, but traditionally in yoga Vishnu mudra is taken by folding the index and middle finger and placing the thumb and ring finger gently at the base of the nose.

Exhale completely through the nose.

Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left.

Close left, open and exhale through the right nostril.

Inhale right nostril, close and exhale left.

Inhale left, close and continue following your own breath with an exhale and inhale on each side.

Continue for 2-5 minutes to start, ending with an exhale through the left nostril.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBYdF9H8TFE

 

By Christy R. Hall 26 Dec, 2016

Hypnosis has been around for centuries. It was being used long before we started counting carbs, fat grams, or calories. Very few people, however, have made this age-old, attention-sharpening-and-focusing technique an integral part of their weight management strategy.

In the beginning, there was little scientific evidence to support the legitimate claims of even the most respected hypnotists and hypnotherapists. Today there are hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies showing that hypnosis works. In the mid-nineties, at least eighteen hypnotic studies were re-analyzed and it was determined that weight loss clients who learned self-hypnosis lost twice as much weight as those who did not. And yet, even today, hypnosis remains a largely untapped resource and a “hidden secret” for dropping those unwanted pounds. Hypnosis is an effective approach to eliminate the stress and anxiety around our eating habits, which many other methods - including typical diets - do not address. Hypnosis enables you to permanently change the way you think and feel about food, drink and exercise.

By April Smith 19 Dec, 2016

How acupuncture can treat pain

Many people are familiar with acupuncture, or have at least heard about it and know that it involves the use of needles. One of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture care is for treatment for pain. A lot people have seen a picture of someone getting acupuncture somewhere on TV or on the big screen. Some people are still unclear about how acupuncture actually works.  Or why it is commonly used for pain. I will explain.

How acupuncture works:

Acupuncture works by using your body energy, or “Qi”. By sticking an acupuncture needle into a specific acupuncture point, an acupuncturist can affect your “Qi”. Illness or disease arises when your “Qi” is out of balance, or simply put, all out whack. Your “Qi” can be deficient causing many health issues, like gastrointestinal disorders, or female reproductive issues. Or your “Qi” can be in excess in a specific location, like your shoulder or knee. When your “Qi” is in excess in a particular spot, like your shoulder, it creates “stagnation”, or an accumulation of energy which in turns leads to pain. Pain could be brought on by a specific traumatic injury or accident. An accident such as a fall can cause instant and acute “Qi stagnation”. Or maybe the pain is not due to a specific injury, but came about slowly over time. When pain has a gradual onset and does not have a known cause, it still creates “Qi Stagnation” which can get progressively worse over time. Regardless of the cause of pain, whether it’s due to a structural problem brought on by an accident (such as a broken bone), or if the pain is brought on by repetitive motion over time for example, like in wrist tendonitis,  acupuncture can help.

How acupuncture helps with pain:

Many studies have been conducted by physicians that have analyzed what happens to the body when a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point over the past few decades here in the US and other parts of the world. Many of these studies have focused on using acupuncture as a treatment for pain. Some studies have also investigated what happens when electro-acupuncture is done in the study instead of straight acupuncture alone. “Electro-acupuncture” (aka EA) is when an electrical pulse is sent through the needle shaft into the body using a clamp attached to the needle itself and connected to an electrical stimulation machine. This is very similar to a TENS unit which is commonly used by chiropractors and physical therapists. After years of studies and publications in medical and neurology journals, the general consensus among physicians is that electro-acupuncture (EA) causes the body to release endorphins which act as natural pain killers. This release of endorphins is how on a basic physiological level, acupuncture can treat pain and inflammation. Opioid peptides are released by the Central Nervous System (CNS) during electro-acupuncture treatments which have an analgesic effect on the area of pain. Different levels of frequency on the electrical stimulation machine cause the release of different opioid peptides.   A frequency of 2 Hz accelerates the release of enkephalin, beta-endorphin and endomorphin.   A frequency of 100 Hz selectively increases the release of dynorphin.   A combination of the two frequencies produces a simultaneous release of all four opioid peptides, resulting in a maximal therapeutic effect. This finding has been verified in clinical studies in patients with various kinds of chronic pain including low back pain and diabetic neuropathic pain. [i]  

Now, here is my personal disclaimer when it comes to acupuncture and the treatment of pain. If you have pain because you were in a car accident, for example; acupuncture can help minimize the pain and inflammation. However, if there is any type of structural damage, acupuncture will NOT fix that. Acupuncture is not a substitute for surgery or emergency care. What acupuncture can do, is help facilitate the healing process and provide relief, even if it’s temporary.

If however, the pain is not from a car accident, but gradually started over time, like discussed earlier; then acupuncture can definitely treat muscular issues more effectively . Acupuncture can be used directly on trigger points of the affected muscles or on the actual location of pain, like in wrist pain. Acupuncture when used in treating muscular pain can promote healing and reduce inflammation to a greater degree than if you had a structural issue. Often massage and physical therapy in conjunction with acupuncture is the perfect protocol for long standing, chronic pain that has a gradual onset. I encourage you to explore many different healing modalities and ask questions as to what approach is best for you.

Sometimes surgery is the best answer for your particular pain issue.   And that is okay. Acupuncture can help facilitate the healing process post-surgery.   Please contact our office and ask to speak with April. I am the acupuncturist on staff at The Healing Professionals. I specialized in orthopedics for over 10 years and I am well versed in the different pain conditions. I am more than happy to answer questions about whether or not acupuncture is right for you.



[i] Neurosci Lett.  2004 May 6;361(1-3):258-61. Acupuncture and endorphins. Han JS 1

By Deborah Dixon 12 Dec, 2016

It can be frustrating trying to ease the fight-or-flight state of mind all too common to modern people. Many first-time meditators feel powerless when they attempt to stop their incessant internal dialogue, sometimes called “monkey mind.” The difficulties of using the mind to stop the mind are blaringly apparent to most of us. There are simple techniques, however, that make the process easy and enjoyable. Drawing upon ancient practices and modern research, we can use breath and mindful observation to transform our mental and physical states.

We are brilliantly equipped to respond to stressful situations with increases in our heart and breathing rates and blood pressure preparing us to either fight the survival threat, or flee. These days we might not be facing animals of prey, but we are constantly facing complex situations at work and home that engage our survival instincts, our minds serving as the messenger to our bodies through its constant narrative of the events playing out in our lives and our reactions to them. It’s not at all strange then to feel sometimes that our mind is the enemy. If only we could stop our mind and find a respite from the constant internal narrative of our life.  

Yogic practices and modern research provide us with many tools to find mental peace. The second verse of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states the goal of yoga, Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah , which translates, Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind .  A powerful tool of yoga, always accessible, is pranayama, known as breathwork, though an understanding of prana takes us beyond breath denoting a broader idea of life force or energy which follows the breath. We can bring our attention to our breath at any time, even mid-conversation. Focusing internally on our repetitive breath begins the journey inward and primes the body for meditation by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, initiating calm and reducing stress.

By Christy R. Hall 05 Dec, 2016

Hypnosis has helped A LOT of people reduce stress and anxiety... allowing them to zone in on their goals and perform better at the physical and mental tasks they face day in and day out.

So why aren’t you using it!? True, many people are using hypnotherapists to guide them, but do you know that you can also do it yourself from the comfort of your own home?

It’s about time you take advantage of this very powerful stress management tool today, and you can do so by following the next easy steps, which should only take 5 to 30 minutes of your time.

Here’s how:

  1. Look for a quiet place, one that is free from distractions and will allow you to focus on the session ahead.

  2. Get into a comfy position, but not one that makes you fall asleep. Others like to recline, some prefer to sit on a cozy chair, while there are some who are really comfortable lying down. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.

  3. Decide what you want to achieve for this session, and make sure you put it into a positive statement. You see, the subconscious mind doesn’t register negatives.

    For example, if you want to get rid of stress and anxiety, instead of saying “I’m feeling less and less stressful by the minute” go for “I’m getting more and more relaxed as time goes by”.

    For the first statement, the mind won’t reinforce the word “less” and would focus on the word “stressful”, which is something you want to get rid of! The second statement, on the other hand, is positive…allowing your mind to focus on the word “relax”.

  4. Next, start breathing deeply and slowly – expanding your tummy when you inhale instead of raising your shoulders. For extra positive effect, imagine that you are breathing in calmness and relaxation, and exhaling out the stress you have experienced throughout the day.

  5.  Moving forward, pick and imagine an environment that you find relaxing. It’s different for everyone – it can be a beach, a natural cave, their bedroom, etc. Imagine going further and deeper into it.

    Visualize yourself walking a long road leaving your current stressful surroundings behind with the restless noise slowly fading away in the background.

    At first, you may not feel anything different…you may not get that “WOW” moment. But keep on practicing it and you should get there in no time. It’s very much like the state you feel when you are day-dreaming or in deep concentration.

  6. When you are done and feeling really relaxed…far away from the regular and usually stressful life we all live, start repeating the positive phrase/goal you opted for in the initial steps. You may want to see the words come to life, focus on how they sound, or better yet, vividly visualize – complete with sights and sounds, the desired outcome.

    When you are completely relaxed and feeling far from your regular life, begin repeating the positive phrase you chose for this session. You may choose to visualize the words, focus on their sound in your head, or visualize the end result.

Relieving yourself of the stress and anxiety you experienced throughout the day doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is some free time along with a quiet place, clothes you are comfy with, an open mind, and a very clear idea of what you want to achieve and you are good to go!

By April Smith 29 Nov, 2016

Many people suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS affects the colon and symptoms can include abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, excessive belching, excessive flatulence, diarrhea with urgency, or someone can be constipated. Often people have specific food “triggers” that will aggravate the situation. Stress can also cause an IBS episode. Some people have had it for years and have just learned to deal with it. Fatty, fried, high sugar foods like the yummy treats everyone is eating this time of year can be a strong trigger for some. Some people are on medication, some take probiotics, and some might have an episode with severe abdominal pain with diarrhea and then it passes and they continue on with their day. Regardless of how you are currently dealing with it, acupuncture and herbal supplements can help you.

Acupuncture can work with your body energy to help alleviate stress and help you to relax. In addition, acupuncture can work directly with Spleen and Stomach “Qi” (aka energy) to help regulate any imbalances that might be caused by certain food triggers. Often people do not know what exactly triggers their IBS. Random triggers that could be food related or stress related often work in combination to aggravate IBS. If there does not seem to be a specific food trigger, then perhaps it is extreme emotional stress or anxiety. Acupuncture can help calm you. Acupuncture works with your Heart “Qi” (aka energy) to create a healthy balance of emotional streaming, so that you can deal with stressful situations more productively as to not trigger or induce an IBS episode.

Natural herbal supplements prescribed by a health care professional are often a safe, natural way of dealing with IBS. There are certain herbal supplements that can help the healthy bacteria proliferate naturally in your intestines. Herbal supplements can also help metabolize certain foods that may be difficult for you to digest, thereby avoiding intestinal irritation.

I have worked with many people who have had or who are dealing with IBS and have had had great success minimizing or completely eliminating their IBS episodes. I strongly feel the best approach is to use acupuncture in conjunction with herbal supplements. Addressing IBS from an energetic and internal medicine approach is the best strategy for treating IBS in my clinical experience. For answers to any additional questions you may have, please feel free to contact April at the Healing Professionals.

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