Tips for Maintaining Holiday Wellness

Thanksgiving Well WishesCan you believe we are in the midst of the holiday season? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought we should discuss something generally overlooked during the holidays – wellness. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for gathering together with loved ones and indulging in a massive feast. Thoughts of health and wellness are not usually at the forefront of people’s minds. However, as enjoyable as the holidays are, they can take a toll on your overall health and wellness. I’d like to help you have the healthiest Thanksgiving possible.

FoodHealthy Thanksgiving Food

The holiday season, and Thanksgiving in particular, are loaded with decadent, fatty, rich foods. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person puts on an extra pound during the holidays, with people who are already overweight gaining around five pounds. The alarming thing about this is that most people don’t lose the extra weight after the holidays. And over time, the this adds up to an unhealthy situation. Read More


What are Brainwaves: How Brainwaves are Measured

Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

Brainwaves HealthyOur brainwaves change according to our physical activity, our mood, our thoughts and feelings, and whether we are awake or asleep. Like musicians playing their instruments during a symphony, our brainwaves work together in harmony.

Click here to read part one.

That the brains of mammals produce electrical pulses has been known to science since 1875. Actual recordings of brain waves in an animal were made in 1912. Brain wave activity in the human brain has been studied since 1924, when the first recording of human brain wave activity was made.healthy Brainwaves

Electricity is measured in units of frequency known as hertz. A hertz is defined as one cycle per second and is named for Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first person to provide conclusive proof of the existence of electromagnetic waves. An electroencephalograph machine (EEG) measures the brain’s electrical activity.

Brain wave activity originates with the electrical activity of individual neurons communicating together and is happening continuously throughout waking and sleeping. Although we now know the human brain produces seven different electrical brain wave patterns, four basic patterns are the most studied and the most understood.

 Brainwave MeasurementAlpha, Beta, Delta, and Theta

  • All brain wave patterns are active all of the time. However, brain wave patterns vary and dominate depending on level of a person’s activity, concentration, or mood, and whether awake or asleep.
  • Beta is a fast wave. It varies between 12 to 38 hertz depending on our level of activity, concentration and focus, as well as our mood and level of excitement or anxiety. Beta is dominate during our waking hours. Important in activities of problem solving, judgment and decision making, beta waves are essential for healthy waking activity.
  • Alpha waves are also dominate during waking hours, but they are a slower wave of 8 to 12 hertz. Beta takes a lot of energy and the brain needs to relax intermittently. Alpha waves represent the brain’s relaxation or resting state. The brain constantly uses Alpha along with Beta. Alpha occurs when we close our eyes, think quiet thoughts, day dream, meditate, or feel calm. Alpha is important for overall mental coordination, mind/body integration, calmness and alertness, and integration of learning.
  • Theta waves are slow waves of 3 to 8 hertz. These dominate during sleep during deep meditation. Theta reveals our brains withdrawing from the external world to focus within. During Theta, learning and memory record. It is while in Theta that we experience our dreams. Theta is also a healing and regeneration state for the body.Brainwaves Health
  • Delta waves dominate during deep, dreamless sleep. They are slow waves of .5 to 3 hertz. Deep body regeneration and healing occur during Delta. There is complete disengagement from the external world as the brain and body go deeply inward. It is difficult to awaken a person from Delta sleep and children are almost impossible to waken from Delta.

Disruption

As mentioned earlier, our brainwaves work together in harmony, but when there is a disruption of this harmonic condition, there is a disruption in brain function. Brain wave balance is critical to emotional and neurological health. Anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, autism, impulsive behavior, anger/aggression, depression, chronic nerve pain and spasticity reveal over-arousal of certain brain areas. Scientists attribute under-arousal of certain brain areas to attention deficit, chronic pain and insomnia.

Conditions as tic disorders, epilepsy, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, migraines, sleep apnea, teeth grinding, vertigo, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) reveal instabilities in brain rhythms. Traumatic brain injury(TBI) concussion, stroke, and coma all affect brain wave balance and brain function.

Brainwave AdaptabilityAdaptability

The brain is constantly changing and evolving; constantly creating new neurons.  Neuroplasticity equals adaptability, growth and change. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to heal itself from injury. Due to advances in EEG technology, it is possible to provide feedback to the brain on whether brain waves are in sync.

During neurofeedback, technicians place electrodes on the scalp, attached to specialized EEG machines. These display images on computer screens and generate sounds to detect and measure different brainwaves. The images and sounds provide information, known as feedback, and allow the brain to learn to reharmonize the various brain waves and allow the brain to reregulate and return to harmonic balance.

Our brains determine our emotional states, our perceptions, and our reactions to the world around us. Our brains are complex, magnificent, and mysterious.  We still have much to learn about who we are and how our brains work.


Water: Why is it so Important?

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

Hyaluronic Acid and Water

It seems as if medical professionals constantly tell us to drink water. The usual suggestion is at least eight 8 oz. glasses per day. But that comes out to 64 ounces, which is an entire gallon of water per day per person! Remembering to constantly drink water during the day is difficult sometimes, especially when I don’t feel thirsty. And I always wonder why we need to drink that much. Now that I know more about science as it relates to the brain and body, I understand the connection between water and hyaluronic acid. Read on to learn more.  Read More


Diet Direction

Diet Direction It seems like everyone is always talking about diet. We are a culture obsessed with the way we look. Yet, we are a nation of fat people! This is quite a paradox. Sometimes, I think I have spent my entire adult life thinking and worrying about my weight and body image. I’m practically a charter member of the international diet program, Weight Watchers – not to mention the number of times I have joined and quit.

Diet NirvanaDiet Direction

Over the years, I have tried myriad diets, including the varieties that require injections. Like millions of other Americans, I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail of diets. only to discover that no such thing exists! No diet will lead me to the Nirvana of Perfect Body Weight. And by the way, I diet not just because of how much I weigh. The ratio of body fat to body muscle matters much more than the number on the scale. So, what’s the answer? The truth is that changing my body requires a change in lifestyle. What matters is the type and quantity of food I eat, exercise I do, and amount of sleep I get.

Diet SleepDiet Dreams

Lack of quality sleep leads to weight gain. Also important is the way I think as well as the words I think and tell myself. Man, oh man, reality can be difficult! If I want to change my lifestyle, where should I start?

  • The latest research points to the fact that the healthiest way to eat is a plant-based diet. What does that mean? Must I become a vegetarian (does not eat meat, fish or poultry, but does eat eggs, and/or milk and cheese) or a vegan (does not eat meat, fish, or poultry or animal products, including milk and eggs)?
  • Research states that a healthy diet includes lots of leafy green vegetables. And not just salad greens, but kale, collard greens and spinach. We also need to eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. We also need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables with lots of color, like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, low glycemic fruits like berries.Leafy Greens Diet

What else should my diet include?

I also need whole grains (no white flour or white rice) and beans (also known as legumes), as well as lentils, peas, and peanuts. And every diet around warns you to stay away from sugary stuff and fried foods. (Gosh, but I really like In-N-Out French fries).

Sounds a lot like a vegetarian diet to me.

Then, looking a little further, I discovered the Mediterranean Diet.Research suggests people who follow a Mediterranean diet lose 52% more weight than the standard low-fat diet because it isn’t just a fad or limited list of foods. This way of eating begins with the foundation of vegetables and whole grains, but also includes small quantities of lean meats and fish, a few times a week. This seems like something I can ease into. Fortunately, great recipes and resources on the internet can help me change the way I cook. If you’re interested in this type of eating plan, check out Forks Over Knives. It has lots of fantastic vegetarian recipes or Food Revolution, which offers inspiration for changing what you eat.

Modere Diet TipsSupplemental Assistance in Diet

The lifestyle line I carry, Modere, also offers safe and effective products designed to help you achieve your body’s goals and continue living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re interested in upping the ante in your journey toward optimal health, give me a call. Using Modere as well as EEG Neurofeedback, I can offer you a jumpstart on body, brain health!