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The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Better Immune Health

Given the health concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, Mother’s Day (May 10) is going to look a little different this year. You’ll still be able to tell Mom how much you love and appreciate her, but a video call may have to suffice instead of a traditional family brunch. You can also still send a gift from the heart, even if you’re social distancing. This year, one of the best things that you can do is show the moms in your life how much you care about their well-being by helping them keep their immune system strong. Below is a list of healthy items that we think would make for some great immune-boosting Mother’s Day gifts (for your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, aunt, or friends that are moms).

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Beekeeper’s Naturals Mother’s Day Bundle

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Honey doesn’t just take good, it has many antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can help Mom prevent and fight infections from viruses. Bee pollen has also been touted as a superfood that can relieve inflammation, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and speed up healing. Beekeeper’s Naturals Mother’s Day gift bundle is specially curated to help every mama feel like the queen bee she is. It includes:              

  • B.Powered Honey (330g jar)     

  • B.LXR Brain Fuel (6 pack)     

  • Propolis Throat Spray for Kids   

  • Raw Bee Pollen  

  • Limited Edition Raspberry Blossom Honey 

For a limited time, save 20% off the Mother’s Day Bundle!

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Addictive Wellness Raw Chocolate

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There’s nothing like Mother’s Day chocolate, right? The good news is that Mom doesn’t have to give up her favorite treats to stay healthy! Addictive Wellness is committed to creating decadent, gourmet chocolate that incorporates the best of South American superfoods, Ayurvedic and Taoist tonic herbalism in each bite.

 

Addictive Wellness chocolate is a vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly food. Each chocolate product and elixir blend contains tree mushrooms, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits as well as positive effects on skin.

 

Please note: You should not consume Addictive Wellness chocolate if you are allergic to mushrooms, pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Use coupon code “DaveAspreyBox” to receive 10% off your order.

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TrueLight LED Light Therapy Devices

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If there were a magic pill, LED light therapy, or photobiomodulation, might be it. It’s essentially a painless, drug-free therapeutic treatment for healing the skin and body that you (and the moms in your life) can use in the comfort of home.  TrueLight LED light therapy devices use a patent-pending combination of deep red, red, yellow and near-infrared (NIR) light for a variety of different treatments.  

The red and NIR wavelengths are especially helpful for: 

  • Enhanced blood circulation  

  • Increased collagen production  

  • Reduces scars, wrinkles, & fine lines  

  • Faster wound healing Pain relief  

  • Anti-inflammatory effects 

Yellow light therapy is especially helpful for healing the top layer of skin. Possible benefits include: 

  • Improving skin hydration 

  • Flushing toxins from the skin 

  • Reducing fine lines, scars and wrinkles 

  • Treating inflammatory conditions such as rosacea and eczema 

  • Boosting lymphatic flow, which helps to remove toxins from treated areas of the body 

  • Healing UV damage 

  • Reducing redness and swelling 

Right now, you can save 20% off ALL TrueLight LED light therapy devices with coupon code “HealthyMom20”!

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Homebiotic Spray

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Social distancing is helping us prevent the spread of the latest coronavirus, but it means that we are all spending more time at home – cooking, showering, eating,  etc.  Many of us are also cleaning more than usual, perhaps keeping windows and doors shut, and washing our hands more. Each of these elements can result in less air circulation and more moisture throughout the home, which provides the perfect conditions for mold to grow.  Many studies show that mold growth can compromise the body’s immune system and make you more vulnerable to viruses and infections.

 

Homebiotic spray is a probiotic for your home that adds good bacteria to balance out the bad ones.  It helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew and eliminates the cause of musty odors, aka “basement smell”.  While the moms in your life are balancing work and family at home, Homebiotic could be a simple yet effective solution for keeping the household healthy and their immune systems strong.

 

Save 15% off your order when you use coupon code “daveasprey”! 

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TrueDark Twilights Sleep-Hacking Glasses

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Let’s be honest, moms are constantly sacrificing sleep for the ones that they love. The least that we can do is help them sleep better.  TrueDark Twilights are the most effective “blue blockers” for nighttime because they block up to 100% of the junk light spectrum (including blue, green and violet light).  So, even if Mom is up working or streaming her favorite show in bed, she can wear these glasses while looking at screens. Wearing TrueDark Twilights will support her body’s natural melatonin production and prepare her for a great night’s sleep.

 

Save 20% off all TrueDark glasses through 5/11/20!

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Upgraded Isolation Dave Asprey Box

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Right now, many moms are feeling an array of emotions — stressed about working from home, anxious about balancing that work with their family time, and unsure about what’s to come. If your mom is starting to get cabin fever, the Dave Asprey Box may be able to help with its upcoming “Upgraded Isolation“ themed box!   This next box will include a handful of immune-boosting products and tools that are designed to make Mom’s time at home more enjoyable, It  will also keep her mind and body strong so that she can emerge stronger than ever once the COVID-19 concerns subside.

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Neurominer

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Science shows that staying creative helps reduce stress and improve wellbeing. This is because when you create, you unlock your imagination and put yourself into a flow state. Focusing intensely on a creative task is a productive and constructive use of your mind.  It also prompts the brain to release feel-good hormones that can help distract us from feelings of anxiety or depression.

 

With that said, creativity is something that we could all use right now, including momWhile she’s got some extra time at home, why not help her hone her cognitive skillsNeurominer is a brain training tool designed to help improve memory, creativity and recall.  There are three different levels that help you capture and retain moments of insight and clarity so that they don’t slip away! Mom can use Neurominer in the comfort of her home – all she needs is a quiet, dark space to help her focus. 

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Coronavirus By The Numbers And How To Prevent Infection

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A Letter From Dave Asprey

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Dear Fellow Biohackers,

I write this letter with some mixed emotions. Spring is typically a time for awakening, energy, and renewal.  Instead, this year we find ourselves in a time of social distancing, fear of the coronavirus, and anxiety created by economic uncertainty throughout the world.  For many, this has caused our amygdala (the fear center of our brain) to go into overdrive.

Despite what’s happening around us, there are reasons to feel encouraged and even grateful.  (I would argue that finding peace of mind is even more critical during times of isolation.)

Here are just a few things to be grateful for right now:

  • More time with your loved ones at home. It’s safe to say that we are all incredibly busy balancing work, family and self-care. As we navigate how to spend our days for at least the next couple weeks, we can also take advantage of the extra time that has been gifted to us — time that we can appreciate and share with our family members (including pets too!).
  • The Internet is awesome.  With just a few finger swipes or clicks, you can get access to virtually anything and still stay connected to extended family and friends — even if you can’t physically be near them. (Next time you Skype Grandma, tell her I said hi!)
  • In this golden age of digital content, you have the time to actually enjoy it. Okay, this is an extension of the bullet point above, but I really want to emphasize it. There is an abundance of television shows, movies, audio books, e-books, podcasts, games, and YouTube videos available for you online right now.  I’m not saying that you should become a couch potato, (you can also do home workouts with guided instructions via various digital programs), but this is a great opportunity to embrace the (extra) time that you have and distract yourself from the news. Why not catch up on a book that you never got to read, or watch a documentary that might challenge your perspective?
  • You can be part of the change and make a difference.  It is pretty bizarre seeing grocery store shelves completely emptied, schools closed, and the explosion of mass hysteria on social media.  Amidst the pessimistic news reports, it’s important to remember: look for the helpers — or become one!  This could mean offering to get groceries for an elderly neighbor if they are vulnerable to contracting respiratory illnesses.  Or if you have extra food or household items, even a small donation could bring a smile to someone’s face. Thanks to the handy-dandy Internet, it’s also super easy to send money via various apps (which would be especially helpful for those that are currently put out of work during this time of social distancing and quarantines happening all over the world).

I have had a lot of people ask me if they should be worried about contracting the coronavirus. Truthfully, it’s inevitable that many of us (yes, myself included) will become infected at some point in time.  But if you’re healthy, your immune system will fight off the infection like it’s supposed to.  Think about how a typical cold plays out — there are some people who don’t recover from colds very well because their bodies aren’t as resilient, while others may not even realize that they are sick because their immune system has stepped in to fight off the unhealthy cells within the body.

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Death Rates: A Look at the Numbers

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News reports of coronavirus-induced deaths has fueled the hysteria happening (and the carts full of toilet paper).  There is absolutely merit to being aware and proactive about the current public health concern; however, it’s worth looking closely at the data to get a better idea of what the coronavirus landscape really looks like.

According to a recent publication by my good friend, Peter  Diamandis, on one of the worst days for Coronavirus in China (February 10, 2020), 108 people died. But on any given day, globally:

  • 26,283 people die of cancer;
  • 49,041 people die of cardiovascular diseases;
  • 4,383 people die of diabetes.

If you’ve read my latest book, Super Human, you’ll remember that Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are the primary four killers for humans worldwide.  To put the numbers above into context, the chances of dying from the coronavirus are extremely low.

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How YOU Can Help Slow the Surge of Coronavirus

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  • Delay getting an infection so that there is more space in hospitals for those that really need it. That means taking social distancing seriously and following the protocols set out by the CDC and WHO.
  • Honor our elders and be kind to those who may have a weaker immune system. Think about what you can do to support them during this difficult time — even the simplest of gestures could mean a LOT.
  • Focus on becoming more resilient by:
    • not smoking
    • avoiding alcohol
    • not eating sugar or fried foods
    • getting adequate sleep
    • getting 20-30 minutes of natural sunlight every day (standing by your window or stepping out onto your balcony could help here; if you’re itching to go for a walk or run, opt to go around the block at a safe distance from other people rather than running on the treadmill at your local gym where germs and bacteria could make you more vulnerable to illness)
    • maintaining a positive outlook and being gentle with yourself

Ultimately, you can become immune to the coronavirus by getting it, and then getting through it with a resilient immune system!

I know that this is a strange time, and there’s a lot of information swirling out there…but don’t let the hysteria deter you from finding/creating peace of mind. This journey may get a little bumpy before it gets better, but we are all in this together. Let’s make sure that we are all doing what we can to keep our immune systems strong and get through this thing!

In Good Health & Gratitude,

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The Best Cleaning Products for a Happy, Healthy Home

The snow is melting, the birds are chirping, and with the new season approaching it is time to bring some fresh energy into your home But before you start your marathon of dusting, scrubbing, wiping and organizing, be sure to inventory of all your cleaning products. The truth is that some are less safe than others – particularly those that use toxic materials or that could exposure you to hazardous pollutants. Keep reading to see some of our favorite [truly] natural home care products and get ready to tackle your annual spring cleaning – the safe and healthy way. 

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The Best Soaps

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Dr. Bronner’s
Who doesn’t love a humble beginning?  Dr. Bronner’s soap was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soap maker of German-Jewish decent. Its history goes back even further to the very first soap factory in Germany, as well as the first liquid castile soap ever made.  What stands out about Dr. Bonner’s soap is that it’s labeled as “Pure-Castile” rather than ”Liquid Soap”. This means that the product is vegetable oil-basedecological and simple – not a complex blend of detergents with higher ecological impact and slower biodegradability.
 

Why we love it: Dr. Bronner’s is a certified B corporation — a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.  Dr. Bronner’s has also become the largest personal care company certified under the USDA’s National Organic ProgramAfter over 50 years in operation, the company continues to honor its founder’s vision by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating its profits to help improve society. 

Mrs. Meyer’s
Mrs. Meyer’s offers a series of hand and dish soaps that were created in honor of Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine.  Unlike other household products that use toxic fragrances to make them smell better, these soaps are made from plant-derived products and essential oils to capture the scent and beauty of a Midwestern backyard garden. Learn more about their ingredients here.
 

Why we love it: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day soaps have garnered a great reputation for their ability to cut through dirt and grime without using harsh, toxic chemicals. Thanks to the plant-based ingredients that they use, you still get the benefit of fresh scents that are more reminiscent of Grandma’s house than disinfectants. 

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The Best Laundry Detergents

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Tru Earth
Tired of lugging around heavy bottles of detergent?  Tru Earth Eco-Strips are a simpler, cleaner, and more convenient solution for cleaning laundryThese strips are notably hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and free of parabens, phosphates, dyes, as well as chlorine bleach. 

Why we love it: Tru Earth Laundry Strips are likely to be one of – if not the most – eco-friendly alternative to commercial laundry detergentBecause their packaging only consists of compostable cardboard, they reduce transportation pollution by up to 94%. They can also help prevent over 700 million plastic jugs from getting dumped in landfills. 

MyGreenFills  
Unlike store-bought laundry products, MyGreenFills does not use artificial fragrances, chemical surfactants, petroleum-based carriers, optical brighteners, or dyes.  They do, however, offer 100% hypoallergenic unscented options for those that have a sensitivity to certain essential oils. As part of their mission, MyGreenFills has made the conscious decision to use eco-friendly packaging to help pass on more savings to customers. An added benefit is that their products have prevented over 2,000,000 laundry jugs from winding up in the ocean. 

Why we love it: Convenience and efficiency This non-toxic laundry system allows you to save time, money and space in your laundry closet. Plus, they offer a membership program in which you can choose the ideal bundle size, scent, and shipment frequency to meet your every laundry need!

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The Best Multipurpose Cleaners

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Branch Basics 
If you’re looking to simplify your cleaning efforts, Branch Basics offers a multipurpose concentrate that makes cleaning simple, affordable and sustainable.  So, rather than having to stock up on several different types of cleaning products (with harsh chemicals included), simply dilute the concentrate with water and use it throughout your cleaning marathon. 

Here’s a quick list of some of the things that you can use the Branch Basics concentrate on: 

  • Laundry 
  • hand and body wash 
  • Kitchen 
  • Dishes 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Floors 
  • Produce 
  • and more! 

Why we love it: The Branch Basics concentrate is plant and mineral based, biodegradable, and free of harmful preservatives, making it not only a safe product to use but also a sustainable one.  The other upside to using just one concentrate is that this can be extremely cost-effective for your wallet over time. 

Force of Nature
Have you ever heard of electrolyzed waterThis simple yet powerful substance is comprised of two key ingredients: 

  • Hypochlorous acid – a disinfectant that’s as effective as bleach (and apparently, it’s the same substance your white blood cells produce to fight infection — who knew!) 
  • Sodium hydroxide – a detergent & grease-cutter without suds 

Technically, Force of Nature is a patent-pending appliance, and it creates electrolyzed water from water, salt and vinegar. The result is an all-natural, all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner and disinfectant that works just as well as commercial cleaners but is safer to use. 

Why we love it: Well, for one, it’s like a fun experiment that everyone in the family can enjoy – even kids! Force of Nature is also EPA registered and often used in hospitals, ICUs, schools, daycares and more. So, there is resounding proof that this product is safe for use. 

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The Best Air Freshener

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Grow Fragrance
When it comes to traditional air fresheners, health experts are primarily concerned with their wide-spread use of phthalates. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has heeded warning that phthalates can negatively impact testosterone levels in men and reproductive abnormalities in women. They can also cause allergic symptoms and asthma — even in trace amounts. After observing the limited choices of healthy air fresheners on the market, Grow Fragrance created their own — one that is 100% plant based, toxin-free, and that smells amazing. 

Why we love it: Grow Fragrance is a certified B corporation, and the company has committed to donating 1% of all sales to 1% for the Planet to help protect land, forests, rivers, oceans, and to encourage sustainable production methods. 

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The Best Protectant Against Mold

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Homebiotic
Did you know that the average American household has more than 2,000 different species of fungus and 7,000 species of bacteria? The good news: not all bacteria is bad for you; the bad news: some bacteria can lead to the growth of mold and mildew in your home.  

The key is to create a healthy balance of bacteria in your home – that’s where Homebiotic spray comes in! Homebiotic is a probiotic for your home that restores healthy bacteria and helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It also helps eliminate the cause of musty odors, aka that gross “basement smell” (did you remember to move the towels to the dryer?!). 

Why we love it: Homebiotic is clear as water and has no detectable smell or added scents. The company has also recently launched a Home Biome Test Kit, which involves a thorough (and super analytical) process that reveals the “biome” of your home and learn how to optimize it for your family’s health.

Save 15% off your order when you use coupon code “daveasprey”.

Disclosure: We may on occasion include affiliate links on our website. Please note that if you make a purchase using any of these affiliate linksthe Dave Asprey Box may earn a commission. With that said, we have intentionally chosen to promote specific companies and their products because we wholeheartedly believe in their quality and mission. 

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Laundry Detergent & Toxicity: What You Need to Know

Guest Post by: Tru Earth 

We spend a lot of time washing and drying our clothes – as much as 6,000+ minutes and 406 loads per yearAnd if you’ve visited grocery store recently, you’ve probably noticed an entire aisle filled from top to bottom with laundry detergentwhich has become a staple for cleaning and freshening clothes in nearly every household (in America). But be weary of the toxicity found in many leading brands of laundry detergent. They often contain chemicals that have been linked to various health issues, ranging from skin and throat irritation to carcinogenicity, anthat can negatively impact the environment. 

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ChemicalsWhich Ones You Need to Know About

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First: fragrances. Products with added scents and fragrances give pleasure to billions of people around the world every single day – from a fresh-smelling shampoo to a scented candle and freshly-laundered sheetsThey are also great for making products seem more effective and healthier to consume. Here’s what manufacturers don’t want you to know: smelling good can come at a cost for your health. 

Key Facts: 

  1. Fragrances have been classified as allergens, hormone disruptors, and neurotoxins. They commonly contain phthalates, which are chemicals that help scents last longer but have been linked to cancerreproductive harm, and respiratory toxicity.
  2. Fragrance chemicals, like other toxic chemicals, can pass from the skin and into the bloodstream.
  3. So called “natural fragrances” can be just as toxic as synthetic fragrances.
  4. Fragrances do not make products healthier or more effective; this is a perception encouraged by companies that sell cleaning products, deodorants, shampooscandles, and/or laundry detergents.
  5. According to The Guardian, “About 4,000 chemicals are currently used to scent products, but you won’t find any of them listed on a label. Fragrance formulations are considered a ‘trade secret’ and therefore protected from disclosure – even to regulators or manufacturers. Instead, one word, fragrance, appears on ingredients lists for countless cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. A single scent may contain anywhere from 50 to 300 distinct chemicals.” What’s more, the ingredients found in personal care and cleaning products can change as manufacturers reformulate for effectiveness or cost savings. 

The bottom line: it doesn’t matter if a bottle has “free” or “clear” written in big letters to draw you in; “free of dyes and perfumes” on the label doesn’t mean “free of carcinogens.” Consumers are often left in the dark about what’s really inside of the products they are using and putting on their skin every single day.

Though many hidden chemicals are labeled as “fragrance” or “perfume”/”parfum”, there are at least a handful of ingredients that have received public safety warnings: 

  • 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant that may be found in trace amounts of cosmetics or household cleaners. It forms as a byproduct during the manufacturing process of certain ingredients (detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and solvents) and has been identified as a “potential human carcinogen”. The FDA has been monitoring the includion of 1,4-dioxane in personal care and household products. The levels have notably dropped over the past several decades; still, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that, “People are exposed to [trace amounts of] 1,4-dioxane every day because of its widespread use in medicines, shampoo, cosmetics, detergents, and household items.” 
     
  • Alcohol Ethoxylate (AE) and Alcohol Ethoxy Sulfate (AES) are often used in hand dishwashing liquids, laundry detergents, shampoos and other specialty industrial applications. They essentially help mix water and grease to lift and remove stains from your clothing. However, research shows that these chemicals are toxic to aquatic organisms and rats, and may cause skin or eye irritations in humans.
     
  • Ethanol is a natural byproduct of plant fermentation often used as a preservative in personal care products or as a solvent in detergents. (But you probably know it best as the principle ingredient in alcoholic beverages like beer, wine or brandy.) While this chemical has many purposes and potential benefits, it can be hazardous if not used correctly. For example, direct contact can irritate the skin and eyes, cause headaches, nausea, or difficulty concentrating. Studies also indicate that ethanol may make your skin more absorbent. In other words, if you’re using a detergent that – no pun intended – a laundry list of hidden chemicals, including ethanol, those chemicals are more likely to enter your body through your skin.
     
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to hormonal and reproductive effects, as well as cancer. Commonly used in household products, cleansers, cosmetics, and insecticides, the abundance of these chemicals has led to a global environmental and human contamination. In fact, they have been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine. They are also highly toxic to aquatic life and are associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a Significant New Use Rule, also known as a SNUR, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for (15) NPs/NPEs in the effort to protect human health and the environment.
     
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) is a polymer that allows water to penetrate clothes more deeply and prevents dirt from re-depositing on clothes. The major concern with this solvent is that it may produce byproducts that are contaminated with ethylene oxide and/or 1,4-dioxane, which are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” according to the EPASome studies show that PEG can also irritate the skin or have species-specific effects.
     
  • Sodium Percarbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash, is a moderately strong oxidizer and a major component of laundry and dishwashing detergents. It’s typically used as a bleaching agent – so it gets your whites white. But what else is it doing to you? Note that sodium percarbonate is classified as a poisonous agent.  If swallowed, a person may experience symptoms including (but not limited to):  
      • Breathing problems due to throat swelling 
      • Diarrhea 
      • Drooling 
      • Eye irritation, redness, and pain 
      • Hoarseness 
      • Low blood pressure (may develop rapidly) 
      • Severe pain in the mouth, throat, chest, or abdominal area 
      • Shock 
      • Difficulty swallowing 
      • Vomiting 

           Even if it’s not ingested (Pod challenge, anyone?), skin or eye contact with sodium percarbonate can still cause: skin or eye irritation, drainage, pain, or vision loss.

Look, it’s fair to say that some chemicals truly work wonders when it comes to washing and drying clothes. But these ingredients can have serious consequences on the environment  which directly impacts the health of more than 7 billion people and over 11 million species of animals, plants, insects and bacteria: 

  • Amine Oxides are commonly used in detergents and household cleaners (with bleach)and like most cationic chemicals, they are highly aquatically toxic. There have been concerns regarding the formation of nitrosamines during the manufacture of amine oxide because nitrosamines are toxic compounds as well as potent animal and human carcinogens. The U.S. EPA has classified some of these compounds as priority pollutants in industrial wastewaters, potable waters, and hazardous wastes (Science Direct).
  • Alcohol Ethoxylates (AE) are high production volume (HPV) chemicals used widely as ‘down-the-drain’ chemicals in detergent and personal care products. Basically, when your washing machine empties into the drain system, it goes through municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and then into receiving surface waters like lakes and streamsThe good news is that 95-99% of AE is biodegraded by WWTP; the bad news is that there are still residuals that make it through the water treatment facilities and pose a level of toxicity to plants, animals and aquatic life
     
  • Ammonium Sulfate is often used in cleaning products because of its ability to disrupt hydrogen bonding in water and separate different contaminants. Note that this additive is so toxic (category 3 oral, skin, and respiratory toxin) that its manufacturers recommend not using it indoors! Additionally, the requirements for use of ammonium sulfate include never allowing the chemical or its empty containers to reach drains or waterways.
     
  • Phosphates are a little more complicated. Your body needs these essential minerals to help your kidneys, bones, and muscles function properly. But like with any essential nutrient, it’s all about balance. People have become overexposed to what’s called “synthetic phosphates”, which can easily bond with other substances such as salt, calcium, oil and vitamins. These additives are not only found in our food, they are also in these synthetic forms: 
      • Orthophosphates: detergents 
      • Pyrophosphates: water treatment, metal cleaning 
      • Tripolyphosphates: meat processing, dish detergent 
      • Polyphosphates: kaolin (a type of clay) production 

Like our bodies, the environment doesn’t respond well to an oversaturation of (synthetic and natural) phosphates. Unfortunately, many sources of phosphates, including laundry detergent, often drain into lakes and accelerate eutrophication, the process in which aquatic environments become overloaded with nutrients, leading to the development excess algae that ultimately kills wildlife and emits carbon dioxide.

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Plastic Waste and High Carbon Footprint are Big Concerns Too

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Laundry detergent alone accounted for over $1 Billion in sales in 2018 in the U.S., but only 29.1% of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles and jars are recycled annuallyThat means a staggering number of laundry jugs are sitting in landfills, where they’ll stay forever because PET plastic bottles do not degrade. 

It’s also worth noting that non-concentrated liquid laundry detergent is 60-90% water. So, in addition to all the plastic jugs filling up landfills, a LOT of energy goes into the manufacturing, filling, transporting, storing and selling of heavy detergent bottles (that are primarily composed of water). 

Simply put: purchasing standard grocery-store laundry detergent can have many implications on human health and the environment. 

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How You Can Help

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To reduce the environmental impact of doing laundry, and proactively preserve your family’s health, follow these eco-friendly laundry tips: 

  1. Switch to natural detergents and stain removers. Natural products are typically plant-based, biodegradable surfactants that do NOT contain fragrances, dyes, optical brighteners, or chlorine bleachIt can be hard to spot the bad actors, just bdiligent about reading the fine print on packaging when shopping!
  2. Consider making your own laundry productsThe only real way to know what’s going into your laundry is to create your own formulas. The good news is that your pantry is probably stocked with a lot of ingredients that are naturally safe for the environment – such as vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. (You can also use essential oils to add that fresh scent you love!)
  3. Rethink dryer sheets and fabric softeners. For the most part, these are made with the same chemicals as popular detergents and can be harmful for both human health and the environment. Instead, opt for eco-friendly dryer sheets or dryer balls. Specifically, consider using wool dryer balls because they effectively separate clothes, allowing hot air to circulate more evenly and efficiently, which then reduces drying time by 10-25%.
  4. Keep it cool. Almost 90% of a wash machine’s energy consumption is used just to heat the water. The solution: Turn that dial to cold.
  5. Wash full loads. If you run your washing machine or dryer with only half a load of clothes or dishes, you’re not maximizing efficiency. (Same thing goes for when you clean dishes in your dishwasher!) According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical household can save 3,400 gallons of water a year by running full laundry loads instead of half loads. This is not only eco-friendly but will also help you save BIG on your utility bills.
  6. Use energy-efficient machines. If you’re in the market for a new washer and/or dryer, consider getting a more efficient model to help save water and energy.
  7. Hang clothes to dry. The bottom line is that keeping your clothes out of a dryer extends their life, reduces energy use, and cuts costs. Line drying – whether indoors or outdoors – is something that you can do year-round. 

No matter whether doing laundry feels like a chore, or it brings you a sense of happiness, it’s important that you understand what your body is being exposed to, and how your actions can directly impact the environment. Be sure to read the labels of everything you buy carefully and understand what the ingredients are so that you can make informed decisions for you and your family, as well as the planet. 

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How to Reduce Oxidative Stress and Master Homeostasis

Written by: Comosystems 

Over the past couple of decades, digital devices have become integral parts of daily life. However, research suggests that the electromagnetic fields (EMF) that these devices emit can damage cellular components such as proteins, lipids and DNA, and cause oxidative stress in tissues throughout the human body. Exposure to EMFs take your body out of homeostasis; lifetime exposure can cause a biological imbalance that may lead to disease or even death over time.

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Why It’s Important for Your Body to Maintain Homeostasis 

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The word “homeostasis” derives from Greek roots, with “homeo” meaning “similar,” and stasis, meaning “a state of stability.” It refers to an organism’s process of maintaining a stable internal environment that is necessary for survival. This includes maintaining a steady body temperature as well as other vital conditions such as the water, salt, sugar, protein, fat, calcium and oxygen contents within the blood (Scientific American). 

In healthy organisms, the body works to maintain a state of equilibrium among its various internal parts by carrying out homeostatic processes constantly. This requires multiple systems within the body to work together, all the time. Though organs throughout the body involved, the endocrine system and the nervous system are both especially important in sustaining and regulating homeostasis. If any of the body’s systems fail, and/or the state of balance gets seriously disrupted, an organism may become more vulnerable to inflammation, disease, or death. 

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What are Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress?

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Free radicals are unstable atoms, such as oxygen reactive species (ROS), that can damage cells. It’s worth noting that free radicals aren’t all bad; they can have both positive and negative impacts on human health. The body’s immune system uses free radicals to fight pathogens. These atoms are also involved in many cellular signaling pathways. For example, nitric oxide (NO) helps regulate blood flow modulation and neural activity. 

The detriment really begins when there is an excess of free radicals that leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when cells (and antioxidants) can’t clear them out effectively. This imbalance is the precursor to oxidative damage — a crucial factor in the development of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseasediabetes, and autoimmune diseases. 

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How EMF Radiation Causes Oxidative Stress and Affects Homeostasis

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More than 3 billion people across the world are exposed to EMF every day (NCBI)When you are exposed to the artificial EMF from your current environment, electric fields generated by the communication devices exert an oscillatory force on every free ion on both sides of the plasma membrane and cause them to cross it.

This movement of ions causes: 

  • deterioration of the ion channels in the membrane,
  • biochemical changes in the membrane,
  • and, consequently, the impairment of all cellular functions.

You might be thinking, “but we have anti-oxidative damage mechanisms to compensate this inflammation”.  Yes, we do have these mechanisms, such as glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD), in order to alleviate the damage caused by ROS and their by-products. The bad news is that the defense mechanisms could be impaired by being subjected to an agent (such as EMF, but also other sources) that causes an overproduction of ROS, thus resulting in oxidative stress. In fact, studies have shown that EMF non-ionizing radiation alters the transcription and translation of genes such as JUN, HSP 70 and MYC, via the epidermal growth factor receptor EGFR-ras, leading to the generation of ROS and resulting in the overproduction of ROS in tissues. 

The ROS can then induce: 

  • chronic inflammation by the induction of COX 2,
  • inflammatory cytokines (TNF?, interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6),
  • chemokines (IL-8, CXCR4),
  • and pro-inflammatory transcription factors (NF-?B).

Exposure to EMFs enhances inflammatory responses, which inhibits the effects of the body’s antioxidants. This is what leads to oxidation stress and disrupts homeostasis, subsequently making you more vulnerable to discomfort, pain, and disease.

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How to Live in Harmony with EMFs and Maintain Homeostasis 

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Let’s be honest, EMFs aren’t going anywhere. If anything, the signals from our devices and networks are likely to grow stronger as we become an increasingly connected and “always-on” society (see more info on 5G and EMFs). So how do we maintain our daily structure and our health?  

Here are a couple of simple lifestyle changes that you can make without completely uprooting your routine: 

Keep Devices Away from the Body
Rather than putting your phone directly against your ear, opt for using speaker phone on your mobile device. It’s also preferable to keep your phone in a backpack or purchase rather than in your pocket (directly against your body).  

Hardwire Your Internet Connection Instead of Using Wi-Fi
This not only reduces your exposure to EMFS, it can also give you more a more reliable connection too. 

Move Your Wi-Fi Router to Another Area
As long as you can get the signal from the routerconsider moving it to the garage or porch to reduce EMF exposure 

Do Not Adopt 5G
It’s as simple as it sounds, for now. Opt to keep your devices on 4G and/or don’t purchase devices that utilize the 5G network. 

Use Airplane Mode When You Can
If you’re a frequent traveler, then you’re already used to practicing this. As long as you don’t need to be connected to the internet, you can still use your device while on airplane mode. 

Protect Your Bedroom
Sleep is crucial for ridding the brain and body of toxins. Since this is the time when your body needs to recover and repair itself, it’s even more important to keep your devices off and away from your body. 

Use CMO Technology
Comosystems uses what is called Compensating Magnetic Oscillator (CMO) technology that stems from a 15-year research program that studied the effects of electromagnetic environments on things such as the properties of water, coherent domains, stochastic resonance, and ion homeostasis.  

CMO technology essentially works to regulate the ion channels in your cells in order to help you maintain homeostasis. It also increases the signal of its own resonance in response to stronger intensities and frequencies. This helps to optimize your physical and psycho-psychological levels of performance, and to protect you from harmful EMF environments as we become increasingly reliant on electrical appliances and network connections. 

To learn more about CMO technology and how to protect yourself from EMFs (at home or on-the-go), click here.

You can also save 10% off your order when you use coupon code “COMOPROMO” at checkout.

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Finding Your Zen In a Highly Stimulated World

WooosaaahBetween work, family, relationships, and health, life can feel pretty stressful and complicated at times. That’s why it’s incredibly important to find safe and sustainable methods of aiding stress, exhaustion, and/or aches. 

Research shows that meditation — the practice of staying present and mindful, even if only for a few minutes each day – can have neurological benefits for the brain and human health, such as inducing a sense of calm. More specifically, meditation reduces activity in the brain’s “Me Center” — the place responsible for mind-wandering. This thought-to-thought behavior is often associated with feeling less happy and worrying about the past or future. Dialing down the rumination that is happening in the brain can help an individual overcome things like fear and worry. 

Studies have also found that meditation causes an increase in cortical thickness throughout key areas of the brain, which positively affects learning and memory, and helps regulate emotionsIt can also cause a decrease of the brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress.  When we meditate, we have more control over our emotions and have a better grip on our decision-making. This allows us to experience a greater sense of calm, clarity, and focus in our lives.

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Introducing: Float Therapy

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Float therapyalso known as sensation deprivation” or “floating”, is one form of meditation that has seen exponential growth within the last few years and is one of the fastest growing niche industries in the country. It has also proven to be an effective tool for minimizing pain, reducing symptoms of anxietydepression and insomnialowering blood pressure, and more. This is made possible by reducing how much sensory input the brain and nervous system receive. You can think of float therapy like a timeout from the world’s stressors; a form of relaxation that offers rest, focus, recovery, reprieve, and exploration.

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How It Works

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A sensory deprivation tank is a dark, soundproof tank that is filled with a foot or less of warm saltwater. This is what helps you float calmlwithout needing to tread water. Float therapy tanks are designed to cut off all sensory inputs, including sight, smell, sound, and touch. That means: 

  • No lights 
  • No sounds (i.e. music) 
  • No notifications from your phone 
  • No guided meditations 

Floating sessions typically last between 60-90 minutes. This time is used for: 

  • Meditation, thought processing 
  • Relaxation
  • Athletic and muscle recovery 
  • Pain relief 
  • PTSD therapy 

At the very minimum, it’s an escape from the over-stimulating world that we live in… No sound means no constant alerts and messages. No brightly lit screens. No sense of gravity means relaxation for the postural muscles.  

Floating is a personal experience and you should treat it as your own journey. During your first few floats, you might find yourself losing track of time and falling asleep – total relaxation and the comfort it comes with will do that. It is recommended that you have a meditation plan, or a work or life topic that you’d like to focus on when you enter the tankJournaling afterward is although a welcomed exercise to help capture your thoughts and realizations. 

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Revolutionizing How People Experience the Benefits of Floating from Their Homes 

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It’s worth noting that a single float therapy isn’t cheap, a single session can cost $60 or more. If you floated just once per week, that’s over three-thousand dollars per year that you’d have to budget for float spa visits. If you’ve never actually tried floating before, then we do recommend budgeting for at least 3 sessions to really get a sense of what works for you, and how you feel afterwards. If you want to continue floating thereafter, then we highly recommend considering an at-home float therapy solution that you can keep for decades to come.

 Zen Float Co. (Zen for short) is one of the leading at-home float therapy providers. Compared to other at-home solutions, they offer affordability and comfort that goes unmatched. While most float tanks are in the $10K-30K mark, Zen’s latest and greatest float tank only costs $5K and comes with a handful of features that make it more efficient than standard tanks, such as: 

  • A fully inflatable and portable design made from drop-stitch technology (similar to inflatable stand up paddle boards and kayak) 
  • Greater insulation due to all the layering, making it 40% more efficient (which saves you money on monthly costs) 
  • 2 radiant heating pads, a digital temperature controller, and a high-powered UV filtration system to keep your water heated and cleaned and all times 

Zen can also ship their tanks worldwide wide – a huge plus, especially because float therapy is already very popular outside of the United States. 

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When to Float

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Like any journey, the timing is up to you. Some people prefer to float after a long, stressful day at work to help them relax and process. Others prefer to float in the morning so they can strategize their day and the challenges they want to take on. Athletes may opt to float right before a big game or event to visualize their performance, some float after to use the muscle relaxation for recovery, and some do both. The holiday season is also a great time to float because this is when many people tend to be juggling different stressors – finances, family, holidays themselves, etc. Sensory deprivation can be especially helpful during this time regarding stress management, mood, and being present. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for the New Year to start a healthy habit; you can finish your year off strong and get one step ahead of everyone who waited!

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Responsive Kinetics: Not Just For Elite Athletes

By Matt McFall, Founder of FasTwitch Kinetics

I’m excited to introduce responsive kinetics training modality and its efficacy to all of you. We are all on a quest in life and for each the depth of that quest will change, morph as we discover ways to enhance our lives and have a positive effect on our wellbeing and longevity. Sometimes the impact is such that we find we cannot just keep it to ourselves! That’s what Responsive Kinetics is for me and others, but it’s still not well known by the general public. My “why” for bringing this to this forum is simply this, “Increasing the quality of life through increasing mobility”. This is a fundamental component of quality of life. People must be able to move to have access to everything from regular daily activity to high level athletic pursuits. At any level in that spectrum we engage in a variety of physical activities. Exercise or training are activities that give us access to many other activities. Often, this may be seen as applying primarily to athletics, but it is applicable to every level of life. Responsive kinetics training is a performance enhancer that works wonders at every level of the activity/exercise/training range. It is particularly suited for some populations who are missing out or underserved by traditional modes, including but not limited to:

  • The aging population who experience diminishing muscle and bone mass
  • Those with chronic injuries aka wear and tear
  • Those who are on the rehabilitation track from catastrophic injury
  • Those with progressive nerve and muscle disease

There is of course those of every age who are interested in reaching a higher level of fitness and increasing abilities in their recreational pursuits. We are naturally designed to move. It is important and necessary to address movement outside of what is required for our functioning. There is no shortage of evidence as to the effect of forfeiting our options to move. It is difficult and sometimes impossible to return and restore once that capacity is lost.

Introducing you to responsive kinetics will have in mind all of this spectrum of activity and its pursuits and the populations alluded to above. I will endeavor to stay away from technical jargon and the science that defines the topic, but it is impossible to leave it out completely. With that said a bit of groundwork must be laid to paint the picture as clearly as possible.

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All training, whether physical or mental, revolves around one universal principle known as the SAID principle.

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Spelled out as the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand, it points the way to mapping out a training regime to achieve a certain goal. Everyone who has worked with a trainer knows the starting point is to evaluate your:

  • perspective
  • readiness to engage
  • what level (of mobility) currently defines you
  • what your expectations are

It is well documented how any given method of training, be it flexibility, aerobic, anaerobic, resistance and the myriad of “blended” versions will affect the physical body over time.  Changing up the parameters of your training can help you continue to make “gains”.  There are of course limits when it comes to the mode of training and pushing your body, but with consistency you will reach and set new goals over time. This is when it’s important to narrow your focus on modes of resistance training, but it must be pointed out that there is resistance involved in all physical training. This is a systemic resistance that relates to the elasticity of the mechanism as well as to the sensory information that affects system management.

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Resistance training has certain limitations that are due to the parameters of training environment. 

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An important aspect of this is seen in free weights and, to a lesser extent, in weight machines.  That is that the weight must be controlled back to its resting position.  In the case of free weights, the performer is carrying the full burden of that safe return as well as their safe completion of the movement. If something is amiss, that is, there is some functional miscue via an injury or some weakness that causes form to be compromised, or a distraction that causes a lapse in focus there is opportunity for injury. If we are talking about someone between the ages of 50 – 70 years old, and/or who are experiencing declines in muscle mass and activation, then the occurrence and significance of this type of training set back is a much larger issue. Conditions that promote possible injury are not age-specific though, and some people do not engage in important resistance training as a result. Of course machines help mitigate this problem somewhat but do not completely remove the possibility of injuries taking place.  Likewise, this can hold true for injured athletes, and for individuals with varying degrees of neuromuscular challenges.

Contrasted with these forms of training we consider the training environment of responsive kinetics. In this category there are very few options so far which is something we certainly look to change. There is equipment that is referred to as isokinetic, there are kinetic accelerometers as well. The type of machine discussed here is known properly as a multi-joint iso kinetic dynamometer. These are machines which read performer input force and respond with an output force that remains constant with the preset controls throughout the full range of motion. To paint the picture further, imagine performing a squat where the resistance remains the same through the full movement in both directions. This means the performer is doing work through full range of motion whereas other forms of resistance training the highest percentage of work is only being done through the sticking point. This difference cannot be overstated.

The next parameter of this training environment is that the system is balanced. For the performer this means they are never responsible for management of the “load”. If they stop anywhere in the movement the system neutralizes. The risk of injury is negated. The only weight is their own body weight.

These unique parameters of training environment allow the performer to go significantly farther and achieve entirely different outcomes in a considerably shorter time frame. The unique training conditions allow the performer to move through the multi-joint movements at full effort through the entire range of motion in both directions. Read this again. This is why it is completely different and produces completely different outcomes or performance level. As a researcher at the College at Brockport under the direction of Dr. Christopher Williams, we utilized one of these machines to train and collect data on Rate of Force Development. Over the course of three years that part of the study of responsive kinetics involved several hundred participants. The only common denominator was no one had ever trained on this equipment. Data collection evaluated were from numerous pre and post tests done around a conservative training program of 8 sessions over 4 weeks. These tests included vertical jump, long jump T-test agility test and several balance tests performed on force plates, and Biodex balance platform. Electromyography was also part of pre and post test collection and done on the responsive kinetic machine.

So, what does happen when you train on this equipment? It is no exaggeration to say that you are igniting untapped resources of explosive power! Explosive power means the high use of the muscle fiber type referred to as fast twitch muscles. You may think that fast twitch muscles or “explosive power” are reserved primarily for athletes, but everyone is using them every day. Any movement you make that is deemed automatic is using this musculature. Movement that requires reflex or balance is accessing this musculature and nervous system pathways. It is easy to understand when speaking of athletes, but how many times have you put a foot wrong and had a “recovery” to remain stable? Often, we don’t recognize the availability of resources until they diminish. Training on responsive kinetic equipment places a demand on the neuromuscular chain (central nervous system, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, skeletal muscles) it has not “seen” before. The response in the central nervous system is to map a solution to keep up with this new demand. That response is to fire fast twitch muscle first and to recruit transitive muscle fiber to respond more like fast witch muscle.  Other adaptations in the chain include changes in myelination, changes to proprioceptive apparatus (sensors in joints and muscle fiber that tell the body where it is) and changes to synaptic gaps and pathways.

What you notice depends on what you do for activities. If you are tracking any measurements of your activities, you will know somethings up quickly. Recall from the earlier peek into the study I had the privilege to work on we normally got feedback by the fourth session about something they sensed in their activities. An example of gains seen in the  study, vertical jump increases of 2 to 6 inches were recorded frequently.

There have been many sports stars who have used this equipment which has resulted in great achievements. Michael Jordan, Shaq, Lenny Kryzelburg, Holly McPeak, Jeff Henderson, Tori Bowie, and many others. Tim Grover uses one of these machines as a secret weapon in producing explosive power in short time frames because it is so effective. This is important at the elite level of sports since time equals significant amounts of money. Everyone wants results though and they would like to see results reasonably quickly. Since data is captured for every rep of every set on these machines, (se Fig 2) the practitioner can tailor the progression of work very effectively. Our experience in training athletes and in research has shown that results, that is physiological adaptations begin to be felt by the performer in 3 or 4 sessions. When we set up training blocks, we generally use a 10-session format with two sessions per week. Since there is very little eccentric loading there is very little muscle soreness. Generally, after 2 sessions there is none. In some cases, we have trained athletes in a more compact time span training every other day for a few weeks.  As stated earlier the populations where this is extremely valuable tool is much more far reaching than simply athletic pursuits. I believe that the aging population and those with neuro muscular challenges are the most needing of this technology. Hence our desire to scale our efforts. Significant changes occur in lives where real results in a reasonable time frame make a very big difference in quality of life through increased mobility. This affects the mindset as well and they work together to perpetuate a strengthening of the whole person.

For more information visit fastwitchkinetics.com or write us with your inquiry at ftkinetic@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

– Matt Mcfall, Founder of FasTwitch Kinetics

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References

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Pette, D., & Staron, R. S. (1997). Mammalian Skeletal Muscle Fiber Type Transitions. International Review of Cytology, 170, 143-223. doi:10.1016/s0074-7696(08)61622-8

Enoka, R. (2015). Neuromechanics of human movement. 5th ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics, pp.P255 – 267 Neural Control of movement; P205 – 251 Muscle and Motor Units.

Murray, D., Brown, L., Zinder, S., Noffal, G., Bera, S. and Garrett, N. (2007) Effects of Velocity-Specific Training on Rate of Velocity Development, Peak Torque, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(3), pp.870-874

 Kawamori, N. and Haff, G. (2004). The Optimal Training Load for the Development of Muscular Power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(3), pp.675-684.

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The Most Important Takeaways From #mbgrevitalize 2019

This past weekend, mindbodygreen held its 6th annual #mbgrevitalize event, and we were there to capture the magic!  This year’s theme was Longevity, Consciousness, and Community – in which hundreds of wellness leaders gathered in Dove Mountain, Arizona, to discuss what it really means to be conscious, to form meaningful connections, and to inspire lasting change in our communities.

Some of this weekend’s conversations were admittedly tough, but undeniably enlightening. And it’s doing the difficult work that helps us be and create the change we wish to see in the world.  Continue reading to learn some of the biggest takeaways from this year’s #mgbrevitalize.

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For the first time since World War I, life expectancy in the United States has declined for 3 years in a row.

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On average, life expectancy across the globe has been steadily increasing over the past several decades; however, reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that life expectancy in the United States has actually dropped for three consecutive years. This has largely been in part because of the country’s ongoing drug crisis and climbing suicide rates. This is notably the first time that researchers have seen this disturbing result in the U.S. since the 1915-1918 timeframe, during which World War I and a flu pandemic took place.

Here are the CDC’s most recent reports highlighting life expectancy and mortality rates in America:

Mortality in the United States, 2017

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017

Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017

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People feel lonely because of social constructs and conditioning.

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Loneliness is a universal yet relatively complex human emotion. It is typically associated with anxious feelings due to lack of connection or communication with others, and it has been shown to lead to poorer physical and mental health over time (NCBI).

So, what causes us to feel lonely?

The first time that most people experience loneliness is when their parents leave them alone as infants.  As they age, they may experience temporary loneliness in different contexts, such as going through a divorce, losing someone important in their life, or being outcasted from a social circle. The cause and severity of loneliness really varies from one person to another, as there could be social, mental, emotional, and/or physical factors at play.

Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, argues that people feel lonely because of social constructionism – the theory that much of what we perceive as reality depends on shared assumptions (ThoughtCo).  Examples of social constructs include things like the concept of currency, which people have collectively given importance and value, as well as the self/self-identity (gender, age, sexual orientation, race, social class), which can affect one’s self-esteem.

Chopra insists that reality doesn’t exist; we are all having an individual human-specific experience. For us humans, subjective experiences occur in the form of sensations, images, feelings and thoughts (Deepak Chopra). While we were sitting in the audience listening to Chopra share his wisdom on the mainstage at #mbgrevitalize, we could feel his calm demeanor and see his gentle smile as he spoke. Unlike us humans, Painted Lady Butterflies have 30,000 lenses in each eye; if one of these butterflies were looking at Chopra on stage, they would see a kaleidoscope of moving shapes but would not have the same emotional connection or experience that the people in the audience had. If you put this into the context of a romantic relationship, subjective experiences often contribute to why couples may see a situation or event in their relationship differently.

The mind is an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow and energy of relationships.

Mental Illness is defined as thinking locally and acting as a separate self.

Chopra says that when we are babies, we are filled with curiosity and wonder. But as we age, and we become conditioned by social constructs, we begin to build a separate self—one that can fill us with anxiety, pressure and fear. But this separate self is not who you truly are.

This is the foundation for a science of consciousness, as consciousness is total freedom from conditioning and constructs. By having more awareness of your loneliness when it comes, you can acknowledge it and let it go.

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Mind-altering substances may have a place in the wellness space, but it’s still out for debate.

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Hallucinogens (drugs that profoundly distort a person’s perceptions of reality) have been studied in the U.S. for their potential healing benefits since the discovery of LSD in the 1940s. However, research has mostly stagnated since psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s. (APA)  Given the current state of drug use in America, there is a lot of controversy over whether or not mind-altering substances can actually be harnessed for good.

According to Cristina L. Magalhaes, PhD, and co-chair of a symposium on psychedelics and psychotherapy, “Combined with psychotherapy, some psychedelic drugs like MDMA, psilocybin and ayahuasca may improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. More research and discussion are needed to understand the possible benefits of these drugs, and psychologists can help navigate the clinical, ethical and cultural issues related to their use.”

The “Mind-Altering Substances and Wellness” session at this year’s #mbgreviatlize discussed what role psychedelic drugs should play in wellness. The panel included Holistic Psychiatrist, Ellen Vora, M.D., Physician, Molly Aloof, M.D., Whole30 Co-Founder and CEO, Melissa Hartwig Urban, and Wellness Advocate, Rich Roll.  It’s worth nothing that both Urban and Roll have had their own downfalls at the hand of drugs and alcohol, which ultimately served as the catalysts for each of their health journeys. They have successfully used their experiences to find their purpose in life: to help others live healthier and sober.

From a psychological perspective, there are both potential pros and cons when it comes to the use of hallucinogens for healing. Some people may experience breakthroughs while using these drugs that allow them to get un-stuck, overcome depression, and/or come to powerful realizations.  On the flip side, all it takes is one bad trip (frightening hallucinations or delusions that can lead to accidents) to put a person in serious danger.  If someone is predisposed to mental health issues, they are more likely to experience bad trips.

Keeping the current drug-use problem in mind, many people are getting hallucinogenic drugs off of the street because of the ease of accessibility.  It’s nearly impossible to know the quality of these drugs and where they originally came from.  “These [hallucinogenic] drugs are essentially medicines, and they need to be approached with the same gravity as pharmaceuticals,” said Vora.  If you are thinking of experimenting with mind-altering substances like LSD, PCP, or ketamine, it is vital that you consult with a doctor.  Remember: this is your brain that we are talking about, and you only get one. So, you need to be mindful of the possible side effects of hallucinogens, and how they can affect your life after using them. These drugs are not meant to be taken in isolation; it’s recommended that you have someone you trust by your side so that they can monitor you and keep you safe while you’re using the drugs.

From an economic standpoint, there’s high interest in commercializing drugs – especially if they are considered illegal and in high demand. Fun fact: In today’s pharmaceutical market, it often takes more than a decade and an estimated $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market (Booz Allen). So, between now and the time that hallucinogens are officially launched to the public, more research needs to be done on how different types of halogens affect the brain, overall health, and decision making.  We also need a better understanding of how different dosages can impact people that have varying biomarkers (e.g. PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, etc).

The bottom line: there is so standard or single solution when it comes to using psychedelic drugs for healing. There is room for experimentation, but it needs to be done in controlled, safe settings so that researchers can continue to evaluate what dosages are appropriate for whom, and under what circumstances. Regulation that puts peoples’ health first, above simply making profit, will be of utmost importance. It will take conscious leadership of medical practitioners, as well as state and local governments to help make this happen.

[ultimate_heading]Research shows that there are 9 key factors that affect one’s ability to heal from cancer.[/ultimate_heading]

There have been thousands of documented cases of “incurable diseases”, in which people have fully recovered from their diagnosis and reclaimed their lives.  Most of these case studies have revolved around people that have stage 4 cancer, but there have also been documented cases of healing from heart failure, autoimmune diseases, and HIV.

Were these people just lucky? Or did they play some kind of active role in their own recovery?

Kelly A. Turner, PhD, studies people who have experienced what she calls “radical remissions.” She’s written a book about them, and is currently working on a docuseries. What Kelly discovered is that the people who have achieved radical remissions don’t just sit in misery or wait for a miracle to cure them. During their healing process, they proactively made nine distinct conscious changes in their lives – only two of which are considered physical while the remaining seven are classified as emotional changes.

Here are the 9 key factors that Turner has identified as aiding forces behind radical remissions:

  1. Radically changing your diet.
  2. Taking control of your health.
  3. Following your intuition.
  4. Using herbs and supplements.
  5. Releasing suppressed emotions.
  6. Increasing positive emotions.
  7. Embracing social support.
  8. Deepening your spiritual connection.
  9. Having strong reasons for living.

Though there are no promises that following these tips will absolutely cure cancers or other illnesses, there is very interesting research that indicates cancer treatments may have better outcomes if they take a more holistic approach rather than just relying on surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.

While recovery is important, prevention is also key to living a life of longevity.  Did you know: people on average go into a stressful state as much as 50 times a day?  This causes us to miss out on dopamine (an important brain chemical that influences your mood and feelings), and increases our cortisol levels. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol triggers the natural “flight or fight” response that has kept humans alive for thousands of years. The danger of having high levels of cortisol too often is that it means you are constantly in high-stress mode. If your body experiences chronic stress, then it will begin to break down over time (Premier Health).

“Chi” is a Chinese word meaning “life force energy”.  Some alternative medical practitioners believe that having low chi means that you’re too low on your life force, and that you’re more susceptible to being affected by illness and disease.  Turner says that having a strong sense of purpose in life can help draw more chi into the body. This may also help you prevent your body from becoming more susceptible to disease.

[ultimate_heading]To live a long life, you should be like a gorilla that eats in Italy.[/ultimate_heading]

Ok, not literally, but eating lots and lots of plants is really good for you, and nutrition is directly related to longevity. Here are the top myths about longevity that you should be aware of:

Myth: The Mediterranean Diet is 100% healthy for you.

Fact:  More research needs to be done, but here’s what we know. This particular diet is based on the habits of people from Italy, Greece, and Spain. This part of the world is considered a blue zone area — blue zones are regions of the world where people appear to live much longer than average.  It includes the consumption of things like legumes, fish, fruit, vegetables, and olive oil. It’s that last ingredient that researchers think may be the key health-promoting part of the diet.

Steven Gundry, M.D. argues that the Mediterranean Diet is pretty healthy for most people to adopt, except that it includes foods that have lectins.  Lectins are a type of plant protein that can be found in almost all foods, but the foods that are believed to be highest in lectins include whole grains and legumes, and nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers and potatoes (Genuine Health). The problem is that our bodies have not adapted to the lectins found in these foods. They can be difficult to digest, toxic even (if not cooked properly), which negatively affects the microbiome and puts you at greater risk of disease.  Gundry says that you should focus on consuming plants that don’t have these lectins, as well as foods with high omegas, and olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil! (People in Italy, Greece and Spain regularly consume an average of 1 liter of olive oil per week (12-14 tablespoons per day).

Myth: Animal protein is essential for strength and longevity.

Fact: Simply put, gorillas and horses disprove this. They only eat plants, and they are both strong and HUGE!

Myth: Growth hormones produce youthfulness and vitality.

Fact: Being smaller in size may actually help promote vitality, not being bigger. Gundry points out that most of the people who live in the Blue Zones are far shorter than average height. Women are also typically shorter than men. Research shows that they have lower rates of coronary heart disease than men and on average live about seven years longer (MindBodyGreen).

Myth: It’s important to consume iron as you age.

Fact: Iron is an essential metal for the body, but excessive iron consumption is dangerous for mitochondrial function and causes organ dysfunction through the production of reactive oxygen species (NCBI).

Myth: Milk does the body good.

Fact: Milk has huge amounts of insulin growth factor in it, which mother cows give to their babies to help them grow. Humans are the only species that consumes other animals’ milk, and humans on average are much bigger than they were decades ago. But humans are not baby cows!

[ultimate_heading]Aging can’t be stopped, but the process can be slowed.[/ultimate_heading]

For the average person, genes account for 25% of longevity, and environment accounts for 75%.  As we age, we experience more “wear and tear”. Examples of wear and tear include, but are not limited to: exposure to and consumption of toxins, injuries, and sun exposure – all of which lead to instability of the genome (the genetic material present in a cell or organism) and DNA damage.  The problem is that our body’s repair mechanisms slow down over time.

Anti-aging facts you should be aware of:

  • The insulin-signaling pathways are responsible for blood sugar regulation, which is at the core of anti-aging.
  • Autophagy is like your body’s garbage disposal, it allows the cells in your body to cleanse themselves by removing unnecessary or dysfunctional components.
  • There are pathways that stimulate growth and other pathways that stimulate autophagy.
  • As you age, there should be a shift in habits from growth to preservation. In other words, it might be more important to focus on your diet as you get older, whereas working out the way you used to could be excessive strain on your body that adds more wear and tear.
  • NAD+ is crucial for cellular repair and mitochondrial maintenance.
  • According to Frank Lipman, “There isn’t really a magic bullet for anti-aging, but if there were one, it would be sleep.”

When it comes to preserving the body, remember this: our daily habits have the opportunity to have extraordinary effects on our health and longevity.

 

“Get more sleep, eat less, and love more.” – Robert Roundtree

[ultimate_heading]Humanity is evolving.[/ultimate_heading]

A pessimistic view of the world narrowly focuses on the problems that exist, but despite what the news may say, the world isn’t all bad.  In fact, history shows that humans have taken great strides to improve social and economic conditions over the past couple of centuries, as well as access to greater technology, people, and experiences. For reference, check out this timeline of U.S. history:

  • 200 years ago (early 1800s), 90% of people lived on $2/day.
  • In 1865, slavery was abolished.
  • Nearly 100 years ago (1920), women could finally vote.
  • In 1964, Jim Crow Laws were abolished.
  • In 1983, the internet was invented. The World Wide Web was later developed in 1990. This meant that people now had access to information from all over the globe.
  • Smartphones were created in 1992, which resulted an entirely new and fast way to help people stay connected.
  • Since the early 2000’s, many businesses with a shared-economy model (such as Uber and Airbnb) have empowered more people to travel and share experiences with others on their own terms.

Here’s the now. Though there have been times of war and corruption, history shows that humankind has collectively been moving toward greater connection. There is undoubtedly a greater sense of what is morally right and wrong, and what defines conscious leadership.

According to John Mackey, Cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, conscious leaders:

  • Are passionate
  • Are service oriented
  • Are authentic
  • Have integrity
  • Hold themselves accountable
  • Have a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Inspire people
  • Mobilize energy
  • Cultivate self-awareness
  • Encourage growth in others and build confidence

Business is about people working together to create value for others.  In order to be a conscious leader, one must create a shared purpose (Whole Food Market’s is to nourish people on the planet), and always strive to find the win-win-win solution in any given business situation.

“Can you build a business based on love?” – John Mackey

Business clichés are notably often centered around sports, battle, or the ego – all of which reinforce the idea of focusing on the competition and contracting oneself instead of leading with an open heart and consciousness. When we lead with fear, we are at greater risk of destroying opportunities, relationships, sales, product launches, and employee morale.  That’s why it is essential to eliminate fear in business – in order to minimize the risk of short-circuiting love. The many faces of love include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Gratitude
  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Appreciation
  • Forgiveness
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In Case You Were Wondering, This Is The Best Sleeping Position

By Julie Westervelt, Founder of Sleep Crown

“If you’re not sleeping, you’re not healing.” -Shawn Stevenson

Sleep is a vital component of having good physical, mental and emotional health. Without it, you’re at a greater risk for experiencing a wide range of medical conditions including, but not limited to: heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke (NIH).  The way you sleep is also directly connected to how your body eliminates waste and pain.  One way to set yourself up for success in the bedroom and get the sleep you need is to make sure that you’re assuming a resting position that is both comfortable, conducive for deep breathing, and supportive of your body.

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So, what is the best sleeping position?

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In my line of work, this question comes up frequently because many people either aren’t sleeping well, or they aren’t sleeping enough.  A poor sleeping position can also be the root cause of aches and pains. After consulting with several medical professional biohacker buddies of mine, I’ve found that the answer is… [DRUMROLL]…it really depends on who you ask!

When it comes to heart health, digestion, snoring-prevention or pregnancy, side-sleeping is probably the most common recommendation. According to a 2017 study, side-sleeping is favored by most people too.

Physicians and Internists tend to root for side sleeping because it’s been shown to have the most science-backed health benefits, such as helping aid digestion, processing waste, reducing heartburn, and promoting brain health.  Although our bodies are generally symmetrical, the placement of the organs inside of our bodies are not. Side sleeping, particularly on the left side – allows gravity to do its job, encouraging the body to properly digest food and process waste. It’s also been theorized that sleeping on the left side helps keep the gastric fluids lower than the esophagus as compared to sleeping on the right side of the body.

Dentists seem to generally concur that the side-sleeping position is best too – because it helps promote more open airways and better breathing.

“I’m interested in how our ancestors lived, where they would sleep on the ground by digging a hole out for their hips, and curl into a fetal position.  This concept of back-sleeping is a much newer phenomenon because we have the modern luxury to use a soft mattress that makes it comfortable enough to sleep on your back.  Also, side-sleeping prevents the tongue and jaw from falling back, which otherwise contributes to sleep apnea and snoring.  When you sleep on your side, your airways are more open, allowing for more oxygen to pass through, which encourages deeper sleep.” – Dr. Mark Burhenne of AskTheDentist

“My advice is to focus on breathing because breathing trumps everything. If you’re not breathing, spinal alignment doesn’t really matter. So do whatever best supports your airway.” – Dr. Gene Sambataro (aka the Biohacking Dentist)

Chiropractors favor back-sleeping to support the structures of the head, neck and spine.  Makes sense given their specialization in musculoskeletal care to help the body heal!

The spine is primarily made up of a string of bones, but also has elastic ligaments and spinal discs that allow for flexibility. The discs in your spine are essentially “shock absorbers” for the body. They help absorb stress so that your spine can carry the weight of your head, torso and arms, and allow your body to move in every direction (NCBI).

Because of this intricate interweaving of bone and nerve tissue, it’s important to maintain proper alignment at all times.  Poor sleeping positions can notably put harmful pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord.

A ‘neutral spine’ should include the natural curves of your spine. If you are unable to get comfortable on your back, try placing a pillow or rolling a large towel or blanket and place under the backs of the lower thighs or the backs of the knees.

Explore the specific placement under your legs that feels the best in your body and de-tensions the lumbar spine. This can help reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back (University of Rochester).  This trick may also help you maintain the back-sleeping position through the night.

You should also have a pillow for your head that supports the natural curvature of your neck, as well as your shoulders.  Surprisingly, this may actually be a thinner pillow than most people believe to be necessary. You may also roll a towel or a pillow and wedge around the top of the head to help draw the chin down toward the chest. Especially if your chin tends to jut upward toward the ceiling.

Dr. Peter Martone, owner and director of Atlantis Chiropractic Wellness Centers, has developed a pillow called the Neck Nest which supports the cervical spine and encourages the body to sleep comfortably on the back.  See how the Neck Nest can be paired with the Sleep Crown Pillow to help you get the most comfortable sleep ever!

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Perfect Pillow Companions for Back Sleeping Nirvana

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Most yogis also recommend back-sleeping. My background is actually in Restorative Yoga, and I believe that the body should be ‘propped’ to allow the spine to be in a neutral position. Every human body is unique and wise. We all have different needs for support (or lack of) and your needs should be honored.

[ultimate_heading]

Me Sleep Journey

[/ultimate_heading]

I discovered a very effective sleep hack when I was young – sleeping with a pillow over my head in addition to having a pillow under my head – like a pillow sandwich. It was always so comforting for me to sleep this way when I was young. It shielded me from ambient disruptions and felt great. It wasn’t until I started studying the principles of Restorative Yoga and weighting the body for relaxation purposes that it all made sense. My personal desire to share this special sleep technique and help others achieve proper sleep is what led me to create Sleep Crown and the Sleep Crown.

Even though Sleep Crown works beautifully in all sleeping positions, I have received great feedback that, when used over the face in the back-sleeping position, Sleep Crown helps encourage stillness in this position throughout the night. The gentle weight of the Sleep Crown over the muscles in the the forehead triggers the body’s relaxation response. The corrugator supercilii are the muscles over the eyebrows that are regarded as the principal muscles in the expression of suffering. Gently compressing these muscles is very soothing and relaxing for the whole body. The Sleep Crown contours and drapes on the sides of the head acting as ‘speed bumps’ to prevent the head from falling to either side, and obviously the placement of the pillow over the eyes and ears helps to block out light and sound.

In the past, I would fall asleep on my back and tend to shift to either side of my body throughout the night.  I’d even use a body pillow that offered support between the knees in order to keep my sacrum aligned and stable. However, I have found that the side-sleeping position can put massive pressure on the cervical spine, shoulder and hip.

After listening to an interview with Dr. Peter Martone, I have committed to do everything possible to maintain the back-sleeping position for a month to observe any changes. In this new back-sleeping-through-the-night endeavor, I’ve added more props to barricade myself on my back. Surprisingly, I now place my heavy body pillow on top of myself! It extends from my ankles to my collar bones and I find the pressure to be grounding and keeps me right in place.

I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully made it through the entire night on my back with the help of:

Yes, this can be tricky (and perhaps a little over the top) when you share a bed with another person — especially if they require this extreme amount of pillowing too.  And it can be costly. However, this natural solution costs a lot less than pharmaceuticals over time!  And look at how peaceful it looks…

[ultimate_heading]

Stomach-Sleeping Is Not Recommended

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You may have noticed that I have not even acknowledged the belly-down position. This is intentional because this particular sleeping position can wreak havoc on your spinal alignment and cause neck and back pain. As the pressure of your body increases, the pressure on your muscles, joints, and organs also increases.  Your neck begs you – and I beg you – please just don’t do it! Please try to retrain your body to find an alternate position. Your neck will thank you later. 🙂

[ultimate_heading]

One Final Thought

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Please don’t allow the positioning of your body while sleeping to be a source of distress. You can have all of the best intentions in the world – and who knows what happens after you fall asleep!? Remember, our ancestors slept on rocks, and the most important thing is that you actually sleep! The body knows how to optimize itself when you achieve the proper number of hours for you. Approach any adjustments with an easy-going, curious attitude and observe how you feel when you awaken.

Sending nurturing vibes out to the whole Biohacked Community.  If you’re interested in purchasing a Sleep Crown Pillow, enter promo code: “BIOHACKED” for a $10 Savings + free US Shipping!

 

Sweet Dreams,
Julie

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From Trend to Medical Paradigm: Biohacking for Answers

Written by Chloe Weber L.Ac, MSOM, Co-Founder and CEO of Radical Roots and more importantly, Remy’s Mom.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

[ultimate_heading margin_design_tab_text=””]

More Than A Movement

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I’ve been biohacking my son since before I knew “biohacking” was more than Bulletproof coffee and silly glasses.  As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I didn’t bat an eye when the geneticist told me that my child had a neurotransmitter disorder that only occurs in one out of every 20 million people.  I stared at the doctor as he told me that my son would likely have intractable seizures, intellectual disability, Parkinson’s-like tremors, ataxia and apraxia . . . As he told me, “There’s not much research, I printed two studies—but I didn’t get to read them yet.”  I looked him in the eye as he annihilated a lifetime of dreams of soccer games and sharing books, of surfing adventures and herb talks. I glared at the doctor, terrified and defiant, because no one will ever tell me what my son is capable of, because Remy’s tale is just beginning to unfold.

What most families don’t know is that there is a whole world of medicine that exists outside of the current medical paradigm; that there is help and hope.

Biohacking has turned from a trend to a movement, and now we need to use that movement to help the most vulnerable and desperate population of our society.  Neuro-developmental disorders are crippling our families, disabling our children and putting incredible stress on our medical and education systems. With the incidence of autism increasing at exponential rates and other developmental and neurological disorders becoming more and more prevalent, it is essential that we find help for these families immediately.  We need to protect further generations from the harm and help address the terrifying fertility issues at hand.

Western medicine, Western lifestyle, and diet are hurting our children.  EMFs, toxins, horrific nutrition, genetic mutations, poor digestion, disrupted microbiomes, disrupted hormones, food allergies—our children are the canaries in the coal mine and they are suffering.  Families of children with special needs are desperate for help, while the medicine and the support systems are epically failing them. Isolated and scared, parents are left studying day and night hoping to find help, hoping for answers; while fighting for support and services during the day.  

What these parents don’t realize is that most of the therapies their children receive are highly outdated and ineffective.  For an entire year I spent 40 hours a week doing “typical” therapy with my son with negligible results.  What most parents do not realize is that the most important changes they can make are in their own kitchen. Even fewer consider the ramifications of EMF on a developing brain, or glyphosate on the mitochondria.  Parents are so scared and overwhelmed that they become paralyzed.

[ultimate_heading margin_design_tab_text=””]

From tiger mom to the mother-f*cking warrior of all warrior moms.  

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I didn’t bat an eye when the doctor broke the news.  I turned toward his assistant and told her to print out every-single-study she could find while I went to call Remy’s acupuncturist. I didn’t break down.  I didn’t give up. I have been able to push forward because I know what so many families don’t—that the brain is plastic.  That given the right support and the right therapies, the brain can and WILL change.

I don’t know what lies ahead for Remy, I don’t know what he will achieve, but I will always love him for exactly who he is, while I fight to push him further.

I take Remy to a neurologist in Ecuador for a month twice a year.  The doctor treats him with hyperbaric oxygen, ozone therapy, alpha brainwave stimulation, low-level lasers and other bioenergetic medical techniques.  He’s a Cuban doctor who studied in Russia. He’s brilliant and he does things Western doctors couldn’t imagine let alone comprehend. His practice is based on balancing brainwaves.  During our first trip, Remy’s brain map showed that is brain was at 76% delta—76% delta!! My child was in transcendental meditation; he was not even in this realm.

I also take Remy to The Family Hope Center in Philadelphia.  Their program empowers parents to become their child’s therapist, to become their child’s greatest advocate, to support their biology, and challenge their neurology so that they can create new neural pathways.  They use diet, supplements, functional movement (crawling and creeping), smells, reflex integration (and more) to challenge a child’s prognosis. They are phenomenal, and they are changing the lives of children struggling with all sorts of neurological challenges.

[ultimate_heading]

Where to Start

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The heart of every comprehensive program for neurological health includes: nutrition, detoxification, oxygen, movement and supplementation (and nutrigenomics).  These are all the fundamentals of biohacking as well.

The gut and the diet are the first place to start for any neurological disorder.  Decades of research show how effective the keto diet is for mitigating seizures.  Now research is beginning to explain some of the biomechanics that makes that possible.  In fact, current studies are showing that a particular strain of bacteria that is propagated by the keto diet is also enhanced by CBD supplementation.  This bacteria has been proposed to positively affect not only epilepsy but multiple sclerosis.  Other research clearly shows how a simple elimination diet can be used to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.  What if all children with special needs were offered a gut test like Viome so they can optimize their health?  What could the brains behind BiOptomizers do with the research from those tests?

Environmental and electromagnetic toxicity is impacting all of us, but our children are by far the most affected.  Many children get their first iPad before they are 3, and classrooms are filled with cell phones and WiFi.  Water is often tainted with lead and glyphosate, and one of the first foods that children typically eat is arsenic-tainted rice cereal.  The impact of these toxins on developing brains and bodies is now being seen and slowly understood—but the evidence is clear—we have an epidemic on our hands.

[ultimate_heading]

Oxygen For Brain Health

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Oxygen is tricky to administer, but essential for neurological health.  Hyperbarics have been studied for numerous neurological disorders and many people have found incredible success using them.  Family Hope Center also uses Carbogen and reflex bags in their treatment protocols. (The “bags” are specially made for you to breathe into for 30 seconds until the carbon dioxide signals for the brain to uptake more oxygen.  Remy loves them, but obviously this needs to be done with supervision and know-how.) Finding out how to use oxygen therapy for developmental disorders is essential. The doctor we see insists on using the chamber before doing neurofeedback, but there are so many variables.  Photobiomodulation is another interesting option. I just ordered Remy a VieLight 810 this morning. If the brain develops from the bottom up, and the most injured children have problems in their midbrain and pons, then intranasal photobiomodulation seems like a very reasonable method of stimulation and healing to try.  

When you have poor proprioceptive awareness, it’s so hard to know where your body ends and where the world begins. Mind/body awareness therapies such as the Anat Baniel Method and the Feldenkrais Method are remarkable for children with developmental disorders.  Yoga and tai chi have been shown to help with balance and awareness, support motor planning, and promote calmness. What else can we do to stimulate the body to change the brain? What tools do we have to help the children learn to be more aware, to gain more strength and independence?  

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And Last, Supplementation.

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So much research is coming out on nutrigenomics — information on how our genetics and our lifestyle affect our ability to function.  Children with special needs have notoriously bad GI tracts, difficulty absorbing and processing nutrients, and often have improperly functioning detoxification pathways. Why aren’t doctors looking at their labs tests and testing for nutritional deficiencies, for hormonal fluctuations?  Surely every child with special needs should have their genes run for maladaptive SNPs and mutations?

As a community, we have some of the most curious and progressive minds in medicine, and we have innovative thinkers who are pushing themselves to be better in every way in order to make a greater impact and find more joy.  You all inspire me with your brilliance and drive. I beg of you, help me help these children. Help me help these parents — these parents who give all that they have to care for their children; who give up their own health to work extra jobs; who give up their sleep to nervously watch their seizing children; who give any time they have to fight for appropriate support for their kids.  I can tell you first-hand how exhausting, terrifying and lonely it is. The bureaucracy is never-ending and the daily struggle to manage your pain and fears is exhausting.

It breaks my heart to see these parents, locked in fear and misery.  So many special needs parents suffer with PTSD. So many are not able to make the right food choices, or find space for meditation and gratitude let alone exercise and play.

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But What If They Could?

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I am an independent mama to a child with multiple disabilities. I run a private practice and a CBD/Chinese herb company. I am actively fighting to improve the lives of others.  I have two cats and one dog. I love my life and I am so grateful for all I have and even more grateful for my perfect son. I could not do what I do without biohacking.  

I cannot tell you how much this community needs us.  Needs the very best that biohacking has to offer. I have seen what is possible for these children.  I have seen kids who had hundreds of seizures a day stop seizing altogether. Speechless children start talking.  I have seen my son, now almost five, take his first independent steps just two months ago. Every inch is a mile, and every single one helps these children gain more independence, find more joy and find more connectivity with this (sick and twisted) beautiful world. 

Please, help me help them.  Help us.