Pets and People: Benefits of Having a Pet

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It goes without saying that 2020 and so far, 2021 has been exceedingly difficult and challenging to say the least, for many people.  Statistics show an increase in anxiety and depression in adults and children, suicides, drug, and alcohol abuse, as well as domestic abuse.  As we move through this unique time in our lives our goal should be to find ways to thrive, to be the best we can be both physically and mentally.  I want to explore the amazing health benefits of having a pet .  Moreover, people are exploring and utilizing the extraordinary healing powers that pets possess through therapy programs.  You see them in senior’s homes, hospitals, and schools. Not to mention their invaluable help as assistants for those with health challenges.

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Health Benefits

According to PIHHEALTH.ORG pets not only offer unconditional love and companionship but they also suggest:

Decrease stress – A study from the State University of New York noted that people experienced less stress when performing a task in the company of their pet than when a spouse, family or friend was close by.

Lower blood pressure – Owning a pet has the potential to lower blood pressure. This finding is associated with the decreased level of stress people experience while being around their pet.

Ease Pain – According to Mayo Clinic, pets have the power to help heal patients experiencing emotional or physical pain. Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover and better cope with health problems.

Improve mood – People who own a pet tend to be happier, more trusting and less lonely than those who do not. Pet owners are also less likely to visit the doctor for minor issues.

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Social magnets – Pets attract people which can help you make connections more easily. If you are not the best at socializing, take your pet such as a dog to a nearby park and see how others naturally become drawn to your furry friend.

Prevent allergies and improve immunity – Pets spend much of their time outside and bring in all sorts of germs into the home, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The outside germs can help boost your immunity which will help prevent colds and other mild illnesses.

Improve fitness – All dogs need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy and coincidentally, we need exercise too! Dogs can give you that extra motivation to take a walk around your neighborhood or play Frisbee at a nearby park.

Long Term Health Benefits

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More recently, says Rebecca Johnson, a nurse who heads the Research Center for Human/Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, studies have been focusing on the fact that interacting with animals can increase people’s level of the hormone oxytocin.

“That is very beneficial for us,” says Johnson. “Oxytocin helps us feel happy and trusting.” Which, Johnson says, may be one of the ways that humans bond with their animals over time.

But Johnson says it may also have longer-term human health benefits. “Oxytocin has some powerful effects for us in the body’s ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier.”

Alternatives

If you already have a pet give them an extra hug or treat in gratitude for how they’ve added to your life.  If you don’t have a pet but are considering it, keep in mind it is a big responsibility that must not be taken lightly because they need a lot of love and care and they need to thrive just as much as humans do.  But once you take that leap it is well worth it.  If you can’t have a pet, you can also explore some volunteer work.  Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated in any capacity when it comes to animals.  You will not only be helping people and animals, but you will gain all the benefits of being around animals too.

The Benefits of Vitamin D for Mental Health

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When you think of vitamin D, you likely think of the sun. Does thinking of the warm sun shining on your face make you happy? Well, there’s actually science to back up the significant role that vitamin D plays on our mental health. Let’s explore

What is Vitamin D?

You may have heard vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” before. That’s because vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. The body naturally produces vitamin D when directly exposed to sunlight, but you can also get it through foods and supplements to ensure you have enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D to Fight Depression

Research shows that vitamin D may play an integral role in regulating mood and fighting depression. One study found that depressed people who received a vitamin D supplement noticed their symptoms improve.

Research points to vitamin D’s role in regulating serotonin and calcium for its possible therapeutic impact on depression when vitamin D levels are boosted.

Vitamin D to Fight Anxiety

A separate study of people with fibromyalgia found that vitamin D deficiency was more common in people experiencing anxiety and depression. Another study of children also found that kids who were vitamin D deficient experiencing significantly higher levels of anxiety and stress than their peers.

Vitamin D and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes people to lose touch with reality. This often leads to psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.

Researchers have discovered that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have significantly lower levels of vitamin D than normal, in addition to being more likely to live in parts of the world with less sun exposure.

A number of studies have also found that insufficient sunlight or vitamin D supplementation as an infant increases the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.

So, how can you get some more vitamin D in your life to reap the mental health benefits?

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Get outdoors!  Soak up the sun and enjoy the mood-boosting effects.  Just don’t forget the SPF!

 


vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental health
Light therapy is a daily treatment that involves a dose of intense artificial light— something more commonly associated with the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, but it has also been proven to be effective for treating other forms of non-seasonal depression such as major depression and bipolar. In fact,  studies show that light therapy has similar effectiveness to pharmaceutical treatments. You can even do light therapy from home with at-home lightboxes

 

vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental healthVitamin D supplements: You can purchase Vitamin D supplements at your local grocery store or pharmacy. They come in a pill form that you can take every morning to help increase and regulate mood. Ideally your levels should be at 40-60 mg/ml year round.

 

Increase Vitamin D in your diet: Try to incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your everyday meals, such as fish oil, milk, egg yolks, mushrooms and vitamin-d fortified foods.

 

 

The Lockdown’s Effect on Mental Health

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Lockdowns, gyms being closed, holidays alone, and being separated from classmates, friends, and family members are just a few of the factors that have made the pandemic extremely hard on mental health. In fact, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic.

Let’s take a closer look now at the impact COVID-19 is having on mental health.

Anxiety and Depression During the Lockdown

Before the pandemic had even made it to the United States, it was wreaking havoc on the mental health of people in China. Half a dozen studies with more than 10,000 respondents showed that people experienced worse mental health problems than before the pandemic, including high symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Up to half of the respondents showed serious signs of depression, and 35 percent showed serious anxiety. Studies find that the stress and anxiety fueled by the pandemic also cause poor sleep, creating a vicious cycle. The more we lay awake worrying at night, concerned about the pandemic, the worse our mental health becomes.

Loneliness During the Lockdown

Stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and travel restrictions have left people feeling more isolated than normal. 1 in 7 U.S. adults said they were often or always feeling lonely in April 2020, up more than 25 percent from 2018. However, we also saw a shift to more FaceTime calls and Zoom hangouts, and these things contributed to respondents in a separate study reporting feelings of “remarkable resilience.” So, not only did they not become lonely during the pandemic, but they gained a greater sense of community support.

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Domestic Violence During the Lockdown

Another unfortunate side effect of the pandemic and a major contributor to stress, shame, and anxiety is a spike in domestic violence worldwide. Sixty percent of people who were experiencing domestic violence pre-pandemic report the violence worsened during the pandemic. This is likely caused by increased stress, unemployment, spending more time at home, and shelters being forced to close their doors. The threat of abuse compounds the stress, anxiety, and fear that a lot of victims were already experiencing during the pandemic.

The Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 are Worse for Disadvantaged Groups

Researchers worldwide set out to discover what else was making people vulnerable to mental health issues during COVID-19. They found that among the risk factors were people with poor health or chronic conditions who have a higher tendency of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Researchers also found education and income played a role. The less stable the income and education, studies showed, the more anxiety, depression, and stress experienced.

Vital Self-Care Tools

  • If you can’t physically see loved ones doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself. Lean on virtual chats with tools like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime.
  • Physical activity is vital for mental health so make sure to make time for it even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. We can mental health, mental health awareness month, mental health services, mental health quotesnever underestimate the power of physical activity on our mental and emotional well-being.
  • Taking a moment each day for positive reflection will ensure that a part of each day has been dedicated to your well-being.
  • Don’t hesitate to create a support system with friends, family and others who can relate.  Seek out online support groups.
  • Talk to your health care professional who can guide you through these difficult times and give you more resources.
  • Eating a healthy well balanced diet will create a positive environment from inside out.

Essential Oils: Benefits and What to look for

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What is all the fuss about?

There are entire stores dedicated to scent whether it’s a candle, diffuser, skin lotion, body spray, massage oils etc, you name it, and chances are you’ll find it.  I think we can all agree that, at the very least, scents have an affect on us, good or bad.  You walk into a bakery and smell freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and you can’t wait to take that first bite.  Or your partner puts on their favourite scent and if you smell that scent somewhere you think of them.  How many times have you smelled something and said to yourself “that reminds me of….”  That is the power of aroma so let’s take a look a deeper look at it.  Aromatherapy can be defined as the use of essential oils for the purpose of holistic therapeutic healing and essential oils are derived from plants.  There are different ways to use essential oils and you can visit aromadina.com to find out more.

What you need to know

Whether you just like the scent or you’re looking at it as additional support for conditions, it’s important to know a few things before you buy essential oils.

 

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  • Remember to always consult your healthcare provider first before using essential oils.
  • Ingesting, or swallowing, essential oils is not recommended. Taken by mouth, the oils can damage the liver or kidneys. They can also lead to interactions with other drugs, and they can undergo unexpected changes while in the gut.
  • They should never be used directly on the skin but instead mixed with a carrier oil or lotion.
  • Make sure to do your research when shopping for essential oils. Watch out for the quality of the product. There are EO’s out there that are not pure.  They should be tightly sealed in dark glass bottles.  Read the label to make sure it doesn’t say “fragrance” oil.  Fragrance oils will have synthetic ingredients or extenders.  It won’t contain the essential parts of real plants.
  • The quality also depends on the plants that were used which can be affected by weather, growing conditions and whether pesticides or other chemicals were used. Processing and packaging are also factors.
  • Read the label to check that the Latin name of the plant being used is clearly stated, which part(s) of the plant was used, how it was extracted and how it was grown.

Some Common Essential Oils and their Uses:

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  • Basil essential oil is used to sharpen concentration and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. It may relieve headaches and migraines. It should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Bergamot essential oil is said to be useful for the urinary tract and digestive tract. When combined with eucalyptus oil it may help relieve skin problems, including those caused by stress and chicken pox.
  • Black pepper essential oil is commonly used for stimulating the circulation, muscular aches and pains, and bruises. Combined with ginger essential oil, it is used to reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility.
  • Chamomile essential oil can treat eczema.
  • Citronella essential oil is a relative of lemongrass and acts as an insect repellent.
  • Clove essential oil is a topical analgesic, or painkiller, that is commonly used for toothache. It is also used as an antispasmodic antiemetic, for preventing vomiting and nausea, and as a carminative, preventing gas in the gut. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil can help relieve the airways during a cold or flu. It is often combined with peppermint. Many people are allergic to eucalyptus, so care should be taken.
  • Geranium essential oil can be use for skin problems, to reduce stress, and as a mosquito repellant.
  • Jasmine essential oil has been described as an aphrodisiac. While scientific evidence is lacking, research has shown that the odor of jasmine increases beta waves, which are linked to alertness.
  • Lavender essential oil is used as an antiseptic for minor cuts and burns and to enhance relaxation and sleep. It is said to relieve headache and migraine symptoms.
  • Lemon essential oil is said to improve mood, and to help relieve the symptoms of stress and depression.
  • Rosemary essential oil may promote hair growth, boost memory, prevent muscle spasms, and support the circulatory and nervous systems.
  • Sandalwood essential oil is believed by some to have aphrodisiac qualities.
  • Tea tree essential oil is said to have antimicrobial, antiseptic, and disinfectant qualities. It is commonly used in shampoos and skin care products, to treat acne, burns, and bites. It features in mouth rinses, but it should never be swallowed, as it is toxic.
  • Thyme essential oil is said to help reduce fatigue, nervousness, and stress.
  • Yarrow essential oil is used to treat symptoms of cold and flu, and to help reduce joint inflammation.

Light Therapy: Benefits of Vitamin D Lamps

Optimally, everyone should get at least 15 minutes of sun for three days a week to be in good health. Unfortunately, those that do not live near the equator may not have access to that amount of sun throughout the year. And in today’s busy climate, very few have the time to get into the sun enough to meet recommendations.  Light therapy is a great way to get the Vitamin D we need.  You may wonder how the sun is linked to vitamin D so here is a simple explanation. The sun’s UV radiation helps vitamin D precursors in the body to be converted into a usable form.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D?

 

Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and can combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which includes emotional and physical changes due to change in seasons. Lack of vitamin D may also lead to several complications in the body, including rickets, a reason why you need an alternative source of Vitamin D especially when sun exposure is low. An excellent way to always ensure you get Vitamin D is by using vitamin D lamps.

Vitamin D Lamps for Light Therapy

Vitamin D lamps are sun lamps used for phototherapy. They are fluorescent lamps that produce high-intensity ultraviolet-B (blue) rays. These rays trigger vitamin D production in the body. Here are the benefits of using a Vitamin D lamp:

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  1. Provides you with vitamin D during the winter season, a season when there are less available foods containing vitamin D
  2. Gives you a refreshed morning- Even with no sunrise, you get to experience ‘sun’ for a few hours in the morning.
  3. Boosts vitamin D deficiency as researchers have found that it can significantly increase serum Vitamin D levels even more than when using other supplements.
  4. Great for those who have problems using oral supplements due to side effects such as inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis.
  5. Improves sleep in people struggling with insomnia. Helps regulate melatonin, allowing the body to control the sleep-wake cycle.
  6. Helps ward off seasonal depression by regulating the serotonin which relays signals to the brain and enhances your mood.
  7. Phototherapy is used to treat people with dementia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  8. The vitamin D lamps are adjustable and can be placed in any position. They are also portable hence easy to carry when travelling. This means that you can get your Vitamin D anywhere, anytime.
  9. Helps boost vitamin D facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body, promoting healthy bone growth and reducing the risk of related health conditions such as rickets.
  10. Helps modulate the immune system, regulate gene and cell growth, prevent frequent infections, and promote fast wound healing

Vitamin D Deficiency

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With the following signs and symptoms, you could start phototherapy with guidance from your healthcare practitioner.

• Fatigue and muscle weakness
• Bone and joint pain
• Slow wound healing
• Frequent infections

Tips when using a vitamin D lamp for light therapy

• Position the lamp 2-3 feet away from where you are to allow better concentration and dispersion of the light.
• Start with 30-40 minutes per day. If you don’t see changes, increase to an hour.
• Be consistent with your light therapy to see the above health benefits.

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Bottom line

With a Vitamin D lamp, you can still get the right amount of Vitamin D that your body needs even when there is reduced sun exposure. Get yourself a lamp and say goodbye to insomnia, seasonal depression and other related conditions. Always consult with your health practitioner, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, to know the right Vitamin D lamp to purchase.

Resources

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2008-05-10-0805090323-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-the-best-light-therapy-lamp-2020-20200813-wdbrnaby6ff2bazsu7mbhsixxm-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-8-products-that-will-combat-seasonal-affective-disorder-20190108-story.html

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-sun-lamps-best-to-improve-your-winter-mood/

 

CBD For Fibromyalgia Relief

CBD For Fibromyalgia Relief

Approximately 6% of the world’s population suffers from Fibromyalgia. Although there is no said “cure”, all hope is not lost. In fact, there are a variety of treatments and techniques currently being researched to help manage fibro symptoms and pain. Gaining in popularity is CBD oil for Fibromyalgia relief, here’s why.

what is fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia – What is It?

Fibromyalgia is considered a chronic condition. It’s main symptom includes widespread musculoskeletal pain which is usually accompanied by:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia

Those who suffer from this condition often have amplified sensitivity to pain. Some researchers believe it’s the result of an abnormality within the central nervous system affecting pain signals.

what is cbd oil

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 120 cannabinoids that are extracted from the cannabis plant. This type of cannabinoid contains only a tiny amount of THC. As such, cannot result in a euphoric ‘high’ commonly experienced with using cannabis.

CBD is capable of interacting with receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a molecular signaling system that is responsible for enhancing wellness through the regulation of biological systems.

The ECS is associated with the regulation of a variety of physiological and cognitive processes such as:

  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Inflammation

It’s easy to see why Fibromyalgia patients are so interested in learning more about the benefits of CBD.

Is Cannabis Effective for Fibromyalgia? Dr. Michele Ross

CBD Oil For Fibromyalgia

First, let’s be clear. CBD does not deal with fibromyalgia directly. Rather, it works by targeting multiple pain receptors that are located in the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS). In fibromyalgia patients, this pathway is usually distorted resulting in the amplification of pain.

Therefore, to understand how CBD helps in managing pain associated with fibromyalgia, it’s important to know how the human body perceives pain. When you experience sensory damage such as a cut or  burns for example, the peripheral sensory neurons (nociceptors) inform the brain. This in turn responds by making you feel pain.

How It Works

Cannabidiol works to reduce the pain. It does this by interfering with the action of serotonin receptors. These receptors usually influence pain as a result of the spinal processing of nociceptive information.

In addition, the activation of CB2 receptors in skin cells also contribute to the reduction of pain, inhibiting the reception of pain signals from nociception information.

Alternatively, your body produces an endogenous cannabinoid referred to as anandamide. This is responsible for suppressing pain initiation. However, there lies a problem. This cannabinoid is usually eliminated fast from the body by the enzyme known as ‘fatty acid amide hydrolase’ (FAAH).

This is where CBD comes in.  It eliminates this problem by inhibiting FAAH resulting in a slower rate of anandamide decomposition. The effect of this is further suppression of pain, giving relief to fibromyalgia patients.

What Does Cannabis Do? The Endocannabinoid System

Is CBD Really Effective For Fibromyalgia Pain?

CBD has been shown to make chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia more manageable. It does so by interacting directly or indirectly with pain receptors found in various sections of the body.

Cannabidiol also has the ability to influence the levels of serotonin and anandamide. It can also affect opioid receptors. All of which contribute to the reduction of pain.

As such, CBD is considerably effective in the management of pain resulting from fibromyalgia.  in fact, countless patients that have used CBD to treat fibromyalgia have experienced positive results.

Even though the compound does not treat fibromyalgia completely, it does a great job as far as reducing pain is concerned. Greater understanding is needed as to why CBD works better for some patients compared to others in terms of managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

cbd research

CBD For Fibromyalgia Research

Although CBD has been said to be effective in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms, it’s not exactly clear why it’s able to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

Additionally, there is also some confusion as to why the compound works so well in some people but not others. Nonetheless, research on this topic is still ongoing, and therefore, we can expect more conclusive information as time goes on.

Side Effects Of CBD For Fibromyalgia

Side effects of using CBD are rare however can include:

  • Changes in the liver enzymes that process drugs
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Mood alterations
  • Becoming lightheaded
  • Sleepiness

These side effects are considerably rare. In fact, CBD is considered to have more positive side effects then negative. Especially when compared to ones experienced using prescription drugs. In addition, CBD is not addictive since it does not contain the compound that is responsible for the ‘high’ feeling.

how to take cbd

CBD For Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

There is an ever-growing market for CBD, and a large variety of options when it comes to getting CBD into the body in order to suit almost everyone.  The most common include:

  • Tinctures

    This option is easy, effective and ideal for patients who want a precise dosage. It involves placing oil drops under the tongue using a dropper, for fast absorption into the circulatory system.

  • Smoking Or Vaping

    Smoking CBD involves the flower of the cannabis plant or oil being burned to produce smoke. Vaping involves heating the oil to produce vapor which is then introduced into the body via one’s lungs. These two are the best options for those who are seeking immediate relief as the effects are usually rapid. However, vaping is considered to be the better of the two options as it lacks toxins that are created during combustion.

  • Topicals

    This option is the best for persons with skin conditions, joint aches, and muscular pains. It involves the use of balms, salves, and creams that contain normal skin ingredients that are infused with CBD oil. Topicals are usually applied to a site of infection or pain, to act specifically on that spot.

  • Gelcaps/Capsules

    This is the best option for those who are after accurate dosing. The capsules are available in different strengths. There is also a capsule option for vegetarians.

  • Edibles

    It’s also possible to consume CBD through edibles such as chocolates, delicious cake, gummy bears, and more. This option is best suited to those who feel that the taste of cannabidiol is too strong for them.

  • Intranasal

    A special spray bottle is used for breathing CBD oil into the nose. The thin mucosa then absorbs the oil, resulting in fast action.

  • Oromucosal

    For this method, the CBD is sprayed into the mouth and gums, allowing for quick absorption into the circulatory system.

Final Thoughts

Although anecdotal evidence from patients has shown that CBD can be used to manage fibromyalgia successfully, more conclusive research is needed. However it’s clear that CBD is considerably effective in helping to manage the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Now, before using CBD for your fibromyalgia symptoms, be sure to talk to your physician for medical advice. Take time to research the differences in CBD products before purchasing. Also, start small and slow. You can always gradually work your way up to find the dosage that works best for you.

Benefits Of CBD

CBD oil benefits

CBD oil benefits are now becoming mainstream. But what exactly is CBD oil and how does it work?

CBD oil is short for Cannabidiol and is found in the oils of the Cannabis plant species, including marijuana and hemp. Cannabis oil is the concentrated liquid extract of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa – sativa being the “euphoric” type of Cannabis. Similar to the herbal extracts, the chemicals in CBD oils vary depending on how the extract is made.

Many have worried that CBD oil will give you a “high” feeling which marijuana is believed to do. However that part of the marijuana is called THC which is not used in CBD oil.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and usually what people search for when they want to feel “high”. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t known to cause psychoactive effects. So, if you want to avoid the “high”  but still want to feel the outcome, CBD oil is a good option. Especially for those just looking for the medical CBD oil benefits and effects of cannabis.

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All You Need To Know About CBD And The Therapeutic Use Of It

What is CBD? What is THC? Where does CBD oil come from?
Debunking myths about CBD, the therapeutic use of CBD oil, benefits of CBD oil and much more
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How Does CBD Oil Work?

Usually the method of extracting the oil from the plant for consumption is done using CO2; a temperature control applied to force concentrated CO2 through the plant. As such, the CBD molecules are confined from other plant nutrients and compounds. Thus avoiding ruining the final product, leaving a pure, distilled form of CBD which can then be put cautiously in food-safe oils.

All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors. Our brains have specific receptors designed to accept cannabinoids, known as CB1 and CB2.

Such receptors are responsible for the consumption of cannabinoid molecules into your system. Resulting in psychoactive and immune responses corresponding with cannabis consumption.

When these receptors are activated within the body, serotonin and adenosine receptors are reached. Thus allowing your mood to enhance and regulate your central nervous system.  The brain can then suppress perceptions of pain and reduce stress on the mind and body.

CB1 receptors in the brain affect;

  • Coordination and movement
  • Pain
  • Emotions and mood
  • Thinking
  • Appetite
  • Memories and other functions

Whereas CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system which affect inflammation and pain.

how to take cbd oil

Ways To Take CBD Oil

There are many ways to take CBD. However, it’s important to note that the effects can vary from person to person. CBD oil is the most common form of taking pure CBD for medicinal purposes and is generally used for the purpose of either oral ingestion or through food.

Also, it can be consumed in a variety of ways which includes;

Examples include;

  1. Ingesting oil-filled capsules
  2. Eating edibles which is food infused with the oil
  3. Sprays and Creams which allows the oil to soak into your skin
  4. Vapes or Inhalation type of Pens which allows smokers to have a higher affect and get into your system quicker and are easy and quick to use
  5. Powders can even be used to mix into liquids such as protein shakes

However, the most commonly used method is with a Tincture.

A tincture allows you to easily distribute drops into your mouth or on food. A tincture may also help distinguish the bad taste. However the downside is that you cannot use it in a vape. It is not only dangerous when lighting up the oil but it also means constantly imbibing a small amount of alcohol whenever you’re trying to get your CBD. In addition, using a tincture can actually alter the quality of your food.

Click here to read more about the Dangers Of Vaping .

health benefits of cbd oil

What CBD Oil Benefits

First off, in addition to affecting the brain, CBD influences many body processes. Thus help to maintain a numerous amount of medical, neurological and physical conditions and appearances.

Secondly, CBD Oil can be used as an:

Moreover, help general conditions such as;

How CBD Oil Impacts the Body

Overall, CBD oil has been studied to prove the remarkable effects it has on people trying to maintain a healthy life. Whether from acne to glowing skin, or from back pain to being able to move more…CBD oil can help it!

Operation Gratitude

operation gratitude

Science has shown that gratitude is the single greatest correlation with human well-being than any other character trait. Operation gratitude is an in depth look into the affects of gratitude on your well-being and a guide to finding your inner happiness. So, to begin we must first understand, what is gratitude?

Gratitude Synonym

“Grace, gratefulness, appreciative, obligation, acknowledgment, thanks, recognition.”

Grateful Definition

“Feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness.”


It’s been wisely said that, “life is a journey, not a destination. It’s not about getting there, it’s about who you become along the way.” So, this begs the question, “how do I become the best version of myself along the way?” Well, the best place to start is actually through gratitude.

  • Gratitude and appreciation for life
  • Being grateful for what is, as it is

The Science of Gratitude

An Attitude For Gratitude

  • Emotional swings
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Depression

These are all common reactions to daily pressure(s), chronic stress and broken relationships. Understandably, these are the challenges and chaos that can evoke a life of ingratitude, ‘heaviness’ and despair.  However, it’s precisely these times when you need to dig down deep and find away to transform these life stresses into grateful states of gratitude and order.  But how??

balancing act

How To Achieve Balance

We usually experience an ‘emotional charge‘ when we see more positives than negatives, or more negatives than positives in:

  • A person
  • Situation
  • Circumstance

And, the greater the charge the greater the emotion.  So, when we begin to experience lopsided emotions, we get further from our true nature. We lower our self worth and can assume a false persona such as:

  1. Self righteous and cocky when we see more positives than negatives
  2. Self deprecating and bummed out when we see more negatives than positives

However our true self is neither. Our true self is a:

  • Centered
  • Poised
  • Stable
  • Humble
  • Open hearted being

One that seeks the hidden blessings and balance in every situation.  Therefore, when we are in a state of gratitude, we are better able to balance our perceptions.

gratitude journal

The Art Of Gratitude

The best place to start in developing the art of gratitude is by taking some time each and every day to write a list of that which you are grateful for in a gratitude journal.  Initially this may seem difficult and perhaps repetitive. But with daily practice, new neural pathways will develop in your brain, pruning away old negative thoughts that were holding you back. In time you will create a new state of mind and eventually gratitude will be a part of your new identity.

“Many psychologists now believe that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ—both at work and at play.”

It’s All About Perception

Practice being mindful of your thoughts (metacognition) each day. Eventually you will develop the skill of balancing your perceptions by asking yourself what are the benefits (positive) and drawbacks (negatives) of the situation, circumstance or person. By doing this, your certainty and non-judgement will rise proportional to your level of gratitude.

So, now that you understand the connection between gratitude and perceptions of mind, you can now work towards:

  • Becoming more inspired and unconditionally loving
  • Decreasing the divisiveness in your mind
  • Increasing your self worth

Ingratitude is often associated with depression and despair. Whereas gratitude increases your dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain, acting as a natural antidepressant. Also, YOU must address all areas of your health for your body to heal such as your:

Many people make it all about one thing (i.e., Nutrition or exercise) and neglect the rest.  However this alone will not give your body the opportunity it needs to heal.

Looking for additional support on finding inner happiness? See how meditation can benefit your health and assist you in finding enlightenment and gratitude along the way.

Kids Practicing Gratitude (and 10 things I'm grateful for)

Operation Gratitude – The Key To Happiness

In conclusion, everyone wants to be loved and appreciated.  And, the appreciation you have for others is directly impacted by the appreciation and love you have for yourself.  So, once you implement operation gratitude and achieve a ‘grateful state of mind’ you, will begin to unconsciously fulfill your purpose in life by attracting the right kind of:

  • People
  • Places
  • Things
  • Events

Remember, be grateful for what you are given and you will be given more to be grateful for.

Click here for a simple action plan to work on developing an attitude of gratitude today. 

What’s Next?

In my next blog we will continue our talk about controlling our emotions.  How thinking is the language of the mind, and feeling is the language of the body. Therefore if we don’t keep our thoughts and feelings in check, our bodies eventually become the mind.

Daily Meditation And Its Place In Modern Medicine

daily meditation

Do you often feel stressed? Struggling with an ongoing eternal battle of  feeling ‘tired’ and yet ‘wired’  at the same time.  There is nothing more frustrating then lacking the ability to turn off the brain and quiet mind during times of rest. In fact did you know that being able to decompress mentally and emotionally is just as important to your overall health as it is physically for the body? This is why I want to introduce you to the practice and perks of daily meditation.

meditation zen

I’m certain, many have heard about mediation in one aspect or another and how the effects can be life changing for some but how do you know if the benefits of meditation will work for you?

Well, if you’re serious about attaining better health, and not just physically, I’m talking the whole package, then take a look into the benefits meditation.

This ancient practice when done correctly:

  • Makes it easier to cope with the demands of modern life
  • Relieves stress
  • Keep your brain sharp
  • Eases pain and improves overall health

Honestly, what more could you ask for? So, let’s dive deeper into what it actually means and how to achieve the best benefits from mediation.

Click here to read, 6 essentials for a vibrant life.

The Scientific Power of Meditation

What Does Daily Meditation?

Meditation involves controlling your breathing while focusing your attention on;

  • A word/phrase
  • Mental image or object

It’s a state of thoughtless and awareness that allows you to connect with your inner self. Meditation has been practiced across different religions and has been part of many traditions for thousands of years.

In ancient times, it was used as a way to understand the mystical forces of life.  Allowing you to get closer to God and/or other higher entities. Today it commonly serves as a tool for relieving stress and achieving a state of relaxation and calm.

Throughout the day adults will be functioning in Beta; a brain wave frequency that can best implement the skills of planning, logic and reason. However as the stress of every day life begins to pile on, this frequency becomes faster and is associated with a stress response in our bodies. However, if our brain is in that state for a prolonged period of time it can lead to sickness and even chronic diseases.

The practice of meditation helps to reduce the frequency of our brain waves to a very slow pattern. It is in this state that the body will not only benefit from the feeling of relaxation but also ‘turn-off’ the stress response that we are experiencing.  This helps us return to a state of balance in the body referred to as homeostasis.

Dr. Oz Shares The Benefits of Meditation

The Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

People who practice meditation have noticed complete relief and/or management of symptoms associated with many health conditions including but is not limited to;

  • Migraines
  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The benefits of meditation have been repeatedly confirmed through many research papers detailing the positive impact on physical, emotional and chemical well being. Some of the benefits from meditation include;

  • Help in balancing emotions
  • Increase self awareness
  • Effective for stress management
  • Relieves the symptoms of asthma, allergies, heart disease, pain and many other stress-related conditions
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Prevents and reduces depression
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Enhances mental focus and concentration
  • Supports endocrine function
  • Helps stop addictive behaviors

Harvard Study: Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes And Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

mindfulness meditation

Brain Health

Most health experts agree that meditation has a positive impact on the performance of our brain. In fact, it can alter the brains structure and boost cognitive function in as little as eight weeks in addition to:

  • Increasing attention
  • Enhancing memory
  • Help to prevent atrophy of our brain tissue

By taking all of these benefits into consideration, it comes as no surprise that the practice of mediation is becoming more and more common. If you are wondering where to start, there are many helpful tools out there via websites and apps that are readily available to guide you in the right direction.

The great thing about practicing meditation is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. This practice requires no special equipment or fancy devices. All you need is a quiet space and a few minutes of your time.

Begin taking back control of your life and your health.   Start reaping the benefits of meditation by introducing this habit into your life today!

Want to learn more ways to help alleviate stress?  Check out this article about 23 Instant Mood Boosts You’ll Want to Make a Habit.  

Effects Of Anxiety Can Disappear Just By Doing This!

effects of anxiety

With all the uncertainty that everyone has been experiencing this year, one of the most common concerns that I have been seeing in my practice lately is anxiety. Experiencing the effects of anxiety, stress, or fear are not necessarily problematic if the right coping strategies are in place.

Examples of coping strategies and tools for dealing with uncertainty include:

  • Exercise
  • Creative outlets
  • Mindfulness/prayer
  • Proper nutrition
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal support

Since we’re nearing the end of gardening season and I have herbs on the brain, I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about herbs. These can help calm the mind when anxiety gets to be a little too overwhelming.

Here are five of my favourite herbs for helping to calm the mind and ease the effects of anxiety.

lemon balm herb

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis, is a great herb for bringing some calm. In fact, the great thing about lemon balm is that it can help address stress and bring a sense of calm typically without any feelings of drowsiness. This makes it great to use in stressful situations where you may want some calm but still want to stay alert. My favourite way to use lemon balm is as a calming tea. Most people find the taste of lemon balm to be quite pleasant so it tends to work very nicely as a tea.

If you have any thyroid concerns, take some caution when it comes to lemon balm as it may interfere with the production of thyroid hormones (1).

passion flower herb

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passion flower, like lemon balm, is another great calming herb to use during the day when you may still need to be alert. The two actually combine quite nicely to make a calming herbal infusion or tea. Passion flower has also been studied for its effects on easing symptoms of anxiety disorders and has even been compared to pharmaceuticals used in conventional treatment of anxiety disorders (2).

Like any of the herbs mentioned here, it should not be used as a stand alone treatment for anxiety disorders but can be quite helpful when used in conjunction with other treatments.

chamomile uses

Chamomile (Matricaria recucitata)

Chamomile is a herb most people have heard of or have had experience with. However, this herb can cause some drowsiness so is best used before bed. While chamomile has shown to be helpful in managing symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (3), it also helps with digestion. This digestive aspect of chamomile makes it great for those with “anxious stomachs” especially before bed or after dinner.

My favourite way to use chamomile is as an herbal infusion or tea but it can also be used as a tincture or dried herb capsule.

Lavender Essential Oil: Best Uses & Benefits + Quick How To

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)

This is another herb that many people are familiar with. If you have ever smelled lavender, you have probably experienced the relaxing effect that comes from simply smelling it. While I generally do not recommend extensive use of essential oils because of the huge amount of plant matter required to make them, lavender essential oil is one that I make an exception for. This is because of its strong calming effects.

A couple drops of lavender in a diffuser, on a pillow, or in a bath can be quite helpful in calming the mind. Please do not ingest the lavender oil, use for smelling purposes only.

best natural herbs

Valarian (Valariana officinalis)

Valarian or Valariana officinalis is a herb that has very strong calming or sedative properties. This is definitely one that is best taken before bed as you may not have the most productive day if you were to take it first thing in the morning.

When it comes to trying herbs for the first time, I usually recommend an infusion (like a tea) or decoction (boiling the herbs) before trying a tincture (alcohol extract). Although all three are great ways to diminish the effects of anxiety, stress and fear.

Valerian is one of the herbs I make an exception for mainly because it stinks! I’ve heard the smell described as “sweaty gym socks” and “my son’s hockey bag that hasn’t been cleaned for a week”.  Therefore, consider yourself warned. Valerian is a smelly but effective herb best taken as a tincture or dried herb capsule, especially for a restless mind that keeps you up at night.

What herbs have you tried that help you calm down? Are there any I missed? Comment below!

Remember to talk to your Naturopathic Doctor or Herbalist before using any herbal medicine

References

1. Auf'mkolk M, Ingbar JC, Amir SM, et al. Inhibition by certain plant extracts of the binding and adenylate cyclase stimulatory effect of bovine thyrotropin in human thyroid membranes.
Endocrinology. 1984 Aug;115:527-34

2. Miyasaka LS, Atallah AN, Soares BG. Passiflora for anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database Syst
Rev 2007;(1):CD004518 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17253512/

3. Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral
Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin
Psychopharmacol. 2009;29(4):378-382 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19593179/