Stress Management

What Your Brain Needs You to Do

by Meg Deak

Do you get laser focused on the things you need to do,
and then get that wired/tired feeling?

Are you so intent on what you’re doing,
you have trouble seeing the forest for the trees?

Is it hard to get to sleep?

When you are focused – paying attention, thinking, planning, even worrying – your brain is processing in a brainwave state known as Beta. The electrical activity of Beta ranges from 12 to 38 HZ, or cycles per second, which is pretty fast.

Now focusing is a really great thing, especially in our ADHD world. The trouble comes when we get stuck in that gear. We can’t or won’t stop thinking. Too much of a good thing is too much. When our brains are processing fast, it takes a lot of energy. When something revs up for a long time, it’s likely to burn out.

Your brain needs to slow down, take mini-breaks.

treeAlpha Is the next level of processing, or awareness. Slowing down the brain’s electrical activity to between 8 and 12 HZ, opens your awareness and takes it inside. It’s like widening a lens that has been focused on an ant, walking up a tree. You open up to take in the whole tree, and then become aware of the forest.

Notice the crossover around 12 HZ – at the high end of Alpha and the low end of Beta. There’s the sweet-spot, where we get into a relaxed, focused state. Imagine being able to see the big picture in a usually stressful planning meeting.

Next, we move down into Theta, 3 to 8 HZ, which is a story all its own and best saved for another time. Hint: think learning, creativity and psychological health.  

Delta is the deep, sleep-through-a-thunder-storm kind of sleep. Its slow brainwave activity of .5 to 3 HZ is the state where the body heals and repairs itself. Large quantities of DHEA, the growth hormone, are released; it’s natural anti-aging.

So, what does your brain need you to do?

Let it slow down:

  • Take a mini-break every 90 minutes, where you get up and walk around, look out a window.
  • Close your eyes and gently hum on one long tone.
  • Turn off the music, TV, computer, phone for at least ½ hour. How long can you live in the silence? An hour? How about 2?
  • Learn to meditate

If you have trouble meditating, or find yourself unable to slow things down, try ourvibroacoustic-005 Vibroacoustic Sound Chair with Brainwave Entrainment. Our system uses specialized audio recordings with a uniquely-designed sound/light system and vibro-acoustic chair to help change your brainwaves.  These changes allow you to reach deeper states of relaxation and awareness.

Increase your brain’s efficiency, manage stress, sleep better, remember what it feels like to be deeply relaxed – these are all within reach. Call Meg at 610-504-4830 to see how we can help.

 

Achieve Strong Bones

vegetables-1584999_1280Are you aware of the condition of your bones?

Are you an Osteoporosis statistic?

Osteoporosis, a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced, is a common condition around the world. One in 3 women and one in 5 men are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture which is estimated to occur every three seconds.

The good news is there are many steps that can be taken to prevent and help osteoporosis. It is now a treatable condition with a combination of appropriate nutrition and lifestyle changes.

POSITIVE BONE INFLUENCES:
Nutrients & Balanced Diet
• Calcium – 1,200 mg daily
Dairy, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines

• Vitamin D – 600-800 IU or more
Tuna and sardines, egg yolks, fortified milk – sunlight is the primary source

• Magnesium – 400-800 mg daily
Green vegetables, almonds, black beans, kidney beans, nut butters, whole wheat bread

• Vitamin K − 50-100 mcg
Leafy green vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, green beans

• Eat an alkalizing diet – healthy pH value ranges from 7-14
Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables

• Eat raw cultured dairy: Kefir, yogurt, and raw cheese contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, phosphorus, and vitamins B12, A, C, and D

It is always best to eat fresh, organic and unprocessed foods for overall good health. Talk with your doctor and ask for recommendations for your specific needs before making any dietary changes or taking any supplements.

Staying Physically Active
Exercising if you have osteoporosis means finding the safest, most enjoyable activities for you given your overall health and amount of bone loss. There’s no one-size-fits-all prescription.

NEGATIVE BONE INFLUENCES:
• Sodium (increases calcium excretion through the urine) – no more than 2,300 mg / day
• Smoking and excessive alcohol use (no more than one drink per day)
• Stress should be minimized

GUIDANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

THE FOLLOWING MODALITIES CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE STRONG BONES:
Many times people know what to do yet still fail to follow through. With the right Guidance and Accountability led by a practitioner, privately or in a group – you can receive the warm feeling of friendship, closeness and loyalty that makes your health transformation not only fun but rewarding.

Low Level Cold Laser Treatments
John Ezaki, 610-462-6103
Jeanne Mancinelli, 610-393-9676
Linda Printz, 484-955-7306

Food, Nutrition & Lifestyle Changes
Ayurvedic Nutrition & Cooking, Michelle Costantini,  720-745-3453
Health Coach & Cooking Instructor Christina Moyes, 610-704-8083

Physical Movement Trainings
Pilates Power-Assisted Table,  Betsy Wetzig 610-398-9652
Feldenkrais Method® of Movement,  Carol Siddiqi 610-618-0467
Tai Chi,  Barbra Kopystecki, 610-888-8600
Yoga Karen Klubertanz, 484-554-4801

Stress Management
Effortless Meditation™ Greg Schweitzer, 610-670-6700
Health & Life Coach Dr. Mehri Ulas, 484-240-9730
Neuroacoustic Chair & Brain Entrainment,  Meg Deak,  610-504-4830

Visit modality pages at www.TwinPondsCenter.com for more information.

UP-COMING EVENTS:
Healthy Happy Hour: Good Food – Food Friends – Good Times!
5:30-7:30 pm 1st Friday of Every Month

Simple Weight-Loss Workshop: 6 Simple Steps to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss! 2:00-5:00 pm January 28th

Keeping Your Inner Well from Running Dry

Close-up of a young woman receiving back massage at spa

by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT, Reiki Practitioner

Constantly giving to family, friends, job, life events all help to drain your energy. When the inner well is full, we are able to give as the situation needs. If these events or situations begin to drain our energy and we do not take the time to replenish our supply, then we run into trouble.

As the body approaches this level, it begins to send out warning signals. These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Feeling “down”
  • Irritable, Etc.

Now we are entering a “dis-ease” state. If left unchecked, it will spiral downward and become more systemic. You may experience:

  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent severe headaches

How to replenish the well?

  • First is to recognize the situation
  • Secondly, realize that if you do not take care of yourself, you could end up with a physical or emotional breakdown.

What do do?

What helps you relax? Make some “you time.” This is where massage can help. As early as 15 minutes into the massage, the body releases endorphins. These are the “feel good” hormones. During this time your blood pressure begins to lower. Further into the massage, your muscles begin to relax and tension begins to ease. Clients frequently report improved sleep.

The type of massage will depend on the needs of the client. The therapist should discuss the expectations of the client. Some people prefer a more vigorous massage, while others enjoy the long, slow strokes of the Swedish massage. Incorporating essential oils can help ease muscle tension, help elevate moods, and help alleviate stress.

Taking time to refill your inner well is good preventative medicine.

According to a statement issued by the American Massage Therapy Association, there is a growing body of research supporting the health benefits of massage. They have listed 25 conditions that are positively affected by massage.

Included in this list are:

  • Relieve stress
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Improved sleep, Etc.

Massage is so much more than what a lot of people think it is.

Massage is not just a frivolous activity. It improves your health and well-being, it is good preventative medicine.

Join Jeanne Mancinelli, licensed massage therapist, for a cup of tea in our homey kitchen and learn about the different kinds of massage and their benefits.

Tuesday, February 9th at 5:30-6:30 pm

Register with Jeanne at 610.393.9676.

 

 

 

 

 

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress. Under chronic stress and relentless pressure, the fight or flight response is activated. You can see it everywhere. Drive thru a yellow light today and probably 3 cars are following behind.  Look to your right or left, drivers are on cell phones.  Most of us know that studies have proven that multi-tasking while driving at high speeds is fraught with unnecessary risk and danger.  Why do we live this way?  Is our priority to live fast or to live well? We need to heal our brains if we want a better quality of life.  A healthy brain creates a solid foundation for life.  So, how do we create a healthy brain?

The ancient traditions say the way to heal the brain is with:

  • Stillness
  • Daily experience of a quiet mind, if only for minutes

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle, but the restful alertness it produces can reduce stress, anxiety, and develop inner peace.  This restful alertness means that while the body is gaining deep rest and inner peace, the mind experiences quieter and quieter levels of thought. This can lead to a strong immune system that in turn will lower not only the risk of allergy suffering, but many other unwanted conditions.

Daily meditation practice benefits include:

  • Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
  • Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory, creativity and focus
  • Relief from headaches and pain
  • Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
  • Better moods and increased happiness
  • Mental clarity and peace of mind
  • Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

The message of well−being through training to heal the brain and mind with meditation, is resonating with people everywhere.

Join our Effortless Meditation™ class that is offered 4 times each month at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.. Call 610-3953355 for more information.

Greg has been teaching Effortless Meditation for more than 30 years.

 

Stress Solutions – Where’s Your Tiger?

By Meg Deak MCAT, LPC

Stress is a just fact of life, right? Just muscle through it and keep going, because you’re too busy and don’t have time to relax, right?  Well, stress can make us feel like there’s a tiger in the room. You may even be so used to the tiger, that feeling becomes normal. It’s really important to take the time to activate your relaxation response – send that tiger packing.

It’s easy to forget or ignore the damage the tiger can do. Remember stress brings hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin – these are for short term use, and not supposed to be constant. You owe it to yourself and your family to deal with the tiger.

About Stress

Let’s talk about your nervous system. You’ve got a

  • central nervous system
  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • peripheral system − all the nerve connections from everywhere else that create pathways to communicate with your brain

Breaking it down further, you have an autonomic nervous system (think automatic) that keeps the show running, things like:

  • breathing
  • heart rate
  • digestion

One part of the autonomic system, called sympathetic, is switched on under pressure – the tiger is in the room; the other part, parasympathetic, switches on when we feel safe and calm – the tiger has left the building.

When the tiger is in the room, heart rate and blood pressure sore, muscles contract and we consume a lot of oxygen – stress for sure!

Once safe, the switch is flipped, and the system:

  • lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • relaxes muscles
  • decreases oxygen consumption (the heart becomes more efficient)

Thinking becomes clearer; productivity and creativity increase – in a big way.

Our tigers can take the form of work and family stress, financial worry and chronic, troublesome thoughts, which often make us angry, anxious and reactive. Some tigers don’t leave the building – ever.  The switch can’t flip…unless we actively flip it.  Sometimes, we need to learn or relearn how to flip the switch – to activate the relaxation response.

Activate Your Relaxation Response

One really pleasant way to retrain your brain and autonomic nervous system to activate the relaxation response is through Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) & Brainwave Entrainment, which uses the vibrations of sound to lull your body into a state of deep relaxation.  Over time, you can “remember” the feeling and recreate it – you can flip the switch.

With VAT and Brainwave Entrainment you can feel your muscles relax as you sit on a zero-gravity chair. As a special CD plays, you feel the vibrations from the chair, hear the sounds from ear phones, and see the vibrations as special glasses transform the sounds into mandala-like patterns of light. Your mind begins to quiet, as this whole experience takes your brain and nervous system into a deeply-relaxed, healing state.

Stress is a fact of life, yes, but to muscle through causes dis-ease and reduces productivity.  Are you really too busy to manage your tiger?

Meg Deak,  MCAT, LPC specializes in the management of stress, anxiety and emotional overwhelm.

For a free 20 minute complementary consultation including a vibroacoustic experience, Call us at 610-395-3355, today!

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 Meta Description:

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Massage, the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine

Massage, the ultimate mind body medicine isn’t just for the wealthy any more. . . and it isn’t a rare occasion when someone enjoys a massage.  Now-a-days, many people are taking regular trips for a massage to a spa, chiropractic office, alternative health centers, and even a hospital. Is this a sign that people are becoming proactive with their health?  Let’s hope so!

People of all ages are scheduling a massage on a regular basis because they have learned that it isn’t just a mental sensation that makes them feel better, but a very deep healing process. Something many of us don’t realize is that a massage also involves giving us a sense of being cared for, comfort, empowerment, and adds to the healing process by creating a deep connection with another human being, the massage therapist.  These are all so important for our over-all health.

          We have all heard that newborns need touching or they will die.  It seems that we humans never stop needing to be touched and a massage is the “ultimate touch.”

        Physical contact is more precious than ever in our world where so much of our interaction is virtual (Facebook, e-mails, and texts).

Most people don’t realize that our skin is our body’s largest organ, and when its sensory receptors are stimulated, the hormone oxytocin, the one that makes you feel good, is released. At the same time, cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced.

We just don’t realize how stressed we are until we have relaxed enough to feel the difference.  That gives us a clue as to how deeply a massage can affect us. Since the skin is the largest “organ” in the body, it is amazing what benefits we experience when it is massaged or even when we are touched.

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Check the website, TwinPondsCenter.com, one of the largest complementary and alternative health centers in the country, to learn the many types of massages available.

It is the touch of massage that has become the ultimate mind-body medicine. If you’re into “preventative medicine,” this is a great avenue to take; however, once the body has gotten off balance, some studies have found massage to be helpful for:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Happiness
  • Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
  • Boosted immune function
  • Relief from pain
  • Stress release  (cortisol hormone level drops)
  • Release of muscle tightness

Because there are many different types of massage for specific conditions or diseases, it is recommended that you talk with a few experienced practitioners to be confident the one you choose is the right one for you. 

Despite the fact that massage is called the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care.  Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

For more information and help in finding the right practitioner for you, please call 610-395-3355.

 

 

Reducing Holiday Stress – by Greg Schweitzer

Reducing Holiday Stress

The holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and some sadness. For example, I have a great life, and I miss my deceased parents. They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. For me, the season accentuates their absence.

Many share bittersweet experiences at the holidays.  Perhaps your family is still intact, but your relationship with them is less that you would like.  At the holidays, we often remember the better times and regret the situation as it is today.  For others, holidays remind us of economic uncertainties.  Job security and unemployment are issues that haunt many.  For those trying to lose weight or battling an addiction, the holidays can present an especially challenging time.  For others, the winter climate in the Northeast can throw us off center.  As the daylight hours shorten, seasonal affective disorder brings on moods of sadness even depression.

Here are a few ideas to lighten our experiences at this time of year. 

  • First, take stock of the situation. What is in your control and what is not?  If you get depressed in the cold cloudy days of winter, you can’t change the weather however you could buy a “light box.”  Light therapy can help.
  • If you’re concerned about your weight or addictions ramping up over the holidays, find a support group or friend with whom you can discuss your concerns.  Enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make tasty healthy treats vs. high calorie low nutrient fare.
  • As for the family, having realistic expectations of their behavior always helps to keep us grounded during reunions.
  • Most importantly, practice self care.  If possible, spend time outdoors in nature – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and spend time with people who bring joy to your life.
  • Laughter is great medicine anytime of the year. And take a few conscious breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Finally, there is nothing more important for our health than regular periods of rest.  Do not short change sleep in order to do more. If you feel tempted to answer some email or watch another TV program at night when you’re exhausted, ask yourself, “how important is it?”  Get some rest, go to bed.  You’ll wake up with more energy and be happier because you listened to your body and gave it rest.

Staying on Track for Life

Mehmet Oz, M.D., in his talk at the 2013 Integrative Healthcare Symposium held in New York City, declared that health care in America will bankrupt our nation unless we make changes to our lifestyles.  We need to eat better food, move more and decrease stress, he said.

Many clients say it is difficult for them to stay on track.  The fast pace and pressures of daily life overwhelm them.  Over years, such a life negatively impacts us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How to stay on track? 

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Michael Pollan’s excellent book, gives a candid assessment of the complex web of scientific, economic and industrial forces shaping our unhealthy food choices.  Importantly, he also provides simple methods that will help us all choose better food.  One example, check labels; if it has more than five ingredients, it’s heavily processed and nutritionally suspect.  He discusses Sarah Lee’s “whole grain white bread.”  It has over 40 ingredients, many unrecognizable to anyone other than chemists and food scientists.  Is it really food?  In contrast, his grandmother’s bread had 4 ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt.

And what about stress?  How do we make wise and healthy choices in the face of pressure to do what is expedient.

Three important stress relievers are exercise, meditation and sleep.  Stress wears us down while these strengthen us.  Meditation and sleep provide vital rest that restores us for the activity ahead.  Meditation also quiets the mind and enhances awareness.

Movement and exercise release pent up tension in the body.  At the same time, our body grows stronger so that the challenges of the day are less taxing.

A healthier life is achievable for everyone.  It does require change, developing new habits.   The rewards are well worth it.  What would you pay for extra years of quality life?  It’s all available for a minimal financial investment.

A good place to start is with meditation.  After 15 minutes of meditation, your mind will be quieter.  You will perceive your needs more clearly, make better choices, and be happier.  Quieting the mind is fundamental for staying on track in life.  Effortless Meditation is part of my personal daily hygiene.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

 

 

Immune System Boost

Protection
From Foreign Invaders!

We depend on our national military to protect our country from foreign invaders, but do you realize that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BODY from its foreign invaders?

Your personal military is your immune system.  How successful is it?  Is it supported and well trained by you?  Are you confident that you are well protected?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend your body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections. Your body provides an ideal environment for many of these invaders and it is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.

When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result and an immune system boost is necessary.

The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them.

The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.

Sound like a war zone? Don’t wait until war breaks out. Get an immune system boost with a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and managing stress, and your immune system will support you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Carrie Lowry, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

                                                                                                                        

 

Improving Sleep & More

With State-of-the-Art Vibroacoustic Chair  

What a drag it was to get up in the morning to go to work. When the alarm went off, I just wanted to throw it out the window. I felt like my eyes didn’t want to open and my body felt like a load of bricks.  I finally had enough of this tossing and turning every night and decided to search for some way to get my nerves under control to enjoy a restful night of sleep.  With a stressful and demanding job, I couldn’t afford to work in a fog all day long.

 Then I saw an ad in a magazine about a state-of-the-art vibroacoustic chair at a health center that helps people with sleeping problems, among other things. I wanted to learn about this chair and experience it so I made an appointment with the counselor who is certified in this type of therapy.

I was fascinated that the process of hearing “sound vibration” through the body’s nerves, skin, and bones heals so many physical and mental problems.

Wow!  Just sitting on the o-gravity chair was incredibly comfortable.  I felt like I was floating as my muscles got more and more relaxed. The chair acted like electronic tuning forks that vibrated my whole body.  I was hearing multi-layered sounds from the ear phones and wearing glasses that transformed what I was hearing into mandala-like patterns of light while feeling the chair vibrate. The whole experience took my brain and central nervous system into a deeply relaxed-healing state – my brain was in balanced harmony!

Now that I had a session with the counselor and knew how to work the chair, I can visit the chair at my convenience and go home relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. This vibroacoustic chair has done wonders for my health–and it’s easy on my pocketbook.

 Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Vibroacoustic Sound Practitioner, Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner, and Music Therapist