A Healthy Pituitary Gland And Interconnectedness

Called the “Master Gland” by many, the next endocrine gland to discuss is the Pituitary Gland. The Pituitary, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the third eye”. This is because the Pituitary Gland is associated with “higher awareness and higher consciousness”.

As the Pituitary gland is located in the frontal portion of the brain, right behind the space between our eyes, it is called the “third eye” as it also “sees” the world from a different perspective beyond just the physical appearance. The Pituitary sits on its own little throne, called the “Turk’s Saddle”, and holds court as a high ranking endocrine gland. It has been called the Master Gland because the Pituitary acts as a “dispatcher” of sorts, directing the various endocrine gland secretions to function on cue.

These cues come from the nervous system, the emotional center of the brain and the body’s chemical communications. The Pituitary is the interconnectedness component of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Just as the Pituitary interconnects all of the endocrine glands to each other, so does it relate to our awareness and consciousness regarding our connectedness to one another.

Whole Health Spotlight: The Pituitary Gland And InterconnectednessFrom your learning with the National Institute of Whole Health, you may recall that that the endocrine system is a completely inter-dependent system and if there is an abnormal function in one gland it has a direct effect on all of the other glands, each of which adapts to the hormonal change and “pitches in” to try and restore balance to the body chemistry.

This is actually what happens in healthy societies when each member works to serve the common good of all. Physically the Pituitary is connected to our Balance in the world and to the balance of the entire endocrine system.

Regarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Pituitary, holds a place for our “higher self” and responds to and expresses Trust, Acceptance and Integration. The Pituitary is the Spirituality component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.Spirituality being defined literally as “breath or life” or how we live within our self and with others.

So far we have gone over FIVE (5) of the SEVEN (7) aspects.The last two aspects, as we have seen with all the other endocrines clarify the emotional and behavioral aspects of each specific endocrine gland.

The VIRTUE of the Pituitary is Charity which expresses a generosity towards others and a giving of self. The Pituitary works on behalf of all the other glands, doing multiple jobs for the benefit of all. When we are accepting and gracious to all, we express the highest consciousness of the human experience and we are said to be living from our “third Eye Chakra”.

The DEADLY SIN of the Pituitary is the opposite of its virtue. The opposite of this charitable, hard working gland is SLOTH or laziness and self-serving behavior. While the higher expression of the Pituitary is Charity and generosity towards the good of all, the lower expression of the Pituitary is a laziness and uncaring self absorption. When we are too self-centered or narcissistic, we work against the common good and can become destructive.

It is very simple to see the value and importance of understanding how the body works in a whole integrated way during health coach certification. Many meditation and spiritual practices understand the power and potential of awakening the Pituitary or “Third Eye” consciousness. This awakening is not only for the benefit of others, but for our own emotional and physical health, as well as for our own happiness.

For more whole health discussions, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Are You Caring For Your Pancreas?

The Pancreas, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the solar plexus” chakra. From our whole health education, we know that the pancreas is one of the hardest working digestive and metabolic organs of the body. Both an endocrine and exocrine gland, this truly amazing organ/gland is the “end organ” of all digestive activity in the upper intestines. The health and function of your pancreas is of the utmost importance to your overall health and is probably the most abused gland/organ in the body.

The pancreas works 24/7. It deals with digestion as well as stress adaptation, reproduction needs, cellular nutrition needs and brain glucose imperatives. The pancreas is the belonging component of Maslow’s Hierarchy and it is evident that it expresses “the sweetness of our lives” (or not) when we look at its function and malfunctions and how intimately it is connected to our body’s glucose regulation. Like the adrenals, which we could not live without for long, without a properly working pancreas we would fall into a coma and die within days. Physically, it is intimately connected to our digestion, absorption and assimilation functions.

whole health pancreas healthRegarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Pancreas is “the proper or improper nutrition of our body” and all of its systems. It is the nutritional component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.

The virtue of the Pancreas is temperance or balance – not too much or too little consumption. This means not eating too much food, especially carbohydrates, which lead to hypertrophy of the beta cells of the pancreas. This leads to hyper-secretion of insulin which is the main disturbance in many chronic diseases.

The deadly sin of the Pancreas is very similar to that of the adrenals (greed). For the Pancreas the deadly sin is gluttony. Gluttony is when we eat too much, consume too much and create imbalance in our pancreatic function and whole body nutrition and chemistry. It is the act of gluttony, or taking in more than is appropriate or necessary that leads to most of the digestive problems and pathologies we see today.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of a comprehensive, whole person understanding of the digestive system. If there was one course and only one I could teach for the rest of my career it would be the digestive system, because to understand its anatomy, physiology and the whole picture of its function and integration with the rest of the body is utterly magnificent – and absolutely essential if you wish to facilitate authentic Whole Health with your patients or clients.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Looking Beyond The Hype: Digging Deep into the Reality of Supplements

Market research conducted in August 2018 found that the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry in the US ballooned to profits of $31 billion. This number is a clear sign of the American public’s great desire to pursue a greater level of whole health and integrative nutrition. The debate, however, still continues to thrive in regards to the safety, efficacy, and even necessity of taking supplements. While supplements aren’t new, it’s still worth exploring and discussing them before jumping on the bandwagon.

The Rising Popularity of Supplements

A commissioned study from 2017 found that 76% of respondents say that they consume dietary supplements. The supplements they take commonly come in the form of pills, powders, and even herbal teas. The common responses when asked why they took supplements were to “improve” and “maintain” their health. Another 15% claimed that taking supplements boosted their immune system and that they were getting sick less often. Word of mouth and social media have all been conducive in spreading the glowing reviews of satisfied users to entice other people into using dietary supplements, as well.

The Unforeseen Risks

The issue begins when the supplements that people purchase are fake and contain harmful elements that end up compromising their whole person health. Even when the supplements are authentic, there’s a risk to combining different ones and using them with medication. Taking too much of certain nutrients like iron can cause hemochromatosis, as warned by the FDA. Popular supplements like St. John’s Wort originally enjoyed a reputation of being effective in boosting moods and chasing the blues away. It wasn’t until later when people found that it curbs the efficacy of antibiotics and even antiretrovirals. You just might be risking your health because of a post that you read online, so it’s best to be careful.

A Life Without Supplements

Consumers that are skeptical or have heard horror stories about fake ones wonder if it’s possible to survive without them. It actually is; it’s just going to involve a lot of dedication. A lot of the vitamins and nutrients that supplements claim to give you are readily available in the food we consume regularly. When you carefully plan the food that you eat, you can actually get the nutrient count that you need. You can try to create a food plan that maximizes your nutritional intake or you can have a health coach or dietitian help you out.

Finding the Right Balance

There are supplements that do as advertised and there are all-natural diets that work. It is entirely possible to reach some sort of compromise between supplements and diet; all that’s needed is due diligence. Read up on different findings to build a study-based and fact-based opinion on supplements and nutrition. There’s a wealth of information out there about integrative nutrition. If that isn’t enough, you can always ask your trusted nurse coach or other healthcare professional for their educated opinion.

At the end of it all, doing research about supplements will safeguard your whole person health. As a consumer, it’s your responsibility to see if something trendy is worth dabbling into. Always avoid putting your health at any unnecessary risk.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Author Credit: Allie Oliver

The Battle Between Thinking And Feeling

There are three parts of the human brain, referred to as the “triune brain”. Paul D.MacLean, an early research director for the National Institute of Mental Health, postulated his Triune Brain Theory what states that the human brain is a product of three stages of evolution and is actually three separate brains which have evolved into one brain over long periods of time.

The first section [the lowest portion of the brain] which is comprised of the top part of the spinal cord, the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the cerebellum, MacClean calls “the reptilian brain” as he stated “at its base [the human brain] was a variation in the elaboration of the reptilian brain.”

The limbic system [located in the mid-portion of the brain] states MacClean, “was an elaboration of the new mammalian brain from the Jurassic period”. He termed it the “mid-brain” or the neo-mammalian brain (new mammal).

The upper most and largest part of the human brain, the cerebral cortex, encompasses our logic centers, our “intellect”. MacClean termed this portion “the neo-cortex” (new cortex).

Viewed thru the perspective of MacClean’s “Triune Brain” theory, this is the time line on which the human brain evolved:

1. Reptilian portion = Triassic period – 248 to 206 million years ago. Regulates hunger, body temperature control, fight or flight responses; is shared with reptiles

2. Limbic Portion = Jurassic period – 206-144 million years ago. Regulates mood, memory, hormone control; is shared with older mammals = dogs, cats, mice.

3. Neocortex = Eocene & Oligocene Epochs – 55 -24 million years ago. Regulates logic and thought required for complex social situations, etc; is shared with monkeys and chimpanzees.

The Reptilian or “vegetable brain” [recall the autonomic nervous system functions], is fundamentally concerned with homeostasis, which is involved in regulating all of the body functions that allow each of us to be human, get up every day and live our lives. If you do not have a well-functioning lower brain, if you have a tumor, if you have a trauma, if you’re in an accident, if something happens to your brain stem, you may no longer have the capacity to control the day to day homeostatic functions to maintain your life.

Embedded inside the Limbic System is a structure identified as the Reticular Activating System which has pathways as well as neurons traveling throughout the lower brain, up through the medulla oblongata, across the Limbic System into the Neo-Cortex or the “thinking brain”.

The Limbic System and Reticular Activating System interpret sensory motor messages that are “incoming” from the person’s environment and it is in this portion of the brain that we not only interpret the “incoming stimuli and information” but we also select methods for survival and adaptation.

Here is where it gets exciting to put the anatomy and physiology of brain function and the psychology of personality together!

We know the neo-cortex is our thinking, intellectual brain – our “smart brain” and most of us know individuals who are brilliant academically or intellectually yet they are emotionally dysfunctional in the extreme. Our thinking brain would presume that being “smart” or intellectually capable would exercise dominion over one’s emotions, however, the missing piece of information here is that our emotions actually are a survival adaptation mechanism that each of us individual develops as we process our early environment and social conditioning. Nothing is more powerful in the human being than its drive to survive! Hence, our emotions win the day in the battle between thinking and feeling.

It is critically important for each of us to understand that our emotions represent how we learned to adapt in our surroundings and environment, especially during the first 0-5 years of our development. Our familial “input” taught us, as did Pavlov with his dogs, how to respond to the stimuli we received as infants and toddlers.

This embedded neurological conditioning is not overcome by the thought process, as the thought process for humans is the “newest” component to our primordial brain. It is in the survival adaptive portion of our brain where we form our “personality” and where we become conditioned to create and interact within relationships.

When we understand the possibility that interpersonal issues that frustrate us may come not from “being difficult” or “bad intent” but rather from our drive to survive and our interpretation of the stimulation and environment we were conditioned by, then we can begin to be “kinder and gentler” towards ourselves and others.

In summary, our emotions are the way we learn to live and survive in our world. We cannot “think them” into changing, but we can step back and appreciate the service and challenge they offer us in our daily lives.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama available on iHeartRadio.

Nurture The Thymus To Empower The Immune System

The Thymus, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the heart” chakra. In an integrative whole health approach to patient care, the Thymus is considered a primary source of all immune cells being formed through the stimulation of “T” (thymus) cells and “B” (bird – because they were first discovered in birds) cells. In encouraging behavior that nurtures the thymus, a whole health nurse coach can assist in empowering the immune system.

From the very early stages of our embryology the Thymus is the primary mover in the development of our immune systems. It shrinks after early childhood but still plays a roll in communicating with the early T and B cells it populated back when we were still in our mother’s uterus.

The Thymus is the self-esteem component of Maslow’s Hierarchy. This is evident in as much as our immune function is an expression of how we care for and think about ourselves. To see this at work, the observation of HIV positive patients, who have a high self-esteem and self worth, rarely manifest AIDS; sometimes never does it manifest, or only when the individual is confronted with profound stress such as loss or grief which lowers the immune system function. Less than 50% of HIV positive patients ever develop AIDS and much of this is contributed to the individual’s self-esteem level. Physically the Thymus is intimately connected to our Immune System and Neurotransmitters.

Regarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Thymus can express Infections/Compromised Immunity – which is a loss of self protection. The Thymus is the environmental (internal and response to the external) component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.

So far we have gone over FIVE (5) of the SEVEN (7) aspects. The last three, as we saw with the reproductive glands, the adrenals and pancreas, clarify the emotional and behavioral aspects of each specific endocrine gland.

The VIRTUE of the Thymus is HOPE – the individual who sees the world as good and holding promise for the future has hope and feels positive about life and what is to come. This also creates a positive sense of self and self-esteem. Hope fills our life with thinking about the future and that we can fulfill our dreams and goals, rather than directing our attention to what others have and we don’t have. With hope comes the belief that we can be valued, loved and belong in this world – which is an important component to being healthy and having a strong immune system.  

The DEADLY SIN of the Thymus is very opposite of the virtue of the Thymus – hope and belief in the future, seeing the world as good and abundant; the sin of the Thymus is that of ENVY – resentment towards what others have; feeling diminished and less valued because another may be perceived as having more than us. Envy, jealously and resentment are poison to the heart, the mind and the body. Envious thoughts send messages to the cell membranes of our immune system that are toxic to the body’s health and function.

Once again we can see the value and importance in understanding how the body works a whole integrated being. The Thymus is a major player in the endocrine system, disabling or empowering the immune system to keep us healthy or make us sick.

The outcome of our Thymus function is up to us – our thoughts, behaviors, virtues and negative actions all play a role in this amazing gland’s function.J

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Beauty Before Age: How Beautiful Skin Can Lead To A Longer Life

In a study published in the Journals of Gerontology, researchers found that people with fewer age lines had lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and a greater chance of outliving their more wrinkled friends. This takes a new meaning to the age old saying, “Age before beauty,” and gives everyone more of a reason to take care of their skin. So, take into consideration these helpful tips to rejuvenate your skin and create better whole person health when planning your patient education.

Drinking More Water Makes Beautiful Skin
Drinking water has been known to lead to radiant, healthy and younger-looking skin. It rejuvenates the skin and adds moisture to make your face truly glow. However, an adequate amount of water is also essential for whole health. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day can rid the body and skin of toxins that are poisoning our health. It also aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, and excretion to provide whole person care and the necessary functions for a longer life.

Avoiding the Sun to Avoid the Hospital
Our skin begins to wrinkle over time, but harmful things in the environment can also make our skin less elastic. UVA rays account for 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and penetrate the skin to play a major role in skin ageing and wrinkling. However, the issues of the rays aren’t only skin deep, they also get under the skin and disrupt the body’s whole health. UV radiation damages the immune system and prevents the body’s ability to fight against bacteria and infections. It can also lead to skin cancer, cataracts, and even blindness. It is important, therefore, to take care of your skin when you’re outside. It’s our first line of defense, and by advocating for sunscreen, you can practice proper patient education and protection from danger. You should also wear enough clothing to cover your skin and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Smoking Wrinkles the Skin and Destroys the Body
Another environmental aspect that can have harmful effects on the skin and whole body health is smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin. This ultimately impairs blood flow to the skin and disrupts your skin’s ability to receive essential oxygen and nutrients. Overtime, this causes the skin to sag, age prematurely, scar, and stain. The smoke also seeps into your body and can affect just about every organ in your body. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 2-4 times, stroke by 2-4 times, and lung cancer by 25 times. It diminishes overall health and leads to more hospital visits and increased health care utilization.   

Our skin is a representation of our whole health. We wear our health on the outside, making it hugely important to take care of our skin as well as the rest of our body. Exercise proper patient education as a nurse or health coach, and also protect your own skin and body from the dangers of the environment.

Join the conversation. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to follow NIWH on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates filled with useful accredited health program information for holistic nurses and health coaches.

Author Credit: Allie Oliver

Healthy Habits: Eat More Colors

The living world around us is filled with color. Look around and you may see blue sky, green grass, aqua oceans, and an unlimited array of tress, flowers and plants bursting with intense, vibrant color. Health is associated with color as well. When we are healthy we have pink cheeks, bright eyes, and a healthy flush to our skin. Quite interestingly, aging is the gradual loss of color. This fading of color marks the slowing or ebbing of life vibrancy.

It is no wonder then that colorful foods are the healthiest foods we can nourish our bodies with. They contain nutritional benefit in the form of phytonutrients, which means plant nutrients. The fruits and vegetables with the most vivid colors contain the highest amount of these important plant nutrients. Their hues act as a table of contents for the phytochemicals found inside the plant.

Listed below is a color guide for choosing the fruits and vegetables that will provide these powerful healing plant nutrients. Make a conscious effort to include a variety of these healthy colors in your daily diet. Not only will you get more nutrients, but your meals will become more fun and enjoyable.

  • Orange: Contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports immune function.
  • Yellow-Orange: Provides vitamin C, which detoxifies and inhibits tumor cell growth.
  • Red: Holds lycopen, an antioxidant that reduces cancer risk.
  • Green: Contains folate and iron, which are essential to building healthy cells and genetic material.
  • Green-Light: Provide indoles and lutein, which eliminates excess estrogen and carcinogens.
  • Green-White: Hold allyl sulfides. These can destroy cancer cells and support a healthy immune system.
  • Blue (fruits): Contain anthocyanins that destroy free radicals.
  • Red-purple (fruits): Provide reservatrol, a plaque reducer and mineral chelator.
  • Brown (legumes, whole grains): Are high in fiber, carcinogen remover and digestive aid.

Filling your diet with many colorful fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure your body is getting all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you need to stay healthy, happy, and vibrant. Think ‘rainbow’ the next time you prepare your plate.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

Seven Aspects of A Healthy Thyroid

Protecting Thyroid Function Through The 7 Aspects of Whole Health on Whole Health Living Blog by Dr. Georgianna Donadio of the National Institute of Whole Health Exploring The Endocrine System

The Thyroid, in yoga and energy circles is often referred to as “the throat” chakra. The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It differs from other endocrine glands explored in our accredited whole health program in that its hormones are stored for future use, as well as secreted for immediate metabolic needs. The hormones produced by the thyroid, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3), are responsible for stimulating cellular metabolism throughout the entire body as well as growth and energy. It is important for health coaches to understand how the thyroid controls the quantity of calories we burn, our body heat, and how much we weigh. If the Thyroid was removed and there was no hormone replacement, the cells would cease to function metabolically and death would occur within a relatively short period of time.

As a nurse, you might be surprised to discover that the thyroid is also the personal power and self expression component of Maslow’s Hierarchy. This is easily understood when we think about how our throat is “our voice” and when we speak our truth and express ourselves in the world, we own our personal power and experience self-expression. Under functioning Thyroid problems are believed in many healing circles to be caused by “not having a voice” and not expressing ourselves in the world. Physically the Thyroid is intimately connected to our Brain Cortex – and our interpretation of Self.

Regarding Selye’s Stress Model, the Thyroid can express the Fear, Worry and Lack of Trust dynamic. The Thyroid is the mental-cortex-intellect component of the Whole Health Five Aspects.

So far we have gone over five (5) of the seven (7) aspects. The last two, as we saw with the reproductive glands, the adrenals and pancreas and thymus, clarify the emotional and behavioral aspects of each specific endocrine gland.

The virtue of the Thyroid is Fortitude or strength. Often the force of will of an individual determines their fortitude or strength. The “throat chakras” – which relates to our voice in the world and how we express our WILL in the world, is what the Thyroid represents. People who have Graves disease, where their eyes are bulging from their sockets, is the result of a hyperactive thyroid gland and appears very clearly as a forceful expression of will or anger. If you have ever witnessed anyone becoming intensely angry about not getting their way, you can see this eye bulging occur.  

The deadly sin of the thyroid is once again the opposite of its virtue. The opposite of fortitude and strength is weakness, fear and angry willfulness. When we are too focused on getting our way or imposing our will onto others, we suffer from aggression that ultimately can become expressed through the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as Graves Disease.

Once again, we can see the value and importance in understanding how the body works as a whole integrated being. The thyroid is another important gland in the endocrine system, enabling us to function well metabolically to keep us healthy or if malfunctioning can make us sick.

The function of our thyroid gland is in our hands. The way we think, treat ourselves and others play a role in the health and function of our Thyroid gland.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama. Also available on iHeartRadio.

A Natural Approach To Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia is an inflammatory condition that is related to chronic fatigue syndrome. People with fibromyalgia experience fatigue, sleep disorders, and muscle pain which tends to be located at specific points in the neck, shoulders, back, and buttocks.  The underlying cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but at least three important abnormalities have been found in people with fibromyalgia. 

One of these is that there appears to be an underlying disorder in the metabolism of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood.  The second is that many people with fibromyalgia have an underlying thyroid problem. The third is that abnormal sleep patterns, specifically something known as alpha wave intrusion, occurs in many people with fibromyalgia.  Fortunately, there are whole health methods to correct these abnormalities. 

Tryptophan is an amino acid (a type of nutrient that is a building block for protein) that has been used for years to treat depression.  It is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has potent effects on mood.  Many prescription anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft act by modifying the metabolism of serotonin, resulting in increased levels of serotonin in the brain. Vitamin B6 can also increase serotonin levels, and certain forms of vitamin B6 can be very helpful with sleep. 

Several studies have found low serum levels and decreased intestinal absorption of tryptophan in people with fibromyalgia.  Inadequate levels of tryptophan in the body can lead to decreased levels of serotonin in the brain, whereas supplementation with tryptophan can increase brain levels of serotonin.  This is the same thing that many of the antidepressants used in fibromyalgia do.  Because tryptophan isn’t absorbed well by people with fibromyalgia, an alternate form known as 5-hydroxy tryptophan is recommended.

Several studies have demonstrated that many people with fibromyalgia have a sleep disorder known as alpha wave intrusion.  This type of sleep disorder prevents the body from getting adequate rest during sleep.  Experimental subjects who have had this type of sleep disorder artificially induced experience symptoms similar to that of fibromyalgia.  Correcting this disorder has also been shown to help people with fibromyalgia.

Natural therapies that help to normalize sleep include tryptophan, certain forms of vitamin B6, melatonin, and herbs such as valerian and scuttelaria. 

S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) is an amino acid derivative that has analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant effects.  It is relatively free of side effects and has been found to improve depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and to reduce the number and severity of tender points in people with fibromyalgia.

Magnesium is deficient in the red blood cells of many people with fibromyalgia.  Oral supplementation of highly absorbable form such as citrates, malates, aspartates, or Kreb’s cycle chelates can help correct this deficiency.  Intravenous administration of magnesium is especially helpful.  Epsom salt baths (1/2 – 2 cups of Epsom salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda in a hot bath) taken before bed time can also be useful.  Epsom salt is high in magnesium.

Other nutrients which may be of benefit include Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamins B1 and E.  CoQ10 is a vitamin like substance which may be deficient in people with fibromyalgia.  It is a cofactor in the energy producing pathways in the body, and hence fatigue is a common symptom of deficiency.  Some research has also shown abnormalities in the metabolism of vitamins B1, B6, and E in people with fibromyalgia.

Capsaicin is a compound found in the cayenne pepper.  Topical creams are now available that have been standardized to contain .025% capsaicin.  This cream has been found to decrease tenderness when applied directly to tender points.

There is some belief that the accumulation of acidic and nitrogen containing wastes in the body promote fibromyalgia.  Acid wastes tend to aggravate muscle inflammations and spasms, and may eventually lead to arthritic changes in the joints.  Acid wastes are produced by the digestion of animal proteins (especially pork, milk, and cheese).  Other acid forming foods are wheat, sugar, tea, coffee, alcohol, vinegar, pickles, processed and tinned foods, tomatoes, rhubarb, gooseberries, red and black currants, cooked spinach, margarine and all processed fats, eggs, chocolate, cod liver oil, and peanuts.

A maintenance diet would avoid all of the above foods and concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of cereals/grains, occasional fish and chicken, and no processed or artificial foods.

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition which is best managed using a comprehensive approach which includes dietary modifications, the appropriate use of herbal and nutritional supplements, and the treatment of any underlying conditions which may be exacerbating the condition. 

Whole Health Approach To Fibromyalgia: 

The most effect approaches to treating fibromyalgia based on the whole health model includes the following:

  • movement or aerobic exercise to assist in flushing out the tissue
  • behavior focused therapy to assist in reducing tension in the body
  • mild relaxants that do not cause secondary symptoms
  • information and education that can offer options for individual to choose from

Fibromyalgia is viewed as a stress-fueled condition. Therefore any approach or techniques directed at reducing stress and muscle tension are highly effective.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama available on iHeartRadio.

10 Tips Anyone Can Use To be Healthier

10 Nurse Coach Tips For Improving Whole Person Health

Everyone loves “tips”, especially when it comes to improving their whole person health. Here is a short but powerful list of things we can all do to be healthier, thinner and more energetic. The best part is they are easy to do and aren’t expensive. Share these tips with your health coaching clients and patients too:

  •  Drink more water. Sometimes we overeat because we are actually in need of more body fluid, so drink more water, especially when you are hungry.
  •  Move more. The simple act of physically moving is a great way to get more exercise, improve circulation and reduce calories.
  •  Eat less starch. Complex carbohydrates are the main culprit in producing excess insulin, which is a major player in diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity.
  • Eat out less. Americans are eating 75% of our meals outside the home. The amount of salt, MSG and chemicals in the foods eaten outside the home is unhealthy and preparing food at home is not only healthier but also less expensive.
  • Enjoy a hobby that relaxes you. Nurses with hobbies have lower blood pressure and are less stressed from being able to redirect their energies and attention into something they love to do.
  • Keep plants or have a pet. Statistics show that people who keep pets or take care of plants are less depressed and more social. In nursing homes, residents are given plants to take care of to reduce depression.
  • Have regular personal quite time. Nurse coach and other healthcare focused careers, while rewarding, can be quite stressful at times. Meditation, prayer, chanting, contemplation are all ways to slow down the nervous system and help improve sleep and digestion.
  • Pay down your debt. The amount of debt a person maintains exerts a major influence to the amount of stress they have in their lives. Owe less, live longer.
  • Be sure to get 8 hours sleep. You might be able to function on less but for your body to rest and rejuvenate 8 hours is the ideal.
  •  Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast live 7 years longer than those who don’t because the body functions more efficiently when eating is on an appropriate schedule.

For more whole health discussions like this, listen to my weekly radio show Living Above The Drama available on iHeartRadio.Join the conversation.