B.E.S.T.(Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique) of course! This magnificent healing technique transformed my life and the lives of thousands of patients. In this video the founder and developer of B.E.S.T Dr. M.T. Morter Jr. explains how this powerful technique helps re-establish the full healing potential of the body. It’s gentle and highly effective. That’s why I’ve made this an essential treatment modality in my practice for over 25 years.
Like a sunflower bends to face the sun, we too can bend to face that which gives us life.
That would be our natural tendency if our naturalness wasn’t trained out of us.
But all too often we turn our backs on the very things that feed and nourish.
We’ve lost touch with our natural way of being in the world.
We’ve become too civilized and proper.
We sit too much.
We sleep too little.
We live to eat instead of eating to live.
We need to turn towards those things that bring us alive. We need to:
Play games that enliven and make our skin tingle.
Eat foods that nourish, renew, and still take us to heaven.
Sleep and dream as the dreamers we are.
Listen before speaking so our hearts may be heard.
Abandon the “Shoulds” and embrace the “Musts.”
Feel the wind dance in our hair.
Make music, sing and dance together and often.
Give voice to all that is beautiful.
Protect the raw and wild places in and about us.
And make a ruckus. Please!
Turn towards your fun my friends. It’s natural.
And as you do, you will feel more alive.
And like a child is filled with wonder and curiosity, so too will you be.
Point to Ponder:
What do you need to turn to more often?
Vitality Secrets: November 8, 2012
I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits. And for
those in the Northeast, I hope you are warm and with your power
As I watched the news about hurricane Sandy last week, I was
struck by the conversations of some of our politicians. Some were
problem focused, while others were looking long term to creating
sustainable solutions in the (likely) event of more storms and
surges here in the Northeast.
The same goes for our health. We can look at it two ways, and in
doing so get two completely different results.
Let me explain:
Two Approaches to Health
When a new patient comes to my office, the first thing they
usually express is their desire to eliminate some pain, symptom
or disease. They want to get rid of the headaches, fatigue,
digestive problems, excess fat, insomnia, or any number of other
That’s normal and natural. You are experiencing something we
don’t want, and you want to get rid of it. So the question
becomes “how to I get rid of this thing?”
From there you search for a solution to the problem, the right
medicine or therapy to make the problem go away.
I call this the Problem Solving Approach to Health. And it’s the
usual approach by most doctors and patients today. However, with
this approach, often one problem is solved and then another pops
There is a better way. One that not only eliminates the problem
at the roots, but also helps us get what we really want – optimal
health, vitality, well-being. I call this the Creative Approach
With this approach we become active participants in creating the
results we want. We get a clear picture of our current state of
health, envision our ideal energy level, body composition,
emotional state, activity level, and then take steps to create
I believe it’s much more powerful to focus on creating something
we want (optimal health, energy, vitality, vibrance), than to
focus on getting rid of something we don’t want. Both have
merits, but it’s only the creative approach to health that will
give us what we really want in the end.
Two Approaches, One Choice
The Problem Solving Approach to Health leaves you with the
absence of something (e.g. No Pain).
The Creative Approach to Health provides you with the presence of
something. (e.g. Feeling Great! Total Vitality!)
So I ask you…
What do you really want?
A couple weeks back one of my clients responded to an email I sent out about Vitamin D and other natural remedies to prevent and treat viral infections (Elderberry Extract, Vitamin C, Green Tea) with some of her own recipes for combating colds in her children. These work, over and over, and I suspect that they will work for you and your children as well.
So with her permission here are her tips from the field.
If your children have a cold…
Avoid dairy (milk and cheese) because that will produce mucus.
To dry up the mucus take Zinc – (5mg for younger kids and up to 15 mg for most kids 6 and older, 2x/day), and always on a full stomach, to prevent nausea and upset stomach.
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar – It loosens mucus and helps turn the body alkaline when it is acidic. Just put 1/2 – 1 tsp tsp honey in an ounce or two of hot water and add 1 tsp – 1 1/2 TBSP of the vinegar, depending on age and size of child. Once a day as prevention (lower dose of vinegar as prevention, and higher when sick). This is a life saver. It helps prevent sinus infections too.
And a warm bath with 2 -3 cups of Epsom salt and 64 oz hydrogen peroxide (they must stay in for 20 min and drink lots of water because they will sweat) can knock out a cold at the beginning.
Put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear at the start of a cold can knock it out. Let is sit for 3 min in each ear.
Of course, prevention is the best medicine, but when you do all you can and still end up with that pesky cold, you can knock it out more quickly with natural remedies like these.
Got your own favorite home remedy for colds, let me know.
Sports Expo this weekend with 75 other exhibitors.
Check out my booth (#42), the TOTAL VITALITY EXPERIENCE.
Here’s a simple 3-step process for creating what you most want in your life. The process is not about fixing ourselves or our lives. It’s about finding what we love, what works, and what makes us come fully alive, then actively taking steps to create it. The basic steps come from Jacqueline Kelm’s book “Appreciative Living”.
Step 1: Appreciate what you already have.
The essence of this step is to get to a place where we feel good about our present situation or about a particular person. The challenge here is that often we must overcome the negative feelings that we may be having. Apathy, grief, sadness, fear, anger…These rarely help us create the outcome we desire. In order to overcome these and feel good we have to begin looking for the good AND letting go of the thoughts and feelings that are in the way.
For instance, if we are having problems in a relationship, we can begin by shifting focus and identifying just one thing that we appreciate about the other person. We start looking for the good, then seeing the good, and finally feeling the good.
Other processes that work for emotional release are EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or the Sedona Method. Once we’ve let the feelings go, we find that we start feeling better and better. This positive emotion then helps guide our actions and impact the responses we get.
The use of a gratitude list can also be helpful when learning to feel good about what we have. Just keep a running list of everything you’re grateful for, both the large and the small. Gratitude gets us to a place of feeling good. It helps us feel that we HAVE. Feeling lack tends to produce more lack. Feeling like we have produces more feelings of abundance, and the stuff that goes along with it!
The goal is to cultivate positive feelings, and to feel good in the present. Appreciating what we already have is the present is the first step.
Step 2: Get clear about what you really want.
The next step is imagining our ideal outcome or goal. What is it that you really, really, really want? This could be something small, like what I’d like for dinner, or something much bigger, like your dream business, a better relationship, or a fabulous adventure. When doing this step, don’t think in terms of what’s possible. That will only limit your vision. Instead, think of the ideal. Use your feelings to make sure you’re on track. When you think about having or experiencing that thing it should excite you and make you feel great. If negative feelings come up, it could be that we’re focusing on what we don’t want. Turn it around. Get clear, and enjoy the good feelings that come when imagining the ideal.
Step 3: Take action in alignment with what you want.
In this final step, you get to work. Take a small step toward you goal. This doesn’t even have to be a physical action. It could be getting clear about where you are presently in relation to your goal. It could be changing focus.
The essence of this step is to take deliberate steps towards our ideal vision. We want to act in alignment with that vision. Sometimes our actions help us clarify further what we really want or appreciate more of what we already have.
These three steps actually begin to overlap at this step, with each informing the other. As we appreciate more, create clarity and take action, we may find that it feels a bit contrived at first. Not to worry. With practice comes comfort and familiarity with the terrain.
Each step brings more clarity, and greater appreciation. We refine and adjust our actions to continue moving towards our goal until we’ve achieved our desired result.
Regardless of how things may shift along the way, one things is guaranteed. You’ll feel good and enjoy the process of creating the results you want.
To see if you’re appreciating what you already have ask, “Do I feel good about the present situation or person?”
To see if you’ve got a clear goal ask, “Am I clear about the outcome I desire?”
To see if you’re taking action to create what you want ask, “Do My actions and thoughts align with what I really want?”
Then work on the step that needs the immediate attention. Keep going! Appreciate – Get Clear – Take action – Appreciate – Get Clear – Take Action.
Try the process out and let me know how it works for you.
Happy New Year! I’ve long said that if people would simply walk for 30 minutes a day they would reduce their risk of virtually all diseases. Dr. Mike Evans delivers the same message with statistical support in this entertaining and persuasive visual lecture. Watch it below and get moving for better health this year.
Carpe Diem – Make your lives extraordinary!
Do it now.
Whatever it is that is calling you from the depths of your soul, do it now.
When inner promptings stir in your quiet moments, give them your full attention. They may be calling you to something extraordinary.
Get up from your chair and…
Do IT now.
We all need reminders to live fully from time to time. Seeing Robin Williams deliver these famous lines in “The Dead Poets Society” is one of my favorites.
Heartburn (GERD and acid reflux) is caused by a number of factors. Too much stomach acid is not one of them. Yet most medical doctors prescribe antacids, proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec) and the like to reduce stomach acid. While these may reduce the symptom (burning), they do not treat the underlying cause and actually contribute to other health problems (nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, cancer). Watch this informative video by Thomas Ballard, RN, ND to learn more.
If you’re suffering from heartburn, gerd or acid reflux, it may be for any of the following reasons:
1. Abnormal bacteria (Helicobacter Pylori and/or yeast (Candida).
2. Poor digestion (Hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzyme deficiency).
3. Hiatal Hernia (which can be fixed with an adjustment).
4. Weak lower esophageal sphincter.
5. Poor diet and lifestyle choices.
A naturopathic physician or functional medicine practitioner can help you determine which of these may be the cause. Once identified there are natural nutrient and herbal remedies that can help fix the problem and restore proper — and pain free — digestion.
Don’t be fooled by the drug pushers, or any of their fancy ads on television. You do not have too much stomach acid and taking those medications will worsen your health over time.
To your health!
Find what you love to do, and just do it! Do it every day, as much as you can. Eventually you’ll become a master of it and people will seek you out. They will be attracted to you by the love and light that emanates from you when you do your thing! So do it. Do not delay. Begin or continue today.
Here it is in the words of philosopher Alan Watts who helped bring Eastern philosophy to the West. Enjoy!
I’m excited to introduce a very nice upgrade to the Vitality Secrets newsletter. The newsletter will now be delivered weekly and contain valuable and up to date information on natural health and wellness. The information in this newsletter will help you, your family and friends live healthier and happier lives.
Please check it out if you’re not already subscribed. And be sure to recommend it to your family and friends. Just one piece of information from one of these newsletters could change a life for the better.
All the articles and information have been researched and reviewed by a panel of natural health experts. I will make comments on most articles and suggest additional ways to implement the ideas.
New research suggests that long-term use of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame K and saccharin may accelerate atherosclerosis and heart disease by interfering with the protective function of HDL (the good cholesterol).
Check out this excellent video on the topic by Dr. Jeffery Bland who holds a PhD in Biochemistry and is considered the “father” of functional medicine.
I’ve long recommended that people avoid these artificial sweeteners and use Stevia instead. Now there’s more research to back this up.
You may be suffering from adrenal fatigue if you…
Find it difficult to get going in the morning without that cup of coffee.
Are constantly feeling tired, moody or depressed.
Get a “second wind” around 10 or 11pm and stay up to 1am or later before going to sleep, or wake up between 2 and 4 am unable to go back to sleep.
These are just a few of the common symptoms of condition known as Adrenal Fatigue (more listed below). Adrenal fatigue is caused by prolonged physical, emotional or mental stress. As a society we are over-worked and over-stressed, and over time this impairs the adrenal gland’s ability to function properly.
It’s estimated that over 80 percent of adults experience some form of adrenal fatigue at some point during their lifetime.
WHAT ARE THE ADRENAL GLANDS ?
The adrenal glands lie atop the kidneys and produce several different types of hormones that help regulate metabolism and many functions of the body. The adrenals help control the flight or flight stress response, regulate the body’s fluid balance, maintain metabolic processes, maintain pregnancies, initiate and control sexual maturation during childhood and puberty, and produce sex steroid hormones.
The most common adrenal hormones:
• Cortisol is involved in a huge array of physiological functions including blood pressure regulation, immune system functioning and blood glucose regulation.
• Aldosterone Acts to maintain blood pressure by causing salt and water retention.
• Estrogen and Androgens, the family of “male” sex steroids that includes DHEA and testosterone are also produced in the adrenal glands and are a source of testosterone for both men and women. Testosterone is important for libido, muscle and bone health, mood, and cardiovascular function.
• Epinephrine and norepinephrine – the “stress hormones” — are involved in many physiological systems including blood pressure regulation, gastrointestinal movement and keeping the airways of the lungs open and performing optimally.
HOW DOES ADRENAL FATIGUE DEVELOP ?
The adrenal glands are designed to help us adapt and respond to changes in the environment. They secrete hormones in response to stress that help us meet a fast approaching work deadline, battle a virus, or get clear of a tiger in the bush. Sure, most of us don’t have to outrun tigers, but we have our own inner and outer threats. These can be actual or perceived threats. Doesn’t matter. The body goes into gear and calls on the adrenal glands to respond with a flood of hormones.
Common stressors include:
• Insufficient sleep
• Repeated infections
• Chronic illnesses (e.g. Lyme disease)
• Excessive work and pressure
• Career, Financial or Relationship Stress
• Poor diet
• Nutrient deficiencies
If these stresses happen too frequently, or constantly as a result of our present lifestyles, the gland eventually runs out of Oomph! What you end up with is an inability of the adrenals to meet the demands of the body. This can cause alterations in your energy levels, mood, appetite, libido, bone and muscle health, memory, ability to learn, and immune response.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE ?
Since the adrenal glands affect many systems of the body, you can have symptoms in virtually every area. However here are some common ones:
• Tiredness in the morning, even after a good night’s sleep.
• Afternoon periods of low energy, tiredness and foggy thinking, usually from 2 to 4pm.
• A “second wind” or burst of energy at 10 or 11 p.m. that lasts until about 1 a.m., when you finally do go to sleep.
• Cravings for sugar, and foods high in salt and fats
• Sensitivity to cold and feeling chilled
• Chronic low blood pressure
• Lightheadedness or dizziness when getting up suddenly
• Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
• A decreased ability to handle stress
• A decreased ability to recover from illness
• Mild depression
• Mood swings
• Mental fogginess
• Memory problems
• Frequent sighing
• Lack of energy and feeling rundown
• Muscular weakness
• Increased food and environmental allergies
• Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or lying down position
• Decreased libido and sex drive
Adrenal fatigue is also associated with a number of medical conditions. The following conditions can give rise to adrenal fatigue or be a result of adrenal gland dysfunction.
• Alcoholism and Addictions
• Autoimmune Disease
• Metabolic Syndrome X
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Chronic Infections
• Dental Problems
• Blood Sugar Imbalances
• Hepatitis C
• Mild Depression
• PMS and Menopause
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Sleep Disruptions
SO HOW IS ADRENAL FATIGUE DIAGNOSED ?
Unfortunately most conventional doctors do not diagnose or even consider adrenal fatigue. They only aware of the more serious forms or “end stages” of adrenal dysfunction such as Cushing’s Disease (too much cortisol) and Addison’s Disease (too little cortisol). Fortunately there are naturopathic physician, functional medicine doctors and certain chiropractors that can assess the adrenal glands before it’s too late.
At our office we use a wide variety of methods to diagnose adrenal fatigue and dysfunction. A good history, symptom survey and clinical exam, including orthostatic blood pressures and pupillary reflex are always taken and performed.
Then we typically order a salivary cortisol profile with DHEA. This test gives us an overview of your cortisol levels throughout the day and evening. Based on these findings we can then create a custom program to address your particular stage of adrenal dysfunction that can range from the alarm or “fight or flight” stage to complete adrenal failure. This is important because treatment strategies vary depending on where one is on the path to adrenal exhaustion.
WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS
There are many ways to support these glands, and the body in general. Most are common sense.
The most important thing you can do is get adequate sleep. I recommend getting in bed by 10pm and getting a good 8 hours of sleep. Sleep in a dark room, and use a mask if necessary.
Consuming caffeine is like driving your car without recharging your battery. Eventually it won’t start. If you’re tired without the caffeine, then you need rest. If that doesn’t help restore your energy, then you should have your adrenal glands assessed.
Eat regularly. Eat low glycemic foods, and make sure you include protein with every meal. Our goal is to maintain stable blood sugar. When blood sugar dips, it causes stress on the adrenal glands.
Nutrients, Herbs and Nutraceuticals
There are several nutrients that support the adrenal glands. B-Vitamins including pantothenic acid and riboflavin, Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and foods containing them are useful. Zucchini is one of the best foods for helping restore and support adrenal function.
There are also a number of herbs and botanicals that help increase the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. They all fall into the category of what we call ADAPTOGENS and include herbs like Siberian Ginseng, Rehmannia, Panax Ginseng and Ashwagandha.
For more severe cases of adrenal fatigue your practitioner may recommend cortisol replacement or glandular extracts. These should only be used under the supervision of an experienced naturopathic physician or functional medicine doctor.
This is probably the single most important thing you can do to prevent and treat adrenal fatigue. Walking, Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, The Sedona Method, Release Technique, EFT, Quantum Entrainment, Self-Enquiry, Prayer, Relaxation tapes. Simplify your life. Eliminate or say “NO” to everything that does not support you and your health. You get the idea…Choose the practices that work for you. Your life will improve in every way. This is a must.
WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT TO FEEL BETTER ?
Once you’ve been evaluated and have embarked on a plan to release stress, support and rebuild your adrenal glands you can expect to feel improvement in four to six months, and even faster with cortisol replacement therapy. However, it still takes many months for the body to recover and build reserves.
WHAT TO DO NOW
No matter your current stage of health, you’ll always want to preserve your adrenal capacity and function. In order to do this you’ll need to practice stress release, exercise, eat well, take the proper nutrients and adaptogenic herbs, and get adequate rest. Nothing replaces these health habits. So start with these.
For those with the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, please get properly evaluated and treated. Proper evaluation and targeted treatment will help you restore your energy, health, vitality and zest for life.
There is a delicate balance between all the hormones of the body, and once out of balance can lead to a whole host of symptoms for women. (Men can also suffer from hormone imbalances and we’ll discuss that in another post.) Common signs that your hormones may be out of balance include:
Self-doubt and brain fog
Waking at 4am, sometimes in a hot or cold sweat
Friends, family and co-workers suspect you’ve lost your mind
While some physicians think menopause is caused solely by a lack of estrogen, it’s often much more complicated and may involve many systems in the body that have been under siege.
Estrogen is important and women begin to produce less and less estrogen as they approach menopause. But to get the whole picture we must include all sources of estrogen, both those from within, and those from without. As we’ll see soon, it’s not the absolute estrogen level, but the balance with other hormones.
Synthetic hormones and hormone disruptors including Xenoestrogens from the environment trick the normal receptors and cause abnormal signaling. Xenoextrogens are derived from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, and estrogens given to some of the animals we eat. They contribute to the symphony, but not in a good way. It’s like giving a 7 year old a trombone and telling him to just play along with the symphony.
Ever see the difference between organic and non-organic chicken breasts? The organic are about the size of your hand, the non-organic are twice that size. This is due to estrogen and other hormones that are pumped into these birds, and eventually into you. That’s my plug for eating organic, free-range chicken!
Now, while estrogen levels can drop approximately 40% as a woman approaches menopause, progesterone levels can drop up to 90%. This relative difference between estrogen and progesterone – Estrogen Dominance – is a prime cause of many of the symptoms women experience during the later years of their menstrual cycles.
Estrogen dominance also increases the risk of breast and uterine cancer, affects brain function and emotional balance, energy levels, libido and sleep, and contributes to bone loss.
Treating estrogen dominance may involve detoxification, progesterone replacement, and sometimes estrogen and progesterone replacement. It’s all about the ratios of the different hormones.
Testosterone is another important player in the symphony. While a woman will produce just a fraction of the testosterone that a man produces, it still plays a critical role. In addition to declining estrogen and progesterone, low testosterone is a main cause of low libido in women. Ideally, a woman will feel best with testosterone in the upper 1/3 of the lab reference range.
Other benefits for testosterone for women include increased muscle and bone strength, increased self-assertiveness, and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers disease.
Thyroid hormone is like the dimmer switch for your metabolism. It regulates the metabolism in nearly every cell in the body. Symptoms of low thyroid often include fatigue, cold intolerance, loss of lateral 1/3 of your eyebrows (true), low libido, dry skin and hair, hair loss, memory loss, irritability, depression and constipation.
See how some of these symptoms overlap? It takes a full orchestra to make a symphony.
Internists often miss thyroid problems because they rely on outdated laboratory reference ranges, limited testing (TSH only), and/or do not take into account other factors that will affect thyroid function. Things like iodine status, reverse T3 (a hormone that blocks thyroid hormone from working properly), and adrenal gland function. Low body temperature is a sign of either thyroid hormone and/or adrenal gland dysfunction.
The adrenal glands, the “stress glands”, sit atop of the kidneys. They secrete a number of hormones (cortisol, dhea, aldosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and are responsible for helping to maintain blood sugar balance, providing precursors for the sex hormones, helping control inflammation, modulating the thyroid, maintaining fluid balance and energy levels, and a great many other functions. So when you hear the term ADRENAL FATIGUE, just know that nearly all of one’s bodily functions can be affected.
So how does this symphony get out of balance?
-Internal or physiological stress (nutrient deficiencies, dietary imbalances, pain, chronic infections or inflammation
-External stress (toxic exposure, light cycle disruption, trauma, overwork)
-Mental/Emotional Stress (anger, fear, worry, guilt, anxiety, depression)
Persistent and unrelenting stress from any or a combination of these can lead to adrenal exhaustion and hormone imbalances.
How many people live with excessive stress in their lives? Unfortunately most of us are under more stress than we know. Our bodies will attempt to adapt, but after a certain amount of time the system crashes, the hormones suffer and the music of our lives begins to sound and feel chaotic.
To restore harmony we must look not only to the immediate fix (restoring proper hormone levels), but also to treating, eliminating and/or minimizing the underlying stressors. I often see multiple nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances and digestive disturbances in pre-menopausal and menopausal women. These must be treated along with the hormone imbalances.
Before you let your doctor prescribe an anti-depressant for your symptoms, please have your health and hormone levels assessed by a licensed naturopathic physician, functional medicine practitioner or integrative medical doctor.
When your hormone levels are restored, you’ll feel serene and content again. Your sex life will be enhanced. Your body weight will normalize, appropriate to your genetics, bone structure and body type. You’ll sleep well again, and have renewed vitality, vigor and curiosity.
Don’t suffer needlessly through the changes that age and stress bring. Get tested, get treated and get better.
Symptoms are indicators or manifestations of imbalances. To only treat the symptom is to miss the mark. Functional Naturopathic Medicine looks deeper, to the roots of disease. By identifying the imbalances in the roots, and treating them with non-toxic therapies, we make symptoms unnecessary. Be well!